Documents related to Indian History and Partition of India
The term "Mughal" comes from a mispronunciation of the word "Mongol," but the Mughals of India were mostly ethnic Turks not Mongolians. However, Babur (1483-1530), the first Mughal emperor, could trace his blood line back to Chinggis Khan. The Muslims of Central Asia had good reason to hate the Mongols because they destroyed the Abbasid Caliphate when they sacked Baghdad in 1258. During the 300 years after the death of Chinggis, the Mongol Empire had split into four parts: the Golden Horde of Russia (1242-1359), the Ilkhanate of Iran and Iraq (1256-1353), the Chinese Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) ruled by Kublai Khan, and finally the Mughal Empire of India (1527-1707). Reference: www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/mm.htm
|613: the preaching of Islam||The Prophet (born c. 571) begins publicly preaching Islam in Mecca, having received his first revelations in 610.|
|622: the Hijra||The emigration of Muhammad and his followers to Madina; the starting point of the Islamic calendar.|
|632: the Prophet's death||The Prophet's death marks the beginning of a period of instability and rapid growth.|
|632-34: Abu Bakr as caliph||Armies are sent into Mesopotamia and Syria. Abu Bakr dies in 634.|
|634-44: Umar as caliph||Completion of the conquest of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia. 'Umar is murdered in 644 by a Persian captive.|
|644-56: 'Uthman as caliph||Continuation of conquests in NE Iran, Africa. Inter-tribal conflicts within the Islamic state over who will rule. 'Uthman murdered in 656 by Muslims from a different political faction.|
|656: 'Ali as caliph||Kufa, in Iraq, as the seat of government. Civil war between the party (shi'a) of 'Ali and his opponents from among the Quraysh, including 'A'isha.|
|656-61: struggles for power||Political and military struggle for power between 'Ali and Mu'awiya. 'Ali is murdered in 661 and his son Hasan renounces the caliphate.|
|661-750: the Umayyads||Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan, a kinsman of the caliph 'Uthman, takes power as the first caliph of the Umayyad dynasty. Damascus becomes the new capital.|
|680: Karbala||Husain ibn 'Ali leads the uprising of the 'Alid party in Kufa and is killed at Karbala; his martyrdom makes him a central figure for the Shi'a.|
|705-15: al-Walid as caliph||Caliphate of al-Walid I. Consolidation and greatest expansion of the empire.|
|750-1258: the Abbasids||The caliphate of the 'Abbasid dynasty and its successor states endures, with decreasing political authority, until the Mongols destroy their capital of Baghdad in 1258.|
|711-12: conquest of Sind||Tariq ibn Ziyad attacks southern Spain, beginning of conquest of al-Andalus. Destruction of the Gothic army of King Roderick. Conquest of Sind by Muhammad ibn al-Qasim.|
|713: Brahmanabad Settlement||Brahmanabad settlement assures rights of non-Muslims to be treated as "People of the Book", conquest of Multan|
|714: Muhammad bin Qasim is ordered home||Young conquerer of Sind is tortured to death in prison after a regime change in Caliphate. rulers of Sind / Multan attain independence|
|r. 977-97:Subuktigin rules Ghazni||Subuktigin rules Ghazni; annexes territory up to Peshawar, 986-87|
|r.998-1030: Mahmud Ghaznavi||Mahmud carves out a kingdom in central Afghanistan, raids everybody in sight at his court - Firdausi (d.1020)|
|1024: Lahore||Lahore becomes the eastern capital of the Ghaznavids|
|1025-26: Somnath||Mahmud's raid on Somnath|
|1039: Data Ganj Bakhsh arrives; "Kashf ul-Mahjub"||Shaikh 'Ali Hujwiri, called Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh, comes to Lahore from Ghazni, composes Kashf ul-Mahjub (Revelation of the Mystery), remains there until his death in 1072|
|1048: Kitab ul-Hind||Albiruni, student of Sanskrit and Indian arts and sciences, author of Kitab ul-Hind, dies|
|r.1059-99: Ghaznavis' prime||Sultan Ibrahim's reign is secure, stable; Lahore becomes a great cultural center; sporadic raids eastward as far as Banaras|
|1186: Lahore changes hands||Mu'izz ud-Din b. Sam Muhammad Ghuri (deputed by his brother Ghiyas ud-Din Muhammad, the actual ruler) conquers Lahore ending the reign of Ghaznavids|
|1192: the Chishti Sufi||Khvajah Mu'in ud-Din Chishti arrives, spends time in Lahore and Multan, finally settles down in Ajmer (Prithviraj's capital), dies there in 1236.|
|1192: Second Battle of Tarain||Muhammad Ghuri defeats the Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan, reversing a defeat that took place a year earlier (in the First Battle of Tarain)|
|1192-93: Aibak occupies Delhi||Qutb ud-Din Aibak occupies and governs Delhi, acting on Muhammad Ghuri's orders|
|1194: Ghuri moves eastward||Muhammad Ghuri defeats the raja of Kannauj and takes Banaras, his military successes are formidable|
|1204: Ghurids conquer NW Bengal||Muhammad Bakhtiyar, a Ghurid general establishes a base in northwestern Bengal|
|1206: Ghuri is assassinated||The death of Muhammad Ghuri assassinated back in Afghanistan (or in Punjab, according to other accounts), marks the breakup of the Ghurid kingdom|
|THE DELHI SULTANATE|
|1192-1290: the ILBARI or "Slave" dynasty||Qutb ud-Din Aibak of the Ilbari Turks has seized Delhi, acting as a general for Muhammad Ghuri (and technically a military "slave" of his). He inaugurates the Ilbari dynasty that lays the foundations for the Delhi Sultanate.|
|r.1192-1210: Qutb ud-Din Aibak||He begins to build the Qutb Minar and the Quvvat ul-Islam mosque. Aibak formally rules as Sultan only after Muhammad Ghuri is assassinated (1206) back in Afghanistan.|
|r.1210-36: Iltutmish||Qutb ud-Din Aibak dies, Iltutmish takes power and obtains formal recognition by Abbasid Caliph. He patronizes Khvajah Qutb ud-Din Bakhtyar Kaki (d.1237) of the Chishti order and other Sufis.|
|early 1200s: the Suhrawardi Sufis||Shaikh Baha ud-Din Zakariya (1182-1267/8) of Multan introduces the Suhrawardi Sufi order, which becomes popular in what is now Pakistan|
|1219 onward: the MONGOLS!||Under Chingiz ("Genghis") Khan and then under his grandson Hulagu Khan the Mongols sweep down from Northern Asia. Blood, ruin, pyramids of skulls, the worst catastrophe ever to hit the Muslim world|
|r.1236-40: Sultana Raziyya||Iltutmish's death in 1236 is followed by a succession struggle. His daughter Raziyya seizes power, but is later driven from the throne and killed.|
|1241 - Mongols destroy Lahore||In the chaos after Iltutmish's death, the Mongols under Hulagu Khan destroy Lahore|
|1246-87- Balban in power (becomes sultan in 1265)||Ghiyas ud-Din Balban becomes the de facto ruler behind a weak puppet sultan. In view of Mongol power, he adopts a policy of consolidation rather than expansion.|
|1258: Mongols sack Baghdad||Mongols under Hulagu Khan sack Baghdad and execute the reigning Caliph, thus ending the 'Abbasid caliphate|
|1266: Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi||With Baba Farid's death in 1266, his disciple Hazrat Nizam ud-Din Auliya (1237-1325) becomes the chief Chishti shaikh, and lives and dies in Delhi.|
|1253-1325: Amir Khusrau||Indian-born Persian poet, musical connoisseur is exuberantly proud of his homeland. He is a follower and close companion of Hazrat Nizamuddin.|
|1270: Lahore refortified||Balban restores the fortifications of Lahore and re-garrisons the city, which has been almost deserted since the Mongol sack in 1241.|
|1287: Bughra Khan claims Bengal as his own||Balban's son Bughra Khan, whom he had placed in Bengal after putting down the latest rebellion there, declares independence from the Sultanate within a week of Balban's death|
|1290: Mongols raid up to Delhi||Another Mongol incursion, a reminder of the continuing threat in the northwest|
|1290-1320: the KHALJI dynasty||Originally members of an ethnically Turkish tribe from Ghur in Afghanistan|
|r.1296-1316: 'Ala' ud-Din Khalji||Invades Devagiri (Daulatabad), conquers Gujarat / Chitor, makes major incursions into the south (with some help from southern allies)|
|1303: Mongols beseige Delhi||'Ala' ud-Din is forced to retire from the city but after 2 months, the Mongols retire. After this, he starts intensive military preparations and sends Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq to frontier.|
|1305, 1306: Mongols driven back||Mongols invade twice, but 'Ala- ud-Din's officers have such military success that they even take the offensive, after this there is a long respite from Mongols|
|1320-1414: the TUGHLUQ dynasty||Power shifts to sultans from a different Turkish ethnic group|
|r.1320-25: Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq||Son of a Turkish slave of Balban's and a local Jat woman, puts down various revolts, killed in collapse of a victory pavilion celebrating reconquest of Bengal|
|r.1325-51: Muhammad Tughluq||Son of Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq, gifted but rash and cruel; too innovative for his own good; persecutes Sufi shaikhs and pushes them out of Delhi. The Sultanate reaches its greatest expanse under him, but its breakup also begins.|
|1327-35: the move to Daulatabad||Muhammad Tughluq moves the capital to Daulatabad (formerly Devagiri) in the Deccan and forces most of the people of Delhi to trek down there; but by 1335 he is obliged to give up the project.|
|1330-32: the token currency||Muhammad Tughluq issues coins not made of silver or gold and tries in vain to get them accepted in the marketplace|
|1342: Ilyas Shahi dynasty takes control of Bengal||Shams ud-Din Ilyas Shah (r.1342-57) takes power in Bengal, starting a series of dynasties that keep Bengal independent for two and a half centuries|
|r.1351-88: Firuz Shah III||Firuz Tughluq, Muhammad's cousin; known for religious orthodoxy; jizyah levied on Brahmans. Brings Ashokan pillars to Delhi, has Sanskrit texts translated.|
|1353: vain attempts to reconquer Bengal||Firuz Shah makes a huge punitive expedition to Bengal, kills large numbers of people but can't restore control of the territory; in 1359, he tries again, also vainly; local forces use guerrilla warfare|
