Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today took on former ally, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray, for keeping mum on Congress removing Savarkar and Hedgewar from the school syllabus in Karnataka. The BJP’s swipe at Mr Thackeray on his ideology and alliance with the grand old party comes two months after the Shiv Sena leader cautioned former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, saying Savarkar was akin to God for them and their role model, and any insult to him will not be acceptable to his party. Demeaning Savarkar would create “cracks” in the opposition alliance, Mr Thackeray had warned.
Mr Fadnavis accused Uddhav Thackeray of compromising on his ideology just for the sake of “being in power”.
“I would just like to say that you can erase someone’s name from a book, but it can’t be erased from the heart. You cannot erase the names of those who have contributed to the freedom of the country. But I ask Uddhav Thackeray ji. Those who are sitting shoulder to shoulder with Congress in Mahavikas Aghadi, what is your reaction now? Do you accept the way appeasement of minority communities is going on only for power, will you accept this insult of Veer Savarkar ji? Or just settle for the chair?” he said.
“My question is to Uddhav Thackeray. Now tell me exactly what your reaction is. If those on whose lap you are sitting are going to erase the name of freedom fighter Savarkar, are going to fully support conversion…you should also say what is your exact opinion on this now? Was this compromise made for power?” Mr Fadnavis added.
Acting on its poll manifesto promise to undo the changes made to school textbooks when the BJP was in power, the Congress government led by Siddaramaiah in a cabinet resolution on Thursday approved the revision of Kannada and Social Science textbooks of classes 6 to 10 in the state for this academic year by removing the chapters on RSS founder KB Hedgewar and Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar among others.
It has also consented to add chapters on social reformer and educator Savitribai Phule, Jawaharlal Nehru’s letters to Indira Gandhi and poetry on BR Ambedkar, and do away with the changes that were brought in by the previous BJP government.
Responding to the question of what has been added and removed during the revision, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kumar Bangarappa yesterday said, “We have only restored what was there before the previous BJP government made changes; we have removed the changes they had made.”