Indian Freedom Struggle: From 1857 to 1947

Summary: India’s 1st War of Independence in 1857 kicked out the rogue East India Company (In a twist of destiny, this company is owned by an Indian today!). It formally ended the defunct Mughal rule (that meant end of Islamic dark-age for the Hindus.) and brought in direct Rule of the British Crown (beginning of ‘British Raj’). So unsettled were the British by the 1857 events that they immediately started transporting freedom fighters to Andaman Island (Kālā Pānī) for almost sure torturous death in isolation. Yet, the fervor for freedom continued to grow both in extent and intensity.  The British also switched stance towards Rajas and Nawabs and started treating them as vital allies; earlier they used to confiscate their privileges and even kingdoms under various excuses. A new breed of educated nationalists started emerging as a new political force that demanded just policies, spread of education and dignified treatment of Indians as well as say in the administration. The British tried to win over these leaders as allies who would help also them prevent revolt like situation. In 1885, they propped up a group of Indian elites loyal to the Crown rule. It became Indian National Congress (INC). Two decades later, the INC ceased to be a loyalist club with the emergence of nationalist leaders like Tilak and Lajpat Rai armed with nationalist agenda of Swaraj (self rule) and Swadeshi (promotion of Made-in-India goods). In 1906, the British created a loyal group of Muslims – the All India Muslim League (ML) – to counter the rising influence of the INC that was fast becoming the magnet for nationalistic movement.

As part of their ‘divide and rule’ policy they willfully introduced a minority-majority narrative of majority Hindus suppressing/dominating minority Muslims. It was meant to exploit the almost neurotic Hindu-phobia present among the Muslims leaders. Ever since the fall of Mughal dynasty, Muslims were deeply concerned about their well being in a Hindu dominated society, if the British left. Their phobia was understandable when seen in the light of unspeakable atrocities they repeatedly heaped on Hindus in the centuries of dark Islamic rule. Thus, the Muslim League evolved harboring separatist tendencies, still dreaming about revival of Islamic rule. It came handy when their Hindu-phobia reached at its peak during 1940s when they voted vehemently for ‘Pakistan’ in 1946 election.  Thus, the Islamic partition of India in 1947 was a natural consequence of grooming the Muslim League and its separatist tendency coming from deep rooted Hindu Phobia. In Britain’s post WW2 vision, it needed a small puppet nation next to Afghanistan in order to look after their geopolitical interests in Iran and the gulf region and also to check the Russian advances. Thus, the location of what became West Pakistan after partition was already decided by the British — Sindh and NWFP had to be merged in Pakistan, so was the Princely Balochistan. In fact, neither the British, nor Jinnah had any interest in the East Bengal (would be East Pakistan) when it came forward to become part of Pakistan — and it came without the port city of Calcutta.  No wonder, after being treated like a colony of West Pakistan, it broke off in 1971 as Bangladesh..

In British raj 2 parallel movements progressed: Nationalist movement and Islamic separatist movementNiether Congress (that absurdly absorbed all Muslim League fanatics who wanted communal partition but did not migrate to Pakistan), nor the leftist/Islamist writers (who were more interested in demonizing Savarkar for speaking for Hindu interests and ignoring impact of Netaji Subhash Bose and his Azad Hind fauz) ever highlighted the vital issue — it was Muslim leaders’ fixation on revival of Islamic rule and establishing dominance on Hindus. Fearing the military might of Britain, Muslims were willing to accept continuation of the  British rule, but delusion of ‘Islamic superiority’ came as a barrier to live side by side among Hindus. Then they displayed another comical Islamic trait immediately at the end of ww1 — it was display of Islamic empathy for the fallen Ottoman Caliphate. They suddenly became extraordinarily concerned about the well being of the defeated Ottoman Turkey and planned a Khilafat Movement to pressure the colonial British! A Mohammad Ali Jauhar took lead of this (pure Islamic) movement and Gandhi supported it hoping to get Muslim support for nationalistic freedom struggle, but it did not happen. It was “Gandhian” blunder that was bitterly criticised from practically all quarters and many prominent leaders deserted him. Even Jinnah (who was a ‘secular’ at this point) did not support the Khilafat agitation, calling it communal politics!!

In contrast with Muslims phobic clamor for a separate “Islamic State”, Hindus, reflecting their inherent open and unbiased mindset, were desperate to get rid of centuries of oppressive foreign exploitation: Islamic or British. They suffered from no ideological handicap and had no problem living among Muslims — and their nationalistic efforts were always open to people of every faith. They even felt that united Hindu-Muslim effort would be far more effective in throwing away the  rogue British rule. Many broad minded Muslims did join them in the “nationalist” struggle, despite opposition from the paranoid Muslim League leaders who called INC a Hindu Party and saw the British as their ally. Therefore, broadly speaking, two parallel struggles continued during the “British Raj”: a pan India mainstream “Nationalistic movement” to end the British rule, and a visionless narrow “Separatist movement” of power hungry Muslims. The later was purely based on neurotic Hindu Phobia. No surprise that Pakistan’s foreign policy still rests solely on India-Phobia!

Pak freedom howDuring the WW1, Indians cooperated with the British hoping that after the War Britain would reward them with some degree of self-rule, but the British had no such intentions and they continued with their repressive colonial policies. In fact, at this stage Indians were not demanding “full freedom” — even “Swaraj” implied a subordinate or ‘dominion’ status under the British Royal Crown. Only towards the end of 1920s, voices for ‘Purna Swaraj’ became louder.  Some semblance of self-rule came in the form of provincial autonomy in the mid 1930s. By then, Muslim League’s separatist politics also gained strength and grew stronger in the crucial 1940s when the Congress leaders languished in jail after Gandhi’s flop ‘Quit India’ call. War wrecked Britain was too weak to maintain control on India — and the nationalistic fervor suddenly penetrated deep inside British Indian Military. Their actions to curb revolt in the Navy only ended up intensifying “Revolutionary Nationalism” and the lime light shifted to the returning WW2 veteran soldiers as well as “fierce fighters” of the Azad Hind Fauz of Subhash Bose. Therefore, to protect White lives the colonial bullies decided to quit India in a hurry — 10 months ahead of their declared plan! But they protected their long term future geopolitical regional interests by gifting ‘Pakistan’ to Jinnah’s power hungry separatist gang. 

excuses for not going to PakistanUnited India’s “Islamic partition“, soon revealed yet another treachery of ‘Pakistan’ demanding Muslims. It soon became clear that majority of them did not migrate to their ‘Islamic Paradise‘ !! It proved that all their Islamic hysteria and violence for a separate Islamic State was sheer hypocrisy. Perhaps they merely wanted to create an “Islamic State” in the neighborhood for psychological comfort. All nationalistic leaders were amazed to find that despite 95% Muslim voters opting for “Pakistan” in the 1946 Provincial Elections, only a small fraction actually showed the courage and migrated to Pakistan — and most shamefully, very few migrated from the places like UP, Bihar, Madras, Bombay etc from where the loudest hysteric cries for “Pakistan” emerged. They displayed double betrayal: first they betrayed India by demanding partition in the name of Islam, and then they betrayed Pakistan by not migrating there. As a result, despite Islamic partition, India remained saddled with majority of the “traitor Jinnah Muslims“. India lost a golden chance to get rid of the menace of jihadi nuisance of the Muslim community permanently. Most ridiculously, both Gandhi and Nehru worked hard to beg/request Jinnah’s traitor followers to stay back in India! They yet again failed to listen to the voices of sanity, including Dr Ambedkar’s, that wanted complete migration of Muslims from India to Pakistan. Descendants of these traitors now pose a serious threat to national integrity — as their treacherous jihadi drama at Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, indicated in the early 2020. Today, they are referred to as TUKDE TUKDE gang by the media and are often seen declaring their intention to destroy India — in the name of Islam.

who was jinnahIslamic Partition clearly indicated utter failure of Gandhi’s neurotic Muslim appeasement politics; he obviously had no inkling of how political Islam works or how to counter it. Loss of so many lives after partition, while the “Saint of Non-Violence”  sat on “Dharna”, turned his non-violence politics into a silly juvenile joke.  Gandhi’s obsession for Muslim appeasement had already faced severe criticism in 1920 when he supported the irrelevant Khilafat movement of Jihadi mullahs and then his refusal to criticize Mopla barbarism  on Hindus had forced several prominent leaders to distance from his absurd Muslim appeasement politics. 

partition of India - why mass scale violenceIn 1947, the biggest losers were the Hindus, on both sides of the Radcliffe partition line. In the newly founded “Islamic Paradise”, they immediately became targets of forced conversion, rape and torture; in India, Hindu interests became completely subordinated to Muslim appeasement politics under nepotistic Nehru’s “Secular Vision” for Free India.  Nehru’s thoughtless handling of “Kashmir Issue” yet again proved him a puppet of Muslim vested interests and exposed his lack of far sight and objectivity. On his part, Gandhi belittled his stature when he favored mediocre Nehru over widely accepted and assertive Sardar Patel for the Congress President before partition, who would be the first prime minster of India. Nehru turned Congress into a “Muslim League” for Jinnah’s Muslims of India. It was the birth of Congress’s Muslim vote bank politics that has grown into a dangerous political cancer today.

Nehru created a new RoyaltyAfter decades of Nehru dynasty and Muslim appeasement rule, people of India wonder if calling Gandhi “father of the nation” is more appropriate or calling him “father of Muslim Appeasement”! This question is important for 85% Indians whom the appeasement politics has reduced to the status of second grade citizens in their own ancient home land. If Patel emerged as a unifier of 565 ‘royalties’ into democratic India, Nehru ended up creating a new ‘Royalty’ of his own! He clearly established himself as ‘father of nepotistic and dynastic politics’ — the curse of which is visible today when his daughter’s daughter-in-law, an ultra-corrupt fascist Italian lady had reduced INC into a Private Limited Family Firm of spineless sycophants.

1857 Rebellion Shook the Foundation of the British Empire

Savarkar's 1909 book was a huge success. It inspired Indian revolutionaries both in India and abroadThe Revolt of 1857 came exactly 150 years after death of fanatic Mughal king Aurangzeb which practically marked collapse of Mughal Empire. It was easily the most remarkable single event in the history of Indian freedom struggle. What added to its importance was the Hindu-Muslim unity and participation of people from almost all sections of the society. It must be seen as the beginning of the Indian war of independence that continued until 1947. It was triggered by a minor rebellion of Indian soldiers in Meerut which soon snowballed into a major battle engulfing several parts of India. The summer of 1857 saw violence on an unprecedented scale. Never before and never after in the history of British rule in India was there violence at such ghastly level. [The Forgotten Brutality of 1857 Revolt].  Such was the force of the pent-up anger against the exploitation by the East India Company that by the time the British could bring back ‘normalcy’ in 1858,  they stood totally alienated from the Indian masses and their leaders. It badly shattered the image of invincibility of the British Empire.

The 1857 rebellion changed the way British India was governedThe impact of the 1857 uprising was profound. In fact, the highly influential pragmatic revolutionary, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar rightly called it India’s “First War of Independence.” It drastically changed the way India was ruled in the ‘British Raj’ until 1947. The British Crown took direct control of India, the Mughal empire was disbanded, titular Mughal king Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled to Burma and Indian army was reorganized. Now “Divide-and-Rule” became its foremost policy guiding tool and the British did everything to keep Indians divided – particularly Hindus and Muslims – and beautifully exploited the separatist tendency of the Muslim community. Realizing that the 1857 Uprising reflected a lack of contact between the ruler and the ruled, the British came up with the Indian Councils Act of 1861 which was a beginning towards development of representative institutions.

British Suspicion of Muslims

Post 1857 mutiny, the British became savageThe British saw the 1857 uprising as an attempt to restore the Mughal rule and they became  suspicious of the Muslim. Choice of the dummy Mughal King, Bahadur Shah Zafar, as rebels’ leader also supported their suspicion.  Muslim clerics of Delhi had issues a Fatwa-e-Jihad against the British.  They knew that a Jihadi Movement was started in the 1820s following the radical ideology of a 18th century cleric, Shah Wali Ullah. They had waged jihad against the Sikhs in Punjab but were inactive after fall of the Sikhs in 1849. However, the British noted their presence in 1857 when a Jihadi commander Bakht Khan had played a dominant role.

But slowly the British changed their stance; now they wanted to pit Muslims against Hindus. Therefore, they started grooming Muslims and discovered a great ally in a Muslim aristocrat, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who was also very much keen to be in the good book of the British. He responded by writing a series of articles known as “The Loyal Mohammadans.” He worked hard to convince the British that not all Muslims were against their government (a typical Islamic argument) and that Muslims are also “People of the Book” like the Christians. He earned British patronage but his pro-British stance made him target of conservative Deobandi clerics (followers of ultra radical cleric Shah Wali Ullah) who issued several fatwas against him and his institutions. However, the best thing about Sir Syed is that he wanted Muslims to get modern education — and not remain restricted to old fashioned madarsa training of religion. 

By the way, the Deobandi Islam, founded by followers of a radical cleric Wali Ullah, is almost a photocopy of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi sect — both represent the extreme Islamofascism that inspires modern day Islamic terrorists. Over 95% Pakistani terrorists are radicalized in the Deobandi Madarsas and in the middle east nearly all sunni terrorists get Wahhabi indoctrination.

“Islam is in Danger” Syndrome in Indian Muslims

Shah Wali Ullah poisoned the minds of Indian Muslims against the Hindus and Shias. In the year 1703, two Muslim men were born – 3500 kilometer apart – for the same life mission – revival of political Jihadi Islam. One was the notorious Islamic cleric Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1791) in the Arab desert of the Middle East and the other was Shah Wali Ullah (1703-1762) in Muzaffarnagar (Western UP) in India. Like most other Islamic reformists of the past, these two men also strengthened “ultra radical Islam” in their respective areas, on the pretext of restoring “Pure Islam“. Their ‘pure Islam’ meant the politically violent Islam that destroys or dominates others – Muslims as well as the non-Muslims. Wahhab’s political Islamic cult later became the state religion of the Saudi Arabia and is the driving force of today’s global terrorist groups like the ISIS, Al Qaeda, Taliban, etc. [Read Wahhabi Islam — The Extreme End of Islamic Radicalism]

Wali Ullah Invited the Afghan Ruler to Attack India!

Wali Ullah had “grown up watching the Mughal Empire crumble” after the death of fanatic Mughal king Aurangzeb in 1707. It was the period when the Marathas dominated power equation in India, while the East India Company had not taken any territorial control on Indian soil. Hoping to safeguard the Islamic Mughal rule, Wali Ullah invited the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali to attack India to ‘save Muslims’ from the dominance of Hindus and Shias. It led to the 3rd battle of Panipat in 1761 where the Marathas were defeated — but Abadli did not spare the Mughal coffer either! Wali celebrated defeat of Marathas as his personal victory — and of course victory of Islam! He branded himself as a savior of Islam! Here is what he wrote in his letter to the Afghan king, revealing his devious thinking:

“…All control of power is with the Hindus because they are the only people who are industrious and adaptable.  Riches and prosperity are theirs, while Muslims have nothing but poverty and misery.  At this juncture you are the only person, who has the initiative, the foresight, the power and capability to defeat the enemy and free the Muslims from the clutches of the infidels.  God forbid if their domination continues, Muslims will even forget Islam and become indistinguishable from the non-Muslims.”

This line of destructive thinking is commonly seen in Muslims. If Hindus are industrious and adaptable why can’t Muslims try becoming industrious and adaptable. Does Islam makes them handicapped or prevents them from acquiring good qualities?

He further wrote:

“We beseech you in the name of Prophet to fight a jihad against the infidels of this region… The invasion of Nadir shah, who destroyed the Muslims, left the Marathas and Jats secure and prosperous. This resulted in the infidels regaining strength and in the reduction of Muslim leaders of Delhi to mere puppets” 

Wali Ullah also urged Muslims, “to draw swords and not put them back in the sheath until Allah has separated the Muslims from the polytheists and the rebellious Kafirs and the sinners are made absolutely feeble and helpless.

These unhealthy ideas infected the thinking of Muslims, including that of aristocrat, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who started the separatist/isolationist Aligarh Muslim movement.

Wali Ullah Poisoned the Minds of Indian Muslims

Wali Ullah’s radical teaching filled Indian Muslims with insecurity by creating the “Islam is in Danger” Syndrome

"Islam is in Danger" - Prophet's Islam is never is danger; Mullah's political Islam is always in dangerThe central theme of Wali Ullah’s political Islam was and still is : ‘Unless Muslims rule,  Islam is in danger!’ It created an absurd obsession among Muslims to rule at any cost.  It also meant sabotaging other communities and targeting their leaders. It’s nothing but promotion of intolerance and destructive behavior in Sunni Muslims. His hateful teachings against Hindus and Shias attracted many clerics whose political careers were in trouble as the Mughal rule was crumbling. However, his ideology permanently poisoned the mind of Indian Muslims. Its adherents are a serious threat to India’s multi cultural and highly diverse society. Most scholars see Wali Ullah as Wahhab of India.

After Wali Ullah’s death in 1762, his son Abd al Aziz (1746-1823) carried his mission forward and issues a fatwa declaring the British India, Dar ul Harb. It meant that the Muslims are religion bound to destroy it. Aziz’s disciple Syed Ahmad Shahid of Bareli radicalized it further. Thus, a Jihadi movement was born in the mid 1820s that continued till 1864. It initially targeted the Sikhs who were ruling Punjab, Kashmir and the Frontier. Syed Ahmad died in 1831 fighting the Sikhs. But after fall of the Sikhs in 1849 the jihadis turned against the British. Their resistance was noticed by the British in the 1857 uprising from the Madrasa-i-Ramiyya which was set up by Wali Ullah in Delhi.

Failure of the 1857 uprising gave a severe blow to Jihadi dream of Wali’s followers. Looking at the might of the British Empire, they gave up the idea of reviving Islamic rule in India through jihad. But they decided to keep their violent ideology alive by setting up Islamic educational institutions. Thus, a Madarsa came up in Deoband UP in 1866 which became Dar ul Uloom in 1879. Since then it has kept alive the arguments that “Muslims must rule; else Islam is in danger“. Today, the radical Deobandi ideology is taught in majority of madarasas in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Over 90 percent Pakistani terrorists are products of Deobandi madarsas. It is weird how Pakistan was formed without Deoband (and Aligarh) in it!

Nature of British ‘Raj’

The colonial British were delusional; they thought of them as heir to the classic Roman Empire.While all colonial powers exploited their colonies, British imperialism showed significantly less Christian fanaticism compared with what the Portuguese and Spanish demonstrated in Latin America.  It was also less enthusiastic for cultural diffusion than the French or the Americans. Thus, westernization of India happened to a limited extent. The British imperialism was motivated primarily by economic gains and had several goals.

Achieving monopolistic trading position was one. Using India as a cheap raw material source and Indian market as a dumping ground for British goods was another. India also provided novel and lucrative employment for a sizable portion of the British upper middle class, and the remittances (or Booty!) they sent home made an appreciable contribution to British prosperity. Finally, India was their most prized colony in the global power structure, in terms of geography, logistics and military manpower.

It Dumped East India Company’s Corrupt Ways

Robert Clive - The Plunderer of BengalThe main changes they made in the Indian society after 1857 were governance related. They replaced the wasteful “warlord aristocracy” by a bureaucratic-military machinery, which was very efficient and effective. The East India Company paid its servants fairly modest salaries, but let them make extra income through private transactions exploiting their dominant position (corrupt practices, in modern language). This arrangement became a problem after the territorial possession in Bengal and the right to collect tax in 1765. The company officials became extortionists as rulers. More money went in their pockets than in the company’s coffers. It also meant over exploitation of local population.

Robert Clive operated through the titular Nawab of Bengal. Warren Hastings displaced the Nawab and took over direct administration, but retained Indian officials. Finally, in 1785, Cornwallis created a professional cadre of Company servants who had generous salaries and enjoyed the prospect of regular promotion along with entitlement of pensions. They had no private business interests in India. All high-level posts were reserved for the British. Cornwallis appointed British judges and British officials as revenue collectors and magistrates in each district of Bengal.

Two Myths of Colonial Rule: It was invincible and is in the interest of Indians.From 1806 the Company trained its young recruits in London, but appointments were largely on patronage. After 1833, appointments were made through competitive examination among the nominated candidates. But after 1853, selection was entirely merit-based and through examination open to any British candidate. The examination system was inspired by the Chinese model, which had worked well for 2,000 years. The Indian civil service was therefore able to attract high quality people for two reasons: high salary and the political power which no bureaucrat could enjoy in England.

In 1829, the territory under the Company was divided in districts small enough to be effectively controlled by an individual British official who held a completely autocratic power, acting as revenue collector, judge and police-chief. This made their administration further efficient. These functions had been separate under the Mughal administration. This district structure later became the cornerstone of Imperial administration throughout the British Empire.

Creation of Modern Developmental infrastructure

The British ‘raj’ was not averse to Indian economic development, but only as long as it did not threaten their economic interests or political hegemony. Thus, they made developmental investments in India such as in railways, post and telegram, irrigation etc. They also invested in education but only to the extent that it served their colonial needs. It was in stark contrast with the Mughal India when rulers could not think beyond expansion of “harems”, destruction of Hindu temples and construction of tombs and monuments to glorify themselves.

Racial Exploitation

If religious identity defined the Muslims, the Racial identity dictated the British Behavior.If the delusion of “Islamic Superiority” was the distinguishing feature of the 800 years of Islamic rule that oppressed the indigenous Hindus, the hallucination of “Racial Superiority” (master race) was the tyranny of the colonial rule – this time both for the Hindus and the ex-Hindus (Muslims). Racial humiliation was the foundation for colonial exploitation and violence around the world. In the words of Jawaharlal Nehru:

… We in India have known racialism in all its forms ever since the commencement of British rule. The whole ideology of this rule was that of Herrenvolk (Master Race), and the structure of government was based upon it; indeed the idea of a master race is inherent in imperialism. There was no subterfuge about it; it was proclaimed in unambiguous language by those in authority.

More powerful than words was the practice that accompanied them, and generation after generation and year after year, India as a nation and Indians as individuals, were subjected to insult, humiliation and contemptuous treatment. The English were an imperial Race, we were told, with God-given right to govern us and keep us in subjection; if we protested we were reminded of the ‘tiger qualities of an imperial race’.

[The German word Herrenvolk, “master race“, was used in 19th century discourse to justify colonialism with the racial superiority of Europeans.]

Elite Lifestyle of the White Rulers

colonies feeding BritainThe British established themselves as a separate ruling caste, denouncing the Hindu caste system! They did not intermarry or mingled with natives. They did not adopt the Mughal custom of polygamy, but remained monogamous and brought in their own women. Then how did the small creole class of Anglo-Indians formed? Some British did slip on the slope of sexual exploitation of native servants or subordinates. These mixed breed people tuned outcasts and could not integrate into Indian or local British society.

