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It has recently been reported in a leading Indian newspaper (Times of India, Mumbai, September 23, 1998) that the "mayor of Marseilles has agreed to provide space for erecting a memorial to Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who tried to flee the British custody [while under deportation from England to the Andamans] at the small French port nearly 90 years ago". However, the mayor has requested the Savarkar fans to route the request through official diplomatic channels. In turn, the Prime Minister of India has been urged "to take up the issue with utmost urgency so that the memorial could be completed on July 8, 1999 to coincide with the anniversary of his famous [attempted] escape from [the] British custody

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966) during the early part of his career was deported and kept in detention, like hundreds of other Indian nationalists, in the remote island of Andamans by the British colonialist for his militant anti-colonial activities, from 1911 to 1921. However, while in the Andamans, his views underwent a great metamorphosis. He came to be greatly influenced by treatise expounding German racism, renounced the struggle against the British colonial rule and transformed himself from a revolutionary nationalist to a staunch proponent of fascistic 'Hindu' racism, or Hindutva. In fact, as the author of the 'Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?' first published at Nagpur in 1923, he came to be regarded as the father of Hindutva. The Hindutva project, as is evident, aims at reconstructing and mobilising the (Indian) Hindus through a process of exclusionist and majoritarian identity building based on hatred and aggression against the non-Hindu sections of Indian society, as well as the dissenting voices within Hindus. It is often done on the basis of historically available rudiments of prejudice and conflict and a consciously projected view of the past based on concocted and falsified interpretations of historical events. The 'minority' Muslims and the Christians are put up as the adversarial 'other'. Proponents of Hindutva have found it useful to target also the communists, the socialists, the liberals, the feminists, the human rights activists and any section(s) of the poor and the marginalised as the 'enemy', depending on the specific context. These very forces have been involved in the barbaric demolition of the 16th century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 and the communal massacres that followed.

Mainstream Indian nationalism, as epitomised by such diverse leaders as Gandhi, Nehru, Bhagat Singh and Tagore, was based on the popular struggles of the ordinary people—peasants, workers, middle classes, tribal people from all castes and religions—and was infused with the forward looking, universalistic and egalitarian ideals of Western liberalism and also deeply rooted in the indigenous traditions of (syncretic and eclectic) pluralism. Consequently the followers of Hindutva (like their counterparts in the Muslim League) deliberately dissociated themselves from the epic and gigantic struggle for national liberation from the British colonial rule, the struggle which did consciously and conscientiously try, with ever increasing clarity, to forge an all-encompassing composite Indian nationhood based on the recognition of the legitimacy of multi-ethnic, multi-linguist, multi-religious and multi-cultural character of Indian civilisation and society and aimed at establishing a self-reliant, egalitarian, secular, democratic and independent India.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) came to be recognised as the foremost leader of mainstream Indian nationalism. If Subhas Chandra Bose, the most prominent and the leading figure among the left wing nationalists, called him the Father of the (emergent) Nation, despite serious differences of opinion, the great poet Rabindranath Tagore, conferred upon him the honorific title of Mahatma (The Great Soul), which in time came to be accepted even far beyond the shores of India. And it is not a mere accident of history that just on the morrow of Indian independence, a fellow caste-man and an ardent follower of Savarkar, Nathuram Godse, who was a member of the Hindu Mahasabha (The Great Hindu Conference), of which Sarvarkar had become a leading light since the early twenties and subsequently its supreme leader in 1937, and also the R.S.S (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - National Volunteer Corps), another Hindu supremacist organisation founded in 1925, gunned down the frail figure of 78 year old Gandhi, the widely acknowledged Mahatma and the Father of the Nation, on the chilly Delhi evening of 30th January, 1948 on his way to prayer--unarmed, unprotected. While Godse was hanged to death, Savarkar, another accused as a co-conspirator and the chief planner of the murder, got acquitted for lack of adequate evidence. After about two decades, Savarkar died a natural death at the ripe age of eighty two, almost unnoticed.

Today, with the followers of the R.S.S, the apex organisation of the 'Hindu' fascists, which remains committed to and engaged in the task of churning out bands of indoctrinated cadres, infiltrate the various organs of the state, permeate the civil society with its ideology of hatred, capture the 'nationalist' space, alter the terms of discourse--often through fiendish use of violence and unreason, redefine and restructure Indian nationalism and eventually establish the 'Hindu' fascist state over the ruins of the Indian nation state, emerging on the Indian political scene as a major force, the attempt to install V.D. Savarkar as a national icon has gained momentum. Any acquiescence by the French authorities to this attempt, would only help to legitimise the dangerous doctrine of Hindutva. And this could have disastrous consequence not only for the people of India (and South Asia) but also for the world at large, as has been amply brought out by the recent nuclear explosions carried out by the proponents of Hindutva, as the logical corollary of their politics of fascistic jingoism. It will also be a black mark on the glorious traditions of French democracy.

 V.D. Savarkar, whose name, like that of the R.S.S, has been indelibly associated with the murder of the Mahatma, the most hallowed symbol of Indian nationhood.



Memory and Guilt
Muslim Rule
Historical Wrongs
Somanatha temple and Gazni
False Concept
The Indus and the Saraswati
Fascist Shor Ghul
In Defence of History
Are tribals hindu

HINDU ,Dalit, Muslims, INDIA , 

Fascism, Nazism, GenocidesHuman rights

Indian fascism :Intro,Myths, Organizations, Cultural Fascism,Babri Masjid, Bombay Riots , Role of Govt. 

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Last updated: February 23, 2000 .