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Congress loves to hate Savarkar!

Congress loves to hate Savarkar!

Author: Dr Shreerang Godbole
Publication: Orgnaniser
Date: September 12, 2004
URL: http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=40&page=37

Introduction: The young and wealthy Jawaharlal was studying in Cambridge. When, Niranjan Pal went to Nehru to ask for his contribution, Nehru not only flatly refused to donate a penny but had Pal thrown out. (It is worth mentioning that the Prince of Dharampur, Chandra Devji secretly donated £ 500 for this cause.)

Arch Nehru-sycophant Mani Shankar Aiyar's outburst against Veer Savarkar and the refusal of the Congress government to restore the original plaque containing Veer Savarkar's quotation from the Cellular Jail Memorial in Port Blair has generated a wave of anger amongst all patriotic Indians.

However, this has not been the first time that the Congress has sought to belittle, insult and humiliate Veer Savarkar. Neither will it be the last time, one fears! It is worthwhile to recall a little history to understand the reason for the pathological hatred of Congressmen for Veer Savarkar.

As a student, Savarkar had organised the first public bonfire of foreign clothes in Pune in 1905. This historic event was attended by Lokmanya Tilak himself. Gandhiji had criticised this historic event. Much later in 1921, Gandhiji was to organise a similar bonfire of foreign clothes. When Savarkar was busy organising revolutionaries in London, young Jawaharlal studiously kept himself aloof from such activities. In fact, he even got his university changed because there were too many Indian students in the university where he was studying. On July 1, 1909, Madan Lal Dhingra assassinated Curzon Wylie. The assassination of a British officer by an Indian revolutionary in the heart of the British Empire sent shock waves. "Madan Lal Dhingra acted like a coward; he committed this act because he had been unable to digest good-for-nothing literature; punishment should also be meted to the one who incited him," was Gandhiji's response to this daring event. Evidently, Gandhi had Savarkar in mind as the inspiration behind Dhingra's brave act.

Revolutionaries throughout the country were enthralled by Savarkar's The 1857 War of Independence. To Gandhi, it was not worthwhile! On March 13, 1910, Veer Savarkar was arrested in London under the Fugitive Offenders' Act. Savarkar's lawyers were trying their best not to get Savarkar's case transferred to India where he was likely to receive harsher punishment. A fund collection drive was organised by Savarkar's admirers who included Englishmen like David Garnett. At that time, the young and wealthy Jawaharlal was studying in Cambridge. When, Niranjan Pal went to Nehru to ask for his contribution, Nehru not only flatly refused to donate a penny but had Pal thrown out. (It is worth mentioning that the Prince of Dharampur, Chandra Devji secretly donated £ 500 for this cause.)

Savarkar's incarceration in Ratnagiri was to end in 1929. However, the British government would extend this term every year. Finally, in 1935, a massive signature campaign was launched in 1935 to demand his unconditional release. His release was demanded in the legislature as well. Public pressure was mounting. When the petition to demand Savarkar's release was presented to Gandhi for his signature, he simply refused. Nehru did one better. He threw away the petition.

Congress Opposition During Freedom Struggle
In August 1937, soon after his unconditional release, a huge procession was organised in Savarkar's honour in Sholapur. Congressmen stoned the procession and threw dirty water on the participants. The Congressmen had even hired a criminal who had been released from the Andamans to disrupt the procession. However, when this criminal saw Veer Savarkar, he recognised him as 'Bade Babu' and joined the procession raising slogans in praise of Veer Savarkar. In May 1938, Veer Savarkar was in the guest house of Gaekwad Wada, Tilak's house in Pune. Congressmen made an attempt to physically hurt Veer Savarkar and disrupt his public meeting scheduled on that evening.

Gandhi's Assassination and Savarkar
Veer Savarkar was in no way connected with Gandhi's assassination. However, Nehru was hell bent on implicating Savarkar. On January 31, 1948, a mob of around 1,500 people, mostly Congressmen attacked Savarkar's house in Mumbai. His younger brother, Dr Narayanrao Savarkar was seriously injured in this attack. The then Law Minister, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar gave his considered opinion to Nehru that there was no evidence whatsoever to implicate Veer Savarkar in Gandhi's assassination. But Nehru had made up his mind! On March 11, 1948, Savarkar was made an accused in the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi. It is worth mentioning that Dr Ambedkar had secretly met Veer Savarkar's lawyer L.B. Bhopatkar and warned him of Nehru's sinister designs.

