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He was angry with the pledge given by the Hindus of Delhi and noisily inter- rupted the public meeting at Sabzimandi addressed by Jawaharlal Nehru and Jayaprakash Narayan. He was removed by the police. There were dem- onstrations outside his residence, Birla House, in New Delhi.
On 20 January , an abortive attempt was made to mur- der Gandhi. On 30 January, the assassin made no mistake.
Gandhiji was shot dead. They constituted a challenge to the very nature of the Indian state. They have been found circulating leaflets exhorting people to resort to terrorist methods, to collect fire arms, to create disaffection against the government and suborn the police and the military. A close associate of Gandhiji wrote: The R. Those who had been angrily criticising him now saw the tragic consequences of their own short sighted anger. They knew that he had been right.
Those who go about righting older historical wrongs, forgetting that two wrongs do not make a right,74 have not expressed regret for this act, let alone do any penance for it.
They continue to defend the act by pointing to chinks in the argument of the other side. This land would include Pakistan and be a Hindu Rashtra.
The audience repeated the lines, which were in Sanskrit, solemnly, as if they were taking an oath. The speeches were full of hatred, fanaticism and glori- fication—hatred for Gandhi, admiration for Nathuram Godse and communal venom of a kind that could outdo Bal Thackeray of the Shiv Sena. One of the speakers was S. Shevade, honoured as Dharmabhushan by the Shankaracharya of Sankeshwar.
Gandhi was described as the father, not of India, but of Pakistan. The day of his killing was termed a day of celebra- tion. Gandhi was called a traitor, while Nathuram Godse was hailed as a national hero, who, by killing Gandhi, saved India from another partition. More responsible leaders echoed the same sentiment. Advani, warned that: And we are ready at any cost…. And if in the meantime a Gandhi comes to create hurdles in the way, then that Gandhi would need to be put out of the way.
Therefore, in a desperate effort to discover nationalist icons, Savarkar is sought to be cast in that mould. That Savarkar shamed the revolutionaries by repeatedly asking for pardon in the Andamans and that he never took part in any nationalist activity after his release, is forgotten.
He petitioned Sir Reginald Craddock, a visiting British official, for his release, offering to be loyal to the British Government: I am ready to serve the Government in any capacity they like, for as my conversion is conscientious so I hope my future conduct would be. The Mighty alone can afford to be merciful and therefore where else can the prodigal son return but to the parental doors of the Government? Gandhiji becomes the deshdrohi traitor and Godse the national hero.
The inversion is complete. It must be challenged. Who were the real killers of the Mahatma? A close look at the ideological framework constructed by the main early ideologues such as Savarkar and Golwalkar reveals that Godse and his associates only took it to its logical conclusion.
The notion of Hindutva, of India being a land of Hindus alone, of Muslims as enemies, as anti-national and traitors, of reducing Indian nationalism to Hindu nationalism, of the Congress as anti-Hindu, of hatred of Gandhiji, are all there in the writings of the ideologues. The communal bias is introduced in the very conception of the nation, in its name itself.
For example, Savarkar defines it in the following manner: The land which extends from the Indus to the Southern Seas is Hindusthan—the land of the Hindus and we Hindus are the Nation that owns it. If you call it an Indian nation it is merely an English synonym for the Hindu nation. To us Hindus, Hindusthan and India mean one and the same thing. Savarkar, Hindu Rashtra Darshan: Also the notion that Hindus have some kind of ownership rights on this land is a very im- portant one in Hindu communal thinking however archaic it may sound to us today as it is the basis for denying equal claims to members of other religious groups.
Savarkar, who was the original creator of the concept of Hindutva, was unambiguous about who could be a Hindu and Hindu is equal to Indian: Savarkar, Hindutva: All these essentials could best be summed up by stating in brief that he is a Hindu to whom Sindhusthan is not only a Pitribhu but also a Punyabhu. For the first two essentials of Hindutva—nation and Jati—are clearly denoted and connoted by the word Pitribhu while the third essential of Sanskriti is pre-eminently implied by the word Punyabhu, as it is precisely Sanskriti including Sanskaras i.
