Amid Opposition protests over Jawaharlal Nehru's image missing from posters marking 75 years of Independence, the Indian Council of Historical Research attributed the lapse to a 'technical error'. The exclusion of Nehru's image from the poster of the 'Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations by the ICHR has been dubbed by the Opposition as 'petty and atrocious'.
"A number of of posters (on 75 yrs of Independence) are to be posted on our website.Nehru Ji's image hasn't been excluded from our posters.Due to a technical error,only one poster was posted on website and not all posters together," ICHR director Dr OJ Upadhayay said, reports ANI.
The controversial poster released by ICHR features images of Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, B R Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Madan Mohan Malviya and Veer Savarkar.
Congress leader P Chidambaram, hitting out at the ICHR, said the explanation given is ludicrous. Addressing the member secretary of ICHR, he asked if he would omit Henry Ford while celebrating the birth of the motor car or Wright brothers while celebrating the birth of aviation.
"After bowing down to prejudice and hate, it is best that the Member-Secretary shuts his mouth," he added. reports PTI.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh termed the move "atrocious" while party spokesperson Gaurav Gogoi said it was "petty" and amounted to "injustice" as no country removes the first prime minister from a poster on the freedom struggle.
Congress ally Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "You can never look big if you diminish the role of others in the creation of an Independent India." "Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav can only be celebrated when it acknowledges the role of all. By omitting India's first PM, ICHR reflects its own pettiness and insecurity," she said.