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ISBN: 978-1-4269-7498-4 (sc) ISBN: 978-1-4269-7499-1 (hc) ISBN: 978-1-4269-7500-4 (e)
I particularly like this Review, for it seems to me that the reviewer, Nancy Walker, had a hard time coping with many of the truths, especially with respect to Gandhi, that are brought up in my book—as would anyone who was unaware of the dark truth—and yet appreciated it. The reader now, fortunately, has my Gandhi Revealed article series which backs up with documentation all what I have written in Burning for Freedom. Read the articles here.
To clarify a point of hers: I have meticulously given even every minor variation and adaptation I had to make to write the novel since I do have a fictional element in the book (the main hero, Keshu, is fictional) and it is a story, after all.. It didn’t occur to me that it would get cast in the light of a “misrepresentation”—and had it occurred to me, I would still have done it. For I considered it essential and only fair to the reader (and me) to reveal the where fiction and fact merge or how I incorporated the fact into the story. I stand behind my words that say the facts and information is true. Find my “Author’s Notes” here and judge for yourself.
And of course, I have used punctuations prolifically—something which is unforgivable in the accepted style of writing. However, while I obeyed the Gods of Punctuation and Grammar (much though I would have like to kick up a fuss sometimes) I was determined to be true to my style—even at the risk of offending critics. Read the review here.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
“O, Goddess of Freedom, Life is to die for you / Death is to live without you!”
- Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Jayostute (translation)
This is the true story of one man’s—Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s— sacrifice of his name, fame, comfort, and family life in the fifty years of his crusade for the freedom of his beloved motherland, India.
Savarkar fought to preserve the integrity of India, to reinstate the honor of his motherland without ripping her heart out or chopping off her arms and legs.
Follow the footsteps of Keshav Wadkar, a fictional character, from the horrors of the Cellular Jail in 1913 to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
Revealed here are the shenanigans of Gandhi in the Freedom Movement of India.
Experience for yourself the gross injustice that Savarkar has suffered—the determined attempt made to annihilate him, his name, his reputation and his achievements—at the hands of the British, the Gandhi-Nehru-led Congress, and the Government of free India—revealed in Burning for Freedom
WHY I WROTE IT:
In December of 2008, I read a biography of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and was electrified. This was a true patriot of India. This was what my childhood dreams of freedom fighters were made of. Why had it never struck me before that there is more than meets the eye in the history of the freedom movement of India? How had I swallowed the fairy-tale of the textbooks?
And, I realized, he was the foremost exponent of the Karmayoga—a very difficult and lonely path … !
I wanted to shout from the rooftops, to echo the story of Savarkar in the whole world, to raze to the ground the mound of falsehoods under which the Congress has buried Savarkar. And I have done so, in my novel Burning for Freedom.
But to reveal the truth of Savarkar, I also had to reveal the unsavory truth of Gandhi and his true role in the Freedom Movement of India.
Today I am a U.S. citizen—and proud to be one—but patriotic fervor for India, my mother country, ran deep in my blood through childhood and youth. I was heartbroken when circumstances made it necessary for me to leave the Indian soil far, far behind. As a child I had felt: surely, surely I would have been a freedom fighter! I would have given up my life for my Mother India. Why was I born in another era?
And then, (supposed)history revealed itself through the textbooks!
Not much of the freedom movement made sense to me those days. Gandhi (I did tack on a Mahatma before his name then but not anymore) being “the Father of the Nation,” didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t like what I understood about him, yet he was eulogized everywhere. So odd.
Not even when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, did I like opinions imposed upon me. I judge by my own intellect; blind belief was not, and never will be, any part of me. Back then, I did not seek out the truth, but now I have. It is revealed in Burning for Freedom.
And the truth cannot—and shall not—be hidden!
MY THOUGHTS ON SOME SCENES:
Savarkar Sadan: Savarkar Sadan, the Perfect House for Me!
Savarkar’s Breakdown Scene: An Offering in the Freedom Pyre . . . !
“GROWING PAINS” OF BURNING FOR FREEDOM:
LIST OF MAJOR RESEARCH SOURCES:
Veer Savarkar, Father of Hindu Nationalism, J. D. Joglekar, 2006
Veer Savarkar, Dhananjay Keer. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1966.
Selected Works of Savarkar, four-volume set, Himani Savarkar. Chandigarh: Abhishek Publications, 2007.
Atmacharitra, Majhya Athvani, V. D. Savarkar. Pune: S. K. Padhye, 1949.
Savarkar Charitra, S. Karandikar. Pune: Sitabai Karandikar, 1943.
