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February 02, 2023

After Gandhi's Assassination, Nehru Saw the Hindu Right as a Threat to the Indian State | Mridula Mukherjee

 The Wire - 30/Jan/2023

This year on January 30 will be exactly 75 years to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination at the hands of those against his message of non-violence and fierce defence of a syncretic India. In a series of articles and videos, The Wire takes stock of Gandhi’s murder, and delves deeper into the forces and ideas behind independent India’s first act of terror. Recent years have seen another attempt to kill Gandhi, his ideas, spirit and message. We hope to help unpack where India stands today and its future, through the lens of how the Father of the Nation’s legacy is being treated.


In little over six months after the tragedy of the Partition of India, on January 30, 1948, another tragedy visited the fledgling state. If Partition could largely be ascribed to Muslim communalism, aided by colonialism, then Hindu communalism bears the responsibility for the assassination of the “greatest living Hindu”. In Nehru’s words

:

“Communalism resulted not only in the division of the country, which inflicted a deep wound in the heart of the people which will take a long time to heal if it ever heals but also assassination of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.”

Gandhi’s assassination was a premeditated act. In November 1947, Karyanand Sharma, the CPI kisan leader from Bihar, had warned that the demand for a Hindu Raj “was very bad and behind it there was a conspiracy to murder Gandhiji  and Panditji”

. Gandhi himself understood the true nature of the abortive attempt that was made on his life on January 20, 1948. When a co-worker  wondered if the  bomb blast was accidental, he replied

: “The fool; don’t you see, there is a terrible and widespread conspiracy behind it?”

In his presidential address to the Hindu Mahasabha in 1937

, V.D. Savarkar, the creator of the concept of Hindutva, the first to propound the two-nation theory, and the organiser of the conspiracy to murder the Mahatma, declared: “India cannot be assumed today to be an unitarian and homogenous nation,  but on the contrary there are two nations in  the main, Hindus and Muslims, in India.” He refers to “centuries of a cultural, religious and national antagonism between the Hindus and the Moslems”. The title of the section in which the above statements are made is, ‘As it is there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India.’ India is not a nation but it is the name of the state in which these two nations exist.

On August 15, 1947, two nation-states were born. One of them, Pakistan, could be said to conform to Savarkar’s definition of nation, but the one to which he belonged, India, was stubbornly refusing to fall in line. The biggest obstacle, it seemed, was the Mahatma himself. He had to be removed. With him alive, neither Hindu rashtra nor Akhand Bharat could become a reality.


There is consensus that it was an extreme wing of the Hindu Mahasabha led by Savarkar that was behind Gandhi’s murder

. In January 1948, when Gandhi was assassinated, Savarkar was arrested as the mastermind behind the conspiracy. He was eventually exonerated in the Gandhi murder trial for lack of evidence to corroborate the testimony of the approver, a technical point of criminal law. Sardar Patel, being a fine criminal lawyer, was personally convinced of Savarkar’s guilt, otherwise he would not have agreed to put him up for trial. He told Jawaharlal Nehru in unambiguous terms

:

“It was a fanatical wing of the Hindu Mahasabha directly under Savarkar that [hatched] the conspiracy and saw it through.”

When the Commission of Inquiry set up in 1965 under Justice Jiwan Lal Kapoor, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India, gave its report, it came to the following conclusion

[ . . .] FULL TEXT HERE

Kashmir Imbroglio: Attempt to create Binary between Nehru and Patel | Ram Puniyani

Kashmir Imbroglio: Creating Binary between Nehru and Patel!

 

by Ram Puniyani

 

 

As Bharat Jodo yatra, in its final phase is in Kashmir, there is an overwhelming response. At the same time some writers and commentators are using the occasion for Nehru bashing, blaming him for the difficult situation created there. Some are using this to create a binary between Nehru and Patel yet again, stating that had Patel handled the issue it would have been ‘solved’. This understanding is not only na├»ve, accusatory but also far from truth. This only aims to further the BJP-RSS narrative on the troubled past and painful present.

 

As India was to gain Independence from colonial rule, the princely states were given the option to either merge with India or Pakistan or even to remain Independent. Most of the princely states could be merged with ease. The problem remained with Hyderabad and Kashmir. Hyderabad was merged to India through the police action (Operation Polo), while issue of J&K became more complicated due to its geographical proximity with Pakistan and majority of its population being Muslims.

Maharaja Harisingh wanted to keep J&K independent. He also offered ‘standstill agreement’ (status quo with use of facilities with India and Pakistan) to India and Pakistan both. Pakistan accepted this and her flags flew over the Post offices in Kashmir, as postal system was being run by Pakistan. India did not accept this agreement. There was another factor in the state. Anti-Muslim violence was engineered by Maharaja Harisingh. His understanding was that he is ruling over a Muslim majority state, so there should be at least one area in the state where Hindus are in majority. This violence led to the massacre of nearly two lakh Muslim in the state. Saaed Naqvi writes“To quote a 10 August 1948 report published in The Times, London: “2,37,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated – unless they escaped to Pakistan along the border – by the forces of the Dogra State headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by Hindus and Sikhs. This happened in October 1947, five days before the Pathan invasion and nine days before the Maharaja’s accession to India.”  And it is this massacre which made Jammu as Hindu majority and partly triggered the Kashmir problem.

Using this as a pretext the Tribal supported by Pakistan army launched the attack on J&K. The state was unprepared to face this assault and wanted India to send its armies to quell this aggression; it was in this backdrop that the treaty of accession was signed.

