“Mahatma Gandhi Asked Savarkar To File Mercy Petitions”: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is the most controversial person in Indian politics. On one hand, a section calls Savarkar a ‘mafiveer’ and who wrote mercy petitions to the British, on the other hand the RSS and BJP praise Savarkar and call him ‘Veer’. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has given a new ‘knowledge’ about Savarkar, on which the debate has started.

Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat released a book on Savarkar. During this, Rajnath Singh called Savarkar the first defense expert and lion. He greatly appreciated the work done by Savarkar.

Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue VD Savarkar presented India with a “strong defense and diplomatic principle”. He described Savarkar as India’s greatest and first expert on defense and strategic affairs in the 20th century.

At the launch of a book on Savarkar in Delhi, the Defense Minister also said that people following Marxist and Leninist ideologies accused Savarkar of being a fascist and a supporter of Hindutva.

Referring to the controversy about the mercy petitions of Savarkar, serving a life sentence in the Andaman in the 1910s, Rajnath Singh further said, “a lie is spread about Savarkar that in 1910, Savarkar, who was serving a life sentence, had filed a mercy petition before the British government. Whereas, the truth is that he did this at the behest of Mahatma Gandhi. It was the right of a prisoner.”

Rajnath Singh further said, “Savarkar was a great freedom fighter, there are no two views in it. Looking through the prism of any ideology, ignoring his contribution in nation building, humiliating is such an act that can never be forgiven.”

In the year 1910, he was arrested in London for his involvement in the murder of the Collector of Nashik. Savarkar was sentenced to two separate sentences of 25 years each and was sent to Andaman i.e. ‘Black Water’ away from India to serve the sentence. Critics say that Savarkar’s second life begins from here. His 9 years and 10 months in the Cellular Jail ended after his promise to Britishers that he would remain loyal to the British government if he is released. During his 9 years of jail, Savarkar wrote multiple mercy petitions to the British government. For this, the opponents criticize him by calling him ‘Maafiveer’.

In 1948, on the sixth day of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was arrested from Mumbai for his involvement in the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi. However, he was acquitted in February 1949.

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