Life Story of VEER SAVARKAR Part 4

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  • Part 4 covers whirlwind propaganda, war and militarization and Hindu Manifesto.

Part ONE covered childhood and college, revolutionary activities in London, epic escape & trial, period 1866 to 1911. Part TWO starts with his entry into Cellular Jail, education of fellow prisoners, preventing conversions to Islam, German efforts to rescue him, war against British by 8,000 predominantly Sikh revolutionaries. Lastly, release from jail & return to India. Part THREE covers Savarkar as a social reformer, rationalist & author and end of internment in 1937 with his unconditional release.

 

Part 4 covers whirlwind propaganda, war and militarization and Hindu Manifesto (includes Hindu Nation, What is Hindutva, Savarkar’s India and description of Flag designed by him). 

Content herein is verbatim from book Veer Savarkar’ by well-known biographer Dhananjay Keer. Credits and copyright Popular Prakashan Private Limited. Keer was fortunate to study Savarkar closely and discuss with him his views and work. This has given the book a stamp of authority.

 

1. Whirlwind Propaganda                                                      

Rajagopalchari, Bose, Bhai Pramananda, Kelkar, Nehru welcomed Savarkar back but Gandhi was silent. Some hoped that he would join the Congress but feared his conquering personality, matchless oratory and his militant political ideology.

He paid respects to the Gadi of Shivaji at Kolhapur and to the great saints of Maharashtra at Pandharpur. It was at Miraj that he attacked the Congress for arguing that the kidnapping of Hindu girls by Muslim ruffians in NWFP was but a problem of physical needs.

Next he reached Mumbai where the three Savarkar brothers met for the first time since 1908. Savarkar now made Mumbai his permanent residence.

The first appeal Savarkar made to the youth was to start rifle classes. During his visit to Pune he joined the Hindu Mahasabha. His political mission was three fold. 1) Absolute political independence of Hindustan. 2) Its achievement by any means. 3) Regeneration of Hindus.

In the last week of October, 1937 Savarkar unfurled the flag of Abhinava Bharat, first unfurled by Madame Cama in Germany. At the request of Dr Hegdewar, he visited the R.S.S branch at Wardha. 

On 13/12/1937 at a speech at Nagpur he, referring to happenings in Kashmir, 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. 

Savarkar was elected as the President of the Hindu Mahasabha in December 1937.

The slogan, no Swaraj 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

The principle of one vote for three Hindus and three votes for one Muslim in the form of the Communal Award was accepted as justifiable, democratic and national. The cause of Muslim religion had become a national call and that of Hindu religion became a symbol reactionarism.

Savarkar marched from Province to Province exposing the territorial nationalism of the Congress and expounding his own stand on political nationalism and historical realism.

Savarkar was seen as the savior of Hindus all over. The people of Delhi gave him an enviable welcome in February 1938. He asked the volunteers to change the Urdu slogan Zindabad to Amar rahe! At Cawanpore he delivered an inspiring speech on 1857. He paid a visit to the Sanskrit Pathashala Faizabad. At Agra fort he showed how and where Shivaji confronted the trembling Aurangzeb. There 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, “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. 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.”

In May 1938 he visited Lahore. Amidst deafening applause he garlanded the statue of Lala Lajpat Rai and visited Shahid Ganj. Next he was recorded an imposing reception by a waiting public on the outskirts of Amritsa and welcomed by thousands of Sikhs at the Golden Temple. There he asked people to follow Guru Govind Singh. At Gwalior a big procession was taken out to the memorial of Rani Laxmi.

On returning to Mumbai he came to reside at a small house called Savarkar Sadan in Shivaji Park. It was built from money given by his admirers.

Next Sindh. Long before his internment, Savarkar had sounded a grave warning to the Sind Hindus against the separation of Sind from the Bombay Province. In Karachi his procession took 5 hours to reach its destination. The Sind Hindu Conference, held under the lead of Savarkar asked them to boycott the Congress to save themselves. Sadly they ignored his words.

