Without giving me a hearing, Parliament has passed unanimous resolutions condemning me for calling MK Gandhi a British agent and Subhas Chandra Bose a Japanese agent.
Gandhi acted as a British agent in two ways: First, it is well known that the British policy in India was ‘divide and rule’. Ever since Gandhi came to India in 1915 and till his death in 1948, he kept injecting religion into politics by advocating Hindu religious ideas — Ram rajya, cow protection, caste system and celibacy in his speeches and articles.
On June 10, 1921, Gandhi wrote in Young India: “I am a sanatani Hindu. I believe in the varnashram dharma. I believe in cow protection”.
There are hundreds of such statements that reveal his feudal mindset. Now a saint may say all this before his followers, but when such things are said by a politician in public meetings, doesn’t it amount to injecting religion into politics? What effect would such speeches and articles publicly propagating Hindu religious ideas have on orthodox Muslim minds or other communities in this diverse country? Would they not drive Muslims towards communal organisations like the Muslim League? And did this not serve the British policy of divide and rule?
Here’s an extract from Jawaharlal Nehru’s autobiography and it reveals Gandhi’s feudal mindset.
“Gandhiji, indeed, was continually laying stress on the religious and spiritual side of the movement. His religion was not dogmatic, but it did mean a definitely religious outlook of life, and the whole movement was strongly influenced by this and took on a revivalist character. Even Gandhiji’s phrases sometimes jarred upon me — such as his frequent references to Rama Rajya as a golden age which was to return. But I was powerless to intervene”.
A revolutionary movement against the British started in the early 20th century under the Anushilan Samiti, Jugantar, and revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Surya Sen, Ramprasad Bismil and others.
Gandhi successfully diverted the freedom struggle from this revolutionary direction to Satyagraha. The real revolutionaries were hanged, they are regarded as mavericks and deviants while Gandhi is the Father of the Nation.
Now coming to Bose, if he was not a Japanese agent, why did he surrender when the Japanese surrendered in 1945? If the Japanese had defeated the British, does anyone think they would have granted independence to India? In fact, Bose was being used by the Japanese, and they would have eliminated him the moment his utility for them was over.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India
The views expressed by the author are personal