Jaswant's remarks draw Cong flak

 

Reacting to the BJP veteran’s remarks in an interview,   the Congress said Pakistan’s brand of secularism appealed to Singh and other leaders of his party, perhaps because it was close to the hard-line Hindutva espoused by them.

“They chose to rely on Pakistani secularism but do not believe in Indian secularism,” said Congress spokesman and Rajya Sabha member Abhishek Singhvi.

Singh’s book “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence” was released on Monday. But ahead of the release of the book, the former external affairs minister told media persons that Jinnah was a “great man”, and that he admired certain aspects of his personality. The BJP MP said India had not only misunderstood Jinnah, but demonised him. He also blamed the creation of Pakistan on the Congress and Nehru, rather than Jinnah’s desire to carve out a Muslim State.

Recalling BJP leader L K Advani’s praise for Jinnah, the Congress said the saffron party seemed to be overwhelmed by its love for the founder of Pakistan.

“When Jinnah was talking about partition of India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was binding the country together as president of the Congress. But the BJP has forgotten the nationalism of Maulana Azad.” said Singhvi.

The Congress said the BJP did not distinguish between Jinnah and Gandhi. “While Jinnah ordered direct action in Bengal (in 1946), the Gandhi went to provide a healing touch (to the riot-affected people),” Singhvi said.

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