Cause of Death: Prolonged Illness
Spouse: Vinayak Damodar Savarkari
Age: 75 Years
Some Lesser Known Facts About Yamunabai Savarkar
- Yamunabai Savarkar was an Indian social activist, best known as the wife of Indian freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
- His father was the head of the princely state of Jawahar in Thane district of Maharashtra. He was raised in an affluent family. Reportedly, she was a dark complexioned girl, but her father did not need to make efforts to find a suitable groom for her. She was a good friend of Yashoda (wife of Vinayak Savarkar’s elder brother Babarao). Vinayak Savarkar’s sharp intellectual abilities caught his father’s attention. Meanwhile, Vinayak’s maternal uncle and elder brother Babarao were also looking for a suitable groom for Vinayak. Then, Savarkar’s maternal uncle suggested an alliance of Yamunabai and Vinayak.
- Soon after Yamunabai and Vinayak’s alliance, her father promised Vinayak that he would bear all her educational expenses in later life. Thereafter, after marriage, Yamunabai created an atmosphere of patriotism in Savarkar’s family. Vinayak Savarkar was a good poet who wrote patriotic poems, and Yamunabai was a good singer who lent her voice to these poems, and other female members of the family remembered them.
- Vinayak Savarkar’s family environment encouraged Yamunabai to join the Atmanirbhar Yuvavati Samaj (Marathi for self-respecting young women’s society). It was an association of patriotic women, which was started by Yashoda (Yesuvahini), wife of Babarao Savarkar. The main objective of this organization was to involve more and more Indian women in nationalism and make them aware of the political conditions of India. He also tried to encourage these women to participate in the Indian independence movement. The organization had a group of 100–125 women which included prominent female Indian freedom fighters such as Godumai Khare and Lakshmibai Datar. The meetings of this organization included singing of patriotic songs composed by Govind (Aaba) Darekar. Songs composed by Vinayak Savarkar were also on his singing list. These women inspired each other by reading anti-British articles, often published in The Kesari. Before becoming a member of this organization, oath had to be taken. read as oath,
In the name of motherland, Shivaji Raja who gained freedom through war and Bhavani Mata who gave strength, I hereby testify before Shivaji and Bhavani Durga Devi that I will use My country Only material, love my country more than my life, strive for the freedom of my country and help those who are doing this.
- Vinayak Savarkar began his studies at Ferguson College soon after being financially supported by his father-in-law. Savarkar used to visit his wife Yamunabai at her home during college holidays. In December 1904, the couple gave birth to a son named Prabhakar, who died in 1905 after suffering from smallpox. Vinayak Savarkar was in London at the time of Prabhakar’s death. In 1906 Vinayak left for London where he was working as a barrister. In India, the British police kept an eye on Vinayak Savarkar’s family for their involvement in revolutionary activities. Babarao Savarkar was sentenced to prison in the Andaman Islands fifteen days after Prabhakar’s death. On the other hand Vinayak was arrested in London and taken to India. During his visit to India, he took an epic part in Marseille and was again arrested and brought to Nashik. Yamunabai Savarkar and her brother traveled from Trimbakeshwar to Nashik to meet her husband Vinayak Savarkar. At Nashik, he received no help from his friends, who were afraid of the wrath of the British. He spent the entire rainy night in a temple in Tambat Ali, Nasik. The next day, she was only allowed to meet her husband for forty-five minutes.
- Immediately after the meeting ended, Vinayak Savarkar walked back thirty steps with his arms raised, assuring his wife and brother that they could happily bear the weight of the handcuffs.
- When Vinayak Savarkar was released from the Andaman jail, Yamunabai got a chance to meet him. After that he was again imprisoned in Ratnagiri district. In May 1924, Vinayak’s younger brother, Narayanrao, brought Babarao Savarkar and Yamunabai to Mumbai when the plague hit Ratnagiri. On 7 January 1925, Yamunabai gave birth to a baby girl and named her Prabhat. The following year, they had another child, whom they named Shalini, who died in infancy.
