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“Braveheart, fanatic anarchist”- What Bhagat Singh wrote of Savarkar, and their common cause

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Kishan Dev
Kishan Dev
Provocative Trash-talker. University of Delhi.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Bhagat Singh are two important figures in India’s independence movement. While Bhagat Singh is widely known for his atheism, Savarkar’s conviction is a matter of debate with some historians arguing that he was a skeptic. According to Ashis Nandy, Savarkar’s secularism was not the philosophical agnosticism associated with Buddhism and Vedanta, but the counter-establishment, hard skepticism of balance de-siecle scientism, which was increasingly popular among segments of the European working class and, through cultural assimilation, in parts of contemporary India.

The difference between the agnosticism of these two figures lies in their approach to social connections. Savarkar, although a skeptic, had a strong social connection. His theory of Hindutva (Hinduness) defines a Hindu as not just an individual following the religion of Vedas and Upanishadas, but as a geographical and cultural Indian who sees India as his Pitrubhumi (Country) and Punyabhumi (Holyland). This definition does not exclude individuals of other religions.

In “Fundamentals of Hindutva,” Savarkar notes that being a Hindu is not dependent on the number of gods one believes in or questions, but rather on one’s connection to the country and the civilization, ethos, and culture associated with it. In contrast, Bhagat Singh was a firm believer in atheism and rejected the concept of God. He believed in the power of the people to bring about change and progress in society and was a firm advocate of socialism. Bhagat Singh was a fearless freedom fighter who gave his life for the cause of independence and is widely revered as a hero in India.

In conclusion, while Savarkar and Bhagat Singh had different beliefs regarding religion and spirituality, they both played important roles in India’s independence movement. Savarkar’s theory of Hindutva continues to influence contemporary discussions on Indian identity and nationalism, while Bhagat Singh remains an inspiration to generations of Indians who believe in the power of the people to bring about change. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, an Indian freedom fighter and a Hindu nationalist, was a firm believer in the idea of Hindu Rashtra, which he saw as a political entity, not a religious one. In his book ‘Hindu Rashtra Darshan’, he spoke of creating an Indian State that would be inclusive of all citizens regardless of their religion, caste, or race. He was against the idea of discrimination based on religion and wanted everyone to be treated as individuals based on their own worth.

Savarkar believed that the Hindu Rashtra was not limited to Hindus only, but also included people of other religions who consider India as their home. In his book ‘Essentials of Hindutva’, he stated that being a Hindu was not about the number of gods one believed or disbelieved in, but about one’s attachment to the country. He saw Hindu Rashtra as a combination of nation, race, and civilization and believed that people of non-Indic religions could also regard India as their own divinity, culture, and self. Savarkar also believed that the idea of Hindutva was not limited to Hindus only, and people of other religions could also become a part of it if they wholeheartedly loved their common Motherland and regarded it as their Motherland and Holyland. He saw this as a choice of love and freedom and believed that people of different religions should be free to make this choice.

In conclusion, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was a strong advocate of Hindu Rashtra, but he saw it as a political entity, not a religious one. He was against discrimination based on religion and wanted an inclusive Indian State that would be home to all citizens, regardless of their religion, caste, or race. He saw Hindutva as a combination of nation, race, and civilization and believed that people of other religions could also become a part of it if they regarded India as their home. Bhagat Singh was an Indian freedom fighter and a socialist, who believed in atheism and secularism. He viewed religion as a divisive force and had written an article, ‘Why I am an Atheist’, which detailed his reasons for not believing in God.

Despite his negative view of religion, he still believed in the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, meaning “the world is a family”. Veer Savarkar, on the other hand, was also a freedom fighter and believed in nationalism as a stepping stone towards universal brotherhood. Bhagat Singh wrote positively about Savarkar in an article published in the Matwala Hindi periodical in 1924, calling him ‘veer’ and praising his philosophy. He also mentioned a meeting between Savarkar and Madanlal Dingra in England, where Savarkar tested Dingra’s courage and they hugged each other with tears in their eyes. When Madanlal was arrested for shooting Sir Curzon Wiley, there was great unrest and many Indians expressed their displeasure.

But Savarkar openly spoke in favor of Madanlal and opposed the resolution against him, stating that he could not be considered guilty as the matter was sub-judice. When the resolution was put to vote, Savarkar got up to speak, and a British man punched him in the face. In response, an Indian hit the British man with a stick, leading to chaos and the dissolution of the resolution.

In conclusion, Bhagat Singh and Veer Savarkar were both great sons of India who had different views on religion and nationalism, but both fought for the freedom of their country. Despite their differences, Bhagat Singh held Veer Savarkar in high esteem for his philosophy and his stand for Madanlal.

