The history of Indian Independence cannot be completed without a reference to him. He had plunged into the freedom movement right from his teens. To achieve Independence is a pious duty was his motto.
“The British rule over India is an unnatural yoke and unjustifiable and any means to remove it from India’s neck are justifiable” was his preaching. He fired the imagination of many Indian youth with such philosophies that he was accused of sedition and sentenced to transportation for life, twice.
He had a firm belief that only a strong, armed revolt by Indians would liberate India from British. An extraordinary Hindu scholar (he is one who coined Indian words for telephone, photography, the parliament, among others), a recklessly brave revolutionary (tried to swim a sea and escape when captured by the enemy) and fiercely patriotic leader, he uncovered the truth about Sepoy Mutiny.
The slogan he coined for Indian festivals became a unifying factor.
“One Country. One God
One Caste, One Mind
Brothers all of us
It was during this period that he helped design the first Indian National Flag, which Madam Bhikaji Cama unfurled at the World Socialist Conference at Stuttgart, Germany.
The Scotland Yard Police noose was tightening on him. Revolutionary activities in London, Mumbai, Pune, Nasik were traced to his guidance! His speeches, articles, smelt sedition, his friends were traced as those learning the preparation of bombs and transporting arms (pistols) illegally. Finally he was arrested and ordered to be sent back to India. In India, punishments were very harsh, tortuous and the greatest crime of the land was that of sedition which could easily send one to the gallows.
The punishments in Indian prison were unimaginable to the core. Those inhuman conditions: back-breaking job of stone breaking, rope making, and milling. For the last prisoners had to grind the copra in the mill, tied like oxen. Each had to take out 30 pounds of oil everyday. Some died of sheer exhaustion and inhuman treatment of beating and whipping. Bad food, unsanitary conditions, stone bed and cold weather in winter used to take their toll.
On January 6, 1924 he was h freed under the condition that he would not leave Ratnagiri district and abstain from political activity for the next five years. On his release, he founded the Ratnagiri Hindu Sabha on January 23, 1924 that aimed to preserve India’s ancient culture and work for social welfare.
Later, he joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party and founded the Hindu Mahasabha as a separate political party. He was elected President of the Mahasabha and toiled for building Hindu Nationalism and later joined the Quit India movement. The Hindu Mahasabha opposed creation of Pakistan, and took exception to Gandhi’s continued Muslim appeasement stances. His disagreements with Gandhi’s non-violent methods and Pakistan pleasing efforts appealed to a large number of Hindus who were wronged by Pakistanis and led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse.
The Greatest Irony India ever had: Vinayak Damodar Savarkar aka Veer Savarkar