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B Upendran | HENB | Udupi | Aug 16, 2022:: Police in Udupi district of Karnataka have deployed security around a banner displaying a photo of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Subhash Chandra Bose with the words ‘Jai Hindu Rashtra’, installed in a prominent location in Udupi. The banner has the two statements in Kannada, “Jai Hindu Rashtra” on one side and the phrase “Freedom was not alms given by the British for non-violence” on the other side. The banner further reads, “On this 75th Independence day, let us remember the revolutionary leaders Veer Savarkar and Subhash Chandra Bose who defeated the British with a revolutionary struggle and freed the country from their misrule.” The banner was displayed by the Udpi Unit of Hindu Mahasabha. ‘Jai Hindu Rashtra’ is the popular slogan of the Hindu Mahasabha organisation. Hindu Mahasabha Banner in Udupi (K’taka) gets police protection.
The Udupi Town Municipality on Monday decided to deploy police officials at the location of the banner after a complaint by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) as they may sabotage to destroy the banners. The police will be present at the location of the banner for the next 15 days as per a request by the municipality, a police official from Udupi said. As many as eight police officials were found posted at the Brahmagiri Circle where the disputed banner was displayed. Actually, the banner was installed at the Brahmagiri Circle on account of Independence Day and it says that it was installed by Pramod Ucchila, Shailesh Devadiga and Yogeesh Kuthpady. Police officials told that Pramod belongs to the right wing organisation Hindu Mahasabha in Udupi.
Though the SDPI filed a complaint against the banner itself, the town municipality has decided to keep the banner at Brahmagiri circle and further provide protection to it. The Municipality Commissioner Uday Kumar Shetty said, “There are no restrictions over putting up the banner and the applicants sought permission to put it up three days in advance.”
The decision comes after a clash in the neighbouring Shivamogga district on Monday over Independence Day posters put up in the town.
On August 15, Shivamogga district witnessed tension over a poster of Savarkar put up at the Ameer Ahmed circle. Four SDPI workers were arrested for stabbing a man named Prem Singh during a clash over the poster. In Dakshina Kannada, SDPI members were booked for disrupting a government event that displayed posters of Savarkar. For the stabbing and communal clash, Shivamogga authority imposed Sec 144 CrPC in the affected areas for 3 days. Sec 144 CrPC was also imposed in the adjacent industrial town Bhadravathi.
On August 15, Shivamogga district witnessed tension over a poster of Savarkar put up at the Ameer Ahmed circle. Four SDPI workers were arrested for stabbing a man named Prem Singh during a clash over the poster. In Dakshina Kannada, SDPI members were booked for disrupting a government event that displayed posters of Savarkar.
VD Savarkar was a Hindutva ideologue who wrote a book titled ‘Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?, which was originally published as Essentials of Hindutva. He has been criticised by both the Congress and Communist quarters for not taking part in the Indian freedom struggle following his release from jail in 1924. But Savarkar always tried to inspire and mobilize the freedom movement in a different way with his chosen strategy. He was also charged with conspiring in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, however, he was acquitted by the court for lack of evidence.
A Karnataka government advertisement released on the occasion of Independence Day featured VD Savarkar prominently while ignoring the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The advertisement, which was published in all prominent newspapers on August 14, had the pictures of many freedom fighters including Savarkar, who was featured prominently. Though they came under criticism for this move, the BJP was defiant about the advertisement. Chief Minister Bommai said that he bows his head to RSS ideals. “Someone said, Bommai has become an RSS slave, I want to tell that I bow down my head to its (RSS) ideals and principles and that patriotism. I’m committed to building the country on those ideals and principles and I’m proud of it,” he said.
__Inputs from The News Minute.
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