Was Mahatma Gandhi a hypocrite?

DailyBiteJul 03, 2015 | 20:56

Was Mahatma Gandhi a hypocrite?

The legend of Mahatma Gandhi's insistence on truth, and nothing but the absolute truth, perhaps only equals  his ostensible attachment to non-violence. In his own words, "My love for non-violence is superior to every other thing mundane or supermundane. It is equalled only by my love for truth which is to me synonymous with non-violence through which and which alone I can see and reach Truth." p. 125, [42]. But, contrary to what is generally believed, and what Gandhi had himself professed in multiple instances, non-violence did not constitute an article of faith for him, as we have argued in the prequel [25]. Through a microscopic examination of the first decade of Gandhi's political sojourn in India, 1920-1931, we show that he took multiple liberties with truth, which was exposed by Indian revolutionaries who had debated him during this period. He announced two nation-wide mass movements during this period, which lead to large scale repressions on the masses, and yet, both were abruptly terminated without any tangible gain. One was withdrawn on a flimsy pretext, and the other ended with an abject surrender. This would be the pattern for his subsequent mass movements as well. During this period, he repeatedly allured Congress and the nation into pursuing his agenda by promising them Dominion Status in a year, when the deliverable was clearly infeasible. Again, multiple times, he rescinded his promises and resolutions through artificial distinctions in terminology introduced post facto and repeated shifting of goal posts. He and his disciples would frequently resort to emotional blackmail threatening that he would retire should he be questioned on his failings, or his agenda not be accepted in its entirety. Last, but not the least, he did not even honour his promise to the fallen martyr, Sukhdev Thapar, who was hanged along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru. Nonetheless, in a strict literal or even mathematical sense, our conclusions do not contradict Gandhi's proclamation quoted above, that his love for non-violence equals only that for truth, as it turns out that he didn't believe in either. 


Section A: Gandhi: Swaraj in a year (September, 1920)

Gandhi conducted a civil rights campaign in South Africa demanding equitable social and professional conditions for the residing Indians. Before attaining the goals he strove for, in 1915, he left South Africa to join the struggle for freedom in India. In South Africa, Gandhi had been loftily disdainful of "Parliamentary Swaraj", as he termed Swaraj, preferring that India should try to achieve "Spiritual Swaraj" as he wrote in his book called Indian Home Rule (Hind Swaraj) in 1909. Gandhi's Spiritual Swaraj would allow the English to rule ("police" in his words), if they follow Indian civilisation in India, which he understood as one that relies on articles produced and manufactured at home, and does not have railways, European cloths, military, modern schools, law courts, machinery, hospitals, medicines and contraceptives [13].

However, by 1918, in order to ingratiate himself into the Congress, Gandhi adopted the slogans of Parliamentary Swaraj, even when his bonafides were doubted by stalwart Congressmen like Sir C Sankaran Nair p 3, [55]. He launched his first nation-wide mass movement in India in September 1920, when he persuaded Congress to announce a non-cooperation movement, and promised to deliver in a year, Swaraj, which was understood as Dominion Status or even independence among the masses who could not distinguish the nuances. Gandhi had defined Swaraj as "Swaraj means full Dominion status." (January 19, 1922) pp. 468, [58] p. 63, [55]. In moving his resolution on non-co-operation in the National Congress held at Calcutta in September 1920, Gandhi said, "If there is sufficient response to my scheme, I make bold to reiterate my statement that you can gain Swarajya in the course of an year" pp. 253, [56], p. 80, [55]. On December 21, 1920, he said, "my experience during the last months fills me with the hope that within the nine months that remain of the year in which I have expected Swaraj for India we shall redress the two wrongs  and we shall see Swaraj (Parliamentary) established in accordance with the wishes of the people of India." pp. 150, [57], p. 82, [55]. Again, on January 21, 1921, he said: " Four months of this one year have already gone by and my faith has never burnt as brightly as it burns tonight as I am talking to the young men of Bengal". He added: " that in case of his death before the expiry of eight months he is satisfied that the people of India will secure Swaraj before the year is out " pp. 233, [57], pp. 82-83, [55]. On February 23, 1921 he again said: " Last five months experience has confirmed me in the opinion. I am convinced that the country has never been so ready for establishing Swaraj as now. " p. 84 [55]. He also promised Swaraj in one year in multiple articles in Young India (September 22, 1920, Swaraj in one year, December 22, 1920, Swaraj in one year, December 29, 1920, Swaraj in nine months, February 2, 1921, Swaraj in eight months). The abolition of the Turkish Khilafat, and injustice to Punjab are the two wrongs referred to in the above speech. It was for the redress of these two wrongs that Non Cooperation movement was launched.


