Felicitation function of Savarkar on occasion of his 61st birthday, Mumbai

On Sunday, 06 June 1943, Savarkar was publicly felicitated at Gowalia Tank Maidan (now August Kranti Maidan), Mumbai on the occasion of his 61st birthday.   This grand function was held under the Chairmanship of Wrangler Raghunathrao Paranjpe.  When Savarkar reached the venue accompanied by his wife Yamunabai (Mai), daughter Prabhat and son Vishwas, he was given a traditional welcome by 61 married women.  A decorated elephant garlanded Savarkar.  The famous singer-actor Bhalchandra Pendharkar began by invoking the divine name.  Volunteers of the Hindu Rashtra Dal sang the Akhil Hindu Dhwaj Geet penned by Savarkar.  This was followed by Pendharkar’s rendition of a specially composed song in Savarkar’s honour.  The President of the Veer Savarkar Felicitation Committee Rao Bahadur Umakant Desai opined that Savarkar’s political tradition had a hoary tradition and that Hindu Society had become powerful under Savarkar’s leadership.  He informed that Rs. 55000 had been collected for the Savarkar Purse and expressed confidence that the amount would touch Rs. 61000 by 25 June.  Chairman RP Paranjpe said that Savarkar’s innate intellect, powerful oratory and attractive personality had been enriched by wide experience and action.  As a result, his politics was proving to be highly effective.    He lauded Savarkar’s efforts at militarization of Hindus and his fearless stand against leaders who mixed religion with politics.  After this, speakers such as Saraswatibai Kavanikar, KF Nariman, Barrister Jamnadas Mehta, Pt. Chandragupta Vedalankar delivered speeches extolling Savarkar.  Rao Bahadur Desai then read the citation to be presented to Savarkar.  Chairman Paranjpe presented the citation in a silver casket to Savarkar.  The casket was a replica of SS Morea, the steamship from which Savarkar made his daring escape at Marseilles in 1910.  The words 'वक्ता, विद्वान, लेखक, कविवर, थोर हुतात्मा तू |    अभिनव भारत मनोरथांचा मूर्त दिव्य केतू' (‘Orator, writer, poet, O great martyr; Luminous flag personified of a New Bharat’) were engraved on the casket.  Mai Savarkar was given a sari and auspicious presents.  Savarkar was profusely garlanded by several organizations.  Thereafter, Savarkar spoke extempore for about an hour.  He described the function as a memorable event in his life.  Among other things, he said that Jinnah’s claim that he spoke for all minorities was false.  He asserted that the Parsees, Jews, Anglo-Indians, Christians had never asked for vivisection of the country.  He said that the demand by some ex-untouchables for a separate homeland should not cause alarm.  He said that he had spoken to Dr. Ambedkar regarding this and on that basis; he could say that there was nothing to fear from that quarter.  Other than Muslims, no one else was on Jinnah’s side and even among Muslims there were communities that did not support Jinnah.  Savarkar demanded fair citizenship rights on behalf of the majority Hindus and all non-Muslim minorities.   He affirmed that the only way to prevent the formation of Pakistan was for everyone to take a pledge to support pro-Hindu candidates who believed in the freedom and indivisibility of Hindusthan in the forthcoming elections.

Click here to see video clips of the felicitation programme.  In addition to Savarkar are seen his wife Mai, daughter Prabhat, son Vishwas, Wrangler Paranjpe (with moustache; Savarkar places his own garland around Paranjpe’s neck) and Rao Bahadur Desai.