|1388-1414: chaos and civil war||Firuz's son and grandson at war with each other; rebellions in all parts of the empire; six sultans in ten years; things in chaos|
|1398: Mongols sack Delhi||Finally the Mongols break in for real: Timur ("Tamerlane") seizes and sacks the city and thousands are massacred. The Tughluq sultan Mahmud, flees the city|
|1414-51: the SAYYIDS||Khizr Khan (d.1421), the dynastic founder, is a governor of Lahore who rebels and occupies Delhi; he considers himself a viceroy of Timur's son. During this dynasty's weak rule, disintegration continues and the PROVINCIAL KINGDOMS develop: Bengal, Kashmir, Gujarat, Jaunpur, Malwa, Bahmanids, Khandesh.|
|1444-48: Alam Shah||The last Sayyid ruler,retires permanently to Badaun in 1448 (keeps a small court). "the kingship of Shah Alam: from Delhi to Palam"|
|1451-1526: the LODIS||Several strong rulers seek to rebuild the Sultanate, but history goes against them.|
|1451-1489: Bahlul Lodi||Bahlul Lodi captures Jaunpur, Dholpur, Gwalior.|
|1489-1517: Sikandar Lodi||Bahlul's son Sikandar quells a rebellion in Jaunpur, invades Bihar, improves his position in Rajasthan; moves capital to Sikandra, near Agra, for more central administration; checks the process of disintegration; creates a culturally lively court.|
|1517-26: Ibrahim Lodi||Sikandar's son Ibrahim is embroiled in disputes with Afghan nobles. Daulat Khan Lodi, governor of Punjab and king's uncle, invites Babur, ruler of Kabul, to invade and take the throne. Babur does.|
|1526: first battle of Panipat||Babur's forces meet those of Ibrahim at Panipat, and are victorious, Babur captures Delhi and Agra.|
|r.1526-30: BABUR||Zahir ud-Din Muhammad Babur, descended from both Genghis Khan and Timur, comes in from Kabul, overcomes Ibrahim Lodi, and begins to build a precarious empire. His memoir, the Babur namah, is one of the great classics of Islamic autobiography.|
|r.1530-39: HUMAYUN||When Babur dies, his son Humayun inherits the throne; but he mishandles Sher Shah's seizure of Bengal and Bihar|
|r.1540-45: Sher Shah Suri||Humayun wanders in wilderness in Afghanistan, his chance to return came after Sher Shah Sur's death. Sher Shah Sur was a brilliant ruler and administrator, works out tacts that were later borrowed by the Mughals.|
|r.1545-54: Islam Shah Suri||A reasonably capable son of a brilliant father|
|1552: the Humayun namah||Gulbadan Begam (1522/3-1603) ends her memoir of life with her half-brother, Humayun (or else the rest is missing)|
|r.1555-56: Humayun returns||Humayun finally fights his way back from a base in Kabul, but his early death means that his son Akbar must take the throne at the age of 14 (Bairam Khan as regent)|
|1556: second battle of Panipat||Bairam Khan defeats the Suri forces under their Hindu general, Himu; this secures Akbar's future|
|r.1556-1605: AKBAR||Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Akbar (b.1542), greatest emperor of the age. His conquests include Malwa, Gondwana, Chitor, Ranthambhor, Gujarat, Bengal|
|1564: abolition of jizya||Akbar puts an end to this tax on non-Muslims (first imposed by Firoz Shah Tughluq in 1376)|
|1565: pilgrimages to Ajmer||Akbar visits the dargah (tomb) of Shaikh Mu'in ud-Din Chishti in Ajmer. Repeats his visit almost every year sometimes going on foot all the way from Agra|
|1569-70s: Fatahpur Sikri||Overjoyed at the birth of Prince Salim in 1569, Akbar personally supervises much of the building and all of the architectural design|
|1574: Akbar conquers Bengal||Akbar personally leads an army as far as Patna, sends generals eastward, completes conquest of Bengal; but guerrilla wars with local rulers and other dissidents continue to fester for decades|
|1574: Abu'l-Fazl at court||Abu'l-Fazl (1551-1602) is presented at court, and develops a close relationship with Akbar; his brother Faizi (1545-95) and their father are also part of Akbar's inner circle (along with Raja Birbal)|
|c.1575-80: religious experimentation||he presides over religious contestations at the "Worship Hall" ('ibadat khanah) at Fatahpur Sikri; he also initiates a few intimates into a quasi-Sufi quasi-fraternity, the "Din-e allahi"|
|1579: "Infallibility Decree"||Shaikh Mubarak, father of Abu'l-Fazl and Faizi, proclaims that where jurists disagree, the king can choose any of their opinions|
|1579-82: major rebellion in Bengal||A diverse group of anti-Akbar forces, both Hindu and Muslim, manage to seize and hold power for several years, until Akbar sends a huge army in 1582; but guerrilla war continues in the eastern part|
|1580's-98: Akbar in Lahore||Challenges and threats in the north, from Uzbeks and others, keep Akbar occupied; finally he solidifies his power in the northwest|
|1599-1601: his last conquests||Akbar then turns his attention to the Deccan, and takes Ahmadnagar in 1599, Khandesh in 1601|
|1600: Prince Salim rebels||Among other consequences of his rebellion, Prince Salim instigates the murder of Abu'l-Fazl by a Hindu bandit chief, 1602|
|1602: Dhaka established||Akbar's powerful general Raja Man Singh establishes Dhaka as his new capital, in the continuing attempts to suppress guerrilla war in eastern Bengal|
|r.1605-27: JAHANGIR||After Akbar dies under suspicious circumstances (Jan. 1606), his son Nur ud-Din Jahangir (b.1569), the former Prince Salim, reigns; his mother too is a Rajput princess|
|1606: Guru Arjun executed||The fifth Sikh Guru, Arjun, is executed for supporting the rebellion of Prince Khusrau|
|1606: Nur Jahan||Jahangir marries the previously-widowed Nur Jahan and she and her father Itimad ud-Daulah become major powers at the court|
|1608: Islam Khan subdues Bengal||Jahangir appoints 'Ala' ud-Din Islam Khan to subdue and govern Bengal and he succeeds. Dhaka becomes a large, wealthy trading center|
|1617: British 'factory' at Surat||Through Sir Thomas Roe, ambassador from James I, the British receive permission to establish at Surat their first trading warehouse or 'factory'|
|early 1600's: Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi||Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (1564-1624), an early, influential, passionate spokesman for conservative Islam; anti-Shi'a too; refuses to prostrate himself before Jahangir, is first imprisoned, then released and honored|
|r.1628-58: SHAH JAHAN||Shihab ud-Din Shah Jahan reigns|
|1631: Mumtaz Mahal dies||Mumtaz Mahal's death in childbirth inspires Shah Jahan to start work on the Taj Mahal|
|1648: Shahjahanabad||Shah Jahan starts building the walled city that we now call "Old Delhi"|
|1658: battle of Samugarh||Aurangzeb defeats Dara Shukoh in the battle of Samugarh (and executes him in 1659)|
|r.1658-1707: AURANGZEB||The reign of the last powerful Mughal emperor|
|1664: Shivaji appears||Shivaji's first sack of Surat|
|1666: Shah Jahan dies||Shah Jahan dies in captivity in the Agra Fort, partially reconciled to his son|
|1666: Shivaji in Agra||Shivaji is presented to Aurangzeb in Agra, but arouses much hostility and escapes from the court in anger|
|1666: capture of Chittagong||In the course of subduing pirates (and local Porturuese) and rebel kings, Shaistah Khan takes Chittagong, renames it Islamabad|
|1667: Shivaji sacks Surat||Shivaji's second sack of Surat|
|1675: Tegh Bahadur executed||the 9th Sikh guru tries to set up his own kingdom, is defeated and executed|
|1679: imposition of jizya||Jizya is reimposed, after being in abeyance since Akbar's time (1564)|
|1680: Shivaji dies||Shivaji dies, but his son Shambhuji continues anti-Mughal warfare of great violence, with atrocities|
|1681: off to the Deccan||Aurangzeb goes to the Deccan, never to return|
|1686: the British are punished||The British try to seize Chittagong and fail; they are expelled from Surat and all other posts, for that and for collaborating in Bombay piracy and minting their own coins; then they are fined and allowed to return|
|1686: Bijapur taken||Aurangzeb captures Bijapur|
|1687: Golconda taken||Aurangzeb captures Golconda|
|1689: Shambhuji executed||Shivaji's son Shambhuji is captured and executed, but other relatives continue the hostilities|
|1703-62: Shah Waliullah||This great Islamic scholar systematizes the Islamic curriculum, and translates the Qur'an into Persian; his two sons later translate it into Urdu|
|1707: Aurangzeb dies in the Deccan||He is buried in a very simple tomb at Aurangabad, right near the temples of Ellora|
|r.1713-19: Reign of Farrukhsiyar||After Aurangzeb's death a period of chaos ensues; not until 1713 does Farrukhsiyar manage to take power|
|r.1719-48: Muhammad Shah reigns||During his reign, the empire gradually disintegrates; Mughal governors and local chieftains become independent rulers of many regional kingdoms|
|1720's: "Jantar Mantars" built||Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, one of Muhammad Shah's governors, builds remarkable astronomical observatories in Delhi, Jaipur, Banaras, and Calcutta|
|1724: Nizam of Hyderabad||Nizam ul-Mulk, a Mughal governor, seizes a kingdom for himself and founds a hereditary kingdom that lasts, with ups and downs, till 1948|
|1737: Marathas almost sack Delhi||Under Baji Rao, they reach and loot the suburbs before retreating|
|1739: Nadir Shah sacks Delhi||The weak Mughal emperor Nasir ud-Din Muhammad Shah can't prevent Nadir Shah of Afghanistan from sacking Delhi. Saadat Khan of Avadh negotiates a truce|
|r.1739-56: Safdar Jang in Avadh||Saadat Khan's nephew succeeds him as second Nawab of Avadh, by heredity and through strong local support that lasted through many vicissitudes|
|1748: Ahmad Shah Abdali is defeated||Nadir Shah's heir in the east attacks Delhi, is defeated near Sirhind; this is the Mughal empire's last victory|
|r.1754-75: Shuja ud-Daulah in Avadh||Third Nawab of Avadh consolidates a tolerant pluralistic culture in Avadh, tries to protect the Mughal Emperor - loses at Buxar|
|1756: British fortify Calcutta||To deter French attack, the British fortify Calcutta; the new Mughal governor, or 'nawab', of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, attacks and takes the city, imprisons officers (in 'Black Hole of Calcutta' episode)|