It also enables the inclusion of members of what could be called breakaway religions, such as Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and etcetera, in the ranks of Hindus. This definition is repeated by Golwalkar as well, thus signifying its accept- ance by the RSS.
If those whose holy lands were outside India could not be part of the Hindu nation, then were they a separate nation? Were there then two nations in India?
The answer given by Savarkar to this question in in his presidential address to the Hindu Mahasabha was the following: The title of the section in which the above statements are made is: India is not 6 V. Who is a Hindu? Mumbai, 5th edition, , p. The Muslim League adopted the Pakistan demand only in He now vehemently dismissed the idea of two nations.
In fact, any parity between Hindus and Muslims was dismissed as absurd. Hindus were not a com- munity, they were the nation. Other religious groups minor- ities were communities. The Germans are the nation in Germany and the Jews a community. The Turks are the nation in Turkey and the Arab or the Armenian minority a community. There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt.
We are an old nation; and let us deal, as old nations ought to and do deal, with the foreign races, who have chosen to live in our country. In case there was any doubt about what he meant, he gave a concrete example: To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic races—the Jews. Race-pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for use in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.
Since the BJP and the RSS are apt to say that We or Our Nationhood Defined does not reflect the current views of the organisation as it was withdrawn from circulation, it may be appropriate to quote Golwalkar from his Bunch of Thoughts which has not yet been disowned. Referring to Muslims and Christians, he says: They are born in this land, no doubt.
But are they true to its salt? Together with the change in their faith, gone are spirit of love and devotion for 10 Ibid. The story does not end there. They have also developed a feeling of identification with the enemies of this land. They look to some foreign lands as their holy places…. So we see that it is not merely a change of faith, but a change even in national identity.
What else is it if not treason, to join the camp of the enemy leaving the mother nation in the lurch. Muslims must accept the fact that India is as much a Hindu country as Pakistan is a Muslim country or Britain is a Christian country.
Any body who does not accept this way of life is an ostrich today … and he will be dead as dodo tomorrow. This anti-Muslim bias is not just an occasional, contingent feature, but an essential element of the very basic ideological structure. Gandhiji could be declared a traitor because he was protecting the Muslims, and promoting their interests, and thus was an ally of those who were basically anti-national.
We must watch it in all its actions with the greatest distrust pos- sible…. Not only while we are engaged in our struggle for liber- ating India but even after India is free we must look upon them as suspicious friends and take great care to see that the northern frontiers of India are well-guarded by staunch and powerful Hindu forces to avoid the possible danger of the Indian Moslems going over to the alien Muslim nations across the Indus and betraying our Hindusthan to our Non-Hindu foes.
Even then, Indian Muslims were thought to be in danger of going over to the side of the Muslim nations to the north, that is, before India was partitioned and it could be argued that Muslim loyalty was in suspect because many of them were supporters of the Muslim League and by implication of Pakistan, and because families were found on both sides of the border. In fact, Muslims were condemned as essentially com- munal in nature, just as Hindus were declared as secular by nature.
That is no news. Sangh, p. They are also said to especially look down upon Hindus as they are kafirs infidel and not Kitabis people of the book like the Jews and Christians. In fact, a major problem for the Hindu com- munalist was how the majority was to be made to fear the mi- nority, because without fear communal feelings do not grow. Therefore, the recourse to allegations of extra-territorial loy- alties, references to their disproportionate presence in the army and police and the stereotype of the aggressive Muslim brute or gunda, who specialized in sexual aggression against Hindu women.
It is amazing how Savarkar could even raise the bogey of the re-establishment of a Muslim Empire in India, as in the following incredible statement: Alleging the persecution of Jews and Parsis by Islam, he laments,18 16 Ibid. The present day large Muslim population in our country is one of the results of the fatal devastation that they wrought all over the land…. What has our good behaviour towards the Muslim faith and the Muslim people brought us?
