Continued from Part ३....
88. Really speaking the idea of Hindu-Muslim Unity which Gandhiji had put forward when he entered Indian Politics, came to an end from the moment Pakistan was established, because the Muslim league was opposed to regard India as one whole nation; and over and over again they had stated with great obstinacy, that they were not Indians. The Hindu-Muslim Unity which Gandhiji himself had put forward many a time was not of this type. What he wanted was that they both should take part in the struggle for independence as comrades. That was his idea of Hindu- Musim Unity. The Hindus followed Gandhiji's advice but the Muslims on every occasion. disregarded it and indulged in such behaviour as would be insulting to the Hindus, and at last, it has culminated in the vivisection and division of the country.Source: Frustration of an Ideal by ReferenceBuddy and Mr. Gopal Godse
89. The mutual relations of Gandhiji and Mr. Jinnah are also worthy to note. When Mr. Jinnah who was once an ardent nationalist became rank communalist from 1920 and onward. since then he put forward one evident and clear fact that it was his intention to look to the interests of the Muslim community and that the Muslims should not at all rely upon the Congress and the Congress leaders; and that the Muslims should not support the fight for freedom along with the Congress. Mr. Jinnah had also openly demanded Pakistan. He has preached These doctrines quite openly. He deceived no one as far as principles are concerned. His was the behaviour of an open enemy. He could talk of vivisecting this country with ease and wholly unfettered tongue.
90. Gandhiji had seen Mr. Jinnah many a time and called upon him. Every time he had to plead to him as "Brother Jinnah." He even offered to him the Premiership of the whole of India; but there was not a single occasion on which Mr. Jinnah had shown any inclination oven to co- operate.
91. Gandhiji's inner voice, his spiritual power and his doctrine of non-violence of which so much is made of, all crumbled before Mr. Jinnah's iron will and proved to be powerless.
92. Having known that with his spiritual powers he could not influence Mr. Jinnah, Gandhiji should have either changed his policy or should have admitted his defeat and given way to others of different political views to deal with Mr. Jinnah and the Muslim League. But Gandhiji was not honest enough to do that. He could not forget his egoism or self even for national interest. There was, thus, no scope left for the practical politics while the great blunders blunders as big as the Himalayas-were being committed.
93. Constantly for nearly one year after the horrible Noakhali massacre, our nation was as if, bathing in the pool of blood. The Muslims indulged in horrible and dreadful massacre of humanity followed by reactions from Hindus in some parts. The attacks of Hindus on Muslims in the East Punjab, Bihar or Delhi, were simply acts of reaction. It is not that Gandhiji did not know that the basic cause of these reactions was the outrages on Hindus by the Muslims in the Muslim majority Provinces. But still Gandhiji went on condemning strongly such actions of Hindus only, and the Congress Government went to the extent of threatening to even bombard the Hindus in Bihar to check their discontent and reactions against Muslims which was mainly due to the Muslim outbursts and atrocities in Noakhali and elsewhere. Gandhiji had often advocated during the course of his prayers that the Hindus in India should treat the Muslims with respect and generosity even though the Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan may be completely massacred, and though Mr. Suhrawardy may be the leader of the Goondas, he should be allowed to move about freely and safely in Delhi. This will be Evident from extracts given below from Gandhiji's post- prayer speeches :
(a) "We should with a cool mind reflect when we are being swept away. Hindus should never be angry against the muslims even if the latter might make up their minds to undo even their existence. If they put all of us to the sword, we should court death bravely, may they, even rule the world, we, shall inhabit the world. At least we should never fear death. We are destined to be born and die; then why need we fee; gloomy over it ? If all of us die with a smile on our lips, we shall enter a new life. We shall originate a new Hindustan." (6th April 1947).