|1757: battle of Plassey||Clive comes north from Madras and retakes Calcutta; he then defeats Siraj ud-Daulah at Plassey through Mir Jafar's treachery; Mir Jafar becomes a puppet nawab|
|1757-8: Ahmad Shah Abdali returns||The Afghan prince Ahmad Shah Abdali (or Durrani) invades Delhi and is declared Emperor of Delhi; he sacks Delhi and Mathura|
|r.1759-1806: reign of Shah Alam II||Shah Alam II has a long reign, but it's full of suffering; he's blinded by Ahmad Shah Abdali|
|1761: third battle of Panipat||North Indian Afghan rulers combine to defeat the Marathas and block their plans to take over; the Marathas then split into four clan groups|
|1764: battle of Buxar||The English defeat Shuja ud-Daulah, nawab of Avadh, and his allies Mir Qasim (successor of Mir Jafar in Bengal) and the Mughal Emperor, in heavy fighting in Baksar (SW Bihar); Shuja ud-Daulah retains Avadhi loyalty, including support of local Rajput chieftains, but loses chunks of territory to British and must pay huge sums|
|1772: British assume diwani of Bengal||East India Company officially takes on, by the Mughal Emperor's farman, its previously covert role as revenue collector and administrator of Bengal|
|1772: first 'Resident' (in Avadh)||The British send a Resident to the Avadh court to represent them; this marks the start of their system of indirect rule|
|r.1775-97: Asif ud-Daulah in Avadh||The reign of the fourth Nawab of Avadh; he shifts his court to Lucknow, which becomes 'the first city in India of its day' as a cultural center, but increasingly politically isolated by British tactics|
|1787, 1788: Ghulam Qadir in Delhi||The Afghan chieftain invades Delhi, is driven out, returns the next year, blinds the emperor Shah Alam and practices other cruelties; the Marathas hunt him down and kill him, reinstate Shah Alam|
|r.1798-1814: Saadat Ali Khan in Avadh||The reign of the fifth Nawab of Avadh, who is the British choice rather than that of the previous Nawab; he duly and lavishly rewards them; Awadh becomes a prime recruiting ground for Company troops and officials (who get special legal privileges)|
|1799: death of Tipu Sultan||Tipu Sultan dies defending Seringapatam|
|1803: Lord Lake takes Delhi||As part of Wellesley's war against the Marathas, Lord Lake takes Delhi. Shah 'Alam II (1760-1806) formally makes over Delhi to British custody|
|r. 1806-37: reign of Akbar Shah II||The next to last Mughal emperor|
|r.1814-27: Ghazi ud-Din Haidar in Avadh||The reign of the sixth Nawab of Avadh, the Company's choice, who duly offers more concessions and cash|
|r.1827-37: Nasir ud-Din Haidar in Avadh||The reign of the seventh Nawab of Avadh, who tries desperately to find chinks in the British armor that hems him in|
|1835: Macauley's "Minute"||Macauley's "Minute on Education" advocates English-medium instruction, to create a class of educated and Anglicized Indians|
|1837: English displaces Persian||English displaces Persian as the official language of the Courts in British India|
|r.1837-1857: reign of Bahadur Shah||Siraj ud-Din Bahadur Shah "Zafar," the last Mughal emperor|
|r.1842-47: Amjad Ali Shah in Avadh||The reign of the eighth Nawab of Avadh; increasingly focused only on Shi'a court elite in Lucknow|
|r.1847-56: Vajid Ali Shah in Avadh||The ninth and last Nawab of Avadh is deposed by a British coup in 1856 and exiled to Calcutta|
|1857: REBELLION||The "Mutiny" or "First War of National Liberation" marks a historical watershed|
British transcript of broadcasts made by Chandra Bose in June 1943 (WO 208/3812)
BOSE CALLS ON INDIANS ABROAD TO FORM AN ARMY - TOKIO: (EXTRACT FROM BROADCAST BY SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE)
Against our brutal foe, no amount of civil disobedience, sabotage or revolution can be of any avail. If therefore we want to expel the British from India, we shall have to fight the enemy with their own weapons. But it is not possible for our country-men at home to organise an armed revolution and to fight the British army of occupation with modern arms. This task must therefore devolve on Indians living abroad and particularly on Indians living in East Asia.
CONTINUING SERIAL 22: BOSE CALLS ON INDIANS ABROAD TO FORM AN ARMY No.2 12.26
We Indians, have up till now lacked one thing and one thing alone. We lack an organisation to meet force with force. It is our task to supply this one want, and thereby to eliminate once for all the only drawback in our national struggle. I therefore desire all able bodied Indians living in East Asia to volunteer to fight with me for the liberation of our motherland. This is our supreme task and duty, before which no other type of service VXX counts for much.
All those countrymen of mine who are prepared to fight for the liberation if India will please get into touch with me at once, either directly or through their local organisation. I am confident that with the help of my countrymen in East Asia I shall be able to organise a gigantic force to sweep the British from India, in conjunction with those who have been fighting at home. The hour has struck. Every patriotic Indian must advance toward the field of battle. When the blood of freedom loving Indians begins to flow, India will attain her freedom.
FREE INDIA RADIO (AXIS ORIGIN) IN ENGLISH FOR INDIA AND INDIANS ABROAD: 1730 20.6.43 - (EXTRACTS FROM COMMENTARY) - SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE: FREEDOM TO AGITATE -- The latest declaration by Prime Minister Tojo reaffirming Japan’s firm resolve to enable India to shake off the toils of British rule and to live in complete freedom gains all the more weight and significance from the fact. Now revealed, that the Japanese Prime Minister had only the day before received Subhas Chandra Bose in audience.
Of course, being outside India at such a momentous period is not without its serious disadvantages for a leader like Bose. But judging from what is happening in India today, it would not be difficult to imagine what would have been his fate had he been in India now. He was in prison already before he outwitted his captors and left India at a time when many other leaders were still at liberty in the country, whether to stay on in India, locked up in prison and helpless, or to be outside the clutches of the BRTXX British and there to work for his motherland was the choice before Bose, and he made his choice.
Besides, the present time makes it absolutely imperative for a prominent Indian who can rightly claim to voice the desires of his countrymen to be in close touch with the powers which are going to emerge victorious from this conflict. Only in that way can the claims of the Indian peoples get the weight and consideration they deserve in the changed world after the war.
Finally, the way in which Bose escaped from the clutches of the British despite all the much boosted vigilance of the C.I.D., and the way in which he has been travelling about at will, and now the completion of his long and hazardous journey across half the world from Europe to Japan. All this shows that the sway of the British throughout the world has ended for good. (BBC monitoring)
The Times reports on Lord Mountbatten’s radio broadcast on partition, 4 June 1947 (CAB 21/2038)
BROADCAST BY VICEROY, EVENTS LEADING TO DECISION
The following is the text of the broadcast which Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy, made yesterday to the Indian people on the transfer of power to Indian hands:- A statement will be read to you tonight giving the final decision of his Majesty’s Government as to the method by which power will be transferred from British to Indian hands. But before this happens I want to give a personal message to the people of India, as well as a short account of the discussions which I have held with the leaders of the political parties, and which have led up to the advice I tendered to His Majesty’s Government during my recent visit to London. Since my arrival in India at the end of March I have spent almost every day in consultation with as many of the leaders and representatives of as many communities and interests as possible. I wish to say how grateful I am for all the information and helpful advice that they have given me. Nothing I have seen or heard in the past few weeks has shaken my firm opinion that with a reasonable measure of good will between the communities a unified India would be far the best solution of the problem.
For more than a hundred years, 400,000,000 of you have lived together, and this country has been administered as a single entity. This has resulted in unified communications, defence, postal services and currency; an absence of tariffs and Customs Barriers; and the basis for an integrated political economy. My great hope was that communual differences would not destroy this.
My first course, in all my discussions, was therefore to urge the political leaders to accept unreservedly the Cabinet mission plan of May 16, 1946. In my opinion that plan provides the best arrangement that can be devised to meet the interests of all the communities of India. To my great regret it has been impossible to obtain agreement either on the Cabinet mission plan or on any other plan that would preserve the unity of India. But there can be no question of coercing any large areas in which one community has a majority to live against their will under a Government in which another community has a majority—and the only alternative to coercion is partition.
But when the Muslim League demanded the partition of India, Congress used the same arguments for demanding in that event the partition of certain provinces. To my mind this argument is unassailable. In fact neither side proved willing to leave a substantial area in which their community have a majority under the government of the other. I am, of course, just as much opposed to the partition of provinces as I am to the partition of India herself, and for the same basic reasons. For just as I feel there is an Indian consciousness which should transcend communal differences, so I feel there is a Punjabi and Bengali consciousness which has evoked a loyalty to their province. And so I felt it was essential that the people of India themselves should decide this question of partition.
