I am glad that we finally have a biography dedicated to Savarkar. This book was an eye-opener for me.
I didn't know about Savarkar anything till 2015. One of the bravest anti-colonial revolutionaries of Freedom Struggle of India was suspiciously missing from our school books, as well as the mainstream political discourse. And it is obvious why. Only those belonging to a particular ideology, find a mention in general textbooks. The entire credit for Indian Independence is given to Gandhi and Congress leaders.
However, Congress from its inception was 'an institutionalized channel of communication between the rulers and the ruled.' Savarkar coined the phrase “The First War of Indian Independence” of 1857 while the colonial historians tried to dub it as 'Sepoy mutiny'. He was also one of the first Indian leader to have organized a mass bonfire of foreign goods. but also the first student to be rusticated from a government-aided institution for political purposes. He was one of the first organized secret societies in India – the Mitra Mela (later became Abhinav Bharat) in the early 1900s that called for total and complete freedom. In London, he built a vast network of revolutionaries across Europe and also produced a huge corpus of intellectual output for the revolutionary movement.
He was also a voracious reader who read not only Marathi but world literature. Unlike most revolutionaries, who took inspiration from Marxist, he took inspiration from Italian revolutionaries like Mazzini and Garibaldi and Indian heroes like Shivaji.
He also contributed immensely to the purification of the Marathi language and introduction of new words for English equivalents.
Someone on Instagram wrote this (when writing about Bhagat Singh) 'Sadly, the right-wing has hijacked this Marx inspired martyr and has presented him as one of their own ideologue since they don't have a freedom fighter to take pride in.' LOL Let me introduce you to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.