On Nehru’s death anniversary, PM Modi hails Savarkar in Mann Ki Baat address
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed prominent Hindutva proponent Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and said he was the first one to call the 1857 sepoy mutiny as the first war of Independence.Updated: May 27, 2018 21:49 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed prominent Hindutva proponent Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and said he was the first one to call the 1857 sepoy mutiny as the first war of Independence.
Modi’s comments came on the death anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Veer Savarkar boldly expostulated that whatever happened in 1857 was not a revolt but was indeed the first war of independence,” Modi said in his monthly radio programme, Mann ki Baat, on Sunday.
Savarkar was credited for coining the term “Hindutva”— a word that has assumed a new relevance in the current ideological tussle between the BJP and the opposition parties.
“It is also an amazing coincidence that the month, which witnessed the first struggle for Independence, was the one in which Veer Savarkar ji was born,” said Modi. While Modi rendered his respect to Nehru, he chose to speak at length on Savarkar.
“Savarkar ji’s personality was full of special qualities — he was a worshipper of both weapons or ‘shastra’ and knowledge or ‘shaastras’,” Modi added.
Ever since the BJP came to power in 2014, it has locked horns with the Congress over allegations that it is trying to undermine the legacy of stalwarts, especially from the Nehru-Gandhi family, in nation-building.
Modi also urged people to stop using low-grade plastic and polythene, and pointed out it is polluting the environment, wildlife and the health of the people.
“Protecting the environment and being sensitive towards nature should come naturally. The recent dust storms accompanied by rains were unseasonal. The climate pattern led to the loss of life and property. It is a result of change in weather pattern,” he said.
“Whenever we face a torrid summer, or floods, incessant rains or unbearable cold, everybody becomes an expert, analysing global warming and climate change... Being sensitive towards nature, protecting nature, should come naturally to us; these virtues should be embedded in our ‘sanskar’ (culture),” he said.
(With agency inputs)
First Published: May 27, 2018 21:47 IST