Today is the birth anniversary of 'Veer' Savarkar ( 1883-1966 ).
Many people have praised him as a great freedom fighter, but what is the truth about him ?
The truth is that many nationalists during British rule were arrested by the British, and given long sentences. In jail the British authorities would give them an offer : either collaborate with us, in which case we will free you, or rot in jail for the rest of your life.
Most of them became collaborators, including Savarkar.
Savarkar was a nationalist only till 1910 when he was arrested, and given two life sentences.
After serving over 10 years in jail, the British evidently made the offer of collaboration, which Savarkar accepted. On coming out of jail he started preaching Hindu communalism, and became a British agent, serving the British policy of divide and rule.
Savarkar as president of the Hindu Mahasabha, during the Second World War, advanced the slogan "Hinduize all Politics and Militarize Hindudom", he decided to support the British war effort in India seeking military training for the Hindus.
When the Congress launched the Quit India movement in 1942, Savarkar criticised it and asked Hindus to stay active in the war effort and not disobey the government, He urged the Hindus to enlist in the armed forces to learn the "arts of war'', but this appeal was made selectively to Hindus.
Can this man be respected and praised as a freedom fighter ?
The real veers were Bhagat Singh, Surya Sen ( Masterda ), Chandrashekhar Azad, Bismil, Ashfaqulla, Rajguru, Khudiram Bose, etc who were mostly hanged by the British. What was so 'veer' about Savarkar ? He had become a British agent after 1910.