Days after the BJP’s Maharashtra unit proposed a Bharat Ratna for V D Savarkar, Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi on Monday praised Hindutva ideologue, saying he was an “accomplished man” who played a part in the freedom struggle, fought for Dalit rights and went to jail for the country. Singhvi, however, said he does 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 the freedom struggle, fought for Dalit rights and went to jail for the country,” the Rajya Sabha MP tweeted with the hashtag ‘never forget’.
Maharashtra BJP unit had said in its election manifesto that the party will ask the Centre to confer Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. However, BJP's demand of Bharat Ratna for Savarkar met with severe criticism from the Opposition parties.
Slamming the BJP for their demand, Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said the BJP may evenpropose the similar honour for Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. "This is biggest irony of our times that while we areall celebrating the birth centenary of Gandhiji, the BJP isseeking Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, who was an accused in hisassassination case," Raja said.
Savarkar was one of the eight accused in the murder case of Mahatma Gandhi. However, He was acquitted by the court in the absence of evidence and Nathuram Godse, who shot Gandhi three times from a close range admitted his crime. Ironically, BJP MP from Bhopal, Sadhvi Pragya, who is also facing trial in a terror case, had called Godse "a true patriot".
Many BJP leaders look up to Savarkar for inspiration although he was a member of the Hindu Mahasabha and not the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the BJP.