Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shenanigans of Gandhi, Part II


 
“Double, double toil and trouble,

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
 

Gandhi’s Democracy

Hi, Everyone! In 1938, Dr. Khare was the Premier of the Congress Ministry in the Central Provinces of India. He was a strong leader and had definite goals and acted upon them. He did not blindly follow the dictates of the Mahatma, for which, of course, he had to pay the price.

Keer tells us:[1]

“A crisis had been brewing since May 1938 in the CP [Central Province]. Three Congress Ministers, Mishra, Shukla and Mehta submitted their resignations to Dr. N. B. Khare, leader and Prime Minister, as he had brought charges of nespotism and bribery against them. But the charges were found to be only errors of judgment, and Gandhi said in Harijan of June 4 that they were made recklessly and spitefully. There was a compromise and the crisis was averted.

As Dr Khare found it impossible to pull on with those three Ministers, he went to Gandhi at Segaon on June 29 and sought his advice in the matter as he had done on two previous occasions. But Sardar Patel had met Gandhi on June 21 and briefed him against Dr. Khare. So this time Gandhi reprimanded Dr. Khare for troubling him now and then and added that he was not even a four-anna member of the Congress. Dr. Khare, while taking leave of the Mahatma, said that he would act according to the message of his own inner voice.

This was indeed an affront to Gandhi.

[The only “inner voice” allowed to exist in the realm of Congress was that of the Mahatma!]

Dr Khare then demanded resignations from his rebel collea­gues as he wanted to submit resignations of all the Ministers to the Working Committee. But the three members at the instance of Dr. Rajendra Prasad had stubbornly refused to do so. Dr. Khare, therefore, in a desperate mood, instead of referring the matter to the Parliamentary Sub-Committee, resigned on July 20 with two of his colleagues. . . .

According to parliamentary conventions, as soon as the Premier resigns the other Ministers automatically cease to be Ministers. Natu­rally, under article 51 of the 1935 Act the Governor had to dismiss the three rebel Ministers who refused to resign. In doing so the Governor observed parliamentary conventions and used no special right. . . .

[Dr. Khare had neatly out-maneuvered the ministers and Gandhi! Upon the Governors invitation, on July 21 Dr. Khare formed a new ministry which included an “untouchable” Minister. No way was Gandhi going to put up with this “insubordination.”]

On July 22 Dr. Khare was called by the Congress bosses to Wardha [in Gandhi’s ashram] to explain his position. There he was treated as a criminal and a conspirator, and his colleagues were reprimanded. The Parliamentary Subcommittee asked him to submit his resignation and also the resignation of his colleagues. In the resignation he was made to admit: "I have come to realize, in submitting my resignation and forming a new cabinet I acted hastily and committed an error of judgment.” He was marched to the phone in a building near-by and Subhas Bose made him read out the text of his resignation to the Governor. . . .”

There were more pressures applied to Dr. Khare to make him yield, but he did not buckle under.

“As he did not yield, he was taken to Segaon in a car to Gandhi who had left Wardha that evening before Khare reached that place.

Maulana Azad, Sardar Patel, Subhas Bose and Rajendra Prasad put pressure on Dr. Khare in the presence of Gandhi who reprimanded Dr. Khare for his betrayal of the Congress and the country by entering into a conspiracy with the Governor. He said that Dr. Khare was untrustworthy and unreliable and guilty of gross indiscipline.

Dr. Khare had evoked the Mahatma’s anger by issuing licenses for Rifle classes, an unforgivable sin from the viewpoint of the Mahatma. And Patel had previously a tussle with Khare over the selection candidate at the All-India Parliamentary Board in Faizpur. They whispered against him and dictated the content his resignation.

Dr. Khare admitted in the resignation that he had acted hastily, but Gandhi added to the draft nearly a page and a half containing humiliating and damaging admissions. As a result Dr. Khare refused to sign his death warrant. . . .

He was brought back from Segaon to Wardha and asked to inform the Congress leaders of his decision by 3 p.m. the next day. . . .

On July 26 Dr. Khare conveyed to the Congress leaders his firm refusal to sign the draft prepared by them. So the Congress Working Committee declared: ‘By all these acts, Dr. Khare has proved himself unworthy of holding positions of responsibility in the Congress organization. He should be so considered till by his services as a Congressman he has shown himself well-balanced and capable of observing discipline and discharging the duties that may be undertaken by him.’ . . .

In the statement Gandhi issued on July 30, 1938, he said that he simply made corrections and additions to the statement which Dr. Khare had prepared. The suggestion that Dr. Khare was made to sign a prepared draft, Gandhi added, was baseless! When Dr. Khare published the photo-block of the draft, the people were dumbfounded!

A bitter attack was made in the press on Patel and Gandhi, characterizing their actions as fascist. Gandhi replied that his critics ‘forget that fascism is the naked sword. Under it Dr. Khare should ‘lose his head.” . . .

Dr. Khare was bitter and sometimes unbalanced, but he was a man of truth and of an unimpeachable character.”

And so ends another saga of Gandhi’s scheming . . . !

Subhas Bose, who played his part in this sordid business, was himself shortly maneuvered out of his Presidentship (and even the Congress) by Gandhi. Nor was Sardar Patel left untouched. In 1947, Gandhi usurped him from the seat of Prime Ministership and installed his favorite, Jawaharlal Nehru!

Follow the Ousting of Subhas Bose in tomorrow’s post . . .

Anurupa
Mahatma Gandhi Facts: Gandhi Revealed.



[1] Mahatma Gandhi, Political Saint and unarmed Prophet, Dhananjay Keer, pages 649-52.
 
A Note on Gandhi's attitude to Harijans, "untouchables":
 
"Towards the end of August 1938 some Harijans did a strike at Gandhi's Ashram at Segaon to compel him to instruct the CP. Ministry to take up a Harijan Minister. Gandhi replied that it was not in his power. It was Dr. Khare’s charge that Gandhi disapproved of the appointment of a Harijan Minister, as in the Mahatma’s opinion it raised absurd ambitions in the minds of Harijans! Gandhi had also opposed the appointment of any Harijan on the Harijan Sevak Sangh." Ibid, page 652.
 

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