Veer Sarvakar plaque reinstated in Andamans

Port Blair: Today, a plaque commemorating the stay of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar will be reinstalled at the freedom fighters’ memorial at Andaman and Nicobar Island’s famous Cellular Jail, where the Hindu Mahasabha leader was imprisoned by the British. July 4 was the day Savarkar was jailed by the British during the freedom movement. 2015 is also the 50th anniversary of his death in 1966.

The plaque, near the Swatantra Jyot (eternal flame) in the jail premises, was installed by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government during the first NDA regime and removed in 2004 by the then petroleum minister and Congress leader, Mani Shankar Aiyar – a move that had triggered a huge uproar in Parliament and outside.

After Modi came to power last year, Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale had raised the issue in Parliament and demanded the reinstatement of the plaque.

Shewale said that the removal of the plaque had “insulted” the nation. “The controversy over Savarkar is unfortunate. The Congress did not recognise his contribution towards our freedom struggle, but now the NDA government is getting it done. Both Sena and BJP follow his ideology and we are happy about it,” he said.

Savarkar is credited with coining the term Hindutva, now associated with the BJP and its affiliates. Savarkar was also named in the conspiracy to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi. The airport in Port Blair is also named after him.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born on May 28, 1883 and died on February 26, 1966. Savarkar coined the term Hindutva, and emphasised its distinctiveness from Hinduism.

Savarkar began his revolutionary work while studying in India and England, where he was associated with the India House and founded student societies, including the Abhinav Bharat Society and the Free India Society.

He was arrested in 1910 and was lodged in the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

A fierce critic of the Indian National Congress and its timid acceptance of Partition, Savarkar was one of those accused in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but was acquitted in the case.

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Posted by on June 4, 2015. Filed under Andamans,Breaking News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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