Even a casual student of Indian politics would know that there was no opportunity to attain Swaraj in a year from September 1920 when it was proclaimed. On July 16,1921, in a meeting with Gandhi in Mumbai, Subhas Chandra Bose had asked Gandhi how could he Mahatma promise Swaraj in one year as he has been doing since the Nagpur Congress of 1920? Gandhi's response disappointed Bose: "what his (Gandhi's) real expectation was, I was unable to understand. Either he did not want to give out all his secrets prematurely or he did not have a clear conception of the tactics whereby the hands of the Government could be forced. Looking back, at the incident today, it strikes me that possibly the Mahatma expected a 'change of heart' on the part of the British Government, leading to an acceptance of India's national demands. Altogether, his reply to the second question was disappointing and his reply to the third (the question we refer) was no better. What was to him a question of faith-namely, that Swaraj would be won within one year - was by no means clear to me and personally speaking, I was prepared to work for a much longer period. " p. 59, [1]. Congress leader Sankaran Nair has argued that Gandhi promised the moon so as to enhance his fund collection drive: "he (Gandhi) added " that in case of his death before the expiry of eight months he is satisfied that the people of India will secure Swaraj before the year is out." Is this not a definite statement that the lndian people are going to get Swaraj ? A few days later the purpose comes out- In a public address to the merchants of Calcutta on January 30, 1921, he said:- "What I purposed to do I can accomplish in a certain line. I Must attain Swaraj. If thirty crores of people say that they are not with me yet I shall do my work and win Swaraj .If you wish to accomplish work of thirty crores of men then come out with your money. Try to have money and ask me to give an account of the same. I appoint someone treasurer. If you know that you yourself cannot attain Swaraj then help one with money. If you do not help with money Swaraj will be difficult but not impossible to attain. If the students of India do not help, me it does not matter. If the pleaders do not help, it does not matter. "…. And he (Gandhi) promises Swaraj and asks for money for getting it in nine months. He collected money on the faith of that representation. Earlier on the same day he got ten thousand rupees, and on the spot a large sum is said to have been collected. On the same date in addressing the students he said. "If the response continues as it has begun there is no doubt of Swaraj coming within the time prescribed". pp. 263, [59], pp. 83-84, [55].


Gandhi had indeed repeatedly specified a "modest" target of collecting "minimum" one crore of rupees by June 30, 1921 for attaining Swaraj in one year (p. 193, January 9, 1921, p. 420, 16 March 1921, p. 433, 3 April, 1921, p. 446, 20 March, 1921, p. 454, 23 March, 1921, p. 477, 30 March, 1921, p. 479, 1 April, 1921, p. 485, 6 April 1921, [62], p. 25, 10 April 1921, p. 26, 11 April, 1921, p. 28, 13 April 1921, p. 41, 19 April, 1921, p. 64, 20 April, 1921, p. 71, 23 April, 1921,  p. 78, 22 April 1921, p. 133, 8 May 1921, p. 167, 21 May, 1921, p. 192, 25 May, 1921, p. 204, p. 207, 29 May, 1921, p. 235, 8 June, 1921, p. 310, 22 June 1921, p. 335, 26 June, 1921, p. 361, p. 362, 30 June, 1921, [63]). The frequency of his appeal shows how aggressively he was pursuing the collection of funds. And, on July 1, 1921, he announced that one crore of rupees had been collected.

