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CPI(M) hits out at BJP over Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, accuses Cong of "mealy-mouthed attitude"

twitter-logoPTI | October 24, 2019 | Updated 19:31 IST

New Delhi, Oct 24 (PTI) The CPI(M) has attacked the BJP-RSS over the saffron party's proposal to confer Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar and also hit out at the Congress over its response to it, accusing the grand old party of "wilting" under pressure from the ruling party. The latest editorial of the party mouthpiece, People's Democracy accused the BJP-RSS of creating myths about Savarkar being a great freedom fighter and nationalist. "The BJP's election manifesto for the Maharashtra Assembly election proposed that Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the father of the Hindutva concept, be conferred the title of Bharat Ratna. This is part of the ongoing strategy of the BJP-RSS combine to legitimise the Hindutva ideology and to create icons out of rabid communal figures such as Savarkar," it said. It pointed out that it was necessary to debunk this myth-making and expose the designs of the Hindutva forces. Highlighting Savarkar's petitions for clemency to the British authorities, the editorial claimed that this was a display of "cowardice" which "stood in stark contrast to the sacrifices made by hundreds of other freedom fighters" lodged in the Andaman jail which included later-to-be Communist leaders like Ganesh Ghosh, Satish Pakrashi, Harekrishna Konar and Subodh Roy. "None of them could even dream of pleading for mercy and abandoning the struggle...To project Savarkar as a great freedom fighter, when actually he surrendered to the British and spent rest of his life in fomenting Hindu-Muslim discord, is to say the least, a travesty of truth," it said. The editorial has also hit out at the Congress and accused it of "wilting under this offensive". Commenting on former prime minister Manmohan Singh's statement that "we are not against Savarkarji, but we are not in favour of the Hindutva ideology", the editorial called the response "weak". It further said that comments made by the Congess' official spokesman Abhishek Singhvi calling Savarkar "an accomplished man who played a part in the freedom struggle" and "went to jail for the country" -- was a "mealy-mouthed attitude" to a communal ideologue which will embolden the Hindutva forces to further conquer the secular-nationalist space. "It would be a gratuitous insult to the memory of Gandhiji and our freedom fighters to honour Savarkar with a Bharat Ratna," it said. PTI ASG AAR

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