India fondly remembered the country’s first Prime Minister and an iconic leader Jawaharlal Nehru on his 126th birth anniversary with President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Md. Hamid Ansari leading the country in paying homage to him. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with Congress party president Sonia Gandhi and other top Congress leaders paid floral tributes to Nehru at his memorial ‘Shanti Van’ on the banks of Yamuna in New Delhi on Friday.
Prime Minister Modi, who is currently on a three-day tour to UK, paid tributes to Pandit Nehru saying the late leader had spent his life in giving freedom to India.
“Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s life was spent in giving India freedom and leading India as the 1st PM. Tributes to him on his birth anniversary,” PM Modi wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior party leaders Sheila Dikshit, Ajay Maken, Anand Sharma and Bhupinder Singh Hooda were among those who paid homage at the memorial. Thousands of Congress Seva Dal volunteers took out a march before the event began while the party leaders paid their floral tributes to Nehru at Shanti Van.
Speaking later at the concluding ceremony of the 126th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru at Indira Gandhi indoor stadium in New Delhi, Congress party vice-president and his great grandson Rahul Gandhi hailed the contribution of one of the tallest leaders of modern India in strengthening the roots of democracy.
Rahul Gandhi also added that those who want to put roadblocks in it could never be the rightful claimant of Indian democratic tradition.
Paying glowing tributes to Nehru at a function organised in the Parliament House, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that no one can doubt Nehru’s intention to work for the welfare of people and nation building.
“There are many issues in which we have differences with Nehru. We have differences over his policies, but we can’t doubt his intention to work for the welfare of people and nation building,” Rajnath Singh said.
“It was because of the contributions of leaders like Nehru, India has become the largest democracy in the world, India is now celebrating the success of democracy,” he said adding that under Nehru’s tutelage the country had set up large industries in Bhilai, Rourkela, top institutions like IITs and IIM and nuclear plants.
Meanwhile, at the event organised by the Congress party, a number of messages of Sardar Vallabbhai Patel about Pandit Nehru were put up on display. The event also saw launching of two websites celebratingnehru.org in Hindi and English besides a commemorative volume.
Jawaharlal Nehru was born to Motilal Nehru and Swaroop Rani on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and his birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day in India as he was fond of children.
(With inputs from the PTI)