The day India supposed gained its independence from Britain, however the unadorned truth is, India attained only the status of a self-ruled colony of the British régime. The 1947 partition was cooked up by the British and Western powerbrokers, at the behest of Gandhi and Jinnah’s feudal policy followers who overnight became the new rulers. Most of these new kings (and queens) neither made any personal sacrifices during the 100-year-long, glorious independence struggle. The hundreds of thousands of young men and women who gave their lives to bring about the “azadi” were excluded from the post-partition power structure, and later the struggle itself was undermined. The new feudal rulers were chosen by the British after their 200 years of repression and pauperization of a truly prosperous India, to retain a class-divided system where the real power would never transfer to the masses, and the and the “free” nations would forever remain subservient to the West.
The endorsed proposal of the British Parliament was that Lord Mountbatten will be the Governor General and the Ex-officio Army Chief of this colony. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India and his accomplices nodded to such proposal. On 21st June, 1948, Chakravarty Raja Gopalachary was chaired as the Governor General of India. In the swearing in ceremony on that day, the formal oath he took read “I, Chakravarty Raja Gopalachary, hereby pledge to remain and maintain obedience towards King George VI, his heirs and successors…”
Even in 2016, India remains inept of framing and governing freely any of its strategies right from the home affairs, foreign policy, economy, procedures of industrialization, agriculture, education and so on. India has seen changes in the vanguard of their bosses…from the British, the baton went to Russia. And now, they remain obliged to the United States of America.
Moreover, in sixty years of a fake freedom, South Asians have been successful to raise an apolitical, apathetic generation willfully ignorant of their own history and way of life – political, economic and cultural. Thanks to the faux freedom 69 years ago, India is now completely colonized.
There’s now a lot of government-sponsored patriotism, hype and euphoria to celebrate independence both in India and Pakistan. At midnight of August 14, 1947, then British rulers finally gave up on their two centuries of unconstitutional, immoral and brutally repressive colonization, and transferred power after partitioning India in three pieces, causing massive bloodshed and human misery. Today in India and Pakistan, the ruling-class politicians and corporate media including the Bollywood film and entertainment industry are busy singing praises for the “prosperity” of these two “mighty” nations. Military dictator Musharraf of Pakistan and the Indira Gandhi-Sonia Gandhi dynasty in India are making wise moves to exploit the time’s sentiments. Still, there’s perceptible lack of enthusiasm among the common “Desi” folks, who unlike the golden jubilee celebration in 1997, are not coming out in full force to observe this “historic” occasion.
The Indian and Pakistani governments’ prosperity drumbeats are hollow. If the 1947 British-penned independence and blood-soaked partition have created any prosperity, it’s been for the region’s rich and powerful elite who inherited and perpetuated a feudal, pyramidal and colonial status quo where in half a century, a political colonization has given way to a social, economic and intellectual subjugation. The new “free” system makes the subcontinent’s younger generation blindly follow a U.S.-style, market capitalist model, where equal rights, education, employment and healthcare for all, and other such egalitarian concepts have been pushed into near-oblivion, or else, ignominy. Rampant privatization without any attention to human values and safeguard for the havenots has taken over the subcontinent’s body and soul. Of course, mega-rich business magnets, big land owners, cricket players, movie stars, and yes, corrupt politicians and their pet mafia have prospered.
Reality is, the entire South Asia is reeling under massive corruption, explosive population growth, out-of-control environmental pollution and recurring natural calamities, and a jingoist-chauvinist war climate is in vogue. Hindu and Muslim middle class do not trust each other, a fact unthinkable even during the British Raj. Nuclear proliferation has brought South Asians on the brink of mass extinction a number of times, and the threat is ever-present. Indian, Pakistani and the relatively new Bangladeshi governments have all thrived on mass-production of lies about the state of the state, and their mouthpiece media have stirred up ultrapatriotic fervors and a semi-fascistic leader-cult-worshipping, especially at the times of war. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have all seen scores of savage wars, resulting thousands of innocent being killed, and millions permanently displaced and impoverished. Refugees and war-traumatized families have lived for generations in makeshift, filthy “shelters” and “jhopris” along the railway tracks and highways.
