Swatantraveer Savarkar has always been a trigger point for the Indian National Congress and its allies. The ongoing revival attempt of India’s oldest party by the 50-year-old young leader Rahul Gandhi attracted controversy when a poster of Veer Savarkar went viral at one of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ venues. The INC along with its allies has always been critical of the freedom fighter, however, there are hidden skeletons within the history where the leaders couldn’t get enough of praising the staunch right ideologist.
Sharad Pawar, The Political Shrewd Writes A Letter Praising Savarkar
The Ex-Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Nationalist Congress Party president, Sharad Pawar wrote a letter in 1993 about Veer Savarkar on his birth anniversary celebration praising his contributions to the country. Known as the mastermind of Indian politics, Sharad Pawar has served as the chief minister of Maharashtra on four occasions, as well as the defense minister and agricultural minister of India. Currently, he holds the presidency post of NCP, one of the loyalist allies of Congress.
Pawar in his letter as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra wrote that Savarkar’s life represents a saga of supreme sacrifice. ‘Swantantrayaveer Savarkar commands the profound love and respect of millions of Indians because he combined in his persona the unique qualities of a revolutionary, a philosopher, a litterateur, and also a social reformer. His sacrifice in the cause of liberation of his motherland from the foreign yoke was indeed phenomenal
as he underwent two terms of life transportation,’ said Pawar in his letter about the celebrations of Veer Savarkar’s birth anniversary.
While The NCP Supremo Praises The Freedom Fighter, His Party Is Ignorant Of Him
The letter isn’t the only time Sharad Pawar praised Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, an 8-minute long video of him talking about the freedom fighter has surfaced again on the internet. Also, when Congress-affiliated Seva Dal printed a booklet disrespecting VD Savarkar, NCP asked them to withdraw it.
The two-front play of the NCP isn’t rare, the party’s Goa chief Jose Philip D’souza gave a bizarre comment in 2016 stating that he didn’t know who Savarkar was. Taking a jibe at D’souza, BJP reacted that he should confer with Pawar on the greatness of Savarkar. There were several moments when NCP leaders backed others insulting the freedom fighter.
Bharat Jodo Yatra and Savarkar
After being a young dynamic leader, Rahul Gandhi is famous for his criticism of Savarkar. The prince of Gandhi’s political dynasty often refers to VD Savarkar as the person who ‘apologized’ to the British. Compared to other leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress leaders often discredit VD Savarkar’s efforts towards India. Statements like ‘I won’t apologize, I’m not Savarkar’ by Rahul Gandhi are believed to hurt the sentiments of many.
Rahul Gandhi is said to be on a ‘shahi yatra’ in the country under the pretext of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. As the yatra has just completed a month, controversies have followed him everywhere he went. As The Pamphlet decoded the itinerary of Gandhi, we found out the real reason why Gandhi was seen only at Churches and mosques. After meeting with the Anti-Hindu pastor who insulted Bharat Maa, a poster of VD Savarkar was found at one of the venues of the yatra.
The poster sparked a row among the Savarkar criticizers and congress sympathizers. Apart from this, during his 2-day visit to Wayanad, Kerala, Rahul Gandhi took a shot at Savarkar calling him a ‘Traitor’. The congressional prince said that ‘They have put a picture of Savarkar opposite Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament House. On one side, the man who never surrendered to the British spent years in jail. On the other side, the man said he would never fight the British. A patriot can become a traitor, by making a mistake. But a traitor can never be a patriot. That is who Veer Savarkar was. BJP does drama on Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Ambedkar, Subhash Chandra Bose because their leader was a traitor.’
To be clear, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar coined the theory of Hindutva in India. BJP, RSS, and Shiv Sena, the then ally of NDA, are said to be staunch believers of Savarkar’s ideology.
A Hindutva Ally That Worships Savarkar
Talking about the parties that are said to be staunch believers of Savarkar’s ideology, Shiv Sena founded by Balasaheb Thackeray is said to trace the footsteps of Savarkar. Based on the core ideology of ‘Hindutva’, the party is now in a coalition with Indian National Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.
It would be fair to say that this coalition caused the split of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. After five decades, the party now has two fractions named ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ led by the current CM of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde. While the other fraction is now known as ‘Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’ led by Uddhav, the son of Balasaheb.
Shiv Sena before the coalition took a strong stand against anyone who maligned the freedom fighter. However, now Uddhav’s Shiv Sena will be standing beside Rahul Gandhi during his Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra. Ironical indeed!
Indira Gandhi’s Letter On Savarkar Inevitable To Rahul
As Rahul Gandhi leaves no stone unturned to discredit the efforts of Swatantrveer Savarkar, his grandmother, India’s ex-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi wrote a letter to the secretary of Savarkar. In the letter dated back to 1980, she praised the efforts of the freedom fighter. Mrs. Gandhi wrote, ‘I have received your letter of 8th May 1980. Veer Savarkar’s daring defiance of the British Government has its importance in the annals of our Freedom movement. I wish success to the plans to celebrate the birth centenary of the remarkable son of India.’
Another controversy surrounding Indira Gandhi regarding Savarkar was when INC leader and Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel commented that Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was a disciple of Savarkar. Condemning the comment, BJP raised questions if that was true then why did Indira Gandhi release postal stamps commemorating the freedom fighter?
The Untold Massacre of Hindus
Another allegation congress leaders paint around Veer Savarkar is of being involved in the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Enraged with the overlook of Hindu sentiments and minority appeasement by Gandhi, Nathuram Godse shot him a year after independence. Many congress leaders allege that Godse was a disciple of Savarkar and he was the mastermind behind the assassination.
However, the media as well as the congress leaders forget the ‘Gandhi Revenge Riots’. In the aftermath of the assassination, ethnic cleansing of Chitpawan brahmins was carried out in the state of Maharashtra. It is said about 8000 Chitpawan brahmins were butchered in Maharashtra regardless of gender or age. Several little girls were gang-raped and killed, while all of this went unreported.
What’s ironic is that the followers of the leader who was said to be the icon of non-violence caused the ethnic cleansing of ‘Chitpawan Brahmins.’
Myths About VD Savarkar
When calling a freedom fighter who dedicated his life towards the motherland ‘a traitor’ wasn’t enough, INC ex-supremo Rahul Gandhi maligned that Savarkar used to take pensions from the British Raj. However, he often forgets to mention that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi also would receive pensions under the British Raj. According to the British law of the time, the family of political prisoners would get a pension as they didn’t have a source to earn a livelihood.
This document from the National Archives Of India is proof that even the ‘Mahatma’ took a pension from the colonizers of India.
Ideological differences are common in a democratic society, however discrediting and insulting those who devoted their lives to making this country the epitome of democracy cannot be justified.