The British kept to their clubs and bungalows in special suburbs known as cantonments and civil lines. They maintained the Mughal tradition of official pomp, sumptuous residences, and retinues of servants. While rolling in the hallucination of ‘White Supremacy’ they also developed their own brand of self-righteous arrogance. They considered themselves purveyors not of popular but of good government that meant maintenance of strict law and order.

The striking thing about the British Raj is that it was operated by so few people. In 1805, there were only 31,000 White men in India (of which 22,000 were in the army and 2,000 in civil government). The number increased substantially after their traumatic experience in 1857, and then remained steady. In 1911, there were 164,000 British (of which 66,000 were in the army and police and 4,000 in civil government). In 1931, there were 168,000 (of which 60,000 in the army and police and 4,000 in civil government).  These numbers were far smaller than the Mughal machinery.

In the princely states, the remnants of the Mughal aristocracy continued their extravagances – large palaces, harems, hordes of retainers, miniature armies, ceremonial elephants, tiger hunts, and stables full of Rolls Royces.

How Much Money Britain Looted From India?

What if now India demands that the UK pays 10 percent annual interest on the 45 Trillion Dollars  for next 200 years!! It would be a whopping 4.5 Trillian Dollars per year.  It’s  1.5 times more than the current Indian GDP !! Imagine how fast Indian economy would grow !!   How about adding 10 percent more annually to compensate for the human suffering they caused.

Social Environment during 1860 – 1900

Dadabhai Naoroji wrote the book Poverty and un-British Rule in IndiaThe English educated class in India was slowly becoming politically conscious and several political associations were being formed between 1870 and 1885; such as Indian Association of Dwarkanath Ganguly in Calcutta, Poona Sarvajanik Sabha of Ranade and GV Joshi, Bombay Presidency Association of KT Telang, and Madras Mahajan Sabha of G Subramaniya Iyer. The agenda of these organizations was limited, far from ideals of freedom and liberty. They raised voices against British policies that were against interests of Indians. Their issues revolved around topics like unfavorable cotton import duties, inclusion of more Indians in the administration, opposition of the Afghan policy, suppression of press freedom etc.

What made the Indian National Congress (INC) different from other organizations was its pan India reach. It aimed at creating a feeling of oneness among people belonging to different strands of society. Its most valuable contribution was to formulate a economic critique that the British rule was making India poorer by destroying its indigenous handicraft production. The rulers were not bringing in industrial revolution into India. The INC also raised the issues of greater Indian presence in legislature and Civil Services, changes in the forest laws to favor Indians, exploitation of tea plantation workers in Assam, etc.

Emergence of Organized Nationalism

The foundation of Indian national movement was laid by the emerging group of the English educated Indians. However, as their activities raised public awareness, the middle class joined them – and they all stood together against the unjust British policies. While opposing the exploitative character of the British rule, they also keenly observed how the British were running the country through an organized administration and common secular laws. The British connections also opened the doorway to modern scientific and industrial technologies.

However, people’s dissatisfaction with the British rule intensified in the 1870s and 1880s due to several immediate triggers. Educated young Indians had serious issue with the biased selection procedure for the civil services.  The extravagant Delhi Darbar of 1877 to proclaim Queen Victoria as the Empress of India did not find favor among masses because attention was needed towards southern India that was in the grip of severe famine.  The racial Arms Act of 1878 made arm license mandatory for Indians while exempting the Europeans. Their ill conceived Second Afghan war (1878-80) to neutralize Russian influence proved to be a costly and disastrous venture.

Leaving aside the immediate triggers, there were many other systemic factors that contributed to the emergence of a socio-political order that existed then.

1. Spread of European education: Although the British had spread ‘Macaulay brand’ education among Indians since 1835 to prepare ‘clerks’ and ‘babus’ for the administration, but it also exposed educated Indians to modern democratic and nationalist political outlook. Knowledge of English language also helped them to communicate with people of other linguistic regions. Many Indians were able to go to Britain for education and had seen the European lifestyle and knew how political freedom and democracy shape nations. They were also exposed to European thoughts and philosophies.

First newspaper in India - The Bengal Gazette published by James Augustus Hicky2. Emergence of Modern Press: The introduction of the printing press in India was a revolutionary event.  After mid 19th century, there was an unprecedented growth of Indian-owned English and Vernacular newspapers. They played a notable role in spreading political education and mobilizing public opinion, organizing political movements and promoting nationalism. It also connected Indians with the events around the world, giving them another perspective to look at their life. When the British government tried suppressing people’s voice through the Vernacular Press Act, 1878  it was vehemently opposed and the Act had to be repealed in 1882.

3. Emergence of Political Organizations: Dissatisfaction among Indians saw emergence of political organizations like the East India Association in 1866 in London. It was started by Dada Bhai Naoroji to inform the British Parliament on Indian issues. In 1876, Satyendra Nath Bose started the Indian Association in Bengal to voice people’s grievances against the British misrule. Formation of the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1885 must be presented as a prominent example of that trend. But the INC was propped up by the British as a loyal organization to act as a bridge between Indians and the British authorities. 

4. Development of Transport and Means of Communication: Although the British government developed the infrastructure of railways, roads, canals and organization of postal, telegraph and wireless services etc to further their own colonial goals, the facilities also helped to unite Indian public and the nationalists

Global events did have impact of Indian national movement5. Influence of International Events: The tentacles of the British Empire covered a large part of the world and Indians were not the only people fighting against the British colonialism. Moreover, news from abroad also affected the Indian nationalism. For example, the Declaration of Independence by Americans in 1776, the French Revolution of 1789, the unifications of Italy and Germany in 1870 etc. Later on the defeat of Russia by Japan in 1904, the Russian Revolution of 1917, fall of three old empires — Russian, Austrian and Ottoman — in the WW1 etc. also influenced Indians.

6. Revival of Glorious Indian Heritage: This was particularly important for Hindus. Before the British domination, they had lived humiliating life under the Islamic rule for 800 years. Their highly evolved socio-spiritual culture since ancient times was almost annihilated by the barbaric Mohammadans who repeatedly plundered, destroyed their temples and educational centers and forced conversion into Islam. Therefore, their psych was deeply depressed and they were badly demoralized. However, when some western scholars like Max Muller, William Jones and Charles Wilkins revived the glorious heritage of their ancient past and established the profound wisdom of ancient Hindu culture and philosophy it was like putting life back into dead corps.

Arya Samaj was founded in 18757. Socio-Religious Reform Movements: As the nationalistic consciousness spread among people a need was felt to reform social institutions and religious/cultural traditions which were proving obstacles in social progress and national integration. Thus, various reform movements emerged to remove social evils which divided the Indian society. They attempted to remove the caste and sex barriers and promoted the idea of individual liberty and social equality. Thus a number of organizations like the Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, Rama Krishna Mission, Theosophical Society etc emerged. Since many of these reform movements drew inspiration from India’s rich Hindu past, they promoted pan-Indian feelings and spirit of nationalism.

Threat to Global British Supremacy

Imperial BritishThe 2nd half of the 19th century saw spread and intensification of the Industrial Revolution in the European countries, the USA, and Japan. It ended the manufacturing and financial supremacy of Britain on the global platform. Completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 — connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas — had a significant impact on world trade. It was a French-Egypt venture that started in 1859 and threatened British trade dominance. So the British opposed it until 1875 when the Egyptian government sold its stake to them due to financial troubles. It greatly strengthened British Imperial interests. The Canal drastically shortened the distance between India and Europe.  From 1870s onward, there was a resurgence of imperialism all over the world. The British started to consolidate their control over the existing empires. Thus, they invested heavily on railway infrastructure, post and telegram and army. The renewed upsurge of imperial control was reflected in the reactionary policies of various viceroys. After all, India was the most prized colony in the so-called “British Commonwealth.” It provided them with an endless supply of low paid Indian soldiers and enormous economic resources for exploitation, almost forever!

First passenger train in India ran between Bombay and Thane in 1853As the British rule consolidated and the modern means of communication expanded, the rulers reached out to the frontier regions. The British interests revolved around protection of the invaluable Indian empire. They liberally used Indian soldiers and money in their military ventures. They ventured into Burma to expand the market for British goods, to exploit it forest resources and  to keep the French away. As the nationalistic fervor increased in Burma they tried weakening it by separating it from India in 1935. It must be mentioned that the British had colonized Burma through wars in 1824 and 1852. Finally, after the WW-2 unable to maintain colonial control the British quit Burma also in January 1948.

Durand Line was drawn in 1893; Afghanistan never liked it.The British saw Afghanistan as a strategically located State where it must have a friendly government in order to keep the Russians away and to promote British commercial (oil) interests in the Central Asia. In 1893, they drew the Durand Line that arbitrarily divided the Pashtun people. Even today, this line is the source of the Afghan-Pak border dispute and a heart burn for the divided Pashtuns.  After birth of Pakistan in 1947, Afghanistan demanded that Pashtuns living on the Pak side of Durand line be given the right of self-determination. But, both Britain and Pakistan refused. In response, the Afghan government began to ignore the Durand Line.

Kālā Pānī – Cellular Jail

Kālā Pānī, the transportation of freedom fighters to Andaman for “penal experiment” is easily among the darkest chapters of the “British Raj.” One name crops up the moment some one talks of Kālā Pānī; it is Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. No other revolutionary had left so much influence as Savarkar. His was a true visionary and his writings inspired millions of Indians. His book, India’s First War of Independence, ignited the flame of independence in the hearts of millions of Indians. Here is why he wrote this book in his own words:

In response to people who believe that armed revolution is not only impractical and impossible but also a suicidal means of attaining independence, to them I say — It is the common Indian soldier serving the British who wields and controls the arms in the British army. Though they are illiterate, they still bear the desire to gain independence. Ignite that flame and see what happens… The British will have to face loaded firearms wielded by Indian soldiers. The purpose of this book is to ignite that flame in the heart of India. 

It is a shame that the greatest Hero of India’s freedom struggle got betrayed by the power hungry Congress leaders in collusion with Pakistan loving Islamic lobby. He became the first victim of Gandhi-Nehruvian Muslim appeasement politics which has now grown into a full blown cancer of Sharia-Secularism. Hope some day he would be formally recognized as India’s topmost revolutionary freedom-fighter along side Netaji Subhash Bose.

Veer Savarkar spent 10 years in the Cellular Jail during 1911 - 1921.As the ‘British Raj’ started in 1858, one of its first acts was to set up a penal colony on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (a group of 572 islands in the Bay of Bengal) and start exiling prisoners to it. In fact, the devious idea was conceived while the British Rule was paralyzed by the 1857 rebellion. The island chain was chosen by 2 British doctors for the “penal experiment” on “deserters and rebels.” It was perfect for secrecy and isolation. The first batch of 200 “grievous political offenders” arrived after 8 days trip from Calcutta in early 1858. Soon prisoners started arriving from Calcutta, Madras, Karachi, Singapore and Burma, with their crime and punishment carved on a wooden plate on the neck. Then, it was no more than an isolated hostile backwater and survival was only a matter of chance against all odds.

The Cellular Jail was built in 1906 at Port Blair, AndamanIn Feb 1872, Viceroy Lord Mayo came for an inspection. He was killed by a convict Sher Ali. The news of this high profile murder was suppressed by the British. Towards the end of 1880s, the population of prisoners had become unmanageable; thus, they decided to build a high-security jail to house them. In 1890, a two member commission inspected the penal settlement of Port Blair, Andaman Nicobar. Its report stated, “it was aimed that the place for transportation should be second only to the capital punishment, but…”  The British clearly intended to create a “Hell for Indian freedom fighters.” Construction work started few years later. Bricks came from Burma and labor from the exiled prisoners living there. Thus, the Cellular Jail (Kālā Pānī, for Indians) came into existence in 1906 at Port Blair.

The Cellular Jail was named so because it entirely consisted of individual cells for solitary confinement – 693 altogether, each of the size 13.5 ft X 7.5 ft ventilated by 3 ft X 1 ft window. Originally, designed like spokes on a wheel, 7 long buildings (150 yard long) emanated from a massive central 3-floor structure. Each wing had rows of iron-gated cells for solitary occupants.

Life in Cellular Jail

Life in Cellular jail was lonely, harsh and hopelessThe prison authorities were determined to give the inmates a fate “even more dreadful than the hangman’s noose.” During its active life from 1906 to 1939, it silently witnessed the most brutal and barbaric atrocities meted out to Indian freedom fighters. Doctors experimented new drugs on the inmates. Guards were expected to treat the political prisoners in a way “that would break their spirit and completely demoralize them.” Prisoners were made to work like slaves, with scantest regard for their lives. The life would be filled with torture, hunger and loneliness. Some would go mad; others would be driven to suicide. For the prisoners, it was like “being transported for life to the valley of death.” The bodies of the dead were “thrown in the sea tied with stones.” Here is a typical tale of horror and torture at the Cellular Jail.

Famous revolutionary icon, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was imprisoned here during 1911-21 for his revolutionary connections. The wooden plate around his neck declared that he was to serve a 50-year double life sentence. He wrote – “as the gates of the prison shut behind me, I felt that I have ‘entered the jaws of death’.” His cell has been marked with a sign board and is a special attraction for the tourists.

Closure of Cellular Jail

The Cellular Jail became a National Memorial in 1979On Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts and widespread condemnation, the Cellular Jail was forced to empty in 1939. In 1942, the Japanese captured the islands and turned the jail into POW camp. On December 30, 1943, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose hoisted the Indian tricolor and Andaman became the first Indian territory to be declared independent. He also named the islands Shaheed and Swaraj. The British, however, recaptured the island in October 1945. During the Japanese occupation 2 wings of the Jail got destroyed and another 2 wings pulled down after independence. The remaining three wings were converted into a 500-bed public hospital for the local population in 1963.

The Cellular Jail was converted into national memorial in 1979 and it became a “symbol of the freedom movement in India.” Today, it is a highly sought-after tourist destination where the “sound and light show” retells the soul-touching story of the ‘hell’ countless freedom fighters went through. Public interest in the Cellular Jail increased particularly after the 1996 Malayalam movie, Kaalapani, which was dubbed in several languages. It won several National and Kerala state awards. In Hindi, it was released as Sazaa-E-Kala Pani.

You may like to read: Survivors of the Hell

The Divide-and-Rule Politics

The British divisive politics left India badly fragmented along caste and communal linesAs nationalism started growing at the start of the 20th century, the British took refuge in their trademark ‘divide and rule’ philosophy. The sycophantic overtures of some Muslim leaders and their separatist tendency were right before them. So they started nurturing them in order to pit them against the nationalists of the Congress party. At the same time, they also started to create more fissures in the Indian society along caste, lingual, ethnic and regional lines. This became possible with regular census that started in 1871-72. This information had consequences. It defined, for instance, whether particular groups would be allowed to join prestigious army regiments. When the British introduced a Legislative Assembly in India after World War I, fixed seats were reserved for Europeans, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, “depressed classes,” landholders, merchants and so on. Belonging to one group or another was crucial to an individual’s destiny. Identity politics was not merely endorsed; it was made systemic.

The partition of Bengal along Hindu-Muslim line was a major step in 1905. The following year, they helped form the All India Muslim League. Then they immediately accepted its demand for separate Muslim electorate through the Morley-Minto Reforms (1909). Under this the Muslim members were to be elected only by Muslim voters.

Rudyard Kipling's story clearly underlines the "Divide and Rule" British policyThis set the stage for Muslim Communalism vs Indian Nationalism politics. But it also fueled separate electoral demand from other communities. Under the Montford Reforms (1919), the separate electorate system was extended to other communities like Sikhs, Europeans, Anglo-Indians, Indian Christians, etc. The Communal Award of 1932 extended this policy to the depressed classes also. It was a blatant effort to fragment Hindus by exploiting its caste system and treat the lower caste as a separate minority group. It was opposed by Gandhi and it had to be repealed.

Divide and rule - persistent attempt by the BritishSuch was the degree of fragmentation that under the Act of 1935 seventeen separate electorates were constituted. A severe dent has already been created for the cause of national integration. Muslim’s two-nation theory was forcefully vocalized by Jinnah in 1940, with overt and covert British support. The country was seemingly drifting towards anarchy. Gandhi’s ‘Quit India’ call of 1942 and imprisonment of Congress leaders provided wonderful opportunity to the Muslim League to strengthen its Muslim votes. Results were clear in the 1945/46 elections. Partition became inevitable.

Birth of Indian National Congress (INC) – As A Pro-British Forum!

Truth behind formation of Congress PartyMost Indians grow up learning that the Congress Party gave us independence by throwing out the White British occupiers and that it was, in fact, born for that purpose only. A common image on the mind is that the history of the Indian National Congress is “The History of the Freedom Movement”.  But a little careful study of the history after the 1857 Rebellion would be amusing!

The Macaulay education system was introduced in 1835, replacing Persian with English as new official language. It aimed at forming ‘a class who may be interpreters between the British and the millions they govern – a class of persons Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.’’ As a result, by 1880s there were lots of educated Indians – often derided as the ‘brown British.’ They served the British administration as clerks and were were familiar with English language and the British system of governance. They had no professional dignity due to racism or opportunity to advance in the career. Hence, they lived stagnated lives. These “brown British” were on target when the Indian National Congress was founded in 1885.

Congress was created as a ‘safety valve’ to prevent ‘1857’ like revolts!

A O Hume - Founder of Indian National CongressA retired British Officer, Alan Octavian Hume, conceived the idea of Congress at a social gathering of elite Indians.  The idea was to create a platform to provide a safe, peaceful, and constitutional outlet or ‘safety valve’ for the rising discontent among the masses, which if bottled up could potentially lead violent rebellion. He wanted it to act as a ‘Safety Valve’ to prevent repeat of ‘1857’ like revolts! In other words, it would nip the revolutionary potential in the bud. Thus, the formation of Congress was a well thought of British plan to use the “brown Sahibs” as bridge between the British government and the common masses. Such a ‘safety valve’ idea was around for many years. It was expressed by Sir Henry Harrison in 1886 in these words:

“Repress the educated natives, their ambitions and then aspirations and you turn them into a solid phalanx of opposition against the Government; gratify their ambitions, and you make them into allies of the Government.”

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was a moderate Congress LeaderThus, with the support of Viceroy Lord Dufferin (1884-88), Hume convened the first meeting of educated Indian elites in 1885 at the Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Mumbai from 18-31 December 1885. It was presided over by Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee and attended by 72 delegates representing all over India, including the likes of Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta, S Subramania Iyer, Dinshaw Wacha, etc. Viceroy Lord Dufferin invited the newly formed group for a ‘Tea Party’! In this first session, Bannerjee concluded his presidential address by emphasizing that the Congressmen desired the permanence of British rule in India, and that their ultimate aim was only to gain a share in the administration of its government.

Three years later, he stressed that “the principle on which the Indian National Congress is based is that British Rule should be permanent and abiding in India.”

This club was derided by nationalists as an organization of Anglicized Indians and pseudo-imitators of English culture. Lala Lajpat Rai ridiculed the Congress as an institution of beggars that pleaded for charity from the Government. He was aware that “the congress was created with the object of saving the British Raj from any impending danger.”

Read in detail about the nature of Congress in the first 20 years.

The Moderates

Moderate Congress Leaders worked with the British government within lawUntil end of the 19th century, the Congress did not have much public support and functioned more like a private club of elite Indians who sought personal favors by eulogizing the British government. They only placed petitions before the British government and worked within the framework of law and the rulers, of course, treated them with neglect. They asked for things like representative legislature, employing more Indians in the administration, holding Indian civil service (ICS) exam in India, decrease tax burden on cultivators, more funds for education and so on. The only achievement of these so-called ‘moderate’ leaders was the enactment of the Indian Council Act, 1892 that enlarged the legislature and having a resolution passed for holding the ICS exam simultaneously in London and India. They however created a forum to discuss people’s issues and criticize the government that raised public awareness.

Moderate Nationalists relied on Prayers and Petitions, holding meetings, making speeches etcThe closing years of the 19th century brought bubonic plague and famine but the Congressmen could not do anything for the suffering people and exposed themselves as useless members of an elite club. The hardships gave rise to severe resentment against the government. Viceroy, Lord Curzon, passed an Act in 1898, that made provoking people against the government an offense and brought in the Indian Universities Act in 1904 to suppress the rising nationalism among students.

Entry of Radicals in Congress

Lal Bal Pal - the trio who brought nationalism in CongressTurn of the century brought patriotic nationalistic people like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat and Bipin Chandra Pal (Bal-Lal-Pal) onto the Congress platform. The did not like the culture of submissiveness and sycophancy. They did not believe in depending on the mercy of the Britishers; but firmly asserted that freedom was their right.  They talked of Swaraj – self rule. Giving call for Swaraj – self-rule, Tilak declared: “Swaraj is my birthright and I must have it”. They  believed in organizing mass protests, criticizing government policies, boycotting foreign goods and replace them with Swadeshi (India-made) goods etc. Tilak’s newspaper, Kesari, became their mouthpiece. Their ideas resonated well with the public sentiments. The partition of Bengal in 1905 provided them a good opportunity to emerge as popular leaders. They spread the Swadeshi movement among masses. Strikes and boycotts became new weapons of protest. But their radical ideas brought them in conflict with the loyalists of the Congress Party led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. It led to their expulsion from the party in 1907 – popularly known as the Surat Split. It again turned Congress into a group of self-serving noisemakers with no public appeal. It remained inactive until the two factions reunited with the efforts of Annie Besant in 1916.

The British government passed a series of repressive Acts during 1907-11 to curb these activities and sent Tilak to a Burma jail for six years. The movement again picked up pace after release of Tilak in 1914 and formation of Home Rule League in 1916. The evolution of Congress before independence is generally divided in three phases, dominated by the British loyalists (1885-1905), nationalists (1905-1919), and Gandhian (1919-1947).

What a Tragedy!  The INC is now AMC (Antania Maino Congress) !!

Fake GandisThough the INC was founded to be a British puppet, but it evolved into the central platform for nationalistic freedom movement. Gandhi was clearly the tallest leader INC produced. In personality, Gandhi was a rare but true example of a pious ‘Dharmic‘ person, a really enlightened human being well beyond the realm of stereotype power politician (for example, Nehru or Jinnah). It is a cruel irony of destiny that within years of Gandhi’s demise in 1948 his surname was hijacked by a power hungry politician. It was none other than nepotistic Nehru’s daughter, Indira. Then after death of  her elder son Rajiv, the command of INC passed to his fascist Italian wife  (Antania Maino). This ultra corrupt lady completely destroyed the sanctity of ‘Gandhi’ surname through her third grade and corrupt political demeanors after she assumed a fake name, Sonia Gandhi. She not only planted her semi mature and habitual liar son as party president, but also turned the INC into a private family property and made it a hotbed of all types anti-national, anti-Hindu and anti-India elements. Totally devoid of ethics, morality and ‘Dharma’ that Mahatma Gandhi embodied, these fake Gandhis have emerged as a potential national security threat, as their shady deals with enemy nations emerge. It is a shameful example of how opportunism for power and nepotism can destroy great institutions.