(b) "The few gentlemen from Rawalpindi who coiled upon me today were sturdy, brave and absorbed in business. I advised them to remain calm. After all God is great. There is no place where God does not east, mediate on Him and take His name; everything will be all right. They asked me what about those who still remain in Pakistan. I asked them why all they came here (in Delhi). Why they did not die there ? I still hold on to the belief one should stick to the place where we happen to live even if we are cruelly treated and even killed. Let us die if the people kill us; but we should die bravely with the name of God on our tongue. Even if our men are killed, why should we feel angry with anybody, you should realise that even if they are killed they have had a good and proper end. May the heaven make us all so. May God send us the same way. This is what we should pray heartily for. I will advise you (and issue) as I did to the residents of Rawalpindi, that they should go there and meet the Sikhs and Hindu refugees, tell them politely to return to their places in Pakistan unaided either by Police or the Military." (23rd September 1947).
(c) "Not one of those who have died in Punjab is going to return. In the end we too have to go there. It is true that they were murdered but then some others die of cholera or due to other causes. He who is born must die. It those killed have died bravely, they have not lost anything but earned something. But what to do with those who have slaughtered people, is a big question. One may concede that to err is human. A human being is a bundle of errors. In Punjab our protection is due to them (British troops) But is this protection ? I want even if a handful of persons should protect themselves. They should not be afraid of death. After all the killers will be none other than our Muslim brothers. Will our brothers cease to be our brothers after change of their religion ? And do we not act like them ? What thing we left undone with women in Bihar."
94. Gandhiji need have taken into consideration that the desire for reprisals springing tip in the Hindu mind was simply a natural reaction. Thousands of Hindus in the Muslim Provinces were being massacred simply because of the fault of their being Hindus, and our Government was quite unable to render these unfortunate people any help or protection. Could it be in any way unnatural if the waves of sorrow and grief of the Hindus in those Provinces should redound on the mind and hearts of the Hindus in other Provinces? It was not at all unnatural, for these reactions wore only the signs of warm humanity. Only with the sole object of redressing the woes and calamities of their fellow brothers in those provinces and giving them protection, that the retaliation against the Muslim& was resorted to, as the Hindus believed that was the only way by which the atrocities of the Muslims could be checked. When the people (Hindus) noticed and realised that the Indian Union Government was unable to afford any protection to their brethren residing in Pakistan, they thought of taking the law in their own hands. The retaliatory actions taken by the Hindus in Bihar and elsewhere were the inevitable outcome of the revulsion left by the Hindus at the shocking atrocities in other provinces. Such a feeling at times also is as spiritual and natural an that of kindness.
95. Many a great revolution has been successful only by the idea of this sort of feeling of acute discontent against the misdeeds of the rulers. It would be quite impossible to put an end to the governance of the Society by the wicked, had it not been for such feelings of discontent, retaliation and revenge springing up against the wicked Dictators. The events of ancient history as depicted in Ramayana and Mahabharat, or the more modern wars of England and America against Germany and Japan too indicate the some sort of action and reaction. It may be either good or bad. Such is the human nature.
96. Looked at from the point of view of the Indian politics, I have already shown in my narration elsewhere, how Gandhiji had strongly opposed several efforts made for winning the freedom of the country. There was no consistency in his own political policy. in particular his behaviour at the time of the last war was quite unthinkable.
97. He first gave out the principle that no help should be given by India to the war between England and Germany. "WAR MEANT VIOLENCE AND HOW COULD I HELP" was his saying. But the wealthy companions and followers of Gandhiji enormously added to their wealth by undertaking contracts from the Government for the supply of materials for war. It is needless for me to mention names but all know the wealthy personalities like Birla, Dalmia, Walchand Hirachand, Nanjibhai Kalidas, etc. Gandhiji and his Congress colleagues have been much helped by everyone of them. But Gandhiji never refused to accept the moneys offered by these wealthy people ,although it was got from this bloop-filled war. Nor did he prevent these wealthy people from carrying out their contracts with the Government for the supply of she materials for war. Not only that but Gandhiji had given his consent to taking up the contract for supplying blankets to the army from the Congress Khadi Bhander.
