Author, Burning for Freedom

Author, Burning for Freedom
click image for my amazon page or to buy 'Burning for Freedom'

Friday, June 14, 2013

“The Joke of the Century”

“In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.”

-         Plutarch

Hi, Everyone! Just yesterday—following my self-imposed task of rectifying misinformation re Savarkar that I come across anywhere—I found myself commenting back and forth with an FB Friend (me patiently pointing out his inaccurate, unjustified statement; he taking refuge in mockery) when he came up with a wisecrack that surely takes the cake!

Here I was thinking I have heard it all—the many unjust, untrue, maligning words re Savarkar—but no! There are always some more, it seems.

I had just made a statement to the effect that it was Savarkar’s amazing leadership, definitely not  "dictatorship," that enabled him to raise the Hindu Mahasabha into a strong political party capable of giving competition to the Congress in the elections.

To my consternation his reply was: “raising the Hindu Mahasabha into a strong, political party - Joke of the century - liked it!”

“Joke of the century”!!! Savarkar ground himself to dust to fight for a United India, for saving India from partition and here all his work was described as a "joke"! Impossible to put my emotions in words when I read those words.

I couldn’t help thinking again how unfortunate it is that so many Indians, far, far from appreciating their freedom fighters, cannot even muster up a modicum of respect for them.

However, despite the heavily promoted distortions in Indian history, Savarkar’s role in the politics of India, his role in raising Hindu Mahasabha from an embryo stage to a political force is a well-documented fact. Both, reputed historians and reputed biographers have recorded it in their books.

Any researcher of Savarkar (even the Savarkar-bashers) should be well aware of that. In the course of my research, I have dug up international corroboration of this fact. I have in my possession a boxful of newspapers clippings, reports, even an article that give testimony to Savarkar’s extraordinary political feat.

I am going to post some of them here. Keep in mind that Savarkar was released from twenty-seven years of British Bondage on May 10, 1937 and took over presidency of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha only in December of 1937. He didn't have much time to turn things around!

1)    Clipping from The Lowell Sun (8/15/1942.) Note the first few words: “Hindu Mahasabha, India’s third largest political party . . .” and that in just four and half years!

  2) Clippings from The Billings Gazette (4/25/1939) and The Bakersfield California (4/24/1939)

By 1939 itself Savarkar was a force enough to send a cable to the President Roosevelt of United States! These clippings (and there are several more) give evidence of it. Savarkar’s cable reads: “If your note to Hitler was actuated by disinterested human anxiety for safeguarding freedom of democracy from military aggression, why not also ask Britain to withdraw armed domination over India, allowing a free self-determined constitution? The great Indian nation can claim as much international justice as small nations.”

3)    Mason City Globe-Gazette (1942)

This clipping says that Congress and Hindu Mahasabha will have to agree on any decision re future of India.

Syracuse Herald (3/22/42) This clipping clearly states that Hindu Mahasabha is one of the four “factions” whose opinions Sir Stafford Cripps will have to consider in deciding the future of India.

Definitely HM was a political force, wouldn’t you say?

4)    Examiner (September 1942)
Here is a little clipping on Savarkar’s “Militarisation Movement.”

  5) Cullman Banna clipping (8/6/42)

Clearly mentions that this photo (the original was of very poor quality) is from the March of Time’s study “Crisis in India.” The write-up (incomplete here) gives some particulars of Savarkar.

6)    Excerpts from an interview of Savakar’s taken by an American journalist and published in the LA Times in 1943: “But he has a certain power of personality and is definitely a figure of some importance on the Indian political scene today . . . How he managed it I don't know, but despite all that confinement he was enough in tune with the spirit of the times to get into the political whirl and come to the top of a strong minority party which exerts a considerable influence today. He's a real story.”

7)    In 1945, J. M. Deb has written a book Blood and Tears featuring all the major parties of India and their role in Indian politics at the time. This book is important because it records history as it happened before distortions.
He too refers to HM as the third largest party in India. Here is a link to his piece on Savarkar and the Hindu Mahasabha:

All this gives a very good idea that Savarkar did indeed turn the Hindu Mahasabha into a political force. After reading this, if there is any truth in them, no one should find that statement the “joke of the century.”

However, if the Hindu Mahasabha was such a political force capable of giving the Congress a run for their money in the elections, why then did the Congress win the elections by a landslide?

What did happen?

That story of (Congress) dirty politics and treachery is well covered in my novel Burning for Freedom.



  1. super work anurupa i m die hard supporter of savarkar and his visionary thoughts and i would like to have more links from u.. would u like to share those with me..

    1. Thank you so much, Gaurav! While I am determined to showcase Savarkar as he deserves (and refute all the unjust maligning) even if no ones reads it---when I get such encourgement it puts new heart in me, for sure!
      On my website I have organized several links of documentation on Savarkar by topic.
      Do check the categories on my blog, too---I have one on short stories (based on real events,)on injustice re the "Mercy Petitions," on the Gandhi-Murder etc. Here's a link to my article exposing Noorani's distorted version:

  2. Please continue your good work. Best wishes! :)

  3. I'm a proud Hindu Rashtraist & a follower of Savarkar. But, I have a small doubt in savarkar politics. Why savarkar(Hindu Mahasabha) took part in the Muslim party led governments in bengal, shind(i think its 1942)? Also, why didn't he support Nethaji's army? But, he supported British army? Plz clarify my doubt.

