On Friday, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhupen Borah criticized Central Government of BJP and PM Modi in particular for resorting to distract public sentiment by intentionally mentioning Pt. Nehru’s comment on Assam during Chinese aggression, instead of doing ‘Rajdharma’ by focusing on Manipur situation.
In a press statement, the APCC chief said, “The harsh reality is that BJP and its leadership feel dwarf at the towering personality, intellectual calibre, unmatched popularity and global reputation of Pt. Nehru, and therefore resort to the malign reputation of Pt. Nehru by presenting his quote in a distorted manner and thereby trying to create confusion among public.”
He also compared the prime minister speech on confidence motion on Thursday at the Parliament with Nazi Germany’s Minister Joseph Goebbels. “Willful misinterpretation of facts and repeat of misinformation were tools of propaganda that were used with glorious results by Joseph Goebbels. Nazi Germany’s Minister of Propaganda, Goebbels famous quote, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
The repeated quote “my heart goes out to the people of Assam at this hour” has been willfully picked out of the larger context of Nehru’s speech to create mischief and discredit him, alleged Bora.
Borah while sharing Pt. Nehru’s speech claimed that the real fact is that despite initial setbacks on the Indian front Pt. Nehru ‘pledged’ to ‘have victory’ neither give up nor ‘tolerate’ such a foreign incursion.
Pt. Nehru said: “We are not going to tolerate this kind of invasion of India by any foreign country. This is the first war of independent India to maintain her independence and India is not going to lose this war however long it lasts and whatever harm it may do us meanwhile. Therefore on this day which has been a sad day for us bringing news of reverses and setbacks, I want to send my greeting to the people of Assam specially and to people of NEFA and to the rest of India and to tell them that we must not get worried about this, sad we must be necessarily but we must train ourselves and steel ourselves to meet all these reverses and to even make our determination still firmer to do all that we can to repel and throw out the invader from India. We shall not be content till that invader goes out of India or is pushed out. We shall not accept any terms that he may offer because he may think that we are a little frightened by some setbacks. I want to make that clear to all of you and more specially to our countrymen in Assam to whom our heart goes out at this moment”.
“It is obvious from these words what Nehru meant. These were words of a leader who had determination to fight the invader. He also wished to express compassion for those who had to face this sudden challenge at the ground level,” added Borah.
According to Borah, Pt. Nehru viewed the Chinese aggression as a threat to not only India’s integrity but an attack on all independent nations. He thus ended his speech by saying that he would keep the people of India abreast with what was happening on a frequent basis in order “to mobilise the nation to meet this grave menace for this menace is not only in Assam or Ladakh or India only, it is a menace for Asia and a menace for the entire world. And so let us all say today with real meaning and repeat our old cry, ‘Jai Hind’.”
“Nowhere in the speech do we get a whiff of ‘surrender’ or ‘abandonment’ of Assam to the Chinese,” asserted the APCC chief.
Critics of the speech may find it interesting to note that Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi who had been president of the All India Congress Committee between 1959 and 1960, flew down to Tezpur in November 1962 to take stock of the situation, highlighted Borah.
He also mentioned that the former Congress leader Indira Gandhi reached Tezpur town with ration and supplies for the inhabitants from Indian Red Cross. Katherine Frank in her biography of Indira Gandhi mentions: “Indira returned to Delhi for exactly eight hours, displaying ‘a flaming confidence because the tribal people had refused to leave Tezpur’. She made a brief radio broadcast, had the aircraft refilled with supplies and returned to Assam for another forty eight hours.”
Almost immediately upon her arrival in Assam, the Chinese ‘unexpectedly’ decided to announce a unilateral ceasefire and started to withdraw their troops, claimed Borah.
Bhupen Bora further mentioned that even after 3 months of unprecedented unrest in Manipur, the Prime Minister has continuously avoided the matter.
“Even during the discussion in the Parliament on “No-Confidence” motion, PM Modi instead of speaking on Manipur issue, tried to divert the public attention by quoting that particular sentence from Pt. Nehru’s long speech,” Borah alleged.
Meanwhile, Borah has challenged the BJP and RSS to share any speech of Pt. Nehru in 1962 where he mentioned of ‘surrender’ or ‘abandonment’ of Assam to the China.