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A Refugee in my own country since 1990 because I am a Kashmiri Pandit. A Hard core nationalistic and that is my greatest crime.

Justice for Dr. Narang

By Ashish Bahal

दिल्ली मे भारत द्रोही मुसलमानो ने की हिन्दू डाक्टर की ह्त्या। बांग्लादेश की हार का लिया बदला।

बांग्लादेश की हार के बाद दिल्ली मे अपने बच्चे के साथ रबर की गेंद से क्रिकेट खेल रहे हिन्दू डाक्टर पंकज नारंग की बांगलादेशी शरणार्थी मुस्लिम लडको और महिला ने पीट पीट कर की हत्या

सडक पर आयी गेंद को खोजते हुये उन लडके के तेज चलते स्कूटर की चपेट मे आने से डा० का बेटा बाल-बाल बचा था, डा० ने केवल स्कूटर धीरे चलाने की हिदायत दी थी, वे डा० से लड बैठे डा० ने माफी मांग ली उसके बाद वह मुल्ला अपने मुहल्ले से अन्य 30 – 35 लोगो को लेकर डाक्टर के फ्लैट मे घुसकर उन्हे मारते हुए बाहर निकाला और सडक पर पीट पीटकर हत्या कर दी। उनमे से एक लडके नासिर की अम्मा भी इस पिटाई काण्ड मे शामिल थी ⁉

वस्तुत: उन लडको को गुस्सा बांग्लादेश की हार से था और उसकी प्रतिक्रिया मे भारत की जीत की खुशी अपने बेटे के साथ क्रिकेट खेलकर मना रहे डॉक्टर की ह्त्या की ⁉

कांग्रेस ने साठ सालो मे देश को कितनी गहरी खाई मे धकेल दिया है.. इसका अंदाजा अब धीरे धीरे हो रहा है..‼

● दिल्ली के डॉ.नारंग की हत्या करने वाले बांग्लादेशी मुसलमान थे इसलिए मीडिया खामोश है..⁉सेकुलर गैंग के सिपेहसालार चुप्पी साधे है..‼

● अखलाख पर स्यापा करने वाले सारे कमीने आज चुप है क्यूँकी आज कोई देशद्रोही मुल्ला नही राष्ट्रभक्त हिन्दू मरा है‼

वे मालदा तक आए, आप चुप रहे। टोंक में उन्होंने बवाल किया, आप चुप रहे। इंदौर से लेकर जयपुर तक वे सड़कों पर उतरे, आप खामोश थे। मुंबई के मैदान में उन्होंने शहीदों के स्मारकों को क्षति पहुंचायी, आप चुप रहे।

आपकी चुप्पी से मुझे कोई हर्ज नहीं, कोई दिक्कत नहीं। आखिर, मेरे पास आपकी 1200 वर्षों की चुप्पी का इतिहास है। बस, अपनी नाकामी को आध्यात्मिकता का चोला न पहनाइए।

आपको धकेलने का सिलसिला भी पुराना है।
वह तभी तय हो गया, जब आपके लिए कानून सरकार ने बनाए, लेकिन ‘उनके’ शरिया को कानून का दर्जा दे दिया गया।

धारा 370 से 1990 के दशक में कश्मीर में हुए जनसंहार तक, आपको दीवार से सटाने का ही काम किया गया।

आपकी देवी-देवताओं की नंगी तस्वीरें कला में दर्ज हो गयीं, उन पर बहस और तकरीरें हुईं, Alternate Discourse के नाम से आपको अपमानित करने का पूरा दौर चला, लेकिन Satanic Verses से लेकर लज्जा तक को प्रतिबंधित किया गया, उनके लेखकों के पीछे से सरकार तक ने हाथ हटा लिया।
एक अखबार अगर सोशल मीडिया में हुई बहस (उनके पैगंबर के बारे में) को छाप देता है, तो उसकी प्रतियां जलती हैं, दफ्तर पर हमले होते हैं, आखिरकार उसे माफी मांगनी होती है।

यह पूरे देश में एक जैसा है- मलयालम अखबार हो या मराठी पत्रिका। मुसलमानों के खिलाफ तो छोड़िए, उनकी सच्चाई ही छापकर कोई दिखा दे।
यह सब क्यों है…

क्योंकि वे एक हैं। वे कितने भी पढ़े-लिखे हों, कुछ मामलों पर वे समझौता नहीं करते। आप अपनी आस्था और श्रद्धा के प्रश्नों पर भी डिबेट एंड डिस्कशन के लिए तैयार रहते हैं….

बुद्धि का अजीर्ण मत कीजिए, हमलावर बनिए, अपने नाखून और दांत पैने कीजिए….

और हां, सेकुलरिज्म और गंगा-जमनी तहज़ीब कहीं मिले, तो बताइएगा…।

मुझे भी 25 ग्राम खरीदना है….

#JusticeForDrNarang#

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A Poem By Shilipi Asthana

जय श्री कृष्णाय नमह

शांति के सारे मार्ग बंद हो जाएं तो युद्ध ही एक मात्र विकल्प शेष रह जाता है।

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एक नया रिवाज़ कोई, ईजाद कीजिए,
हक़ीक़त से अपने आप को, दो चार कीजिए,

कसीदे इन्सानियत के, बचपन से पढे हैं,
दो चार सफ़े हौसलों के भी नाम कीजिए,

सोए हुए इस मुल्क में, सोए हैं यहाँ सब,
एक सुबह कहीं छिपी है, तलाश कीजिए,

भागता है हर कोई यहाँ, अपनी ख्वाहिशों के पीछे,
ये मुल्क भी अपना ही है, कुछ खयाल कीजिए,

मैं ये नहीं कहेती, के दुश्मन हैं यहाँ सब,
भेडो में छिपे भेडियों की, पहेचान कीजिए,

इन्सां को कोई खौफ़, अब इन्साँ से ना लगे,
शुरू ऐसी ही कोई रस्म, सरे आम कीजिए,

मोहब्बत हसीं एहसास है, जी भर के कीजिए,
वाजिब हो जहाँ, वहाँ नफ़रतों का भी, एहेतराम कीजिए,

हमारी स्वर्ग सी धरती को जो, दोज़ख बनाने आएँ तो,
ऐसे ज़लिमों से, अपने वतन को आज़ाद कीजिए,

एक मौत ही ज़िंदगी के हर, जलवे का सिला है,
कोई बेमौत ना मारा जाए, पुख्ता इंतज़ाम कीजिए,

एक हर्फ उठाती हूँ मैं, गर साथ सभी आओ तो,
कुचलना सिर सर्पों का है, हर ओर से आवाज़ दीजिए

जिन के हृदय में मैने देश के बिगड़ते हालात को लेकर दुख, क्षोभ, गुस्सा, दर्द देखा है, मै उन सभी तक अपना दर्द पहुँचाना चाहती हूँ। यदि किसी को ये अनुचित लगे तो मैं हृदय से क्षमाप्रारथी हूँ ।

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Shilpi Asthana

Khilafat Movement & Mopla Rebellion

By Sanjeev Nayyar March 2001

A few months ago a group of friends were discussing the reasons for Partition when one of them said that the Khilafat (K) Movement was the starting point of Pan-Islamism, making the Muslims believe or must I say reiterate that they constituted a separate nation. My knowledge about the movement was a big zero. Here is it for you. This essay is based on inputs from The History and Culture of Indian People by the Bharitya Vidya Bhavan and the Tragic Story of Partition by H.V. Seshadri. The essay has four chapters.

1. Events in Turkey that gives you a background to Khilafat.

2. The Khilafat movement.

3. The non-cooperation is referred to briefly since it has its origin in the K movement.

4. The Moplah rebellion in Kerala is a result of the K movement

5. Hindu-Muslim unity!

Events in Turkey  Chapter 1

An attempt was made towards inaugurating a Pan-Islamic movement i.e. the Aligarh movement during the last quarter of the 19th century. It did not succeed but the sentiment never died out altogether. It is proved by the active sympathy of the Indian Muslims (M) towards the Turks in their fight against Italy and the Balkhan powers. Turkeys entry into the war as an ally of Germany put the Indian M into a quandary. Their natural sympathy lie with the Sultan of Turkey as their Caliph or religious head but as British subjects they were to be loyal to the British throne. Realizing their predicament the British PM, Lloyd George declared on 05/01/1918, that the allies were not fighting to deprive Turkey of the rich and renowned lands of Asia Minor and Thrace which are predominantly Turkish in race. These assurances led the Indian M to believe that whatever happened, the territorial integrity and independence of Turkey, so far as her Asiatic dominions would be maintained. However, what happened was different. Thrace was presented to Greece while the Asiatic portions of Turkey passed to England and France. Thus Turkey was dispossessed of her homelands and the Sultan deprived of all real authority. Indian M regarded this as a great betrayal and carried on agitations through out 1919 but to no effect.

At the same time, Mustufa Kemal Pasha a highly gifted leader rose in Turkey brushed aside the weak regime of the Caliph and resolved to make a new, powerful Turkey on modern nationalistic lines. Aware that the Caliph was the religious leader of the Arab world he decided to get rid his country of Arabism and liberate it from the stronghold of the maulvis and mullahs. (Something that Pakistan needs to do today). He was helped by Jamaluddin Afghani, an Arab born in Afghanistan in 1838.

The rise of a powerful state in Turkey did not suit the Brits. They prodded Aga Khan to join hands with the Caliph. Aga Khan and Amir Ali went to Kemal Pasha and begged him to save the Caliph, Abdul Majid. Kemal treated them with contempt and derided Aga Khan (a Shia) and Amir Ali (a Khoja) as heretics of Islam who had no business to advise the Sunni Turkish Muslims. Kemal said that it was ironical that two men who were the pillars of the Brit rule in India had come to advise Turkey on their national policy. He exposed these two men, dethroned Islam from the pedestal of the official state religion and transformed Turkey into a secular state.

But the Khilafat leaders in India would not give up. Under the leadership of the Ali brothers they approached King Abdul Azeez of Arabia to become the new Caliph. The King had the Indians in a corner by asking them If it is Islam that you are zealous about, why do not you join hands with Gandhi and free India of the Brit rule. Thats what Islam teaches. You come to me as a slave of the Brits and it seems to me that you have come to lead me into a Brit trap. Next the leaders approached Reza Shah, the ruler of Iran. But Shah proud of his Aryan tradition, evinced little interest.

In 1921, Muhammad Ali had written a letter to the Amir of Afghanistan inviting him to invade India. The Brits got scent of this and arrested the Ali brothers. On his written assurance that he was no opponent of the Brits he was released. In 1921, when the Khilafat agitation was at its peak, Ali again sent a wire to the Amir urging him not to enter into any agreement with the Brits. When Ali was taken to task by the Congress leaders he showed Swami Shraddananada (renowned Arya Samaj leader) a hand written draft of the wire. The Swami writes What was my astonishment when I saw the draft of the same self-same telegram in the peculiar handwriting of the Father of the non-violent non-cooperation movement. Writing in the Young India in May 1921 Gandhi said, I would, in a sense, certainly assist the Amir of Afghanistan if he waged war against the British govt. It is no part of the duty of a non-violent non-cooperator to assist the govt against war made upon it by others. I would rather see India perish at the hands of the Afghans than purchase freedom from Afghan invasion at the cost of her honor. To have India defended by an unrepentant govt that keeps the Khilafat and Punjab wounds still bleeding is to sell Indias honor. Gandhi was criticized by Lala Lajpat Rai and B C Pal for his statements. Thus it is interesting to note that the Hindu Congress leaders took up the case of the Caliph when the Muslim world itself had refused to do so.

Khilafat Movement  Chapter 2

The annulment of the Partition of Bengal and now the anti-Turkey moves by the British sent waves of hatred and anger among the Muslims for the Brits. The Congress thought that a golden opportunity had been presented to win the Muslims over to their side. At a time when the League was weak and ineffective, the Congress boosted its morale and contributed in no small measure to projecting the League as the sole representative of the Indian Muslims. It was also the first time that the Muslims had remembered the Hindus. Said Maulana Abdul Bari at the Khilafat Conference The Muslims honor would be at stake if they forget the co-operation of the Hindus. I for my part will say that we should stop cow-killing, because we are children of the same soil.

In early 1920 the Indian M started an agitation to bring pressure on the Brits to change her policy towards Turkey. This is known as the Khilafat (K) Movement, received enormous strength because of Gandhis support. Said he to the Muslims, Arise, awake or forever be fallen. If the Hindus wish to cultivate eternal friendship of the Muslims, they must perish with them in the attempt to vindicate the honor of Islam. He felt that the M demand was justified and he was bound to secure the due fulfillment of the pledge the British PM had given to the Indian M during the war.

The last para of the letter Gandhi wrote to the Viceroy immediately after the war conference reads  In the most scrupulous regard for the right of those M states and the M sentiment as to their places of worship, and your just and timely treatment of Indias claim to Home Rule lies the safety of the empire. Thus Gandhi had equated the Khilafat movement with Indias freedom movement. It was not suprising that Gandhi was elected president of the All India Khilafat Conference on 24/11/1919. The Conference asked the M to hold threats of boycott and non-cooperation if the Brits did not resolve the Turkish problem to their satisfaction.

The release of the Ali brothers towards the end of December 1919 gave a great fillip to the K movement. Gandhi had a soft corner for them and they took full advantage of it. Swami Shraddananda narrates one such incident at the Khilafat Conference at Nagpur. The verses of the Koran recited by the Maulanas on that occasion contained frequent references to jehad and the killing of kafirs. But when I drew attention to this phase of the Khilafat movement Gandhi smiled and said they are alluding to the British bureaucracy. In reply I said it was subversive to the idea of non-violence and when the feeling of revulsion came, the Muslims would not refrain from using these verses against the Hindus. The Moplah rebellion only proves how true the Swamis words were. Thus the Congress party lent the full support of its power, prestige and organization to fight for an event that had occurred outside India.

Since the Viceroy did not respond favorably to their requests, Gandhi issued a Manifesto on March 10 outlining his course of action if their demands were not met. The Manifesto is important as it contains the first elaboration of Gandhis Non-violent non-cooperation movement. The power that an individual or a nation forsaking violence can generate is a power that is irresistible, non-cooperation is therefore the only remedy available to us. England cannot expect a meek submission by us to an unjust usurpation of rights which to M is a matter of life and death. Lofty, idealistic sentiments no doubt, but is not pertinent to ask whether Englands treatment of Turkey was a greater humiliation to Indian than Englands treatment of India during the last 150 years and even the recent atrocities in Punjab (Jallianwala Bagh massacre).

While the Mahatama said this, it is worthwhile to note that five years later when the post of Caliphate was abolished by the Turks themselves without creating a stir in the Muslim world. Muslim historian Prof I H Qureshi admits that the claims of the Sultan of Turkey as the supreme religious authority of the Muslim world had no practical influence outside the Ottoman Empire. He adds But now the Indian Muslims had lost their own liberty, they had reason to feel a strong emotional attachment to a Caliph whom they could claim as their own sovereign, even though in a nominal and religious sense. Indeed before the First World War, prayers for the Turkish Sultan had come to be included in the Friday prayers of Indian mosques.

Going back in time, in 1912, Muhammad Ali, the leaders of the K movement scoffed at the idea that Indian Muslims should be affected by events outside India or form a pact with the Hindus to bring pressure on the Brits, two features that marked the K movement of 1919. Said J.W. Hore there is no canon which lays down that the Sultan will always remain the Khalifa. Criticized by his friends but said the Mahatma We talk of Hindu-Muslim unity. It would be an empty phrase if the Hindus hold aloof from the Muslims when their vital interests are at take.

Great sentiment but what Gandhi failed to realize that the Pan-Islamic idea, which inspired the K movement, cut at the very root of Indian nationality. If the sympathy and vital interests of a large section of Indians were bound with a state so distant from India, they could never form a part of Indian nationality. In a way Gandhi admitted that they formed a separate nation, they were in India yet not a part of it. Hindu-Muslim unity is fine but what the Congress failed to understand the Muslim mind and religion. Today, when 2000 year old Buddha statues are destroyed in Afghanistan and the Indian army has lost thousands of soldiers to Islamic terrorism, the Muslims of India rarely take to the streets. However, they are quick to protest publicly on a matter affecting Middle East Muslims.

What did Khilafat achieve? First Muslim fanaticism secured a position of prestige in Indian politics, thereafter; their religious loyalty took precedence over national loyalty. Two the Muslim population so far was divided among various groups and political pulls now became one solid force. Three a new fanatic leadership riding on the crest of the Khilafat wave came to wield the reigns of the Muslim leadership. Four it led to a series of Hindu Muslim riots referred to at the end of chapter three and the Moplah rebellion in chapter four.

Non Cooperation Movement  Chapter 3

On Gandhis advice, the Central K Committee on 28/05/1920 accepted non-cooperation as the only acceptable line of action. The All India Congress Committee that met at Varansasi on 30/5/ urged the British government to recall the Viceroy and award punishment to Sir Michael ODwyer for the Jallianwala bagh massacre. It also protested against the peace terms offered to Turkey was in violation of the promises made by the Brit govt. The Congress protested but opposed the question of non-cooperation. At a meeting held on June 1, the Muslim leaders appealed to the Hindus to cooperate and support non-  cooperation. Several Hindu leaders sympathized but disagreed with the remedy i.e. non- cooperation. Others welcomed it but thought the timing was not right.

At a meeting on June 2 of the Central Khilafat Committee Gandhi told the Muslims that non-cooperation was the only way out. A resolution appointing Gandhi and six Muslim leaders was passed then, who were to decide the future course of action. The meeting also resolved that the Swadeshi movement should be undertaken in right earnest. In addition to complete hartal and public meetings, instructions were issued that no one must be forced to close shop, lawyers must be asked to suspend practice, and parents asked to remove their children from schools, titles must be surrendered.

In August, 1920 Gandhi wrote a letter to the Viceroy and returned all the war medals which were awarded to him by the Brits, Valuable as these honors have been to me, I cannot wear them with an easy conscience so long as my Muslim countrymen have to labor under wrong done to their religious sentiment. I venture to return these medals, in pursuance of the scheme of non-cooperation inaugurated today in connection with the Khilafat Movement”. It is proved beyond doubt that the reason for the 1920 Non Cooperation Movement was incidents in Turkey and not the massacre of Indians in Punjab.

The Special Session of the Congress held in Calcutta on 4/9/1920 was to yet to recover from the demise of the great Tilak. The Congress met in a tense atmosphere to decide upon the momentous but controversial issue of Non-Cooperation. Gandhi sponsored the Resolution for non-cooperation and adoption of Swadeshi and backed by the Ali Brothers, the entire Muslim block but a large section opposed it. It was opposed by Besant, C.R.Das, Jinnah amongst others. Remember that Gandhi had taken the Khilafat decision independent of the Congress before its session.

Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Swami Shraddhananda supported Gandhi. However, prominent Muslims thought differently. Sir Syed strongly decried the belief that the Caliphs sovergeinity extended over the entire Muslim world. Jinnah too opposed the movement. So you see the Hindu leaders were so keen to prove their sincerity to the Indian Muslims that they went headlong into an agitation on events that did not concern them directly. It was probably the first time that religion and politics were mixed together with disastrous consequences for the sub-continent. Unfortunately Hindu leaders continue to behave the same way today. Is it because most of them grew up in British India or have their minds conditioned by the secular read anti-Hindu English press? On the other hand, Maulana Azad swore by the Caliphate.

Indian leaders with a modern outlook should have known that the Caliphate had ceased to be an important for Muslims worldwide yet they stuck their neck out on the issue. Is it not ironical that they had sympathy for the Turks when they were themselves under foreign rule or did not think about the right of self-determination of the Arabs who were under Turkish rule? When later the Congress adopted non-cooperation for the sake of restoring the old status of the Caliph and Swadeshi, they were invoking two contradictory principles in the same breadth  replacing nationalism by autocracy in the one case and autocracy by nationalism in the other.

Despite weak foundations, it was due to Gandhis charisma that the movement caught on. The blind faith in Gandhi was limited to the Hindus but not shared by the Muslims. On 17/9/24, Gandi undertook a fast for 21 days against serious communal riots; he was staying at the house of Muhammad Ali. Yet about a year later Ali said, However pure Gandhis character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view of religion inferior to any Mussalman, even though he is without character. Yes according to my religion and creed, I hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mr Gandhi. So much for the Muslim view of Gandhi although he had staked so much for the Khilafat cause.
Said Jinnah I thanks you for your kind suggestion offering me to take my share in the new life that has opened up before the country. Your methods have already caused split between and division in the public life of the country, not only amongst Hindus and Muslims, but between Hindus and Hindus and Muslims and Muslims.

Bottom line is  Khilafat was the reason for the Non-cooperation movement. It was ratified by the Congress after the movement had started. Swaraj was incorporated later. The term was not corned by Gandhi for which we need to go back to the Partition of Bengal in 1905. We owe the word to Bengalis for popularizing it although it was used by men like Swami Dayananda earlier.

