New Delhi: Sticking to his contention in his new book that Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a "great man" who has been "demonised" in India, Jaswant Singh has said his expulsion from the BJP showed that the party was "narrow-minded".
The expelled BJP leader said the party did not distinguish between Jinnah's personal attributes as a human being and his politics while taking a decision to sack him from the party for writing the book 'Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence'.
"I didn't think the party is so narrow-minded... so
nervous about Jinnah and Patel and to get so railed at what I
have written. I have a feeling, which I voiced also, that
perhaps my former colleagues had not really read the book when
they passed the sentence," he told a news channel.
When asked whether he denigrated Vallabhai Patel in his
book, Singh said: "I have simply pointed out facts of history.
I haven't denigrated any icon."
The former BJP leader said he would have felt better if
the party had not used the word "expel" and informed him in
"I wish they had not used the word expel. They had better
choice of phrases. It hurt me when no one personally came and
conveyed the decision. Even Advani has not called me," Singh
Asked whether Advani had called him after the expulsion,
Singh said: "No. But it doesn't matter now and it’s too late."
Singh said after informing him about his expulsion, BJP
president Rajnath Singh had said they would discuss the issue
some other time which never happened.
Asked whether he thinks that the BJP took the decision to
expel him only after party leaders read the book, he said:
"No. I don't believe that because that is not practical... it’s
quite a feat in speed reading if you have read 700 pages. I
don't believe my prose is a fiction. It is not easy and it
requires attention. It would be a remarkable feat."
Asked whether he deliberately missed events such as
Pathan tribal invasion of Kashmir in September 1947, which led
to war with Pakistan, Jaswant said, "I didn't overlook it
because the book deals with partition.
"The subject (Pathan invasion) is a separate one; it is a
subject that is altogether a subject. I have also pointed out
the great killings of Calcutta in vivid detail. I didn't
overlook the mistakes of his (Jinnah's) public life."
Singh said it would have taken a separate book if he had
written about other aspects relating to Jinnah.
Rejecting criticism that he had exculpated Jinnah of the
charge of launching a war against India, Singh said he had not
"Distinction has to be made between personal attributes
and public conduct. These are two very different things," he
First Published: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 13:54