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Nehru present in future ‘Azadi Mahotsav’ posters, says ICHR after Congress slams ‘omission’

In an ICHR poster celebrating India's 75th year of independence, Jawaharlal Nehru was conspicuously missing while Gandhi, Bose and Savarkar were featured.

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New Delhi: The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) has clarified that Jawaharlal Nehru will feature in its posters celebrating the country’s 75th year of independence, following social media outcry over the first PM’s purported omission from them.

ICHR, the culture body under the ministry of education, found itself in the middle of a controversy Saturday when it released a poster about a lecture series commemorating India’s 75 years of freedom, which featured several leaders of the freedom movement including Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar among others.

But Nehru was conspicuously missing from it, which led to massive outrage on social media especially by Congress leaders.

The ICHR, however, said that the reaction to the poster was “premature” and the upcoming posters will feature Nehru.

“We have only released the first poster of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, many more posters are yet to be released and the team is working on it. Reacting this way on the basis of an initial poster is premature,” Omjee Upadhyay, director of ICHR, told ThePrint.

“In the coming days, there will be a poster which will have Jawaharlal Nehru’s name. I have seen the upcoming posters and I’m sure it’s there. There will be posters which will depict more freedom fighters and more chapters from the freedom movement. This poster that everyone is talking about is representative of only a fraction of the movement,” he added.

“We are not trying to undermine anyone’s role in the movement. In fact our endeavour is to highlight such people who have not found prominent place in history books so far,” Upadhyay further noted.

ICHR has been running a series of lectures and seminars on the theme of Independence struggle under the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration. As part of the lecture series, they invite various historians and academicians to speak on different topics related to India’s freedom movement.

Also read: How Moplah ‘martrys’ of 1921 turned ‘jihadis of Taliban mindset’ & may now be dropped from ICHR text

Social media backlash

Several Congress leaders including MP Shashi Tharoor called out the organisation for omitting Nehru’s name from the poster.

“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!” Tharoor tweeted.

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also agreed with Tharoor and called the ICHR “petty”.

“You can never look big if you diminish the role of others in the creation of an Independent India. Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav can only be celebrated when it acknowledges role of all. By omitting India’s first PM, ICHR reflects its own pettiness& insecurity,” she tweeted.

Also read: A new freedom struggle for India must be based on a new nationalism. No short-cuts will do


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