The politics around the installation of Veer Savarkar’s bust in the Delhi University had reached a despicable low when the state chief of Congress’ students’ wing blackened the face of the great revolutionary and freedom fighter Swatantryaveer Savarkar and shamelessly put a garland of shoes around it. The incident had happened after busts of Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh had been put up at the North Campus of Delhi University on Tuesday.
Today, Shiv Sena chief, Uddhav Thackeray has come out with a statement condemning the depraved act saying that those who do not believe in the ideology of Veer Savarkar should be ‘beaten’ in public. Thackeray said public thrashing of those insulting Savarkar, a revered figure in Maharashtra, will make them understand the value of freedom.
“Those who do not respect Savarkar should be once thrashed publicly, in chowks (square). Till then they will not realise who had toiled to what extent to attain freedom for the country,” Thackeray told reporters here.
“These people, who insulted Savarkar – whom Rahul Gandhi too had insulted – will not understand the value of freedom till then,” he added.
Unlike the Congress, who have on several occasions attempted to malign Veer Savarkar’s contributions to India’s freedom by branding him as a “loyal colonialist”, Shiv Sena has from the beginning been extremely sensitive and emotive towards Savarkar.
In fact, in 2004 when the then Petroleum Minister and Congress leader, Mani Shankar Aiyer has dared to insult the freedom fighter and the Congress government had removed plaques containing Savarkar’s statements from Andaman’s Cellular jail, the then Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray had laucnhed a ‘Joote maro Abhiyan’ (hitting with shoes campaign).
As a part of this protest, Shiv Sena members had used their shoes and slippers to attack Congress’ Mani Shankar’s effigy. Criticising the Congress leader, Bal Thackeray had then expressed melancholy over Aiyer’s ignorance over Savarkar’s contribution to the freedom struggle.
A Twitter user by the handle @iMac_too, took to Twitter to reminisce the same.
2004: Deriding Union Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Friday kickstarted the party’s “jode maara” campaign for insulting Savarkarhttps://t.co/KLbdpHLred
— iMac_too (@iMac_too) August 23, 2019
On Tuesday, a pillar with busts of Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh has been put up at the North Campus of Delhi University. The pillar was installed by the ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU). ABVP is the RSS’ students’ wing.
The NSUI and the Left-backed All India Students’ Association had criticised the move, saying Savarkar cannot be kept on the same pedestal as that of Bose and Singh. NSUI goons had vandalised the installation, by blackening the face and putting a garland of shoes around it. They had seen the installation of Savarkar’s bust as a prelude to the installation of Nathuram Godse’s bust.