New Delhi: The national memorial and museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi has released a special edition of its monthly magazine dedicated to Hindutva Vinayak leader Damodar Savarkar, drawing criticism from opposition leaders.
According The Hinduthe June issue of the Hindi language magazine of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS), Antim Jan, features Savarkar on the cover. The issue includes reprinted articles from the works of Gandhi on religious tolerance, Savarkar on Hindutva and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Savarkar.
The magazine excerpted part of Savarkar’s book Hindutva for an article with the same title, reports the newspaper.
In the views section, there is the magazine editor, Praveen Dutt Sharma’s article “Gandhi ka Gussa” (by Gandhi anger).
The June issue of Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti’s magazine Antim Jan features #Savarkar on the cover and reprinted articles from the works of Gandhi on religious tolerance, Savarkar on Hindutva and the late Prime Minister Vajpayee on Savarkar | @DaminiNath @jigeesham https://t.co/hmqijDskjz
— The Hindu (@the_hindu) July 16, 2022
It also includes articles by other writers such as “Mahatma Gandhi Hatya Abhiyog” (The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi vsbase) by Dr. Shreerang Godbole; “Gandhi Evam Savarkar ka sambandh” (Relation between Gandhi and Savarkar) by Dr. Major Madhusudan Cherekar; “Veer Savarkar ka Etihasik Nyay Kab” (The Historical Justice of Savarkar) by Umesh Chaturvedi, among others.
GSDS Vice President Vijay Goel said The Hindu on Friday, June 15, that the theme of the magazine was dedicated to Savarkar since his birthday was May 28. “Veer Savarkar was a great man. Gandhi too, Patel too. We must learn from their sacrifice. No one else spent as much time behind bars as Savarkar during British rule.
Asked about the controversy surrounding Savarkar’s pleas for a pardon from the British while he was in prison, Goel said the issue was always raised by “those who have not sacrificed at all”.
Goel’s essay on Savarkar titled “Mahaan Deshbhakt Veer Savarkar (Patriot Veer Savarkar)” was also included in the June issue of the magazine.
Reacting to the magazine’s theme, Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and author of Kill Gandhi! : a chronicle of his last days, the plot, the murder, the investigation, the trials and the Kapur commission told the daily that it was a “parody”.
“This is going to happen more and more with this administration that controls Gandhian institutions. This is where the danger exists of political ideology dominating Gandhi’s ideology. We protested against this. It also shows their desperation to equate Savarkar with Gandhi. This shows how frivolous and fragile their belief about Savarkar is. This is all a very planned strategy of corrupting Gandhian ideology and creating a new narrative that suits the current regime,” Gandhi said.
The GSDS is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Samiti oversees Gandhi Smriti – where Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 and converted into a museum dedicated to him. He also oversees the Gandhi Darshan, which is the memorial of Rajghat.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, told the daily that the Union government was trying to overthrow the institution of Gandhi Smriti as it was doing with other institutions. “Savarkar is adored. This is the RSS agenda. But history says a lot about Savarkar’s position towards British imperialism. The history of the country is distorted to satisfy the current government. It’s very unfortunate.
Author and journalist Dhirendra K. Jha, who last year published a book titled Gandhi’s assassin: the creation of Nathuram Godse and his idea of Indiasaid Savarkar was a defendant in Gandhi’s assassination, although he was released because the charges against him were unsubstantiated.
“But at this time, the conspiracy angle of Gandhi’s murder has not been properly investigated. The Kapur Board of Inquiry to investigate the conspiracy behind Gandhi’s murder has in place much later in 1966. The commission made it clear that Savarkar and a group of people under his command were planning to kill Gandhi. Savarkar,” Jha told the newspaper.