Many Indians are "saddened" as "monumental" contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru is being sought to be belittled by those who are descendants of the ideological opponents of the country's first Prime Minister, a senior Congress leader said here today, without naming right-wing outfits.
Speaking during the discussion on a book, 'Remembering Jawaharlal Nehru', here, Congress leader Anand Sharma lauded the first Prime Minister for his role towards the country's upliftment but claimed "many of the Indians" were "anxious" whether the country would continue on the path he had shown.
"Today, we feel, and many of us, that this country is anxious, there are many Indians who are concerned that whether our country will continue on the same path.
"Many of us have also been saddened that this monumental contribution of one of our heroes of Indian masses is sought to be belittled by those who are descendants of the ideological opponents of Jawaharlal Nehru and Gandhi," he said.
Sharma also credited Nehru for shaping up Indian democracy and maintained if the country continues to be democratic, it was because the nation was "fortunate" that the first Prime Minister lived for 17 years post India's independence.
"And he nurtured Indian democracy," Sharma said.
Sharma showered praises on Nehru for his role played post partition, setting up "great" institutions like IITs and IIMs, envisaging the needs of the "poor and backward" India then.
"We call him an architect of Modern India, he thought of nuclear science. Many felt, it was beyond India's reach, the country was so poor, backward. Majority of the people were illiterate.
"But he established great institutes, IITs, IIMs, space science, nuclear science. Various academies, literature, culture. You move around Delhi, and then you will realise what actually he did, achieved in a short span," Sharma said, noting "all this did not happen overnight".
The Deputy Leader of Congress in the Rajya Sabha observed that Nehru always felt that the country's democracy would not be "meaningful" without social and economic empowerment of the poor. The Congress leader also said Nehru ensured both public and private sector co-exist in the country by way of mixed economy and socialism.
The book discussion session was also addressed by former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, and historian and former director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Mridula Mukherjee.
Former Chief Ministers of Delhi and Rajasthan Sheila Dixit and Ashok Gehlot and senior Congress leader Mukul Wasnik were amongst those present at the event.
'Remembering Jawaharlal Nehru', a collection of articles and archival pictures, is edited by Sharma. The book was launched by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on November 14, marking 125th birth anniversary of the country's first Prime Minister.