On Wednesday, UP MSME Minister Sidharth Nath Singh lashed out at Congress for its opposition to the portrait of freedom fighter Veer Savarkar in the Legislative Council Gallery. In a letter addressed to Legislative Council Chairman Ramesh Yadav, SP MLC Deepak Singh opined that the installation of this portrait is an "insult" to all those who withstood the atrocities of the British and kept fighting for independence. He was referring to Savarkar’s alleged apology to the British seeking an early release from the Andaman jail.
Moreover, Congress MLC sought the shifting of Savarkar's portrait to the BJP parliamentary office. Observing that Congress leaders were not aware of history, the UP Minister stressed that Savarkar's valour was indisputable. Recalling that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had also praised him, Sidharth Nath Singh urged Congress to stop insulting patriots. While unveiling the portrait on Tuesday, UP CM Yogi Adityanath termed Savarkar as a great freedom fighter and philosopher whose personality is a source of inspiration for all Indians.
Savarkar is one of those who wrote tales of valour for India. Congress MLCs should know that Indira Gandhi had praised him. They should recall what she had said. Congress should stop insulting patriots whose names should have been included in history: UP Minister SN Singh (2/2) https://t.co/O2MAmaGjdY— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 20, 2021
While Congress has consistently lampooned Veer Savarkar in recent years, it had a radically different stance at the time of his demise on February 26, 1966. Several top leaders such as the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi herself praised Savarkar. Here is the reaction of some Congress leaders on Savarkar's death:
“The Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, said that Mr. Savarkar’s death 'removes from our midst a great figure of contemporary India'. Describing his name as a byword for daring and patriotism, Mrs. Gandhi said Mr. Savarkar was cast in the mould of a classical revolutionary and countless people drew inspiration from him.”
“In a message of condolence, Mr. V. P. Naik, Chief Minister, said that was deeply grieved to hear of the sad demise of Swatantrya Veer Savarkar. Mr. Savarkar represented that generation of courageous and self-sacrificing revolutionaries in our country who fought against British rule. Mr. Naik said Mr. Savarkar was in the forefront of Indian revolutionaries who worked with constant devotion for the freedom of the motherland. 'I pay my respectful homage to his memory and send my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family,' Mr. Naik said."
Note: All the above-mentioned quotations are from the Times of India edition of February 26, 1966.