The birth anniversary of Hindutva thinker V D Savarkar, which falls on May 28, will be celebrated as ‘Swatantrya Veer Gaurav Din’ by the Maharashtra government, as announced by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday.
The occasion will witness various events that aim to promote the ideologies of Savarkar. According to Shinde, Savarkar played a significant role in the nation’s freedom struggle and was also a reformer who stood up against untouchability.
The ‘Swatantrya Veer Gaurav Din’ has been introduced to honor Savarkar’s patriotism, courage, and progressive thoughts. The proposal for this move had been put forth by Industries Minister Uday Samant.
The BJP and Shiv Sena have been targeting the Congress for Rahul Gandhi’s recent statement that ‘he is not Savarkar’. This has led to a debate within the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra. While Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena (UBT) president, expressed his disagreement with the Congress’ stand on Savarkar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar tried to explain the importance of Savarkar to Congress leaders at a meeting held in Delhi.
Pawar informed them about how Savarkar is regarded in Maharashtra and spoke about his significant role in the freedom struggle that led to his imprisonment in Andamans. Pawar also highlighted that Savarkar had a rational approach towards issues like cow worship and beef eating, which reflected his scientific temperament.
It should be noted that the BJP and Shiv Sena had earlier organized the Savarkar Gaurav Yatra across Maharashtra, where party leaders spoke about Savarkar’s life and work. The Maharashtra government’s decision to celebrate the ‘Swatantrya Veer Gaurav Din’ as Savarkar’s birth anniversary is expected to boost awareness about his contributions towards India’s freedom movement and promote his ideas among the younger generation.