Lesser-Known Facts About Vinayak Damodar Savarkar on His Birth Anniversary

Birth Anniversary of VINAYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR: The much-heard term “Hindutva” became after Indian nationalist activist and politician Vinayak Damodar Savarkar wrote a pamphlet of the same name in 1921, championing the Hindu cause. Aside from his Hindu nationalism, Savarkar was also a fervent freedom fighter. On his birthday, we take a look at some basic facts from his personal life and political activism.

  1. political activity
    As a university student, Savarkar founded a secret revolutionary society called the Mitra Mela in 1899, with his brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar. This developed into the Abinav Bharat Society, which was involved in the assassination of British officials such as William Curzon Willey and AMT Jackson. Savarkar reportedly supplied the killers with guns and was imprisoned. He was also a member of the Hindu Mahasabha – a political party formed to protect the rights of Hindus.
  2. Defending Indian nationalism abroad
    While studying law in the United Kingdom, at Gray’s Inn, Savarkar advocated anti-British revolutionary ideas among young Indians. He wrote the Indian War of Independence (1909), a historical account of the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, to stir up nationalist sentiments against colonial rulers. The book was banned and arrested for allegedly planning an armed uprising against the reforms of Morley-Minto (1909).
  3. social reforms
    Savarkar was against social ills such as caste and untouchability. He helped children from the lower castes receive formal education and established a temple where all denominations could pray together. He wrote an essay entitled Seven Shackles of the Hindu Society (1931) in which he denounced caste restrictions in Hindu scriptures.
  4. philosophies
    Savarkar championed the Hindu cause through his Hindutva philosophy. After his bleak experiences in the Andaman Cellar Prison, he wanted India to turn into a nation of Hindus and communities with their historical and religious roots in India. For him, Hindutva was about a strong sense of national identity.
  5. The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
    Savarkar was accused of conspiring to murder Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. However, the charges against him were not proven and he was released.

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