The procedure for enabling them to decide for themselves whether they want the British to hand over power to one or two governments is set out in the statement which will be read to you. But there are one or two points on which I should like to add a note of explanation. It was necessary, in order to ascertain the will of the people of the Punjab. Bengal, and part of Assam, to lay down boundaries between the Muslim majority areas and the remaining areas, but I want to make it clear that the ultimate boundaries will be settled by a boundary commission and will almost certainly not be identical with those which have been provisionally adopted.
POSITION OF SIKHS
We have given careful consideration to the position of the Sikhs. This valiant community forms about an eighth of the population of the Punjab, but they are so distributed that any partition of this province would inevitably divide them. All of us who have the good of the Sikh community at heart are very sorry to think that the partition of the Punjab which they themselves desire, cannot avoid splitting them to a greater or lesser extent. The exact degree of the split will be left to the boundary commission on which they will, of course, be represented.
The whole plan may not be perfect: but like all plans its success will depend on the spirit of good will with which it is carried out. I have always-felt that once it was decided in what way to transfer power, the transfer should take place at the earliest possible moment, but the dilemma was that if we waited until a constitutional set-up for all India was agreed, we should have to wait a long time, particularly if partition were decided on, whereas if we handed over power before the Constituent Assemblies had finished their work we should leave the country without a constitution.
The solution to this dilemma, which I put forward, is that his Majesty’s Government should transfer power now to one or two governments of British India each having Dominion status as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made. This I hope will be within the next few months. I am glad to announce that his Majesty’s Government have accepted this proposal and are already having legislation prepared for introduction in Parliament this session. As a result of these decisions the special function of the India Office will no longer have to be carried out, and some other machinery will be set up to conduct future relations between his Majesty’s Government and India.
I wish to emphasize that this legislation will not impose any restriction on the power of India as a whole or of the two new States if there is partition, to decide in the future their relationship to each other and to other member states of the British Commonwealth. Thus the way is now open to an arrangement by which power can be transferred many months earlier than the most optimistic of us thought possible, and at the same time leave it to the people of British India to decide for themselves on their future, which is the declared policy of his Majesty’s Government.
I have made no mention of the Indian States, since the new decisions of his Majesty’s Government are concerned with the transfer of power in British India. If the transfer of power is to be effected in a peaceful and orderly manner, every single one of us must bend all his efforts to the task. This is no time for bickering, much less for the continuation in any shape or form of the disorders and lawlessness of the past few months. Do not forget what a narrow margin of food we are all working on. We cannot afford any toleration of violence. All of us are agreed on that.
Whichever way the decision of the Indian people may go, I feel sure any British officials or officers who may be asked to remain for a while will do everything in their power to help implement that decision. His Majesty as well as his Government have asked me to convey to all of you in India their sincere good wishes for your future and the assurance of their continued good will.
I have faith in the future of India and am proud to be with you all at this momentous time. May your decisions be wisely guided and may they be carried out in the peaceful and friendly spirit of the Gandhi-Jinnah appeal.
MR. ATTLEE’S MESSAGE
A recording of the Viceroy’s message to the Indian people was broadcast in this country last night. It was introduced by the Prime Minister who said that the twofold purpose of the plan now put forward was to make possible the maximum degree of harmony and cooperation between the Indian political parties in order that the partition of India, if decided upon, might involve as little loss and suffering as possible, and secondly to enable the British Government to hand over its responsibilities in an orderly and constitutional manner at the earliest opportunity.
"I would make an earnest appeal to everyone to give calm and dispassionate consideration to these proposals,” Mr. Attlee went on. “It is, of course, easy to criticize them, but weeks of devoted work by the Viceroy have failed to find any alternative that is practicable. They have emerged from the hard facts of the situation in India".
ANNEXURE II: EXTRACT FROM A STATEMENT BY MR. JINNAH DATED 6TH DECEMBER 1945
I wish His Majesty’s Government, who by now ought to be in full possession of the facts regarding the quintessence of the Indian problem, would apply their mind to the real issue. Sir Stafford Cripps made it clear in his statement after the breakdown of the Simla Conference on July 15th 1945, when he said there will be no agreement possible till the Pakistan issue is solved. When his Majesty’s Government and the Secretary of State for India, Lord Pethick-Lawrence, boldly and frankly come out and expedite a permanent settlement on the basis of Pakistan, which is the major issue and the only solution of India’s constitutional problem, the deadlock will resolve itself. I therefore earnestly commend to His Majesty’s Government to declare their resolute resignation to the establishment of Pakistan in India. Muslim India will never accept any method of framing the Constitution of India by means of one Constitution-making body for all India, in which the Mussulmans will be in a hopeless minority and the conclusions are foregone in such an assembly. Nor will they agree to any united India Constitution, federal or otherwise, with one Centre, in which, again, they will be in a hopeless minority, and will be at the mercy of the perennial Hindu majority domination. Further, any attempt to set up a Provisional Government at the Centre, which would in any way prejudice or militate against the Pakistan demand, will not be acceptable to us, as the thin end of the wedge, as it is sought by Hindu India under the term of the Provisional “National” Government of India.
If the Labour Government wishes to prove its bonafides to give freedom to the peoples of this sub-continent, they must face realities and facts as they are. First, the Hindus and the Mussulmans are two major nations living in this sub-continent, and there are Muslim Provinces and Hindu Provinces, and it is high time that the British Government applied their mind definitely to the division of India and the establishment of Pakistan and Hindustan, which means freedom for both, whereas an united India means slavery for Mussulmans and complete domination of the imperialistic caste Hinduraj throughout this sub-continent, and this is what the Hindu Congress seeks to attain by constant threats to all and sundry, and this is what we are determined to resist with all that lies in our power.
10 AURANGZEB ROAD NEW DELHI 9th February, 1946. My dear Stafford Cripps,
I have received your letter dated 19th December, 1945, and I thank you for it. Yes, I have had free and frank talks with the members of parliament, who visited India and I have left no doubt in their minds as to the position of Muslim India and the Muslim League. I agree with what you said in your statement, which you made immediately after the breakdown of the Simla conference, given to the press on the 15th of July, that the major issue i.e. Pakistan must be immediately dealt with. The Government should, without any further delay, make a clear declaration of its policy accepting Pakistan as the only solution of India’s constitutional problem and I am hopeful that once the principle has been accepted the details can be adjusted.
There is no reason or ground for talking about ‘interim arrangement’ now that the war is over. Besides, it goes against the fundamental principle which we have repeatedly declared, that we cannot agree to any arrangement which postulates an all-India government whether interim or permanent. Our position was solemnly accepted by the British Government in parliament, by its declaration made in August, 1940 and we were repeatedly assured by the pronouncements made by the Secretary of State for India and other responsible leaders of Great Britain from time to time. The only exception that we were prepared to make was the exigency of the war and its prosecution successfully as in that case the entire attention would have been rivetted to the war effort and all domestic controversies and differences would have been, by common consent, kept in abeyance. A caretaker government already exists under the framework of the present Constitution viz. The Governor-General’s Executive Council, and there is no need to tinker with it under the new phraseology of “political Executive Council”. Equally, the idea of a single Constitution-making body is fundamentally opposed to the basic principles that the Muslim League has declared times out of number. It will be perfectly futile to force such a measure upon Muslim India, as it must result in disaster, not to say that it will be a breach of the solemn declaration of August, 1940 and the repeated assurances of His Majesty’s Government to that effect, given from time to time.
I am enclosing herewith a copy of my statement that I issued after the pronouncement made by Lord Pethick Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, with regard to the visit of the members of the Parliament to India together with a copy of the address of the Viceroy to the Central Assembly on 28th January and my reaction to it.
I hope you are keeping well and with very kind regards,
MOVE TO PARTITION PUNJAB AND BENGAL Text of Mr. Jinnah’s Statement I and B. Department, New Delhi, 4th May, 1947 Following is the text of Mr. Jinnah’s statement opposing partition of the Punjab and Bengal:-
” I find from press reports that Congress has now started by emphasising that in the event of Pakistan and Hindustan being established, the Punjab will be partitioned, and the Hindu Mahasabha has started vigorous propaganda that Bengal should be partitioned.
"I should like to point out that there is a great deal of confusion created on purpose. The question of a division of India, as proposed by the Muslim League, is based on the fundamental fact that there are two nations- Hindus and Muslims- and the underlying principle is that we want a national home and a national state in our homelands which are predominately Muslim and compromise the six units of the Punjab, the N.W.F.P., Sind, Baluchistan, Bengal and Assam. This will give the Hindus their national home and a national state of Hindustan, which means three-fourths of British India."
” Now the question of partitioning Bengal and the Punjab is raised, not with a ‘bona fide’ object, as a sinister move actuated by spite and bitterness, as they feel that India is going to be divided, firstly to create more difficulties in the way for the British Government and the Viceroy and secondly to unnerve the Muslims by opening and repeatedly emphasising that the Muslims will get a truncated or mutilated moth-eaten Pakistan. This clamour is not based on any sound principle, except that the Hindu minorities in the Punjab and Bengal wish to cut up these provinces and cut up their own people into two in these Provinces. The Hindus have their homelands, as I have said, consisting of six vast Provinces. Merely because a proportion of the minorities in the Pakistan Provinces have taken up this attitude with the British Government should not countenance it, because the result of that will be logically that all other Provinces will have to be cut up in similar way, which will be dangerous, as to embark on this line will lead to a breaking up of various Provinces and create a far more dangerous situation in the future than at present. If such a process were to be adopted it will strike at the root of the administrative, economic and political life of the Provinces which have for nearly a century developed and built up on that basis and have grown as functioning under present constitution as autonomous provinces.
