New Delhi [India], Nov 15 (ANI): Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday that Veer Savarkar was a multidimensional personality and a freedom fighter, social reformer, writer, poet, historian, political leader and a philosopher.
Releasing the book 'Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past' at an event here, he said there are many facets of Veer Savarkar's personality that remain underappreciated.
"Very few in India know that Veer Savarkar started one of the most powerful social reform movements against untouchability in India", Naidu said adding that Savarkar built Patit Pavan Mandir in the Ratnagiri district to allow entry to all Hindus, including Dalits.
"He was the first to envision a casteless India", the Vice President said.
Noting that it was Veer Savarkar who named the 1857 rebellion as the first war of independence, Naidu called for a right sense of history that is reflective of Indian values.
He also listed what Veer Savarkar called as seven shackles of the society.
He said the first was the rigid caste system which, according to Savarkar, "deserves to be thrown into the dustbins of history".
The second reform Veer Savarkar wanted was to popularize Vedic literature to everyone, not only to a particular caste.
Naidu said Savarkar called Vedic literature civilizational knowledge for the entire human race and India's unique gift to mankind.
The Vice President said that the third was to break away from caste-based vocational rigidity and encourage persons to pursue any vocation of their choice based on aptitude and ability.
In the absence of motivation of competition, or lack of aptitude, Savarkar believed, "merely following what one's father did, will make one both complacent and unproductive," Naidu saidHe said Savarkar believed in global mobility and the need for Indians to venture out into foreign lands so as to "bring back the best of the world and carry the fragrance of India and her culture to every corner of the globe."The fifth reform Savarkar wanted was to break away from the taboo on inter-caste dining.
"He had said Religion is in the heart, the soul, the spirit; not the stomach!'", the Vice-President said, according to an official release.
The sixth, he said, was the promotion of inter-caste marriageNaidu said the seventh aspect Veer Savarkar underscored was the need to develop a scientific temper.
"We are 200 years behind Europe", he quoted Savarkar as saying.
The Vice President called Savarkar's far-sighted vision of India's future development as "truly remarkable".
Recounting the innumerable sufferings faced by Indian freedom fighters, he appealed to everyone to visit the Cellular Jail at least once in their lifetime.
Noting that it is not easy to write a biography, sepecially of a person as illustrious and as controversial as Savarkar, the Vice President complimented the author Vikram Sampath for the book. (ANI)