In this book Guilty Men of India's Partition the author exposed the errors and untruths and highlighted certain happenings and aspects of truth. He outlined the basic causes that led to the partition.
While giving an account of the Guilty Men of India's Partition, the author deliberately selected persons who were personally brave but collectively stupid in order to bring out the country's long story of defeat and surrender.
The author was forthright in his own inimitable way in giving an account of these Guilty Men of India's Partition.
RAMMANOHAR LOHIA was born on 23 March 1910 in an ordinary middle class family. His father, Hiralal, was a freedom fighter and Congress leader. Lohia received his high school education at Marwari School in Bombay and higher education at Kashi Vishvavidyalaya (Banaras Hindu University) and Calcutta University. He was a student activist while he studied for his degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Berlin University.
Lohia was one of the founders of the socialist movement in India, and helped formation of the Congress Socialist Party in 1934.
He was a brilliant and original thinker as well as a man of action.
Upon his return from abroad, Lohia edited The Congress Socialist, an English weekly, published from Calcutta.
When Lohia was nine or ten years old, his father took him to Gandhiji. He touched the feet of Gandhiji. Gandhiji blessed him by patting him on the back. But his first live contact with Gandhiji was after he returned from Germany. He was very closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi. In a conversation with Lohia, Gandhiji said: Lohia was brave, but that there might be braver persons in his crowd, and he seemed to laugh away the whole concept of bravery by stating that the tiger was brave, too. He continued that there might be more learned persons in his crowd, and laughed away the whole idea of learning by stating that the lawyer was learned, too. Gandhiji concluded that Lohia had sheel, which could best be translated as possessing continuity in character, and said that there seemed to be none more consistent than Lohia in his crowd and also that consistency or continuity in character was the distinguishing mark man from other animals.
He was a leading figure of the 1942 rebellion and inspired the setting up of an underground radio transmission. A his arrest in 1944, he was interned in the Lahore Fort and tortured.
He initiated Goa and Nepal struggles in 1946, and Kisan marches and struggles against government injustice beginning with 1947 and the Asian Socialist Conference in 1951.
Lohia was Secretary of the Congress Foreign Department during 1936-38. In 1946, he refused to be General Secret of the Congress. He was General Secretary of the Praja Socialist Party in 1954 and Chairman of the Socialist Party in 1956.
Lohia was an indefatigable champion of civil liberty argued his own habeas corpus petitions and won many landmark court victories. He was arrested more than 20 times by British, Portugal, Nepal and Indian Governments, and probably holds the world record in political arrests.
He founded and edited, Krishak; a Bengali weekly, Jana Hindi monthly, and Mankind, an English monthly.
Apart from action, Lohia made a great contribution to socialist thought. He was the originator of the idea of the trident of spade, prison and vote which put his ideas apart from western social democracy and communism. His Sapta Kranti (Seven Revolutions) summed up his philosophy of life Lohia was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1963 and made his first historic speech concerning India's poverty and his last in 1967, about the remedy to remove poverty. He used the forum of parliament in an unprecedented manner by taking it to the people and bringing the people into it. His contribution to the parliamentary way was phenomenal.
Lohia was a great believer in principled politics and his one concern was to lift the country from the morass in which it had fallen. Lohia, however, was no narrow-minded nationalist. He was a universalist. He believed not in the citizenship of birth but of the mind. He fought for a world Government with limited authority and an international order free from visa and passport and once travelled without passport to Myanmar. On 28 May 1964 he was arrested by the U.S. Government when he tried to eat at a "white" restaurant, (segregated cafeteria) in Jackson, Mississippi, for which the State Department had to apologize.
Lohia formulated theories of: twin origins of capitalism and imperialism; small-unit machine; equal irrelevance; the third 'camp; immediacy; oscillation between class and caste; efficiency, total or maximum; physical and cultural approximation of mankind; permanent civil disobedience; co-existence with approximation; autonomous relationship of general' and economic aims or spirit and matter; inverse relationship of internal rebellion and external invasion; preferential opportunity for backward groups in place of equal opportunity.
Lohia died on 12 October 1967.
WHAT began in my mind as a review of Maulana Azad's, India Wins Freedom became an independent account of the country's partition, as soon as I started setting it on paper. The account may not be as ordered or chronological, at least outwardly, as some may have wished it to be, but it is perhaps therefore a little warmer and truer. While reading the proofs, I became aware of having sought two objectives, one, to slay errors and untruths and to highlight certain happenings and aspects of the truth and, two, to outline the basic causes that led to the partition. Among these causes, I enumerated, first British chicanery, secondly, declining years of Congress leadership, thirdly, objective condition of Hindu-Muslim rioting, fourthly, lack of grit and stamina among the people, fifthly, Gandhiji's non-violence, sixthly, Muslim League's separatism, seventhly, inability to seize opportunities as they came, and, eighthly, Hindu hauteur.
Not much importance need be attached to Mr. Rajagopalachari's or the communist support to partition and the opposition to it by fanatical Hinduism or nationalism. These were no primary events. They were stances or secondary expressions of deeper forces. Thus, for instance, the opposition of fanatical Hinduism to partition did not and could not make any sense, for one of the forces that partitioned the country was precisely this Hindu fanaticism. It was like the murderer recoiling from his crime, after it had done.
