Courtesy and Copyright Shri Gopal Godse. These excerpts are verbatim from the book, May it Please your Honor. My comments are in ‘ commas’.
‘People across the world might be curious to know about the Gandhi murder. This chapter attempts to throw some light on the people behind the murder. More importantly it peeps into the mind of Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse. What is it that generated so much anger within him that he decided to kill Gandhi? Was he a normal, rationally thinking person or did he suffer from depression? Am reproducing excerpts his defence before Judge Agrawal.’
A Special Court was constituted to conduct the trial. Shri Atma Charan Agrawal, I.C.S. was appointed as the Judge.
The venue of the court was the memorable Red Fort, Delhi. This was to be the third historical trial to be witnessed here. The first was of Bahadur Shah Jafar and other accused. They were among those who waged War of Independence against the British in 1857. The second was in 1945. The officers of the Indian National Army commanded by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose were charged with revolt against the British rule during the Second World War. The third was to be for Gandhi murder. A row of cells in one of the walls of the fort was turned into a jail for the accused.
Twelve persons were accused on different charges. Three of them were absconding. The nine produced before Shri Atma Charan on May 27, 1948 and onward were (1) Nathuram Vinayak Godse, 37, Pune, (2) Narayan Dattatraya Apte, 34, Pune, (3) Vishnu Ramkrishna Karkare, 37, Ahmednagar. (4) Madanlal K. Pahwa, 20, Bombay (originally from Dist. Montgomery, Pakistan) (5) Shankar Kistaiya, 20, Solapur, (6) Gopal Vinayak Godse, 27, Pune, (7) Digambar Ramchandra Badge, 40, Pune, (8) Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, 66, Bombay, and (9) Dattatraya Sadashiv Parchure, 47. Gwalior. The three absconding persons were (1) Gangadhar Dandavate, (2) Gangadhar Jadhao, and (3) Suryadeo Sharma, all from Gwalior.
Accused number 7 Digamber Badge turned approver. Savarkar then became accused number 7. Savarkar had a glorious background as a fiery revolutionary. The history of Independence of India cannot be complete without a reference to him. He fired the imagination of Indian youth with the philosophy of Joseph Mazzini, the stalwart of the Italian Liberation Movement. Savarkar was accused of sedition and sentenced to transportation for life twice, that was in 1910. He was free only in 1937, from any restrictions imposed on him. The revolutionary fervor of Savarkar was the source of inspiration for Subhash Bose. Savarkar had forewarned years before the actual partition that the leading party i.e. the Congress would deceive the people and divide India to appease Muslims, and then it would also appease Muslim sentiments in the rest of India.
Accused number 2 Narayan Apte was B.Dc, B.T. He was a popular teacher. He conducted private classes as well. He stayed at Nagar, 70 kms away from Pune where Karkare accused no 3 was residing. It was later in 1944 that Apte and Nathuram jointly launched Hindu Rashtra a Marathi daily from Pune for propagating the cause of Hindu Sanghatan. The last issue of the daily was January 31, 1948 carried the news of G’s death and mentioned the name of his killer, Nathuram Godse, as its editor.
Vishnu Karkare had a lodging and boarding house at Nagar. When Noakhali (now in Bangladesh) had become the slaughterhouse of Hindus there, Karkare, with a batch of ten had gone there to mobilize the Hindus and adopt a militant posture in their defence. He had raised a number of shelter camps under the Hindu Maha Sabha banner. This was in 1946-47. He was present on the spot on January 20 and 30 in Delhi.
Madanlal, who had exploded the gun-cotton slab, was a refugee from what is today Pakistan. He was a witness to the awful events of massacre, loot and arson. Madanlal has narrated his poignant sufferings in his statement before the Court.
Shankar Kistaiya, accused number 5 served Digambar Badge, the approver. He was in Delhi on the spot on January 20,1948.
Gopal Godse accused number 6 is a brother of Nathuram Godse. He served in the Ordinance department, had gone abroad in the Second World War and on return was posted in Khadaki Depot near Pune.
Digamber Badge was a dealer in arms. He held a conviction that Hindus should be armed in the pockets in which they were in minority and be able to retaliate in case of attack from Muslims. The prosecution claimed that it was Badge who had supplied the gun-cotton slab ignited by Madanlal. He was present on the spot on January 20 in Delhi.
Accused number 8, D.S. Parchure, was a doctor. He practiced at Gwalior. He was an able Hindu organizer who met attacks by Muslims with counter-attacks. He was involved on the charge that Nathuram obtained the pistol from him.
The prosecution produced 149 witnesses. The hearing was closed on December 30, 1948 and judgment reserved. It was pronounced on February 10, 1949.
Veer Savarkar was acquitted.
Digamber Badge was granted pardon and set free for having deposed against his co accused.
Vishnu Karkare, Madanlal Pahwa, Gopal Godse, Shankar Kistaiya and Dr. Parchure were to suffer, inter alia, transportation for life.
Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were sentenced to be hanged.
No sooner the sentences were announced the packed Courtroom echoed to the thundering of spontaneous slogans from the convicts, ‘AKHAND BHARAT AMAR RAHE!, ‘VANDE MATARAM! AND ‘SWATANTRYA LAXMI KI JAI!’
‘Friends of the eight accused one was the greatest freedom fighter of all times Savarkar, another a teacher i.e. Narayan Apte, a doctor in Dr Parchure, a refugee Madanlal (my grand parents / parents who lived in Pakistan Punjab have told me horror stories of partition), Badge turned approver. Looking at their profiles I am all the more intrigued about their alleged decision to kill G?’ Educated people use the power of reason to convince themselves before doing any act, good or bad. Did these educated guys strong enough reason to kill G? Read on -
All the seven convicts submitted appeals to the Punjab High Court that had post partition shifted from Lahore to Simla. Justice Bhanadari, Achhru Ram and Khosla J J heard the appeals in May and June 1949. They found Shankar K and Dr Parchure not guilty and acquitted them. The sentences of Vishnu K, Gopal Godse and Madanlal Pahwa were confirmed. The Judge’s also confirmed the death sentence of Narayan Apte and Nathuram Godse.
It is obvious that the High Court was struck by the conduct and ability of Nathuram. It has made a special reference to it while recording the judgement. Says Justice Achhru Ram :
“Of all the appellants Nathuram V. Godse has not challenged his conviction under Sec. 302 of the Indian Penal Code, nor has he appealed from the sentence of death passed on him in respect of the offence. He has confined his appeal and also his arguments at the Bar only to the other charges, which have been found, proved against him……… He personally argued his appeal, I must say, with conspicuous ability evidencing a mastery of facts which would have done credit to any counsel.”
As regards Nathuram’s power of thinking, the Judge noted:
“Although he failed in his matriculation examination, he is widely read. While arguing his Appeal, he showed a fair knowledge of the English language and a remarkable capacity for clear thinking.”
In the course of arguments, Nathuram had made a plea that on January 20, 1948 he was not present at the Birla House. The judges rejected the plea. In support of their rejection, they referred to their observations of the strong will power of Nathuram. Shri Achhru Ram says:
“We have seen quite enough of Nathuram during the period of more than five weeks we were hearing these appeals and particularly during the eight or nine days while he was arguing his own case, and I cannot imagine that a man of his caliber could have even entertained the idea (of remaining behind).”
Not guilty :
Justice Khosla after retirement, in a pen picture of the Court scene as it then passed before his mind’s eye has said:
“The highlight of the appeal before us was the discourse delivered by Nathuram Godse in his defence. He spoke for several hours, discussing, in the first instance, the facts of the case and then the motive, which had prompted him to take Mahatma Gandhi’s life……
“The audience was visibly and audibly moved. There was a deep silence when he ceased speaking. Many women were in tears and men coughing and searching for their handkerchiefs. The silence was accentuated and made deeper by the sound of an occasional subdued sniff or a muffled cough…
“I have however, no doubt that had the audience of that day been constituted into a jury and entrusted with the task of deciding Godse’s appeal. They would have brought in a verdict of ‘not guilty’ by an over-whelming majority.’
Nathuram had displayed the same ability while arguing his case before Shri Atma Charan, the Judge of the Special Court, Red Fort, Delhi.
The statement in the following pages is a part of the record of the Gandhi murder case, which can be found in Printed Volume II, Criminal Appeals Nos 66 to 72 of the 1949 Punjab High Court (then at) Simla.
Answer to Charge-sheet Chapter 2 – 1
The number 15 is the para number as it appears in the book. What you have here are excerpts.
15 - I have never made a secret about the fact that I supported the ideology, which was opposed to that of Gandhiji. I firmly believed that the teachings of absolute Ahimsa as advocated by Gandhiji would ultimately result in the emasculation of the Hindu community incapable of resisting the aggression of other communities especially the Muslims.
