Pseudo-liberals.. Islamists.. Hinduphobes or whatever else we may call them, they leave no stone unturned against Hindutva and Veer Savarkar who was once its ambassador. Now all those who have read independence history of India, must be knowing that Islamists once used to label “Congress and Gandhi ji” as “Hindu icons”. Congress attempted every bit to gain support from Muslims, but it terribly failed to win even a single seat in Muslim constituencies during 1945 General elections. All the seats were secured by Muslim league. In the eyes of Britain, outcome of 1945 election proved Jinnah to be correct. Jinnah was always loud about his stand that Muslims want partition of India otherwise this would lead to a civil war on the other hand, Gandhi ji’s and Congress’ stand was of a united India .
But as soon as the outcome of 1945 elections was disclosed, it reflected a terrible defeat of Gandhi ji and victory of Jinnah in all the Muslim constituencies. After partition, those Muslims who stayed back in India, for whatever reason, were obviously finding themselves in an atmosphere of guilt that it is their community which has become the cause of partition of this ancient land. Now to free Muslims from that very guilt, pro-Islamist historians invented fake narratives one after the other. And one such narrative is that it is not Muslims but Hindutva people who are to blamed for partition of this country. They say, it was Savarkar who sided with Britishers. And what evidence do they produce? That Savarkar didn’t participate or in fact opposed an important freedom movement like “Quit India Movement”.
Readers, for a moment, without defending Veer Savarkar, even if I acknowledge this allegation that Veer Savarkar opposed Quit India Movement then does that make Veer Savarkar, a traitor, as termed by Hinduphobes? I mean, how can we as Indians, forget his struggle against Britishers for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment twice in his life, and that he was locked up in the most horrible jail known of that time known as “Kala Pani” for almost a decade? Also that he was literally treated like an animal by Britishers for the kind of crimes Veer Savarkar committed against British government ?
But keeping all this apart, the genuine question which pops up in any readers mind is that why Veer Savarkar didn’t participate or opposed Quit India Movement? This question has been answered in best possible way by none than Veer Savarkar himself in his book, Hindu Rashtra Darshan pp.129-131
We all know that in early days, the motive of Congress was not absolute freedom of nation but grant of several rights to Indians. Later Congress adopted the motive of “absolute freedom”. So when Quit India Movement was about to launch, Veer Savarkar was finding out the goal which Congress was seeking to achieve through this movement. He wrote “You must know before you go to fight the objective for which you have to fight.” When Veer Savarkar was convinced that the goal of this mission is to gain absolute independence, he noted “it was the duty of every Indian patriot and especially of a Hindu patriot to join a movement which had for its goal the absolute political independence of Hindusthan.”
So as we can understand, on first glance, Veer Savarkar felt that it is duty of every Indian and especially of every Hindu to join a movement which aims to secure absolute freedom. But then, what went wrong? Veer Savarkar says “The Congress had made it crystal clear by that time that it was ready to agree even to vivisect India as an organic and centralised State in order to placate the Moslems and to persuade them to join the movement“. As we have read, the first objection raised by Veer Savarkar was that Congress’ policy of Muslim appeasement. But this was not all, Veer Savarkar continues “they added to it a rider which demanded of great Britain that though the British should leave India yet the must retain their British forces and even the American forces behind to protect India against the axis powers invading her. In short, the war-cry of the Congress movement came to ‘Quit India but keep the British army here and the Americans to boot!!’”
As we are familiar with the fact that though Congress was aiming for absolute freedom; it was at the same time willing to keep British army in India and Veer Savarkar opposed that. But despite having these two major disagreements with Congress, Veer Savarkar agreed to think of supporting Quit India Movement if Congress accepts 7 major demands set by him. Those demands were:
1. The Congress should guarantee the; integrity of Hindusthan form the Indus to the Seas as an organic nation and an internal centralized State.
2. The Congress should, therefore, openly repudiate the granting of any right to the provinces to secede.
3. Representation in the legislatures, etc. should be in proportion to the population of the majority and the minorities.
4. Public services should go by merit alone.
5. That the Hindu Mahasabha should be recognised as the representative body of Hindudom and consequently no step should be taken affecting Hindu rights without its consultation and sanction.
6. All minorities should be given effective safeguards to protect their language, religion, culture, etc. but none of them should be allowed to create ‘a state within a state’ as the League of Nations put it, or to encroach upon the legitimate rights of the majority as defined above.
7. The residue powers should be vested in the Central Government.
Do you feel any of these demands were illegitimate? No, they were quite necessary. But did Congress agreed to these demands? Veer Savarkar writes “the Congress refused stubbornly to have anything to do with these conditions.” So the Congress refused. Not just Congress refused but went a step further, says Savarkar that “in their resolution at Bombay, the A.I.C.C. actually declared that the residuary powers shall be vested in the Provincial Government instead of the Central, in addition to the concession the Congress had already made to the Pakistanis of the principle of provincial self-determination to secede. The climax came when Gandhiji, after being proclaimed as the de fecto dictator of the Congress, wrote an authoritative letter to reassure Mr. Jinnah of his readiness to hand over the whole Government of India including the Indian States to the Moslem League.”
Just look what a terrible statement was made by Gandhi ji! Gandhi ji was okay with British handing over power to Muslim league [if league rejects partition]. Just imagine what India would have been if it was ruled by Muslim league! How could have Veer Savarkar supported such a “freedom movement” where Muslim league of Jinnah was given opportunity to rule entire India after British?
But when Veer Savarkar was alleging that Gandhi ji had agreed to the fact that Muslim league would rule India if they reject partition, what was the source of his allegation? The source of Veer Savarkar’s allegation was the letter of Gandhi ji written on 8th August 1942 [just a day before Quit India Movement started] which is even available today . It could be read even below:
So Veer Savarkar was right. Gandhi ji actually said “the Congress will have no objection to the British Government transferring all the powers it today exercises to the Muslim League on behalf of the whole of India, including the so-called Indian India“.
Readers, after reading all this, do you think Veer Savarkar was wrong when he didn’t supported Quit India Movement? Well, I leave this for you to decide. But to sum up, following were the reasons why Veer Savarkar restrained Hindu Mahasabha from participating in the Quit India Movement:
- Congress’ policy of Muslim appeasement.
- Congress’ aspiration that British Army should remain in India even after independence for a certain period.
- Congress rejected 7 legitimate demands put up by Veer Savarkar.
- Gandhi ji made a shocking and a very terrible statement that Congress has no objection if British handover power of whole India to Muslim league.
: Mahatma Gandhi, Nonviolent Liberator: A Biography, p. 91
: My Transportation for Life, 111-12.
: Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 83, pp.186-87