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, the (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!