Life of Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

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Life of Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Compiled by Sanjeev Nayyar July 2001

Book by Dhananjay Keer Copyright Popular Prakashan Pvt Ltd


The Veer Savarkar Memorial at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park has played a revolutionary part in my life. In September 1998 the Indian Army had organized an exhibition on arms seized from Kashmiri militants. I got chatting with the Lt Colonel who, perhaps, seeing my enthusiasm gave me an army booklet on the truth behind J and K. Feeling enriched with the truth I decided to email it to some fifty friends across the world. Buoyed by the response I decided to do more research. I was searching for a book by D Mankekar on the Indo-Chinese War of 1962. Unable to find it with any of Mumbai’s bookshops and the publisher, I went to the Veer Savarkar library. Yeah they had it and were nice enough to give me a photocopy of the book. So was born my second email article. After that I have been on a roll. I am unable to fathom why it took me some two and half years to get down to reading about Veer Savarkar whose memorial I owe so much too. S is the short form for Savarkar.

This article is based on the book Veer Savarkar (S) by Dhananjay Keer, courtesy and copyright Popular Prakashan Private Limited. This is what a few papers had to say about the book, Savarkar and his times is a full length study of Shri Savarkar’s revolutionary, literary, political and social activities to the present day. The author has spared no pains to make the biography complete in every respect and to bring out Shri Savarkar’s personality and achievements – The Sunday Tribune, Ambala. It is a masterly work, the best biography I have read for years. Savarkar has one good fortune in his hard and strenuous life to have found a biographer like Mr Keer. That is simply wonderful – The Word, Glasgow. I have taken the chapters as they appear in the book. To reduce length of the article, I have focussed on his thoughts, hardships and contributions. Also various aspects of the Freedom Movement are covered in the essay on Sardar Patel so have not dwelt on those issues in great detail here. The chapters are



  1. Childhood and Youth.

  2. The Rising Leader.

  3. Revolutionary Activities.

  4. The Storm Breaks.

  5. Epic Escape and Trials.

  6. The Indian Bastille.

  7. Genius Thrives in Jail.

  8. Out of his Grave.

  9. Social Revolution.

  10. Rationalist and Author.

  11. Back to Freedom.

  12. Whirlwind Propaganda.

  13. War and Militarization.

  14. Hindu Manifesto.

  15. Attacks Gandhi and Jinnah.

  16. Cripps Mission.

  17. Mahasabha marches on.

  18. The Writing on the Wall.

  19. Fight for a United India.

  20. From parity to Pakistan.

  21. Red Fort Trial.

  22. Detention and Internment.

  23. Memorial and Martyrs.

  24. The Menace of Christians.

  25. Old Age.

  26. Warning against Aggression.

  27. Nation pays Homage.

  28. The Eternal Hero.


Childhood and Youth Chapter 1
In politically fallen, socially degraded and financially ruined Bharat, the 1880’s and 1890’s witnessed the darkest period of the history of our country. The first peep of dawn in the form of reforms of 1909 was yet to come. Tilak, Maharishi Ranade, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda were kindling the light of social regeneration and reawakening the Indians to their spiritual heritage. While the British were busy trying to find a way to defuse the wrath of the Indian Revolution, in 1885, was founded the Indian National Congress despite the fears and opposition of Sir Syed Ahmed, who asked the Muslims to keep away from the Congress.

The moderates requested for minimum reforms, the press was muzzled, the Arms Act introduced with a denigrating and emasculating the Indians further. Two important events typified the year 1883. One was the death of the leader of renaissance, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, two – Wasudeo Balwant, the rebel, laid his bones in Aden in longing for the establishment of an Indian Republic. In such an environment surcharged with unfulfilled aspirations was born Vinayak Damodar Savarkar on 28th may, 1883, at 10 pm at Bhagur, a village near Nasik.

