Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday slammed the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) for excluding India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru from a poster celebrating the country’s 75th Independence Day.
"It's like making a movie poster without the hero. Nehru must be there. This poster should be withdrawn. Stop attempting to rewrite history in this petty way," the senior Congress leader told news agency ANI.
Earlier, in a tweet, Tharoor had said it is "absolutely ahistorical" to celebrate the country's freedom "by omitting the pre-eminent voice of Indian freedom".
He wrote: "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!"
Meanwhile, Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) Director OM Jee Upadhyay on Monday has given a clarification over the poster which excluded Nehru.
Speaking to ANI, ICHR Director said one of the posters of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' was released on the ICHR website due to which controversy has arisen.
"Out of this, at least more than 50 personalities are part of this poster. The contribution of Nehru ji cannot be underestimated or seen. This is a kind of attempt to create a premature controversy. 7 to 8 posters were supposed to be scrolled but now one poster is visible, soon other posters are ready and will be part of the website," said Upadhyay.
"There are many such personalities, all the streams which have contributed to the freedom struggle. One and more than one person from each stream will be part of the poster of ICHR," he further said.
ICHR Director said that many known heroes will also be a part of the ICHR poster. As far as Nehru ji is concerned, his name is mentioned 17 times in the NCERT book of Modern India. He has been photographed many times. It is not our intention to diminish his contribution. This is the first poster, maybe Nehru ji will be seen in the next poster soon.
"I can't go to the side of any political commentary but as a research organization of history, I am again telling you that there are many posters on the website of ICHR which are to be scrolled and it will be difficult to identify which is the first poster and which is the second because they will continue to scroll. The technical team could not put all the posters at the right time and a controversy arose after the very first poster which is not right," said ICHR Director.
ICHR official further told ANI that many personalities are involved which includes Nehru ji and there is no intention to downplay the contribution of any individual in the freedom struggle.
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. 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.
(With ANI inputs)