Nothing but desecration of our holy places and enslavement of our people. In fact, communalists are interested in the other community only so far as they are impediments to their project of casting the entire society in their own image. Their ultimate ob- jective is to make members of their own religion conform 19 Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, pp. Therefore, non-communal, liberal elements in their own community are as much enemies as the members of the other community, sometimes even more so.
Therefore, we see Hindu communalists had as much venom in store for the Congress as they had for the Muslims. It was characterised as anti-national, anti-Hindu, pro-Muslim and non-violent, all of which had negative meanings in the Hindu communal lexicon. Witness the following statement of Savarkar: The Indian National Congress only condemns itself as an anti-national body when it calls in the same breath the Hindu Mahasabha and the Moslem League as bodies equally communal in the reprehensible and treacherous sense of the term.
It was because of the influence of Buddhism, and its belief in non-violence, he said, that India was devastated by bar- barians like the Huns and Scythians. To ignore, even submit meekly to the vandalism and atrocities of Muslims.
If they carry away your wives and daughters, let them. Do not obstruct them. They accuse the Congress of pseudo- nationalism a precursor to pseudo-secularism. They point out the weaknesses of territorial nationalism, and argue that it has failed in Europe. They assert that the Congress was not a national organisation but was formed as a safety-valve and, except for the Extremist phase, played that role. The Moderates or early nationalists and Gandhi and his colleagues 31 Ibid.
To be a nationalist, you had to be anti-Muslim— such was the belief. Golwalkar at least remembered to for- mally include the British as enemies: The only refer- ences are to cultural suppression, denationalization, cultural nationalism and etcetera.
He spoke of heralding an Independent and strong and mighty Hindu nation which is but tantamount with a mighty Indian Nation based on perfect equality of citizenship for all loyal and faithful Indian citizens irrespec- tive of race and religion from Indus to the Seas…. Raise the standard of a Hindu Nation! See to it that India must remain a Hindusthan for ever; never a Pakisthan!
And let all India resound with—Hindu Dharmaki Jay! Hindu Rashtraki Jay!! Vande Mataram!!! The RSS as an organisation did not participate in any of the major battles for freedom from colonial rule. The RSS was founded in , and apart from the Simon Commission Boycott in , at least two major movements, the Civil Dis- obedience Movement of —34 and the Quit India Move- ment of were launched by the Congress after that date.
In none of these did the RSS play any part. Hedgewar did go to jail in his individual capacity in , but he kept the organisation and its members away from the movement.
The government was very clear that it had 36 Savarkar, Hindu Rashra Darshan, pp. Golwalkar in fact went so far as to say that anti-British nationalism was reactionary: Anti-Britishism was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom movement, its leaders and the common people.
Though the loyalist tendency was there earlier, initially some of its leaders participated in Congress-led movements. But from the mids they joined the Muslim League in competing for the crumbs thrown from the Imperial table. The outbreak of the Second World War brought the differences with the nationalist forces out into the open. It is another matter that all this loyalism could not get them electoral success and they suffered a rout in the elections! It was perhaps this total political marginalisation, this rejection by the Indian people, including Hindus that led to acts of desperation and cowardice such as the one em- bodied in the assassination of the Mahatma.
Alexander, Horace. Gandhi Through Western Eyes. New Society, Philadelphia. Andersen Walter and Shridhar Damle. The Brotherhood in Saffron: New Delhi: Andersen Walter. Azad, Maulana Abul Kalam. India Wins Freedom: An Autobiographical Narrative. Orient Longman. Bacchetta, Paola. Gender in the Hindu Nation: RSS Women as Ideologues. Women Unlimited.