Indian Muslims and Islamic “Separatism”

Indian Muslim’s dream for a separate “Islamic State” 

Islamic state syndromeEver since fall of the Mughal Rule, Muslims had been craving to get back into power. Various leaders proposed different ideas to create an “Islamic State”.  A famous Afghan had proposed creating a separate Islamic State by merging the North-West India, Afghanistan and the states of Turkistan. Such ideas were backed by Shah Wali Ullah and Shah Abdul Aziz in the eighteenth century.  In 1804, the Faridi sect was founded to establish Islamic rule.

In 1810, Abdul Rahman proclaimed himself the Imam Mehdi in Surat. In 1820-21, the leader of Wahhabi Movement, Syed Ahmad of Bareli (mentioned above), preached flight of Muslims living under British rule to Islamic North West Frontier region. In Bengal, a Wahhbi Titu Mir preached restoration of Muslim rule and overthrow of the British.

In 1890, Abdul Halim Sharar, a novelist and editor of newspaper Muhazzib, stated: “If Hindus and Muslims cannot live together in peace, then it is better to divide India into Hindu and Muslim provinces and exchange populations.

In 1913, Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar (pioneer of Khilafat Movement in 1920-21; it will be discussed later) suggested that North India may be given to the Muslims and rest to the Hindus to solve the Hindu-Muslim problem. A similar idea was expressed in 1917, by Abdul Jabbar and Abdul Sattar at the International Socialist Conference at Stockholm. A Pathan chief, Mohammad Gulkhan, suggested a separate Muslim homeland in the North-West extending as far as Agra.

Therefore, Islamic separatism and craving for “Islamic State” are deeply rooted ideas in the political Islam that’s taught to Indian Muslims. Even today, despite creation of “Pakistan” in 1947 and living among Hindus for seven decades after independence, a large section of Indian Muslims has failed to integrate itself in the multi-cultural diverse society of Indian democracy.

It is weird to see them huddling together like medieval tribals, away from non-Muslims.

Dr Ambedkar’s thoughts on Muslims

Muslims wanted Freedom from Hindus, Not from the British!

After the brutal suppression of the 1857 uprising by the British, Muslim leaders’ dream for revival of Islamic rule was badly shattered but they also realized that the British Imperialism was not immortal. Thus, a day might come when were forced to leave India. This potential eventuality filled them with almost neurotic Hindu phobia. This was a natural karmic reaction considering the unspeakable atrocities they had heaped on Hindus for centuries. Many of them openly wished that the British domination on India never ended! They developed an ally like attitude towards the British rulers. Yet, there was a section of Muslims (mostly non-political Muslims who practiced Islam as a religion) that shared the resentment towards the British exploitation. They willingly joined the mainstream national freedom movement to kick out the British. They faced prison, torture and death along with rest of the freedom fighters. In fact, all genuine maulanas and Imams never favored creation of Pakistan. The other section (purely political, fanatic and power hungry Muslims), led by Jinnah gang of Muslim League, fought for separation from Hindus under British patronage. Their’s was a struggle purely for personal power, misusing Islam. The British had no reason to be harsh with these puppet mullahs and happily patronized them!

Indian nationalists wanted freedom from british rule; Muslim separatists wanted separation from HindusBritish India was home to the largest Muslim population in the world – yet they formed only around 20-25% of the total population. Indian Muslim community was a peculiar mix – the bulk of them were “forced converts” since start of the Islamic dark-age. They were led by a tiny elite class consisting of mostly the descendants of Muslim aristocrats serving various Nawabs and Royalties, big landlords and jagirdars. This elite class was losing power and position under the colonial rule but were still far better off than the common masses. Given the isolationist nature of Islamic ideology, very few even from the elite class could embrace modern English education or adopt modern ideas.  As a result, when the Crown rule started in 1858 there were very few educated Muslims. The education of majority of the Muslim masses remained limited to madarsa training of Persian grammar to recite Quran.

Syed Ahmad Khan sowed the seeds of Muslim separatismIn 1871, a British official W W Hunter published a book Indian Mussalmans pointing out the poor reach of education in the Muslim community and how their loyalty could be won by promoting education among them. It made the British think of developing policies to educate Muslims, in order to create a separate class of educated Muslims loyal to them.  These loyal Muslims could be also pit against Hindus to further their Divide & Rule policy.

This new pro-Muslim British thinking was exploited by a prominent aristocrat, Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-98) from United Province. Coming from a privileged background, he had a loyal career in judicial service and was an intellectual, educationist and writer. His loyalty earned him Knighthood in 1888. Khan understood the value of modern education and sincerely wanted to educate his community while cooperating with the British government.  He founded the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh in 1875.  Later in 1920, it mutated to become the Aligarh Muslim University which played a vital in nurturing “Islamic separatism” in the Muslim community that later led to India’s Islamic partition.

The Two Nation Theory

Khan also proposed that Hindus and Muslims were two different people, who shared nothing except common territory. Thus, he demanded that Muslims should not be treated as a minority community (based on their 20-25% population) in India, rather they should be seen as a ‘separate nation’ – at par with Hindus. This Two Nation Theory was purely a political statement; it was totally devoid of pragmatism or mature thinking.  Later on, in the hands of power hungry Jinnah gang Khan’s political argument became a tool to demand a separate country for the Muslims. In reality, after ruling and suppressing Hindus for 800 years Muslim aristocrats and clergy class were deluded with ‘Superiority Complex’ and wanted to appear better than Hindus. Ahmad Khan’s ideology was solely founded on Hindu Phobia that is firmly rooted in insecurity and lack of desire to exist peacefully with people of other faiths, here Hindus.

All India Muslim League

Muslim League was founded in 1906When the INC was formed in 1885, Muslims saw it through their “Islamic lens” as a ‘Hindu Party’ and yearned to have their own Muslim party. Thus, a year after the INC was setup, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan founded the Mohammadan Educational Conference (in 1886) in order to groom Muslims as a “separate bloc”.  Eight years after his death, in 1906 the Muslim League was founded in Dacca (now in Bangladesh) at a meeting of the Mohammadan Educational Conference. Its basic aim was to safeguard the political interests of Indian Muslims with the blessings of the British. Like the INC, the Muslim League was also formed after British consent. The Muslim League actively dissuaded Muslims from joining the nationalistic movement of the INC which had pan India representation. Playing ‘Islamic identity politics’ remained the sole guiding factor behind all its activities.

Muslim League Two nation Theory was all about Muslim dominanceMuslim League (ML) leaders did not want representative governance because that would favor Hindus who formed more than 75% population. They wanted equality with Hindus (something like 50:50) or a separate electoral roll for Muslims but such ideas were not acceptable to Congress leaders because Muslims were not the only bloc; there were Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, … and so on. However, the ML kept nurturing separatist sentiments that ultimately came out as the demand for a separate Muslim State, first time in 1930 and then formally in 1940 (Lahore Declaration). It was denounced vehemently by all nationalists, including Muslims.

C Rajagopalachari called it ‘a medieval concept – a quasi-tribal point of view’ and a product of ‘diseased mentality’, the Hindustan Times described it a ‘mock heroic at Lahore’, Nehru called it a ‘mad scheme’ and Viceroy Linlithgow called it ‘Jinnah’s political maneuvering’ against Congress.

In nutshell, Muslim League’s only one-point Islamic agenda was rejection of living in a future Hindu dominated society. And towards that end it was even willing to prolong the British rule!   The Last Stand of Muslim League

Important Questions: Why were Muslims so paranoid about living as minority in Hindu dominated India? Were they afraid of being treated in the same humiliating way they had treated Hindus for centuries?

Muslims Opposing the Two Nation Theory

Two nation Theory was a deceptive statement of Islamic separatism, originated by Syed Ahmad Khan of Aligarh movementIt is ironic that Western educated Muslim leaders promoted division of India, on the basis of religion. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a England-trained lawyer who drank Scotch, enjoyed bacon and married a Parsi (all taboos in Islam)! In the eyes of religious Muslims these are all childish or juvenile acts.  No wonder if such juvenile characteristics defines Pakistanis even now!! These power hungry mullahs were opposed by the religious ulema who had no problem living peacefully with Hindus in a united India. They had no difficulty aligning Islamic principles with nationalistic aspirations to preserve a integrated multicultural society.

The emptiness of Ahmad Khan’s separatist ideology was exposed in several ways.  The strongest opposition came from the powerful religious ulema of Dar-ul-uloom in the Deoband town of Saharanpur district in UP. It was founded in 1866, just a few years after the 1857 war of independence, as a religious center of Islam. They were strong critics of Syed Ahmad Khan’s western thinking and his British loyalty. They considered the British foremost enemy of Islam. They became particularly suspicious when Ahmad Khan’s followers formed the Muslim League (ML) in 1906 in connivance with the British. Thus, to counter the ML the Deobandi ulema created a political entity, the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) in 1919.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad rejected the idea of Pakistan.In ulema’s opinion, the Westernized leadership of ML lacked Islamic credentials and authority to demand a separate Islamic State. Additionally, they argued that the creation of a separate Islamic State would only benefit Muslims living in the Muslim majority provinces. What would be the fate of rest of the Muslims who were in minority in Hindu majority provinces? They also opposed partition of India because those living in the Islamic State (Pakistan) would lose contact with important historical cultural Islamic Centers like Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Hyderabad etc. And finally, the partition would evoke strong anti-Muslim sentiments among Hindus.

The JUH leader Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani strongly opposed the ‘Two Nation Theory’, declaring that all inhabitants of India, irrespective of their color, cast, creed and religion are connected with each other through the common Indian-ness on the common motherland. He was also pragmatic and stated that in the present times nations were made by territory, not by ethnicity or religion. He issued fatwa to forbid Muslims from joining Muslim League!

Another prominent organization opposing the separate Islamic State was the Majlas-e-Ahrar-el-Islam, based in Punjab. It had strong support of lower and middle class Muslim society. Its considered the idea of Pakistan against the universal brotherhood concept of Islam and favored a multi-religious society. It even declared Jinnah Kafir-e-Azam.

Two Nation Theory is a statement of Islamic divisiveness.Another prominent Muslim scholar, who opposed it was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was a front-line Congress leader and a great admirer of Gandhi. He was also known as Imam-ul-Hind. He rejected the idea of “Muslim Nationalism” and favored Composite Indian Nationalism. He criticized the word “Pakistan” saying “The word Pakistan itself suggests that in the world some places are pure and others are impure. Islam recognizes no such division of territories. The Prophet says, ‘God has made the whole world as a mosque for me.’ Thus, the demand for Pakistan loses all force.”

In his book ‘India Wins Freedom’ he wrote: “It is one of the greatest frauds to suggest that the religious affinity can unite areas which are geographically, linguistically and culturally different. It is true that Islam seeks to establish a society which transcended racial, linguistic, economic and political frontiers. History has, however, proven that only during the initial one century when Islam was practiced as ‘religion’ it had unitary quality.

Observations of 1400 years show that Islam has a strong tendency to lose its ‘religious flavor’ and turns into a fanatic political ideology of confrontation and dominance. “Religious Muslims” can stay peacefully anywhere; but “political Muslims” can’t live peacefully even in pure Islamic societies. This is what we see around the world.

“Pakistan” was Founded on Shallow Arguments

The “two nation theory” is worst than useless.Dr B R Ambedkar

Wise Muslim Ulema had already punctured the shallow arguments of Pakistan proponents. Let’s now see the minority-majority argument of the Muslim League. It was also absurd and perverted.  In the future independent United India, there would be different provinces run by provincial governments, connected to a representative Central Government. What is it that the Muslims would not be able to do in the United India — and that could only be done in a separate Muslim country?

If Hindu and Muslims have lived together for 1000 years, why not now? And, what good would be “Pakistan” for the Muslims living in India?

They pushed for creating a “Pakistan”  by combining Muslim majority provinces.

The Muslim League started out by championing the interests of Muslims who were in “minority” in the British India. But then it twisted the argument and demanded “Pakistan’ consisting of Muslim Majority areas !! And, suddenly the minority Muslims living in Hindu dominant regions became irrelevant for the Jinnah gang.  What a betrayal, just to grab power. Pity.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah – A Born Hindu who converted to Islam!

Jinnah’s father’ along with family, converted to Islam, not for love of religion but due veg / non-veg issue with neighbors and clansmen!  Jinnah’s life story and family background squarely thrash his two-nation theory with which he fooled everyone.

Jinnah’s grandfather was a Kathiawadi Hindu who made a fortune selling fish. The family had issues with vegetarian neighbors and clansmen.  Jinnah’s father, Punjalal Thakkar, was better known by a nick-name, Punjabhai Jinno. In Gujarati, Jinno means “skinny” or “thin”. It referred to his physical appearance — a tall and thin man. Punjalal converted to Islam, not for love of religion, but due to a trivial vegetarian / non-vegetarian issue with his community that irked him!!  In order to get rid of neighbors and clansmen’s nagging permanently, Punjabhai decided to convert to Islam so that no one could comment on his eating habit and shifted to Karachi where his business partner lived. Thus, along with all his 4 sons including Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Azam, Punjalal converted to Islam, Shia islam to be more correct. Over time, mutation of Jinno turned it into Jinnah, a skinny man! His three brothers were Ahmed, Bunda and Rahmat. His three sisters were named Shireen, Fatima and Maryam — Fatima moved with him to Pakistan and died (or killed) in 1967 after she publicly challenged dictator Ayub Khan.

Jinnah connection of IPL team co-owner Ness Wadia !!

Ness wadiaJinnah’s first wife was Emibai, a Hindu. At the young age of 16 in 1992, Jinnah married Emibai but she died soon in 1893. Then 25 years later, at the age of 42, he married a young Parsi girl, Rattanbai Petit, less than half his age. Rattanbai was just 18. She was the grand daughter of notable businessman Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, in 1918. Rattanbai (Maryam, post marriage) died in 1929, leaving Jinnah alone yet again. This marriage gave him his only daughter, Dina, on the midnight of August 14/15, 1919. Dina, married a Parsi, Neville Wadia, and has two children, Diana and Nusli Wadia. Her grandsons are Ness Wadia and Jehangir Wadia. Dina died in 2017 in New York. Dina visited Pakistan only once, in 2004. BTW, the ultra modern Jinnah had dumped his daughter for marrying a Parsi man, so that his whimsical politics is not affected adversely!!  Ness wadia has been a co-owner of IPL team Kings XI Punjab and had been in news for a broken relation with actress Preity Zinta. 

It is hard to believe that a man with British education and such cosmopolitan family background, went with Islamic separatists purely for craze for power! His descendants (daughter’s family) have no problem living in multi-cultural India, but the weird man plotted to cut India in the name of Islam, purely for power.

Explore: Unconventional and Unrequited, love affair of Mohammad Ali Jinnah

Mohammad Ali Jinnah — How a Britain educated ‘secular’ man became an Islamic separatist, only for power

jinnah photoBy all means the choice of Jinnah to lead an Islamic separatist movement by the Muslim League was highly unusual. He was coerced to come back to India after he had gone into self-exile in Britain when his wife died in 1929. By all means he was among the most liberal ‘brown British.’ He was a staunch secularist, clean-shaven and stylish, drank whiskey, smoked cigar, visiting mosque was never a part of his routine, and favored beautifully cut Savile Row suits and silk ties. Gujarati and English were the only languages he could speak easily. Urdu, the darling language of his Muslim brothers was a tough nut to crack. He even chose to marry a non-Muslim woman, the glamorous daughter of a Parsi businessman. She was famous for her ultra modern outlook.

But jealousy and unsatiable hunger for power turned him into an opportunist. Jinnah deeply resented the way Gandhi introduced spiritual conduct into the political discourse. He even reportedly told Gandhi (as overheard by a British governor) that “it was a crime to mix up politics and religion the way he had done.” He even opposed Khilafat movement of radical Muslims meant to show solidarity with defeated Ottoman Turkey after WW1. But his own conduct was principle-less and full of contradictions. 

Sri Aurobindo criticized Jinnah’s two-nation theory by reminding him of the reality of his Muslim identity:

“The idea of two nationalities in India is only a new-fangled notion invented by Jinnah for his purposes and contrary to the facts. More than 90% of the Indian Mussalmans are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindus themselves. This process of conversion has continued all along; Jinnah is himself a descendant of a Hindu, converted in fairly recent times, named Jinabhai and many of the most famous Mahommedan leaders have a similar origin.”

There were people who knew Jinnah well. They often suggested that the Pakistan demand was just a “tactical move”, a “bargaining card”. They also felt that Jinnah did not imagine “Pakistan would ever come into being” and was prepared to settle for less. Even if he was not honest about the Pakistan demand, he went too far in his public posturing to retreat respectfully. Therefore, the responsibility for the creation of Pakistan lies squarely on Jinnah and nobody else. Jinnah did not divide just India, he also divided his own Muslim community.

The British PM, Clement Attlee, during partition, had commented:  “Jinnah was the only fascist I had ever met.”

After the partition in 1947, Congress and Muslim League both degenerated. Gandhi’s Congress Party degenerated to become Nehru family’s private property. Jinnah’s Muslim League eroded and evaporated by 1954; even its birth place (Dacca) now no longer belongs to Pakistan! It is also comical that Jinnah’s “Pakistan” does not include Aligarh and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) where the “Virus of Islamic separatism” was created and nurtured!! Looking at the way anti-India slogans emerge from the AMU at frequent intervals, it is high time that it’s Islamic status is taken away. India doesn’t need institutes that produce traitors, in the name of Islam or Islamic studies. It goes against the Hindu culture of tolerance and peaceful co-existence, despite different ways of worshipping.

Pakistanis glorify him as Quaid-e-Azam. In reality, he was a principle-less opportunist and an Islamic separatist. Watch this video:

Jinnah’s Aversion towards Gandhi

Gandhi’s emergence as a key political figure pushed Jinnah to the sidelines of Indian politics. He saw Patel and particularly Nehru, as his staunch political rival. Jinnah felt eclipsed by their rise as mainstream national leaders. As Gandhi’s stature grew larger and larger, the ‘highly secular’ and ambitious Jinnah shrunk into a mere Muslim leader – reduced to seeking concessions for his community. As he fell in the trap of power hungry Aligarh School leaders of the Muslim League, his pan-India nationalistic politics turned into disruptive Islamic separatism. ‘Pakistan’ – a separate homeland for the Muslim minority of South Asia – became the only hope to quench his thirst for power.

Jinnah Resigned from Muslim League

In 1919, the Muslim League was dominated by the Khilafat leaders and the country was echoing with shouts of “Ali Bhaion Ki Jai” and “Gandhiji Ki Jai”. In its Amritsar session, the ML censured the Government for its atrocities at the Jallianwala Bagh, expressed strong resentment at the proposed dismemberment of Turkey, showed unflinching loyalty to the Sultan of Turkey, demanded recall of the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford from India and decided not to sacrifice cow on the occasion of Id-ul-Azha.

Jinnah supported the non-cooperation program of Gandhiji but he was threatened by Gandhiji’s extraordinary influence on people. He resigned from the Muslim League “with great sorrow“, because the league members were eulogizing Gandhiji and cooperating in the Khilafat Movement.

Resigned from Home Rule League

On October 3, 1920, Gandhiji chaired the Home Rule League meeting in Bombay and proposed “To secure Complete Swaraj for India”. It threatened Jinnah (A complete brown Englishman) who wanted only a limited self-rule under British patronage. Soon, Jinnah and his 18 colleagues left the Home Rule League.

Resigned from the Congress

At the Nagpur session in December 1920, Gandhiji proposed amending the Congress goal as “the attainment of Swaraj by all legitimate and peaceful means”. Threatened Jinnah argued that it would be dangerous for the Muslims to dissolve ‘the British connection.’ Jinnah was booed when he insisted on calling his rival “Mr. Gandhi” rather than referring to him as ‘Mahatma’. He resigned from the Congress also. Now he not only turned a staunch anti-Gandhi and anti-Congress politician but also reduced his stature to a parochial community leader of Muslims.

Gandhi Vs Jinnah Debate

Jinnah was a godless, ruthless, self-centered man who had nothing but contempt for the Muslim masses, who hated Gandhi “yet loved to be equated with him”. – Rafiq Zakaria, Author of the famous Book The Man Who Divided India.

Gandhi was leader of the country; Jinnah was just a community leader.Countless books got written on Gandhi and his non-violent ideology became a topic for research across the world. Jinnah invited hardly any attention.  In 2012, Roderick Matthews wrote a book comparing the two men, Jinnah vs Gandhi.  He wrote:

Gandhi’s optimism gave India a broad and inclusive conception of nationhood whereas Jinnah’s pessimism bequeathed to Pakistan a narrow and defensive brand of nationalism. Gandhi was prolific and self-critical, Jinnah was reticent and defensive and was committed to ends without any regard to means.

According to Matthews, Gandhi was “a renunciate pilgrim” and Jinnah, “the apple that shriveled on the tree, the milk that soured in the bottle, the favored son who never inherited a promised bequest”. And that “Gandhi had the right kind of virtues to found a nation which Jinnah, ultimately, did not”.

Clearly, Jinnah had no long term vision for Pakistan as a separate nation, except for the obsession to have it. The result was a paranoid directionless country, too weak to walk on its own feet – it jumped on American lap for protection at the first opportunity. Americans used it as a pawn in the cold war game, handing out regular doles. They exploited its Jehadi fanaticism to drive out the Russians from Afghanistan, forced it to join its war on terror after 9/11 and then dumped it in 2018 for sponsoring Jihadi terrorism! That made it a desperate international beggar, running here and there for dole to evade the fast approaching bankruptcy.  Finally it landed deep into Chinese debt trap diplomacy — it gave away Gwadar port to China, handing over CPEC projects to Chinese companies recklessly, the Red Army has penetrated deeply in Pakistan (on the pretext of protecting Chinese projects!) and the Baloch Freedom Fighters are now fighting the Red Army (not Pak army!) to prevent plunder of their resources.

P a k i s t a n  is now  “Pak Xin Tan” — newest province of China !   Jinnah rightly called it “a maimed, mutilated and moth-eaten” Pakistan at its birth!!

Bengal: Divided in 1905; Re-United in 1911

Conceptualization of Indian National Flag

Partition of Bengal in 1905 was protested by celebrating Oct 16 as Rakhee dayAt the dawn of the 19th century, Bengal had become a major center of nationalism and was seen as a formidable threat by the British. Thus, they decided to divide Bengal in 1905 along religious line. [They reunited Bengal in 1911 after severe protests and even declared their intention to shift Capital to Delhi.] The divisive idea originated from a meeting of Lord Curzon and a Muslim delegation in Assam in June 1905. The partition came into effect on October 16, 1905. Formation of the Muslim League a year later was part of larger game plan.

