Jawaharlal Nehru’s picture will be in other posters, ICHR responded after the controversy


Facing criticism from opposition parties for allegedly not including a picture of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in posters to celebrate the 75th year of India’s independence, the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) on Sunday said Controversy on the issue is unnecessary and posters to be released in the coming days will have Nehru’s picture.

Rejecting criticism on the issue, a top ICHR official said, “We are not trying to downplay anyone’s role in the freedom struggle.” He said that the poster which has sparked controversy is one of the many posters to be released as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.

However, the Congress has questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged silence on the matter and demanded that he rise above his prejudices and intervene in the matter. Opposition parties say that Nehru’s picture has been deliberately not included in the poster. It may be mentioned that ICHR, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Education, is conducting a series of lectures and seminars on the theme of freedom struggle as part of the celebration of Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

An ICHR official said, “This is just a poster released as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. There will be many other posters and there will be Nehru among them… Controversy on this issue is unnecessary.

As part of the lecture series, the Council has invited various historians and academicians to speak on a wide range of topics related to the freedom movement of India. Arvind Jamkhedkar, whose term as ICHR president ended in March this year, said the council’s not mentioning Nehru may have been inadvertent.


He said, ‘It may have been inadvertent. When we talk of freedom struggle no one can forget a person like Nehru. It may be negligent but certainly not intentional. There is no political motive behind this. I repeat that this was not done intentionally. It is noteworthy that the Education Ministry has not yet appointed Jamkhedkar’s successor.

Opposition parties have targeted the government for not having the picture of the country’s first prime minister in the poster and alleged that it was done intentionally. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “Why is the Prime Minister silent on the disappearance of Nehru’s picture from ICHR’s Azadi 75 festival. This goes against all facts and verifiable history. We know that the Prime Minister wants to erase Nehru’s legacy but it is absolutely unfair. He should rise above prejudices and ask ICHR to reform.

Congress leader P Chidambaram also targeted the controversy over the ICHR and said that the clarification being given about it is ridiculous. Chidambaram accused the ICHR secretary member of succumbing to hatred and prejudice. He asked whether Henry Ford could be forgotten when celebrating the invention of the motor car, or the Wright brothers when celebrating the invention of the airplane.

Several Congress leaders, including Shashi Tharoor, Gaurav Gogoi and Pawan Khera, shared screenshots of the ICHR website on social media, showing Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Madan. The picture of Mohan Malviya and Veer Savarkar is visible, but the picture of Nehru is missing.


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