Veer Savarkar, a great historian, prolific writer, lawyer and revolutionary in the history of India’s struggle for Independence, was born on May 28, 1883 in Maharashtra. The staunch supporter of Hindutva, was the founder of ‘Mitra Mela’ which later became ‘Abhinav Bharat’, an organisation to fight for absolute political independence of India.
Today on the occasion of his birth anniversary, let’s know about his life and contribution towards making India an Independent Nation.
Early Life of Veer Savarkar
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born on May 28, 1883, in Bhagpur near Nasik, Maharashtra. His father was Damodarpant Savarkar and Mother was Radhabai, to whom he lost at an early age. He had a great impact of his elder brother Ganesh Savarkar, in his life. After completing his graduation from Pune’s Fergusson College, he went to England on a scholarship for his studies of Law. There he inspired his fellow Indians to fight for India’s Independence and formed ‘Free India Society’.
Savarkar was an advocate of Hindutva rashtra from childhood. Renowned author Jyotirmaya Sharma writes about an incident in his book “Hindutva: Exploring the Idea of Hindu Nationalism” that when Savarkar was 12-year-old, he leads a march with his schoolmates to vandalise a mosque in order to take revenge against the ‘atrocities’ committed against Hindus by Muslims.
Although he was a passionate promoter of Hindutva, he never worshipped cows, instead he always emphasised on taking care of these innocent creatures.
Seven Shackles of Savarkar
It is a rarely known fact that it was Veer Savarkar who initiated the most powerful Social reforms against untouchability and caste system in India. It was Veer Savarkar who recognized the rebellion of 1857 as the first war of Independence. Via his book ‘the History of the War of Indian Independence’, Savarkar became the first author to call for India’s first war for independence against Britishers’ rule.
Savarkar has given seven shackles of the society. These are as follows;
- The first one was the rigid caste system.
- 2nd he wanted to popularize Vedic literature among all sections of society, without any discrimination of upper and lower caste.
- 3rd he wanted to break caste based vocational rigidity.
- 4th he wanted to promote Indian culture globally.
- 5th he wanted to break the taboo on inter-caste dining.
- 6th, he was in support of inter-caste marriages..
- 7th, he used to believe that Science, Technology and education can empower Indian society among other progressive Nations.
Freedom Struggle of Savarkar
While studying in London Savarkar was involved in creating secret societies for freedom movements. He used to read a lot about various revolutions in Italy, America and the Netherland, inspired by that he started to publish a handwritten weekly named ‘Aryan weekly’. There he used to write thought provoking articles on Patriotism, history, literature and science.
He formed an organisation called Mitra Mela, which in 1904 developed into the Abhinav Bharat Society, which was popularised in western and central India. This society is considered as the foundation stone of Ghadar Party. In 1909 for his involvement in an armed uprising against Morley–Minto reforms, he got arrested. In 1911, he was sentenced to 50 years in the cellular jail of Andamans, also known as Kala Pani. In 1924, he was finally released from the jail on the condition of not participating in politics. Few days after his release, he started to work on social reforms to eradicate evils like untouchability in Ratnagiri district.
Interesting Facts on Savarkar
Here are some facts that you should know about Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
- Savarkar was a self proclaimed atheist but a full supporter of Hindutva ideology.
- In 1939, Savarkar joined hands with the Muslim League and other political parties to come into power.
- The name of his autobiography is ,’Life of Barrister Savarkar‘, under the name ‘Chandragupta‘. Later it was revealed that Chandragupt was none other than Savarkar himself.
- Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was the founding father of Hindu Rashtra Mahasabha.
- The Hindu Rashtra Mahasabha under Savarkar’s guidance publicly opposed and boycotted the Quit India Movement. He urged people to ‘Stick to your Posts’, and don’t revolt against the Government.
- Savarkar was the critic of INC and Mahatma Gandhi. He was also charged as the co-conspirator in assassination of Gandhi Ji in 1948.
- He didn’t want the partition of India into two different Nations.
- In 2002, the Airport in Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman Nicobar, was renamed as Veer Savarkar International airport.
- He breathed his last on 26 February, 1966.
- Vikram Sampath has written the biography of Savarkar in two parts. The first part is Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883-1924 , and second is A Contested Legacy, 1924-1966.