The Calcutta Flag hoisted in 1906 in CalcuttaThe resistance to Bengal’s partition was explosive and all pervasive.The radicals of the INC led by Tilak used the protests to spread the message of Swaraj and Swadeshi. Cries of “Vande Mataram” took Bengal and rest of India by storm. A need was felt to unite all Indians under some “banner.” A group of Bengali revolutionaries decided to design a flag. The ideas came from the French Revolution’s tri-color motto of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. It was designed by two prominent revolutionaries, Sachindra Prasad Basu and Sukumar Mitra and was hoisted on 7 August 1906 at the Parsibagan Square in Calcutta. Thus, it was the first time a national flag was unfurled in a protest against the British, as a way to unite people.

Bhikaji Cama Flag hoisted in Stuttgart, Germany in 1907On August 22, 1907, Madame Bhikaji Rustam Cama (also fondly called Mother of Indian Revolution) unfurled the first Indian National Flag on foreign soil at the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart (Germany). She also exhibited the flag at a socialist conference in Berlin. Its design was similar to the Calcutta flag, with “Vande Mataram” written in the center strip. It was prepared together by Cama, Savarkar and Shyamji Krishna Varma. It was used by revolutionaries during the First World War. The flag is now on display at the Maratha and Kesari Library in Pune.

These flags provided the basic tri-color concept of Indian flag that we have today.

tagore nobel prize

How Muslims Evaded Cooperation, in the Name of Islam

Using “Islam” to block nationalistic struggle was the pet tactic of the Muslim leaders. It made up for lack of rational or logical reasoning; it also covered up their pathological Hindu-phobia. Here in the video, you have their silly opposition to Vande Mataram that both Hindus and Muslims have been singing for long. And, most unfortunate, Congress always bowed down as if end of appeasement means end of the world! It also exposes the shameful Congress culture of eulogizing the British rulers.

Very few Indians know the real purpose behind writing the Jana Gana Mana…  national anthem and why it was preferred over Vande Mataram.

Jamshetji Tata — Builder of Modern India

Pioneer of “Make in India” Mission

Jamsetji Tata

Founder of Tata Group business Empire and a Pioneer of “Make in India”

British exploitative policies were designed to help business and industry in Britain. Indian businessmen and producers have to adjust to British rules that were heavily loaded against them. But a businessman Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata (March 1839 – May 1904) took the colonial challenge head on and demonstrated how to beat all odds and succeed. He pioneered “The Make in India” concept and wanted Indian industry and manufacturers to adopt modern technologies and ideas and compete with the best in the world.

“In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in business, but is in fact the very purpose of its existence.” — Jamshetji Tata

Jamshetji’s father Nusserwanji broke the family tradition and relocated to Bombay to pursue business opportunities there, and did well, starting off as a small time trader. Jamshetji expanded his father’s business and consolidated it. He saw all the ups and downs of running a private business and entrepreneurship. That transformed him into a visionary and a pioneer.

Jamshetji Taj hotel terror attackJamshetji’s entrepreneurial career began when the colonial exploitation was at its peak. He founded the Tata Group in 1868 and set up a cotton mill in Nagpur in 1877. His dream, a modern hotel with the best European facilities materialized as The Taj Mahal Hotel in 1903 in Bombay.  During WWI, this ultra modern Hotel functioned as a 600 bed hospital, and was the first to use steam elevators. 

His other three mega ventures took shape after his death. They were Tata Iron and Steel Works (1907) at Jamshedpur and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore (1910). The idea of advancing scientific research came from his meeting with Swami Vivekananda.  The Tata Hydroelectric Power project started in 1911 and built its first hydroelectric project in 1915 (72 MW at Khopoli), in 1919 (78 MW at Bhivpuri) and in 1922 (300 MW at Bhira). This company is today called Tata Power and is among the largest in its field.

Today, the Tata group owns India’s largest IT company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and has diversified in a variety of field and its global empire has presence in all Continents of the world.

The Swadeshi Movement

Partition of Bengal was protested through Swadeshi and boycott movement.

The swadeshi movement introduced new forms of public mobilization and protests – meetings, processions, boycott of foreign goods (later extended to boycott of government schools, colleges, courts, titles and government services), organizing strikes, burning foreign goods in public etc. ‘Samitees’ were formed to take the message into the interiors of Bengal. Some of these were also later employed in Gandhiji’s satyagraha.

A novel idea was to turn traditional festivals into public functions. Thus, in Maharashtra Tilak turned Ganapati and Shivaji festivals into means of public gathering. In Bengal, swadeshi songs like Vande Mataram were employed to inspire people and the popular theatre form jatra was also used to spread nationalist feeling. It made the movement a feast of cultural activities.  Ultimately, the colonial government was compelled to withdraw the partition of Bengal in 1911 in the form they envisaged it. However, while reuniting Bengal they decreased the importance of Calcutta by announcing shifting of capital to Delhi.

From Split of Congress (1907) to Reunion (1916)

The agitation against partition of Bengal had a deep impact on the Indian National Congress. It brought out the difference between the moderates and radicals into open. Although both factions supported the Swadeshi and Boycott movement in Bengal, they differed in approach. The moderates wanted protests limited to only Bengal and only boycott of foreign goods in Bengal. The radicals wanted to extend it to all over the country and boycott all forms of engagement with the government. In the December 1907 Surat session, both factions adopted rigid positions and clashed making the split inevitable. Congress became ‘Mehta Congress’ due to hegemony of Pherozeshah Mehta. It remained dysfunctional and inactive for next 9 years. Along the way, it became almost leadersless also with the death of Gokhale and Mehta in 1915.

divide and ruleIt gave the British government chance to play the ‘divide and rule’ game. Aiming to suppress and isolate the radicals, the government cracked down on them. Between 1907 and 1911, five new laws were enforced to suppress the nationalistic activities. These included the Seditious Meetings Act, 1907; Indian Newspapers Act 1908; and the Indian Press Act, 1910. Tilak, the main radical nationalist, was sent to Mandalay jail for 6 years. B C Pal retired from politics and Lala Lajpat Rai left for Britain in 1908.

In order to placate the moderates, they announced constitutional concessions through the Indian Council Act 1909 (or the Morley-Minto Reforms). It enlarged the size of the legislative council both Central and Provincial but elected members were less than half, not by public but by the elite class such as landlords, zamindars, businessmen etc. However, for the first time Indians were allowed to stand for legislative council positions. But it introduced separate electorate system. Muslims were to be given separate constituencies marked only for them. In 1911, they announced reunion of Bengal, but with creation of Bihar and Orissa provinces. They also announced shifting of Capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911.

After 1908, the national movement remained virtually leaderless. The moderates realized that the Morley-Minto Reforms really did not offer much, but continued supporting the government. Actually the Morley-Minto Reforms sowed the seeds of religious division by treating Muslims as separate electoral group that would elect only Muslim candidates. It, however, served the separatist cause of the Muslim League.

Outside the Congress hemisphere, in 1909 revolutionary icon Veer Savarkar published the book “The Indian War of Independence, 1857“. [It can be accessed online]. This one book alone created numerous revolutionaries; it was highly inspiring.  Its popularity led the British to ban it. But revolutionaries like Bhikaji Cama and others kept the circulation alive clandestinely. It became hit among Indian revolutionaries in the Europe and North America – most notably among the “Gadar Revolutionaries.”

When the WW1 began in 1914, many supported the British, in the mistaken belief that grateful Britain would reward them for loyalty by giving self-rule. They failed to realize that in the so-called Great War, the two warring White sides were only trying to protect their existing colonies, exposing the myth of “White Superiority.”

The war, however, has increased the hardships of people due to high prices and heavy taxation. But they further fueled nationalistic movement. But what was missing was a strong leadership. It was provided by Tilak and Annie Besant in the form of Home Rule movement.

Home Rule Leagues

Annie Besant and Tilak pioneered the Home Rule Movement in India in 1916When Tilak was released in 1914, he had become a moderate. He was ready to assume the leadership and made conciliatory gestures to the moderates and urged people to support the British government in their war efforts. At the same time, Annie Besant, an Irish theosophist based in India since 1896 and a supporter of Indians’ struggle had decided to build a movement for self-rule based on the Irish Home Rule League model. Tilak liked her idea. Both wanted a unified Congress before launching the Home Rule movement, but seeing no interest in the moderates of the Congress party, they decided to go ahead on their own. Nevertheless, the moderate-radical union took place in 1916, as they launched their movement.

Indian Home Rule Movement Flag (1916-1920)Tilak formed his Home Rule League in April 1916 and Annie Besant formed the other, in September 1916. They worked in sync to spread the message across the country for Home Rule or self-government (as a Dominion like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa etc) after the War. Many leaders such as Motilal Nehru, Bhulabhai Desai, Chittaranjan Das, Madan Mohan Malviya, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Tej Bahadur Sapru and Lala Lajpat Rai joined the Home Rule agitation. Many Congress moderates and some members of Gokhale’s Servants of India Society also joined the agitation. Tilak got the title of “Lokmanya” during this movement. The Home Rule campaign involved political education and raising awareness through public meetings, newspapers, posters, plays, post-cards, motivational songs, setting-up libraries and reading rooms, holding conferences, fund raising and so on. The movement reached even villages. The Russian Revolution of 1917 also indirectly boosted the Home Rule campaign, with the rise of communism in India.

Government’s response was familiar; it Tilak was barred from entering Punjab and Delhi. Annie Besant was arrested which invited widespread protest. Sir S Subramaniya Aiyar renounced his Knighthood. The British government was forced to come with the August Declaration of 1917 and commitment for self-government as the long term goal

The Home Rule movement of just around one year laid the foundation for Mahatma Gandhi’s future mass movements, as he was just emerging on the scene after arrival from South Africa. These Leagues ultimately merged with Congress in 1920. Tilak died in the same year.

Lucknow Pact, 1916

The Lucknow Pact of 1916 was a severe setback for national unityThe December 1916 Lucknow session of Congress marked an important milestone in the history of freedom struggle. It not only united the two factions of the INC but also brought INC and Muslim League together to chalk out an agenda for self governance in India. The jointly agreed reform scheme was presented to the British, asking for more autonomy to Indians. Congress agreed to separate electorate for Muslims; but its long term implication was disastrous. Rather than uniting people, it promoted communal division. The Hindu Mahasabha strongly opposed the separate electorates granted to the Muslims by the Lucknow pact of 1916. It was in favor of one-man-one-vote.

The British tried to appease the nationalists by declaring their intention of giving Indians the right to self-govern, but India would remain an integral part of the British Empire. It came in the form of the ‘August Declaration’ of 1917. It promised the policy of gradual development of self-government institutions in India and led to the Government of India Act, 1919, outlining the practical steps.

Indians Contributed Enthusiastically in the First World War

The First World War broke out in August 1914. The Allied powers claimed that they were fighting the war for freedom and democracy! Many Indian leaders took their words at the face value. They offered full support to the British government’s war efforts, hoping that their loyalty would be rewarded by a grateful Britain with self-rule. But their hopes shattered.

teen murti haifa chowk in DelhiThe WW1 came at a time when the Swadeshi movement was gaining strength in the space of Indian nationalism. The urge to throw out the British had not yet reached its peak (which was to spike with the Jalianwala Bagh massacre and peak in the early 1940s during the WW2). Thus when, the King sent the message asking the ‘Princes and People of My Indian Empire’ to support the War efforts, both the Princely State and the ‘political nationalists’ came forward with zeal. For the first time, Indians would have the opportunity fight on the European soil. During the past decades, they had fought only in places like China, Abyssinia, Perak, Egypt and Sudan.

ww1 fact childrenNow for the first time, Indians would have the opportunity to kill ‘White Enemies’ which was directly in conflict with the ‘White Supremacist’ logic that justified colonizing non-White people around the world. It would badly hurt the ‘White Prestige.’ Even in the Boer War of 1899-1902, the British had avoided using Indian Army against the ‘White enemy.’ The question before the British was: Having had the experience of killing White men in the battlefield what would stop the Indian soldiers from thinking about turning against their ‘White Masters’? It would potentially upset the strict racial hierarchies and threaten the colonial machinery. But it was now a case of necessity winning over ideology. So, they ended the color barrier.

Princely States in British Raj were important British AlliesThe Princely States vied with each other in contributing troops, money and resources. The Nawabs and Rajas urged public to remain loyal to the British. And, the British recognized this outpouring of loyalty; for example, the Nizam of Hyderabad was bestowed with the title ‘His Exalted Highness’!

The nationalists also did not remain behind, but for a different motif. The Indian national Congress and most other parties pledged support to the Allied cause. Many leading political figures campaigned to boost army recruitment. Their calculation was that Indians’ strong role would bring political pay-offs (in the form of some kind of self-rule within the Empire) after the War. Note their hope for “self-government within the Empire.” Annie Besant and Subramania Bharthi were two vocal hopefuls. Even Gandhi thought that ‘England’s need should not be turned into our opportunity.’ For radical nationalists like Tilak recruitment drive offered an opportunity to propagate military training among Indians. Sarojini Naidu also saw scope for betterment of India in military training. And, among the hopeful recruits the chance to see vilayat seemed like a great prestigious adventure!

Thus, in September 1914, the first Indian troops landed in Marseilles.

End of the WW-1 in 1918 with victory of Allied Powers (the British side) over the Central Powers (the German-Austria-Turkish Ottoman side) led to the fall of four great imperial dynasties (in Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey). The fall of the Ottoman Caliphate in Turkey had ripples in the Indian Muslim community – the Khilafat movement (1919-24).

Impact of the World War 1

For ordinary Indians, it meant high taxes to recover war costs and rising prices. Indian soldiers returned with raised morale which boosted the spirit of the masses. The world war ended the myth of invincibility of the British Empire, as they faced many humiliating defeats during the war. The rise of communism with the October Revolution of 1917, paving the way for formation of the USSR, also led to the rise of communism in India. It gave a socialist tinge to freedom struggle. 

However, rather than honoring their words to give some self-rule to Indians, the British government reneged. This fueled further nationalistic feelings.

World War I   &   Spanish Flu

Did the so-called WW-1 served the purpose of world peace in any way? No. It only paved way for the next global war!!

Ground Work for World War II Began!

The devastating World War I ended with the Treaty of Versailles in France on 28 June, 1919.  The victorious Allied Powers singled out Germany for blame and punish it harshly.  The treaty, which represented “peace” for some and a “diktat” for others, also sowed the seeds of the Second World War, which would break out twenty years later. Though there was a real desire for peace, the treaty did not achieve its intended result.

Germany was deprived of 13% of its territory, 10% population, German colonies were taken over by the new League of Nations, its army was reduced to 100,000, its navy was stripped of large vessels, and Germany was forced to pay 269 bn Marks (37 bn dollars). Adding some more insult, the German Emperor, Wilhelm II was put on trial for war crimes. Humiliated Germany seethed for revenge. Furious at what they saw as a harsh dictated peace, the right wing Germans used the treaty as a nationalistic rallying point.

The Second World War grew out of the unresolved issues of the previous conflict – political and economic instability in Germany and lingering resentment over the harsh and humiliating terms of the Versailles Treaty — fueled by the “Great Depression” of 1920s, hate of communism, tensions due to arbitrarily and irrationally drawn boundaries post WW-I, failure of league of nations to perform and rise of imperialistic and expansionist sentiments in Germany, Japan and Italy.. Rise of ultra racist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis made another major war a certainty.

Incidentally, Germany paid the last installment of its war debt in 2010 !

Jew holocaust

Spanish Flu

When the senseless global war was heading towards closure, humanity was attacked by a more deadly monster — called Spanish Flu. It is estimated to have killed up to 4 crore people globally, most in India between 1.2 — 2.0 crore.  The 1918 influenza pandemic began in Europe. Like current Covid-19, it was also a respiratory disease and spread in exactly the same manner and lasted for two years. It spread with the movement of the warring troops and reached continents and countries. In India, the first cases were reported in Bombay in the soldiers returning home from Europe.

Why was it called Spanish Flu? One popular speculation went like this: Warring countries, were under-reporting their flue fatalities, as they do in war times to keep morale up. But Spain was “neutral” in the war and its media was reporting freely. These was rather large numbers, giving the impression that the disease hit Spain really hard. It gave the name “Spanish Flu“!

In India, the deadly flu did not affect the rich elites and the White who lived in spacious mansions and clean environment. But the poor and ordinary people died en mass across India, specially in large cities with dense population.  This increased resentment against the White rulers. It further fueled nationalistic fervor post WW-1.

The Gadar Movement of Overseas Indians

The Forgotten Heroes of Ghadar RevolutionWhile the leaders of freedom struggle inside India, including Tilak and Gandhi, remained busy recruiting Indian soldiers for the British government, a lot of Indian immigrants were also active in Europe and US/Canada for India’s freedom from British rule. For instance, read The Untold Story of Madam Bhikaji Cama and design of India’s first Flag.

Kartar Singh was role model for Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad.Revolutionaries of Gadar Movement led by Hardayal, Rashbehari, Vishnu Pingle, Maulana Barkatulla and Bagha Jatin were burning with desire to free India from British occupation through armed struggle, just like the Americans. They planned an armed thrust on the British government exploiting the WW situation – just like what Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose tried during WW2. Though it failed due to bad organization, but it certainly scared the British enough that they had to come up with the Rowlatt Act in March 1919, despite Montague’s promise of August 1917 to move towards ‘progressive self-government’ in India.

The tragic Komagata Maru incidence and the Budge Budge riot of 1914 are reminders of their struggle that inspired nationalists for years to come.  In commemoration, in 2013 the Budge Budge Railway Station was renamed as Komagata Maru Budge Budge Railway Station by the West Bengal Government.

Arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in India – 1915

Mahatma Gandhi brought with him experience of Satyagraha from South Africa.Gandhi arrived in India in 1915 after practicing law for 22 years in South Africa. He was introduced to politics by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who also advised him to tour the country, mainly the villages, to understand the ground situation. In 1916, he founded the the Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmadabad to practice the ideas of truth and non-violence. He plunged into the nationalistic movement through the Champaran Satyagraha in 1917. It was Gandhi’s first civil disobedience movement in India. Incidentally, his mentor Gokhale was not alive to see it. At Champaran, he inspired the peasants to struggle against the oppressive plantation system. He also organised a satyagraha to support the peasants of the Kheda districts of Gujarat. These peasants were not able to pay their revenue because of crop failure and epidemics. Then, in Ahmadabad, he organized a movement among cotton mill workers.

Gandhian method involved peaceful violation of specific lawsGandhi had realized that the British had been able to be in India only because of the co-operation they received from the Indians. Keeping this in mind, he called for a non-cooperation movement. Gandhi was greatly influenced by the works of Leo Tolstoy’s ‘Civil Disobedience’ and Ruskin’s ‘unto to the last’. He transformed Tolstoy’s ideal of non-possession into the concept of ‘trusteeship’. Gandhi’s non-violent Satyagraha involved peaceful violation of specific laws. He resorted to mass courting arrest and hartals and marches. Gandhi was always ready for negotiations and compromise. His struggle is popularly called ‘struggle-truce-struggle’.

100 years of return of Mahatma GAndhi to IndiaIt is amazing how Gandhi became a central figure in the Indian National Congress and in the freedom struggle so quickly. Gandhi’s impact on people was mesmerizing. He launched three major movements until country’s independence: Non-cooperation movement (1920-22), Civil Disobedience movement (1930-34), and Quit India movement (1942). Indian government published a postal stamp in 2015 marking 100 years of Gandhi’s return to India.

Rowlatt Act, 1919

After the World War 1, this Act revealed the British intentions; they did not want to give any type of autonomy to the Indian people. Then what happened in the Jallianwala Bagh in next month hardened nationalistic sentiments almost irreversibly. Now people really wanted to take on the Britishers, rather than continue to hope that the White Lords will soon oblige them with some autonomy.

In order to suppress the growing nationalistic movement, the Imperial Legislature Council passed the Rowlatt Act in March 1919. The British were also apprehensive of Gadar type revolution. The Act allowed the authorities to detain people up to 2 years without trial and empowered the police to search any place without warrant and put several restrictions on the press. The Act was widely condemned by all Indian leaders. Gandhi started what was called ‘Rowlatt Satyagrah’ but had to call it off as violence erupted in many provinces. Protest was particularly intense in Punjab and the rogue Act caused bloodbath at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.

Its harsh provisions and the events following this Act brought Hindus and Muslims closer. It is something the British could not imagine. It also brought radical nationalists into prominence and the pacifists and moderates lost ground.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Fueled Nationalism

jalianwala bagh massacreOn the day of Baisakhi festival on April 13, 1919 a crowd gathered at Jallianwala Bagh, a public garden in Amritsar. Seeing the crowd, Brigadier General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer arrived with troops and blocked the only exit/entrance. Without warning, he ordered his troops to fire at the unarmed crowd that also included children. The indiscriminate firing went on for about 10 minutes which killed around 400 injured around 1000 people. This massacre shocked and outraged the nation, and even created ripples in Britain – but it gave a tremendous impetus to freedom struggle. A sham inquiry (Hunter) Commission was set which criticized Gen Dyer’s conduct but did not take any action against him except criticizing and relieving him of duty. It further infuriated the masses.  Amazingly, the British public showed solidarity with Gen Dyer – The Morning Post collected 30,000 pounds for him!

In protest, Rabindranath Tagore gave up his knighthood and Gandhi returned the title ‘Kaiser-e-hind’ bestowed on him by the British for his services during the Boer War in South Africa. Udham Singh was a 20 year old man when he witnessed the Jallianwala massacre. Later in 1940, Udham Singh killed Michael O’ Dwyer who had approved Dyer’s action.  Another sikh Bhagat Singh was just 12 year old at the time of this incident; it turned him into a hardcore revolutionary.

Among the prime reason behind the massacre was the British nervousness about the growing nationalistic movement. However, more and more Indians rushed to join the INC and it quickly became a party of protesting masses. It also gave birth to Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation movement that assimilated the khilafat movement of Muslims and continued till 1922 when it was abruptly ended due to violent events.

