Vinayak Damodar Savarkar 54th Death Anniversary: Lesser-Known Facts About India’s Most Prominent Hindutva Ideologue

Veer Savarkar (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly knows as Veer Savarkar, was remembered on his 54th death anniversary on Tuesday. Born on May 28, 1883, the revolutionary leader was the president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 till 1943. He popularised the term “Hindutva” which was coined by Chandranath Basu. The Hindutva ideologue was also involved in the political murder of three British officials.  Revisiting The Life of Veer Savarkar.

Savarkar was charge-sheeted in assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but later was acquitted as there was no evidence against him. His revolutionary activities against Brish brought him a lot of jail time. He used that time by improving upon his idea of Hinduism. On his death anniversary, here are some lesser known facts about the revolutionary leader.

 

  • In his teenage, Vinayak Savarkar formed Mitra Mela (Group of Friends), a youth organisation, to bring in national and revolutionary ideas.
  • He supported the idea of Swadeshi and was strictly against the foreign goods.
  • Veer Savarkar founded the two-nation theory in his book “Hindutva” calling two separate nations for Hindus and Muslims.
  • In 1909, Savarkar was arrested on charges of plotting an armed revolt against plotting an armed revolt. The revolutionary leader tried to escape but was arrested. He was sentenced to 50 years in jail.
  • Though he was released in 1924, he was told to not participate in politics for five years. He later started working to abolish untouchability in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri.
  • On February 1, 1966, Savarkar renounced food, water and medicines which he termed atmaarpan (fast until death) and passed away on February 26, 1966.
  • In 2002, Port Blair airport in Andaman and Nicobar was renamed as Veer Savarkar International Airport.

Today is the 136th birth anniversary of Savarkar. He has had a chequered reputation in Indian nationalistic history. Whether or not he really deserved the honorific title of “Veer” (brave) is still debated among historians and secularists. But the cult of Vinayak Savarkar thrives to this day, which inspired many nationalists who are followers of his revolutionary fervour.

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