Vinayaka Damodara Savarkara (May 28, 1883 to February 26, 1966) was the greatest Bharatiya freedom-fighter, progressive social reformer, politician and author par excellence. He defined ‘Hindu’ identity and demarcated contours of Bharata indubitably, an area of confusion hitherto.
Revolutionary life of Vinayaka started early when he was a student in British India, then in Britain. He founded Abhinava Bharata Society and Free India Society vigorously espousing the sacred cause of complete freedom of Bharata from vice like exploitative and torturous British clutches of slavery. He published The Indian War Of Independence that was proscribed by British authorities, then arrested in 1910, sentenced to two life terms equivalent to 50 years in prison, dumped in Cellular Jail of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, finally released in 1921. Vinayaka travelled widely, served as President of Hindu Mahasabha, embraced the mission of Hindu–Rastra, fiercely condemned Indian National Congress and their decision to accept Indo-Pakistan Partition 1947. He was also accused of conspiring to assassinate MK Gandhi albeit exonerated after a prolonged acrimonious trial. Today, Vira Savarkara International Airport at Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, a commemorative plaque at India House ordered by the Historic Building And Monuments Commission Of England reading in his honour, “Vinayaka Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966), Indian patriot and scholar, lived here” constantly remind us all of his selfless sacrifices and dedication to the nation.
Born to Damodara and Radhabai Savarkar-s in Village Bhagur of Nasik, he earned the epaulette of ‘Vira’ i.e. braveheart just at 12 when he led fellow students to confront a rampaging horde of Muslim bigots invading his village. Outnumbered outright, he motivated his friends to fight back until last Muslim was kicked out with his Mantra, “Do not fear them. Almighty is your strength, so fight, even when facing an enemy stronger than yourself.” Vinayaka had been a revolutionary right since his teens when he organised a teen-group Mitra Mela, imbued them with an acute sense of nationalism while in Fergusson College at Pune, was imbued with the same by legendary revolutionaries like Lokmanya Tilaka, Vipin Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai agitating against partition of Bengal as well as Svadesi Abhiyana. Later he proceeded to England to study law at Gray’s Inn Law College staying at India House supported by another highly exalted freedom-fighter, Syamaji Krsna Varma, he did not forfeit the opportunity to raise Free India Society to mobilise other Bharatiya students to realise the mission of complete independence through these words, “We must stop complaining about this British officer or that officer, this law or that law. There would be no end to that. Our movement must not be limited to being against any particular law, but it must be for acquiring the authority to make laws itself. In other words, we want absolute independence.” In 1909, he vehemently supported Madanlal Dhingra and defended him legally in the case of assassination of Lord Curzon Wyllie and later claimed his remains after execution. In the same year he revolted against Morley-Minto Reforms, arrested in Paris while hiding in the home of Bhikaji Cama in 1910, shipped to Bharata in SS Morea, jumped into the ocean to escape and swam to Marseille. He was re-arrested and legal proceedings had to be referred to Permanent Court Of International Arbitration to resolve some knotty issues concerning right to asylum for the persecuted ones.
Vinayaka authored 1857 – The First War Of Indian Independence that countered British propaganda that War Of Independence – 1857 was just a ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ wherein he visualised guerrilla warfare to attain independence. In spite of the book being proscribed by the British-Occupiers, Bhikaji Cama ensured, it was widely published and circulated well in France, Germany and Netherlands. Another book Kale Pani vividly described brutal and most cruel ways of British despots to torture our heroes of War Of Independence. His another title Saha Soneri Pane narrated golden periods from our history to confront false British propaganda that entire Hindu history has been a history of defeats and humiliation. In Gandhi Gondhal, he ruthlessly excoriated MK Gandhi of all the aura that is associated with him for all his commissions and omissions. During his imprisonment in Andaman Cellulars, he was denied even paper and pen to write. He used to write on walls of his Cell Of Torture with thorns, pebbles, even memorised thousands of lines of his poetry for years before brought to limelight by other prisoners released on completion of their terms of incarceration. In 1948, he was arrested after being accused of complicity in assassination of MK Gandhi and later acquitted. On Feb. 1 of the year 1966, Vinayaka announced Atmarpana i.e. surrendering onself entirely while renouncing food, water and medicines. He authored an article too, titled Atmahatya Nanin, Atmarpana to explain his concept to the effect that it is always better to terminate one’s life with dignity instead of abjectly awaiting death after life’s mission is over and decrepitude does not allow one to remain active. Before breathing his last on Feb. 26 in 1966, he willed no rituals of any variety be solemnised and that be restricted to cremation of his mortal remains alone. JL Nehru’s antipathy to Vinayaka is a well known history and the honourable task of paying him pension had to be performed by his successor, PM LB Shastri. Congress leaders were not permitted to attend his last rites even, no official mourning was observed either in Mumbai or Delhi. Utter neglect of Vinayaka continued long after his demise. Finally, his portrait was unveiled in Central Hall of Parliament in 2003 amidst vehement protest from Congress and boycott of the ceremony staged by Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Thus spanned and ceased to exist a very remarkable life, an extra-ordinary revolutionary and a social reformer imbued with sympathy, compassion for the unfortunate and deprived ones.