Let there be no mistake about it. Those who have shouted loudest of Akhand Bharat, the present Jana Sangh and its predecessors of the curiously un-Hindu spirit of Hindusim, have helped Britain and the Muslim League partition the country, if the consequences of their acts and not their' motivations are taken into account. They did nothing whatever to bring the Muslim close to the Hindu within a single nation. They did almost everything to estrange them from each other. Such estrangement is the root cause of partition. To espouse the philosophy of estrangement and, at the same time, the concept of undivided India is an act of grievous self-deception, only if we assume that those who do so are honest men. Their action acquires meaning and purpose alone in the context of a war, when they are strong enough to suppress the men whom they estrange. Such a war is impossible, at least during our century. Even if it ever became possible, the cause certainly would not lie in wishing or shouting for it. Without a war, therefore, the coupling of the two concepts of undivided India and Hindu-Muslim estrangement can only reinforce the idea of partition and give succour to Pakistan. The opponent of Muslims in India is the friend of Pakistan. The Jana Sanghis and all Akhand- Bharatis of the Hindu pattern are friends to Pakistan. I am a true Akhand-Bharati. I do not like the partition. There must be millions of such persons on both sides of the border. But they must cease to be exclusively Hindu or exclusively Muslim, before they can become true to their yearning of undivided Hindustan.
Right nationalism split into two; one branch of it extended support to the idea of partition, while the other opposed it. When these events took place, their capacity to please or anger was not small. But they were barren events, devoid of any significance, Right nationalism could only oppose verbally or silently; it had no strength to oppose actively. Its opposition, therefore, merged smoothly into the surrender and betrayal by the main body of nationalism. In similar manner, the right nationalist opinion that supported partition played a minor diversionary role, in spite of the fact that its speech-making was greatly annoying to genuine nationalists. This speech-making had no capacity to influence, for weakness lay not in it but in the broken, halting, maimed and surrendering spirit of the Indian people and their nationalism. Right nationalism, both that supported partition and that opposed it, were barren offshoots of its parent, the main body of effete nationalism. I sometimes wonder if traitors play any primary role at all in the making of history. They are despicable people, of that there is no doubt. But are they also important people, I doubt. The traitor's action would be devoid of all meaning and would occasion a court-martial or a shrug of the shoulder, if it were not supported by the latent treachery of the main bulk of the army.
Communist treachery, similarly, plays no primary role. It does not cause a development; the causing is done from elsewhere. Communist support to partition did not produce Pakistan. At its worst, it acted like an incubator. Nobody remembers it now except as a stale propagandist argument against communism. I am somewhat intrigued by this aspect of communist treachery, that it leaves no lasting bad taste in the mouth of the people. Other traitors are not so fortunate. It would be worthwhile to try to argue the communist case from inside; what must have been in the mind of the communist, when he supported partition.
Indian communists supported partition presumably in the hope that they would thereby gain hold on the new- born state of Pakistan, obtain influence among Indian Muslims and run no big risk of alienating the unformed or effete Hindu mind. Their calculations have been proved to be wrong except in the small measure that they have acquired some pockets of influence among India's Muslims and have roused no strong indignation among the Hindus. They have therefore done no mischief to themselves, but have brought no benefit to the country.
Communist strategy is in its very nature such that it can bring strength to a people only if it succeeds, and must necessarily help weaken them, if it does not capture power. Self-determination to nationalities loses all meaning in Soviet Russia; it had abundant propagandist value, in Czarist Russia. Communism is partitionist, only when 'h is not in power, in order to weaken its foe in the shape of a strong nationalism. When it can itself represent nationalism, it ceases to be partitionist. Communism is unificatory in Korea and Vietnam; it is partitionist in Germany. Most men reason by example. They do not reason by premises. There are the examples of Soviet Russia and Vietnam, when there is need to illustrate the strength-giving unificatory role of communism, and the examples of India and Germany in order to illustrate its spirit of freedom. The crux of the matter' lies elsewhere. To communism, no idea matters, no single principle except the total concept of worker's rule. Such a concept must necessarily weaken a nation except in certain select situations. It has been continually weakening the Indian nation. But its adherents are blind to this fact because of their hopes in a favourable future. The Indian people become blind as well, because communist treachery does not but nationalist or democratic effeminacy plays the primary role.
I do not think that there are any primary causes of partition outside of those I have enumerated. Even these derive their essence from two great elements of the Indian situation in relation to the Hindu-Muslim problem. In the past eight hundred years of their relationship, the Hindus and Muslims have continually suffered from a see-saw of estrangement and approximation, with a slight edge on estrangement, so that their emotional incorporation into a single nation has so far been defeated. At the same time, the temper of the Indian people has learnt the arts of adjustment and patient acceptance and surrender in such measure that nowhere else on earth has slavery been so mistaken for world brotherhood or treachery for statesmanship or subordination for accommodation. These two elements have governed the Hindu-Muslim problem. Without them, British chicanery or creeping old age of Congress leaders would have been inconsequential details of history and could not have borne the bitter fruit they did.
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