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BJP has made a fool of itself: Lord Meghnad
Published on 19 Aug. 2009 11:28 PM IST
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Lord Meghnad Desai, noted economist and professor emeritus of the London School of Economics, Wednesday hit out at the BJP for expelling Jaswant Singh, saying “it was a bad move” and the party had made a “fool of itself”. “It is a very bad move by the BJP for it shows how intolerant the party has become,” Lord Desai, who was presented the launch of Jaswant Singh’s book, told IANS in the capital. Singh was expelled from the primary membership of his party for his interpretation of Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s role in the partition the country in 1947 in his book, “Jinnah- India, Partition and Independence” barely two days after it was released. Singh held Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel responsible for the partition in his book saying Jinnah had been unnecessarily demonised. “Jaswant has written a fine book which needs analysing , discussing and debating. He has raised very interesting questions. It’s a pity that that the BJP has not read the book and has made a fool of itself,” Lord Desai, who was present at the launch of the book, told IANS. He said the party had acted in a “pre-determined manner without any evidence”. “Our minds are closed and we have nothing more to learn. I feel very sorry for the BJP and I wish that India had a decent opposition party,” Lord Desai said. Lord Desai said BJP was “not a party of the future”. “It is shocking for young India as BJP had been trying to reinvent itself to identify with the country’s youth,” the well-known economist said. “One should welcome and encourage politicians to write books. Jaswant Singh is the only senior politician to have addressed the issue of partition on the last 50 years after Maulana Azad addressed it in his book, ‘India Wins Freedom’,” Desai said. Lord Desai said “Jaswant Singh had read everything on partition and the book was detailed and well-documented”. “The book is not dogmatic at all. But why should we be full of prejudices. May be, the Congress was as responsible for the partition as the Muslim League. But why should the BJP bother about it. In fact, Sardar Patel was closely associated with Nehru in the decision to break India in April 1947. By June, it was all over,” he said. Desai, whose yet-to-be-released new book “Rediscovery of India” also revisits the partition of India but “from a different perspective”, said “he has more or less gone through the same material as Jaswant Singh to research his book.” “He has looked at every document and records. We can always have different ideas, but as a writer one must have the idea to express them without being discriminated. It happens in America all the time. People raise controversial issues. Why should people in India be reluctant to raise questions that can be debated?” Desai said.

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