Now we move into probably most discussed aspects of Vinayaka’s unforgettable life, main objective of this article. Since he had been the greatest freedom-fighter who underwent enormous pain and agonies, quite naturally he attracted scores of shallow-minded reactionaries and anti-national saboteurs who assiduously strove to tarnish his scintillating reputation by hurling lies and damned lies. Character assassination of Vinayaka Savarkara did not surprise those who are well-versed with his heroic activities rather, these were anticipated !! Let us take up all those calumnies and slanders, rip them apart one by one to expose a well-crafted conspiracy of anti-Hindu anti-nationals determined to undermine enormous contribution of our celebrated ‘Vira–Putra’ of Bharata–Bhumi to the fierce battle of independence. It would not be a measure of digression or perfidy if those who ridicule or castigate Vinayaka, are bluntly questioned, as to how many flesh-tearing lashes were received by those whom they hold solely responsible for our freedom from British clutches, in British jails !! Had they been really real heroes of our War Of Independence, they would have been hanged to death by British-Occupiers of the country instead of being allowed to survive, raise a dynasty to rape and ravage a beautiful nation for full six decades.
First calumny states that Vinayaka begged for mercy from the despotic British-Occupiers. Could a freedom fighter of steel nerves beg for mercy who remained imprisoned for 27 years (1910 to 1937) after being awarded two life terms, who underwent inhuman tortures like being manacled round the clock, surviving on gruel infested with worms, hauled to oil mills like bullocks grinding mustard seeds uninterruptedly, being flogged, no access to sun-light, no medical facility and no contact with the external world ? It was in no way different from The Gulag Archipelago and Guantanamo Bay. Vinayaka was marked ‘D’ for dangerous among all prisoners. His mercy-petitions were a tactical ploy like Sivaji’s letter to the Mughal-Satan Aurangzeb to secure release, come out and work more stridently for independence of Bharata instead of wasting away a life at the hands of British despots with no development towards freedom. On the contrary, Nehru’s jail terms were magnificent holidays in a bungalow within jail premises with curtains of his favourite colour blue, at liberty to follow his hobby of gardening at leisure and write books. When Nehru’s wife fell sick, his jail-term was suspended without even his asking for that !! And Nehru was ‘kind’ enough to accept the offer gracefully !! His jail-luxury has been very well exposed by Aruna Asaf Ali, another contemporary freedom fighter. If anti-national Communists say that Nehru did not buckle down like a ‘coward’ Savarkara, it is sheer treachery and travesty of truth.
Second calumny states Vinayaka did not support ‘Quit Bharata Movement’. That is yet again, travesty of truth. Vinayaka was an ardent advocate of militarisation of Hindu-s as that is the only way to combat hostile anti-Hindu forces to survive. He demanded British-Despots to quit the country but not Army. He motivated Hindu-s and Sikhs to join Army in large numbers to reduce Muslims proportionately. His far-sightedness proved it’s worth in 1947 when Pakistanis reached Srinagar and the day was saved for the country. Netaji Bose commended Vinayaka in his broadcast from Singapore on June 25, 1944 “for fearlessly exhorting the youth to enlist in the armed forces.” He even cabled US President Franklin Roosevelt appealing to him to pressurise Britain to quit Bharata.
