Friday, November 16, 2012

Hell Hath No fury Like a Nehru Scorned

 
“Vengeance is a monster of appetite, forever bloodthirsty and never filled."
-         Richelle E. Goodrich, The Tarishe Curse.

Hi, Everyone! The Government of India had no evidence to charge Savarkar with, never mind trying him in court. The account below quoted from Manohar Malgonkar’s The Men Who Killed Gandhi (Lotus Collection, Roli Books, 2008) will give an idea of the horrendous extent Nehru resorted to in his vengeance against Savarkar.

Though Nehru is not specifically named, there was only one man who ranked above Sardar Patel in the cabinet and that was Jawarharlal Nehru. In any case, as the Prime Minister of India, Nehru must be held accountable for the doings of the Government under his command.  

I am quoting from the 2008 edition which as Malgonkar says “is now the complete single account of the plot to murder Gandhi.”[1]

Pages 281-85

“Savarkar being made an accused in the Gandhi-murder trial may well have been an act of political vendetta. Of course, Badge, on his track record is a slippery character and not to be relied upon, but he was most insistent to me that he had been forced to tell lies, and that his pardon and future stipend by the police department in Bombay depended upon his backing the official version of the case and, in particular that, he never saw Savarkar talking to Apte, and never heard him telling them: ‘Yeshaswi houn ya.’ [meaning: return with success.]

But many years later on 16 June 1983, the Poona newspaper Kal edited by S.R. Date, published a report on the subject, which was later reprinted in a volume published by the Savarkar Memorial Committee on 16 Feb. 89. I quote excerpts from it. It purports to report something that Savarkar's counsel at the trial, L.B. (Annasahen) Bhopatkar, a Poona Lawyer, had revealed to his friends after he returned to Poona from Delhi in January 1949, after the Red Fort trial was over, and Savarkar found 'Not Guilty'.

'While in Delhi for the trial, Bhopatkar had been put up in the Hindu Mahasabha office. Bhopatkar had found it a little puzzling that while specific charges had been made against all the other accused, there was no specific charge against his client. He was pondering about his defence strategy when one morning he was told that he was wanted on the telephone, so he went up to the room in which the telephone was kept, picked up the receiver and identified himself. His caller was Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, who merely said; "Please meet me this evening at the sixth milestone on the Mathura road, "Please meet me this evening at the sixth milestone on the Mathura road," but before Bhopatkar could say anything more, put down the receiver.

That evening, when Bhopatkar had himself driven to the place indicated he found Ambedkar already waiting. He motioned to Bhopatkar to get into his car which he, Ambedkar himself was driving. A few minutes later, he stopped the car and told Bhopatkar: There is no real charge against your client; quite worthless evidence has been concocted. Several members of the cabinet were strongly against it, but to no avail. Even Sardar Patel could not go against these orders. But, take it from me, there just is no case. You will win.' Who . . . Jawaharlal Nehru? . . . But why?


They had arrested Savarkar even though they did not possess sufficient evidence to do so. To be sure, the mass of papers seized from his house had yielded scores of letters from Nathuram and half a dozen from Apte, but these were disappointingly innocuous. All that they did was to establish the fact that Nathuram and Apte knew Savarkar and held him in great esteem. But this in itself was not enough to satisfy a magistrate that a prima facie case existed so that he could issue a warrant.


This, however, was no more than a technicality, and they got over it by arresting him under the Preventive Detention Act—one of the most malignant pieces of legislation with which the British had armed themselves while they ruled India. Even though Indian politicians of all shades of opinion had persistently condemned the British for this Act, the Congress had been in no hurry to repeal it after the British had gone. Under its provisions Savarkar was initially held 'as a detenu'. After that they proceeded to build up evidence against him that would enable them to change his detention into arrest, with what would be called 'retrospective effect'.”

It was no secret that Savarkar had suffered tremendous injustice in his pre-independence trials:

·       In London in 1910 when the Court of Britain bent their law to deprive Savarkar of his rights.

·       At Hague (1910-11), where the motions of an arbitration were gone through to quiet the voices of protesters who demanded that Savarkar be given the rights trampled upon in Marseilles.

·       In India (1911) where the British Government of India having used skullduggery to get Savarkar extradited to Indian soil, then proceeded to use flimsy and inadequate evidence to sentence him to a total of fifty years of transportation.

All this he suffered for the freedom of his beloved motherland, India. And what did the Government of his beloved India do upon gaining independence—embroil him in yet another unjust trial, one aiming for the death penalty . . . !

·        Truly, I must say, when Nehru claimed, “I am the last Englishman to rule in India”[2] he certainly knew what he was talking about!!


He used the very same unjust laws and that the British used to wipeout freedom fighters in his efforts to annihilate Savarkar.

Anurupa



[1] As Malgonkar says, “One of the most prestigious magazines of the times, LIFE International, agreed to publish my story and commissioned a well-known photographer, Jehangir Gazdar, to visit the homes of the men in it to take photographs. It came out in the Magazine’s issue of February 1968. But by then I had realized that my story deserved a full book to itself. I broached the idea to my Agents in London and they agreed and found a publisher, Macmillan.” The first edition came out in the “emergency” political climate, so this particular incident given here was not included in it. In the following years other information was revealed. This particular 2008 edition incorporates all the information and is illustrated with unpublished documents and photographs as well.
 
[2] John Kenneth Galbraith’s book Name-dropping.

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