Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also known as Veer Savarkar is one of the most controversial political figures in the history of India. On one hand, he is considered as a revolutionary who fought for India’s independence whereas on the other hand Savarkar is linked with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
His rivalry with Gandhi and controversy of filing petitions to get released from Kala Pani Jail in Andaman raised questions upon his work even now. Savarkar’s Hindutva ideology but opposing worshipping of cow is also one of the controversial facts about Veer Savarkar.
These topics are discussed even after his death because his supporters believe he deserves Bharat Ratna and oppositions have their own views. Therefore, we are putting a light over Savarakar’s life and who gave him name ‘Veer’ on his birth anniversary.
Who is Vinayak Veer Savarkar and Facts to Know About Him
Savarkar was a lawyer by profession but his political ideas, philosophies, and beliefs made him politician, social reformer, and a freedom fighter. Political leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak was his inspiration.
Beside these, his identity was of an atheist, supporter and propagator of Hindutva, and a writer. This is not enough to explain who Veer Savarkar is in reality.
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Facts About Veer Savarkar
1. A Hindu Nationalist Who Didn’t Believe in Hinduism
Hindutva and Hinduism are two different ideologies and Veer Savarkar was a practitioner of first one. He believed ‘Hindu’ is not merely a religion, it is same as Indian and anyone irrespective of their religion can be called a Hindu- A citizen of Hindusthan.
To know more about Savarakar’s perception of Hindutva, read books written by him such as:
- Hindurashtra Darshan
- Hindutvache Panchapran
2. He was against Hindu Orthodoxy
Even though Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born in a Hindu Brahmin family, he did not practice the religion. For him, the concept of God was man-made and thus the principles and teachings of God are inapplicable to societies.
He also opposed the religious practices as he believed they were irrational and also against cow worshipping.
3. Against the Caste System
Not just religion, Savarkar wanted Hindus to reject the concept of caste system. He said “the practice of untouchability is a sin, a blot on humanity, and nothing can justify it.” He worked on its abolishment in Ratnagiri after getting released from the jail of Kala Pani.
4. Opposed Quit India Movement
Though Veer Savarkar was in the favor of India’s independence, he did not support Congress’s Quit India Movement. Instead, he wanted hindus to obey the British government, get enrolled in the armed forces, and not join the movement at any cost.
At first it showed Savarkar as a traitor but one can get to know the purpose in his book Hindu Rashtra Darshan. He was unclear of the objectives that Congress wanted to achieve with this movement. Moreover, Savarkar was in favor of Swadeshi movement and burnt all the foreign goods.
Also Read: Why Do Some People Hate Mahatma Gandhi?
5. Put in Most Isolated Jail- Kala Pani or Cellular Jail of Andamans
One of the must know facts about Veer Savarkar is that he was put in jail, not an ordinary but one far away from India, for at least 50 years in 1911. Reason was revolting against a new reform of Britishers that allow the right of separate electorate based on religion.
He was, however, released after 13 years and filing of several merciful petitions which put a stain of coward on him by many. A few historians and politicians including Rajnath Singh (as quoted in BBC) say it was Gandhi ji who asked him to file a plea.
Who Titled Savarkar ‘Veer’?
PK Atre, a drama and film artist is the man behind the title ‘Veer’. He was given this title when Congress workers were protesting against him. Still, many politicians believe Savarkar was a traitor and in favor of dividing India into two nations.
How Veer Savarkar Died?
Veer Savarkar died due to starvation as he quit food and attained full Samadhi as he felt his mission is completed and he has left nothing to serve the society. So, instead of waiting to die, he took the path of atmaarpan in 1966.
To honor him, Government of India renamed Port Blair Airport as Veer Savarkar International Airport. A film title Veer Savarkar was directed by Ved Rahi in 2001 after his life. Another is in making, titled as Swatantra Veer Savarkar where Randeep Hooda will essay his role.