|•| Darkness behind the Indian Independence Movement |•|
The Indian independence movement is known for its non-violent characteristic that inspired several independence movements across the world, especially Africa. Popular figures like Gandhi are well-known, and various independence movement leaders like Nehru are known to have successfully ascended as the first prime minister of free India. This usually gives people a sense of light that can be lit up to protest against authorities that hold a set of principles and are held accountable by other nations at an international level (Example, when the British executed Bhagat Singh, the Soviet Union asked the United Kingdom for a substantial reason to execute a revolutionary). A lot of protests, even though I don’t personally agree with the lack of reason involved, like the Trump and Putin protests, are held by people romanticising their feelings through rallies and speeches instead of a violent uprising involving some drunk anarcho-communists with guns. This is mainly inspired by the idea of non-violence by the Mahatma Gandhi.
However, there is a very dark reality in the background to it. A lot of it was hidden by the government that first took reign in the Republic of India, and youth that weren’t raised by conservative families born in the greatest generation era are only very recently learning the truth. I was rather shocked to hear that a lot of my friends who didn’t have grandparents did not know about figures like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, and many anti-Congress personalities.
|¤| Hindustan Republican Socialist Association/Army |¤|
In February 1922 some agitating farmers were killed in Chauri Chaura by the police. Consequently, the police station of Chauri Chaura was attacked by the people, followed by 22 policemen being burnt alive. Due to the evolution of the Non-Cooperation Movement organised by Gandhi into this aggressive state, Gandhi decided to call it off without consulting any members of the Indian National Congress. Ram Prasad Bismil and his group of youth strongly opposed Gandhi in the Gaya Congress of 1922. When Gandhi refused to pull his decision back, the Congress was divided into liberals and rebels.
This partition paved way for the creation of the Hindustan Republican Socialist Association. They manufactured bombs in Calcutta. Two workshops were found by the police once in 1925 and the other in 1927. Their early activities involved covert operations to indulge into hit-and-run uprisings against the British like looting trains and burning police stations. Their manifesto,”The Revolutionary” was also used as evidence to unveil one of the conspiracies.
Later on, it was renamed to the Hindustan Republican Socialist Army in 1928 by some radicals who had ascended to its leadership later on, like Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, and Sukhdev Thapar.
It was extremely sensitive to the independence movement as a whole; to avenge anyone even outside of their organisation was their duty. When Lala Lajpat Rai was beaten by lathis as a counter to his peaceful protest that caused him to subsequently succumb to his injuries. In retaliation, the HRSA hunted the officer who ordered the charge. However, due to communication and intelligence errors, they ended up shooting the wrong officer; instead of Scott, they shot JP Saunders, and proclaimed vengeance.
Their decline started in 1931 when majority of their members were martyred or jailed. Gandhi’s criticism of their ways reduced their popular support until the HRSA was suppressed by the INC. The HRSA raised the slogan,”Inquilab Zindabad”, which meant,”Long Live the Revolution”.
|¤| Bhagat Singh |¤|
Bhagat Singh, who was made a folk hero for his acts, was a member of the Hindustan Republican Socialist Association/Army. He was just 23 years old when he was martyred. In December 1928, Bhagat Singh and an associate, Shivaram Rajguru, fatally shot a 21-year-old British police officer, John Saunders, in Lahore, British India, mistaking Saunders, who was still on probation, for the British police superintendent, James Scott, whom they had intended to assassinate. They believed Scott was responsible for the death of popular Indian nationalist leader Lala Lajpat Rai, by having ordered a lathi charge in which Rai was injured, and, two weeks after which, died of a heart attack. Saunders was felled by a single shot from Rajguru, a marksman. He was then shot several times by Singh, the postmortem report showing eight bullet wounds. Another associate of Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, shot dead an Indian police constable, Chanan Singh, who attempted to pursue Singh and Rajguru as they fled.
After escaping, Singh and his associates, using pseudonyms, publicly owned to avenging Lajpat Rai’s death, putting up prepared posters, which, however, they had altered to show Saunders as their intended target. Singh was thereafter on the run for many months, and no convictions resulted at the time. Surfacing again in April 1929, he and another associate, Batukeshwar Dutt, exploded two improvised bombs inside the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi. They showered leaflets from the gallery on the legislators below, shouted slogans, and then allowed the authorities to arrest them. The arrest, and the resulting publicity, had the effect of bringing to light Singh’s complicity in the John Saunders case. Awaiting trial, Singh gained much public sympathy after he joined fellow defendant Jatin Das in a hunger strike, demanding better prison conditions for Indian prisoners, and ending in Das’s death from starvation in September 1929. Singh was convicted and hanged in March 1931, aged 23.
Bhagat Singh became a popular folk hero after his death. Jawaharlal Nehru wrote about him, “Bhagat Singh did not become popular because of his act of terrorism but because he seemed to vindicate, for the moment, the honour of Lala Lajpat Rai, and through him of the nation. He became a symbol; the act was forgotten, the symbol remained, and within a few months each town and village of the Punjab, and to a lesser extent in the rest of northern India, resounded with his name.” In still later years, Singh, an atheist and socialist in life, won admirers in India from among a political spectrum that included both Communists and right-wing Hindu nationalists. Although many of Singh’s associates, as well as many Indian anti-colonial revolutionaries, were also involved in daring acts, and were either executed or died violent deaths, few came to be lionized in popular art and literature to the same extent as Singh.
Following this extract from his Wikipedia page, the Indian National Congress faces criticism that unlike Gandhi, they did not try to release Bhagat Singh or at least save him from execution in spite of having great influence with the colonial elite. In modern day India, realisation of the news that the Congress could’ve saved Bhagat Singh, stains its reputation eternally. The young folk hero died a martyr, but unlike Lala Lajpat Rai, he was not avenged. In fact, the Congress elite portrays itself to be the sole freedom fighters, suppressing figures like Bhagat Singh under their revisionist history books, as they did with so many other radicals.
|¤| Alluri Sitarama Raju |¤|
Raju was another revolutionary who admired Gandhi’s efforts to amass support for Indian independence, but had radical methods. In 1922, he started the Rampa Rebellion to protest against the Forest Act of 1882 that prohibited native tribesmen from engaging in traditional agricultural practices. He led an armed rebellion that involved 500 people looting local British police stations to rob arms and ammunition. In a classical forest fighting where the British had troubles navigating through the jungle, the rebellion reached the plains before their advance died out. In 1924, he was trapped by the British in just another jungle fighting, tied to a tree and unfortunately shot.
