Abhinav Bharat Society: The Rise and Dissolution

abhinav bharat society

In 1904, the organization called Abhinav Bharat Society was founded by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Ganesh Damodar Savarkar in Pune, Maharashtra. This political group had its headquarters in Mumbai. It was a secret organization that went by the name Mitra Mela initially. It consisted of revolutionaries as well as political activists devoted to overthrowing British rule in India through armed rebellion. In addition to conducting several killings of English officials, Abhinav Bharat also held meetings and rallies across India. However, it was not until the end of the 20th century that society was officially disbanded.

This post is relevant for the UPSC Exam preparation of GS paper-I and is a part of the Modern Indian History of UPSC Syllabus.

The Idea Behind The Abhinav Bharat Society 

Vinayak Savarkar, a participant of the Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 until 1943, formed the Abhinav Bharat Society. His radical beliefs included armed insurrection against the British. Savarkar and his group killed several British officials in their attempts to overthrow the British. However, after they were caught, Savarkar apologized for his deeds and was released from a prison located in the Andaman.

Strides Of Vinayak Savarkar

Born on 28th May of1883 in a place called Bagur in Maharashtra, Savarkar was active in the Hindu Mahasabha and in India House. He was also known as a writer and advocate of Hindutva, a type of nationalism that is popular in India. Savarkar presided over the Hindu Mahasabha in the period between 1937 and 1943. He fought untouchability in his life in Ratnagiri. 

He left for London in 1906 to study law. That year, he put together a book called Mazzini Charitra, which contained a 25-page introduction he wrote in addition to a translation of the revolutionary Italian Mazzini’s ideas. The initial 2000 copies of the book, which was released in Maharashtra in 1907, were completely sold after just a month. The book Hindutva: Who is Hindu? was also written by Savarkar.

He embraced Mazzini’s secret organization and guerrilla combat techniques and distributed insurgent propaganda throughout London. Savarkar also urged his Indian companions through letters and asked them to unite their forces and stand together against the British.

Apart from the Independence Movement, he was also involved in the Swadeshi movement, and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party. He instigated patriotic lectures and actions which outraged the British Government. The British government consequently revoked his Bachelor of Arts degree.

He established the Free India Society. He is also recognized as Swatantryaveer Savarkar.

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The trial Of Veer Damodar Savarkar

  1. Veer Savarkar was detained in 1909 and found guilty of planning a mutiny with weapons against the Indian Councils Act’s Morley-Minto reform.
  2. Subsequently, he was captured in 1910 because of his connections with the India House.
  3. He was convicted for both charges including complicity in the killing of Nashik Collector Michael Jackson, and a conspiracy against the king with reference to 121-A of the Indian Penal Code.
  4. After the second trial in 1911, Savarkar was found guilty and given a 50-year prison term. Further, he was transferred to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Cellular Jail.
  5. He chose to die fasting and stopping taking in food, which led to his death on the 26th of February, 1966.

Dissolution Of Abhinav Bharat Society

The investigation into the killing of Collector Jackson led to the dissolution of the Abhinav Bharat. It sent twenty Browning handguns to India, including one that was wielded in the assassination. Vinayak Savarkar, the organization’s leader, was convicted of the crime and given a life sentence in the Andaman Islands’ Cellular Jail. Eventually, he was released and society was no more. However, protests over the dissolving of society followed.

The Abhinav Bharat Society was legally dissolved in 1952.

Conclusion

The Abhinav Bharat, formally known as Mitra Mela, was a political society in India that sought independence from the British. The society also celebrated important Indian calendar dates, including Ramanavami and Ramadan month. However, despite this association with the left, the society remained secret until 1952.

FAQs On Abhinav Bharat Society

Q1. What Was The Core Purpose Of The Abhinav Bharat Society?

The core ideology behind the society of radicals was to overthrow the British Raj. In the process, members of the society assassinated many British Officials.

Q2. Which Event Led To Savarkar’s Life Imprisonment?

In the infamous Nasik Conspiracy case of 1909, Nasik’s district magistrate, Arthur Mason Tippetts Jackson, was murdered. The investigation led to the part the Savarkar brothers played in it and that Vinayak Savarkar supplied 20 browning pistols, including the weapon of the murder of A. M. T. Jackson. After that Vinayak Savarkar was charged and sent to Andaman Cellular jail in 1910.

Q3. Was Udham Singh Also A Part Of Abinav Bharat?

No, Udham Singh was not part of this society but was influenced by the work of Bhagat Singh and was also engaged in revolutionary politics. He became a member of the Ghadar Party. Udham Singh killed Michael O’Dwyer for his involvement in the Jallianwala bagh Massacre.

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