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Veer Savarkar:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

 

Context:

Central Information Commissioner (CIC) Uday Mahurkar recently said the era of V D Savarkar, known as the architect of Hindutva ideology, has already set in in India and that his personality is above Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour.

 

What’s the issue?

A quote attributed to Savarkar has been going around in academic circles which shows that Savarkar supported Jinnah’s two nation theory.

  • However experts are of the opinion that while Jinnah wanted partition, Savarkar wanted Territorial Integrity of India.
  • Jinnah wanted minority representation while Savarkar wanted Majority rule.
  • Jinnah wanted residuary powers to reside in the provinces but Savarkar wanted them to reside in Centre.
  • Jinnah wanted reservation in recruitment to civil/public service while Savarkar wanted merit to be the sole criterion.

 

Who is Veer Savarkar?

Born on May 28, 1883 in Bhagur, a city in Maharashtra’s Nashik.

 

Nationalism and social reforms:

  • Formed a youth organization- Mitra Mela, this organization was put into place to bring in national and revolutionary ideas.
  • He was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi.
  • He championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
  • He also Worked on abolishment of untouchability in Ratnagiri. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar also compared his work to Lord Buddha.
  • Vinayak Savarkar was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.
  • When congress ministries offered resignation on 22nd oct 1939, Hindu mahaasabha under his leadership cooperated with Muslim league to form government in provinces like Sindh, Bengal and NWFP.
  • In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
  • He joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party.
  • He founded the Free India Society. The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.
  • He believed and advocated the use of arms to free India from the British and created a network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons.

 

Important works:

  1. Book- The History of the war of Indian Independence.
  2. An armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reform.
  3. Two-nation theory in his book ‘Hindutva’.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who founded Mitra mela, Abhinav Bharat Society and Free India society, what are the objectives?
  2. Books written by Savarkar?
  3. Savarkar’s book which was published by Madam Bikaji Cama?
  4. Morley- Minto reforms- key changes.
  5. Savarkar’s views on use of arms to free India.
  6. Hindu Mahasabha- key achievements.

Mains Link:

Discuss Veer Savarkar’s contributions to social reforms in the country.

Sources: the Hindu.