Savarkar attended the Aryan Conference at Sholapur in December 1938 and guided them in connection with the Hyderabad struggle for e.g. Hindus & Sikhs were not allowed to hold meetings, 12% Muslims held 80% posts in administration.

Next he visited Bengal in February 1939. He dissuaded the Congress from placating the unholy demands of the Muslim League. Dr Shyama Prasad Mukhejee was the discovery of Savarkar’s tour and an asset to the Mahasabha. 

He visited Bihar and Bidar where he gave tremendous support to the Hyderabad struggle. On April 5, Savarkar 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. 

After a prolonged struggle the Nizam declared in 1939 reforms wherein he offered to the Hindus atleast 50 % of the seats in elected legislatures wherein Hindus had zero representation before. He 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 Sikhs was a new feather in his cap. It proved that he could independently and inspite of Gandhi’s opposition lead and guide a struggle. He also 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, Savarkar 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. Excerpts, “The Congress and the Congress govts believe in annihilating all parties and making the Congress party the only party in the land, as is the case in Fascists and Nazi regimes- a result which would be a death-blow to Democracy”. 

2. War and Militarization                       

Savarkar’s insight perceived the growing danger from the designs of the awakened Muslim mind. According to him there was a fundamental difference in the outlook to life between Hindus and Muslims. Thus what he did was to strive to bring into operation the Federal part of the 1935 Act and frustrate Muslim designs. The Congress unsure, of whether it would dominate the Federation and afraid of the opposition by Bose, did not accept the Federation. Jinnah feared that a federation would wield India into a unified state under which the separatist designs of the Muslims would be crushed.

About this time the World War II broke out. The Congress gave up power in seven states, demanded war and peace aims of the Brit government and launched an Individual Civil Disobedience Movement. Jinnah was very happy with the developments.

When the Congress Ministries resigned Muslim League members hardly had any representatives in the 5 Muslim majority provinces. With the little strength they had Jinnah established Ministries in these five provinces & said, “A parliamentary system, based on the majority principle must inevitably mean the rule of the major nation. Western Democracy was totally unsuited for India & its imposition would be resisted by all Muslims.” 

Britain declared war on Germany on 1/9/1939. Gandhi broke down before the Viceroy as he pictured before himself the possible destruction of the House of Parliament. Nehru said that India had no desire to take advantage of Britain’s difficulties. Dr Ambedkar said that India had no voice in her foreign policy. The Muslim League offered conditional support and urged the Brits to satisfy Arab national demands. 

Savarkar said that Britain’s claim that she entered war to safeguard the vital principles of human freedom was a stunt as long as India was help in political bondage. 27 years after being exiled, the British thought it fit to know Savarkar’s views & policy about World War II. 

He suggested that the government keep the Gurkha and Sikh battalions on the North West Frontiers. But Savarkar feared an attack on the eastern side. Viceroy Lord Linlithgow was impressed with Savarkar’s lucid discourse on current problems, was surprised to find his mind alert, clear in thinking inspite of great sufferings. Possibly the only Indian politician who could ably discuss the war situation from the Indian viewpoint and its major issues in the context of international politics.

Savarkar said that the Hindu Mahasabha felt concerned with issues at stake in the war so far as they were likely affect the interests of the Hindu Nation.

So he appealed to the government to make an unambiguous declaration of granting India the status of a self-governing Dominion as an immediate step leading to the final goal of complete independence and to introduce immediately responsible government at the Centre based on the principle of 1 man 1 vote. He urged the Viceroy to introduce compulsory military training in schools, not to use Indian forces outside India proper etc. He called upon capital and labor to maximize supplies to the West and take this opportunity to promote Swadeshi.

Savarkar’s aim was to make Hindus re-animated and militarization of the Hindus. 