Towards the end of the time limit he specified for attaining Swaraj, Gandhi had himself confirmed that the fund generation target would not have been accomplished without specifying this deadline: On December 15,1921, he wrote in Young India: "Swaraj does consist in the change of government and its real control by the people, but that would be merely the form. The substance that I am hankering after is a definite acceptance of the means and therefore a real change of heart on the part of the people. I am certain that it does not require ages for Hindus to discard the error of untouchability, for Hindus and Mussulmans to shed enmity and accept heart-friendship as an eternal factor of national life, for all to adopt the charkha as the only universal means of attaining India's economic salvation and finally for all to believe that India's freedom lies only through non-violence and no other method. Definite, intelligent and free adoption by the nation of this programme I hold as the attainment of the substance. The symbol, the transfer of power, is sure to follow, even as the seed truly laid must develop into a tree. On the contrary I have felt never so sanguine as I do at the time of writing that we will gain the substance during this year I have stated at the same time as a practical idealist, that I should no more feel worthy to lead a cause which I might feel myself diffident of handling" pp. 121-122, [60]. In the same issue of Young India, he has continued: "If the atmosphere of non-violence is truly established, I make bold to say that we shall achieve the substance even during the remaining days of this year, though we might have to wait for the form yet a while. The time-limit was not fixed in order to rouse the teeming millions, but it was fixed in order to rivet the attention of Congressmen and Congresswomen on their sense of immediate duty and on the grand consequence of its fulfillment. Without the time-limit we would not have collected the crore nor would we have introduced so many spinning-wheels, nor manufactured thousands of rupees worth of hand-spun khadi and distributed lakhs amongst the poorest workers in the country. "  p. 254, [61].

Section B: Gandhi: Khilafat first, Swaraj later (August, 1921)

Simultaneously with the non-cooperation movement, Gandhi had supported the Khilafat agitation of the Indian Muslims in exchange of the leaders of the agitation, Ali brothers' support for his non-cooperation movement. On June 1, 1921 while supporting the Khilafat agitation, Gandhi had said: " I would be untrue to my faith, if I refuse to assist in a just cause any men or measures that did not entirely coincide with the principle of non-violence. I would be promoting violence, if finding the Mussalmans to be in the right, I did not assist them by means strictly non-violent against those who had treacherously plotted the destruction of the dignity of Islam. Even when both parties believe in violence, there is often such a thing as justice on one side or the other. A robbed man has justice on his side, even though he may be preparing to regain the lost property by force. " pp, 151, [11], [25]. In support of the Khilafat agitation, on August 18, 1921, Gandhi went to the extent of redefining Swaraj for the Muslims: "To the Mussulmans swaraj means, as it must mean, India's ability to deal effectively with the Khilafat question. The Mussulmans therefore decline to wait if the attainment of Swaraj means indefinite delay or a programme that may require the Mussulmans of India to become impotent witnesses of the extinction of Turkey in European waters. It is impossible not to sympathize with this attitude. I would gladly recommend immediate action if I could think of any effective course. I would gladly ask for postponement of Swaraj activity if thereby we could advance the interest of the Khilafat. "  p. 105, [72], p. 14, [73].

