Gandhi's war on Indian revolutionaries

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Nicky G, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. Nicky G

    Nicky G Senior Member Senior Member

    Nov 24, 2014
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    Great read.

    Post independence part is particularly striking:

    The transfer of power in 1947 ensured that the state that followed remained a continuity of the colonial regime. So it looked upon those that ruled over her in her days of subjugation as her comrade and ally, and those who resisted her erstwhile rulers became her enemies rather than her liberator. Mounbatten continued to serve as the Governor General of free India and oversaw the transfer of power (one wonders why a free nation would allow a top ranking foreign national learn of its operational secrets during its formative years). Many of the top bureaucrats of the British regime, who helped formulate and execute British policies that invariably exploited India, continued in their positions of power as trusted aides of the Indian leaders. For example, VP Menon, who served as the Constitutional Adviser and Political Reforms Commissioner to the last three Viceroys during British rule in India, became the right hand of Vallabhbhai Patel and the secretary of the Ministry of the states that Patel headed. Gandhi had only effusive praise for him around the time of the transfer of power. On May 3, 1947, as reported on the front page of Hindustan Times (a newspaper owned by Gandhi's close associate GD Birla) and the Hindu, Gandhi said at a prayer meeting: "British cabinet has sent their best man, who was a warrior and statesman, as Viceroy. He had come to carry out the noble decision of the British Government'' p. 607, Vol. X, [16], p. 386, [7], pp. 27, [44]. He gave the impression, which Mountbatten would articulate later, that "The sole referee of what is or is not in the interest of India as a whole will be Mountbatten in his personal capacity.'' p. 71, [36], p. 386, [7], He described the British withdrawal as "the noblest act of the British nation.'' p. 386, [7], p. 26, [61].

    Not to be left behind, Nehru, Patel and Rajagopalachari were effusive in their commendations for Mountbatten and Churchill and vice versa. Nehru became "Mountbatten's man'', to quote Leonard Mosley, after Mountbatten's arrival in India p. 101, [38], p. 386, [7]. Perhaps, hence, Winston Churchill later called Nehru more than once "The Light of Asia'' pp. 236-237, [39], p. 386, [7] . Mountbatten stated that Patel wrote to him on 31st October 1947: "Your appointment as Governor-General of a Free India - perhaps the greatest evidence India could have offered of its friendship and trust in Britain-is at the same time the greatest personal triumph which a Briton has secured in this country.'' Mountbatten wrote that when he saw Patel before leaving India, Patel spoke of the "debt India owed me'', and asked "How can we prove to you our love and gratitude ? '' pp. 243-244, [37], p. 386, [7]. Rajagopalachari said that "The deepest reality was that for the all-round suspicion, bitterness and ill-will that prevailed during the war-years, Mountbatten had succeeded in substituting unqualified good-will between India and Britain'', and pondered ``has not Lord Mountbatten then done greater service to Britain than Hastings and Clive?'' pp. 304-305, [36], p. 386, [7]. Rajagopalachari had incidentally staunchly backed the British regime during the second world war to the extent that he even opposed the launching of the Quit India movement; he was one of the first to support Jinnah's demand for partition.

    More importantly, Mountbatten wanted the Congress and League leaders to have the Union Jack on the upper canton of their flags. Gandhi, Nehru and Patel were amenable. Gandhi sharply criticised those who opposed. He said: "I have been asked some questions. Here is one: 'One understands that the national flag that has been proposed will have a little Union Jack in a corner. It that is so, we shall tear up such a flag and, if need be, sacrifice our lives.'. His answer was `But what is wrong with having the Union Jack in a corner of our flag? If harm has been done to us by the British it has not been done by their flag and we must also take note of the virtues of the British. They are voluntarily withdrawing from India, leaving power in our hands. A drastic bill which virtually liquidates the Empire did not take even a week to pass in Parliament. Time was when even very unimportant bills took a year and more to be passed. Whether they have been honest in framing the bill only experience will show. We are having Lord Mountbatten as our chief gate-keeper. So long he has been the servant of the British king. Now he is to be our servant. If while we employed him as our servant we also had the Union Jack in a corner of our flag, there would be no betrayal of India in this. This is my opinion. But I understand that the report is not true. It pains me that the Congress leaders could not show this generosity. We would have thereby shown our friendship for the British. If I had the power that I once had I would have taken the people to task for it. After all, why should we give up our humanity?" pp. 86-87, [62]. The plan did not materialize owing to ``the general feeling among Congress extremists.....that Indian leaders were pandering far too much to the British.'' Both Nehru and Jinnah wanted to fly the Union Jack twelve days a year, but did not want their intention to be publicized. This desire was aborted fearing adverse public reaction as well pp. 164, 230-231, 596, Vol. 12, [16], pp. 383-384, [7]. Mountbatten perhaps indeed had provided a greater service to Britain by ensuring a continuity of regime without shedding British blood-a regime that would ensure that the free Indian state would eavesdrop on the families of freedom fighting martyrs, like Subhas Bose, and share the information with Great Britain [45, 46]. While Churchill described Nehru as the light of Asia, he had issued an order to assassinate Subhas Bose. Mountbatten had said "I hated Subhas; he brought together the dregs of Indians in his army.'' p. 576, [6]. Mountbatten had also excluded Subhas Bose's elder brother Sarat Bose from discussions concerning the partition of Bengal, though Sarat Bose was a prominent leader of Bengal Congress, because he had some residual bitterness against the Boses for the sin of the Indian National Army p. 576, [6]. Mountbatten's predecessor, Wavell, had also objected to Sarat Bose's presence in 1946 in the Interim Government because of Subhas Bose's INA and Japanese connections p. 569, [6]. The British clearly made no mistake in distinguishing between the war that Subhas Bose launched against them and the friendly match that the Congress leadership mentioned here played with them.