Swatantryaveer Savarkar, Part II, III, IV, Balarao Savarkar. Mumbai: Veer Savarkar Prakashan, 1976.
Haridini, Memoirs of Shantabai Savarkar, Nirmala Karve. Nagpur: Lakhe Prakashan, 1985.
Biography of Babarao Savarkar, Dr. Shreerang Godbole (online)
Ase Ahet Savarkar, Dr. Arvind Godbole. Pune: Bharatiya Vichar Sadhana Pune Prakashan, 2005.
Athvani Angaranchya, Vishwas Savarkar. Pune: Snehal Prakashan, 1986.
Teesra Savarkar, Pratap Velkar. Mumbai: Manorama Prakashan, 2002.
Mi Pahilele Savarkar, R. Bhat. Pune: Veer Gaurav Samiti, 1990.
Savarkar Yanchya Athvani, R. Renavikar. Pune: Adhikari Prakashan, 1962.
Savarkaranshi Sukhadasamvad, S. P. Gokhale. Mumbai: Keshav Vishnu Kothavale, 1986.
Shatapailu Savarkar, H. T. Desai. Mumbai: Vilas Devrukhkar, 1986.
On the Freedom Movement:
The Future of India, Penderel Moon. London: Pilot Press, 1945.
Mountbatten’s Report on the Last Viceroyalty, Lionel Carter. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers and Distributors, 2003.
The Transfer of Power in India, V. P. Menon. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1957.
Mission with Mountbatten, Alan Campbell-Johnson. New York: Dutton, 1953.
The Viceroy at Bay: Lord Linlithgow, 1936-1943, John Glendevon. London: Collins, 1971.
Wavell, The Viceroy’s Journal, edited by Penderel Moon. London: Oxford University Press, 1973.
Indian Summer, Alex Von Tunzelmann. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2007.
History of the Freedom Movement in India, Vol. III, R. C. Majumdar. Calcutta: Firma K. L. Mukhopadhye, 1963.
Shameful Flight, Stanley Wolpert. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Spectrum, September 24, 2006, Kuldeep Nayar’s interview with Radcliffe.
The Bank and the Partition,
On the Cellular Jail:
My Transportation for Life, V. D. Savarkar. Bombay: Veer Savarkar Prakashan, 1984.
Penal Settlement in Andamans, R. C. Muzumdar. New Delhi: Government of India, 1975.
Kalapani Ka Aithihasik Dastavej, Ramcharanlal Sharma. New Delhi: National Book Trust, India, 2001.
Story of My Life, Bhai Parmananda. New Delhi: S. Chand, 1982.
Tale of my Exile, Barinkumar Ghosh. Pondicherry: Arya Office, 1922.
Cellular Jail, Priten Roy, Swapnesh Chowdhury. Delhi: Farsight, 1998.
The Heroes of the Cellular Jail, S. N. Aggarwal. Patiala: Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, 1995.
Mahatma Gandhi: Political Saint and Unarmed Prophet, Dhananjay Keer. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1973.
Gandhi, Behind the Mask of Divinity, G. B. Singh. Amherst, NY: Promethus books, 2004.
Eclipse of the Hindu Nation: Gandhi, Radha Rajan. New Delhi: New Age Publishers, 2009.
Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India, Joseph Lelyveld. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
The Turkish question: Mustafa and Mahatma Gandhi, R. K. Sinha. Delhi: Adam Publishers & Distributors, 1994.
On Nathuram Godse:
The Men Who Killed Gandhi, Manohar Malgonkar; Pramod Kapoor. New Delhi: Lotus Collections, an imprint of Roli Books, 2008.
May It Please Your Honour, Nathuram Godse. Delhi: Surya Bharati Prakashan, 2007.
The Mapilla Rebellion: 1921–1922, Province Government Publication. Madras: Government Press, 1922.
Partition and Genocide, Anders Bjorn Hansen. New Delhi: India Research Press, 2002.
Report of Commission of Inquiry into Conspiracy to Murder Mahatma Gandhi, Part II, J. L. Kapur. New Delhi: Ministry of Home Affairs, 1970.
Senapati Bapat, Y. D. Phadke. New Delhi: National Book Trust, 1994.
Bhaganagar Struggle, S. R. Date. Pune: Date, 1940.
Maharashtra Hindusabhecha Ithihas, S. R. Date. Pune: Date, 1975.
Plain Tales from the Raj, Charles Allen; Michael Mason. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1976.
And more …
Also, innumerable, invaluable websites on a wide variety of topics were consulted, including Moplah Rebellion, Khilafat Movement, Direct Action: Calcutta and Noakhali, Partition, Calicut, Pune, early history of airplanes, WWI, and WWII.