Banerjee, Partha. In the Belly of the Beast: Barrier, Norman G. Arnold- Heinemann. The Census in British India: New Perspective. Khaki Shorts and Saffron Flags: A Critique of Hindu Right Delhi: Batabyal, Rakesh. Communalism In Bengal: From Famine to Noakhali, — Bathval, Harishchandra. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh—Ek Parichay.
Suruchi Prakashan. Baxter, Craig. The Jana Sangh: A Biography of an Indian Political Party. University of Pennsylvania Press. Bhatt, Chetan. Hindu Nationalism: Origins, Ideologies and Modern Myths. Berg Publishers. Sangh Nirmata. Suruchi Sahitya Prakashan.
Brass, Paul R. Oxford University Press Casolari, Marzia. Chakrabarty, Bidyut, ed. Communal Identity in India: Its Construction and Articulation in the Twentieth Century. Oxford Univeristy Press. Chand, R. Self-Abnegation in Politics. Central Yuvak Sabha.
Chandra Bipan. Communalism in Modern India. Mridula Mukherjee, Aditya Mukherjee, K. Panikkar and Sucheta Mahajan. Ideology and Politics in Modern India. Mridula Mukherjee and Aditya Mukherjee. India After Independence — A Primer. Chatterjee, Margaret. Macmillan, London. Chatterji, Joya. Bengal Divided—Hindu Communalism and Partition, — Cambridge University Press.
Chatterjee, N. Hindu Politics—The Message of the Mahasabha: Ramesh Chandra Banerjee. Chaudhri, Sandhya. Gandhi and the Partition of India, New Delhi: Sterling Publishers. Cleghorn, Bruce E.
Pandey, ed. Mukherjee, Mridula and Aditya Mukherjee. Communalisation of Edu- cation: The History Textbooks Controversy. Curran J. Militant Hinduism in Indian Politics: A Study of the RSS. New York: Institute of Pacific Relations.
Das, Durga ed. Sardar Patel Correspondence, —50, Vol. Navjivan Publishing House. Communal Riots in Bengal, — Oxford University Press. Das, Suranjan and Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, eds, Caste and Communal Politics in South Asia.
Deshmukh, Nana. Vision Books. Deshpande, B. Ramaswamy edited by H. Dr Hedgewar: Dharmaveer Dr B. Dhooria, Ram Lall. Sampradayikta Virodhi Committee.. Erdman, Howard Lloyd. University Press. Fagg, Henry. Back to the Sources: National Book Trust. Freitag Sandria B. Collective Action and Community: Gandhi, M. Delhi Diary: Prayer Speeches from to Navajivan Publishing House. Communal Unity. Hindu Dharma Kya Hai? Gandhi, Rajmohan. The Good Boatman: Gangadharan, K. Sociology of Revivalism: A Study of Indianization, Sanskritization, and Golwalkarism.
Kalamkar Prakashan. Ghosh, Partha S.
Ghosh, Tapan. The Gandhi Murder Trial. Asia Publishing House. Godse, Gopal. Surya Prakashan. Golwalkar, M. We or Our Nationhood Defined. Fourth Edition. Bharat Publications. Bunch of Thoughts. Vikram Prakashan. Janki Prakashan ———, Spotlights. Sahitya Sindhu. Antim Sandesh. Lokhit Prakashan. Gopal, Ram. How India Struggled for Freedom. Gopal, S. Gopal, Sarvepalli, ed. Anatomy of a Confrontation: The Babri Masjid— Ramjanmabhumi Issue. Viking, Penguin.
Gordan, Richard. Goyal, Desh Raj. Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Second Revised edition , first edition Radha Krishna Prakashan: New Delhi. Government of Bihar. Bihar State Archives.
Graham, Bruce D. Hindu Nationalism and Indian Politics: Low, ed. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Gupta, Dipankar. Executive Committee, Indian History Congress. Hansen, Thomas Blom. The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India. Princeton University Press. Ayodhya — Media House. Hartung, Jan-Peter and Helmut Reifeld, eds Islamic Education, Diversity and National Identity: Hasan, Mushirul. Nationalism and Communal Politics in India — Give two examples. Promotions Procedure Academic Staff and Titleholders.
