The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Atone for ‘sins’, BJP tells Buddha

New Delhi, Jan. 24: The BJP today welcomed the “apology” tendered by Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on behalf of the CPM for “misunderstanding” Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s role in the freedom movement and advised him to “atone” for all the “historical blunders and sins” committed by his party through the years.

Addressing the media, BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu called Bhattacharjee a “civilised person” and said: “Whatever his motive, he chose a good occasion to publicly acknowledge the Communist Party’s mistake.” The occasion was the 106th birth anniversary function of Bose in Calcutta on January 22.

Among the many “sins” Naidu reeled off were the Left’s alignment with the Muslim League in 1946, its alleged description of Gandhi as an “imperialist” and the 1962 Sino-Indian war as a “border conflict”, the CPI’s support for the Emergency, and for purportedly saying that the writings of Vivekananda and the poems of Tagore were “unfit” to be taught to children.

“They drew their inspiration first from the Soviet Union, then China,” Naidu said. “I hope they realise this is the opportunity to rectify their reading of historical facts based on historical misperceptions,” the BJP chief added, referring to the Left’s criticism of the changes made in history texts by human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi. This included equating the concepts of secularism and anti-minoritism to being anti-Hindu.

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