- Gandhi and his wife Kasturba were on a tour of Maharashtra on 1 March 1927. During a public meeting in Ratnagiri, Gandhi said that he wanted to meet Vinayak Savarkar, but at that time Vinayak was suffering from fever and was unable to meet Mahatma Gandhi. Later, Vinayak invited Mahatma Gandhi and his wife to his home. Kasturba went to Savarkar’s house with her husband. The meeting reportedly lasted for ninety minutes. Reportedly, in Vinayak’s kitchen, Yamunabai and Kasturba shared happiness together.
- On 17 March 1928, Yamunabai gave birth to a child, whom she named Vishwas.
- On 26 July 1930, a public meeting of women was held under the leadership of Yamunabai at the Vitthal temple in Ratnagiri. In this meeting, women members tried to propagate the concept of ‘Swadeshi’ by broadening their movements. On 9 September 1932, an inter-community dinner of women was attended by Yamunabai Savarkar along with Madhavrao Bagal, the leader of Satyashodhak and had visited Ratnagiri. The next day, an All-Hindu Yagya was organized in Ratnagiri, and Yamunabai Savarkar and Vinayak Savarkar were the hosts of the event.
- On 20 August 1936, Yamunabai Savarkar consecrated a holy palanquin, which was established in Maharashtra on the occasion of All Hindu Name Week. On 26 September 1936, Yamunabai participated in an inter-community meal along with 400 other women revolutionaries, including lower castes and ex-untouchables. This dinner was organized at Patit Pawan Mandir in Ratnagiri.
- On 19 April 1941, the women’s wing of the Chitpavan Brahmin Sangh honored Yamunabai for her social work and revolutionary agenda, such as she inspired the women members of her organization to enlist their young children in the Indian Armed Forces.
- On 30 January 1944, Yamunabai participated in an all-Hindu tilgul (sesame and jaggery) program. During the ceremony he gave a speech in which he said that the whole of India is his home. He said,
The nation is my home and my home is my nation.”
- On Vinayak Savarkar’s 61st birthday, his party workers organized a public function in his honor. Yamunabai joined Vinayak on this occasion.
- In December 1950, Yamunabai Savarkar was honored with a traditional sari and other auspicious items like gold necklace and cash during a conference of Hindu Mahasabha held under the chairmanship of Dr. N. B. Khare at Veer Savarkar Nagar, Pune. Her husband did not attend the program due to the deteriorating atmosphere after the Gandhi assassination. Thousands of women participated in this program. A writer named MS Dixit, who released the biography of Yamunabai, was honored with the pen by Yamunabai during the program. On this occasion some famous patriotic women gave speeches in the honor of Yamunabai. These women included Shantabai Gokhale (Pune), Godumai Khare (Nashik), Saraswatibai Kavanikar, Maltibai Agarkar, Lele and Sindhutai Godse.
- In 1956, Yamunabai Savarkar fell ill and doctors suggested her to take bed rest. Later, she was shifted to Dr AK Talwalkar’s Colony Nursing Home in Dadar. In October 1956, he was taken back home. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in October 1963 and was hospitalized. He died on 8 November 1963. On the death of Yamunabai, Vinayak Savarkar said that Mai’s life was complete. he said,
Mother is gone His life is complete. ,
- Vinayak Savarkar wished his family members that soon after the death of Yamunabai, Yamunabai’s body should be taken directly from the hospital to the crematorium and not to the Savarkar Sadan. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar did not attend the funeral of his wife Yamunabai Savarkar. The reason he gave was,
I have already bid farewell to Mai. I don’t feel like going there.”
- Yamunabai Savarkar was a major supporter of Vinayak Savarkar in his campaigns for social reforms in India.
- Reportedly, once Vinayak Savarkar gave shelter to a former untouchable girl in his house in Ratnagiri. Then Yamunabai Savarkar used to take care of that girl.
- Yamunabai stood by Vinayak Savarkar when Vinayak and his house were attacked by a mob soon after Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.
- According to Vinayak Savarkar, the poem ‘Kamala’, which he wrote in a prison before his marriage, exactly matched the personality of Yamunabai.
- Yamunabai Savarkar participated in the untouchability movement, which was organized in Ratnagiri before India’s independence.
- Some media sources claim that Vinayak Savarkar was an atheist while Yamunabai was a religious woman who worshiped Hindu deities every day. Vinayak never stopped Yamunabai from worshiping Hindu deities.