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Great Indian Leaders

Life Story Of Veer Savarkar
By Sanjeev Nayyar, July 2001 [[email protected]]

Whirlwind Propaganda   

Rajagopalchari, Bose, Bhai Pramananda, Kelkar, Nehru welcomed S back but Gandhi was silent. S’s appearance did not excite the Gandhians. Some hoped that he would join the Congress but they his conquering personality, matchless oratory and his militant political ideology. After paying respects to the Gadi of Shivaji at Kolhapur he burst into the Indian political scene. At Pandharpur he paid respects to the great saints of Maharashtra. It was Miraj that he attacked the Congress for their Muslim appeasement policy. S reached Pune, the city came alive. With S came up the historic Hindu flag. Next he reached Mumbai where the three Savarkar brothers met for the first time since 1908. S now made Mumbai his permanent residence.

The first appeal S made to the youth was to start rifle classes. During his visit to Pune he joined the Hindu Mahasabha. S expressed the fear that the Congress would one-day throttle the Bande Mataram. And within years the Congress did just that to appease the Muslims. His political mission was three fold. 1) Absolute political independence of Bharat. 2) Its achievement by any means. 3) Regeneration of Hindus.

At Sholapur and Nasik S received a hero’s welcome. In the last week of October, 1937 S unfurled the flag of Abhinava Bharat, first unfurled by Madame Cama in Germany. At the Berar Hindu Conference he said that the Hindus had sacrificed the maximum for the liberation of Bharat, in Bengal the sacrificial fire was kept alive by the Hindus alone, the buried bones in Andamans was Hindu alone. At the request of Dr Hegdewar, he visited the R.S.S branch at Wardha. Next he visited Nagpur.

Here he said that Hindus must be prepared to flout the Pakistan scheme. Referring to the political happenings in Kashmir, he foretold that the existence of Kashmiri Hindus would soon be in danger, if the anti-Hindu forces were not checked.  He denounced Gandhi’s ill-advice to the Maharaja of Kashmir to abdicate in favor of Muslims and go to Kashi, because the Muslims were in majority were in Kashmir. I wonder why Gandhi never asked the Nizam of Hyderabad to step down? He was elected as the President of the Hindu Mahasabha in December 1937.

The slogan, no freedom without Hindu Muslim unity was the breath of life of the pseudo-secularists and this slogan was held right by the Brits as a loaded gun against the national demand for freedom. A soldier was cursed as a sinner, and a spinner in the Congress was nursed as a savior. The principle of one vote for three Hindus and three votes for one Muslim in the form of the communal award was accepted as democratic and national. The cause of Muslim religion had become a national call and that of Hindu religion was a reactionary. S marched from state to state exposing the territorial nationalism of the Congress and expounding his own stand on political nationalism and historical realism.

S was seen as the savior of Hindus all over. The people of Delhi gave him an enviable welcome in Feb 1938. Flowers were showered upon him, sweets distributed, public squares in Delhi decorated. S asked the volunteers to change the Urdu slogan Zindabad to Amar rahe! At Bhopal, Lucknow he got warm welcomes. At Cawanpore he delivered an inspiring speech on 1857. He paid a visit to the Sanskrit Pathashala and Gurukul at Faizabad. At the Agra fort S showed how and where Shivaji encountered the trembling Aurangzeb. Then he spoke of the importance of military education and urged the youth to join the army. At the Marathi Literary Conference in Mumbai he said excerpts “If literature is a part of national life, its primary aim ought to be the security of national life. Did you forget the fate of Nalanda and Takshashila, the seats of learning and other great libraries were turned into smoldering ruins. It was the sword of Shivaji that made Maharashtra safer for poets and philosophers. My heart brakes with anguish when I see the vapid emasculated young faces engrossed in love prattles. So my message to you, literary men, is that you should abandon your pens in favor of guns, for literature can never flourish in a slave country”. This speech echoed for several months throughout Maharashtra, which was being stripped off Gandhism. For the Gandhians it was a bitter pill to swallow.

