Author, Burning for Freedom

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Nehru’s Machiavellian Move, Part II


“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared”
- Niccolo Machiavelli
Hi, Everyone! Do please forgive the glitches in the format of the post, for some reason I cannot iron them out right now.
Gandhi was murdered on January 30, 1948, and five days later, police came to Savarkar’s home at dawn and whisked him off to jail.

    The charge?
There was none!
Instead an order was passed under the Bombay Public Security Measures Act, 1947, and Savarkar was held in isolation, in jail without access to a lawyer. Below is the excerpt of the order:
"AND WHEREAS, I, JEHANGIR SOHRAB BHARUCHA, I.P., Commissioner of Police, Greater Bombay, am satisfied that the person known as Mr. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Bar.-at-Law, is acting in a manner prejudicial to the public safety and the peace of Greater Bombay.
NOW THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of subsection (1) of Section 2 of the said Act, I hereby direct that the said Mr. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Bar.-at-Law, be detained."[1]
Note the words in bold. At a time when Savarkar’s home had been invaded by a maddened crowd, his brother severally injured by rioters; when people were rioting against the Brahmans, Hindu Mahasabhaites and RSS members; when the police were victimizing them and throwing them in jail for no reason—Savarkar, instead of getting protection, got jail time.

Freedom in India did not bring democracy—apparently only exchanged one tyrannical ruler for another!
Nehru had no qualms at throwing Savarkar in jail—a sixty-four-year-old Savarkar who was in extremely poor health.

This is how free India treated a fifty-year veteran of her freedom movement.

This is how free India treated a freedom fighter who suffered gross injustice in the legal system of the British Raj.

This is how free India treated a freedom fighter who suffered fourteen years hard labor in the worst of the British Raj jails.
Did Nehru for one second imagine what it must have been for Savarkar—who spent ten years in solitary isolation in the monstrous Cellular Jail—to back to solitary isolation in free India, stripped of all rights, when he had not even committed a crime?
In 1960, Nehru confessed to his friend Leonard Mosley one reason for accepting partition.
"The truth is that we were tired men, and we were getting on in years, too. Few of us could stand the prospect of going to prison again—and if we had stood out for a united India as we wished it, prison obviously awaited us."[2]
Here we have a man
—Jawaharlal Nehru—who confesses to partitioning of India, inflicting indescribable horror and pain on India and Indians, just because he is afraid of facing jail, so heartlessly flinging Savarkar and so many others in jail . . . !

But then again, perhaps it is to be expected of such a man!
What comparison can there be in the kind of jail experience Nehru, the favorite of the British, experienced versus the horrors and indignity suffered by Savarkar?
I shall give you one comment on Nehru’s experience:
"On 31 October he [Nehru] too was arrested; he was subsequently tried and sentenced to four years’ rigorous imprisonment. Churchill, who was shocked at the severity of the sentence, had to be assured that Nehru would in fact receive specially considerate treatment." [3]
Yet Nehru feared being imprisoned.

What must Savarkar have gone through?

Did Nehru care?
Does anyone care?
Attributions for the quotes:
[2] History of the Freedom Movement of India, Vol. III, R. C. Majumdar, page 796.

[3] Transfer of Power, V. P. Menon, page 101.



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