Tokenism can't earn nationalistic credentials: BJP
New Delhi, Sep 11 (UNI) The BJP today said that if Congress feels that absence of its President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the singing of Vande Matram was ''a mistake'', it should admit it before the people, instead of ''taking recourse to compensatory tokenism' to cling on to nationalist legacy.'' BJP Spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Congress should realise that ''nationalistic credentials can't be earned by jumping on to the nationalist bandwagons like observing centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's satyagraha.'' He said it was the 68-member National Committee headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was constituted on May 2 to elebrate the Centenary of adoption of Vande Matram as National Song and the decision was taken by the Committee July 13. ''After this elaborate process if the Congress feels that it was a mistake, than they should should own up to it before the nation,'' he remarked.
He said it was matter of history that the Vande Mataram which had become a symbol of freedom struggle, was first sung at the AICC Varanasi Session in 1905 under the guidance of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and the Congress 'flip flop' was nailed by the May 2 Extraordinary Gazette, issued by Ministry of Tourism.
''The BJP continues to hold that the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress was not representative of 'original Congress' that led the freedom struggle,'' he asserted.
BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, in a separate statement, said that the nation observed September 7 as a Centenary of Vande Matram across the country even without the participation of Ms Gandhi and Prime Minister and threats by fundamentalist forces.
''Now they want to cling on to Mahatma and his satyagrah,'' he charged.
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