Answer by Omkar Patil:
Our history has been intensely subject to lies, deception and fraud by our 'eminent left wing intellectual historians'.There is nothing substantial in the claims and so much of hoopla about Savarkar's clemency petitions.Anyone who has read 'My Transportation for Life' by Savarkar will understand the hollowness of these claims.
Savarkar has never denied that he wrote a clemency petition. Nothing was wrong with that.This is because Savarkar had no intentions of rotting inside the Andaman jail.There was no benefit for the country if he had chosen to rot in jail. At least he could do something for the country, if he is able to manage to get out of jail.When the enemy has his control over you, he has the upper hand. In such case, it is better to think with brain instead of thinking with heart. A wise man never lets his ego prevail over his brain.So this was rather a strategic move.Shivaji too had sent similar letters and petitions to deceive the enemy as before the killing of Afzal Khan, during Siddi Johar’s siege and during his imprisonment at Agra. He had also accepted some humiliating conditions during the treaty made at the time of the siege of Purandar fort. However, Shivaji bid his time and avenged all insults when he became powerful enough. This is clever political stratagem.
Those who claim that this makes Savarkar a coward are either foolish or they are spreading some propaganda.Lets analyse why Savarkar was sentenced. Following are the Savarkar's activities for the independence of India :
- Involvement in Jackson Murder Case.
- Involvement in Lord Curzon Wyllie's assassination.
- Conspiracy of using arms and explosives against the British authorities.
- Smuggling of weapons to India.
- His book on 1857 : War of Independence was sedition.Somehow his conspiracy got exposed and he got arrested. While he was being transported through the ship SS Morea, he escaped through the toilet window and swam to France, while dodging the bullets shot towards him!Could such person be a coward?
It is important to know that he was illegally arrested in France by the British. The British police had no right to arrest Savarkar on the French land, still it was done illegally!
The treatment meted out to political prisoners in Andaman was much more harsher than the VIP treatment given to moderate freedom fighters.
- Savarkar was sentenced to TRANSPORTATION FOR LIFE, TWICE to the Andaman Islands. The sentences of Transportation were to be served IN SUCCESSION – a total sentence of 50 years, unparalleled in the history of the British Empire. The badge which he had to wear around his neck stated, date of sentence 24/12/1910, date of release 23/12/1960.
- All his property and possessions including his clothes were confiscated and sold at public auctions. Even his spectacles were confiscated.
- When Savarkar was in jail, Bombay University withdrew his B.A degree.
- Savarkar faced 6 months solitary confinement.
- He faced 7 days standing handcuffs.
- Absolutely refusing to work, ten days cross bar fetters imposed.This is the oil mill in Cellular jail. Savarkar was asked to work daily and mill 30 kg of oil daily. Such kind of work is normally done by heavy animals like bulls.Moreover, prisoners were forced to do this daily, irrespective of health. Add to that, the poor quality of food, with worms.Such inhumane were the conditions in Andaman.Are these indicators of a secret understanding with the British?Far from his spirit being broken by the inhuman prison conditions, Savarkar displayed rare courage. In the absence of resources, Savarkar wrote more than 5000 lines of sublime poetry on the prison walls and memorized them!This is a unique example in the annals of world literature. Is this the mark of a man whose spirit had been broken?Defying death in such miserable conditions is more difficult than getting martyred. Suicide was an easier option out than living in such a hell. Many prisoners were tempted to commit suicide, some prisoners had even fasted till death. But Savarkar strongly discouraged his inmates from the idea of suicide, particularly when Bhai Parmanand (another under-rated hero) had stopped eating food. Suicide was not going to contribute the motherland in any way.The testimonies of the British officials regarding Savarkar indicate that far from being sympathetic to him, they were wary of him and indeed dreaded him.
Moreover, it should be noted that Savarkar was NOT supposed to be kept in prison for 50 years. Normally after 3 years the prisoners were sent outside the prison to work and later to settle and even bring their families from India. If they were not married they could do so.Savarkar was kept inside the prison for more than 10 years in flagrant violation of government's own policy.Public outcry in India forced the British to release Savarkar from prison. But if he was to be kept in Andamans, he had to be allowed to settle OUTSIDE THE PRISON.So, the British administration in Bombay called him back. Many people still think that it was an act of mercy.On the contrary, it made it possible for them to keep him in prison in India. Once again mounting public pressure forced the British to release Savarkar from jail. But they asked him to stay in an obscure place called Ratnagiri – so that people could not see him.Ratnagiri had no railway and no telephones. Savarkar was also forbidden to take part in political activities.Restrictions on Savarkar were meant only for 5 years. But British Authorities extended their duration by 2 years in succession – to a total of 13 years internment.This means Savarkar faced total 27 years of imprisonment : 10 years in Cellular Jail, 4 years in Ratnagiri, 13 years under house arrest. No other freedom fighter has been imprisoned for so long. The closest person to such a long imprisonent is Babarao Savarkar(Veer Savarkar's elder brother).
Moreover, the Andaman prison had a policy of allowing prisoners to apply for clemency.In many cases it was accepted too. During the World War time, many prisoners were released.But Savarkar brothers were still kept there, in spite of poor health. This is because the British were better at character judgement than our left wing liars.Savarkar's badge in Cellular Jail had the symbol 'D' which was to be applied only on dangerous criminals.Savarkar brothers were later sent back to mainland India not because of failing health but because Government had decided to close down the prison settlement in Andaman, after several years of mounting public pressure in India.
Savarkar never apologised for his deeds to seek release.He just promised to abstain from political activity – "for a reasonable period of time" and preferred to do social work and literary work till then.He didn't remain loyal to the British afterwards too. He used to write articles against the British authorities with the use of pseudonyms till then.He resumed his political activity in 1937. He was then elected as the president of Hindu Mahasabha. The Hindu Mahasabha's official stand was always for India's freedom.He was very well aware that India won't gain independence unless the people are armed. He always promoted militarisation and opened several rifle houses.This too went in India's favour, as the British had to worry that India had a significant number of armed men and any kind of revolt/mutiny would have made their work difficult. Naval Mutiny is a case in point.
Today's left wingers should learn something from Bhagat Singh. Even when he was a communist and was obviously at disagreement with Savarkar's Hindu nationalism, he had tremendous respect for Savarkar. This is evident from the fact that he published the 3rd edition of Savarkar's book on 1857 : War of Independence.You may disagree with Savarkar's Hindu nationalism, but still you must admit that he was a great patriot.But unfortunately, our left wingers and secularists choose to malign Savarkar with lies, just to prove their political point. Political vendetta, it is.
PS : As far the claim about Savarkar's role in Gandhi's assassination is concerned, this answer will clarify :