Swatantryaveer Vināyak Dāmodar Sāvarkar (Marathi: स्वातंत्र्यवीर विनायक दामोदर सावरकर) (May 28, 1883 – February 26, 1966) was an Indian politician and an Indian Independence Movement activist, who is credited with developing the Hindu nationalist political ideology Hindutva. Commonly addressed as Veer Savarkar (वीर सावरकर,Brave Savarkar), he is considered to be the central icon of modern Hindu nationalist political parties. Savarkar's revolutionary activities began when studying in India andEngland, where he was associated with the India House and founded student societies including Abhinav Bharat Society and the Free India Society, as well as publications espousing the cause of complete Indian independence by revolutionary means. Savarkar would publish The Indian War of Independence about the Indian rebellion of 1857that would be banned by British authorities. He was arrested in 1910 for his connections with the revolutionary group India House. Following a failed attempt to escape while being transported from Marseilles, Savarkar was sentenced to 50-years imprisonment and moved to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
While in jail, Savarkar would pen the work describing Hindutva, openly espousing Hindu nationalism. He would be released in 1921 under restrictions after signing a plea forclemency in which he renounced revolutionary activities. Travelling widely, Savarkar became a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Serving as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar endorsed the ideal of India as a Hindu Rashtra and controversially opposed the Quit India struggle in 1942. He became a fierce critic of the Indian National Congress and its acceptance of India's partition, and was one of those accused in the assassination of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, though he was acquitted by the Court. He spent the last years of his life writing and expounding on Hindutva.