The government won’t back the idea of a statue of V D Savarkar in Marseilles, France, even as the BJP pitches for a memorial to mark 100 years of the Hindutva icon’s escape from a British ship near the French port.
“We’re not keen on pursuing this project. It’s a sensitive issue. Even Marseilles authorities are doing a rethink after reading his complete history,” said an External Affairs Ministry source.
The plan was floated by Hindutva organisations in 2000 and the mayor of Marseilles had agreed to a half-bust. Some BJP MPs had raised the issue with External Affairs Minister S M Krisha and in Parliament.
“We haven’t heard anything from the MEA of late,” BJP’s Prakash Javadekar said.
In 2004, a Savarkar plaque was removed from Port Blair’s Cellular Jail. It had been set up by the Indian Oil Foundation, headed by the then oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, who’d said Savarkar’s “credentials” were suspect due to his alleged involvement in the Mahatma’s death.