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Bahadur Shah's remains won't be shifted to India
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | May 03, 2007 20:14 IST
Though the government of India is spending Rs 150 crore to commemorate 150 years of India's first battle for independence, it has expressed its inability to shift the mortal remains of India's last Moghul emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar to India.
The emperor had expressed the desire to be buried in India after his death.
The British tried him for leading the first war of India's Independence, which according to them was nothing short of treason, and agreed to spare his life on the condition that he would live in Burma.
"The proposal was considered by the committee set up by the government for celebrating 150 years of independence and it was decided that the mortal remains should remain in Myanmar. We are also guarding the remains of one of Myanmar's emperor's remains in India," Arjun Singh, minister for human resource development, told newsmen at a press conference held in New Delhi on Thursday evening at Shastri Bhavan.
President of India A P J Abdul Kalam will lead the nation for the main function at Red Fort on May 11.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President of India Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and a host of dignitaries, including the leaders of various political parties, would be invited for the function.
"I have written letters to all former prime ministers, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee and hope to see them to peresonally invite them for the function," Mani Shankar Iyer said.
When a newsman asked him why invite BJP when the Congress party has consistently maintained that they never took part in the freedom struggle, Arjun Singh said the constitutents of National Democratic Alliance did so.
He made it clear that in one or two cases where the freedom fighters are themselves alive, it was not possible for the government of India to hold such an elaborate show. Arjun Singh released a logo specially designed for the function.