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Friday, May 24, 2013

Biography of Savarkar, Post 19: Gandhi-Murder

The violence continued unabated even after independence. There was an exodus of Hindus and Muslims to and from the two parts of Punjab. Hindu refugees in India were in dire straits.

        October 24, 1947: armed Pakistani tribesmen attacked Kashmir. The Maharaja of Kashmir acceded to India and the Indian army entered Kashmir.

·       The question of `55 Crores to be given to Pakistan came up at this time. Since the commitment was only verbal and not final, and conditional upon there being no outstanding issues, Government of India refused to pay up until Pakistan at least called off the attacks on Kashmir.


·       January 13: Gandhi started a fast to force the Government into giving this money to Pakistan, to reinstate Muslims in their homes, and to return mosques taken over by Hindus in the city of Delhi. On this very day, a train carrying Hindu and Sikh refugees from Bannu was attacked at Gujarat railway station by Muslims. But Gandhi got his way.

·       January 20: Nathuram Godse and some associates conspired to set off a bomb 150 yards from Gandhi’s prayer meeting in a failed attempt at assassinating Gandhi. Madanlal Pahwa was apprehended red-handed. Upon torture, he revealed his co-conspirators as editors of Hindurashtra. Dr. Jain revealed this conspiracy to Morarji Desai, Home Minister of Bombay Presidency, mentioning Nathuram by name.

·       For some inexplicable reason, Government of India did not see fit to arrest Godse, nor was the most basic of precaution taken to protect the Mahatma.

·       January 30: Nathuram Godse fatally shot Gandhi—a separate act independent of the original conspiracy.

·       In contrast to the lackadaisical inaction in preventing the death of the Mahatma, the Government now went on a frenzied campaign to annihilate Savarkar and wipe out Hindutva-minded people. Almost 20,000 people were arrested, many of them tortured, and many more people came under fire of the Governmental wrath. Savarkar was stigmatized as a pariah in Indian society.

·       Savarkar was arrested as a measure of preventive detention under the Bombay Public Security Measures Act for “promoting hatred by inciting Hindus against Muslims” and “inciting persons to commit acts of violence against Muslims and persons who are endeavoring to bring about unity between Hindus and Muslims.” He was kept isolated and not allowed to even meet anyone, even his lawyer, until March 23rd.

·       March 11: Savarkar was charged with conspiracy to murder Gandhi on the basis of uncorroborated hearsay evidence given by the approver Badge upon being tortured.

  -   Anurupa

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