For all his piety, love and reliance on non-violence and ahimsa, it’s one of history’s indisputable facts that Mahatma Gandhi relied heavily on Indian capitalists’ funds to keep the Congress going in pre-Independence days.
Today, when we hear Rahul Gandhi shriek “Suit-Boot ki sarkar” as a barb to Narendra Modi and his NDA government, it seems so improper given the financial diet which kept Congress on its feet in pre-1947 era.
B.R. Nanda, a contemporary and a pre-eminent biographer of Mahatma Gandhi admits in his book: “In Search of Gandhi..,” that two thoughts dominated his early years in India in 1920s: “One, that capitalists kept Congress and Gandhi flush with funds…and as quid pro quo, Gandhi astutely checked the revolutionary aspect of his struggle against the Raj to suit the vested interests of the capitalists.”
The experience of “Deshbandhu” Chittaranjan Das was a bitter testimony to such a belief. Subhas Chandra Bose was a disciple of Das. In the latter’s biography “Brothers against the Raj,” hugely acclaimed author Leonard A. Gordon writes thus (condensed for brevity):
In 1920, Gandhi promised “Swaraj in one year” as he gave call for civil disobedience. The call was a massive success. When on November 17, the Prince of Wales arrived in Bombay, Calcutta was completely shut-down by protestors. Around India, some 25,000 Congress workers were arrested. Congress was declared unlawful. Thousands more now poured into British jails, including Das and Subhas Bose. But when British offered a proposal of roundtable meeting, Gandhi rejected. Das was angry with Gandhi. In Das’ own words:
“I myself led people to prison. I started the movement in Bengal. I sent my son first to jail. My son was followed by m wife, and then I went to prison…I knew that the spirit of resistance that manifested itself was mighty and the proudest Government did bend to it. You (Gandhi) bungled it, and mismanaged it. Now you turn round and ask people to spin and do the work of Charka alone.”
In 1922, the Chauri Chaura incident happened. The Congress working committee met and suspended the planned civil disobedience. Peasants were instructed not to withhold rent payments from landlords, who were informed that the Congress `in no way intended to attack their legal rights.’
Writes Gordon: “The Congress…when ending many non-coperation activities and calling off the planned civil disobedience action, opposed rent strikes by peasants against their landlords. The Congress wanted and needed the support of the wealthier strata in society and was not willing to challenge economic vested interest.” (Italics mine).
“He (Subhas Bose) was possibly the author of a leader for Bangla Katha journal of 7 February 1923 which read: `The swaraj which the Congress had so long knowingly or unknowingly wished to have, is the swaraj of the rich and middle class. We do not always properly realize the fact that the masses of the country are still lying outside the Congress arena.”
Among the historians and observers, there is a stream of thought which believes that civil disobedience and non-cooperation movements, burning of foreign clothes etc, directly benefited India’s own Capitalists. Another though premises that due to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which announced the arrival of Communism on world stage, Indian capitalists were fearful of a similar outbreak of resistance among its own workers. It was in their interests that such revolutionary methods were kept in check and Congress, being the leading party, alone could do it.
The above details is not to suggest a conspiracy between Congress and Capitalists. But personal interests perhaps guided both. Congress was close to bankruptcy when Gandhi arrived on the Indian scene. All it could do was to hold its’ annual sessions. It badly needed money and Gandhi proved to be a brilliant fund-raiser. It’s not to doubt Gandhi’s integrity or his commitment to his idea of India. Nor is to say that a few Indian capitalists were not genuinely inspired by Gandhi’s religious and political ethos. Both needed each other in those turbulent years.
But when Rahul Gandhi today accuses of Modi government siding with the Capitalists, it appears such a sham. He needs to go to libraries and read books to know more about his own Congress and its affiliation with capitalists.
It’s now given that attacks on judiciary would hog the front pages of newspapers and prime time television till the 2019 General Elections.
Newspapers would speculate on the “allegations” whether the Chief Justice of India ought to be impeached or not but you would never see them beat one’s own brains whether the four “dissenting” SC judges have themselves invited an impeachment motion on their press conference earlier this year (as opined by former SC judge RS Sodhi).
You would see these presstitutes flagpole government’s apparent delay in confirming the appointments of judges, initiated by the SC Collegium, but you would never see them brainstorm if government’s demand for a more transparent appointment system is justified given how a particular judge, belonging to Collegium itself, was ordered by the SC itself to undergo mental “stability” examination!
The Lutyens’ Media would run up any given lampost to browbeat the NDA government for trying to “encroach” upon the judiciary but you would never see them admit that a Law Minister was always the part of the judicial appointment system till the Collegium came about in 1993.
(That “enroahed” system got a judgment against the sitting Prime Minister of India by a Allahabad High Court judge. That “encroached” system produced judges of the caliber of Justices Vivian Bose, Hidayatullah, JS Verma etc. What Collegium has produced, well…)
These despicable hacks would drown you with the noise that government is taking over the judiciary. They would never clarify as to how the “A.J. Raja acquittal” or Bapu Asaram guilty pronouncement then came about.
The crooked media would never tell you why sexual harassment charges against judges are dismissed on less-than-convincing grounds.
The deceitful pen-pushers wouldn’t tell an opaque system encourages judges to be manipulated—or why else most of the Supreme Court judges end up getting lucrative post-retirement jobs—and that it must be done away with.
The shameless mainstream media wouldn’t encourage dismantling the opaque system even after names of corrupt former CJIs are presented in a sealed envelope in the court. It would not question a Kapil Sibal why he didn’t asked for “impeachment” motion in above allegations of corruption and sexual misdemeanours against the honourable judges.
Best of all, you would never see the gutter media present the fact that after all this, NDA has cleared the appointment of more judges than ever per year.
So cram up the facts and be ready with answers when propaganda hits your face next time.