Author, Burning for Freedom

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shenanigans of Gandhi, Part VI

“Double, double toil and trouble,

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

Hi, Everyone! This story will be the last in this series. Not only does it expose the back-stabbing that Gandhi apparently routinely indulges in to keep his power, but it also exposes the stab in the heart he gave to Mother India.

“Gandhi’s observance of a prolonged silence was partly due to his physical weakness and partly to his secret involvement in a serious plan. . . .

Gandhi made him [Dr. Syed Mahmud in October 1944] write a letter to Bhulabhai Desai requesting him to see Liaquat Ali, the leader of the Muslim League in the Central Assembly, and discuss with him the formation of a composite Government consisting of the Congress and the Muslim League. After waiting for a fortnight or so, Gandhi himself wrote a letter in Gujarati to Bhulabhai urging him to expedite the matter.

Bhulabhai met Liaquat Ali in Delhi and prepared a draft which was later known as the Bhulabhai-Liaquat Ali Pact. Liaquat Ali was to get Jinnah’s approval and Bhulabhai Gandhi’s. Bhulabhai met Gandhi with the draft and Gandhi made some changes in it, approved the draft secretly and asked Bhulabhai to meet Lord Wavell, the Viceroy. Bhulabhai met Wavell and handed over the draft to him for consideration and action.[1]

This secret Pact surpassed the Rajaji formula in the harm it did to the national majority. It agreed to a percentage of fifty-fifty in all representations for the Hindus and the Muslims.”

[It was not just an agreement of fifty-fifty Hindu-Muslim representation (which in itself was a colossal betrayal of the Hindu majority, going as it was—in leaps and bounds—ahead of weighted electorates.)

·        It was an agreement of fifty-fifty representation of the Congress and the League.

·        There would be no general elections either at the Centre or in the provinces.

·        Democracy was given the go-by!

That wiped out the chance of either the Hindu Mahasabha (for Hindu seats) or any other Muslim party (for Muslim seats) representing the Indians and forming a Government in free India.]

“The demand for parity in the alliance of the Congress with the Muslim League in the Central Assembly had ripened to a reality. . . .

Meanwhile, news of the secret Pact leaked out and the members of the Working Committee, who were interned at Ahmednagar, were indignant at it. They expressed their anger and displeasure in a resolution about the pact.

Dr. P. C. Ghosh, one of the members of the Working Committee, met Gandhi at Sevagram after his release from Ahmednagar and gave him a copy of the resolution of the Working Committee. Gandhi took the cue and sent a female messenger to Delhi to contact Bhulabhai Desai. She told him that Gandhi would not bless a Government formed by Bhulabhai and Liaquat because he did not like the agreement. In a fit of anger Bhulabhai shouted: ‘Let Bapu go to hell. I will stand by what I have done!’ . . .

Azad, Patel and Nehru called Bhulabhai Desai and censured him for having mooted the Bhulabhai Desai-Liaquat Ali Pact. According to them it amounted to treachery.”

[It was not the parity they objected to, per se, for they were agreeable with parity only a short time later in the Simla Conference proposals. It was the fact that Bhulabhai had approached the Viceroy going over the heads and intended to be in charge of the free Indian government that incensed them!]

“Bhulabhai told them that they were blaming him unnecessarily as he had done the bidding of the Mahatma. Upon this they furiously pounced upon him and said they would decide later what to do about the Mahatma, but he should not expect any important assignment in future from the Congress!

Humiliated, Bhulabhai met Gandhi and pleaded for removing the injustice done to him. Instead of protecting him from threats and attacks, Gandhi told Bhulabhai that he had wealth, reputation and position; he should not covet a post in the Viceroy’s Executive Council.

Not only that, Gandhi asked him as he had done in the case of Dr. Khare, to give him a statement in writing to this effect: ‘I, Bhulabhai Desai, consider myself incompetent to be a member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council and also declare that I will never accept such a job even now or at any time in the future.’

Bhulabhai was stunned! He said to Gandhi angrily, ‘You use a person as an instrument for your purpose and as soon as that purpose is served, you bury that individual. No one should expect justice at your hands.’”

Bhulabhai should certainly have known better than to have played Gandhi’s games! But schemes and power plays were the order of the day in the Congress Camp—quite commonplace!—and certainly the Mahatma was a master at that game.


Mahatma Gandhi Facts: Gandhi Revealed


[1] “There can hardly be any doubt that Desai had in fact reached an understanding with Liaquat Ali Khan on the formation of a national government at the centre . . . Gandhiji himself admitted later that the Desai-Liaquat pact had received his blessing.” Transfer of Power, V. P. Menon, page 178

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