'Thousands forgotten': Veer Savarkar's grandson on 'father of the nation' row
- A row broke over on Wednesday after defence minister Rajnath Singh said that it was on Mahatma Gandhi's request that Veer Savarkar filed mercy petitions. Singh also claimed that there was a deliberate conspiracy to defame Savarkar.
Ranjit Savarkar, the grandson of freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, on Wednesday said that a country like India cannot have one father of the nation. "There are thousands who have been forgotten," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The remarks were made in response to All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi's comments, who said that that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will soon declare the RSS ideologue as "the father of the nation".
A row broke over on Wednesday after defence minister Rajnath Singh said that it was on Mahatma Gandhi's request that Veer Savarkar filed mercy petitions. Singh also claimed that there was a deliberate conspiracy to defame Savarkar.
The comments prompted immediate criticism from the opposition parties which accused him of "trying to rewrite history".
The Union minister was speaking after releasing a book on Savarkar.
Reacting to the comments, Owaisi accused the BJP of distorting the history and on Twitter, he also posted a copy of a letter from Gandhi to Savarkar's brother regarding a case, and accused the Union minister of giving a "twist" to what Gandhi wrote. He also said the first petition Savarkar wrote was in 1911, just six months after getting to prison and Gandhi was then in South Africa. Savarkar wrote again in 1913/14 and Gandhi's advice is from 1920, he added.
In a series of posts, Owaisi also said that whoever wrote the speech of Singh, "should be fired".
Meanwhile, speaking further on the issue, Ranjit Savarkar also said that the concept of 'father of the nation' is not acceptable to him. "No one is demanding that Veer Savarkar be called the 'father of the nation' because this concept itself was not acceptable," he also said.