It is obvious that if the Hindu minorities in Pakistan wish to emigrate and go to their homelands of Hindustan they will be at liberty to do so and ‘vice versa’ and those Muslims who wish to emigrate from Hindustan can do so and go to Pakistan; and sooner or later an exchange of population will have to take place and Constituent Assemblies of Pakistan and Hindustan can take up the matter and subsequently the respective Governments in Pakistan and Hindustan can effectively carry out an exchange of population wherever it may be necessary and feasible.…
"Complete Division of India": Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of the Constitituent Assembly, in press interview on April 30th, declared that if there was to be a division of India, and Mr. Jinnah insisted on it, it should be as complete and thorough as possible, including the division of the Punjab and Bengal, so that there might not be left any room for contention or conflict. “If that requires division of defence forces, that should also be brought about, and the sooner the better”. Neither Congress nor the Hindus or Sikhs, said Dr, Rajendra Prasad, ever wanted the division of India. It was the Muslim League and Mr. Jinnah who had been insisting on it.
Recalling the Muslim League’s Lahore resolution on the division of India, which demanded the demarcation of contiguous units with the necessary territorial adjustments and the creation of independent states out of zones where Muslims were numerically in the majority, Dr. Rajendra Prasad says the division of the Punjab and Bengal was in terms of that resolution. According to that resolution, the League cannot demand any areas to be included into Muslim zones which are not contiguous and in which Muslims are not numerically in a majority. “If areas of the Punjab and Bengal where Muslims are not in a majority demand fulfilment of the League’s resolution, how does it lie in the mouth of Mr. Jinnah to accuse them and abuse them. He cannot have it both ways.” If division was insisted on, it could only be on a basis which suited both parties and not him alone.
Referring to Mr. Jinnah’s remark that partition of the Punjab and Bengal would disrupt the life of the Provinces, Dr Rajendra Peasad said: “He forgets he is responsible for disrupting these and many more valuable ties which have been forged in the course of centuries, by seeking to divide India.”
Extract from broadcast to United States by Sir Stafford Cripps’ on Britain’s position on India, 27 July 1942 with comments from Nehru and Gandhi (CAB 127/71)
Transcript 1. Sir Stafford Cripps’ broadcast on India (i) Text of the broadcast. 27.7.42
“I have always been a firm friend of India and I have done my best in the past to work for the freedom of India. When I joined the British War Cabinet and found the British Government anxious and willing to put forward a proposal for Indian self-government, I volunteered to travel the 20 thousand miles to India and back to put the case directly to the Indian political leaders on behalf of the British Government and people.We offered to the Indian people complete liberty the moment the war was over, to devise and set up their own form of government. We suggested the broad outlines of how they should proceed. But there was no rigidity in these suggestions. It was left open to the various religions and races to agree upon some other method. But to my regret they neither accepted, nor put forward any agreed alternative.
It was not this future arrangement, however, but the immediate situation which caused the Congress Party in India to reject the proposals.We offered the representative Indian political leaders immediate office in the Viceroy’s Executive Council, a body of ministers like those who advise your President. Mr. Gandhi has demanded that we should walk out of India leaving the country, with its deep-rooted religious divisions, without any constitutional form of government and with no organized administration. No responsible government could take such a step – least of all in the midst of war.
The Moslems, of whom there are at least 80 millions, are deeply opposed to Hindu domination as are also the tens of millions of the depressed classes. To have agreed to the Congress party or to Mr. Gandhi’s demands would have meant inevitable chaos and disorder. This is not merely my assertion, it is stated by Mr. Gandhi himself. Quite recently he has said: “Anarchy is the only way. Someone asked me if there would be anarchy after British rule. Yes, it will be there, but I tell the British to give us chaos.”
India is now an essential and vital part of the world front against the Axis powers. There are British, American and Chinese forces as well as Indians fighting side by side to defend India against Japan, and if the obligations of the British Government to the American and Chinese allies are to be observed, we must ensure that India remains a safe base in and from which to operate against the Japanese enemy, and we cannot allow conditions to be created by any political party or leader in India which will jeopardise the safety of the United Nations’ armies and air forces or throw the door open to the advance of our enemies into this new and dangerous theatre of war. That is an obligation, not only to the British and American forces in India, it is an obligation to the Indian peoples themselves.
That is why your country and my country find themselves both intimately concerned with the condition of India at this moment. Your sons as well as our sons are helping to defend India and wage war against the Japanese. Your policy as well as our policy is to defend India. But Mr. Gandhi and the Congress Party have other views.
Mr. Gandhi I have always regarded with respect as a great nationalist and religious leader, but I am bound to say that in the present circumstances he is not showing himself to be practical and realistic. Certainly the action which is now threatening – mass civil disobedience by his followers – is calculated to endanger both your war effort and our own, and to bring the greatest aid and comfort to our common enemies.
Mr. Gandhi’s views are not always easily defined, or always consistant, but let me read a few of his recent statements:"We do not want these allied troops for our defence or protection. If luck favours us, the Japanese may see no reason to hold the country after the Allies have withdrawn."…
(iii) Jawaharlal Nehru’s comment. Reuter, Allahabad, 28.7.42
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in a statement today, declared that "British and American critics have proceeded either on a complete misunderstanding of the Congress resolution or a desire to pervert it."
"The resolution is clear enough and if people refuse to understand it, this simply shows they do not want to understand,” the statement added." Commenting on Sir Stafford Cripp's broadcast to the United States, Pandit Nehru said: "This is full of misrepresentation of the Congress attitude."
Like a clever lawyer, Sir Stafford Cripps picked out phrases from Mr. Gandhi’s statements without reference to their context, and tried to prove the British Imperialist case.
“This is no time for lawyers’ quibbling and no statesman who shoulders responsibility can afford this.”
Referring to Sir Stafford Cripp’s mention of “anarchy and chaos”, Pandit Nehru says: "The right way to prevent their development is for British rule to cease in India and for a provisional government of free India representing the major groups and parties of the country to take its place."
"India is more concerned with the danger to herself than is Sir Stafford Cripps, for Indians would suffer most if there were an invasion and it would be Indians who would fight and die in defence of their lands and home".
There is no question, Pandit Nehru declares, of weakening India’s defence, as the whole object is to make India stronger for defence.
“The simple issue is complete recognition of India’s independence now and the taking of immediate steps to give effect to it, and to concert measures for more effective defence of India in cooperation with our Allies.…
Answering Mr. Jinnah’s reply to an earlier article in Harijan by him, Mr. Gandhi says:-“Mr. Jinnah must forgive me for suggesting that his reply leaves one with the impression that he does not want a settlement.
“If he does want one, why does he not accept the offer by the President of Congress that Congress and the Moslem League should put their heads together and never part until they have reached a settlement.“Is there any flaw or want of sincerity in this offer?”
“Pakistan, according to Mr. Jinnah, is "A demand to carve a portion out of India which is to be treated as an independent and sovereign state."“This sovereign state,” continues Mr. Gandhi, “Can conceivably go to war against the State of which it was but yesterday a part.
“Mr. Jinnah says ‘Pakistan is an article of faith with Moslem India and we depend upon nobody but ourselves to achieve our goal.’“How is one to offer one’s services in these circumstances?”
“I cannot speak as a Hindu for my Hinduism includes all Religions.“If Pakistan, as defined above, is an article of faith with Mr. Jinnah for an indivisible India, it is equally an article of faith with me.”
“Today it is neither Pakistan or Hindustan. It is Englishstan.“So I say to all India, let us first convert it into an original Hindustan and then adjust all Rival claims. This is surely clear.
“After the restoration of India to the Nation, there will be no central Government. The People’s Representatives will have to construct it.“It may be one Hindustan or many Pakistans.”
PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. Ministry of Information, New Delhi November 2, 1947
Military Evacuation Organisation, India’s advanced headquarters at Lahore, under the command of Brigadier Mohite, have finalised plans to speed up the movement of non-Muslim refugees from West Punjab to India. More refugee trains will be run shortly and more Army and civilian transport is being made available to complete evacuation within the shortest possible time. Special arrangements are being made for the removal of the aged, woman and children.
Clearance of non-Muslim refugees from pockets in West Punjab continues steadily. On October 29, six thousand non-Muslims arrived in India by refugee trains from Lahore and 3,000 from Lyallpur. Three thousand Muslim refugees each from Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana were moved by train to Pakistan. The following were moved in motor lorries by Military Evacuation Organisation, Pakistan on October 29:-Non-Muslim: From Lahore to India: 520, From Gujranwala to India: 400
Muslim: From Ambala to Pakistan: 900Eight thousand Muslim refugees who were unable to walk long distances were moved by train from Ludhiana to Pakistan on October 30. Seven hundred and seven Muslims were moved by rail from Gidharbaha to Hindumalkot on the Abohar-Minchinabad line. Three non-Muslim refugee trains with 13,000 persons from Pakistan reached Amritsar on October 31. On the same day four refugee specials carrying 15,500 Muslim refugees passed through Amritsar and two specials with 10,000 Muslims arrived at Forozepore from Ludhiana enroute to Pakistan. There were foot movements of Muslim refugees on October 31. 50,000 Muslims left Amritsar from for Wagah. 25,000 Muslims reached Amritsar from Jandiala and 20,000 Muslims arrived at Kartarpur from Beas. 40,000 Muslims moved to Kartarpur from Beas. In Ferozepore district, 200 Muslim refugees and five abducted girls were recovered from various pockets and sent over to Pakistan on October 28.
Six hundred non-Muslim converts and abducted men, women and children were moved in motor lorries to Lahore. Seventy-two Muslims, including five abducted girls, were cleared from Patti, Adampur, Pamunwala, Durepala and Sanawala and moved to Pakistan. Five abducted Muslim girls were recovered from Anipur in Jullundur area, on October 29 in the East Punjab. Troops of the 2nd Assam Regiment recovered 16 Muslim abducted women and children at Radapur and handed them over to their relatives. Two non-Muslim abducted girls were recovered by Pakistan troops at Ganda Singh Wala, 4 miles west of Kasur, and handed over to Indian troops. At Ravi Bridge, 4 miles South-east of Narowal 17 non-Muslim women with children were recovered by Pakistan troops and handed over to Indian troops.Families of Royal Indian Navy and Army personnel were moved to India from Sargodha, Multan, Sianvali and Phillawan in Pakistan.