To counter this evil I decided to enter public life and as a part of the propaganda started a daily newspaper Agrani. I might mention that is not so much Gandhi’s Ahimsa that we were opposed to but his bias for Muslims, prejudicial and detrimental to the Hindu Community and its interests. I have fully described my point of view and have quoted instances when how Gandhi became responsible for a number of calamities which the Hindu community had to suffer and undergo.
16. On 13th of January 1948. I learnt that Gandhiji had decided to go on fast unto death. The reason given for such fast was that he wanted an assurance of Hindu-Muslim unity in Indian Dominion. But I and many others could easily see that the real motive behind the fast was not merely the so-called Hindu-Muslim Unity, but to compel the Dominion Government to pay the sum of Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan, the payment of which was emphatically refused by the Government.
25. Having reached Delhi in great despair, I visited the refugee camps at Delhi. While moving in the camps my thoughts took a definite and final turn. Chancely I came across a refugee who was dealing in arms and he showed me the pistol. I was tempted to have it and I bought it from him. It is the pistol which I later used in the shots I fired. On coming to the Delhi Railway station I spent the night of 29th thinking and re-thinking about my resolve to end the present chaos and further destruction of the Hindus. I shall now deal about my relations with Veer Savarkar in political and other matters of which the prosecution has made so much.
26. Born in a devotional Brahmin family, I instinctitively came to revere Hindu religion, history and culture. I had been instinctively proud of Hinduism as a whole. Nevertheless as I grew up I developed a tendency to free unthinking unfettered by a superstitious allegiance to any ism political or religious. That is why I worked actively for the eradication of untouchability and the caste system based on birth alone. I publicly joined anti-caste movements and maintained all that Hindus should be treated with equal status as to rights social and religious, and should be high or low on merit alone, and not through the accident of birth in a particular caste or profession. I used to take part in organized anti-caste dinners in which of Hindus broke caste rules and dined the company of each other.
27. I have read the works of Dadabhai Naoraji, Vivekanand, Gokhale, Tilak with the books of ancient and modern history of India and some prominent countries in the world like England, France, America and Russia. Not only that I studied tolerably well the current tenets of socialism and Communism too. But above all I studied very closely whatever Veer Savarkar and Gji had written or spoken, as to my mind, these two ideologies had contributed more to the thought and action of modern India during the last fifty years or so, than any other any single factor had done.
28. All this reading and thinking brought me to believe me that above all it was my first duty to serve Hindudom and the Hindu people.
29. I have worked for several years in the R.S.S. and later joined the Hindu Mahasabha and volunteered myself to fight as a soldier under its pan-Hindu flag. About this time Savarkar was elected as the president of the Sabha. The movement got electrified and millions of sanghatanists looked up to him as the chosen hero, as the ablest and most faithful advocate of the Hindu cause. I too was one of them, in the process came to be personally acquainted with Savarkarji.
30. Later on my friend Apte and myself decided to start a daily paper devoted to Hindu Sanghatan Movement. After securing sympathy and financial help from a number of Sanghatanist we met Savarkar as the President of the Mahasabha. He advanced a sum of Rs 15,000/ as his quota of the capital required, on the condition that a limited company should be registered at the earliest and his advance should be transformed into so many shares.
31. Accordingly, we started the Daily Marathi paper, Daily Agrani. The sums advanced by Savarkar and others were converted into shares of Rs 500 each. Among the directors and donors were such leading men as Seth Gulab Chand (brother of Seth Walchand Hirachandji), Mr Shingre, an ex-Minister of Bhor, Shreeman Bhalji Pendharkar, the film magnate of Kolhapur and others. I was the editor with Apte and myself being Managing Directors of the company.
33. But it must be specifically noted that our casual visits to Savarkar Sadan were restricted generally to this Hindu Sanghatan office, situated on the ground floor. Savarkar was residing on the first floor. It was rarely that we could meet Savarkar personally and that too by personal appointment.
34. Some three years ago, Savarkar’s health got seriously impaired and since then he was confined to bed. Thus deprived of his virile leadership the activities and influence of the Mahasabha got crippled and when Dr Mookerjee became its President it was reduced to the position of a handmaid to the Congress. It became quite incapable of counteracting the dangerous anti-Hindu activities of Gandhite cabal on the one hand and the Muslim League on the other. Seeing this I lost all hope in the efficiency of the policy of running the Sanghatan movement on the constitutional lines of the Mahasabha and began to shift myself. I determined to organized a youthful group of Sanghatanists and adopt a fighting program against the Congress and the League without consulting any of those prominent but old leaders of the Mahasabha.
35. I shall just mention here two striking instances only out of a number of them which painfully opened my eyes about this time to the fact that Veer Savarkar and other old leaders of Mahasabha could no longer be relied upon by me and the Hindu youths of my persuasion to guide or even to appreciate the fighting program with which we aimed to counteract Gandhiji’s activities inside and the Muslim League outside. In 1946 or thereabout the Muslim atrocities perpetrated on the Hindus under the Government patronage of Surhawardy in Noakhali, made our blood boil. Our shame and indignation knew no bounds, when we saw that Gandhiji had come forward to shield that very Surhawardy and began to style him as ‘Shahid Saheb-a Martyr Soul (!) even in his prayer meetings. Not only that but after coming to Delhi, Gandhiji began to hold his prayer meetings in a Hindu temple in Bhangi Colony and persisted in reading passages from Quoran as a part of the prayer in that Hindu temple in spite of the protest of the Hindu worshippers there. Of course he dared not read the Geeta in a mosque in the teeth of Muslim reaction would have been if he had done so. But he could safely trample over the feelings of the tolerant Hindu. To belie this belief I determined to prove to Gandhiji that the Hindu too could be intolerant when his honor was insulted.
36 to 39 – Apte and I decided to stage a series of demonstrations in Delhi at his meeting and make it impossible for him to hold such prayers. Seeing the protest Gandhi slyly took shelter behind barred and guarded doors. But when Savarkar read about the report of this demonstration he blamed me for such anarchical tactics. Another incident was the treatment of the post Independence Indian government by the Mahasabhaites. Savarkar felt that the government needed all support to prevent a Civil War and enable Muslims to realize their mission to turn the whole of India into Pakistan. My friends and others were unconvinced. We felt that time had come to bid good-bye to Savarkar and cease to consult him in our future policy and programs, nor should we confide in him our plans.
40. Just after that followed the terrible outburst of Muslim fanaticism in the Punjab and other parts of India. The Congress Government began to persecute, prosecute, and shoot the Hindus themselves who dared to resist the Muslim forces in Bihar, Calcutta, Punjab and other places. Our worst fears seemed to be coming true; and yet how painful and disgraceful it was for us to find that the 15th of August 1947 was celebrated with illumination and festivities, while the whole of the Punjab was set by the Muslims in flames and Hindu blood ran rivers. The Hindu Mahasabhaites of my persuasion decided to boycott the festivities and the Congressite Government and to launch a fighting program to check Muslim onslaughts.
45. I began to criticize the Mahasabha and the policy of its old leaders in my daily paper Agrani.
47. I would not have referred to the above details in his statement but for the learned prosecutor’s opening speech in which he painted me as a mere tool in the hands of Savarkar.
Gandhiji’s Politics X-rayed Chapter 2.2.
51. In my writings and speeches I have always advocated that the religious and communal consideration should be entirely eschewed in the public affairs of the country. At elections, inside and outside the legislatures and in the making and unmaking of Cabinets I have throughout stood for a secular State with joint electorates and to my mind this is the only sensible thing to do. (Here I read parts of the resolutions passed at the Bilaspur Session of the Hindu Mahasabha held in December, 1994. Annexure Pages 12 and 13), Under the influence of the Congress this ideal was steadily making headway amongst the Hindus. But the Muslims as a community first stood aloof and later on under the corroding influence of the Divide and Rule Policy of the foreign masters were encouraged to cherish the ambition of dominating the Hindus. The first indication of this outlook was the demand for separate electorates (conceded by the Congress firstly by the Lucknow Pact of 1916 and at each successive revision of the constitution thereafter) instigated by the then Viceroy Lord Minto in 1906. The British Government accepted this demand under the excuse of minority protection. While the Congress party offered a verbal opposition, it progressively supported separatism by ultimately adopting the notorious formula of neither accepting nor rejecting in 1934.
52. Thus had originated and intensified the demand for the disintegration of this country. What was the thin end of the wedge in the beginning became Pakistan in the end.
54. Under the inspiration of our British masters on one hand and encouragement under G’s leadership on the other, the Muslim League went on increasing its demands on Communal basis. The Muslim community continuously backed the League, each successive election proved that the League was able to bank on the fanaticism and ignorance of the Muslim masses and the League was those encouraged, in its policy of separatisms on an ever-increasing scale year after year.