On February 10, 1949, special court acquitted Veer Savarkar "honourably and without blemish". It is worth emphasising that the court did not acquit Veer Savarkar for "lack of evidence or on technical grounds". The Nehru government dared not appeal against the court order. Nehru feared that Savarkar would be accorded a hero's reception after his release. Orders were served on Veer Savarkar that he should leave Delhi within two hours and that he should not enter Delhi for three months.

The inauguration of the Indian Republic was to take place on January 26, 1950. In a singular show of mean- mindedness, the Nehru government did not show the courtesy to even send an invitation to this unparalleled hero of the freedom struggle. The Nehru government did not even return Savarkar's ancestral house that had been confiscated by the British on charge of sedition. Such was Nehru's terror in those days that the Mumbai Akashwani refused to air a review of a book on Savarkar by noted critic Madhav Manohar. Nehru was obviously smarting at the honourable acquittal of Veer Savarkar in the Gandhi assassination case in spite of his best efforts to implicate Savarkar. He was looking for an excuse to arrest Savarkar. The Pakistani leader, Liaquat Ali was coming on a visit to India. On the pretext of maintaining law and order, Nehru arrested the old and frail Savarkar on April 4, 1950 and sent him to Belgaum jail. From there, he was shifted to Hindalaga jail (Sheikh Abdullah was housed by Nehru in a bungalow in a hill-station when he was arrested for treason).

It should be kept in mind that Veer Savarkar had virtually retired from active public life and could in no way threaten public order. On July 13, 1950, the Mumbai High Court freed Savarkar on the condition that he would not participate in politics for one year or till the country went to war, whichever was earlier. This was an attack on Savarkar's democratic rights. Such was Nehru's much touted love for democracy! History will never forgive Nehru for his heinous act of arresting Savarkar! Savarkar had been sentenced to 50 years imprisonment in 1910. This term would have ended in 1960. In 1961, admirers of Veer Savarkar organised a grand celebration of 'Mritunjaya Diwas' to mark that day. Massive celebrations took place all over the country. Strangely, Akashwani blacked out all news of that day!

After Independence, Nehru had put forward a proposal to demolish the Cellular Jail in the Andamans and build a hospital in its place. He probably wanted to erase all memories of India's revolutionaries! Shri K.R. Ganesh, Member of Parliament stoutly opposed this proposal and Nehru had to beat a retreat. The then Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Sri Prakash was a great admirer of Veer Savarkar. However due to Nehru's terror, he could never muster the courage to visit Veer Savarkar at his residence in Mumbai. It was only after he relinquished office as Governor that he visited Savarkar before departing.

No Respite in Death
In 1966, Veer Savarkar undertook a fast unto death (prayopaveshan) in the tradition of Hindu seers and saints. The Maharashtra government had kept spies outside his house till the very end. When agitated members in the Maharashtra legislature sought to know whether it was true that the Maharashtra government had kept spies on Veer Savarkar till the very end, the then Minister of State for Home, Balasaheb Desai replied in the negative. He was of course, telling the truth. It was only when the government was certain that Savarkar would die that it withdrew the spies two to three days before his death.

Veer Savarkar had been a life long champion of militarisation. It would have been fitting if his mortal remains were to be carried on a gun-carriage. A request to that effect was made to the then Defence Minister, Y.B. Chavan. Chavan turned tail and refused. Noted film personality V. Shantaram made a replica of a gun-carriage in one night. Savarkar's body was fittingly kept on this 'gun-carriage'. Not a single minister from the Maharashtra Cabinet showed up at the cremation ground to pay homage to Veer Savarkar. In the Lok Sabha, communist MP, Hiren Mookerji and Jan Sangh MPs, requested the Speaker Hukam Singh that the House pay homage to Veer Savarkar. The Speaker turned down this request on the grounds that Savarkar had not been a member of the House. It is worth mentioning that the Lok Sabha had paid homage to Gandhi and Stalin, both non-members.

Neglect after Death
During the Emergency, the then Home Minister Y.B. Chavan went to the Andamans. He was asked whether he would like to visit Savarkar's cell. The man obviously was terrified of Indira Gandhi and thus feared for his chair. He refused! When Gandhian Morarji Desai went as Prime Minister to the Andamans, he too refused to visit Savarkar's cell. It is worth noting that in 1980 when Indira Gandhi went to Andamans, she made it a point to visit Savarkar's cell. "The press is with us," remarked the shrewd lady.

It is for the Hindus to consign these perverted individuals into the dustbins of history.

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