Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Caste inclusion in census will be a disaster: (Rediff interview with Prof. Radhakrishnan)

'Caste inclusion in census will be a disaster'
June 29, 2010

Professor *P Radhakrishnan* is a social scientist of repute and an expert on
caste and reservation in India [
Images<>]. He was
with the Madras Institute of Development Studies till recently. In
this interview with *Shobha Warrier* he talks about the dangers of including
caste in the census.

*Caste is a reality in India. Political parties are formed on caste.
Reservation is based on caste. What more harm can the inclusion of caste in
the census cause to the society?*

No doubt, caste is a reality in India. But in many places it is not the same
reality as it existed traditionally. As an institution that has survived for
about 3,000 years, caste has undergone many changes. There were many
agitations too against the caste system as it is intrinsically divisive,
discriminatory, and oppressive. The Indian Constitution was framed against
the background of the full knowledge of the persistence of this evil
allowing it to gradually wither away or have a natural death. As a result,
the traditional caste has, to a large extent, been driven underground over
the years after India became a secular democratic republic.

If caste is included in the census, it will come back venomously with the
vengeance of its suppression for about 60 years, which will be a disaster.

Caste was in the public domain during the British administration mainly
because of its divide and rule policy and partly because of its patronage
politics. India's independence brought about a major policy shift in the
State's approach to caste. That is evident from the Constitution.

*Reservation at present is based on data collected years ago. So, won't a
caste-based census help identify those in need of reservation?*

The general perception that reservation should be caste-based and castes are
entitled to reservation is fallacious. From the perspective of the
Constitution, and of related Indian jurisprudence till recently, reservation
should not actually be caste-based -- except in the case of Scheduled Castes
-- though for purposes of identifying backwardness caste groups and
corresponding groups in non-Hindu religious communities are subjected to the
backwardness tests.

*How will the government then proceed with reservations?*

The government can do it in at least two ways: By following the
constitutional provisions for the purpose (Article 340); and by evolving
neutral criteria which might have existed as negative attributes of the
traditional caste system whose persistence, as I said earlier, may be
disabling, discriminatory and debilitating to individuals from certain
castes and communities.

In fact, each state has plenty of rich data on social backwardness. If the
states are not willing to process and publish these data it is for fear that
the creamy layers which now gobble up the benefits of reservation will be
affected and the benefits will go to the really needy.

*Why did the British think of stopping caste-based census after 1931?*

It became an unwanted burden on the officials to collect enormous data on
hundreds of castes at exorbitant cost to the government. The British also
realised that caste-based census did more harm than good as the data
collected was not reliable, and the census reports caused a lot caste-spite
and encouraged 'caste patriotism'.

*As a sociologist, do you think with economic development, social
development will follow?*

It will, if there is proper distributive justice. Even in the absence of the
desired distributive justice, if you look at the profile of individuals, you
will see that social development is already happening, though rather slowly.

*Caste has come into the forefront with more vigour now with each political
party using caste and reservation to garner votes. Do you hold politicians
responsible for the current situation? *

By the time the Constitution came into being, every caste group had become
aware of the importance of caste and numbers in a democracy. India was the
only country in the world that introduced universal adult franchise at one
go. More than two-thirds of the population was illiterate at that time. At
the time of elections, different groups of cognate castes came together,
formed what may be called a 'horizontal stretch' and started exercising
their numerical power. So, despite illiteracy adult franchise gave a new
lease of life to caste groups.

In 1953, the first backward commission -- the Kaka [
Images<>] Kalelkar
commission -- was appointed. The commission submitted its report
in 1956. At the last minute, the chairman of the commission himself felt
that the recommendations of the commission would go against the well being
and future of the nation; and wrote as much in his forwarding letter. The
government saw wisdom in his letter. Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
[ Images <>]
and Home Minister Sardar Patel were vehemently opposed to have
anything to
do with caste in any state policy other than in the case of the Scheduled

After considerable debate at the Centre, the government wrote to all state
governments that while they were free to introduce reservation preferably
using economic criteria, the Centre was not acting on the recommendations of
the report. Then the states started appointing backward class commissions
and introducing reservations. This led to violent caste clashes in states
like Bihar and Gujarat.

What is envisaged in the Constitution is not caste-based reservation as such
but ameliorative measures for the advancement of individuals from
traditional caste groups who continued to be victims of the persistence of
the traditional disabling, discriminatory and debilitating attributes of the
caste system. Obviously the problem, the reality was too complex to
perceive, let alone address.

*But the reality has been made different by politicians. Have they not used
reservation for vote bank politics? *

Caste-based reservation came handy for vote bank politics; and politicians
have been mobilising various caste groups using reservation as a rallying
point. In the process of mobilising caste groups, they make promises. Caste
groups also demand many things, caste-backwardness became a convenient tool
in the context of reservations and nobody is willing to look into the

Caste gained a new impetus after Prime Minister V P Singh [
played the Mandal card, apparently for political gains.

*What will the United Progressive Alliance [
government gain by introducing caste in the census other than
some political parties?*

It is not the government alone that is accountable. Here, the role of
judiciary is crucial. If the reservation issue has been derailed over the
years, become messy and politicised, it is primarily because of the
judiciary. The response of the judiciary has been one of knee-jerk,
particularly after the Supreme Court rulings of November 16, 1992, in the
Mandal case, which I thought were pragmatic.

If caste was excluded from the census since 1951 it was obviously for
well-conceived policy reasons. These reasons are available in different
documents of the home ministry. It is deplorable that neither the judiciary
nor the home ministry has shown any historical sensitivity to the
'caste-in-the-census' conundrum. In fact, the home ministry should have come
out with a white paper on the whole issue from 1951 to 1991 covering the
views of Nehru, Patel, Indira Gandhi [
Rajiv Gandhi [
Images <> ], and
so on.

If you have closely follow the caste-in-the-census debate what you see is
the Yadav trio holding the nation to ransom, stating that if caste is not
included in the census the UPA ministry will collapse.

*So do you think the Group of Ministers' decision on the caste census is yet
another cat-and-mouse game in Indian politics?*

My 'gut-level' assessment is that there will be no caste census. Phase 1 of
the census is already in progress. Though the Group of Ministers reportedly
decided to have caste enumeration in the second phase of the census along
with UID (Unique Identification) number project that may not happen. The
government is under pressure to stop this project as there are apprehensions
that the data collected can be misused. That apart, the project cannot be a
one-time affair; it has to be a continuous process. If the fate of the voter
ID cards project is any indication, the UID project may be a non-starter;
and even if data collection is possible the data can transmogrify India's
demographic characteristics. Let us admit that we are way behind
e-governance, and India is not Infosys [ Get
Shobha Warrier<>in

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Koteshvar Darshan and Puja of mahadev 27/6/10

Chapaleshvar Maahadev in rocks of sea at Koteshvar, Kutchchh

Visit to Shepherad keeping cows at Kaiyari village near Narayan sarovar, 2000 cows by family

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Narayan Sarovar Koteshvar Darshan 28/6/2010

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Behind every successful Jinnah there is a Gandhi


