#OnThisDay September 21, 1919

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Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Savarkar, in his eighth year of his life sentence at the Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands, writes a letter to his brother.    Malaria and dysentery have caused Savarkar to drop down to 95lb in body weight, relieving him from the rigorous labour.

“I can assure you that the climate of this place is acknowledged as a very unhealthy one and the life in a cellular jail in such a climate as doubly dangerous to the health of even a strongly built man used to hard labour throughout his life –by the medical authorities themselves.”

Savarkar asks his brother if he has heard anything about the order read out in England about the Amnesty of prisoners.

“Some convicts have up to this time been released from this convict colony. But so far as the political prisoners are concerned nothing beyond the vaguest promises was done… An order was read out in the name of the Secretary of state and the Government that so far as the political prisoners were concerned the Government was considering the question of granting some remission to them… being guided by the opinion of the respective provincial Governments …and by the local recommendations of the jail authorities based on the jail conduct of the prisoners. Moreover the personal opinions of the individual prisoner would be carefully weighed before any decision is arrived! Now this language may mean much or what is more likely may mean nothing . ”

Savarkar, in his weakened health, is desperate to get out of prison.Andaman Islands, Cellular Jail