Bharat Mata Ki Jai misused for militant, emotional idea of India: Manmohan Singh

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Addressing a gathering after releasing a book on Jawaharlal Nehru here, Singh also argued that attempts are being made to project India’s first Prime Minister in “false light”.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said nationalism and the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ are being “misused” to construct a “militant and purely emotional idea of India” that excludes millions of residents and citizens.

Addressing a gathering after releasing a book on Jawaharlal Nehru here, Singh also argued that attempts are being made to project India’s first Prime Minister in “false light”.

Singh said the book Who Is Bharat Mata by Purushottam Agrawal and Radha Krishna, which contains selections from Nehru’s books, his speeches and his interviews, is an attempt to set the narrative in the right direction.

Quoting a speech made by Nehru in 1936, Singh said Nehru believed that Bharat Mata is essentially the millions of people of India who live in India and “victory to her is victory of these people”.

“It is a book of particular relevance at a time when nationalism and the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ are being misused to construct a militant and purely emotional idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens,” he said.

Singh said Nehru had remained a true democrat despite the compulsions of politics. “His legacy continues to be of immense significance-perhaps more today than at any other time in our history,” he said.