In South Asia, demands for rights and justice for women, religious minorities and the massive underclass tribals and lower castes have actively been rejected as concepts of “yesterday’s failed communist doctrines.” Communal riots have surged and claimed numerous lives and women’s honor. Prisoners and protesters, including women and children, have been brutalized by the Indian military, paramilitary and police; due process and other basic legalities have almost always failed for the poor. Political dissent in particular has been silenced by the ruling-party mafia. The so-called democratic elections have seen the worst forms of money- and muscle-power, with help from officials and bureaucrats. Many key elections have proved to be pure travesty. People in power endorsed massive booth-capturing, false voting, media muzzling, thuggery and religion-or caste-based divisive politics. The ruling Congress Party and former ruler Hindu fundamentalist BJP have proved equally efficient at this power-grabbing game. India’s regional parties in particular and establishment left to a lesser degree have not been far behind.
In Pakistan, for most of the time since 1947, coup-generated military regimes have ruled with support from the U.S., and an elected prime minister (one of the very few elected leaders) has been hanged. Bangladesh, in its post-1971 history as a sovereign nation, has gone through a number of dictatorships and martial laws; military and police tortured and killed some of its best-known intellectuals and noble men, the slaughters allegedly sponsored by the U.S. and CIA.
South Asia now has more than one-fifth of the world’s population. Eighty percent of the one-billion-plus mass still live in places where there’s little or no electricity, drinkable water, paved roads or public schools. In many places, farmers and day laborers die of starvation; many farmers have killed themselves out of despair. The disparity between the rich and poor in South Asia is one of the extremes in the world. Basic literacy and primary education are still out of reach for most poor. Brutality against women and children is sky-high in numerous places. A conservative, superstitious patriarchal society has re-emerged where families are encouraging female infanticide, with help from corrupt doctors and medical practitioners. India now is one of the top AIDS-affected nations.
The poor & underprivileged Indian people are deprived from all basic facilities of life like food, clean water, education, health care, clothes, and houses and so on. This section of the population that is the poorest of the poor and the most oppressed class are mostly tribal. They are now being driven out from forests and adjoining areas where they had been dwelling for centuries. The Indian state has declared war on them. Anyone who dares to resist the terror tactics unleashed by the Indian state is being bracketed as “Maoists”, “Naxalites” or “terrorists” and killed, tortured in the most illegitimate and ruthless manner. The terror pressed on by the Indian state include razing and blazing of their abodes, cold blooded murders, illegal detention in custody under fake charges, molestation and rapes and what not… This 80% of the Indian mass, who are being humiliated, heckled, exploited and killed are undoubtedly bona-fide citizens of this nation.
Pasted from <http://www.countercurrents.org/banerjee090807.htm>
Real Reason for Independence
So what were the three things which convinced the British that India could not be governed by force anymore?
Subhash Bose, Indian National Army and the Royal Navy Uprising..
When Justice P.B. Chakrabarty, the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court once asked the British PM Lord Clement Atlee – responsible for conceding India’s Independence, the all important question –
“what was the extent of Gandhi’s influence upon the British decision to quit India”
His response, with a smirk: “m-i-n-i-m-a-l!“
So, then why did they have to leave if the Quit India movement of 1942 had subsided and nothing major happened in the mainstream politics – then why did the British have to leave so suddenly in 1947??
Clement Atlee’s response:
Erosion of loyalty to the British Crown among the Indian army and navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji
Such was the Congress party scared of the truth coming out that as late as 1965, a Marxist theater actor and writer Utpal Dutt was arrested for writing a passionate play on the VERY event that ensured India its Independence – the Royal Navy Uprising!
But as the story goes in our History books…….
Gandhi vs the revolutionaries
The Indian freedom movement was massive in its sweep. Armed revolutionaries were not only carrying on guerrilla wars at home, they even took the battle to England, where they assassinated British officials.
However, Gandhi severely reprimanded such acts, calling the Indian revolutionaries misguided people. “There should be no malice or vindictiveness in our resistance,” he said.
But his statements condemning such acts only hurt India and Indians. One, it cooled Indian anger and two, it made it easier for the British to hang the revolutionaries. It is worth noting that while Indian freedom fighters experienced third-degree torture in jails on remote islands, Gandhi never got a scratch. For all his protests, fasts-unto-death, marches and sloganeering, he only got short-term sentences in comfortable, minimum security prisons, where he could leisurely churn out his theories on non-violence.
