The CPI(M) alleged on Thursday that the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, a government initiative to mark the 75th year of the country’s independence, is an effort by the Centre to use the occasion to “distort” and “rewrite” history and to “smuggle” in RSS or Hindutva elements as “heroes” of the freedom struggle.
The editorial of the latest edition of party mouthpiece People’s Democracy claimed that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its predecessors of the Hindutva ideology, who were not associated with the freedom struggle, were ignorant of the sacrifices made by all Indians, irrespective of their religious affiliation, to achieve independence.
“On January 11, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) released an announcement by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding the observance of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence — Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. This is a clear expression of the intention of the Modi government to use this occasion to distort and rewrite the history of the epic struggle of the Indian people for independence from British rule,” the editorial said.
It further said the ministry’s statement claims that Swami Vivekananda and Ramana Maharshi inspired the 1857 uprising — the first war for independence — while Vivekananda was born in 1863 and Ramana Maharshi was born in 1879.
“It is, obviously, ridiculous to claim that they inspired the 1857 revolt!” the editorial said.
It also referred to attacks on Muslims in the country and applications on social media targeting them.
“Coming in the background of the incendiary calls for genocide of Muslims at the dharma sansads, the nasty and obscene apps on social media targeting Muslim women and the declaration of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister that the forthcoming Assembly election is a fight between 80 per cent and 20 per cent (the Muslim population in the state is around 19 per cent), such diabolical propaganda clearly reveals the intention of the RSS and the Modi government to transform the secular, democratic character of the Indian republic,” it said.
Referring to the information and broadcasting ministry’s press release, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) alleged that the “ill-concealed agenda” is an effort to “smuggle” in RSS or Hindutva elements as “heroes” of the freedom struggle, when they were actually collaborating with the British.
It pointed out that even the accounts that are sympathetic of the RSS detail the virtual absence of the organisation from the freedom movement and the consequent concessions it gained from the British.
As regards the “role” of the communists in the Quit India movement, the editorial quoted the statement of former president Shankar Dayal Sharma, who on the 50th anniversary of the movement in 1992, addressing a midnight session of Parliament, referred to the communists as “anti-British revolutionaries”.
Mr Sharma was quoting a dispatch from Delhi dated September 5, 1942 to the British secretary of state in London.
“This diabolic agenda of transforming the character of the Indian republic must be defeated in order to carry forward the legacy of our freedom struggle with all Indians marching towards more equality, justice and fraternity as guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
“For the sake of ‘India, that is Bharat’, these forces that seek to transform the character of independent India must be defeated,” the Left party said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)