Vinayak Savarkar, is popularly known as ‘Veer Savarkar’ and ‘Svatantryaveer Savarkar’ by all the patriots pre-independence and after that. Savarkar was a brave freedom fighter and social reformer. Savarkar was a person who is jack of all, as he was also a poet, philosopher, playwright, and a well-admired political leader. On his birthday today we bring to you some little-known facts about the aggressive freedom fighter.
1. Veer Savarkar was born on 28th May, 1883 in a village, Bhagur (Nashik) Maharashtra; he had 3 other siblings namely Ganesh, Narayan and Maina (sister).
2. The creation of the term, Hindutva, goes to Veer Savarkar. He emphasised its distinctiveness from Hinduism; which he associated with political communalism.
3. Veer Savarkar was the first poet in the world who was deprived of pen and paper in a jail. He improvised and used thorns and nails to compose his writings on prison walls.
4. Veer Savarkar practised ‘dining of all Hindus together’ irrelevant of the castes in 1930. He was the first revolutionary-cum-politician who within 10 years eradicated the evil practises of untouchability in Ratnagiri, where he was interned.
5. Veer Savarkar pioneered the ‘Shuddhi’ movement. The movement was against the Muslims who were forcing their religion on Hindus using prison authorities. The movement was to re-convert those people back to Hindu dharma.
6. Veer Savarkar’s works: “Kamala”, “Mazi Janmathep” (My Life Sentence) were in Marathi language. The famous book “1857- First War of Independence” had so much rattled the Britishers that they put a ban on it, confiscating all copies within the six months of its release.
7. According to Veer Savarkar, the Hindu society was bound by seven bandis (prohibitions); viz. (sparshabandi)– prohibition of touch of certain castes, (rotibandi) prohibition of inter-dining with certain castes, (betibandi)-prohibition of inter-caste marriages, (vyavasayabandi)-prohibition of pursuing certain occupations, (sindhubandi)– prohibition of seafaring, (vedoktabandi)– prohibition of rites sanctioned by the Vedas, (shuddhibandi)– prohibition of reconversion to the Hindu fold.
8. On 1 February 1966, Veer Savarkar refused taking medicines, food and water. He termed this as atmaarpan (fast until death). He justified this act with an article titled “atmahatya nahi atmaarpan” in which he wrote that, when one’s life mission is over and ability to serve the society is left no more, it is better to end the life at will rather than waiting for death. He succumbed to his “atmaarpan” and died on 26 February 1966 at the age of 83. 2,000 RSS workers gave his funeral procession a guard of honour.
9. In 1970, Indira Gandhi’s government issued a postal stamp in honour of Veer Savarkar. Also, the airport at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar’s capital, has been named as ‘Veer Savarkar International Airport’.
History has not been kind to Savarkar, as his name was soiled with Mahatma Gandhi’s murder. Known for his famous escape from a ship and swimming across the ocean only to be captured again, he became a cause celebre in France. Veer Sarvarkar is one of those freedom fighters who couldn’t claim much credit of their deeds because of the false propaganda against them.