56. I will consider it a religious and moral duty to resist and if possible to overpower such an enemy by the use of force. Shree Ramchandra killed Ravan in a tumultuous fight and relieved Sita. Shree Krishna killed Kansa to end his wickedness. In the Mahabharat Arjun had to fight and slay, quite a number of his friends and relations including the revered Bhishma, because the latter was on the side of the aggressor. It is my firm belief that in dubbing Rama, Krishna and Arjuna as guilty of violence is to betray a total ignorance of the springs of human action. It was the heroic fight put up by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj that first checked and eventually destroyed Muslim tyranny: in India. It was absolutely correct tactics for Shivaji to kill Afzul Khan as the latter would otherwise have surely killed him. In condemning Shivaji, Rana Pratap and Guru Govind as misguided patriots, Gandhiji has merely exposed his self-conceit.
59. As pointed out herein below Gandhi’s political activities can be conveniently divided under three heads. He returned to India from Emgland sometime about the end of 1914 and plunged into the public life of the country almost immediately. Unfortunately after his arrival Sir Pherozeshah Mehta and G.K. Gokhale, Gandhi called the latter his Guru, died within a short span of time. Gandhi’s began his work by starting an Ashram in Ahmedabad on the banks of the Sabarmati river, and made Truth and Non-Violence his slogans. He had often acted contrary to his professed principles and it was for the appeasing the Muslim he hardly had any scruple in doing so. Truth and non-violence are excellent as an ideal, to be practiced in day-today-life and not in the air. I am showing later on that Gandhiji himself was guilty of glaring breaches of his much-vaunted ideals.
61. When Gandhiji returned to India at the end of 1914, he brought with him a very high reputation for courageous leadership of Indians in South Africa. He had placed himself at the head of the struggle for the assertion and vindication of the national self-respect of India and for our rights of citizenship against white tyranny in that country. He was honored by Hindus, Muslims and Parsis alike and was universally acclaimed as the leader of all Indians in South Africa. His simplicity, devotion, self-sacrifice etc had raised the prestige of Indians. In India he had endeared himself to all.
62. In South Africa Indians had claimed nothing but elementary rights of citizenship, which were denied to them. Hindus, Muslims and Parsis therefore stood united against the common enemy. The Indian problem at home was quite different.
We were fighting for home-rule, self-government and independence. We were determined to overthrow an Imperial Power, which was determined to continue its sway over us by using all possible means including the policy of Divide and Rule which had intensified the cleavage between the Hindus and Muslims. Gandhiji was thus confronted at the very outset with a problem the like of which he had never encountered in South Africa. But in India communal franchise, separate electorates and the like had already undermined the solidarity of the nation. Gandhiji, therefore found it most difficult to obtain the unquestioned leadership of the Hindus and the Muslims in India as in South Africa. It was absurd for his honest mind to think of accepting the generalship of an army divided against itself.
63. For the first five years there was not much hope for the attainment by him of supreme leadership in Indian politics. The stalwarts Tilak, Naoroji others were still alive and Gandhi was still a junior compared to them in age and experience. But an inexplorable fate removed all of them in five years and with the death of Tilak in 1920, Gandhiji was at once thrown into the front line.
64. He saw that the foreign rulers by the policy of ‘Divide and Rule’ were corrupting the patriotism of the Muslim and that there was little chance of his leading a united host to the battle for Freedom unless he was able to cement fellow feeling and common devotion to the Motherland. He, therefore, made Hindu-Muslim Unity the foundation of his polities. As a counter to the British tactics he started making the most friendly approaches to the Muslim community and reinforced them by making generous and extravagant promises to the Muslims. This, of course, was not wrong in itself so long as it was done consistently with India’s struggle for democratic national freedom; but Gandhiji completely forgot this, the most essential aspect of his campaign for unity, with what results we all know by now.
65. Our British masters were able to make concessions to Muslims and to keep the various communities divided. By 1919 Gandhiji had become desperate in his endeavor to get Muslims to trust him and went from one absurd promise to another. He backed the Khilafat Movement in this country and was able to enlist the full support of the National Congress in that policy. For a time Gandhi appeared to succeed and prominent Muslim leaders became his followers. Jinnah was nowhere in 1920-21 and the Ali Brothers became defacto Muslim leaders. He made the most of the Ali Brothers, raised them to the skies by flattery and unending concessions. The Muslims ran the Khilafat Committee as a distinct political religious organization and throughout maintained it as a separate identity from the Congress, very soon the Moplah Rebellion showed that the Muslims had not the slightest idea of national unity on which Gandhiji had set his heart and had staked so much. There followed as usual in such cases, a huge slaughter of Hindus, forcible conversion and rape.
By the Act of 1919 separate electorates were enlarged and communal representation was continued not merely in the legislature and the local bodies but even extended within the Cabinet. The services began to be distributed on the communal basis and the Muslims obtained high jobs from our British Masters not on merit but by remaining aloof from the struggle for freedom and because of their being the followers of Islam.
Government patronage to Muslims in the name of Minority protection penetrated throughout the body politic of the Indian State and the Mahatma’s meaningless slogans were no match against this wholesale corruption of the Muslim mind. By 1925 it had become clear that the Government won all the time but like the proverbial gambler Gandhiji increased his stake.
He agreed to the separation of Sind and to the creation of a separate province in the N.W.Frontier. He also went on conceding one demand after to another to the Muslim League in the vain hope of enlisting its support in the national struggle. By this time the stock of the Ali Brothers had gone down and Mr Jinnah who had staged a comeback was having the best of both the worlds. Whatever concessions the Government and the Congress made, Mr Jinnah accepted and asked for more.
Separation of Sind from Bombay and the creation of the N. W. Frontier were followed by the Round Table Conference in which the minority question loomed large. Mr. Jinnah stood out against the federation until Gandhiji himself requested Mr. Mc Donald, the Labour Premier, to give the Communal Award. Further seeds were thereby sown for the disintegration of this country. The communal principle became deeply imbeded in the Reforms of 1935. Mr Jinnah took the fullest advantage of every situation. The Federation of India, which was to consolidate Indian Nationhood, was in fact, defeated; Mr. Jinnah had never taken kindly to it.
The Congress continued to support the Communal Award neither supporting nor rejecting it, which really meant its tactical acceptance. During the War 1939-44, Mr. Jinnah took up openly one attitude – a sort of benevolent neutrality – and promised to support the war as soon as the Muslims rights were conceded, in April 1940, within six months of the War; Jinnah came out with the demand for Pakistan on the basis of the two-nation theory.
66. The Mahasabha realized that the War was an opportunity for our young men to have military training. The result was that nearly ½ million Hindus learnt the art of war and mastered the mechanized aspect of modern warfare. The troops being used today in Kashmir and Hyderabad would have not have been there ready made but for the effort of men with such outlook.
67. The ‘Quit India’ campaign of 1942 had completely failed. Britishers had triumphed and the Congress leaders decided to come to terms with them. Indeed in the subsequent years the Congress policy can be quite correctly described as ’Peace at any Price’ and ‘Congress in Office at all costs.’ The Congress compromised with the British who placed it in office and in return the Congress surrendered to the violence of Mr. Jinnah, carved out one-third of India to him an explicitly racial and theological State and destroyed two million human beings in the process,
68. This section summarizes the background of the agony of India’s partition and the tragedy of Gandhiji assassination. Neither the one nor the other gives me any pleasure to record or to remember, but the Indian people and the world at large need to know the history of the last thirty years during which Indian has been torn into pieces by the Imperialist Policy of the British and under a mistaken policy of communal amity. One hundred and ten millions of people have become homeless of which 4 million are Muslims and when I found that even after such terrible results Gandhiji continued to pursue the same policy of appeasement, my blood boiled, and I could not tolerate him any longer. Gandhiji in fact successed in doing what the British always wanted to do in pursuance of their policy of Divide and Rule. He helped them in dividing India and it is not yet certain whether their rule has ceased.
Gandhiji’s Politics X-Rayed Chapter 2.3
69. The accumulating provocation of 32 years culminating in his latest pro-Muslim fast at last goaded me to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhiji should be brought to an end. On coming back to India he developed a subjective mentality under which he alone was to be the final judge of what was right or wrong. If the country wanted his leadership it had to accept his infallibility, if it did not, he would stand aloof from the Congress and carry on in his own way. He alone was the judge of everyone and everything, he was the master brain behind guiding the civil disobedience movement, nobody else knew the technique of that movement, he alone knew when to begin and when to withdraw it. The movement may successed or fail, bring untold disasters and political reverses but that could make no difference to the Mahatma’s infallibility. Many people thought his politics were irrational but had to either withdraw from the Congress or place their intelligence at his feet to do what he liked with it. In such a position of such irresponsibility Gandhiji was guilty of blunder after blunder. Not one single political victory can be claimed to his credit during 33 years of his political predominance. Herein below I mention in some details the series of blunders, which he committed during 32 years of his undisputed leadership.
