Gogoi slams Centre, Modi over Fulbright issue

Guwahati, Oct 26 (IANS) The removal of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s name from the India-US Fulbright scholarship programme was “unfortunate” and exposed the “vindictive attitude and narrow mindset” of the central government, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said on Monday.

Gogoi also said that the present dispensation at the Centre was attempting to replace Nehru’s domestic and foreign policy legacy with its own.

“The decision to shed Nehru’s name from the scholarship programme that benefited tens of thousands of students is really unfortunate and uncalled for. Is the present dispensation trying to relegate Nehru’s contribution in laying the foundation of modern India and his rich domestic and foreign policy legacy to the back burner and replace them with its own? Is the Centre trying to rewrite history by removing the icons of our freedom struggle,” Gogoi asked.

“The Centre earlier took a retrogressive step to discontinue postage stamps on former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and belittled their contributions to the making of modern India. All these decisions expose the vindictive attitude and narrow mindset of the present BJP-led government,” the chief minister said.

He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio broadcast and said his message of unity in diversity against the backdrop of growing intolerance and hatred in the country had not been loud and clear.

“Modi’s Mann Ki Baat failed to send a strong message in the backdrop of volatile situation prevailing in the country with incidents of intolerance and hatred on the rise,” Gogoi said in a statement.

Gogoi said Modi, otherwise vocal and decisive, showed no signs of alacrity and urgency to rein in growing incidents of intolerance and hatred.

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