The Nehruvian leadership post-independence suppressed his efforts as well, in spite of the rebellion being inspired by the Gandhian non-cooperation movement. He was not mentioned in post-independence India apart from books, until he appeared on a stamp of India in 1986. He was called the Manyam Veerudu by the people of the tribe, meaning Hero of the Jungle.
|¤| Chandrashekhar Azad |¤|
Chandra Shekhar Azad , popularly known as by his self-taken name Azad (“The Free”), was an Indian revolutionary who reorganised the Hindustan Republican Association under its new name of Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA) after the death of its founder, Ram Prasad Bismil, and three other prominent party leaders, Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqulla Khan. He often used the pseudonym “Balraj” when signing pamphlets issued as the commander in chief of the Hindustan Socialist Republic Army.
He was the typical chad you’d imagine in South Asia: mad muscle, a long moustache he titillated, with a gun. In December 1921, when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, Chandra Shekhar, then a 15-year-old student, joined. As a result, he was arrested. On being presented before a magistrate, he gave his name as “Azad” (The Free), his father’s name as “Swatantrata” (Independence) and his residence as “Jail”. From that day he came to be known as Chandra Shekhar Azad among the people. His real name was Chandra Shekhar Tiwari.
Chandra Shekhar was able to evade the pursuit of British following the Kakori train robbery in 1925, whereas three of his friends were captured and sentenced to death. He continued to rob British armoury in India, assassinate British officers, and engage in hit-and-run cases. In 1931, he was trapped in a shootout with the police in modern-day Prayagraj. He shot three British policemen and wounded several others, enabling Sukhdev Raj to escape. Knowing he has one bullet left, he killed himself as he did not want to die at the hands of the British but an Indian. When the British approached him, they showered bullets over his dead body to make sure he was dead, displaying the amount of fear the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army had established within the colonialists.
The lives of Azad, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Bismil and Ashfaq were depicted in the 2006 film Rang De Basanti, with Aamir Khan portraying Azad. The movie, which draws parallels between the lives of young revolutionaries such as Azad and Bhagat Singh, and today’s youth, also dwells upon the lack of appreciation among today’s Indian youth for the sacrifices made by these men. Not only that, the Congress continues to belittle their efforts and portray Jawaharlal Nehru as some sort of messiah and saviour. It wasn’t until the BJP and RSS raised slogans to dismantle the progressive elite.
|¤| Jailing of Veer Savarkar |¤|
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar (“brave” in his native Marathi language), was an Indian independence activist, politician, lawyer, writer, and the formulator of the Hindutva philosophy.
As a response to the Muslim league, Savarkar joined the Hindu Mahasabha and popularized the term Hindutva (Hinduness), previously coined by Chandranath Basu, to create a collective “Hindu” identity as an essence of Bharat (India). Savarkar was also a pragmatic practitioner of Hindu Philosophy. He advocated for validating religious myths/blind faith against the test of modern science. In that sense he also was a rationalist and reformer.
While in prison, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva, espousing what it means to be a Hindu, and Hindu pride, in which he defined as all the people descended of Hindu culture as being part of Hindutva, including Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. The words Hindu and Muslim was popularised as religions by the ruling British after their 1872 census, to replace “Hindi” which was the term used earlier to describe all people from India. (Hind). In 1921, under restrictions after signing a plea for clemency, he was released on the condition that he renounce revolutionary activities. Travelling widely, Savarkar became a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Serving as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha (Hindu Grand-Assembly) political party, Savarkar endorsed the idea of India as a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation) and opposed the Quit India struggle in 1942, calling it a “Quit India but keep your army” movement. He became a fierce critic of the Indian National Congress and its acceptance of India’s partition. He was accused of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but acquitted by the court. He became popular with children in India in the 1970s due to a comic book published by Amar Chitra Katha. He resurfaced in the popular discourse after the coming of the BJP into power in 1998 and again in 2014 with the Modi led BJP government at the center.
He earned the nickname “Veer” (Sanskrit: Braveheart) when at the age of 12, he led fellow students against a rampaging horde of Muslims that attacked his village. Highly outnumbered, he inspired the boys to fight-on until the last Muslim was driven off. Later, he is known to have stated: “Do not fear them. The Almighty is your strength, so fight, even when facing an enemy stronger than yourself”.
In India, Ganesh Savarkar had organised an armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909. The British police implicated Savarkar in the investigation for allegedly plotting the crime. Hoping to evade arrest, Savarkar moved to Madame Cama’s home in Paris. He was nevertheless arrested by police on 13 March 1910. In the final days of freedom, Savarkar wrote letters to a close friend planning his escape. Knowing that he would most likely be shipped to India, Savarkar asked his friend to keep track of which ship and route he would be taken through. When the ship SS Morea reached the port of Marseille on 8 July 1910, Savarkar escaped from his cell in the hope that his friend would be there to receive him in a car. But his friend was late in arriving, and the alarm having been raised, Savarkar was re-arrested.
In 1911 he was sent to a British jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. After four mercy petitions, the British decided that they would release Ganesh Savarkar, but keep V.D. Savarkar in jail. They thought it would stop Ganesh from doing anything that would sabotage his brother’s efforts to get bail. In 1920, the Indian National Congress and leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Vithalbhai Patel and Bal Gangadhar Tilak demanded his unconditional release. Savarkar signed a statement endorsing his trial, verdict and British law, and renouncing violence, a bargain for freedom. Jaywant Joglekar, who authored a book euologising Savarkar as ‘Father of Hindu Nationalism’, considers Savarkar’s appeal for clemency a tactical ploy, like Shivaji’s letter to Aurangzeb, during his arrest at Agra.
In 1921, the Savarkar brothers were put under district arrest, plus restriction from political activities for 5 years. He demanded a compensation of Rs. 100 per month, whereas the British only gave him Rs. 60 per month as compensation for his forced unemployment. He shifted to Bombay, and became the president of Hindu Mahasabha in 1937. Amidst worsening Hindu-Muslim relations due to Jinnah’s Muslim League, Veer Savarkar’s party helped bring Hindu unity to keep the community from collapsing.