70. In the moment of opportunism the Mahatma misconceived the idea that by helping the Khilafat Movement he would become the leader of the Muslims in India as the already was of the Hindus and that with the Hindu-Muslim Unity thus achieved the British would soon have to concede Swaraj. But again, Gandhiji miscalculated and by leading the Indian National Congress to identify itself with the Khilafat Movement, he quite gratuitously introduced theological element. Which has proved a tragic and expensive calamity. For the moment the movement for the revival of the Khilafat appeared to be succeeding. The Muslims who were not with the Khilafat Movement soon became out of date and the Ali Brothers who were its foremen leaders swam on the crest of a wave of popularity and carried everything before them. Mr. Jinnha found himself a lonely figure and was of no consideration for a few years. The movement however failed.
Our British Masters were not unduly shaken and as a combined result of repression and the Montague Chelmsford Reforms they were able to tide over the Khilafat Movement in a few years time. The Muslims had kept the Khilafat Movement distinct from the Congress all along; they welcomed the Congress support but they did not merge with it. When failure came the Muslims became desperate with disappointment and their anger was sited on the Hindus. Innumerable riots in the various parts of India followed. The chief victims being the Hindus everywhere. The Hindu-Muslim Unity of the Mahatma became a mirage.
The Moplah rebellion as it was called was the most prolonged and concentrated attack on the Hindu religion, Hindu honor, Hindu life and Hindu property; hundreds of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam, women were outraged. The Mahatma who had brought about all this calamity on India by his communal policy kept mum. He never uttered a single word of reproach against the aggressors nor did he allow the Congress to take any active steps whereby repetition of such outrages could be prevented. On the other hand he went to the length of denying the numerous cases of forcible conversions in Malabar and actually published in his paper ‘Young India’ that there was only one case of forcible conversion.
Afghan Amir Intrigue - “I cannot understand why the Ali Brothers are going to be arrested as the rumors go, and why I am to remain free. They have done nothing, which I would not do. If they had sent a message to Amir, I also would send one to inform the Amir that if he came, no Indian so long as I can help it would help the Government to drive him back.’
Attack on Arya Samaj - Gandhiji ostentatiously displayed his love for Muslims by a most unworthy and unprovoked attack on the Arya Samaj in 1924. He publicly denounced the Samaj for its supposed sins of omission and commission; it was an utterly unwarranted reckless and discreditable attack, but whatever would please the Mohammedans was the heart’s desire of Gandhiji
The late Lala Lajpat Rai, and Swami Shradhanand to mention only two names were staunch Arya Samajists but they were foremost amongst the leaders of the Congress till the end of their life. They did not stand for blind support to Gandhi, but were definitely opposed to his pro-Muslim policy, and openly fought him on that issue.
Gandhiji’s attack did not improve his popularity with the Muslims but it provoked a Muslim youth to murder Swami Shraddhanandji within a few months.
Separation of Sind – By 1928 Mr. Jinnah’s stock had risen very high and the Mahatma had already conceded many unfair and improper demands of Mr. Jinnah at the expense of Indian democracy and the Indian nation and the Hindus. The Mahatma even supported the separation of Sind from the Bombay Presidency and threw the Hindus of Sind to the communal wolves. Numerous riots took place in Sind- Karachi, Sukkur, Shikapur and other places in which the Hindus were the only sufferers and the Hindu-Muslim Unity receded further from the horizon.
League’s Good Bye to Congress - With each defeat Gandhiji became even more keen on his method of achieving Hindu-Muslim Unity. Like the gambler who had lost heavily he became more desperate increasing his stakes each time and indulged in the most irrational concessions if only they could placate Mr. Jinnah and enlist his support under the Mahatma’s leadership in the fight for freedom. But the aloofness of the Muslim from the Congress increased with the advance of years and the Muslim League refused to have anything to do with the Congress after 1928. The resolution of Independence passed by the Congress at its Lahore Session in 1929 found the Muslims conspicuous by their absence and strongly aloof from the Congress organization. The hope of Hindu Muslim Unity was hardly entertained by anybody thereafter; but Gandhiji continued to be resolutely optimistic and surrendered more and more to Muslim communalism.
Round –Table Conference and Communal Award - The British authorities both in India and in England, had realized that the demand for a bigger and truer installment of constitutional reforms was most insistent and clamant in India and that in spite of their unscrupulous policy of ‘Divide and Rule’ and the communal discord which it had generated, the resulting situation had brought them no permanence and security so far as British Rule in India was concerned.
The Congress however soon regretted its boycott of the First Round Table Conference and at the Karachi Congress of 1931 it was decided to send Gandhiji alone as the Congress Representative to Second Session of Round Table Conference. Anybody who reads the proceedings of that Session will realize that Gandhiji was the biggest factor in bringing about the total failure of the Conference. Not one of the decisions of the Round Table Conference was in support of democracy or nationalism and the Mahatma went to the length of inviting Mr. Ramsay McDonald to give what was called the communal Award, there by strengthening the disintegrating forces of communalism which had already corroded the body politic for 24 years past The Mahatma was thus responsible for a direct and substantial intrusion of communal electorate and communal franchise in the future Parliament of India.
No wonder under the garb of minority protection we got in the Government of India Act of 1935 a permanent statutory recognition of communal franchise, communal electorate and even weightage for the minorities especially the Muslim, both in the provinces and in the Centre. Those elected on the communal franchise would be naturally communal minded and would have no interest in bridging the gulf between communalism and nationalism.
Acceptance of Office and Resigning in Huff - Provincial Autonomy was introduced from the 1st of April, 1937 under the Government of India Act 1935. The act was bristling with safeguards, special powers, and protection to British personnel in the various services intact. The Congress therefore would not accept office at first but soon found out that in every Province a Ministry was constituted and that at least in five Provinces they were functioning in the normal manner.
In the other six Provinces the Ministers were in a minority but they were forging ahead with their nation building program and the Congress felt that it would be left out in the cold if it persisted in its policy of barren negation. It therefore decided to accept office in July, 1937; in doing so it committed a serious blunder in excluding the members of the Muslim League from effective participation in the Cabinet They only admitted into the Cabinet such Muslims as were congress-men.
Rejection of Muslim League Members as Ministers gave Mr. Jinnah a tactical advantage, which he utilized to the full and in 1939 when the Congress resigned Office in a huff; it completely played in the hand of the Muslim League and British Imperialism. Under Section 93 of the Government of India Act 1935 the Governments of the Congress Provinces were taken over by the Governors and the Muslim League Ministries remained in power and authority in the remaining Provinces. The Governors carried on the administration with a definite leaning towards the Muslims as an imperial policy of Britain and communalism reigned throughout the country through the Muslim Ministries on one hand and pro-Muslim Governors on the other.
The Hindu-Muslim Unity of Gandhiji became a dream, if it were ever anything else; but Gandhiji never cared. His ambition was to become the leader of Hindu and Muslims alike and in resigning the ministries the congress again sacrificed democracy and nationalism.
League taking Advantage of War - The congress opposed the war in one way or another. Mr. Jinnah and the League had a very clear policy. They remained neutral and created no trouble for the Government; but in the year following, the Lahore Session of the Muslim League passed a resolution for the partition of India as a condition for their co-operation in the war. Lord Linlithgow within a few months of the Lahore Resolution gave full support to the Muslims in their policy of separation by a declaration of Government Policy, which assured the Muslims that no change in the political constitution of India will be made without the consent of all the elements in India’s national life. The Muslim League and Mr. Jinnah were thus vested with a veto over the political progress of this country by the pledge given by the Viceroy of India.
Quit-India’ by Congress and Divide and Quit by League – Out of sheer desperation Gandhiji evolved the ‘Quit India’ policy which was endorsed by the Congress. It was supposed to be the greatest national rebellion against foreign rule. Gandhiji had ordered the people to ‘do or die’ But except that the leaders were quickly arrested and detained behind the prison bars some furtive acts of violence were practiced by Congressmen for some weeks. But in less than three months the whole movement was throttled by Government with firmness and discretion. The movement soon collapsed.
Hindi Versus Hindustani – Absurdly pro Muslim policy of Gandhiji is nowhere more blatantly illustrated than in his perverse attitude on the question of the National Language of India. By all the tests of a scientific language, Hindi has the most prior claim to be accepted as the National Language of this country.
