The 26th of February marks the death anniversary of popular Indian pro-independence activist Vinayak DamodarSavarkar, who was commonly known as SwatantryaveerSavarkar among masses. He was born on the 28th of May in the year 1883 and passed away at the age of 82, in the year 1966. During his life span, he contributed to the society as a pro-independence activist, poet, lawyer, politician, writer, as well as a playwright. He was the one who coined the term ‘’Hindutva’’ identifying ‘Hindu’ as a separate entity for an imagined nation. During his participation in the pro-independence movement, he worked towards alleviating the caste system in Hindu culture and also helped in the reconversion of the converted Hindus back to their Hindu religion. It has been said that Savarkar’s political philosophy was always blended with rationalism, humanism, pragmatism, utilitarianism, positivism, universalism as well as realism. Besides being a core rationalist, he was also an atheist who didn’t believe in orthodox Hindu philosophies and considered many Hindu beliefs to be superstitions, including cow worship.
While majority considered his beliefs and philosophies to be a base of practicality and unity, certain commentators deemed his ideologies to be rather divisive, saying, his prime focus always remained on one religion, that is Hinduism, undermining other religions that exist in the country.
Savarkar was also the founder of certain student societies, including the Free India Society as well as the Abhinav Bharat Society, and all his revolutionary activities commenced during his time of studies in India as well as England. He was also the author of the published book ‘’The Indian War of Independence’’ focusing on the 1857 Indian rebellion, and the book was banned by all the British authorities In the year 1910, he was arrested on grounds of connection with the revolutionary group of India House, and was moved to a cellular jail located in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. However, he was released in 1921 on the condition that he shall quit his revolutionary involvement. Hence, post that period he became an orator and writer and was a strong critic of the Indian National Congress and its take on the partition of India. He was also accused of being involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but the court acquitted him of the charges. The Port Blair airport in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, has been named after him, as ‘’Veer Savarkar International Airport.’’