Savarkar was a poet, novelist, writer of short stories, playwright, historian and a champion of purification of language.
Savarkar composed his first poem ‘Swadeshicha phatka’ at the tender age of eleven years. He composed his poems as a school and college student, in London, in the horrible Cellular Jail in Andamans and while interned in Ratnagiri. Savarkar is the first and probably the only poet in the world to have written his poems on the prison walls with thorns. These poems were committed to memory by fellow prisoners and transmitted to the outside world. Besides composing poetry in conventional meters, he introduced a new meters called vainayak. He also composed blank verse.
Savarkar’s two novels ‘Kaalepani’ and ‘Malaa kaay tyache’ are descriptive and instructive respectively.
Savarkar’s three plays ‘Usshaap’, ‘Sanyastakhadga’ and ‘Uttarkriya’ are notable for their dialogues and dramatic content.
Savarkar’s collection of short stories, public statements and reports are readable.
Savarkar wrote three books on history viz. ‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’, ‘Hindupadpaadshaahi’ and ‘Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History’. His ‘History of the Sikhs’ is not available. These books reveal his deep study of and insight into history, penchant for detail and inspirational but well-researched content.
Savarkar has many ‘firsts‘ to his credit, as far as the Marathi literature goes. He was the first to compose powadas (ballads) in modern times and was the first to use modern imagery in the powadas. He was the first Marathi journalist to contribute newsletters to Marathi periodicals -‘Londonchi baatmipatre‘ (Newsletters from London)- from foreign countries. His ‘ taarakaas pahun ‘ (gazing at the stars) is the first Marathi poem composed outside Indian shores. His ‘Joseph Mazzini‘ is the first Marathi book written outside India. As an offshoot of his movement of purification of Marathi language, he has introduced many new words in Marathi. Some examples are doordarshan (television), doormudrak (teleprinter), dhwanikshepak (microphone), digdarshak (director), nepathya (screenplay), veshbhoosha (costume), vetan (salary), kramaank (number), vidhi (law), vidhimandal (legislature), sampaadak (editor), keelak rashtra (buffer nation) (*the word dinaank for ‘date’ was coined by Savarkar’s elder brother Babarao). Verily, one can identify two ages of Marathi literature viz. pre- and post- Savarkar.