Rao was neglected by his own Congress Party which wanted to erase his legacy
Former Indian Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao finally has a memorial to his name in New Delhi. It took 10 years after his death, but on Sunday, the NDA government led by the BJP opened the memorial at Ekta Sthal. Sunday was also the birth anniversary of the ex-PM, who for long was neglected by his own Congress party, apparently because he was not a member of the Nehru-Gandhi clan.
The memorial ghat of Rao at Ekta Sthal is now integrated with Rashtriya Smriti, a common place for erecting memorials for former Presidents, PMs and others. The memorial is raised on a plinth in marble with a plaque bearing text highlighting briefly his contributions.
“Known as the scholar Prime Minister of India, Shri P V Narasimha Rao was born on 28th June, 1921 in Laknepalli Village, Warangal District in Telangana state. He rose to prominence as freedom fighter who fought the misrule of the Nizam during the formative years of his political career. A reformer, educationist, scholar, conversant in 15 languages and known for his intellectual contribution, he was called the ‘Brihaspati’ (wise man) of Andhra Pradesh”, the plaque reads.
The Congress neglect was because of the vengeful nature of Sonia Gandhi, according to analysts. Narasimha Rao changed the name of the Congress Party from Congress (Indira) to Indian National Congress and rejected the candidature of Sonia Gandhi as the Congress President with a memorable quote: “Should the Congress Party be treated like a train where the compartments have to be attached to an engine belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi family or were there other alternatives?”
In his last days, a constant threat of imprisonment hung over his head. His ministerial colleagues kept aloof from him and gossiped about his involvement in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. When he died, no arrangements were made to receive the body and arrange for public viewing. No flowers were provided by the Congress government. Sonia Gandhi appeared for a few minutes and disappeared. The ex-PM vanished from the Congress discourse. He was denied a memorial in the national capital by the Congress government and his body was sent back to Andhra Pradesh.
Narasimha Rao is creditied with the liberalization of the Indian economy. He reformed the capital markets, revitalized trade regulations, opened the country to foreign investtment and spent money on developing the country’s moribund infrastructure.
In 2014, soon after winning the elections, the NDA government proposed the building of a memorial for Rao and the responsibility was handed over to Venkaiah Naidu, Union Urban Development Minister. On Sunday, Narasimha Rao found a final resting place in New Delhi, in a place which he richly deserved. – CINEWS