Updated: October 13, 2021 6:48:49 pm
A day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh claimed that former Hindu Mahasabha leader Savarkar had filed a mercy petition before the British government on Mahatama Gandhi’s request, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel argued how Gandhi could have communicated with a jailed Savarkar.
“Tell me one thing, where was Mahatma Gandhi at that time? He was in Wardha (Maharashtra) and where was he (Savarkar)? He was in Cellular Jail (in Andaman and Nicobar Islands). How would they have contacted (each other)? He filed mercy petitions from jail… not once but half a dozen times,” Baghel was quoted as saying by PTI.
“After apologising to Britishers, he continued to be with them and never spoke a single word against them. He worked on Britishers’ agenda of ‘divide and rule’. He was the first one to suggest the two-nation theory after coming out of jail in 1925,” the Congress leader added.
“Savarkar talked about Hindustan and Pakistan in 1925 and later the Muslim League in 1937. Both communal forces had created background for the Partition of the country (in 1947),” Baghel said.
Singh had on Tuesday said: “A lot of falsehood was spread against Savarkar. It was repeatedly said that he filed multiple mercy petitions before the British government. The truth is he did not file these petitions for his release. Generally a prisoner has right to file a mercy petition. Mahatma Gandhi had asked that you file a mercy petition. It was on Gandhi’s suggestion that he filed a mercy petition. And Mahatma Gandhi had appealed that Savarkar ji should be released. He had said the way we are running movement for freedom peacefully, so would Savarkar.”
He was speaking at the launch of a book — Veer Savarkar: The Man Who Could Have Prevented Partition — by Uday Mahurkar and Chirayu Pandit at the Ambedkar International Centre in Delhi where RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat also addressed the gathering.
During the book launch, the RSS chief had stated, “People were using goondaism to make everyone accept this (two-nation) theory and so (Savarakar had to use) harsh words. The circumstances were such. In hindsight, we can say that it was important to speak loudly at that time and had all spoken like that the partition would not have happened.”
— with PTI inputs
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