Hyderabad: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday hailed Veer Savarkar and said, “There would not have been a Pakistan if Veer Savarkar had been the country’s Prime Minister.” Mr Thackeray was speaking at the launch of a biography titled “Savarkar: Echoes from a forgotten past”.
Thackeray demanded that Veer Savarkar be awarded with the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award given in India. Mr Thackeray said, “Savarkar must be awarded the Bharat Ratna. We don’t deny the work done by (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Jawaharlal) Nehru, but the country saw more than two families being born on the political scene. I’d have called Nehru as Veer (brave) if he had survived jail for 14 minutes against Savarkar who stayed in prison for 14-long years.”
He added, if people get to know about Veer Savarkar’s valour then the Nehru’s and the Gandhi’s would not exist.
Commenting on former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s jibes at Hindutva icons including Savarkar in the past, the Shiv Sena chief said, “Rahul Gandhi should be given a copy of the book so that he can read it.”
Thackeray said that he would ensure that every school and college in the state has copies of the book in their libraries and that it should be made compulsory for MPs and MLAs to read the book.
Mr Thackeray criticised Mani Shankar Aiyar for his remark made against Veer Savarkar in 2018. Mr Aiyar had said, “ Veer Savarkar was the one who coined the word Hindutva and had proposed a two nation theory.” Mr Thackeray said, “If he (Mani Shankar Aiyar) is seen, then he should be beaten with shoes for sure.