S was a Chitpavan Brahmin, a community that had produced Nanasahib of 1857 fame, Wasudeo Balwant and Tilak, all of whom strove to snatch the crown of Independence from the hands of the British. The Savarkars originally hailed from Konkan, a land symbolizing the great feat of reclamation performed by Parashuram. During the declining days of the Peshwa rule, the Savarkars were an important family, which had moved in and seen great events. They were Jahgirdars of a small village, Rahuri, and enjoyed the honor of palanquin for their acknowledged eminence in Sanskrit scholarship.
Inspite of his English education, S’s father, Damodarpant Savarkar loved and remembered the past. S’s mother, Radhabai was a pious, beautiful and bright woman. The couple had four children, three sons and a daughter. The first was Ganesh, the second Vinayak, the third Mainabai and the last Narayan. The couple recited several passages from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, the Ballads and Bakhars on Pratap, Shivaji and the Peshwas. These recitings contributed to the mental development of S. He was very fond of reading and a bright child, went to school at the age of six.
S was hardly ten when well-known newspapers from Poona accepted his poems, not knowing that the writer was a ten-year-old child. His insatiable thirst for knowledge, excellent memory and the peculiar charm in his voice and gait impressed one and all. Yet he was full of pranks too.

In June 1893, serious Hindu Muslim riots broke out in Azamgarh district in today’s Uttar Pradesh and in August the same year in Mumbai. The news of atrocities perpetuated on Hindus fired his blood and he resolved to take revenge. He led a batch of selected schoolmates in a march upon the local village mosque, shattered its windows. The Muslims responded but S with his friends routed the enemies. The boy leader fell to training and organizing his group.

S moved from the village school to Nasik. During those times the people of Maharashtra stood between famine and death, plague and soldiers, the devil and the deep sea as it were. Harassment caused and outrages on women reached a climax. In such a charged atmosphere, the Chaplekar brothers of Pune shot dead the British Plague Commissioner and another Brit officer on a day which was the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s rule. The brothers were hanged, their end proved to be a harbinger of the coming revolutionary movement in India. Their death made S resolve to strive nobly and sacrifice his nearest and dearest, his life and all, to fulfill the incomplete mission of the martyred Chaplekars. He vowed to drive out the Brits of India.
At Nashik S’s career was not extraordinary. The depth of his knowledge and the fire of his eloquence fascinated his teachers. With the great flow of his words, breadth of knowledge and boldness of his views, he towered above all in the elocution competitions.
With a view to achieve his objective of driving out the Brits, S with friends Mhaskar, Page and Babarao formed a Friend’s Union called Mitra Mela at the beginning of 1900. Chosen youths were secretly initiated into the fold. This was the famous Beehive, of revolutionaries of Western India. The Mitra Mela grew into the world famous Abhinava Bharat Society in 1904 with a network in Central and Western India and subsequent branches in the form of Ghadr Party resounded in England, France, Burma etc. Its aim was the political independence of India, to be won by an armed revolt, if need be.

By diffusing knowledge among the members, dispelling doubts and ignorance, S vitalized the youth, instilled patriotic ideas to bring out the best in them. Now the Mitra Mela dominated all public and political institutions of Nasik, changed religious ceremonies and festivals into political, national functions. Like Lord Ram, who started on his great march to annihilate Ravana from Nasik, so also S started his war of independence from here. Members of the Mitra Mela helped the city in many useful ways like carrying corpses to the cremation ground.

S’s leadership knew no caste distinction. The heart of S’s poems in those days was the liberation of Bharat. The songs of freedom by the Mitra Mela fed and fanned the flames of the passions of the people with revolutionary ideas. It was a group of these singers from Nasik that sang a ballad later on at the historic Raigad Fort in the presence of Tilak.


