Facing flak from opposition parties for excluding Jawaharlal Nehru from a poster celebrating the 75th year of independence, the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) said the controversy over the issue is “unnecessary” as other posters being released in the coming days will feature Nehru. “We are not trying to undermine anyone’s role in the movement,” a top ICHR official said, dismissing criticism on the issue, and added the poster was one of the many released as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
ICHR, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, has been running a series of lectures and seminars on the theme of the Independence struggle under the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration. “This is only one of the posters released as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. There will be several others and Nehru will be featured in them… controversy around this is unnecessary,” the ICHR official said.
As part of the lecture series, the council has invited various historians and academicians to speak on different topics related to India’s freedom movement. Opposition parties had targeted the government for the exclusion of the image of the country’s first prime minister from the poster and suggested that it had been done deliberately.
Jairam Ramesh, Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Khera were among the Congress leaders, who took to social media and shared the screenshot of the ICHR website showing photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, B R Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Madan Mohan Malviya and Veer Savarkar while Nehru’s picture was missing.
It is not merely petty but absolutely ahistorical to celebrate Azadi by omitting the pre-eminent voice of Indian freedom, Jawaharlal Nehru. One more occasion for ICHR to disgrace itself. This is becoming a habit! pic.twitter.com/wZzKCvYEcD— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 27, 2021
Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday hit out at the ICHR, accusing it of bowing to hate and prejudice, and asked whether it would omit Henry Ford while celebrating the birth of the motor car or Wright brothers while celebrating the birth of aviation.