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  Metros   Mumbai  18 Oct 2019  Congress not opposed to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar: Manmohan Singh

Congress not opposed to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar: Manmohan Singh

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 18, 2019, 1:02 am IST
Updated : Oct 18, 2019, 2:46 am IST

In its recently released manifesto, the BJP promised to award the Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, and social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Photo: ANI)
 Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Photo: ANI)

Mumbai: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the Congress had never been against controversial Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar but was only opposed to his ideology.

To buttress his claim, Mr Singh recalled that then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had published a postal stamp commemorating Savarkar. “We are not in favo-ur of the Hindutva ideology that Savarkar-ji patronised and stood for,” Mr Singh said.

 

Mr Singh, who was attending a seminar on the Indian economy in the city, also hit back at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the issue of nationalism. “No other political party is as patriotic as the Congress. Ther-efore, no one should teach patriotism to the Con-gress,” he said.

In its recently released manifesto, the BJP prom-ised to award the Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, and social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.

Congress MP Manish Tiwari had recently voic-ed his opposition to the promise and had taunted the BJP to give the highest civilian award to Mah-atma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse too.

Commenting on Mr Tiwari’s comment, Mr Singh said, “A committee should be set up which will suggest the names for Bharat Ratna”.

 

Savarkar, an Indian independence activist, lawyer and writer, is considered to be an inspiration of several BJP leaders, including party president Amit Shah.  

Convicted for waging a conspiracy against the king, Savarkar was sentenced to 50-year imprisonment in 1911. However, he served ten years of his sentence before being released after signing a plea for clemency. In 1948, he was charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Gandhi but was acquitted by the court for lack of evidence.

While commenting on the abrogation of Article 370, Mr Singh said that his party never opposed the abrogation but only the procedure to remove the provision from the Constitution.

 

Mr Singh, while saying that the Congress does not need a certificate of patriotism from anyone, pointed out that it voted in favour of the abrogation of Article 370, but opposed the high-handed way in which it was done.

Earning the goodwill of the people of Jammu & Kashmir was necessary before such a move, he said. “Congress voted in favour of the move (the abrogation) in Parlia-ment, not against it. Cong-ress feels that Article 370 is a temporary measure, but if a change is to be brought, it has to be with the goodwill of the people of J&K,” he said.

Mr Singh’s comments came at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP have been attacking the Congr-ess on Article 370 during the campaign for the Assembly polls.

 

Tags: article 370, manmohan singh