Earlier Harisingh had refused to merge with India. Also Jinnah had commented that Kashmir is in his pocket as it a Muslim majority state. National Conference, which was earlier Muslim Conference, led by Sheikh Abdullah had launched a democratic agitation against the Maharaja’s rule to end the feudal structure of society. That apart as the three states (Junagadh, Hyderabad and Kashmir) were not willing to merge with India; Sardar Patel was willing to let Kashmir to go to Pakistan if Junagadh and Hyderabad merge with India. Rajmohan Gandhi in his book “Patel: A Life”, tells us that Patel was thinking of making an ideal bargain: if Jinnah lets India have Junagadh and Hyderabad, Patel would not object to Kashmir acceding to Pakistan. He cites a speech by Patel at Bahauddin College in Junagadh, following the latter’s merger with India, in which he said: “We would agree to Kashmir if they agreed to Hyderabad.”

As far as handling Kashmir was concerned, unlike in other Princely states, here Pakistan was also involved and so Nehru, being Foreign affairs minister also, had to lead the issue. Patel and Nehru were on the same page in this endeavor. Patel was more interested in Junagadh and Hyderabad, while negotiations of Article 370 and the steps in handling the same were happening with him being very much around. He may not have been central figure in drafting of 370, but was very much in the know of the same and there is no evidence of Patel opposing it in any way. “Patel was neither central to Article 370 as …(some) suggests, nor is there any evidence that his centrality would have ensured full integration of Kashmir with India, as is assumed by the governmental narrative today.”

Also those suggesting that Patel would have taken the army further rather than call for ceasefire should know that Patel in a letter to Gopalswamy Ayyangar on 4th June 1948 wrote, “The military position is not too good and I am afraid that out military resources are strained to the utmost” (Sardar Patel’s Correspondence)

The march of Indian army did save Kashmir from the marauding tribal’s (supported by Pakistan army). The cease fire was declared to protect the civilians and also to ensure that a peaceful solution will emerge through the United Nations. The matter being taken to United Nations has been criticized but that must have been the best option in that circumstance.

Patel very much approved of it, “As regards specific issues raised by Pakistan, as you have pointed out, the question of Kashmir is before the Security Council. Having invoked a forum to settlement of disputes open to both India and Pakistan, as members of the United Nations Organisation, nothing further need be done in the way of settlement of disputes than to leave matters to be adjusted through that forum.” (Patel’s letter to  Jawaharalal Nehru dated 23 February 1950, page 105-106,  of the book  “Sardar Patel’s correspondence 1945-50 Volume 10 Navjivan publishing house, Ahmedabad, 1974).

The attempt to create a binary between the line taken by Nehru and probable line of Patel is figment of fiction for political considerations of sorts, as Nehru and Patel both were on the same page on the issue. As far as Kashmir is concerned, as people have welcomed Bharat Jodo yatra, it is yet another occasion to introspect and restore democratic norms in the state.

February 01, 2023

The European Union investigated the 2002 Gujarat riots but is refusing to make its report public | Nachiket Deuskar (on scroll.in)

scroll.in 

  2002 gujarat riots

The European Union investigated the 2002 Gujarat riots – but is refusing to make its report public

The bloc’s diplomatic wing cited concerns that disclosing the document in full might ‘prejudice’ relations with India.

Jan 30, 2023

The 2002 Gujarat riots were investigated not just by the United Kingdom, but also by the European Union. A new BBC documentary has revealed that an inquiry by the UK government indicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat, for the “climate of impunity” that led to the “ethnic cleansing” of 2,000 Muslims. But the European Union has declined to make its report public, citing the potential harm its release could cause to its relationship with Delhi.

“Disclosure of this document to the public would harm the relations between the EU and India, by undermining the confidence and trust in EU-India partnership, thus prejudicing EU’s capacity to protect and promote its interests in this context,” an official of the European Union wrote in response to Dutch activist Gerard Oonk’s request for access to the EU’s inquiry report on the 2002 Gujarat violence.

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Scroll has reviewed the correspondence between Oonk and the European External Action Service, the European Union’s diplomatic wing. A spokesperson of the diplomatic service has confirmed its authenticity.

Commenting on the European Union’s decision not to disclose the report, Oonk, former director of a non-profit organisation called the India Committee of the Netherlands, said in an email to Scroll: “From the strong wording of the letter in terms of the political damage that publication of the report would cause, one can only conclude that the statements on the role of Modi and his ministers are most probably quite negative.” [ . . . ]

 full text at : https://scroll.in/article/1042811/the-european-union-investigated-the-2002-gujarat-riots-but-is-refusing-to-make-its-report-public

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 Sukla Sen testing.

January 31, 2023

India: Celebration of State violence in Uttar Pradesh - 'UP Mein Chalega Buldozer' on Packing for crisps


 

India: There is cult developing around Nathuram Godse, the Hindu extremist who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948 | DW

 There is cult developing around Nathuram Godse, the Hindu extremist who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948. Statues of the assassin have been erected, and in some places, Hindu temples have been converted to commemorate Godse.

https://twitter.com/dw_hotspotasia/status/1620361370402258944

January 30, 2023

India: A report Hindutva supremacist pop music scene | DW

 Sandeep Acharya's songs get millions of views on social media, songs that are purposefully anti-Muslim.

https://www.dw.com/en/india-anti-muslim-hate-music/video-64544108