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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

‘Not in favour of Savarkar’s Hindutva ideology’, says Manmohan Singh

The BJP’s election manifesto in Maharashtra promising the Bharat Ratna for Hindutva ideologue Veer Sararkar has sparked a major debate in the country,

india Updated: Oct 17, 2019 21:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Former Prime  Minister  Manmohan Singh said the Congress was against  Savarkar’s Hindutva ideology.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Congress was against Savarkar’s Hindutva ideology.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
         

Amid the row triggered by the BJP’s election manifesto in Maharashtra promising the Bharat Ratna for Veer Sararkar, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday the Congress was not against Savarkar but against the Hindutva ideology that he propagated.

“We are not against Savarkar ji but the question is, we’re not in favour of the Hindutva ideology that Savarkar ji patronised and stood for,” ANI quoted him as saying in Mumbai.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant had earlier dismissed the BJP’s promise of Bharat Ratna to Savarkar as a populist prepoll sop and asked why the saffron party did not make the promise during the Lok Sabha elections.

Watch: Amit Shah & Manmohan Singh speak on Savarkar amid Bharat Ratna row

On Thursday, Union home minister Amit Shah in a speech in Varanasi called for rewriting history from the Indian point of view and credited Savarkar for recognising the 1857 mutiny as India’s first freedom struggle as opposed to the “British” view.

“Had it not been for Veer Savarkar, the 1857 revolt would not have become history and we would have been seeing it from the British point of view,” Shah said.

At an election rally in Akola on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Hindutva ideologue Savarkar and said he inspired “nationalism which is the core of nation-building.

In its manifesto for the Maharashtra elections, released on Tuesday, the BJP promised that its government would recommend the names of Savarkar and social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule for India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna.