While Prime Minister Modi remembered him as a fine educationist, a wonderful administrator and a stalwart who fought for India’s freedom as well as unity. Union Minister Arun Jaitley penned a thoughtful tribute to him.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tribute to the patriot who laid down his life for preserving the unity and integrity of India.
In 1929, Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee made his foray into politics for social service. From 1941 to 1942, he served as the Finance Minister of Bengal Province.
He displayed his political genius and commitment to India’s unity by raising the demand for partition of Bengal and Punjab at the time of India’s Independence ensuring that half of Bengal and Punjab remained with India.
In the first Cabinet of Independent India, he served as Minister for Industry and Supply. Placing the nation above politics, he resigned from the government as a mark of protest against the Nehru-Liaquat pact.
On the 117th birth anniversary of the founder of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh on Friday, Union Minister Arun Jaitley wrote a blog targeting the Congress for bringing the first amendment to the constitution in 1951 aimed at restricting Dr. Mookerjee’s advocacy of ‘Akhand Bharat’.
He wrote, ‘I recall a forgotton chapter where Dr. Mookerjee’s advocacy of ‘Akhand Bharat’ led Pt. Nehru to amend the Constitution restricting Dr. Mookerjee’s free speech’
‘Two days before the ”Nehru-Liaquat Pact” was to be signed in April 1950, Dr. Mookerjee resigned from the Cabinet in protest’. ‘He spoke extensively in Parliament and outside opposing the pact’.
He also questioned the Congress’ advocacy of those demanding a break up of the country…as legitimate free speech.
Jaitley further wrote, ‘In the past 70 years, this country has witnessed a change in the situation where Pt. Nehru amended the Constitution so that a demand for ”Akhand Bharat” could incite a war and therefore should be prohibited. On the contrary, we all were told that to advocate a breakup of the country without inciting violence is legitimate free speech’
He questioned a different yardstick being applied to those who want to dismember India and commit an offence of sedition…while underscoring how this debate recently came to the forefront during the “Tukde Tukde” agitation at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
On Friday, tributes were paid to him in Parliament premises as well.
Pt. Mookerjee’s contribution to nation-building was recalled by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers.
At BJP headquarters too, senior party leadership including BJP President Amit Shah, and BJP General Secretary Organisation Ram Lal…paid floral tributes to the stalwart.
Dr. Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1951….which became the foundation of the present-day BJP.
In his Parliamentary speeches, Dr. Mookerjee strongly advocated the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
He questioned how a single country can have two constitutions, two prime ministers, and two national emblems.
He was arrested at Lakhenpur at Jammu while trying to enter the state without a permit…and put behind bars.
He breathed his last on 23rd June 1953 in mysterious circumstances. Dr. Mookerjee’s sacrifice continues to inspire crores of Indians.