“If Hindu puranas have talked about a cow, they also have talked about pigs in the form of (Lord Vishnu’s) Varah Avtaar. Then why not set up pig-protection groups on the lines of Gau Rakshaks,” Hindutva ideologue Savarkar asked in one of his essays. He also ridiculed the idea of 33 crore gods living in a cow.’
The passage referred above figures in an opinion piece written by Loksatta Editor Girish Kuber in Monday’s edition of The Indian Express.
Savarkar also apparently wanted people to give up vegetarianism. ‘New-Hindutvawadis will certainly find themselves at odds with Savarkar, who openly asked them to give up vegetarianism,’ Kuber has written.
He pointed out that ‘Hindutvawadis despised Savarkar for his modern approach to life’.
Savarkar, he writes, ‘bluntly wrote how “India is 200 years behind Europe” and has to give up its religious discourse if it wants to catch up with the modern world.’
Further, he points out, ‘(Savarkar’s) criticism of those who call cow “gau mata” is fairly known. What is relatively unrevealed is his comparison of the cow with donkey and pigs.
‘In another essay, he came down heavily on the Hindu caste system and questioned “upper caste” Hindus who won’t mind consuming cow-urine and cow-dung but at the same time refuse to accept a glass of water from the hands of the supremely intellectual Ambedkar. Savarkar even questioned Hindu gods.
Much of this, unfortunately, has been forgotten in a country witnessing a Hindu resurgence. Isn’t it ironic that the political party that likes to portray itself as “Hindutvawadi” is trying to appropriate Savarkar at a time when the country is witnessing growing incidences of mob lynching over protecting the cow?’ Kuber writes.
‘For the BJP, Savarkar is a mere Hindutva icon who can help garner (or polarise?) more votes and whose call for scientific temper can easily be ignored,’ he quipped.
In the meanwhile, the debate over BJP’s promise in its manifesto to confer the Bharat Ratna on Savarkar continues on social media. A few more tweets trending on the subject on Twitter: