The election campaigning in Maharashtra is in full swing. BJP is keen on returning to power in the state, and is leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of the same. Recently BJP declared their manifesto for the state elections in Maharashtra. Some of their key promises are giving 5 crore jobs in 5 years, access to home for all, implementing the Maharashtra drinking water grid project etc.
However, the promise that attracted everyone’s attention was that if the BJP returns to power in Maharashtra, three personalities will be conferred with the highest civilian honor of India, that is, the Bharat Ratna. BJP has promised that if re-elected, they would ensure that social reformers Jyotirao Phule & Savitri Bai Phule, apart from revolutionary activist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, would be posthumously honored with Bharat Ratna.
This was cue enough to a huge uproar from the left-liberal intelligentsia. From journalists to ‘secular’ politicians, all cried hoarse on the mere proposal of the revolutionary being honored with Bharat Ratna. While addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “Savarkar had to face criminal trial for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. Kapoor Commission also investigated the charges. In a recent article, it was claimed that the Commission had indicted Savarkar. God save this country.”
Backing Congress on the same, radical leader and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also started spreading false propaganda about Veer Savarkar through his Twitter timeline.
Some gyaan about this Anmol Ratan:
1 Implicated by Jeevan Lal Commission of Inquiry on Gandhi’s assassination
2 Advocated the use of rape as a political tool
3 Criticised Shivaji for not using rape as a political tool
4 Called himself the British’s “most obedient servant” https://t.co/QNmtwuaCxQ
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) October 15, 2019
5 Wrote SIX letters to British requesting release from prison
6 Looked up to Hitler & blamed Jews for the Holocaust
7 Muslims & other non-Hindus are to be kept outside the national fabric
8 Supported the 2 nation theory
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) October 15, 2019
Through his tweets, Asaduddin Owaisi wanted to convey that Savarkar was just not a British sycophant, but also justified rape as a ‘political tool’. This was not all, he even alleged that Savarkar was an avid fan of Adolf Hitler and blamed the Jews for the Holocaust.
In such a scenario, how could our communist leaders stay behind? Communist Party of India leader D Raja criticized this decision as he said, “This is the biggest irony of our times that while we are all celebrating the birth centenary of Gandhiji, the BJP is seeking Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, who was an accused in his assassination case. The day may not be far off for BJP to demand Bharat Ratna to Gandhiji’s assassin Nathuram Godse. This is part of their agenda.”
However, the truth is far from what these leftist intellectuals have peddled for years. In 1909, Vinayak’s elder brother, Ganesh Babarao Savarkar had called for an armed rebellion against the separatist Morley Minto reforms, following which a young man Anant Laxman Kanhere, inspired by Babarao’s words, shot dead a devious tax collector from Nashik named Jackson in 1910. Though Savarkar was not directly involved in this plan, he was accused of being one of the chief conspirators by the British government. However, Savarkar did not want to fall into British hands, and so he attempted to escape to France, though in vain.
Despite his arrest, Savarkar did not lose hope and when the ship carrying him, S.S. Morea neared the French port of Marseilles, he jumped from the porthole of the ship and swam towards the shore. However, his colleagues reached late, and he was rearrested. He was sent back to India, where the British government sentenced him to transportation for life, that is, 50 years of rigorous imprisonment.
Savarkar spent 10 years of his imprisonment in Cellular Jail from 1911 to 1921. The way he was subjected to inhuman torture cannot be even written down. For many years, he didn’t even know that his own brother Ganesh was interned in the same jail as well. After enduring incessant torture for 10 years, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was transferred to the Ratnagiri prison in 1921, under an amnesty order issued by the then Emperor of India, the British King George V. He spent three more years in that prison until he was finally released on conditional terms in 1924. He wasn’t allowed to participate politically until 1937. Now how can this be a mercy petition, does the opposition care to explain?
Interestingly, the amnesty order under which Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was transferred to Ratnagiri prison; it was personally advocated and signed upon by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. If we go by the opposition’s logic, was Mahatma Gandhi, not a traitor then? Also, when people were busy preparing for the birth centenary of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in the early 80s, Indira Gandhi not only sent her warm regards to the organizers of the same, but had herself issued stamps in 1970, commemorating the sacrifices of Veer Savarkar. Was she not betraying the nation by glorifying an alleged ‘British stooge?’
If we talk about the logic of the opposition behind bashing Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, most of them are white lies. Contrary to the lies spread by Owaisi, Savarkar was just not an unequivocal critic of the Partition of India, but had also famously said, “A nation formed on the basis on the religious hatred can never be a good neighbor to anybody.” The allegation of Savarkar justifying rape can only be made by people who have no knowledge about the ideals of Veer Savarkar. On the issue of Jews, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar not only sympathized with their cause, but also sent his warm regards over the creation of Israel, in complete contrast to Gandhi, who criticized the creation of the same and advocated the rights of the hostile Arabs, who went on to create the controversial state of Palestine.
Most of the opposition parties led by Congress have given it their all to limit the image of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar to just a radical leader. Last year, when Congress returned to power in Rajasthan, they not only removed his mention from school history books, but also attempted to portray him as a coward. In such a scenario, the decision of BJP to honour Veer Savarkar with Bharat Ratna is not only a welcome step, but also a right move in the direction of restoring the honour of India’s real heroes.