Over the past few years, Rahul Gandhi’s politics has largely revolved around lies, deceits and misinformation. However, the comparison that he drew between himself and Veer Savarkar during the Congress rally on Saturday, was uncharacteristically accurate and truthful. The Gandhi scion said, “My name is Rahul Gandhi, not Rahul Savarkar.”
Rahul Gandhi couldn’t have put this in a better way. It is true that Rahul Gandhi is no Savarkar. In fact, he can never be that good. While Savarkar was a visionary nationalist, Rahul Gandhi is nothing more than failed political dynasty. If we take a look at the political career of Rahul Gandhi and the legacy of Veer Savarkar, it would bring to surface the sharp difference between the two. Savarkar is beyond the reach of someone like Rahul Gandhi, and given the latter’s track record it seems likely he is always going to be a forgettable leader with little to no contribution to the nation.
Savarkar was the one who envisioned the idea of complete freedom and liberation from the chains of British slavery. In fact, the unconventional poet/ writer was a trendsetter- man of many firsts, such as being the first one to give a detailed description of the 1857 Freedom Struggle, which irked the British into banning it even before its publication. He was also the first political prisoner who dared to escape, unfortunately, to end up being arrested on the French soil, and he was also the first political prisoner in the world who was sentenced to Transportation for Life twice, a feat second to none in the history of the British empire.
On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi’s political career has been marked by incompetence, short-sightedness and unpopularity. In fact, ever since he was projected as the Congress’ prime ministerial candidate and put into spotlight, he has become a source of derision across the country.
While Vinay Damodar Savarkar spent a major portion of his life in imprisonment, including in the harsh and inhumane conditions of solitary confinement at Andaman cellular jail(Kalapani), Rahul Gandhi’s political life has been dotted with frequent sabbaticals, foreign vacations and trips to exotic locations. The British abhorred Savarkar, and therefore unlike Rahul Gandhi’s great-grandfather, Nehru who enjoyed the privilege of writing books and letters during his imprisonment, Savarkar was not even given pen and paper during his captivity at the cellular jail. Such was the relentlessness of the nationalist leader that he would pick up an iron nail and start scribbling on the walls of his prison cell.
During his stay at the cellular jail, Savarkar had to face some of the most inhumane punishments, he was fettered in chains, flogged, sent to six months’ solitary confinement, made to extract oil all day being tied to the mill like a bullock, punished with standing handcuffs for days on end, lack of the most basic human needs such as toilets or water and fed with foul food that had pieces of insects and reptiles. Savarkar’s “petitions” to the British that are often selectively quoted by the left-liberals were actually a part of his strategic nationalism realising that his stay at the cellar jail was only preventing him from contributing to the cause of Indian independence.
Savarkar was also the author of the iconic, “Hindutva”. He remained a staunch supporter of Hindu values and also founded the Hindu Mahasabha as a separate political party. Moreover, it was his firm belief that there is no difference between a Hindu identity and the Indian identity. Savarkar’s Hindu Rashtra was an Akhand Bharat, stretching across the subcontinent and Hindus as being people who live as children of a common motherland, adoring a common holy land. Himself an atheist, Savarkar did not see ‘Hindu’ as a religious term, but as a Socio-Culture descriptor. His philosophy of Hindutva doesn’t envisage a militant Hindu imperial policy, unlike what the left-liberals try to propagate.
Savarkar’s philosophy of nationalism and Hindutva are highly evolved so as to be beyond comprehension of somebody like Rahul Gandhi. While Savarkar was the promoter of Hindu civilization, Rahul Gandhi is one of those who were instrumental in propagating the myth of Hindu terror. Yet another point of stark difference between the two. Savarkar was a visionary of extra-ordinary kind, while Rahul Gandhi remains an unimpressive, failed political dynast.