Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born on May 28, 1883, in the village of Bhagur, near Nashik, Maharashtra, to the Marathi Chitpavan Brahmin Hindu family of Damodar and Radhabai Savarkar. He is also known as  “Swantanryveer Savarkar”. He was also known as “Veer” in his childhood days for his courage. Veer Savarkar was heavily influenced by his brother Ganesh Savarkar. He was a firm believer of the “Swadeshi” ideology, he boycotted and burnt all the foreign goods in 1905. In his teenage years, he formed an organization called “Mitra Mela” which brought all the revolutionary-minded people together, this organization later developed into the Abhinav Bharat Society which was a secret society run by Veer Savarkar and his brother Ganesh Savarkar.

As a high school student, Savarkar became involved in politics and continued to do so at Fergusson College in Pune.He became involved with organizations such as the India House and the Free India Society while studying law in the United Kingdom. He also wrote books calling for full Indian independence by revolution. The British authorities banned one of his novels, The Indian War of Independence, which was about the Indian revolt of 1857. For his links to the revolutionary party India House, Savarkar was arrested in 1910 and ordered to be extradited to India.

Savarkar staged an attempt to flee and seek refuge in France when the ship was docked in the port of Marseilles on the way back to India. However, in violation of international law, French port officials returned him to the British. When he returned to India, Savarkar was sentenced to two life sentences, totalling fifty years, and was sent to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands‘ Cellular Jail.

Savarkar was charged with co-conspiracy in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, but the court acquitted him due to a lack of evidence.

He had a vision of popularising the concept of “Hinduism” even during times of criticism and controversy. He wanted to create a sense of Hindu identity and he did this through his speeches and writings. His ideology was free from caste discrimination and other elements which fragmented all the Hindus. When he was studying in London, he learnt the atrocities of the British and explained the same to other students and educated them. He wrote many books on what he believed and always wanted India to be independent of the British clutches. He was very brave, he confronted the Britishers, Indian National Congress, and its string leaders regarding the partition. Savarkar was very practical, he allied with the people whom he was not a fan of to achieve his goal. In 1939, he allied with the Muslim League and other political parties to come into power. He even opposed the “Quit India” movement which asked the British to leave but the British army to stay. He was very patient and wrote many books when he was imprisoned in the Andaman jail and did not lose his belief in Hindutva ideology. 

Participation Political organizations:

  • Abhinav Bharat Society, also known as the Young India Society, was formed by Veer Savarkar and his brother, Ganesh Savarkar, in 1904 and it was a secret society. It was initially known as “Mitra Mela” in Nashik and was associated with many revolutionaries and political activists with many branches all over India and London. 
  • In 1905, India House was formed by Shyamji Krishna Varma to promote patriotic nationalist feelings in Indian students living in London. Veer Savarkar was part of this organization when he was studying in the United Kingdom.
  • Free India Society was formed by the students in London with a motto to attain independence for India from British rule. It was initially an intellectual organization which later turned out to be a revolutionary outfit under its leader.
  • In 1933, a political party named the Hindu Mahasabha was formed by Savarkar, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Madan Mohan Malaviya. It was claimed to be formed to protect the rights of the Hindus after the formation of the All India Muslim League in 1906 and when the British government created separate electorates for Muslims in 1909 through Minto–Morley reforms. 

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