The Calcutta session of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1939 proved to be a landmark. Over 2 lakh participated. Armed Sikh horsemen led the procession. In his presidential address Savarkar reiterated the basic tenets of Hindu nationalism, reviewed the problem of the minorities and propounded his doctrine of national coordination of class interests. His dynamic personality, clear-cut thinking and his fearlessness made a lasting impression on the thinking minds. Also the Maharaja of Nepal honored Savarkar and was given a garden party at the session.

He left for West Khandesh in March 1940 to meet leaders of the Bhils. Next went to Salem to attend the Salem Hindu Conference where he spoke of the importance of military training. At Madras he was given a warm welcome by the Arya Samajis, Marwaris, Sindhis, Gujaratis. He spoke on the politics of Shivaji & need to oppose scheme of partition sponsored by the Muslim League. At Travancore and Madurai unprecedented crowds greeted him. In August 1940 he attended the death anniversary of Tilak where he averred that absolute non-violence is absolutely sinful.

During all tours he stressed on need for Hindu militarization. In Calcutta said, “Today it may well appear that these men are mere slaves in the pay of a foreign Government; but when the crucial movement comes, they will prove themselves real patriots & staunch Hindus.”

Till the time of Savarkar’s campaign, military career was the monopoly career of the Muslims, who formed 3/4th of the Indian Army. He knew the danger of a Muslim army in case on internal anarchy or external pressures hence the call to Hindus.

Netaji Bose, a devotee of Shivaji, had discussed the political, international situation during World War II with him in June 1940, six months before his dramatic disappearance from India. Savarkar inspired Bose with the idea of an armed revolution from outside to intensify the struggle for freedom.

Central Jail, Andaman and Nicobar islands. 

3. Hindu Manifesto

The ideal and ideology, which Savarkar laid down, is called Hindu nationalism or Savarkarism.

Although a natural development, an outgrowth and manifestation of several nationalists, the ideology was finally formulated and codified into an integral doctrine of social and political outlook on life by Savarkar.

Aware of the separatist’s tendencies of the Muslims, Lala Lajpat Rai held that Hindus were a nation by themselves, because they had a civilization of their own. 

Hardayal wrote in the Pratap of Lahore in 1925, “I declare that the future of the Hindu race rests of four pillars. 1) Hindu Sanghatan. 2) Hindu Raj. 3) Shuddhi of Muslims. 4) Conquest and Shuddhi of Afghanistan and Frontiers.” So true.   

To read Who is a Hindu and What is Hindutva click here 

Hindu Nation

The principal elements instrumental in the formation of a nation are a common past, common tradition and a will to live together.

Savarkar observes, “The ancient and modern history of Hindus is common in friends & enemies. They have faced common dangers and won victories in common. One in national despair and one in national hope, the Hindus by an admirable process through assimilation, elimination and consolidation are welded together during the aeons of a common life and habitat”. 

Above all they have a common motherland and fatherland. The Hindu festivals and cultural forms are common. The Vedic Rishis are their common pride, their Grammarians Panini and Patanjali, their poets Bhavabhuti and Kalidas, their heroes Ram, Krishna, Rana Pratap, and Guru Govind Singh are a source of common inspiration. Like their ancient language Sanskrit, their scripts too are fashioned on the same basis and the Nagari script has been the common vehicle of the sacred writings since centuries in the past.

India has been and is dear to us, because it has been and is the home of our Hindu race, the land that has been the cradle of our heroes and Gods. Whoever came to India, the Arabs, Jews, Russians, Germans, Greeks they formed a nation together with the Hindus because these new comers also lived in India. Prior to the Muslim invasion there was only one religion in India i.e. Sanathan Dharam.

Savarkar observed that “Muslims in general and Indian Muslims in particular have not grown out of the historical stage, of intense religiosity and the theological concepts of state.” 

Muslim mind divides the human world into two groups – the Muslim land and the enemy land. Muslims cannot live in peace where they are the dominant majority; elsewhere they are perpetually at loggerheads with the Christians and Hindus. Their Holy Land is Arabia.

