Leader of Opposition in Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia. File photo: Northeast Now

Condemning the move to confer Bharat Ratna on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Congress in Assam has said that the day is not be far when the ruling dispensation will nominate Nathuram Godse for the Bharat Ratna.

Leader of the Opposition in Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia said this on Thursday.

He said that the attempts to negate historical realities and is a flagrant misuse of the mandate given to the BJP by the people of India in the pursuit of the mirage called ‘development’.

The BJP has announced in its manifesto for the Maharashtra Assembly elections that the party is going to nominate Vinayak Damodar Savarkar for the Bharat Ratna.

“This decision is tantamount to an attempt to negate historical realities. Nomination of Savarkar’s name for Bharat Ratna is an insult to the hallowed memory of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.

“Savarkar started off as an opponent of the British Raj and participated in anti-British activities. However, it is a well-documented fact that Savarkar’s true colours emerged once he was sentenced to 50 years in prison and incarcerated in the Cellular Jail in Andaman,” Saikia said.

“Savarkar submitted several mercy petitions to the British authorities till his release in 1924 where in he even begged for clemency and even promised to serve as a loyal minion of the British if pardoned,” Saikia said.

“The most notable aspect is that not only did Savarkar promise to abstain from anti-British activities if released from prison, but he actually kept his promise by not cooperating in the freedom struggle, including the Quit India movement,” he said.

“Savarkar was also accused as a co-conspirator in the Mahatma Gandhi murder case. Although he was acquitted due to lack of sufficient evidence, yet no less a person than Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was convinced that Savarkar was guilty.

“In a letter written to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in February, 1948, Sardar Patel had stated: ‘It was a fanatical wing of the Hindu Mahasabha directly under Savarkar hatched the conspiracy and saw it through’,” Saikia said.

He said that the Kapur Commission, which later probed the genesis of the conspiracy to kill Mahatma Gandhi, indicated its report in 1969 that “Savarkar and his group” was behind the murder.

“It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs engineered by the BJP in India today that a votary of hatred like Savarkar is being considered for posthumous award of our country’s highest civilian honour,” he added.

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