Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue VD Savarkar presented India with a “robust defence and diplomatic doctrine” and was India’s biggest and first defence and strategic affairs expert in the 20th century.
At an event to release a book on Savarkar in Delhi, the minister also said people who followed Marxist and Leninist ideologies accused Savarkar of being a fascist and proponent of Hindutva.
“He was very forthright in saying that India’s relations with other countries should depend on how conducive they are to our security and National interests. He was clear that it did not matter what kind of government there was (in the other country) but what mattered was that country will remain a friend as long as it remained conducive to our interests,” Singh said.
The minister said a campaign was unleashed to discredit him. “He was a freedom fighter and there are no two ways about it. It is not forgivable to paint him otherwise,” he added.