Life story of Veer Savarkar

Old Age   

S had the good fortune of seeing so much in his life, revolutionary in England, then off to Andamans, adulation on his release in the 1937, Gandhi trial case, and interned post independence, ill-health as time passed, love and affection of his countrymen. He was always dressed in immaculate white, with a brimless black round cap on his massive head, a black umbrella in his right hand and fresh newspaper in his left. S’s personality was outstanding in any vast multitude. S was a great orator. Orators feed themselves on history. From it they derive inspiration. They draw their own conclusions.

Fortunate are those who had heard him speak on the War of Independence of 1857 or the Marathi Literary Conference in Mumbai. On S the Amrita Bazaar Patrika said that S was a man with a mission. The Sunday Standard, Mumbai said “Few others in the whole of India can thrill and sway his listeners as this simple looking Hindu leader can. It is a pleasure to hear him speak, his eyes flashing, his lips quivering, his weak body trembling with emotion”.

If you want to study the history of the Indian Revolution, the history of the social revolution in Maharahstra and the history of the literary movement launched to purge the Indian languages of foreign influences and words, you must study S. To him, rational outlook must obtain control over the political, social and military life of India, if India is to survive the struggle for existence. He wanted our minds to be liberated from all kinds of shackles, superstitions and imperialism.

S was a freedom fighter who also fought against the caste system, untouchability and a historian, poet, writer. That is why he is called a fusion of the great Maratha leaders of modern times. He had the spirit of Nanashaib who fought the war of 1857, the sweep of Wasudeo Balwant Phadke who first an armed revolt in Maharashtra for an Indian republic, the mental force of Chiplunkar, the reformative zeal of Agarkar, the sacrifice and struggle of Tilak, the service of Gokhale, all these find an echo in Savarkar.

S was a proud Hindu but of the Chitor type. He found his guiding star in Lord Krishna, in Shivaji the font of inspiration, Rana Pratap the font of patriotism, Guru Gobind Singh the sire of martyrdom, Sadashiv Bhau the sword of Hindustan.

S did not hate you because you were a Muslim or Christian. S was the only leader who envisaged a State for the floating race of the Jews ever since 1908. Since his release in 1937 he was a strong supporter of a Jewish state. But S rightly suspected the separatist tendencies and the extra territorial ambition of the Muslims, he was not prepared to give them an inch more than they democratically deserved and for this he was called Communal. However, events of the last 50 years in the Indian Sub-continent have proved how the Muslim appeasement policy has created problems for India.

S loved Hindus and Hinduism. Every time a Hindu suffered he grew restless. S’s conversational gist was nothing less than dictatorial but tinged with rationalism. People thought he was egoistic but the fact that by temperament he was assertive, unyielding and dictatorial due to the feeling of superiority, a belief in the righteousness of his cause and strong convictions. When your forecasts come true you tend to believe more in yourself, could be perceived to be dictatorial as a consequence.

S was a unique combination of a dreamer and a doer, a prophet, a warrior, a realist, a revolutionary, writer, poet, social reformer, voice of reason and science - all in one man. What does one call such a blessed one?

S had great insight proved on several occasions. S predicted as early as 1925 that the separation of Sind from the Bombay Province would be appeasing the Muslim mind, destroy the Hindus there – what happened there is well known. In 1938 he declared that the Congress led by Gandhi would betray the nation and would destroy the unity of India by conceding Pakistan. Gandhi and the Congress did a flip-flop on Pakistan till 1946-47, they agreed to it eventually. In 1940 he warned the Assam Hindus that if they did not check Muslim infiltration into Assam they would meet the same fate as West Bengal. Congressmen laughed at him then. In 1947 Assam nearly went to Pakistan. It’s even true today with Muslims some 30 % plus of the population. In 1938 the warning sounded about the fate of Kashmir went unheard and Pandits had to pay for it then and in the 1990s. Did not the Nizam suffer the fate as predicted by S?

Men’s of prophet never try to please the masses. They aim at guiding them. They look to the interests of the current and future generations. His difficult days in prison had impacted his personality. He was moody, not able to generate the warmth that a party chief must show for his partymen. S was not attached to the fruits of action; his love for country was paramount. S had no friends. His contemporaries were dead and gone by. His new colleagues did not understand and were also in awe of him. His was simple living and high thinking. He had deep and penetrating eyes. He was not very accessible. Appointments had to be fixed in advance because of which a number of people from all walks of life could not meet him. It antagonized a lot of people. On the other hand Tilak’s house was always open.

S could not compromise his conscious for the success of personal gains and cheap popularity. S was majestic in his misery and serene is his sorrows. Yet countless heads bowed before S. Men and women regarded him as an incarnation of God, the Patitpavan. Such a fiery, positive and forceful personality was bound to be frank in his criticism of the past and present. He admired Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda, Dr Ambedkar and spoke of Tilak with reverence. He called Nehru sincere but flamboyant, wished well for Patel.

What impacted S throughout? The rebellious force of Wasudeo Balwant, the spiritual and social renaissance set in by Swami Dayananda, the wave of Hindu Muslim riots and the partition of India thereafter. The revolutionary urge and the Hindu Muslim issue clung to his life throughout. He wanted one India, one language, one law all is one. The idea of bifurcation conceived by the historic Muslim mind and started by Sir Syed Ahmed was instinctively supported by the Muslims, accepted by the Congress leading to the partition of India.

Now did Indian independence come because of the Congress is an often asked question? This is what Mr Fenner Brockway; the political secretary of the Independent Labor Party of England had to say. He said there were three reasons why India had become free. One the Indian people were determined to gain independence. Two was the revolt of the Indian Navy, the armed forces could not be trusted upon to serve the Brits, and three Britain did not want to estrange India, which was a market and source of foodstuffs for her.

Although Broadway did not mention directly the I.N.A. of Bose, it was clear that the armed forces revolt had forced their hand. But who had worked for carrying the fire of revolt into the Indian Army since 1908? There was one only man Savarkar who had preached militarization, urged the Hindus to join the armed forces, reduce the % of the Muslims therefore. It was left to Netaji Bose to seize the opportunity and reap the fruits of pioneer efforts of Ras Behari Bose and militarization efforts of Savarkar.

In that sense S had achieved his goal. But there was left a weakened India with a lot more to be achieved. India today i.e. 2001 is plagued with internal and external security problems. We need someone who combines the qualities of Patel and Savarkar to make the world and neighbors respect us, not for the spirit of Gandhian Non-Violence but because of the military / economic strength that we must look to possess.

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