Mumbai, Sep 18 : In a pre-election swipe, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said that Pakistan would not have been created if the Hindutva protagonist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar alias Veer Savarkar had become the Prime Minister at that time.
Reiterating his demand of Bharat Ratna posthumously for Veer Savarkar, Thackeray said while the contributions of both Gandhiji and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for the nation’s development cannot be denied, the country’s political landscape was not limited to only two families.
“I would have even called Nehru as ‘Veer’ (courageous), if he had survived jail for even 14 minutes when Savarkar spent 14 long years in prison. He should be honoured with a Bharat Ratna, now that our Hindutva government (NDA) is in power, ” the Sena chief urged.
He was speaking at the launch of a new biography, “Savarkar: Echoes From A Forgotten Past”, penned by Vikram Sampath, late on Tuesday.
Taking a dig at former Congress President Rahul Gandhi who has been openly critical of Hindutva icons like Savarkar, Thackeray said a copy of the book should be given to him (Rahul Gandhi).
It may be recalled that during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi had said in an election rally that Veer Savarkar – who popularised the term Hindutva – had tendered an apology to the British government in return for his release from jail.
Born in Nashik in 1883, Veer Savarkar was a Hindu Mahasabha leader who espoused the cause of Hindutva and a Hindu nation.
He suffered imprisonment by the British at the dreaded Cellular Jail in Andaman & Nicobar Isles for nearly 12 years. He died in Februar 1966 after a 26-day long self-imposed ‘fast-unto-death’ in Mumbai.