Karnataka: Row erupts as Priyank Kharge advocates removal of Savarkar's photo from Belagavi's Suvarna Soudha
In a recent statement that has ignited a contentious debate, Karnataka's Rural Development Minister, Priyank Kharge, expressed his desire to remove the photo of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar from Suvarna Soudha, the assembly hall in Belagavi. This move has sparked ideological differences and raised questions about the representation of historical figures in public spaces.
Voicing his personal opinion, Minister Kharge argued for the removal of Savarkar's photo, citing his disagreement with the ideology it represents. He emphasised the need for equality and criticised any philosophy that deviates from the principle of equal representation. Kharge questioned the basis of Savarkar's designation as "Veer" (brave) and raised concerns about his alleged pension from the British, family apologies, and his stance on the Indian National Army compared to Subhash Chandra Bose.
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Kharge further advocated for replacing Savarkar's photo with that of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. He highlighted Nehru's significant contributions to the country, including his active role in the struggle for independence and his instrumental role in establishing key institutions such as NIL, IIT, IIM, and ISRO. Opponents of Kharge's proposal argue that no official proposal to remove Savarkar's photo has been presented, emphasising the importance of decisions being made in accordance with established procedures. Assembly Speaker U.T. Khader clarified that no formal discussion has taken place on the matter, and any decision will be made only when an official proposal is presented.