The Indian National Congress won a massive victory in the 1937 Indian provincial elections, decimating the Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha. However, in 1939, the Congress ministries resigned in protest against Viceroy Lord Linlithgow’s action of declaring India to be a belligerent in the Second World War without consulting the Indian people. This led to the Hindu Mahasabha, under Savarkar’s presidency, joining hands with the Muslim League and other parties to form governments, in certain provinces. Such coalition governments were formed in Sindh, NWFP, and Bengal.
After independence, Savarkar was arrested again under Preventive Detention Act, due to suspicions that he was complicit in assassination of Gandhi. His main criticism of Gandhi involved his inability to unite Hindus; Savarkar openly told all Hindus around him that regardless of caste, everyone was fundamentally equal and must not create divisions like Brahmins and Dalits with the intention of excluding someone. There was lack of evidence, but he was still kept in jail. On 8 November 1963, Savarkar’s wife, Yamuna, died. On 1 February 1966, Savarkar renounced medicines, food and water which he termed as atmaarpan (fast until death). Before his death, he had written an article titled “Atmahatya Nahi Atmaarpan” in which he argued that when one’s life mission is over and ability to serve the society is left no more, it is better to end the life at will rather than waiting for death. His condition was described to have become as “extremely serious” before his death on 26 February 1966 at his residence in Bombay (now Mumbai), and that he faced difficulty in breathing; efforts to revive him failed and was declared dead at 11:10 a.m. (IST) that day. Prior to his death, Savarkar had asked his relatives to perform only his funeral and do away with the rituals of the 10th and 13th day of the Hindu faith. Accordingly, his last rites were performed at an electric crematorium in Mumbai’s Sonapur locality by his son Vishwas the following day.
He was mourned by large crowds that attended his cremation. He left behind a son, Vishwas, and a daughter, Prabha Chiplunkar. His first son, Prabhakar, had died in infancy. His home, possessions and other personal relics have been preserved for public display. There was no official mourning by the then Congress party government of Maharashtra or at the centre. The political indifference to Savarkar continued long after his death.
Just like Raju, Veer Savarkar did not appear under the rule of Congress’ India until on a stamp in 1970. In popular culture, V.D. Savarkar appears in Hearts of Iron IV. If you change the ruling party of India to fascist without using the national focuses, you will get V.D. Savarkar as the leader of India, as he is the original party leader of the All India Hindu Assembly (AIHA).
|¤| Ban on the RSS |¤|
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, abbreviated as RSS, is an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation that is widely regarded as the parent organisation of the ruling party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The RSS was banned once during British rule, and then thrice by the post-independence Indian government – first in 1948 when a former RSS member assassinated Mahatma Gandhi; then during the emergency (1975–77); and for a third time after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.
RSS was founded in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a doctor in the city of Nagpur, British Raj. After Tilak’s demise in 1920, like other followers of Tilak in Nagpur, Hedgewar was opposed to some of the programmes adopted by Gandhi. Gandhi’s stance on the Indian Muslim Khilafat issue was a cause for concern to Hedgewar, and so was the fact that the ‘cow protection’ was not on the Congress agenda. This led Hedgewar, along with other Tilakities, to part ways with Gandhi. In 1921, Hedgewar delivered a series of lectures in Maharashtra with slogans such as “Freedom within a year” and “boycott”. He deliberately broke the law, for which he was imprisoned for a year. After being released in 1922, Hedgewar was distressed at the lack of organisation among the Congress volunteers for the independence struggle. Without proper mobilisation and organisation, he felt that the patriotic youth of India could never get independence for the country. Subsequently, he felt the need to create an independent organisation that was based on the country’s traditions and history.
After acquiring about 100 swayamsevaks (volunteers) to the RSS in 1927, Hedgewar took the issue to the Muslim domain. He led the Hindu religious procession for Ganesha, beating the drums in defiance of the usual practice not to pass in front of a mosque with music. On the day of Lakshmi Puja on 4 September, Muslims are said to have retaliated. When the Hindu procession reached a mosque in the Mahal area of Nagpur, Muslims blocked it. Later in the afternoon, they attacked the Hindu residences in the Mahal area. It is said that the RSS cadres were prepared for the attack and beat the Muslim rioters back. Riots continued for 3 days and the army had to be called in to quell the violence. RSS organised the Hindu resistance and protected the Hindu households while the Muslim households had to leave Nagpur en masse for safety. Tapan Basu et al. note the accounts of “Muslim aggressiveness” and the “Hindu self-defence” in the RSS descriptions of the incident. The above incident vastly enhanced the prestige of the RSS and enabled its subsequent expansion.
During World War II, the RSS leaders openly admired Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Golwalkar took inspiration from Adolf Hitler’s ideology of racial purity. This did not imply any antipathy towards Jews. The RSS leaders were supportive of the Jewish State of Israel, including Savarkar himself. Golwalkar admired the Jews for maintaining their “religion, culture and language”.
During the partition, the RSS helped the Hindu refugees fleeing West Punjab; its activists also played an active role in the communal violence during Hindu-Muslim riots in North India, though this was officially not sanctioned by the leadership. To the RSS activists, the partition was a result of mistaken soft-line towards the Muslims, which only confirmed the natural moral weaknesses and corruptibility of the politicians. The RSS blamed Gandhi, Nehru and Patel for their ‘naivety which resulted in the partition’, and held them responsible for the mass killings and displacement of the millions of people.
The first ban on the RSS was imposed in Punjab Province (British India) on 24 January 1947 by Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana, the premier of the ruling Unionist Party, a party that represented the interests of the landed gentry and landlords of Punjab, which included Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. Along with the RSS, the Muslim National Guard was also banned. The ban was lifted on 28 January 1947.
Following Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in January 1948 by a former member of the RSS, Nathuram Godse, many prominent leaders of the RSS were arrested, and RSS as an organisation was banned on 4 February 1948. A Commission of Inquiry into Conspiracy to the murder of Gandhi was set, and its report was published by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs in the year 1970. Accordingly, the Justice Kapur Commission noted that the “RSS as such were not responsible for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, meaning thereby that one could not name the organisation as such as being responsible for that most diabolical crime, the murder of the apostle of peace. It has not been proved that they (the accused) were members of the RSS.” However, the then Indian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had remarked that the “RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhi’s death”.