In the beginning of his career in India, Gandhiji gave a great impetus to Hindi but as he found that the Muslim did not like it, he became a turncoat and blossomed forth as the champion of what is called Hindustani. Every body in India knows that there is no language called Hindustani; it has no grammar; it has no vocabulary; it is a mere dialect; it is spoken but not written. It is a bastard tongue and a crossbreed between Hindi and Urdu and not even the Mahatma’s sophistry could make it popular; but in his desire to please the Muslims he insisted that Hindustani alone should be the national language of India. His blind supporters of course blindly supported him and the so-called hybrid tongue began to be used. Words like ‘Badshah Ram’ and ‘Begum Sita’ were spoken and written but the Mahatma never dared to speak at Mr. Jinnah as Sita Jinnah and Maulana Azad Pandit Azad. All his experiments were at the expense of the Hindus.
The bulk of the Hindus however proved to be stronger and more loyal to their culture and to their mother tongue and refused to bow down to the Mahatmic fiat. The result was that Gandhiji did not prevail in the Hindi Parishad and had to resign from that body; his pernicious influence however remains and the Congress Governments in India still hesitate whether to select Hindi or Hindustani as the National Language of India.
To read about the History of Urdu go to history section of the site. PROVIDE LINK
Vande Mataram not to be sung - It is notorious that some Muslim disliked the celebrated song of ‘Vande Mataram’ and the Mahatma forthwith stopped its singing or recital wherever he could. This song has been honored for a century as the most inspiring exhortation to the Bengalees to stand up like one man for their nation. In the anti-partition agitation of 1905 in Bengal the song came to a special prominence and popularity. The Bengalees swore by it and dedicated themselves to the Motherland at countless meetings where this song was sung. The British Administrator did not understand the true meaning of the song ‘which simply meant ‘Hail Motherland’ Government therefore banned its singing forty years ago for some time, that only led to its increased popularity all over the country It continued to be sung at all Congress and other national gatherings but as soon as one Muslim objected to it Gandhiji utterly disregarded the national sentiment behind it and persuaded the Congress also not to insist upon the singing as the national song.
Quote from book The Tragic Story of Partition “It was at the Kakinada session of the Congress in 1923, that its President Mohammed Ali objected to the singing of the song on the premise that music was taboo in Islam. The singer V P Paluskar said – You have no authority from singing the Vande Mataram. Moreover, if singing in this place is against your religion, how is it that you tolerate music in your presidential procession? In 1922 it had adopted Iqbal’s Sare jahanse see accha Hindustan hamara as the associate national anthem to satisfy the Muslims. In 1937 the League condemned the Congress for foisting Vande Mataram as the national song. Accordingly the Congress decided to cut those portions of the song that were likely to offend Muslim susceptibilities”.
Shiva Bavani Banned - Gandhiji banned the public recital or perusal of Shiva Bavani a beautiful collection of 52 verses by a Hindu poet in which he had extolled the great power of Shivaji and the protection which he brought to the Hindu community and the Hindu religion. The refrain of that collection says if there were no Shivaji, the entire country would have been converted to Islam.
Quote from the book The Tragic Story of Partition “ Bhajans were also not spared. The soul elevating chanting of ‘Raghupati Raja Rama patita pavana Sita Rama was intoned on the lips of millions of our countrymen for the last several centuries. A new line ‘Ishwar Allah tere nam, sab so sanmati de Bhagavan’ was added to the original”.
Suhrawardy Patronized - When the Muslim League refused to join the provisional Government, which Lord Wavell invited Pandit Nehru to form; the League started a Council of Direct Action against any Government farmed by Pandit Nehru, On the 15th of August 1946. A little more than two weeks before Pandit Nehru was to take office, there broke out in Calcutta an open massacre of the Hindus which continued for three days unchecked
Gandhiji however went to Calcutta and contracted a strange friendship with the author of these massacres; in fact he intervened on behalf of Suhrawardy and the Muslim League. During the three days that the massacre of Hindus took place, the police in Calcutta did not interfere for the protection of life or property, innumerable outrages were practiced under the very eyes and nose of the guardians of law, but nothing mattered to Gandhiji. To him Suhrawardy was an object of admiration from which he could not be diverted and publicly described Suhrawardy as a Martyr. No wonder two months later there was the most virulent outbreak of Muslim fanaticism in Noakhali and Tipperah 30,000 Hindu women were forcibly converted according to a report of Arya Samaj, the total number of Hindus killed or wounded was three lacs not to say the crores of rupees worth of property looted and destroyed Gandhiji then undertook, ostensibly alone, a tour of Noakhali District
Attitude towards Hindu and Muslim Princes – Gandhiji’s followers successfully humiliated the Jaipur, Bhavnagar and Rajkot States. They enthusiastically supported even a rebellion in Kashmir State against the Hindu Prince. This attitude strangely enough contrasts with what Gandhiji did about the affairs in Muslim States. There was a Muslim League intrigue in Gwalior States as a result of which the Maharaja was compelled to abandon the celebrations of the second millennium of the Vikram Calendar four years ago: the Muslim agitation was based on pure communalism The Maharaja is the liberal and impartial Ruler with a far sighted outlook. In a recent casual Hindu Muslim clash in Gwalior because the Musalmans suffered some casualties Gandhiji came down upon the Maharaja with a vitriolic attack wholly undeserved.
Gandhiji On Fast to Capacity – In 1943 while Gandhiji was on fast to capacity and nobody was allowed to interview him on political affairs, only the nearest and the dearest had the permission to go and enquire of his health.
Mr. C. Rajagopalachari smuggled himself into Gandhiji’s room and hatched a plot of conceding Pakistan which Gandhiji allowed him to negotiate with Jinnah. Gandhiji later on discussed this matter for three weeks with Mr. Jinnah in the later part of 1944 and offered Mr. Jinnah virtually what is now called Pakistan. Gandhiji went every day to Mr. Jinnah’s house, flattered him. Praised him, embraced him, but Mr Jinnah could not be cajoled out of his demand for the Pakistan pound of flesh. Hindu Muslim Unity was making progress in the negative direction,
In 1945 came the notorious Desai - Liaquat Agreement - It put one more, almost the last, nail on the coffin of the Congress as a National democratic body. Under that agreement, the late Mr. Bhulabhai Desai the then leader of the Congress party in the Central Legislative Assembly at Delhi entered into an agreement with Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, the League Leader in the Assembly, jointly to demand a Conference from the British Government for the solution of the stalemate in Indian politics which was growing since the beginning of the War. Mr. Desai was understood to have taken that step without consulting anybody of any importance in the Congress circle, as almost all the Congress leaders had been detained since the. Quit India’ Resolution in 1942. Mr. Desai offered equal representation to the Muslims with Congress at the said Conference and this was the basis on which the Viceroy was approached to convene the Conference. The then Viceroy Lord Wavell flew to London on receipt of this joint request and brought back the consent of the Labor Government for the holding of the Conference.
The Viceroy also laid down other conditions for the holding of the Conference. The important ones were:
(1) An unqualified undertaking on the part of the Congress and all political parties to support the war against Japan until victory was won.
(2) A coalition Government would be formed in which the Congress and the Muslims would each have five representatives. There will besides be a representative of the depressed classes, of the Sikhs and other Minorities.
Cabinet Mission Plan - Early in the year 1946 the so-called Cabinet Mission arrived in India. It consisted of the then Secretary of State for India now Lord Lawrence, Mr. Alexander, the minister for War and Sir Stafford Cripps. Its arrival was heralded by a speech in Parliament by Mr. Atlee, the prime Minister. Mr. Atlee announced in most eloquent terms the determination of the British Government to transfer power to India if only the latter agreed upon common plan.
In paragrah 15 of the proposals the mission introduced six conditions under which the British Government would be prepared to convene a Constituent Assembly invested with the right of framing a Constitution of Free India. Each of these six proposals was calculated to prevent the unity of India being maintained or full freedom being attained even if the Constituent Assembly was an elected body.
The Congress party was so utterly exhausted by the failure of ‘Quit India’ that after some smoke screen about its unflinching nationalism it virtually submitted to Pakistan by accepting the mission’s proposals, which made certain the dismemberment of India although in a roundabout manner. The Congress accepted the scheme but did not agree to form a Government. The long and short of it was that the Congress was called upon to form a Government and accept the whole scheme unconditionally. Mr. Jinnah denounced the British Government for treachery and started a direct action council of the Muslim League. The Bengal, the Punjab, the Bihar, the Bombay, and other places in various parts of India became scenes of bloodshed, arson, loot and rape on a scale unprecedented in history. The overwhelming members of victims were Hindus.
Ambiguous Statement about Pakistan – In one of his articles, Gandhiji while nominally ostensibly opposed to Pakistan, openly declared that if the Muslims wanted Pakistan at any cost, there was nothing to prevent them from achieving it. Only the Mahatma could understand what that declaration meant. Was it a prophecy or a declaration or disapproval of the demand for Pakistan?
