Swatantrya Veer Savarkar True Story: Did Savarkar inspire Shaheed Bhagat Singh against the British Raj?

Directed by Randeep Hooda, Swatantrya Veer Savarkar is a biographical drama that tells the story of India's freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

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After a moderate performance at the box office, the much-awaited movie Swatantrya Veer Savarkar was released on Zee5 on May 28, 2024. Directed by Randeep Hooda, Swatantrya Veer Savarkar is a biographical drama that tells the story of India's freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The makers of the movie have advertised that it produces some facts about India's independence struggle that were not much known. Talking about Swatantrya Veer Savarkar's characters guide, it features Randeep Hooda as Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Ankita Lokhande as Yamunabai Savarkar, Amit Sial as Ganesh Damodar Savarkar, Rajesh Khera as Mahatma Gandhi, Lokesh Mittal as B. R. Ambedkar, Brajesh Jha as Subhash Chandra Bose, Santosh Ojha as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and more in the leading roles. Ever since the release of the movie it has sparked a controversy as usual. While one section says that Swatantrya Veer Savarkar movie has been made for the benefit of RSS and BJP, the other lauds the makers for presenting the hidden facts and figures. Below is Swatantrya Veer Savarkar's True Story- 

Did Swatantrya Veer Savarkar inspire Shaheed Bhagat Singh?

As soon as the movie starts, there is a scene in which Shaheed Bhagat Singh is in jail and he is asked where it all began. Then, Shaheed Bhagat Singh answered that he once read a book called The Indian War of Independence 1857 by VD Savarkar and it all started from there. Now, the question arises whether Swatantrya Veer Savarkar inspired Shaheed Bhagat Singh or not.

As per reports, Shaheed Bhagat Singh was highly inspired by VD Savarkar's literary works. In two issues on 15 and 22 November 1924, Matwala, a patriotic Hindi weekly which used to be published from Calcutta (now Kolkata), carried an article titled 'Vishwa Prem'. The article praised Veer Savarkar and countered his critics. “The one who loves this world is that braveheart, whom we don’t feel ashamed to call as a fierce insurgent and a fanatic anarchist — this is the Veer (brave) Savarkar,” the article said as reported by a portal. 

While the article was credited to 'Balwant Singh' (pseudonym), it was written by Bhagat Singh, according to Bhagat Singh Aur Unke Sathiyon Ke Sampoorna Uplabhda Dastawez (Complete available documents of Bhagat Singh and his fellow revolutionaries, 2019, Rahul Foundation, page 93).

When Singh wrote this article, Savarkar was under house arrest in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. He was prohibited from participating in any political activity as a pre-condition of his release from Cellular Jail.

It is said that Bhagat Singh published an English translation of Savarkar's book '1857 Ka Swatantrata Samar' and propagated it among the revolutionaries. Some writers have claimed that Savarkar and Bhagat Singh met in Ratnagiri but there is no indisputable evidence of this. According to Gandhiji's follower YD Phadke, Bhagat Singh drew inspiration from Savarkar's '1857 Ka Swatantrata Samar'. Bhagat Singh has noted quotations from many authors in his prison diary.

There are only seven Indian authors in it, out of which Savarkar is the only one whose more than one quote has been included by Bhagat Singh in his diary and six of those quotes are from the same book, 'Hindupadapadshahi'.