Most Controversial Figure : Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar commonly known as Swatanryaveer or simply Veer Savarkar was born on 28 May, 1883 and died on 26th February 1966. He was an Indian independence activist, historian , poet, novelist , politician who formed the Hindu Nationalist philosophy of Hindutva. He was a leading personality in Hindu Mahasabha

Vinayak Savarkar is highly controversial figure in India because of his mercy petition he wrote to British Government when he was imprisoned in Andaman and Nicobar. But what many fails to understand is the mentality behind the mercy petition. Prisoners in Kaala Paani ( Andaman and Nicobar) were treated horribly and brutally. They were tortured to death . They were neither given good food nor good living condition. To save himself from such inhumane torture Vinayak Savarkar appealed for mercy. He was barrister and he knew his rights well. He knew sitting inside jail he will not be able to serve his country and so tried to get out by writing mercy petition.

But before judging and throwing him into the light of black or white , it is important to know why some hate him and others remark him as a patriot

Why he is loved :

1) He went to Gray’s Inn Law college in London and stayed at famous India House. At that time , India House was a hub of student politics . Savarkar founded the Free India Society to mobilise youth against the colonial rule in India

2) He burnt all foreign goods and propagated the idea of ‘Swadeshi’

3) He plotted armed revolt against the Morley- Minto reform but was arrested for it

4) He established a temple called ‘ Patit Pawan Mandir’ in Maharashtra , where people from every caste were welcomed

5) His book ‘The Indian war of Indian Independence 1857’ inspired many freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh , Chandra Shekhar Azad , Subash Chandra Bose .

6) Savarkar was one of the first writers to call for India’s first war for Independence against British. He asked for poorna swaraj ( Total independence) when people were settling for less

7) After his release from jail , he worked on the abolishment of untouchability in Ratnagiri

8) He wrote mercy petitions not only for himself but for other prisoners too.

Why He is Hated:

1) When Savarkar was 12 years old , he lead a march with his schoolmates to vandalise a mosque in order to take revenge against atrocities committed against Hindus by Muslims.

2) He was fierce critic of Indian National Congress and Mahatma Gandhi.

3) He opposed the ‘Quit India Movement and later objected to INC’s acceptance to the Indian partition

4) For his mercy petition written to British Government.

Over the years many facts have beem destroyed and twisted, so no one can ever say if Vinayak was a hero or villain. It is well known fact that there is no person with zero flaws. There is some good in evil and some evil in good.