H C Singh

Corruption in India

A person has been held for sale of tainted blood. This is one of the worst crimes. He was supplying HIV affected blood to local nursing homes. He was owner of a medical laboratory in a small town about 500 km north west of Jaipur. Accused Hetram Goyal was also charged with collecting blood from donors and supplying to nursing homes without verifying whether these bloods of donors were infected or not. This has happened in Congress ruled Rajasthan.

In Rajasthan also, two days after a Congress MLA has been charged for getting blood from donors who were school children and most of them minors. Congress MLA against whom FIR has been registered on orders of the court is Bhagwan Saini from Chomu town about 35 km from Jaipur. It was Blood Donation camp on Rajiv Gandhi Birth anniversary. Out of 27 school children 20 were minor. MLA allegedly forged documents to show that the children were not minor. Getting blood donated by minor children by tricking them. Among the accused is the Principal of the school.

The above two instances of corruption are unique. Such incidents do not seem to have happened before or have gone unreported or have been silenced because of corruption which is prevalent in India in every department everywhere in every state. Bit this seems to be first time that a Congress MLA has been caught red handed and FIR has been registered against him, though sale of HIV tainted blood is more serious and demands exemplary punishment. It is hoped that both the above cases will not be closed because of pressure of politicians or Ministers in Rajasthan or from central Government.

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Corruption, India | , , , , | 2 Comments

To Me Mahatma Gandhi

As young and immature man of below 12 years I used to follow Gandhi and considered him real mahatma. I was very much impressed since 1942 Quit India movement in which I had little bit participated as a lad of under 12 years. But going to college, studying politics and history independently I came to conclusion that Gandhi was not either very intelligent or very honest or upright. By his so called non violence, which suited the British rulers of India before independence in comparison to demand and fight for independence come what may be Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh and many other revolutionaries, Gandhi was made an icon of non violence and a mahatma.

As M.K. Gandhi’s performance as an advocate was not only below expectations from a Bar-at-law but poor, as has been described by POLAK in Great Men of India. It will be pertinent to reproduce below his comments on Gandhi’s ability and courage.
“On return from England after being Bar-at-law he continued practise in Bombay high court. His first case was a trial, not so much of his knowledge and ability as of his courage. To speak in public had always been an ordeal for him and now to have to conduct a case, even the placing of bare facts of it before the court, was more than he could do. He rose to speak but became tongue-tied. Baffled he begged to be relieved of his case and hastened from the court in shame and anguish, vowing never to appear again until he had learned to master himself and could use his brain and body as the instrument of his will.”

So to start with despite of having lived in England and having been called to Bar he was an utter failure as an advocate. So he first joined his brother in business and thereafter went to South Africa at the request of an Indian businessman, where it was more politics than law.

Though from 1942 to 1949 I considered Gandhi as Mahatma and Father of Nation and raised slogans like ‘Inqilab Zindabad’ and ‘Mahatma Gandhi Zindabad’ and on hearing that he had been assassinated by a Hindu fanatic because Gandhi was instrumental in the payment of Rs. 55 crore (Rs 550 Million) to Pakistan though Pakistan had waged a war against India in Kashmir, I kept fast for full 24 hours, not drinking even water and attended condolence meeting at the bank of Satluj river near Sardar Bhagat Singh’s smadhi.

Till 1949 I had not read and known about Gandhi’s high handedness not befitting a Mahatma or Father of nation in forcing rightfully elected Subhash Chandra Bose who defeated Gandhi’s candidate Patabhi Sitaramya. Instead of accepting the verdict of people and allowing S C Bose to function he indirectly made all the earlier members of congress working committee not to cooperate with Subhash Bose and not to join his Working Committee. It is to credit of Subhash Bose who was not yet ‘Netaji’ to resign instead of dividing the party. In this connection I reproduce below once again extracts from an article by POLAK expressed in an article in Greatmen of India.

“After the re-election of Subhash Chandra Bose as president of the congress… inspite of Gandhi’s support for another candidate the annual session of the congress that followed expressed complete confidence in him, resolved to support his politics and virtually instructed Mr. Bose to appoint a Working Committee that would enjoy Gandhi’s confidence: Mr. Bose however failed to get support of Gandhi’s nominees and resigned the Presidentship, the new President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, being an old colleague of the Mahatma’s and the new working committee being composed entirely of his supporters.”

