Veera Savarkar is the only leader in India to have fought for independence and suffered 50 years in prison.
On Savarkar’s Memorial Day, February 26, the BJP, the RSS and right – wing supporters were seen sharing tributes on social media, claiming that Veera Savarkar was the only leader in India to have fought for independence and spent 50 years in prison.
It is true that Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was sentenced to 50 years in prison during British rule. But to say he was sentenced to 50 years in prison is misinformation.
Savarkar, who was jailed for 25-25 years and imprisoned in the Andamans since 1911, was released on various conditions in 1924, according to the Deccan Herald and News18.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 1910 for the murder of the Nashik District Collector and again on January 31, 1911 for life imprisonment. Subsequently, on July 11 of the same year, Savarkar was taken to the Andaman Cellular Jail. Subsequently, on May 21, 1921, Savarkar was transferred from the Andamans to the Ratnagiri Prison.
Savarkar was later released from the Yeravada jail in Pune in January 1924 on the condition that he not take part in any political activity and leave the district without the permission of the Ratnagiri District Collector.
From July 1911 to May 1921 he was imprisoned in the Andaman Islands for about 9 years and 10 months. He was later released from Ratnagiri in 1924 and served approximately 13 years in prison. So, it is clear that he was sentenced to 50 years in prison is misinformation.
The BJP’s demand for a Bharat Ratna award for Savarkar was controversial. When discussions started that Savarkar had written several letters of apology to the British Government from the Andaman prison, the Union Minister of Culture had replied in Parliament that there were no relevant data or records.
At the time, an article published by the BBC stated that Savarkar had written his first apology within a month and a half of his imprisonment in the Andamans, and had apologized six times during his nine years there. The article also described him as receiving a pension from the British government.
In our search, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was sentenced to 50 years in prison with 25-25 separate life sentences. But it is completely false to say that he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He was sentenced to approximately 13 years in prison.