From the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom: To Commonwealth Relations Officer, 15th September 1.30 p.m. Priority Immediate SecretMy telegram No. 749 dated 13th September. COMMUNAL DISTURBANCES
Extract from earlier telegram report dated 19th August 1947, (DO 133/59): REACTION OF PARTIES TO AWARDSFirst reactions came from ministers of Pakistan Government. Nishtar Ghazanfar Ali Khan and Chundrigar condemned it violently. Nishtar called it a parting kick by the British while Chundrigar said that decision might persuade Pakistan not to remain in the Commonwealth. Singha, leader of Christian Community in Pakistan, said it was a one sided award and most unfair to Pakistan. Reactions of Hindus and Sikhs in east Punjab to award is that the Non-Muslims did not have a fair deal and that it is a great betrayal of both sides. It is also reported that responsible circles in Delhi (presumably Hindu), consider that award relating to Chittagong Hill Tracts is untenable because Radcliffe exceeded his terms of reference in making proposals regarding them.
Extracts from a military report on the Calcutta riots, 24 August 1946 (WO 216/662), Transcript
2. We are making out a full and detailed report but it takes time to collate the enormous amount of information which we have collected. The trouble started early on the morning of the 16th and both sites were equally responsible. The Hindus started putting up barricades at Tala Bridge and Belgachia Bridge and other places to prevent Muslims processions coming into the town and Muslims goondas went round forcing Hindus to close their shops. As previously mentioned in my D.O. of the 15th the air was electric and this caused crowds to gather, lathis were produced and in no time North Calcutta was a scene of mob riot. By 1100 hours there were brick bat fights all over North Calcutta. During the first few hours the students were taking a fairly prominent part, but by the afternoon they had realised that it was very much more than an ordinary rowdy such as they had been indulging in for the past 9 months. The student element then cleared out and went to their houses and homes and did little more than defend themselves and their families if attacked.
By late in the afternoon the situation changed and the persons involved on both sides were gwallahs, rickshaw pullers, teashop wallahs, pan berri wallahs, cart pullers, cart men, goondas of the worst type. Soon after midnight on the 16/17th these gangs fought out the most desperate battles, murder and butchery of a worst type were carried on in the side lanes and byways of North Calcutta. Round Vivekananda Road/ Central Ave., crossing about 50 Hindu Behari rickshaw pullers were caught in a cul-de-sac and butchered. Further up Central Ave., round the temple which stands in the middle, a party of some 30 Mohamedans were killed. It was during the period midnight 16/17th and 0700 hours on the 17th that most of the casualties occurred. All the roads in the affected areas were red with bricks.
Our patrols were out but due to the tremendous fights that were going on it was impossible for us to force our way into the areas in which the main killings were taking place.
The police opened fire in Harrison Road at about 1100 hours on 16 Aug 1946, 2 rounds of buck shot and and Barnes and Smith emptied their pistols into the crowd. The crowd dispersed, formed up in Bow Bazaar St and a fight started between the Hindus in Bow Bazaar St. and the Muslims coming up from Lower Circular Rd. I was there at the time and the police finally dispersed the crowd with tear gas. By 1200 hours there were fights in every street and alley from Sealdah to Shambazar. Eastern Command Intelligence Centre jeeps dispersed some of these crowds and stopped the fights without firing, but as soon as we had gone the fights started again. By 1400 hours on the 16th Government were considering calling out troops but the police had only fired the above mentioned number of rounds.
3. Apart from a few senior officers, the police themselves were unwilling to open fire and I don’t blame them. If they had done so and succeeded in quelling the outbreak, but mind you they would only haw succeeded if they had fired quickly and a very large number of rounds, they would have been blamed for unnecessary firing.
I don’t say that the whole riot could have been quelled by the Calcutta Police without the aid of military support, but I am confident that if all ranks had known that they would be supported to the hilt, nothing like the state of affairs which occurred would have taken place. There is no doubt that this situation will be put right in the very near future and I trust it will be an example to other provinces.
5. One of the most interesting points was that Europeans were not attacked. No bricks were thrown at army lorries except In stray cases, or when they took an active part in dispersing mobs. In fact, both sides were only too pleased to offer advice as to how to act and beat up the other side.
6. From the time the riots started every little blacksmith was working like mad in his house manufacturing spears, rods and knives. The iron rods used in reinforced concrete building works were all stolen and sharpened at both ends, and the butchery that these crude weapons did has got to be seen to be believed. Men, women and children were slaughtered by both sides indiscriminately and when Mullick Bazar was burnt three Hindu children were thrown into the flames.
7. The result of this riot has been complete mistrust between the two communities. Most of the Babus dare not go to their offices because they have to pass through Muslim areas, and they are afraid of being stabbed. Though the city is quiet there are still stabbing cases and both sides are very very frightened. The trams are running today (22nd). There are buses and taxis and the city is fast returning to normal. We have cleaned up practically all the corpses, D.D.T. has been sprayed and everything possible has been done.
8. There is a lot of talk in the town that the army should have been called in in aid of civil power earlier during the riot. Personally, I think that it would have been a mistake if this had been done. It is the duty of the police to first try and quell a disturbance and only when they had expanded all the power they have, then should the troops be called in.
11. There is hardly a person in Calcutta who has a good word for Suhrawardy, respectable Muslims included. For years he has been known as “The king of the goondas” and my own private opinion is that he fully anticipated what was going to happen, and allowed it to work itself up, and probably organised the disturbance with his goonda gangs as this type of individual has to receive compensation every now and again. It is difficult to estimate the number of casualties but I should say it is somewhere in the region of 2 to 3 thousand at least. There were corpses all over North Calcutta, they were in the river, canals, side lanes, in fact, everywhere. The number of shops looted and burnt must be somewhere in the region of 2 to 3 thousand. I personally think that the killings of both sides were fifty, fifty, or if anything, more Muslims than Hindus, but damage financially has been much greater to the Hindus than to the Muslims.
Telegram informing Commonwealth leaders of Attlee’s response to requests from Jinnah for assistance in handling partition violence (PREM 8/584) Transcript: OUTWARD TELEGRAM FROM COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS OFFICE TO: CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, SOUTH AFRICA (Sent 6. 10 p.m. 20th Sept., 1947) IMPORTANT D. No, 774 SECRET. My immediately preceding telegram. Following from Prime Minister for Prime Minister. Begins Following is my reply to Prime Minister of Pakistan dated 15th September Begins.
1. My colleagues and I have watched with anxiety and deep sympathy the grave developments in India and Pakistan since 15th August and with full understanding of the almost impossible burdens placed on the two new Dominion Governments at the very outset of their career. I am not surprised that, confronted with such a situation, your Government should make an appeal to the United Kingdom Government and other fellow Governments of the Commonwealth.
2. Nevertheless I should like to put before you the following considerations. It is I think plain that at the moment your message was framed you had (owing in part to your High Commissioner in Delhi remaining secluded in his house) less information about the steps the Indian Government were taking to control the situation than was reaching us in London. It is obvious that situation had very nearly got completely out of hand, but there is no doubt in our minds that the Indian Government are doing their utmost to restore order and to prevent violence spreading over still wider areas. Indeed there appear to be real signs of improvement in the last few days.
3. You with experience of your own immense difficulties cannot but appreciate the magnitude of the task that confronts them however determined they are upon a course of speedy restoration and tranquillisation. Administrative dislocation, which would to some extent have been inevitable even if partition had taken place in an atmosphere of complete friendliness and goodwill, has amounted to breakdown when passions have been aroused by tragic communal strife.
Rebuilding of a machine which will fully carry out the pacifying intentions of the Government itself cannot be achieved in a moment.
4. It is significant and again no doubt partly due to lack of contact, that the Indian Government appear to have a view of the ability of Pakistan Government to effect pacification hardly less pessimistic than you have of Indian Government.
5. Nothing can help so much as continued contact, frank discussion and co-operation between the two Governments and encouragement by them of a similar attitude among their subordinates.
I know that this means on both sides a degree of forbearance and restraint which calls for statesmanship of the highest order, but the United Kingdom Government earnestly trust that this will be forthcoming. Thus could be started the inevitably slow process of healing the tragic breach and of the establishment of the two Dominions as neighbours living in peace and security. But if the two Governments themselves finally break adrift, it is impossible to see how the spread of violence all over India and Pakistan could be arrested.
6. I am reluctant to transmit your message to the Prime Ministers of other Dominions I can think of no step which we could take from outside which would not be more likely to accentuate rather than diminish friction between the two Dominions and so endanger still further the prospects of speedy pacification. In any event your message if repeated would have to go to all, repeat all, Dominions and I should want it to be accompanied by this message. Ends.
