New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Sunday triggered a storm after he reportedly described India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru as a cold-hearted person for his stand on Assam during the Chinese aggression in 1962.
Rijiju said that people of Arunachal Pradesh, then part of Assam, would never forget what Nehru had said at that time in Parliament.
"Participating in a debate in Parliament over the Chinese aggression, the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had said: 'In those barren land and mountains of Ladakh and Arunachal, not even a blade of grass grows, why Parliament is wasting time," said Rijiju, adding that it is a reality that China took over the entire western part of Arunachal Pradesh, which was a part of Assam in 1962.
"The Chinese had reached Assam in the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh, and the then prime minister Nehru had stated, 'my heart goes out to people of Assam', which amounted to surrendering of our territories to the Chinese," ANI quoted Rijiju as saying.
The Chinese went back on their own and declared a unilateral ceasefire, claimed Rijiju, adding: "This is a part of the history and we must come to term that if anything wrong has happened in history, we should accept it."
“Our next generation has the right to know about the correct historical stories and incidents," he said.
He said that he was not creating anything from his own figment of imagination, and he was only stating the facts, adding that the Congress, too, should not be intolerant about accepting something which is a fact.
"Arunachal people are the most patriotic. They remained solidly behind the nation despite so many Indian soldiers had lost their lives during the 1962 war. We continue to do that and I am proud of that," said Rijiju, a Member of Parliament from the Arunachal West constituency.
"If a former prime minister has made some kind of unsavoury, demoralising remarks, what is wrong in accepting that? My point is that history can't be changed. At same time, factual, historical and all kind of incidents must be brought before the nation. Our next generation has the right to know about the correct historical stories and incidents," he said.
“Its a fact that Jawaharlal Nehru, for whom I have greatest respect, had caused great heartburn to the people of Arunachal Pradesh,” Rijiju said.
(With Agency inputs)