Thursday, January 10, 2013

Savarkar’s Petitions: The Double Standards of Savarkar-Bashers


"Hindusthan, our very own Motherland!
To us Hindus she is everything,
Our life and our very soul."

- V. D. Savarkar, Amucha Swadesh Hindusthan (Hindustan, Our Motherland)

 

Hi, Everyone! Savarkar-bashers write of Savarkar’s petitions as if they are some dirty secrets that they have exposed—for dramatic effect, I suppose. For most certainly they were neither "dirty" not secret! Savarkar himself has written all about his various petitions, even given a gist of some of them in his My Transportation for Life which was first published in 1927.

·  Savarkar-bashers also use quotes from these petitions to bolster their claim that Savarkar sacrificed India and became a British loyalist.


Since Savarkar’s openly avowed precept is that in the freedom struggle petitions and pledges made to the enemy (the British in this case) when incarcerated are not binding. No patriot of India was honor bound to follow their dictates.

As such, it is ridiculous to brandish any quotes praising the British from his petitions as proof. Savarkar’s petitions were made under duress—of being incarcerated—and can certainly not be considered as a free and willing expression of Savarkar’s sentiments.

·  And Savarkar’s actions before, during, and after writing these petitions are a testament of his patriotism, his devotion, and his dedication to the cause of India’s freedom.

I consider this act of besmirching the character of such a fine, upstanding freedom fighter as Savarkar a dastardly act.

But for a moment I shall put aside the view that Savarkar-bashers are doing this from some base desire to throw mud at Savarkar and unjustly shred his reputation as a freedom fighter and a man.

·  For a moment, I shall consider that these Savarkar-bashers are genuinely stirred to horror by any freedom fighter who utters a praise of the British.

In that case, though, they should be equally vociferous in denouncing other freedom fighters. Yet one doesn’t hear a peep out of them even in mild reproof of Gandhi—who is the honorary "Father of the Nation," who popularly is supposed to have won India her freedom—and his oft-declared loyalty to the British and evidence of intimacy and familiarity with the Viceroys and other British officials.

Here are some telling examples:

·  Here is a Gandhi-quote begging to support the resolution in the War Conference of Viceroy Lord Chelmsford.

"So I attended the Conference. The Viceroy was very keen on my supporting the resolution about recruiting. . . . I had no speech to make. I spoke but one sentence to this effect,

‘With a full sense of my responsibility, I beg to support the resolution.’" Vide An Autobiography, Part V; Ch. XXVII.

·  Gandhi’s letter to the Viceroy Chelmsford written in 1918.

"If I could make my countrymen retrace their steps, I would make them withdraw all the Congress resolutions, and not whisper ‘Home Rule’ or ‘Responsible Government’ during the pendency of the war. I would make India offer all her able-bodied sons as a sacrifice to the Empire at its critical moment . . .

I write this, because I love the English Nation, and I wish to evoke in every Indian the loyalty of the Englishman.

I remain,
Your Excellency’s faithful servant,

M. K. GANDHI"[1]
·  Gandhi’s speech for recruiting Indians in WWI

"'Recruits whom we would raise would be Home Rulers. They would go to fight for the Empire; but they would so fight because they aspire to become partners in it.’
The Bombay Chronicle, 17-6-1918"

·  On January 5, 1922—before the Noncooperation movement supposedly aiming for freedom was called off—Gandhi said in his magazine Young India:

"It will be unlawful for us to insist on independence. For it will be vindictive and petulant. It will be a denial of God."

·  Just before Gandhi embarked on his Salt Satyagraha, in 1930, he wrote a letter to Viceroy Lord Irwin. The letter was addressed and signed in this peculiar manner. (Gandhi has written other official letters to various Viceroys also addressed in this unseemly manner.)

"Dear friend,
God willing, it is my intention . . .
I am,
Your sincere friend,
M. K. Gandhi

Also, Viceroy Linlithgow records that Sastri told him of a conversation with Gandhi in which "He had said to Gandhi: ‘If you see the Viceroy I guarantee you will come out a conquered man and you will be his man henceforth,’ to which Gandhi had replied: ‘I wish to be conquered.’[2]
·  Gandhi’s reply to Viceroy Linlithgow in 1939:
"I have great regard for you. I feel there is a sympathetic bond between us. I feel, too, that I should rely on your honour . . ."[3]

There are so many more such Gandhi-quotes and references available.

· Why is there no uproar over them?

I shall now point out a couple of shockers of Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India.

·  Free India’s first Prime Minister thinks of his himself as an "Englishman"!!

A little snippet from an interview of John Kenneth Galbraith by Arun Venugopal:

"While the pace of his day has slowed down, John Kenneth Galbraith's mind remains vibrant and unrelenting. He also talks of his close friendship with Nehru, who figures in his book Name-Dropping.

‘You realise, Galbraith,’ Nehru had once told him, ‘I am the last Englishman to rule in India.’"

Read the whole interview

·  Not only this, but Nehru’s affair with Lady Mountbatten certainly disqualified him from being eligible as a Prime Minister. The first Prime Minister of free India carrying on a clandestine affair with a married member of the British royalty . . . ![4]

So why has a curtain been dropped on all these (and more) genuine skeletons rattling about in the Congress closets—and why instead is Savarkar being vilified on unfounded facts?

 

Anurupa



[1] Viceroy’s April 29, 1918, letter.
[2] Viceroy’s April 29, 1918, letter.
[3] Viceroy’s April 29, 1918, letter.
[4] There is documentation available for this. I intend to write a separate series on this topic in my blog.  Read Indian Summer by Alex Von Tunzelmann for more.

 

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