Veer Savarkar’s legacy celebrated on 141st birth anniversary

India celebrated the 141st birth anniversary of freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also known as Veer Savarkar on 28 May.

| Updated: 28 May, 2024 4:50 pm IST

DELHI: India celebrated the 141st birth anniversary of freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also known as Veer Savarkar on 28 May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X (formerly Twitter) that, “Maatrbhoomi kee seva mein apana jeevan samarpit karane vaale mahaan svatantrata senaanee Veer Savarkar ji ko unakee jayantee par koti-koti naman.” Meaning, “Tribute to the great freedom fighter Veer Savarkar ji on his birth anniversary, who dedicated his life in the service of the motherland.”

Savarkar was born on May 28, 1883, into a Marathi Hindu Chitpavan Brahmin family in the village of Bhau, near the city of Nashik in Maharashtra. Damodar and Radhabai were the father and mother of Savarkar.

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In 1903, when Savarkar was in high school, he founded Mitra Mela with his elder brother Ganesh Savarkar, with the aim to overthrow British rule and revive Hindu pride. This later became the Abhinav Bharat Society in 1906.

In 1911, Savarkar was brought to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands, a notorious colonial prison used to exile and isolate political prisoners. This prison was infamously known as the “Kaala Pani” (Black Waters).

Savarkar was sentenced to 50 years in the Cellular Jail for his alleged revolutionary activities against the British. Over the next 10 years, he was subjected to terrible torture and hardship in the prison, which led him to write several mercy petitions to the British government pleading for clemency and better treatment.

After spending a total of 15 years in jail, including 10 years in the Cellular Jail, Savarkar was eventually released in 1924 but was confined to the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra until 1937.

After this, Savarkar was involved in activities for the development of the Hindu community. He advocated the abolition of the caste system in the country and requested the reconversion of those who converted to other religions. He is said to have developed the Hindu Nationalist political ideology of Hindutva while detained in Ratnagiri Jail. He became the leader of the Hindu Mahasabha. Later, his followers added the prefix Veer, meaning brave, to his name.

Savarkar was implicated as one of the accused in the conspiracy to murder Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, though he was later acquitted for lack of direct evidence.

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A movie based on the life of Savarkar, named “Swatantra Veer Savarkar,” is digitally released on Zee5 (an OTT platform). This film presents a detailed biographical sketch of Savarkar from his childhood to key events in his life. The movie was co-written and directed by Randeep Hooda. It was released in theaters on March 22, 2024.


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