The Prince of Wales was to visit India in November 1921. The Congress decided to boycott his visit. He landed in Mumbai on 17/11/ 1921 which observed a total hartal. Swelling crowds joined the meeting at the meeting that Gandhi addressed. However, the mob turned violent later damaging public property. The hartal was observed successfully through out India. Taken in by the sequence of events, the Government declared the Congress and Khilafat volunteer organization as unlawful. Large-scale arrests followed. Under the leadership of C.R. Das Calcutta witnessed large-scale mobilization of volunteers for the civil disobedience movement. This led to their arrests. During the visit of the Prince to Calcutta, the govt offered to remove the repressive measures if Das called off the boycott but Das stuck to his guns.

Keen for a peaceful settlement with the Congress before the Princes visit to Calcutta, the Viceroy took the initiative and made an offer, is described in Subhash Chandra Boses words The offer that Malaviya brought was that if the Congress agreed to call off the civil disobedience movement, so that the Princes visit would not be boycotted by the public, the govt would simultaneously withdraw the notification declaring the Congress volunteers illegal and release all those who been incarcerated thereunder. They would further summon a Round Table Conference of the representatives of the Government of India and the Congress to settle the future Constitution of India. Maulana Azad and Deshabandhu Das sent a telegram to Gandhi recommending acceptance of the proposal.

Gandhi replied that he insisted on the release of the Ali brothers and their associates as part of the settlement and also an announcement regarding the date and composition of the Round Table Conference. The Viceroy did not agree to Gandhis proposals. Many telegrams passed between Das and Gandhi. By the time Gandhi changed his views, it was too late, the govt had changed its mind. Das was beset with anger and disgust. The chance of a lifetime had been lost, he said. This goes to show the extent Gandhi held Indias future hostage to his love for the Ali brothers or must I say the mirage of Hindu-Muslim unity.

On 01/02/1922, Gandhi wrote to the Viceroy that the people of Bardoli would embark on a civil disobedience movement. He added that he was willing to postpone the Civil Disobedience Movement of an aggressive character provided the govt readdressed the problems of Khilafat, Punjab or Swaraj. As India watched a great battle in the making at Bardoli, it was lost before it had begun. A dastardly crime committed by the people of Chauri Chaura in Uttar Pradesh made Gandhi call off the movement.

At the A.I.C.C. meeting there was wide scale opposition to the calling off of the non-cooperation duly supported by nationalists all over India. There is no doubt that the suspension of the non-cooperation movement had the disastrous effect of developing a spirit of frustration, and this may be regarded as the main cause of political inertia that followed. As very often happens, pent-up energy found an outlet in the Hindu-Muslim riots that followed in the next few years. The Govt correctly gauged the situation, took full advantage of Gandhis unpopularity, was tried and sentenced to six years simple imprisonment.

A serious outbreak at Malegon in the Nashik district of Maharashtra caused considerable loss. The town, predominantly Muslim, was largely affected by the Khilafat agitation. The conviction of several Momins in April, 1921, for carrying arms at a mass meeting in contravention of orders, caused great commotion and a Police Constable was roughly handled. When the City Sub-Inspector proceeded to the town a large mob greeted him; the police had to fire some rounds of small shorts. Since the mob did not disperse, they took refuge in a temple. The mob burnt the temple and several neighboring houses. It is alleged that the mob burnt the temple because the inmates refused to surrender the police to the hands of the mob.

In Giridh, Bihar a mob of about 5,000 pelted the Sub-Inspector with stones and brickbats. In Aligarh a similar thing happened on the arrest of a political agitator Malkhan Singh. Similar incidents were reported elsewhere.

In the Madras and Bombay Residencies mobs of hooligans, with the name of Gandhi on their lips, practiced subtle terrorism and intimidation that the govt found difficult to deal with while Khilafat preachers arouses the frenzy of the poor and ignorant Muslims with the cry Religion in Danger. The Non-Cooperation Movement was directly and indirectly responsible for much violence but the govt measures were often unnecessarily cruel and harsh, deliberately designed to terrorize the people. However, some of the worst excesses were committed by the people and the Congress was eager to minimize and explain away their enormities as the Govt. was keen to highlight them, justifying the actions of their own officials in Punjab. This is best illustrated by the terrorism of the Moplahs and attitude of the Congress, Khilafat towards the whole episode.

Moplah Rebellion  An OffShoot of the Khilafat Movement  Chapter 4

The Moplahs are a band of fanatic Muslims who have descended from the Arabs who settled in the Malabar Coast in about the 8th or 9th century A.D and married mostly Indian wives. They had over the years acquired an unenviable notoriety for crimes perpetuated under the impulse of religious frenzy. They were responsible for 35 minor outbreaks during the Brit rule, the most terrible being the one that took place in August 1921.

During the early months of 1921, excitement spread speedily from mosque to mosque, village to village. The violent speeches of the Ali brothers, the early approach of Swaraj as foretold in the non-cooperating press, the July resolutions of the Khilafat Conference all added fuel to the fire. All through July and August Khilafat meetings were held in which the Karachi resolution was fervently endorsed. Knives, swords etc were secretly manufactured and preparations were made to the proclaim of the coming of the kingdom of Islam. On Aug 20, the District Magistrate of Calicut with the help of troops attempted to arrest certain leaders who were in the possession of arms at Tirurangadi, a severe encounter took place, which was the a signal for an immediate rebellion throughout the whole locality.

Government property was destroyed. Europeans who did not succeed in escaping were murdered. As soon as the administration was paralyzed, the Moplahs declared that Swaraj had been established. A certain Ali Musliar was proclaimed Raja, Khilafat flags were flown, Ernad and Walluvanad were declared Khilafat kingdoms. The main brunt of the Moplah ferocity was borne, not by the govt but by the Hindus were constituted the majority of the population. Massacres, forcible conversions, desecration of temples, foul outrages upon woman were perpetuated freely till troops could arrive to restore order.

By the end of 1921 the situation was under control. The govt. lost 43 troops with 126 wounded while the Moplahs lost 3,000 people. However, the Muslim leaders put the figure at 10,000 and refer to desecration of mosques, atrocities while suppressing the revolt. Outrages upon a large number of Hindus may be corroborated by independent testimony. It would suffice to refer to a few documents.

1. A statement signed by the Secretary and Treasurer of the Kerala Provincial Congress Committee and Secretary Ernad Khilafat Committee and K.V.Gopala Menon refers to the misdeeds of the Moplahs. Their wanton and unprovoked attack on the Hindus, the all but wholesale looting of their houses in Ernad etc, the forcible conversion of Hindus in the beginning of the rebellion and the wholesale conversion of those who stuck to their homes in later stages, the brutal murder of inoffensive Hindus without the slightest reason

Except that they are Kafirs or belonged to the same religion as the policemen, who entered their Tangals or entered their mosques, burning of Hindu temples, the outrage on Hindu woman and their forcible conversion and marriage by the Moplahs.

2. A report dated Calicut, 7/9/1921 published in the Times of India and another dated 6/12/1921 published in the New India, give detailed accounts of the most horrible outrages on women which cannot be reproduced for the sake of decency.

3. Sankaran Nair refers to cases of men who were skinned alive or made to dig their graves before being slaughtered. To read more about the atrocities go to page 362 of the History and Culture of the Indian People published by the Bharitya Vidya Bhavan vol 10.

4. According to the Report of the Enquiry Committee of the Servants of India, the number of Hindus murdered was 1500, the number forcibly converted 20,000 and property looted Rs 3 crs.

5. In a heart-rending petition to Lady Reading, wife of the Viceroy, the Hindu woman of Malabar stated Your ladyship is doubtless aware that even though our unhappy district has witnessed many Moplah outbreaks in the last one hundred years, the present rebellion is unexampled in magnitude as well as unprecedented in ferocity, pregnant woman cut to pieces and left on the roadsides and in the jungles. We remember how driven out of our native hamlets we wandered, starving and naked, the jungles and forests.

6. To those who appealed to the Moplahs in the name of Gandhi they said, Gandhi is a kafir, how can he be our leader? So much for Gandhis Hindu Muslim unity.

7. Said Mrs Annie Besant, Malabar has taught what Islamic rule means and we do not want to see another specimen of Khilafat Raj in India.

The Congress leaders at first disbelieved these stories but the tales of hundreds of refugees landing at Calicut, a wave of horror spread among the Hindus who were not blinded by the new-fanged ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity at any cost. Gandhi himself spoke of the brave God-fearing Moplahs who were fighting for what they considered as religion, and in a manner, which they considered as religious. Little wonder those Khilafat leaders passed resolutions congratulating the Moplahs on the brave fight they were conducting for the sake of religion.

When truth could not be suppressed any longer, and came out with all its naked hideousness, Gandhi tried to conciliate Hindu opinion by various explanations, denials and censure of the authorities which resulted in the following resolution passed by the Congress at Ahmedabad. The Congress expresses its firm conviction that the Moplah disturbance was not due to the Non-Cooperation or the Khilafat Movements, specially as preachers of these movements were denied access to the affected parts by the District authorities for six months before the disturbance, but is due to causes wholly unconnected with the two movements, and that the outbreak would not have occurred had the message of non-violence been allowed to reach them.

Nevertheless the Congress deplores the acts done by certain Moplahs by way of forcible conversions and destruction of life and property, and is of the opinion that prolongation of the disturbance in Malabar could have been prevented by the Govt of Madras accepting the proffered assistance of Maulana Yakub Hassan and allowing Gandhi to proceed to Malabar, and is further of opinion that the treatment of Moplah prisoners as evidenced by the asphyxiation incident was an act of inhumanity unheard of in modern times and unworthy of a Government that calls itself civilized.

This resolution is unworthy of a great political organization, which claims to represent India and not any particular community. Its deliberate attempts to minimize the enormity of crimes by fanatic Moplahs upon thousands of hapless Hindus betrays a mentality which generally characteristised govt. communiqués whitewashing crimes perpetuated by officials upon Indians, and both should be strongly denied by an impartial critic. It is ridiculous to maintain that the Moplah rebellion was not due to the Khilafat or Non-cooperation movements in view of the Khilafat meetings that endorsed the Karachi resolution, proclamation of Khilafat kingdom, flags. The tone of the resolution seems apologetic and reminds me of the English media today who are quick to criticize the Hindu for any form of protest but ignore, underplay acts of violence, intolerance by the Muslims, Christians.

Said Hazrat Mohani in his Presidential speech at the session of the Muslim League held at Ahmdebad on 30/12, The Moplahs justify their action on the ground that at such a critical juncture, when they are engaged in a war against the English, their neighbors read Hindus not only did not help them or observe neutrality but aid and assisted the English in every way. When the Moplahs have left their houses, property and belongings, taken refuge in hills and jungles, it is unfair to characterize as plunder their commandeering of money and other necessaries for their troops from the English or their supporters.

In describing the Moplah action as a religious war against the Brits, Hazrarbhai regards it as a political movement, which cannot be disassociated from the Khilafat agitation. His justification of the Moplah atrocities is not only puerile in the extreme but is contrary to facts. He ignores that most of the looting of Hindu houses happened on 21, 22, 23 Augusts, before the military had arrived in the affected areas i.e. long before the Moplahs had taken to the jungles.

At the annual session of the Khilafat Conference in 1923, Shaukat Ali, President of the session praised the Moplahs while conceding some Hindus had suffered at their hands, he said the while chapter was a closed book since they had a duty to the brave Moplahs. He announced that he and his brother Muhammad Ali would provide for the maintenance of one Moplah orphan. One looks in vain on the part of the Congress or Hindu leaders to help the victims of the Muslim outrage. May be they would be called communal if they had done so, their minds being so well conditioned by the Brits that helping fellow Hindus was a crime. There was a silver lining, however. The Arya Samajis through their Suddhi Movement converted over 2000 Hindus who had been converted to Islam by the Moplahs.

Hindu Muslim Unity!  Chapter 5

The Khilafat Committee died a natural death after the abolition of the Caliphate by Kemal Pasha in 1924. The Hindu-Muslim unity brought about by Gandhi in 1920-21 was artificial in character and did not produce any real change of heart. It was based on common hatred for the Brits, for different reasons though, by the Muslims on account of the treatment meted out to the Caliphate, by the Hindus for Swaraj. The so-called Nationalists Muslims who had joined Gandhi in 1921 were really Pan-islamists who merely exploited Gandhi for securing redress of the Khilafat wrong. As soon as the Khilafat agitation came to an end, they showed their true colors.

M Ali in another vein, after explaining why the Muslim loyalty to the Brit Govt is incompatible with their loyalty to Islam, said Muhammad Ali in his Presidential Address to the Congress in 1923 And if we may not co-operate with Great Britian, is it expedient, to put it on the lowest plane, to cease to co-operate with our non-Muslim brethren. What is that happened since that staunch Hindu, Gandhi, went to gaol for advocating the cause of Islam, that we mist cease to co-operate with his co-religionists.

The Khilafat Movement patronized by Gandhi and the Congress, massacre of the Hindus by the Moplahs, connived at by the Congress and to a certain extent by the Indian Press which blindly followed the Congress left the Hindu Mahasabha as the only organized body to protect the purely Hindu interest.

Early in 1923, there were serious communal clashes in Multan and Amritsar. Later in the year the Muslims started a definite communal movement called Tanzeem and Tabligh in order to organize the Muslims as a virile community. Said Dr Saifuddin K, a well known Muslim leader to the Hindus of Lahore, Listen my dear Hindu brothers, listen very attentively. If you put obstacles in the path of our Tanzim movement, and do not give us our rights, we shall make common cause with Afghanistan or some other Muslim country and establish rule over India.

The Moplah atrocities were followed by the terrible incidents in Multan where Muslims massacred and plundered the Hindus and outraged the honor of woman with impunity. A still greater tragedy was enacted at Kohat in North West Frontier Province. One of the worst riots broke out in Calcutta in May 1923, when an Arya Samaj procession was playing music while passing before a mosque. The Aryas claimed that it was a regular practice before never objected to earlier, the Muslims claimed that it disturbed their prayer. In July 1924, riots took place in Delhi on Bakri-id day. Generally riots were confined to British territory and the Indian states were free from them.

Hindu leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Pandit M M Malaviya realized that the only way the Hindus could save themselves was by organizing themselves. This was accompanied by the Shuddhi Movement referred to above. Not only did this irritate the Muslims but also the Hindu leaders of the Congress looked at these movements as impediments of Hindu Muslim unity. The Banaras session of the Hindu Mahasabha in Aug 1923, was attended by 1500 delegates and visitors belonging to Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Samantists and Arya Samaji sects.

Subsequent to the aggressive Shuddhi Movement by the Arya Samajis, the Muslims were highly agitated. The Samajis were infringing on their 1200 years monopoly so they decided to murder a great proponent of the Shuddhi movement Swami Shraddhananda in his sick bed in 1926. Pattabhi Sitaramayya writes At the Gauhati Congress Session of 1926, Gandhi expounded what true religion was and explained the causes that led to the murder. Now you will perhaps recall why I have called Abdul Rashid (the murderer) my brother and I repeat it. I do not hold him guilty but Guilty are those who excited feelings of hatred against one another.

This happened a few years after the phasad of Hindu Muslim camaraderie during the Khilafat movement. This agitated the Arya Samajis no end but those who thought unilateral concessions to Muslims was the only way to promote Hindu Muslim unity found fault with the aggressive activities of the Samaj. In protest, the International Aryan League convened an Indian Aryan Congress in November 1927. It was presided over by eminent leader Lala Hans Raj and attended by Lala Lajpat Rai and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.

It is very significant that during this period of great communal tension Gandhi kept himself aloof, probably giving up as hopeless any attempt at communal harmony by negotiation after his failure in Lahore in 1924. These events only increased the suspicion, mistrust and hatred between two communities who have different values, cultures.

Muhammad Ali, who was Gandhis trusted during the first Satyagraha campaign refused to join him in the second campaign in 1930. At a meeting of the All India Muslim Conference at Bombay held in April 1930, attended by over 20,000 Muslims he said We refuse to join Mr Gandhi, because his movement is not a movement for the complete independence of India but for making the seventy million of Indian Musalmans dependants of the Hindu Mahasabha. He told members of the Round Table Conference Islam is not confined to India. I belong to two circles of equal size but which are not concentric. One is India and the other is Muslim world. We are not nationalists but super-nationalists. In his address as Congress President in 1923 he reminded the audience that extra-territorial sympathies are part of the quintessence of Islam.

It was the Congress which had in 1916 recognized the Muslims as a separate political entity, it was Gandhi by his action in respect of the Khilafat movement endorsed the view of Muslim leaders that they were Muslims first and Indians afterwards, that their interests were more bound up with the fate of the Muslim world outside India than that of India herself. What else but Pakistan could anyone expect?    

Brought you by Writer-e-#Hashtag Utsaav Koul

Veer Savarkar

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सावरकर दुनिया के अकेले स्वतंत्र योद्धा थे जिन्हें दो-
दो आजीवन कारावास की सजा मिली, सजा को पूरा किया और फिर से राष्ट्र जीवन में सक्रिय हो गए।

● वे विश्व के ऐसे पहले लेखक थे जिनकी कृति 1857 का प्रथम स्वतंत्रता को दो- दो देशों ने प्रकाशन से पहले ही प्रतिबंधित कर दिया।

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● सावरकर पहले ऐसे भारतीय राजनीतिज्ञ थे जिन्होंने सर्वप्रथम विदेशी वस्त्रों की होली जलाई।

● वे पहले स्नातक थे जिनकी स्नातक की उपाधि को स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन में भाग लेने के कारण अँगरेज सरकार ने वापस ले लिया।

● वीर सावरकर पहले ऐसे भारतीय राजनीतिज्ञ थे जिन्होंने सर्वप्रथम विदेशी वस्त्रों की होली जलाई।

● वीर सावरकर पहले ऐसे भारतीय विद्यार्थी थे जिन्होंने इंग्लैंड के राजा के प्रति वफादारी की शपथ लेने से मना कर दिया। फलस्वरूप उन्हें वकालत करने से रोक दिया गया।

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● वीर सावरकर ने राष्ट्र ध्वज तिरंगे के बीच में धर्म चक्र लगाने का सुझाव सर्वप्रथम ‍दिया था, जिसे राष्ट्रपति डॉ. राजेंद्र प्रसाद ने माना।

● उन्होंने ही सबसे पहले पूर्ण स्वतंत्रता को भारत के स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन का लक्ष्य घोषित किया। वे ऐसे प्रथम राजनैतिक बंदी थे जिन्हें विदेशी (फ्रांस) भूमि पर बंदी बनाने के कारण हेग के अंतरराष्ट्रीय
न्यायालय में मामला पहुँचा।

● वे पहले क्रांतिकारी थे जिन्होंने राष्ट्र के सर्वांगीण विकास का चिंतन किया तथा बंदी जीवन समाप्त होते ही जिन्होंने अस्पृश्यता आदि कुरीतियों के विरुद्ध आंदोलन शुरू किया।

● दुनिया के वे ऐसे पहले कवि थे जिन्होंने अंदमान के एकांत कारावास में जेल की दीवारों पर कील और कोयले से कविताएँ लिखीं और फिर उन्हें याद किया। इस प्रकार याद की हुई दस हजार पंक्तियों को उन्होंने जेल से छूटने के बाद पुन: लिखा।

भगतसिंह – मैं नास्तिक क्यों हूँ?

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मैं नास्तिक क्यों हूँ?