Behind every successful Jinnah there is a Gandhi - 1       
Radha Rajan,
4 September 2009
History's can of worms
Post-independence official history of the ending of colonial rule in India is a hagiographic
narration of Gandhi's life and times. Hagiography is the reverential documentation of the
life of a saint by his acolytes. Thus the history of India's freedom struggle is a narration
of the making of the Mahatma in South Africa, culminating in the motivated ensconcing of the
Mahatma as the nation's civilisational emblem.
The inevitable fallout of such a construct of official history was that all significant
personages of the time, and all events, were positioned around and in relationship to
Gandhi, as heroes, lesser heroes or villains. Such personages (and events) who did not lend
themselves to this motivated hagiography were either kept out of the official historical
narrative or relegated to the margins of history.
Thus Aurobindo and Tilak of the pre-1910 years, Ambedkar's serious differences with Gandhi,
the fact that from around 1942, all top leaders of the INC except Nehru, including Gandhi's
close associates and colleagues in his social mission, and even his son Devadas, had all
distanced themselves from him, are kept out of the historical narrative of the freedom
Post-independent history writers have refused to even consider the adverse impact that
Gandhi's estrangement with the Congress Working Committee had on the extremely critical
tripartite negotiations which the INC was then engaged in with the British government and
the Muslim League.
The other heroes of our times, Bhagat Singh, Subhash Bose, Ambedkar and Savarkar, and all
those ordinary Indians who suffered tortuous incarceration or died for Gandhi, and the broad
contours and details of events leading up to the bloody vivisection of 1947, have not
merited even a whole paragraph in our history books. Few outside of academe would have heard
of Madanlal Dhingra, the Chapekar brothers, MR Jayakar, Tej Bahadur Sapru or the Sapru
Committee Report. Fewer still would know that Gandhi machinated the expulsion of Bose from
the INC, or that Gandhi had insisted on the resignations of Rajaji and KM Munshi too from
the Congress party, because these details did not mesh seamlessly into the hagiography
This dishonest rendering of history of the most important years of this enslaved nation's
existence has made out the freedom struggle to be the achievement of one man whose moral
authority resting on non-violence was so overwhelming that the British government shriveled
in awe before its force and slinked away in shame. To sustain the incredible fiction of this
"non-violent freedom-struggle", Nehruvian polity's history writers have chosen to sweep away
from sight the violent reprisal of the colonial government against ordinary Indians who
followed Gandhi to the streets. A despotic public opinion machinery dubbed Gandhi the Father
of the Nation; if that is a given, then equally true is the fact that Gandhi was also the
father of the vivisected Hindu nation.
Popular history has intentionally thrown a veil over why the Cabinet Mission failed in June
1946, leading to Direct Action, except to lay the failure dishonestly at Jinnah's door.
Needless to say, for Nehruvian secular politics of minority-ism, while Jinnah remains
history's villain, his vehicle, the Muslim League, is now wearing the false mustache of
Year after year after year, the nation celebrates its independence from colonial rule; the
de-Hinduised secular nation celebrated Nehru's fiftieth anniversary of his tryst with
destiny with a romantic midnight session of Parliament. The nation and its Father and Nehru
may have woken up to independence at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, but Hindus
woke up to a nation severed of her limbs, torn and bleeding. Nehru's India and her
historians have ensured that while August 15 would always be celebrated, it would never be
observed as a day of mourning, of grief and of determination to reverse and avenge the
consequences of Direct Action and vivisection. Nehru's secular India did not allow Hindus to
nurse a sense of victim-hood or nationhood.
The infamous Jinnah debate, triggered first by Advani and now Jaswant Singh, if anything has
only emphasized that -
•Jinnah will continue to remain the sole villain of recent history
•Nehruvian secular polity, which has successfully de-linked the Muslim League from Jinnah,
will not scrutinize the Muslim League and other Muslim parties and organizations for similar
•There is none so stupid or so sick with "purblind sentimentalism" as the Hindu social,
intellectual and political leadership; the writer is not at all sure that the cupidity is
not a mask for calculated villainy to maintain the status-quo in political discourse
•Hindus today in the main have abdicated their responsibility to their religion and nation;
Hindus are broadly either cowards unprepared to die for their religion and nation, or are so
consumed by self-interest that not only will they not live for their religion and nation but
are prepared to betray them for small personal gains
Typical of this purblind sentimentalism of the Hindu intellectual is a column by the
renowned Magsaysay awardee, investigative journalist, and author, Shri Arun Shourie, who was
so eager to fault both Jinnah and Jaswant that he took refuge in another editor, the late
Shri Girilal Jain, who is supposed to have remarked that the vivisection of 1947 was good
for India and the Hindus. Shourie recollects, "I have come to realise that Girilal Jain was
the one who was right. You are dead wrong, he told me, after reading what I had written
about Jinnah. The best thing that has happened for us is the Partition. It has given us
breathing time, a little time to resurrect and save our pluralist culture and religions. Had
it not happened we would have been bullied and thrashed and swamped by Islamic
It is doubtful if Girilal Jain would have used the phrase 'pluralist culture,' which is a
1990s decade 'liberal' Christian political subterfuge for seeking accommodation for
religious conversion in non-Christian nations; it is certain he would not have talked of
'religions' in plural. If Girilal Jain, who died in July 1993, six months after the historic
demolition of the Babri Masjid, and wrote and spoke in an era of rising Hindu Consciousness
embodied in the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi movement, made this remark, it is obvious he did not
envisage the subsequent capitulation of the political elite across the spectrum to Islam in
succeeding years, which has climaxed in the disgraceful Sachar Committee Report and demands
for reservations on religious lines - for minorities!
Shourie ought to have understood in 2009 - regardless of who said what 20 years ago - that
as long as even one Muslim remained in the vivisected Gandhi-Nehru secular nation, then he,
his wife and children belonged to the transnational Muslim ummah with the inevitability of
separatism leading to secession always hanging over our heads. For there are innumerable
instances of unresolved issues caused by Muslim intransigence continuing to keep Indian
society in a state of unrest, with jihad raging not only in J&K but in different parts of
this 'partition is good' nation. Anyway, if a writer quotes another person without refuting
the quote, it has to be assumed that the writer is in broad agreement with the quote. To
better understand the tortured routes that self-justifying sentimentalism takes, let us look
at what lies beneath Shourie's Girilal Jain fig-leaf.
Jaswant Singh, in the same breath that he lauded Jinnah, also held Sardar Patel and Nehru
responsible for Partition. As pointed out earlier, there is none as cowardly or villainous
as the Hindu who will not serve the Hindu cause. It is unclear in Shourie's column where
Girilal Jain ends and Shourie begins, but Shourie concludes his amazing partition-was-good
declamation with panegyric ode to Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. "So, my lament is the opposite of
Jaswant Singh's today. And it also so happens that I am an adorer of Sardar Patel as of the
Lokmanya, and a worshipper of Gandhiji."
Politically correct of course, but it could almost have been a school-girl speaking of
Rajesh Khanna or Sachin Tendulkar. But do facts of history support Shourie's ode to Gandhi
and Nehru? Maulana Azad poses a severe problem for writers of popular history. Is he black
or is he white? The Congress, in the wake of the Jaswant's Jinnah book, has declared its
intention of employing historians to look into the history of the times in the minutest
detail, but simultaneously has declared its intention to hold nation-wide meetings in praise
of Nehru, Patel and Azad.
The most reliable sources of history are the primary sources, and one of the most important
sources is the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG), which is a treasure house of the
tiniest detail about Gandhi's life; and this extraordinary compendium includes original
British government documents declassified under 'Transfer of Power'. The writer's book,
"Eclipse of the Hindu Nation: Gandhi and his Freedom Struggle" has relied exclusively on
CWMG as one of the four primary sources for critically examining the nation's freedom
struggle between the critical years 1890 to 1947; the other three being Sri Aurobindo's
writings prior to and up to 1910, volume 8 of Babasaheb Ambedkar's writings published by the
Maharashtra state government, and RP Kangle's three-volume magnum opus on the Kautiliyan
The writer's conclusions about the last phase of the freedom struggle between 1942 and 1947
is contrary to official history, and rejects Shourie's motivated ode to Gandhi and Nehru.
The writer holds Gandhi and Gandhi alone responsible, not only for the failure of the
Cabinet Mission in June 1946, but also for the vivisection of the Hindu nation. Sardar Patel
and Rajaji, KM Munshi and Madan Mohan Malaviya, were in the same position that Pranab
Mukherjee finds himself in today, while Nehru may be placed in the same category as Shashi
Tharoor, and Maulana Azad may be considered the role model for the BJP's Mukhtar Abbas
Advani and Jaswant Singh have done Hindus a favour by opening a can of worms. It is the
responsibility of Hindu nationalists to undertake a study of the history of the times and
nail all lies big and small, one by one.
(To be continued...)
Behind every successful Jinnah, there is a Gandhi - 2       
Radha Rajan
8th September, 2009
Hindus lack political objectives and strategic intent
"Partition", like Surf-ka-daag, "accha hai", repeated Arun Shourie, quoting a similar view
