- And here are excerpts from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad s India Wins Freedom: http://www.coimuk.org/2008/08/31/founder-partition-india/ It must be placed on recordMessage 1 of 3 , Sep 15, 2013View SourceAnd here are excerpts from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's India Wins Freedom:http://www.coimuk.org/2008/08/31/founder-partition-india/
It must be placed on record that the man in India who first fell for Lord Mountbatten’s idea was Sardar Patel. Till perhaps the very end Pakistan was for Jinnah a bargaining counter, but in fighting for Pakistan, he had overreached himself. His action had so annoyed and irritated Sardar Patel that the Sardar was now a believer in partition.
In fact, Sardar Patel was fifty per cent in favour of partition even before Lord Mountbatten appeared on the scene. He was convinced that he could not work with the Muslim League. He openly said that he was prepared to have a part of India if only he could get rid of the Muslim League. It would not perhaps be unfair to say that Yallabhbhai Patel was the founder of Indian partition.
Lord Mountbatten was extremely intelligent and could read into the minds of all his Indian colleagues. The moment he found Patel amenable to his idea he put out all the charm and power of his personality to win over the Sardar. In his private talk, he always referred to Patel as a walnut — a very hard crust outside but soft pulp once the crust was crack. Sometimes in a jocular mood he used to tell me that he had spoken to Walnut, and Walnut had agreed with him on every question.
When Sardar Patel was convinced, Lord Mountbatten turned his attention to Jawaharlal. Jawaharlal was not at first ready for the idea and reacted violently against the idea of partition. Lord Mountbatten persisted till Jawaharlal’s opposition was worn down step by step. Within a month of Lord Mountbatten’s arrival in India, Jawaharlal, the firm opponent of partition had become, if not a supporter at least acquiescent to the idea.
I have often wondered how Jawaharlal was won over by Lord Mountbatten. He is a man of principle but he is also impulsive and very amenable to personal influences. I think one factor responsible for the change was the personality of Lady Mountbatten. She is not only extremely intelligent but has a most attractive and friendly temperament. She admired her husband very greatly and in many cases tried to interpret his thoughts to those who would not at first agree with him.
I was surprised and pained when Patel said that whether we liked it or not, there were two nations in India. He was now convinced that Muslims and Hindus could not be united into one nation. There was no alternative except to recognise this fact. In this way alone could we end the quarrel between Hindus and Muslims.
I was surprised that Patel was now an even greater supporter of the two nation theory than Jinnah. Jinnah may have raised the flag of partition but now the real flag bearer was Patel.
I now turned to Jawaharlal. It was clear that in spite of his repugnance to the idea of partition, he was day by day coming to the conclusion that there was no alternative. He recognised that partition was certainly not the best solution, in fact it was not a good solution at all.
Now that Sardar Patel and even Jawaharlal had become supporters of partition, Gandhiji remained my only hope.
I went to see him at once and his very first remark was, ‘Partition has now become a threat. It seems Yallabhbhai and even Jawaharlal have surrendered. What will you do now? Will you stand by me or have you also changed?’
I replied, ‘I have been and am against partition. Never has my opposition to partition been so strong as today. I am however distressed to find that even Jawaharlal and Patel have accepted defeat and in your words, surrendered their arms. My only hope now is in you. If you stand against partition, we may yet save the situation. If you however acquiesce, I am afraid India is lost.’
Gandhiji said, ‘What a question to ask! If the Congress wishes to accept partition, it will be over my dead body. So long as I am alive I will never agree to the partition of India. Nor will I, if I can help it, allow Congress to accept it.’
But when I met Gandhiji again, I received the greatest shock of my life to find that he had changed. He was still not openly in favour of partition but he no longer spoke so vehemently against it. What surprised and shocked me even more was that he began to repeat the arguments which Sardar Patel had already used. For over two hours I pleaded with him, but I could make no impression on him.
In despondency I at last said, ‘If even you have now adopted these views, I see no hope of saving India from catastrophe.’
I thought deeply over the whole matter. How was it that Gandhiji could change his opinion so quickly? My reading is that this was due to the influence of Sardar Patel. Patel openly said that there was no way out except partition.
During the whole of this period, Gandhiji was living in terrible mental anguish. He strained every nerve to restore good feelings between the communities and secure the life and property of Muslims.
Often he sent for Jawaharlal, Sardar Patel and me and asked us to describe the situation in the city. It added to his distress when he found that there were differences among us even regarding what was actually happening.
The truth is that there was a difference of attitude between Sardar Patel on the one hand and Jawaharlal and me on the other. This was affecting local administration and it was becoming clear that the officers were divided into two groups. The larger group looked up to Sardar Patel and acted in a way which they thought would please him. A smaller group looked to Jawaharlal and me and tried to carry out Jawaharlal’s orders. The Chief Commissioner of Delhi was a Muslim officer, Khurshed Ahmed, son of Sahebzada Aftab Ahmed. He was not a strong officer. In addition, he was afraid that if he took strong action he might be regarded as favouring the Muslims. The result was that he was only the nominal head of the administration and all action was being taken by the Deputy Commissioner on his own initiative. This was an officer called Randhawa who was a Sikh but did not follow many of the Sikh customs and conventions. He had shaved off his beard and cut his hair and many Sikhs regarded him as almost a heretic. He had been Deputy Commissioner in Delhi even before partition, and sometime before 15 August there was a suggestion that since he had served his term he might be returned to the Punjab. Many leading citizens of Delhi, especially a large section of Muslims, represented strongly against this proposal. They said that Randhawa was a fair-minded and strong officer and during these difficult days it would be hard to find a suitable replacement.