Out of Africa
Gandhi started off as a humble lawyer in South Africa. While his supporters argue that he evolved into a saint over the years, few are aware that he joined the ambulance corps of the British Army during the 1896 Boer War. So basically, the man who would go on to lead India’s freedom movement was denying the same freedom to the Dutch Boers.
Again in 1906, during the Zulu Rebellion against the British government, Gandhi served the British army as a stretcher-bearer. The native Africans were victims of colonialism just like Indians and Gandhi’s sympathies should have been with them. But he was a self-confessed Anglophile with a firm belief in the goodness of the British.
In India there is a growing body of scholars that now believes Gandhi was working for the British. Perhaps his Anglophilia convinced the British to prop him up an interlocutor between Indians and the British. While there may never be direct evidence to prove his links to British handlers, there is plenty of indirect evidence that he was serving Britain more than he was serving India’s cause.
After he returned from South Africa, Gandhi was in favour of continued British rule in India. In 1907 he wrote, “Should the British be thrown out of India? Can it be done, even if we wish to do so? To these two questions we can reply that we stand to lose by ending British rule and that, even if we want, India is not in a position to end it.” These are the words of a man who was literally thrown out a train for sitting in a whites-only coach in South Africa.
The supreme irony was that Gandhi – the apostle of non-violence and peace – urged Indians to enlist as combatants in the British Army. He set up recruitment camps to enlist Indians during the First World War. For his efforts he was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind (Caesar of India), British India’s highest civilian award. Other Indians opposed his war efforts. Among them was M.A. Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, who said Indians should be put on the same footing as European British subjects before being asked to fight. And secondly, they said, Britain must guarantee independence after the war. Gandhi, however, waved aside all such conditions.
Indian revolutionaries were frustrated by the tardiness shown by Gandhi in demanding full freedom. His non-violence exasperated these leaders because it shielded the British from the wrath of the people.
Let’s hear it from the British side. Clement Atlee, the British prime minster who decided to finally quit India, was very clear that Gandhi is not what he’s cracked up to be. After India’s independence in 1947, the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court asked Atlee about Gandhi’s influence upon the British decision to quit India. Atlee had only one word to say: “M-i-n-i-m-a-l”. He said the principal reasons why Britain decided to quit India was the erosion of loyalty to the British Crown among the army and navy personnel.
Atlee’s statement is corroborated by Fenner Brockway, political secretary of the Independent Labour Party of England. According to him, the two major causes of Britain’s hasty exit from India were: “One, the Indian people were determined to gain independence. Two, was the revolt by the Indian Navy.”
It’s easy to see why the Indian Army was the deciding factor and the Indian Navy’s revolt was the tipping point. Over 1.5 million Indian soldiers had fought on the side of Britain in the First World War and 2.5 million Indians during the Second World War.
The UK’s History Learning site says:
“When war was declared on August 4, 1914, India rallied to the cause. Offers of financial and military help were made from all over the country. Hugely wealthy princes offered great sums of money. Despite the pre-war fears of unrest, Britain, in fact, could take many troops and most of her military equipment out of India as fears of unrest subsided. Indian troops were ready for battle before most other troops in the dominions.
“They fought in most theatres of war including Gallipoli and North and East Africa. In all 47,746 were classed as killed or missing with 65,000 wounded. The Indian Corps won 13,000 medals for gallantry including 12 Victoria Crosses.
“Such was the cost of the war, that India’s economy was pushed to near bankruptcy.”
The Indian support given to Britain’s cause surprised the establishment in Britain. The Times wrote: “The Indian empire has overwhelmed the British nation by the completeness and unanimity of its enthusiastic aid.”
Expectations were high in India the British would leave after the war. They were belied. As a British general told Gandhi: “My dear sir! India is British. We’re hardly an alien power.”
Gandhi now had little credibility with Indian revolutionaries.
Armed and dangerous
At any rate after the war, these returned soldiers – battle hardened and exposed to the freedom of Europe – were spread across India with nothing much to do. Basically, they were ready recruits for armed revolutionaries, who were engaged in pitched battles with the police and army.
