Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
HVK Archives: A party without difference

A party without difference - Veer Savarkar Vindicated

J. D. Joglekar ()
12 April 1996

Title : Veer Savarkar Vindicated
Author : J. D. Joglekar
Publication : Veer Savarkar Vindicated
Date : April 12, 1996

The article is an attempt to denigrate Savarkar and
thereby condemn Hindutva. It therefore calls for a re-

After Veer Savarkar's death, a great many leaders issued
condolence messages about him. Mrs. Gandhi, the late
Prime Minister of India, said "Savarkar's death removes a
great figure of contemporary India. Describing his name
as a by-word for daring and patriotism, she further said
that he was cast in the mould of a classic revolutionary
and countless people drew inspiration from him." (Keer -
Veer Savarkar- p 548)

I think these few lines are sufficient refutation of
three-page colossal effort of your research scholars to
denigrate Savarkar.

But for enlightenment of your readers I will give infor-
mation about Savarkar which throws light upon his life
and shows how illustrious it was.

The authors have quoted Savarkar's letters to show how
unnerved he became, how Iris spirit was broken, and how
he made an abject surrender If this was really the posi-
tion, revolutionaries themselves would have turned their
backs on him. This does not seem to be the case. Mr.
Sanyal, Mr Parmanand, Mr Aiyar, Bhagatsingh, Rajguru and
others, socially came to see him in Ratnagiri where he
was interned. The authors of the article are not aware
that his two followers, who remained devoted to him till
the end were involved in terrorist activities. One was
Mr Wamanrao Chavan, who shot at a sergent in Dhobi Talao,
and was jailed for 7 years. It is to be noted that after
this shooting incident, Savarkar was detained in jail for
two weeks as Mr Chavan hailed from Ratnagiri. The other
was Mr Gogate who shot at the Acting Governor of Bombay
Mr Holson. Mr Gogate was sentenced to imprisonment of

Bhai Parmanand was sentenced to death. But later his
sentence was committed and he was sent to the Andamans.
Mr Ashutosh Lahiri was also sent to the Andamans. Both
were in the Andamans at the time Savarkar was there. Your
readers would be interested to know that Bhai Parmanand
became bite president of the Hindu Mahasabha and Lahiri
was its General Secretary and both were valued colleagues
of Savarkar during the period of his Hindu Mahasabha
Presidency from 1937 to 1943.

Incidentally Mr Achyut Patwardhan of '1942 Quit India'
fame and Mr S. M. Joshi, leader of the Socialist Party,
met Savarkar, when he was released from his internment in
Ratnagiri in 1937 and requested him to join their Social-
ist Party. Strange that Patwardhan and Joshi should have
felt that Savarkar, whose spirit as your beamed authors

say, was broken, should join their party!

Your authors have made wonderful discovery. They write,
'One warning from? tile Government4 and his concern for
the so-called welfare of the Hindus had disappeared into
thin air'. Your readers should read the chapter 'Social
Revolution' from Keer's biography of Savarkar or Balarao
Savarkar's volume Hindu Samaj Sanrakshak Swa. Veer V.D.
Savarkar (Ratnagiri Parva) to find out for themselves
what tremendous social transformation he effected in
Ratnagiri during his internment there and thereby earned
encomiums from several reformers of Maharashtra. The
great Social Reformer Mr Shinde was moved to say that God
should give the remaining years of his life to Savarkar
And be it noted that Gandhiji, always hard- pressed for
time, found it worthwhile to meet Savarkar to discuss
social problems will him in 1927 when he was on a tour of
Ratnagiri. He also praised Savarkar's sacrifice and
patriotism. And yet your authors have the temerity to pen
the above words. Only blind hatred could have produced
these words.

In the same article, in a box item. under the caption
'Contrasting approaches.' the authors have mentioned
Motilal Nehru six months sentence. This should not have
been done. No one denies Motilal's sacrifice. But can sir
months jail ill 1930 be compared with 50years' sentence
in 1911? In 1930 fare Government had become mellow.
Provincial autonomy was 7 years away and Swarajya was 17
years away. But in 1911 the British Indian Government was
harsh. When Savarkar was jailed, Gandhiji was in South
Africa, Jawaharlal Nehru was in London. Motilal Nehru
was more with the liberals than with the extremists in
the Congress. What kind of life Savarkar had to face in
the jail in the Andamans? History ticket of Savarkar
tells the story. Here are few notings :

(I) 6 months solitary confinement;

(II) Seven days standing handcuffs

(III) Absolutely refusing to work, Ten days cross bar
fetters imposed.