In the face of Bose’s demand to present Britain with an ultimatum in the prevailing international arena in order to compel her to grant India’s freedom Gandhi’s view was that “it would not be proper or generous on her part to take advantage of Britain’s embarrassment in the international field….”

… “In the following passage from a letter from Gandhi to Bose, in reply to later’s proposed ultimatum, under a threat of new intensive civil disobedience campaign, just before his resignation, expressing Gandhi’s profound disbelief that such a campaign (as pointed out by Bose) could be conducted without Violence”

“To many he (Gandhi) is a strange enigma, an aggregate of inconsistencies, and his subtilty of argument is often uncomprehending and baffling. But of his courage, his integrity of purpose, the splendors of his idealism his deep patriotism and his fine example of public conduct and personal sacrifice there is an all but universal recognition.”

This is how Mahatma Gandhi who worked for India’s Independence all through his life refused to celebrate Independence because of large scale riots from July to September 1947. Because of partitions riots which were instigated and initiated by Muslim League in August – September 1946 in Bengal particularly in Calcutta, it is pertinent to quote Ram Chandra Guha from his book India after Gandhi: “By starting a riot in Calcutta in August 46 Jinnah and the League hoped to polarize the two communities further and thus force the British to divide India when they finally quit. In this endeavor they richly succeeded.”

Mahatma Gandhi was hardly secular as he was a staunch Hindu and considered India after partition to be a Hindu country. It is significant to quote what Gandhi ji said on December 4, 1947 hardly a couple of months before his assassination by a fanatic Hindu Nathu Ram Godse.

“Even Guru Nanak never said that he was not a Hindu nor did any other Guru. It can not be said that Sikhism, Hinduism. Buddhism and Jainism are separate religions. All these four faiths and their off shoots are one. Hinduism is an ocean into which all the rivers run. It can absorb Islam and Christianity and all other religions and only then can it become ocean” (Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, Publication of Government of India of various years, volume 90 p 177)

In the words of Nirad C Chaudhary , ‘Gandhi had the capacity for prevarication of a Hindu Bania and Hindu Guru combined and like both he think that what he desired must be necessarily right’ (C Chaudhary ‘The Hand of Great Anarch’ India 1921-52 , Laden 1987 p 792)

After talks with and influenced by Suhrawardy Gandhi became more pro-Muslim and anti-Sikh. He started calling Muslims as a separate religion but continued to call Sikhs (Sheekh) as culprits and criminals who killed Muslims (in retaliation so as to stop killing of Hindu and Sikhs in Pakistan.)

Because of large scale riots Gandhi did not take part in celebrations of Independence day on 15th August 1947 but instead undertook a 24 hour fast saying ‘Do you wish to hold celebrations in the midst of this devastation’

This proved that Mahatma Gandhi truly believed and propagated non-violence. This also proves that M K Gandhi had become a Mahatma in real sense and rightly known throughout India and the world as Mahatma Gandhi – apostle of Non – Violence.

To conclude, we cannot forget or minimize Mahatma Gandhi’s emphasis on non-violent struggle for independence, which was adopted by many leaders of America and Africa. In USA, Martin Luther King’s struggle for racial equality and end of discrimination against colored people particularly Africans was crowned with great and unique success. In South Africa, the South African leader NELSON MANDELA who had been imprisoned for 30 years by colonial government and that, too, in a solitary confinement for many years in a far off island of south of South Africa, emulated Gandhi’s non-violence and though after independence of South Africa he became the first African (non-white) President of South Africa he did not harbor any grudge against the erstwhile white rulers.