As part of this Khilafat movement, a revolt was initiated by the Moplah Muslims against the Hindus and the British, in which thousands of Hindus were butchered by the Moplahs. By October 1921, the horrors of the Moplah revolt were well reported by many newspapers all over India, and the set of articles that appeared in the various newspapers before October 1921 have been chronicled by C Gopalan Nair in [66]. The horrors are too graphic to reproduce here and it suffices to say that ISIS barbarities are not new. (see Appendix IX in [66]). The crimes were divided into the following categories : (a) Brutally dishonouring women, (b) Flaying people alive, (c) Wholesale slaughter of men, women and children, (d) Forcibly converting people in thousands, and murdering those who refused to be converted (e) Throwing half-dead people into wells, and leaving the victims for hours, to struggle till finally released from their sufferings by death (f) Burning a great many and looting practically all Hindu and Christian houses, in the disturbed area, in which even Moplah women and children took part, and robbing women, of even the garments on their bodies, in short reducing the whole non-Muslim population to abject destitution (g) Cruelly insulting the religious sentiments of the Hindus, by desecrating and destroying numerous temples, in the disturbed area, killing cows within the temple precincts,· putting their entrails on the holy images and hanging the skulls on the walls and roofs. Appendix IX, [66], [25].  

On October 20, 1921, Gandhi considered the Moplah revolt to come as a blessing, and equated the fanaticism of the rioters with the "cowardliness" of their hapless victims: "And so I feel the Moplah revolt has come as a blessing to a system that is crumbling to pieces by the weight of its own enormity…..What was more detestable, the ignorant fanaticism of the Moplah brother, or  the cowardliness of the Hindu brother who helplessly muttered the Islamic formula or allowed his tuft of hairs to be cut or his vest to be changed?  Let me not be misunderstood. I want both the Hindus and Mussulmans to cultivate the cool courage to die without killing. But if one has not that courage, I want him to cultivate the art of killing and being killed, rather than in a cowardly manner flee from danger. For the latter in spite of his flight does commit mental himsa. He flees because he has not the courage to be killed in the act of killing. " pp. 448, [71]. On December 8, 1921, Gandhi absolved the perpetrators of the indescribable atrocities during the riots from any responsibility and equated the plight of the rioters to that of their Hindu victims pp. 212-213, [69]. On January 26, 1922, he went on to rationalise the Moplah violence by blaming it on Hindus' neglect of them p. 27, [70], and commended Maulana Hasrat Mohani who defended the rioters p. 25, [70] [25]. It is worthwhile to note that he did not consider calling off the non-cooperation agitation, which the Khilafat agitators were ostensibly supporting, due to the ghastly Moplah violence, which was also perpetrated by adherents of the Khilafat movement, and which atrocity was defended by many Muslim clergymen owing allegiance to the same Khilafat movement.   

Similarly, there were many other incidents of communal violence, during the Khilafat agitation, where the Muslims were the violent aggressors against both the Hindus and the British, prominent ones being enacted at Malegaon and Barabanki, pp.63-65, [55]. At Malegaon, a paisa fund was established to pay for the expenses of the Khilafat movement. Both the sellers and the buyers had to bear the cost of this additional tax imposed by the Khilafatists. There was some confrontation in the collection of this money and some members were fined for public disorder generated. When these people were convicted, Muslim mobs rioted, killing a number of people including a sub-inspector and looting and torching the homes of the Hindus supposedly opposed to the Khilafat movement. At Barabanki, it gave rise to a series of dacoities against Hindus and was put down only with great difficulty. Chaudhari Athar Ali's arrest was accompanied by similar sentiments and actions as in Malegaon (Appendix XI, [55]). Gandhi treated the victims of these riots with disdain and certainly did not offer to cancel the movement despite this violence.

