Sunday, September 25, 2016

Vinayaka Damodar Savarkar Indian Freedom Fighter

Vinayaka Damodar Savarkar Indian Freedom Fighter
Date of birth: 28th May, 1883 and Date of death: 1966
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, sometimes called as Veer Savarkar was an Indian freedom fighter and Hindu nationalist leader.  He was a great orator, prolific writer, historian, poet, philosopher and social worker who devoted his entire life to the cause of the Indian independence movement.  He is regarded by some as one of the greatest revolutionaries in the Indian Freedom Movement.  He was also one of the controversial figures of the National Movement.  Being a descendant of a line of Sanskrit scholars, Veer Savarkar took great interest in History, Politics and Indian Culture.  His book, ‘First War of Indian Independence Movement: 1857’, served as an inspiration for many freedom fighters.  Born in the village of Bhagur near Nasik, he was one among four children born to Damodar Pant Savarkar and Radhabai.  His initial education was at the Shivaji School, Nasik.  In 1902, he joined Fergusson College in Pune to study further.  In June, 1906, he received a scholarship and left for London to study law.
As a student, Savarkar was involved in the Swadeshi movement.  Later he joined Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s Swaraj Party.  When in London, he founded the Free India Society.  The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian Calendar including festivals and freedom movement landmarks.  In 1908, when he wrote ‘The Indian War of Independence, 1857’, the British Government immediately enforced a ban on the publication in both Britain and India.  Later, it was published by Madame Bhikaiji Cama in Holland and was smuggled into India to reach revolutionaries working across the country against British rule.  When the British Collector of Nasik, A.M.T. Jackson was shot dead by a youth, Savarkar fell under the net of the Britishers.  He was implicated in the murder citing his connections with India House.  A warrant was issued on 13th March, 1910, following which he was arrested in Paris.  He hatched a plan to escape at Marseilles which failed.  He was captured and brought to Bombay on the S.S. Morea, and imprisoned at the Yerawada Jail.  He was tried, and at the age of 27 years, sentenced to 50 years imprisonment at the infamous Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  On 4th July, 1911, he was transported to the Andaman.  He appealed for clemency in 1911, and again in 1913, during Sir Reginald Craddock’s visit.  In 1920, many prominent freedom fighters including Vithalbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Tilak demanded the release of Savarkar and his brother in the Central Legislative Assembly.  On 2nd May, 1921, Savarkar moved to Ratnagiri Jail, and from there to Yeravada jail.  It was in Ratnagiri Jail that Savarkar wrote the book ‘Hindutva’.  The Hindu Mahasabha, under the presidentship of Savarkar supported the Quit India Movement.  His literary works in Marathi include ‘Kamala’ and ‘Mazi Janmathep (My Life Sentence).  Another important noted book was ‘Kala Pani’ (similar to life sentence, but on the island prison on the Andamans) which reflected the treatment of freedom fighters.

No comments:

Post a Comment