In another development coming from Rajasthan, Rajasthan University has now declined a request from the Indian Council for Historical Research, an autonomous academic body funded by the Government of India, to have a seminar on Veer Savarkar.
“We had sought space and permission from the Rajasthan University to hold a talk series on Savarkar in their campus but they got back saying we could choose any other topic,” an ICHR functionary told the Economic Times. While the university officials have maintained that they “didn’t refuse entirely” and needed “to consult others on this”.
This event is a part of a multi-city talk series planned by the ICHR, which mainly focuses “confronting lies about Savarkar and his writings on the 1857 war of independence”, ICHR officials said.
Nonetheless these developments surely in line with the narrative against Veer Savarkar being run in Rajasthan, led by Rajasthan CM and other anti-Hindu forces. Earlier in a controversial move, the Congress govt in Rajasthan had also decided to change the biography of freedom fighter Veer Savarkar which is taught in schools. Rajasthan government had then claimed the reason behind the change in the syllabus to be that the existing version had served the political interests of the RSS and previous BJP government.
Moreover, these developments certainly call for reasons behind Rajasthan administrations contempt for Veer Savarkar. Veer Savarkar a freedom fighter, nationalist, thinker, author and poet and one of the greatest freedom fighters against the British imperialism, had envisioned the idea of complete freedom and liberation from the chains of British slavery. Advocating the use of arms and force to achieve the mentioned cause like other great revolutionary leaders like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and others, he was thus known to differ with Gandhi on the policy of India’s struggle for freedom. A leading revolutionary himself, he was attracted and inspired by the burning zeal, the heroism, bravery, suffering and tragic fate of the leaders of 1857, and he decided to re-interpret the story and to relate it in full with the help of all the material available to him at the time. He spent days and months at the India Office Library studying the period.
Former Prime Minister and the founder of the Congress in current form Indira Gandhi had also endorsed Veer Savarkar. Indira Gandhi had also decided to issue a commemorative stamp in the honour of Savarkar in 1970, she also made a private donation of Rs 11,000 to his memorial fund a decade later, her hailing Savarkar “daring defiance of the British government” as having its own “important place in the annals of our freedom movement” and she even commission a Films Division documentary on him.
While there have been many accusations by the Congress claiming that ‘freedom of Expression’ is being hindered, this move by Rajasthan University and earlier attempts of the Congress government to exclude Veer Savarkar from the Education curriculum surely exposes the underlying hypocrisy. Nonetheless, Congress by meddling with history to suit its current political agenda has certainly hit a sliding slope.
A proponent of Hindutva (Hinduness), Veer Savarkar also contributed greatly to bring in an ideological revolution within the Hindu society which had been pushed by British imperialists on the back burner. Efforts to remove the biases of British have been perpetually opposed however now this blatant attempt to hinder the truth is sure to meet deafening silence from the so-called ‘flag bearers of truth and knowledge’ and so-called champions of freedom of speech and expression.