"Mahatma Gandhi suggests Savarkar to seek mercy petition before British": Rajnath Singh

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"Mahatma Gandhi suggests Savarkar to seek mercy petition before British": Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: Terming Veer Savarkar as India’s first military strategist in the 20th century, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that it was on Mahatma Gandhi’s request, Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to the British.

Hailing Veer Savarkar as staunch nationalist and fought against British rule, Mr. Singh stated that only Marxist and Leninist ideology wrongly painted him as a fascist. Mr. Singh described Savarkar as national icon and he gave the country a robust defence and diplomatic doctrine, Mr.Singh said at an event to release book on him.

Describing Savarkar as freedom fighter, because of his military fight against British rule, he was sentenced for life twice. Marxist and Leninist ideology accused him as fascist, hatred towards Savarkar is illogical and unplaced, Mr. Singh remarked.

“Lies were spread about Savarkar regarding his repeated filing of mercy petition for release from jail. But it was Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to file mercy petition”, the Defence minister said.

Savarkar was advocated that India's relations with other countries should depend on how conducive those ties are to India's security and its interests, irrespective of the kind of government in those countries, Mr. Singh recalled.

Discussing Savarkar's concept of Hindutva, he said the word "Hindu" for him was not associated with any religion and it was linked to India's geographical and political identity. For Savarkar, Hindutva was associated with cultural nationalism, Singh added.