expressed by the late Shri Girilal Jain. The writer can see no reason for Shourie to parrot
'partition was good' unless it was meant as a short-sighted and faulty stratagem to
exonerate Patel and Nehru of the culpability pinned on them for Partition by Jaswant Singh.
A meticulous study of the sequence of events leading up to Partition from any of the primary
sources cannot but lead us to Gandhi; but rather than look honestly in the direction pointed
by these sources, or even if he did, Arun Shourie has nevertheless chosen not to cast his
eyes above Nehru and Patel. Shourie, uncharacteristic of his reputation for forthright
writing, has instead opted to go along with Jaswant Singh that Patel and Nehru were indeed
responsible for Partition but adds, they are not to be held guilty of the deed because
Partition was good for us. If Partition was indeed a good thing, then not only Patel and
Nehru but Jinnah too cannot be held guilty and cannot be held up as history's villain. Arun
Shourie cannot fault us for coming to this ridiculous conclusion.
The unprecedented and completely avoidable vivisection of the Hindu nation in 1947 was
effected because -
•Important Hindus have never understood that both Islam and Christianity are predatory
political ideologies masquerading as religions
•Muslims demanded vivisection of the Hindu nation bluntly in the name of their religion and
it was granted and realized by the Christian-colonial British government which had its own
reasons for vivisecting the Hindu nation
•Hindus made no decisive and organized effort at any point in the long drawn-out process to
avert vivisection; The Muslim League and the British government merely allowed us, the
defeatists to cut our losses and retrieve whatever we could of our territory
•Gandhi was the sole deciding voice in the INC speaking and acting for the entire non-Muslim
League Indian people, of which the Hindus constituted the absolute majority populace; Gandhi
and Gandhi alone made all the choices and decisions in the INC, at least until the moment
the Cabinet Mission returned home at the end of June 1946, admitting failure to get the INC
and Muslim League to come together for transfer of power
•Nehru went along with Gandhi between 1942 and 1947, even after Gandhi's closest colleagues
and friends had distanced themselves from him because as Gandhi's political heir, anointed
by Gandhi himself, Nehru wanted to inherit this Hindu civilization as a de-Hinduised
personal fiefdom without the violent Muslim elements which he knew he could not handle
•Sardar Patel, Rajaji, Rajendra Prasad and all other Hindu leaders in the INC, like
Aurobindo, Tilak and Lajpat Rai before them did not have the capacity or the vision to make
the INC a Hindu vehicle; they also did not dare or did not have the capacity to depose
Gandhi; this is the nature and the extent of their culpability for vivisection
•Gandhi, even in 1946, still holding on to the belief that the British Empire was
essentially a just power, welcomed the Cabinet Mission proposals with alacrity within the
first two days after the Cabinet Mission and the Viceroy made the document public, and
endorsed it as being the best formula that the British government could have produced under
the circumstances; the nation was thus stuck with the Cabinet Mission proposals as the only
means to get the British out of the country
•Gandhi chose to make the Imperial Government's dangerous and loaded Cabinet Mission
proposals the instrument by which the British would effect transfer of power instead of
using his authority and power to place the well-drafted Sapru Committee proposals as the
alternative Indian instrument
•Gandhi's insistence on doing politics for which he did not have the sagacity or
understanding, made it possible for Mountbatten to present Gandhi in April 1947 with
Hobson's choice - accept the Cabinet Mission proposals or accept vivisection
•The Muslim League under Jinnah's leadership had demonstrated that they would not stop until
they achieved Pakistan, through the Cabinet Mission route, through British-aided and abetted
vivisection or through violence
•The Muslim League was led by a man who ensured Pakistan through all routes while the
Congress was led by a man who led the Hindu nation to humiliating defeat and vivisection
through any route
The readiness with which we are willing to retain Jinnah as the sole villain of our freedom
movement and our unwillingness to look beyond Patel and Nehru in the Congress to apportion
blame for vivisection tells us something about ourselves - as a people we lack the courage
to ask the right questions because we are afraid that the answers may reveal something about
ourselves or bring down our little gods from their pedestals.
Vivisection of the Hindu nation could have been averted only -
If Gandhi and the other tall Hindu leaders in the INC had understood the political
objectives of Islam and Christianity
If Gokhale, Gandhi and the others had understood the diabolic intent behind the first
Partition of Bengal
If the INC had understood in 1906 the purpose behind the creation of the Muslim League in
December 1906 as being the natural progress of the trend that began with the creation of the
INC in 1885 and the Partition of Bengal
If the Hindus in the INC had understood that Islam is always ready to attain its political
objectives through sustained and determined violence
If the Hindus in the INC had rejected at least in 1942 the paralyzing Gandhian non-violence
and rejected Gandhi's leadership and at least then sat down to discuss how the Muslim League
could be stopped from attaining its stated objective of creating Pakistan
If the Hindus of the nation had demonstrated to the Muslims from the time of the Moplah
massacre that they would defend the territory of the Hindu nation by all and every means
If at least in 1940 when the Muslim League declared in Lahore that they would now work for
realizing Pakistan, the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha had joined hands to stir the Hindus of
the nation to a sense of the impending danger to their nation's territory and provided the
Hindus with a determined Hindu leadership
A self-respecting and determined nation and its people would take stock of a given
situation, consult the necessities and proceed to the invention, as Aurobindo remarked;
which means a nation devises, invents appropriate tools as demanded by the situation. After
reading the corpus of the brilliant and inspirational political writings by Aurobindo from
1893 to 1910 and after reading the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi it emerges that the
British government and the Muslim League had always acted with a sound understanding of
politics and the determination to achieve their respective political objectives. Had the
Hindus in the INC, the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha understood this then, they would have
realized that the Muslims and the British both threatened the territory of the Hindu nation.
That they did not consult the necessities is evident because they did not proceed to the
invention. The Hindu leadership of the times did not, could not stop vivisection of the
Hindu nation.
And yet, the INC and/or the RSS-Hindu Mahasabha could have averted vivisection of the Hindu
bhumi; the INC because it was the largest and most potent political instrument with a
preponderance of Hindus as members and cadre, while the RSS-Hindu Mahasabha though not as
large as the INC was however wholly Hindu with the potential to evolve into a powerful,
forceful and aggressive Hindu combine and an effective political instrument. Whatever the
reasons, while one refused to be a Hindu vehicle, the other failed to become a political
There is no doubt that the British manufactured the INC first to wean away important
sections of the Hindus from ideas of armed resistance for freedom from colonial rule and
then manufactured the Muslim League as a thorn in the flesh of the INC. From 1885 when the
INC was created and until 1947 when the British government and the Muslim League had both
attained their respective objectives, the INC, especially the INC under Gandhi remained
faithful to British intent. It abjured ideas of nationalism, abjured armed resistance,
abjured the Tilak-Aurobindo demand for total and non-negotiable political freedom, flirted
with Hindu-Muslim unity on the one hand and coquetted with the British government on the
Gandhi's INC vacillated between political freedom struggle and his social mission thus
blunting the political edge and losing focus; this was in sharp contrast to the Muslim
League which saw the possibilities that the first partition of Bengal threw up for Muslims
and from then on worked to return Muslim rule over India. The Muslim League and the Muslim
leadership was determined to either bring the Hindu nation under Islamic rule yet again or
tear the Hindu nation apart to create a Muslim state. The growth and increasing stridency of
the Muslim League was in direct proportion to the lack of focus and the confused drifting of
the INC under Gandhi between a diluted political mission and a challenging social and
economic mission. Gorbachev made the same mistake that Gandhi made decades ago and with the
same catastrophic results.
From December 1906 when the Muslim League was created, the leaders of the INC ought to have
designed their battle gear to confront both the Muslim League and the British government in
the three-cornered war which was nothing less than conquest and control of the Hindu nation.
Gandhi led the INC into the battleground with only one instrument - his brand of
non-violence while the British government stood with the full might of state power and the
Muslim League was armed with jihad in its armory. All other non-Congress Hindus stood on the
sidelines and watched Gandhi leading the war decisively towards vivisection.
The Hindu nation must begin the process of asking the right questions with the first set of
related questions -
What was the ultimate objective of the Gandhi-led freedom struggle?
Was it only to end colonial rule or also to prepare the nation for the consequences of an
ascendant Islam?
Had Gandhi tested his brand of non-violence against organized violence enough to come to the
conclusion that his non-violence always succeeded as he claimed in Hind Swaraj?
Why, if Gandhi's political leadership was failing under their very noses did other important
Hindus in the INC and other Hindu organizations not lift up their voices against Gandhi's
methods and leadership of the INC?
(To be continued)

