“When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”
- Euripides, Orestes
Hi, Everyone! With the entry of Lord Mountbatten on India’s political scene, the final hour of reckoning was here. India was buried in a bloodbath, the leaders of the various parties and the Princes were not coming to any agreement, and Britain’s need to get out of India was urgent.
Already, in March 1947, the Working Committee of Congress had suggested the partitioning of Punjab and Bengal.
Under these circumstances, it was not surprising that Mountbatten’s solution to the problem was partitioning India.
Yet, there was perhaps one last chance to save India.
“Savarkar knew that the last moment to be or not to be had come. On May 29, 1947, in a fervent and forlorn appeal to the Congressite, Savarkar urged them not to betray the electorates and India by agreeing to a scheme involving vivisection of the Motherland. He reminded them that they had not been elected to the legislatures on the issue of partition and their Constituent Assembly had also no right ab initio even to consider such a proposal. Hence he urged upon them to resign their seats and posts and to seek re-election on the clear-cut issue of Pakistan or a United India, if they were for the partition of India. Savarkar further suggested to the Congress leaders that they might demand a plebiscite to decide such a momentous issue involving the life and death of the nation and the destiny of future generations.”
But “when the wordy Congress democrats were reeling in the drunken joy of party and personal power” were they going to heed these words? When the power they had so assiduously chased at the cost of India’s integrity, at the cost of the lives of so many Indians, was now within their grasp, were they going to give it up?
“The Congress leaders were now well prepared for their final consent to the onslaught on the unity of India. In a written message read out after the usual daily prayer-meeting in Delhi, Gandhi declared on June 9, 1947, that he was not opposing the Congress acceptance of the new British plan.
But who got the Congress committed to that resolution? History would record that all these Congress brand nationalist leaders were as one in coercing the Hindus to accept Pakistan. . . .
Sardar Patel’s support to the partition of India was a complete transfer scene from sword to surrender. . . .
Gandhi put an ultimatum before the A.I.C.C. He threatened them either to accept the resolution conceding Pakistan or to replace the old tried Congress leaders. He advised them to accept the plan of Pakistan and added that it was their duty to stand by their leaders. . . .
To the Congress leaders their prestige was more important than the destinies of the nation and the fate of the millions. That was an unfortunate characteristic of the Congress leadership.
“What other country has witnessed such a betrayal?”
And Mother India was hacked into pieces. Pakistan was born.
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