Collaborator Savarkar versus Freedom Fighter Bose

Written by Shamsul Islam | Published on: January 26, 2016
British as profitable to your own country as it is possible under our present circumstances to do. Because let it not be forgotten that those who fancy that they can claim of not having co-operated with the government and helped the war-efforts either on account of the demoralising and hypocritical fad of absolute non-violence and non-resistance even in face of an armed aggression or as a matter of policy simply because they do not join the fighting forces, are but indulging in self-deception and self-complacency.”13 [Underlined as in the original text.]
His call to the Hindus had no ambiguity: “Let the Hindus therefore come forward now and enter the army, the navy and the air-forces, the ordnance and other war-crafts factories in their thousands and millions.”14 The Hindu Mahasabha under Savarkar’s leadership organised high-level Boards in different regions of the country to help the Hindus seeking recruitment in the British armed forces. The following words of Savarkarestablish that these Boards were in direct contact with the British government. Savarkar informed the Hindus,
To deal with the difficulties and the grievances which the Hindu recruits to the Army find from time to time, a Central Northern Hindu Militarization Board has been formed by the Hindu Mahasabha at Delhi with Mr. Ganpat Rai, B.A., L.L.B Advocate, 51, Panchkuin Road, New Delhi, as convener. A Central Southern Hindu Militarization Board is also formed under the Chairmanship or Mr. L.B. Bhopatkar, M.A., LL.B., President Maharashtra Provincial Hindusabha, Sadashiv Peth Poona. All complaints or applications for information etc. should be addressed by those Hindus who want to enter the forces or have already enlisted themselves in them, to the above addresses. Sir Jwala Prasad Shrivastav; Barrister Jamnadasji Mehta, Bombay; Mr. V.V. Kalikar, M.L.C., Nagpur and other members on the National Defence Council or the Advisory War Committee will certainly try their best to get these difficulties removed so far as possible when they are forwarded by these Militarization Boards on to them.”15

This clearly shows that the British Government had accommodated leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha on its official war committees. Those who revere Savarkar as a great patriot and freedom fighter, the following instruction from Savarkar to those Hindus who were to join the British forces, are revelatory:
“One point however must be noted in this connection as emphatically as possible in our own interest that those Hindus who join the Indian [read the British] Forces should be perfectly amenable and obedient to the military discipline and order which may prevail there provided always that the latter do not deliberately aim to humiliate Hindu Honour.”16
For Savarkar, clearly, joining the armed forces of the colonial masters was in itself no hardship nor a great humiliation. Bhide’s book also tells us that he alone drafted the following resolution titled ‘Maha Sabha and the Great War’ which read:
“As the task of defending India from any military attack is of common concern to the British government as well as ourselves and as we are unfortunately not in a position today to carry out that responsibility unaided, there is ample room for whole-hearted co-operation between India and England.”17
World War II was also the period when different groups of revolutionaries including Subhash Chandra Bose were trying to secure help from countries like the USSR. In this context there os evidence that Savarkar is instead advising the British masters to beware of such dangers. We also find him offering total support to the British in this venture, unabashedly. His main aim seemed to eliminate Muslims and not the British rule. How he twisted facts to serve his anti-Muslim rhetoric will be clear from the following words of his:
The probable entry of Russia in the war against England may threaten India with a far more serious danger of an invasion through Afghanisthan [sic]. The treacherous conduct of a very large section of the Moslems in India in the Khilaphat (sic) agitation during the last Great War in 1914 has taught us a lesson never to be forgotten as it is almost sure to be repeated in any future attack on India on the North Western Frontier by