Vinayak Damodar Savarkar | A True Son of Soil

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His Life: An Ardent Hindu Nationalist

  • Year 1883 – Born in Bhagur, Nasik, Maharashtra.
  • Year 1901- Married Yamunabai.
  • Year 1902 – Started B.A. from the Fergusson College, Pune.
  • Year 1905 – Organized his first protest by boycotting foreign clothes.
  • Year 1906 – Moved to London to study Law.
  • Year 1909 – Authored The History of the War of Indian Independence.
  • Year 1910 – Arrested and sent to prison following a trial.
  • Year 1924 – Released from the prison.
  • Year 1966 – Left the mortal world.

We yield to none in our love, admiration and respect for the Buddha-the Dharma-the Sangha. They are all ours. Their glories are ours and ours their failures.

Veer Savarkar was an Indian freedom fighter, politician, lawyer and Hindu nationalist. He is credited with coining the term Hindutva as the collective identity of everyone born into Hinduism.

Childhood and Personal Life

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born to Damodarpant Savarkar and Radhabai Savarkar on May 28, 1883. The second of four siblings namely Ganesh, Narayan, and Maina, he was born in Bhagur, Nasik, Maharashtra.

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He received his elementary education from the Shivaji High School in his locality. In 1902, he took admission in the Fergusson College, Pune to study B.A. Later, he went to London to study Law at the Gray’s Inn. In 1901, he married Yamunabai, daughter of Ramchandra Triambak Chiplunkar, who funded his university education. He had two sons Vishwas and Prabhakar and a daughter Prabha Chiplunkar.

Political Journey

Savarkar earned his nickname Veer when he was only 12. He led a group of his friends to fight a Muslim troop that attacked his village. Despite being so young and handful in strength than their opposition, Savarkar successfully drove them out of their village. His parents died when he was a teenager and his eldest brother Ganesh (Babarao) became head of the family. Babarao played an instrumental role during his teenage life, shaping up his beliefs. During this time, Savarkar established a band of friends called Mitra Mela to help the struggle of Independence. While in college his political ideologies was influenced by the triumvirate of Lal Bal Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal).

In 1905, he organized his first protest by burning a heap of foreign clothes with his friends to help spread the Swadeshi Movement. In 1906, he moved to London to pursue Law and started living at the India House, a student residence. India House was the hub of student political activities and used to promote the nationalism among students. Savarkar founded the Free India Society to promote battle against the colonial government.

In 1909, Savarkar authored the book The History of the War of Indian Independence about the about the mutiny of 1857 and the India’s fight for Independence. The book was immediately banned by the Britishers due to the fear of outrage it might cause. In the same year, the collector of Nasik, Arthur M.T. Jackson was assassinated in a bomb blast. The police implicated his eldest brother Babarao and Savarkar was also arrested in 1910.

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Following a trial, Savarkar was sentenced to prison in the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Here he established a small library to help educate the fellow illiterate prisoners. In 1921, he was moved to a jail in Ratnagiri and then to the Yerwada Central Jail. He was finally released on January 6, 1924 with limited freedom and on condition of refraining to involve in any political activities for five years.

Death

On February 1, 1966, Savarkar started fast until death and abandoned food and medicine. He died on February 26, 1966 at his house in Bombay.

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