vinayak-damodar-savarkar

In News: Recently the Union Home Minister said without V.D Savarkar, we would have seen revolt of 1857 only from the lens of britishers.

About Vinayak Damodar Savarkar:

  • He was born on May 28, 1883 in Bhagur, a city in Maharashtra’s Nashik to a Marathi family.
  • He grew up to be an Indian freedom fighter, activist, politician, lawyer, writer and formulator of Hindutva philosophy.
  • In his teenage, Savarkar formed a youth organization. Known as Mitra Mela (Group of Friends), this organization was put into place to bring in national and revolutionary ideas.
  • Savarkar was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi. In 1905, he burnt all the foreign goods in a bonfire on Dussehra.
  • Savarkar championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
  • Savarkar studied at Gray’s Inn College in London.
  • In his book, The History of the War of Indian Independence, Savarkar wrote about the guerilla warfare tricks used in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. 
    • While the book was banned by Britishers, Madam Bhikaji Cama published the book in Netherlands, Germany and France, which eventually reached many Indian revolutionaries.
  • He was arrested in 1909 on charges of plotting an armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reform. 
  • He was sentenced to two life sentences i.e. 50 years in the cellular jail of Andamans, also known as Kala Pani, in 1911.
  • Though Savarkar was released in 1924 under strict conditions of not participating in politics for 5 years, he decided to work on abolishment of untouchability in Ratnagiri. 
  • Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar also compared his work to Lord Buddha.
  • He founded the two-nation theory in his book ‘Hindutva’ calling Hindus and Muslims two separate nations. In 1937, Hindu Mahasabha passed it as a resolution.
  • It was in 1964, when Savarkar declared his wish to attain Samadhi and started hunger-strike on February 1, 1966 and passed away on February 26, 1966. 
  • He believed that his purpose of life is solved as India has gained Independence.
  • In 2002, Port Blair airport at Andaman and Nicobar's Island was renamed after Veer Savarkar International Airport.

 

Revolt of 1857:

  • The Indian Rebellion of 1857 is also called the Indian Mutiny, the Sepoy Mutiny, North India's First War of Independence or North India's first struggle for independence. 
  • It began on 10 May 1857 at Meerut, as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army.  Sepoys in the Presidency of Bengal revolted against their British officers.
  • Major Reasons were use of pig and cow meat in enfield rifle, Economic deprivation, racial discrimination , Political Subjation etc..
  • Major Leaders: 
    • Delhi -               Bahadur Shah II, General Bakht Khan
    • Lucknow - Begum Hazrat Mahal, Birjis Qadir, Ahmadullah
    • Kanpur - Nana Sahib, Rao Sahib, Tantia Tope, Azimullah Khan
    • Jhansi -         Rani Laxmibai
    • Bihar -   Kunwar Singh, Amar Singh
    • Rajasthan - Jaidayal Singh and Hardayal Singh
    • Farrukhabad- Tufzal Hasan Khan
    • Assam - Kandapareshwar Singh, Maniram Dutta Baruah
    • Orissa -  Surendra Shahi, Ujjwal Shahi
  • This war of Independence marked the end of rule by the British East India company. 
  • The 1858 Act provided that India was now  to be governed by, and in the name of, Her Majesty. 
    • It changed the designation of the Governor-General of India to that of Viceroy of India.
    • It ended the system of double government by abolishing the Board of Control and Court of Directors.
    • It created a new office, Secretary of State for India, vested with complete authority and control over Indian administration. 
    • It established a 15-member Council of India to assist the secretary of state for India which was only an advisory body.
  • After 1858, the interests of India were further subordinated to those of Britain. 
  • Due to the conflicts of Britain with the other imperialist powers, India was made to serve the British economic interests in other parts of the world and in costly wars against other countries.