While the Congress leadership has time-and-again critiqued Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar , its ally in Maharashtra Government and president of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar on Sunday praised Savarkar saying no doubts can be raised over his contribution to India’s freedom struggle and the Marathi literary world.
“Swatantryaveer Savarkar’s contribution in the freedom struggle is above all discussion. His writing in Marathi is immortal which no one can afford to bypass. Swatantryaveer’s personality was versatile,” said Mr Pawar in his speech on Sunday at the All India Marathi Literary meet at Nasik in north Maharashtra. Bhagur in Nasik is the birthplace of Savarkar.
The NCP chief’s comments come on the background of objection raised by opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which claimed that Savarkar’s name was omitted by the organisers of the literary meet. There were demands that the pandal where the meet was being held should be named after Savarkar, but instead the name of Dyanpeeth award winner Marathi poet V V Shirwadkar’s was given. Senior NCP leader and Minister Chhagan Bhujbal had come under attack for the same from former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Mr. Pawar highlighted Savarkar’s scientific temperament for which he was known, referring to the speech of meet’s president and veteran scientist Dr Jayant Narlikar. Mr Narlikar in his speech on the inaugural day had stressed on the need to incorporate scientific values and temperament in Marathi literature.
“In that context, I am recall the writings of Savarkar. He was scientific in his approach. His scientific approach can be seen in some of his controversial statements. He said cow is an useful animal. Use it till the usability lasts and when that gets over take benefits from different means. There are many other instances. He built a temple at Ratnagiri and kept a Dalit man for puja. This is because he was full of scientific temper,” said Mr Pawar, adding that Marathi people cannot oppose Savarkar’s name.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Monday reiterated its demand to award Bharat Ratna to Savarkar saying the BJP has forgotten about it.