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I didn't mean any disrespect to Mahatma Gandhi, as erroneously portrayed in media: TN Guv

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Chennai, Jan 27 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi on Saturday said he didn't disrespect Mahatma Gandhi while speaking on India's Independence struggle and asserted that the Father of the Nation has been the guiding light of his life.

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Some media reports in the last three-four days sought to create "an erroneous impression" that he has been "disrespectful" to Mahatma Gandhi but nothing could be farther from the truth, he said.

"I hold Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, in the highest regard and his teachings have been the ideals of my life," the Governor stated.

His clarification comes in the wake of the agitation by the TNCC members held here earlier in the day condemning the Governor for allegedly insulting the Mahatma and belittling his role in the freedom struggle.

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TNCC chief K S Alagiri, Su Thirunavukkarasar, MP, and Congress Legislative Party leader K Selvaperunthagai, were among those who participated in the agitation.

"I did not mean any disrespect to Mahatma Gandhi whose teachings have been the guiding light of my life," a Raj Bhavan communique quoting Ravi said referring to his speech at the 127th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on January 23, here.

Some media "did cherry-pick" from the speech and "gave it a twist," he said. "In my speech, I sought to elaborate the point that Netaji’s significant contributions to our nation’s Independence has not been adequately appreciated. I tried to make a point that what accelerated the pace and process of Independence in 1947 were the revolts of the Royal Indian Navy and Air Force in February 1946 – both inspired by Netaji," the Governor said.

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Due to these revolts, the British panicked as they could no longer trust the Indians in uniform for their own safety and security in India. Following the February revolts, in March the British publicly declared that they would leave India and constituted the Constituent Assembly to demonstrate their sincerity, assuage the feelings of the agitated Indians and pre-empt potential revolts which could have had existential consequences for the British officers and their families in India.

The Naval and Air Force revolts were greatly inspired by the revolutionary actions of Netaji including the war of the Indian National Army against the British, he said.

The Quit India Movement of August 1942, after initial success had lost steam. Internecine conflicts in the National Freedom Movement due to the Muslim League’s vehement insistence on the partition of India and its reactions on the ground kept much of the efforts and energy of the Congress leaders on how to manage the internal conflicts, much to the delight of the British.

"The British could have ruled India for some more years but for Netaji's armed revolution and its domino effect on the Indian Military and Security Forces. What I have said are facts based on primary documents," Ravi stated. PTI JSP SS

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