    The regime that was a continuation of the British found the revolutionaries that lodged a war against them as an inconvenient reminder of what they did not do. It continued with the penalties that the British regime perpetrated on the revolutionaries, and the material incentives the British regime provided to the Indians who betrayed them. Sachindra Nath Sanyal was one of the leading planners for the Ghadar conspiracy, and went underground after it was exposed in February 1915. A close associate of Rash Behari Bose, he made an unsuccessful attempt to organise a mutiny in Indian army in 1915. He functioned as the senior-most leader of India's revolutionary movement after Rash Behari Bose escaped to Japan. He wrote a pamphlet called "Revolutionary" through which he represented a future picture of republic India. He was sent to the dreaded Cellular Jail in the Andamans and in jail he authored the famous book "Bandi Jeevan" (A Life of Captivity), which became the Geeta for a generation of revolutionaries fighting British rule. During a brief release from jail, he continued to engage in anti-British activities, and was returned to Cellular (the only revolutionary to have this distinction twice). He received a life sentence for his participation in the Kakori conspiracy (he was an eminent member of Hindusthan Republican Association of which Bhagat Singh was a part). He contracted TB in jail, probably deliberately infected, and was sent to Gorakhpur Jail for his final months. He died in 1942. His ancestral family home in Varanasi was confiscated. The tragedy is that it has not been returned to his descendants after 66 years of transfer of power (as confirmed by his grand nephew and acclaimed author Sanjeev Sanyal). Similarly, Hansraj Vohra, whose testimony clinched the Lahore case, on the assassination of police officer, Saunders, against Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, and enabled the British government to send the trio to the gallows was not only not tried for treason in free India, but was allowed to prosper in a long journalistic career [69].

    Sukhdev's brother Thapar has alleged that Yashpal, a reknowned Hindi writer, was a police informer: "He used to gather all information from Jai Gopal and then pass it on to the police. Though now dead a few years, he is fondly remembered by his admirers as a great revolutionary and a Hindi writer of no mean significance." [69]. In his autobiography, Yashpal has indeed confirmed that HSRA central committee had issued an order for shooting him dead believing him as likely to betray the party p. 77, [77]. Yashpal had attributed the decision to resentment against his romantic relationship with a woman member of HSRA. It is pertinent to note that Yashpal, who by his own account was supposedly a top leader of HSRA, was neither executed nor incarcerated under trying circumstances like in Cellular as another leader, Sanyal, was. Furthermore, while most revolutionaries were severely persecuted in jails, Yashpal was treated exceedingly well in British jails. He was sent from the jail to a sanatorium to recover his health (in contrast Sanyal was moved from Cellular to Gorakhpur only at the terminal stage of tuberculosis) p. 85, [77]. Yashpal was also allowed to marry while serving his jail sentence, the first ever in the history of Indian jail, and a British deputy commissioner performed the civil ceremony. p. 86, [77]. A new section was subsequently added in the Indian penal code to prevent such ceremonies for prisoners. The truth of the allegation of treason on Yashpal was never investigated in free India. He was instead allowed to flourish in a literary career, and was awarded Padma Bhushan.

    Next, the father of eminent journalist, Khushwant Singh, Sobha Singh, had identified Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt in the trial on the charge that they threw a bomb in the Lahore assembly in 1929. A man of modest education, he was rewarded with several contracts for constructing prominent buildings in Lutyen's Delhi, possibly for the services he rendered to the Raj in the above trial, both before and after freedom. He was famous as `Adha Dilli ka Malik' (Lord of half of Delhi). He became a prominent member of the social elite, became the first Indian President of the New Delhi municipal council and held the post four times, in 1938, 1942, and 1945-46. He was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1938, and was subsequently appointed a member of the Council of States.