After India had achieved independence, the RSS was one of the socio-political organisations that supported and participated in movements to decolonise Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which at that time was ruled by Portugal. In April 1954 the RSS formed a coalition with the National Movement Liberation Organisation (NMLO) and the Azad Gomantak Dal (AGD) for the annexation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli into the Republic of India. The capture of Dadra and Nagar Haveli gave a boost to the movement against Portuguese colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent. In 1955 RSS leaders demanded the end of Portuguese rule in Goa and its integration into India. When Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru refused to provide an armed intervention, RSS leader Jagannath Rao Joshi led the Satyagraha agitation straight into Goa. He was imprisoned with his followers by the Portuguese police. The nonviolent protests continued but met with repression. On 15 August 1955, the Portuguese police opened fire on the satyagrahis, killing thirty or so civilians. Goa was later annexed into the Indian union in 1961 through an army operation, codenamed ‘Operation Vijay’, that was carried out by the Nehru government.
After the declaration of 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence by Indira Gandhi, RSS provided support to the government, by offering its services to maintain law and order in Delhi and its volunteers were apparently the first to donate blood.
In 1975 the Indira Gandhi government proclaimed emergency rule in India, thereby suspending fundamental rights and curtailing the freedom of the press. This action was taken after the Supreme Court of India cancelled her election to the Indian Parliament on charges of malpractices in the election. Democratic institutions were suspended and prominent opposition leaders, including Gandhian Jayaprakash Narayan, were arrested whilst thousands of people were detained without any charges taken up against them. RSS, which was seen as being close to opposition leaders, and with its large organisational base was seen to have the capability of organising protests against the government, was also banned. The Emergency is said to have legitimised the role of RSS in Indian politics, which had not been possible ever since the stain the organisation had acquired following the Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in 1948, thereby ‘sowing the seeds’ for the Hindutva politics of the following decade.
The RSS was instrumental in relief efforts after the 1971 Orissa Cyclone, 1977 Andhra Pradesh Cyclone and in the 1984 Bhopal disaster. It assisted in relief efforts during the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, and helped rebuild villages. Approximately 35,000 RSS members in uniform were engaged in the relief efforts, and many of their critics acknowledged their role. An RSS-affiliated NGO, Seva Bharati, conducted relief operations in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Activities included building shelters for the victims and providing food, clothes, and medical necessities. The RSS assisted relief efforts during the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. Seva Bharati also adopted 57 children (38 Muslims and 19 Hindus) from militancy affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir to provide them education at least up to Higher Secondary level. They also took care of victims of the Kargil War of 1999.
In 2006 RSS participated in relief efforts to provide basic necessities such as food, milk, and potable water to the people of Surat, Gujarat, who were affected by floods in the region. The RSS volunteers carried out relief and rehabilitation work after the floods affected North Karnataka and some districts of the state of Andhra Pradesh. In 2013, following the Uttarakhand floods, RSS volunteers were involved in flood relief work through its offices set up at affected areas.
In spite of the RSS continually providing welfare, relief to the people, and even providing arms and blood to the army, post-independence elitists have always been a critic of the RSS and unjustly banned them. The Emergency crackdown on the RSS, especially, was a violent crackdown which even involved execution and deaths amidst police fire.
|¤| Sardar Vallabhai Patel |¤|
Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel (31 October 1875 – 15 December 1950), popularly known as Sardar Patel, was an Indian politician. He served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. He was an Indian barrister and statesman, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and a founding father of the Republic of India who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. In India and elsewhere, he was often called Sardar, meaning “chief” in Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. He acted as Home Minister during the political integration of India and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.
As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Patel organised relief efforts for refugees fleeing to Punjab and Delhi from Pakistan and worked to restore peace. He led the task of forging a united India, successfully integrating into the newly independent nation those British colonial provinces that had been “allocated” to India. Besides those provinces that had been under direct British rule, approximately 565 self-governing princely states had been released from British suzerainty by the Indian Independence Act of 1947. Threatening military force, Patel persuaded almost every princely state to accede to India. His commitment to national integration in the newly independent country was total and uncompromising, earning him the sobriquet “Iron Man of India”. He is also remembered as the “patron saint of India’s civil servants” for having established the modern all-India services system. He is also called the “Unifier of India”. The Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, was dedicated to him on 31 October 2018 which is approximately 182 metres in height.
In September 1917, Patel delivered a speech in Borsad, encouraging Indians nationwide to sign Gandhi’s petition demanding Swaraj – self-rule – from Britain. A month later, he met Gandhi for the first time at the Gujarat Political Conference in Godhra. On Gandhi’s encouragement, Patel became the secretary of the Gujarat Sabha, a public body that would become the Gujarati arm of the Indian National Congress. Patel now energetically fought against veth – the forced servitude of Indians to Europeans – and organised relief efforts in the wake of plague and famine in Kheda. The Kheda peasants’ plea for exemption from taxation had been turned down by British authorities. Gandhi endorsed waging a struggle there, but could not lead it himself due to his activities in Champaran. When Gandhi asked for a Gujarati activist to devote himself completely to the assignment, Patel volunteered, much to Gandhi’s delight. Though his decision was made on the spot, Patel later said that his desire and commitment came after intense personal contemplation, as he realised he would have to abandon his career and material ambitions.
Vithalbhai and Bose had been highly critical of Gandhi’s leadership during their travels in Europe. “By the time Vithalbhai died in October 1932, Bose had become his primary caregiver. On his deathbed he left a will of sorts, bequeathing three-quarters of his money to Bose to use in promoting India’s cause in other countries. When Patel saw a copy of the letter in which his brother had left a majority of his estate to Bose, he asked a series of questions: Why was the letter not attested by a doctor? Had the original paper been preserved? Why were the witnesses to that letter all men from Bengal and none of the many other veteran freedom activists and supporters of the Congress who had been present at Geneva where Vithalbhai had died? Patel may even have doubted the veracity of the signature on the document. The case went to the court and after a legal battle that lasted more than a year, the courts judged that Vithalbhai’s estate could only be inherited by his legal heirs, that is, his family. Patel promptly handed the money over to the Vithalbhai Memorial Trust.”
On the outbreak of World War II, Patel supported Nehru’s decision to withdraw the Congress from central and provincial legislatures, contrary to Gandhi’s advice, as well as an initiative by senior leader Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari to offer Congress’s full support to Britain if it promised Indian independence at the end of the war and installed a democratic government right away. Gandhi had refused to support Britain on the grounds of his moral opposition to war, while Subhash Chandra Bose was in militant opposition to the British. The British rejected Rajagopalachari’s initiative, and Patel embraced Gandhi’s leadership again. He participated in Gandhi’s call for individual disobedience, and was arrested in 1940 and imprisoned for nine months. He also opposed the proposals of the Cripps’ mission in 1942. Patel lost more than twenty pounds during his period in jail.
