Have decided to quote Savarkar’s poem as my namaskaar to Tilak Maharaj and Chandrasekhar Azad on their Jayanti, day before yesterday (birthday sounds too crude for both). The reason being all 3 are the proponents of armed revolution against British. Tilak Maharaj was very clear about independence of India from the British and was even jailed for his writings. The man did not sit back in jail but wrote the whole Geeta Rahasya without any help from any book quoting a variety of writers and their books just from his memory.
Similarly Chandrasekhar Azad gathered the revolutionaries in the North of India and led the uprising from the front. The famous Kakori uprising took place in his leadership. He was betrayed later and surrounded from all sides, when he fought till his last bullet. And with his last bullet he took his own life.
Many such characters have been lost in our Indian History as the government of that day did not want to give them credit. Or as they say it they did not want to teach blood shed to the new generation. But the British Government at that time notes that the one of the reason that the British wanted to leave India as quickly as possible was to avoid the fight with these revolutionaries.
One of the lighthouse of these revolutionaries is Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. He has written such beautiful poetry that it is impossible to imagine a person with such high emotions to be a revolutionary. I don’t see or know of any such poem full of love and longing for ones motherland. The poet is in UK for his studies to become a barrister and is reminded of his motherland when he, one evening, visits the ocean. And out of sheer love about his motherland, he starts talking with the ocean.
Ne majhshi ne, parat Matrubhumila, Sagara pran talmalala… (My readers can find the whole poem on the net)…
Savarkar asks the waters of the ocean to take him back to his motherland as he is desperately longing to see Her.
He goes on to describe that I have seen you (the ocean) wash the feet of my motherland, an apparent reference to the Indian Ocean in the south. And he goes on to say that it was you, Sagara, who gave me the idea to visit other countries to study the different cultures and civilisations of the world. At that moment, my motherland was filled with doubt about my returning back, on which you, the ocean, promised to get me back. You consoled Her by saying that I will carry your son on my back (hope my readers recall that Waterways was the only transport then to cross the seas) and once he becomes learned, I will get him back. O mighty ocean! I trusted your word and left Her with a promise to learn and return back to free Her from slavery.
But today am trapped in this land like a deer trapped in the claws of the lion. Today in this unknown land I suffer from the pangs of separation from my motherland and my path forward is filled with total darkness. I took up the different values and learnt them so that I can be helpful to Her. But alas! Am stuck here. At the same time, I am reminded of my family, my elder brother,(amravrikshavatsalata) his wife, my wife, my younger brother and our kids. I have drifted away from all and the only reason is you, O Ocean!
There might be many nakshtras (constellations) in the sky, but am in love with the only one called, Matrubhumi. There might be high rises here, but I still love the thatched roof house of my mother. And I don’t want your kingdoms without Her, rather will be happy to be in the forests with Her. But alas! Am separated from Her. He taunts the ocean to imagine himself separated from the rivers which merge into him.
Upon seeing the waves rushing towards the shore, the poet compares them to the teeth of a laughing Rakshas and calls him, heartless, one who does understand the situation and derives enjoyment from it. He changes the narrative and further asks that are you afraid of the English that you are not ready to carry me back home? You feel that my motherland cannot take care of Herself, then he reminds him of Agasti who just drank the ocean, all in one sip. Am a descendant of Agasti, so beware!
I don’t know whether have been able to put the right words that Savarkar meant, but for my readers those who know Marathi, I urge them to listen to the song again and again. Am sure the song will kindle the light of patriotism with them.
Any person who relates oneself with his country will feel the emotions penned down by Savarkar and irrespective of barriers of language would love this poem.