    Along with rewarding the men who betrayed the revolutionaries, the ostensibly free Indian state did everything possible to annihilate the memory of the revolutionaries. First it propagated the myth that India was liberated through non-violence. This is notwithstanding the factual counters available in public domain. An extract from a letter written by PV Chuckraborty, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, on March 30 1976, reads thus: "When I was acting as Governor of West Bengal in 1956, Lord Clement Attlee, who as the British Prime Minister in post war years was responsible for India's freedom, visited India and stayed in Raj Bhavan Calcutta for two days`85 I put it straight to him like this: 'The Quit India Movement of Gandhi practically died out long before 1947 and there was nothing in the Indian situation at that time, which made it necessary for the British to leave India in a hurry. Why then did they do so?' In reply Attlee cited several reasons, the most important of which were the INA activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, which weakened the very foundation of the British Empire in India, and the RIN Mutiny which made the British realise that the Indian armed forces could no longer be trusted to prop up the British. When asked about the extent to which the British decision to quit India was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's 1942 movement, Attlee's lips widened in smile of disdain and he uttered, slowly, 'Minimal'." [20].

    Yet, on February 11, 1949, Major General of Staff, PK Khanduri, issued an order recommending that photos of Bose not be displayed at prominent places in army Canteens, Quarter guards or Recreation rooms. Such an order would not be issued without the knowledge of the defense minister. In the regime of the first Information and broadcasting minister, Patel, circulars were sent to All India Radio banning any broadcast related to Bose in January, 1949. The circular created a great commotion in the Calcutta station of the All India radio. Despite a vociferous public demanded for broadcast of a special program on the birthday of Subhas Bose, on January 23, 1949, no programme was broadcast honouring him in the morning or evening; only ten minutes were spared in the afternoon to broadcast the music of the Azad Hind Fauj p. 181, [41].

    In 1948, Loknath Bal, one of the leaders of the heroic Chittagong uprising, sent a proposal for producing a film on the historic event to the director of publicity of the West Bengal government who forwarded the letter to governor Rajagopalachari. The president and some members of the executive committee of the Bengal Congress supported the proposal. But, on 29th April 1948, Rajagopalachari forwarded Loknath Bal's proposal to the then home minister of the central government, Vallabhbhai Patel, along with a note stating that

    "My dear Vallabhbhai,

    I am enclosing a letter from the director of publicity, Government of West Bengal. Crime is pretty bad already. I feel that we shall be adding one more item to the romantic attraction of crime for semi-educated people if we allow such films with an aura of patriotic effort floating about it.

    Also, I believe that, incidentally, it would put money in the hands of people with no pretensions to patriotism, while a small percentage is distributed among those who suffered imprisonment. I think the department responsible for censorship should discourage this and other similar productions. As for the local Congress executive, you know how weak they are against pressure, especially when the final `yes' or `no' doesn't lie with them. I have replied, as in enclosed [paper] to the invitation that I should bless the film in the course of production. pp.151, [40]''

    Agreeing with Rajagopalachari, Patel responded on May 4, 1948: "We at the centre have no control over the production of films, nor over their censorship. Censorship is, for the present, concentrated in the provinces, though we contemplate taking powers in the next session, to have central censorship, as lack of uniformity is resulting in many anomalies. The only way this can be tackled, therefore, is to exercise pressure locally. A hint that even after the film is ready it might not be possible to permit its exhibition would serve the purpose.'' pp.152, [40].

    We therefore see that Vallabhbhai Patel would not be averse to curtailing freedom of expression to prevent dissemination of information on a heroic uprising against the British - what then was the liberty that he was ostensibly seeking to provide? Next, the ticket to governance had enabled the two icons to question the patriotism of those who perhaps suffered more than them in his quest to liberate India (Loknath Bal had spent fourteen years, from 1932-1946 in the dreaded Cellular jail for leading a raid on the British armoury at Chattagram and another gunfight against British military and police in which his brother succumbed among others). Subhas Bose had perhaps foreseen the fate of free India under the Congress High Command and the Gandhian hierarchy, when he wrote to his brother, Sarat Bose on 31.10.1940, from Presidency jail: "If power goes into the hands of such mean, vindictive and unscrupulous persons [Congress High Command] when Swaraj is won, what will happen to the country?'' p. 160, [63]. Indeed, the contempt about the revolutionary effort to free a region of India from the British is palpable in both of Gandhi's trusted aides. Following the footsteps of their eminent Bapu, as also the colonial occupiers, they reduced the armed resistance against the British to ``crime with an aura of patriotic effort floating about it''. No wonder then that the British feted the presumed icons with honors, awards, encomiums, which were reciprocated in due course with greater generosity; and they ruthlessly repressed the other wing of our nationhood, the revolutionaries. The same path has been followed later, by the Congress. Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, the Petroleum Minister in the UPA government, removed a plaque dedicated to Savarkar, and containing his poems at the infamous Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. [90]


    All references in the original link.

    I don't believe I have been as dejected and depressed in a while as I was post reading this compilation of publicly available info - one shudders at what might be secret. The worst outcome of my reading this was the realization that Patel might have been little different than Gandhi and Nehru; worse still, how different in Modi's BJP from the Congis on the fundamentals? From their performance thus far, little.
  3. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

    Sep 6, 2014
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    Milky Bar
    As @Mad Indian says .... Daughter selling brigade.... but these were not the first. I will post the first daughter sellers of India.... The Buddhist Extremists.... ashoka's clique .... the bhikkus.... Gandhi is merely a continuation of these 5th Columnists.

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