Shri Modi releases Gujarati DVD on film on Veer Savarkar
Veer Savarkar was a victim of political untouchability, had a unique relationship with Gujarat: Shri Modi
“Need to present true history of India’s freedom struggle: Shri Modi
Veer Savarkar has a close association with Gujarat: Shri Modi
Releasing Gujarati DVD of a film on Veer Savarkar on Monday, 28th May 2012, Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi stressed on the need to present the true history of India’s freedom struggle before the public. Shri Modi congratulated the Savarkar Darshan Pratishthan for this novel initiative. Mumbai-based Savarkar Darshan Pratishthan organized the function along with the Bharatiya Vichar Manch of Gujarat to mark 129th birth anniversary of Veer Savarkar. The film has been translated in 14 languages.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister expressed unhappiness at the manner in which the history of India has been presented to the people. He affirmed that there are some people who have decided not to let India’s true glorious history reach the people of India. There are 2 reasons for this- first is that there is a group of people that is still stuck in a Colonial mindset, a mentality of slavery and there is a second group that for whom India is merely a piece of land. Shri Modi stated such people have time and again tried to malign India’s image abroad and tried to harm of legacy but despite their repeated attempts the truth continues to triumph.
Shri Modi said there were several great men who were not treated well by history. They were deliberately viewed in a narrow prism and put in all kinds of controversy. Equally unfortunate was the fact that there were many great men who tried to end social untouchability but instead became victims of political untouchability. Veer Savarkar was a prime example of this. The Chief Minister compared this with the earlier times and recounted that there would have been a time when Buddha, Mahavira and Adi Shankracharya would have existed but while there may have been differences in thoughts, the images of the great men were never tarnished. We see all of them as ours. Sadly, today there are great men who inspired the people with their brave deeds but their legacy stands divided in the country.
The Chief Minister recalled the wonderful work of Late Shri Sudhir Fadke who was the force behind the 2001 Savarkar film. He remembered how he had shot the film and how he spent his life living by Savarkar’s ideals and principles. Shri Modi also recollected he had the opportunity to see the premier of the film made in Hindi back in 2001.
This film, along with the Vivekananda Memorial at Kanyakumari is extremely special and would continue to inspire generations to come for a long time. He urged everyone to buy the DVD and contribute to making the DVD a success.
During his speech Shri Modi spoke about Veer Savarkar’s close relation with Gujarat. One of his brothers was in Sabarmati Jail and in 1937 when the Hindu Mahasabha had its first session in Gujarat it was Savarkar who presided over it. He added that the life of Savarkar could be a great inspiration for youngsters but for the fact that facets of India’s golden history are deliberately erased.
Shri Modi said that the year 1857 marked the beginning of India’s first freedom struggle. This was the time when the entire nation fought together and became a headache for the Colonial rulers. At a time when many called it a Sepoy Mutiny, it was Savarkar who stuck his neck out and termed it as the First War of Independence, Shri Modi pointed out. Shri Modi further narrated how sitting in India House, Savarkar celebrated 50 years of 1857. Despite spending years in jail, Savarkar’s patriotism never died. Infact, despite having no paper to write, he wrote on the walls of his cell.
Shri Modi threw light on a side to Savarkar that has generally been ignored in mainstream historical discourse, that of being a social reformer. Shri Modi spoke about how he fought for temple entry for Dalits in Ratnagiri but sadly, that is forgotten. In 1938, he was in Baroda when Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad heard him from his car. He got so inspired that he called Savarkar the next day and interacted with him on Dalit emancipation. It was Savarkar who had foreseen the problems we face today, Shri Modi stated. He said that till the Congress was not born, Hindus and Muslims fought shoulder to shoulder against the British. History is aware that in 1857 the Hindus and Muslims fought as one but this was the last time this happened as after that the Congress was born. The rest is history…
Shri Modi paid tributes to Savarkar’s contribution to the nation but added that we haven’t been able to give anything in return. The Chief Minister recalled how Lokmanya Tilak wrote to Shyamji Krishna Varma to help Savarkar’s education and scholarship. Shyamji Krishnavarma used to do this often on the condition that the person he assists will in no way serve the British. Shri Modi showered praise of Shyamji Krishnavarma, terming his a soldier for Independence. Under the eye of the British, he trained patriotic Indians. The Chief Minister said that when he died in 1930, he wrote that he may have died when the Country is not free but after his demise, when our land is free he wanted his ashes to be brought back to India. But, Pandit Nehru did not bother to fulfill this dream and for 73 years his ashes were in Geneva. Shri Modi then stated that it was his good fortune that in 2003 he could go and receive the ashes from Geneva.
While concluding his speech, the Chief Minister urged everyone to visit Mandvi in Kutch where Kranti Teerth is located. There India House has been recreated. He also asked everyone to visit Andaman and Nicobar Jail to see how some of our greats spent their lives so that we can be free. He ended by expressing the need to recreate India’s past with latest technology. This would not only be a justice to history but also a boon for future generations.
Savarkar Darshan Pratishthan’s President Prof Bal Apte of said that Veer Savarkar spent 12 years in the Andamans jail, known as black or dark cells, and had fought for India’s unity and social equanimity. He was as dear to Maharashtra as Gujarat.
Pratishthan’s Vice-President Dada Idotare gave details about the film. The function started with welcome speech by Mr. Ravindra Sathe.
Gujarat’s Ministers and Ahmedabad Mayor Asit Vora, among others, were also present at the function.