Ranjit Savarkar, the grandson of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar on Wednesday said that he does not think that Mahatma Gandhi is the father of the nation as the country has many such leaders who have been forgotten.
“I do not think Gandhi is the father of the nation. A country like India cannot have one father of the nation. There are thousands who have been forgotten…,” Savarkar told ANI.
Ranjit Savarkar’s remarks came after All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that the BJP will soon declare Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as ‘the father of the nation’.
Owaisi had, on Wednesday, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will soon declare Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as ‘the father of the nation’ after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh claimed it was Mahatma Gandhi who had asked the RSS ideologue to write mercy petitions to the British. Owaisi accused the BJP of distorting history and on Twitter, he also posted a copy of a letter to Savarkar from Gandhi.
“They (BJP) are presenting distorted history. If this continues, they will remove Mahatma Gandhi and make Savarkar, who was accused of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi and was pronounced complicit in the inquiry of Justice Jeevan Lal Kapur, as the father of the nation,” Owaisi told news agency ANI.
Speaking at the launch of a book titled ‘Veer Savarkar: The Man Who Could Have Prevented Partition’, Rajnath Singh claimed that there had been “deliberate attempts” to defame Savarkar by spreading lies about him.
“Lies were spread about Savarkar. Time and again, it was said that he filed mercy petitions before the British government seeking his release from jail,” the Union minister said. “It was Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to file mercy petitions,” he added.
In a series of tweets, Owaisi said that Savarkar wrote the first mercy petition in 1911, followed by another one around 1913-1914 when Mahatma Gandhi was in South Africa. The AIMIM leader opined that the Defence Minister’s speechwriter should be fired.
“It’s not good to have advisers who have a Savarkarite relationship to truth,” he said,
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also objected to Rajnath Singh’s remark, saying the BJP leader has given a twist to what Gandhi actually wrote.
“Rajnath Singh-ji is amongst the few sober & dignified voices in Modi Sarkar. But he doesnt seem to be free of RSS habit of rewriting history. He has given a twist to what Gandhi actually wrote on Jan 25 1920. Here is that letter to Savarkar’s brother,” the Rajya Sabha MP wrote on Twitter, sharing the letter to Savarkar written by Gandhi.