The roadside pavement has become a happy home for Prafulla Chiplunkar, the great grandson of Hindutva ideologue Vir Savarkar, who advocated the ideology of a Hindu nation.
Prafulla, 59, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), is the son of Prabhat Chiplunkar, the son of Savarkar's daughter. After graduation, he took up a job in Thailand and married a local girl, against the wishes of his family.
In 1988, Prafulla was seriously injured during a mountaineering expedition in Himachal Pradesh, which forced him to quit his job.
"I was working with Birla Group from 1971 to 1976. After that I was sent to Thailand for three years. I was senior researcher in IIT Kanpur," says Prafulla Chiplunkar.
Prafulla, who stutters while speaking, prefers solitude after losing his wife and son in an accident in Thailand.
He refused to rejoin his relatives and did not want to take anyone's help. Today, he lives on the footpath.
"I have never gone to their place. Because I don't beg," said Prafulla.
Praffula's great granfather V. D. Savarkar (1883-1966) served as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha and endorsed the ideals of Hindus as a distinct nation and of India as a Hindu Nation.
Savarkar was one of the co-accused in the Mahatma Gandhi assassination case. In the end, he escaped conviction on a legal technicality. But there is little doubt that he was involved in the conspiracy. This is what Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Union Home Minister (and an outstanding criminal lawyer of his time), had to say to Prime Minister Nehru: 'It was a fanatical wing of the Hindu Mahasabha directly under Savarkar that (hatched) the conspiracy and saw it through.' This from Patel, one of the darlings of the RSS-BJP.
Savarkar's 1923 book, 'Hindutva', which argued that only they could be considered truly Indian who had their 'fatherland' as well as 'holy land' in India. This ruled out Indian Muslims, Christians and Jews who had their holy lands in Arabia or Palestine. But this doctrine meant that other non-Hindus like Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs could be considered Indians, since their holy lands lay in India. This became the basis for the claim, routinely made by the Hindu Right ever since, that Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are all in fact 'branches' of Hinduism.
'Hindutva' is the original text of Indian fascism – the ideological rationale for Hindu majoritarianism is drawn from it. All ideologues of the Hindu Right, from 'Guruji' M.S. Golwalkar (the second RSS supremo) to the present BJP stongman L.K. Advani, have based their rhetoric on it. Also, the term itself, 'Hindutva', was coined by Savarkar in this book. There is no previous reference to this term in any text, ancient or modern.
V. D. SAVARKAR, FOUNDER OF HINDUTVA IDEOLOGY AND HIS ADMIRATION TOWARDS FASCISM
If they grow stronger they can play the part of Sudeten Germans alright. But if we Hindus in India grow stronger in time these Muslim friends of the league type will have to play the part of German-Jews instead. We Hindus have taught the Shakas and the Huns already to play that part pretty well. So it is no use bandying words till the test comes. The taste of the pudding is in its eating. (V. D. Savarkar, Hindu Rashtra Darshan, G. Khare, Bombay, 1949, page 65)
Hitler knows better than Pandit Nehru does what suits Germany best. The very fact that Germany or Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown as powerful as never before at the touch of the Nazi or Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political ‘isms’ were the most congenial tonics their health demanded…Pandit Nehru went out of his way when he took sides in the name of all Indians against Germany and Italy. Pandit Nehru might claim to express the Congress section in India at the most. But it should be made clear to the German, Italian or Japanese public that crores of Hindu Sangathanists in India who neither Pandit Nehru nor Congress represents cherish no ill-will towards Germany or Italy or Japan or any other country in the world simply because they had chosen a form of Government or constitutional policy which they thought suited best and contributed most to their national solidarity and strength (‘Speech on India’s Foreign Policy’, Poona, 3.11.1938 in V. D. Savarkar, Veer Savarkar’s Whirlwind Propaganda, A. S. Bhide, Bombay, 1941, pages 51-52.)
Germany was perfectly justified in uniting the Austrian and Sudeten Germans under the German Flag…The fact is that when Germany was weak, they [the British] partitioned [her] piecemeal. Now that Germany is strong, why should she not strike to unite all Germans and consolidate them into a pan-German State and realise the political dream which generations of German people cherished. (‘Speech on India’s Foreign Policy’, Poona, 3.11.1938 in V. D. Savarkar, Veer Savarkar’s Whirlwind Propaganda, A. S. Bhide, Bombay, 1941, page 53.)
In 1939, Savarkar’s Hindu Mahasabha celebrated Germany’s ‘solemn revival of Aryan culture, the glorification of the Swastika, her patronage of Vedic learning, and the ardent championship of the tradition of Indo-Germanic civilisation’ (M. Casolari, ‘Hindutva’s foreign tie-up in the 1930s: archival evidence’, Economic & Political Weekly, 22 January 2000, page 224.)
The Nazi newspaper Volkischer Beobachter reported on Savarkar’s speeches in exchange for the promotion of Germany’s anti-semitic policies in India (C. Jaffrelot, The Hindu Nationalist Movement in Indian Politics, Hurst, London, 1996, pages 51-52). This resulted in Savarkar receiving a copy of Mein Kampf from Germany (M. Casolari, ‘Hindutva’s foreign tie-up in the 1930s: archival evidence’, Economic & Political Weekly, 22 January 2000, page 224.)