Also, in December 1941, the Japanese Army defeated a British Imperial force comprising over 100,000 imperial troops; 30,000 of these were Indians. The Indian POWs were recruited by the armed revolutionary force formed by Gandhi’s mercurial political opponent Subhash Bose, who had long called for an armed revolution. Bose got help from Japan and Nazi Germany. (To be sure, Adolf Hitler was extremely reluctant about supporting an Indian because it clashed with his racist views.)
This ‘betrayal’ of the Indian soldiers rattled Britain. From that point on, no Indian could be relied upon to defend British interests. Desertions by troops became common.
The freedom movement also impacted the Navy, but the immediate cause of the revolt was something as simple as the right to use the swimming pool. Indians, even of commissioned ranks, were not allowed entry into the Navy’s swimming pools, whereas British sailors of any rank could use them.
The Navy’s Indian officers decided they had had enough. In February 1946 the Indian Navy declared an unprecedented strike. It quickly drew support from the Indian crews of all the 20 vessels anchored in Mumbai port; 20,000 naval ratings revolted.
This revolt, which very likely would have spread to the army, forced Britain’s hand. The writing was clear – thousands of miles from home, and in a new world order where the Americans and Russians were rewriting the rules of empire, safety was no longer guaranteed by Indian soldiers. Indian soldiers – divided by language and religion – had helped Britain build a vast empire. Mercenary Indian soldiers had fought for Britain in Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Turkey and Europe, and now these same soldiers had united to overthrow the colonialists. Wisely, albeit reluctantly, Britain decided the game was over.
At any rate despite Churchill’s rhetoric (“I have not become prime minister to preside over the demise of her majesty’s empire.”) the British had been preparing for such an eventuality. The reason was that unlike most other countries where they encountered Stone Age civilisations, in India they met a scientifically advanced people who were simply too numerous and too warlike to be subjugated forever.
In fact, way back in the 1700s, Warren Hastings, the first British governor general of India, had said with amazing foresight that Britain’s empire was over the day the foundation was laid in 1757.
Unlike the romanticised Raj history – which many people are fond of reading – British rule in India was in actual fact a period of constant and brutal wars. The British never quite managed to achieve complete control or total peace in India, and there was hardly a single year in the 190 years of British rule when there wasn’t a rebellion somewhere in the country.
Another little known fact is that the British had to move India’s capital from Calcutta to Delhi because Calcutta had become a hotbed of revolutionary activity. This is yet another fact that has been glossed over even in Indian school books, which portray Gandhi as the lynchpin of the freedom movement.
(It is worthwhile to point out here that the Gandhi family, that has ruled India for almost 60 of the past 65 years, has nothing to do with Gandhi. Yes, they are not really Gandhis and are not related to Gandhi at all. Not only has this family stolen the glory of freedom from the real revolutionaries, they acquired his name too through a bizarre accident. It gets even more bizarre when you consider that the most powerful person in India, Sonia Gandhi, is in fact an Italian named Antonia Maino.)
In the narrative of this dynasty, there is no place for anyone other than Gandhi. India is Gandhi and Gandhi is India. In contrast, the real Gandhi would have begged to differ. He went around the world half naked whereas the current Gandhis are billionaires, who ride roughshod over democracy and donate millions of dollars in grants to Cambridge and Oxford scholars to write hagiographies that belittle Indian history that does not fit in the family’s narrative. It is a circular cycle that feeds on its own tail for sustenance – fake Indian secularists led by the Gandhi family get the history they want from obliging colonial scholars; the Indian liberals and Marxists then pick up this thread and it passes into school history books. The Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels couldn’t have done a better job.
Seeds of fundamentalism
Gandhi played a deplorable role in the creation of Pakistan. Here’s busting another myth – the people living in the current geographical areas of Pakistan did not – repeat did not – want a Muslim country. Muslims comprised a majority in those areas and hardly felt threatened by the Hindus. The demand for Pakistan was made by educated, upper middle class Muslims living in India’s eastern states.
In the 1920s Turkish nationalist Ataturk was involved in a power struggle with the effete Ottoman rulers and the Caliph of Istanbul. At this crucial juncture two Indian Muslim brothers, self-styled religious leaders, distributed pamphlets calling upon the Turkish people to preserve the Ottoman Caliphate for the sake of Islam. This was laughable because Indian Muslims had no locus standi in the matter. After all, who did they think they were, Saladin?
