Updated: Oct 16, 2022
Vinayak Savarkar was born in Bhagur village near Nashik in Maharashtra (at the time, 'Bombay Presidency'). His mother's name was Radhabai and father's name was Damodar Pant Savarkar. He had two brothers Ganesh (Babarao) and Narayan Damodar Savarkar and a sister Nainabai. When he was only nine years old, his mother died in the cholera epidemic. Seven years later, in 1899, in the plague epidemic, his father also went to heaven. After this Vinayak's elder brother Ganesh took care of the upbringing of the family. In this hour of grief and hardship, Ganesha's personality had a profound impact on Vinayaka. Vinayak passed the matriculation examination in 1901 from Shivaji High School Nashik. Since childhood, he was a nerd, but he also wrote some poems in those days. Despite the economic crisis, Babarao supported Vinayak's desire for higher education. During this period Vinayak organized local youths and organized friend fairs. Soon the flame of revolution erupted in these young men with a sense of nationality. In 1901, he was married to Yamunabai, the daughter of Ramchandra Trimbak Chiplunkar. His father-in-law took the burden of his university education. He completed his BA in 1902 from Fergusson College, Pune after completing his matriculation studies. His son was Vishwas Savarkar and daughter Prabhat Chiplunkar.
Some men are born great. Some are made great. Some are denied greatness in their life time. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the doyen of Indian Revolutionaries and a front-rank freedom fighter belongs to the third category. Whether as a social revolutionary, or political revolutionary or politician Savarkar was always firm by his convictions. Despite suffering ignominy at the hands of his own undeserving brethren Savarkar kept the flame of true nationalism burning. The book not only gives us details about the various achievements of Savarkar in various fields of social, revolutionary and political life but also in the field of poetry and literature. This book fully dispels all doubts, apprehensions, misconceptions and misunderstanding about this Great Son of Mother India who sacrificed his present to mold the future of his country. Power politics makes mischievous attempts to malign this peerless patriot. But truth has already started dawning and all the clouds eclipsing the multi-dimensional personality of Veer Savarkar have started dispersing and the bright sun of his name and fame will soon illuminate the political sky of India that is Bharat. Read this book to appreciate Savarka's real worth.
As the intellectual fountainhead of the ideology of Hindutva, which is in political ascendancy in India today, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is undoubtedly one of the most contentious political thinkers and leaders of the twentieth century. Accounts of his eventful and stormy life have oscillated from eulogizing hagiographies to disparaging demonization. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between and has unfortunately never been brought to light. Savarkar and his ideology stood as one of the strongest and most virulent opponents of Gandhi, his pacifist philosophy and the Indian National Congress.
An alleged atheist and a staunch rationalist who opposed orthodox Hindu beliefs, encouraged inter-caste marriage and dining, and dismissed cow worship as mere superstition, Savarkar was, arguably, the most vocal political voice for the Hindu community through the entire course of India's freedom struggle. From the heady days of revolution and generating international support for the cause of India's freedom as a law student in London, Savarkar found himself arrested, unfairly tried for sedition, transported and incarcerated at the Cellular Jail, in the Andamans, for over a decade, where he underwent unimaginable torture.
From being an optimistic advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity in his treatise on the 1857 War of Independence, what was it that transformed him in the Cellular Jail to a proponent of 'Hindutva', which viewed Muslims with suspicion?
Drawing from a vast range of original archival documents across India and abroad, this biography in two parts-the first focusing on the years leading up to his incarceration and eventual release from the Kalapani-puts Savarkar, his life and philosophy in a new perspective and looks at the man with all his achievements and failings.
In 1904, he founded a revolutionary organization called Abhinav Bharat. After the partition of Bengal in 1905, he lit Holi of foreign cloth in Pune. Even at Ferguson College, Pune, he used to give vigorous speeches of patriotism. He received the Shyamji Krishna Varma Scholarship in 1906 with the approval of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Many of his articles were published in journals called Indian Sociologist and Talwar, which also appeared in the epochal paper of Calcutta. Savarkar was more influenced by the Russian revolutionaries. On May 10, 1907, he celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the first Indian freedom struggle at India House, London. On this occasion, Vinayak Savarkar, in his powerful speech, proved the struggle of 1857 with the evidence, not the mutiny, but the first struggle for the independence of India. In June 1908, his book The Indian War of Independence: 1857 was ready, but its printing was ready. The problem came up. Efforts were made for this from London to Paris and Germany, but all those efforts were unsuccessful. Later this book was somehow secretly published from Holland and copies of it were sent to France . In this book, Savarkar described the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 as the first fight for independence against the British government. In May 1909, he passed the Bar et la (Advocacy) examination from London but was not allowed to practice there. This book was brought to India by Savarkar ji in the name of Peak Week Papers and Scouts Papers.
