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Mahatma Gandhi asked Savarkar to write mercy petitions to British: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday (October 12) said Veer Savarkar wrote mercy petitions when he was lodged in Andaman jail on the suggestion of Mahatma Gandhi.

Attending the launch of a book on Savarkar, Singh as quoted by ANI said, “Lies were spread about Savarkar. Time and again, it was said that he filed mercy petitions before British government seeking his release from jail… It was Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to file mercy petitions.”

Calling Savarkar a “national icon”, the defence minister alleged that people who adhere to “Marxist and Leninist ideology wrongly accuse him as a fascist”.

“He was an icon of the Indian history and will remain so. There can be a difference of opinion about him, but to look down on him as inferior is not appropriate and justifiable. He was a freedom fighter and a staunch nationalist, but people who follow the Marxist and Leninist ideology are the ones who accuse Savarkar of being a fascist,” PTI quoted Singh as saying.

Lauding Savarkar, the veteran BJP leader said, “Savarkar was India’s first military strategic affairs expert in the 20th century, who gave the country a robust defence and diplomatic doctrine.”

Singh said for Savarkar “Hindu” was not associated with any religion, but it was linked to India’s geographical and political identity. “For Savarkar, an ideal state was the one where its citizens were not differentiated on the basis of their culture and religion and therefore, there is a need to deeply understand his Hindutva,” he added.

Meanwhile, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said Savarkar’s ideology of Hindutva never suggested to differentiate between people on the basis of their culture and methodology of worshipping the god.

“Savarkar used to say, why do we differentiate? We are the sons of the same motherland, we are brothers. The different methodologies of worship have been the tradition of our country. We have been fighting for the country together,” he said.