The Khilafat Movement

 “Towards the end of the WW1, a strange type of intense sympathetic wave for the Turkish Ottoman Kingdom was blowing in the Muslim community, as if it was their own war. They were apprehensive of the end of the last Islamic kingdom, the biggest ‘anchor’ of their ‘faith’. Dr M A Ansari carried a medical mission to Turkey, for which even poor Indian Muslims donated. Such an unprecedented enthusiastic response was never seen even for the welfare of Indian Muslims! There was sense of ‘regret’ in the Indian Muslims they could not do much for their Turk brothers. When the Turks got defeated and the war ended, their sentiments came out in the form of Khilafat movement.”— Jawaharlal Nehru

Champions of Muslim interests, Jinnah did not support the Khilafat movementThe Khilafat Movement (1919-1924) was a pure Muslim uprising. It had absolutely no connection with Indian freedom struggle and was connected with the well being of a barbaric Muslim kingdom (Turkey) at the end of WW1. This was perhaps the only time during ‘British Raj’ when Muslims as a community came out openly to oppose the “British Imperialism”  — but not freedom of India!  They came out to safeguard Islamic interests of a defeated rogue Muslim kingdom (thousands of kilometers away!).  Note this Muslim hypocrisy carefully.  The only goal of Indian Muslims was restoration of the Islamic rule in India and also in Turkey. Their Muslim identity alone mattered.  The loudest voice in support of a genocidal “Islamic State” came from the Indian Muslims. It was typical manifestation of Islamic mind that seeks connections with global Muslims and hates his next door non-Muslim neighbor.  All over India, Muslims got galvanized and created Khilafat committees to spread the Islamic movement.

The rogue Turkish Islamic State had caused an “Armenian holocaust” that started in 1914. The Turkish “Islamic State” killed around 1.5 million Armenians over next 7 years because they were kafir Christians. Thus, they wiped out 70% Armenian Christian population.

It is the magic of Leftist-Islamic historians that today the world knows Hitler’s “Jew Holocaust” very well. But the genocide of Armenians has been sent to oblivion, just like the repeated Hindu genocide in the Islamic dark-age in India. For Muslims, things like slaughter or genocide of non-Muslims and plunder of their properties are normal religious duties.

This “Islamic brotherhood” campaign was led by Jihadi Ali brothers – Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Shaukat Ali Jauhar. They wanted the British Crown to allow the Ottoman Sultan retain control over religious places like Mecca, Madina and Jerusalem and allow continuation of the fanatic Muslim Caliphate.  Mohammad Ali had warned the British:  “If Britain did not treat Turkey properly, then Indian Muslims will be forced to wage jihad against them or quit the unholy British ruled India.”

Rajmohan Gandhi wrote in his book, Muslim Man Ka Aayina

“In the mid 1920s, thousands of Muslims sold their homes and animals and went to Afghanistan. They had heard that Afghan Sultan Amanullah Khan would shelter them. But it did not happen and the Afghan ruler closed his door for Indian Muslims. Thus, disappointed Muslims returned to India and many died in Afghanistan.”

Mohammad Ali invited the Afghan King to invade India!

Yes, Ali had invited the Afghan King to attack India for restoration of Islamic rule.  Mohammad Ali and followers’ only aim was to restore the Turkish caliphate at the earliest. Thus, they felt that they would first restore Muslim rule in India with Afghan help (!) and then help the Turkish Caliphate. Dr Ambedkar wrote in his book, Pakistan and India – Partition:

“Muslims rejected the Gandhian path of non-violence. … They were not ready to wait long for their independence (restoration of their Islamic rule). … They wanted to adopt the fastest way to save  the Turkish Caliphate. …And in their impatience they did what every Hindu feared – ie, they invited Afghan king to attack India!

In Karachi’s Khilafat conference on 8 July 1921, Mohammad Ali passed a resolution exhorting “Muslims soldiers of the British Indian army to quit their job in order to serve Islam.” The British arrested Mohammad Ali immediately after the Conference. In his trial, Ali revealed his fundamentalist Islamic thinking. He clearly asserted that “if the Afghan king attacks India, Indian Muslims were religion bound to fight alongside the Afghans.

Fall of Ottoman Empire after WW1 paved way for rise of Saudi Arabia Gandhi had supported this pure Islamic protest hoping that it would strengthen the freedom movement by bringing Hindus and Muslims closer. The khilafat leaders also promised to support Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement.  In October 1919, a khilafat committee was formed and Gandhi was made its president. In February 1920, a joint Hindu-Muslim delegation met the Viceroy, threatening a mass non-cooperation movement if their demands were not met. Many nationalist leaders saw it as just another Muslim appeasement gesture of Gandhi. They did not like Gandhi ignoring genocide of Armenians. Dr Ambedkar also opposed Gandhi’s move. He said: “There were two goals of Khilafat movement: the continuity of Islamic theocracy in Turkey and preserving its integrity. None of these goals can be supported. Though Indian Muslims wanted continuation of theocracy, but Turkish people did not like the Caliphate. Instead, they wanted democracy. Thus, it was not proper to extend the Caliphate rule against Turkish people’s wishes. Likewise it was also not right to preserve its integrity; it was a vastly expanded empire colonizing several societies.

The British were, however, very angry with their “Armenian holocaust”.  They finally dismembered the “Islamic State” and created conditions for the rise of a ‘secular’ government in Turkey. In August 1920, the Treaty of Sevres dismembered Turkey. It further fueled the movement. But in November 1922, a popular uprising in Turkey under Mustafa Kamal Pasha dethroned the Ottoman Sultan, made Turkey a secular state and a democratic legal system was established.

Supporting Khilafat was the worst “Gandhian Blunder” it killed several thousand Hindus

Mohammad Ali Opposed Vande Mataram!

Brushing aside all complains of Ali’s dangerous fundamentalist thinking, even made Mohammad Ali Congress president. In 1923, the Congress Party’s annual meeting opened with the usual singing of Vande Matarm by Vishnu Digamber Puliskar. Ali opposed it as un-Islamic. Puliskar responded sternly:Maulana, this is Congress platform; not a Mosque.” Ali left the podium. This was the genesis of radical Muslim’s opposing Vande Mataram; they still do.

This Maulana was an illiterate and never studied even Persian or Arabic. But was a “conversion expert” and had converted a lot of Hindus that earned him the ‘Maulana’ title. Ali had often suggested that the North West part of British India (Sind, Balochistan, Punjab and NWFP) should be merged with Afghanistan. Ali died in 1931 at the age of 52.

How did Mohammad Ali view Gandhi? Dr Ambedkar reveals it: “In 1924, in his rallies in Aligarh, Ajmer and Lucknow Ali declared “no matter how pious Gandhi’s conduct is, in my Islamic view he is lower than the characterless lowest Muslim!”.

The Non-Cooperation Movement (Aug 1920 – Feb 1922)

The non cooperation movement 1920 - 1922By this time, Gandhiji was convinced that no useful purpose would be served by supporting the British government. He threatened to start the non-cooperation movement in case the government failed to accept his demands. The government paid no heed to it. Therefore, Gandhiji started his non-cooperation movement in August 1920, in which he appealed people to not cooperate with the British government. The program for the movement included boycott of British goods and government schools and colleges, courts and legislative councils, resign from government employment; and to forsake British titles and honors. It urged promotion of Khadi cloths and justice through Panchayats. The movement was highly popular and successful in awakening people.

An unusual frenzy overtook the country. People, in thousands, participated in the movement. Over two-thirds of the voters boycotted the elections to the Council, held in November, 1920. Thousands of students and teachers left their schools and colleges and new Indian educational centers were started by them. Lawyers like Moti Lal Nehru, C. R. Das, C. Rajagopalachari and Asif Ali boycotted the courts.

However, the movement ended abruptly in February 1922 when protesters burnt policemen alive in a police station in Chauri Chaura near Gorakhpur. Gandhi did not want violence in his Satyagraha which was supposed to be purely a non-violent activity. Gandhi was arrested and sent to jail for 6 years, but was released after 2 years.

Outcome of the Movement: It spread nationalism to the remote corners of India and was the first real mass movement that attracted people from different sections of society – peasants, workers, students, teachers and women. The Khilafat issue connected Muslims with the mainstream nationalism (although short-lived). It demonstrated the willingness and ability of the Indian masses to endure hardships and make sacrifices.

The Government of India Act, 1919

The First Step Towards Local Self-Governance (Dominion status)

In 1917, the British had aired the idea of giving India some measure of self-government: “the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire”. It materialized in the form of the 1919 Government of India Act.

The Montagu-Chelmsford ReformThis Act is also known as Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms because it was the brain child of the secretary of state, Edwin Samuel Montagu, and Viceroy Lord Chelmsford. Montagu had submitted a statement to the British cabinet asking for “gradual development of free institutions in India with a view to ultimate self-government” however, later the words “ultimate self government” were replaced with “responsible government.” His statement came to be known as Montagu declaration, it read “Increasing the association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire“. It gave for the first time an inference that the rulers are answerable to the public. Also called ‘August Declaration”, it was greeted with joy by the moderate nationalists but the radicals remained committed to total independence.

The Act had a separate Preamble which declared that the “Objective of the British Government is the gradual introduction of responsible government in India.” The Preamble suggested a decentralized unitary form of government. It was a beginning.  It provided for bicameral Central legislature – primitive model of today’s Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. But its main feature was the introduction of the principle of diarchy in the provinces.  Diarchy means a dual set of governments one is accountable another is not accountable.

The Provincial Executive was divided into two parts – the British Councilors who took charge of what was known as “reserved subjects” and the Indian Ministers were allowed responsibility for “Transferred subjects”.  Here ‘subjects’ meant various administrative functions of the government. Thus, the British councilors got control of politically important ‘reserved subjects’ like law and order, the police, the land revenue, and irrigation and the Indian ministers were given ‘transferred subjects’  such as local self-government, education, public health, public works, etc. The right to vote was given to around 5 million wealthy Indians only. The Act also stated that a commission would be established after 10 years to assess the situation of India’s self-rule.

The Nagpur Session of the Congress in 1920

The Nagpur session of the Congress in December 1920 was an important milestone. It spelt out its aim, Swaraj, clearly – Self-Government within the Empire if possible and outside if necessary. It also clarified its method of achieving it – it replaced the earlier method of ‘constitutional means’ with ‘all peaceful and legitimate methods’. With the demise of Tilak in August 1920, the leadership went into the hands of Gandhi, marking the beginning of Gandhian era in Indian Politics. Organizational changes aimed to make it a truly grass root level party reaching the villages.

When Mahatma Gandhi Decided to Wear Only Dhoti !!

Mahatma Gandhi appeared in Dhoti for the first time, in a public gathering in Madurai on Kamarajar Road on September 22, 1921. It was his way to boycott British goods. But how he got this idea?

During the train journey from Madras (Chennai) to Madurai, Gandhi met ordinary Indians clad in ‘Made in Britain’ clothing – because they could not afford to buy costly cotton clothing, Khadi ! Thus, boycott of foreign cloths and promotion of home spun Khadi became a symbol of Indian nationalism and Swaraj (self-rule). Thus, the Charkha also became a symbol of Gandhian nationalism.

The Swaraj Party

The Swaraj Party members wrecked the British government from withinAfter the suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement Congress split into two factions. One group led by Motilal Nehru and Chittranjan Das wanted to contest the soon-to-be-held council elections and wreck the government from within. They formed a Swaraj Party within the Congress on 1 January 1923. The other group included leaders like Rajendra Prasad and Rajagopalachari. They wanted to undertake Gandhian constructive work in villages and preparing for the next step of the struggle, boycotting the legislatures. They got strengthened after Gandhi’s release in 1924. The Swaraj Party won impressively in the elections held in November 1923. They succeeded in making their points against the government views and demanded changes in the Government of India Act of 1919 for more people friendly governance.

However, after the death of C.R. Das in June 1925, the Swaraj Party started weakening. The Swarajists finally walked out of legislature in 1930 as a result of the Lahore congress resolution and the beginning of the civil disobedience movement. Their biggest achievement lay in filling the political void at a time when the Gandhians were readying for their next struggle.

Kakori Train Robbery, 1925

Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil me hai;  dekhna hai zor kitna bazu-e-qatil me hai

The famous Kakori Train Robbery was superbly executed by the revolutionary group, Hindustan Republic Association (HRA) on August 9, 1925. The HRA was formed by some young Congress workers who were not happy with Gandhi’s flip-flop – sudden call to stop the non-cooperation movement. They needed funds for their activities. So, they robbed a Lucknow bound train near Kakori village. The team was led by Ram Prasad Bismil and included 10 other members: Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra Lahiri, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sachindra Bakshi, Keshab Chakravarty, Manmathnath Gupta, Murari Lal, Mukundi Lal and Banwari Lal.

Kakori-Fighters

4 Great Kakori Heroes who were hanged in 1927.

Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqullah Khan were given death sentences.  Shachindra Nath Sanyal and Sachindra Bakshi were deported to Kala Pani. Others were given varying jail terms.  The sentences triggered outcry among the people across India. Despite several attempts, led by Pdt. Madan Mohan Malviya (1861-1946), to save Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqullah Khan, the four HRA members were hanged in December 1927.

Azad could not be captured. But he died in a violent clash with the police in February 1931. He lived up to his pledge of never getting caught alive. Next month another revolutionary icon Bhagat Singh was hanged in Lahore Jail for killing a British office.

Simon Commission, Nehru Report, Call for “Purna Swaraj”

Simon Commission

The Simon Commission failed but inspired Indians to write their own Constitution.The 1919 Act was essentially transitional in character; it envisaged appointment of a statutory Commission at the end of 10 years to determine the next stage of the constitutional reforms for self-rule in India. Accordingly, the Simon Commission was announced. Its early announcement  in 1927 was due to the rising revolutionary activities and dissatisfaction of Indians after the end of the non-cooperation movement. It was a group of seven British Members of Parliament led by Sir John Allse Brook Simon. The diarchy had already turned into a farce with all key decision making powers in the white hands. The all-white Commission arrived in Feb 1928 to review the status of 1919 Act and suggest changes. One of its members was Clement Attlee who later became Britain’s prime minister in the mid 1940s and oversaw India’s independence in 1947. It was seen as mere delaying tactics of the British government and was boycotted. Its all-white character enraged Indians. Wherever the Commission went, it was greeted with black flags, protests, hartals and demonstrations. It went on for almost a year. In Lucknow, Nehru and Govind Ballabh Pant received severe blows. In Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai led a students’ protest in October 1928 and got badly injured in police assault. He died a month later, that further enraged the public. But two months later, lala Lajpat Rai’s murder was avenged by Bhagat Singh and his associates — Rajguru and Sukhdev. All three were eventually hanged in March 1931.

The report of the Commission was published in May 1930 but its conclusions were already announced in October 1929 which stated that dominion status was to be the goal of Indian constitutional development. With this Lord Erwin also announced a Round Table Conference to discuss a future constitution.

Nehru Report, 1928

The ‘Nehru Report’ refuted the British charge that Indians were not capable of drafting a constitution.The British, however, did not include any Indian in the Commission and instead challenged Indians to prove that they could draw up a constitution themselves. Previously in 1925 also, a similar challenge was thrown by the Secretary of State, Lord Birkenhead, in the House of Lords. This time, Indian Leaders responded by drafting the Nehru Report outline of the Constitution. The drafting committee had 2 prominent Muslim members. Most of its recommendations later formed the basis of Constitution adopted in 1950. Separatist Jinnah rejected the Nehru report and tossed his ultra communal communal Muslim focused 14-point agenda. An ultimatum was served to the British Government to accept the Nehru Report by December 1929, else a mass movement would be launched. The government rejected the Nehru Report as well as Jinnah’s communal agenda and started the game of Round Table Conferences.

Demand for “Purna Swaraj” in 1929

Around this time an important development took place. The Congress adopted Purna Swaraj (complete independence) as its goal through a resolution at the historic annual session of Congress in Lahore in 1929. It also issued a call to the country to celebrate 26 January, 1930 as Purna-Swaraj (Independence) Day. It greatly fueled the fervor of nationalism in the country; an immediate proof was the massive railways strike. The Congressmen started getting ready for mass civil disobedience and Congress legislatures were asked to resign. Gandhi sent a list of 11-point specific demands to Lord Erwin in January 1930 which included abolition of recently levied salt tax among others.

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (1888-1970) Wins Nobel Prize in Physics

CV Raman was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on scattering of light and discovery of Raman Effect in 1930.  

C V RamanRaman Effect: When light interacts with a molecule it can transfer a small amount of energy to the molecule. As a result, light changes its color. This color change can act as a unique ‘fingerprint’ for the molecule. Raman spectroscopy studies such fingerprints. This technique is widely used to identify molecules, analyze living cells without harming them, and to detect diseases such as cancer.

Raman was born in an educated family on November 7, 1888. His father was a lecturer in mathematics and physics. He studied in the Presidency College, Madras and obtained post-graduate degree in 1907 with distinctions. His scientific career was devoted to studying optics and acoustics. He founded the Indian Journal of Physics in 1926. Raman was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1924 and was knighted in 1929. Then he became a professor at the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore between 1933 and 1948. In 1948, he founded the Raman Institute of Research in Bangalore. This brilliant man was a pioneer of many scientific initiatives in India. He died on November 21, 1970.

Revolutionary Icon, Bhagat Singh (1907-1931)

“If the deaf have to hear, the sound has to be very loud.”

“Philosophy is the outcome of human weakness or limitation of knowledge.”

“Merciless criticism and independent thinking are the two necessary traits of revolutionary thinking.”

Born in a family imbibed in nationalism, Bhagat Singh was naturally inclined towards the ideals of freedom amd liberty. He avidly studied European revolutionary movements in the national College in Lahore. He rejected Gandhi’s non-violence ideology and firmly believed that armed struggle alone can bring political freedom. The British feared him as a “gun totting nationalist.”

In 1926, Bhagat Singh founded the ‘Naujavan Bharat Sabha (Youth Society of India) and joined the Hindustan Republican Association (that later became Hindustan Socialist Republican Association), where he met several prominent revolutionaries. He used to write for several revolutionary newspapers. British police naturally noticed his activities.

shaheed diwas 23 march

Bhagat Singh gave the slogan “Inklab Jindabad” to the Nation.

In 1928, the Simon Commission was vehemently opposed by people. In October, Lala Lajpai Rai got seriously wounded by the police while leading a protest and he died two weeks later. The police officer responsible for violence was one James A Scott. Bhagat Singh, along with Sukhdev Thapar and Shivram, Rajguru decided to avenge Lala’s death by killing Scott. But they ended up killing another Britisher, John P Saunders, and escaped. Then in April 1929 Bhagat Singh & Co bombed the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi to protest implementation of the Public Safety Bill. Their bombs were not meant to kill people (though some people got injured) and they did not escape. They wanted to  get arrested and stand trial to attract public attention to further their cause.

In the trial, they did not defend themselves but raised provocating slogans that really agitated the public, alarming the British. As a result, on the D-date 23 March 1931, the trio was not only hanged ahead of the scheduled time but also hanged longer!  Bhagat Singh wished to die like a soldier and had written to the authorities to be either blown by a cannon or be shot dead. Of course, his request was denied.

Traitor Shobha Singh

APJ Abdul Kalam

Civil Disobedience Movement

Gandhi's civil disobedience movementWith no response from the government, Gandhi launched his civil disobedience movement starting with the salt issue. It led to the famous 25-day Dandi March during March-April 1930, from his Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi on Gujarat coast. Through careful planning and mass mobilization, the movement spread all over India. Involvement of women and youth was the striking feature of the movement. The government responded by issuing ordinances curbing civil liberties. It banned the Congress Working Committee and arrested its President Motilal Nehru. Gandhi was arrested in May 1930 and jailed in Pune. It further snow-balled the movement that shook the British government. The British government played the procrastinating game of Round Tables in March and August in 1931, with nothing to show.

The Charkha Flag was adopted in 1931Replacement of Erwin with Willingdon as Viceroy hardened the government attitude. He first arrested Congress leaders and then also Gandhi in January 1932 and severely cracked down on civil liberties. It provoked massive reaction from the public, inviting further repression. Congress was banned and Gandhi’s ashrams were taken over by the police. In April, Gandhi withdrew the movement. This was the time when revolutionary activities became widespread. The news of mass scale uprising in India was turning the global opinion against British and its colonial policies, especially in the USA.

Actually, in 1921, Britain gave self-rule to the Irish people; this made continuation of its oppressive policies in India untenable. As a result, throughout the 1920s and 1930s Britain had to introduce a range of measures that gave more and more independence to India.

The Simon Commission submitted its report in May 1930, stating failure of the diarchy and proposed ‘self-government for the provinces’ forming the basis of the 1935 Act.

When Mahatma Gandhi met British King!

Mahatma Gandhi, along with Indian delegates, was in England for the Round Table Conference. They had invitation for Tea at Buckingham Palace by King George V. This was a reluctant invitation because the British disapproved Gandhi’s dress sense — hw wore only Dhoti. It was against the etiquette of the Royal Court. But Gandhi was reluctant to change his attire — he also wanted to drive home the point that the Indians were poor and naked because of Britain.

“White supremacist” British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was full of revulsion, “It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice Regal Palace, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the king-emperor.

When, someone asked why he was not wearing enough clothes to meet the King, Gandhi curtly remarked, “The king had enough on for both of us”. 

Poona Pact, 1932

Poona Pact is a reminder that Indians are duty bound to eliminate untouchabilityIn order to draw a Constitution for self-rule for India, the British invited leaders from different parties for the Round Table Conferences during 1930-32. In the second Round Table, Dr Ambedkar demanded separate electorates for the untouchables. Such provisions were already available to other minorities, such as Muslims, Christians, Anglo-Indians and Sikhs. The British government agreed with this contention, and the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald announced ‘The Communal Award’ on August 16, 1932 that extended the provision of separate electorate to the Dalits. But Gandhi strongly opposed it arguing that it would disintegrate the Hindu society and further alienate the dalits. He thought it was a social issue that should be solved with social efforts. So, he went an indefinite hunger strike while at Yerwada Central Jail from September 20, 1932 in protest.

But the British took the stand that the separate electorate was demanded by the depressed class representatives, so they can’t make any change without their approval. The term “Depressed Classes” was later expanded to become the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under India Act 1935, and in the later Indian Constitution of 1950.

Dr Ambedkar rightly chose Buddhism - in essence it is pure Dharma, pure humanity.Gandhiji’s fast became a national issue and as his health deteriorated people became agitated. Thus, a compromise was reached between the dalit leaders led by Dr Ambedkar and Pt Madan Mohan Malviya at Yerwada Jail in Pune on September 24, 1932. It is popularly called the Poona Pact. The crux of the Pact was stated thus, “henceforth, amongst Hindus no one shall be regarded as an untouchable by reason of his birth and they will have the same rights in all the social institutions as the other Hindus have“.  The Pact marked the start of movement against untouchability within the Indian nationalist movement.

In reality, the Pact was a compromise that confused the general public, while the dalits felt that they achieved very little. The Pact abandoned the idea of separate electorate in favor of reservation of seats for the ‘depressed classes’ in the Provincial and Central legislature. But the voting was to be done by the general electorate.

Chaudhary Rahmat Ali — The Man Who Dreamed PAKISTAN on Paper!