Highest tribute was paid by great scientist Albert Einstein, recognizing Gandhi’s contribution to peace, brotherhood of mankind, absence of hatred and above all non-violent struggle for attaining independence with truth honesty and sacrifice, all rolled into one. It is very pertinent to quote Einstein: “generations to come will scarcely believe that such a man as this (Gandhi) walked the earth in flesh and blood”

August 25, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sardar Patel

Sardar Patel, unlike Gandhi and Jawahar Lal had roaring practice as a brilliant lawyer thus in a few years he saved enough money and booked a passage through Thomas Cooke for UK to become Bar – at- Law. But that was not to be through for the time being. His elder brother Vithal Bhai Patel asked him to allow him to go to UK. Just to become Bar-at-Law. As initials of both brothers were the same VB (Vallabhh Bahi and Vithal Bhai) Vithal Bhai traveled to UK in the same ticket, as Sardar Patel had lot of regard for his elder brothers being from a peasant family. This showed how selfless was Sardar Patel to start with and continued till his demise. Now I quote from the book by Mr. Chapra “Sardar of India”

“When his brother returned to India after completing his studies in London, Vallabh Bhai left for the UK in 1970 and joined the Middle Temple Inn. With his meager resources, he had to work hard in London too and would walk about 14 kms daily to go to and return from the library in the middle temple when he was already 35. The Sardar won a prize of £50 and got a first-class and first position in the finals in the Inns of Court, London. Being the son of a peasant, Vallabh bhai was eager to go to the villages around London and acquire first-hand knowledge which he did after his examination was over. He returned to India with flying colors. In spite of an attractive offer made by the then Chief Justice of Bombay, of a Professorship at the then Chief Justice of Bombay, of a Professorship at the Government Law School (the college was known as ‘school’), Vallabh bhai preferred to come over to Ahemdabad.”

Sardar Patel had decided to do for Ahemdabad and thereafter for Independence movement under Gandhiji though he did not agree with the Mahatma in every aspect. He devoted more time, after declining professorship of Law College to municipal administration with a view to improve. He thereafter took stand against two arrogant British Commissioners and got them removed. These officers were Mr Shillidy and Masscy.

His spirit of service for people was remarkable. It came from his heart and soul in this connection I would like to quote Shri G.V Malvankar another prominent social worker and followers of Gandhiji and his non-violent movement for India’s freedom from British Rule.

“His spirit of service and devotion to duty were of such an exceptional character that as chairman of the municipal sanitary committee, he struck to his residence in the city of Ahmedabad when plague (1917) was raging and refused to move out for personal safety. His was a familiar figure moving in the streets of Ahmedabad, getting the sewers cleaned and the plague-stricken areas disinfected.”

Sardar Patel’s unique contribution to India’s unity and unification, as never before, was (1) Integration of 562 Princely states with newly independent India and (2) successful intervention in Kashmir when all the others leader were indifferent and seemed helpless against British intrigues and for Pakistan Jinnah not only wanted to integrate Kashmir with Pakistan but waited and tried to win over Maharaja of Jodhpur and Nawab of Bhopal with all types of temptations like a corridor, and financial help, arms and use of Karachi port.

Failure of Jinnah and success of Sardar Patel is described by K.M. Punnikar who was Prime Minister of Bikaner in letter dated 7th September 1947 to Sardar Patel that your understanding and vision killed the dispersion of most of the princes and gave us support when we most required it and not only India but the states as a whole owe you a deep gratitude.”

It was indeed a miracle that the Sardar was able to achieve the merger of about 562 princely states comprising one-third of the total area of India into the Indian union within a short span of less than two years. The obstacles seemed to be insurmountable when he took over the reins of office.

Later on Mountbatten used to observe, according to Hudson, “I am glad to say” that “Nehru has not been put in charge of the new states department, which would have wrecked everything. Patel, who is essentially a realist and very sensible, is going to take it over…..”

A few days before 15 August 1947, hostile combination of Indian Princes sprang up with a plan to protect the Pakistan frontier from the border of Sindh to the borders of Bhopal on the one side and to the Surat District on the other. It was indeed a bold and formidable move but the Sardar was able to break this combination; each element, to quote K.M. Munshi, “was segregated and destroyed”.

On the success of his mission Sardar in a statement before the Constituent Assembly on 12th October 1949 observed:

The great ideal of geographical, political and economic unification of India, an ideal which for centuries remained a distant dream and which appeared as remote and as difficult of attainment even after the advent of Indian independence was consummated by the policy of integration.

