Updated: November 2, 2021 1:40:33 pm
Muhammad Ali Jinnah could have been made the first PM of India to avoid Partition, said former editor of Organiser magazine, Seshadri Chari, on Monday.
Speaking at the launch of Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar’s book ‘Veer Savarkar: The Man Who Could Have Prevented Partition’ in Jaipur, Chari said, “Agar August 15, 1947 ko Jinnah ko aap pradhan mantri kar bhi dete, toh hum bhagwan sey prarthana karte ki woh bahut zinda rehte, lekin wo nahi reh sakte the…woh ek saal bhi zinda nahi rahenge ye Britishon ko pata tha (Had your made Jinnah the Prime Minister on August 15, 1947 – and we would have prayed for his long life – but he would have not long…even the British knew he was a TB patient and was on his death bed. The British knew he would not live even a year).”
“Unfortunately, our leaders then did not think about this. Had he been offered the PM post – and who became the PM after him was a different issue – at least Partition wouldn’t have taken place,” he said.
Chari repeatedly added the disclaimer that there were several “ifs and buts” to what he was saying. He went on to say, “If we didn’t agree to Partition and chose to fight for independence for another ten years, had we said that, like Savarkar, and K M Munshi, the chitr (picture) of this nation may have been different. There may not have been Pakistan probably,” he said.
Mahurkar, meanwhile, said a personality like Savarkar was beyond Bharat Ratna. “Bharat Ratna miley toh koi buri baat nahi hai lekin Veer Savarkar jo vyaktitva hai, toh Bharat Ratna koi badi baat nahi hai unke liye, milta hai toh bhi theek hai, nahi milta toh bhi theek hai. Bahut upar hain. (It’s not a bad thing if he gets the Bharat Ratna but he is above it all,” he said.
At the book launch in Delhi last month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had sparked a controversy by saying that Savarkar filed a mercy petition with the British during his incarceration in Andaman jail on Mahatma Gandhi’s suggestion. Singh’s claim sparked a debate about its accuracy.
The book has been written by Mahurkar and Chirayu Pandit and published by Rupa publications.
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