New Delhi: As one looks back at the legacy of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar better known as Veer Savarkar on his th birth anniversary, it is interesting to note that he was not at loggerheads with Mahatma Gandhi , as the common perception holds. One of the most prominent ideologues of Hindutva in the 20 th century, Savarkar was born on 28 May in Maharashtra. He was a revolutionary, author and social reformer, and remains a revered figure for those who believe in the philosophy of Hindutva. He passed away on 26 February I had done a little bit for his release and ever since I had been taking an interest in him.
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As a response to the Muslim League , Savarkar joined the Hindu Mahasabha and popularized the term Hindutva Hinduness , previously coined by Chandranath Basu ,  to create a collective "Hindu" identity as an essence of Bharat India.
Savarkar began his political activities as a high school student and continued to do so at Fergusson College in Pune. When he went to the United Kingdom for his law studies, he involved himself with organizations such as India House and the Free India Society. He also published books advocating complete Indian independence by revolutionary means.
In , Savarkar was arrested and ordered to be extradited to India for his connections with the revolutionary group India House. On the voyage back to India, Savarkar staged an attempt to escape and seek asylum in France while the ship was docked in the port of Marseilles.
The French port officials however handed him back to the British in contravention of international law. On return to India, Savarkar was sentenced to two life terms of imprisonment totalling fifty years and was moved to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
After , he started travelling widely, becoming a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Savarkar was critical of the decision taken by the Congress working committee in its wardha session of , passed a resolution which said to British: "Quit India but keep your armies here" which was reinstallation of British military rule over India, that he felt would be much worse.
In July , as he felt extremely stressed carrying out his duties as the president of Hindu Mahasabha, and as he needed some rest; he resigned from the post of the president of the Hindu Mahasabha. In , Savarkar was charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi ; however, he was acquitted by the court for lack of evidence. Savarkar resurfaced in the popular discourse after the coming of the BJP into power in  and again in with the Modi led BJP government at the center.
In the final days of freedom, Savarkar wrote letters to a close friend planning his escape. Knowing that he would most likely be shipped to India, Savarkar asked his friend to keep track of which ship and route he would be taken through. Savarkar's arrest at Marseilles caused the French government to protest to the British, arguing that the British could not recover Savarkar unless they took appropriate legal proceedings for his rendition.
The dispute came before the Permanent Court of International Arbitration in , and it gave its decision in The case excited much controversy as was reported by the New York Times , and it considered it involved an interesting international question of the right of asylum.
The Court held, firstly, that since there was a pattern of collaboration between the two countries regarding the possibility of Savarkar's escape in Marseilles and there was neither force nor fraud in inducing the French authorities to return Savarkar to them, the British authorities did not have to hand him back to the French for the latter to hold rendition proceedings.
On the other hand, the tribunal also observed that there had been an "irregularity" in Savarkar's arrest and delivery over to the Indian Army Military Police guard. The trial before the special tribunal was started on 10 September The second was waging a conspiracy under Indian penal code A against the King emperor.
He was not considered by the British government as a political prisoner. Savarkar applied to the Bombay Government for certain concessions in connection with his sentences.
However, by Government letter No. A month after arriving in the Cellular Jail, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Savarkar submitted his first mercy petition on 30 August This petition was rejected on 3 September Savarkar submitted his next mercy petition on 14 November , and presented it personally to the Home Member of the Governor General's council, Sir Reginald Craddock.
He wrote that his release from the jail will recast the faith of many Indians in the British rule. Also, he said " Moreover, my conversion to the constitutional line would bring back all those misled young men in India and abroad who were once looking up to me as their guide. I am ready to serve the government in any capacity they like, for as my conversion is conscientious so I hope my future conduct would be. By keeping me in jail, nothing can be got in comparison to what would be otherwise.
