AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has lashed out at BJP leader and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over his comment that "on Mahatma Gandhi's request, Veer Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to the British". Owaisi said that the BJP will soon declare Savarkar as 'the father of the nation'.
"They (BJP) are presenting distorted history. If this continues, they will remove Mahatma Gandhi and make Savarkar, who was accused of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi and was pronounced complicit in the inquiry of Justice Jeevan Lal Kapur, as the father of the nation," Owaisi told news agency ANI.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rajnath had lauded Veer Savarkar as a staunch nationalist and India's first military strategist in the 20th century. He had said that it was on Mahatma Gandhi's request that Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to the British and people from the Marxist and Leninist ideology wrongly accuse him as a fascist. He described Savarkar as a "national icon" at an event to release a book on him and said he gave the country a "robust defence and diplomatic doctrine".
"He was an icon of Indian history and will remain so. There can be a difference of opinion about him, but to look down on him as inferior is not appropriate and justifiable. He was a freedom fighter and a staunch nationalist, but people who follow the Marxist and Leninist ideology are the ones who accuse Savarkar of being a fascist," Singh said, adding that the hatred towards Savarkar is illogical and unplaced.
Singh added that Savarkar's commitment to freedom was so strong that the British sentenced him to life imprisonment twice.