On Sunday, which was also the 134th birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue Veer Damodar Savarkar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited his residence at Bhagur in Nashik district. “Taking darshan of Bharatmata’s brave son Swatantrayaveer Savarkar’s house was as sacred as visiting a temple. I experienced amazing vibes,” said Fadnavis.
The BJP celebrated his birth anniversary across Maharashtra. Fadnavis was accompanied to Savarkar’s birthplace by Nashik’s guardian minister Girish Mahajan, and the party’s elected representatives from the district.
Counting Savarkar among India’s bravest freedom fighters, Fadnavis said, “Veer Savarkar dedicated his entire life to free the country from the clutches of British rule. He was an inspiration for all freedom fighters. To terrorise the freedom fighters, the British repeatedly attempted to demoralise him but he did not succumb,” said Fadnavis.
Fadnavis even visited a memorial built after Savarkar at his birthplace. His government has already set aside Rs 65 crore for the memorial’s upkeep. “(sic) Inaugurated an exhibition of rare book collections of Veer Savarkar. I’ve assured GoM’s (Government of Maharashtra’s) support to preserve the valuable asset of our freedom struggle,” Fadnavis later tweeted.
Ally Shiv Sena, on the other hand, reiterated its demand to confer a Bharat Ratna for Savarkar.
The Sangh Parivar and its supporters have always complained that Savarkar was denied his rightful place in the country’s history by hostile Congress governments. Fadnavis fired another salvo in this regard Sunday. “He (Savarkar) continued to serve the nation despite braving several insults and injustice. It remains a regret that even after independence, he was not given his due,” Fadnavis said.
“Even when he was incarcerated (for 10 years from 1911) in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Savarkar continued to provide nationalism lessons to other inmates. His contribution in restoring the glory of the Marathi language has also been immense,” said Fadnavis.
Projecting Savarkar as a freedom fighter who knew no caste or creed, Fadnavis announced to a gathering at Savarkar’s birthplace that a glowing tribute to him would be to strive towards an end to caste discrimination.