भगतसिह

(भगतसिह ने जेल में यह लेख 5-6 अक्टूबर, 1930 को लिखा था। यह पहली बार लाहौर से प्रकाशित अंग्रेज़ी पत्र ‘द पीपुल’ के 27 सितम्बर 1931 के अंक में प्रकाशित हुआ था। इस महत्त्वपूर्ण लेख में भगतसिह ने सृष्टि के विकास और गति की भौतिकवादी समझ पेश करते हुए उसके पीछे किसी मानवेतर ईश्वरीय सत्ता के अस्तित्व की परिकल्पना को अत्यन्त तार्किक ढंग से निराधार सिद्ध किया है।)

एक नया सवाल उठ खड़ा हुआ है। क्या मैं अहम्मन्यता के कारण सर्वशक्तिमान, सर्वव्यापी और सर्वज्ञ ईश्वर के अस्तित्व में विश्वास नहीं करता हूँ? मैंने कल्पना भी नहीं की थी कि मुझे कभी ऐसे प्रश्न  का सामना करना पड़ेगा। लेकिन कुछ मित्रों से हुई बातचीत में मुझे यह संकेत मिला कि मेरे कुछ मित्रों – अगर उन्हें मित्र मान कर उन पर मैं बहुत अधिक  अधिकार नहीं जता रहा हूँ तो – मेरे साथ के अपने थोड़े से सम्पर्क से इस निष्कर्ष पर पहुँचना चाहते हैं कि मैं ईश्वर के अस्तित्व को नकार कर बड़ी ज़्यादती कर रहा हूँ और यह कि मुझमें कुछ अहम्मन्यता है जिसने मुझे इस अविश्वास के लिए प्रेरित किया है।

बहरहाल, समस्या गम्भीर है। मैं ऐसी शेख़ी नहीं बघारता कि मैं इन मानवीय कमज़ोरियों से एकदम ऊपर हूँ। मैं एक मनुष्य हूँ, इससे अधिक कुछ होने का दावा कोई भी नहीं कर सकता। सो मुझमें भी यह कमज़ोरी है। सचमुच अहम्मन्यता मेरे स्वभाव का एक अंग है। अपने साथियों के बीच मुझे निरंकुश कहा जाता था। यहाँ तक कि मेरे मित्र श्री बी.के. दत्त भी कभी-कभी मुझे निरंकुश कहा करते थे। कई अवसरों पर तानाशाह कह कर मेरी निन्दा की गयी। कुछ मित्रों को सचमुच यह शिकायत है, और गम्भीर शिकायत है, कि मैं अनजाने ही अपने विचार दूसरों पर थोपता हूँ और अपनी बातें ज़बरन मनवा लेता हूँ। मैं इन्कार नहीं करता कि एक हद तक यह बात सच है। इसे अहम्मन्यता भी कहा जा सकता है। जितनी अहम्मन्यता अन्य लोकप्रिय मतों के मुक़ाबले हमारे मत में है, उतनी मुझमें भी है। मगर वह व्यक्तिगत नहीं है। हो सकता है, हमारे मत में यह केवल एक समुचित गर्व हो और इसे अहम्मन्यता न माना जाता हो। अहम्मन्यता, अथवा और अधिक ठीक-ठीक कहें तो अहंकार, किसी को अपने ऊपर हो जाने वाले अनुचित गर्व का नाम है। यहाँ मैं जिस प्रश्न पर चर्चा करना चाहता हूँ, वह यही है कि क्या मैं नास्तिक इसलिए बन गया हूँ कि मुझे अपने ऊपर ऐसा अनुचित गर्व है? अथवा इस विषय के सचेत अध्ययन और काफ़ी सोच-विचार के उपरांत मैंने ईश्वर में विश्वास करना छोड़ा है? वैसे, मैं यह स्पष्ट कर दूँ कि अहंकार और अहम्मन्यता दो भिन्न चीज़ें हैं।

पहला मैं यह बात क़तई नहीं समझ सका कि अनुचित गर्व या मिथ्या दम्भ किसी को आस्तिक बनने से कैसे रोक सकता है। वास्तव में मैं किसी महान व्यक्ति की महानता से इन्कार कर सकता हूँ, बशर्ते कि वैसी योग्यता न होने पर भी, अथवा महान होने के लिए वास्तव में आवश्यक या अनिवार्य गुण न होने पर भी, मुझे किसी हद तक वैसी ही लोकप्रियता मिल जाये। यहाँ तक तो बात समझ में आती है। मगर यह कैसे हो सकता है कि कोई आस्तिक निजी अहम्मन्यता के कारण ईश्वर में विश्वास करना छोड़ दे? दो ही बातें हो सकती हैं: आदमी या तो स्वयं को ईश्वर का प्रतिद्वन्द्वी समझने लगे या यह मानने लगे कि वह स्वयं ही ईश्वर है। लेकिन इन दोनों ही स्थितियों में वह सच्चा नास्तिक नहीं बन सकता। पहली स्थिति में वह अपने प्रतिद्वन्द्वी के अस्तित्व से इन्कार ही नहीं करता, दूसरी स्थिति में भी वह एक ऐसी सत्ता के अस्तित्व को स्वीकार करता है जो अदृश्य रहकर प्रकृति की तमाम क्रियाओं को निर्देशित करती है। हमारे लिए इस बात का कोई महत्त्व नहीं कि वह स्वयं को सर्वोच्च सत्ता समझता है अथवा किसी सर्वोच्च सचेत सत्ता को स्वयं से अलग समझता है। मूल बात ज्यों की त्यों है। उसका विश्वास ज्यों का त्यों है। वह किसी भी तरह से नास्तिक नहीं है।

बहरहाल, मेरी बात मान लीजिये। मैं न तो पहली श्रेणी में आता हूँ न दूसरी में। मैं उस सर्वशक्तिमान परमात्मा के अस्तित्व से ही इन्कार करता हूँ। क्यों इन्कार करता हूँ, इसकी चर्चा बाद में करूँगा। यहाँ मैं केवल यह स्पष्ट करना चाहता हूँ कि नास्तिकता के सिद्धान्तों को अपनाने की दिशा में मुझे मेरी अहम्मन्यता ने प्रेरित नहीं किया है। मैं न तो ईश्वर का प्रतिद्वन्द्वी हूँ न उसका अवतार, न स्वयं परमात्मा। पक्की बात है कि अहम्मन्यता ने मुझे ऐसा सोचने के लिए प्रेरित नहीं किया है। इस आरोप को मिथ्या सिद्ध करने के लिए मुझे तथ्यों की जाँच-पड़ताल करने की इजाज़त दीजिये। मेरे इन दोस्तों के मुताबिक़ दिल्ली बमकाण्ड और लाहौर षड्यन्त्र काण्ड के कारण चले मुक़दमों के दौरान मुझे जो आवश्यक लोकप्रियता मिल गयी है, शायद उसी ने मुझमें मिथ्या दम्भ पैदा कर दिया है। ख़ैर, देख लेते हैं कि उनकी बात सही है या नहीं।

मेरी नास्तिकता इतनी नयी चीज़ नहीं। मैंने तो ईश्वर को मानना तभी बन्द कर दिया था जब मैं एक अज्ञात नौजवान था और मेरे उपर्युक्त मित्रों को मेरे अस्तित्व का पता भी नहीं था। कम से कम कॉलेज का एक छात्र ऐसा अनुचित गर्व नहीं पाल सकता जो उसे नास्तिक बना दे। हालाँकि कुछ प्रोफ़ेसर मुझे पसन्द करते थे और कुछ नापसन्द, पर मैं कभी भी परिश्रमी या पढ़ाकू लड़का नहीं रहा। अहम्मन्यता जैसी भावनाएँ पालने का मेरे लिए कोई मौक़ा नहीं था। मैं तो बड़े शर्मीले स्वभाव का लड़का था और अपने भविष्य को लेकर कुछ निराशावादी ख़यालों में खोया रहता था। और उन दिनों मैं पक्का नास्तिक नहीं था। मेरे दादा, जिनके प्रभाव में मेरा पालन-पोषण हुआ, कट्टर आर्यसमाजी हैं। आर्यसमाजी और चाहे कुछ भी हो, नास्तिक नहीं होता। अपनी प्राथमिक शिक्षा पूरी करने के बाद मैं लाहौर के डी.ए.वी. स्कूल में दाखिल हुआ और वहाँ के बोर्डिंग हाउस में पूरे एक साल तक रहा। वहाँ सुबह और शाम की प्रार्थनाओं के अलावा भी मैं घण्टों गायत्री मन्त्र जपता रहता था। उन दिनों मैं पूरा भगत था। आगे चलकर मैं अपने पिता के साथ रहने लगा। जहाँ तक धार्मिक कट्टरता का सवाल है, वे उदारतावादी हैं। उन्हीं के उपदेशों से मुझमें आज़ादी के उद्देश्य के लिए अपना जीवन अर्पित कर देने की आकांक्षा उत्पन्न हुई। लेकिन वे नास्तिक नहीं हैं। वे मुझे प्रतिदिन सन्ध्या उपासना करने के लिए प्रोत्साहित किया करते थे। इस ढंग से मेरा पालन-पोषण हुआ। असहयोग आन्दोलन के दिनों में मैं नेशनल कॉलेज में दाखिल हुआ। वहीं जाकर मैने उदारतावादी ढंग से सोचना और सारी धार्मिक समस्याओं के बारे में, यहाँ तक कि ईश्वर के बारे में भी, बहस और आलोचना करना शुरू किया। मगर ईश्वर में मेरा अब भी पक्का विश्वास था। अब, मैं बिना कटे-छँटे दाढ़ी और केश रखने लगा था, मगर मैं सिख मत या किसी अन्य धर्म के मिथकों और सिद्धान्तों में विश्वास कभी नहीं कर पाया। फिर भी ईश्वर के अस्तित्व में मेरी पक्की आस्था थी।

आगे चलकर मैं क्रान्तिकारी दल में शामिल हुआ। सबसे पहले मैं जिन नेता के सम्पर्क में आया, वे ईश्वर को मानते तो नहीं थे, लेकिन उसके अस्तित्व को नकारने का साहस उनमें नहीं था। मैं ईश्वर के बारे में लगातार उनसे प्रश्न करता जाता तो वे कह दिया करते थे, “जब तुम्हारा मन करे, प्रार्थना कर लिया करो।” अब यह तो ऐसी नास्तिकता हुई कि नास्तिक बनने चले हैं और नास्तिक बनने की हिम्मत आप में नहीं। मैं जिन दूसरे नेता के सम्पर्क में आया, वे आस्तिक थे। उनका नाम बता ही दूँ – वे थे आदरणीय साथी शचीन्द्रनाथ सान्याल, जो कराची षड्यन्त्र काण्ड के सिलसिले में आजीवन कालेपानी की सज़ा भुगत रहे हैं। उनकी प्रसिद्ध और एकमात्र पुस्तक ‘बन्दी-जीवन’ में पहले पृष्ठ से ही ईश्वर की महिमा का ज़बरदस्त गुणगान किया गया है। उस ख़ूबसूरत किताब के दूसरे भाग के अन्तिम पृष्ठ पर अपने वेदान्तवाद के कारण उन्होंने ईश्वर को जो रहस्यवादी स्तुतियाँ गायी हैं, वे उनके विचारों का बड़ा अजीबोग़रीब हिस्सा हैं। 28 जनवरी, 1926 को जो क्रान्तिकारी परचा पूरे भारत में बाँटा गया था, वह मुक़दमे के काग़ज़ात के अनुसार उन्हीं के मानसिक श्रम का परिणाम था। अब यह तो होता ही है कि गुप्त कार्रवाई में प्रमुख नेता अपने उन निजी विचारों को व्यक्त कर डालता है जो उसे निजी तौर पर बहुत प्रिय होते हैं, और शेष कार्यकर्ताओं को मतभेदों के बावजूद उन विचारों से मौन सहमति प्रकट करनी पड़ती है। उस पर्चे में एक पूरा पैराग्राफ़ सर्वशक्तिमान ईश्वर की लीला और करनी की प्रशंसा से भरा हुआ था। वह सब रहस्यवाद है।

मैं कहना यह चाहता हूँ कि नास्तिकता का विचार क्रान्तिकारी दल में भी पैदा नहीं हुआ था। काकोरी काण्ड के चारों विख्यात शहीदों ने अपना अन्तिम दिन प्रार्थनाएँ करते हुए बिताया था। रामप्रसाद बिस्मिल कट्टर आर्यसमाजी थे। समाजवाद और साम्यवाद के अपने विस्तृत अध्ययन के बावजूद राजेन्द्र लाहिड़ी उपनिषदों और गीता के श्लोकों का पाठ करने की अपनी इच्छा को दबा नहीं सके थे। उन लोगों में मैंने सिर्फ़ एक आदमी ऐसा देखा जो कभी प्रार्थना नहीं करता था और कहा करता था कि “दर्शन मानवीय दुर्बलता या सीमित ज्ञान से पैदा होता है।” वह भी आजीवन कालेपानी की सज़ा भुगत रहा है। लेकिन ईश्वर के अस्तित्व को नकारने का साहस वह भी कभी नहीं जुटा सका।

तब तक मैं रूमानी आदर्शवादी क्रान्तिकारी ही था। तब तक हम केवल अनुयायी थे, आगे चलकर पूरी ज़िम्मेदारी अपने कन्धों पर उठाने का समय आया। अनिवार्यतः प्रतिक्रिया इतनी ज़बरदस्त थी कि कुछ समय तक तो दल का अस्तित्व ही असम्भव लगता रहा। उत्साही साथी, नहीं-नहीं, नेता हमारा मज़ाक़ उड़ाने लगे। कुछ समय तक मुझे ऐसा लगता रहा कि कहीं मैं भी अपने कार्यक्रम को व्यर्थ न मानने लगूँ। यह मेरे क्रान्तिकारी जीवन का एक मोड़ था। मेरे दिमाग़ के हर कोने-अन्तरे से एक ही आवाज़ रह-रह कर उठती – “अध्ययन करो। स्वयं को विरोधियों के तर्कों का सामना करने लायक बनाने के लिए अध्ययन करो!” “अपने मत के समर्थन में तर्कों से लैस होने के लिए अध्ययन करो!”

मैंने अध्ययन करना शुरू किया, उससे मेरी पूर्ववर्ती आस्थाओं और मान्यताओं में महत्त्वपूर्ण परिवर्तन हुए। केवल हिंसात्मक उपायों में विश्वास रखने का रूमानीपन, जो हमसे पहले के लोगों पर हावी था, दूर हो गया और उसका स्थान गम्भीर विचारों ने ले लिया। रहस्यवाद और अन्धविश्वास के लिए अब कोई गुंजाइश नहीं रही। यथार्थवाद हमारा मत बन गया। अब हमारी समझ में आया कि शक्ति का प्रयोग अत्यन्त आवश्यक होने पर ही उचित है और आम जनता के तमाम आन्दोलनों के लिए अहिंसा की नीति अपरिहार्य है। यह तो हुई तरीक़ों की बात। सबसे महत्त्वपूर्ण बात थी उस आदर्श की स्पष्ट अवधारणा जिसके लिए हमें लड़ना था। चूँकि उस समय सक्रियता के स्तर पर कोई ख़ास गतिविधियाँ नहीं थीं, इसलिए विश्व-क्रान्ति के विभिन्न आदर्शों का अध्ययन करने के अवसर मुझे ख़ूब मिले। मैंने अराजकतावादी नेता बाकुनिन को पढ़ा, थोड़ा-सा साम्यवाद के जनक मार्क्स को पढ़ा, और अपने देश में सफलतापूर्वक क्रान्ति करने वाले लेनिन, त्रात्स्की तथा अन्य लोगों को ख़ूब पढ़ा। ये सब नास्तिक थे। बाकुनिन की पुस्तक ‘ईश्वर और राज्य’ अधूरी-सी होने के बावजूद इस विषय का एक रोचक अध्ययन है। बाद में निर्लम्ब स्वामी की पुस्तक ‘सहज ज्ञान’ मेरे पढ़ने में आयी। उसमें महज एक रहस्यवादी नास्तिकता थी। अब यह विषय मेरे लिए सबसे ज़्यादा रोचक बन गया। 1926 के अन्त तक मैं इस बात का कायल हो गया कि सारी दुनिया को बनाने, चलाने और नियन्त्रित करने वाली सर्वशक्तिमान परमसत्ता के अस्तित्व का सिद्धान्त निराधार है। मैंने अपने अविश्वास के बारे में दूसरों को बता भी दिया था। मित्रों के साथ मैं इस विषय पर बहस करने लगा। मैं घोषित रूप से नास्तिक बन चुका था। मगर इसका मतलब क्या था, इसकी चर्चा नीचे की जा रही है।

मई 1927 में लाहौर में मेरी गिरफ्तारी हुई। गिरफ्तारी अचानक हुई। मुझे ज़रा भी अन्देशा नहीं था कि पुलिस मेरी तलाश में है। अचानक एक बाग़ में से गुज़रते हुए मैंने पाया कि मैं पुलिस द्वारा घेर लिया गया हूँ। मुझे ख़ुद इस बात की हैरानी है कि मैं उस समय एकदम शान्त रहा। न तो मुझे कोई घबराहट हुई, न मैंने किसी उत्तेजना का अनुभव किया। मुझे हिरासत में ले लिया गया। अगले दिन मुझे रेलवे पुलिस की हवालात में ले जाया गया जहाँ मैंने पूरा एक महीना गुज़ारा।

पुलिस अफ़सरों से कई दिन की बातचीत के बाद मैंने अनुमान लगाया कि उन्हें काकोरी दल से मेरे सम्बन्ध होने तथा क्रान्तिकारी आन्दोलन से सम्बन्धित मेरी अन्य गतिविधियों के बारे में कुछ जानकारी है। उन्होंने मुझे बताया कि जिन दिनों मुक़दमा चल रहा था, मैं लखनऊ गया था; कि मैंने अभियुक्तों से मिलकर उन्हें छुड़ाने की योजना बनाई थी; कि उनकी अनुमति पाकर हम लोगों ने कुछ बम एकत्रित  किये; कि जाँच के तौर पर उनमें से एक बम 1926 के दशहरे के दिन भीड़ में फेंका गया था, फिर उन्होंने मुझसे कहा कि तुम्हारी भलाई इसी में है कि तुम क्रान्तिकारी दल की गतिविधियों पर प्रकाश डालते हुए एक बयान दे दो, इससे तुम्हें जेल में नहीं डाला जायेगा। बल्कि अदालत में मुख़बिर बतौर पेश किये बिना ही तुम्हें छोड़ दिया जायेगा। मैं उनके इस प्रस्ताव पर हँस दिया। उनकी सब बातें वाहियात थीं। हमारे जैसे विचारों वाले लोग अपनी बेकसूर जनता पर बम नहीं फेंका करते। एक दिन सी.आई.डी. के तत्कालीन वरिष्ठ अधीक्षक मिस्टर न्यूमैन मेरे पास आये। और काफ़ी देर तक सहानुभूति जताने वाली बातें करने के बाद उन्होंने मुझे यह ख़बर सुनायी – जो उनके हिसाब से अत्यन्त दुखद थी – कि वे लोग जैसा बयान मुझसे चाहते हैं, मैंने नहीं दिया तो मजबूर होकर उन्हें मुझ पर काकोरी काण्ड के सिलसिले में शासन के विरुद्ध लड़ाई छेड़ने के षड्यन्त्र और दशहरा बमकाण्ड के सिलसिले में हुई क्रूर हत्याओं के लिए मुक़दमा चलाना पड़ेगा। फिर उन्होंने मुझे बताया कि उनके पास मुझे सज़ा दिलाने और फाँसी चढ़ाने के लिए काफ़ी सबूत मौजूद हैं। उन दिनों मैं यह मानता था – हालाँकि मैं बिल्कुल निर्दोष था – कि पुलिस चाहे तो ऐसा कर सकती है। उसी दिन कुछ पुलिस अफ़सरों ने मुझे सुबह-शाम दोनों समय नियम से प्रार्थना करने के लिए प्रेरित करना शुरू कर दिया। अब मैं ठहरा नास्तिक। मैंने अपने मन में यह फ़ैसला कर लेना चाहा कि मैं सुख-शान्ति के दिनों में ही नास्तिक होने की शेखी बघारता हूँ या ऐसी कठिन परिस्थितियों में भी अपने सिद्धान्तों पर अटल रह सकता हूँ। बहुत सोच-विचार के बाद मैंने यह निश्चय किया कि मैं स्वयं को ईश्वर में विश्वास करने और उसकी प्रार्थना करने के लिए तैयार नहीं कर सकता। और मैंने प्रार्थना नहीं की। एक बार भी नहीं की। यह असली परीक्षा थी और मैं उसमें उत्तीर्ण हुआ। एक क्षण के लिए भी मेरे मन में यह विचार नहीं आया कि कुछ अन्य चीज़ों की क़ीमत पर मैं अपनी जान बचा लूँ। इस तरह मैं पक्का नास्तिक था और तब से आज तक हूँ। उस परीक्षा में उत्तीर्ण होना कोई आसान काम नहीं था। आस्तिकता मुश्किलों को आसान कर देती है, यहाँ तक कि उन्हें ख़ुशगवार भी बना सकती है। आदमी ईश्वर में बड़ी ज़बरदस्त राहत और दिलासा पा सकता है। उसके बिना आदमी को अपने ऊपर ही भरोसा करना पड़ता है। और आँधियों-तूफ़ानों के बीच अपने पैरों पर खड़े रहना बच्चों का खेल नहीं है। परीक्षा की ऐसी घड़ियों में अहम्मन्यता अगर हो भी तो कपूर की तरह उड़ जाती है और आदमी प्रचलित विश्वासों को ठुकराने की हिम्मत नहीं कर पाता, अगर करता है तो हमें कहना पड़ेगा कि उसमें निरी अहम्मन्यता के अलावा कोई और ताक़त है।

ठीक यही स्थिति आज है। सब लोग अच्छी तरह जानते हैं कि हमारे मुक़दमे का फ़ैसला क्या होना है। हफ्तेभर में वह सुना भी दिया जायेगा। मेरे लिए इस ख़याल के अलावा और क्या राहत हो सकती है कि मैं एक उद्देश्य के लिए अपने प्राणों का बलिदान करने जा रहा हूँ? ईश्वर में विश्वास करने वाला हिन्दू राजा बनकर पुनर्जन्म लेने की आशा कर सकता है, मुसलमान या ईसाई जन्नत में मिलने वाले मज़े लूटने और अपनी मुसीबतों और क़ुर्बानियों के बदले इनाम हासिल करने के सपने देख सकता है। मगर मैं किस चीज़ की उम्मीद करूँ? मैं जानता हूँ कि जब मेरी गरदन में फाँसी का फन्दा डालकर मेरे पैरों के नीचे से तख़्ते खींचे जायेंगे, सबकुछ समाप्त हो जायेगा। वही मेरा अन्तिम क्षण होगा। मेरा, अथवा आध्यात्मिक शब्दावली में कहूँ तो मेरी आत्मा का, सम्पूर्ण अन्त उसी क्षण हो जायेगा। बाद के लिए कुछ नहीं रहेगा। अगर मुझमें इस दृष्टि से देखने का साहस है तो एक छोटा-सा संघर्षमय जीवन ही, जिसका अन्त भी कोई शानदार अन्त नहीं, अपनेआप में मेरा पुरस्कार होगा। बस और कुछ नहीं। किसी स्वार्थपूर्ण इरादे के बिना, इहलोक या परलोक में कोई पुरस्कार पाने की इच्छा के बिना, बिल्कुल अनासक्त भाव से मैंने अपना जीवन आज़ादी के उद्देश्य के लिए अर्पित किया है, क्योंकि मैं ऐसा किये बिना रह नहीं सका।

