Feb 26-Atmasamarpan divas of Veer Savarkar
February 26: Atma Samarpan divas of Veer Savarkar
Hindu Rashtra bid tribute to Swantra Veer Savarkar
“Whenever the natural process of national and political evolution is violently suppressed by the forces of wrong, then revolution must step in as a natural reaction and therefore ought to be welcomed as the only effective instrument to enthrone Truth and Right”- Swatantra Veer Vinayak Damodhar Savarkar
On Feb 27 1966, 2500 uniformed Swayamsevaks of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and millions of admirers bid the last salute to the crown Prince of revolutionaries-Vinayak Savarkar. Today (Feb 26) is the Atma Samarpan divas of Veer Savarkar; the first political leader to embrace death voluntarily by way of Atma Samarpan in the highest tradition of Yoga. Let us pay our tribute to this dedicated nationalist on this day.
Savarkar, one of the most charismatic, forthright and revolutionary leaders of the freedom struggle, remains largely unknown to the masses because of the fake propaganda against him by the pseudo secularists. This article attempts to bring the life and activities of the multifaceted personality to the fore.
Vinayak Damodhar Savarkar was born on 28 May, 1883 in Bhagur, a small village in Maharashtra, the state where the great patriots like Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Bal Gangadhar Tilak etc had born. He had lost his parents Damodhar Pant and Radhabai at an early age. In 1898 when Chapekar brothers were hanged for assassinating British officer Mr. Rand, he was just 15 years old. But Chapekar’s martyrdom deeply impressed him and also inspiring him to take a pledge in front of Goddess Durga to hound out British from his motherland.
After the death of parents his eldest sibling Ganesh, known as Babarao, had the responsibility of family. Babarao had an influential role in the teenage period of Vinayak. During this period, Vinayak structured a youth group called Mitra Mela (01 March, 1900) to impart revolutionary and nationalist views of passion among the youth. Mitra Mela played a momentous role in Nasik during the plague by serving the victims.
Later, in 1902 he joined the Ferguson College, Pune for Graduation. As a genuine student of nationalism he found bigger space there; with growing youngsters, he bloomed as a leader and found Abhinav Bharat (1904), a secret revolutionary organization. All political activities were barred by the ruling British then and he had to carry out all communications in secret and was expelled from hostel and college for this. Savarkar was the first political leader in Bharat to courageously put on a bonfire of foreign clothes in Pune on Nov 1905 as part of the swadeshi campaign.
After passing the BA examination he went to England (1906) for higher studies in Law. There he joined the Gray’s Inn law college, and took accommodation at India House (hotbed of student political activities), founded by expatriate Shyamji Krishna Varma. There he organized another international revolutionary organization called Free India Society and also celebrated the Golden Jubilee of First War of Bharat Independence (which the British termed as the sepoy mutiny of 1857) with fellow Indian students.
At London, Savarkar undertook his mission in life, to create awareness regarding the first Armed National Revolt in India in 1857. Through friends, he could get access to all much-needed first hand information regarding the struggle. It was the first national effort towards getting political independence and rightly called his book The Indian War of Independence 1857. The book was proscribed by the British authorities in India even before publication. But it was published in Holland by Madam Bikaji Cama without cover and smuggled to Bharat. The book attained great popularity and influenced rising young Indians and future revolutionaries, including Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh.During that time he also wrote another book, Joseph Mazzini in1907, a biography of the great revolutionary leader of modern Italy.
It was during this period that Savarkar helped to design the first Indian National Flag, which Madam Bikaji Cama unfurled at the World Socialist Conference at Stuttgart, Germany.
British Government arrested Savarkar in London on13 March, 1910 on some fabricated charges and sent back to Bharat for trial. Revolutionary activities in London, Mumbai, Pune, and Nasik were traced to his guidance. However as the ship in which he was being taken reached Marseilles in France, Savarkar escaped and swam to the port. But he was caught by the French police. After a formal trial, Savarkar was charged with serious offences of illegal transportation of weapons, provocative speeches and sedition; he was sentenced to 50 years’ of imprisonment and deported to the Black waters, Kalapani at Andaman cellular jail.
Unlike Gandhi and Nehru who were given class A prisoner status, Savarkar was given Class C status. Conditions in jail were inhuman: back-breaking job of stone breaking, rope making, and milling. Prisoners had to grind the copra in the mill, tied like oxen. Each had to take out 30 pounds of oil everyday. Some died of sheer exhaustion and inhuman treatment of beating and whipping. Bad food, unsanitary conditions, stone bed and cold weather in winter used to take their toll. Even in prison forcible conversions of poor Hindus to Islam were taking place. Savarkar fought for the prison reforms and put an end to these conversions.
Since political prisoners were treated like hardened criminals, they had no access to pen and paper. But the poet in Savarkar was restless, deprived of pen and paper he composed his poems and then wrote them on the prison walls with thorns and nails, memorized ten thousand lines of his poetry for years.
After spending 16 years in Andamans, Savarkar was transferred to the Ratnagiri jail and then kept under a house arrest. In the brief period he spent at the Ratnagiri jail, Savarkar wrote his ideological treatise – Hindutva. Smuggled out of the prison, it was published by Savarkar’s supporters under his alias Maharatta. In this work, Savarkar promotes a radical new vision of Hindu social and political consciousness. Savarkar began describing a Hindu as a patriotic inhabitant of Bharatavarsha, venturing beyond a religious identity. While emphasizing the need for patriotic and social unity of all Hindu communities, he described Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism as one. He outlined his vision of a Hindu Rashtra as Akhant Bharat (United India), stretching across the entire Indian subcontinent.After release, Books, poems, and articles came out. But he was known for his book on 1857 (War of Independence) throughout the world, and also Kamala, an epic written by him while he was in Cellular jail.
He soon joined the Hindu Mahasabha, a political party founded in 1911 and avowed to Hindu political rights and empowerment. Savarkar moved to Mumbai and was elected president of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1937, and would serve until 1943.During the time of partition of Bharat; Savarkar vehemently opposed the move and conducted several campaigns for Akhant Bharat. Despite all these, partition happened; Pakistan was created by the Muslim fundamentalists. As a result of partition Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Vinayak Godse on Jan 30, 1948. Savarkar was arrested on suspicion of having inspired and planned Gandhi’s murder, and but was acquitted for want of evidence.
After Independence, Savarkar warned several times about the threats of China and Pakistan. But the governments were not ready to hear the voice of this great patriot. A famous Indian Military General is said to have quoted Savarkar after the Indians conceded land to the Chinese in a military conflict in 1962. Savarkar had advocated a militarily strong India.
In 1966 Savarkar renounced medicines, food and water leading to his death on February 26, 1966. He was mourned by large crowds that attended his cremation.
In the history of struggle for Bharat’s independence, V.D. Savarkar’s place is unique. Savarkar was the first Indian leader to give the message of absolute political independence and unity to the nation. Today Savarkar is revered in Bharat as “Brave Savarkar”. The history of Bharat judge Vinayak Damodhar Savarkar as a brave revolutionary, a fiercely patriotic leader, a great social reformer, a prolific speaker, an epic poet, dramatist, philosopher …….
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