Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, a revolutionary with a controversial heritage, has become the Sangh Parivar’s latest tool to invoke Hindutva in poll-linked Karnataka.
Right-wing influencers on social media posted posts praising Savarkar’s contributions to the freedom movement.
Savarkar often returns to neighboring Maharashtra, where he enjoys patronage within the Shiv Sena.
Here, BJP officials believe the Savarkar-centric narrative would help shore up Hindu votes in the face of opposition leader Siddaramaiah’s attacks on the BJP-RSS. The plot seems simple: the more Siddaramaiah opposes Savarkar, the more anti-Hindu he becomes.
Read | The vested interests that tarnish Savarkar’s image: Yediyurappa
“The plan is mainly to paint Siddaramaiah as anti-Hindu,” said political analyst A Narayana of Azim Premji University. “Using Savarkar as a freedom fighter will not directly help the BJP politically. If only Siddaramaiah and PFI oppose Savarkar, that will be an advantage,” he said.
Take Revenue Minister R Ashoka’s statement on Tuesday for example.
“Glorifying Tipu Sultan and insulting Savarkar…Hindus will never accept this,” Ashoka said.
“Siddaramaiah repeatedly insults Savarkar. If Savarkar was pro-British, why was he subjected to Kaala Pani? How many Congress leaders have suffered Kaala Pani? »
BJP Yuva Morcha had planned a bicycle rally on Savarkar to counter the Congress protest march in Kodagu, which has now been called off.
“We revere Savarkar and other revolutionaries. But, we haven’t started the problem. It was the Congress,” BJP President Yuva Morcha Dr. Sandeep Kumar said.
“After Savarkar’s flex was removed (in Shivamogga), Siddaramaiah asked why his photo should be there in a Muslim area. This is where we started,” Kumar said.
The BJP has enough reason to target Siddaramaiah. Apparently, the BJP was shaken when Siddaramaiah managed to attract thousands of people for his August 3 birthday party in Davangere. Also, the BJP’s plan for a long time has been to weaken Siddaramaiah in order to smash its attempts to consolidate the Ahinda (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits).
But Congress wants to stick to the “facts” about Savarkar. “The problem with the BJP is that they come from WhatsApp University,” Karnataka Congress communications chief Priyank Kharge said.
“Two Nations Theory”
“No one denies that Savarkar went to jail. That he wrote pleas for clemency, that he opposed Quit India, that he pushed people to fight Bose’s army, that he came up with the two-nation theory and that he influenced Godse to kill Gandhi are facts,” he said.