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Veer Savarkar : A true nationalist

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Veer Savarkar was a freedom fighter, social reformer, writer, and political thinker. Savarkar was known among his followers by the prefix ‘Veer’. Savarkar published books advocating complete Indian independence by revolutionary means. He was a leading figure of the Hindu Mahasaba.

He was one of the few people to publish a book on the 1857 Revolution. The book was banned by the British for being revolutionary. He demanded Purna Swarajya 20 years before Congress and Gandhiji. The British marked him as dangerous. He conspired to use arms and explosives against the British similar to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev.

He refused to participate in the Quit India movement instead was a supporter of “Quit India, leave army” Nehru’s father Motilal Nehru had earlier refused to participate in Civil Disobedience along with many other Congress leaders. He and Motilal both wanted to make full use of legislative rights to make India Independent, unlike Gandhi and J. Nehru.

He was awarded the longest jail term for any freedom fighter that is two life terms. He was sent to Andaman Cellular jail, while others like Nehru were permitted to live near their family. He was made to work like an animal in oil mills, made to wear chains around his neck like a dog, starved, and not allowed to meet family or settle which was mandatory under British laws.

JAIL

His mission for independence didn’t die in Jail. He was caught making bombs in jail to blast the Britishers and free all the political prisoners in Andaman Jail. Unlike Nehru who was given live updates in Jail too, whereas he wasn’t even told that his elder brother was in the same jail as him.

Shivaji Maharaj had once made a treaty with the cruel Aurangzeb where he was required to help the Mughals whenever and wherever required. However he didn’t pay attention to it once he was free. This man tried to make a similar treaty with the British, just to get out of jail so he could help the freedom struggle. He used verses from the bible to influence the British including: “The return of the prodigal son (to the government)”.

As a barrister, he made use of every possible legal remedy to free him from jail. Finally, when he struck a deal with the British, it required him to stay out of political activities. He defied the treaty and published fiery articles in multiple newspapers like Maharatta when he was released.

PARTITION

He was always opposed to Congress, which once described British rule as a ‘gift’. Congress led by Gandhi did not rally for Purna Swaraj (complete Independence) until 1929. He opposed both of them for this. He was the staunchest critic of Congress for accepting the partition of the country.

HINDUTVA

The man largely credited with the invention of the concept of Hindutva—literally ‘Hinduness’—is Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883–1966), whose Essentials Of Hindutva (Bombay: Veer Savarkar Prakashan, 1st edition 1923) laid out the concept in 1923. Republished in 1928 as ‘Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu?’, it is in many ways the foundational text of the Hindu nationalist creed.

Savarkar chose the term ‘Hindutva’ to describe the ‘quality of being a Hindu’ in ethnic, cultural and political terms. He argued that a Hindu is one who considers India to be his motherland (matrbhumi), the land of his ancestors (pitrbhumi), and his holy land (punya bhumi). 

He was of the ideology of “protect cows, don’t worship them.  He was a rationalist and believed in reforms. He fought for the abolition of Untouchability in Ratnagiri.

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