Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was 14 years younger to Gandhi. But his philosophy on all matters related to social political and culture were absolutely clear without any conflict and bias.
Restrained by an award of 50 years in jail sentences with 11 years of incarceration in cellular jail and conditional confinement for another 17 years at Ratnagiri took away the major life approximately 27 years of this scholar revolutionary. Yet his vision and philosophy was sharp and precipitous to guide the masses engulfed in political darkness under British slavery.
Savarkar was one who declared 1857 as the first war of freedom Struggle. For him Independence from British was no nonsense talk. Veer Savarkar wrote as many as 38 books in English and Marathi and two novels named –Mopilla Rebellion and My Transportation of Life -Poetry and Plays. His most illustrious work which is not taught in any college today is “The Indian war of Independence 1857 and Hindutva: Who is Hindu? He was a gifted poet and wrote several poems
He was a true revolutionary who happened to be the first political thinker to have declared complete Independence from British in 1900, first to put on the first Bonfire of foreign cloth in 1905. He led from the front when he conspired an armed attack on a British Collector in 1909 at Nasik against the 1909 Minto Morley pact. His ability to mobilize mass, lead and execute his plan at electrifying speed alarmed the British. British are a foreign occupant and they can never be good for Indian masses, was his non-negotiable conviction.
Indian leaders and historians manufactured a myth around the benevolence and progressive outlook of British to the extent that even Winston Churchill who heaped upon a man made famine in 1943 in Bengal where nearly 4 million people died from starvation was spared without any responsibility. And this heart wrenching incident found no word of condemnation from any of the political leaders or historians then or now.
No wonder for this given the explicit vision of Veer Savarkar, he was never considered as a political leader by the British. Unlike him contemporary political leaders co-opted, negotiated, collaborated in servile grace with the same British Monarchy. Reason why Savarker was sentenced for 50 years at Andaman cellular Jail speaks of British fear about him and his ideology.
Veer Savarkar was absolutely clear about Hindu and Sikh youth joining and occupying positions in British Police and administration. Criticism is heaped upon him for his call for participation in British army and not to engage in the Quit India Movement 1942. Decades later, the role of Hindu in police/administration and army became the reason behind the safety and security of Hindus during this partition. Places like Mirpur, Amarkot, Noakhali and Muzaffarbad where adequate Hindu soldiers were not present in British service, we could not save Hindu massacre at such location at the time of partition in 1947.
A disarmed society always remains at the mercy of others. He had a vision to see the emerging contradiction in social and political structure and hence his call for occupying the role in administration was futuristic, rational and visionary.
His vision to empowerment and control of the administration was aptly visible when he led Hindu Mahasabha, under his presidency to join hand with the Muslim League/Krishak Praja Party and other small parties for forming provincial government in provinces of Sindh, NWFP in 1943, and Bengal in 1941. And these all provinces had Hindu minority where post this political alliance, Hindu could find their voice heard and feel their life protected. Critics of Savarkar also defines this power sharing of Hindu Mahasabha with Muslim league as an opportunistic alliance. But they forget to explain how congress abdicated itself from the accountability of Hindu`s sufferings and killings in Muslim majority province.
As a votary of Akhand Bharat, It was inconceivable for Veer Savarkar to accept the idea of Partition which was mooted by Muslim league in 1940 and soft peddled by Mahatma Gandhi when he engaged Jinnah for discussion in 1944.
Rather Savarkar concept of Bharat rests with Hindu as representation of Indian Civilization. He argued that the holiest sites of Islam and Christianity are in the Middle East and not in India, hence the loyalty of Muslims and Christians to India will remain divided. His idea of Akand Bharat was opposed to any division of Nation on the basis of religion.
Veer Savarkar himself a progressive Hindu and a self-declared atheist fought against social evils of caste discrimination and untouchability candidly. Unlike Gandhi who institutionalized the caste system by putting forward a new name as “Harijan”, Veer Savarkar was opposed to the practice of caste hierarchy and privileges in totality.
He was a strong votary of reconversion of people of other faith into Hinduism, as this was the only way to undo the injustice meted upon them centuries back. Not only he preached but he practiced the reconversion in his lifetime. He called upon Hindus to practice and promote the reconversion of converted believers into Hindu fold actively.
Veer Savarkar was a fierce critic of Gandhi especially about his political ambivalence with British rule and appeasement policy toward Muslim League. While Gandhiji opposed all forms of violence in his political pursuit yet he consented to the recruitment of Indian native as British soldiers in world war. And later on, in his political journey, he never expressed a sentence of accountability with regret, guilt or remorse for the over 90000 of Indian native Hindu Sikh killed in these wars.
Further Gandhi jee introducing an absolutely Islamic movement called Khilafat movement with Indian freedom struggle came under Savarkar heaviest of criticism. He had his firm belief that later on this appeasement to religious group for nationalistic objective would draw congress closer to compromises and corruptibility in pursuing its political neutrality.
He was thoughtful yet a man of indomitable firmness. In a series of articles written between 1920-1940 Veer Savarkar displayed the contradiction in the claim of Gandhi on the subject of compassion, piety and non-violence. According to him, it was patrician and selective. It is also that Gandhi jee could never own moral responsibility or explain his contradictory stand from stated neutrality in relation to the several issues related to Bhagat Singh hanging, Swami Shraddhanand killing and Shaeed Udham Singh death.
Savarkar had always championed the cause of Hindu Civilizational. It is not only the oldest civilization but also the only surviving civilization on the planet earth. He also invoked masses to work for the social and cultural preservation of Hindu heritage and cultural values.
To conclude, Savarkar, besides being a prolific author who authored 38 books and two Novels, displayed his insight on all aspects of his political philosophy. A glittering intellectual brilliance which was replete with ingredients of humanism, rationalism, universalism, positivism, utilitarianism, and realism.
He was a visionary, who chose a path of struggle, sacrifice and personal renunciation for the cause of millions of emancipated Hindus Sikh. He has had his hours of vindication in later part of life, when he was honorably acquitted by the court and later on by Kapoor commission in Gandhi Murder case.
Generation to come would realize and remember Veer Savarkar for his prowess, creativity and care for the oceans of believers of Bharat. He was a poet, a philosopher, a humanist, an ideologue, an atheist Hindu and a freedom fighter.
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