Third calumny states his complicity in MK Gandhi’s assassination. In spite of being younger than Gandhi by 14 years, Vinayaka possessed pragmatic vision about nation’s future. He demanded complete independence in 1900 itself which Gandhi did in 1929; first bonfire of foreign clothes was enacted in 1905 by him and his crusade against untouchability was stunningly more effective. He declared MK Gandhi a hypocrite as MK Gandhi had supported British violence against Germany during WW-I and supported Khilafat Movement as a measure of appeasement of Muslims. In fact, seeds of Muslim appeasement were sown by Gandhi himself as Vinayaka declared him “a man with a narrow and immature head.” He was honourably acquitted of the charge after prolonged trial in court. In spite of his fierce opposition to Gandhi, he stayed clear of the entire assassination saga.
Fourth calumny states that Vinayaka was anti-Muslim. In fact he was entirely in support of Hindu-Muslim unity albeit with a rider, unity of Muslims with militarised Hindu-s only. He vehemently opposed partition and wanted Muslims to stay in the country as minority as was the case with Greece, Poland and a few other countries. He strongly believed in Hindu–Rastra with militarised Hindu-s staying peacefully with minorities in the name of secularism and universality strictly without an iota of minority-appeasement. Country / state within the nation in the name of religious minoritism was not acceptable to him. Thus he remarked on MA Jinnah, “I stand for equality and no concessions while Jinnah is for more concessions and doesn’t stand for equality.”
Fifth calumny, the most preposterous one, dubs him a Nazi in letter and spirit !! No allegation can be more absurd and ludicrous than this one. For WW –II, he actively campaigned for recruitment in British-Indian Army to fight against Nazis led by Hitler. His advocacy of militarisation of Hindu-s for the purpose of self-defence was intentionally distorted by brazen Communists / Congress as his being pro-Nazi.
Sixth calumny, quite an outrageous one, states that he advocated rape of Muslim women to counter rapes of Hindu women by those Muslims beasts. What precisely he advocated was compulsory reversion to Hinduism of all Muslim women captured after defeat of Muslim invaders by Hindu Kings and their absorption into Hindu fold forever. That would not have allowed proliferation of Muslims in a geometrical progression and they would have been reduced to a negligible minority and the world would have been shielded from unmitigated miseries and brutalities. Such a tit for tat would also have dissuaded those Muslim beasts from mass-rapes and abduction of Hindu women. Muslims raised their numbers rapidly as they had forcibly appropriated thousands of Hindu women over centuries as war bounty. In countries like Spain, Greece and Serbia, entire Muslim population was converted back to Christianity the moment Muslim rule was overthrown. Unfortunately it was not allowed to happen in Bharata due to JL Nehru who snobbishly bragged before Indonesian President Sukarno that (his) India had more Muslims than Pakistan !! Vinayaka Savarkara never stressed upon raping Muslim women after being captured as a war bounty.
On the contrary, what detractors of Vinayaka have to say about following prophecies that he narrated long before they turned out to be rude shocks for the nation ? Vinayaka warned of Muslim infiltration into Assam way back in 1940 to which JL Nehru pathetically responded, nature abhors vacuum to which Vinayaka snapped back, do not allow this vacuum to be grabbed by poisonous gases !! Vinayaka protested when Nehruvian Congress boycotted community based Census-1941 which they abjectly conceded in 1947 for the purpose of Partition-1947. Vinayaka had warned MK Gandhi on his stubborn policy of Muslim appeasement. It proved to be too prophetic when MK Gandhi confessed his blunder on Oct. 6, 1946 in Harijan. In 1940 itself, Vinayaka had warned the country about growing monster of Pakistan which JL Nehru did not believe till 1945. Vinayaka wanted Army to actively participate without which freedom was an impossible dream. How prophetic was he when INA of Netaji Bose marched in and British-Occupiers panicked and decided to quit. Vinayaka warned JL Nehru of impending Pakistani invasion into Kashmir in 1947, insurrection of Hyderabad’s Nizam, advocated development of nuclear weapons and a strong Army. Those were the ‘glorious’ days when JL Nehru talked about dismantling entire Army under the ‘magnetic’ spell of Gandhian Ahimsa and ‘No Invasion Foreign Policy’ !! Vinayaka warned JL Nehru of sinister Chinese designs on Tibet, Kashmir and Arunachala Pradesh. To that, Nehru grandiosely responded with ‘Panchasheel’ and ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’ !!!
Hindu-s have developed an ingrained propensity of believing any anti-Hindu narrative spontaneously without even a whit of suspicion owing to decades of McCaulay brand of schooling and education. We are overwhelmed with an inferiority complex essentially anti-Hindu in nature. That is the main reason why someone dared to hurl these baseless calumnies that continued for decades and these must be dissolved immediately.