“Only then will my soul rest to peace” -E Rajesh Pathak

Born in Bhagur village in Nasik District of present-day Maharashtra,Veer Savarkar  was the first Indian student to have been expelled from the school because of his display of  patriotism against British misrule in the country. He was  such a barrister who was not awarded degree even after having passed the exams in Britain. He was the first Indian who reminded the country that so-called mutiny of 1857  was nothing but the  ‘First Indian freedom struggle’. He is one of such rare authors of the country the manuscript of whose book ‘Indian War of Independence of 1857’ was confiscated [by British] even before publication. And he was the first revolutionary who was awarded two life- imprisonments for his awesome deeds for country’s liberation.

Other than a revolutionary, poet, dramatist, novelist, story-writer and historian,  Veer Savarkar was a great social reformer too. Mass singing of bhajanas [devotional songs]; all-castes community feast; building of Patitpavan mandir open to all castes  ; agitation for the right of entrance to so-called untouchables inside Bitthal temple of Ratnagiri all these works done under the guidance of Savarkar greatly impressed the low-caste people. In Savarkar they began to see one who was truly concerned to their priorities. So as to express their gratitude in return to this once on 13th August, 1924 the Harijans of Bhagur invited him on the day of Rakshabandhan utsav. In the honor of the guest women living there performed his aarti [a religious rite], and tied rakhi on the Savarkar’s arm. So did the people of different castes who came to celebrate the ceremony, tying rakhis on each other arms. Later they together took oath of not observing casteism in social and religious activities. If it is to be seen that how deep Savarkar felt about the necessity of eradication of untouchability, what he said on the occasion of Ganeshotsav in a Valmiki basti[locality of sweepers] of Nasik must be looked into. He said—“I wish I would see untouchability removed. After my death may those giving shoulder to my coffin be comprised of businessmen, of Dhed and Dome [the so-called low-castes], apart from Brahmins! Only on being consigned to flame by them all will my soul rest to peace.” So that the sense of brotherhood nurtured among Hindus he considered it necessary to get public-tap and temple to be freed from caste-barrier. So that not because of lack of money the so-called low-caste children may be deprived of attending the schools he collected the funds from the prosperous -class and provided the slates and chalks to them, and monetary incentives to their parents. Festivals like Diwali, Dashera, and Makar Sankranti were the occasions for him to visit the localities resided by the castes like Mahars [low-caste people mainly found in Maharashtra], Charmkars [cobblers] and Valmikies . Not alone he did all this, notably. This work of his was comprised of the people hailing from the different upper castes.

Not only this even all the activities concerning inter-caste harmony had his support. On 7th Oct, 1945 in Maharashtra when an inter-caste marriage between Navle and Karpe castes was organized, among those prominent personalities who blessed married couple was also Savarkar; others were Mahatma Gandhi, Jagadguru Shri Shankracharya, Dr Kurtkoti and Guru Golwalkar of RSS.
For social harmony how much concerned was Savarkar, that Ambedkar knew too well. When a temple in Peth kila in Ratnagiri was built by Bhagoji seth Keer, Savarkar sent an invitation to Ambedkar to inaugurate it. In response to the invitation Ambedkar wrote a letter to him —“Due to my engagement in previously scheduled programme I am unable to join the function; but as you are in social field this has lent an occasion to draw a favorable conclusion in this matter. Destruction of untouchability alone will not make untouchables an inseparable part of Hindu community. Chaturvarnya [fourfold varnas] itself should be abolished. I am extremely delighted to say that you are among those few who felt the necessity of this.”

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