By Shamsul Islam / Counter Currents
On the eve of 80th anniversary of the glorious Quit India Movement 1942 [QIM], we must evaluate the anti-national role of the Hindutva flag-bearers (who shamelessly claim to be the original nationalists) in India’s anti-colonial freedom struggle. QIM also known as ‘August Kranti’ (August Revolution) was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi’s call to ‘Do or Die’ in his Quit India speech delivered in Mumbai at the Gowalia Tank Maidan (renamed as August Kranti Maidan) on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.
The British swiftly responded with mass detentions on August 8th itself. The contemporary official documents confirm that over 100,000 arrests were made which included the total top leadership of Congress including Gandhi, mass fines were levied and demonstrators were subjected to public flogging. Hundreds of civilians were killed by police and army of the British rulers and their henchmen; native rulers. Many national leaders went underground and continued their struggle by broadcasting messages over clandestine radio stations, distributing pamphlets and establishing parallel governments. Innumerable patriotic Indians were shot dead for the crime that they were holding Tricolour publically. Even before that a terrible massacre took place in Mysore where the armed forces of Mysore Raja who was very close to Hindu Mahasabha and RSS shot dead 22 Congress activists for saluting Tricolour.
It is to be noted that after declaring Congress an anti-national and unlawful organization, the British masters allowed only Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League to function.
Most of us know that the then Communist Party of India opposed the QIM thus betraying a great phase of mass upsurge in the history of the freedom struggle. But it is well documented that despite CPI’s call for keeping aloof from QIM large number of Communist activists participated in it. However, what role the then Hindutva camp—consisting of the Hindu Mahasabha [HM] and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS]—played in the QIM is under wraps for reasons unknown. The Hindutva camp not only opposed QIM but also provided multi-faceted and multi-dimensional support to the British rulers in suppressing this historic mass upsurge. In this connection, shocking documents are available.
‘VEER’ SAVARKAR LED HINDU MAHASABHA JOINED HANDS WITH THE BRITISH RULERS TO SUPRESS IT
While addressing the 24th session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Cawnpore (now Kanpur) in 1942, Savarkar outlined the strategy of the Hindu Mahasabha of co-operating with the British rulers in the following words:
“The Hindu Mahasabha holds that the leading principle of all practical politics is the policy of Responsive Co-operation. And in virtue of it, it believes that all those Hindu Sangathanists [members of HM] who are working as councillors, ministers, legislators and conducting any municipal or any public bodies with a view to utilize those centres of government power to safeguard and even promote the legitimate interests of the Hindus without, of course, encroaching on the legitimate interests of others are rendering a highly patriotic service to our nation. Knowing the limitations under which they work, the Mahasabha only expects them to do whatever good they can under the circumstances and if they do not fail to do that much it would thank them for having acquitted themselves well. The limitations are bound to get themselves limited step by step till they get altogether eliminated. The policy of responsive co-operation which covers the whole gamut of patriotic activities from unconditional co-operation right up to active and even armed resistance, will also keep adapting itself to the exigencies of the time, resources at our disposal and dictates of our national interest.” [Italics as in the original]
This story was originally published in countercurrents.org . Read the full story here