The story of the merger of the Indian states into the Indian union has been told by the Sardar’s right – hand man, V.P. Menon, in his well – known work, The story of the Integration of Indian Stated and need not be repeated here. “Suffice to say that the Sardar’s India was greater in size than that of Samudragupta, Asoka and Akbar and the writ of the Center wielded an authority and respect never dreamt of by these greatest of Indian rulers.”

Nizam of Hydrabad supported by Razakars and Pakistan had ambition of being ruler of an independent country duly being recognized by Pakistan, Britain and India. But Sardar Patel was determined to end Nizam’s dream and integrated Hyderabad fully like any other princely state. He called Major General Choudhary asking him straight question as how many days of military (Police) action would be required to finish Razakar resistance and integrate Hyderabad with rest of India. General cordially said at the most a week.

Thus Hyderabad was made part of Indian union within 5 days and Major General Choudhary was honoured as military governor of Hyderabad and Sardar Patel when he visited Hyderabad after a few days stayed with General Choudhary who felt greatly honured.

As in the case of integration of Hyderabad there was division in the cabinet in case of Kashmir Mountbatten had sympathies with Pakistan as he was friendly with Churchill and was influenced by his thinking. The chief of army of India, General Bucher was reluctant and was against sending Indian Army in Kashmir. It was only Sardar Patel who was, as in the case of Hyderabad determined to send Indian Army to Kashmir for Kashmir’s accession and integration with India.

In Hyderabad Hindus were in majority while in Kashmir it was quite different as Muslims were in majority in Kashmir. Hindus were in Majority in Jammu and Buddhist were in majority in Ladakh.

To solve the Kashmir problem there was a meeting under the chairmanship of Lord Mountbatten. From the biography of Vallabhbhai Patel, I quote below in length to clarify the role of Mountbatten, Bucher, Nehru and Patel.

“General Bucher asserted that resources available to him were so meager that military assistance to the state would not be possible. Lord Mountbatten exhibited studied diffidence. Panditji presented a picture of acute anxiety and deep concern. Sardar listened, did not utter a word.” He was a picture of calm equipoise. His silence was a strange contrast to a picture of defeatism and helplessness that otherwise pervaded in the meeting. “Suddenly Sardar moved in his seat and immediately in his gruff and resolute voice attracted everybody. He conveyed the following: “Look here, General, Kashmir must be defended at all costs and come what may, resources or no resources. You must do it and all assistance will be rendered by Government. This must, must and must be done. Do whatever you like, but do it…” The General wore a grim look. A ray of hope shot through me. The generals might have wished to demur, but Sardar quietly got up and saying that arrangements for ‘operation airlift’ would be ready by the next morning…defense of Kashmir thus was the result of Sardar’s decisiveness and determined will to implement the decision, whatever the odds.”

Sir Aurobindo, the great seer who had given up active politics and lived the life of a Karmayogi in Pondicherry, had rightly prophesied as early as December 22, 1946, in a remark to a query from his disciple. “Out of all of them. Patel is the only strong man.”

Along with General Bucher, Nizam was supported by many Britishers of the conservative party like Sir Walter Monckton and RA Butler who were on Churchill’s side. Butler emphasized that “Britain should press for the just claims of Hyderabad to remain independent”

Thus Sardar Patel’s achievements like the Police action in Hyderabad, sending Indian Army in Kashmir against opposition by Britishers and indifference of Nehru were more than any other Indian contemporary or past leader and rulers. Whole of India salutes the great Sardar and shall remember him for ever.

Nehru – Patel Controversy

Nehru was Prime Minister duly supported by Gandhi and all the Congress leaders and workers after independence of the country. After partition of India and creation of Muslim state of Pakistan, Patel wanted that Muslims of India should prove their loyalty to India but Nehru was of the opinion that it was the responsibility of Congress and the Government to make Muslims of India feel secure.

Though Nehru and Patel did not see eye to eye on many subjects and policy matters, it was ultimately Sardar Patel who advised all congress men to follow Nehru as Bapu appointed him as his successor and had even proclaimed him as such. It is the duty of all Bapu’s soldiers to carry out his bequest. I am not a disloyal soldier. It was Patel’s decency that prevented an open rupture between the two over Congress Presidency.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment