The great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Tushar Gandhi on Saturday said that it would be a great insult to all martyrs and freedom fighters if the Hindu Mahasabha ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is conferred with Bharat Ratna. He also claimed that Savarkar was not acquitted in Mahatma Gandhi's assassination case because he was innocent.
Speaking to the media Tushar Gandhi said, "If Savarkar is given Bharat Ratna, it would be a great insult to all martyrs and freedom fighters, who sacrificed their lives and went through all kinds of torture for this country because Savarkar was the one who sought apology from Britishers."
"BJP and all others who claim that Savarkar was acquitted by the court in Bapu's assassination case, must know that he was not acquitted because of his innocence but was acquitted because the prosecution could not produce proof of his guilt. Absence of proof of his involvement in Bapu's murder doesn't make him innocent," he added.
Tushar Gandhis' remark comes at the backdrop of BJP-Shiv Sena getting a majority in Maharashtra Assembly. In its election manifesto, the BJP had announced of sending a recommendation to the Centre to confer the Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar if it came back to power.
Bharat Ratna to Savarkar
Earlier, in a major poll promise, BJP on October 15, made a pitch for honouring Swatantraveer Savarakar with the Bharat Ratna - the highest civilian honour awarded to Indians, as mentioned in its Maharashtra election manifesto. The saffron party also pushed for Bharat Ratna for educational reformers Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule. BJP released its poll manifesto ahead of the October 21 poll date in the presence of CM Devendra Fadnavis and party working president JP Nadda in Mumbai. The manifesto is titled - 'Sampanna, Samruddha, Samarth Maharashtra.'
About Veer Savarkar
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who is also known as Veer Savarkar, was an Indian Independence fighter, politician, lawyer and the formulator of 'Hindutva' philosophy. He founded the Abhinav Bharat Society, which wrote extensively on the Indian Independence movement. He was later arrested and sentenced for revolutionary activities to two life terms of imprisonment totalling fifty years and was moved to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He was later released in 1921.
(with ANI inputs)