He (Savarkar) should be honoured with a Bharat Ratna, now that our Hindutva government (NDA) is in power: Shiv Sena chief
MUMBAI — Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday has said Pakistan would not have been created if the Hindutva protagonist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar had become the Prime Minister during partition and demanded he be awarded Bharat Ratna.
Stressing upon his demand for conferring Bharat Ratna on Savarkar, Thackeray said while the contributions of both Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for the nation’s development couldn’t be denied, the country’s political landscape was not limited to only two families, reports IANS.
“I would have even called Nehru as ‘veer’ (courageous), if he had survived jail for even 14 minutes when Savarkar spent 14 years in prison. He should be honoured with a Bharat Ratna, now that our Hindutva government (NDA) is in power, ” the Sena chief.
He was speaking at the launch of the book “Savarkar: Echoes From A Forgotten Past”, penned by Vikram Sampath, on Tuesday.
Taking a dig at former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi who has been openly critical of Hindutva icons like Savarkar, Thackeray said a copy of the book should be given to him (Rahul Gandhi).
Thackeray told the author of the book, Vikram Sampath, that he would buy copies and ensure that every school and college in the state stocks it in libraries, adding it should be compulsory reading for MPs and MLAs too.
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi had said at an poll rally Savarkar, who popularised the term Hindutva, had tendered an apology to the British in return for his release from jail.
Born at Nashik in 1883, Savarkar was a Hindu Mahasabha leader who espoused the cause of Hindutva and a Hindu nation. The British kept him in the dreaded Cellular Jail in Andaman & Nicobar Isles for nearly 12 years.
Savarkar was conditionally released from jail in 1924.
He died in February 1966 after a 26-day self-imposed fast-unto-death in Mumbai.
He said Savarkar’s name gets dragged into heated political debates often, from Rahul Gandhi’s “defamatory” remarks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage to the freedom fighter at Cellular Jail.
(With media inputs)