Inspite of all this S did well in his exams. Thus, before entering Pune’s Fergusson College, young S was a first rate debater, a powerful orator, a rising writer and leader of a revolutionary organization. A few months before his matriculation examination he got married to the daughter of Bhaurao Chiplunkar. Bhaurao was rich and influential, helped S complete his University education. After S’s parents death things were tough for S’s family so it really helped.
The Rising Leader Chapter 2
S passed his matric exams in December 1901 and left Nasik for Pune in Jan 1902. What was the state of Pune then? Exactly a year ago, the great social reformer Ranade had passed away. R.P. Paranjpe had just returned from England with great academic success. G.K. Gokhale was about to leave the Fergusson College and enter into a political career. Tilak was becoming a formidable leader. The Congress was India’s sole spokesman, with the Moderates dominating it. They believed in the permanency of British rule in India.
After joining Fergusson College in 1902, blessed with the gift of thought and speech S with soon able to impress one and all resulting in the formation of a Savarkar group. The group started a hand-written weekly named Aryan Weekly, in which S often wrote articles on patriotism, literature, history, and science. One of those brilliant articles was Saptapadi in which he dealt with the seven stages of evolution that have to be gone thought by a subject nation. He had studied Kalidas and Bhavabhuti. Of the English poets, Shakespeare and Milton influenced him much. S often gave scholarly talks on the revolutions in Italy, Netherlands and America.

In 1903, at the opening of the new session of the college, he amidst deafening applause gave a talk on India’s glorious past and bewailed her loss of freedom. His speech infused courage into the craven-hearted and fired them all with the spirit of patriotism. Then his Professor said, “Young men, you need not take S seriously. He is a Devil! S and his group used Swadeshi goods and simultaneously took care of their studies, moral, physical, intellectual development. On important occasions S saw Tilak whose association with the revolutionaries was legendary. Tilak must have gauged S who by then had become the leader of the youth.

A change in political tone was coming on with the growing tension; a new spirit of self-reliance began to gain ground. Tilak played a role in this. At the same time, Lala Lajpat Rai, Surendranath Banerjee and Gokhale encouraged people with their words. The Swadeshi Movement too was gaining ground. Opposition to the partition of Bengal was coming to a head in October 1905; Hindus opposed it while Muslims supported it. Tilak had made the partition of Bengal an All India issue. S resolved to unfurl the banner of boycott of foreign goods and urged his countrymen to stop buying everything that was English. By now S had become a prominent figure in political, social gatherings of Pune.

Thus Poona had the first big bonfire of foreign cloth in India! Credit goes to S. Indu Prakash, a leading paper of the moderates criticized S. The Principal of Ferguson College fined S Rs 10 and expelled from college. There were two firsts to S’s credit. One he was the first Indian leader to make a bonfire of foreign cloth, two he was the first Indian student who was rusticated from a Government-aided institution for political reasons.


This incident was important for another reason. Gandhi criticized the bonfire and so did his Guru Gokhale while Tilak supported it. Thus, there emerged two schools of thought with differing ideologies, later on known as Moderates and Extremists. It is ironical that 17 years later, the same G, as organizer of the Civil Disobedience Movement, made a public bonfire of foreign clothes in Bombay on Nov 17, 1921.

Notwithstanding the turmoil S passed his B.A. exams with congratulations pouring in from all over Maharashtra. S the prolific writer was coming to the front now. During this period he composed his famous ballads on Tanaji and Baji Prabhu. These ballads inspired the youth, but were soon proscribed by the Brits. However, they attained the popularity of folk songs in Maharashtra for over four decades. S’s lyric of patriotism, inspiring songs on heroes, hyms thrilled the people of Maharashtra and he was hailed as a rebel poet. Among the memorable essays was “Why should we celebrate the festivals of historic personalities? He said it was to pay our national gratitude we owed to these historic souls. They should be celebrated as a mark of remembrance and reverence of the immense good these benevolent men have done to the world and because they have sacred sanction of ancient traditions.

