Veer Savarkar was always a Veer, will be remembered as a Veer in the history of Indian Freedom Struggle
The Congress’s Sarkari historians along with the Marxist counterparts mainly attempt to demolish Savarkar contributions on three counts. Firstly, that he apologised with the British but they fail to take into account the realities about what they term as the ‘Mercy Petition and Apology’ to the British
Prof. Kapil Kumar
The manipulative distortions of Indian culture, history and freedom struggle propagated by those enslaved by an alien ideology – Marxism are now being torn in pieces. This resurgence against the Marxist and colonial history writing stems out from the very fact that you cannot suppress historical facts for long; you cannot manipulate the facts to selective citations for long. For History speaks out and speaks loud when unbiased research reveals the suppressed and purposely ignored documents.
Since 1947, the Congress policy along with that of the Marxists was based on appeasement and alluring Muslim Vote bank and one of the major tools adopted in this regard was to condemn and demolish the role in freedom struggle of anyone and everyone who had talked of Hinduism or a United India. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a Congressman, was projected as a Hindu nationalist who used Hindu religious symbols to inculcate nationalism and the same was done to Veer Savarkar, the legendary revolutionary, whose book on 1857 became the Gita for all freedom fighters and was banned by British India. Not only this, his revolutionary activities abroad made the British fear him so much that he was imprisoned in Andaman where all those whom the British dreaded the most were deported. This was a jail, Kala Paani, the very thought of which made, even the bravest shiver and don’t forget that the Savarkar faced the tortures there for eight years. There were many who became insane, many committed suicide, many died of torture and many were shot or hanged.
This was not a prison like the Aga Khan Palace or the Ahmed Nagar Fort where even the cook of their choice was provided to the Congress leaders who leisurely spent their time, reading, writing or gardening. Even the Congressmen in other jails in the country would demand B-class category claiming they were political prisoners. One wonders had Nehru spent a week in Andaman what is his mental state would have been or to say that of all those Congressmen and Communists who went on tarnishing the image of Veer Savarkar.
Would any Congressman with the exception of Netaji Subhash Chander Bose even imagine of jumping from a ship into the sea and swimming to the coast? It was Savarkar who braved it near the French Coast when being brought by the British as a prisoner on the ship. It was the nationalism, his determination to fight off the British yoke that the British feared him and imprisoned him in Andaman.
The Congress’s Sarkari historians along with the Marxist counterparts mainly attempt to demolish Savarkar contributions on three counts. Firstly, that he apologised with the British but they fail to take into account the realities about what they term as the ‘Mercy Petition and Apology’ to the British. It must be noted that Savarkar was a political prisoner and that to a most dreaded one. What Savarkar seeks is a general amnesty for all political prisoners caged there and also expresses that it does not matter if he is released or not. Further, what would be a revolutionary like Savarkar be able to do for the country caged in a Cell in Andaman? The best option and tactic was to be out and then contribute to what one can in whichever way.
Why did Netaji leave the police sleeping and went away breaking his confinement from the Calcutta House? It was not a great escape but it determined effort to be out and fight for the liberation of India. The Arm Chair historians, who keep doing social, economic, political and secular interpretations, have miserably failed in understanding and analysing the national psyche of the revolutionaries. Why Gandhi had shied away even from praising Jitender Nath Dass who martyred himself after a 63 days hunger strike, a purely Gandhian tool? It should also be noted that Savarkar was not released but shifted to house arrest in Ratnagiri with a ban on political activity. Yet, he covertly maintained his links with revolutionary activities.
The second attack they do on Savarkar is that he supported the British war effort – particularly, recruitment in the British Army during the Second World War. And here again, they fail to analyse the entire context. It is well known fact that Gandhi supported the British war efforts during the First World War and urged the people to donate and recruit for the British Army. Was this the theory of non-violence that you support the cause of a war and urge people to enlist as a soldier? See the duplicity that when Subhash Chander Bose organised the volunteer force during the Calcutta Congress in 1928, Gandhi disapproved it and it was disbanded. But in relation to Savarkar some very revealing documents in the National Archives came to my notice recently, which reveal the real reason of Savarkar’s support for recruitment in the British Army.
It is a known fact that Netaji and Savarkar had met at Ratnagiri in 1940, but no one knows what transpired in this meeting. It is also known, though not many, that while leaving from Kabul in 1941, Netaji had left a letter for his Indian friends which did not reach India and was handed over in 1948 by Quatroni, the Italian Ambassador in Kabul, to Sarat Bose in 1948 in Paris. This letter known as the Kabul thesis was a complete plan for preparations to be done in India when the army of the Netaji fights the British attacking from North West Frontier Provinces (NWFP) with the help of Russian and Afghan. There were many crucial things mentioned in this like identify areas where small planes could land, where radio and wireless communications can be established, sabotage in the British army, etc. But there was also a very important directive in this which stated that our trusted youths should be made to get recruited in the new British Indian Army which the English were raising for the Second World War. And when the time comes, these youth would cross over to us.
No doubt, Savarkar urged upon the youth to join the British Army but for what? This is where this document reveals something that speaks out Savarkar’s intentions. In a letter to the INA Relief Committee which was intercepted by the British intelligence in 1946 it is stated by soldier that I had joined the British army on the instructions of Savarkar and as per his directives when the opportunity came, I joined the INA. Does this not indicate what would have been planned during the meeting at Ratnagiri?
Further, what explanation the Communists have for their support to the British in the Second World War? And interestingly, Hitler was not a Fascist for them when Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler. The World War was not a people’s war till Hitler’s attack on Soviet Union. The Communists not only supported the British war efforts but opposed the 1942 Movement. Yet, they have the cheeks to question Savarkar. What about those Congressmen who supported the British? After coming out from prison, the Congress leadership condemns the heroic struggles for people during 1942 as uncalled for violent action. They forgot that they themselves had failed to give any programme of action for the movement for the Quit India Movement and it was Netaji Bose who in his Berlin Broadcasts in August 1942 gave an action programme to the Indian people, calling the movement as ‘Non-violent Guerilla Warfare’.
Lastly, the attack is made on Savarkar’s Hindutva, accusing him as a communal person and here again they deliberately ignore the context and psyche that dominated the Indian political scenario when plans were being negotiated to divide India on communal lines. Can the agreement of Congress leadership on a communal divide of the country, negotiated through arm chaired meeting, and ignoring the mass sentiments of the people be called secularism?
But if anything is uttered in relation to being a Hindu, it is communal – a practice conveniently followed by the Congress even today, to such an extent, that they coined the term ‘Hindu Terrorist’ very recently. Was signing the Lucknow Agreement with Muslim League in 1916 secular? Was supporting the Khilafat Movement secular? Was signing a pact with Muslim League in 1937 for sharing the powers in UP after election is secular? Was Jinnah being addressed Quaid-i-Azam secular? And was forming an interim government with Muslim League in 1946 secular? All these actions of Congress were aimed at appeasement in order to attain power for the Congress leaders?
Veer Savarkar was a Veer and will be remembered as a Veer in the history of Indian Freedom Struggle.