UK High Commissioner Terence Shone writing to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, 14 October 1947 (DO 142/259)
19. We are, no doubt, still far too much embroiled in the storm of events to be able to view them in perspective or to give a full explanation of why they burst upon us with a force that has seemed almost overwhelming. I have suggested above that on the transfer of power to Indian hands, there was a sudden release of elemental feelings, and of emotions on which the effects of education, or semi-education, and the stimulus exerted for years past by revolutionary leaders cannot yet be gauged. The division of the Old India, which provided the basis for the transfer of power, although agreed to by the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh political leaders, was a grievous disappointment to all three parties. As between the two major communities, it ran counter, on the Hindu side, not only to the fundamental tenets of the Congress Party (let alone the Mahasabha and other political parties and organisations) that India must remain one, but also to a similar feeling in the inmost hearts of large masses of the population including, I should say, not a few Muslims, especially amongst those whose homes and interests are in what is now the Dominion of India. There have always been, and still are, Muslims, including leaders, in the Congress Party; so far as I know, there are no Hindus in the Muslim League. Compensations for Congress, at least, were that the Plan of June 3rd afforded means of getting rid of British rule at the earliest possible date and the hope of creating a strong central Government for what is now the Dominion of India. Mr. Jinnah and the Muslim League, on the other only obtained a “truncated, moth-eaten Pakistan” which, however, if far different from the Pakistan of their dreams, they preferred to no Pakistan at all. The ever-deteriorating relations between the leaders of the Congress and the Muslim League had made it clear that collaboration between them in any Central Government was impracticable; and when the only power which had been able to keep them together (if latterly with ever increasing difficulty) set a date for withdrawal, the two main parties were forced to accept the best arrangement they could get. Neither was satisfied; one at least – the Congress – did not, I feel sure, regard the arrangement as lasting.
20. Painful as it is to say it, I believe it to be true that the two new Dominions were born of antipathy – to use no stronger word – and pressure of circumstances, rather than of desire to forgot the past and face the future in a spirit of mutual co-operation. In the circumstances, as “The Round Table’s” leader writer suggests, it would have been a miracle if they had settled down in peace and amity. From the point of view of the Muslims, the partition of the Punjab cut in twain the very heart of Pakistan. The position there was further complicated by the presence of the third party (the Sikhs) who, though relatively small in numbers, had shown signs of being determined to resist the partition of their community by any means in their power.
They had for long been animated by hatred for the Muslims; and it may be questionable whether their leader in the last Viceroy’s Cabinet, Sardar Baldev Singh, was truly representative of his people. Alternatively, he and/or other Sikh leaders may have accepted partition because there was nothing else for it at the time but rebellion (which they had reason to know would then be ruthlessly put down) but with the ulterior design that if opportunity offered, the Sikhs would somehow or other be brought together again. It is one of the main complaints of the Pakistan Government against the Government of India, in their appeal to H.M. Government and the Dominions, that adequate measures have not been taken to curb and control the Sikhs. There can be no doubt that Sikhs have played a prominent part in the slaughter of Muslims, perhaps even more in the Sikh States than in the East Punjab; and the Sikh refugees who have been moving into that province from, the West Punjab in their tens of thousands, have been moving in convoys, with their animals, vehicles and household effects, in quasi-military order, to settle down on the lands from which the Muslims have been expelled. As I have mentioned above, there is plenty of evidence to show that Sikhs have played a leading role amongst the terrorists who came so near to undermining the Central Government in Delhi; it seems certain that some underground organisation was at work to this end (Pandit Nehru has himself referred to the “core” of lawlessness which must be rooted out and dealt with); and there has been much talk of the intention of the Sikhs to create, sooner or later, a “Sikhistan”. In the light of recent events, it can hardly be said, with conviction, that there is no basis for the Pakistan Government’s complaint in regard to the Sikhs.
Communal strife burst upon both new Provinces before they were in a position to grapple with it. This was particularly the case in the East Punjab where, it may be said, the new administration has scarcely ever been able to function. Local conditions were thus all too favourable for passion, anarchy, and chaos. The streams of Hindu and Sikh refugees from West Punjab poured through the East Punjab and carried the germs or communal infection to Delhi and the surrounding country. The Government of East Punjab were virtually helpless; the Central Government were taken unawares; the police were no longer reliable; the Armed Forces, which had to be called in at once to restore some semblance of order and afford some measure of protection to the ever-growing columns of refugees, were still in process of being divided and were becoming infected by the communal virus. Slaughter in one Province led at once to vengeance in the other; but in all the circumstances, whatever the comparative loss of life and destruction of property, as between India and Pakistan, the difficulties on the Indian side were probably the greater.
The Security Council,
Having considered the complaint of the Government of India concerning the dispute over the State of Jammu and Kashmir,Having heard the representative of India in support of that complaint and the reply and counter-complaints of the representative of Pakistan,
Being strongly of the opinion that the early restoration of peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir is essential and that India and Pakistan should do their utmost to bring about a cessation of all fighting, Noting with satisfaction that both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite,
Considering that the continuation of the dispute is likely to endanger international peace and security, Reaffirms its resolution 38 (1948) of 17 January 1948;
Resolves that the membership of the Commission established by its resolution 39 (1948) of 20 January 1948 shall be increased to five and shall include, in addition to the membership mentioned in that resolution, representatives of . . . and . . . , and that if the membership of the Commission has not been completed within ten days from the date of the adoption of this resolution the President of the Council may designate such other Member or Members of the United Nations as are required to complete the membership of five;
Instructs the Commission to proceed at once to the Indian subcontinent and there place its good offices and mediation at the disposal of the Governments of India and Pakistan with a view to facilitating the taking of the necessary measures, both with respect to the restoration of peace and order and to the holding of a plebiscite, by the two Governments, acting in co-operation with one another and with the Commission, and further instructs the Commission to keep the Council informed of the action taken under the resolution ; and, to this end,
Recommends to the Governments of India and Pakistan the following measures as those which in the opinion of the Council are appropriate to bring about a cessation of the fighting and to create proper conditions for a free and impartial plebiscite to decide whether the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to accede to India or Pakistan:
A. Restoration of peace and order1. The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavours:
(a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State;
(b) To make known to all concerned that the measures indicated in this and the following paragraphs provide full freedom to all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste, or party, to express their views and to vote on the question of the accession of the State, and that therefore they should co-operate in the maintenance of peace and order.
2. The Government of India should:
(a) When it is established to the satisfaction of the Commission set up in accordance with the Council's resolution 39 (1948) that the tribesmen are withdrawing and that arrangements for the cessation of the fighting have become effective, put into operation in consultation with the Commission a plan for withdrawing their own forces from Jammu and Kashmir and reducing them progressively to the minimum strength required for the support of the civil power in the maintenance of law and order;
(b) Make known that the withdrawal is taking place in stages and announce the completion of each stage;
(c) When the Indian forces have been reduced to the minimum strength mentioned in (a) above, arrange in consultation with the Commission for the stationing of the remaining forces to be carried out in accordance with the following principles:
3. The Government of India should agree that until such time as the Plebiscite Administration referred to below finds it necessary to exercise the powers of direction and supervision over the State forces and police provided for in paragraph 8, they will be held in areas to be agreed upon with the Plebiscite Administrator.
4. After the plan referred to in paragraph 2 (a) above has been put into operation, personnel recruited locally in each district should so far as possible be utilized for the re-establishment and maintenance of law and order with due regard to protection of minorities, subject to such additional requirements as may be specified by the Plebiscite Administration referred to in paragraph 7.
5. If these local forces should be found to be inadequate, the Commission, subject to the agreement of both the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan, should arrange for the use of such forces of either Dominion as it deems effective for the purpose of pacification.
6. The Government of India should undertake to ensure that the Government of the State invite the major political groups to designate responsible representatives to share equitably and fully in the conduct of the administration at the ministerial level while the plebiscite is being prepared and carried out.
7. The Government of India should undertake that there will be established in Jammu and Kashmir a Plebiscite Administration to hold a plebiscite as soon as possible on the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan.
8. The Government of India should undertake that there will be delegated by the State to the Plebiscite Administration such powers as the latter considers necessary for holding a fair and impartial plebiscite including, for that purpose only, the direction and supervision of the State forces and police.
9. The Government of India should, at the request of the Plebiscite Administration, make available from the Indian forces such assistance as the Plebiscite Administration may require for the performance of its functions.
11. The Government of India should undertake to prevent, and to give full support to the Administrator and his staff in preventing, any threat, coercion or intimidation, bribery or other undue influence on the voters in the plebiscite, and the Government of India should publicly announce and should cause the Government of the State to announce this undertaking as an international obligation binding on all public authorities and officials in Jammu and Kashmir.
12. The Government of India should themselves and through the Government of the State declare and make known that all subjects of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, regardless of creed, caste or party, will be safe and free in expressing their views and in voting on the question of the accession of the State and that there will be freedom of the press, speech and assembly and freedom of travel in the State, including freedom of lawful entry and exit.
13. The Government of India should use and should ensure that the Government of the State also use their best endeavours to effect the withdrawal from the State of all Indian nationals other than those who are normally resident therein or who on or since 15 August 1947 have entered it for a lawful purpose.
14. The Government of India should ensure that the Government of the State releases all political prisoners and take all possible steps so that:
15. The Commission of the Security Council should at the end of the plebiscite certify to the Council whether the plebiscite has or has not been really free and impartial.
C. General provisions
16. The Governments of India and Pakistan should each be invited to nominate a representative to be attached to the Commission for such assistance as it may require in the performance of its task.
17. The Commission should establish in Jammu and Kashmir such observers as it may require of any of the proceedings in pursuance of the measures indicated in the foregoing paragraphs.
18. The Security Council Commission should carry out the tasks assigned to it herein. Adopted at the 28th meeting.* * *
The five members of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan were: CZECHOSLOVAKIA (nominated by India on 10 February 1948) ; BELGIUM and COLOMBIA (appointed by the Council on 23 April 1948 — see the decision below); ARGENTINA (nominated by Pakistan on 30 April 1948); UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (designated by the President of the Council on 7 May 1948, in the absence of agreement between Argentina and Czechoslovakia on the member to be designated by them).