As the first Home Minister, Patel played the key role in the integration of the princely states into the Indian federation. In the elections, the Congress won a large majority of the elected seats, dominating the Hindu electorate. But the Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah won a large majority of Muslim electorate seats. The League had resolved in 1940 to demand Pakistan – an independent state for Muslims – and was a fierce critic of the Congress. The Congress formed governments in all provinces save Sindh, Punjab, and Bengal, where it entered into coalitions with other parties.
Patel took charge of the integration of the princely states into India. This achievement formed the cornerstone of Patel’s popularity in the post-independence era. Even today he is remembered as the man who united India. He is, in this regard, compared to Otto von Bismarck of Germany, who did the same thing in the 1860s. Under the plan of 3 June, more than 562 princely states were given the option of joining either India or Pakistan, or choosing independence. Indian nationalists and large segments of the public feared that if these states did not accede, most of the people and territory would be fragmented. The Congress as well as senior British officials considered Patel the best man for the task of achieving conquest of the princely states by the Indian dominion. Gandhi had said to Patel,”The problem of the States is so difficult that you alone can solve it”. Patel was considered a statesman of integrity with the practical acumen and resolve to accomplish a monumental task.
As Acting Prime Minister while Nehru was having fun in Europe, he tried to negotiate with a very resisting Hyderabad to integrate into India. The Nizam exploited the 80% Muslim majority and killed Hindus on Indian soil. He ordered the Indian Army to invade Hyderabad where a lot of fanatical guards of the Nizam were killed, and successfully annexed Hyderabad.
When the Pakistani invasion of Kashmir began in September 1947, Patel immediately wanted to send troops into Kashmir. But, agreeing with Nehru and Mountbatten, he waited until Kashmir’s monarch had acceded to India. Patel then oversaw India’s military operations to secure Srinagar and the Baramulla Pass, and the forces retrieved much territory from the invaders. Patel, along with Defence Minister Baldev Singh, administered the entire military effort, arranging for troops from different parts of India to be rushed to Kashmir and for a major military road connecting Srinagar to Pathankot to be built in six months. Patel strongly advised Nehru against going for arbitration to the United Nations, insisting that Pakistan had been wrong to support the invasion and the accession to India was valid. He did not want foreign interference in a bilateral affair. Patel opposed the release of Rs. 550 million to the Government of Pakistan, convinced that the money would go to finance the war against India in Kashmir. The Cabinet had approved his point but it was reversed when Gandhi, who feared an intensifying rivalry and further communal violence, went on a fast-unto-death to obtain the release. Patel, though not estranged from Gandhi, was deeply hurt at the rejection of his counsel and a Cabinet decision.
During his lifetime, Vallabhbhai Patel received criticism for an alleged bias against Muslims during the time of Partition. He was criticised by Maulana Azad and others for readily supporting partition. Patel had long been the rival of Nehru for party leadership, but Nehru usually prevailed over the older man, who died in 1950. Subsequently, J. R. D. Tata, the Industrialist, Maulana Azad and several others expressed the opinion that Patel would have made a better Prime Minister for India than Nehru.
Sardar Patel was the Bismarck of India, the Iron Man. He had the ability to integrate larger parts of the Indian subcontinent after independence. Both Nepal and Kashmir slipped out of the hands of India due to the incompetence and betrayal of Nehru and the progressive Congress elite. As almost every hero like Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose, Alluri Sitarama Raju, V.D. Savarkar, his efforts were not unveiled to a new and uninformed generation of the Indian public until the right wing endured the suppression by the elite and the BJP started bringing up these topics.
|¤| TISCO/Tata |¤|
Tata Iron and Steel Company was founded by Jamsetji Tata and established by Dorabji Tata on 26 August 1907, and began producing steel in 1912 as a branch of Jamsetji’s Tata Group. By 1939, it operated the largest steel plant in the British Empire. Due to British policies, almost every major corporate had shutdown due to losses. Even partnerships and relatively large sole proprietorships were shutdown. However, in spite of going into losses, it stood as a company.
When the Indian independence movement gained popularity, it started working with the Indian National Congress and such political parties to supply them with material and resources, instead of primarily serving the British. Tata Iron and Steel Company was also responsible for the war effort of the British Indian Army and their glorious victories against the Axis in Africa and Asia by supplying top grade steel in a level that even exceeded the steel production capacities of Germany and the United States.
After independence, Nehruvian socialism was afraid of companies in general instead of multinational corporates, which targeted Tata as well. In 1971 and 1979, there were unsuccessful attempts to nationalise the company. In 1990, the company began to expand, and established its subsidiary, Tata Inc., in New York. The company changed its name from TISCO to Tata Steel Ltd. in 2005. Throughout Congress rule, the elite continued to bully Tata Steel in hopes of turning them powerless and eventually nationalising it as well. This involved the state forcing the company to move its factories here and there for irrational reasons.
Tata Steel portrays a spirit of a staunch capitalist that had the capacity to contend against the state, especially a socialist one. Unlike most modern corporates, it is also a symbol of ethical capitalism, as it has been involved in Corporate Social Responsibilities for a very long time.
|¤| Subhas Chandra Bose |¤|
Subhas Chandra Bose was the ultimate chad. Subhas Chandra Bose was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India, but whose attempt during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a troubled legacy. The honorific Netaji (Hindustani: “Respected Leader”), first applied in early 1942 to Bose in Germany by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin, was later used throughout India.
Ever since he was a child, he felt the need of freedom and independence. When his parents kicked him out once out of anger, he didn’t come back home for a whole month. At the age of 16, he was influenced by the works of Hindu nationalists like Swami Vivekananda and had formed a belief that religion was more important than his studies. From a well-to-do family, he was admitted in several foreign prestigious schools and universities. At home, he was ridiculed by his friends because he knew very little Bengali — his mother tongue.
In those days, the British in Calcutta often made offensive remarks to the Indians in public places and insulted them openly. This behavior of the British as well as the outbreak of World War I began to influence his thinking. His nationalistic temperament came to light when he was expelled for assaulting Professor Oaten (who had manhandled some Indian students) for the latter’s anti-India comments. He was expelled although he appealed that he only witnessed the assault and did not actually participate in it. His friends did admit in a radio interview after independence that in reality, he beat the professor with his shoe and started a revolution almost instantly in the examination center.
