Ranjeet Savarkar, a great-grandnephew of Hindutva ideologue and revolutionary Veer Savarkar, has announced his intention to file a complaint to register an FIR against Rahul Gandhi if the latter does not apologize soon. He pointed out the lack of action taken by Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after a state Congress unit’s publication printed offensive articles about a renowned Indian freedom fighter.
“He has been consistently defaming Swatantryaveer, whose portraits in the parliament and assemblies inspire millions. His contribution to national independence has been lauded by towering Congress leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and later by Indira Gandhi. I will file a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi if he does not apologize for his statement on Savarkar,” he said while talking to a news agency from Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi has stirred a political debate by rejecting the demand for an apology for his statement on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for which he has been disqualified as an MP. In 2016, he tweeted a comparison between Bhagat Singh and V D Savarkar, noting that Bhagat Singh fought against the British Raj while Savarkar had pleaded to be a slave to the British Raj. This sparked a political controversy leading up to the elections.
In February 2020, Ranjit Savarkar, the grandnephew of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, wrote to Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader, demanding action against defamatory statements made against Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in ‘Janmanasachi Shidori,’ an official publication of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress. He highlighted how the two articles in the Congress-funded monthly magazine were not based on facts and were malicious, derogatory, and deliberately written.
“We cited to him the tremendous love people across Bharat and the Thackerays themselves have been showering on the leader and demanded a total ban on the publication and arrest of those who wrote the articles besides the publishers. However, no action was taken,” he noted. Notably, the Thackeray government had the support of both Congress and NCP.