Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh, why did they not ask Savarkar?

 Hi, Everyone! In the last three years I have often wished that someone had asked Savarkar a few simple questions. He had lived until the age of 83, after all. That should have given people plenty of time to dig up the courage, if indeed courage was needed!

While reading one of Savarkar’s biographies, an intriguing fact jumped out at me. Savarkar was wearing a bath-robe given to him by Prince Kropotkin at the time of his escape in Marseilles. He had to leave it behind in the SS Morea, naturally.

Why, oh why did no one ever ask him re this bathrobe? There is surely some interesting story behind it?

A bathrobe is hardly the sort of gift one gives to a casual acquaintance! Under what circumstances did Prince Kropotkin gift one to Savarkar? There isn’t even any mention anywhere that the two knew each other. A host of questions come to mind, and the answers are not to be found.

I am on the lookout for Prince Kropotkin’s biographies, hoping that they will shed some light on the subject.

The other thing I really wish Savarkar had noted down was his escape from the SS Morea. It has taken me months and months to chase every detail down and put together a scenario. I even have studied the map and figured out the logical escape route, for Savarkar must have done the same as he walked on the deck plotting his escape. Plus accounts of the various parties mention some landmarks here and there.

But wouldn’t it have been wonderful to hear it all from Savarkar himself? So why did no one ask him?

When Savarkar was being extradited to Mumbai in 1910 in the SS Morea, he was not the only political prisoner on board! But except for a reference here and there re ‘two’ prisoners, accounts are silent on this fact. It is crucial to know the identity of this political prisoner. It will be very interesting to know what kind of paperwork was done for his extradition. It will be interesting to know if he has left an eyewitness account of Savarkar’s escape somewhere. Again, why did no one badger Savarkar to disclose it?

The list can go on. Fortunately, where we have unanswered questions, we also have found documentation that gives validity to many other things that Savarkar has written.

So I shouldn’t really be complaining. But I would so-o-o-o like to know everything.

Anurupa

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