In , Savarkar submitted another mercy petition, this time for a general amnesty of all political prisoners. Savarkar was informed on 1 February that the mercy petition was placed before the British Indian Government. The Paragraph 6 of this proclamation included a declaration of Royal clemency to political offenders.
And as to my revolutionary tendencies in the past:- it is not only now for the object of sharing the clemency but years before this have I informed of and written to the Government in my petitions , about my firm intention to abide by the constitution and stand by it as soon as a beginning was made to frame it by Mr Montagu. Since that the Reforms and then the Proclamation have only confirmed me in my views and recently I have publicly avowed my faith in and readiness to stand by the side of orderly and constitutional development.
This petition was rejected on 12 July by the British government. The rationale for doing so was stated as follows  : pg. It may be observed that if Ganesh is released and Vinayak retained in custody, the latter will become in some measure a hostage for the former, who will see that his own misconduct does not jeopardize his brother's chances of release at some future date.
On 2 May , the Savarkar brothers were moved to a jail in Ratnagiri. During his incarceration in Ratnagiri jail in , he wrote his "Essentials of Hindutva" that formulated his theory of Hindutva. Soon after he started working on consolidation of Hindu society or Hindu sanghatan. During his internment, he met influential people such as Mahatma Gandhi , and Dr. His publishers, however, needed to have disclaimer that they were wholly divorced from politics.
Savarkar remained confined to Ratnagiri district until At that time, he was unconditionally released by the newly elected government of Bombay presidency. Savarkar as president of the Hindu Mahasabha, during the Second World War, advanced the slogan "Hinduize all Politics and Militarize Hindudom" and decided to support the British war effort in India seeking military training for the Hindus. He assailed the British proposals for transfer of power, attacking both the Congress and the British for making concessions to Muslim separatists.
However, in , the Congress ministries resigned in protest against Viceroy Lord Linlithgow's action of declaring India to be a belligerent in the Second World War without consulting the Indian people. This led to the Hindu Mahasabha, under Savarkar's presidency, joining hands with the Muslim League and other parties to form governments, in certain provinces. In Savarkar's own words,. Following the assassination of Gandhi on 30 January , police arrested the assassin Nathuram Godse and his alleged accomplices and conspirators.
This company had contributions from such eminent persons as Gulabchand Hirachand , Bhalji Pendharkar and Jugalkishore Birla. Savarkar, a former president of the Hindu Mahasabha, was arrested on 5 February , from his house in Shivaji Park , and kept under detention in the Arthur Road Prison , Bombay. He was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and abetment to murder. A day before his arrest, Savarkar in a public written statement, as reported in The Times of India , Bombay dated 7 February , termed Gandhi's assassination a fratricidal crime, endangering India's existence as a nascent nation.
Godse claimed full responsibility for planning and carrying out the assassination. While Badge and Shankar waited outside, Nathuram and Apte went in. Apte also said that Savarkar predicted that Gandhi's years were over and there was no doubt that the task would be successfully finished. In the last week of August , Mr. Manohar Malgonkar saw Digamber Badge several times and in particular, questioned him about the veracity of his testimony against Savarkar.
Manohar Malgonkar that "even though he had blurted out the full story of the plot as far as he knew, without much persuasion, he had put up a valiant struggle against being made to testify against Savarkar". He agreed to say on oath that he saw Nathuram Godse and Apte with Savarkar and that Savarkar, within Badge's hearing, had blessed their venture On 12 November , at a religious programme organised in Pune to celebrate the release of Gopal Godse , Madanlal Pahwa and Vishnu Karkare from jail after the expiry of their sentences, Dr.
Ketkar, grandson of Bal Gangadhar Tilak ,  former editor of Kesari and then editor of " Tarun Bharat ", who presided over the function, gave information of a conspiracy to kill Gandhi, about which he professed knowledge six months before the act. Ketkar was arrested. A public furor ensued both outside and inside the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and both houses of the Indian parliament. Under pressure of 29 members of parliament and public opinion the then Union home minister Gulzarilal Nanda appointed Gopal Swarup Pathak , M.