जिस दिन ऐसी मानसिकता वाले बहुत से लोग हो जायेंगे जो मानव-सेवा और पीड़ित मानवता की मुक्ति को हर चीज़ से ऊपर समझ कर उसके लिए अपनेआप को अर्पित करेंगे, उसी दिन आज़ादी का युग शुरू होगा। जब वे राजा बनने के लिए नहीं; इहलोक में, अगले जन्म या मृत्यु के उपरान्त स्वर्ग में जाकर कोई अन्य पुरस्कार पाने के लिए नहीं बल्कि मानवता की गरदन पर रखा दासता का जुवा उतार फेंकने के लिए और स्वतन्त्रता एवं शान्ति की स्थापना के लिए दमनकारियों, शोषकों और अत्याचारियों को चुनौती देने की प्रेरणा ग्रहण करेंगे, तभी वे इस मार्ग पर चल सकेंगे जो व्यक्तिगत रूप से उनके लिए भले ही ख़तरनाक हो लेकिन उनकी महान आत्माओं के लिए एकमात्र गौरवपूर्ण मार्ग है।

इस महान उद्देश्य के लिए स्वयं को अर्पित करने में उन्हें जो गर्व होगा, क्या उसे अहम्मन्यता कहा जा सकता है? उन पर ऐसा घृणित लांछन लगाने की हिम्मत कौन कर सकता है? अगर कोई करता है तो मैं कहूँगा कि या तो वह मूर्ख है या धूर्त। चलिए, हम उसे माफ़ किये देते हैं, क्योंकि वह हृदय की गहराई और आवेग को, उसमें उठने वाली भावनाओं और उदात्त अनुभूतियों को समझ ही नहीं सकता। उसका दिल मांस का बेजान लोथड़ा है। उसकी आँखों पर अन्य स्वार्थों का परदा पड़ा हुआ है, इसलिए वे अच्छी तरह देख ही नहीं सकतीं।

आत्मनिर्भरता को अहम्मन्यता के रूप में व्याख्यायित कर लेने की गुंजाइश हमेशा बनी रहती है। यह बड़ी दुखद और बुरी बात है, लेकिन इसके बारे में कुछ किया नहीं जा सकता। आप किसी प्रचलित विश्वास का विरोध करके देखिये, किसी ऐसे नायक या महान व्यक्ति की आलोचना करके देखिये, जिसके बारे में लोग यह मानते हों कि वह कभी कोई ग़लती कर ही नहीं सकता इसलिए उसकी आलोचना की ही नहीं जा सकती, आप के तर्कों की ताक़त लोगों को मजबूर करेगी कि वे अहंकारी कहकर आप का मज़ाक़ उड़ायें। इसका कारण मानसिक जड़ता है। आलोचना और स्वतन्त्र चिन्तन क्रान्तिकारी के दो अनिवार्य गुण होते हैं। यह नहीं कि महात्माजी महान हैं इसलिए किसी को उनकी आलोचना नहीं करनी चाहिए; चूँकि वे पहुँचे हुए आदमी हैं इसलिए राजनीति, धर्म, अर्थशास्त्र या नीतिशास्त्र पर वे जो कुछ कह देंगे वह सही ही होगा; आप सहमत हों या न हों पर आप को कहना ज़रूर पड़ेगा कि यही सत्य है। यह मानसिकता प्रगति की ओर नहीं ले जाती। साफ़ ज़ाहिर है कि यह प्रतिक्रियावादी मानसिकता है।

चूँकि हमारे पूर्वजों ने किसी परमसत्ता में – सर्वशक्तिमान ईश्वर में विश्वास बना लिया था, इसलिए उस विश्वास को या उस परम सत्ता को चुनौती देने वालों को अगर काफ़िर और ग़द्दार कहा जाना है; चूँकि उसके तर्क इतने वज़नी हैं कि उनकी काट सम्भव नहीं और उसकी भावना इतनी प्रबल है कि सर्वशक्तिमान के कोप से उस पर पड़ने वाली मुसीबतों का भय दिखा कर भी उसे दबाया नहीं जा सकता, इसलिए अहंकारी कह कर उसका और अहम्मन्यता कहकर उसकी भावना का मज़ाक़ उड़ाया ही जाना है तो फिर इस बेकार बहस में समय नष्ट करने की ज़रूरत ही क्या? इस सारे मसले पर जिरह करने की कोशिश ही क्यों? मैं जो यह विस्तृत चर्चा छेड़ बैठा हूँ, उसकी वजह यह है कि जनता के सामने यह सवाल पहली बार आ रहा है और पहली बार इस पर किसी लागलपेट के बिना बातचीत हो रही है।

जहाँ तक पहले सवाल का सम्बन्ध है, मेरा ख़याल है मैंने यह स्पष्ट कर दिया है कि मैं अहम्मन्यता से प्रेरित होकर नास्तिक नहीं बना। मेरी तर्कपद्धति स्वीकार्य है या नहीं, यह फ़ैसला मुझे नहीं, बल्कि मेरे पाठकों को करना है। मैं जानता हूँ कि यदि मैं आस्तिक होता तो इन परिस्थितियों में मेरी ज़िन्दगी आसान हो गयी होती, मेरा बोझ हलका हो गया होता। ईश्वर में विश्वास न करने के कारण मेरी हालत खुश्क है और इससे भी बदतर हो सकती है। थोड़ा-सा रहस्यवाद इस स्थिति को ख़ुशगवार बना सकता था, मगर मैं अपनी नियति का सामना करने के लिए किसी नशे का सहारा लेना नहीं चाहता। मैं यथार्थवादी हूँ। मैं अपनी सहजवृत्ति पर विवेक से विजय पाने की कोशिश करता रहा हूँ। मैं इस कोशिश में हमेशा क़ामयाब नहीं रहा हूँ। मगर इन्सान का फ़र्ज़ है कि वह कोशिश करे। सफलता तो संयोग और परिस्थितियों पर निर्भर करती है।

जहाँ तक दूसरे सवाल का सम्बन्ध है कि यदि ईश्वर के अस्तित्व सम्बन्धी पुराने और प्रचलित विश्वास में अविश्वास अहम्मन्यता के कारण नहीं तो उसका कोई और कारण होना चाहिए, मुझे यह कहना है कि हाँ, कारण है। मेरे विचार से जिस आदमी में थोड़ा-सा भी विवेक होता है, वह हमेशा अपनी परिस्थितियों को तर्कसंगत ढंग से समझना चाहता है। जहाँ सीधे प्रमाण नहीं मिलते वहाँ दर्शन हावी हो जाता है। जैसाकि मैं पहले कह चुका हूँ, मेरे एक क्रान्तिकारी मित्र कहा करते थे कि दर्शन मानवीय दुर्बलता का परिणाम है। हमारे पूर्वज जब इस दुनिया के रहस्यों की गुत्थी सुलझाने की कोशिश करते थे; इसके अतीत, वर्तमान और भविष्य को तथा इससे सम्बन्धित ‘क्यों’ और ‘कहाँ से’ आदि को समझने चलते थे, तो उनके पास फ़ुरसत की तो कोई कमी नहीं होती थी मगर प्रत्यक्ष प्रमाण बहुत ही कम होते थे। इसलिए हर आदमी अपने ढंग से समस्या को हल करने की कोशिश करता था। यही कारण है कि विभिन्न धार्मिक मतों में बुनियादी सिद्धान्त पर भारी मतभेद मिलते हैं, जो कभी-कभी नितान्त विरोधी और शत्रुतापूर्ण रूप ग्रहण कर लेते हैं।

प्राच्य और पाश्चात्य दर्शनों में भिन्नता है ही, विश्व के प्रत्येक भू-भाग की अपनी विचार प्रणालियों में भी मतभेद है। प्राच्य धर्मों में इस्लाम और हिन्दू धर्मों में कोई अनुकूलता नहीं है। केवल भारत में ही देखें तो बौद्ध और जैन धर्म कहीं-कहीं ब्राह्मणवाद से बिल्कुल अलग हैं, जो स्वयं आर्यसमाज और सनातन धर्म जैसे परस्पर विरोधी विश्वासों में बँटा हुआ है। इन सबसे अलग प्राचीन काल में चार्वाक दर्शन में एक अपने ही ढंग का स्वतन्त्र विचार मिलता है। चार्वाक ने बहुत पहले ही ईश्वर की प्रभुसत्ता को चुनौती दे दी थी। जीवन और जगत-सम्बन्धी आधारभूत प्रश्न पर इन सभी मतों में भिन्नता है और हर कोई अपनेआप को ही सही मानता है। यही है सारी बुराई की जड़।

प्राचीन काल के विद्वानों और चिन्तकों के प्रयोगों तथा उद्गारों को आधार बनाकर अज्ञान के विरुद्ध आगे की लड़ाई लड़ने और इस रहस्यमयी समस्या का समाधान खोजने के बजाय हम निकम्मे लोग – हमने सिद्ध कर दिया है कि हम निकम्मे हैं – विश्वास की, अपने-अपने मतों में अटल और अडिग विश्वास की, चीख़-पुकार मचाते रहते हैं। इस प्रकार हम मानवीय प्रगति को अवरुद्ध कर देने के दोषी हैं।

प्रगति के समर्थक प्रत्येक व्यक्ति के लिए यह अनिवार्य है कि वह पुराने विश्वास से सम्बन्धित हर बात की आलोचना करे, उसमें अविश्वास करे और उसे चुनौती दे। प्रचलित विश्वास की एक-एक बात के हर कोने-अन्तरे की विवेकपूर्ण जाँच-पड़ताल उसे करनी होगी। यदि कोई विवेकपूर्ण ढंग से पर्याप्त सोच-विचार के बाद किसी सिद्धान्त या दर्शन में विश्वास करता है तो उसके विश्वास का स्वागत है। उसकी तर्क-पद्धति भ्रान्तिपूर्ण, ग़लत, पथ-भ्रष्ट और कदाचित हेत्वाभासी हो सकती है, लेकिन ऐसा आदमी सुधरकर सही रास्ते पर आ सकता है, क्योंकि विवेक का ध्रुवतारा सही रास्ता बनाता हुआ उसके जीवन में चमकता रहता है। मगर कोरा विश्वास और अन्धविश्वास ख़तरनाक होता है। क्योंकि वह दिमाग़ को कुन्द करता है और आदमी को प्रतिक्रियावादी बना देता है।

यथार्थवादी होने का दावा करने वाले को तो समूचे पुरातन विश्वास को चुनौती देनी होगी। यदि विश्वास विवेक की आँच बरदाश्त नहीं कर सकता तो ध्वस्त हो जायेगा। तब यथार्थवादी आदमी को सबसे पहले उस विश्वास के ढाँचे को पूरी तरह गिराकर उस जगह एक नया दर्शन खड़ा करने के लिए ज़मीन साफ़ करनी होगी।

यह तो हुआ नकारात्मक पक्ष। इसके बाद शुरू होता है सकारात्मक कार्य, जिसमें कई बार पुराने विश्वास की कुछ सामग्री पुनर्निर्माण के लिए इस्तेमाल की जा सकती है। जहाँ तक मेरी बात है, पहले ही कह दूँ कि मैं इस विषय का ज़्यादा अध्ययन नहीं कर पाया हूँ। मेरी बड़ी इच्छा थी कि प्राच्य दर्शन का अध्ययन करूँ, लेकिन वैसा कोई संयोग या अवसर मुझे नहीं मिला, मगर जहाँ तक नकारात्मक पक्ष का सम्बन्ध है, मैं पुराने विश्वास के सही होने की बात पर प्रश्नचिह्न लगाने का कायल हो चुका हूँ। मुझे पक्का विश्वास हो गया है कि प्रकृति का निर्देशन और संचालन करने वाली किसी चेतन परम सत्ता का कोई अस्तित्व नहीं है। हम प्रकृति में विश्वास करते हैं और प्रकृति को मानव सेवा में नियोजित करने के लिए उसे मनुष्य की वशवर्ती बनाना समूचे प्रगतिशील आन्दोलन का लक्ष्य है। उसे चलाने वाली कोई चेतन शक्ति उसके पीछे नहीं है, यही हमारा दर्शन है।

नकारात्मक पक्ष की ओर से हम आस्तिकों से कुछ सवाल पूछते हैं: यदि आप के विश्वास के अनुसार कोई सर्वशक्तिमान, सर्वव्यापी और सर्वज्ञ ईश्वर है, जिसने इस पृथ्वी या दुनिया की सृष्टि की तो कृपया यह बताइये कि उसने ऐसा क्यों किया? उसने ऐसी दुनिया क्यों बनाई जिसमें तमाम दुख हैं, तकलीफ़ें हैं, जिसमें वास्तविक जीवन की त्रासदियों का एक अनन्त सिलसिला है और जिसमें एक भी प्राणी पूरी तरह सन्तुष्ट नहीं है?

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कृपा करके यह न कहिये कि यह उसका नियम है, क्योंकि वह किसी नियम से बँधा हुआ है तो सर्वशक्तिमान नहीं है, तब तो वह हम जैसा ही एक ग़ुलाम है। कृपया यह भी न कहिये कि यह उसकी लीला या क्रीड़ा है जिसमें उसे आनन्द आता है। नीरो ने तो एक ही रोम को जलाया था। उसने तो थोड़े-से लोगों की ही जानें ली थीं। उसने तो पूर्णतः अपने आनन्द के लिए कुछ ही त्रासदियों को जन्म दिया था। और इतिहास में उसकी जगह कहाँ है? इतिहासकार उसे किस नाम से याद करते हैं? दुनियाभर की नफ़रतभरी लानतें उस पर बरसायी जाती हैं। अत्याचारी, हृदयहीन और दुष्ट नीरो की भर्त्सना करते हुए पृष्ठ पर पृष्ठ गालियों से भरी कटु निन्दाओं से काले किये गये हैं। एक चंगेज़ख़ाँ था, जिसने हत्या का आनन्द लेने के लिए कुछ हज़ार लोगों की जानें ले ली थी और हम उसके नाम तक से नफ़रत करते हैं। तब आप अपने सर्वशक्तिमान, शाश्वत नीरो को उचित कैसे ठहरायेंगे जो हर दिन, हर घण्टे और हर मिनट असंख्य त्रासदियों को जन्म देता रहा है और आज भी दे रहा है? कैसे आप उसके उन दुष्कृत्यों का समर्थन करेंगे, जो प्रतिक्षण चंगेज़ख़ाँ के दुष्कृत्यों को मात करते हैं?

मैं पूछता हूँ, उसने यह दुनिया बनायी ही क्यों, जो साक्षात नर्क है, जो अनन्त और तल्ख़ बेचैनी का घर है? उस सर्वशक्तिमान ने मनुष्य की सृष्टि क्यों की जबकि उसके पास ऐसी सृष्टि न करने की शक्ति थी? इस सबका औचित्य क्या है? क्या कहा, परलोक में निर्दोष उत्पीड़ितों को पुरस्कार और कुकर्म करने वालों को दण्ड देने के लिए? अच्छा, तो यह बताइये कि उस आदमी को आप कहाँ तक सही ठहरायेंगे जो बाद में मुलायम और आरामदेह मरहम लगाने के लिए आपके शरीर को ज़ख़्मों से छलनी कर दे? ग्लैडिएटरों की संस्था के समर्थक और प्रबन्धक, जो पहले तो लोगों को भूखे और क्रुद्ध शेरों के सामने फेंक देते थे और बाद में अगर वे लोग ज़िन्दा बच जाते तो उनकी बड़ी अच्छी देखभाल करते थे, कहाँ तक सही थे? इसीलिए मैं पूछता हूँ कि उस चेतन परम सत्ता ने इस दुनिया की और उसमें मनुष्य की सृष्टि क्यों की? अपने मज़े के लिए? तो फिर उसमें और नीरो में क्या फ़र्क़ है?

हिन्दू दर्शन के पास तो अभी और भी तर्क होंगे, लेकिन मुसलमानो और ईसाइयो, मैं आप लोगों से पूछता हूँ कि आप के पास ऊपर के सवाल का क्या जवाब है? आप तो पूर्वजन्म में विश्वास नहीं करते। हिन्दुओं की तरह आप यह तर्क नहीं दे सकते कि प्रत्यक्ष रूप से निर्दोष लोग इसलिए दुख पा रहे हैं कि पूर्वजन्म में उन्होंने बुरे कर्म किये थे। मैं तो आप से पूछता हूँ कि उस सर्वशक्तिमान ने छह दिनों तक शब्द के द्वारा इस दुनिया को बनाने की मेहनत क्यों की और क्यों प्रतिदिन यह कहा कि सब ठीक है? आज उसे बुलाइये। उसे पिछला इतिहास दिखाइए। उससे कहिये कि वह वर्तमान स्थिति का अध्ययन करे। देखें वह कैसे कहता है कि “सब ठीक है”! जेलों की कालकोठरियों, गन्दी बस्तियों और झुग्गी-झोंपड़ियों में भूखे मरते लाखों लोग, पूँजीवादी राक्षसों द्वारा अपना रक्त चूसे जाने की प्रक्रिया को धैर्यपूर्वक या रिक्त भाव से देखने वाले शोषित मज़दूरों, मामूली समझ वाले आदमी को भी आतंकित कर देने वाली मानवीय ऊर्जा की फ़िज़ूलख़र्चियों और ज़रूरतमन्द उत्पादकों में बाँटने के बजाय अतिरिक्त उत्पादन को समुद्र में फेंक देने जैसे कार्यों से लेकर नरकंकालों की नींव पर खड़े किये गये शाही महलों तक, हर चीज़ उसे दिखाइये और ज़रा उससे कहलाइये कि “सब ठीक है”! यह सब क्यों और कहाँ से आया? यह है मेरा सवाल। आप ख़ामोश हैं? तो ठीक है, मैं अपनी बात आगे बढ़ाता हूँ।

अच्छा, हिन्दुओ, आप कहते हैं कि जो लोग आज दुख पा रहे हैं वे पूर्वजन्मों के पापी हैं। ठीक, आप यह भी कहते हैं कि आज के उत्पीड़क लोग पूर्वजन्मों के धर्मात्मा हैं इसलिए उनके हाथ में सत्ता है। मानना पड़ेगा कि आप के पूर्वज बड़े चालाक थे। उन्होंने ऐसे सिद्धान्त खोज निकालने का प्रयास किया जिनसे विवेक और अविश्वास के आधार पर की जाने वाली तमाम कोशिशों को दबा दिया जाये। लेकिन आइये, विश्लेषण करके देखें कि वास्तव में इस तर्क में कितना दम है।

क़ानून के प्रसिद्धतम जानकारों की राय में दुष्कर्म करने वाले को दी जाने वाली सज़ा केवल तीन-चार उद्देश्यों की दृष्टि से ही उचित ठहरायी जाती है। ये उद्देश्य हैं: प्रतिकार, यानी बदला लेना; सुधार यानी दोषी व्यक्ति को सुधारकर सही रास्ते पर लाना; और निवारण यानी दण्ड का भय दिखाकर लोगों को दुष्कर्म करने से रोकना। प्रतिकार के सिद्धान्त की भर्त्सना तो आज के सभी प्रगतिशील विचारक करते ही हैं, निवारण के सिद्धान्त का भी यही हश्र होने वाला है। एकमात्र सुधार का सिद्धान्त ही सारवान और मानवीय प्रगति के लिए अपरिहार्य है। इसका उद्देश्य है दोषी व्यक्ति को अत्यन्त सुयोग्य एवं शान्तिप्रिय नागरिक बनाकर समाज को लौटा देना। लेकिन अगर हम सभी मनुष्यों को अपराधी मान भी लें तो ईश्वर द्वारा उन्हें दी जाने वाली सज़ा कैसी है? आप कहते हैं कि वह उन्हें गाय, बिल्ली, वृक्ष, जड़ी-बूटी या जानवर बनाकर दुनिया में भेजता है। आप इन सज़ाओं की संख्या 84 लाख बताते हैं। मैं पूछता हूँ, इसका मनुष्य पर कौन-सा सुधारात्मक प्रभाव पड़ता है? आप को ऐसे कितने लोग मिले जो कहते हों कि पाप करने के कारण पिछले जन्म में वे गधा बने थे? एक भी नहीं। अपने पुराणों के उद्धरण रहने दीजिये। आप की पौराणिक कहानियों में उलझने की फ़ुरसत मेरे पास नहीं है। आप तो यह बताइये, क्या आप जानते हैं कि इस दुनिया में सबसे बड़ा पाप ग़रीब होना है, लेकिन आप के अनुसार यह लोगों को ईश्वर द्वारा दी गयी सज़ा है। मैं पूछता हूँ, आप उस अपराधविज्ञानी को, उस विधिवेत्ता या विधायक को कैसे उचित ठहरायेंगे जो आदमी को अनिवार्यतः और ज़्यादा अपराध करने के लिए मजबूर करने वाली सज़ाएँ तजवीज़ करे? क्या आपके ईश्वर ने इस चीज़ पर ग़ौर नहीं किया? या उसे भी ऐसी बातें अनुभव से सीखनी पड़ती हैं? लेकिन मानवता को अकथनीय दुख झेलकर इसके लिए कितनी बड़ी क़ीमत चुकानी पड़ती है!

