BJP, Opposition fight over Rajnath remarks on Savarkar & Bapu

© Provided by The Times of India

NEW DELHI: A slugfest broke out over defence minister Rajnath Singh’s remarks that freedom fighter and saffron icon Veer Savarkar had filed mercy petitions with the British at the behest of Mahatma Gandhi with BJP coming out with documents to endorse its party leader’s assertion and opposition leaders slamming the claim as “incorrect and unsustainable”.

AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said, “Savarkar was complicit in Mahatma Gandhi’s murder. BJP will soon declare Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as Father of the Nation.” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh shared a letter of Gandhi and remarked, “Rajnath ji is amongst the few sober and dignified voices in Modi sarkar. But he doesn’t seem to be free of RSS habit of rewriting history. He has given a twist to what Gandhi actually wrote on Jan 25, 1920. Here’s that letter to Savarkar’s brother.”

As social media was flooded with varied views, Savarkar’s biographer Vikram Sampath came out in support of Singh and referred to “Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi”. He wrote, “I hope you don’t say Gandhi Ashram has doctored these letters. Can’t spoon feed you fellows more than this.”

BJP IT department head Amit Malviya tweeted documents including Gandhi’s write-up in “Young India”. “The Savarkar Brothers’ talent should be utilised for public welfare. As it is, India is in danger of losing her two faithful sons, unless she wakes up in time. One of the brothers I know well. I had the pleasure of meeting him in London. He is brave. He is a patriot. He was frankly a revolutionary… He is in the Andamans for having loved India too well,” Gandhi wrote in Young India on 18 May, 1921, which was shared by Malviya.

Hailing Savarkar as a staunch nationalist and India’s first military strategist in the 20th century, Rajnath had on Tuesday said it was on Mahatma Gandhi’s request that he wrote mercy petitions to the British and people from the Marxist and Leninist ideology wrongly accuse him of being a fascist.

He also claimed that it was Moti Lal Nehru who had petitioned for early release of Jawahar Lal Nehru in September 1923.

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