Advice to Kashmir Maharaja – About Kashmir, Gandhiji again and again declared that Sheikh Abdullah should be entrusted the charge of the state and that the Maharaja of Kashmir should retire to Benares for no particular reason than that the Muslims formed the bulk of the Kashmir population. This also stands out in contrast with his attitude on Hyderbad where although the bulk of the population is Hindu, Gandhiji never called upon the Nizam to retire to Mecca.
Mountbatten vivisects India - Lord Wavell had to resign, as he could not bring about a settlement. He had some conscience, which prevented him from supporting the partition of India. He had openly declared it to be unnecessary and undesirable. But his retirement was followed by the appointment of Mountbatten. King Log was followed by King Stork This Supreme Commander of the South East Asia was a purely Military man and he had a great reputation for daring, and tenacity. He came to India with a determination to do or die and he '‘did'’ namely he vivisected India. He was more indifferent to human slaughter. Rivers of blood flowed under his very eyes and nose. He apparently was thinking that by the slaughter of Hindus so many opponents of his mission were killed. The greater the slaughter of the enemies greater the victory, and he pursued his aim relentlessly to its logical conclusion. Long before June 1948 the official date for handing over power, the wholesale murders of the Hindus had their full effect. The Congress, which had boasted of its nationalism and democracy, secretly accepted Pakistan literally at the point of the bayonet and abjectly surrendered to Mr. Jinnah. India was vivisected. One third of the Indian territory became foreign land to us from the 15th of august 1947.
Hindu Muslim Unity bubble was finally burst and a theocratic and communal State dissociated from everything that smacked of United India was established with the consent of Nehru and his crowd and they have called it ‘Freedom won by them at sacrifice’ Whose sacrifice?
Gandhiji on Cow-slaughter - ‘Today Rajendra Babu informed me that he had received some fifty thousand postcards, 20-30 thousand telegrams urging prohibition of cow slaughter by law. In this connection I have spoken to you before also. After all why are so many letters and telegrams sent to me. They have not served any purpose. No law prohibiting cow slaughter in India can be enacted. How can I impose my will upon a person who does not wish voluntarily to abandon cow-slaughter? India does not belong exclusively to the Hindus. Muslims, Parsees, Christians also live here. The claim of the Hindus that India has become the land of the Hindus is totally incorrect. This land belongs to all who live here. I know an orthodox Vaishnava Hindu. He used to give beef soup to his child.
Quote from the book The Tragic Story of Partition “ In the Muslim All Parties Congress held in January 1929, Aga Khan pointed out that in the home of islam-Arabia there was no custom of cow sacrifice. It was also pointed out that in other Muslim countries no one took religious objection to the playing of music before mosques. Said Dr Ambedkar: Islamic Law does not insist upon the slaughter of the cow for sacrificial purposes and no Muslim, when he goes to Haj, sacrifices the cow in Mecca or Medina. In a letter to Jinnah 6-4-1938 Nehru assured him that the Congress does not wish to undertake any legislative action in this matter to restrict the established rights of the Muslims”.
Removal of Tri-Color Flag - The tricolour flag with Charkha on it was adopted by the Congress as the National Flag out of deference to Gandhiji. There were flag salutations on innumerable occasions. The flag was unfurled at every Congress meeting. It fluttered in hundreds at every session of National Congress, The Prabhat Pheries were never complete unless the flag was carried while the march was on. On the occasion of every imaginary or real success of the Congress Party, public buildings, shops and private residences were decorated with that flag. If any Hindu attached any importance to Shivaji’s Hindu flag, “Bhagva Zenda” the flag which freed India from the Muslim – domination it was considered communal. Gandhiji’s tri-colored flag never protected any Hindu woman from outrage or a Hindu temple from desecration, yet the late Bhai Parmanand was once mobbed by enthusiastic Congressmen for not paying homage to that flag.
When the Mahatma was touring Noakhali and Tipperah in 1946 after the beastly outrages on the Hindus, the flag was flying on his temporary hut. But when a Muslim came there and objected to the presence of the flag on his head, Gandhiji quickly directed its removal. All the reverential sentiments of millions of Congressmen towards that flag were affronted in a minute, because that would please an isolated muslim fanatic yet the so-called Hindu-Muslim unity never took shape.
Quote from the book The Tragic Story of Partition “The Flag Committee in 1931 consisted of Patel, Nehru, Maulana Azad, Master Tara Singh, D B Kalelkar, N S Hardikar and Pattabhi Sitaramayya recommended that the National Flag should be of kesari or saffron color having on it at the left top quarter the Charkha in blue. However, the A.I.C.C. dare not differ from Gandhi’s choice of the tricolor scheme, simply okayed his decision.
Gandhiji and Independence Chapter 2.4
71. Some good number of people are laboring under the delusion that the freedom movement in India started with the advent of Gandhiji in 1914-15. There has always been alive in India a freedom movement that was never suppressed. When the Maratha Empire was finally subdued in 1818 as the British thought the forces of freedom were lying low in some part but elsewhere the supremacy of the British was being challenged through the rise of Sikh power. And when by 1848 the Sikhs were defeated the rebellion of 1857 was being actively organized. By the time the British had established full control the Congress was established in 1885 to challenge British domination. This developed into armed resistance which openly asserted itself through the bomb of Khudi Ram Bose in 1906.
72. Gandhiji arrived in India in 1914-15. After his arrival, initial fads of Ahimsa the movement began to suffer eclipse. Thanks however to Subhash Bose and the revolutionaries in Maharashtra, Punjab and Bengal the movement continued to flourish parallel to Gandhiji’s rise to leadership after the death of Tilak.
75. I have already mentioned the revolutionary party, which existed independent of the Congress. Amongst its sympathizers were many active Congressmen. This latter section was never reconciled to the yoke of Britain. During the First World War between 1914-19 the Congress began to turn left and the terrorist movement outside was running parallel to the leftist party within. The Gadar Party was operating simultaneously in Europe and America in an effort to overthrow British Rule in India with the help of the Axis Powers. The ‘Comagata Maru’ incident is well known, and it is by no means clear that the “Emden” incident on the Madras beach was not due to the knowledge of the German Commander that India was seething with discontent. But from 1920 upwards Gandhiji discouraged, put his foot down on the use of force although he himself had carried on an active campaign for recruitment for soldiers of Britain only a few years earlier.
The Rowlatt Repert described at length the strength of the revolutionaries in India, From 1906 till 1918 one Britisher after another and his Indian stooges were shot dead by the revolutionary nationalists and the British authorities were trembling about their very existence. It was then that Mr. Montague came to his country as Secretary of State for India and promised the introduction of responsibility; even he was only partially successful to stern the tide of revolutionary fervor.
The Government of India Act 1919 was over-shadowed by the Jallianwalla Bagh Tragedy in which hundreds of Indians were shot dead by General Dyer at a public meeting for the crime of holding a protest against the Rowlatt Act. Sir Michael O’Dwyer became notorious for callous and unscrupulous reprisals against those who had denounced the Rowlatt Act. Twenty years later he had to pay for it, when Udham Singh shot him dead in London Chafekar brothers of Maharashtra, Pt. Shamji Krishna Verma the back bone of the Revolutionaries, Lala Hardayal, Virendranath Chatopadhyaya, Rash Behari Bose, Babu Arvind Ghosh Khudiram Bose, Ulhaskar Datta, Madanlal Dhingra, Kanhere, Bhagatsingh, Rajguru, Sukhdeo, Chandrashekhar Azad were the living protest by Indian
youth against the alien yoke. They had unfurled and held aloft the flag of Independence, some of them long before Gandhiji’s name was heard of an even when he was the accepted leader of the constitutional movement of the Indian National Congress.
77. And the more the Mahatma condemned the use of force in the country’s battle for freedom the more popular it became. This fact was amply demonstrated at the Karachi Session of the Congress in March 1931; in the teeth of Gandhiji’s opposition a resolution was passed in the open Session admiring the courage and the spirit of sacrifice of Bhagat Singh when he threw the bomb in the Legislative Assembly in 1929. Gandhiji never forgot this defeat and when a few months later Mr. Hotson, the Acting Governor of Bombay was shot at by Gogate, Gandhiji returned to the charge at an All-India Congress Committee meeting and asserted that the admiration expressed by the Karachi Congress for Bhagat Singh was at the bottom of Gogate’s action in shooting at Hotson. This astounding statement was challenged by Subash Chandra Bose. He immediately came into disfavor with Gandhiji. To sum up, the share of revolutionary youth in the fight for Indian Freedom, is by no means negligible and those who talk of India’s freedom having been secured by Gandhiji are not only ungrateful but trying to write false history
78. An outrageous example of his dislike of people with whom he did not agree is furnished by the case of Subash Chandra Bose. So far as I am aware no protest was ever made by Gandhiji against the deportation of Subash for six years and Bose’s election to the Presidential Chair of the Congress was rendered possible only after he had personally disavowed any sympathy for violence. In actual practice however Subash never toed the line that Gandhiji wanted during his term of office. And yet Subash was so popular in the country that against the declared wishes of Gandhiji in favor of Dr. Pattabhai he was elected president of the Congress for a second time with a substantial majority even from the Andhra Desha, the province of Dr. Pattabhi himself. This upset Gandhiji beyond endurance and the expressed his anger in the Mahatmic manner full of concentrated venom by stating that the success of Subash was his defeat and not that of Dr. Pattabhi. Even after this declaration, his anger against Subash Bose was not gratified. Out of sheer cussedness he absented him-self from the Tripuri Congress Session, staged a rival show at Rajkot by a wholly mischievous fast and not until Subhas was overthrown from the Congress Gadi that the venom of Gandhiji became completely gutted.