(Source material for a history of the freedom movement in
India Vol. II,. Bombay Government publication : pp-

How many top leaders of tire Congress had to suffer such

There is a following noting on page 464 of the above
book. (Xerox copy attached)

'He is always sauve and polite but like brother, he has
never shown any disposition to actively assist Govern-
ment. It is impossible to say what his real political
views are at the present time.'

Your authors write, 'What is clear front a study of these
documents, many of them available with the National
Archives, New Delhi, is that Savarkar sought his release
from British prisons not merely by giving an undertaking,
not to engage in political activity but also by acknowl-
edging that he had a fair trial and a just sentence.'
Now, one does not have to go to the archives to read tile

contents of these letters. Savarkar in his book 'My
Transportation', has narrated on various pages what talks
he had with Sir Reginald Craddock in 1913, with members
of Jail Commission, and with the Governor and what re-
strictions he would accept for his release front the
Jail. (Satmagra Savarkar Wangmaya, Vol 1, -pp

Savarkar did not believe in Satyagraha. So jail going was
not an important pall of his political activities. If he
was caught, he thought it legitimate to give any under-
taking to secure his release. He was a disciple of Shiva-
ji. One should read Shivaji's letter to Aurangzeb. To
secure his release, Shivaji made many promises in that
letter But when he escaped, these promises evaporated in
thin air (Xerox copy attached).

Why judge Savarkar by Gandhian principles? We may, if we
want, judge him by Leninist standards. Did not Lenin
accept the offer of 'Sealed Car' from the Kaiser's German
Government- a capitalist government? He came in that
train to lead the Bolshevik Party and to seize power in
Russia. Stalin made a pact with Hitler, his arch enemy.
But what is laudable in Lenin and Stalin becomes condemn-
able in Savarkar To a jaundiced eye everything looks

'In contrasting approaches' your authors write, 'The
desperate telegram from Hailey in which he explained the
old man's determination and character in some detail,
forced the issue and Motilal Nehru was released on Sep-
tember & 1930unconditionally. He died five months later,
on February 6, 1931 in Lucknow, with Jawaharlal Nehru and
Gandhiji at his bedside. 'How could Gandhi and Nehru be
at his bedside? Because 'On January 25th Viceroy, Lord
Irwin, ordered the unconditional release of Gandhi and
the members of the Congress Working Committee, including
Nehru.' (Frank Moraes-Jawaharlal Nehru- p 171)

Mr Nehru's wife, Kamala went to Europe for treatment. Mr
Moraes writes 'On September 4, 1935, Nehru was suddenly
discharged from Almora, five and half months before his
term was to expire ... On the same afternoon he set out
by Air for Europe......... On the evening of September
9th he reached Badenweiler' [p- 246]

No one grudges this sympathetic treatment to Nehru. One
only wishes that people should know that Savarkar broth-
ers met their family members only once in the Andamans.
And in this meeting Savarkar's elder brother came to know
that his wife had died earlier Here are real contrasting

Now how was Savarkar treated in the jail in the Andamans?
the following three excerpts show it :-

(I) 'Bombay Government do not recommend any remission of

the sentences passed upon Ganesh Damodar Savarkar and
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar [p. 467]

(II) 'Government of India agree that the Savarkar broth-
ers should not be released under the Royal Amnesty.'

This is dated 8th December 1919. P [469]

(III) `The Government of Bombay by their letter No.

1106/36, Home Department, dated 29th February 1921, in-
formed the Government of India that the Governor in
Council was not in favour of the transfer of the Savarkar
brothers from Andamans to a jail in the Bombay Presiden-
cy, as that would lead to a recrudescence of agitation in
their favour' (p.477-478)

(Source material for a history of the freedom movement in

Your readers should carefully read the marked lines. They
showed the Government's worry and public sympathy for

Your authors have said that Savarkar and his family
showed increasing tendency to mollify the British author-
ities. What was wrong in that? Any family would do
that. It is natural; moreover, the British Government
was not sympathetic, tender and accommodating to Savarkar
brothers, as it was with Gandhi and Nehrus, I will illus-
trate :

While sentencing Gandhiji in 1922 to six years imprison-
ment Sir Robert Broomfield observed:

'I should like to say that if the course of events in
India should make it possible for the Government to
reduce the period and release you, no one will be better
pleased than I.' (Tendulkar- Mahatma- Vol II- p 134)

Government on medical advice released Gandhiji in 1924.
(Mahatma Vol II p-163)

The same consideration was extended to Mr Nehru. Mr
Moraes writes, 'On the night of August 11th Nehru was
brought from Dehra Dun under police escort to Allahabad
and there informed that he was to be temporarily released
in order to see his ailing wife. He was to be at liberty
for eleven days.' (-Jawaharlal Nehru p. 237)

Mr Moraes further writes : 'Nehru had given the Govern-
ment no undertaking when he came out of jail, but he felt
it would be improper to engage in political activities
during the respite they had allowed him.' (p.238). The
Government was sure that he would not take part in polit-
ics and hence did not impose condition. However in Sa-
varkar's case, the Government imposed the condition that
he should not engage in political activities. How can it
trust a man who jumped the ship at Marseilles?

