Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vināyak Dāmodar Sāvarkar (Marathi: विनायक दामोदर सावरकर pronunciation), b. 28 May 1883 - 26 February 1966) was an Indian revolutionary and politician. He was the proponent of liberty as the ultimate ideal. Savarkar was a poet, writer and playwright. He launched a movement for religious reform advocating dismantling the system of caste in Hindu culture, and reconversion of the converted Hindus back to Hindu religion. Savarkar created the term Hindutva, and emphasized its distinctiveness from Hinduism which he associated with social and political disunity. Savarkar’s Hindutva sought to create an inclusive collective identity. The five elements of Savarkar's philosophy were Utilitarianism, Rationalism and Positivism, Humanism and Universalism, Pragmatism and Realism.

Savarkar's revolutionary activities began when studying in India and England, where he was associated with the India House and founded student societies including Abhinav Bharat Society and the Free India Society, as well as publications espousing the cause of complete Indian independence by revolutionary means. Savarkar published The Indian War of Independence about the Indian rebellion of 1857 that was banned by British authorities. He was arrested in 1910 for his connections with the revolutionary group India House. Following a failed attempt to escape while being transported from Marseilles, Savarkar was sentenced to two life terms amounting to 50 years' imprisonment and moved to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

While in jail, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva, openly espousing Hindu nationalism. He was released in 1921 under restrictions after signing a plea for clemency in which he renounced revolutionary activities. Travelling widely, Savarkar became a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Serving as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar endorsed the ideal of India as a Hindu Rashtra and opposed the Quit India struggle in 1942, calling it a "Quit India but keep your army" movement. He became a fierce critic of the Indian National Congress and its acceptance of India's partition, and was one of those accused in the assassination of Indian leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was acquitted as the charges could not be proven.

The airport at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar's capital, has been named Veer Savarkar International Airport. The commemorative blue plaque on India House fixed by the Historic Building and Monuments Commission for England reads "Vinayak Damodar Savarkar 1883-1966 Indian patriot and philosopher lived here".

Read more about Vinayak Damodar Savarkar:  Early Life, Activities At India House, Arrest in London and In Marseilles, Savarkar Case, Trial and Andaman, Hindutva, Leader of The Hindu Mahasabha, Support For Jewish State in Palestine, Works, Arrest and Acquittal in Gandhi's Assassination, Later Life and Death, Film

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