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Savarkar: Modern Indian Thought - Views, Ideology, Literary Works, Criticism | Political Science

Title: Modern Indian Thought Savarkar

Introduction

His full name was Vinayak Damodar Savarkar popularly known as Veer Savarkar. He is known for his Hindu Nationalist philosophy of Hindutva.

Modern Indian Thought Savarkar

28 may 1883 - 26 February 1966

Political Thoughts of Savarkar

  • Political thoughts of Savarkar were largely based on social reformation and Unity of India not only as a territorial identity but as cultural and social identity
  • Savarkar is largely known as a revolutionary freedom fighter and exponent of Hindutva.
  • It is not widely known that he was also an outstanding social reformer. His contribution in the field of social reform is relevant even today.
  • Savarkar put down his views on social reform and rationalism in writing.

Literary Works of Savarkar

  • Jatyuchchedak Nibandh ′ (Essays on abolition of caste) ,
  • Vidnyannishtha Nibandh’ (Pro-science essays) and
  • Ksha kirane’ (X rays) .
  • He also wrote a collection of short stories called ‘Samaj Chitre’ (Portraits of society)
  • His drama ‘Ushaap’ (Antidote to a curse) deals with untouchability, kidnapping of women, shuddhi and the duplicity of conservatives.

Savarkar՚s View of Casteism

  • Savarkar rebelled against scripture-based caste division and termed it as a mental illness that gets cured instantly when the mind refuses to accept it.
  • To those who regarded chaturvarnya and caste divisions as part of Hindu Dharma, Savarkar had this to say, both chaturvarnya and caste divisions are but practices. They are not coterminous with Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana Dharma will not die if the present-day distortion that is caste division is destroyed.
  • Savarkar՚s views on caste-based organizations were remarkably pragmatic. He said, “It is foolish and even harmful for caste abolitionists to totally boycott all caste organizations for they need to use the desirable element in caste organizations to abolish caste itself …”

Political Aspect of Savarkar՚s Social Thoughts

  • It has been alleged that Savarkar carried out his campaign for social reform not because he had any sympathy for the lower castes but because he was politically motivated with a selfish view of winning their support for Hindu consolidation.
  • In his own words to regard our 70 million co-religionists as ‘untouchables’ and worse than animals are an insult not only to humanity but also to the sanctity of our soul. It is my firm conviction that this is why untouchability should be principally eradicated.
  • Hence this custom should be eradicated as a command of dharma. From the point of view of justice, dharma and humanism, fighting untouchability is a duty and we Hindus should completely eradicate it. In the present circumstances, how we will benefit by fighting it is a secondary consideration. This question of benefit is an aapaddharma (duty to be done in certain exceptional circumstances) and eradication of untouchability is the foremost and absolute dharma.
  • Untouchability should go also because its eradication is in the interests of our Hindu society. But even if the Hindu society were to partially benefit from that custom, I would have opposed it with equal vehemence.
  • When I refuse to touch someone because he was born in a particular community but play with cats and dogs, I am committing a most heinous crime against humanity. Untouchability should be eradicated not only because it is incumbent on us but because it is impossible to justify this inhuman custom when we consider any aspect of dharma.

Points to be Remember

  • Savarkar՚s definition of nation.
  • Evils within the society should not corrected for political benefits but for moral duties.
  • India as an identity is defined by people from different races, castes and cultures, there should be efforts to bring parity in treatment not elimination of differences.

Questions

1. For Savarkar, what were the three fundamental bonds that united the Hindus?

(A) Territory, Race, Culture.

(B) Territory, Population, Sovereignty.

(C) Territory, Government and International Recognition.

(D) None of the above.

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