Gandhiji had replied in a letter to Veer Savarkar’s brother that he could do little in this regard.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said in a program that Veer Savarkar had filed a mercy petition before the British at the behest of Mahatma Gandhi. A certain section deliberately spread lies and confusion about Savarkar.
Rajnath Singh said in the presence of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the launch program of Uday Mahurkar and Chirayu Pandit’s book ‘Veer Savarkar: Who Could Have Prevented Partition’ at Ambedkar International Center in Delhi on October 12 that ’till the lion does not own history. Till then the tales of hunters will continue to be sung.’
This statement of Rajnath Singh has sparked a debate on social media. A section seems to be disagreeing on linking Gandhi’s name with Savarkar. Senior journalist Ashutosh wrote, ‘Gandhi’s support is needed for the upliftment of Savarkar.’ AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said, ‘These people are presenting history by breaking it. One day these people will remove Mahatma Gandhi from the status of Father of the Nation and give this status to Savarkar.
Congress leader Dr. Ragini Nayak wrote, ‘Even to purify Savarkar, Rajnath ji has to take the support of Gandhi. According to them, Savarkar wrote an apology at the behest of Gandhi….
Veer Savarkar’s brother had sought help from Gandhiji: Well-known author Vikram Sampath has described this story in detail in his book ‘Savarkar: Goonj of a forgotten past’. In the first volume of the book published by Penguin, he has mentioned all the letters of Veer Savarkar’s brother Narayan Rao Savarkar, which he wrote to Mahatma Gandhi. Vikram Sampath writes that among the letters to Mahatma Gandhi, Narayan Rao, in his first letter dated 18 January 1920, sought advice and help from him (Gandhiji) regarding securing the release of his brothers under royal pardon.
What did Narayan Rao write? Veer Savarkar’s brother Narayan Rao wrote to Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Yesterday (January 17) I received information from the government that the names of the Savarkar brothers were not among those released. It is clear that the government is not releasing them. Please tell me what should I do in such a case? He has already served 10 years rigorous imprisonment in Andaman. His health is also deteriorating. What can you do in this matter, hopefully will let you know….
What was Gandhi’s answer?: Sampath writes that a week later, that is, on January 25, 1920, Gandhiji replied, which was as expected. Gandhiji replied that he could do little in this regard. The meaning of what he wrote in the reply letter was like this, ‘Dear Dr. Savarkar, I have received your letter. You are finding it difficult to advise, yet I am of the opinion that you should prepare a short petition stating the facts of the case that the crime committed by your brothers was purely political.’
Gandhiji further wrote in this letter, ‘As I told you in a previous letter, I am taking up this matter at my level also.’ According to Sampath, Mahatma Gandhi had also raised his voice for his release by writing an article in Young India on 26 May 1920 titled ‘Savarkar brothers’.
(Sangh chief said – anti-Hindu can now target Vivekananda, Rajnath claims – Savarkar had filed mercy petition at the behest of Gandhi)