80. In the Quit India Movement launched by the Congress, on 8/8/1942 the statement of Gandhi exhorting people to do or die was interpreted by that section as giving them full scope for all kinds of sabotage and obstruction. In fact they did everything to paralyze the war effort of the Government to the fullest extent. In North Bihar and other places, nearly 900 railway stations were wither burnt or destroyed.
81. These activities were directly opposed to the Congress creed of non-violence and to the Satyagrah technique.
Meanwhile Subhash escaped from the country in January 1941. He went to Germany and then to Japan who agreed to assist him against the British in the invasion of the country.
83. Subhash Chandra Bose was thereby enabled to start a provisional Indian Republican Government on Indian territory. By 1944 he was equipped to start on an invasion of India with the help of the Japanese. Pandit Nehru had declared that if Subhash Chandra Bose came into India with the support of the Japanese he would fight Subhash. Early in 1944, Japanese and the Indian National Army organized by Subash were thundering at the gates of India and they had already entered Manipur State and some part of the Assam Frontier. The I. N. A. consisted of volunteers from the Indian population of the Far East and of those Indians who had deserted to the I. N. A. from the Japanese prisons. That the campaign eventually failed was no fault of Subhash; his men fought like the Trojans. But his difficulties were far too great and his army was not sufficiently equipped with modern armaments. The I. N. A. had no aeroplanes and their supply-line was weak. Many died of starvation and illness, as there was no adequate medical treatment available to them. But the spirit which Subhash engendered in them was wonderful
84. But Gandhiji was again more lucky. Lokmanya Tilak died in 1920 and Gandhiji became the unchallenged leader. Success of Subhash Chandra would have a crushing defeat for Gandhiji, but luck was again on his side and Subhash Chandra died outside India. It then became easy for the Congress party to profess love and admiration for Subhash Chandra Bose and the I. N. A. and even to defend some of its officers and men in the Great State Trial in 1946. They even adopted ‘Jai Hind’ as the slogan which Subhash had introduced in the East. They traded on the name of Subhash and the I. N. A. and the two issues, which led them to victory during the election in 1945-46, were their hypocritical homage to Subhash’s memory. More over the Congress party had promised they were opposed to Pakistan and would resist it all costs.
85. All this time the Muslim League was carrying on treasonable activities, disturbing the peace and tranquility of India carrying on a murderous campaign against the Hindus. The Congress would not venture to condemn or to stop these wholesale massacres in pursuit of its policy of appeasement at all costs. Gandhiji suppressed everything which did not fit in with his pattern of public activities. I am therefore surprised when claims are made over and again the winning of the freedom was due to Gandhiji. My own view is that constant pandering of the Muslim League was not the way to winning freedom. It only created a Frankenstein, which ultimately devoured its own creator-swallowing one third of hostile, unfriendly and aggressive Indian territory, and permanently stationing a neighbor on what was once Indian territory. About the winning of Swaraj and freedom, I maintain the Mahatma’s contribution was negligible. But I am prepared to give him a place as a sincere patriot. His teachings however have produced opposite result and his leadership has stultified the nation. In my opinion S. C. Bose is the supreme hero and martyr of modern India. He kept alive and fostered the revolutionary mentality of the masses, advocating all honorable means, Including the use of force when necessary for the liberation of India. Gandhiji and his crowed of self seekers tried to destroy him. It is thus entirely incorrect to represent the Mahatma as the architect of Indian Independence.
86. The real cause of the British leaving India was three fold and it does not include the Gandhian method. One – the movements of the Indian Revolutionaries from 1857 to 1932 i.e. up to the death of Chandra Shekhar Azad at Allahabad, then next, the movement of revolutionary character not that of Gandhian type in the countrywide rebellion of 1942, and an armed revolt put by Subhash Bose the result of which was a spread of the revolutionary mentality in the armed forces of India are the real factors that shattered the very foundation of the British rule in India. And all these effective efforts to freedom were opposed by Gandhi.
Two - a good deal of credit must be given to those, who imbibed with a spirit of patriotisms, fought with the Britishers strictly on constitutional lines on the Assembly floors and made a notable progress in Indian politics. Names are Tilak, N C Kelkar, C R Das, Vithalbhai Patel, Pandit Malaviya, Bhai Parmanand and during the last ten years by prominent Hindu Mahasabha leaders. But these people were also ridiculed by Gandhiji himself and his followers by calling them as job hunters or power seekers.
Three - is the advent of the Labor Government and an overthrow of Mr Churchill, superimposed by frightful economic conditions and financial bankruptcy to which the war had reduced Britain.
Frustration of an Ideal Chapter 2.5
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 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-Muslim Unity. The Hindus followed Gandhiji’s advice but Muslims on every occasion, disregarded it and indulged in such behavior as would be insulting to the Hindus, and at last it has culminated in the vivisection and division of the country.
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 even to co-operate.
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 Hindu 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 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 eve 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 feel 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).
94. Gandhiji need have taken into consideration that the desire for reprisals springing up in the Hindu mind was simply a natural. 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?
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 blood-filled war. Nor did he prevent these wealthy people from carrying out their contracts with the Government for the supply of the 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 Bhandar. ‘Honestly this is a irrational argument’.
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.
103. Had Gandhiji been a firm believer in the doctrine of 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 non-violence, 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 practice Satyagraha against them. All his fats 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.
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 Dominion Government in the rest of country shattered and vivisected by the Pakistan in the East and West and with the pricking thorn of Hyderbad it 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).
Climax of Anti-National Appeasement Chapter 2.6
112. The day on which I decided to remove Gandhiji from the political stage, it was clear to me that personally I shall be lost to everything that could be mine. I am not a moneyed person but I did have a place of honor and respect amongst those known as middle class society. I have been in the public life of my Province and the service that I have been able to render so far has given me a place of honor and respect amongst my people. Ideas of culture and civilization are not strange to me. I had in my view before me some schemes of constructive work to be taken in hand in my future life and I felt I had enough strength and enthusiasm to undertake them and carry them out successfully. I have maintained robust health and I do not suffer from any bodily defect and I am not addicted to any vice. Although I myself am not a much-learned man, I have a great regard and admiration for the learned.
114. About the year 1932 late Dr. Hedgewar of Nagpur founded the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangha in Maharashtra also. His oration greatly impressed me and I joined the Sangha as a volunteer thereof. I am one of those volunteers of Maharashtra who joined the Sangha in its initial stage. I also worked for a few years on the intellectual side in the Province of Maharashtra. Having worked for the uplift of the Hindus I felt it necessary to take part in the political activities of the country for the protection of the just rights of Hindus. I therefore left the Sangha and joined the Hindu Mahasabha.
115. In the year 1938, I led first batch of volunteers who marched into the territory of the Hyderabad State when the passive resistance movement was started by the Hindu Mahasabha, with a demand for Responsible Government in the State. I was arrested and sentenced to one year’s imprisonment. I have a personal experience of the uncivilized, nay barbarous rule of Hyderabad, and have undergone the corporal punishment of dozens of cane slashes for the offence of singing the ‘Vande Mataram’ song at the time of prayer.
117. Those, who personally know me, take me as a person of quiet temperament. But when the top-rank leaders of the Congress with the consent of Gandhiji divided and tore the country-which we consider as a deity of worship-my mind became full with the thoughts of direful anger.
I wish to make it clear that I am not an enemy of the Congress. I have always regarded that body as the premier institution, which has worked for the political uplift of the country. I had and have my differences with its leaders. This will be clearly seen from my letter addressed to Veer Savarkar on 28th February 1933 (Rx D/30), which is in my hand and signed by me and I admit its contents.
120. It is stated in some quarters that people could not have got the independence unless Pakistan was conceded. But I took it to be an utterly incorrect and untrue view. To me it appears to be merely a poor excuse to justify the action taken by the leaders. The leaders of the Gandhian creed often claim to have conquered ‘Swarajya’ by their struggle.