In 1902, S had written in the Kal one essay, which he concluded with a prophetic vision. “Hindus are responsible for the poverty and disorganization of Hindustan. But if they ever desire to attain prosperity, they must remain Hindus”. This bold characteristic of S’s nationalism distinguished him from Tilak and others.
S’s efforts to build up his secret revolutionary society continued unabated. While at college he convened in 1904 a meeting of some two hundred select members of the Mitra Mela. Its name was now changed to Abhinava Bharat. Now the party extended its political and revolutionary activities all over India. It resembled the Young Italy of Mazzini or the revolutionary societies of Russia.
After graduating from Pune, S went to Mumbai to study law. S continued with his political activities in Mumbai. He contributed to Vihari, a local Marathi weekly and made it the mouthpiece of Abhinava Bharat. S was now the acclaimed leader of the revolutionary movement in Maharashtra and was invited to functions all over the state.
He was awarded a scholarship to study law in London by Pandit Shyamji Krishna Varma, then resident of London. He left Mumbai for London on June 9, 1906.
Revolutionary Activities Chapter 3
The year 1906 was a landmark in Indian politics. It is the year when S went to London; saw the birth of the Muslim League at Dacca. During those days revolutionaries from the world over took shelter in London. S under the guise of studying law went to have a look at the den of the British lion, to learn how to organize a revolution and carry on the struggle for freedom by inculcating this spirit in the bright Indian students there.

After reaching London, S stayed at the India House founded by Pandit Shyamki K Varma. In due course S was admitted to the prestigious Cray’s Inn. Panditji was a respected authority of Sanskrit Works, was close to the Arya Samaj founder S Dayanand Saraswati, proceeded to London to study law, came back to serve with Indian states, returned to the U.K. in 1897 and established a Home Rule Society in London in 1905. He used the columns of the Indian Sociologists to propagate home rule in India and started India House to provide boarding and lodging to scholars and other paid guests.

S soon established in 1906 the Free India Society. S began to organize Indian students into patriots like Bhai Parmananda, Lala Hardayal, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya (brother of Sarojini Naidu), V.V.S. Aiyar, Gyanchand Varma (man of great ability and caliber), Madame Cama (lectured on Indian politics at Hyde Park), Senapati Bapat (a selfless and saintly patriot, had a good name in the revolutionary movement, P.T.Acharya (a Tamil journalist and patriot) etc.
What was the condition of Indian students in Britain before the arrival of Savarkar in London? Eight out of ten students prided themselves on being more English then the Brits themselves, were apologetic about India. With S things changed. They held weekly meetings, celebrated anniversaries of Guru Govind Singh, Shivaji and Dussehra. Indian students from all over Britain joined the festivals with the exception of some like Nehru.
It is worth mentioning what Muslim students thought of India House; Shri Ziauddin Ahmed in Germany warned Shri Abdulla Suhrawardy with these words “You know that we have a definite political policy at Aligarh, i.e. the policy of Sir Syed. Do you really believe that the Muslims will be profited if Home Rule is granted to India? What I call the Muslim policy is really the policy of all the Muslims generally – of those of Upper India particularly”. Wrote Asaf Aki to Pandit Varma in 1909 “I am staying with some Muslim friends who do not want me to be associated with nationalists and to save many unpleasant consequences, I do not want to irritate them unnecessarily” Thus the Muslim antagonism to the Freedom Movement goes back to 1905-06.

S spread his revolutionary ideas through pamphlets, booklets and books. He translated the autobiography of Mazzini into Marathi and sent it to his brother Baburao Savarkar for publication at Nasik in 1907. While Lajpat Rai and Surendranath Bannerjee were mild in their speeches on Mazzini, S openly gave his message to the youth to fight for the liberation of the Motherland through the book. An admirer of the Sikhs, he learnt Gurumukhi, read the Adi Granth, Panth-Surya Prakash etc and issued many pamphlets, called Khalsa. Issued in Gurumukhi, these made the Sikh soldiers conscious of their duty.

May Day was celebrated in Britain in honor of the British victory over the Indian revolutionaries in 1857. To counter this propaganda, S decided to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the heroes of 1857. Indians wore metal badges, paid homage etc. In public places ensued scuffles between impudent Britishers and Indian youth? Patriotic feelings got aroused. The much-admired Pandit Varma became notorious overnight while S’s deeds did not escape the notice of the Government of India either. Alarmed by the hostile reaction in the British press, Pandit Varma left for Paris leaving the management of the India House to Savarkar.
Discussions at the Free India Society on political philosophy were inspiring and of a high order. They echoed throughout India in S’s letters from London, which were read throughout Maharashtra. S was magnetic and mesmeric. India House was completely under his spell. Everybody recognized the purity of purpose on him, although they disagreed with political objectives. S austerity was itself a discipline, which was disliked by the easy going variety of people. Said Asaf Ali on those days “I wonder how so young a person, 23 in 1909, commanded the will of almost every one who came into contact with him”. He added that S was the spirit of Shivaji.