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Adopting a philosophy of selflessness even as a public man, Gandhi refused to accept any payment for his work on behalf of the Indian population, preferring to support himself with his law practice alone. But Gandhi's personal quest to define his own philosophy with respect to religion did not rely solely on sacred texts. At the time, he also engaged in active correspondence with a highly educated and spiritual Jain from Bombay, his friend Raychandra, who was deeply religious, yet well versed in a number of topics, from Hinduism to Christianity.
The more Gandhi communicated with Raychandra, the more deeply he began to appreciate Hinduism as a non violent faith and its related scriptures.
Yet, such deep appreciation also gave birth to a desire to seek inner purity and illumination, without solely relying on external sources, or on the dogma within every faith. Thus, although Gandhi sought God within his own tradition, he espoused the idea that other faiths remained worthy of study and contained their own truths. Not surprisingly, even after his work assignment concluded, Gandhi soon found a reason to remain in South Africa.
This pivotal reason involved the "Indian Franchise Bill", with which the Natal legislature intended to deprive Indians of the right to vote. No opposition existed against this bill, except among some of Gandhi's friends who asked him to stay in South Africa and work with them against this new injustice against Indians, who white South Africans disparagingly called "coolies.
Even in Natal, where Indians had more influence, they were not allowed to go out after 9 p. The new bill which prohibited Indians from voting in Natal only codified existing injustice in writing. Although a last-minute petition drive failed to the Indian Franchise Bill from passing, Gandhi remained active and organized a much larger petition, which he sent to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London, and distributed to the press in South Africa, Britain and India.
The petition raised awareness of the plight of Indians and generating discussions in all three continents to the point where both the Times of London and the Times of India published editorials in support of the Indian right to the vote. Gandhi also formed a new political organization called the Natal Indian Congress a clear reference to the Indian National Congress , which held regular meetings and soon, after some struggles with financing, started its own library and debating society.
He was also thrown of the Train when he didn't agree to move from his first class seat which he paid for. Though, at first, Gandhi intended to remain in South Africa for a month, or a year at most, he ended up working in South Africa for about twenty years.
After his initial assignment was over, he succeeded in growing his own practice to about twenty Indian merchants who contracted manage their affairs. This work allowed him to both earn a living while also finding time to devote to his mission as a public figure. During his struggle against inequality and racial discrimination in South Africa, Gandhi became known among Indians all around the world as "Mahatma," or "Great Soul. In , Gandhi made a brief return to India and returned to his wife and children.
For the first time, Gandhi realized that Indians had come to admire his work greatly and experienced a taste of his own popularity among the people, when he visited Madras, an Indian province, where most manual laborers had originated.
The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi
Although his fellow-Indians greeted him in large crowds with applause and adulation, he sailed back to South Africa with his family in December Gandhi had become very well known in South Africa as well, to the point where a crowd of rioters awaited him at Port Natal, determined that he should not be allowed to enter.
Many of them also mistakenly believed that all the dark-skinned passenger on the ship that took Gandhi to Natal were poor Indian immigrants he had decided to bring along with him, when, in reality, these passengers were mostly returning Indian residents of Natal. Fortunately, Gandhi was able to establish a friendly relationship with the British in South Africa so the Natal port's police superintendent and his wife escorted him to safety.
After this incident, local white residents began to actually regard him with greater respect. As Gandhi resumed his work at the Natal Indian Congress, his loyalty to the British guided him to assist them in the Boer War, which started three years later.
Because Gandhi remained a passionate pacifist, he wanted to participate in the Boer War without actually engaging in violence so he organized and led an Indian Medical Corps which served the British in a number of battles, including the important battle of Spion Kop in January At the time, Gandhi believed that the British Empire shared the values of liberty and equality that he himself embraced and that, by virtue of defending those principles, the British constitution deserved the loyalty of all British subjects, including Indians.
