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Savarkar controversy begins to heat up in UP

Vinayak Savarkar

LUCKNOW : The inclusion of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in the list of “great personalities” for UP Board students, has reignited an old controversy. While the Samajwadi Party has demanded that lessons on socialist thinker Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav should also be made a part of the state board curriculum, Congress stated that the move will have a negative impact on the students. BJP defended the decision.

Deputy chief minister Brajesh Pathak said: “Savarkar made important contribution to the country’s history but his contributions were deleted by previous governments.” Samajwadi Party leader and spokesperson IP Singh said: “I would also say that Ram Manohar Lohia and Mulayam Singh Yadav, too, should be included in the U.P. Board syllabus.”

Samajwadi Party’s national secretary Rajendra Chaudhary said: “We do not consider this stance and behaviour of the UP government proper.”

Targeting the government, UP Congress’s minority wing chairman Shahnawaz Alam said: “His inclusion in the UP Board syllabus would cast a negative impact on students.”

Former Congress MLC Deepak Singh said that he would write to Governor Anandiben Patel about BJP’s attempts to tinker with history. “While the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who is widely hailed as the architect of modern India, is missing from the list, Savarkar is there. Though it is the government’s prerogative to include whosoever they want to in the course curriculum, we will certainly draw the Governor’s attention towards such brazen attempts to tinker with country’s history,” he said.

Earlier, in January 2021, Deepak Singh had also opposed another decision by the UP government to include Savarkar’s portrait in the picture gallery at the state’s Legislative Council. Congress MLA Aradhana Misra ‘Mona’ reacted sharply to the remarks of the state’s secondary education minister Gulab Devi who had said that Nehru was not included in the list of great personalities as he had not made “any sacrifice.”

“I think from instilling scientific temper, from IITs to IIMs, from space to infrastructure, Nehru’s contribution shines through all. So how can anyone deny his contribution? Will you also forget that he was the country’s first Prime Minister,” she said, adding that the party would strongly oppose such moves.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, however, has not commented on the Savarkar issue but has hit out at the Telangana government for “tampering with the Preamble”.

Mayawati said: “Tampering with the Preamble of the Constitution printed on the cover of Class 10 Social Science books in Telangana and the disappearance of the word ‘secular’, ‘socialist’ raise questions on the integrity and functioning of the government. Such negligence is a serious matter. Government should pay attention. Obedience to the holy Constitution is essential.”  — IANS

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