Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966)

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Vināyak Dāmodar Sāvarkar (About this sound pronunciation ) (28 May 1883 – 26 February 1966) was an Indian pro-independence activist, politician as well as a poet, writer and playwright. He advocated dismantling the system of caste in Hindu culture, and reconversion of the converted Hindus back to Hindu religion. Savarkar created the term Hindutva, and emphasised its distinctiveness from Hinduism which he associated with social and political communalism. The stated aim of Savarkar's Hindutva was to create an divisive collective identity. The five elements of his philosophy were Utilitarianism, Rationalism and Positivism, Humanism and Universalism, Pragmatism and Realism. Later commentators have said that Savarkar's philosophy, despite its claims to furthering unity, was divisive in nature as it tried to shape Indian nationalism as uniquely Hindu, to the exclusion of other religions.Savarkar's revolutionary activities began while studying in India and England, where he was associated with the India House and founded student societies including Abhinav Bharat Society and the Free India Society, as well as publications espousing the cause of complete Indian independence by revolutionary means. Savarkar published The Indian War of Independence about the Indian rebellion of 1857 that was banned by British authorities. He 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 two life terms of imprisonment totalling fifty years and was moved to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.While in jail, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva, openly espousing Hindu nationalism. He was released in 1921 under restrictions after signing a 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 India as a Hindu Rashtra and opposed the Quit India struggle in 1942, calling it a "Quit India but keep your army" movement. He became a fierce critic of the Indian National Congress and its acceptance of India's partition, and was one of those accused in the assassination of Indian leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.The airport at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar's capital, has been named Veer Savarkar International Airport. The commemorative blue plaque on India House fixed by the Historic Building and Monuments Commission for England reads "Vinayak Damodar Savarkar 1883-1966 Indian patriot and philosopher lived here".

Source: dbpedia

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