Skip to main content

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

BJP leaders paying tribute to Savarkar in Mysuru
By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.
Since renaming ceremony was taking time the RSS outfit Bajrang Dal strung a banner reading “Veera Savarkar Melsethuve (flyover)” in Kannada on the flyover at Mangalore. They also wrote “Bajrang Dal” in saffron paint on the divider of the flyover.
It would be a sad day not only for Karnataka but the whole country if a seasoned collaborator of the British rulers and the Jinnah-led Muslim League is glorified in any way. Let's hear from the horse's mouth what Savarkar did as a collaborator of the enemies of India.

Savarkar and Tricolour

Savarkar, like the RSS, abhorred every symbol of the Indian people’s united struggle against the British rule. He refused to accept the Tricolour (at that time there used to be a charkha or spinning wheel in the middle of it) as national flag or flag of the freedom struggle. In a statement issued on September 22, 1941 for the benefit of Hindu Mahasabha cadres, he declared:
"So far as the flag question is concerned, the Hindus know no flag representing Hindudom as a whole than the ‘Kundalini Kripanankit’ Mahasabha flag with the ‘Om and the Swastik’ the most ancient symbols of the Hindu race and policy coming down from age to age and honoured throughout Hindusthan. It is actually sanctioned and owned by millions on millions of Hindus today from Hardwar to Rameshwaram and flies aloft on every Hindusabha branch office at thousands of centres.
“Therefore, any place or function where this Pan-Hindu flag is not honoured should be boycotted by the Hindu sanghatanists at any rate…The Charkha-Flag [before the present national flag it used to be the one] in particular may very well represent a Khadi-Bhandar, but the Charkha can never symbolize and represent the spirit of the proud and ancient nation like the Hindus."
[Bhide, A. S. (ed.), “Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s Whirlwind Propaganda: Extracts from the President’s Diary of his Propagandist Tours Interviews from December 1937 to October 1941”, na, Bombay, 1940, p. 470-73.]
What Hindu Mahasabha and RSS cadres did to the freedom fighters who dared to carry Tricolour would be clear from the following words of a well-known socialist leader NG Goray who was witness to an incident in 1938 when the Hindutva cadres tore up the Tricolour and attacked those who were carrying it:
"Who attacked the May Day procession? Who assaulted men like Senapati Bapat and [Gajanan] Kanitkar? Who tore up the national flag? The Hindu Mahasabhaites and the Hedgewar boys did it all… They have been taught to hate the Muslims in general as Public Enemy Number 1, to hate the Congress and its flag…"
It is to be remembered here that the British rulers were persecuting the freedom fighters who publically carried the Tricolour in the same manner.

Savarkar and Netaji  

When Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after escaping from India (January 16, 1941) was trying to secure foreign support for the liberation of the country and trying to organise a military attack on the northeast of the country which finally culminated in the formation of Indian National Army, it was Savarkar who offered full military cooperation to the British masters. While addressing 23rd session of Hindu Mahasabha at Bhagalpur in 1941, he said:
"The war which has now reached our shores directly constitutes at once a danger and an opportunity which both render it imperative that the militarization movement musts be intensified and every branch of the Hindu Mahasabha in every town and village must actively engage itself in rousing the Hindu people to join the [British] army, navy, the aerial forces and the different war-craft manufactories.” [Savarkar, V. D., “Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan”, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, pp. 460-61.]
 To what extent Savarkar was willing to help the British would be clear by the following words of his:
"So far as India’s defence is concerned, Hindudom must ally unhesitatingly, in a spirit of responsive co-operation with the war effort of the Indian government [British] in so far as it is consistent with the Hindu interests, by joining the Army, Navy and the Aerial forces in as large a number as possible and by securing an entry into all ordnance, ammunition and war craft factories…
“Again it must be noted that Japan’s entry into the war has exposed us directly and immediately to the attack by Britain’s enemies. Consequently, whether we like it or not, we shall have to defend our own hearth and home against the ravages of the war and this can only be done by intensifying the government’s war effort to defend India. Hindu Mahasabhaits must, therefore, rouse Hindus especially in the provinces of Bengal and Assam as effectively as possible to enter the military forces of all arms without losing a single minute.”
[Ibid., p. 460.] 
Documents with Hindu Mahasabha archives make it clear that Savarkar, like Muslim League, believed that India is not one nation
Savarkar spent the next few years in organizing recruitment camps for the British armed forces which were to slaughter the cadres of INA in different parts of North-East later. The Madura conference of Hindu Mahasabha concluded with the adoption of an ‘immediate programme’ which stressed “to secure entry for as many Hindus recruits as possible into army, navy and the air forces”. [Ibid., p. 439.]
Opposing flyover naming: Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah 
He also informed them that through the efforts of Hindu Mahasabha alone, one lakh Hindu’s were recruited in the British armed forces in one year. It is to be noted that during this period RSS continued inviting Savarkar to address the RSS youth gatherings for motivating the latter to recruit into the British armed forces.

India not one nation?

