Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the brave
fighter for freedom from Maharashtra, was in England at the time. Although he was there to
study law he had engaged himself in something else. He had founded the India House. He
used to collect all young Indians who went to England for higher studies there. He
explained to them the miserable condition of our country. "Our mother, Bharat Mata,
is being trampled underfoot by the British. She is groaning and in great misery. It is the
bounden duty of her children to free her from the clutches of the inhuman brutes. If we
all join and work together, we are sure to win freedom for the motherland. But we shall
have to be prepared to face anything and even to lay down our lives." With such
words, he filled their hearts with patriotism and made them brave heroes.
While roaming in the streets of London, Dhingra. Came to know of the India House.
One day he went there when Savarkar was making a speech before a gathering of
enthusiastic young men. Savarkar was a very good speaker. All those present there were
listening to him with rapt attention. Savarkar described the pitiable plight of our
country. As he listened, Dhingra's blood began to boil. Strong feelings were aroused in
him and it was difficult for him to contain them.
From that day, Savarkar was Dhingra's hero. He began to worship him and to attend his
lectures with great interest. He accepted without question all that Savarkar said.
Savarkar launched a major program in 1908. As far back as in 1857 Indian soldiers had
revolted against the British and fought them. Savarkar had arranged for the anniversary
celebration of this first was of independence. Through this program he was able to enthuse
the Indian youths and flood their hearts with patriotism.
All the Indian youths in Londonparticipated in the celebration whole-heartedly. The
youthful students wore '1857 - Commemoration' badges on their coats and went to their
classes. This annoyed many Englishmen.
The British were extremely proud of their empire. They thought they were born to rule
and the Indians were incapable of ruling over their own nation. Even among them were a few
sensible persons and they were sympathetic towards India; but the majority of the British
thought they were superior beings meant to lead the Indians. And here were young Indians
displaying badges reminding the English of the revolt against them in 1857! And this was
being done in their own country, in their very capital, in their very presence! Several
Englishmen felt their blood boil.
Dhingra was wearing a smart suit and the badge on it. Exhibiting it proudly he was
moving about in the college building. One of Dhingra's friends, an Englishman, Saw it. He
was very, very angry. He went straight to Dhingra and tried to snatch away his badge.
Before he could do it Dhingra slapped him hard in the face. Next, he knocked him down and
sat on his chest.
Producing a knife from his pocket, Dhingra brandished it in his opponent's face and
shouted: "Dare to touch the symbol of my country's honor, do you T' The poor
Englishman begged for mercy. "For God's sake, let me go, I pray. I shall never offend
you again," he moaned. Dhingra pardoned him, pitied him and let him go.