Then the Land of the Vedas and Five Rivers gave a splendid reception to S. In May 1938 he visited Lahore. Amidst deafening applause he garlanded the statue of Lala Lajpat Rai. He also visited the Shahid Ganj of the Sardars. He said that Jinnah and he were different since Jinnah kept on asking for more concessions while S stood for equality. Thereafter S was accorded an imposing reception by a waiting public on the outskirts of Amritsar. Thousands of Punjabi Sardars welcomed S at the famous Golden Temple. Master Tara Singh cancelled his tour and came to receive S. There he asked people to follow Guru Govind Singh. On his way back at Ajmer, he appreciated the services of Gandhi and the Congress for creating a spirit of awakening in the country but criticized it for its policy of appeasement. At Gwalior a big procession was taken out to the memorial of Rani Laxmi.

On his return to Mumbai, S came to reside at his own small house called Savarkar Sadan in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park. It was built from money given by his admirers.

Next he visited Sindh. Long before his internment, S had sounded a grave warning to the Sind Hindus against the separation of Sind from the Bombay Province. The reception he received here was imposing. In Karachi his procession took five hours to reach its destination. The Sikhs gave him a kripan. S urged the students of the Arya Samaj College to take to military training. The Sind Hindu Conference which was then held under the lead of S, sounded a timely warning to the Sind Hindus and asked them to boycott the Congress to save themselves. They ignored his words!

S attended the Aryan Conference at Sholapur in December 1938, at the pressing request of the Arya Samaj leaders for his guidance and lead in connection with the Hyderabad struggle. In the same week came off the annual session of the Hindu Mahasahba where Buddhist representatives from Japan were present. Then he visited Bengal in Feb 1939 where he was welcomed by all. He sounded a timely warning to the Congress to be on their guard and dissuade themselves from placating the unholy demands of the Muslim League. Dr Shyama Prasad Mukhejee was the discovery of S’s tour and an asset to the Mahasabha.

He visited Bihar and Bidar where he gave tremendous support to the Hyderabad struggle. During this struggle there was complete co-operation between the Hindu Mahasabha and the Arya Samaj inspite of the wily hindrances caused by topmost leaders of the Congress. On April 5, S successfully foiled in a fighting speech the plans of Gandhi at the Sholapur Aryan Conference, which was on the verge of withdrawing the Civil Resistance Movement in pursuance of Gandhi’s draft resolution. Gandhi was so sure of the withdrawal of the movement of the Arya Samaj but S had other plans.

After a prolonged struggle with the Nizam brought to his knees, the Nizam declared in 19/06-1939 reforms wherein he offerred to the Hindus atleast 50 % of the seats in elected legislatures wherein Hindus had zero representation earlier. S who smelt the coming sweep of World War II withdrew the movement after this partial success, the Arya Samajis followed suit. This successful struggle for the rights of the Hindus and Punjabi Sardars was a new feather in S’s cap. It proved that S could independently and inspite of Gandhi’s opposition lead and guide a struggle. Another characteristic noticed of S was that he knew when to stop a movement. The spirit of Shivaji and Tilak was still alive.Because of the growing popularity of the Hindu Mahasabha, the Congress decided to boycott it. In September 1939, S visited Karnataka. From there he went to Meerut where his procession was attacked by the Muslims. After his return to Mumbai a statement was issued by Sir Cowasji Jehangir, Chimanlal Setalvad, V N Chandravarkar, N C Kelkar, Jamnadas Mehta and Dr Ambedkar. It read –

“The Congress and the Congress govts believe in annihaliting all parties and making the Congress party the only party in the land, as is the case with fascists and nazi regimes- a result which would be a death-blow to democracy”. This timely warning against the developing fascism had its effect. The Congress attacked S, saying that S had no choice but to join the Liberals. Surrendering national interests at Jinnah’s feet was patriotic aah!

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