While speaking on the occasion of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said Nehruvian pillars of democratic institution-building, staunch secularism, socialist economics and a non-aligned foreign policy are under attack and the party should continue to fight for the same.
Speaking at the annual Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture, Gandhi said that these four pillars remain at the core of India but the BJP is blind to this truth.
“They lack the capacity. the vision and the wisdom to uphold this legacy. The forces unleashed by our present rulers want to dictate to us what we can do, say or think. The idea of unity is uniformity. They disrespect and fear diversity which means they deny our pluralism, our freedom of choice, which are integral to our fundamental rights. Their language may be modern, but they seek to take India backward, not forward. For after all, they made no sacrifices to shape India’s destiny,” she said.
Also read: Moody’s lowers India’s economic growth to 5.6% for 2019-20
“It falls on each and every one of us to pull away this hypocrisy and reveal the darkness lurking beneath. We must unite and speak up against the bigotry, injustice and mismanagement of the last six years, not just for ourselves, but for the millions of our fellow brothers and sisters who continue to suffer,” she added.
Remembering Nehru’s contributions, the Congress President said, “This annual lecture is a welcome opportunity to revisit the timeless legacy of one of India’s greatest sons. In today’s times, it has become fashionable to decry Nehru’s contributions. It is all the more important to reiterate the very idea of India that he dedicated his life to.”
“Today, when we take our democracy and pluralist social fabric for granted, it is easy to forget the magnitude of contributions made by titans like Nehru and others of his time. It is easy to forget the challenges these men and women were faced with, the complexity of the questions they had to answer, and the arduous project of nation building they embarked upon. It is their lifelong labours that have brought us to the India we recognise and cherish today,” she added.