Skip to main content

Recalling his role in 2002 riots, Economist says Modi is follower of Savarkar, an "immensely divisive" figure

By Our Representative
In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a gap of about six months, top British journal, The Economist’s latest issue (December 20) has once again reminded its readers that Modi remains a controversial leader for his “failure” in 2002, when as chief minister of Gujarat, he failed to “avert a massacre of Muslims.” Insisting that the hostility is born of the ideology that militant freedom fighter Vinayak Savarkar "spawned”, the influential British journal says, Modi “has never apologised for the massacre.” Taking a dig at Modi, the journal recalls how he sought to “regret” the riots once – telling a news agency interviewer that he is as sorry for the killings as he is while “seeing a puppy run over in the street”.
Pointing out that Modi is inspired by Savarkar, the journal suggests, after Modi came to power, RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat has become more aggressive by increasingly referring to Savarkar for inspiration. Like Savarkar, Bhagwat now says that “all who live in Hindustan are in fact Hindus, whatever Muslims, Christians or secular Hindus might say”, the journal says, underlining, “The group has become an enthusiastic and effective actor within (the BJP). The RSS’s millions of members and volunteers played a big role in electing the BJP by a landslide in 2014. At least 19 ministers in government, including Modi, have a background in the RSS.”
Even as saying that Modi is “India’s strongest leader since Indira Gandhi”, the journal contends, the Prime Minister has made no attempt to “distance himself from the RSS”. It adds, “Those who promote Hindutva and echo Savarkar whip up stories of ‘love jihad’, alleging, Muslim men convert large numbers of Hindu women by seducing them.” Pointing out how earlier this month “a BJP parliamentarian praised Godse as a ‘patriot’ equal to Gandhi”, it says, things have gone so far now that “members of the increasingly influential RSS feel emboldened” and are promoting “majoritarian politics” in order to “absorb or flatten a minority” in “utterly destructive” way.
Pointing out that “India’s tolerance and moderation” may be “at risk”, the journal notes, this is clear the way Modi has been promoting Savarkar. “In 2008 Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, inaugurated a website (savarkar.org) that promotes a man ‘largely unknown to the masses because of the vicious propaganda against him and misunderstanding around him that has been created over several decades’.” While a “previous BJP-led government put Savarkar’s portrait in parliament… on Savarkar’s birthday this year, May 28, the Prime Minister paid homage to him there. Modi tweeted about Savarkar’s ‘tireless efforts towards the regeneration of our motherland’.”
While calling Modi a firm follower of Savarkar, the journal refers to how Savarkar and Mahatma Gandhi differed from each other ever since they met for a meal in England in 19065. “Savarkar offered Gandhi some of his meal; Gandhi, a vegetarian, refused. Savarkar allegedly retorted that only a fool would attempt to resist the British without being fortified by animal protein”, The Economist says, adding, “The meeting is said to have begun hostilities between the two young Indian nationalists. Gandhi was a pacifist with an inclusive attitude towards Muslims and Christians. Savarkar, who would lead the Hindu Mahasabha, was a right-wing majoritarian who spawned the idea of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness...”
Pointing towards how “Savarkar remains immensely divisive”, the journal recalls how he called Gandhi a weak, a “sissy”, and far too willing to collaborate with Britain. “Gandhian talk of man’s common humanity he regarded as utopian to the point of naivety. In articles from the 1920s to the 1940s Savarkar lambasted Gandhi as a ‘crazy lunatic’ who ‘happens to babble...[about] compassion, forgiveness’, yet ‘notwithstanding his sublime and broad heart, the Mahatma has a very narrow and immature head’. Gandhi promoted ahimsa, a Buddhist rejection of violence which Savarkar called “mealy-mouthed”.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Are you a fool, no - no need to ask.

If 1857 was not a fight of independence then the stealing, thieveing British were natural owners of the world.

You should rot in hell for reproducing the so called "top" biased newspapers views on 1857.
Rajendra Barve said…
Who is this ediot spreading unnecessary rumors ....don't waste your time sir ..do u work...ppl of India will never believe in this rumors
Anonymous said…
Savarkar was right about Gandhi. Britain and other allies should have sat for fast until death when hitler invaded their countries and thats how you would have followed Gandhi's path.
Raghu said…
Reconversions are pinching your heart,Savakar is hero as much as Churchill
Anonymous said…
Sorry but the Economist is not an influential journal. I am not very familiar with the internal politics of India, but the article wreaks of a political agenda.
Savarkar was not a militant, he was freedom fighter, Britishers tortured him in jail. What is your view about the Jaliavala genocide. England never say sorry on the atrocities on Indians. Britishers murdered more then one million Indians- please say some thing on this aspect also. Do not blame Modi.Pakistan is your's brain child and see what he is doing, he is exporting terrorism
Jag Jivan said…
While what Economist says is a typical influential British viewpoint, what shouldn't forget the type of animosity which Savarkar displayed for Gandhi calling him weak, sissy and so on. And, unfortunately our India's No 1 is a follower of Savarkar, even as paying lipservice to Gandhiji.

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Dalit, Adivasi protest in Jharkhand against 'illegal' transfer of land for development

By Rishit Neogi Displacement and eviction are not new terms. It is surprising that they are still continuing and have become a tool in the hands of state backed corporates to forcibly occupy lands in the name of development.