किसी ग़रीब और अनपढ़ चमार या भंगी के घर पैदा होने वाले आदमी की नियति आप के ख़याल से क्या होगी? वह ग़रीब है इसलिए पढ़-लिख नहीं सकता। तथाकथित ऊँची जाति में पैदा होने के कारण स्वयं को श्रेष्ठ मानने वाले उसके संगी-साथी उससे नफ़रत करते हैं और अछूत मानकर अलग-थलग रखते हैं। उसका अज्ञान, उसकी ग़रीबी और उसके साथ किया जाने वाला बरताव समाज के प्रति उसके हृदय को कठोर बना देगा। मान लीजिये, वह कोई पाप करता है, तो उसकी सज़ा कौन भुगतेगा? ईश्वर? वह स्वयं, या समाज के ज्ञानवान लोग? घमण्डी और स्वार्थी ब्राह्मणों द्वारा जान-बूझकर अज्ञानी बनाकर रखे गये उन लोगों की सज़ा के बारे में आप क्या कहते हैं जिन्हें आप के पवित्र ज्ञान-ग्रन्थों, यानी वेदों की कुछ पंक्तियाँ सुन लेने का दण्ड अपने कानों में पिघले हुए गरम सीसे की धार झेलकर भरना पड़ता था? अगर उनका कोई अपराध था भी तो उसके लिए ज़िम्मेदार कौन था और उसका नतीजा किसको भुगतना चाहिए था?

मेरे प्यारे दोस्तो, ये सिद्धान्त विशेषाधिकार प्राप्त लोगों के मनगढ़न्त सिद्धान्त हैं। वे इन सिद्धान्तों के जरिये ज़बरदस्ती हथियाई हुई अपनी शक्ति, सम्पन्नता और श्रेष्ठता को उचित ठहराते हैं। याद आया, शायद अप्टन सिक्लेयर ने कहीं लिखा है कि आदमी को अमरता में विश्वास करने वाला बना दो और उसके पास धन-सम्पत्ति आदि जो कुछ भी है, सब लूट लो। वह उफ़ नहीं करेगा, यहाँ तक कि अपने को लूटने में ख़ुद आप की मदद करेगा। धार्मिक उपदेशकों और सत्ताधारियों की मिलीभगत से ही जेलों, फाँसियों, कोड़ों और इन सिद्धान्तों का निर्माण हुआ है।

मैं पूछता हूँ, जब कोई आदमी पाप या अपराध करना चाहता है तो आपका सर्वशक्तिमान ईश्वर उसे रोकता क्यों नहीं? उसके लिए तो यह बहुत ही आसान काम होगा। उसने जंगबाज़ों को मारकर या उनके भीतर युद्धोन्माद को मारकर मनुष्यता को विश्वयुद्ध की महाविपत्ति से क्यों नहीं बचाया? वह अंग्रेज़ों के मन में कोई ऐसी भावना क्यों नहीं पैदा कर देता कि वे हिन्दुस्तान को आज़ाद कर दें? वह तमाम पूँजीपतियों के दिलों में परोपकार का ऐसा जज़्बा क्यों नहीं भर देता कि वे उत्पादन के साधनों पर अपने निजी स्वामित्व के अधिकार को त्याग दें और इस प्रकार सारे मेहनतकश वर्ग को ही नहीं बल्कि सम्पूर्ण मानव समाज को पूँजीवाद के बन्धन से मुक्त कर दें? आप समाजवाद के सिद्धान्त की व्यावहारिकता पर बहस करना चाहते हैं। चलिये, मैं यह ज़िम्मेदारी आपके सर्वशक्तिमान पर ही डालता हूँ कि वह उसे व्यावहारिक बना दे। लोग इतना तो मानते ही हैं कि आम जनता की भलाई के लिए समाजवाद अच्छी चीज़ है। उसका विरोध करने के लिए उनके पास एक ही बहाना है कि वह व्यावहारिक नहीं है। तो अपने सर्वशक्तिमान को बुलाइये और उससे कहिए कि वह बाक़ायदा सारी दुनिया में समाजवाद क़ायम कर दे।

अब आप गोलमाल तर्क देना बन्द कीजिये, वे चलेंगे नहीं। मैं आपको बता दूँ, अंग्रेज़ों का शासन यहाँ इसलिए नहीं है कि यह ईश्वर की इच्छा है, बल्कि इसलिए है कि उनके पास ताक़त है और हम उनका विरोध नहीं करते। वे ईश्वर की सहायता से नहीं, बल्कि तोपों, बन्दूक़ों, बमों और गोलियों, पुलिस और प़फ़ौज तथा हमारी उदासीनता की सहायता से हमें ग़ुलाम बनाये हुए हैं और एक राष्ट्र द्वारा दूसरे राष्ट्र का निर्लज्ज शोषण करने का सबसे घृणित पाप समाज के विरुद्ध सफलतापूर्वक करते चले जा रहे हैं। ईश्वर कहाँ है? वह क्या कर रहा है? क्या वह मानवजाति के इन सब दुखों और तकलीफ़ों का मज़ा ले रहा है? तब तो वह नीरो है, चंगेज़ख़ाँ है, उसका नाश हो!

क्या आप मुझसे यह जानना चाहते हैं कि यदि मैं ईश्वर को नहीं मानता तो दुनिया और इन्सान को कहाँ से पैदा हुआ मानता हूँ? ठीक है, बताता हूँ। चार्ल्स डार्विन ने इस विषय पर कुछ प्रकाश डालने की कोशिश की है। उसका अध्ययन कीजिये। निर्लम्ब स्वामी की पुस्तक ‘सहज ज्ञान’ पढ़िए। इससे कुछ हद तक आपके सवाल का जवाब मिल जायेगा। यह प्राकृतिक घटना है। विभिन्न पदार्थों के आकस्मिक संयोग से उत्पन्न नीहारिका से पृथ्वी की उत्पत्ति हुई। कब? यह जानने के लिए इतिहास देखिये। इसी प्रकार जीवधारी उत्पन्न हुए और उनमें से ही एक लम्बे अरसे के बाद मनुष्य का विकास हुआ। डार्विन की पुस्तक ‘जीवों की उत्पत्ति’ पढ़िए। और इसके बाद की तमाम प्रगति प्रकृति पर विजय प्राप्त करने के लिए मनुष्य द्वारा उसके विरुद्ध किये गये अनवरत संघर्ष से हुई है। इस घटना की यह संक्षिप्ततम व्याख्या है।

आपका दूसरा तर्क यह हो सकता है कि जन्म से ही अन्धे या लंगड़े पैदा होने वाले बच्चे यदि पूर्वजन्म के कर्मों के कारण नहीं तो और किस कारण से ऐसे पैदा होते हैं। जीवविज्ञानी इसकी व्याख्या कर चुके हैं और उनके अनुसार यह महज एक जीववैज्ञानिक घटना है। उनके अनुसार इसके लिए माता-पिता उत्तरदायी होते हैं, चाहे वे गर्भावस्था में ही बच्चे में हो जाने वाली विकृतियों को जन्म देने वाले अपने कार्यों के प्रति सचेत हों या न हों।

स्वाभाविक है कि अब आप एक और सवाल पूछेंगे – हालाँकि सारतः वह सवाल बचकाना है। आपका सवाल होगा: यदि ईश्वर था ही नहीं तो लोग उसमें विश्वास कैसे करने लगे? मेरा उत्तर स्पष्ट और संक्षिप्त है। लोग जिस तरह भूतों और प्रेतात्माओं में विश्वास करने लगे, उसी तरह ईश्वर में विश्वास करने लगे; फ़र्क़ सिर्फ़ यह है कि ईश्वर में विश्वास सर्वव्यापी है और इसका दर्शन बहुत विकसित है। कुछ परिवर्तनवादी यह मानते हैं कि ईश्वर की उत्पत्ति शोषकों की चालबाज़ी से हुई, जो एक परमसत्ता के अस्तित्व का प्रचार करके और फिर उससे प्राप्त सत्ता और विशेष अधिकारों का दावा करके लोगों को ग़ुलाम बनाना चाहते थे। मैं यह नहीं मानता कि उन्हीं लोगों ने ईश्वर को पैदा किया, हालाँकि मैं इस मूल बात से सहमत हूँ कि सभी विश्वास, धर्म, मत और इस प्रकार की अन्य संस्थाएँ अन्ततः दमनकारी तथा शोषक संस्थाओं, व्यक्तियों और वर्गों की समर्थक बनकर ही रहीं। राजा के विरुद्ध विद्रोह करना हर धर्म के मुताबिक़ पाप है।

ईश्वर की उत्पत्ति के बारे में मेरा अपना विचार यह है कि मनुष्य ने जब अपनी कमियों और कमज़ोरियों पर विचार करते हुए अपनी सीमाओं का अहसास किया तो मनुष्य को तमाम कठिन परिस्थितियों का साहसपूर्वक सामना करने और तमाम ख़तरों के साथ वीरतापूर्वक जूझने की प्रेरणा देने वाली तथा सुख-समृद्धि के दिनों में उसे उच्छृंखल हो जाने से रोकने और नियन्त्रित करने वाली सत्ता के रूप, ईश्वर, की कल्पना की। अपने निजी नियमों वाले और पालनहार जैसी उदारता वाले ईश्वर की कल्पना ख़ूब बढ़ा-चढ़ाकर की गयी और वैसा ही उसका विशद चित्रण किया गया। उसके क्रोध और मनमाने नियमों की चर्चा करके उसका इस्तेमाल एक निवारक तत्त्व के रूप में किया जाता था, ताकि आदमी समाज के लिए ख़तरा न बन जाये। उसके पालनहार जैसे गुणों की चर्चा करके उससे पिता, माता, बहिन और भाई, मित्र और सहायक का काम लिया जाता था, ताकि आदमी जब भारी मुसीबत में हो और सब लोग धोखा देकर उसका साथ छोड़ गये हो तो वह इस विचार से तसल्ली पा सके कि कम से कम एक तो उसका सच्चा मित्र है जो उसकी सहायता करेगा, उसे सहारा देगा, और जो ऐसा सर्वशक्तिमान है कि कुछ भी कर सकता है। आदिम युग के समाज में यह चीज़ सचमुच बड़ी उपयोगी थी। मुसीबत में पडे़ आदमी के लिए ईश्वर का विचार मददगार होता था।

समाज ने जिस प्रकार मूर्तिपूजा और धार्मिक संकीर्णताओें के विरुद्ध संघर्ष किया है, उसी प्रकार उसे इस विश्वास के विरुद्ध भी संघर्ष करना होगा। इसी तरह इन्सान जब अपने पैरों पर खड़े होने की कोशिश करेगा और यथार्थवादी बनेगा, तो उसे अपनी आस्तिकता को झटककर फेंक देना पड़ेगा और परिस्थितियाँ चाहे उसे कैसी भी मुसीबत और परेशानी में डाल दें, उनका सामना मर्दानगी के साथ करना पड़ेगा। मेरी हालत ठीक इसी तरह की है।

मेरे दोस्तो, यह अहम्मन्यता नहीं है। यह मेरे सोचने का तरीक़ा है, जिसने मुझे नास्तिक बना दिया है। मैं नहीं जानता कि ईश्वर में विश्वास करने और रोज़ प्रार्थना करने से – जिसे मैं आदमी का सबसे स्वार्थपूर्ण और घटिया काम समझता हूँ – मुझे राहत मिलती या मेरी हालत और भी बदतर हुई होती। मैंने उन नास्तिकों के बारे में पढ़ा है, जिन्होंने साहसपूर्वक सारी मुसीबतों का सामना किया। उन्हीं की तरह मैं भी यह कोशिश कर रहा हूँ कि आखि़र तक, फाँसी के तख़्ते पर भी, मर्द की तरह सिर ऊँचा किये खड़ा रहूँ।

देखिये, इस कोशिश में कहाँ तक क़ामयाब होता हूँ। एक मित्र ने मुझसे प्रार्थना करने के लिए कहा था। जब उन्हें पता चला की मैं नास्तिक हूँ, तो उन्होंने कहा, “अपने अन्तिम दिनों में तुम ईश्वर को मानने लगोगे।” मैंने कहा, “नहीं जनाब, यह नहीं होगा। मैं इसे अपने लिए अपमान और पस्तहिम्मती का काम समझूँगा। स्वार्थपूर्ण इरादों से प्रार्थना हरगिज़ नहीं करूँगा।” पाठको और मित्रो, क्या यह अहम्मन्यता है? अगर है तो मैं इसका हामी हूँ।

(अक्टूबर, 1930)

Shaheed Surya Sen aka Master Da

Before hanging him, British broke his teeth with hammer and pulled out all his nails. His limbs and joints were broken. They dragged his unconscious body to the death rope. His last words were- “….my dream, a golden dream-the dream of Free India….

22nd March is the birth anniversary of Shaheed Surya Sen aka Master Da who was hanged till death for waging war against British Empire. It is because martyrs like him we celebrate freedom, growth and cricket victories. Remember your heroes countrymen who gave their today for your tomorrow.

We as Bharat salutes Martyr Surya Sen on his day. Shaheed Surya Sen amar rahen!

Vande Mataram. Bharat Mata ki Jai.

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Why Brits disliked Netaji and made a Mahatma out of Gandhi

This article has been co-authored by Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, Chandra Mauli Singh.

Section A: Introduction

There has been, for a while, a pervasive disillusionment in India about compromise of core values in politics in India, which has led to mass movements from time to time, the latest being in 2011 initiated by activist Anna Hazare. The degeneration spans:

1) unhealthy nexus between corporates and politics leading to policy choices and administrative decisions based on considerations other than national interests as also influence of money power in electioneering,

2) subversion of national interests through foreign interference,

3) subjugation of ideals and ideologies to personality cults which is manifested in and in turn fed by subversion of internal democracy in political parties, and

4) divisive politics.

The severity of public disenchantment on 1) can be assessed from the fact that Arvind Kejriwal won assembly polls in Delhi within a couple of years of his formal entry in politics by campaigning against the same. It is susceptibility to foreign interference that is believed to have induced major political parties in India to support emergency (CPI supported Indira Gandhi’s declaration of emergency allegedly at the beck and call of Soviet Russia; it is not known if and what major concessions Russia extracted from India in return) and foreign aggression (CPI(M) refused to condemn Chinese invasion of India in 1962). Ironically, the Left parties have been the first to contend that Indian politics is subservient to foreign imperialism and interests. Recently, a member from Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s own party, the JD(U), alleged that Kumar received funds from Pakistan to oppose then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi [67].

Most of the major national and state level leaders in post independence India, spanning from Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Jayalalithaa, Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banarjee, Mayawati have been products of personality cults. Centrality of personality cult in Indian political discourse has led to compromise on democratic principles and financial integrity. It is the dominance of a personality that allowed the suspension of our democracy in form of emergency in 1975. It is again the same personality cult that provided in 1984 the largest ever majority in the history of India to a prime ministerial candidate who joined politics a couple of years back; the regime perpetrated major political blunders  commissioning Indian army in conflicts in which India was not a party) and became embroiled in multiple corruption allegations. Indian politics is now largely dynastic leading to concentration of political power in a handful of political families, and dynasties have invariably been initiated through personality cults. Followers of political cults have remained oblivious to the compromise of interests of the nation by corresponding leaders (alleged disproportionate assets of Mulayam Yadav and Mayawati, facilitation of separatism in Jammu and Kashmir through political understandings between PDP and BJP led by PM Narendra Modi). Finally, no major political party in India, national or regional, adheres to internal democracy in election of its principal office bearers. Prime ministerial and chief ministerial candidates and party presidents are not decided through primaries or internal elections. Provisions for elections of party presidents exist in the two major national level political parties, Congress and BJP, but democratic contests for the same are considered divisive and strongly discouraged. Presidents and prime ministerial and chief ministerial candidates are typically decided by birth or nomination, as in Congress and regional parties, or by unstructured internal consultations as in the BJP. Divisive politics has encouraged regionalism, casteism , discrimination based on religion and marginalisation of mass leaders at state level for perpetuating the hegemony of high commands of national parties.

Tracing the genesis of this all encompassing degeneration of political ethics constitutes the key to its remedy. Through a microscopic examination of the interactions between two polar opposite personae in the history of our freedom struggle – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose – we will establish that all the debilitating factors we have identified can be traced to pre-independence politics led by the former. We choose Gandhi and Bose because they represent opposing concepts of India’s yet unresolved nationhood – one that at best advocates advances in national interests through entreaties, loyalty, compromises and deals and at worst represents abject surrender to foreign imperialism, while the other that believes freedom is not given, it is taken through unrelenting, militant and if necessary violent, struggle. An examination of this interaction will be illuminating for it will reveal that core political ethics were violated through close nexus between premier political leaders like Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel on one hand and multi-millionaire industrialists like Ghanashyamdas Birla and Jamnalal Bajaj on the other. The interests of leading industrialists (Birla, Tata, Bajaj etc) were in part allied with Britain and they naturally served as interface between England and Gandhi. Yet, it will become apparent that Gandhi and his closest disciples (Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajagopalchari, Rajendra Prasad etc) sought to perpetuate their hegemony on Indian National Congress through money power (provided by big corporates) and divisive politics (appealing to regionalism). They also allowed the industrialists to influence key political decisions ignoring obvious conflicts of interest. The same icons of India’s independence struggle (Gandhi, Patel, Nehru) routinely exchanged intelligence and political information with Britain, the colonial master they appeared to fight, and its close ally USA. This information was used by the entities in question to crush internal challenge to the leadership of Gandhi arising from within Congress and nip in the bud political and military movements that would pose serious challenge to colonial interests. Specifically, definitive evidence has recently emerged that Bose’s family members were snooped on by intelligence agencies of independent India, likely with the connivance of the first prime minister Nehru, and even worse such information has been shared with British intelligence agencies [48, 49]. We will show that this murky practice has a long standing precedent in Indian polity – Gandhi was for example privy to intelligence information gathered on then Congress president Subhas Chandra Bose by British agencies (who shared the same with Gandhi) . It is also pertinent to note that prior to independence the leftist blocs decided their courses of action not in national interests but in accordance with instructions from English and Russian communist parties. India’s freedom movement was therefore, not only subverted, but also controlled by multiple foreign powers. We will show how the personality cult surrounding Gandhi was used to subvert the internal democracy in Congress, and more importantly the freedom struggle at crucial junctures of Indian history. We would perhaps be able to conclude that the current maladies afflicting Indian politics represent a continuity of history which could not be contained as India never enacted a clean break from her colonial past and chose as her icons the very same individuals who practised the identified degenerations.

Since this article will be critical of major icons of India’s independence struggle, we would rely on facts that have been reported similarly, in essence, by those at the opposing ends of then political spectrum spanning Bose (a key protagonist himself) on one hand and J Kripalani (a committed Gandhian and a permanent member of the Congress working committee during Gandhi regime), Rajmohan Gandhi (MK Gandhi’s grandson) and Maulana Azad (another permanent member of Congress working committee during Gandhi regime as also a former Congress president-he was also close to Nehru). We will corroborate the facts they report quoting writings of GD Birla, a big industrialist who would be shown to have a close nexus with Mahatma Gandhi and his coterie, and the accounts of GD Birla’s biographer, M Kudiaisya, who was provided access to his private papers by his family. We will establish our contentions on the left parties through information acquired by left ideologues like Suniti Ghosh and eminent historians like Leonard Gordon (author of Brothers against the Raj ). We have used quotes that Suniti Ghosh used in his books after checking most of the primary sources he has cited; we have cited his primary sources as well. We will also cite information provided by generally well regarded secondary sources of history such as RC Majumdar.

