India has over 5,000 years of history, can't consider Gandhi as father of nation: Savarkar's grandson
New Delhi, Oct 13: Ranjith Savarkar, grandson of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, said that a country like India cannot have one 'father of nation' as it has over 5000 years of history.
His response comes after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi accused the BJP of presenting distorted history after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh claimed at an event that Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to the British on Mahatma Gandhi's request.
"A country like India cannot have a father of nation. There are 1000s of leaders who have been forgotten...India is having the history of more than 5000 years. So, no one person can be a father of nation. So, I don't think Gandhi is the father of the nation. Nation is not just 40-50 years old," he is quoted as saying by the ANI.
Asaduddin Owaisi had earlier said that the BJP would declare Savarkar as the father of the nation. "They (BJP) are presenting distorted history. If this continues, they will remove Mahatma Gandhi and make Savarkar, who was accused of the murder of Mahatma Gandhi and was pronounced complicit in the inquiry of Justice Jeevan Lal Kapur, as the father of the nation," he said.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed Savarkar and said that he was India's first military strategist in the 20 century. He said that it was on Mahatma Gandhi's request that he wrote mercy petitions to the British and people from the Marxist and Leninist ideology wrongly accuse him as a fascist.
"Lies were spread about Savarkar repeatedly. It was spread that he filed many mercy petitions for seeking his release from jails.... It was Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to file the mercy petitions...," the defence minister said.
Singh added, "He was an icon of the Indian history and will remain so. There can be a difference of opinion about him, but to look down on him as inferior is not appropriate and justifiable. He was a freedom fighter and a staunch nationalist, but people who follow the Marxist and Leninist ideology are the ones who accuse Savarkar of being a fascist."