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Friday, Dec 02, 2022

‘Poetic imagination’ says official after Kannada textbook claims Savarkar flew out of jail on bulbul

While Congress leader Priyank Kharge tweeted that the controversial passage “does not sound like it was meant to be a metaphor”, Savarkar’s biographer Vikram Sampath said it “does more harm to the man and his legacy”.

veer savarkar jayantiVinayak Damodar Savarkar. (Express Archive)

After a fresh controversy erupted in Karnataka over a Class 8 Kannada textbook that mentioned how Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar flew out of his jail cell on bulbuls, the managing director of Karnataka Text Book Society (KTBS) has claimed that the author may have used it as part of “poetic imagination”.

“The chapter in question is part of the author’s account of travel diaries of different personalities, out of which Savarkar is one among them. The author could have used it as a metaphor to interpret Savarkar’s devotion to his motherland. The statement is nothing but a poetic imagination,” KTBS managing director M P Madegowda said.

The passage in the chapter titled Kalavannu Geddavaru, authored by KT Gatti, said: “In the room where Savarkar was jailed, there was not even a small keyhole. However, bulbul birds would fly into the room from somewhere, on whose wings Savarkar would sit and fly out to visit the motherland every day.”

Congress leader Priyank Kharge, however, tweeted, “This does not sound like it was meant to be a metaphor.” After the matter came to light, some netizens expressed shock and dismay at the absurdity of the claim, while others felt it would dent Savarkar’s image.

Meanwhile, Vikram Sampath, who authored Savarkar’s biography, said, “I was shocked and taken aback after reading these lines. This definitely cannot be a factual instance. The author may have used poetic sanctity but it does not exactly convey what it is actually meant to be. But if this is indeed true, it does more harm to the man and his legacy than anything else. I sincerely hope the government will scrutinize this more closely.”

First published on: 29-08-2022 at 12:29:51 pm
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