Section B: Background – The personality cult of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – its genesis and impact

Section B.1: The extent of the personality cult of Gandhi-Nehru: Congress, at the time, meant Gandhiji

During 1928-1939, MK Gandhi had established complete control on the then predominant party, Indian National Congress, which would become evident by examining his impact on the composition of its principal decision making body, the working committee, and its President. First, JB Kripalani wrote, All important decisions were taken by the working committee as a body. p. 177, [53]. The Nagpur constitution and the Bombay Congress amendments of 1934 concentrated all powers in the hands of the Congress working committee. It had the authority to dissolve an elected Provincial committee or a lower committee. Nehru wrote that That (Congress working) committee was practically his (Gandhi’s) creation: he had nominated it, in consultation with a few colleagues, and the election itself was a formal matter. The backbone of the Committee consisted of members who had served on it for many years and had come to be considered as permanent members p. 287, [51]. Commenting on the period up to the end of the year 1938, JB. Kripalani wrote that Since the time Gandhiji assumed leadership of the freedom fight, the Congress president had been unanimously elected with his goodwill. pp. 177-178, [53]. Nehru wrote that Gandhi has been the president-maker and wanted to be Mussolini all the time while others were made by him temporary kings and figure heads – also that I (Nehru) became president of the Congress entirely because of him [Gandhi] pp. 286-287, [51]. It would be useful to reproduce the relevant parts from Nehru in its entirety:  There is a curious assumption that Vallabhbhai Patel got the Congress presidentship in 1931 in rivalry with Mr Gandhi. As a matter of fact, Mr Gandhi has been bigger person in the Congress (and of course, in the country) than any Congress president could possibly be. He has been the president-maker, and invariably, his suggestions have been followed. Regularly, he refused to preside, and preferred that some of his colleagues and lieutenants should do so. I became president of the Congress entirely because of him. He had actually been elected, but he withdrew and forced my election. Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel’s election was not normal. We had just come out of prison and the Congress Committees were still illegal bodies and could not function in the ordinary way. The Working Committee, therefore, took it upon itself to elect the president of the Karachi Congress. The whole committee, including Vallabhbhai Patel, begged Gandhi to accept the presidentship and thus become the titular head, as he was the real head, of the Congress during the coming critical year. He would not agree and insisted upon Vallabhbhai Patel accepting it. I remember that it was pointed out to him at the time that he wanted to be Mussolini all the time, while others were made by him, temporary kings and figureheads. pp. 286-287 [51]. (The Congressmen who begged Sonia Gandhi to assume the office of the prime minister of India instead of the titular head that Manmohan Singh was, were therefore following in the foot-steps of the Working Committee of 1931 which included both Nehru and Patel.

The author of the official history of the Congress, Pattabhi Sitaramayya said that Gandhi was the power behind the throne. p. 72, [52] (also quoted in p. 562, [2]). The validity of the assessments of Nehru, Kripalani and Sitaramayya is borne by the fact that the first two belonged to the backbone of the Committee Nehru spoke of, that is, they served on it for many years and had come to be considered as permanent members, while the last had complete confidence of Gandhi to the extent that Gandhi nominated Sitaramayya to contest Bose for Congress presidency and would consider his defeat as his own p. 567, [1]. Thus, none of them was a disgruntled member embittered by severance of his privileges so to speak. Bose, who was ideologically opposed to Gandhi, concurred: The Congress working committee today is undoubtedly composed of some of the finest men of India – men who have character and courage, patriotism and sacrifice. But most of them have been chosen primarily because of their blind loyalty to the Mahatma – and there are few among them who have the capacity to think for themselves or the desire to speak out against the Mahatma when he is likely to take a wrong step. In the circumstances the Congress cabinet of today is a one-man show. p. 67, [4]. Examining the interactions between Gandhi and Bose we would show that Gandhi dropped members from working committee whenever they showed substantive disagreements on core policies; also the former in fact installed presidents  by violating established democratic norms and constitutional procedures ( Nehru indicates the same in his last quote that we have reproduced). The working committee would invariably support Gandhi’s presidential nominees (as also his policy choices which would subvert the freedom struggle), as every member owed to him his appointment and continuation. Nehru summed it up well: Gandhiji was the permanent super-president of the Congress and Congress, at the time, meant Gandhiji p. 78, [52] (also quoted in p. 562, [1]). Finally, in Gandhi’s own words (a few weeks before his death): But, today I have become a sort of burden. There was a time when my word was law. But it is no longer so. pp. 394, [88], p. 124, [55]. In other words, for a long time, Gandhi’s words were laws in Congress.

It is remarkable that Gandhi retired from Congress in 1934 and ceased to be a primary member of the Congress party ever since. But, he continued to attend the Congress Working Committee (CWC) and All India Congress Committee (AICC) meetings and no vital decision was made without his consent. Bose analysed this curious phenomenon as follows: The question here arises: has the Mahatma retired. If so, why? He has retired in the sense that his name does not appear in the list of members of the supreme executive of the Congress. But the executive – the working committee – has been backed by his blind supporters. The present working committee is more submissive to the Mahatma than even the working committee of last year, of which the Mahatma was himself a member. Among the personnel of the present working commiteee, the Swarajists or Parliamentarians are conspicuous by their absence. Even MS Aney who dared to differ from the Mahatma on the question of Communal Award, is not there, despite his loyalty and submissiveness in the past. And poor Nariman who ventured to think independently has been virtually kicked out of the committee. In 1924, the Mahatma had really retired from Congress politics together with his party, as the Congress machinery has been seized by his opponents, the Swarajists. Today, the person of the Mahatma may not even be in the committee-but his party is there, stronger than ever. Moreover, he has direct control over the most important department of future Congress activity – the village industries association. The so called retirement of the Mahatma will not, accordingly, diminish his hold over the Congress machinery in any way-but will enable him to disown all responsibility for the failures of the official Congress party for the next few years. His retirement therefore, is only one of his strategic retreats to which he is in the habit of resorting whenever there is a political slump in the country. pp. 342-343 [4]. The discerning readers will note another continuity of history here, that of, power without accountability, enacted by another Congress president, more than 50 years later, in Sonia Gandhi’s nomination of an MP, who never won any direct franchise, Manmohan Singh, as PM.

Section B.2: The genesis of the personality cult of Gandhi

How Gandhi acquired this over-arching control over Congress constitutes an elaborate study in itself which is beyond the scope of this article. We mention the points that would be pertinent to this article.

Section B.2.1 Mass support due to attribution of religiosity to a political leader

First, Gandhi was undoubtedly popular among the masses in at least north and west of India. He came across more as a religious leader, the Mahatma, to them, as opposed to a political leader. His popularity relied on a combination of religiosity, irrationality and susceptibility to personas who come across as avatars promising to attain mission impossible. Bose analyses the phenomenon well: Though Hindu society has never had an established church like Europe, the mass of the people have been profoundly susceptible to the influence of avatars, priests, and gurus. The spiritual man has wielded the largest influence in India, and he is called a saint, or mahatma, or sadhu. For various reasons, Gandhiji came to be looked upon the masses as a Mahatma before he became the undisputed political leader of India. At the Nagpur Congress in December 1920, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was till then a nationalist leader, addressed him as Mr Gandhi, and he was shouted down by thousands of people who insisted that he should address him as Mahatma Gandhi. The asceticism of Gandhiji, his simple life, his vegetarian diet, his adherence to truth and his consequent fearlessness – all combined to give him a halo of saintliness. His loin cloth was reminiscent of Christ, while his sitting posture at the time was reminiscent of Buddha. Now, all this was a tremendous asset to the Mahatma in compelling the attention and obedience of his countrymen. As we have already seen, a large and influential section of the intelligentsia was against him, but this opposition was gradually worn down through the enthusiastic support given by the masses. Consciously or unconsciously, the Mahatma fully exploited the mass psychology of the people, just as Lenin did the same thing in Russia, Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany… In 1920, when the Congress began to preach the political doctrine of non-co-operation, a large number of Congressmen who had accepted the Mahatma as not merely a political leader but also as a religious preceptor – began to preach the cult of the new messiah. As a consequence, many people gave up eating fish and meat, took the same dress as the Mahatma, adopted his daily habits like morning and evening prayer, and began to talk more of spiritual freedom than of political Swaraj. In many parts of the country, the Mahatma began to be worshipped as an avatar. Such was the madness that seized the country that in April 1923 in a politically minded province like Bengal, a resolution moved at the Jessore political conference to the effect that the goal of the Congress was not spiritual Swaraj but political Swaraj was defeated at the end of a heated debate. In 1922, when the writer was in prison, the Indian warders in the service of the prisons department would refuse to believe that the Mahatma had been cast in prison by the British Government. They would say in all seriousness that if Gandhiji was a Mahatma, he could assume the shape of a bird and escape from prison any moment he liked. To make matters worse, political issues would no longer be considered in the cold light of reason, but would be unnecessarily mixed up with ethical issues. The Mahatma and his followers, would not for example countenance the boycott of British goods [during 1920-1922], because that would engender hatred towards the British. Even so intellectual a personality as the celebrated poetess, Sarojini Naidu, in her speech at the Gaya Congress in December 1922, condemned the Swarajist policies on the ground that councils were places of Maya, where Congressmen would be tempted by bureaucratic overtures. And worst of all was the tendency on the part of the orthodox followers of the Mahatma to regard everything that he said as the Gospel truth without reasoning or arguing and to accept his paper Young India as their Bible pp. 126-127, [4]. Wherever Gandhi went, he held prayer meetings, which were extensively attended. Bose observed about the Congress session at Karachi in March, 1931: During the Congress session, the Mahatma used to hold a public prayer in the morning, and unprecedented crowds attended it. No propaganda could be more effective in drawing public support. p. 230 [4]. Maulana. Azad had observed: I may here confess that many people thought that Gandhiji would bring freedom for India, by some magic or superhuman effort, and did not therefore think it necessary to make any special personal effort . p. 83, [45]. Pertinent to note that attribution of spiritual or messianic halo to political leaders has perpetuated in India ever since – Indira Gandhi came across as a Goddess to the under-privileged section of India, temples have been built with Sonia Gandhi and Narendra Modi as presiding Gods and Godesses, Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal are both considered as messiahs as good governance and clean politics by their respective followers.

Gandhi was certainly aware of the benefits of the attribution of spiritual halo. In a prayer meeting in 1947, he stated in our country, a Mahatma enjoys the right to do anything. He may commit murder, indulge in acts of debauchery or whatever else he chooses; he is always pardoned. Who is there to question him? pp. 162, [90], pp. 124-125, [55]. He also knew how to come across as a Mahatma, as he said: If one makes a fuss of eating and drinking and wears a langoti, one can easily acquire the title of Mahatma in this country. pp. 189, [89], p. 124, [55]. He started wearing his famous loin cloth only after he returned to India from South Africa and he did sport Western attire during his political agitation in the latter. Truth be told, he did not utilise his title to directly perpetrate any of the atrocities he enumerates, but remained content with subverting the freedom struggle to India’s detriment. We will let also the reader make up his own mind about how much truth and ahimsa Gandhi adhered to, by quoting his own speeches and writings. For example, he called for boycott of all foreign cloths in 1930, which can surely be explained as a change in tactics, but not from the perspective from which he opposed the same during 1920-22 (referring to Bose’s quote above)- that it engendered hatred for the nations whose merchandise would be boycotted.

Section B.2.2 Divisive politics of Gandhi based centre-state conflict and regionalism

Gandhi did not however gain his absolute control on Congress machinery by virtue of his mass appeal alone. Bose himself had extensive mass support in large parts of India but could never acquire the Gandhian ownership even in the Bengal Congress. Gandhi acquired and maintained his hold on Congress through his realpolitik facilitated by generous financial support of leading industrialists like GD Birla, Tata and Jamanlal Bajaj. We first describe his realpolitik. Gandhi installed factions that supported him at the helm of the provincial Congress committees, wherever he could, and encouraged factions that opposed his ideological adversaries wherever they were dominant. He had his staunch disciples Vallabhbhai Patel and Rajendra Prasad in charge of Gujarat and Bihar Congress respectively. He first removed a popular leader, Srinivas Iyengar, of Madras from Congress Working Committee (we will give more details on him later), and subsequently installed C Rajagopalchari as the premier of the Madras Presidency when Congress assumed office in 1937.

Incidentally, post Sengupta’s death in 1933, Gandhi would ensure that his widow Nellie Sengupta became the Congress president in 1934. Nellie Sengupta’s standing in state and national level politics was hardly commensurate with the august office of INC president – she did not hold any elected office prior to this appointment. This, as also JM Sengupta’s appointment in the working committee, was an effort by Gandhi to promote the Gandhian faction in Bengal. As an aside, Gandhi opposed the induction of Vasanti Devi, the widow of CR Das, in any organisation. In a letter to Dr. BC. Roy on December 7, 1932, he wrote: Syt. Khaitan gave me your message about Vasanti Devi, I told him that I wanted her to make her own choice, but wanted her to work effectively and ceaselessly in the cause of anti-untouchability. I am not enamored of her accepting any office in any organisation. When I was there at the time of the Deshbandhu collections, both she and I came to the conclusion that her job was not to run any organisation but simply to work whenever she was free and had the mind for it. pp. 142-143, [101], p. 64, [57]. This was although Vasanti Devi had galvanised non-cooperation movement in Bengal by courting arrest in 1921 when women of social standing were yet to participate in mass movements pp. 71-72 [4]. It would be relevant to note that Vasanti Devi’s late husband, CR Das, was also the political mentor of Bose and she remained an adopted mother to Bose throughout his sojourn in India (definitely in 1932 when Gandhi wrote the above letter). Even more, during his lifetime CR Das had effectively opposed Gandhi’s policies – his Swarajist party was strong enough to send Gandhi to voluntary retirement in which he remained from 1925 to 1929 pp. 113, 125 [4].

Notwithstanding the road blocks inserted by Gandhi, the BPCC faction led by Bose indeed remained in majority in Bengal – yet the dissent voiced by the Gandhian faction was adequate to ensure that Bengal Congress remained under the scrutiny of the high command throughout Bose’s sojourn in India. Nepotist disbursement of working committee membership would remain an effective tool to procure loyalty to Gandhi in future as well, and create counter weights to political leaders with mass supports in their respective states. High commands in both national parties have repeatedly used this technique till date ( Vajpayee and Rajnath Singh incited local factions against Kalyan Singh and Babulal Marandi in UP and Jharkhand respectively). And, utilising the services of a politically naive widow, or more generally a close relative, as a proxy of a recently expired political leader continues till date ( the first political office that Sonia Gandhi, the widow of Rajiv Gandhi, and Naveen Patnaik, the son of Biju Patnaik occupied were that of Congress president and chief minister of Odissa respectively).

It is worthwhile to note that uncharacteristic of a Mahatma, Gandhi retained a distaste, bordering on ethnic hatred, for the provinces and communities that did not accept his policies as enthusiastically as others or harboured dominant factions that politically opposed him. Bengal (particularly the Hindus in Bengal) and Punjab satisfied both the above criteria. On February 25, 1919, after deciding to launch Satyagraha against the repressive Rowlatt act, he wrote to the editor of The Indian Social Reformer , K Natarajan: If you do not provide the rising generation an effective remedy against the excesses of authority, you will let loose the powers of vengeance and the doctrine of the Little Bengal cult of violence will spread with the rapidity which all will deplore. pp. 302, [102], p. 189, [55]. While giving evidence on the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, he told the Disorders Inquiry Committee, known as Hunter Committee (set up by Government of India) that the proper course should have been for the Viceroy to use his powers of emergency legislation, ie, to use ordinances in order to stamp out anarchy instead of the Rowlatt Act p. 189, [55]. Note that the ordinances applied only locally, and the target area he recommended was Bengal. He argued that anarchy proper has been confined to Bengal but after all Bengal is not India. He added that he would not underrate the significance of it and that it was serious enough to warrant strong Government measures. He held that the conditions in Bengal were such as made the adoption of such strong measures necessary. pp. 283-285, [103], pp. 189-190, [55]. Thus, he did not mind the repression of a province that was ideologically opposed to him, but objected to its extension to all of India – yet another example of divisive politics. Government of India did indeed honor his advice and replaced the Rowlatt act with ordinances that Gandhi recommended with severe repercussions on the populace therein. They introduced multiple ordinances during 1931-1932 in Bengal in general and districts like Chittagong, Dacca, Midnapore in particular, that in effect placed these regions under martial laws, and empowered the executive to seize buildings, to order citizens on pain of punishment to assist them in suppression of terrorism, to impose collective fines on villagers. Attempt to murder, and even possession of arms, explosives, were made punishable by death in 1933-1934 in Bengal pp. 261, 272, 281, [4].

By the end of 1921, Gandhi, was angry at the Bengalis as Bengal fell far short in its production of khadi, although Gandhi’s fervent followers had established some Gandhian-type ashrams. The Mahatma who supposedly despised violence said If, then, there are not enough volunteers in Bengal, I should think she should be swept into the Bay of Bengal and make room for better men and women. pp. 365, [104], p. 91, [54].

Gandhi had fasted against creating electorates for scheduled castes, which resulted in the Poona pact, signed on September 24, 1932, but is not known to have objected to the Communal Award of 1932 which substantially disadvantaged non-Muslims in Bengal and Punjab. It reserved seats for Muslims to the extent that Hindus (in particular upper caste Hindus) would henceforth be substantially under-represented as compared to their population in the state legislature in Bengal and (more specifically non-Muslims in) Punjab. For example, in a house of 250 in Bengal, 119 (47.6 per cent of total seats) seats were reserved for Muslims (then constituting 54.8 per cent of the total population of Bengal) who were also given separate electorates, non-Muslims (Hindus then comprised 44.8 per cent of the total population of Bengal) were to have 80 seats (32 per cent of the total seats), 30 of 80 were to be reserved for scheduled castes and two for women. p. 318, [54], p. 178, [55]. Most prominent Hindu Bengalis, Rabindranath Thakur, Shyamaprasad Mookerjee, Subhas Bose felt wounded and wronged, but to no avail p. 318, [54]. It was virtually guaranteed that only Muslim parties could form governments in these provinces, which in due course, blatantly discriminated against non-Muslims there, and facilitated partition. Gandhi’s confidant GD Birla, who has been celebrated in the Hindu community for constructing multiple Hindu temples and rest-houses, justified this act that discriminated against Hindus of Bengal and Punjab, as inevitable p. 160, [57]. GD Birla was also extremely close to Vallabhbhai Patel who is feted as a Hindu icon and who did not protest against the Communal Award either. Gandhi has also never criticised the British for artificially inducing the Bengal famine of 1943 which killed approximately 3.5 million in 1943 p. 504, [54]. Post-independence, regimes at the centre continued to discriminate against the provinces where their parties were weak (Congress regime discriminated against Gujarat during 2002-2012 and PM Modi has just signed off ten thousand acres of land of West Bengal to Bangladesh).

Section B.2.3 Impact of money power acquired through unhealthy nexus between Gandhi, his coterie and big industrialists

Gandhi succeeded in his political manoeuvres because he largely controlled funds to Congress courtesy generous contributions of leading industrialists. GD Birla regularly donated to Gandhi – can be seen from the correspondences he reproduced in his book pp. 7-16, 32-34, 88, 98, 101, 118, 170, 201, 226, 263 [57]. In the period between January 1930 and March 1931, GD Birla gave between one and five lakh rupees according to the estimate of a high British official p. 72, [68]. SK Patil, and Kasturbhai Lalbhai also donated generously to the Congress Party p. 72, [68]. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who was a close associate of both Gandhi and GD Birla, wrote in the foreword to a book authored by the last: GD Birla always stood for us during our struggle for freedom, and helped us, whenever required, by contribution and Gandhiji in fact never hesitated to draw on their (Birlas) resources when it was necessary to do so, nor did they (Birlas) ever hesitate to put their resources at his disposal   [57]. Gandhi and his coterie regularly stayed at Birla houses in different parts of India. His correspondences were regularly directed to and from Birla houses p. 130, p. 144 [66]. He was assassinated in Birla house in Delhi. His staunch follower Vallabhbhai Patel also died in Birla house p. X1X, [57]. His secretary Mahadev Desai met British representatives (Mr. Laithwaite, Viceroy’s secretary) at Birla house p. 243, [55].

As early as July, 1923, MR Jayakar, a prominent Swarajist of Maharashtra and founder of the liberal party observed: The internal control of politics in Gandhi’s time is often exercised through the influence of wealth and patronage and a community like the Deccanis, which can boast of no commercial magnates like the Tatas, Birlas and Kasturbhais, cannot possibly control politics from the inside. The influence that such men by their patronage and capacity to finance, wield over political movements may not be obvious. It is none the less real. p. 126, [56], p. 112, [55]. In some ways, regionalism is closely correlated with money power. In June 1942, Louis Fischer, the American journalist, asked Gandhi: Very highly placed Britishers had told me that Congress was in the hands of big business and that Gandhi was supported by the Bombay mill-owners who gave him as much money as he wanted. What truth is there in these assertions. Gandhi replied: Unfortunately, they are true. Fischer asked: What proportion of the Congress budget is covered by rich Indians? Gandhi replied: Practically, all of it. In this ashram, for instance we could live much more poorly than we do and spend less money. But, we do not, and the money comes from our rich friends. pp.405, [92], pp. 405-406, p. 122, [55]. Industrialists also funded many social service organisations, which were under the sole control of Gandhi – the Gandhi Seva Sangh, All India Spinners Association, All India Village Industries Association, Go Seva Sangh, Talimi Sangh, Harijan Sevak Sangh p. 123, [55]. These helped Gandhi capture the Congress machinery p. 138, [4]. Gandhi secured the loyalty of top industrialists by incorporating their demands in Congress policies and on key Congress office bearers (which we will show), and accommodating them in his political power structure. GD Birla served as Gandhi’s unofficial emissary to the British. As, Dr Rajendra Prasad writes, He (Birla) also proved himself to be a trusted exponent of Gandhiji’s viewpoint to many Britisher’s as far as Gandhi’s political program was concerned. One can see from the book how he undertook visit after visit to England on his own and utilised the opportunities for keeping those in places of authority there well informed about the way Gandhiji’s mind was working. He never claimed to act as an appointed agent on behalf of Gandhiji and yet having studied and understood his philosophy and his programme, he took upon himself to convey its implications to those that counted. And it may be said that he succeeded in no small measure in this self-appointed role. p. vi [57]. Jamanlal Bajaj was a permanent member of the working committee during Gandhi’s regime. He became the treasurer of Congress as well p. 292, [66]. Gandhi also asked GD Birla to get the accounts of Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee audited (he asked GD Birla on May 8 1929, and reminded him on August 26, 1929 and September 18, 1929 ) pp. 458, [105] , pp, 441, [106], pp.102, [107], p. 204, [55].