This wound up the nationalist Turks. Says Wikipedia: ‘‘Under Turkey’s new nationalist government, however, this was construed as foreign intervention, and any form of foreign intervention was labeled an insult to Turkish sovereignty, and worse, a threat to state security. Ataturk promptly seized his chance. On his initiative, the National Assembly abolished the Caliphate on March 3, 1924.’’
The Caliph was exiled and the Ottoman dynasty, after a 700 year reign, ingloriously ended up in the dustheap. Indian Muslims should feel proud of their contribution to the demise of the Caliphate.
Opportunist at large
Now, here’s what our man did. In order to show solidarity with Indian Muslims, Gandhi launched a protest movement demanding the reinstatement of the Caliph. This was not just rank bad politics but it also shows his muddled side.
One, Gandhi, who apparently wanted freedom for Indians, did not care about freedom for the millions of Arabs who were seething under Ottoman rule. Secondly, he seemed indifferent to Turkey’s search for modernity. And finally, he fanned the flames of fundamentalism among Indian Muslims.
The average Indian Muslim did not care a rat’s tail about Turkey. Nearly 99 per cent of Indian Muslims are forced converts from Hinduism; they were – and most still are – patriotic Indians. But Gandhi encouraged Indian Muslims to be loyal to the Islamic cause. So basically while Turks were preparing for the 20th century, Gandhi was pushing Indian Muslims into the 17th.
The Indian nation is still paying a price for it. For, Gandhi’s Caliphate strategy gamed the Muslim mindset. From that point, extraterritorial loyalties enticed them. He pointed their compass away from the Himalayas to Mecca. Pakistan then became an inevitability.
The British, who were deeply suspicious of Indian Muslims, now discovered an enemy’s enemy and actively sought out key Muslim leaders in Project Pakistan. They assured Muslims that if they asked for an Islamic homeland and if the new country promised to be loyal to Britain, they could have Pakistan.
Even then, it was Gandhi’s ‘peaceful’ strategies that literally disarmed the Hindus and gave away Pakistan. In a way, while India has moved on and prospered, sending spacecraft to the moon, Pakistan is stuck in a cycle of unending violence. India’s Muslim leaders no doubt should take the blame for consigning 200 million people to the tragedy that is Pakistan, but Gandhi is equally culpable for their fates.
In fact, Jinnah, the architect of Pakistan, was a diehard secularist who repeatedly warned Gandhi about the dangers of flirting with fundamentalist Muslims. Jinnah despised fundamentalist Muslim leaders and stayed away from them. It was Gandhi’s arrogance and repeated snubs that left no choice for Jinnah to throw in his lot with Project Pakistan. He died a broken man.
Hello Hitler: Going too far
Gandhi’s misguided approach can be seen in his advice to the British during the Second World War. As German rockets and bombs were raining down on them, he recommended the British use non-violent methods to fight Hitler. On December 24, 1938 he wrote, “How can non-violence combat aerial warfare, seeing that there are no personal contacts? The reply to this is that behind the death-dealing bomb there is the human hand that releases it, and behind that still is the human heart that sets the hand in motion. And at the back of the policy of terrorism is the assumption that terrorism if applied in a sufficient measure will produce the desired result, namely, bend the adversary to the tyrant’s will. But supposing a people make up their mind that they will never do the tyrant’s will, nor retaliate with the tyrant’s own methods, the tyrant will not find it worth his while to go on with this terrorism.”
Yeah, I can imagine the Nazis getting tired of committing genocide.
But that’s not all. Gandhi then wrote an open letter to Hitler, asking the German leader not to go to war.
Do you still believe he was sane?
Stop the lies
On June 11, 1988 the Soviet Union in a momentous decision cancelled all history exams in schools across the country, affecting more than 53 million students. The reason: under President Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost the re-examination of Soviet history had gone so far that historians, social scientists and even Communist Party theoreticians were uncertain what was correct. “The guilt of those who deluded one generation after another, poisoning their minds and souls with lies, is immeasurable,” the government said. Remember, this happened at the height of Soviet power.
In stark contrast, in both Britain and India no such introspection seems to be taking place. In Britain, the Raj is all about romance and nostalgia, about civilising a subcontinent. In India, it’s all about Gandhi. It seems the elites in both countries want to sidestep the dubious aspects of their relationship.
Independence came through the indefatigable spirit of revolutionaries rather than the charisma of one man.