Home Article Q: Looking back, what are the most thrilling memories, which you still...

Q: Looking back, what are the most thrilling memories, which you still cherish?

A: Of course, memories of old keep haunting me. I treasure these thrilling memories. They are now a part of me and will remain with me till the end of my life. The first thrilling event, which I still vividly remember was my dramatic escape from the steamer. It all happened like this: it was Sunday March 13 1910. I arrived in London from Paris. I was immediately arrested at the Victoria Terminus by the London Police. The arrest was made under atelegraphic warrant from the Bombay Government. I was held under the Fugitive and Offenders Act of 1881. The charges against me were: 1) Waging war or abetting thewaging of war against His Majesty, the King Emperor of India; 2) Conspiring to deprive HisMajesty the King of the Sovereignty of British India or a part of it; 3) Procuring and distributing arms, and abetting the murder of Jackson, the then Collector of Nasik; 4)
Procuring and distributing arms in London and waging war from London; 5) Delivering seditious speeches in India from January 1906 onwards and in London from 1908 and 1909.

I was put on the steamer S.S. ‘Morea’ bound for Aden. I was a prisoner of the British in the steamer. And I realized what my fate would be once I reached homeland. So, I decided to escape from the jaws of death. Luckily for me, the steamer anchored at Marseilles for

repairs. I now made a dramatic decision, to escape somehow from the steamer. So I went to the bathroom and bolted the door from inside. My guard waited outside. I jumped fromthe porthole into the sea and started swimming towards the harbor. The guards opened fire. And bullets whizzed by. I dodged them by diving, and cheated death. At last, I reached theharbor, and climbed the quay. I was happy that at last I was on the soil of France—a free man. But fate was cruel and unkind. The British guards pursued me and dragged me back to the steamer—clearly a breach of International law—for I had been arrested on a foreign land. Madam Cama and Ayyar who had planned to rescue me arrived in Marseilles by car late by a few minutes. They must have cursed themselves when they heard that I was captured after my dramatic escape.

The second episode, which lingers in my mind is when I was sentenced on two occasions for transportation for life. This meant that altogether I had to remain in the Andaman’s Cellular Jail for fifty years. If I had served my full term of imprisonment, I would have been released on December 24, 1960. But I was sent to Hindustan after 14 years in the Andamans to be interned for 13 years in Ratnagiri. Altogether, I remained a prisoner of the British for nearly 27 years.

The third event, which I shall always cherish, was when I met my young patriotic brother and my noble wife in cellular jail for the first time in 8 years. The Government had permitted  them to see me in the Andaman Jail. How can I express in cold words what I felt then? Anyhow, I was supremely happy to see and talk to my wife, who shared with me the sorrows and agonies of a revolutionary’s life.

More Questions from the interview :

 

 

Q: Looking back, what are the most thrilling memories, which you still cherish?

Q. You have been a great revolutionary in your time and a great fighter for India’s freedom. Tell me, how and why you became a revolutionary?

Q. When you were a political prisoner in the Andaman Island, you were cut off from the main currents of Indian life and soil. How then, did your mind function, and what were your dominant thoughts?

Q: How would you compare Indian Revolutionaries with Revolutionaries in Russia and China?

Q: Do you think that the ‘1857 Mutiny’ was India’s first organized revolt against the British for the freedom of the country as a whole? Some historians say that the ‘1857 Revolt’ was organized by half a dozen disgruntled but daring leaders who banded together for the maintenance of their respective privileges and status. What do you think ?

Q: What are the factors, which contributed to the liberation of our country?

Q: Did Gandhiji and other Congress leaders persuade you at any time to join the Congress? If they did, why did you not join the Congress?

Q: Assuming you had joined the Congress years ago, don’t you think you would have served your country and your ideology in a positive way?

Q: What is the India of your dreams?

Q: Some think that you believe in a Hindu Nation because you are a fanatic communalist. What have you to say about it?

Q: What are your views on the present state of affairs in India?

Q: What of the future?

Q: Do you think in an atomic age, militarization of the country is essential?

Q: Assuming that Congress disintegrates, do you foresee a contest for political power between a form of Hindu fascism and communism?

Q: And finally, is our revolution complete? Or are we still in the midst of it?

Source : Savarkar (Part 2): A Contested Legacy, 1924-1966 ( Buy Now )

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