Abhishek Manu Singhvi hails ‘freedom fighter’ Savarkar, remembers him as an accomplished man who went to jail for country

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Published: October 21, 2019 12:52:59 PM

Contrary to the criticism the Congress has heaped upon the BJP, Abhishek Manu Singhvi took a different line and praised the Hindu ideologue as an accomplished man who played a part in India's freedom struggle. Singhvi said that Savarkar fought for the Dalit rights and went to jail for the country.

veer savarkar, veer savarkar bharat ratna, veer savarkar story, savarkar, savarkar debate, bjp on savarkar, congress on savarkar, rahul gandhi savarkar, Abhishek Manu Singhvi savarkar, savarkar news, savarkar books, savarkar indira gandhi letter, indira gandhi on savarkarBorn in Maharashtra, Savarkar had set up a first secret society — Mittra Mela that later became Abhinav Bharat — of the country to take on the British. (IE)

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Monday marked a fresh twist in the ongoing row over the Bharatiya Janata Party’s plans to confer the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, upon Veer Savarkar. Contrary to the criticism the Congress has heaped upon the BJP, Singhvi took a different line and praised the Hindu ideologue as an accomplished man who played a part in India’s freedom struggle. Singhvi said that Savarkar fought for the Dalit rights and went to jail for the country.

Singhvi, however, added that he personally did not subscribe to Savarkar’s ideology. “I personally don’t subscribe to Savarkar’s ideology but that doesn’t take away the fact that he was an accomplished man who played part in our freedom struggle, flights for Dalit rights and went to jail for the country. #NeverForget,” he tweeted.

His statement goes against his own party line which claims that Savarkar had no role to play in the country’s freedom struggle. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had once called Savarkar a ‘coward’ who wrote letters to the British when several leaders from Congress were in jail fighting for the country.

The recent debate began with BJP-Shiv Sena’s promise of a Bharat Ratana to the Hindutva icon if elected back to power in Maharashtra. But this did not go down well with many opposition parties including Congress. Former union minister and senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said that if the Centre awards Bharat Ratna to Savarkar in 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi then “God save the country”.

However, the Congress went on backfoot when BJP leaders came out with a 1980 letter in which former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi called Savarkar a remarkable son of India. Gandhi in a letter to Pandit Bakhle had said that Savarkar’s daring defiance of the British government had its own important place in the annals of our freedom movement.

Born in Maharashtra, Savarkar had set up a first secret society — Mittra Mela that later became Abhinav Bharat — of the country to take on the British. He was sentenced to 50 years in jail for his role in igniting a revolution. He spent over a decade in cellular jail, the most dreaded prison during that time.

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