New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Wednesday that to pay true homage to the millions of heroes of freedom struggle, we will have to clear our hearts of malice.
“One of the notable things about the Quit India Movement is that there were no communal riots during that period, because both Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said in their speeches on August 8, 1942 that if Hindus and Muslims stay united, India will achieve freedom,” Azad said.
He was speaking on the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement in the Rajya Sabha.
“If we want to pay true homage to those martyrs, leaders, millions of peasants, workers, youngsters, writers, journalists and intellectuals, we will have to first clean our hearts of all malice,” he added.
He said that just by cleaning the streets and drains, India would not become “swachh” (clean).
“To make India truly swachh (pure and clean), we will have to cleanse our hearts and our minds. India today doesn’t face a threat from the British, or from any external enemy…our enemy lies within us — it is our thinking, the malice in our hearts and minds. We will have to end this thinking which is against humanity,” Azad said.
He maintained: “If we change our thinking, the dream Mahatma Gandhi had for a free India would be fulfilled.”
Earlier, in a veiled attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Azad drew a parallel between the night of August 8, 1942 and that of August 8, 2017.
“I do not want to mention the incidents that happened the last night. But it looked like the same night (as that of August 8, 1942) as we were awake till the morning,” Azad said referring to the nail-biting finish to Congress member Ahmed Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha amidst BJP’s alleged high-handed tactics to defeat him.
Azad said he was proud that he belonged to a political party that provided leadership during the freedom struggle against the British.