Savarkar started living in India House after taking admission in Gres Inn Law College, London. India House was the center of political activities at that time, which was being run by Shyam Prasad Mukherjee. Savarkar created the 'Free India Society', which inspired his fellow Indian students to fight for freedom.
Savarkar read books based on the revolution of 1857 and wrote a book called "The History of the War of Indian Independence".
He studied deeply about the revolution of 1857, how the British could be uprooted from the root.
Arrest in London and Marseille
While living in London, he met Lala Hardayal, who used to look after India House in those days. He also wrote an article in the London Times after William Hut Curzon Wylie was shot by Madanlal Dhingra on 1 July 1909. He was arrested on 13 May 1910 from Paris upon reaching London, but escaped through the sewer hole on 8 July 1910 in a ship called MS Moria to India. On 24 December 1910, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Was punished Subsequently, he was given life imprisonment again on 31 January 1911 Thus, Savarkar was sentenced to two-and-a-half life imprisonment by the British government for revolution work, which was the first and unique punishment in the history of the world. According to Savarkar -
Homeland! I have already laid my mind at your feet. Believing that country service is God service, I served God through your service.
Arbitration court case...Trial and punishment...
Savarkar taught his friends the art of making bombs and making war with the guerrilla method. In 1909, Savarkar's friend and follower Madanlal Dhingra killed the British officer Curzon in a public meeting. This work of Dhingra gave rise to revolutionary activities in India and Britain. Savarkar provided political and legal support to Dhingra, but later the British government sentenced Dhingra to death by conducting a secret and banned trial.
Due to which Indian students living in London were infuriated. Savarkar had called Dhingra a patriot and intensified the revolutionary uprising. Seeing the activities of Savarkar, the British Government got involved in the crime of planning the murder and sending the pistol to India, after which Savarkar was arrested. Now Savarkar was thought to be taken to India for further prosecution.
When Savarkar came to know about the news of going to India, Savarkar wrote to his friend in a plan letter to flee the ship to France. The ship halted and Savarkar escaped from the window floating in the sea water, but was arrested again for the friend's delay in arrival. The arrest of Savarkar led the French government to oppose the British government.
In cellular prison
Statue of Savarkar in front of Port Blair's Cellular Jail
On 7 April 1911, he was sent to the Cellular Jail on the punishment of black water under the Nashik Conspiracy Case for the murder of the Collector of Nashik District, Jackson. According to him, freedom fighters had to work hard here. Prisoners here had to peel coconut and extract oil from it. Also, they had to be mustard and coconut oil extracted here like a bull in a crusher. Apart from this, they also had to clean the forests adjacent to the prison and level the marshy land and hilly area. When stopped, they were also punished severely and beaten with cane and whip. Even then they were not given enough food. Savarkar remained in the prison at Port Blair from July 4, 1911 to May 21, 1921.
In 1920, at the behest of Vallabhbhai Patel and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he was released on condition of not breaking British law and not revolting. Savarkar knew that the more opportunity he got to work by staying underground better than being in jail for years, the better.
His thinking was that if he stays outside the jail, then he will be able to do what he wanted to do, which was not possible from Andaman and Nicobar's jail. Many people have been demanding Bharat Ratna from the beginning.
Restricted Freedom in Ratnagiri
On his return in 1921, he returned home and then spent 3 years in jail. In jail, he wrote a research book on Hinduism. Meanwhile, on 7 January 1925, his daughter, Prabhat, was born. In March 1925, he met the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Dr. Hedgewar. On 17 March 1928, his son Vishwas was born. In February 1931, his efforts led to the setting up of the Puritan Temple in Bombay, which was equally open to all Hindus. On 25 February 1931, Savarkar presided over the Untouchability Eradication Conference held in the Bombay Presidency In 1937, he was elected president of the 19th session of the All India Hindu Mahasabha at Karnavati (Ahmedabad), after which he was again elected president for seven years. On 15 April 1938, he was elected the President of the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan. On 13 December 1937, at a public meeting in Nagpur, he had inspired to foil the ongoing efforts for a separate Pakistan. On 22 June 1941, he met Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. On 9 October 1942, he sent a telegram informing Churchill, including a request for India's independence.
Savarkar remained in favor of Akhand Bharat throughout his life. Gandhi and Savarkar had a very different view of the means of attaining independence. After 1943, Dadar lived in Bombay. His brother Baburao died on 16 March 1945. On 19 April 1945, he presided over the All India Rajwada Hindu Sabha Conference. His daughter Prabhat married on May 8 of the same year. In April 1946, the Bombay Government lifted the ban on the literature written by Savarkar. In 1947, he opposed the partition of India.
Mahatma Ramchandra Veer (leader and saint of Hindu Mahasabha) supported him.