Another great task that S devoted his energy to foreign propaganda. He was the first and foremost Indian leader who perceived and foresaw the impact of vital forces in international politics. He wrote articles on Indian affairs and got them translated into French, Russian, German, Italian etc to acquaint the civilized world with Indian affairs and enlist their support for the cause of Indian freedom. Also he strove to make India a living issue in international politics just like what Pakistan have done on Kashmir since 1947. With these objectives in mind, he had deputed Madame Cama to the International Socialists Congress at Germany in 1907, where, inspite of British opposition the Conference moved but not did not pass a resolution on India and unfurled the flag of independence of India which was designed by S. The delegates rose and saluted the flag.

The Indian revolutionaries of Abhinava Bharat were in touch with their counterparts in Russia, Ireland, Egypt and China. S’s aim was to organize a united anti-British front. One of the schemes planned by the front was the blocking of the Suez Canal. Thus every minute of S’s life was used to work on a plan for the liberation of Bharat. Liberation of the Motherland was to be achieved by teaching of Swadeshi and boycott, imparting National education, purchasing and storing of weapons in neighboring states, opening of small bomb factories, adopting guerilla tactics wherever possible, carrying patrioticism and politics into the armed forces. They expected World War I to break out in 4-5 years. Keeping this in mind, Abhinava Bharat was printing, packing explosive literature. Pistols were smuggled into India. Bapat and Das were sent to learn the art of bomb making.
S’s pen was feeding and fanning the wrath of Indian revolutionaries. He wrote a brilliant leaflet O Martyrs on the eve of the celebration of the anniversary of the Heroes of 1857. The pamphlet was distributed in Europe and India. Meanwhile Bapat reached India and circulated the Bomb Manual to important centres of revolutionaries. In April 30, Khudiram Bose threw a bomb in Muzzarpur shaking the whole of Bharat.

Nationalistic feelings were on the rise. The Brits used more repressive measures. Writers like Sri Aurobindo, Bhaskar Vishnu Phadke used their fiery pens. Some were arrested, others sent to Andamans. The approver in the Alipore case disclosed Senapati Bapat’s connection with the Bengal revolutionaries forcing him to go into a voluntary exile.

Wrote Sir Valentine Chirol in the London Times “The emotional Bengali calls along the whole world to witness his deeds. The Chitpavan Brahmin whose bent of mind is far practical works in silence. Even as the Bengali did the shouting it was Pune that provided the brains that directed the Bengali extremists”. Thus the fountainhead of the revolutionary movement in India was Savarkar, the acknowledged leader of India House.

These revolutionary activities brought India House under focus, particularly Veer Savarkar. Most journalists were surprised to see that S whom they criticized to be a mere youth of 25. Detectives of the Scotland Yard started keeping watch on the activities of the residents of India House. But the smartie S won the sympathies of the Irish serving men in Scotland Yard who actually helped the Indians in smuggling political literature. Besides Abhinava Bharat too had agents in Scotland Yard. Perhaps the Indian govt can learn something from S’s tactics.
But the remarkable gift of S was his balanced mind and the power of discrimination. He was a revolutionary realist and never dreamt of giving or taking life emotionally, wasting energy and life thoughtlessly. To him the timing of an act was important. The gift of his marvelous presence of mind were seen when he checked Senapati Bapat who wanted to bomb the House of Commons. S did not want the Brits to know about their mastery of the art of bomb making before it reached India. Meanwhile the smuggling of arms and ammunition into India went on. S sent them through Mirza Abbas and Sikander Khan. These pistols fell into the hands of different revolutionary groups.
The Storm Breaks Chapter 4

