Savarkar had filed his first appeal for clemency on August 30, 1911, barely two months after his arrival in Andaman.

Savarkar filed his third mercy petition on September 14, 1914, soon after World War I broke out. “I most humbly beg to offer myself as a volunteer to do any service in the present war, that the Indian government think fit to demand from me,” he wrote. “I know that a Kingdom does not depend on the help of an insignificant individual like me, but then I know also that every individual, however insignificant, is duty-bound to volunteer his or her best for the defence of that Kingdom.” The petition was rejected on December 1, 1914.

Savarkar submitted his fifth mercy petition on January 24, 1920, and the sixth on March 30, 1920.

In fact, the Savarkar brothers and Barindra Ghose were the only political prisoners who begged mercy. “Solitary confinement meant that he was to remain inside the cell,” said Islam. “No hard or light work was allotted to him. It broke him within two months, unlike any other prisoner.

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