He viewed racist policy in South Africa as a temporary characteristic aberration, rather than a permanent tendency. With respect to the British in India, at this point in his life, Gandhi considered their rule beneficial and benevolent. The armed conflict between the British and Dutch raged on for over three years of often brutal fighting with the British conquering the Transvaal and Orange Free state territories.
Gandhi expected that the British victory would establish justice in South Africa and present him with an opportunity to return to India. He wanted to attend the meeting of the Indian National Congress, whose mission was to provide a social and political forum for the Indian upper class. Founded in by the British, the Congress had no real political power and expressed pro-British positions. Gandhi wanted to attend its meeting nevertheless, as he was hoping to pass a resolution in support of the Indian population in South Africa.
Before he left for Bombay, Gandhi promised the Natal Indian Congress that he would return to support their efforts, should they need his help. As Gandhi attended the Indian National Congress, his hopes came true.
Gokhale, one of the most prominent Indian politicians of the time, supported the resolution for the rights of Indians in South Africa and the resolution passed.
Through Gokhale, in whose house Gandhi stayed for a month, Gandhi met many political connections that would serve him later in life. However, his promise to always aid his friends in Natal soon prompted him to return to South Africa, when he received an urgent telegram informing him that the British and Boers had now formed a peaceful relationship and often acted together to the detriment of the Indian population, as Britain was planning to live local white individuals in power in South Africa, much like it had done in Canada and Australia.
Gandhi travelled back to South Africa immediately and met with Joseph Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, and presented him with a paper on the injustice against the Indian population but Chamberlain indicated that the Indians would have to obey the new rulers of South Africa, now called the "Afrikaners," which included both Dutch and British local settlers.
Gandhi began to organize a fast response to this new South African political configuration. Instead of working in Natal, he now established a camp in the newly conquered Transvaal region and began helping Indians who had escaped from the war in that region, and now had to download overly expensive re-entry passes.
He also represented poor Indians whose dwellings in a shantytown the authorities had dispossessed. Gandhi also started a new magazine, Indian Opinion, that advocated for political liberty and equal rights in South Africa. The magazine, which initially included several young women from Europe, expanded its staff around the country, increasing both Gandhi's popularity and the public support for his ideas.
At round same time, Gandhi read John Ruskin's book Unto This Last , which maintained that the life of manual labor was superior to all other ways of living. As he adopted this belief, Gandhi chose to abandon Western dress and habits, and he moved his family and staff to a Transvaal farm called the Phoenix, where he even gave renounced the use of an oil-powered engine and printed Indian Opinion by hand-wheel, and performed agriculture labor using old, manual farming equipment.
He began to conceive of his public work as a mission to restore old Indian virtue and civilization, rather than fall prey to modern Western influence, which included electricity and technology. Between and , he also changed another aspect of his personal life by achieving Brahmacharya, or the voluntary abstention from sexual relations.
He made this choice as part of his philosophy of selflessness and self-restraint.
Finally, he also formulated his own philosophy of political protest, called Satyagraha, which literally meant "truth-force" in Sanskrit. In practice, this practice meant protesting injustice steadfastly, but in a non-violent manner.
He put this theory into practice on September 8, , when, at a large gathering of the Indian community in Transvaal, he asked the whole community to take a vow of disobedience to the law, as the Transvaal government had started an effort to register every Indian child over the age of eight, which would make them an official part of the South African population.
Setting a personal example, Gandhi became the first Indian to appear before a magistrate for his refusal to register, and he was sentenced to two months in prison. He actually asked for a heavier sentence, a request, consistent with his philosophy of self-denial.Relxpert tutorial. Gandhi General Editor: The speeches were full of hatred, fanaticism and glori- fication—hatred for Gandhi, admiration for Nathuram Godse and communal venom of a kind that could outdo Bal Thackeray of the Shiv Sena.
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