Jhansi ki Rani ~ Subhadra Kumari Chauhan :: झाँसी की रानी ~ सुभद्रा कुमारी चौहान
सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी, बूढ़े भारत में भी आई फिर से नयी जवानी थी, गुमी हुई आज़ादी की कीमत सबने पहचानी थी, दूर फिरंगी को करने की सबने मन में ठानी थी। चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ कानपूर के नाना की, मुँहबोली बहन छबीली थी, लक्ष्मीबाई नाम, पिता की वह संतान अकेली थी, नाना के सँग पढ़ती थी वह, नाना के सँग खेली थी, बरछी, ढाल, कृपाण, कटारी उसकी यही सहेली थी। वीर शिवाजी की गाथायें उसको याद ज़बानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ लक्ष्मी थी या दुर्गा थी वह स्वयं वीरता की अवतार, देख मराठे पुलकित होते उसकी तलवारों के वार, नकली युद्ध-व्यूह की रचना और खेलना खूब शिकार, सैन्य घेरना, दुर्ग तोड़ना ये थे उसके प्रिय खिलवाड़। महाराष्ट्र-कुल-देवी उसकी भी आराध्य भवानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ हुई वीरता की वैभव के साथ सगाई झाँसी में, ब्याह हुआ रानी बन आई लक्ष्मीबाई झाँसी में, राजमहल में बजी बधाई खुशियाँ छाई झाँसी में, सुघट बुंदेलों की विरुदावलि-सी वह आयी थी झांसी में। चित्रा ने अर्जुन को पाया, शिव को मिली भवानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ उदित हुआ सौभाग्य, मुदित महलों में उजियाली छाई, किंतु कालगति चुपके-चुपके काली घटा घेर लाई, तीर चलाने वाले कर में उसे चूड़ियाँ कब भाई, रानी विधवा हुई, हाय! विधि को भी नहीं दया आई। निसंतान मरे राजाजी रानी शोक-समानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ बुझा दीप झाँसी का तब डलहौज़ी मन में हरषाया, राज्य हड़प करने का उसने यह अच्छा अवसर पाया, फ़ौरन फौजें भेज दुर्ग पर अपना झंडा फहराया, लावारिस का वारिस बनकर ब्रिटिश राज्य झाँसी आया। अश्रुपूर्ण रानी ने देखा झाँसी हुई बिरानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ अनुनय विनय नहीं सुनती है, विकट शासकों की माया, व्यापारी बन दया चाहता था जब यह भारत आया, डलहौज़ी ने पैर पसारे, अब तो पलट गई काया, राजाओं नव्वाबों को भी उसने पैरों ठुकराया। रानी दासी बनी, बनी यह दासी अब महरानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ छिनी राजधानी दिल्ली की, लखनऊ छीना बातों-बात, कैद पेशवा था बिठूर में, हुआ नागपुर का भी घात, उदैपुर, तंजौर, सतारा,कर्नाटक की कौन बिसात? जब कि सिंध, पंजाब ब्रह्म पर अभी हुआ था वज्र-निपात। बंगाले, मद्रास आदि की भी तो वही कहानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ रानी रोयीं रनिवासों में, बेगम ग़म से थीं बेज़ार, उनके गहने कपड़े बिकते थे कलकत्ते के बाज़ार, सरे आम नीलाम छापते थे अंग्रेज़ों के अखबार, 'नागपुर के ज़ेवर ले लो लखनऊ के लो नौलख हार'। यों परदे की इज़्ज़त परदेशी के हाथ बिकानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ कुटियों में भी विषम वेदना, महलों में आहत अपमान, वीर सैनिकों के मन में था अपने पुरखों का अभिमान, नाना धुंधूपंत पेशवा जुटा रहा था सब सामान, बहिन छबीली ने रण-चण्डी का कर दिया प्रकट आहवान। हुआ यज्ञ प्रारम्भ उन्हें तो सोई ज्योति जगानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ महलों ने दी आग, झोंपड़ी ने ज्वाला सुलगाई थी, यह स्वतंत्रता की चिनगारी अंतरतम से आई थी, झाँसी चेती, दिल्ली चेती, लखनऊ लपटें छाई थी, मेरठ, कानपुर,पटना ने भारी धूम मचाई थी, जबलपुर, कोल्हापुर में भी कुछ हलचल उकसानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ इस स्वतंत्रता महायज्ञ में कई वीरवर आए काम, नाना धुंधूपंत, ताँतिया, चतुर अज़ीमुल्ला सरनाम, अहमदशाह मौलवी, ठाकुर कुँवरसिंह सैनिक अभिराम, भारत के इतिहास गगन में अमर रहेंगे जिनके नाम। लेकिन आज जुर्म कहलाती उनकी जो कुरबानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ इनकी गाथा छोड़, चले हम झाँसी के मैदानों में, जहाँ खड़ी है लक्ष्मीबाई मर्द बनी मर्दानों में, लेफ्टिनेंट वाकर आ पहुँचा, आगे बढ़ा जवानों में, रानी ने तलवार खींच ली, हुया द्वंद असमानों में। ज़ख्मी होकर वाकर भागा, उसे अजब हैरानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ रानी बढ़ी कालपी आई, कर सौ मील निरंतर पार, घोड़ा थक कर गिरा भूमि पर गया स्वर्ग तत्काल सिधार, यमुना तट पर अंग्रेज़ों ने फिर खाई रानी से हार, विजयी रानी आगे चल दी, किया ग्वालियर पर अधिकार। अंग्रेज़ों के मित्र सिंधिया ने छोड़ी राजधानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ विजय मिली, पर अंग्रेज़ों की फिर सेना घिर आई थी, अबके जनरल स्मिथ सम्मुख था, उसने मुहँ की खाई थी, काना और मंदरा सखियाँ रानी के संग आई थी, युद्ध श्रेत्र में उन दोनों ने भारी मार मचाई थी। पर पीछे ह्यूरोज़ आ गया, हाय! घिरी अब रानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ तो भी रानी मार काट कर चलती बनी सैन्य के पार, किन्तु सामने नाला आया, था वह संकट विषम अपार, घोड़ा अड़ा, नया घोड़ा था, इतने में आ गये सवार, रानी एक, शत्रु बहुतेरे, होने लगे वार-पर-वार। घायल होकर गिरी सिंहनी उसे वीर गति पानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ रानी गई सिधार चिता अब उसकी दिव्य सवारी थी, मिला तेज से तेज, तेज की वह सच्ची अधिकारी थी, अभी उम्र कुल तेइस की थी, मनुज नहीं अवतारी थी, हमको जीवित करने आयी बन स्वतंत्रता-नारी थी, दिखा गई पथ, सिखा गई हमको जो सीख सिखानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥ जाओ रानी याद रखेंगे ये कृतज्ञ भारतवासी, यह तेरा बलिदान जगावेगा स्वतंत्रता अविनासी, होवे चुप इतिहास, लगे सच्चाई को चाहे फाँसी, हो मदमाती विजय, मिटा दे गोलों से चाहे झाँसी। तेरा स्मारक तू ही होगी, तू खुद अमिट निशानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥
श्री गोपाल दास व्यास
वह खून कहो किस मतलब का जिसमें उबाल का नाम नहीं, वह खून कहो किस मतलब का आ सके देश के काम नहीं। वह खून कहो किस मतलब का जिसमें जीवन, न रवानी है! जो परवश होकर बहता है, वह खून नहीं, पानी है! उस दिन लोगों ने सही-सही खून की कीमत पहचानी थी। जिस दिन सुभाष ने बर्मा में मॉंगी उनसे कुरबानी थी। बोले, "स्वतंत्रता की खातिर बलिदान तुम्हें करना होगा। तुम बहुत जी चुके जग में, लेकिन आगे मरना होगा। आज़ादी के चरणें में जो, जयमाल चढ़ाई जाएगी। वह सुनो, तुम्हारे शीशों के फूलों से गूँथी जाएगी। आजादी का संग्राम कहीं पैसे पर खेला जाता है? यह शीश कटाने का सौदा नंगे सर झेला जाता है" यूँ कहते-कहते वक्ता की आंखों में खून उतर आया! मुख रक्त-वर्ण हो दमक उठा दमकी उनकी रक्तिम काया! आजानु-बाहु ऊँची करके, वे बोले, "रक्त मुझे देना। इसके बदले भारत की आज़ादी तुम मुझसे लेना।" हो गई सभा में उथल-पुथल, सीने में दिल न समाते थे। स्वर इनकलाब के नारों के कोसों तक छाए जाते थे। "हम देंगे-देंगे खून" शब्द बस यही सुनाई देते थे। रण में जाने को युवक खड़े तैयार दिखाई देते थे। बोले सुभाष, "इस तरह नहीं, बातों से मतलब सरता है। लो, यह कागज़, है कौन यहॉं आकर हस्ताक्षर करता है? इसको भरनेवाले जन को सर्वस्व-समर्पण काना है। अपना तन-मन-धन-जन-जीवन माता को अर्पण करना है। पर यह साधारण पत्र नहीं, आज़ादी का परवाना है। इस पर तुमको अपने तन का कुछ उज्जवल रक्त गिराना है! वह आगे आए जिसके तन में खून भारतीय बहता हो। वह आगे आए जो अपने को हिंदुस्तानी कहता हो! वह आगे आए, जो इस पर खूनी हस्ताक्षर करता हो! मैं कफ़न बढ़ाता हूँ, आए जो इसको हँसकर लेता हो!" सारी जनता हुंकार उठी- हम आते हैं, हम आते हैं! माता के चरणों में यह लो, हम अपना रक्त चढाते हैं! साहस से बढ़े युबक उस दिन, देखा, बढ़ते ही आते थे! चाकू-छुरी कटारियों से, वे अपना रक्त गिराते थे! फिर उस रक्त की स्याही में, वे अपनी कलम डुबाते थे! आज़ादी के परवाने पर हस्ताक्षर करते जाते थे! उस दिन तारों ने देखा था हिंदुस्तानी विश्वास नया। जब लिखा महा रणवीरों ने ख़ूँ से अपना इतिहास नया।
हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए, इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए। आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी, शर्त लेकिन थी कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए। हर सड़क पर, हर गली में, हर नगर, हर गाँव में, हाथ लहराते हुए हर लाश चलनी चाहिए। सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं, सारी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए। मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही, हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए|
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