The bursting point of British repression was reached. The zero hour had struck. The choice of the Abhinava Bharata fell on Madanlal Dhingra. Talking of him, one day someone taunted him by saying that the Japanese were the bravest people in Asia. Dhingra had retorted that his Hindu nation was no less. Perhaps his time had come said S. Dhingra then joined a club, which highly placed Englishmen attended? There he learnt to shoot and gained closer knowledge of men like Lord Curzon and Morley. The former responsible for the Partition of Bengal, was Dhingra’s target but Curzon escaped.

Determined to avenge the atrocities committed by the Brits in India, Dhingra decided to kill an equally important man in Sir William Curzon Wyllie. So on 30/6/1909, S gave Dhingra a nickleplated revolver and said “Don’t show me your face if you fail this time”. Dhingra did not let S down, he shot Wyllie considered to be the eye and brain of the Indian Office. Dhingra was arrested and put in Brixton jail.
The incident shook London to its narrow! India was everywhere. Dhingra was disowned by his brother and father was ashamed of him. Assembled at Caxton Hall, a group comprising of Aga Khan, Surendranath Baneerjee, Khaparde and B.C. Pal and others declared “The meeting unanimously condemns Madanlal Dhingra”. Just then a voice said “No, not unanimously”. The chairman said “Who says no? “I say no, it is me, My name is Savarkar”. Fearing that the revolutionaries would bomb the meeting, a Eurasian struck a blow on S’s forehead making his face smear with blood. S Baneerjee left the hall protesting against the cowardly act on S. Sympathy with S, the police could not touch him. The revolutionaries in London got angry with B.C. Pal for calling Dhingra a cowardly assassin. That very night S dictated a letter to the London Times where he silenced all criticism against him by saying that Dhingra’s matter being subjudice, the meeting had no right to usurp the powers of the court and condemn Dhingra in advance. Moreover, S had a right to record his vote.

Thus this meeting S tested the stuff of the leader of revolution and his knowledge of law. In India Dhingra’s brave act was criticized by the types of N.C. Kelkar and Gokhale. Hyndman, Father of British Socialism wrote that though he condemned the means adopted by Dhingra, unfortunately, the accusations leveled by Dhingra against the British govt were true. Newspapers now directly attacked S as the fountainhead of the tragedy. In India his relations and colleagues were persecuted. Students proceeding to London had to produce certificates from their local Governments.

Though S passed the final examination of the Gray’s Inn, the Benchers of his Inn refused to call S and Harnam Singh to the Bar. A Committee was appointed to decide the issue. It said that S would be called to the Bar provided he gave them a written undertaking that he would not participate in politics. S rejected it; he was there to liberate Bharat, period.
S was now on the verge of physical collapse. For the past four years he had worked with phenomenal energy. After the Wyellie incident, Indian House was closed down. He started staying with B.C. Pal but angry crowds stormed Pal’s residence. S thought it wise to leave. Homeless, friendless, starved, stranded, shadowed by detectives, he wandered from lodge to lodge for shelter. At last a German lady gave him refuge for some days.
Tired, S went to Brighton, a seaside town for a change. In the company of Niranjan Pal S said, “Take me O Ocean! Take me to my native shores. Thou promised me to take me home. But thee coward, afraid of thy mighty master, Britain, thou hast betrayed me. But mind my mother is not altogether helpless. She will complain to sage Agasti and in a draught he will swallow thee as he did in the past”. Several literary men of Maharashtra have held this poem to be an unparalled poem on patriotism.
Even at Brighton, S lay not quiet. He had to publish Dhingra’s statement that was suppressed by the police. He used comrade Varma to post it from Paris to different American and Irish papers and got friend David Garett to publish it in the Daily News. Excerpts “As a Hindu, I feel that a wrong done to my country is an insult to God”. The police were baffled, how did S get a third copy, the others being with the cops, Dhingra.

