Biography of “Vinayak Damodar Savarkar”
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian pro-in-dependence activist and politician as well as a poet, writer, and playwright. He launched a movement for religious reform advocating dismantling the system of caste in Hindu culture, and reconversion of the converted Hindus back to the Hindu religion. Savarkar created the term Hindutva, and emphasized its distinctiveness from Hinduism which he associated with social and political disunity. Savarkar’s Hindutva sought to create an inclusive collective identity. The five elements of Savarkar’s philosophy were Utilitarianism, Rationalism and Positivism, Humanism and Universalism, and Pragmatism and Realism.
Vinayak was born in the family of Damodar and Radhabai Savarkar in the village of Bhagur, near the city of Nashik, Maharashtra. He had three other siblings namely Ganesh, Narayan, and a sister named Mainabai. After the death of their parents, the eldest sibling Ganesh, known as Babarao, took responsibility of the family. Babarao played a supportive and influential role in Vinayak’s teenage life. During this period, Vinayak organised a youth group called Mitra Mela (band of friends) and encouraged revolutionary and nationalist views of passion using this group. In 1901, Vinayak Savarkar married Yamunabai, the daughter of Ramchandra Triambak Chiplunkar, who supported his university education. Subsequently, in 1902, he enrolled in Fergusson College, in Pune. As a young man, he was inspired by the new generation of radi- cal political leaders namely Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai along with the political struggle against the partition of Bengal and the rising Swadeshi campaign. He was involved in various nationalist activities at various levels. In 1905, during Dussehra festivities Vinayak organised setting up of a bonfire of foreign goods and clothes. Along with his fellow students and friends, he formed a political outfit called Abhinav Bharat. Vinayak was soon expelled from college due to his activities but was still permitted to take his Bachelor of Arts degree examinations. After completing his degree, nationalist activist Shyam Krishnavarma helped Vinayak to go to England to study law, on a scholarship. It was during this period that Garam Dal, (literally translated as hot faction) was formed under the leadership of Tilak, due to the split of the Indian National Congress. The members of Garam Dal did not acknowledge the moderate Indian National Congress leadership agenda which advocated dialogue and reconciliation with the British Raj. Tilak advocated the philosophy of Swaraj and was soon imprisoned for his support of revolutionary activities.