Your authors have written about Savarkar's surrender,
etc, It would have served tile cause of history better if
they had inquired into what was happening in the Congress
camp. Writing about the settlement, Gandhi- Irwin pact,
Mr Moraes writes,

'Glancing at it, Nehru noticed that Gandhi had accepted
the principle of self Government with reservations or
safeguards. He was numbed by tile discovery, being
Literal shocked into silence.'

'As Nehru lay in bed that night, his mind travelled back
to the saga and sacrifices of the non-violent movement.
Were all these sacrifices to be frittered away in this
temporary provisional compromise? How could Gandhi have
brought himself to surrender the position when victory

seemed within his grasp? ?Were all their brave words and
deeds to end in this? Nehru wept. He was distressed
beyond measure, and his grief and embitterment found vent
in tears '(p-181)

Comments are superfluous!

Your authors have laboured hard to show that Savarkar's
spirit was broken. They should have read the following
paragraph from 'The struggle for Freedom.'

Dr Majumdar writes:

"By that time tile individual civil Disobedience 'was
dead like a door nail'. Referring to the commencement of
the New Year, 1934, the official history of the Congress
records : 'The progress of events in the line of Civil
Disobedornce was none too satisfactory, The prisoners who
were released were fagged. The provincial leaders who had
promised at Poona Conference to lead their provinces if
Mass Civil Disobedience were given up and individual
civil disobedience continued, did not carry out their
pledges, except in a few cases. Those who were released
from jails found themselves unable or unwilling to face
another conviction. 'Slowly and silently the movement
faded away, and during the upheaval caused by the great
earthquake at Bihar on 16 the January, 1934, it passed
away unnoticed into the limbo of oblivion.'

(Struggle for Freedom : Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publica-
tion - p. 525)

This should show whose spirit was really broken.

In 1937, when all restrictions imposed on Savarkar were
removed and Savarkar became free, Subhashchandra Bose,
Jawaharlal Nehru and M. N. Roy welcomed him to full
freedom. Your authors say, Although Savarkar's condition-
al release was not much of a secret at the time, when it
occurred it was criticised by sections of the press.' And
yet Bose, Nehru and Roy thought it wise to welcome him.
Who is more sensible? Bose, Nehru and Roy or your au-

Your authors have stated - '....Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
who was one of the founders of.the Hindu Mahasabha and is
considered to be the father of the Anti-Muslim Hindutva
ideology....' This statement reveals their colossal
ignorance. For Hindu Mahasabha was founded in 1915 when
Savarkar was in jail. According to Dr Majumdar - The
great leaders of Hindu Mahasabha, to begin with, were
Swami Shraddhananda, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and Lala
Lajpat Rai. Rajendra Prasad, too, presided over the spe-
cial session in 1923. Then came Dr B. S. Moonje and Bhai
Parmanand, and last of all the great revolutionary, Veer
Savarkar, who gave it a militant character During the
whole of this period the Hindu Mahasabha really consti-
tuted a political organisation to fight for the interests
of the Hindus to which the Congress leaders were indif-
ferent and even hostile.' (-Struggle for Freedom - Bhara-
tiya Vidya Bhavan Publication pp - 988/989)

As regards the charge of anti- Muslim Hindutva let me
quote a few lines from Savarkar's Hindutva, He says, 'It
may be that at some future time the word Hindu may come
to indicate a citizen of Hindustan and nothing else!'

Does this not show that Savarkar visualised that a time
would come when Muslims would be included in the fold of
the Hindus? If this is so, how can Hindutva be anti-
Muslim ? But when ignorance parades as research, it
becomes limitless.

The last heroic thing that Savarkar did was to give up
his life voluntarily. No man who has lost his nerves can
do this. How many leaders, except Vinoba Bhave, have
shown this courage? Any way, Savarkar has departed from
this world in 1966 with his reputation unsullied. No
amount of research will tarnish it. He was father of
Hindutva-Hindu Nationalism. Now Hindutva has gathered its
own momentum. No denigration of Savarkar will stop the
growth of Hindutva.

It would have served the cause of National integration
better if your authors had made research to find out why
Indian nationalism failed and why Pakistan was created
and why Muslim separatism still persists.



Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements