Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also famous as Swatantryaveer Savarkar was a social reformer, fearless freedom fighter, a poet, dramatist, writer, political leader, historian, and a philosopher. Due to the vicious propaganda against him, masses have largely misunderstood him over the decades. But the reality is that this highly intelligent and revered son of India was dedicated to his motherland until his last breath.
1. A Revolutionary Right From Teenage
Savarkar was a revolutionary right from his teenage. He formed a youth organization called Mitra Mela for advocating nationalist ideas at the age of 15.
2. Inspired By Lokmanya Tilak
During his graduation years in Fergusson College, Pune he was largely inspired by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. When the latter announced a boycott of British clothes, Savarkar went a step ahead and during Dussehra on October 7, 1905, burnt all the foreign goods and clothes in a bonfire.
3. Savarkar Dived In Water To Escape From Arrest
In 1909 the British arrested Savarkar on the charge of plotting an armed revolt against the reform of Morley-Minto. To escape the arrest he dived in water but was again arrested after reaching the shore.
4. Founded Free India Society
Savarkar studied in Grey’s Inn College in London and was a regular resident of the famous India House. The place was a hub of student politics. Here Savarkar founded the Free India Society with the intention to mobilize the youths against the rule of the Britishers in India.
5. Savarkar Wrote About Guerrilla Tactics In His Book
During his stay in England, the freedom fighter learned about the style followed in guerrilla warfare similar to that followed by the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. He wrote about this warfare in detail in his book titled, “The History of the War Of Indian Independence.” But the book was banned in India.
Later on, Bhikaji Cama published it and circulated it in Netherlands, Germany, and France and somehow the book found out its way to reach few hands in India.
6. Sentenced For Two Life Sentences
In a rare incidence, Veer Savarkar was sentenced to two life sentences. The sentence included 50 years in the cellular jail of the Andamans fearfully called as Kala Pani in those days. After pressure and mercy petitions from the Indian National Congress, the British government shifted him to the Yerwada Jail in 1923.
He was later on released in 1924 but on strict conditions that he will not participate in politics for another 5 years and was not allowed to leave Ratnagiri district.
7. Savarkar’s Work On Untouchability
Since he was a die-hard social worker, the restrictions did not stop his activities and work towards society. So after the restrictions, Savarkar decided to focus on the age-old problem of untouchability in Ratnagiri where he was 100% successful. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar who worked as the editor of a monthly magazine called Janta compared Savarkar’s contribution to the work of Lord Buddha.
8. Propagated Idea Of Hinduism
Apart from untouchability, Savarkar also focused on propagating the idea of Hinduism after his release. He promoted the thought of unified India based on the principles of Hinduism. According to him, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism are all one and the same and put forward his vision of Akhanda Bharat.
9. British Govt. Banned 8 Works Of Savarkar
The British government banned around 8 works of Savarkar. They include drama Usshap, Indian War of Independence 1857, Mazzini- Savarkar’s biography in Marathi, his biography by GP Parchure, and his articles in Shraddhanand magazine published by Savarkar’s brother.
10. Decided To Attain Samadhi And Went On Hunger Strike
In 1964, Savarkar felt that his goal of having an Independent India has been achieved and hence he decided to attain Samadhi. He went on hunger strike on February 1, 1966, and died on February 26, 1966.