Savarkar and Bhagat Singh were two influential figures in India’s independence movement, both having shared similar views and ideologies. Bhagat Singh’s associate Yash Pal referred to Savarkar as a leader in revolutionary activities, while another associate, Durga Das Khanna, said that Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev made “Life of Barrister Savarkar” a necessary reading. Both Savarkar and Bhagat Singh wrote articles on the Kakori incident, with their thoughts on separatist tendencies, violence versus non-violence, and the need for building a nation based on science aligning.

Savarkar wrote an article condemning the attack on Lala Lajpat Rai, while Bhagat Singh and his associates avenged his death by killing Saunders. Savarkar wrote a poem glorifying Bhagat Singh’s sacrifice and inspiring Indian youth for revolutionary work. The two were connected in several ways, including through their shared accomplices and the extension of Savarkar’s internment after the shooting of a Sargent in Mumbai by Durga Bhabhi, an accomplice of Bhagat Singh. Overall, Savarkar and Bhagat Singh both played significant roles in India’s independence movement and their ideas continue to inspire generations.

Bhagat Singh and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar were two of India’s most notable freedom fighters, who dedicated their lives to the cause of the freedom struggle. Despite the fact that they lived in different eras and had different ideologies, they had a deep mutual respect for each other, which was rooted in their shared commitment to the cause of Indian independence. Bhagat Singh considered Savarkar to be a braveheart, as is evident from historical records. He wrote about Savarkar on multiple occasions and considered his book on the 1857 war of independence to be the holy book for all Indian revolutionaries.

Bhagat Singh even managed to procure and circulate copies of Savarkar’s book in 1928, despite it being banned by the British. On the other hand, Savarkar made sure that Bhagat Singh’s poems were published and circulated even when he was under house arrest. Savarkar was a visionary, who knew that his death would create 10 Savarkars. He had taken an oath at the age of 12 that he would fight for India lifelong and he remained committed to that oath throughout his life. Savarkar believed that India could not be truly independent unless it retained its common identity as a Hindu way of life. He chose to practice Sallekhana when he knew that he had nothing left to contribute to the country, due to his age and failing health.

In contrast, Bhagat Singh was a mass revolutionary who believed that independence could only be achieved through mass revolution. He courted death by hanging with the hope that his death would create 10 more Bhagat Singhs like him. He died at the age of 23, a very young age, and his youth was wasted. Savarkar and Bhagat Singh had different personalities and physical appearances as well. Bhagat Singh was described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, whereas Savarkar was 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed not more than 65 kgs. Bhagat Singh died at a young age, whereas Savarkar spent years in jail and house arrest.

Despite the differences in their ideologies, Bhagat Singh and Savarkar were not against each other. The Savarkar and Bose plan as decided in their meeting of 1940 was that Bose would lead the armed revolution against the British and Indians serving in the British Armed Forces would switch sides and join Bose. Savarkar’s camaderie with both Bhagat Singh and Bose is evident from the biography written by Padmashree awardee Dr. Dhananjay Keer.

In conclusion, Bhagat Singh and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar were two of India’s greatest freedom fighters, who had immense respect for each other, rooted in the cause of the freedom struggle. Despite their differences, they both worked towards the goal of Indian independence and left a lasting impact on the nation.

In summary, Veer Savarkar was a revolutionary who was actively involved in India’s independence movement. He founded secret societies like “Abhinav Bharat” and “Free India Society” to spread the idea of armed revolution against the British. He was a good orator and writer and his works inspired many Indian revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Rajguru. Despite being arrested and sentenced for life imprisonment, he continued to participate in India’s independence movement from prison and outside. After his release, he continued to work for the upliftment of the Dalits and the abolition of the caste system.

In 1924, he was released from Ratnagiri jail but was kept under house arrest until 1937, when the restrictions were finally lifted. Throughout his life, Savarkar was an advocate of Hindu nationalism and Hindutva. He believed in the unity and solidarity of Hindus and that India was the ancient Hindu Rashtra (nation). He wrote extensively on Hindu history, culture, and religion, and sought to revive Hindu nationalism. His book “Essentials of Hindutva” defined the term Hindutva and explored its meaning in the Indian context.

The book influenced the Hindu nationalist movement and is considered to be one of the foundational texts of Hindutva ideology. He also wrote several poems, plays, and novels, including the play “Rana Pratap” and the novel “Sivaji: The Great.” Savarkar was a prolific writer and his works have had a lasting impact on the Indian independence movement and Hindu nationalism. He is remembered as a pioneering figure who fought for India’s independence and advocated for Hindu unity and cultural identity. In conclusion, Savarkar made significant contributions to India’s independence movement through his revolutionary activities, writings, and advocacy of Hindu nationalism. Although some of his views and ideology have been controversial, his legacy as a freedom fighter and nationalistic leader is widely recognized in India.

