Already on the brink of his political career, Sharad Pawar seems to have harped on the latest opportunity to send him and his party into political oblivion. The political stunt by Pawar to affirmatively associate Veer Savarkar with the consumption of beef is set to invite ire from Indians, especially the people of Maharashtra.
Savarkar promoted eating of cows, claims Pawar
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar has sparked a controversy with his claim that Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, believed to be a central figure of the Hindutva movement in the 20th century promoted the consumption of bovine meat; which is outrightly considered a sin in Hindu traditions.
Speaking at Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, Pawar tried to unite Shiv Sena and Congress on their difference of opinion with regard to Savarkar. Pawar put forward a few historical facts to substantiate his claim that Congress should not be opposing Savarkar’s glorification. He was appreciative of the fact that Savarkar was one of the earliest pioneers to champion the cause of Dalit entry into Mandirs.
However, in order to appease his Maha Vikas Aghari (MVA), Pawar seemed to mislead the public by claiming that Savarkar promoted eating cow meat. In his statement, Pawar said, “Veer Savarkar was a scientist, and controversy over his name was unfortunate. It was Savarkar who advocated the utility of cow meat and milk for human consumption. He was a rationalist. He approached the issue scientifically, which cannot be undermined.” He also added that Savarkar called for full throat utilisation of animals until they are useful for humans.
BJP had boycotted the Sammelan in anticipation of Savarkar’s insult
Meanwhile, BJP leaders and other groups championing Hindutva had already boycotted the Sammelan. They had anticipated that the stage would be utilized by the ruling coalition for defaming Savarkar. It is to be noted that Savarkar had presided over Sammelan in 1938, but the MVA government refused to include his name.
Pawar tried to balance out Shiv-Sena and Congress’ interest
Ever since, the unholy nexus of opposing ideologically inclined parties like Shiv Sena, Congress has come under the fold of the MVA coalition, Sharad Pawar is having some extreme difficulty in chalking out a pivot balancing point between both. While like Sharad Pawar, his own party can adjust with anyone for political opportunism, Uddhav Thackeray’s erstwhile Hindu vote bank and Congress’ pro-Muslim vote bank became a bone of contention for Pawar to solve.
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The only possible rationale behind Pawar’s lie on Savarkar is that he must have wanted to persuade Congress towards accepting Savarkar. However, in reality, he has increased the depth between the vote banks of both parties. Additionally, his own NCP voters are also set to punish him for this preposterous lie.