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Amit Shah Pushes for Bharat Ratna for Savarkar, Says Those Opposing Move ‘Playing with Nation’s Sentiments’

In its manifesto for Maharashtra polls, the BJP has promised to confer country's highest civilian award on Veer Savarakar.


Updated:October 17, 2019, 1:49 PM IST
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Amit Shah Pushes for Bharat Ratna for Savarkar, Says Those Opposing Move ‘Playing with Nation’s Sentiments’
Amit Shah speaks to News18 Network’s Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi.

New Delhi: Union Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah has said that those opposing bestowing of Bharat Ratna upon Veer Savarkar are “playing with nation’s sentiments” and are “committing a sin”.

Speaking to Network 18 Editor in Chief Rahul Joshi in an exclusive interview, Shah said, “People who are arguing with the legacy of Savarkar are playing with the sentiments of the country. They are committing the sin of not letting people take inspiration from Savarkar.”

In its manifesto for Maharashtra polls, the BJP has promised to confer nation’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, on the Hindutva icon. Savarakar was charge-sheeted in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination case but was later acquitted. Congress leader Manish Tiwari, in a tweet earlier this week, had questioned the saffron party’s move.

Making a reference to Savarkar’s alleged torture in jail after the arrest, Shah said, “There are very few people like Savarkar who are patriots and very few families like Savarkar’s who make sacrifices for the nation. There is no other person in this country who was tortured in jail and forced to extract coconut oil from coir,” the Home Minister said.

“There is no other family in the country in which two brothers stayed in jail for 12 years and did not see each other for that long a duration. There is no other family in the country whose wealth was snatched by the British multiple times,” he added.

Incarcerated by the British during the freedom movement, Savarker spend more than a decade in isolated confinement in the Andaman Island. Some also see Savarkar as a polarising figure for having defined Hindutva as a political ideology, which later took roots in the form of Hindu nationalism in independent India.

Shah believes that Savarkar’s legacy is deserving of the prestigious honour, though he would keep the rules in mind before taking a decision on the issue.

About the concept of a Hindu Rashtra, Shah said the term has be to be properly defined. “Everyone imagines a Hindu Rashtra in different ways. India should work according to its Constitution and it is doing just that.”

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