“Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
Hi, Everyone! There was a clear policy in the Congress: follow the dictates of the Mahatma, or be kicked out. As Gandhi put it, “Anyone who does not believe in the fundamental policy of Congress [read Gandhi] should leave and work outside it.”
And if the person did not leave willingly, he was “persuaded” to do so by underhanded scheming against him!
The next five posts are going to illustrate Gandhi’s shenanigans, his scheming, in the case of K. F. Nariman, Dr. Khare, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Dr. Lohia, and Bhulabhai Desai.
I quote from Dhananjay Keer’s Mahatma Gandhi: Political Saint and Unarmed Prophet, pages 633-34. The time is mid 1937:
“At this juncture Gandhi was involved in a long, bitter public controversy which raged for over six months in the Bombay presidency. At the instance of Sardar Patel the Congress members of the Legislative Assembly of the Bombay Province, deprived K. F. Nariman of his opportunity to be the leader of the Assembly Party. Nariman was a selfless, fearless, brilliant, patriotic leader and was looked upon as the natural leader of legislative Party.
Nariman had riled the Gandhian Right wing leaders by his book Whither Congress. Sardar Patel preferred a docile Maharashtrian solicitor B. G. Kher, to a strong leader, Nariman . . . Gandhi stood by Patel. . . .”
Here I would like to add I have ordered both, Whither Congress and What Next from the library. It would be interesting to find out what Nariman wrote that required his brutal eviction not only from the Congress, but the political scene of India! To continue:
“For months Gandhi had been assuring Sardar Patel that Nariman would come to harm . . . and yet Gandhi wrote to Nariman his silence had been in the interests of Nariman! Gandhi agreed to be the sole arbitrator in the dispute. Nariman helplessly agreed.
Gandhi in his foregoing letter said that if on the examination by Bahadurji or Madgaonkar, his findings were against Nariman, he should have an opportunity of tendering an apology and making a full and frank confession of his weakness and the wrong done to the public, the Sardar and other colleagues. But if he found Nariman unjustly dealt with by the Sardar, Gandhi observed, he would try to undo the mischief. . . .
Partial as he was to the Sardar, Gandhi evidently assumed that sardar was innocent and Nariman guilty: for he mentioned no punishment to the Sardar if he was found guilty.
On September 26 he wrote to Patel that he should try to forget the Nariman affair. ‘You have transferred.’ he replied reassuringly, ‘your worries to me and I have passed them to Bahadurji.’
. . . Gandhi was confident of what his judgment would be.
In the second week of October, Bahadurji decided against Nariman on both the counts, his action in the election of 1934 and his action in the present dispute.
Gandhi endorsed the decision and sent it to Bahadurji who read it in his office to Nariman in the presence of Mahadev Desai.
All kinds of pressures were brought on Nariman. To increase the tempo of it, a telegram had been sent to Nariman on the previous day conveying the news that Gandhi’s health was affected and would not be completely restored till this episode had been satisfactorily ended.
Overpowered by the anxiety for the Mahatma’s health, Nariman lost his grit and balance. He signed an apology which had probably been drafted by Gandhi and signed his political death warrant.
Soon after, Nariman recanted. But it was too late.
Gandhi, who had agreed that the enquiry would be private and even the Working Committee need not know about it, sent all the records to the Working Committee; and without giving Nariman a chance to reply, they all got together to guillotine Nariman politically.
He was declared unworthy of holding any position of trust and responsibility in the Congress organization.
The rest of his life Nariman spent reading What Next and saying, ‘Had I served my Lord as faithfully as I served Congress, He would not have deserted me.’”
Here you have the Mahatma of the Indians, the man to whom “Truth is God” and who would “sacrifice freedom for truth,” who publicly denounced the revolutionaries for their “secret” agendas, scheming without batting an eyelid!
Quite a few of Gandhi’s letters tracing this sorry tale are available here:
Mahatma Gandhi Facts: Gandhi Revealed.