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Purging Nehru from Indian history like skipping Ronaldo from football records: Chidambaram

Wiping out the name of the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru from Indian history is akin to skipping Cristiano Ronaldo from the history of football or the Wright brothers from the history of aviation, former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Saturday.

Purging Nehru from Indian history like skipping Ronaldo from football records: Chidambaram
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram (File Photo)

Speaking at a Congress meeting in South Goa's Margao town, Chidambaram also said that homogenisation efforts by the BJP-led Central government is the "biggest enemy of India". 

"Imagine if the history of football is written, Cristiano Ronaldo will not be there? If the history of motor car is written, Henry Ford will not be there? If the history of aircraft is written, the Wright brothers will not be there? The BJP is attempting to rewrite history. We must stand up against this. And the party which can stand up against this can only be the Congress," Chidambaram said. 

The former Union minister said this while referring to a poster released by the Indian Council for Historical Research on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of India's Independence, in which, Chidambaram said, Nehru was missing. 

"And let me warn you. If you allow this trend to continue, they will remove Jawaharlal Nehru chapters from history books. Yes, Sardar Patel is there, and we are happy with that. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad is there, we are happy. But why is Jawaharlal Nehru not there," Chidambaram asked. 

The senior Congress leader is currently on a three-day visit to Goa in his capacity as the All India Congress Committee's senior observer in-charge of the 2022 Goa Assembly polls. 

Chidambaram also singled out the 'attempts to create a homogenised culture in the country' as one of the biggest threats facing India. 

"There are forces in this country who want to homogenise India. One language, one religion, one culture, one food habit. How can we accept that? Not only how should I accept it, but why should I accept it? Why should you accept it? Each state has its own language, culture, way of life, habit, way of dressing, way of family life, way of living together with other people etc. Why should we accept this homogenisation," Chidambaram asked. 

"India is one country. There is no doubt about it. But this one country is made of many many states, many many cultures, many many ways of life, many languages, many religions, many food habits and each one of us is proud of what we have. Homogensation is the worst thing that can happen," he said, adding that the price of homoginesation was lynching of persons from specific communities over religion and food-eating habits. 

"All this is because a small section believes that India must be homogenised. Where will this lead us to? It will lead us to one party, one leader. It will lead to India ceasing to be a democracy and becoming an elected dictatorship. There are many think-tanks and research groups in the world which point that India is no longer an electoral democracy, but it is an electoral authoritarian state," Chidambaram said. 

"We do not want to live under an authoritarian state. I do not want to fear the police. I do not want to fear the government. I was born free, I want to live free and I want to die free. Homogenisation is the greatest enemy of India and the political party which is propagating this is the BJP. This attempt to homogenise India is the biggest enemy of the country," he added.

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