Collaborator Savarkar versus Freedom Fighter Bose

Written by Shamsul Islam | Published on: January 26, 2016

Savarkar betrays Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose by collaborating with the British to recruit soldiers to the British Army which in turn are used to pulverize the Indian National Army in the north east

Three favourite icons sought to be appropriated by proponents of the Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation, the Hindutvawaadis) are Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. Shamsul Islam’s research reveals however that this appropriation is problematic. Bose, attempted to organise a military campaign to force the British out of India. This cause was betrayed by the Hindu Mahasabha under the leadership of Savarkar who also happened to be a mentor of the RSS. There is a mine of contemporary documents available to show that while the Netaji during World War II was trying to secure foreign support for liberation of the country and trying to organise a military attack on the northeast of the country with the help of   ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ (Indian National Army), it was Savarkar who offered full military co-operation to the British masters.
Coming close on the heels of prime minister, Narendra Modi’s move to de-classify 100 files related to Netaji Bose’s life and struggle, these revelations could pose a severe embarrassment to the government. The history of the Hindutvawaadi rightwing is replete with documents establishing its collaborations with British rule.

A close reading of the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS publications and documents of that period exposes this shocking duplicity. Savarkar while addressing 23rd session of Hindu Mahasabha at Bhagalpur in 1941 had said:
“The second most important and urgent item on which the Hindu Sanghatanists [Hindu Mahasabhaits] all over India must bend all their energies and activities is the programme for the militarisation of Hindus. The war which has now reached our shores directly constitutes at once a danger and an opportunity which both render it imperative that the militarisation movement must be intensified and every branch of the Hindu Mahasabha in every town and village must actively engage itself in rousing the Hindu people to join the army, navy, the aerial forces and the different war-craft manufactories.”1
The extent to which Savarkar, the Hindutva icon, was willing to help the British would be clear by the following words of his:
“So far as India’s defence is concerned, Hindudom must ally unhesitatingly, in a spirit of responsive co-operation with the war effort of the Indian government in so far as it is consistent with the Hindu interests, by joining the Army, Navy and the Aerial forces in as large a number as possible and by securing an entry into all ordnance, ammunition and war craft factories…Again it must be noted that Japan’s entry into the war has exposed us directly and immediately to the attack by Britain’s enemies. Consequently, whether we like it or not, we shall have to defend our own hearth and home against the ravages of the war and this can only be done by intensifying the government’s war effort to defend India. Hindu Mahasabhaits must, therefore, rouse Hindus especially in the provinces of Bengal and Assam as effectively as possible to enter the military forces of all arms without losing a single minute.”2

Savarkar’s total support to the British war efforts when leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose were trying to chalk out a strategy to throw out the British rule from India through armed struggle was the result of a well-thought-out Hindutva design.
Savarkar called upon Hindus “to flood the [British] army, the navy and the aerial forces with millions of Hindu warriors with Hindu Sanghatanist hearts” and assured them that if they,
“stick to this immediate programme and take advantage to the fullest extent possible of the war situation with the Hindu Sanghatanists ideal full in view, pressing on the movement for the militarization of the Hindu race, then our Hindu nation is bound to emerge far more powerful, consolidated and situated in an incomparably more advantageous position to face issues after the war— whether it be an internal anti-Hindu Civil War or a constitutional crisis or an armed revolution.”3
While continuing his address at Bhagalpur, Savarkar once again stressed upon the Hindus