New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said it “completely disassociates” itself from the views of senior party leader Jaswant Singh, who has written a biography of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah and called him “great” in an interview.
"The views expressed by Jaswant Singh in his book do not represent views of the party. In fact, the party completely dissociates itself from the contents of the book," said BJP chief Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.
Jaswant, in Jinnah--India, Partition, Independence, writes that India had “demonized” the founder of the Pakistani state and believes that Jawaharlal Nehru was equally to blame for Partition.
Rajnath rejected Jaswant’s view and said Jinnah had played an important role in "division of India which led to a lot of dislocation and destabilisation of millions of people".
"It is too well known a fact--we cannot wish away this painful part of our history," he said.
Rajnath also didn’t agree with Jaswant’s views on Sardar Vallabhai Patel in the book and, said the first Home Minister played a historic role in unifying the country after Partition. "The entire country remains indebted and proud of all the profound vision, courage and leadership of Patel," he said.
Jaswant, in an interview to CNN-IBN on Sunday, called Jinnah a “great” man and said India had made a villain him. “I admire certain aspects of his personality: his determination and the will to rise. He was a self-made man--Mahatma Gandhi was a son of a Dewan,” he told Karan Thapar on Devil’s Advocate. “I think we misunderstood (Jinnah) because we needed to create a demon.”
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, an ally of the BJP, on Tuesday said praising Jinnah was an insult to freedom fighters. "L K Advani created an ideological confusion by lauding Jinnah. Jaswant Singh has added to it," Thackeray said in an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
No major BJP leader attended a function to release Jaswant’s book in New Delhi on Monday. The party in June 2005 issued a resolution, which said: “whatever may have been Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan, the state he founded was theocratic and non-secular; the very idea of Hindus and Muslims being two separate nations is repugnant to the BJP.”
The party was forced to issue the resolution after senior leader L K Advani called Jinnah “secular” that year.