Seer’s words played role in Jinnah remark: Advani

January 10th, 2009 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) L.K. Advani, in one of the first posts on his new blog, has said his controversial remark in 2005 on Pakistan’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah stemmed from a conversation he had with a former Ramakrishna Mission head.In a post titled “At the feet of Ranganathananda”, the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) prime ministerial candidate said the conversation took place during his last meeting with the seer at Belur Math in Kolkata in 2003.

“In a subconscious way, this last conversation with Swamiji was to play a decisive contributory role in my own remarks about Jinnah when I went to Pakistan in May-June 2005,” Advani said.

Advani was forced to submit his resignation as party president for praising Jinnah during his Pakistan visit.

Besides describing the founder of Pakistan as one of the “very few who actually create history,” Advani also spoke of Jinnah’s “forceful espousal of a secular state in which every citizen would be free to practice his own religion”.

Advani’s association with Ranganathananda started in Karachi where Advani spent the first 20 years of his life. “He (Ranganathananda) lived in Karachi for six years propagating the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and his disciple Swami Vivekananda.”

Advani said: “Our conversation at the last meeting centred on our days in Karachi, the tragic developments triggered by partition and the role of Mohammed Ali Jinnah.”

“Swamiji, in particular, lauded Jinnah’s historic speech in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11 August 1947 and said, ‘The true exposition of the meaning of secularism can be found in this speech’,” Advani has written.

Advani has described Ranganathananda, who hailed from Kerala, was a seer who took the path of spirituality and humanitarian service at a very young age.

“He was a disarmingly simple and amiable person. He soon developed a great fondness for me. In no time, his dedicated, mission-oriented and intellectually towering personality began to hold great attraction for me,” the BJP leader said.

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