Section C: Gandhi's experiments with truth when Swaraj did not arrive in a year (September 1921-February 1922)

Trusting Gandhi a large number of Indians participated in the nationwide non-cooperation movement, and were subjected to brutal repression by the British government, which Gandhi had documented : p. 371 [105] p. 387, [106], pp. 437-438, [107], p. 494, [108], pp. 94-95, [12], p. 126, [102] , p. 281, [103] pp. 376-377, [104]  p. 377, [97], pp. 398-399, [114], pp. 425-426, [98], p. 427, [99] , p. 473,  [100], p. 480, [101] , p. 33, [96], p. 138,  [52], p. 194,  [53], pp. 278-281, [54] , p. 430, [49], p. 17,  [50], p. 22, [43], p. 65, [45], p. 101, [46], pp. 107-109, [30], p. 124, [31], p. 295, [27], p. 336, [28], p. 366, [21], pp. 469-471, [17], p. 248,  [18], p. 312, [19], pp. 325-326 , [20], p. 409, [64], pp. 424-425, [16], pp. 471-473, [7]. Yet, Swaraj did not arrive in the period Gandhi promised (by September 1921), as it was not meant to. Gandhi extended the duration by a few months. He sought to emotionally blackmail his countrymen and stated that he would have no desire to live should India not attain Swaraj by the end of 1921 (which was the extended duration). He also blamed Congress for not living up to the trust he had reposed on it. On October 23, 1921 he wrote in Navajivan in an article titled Optimism: "I hope no one will believe that I ever told anyone I would commit suicide if Swaraj was not won this year. Except for saving oneself from rape, suicide is, according to me, a major sin and an act of cowardice. Why indeed should I commit suicide because India may not have won swaraj? If she sincerely desires Swaraj, let her fight for it and get it. She has realised its value, and has even tasted of it. If now she cares enough for it, let her pay the price and secure it. Whether or not she does so, what reason is that for me to commit suicide?

I did, however, mention one thing before some friends. When asked what I would do if we had not got Swaraj by January, I said I had so great a faith in the country that till the very end of December I would continue to believe that we would definitely get Swaraj. What, therefore, I would do in January, I did not know at all, I said. With people's leave, I would retire to a solitary place and live by myself, or would welcome helping the country, to the best of my ability, in drafting its constitution under Swaraj. I should not like to remain alive next year if we have not won Swaraj by then. I am, in that event, likely to be pained so deeply that this body may perish-I would desire that it should.

I have seen so much suffering in the country, economic and moral, that, if I have not perished in the flames, it is because of the hope which people have inspired in me. "We shall have purified ourselves in a day", and "Today our millions will get some flesh on their skeletons"-I am sustained from day to day by such hopes. I believe that one year is enough in which to realise them. In September (1920), I was the only one who believed and said that this was possible.

In December, others unanimously took up the programme. If now the Congress fails to fulfil its pledge, what would be the position of a person like me? It would surely mean bankruptcy for me no less than for the Congress. If, putting my trust in the Congress, I issue a draft and then find that it is not honoured, where should I turn? I very much desire that in the event of our failing to get Swaraj(in this year), everyone else should suffer on January 1 as much as I would. Everyone should feel the want of dharma as much as of food.

A friend asked me if this was not cowardice. I do not think so. I see in it an expression of compassion; it is plain common sense to me. There is no point in continuing to give service when it is not valued as such and none in living if there is no good in it. When the body itself is worn out, would it not be better to live on the Ganga water and let it slowly perish than to keep it alive, a mere skeleton, by treating it with Vasantmalati or some such stuff? As far as I can see today, I shall never advise any course but "adopt swadeshi and win swaraj". If I cannot think of anything else at all, of what service can I possibly be? We are now on the last rung of the ladder. To take a step further up without recouping ourselves where we stand would ultimately mean a set-back for us. I remember, when I was climbing the ghat for going up to Sinhgad , a point came beyond which I simply could not continue to climb. I could resume the climb only after I had rested for a while and regained my strength. We are in the same position. Till we have completely succeeded in the Swadeshi programme, we shall not get the strength to push forward. My remaining alive, therefore, or continuing to live in society, depends on the success of Swadeshi. This is how I see things; this is the state of my mind today. What tomorrow will bring, God alone knows. "  pp. 458-459, [93]

Although Gandhi started with by stating that he considered suicide a sin and an act of cowardice, he ended on an ominous note, as in, "When the body itself is worn out, would it not be better to live on the Ganga water and let it slowly perish than to keep it alive, a mere skeleton, by treating it with Vasantmalati or some such stuff ?..... My remaining alive, therefore, or continuing to live in society, depends on the success of Swadeshi". He left a leeway for himself specifying but that this was but his state of mind today, and he had no idea how it would evolve tomorrow.

