Notice served by Commissioner of Police, Bombay dated 14 Feb 1948 and Savarkar's reply dated 23 Feb 1948

Notice under Section 3 of the Bombay Public Security Measures Act, 1947 (Bom. VI of 1947)..  Served as Defence Exhibit D/103 in Mahatma Gandhi Murder Case.  The notice is reproduced verbatim from Printed Record of Mahatma Gandhi Murder Case Volume V
                    NOTICE NO. 1202 OF 1948

To
Mr. VINAYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR, Bar.-at-Law.

WHEREAS, the Government of Bombay has directed by its Order in the Home Department, No. S.D. 671, dated the 26th April, 1947, that the powers conferred on it by subsection (1) of Section 2 of the Bombay Public Security Measures Act, 1947 (Bom. VI of 1947) shall also be exercised by the Commissioner of Police, Bombay.

In pursuance of section 3 of the Bombay Public Security Measures Act, 1947 (Bom. VI of 1947), you Mr. VINAYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR,, Bar.-at-Law, are informed that the grounds on which an order of detention has been made against you under clause (a) of subsection (1) of Section 2 of the said Act, are:

That you are promoting hatred by inciting Hindoos against Mohammadans.  You are inciting persons to commit acts of violence against Muslims and persons, who are endeavouring to bring about unity between Hindoos and Muslims.  You are, therefore, acting in a manner prejudicial to the public safety and peace of Greater Bombay.

2.   You Mr. VINAYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR, Bar.-at-Law, are also informed that you have a right to make a representation against the Order under which you are detained.  If you wish to make a representation, you should address it to the undersigned and forward it through the Superintendent, Arthur Road Prison, Bombay, as soon as possible.

                                                                               (Sd.) Illegible,
                                                                               Commissioner of Police,
                                                                                             Bombay.
                        Dated at Bombay, on the 14th day of February, 1948.

 

Savarkar’s reply to Notice served by Commissioner of Police, Bombay dated 14th day of February, 1948.  Formed Defence Exhibit D/104 in Mahatma Gandhi Murder Case.  Savarkar’s reply is reproduced verbatim from Printed Record of Mahatma Gandhi Murder Case Volume V
                                                                                                                                                    Arthur Road Prison,
                                                                                                                                                    Bombay,
                                                                                                                                                    Dated 22-2-1948
To
The Commissioner of Police,
Bombay.

Sir,

               Your notice No. 1262 of 1948 was served on me day before yesterday.  I have not been permitted to see any legal adviser as I had already requested you todoin one of my previous letters.  Nevertheless as the notice says that I should make my representation as soon as possible I am writing to the following effect as a personal and heart to heart reply to the grounds mentioned in the notice on which an order for my detention was made.  I may supplement this by a further representation after I am permitted to consult a legal counsel and in case this reply does not persuade the Government to release me. 

 (I)My submission to the changes is that I never promoted hatred and incited Hindus to hate or to commit acts of violence against the Mohammadans as Mohammadans.  I have been an advocate throughout my life of Genuine Indian Nationalism.  I always emphasized that all citizens who owned loyalty to the Indian State must be loved as fellow citizens and treated with equality of rights and obligations to the state irrespective of caste, creed or religion, without the least distinction being made as Hindu or a Mohammadan or a Parsee or a Jew.  ‘One man one vote’ and ‘services to go by merit alone’ these two principles will be found endlessly repeated in all my writings and speeches made throughout my political career for some 50 years in the past.  To substantiate these facts I refer to my books like the ‘History of 1857’ written so early as in 1908 A.D. down to the six presidential speeches delivered by me from the platform of the Hindu  Mahasabha itself.  If required and given facilities I will cite a number of passages from them to prove how I insisted on the formation of a Secular State in India on the above principles, and how I praised and loved those Mohammadans who fought in this genuinely national spirit for the Freedom of India in the past.