In 1933, Cambridge educated lawyer Chaudhary Rahmat Ali released a pamphlet about his vision of a future “Islamic State” called “Pakistan”. It was accompanied by a letter that ran as follows:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am enclosing herewith an appeal on behalf of the thirty million Muslims of PAKISTAN, who live in the five Northern Units of India – Punjab, North-West Frontier (Afghan) Province, Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan. It embodies their demand for the recognition of their national status, as distinct from the other inhabitants of India, by the grant to Pakistan of a separate Federal Constitution on religious, social and historical grounds.’

Rahmat Ali, Founder, Pakistan National Movement

Ali gave himself the title of Founder of Pakistan Movement!

rahmat ali photo

Chaudhary Rahmat Ali

In 1935, he published a book titled Pakistan: The Fatherland of Pak Nation, giving his ideas in more detail. It was a cocktail of fancy and delusion of “Islamic superiority”. Ali had presented a MAP along with a Flag of the future Islamic Paradise, marking “islands” of Muslim dominated areas across British India, as potential “Pakistan territories”! [refer to the proposed map below]

Rahmat Ali had given fanciful names to these “Pakistan Lands” and renamed even the oceans around India!! Needless to say, Muslim League leaders publicized Rahmat Ali’s map and ideas among Muslims. From 1940 onward, Jinnah and the Muslim League leaders actively started to use the word “Pakistan” and Ali’s ideas.  It helped them tremendously in the crucial 1946 elections that ML fought as “vote for Pakistan”.

Here is Ali’s fanciful map of the “Muslim Heaven” that he called PAKISTAN.

choudhary Rahmat Ali's proposed Pakistan map 1933

But when the British officially marked Pakistan’s territory in 1947, reality dawned on the power hungry Muslim separatists. The “White Lords” gave their Muslim puppets just two tiny “plots of land” separated by a 1000 mile of  “Hindu India” ! Jinnah was expecting “Muslim Pakistan” at least as big as “Hindu India.” Well, beggars can create empires in dreams, but can’t create it on the ground!   But Ali was to face the biggest shock of his life a year later.

Ali came to the “Islamic Paradise” in October 1948, a month after Jinnah’s death – expecting some kind of welcome and limelight. But Premier Liaquat Ali Khan ordered him to leave the country and confiscated his belongings! The Islamic Demon he helped create attacked its own creator!! Ali had lost his ancestral landholdings that were now in Indian Punjab – and with that he lost his source of steady income. Shell shocked, he returned to England, only to spend his remaining life in utter poverty. He died in 1951; his old colleagues paid for his funeral.

Incidentally, soon after Ali’s death Liaquat Ali too tasted the Islamic Gratitude of the “peaceful” citizens of the Muslim Heaven – he was assassinated! It was also the Karmic reward for his role in Jinnah’s death in 1948 – when he delayed medical help to dying Jinnah.

The Government of India Act, 1935

This act provided the backbone for Independent India’s sovereign Constitution., which became effective from 26 January 1950.

Provincial Autonomy

The Government of India Act 1935 gave almost complete autonomy to the provinces.In 1935 the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act. This was the last major legislation passed by the British government before the formal partition in 1947. It also split Burma from India and separated Sindh from Bombay and Orissa from Bihar. It abolished the diarchy system at the provinces but introduced it in the Central government It gave far greater measure of autonomy to the provinces and toyed with the idea of establishing a ‘Federation of India’ including all of British provinces and ‘princely States’ if at least 50% join it. It established the Reserve Bank of India. It also introduced direct elections in India for the first time, giving voting rights to about 10% population. The eleven provincial assemblies were to have full control over local affairs. However, their autonomy was superficial because the Governors were not bound to accept the advice of the ministers.

Thus, the Act proposed an elected Indian assembly that would have say in everything in India except defense and foreign affairs. However, prominent leaders were not happy as their demand for a dominion status was not met – the dominions have control over defense and foreign policies. Also the princes refused to co-operate with the provincial assemblies so the second strand of the Act would have been meaningless. Despite the drawbacks, the Congress decided to participate in the provincial elections which were held in Feb 1937.

The INC swept the polls and after assurance of cooperation from Viceroy Lord Linlithgow formed governments in 7 of the 11 provinces. The Muslim League won Sindh and formed a coalition government in Bengal. The most important achievement of the Act of 1935 was that Indians tasted the political empowerment that made them yearn for complete autonomy.

iqbal allahabadiAfter losing general elections in 1937, the Muslim League virtually went on war-path against the Congress in particular and Hindus in general and started polarizing the population on religious lines. To blunt League propaganda, Gandhi very wisely chose Maulana Abul Kalam Azad as the Congress President in 1940, just a couple of months before the ML’s Lahore resolution for the creation of Pakistan. He held that position till 1946.

As the World War II broke out in September 1939, the British declared India a party to the war as part of the British Empire, without consulting Indian leaders or the INC. Thus, the Congress governments in all the 7 provinces resigned in protest in November 1939. The Muslim League celebrated it as ‘Deliverance Day’ on December 22, 1939 to rejoice the resignation of rival provincial Congress governments, as a relief from ‘Congress Oppression’. Meetings and rallies were held by Muslims in various parts of Bengal which strengthened Muslim separatist politics. In March 1940, it demanded creation of Pakistan.

The Cripps Mission 1942

In order to secure Indian cooperation, in August 1940, the British made the ‘August Offer’ promising that after the War a body of Indians would be set up to frame the new Constitution. It was rejected as insufficient and unreliable. The British government had imposed martial laws that curbed freedom of speech and the Press. Gandhi launched a limited and mild Satyagraha to make the point that he did not want to hamper the British war against Nazism through a mass movement. But it served to expose British double standard of fighting a war for the freedom of Poland while denying it to Indians. It went on for 15 months.

The message reached the global audience and pressure was mounted on Britain by the US to seek Indian cooperation in the war efforts. In the meantime, fall of Burma and Singapore was posing the threat of a direct attack on India. So, Sir Stanford Cripps (The Cripps Mission) was sent to India with a proposal for Dominion Status to India after the War and fresh election in every province. The INC and Gandhi rejected the proposals as a “post-dated cheque drawn on a crashing bank” and the Muslim League rejected it because it appeared to form just “One State.”

Quit India Movement (August Kranti)

quit india postal stampIt started from a park in Central Mumbai called Gowalia Tank Maidan (now also called August Kranti Maidan) on 8 August 1942. Mahatma Gandhi made his famous “do or die” speech after demanding that the British quit India immediately. He gave call for a nationwide Civil Disobedience movement. The Congress demanded “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India. Within less than 24 hours top leadership of the Congress, including Gandhi, Nehru, Azad and Patel, was arrested. The entire Congress leadership remained cut off from rest of the world for over 3 years. Gandhi, however, was released in 1944 due to his failing health but he kept demanding release of all others. Another eminent leader of the Congress, C. Rajagopalachari did not support the proposal of immediate withdrawal of Britishers. He was also in favor of accepting the Cripps proposal and the two-nation theory. Therefore, he resigned from Congress.

The movement became leaderless even before it started. Self motivated people took upon themselves to carry out hartals, mass meetings, processions, etc. Congress was banned. Under the circumstances, the movement could not remain non-violent and violent clashes with police and attacks on government properties took place. India became a police state. The underground movement was led by Jai Prakash Narain, Ram Manohar Lohia, Aruna Asaf Ali etc.  By early 1944, India was almost peaceful again, while Congress leadership languished in confinement. A sense of failure gripped many nationalists and Gandhi and Congress leadership came under heavy criticism from its opponents. Although considered ‘failed’, the movement did have some impact on global opinion and the US and China started favoring Indian independence.

A Flop Show

The 'Quit India' Movement was a flop show; it only aided partition of India.Any rational observer of that period would certify that the Quit-India movement was a flop show because it was mistimed and ill-conceived. Disappearance of Gandhi and Congress leaders from the public in 1942 for almost 3 years gave Jinnah a great chance to pose himself as a key British ally amidst the chaos and emerged as the best protector of Muslim interests against the self created Hindu Phobia. As a result, in 1945-46 the Muslim League performed much better in general elections, and widely gained recognition as a ‘third political force’ in India alongside Congress and the British. It gained 90% of all Muslim votes. Compare it with previous elections vote share of just around 4.6 %. Therefore, the ‘Quit India’ movement actually damaged the chance of a unified India, by allowing the Muslim League to strengthen its Hindu Phobic and separatist politics.

Opposition to Quit India Movement

There were many sources of opposition to the ‘Quit India’ movement; they worked against it or supported the British government. The British had the support of the Viceroy’s Council that had a majority of Indians. They got support from the Muslim League, the Indian Imperial Police, the British Indian Army and the Indian Civil Service. They also got staunch support from the Princely states that not only opposed the movement but also funded the opposition. The status and privileges of the ruling princes and aristocrats were tied to the well-being of the British Empire. It helps to recall that even after independence five Princely States tried their best to avoid merging with India – they were Travancore, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Junagadh.

The Muslim League opposed the Quit India Movement because of its self-induced nightmare ‘Hindu Raj’ after the British left!  Its communal thinking discovered communal motif in the quit India movement also: “the movement was not for independence but for establishing a Hindu Raj and to deal a death blow to the idea of Pakistan!” Psychologically speaking, their phobia of ‘Hindu Raj’ came from how Hindus were humiliated, harassed, tortured and converted during the 800 year Islamic dark-age. Guilty conscious!!

The Hindu nationalist parties like the Hindu Mahasabha openly opposed the Quit India Movement and boycotted it officially. It was pissed off by Gandhi’s Muslim appeasement politics, reflected in the shocking statement that Congress has no objection if the British handed over power of the whole India to Muslim League. Moreover, it wanted Indians to get military training so that could be able to defend their country in future, so it actively assisted in army recruitment. Another notable organization, RSS, was more interested in cultural unification of Hindus and had little confidence in Gandhi’s whimsical and confused spiritual politics.

Dr Ambedkar did not support 'quit India' movementThe dalit icon Ambedkar called the movement as irresponsible and an act of ‘madness’. His philosophy of opposing India’s independence came from the All India Depressed Classes Congress (AIDCC) of 1930:  The depressed classes welcomed the British as their deliverers from age-long tyranny and oppression by the orthodox Hindus.  In July 1941, he joined the Defense Advisory Committee that had been set up by the viceroy to involve Indian leaders in the war effort.  The Communists had stayed away from the movement. But when Russia entered the War from the Allied side, they came in support of the British government and criticized the movement. Many Indian businessmen profiting from heavy wartime spending also did not support Quit India Movement or even tacitly supported the British.

In nutshell, INC was just a major stake holder among many, but it managed to get all the limelight – and power as well after partition!

Disenchantment with Gandhian Ways

Was Gandhi a universally accepted leader?   Absolutely No.

A lot of people were not amused with Gandhi’s mixing spirituality into politics. Revolutionaries were the most vocal opponents of Gandhian ‘meek protest’ – as they called it.  Even inside Congress Party, there were many who did not fully agree with Gandhi’s dictates but somehow went along in the wider interest. When Gandhi announced his non-cooperation movement (NCM) in 1920, a lot of prominent Congressmen left the party. A well-known leader said: The NCM may develop personal endurance, but not the political wisdom necessary for a political struggle. In fact, he spoke for a lot of silent minds.

Supporting the purely Islamic Khilafat movement (to sympathize with Turkish Ottoman Khalifa), that had no relevance for the Indian freedom movement, distanced Gandhi from several prominent leaders. He badly lost respect of most Hindu leaders when he declined to criticize massacre of Hindus in Malabar by Mopla Muslims who became jihadis under the influence of Khilafat movement. In fact, his reaction was totally disappoitning, partcularly due to his focus on non-violence. But Muslims appeasement was perhaps more important than non-violence. Annie Besant became a bitter critic of Gandhian’s ways after she heard of the horror stories from Malabar. 

The formation of Congress Socialist Party group (within Congress) in 1934 by Acharya Narendra Dev, Jaiprakash Narayan etc is another good example. These leaders were not satisfied with the Gandhian approach. They however brought left leaning ideologies in the Congress. The All India Forward Block of Subhash Chandra Bose emerged in 1939. Bose’s differences with Gandhi were well known.

Another notable example is that of the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Keshav Baliram Hegdewar, a medical doctor. He participated in Congress movements during 1916 – 1924 and was even jailed. Previous to that he was in contact with a revolutionary organization Anushilan Samiti and revolutionaries like Ram Prasad Bismil. Rise in Islamic fundamentalism in the 1920s across the country led him to organize the Hindu society, particularly the youth to safeguard the Hindus from Muslim violence. Through the RSS , he aimed to unite Hindus through character building and self-discipline so that they can stand together as united force against Muslims or other anti-national forces.

When Racist Churchill “Starved” 3 Million Indians to Death

Bengal Famine of 1943British Rule was characterized by total lack of empathy for native citizens. During the British rule, first famine was in 1770 (better to say 1769 – 1773). Other major famines happened in 1783, 1866, 1892, 1897 and then in 1943-44. Crop failures, delayed monsoon and droughts were not uncommon in India. But earlier, local Indian rulers protected people by providing food grain from the emergency stock pile. But the White bullies destroyed that system and then made it worse by forcing cash crops on farmers – it became still worst when decisions began to be made in Britain, post 1857.

Famine of 1943

“Famine or no famine, Indians breed like rabbits.” – Winston Churchill

In the 1943 famine, around 3 million Indians died – majority in Bengal.

In 1943 the WW-2 was at its peak. A meeting of the British War Cabinet was held in London to discuss the famine in India that was starving millions. The Secretary of State for India, Leopold Amery, and the would-be Viceroy of India, Archibald Wavell discussed ways to ship more food to the colony. But Churchill was not interested. His deep rooted racial hatred came out in his response: “Then why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?

Churchill’s favorite Malthusian advisor, Frederick Alexander Lindemann (Lord Cherwell) objected to food dispatch: “Sending more food would worsen the situation by encouraging Indians to breed more.”

churchill starved IndiaAnalyzing the most shameful event in the history of British rule, in the new recent work, Churchill’s Secret War, journalist Madhusree Mukherjee fully exposed Churchill’s hypocrisy. She asserted that the scarcity was caused by large-scale exports of food from India for use in the war theatres and consumption in Britain – India exported more than 70,000 tonnes of rice between January and July 1943, even as the famine set in. This would have kept nearly 400,000 people alive for a full year.

Churchill also made things worse for people of Bengal through his “Denial Policy” in the coastal areas where he feared Japanese invaders would land. In 1942, the Japanese forces had occupied Burma. It cut off rice imports to India. Thus, British officials confiscated everything that could possibly help the invading force – boats, carts, motor vehicle, elephants, and more important all the available rice. Well, Japanese never came. But Churchill succeeded in denying food to the starving. You may like to explore:

How the British Engineered the Worst Genocide for Profit and War

How Churchill “Starved” India

The Indian National Army

Indian national Army hastened British departureThe Azad Hind Fauz (Indian National Army or INA) occupies a very unique place in the history of Indian freedom struggle. This highly unusual entity initially consisted of Indian soldiers of the British India taken as POW by the Japanese when they captured Singapore in Feb 1942. These 40,000 Indian POWs formed the Indian National Army (INA) in 1943. Initially, they were led by a disillusioned former British Indian army officer, Captain Mohan Singh who was captured during the initial stages of Japanese invasion of Malaya. When Subhash Chandra Bose escaped from India in 1941 and ultimately managed to reach Singapore via Germany and Japan, he took charge of the INA.

The Great Escape from Calcutta to Berlin !!

On 16 January 1941, 44 year old Netaji Subhash Bose dramatically escaped from house arrest fooling the British guards. His plan was to reach Afghanistan and then travel to Germany via Soviet Union. He had grown beard, dressed as a Muslim and became Mohammad Ziauddin, an insurance agent. He reached Peshawar and changed his disguise again, this time as a deaf and mute local tribesman. Supporters of Agha Khan III helped him enter Soviet Russia.

Netaji finally met Hitler in 1942 but got the impression that Hitler only wanted to use him for propaganda against the British. He travelled to Burma in1943 which was under Japanese occupation and formed the Azad Hind Fauz. Read the escape drama in detail: The last time India saw Netaji

The Provisional Government of Free India

On 21 October 1943, Subhash Chandra Bose announced the formation of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind (Free India) in Singapore. Bose himself became India’s first Head of State and Prime Minister as well as the Minister of War. Ras Behari Bose was the Chief Advisor of the Government. Aim of the Provisional Government was to kick out the British; not negotiation of ‘transfer of power’ with them, as aimed by Gandhi and the Congress Party! [Explore: Bose must be seen as the First Head of State of the Provisional Government]

It received immediate recognition by as many as eleven countries, including Japan, Nanking China, Thailand, Burma, Italy, Germany and the Philippines. The formation of Provisional Government facilitated the mobilization of Indians in East Asia to join and support the INA. By April 1944, the Azad Hind Bank was established in Rangoon to manage the overwhelming donations from the Indian communities. The provisional government even had a secret service, its own currency and postal stamp! But unfortunately, Japanese defeat in the WW sealed its fate and the INA men had to surrender. But the silver lining came when public their trial began in Delhi’s Red Fort.

Bose, not Nehru, hoisted the first Indian flag on Indian soil!!Most Indian soldiers had experienced racial exploitation under the British and when they saw decisive defeat of the ‘invincible’ British army at the hands of the Japanese they were motivated to join the INA. It gave them a new sense of dignified purpose to fight for their mother land. In 1944, these INA soldiers marched behind Bose to Rangoon, hoping to ‘liberate’ first Manipur and then Bengal from the British rule. But the British forces at India’s eastern gateway held up positions and then drove Bose’s INA troops back to the Malay Peninsula. Yet Indians already had the FIRST TASTE OF FREEDOM (though short-lived) in Andman & Nicobar Islands and Manipur!!

Ever since the outbreak of War in 1939, the British were suspicious of the loyalty of their Indian troops. They were aware of Japanese efforts to exploit anti-British sentiments among Indians and use Indian POWs against them. In 1942, a secret British report stated: “We have … bred a new class of officer who may be loyal to India and perhaps to Congress, but not necessarily loyal to us.”

Most likely, the INC and the British connived to keep Netaji in oblivionWhen Bose saw the British defeat in Singapore, he saw chance of winning Indian independence by siding with the Japanese. He expanded the INA and provided a wider perspective for INA to operate. However, his hope for mass scale defection from the British Indian army proved futile, the performance of INA remained lackluster and finally after Japanese defeat in Burma in mid 1945 the INA crumbled, and even Bose vanished on 18 August 1945 (The plane crash theory was most likely a decoy; Bose was captured by either the French or British but he escaped 2 years later.).

The INA Lost the War, but Won Independence!

But the INA achieved far more after end of the War. With thousands of captured INA soldiers, the British authorities made a series of mistakes that further fueled the nationalistic feelings. First, the public trial glamorized the role of INA among the masses. Next blunder was the selection of the INA prisoners to put on trial; they opted a Muslim, a Sikh and a Hindu. Whatever their reasoning, it unwittingly generated a sense of unity among Indians – undermining their ‘divide and rule’ philosophy. Next, the choice of venue for trial – Delhi’s Red Fort, a historic symbol of the once mighty Mughal Empire. It also brought back memories of the previous armed struggle, the bloody rebellion of 1857.

If the British hoped to crush the nationalistic struggle and paint the ill-fated INA soldiers as ‘traitors’ and villains, they grossly miscalculated. The trials and associated widespread publicity not only turned the INA soldiers into national heroes, it also intensified the anti-British feelings across the country. India was now “too hot” for them!

However, the final blow came from their own country: The change of government in Britain after July 1945 elections, practically sealed the fate of British Indian government.

Watch this great inspiring movie on Subhash Bose, whom Congress politicians totally ignored — perhaps to make themselves look great.

The Forgotten Naval Mutiny of 1946

1946 rebellion in British NavyThe British had always kept the Indian army soldiers away from political news, as part of service discipline. They had no access to newspapers etc. So, they were not quite aware of INA’s activities. But when the INA trials began in November 1945, they along with the whole nation learned about how INA of Subhash Chandra Bose had been fighting for their freedom from the British rule. The British failed to realize that the open trial could spark mutiny among the Indian soldiers in its own ranks – due to systemic racial maltreatment and and exploitative service environment.

A mass protest was organized in Calcutta with the joint efforts of the INC, Muslim League and the Communist Party. Dozens died in police firing. In February 1946, when the INA man Abdul Rashid Khan was sentenced to 7 years rigorous imprisonment, Calcutta simply exploded. Police firing killed over 100 Indians. Within a fortnight, the governors of Punjab and NWFP were pleading to stop the trials of INA soldiers, for fear of a full scale rebellion by Indian soldiers.

5,200 personnel of the Royal Indian Air Force revolted in January 1946. The rebellion spread to the Royal Indian Navy (RIN). On 8 February 1946 in Bombay Naval ratings on HMIS Talwar came out protesting against poor quality food and racial maltreatment. The protest spread rapidly to other ships in the harbor and also to the Castle and Fort barracks on shore. They soon formed a striking committee and took out a procession in Bombay, carrying a large portrait of Subhas Chandra Bose. They also raised the flags of the Congress, Muslim League and Communist Party on the ships in their possession.

Their demands soon widened beyond service grievances to wider political issues such as the release of INA soldiers and other political prisoners and withdrawal of troops from Indonesia. The strike spread to other naval establishments around the country. From the initial flash point in Bombay, the revolt spread throughout British India, from Karachi to Calcutta and ultimately came to involve 78 of the 88 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 ratings. In Karachi, Gurkha soldiers refused to fire on the revolters.

The most significant feature of this uprising was the massive public support, particularly from the labor class which went on strike in solidarity.

Revolutionary Freedom Fighters have remained ignored by the Indians.But unfortunately, the rebellious soldiers got no support from the INC or Muslim League. On the contrary, both parties condemned them. Only Aruna Asaf Ali supported them. Perhaps leadership of these parties thought that independence was in sight and did not want to encourage such indiscipline in the armed forces. On surrender, the mutineers faced court martial and imprisonment. However, the highly hostile public mood sent the British into ponderous mood.

It was highly distressing for the British to imagine over two million out of job trained Indian soldiers (decommissioned at the end of the WW2) on the streets in such a charged up environment vis-à-vis mere 60,000 – 70,000 White soldiers (mostly officers). It would be far worst than 1857 – most likely total annihilation of all Whites in India. Moreover, the WW2 had totally wrecked Britain. Thus, they concluded that they were now too weak to maintain control of India and hence it would be best to quit India at the earliest.

On 19th February 1946, the British PM Clement Attlee announced in the House of Commons that he would send a team of his senior colleagues (the Cabinet Mission) to negotiate India’s freedom.

