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What are Savarkar’s contributions to the Indian freedom struggle?

  1. As early as 1900, when even ‘home rule’ and ‘dominion status’ were not heard of, Savarkar fearlessly declared complete independence as the goal of the Indian political movement. It should be remembered that Gandhi had opposed Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s resolution in the 1929 Congress session at Lahore, demanding Absolute Political Independence.
  2. Savarkar stressed that freedom would be achieved only by war and never through petitions
  3. He formed revolutionary organizations like Mitra mela, Abhinav Bharat and Free India Society to achieve the goal of complete independence. The oath of Abhinav Bharat is preserved by British secret Police. The words Absolute Political Independence are unmistakable in the oath.
  4. In 1905, Savarkar organized the first-ever public bonfire of bonfire of foreign clothes in Pune. At that time, Gandhi criticized this bonfire, but did the same in 1921.
  5. Through his books like Mazzini and Indian War of Independence of 1857, he not only inspired his fellowmen but also outlined the strategy and the tactics of revolutionary movement.
  6. By declaring the 1857 War as the War of Independence, Savarkar rebelled against the very concept of rebellion itself. Savarkar propounded that a struggle against a foreign rule was a war of independence and not a mutiny.
  7. Savarkar established contacts with the Russian and Irish revolutionaries and International Socialist organizations.
  8. Through articles or their translations in American or Irish newspapers and his famous trial at The Hague, Savarkar helped to create an international public opinion favourable to India’s freedom.
  9. Savarkar was the first to envisage the flag of Indian Freedom Struggle and get it unfurled by Madame Cama in the International Socialist Conference at Stuttgart in 1907.
  10. Even in the midst of revolutionary activities, Savarkar contemplated upon the Constitution of free India and held that free India should be a republic.
  11. Savarkar’s magnetic personality, heroism, self-sacrifice, oratory and literature inspired generations of freedom loving people.
  12. Savarkar correctly diagnosed that any alien rule rests on loyalty of native soldiers to it and that alien rule collapses when the native army gets infused with patriotism. While in England, Savarkar secretly sent revolutionary pamphlets to the camps of Sikh soldiers. In order to communicate effectively, he learnt Gurumukhi, studied Sikh history and scriptures and authored a history of Sikhs. His militarization movement during the World War II was a part of his revolutionary programme. Incidentally it was Savarkar who suggested to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to launch freedom struggle from without. As acknowledged by Netaji Subhash Bose, the Indian National Army got trained personnel due to Savarkar’s militarization movement. (*Apart from revisionist historians, it was none other than Lord Clement Atlee himself, the British Prime Minster responsible for conceding independence to India, who gave a shattering blow to the myth sought to be perpetuated by court historians, that Gandhi and his movement had led the country to freedom. Chief justice P.B. Chakrabarty of Calcutta High Court, who had also served as the acting Governor of West Bengal in India, disclosed the following in a letter addressed to the publisher of Dr. R.C. Majumdar’s book A History of Bengal. The Chief Justice wrote: You have fulfilled a noble task by persuading Dr. Majumdar to write this history of Bengal and publishing it … In the preface of the book Dr. Majumdar has written that he could not accept the thesis that Indian independence was brought about solely, or predominantly by the non-violent civil disobedience movement of Gandhi. When I was the acting Governor, Lord Atlee, who had given us independence by withdrawing the British rule from India, spent two days in the Governor’s palace at Calcutta during his tour of India. At that time I had a prolonged discussion with him regarding the real factors that had led the British to quit India. My direct question to him was that since Gandhi’s “Quit India” movement had tapered off quite some time ago and in 1947 no such new compelling situation had arisen that would necessitate a hasty British departure, why did they have to leave? In his reply Atlee cited several reasons, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British Crown among the Indian army and navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji. Toward the end of our discussion I asked Atlee what was the extent of Netaji. Toward the end of our discussion I asked Atlee what was the extent of Gandhi’s influence upon the British decision to quit India. Hearing this question, Atlee’s lips became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, “m-i-n-i-m-a-l!”[46]

Thus Savarkar is one of the patriarchs of the Indian freedom struggle.

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