The central government intended on conducting a thorough inquiry with the help of old records in consultation with the government of Maharashtra. Pathak was given three months to conduct his inquiry; subsequently Jevanlal Kapur, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India , was appointed chairman of the Commission.
The Kapur Commission was provided with evidence not produced in the court; especially the testimony of two of Savarkar's close aides — Appa Ramachandra Kasar, his bodyguard, and Gajanan Vishnu Damle, his secretary. Kasar and Mr. Damle was already recorded by Bombay police on 4 March ,  : but apparently, these testimonies were not presented before the court during the trial. In these testimonies, it is said that Godse and Apte visited Savarkar on or about 23 or 24 January,  : which was when they returned from Delhi after the bomb incident.
Damle deposed that Godse and Apte saw Savarkar in the middle of January and sat with him Savarkar in his garden. The C. Bombay was keeping vigil on Savarkar from 21 to 30 January Justice Kapur concluded: "All these facts taken together were destructive of any theory other than the conspiracy to murder by Savarkar and his group.
The arrest of Savarkar was mainly based on approver Digambar Badge 's testimony. The commission did not re-interview Digambar Badge. After Gandhi's assassination, Savarkar's home in Dadar, Bombay was stoned by angry mobs. After he was acquitted of the allegations related to Gandhi's assassination and released from jail, Savarkar was arrested by the government for making "Hindu nationalist speeches"; he was released after agreeing to give up political activities. He continued addressing social and cultural elements of Hindutva.
He resumed political activism after the ban on it was lifted; it was however limited until his death in because of ill health. His followers bestowed upon him honours and financial awards when he was alive. Two thousand RSS workers gave his funeral procession a guard of honour. According to McKean, there was public antipathy between Savarkar and the Congress for most of his political career, yet after independence Congress ministers, Vallabhbhai Patel and C.
Deshmukh unsuccessfully sought partnership with the Hindu Mahasabha and Savarkar. It was forbidden for Congress party members to participate in public functions honouring Savarkar. Nehru refused to share the stage during the centenary celebrations of the India's First War of Independence held in Delhi.
After the death of Nehru, the Congress government, under Prime Minister Shastri , started to pay him a monthly pension. On 8 November , Savarkar's wife, Yamuna, died.
On 1 February , Savarkar renounced medicines, food and water which he termed as atmaarpan fast until death. Before his death, he had written an article titled "Atmahatya Nahi Atmaarpan" in which he argued that when one's life mission is over and ability to serve the society is left no more, it is better to end the life at will rather than waiting for death.
IST that day. Prior to his death, Savarkar had asked his relatives to perform only his funeral and do away with the rituals of the 10th and 13th day of the Hindu faith. He was mourned by large crowds that attended his cremation. He left behind a son, Vishwas, and a daughter, Prabha Chiplunkar.
Who was Veer Savarkar and how he contributed in National Freedom Struggle Movement?
While a student of law in London —10 , Savarkar helped to instruct a group of Indian revolutionaries in methods of sabotage and assassination that associates of his had apparently learned from expatriate Russian revolutionaries in Paris. During this period he wrote The Indian War of Independence, , in which he took the view that the Indian Mutiny of was the first expression of Indian mass rebellion against British colonial rule. In March Savarkar was arrested on various charges relating to subversion and incitement to war and was sent to India for trial and convicted. While imprisoned he wrote Hinditva: Who Is a Hindu? He served as president of the Mahasabha for seven years. In he retired to Bombay.
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
His father's name was Damodarpant Savarkar and mother was Radhabai. He lost his parents at an early age. He was strongly influenced by his elder brother Ganesh Babarao. Facts about Veer Savarkar. Prison Journey: Veer Savarkar was prisoned by the Britishers for about 50 years. His famous slogan: "Hinduize all Politics and Militarise Hindudom".