Today, March 23, is the death anniversary of those whom I call as "our real freedom fighters", (as contrasted to that fake freedom fighter Gandhi ), Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru who were hanged on this day by the Britishers in Lahore jail, their bodies secretly burnt and their ashes thrown away in some unknown place. Those other real freedom fighters, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ashfaqulla Khan, Khudiram Bose, Ram Prasad Bismil and others had been killed or hanged by the British earlier, and that great revolutionary Surya Sen (Masterda ) was executed in 1934.
In my speech recently at University of California, Berkeley, I said that a real freedom struggle can never be non violent. Was the American War of Independence against the British (from 1775 to 1781) non violent? Did George Washington fight with the British by presenting them flowers and Satyagrah, or with bullets?
It is common sense that no one gives up a huge empire because of hunger strikes, salt marches and other such Gandhian dramas. A real revolutionary struggle against British rule had begun through the above named real freedom fighters, but it was still in its nascent stage when it was nipped in the bud by that cunning British agent Gandhi, who successfully diverted this genuine freedom struggle from its revolutionary direction to a harmless, nonsensical channel called Satyagrah, which meant presenting the other cheek when your enemy strikes you on one cheek, instead of bravely exchanging blow for blow.
Our real freedom fighters and patriots have been carefully relegated to a footnote in our national historiography, and that cunning rascal Gandhi has been portrayed as the "father of the nation" who gave us freedom "bina khadak bina dhaal".
Gandhi described Bhagat Singh and the militant Indian youth fighting against British Imperialism as "misguided souls".
When the British sentenced Bhagat Singh to death, Gandhi made no effort to save his life. He never wrote any letter to the British Viceroy to commute his sentence, and never issued any public appeal to that effect. In all probability he was happy that his rivals as freedom fighters had been eliminated, otherwise his popularity and "Mahatmahood" would have disappeared.
India got independence not due to the dramas of Gandhi but because in the Second World War Germany attacked England and weakened it (in fact if America had not helped her it is probable that Germany would have conquered England), and because of American pressure on the British.
(The article first appeared on the writer's blog.)