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Publisher's Summary

As the intellectual fountainhead of the ideology of Hindutva, which is in political ascendancy in India today, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is undoubtedly one of the most contentious political thinkers and leaders of the 20th century.

Accounts of his eventful and stormy life have oscillated from eulogizing hagiographies to disparaging demonization. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between and has unfortunately never been brought to light. Savarkar and his ideology stood as one of the strongest and most virulent opponents of Gandhi, his pacifist philosophy and the Indian National Congress.

An alleged atheist and a staunch rationalist who opposed orthodox Hindu beliefs, encouraged inter-caste marriage and dining, and dismissed cow worship as mere superstition, Savarkar was, arguably, the most vocal political voice for the Hindu community through the entire course of India's freedom struggle. From the heady days of revolution and generating international support for the cause of India's freedom as a law student in London, Savarkar found himself arrested, unfairly tried for sedition, transported and incarcerated at the Cellular Jail, in the Andamans, for over a decade, where he underwent unimaginable torture.

From being an optimistic advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity in his treatise on the 1857 War of Independence, what was it that transformed him in the Cellular Jail to a proponent of "Hindutva", which viewed Muslims with suspicion?

Drawing from a vast range of original archival documents across India and abroad, this biography in two parts - the first focusing on the years leading up to his incarceration and eventual release from the Kalapani - puts Savarkar, his life and philosophy in a new perspective and looks at the man with all his achievements and failings.

©2019 Vikram Sampath (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

The first serious biography of Savarkar in English, this book allows us to understand a man whose ideas have come to define contemporary India. (Faisal Devji, Professor of Indian History, University of Oxford)

"A gripping narrative...We get a rich portrait of Savarkar as a poet and writer as well as a political activist and theorist." (Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of History, Harvard University)

"Vikram Sampath's brilliant biography demystifies the man, the thinker and the leader. Far from being a hagiography, the book is essential reading for all those interested in contemporary India and the rise of Hindutva." (Amitabh Mattoo, professor, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University)

What listeners say about Savarkar: Echoes of a Forgotton Past, Vol. 1: Part 2

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This is only Part 2 of Vol 1 and not entire book

Where is Part 1 and the remaining volumes of the book ? It is not available on Audible

12 people found this helpful

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The story that should be told to everyone

A detailed Savarkar biography in English was badly needed in this era of misinformation. Mr. Vikram Sampat not only gives events in Savarkar's life but also explain Savarkar's thought process behind his deeds.
Waiting for next part of Savarkar biography, based on latter half of his life, where Savarkar emerged as a social reformist Hindu leader.

2 people found this helpful

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Part 1?

When downloaded it was part 2 couldn't find part 1 please help, do we need to download part 1 separately?

1 person found this helpful

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Marvelous Book

This Is the most inspiring story and historical truth about great Savarkar. It is amazing piece of work presented by Vikram Sampath

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Great visionary

Haven't he proposed the Hindutva ideology, probably, BJP wouldn't have been in power today. He had such a great rationalistic thought process,Amazing. Our country is propagating towards path of development on his ideology not on Karamchand Ji ideology.

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Thoroughly researched and extremely well narrated

The book is a fantastic compilation of factual data, diving deep into archives to unearth historical truths.

It provides a 360 degree perspective of the ground realities that existed then and brings to light hitherto suppressed history of Savarkar and his commitment to bring freedom to India.

The narration is clear and is definitely worth a hearing!

Best wishes

Sunil Ranade

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Highly recommend!!

Unearthing deep anecdotes and insights into the great personality of Veer Savarkar, a great thinker and visionary too far ahead of his time spending his prime years in prison and the journey there on is super inspiring for generations to come. Thanks to the author for introducing this national hero to the new Indian generation. A must read.

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Good book, audio left much to be desired

It was refreshing to read an unbiased telling of events with no personal commentary.
Very disappointed in the performance though. Unexpected gaps/cuts mid-sentence, pronunciation of words, the meter of reading etc made the listening experience less than pleasant.

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A Masterpiece - Very insightful

Part 2 is equally well researched book which gives detailed account of the hardships endured during his 14 long years of imprisonment in Andamaan and Nikobar and how he started his journey of social reforms from jail itself.

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Outstanding!!!

Good voice modulation in the narration makes the book a pleasure to read.
The book throws a light on the cruelties of Andaman prison and the thrilling lives of revolutionaries in Europe. The book also provides a detailed view of Savarkar's radical views on social reforms combined with his practical approach to reform Hindu society.
A must read to understand Indian society a century ago