Randhawa was accordingly retained but it seemed that under the stress of the communal tension which was sweeping through the Punjab he also changed. I received many reports that he was not taking sufficiently strong or effective action against the miscreants. The very Muslims who had a year ago pleaded for his retention now came and pleaded that he was not giving the necessary protection to the Muslim citizens of Delhi. This was reported to Sardar Patel but he paid hardly any attention to such complaints.
Sardar Patel was the Home Member and as such the Delhi administration was directly under him. As the list of murders and arson grew longer, Gandhiji sent for Patel and asked him what he was doing to stop this carnage. Sardar Patel tried to assure him by saying that the reports which Gandhiji received were grossly exaggerated. In fact he went to the extent of saying that Muslims had no cause for complaint or fear. I remember distinctly one occasion when the three of us were sitting with Gandhiji. Jawaharlal said with deep sorrow that he could not tolerate the situation in Delhi where Muslim citizens were being killed like cats and dogs. He felt humiliated that he was helpless and could not save them. His conscience would not let him rest, for what answer could he give when people complained about these terrible happenings? Jawaharlal repeated several times that he found the situation intolerable and his conscience would not let him rest.
We were completely taken aback by Sardar Patel’s reaction. At a time when Muslims were being murdered in Delhi in open daylight, he calmly told Gandhiji that Jawaharlal’s complaints were completely incomprehensible. There may have been some isolated incidents but the Government was doing everything possible to protect the life and property of Muslims and nothing more could be done. In fact he expressed his dissatisfaction that Jawaharlal as the Prime Minister should express disapproval of what his Government was doing.
Jawaharlal remained speechless for some moments and then turned to Gandhiji in despair. He said that if these were Sardar Patel’s views, he had no comments to make.
Another incident which occurred about this time revealed clearly how Sardar Patel’s mind was working. He perhaps felt that some explanation was necessary for the attacks on Muslims which were taking place every day. He accordingly put out a theory that deadly weapons had been recovered from the Muslim quarters of the city. His insinuation was that the Muslims of Delhi had collected arms to attack the Hindus and the Sikhs, and if the Hindus and the Sikhs had not taken the first offensive, the Muslims would have destroyed them. The police recovered some arms from Karol Bagh and Sabzi Mandi. Under Sardar Patel’s orders, these were brought to the Government House and kept for our inspection in the ante-chamber of the Gabinet Room. When we assembled for our daily meeting, Sardar Patel said that we should first go to the ante-chamber and inspect the captured arms. On our arrival we found on the table dozens of kitchen knives that were rusted, pocket knives and pen knives with or without handles and iron spikes which had been recovered from the fences of old houses, and some cast iron water pipes. According to Sardar Patel, these were the weapons which the Muslims of Delhi had collected to exterminate the Hindus and the Sikhs. Lord Mountbatten took up one or two knives and said with a smile that those who had collected these materials seemed to have a wonderful idea of military tactics if they thought that the city of Delhi could be captured with them.
I have already said that the large majority of the Muslims of the city had been collected in the Purana Qila. Winter was now approaching. Thousands who lived under the open sky suffered terribly from the cold. There was no proper arrangement for food or drinking water. What was worse, the conservancy arrangements were either non-existent or thoroughly inadequate. One morning, Dr Zakir Husain [President of India during 1967-1969] gave evidence before the Emergency Board and described the terrible condition in the old fort. He said that these poor men and women had been rescued from sudden death to be buried in a living grave
Gandhiji said that he saw Muslims of Delhi being killed before his own eyes. This was being done while his own Vallabhbhai was the Home Member of the Government of India and responsible for maintaining law and order in the capital. Patel had not only failed to give protection to Muslims but he dismissed lightheartedly any complaint made on this account. Gandhiji said that he had now no option but to use his last weapon, namely to fast until the situation changed. Accordingly he began his fast on 12 January 1948. in a sense, the fast was directed against the attitude of Sardar Patel and Patel knew that this was so.
On the evening of the first day’s fast Jawaharlal, Sardar Patel and I were sitting by Gandhiji’s side. Sardar Patel was leaving for Bombay the next morning.
Sardar Patel was annoyed by this reply and spoke harshly to Gandhiji. Jawaharlal and. I were shocked and surprised by his behaviour and could not remain silent. I protested and said, ‘Vallabhbhai, you may not realise it but we feel deeply how insulting your attitude is and how much you are hurting Gandhiji.
What was most noticeable in all these affairs was that Sardar Patel had turned against Gandhiji. He was indifferent when Gandhiji fasted on the issue of the security of Muslims.
