Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his “Mann ki Baat” address on Sunday paid homage to country’s first premier Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary today, but juxtaposed it with salutary references to Veer Savarkar in the context of country’s struggle for Independence.
This is bound to create heartburns in the Congress. For it Savarkar is an anathema. It considers him a polarising figure, and an antithesis to Nehru’s “secularism”.
Modi made two-line reference to Nehru in the context of his death anniversary, including “I render my pranam to Pandit ji.”
Thereafter, his address seamlessly progressed to Savarkar in reference to 1857 struggle for Independence which occurred in this month of May 1857, throwing a major challenge to British imperialism and forcing the British Parliament to pass a law to bring Indian territories controlled by the East India Company under direct control of British Crown.
Historians are divided on the nomenclature of the incident. While some describe it as “mutiny”, some called as revolt. But Modi, in his address, made laudatory invocation to Savarkar for expostulating it as “First War of Independence”.
“Savarkar along with his band of brave hearts celebrated the 50th anniversary of the First War of Indpendence, with great fanfare at India House in London,” Modi said, adding that it is a coincidence that the month (read May) which witnessed the event was the month in which Veer Savarkar was born.
“Savarkar ji’s personality was full of special qualities; he was a worshipper of both shashtra (weapons) and shaashtras (knowledge),” he added.
Dwelling further, he said that Savarkar is renowned for his bravery and struggle against the British Raj. Besides these sterling qualities, he was a striking poet and social reformer who always emphasized on “goodwill and unity”.
Modi stressed for the culture of sports and batted for revival of traditional games, and yoga. He also weighed in favour of improving or environment consciousness and referred to the forthcoming World Environment Day (June 5) and International Yoga Day (June 21). India will officially host the World Environment Day celebrations.
Urges people to preserve environment
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to shun low-grade plastic and polythene, saying it was creating a negative impact on environment, wildlife and health
He asked people to observe World Environment Day on June 5. “Planting saplings is not enough, people should ensure that they care for a plant till it becomes a tree,” Modi said