New Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said Africans have not forgotten former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi for their contributions to India-Africa ties.
"Africans have shown that they are not ungrateful people," Gogoi said at a press conference here in reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government apparently snubbing Nehru and Indira Gandhi in the third India-Africa Forum Summit held in the national capital this week.
"It was Jawaharlal Nehru who initiated ties between India and the African countries. (Zimbabwe President Robert) Mugabe spoke about Nehru in front of Modi," he said.
"This shows Modi is narrow-minded."
Mugabe, who is also co-chair of the African Union, addressing the inaugural function of the IAFS summit meeting here on Thursday, said it was Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru who helped Africa get rid of colonialism through the path of non-violence.
He also described the Indian National Congress as a "great party".
South African President Jacob Zuma also recalled the contributions of Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
"We would like to recall the historical ties that bind us over the last century, emphasising particularly the role of two of your visionary prime ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi," Zuma said in his speech at the plenary session of the IAFS summit.
"Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was an active participant at the famous Bandung Conference in Indonesia in 1955 and subsequently a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 1961. The principles enshrined in the Non-Aligned Movement are reflected in our South-South solidarity interactions in today's challenging times," he said.
According to the South African president, Indira Ghandi, in her first 11 years in office from 1966 to 1977, "changed India's African policy through the introduction of the Africa-India Development Cooperation and India's support for liberation struggles in Africa, including South Africa".
"The actions of these two Indian visionaries have created the base of strong solidarity between African member states and the Republic of India," he stated.
All 54 African countries were represented in the IAFS held from October 26 to 29, with as many as 41 heads of state and government, including two kings, being present.
It was the biggest international summit held in India since the NAM summit and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in New Delhi in 1983.