98. Gandhiji's release from jail in 1944 was followed by the release of other leaders also, but the Government had to be assured by the Congress leaders of their help in the war against Japan. Gandhiji not only did not oppose this but actually supported the Government proposal.
99. In Gandhiji's politics there was no place for consistency of ideas and reasons. Truth was what Gandhiji only could define. His politics was supported by old superstitious belief such as the power of the soul, the innervoice, the fast, the prayer, and the purity of mind.
100. Gandhiji had once said, 'FREEDOM GOT FROM NON- VIOLENCE A THOUSAND YEARS LATER IS PREFERABLE TO THE FREEDOM GOT TO-DAY BY VIOLENCE.' Whether he acted as he said, or whether his actions and sayings were diametrically opposed to each other can be inferred to some extent from the example cited above.
101. A recent example of the inconsistency of his doctrine of non.violence is worth being noted in particular. The problem of Kashmir followed very closely that of Pakistan. Pakistan had begun a dreadful invasion to conquer and gulp down the Kashmir. H.H. The Maharaja of Kashmir had asked for help from the Nehru Government, and the latter in return agreed to do so on condition that Sheikh Abdullah would be made the Chief Administrator. On every important matter Pt. Nehru had consulted Gandhiji. There was every chance of partiality being done, Kashmir being the birth-place of Pt. Nehru. And to give no way to this partiality, Pt. Nehru consulted Gandhiji about sending Military help to Kashmir and it was only on. the consent, of Gandhiji that Pt. Nehru sent troops for the protection and defence of Kashmir. Pt. Nehru himself has told this in one of his speeches.
102. Our political leaders knew from the very beginning that the invasion of Kashmir by the raiders was supported by Pakistan. And it was therefore, evident that sending help to the Kashmir meant waging war directly against Pakistan. Gandhiji himself was opposed to the war with arms, and he has told this to the entire world again,and again. But he gave his consent to Pt Nehru to send army in Kashmir. The only conclusion that could be drawn from what is happening in Kashmir is that, today after the attainment of freedom for the partitioned India, that under Gandhiji's blessings, our Government has resorted to the war where man-killing machinery is being used.
103. Had Gandhiji a firm belief in the doctrine if non- violence. he should have made a suggestion for sending Satyagrahis instead of the armed troops and tried the experiment. Orders should have been issued to send `Takalis' in place of rifles and `Spinning wheels' (i.e. Charkhas) instead of the guns. It was a golden opportunity for Gandhiji to show the power of his Satyagraha by following his precept as an experiment at the beginning of our freedom.
104. But Gandhiji did nothing of the sort. He had begun a new war by his own will, at the very beginning of the existence of Free India. What does this inconsistency mean? Why did Gandhiji himself so violently trample down the doctrines of nonviolence, he had championed ? To my mind, the reason for his doing so is quite obvious; and it is that this war is being fought for Sheikh Abdullah. The administrative power of Kashmir was going in the hands of Muslims and for this reason and this reason alone did Gandhiji consent to the destruction of the raiders by Armed Forces. Gandhiji was reading the dreadful news of Kashmir war, while at the same time fasting to death only because a few Muslims could not live safely in Delhi. But he was not bold enough to go on fast in front of the raiders of Kashmir, nor had he the courage to practise Satyagraha against them. All his fasts were to coerce Hindus.
105. I thought it rather a very unfortunate thing that in the present 20th Century such a hypocrite should have been regarded as the leader of the All-India politics. The mind of this Mahatma was not affected by the attacks on the Hindus in Hyderabad State; and this Mahatma never asked the Nizam of Hyderabad to abandon his throne. If the Indian politics proceeded in this way under the guiding dominance of Gandhiji, even the preservation of freedom obtained today-even though in partitioned India would be impossible. These thoughts arose in my mind again and again and it was full with them. As,the above incidents were taking place, Gandhiji's fast for the Hindu-Muslim Unity was announced on 13th January 1948, and then I lost nearly my control on my feelings.
