Read Rushdie's book to know about Nehru-Gandhis: BJP

Salman Rushdie. AFP file photo

Reacting to a booklet containing unsavoury claims about Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the BJP on Friday dragged the Nehru-Gandhi family into controversy, advising the Congress to read Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" to know more about them.

The saffron party also said that during freedom struggle Congress leaders lived "in comfort" in prison and wrote books, but Savarkar faced torture in the Cellular Jail.

Congress-affiliated Seva Dal earlier this week distributed a Hindi book titled "Veer Savarkar, Kitne 'Veer'?", at a training camp here.

The book questioned Savarkar's patriotism and claimed that he and Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse were in a physical relationship, citing "Freedom at Midnight" by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre.

BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said Congress leaders should read Rushdie's "Midnight's Children".

The novel, winner of the Booker Prize, contains references to Emergency, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi.

"Freedom at Midnight was written by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. But there is another book, Midnight's Children. Let them also read it. It will create a problem if we discuss what is written about the Gandhi family in Midnight's Children," Trivedi said.

Indira Gandhi had moved a court in Britain against Rushdie over a passage about the death of her husband Feroze Gandhi.

"I will also not comment on books written by personal assistants of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi and what was written in the context of Lord Mountbatten," the BJP leader added.

"Congress leaders lived in comfort in jail (during freedom struggle, so much so that they managed to write books, whereas Savarkar was tortured at the infamous Cellular Jail in Andaman," he said.

Nehru had written his seminal books "Discovery of India" and "Glimpses of World History" while in jail.

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