(as of Oct 23,2021 16:51:07 UTC – Details)
As the intellectual fountainhead of the ideology of Hindutva, which is in political
ascendancy in India today, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is undoubtedly one of
the most contentious political thinkers and leaders of the twentieth century.
Accounts of his eventful and stormy life have oscillated from eulogizing
hagiographies to disparaging demonization. The truth, as always, lies
somewhere in between and has unfortunately never been brought to light.
Savarkar and his ideology stood as one of the strongest and most virulent
opponents of Gandhi, his pacifist philosophy and the Indian National Congress.
An alleged atheist and a staunch rationalist who opposed orthodox Hindu
beliefs, encouraged inter-caste marriage and dining, and dismissed cow worship
as mere superstition, Savarkar was, arguably, the most vocal political voice for
the Hindu community through the entire course of India’s freedom struggle. From
the heady days of revolution and generating international support for the cause
of India’s freedom as a law student in London, Savarkar found himself arrested,
unfairly tried for sedition, transported and incarcerated at the Cellular Jail, in the
Andamans, for over a decade, where he underwent unimaginable torture.
From being an optimistic advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity in his treatise on the
1857 War of Independence, what was it that transformed him in the Cellular Jail
to a proponent of ‘Hindutva’, which viewed Muslims with suspicion?
Drawing from a vast range of original archival documents across India and
abroad, this biography in two parts-the first focusing on the years leading up to
his incarceration and eventual release from the Kalapani-puts Savarkar, his life
and philosophy in a new perspective and looks at the man with all his
achievements and failings.