ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Of ‘Kranti’ and Complicity

Indian elite complicity explains the longevity of British rule over India.

The Hindutvavadi nationalists in power now claim to speak for the people of India and tell them what they believe they ought to know and feel. The Congress nationalists, when in power, could and did do the same for a long time. Their history textbooks made children believe that under the leadership of M K Gandhi, the Congress party mobilised the people en masse to oust the British. But did this national movement really evict the British from India? One attempt at forcing the British to quit was made in August 1942. But 75 years later, ignoring public memory of 8 August 1942, the day Gandhi and the Congress launched the Quit India Movement, India’s biggest English-language daily, the Times of India, gave its op-ed space to a Hindutvavadi ideologue, Rakesh Sinha, on 9 August 2017. He claimed that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) “participation in Gandhian movements did not annihilate its instinct and ambition to overthrow colonial rule by armed revolution.” And, he did not forget to add the usual bit about the “treacherous role” of the communists “in the freedom movement.”

Why be bothered by what people like Sinha write or say, one might ask? We think one should, because, as far as the force of opinion on public action goes, individual reason often gets dwarfed by the influence of power, more so now with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), sponsored by Indian big business, dispensing the loaves and fishes of office. An awareness of the biases of the regimes in power is a necessary condition for arriving at the truth.

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Updated On : 24th Aug, 2017
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