Gandhi continued to share his death wish, his inner deliberations concerning his imperfections, and desire to retire, in Young India on November 17, 1921: "Correspondents have written to me in pathetic language asking me not to commit suicide in January, should Swaraj be not attained by then and should I find myself outside the prison walls. I find that language but inadequately expresses one's thought especially when the thought itself is confused or incomplete. My writing in the Navajivan was, I fancied, clear enough. But I observe that its translation has been misunderstood by many. The original too has not escaped the tragedy that has overtaken the translation.

One great reason for the misunderstanding lies in my being considered almost a perfect man. Friends who know my partiality for the Bhagavad Gita have thrown relevant verses at me and shown how my threat to commit suicide contradicts the teachings which I am attempting to live. All these mentors of mine seem to forget that I am but a seeker after truth. I claim to have found the way to it. I claim to be making a ceaseless effort to find it. But I admit that I have not yet  found it. To find Truth completely is to realise oneself and one's destiny, i.e., to become perfect. I am painfully conscious of my imperfections, and therein lies all the strength I possess, because it is a rare thing for a man to know his own limitations.

If I was a perfect man, I own I should not feel the miseries of my neighbours as I do. As a perfect man I should take note of them, prescribe a remedy and compel adoption by the force of unchallengeable Truth in me. But as yet I only see as through a glass darkly and therefore have to carry conviction by slow and laborious processes, and then too not always with success. That being so, I would be less than human if with all my knowledge of avoidable misery pervading the land and of the sight of mere skeletons under the very shadow of the Lord of the Universe, I did not feel with and for all the suffering but dumb millions of India. The hope of a steady decline in that misery sustains me; but suppose that with all my sensitiveness to sufferings, to pleasure and pain, cold and heat and with all my endeavour to carry the healing message of the spinning-wheel to the heart, I have reached only the ear and never pierced the heart, suppose further that at the end of the year I find that the people are as sceptical as they are today about the present possibility of attainment of Swaraj by means of the peaceful revolution of the wheel; suppose further, that I find that all the excitement during the past twelve months and more has been only an excitement and a stimulation but no settled belief in the programme, and lastly suppose that the message of peace has not penetrated the hearts of Englishmen, should I not doubt my tapasya and feel my unworthiness for leading the struggle? As a true man, what should I do? Should I not kneel down in all humility before my Maker and ask Him to take away this useless body and make me a fitter instrument of service? " pp. 120-121, [60]