All the above represent substantial conflicts of interests as the industrialists thereby get to know the identities of all those who are contributing to Congress as also all the expenses of Congress. Congress was engaged in a political struggle against the British and the same industrialists had trade relations with the British. Next, industrialists here were in a position to influence the industrial and labor policies of the political parties and their participation or support of labor movement with which they have a natural conflict of interest. Examining Bose-Gandhi interactions, we will show that Congress indeed forcefully represented the interests of Indian industrialists but not those of labor (and did not effectively organise the latter against the British). For example, Gandhi warned that it was dangerous to make political use of factory labourers or the peasantry.in India,he said, we want no political strikes. He said that it adds to their (laborers’) dignity when they understand that they are members an citizens of the empire. pp. 362, [108], p. 191, [55].

Next, and perhaps most important in context of freedom movement is that big business has every incentive to ally with the ruling regime (British) particularly when it was unlikely that the regime would change in near future (through elections for example). Big industrialists have always grown all over the world through cooperation of existing regimes. British India was certainly no exception. GD Birla started his independent business unit as a broker working closely with Englishmen p. XIV, [57]. His ancestors made their fortune through opium trade between India and China facilitated by the British pp. 62-63, [3]. Birlas earned most of their money from jute for which Britain was the biggest market. A certain loyalty and goodwill for the British is therefore expected in big industrialists. GD Birla’s sentiments are best gauged in a letter and a conversation when he was unable to influence the Congress policy to his liking. In a conversation with the British businessman, Sir Edward Benthall, he declared that for the last ten years of his life, he had been taking up an attitude of opposition, which was more often than not of a bitter nature, because it was the only way in which he could put pressure to bear on the subjects he had in mind, but that, henceforward he desired to work in collaboration and was willing to drop all hostility. In the same conversation, Sir Edward Benthall reports that Birla appeared even ready to concede non-discrimination of British interests in India. [68] p.81. Further, in a letter to Hoare (Secretary of State for India), Birla informed him that FICCI would offer its cooperation to the government, subject to two conditions. a) A genuine desire on the part of the government to come to an agreement on the question of financial autonomy b) Formation of a committee of experts to discuss the same. He even offered an agreement between the present Parliament and progressive Indian opinion not identified with the Congress [68] p. 85.

Above and beyond all the factors stated above, the predominant objective of the industrialists would be to accrue profit. Yet, prolonged and militant mass movements typically disrupt business environment and reduce profit. Thus, industrialists would have every reason to discourage the same which again presents a conflict of interest for a political party which is presumably fighting for independence. We would see that Gandhi refused to launch, or delay the launching of mass movements, and prematurely called off the ones he was forced to launch under public pressure. The stated goal of his emissary GD Birla was a rapprochement between Gandhi and British – on July 3, 1937, GD Birla wrote to C Rajagopalchari, a permanent member of the Gandhi coterie: The more I discuss Bapu with Englishmen and vice versa, the more I believe that it is a tragedy that these two big forces in the world cannot combine. I think it would be a service to the world when they do. And this conviction cheers me up. p. 193, [57]. On March 15, 1940, GD Birla would write to Gandhi’s secretary Mahedev Desai At times I feel that we are over-emphasising the fighting part of our programme and ignoring settlement through persuasion. We have pitched our demands so high that we have made it impossible for Englishmen to come to an honourable settlement. That is where I complain. There are others even in the working committee who feel like myself. p. 240, [57] (the specific context which we will later provide will be even more illuminating in this regard). GD Birla would push Gandhi away from mass movements and towards the negotiation table again and again, pp. 35, 37 [57], with a great degree of success. Indian industry depended on British for machinery, technical knowhow and British controlled markets outside India e.g Britain, Hong Kong, China, East Africa (particularly jute industry and cotton mills which constituted important ventures of the Birlas). Many mills had substantial number of Europeans in their board of directors pp. 160-166 [55]. Complete severance from England would be to the detriment of these industrialists (we would see that GD Birla advocated Dominion status as opposed to independence, eg, pp. 42-43 [57] – demand for the latter constituted one of the first disputes between Gandhi and Bose). Some of the big Indian industrialists competed with English industrialists residing in India. They hoped to stop Britain from bestowing undue favours on the latter in lieu of securing political advantages for Britain. For instance, Birlas competed with Canny Scots and Dundee on jute and therefore needed British goodwill not to be ruined resulting in undue favours to Dundee. Indeed, while GD Birla praised the English at multiple instances pp. 185, 193, 229-230, [57] , he described large trading houses that had made fortunes through the colonial trade as also Canny Scots, who monopolised the jute trade at both ends, from Bengal fields and Hooghly mills to Dundee as powerful opponents of India pp. 230-231, [57]. Thus, big industrialists would indeed be susceptible to British influence to the determent of Indian interests. Gandhi’s emissary GD Birla has written: Sensible Indian men and women realise their need of British help; they want British friendship. The question therefore is how to secure this, bearing in mind the Government’s position and prestige on the one hand, and the position of the self respect of the Indian people on the other p. 164, [57]. Perhaps, owing to this need for British help and friendship, he would negotiate multiple pacts which undermined India’s national interests in general and Hindu interests in particular, eg, Communal Award pp. 52-55, 114-115, 160 [57], Poona pact pp. 56-58, [57] , Government of India Act pp. 119-122, [57], Congress’ acceptance of office pp. 181-182, 193 [57], Federation pp. 207-209 [57]. And, Gandhi would happily oblige.

The industrialists supported Gandhi because of a diverse set of factors. Freedom movement was already in full swing by 1915, the time when he returned to India, and was fast assuming a militant character (starting from partition of Bengal in 1905). The movement that Gandhi espoused was much more conducive to business interests, than an extremist revolutionary one which was bound to appear should there be a vacuum. Thus, by funding Gandhi, Indian industrialists enhanced their political influence on him, and ensured that the dominant faction substantially relied on entreaties, negotiations, compromises and deals with the British even while conceding substantial advantages to the latter. Second, owing to cooperation over multiple generations, they knew well how they could function in tandem with the British rulers, and could ill afford a new regime that represented a complete break from the past. They would much rather prefer the continuity that Gandhi offered to the uncertainty of the nature of the regime resulting from a complete upheaval as the faction opposing him (Subhas Bose and the revolutionaries) strove for. They were also worried about the contemporary international developments that violently overthrew existing regimes and the merchantile community that supported them, eg, the Bolshevik revolution of Russia. They found Gandhi’s concept of trusteeship, whereby industrialists can retain their fortune after cosmetic social service, as opposed to socialist redistribution of wealth, enormously reassuring p. vii [57] . In a letter to Gandhi’s secretary, Mahadev Desai, GD Birla had advocated strict measures for suppressing peasant movements: I very much disliked the peasants in Bihar marching to the Assembly House and occupying the assembly seats and refusing to vacate them in spite of the request of the Premier. And then the Premier addressed them, and told them all sorts of sweet things without telling them that they were wrong in occupying the assembly seats and refusing to vacate them. Bapu has rightly written against the demonstration that was made against Raghavendra Rao, but I fear that in course of time indiscipline will grow more and more unless strict measures are taken. p. 191 [57]. Worthwhile to note that the above quote shows that Gandhi had himself written against peasant demonstrations. GD Birla has written that he urged Viceroy Linlithgow to arrive at a common position with Gandhi on terrorists and get rid of terrorism’ altogether pp. 164, 174, [57]. He had commended the Irwin-Gandhi pact for striking at the roots of the method of securing political advance by means of disorder, and substituting it by the method of mutual discussion and confidence. p. 161, [57]. He had defended the repressive Rowlatt Act introduced to contain the revolutionaries as For the Rowlatt Act was merely the taking of emergency reserve powers `in case’. p. 235, [57] On June 30, 1935, he told Sir Henry Craik that if the British does not arrive at a settlement with Gandhi, a revolution of the bloody type may become an inevitable factor. And this would be the greatest calamity not only to India but to England. Tories may say this would be India’s funeral. I say it would be a funeral for both. p. 132, [57].

Section B.2.4 The contribution of the British in the rise of the personality cult of Gandhi – intelligence input, publicity, repression of his opponents

We now comment on the role of British in the growth of Gandhi. British wanted to rule India as long as possible, and when they had to leave they wanted to transfer power to a friendly government. Wavell had a note prepared on the effect of the proposed transfer of power in India on the Strategy, Economics and Prestige of Great Britain and the British Commonwealth, which concluded saying that To sum up, it is vital to Britain that when she gives over political power in India, she may be able to hand over to a stable and friendly Government and contract with it a genuine defensive alliance….If this objective is achieved, the demission of political power may bring in advantage and not loss. pp. 51-52, [64], p. 235, [72]. GD Birla reports a conversation with ex-British premier Winston Churchill in England after India became independent (he does not specify the date but it is before Vallabhbhai Patel’s death – so the year is likely 1949) which would be illuminating: Then suddenly he (Churchill) asked me: ‘Have you got a national anthem? Is it a good tune?. I said: ‘not very good’ ‘Why don’t you play with your own national anthem ‘God save the king (the British national anthem) ? These small things help a lot. Canada has its own tune and yet side by side, they play ours too. This creates a friendly feeling. I explained to him the difficulty but added: ‘That will depend on England. If you are friends, perhaps it may come. He remarked: ‘I think it will come in course of time !’  p. 277, [57]. (Pertinent to note that GD Birla was then touring England to solicit capital for Indian industry, he was therefore negotiating with Churchill even on national fundamentals such as choice of national anthem. This provides insight into deeply ingrained merchantile mentality which conceives every symbol and every policy as an object of negotiation. Also, he did not hesitate confiding in Churchill that he did not like the tune of our National Anthem). In any event, British clearly desired a continuity of regime if and when they had to leave. Post 1857, it was clear to them that a freedom movement was inevitable in future. It was essential that they control the same towards the above objective. They realised that India needed a political organisation for diffusing resentments through gentle protests, otherwise they would have to face yet another mass revolution like in 1857. Congress was created to function as this safety valve.

AO Hume, a British civil servant, who retired as secretary to a department in Government of India after thirty three years of service, founded Congress in 1885, after consulting Lord Dufferin, then Viceroy of India and ex-Viceroys, Lords Dalhousie and Ripon p. 45, [69]. His biographer, Sir William Wedderburn, another retired British civilian, who presided over two sessions of Congress, describes him as the father of the Indian National Congress [70]. Gandhi acknowledged Hume’s debt with the greatest pleasure pp. 360, [17], p. 103, [55]. Quoting the father of the Indian National Congress then, Congress was devised as a safety-valve for the escape of great and growing forces, generated by our own action, and no more efficacious safety-valve than our Congress movement could possibly be devised., p. 77, [70]. One of the three fundamental objects of the Congress, as per Hume was the consolidation of the Union between England and India. He stated that by carefully inoculating them (the great lower middle classes) with a mild and harmless form of political fever, we are adopting the only precautionary method against the otherwise inevitable ravages of a violent and epidemic burst of disorder. pp. 141-143 [71], p. 103, [55].

The character of the Congress was however fundamentally changing during 1890-1910 under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab, Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharashtra and Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal. The last two acted as an effective interface between the non-violent and political struggle by Congress and attempts of a revolution led by a militant faction outside. Tilak had mentored the Chapekar brothers, while Pal was a close collaborator of Aurobindo Ghosh. The trio had galvanised large parts of India during the agitation objecting to the partition of Bengal in 1905 where Swadeshi, or boycott of all British goods (cloth, liquor etc) was employed in large scale. Note this was prior to Gandhi’s return to India, and therefore Swadeshi was not his original contribution either. Aurobindo Ghosh espoused the doctrine of passive resistance, through non-cooperation and boycott, in a series of articles, from April 11, 1907 to April 23, 1907, that is, long before Gandhi’s return to India pp. 265-304, [8].

The British loyalist group in Congress led by G Gokhale formed a Servants of India society whose objective was to wean away young Indians from militant nationalism, funded by industrialists close to the British like RJ Tata, Jehangir Petit, Thackersay and Lalubhai Samaldas p. 104, [55]. Tatas were particularly close to the British. In 1900, Hamilton urged JN Tata to undertake the building of a steel plant. The Secretary of State, promised him all government support and kept his promise. Viceroy Curzon prodded JN Tata to do his job more expeditiously. Government of India acquired a large site in Sakchi in Bihar for the steel plant. The railway board had placed its orders with TISCO even before the construction of the works started. An American firm of engineers (Julian Kennedy, Sahlin and Co) constructed the firm, and Wells, an American, became its first manager. Tata hydroelectric scheme also received encouragement and support from Lord George Hamilton and Lord Sydenham, the then Governor of Bombay, who laid the foundation of the Walwhan dam. Both Tata and Lord Willingdon, another governor of Bombay, described the project as imperial. The original idea was that most of the capital for the project should be raised in London. On December 20, 1900, Hamilton wrote to Curzon: I want to associate increased investment of British capital there with a simultaneous action on the part of the Government in developing industrial enterprise. But London money market was passing through one of its periodical phases of depression. So, Tata failed to obtain capital in England. But then Maharaja of Gwalior provided the entire working capital (only the princes who were loyal to the British were allowed to rule by 1900 – the Gwalior royal family belongs in this category) pp. 171-172, [72]. But, despite generous funding directed to G Gokhale, the British-loyalist group in Congress was not winning against the nationalist group. It is in this backdrop that British discovered Gandhi, a talented disciple of G Gokhale.

Gandhi had launched a civil disobedience movement in South Africa to protect the rights of the Indian middle class there, returned to India midway during the struggle after a minor concession was ceded, and before discriminations against Indians were ended there. British had every reason to hope that Gandhi would help Congress revert to its safety valve days by inoculating the middle classes with a mild and harmless form of political fever. Describing Gandhi prior to his return to India from South Africa, GD Birla writes: He was indeed at this period an Anglophil. He had learned to like the English in their own country and believed that their association with India would eventually lead to spreading democratic institutions in India. Hence his sympathies were never in doubt when he was in South Africa during the Boer war. p. 234, [57]. Gandhi indeed helped organise medical corps during the Boer war on the grounds that Indians who claimed rights as citizens of the British empire were obligated to help it [74].

Industrialists friendly to British had been observing Gandhi’s moves closely in South Africa. On  January 10, 1910, Ratan Tata, the younger son of JN Tata who had received knighthood, had written to Gandhi My warm appreciation of the noble struggle our countrymen are waging. I need hardly add that I shall watch the progress of the struggle with great interest p. 174, Vol. 1, [98], p. 108, [55]. Ratan Tata, Sir Purshotmadas Thakurdas and Sir JB Petit were respectively, president, vice-president and secretary of the South African Indian Relief Fund. Other business magnates, the Aga Khan, the Nizam of Hyderabad and other ruling princes were among his donors. In words of Gandhi in 1913, the river of gold flowed from India pp. 236, [110], and Then money began to rain from India pp. 273, [111], p. 157, p. 236, [12], p. 108, [55]. Again, only the ruling princes who were loyal to the British were allowed to survive until the beginning of the twentieth century. It is worthwhile to note that the British never clamped down on Gandhi’s funding in South Africa, nor in India, but it did ruthlessly choke those of the revolutionaries.

The British Raj substantially helped Gandhi both directly and indirectly until he initiated a movement against them in 1942 during their life-death struggle in the Second World War. The British government directly helped Gandhi by sharing with him intelligence information. JB Kripalani, one of Gandhi’s men had informed Bose’s biographer, Leonard Gordon in an interview in New Delhi on September 10, 1976 that Gandhi knew a lot more about Bose’s connections to men of violence and to plans for potential violence than he ever let on in public p. 387, [54]. It does not appear from the tenor of the above comment that it was Bose who had confided the above in Gandhi. So, was Gandhi keeping a tab on Bose? His source very likely was the British intelligence as would become evident from a letter by K Munshi: The Government of India knew my(Munshi’s) relations with Gandhi and Sardar and often saw to it that confidential information reached Gandhiji through me. On one such occasion, I was shown certain secret service reports that Netaji had contacted the German Consul in Calcutta and had come to some arrangement with him, which would enable Germany to rely upon him in case there was a war. I conveyed this information to Gandhiji, who naturally felt surprised. pp. 409, [95].  Citing a book written by Munshi, p. 53, [96], Gandhi’s grandson has confirmed that there was a report that Bose had been in contact with the German consul in Calcutta and was negotiating some arrangement.’ The Raj’s director of Central Intelligence had given the report to Munshi, Bombay’s Law Minister, who forwarded it to the Mahatma. p. 278, [62] This intelligence sharing had happened during 1938 when Bose was the president of Indian National Congress. Note that Gandhi did not raise a public hue and cry on why the British were snooping on the president of Congress, but he was content receiving this information. Also, note that the first citation shows that this was not a onetime exchange – confidential information that British acquired often reached Gandhi and Vallabhbhai Patel through the intermediary K Munshi. It has now emerged that this tradition continued post independence during Nehru’s and subsequent regimes as Bose’s family was snooped upon and the information thus acquired was shared with British intelligence [48, 49]. Thus, British government did ensure a continuity in regimes even after independence in more ways than one.

Many would condone the sharing of the intelligence in the above specific context given that it was on Bose meeting Nazis, yet, what is not generally understood is that the atrocities perpetrated by the British on India were comparable to that by Germany during different periods. In 1932, Bertrand Russell had written that British atrocities during 1930-1931 in India were comparable to those perpetrated by Germany during the first world war p. 347, [19]. The Nazi crimes were magnified greatly only post 1939, and neither Gandhi nor his coterie knew the same at least until mid-1940, which is at least a year before he received the above intelligence information. We establish the same citing their correspondences and speeches up to mid-1940. In March 1939 (which is after Gandhi received the above intelligence), GB Pant who was very close to Gandhi and Nehru, spoke thus at the Tripuri session of Congress: wherever nations had progressed they had done so under the leadership of one man. Germany had relied on Herr Hitler. Whether they agreed with Herr Hitler’s methods or not, there was no gainsaying the fact that Germany had progressed under Herr Hitler. Italy had risen because of Signor Mussolini and it was Lenin that raised Russia. pp. 379-380, [54]. He subsequently reminded the delegates that we have Gandhi…Then why should we not reap the full advantage of that factor. p. 380, [54]. Paraphrasing, GB Pant was seeing his revered leader Gandhi as the Hitler or Mussolini of India. Incidentally, after meeting Mussolini in 1931, Gandhi wrote in a letter to Romain Rolland: Mussolini is a riddle to me. Many of his reforms attract me. He seems to have done much for the peasant class. I admit an iron hand is there. But as violence is the basis of Western society, Mussolini’s reforms deserve an impartial study. His care of the poor, his opposition to super-urbanisation, his efforts to bring about coordination between capital and labor, seem to me to demand special attention … My own fundamental objection is that these reforms are compulsory. But it is the same in all democratic institutions. What strikes me is that behind Mussolini’s implacability is a desire to serve his people. Even behind his emphatic speeches there is a nucleus of sincerity and of passionate love for his people. It seems to me that the majority of the Italian people love the iron government of Mussolini. p. 297, [20]. On May 16, 1940, Gandhi’s secretary Mahadev Desai wrote to GD Birla that Hitler’s stock with Bapu is going up . p. 255, [57]. On June 6, 1940, Mahadev Desai wrote to GD Birla that In his letter (to Viceroy Linlithgow) Bapu had written: ‘This manslaughter must be stopped. You are losing; if you persist it will only result in greater bloodshed. Hitler is not a bad man. If you call it off today, he will follow suit. If you want to send me to Germany or anywhere else, I am at your disposal. You can also inform the cabinet about this’. p. 255, [57]. We see the same propensity in Gandhi to assume the leadership of the world before ensuring prosperity of his nation, that almost every premier in free India has shown. But, that aside, this establishes our core contention. Next, considering a post facto analysis, the British perpetrated atrocities comparable to the Holocaust in India during the second world war. They killed approximately 3.5 million in the Bengal province alone during the Bengal famine of 1943 that they induced p. 504, [55], [97].

