Author, Burning for Freedom

Author, Burning for Freedom
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kapur Commission, Part II

Category: Gandhi-Murder Case

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

-   Carl Sagan


Hi, Everyone! In all fairness I have to say Justice Kapur has given all the evidence of the Government’s and the police’s failure to prevent the murder of the Mahatma in his report. His bias lies in the way he has presented it.

I shall first give you the salient facts of the case.

On January 20, 1948, a bomb exploded 150 yards away from Gandhi’s prayer meeting. The police apprehended a Madanlal Pahwa red-handed. The police brutality being what it was, by January 24th they had information that his co-conspirators were editors of the Hindurashtra. They didn’t have the names.

·       I ask you: why could they not find out the names in the 6 days they had in hand before Gandhi’s murder?

Surely one phone call to the Hindu Mahasabha office, one issue of the magazine, and so many other perfectly easy ways were there to find this out? If not there was always the option of torturing people to get information—that was a standard police practice, after all.


 On the other side, In Mumbai, Madanlal’s friend Dr. Jain actually had information on the conspiracy. He could name Nathuram as one involved. He met Morarji Desai and told him all.

·       Why then did Morarji, the Home Minister of Bombay Presidency not take any action?

Sardar Patel put one man in charge of the investigation to coordinate the Bombay and Delhi police only after Gandhi’s death. Why not before?

Refugees in Delhi were clamoring “Let Gandhi die” outside Birla House where Gandhi was staying. Surely, there should have been stringent, very stringent, security after the bomb blast at the hands of Madanla Pahwa, a refugee?

·       Why was the Mahatma’s life not considered worthy of this basic protection?

To say that the Mahatma did not wish it is not a convincing argument. The Mahatma could not possibly say otherwise, for it would mean an out and out contradiction of his principle of nonviolence. But throughout his career the Mahatma took very good care to be surrounded by armed guards. He even took refuge behind them at the slightest sign of provocation.

The British had taken very, very good care to protect the Mahatma’s life, why did the Government of India not do the same?

·       A simple frisking of each person entering the prayer ground would have been enough to prevent this tragedy. But even that was not done.


Kapur instead of seeing the seriousness of all these Government and police omissions which led directly to the murder of the Mahatma, brushes it all under the carpet as mere “incompetence.”

·       If it were mere “incompetence” surely some heads would have rolled? Someone would have been held accountable by the Government?

·       Why did no one resign?

Kapur also remains utterly silent on the number of people—20,000—thrown in jail by the Government after the murder of Gandhi. Nor does he make a peep re the fact that so many of them were tortured. Is there any value in court to any evidence that is tortured out of a man? Surely, many a man will say whatever the police want them to, just for the torture to stop?

Point to note:

Despite all of this, all the (non)evidence the Government could concoct against Savarkar was a hearsay evidence from Badge, one of the co-conspirators.

With the whole battery of the Government’s vicious, horrendous tactics unleashed upon the Hindus, and with the Reign of Terror that followed, there was still no evidence against Savarkar.

For there was no evidence to find!

The fact that none of this is in Kapur’s report, the fact that he does not hold the Government of India culpable in any way, is a sure indication of his bias in its favor.

Tomorrow I shall write on what possible reason the Government of India had to look the other way rather than prevent Gandhi’s death.



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