Behind every successful Jinnah there is a Gandhi - 3       
Radha Rajan
17th September, 2009
Gandhi's INC - tap-dancing to nowhere
The contrast between Jinnah's Muslim League and Gandhi's INC could not have been more
glaring. In August 1947, Jinnah, the Muslims and the Muslim League were not only free from
colonial rule but had also successfully torn the Indian nation apart; while Gandhi's INC
watched the British leave India at the time and manner of their choosing, a torn and
bleeding nation in which the sense of nation and nationhood of Gandhi's Hindus had been
perverted beyond belief by Gandhi's satyagraha and non-violence while the pride, dignity and
valour of Hindu nationalists lay in ruins.
At the Surat Congress in December 1907, The Indian National Congress split into two distinct
ideological groups, the Moderates and Nationalists. The Nationalist group headed by Tilak,
Lajpat Rai and Aurobindo set complete political freedom as its objective. The INC split
exactly one year after the creation of the Muslim League in December 1906.
"The 'Moderate' Indian politician aspires to be an Imperial citizen. His ambition has at
last been screwed up to the point of seeking equality with his 'colonial brother'. His
loyalty draws him towards the Empire and his politics draws him towards self-government and
the resultant is self-government within the Empire. Colonies have been granted
self-government within the Empire and it logically follows that if the Indians try, try and
try again, they too will gain their end because nothing is impossible to perseverance. Thus
two birds will be killed with one stone. The ruling people, whose immense power can be
turned against us any moment if they happen to be irritated, will be pleased with our desire
not to break away from the Empire and, at the same time the spirit of independence which is
constantly urging us to demand a greater and greater measure of self-government will have
its full play. Such a compromise, such a smooth scheme of accommodating comprehensiveness is
being welcomed everywhere as suddenly revealed to a political prophet who is going the round
of the country with the inviting message: 'Come to me, all ye that are heavy-laden, and I
shall give rest unto you'." (Aurobindo, Yet there is Method in It, Bande Mataram, February
25, 1907)
Aurobindo had summed up succinctly the political objectives that Gokhale, Naoroji,
Surendranath Bannerjea and the dominant Parsees in India and London had set for the INC -
greater participation in government but within the Empire; that is, while the English
educated Indians would become ministers in the Viceroy's Council or the Governor's Council,
the nation would remain enslaved under British colonial rule.
Gandhi returned from South Africa to fill the vacuum in the INC intentionally created by the
British by removing Tilak and Aurobindo from public life. It is worth repeating that when
Gandhi came back to India his 'Mahatma' halo was waiting for him. He climbed to the highest
position in the INC with the assurance that the halo gave him, facilitated by the absence of
Gokhale who had passed away, Tilak who was weakened by age and colonial persecution, and
Aurobindo who had removed himself to Pondicherry for the safe pastures of spiritual
From 1917, the INC was under the effective and despotic control of Gandhi and Gandhi only;
all other leaders came a distant second and played at best only second fiddle; Subhash Bose,
KM Munshi and Rajaji who had serious differences with Gandhi's policies and the direction in
which he was leading the INC, were summarily thrown out of the party by Gandhi with harsh
and insulting words as in the case of Bose or with sweet reasonableness as with KM Munshi
and Rajaji. But the fact remains Gandhi did not tolerate dissent or differences of opinion
when the opinion was his. If Jinnah was successful, he owed his success in no mean measure
to Gandhi's leadership of the INC.
British colonial rule of India ended with the vivisection of the Hindu bhumi. Hindu
nationalists reject the projection of August 15, 1947 as Independence Day; not the least
because it was only self-rule day as the British monarch continued to remain Head of the
State until January 1950, but primarily because ending colonial rule was predicated on
vivisection. This is the truth that our stalwarts in Nehruvian-secular academe, and the
Hindu stalwarts in the Congress and the BJP do not want to see, much less articulate - that
the British, tactically using the Cabinet Mission proposals, made their leaving India
conditional upon vivisection.
Vivisection of the Hindu bhumi became a certainty because -
•Gandhi and the Hindus in the INC did not understand the political objectives of Islam, or
if they did, they had no objections
•Gandhi did not understand that colonialism (in this case the British government) was only a
derivative of the White Church and had the same political objective as Islam with regard to
non-Christian nations and peoples
•Gandhi carried back to India in 1915 the conviction from his years in South Africa that
British colonialism civilized the Empire's enslaved people and lifted them up from sloth,
superstition and barbarity
•Gandhi did not understand in the critical 1940s decade that western nations - America and
the nations of Europe, were confronted by anti-Christian and anti-capital Soviet Union and
that this intra-Western nations' conflict and inter-play was impacting the enslaved nations
in Africa and Asia in a manner that would determine post-colonial world order
•In spite of knowing what was happening in Indonesia and Mountbatten's role in aborting
Indonesia's fledgling independence from colonial rule, Gandhi not only allowed Louis
Mountbatten to come to India as the last Viceroy but had such faith in Mountbatten's British
sense of justice and fair-play that he asked Mountbatten to be the "umpire" (Gandhi's words)
between himself and Jinnah, "not as Viceroy, but as a man" (whatever in God's name that
•Gandhi did not choose to correct the gross misconception that Satyagraha - a political
instrument, and non-violence - a personal choice, were one and the same
•Gandhi inflicted upon the INC his personal articles of faith, Satyagraha and non-violence
as uncompromising, non-negotiable Congress Creed; and finally,
•Gandhi had only one tool of engagement with the British - first Satyagraha and then
dialogue, and only one strategy to deal with the Muslims - chasing the holy grail of
Hindu-Muslim unity
It was Gandhi, Gandhi all the way. Let us start at the beginning - what was the ultimate
objective of Gandhi's INC between 1915 when Gandhi came back from South Africa and 1947 when
the Hindu nation was vivisected by Islam? We must first rid our minds of all hagiographic
accounts of Gandhi and Gandhi's life and go back to the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi
(CWMG) for the truth.
The INC from 1910, when all the Nationalist leaders had been either exiled or imprisoned,
until 1917 when Gandhi assumed leadership, and even after 1917 and until 1946, did not move
decisively or proactively towards freedom. From 1910 the INC was either in limbo for
protracted lengths in time or was tap-dancing in the same place. Notwithstanding the
frenzied energy with which the dancer shakes his legs while tap-dancing, we know he is not
moving from place to place. He is dancing on the same spot. Gandhi's INC was similarly
tap-dancing in the so-called freedom movement even as the Muslims used the Khilafat
Committees and then the Muslim League to move decisively towards creating the Islamic state
of Pakistan from the body of the Hindu nation.
Was there a freedom struggle?
Gandhi began his political career in India with the much touted Champaran and Kaira (Kheda)
Satyagraha which allegedly put the British government on the back-foot and compelled them to
concede to Gandhi's demands. The fact is, Gandhi struck a deal with the Viceroy - grant me
my demands with regard to the farmers of Champaran and Kaira and not only will it be seen as
a victory for non-violent satyagraha but I will go back to Kaira and get every able-bodied
man to recruit in the army to fight World War 1 for Britain. Gandhi also assured the Viceroy
that this concession was being sought only as a "war measure" and that he would ensure such
demands would not be made again and that these concessions would not set a precedent for the
"I would make India offer all her able-bodied sons as a sacrifice to the Empire at its
critical moment; and I know that India by this very act would become the most favoured
partner in the Empire and racial distinctions would become a thing of the past".
Unnerving echoes from Aurobindo's "The 'Moderate' Indian politician aspires to be an
Imperial citizen! His ambition has at last been screwed up to the point of seeking equality
with his 'colonial brother". What Aurobindo said in 1907 of Gokhale, Naoroji and other
Moderates turned out to be just as true of Gandhi in 1918. It is clear now why the British
government had no objections, and in fact may have secretly welcomed it, when Gokhale passed
on the mantle of leadership to Gandhi and not to Tilak or Lajpat Rai.
"In Champaran, by resisting an age-long tyranny, I have shown the ultimate sovereignty of
British justice.
Thus, Champaran and Kaira affairs are my direct, definite and special contribution to the
I write this because I love the English nation, and I wish to evoke in every Indian the
loyalty of the Englishman". (Excerpts from Letter to Viceroy, Delhi, April 29, 1918, CWMG,
Vol. 17, pp 7-10)
"It will also enable me to fall back for war purposes upon my co-workers in Kaira and it may
enable me to get recruits from the district.
I suggest that action in this matter be taken as war measure. This will obviate the fear of
relief being regarded as a precedent". (Letter to JL Maffey (Secretary to the Viceroy),
Nadiad, April 30, 1918, CWMG, Vol. 17, pp 10-12)
