NEW DELHI: The Congress has reached out Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena to ensure the Savarkar controversy does not strain their ties while making it clear that it won't tone down its ideological stand as the historical facts cannot be changed for political convenience.
Congress communication chief and AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh made the Congress position clear at a press conference at Shegaon in Maharashtra on Friday after a lengthy talk with Sena leader Sanjay Raut earlier in the day. He claimed Sanjay Raut told him that they agree to disagree and the differences on this issue will not disturb the coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).
Senior Congress leaders feel RaGa should have consulted them
Many senior Congress leaders felt Rahul Gandhi should not have brought up the controversy over Savarkar while in the Maharashtra soil in his Bharat Jodo Yatra as he should have at least consulted them.
Jairam said: "Godse was influenced by Savarkar. Though Savarkar might not have pulled the trigger that killed Gandhi, but there was an ideology behind the killing of Mahatma Gandhi which Savarkar subscribed to." He said Nathuram Gode was a known disciple of ideologue Savarkar and the two faced trial together in the Gandhi assassination case.
Jairam said it is a historical fact that Savarkar had given a mercy petition to the Britishers. "Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was sent to jail fur six years, but he did not give a mercy petition. Rahulji said freedom fighter and tribal hero Birsa Munda sacrificed his life and didn't compromise with the British unlike deplorable act of mercy sought by Savarkar from the British, betraying India's freedom fighters. Also, no denial that Savarkar and Jinnah were fathers of the two-nation theory."
The Congress leader said: "There are different perspectives on Savarkar and the debate will go on. Unlike the BJP, the Congress doesn't believe in rewriting history. If there is a historical evidence, we can't distort it. We don't reinvent history. We can engage with somebody on the historical legacy of Savarkar, in a scholarly manner."