By Abhishek Jha:
Compounding problems for the BJP, which has been facing a lot of heat currently due to LalitGate, Congress has found a new rallying point. The furore arose when Pranesh Prakash, policy director at Centre for Internet and Society, pointed to malicious edits made to the Wiki pages of Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru, and Gangadhar Nehru by an IP address owned by National Informatics Centre. The revision was brought to light earlier by @AnonGoIWPEdits, a twitter handle which publishes all edits made anonymously by GoI to Wikipedia.
The edits said that Jawaharlal Nehru was born at “Mirganj, a red light area in Allahabad” and that “Allahabad District Magistrate Neeraj Gupta admitted that the house which was Nehru’s birth place is a den of flesh trade.” Similar edits on the pages of the former prime minister’s father and grandfather try to establish a Muslim ancestry. “Gangadhar was born as a Muslim by the name of Ghiasuddin Ghazi but changed his name to a Hindu Ganga Dhar to escape from British clutches,” the edit on the page of Gangadhar Nehru said.
Another provocative change made on Jawaharlal Nehru’s page says, “both Nehru and Jinnah were paramours of Edwina Mountbatten, who blackmailed them with their sexually explicit nude photos with her in the bed and made them sign the partition papers. Edwina never slept in bed with her husband Lord Mountbatten, who was a gay, anyway. She was married to him only to gain access to the powers that be and armtwist the the two leaders to agree to partition.”
The edits, because they were not linked to a source, were quickly removed by diligent Wiki editors. However, pages comparing the revision with the earlier version exists. “There was an attempt to alter the Wikipedia pages of Jawaharlal Nehru and Motilal Nehru. There was a sinister attempt to show that Jawaharlal Nehru was a Muslim. It doesn’t matter whether he was a Muslim or a Hindu: he was an Indian. The government should conduct a full enquiry,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
The BJP has often been accused of trying to revise history to stir communal passions, right from the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir dispute to the recent Maharana Pratap vs Akbar debate. Congress’s reaction could be called unwarranted and the editing act isolated if there had been no previous history of similar attempts at revising history without credible evidence. The emotions that the edit betrays are no different from what the BJP preaches and it would not be wrong to hold it accountable.