“O beautiful Hindusthan! Our very soul you are!
O beloved Hindusthan, the most delightful one of all you are! . . .
You are our Holy land! Our Father land!
Our Honor and our Pride!
- V. D. Savarkar, Priyakar Hindusthan (Beloved Hindustan)
Hi, Everyone! Savarkar never advocated the jail-going policy for any freedom fighter. He considered it a duty of every patriot unlucky enough to find himself in jail to free himself posthaste by resorting to any available means. Naturally, when incarcerated in the Cellular Jail, he himself assiduously carried out this duty—by the only way available to him: petitioning.
All his life Savarkar, like a true Karmayogi, only followed the path of his duty without any thought to personal gain. He never sacrificed his principles; he never ever, even for a moment, sacrificed his beloved motherland. Anyone who takes the trouble to read what Savarkar has recorded of himself and India’s history—without being blinded by the maligning rhetoric—will see the truth of this.
I don’t consider myself a person of extraordinary intellect. So if I can see the truth of Savarkar so plainly, why can’t the many anti-Savarkar propagandists who are so vociferously denigrating him do so? I can even understand—though not condone—the injustice to Savarkar that happened in historical times. But why does it continue till today?
· What powerful ulterior motive is operating this anti-Savarkar propaganda?
It is most shameful that there are so many Indian leaders, magazines, authors, and prominent personalities concentrating their energies in unjustly smashing to smithereens the pristine character and reputation of one of the foremost freedom fighters of India.
It is most shameful that Indians are allowing such a thing to happen.
In the last three posts, I have put before you justification of Savarkar’s petitions. Savarkar’s reasons for his petitions are entirely consistent with his principles, his strategies, and his unparalleled love for his motherland. Through his horrendous incarceration in the Cellular Jail, and indeed all his life, Savarkar’s every thought and deed was for the good of his country.
· But I ask you: if it were not so. If Savarkar made his petitions only to be free, or only to have a slightly less arduous hardship while incarcerated would that be any reason to rip his reputation and character to shreds?
Would these holier-than-thou anti-Savarkar propagandists suffer a fraction of what Savarkar suffered and not be turned into sniveling cowards?
· Would they have left the safety of Paris and returned to London to face the wrath of the British just to set an example to the other revolutionaries?
· Would they have the guts to execute the daring escape at Marseilles?
· Would they have remained uncrushed at being kidnapped by the British officers and hustled back aboard the SS Morea to a horrendous fate?
· Would they have faced with equanimity the fifty-year sentence of transportation imposed after another round of unjust and contrived trials?
· Would they have survived the solitary isolation of the Cellular Jail?
· Would they have survived being yoked to the oil mill there?
· Would they have survived the beatings, the insults, the hard labor, the atrocious hygiene?
No they would not!
And so, even if they could not grasp the extraordinary character of Savarkar, even if understanding his burning passion to free his motherland and all that it drove him to do was beyond them—they should never have dared point callous and unfeeling fingers of aspersions toward Savarkar.
Savarkar suffered all of the above and yet not one iota of his passion to free his country was dimmed. Under the most abject and horrendous circumstances, despite the very many injustices heaped upon him, he prevailed.
Detractors will do what they will do. But I do hope, readers, that you will not blindly swallow their vituperation of Savarkar.