Note here that here he is deliberating on whether he should consider himself "unworthy of leading the struggle and pray that his maker take away his useless body if by the end of this year Indians retain their scepticism of attaining Swaraj by means of the peaceful revolution of the wheel and if his message had not penetrated the hearts of Englishmen" - thus his goal has silently been devalued from attaining Swaraj itself  to convincing Indians and Englishmen about the efficacy of his methods and the justice of his cause. The message that scepticism would persuade Gandhi to retire from leadership or feed on his death wish, was intended to drown the bulk of the criticism in a wave of concern for his health among the gullible and emotionally vulnerable masses. But, for the more persistent continuing to charge him with his failure to attain Parliamentary Swaraj even within the extended period asked for by him, at times, he declared India to be "already free" On January 12, 1922, which was at the fag end of his extended deadline, he quoted in Young India WW Pearson's (who was associated with Rabindranath Tagore in Shantiniketan) message to him sent through their mutual friend, CF Andrews: "I want also to add something of a more public nature which may be used publicly or not at the Congress. It is this: Your work has borne its fruit, for India is already free. " Gandhi went on to write: "I share Pearson's view that India is 'already free'. She became free when Lalaji, Pandit Nehru, Chitta Ranjan Das and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were arrested. She became free as soon as it became clear that repression had fallen flat and that the people were not to be deterred from forming associations and holding public meetings even though they were assaulted and flogged. Freedom was ours when we were ready to pay the price for it. The settlement of our differences with the administrators is a matter of time. We cannot be said to be free so long as we need a certificate of freedom. He is not healthy who has need to prove his health by producing a health certificate. Every man and woman who visited the Congress pandal felt in his or her own person the glow of freedom. " p. 409, [64]. Other times Gandhi argued like a lawyer (to borrow the words of an eminent revolutionary Shachindranath Sanyal who we shortly quote), indicating that the conditions mentioned by him have not been complied with: "My promise was conditional. Laying down conditions which could be easily fulfilled, I told the people. Fulfill these conditions and win Swaraj" (December 11, 1921, Navajivan) p. 227, [94], pp. 80-81, [55]. He also imposed new conditions and quietly dropped the deadline from his speeches, one of which we cite below, a Young India article on February 23, 1922, pp. 217-219, [67]. We also note from the excerpts of his articles on December 15, 1921 cited above, that he diluted his promise, distinguishing between the form (change of government and its control by the people) and the substance (change of heart of people) of Swaraj. Now, he specified that he was hankering after the latter which he was sanguine of gaining within the extended deadline, and the form was sure to follow (he gave no new deadline for the latter).

On December 11, 1921, he continued to play around with his notions of Swaraj, threatened that he would retire to Himalayas if people question him about the promise to deliver Swaraj. But if people (including Congress delegates) see that his way to Swaraj was the only way, then he need not retire and Swaraj was all but accomplished, and whatever remained owed to lack of effort on the part of the people. He also characterised as enemies of the nation those who believed or spread the belief  that he would attain Swaraj before December 1921. He absolved himself of all responsibility by stating that he is but a doctor who can prescribe medicines, and it is ultimately for the people to cure themselves by partaking of the same. He concluded saying that he did not want Swaraj to be attained in 1921 as he would like fanciful notions to be dispelled by him, he was but a small man who should not be seen as a giant: "I am being implored, on the one hand, not to carry out my threat to retire to the Himalayas if we do not get swaraj by the end of this year. On the other hand, I am asked what face I shall show to the people if we fail to get swaraj. How great will be the people's disappointment? Having made a promise, I shall now realise what an error I have made.......I expect that readers of Navajivan will not think in this manner. But I know that some of them do. My promise was conditional. Laying down conditions which could be easily fulfilled, I told the people: "Fulfill these conditions and win swaraj". But friends can argue that, when laying down conditions, a man of practical wisdom would consider the other party's capacity to fulfil them. This is true. It is also true that I claim to be such a man. If I think I cannot make this claim, I should not remain in public life. If, therefore, people are obliged to ask, at the end of the year, When they would get the promised swaraj, my claim of practical wisdom would have been disproved and I must betake myself to the Himalayas. However, if the people clearly realise that the only way to get swaraj is the one I have pointed out and feel that they have covered a long distance on the road, have almost reached its end, they will have no ground for reproaching me nor I any reason for running away to the Himalayas. We shall then almost have won swaraj. ......

Similarly, if all the delegates who will be assembling (for the Congress) in this month agree without much argument that the path we have taken is the only one which can lead to swaraj, that we already see swaraj in the distance, that we have achieved more during this year than during any previous year and that they, the delegates, are determined to adhere to this path-then, I would say, we have as good as got swaraj. It is due to lack of effort on our part that something will still remain to be secured. A little more effort and our swaraj will be complete.

