Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel (File photo)
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel (File photo)

C'garh CM against conferring Bharat Ratna on Savarkar, says he was 'revolutionary' only till 1911

ANI | Updated: Oct 26, 2019 22:31 IST

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], Oct 26 (ANI): Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was a 'revolutionary' but only till he submitted his mercy plea to the British government for his release from the jail in 1911, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said on Saturday.
Opposing the proposal to confer Bharat Ratna award on Savarkar, Chief Minister Baghel at a press conference here said that Savarkar floated the idea of two-nation theory based on religion, which ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan.
"Till 1911, Savarkar was a revolutionary. That is why he was arrested and sentenced to jail. Hundreds of Indians were put in Andaman and Nicobar jail. How many of them asked for pardon? It was Savarkar who did it," said Baghel.
Putting a question mark on the contribution of Savarkar after his release from the jail to the nation, he asked: "From his release till 1947, what was his role?"
The Chief Minister said that Savarkar should not be conferred with the country's highest civilian award as he had petitioned for pardon before the British government.
He said: "In 1925, he proposed the two-nation theory. Those who keep crying over Pakistan, why don't they see this? How can a person who asked for pardon and consolidated divide and rule policy of Britishers be honoured with Bharat Ratna award?"
Baghel's comments come after several senior BJP leaders pushed for the Bharat Ratan award for Savarkar, who was an accused in Mahatma Gandhi murder case.
In its manifesto for Maharashtra Assembly elections, the BJP had promised to confer the Bharat Ratna award on Savarkar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, during an election rally, hailed the Hindutva ideologue, saying that it was his values that nationalism has been put at the core of nation-building.
Home Minister Amit Shah last week credited Savarkar by calling the 1857 rebellion as the "First War of Indian Independence."
"Had it not been for Veer Savarkar, the rebellion of 1857 would not have become history. We would have seen it from the point of view of the British. Veer Savarkar was the one who named the 1857 rebellion as the first independence struggle," Shah had said. (ANI)