New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said Veer Savarkar wrote mercy petitions when he was lodged in Andaman jail on the suggestion of Mahatma Gandhi. Speaking at the book launch event of ‘Veer Savarkar: The Man Who Could Have Prevented Partition’, written by Uday Mahurkar, Defence Minister said that “people are not able to understand” Savarkar because a lot has been said by many people with a different ideology.He said, “Lies were spread about Savarkar. Time and again, it was said that he filed mercy petitions before British government seeking his release from jail... It was Mahatma Gandhi who asked him to file mercy petitions.”
Calling Savarkar a "national icon", the defence minister alleged that people who adhere to “Marxist and Leninist ideology wrongly accuse him as a fascist”.
‘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,” Rajnath sing said. Lauding Savarkar, he added, "Savarkar was India's first military strategic affairs expert in the 20th century, who gave the country a robust defence and diplomatic doctrine.”