It is doubtful if any Indian of the times knew of this deal. This secret deal between Gandhi
and the Viceroy (much like the little-known letter that Gandhi wrote to Lord Ampthill in
October 1909) which saw the British government responding positively to Gandhi's demands,
achieved two things for Gandhi - it projected his satyagraha and non-violence (falsely as we
now know) as the best tool of engagement with the British because (or so the ordinary people
thought) it succeeded in getting the government to retreat; it also gave Gandhi's 'mahatma'
halo an additional coat of polish and gave him the status of undisputed leader with the
ordinary people of India.
The excerpts from Gandhi's letters to the Viceroy and the Viceroy's secretary at the time of
the Champaran and Kaira satyagrahas have been reproduced for a purpose. This article was
necessitated by the dishonest public debate where one side blames Jinnah alone for Partition
while the other side holds Nehru and Patel also, besides Jinnah, guilty for Partition. No
one in post-independence India, no one in public life, has asked if partition could have
been averted and if yes, how could it have been averted. It suits the nation to hold Jinnah
and the Muslim League (not the Muslims; now that is an intellectual tight-rope walk) alone
to blame for partition. But the guilt attached to the Muslims, Muslim League and Jinnah is
only a very small portion of the whole truth. Jinnah is not all. Which brings us back to the
most important question - what was the political objective of the Gandhi-led INC?
This article is not intended to add dead weight to the sterile academic debate about Jinnah,
Gandhi and partition, but aims to correct our political discourse by inextricably linking
vivisection with independence and also intends to reassess Gandhi's role in the freedom
struggle movement to better understand why Hindus lost and are continuing to lose territory
to the two genocidal and predatory Abrahamic monotheisms even sixty years after ending
colonial rule in 1947. The article is an attempt to break the conventional silence about
Gandhi's catastrophic-for-Hindus political activism which led to vivisection.
If there was indeed a freedom struggle movement under Gandhi's leadership as state-funded
history writers have been telling us, then freedom can only be understood as ending colonial
rule and achieving total political freedom, accompanied by the British quitting India lock,
stock and barrel. But Gandhi in 1918, in sharp contrast to Tilak and Aurobindo, is writing
to the Viceroy about how he loves the English nation and how he wishes to invoke in every
Indian the same love and loyalty for the Empire as that of an Englishman! Now this is not
the language or the sentiment of a man leading a political party towards freedom from
colonial rule. This was in 1918.
In 1920, the Gandhi-led INC issued the call for Swaraj. But between 1918 when Gandhi wrote
gushingly to the Viceroy about his love for the English nation, offering his services to the
Viceroy as recruiting agent for the war, and the 1920 Nagpur Congress where Gandhi called
for Swaraj, the British government demonstrated the full might of the power of the state. In
spite of Gandhi's sycophantic recruiting agent act, the British government slapped the
Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act or the Rowlatt Act on Indians with one hand while
with the other it passed the Government of India Act 1919. The draconian Rowlatt Act gave
the government sweeping powers to imprison without trial any individual who picked up arms
against the British government and people or conspired against the colonial state.
Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, with the full knowledge of Michael O'Dwyer,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab also issued the infamous and humiliating 'crawling order'
against the people of the province; 1919 was also the year of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
The GOI Act 1919 gave Indians some measure of participation in government, a sop for the
Rowlatt Act, "crawling order" and the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh. Gandhi's declaration of
love for the English nation must have sent the comforting signal to the British government
that under Gandhi's leadership the INC would not make any demand for complete political
freedom. Thus, even as the British government was using the stick of the Rowlatt Act against
us and turning the full military might of the state against ordinary people, it also dangled
the carrot of self-government before us.
"The ruling people, whose immense power can be turned against us any moment if they happen
to be irritated, will be pleased with our desire not to break away from the Empire and, at
the same time the spirit of independence which is constantly urging us to demand a greater
and greater measure of self-government will have its full play. Such a compromise, such a
smooth scheme of accommodating comprehensiveness is being welcomed everywhere as suddenly
revealed to a political prophet who is going the round of the country with the inviting
message: 'Come to me, all ye that are heavy-laden, and I shall give rest unto you'."
Astonishing how Aurobindo's discerning analysis of and scathing attack against the leaders
of the INC in 1907 was just as true in 1919. Little had changed in the INC's objectives and
even less had changed in the character of its leaders.
We cannot help but think that Gandhi was just such a political prophet who had worked out "a
smooth scheme of accommodating comprehensiveness" with the British Indian government.
At the Amritsar Congress, 27 December 1919 - January 1 1920, Tilak and CR Das expressed
sharp criticism of the Montague-Chelmsford reforms report which formed the basis for the GOI
Act 1919 calling it "inadequate, unsatisfactory and disappointing". In what would be the
precursor to 1946 when Gandhi would once again hastily welcome the Cabinet Mission
proposals, Gandhi took exception to Tilak's criticism of the report and after perfunctorily
appealing to Tilak to withdraw his amendment, actually threatened to undertake a tour of the
country to explain to the people of India why he disagreed with Tilak and why he wanted to
place on record the INC's gratitude to Montague for the reforms report!
Exactly one year after placing on record his gratitude to Montague for enabling the GOI Act
1919, Gandhi issued the cry for Swaraj at the Nagpur Congress. People have the right to know
why, if Gandhi thought the Montague-Chelmsford reforms report and the GOI Act 1919 were
marvelous things for Indians, did he demand Swaraj in Nagpur and what did his Swaraj mean?
Gandhi also declared at Nagpur that he wanted Swaraj within a year. This is 1920.
Ten years later, at the Lahore Congress in 1929, Gandhi demanded Purna Swaraj. Gandhi's
Purna Swaraj was a significant improvement on Tilak's simple Swaraj although the nation does
not know why Gandhi issued the call for 'Swaraj within a year' at Nagpur and then issued a
call for Purna Swaraj nine years later. Either there is Swaraj or no Swaraj. Purna Swaraj
inter-alia implies something called 'Apurna Swaraj, which is like half a hole. After Nehru
hoisted the flag of complete political independence on the eve of New Year, 1930, Gandhi
entered into the infamous Gandhi-Irwin Pact. Gandhi had presented to the nation his version
of passive resistance and non-violence as the only instruments for engagement with the
British. But with the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, Gandhi also surrendered the right to Satyagraha and
even non-violent protest.
From Swaraj, to Purna Swaraj from the Gandhi-Irwin Pact to the second GOI Act - that is,
from 1919 to 1929 to 1931 to 1935, Gandhi's INC was tap-dancing without moving the nation
even a fraction forward towards freedom. The British government used the carrot and stick
effectively against the Hindus in 1935 just as effectively as it had used it in 1919; and
knowing full well from past experience that the INC will suffer the stick in shameless
inaction and silence as long as the carrot is visibly shown to the ordinary Indians, the
British government proclaimed the GOI Act 1935 by which Indians were allowed to contest
elections in the Provinces to constitute provincial governments. The GOI Act 1935 was the
carrot being dangled before the INC as a palliative measure for hanging Bhagat Singh.
The British government sensed the anger of ordinary Indians against Gandhi and his INC for
failing to save Bhagat Singh from the gallows and knowing that discrediting Gandhi at this
stage may render him ineffective thus paving the way for triggering the volcano of seething
dissatisfaction among the ordinary people, the British government's propaganda machinery
successfully promoted the idea that the GOI Act 1935 was in response to Gandhi's non-violent
Dandi March which allegedly shook the Empire. If the INC had been serious about Swaraj in
1920, then it ought to have followed Tilak when he expressed disquiet over the reforms
report; it was expected that if Swaraj meant total political freedom, then the GOI Act 1919
was only clever temptation to divert the INC away from the road to freedom and trap the
slaves in the honey-pot of sharing political power with their masters.
The trap was set enticingly again in 1935 and the INC demonstrated its willingness to bite
the bait yet again. Sharing power, self-government within the Empire, self-rule - these were
the colonial catch-words to keep India firmly enslaved and keep the INC going round and
round in circles. Aurobindo.s "political prophet" was conducting the INC's tap-dance to
nowhere with "accommodating comprehensiveness". The Muslim League and the British government
had good reasons to feel delighted. Gandhi's INC was going nowhere and the freedom movement
led by Hindu nationalists for a brief while between 1907-1909 had been effectively aborted.
(To be continued)

