This author had the occasion to go through a good deal of literature about Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar. His story that this author learnt was one of extreme pain and hardships to endure and struggle for ideals which were very honest in approach and had mooted the idea of modernism in the Hindu beliefs system with an unapologetic string of Hindu patriotism.
Savarkar Sahab spent a great deal of his life under curbs imposed by the Raj, and since Indian freedom fighters were neither experienced in armed warfare against the Raj, nor were they looking out to pursue any such endeavour, Savarkar was the force behind all the men who took to arms to confront the British. Right from Khudiram Bose to Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose, the single source of sacrifice and motivation was Savarkar.
Savarkar was a modernist, he was in the ages when Gandhi and Nehru had no ideological inclinations to hold onto, had built a complete framework for a world where Hindu Rashtra which meant more than the terms explored not just the realms known but also the realms unknown to the oldest surviving civilisation of the world.
Yet, when we learn how his book strong arms were subjected to harsh labour and extreme circumstances, we realise that everyone has their own struggles for their own ideals just like Savarkar had.
When Savarkar submitted his mercy petitions, he simply had one idea that was to be free to pursue his struggle for freedom of the motherland. He could not differentiate between the bullet and the pen at the right time and the lesson his struggle taught him was patience.
He has many times written that he felt bad about the only fact that the sacrifices his immediate family members endured to see him as a practicing barrister and then pursue his endeavours for the motherland were trampled by his own mistakes and instead he spent a good deal of his life behind bars away from his loved ones and exploring his spirit.
In the modern day we need the attitude of Savarkar, but we need to be constitutionally attuned to pursue any kind of a revolution in any sphere of life. We can’t be the brown shirts of Mussolini in the information age.
We can neither be Gandhi, and not Savarkar, yet we can try to push for change through the ideals of Savarkar. He believed in the letter of the law, but he also believed a bullet adds more credibility to the pen.
It is the right kind of balance and the atmosphere where we pursuade the masses to array themselves in support of change that things take shape.
Savarkar was misunderstood for his support for Hindu Right, but he was an aggressive modernist Hindu who was an elderly brother figure to Hegdewar and had mooted for Hindu supremacy solely because he believed it was their land to protect and evolve. He further believed in giving rights to other religions in the land but by reminding them of their cultural affinity with the Hindu land which they should have respected.
Today, this land needs revolutionaries in all the fields of of our national life. Let us resolve to be able to build strong foundations of the Hindu Rashtra in the making and strike a balance between the pen and the gun.