RAJNATH SINGH UNDER FIRE FOR SAVARKAR COMMENT

On the launch event of a book based on V D Savarkar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that it was Gandhi’s recommendation that Savarkar writes the mercy letter. Opposition leaders have come out in strong opposition to the comment, pointing out that Gandhi was still in South Africa when Savarkar wrote his first letter of apology to the British. Asaduddin Owaisi, President of AIMIM said that Savarkar was a man of ‘limited intellectual prowess’ and that he believed Muslims and Christians were not ‘fully loyal’ to India.

Rajnath Singh had said, “he was an icon of Indian history and will remain so. There can be a difference of opinion about him, but to look down on him as inferior is not appropriate and justifiable. He was a freedom fighter and a staunch nationalist, but people who follow the Marxist and Leninist ideology are the ones who accuse Savarkar of being a fascist…Lies are spread about Savarkar repeatedly. It was spread that he filed many mercy petitions seeking his release from jails…. It was Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to file the mercy petitions”.  This statement has been under the microscope of historians.

D Raja and Sitaram Yechury of the left faction stated that the comment is a preposterous rewriting of history and that RSS was not sure how many mercy letters the Hindutva ideologue wrote, while communists were suffering in Andaman.

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