Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeOpinionsA closer look at home: Does the Congress need to reflect internally?

A closer look at home: Does the Congress need to reflect internally?

Also Read

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar continues to be one of the most controversial figures in the history of India. Despite the rest of his contributions to the freedom struggle which ultimately led to the Empire handing an independent country back to India, he is still notoriously remembered for the 6 mercy petitions he wrote to the Empire while being lodged in the Cellular Jail in Andaman infamously known as “Kaala Pani”.

These mercy petitions have become a talking point again in recent days due to Ex-Member of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi’s comment that he will not apologise for his remarks on the Modi surname since his surname is “Gandhi” and not “Savarkar”. This comment comes in light of his recent conviction by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma, which held Gandhi guilty under Sections 499 and 500, Indian Penal Code, 1860 over his allegedly defamatory remark, “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”.

However, before insinuating that his ancestors are not ones to apologise for their supposed courage to speak the truth, Mr. Gandhi seems to have forgotten about the story of his own great grandfather’s release from Nabha Jail in 1923.

The Story of Jawaharlal Nehru’s arrest in Nabha.

Jawaharlal Nehru, K Santanam and AT Gidwani were lodged in Nabha Jail for defying an order dated 22nd September 1923 banning entry into the princely state of Nabha. According to Prof Chaman Lal, renowned historian and former professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, “Nehru was detained for a few hours in the Jaitu police cell, while he was kept for around two weeks in the Nabha jail.””.

K Santanam, in his memoir “handcuffed with Nehru” briefly described their arrests and the harsh conditions prevalent in Nabha Jail. He stated the 3 revolutionaries were “lodged in a separate and secluded part of the jail which was constructed with mud walls. The room itself was 20 feet by 12 feet and both walls and roof were built with mud and the flooring also was of mud.

The other gate was permanently locked and even the entries were not allowed to speak to us. At stated times, food consisting of chapati and dal was put in our cell and no arrangements were made for our bath. Our clothing also was not given to us. Mud was falling from the roof all the time.” These conditions have also been described in the chapter “An interlude to Nabha” in Jawaharlal Nehru’s own autobiography. K. Santanam also went on to mention how these conditions were harsh enough to irritate even a seasoned revolutionary like Nehru.

According to Santanam’s memoir, Pandit Motilal Nehru got worried and tried to ascertain the trio’s whereabouts from various officials and non-officials in Punjab since their arrests were not publicly known. Failing to get any reply, he approached the Viceroy himself who got the information from Nabha. In the days following this, the conditions for 3 revolutionaries bettered in Nabha Jail. Hence, it is believed that there were some recommendations made by Pandit Motilal Nehru to the Viceroy regarding betterment of conditions at Nabha Jail and also negotiation for the release of the 3 revolutionaries from Nabha Jail.

Just 2 weeks post his arrest, Jawaharlal Nehru was released from Nabha Jail on supposedly signing a bond with the British that he would never enter the Princely State of Nabha again.

Need for reflection

In contrast, V.D Savarkar was lodged in one of the most dreaded jails in the country for almost 10 years where he was, reportedly,” restrained in chains, flogged, and resigned to six months of solitary confinement.” and only started writing these mercy petitions 6 months post his lodging in Kaala Pani.

The Congress has attempted to malign Savarkar’s reputation on various occasions by referring to him as a pro-colonialist on account of the abovementioned petitions for clemency written by Savarkar during his time at the Cellular Jail in Andaman.

While the authenticity of the information regarding Savarkar’s petitions for clemency is not questioned, a closer look at home would reveal that similar arrangements were entered into by the Congress themselves back in the day when prisoners were kept in extremely harsh conditions and tested to their breaking points.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

- Advertisement -

Latest News

Recently Popular