October 13, 2015 12:06:51 am
THE last rites of Himani Savarkar, leader of the Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, was conducted at Vaikunth crematorium in the presence of several Hindutva activists on Monday.
Daughter of Gopal Godse, a convict in the Mahatma Gandhi murder case, Himani Savarkar died of brain tumour on Sunday. Born on March 31, 1947, in Pune, Himani was also the daughter-in-law of Narayan Savarkar, brother of freedom fighter and firebrand Hindutva leader Veer Savarkar.
Abhinav Bharat was originally started as a secret revolutionary movement in 1904 by Veer Savarkar for raising an armed struggle against the British.
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Veer Savarkar, who was also the founder of Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha, had dissolved Abhinav Bharat in 1952, saying there was no need for an armed struggle in independent India. Savarkar appealed the Indian youth to join the Armed Forces for serving the country. But some of his followers revived the movement in 2006.
Members of the newly formed Abhinav Bharat, including the serving Indian Army officer Lt Col Prasad Purohit, were among those arrested by the Maharashtra ATS in the Malegaon bomb blast case. The ATS had recorded Himani’s statement in this case.
Recalling her life and times, Himani’s family said it was full of struggle as her father Gopal Godse, younger brother of Nathuram Godse, was sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with the conspiracy to kill Mahatma Gandhi when she was just 10 months old.
Himani is survived by a son, daughter-in-law and grandchild. Her son, Satyaki Savarkar, who is a software professional and a Hindutva activist, said she stood strongly behind those who were arrested in the bomb blast case.
“Right from providing lawyers, keeping updates of court trials, providing help for their families, she was working hard till the end. It was not easy. But she was used to sufferings since her childhood. She was often neglected for being the daughter of Gopal Godse. But she fought all odds to get a degree BE (Architecture), ran her own business for 25 years and was an active leader of Hindu Mahasabha. She quit her business in 2000 and then devoted her time for the Hindutva movement,” he said.
She was closely associated with right-wing Hindu leaders, including Pramod Mutalik of Shriram Sene. Himani had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha and state assembly elections from Pune in 2004 and 2009.
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