Life story of Veer Savarkar

War and Militarization 

S’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 S 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, it 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, went into wilderness demanding the war and peace aims of the Brit govt and launched an Individual Civil Disobedience Movement. (For details refer to the essay on Sardar Patel in the section Great Men of India). Jinnah was very happy with the developments. When the Congress Ministries resigned the Muslim League members hardly had any representatives in the five Muslim majority provinces. But thks to the Congress, soon he established Ministries in these five provinces. Jinnah 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 and 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, appealed to the govt to take steps to prepare Indians for defending their country. The Muslim League offered conditional support and urged the Brits to satisfy Arab national demands. S declared 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 by the British, they thought it fit to interview S and know his views and policy about World War II. He said that he was prepared to cooperate with the policy of militarization and suggested that the Govt keeps the Gurkha and Sikh battalions on the North West Frontiers. But S feared an attack on the eastern side. Viceroy Lord Linlithgow was impressed with S’s lucid discourse on the current problems, was surprised to find S’s mind alert, clear in thinking inspite of great sufferings.

S believed that national interest was paramount period. S wanted Bharat to maintain a policy of neutrality towards all the nations of the world in respect of their internal affairs or mutual relations with each other. S appealed to the govt to make an unambiguous declaration of granting Bharat the status of a self-governing Dominion as an immediate step leading to the final goal of complete independence and to introduce immediately responsible govt at the Centre based on the principle of one man one vote. He urged the Viceroy to introduce compulsory military training in schools, not to use Indian forces outside India proper amongst other things. S called upon capital and labor to maximize supplies to the West and take this opportunity to promote Swadeshi. S’s object was to make Hindus re-animated and re-born into a martial race – militarization of the Hindus.

The Calcutta session of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1939 proved to be a landmark. Over 2 lakh people participated. Armed Sikh horsemen led the procession. Rose water and scents were sprinkled on S. In his presidential address S reiterated the basic tenets of Hindu nationalism, reviewed the problem of the minorities and propounded his doctrine of national coordination of class interests. S’s dynamic personality, clear-cut thinking and his fearlessness made a lasting impression on the thinking minds of Bharat. The Tribune, Amrita Bazaar Patrika, Hindustan Standard praised S totally. Also the Maharaja of Nepal honored S and was given a garden party at the session.

He left for West Khandesh in March 1940 to meet the Bhils. Next he 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, the need to oppose the 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 these tours he stressed the need for Hindu militarization. Talking in Calcutta he said “Since the Mutiny of 1857, it has been the policy of the Brits to keep the army out of politics. Our policy should be to carry politics into the Indian army by all possible means, then the battle of freedom would we won”. Till the time of S’s campaign for Hindu militarization, 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. Gradually the % of Hindus in the army went up to the alarm of the Muslims.

Writing in January 1943, Sir Alfred Watson, former editor of the Statesman, Calcutta “S claims domination on the democratic basis of counting heads. For that he is prepared to fight and demands that the army employ a majority of Hindus so that he may have an instrument of force when the British rule is finally abandoned. If it ever comes to a tussle between Nehru and S, there is little doubt who will win”. Subhash Chandra Bose, a devotee of Shivaji, had discussed the political, international situation during World War II with S in June 1940, six months before his dramatic disappearance from India. S inspired Bose with the idea of an armed revolution from outside to intensify the struggle for freedom.

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