Gokhale had realized that “the 70 million Muslims were more or less hostile to national aspirations” and warned Sarojini Naidu that Hindu-Muslim unity would never come in his lifetime. Pherozshah Mehta, Annie Besant, Lala Lajpat Rai made similar statements. Dr Ambedkar wrote in 1941, “Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his Motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin”.

Savarkar believed in the resurrection of Hindus, there was a virility and staying power inherent in the Hindu race as could find few parallels in the annals of the world.

Nationalism, said Savarkar, when it is aggressive is as immoral in human relations as is communalism when it tries to suppress the equitable rights of other communities and tries to usurp all to itself. But when communalism is defensive, it is as justifiable and human as an equitable nationalism itself.

The Hindus, Savarkar reiterated, do not aim at usurping what belongs to others. They do not want any special privileges, but they will not allow themselves to be exploited.

Savarkar said that Muslims cherished secret designs to disintegrate the Indian state and to create a state within a state and brand non-Muslim sections with the stamp of humiliation and Muslim domination.

On the theory of Relative non-violence S believed that every nation, community must be armed to protect itself against invaders, people out to destroy its culture. He was completely against the doctrine of non-violence as propagated by the Gandhians. It had resulted in the weakening of the Hindu mind and their massacre e.g. Moplah, Noakali.

He warned Hindus that they must not delude themselves with the belief that the economic program alone would ever suffice to solve all cultural, racial and national dangers that threatened them throughout India.

Savarkar’s India 

In short, under the set of circumstances prevailing in India and in the context of the present world set-up, the following ideal is to be realized in the immediate future.

 

In Savarkar’s India all citizens would have equal rights and obligations irrespective of caste, creed, race or religion provided they avow and owe an exclusive and devoted allegiance to the State.

 

All minorities would be given effective safeguards to protect their language, religion, culture, etc. but none of them would be allowed to create a State within a State or to encroach upon the legitimate rights of the majority.

 

The fundamental rights of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, of worship, of association, etc. would be enjoyed by all citizens alike; whatever restrictions would be imposed on them in the interest of the public peace and order or national emergency would not be based on any religious or racial considerations alone but common national grounds.

 

One man one vote would be the general rule irrespective of caste, creed, race, or religion.

 

There would be joint electorates.

 

Services would go by merit alone.

 

Primary Education will be free and compulsory.

 

Every minority would have separate schools to train their children in their own tongue; their religious and cultural institutions would receive Government help also for these, but always in proportion to the taxes they pay into the common exchequer.

 

The residuary powers would be vested in the Central Government.

 

Nagari would be the national script, Hindi, the lingua franca and Sanskrit, the Devabhasha of India.

 

Two

 

People would first of all welcome the machine age. The handicrafts would, of course, have their place and encouragement. But national production would be on the biggest possible machine scale.

 

As the peasantry and the working classes form literally the chief source of national wealth, health, and strength, every effort would be made to reinvigorate them and the village, which is their cradle. Peasants and labourers would be enabled to have their share in the distribution of wealth to such an extent as would enable them not only to live with a bare margin of existence, but with the average scale of a comfortable life free from wants. Nevertheless, it would be remembered that they being a part and parcel of the nation as a whole, would share common obligations and responsibilities and therefore would only receive their share in such a way as would be consistent with the general development and security of national industry, manufacture and wealth in general.

 

As the national capital is under the present circumstances mainly individual and indispensable for the development of national industries and manufactures, it would also receive due encouragement and recompense.

 

The interests of both the capital and labor would be subordinated to the requirements of the nation as a whole.

 

If an industry is flourishing, the profits would be shared in a large portion by the laborers. But on the contrary, if it is a losing concern, not only the capitalist, but to a certain extent even the laborers would have to remain satisfied with diminishing returns so that the National Industry as such would not altogether be undermined by the overbearing attitude of the selfish class interests of either the capitalists or the workers.

