In the February edition of the Congress’ Marathi newspaper, Shidori, the party had published two articles belittling freedom fighter Veer Savarkar. One-piece was titled “Swatantryaveer Navhe, Mafiveer” (Not a freedom fighter but an apologist), while the other was named “Andharatil Savarkar” (The unknown aspects of Savarkar).
The first article relied upon another report published in the Marathi magazine, Samya Yoga Sadhana, which concluded that Veer Savarkar was not a freedom fighter but an apologiser. It was a dig at the mercy petition Veer Savarkar wrote to the British when he was lodged in cellular jail. The other article published in Congress magazine put out personal aspects of his life in the public domain that drew questions about the “character” of the freedom fighter.
As per reports, after the Maha Vikas Aghadi was formed, there was confusion within the party whether to carry articles targeting the freedom fighter. One of the Congress’ allies, Shiv Sena, has been a long advocate of awarding Savarkar, the Bharat Ratna (the highest civilian award). In the end, the articles were published by the magazine’s editor Ratnakar Mahajan after the intervention of the High Command.
Madhya Pradesh Congress Seva Dal released a book titled “Veer Savarkar Kitna Veer” (How brave was Savarkar?) where it was alleged that Veer Savarkar took money from the British, besides having physical relations with Nathuram Godse. The comments made in the book drew the ire of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had attacked Savarkar in a rally and said that he was not going to apologise for speaking “truth” since his name wasn’t “Rahul Savarkar.” Ironically, former PM Indira Gandhi called Savarkar, the remarkable son of India.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had then challenged the vocal opponents of the freedom fighter to spend two days in Andaman’s Cellular Jail to experience what Savarkar had gone through. On Monday, the BJP tried to corner Shiv Sena by putting forth a proposal in the Maharastra Assembly to acknowledge contributions of Veer Savarkar during the Independence struggle.