'Non-Cong PMs were not given their due credit': Modi announces museum for all former PMs3 min read . Updated: 24 Jul 2019, 09:11 PM IST
- 'The PMs' contributions will be displayed in the museum without any political bias,' said Modi
- Modi was speaking at book release of 'Chandra Shekhar -The Last Icon of Ideological Politics', written by Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh and author Ravi Dutt Bajpai
New Delhi: In an apparent attack on Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the contributions of former non-Congress Prime Ministers were not given their due credit and their image was sought to be maligned through insinuations.
Releasing a book titled "Chandra Shekhar -The Last Icon of Ideological Politics" written by Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh and author Ravi Dutt Bajpai, the Prime Minister also accused the Congress of defaming the former Prime Minister's famous "Padyatra" from Kanyakumari to Rajghat in New Delhi.
"It is a fashion today...Some people have reservations...even some small leaders hold padyatra of 10-12 kilometres, it gets 24 hours coverage on television and gets published on the front page of newspapers. But Chandra Shekharji did his padyatra keeping in mind the problems of poor and villages. But the country did not give it the honour as it deserved. The opportunity was lost," he said.
He said his padyatra was maligned by linking it to donation, corruption and capitalists.
"Such injustice in public life is annoying," he said.
Hailing Harivansh for having the courage to write a book on Chandra Shekhar, the Prime Minister said many of the prime ministers were forgotten and were not given their due credit.
"After independence, what kind of image was built of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar...what kind of image was built of Sardar Patel. Had Lal Bahadur Shashtri returned alive (from Tashkent), he would not have been spared by a group of leaders. But he escaped... because his martyrdom was big," he said.
The Prime Minister alleged that image of many Prime Ministers like Morarji Desai, H D Devegowda was maligned and was denied the name and fame they deserved.
"What does that PM drink...who sleeps in the... meeting...who backstabbed...everybody was given a title so that their work could not get due recognition. They were forgotten," he said.
He said the country needs a new political culture and following this, the government is making a museum of all the former Prime Ministers.
"Their contributions will be displayed without any political bias," he said.
Chandra Shekhar undertook a marathon walk (Padayatra) through the country from Kanyakumari in the deep South to Rajghat (Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi) in New Delhi covering a distance of nearly 4260 kilometres from January 6, 1983, to June 25, 1983.
He was popular as 'Young Turk' for his conviction, courage and integrity in the fight against vested interests.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said Chandra Shekhar's life will continue to inspire the politicians of the younger generation, especially at a time when ideology is taking a back seat.
"They learn about a man who did not change his beliefs, principles, opinions, and friends to suit the changing political scenarios. Chandra Shekharji, who rose from a humble background to become the country's Prime Minister, had never swerved from the ideology and the principles in which he believed in," he said.
He said one of the striking qualities of Chandra Shekhar was that he was not only committed to lofty ideals but always maintained decorum and dignity at all times irrespective of whether he was holding an office or not.
"Unfortunately, we are witnessing an all-round degeneration of values in different fields today. The lack of respect for decorum and traditions, absence of discipline and practice of politics without ideology and the promotion of personality-based politics are a matter of concern," he said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said Chandra Shekhar worked for social upliftment throughout his political career and will always be remembered as young Turk.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the socialist ideology followed by Chandra Shekharji is missing in today's politics and has been replaced by politics of power, money and position.
"If one reads the book, he would understand that in what kind of world we are living today," he said.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.