 

Every step would be taken by the State to protect national industries against foreign competition.

 

The key industries or manufactures and such other items would be altogether nationalized if the National Government could afford to do so and could conduct them more efficiently than private enterprise.

 

The same principle would apply to agriculture. Government would take over the land and introduce State cultivation if it could serve to train up the peasant class as a whole with the use of big machines and would cultivate on a large and scientific scale.

 

All strikes and lockouts which are obviously meant or inevitably tend to undermine and cripple national industries or production in general or are calculated to weaken the economic strength of the nation as a whole would be referred to State arbitration and settled or in serious cases quelled.

 

Private property would be in general held inviolate. In no case there would be on the part of the State any expropriation of such property without reasonable recompense.

 

THUS Savarkar’s India would be a democratic State in which the countrymen belonging to different religions, sets or races would be treated with perfect equality and none would be allowed to dominate others or would be deprived of his just and equal rights of free citizenship, so long as everyone discharges the common obligation which one owes to the State as a whole.

 

Hindustan, the Motherland and Holyland of the Hindus, from the Indus to the Seas, would be an organic undivided State. The appellations of this Bharat Bhoomi would remain as Bharat or Hindustan. In Savarkar’s India none would dare convert Hindus by fraud or force. Everywhere the Indians would be respected as citizens of a great nation. In that India relative non-violence would be regarded as a virtue.

 

The Hindus would be a casteless society a consolidated, modernized and up-to-date nation their marriage customs would be secularized and voluntary inter-caste marriages would be freely performed. Hindu corpses would be burnt in electric crematorium.

 

In Savarkar’s India science would lead all material progress and things and would annihilate superstitions. There would be a total liquidation of landlordism. All the land would belong to the State by and by. All key industries would be nationalized. Agriculture would be mechanized. India would be self-sufficient in respect of food, clothes, shelter, and defence.

 

Savarkar’s India would have unbounded faith in a World Commonwealth as his political philosophy conceives that the Earth is the Common Motherland and humanism the patriotism of man, but his India would not go under during the process which leads to the welding of humanity into a World Common wealth. In international politics Savarkar’s India would help to build world peace and prosperity.

 

Savarkar’s philosophy finds full expression in the Flag he has designed for the Hindus. It bears the symbol of Kundalini with the Omkar and Kripan. Hindus have perfected the science of yoga.

 

According to Savarkar it is highest blessing on human life; it is the contribution of the Hindus to mankind. This yoga means full development of man’s internal powers. The symbol of that power is Kundalini. To attain the wonderfully supersensuous joy through the awakened Kundalini is, Savarkar opines the highest ideal of men, be he a Hindu or a non-Hindu.

 

In short, the Kundalini represents all the ultimate aspirations, feelings and powers of mankind. The Kundalini represents yoga, the highest spiritual attainment while the Kripan represents Bhoga, Abhyudaya, and the worldly advancement. The red-orchard colour of the Flag indicates renunciation-Tyaga. And there is no renunciation without Yoga and Kshema-protection. Therefore, the Kripan is for the Yoga Kshema.

 

The Omkar is the sacred symbol of the great One with Whom the liberated souls become one in the highest state of Nihshreyas-spiritual bliss.

 

It seems Savarkar was, with the exception of Aurobindo Ghose, the only first rate Indian leader who had experienced this super-sensuous joy. He had practiced this Yoga while in the Cellular Jail of the Andamans.

 

So Savarkar was the only political philosopher who chose Kundalini on the Flag. The Swastik was added to the Flag later on by the Hindu Mahasabha when it accepted the Flag. Originally it was not there.     

If you wish to read the above chapters in more detail chapter-wise links are below.

Also read

1 Savarkar the man and mission beyond mercy petitions

2 Do not malign Savarkar for petty political gains

3 Hindu Pad-Padashahi

4 Whirlwind Propaganda

5 War and Militarization

6 Hindu Manifesto

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