Government will accept proposal on Patel film: Manish Tewari

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Government will accept proposal: Tewari
New Delhi, Nov 7: The government would accept a film proposal on the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and make necessary contribution to it, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said here Thursday.

The statement comes in the wake of concerns in the Congress about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) making efforts to appropriate the legacy of the noted freedom fighter.

Answering queries from mediapersons here, Tewari said the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and the Films Division are responsible for promoting movies and documentaries that inspire people and document the country's history.

"People come with proposals and these (NFDC and Films Division) play their role after ascertaining details," Tewari said.

"If there is a proposal, we will not only accept it but also make necessary contribution," Tewari said.

Tewari disagreed with senior BJP leader L.K. Advani who had quoted a book which said the country's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, described Patel "a total communalist" for the latter's stance on need for military action in Hyderabad after Independence following the Nizam's pro-Pakistan leanings.

He said: "BJP never allows truth in myth-making."

Referring to Advani's blog in which he quoted from M.K.K. Nair's book 'The Story of an Era Told without Ill Will', Tewari said the person was not in the Indian Administrative Service in 1948 when the action occurred.

He said Nair was born in 1930 and joined IAS in 1950. "How did he have knowledge of events two years before joining service," Tewari asked.

He said even if it is assumed he was a different individual, would the person have sufficient seniority to be privy to meetings of cabinet ministers.

BJP leaders have been hailing efforts of Patel, country's first home minister, in unifying the princely states with the union and there has been an apparent effort by the party to project itself as inheritor of his legacy.

Advani and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi last month attended a function in Gujarat to lay the foundation stone of Patel's statue, slated to be the tallest in the world.

Modi had said the country needs "Sardar Patel's secularism and not vote-bank secularism".

"If Sardar Patel would have been our first prime minister, then the face and fate (tasveer aur taqdeer) of the country would have been completely different," Modi had said.


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