Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
A letter penned by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in which she praised Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, by calling him a "remarkable son of India" is being widely shared on the social media. Notably, Union Minister Jitendra Singh had tweeted the letter in October after a controversy broke out following the BJP proposing the name of Savarkar among others for Bharat Ratna in its manifesto for the recently concluded Maharashtra Assembly elections.
"#IndiraGandhi, as Prime Minister, praises Veer Savarkar in writing," Singh captioned the post along with the letter.
In the letter addressed to Pandit Bakhle, secretary of Swatantrayaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak, dated May 20, 1980, Gandhi wrote, "I have received your letter of the 9th May 1980. Veer Savarkar's daring defiance has its own important place in the annals of our freedom movement. I wish success to the plans to celebrate the birth centenary of this remarkable son of India."
Since then, the Opposition has hit out at the BJP for its proposal to confer the country's highest award to Savarkar.
Later, clarifying his party's stand, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said: "We are not against Savarkarji, but the question is we are not in favour of Hindutva ideology that Savarkarji patronised and stood for.
The letter is being circulated again after BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav on December 17 shared an image of the letter on social media.
Indira Gandhi's message on Savarkar's birth centenary pic.twitter.com/mfEXZO2Gvb— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) December 17, 2019
This came after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi refused to apologise for his ‘Rape in India’ comment saying that he was not “Rahul Savarkar” while addressing the Bharat Bachao rally in Delhi on December 14.
He was indirectly referring to Savarkar’s apology to the British seeking an early release from the Andaman jail.