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Today in Politics: Partition Horrors Remembrance Day and what is happening in Maha Vikas

Plus, the political fallout of the Congress and BJP tussle in Madhya Pradesh over corruption allegations, and President Droupadi Murmu to address the nation on the eve of Independence Day.

India Independence DayPeople wave the flag during a campaign to hoist the tricolour in every house ahead of Independence Day celebrations in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. (AP)

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The government will observe the Partition Horrors Remembrance Day as the nation gears up to celebrate the 77th Independence Day on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in 2021, saying, “Partition’s pains can never be forgotten. Millions of our sisters and brothers were displaced and many lost their lives due to mindless hate and violence … May the Partition Horrors Remembrance Day keep reminding us of the need to remove the poison of social divisions, disharmony and further strengthen the spirit of oneness, social harmony and human empowerment.”

Though the idea behind remembering genocide and mass violence is that the act of remembering will lead the citizenry to reflect on these events and this simple act will serve as a bulwark against such events repeating in the future, the political messaging behind the BJP’s decision was not lost on anyone. But members of the ruling establishment have framed the remembrance day in its immediate political context for them: targetting what the BJP calls the “appeasement politics” of Opposition parties and publicly putting Nehruvian politics in the dock.

“Gandhi could not reconcile the fact that a ‘maniac’ and ‘an evil genius’ like Jinnah could have his way, while there was nobody among his disciples to stand up and resist. Jawaharlal Nehru, who once called Partition a ‘fantastic nonsense’, reconciled quickly and ominously declared in April 1947 that ‘those who stand as an obstacle in our way should go their own way’,” Ram Madhav, who is with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), wrote in this recent article for The Indian Express. “Nehru was a believer in freedom ‘at all costs’. But as the freedom movement reached closer to its goal, Nehru included partition also as one of the costs. So did others, the ‘tired old men, hungry for power’, as Ram Manohar Lohia said.”

Here are a few more articles on the subject:

Shyam Saran: The horrors of Partition must be remembered — but for the right reasons

T M Krishna: How should we remember Partition Horrors Remembrance Day?

Shah Alam Khan: Partition horrors are not for remembrance, but for learning lessons

Pratap Bhanu Mehta: At 75, will India embrace the logic of freedom or Partition?

Vijay Chauthaiwale: The false dichotomy between Partition remembrance and Indian ethos

Later in the evening, President Droupadi Murmu will address the nation on the eve of Independence.

The FIRs filed against the social-media “handlers” of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath — over corruption allegations against the government — triggered protests by the Congress in the poll-bound state and it is likely to make news today too. State Congress media cell chairman K K Mishra has claimed FIRs have been registered against Gandhi Vadra, Nath, and former Union ministers Arun Yadav and Jairam Ramesh in 41 districts of the state and alleged the “crime branch has become a BJP organisation”.

In Maharashtra, the effect of the meeting between Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra who rebelled against him last month and broke away, will keep playing out. Even though Pawar clarified he would not join the BJP, the frequent meetings between the Pawars have the Nationalist Congress Party leaders’ allies in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) on tenterhooks. Uddhav Thackeray’s associate and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut has said he will speak with Pawar about clearing the air as any confusion will only create perceptions of division within the MVA and may hurt it electorally.

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The suicide of a first-year student at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University is slowly turning into a political issue, with the CPI(M)-affiliated Students’ Federation of India (SFI) planning to organise a protest march near the institution. The Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) will hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the death of the student, who was allegedly ragged.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will speak at an event at Kolkata’s Netaji Indoor Stadium to commemorate “Kanyashree Dibas”. It is held to celebrate the government’s successful Kanyashree programme for the girl child.

Watch out for: The Road to 2024, our weekly tracker on the BJP and the Opposition where we decode how the battle for the Lok Sabha is shaping up.

— With PTI inputs

First published on: 14-08-2023 at 07:29 IST

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