Painful that some people are raising questions over Savarkar's life: Amit Shah
Amit Shah's comments come amid a controversy triggered by defence minister Rajnath Singh's comment that Mahatma Gandhi asked Veer Savarkar to file a mercy plea with the British.
Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday said it is painful to see that some people are raising questions over Veer Savarkar's life. Savarkar was bestowed on the title 'Veer' by no government, people added 'veer' to his name to acknowledge his courage and patriotism, the Union minister said as he addressed at the iconic Cellular Jain in Port Blair. His comments come amid a controversy triggered by defence minister Rajnath Singh's comment that Mahatma Gandhi asked Veer Savarkar to file a mercy plea with the British.
On the first day of his visit to the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Amit Shah visited the National Memorial Cellular Jail and laid a wreath at the Martyr's Column. As part of the Centre's 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations, Amit Shah paid floral tributes at the cellular jail. He also visited the cell of Savarkar.
Remembering Veer Savarkar's contribution to the freedom movement, Amit Shah said the man who was sentenced to two life terms of imprisonment is now being questioned for his patriotism.
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"No one can take away the 'veer' from his name as no government gave that. Savarkar was a learned person. He knew many languages, was a great speaker, writer. His cell in Cellular jail is a pilgrimage site, inspiration for India's youth," Amit Shah said.
"There cannot be a greater pilgrimage than this cellular jail. This place is a 'mahatirth' where Savarkar experienced inhuman torture for 10 years but did not lose his courage, his bravery," Shah said.
Releasing a book on Veer Savarkar on Tuesday, Rajnath Singh said, “Time and again, it was said that he filed mercy petitions before the British government seeking his release from jail...The truth is, he didn't file mercy petitions to get himself released. It is a regular practice for a [jailed] person to file mercy petitions. It was Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to file mercy petitions.”
The comment drew flak as politicians and historians termed thedefence minister's comment as an attempt to rewrite history. Posting the copy of the letter that Gandhiji wrote to Savarkar's brother on January 25, 1920, leaders pointed out that Savarkar wrote the first petition in 1911 and the second in 1913-14.