Behind every successful Jinnah there is a Gandhi - 4       
Radha Rajan, October 2, 2009.
The Goal Determines the Path and the Tool
The writer is convinced that because Gandhi led the INC and the INC led the Hindu nation
towards vivisection in 1947, Hindus have to undertake a thorough reading of the Collected
Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG) to fill in the yawning gaps in the state-funded narration of
the history of the times.
The CWMG is veritably a hadith of the Mahatma. It is a painstaking collection and
compilation of letters, interviews, newspaper reports, first-hand day by day and sometimes
hour by hour accounts of Gandhi's busy life; the CWMG is a record of Gandhi's writings in
different journals and his speeches at Congress and other meetings, including his meetings
with the highest in the Imperial British Government and the British Indian Government, and a
record of his conferences and everyday prayer meetings over the decades. It is truly a
treasure-house for an accurate and chronological rendition of Gandhi's life. Besides opening
to Indians the shadowy world of Gandhi's private meetings with important political persons
and the truly great but less-known individuals who devoted their lives to serving the
deprived in our societies, in villages and cities, it is also a repository of details of
Gandhi's personal life, the details ranging from the serious to the trivial and from the
infuriating to the utterly distasteful.
There are however some extremely significant omissions in this exhaustive collection -
•Gandhi does not mention Aurobindo or Savarkar by name even once in any of his writings or
speeches between the years 1900 and 1910; we must conclude that Gandhi had already begun to
position himself to the British; and worse, he had begun to position himself to himself
•There is no mention of Gandhi's meeting with the Hindu nationalist VO Chidambaram Pillai
from the Madras Province, whose close friends and compatriots swore by armed resistance;
Gandhi's studied silence on these men may of course have nothing to do with the fact that
Chidambaram Pillai, after the Surat Congress of 1907 (which he attended along with
Subramania Bharati the fierce and passionate nationalist poet), chose to belong to the
'Nationalist' group with Tilak and Aurobindo; Chidambaram Pillai, a sad and disillusioned
man by then, also attended the Calcutta Congress in the first week of September 1920, barely
a month after the death of Lokmanya Tilak
•BR Ambedkar came to Segaon to meet Gandhi on May 1, 1936; CWMG has no record of the meeting
•Tej Bahadur Sapru (who would author the all-Indian draft plan, the Sapru Report, for
transfer of power as the alternate option to the Cabinet Mission proposals in 1946), meets
Gandhi on 6th April 1936 at Allahabad but there is no record of this meeting either
•Between 1937 when Subhash Bose was elected President of the Congress for the first time,
and 1939 when he was thrown out of the Congress after being elected President for the second
time, Bose met Gandhi twice, on February 2, 1938 and March 19, 1938. CWMG has no record of
these meetings either
Except for the detailed (and sordid) accounts of Gandhi's experiments in brahmacharya, all
other information contained in CWMG may be categorized as being either trivial and
completely useless for the nation, or that which projected him as being a man of great power
and moral authority. It takes a discerning and determined reader to arrive at the truth
regarding any single issue from information which may be scattered across a single volume or
across two and even three volumes.
From the nature of the omissions mentioned above it is clear that the meetings with Pillai,
Ambedkar and Bose did not contribute to Gandhi's hagiography and these details have been
concealed either by the Government of India which holds sole copyright over the Collected
Works or else the records of these meetings were destroyed by Gandhi himself; either way the
nation will never know the truth about these omissions. It is worth noting that Aurobindo,
Savarkar, Pillai, Ambedkar and Bose were all towering political personages who had sharp
differences of opinion with Gandhi over the goals Gandhi had set for the INC and the
direction in which he was leading it.
The reason behind Gandhi's studied silence over his meetings with these men and his even
more studied silence when these great souls passed away - Tilak in 1920, Subramania Bharati
in 1921 and Chidambaram Pillai in 1936 has a direct bearing on the rise of Jinnah within the
Muslim League and the increasing stridency of the League culminating in vivisection of the
Hindu nation in 1947. We must contrast this with available records of Gandhi's reaction at
the passing away of British monarchs and other foreigners and Indians for whom Gandhi had
respect or affection or from whom Gandhi had benefited in some manner. It was fear of public
anger alone in North India which compelled Gandhi to acknowledge grudgingly and sparingly
the greatness of Tilak, Bose and Bhagat Singh after their deaths.
The feeble and hesitant national debate on the freedom movement has studiously avoided
asking the question if the bloody vivisection of 1947 may have been avoided because this
would entail taking a good, hard look at Gandhi's political activism and the Congress
party's own culpability for standing by as Mountbatten and Jinnah, working in tandem, tore
the Hindu nation apart. Public discourse has been cleansed of any critique of Gandhi's
political activism for fear of the halo of his mahatmahood fading away. Nehru's secular
India mandates keeping Gandhi on his unstable pedestal to de-legitimize Hindu political
assertion which would inevitably lead to a self-conscious Hindu state.
Arun Shourie and Jaswant Singh, because they have written on the issue, must tell us why
they failed to cast their eyes beyond Jinnah, Patel and Nehru and why they have failed to
speak the whole truth. If truth has to be spoken then we shall have to examine the reasons
for vivisection and why Jinnah, the Muslims and the Muslim League succeeded; we will now
examine the reasons for vivisection under three heads - Gandhi's political goal and the tool
he employed, Gandhi and the Muslim question, and Gandhi and the Cabinet Mission.
Gandhi's political goal and the tool
The Muslim League and the INC were the only two large political formations at the turn of
the twentieth century; because the Muslim League served only Muslim interests, the Hindus of
the country looked to the INC to represent Hindu interests. Vivisection of the Hindu nation
could have been averted only if the INC had made not only ejecting the British from out of
the country its raison d'etre but also taming the political objectives of Islam.
As part 3 of this series demonstrated, Gandhi's INC never set political freedom as its goal,
but aspired until 1942 only for a measure of self-rule within the Empire. As for dealing
with the explicit and clear-cut political objectives of Islam and the Muslim League,
Gandhi's INC and Gandhi's freedom struggle hallucinated until August 1947, about
Hindu-Muslim unity of heart and unity of purpose. Gandhi's passive resistance which he said
was synonymous with satya and ahimsa was Gandhi's chosen tool in his political career; this
was the tool of the Congress party not only against British rule but also against Islam's
political goal. Gandhi's non-violence was the uncompromising, non-negotiable and absolutist
Congress creed.
Now let us examine Aurobindo's doctrine on passive resistance keeping not only the British
government's brutal use of state power in mind but also the readiness with which Muslims and
the Muslim League took to jihad; and we will understand why behind every successful Jinnah
there is always a Gandhi.
There is a limit however to passive resistance. So long as the action of the executive is
peaceful and within the rules of the fight, the passive resister scrupulously maintains his
attitude of passivity, but he is not bound to do so a moment beyond.
To submit to illegal or violent methods of coercion, to accept outrage and hooliganism is to
be guilty of cowardice, and by dwarfing national manhood, to sin against the divinity within
ourselves and the divinity in our motherland.
The moment coercion of this kind is attempted, passive resistance ceases and active
resistance becomes a duty.
The new politics therefore, while it favours passive resistance, does not include meek
submission to illegal outrage under that term; it has no intention of overstressing the
passivity at the expense of the resistance.
Moreover the new politics must recognize the fact that beyond a certain point, passive
resistance puts a strain on human endurance which our natures cannot endure. This may come
in particular instances where an outrage is too great or the stress of tyranny too
unendurable for anyone to stand purely on the defensive; to hit back, to assail and crush
the assailant, to vindicate one's manhood becomes an imperious necessity to outraged
If at any time the laws obtaining in India or the executive action of the bureaucracy were
to become so oppressive as to render the struggle for liberty on the lines we have
indicated, impossible; if after a fair trial given to this method, the object with which we
undertook it, proved to be as far off as ever; or if passive resistance should turn out
either not feasible or necessarily ineffectual under the conditions of this country, we
should be the first to recognize that everything must be reconsidered and that the time for
new men and new methods had arrived.
We recognize no political object of worship except the divinity in our Motherland, no
present object of political endeavour except liberty, and no method or action as politically
good or evil except as it truly helps or hinders our progress towards national emancipation.
(Aurobindo in Bande Mataram, The doctrine of passive resistance, Its Limits, pp113-17, April
The myth that the nation, under Gandhi's leadership won her freedom without shedding blood
has to be shattered if the death of thousands of Indians who died for Gandhi's Satyagraha,
and who died because the British government let loose the full might of repressive state
power, must have any meaning or value. It was not a bloodless struggle; far from it. Indian
blood was shed; more to the point, Hindu blood was shed not only by the British but also by
the Muslims.
Gandhi failed to acknowledge the greatness of Aurobindo and Savarkar, Gandhi usurped Tilak's
position in the INC, Gandhi first marginalized and then evicted Bose from the INC, Gandhi
did not lift a finger to save Bhagat Singh, Gandhi unmanned the Bengal revolutionaries, and
Gandhi ignored the Marathi and Tamil revolutionaries because he had made his un-Hindu
non-violence the Congress creed. Above all, he disarmed the Congress even when the Congress
was faced by an increasingly violent Muslim League. The only political vehicle for
non-Muslims, the INC was shackled to Gandhi's fetish for non-violence, thus paving the way
for the Muslim League to walk away with Hindu territory.
The myth of a bloodless freedom struggle somehow gives the impression that all that ordinary
Indians did was stand obediently around Gandhi and watch with dumb admiration,
intermittently shouting 'Vande Mataram' in the background as Gandhi fasted indefinitely and
spun the charkha with saintly but stubborn defiance to bring the British empire to its
knees. The writer mentioned the heroic and noble Chidambaram Pillai at the beginning of this
segment, with deliberate intent.
In the true spirit of the Nationalists' call for swadeshi and swaraj in the wake of the
partition of Bengal, VO Chidambaram Pillai, used his considerable wealth in the spirit of
combative 'swadeshi' to buy two ships for the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company to put the
British Steam Navigation Company out of business. Subramania Bharati and Subramaniam Siva,
litterateurs par exemplar both of them, and friends and compatriots of Pillai, inspired and
motivated several young men who were ready for armed resistance against the British. One of
them, young Vanchinathan, trained in the use of arms by V V Iyer, shot dead Tirunelvelli