Dhingra was hanged but his deeds, fearlessness, dignity thrilled the world. However, Nehru was warned by his father against going there and kept silent over this thrilling episode even in his autobiography.

The hot discussions in India House and S’s fiery speeches were too hot for visiting Indian leaders. Gandhi had discussions with S since 1906, met him in London in October 1909 but it was an ideological conflict between the promising Gautam and the spirited Shivaji. Gandhi arrogated the religion of God to himself and imputed irreligion of the devil to all those who opposed him. Said S” We feel no special love for secret organizations or surprise and secret warfare. We hold that whenever open preaching and practicing of truth is banned by enthrone violence, then alone secret societies and warfare are justified to combat violence by force”.
The discussions Gandhi had with S, had left a touch of bitterness. During his return journey at the end of 1908, G attacked the Indian revolutionaries in London and indirectly S. The ideological conflict between the two started in the first decade of the 20th century.
Minto was trying to crush the forces of seditious agitation with new measures. But the revolutionary movement was spreading fast, Gwalior, Satara and a few small factories of bombs were unearthed in Maharashtra. S’s brother Babarao was sentenced to transportation for life in June 1909. S wrote to his wife and sis in law a beautiful letter that has since then been a charm for Maharashtrian womanhood.
In S one finds a doer and a dreamer. He had the power of the pen and pistol, an unusual combination. It is no wonder that his writings and ballads inspired soldiers and patriots to fight the battle of freedom-from Rajaji, Roy, Bhagat Singh, Kher, and I.N.A.

S got admission into the Library of the India, read heaps of original letters, manuscripts and referred to books in the British Museum too. He read Rajanikant’s Sepoys Mutiny in Bengali. After an 18-month study, he completed in April 1908 his monumental work in Marathi, The First War of Independence of 1857. S sent the manuscript to his brother Babarao in Nasik where the Brits tried to seize the manuscript but failed. In England the Scotland Yard tried hard to get the manuscript. But S eluded the police and detectives to get the book published in Holland in 1909. The book reached India, America, China, Japan wrapped in specially printed covers bearing names like Pickwick Papers. It inspired the second and third wars of independence in 1914 and 1943 (Subhash C Bose).

Wrote K.F. Nariman “The idea of the I.N.A. and particularly the Rani of Jhansi segment seems to have originated from S’s proscribed publication on the 1857 Mutiny”. Reviewing the great work, P.K. Atre, a typical Maharashtrian author and journalist, opined that Maharashtra did not produce a greater genius than S ever since the great Dnyaneshwar.
After Dhingra’s martyrdom threats to S grew louder. In India his supporter were persecuted. Owing to stress and strain, S’s health broke down. He was removed to a sanitarium in Wales. Since his life was feared to be in danger, he left London for Paris at the beginning of January 1910. S now carried on his propaganda from Paris. But he was moved by the tragic news of the persecution of his followers.
It was found in the Jackson murder trial that S was the spirit behind India House and the leader of the Abhinava Society which had sent pistols, one of which was used to kill Jackson. (The British Collector of Nasik). George Clarke the new Governor of Mumbai decided that to maintain order, prosecution of S was necessary. He built up a case, a warrant was granted by Bow Street Court, London in February 1910. The charges against S were waging war against His Majesty, distributing arms amongst others. To avoid the persecution and demoralization of his followers, S decided to return to London in 1910, just like Shivaji went to Agra.

In 1910, S was arrested in England for the speeches he made in India in 1906! What a marvel this British process of law. The most developed nation in the world, then! Gallows now stared S in the face. He wrote his will and sent it to his sister-in-law. The Savarkar family was undergoing trying times. Babarao was sentenced to transportation for life, the younger brother was arrested in the Nasik conspiracy case and S was in jail. Further his little son had passed away in 1909.
On 23/4/1910, the Magistrate gave decision that S should be sent to India for trial where the Indian govt had set up a special tribunal for his trial. Meanwhile sometime in May 1910, Irish and Indian revolutionaries attempted at rescuing S but the plan leaked out, failed. Now, S was on the eve of being extradited to India.


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