A misleading image showing a comparison of prison cells of Veer Savarkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Mahatma Gandhi is going viral on social media. In the post, it can be seen that Savarkar's cell is empty and does not even have a bed, whereas the cells of Gandhi and Nehru have proper furniture and ventilation.
Social media users have widely shared this post, mentioning how the British government treated Savarkar differently than Gandhi and Nehru.
However, we found that this comparison is misleading. Gandhi was placed under house arrest at the Aga Khan Palace for his role in the Quit India Movement. Similarly, Nehru was also arrested on the eve of the movement and was imprisoned at Ahmednagar Fort. On the contrary, Savarkar was transported for 'life' to the Cellular Jail in Port Blair in 1911.
The claim shows a visual comparison of three cells that Savarkar, Nehru, and Gandhi were lodged in. It goes on to highlight the differences in the pictures – while Savarkar did not even get a bed, the others' cells had proper furniture and ventilation.
WHAT WE FOUND
We divided the collage into three separate photos and performed a reverse image search using Google Lens. This led us to the specific locations of all the prison cells. Further, we used the Google search engine to figure out the details of the three leaders' arrests and imprisonment.
The Hindutva leader was found guilty in the Nasik Conspiracy Case, in which a member of a society started by Savarkar – the Abhinav Bharat Society – fatally shot a magistrate. Savarkar was first arrested in London on 13 March 1910 on charges of abetment of murder and for waging a war against the King.
Following this, the British were to bring him to India. However, during the journey, Savarkar escaped to France when the steamship was halted at Marseilles. Even though he successfully escaped from the ship, he soon came across a French policeman who handed him over to the Britishers.
The news later got out and created tensions between the French and British governments as the incident raised questions about the former's sovereignty. Eventually, both governments signed a written agreement and referred the case to arbitration.
Savarkar was found guilty in the Nasik case in 1910 and the decision of the arbitral tribunal came a year later. He was transported to the Cellular Jail in Port Blair on 24 February 1911. This is where he was reunited with his brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar. In 1921, he was shifted to Ratnagiri.
A comparison clearly highlights the similarities between both the photos. While the post contains the correct image, the context of the judgment and the prison's location appears to be missing.
The former Prime Minister was arrested on the eve of the Quit India Movement in 1942 along with several other leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad. They were imprisoned in a portion of the Ahmednagar Fort.
According to the official PM website, this was Nehru's longest detention and also the last. It was during this time that he managed to write 'The Discovery of India', a book on Indian history and culture.
Apart from this, Nehru has been imprisoned at the Lucknow and Allahabad District Jails. He was also detained in Naini Central Jail, Gorakhpur, and Bareilly Jail. As mentioned earlier, the leaders were detained in the fort and not a prison as claimed in the viral post.
Like Nehru, Gandhi was also arrested for his role in the Quit India Movement in 1942. He was detained along with his wife Kasturba Gandhi, his secretary Mahadev Desai, and several others at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune.
As per a government website, the room is preserved along with the items that were used by the Gandhis while they stayed there.
Gandhi was arrested six times in different places like Palwal, Dandi, and Bombay. He was also imprisoned multiple times at the Yervada Jail. Further, the leaders were put under 'house arrest' and not in prison cells as claimed in the post.
While Savarkar was arrested in 1910, the photos of 'cells' of Nehru and Gandhi are from 1942. These two incidents were 32 years apart. Additionally, Savarkar was sentenced to prison while the other two leaders were detained by the British government to weaken the Quit India Movement.
Although the photos shared in the viral post are accurate, the missing context of the incidents makes the post misleading.