In a remark that has triggered a row, Uttar Pradesh Minister Anand Swarup Shukla has said that country's first Education Minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had no 'Indianness' in him.
Speaking at an event in Ballia, Shukla said,"I have no hesitation in saying that in the heart of Abul Kalam Azad, there was no 'Bharat aur Bhartiyata" (India and Indianness)."
"When Kashmiri Pandits requested Guru Tegh Bahadur to help them from the hands of Aurangzeb, who was pressurizing them to embrace Islam, the Guru went there and he was beheaded by Aurangzeb," the Bharatiya Janata Party leader claimed.
"These facts were removed from history, apparently at the behest of the first education minister. The only thing which is there is that Akbar was great despite the fact that Ain-i-Akbari and historians of that time never considered him great," Shukla went on to add.
The Congress has reacted sharply over the minister's statement terming it 'unfortunate'.
UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said that such comments on Abul Kalam Azad are laughable and uncalled for.
"Abul Kalam Azad laid a foundation of strong India through a strong educational system. As India's first education minister, he laid emphasis on educating the rural poor and girls," he said.
(With PTI Inputs)