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Don’t we have own freedom fighters? — Kannada groups question BJP govt on ‘Savarkar’ flyover

Numerous organisations have hit out at decision to name a flyover in Yelahanka after Hindutva icon Veer Savarkar, saying BJP govt is only appeasing its political bosses.

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Bengaluru: The B.S. Yediyurappa-led BJP government’s decision decided to name a flyover in Bengaluru suburb Yelahanka after ‘Veer’ V.D. Savarkar has raised the hackles of pro-Kannada organisations. They are now asking that doesn’t Karnataka have its own freedom fighters or famous personalities to commemorate, and why someone like Savarkar is being imported.

“The BJP government is doing this only to create a controversy. Its main objective is to appease its political bosses. It does not have the interests of the state or the people’s sentiments in mind,” said Arun Javgal, a member of Kannada activist group Banavasi Balaga, who had been at the forefront of the ‘Namma Metro Hindi Beda’ campaign against the use of Hindi on metro station boards in Bengaluru.

“Why should infrastructure projects be named after people like Veer Savarkar and Syama Prasad Mookerjee? Our land has produced greats like Sir M. Visvesvaraya; what prompts these political parties to name projects after those who weren’t even remotely connected to our history or Kannada culture?” he questioned.

“A park in south Bengaluru is going to be named after Syama Prasad Mookerjee. It is as if they are doing this with a vengeance. All protests and opposition does not matter,” Javgal said.

Also read: Gandhi admired Hindutva icon Savarkar as ‘lover of truth’, addressed him as bhai 

‘Nothing but BJP agenda’

Other organisations also slammed the BJP’s decision. Kannada film director Kavita Lankesh, for example, attributed it to the BJP’s “fascist” attitude.

“There are hundreds of Kannadigas that we are proud of, whom they could have named it after. How could they even honour him like this? Just like they (BJP) want to impose Hindi as the national language, they are trying to impose this kind of ideology on us,” Lankesh said.

Ashok Chandargi, president of the Belgaum District Kannada Organisations Action Committee, also said the BJP government should have been more sensitive and respectful to Karnataka’s cultural and political history.

“This is nothing but the agenda of the BJP. What can we do now, they are in power. They think they can make such decisions and get away with them,” Chandargi said.

However, Karnataka’s Tourism and Culture Minister C.T. Ravi defended the decision to ThePrint, saying Savarkar was a “nationalist” and that’s why they were honouring him.

Congress gets slammed too

The Congress had already protested the decision to name the flyover after Savarkar, with former CM Siddaramaiah condemning it as an insult to the freedom fighters who were born on Karnataka’s soil.

“It is an anti-people decision. Why were the opposition parties not consulted?” he asked.

However, Javgal said the Congress did the same thing when it was in power.

“During the Congress rule, we had requested Siddaramaiah to name Indira Canteens after Akka Mahadevi, a 12th century poet revered by all in the state. We had asked them to call it Akka (older sister) Canteen, instead of naming it after Indira Gandhi. They did not pay heed. They also wanted to please their bosses, like the Gandhis,” he said.

Last year, minister Ravi, too, had engaged in a Twitter war with Siddaramaiah when he alleged that Savarkar was a conspirator in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.

Also read: How Ajit Pawar garlanding Savarkar portrait has got Maharashtra political circles abuzz


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  1. BJP people are in a hurry. They don’t know when they would lose power in any of the states presently ruled by them. Ultimately, it would be the local people who would have to bear the brunt of the decision of entities darling to the RSS being thrusted upon them- willingly or unwillingly.

  2. In Karnataka caste rules. When Lingayats are in power, everything is named after Basavanna, Akka mahadevi and / or other Veerashaiva saints. When Vokkaligas are in power, everything is named after Kempegowda. If names of revolutionaries are required, the stupid Karnataka politicians can only think of Sangolli Rayanna, or at best Kitturu Chennamma. Congress could not think beyond pseudo Gandhi familiy for naming its projects and schemes. BJP is doing something similar. Neither side knows Karnataka’s history, literature, art, sculpture etc, to think of hundreds of other suitable names.

  3. CONGRASS and it’s journalists SUPPORTERS are afraid of SAVARKAR and his HINDUTVA nationalistic ideology.

    Public anger due to abandoning dalits during riots in favour of ” secular votes ” is being sought to be diverted by this latest move by congrass and it’s journalists SUPPORTERS.

  4. We must not forget that “Veer” was a salutation that Savarkar decided HIMSELF for himself. Like Ayub Khan himself started putting the salutation of Field Marshal before his name. The “V” in Savarkar’s name stands for Vinayak, his first name, and not Veer. This word was not a part of his given name, nor of his personality.

    • Veer is a Sanskrit title , meaning warrior, this title was given to Savarkar by Lok manya Tilak , a Christian concert like you will never understand the sacrifices made by Savarkar, for you converts the foreigner Sonia Gandhi ( Antonio Mino) is freedom fighter.
      PS : Only virgin Mery can help you if you donot know who is Tilak

      • Mr Reddy: Your blinkered, brainwashed saffronised brain makes you bray:

        “.. sacrifices made by Savarkar ..”

        Now that is utter rubbish Mr Reddy.

        Vinayak Savarkar was a pusillanimous, bigoted opportunist who collaborated with the British rather than fight against them. From his jail in Andaman Islands, Savarkar writes in 1913 asking for release from jail in return for collaboartion

        “.. Therefore if the government in their manifold beneficence and mercy release me, I for one cannot but be the staunchest advocate of constitutional progress and loyalty to the English government which is the foremost condition of that progress .. Moreover my conversion to the constitutional line would bring back all those misled young men in India and abroad who were once looking up to me as their guide. I am ready to serve the Government in any capacity they like, for as my conversion is conscientious so I hope my future conduct would be. By keeping me in jail nothing can be got in comparison to what would be otherwise. ..”

        Savarkar was also one of the planners and conspirators in the plot to kill the Father of the nation. After his arrest for that vile act, Savarkar distanced himself from Godse and narrowly escaped the gallows.

        It is truly a tragedy for India that this bigoted fascist is the role model of the BJP and the RSS. And indeed, his ideology of Hindutva will tear India apart.

        Mr Sanjiv Bhatla above hits the nail on the head with his pithy, hard-hitting comment. “Veer” is not the adjective that one uses with a spineless man like Savarkar. Just as “well-read” is not the adjective I would use to describe you Mr Reddy.

        Nobdoy can help cure your tunnel vision Mr Reddy. But the least you could do is remove those saffron tinted lenses from your eyes.

        • Mr Kili Jolsiyar ,
          Read about Savarkar porperly. I am from Maharashtra.
          How can you call a Freedom Fighter an opportunist. Mr Savarkar was a lawyer he could have easily got a nice life as a lawyer but he dedicated his life for vision. He was IN freedom struggle right from his teenage years.
          People doubting and not respecting own leaders is a weakness outsiders have harnessed.
          Broaden your vision so that coming generations come to know about India and its culture or else history repeats.
          Calling Savarkar bigoted what about your tolerance about views you cannot respect.

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