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Cong defends Manmohan’s Oxford speech
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 9
The Congress today found itself on the backfoot over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Oxford speech in which he acknowledged the “beneficial” consequences of British rule in India.

In this connection, Dr Singh had pointed to institutions like the free press, rule of law and British-Indian administration which, according to him, India still valued and cherished.

The Prime Minister’s observation sparked off an angry protest from the BJP today while the Congress was hard put to defend Dr Singh’s statement. These remarks were particularly galling for the Congress which prides itself as the party which led the freedom struggle against the British.

Responding to the Opposition’s criticism, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said the Prime Minister’s remarks were being read in isolation and should be seen in a proper context. Hitting back at the BJP which, he said, is always seeking a controversy, Mr Sharma said the Prime Minister had only spoken of institutions like the free press and judiciary.

“To say this is an endorsement of colonialism is absolutely incorrect,” he added. Mr Sharma said the Prime Minister had also made it clear that it was India’s freedom which marked the beginning of the end of the British empire. He said Dr Singh had reminded the British that it was India which was responsible for shattering the colonial British myth that the sun never sets on the British empire.



PM for joint efforts to fight terrorism

New Delhi, July 9
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called for evolving a global strategy to fight terrorism and sought the active participation of developed nations to ensure a fair international trading system.

Speaking to reporters here after his arrival from a four-day visit to the UK, Dr Singh said the trip was overshadowed by the London blasts.

“This is a vivid demonstration that terrorism is a global phenomenon. We have faced this scourge for the last 20-25 years. The incident calls for joint efforts to combat the scourge.” The Prime Minister also indicated the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle but was non-committal if it would happen before his visit to the USA. — UNI


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