District Collector Ashe for pronouncing the unimaginable and horrendous forty-year sentence
on Chidmabaram Pillai. VV Iyer, a friend of Veer Savarkar, also trained Madanlal Dhingra who
killed Curzon Wyllie, Secretary to Lord Curzon in London as reprisal for the partition of
As already revealed in the writer's book Eclipse of the Hindu Nation: Gandhi and his Freedom
Struggle and other writings on the issue, the British Indian Government between 1907 and
1910, put down the Nationalists with the utmost ferocity and ruthlessness. Chidambaram
Pillai was released within five years after imprisonment but was not permitted to return to
his hometown. Chidambaram Pillai having lost his all, moved to Chennai where he lived the
rest of life with his wife in utter penury. Siva contracted leprosy while in prison and
Bharati, unable to withstand the persecution of the British government, left Madras and
moved to Pondicherry; he returned to Chennai in 1920 but died a premature death in 1921 at
the age of 39.
When Gandhi was on tour of South India in April 1915, he met Chidambaram Pillai and asked
him casually and in passing if he had received the princely amount of 327 rupees that Gandhi
had raised in South Africa for Pillai's defense expenses. Denying that he had received any
such money, Pillai asked Gandhi to forward the sum which, he told Gandhi, would go a long
way to alleviate his poverty.
Typical of the manner in which Gandhi treated the Nationalists, Gandhi led Pillai a merry
dance for over six months with ill-concealed impatience in terse one-line letters for
Pillai's persistence in asking for the money. Gandhi finally repatriated to Pillai the money
for which Pillai had to beg Gandhi for over six months. The same Gandhi, in 1936 would send
rupees 60,000 to Tagore the very next day after Tagore asked Gandhi to raise funds for
Shanti Niketan! While Tamil websites carry indignant accounts of the Gandhi-Pillai
encounter, CWMG makes no mention of Pillai at all but does mention the 60,000 rupees which
Gandhi sent to Tagore in 1936.
Gandhi and his patrons in the INC, Naoroji, Gokhale, Pheroze Shah Mehta and Surendranath
Bannerjea did not raise a murmur, did not squeak as the British government let loose a reign
of terror against their own people and decimated the Nationalists physically, inflicting
lasting damages to their health, breaking their spirit and banishing them all finally to
lives of wasted anonymity and utter poverty.
The new politics is a serious doctrine and not, like the old, a thing of shows and political
theatricals; it demands real suffering from its adherents - imprisonment, worldly ruin,
death itself, before it can allow him to assume the rank of a martyr for his country. (The
Doctrine of Passive Resistance, Its Limits, Bande Mataram, page 116).
The soldiers of 1857, the Bengal revolutionaries, the Chapekar brothers, Dhingra, Bhagat
Singh, Jugantar's women revolutionaries in Comilla, Subhash Bose, the mutineers in the
British Indian Navy, and the thousands of faithful and obedient Indians who stepped out of
their homes and into the streets for Gandhi's satyagraha to brave the British Government -
these were the true kshatriyas, Aurobindo's martyrs, who, as individuals faced up to the
Empire and fell in battle. The British government succeeded in decimating the Nationalists
because Gokhale's INC and Gandhi's INC turned its back on the soldiers. First Gandhi, then
the Muslim League and lastly Jinnah benefited from the retreat and fading away of the
Nationalists. Hindus and the Hindu nation suffered the consequences.
Gandhi and the Muslims
Gandhi's commune the Phoenix Settlement which he set up in November-December 1904 had Indian
and South African inmates professing different religions. The process of crafting the
Mahatma was yet to begin and even Gandhi had not defined the contours and content of
Gandhigiri. But Gandhi's political activism in South Africa had begun and with it, the
tentative steps of what would soon become the march of Gandhian socio-political ideology or
1.Gandhi needed the support of Indian Hindus and Muslims to become the authoritative voice
of the Indian immigrant community as they fought to get the South African and British
Government to amend several discriminatory laws
2.Gandhi and other Indians were in a fragile minority in South Africa and could not hope to
confront the colonial government by use of force or arms. Taking the cue smartly from Tilak
and Aurobindo's Swadeshi movement in India which used passive resistance as the instrument
of protest, Gandhi too launched passive resistance against the South African and British
The core tenets of Gandhigiri, Hindu-Muslim unity and passive resistance or unqualified
Gandhian non-violence which he re-christened Satyagraha, thus had its origins in the distant
shores of South Africa. Gandhi and Gandhi alone was therefore the only cause for Jinnah's
success because even though India was not South Africa and the political goal of Indians in
India was radically different from the goal of Indians in South Africa, Gandhi transformed
the Indian National Congress into another Natal Indian Congress, rejected the political
goals of the Nationalists and made the political goals of the INC as innocuous and
unthreatening as the goals of the NIC in South Africa.
Gandhi gave his own slant with shades of South Africa to the INC and the freedom struggle
despite the fact that India was an enslaved nation and Gandhi was an Indian leader under
colonial rule; despite the creation of the Muslim League; despite growing political demands
of the Muslims with the full backing of the British Indian government; despite increasing
jihadi attacks against the Hindus and despite Jinnah's Muslim League articulating
unambiguously and marching determinedly towards the realization of the Muslim state of
Gandhi stuck adamantly to absolutist non-violence and unreal Hindu-Muslim unity in spite of
the fact that the Hindus of the Hindu nation under the leadership of Gandhi's INC were
confronting not only the British but also the Muslims. Gandhi's political goals were unreal
and so his tools were just as unreal and in the end, ineffective.
We recognize no political object of worship except the divinity in our Motherland, no
present object of political endeavour except liberty, and no method or action as politically
good or evil except as it truly helps or hinders our progress towards national emancipation.
Gandhi consigned Aurobindo's political wisdom to the trash can and to the lasting detriment
of Hindus and the Hindu nation, turned the INC around in a direction where he became the
object of worship, supplanting Hindu dharma with his own absolutist un-Hindu political
ideology as the nation's life breath.
1905 November 1, Gandhi called for communal harmony in Bengal to strengthen anti-partition
agitation, even though he was aware that the Muslims of Bengal and the rest of India were
celebrating the partition.
The cablegram from India that has appeared lately in the newspapers brings the aphorism
(divide and rule) vividly home to us. It is said that twenty-thousand Mahomedans at Dacca,
the capital of the new province partitioned from Bengal, assembled together and offered
prayers of thanksgiving to the Almighty for the partition, and their consequent deliverance
from Hindu oppression. (Divide and Rule, Indian Opinion, 4-11-1905, CWMG Vol. 4, page 477;
Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, page 99)
That 20,000 Muslims offered prayers to Allah thanking him for partition was of no
consequence to Gandhi who still wanted (even if the want was unreal) the Hindus and Muslims
of Bengal to come together to protest the partition!
1907 November 22, Gandhi wrote to Gokhale suggesting Hindu-Muslim compact be made special
feature of forthcoming Indian National Congress at Surat. This was no small ideological
positioning and the fact that this new turn of political ideology was being thrust upon the
Moderates from a person in South Africa was a sign of things to come and perhaps one of the
reasons why the Congress split into two distinct ideological groups - the Moderates and the
Nationalists in December 1907 at Surat.
Dear Professor Gokhale,
I have sent a letter addressed to you through Mr. Ameeroodeen Fajander, one of the delegates
from the Transvaal who will attend the Congress at Surat. May I draw your attention to the
fact that the struggle we are undergoing here has resulted in making us feel that we are
Indians first and Hindus, Mahomedans, Tamils, Parsees etc. afterwards. You will notice too,
that all our delegates are Mahomedans, haviong South African connections, attending the
Congress. May I ask you to interest yourself in them and make them feel perfectly at home? A
Hindu-Mahomedan compact may even become a special feature of this Congress. The rest of the
struggle you know from the papers.
Yours' sincerely,
MK Gandhi
(Letter to GK Gokhale, Johannesburgh, November 22, 1907, CWMG Vol. 7, page 354; Eclipse of
the Hindu Nation, pp 1o7-8)
With this letter, Gandhi began the trend which would lead the nation inexorably towards
vivisection. He always claimed to be speaking on behalf of the entire nation - Hindus and
Muslims included. Gandhi's pet delusion, "we are Indians first", blew up on his face when
the same Muslims demanded Pakistan and got it in 1947. But in 1907, the insistence on
Hindu-Muslim compact is sinister considering that -
•In the same year, the Muslims of Bengal had unleashed jihad against the Hindus of
Mymensingh and Comilla; it is impossible that Gandhi who was watching the political scene in
India very closely, did not know of this
The bureaucracy are never tired of impressing the irresistible might of British supremacy on
the subject populations, but in their own hearts they are aware that that supremacy is
insecure and without root in the soil; the general upheaval of any deep-seated and elemental
passion in the hearts of the people might easily shatter that supremacy as so many others
have been shattered before it.
The one passion which in past times has been proved capable of so upheaving the national
consciousness in India is religious feeling; and outraged religious feeling is therefore the
one thing the bureaucracy dreads and the slightest sign of which turns their courage into
nervousness or panic and their strength into paralysed weakness.
The alarm which the Swadeshi movement created was due to this abiding terror.; for in the
Swadeshi movement, for the first time patriotism became a national religion, the name of the
Motherland was invested with divine sacredness and her service espoused with religious
fervour and enthusiasm.
In its alarm Anglo-India turned for help to that turbulent Mahomedan fanaticism which they
had so dreaded; hoping to drive out poison by poison, they menaced the insurgent religion of
patriotism with the arming of Mahomedan prejudices against what its enemies declared to be
an essentially Hindu movement.
The first results of this policy we have seen at Mymensingh, Serajgunge and Comilla. It was
a desperate and dangerous, and might easily prove a fatal expedient; but with panic-stricken
men the fear of the lesser danger is easily swallowed in the terror of the greater.
(Aurobindo, The Comilla Incident, Bande Mataram, March 1907, page 216)
Aurobindo's commentary on jihad against the Hindus of Tiiperah in 1907 proves several
things. In March 2006 the writer had remarked -
Both Islam as a politico-religious ideology, and US state power symbolizing Christianity and
democracy, have been exposed as being vulnerable to each others' armies (national,
terrorist, proxy and mercenary) and also to be inherently violent in concept and in
practice. The Muslim world is waking up to the shameful truth that Islam and Muslims have
been reduced (with their willing consent and participation) to becoming America's agents to
serve American interests in Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir, Central Asia and in the
middle-east. The US has reduced Islam and its followers to becoming the West's minions.
•Islam had allowed itself to be used as early as 1907 by White Christian state power as
embodied by the British Empire to serve White Christian interests. Islam lent itself to be
