Context: The Prime Minister of India paid tributes to Veer Savarkar on his jayanti remembering him for his bravery, motivating several others to join the freedom struggle and emphasising more on social reform.

More on news: 

  • In 2002, Port Blair airport  in Andaman and Nicobar Island was renamed after Veer Savarkar International Airport. 
  • Recently Karnataka government’s decision to name a flyover after him, saw protest from opposition parties. 

About VD Savarkar:

  • Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, commonly known as 'Swatantryaveer Savarkar' in Marathi language, was an Indian independence activist and politician.
  • Savarkar began his political activities as a high school student and continued to do so at Fergusson College in Pune.

VD Savarkar: As a Nationalist:

  • In his teenage life , Savarkar formed a youth organization - Mitra Mela - to bring in national and revolutionary ideas. 
  • Participated in the Swadeshi movement and burnt all the foreign goods in a bonfire on Dussehra in 1905. He later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party.
  • He and his brother founded a secret society called Abhinav Bharat Society. 
  • Arrested in 1909 on charges of plotting an armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reform.
  • When he went to the United Kingdom for his law studies, he involved himself with organizations such as India House and the Free India Society
    • Free India Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.
  • President of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943: When congress ministries offered resignation on 22nd oct 1939, Hindu mahaasabha under his leadership cooperated with Muslim league to form government in provinces like Sindh, Bengal and NWFP.
  • His works: He also published books advocating complete Indian independence by revolutionary means. 
    • One of the books he published called The Indian War of Independence about the Indian rebellion of 1857 was banned by the British authorities. 
    • He gave the idea of two-nation theory in his book ‘Hindutva’ and in 1937 Hindu Mahasabha passed it as a resolution.

In his speeches, Savarkar advocated the use of arms to free India from the British and created a motivated network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons.

VD Savarkar: As a Social Reformer:

  • Worked for the abolishment of untouchability( in Ratnagiri): For this Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar  compared his work to Lord Buddha.
  • Disapproved orthodox Hindu belief: As a champion of atheism and rationality, he disapproved orthodox Hindu beliefs like cow worship.
  • Sacrifice should be the first virtue of a social reformer: For example, Jesus was killed; Buddha had to face a murderous attack; Mohammad had to flee, was injured in battle and was condemned as a traitor.

VD Savarkar: As a Modernist:

  1. Movies a source of inspiration: According to Savarkar, our movies should focus on the pride of the nation, inspiring youths to sacrifice themselves for the cause of the nation.
  2. Hindu-Muslim unity: In his presidential address to the annual session of the Hindu Mahasabha,Calcutta,1939, he highlighted the importance of hindu-muslim unity in building a common Hindustani constitutional state.
  3. Science over superstitions: In an essay published in the magazine Kirloskar, he argued that India would continue to lag behind Europe as long as its leaders believed in superstition rather than science.

The broader ideas of Savarkar on rationalism, modernism need to be promoted.