Statement on Savarkar’s Portrait In Parliament!

It is reported that Savarkar's portrait is to be unveiled in Parliament on February 26. This disgaceful act denigrates the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, the most revered leader of our national movement, in whose murder the protagonist of Hindutava was deeply implicated. The following objections  to the installation of the portrait should also be noted.

1. Savarkar’s chief claim to national recognition is based on his earlier record  which led to his incarceration in the Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Andaman Islands. However, from jail he addressed mercy petitions to the British Raj. His mercy petition dated November 14, 1913 is published in R.C. Majumdar’s book  Penal Settlement In Andamans. In his mercy petition Savarkar wrote: which in the excited and hopeless situation of India in 1906-1907 beguiled us from the path of peace and progress. Therefore if the government in their manifold beneficence and mercy “Now no man having the good of India and humanity at heart  will blindly step on the thorny paths release me  I for one cannot but be the staunchest  advocate of  constitutional progress  and loyalty to
the English government which is the foremost condition of that progress.”


In accordance with this undertaking Savarkar never thereafter took part in the freedom movement.

2. On August 15, 1943 Savarkar declared: “I have no quarrel with Mr Jinnah’s two-nation theory. We Hindus are a nation by ourselves and it is a historical fact that Hindus and Muslims are two nations.” (Indian Annual Register, 1943, Vol II, p.10)

3. Finally, Savarkar was implicated in the Gandhi murder case. Although legal responsibility was apparently  not proved according to the evidentiary process, his political responsibility  was widely acknowledged. That is why even during the murder investigation Savarkar pleaded illness and gave, as was his wont, an undertaking.  This is not widely known.He said : “Consequently in order to disarm all suspicion and to back up heart representation I wish to express my willingness to give an undertaking to the government that I shall refrain from taking part in any communal or political activity  for any period the Government may require in case I am released  on that condition.” (Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi By K.L. Gauba, page 209).