used by the West and the trend has not stopped even now as evidenced by Libya's Gaddafi
joining the ranks of the White Christian world's Islamic pet poodles
•Tilak and Aurobindo did indeed transform the British creature - the Indian National
Congress into a vehicle for Hindu nationalist objectives
•The British feared Hindu nationalism more than they feared Islam
All the delegates from South Africa to the Surat Congress in 1907 were Muslims; whose
decision was this and why did the Hindus of South Africa accept the strange decision to send
only Muslims may perhaps never be known unless Hindu nationalists make the effort to study
the history of this period afresh.
The Swaraj and Swadeshi movement under the leadership of Tilak and Aurobindo had ignited the
INC and through the INC, the entire nation; the British government would have liked nothing
better than for the INC to split and have the nationalists isolated so that once the
well-organized nationalist group had been broken down to individuals, it would be easy for
the British government to decimate them; for this to happen the Nationalists must not be
supported by the well-oiled and large machinery that was the INC.
The British government created the Muslim League as a counter to the rising tide of Hindu
nationalism and used Nawab Salimullah of Dacca to initiate the first wave of
British-supported jihad against the Hindus in 1907. But Gandhi continued to harp on
Hindu-Muslim unity as a counter to the British ploy of divide and rule little realizing that
the Muslims were happy to be used by the British against the Hindus because farsighted
Muslims like Syed Ahmed Khan and the Ali brothers had decided that they would use both the
British and Hindus like Gandhi to regain the state power they lost under colonialism. The
Muslims were determined to bring India once again under Islamic rule; failing which they
would tear the Hindu nation apart to create a Muslim state.
Jihad in Mymensingh and Comilla were followed by the Moplah massacre, Direct Action and the
continued jihad against Hindus in Bengal, Bihar, Delhi and the Punjab all through 1946 and
1947; but Gandhi continued merrily on his wild goose chase for Hindu-Muslim unity. Jihad
against the Hindus has been made possible always by state support - first by Islamic state
power, then colonial state power and now by anti-Hindu Gandhi-Nehru secular state power.
Consistently since 1907, the British government had refused to intervene when the Muslims
unleashed jihad against the Hindus; 1946-47 was no different.
Responding positively to Jinnah's call for Direct action, the Muslim League government in
Bengal facilitated uncontrolled jihad against the Hindus. Eclipse of the Hindu Nation has
chronicled the gory details of unbridled, relentless and continued violence lasting three
long months. Gandhi's prattle of non-violence, 'we are Indians first', 'we are brothers',
'Islam preaches peace', 'serve our Mussalman brothers selflessly' did not impress the
Muslims and the Muslim League government of Bengal made sure that the gains from jihad were
made irreversible.
Aurobindo had advocated in 1907 change of leaders and change of methods if the incumbent
leadership and the existing method failed to lead us to our goal. Then was the time for
Patel and Rajendra Prasad to have deposed Gandhi; but enmeshed in the tangled knot of the
three-way negotiations of the cabinet mission proposals, the INC could not remove Gandhi for
fear of greater instability within the INC.
Gandhi and the Cabinet Mission
The Imperial British Government realizing that it was not possible to hold on to India by
force any longer, sent the Cabinet Mission with proposals outlining the terms for transfer
of power. The realization that the country could not be held by force logically should have
strengthened the hands of the INC which should have rejected firmly London's right to decide
the terms for transfer of power. Had the INC conveyed its rejection to London, the only two
alternatives would have been for the INC and the Muslim League to sit at the negotiating
table and work out a mutually acceptable method to form a government after the British quit
India; failing the Muslim League's possible rejection to sit at the table, the INC should
have prepared itself to deal with the violence which the Muslim League was certain to
unleash without seeking British aid or intervention.
The Cabinet Mission proposed to get both the Inc and the Muslim League to come together to
form an Interim Government which would work directly under the Viceroy as the proposed
Constituent Assembly would set about the business of drafting a constitution acceptable to
all sections of the people especially the two largest political parties - the INC and the
Muslim League.
•The Cabinet Mission proposed to group all provinces into three large groups, A, B and C
•Provinces once placed under these groups could opt out of the group and may choose to
belong to another group only at the time of the first general elections in free India
•The Union of India would have only Defense, Foreign Affairs and Communications under its
control while all other subjects would vest with the provinces
•Groups B and C comprising the Muslim majority provinces gave the Muslim League maximum
autonomy at the provincial level thus amounting to but not quite the Pakistan that was its
•For the INC the proposals were cold comfort not only because the British government had
conceded the Muslim League's demand not to be ruled by Hindus but also because the Muslim
League had in its acceptance resolution stated bluntly that it was accepting the proposals
only because the Interim Government and the Constituent assembly provided them with the
opportunity to sow the seeds of Pakistan
•Either immediately or a little later, the Muslim League signaled that it would strive to
create the Pakistan of its dreams, peacefully if the INC conceded to its demands or
violently if the INC showed resistance
The Cabinet Mission proposals was a lethal document and Gandhi who should have rejected the
very suggestion of the British Government deciding on the time and terms of quitting India
should at least have read the fine print of the document before welcoming it as the best
document that the British could have manufactured given the circumstances.
The nation's historians have never told us why Gandhi, who allowed his blue-eyed patron
Motilal Nehru to draft the all-Indian draft constitution as a challenge and counter to the
Simon Commission report, did not instruct the INC to draft its own draft proposals for
transfer of power. Gandhi also did not give the Sapru Committee Report a fair hearing. He
conceded, on behalf of the INC and the entire nation comprising all non-Muslim League
Indians, the right of the British Government to dictate to us the terms under which it would
quit India.
Had Bihar not responded effectively to the jihad in Bengal, the Muslim League may very well
have rejected the Cabinet Mission proposals in toto; but Bihar's Hindus demonstrated not
only to the British Government but also to the Muslim League that the Hindus of India were
capable of handling jihad on their own. A subdued Muslim League accepted the INC's counter
proposal that the INC would concede Pakistan but it would be the Pakistan of the CR formula.
Gandhi should have refused to entertain the Cabinet Mission as he had refused to entertain
the Cripps Mission earlier; or Gandhi, even after welcoming the report in haste must have
acted decisively to reject the proposals outright instead of subjecting the INC to the
torture of haggling and bargaining with the Muslim League and the British Government for
concessions and amendments which both were determined not to concede. Non-violence had not
succeeded in making the British government or the Muslim League see reason or the immorality
of their objectives. Non-violence did not stave off jihad or reverse the gains from jihad.
Gandhi did not permit the INC to choose new leaders or chalk out a different path.
Till the very end, until his execution in January 1948, Gandhi exercised absolute and
despotic control over the INC. Gandhi did not set political freedom as the INC's goal;
Gandhi did not think this nation was a Hindu nation and therefore did not acknowledge that
the Muslims posed the biggest threat to the territory of the Hindu nation; Gandhi did not
allow the INC to choose a different tool or the appropriate weapon to combat the British and
the Muslims; Gandhi did not ever want to combat the British and the Muslims; Gandhi did not
allow the Hindus their right to make the British and the Muslims pay for shedding the blood
of Hindus; Gandhi in a last, desperate and foolish move to avert the tearing apart of the
nation met with Mountbatten and made a bizarre proposal. As always, the British Government
patted Gandhi on the head for his adherence to non-violence even as it used the sledge
hammer against the heads of Indians:
The Viceroy told Gandhiji that it had always been the British policy not to yield anything
to force, but the Mahatma's non-violence had won. They had decided to quit as a result of
India's non-violent struggle. Towards the close, on being invited to do so, Gandhiji placed
before the astonished Viceroy his solution to the Indian deadlock. He reiterated what he had
said often before, that he did not mind Jinnah or the Muslim League turning the whole of
India into Pakistan, provided it was done by appeal to reason and not under threat of
violence. But while he had previously held that this could be properly done only after the
British had quitted, and while in principle he still adhered to that view, the crux of his
present proposal was that he was now prepared under Mountbatten's umpireship-not as Viceroy
but as man-to invite Jinnah to form a government of his choice at the centre and to present
his Pakistan plan for acceptance even before the transfer of power. (Interview with Lord
Mountbatten, April 1, 1947, CWMG Vol. 94, pp 209-10)
Needless to say, the British Government (Mountbatten) politely refrained from laughing in
Gandhi's face; Jinnah and the Muslim League of course had no such compunction. But Gandhi
and Gandhi alone is held guilty of partition on the strength of his own words. Belying the
apocryphal story that Gandhi had declared that partition would happen "only over my dead
body", Gandhi conceded in February 1947, that partition of the country was inevitable but
that it would happen as per the Rajaji formula. And to understand why partition happened
with little or no resistance from the Hindus in the INC, well, Gandhi himself offers the
explanation -
Gandhiji then passed on to a question which had been referred to him that evening. It was
with regard to the partition of Bengal into two provinces, one having a Hindu and the other
a Muslim majority. Bengalis had once fought against and successfully annulled the partition
of their province.1 But according to some, he proceeded, the time had now come when such a
division had become desirable in the interest of peace. Gandhiji expressed the opinion that
personally he had always been anti-partition. But it was not uncommon even for brothers to
fight and separate from one another. There were many things which India had to put up with
in the past under compulsion, but he himself was built in a totally different way. In a
similar manner, if the Hindus, who formed the majority in the whole of India, desired to
keep everyone united by means of compulsion, he would resist it in the same manner as
before. He was as much against forced partition as against forced unity. (Speech at a prayer
meeting, Haimchar, Feb 28, 1947, CWMG Vol. 94. page 58)
Arun Shourie who declared he worshipped Gandhi also declared that he agreed with Girilal
Jain's 'partition was good' sentiment. Shourie did not need to seek refuge in Jain; his best
refuge was his Ishta Devta who also said the same thing at the prayer meeting. And because
Gandhi was as much against forced partition as against forced unity, not only behind Jinnah
but also behind every jihadi in J&K and Christian terrorist in the North-east, behind every
Sandeep Pandey and Arundhati Roy, there will always be not a Gandhi, but the Gandhi.


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