It is clear that like most other slave nations, India too ultimately gained freedom through military means. The Gandhian non-violent movement did play a key role in mass mobilization starting from 1920-21, but ultimately it was the fear of revolt in British Indian army due to the impact of INA activities that forced the British to pack up and leave. It is ironic that INA heroes and other revolutionaries remain ignored in independent India, as if Congress alone won freedom for India.

Britain Prepares to Quit India

Britain realized that they won the WW2 but lost their EmpireBritish historians Cain and Hopkins, in their book British Imperialism: 1688-2000 described the hopeless situation of the British India after the WW2 in these words:

”By the end of war, there was a loss of purpose at the very center of the imperial system. The gentlemanly administrators who managed the Raj no longer had the heart to devise new moves against increasing odds, not least because after 1939 the majority of the Indian Civil Service were themselves Indian. In 1945 the new Viceroy, Wavell, commented on the “weakness and weariness of the importance of the instrument still at our disposal in the shape of the British element in the Indian Civil Service. The town had been lost to opponents of the Raj; the countryside had slipped beyond control. Widespread discontent in the army was followed in 1946 by a mutiny in the navy. It was then Wavell, the unfortunate messenger, reported to London that India had become ungovernable [which finally led to the independence of India].”

Churchill's defeat hastened British departure from IndiaIn 1945, the newly elected Labour government headed by PM Clement Attlee wanted to push ahead with solving what was the pending “Indian Issue”. He had sensed that the British people and the British army was unwilling to back the ongoing policy of repression in India and other colonies of the Empire, while their own country lay shattered by War’s ravages.  In the changed reality after the War, London’s primary concern in India was to find a speedy exit and extricate as many of its assets as possible. In Labour Party’s perspective, the British public no longer wanted to continue as Imperial Power.

Winston Churchill favored division of India, as Pakistan would be a bulwark between Soviet Union and IndiaIn September 1945, Viceroy Lord Wavell called for elections for the national and legislative assemblies. The election in the Punjab was to be held in February 1946. The Congress won 91% votes in non-Muslim constituencies and the Muslim League got majority of Muslim votes and most of the reserved Muslim seats in the provincial assemblies. The Congress formed its ministries in Assam, Bihar, Bombay, Central Provinces, Madras, NWFP, Orissa and United Provinces. The Muslim League formed its ministries in Bengal and Sindh. A coalition of the Congress, Unionist Party and the Akalis formed government in Punjab.

In 1946, Attlee appointed the British Cabinet Mission appointed to resolve the Congress Muslim League stand deadlock and negotiate the transfer of power. Jinnah’s uncompromising obsession with separate Pakistan for Muslims rendered all efforts meaningless. His call for “direct action” to get Pakistan made division of India inevitable.

Jinnah’s “Direct Action” Call to Force Partition

direct action day of JinnahJinnah’s call for “direct action” came with a ominous warning:  “It would be either a divided India or a destroyed India”. By all means August 16, 1946 was to be a Jihad against Hindus, in order to force creation of a separate Muslim nation. This “Direct Action Day” is rightly called the day of the “Great Calcutta Killings” assisted by the Chief Minister of united Bengal, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, the Butcher of Bengal. It unleashed the wave of violence and threw India into a lawless situation. It was Jinnah’s way of proving that that Hindus and Muslims couldn’t live together in peace and bolster the two-nation theory. Pakistani columnist, Pir Mohammad Ali Rashdi, had proudly described Suhrawardy’s ‘service towards the cause of Muslims’:

… As Chief Minister of the United Bengal, he (Suhrawardy) supported and served Muslims during the riots to such a degree that Hindus in Bengal would never put his role out of their minds….

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy - the Butcher of BengalBut Suhrawardy met his Karmic justice in the ‘Islamic paradise’  called Pakistan that he was trying to create for Indian Muslims. In 1948, he was declared a ‘Traitor of Pakistan’ and kicked out of East Pakistan. Turn of events made him Law Minister and then Prime Minister (Sept 1956). Finally, when Ayub Khan took over, Suhrawardy got fired (Oct 1957) and disqualified from holding any public office under the Elective Bodies Disqualification Order. Unable to tolerate the life of humiliation in the ‘Muslim paradise’ he left Pakistan and died (killed?) in a Beirut hotel room in 1963.

Read: The Political Victimization of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy

Jinnah’s Jihad – “Great Calcutta Killings”

It led to bloodbath in Bengal, covertly assisted by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, the Prime Minister of the Muslim League led government in Bengal Province. Most of the victims of that day were Hindu. This in turn led to retaliation in Bihar, where most of the victims were Muslim, and the violence continued to Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Gandhi walked more than 100 miles in a seven-week period, in an effort to stop the violence.

The Jihadi angle of the so-called “Great Calcutta Killings” became clear from Muslim League’s mouthpiece The Star of India. Three day ago, on August 13, it had written,

“Muslims must remember that … it was in Ramazan that the permission for jehad was granted by Allah. It was in Ramazan that the Battle of Badr, the first open conflict between Islam and Heathenism, was fought and won by 313 Muslims and again it was in Ramazan that 10,000 Muslims under the Holy Prophet conquered Mecca and established the kingdom of Heaven and the commonwealth of Islam in Arabia. The Muslim League is fortunate that it is starting its action in this holy month”.

How Patel Was Denied Congress President-Ship in 1946

Gandhi over-ruled the opinion of state Congress committees that was overwhelmingly in favor of Sardar Patel and “Selected” Nehru to be the party president and then by default the First Prime Minister of India. Two reasons are often cited for this decision. One, the ‘brown British’ Nehru would greatly facilitate the transfer of power from the ‘White British’ without hiccups. It was something like ‘British appeasement’! Two, Indian Muslims would be more comfortable with Nehru who openly disowned his Hindu identity. It was surely ‘Muslim appeasement’!!  But equally important reason was Nehru’s reluctance to accept number two position. In this aspect he was another Jinnah!  Thus, Gandhi relied upon Patel’s mature wisdom and ability to work for the country in any position — and Patel willingly sacrificed keeping the larger interests in mind.

Maulana Azad became Congress president in 1940 in the Ramgarh Session and since after the Quit India Movement practically all senior Congress leaders were sent to jails, Azad stayed as Congress president even in 1946. The WW2 had already ended in 1945 and Cabinet Mission was in India in March 1946 to explore the power transfer agreement. So, it was clear that Indian independence was around the corner. It was also very clear that the Congress president shall be invited to form the interim government at the Centre — due to the number of seats in the Central Assembly the Congress had won in 1946 elections.

Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar PatelOn 20 April 1946, Gandhiji made it open that his choice of next Congress President was Nehru. At that time only the Provincial Congress Committees could nominate and elect the Congress president. And April 29, 1946 was the last date for the nominations for the post of the Congress president, and thereby the first Prime Minister of India. 12 out of 15 Pradesh Congress Committees nominated Sardar Patel. The remaining three abstained from nomination process. Thus, no Provincial Congress Committee nominated Jawaharlal Nehru. Patel was considered “a great executive, organizer and leader” with his feet firmly on the ground.

However, some individual members of the Congress working committee proposed Nehru, despite having no authority to do so. It started the efforts to persuade Sardar Patel to withdraw in favor of Nehru. At this point, Gandhiji said to Nehru:  “No PCC has put forward your name…only [a few members of] the working committee has.”

Sardar Patel - Tallest StatueBut Nehru remained silent; he was keen that “either he would take the number one spot in the Government or stay out. When Gandhi was informed that “Jawaharlal will not take the second place”, he asked Patel to withdraw.  Rajendra Prasad lamented that Gandhiji “had once again sacrificed his trusted lieutenant for the sake of the “glamorous Nehru.” He also feared that “Nehru would follow the British ways”.  Rajendra Prasad used the phrase “once again” to remind that in the past too Patel was denied the Congress president-ship – in 1929 and in 1937; and always at the last moment.

Patel obeyed Gandhiji and accepted the second position. For him, position was not important. Moreover, he knew that if Nehru turned rebellious it would not be good for the newly freed country. At this time, Patel was 71 and Nehru only 56.

Michael Brecher, one of the most sympathetic biographers of Nehru, writes:

“In accordance with the time-honored practice of rotating the Presidency, Patel was in line for the post. Fifteen years had elapsed since he presided over the Karachi session whereas Nehru had presided at Lucknow and Ferozpur in 1936 and 1937. Moreover, Patel was the overwhelming choice of the Provincial Congress Committees…. Nehru’s ‘election’ was due to Gandhi’s intervention. Patel was persuaded to step down….

“If Gandhi had not intervened, Patel would have been the first de facto Premier of India, in 1946-7…. The Sardar was ‘robbed of the prize’ and it rankled deeply.”

C Rajagopalachari, who could not become India’s first President due to Patel’s opposition, wrote few months before his demise in December 1972 in Bhawan’s Journal (22 years after Patel’s death):

“Undoubtedly it would have been better if Nehru had been asked to be the Foreign Minister and Patel made the Prime Minister. I too fell into the error of believing that Jawaharlal was the more enlightened person of the two… This was a wrong notion but it was the prevailing prejudice.”

1946 Provincial Elections

A Referendum for “Pakistan” !

1946 provincial election in IndiaThe 1946 Provincial Elections were turned into a referendum for creation of Pakistan by the Muslim League. ‘Pakistan’ was the sole agenda in its ‘election manifesto’! The ML aroused and exploited religious fervor along with profuse use of Hindu-phobia. Its “Pakistan” campaign caught the imagination of the Muslim voters – and as the table shows, Muslims voters overwhelmingly voted for a separate “Islamic State”. When compared with 1937 elections, Jinnah’s Muslim League gained substantial popularity, practically in all provinces all over the British India. For instance, in Bihar it went from zero to 34 out of 40 reserved seats; in Madras from 9 to all 29 seats. Thus, the verdict for “Pakistan” was unequivocal, well supported by practically all Muslims.

In those days, elections were based on the Sixth Schedule of the 1935 Government of India Act that allowed a limited franchise. Only those adults, who had money and property, had the voting right. On that yardstick only 3% of the population could vote for the Central Assembly and only 13% could vote for the Provincial Assemblies.

Some highlights of the elections:

  1. JINNAH won from the Byculla Muslim Seat of Bombay City, with thumping majority.
  2. In India, 95% Muslim voters opted for creation of PAKISTAN.
  3. In NWFP, Muslim voters were not very supportive of PAKISTAN.
  4. Later on, plebiscite was held in Muslim majority Sylhet district of Assam, and also in NWFP. Both opted for PAKISTAN.
  5. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was the Congress President during these elections. He miserably failed to get Muslim votes for his Congress Party.

The Muslim League Campaigned vigorously for “Pakistan”

The Muslim League leaders generated a mass religious hysteria among Muslims in the name of a “separate Islamic Pakistan.”

choudhary Rahmat Ali's proposed mapEver since the idea of “Pakistan” started gaining momentum in the 1930s, the Muslim League leaders actively brainwashed their community by arousing the religious hysteria about a future “Islamic State”. They made extensive use of Chaudhary Rahmat Ali’s “imaginary map of imaginary Pakistan” in their campaign for Pakistan. It was Jinnah’s expectation that Pakistan would be at least as big as India. He perhaps envisioned several pockets of “Pakistan” scattered across India or entire north India along with Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP.  That convinced most Muslims that the “Pakistan” would have contours similar to the Mughal empire, including Delhi, Agra, Aligarh, Bhopal, Lucknow – practically every important Muslim center. They got the impression that “Pakistan” would be in their neighborhood and voted for ML with this image in mind. However, in reality, none even in the ML had the slightest idea about shape or location of  “Pakistan” they were fighting for.

Interim Government

Radcliffe Line was hurriedly drawn in just 5 weeksThe Interim Government was formed in September 1946 from the newly elected Constituent Assembly. It had the task of assisting the transition of British India to independence. Early in 1947, British PM Attlee announced that Britain would leave India no later than June 1948. A new Viceroy – Lord Mountbatten – was appointed.  Mountbatten concluded that with adamant Muslim League partition was unavoidable. In the week he arrived, there was mutiny in Patna, bomb blasts in Calcutta, rioting in Amritsar, and daily stabbings in Delhi. The government in London was busy dealing with after effects of WW2 and had no intention of attending to Indian issues. The British authority has lost both control and trust. He became convinced that any delay would only promote religious violence. Thus, he pushed forward the date of British departure to August 1947. The Indian Independence Act was signed.

Kartarpur Sahib is only 4 km from Indo Pak borderA partition map was hurriedly drawn by a British architect, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who had never visited India before and had to complete the task in just 5 weeks! It must be his ‘logic of ignorance’ that Lahore, which is just 50 km from Amritsar, is not part of India today and Kartarpur Sahib (among the holiest Sikh Shrine) is off by 4 km into Pakistan. The Islamic State of Pakistan was created in two pieces, 1000 miles apart.  The funniest thing is that on August 15, 1947 neither Indians nor would-be-Pakistanis knew where the partition-line was!  The Radcliffe line came into effect only on August 17. This delay was another fine thinking of Mountbatten.

Clearly, Indians were not in command. And, Muslims remained ecstatic at the prospect of having a special “Islamic Paradise” on the planet just for themselves!!

Birth of Pakistan

Jinnah got his ‘Pakistan’ as two tiny plots of lands, separated by thousand miles of Indian territory. He was badly disappointed. He called what he got — “a maimed, mutilated and moth-eaten” Islamic State. Beggars can’t be choosers and he got what he deserved ! The British wanted a small puppet nation adjacent to Afghan border, including Balochistan and NWFP to safe guard their future geopolitical interests in Iran and gulf area. They drew the partition line on the map, keeping that in mind, not what the traitor mullahs were dreaming about.

In 1933, Choudhary Rahmat Ali had created the future Muslim paradise – Pakistan – on paper!! [see below] Jinnah was expecting a Muslim Pakistan almost of the size of “Hindu-India“. He had envisioned a situation where Hindu India would be dotted with several  tiny independent Muslim State (ruled by Muslim nawabs like Hyderabad, Bhopal, Junagarh, etc). Through them the Muslim Pakistan would always have an upper hand strategically. Therefore, greedy for more territory, he blundered by attacking Kashmir which was neutral until then. In response to Pak invasion, Raja Hari Singh of J&K acceded to India in self-defense.

Partition was a Muslim Hypocrisy

Despite Voting for Pakistan, the vast majority of Muslims stayed in India !

Looking at Muslim’s enthusiasm for a separate Islamic State of their own, it was expected that practically all Muslims would migrate to their “Islamic paradise”. After all, creation of Pakistan was a “fabulous victory of Islam” – and for the first time in history Muslims ‘won’ an Islamic State out of nowhere! The ‘Pakistan’ fanatics boastfully projected themselves as ‘Islamic Warriors’ who forcibly tore India and carved out an “Islamic State”!  It was both fantastic and ecstatic for them. V S Naipaul narrated a story of Muslim ecstasy after “winning” the “Pakistan”!

“In 1979, I met a man who told me what creation of Pakistan meant for the Muslims and the hysteria associated with it. He said, “To me it was like God”…. To many, or most, Muslims of the subcontinent the State that been won out of India came as a kind of religious ecstasy…”

But Muslim community’s behavior was baffling, particularly in the provinces like UP, Bihar, Madras, Assam where the “noise for Pakistan” was the loudest. They suddenly changed their mind and very few actually migrated to their dream “Sharia Heaven.” In a speech in Calcutta in January 1948, Sardar Patel expressed his surprise,

“Most of the Muslims who have stayed back in Hindustan, helped in creating Pakistan. Now, I don’t understand what has changed in one night that they are asking us not to doubt their loyalty”.

Pakistani census data also supports it. According to 1951 Pakistan census, of the Muslims who came from India, the overwhelming majority came from Punjab and then from Alwar and Jodhpur – together they accounted for (80.1%) of total migrants. Actually these were the areas from where Hindus forced them to leave.  In comparison, meager 6.4% came from Delhi and UP (more from Delhi and less from UP), 2.2% from Maharashtra and Gujarat, 1.2% from Bhopal and Hyderabad, and trickle 0.2% from Madras and Mysore in South India. Loudest voices for Pakistan came from UP, Maharshtra,Delhi and Madras, but sad for India, these traitors did not have courage to shift to their Islamic paradise when they got it. Hindus once again failed to show political maturity and did not drive the traitors out of their country.

Thus, despite 95% Muslim voting for Pakistan, only a tiny fraction actually went to Pakistan. But why did the vast majority of Muslims stayed back in India?

Even if one be kind to the poor Muslim masses who could not afford long distance travel, why didn’t  95% rich Muslims leave India after breaking the country in the name of Islam?

Did they suddenly become ‘secular’ and switch loyalty to Hindu dominated India? Impossible. It only means their Hindu-phobia was mere drama and their two-nation-theory a criminal hoax!

Did they suddenly discover that living in a multicultural democratic India was better than life in an authoritarian “Islamic State”?  If so, why were they so hysteric and violent about a separate Muslim State and shouted endlessly – Lad Ke Lenge Pakistan!  Mar Ke Lenge Pakistan! Bant Ke Rahega Hindustan, Ban Ke Rahega Pakistan! – and then voted for it. Insanity is perhaps the best description of this utterly irresponsible behavior; Islamic insanity, to be more correct.

Why didn’t Muslims go to Pakistan, after fighting for it?

Simplest answer: Because Hindus did not force them to leave!!

Rahmat Ali map VS Actual Partition mapIn 1947, when the British finally revealed the map of Pakistan territory as two tiny plots of land separated by a 1000 mile of Indian territory, Muslims were startled. Their Islamic Heaven was too far away and too small to be heavenly! The British interest in partition was only to create a small puppet Islamic State (West Pakistan) to safeguard their future geopolitical interests in Iran and gulf region and prevent Russian expansionism. The ML and Jinnah gang mere pawns in their game plan.

Then, the events following the Partition also made Indian Muslims skeptical about migration to Pakistan. An important discouraging factor was the experience of Muslims who immediately shifted to Pakistan. The locals of Karachi, Lahore and other towns considered them outsiders (who spoke Urdu) coming to occupy their neighborhood and mocked them by calling Mohajirs (refugees). When the news reached Indian Muslims, most “Pakistan dreamers” lost heart and could not gather courage to actually migrate to the real-world Islamic Paradise Jinnah created for them!

Another factor was ‘the ground realities’ of migrating after the religious ecstasy faded away. The thought of disposing off the age-old ancestral properties and businesses and moving to an “alien land” and restarting life again was discouraging. Weighing various pros and cons. they felt it was less risky to stay where they were, in India among Hindus! Here is a typical testimony from rich Muslims: “We were content and prosperous. Migrating to Pakistan only meant losing all our land, wealth and prestige and starting all over again on a blank slate.

Since Hindus were never bothered about having an explicit Hindu homeland, they did not force Muslims to leave. In some areas such as Delhi, Alwar and Jodhpur they did get violent and forced Muslims to leave, but it should be seen as ‘settling past scores’ than any ethnic cleansing for a Hindu India.

Now a question to those lakhs of Muslims who shifted to Pakistan but came back seeing non conducive environment or  adverse reaction of locals in Lahore, Karachi or Dacca: Did their Hindu phobia disappear after returning to India?

Muslim’s “Excuses” for not Migrating to Pakistan!

After Muslims concluded that staying back would be more profitable, they started inventing excuses or reasons to stay. Here are the excuses of two prominent Muslim League leaders for staying back:

Nawab Mohammad Ismail Khan of Meerut, who campaigned extensively for Pakistan and was considered Jinnah’s heir, stayed in India after Partition. His excuse:  “How can I leave my brethren here behind me?”  Incidentally, what became popular as “Jinnah Cap” was originally Ismail Khan’s cap!  Nehru later made him VC of AMU and Pakistan felicitated him with a postage stamp!  What an honor for breaking a country.

In Madras, Muhammad Ismail work hard for Muslim League’s victory but did not go to Pakistan. When asked why, his response was: “The creation of Pakistan is beneficial not only to Muslims of Pakistan, it is also beneficial to Muslims of India……The Muslims of India are proud of having achieved Pakistan. A Muslim is always a Muslim. A Muslim first and a Muslim last.”

Ismail founded the Indian Union Muslim League (IULM) in March 1948 on the advice of Jinnah. It revealed that Muslims would continue to play separatist politics in the future. Once Pakistan got created and Indian Muslims became “nationalist”, why would they need another Muslim League?

Now the most ridiculous excuse: Pakistan was too small, so we could not go there!

Finally, Muslims settled for the standard excuse that makes them appear “nationalistic”:

“In 1947, we had a choice but we consciously chose to stay in India!!”

If you want some fun, try reminding them their hysteric slogans:

Lad Ke Lenge Pakistan!  Mar Ke Lenge Pakistan!

Bat Ke Rahega Hindustan, Ban Ke Rahega Pakistan!

Other Factors that prevented Muslim migration to Pakistan

Gandhi/Nehru  Muslim Appeasement Policy

Both Gandhi and Nehru actively started forcing/begging Muslims to not leave India. Nehru even compromised his ‘secular’ ideology and dumped implementation of the Uniform Civil Code to comfort change-resistant Muslim clergy.

In 1950, Nehru signed an agreement with Liaquat Ali to safeguard minorities. This assured many Hindu-phobic Muslims to stay back in India. Interestingly, it even encouraged Mohajir Muslims (who did not feel accepted in Pakistan, despite being Muslim) to return to India. Thus, a million Muslims returned from East Pakistan and several lakhs from West Pakistan. Many Congress leaders opposed this policy and even resigned.

In 1952, Pakistan closed its border making migration really tough.

Role of Maulana Azad: This Saudi born Maulana worked for Muslim interests from within the Congress party. His biography and speeches clearly suggested that he wanted to work for Islamizing India in the future, although he was never as explicit as radical organizations like Jamat-e-Islami. If Jinnah and Muslims League explicitly demanded a separate Islamic State from Muslim League platform, Muslims like Azad or Zakir Hussain had a different Islamic game plan for India. Azad saw India as a vast land that was once ruled by Muslims. It still has a huge Muslim population, though in lesser numbers compared with Hindus whom they ruled for centuries. In his opinion, “Interest of Muslims of India was in United India, they should have been far stronger in the Continent and partition was mistake”.

Maulana Azad worked hard to stop Muslims from going to Pakistan and planned to bring back those who already left. Maulana Azad and Zakir Hussain repeatedly complained to Nehru  Muslims are being forced to leave India while there is no place in Pakistan!  He revealed his thinking in his speech in 1948 in Jama Masjid. As a minister in Nehru government, he favored Pakistan in every possible way and served as a bridge between Nehru and Liaquat governments. He played a vital role in the Nehru-Liaquat pact of 1950. Like other maulanas, Azad also remained primarily focused on serving Muslims interests rather than the country.