Patel felt that the fast was directed against him. This is the reason why he refused to stay even when I asked him not to go to Bombay. His attitude had a most unfortunate effect on the local police. Local officials looked at Sardar Patel and when they found that he issued no special orders for Gandhiji’s safety, they did not think it necessary to take any special measures.
Patel’s indifference before Gandhiji’s death was so marked that people had noticed it. There was naturally a wave of anger once the tragedy took place. Some people openly accused Sardar Patel of inefficiency or worse. Jayaprakash Narayan showed considerable courage in raising this issue. In the meeting which was held in Delhi to express our sense of horror and sorrow at Gandhiji’s death, Jayaprakash Narayan said clearly that the Home Minister of the Government of India could not escape the responsibility for this assassination. He demanded an explanation from Sardar Patel as to why no special measures had been taken when there was open propaganda inciting people to murder Gandhiji and a bomb had actually been thrown at him.On 14 September 2013 09:42, Ashok Chowdhury <ashok.chowdhury@...> wrote:Dear com. Shamsul,Many thanks for this very important inputs.This would help everyone to understand the continuity of communal design historically.One has to recognize the fact that generally most of the mainstream leaders have always remained communal in critical moments. So, it is important to be watchful about such leaders and to work for building up a strong secular political domain.In solidarity,Ashok--On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Shamsul Islam <notoinjustice@...> wrote:The cleansing of Muslims in Western Uttar Pradesh is an old project of Hindutva camp specially RSS and its affiliates. They have been working for it for a long time. They tried to do it on the eve of Independence and almost succeeded in executing it recently. There is a shocking similarity, though. On the eve of Independence, it was Congress ministry of Govind Ballabh Pant which shielded the criminals and now it is Samajvaadi Party which facilitated the gruesome project.
I am pasting below a passage from the autobiography of the first Home Secretary of UP, Rajeshwar Dayal, a senior bureaucrat,clearly showing the sinister designs of the RSS regarding Western UP on the eve of Independence. RSS plan to cleanse Muslims from this area is old one & according to Dayal, RSS chief Golwalkar was directly involved in it. According to Dayal,
"I must record an episode of a very grave nature when the
procrastination and indecision of the UP Cabinet led to dire
consequences. When communal tension was still at fever pitch, the Deputy
Inspector General of Police of the Western Range, a very seasoned and
capable officer, B. B. L. Jaitley, arrived at my house in great secrecy.
He was accompanied by two of his officers who brought with them two
large steel trunks securely locked. When the trunks were opened, they
revealed incontrovertible evidence of a dastardly conspiracy to create a
communal holocaust throughout the Western districts of the province.
The trunks were crammed with blueprints of great accuracy and
professionalism of every town and village in that vast area, prominently
marking out the Muslim localities and habitations. There were also detailed
instructions regarding access to the various locations, and other matters which amply revealed the sinister purport.
Greatly alarmed by those revelations, I immediately took the police party to the Premier’s [chief minister’s] house. There, in a closed room, Jaitley gave a full
report of his discovery, backed by all the evidence contained in the
steel trunks. Timely raids conducted on the premises of the RSS
(Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) had brought the massive conspiracy to
light. The whole plot had been concerted under the direction and
supervision of the Supremo of the organization himself. Both Jaitley and
I pressed for the immediate arrest of the prime accused, Shri Golwalkar, who was still in the area.
Pantji [G. B. Pant] could not but accept the evidence of his eyes and
ears and expressed deep concern. But instead of agreeing to the
immediate arrest of the ringleader as we had hoped, and as Kidwai would
have done, he asked for the matter to be placed for consideration by the
Cabinet at its next meeting. It was no doubt a matter of political
delicacy as the roots of the RSS had gone deep into the body politic.
There were also other political compulsions, as RSS sympathizers, both
covert and overt, were to be found in the Congress Party itself and even
in the Cabinet. It was no secret that the presiding officer of the
Upper House, Atma Govind Kher, was himself an adherent and his sons were
openly members of the RSS.
At the Cabinet meeting there was the usual procrastination and much
irrelevant talk. The fact that the police had unearthed a conspiracy
which would have set the whole province in flames and that the officers
concerned deserved warm commendation hardly seemed to figure in the
discussion. What ultimately emerged was that a letter should be issued
to Shri Golwalkar pointing out the contents and nature of the evidence
which had been gathered and demanding an explanation thereof. At my
insistence, such a letter if it were to be sent, should be issued by the
Premier himself to carry greater weight.
Panditji asked me to prepare a draft, which I did in imitation of his
own characteristic style. The letter was to be delivered forthwith and
two police officers were assigned for the purpose.
however, had been tipped off and he was nowhere to be found in the area.
He was tracked down southwards but he managed to elude the couriers in
pursuit. This infructuous chase continued from place to place and weeks
Came January 30, 1948 when the Mahatma, that supreme apostle of peace,
fell to a bullet fired by an RSS fanatic. The tragic episode left me
sick at heart."
[Rajeshwar Dayal, A LIFE OF OUR TIMES, pp. 93-94].
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