If they had conquered Swarajya, then it would be clearly seen that it is most ridiculous to say that those Britishers who yielded, were in a position to lay down the condition of Pakistan before the grant of independence could be only one reason for Gandhiji and his followers to give their consent to the creation of Pakistan and it is that these people were accustomed to make a show of hesitation and resistance in the beginning and ultimately to surrender to the Muslim demands.
121. But even after the establishment of Pakistan if this Gandhian Government had taken any steps to protect the interests of Hindus in Pakistan it could have been possible for me to control my mind which was terribly shaken on account of this terrible deception of the people. But after handing over crores of Hindus to the mercy of the Muslims of Pakistan Gandhiji and his followers have been advising them not to leave Pakistan but continue to stay on. The Hindus thus were caught in the hands of Muslim authorities quite unawares and in such circumstances series of calamities followed one after the other. When I bring to my mind all these happenings my body simply feels a horror of burning fire, even now.
122. Every day that dawned brought forth the news about thousands of Hindus being massacred. Sikhs numbering 15000 having been shot dead, hundreds of women torn of their clothes being made naked and taken into procession and that Hindu women were being sold in the market places like cattle. Thousands and thousands of Hindus had to run away for their lives and they had lost everything of theirs. A long line of refugees extending over the length of 40 miles was moving towards the Indian Union. How was this terrible happening counter acted by the Union Government? Oh! by throwing bread to the refugees from the air!
123. These atrocities and the blood-bath would have to some extent been checked if the Indian Government had lodged strong protests against the treatment meted out to the Minorities in Pakistan or even if a cold threat had been held out to the Muslims in Indian of being treated in the same manner as a measure of retaliation. But the Government which was under the thumb of Gandhiji resorted to absolutely different ways. If the grievances of the minorities in Pakistan were voiced in the Press, it was dubbed as an attempt to spread disaffection amongst the communities and made an offence and the Congress Governments in several Provinces started demanding securities under the press Emergency Powers Act, one after the other. ‘ Is it not the same situation today, try and criticize a Muslim even when he deserves to be criticized and you would be called Communal as if a Muslim can do no wrongs!’
124. When all these happenings were taking place in Pakistan, Gandhiji did not even by a single word protest and censure the Pakistan Government or the Muslims concerned. The Muslim atrocities resorted to in Pakistan to root out the Hindu culture and the Hindu society have been entirely due to the teachings of Gandhiji and his behavior. ‘Is it not the same case today. Hindus in Bangladesh were recently killed, raped, ill-treated but the Indian government did not raise a finger, blame it on Gandhian/Nehruvian influence buddy.’
127. One of the seven conditions imposed by Gandhiji for the breaking of his fast unto death related to the mosques in Delhi occupied by the Refugees. This condition was to the effect that all the mosques in Delhi, which were occupied by the Refugees, should be vacated or got vacated and be made over to the Muslims. Gandhiji got this condition accepted by the Government and a number of leaders by sheer coercion brought to bear upon them by his fast. On that day I happened to be in Delhi and I have personally seen some of the events that have occurred in getting this condition carried out to its full. Those were the days of bitter or extreme cold and on the day Gandhiji broke his fast it was also raining. Owing to this unusual weather condition, the pricking atmosphere made even person in well-placed positions shiver. Families after families of refugees who had come to Delhi for shelter were driven out and while doing so no provision was made for their shelter and stay. One or two families taking with them their children, women-folk and what little belongings they had with them and saying, ‘Gandhiji, do give us a place for shelter’ even approached and came to Birla House. But was it ever possible for the cries of these poor Hindu people to reach Gandhiji living in the palatial Birla House!
While Gandhiji made a demand for the evacuation of the mosques by the refugees had he also imposed a condition to the effect that the temples in Pakistan should be handed over to the Hindus by the Muslims, or some other condition, that would have shown that Gandhiji’s teaching of non-violence, his anxiety for Hindu-Muslim Unity and his belief in soul force would have been taken or understood as being impartial, spiritual and non-communal. Gandhiji was shrewd enough to know that while undertaking a fast unto death, had he imposed for its break some condition on the Muslims in Pakistan, there would have been found any Muslim who could have shown some grief if the fast ended in the death of Gandhiji.
129. Let us then take the case of 55 crores. Here read from the Indian Information dated 2nd February 1948 the following extracts:
1. Extracts from the speech of the honorable Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the press conference held on 12th January, 1948.
2. Extract from the speech of the honorable Sir Shanmukham Chetty.
3. India’s spontaneous gesture of good will, and
4. An extract from the Honorable the Prime Minister’s statement.
Gandhiji himself has said about these 55 crores that it is always very difficult to make Government to alter its decisions. But the Government have altered and changed their original decision of withholding the payment of Rs.55 crores of Pakistan and the reason for doing so was his fast unto death. ( Gandhiji’s sermon at Prayer Meeting held on or about the 21st of January 1948 ). The decision to withhold the payment of Rs.55 cores to Pakistan was taken up by our Government, which claims to be the people’s Government. But this decision of the people’s Government was reversed to suit the tune of Gandhiji’s fast. It was evident to my mind that the force of public opinion was nothing but a trifle when compared with the leanings of Gandhiji favorable to Pakistan.
Had Gandhiji really maintained his opposition to the creation of Pakistan, the Muslim League could have had no strength to claim it and the Britishers also could not have created it in spite of all their utmost efforts for its establishment. The reason for this is not far to seek. The people of this country were eager and vehement in their opposition to Pakistan. But Gandhiji played false with the people and give parts of the country to the Muslims for the creation of Pakistan. I stoutly maintain that Gandhiji in doing so has failed in his duty, which was incumbent up on him to carry out, as the Father of the Nation. He has proved to be the Father of Pakistan.
134. The practice of non-violence according to Gandhiji is to endure or put up with the blows of the aggressor without showing any resistance either by weapon or by physical force. Gandhiji has, while describing his nonviolence given the example of a ‘tiger becoming a follower of the creed of non-violence after the cows allowed themselves to be killed and swallowed in such large numbers that the tiger ultimately god tired of killing them.’ It will be remembered that at Kanpur, Ganesh Shanker Vidyarthi fell a victim to the murderous assault by the Muslims of the place on him. Gandhiji has often cited this submission to the Muslims’ blows as an ideal example of embracing death for the creed of non-violence. I firmly believed and believe that the non-violence of the type described above will lead the nation to ruin and make it easy for Pakistan to enter the remaining India and occupy the same.
Briefly speaking, I thought to myself and foresaw that I shall be totally ruined and the only thing that I could expect from the people would be nothing but hatred and that I shall have lost all my honor even more valuable than my life, if I were for kill Gandhiji. But at the same time I felt that the Indian politics in the absence of Gandhiji would surely be practical, able to retaliate and would surely be practical, able to retaliate and would be powerful with armed forces. No doubt my own future would be totally ruined but the nation would be saved from the inroads of Pakistan. People may even call and dub me as devoid of any sense or foolish, but the nation would be free to follow the course founded on reason which I consider to be necessary for sound nation building. After having fully considered the question, I took the final decision in the matter but I did not speak about it to any one whatsoever. I took courage in my both hands and I did fire the shots at Gandhiji on 30th January 1948 on the prayer grounds in Birla House.
139. I am prepared to concede that Gandhiji did undergo sufferings for the sake of the nation. He did bring about an awakening in the minds of the people. He also did nothing for personal gain; but it pains me to say that he was not honest enough to acknowledge the defeat and failure of the principle of non-violence on all sides. I have read the lives of other intelligent and powerful Indian patriots who have made sacrifices even greater than those done by Gandhiji. I have seen personally some of them. But whatever that may de, I shall bow in respect to the service done by Gandhiji to the country, and to Gandhiji himself for the said service and before I fired the shots I actually wished him and bowed to him in reverence. But I do maintain that even this servant of the country had no right to vivisect the country-the image of our worship-by deceiving the people. But he did it all the same. There was no legal machinery by which such an offender could be brought to book and it was therefore that I resorted to the firing of shots at Gandhiji as that was the only thing for me to do.
148. I have now finished; but before I sit down must sincerely and respectfully express my gratitude to Your Honour for the patient hearing given, courtesy shown and facilities given to me. Similarly I express my gratitude to my legal advisers and counsel for their legal help in this great trial. I have no ill will towards the Police Officers concerned with this case I sincerely thank them for the kindness and the treatment given by them to me. Similarly, I also thank the Jail authorities for the good treatment given by them.
‘Friends we may have our own views on Godse but the above statement of Defence seems impressive. His arguments right or wrong are well articulated and arranged in sequence of time. By attaching the word Ji to Gandhi’s name all through and even praising Gandhi’s role in the freedom struggle it shows how much he respected him notwithstanding his anger on Gandhi’s Muslim appeasement / Ahimsa policy’.