The Bihar government’s official website has called former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s tenure as prime minister worse than British rule in India, raising the hackles of the Congress party.
The ‘offending’ part of the quote appeared on the Bihar government’s website, www.gov.bih.nic.in, in its ‘Modern History’ section.
Talking about Jay Prakash Narayan or JP’s contribution to modern Indian history, the write-up said, “It was he who steadfastly and staunchly opposed the autocratic rule of Indira Gandhi and her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi.”
“Fearing people’s reaction to his (JP’s) opposition, Indira Gandhi had him arrested on the eve of declaring National Emergency beginning June 26, 1975. He was put in the Tihar Jail, located near Delhi, where notorious criminals are jailed,” read a paragraph on modern history in the website.
“Thus, in Free India, this septuagenarian (JP), who had fought for India’s freedom alongside Indira Gandhi’s father, Jawahar Lal Nehru, received a treatment that was worse than what the British had meted out to Gandhiji in Champaran in 1917, for his speaking out against oppression,” it said.
Bihar Congress, furious over the write-up, called it “totally unacceptable” and have planned to raise the issue first at a party forum and then draw attention of chief minister Nitish Kumar.
“Indira Gandhi was a very popular leader and people in Bihar still remember her for empowering the downtrodden through the Belchi struggle and Garibi Hatao movement,” state Congress leader Chandan Yadav said.
However, the controversial reference was found missing from the paragraph on the website, on Monday morning.
The government’s official website was launched on February 11, 2014. After 2015 assembly polls, the ruling JD(U) and Congress along with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad joined hands to form a mahagathbandhan or grand alliance that went on to defeat the BJP.
The Congress recorded its best-ever performance in 25 years, winning 27 of 41 seats it had contested as part of the grand alliance.