On the indirect front, the British enhanced Gandhi’s stature among the general public by giving him a hero’s welcome on his return to India from South Africa. As arranged by them, he was allowed to land at the Apollo Bunder in Bombay – an honor accorded to Royalty, by the Viceroys and India’s most distinguished sons p. 246, Vol. 1, [98], p. 126, [55]. Viceroy Lord Hardinge conferred on him the Kaiser-i-Hind gold medal for his services in Africa p. 46, [100], p. 126, [55]. On his arrival in India, he was welcomed by the prominent industrialists close to the British – Sir Dorab Tata, Sir JB Petit, Sir Vithaldas Thackersay, Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas, Sir Ibrahim Rahimtoola, Sir Jamshetji Jeejibhoy and others [2], p. 108, [55] – British would typically not knight anyone who was not a loyalist (even Nobel laureate Rabindranath Thakur’s family had a long history of loyalty and proximity to the British crown) . On June 3, 1940, Viceroy Linlithgow informed Gandhi that the Maharaja of Darbhanga, had given him a bust of Gandhi done by Clare Sheridan which he proposed in the first instance to have it exhibited in Bombay and thereafter to make it over to the Government of India with the suggestion that it should ultimately find a permanent home in the national capital . p. 302, [109], p. 128, [55].

Indian and British press significantly publicised Gandhi’s movements, except possibly the one in 1942. RP Dutt has written that With the newsreel cameras of the world clicking away Gandhi’s Dandi march received worldwide publicity, through the press, the cinema and very other device. Not only was the march not interfered with by the Raj but also the wide publicity of every detail was possible only with its active encouragement pp. 301-302, [73], p. 127, [55]. S Bose seconds the same point of view regarding the coverage of the salt march: Fortunately for the Mahatma, he had a wonderfully good press within India and outside. In India for days and days, every detail connected with the march found the widest publicity p. 201, [4]. The discerning reader may observe curious similarities with sudden press interest accorded to Anna Hazare’s fast in Jantar Mantar. In the pre-independence context, S Bose had observed (not specific to Gandhi though) that British press colluded with its government in parachuting leaders who would further their interests As a matter of fact, whenever the occasion demands, leaders are created overnight by the British Government and, thanks to the British Press their names are made known to the whole world p. 34, [4]. So, the mass support was in part manufactured or at the least facilitated by interests inimical to India.

The British kid gloved Gandhi and his supporters throughout, and simultaneously ruthlessly persecuted and even physically eliminated the factions that opposed him. Gandhi and his faction (Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel) were usually incarcerated under comfortable conditions. During civil disobedience of 1930, the government lodged Gandhi in a jail where Every provision will be made for his health and comfort during his detention (cited in p. 304, [73], p. 128, [55]). During Quit India movement he was imprisoned in the Aga Khan palace. British arranged a special train in 1946 for his travel to Madras, with a saloon which had a platform and a loudspeaker using which he could address the people, p. 67, Vol. VII, [98]. But, revolutionaries were frequently executed or imprisoned in harshest of the British jails, eg Cellular in Andaman (Barin Ghosh, Sachindranath Sanyal, Veer Savarkar ) where they often lost sanity (Ullas Kar) or committed suicide as a result of the persecutions. In a surprise attack, during October 1931, warders open fired on detenus in Hijli in Bengal and assaulted them with the butt end of their rifles, killing two, and seriously injuring 20 p. 260, [4]. Political leaders who opposed Gandhi were often imprisoned at times, without trial, in facilities which would be inhuman enough to permanently damage their health. Both Bose and Tilak were incarcerated at Mandalay jail – they were both incapacitated as a result. In fact, Bose had to recuperate for extended durations after two prison terms. British police lathi charged Bose both inside and outside jail p. 205, [4], p. 240, [54]. KP Chattopadhyay, education officer of the Calcutta Corporation in which Bose was the Mayor in 1931 has written about one such occasion on which Bose was leading a procession from the Corporation to the nearby Maidan (on January 26, 1931): As we crossed Chowringhee, a body of mounted policemen charged into us scattering the people in our rear and isolating the Mayor and a few of us from the main body of the processionists. The mounted men then rode at us, especially the Mayor, hitting us with the short lathis in their hand. The Mayor was attacked on both sides, and I noted him protecting his head with his up-raised right arm, as best as he could. I shouted out to his assailants: ‘You have no right to beat Subhas Chandra Bose. You can arrest him, but you have no right to beat him.’ I then tried to protect the Mayor’s head by holding the pole of the banner in my hand over him…On this one of these men rode at me and struck twice at my unprotected head……None of the men who were beating the Mayor and myself were Indians. Note that the baton attack was a targeted one, directed at Bose, and specifically his head. Bose was arrested and taken to Lal Bazar and kept incommunicado until the next day, without any food or medical treatment. Bruised and with his arm in a sling, he was produced before a magistrate the following afternoon. p. 240, [54] Lala Lajpat Rai died from injuries he incurred during one such lathi charge. During a strange illness in February-March, 1939 that debilitated him at a crucial juncture of his political career, Bose seriously considered a suggestion that he was being poisoned. He considered the suggestion important enough to document it: A few days after I fell ill, I began to receive letters or telegrams from different places suggesting the nature of my malady. Among them were some telegrams suggesting that I had been poisoned. My doctors were amused at first. Then they gave thought to the matter and could not find any clinical data to support this theory. So they put it aside. p. 104, [66]. Medical diagnostic techniques in India in 1939 were not advanced enough to detect sophisticated or rare poisons. Any event the pathology of his illness which lasted for a month could not be determined either. Gandhi has never been subjected to physical violence by the British, his coterie only minimally (Nehru has recalled one incident where he received two resounding blows (from a mounted policeman) on the back p. 135, [16] -it is unclear if he needed any medical attention subsequently). We would later see that the Gandhi-Irwin pact would distinguish between the non-violent and the rest of the political prisoners – an amnesty would only be extended only to the non-violent political prisoners, most of whom were Gandhians, enabling the Gandhi-Irwin pact to be easily ratified as most of the opponents were jailed.

Next, as we already mentioned, Gandhi’s funding was never choked, but those of the revolutionaries’ were. Since by Gandhi’s own admission, most of his funding came from wealthy industrialists, it would have been relatively easy to attrition this funding by putting under searchlight the financial irregularities of the sponsors. British government introduced several repressive acts for specifically controlling the revolutionaries, eg, the Defence of India Act during war time which empowered the Government to do anything with regard to any person and his property merely on suspicion that such a person may act in a way which might undermine public safety p. 188, [55], the Rowlatt Act which gave the government emergency powers during peace time – the right to arrest, search and imprison any person without trial or trial in special courts as necessary p. 188, [94]. So they could surely have brought in acts that mandated penalty to any organisation (eg, Congress) that demanded secession from the British empire which would drastically reduce his funding – but they did not. This is explicable given that 1) many high ranking British officials including Viceroys Chelmsford, Linlithgow and Puckle (Director general of Intelligence in 1940) regarded Gandhi as an asset p. 94, Vol. 3, p. 138, Vol. 4, [99] and an ally p. 179, [100], and 2) Ellen Wilkinson, who was a member of the British Parliament for several years and became a member of the British cabinet from 1945-1947, remarked after her visit to India in 1932 as a member of the India League Deputation that Gandhi was the best policeman the British had in India p. 219, [4].

British definitely invested well in Gandhi as he helped to nip in the bud genuine freedom movements that were emerging in his regime, and subverted the ones he had to announce under tremendous public pressure. He remained loyal to the British throughout his life, except for a brief period around 1942, when given how the Axis powers were advancing at lightning speed, he assumed that British would lose the second world war. This judgment in error led to his marginalisation, while power was indeed transferred to a PM who remained loyal to the British throughout the second world war (multiple accounts including those of M Azad narrate that Nehru resisted the announcement of the Quit India movement as long as he could; the marginalisation is indicated in Gandhi’s quote from pp. 394, [88] cited towards the end of the first paragraph of this section). That British indeed transferred power to a friendly regime would be evident from the following. 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, [93]. The plan did not materialise 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 publicised. This desire was aborted fearing adverse public reaction as well pp. 164, 230-231, 596 [83] pp. 383-384, [55].

Money power, divisive politics, foreign influence and the personality cult of Gandhi will play a substantial role in the Gandhi-Bose interactions, which we will examine in subsequent pieces.

References:

[1] – R. C. Majumdar, “History & Culture of the Indian People”, Vol. 11

[2] – http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/aboutgandhi/chrono_detailed_gandhiinbombay.htm

[3] Margaret Halbeck and  Gita Piramal,  India’s industralists, Vol. 1, https://books.google.ca/books?id=xcbBEHHI-90C&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=birla+opium+trade&source=bl&ots=0gHtj2eKzv&sig=sKooj9c_Gh676HG1V5TbV2cfIV4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SFtkVd7lHNesyASN-4GYAw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=birla%20opium%20trade&f=false

[4] – S. C. Bose, The Indian Struggle (1920-1942)

[5] – P. N. Chopra and Prabha Chopra, “Collected Works of Sardar Patel”, Vol. 8, pp. 24

[6] – Ravindra Kumar, “Selected Works of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: 1936-1946′, Vol. 3, pp.162, 166

[7] – ibid, Gandhi’s Statement to the Press, Shimla, 05/09/1939, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL038.PDF

[8] Bande Mataram 1, 2, http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/ashram/sriauro/writings.php

[9] – http://m.rediff.com/news/mar/25sardar.htm

[10] – M.K. Gandhi, “I Rejoice in this Defeat”, Harijan, 02/02/1939.

[11] – Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Independence, Article in Young India, 13/01/1927 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL038.PDF

[12]  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL034.PDF

[13] Subhas Bose, An Address to Students of India, Presidential Address at the All India Students’ Conference, Delhi, in January, 1940, Included in Crossroads, being the works of Subhas Chandra Bose, 1938-1940, Compiled by Netaji Research Bureau, Asia Publishing House, 1962, pp. 241-247

[14] Hugh Toye Subhas Chandra Bose – The Springing Tiger, Jaico Publishing House, 2013

[15] – http://m.rediff.com/news/mar/25sardar.htm

[16] J. Nehru, Toward Freedom – The Autobiography of Jawaharlal Nehru, The John Day Company, New York

[17] – Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Speech at the Federal Structure Committee, London, 15/09/1931, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL053.PDF

[18] – ibid, Gandhi’s letter to Lord Linlithgow, 04/04/1938, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL073.PDF

[19] Ramesh Chandra Majumdar,  History of the Freedom Movement, Volume III

[20] http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL054.PDF

[21]  – “Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi”, Statement to the Press, Simla, 05/09/1939.  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL076.PDF p. 312

आइये ओवैसी के बारे में तहकीकात करते है।

🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩 वन्दे मातरम् 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩

आइये ओवैसी के बारे में तहकीकात करते है। यह इतना गद्दार कैसे है ?

भारत की आजादी के बाद जब 565 रियासतों को भारत के अधीन लाने की मुहीम सरदार पटेल को सौंपी गई थी उस समय हैदराबाद के निज़ाम की आस्था पाकिस्तान के साथ शामिल होने की थी । लेकिन भौगोलिक रूप से पुर्वी एवं पश्चिमी पाकिस्तान की दुरी एवं वास्तविकता मैं इसे असंभव देखते हुए निज़ाम ने हैदराबाद को भारत गणराज्य से अलग एवं स्वतंत्र रखने का निर्णय किया ।

जिसके बाद उसकी सेना दो धड़ों मैं बट गई । पहली शोहेबुल्लाह खान के साथ जो भारत मैं विलय का पक्षधर था । दूसरा खेमा था रज़कारों का जिसका सबसे प्रभुत्वशाली व्यक्तित्व था कासिम रिजवी जो की अलीगढ से वकालत पढ़ के आया था और स्वतंत्र हैदराबाद की पैरवी करता था ।

कासिम रिज़वी ने 1927 मैं नवाब बहादुर रायजंग के साथ मिलकर MIM नामक सामाजिक संस्था बनाई थी जो कि एक कट्टरपंथी संगठन मैं परिवर्तित हो गई और रायजंग की मौत के बाद 1944 मैं कासिम का MIM पर एकाधिकार हो गया और उसने रज़ाकारों की फ़ौज बनाकर वहां के हिंदुओं पर अत्याचार करने शुरू कर दिए ।

रिज़वी ने सरदार पटेल पर अपनी बात मनवाने के लिए काफी प्रयास किया लेकिन असफल रहा जिसके बाद उसने शोहेबुल्लाह की हत्या करवा दी और हिंदुओं मैं लूटपाट और क़त्ल ऐ आम शुरू कर दिया ।

सरदार पटेल के आदेश पर भारतीय सेना ने रज़ाकारों को कुचलकर हैदराबाद पर कब्ज़ा कर लिया । ये एक ऐतिहासिक विजय अभियान था जिसे ऑपरेशन पोलो का नाम दिया गया ।
MIM पर प्रतिबन्ध लगा ।

कासिम रिज़वी को गिरफ्तार किया गया और ये शर्त रखी गई की रिहा होने के 48 घंटों के अंदर उसे हिन्दुस्तान छोड़कर पाकिस्तान जाना होगा ।
1957 में जेल से रिहा होते ही रिज़वी ने देश छोड़ने से पहले आनन् फानन मैं MIM की मीटिंग बुलाई और अपने सिद्धांतों को जिन्दा रखने के लिए जिस सख्श की MIM के मुखिया के तौर पर ताजपोशी की वो था असदउद्दीन ओवैसी का दादा अब्दुल वाहिद ओवैसी जिसने MIM में आल इंडिया शब्द जोड़ा और पार्टी बनी आल इंडिया मजलिस ऐ इत्तिहादुल मुसलमीन और उसने कासिम के सिद्धांतों को आगे बढ़ाया ।

अब्दुल वाजिद की मौत के बाद उसका बेटा सुल्तान सलाहुद्दीन ओवैसी पार्टी का मुखिया बना और इसी खेत की वर्तमान फसलें है अकबरुद्दीन ओवैसी, असदउद्दीन ओवैसी, बुरहानुद्दीन ओवैसी

अब आप समझ सकते हैं की जब बीज ही राष्ट्रद्रोही है तो फसलें कैसे राष्ट्रभक्त हो सकतीं हैं !

जय भारत!

Pseudo – Secularism in India

Via Abhinav Chaturvedi

As every one of you are aware of the fact that how secular dog warrior often express their views on Indian secularism and write how the Muslim community has turned into a meaningless, demographic bloc that various political parties try to exploit at their own convenience, maintaining a sustained connivance with the representatives of the community.

Let’s do a reality check.

From where do most of the mainstream terrorist attacks in India originate?

China? No.

Bhutan? No.

Nepal? No.

Sri Lanka? Maybe, in the past, but not now, no.

Pakistan? Yes.

Are these terrorists Buddhists? No.

Are these terrorists Christians? No.

Hindus? No.

Muslims? Yes.

From where do most infiltrators come to India?

China? No.

Sri Lanka? No.

Indonesia? No.

Russia? No.

Bangladesh? Yes.

Are these infiltrators mostly Buddhists? Could be.

Hindus? Yes, some of them might be
Christians? Hardly.

Muslims? Mostly.

So what’s the problem in addressing the real issue?

Now Indian Muslims join me with the fact that Nobody contends the fact that Muslims in India have got nothing to do with Muslims in Pakistan and Muslims in Bangladesh or for that matter, Muslims in any other country.

Then why are problems with countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh projected in a manner as if Muslims are being attacked?

Why can’t they simply be called Pakistanis and Bangladeshis?
Similarly, if someone wants to nail terrorists and if these terrorists happen to be Muslims, why is it projected as if all Muslims are being targeted?
The problem with foreign funded presstitute’s journalists is that they never want to miss an opportunity to raise the bogey of the Sangh Parivar (RSS), BJP and how it poses one of the greatest existential dangers to the Muslim community in India.
It doesn’t matter if the actual cause is lost and people from their own community are relegated to perpetual misery.

Does an average Indian think like these intellectuals? Not at all.

These theories are floated simply to put people who actually want to solve problems on the back foot and immerse them in a concoction of guilt and apology.

These intellectuals want the Muslim problem to simmer forever because this gives them a chance to keep the minority community in a perpetual state of insecurity and this keeps the cauldrons of instability simmering for their political masters who depend on such instability.

Coming back to the issue of why secularism is in tatters in India.
Secularism in India has a different definition.

In other countries, it means keeping the state and religion separate, but in India, it mostly means the state meddling with religion as much as possible.
There are state-funded religious institutions for minority communities. The Right to Education bill is not applicable to minority-focused schools and colleges.

Who can forget the nefarious Communal Violence Bill that absolved the members of the minority communities of their wrongdoings while dumping all the culpability on the majority community – the Hindus?
On the other hand, the government is planning to take over the financial assets of many Hindu temples. This is just a tiny list of how the state participates in the affairs of religion on an ongoing basis.

Not just the state, even our intellectuals don’t leave religion alone, especially when it comes to Islam. So if one wants to talk about secularism, the actual definition of the term needs to be understood.

Secularism in India means constantly hammering into the psyche of the Hindu community, that they are responsible for everything bad happening to the minorities in the country.

Hindus cannot choose their political leaders. They cannot choose what should be taught in the schools and colleges. Their way of life is constantly ridiculed and mocked at. Their culture is constantly questioned. Their deities are lampooned. Their gods are abused. Alssertions are constantly cast at the logic of their major festivals – they are sent on a guilt trip even when they want to celebrate.

When there are terrorist attacks, they are blamed for not doing enough to create an inclusive society. They are immediately branded as communal, bhagwa gunda, sanghi, modi bhakt and fascist if they try to assert their identity.

Nationalism combined with Hinduism is looked down upon. Measures are taken to curb identity-based aspirations among Hindus. Say something pertaining to Hindus and you are branded as communal, and say something pertaining to Muslims or Christians and you are branded as secular and liberal.

There is no middle path.

In no way can you be liberal and secular while supporting a Hindu identity, because I my self experienced a lot of such branding.

But how did such calumny persist for such a long time, unencumbered?
There was a time when the media was totally controlled by a lsocialist-Marxist-secularist-liberalist anti hindu nexus and this nexus was super-controlled by the Congress, the Communist party and their various caste-based offshoots.
They literally ran amok with their theories, unchallenged simply because others did not have a say, and were not allowed to have a say. No alternative views were allowed. You could never publish articles contrary to the beliefs propagated by this nexus.

The masses were to be exposed to only a particular type of philosophy and the more blinkered the view was, the more preferable it was to the above nexus and its masters. Most of the top journalist clearly belongs to this nexus of misinformation spreaders.
The Internet played the spoiler and since the people who controlled the nexus were slouching in the cesspit of their own hubris, they couldn’t foresee its implications.

On the Internet you cannot control the flow of information and ideas. First there were blogs, and then came social media, and with it, all hell broke loose. People started articulating their thoughts. They started expressing their dissent like me. LDissemination of information was no llonger in the hands of a few. People no longer needed newspapers, TV channels and magazines to make their opinions known.

Suddenly there were hundreds and thousands of broadcasting channels. The most these members of the nexus could do was rant, complain, and occasionally get some of the channels blocked.

For these nexus members, people who expressed their dissent and asserted their identity became the enemies of secularism simply because they let their thoughts known. The anger and discontent had been simmering for a long time but there was no outlet.
The Internet and the social media provided this outlet, and Narendra Modi ji  benefited the most from this groundswell.

If an opinion sucks, the holder of that opinion is immediately made aware of that. If a person is simply putting up a charade of being an intellectual, this charade is immediately pulled off by more knowledgeable people who might not be very well-known, but certainly know their stuff.

Via constant interaction on the Internet, I personally came to know that neither intellectuals like presstitutes, nor the various secular political parties have any intention of actually working for the betterment of the Muslim community.
This understanding has tarnished the image of the Indian version of secularism to a great extent and it is only because of the phoney secularists misusing the term for their own benefit.
Of course from our side the fault also lies with our organisations and political parties like the RSS and the BJP for not taking seriously enough the charges of communalism and divisiveness heaped upon them day after day. The entire community has had to pay for their lacklustre approach.

The attitude of these intellectuals and politicians have caused a two-pronged problem for the minorities, especially Muslims.

One, due to appeasement for the sake of vote bank politics, no real development has taken place. Compared to other communities, Muslims are far backward, illiterate and unemployed.

To the majority community an impression has been conveyed that the Muslims are a pampered community, antagonising Hindus in the process. Consequently, both the communities are being pitched against each other without a tangible benefit to either. Secularism takes a further beating.
Why do they constantly play this secular-communal card? Playing the secular-communal card is quite profitable in our country and it is a livelihood for many intellectuals, scholars, NGO managers and of course, politicians also.

When you play this card, you don’t have to work. You don’t have to build roads. You don’t have to worry about setting up schools, colleges and universities. Let the cities, towns and villages remain in perpetual darkness.

Accountability? What’s that? You see, the secular fabric of the country is more important than development, and once certain persons and organisations start calling you secular, there is no need to do something else.

All you have to do is make sure that communal forces are not able to assume power and destroy the pluralistic fabric of the country. Had these secularists been truly secular, they would have considered every problem as it is, rather than mapping it over the coordinates of secular and communal.

These are the people who, by constantly hammering into their core audiences the concept of Muslims against Hindus and Hindus against Muslims, are actually divisive and sow the seeds of hatred among the two communities.
In order for India to be truly secular, the people of this country need to stop paying heed to the so-called secularists bastards and consider themselves just Indians, undivided Indians, proud Indians, brothers and sisters Bhartiya.

Jai Bharat.

ॐ नमः शिवाय

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