The claim about Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) in a booklet distributed by the INC outfit Seva Dal has elicited a belated reaction from the party’s ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, while the BJP has been fuming at its archrival since the incident of Bhopal was reported. The Shiv Sena said that questioning Savarkar showed that the INC had ‘dirt’ in its mind.
The BJP has demanded an apology, terming the comment by the Seva Dal booklet Veer Savarkar Kitne Veer? as derogatory.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut asserted today that Savarkar was great and would remain so always. “The minds of those who are questioning and criticising his patriotism are full of dirt,” he said.
BJP general secretary Anil Jain said, “The world knows about many relationships of Congress leaders, but we do not want to throw muck on anyone. No one in the Congress has faced harassment like Savarkar. How much more will the Congress fall to insult the Hindutva ideology?”
Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil said that the INC should apologise for the “perverted” content in the book.
“The INC, which is in the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, will have to answer to the Marathi people and all the national devotees as to how long the insult to Veer Savarkar will continue. Why does the Congress consider Veer Savarkar’s insult as its birthright?” Patil asked. He said the INC had a distorted mindset. “Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray would have reacted to this book in a staunch style, but today it cannot be expected. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray must ban the book immediately,” he added.
Meanwhile, Congress Seva Dal chief Lalji Desai said the opinion of the organisation, which it held earlier, still remains the same. “The world knows that Savarkar apologised to the British 11 times. We have a problem with this. We had brought out this book at the national convention a year ago. We have only cited what we had already written in Freedom at Midnight,” Desai said.
The Congress Seva Dal distributed the booklet Veer Savarkar Kitne Veer? at its camp in Bhopal. It claimed that Savarkar had a gay relationship with Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Worse, the booklet claimed that Savarkar used to incite Hindu mobs to rape Muslim women.