IN HIS weekly column published in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, party MP Sanjay Raut questioned the BJP’s “silence” regarding the demand to remove Veer Savarkar’s portrait from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), following a controversy over Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait. Raut demanded that Savarkar be awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’ award immediately.
“Injustice has been meted out to Savarkar by all governments. But there is a Hindutva government at the Centre and the state. In the new regime, Deen Dayal Upadhyay gets honour, his portraits are installed on government walls. But there is no place for Savarkar’s portraits… it (the government) should immediately announce a Bharat Ratna for Savarkar. Otherwise, it should declare that its Hindutva is limited to politics,” the Sena MP wrote in his column titled Rokthok.
It further read that “small-time” poets and writers, as well as Bollywood actors, have been honoured with Padma awards. “Why are the Hindutvavadis quiet on the demand to remove his photo from AMU? Why are the Modi supporters, who become aggressive in response to criticism of Modi now quiet on Savarkar? It is surprising that those who gheraoed and killed Muslims for slaughtering cows are tolerating the insult of Savarkar,” he added.
The Sena MP wrote that it was a mystery that controversies such as Pakistan, Jinnah and Savarkar crop up whenever there is a big election. “Poison is being spread at all levels using the name of Hindutva. There was extreme pseudo secularism during the Congress regime. Now, it should not happen with pseudo Hindutvavadis. Is a conspiracy being hatched for clashes between Hindus and Muslims, and to win the 2019 polls with that blood?” asked Raut. He added that it was wrong to compare Jinnah with Savarkar, who suffered for supporting the idea of a Hindu Rashtra and the country’s freedom.
“Savarkar is attacked for any issue. He suffered a lot when he was alive and is being targeted even after his death,” said Raut, adding that Savarkar was a Hindutvavadi and “not a bigot”.