A proposal moved by a ruling BJP MLA to name the Surathkal Junction in the coastal town of Mangaluru after Savarkar has stirred a row in the region The BJP MLA from Mangaluru North Assembly constituency, Y Bharath Shetty, has proposed to name the Surathkal Junction located in his constituency after Savarkar. He has also demanded the installation of a bust of Savarkar by the Mangaluru City Corporation.
When the matter was recently taken up for discussion at a general body meeting, the proposal was opposed by the Congress and others. Former minister and Congress MLA from Ullal in Mangaluru city, UT Khader said the BJP is trying to rename public places only after one person in different cities. Recently, the naming of the Hebbal flyover in Bengaluru after Savarkar was also opposed by the Congress, creating a controversy in the state capital. But despite opposition, the BJP had inaugurated the flyover after naming it after Savarkar.
UT Khader said that the junction can be named after a freedom fighter from Karnataka, instead.
"I am not saying that Savarkar did not take part in India's freedom struggle. But he had written an apology letter to the British. Hence, it is not correct to name a major junction after him," Khader said.
"Many freedom fighters were hanged; many had sacrificed their lives in the cellular jail in Andaman. Instead of naming the junction after Savarkar, it could be renamed after Srinivas Malya, Kudmul Rangarao, Karnad Sadashivrao and Janardhan Poojari, who had contributed to the growth of the district," Khader added.
The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has said that the Mangaluru City Corporation should reject the proposal moved by the local MLA.
"If the BJP wants to bring the agenda of Uttar Pradesh in Dakshina Kannada district, SDPI won't sit quiet. A legal battle as well as protests will be launched then," the party said.
Former Congress MLA Mohiuddin Bava said that the region is communally sensitive and many people have been killed in recent years, so the BJP should not provoke the public.
Meanwhile, Hindu organisations are vehemently demanding to rename the Surathkal Junction after Savarkar, with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajarang Dal welcoming the proposal moved by Bharath Shetty. They are also demanding the installation of a bust of Savarkar at the earliest.