Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (May 28, 1883 – February 27, 1966), was an Indian revolutionary and Hindu nationalist political leader, who is credited with developing a Hindu nationalist political ideology he termed as Hindutva (Hinduness). Commonly addressed as Veer Savarkar (??? ??????, Hero Savarkar), he is widely regarded as the inspiring icon of modern Hindu nationalist political parties. His critics vehemently oppose him for his pro-Hindutva philosophy and his involvement in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
Savarkar's revolutionary activities began when studying in India and England, where he founded student societies and publications, espousing the cause of complete Indian independence by revolutionary means. He was a mentor to Madan Lal Dhingra, whose murder of Lord Curzon Wylie in 1909 would provoke admiration and outrage. Savarkar would publish The Indian War of Independence about the Indian rebellion of 1857 that would be banned by British authorities and was arrested in 1910 for his connections with the revolutionary group India House. Following a failed attempt to escape while being transported from Marseilles, Savarkar was sentenced to 50-years imprisonment and moved to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
While in jail, Savarkar would pen the work describing Hindutva, openly espousing Hindu nationalism. He would be released in 1921 under restrictions after signing a controversial plea for clemency in which he renounced revolutionary activities. Travelling widely, Savarkar became a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Serving as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar endorsed the ideal of Hindus as a distinct nation and of India as a Hindu Rashtra and controversially opposed the Quit India struggle in 1942. He became fierce critic of the Indian National Congress and its acceptance of India's partition, and attained infamy for allegedly encouraging the assassination of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. Acquitted due to lack of evidence, he would spend the last years of his life writing and expouding on Hindutva.
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