Bhagat Singh, an Indian revolutionary socialist and one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement, was attracted to the thoughts of both Marxist and Hindu thinkers. Although he was influenced by Marxist principles and read the works of Marx and Engels, Bhagat Singh was also drawn to the Hindu nationalism of Veer Savarkar and his book Hindu Pad Padshahi. According to historians, Bhagat Singh read this book thoroughly and it was considered a must-read in the inner circles of his political association. However, it is unclear if Bhagat Singh was in complete agreement with Savarkar’s ideas. Nevertheless, it is believed that the pan Hindu-Buddhist vision of Savarkar inspired Bhagat Singh’s mission for India’s freedom and kept him rooted in the country.

Veer Savarkar was a great freedom fighter and patriot who was part of the Indian independence movement. He was known for his opposition to the condolence proposal for Queen Victoria, his call for a boycott of the coronation festival of King Edward VII, and his advocacy for a boycott of foreign-made goods. Savarkar was the first person to burn down foreign-made clothes in protest against the Bengal partition movement, and he was the first Indian to be rusticated from college for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the British king. He also wrote the first book calling the 1857 revolution as the first war of independence, which was banned before it was even published. Sardar Bhagat Singh was the first person to get the book printed in India.

In conclusion, Bhagat Singh’s admiration for the ideologies of both Marxism and Hindutva, as represented by Veer Savarkar, shows the complexity and multifaceted nature of his political beliefs. While Bhagat Singh was drawn to the principles of Marxist ideology, he was also deeply rooted in the nationalistic vision of India as espoused by Savarkar. This dual influence can be seen in his actions, such as his participation in the assassination of a religious figure who was proselytizing Hindus, as well as in his reading materials, including the Hindutva classic Hindu Pad Padshahi.

Furthermore, the fact that Bhagat Singh’s mother and younger brother released the biography of Veer Savarkar in 1970 further highlights the significance of Savarkar’s influence on Bhagat Singh. Overall, Bhagat Singh’s political beliefs were shaped by a combination of Marxist ideology and nationalistic Hindutva vision, which ultimately helped guide his mission for the freedom of India. Bhagat Singh and Veer Savarkar, two figures of great importance in the Indian independence movement, both had a profound impact on shaping the vision of India’s future. Despite the apparent differences between their ideologies, Bhagat Singh was influenced by Savarkar’s Hindu Pad Padshahi and his thoughts on Hindutva.

The fact that Bhagat Singh read Savarkar’s work thoroughly is well-documented, and there is evidence to suggest that it was a must-read in the inner circles of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Bhagat Singh’s mother, Mataji Vidyavati Devi, even went on to release a biography of Savarkar, highlighting the significance of his impact on Bhagat Singh. Savarkar’s Hindu Pad Padshahi inspired a pan-Hindu vision that not only influenced Bhagat Singh but also guided Rash Behari Bose and Subhash Chandra Bose. It was this vision that helped root Bhagat Singh in Mother India and strive for her freedom.

In addition to Bhagat Singh, Veer Savarkar was also a great freedom fighter and a patriot in his own right. He was known for his opposition to the condolence proposal for Queen Victoria at Nasik and for calling for a boycott of the coronation festival of King Edward VII. He was also the first person to burn down foreign-made clothes in protest of the Bengal Partition movement. Savarkar was a barrister who refused to read the oath of being faithful to the King of Britain and was not awarded the title of a barrister for this reason. He was also the first author to call the revolution of 1857 the first war of independence, a notion that was banned by the British before it was even published. Sardar Bhagat Singh went on to print and publish this book in India at his own expense.

In conclusion, Bhagat Singh and Veer Savarkar both played a crucial role in shaping the vision of India’s future and the independence movement. While Bhagat Singh was influenced by Marxist ideology, he was also attracted to the thoughts of Savarkar, particularly his Hindu Pad Padshahi. Veer Savarkar was a great freedom fighter and patriot whose legacy has been erased from history as part of a treacherous conspiracy.

Although I disagree and even despise Savarkar’s attempts to bring Muslim converts back to Hinduism, I acknowledge that his conviction of uplifting the depressed castes as Hindus is commendable. However, in the process, the demonization of Brahmins also became a result, which was counter-productive.

I was fascinated to learn that Bhagat Singh, a great Indian revolutionary, was deeply influenced by a small English biography of Savarkar that he read. Bhagat Singh had a fourth edition of the book secretly published in India, which is evident as copies of the book were found during raids conducted on members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, including Bhagat Singh himself (Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883–1924, Vikram Sampath).

Bhagat Singh and his associates expected new recruits to the organization to not only read about the Russian Revolution and the Irish Republican Army, but also Savarkar’s life story. A decade later, other national heroes, Rash Behari Bose and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, also printed an edition of The Indian War of Independence of 1857.

In conclusion, I find it remarkable to see the far-reaching impact of Savarkar’s ideas and beliefs, even among those who disagreed with some of his methods. The fact that Bhagat Singh and other national heroes were influenced by Savarkar highlights the importance of understanding the context in which historical events occur and the impact of individuals on them.

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Kishan Dev
Kishan Dev
Provocative Trash-talker. University of Delhi.
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