Veer Savarkar was born on 28 May 1883 to a Marathi Hindu family of Chitpavan Brahmin Damodar and Radhabai Savarkar in Bhagpur village, Nashik and died on 26 February 1966 in Bombay (now Bombay). His full name is Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. He was a politician, a lawyer, a social reformer. He was an Indian independence activist and politician who formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva.
He was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. While some consider him one of the greatest revolutionaries in India’s freedom struggle, others consider him a communalist and right-wing leader.
Contributions to the National Freedom Struggle:
•Veer Savarkar was influenced by his elder brother Ganesh who played a significant role in his teenage life. He also became a revolutionary youth.
•Savarkar started his political activities as a high school student and continued it at Fergusson College, Pune.
•In 1904 he called a meeting of about two hundred selected members of the Mitra Mela revolutionary party.
•The name of his party was later changed to Abhinava Bharat. He was against foreign goods and promoted the idea of Swadeshi. In 1905, he burned all foreign goods in a fire on Dussehra.
•When he went to England for higher studies, he continued his revolutionary activities and founded a leading organization called the ‘Free India Society’. He founded this society to mobilize the youth against colonial rule in India.
•The British government immediately enforced a ban on the publication in both Britain and India.
•It was later published by Madame Bhikaiji Cama in Holland and smuggled into India to reach revolutionaries working across the country against British rule.
•When the then British Collector of Nasik, A.M.T. Jackson was shot dead by a youth, Veer Savarkar eventually fell under the net of the British authorities.
•He was implicated in the murder, citing his connection with India House. Savarkar was arrested in London on 13 March 1910 and sent to India.
•In 1937, he was released unconditionally from Ratnagiri Jail by the newly elected Government of Bombay Presidency.
•From 1937 to 1947 he strained every nerve to keep India united.
Veer savarkar Indian Society Contributions:
• Veer Savarkar was a modernist, a rationalist and a strong advocate of social reform.
•According to Savarkar, our films should focus on the positives of the country, leave out the negatives and be proud of its victories. Our youth should be inspired by movies that focus on the positive side of things.
• In his presidential address to the annual meeting of the Hindu Mahasabha held in Calcutta in 1939, Savarkar spoke of how Hindus and Muslims could bury their historical differences in a common Hindustani constitutional state.
•Savarkar often exhorted his supporters to welcome the age of the modern machine.
• In an essay published in the journal Kirloskar and republished in a book of his essays on the scientific approach, he argued that India would continue to lag behind Europe as long as its leaders believed in superstition rather than science.
•He was a critic of the caste system and was of the opinion that both ‘Chaturvarna’ and the caste system proved very disastrous to the unity of Hindu society and gave rise to the inhumane practice of untouchability.
•Caste promoted and institutionalized inequality, divided Hindu society into numerous sections and sowed seeds of enmity and hatred among Hindus.
•Rejected the sanctity of religious scriptures and argued that all religious scriptures were created by humans and their teachings cannot be applied to all societies at all times.
•Favored the pursuit of science and reason and criticized the “irrational and superstitious” practices of Hindus.
•He wanted the Hindus to reject blind faith in the Vedas and customs and sought to acquire material power by accepting the supremacy of machines.
Written by: Vaishali Verma