106. For the fast four years, I had been working as the Editor of a daily newspaper, and even before this period, I have spent most of my time in the service of the public. As such therefore I was in a habit of being in touch with all the Indian political developments.
107. I was fully aware of the idea of the mutual relations among the three political bodies-the Muslim League, the Congress and the Hindu Mahasabha. The Muslim League had always dubbed the Congress as a Hindu organisation but the Congress leaders were ashamed of being called a Hindu body. The Congressmen felt abused when called 'Communal.'
108. Really speaking, if any institution were to look to the interests of a particular community without hindering the growth of national spirit, why should one use the word 'Communal, in the sense of an abuse to that institution ? It would be proper if an institution seeking the interests of any particular community by destroying the very essence of the national spirit were to be abused as being a selfish 'Communal minded' body. But the Congress has no such discretion. The Congress has styled both the Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha as 'Communal' bodies using the word 'Communal' an expression of abuse. But the thing to be specially noted is the, while the Congress has yielded to every demand of the Muslim League it has not taken due notice of even the purely national policy of the Hindu Mahasabha and has carried on propaganda of distortion against Hindu Mahasabha and its leaders.
109. When the Congress recognised the Muslim League as representing the- Muslim Community, viewed from logical point of view it would not have been out of place to recognise the Hindu Mahasabha as representing the Hindus, or at least the Congress should openly have declared that it would look to the interests of the Hindus. But the Congress never did that. As a result of all this in spite of the existence of a very powerful body such as the Muslim League looking after the interests of the Muslims, a few Muslims who were still the members of the Congress, also looked after the Muslim interest, whereas there. was none to look after the Hindu interest as such. But the Congress which decided the Hindu Mahasabha by calling it 'Communal' took part in the conference of leaders convened by H. E. Lord Wavell at Simla and accepted the principle of 50 percent. representation of the Muslims. Not only that, but at the instance of Gandhiji the Congress leaders were prepared to be recognised as representatives of Caste. Hindus. This position taken by the Congress was the most hideously communal one being entirely the. outcome of the Muslim- appeasing-policy adopted by it.
110. Was this the ideal of freedom and, independence of India, torn by vivisection, before the Congress, after the foundation of which our great national, intelligent and sacrificing leaders laboured assiduously by keeping before them the ideal of then freedom of the whole nation, sacrificed even their lives for their ideal of the achievement of complete democracy, and tried for the mutual co-operation among the major and minor communities of this vast country and in the freedom fight of which the parts of the Punjab, the Bengal, the Sind, and the N. W. F. Province, which now form the Pakistan, were in no way less prominent than any other part of India ? So also, could those patriots with their ideal of the freedom of the whole of Bharatkhand, who were, though outside the Congress, in the forefront of the revolutionises who either gladly went to the gallows or passed their days out of their motherland as exiles, or were rotting in the dark cells of the Andamans dream of freedom as envisaged in the freedom granted to the country by vivisection ? It is but proper that the award for their incomparable sacrifices should be in the establishment of a State founded upon blind and fanatic religious faith in one part of the country ?
111. But the Congress under the leadership of Gandhiji commenced its surrender to the Muslims, right from the time the 14 demands of Mr. Jinnah were made till the establishment of the Pakistan. Is it not a deplorable sight for people to see the Congress celebrate the occasion of the establishment of a Dominions Government in the rest of country shattered and vivisected by the Pakistan in the East and West and 'with the pricking thorn of Hyderabad in its midst. On seeing this downfall of the Congress under the dominance of Gandhiji, I am reminded of the well known verse of Raja Bhartrihari to the effect :
(The Ganges has fallen from the Heavens on the head of Shiva, thence on the Himalayas, thence on the earth, and thence in the sea. In this manner, down and down she went and reached a very low stage. Truly it is said that indiscriminate persons deteriorate to the low position in a hundred ways).
Courtesy of Shri Gopal Godse
Continue to Part ५....