    1. Sir, I am not sure why you say Savarkar did not support Netaji's army. Do let me know so I can look into it.

      Savarkar himself has said that he had a meeting with Netaji (June 21-22, 1940) and showed him a letter from Rash Behari Basu. He also suggested that Netaji work from outside for India's freedom. Netaji also appreciated Savarkar in his speech from Singapore. Netaji also published Savarkar’s “Indian War of Independence 1857.” Hindu Mahasabha had defended the INA army soldiers in their trials.
      There is some source material available re this, but I haven't put it together. I have located a 1946 book with Netaji's speeches and hope to find this speech in there. Letters between Rash Behari Bose and Savarkar are available. My website is being revamped right now. When it gets done I shall upload the information. In the meanwhile this excerpt from will shed light (and also has quote of the speech.)
      "A study of relations between two towering contemporaries Veer Savarkar (1883-1966) and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945?) will prove interesting. On the "longest day," June 21, 1940, Subhas Chandra Bose called on to Savarkar at Savarkar Sadan, Bombay. Savarkar advised Subhas not to waste time in agitating for the removal of British statues like Holwell Monument in Calcutta - only to end up in a British prison during the invaluable war-time. Savarkar, was surreptitiously in touch with Ras Behari Bose in Japan. He advocated that Subhas should smuggle himself out of the country and try to reach Germany and Japan (like Indian revolutionaries during World War I) to raise an Indian Army of liberation out of PoWs. In his avatar as Netaji, Subhas Bose's future course of action developed on the prophetic lines of Veer Savarkar.
      Netaji in his speech on Azad Hind Radio (June 25, 1944) acknowledged Savarkar's perspicacity in these words: "When due to misguided political whims and lack of vision, almost all the leaders of Congress party have been decrying all the soldiers in Indian Army as mercenaries, it is heartening to know that Veer Savarkar is fearlessly exhorting the youths of India to enlist in armed forces. These enlisted youths themselves provide us with trained men and soldiers for our Indian National Army."
      On September 30, 1943 when Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose toured Andamans as the supreme commander of Azad Hind Fauz, he paid his tributes to the memories of freedom fighters imprisoned in the Cellular Jail. He got printed thousands of copies of the Tamil version of Savarkar's Indian War of Independence of 1857 and distributed them in public. Andaman and Nicobar islands were re-named as Saheed and Swaraj islands.
      Savarkar reciprocated these noble sentiments, but alas, Subhas was not there to see it. On May 10, 11, and 12 1952 during the dissolution celebration of Abhinav Bharat, the secret revolutionary party Savarkar had founded in 1904 at Pune, the bust of Netaji graced the stage for three days. Hailing Subhas as "deathless" Savarkar said, "Long live deathless Subhas, victory to the goddess of freedom."

    2. Re why Savarkar supported the British army and coalition Governments:
      The main theme of Savarkar’s whirlwind propaganda was “Hinduise all politics and militarize Hindudom.”
      The British were ruling India by the might of the army and the army was made up of Indians with a high percentage of Muslims. This is one reason why the Muslims were able to get concessions from the British as early on as 1906. In a free United India, Savarkar did not want this disproportionate numbers in the army. Also, if partition were to happen the army would be divided on the basis of religion (which it was) and India would be left with a very poor and vulnerable army. So Hindus joining the army was critical. When the WWII began, the British opened the gates of opportunity and actively sought recruits, which was a very good opportunity. So he stepped up his militarization propaganda. But he made it very clear, even to the Viceroy, why he was doing it: not to support Britain, but because it was a great opportunity for India.
      Savarkar also had always maintained that it was important to fill the Government posts that were available by nationalists working for the good of the country. Free India would need experienced people to run it. Occupying Government positions also gave a voice in the say so when any matters came up. In 1937 (and onwards) the Congress politics were leaning towards Muslim appeasement and partition (Congress passed a Pakistan resolution in 1942.) The Constitution of India at this time was Communal (thanks to the 1931 Communal Awards.) Hindus could vote only for Hindus, Muslims for Muslims etc. There was a dire need of strong party capable of giving competition to the Congress for the Hindu votes, if India (and the rights of the Hindus) had to be saved. And so Savarkar worked towards building the Hindu Mahasabha into a strong political party capable of contesting all elections at all levels. Whenever an opportunity arose in the Government, Hindu Mahasabha took it. “Country first” was Savarkar’s principle and responsive cooperation was the way to go, he believed. Indeed, in Bengal and Sindh were vulnerable provinces where it was even more critical for Hindu Mahasabha to have a Government position to safeguard the rights of the Hindus.
      Savarkar was not anti-Muslim. His United India did not exclude Muslims.

  4. Very very very Thanks Madam. Plz continue ur amazing work...

    Mam, actually my doubt is raised due to the communist's conspiracy. They trying to destroy the mass image of Savarkarji. I request u to, elaborate ur comments(that u have replyed me) and post it as a individual article.

    1. Thank you, Sir! I shall definitely write an article on the subject---after I get Netaji's full speech in hand, perhaps. After two-three years of hunting, it looks as if we will now get our hands on it (maybe in a week or so.)