“O Mother, O Our Queen! Who will dare insult you?
Countless Sons you have to give up their very life for you!
To defend your honor and virtue, willingly die we shall!
Slash the enemy in battle,
And offer you a bath of blood we shall!
- V. D. Savarkar, Priyakar Hindusthan (Beloved Hindustan)
Hi, Everyone! Almost from the time he was brought to the Cellular Jail, Savarkar began petitioning to loosen the shackles that held him within its walls. Freedom lay only beyond its walls. But the Cellular Jail was a fortress impossible to escape from. The only way to get out was by the permission of the authorities—either by being allowed to work outside, or being transferred to the mainland jails, or any which way that worked. The only way to get permission of the authorities was to make petitions. And so Savarkar petitioned.
The need of the hour was great, very great, indeed. Savarkar, with his incredible political acumen, had predicted a major war involving Britain in the near future. It was the ideal opportunity to stage a revolution. Savarkar was desperate to be free to organize this revolution that would set his beloved India free.
But the British were very much aware of Savarkar’s aspirations and his certain capabilities to see them through. So much so that here is an excerpt from the report drawn up by Craddock (upon reviewing Savarkar’s petition and after an interview with him) which makes it clear how important it was for the British to keep Savarkar’s wings clipped:
“In the case of Savarkar, it is impossible to give him any liberty here at all; so important a leader is he that the European section of the Indian anarchists will certainly organize his escape from any jail. Even from the island it is easy to escape; just charter a steamer and with plying money the rest is easy. For him hard labor within the Cellular Jail is the only option.”
After this, there was no more any hope for Savarkar that he would be allowed to work outside the Cellular Jail. Incredibly, despite all the restrictions and the unendurable circumstances, Savarkar had still managed to establish a spy system within and without the jail. Secret communications were maintained with his associates in Europe and the U. S. During WWI a German Cruiser, Emdem, was designated by the Kaiser Wilhelm II to rescue Savarkar from the Cellular Jail. This is a documented fact. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
Savarkar has very frankly given details of what he did (and why) in his My Transportation for Life (http://www.scribd.com/doc/16918361/My-Transportation-for-Life-Veer-Savarkar.) There is no need to speculate, cast aspersions, or play guessing games. It is all there to read. And he wrote this while still in British bondage in Ratnagiri. He wrote this when he was under pledge to stay away from politics, when his every written and spoken word was scrutinized, and the fear that his fifty-year sentence would be reinstated was hanging over his neck like the Sword of Damocles.
Not only did he write this book (he had also written Essentials of Hindutva in 1923 while actually incarcerated!) he also carried on clandestinely working for the freedom of his India.
When he was completely free in 1937, he swooped upon the political scene and threw his heart and soul into the gaining of freedom for an United India. He had developed the Hindu Mahasabha to be a strong contestant for the Hindu seats. But the gullible Hindus voted for the Congress instead. And India paid the price.
The point I wish to make by recounting this is:
· Can these be the actions of a man who has forsaken his country? One who has switched loyalty from his beloved motherland to that of her enslavers, the British?
· Can these be the actions of a man who is utterly demoralized and exposes himself by making “demeaning apologies and abject undertakings”?
It is ridiculous and entirely contradicted by facts to claim so, but that does not prevent the anti-Savarkar propagandists from spreading their spiteful, maligning, and virulent lies.
And while there are undiscerning readers who will swallow blindly any tale told to them, the mud thrown at Savarkar sticks.
· Savarkar’s actions and his beliefs tell the true tale, though!
In the next couple of posts I shall show that even if that were not the case, there is still nothing shameful about Savarkar’s petitions.