Other States

Congress wants Savarkar’s portrait in U.P. Legislative Council removed

A Congress MLC in Uttar Pradesh has demanded that the portrait of Hindu Mahasabha leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar be removed from the picture gallery of the State Legislative Council saying that the installation of his frame next to those of freedom fighters amounted to an “insult” to them.

Savarkar, within months of being jailed, had written a letter of apology to the British and offered to express loyalty towards them in exchange for his release, Mr. Singh wrote in a letter to the chairperson of the council on Tuesday. The MLC is the leader of the Congress party in the Legislative Council.

In contrast, he said, the freedom fighters and other icons fought with full loyalty, putting their lives at stake and faced torture, till the country got independence.

Mr. Singh appealed to the chairperson that Savarkar’s photo be removed from the main gallery and be shifted to the BJP’s parliamentary office inside the Assembly. “So that the sentiments of great freedom fighters and crores of people of Uttar Pradesh can be saved from getting hurt,” he wrote.

The chairperson of the council had directed the Principal Secretary to provide a report on the matter, Mr. Singh said.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the chairperson of the council inaugurated the picture gallery as part of the beautification of the council. Mr. Adityanath, at the function, had said Savarkar’s personality was significant for every Indian. “Along with being a freedom fighter in the independence movement, Savarkarji was also a big philosopher, writer and poet,” a government statement quoted Mr. Adityanath as saying.

Talking to an agency on Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh said it was a misfortune of the Congress and its leaders that they didn’t know history. “They want to keep history confined to the family. History is very vast,” Mr. Singh said.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 5:33:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/savarkars-portrait-in-up-legislative-council-gallery-sparks-row/article33616469.ece

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