Strongly condemning a “false” and “misleading” article against Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, his grandson, Ranjit Savarkar, has said he will soon file a criminal defamation case against the journalist who wrote it. “This is a conspiracy to defame him. All these allegations are wrong and have been refuted several times previously. Also, both Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Rash Behari Bose were admirers of Savarkar’s works,” Ranjit Savarkar told The Sunday Guardian. He will also move the Bombay High Court, seeking the deletion of “objectionable” comments against V.D. Savarkar in the report of the Jivanlal Kapur Commission appointed in February 1966. A magazine had recently carried its cover story on Savarkar, criticising him for writing mercy petitions to the British. On the background of the demand to confer Bharat Ratna on him, the article had taken a critical stand of his contribution as a freedom fighter.
“There is no denial that Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to the British. This has never been concealed by Savarkar himself. He had, several times, clarified his stand saying that getting free by any means to serve the country was the goal. Savarkar was not the first or the only freedom fighter to write mercy petitions to the British. Many other prominent figures, too, many times, gave false mercy petitions to come out of prison,” Ranjit said.
He also added that the British official who was handed over the mercy petition, had himself written that the petition was not representative of “any regret or repentance”. “This statement of the British officer is deliberately suppressed in the recent article. Is this not mala fide?” he asked. Talking about the adverse comments in the Kapur committee report, he said he had collected enough evidence to prove that the single comment in a report running into hundreds of pages, was baseless. He said he had the government’s own documents in possession to prove that the assassins, too, did not meet Savarkar before the killing of Gandhi. He will approach the Bombay High Court with this entire evidence to seek scrapping of the objectionable statement in the Kapur commission report. Ranjit said the article falsely propagated that V.D. Savarkar opposed Subhas Bose. “In fact, both Subhas Bose and Rash Behari Bose were admirers of Savarkar’s works. During his speech on Azad Hind Radio on 25 June 1944, Netaji Bose had appreciated Savarkar’s efforts to increase the military recruitment of the Indian youth. Ranjit will complain to the Press Council of India against the magazine.