History of Modern India Part 5
Who listens to me these days? I am being told to retire from politics and go to the Himalayas and live the life of a sadhu. Everyone wants to wear necklaces on my pictures and statues but no one is ready to listen to my advice. I do not want future generations to curse me by saying that I was part of the process of dismembering India. The freedom we are getting in the event of partition of India is a wooden fight.
If they eat they will die of stomach ache, if they do not eat they will die of hunger. Friends, these are the words of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who is called Bapu, Mahatma Gandhi or Gandhiji in India. But Gandhi, who was talking about keeping India united, was attacked. People will throw stones at them, throwing dirt and pieces of glass in their path. Mahatma Gandhi was so persecuted that he did not even participate in the celebration of India’s independence.
Instead, he announced that he would now stay in Pakistan. Why was that? I am Faisal Warraich and look, in the second part of Listen to Janu’s History of Modern India, we will show you all this. Four wishes he had struggled with all his life. The first wish was that India should not be divided, that is, Pakistan and India should not become separate countries. Gandhi used to say that India could be divided only by passing over his body.
His second wish was for the British to leave India peacefully. Let there be no riot, mischief and commotion. The reason for this was that Mahatma Gandhi believed in non-violence, he was against any kind of fighting or riots. His third wish was to establish a government in India that would serve the people instead of its pomp. The ministers of this government should live a simple life like him and live in the servant quarters.
Travel in tangos instead of big cars. Mahatma Gandhi’s fourth wish was that, God willing , India and Pakistan should remain in a loving relationship even if the time came for the partition of India. Let there be no enmity or war between them. So these friends were his four wishes. But it so happened that immediately after independence, all these desires of his began to become a mound of dust before his eyes.
India changed so much overnight that Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy suddenly became outdated. This change began with Direct Action Day. August 16, 1946, was the day when Indian Muslims took direct action on the appeal of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League . This means that on this day Muslims all over India took to the streets and started a movement for the establishment of Pakistan.
But this day of the movement turned into bloody riots. The largest riots took place in Kolkata, the capital of Bengal. At least 400 people were killed and thousands injured in the days-long riots. Hindus and Muslims massacred each other, women were abducted and houses were set on fire. From Calcutta, the riots spread to other parts of India. Mumbai, Delhi and Bihar were also engulfed in riots.
The situation was that in East Bengal, where the number of Muslims was high, Hindus were being attacked and in Bihar, where the number of Hindus was high, groups of Muslims were being attacked. In these circumstances, Mahatma Gandhi mobilized to stop the bloodshed. He decided to visit the Hindu areas affected by the riots in Bengal. Then he also raised his voice for the Muslims of Bihar and wrote in a letter that the land of my dreams Bihar has put itself on the wrong path.
If one group is taking the wrong step, it does not mean that the other group will do the same in return. He traveled around Noakhali and its environs, teaching non-violence and non-violence. This visit was very dangerous, friends, because they had no guards with them. He was traveling with only one of his secretaries and a Bengali translator.