CONGRESS PARTY BETWEEN TWO FOREIGNERS
By Brigadier(Retd) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
A.O Hume a former British civil servant in India had founded the Indian National Congress in the closing week of December 1885 in Bombay, now Mumbai. As a loyal subject of Her Majesty the Queen of England and the Empress of India, AO Hume considered it his duty to the Empire to provide a forum to the educated Indian elite to debate issues of the day and pass a resolution expressing loyalty to the British Government in India and gratitude to the administration headed by the Viceroy and Governor General for providing them an opportunity to do so. More often than not there was a competition among the Congressmen to show unflinching loyalty to the British monarch.
Surprisingly the founder of the Congress did not become its President but was diplomatically content to run the show as its Secretary. He helped ann Indian gentleman, Womesh Chandra Bannerji to be the first President of the debating club that was destined to usher in freedom of their motherland after throwing off the yoke of slavery to the British. However, none could have imagined in the initial years that the organization that took pride in singing the British national anthem, God Save the Queen, would one day chant in unison VANDE MATARAM – salute to Mother India.
Not so surprisingly the educated Muslims of India kept away from the Congress founded by AO Hume because it was dominated by educated Hindus. Syed Ahmed Khan, founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, remained oblivious of this epoch making event. In the closing years of the 19th century and the initial years of the 20th century the Congress party remained contented as an enlightened club professing loyalty to the British monarch. The thought of gaining independence never flashed across their minds, leave alone the question of passing a resolution asking the British rulers to hand over reins of administration to the native subjects.
FIRE BRAND LEADERSHIP
When the moderate man, Gopal Krishna Gokhale passed the baton to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the wind of change was felt by both the glitterati and the literati. ‘swarajya mera janm siddh adhikar hai aur main ise lekar rahunga’ WAS HIS SLOGAN THAT ECHOED THROUGHOUT THE LENGTH AND BREADTH OF India. There was an awakening that even the White Hall in London took note of. The new generation of Indian Congressmen had now crossed the Lakshman Rekha and were gradually preparing themselves for a confrontation with the rulers.
The educated enlightened Indians living in the United Kingdom were the centre of attraction for the Swaraj movement. Among them were two Gujaratis, one was Shyamji Krishna Verma, a disciple of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, a Sanskrit scholar in his own right and a successful businessman who founded the India House; the other was Mohd Ali Jinnah, a sharp debater who canvassed for Dadabhai Naoroji successfully to become the first Indian member of the British House of Commons. They learnt their lessons in patriotism leading to independence at the feet of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. ABHAYAM or fearlessness was their hallmark. However, Jinnah straying into the communal politics of the Muslim League in India as Jawaharlal Nehru denied him Space to grow in the Congress is another story to be told later.
THE GANDHI ERA
It was Gandhiji who steered the Congress party from an elitist debating club to a mass organization guiding mass movements like Champaran and Kheda. The British rulers knew that their days in India as rulers were limited thereafter. Although the leader with a Gujarati rural touch earned the semi-religious title of a Mahatma and worked relentlessly for achieving independence for a United India, he failed miserably and the country was divided on religious lines. The Hindus suffered most and lost lives and property in wat is now Pakistan. The inclusion of Lahore in Pakistan despite it being a Hindu majority metropolis gave a hard blow to the Arya Samaj from which it is yet to recover.
Gandhiji believed in Satya and Ahimsa but did not hesitate to sacrifice his principles of Dharma when he adopted a policy of appeasement of the Muslim community. Gandhiji could not bring round his most favourite disciple, Jawaharlal Nehru to stand firm on the principle of Akhand Bharat.
Jawaharlal Nehru was in a hurry to become Prime Minister of India and had slipped into the Mayapash and Mohjal of Edwina Mountbatten. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a close Muslim friend of Nehru’s has written in his book, India Wins Freedom that lakhs of lives were lost and property destroyed because of this haste of Nehru to become the Prime Minister of India. I would take the liberty of calling it Indecent haste. Further, Nehru never wanted any competition from Jinnah in the realm of Leadership in the sub-continent and so he accepted the partition of our Motherland bypassing wishes of Bapu.
It was the unethical influence of a foreigner, Lady Edwina Mountbatten on an eminent Congressman, Jawaharlal Nehru, because of which millions of residents of undivided India had to undergo untold suffering, death and destruction.
Indira Gandhi won the hearts and minds of millions of Hindus all over the world by having Pakistan dismembered after its armies were defeated in depth by the Indian Armed Forces in December 1971. She was likened to goddess DURGA for her grit, determination and patriotism. How unfortunate that she squandered away this unlimited pool of goodwill of compatriots by imposing Emergency and incarcerating countless compatriots for no rhyme or reason.
It is,however, another foreigner, one Maino masquerading as Sonia, who brought abject poverty and unfathomable unhappiness on our beloved Indians by her wrong policies. Perhaps she may be the last foreigner in the chair of a decision maker of the Congress party as her party men are likely to be kicked out of the government and forced to cool their heels in the roadside pumps and pools. Under her fallacious leadership, many a devout Congressman has lost hope of winning the ensuing Parliamentary elections and are either shiting from one constituency to another or recusing themselves from the battle of the ballot on fake grounds of health. Thus the present foreigner heading the Congress party is likely to bring black clouds of doom to rain on the Congress party headquarters.
The Congress party has suffered from the ignominy of mothering many a scam during its misrule, Coalgate, Railgate, 2G scam, arms purchase scam and what have you. The Bofors gun scandal is too well known to be brushed under the carpet.
Under the present foreign misrule, worse than the 190-year rule of the British government, will be recounted by the future historians without any fear and favour. What Hume started, Maino will have the singular distinction of winding up.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 9811173590.