He started the newspaper Swaraj and took charge of publicity for the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee. His mentor was Chittaranjan Das who was a spokesman for aggressive nationalism in Bengal. In the year 1923, Bose was elected the President of All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress. He was also the editor of the newspaper “Forward”, founded by Chittaranjan Das. Bose worked as the CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation for Das when the latter was elected mayor of Calcutta in 1924. In a roundup of nationalists in 1925, Bose was arrested and sent to prison in Mandalay, where he contracted tuberculosis.
In 1927, after being released from prison, Bose became general secretary of the Congress party and worked with Jawaharlal Nehru for independence. In late December 1928, Bose organised the Annual Meeting of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta. His most memorable role was as General Officer Commanding (GOC) Congress Volunteer Corps. Author Nirad Chaudhuri wrote about the meeting: Bose organized a volunteer corps in uniform, its officers were even provided with steel-cut epaulettes … his uniform was made by a firm of British tailors in Calcutta, Harman’s. A telegram addressed to him as GOC was delivered to the British General in Fort William and was the subject of a good deal of malicious gossip in the (British Indian) press. Mahatma Gandhi is a sincere pacifist vowed to non-violence, did not like the strutting, clicking of boots, and saluting, and he afterward described the Calcutta session of the Congress as a Bertram Mills circus, which caused a great deal of indignation among the Bengalis. A little later, Bose was again arrested and jailed for civil disobedience; this time he emerged to become Mayor of Calcutta in 1930.
During the mid-1930s Bose travelled in Europe, visiting Indian students and European politicians, including Benito Mussolini. He observed party organisation and saw communism and fascism in action. In this period, he also researched and wrote the first part of his book The Indian Struggle, which covered the country’s independence movement in the years 1920–1934. Although it was published in London in 1935, the British government banned the book in the colony out of fears that it would encourage unrest.
By 1938 Bose had become a leader of national stature and agreed to accept nomination as Congress President. He stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance), including the use of force against the British. This meant a confrontation with Mohandas Gandhi, who in fact opposed Bose’s presidency, splitting the Indian National Congress party. Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru. Bose appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. He was elected president again over Gandhi’s preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya. U. Muthuramalingam Thevar strongly supported Bose in the intra-Congress dispute. Thevar mobilised all south India votes for Bose. However, due to the manoeuvrings of the Gandhi-led clique in the Congress Working Committee, Bose found himself forced to resign from the Congress presidency.
On 22 June 1939 Bose organised the All India Forward Bloc a faction within the Indian National Congress, aimed at consolidating the political left, but its main strength was in his home state, Bengal. U Muthuramalingam Thevar, who was a staunch supporter of Bose from the beginning, joined the Forward Bloc. When Bose visited Madurai on 6 September, Thevar organised a massive rally as his reception. He had been giving combat training to the members of the AIFB, and it would turn out that a lot of the members were complicit in wartime activities, especially espionage, reconnaissance, sabotage, and transferring Bose across countries to hide from the British, acting as people that somehow occurred along the baits that the British caught, thinking they were close to catching Bose.
Bose’s arrest and subsequent release set the scene for his escape to Germany, via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. He journeyed to Peshawar with the help of the Abwehr, where he was met by Akbar Shah, Mohammed Shah and Bhagat Ram Talwar. Bose was taken to the home of Abad Khan, a trusted friend of Akbar Shah’s. On 26 January 1941, Bose began his journey to reach Russia through British India’s North West frontier with Afghanistan. For this reason, he enlisted the help of Mian Akbar Shah, then a Forward Bloc leader in the North-West Frontier Province. Shah had been out of India en route to the Soviet Union, and suggested a novel disguise for Bose to assume. Since Bose could not speak one word of Pashto, it would make him an easy target of Pashto speakers working for the British. For this reason, Shah suggested that Bose act deaf and dumb, and let his beard grow to mimic those of the tribesmen. Bose’s guide Bhagat Ram Talwar, unknown to him, was a Soviet agent.
In Germany, he was attached to the Special Bureau for India under Adam von Trott zu Solz which was responsible for broadcasting on the German-sponsored Azad Hind Radio. He founded the Free India Center in Berlin, and created the Indian Legion (consisting of some 4500 soldiers) out of Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British in North Africa prior to their capture by Axis forces. The Indian Legion was attached to the Wehrmacht, and later transferred to the Waffen SS. Its members swore the following allegiance to Hitler and Bose: “I swear by God this holy oath that I will obey the leader of the German race and state, Adolf Hitler, as the commander of the German armed forces in the fight for India, whose leader is Subhas Chandra Bose”. This oath clearly abrogates control of the Indian legion to the German armed forces whilst stating Bose’s overall leadership of India. He was also, however, prepared to envisage an invasion of India via the USSR by Nazi troops, spearheaded by the Azad Hind Legion; many have questioned his judgment here, as it seems unlikely that the Germans could have been easily persuaded to leave after such an invasion, which might also have resulted in an Axis victory in the War.
In all, 3,000 Indian prisoners of war signed up for the Free India Legion. But instead of being delighted, Bose was worried. A left-wing admirer of Russia, he was devastated when Hitler’s tanks rolled across the Soviet border. Matters were worsened by the fact that the now-retreating German army would be in no position to offer him help in driving the British from India. When he met Hitler in May 1942, his suspicions were confirmed, and he came to believe that the Nazi leader was more interested in using his men to win propaganda victories than military ones. So, in February 1943, Bose turned his back on his legionnaires and slipped secretly away aboard a submarine bound for Japan. This left the men he had recruited leaderless and demoralised in Germany. In 1943, after being disillusioned that Germany could be of any help in gaining India’s independence, he left for Japan. He travelled with the German submarine U-180 around the Cape of Good Hope to the southeast of Madagascar, where he was transferred to the I-29 for the rest of the journey to Imperial Japan. This was the only civilian transfer between two submarines of two different navies in World War II.
The Indian National Army (INA) was the brainchild of Japanese Major (and post-war Lieutenant-General) Iwaichi Fujiwara, head the Japanese intelligence unit Fujiwara Kikan and had its origins, first in the meetings between Fujiwara and the president of the Bangkok chapter of the Indian Independence League, Pritam Singh Dhillon, and then, through Pritam Singh’s network, in the recruitment by Fujiwara of a captured British Indian army captain, Mohan Singh on the western Malayan peninsula in December 1941; Fujiwara’s mission was “to raise an army which would fight alongside the Japanese army.” After the initial proposal by Fujiwara the Indian National Army was formed as a result of discussion between Fujiwara and Mohan Singh in the second half of December 1941, and the name chosen jointly by them in the first week of January 1942.
Even when faced with military reverses, Bose was able to maintain support for the Azad Hind movement. Spoken as a part of a motivational speech for the Indian National Army at a rally of Indians in Burma on 4 July 1944, Bose’s most famous quote was “Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!” In this, he urged the people of India to join him in his fight against the British Raj. Spoken in Hindi, Bose’s words are highly evocative. The troops of the INA were under the aegis of a provisional government, the Azad Hind Government, which came to produce its own currency, postage stamps, court and civil code, and was recognised by nine Axis states – Germany, Japan, Italian Social Republic, the Independent State of Croatia, Wang Jingwei regime in Nanjing, China, a provisional government of Burma, Manchukuo and Japanese-controlled Philippines. Recent researches have shown that the USSR too had diplomatic contact with the “Provisional Government of Free India”. Of those countries, five were authorities established under Axis occupation. This government participated in the so-called Greater East Asia Conference as an observer in November 1943.
On the Indian mainland, an Indian Tricolour, modelled after that of the Indian National Congress, was raised for the first time in the town of Moirang, in Manipur, in north-eastern India. The adjacent towns of Kohima and Imphal were then encircled and placed under siege by divisions of the Japanese Army, working in conjunction with the Burmese National Army, and with Brigades of the INA, known as the Gandhi and Nehru Brigades. This attempt at conquering the Indian mainland had the Axis codename of Operation U-Go.
Still the INA fought in key battles against the British Indian Army in Burmese territory, notable in Meiktilla, Mandalay, Pegu, Nyangyu and Mount Popa. However, with the fall of Rangoon, Bose’s government ceased to be an effective political entity. A large proportion of the INA troops surrendered under Lt Col Loganathan. The remaining troops retreated with Bose towards Malaya or made for Thailand. Japan’s surrender at the end of the war also led to the surrender of the remaining elements of the Indian National Army. The INA prisoners were then repatriated to India and some tried for treason.
In the consensus of scholarly opinion, Subhas Chandra Bose’s death occurred from third-degree burns on 18 August 1945 after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in Japanese-ruled Formosa (now Taiwan). However, many among his supporters, especially in Bengal, refused at the time, and have refused since, to believe either the fact or the circumstances of his death. Conspiracy theories appeared within hours of his death and have thereafter had a long shelf life, keeping alive various martial myths about Bose. In the modern age of information, many evidences of Bose being alive and pictured in 1966, and no plane actually taking off at the apparent day of crash have been presented. Moreover, there were call traces of Lal Bahadur Shastri calling “someone” when he was in Tashkent from his room, as well as the British officers who were formerly given the jobs of cracking down on Bose being given information by some people from India that he was alive several years after the independence of India, raised more suspicions. The British intelligence also has said to be suspicious of his wife, Emilia keeping some things covert for many years after his death.
Subhas Chandra Bose was a Left Nationalist. He had been described as a staunch nationalist who wanted a full mobilisation of the Indian people to achieve independence. He wanted socialism to lift economic inequalities within the feudal British Indian system. He was a mastermind (albeit poor in military warfare as described by the Japanese) who made the entire British Empire shiver in their boots, the only person to trouble the colonial elite besides Gandhi. His efforts were buried deep down the archives because of his conflict with Nehru and Gandhi, by the Indian National Congress. The only way people knew about him several decades later were those who passed down the information. My grandfather and grandmother were there to witness the independence movement for at least 10 years of their life before India became free, and ever since I was a child they had painted Bose as a hero. To my surprise, majority of my school didn’t know about Subhas Chandra Bose, and when I thought about it, extremely little mentions of Bose were given in our textbooks, majority of which contain circling around the same worn-off glorification of the Indian independence movements. The second types of people to know about him were those who were older during the independence movement at its peak; contrary to lack of information, Subhas Chandra Bose was still on the tongues of almost every Indian. This legitimately threatened the political power of Nehru and the rest of the Congress after the unfortunate death of Mahatma Gandhi. The 300 INA officers, in fact, were spared by the British due to massive civil unrest which protested any punishment for them, and painted them as heroes.*** Bose did not appear in Indian governmental issues until on a stamp in 1964. The current BJP leadership has also raised awareness; Prime Minister Modi also dressed as Subhas Chandra Bose during a speech in 2019.
In popular culture, Subhas Chandra Bose also appears in Hearts of Iron IV. By completing the national focuses of the British Raj, gaining the All-India Forward Bloc you can unlock Subhas Chandra Bose as a political advisor,”Fascist Demagogue” who increases fascist influence in India. By completing the national focus of a fascist civil war after seeking help from Germany, you can get Subhas Chandra Bose as the leader of India, who grants +4.0 Division Recovery while he is the leader of Free India.
***The sad reality behind this fact, is that British Indian Army personnel who were equally patriotic and wanted to keep foreign imperialist powers like Germany and Japan from entering India, after all the relations and negotiations made with the British, that could most definitely sabotage their development, were seen as traitors to mother India. They were also motivated by the fact that unlike the British, the Germans at the time were cruel enough to treat the Indians like the Jews, and the Japanese had already raped Nanking to give India a demonstration of how they treat their subjects, apart from the several news that surfaced the Allied army barracks of cannibalism from the Japanese that castrated American POWs and ate them like savages, which strengthened the motive of Indians serving in the British Indian Army. The state also denied them pension as the Indian National Army, and for a long time they couldn’t get out of houses because they might have gotten beaten up by the locals for “collaborating” with the British.
|¤| Assassination of Lal Bahadur Shastri |¤|
Lal Bahadur Shastri was the 2nd Prime Minister of India and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress political party.
Shastri joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. Deeply impressed and influenced by Mahatma Gandhi (with whom he shared his birthday), he became a loyal follower, first of Gandhi, and then of Jawaharlal Nehru. Following independence in 1947, he joined the latter’s government and became one of Prime Minister Nehru’s principals, first as Railways Minister (1951–56), and then in a variety of other functions, including Home Minister.
He led the country during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. His slogan of “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (“Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer”) became very popular during the war. The war formally ended with the Tashkent Agreement on 10 January 1966; he died the following day, still in Tashkent, with the cause of his death in dispute and it was reported to be a cardiac arrest but his family was not satisfied with it. Shastri was a Nehru and Congress loyalist. Nehru was his mentor and was fond of Shastri. Although Shastri faced stiff opposition from within his party, his relationship with Nehru aided his ascension to the office of Prime Minister.
Shastri discontinued Nehru’s socialist economic policies with central planning. He promoted the White Revolution – a national campaign to increase the production and supply of milk – by supporting the Amul milk co-operative of Anand, Gujarat and creating the National Dairy Development Board. Gregory Douglas, a journalist who interviewed former CIA operative Robert Crowley over a period of 4 years, recorded their telephone conversations and published a transcription in a book titled Conversations with the Crow. In the book, Crowley claimed that the CIA was responsible for eliminating Homi Bhabha, an Indian nuclear scientist whose plane crashed into Alps, when he was going to attend a conference in Vienna; and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Crowley said that the USA was wary of India’s rigid stand on nuclear policy and of then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who wanted to go ahead with nuclear tests. He also said that the agency was worried about collective domination by India and Russia over the region, for which a strong deterrent was required.
Moreover, telephone records released by the Soviet Union showed that while Shastri was in his room in Tashkent, showed that he had contacted someone, and that was not someone in India. Remember the previous hero, Subhas Chandra Bose. The British were supplied with information that he headed for Taiwan. Subsequently, it was rumoured that he died in a plane crash heading for Taiwan. To cover this up, the Japanese also released a list of 12 people on-board to make it look more credible, so that the British would stop chasing Bose. An Indian writer based in Moscow who followed the said profession til 1991, claimed that he and his wife did meet Bose in a Siberian town 23 years after his apparent death. The AIFB members involved with baiting the British into thinking that Bose had headed for Taiwan, had made sure that he instead turned towards Korea, to pass through Japanese Manchuria and get across the border in the Soviet Union. He had explicitly stated, that he believed the Soviet Union was the only power after the German Reich who would contend against the British. It would be most possible because by 18th August 1945, the Red Army threatened the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Army after they broke their non-aggression pact with Japan by invading Manchuria on 9th August 1945. This caused Bose to not need to reach all the way to Siberia because a civilian transfer between the Empire of Japan and the Soviet Union could take place in Korea easily, which is the only place mentioned in Alt Balaji’s series Bose: Dead/Alive after the AIFB members transferred him by a bus.
The former PM’s grandson, Sanjay Nath Singh, who was nine then, recounted that during a phone conversation barely an hour before he was declared dead, Shastri said he would disclose something on return that would make the Opposition forget everything else. A picture that surfaced at the day of end of the Indo-Pak War of 1965, showed someone at the back who, identified by forensic reports, would’ve been at best been Bose.
This shows the Congress’ stubbornness and greed for power that enabled them to assassinate Lal Bahadur Shastri for trying to bring back Subhas Chandra Bose back to India. A sudden “heart attack” doesn’t add up, and is as credible as the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein. Even beyond the days of the independence movement, the progressive elite was active in securing power for themselves. The current destruction of the Indian National Congress is karma, and they might as well face even more.
|¤| Empowerment of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League |¤|
Amidst the nationalism that rose in every Indian regardless of caste, religion, gender, or age during the colonial era, the Indian National Congress was facing severe internal conflicts. This became a hurdle for Gandhi because he now had to deal with the British pulling the strings while he was gone, and turning communalism as a force to destroy the collaborative movement. By 1936, the British Raj was divided into Indian National Congress for the Hindus and the Muslim League for the Muslims thanks to the propaganda spread by the British.
This might not sound terrible, but it evolve into terrible. Jinnah triggered literal CARNAGE in places that were never Pakistani to begin with: Noakhali in East Bengal, Calcutta in West Bengal, Punjab, and so many places. The cities were soaked with blood, the houses were filled with a dozen dead bodies, the streets were strewn with dead bodies castrated all over the places and children with their heads smashed into walls. Women were raped, their fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons were all dead. Direct Action Day in Calcutta in 1946 was just a demonstration of what the word of Jinnah could trigger: 5,000 dead and 15,000 wounded.
The “secular” approach of the Indian National Congress forced them to appease the “leader” of Muslims. An old love-hate relationship had turned Nehru mute when Pakistan caused riots everywhere during the shifting of populations after the partition. The elitist Left had not the spine to stand with its own country when communalism came from a very specific source. Millions were affected as a result, directly or indirectly. Gandhi was the only one who would’ve compromised to keep the British Raj from falling into pieces after the independence. After his death in 1948, everything went downhill.
|¤| Kashmir |¤|
The aforementioned acts of Nehru waiting for the king of Kashmir to legally cede Kashmir to India weakened the advancements of the Indian Army who had a near 2:1 numerical advantage in terms of manpower in equipment, as the British decided who gets what portion of the British Indian Army: Pakistan had received six armoured, eight artillery and eight infantry regiments compared to the twelve armoured, forty artillery and twenty-one infantry regiments that went to India.
The only man capable of integrating Kashmir into India, after the dissolution of the entire Hindustan Republican Socialist Association, the All-India Forward Bloc, and ban on RSS, was Sardar Vallabhai Patel. He was betrayed by Nehru as he was told to wait for the king to accede Kashmir. Patel agreed. When Patel told Nehru to not consult the United Nations about this issue because it would’ve been (and really was) as counter-productive as letting an internationalist organisation of which the United Kingdom was a part anyway mandate as pseudo-peacekeepers. Nehru refused to listen not only to Patel but the entire Congress. This sabotaged the efforts made by Patel who also tried to help in administration of the military, even authorising a military road to be built from Srinagar to Pathankot.
Today, India bleeds because of this. Out of 4 wars between India and Pakistan, 3 of them were fought regarding Kashmir. In 1947, Pakistan invaded Kashmir. In 1965, they thought India was weakened by its defeat in the Sino-Indian War. In 1999, they assumed India wouldn’t notice Pakistan Army moving into Kargil. Our peaceful nature holds us back from giving Pakistan the consequence it deserves; a reply to their 1000 year war; a counter to their doctrine of bleeding India with a thousand cuts.