As HRD minister, Azad ensured that only a pro-Muslim history is taught to Indians. Thus, all instances of Muslim atrocities on Hindus and Temple destructions or “forced conversions” during centuries of Muslim rule vanished from history books.  It is no surprise if Mughal rule was presented as the most glorious period of Indian history. Of course, Hindu heroes either got confined to footnotes or villainized or demonized to glorify Muslim invaders.

Azad’s thinking can be seen in many Indian Muslims who regret the “Partition” because in the partitioned India (20 crore) Muslims don’t enjoy that much clout which they could have enjoyed if they were 50 crores in the United India. The ultimate aim remains the same: promotion of Muslim interests and Islamization of India.

Partition Horrors: Rioting and Migration

Partition of India: Why Gandhi did not plan for a peaceful migration of Muslims and non-Muslims?On the day of independence, 15 August 1947, Gandhi was not in Delhi to rejoice Independence Day celebrations, he was in Calcutta, sitting on an indefinite fast until violence stopped, trying to prevent repeat of another “Great Calcutta Killings” that happened a year ago — after Jinnah’s call for violence. He succeeded in keeping Bengal largely peaceful, but rioting in Punjab went out of control, despite deployment of 55,000 soldiers. The virus of hate, initiated by Jinnah gang, spread unchecked. Some people say, Jinnah hid in his home, too terrified to watch the dance of hate-monster that he had unleashed. Others say, he was busy worrying about his stock of  special cigars!

It resulted in the biggest mass migration in history: around 15 million people were displaced; there were reports of convoys of 100,000 people walking in lines which stretched for as many as 10 miles. Estimates of the dead ranged from 500,000 to two million. At the end, the two bloodied nations had millions of refugees; shattered, penniless, homeless, and jobless. What an insane way to divorce, after centuries of living together.

Most ironically, no leader (Gandhi, Nehru or any other Congress leader) ever expressed concern for the well being of Hindus and other non-Muslims left stranded in Pakistan. They were 20-25% and immediately became targets of killings, rapes and forced conversions. Most of them disappeared with in 2-3 years; today they are less than 2%.

For Jinnah violence was a normal tool to grab power and he had shown it a year earlier with his call for ‘direct action’, but what about Gandhi? He should have planned with the British for peaceful migration of people according to the Radcliffe Line.  The whole world had just seen the horrors of the World War. So even the global powers could have helped to prevent another tragedy – after all Gandhi was a global superstar and his non-violence movement was an international intrigue! Having ruled and plundered the country for so long, the British were surely in a position to ensure a peaceful two-way migration — but they clearly had no intention to save innocent lives of their subjects.

full population exchange-AmbedkarAn orderly migration would have also allowed better Hindu-Muslim separation. Gandhi should have actively encouraged Muslims to go and enjoy “Islamic Heavenly life” in Pakistan — all non-Muslims from Pakistan side should have been encouraged to come to India. It would have permanently freed India from the curse of jihadi violence, cross-border jihadi indoctrination, and formation of Muslim ghettos in India where non-Muslims lack security.  The power hungry Jinnah would have also gotten a much ‘purer’ Pakistan – freed of all kafirs!!

But as things happened, Gandhi was satisfied sitting on Fast in Bengal and Nehru must be busy for his coronation as first prime minister of independent India and flirting with Edwina Mountbatten. 

When India Abandoned the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)

Pathans and Balochs became the primary victims of Partition. Both wanted to join India.

Britain’s military planners had made it clear that if they were to ever leave India, they must retain a foothold in the NWFP and Baluchistan, in order to protect their oil interests in the middle-east – in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a true Gandhian, known as "Frontier Gandhi" and Badshah KhanThis idea decided the geographic location of West Pakistan – it was to include Balochistan, NWFP, Sindh and half of Punjab. Pakistan’s destiny was pre-decided because it was to play a “proxy role” for the British after independence. Thus, Pakistan was led to join the Baghdad Pact in 1955 which later became CENTO.

Lord Mountbatten’s prime task was to see that West Pakistan gets this shape and he applied all his diplomatic and manipulative skills to “concretize” Pakisyan. The NWFP had decided to join India. In 1946, it had elected a Congress government and even entered the Constituent Assembly of India in December 1946 (defying the Muslim League’s call to boycott it). Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, also famous as “Frontier Gandhi” because he was a staunch supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, was the tallest leader from NWFP.

Mountbatten ‘managed’ the NWFP by persuading Nehru to agree to a referendum in NWFP. It was bitterly opposed by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Khudai Khidmatgar Party. Jinnah adopted all means to ensure that the referendum produced the result it was designed for. Thus, the Pashtuns were denied their wish to join India; their geographical location worked against them. It is one of the tragedies of India’s partition.

People of Delhi often visit the famous ‘Khan Market’ in the city, but they hardly have any idea that Abdul Gaffar Khan had to spend rest of his life in Pakistani jails as political prisoner. What is most tragic is that the ISI converted the land of peace-loving Khudai Khidmatgars into jihadi terror camps. It first created terrorists for Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, then for the Taliban and the Haqqani network, and then for the Al Qaeda of Osama bin Laden.

When the NWFP was handed over to the “Islamic paradise” of Pakistan, Ghaffar Khan lamented, ‘We have been thrown to the wolves’!  His book, Thrown to the Wolves is an account of the betrayal of nationalist Pathans by the Congress. 

Today, every non-Punjabi Pakistani group feels the same way in the ‘Islamic paradise’ created for South Asian Muslims. The Bengalis who foolishly tagged along Jinnah in the name of Islam had to forcibly severe ties from Pakistan in 1971. They paid extremly heavy price for falling in Jinnah’s empty Islamic rhetoric: Bangladesh was born at the cost of about a million dead and rape of over 300,000 women by the Islamist troops of Pakistan.

How Britain Helped Jinnah Grab Balochistan

The fate of Baloch people was sealed by the British Parliament in July 1947. In stead of freedom, Balochistan was forced to become a colony of Pakistan. Just as Jinnah’s men plundered natural wealth of Bengali East Pakistan till 1971, they are plundering Baloch wealth. Currently, they are doing it with the help of China at a much faster pace.

The princely state Kalat in Balochistan wanted to join India and actually sent in the accession papers, but Nehru returned them by post. When Pakistani government intercepted the returned papers, the poor Khan of Kalat was deposed. Another nationalist had been thrown to the wolves!

Jinnah betrayal of balochistanOn 14 July 1947, when the 38th Parliament of the United Kingdom was debating the Indian Independence Bill, only one man among 640 MPs could foresee the future of Balochistan. The conservative MP from Farnham, Sir Godfrey Nicholson, warned the House that “if Baluchistan does not wish to join Pakistan, nothing in the world can save it from being forced to join Pakistan if the Bill passes in its present form; and that is a serious matter”. He was raising concern on the Bill’s Clause 2, which read, “British Balochistan would be incorporated into the newly established dominion, Pakistan.

In the Treaty of 1854 which was reaffirmed in 1876, Balochistan ruler and British rulers of India agreed that the Baloch areas would be used by the British for strategic purposes and in return they would defend Balochistan from external threats.

Pakistan failed to integrate its ethnic groupsBut the British played game in 1947-48. Rather than passing on that agreement to India (the rightful heir to agreements done in British India), they secretly connived with Jinnah and helped him grab Balochistan. Jinnah first tried all pressure tactics on the Baloch ruler, Mir Ahmed Yar Khan, for accession to Pakistan. He refused to go against the will of his people who only wanted some protection agreement, not full accession.

Fearing Pak invasion, Khan instructed Baloch army chief to get ready and arrange arms. The source of arms was only the British Commonwealth. But on March 25, 1048 the British government instructed the Commonwealth to not dispatch arms to Balochistan without Pak government approval. Khan was forced to sign the accession pact on 27 March 1948 under gun point.  And British puppet Jinnah sent in troops to occupy Balochistan — it was led by a British general, Frank Messervy.

Nicholson’s fears turned out to be true. Balochistan became a Pak colony.

In December 1947, the Baloch parliament had debated their recent interactions with Pakistan. Here is how they concluded:

“We have a distinct culture like Afghanistan and Iran, and if the mere fact that we are Muslims required us to amalgamate with Pakistan, then Afghanistan and Iran should also be amalgamated with Pakistan… They say we Baloch can’t defend ourselves in the atomic age. Well, are Afghanistan, Iran and even Pakistan capable of defending themselves against the super powers? If we cannot defend ourselves, a lot of others cannot do so either.”… They say we must join Pakistan for economic reasons. Yet we have minerals, we have petroleum and we have ports. The question is what would Pakistan be without us? … This means signing the death warrant for 15 million Baloch in Asia. We cannot be guilty of this major crime to humiliate the Baloch nation through a merger with a non-Baloch nation.”

Early Mistakes by Nehru and Jinnah

Nehru - JinnahBoth India and Pakistan stared off with ‘brown British’ CEOs! On the Indian side, Nehru was handpicked by Gandhi, ignoring the wider opinion in favor of Sardar Patel. ‘Across the border’ Jinnah became the governor general cum CEO of the Islamic State!.  If Jawaharlal Nehru was an “accidental Hindu” Jinnah was much more of an “accidental Muslim”! Perhaps the only difference was that Nehru did not like to show his Hindu-ness while Jinnah had no problem to see hisself as a Muslim. In nutshell, both were ‘half Muslims’!! For both, masses were just masses – to be influenced and used for political reasons. None was a visionary like Mahatma Gandhi who derived strength from highly developed inner moral strength and showed the world how to apply it in the real life situations. But there was a clear difference between the two men in political acumen: Nehru was politically rather simpleton compared with the ‘twisted brained brilliance’ of Jinnah.

However, both “Half-Muslim Brown Sahebs” committed errors, reflecting their limited vision and mediocre mindset.

Common Errors

Governance: Both became rulers and continued the same colonial administrative set up; neither Nehru did anything to Indianize the governance, nor Jinnah tried to mold it to suit the sharia requirements of the new Islamic State.  The police continued to behave as if its primary role was to serve the elite masters and protect them from the ordinary people. Even today, people of both countries don’t see police as a “friend in need”. They would rather keep a safe distance from cops.

The colonial education system continued to churn out half baked “good for nothing” products. Macaulay designed it to help the colonial administration that required least educated Indians fit only to be clerks. But free nations need vibrant education system that shapes children to grow up to be well informed and well groomed citizens. The two men could not grasp this wisdom – perhaps because they both were product of the same Macauley system!

Democracy: Neither Nehru nor Jinnah tried to do anything to promote grass roots democracy which was to be the system of governance in both nations. Needless to say, people needed education and guidance about their democratic rights and how to use them effectively. For centuries they had lived dictated by tyrant occupiers — now dream of freedom came true but how to go about it was a vital issue. Both ‘Brown British-men’ failed on this account.  Well, Jinnah might be forgiven because Islamic societies are inherently inclined towards “rule by power” and “rule by mullahs” — not “rule by people”. Therefore, Pakistan automatically turned authoritarian and got “ruled by military” till end of 1970.

Pakistan’s first honeymoon with electoral democracy in 1970 proved traumatic! Election threw out an unpleasant verdict that threatened the current ruling elites sitting in the West Pakistan. Reflecting their childish mindset, they decided to reject the election result; Jinnah’s disciples had no idea what this foolishness meant. Their stupidity plunged the “East Pakistan” into civil war and Pakistan’s 55% population broke off as Bangladesh !!

But, what about Nehru? Despite a huge population and mind boggling diversities, Hindu dominant society made his task far easier. Reflecting the peace loving and tolerant Hindu majority, every constitutional process, including elections, went ahead as planned. Yet, India could have expected more if the Gandhian model of ‘Gram Swaraj’ were given priority. 

Ignored Welfare of Tribal Population: The colonial looters had enacted special laws for tribal areas. In fact, their administration was mainly concerned with non-tribal Indians. In India, Nehru’s government did precious little to assimilate tribals into the mainstream society beyond designating tribals areas into Schedule V and Schedule VI regions. North Eastern region remained a glaring example  of neglect. Only after 2014, when the BJP’s Modi government came to power, honest efforts began to be made to bring the North Eastern state into national mainstream.

Likewise, on the other side the colonial British had devised the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). It denied the Pashtun people’s of the tribal areas of the former NWFP basic legal and political rights. The brutal FCR allowed for collective punishment of the whole tribe for the crime of a few and indefinite detention without right of appeal. Non integration of the Pashtun people of today’s FATA region into the mainstream society even after 7 decades has been a major source of lawlessness in the Pak-Afghan border region. Jinnah lacked vision and left the tribal folks isolated, as they were before 1947.

Nehru’s Errors

Not Dissolving the Congress Party: Ignoring Gandhi’s advice to dissolve the Indian National Congress was a grave mistake. It promoted a single party democracy. Mahatma Gandhi wanted to dissolve the grand old party and form two new parties, one headed by Nehru and the other by Sardar Patel. It would have given India framework for two party democracy that would have brought much better results.

Allowed distortion of History Books: It is yet another harmful side effect of Muslim appeasement politics. Nehru almost, outsourced the task of history writing to Islamist-Leftist writers. As a result, historical facts were distorted to glorify Mughal rule; the endless atrocities on Hindus and Sikhs and destruction of Temples by fanatic Muslim rulers got downplayed or simply remained unmentioned. Local Hindu Heroes find mention in the foot notes and their valor remained unhighlighted. Thus, mass murderer Islamic invaders/rulers got projected as “Heroes”. As a result, school books in India don’t teach how, for example, Somnath Temple, Kashi-Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi or Ram Temple in Ayodhya were repeatedly looted and their sanctity ruined by the barbaric Muslims. They never learn how lunatic Aurangzeb tortured Hindus and Sikhs and extorted money (Jazia) from them to let them stay alive. Leftist intellectuals beated drums to highlight apartheid in South Africa, but turn into sheepish morons on even worse Islamic apartheid.

Not following Gandhi’s ‘Gram Swaraj’ Model: Nehru was highly fascinated by the Communist/socialistic ideologies. But Gandhi was connected with roots of India. His gram ‘swaraj model’ of development could have been a great starting point for Indian conditions; it would have sowed the seeds of grass-root democracy at the base level along with strengthening the Indian economy.  But being half-British and half-Muslim, Nehru could not appreciate it. This “Indian” idea was too innovative for his western mindset. In fact, coming up with “original ideas” or thinking “out of box” was not his forte.

Nehru created a new RoyaltyPromoting Dynastic Rule: Nehru’s father had nepotistic tendencies. Nehru too inherited it. He openly promotied his daughter, rather than promoting a cadre of next generation Indians from different backgrounds. It is ironical that Sardar Patel merged 565 dynasties into Indian republic but Nehru ended up creating a new one!  Seven decades later, this dynasty is still a serious barrier in promoting merit based and healthy competitive democracy.

Kashmir Dispute: Nehru’s close association with Sheikh Abdulla who wanted to become ruler of J&K and shis hortsightedness messed up complete integration of the Princely J&K State, creating a long term problem for independent India. You may get glimpses of Nehru’s dillydallying in this excerpts of Sam Manekshaw’s interview to journalist Prem Shankar Jha: Jawaharlal do you want Kashmir, or do you want to give it away!

Nehru rejected the UNSC Seat: Lack of far sight repeatedly manifested in Nehru’s thinking. He saw the world, not as a statesman, but as a easy going philosopher disconnected from the ground reality. Despite warnings from various quarters and Chinese annexation of Tibet, he continued trusting the Chinese. More foolishly, he even gifted the UNSC Seat to China  — because of HINDI CHINI BHAI BHAI slogan!!  No surprise if 1962 Chinese invasion broke him completely and he died in shock, humiliation and betrayal.

nehru rejected unsc seat-horz

Ignoring Defense: The Chinese invasion of 1962 desicively crushed his delusion that he was an authority on foreign relations. Nehru was always cocky about his ‘expertize’ on foreign affairs.  He kept talking of ‘Panchsheel’. Such was the ‘delusion’ at the top political level that India did not use its air superiority to repel the Chinese. Nehru and his defense minister Menon ultimately turned out to be the real culprits responsible for India’s unpreparedness in 1962.

In the early 1950s, general Ayub Khan suggested to Nehru, let’s have a joint defense system. Nehru’s response was, Defense against whom?

Jinnah’s Follies

Authoritarian Tendency: Jinnah became the Governor General of Pakistan. Under the British model, it was purely a ceremonial post (representing the British monarch) and the executive powers resided with the Prime Minister and his cabinet. But he started to act as executive head of the state! It is not surprising because his entire political career was devoted to grabbing power.  But this set a very dangerous trend in a new foundation-less nation. After his death in 1948,  his successors imitated him and pushed the new born nation towards authoritarian rule and then towards military dictatorship. It took 9 years for Pakistan to adopt a Constitution. Adopted in 1956, it was thrown away in 1958!  In the 11 year period between 1947 to 1958, Pakistan saw seven prime ministers! The first premier Liaquat Ali was assassinated and another, Sohrawardy (who proudly killed Hindus in Bengal), was forced to escape Pakistan to stay alive!

PAK XIN TAN of jinnahDid nothing to assimilate Non-Muslims: Jinnah proved totally devoid of any vision for future Pakistan. Merely boasting that Pakistan was meant for all South Asian Muslims was a useless gesture. Equally deceptive was his assertion that people of other faiths could live safely in his Islamic Paradise! It was mere a political gesturing towards  25% non-Muslim minorities left behind in Pakistan due to imperfect partition of British India? Pakistan turned into a hell for them. 70 years later they got reduced to less than 2 percent and still shrinking – the sharia cult of forced conversions, rape and kidnapping of non-Muslim girls still continues.

Jogendra Nath Mandal, a prominent dalit Muslim League leader from East Bengal, fell for Jinnah’s “secular” speech. Ignoring Dr Ambedkar’s prudent advice about Islamic thinking, he migrated to Pakistan and became Pakistan’s first Law and Justice Minister — though he remained a mere ceremonial minister. But when he first hand witnessed the gory incidents of forced conversions, rape and kidnapping of non-Muslim girls and women, he got totally disillusioned by Jinnah’s Islamic Heaven. He come back to India in 1950, to escape a life devoid of safety or dignity. Mandal’s resignation letter to then prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan highlighted the barbaric treatment of non-Muslim in Pakistan.

Encouraged Feudalism:  By not dismantling the colonial machinery and mindset, Jinnah merely allowed the culture of class exploitation. The British ruled India through their agents — Jagirdars, Nawabs, Diwans, and other faithfuls whom they had rewarded with vast chunks of land. Their only task was to collect revenue from the masses as demanded by the British. This tiny elite class continued to enjoy disproportionate political influence. 

On the contrary, Jinnah & Co took comfort in the company of the elite feudal class. He never bothered to connect with ordinary folks. As a result, political power became a privilege of the few who lived their privileged life away from the ordinary or poor people. This bred a culture of unaccountability, arbitrariness, and corruption – and people’s voices and their problems became secondary.  Today, in the country of 220 million souls, barely 1700 wealthiest families decide fate of the country. The ordinary and poor masses are mere tools for political scheming and unimportant entities left to survive on their own.

India, on the other hand, consciously adopted affirmative measures like job reservations for the oppressed dalits and other backward classes. It ended even the “privy purse” of princely royals and brought them on equal footing with ordinary folks. 

Punjab dominance:  Jinnah and his elitist colleagues failed to see the disproportionate dominance of sunni Punjabis over all other ethnic groups. Rather than countering it, he became part of the elite ruling class and the rest of ethnic groups remained on sidelines. The extreme supremacist behavior against the Bengalis led to the 1971 debacle. Even today, Sindh (Karachi) produces the maximum wealth but Punjab reaps the maximum benefits. As a result, radical and separatist voices often emerge from Sindhis, Balochs, Pashtuns and Kashmiris.

Extreme bias against East Pakistan: Jinnah had little interest in having Bengal in Pakistan unless it came with the wealthy Calcutta city. But Calcutta was rich because of Hindu business community and was in the Western side. What the British gave him was the Muslim dominated poor half of Bengal — it was poor due to sharia influence that neglects people’s enterprise. Despite Bengali Muslims playing vital role in forming the Muslim League and pioneering demand for Pakistan, Jinnah gave them no importance.

Then he committed yet another crucial mistake. He imposed Urdu (spoken by hardly 10% people) on East Pakistan. He himself could barely speak it. Any intelligent observer of India’s partition can easily ask: If the argument of ‘Muslim majority areas’ formed Jinnah’s basis for Muslim Pakistan, why Bengali spoken by majority of Pakistanis (East Pakistanis formed 54% population of entire Pakistan!) was not made Pakistan’s official language. But this is too rational — and rationality would have never created Pakistan!

Created Kashmir Dispute: On August 15, 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was an independent princely state ruled by Raja Hari Singh. Not satisfied with British gifted lands for West Pakistan, on October 22 Jinnah first sent tribal jihadis to attack Kashmir and then sent Pakistan troops to support them. To protect his state from the jihadi vultures, the ruler signed accession pact with India on October 26. Indian troops arrived the next day and started pushing back the invaders — who were also indulging in rape, loot, arson and women capturing (these are all typical signature of Islamic barbarism). When the ceasefire was announced some part of J&K still remained with the intruders. So, a line of control (LoC) got created – the situation still persists today. 

Nehru, of course, blundered first by keeping Sardar Patel away from Kashmir affair and then by going to the UN ignoring Patel’s opinion. Seven decades later, highly dynamic and charismatic prime minister Narendra Modi is correcting Nehru’s fatal mistakes. In August 2019, Modi abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that was aiding isolationism, separatism and jihadi terrorism in J&K — helped by two ultra corrupt Muslim dynasties, Abdullah and Mufti.

Pak terrorists after 1947But Jinnah set a more dangerous trend – of using non-state actors (private militia, terrorist groups) to further the State objectives. His successors followed his lead religiously and today Pakistan has an elaborate network of non-state actors (jihadi terrorists) with global reach. So much so that Pakistan is now notorious as the “global capital of terrorism“.

Tried Accession of “Hindu majority” states into Pakistan: After the British marked the boundary of Pakistan, greedy Jinnah became greedier — for more and more territory. Going against his own Two-Nation ‘Muslim majority’ theory, he started to entice even Muslim rulers of ‘Hindu majority’ princely states to join Pakistan! Hyderabad was a prominent example. But Sardar Patel foiled his conspiracies.  These gestures totally exposed Jinnah’s hypocrisy — his posturing for “Muslim Pakistan” was without any ideological conviction. He only fooled his own community and left them divided by a line that defy all commonsense and rationality.

Watch this video to learn how Pakistan has degenerated in seven decades and betrayed its own traditional Islamic benefactors like Saudi Arabia.

From Whom Pakistan got Its Freedom?  On What Date?

Did Pakistan become “Free” on August 14, 1947?  How!!

Did Pakistan get freedom from the British? Weird. Its founders never really fought with the British! In fact, they even wanted the British rule to continue!!

Did Pakistani Muslims get freedom from the Hindus? But Hindus never enslaved or ruled Muslims!

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