I aver, therefore, that I did not promote hatred of Mohammadans as Mohammadans.  But it is true that this very Genuine Indian Nationalism made me criticise and combat the anti-Hindu and anti-national demands of Muslim League.  The Communal Award, the Muslim League Demand for the vivisection of our common motherland, their repudiation of Indian Nationality, the horrible suffering of the Hindus which followed the League’s direct action movement, the Division of our integrated country and nation into two states brought about by the grant of Pakistan, - are but a few leanings events, which I cite to illustrate the reasons why I have been exhorting the Hindus to organise and militarize themselves so as to be able to defend their persons, hearths and homes against the attacks of fanatical Muslims – especially so when the then British Government encouraged these fanatical and anti-national forces and failed to afford any efficient State Protection to the Hindus.  But whenever I exhorted the Hindus to defend themselves I never failed to point it out that their self-defence must not trespass beyond the principles and the rights and the scope of self-defence as defined in the Indian Penal Code itself.  My speeches referred to above and other writings will substantiate this fact.

But it is this admitted fact that I have been exhorting the Hindus to defend themselves in virtue of the legal right of self-defence was, I believe, misunderstood or mis-interpreted as an incitement to the Hindus to commit violence against all Muslims alike.  I submit that this interpretation is wrong and unwarranted.  Sardar Patel himself in replying provoking speeches of some Muslim leaders retorted ‘sword shall be met with sword’.  But that does not surely mean that he hated all Muslims alike or incited violence.  It is quite to the point here to state that aggression on part of Muslims alone was not resisted by me to the best of my power through religious bigotry.  For I resisted oppressive and aggressive customs and action of Hindu orthodoxy too against so-called untouchable castes.  I led a vigorous active campaign also for several years against the inequality and injustice born of the caste-by birth social structure upheld by the Hindu orthodoxy.  But that could not mean that I promoted hatred against my orthodox co-religionists.

(II)But beyond this exhortion to the Hindus to organize and militarize themselves to meet anti-Hindu violence aggression by collective and legal self-defence, I never trespassed.  I never incited any persons to commit violence against any person Muslims or otherwise.  On the contrary eversince our free India State came into existence I have publicly emphasized the point that in this our own democratic State all public activity must now be strictly limited to constitutional and legal methods.  To substantiate the fact I need not quote one of my latest statements issued just before my arrest and published in the ‘Times’ in the course of which after denouncing the gruesome crime of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi the fratricidal crimes committed by the mob fury, I implored every patriotic citizen to bear in mind that a successful national revolution and a newly-born National State could have no enemy than a fratricidal civil war, specially so when it was surrounded from outside by alien hostility.

(III) In the end I beg to submit that I am now some 65 years old.  For the last three years I have been every now and then confined to bed owing to attacks of heart-ache and debility.  However I feel it is a blessing a partial fulfilment of my life’s political mission that I have survived to see our motherland almost freed from foreign yoke after a hard-won struggle in which I too was a soldier, fought and suffered in no negligible measure.  I yield to none in my life allegiance to our Indian State.  On the 15h of August last I accepted and raised on my house our new National Flag even to the embarrassment of some of my followers.  I had already practically retired from public activity. 

Consequently, in order to disarm all suspicion and to back up the above heart to heart representation I wish to express my willingness to give an undertaking to the Government that I shall refrain from taking part in any communal or political public activity for any period the Government may require in case I am released on that condition.

I hope you will place this representation before the Ministry so that they may directly know that condition.

          Yours faithfully

                                                                                                                                                  (Sd.) V.D. SAVARKAR
                                                                                                                                                   No. 1295 of 1948
Before me.

Illegible.                                                                                                                                  Arthur Road Prison Office
                                                                                                                                       Bombay, 23rd, February 1948
Prison jailor,
Arthur Road, Bombay

Forwarded with compliments to the Commissioner of Police Bombay, for favour of disposal.
     (Sd.)                                                                                
                                                                                                               Illegible
                                                                                                      Supdt. Arthur Road Prison, Bombay