‘We agree to disagree’: Jairam Ramesh on Savarkar row with Shiv Sena
Gandhi sparked controversy during the Bharat Jodo Yatra after he commented that Savarkar was loyal to the Britishers and he had helped them
The differences between the Congress and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena over late Hindu Mahasabha leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar continued to brew as Congress general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh on Friday said the parties “agree to disagree” over the issue.
In a press briefing held on Friday, Ramesh countered claims that the continuing disagreement between the parties would weaken the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra. He said he spoke to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who refuted the impression that “it will weaken the MVA alliance” in Maharashtra.
“These are matters of history, and this is about historical personalities. There are differences in perspectives in opinions. This morning, I spoke to Sanjay Raut, and we agreed to disagree. He refuted the impression given that this issue will weaken the Maha Vikas Agadi,” Ramesh said.
His remarks come after Raut asserted that Rahul Gandhi’s statements about Savarkar would lead to ‘cracks’ within the MVA. “The MVA would not collapse. It would certainly cause bitterness..this would lead to cracks in our alliance which is not a good sign,” Raut said.
Gandhi sparked controversy during the Bharat Jodo Yatra after he commented that Savarkar was loyal to the Britishers and he had helped them.
Addressing a press conference in the Washim district of Maharashtra on Thursday, Gandhi said, “Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to the British as a symbol of his loyalty to them. For the BJP and RSS, Savarkar Ji, who wrote mercy petitions to the British, is their idol.”
Reacting to Gandhi’s comment, Uddhav Thackeray said on Thursday that his party has immense respect for V D Savarkar and he does not approve of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks. “We don’t agree with what Rahul Gandhi has said. We respect Veer Savarkar,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said.
Ramesh asserted that Congress places importance on discussing and debating historical matters rather than rewriting them. “Our party has a different view and different perspective and we should debate and discuss. The Congress, unlike the BJP, does not believe in whitewashing or reinventing history. We don’t rewrite history, we don’t reinvent history,” he said.
The Karnataka MP went on to lobby criticisms against Savarkar, stating that the Hindu Mahasabha leader introduced the two-nation theory, which led to the division of pre-Independent India.
“There are certain facts that nobody can deny. Jinnah and Savarkar introduced the two-nation theory and not the Congress party. This is a fact of history which cannot be denied,” said Ramesh.
Further taking a jibe at the RSS, Ramesh said the right-wing organization had opposed the 1942 Quit India movement, terming it as an undeniable historical fact.