Documents available in the Hindu Mahasabha archives make it clear that Savarkar, like the Muslim League, believed that India is not one nation but consisted of two nations as claimed by Jinnah and the Muslim League. While delivering presidential address to 19th Hindu Mahasabha session at Ahmedabad in 1937, Savarkar declared:
“As it is, there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India, several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so… India cannot be assumed today to be a Unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main: the Hindus and the Moslems, in India.” [“Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan” (Collected works of Savarkar in English), Hindu Mahasabha, Pune, 1963, p. 296.]

Savarkar and Quit India Movement

Savarkar not only kept aloof from the freedom struggle but also helped the British rulers in suppressing any challenge to their interests. During 1942’s Quit India Movement when whole country was facing brutal repression of the colonial masters Savarkar declared:
“The Hindu Mahasabha holds that the leading principle of all practical politics is the policy of responsive co-operation. And in virtue of it, it believes that all those Hindu Sanghatanists who are working as Councillors, Ministers, Legislators and conducting any municipal or any public bodies with a view to utilize those centers of Government power to safeguard and even promote the legitimate interests of the Hindus without, of course, encroaching on the legitimate interests of others are rendering a highly patriotic service to our Nation.
“Knowing the limitations under which they work the Mahasabha only expects them to do whatever good they can under the circumstances and if they do not fail to do that much it would thank them for having acquitted themselves well. The limitations are bound to get themselves limited step by step till they get altogether eliminated.
"The policy of responsive co-operation which covers the whole gamut of patriotic activities from unconditional co-operation right up to active and even armed resistance, will also keep adapting itself to the exigencies of the time, resources at our disposal and dictates of our national interest.
(Emphasis in the original) [V. D. Savarkar, “Hindu Rashtra Darshan”, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p. 112.]

Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League

The Hindu Mahasabha under his sole leadership ran coalition governments with the Muslim League in 1940s. Publicly defending this collusion with the Muslim League, Savarkar in his presidential speech to the 24th session of Hindu Mahasabha at Kanpur in 1942 declared:
“In practical politics also the Mahasabha knows that we must advance through reasonable compromises. Witness the fact that only recently in Sind, the Sind-Hindu-Sabha on invitation had taken the responsibility of joining hands with the League itself in running coalition Government. The case of Bengal is well known. 
"Wild Leaguers whom even the Congress with all its submissiveness could not placate grew quite reasonably compromising and socialable as soon as they came in contact with the HM and the Coalition Government, under the premiership of Mr. Fazlul Huq and the able lead of our esteemed Mahasabha leader Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerji, functioned successfully for a year or so to the benefit of both the communities.” [“Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya:Hindu Rashtra Darshan” (Collected works of Savarkar in English), Hindu Mahasabha, Pune, 1963, pp. 479-80.]

Savarkar 'favoured' Nepal king if British left

Savarkar even preached that it was legitimate to have the King of Nepal as ‘Free Hindusthan’s Future Emperor’ if the British leave India. His advice to the British rulers was very clear:
"If an academical [sic] probability is at all to be indulged in of all factors that count today, His Majesty the King of Nepal, the scion of the Shisodias[sic], alone has the best chance of winning the Imperial crown of India. Strange as it may seem, the English know it better than we Hindus do… It is not impossible that Nepal may even be called upon to control the destiny of India itself. Even Britain will feel it more graceful that the Sceptre [sic]of Indian Empire, if it ever slips out of her grip, should be handed over to an equal and independent ally of Britain like His Majesty the King of Nepal than to one who is but a vassal and a vanquished potentate of Britain like the Nizam." (Emphasis in the original) [Bhide, AS, (ed.), “Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s Whirlwind Propaganda: Extracts from the President’s Diary of his Propagandist Tours Interviews from December 1937 to October 1941”, na, Bombay, 1940, pp. 256-57.]
Savarkar may be a 'Veer' or brave for the Hindutva camp but fact is that he wrote more than six mercy petitions and got remission of almost 40 years out of 50 years' conviction. If RSS-BJP is so sure of Savarkar's patriotic credentials, let them make these writings of Savarkar public so that people of Karnataka and rest of the country can reach an objective conclusion.
---
*Formerly with Delhi University, click here for some of Prof Islam's writings and video interviews/debates. Twitter: @shamsforjustice. Blog: http://shamsforpeace.blogspot.com/

Comments

Unknown said…
Savarkar was a Prince among the revolutionaries fighting for the liberation of Mother India. Some intelligent people with their hidden agendas will NEVER get this.

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

World Bank proved right, Narmada is already a destructive project: Medha Patkar

By Rajiv Shah  Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar has said that the World Bank’s independent review mission, which brought out the Morse Commission report , has been proved right: The Sardar Sarovar dam has not only failed to live up to the loud promises made for irrigating large arid areas of Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat, those who were displaced and resettled in Gujarat are getting increasingly restive as many of them are unable to get the promised water for irrigation and some for drinking water too. While 50,000 families have been resettled in three states and 20,000 have received land rights as land or cash, the authorities have not calculated what should be done with 15,000 families, whose houses are acquired for Sardar Sarovar but following changing backwater levels of the Sardar Sarovar dam, they are denied rehabilitation, Patkar tells Counterview in an interview (part1*): *** Q: What is the latest position in your view as far as the Sardar Sarovar dam is concerned?

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

Vadodara violence: Fine Arts Faculty alumni raise fingers at Varsity's political appointee

Hasmukh Vaghela with PM Counterview Desk  In a statement, alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts (FoFA), Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, Gujarat, referring to the “violence” by right-wing groups for displaying “objectionable” paintings that “hurt religious sentiments” at the one of India’s top fine arts institute May 5, have taken strong exception to “the assault and rustication” of one of the students, and lack of action taken against those who “violated” the institution and committed the act. Floated as an online petition seeking wider support, the FoFA alumni, in their statement, addressed to the vice chancellor, MSU, said, there should be “thorough” investigation in the whole incident and “immediate action” should be taken against syndicate member Hasmukh Vaghela, MSU, who sparked the assault, and “other co-conspirators” for breaching “university code of conduct and unlawful activities committed in broad daylight”. While the alumni statement doesn't say so, Vaghela

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

UK leader cites Indian farmers' struggle one of top global fights against neoliberal order

Counterview Desk  Jeremy Corbyn, member of the UK Parliament, former leader of the UK Labour Party and founder of the  Peace and Justice Project , in his  inaugural speech to the  Progressive International’s  Summit at the End of the World on May 12, 2022, has said, what is happening across globe suggests that "image of apocalypse -- bombs and raids, oil spills and wildfires, disease and contagion -- is a reality for people across the planet." In an adaptation of his speech, distributed by  Globetrotter , Corbyn, however, said, there are fresh examples action, too -- by Indian farmers forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw three neo-liberal laws;  by workers, communities and activists against the top giant multinational Amazon's "greed and exploitation"; and by Latin American people's struggle to say "no more to the domination by imperialism, the destruction of their communities and the abuse of their environments." Stating that this is n

Why is NIOH-ICMR 'official' making false claims on silicosis?: Health rights NGO

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, Dr Jagdish Parikh, trustee, health rights NGO People’s Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, and Jagdish Patel, director, PTRC, have said that the claim being made for the use of biomarker for detection of silicosis raises concern about scientific tenacity of the diagnosis of the deadly occupational disease. The letter also objects to the reported claim by a top health official that it is possible to detect silicosis at the sub-radiological stage. It asks, “What is this subradiological stage of silicosis? We have not heard any such scientific term being used. Again, the report is using a term which is not found in any scientific literature so far. Is this term acceptable by ICMR? Is ICMR thinking of any explanation?” Text : This is with reference to our letter dated November 28, 2021. In our communication we had raised our concern about the scientific tena

Welfare? Govt of India spends just 19% of manual scavengers' rehabilitation budget

By Bharat Dogra*  While the Dalit community has been always known for higher levels of poverty as well as social discrimination, even within the Dalits there is a sub-section known for even worse levels of poverty as well as social discrimination. This is the section which was traditionally involved in manual scavenging. The shocking injustice they have suffered from over the years has been widely recognized leading to a ban on manual scavenging. At the same time there is urgent need for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging. Hence a self-employment scheme for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging was drawn up. The allocations and the expenditure for this scheme for the last eight years are shown in the Table below: Union Budget for Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of  Manual Scavengers (in Rs crore) By Budget Estimate we mean the original allocation made when the budget is presented. It is clear from this table that the actual expenditure

This Maoist justified US, western Europe's anti-Soviet stance, even Bhindranwale

By Harsh Thakor*  A glaring example of the extent to which those seeking to identify themselves as revolutionaries can go in making odd compromises with those normally considered as “class enemies” in Marxist jargon is late Kondapalli Seetharamiah. Few know that this Maoist organiser two decades ago was so enamoured by the Chinese three worlds theory that he called for a united front with the United States and other western countries against what he considered Soviet social imperialism! This wasn’t the only “compromise” Seetharamiah made during his career as a revolutionary. On Punjab he took a most eclectical stand of supporting Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, thus soft-pedalling the terrorist Khalistani movement. Among his other opportunist alliances, about which few are aware of, include support to the Akalis in Punjab, on one hand, and the NTR Telugu Desam regime in Andhra Pradesh, on the other – all part of his anti-Congress thrust. Also known as KS, this Maoist started his career as

Dalit Hindi professor intimidated, harassed by saffron brigade: 400 activists, academics

Counterview Desk  Over 400 academics and activists have expressed alarm at the Lucknow University ‘protests’ on May 10 against Dr Ravi Kant, associate professor of Hindi and a Dalit, stating it is nothing but “intimidation and abuse” over his remarks on the online channel Satya Hindi, which were taken out of context and made viral on social media. “We are even more concerned that such an incident should occur within the confines a university campus, where free speech and expression without fear must ideally be the norm. Violence and intimidation over differences of opinion should never occur in a university”, the statement regrets, asking the authorities at the university and the Uttar Pradesh government to assure him and his family “protection from further harassment or intimidation.” Text: We are a group of academics and activists deeply concerned by the public heckling and intimidation of Dr. Ravi Kant, Associate Professor of Hindi and well known Dalit scholar, on the premises of t