Those who believe, and those who have spread the belief, that Gandhi will somehow get them swaraj before December, both these classes of persons are, whether or not they know it, their own and the country's enemies; they have not understood the meaning of swaraj at all. Swaraj means self-reliance. To hope that I shall get swaraj for them is the opposite of self-reliance. I can only point out the means; it is then for the people to work and secure swaraj. I am a vaidya; I prescribe the medicine, explain the manner of taking it, mention the other things to be taken with it and specify the quantity to be taken every time. It is ultimately for the patient to act and do the best he can.

If, at the end of the year, the people have not realised through their own experience that swaraj will be won through non-violence, through unity of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Jews, through swadeshi and the removal of untouchability, then I shall have been proved totally deficient in practical wisdom and I must retire to the Himalayas. It is true that I had expected much more than this. I had expected that we would not only discover the path during this year, but would also see the image of swaraj before our eyes, would have arrived at a settlement with the rulers and, non-co-operation having been withdrawn, would have commenced genuine co-operation. I am afraid we shall not see ourselves placed in this happy position during the days which remain. On the contrary, our non-co-operation will have become more intense and co-operation will appear to be out of the question altogether. But this phase itself will bring co-operation nearer. It is the darkest before dawn. The pain before delivery being almost unbearable, the woman doubts whether the delivery will ever take place. In the same way, the hour of birth of our freedom will be the most difficult period for us.

Why do I not, however, say categorically that this will not happen during the present year? I do not say this because I do not know for certain. I am not omniscient. I am not God. I believe God to be omnipotent. No one knows when He will bring about profound changes in our hearts. .....How can I be sure that, while I am myself uncertain whether we shall see freedom become a reality during the days which remain, God is not actually preparing this result? If I am the doctor, I am the patient too. I have not won the freedom for which I have been striving. I have discovered the path and I will never abandon it. But the freedom which I want is still far away. I would not be surprised, however, if I got it in this month. I can assure the readers that I have spared no efforts. .....I state most emphatically that I do not know what the state of my mind will be on January 1. The reader will thus see that the struggle for swaraj is a spiritual effort for me, a means of attaining moksha. My effort is purely selfish and will remain so.

In one sense, I do not wish to see freedom become a reality this year. I wish to see all fanciful notions about me dispelled. I want people to know that I am but a small creature. I see nothing but harm to the people and to me in my being looked upon as a giant. I shall not mind if people believe that my calculations have been wrong, that I am a fool or that I am an impractical man. Instead of their believing that they got anything through my strength, it is much better that they should believe every achievement to be the result of their own tapascharya and self-purification-much better indeed that it should be so in fact. I only want the people to have this faith in me."He fearlessly placed before us that he thought to be the truth at the time. I desire no better certificate than this. I do not deserve anything more. " pp. 227-230,  [94]

On January 19, 1922, Gandhi, in fact, articulated a very interesting conception of his own (Parliamentary) Swaraj. "Swaraj means, in the event of the foregoing demands (Khilafat and Justice for Punjab) being granted, full Dominion Status. The scheme of such swaraj should be framed by representatives duly elected in terms of the Congress constitution. That means four-anna franchise. Every Indian adult, male or female, paying four annas and signing the Congress Creed, will be entitled to be placed on the electoral roll. These electors would elect delegates who would frame the swaraj constitution. This shall be given effect to without any change by the British Parliament. "pp. 468, [82]. From the above, it must be obvious that Gandhi saw no scope for anyone outside the Congress to be a stakeholder in framing of the new constitution for India. Rule of India would be a Congress-only enterprise. Even at this very early stage, Gandhi had already disavowed all other non-Congress freedom fighters, of whatever stamp. Sir C Sankaran Nair has given a splendid criticism of Gandhi's four anna franchise in pp. 63-64, [55]: "A more preposterous demand cannot be imagined. He (Gandhi) excludes all those who do not belong to his Congress. Those who do not pay the annas four and sign the Congress creed form the majority of the population." Nonetheless, the proposal of limiting franchise to Congress members, may well have substantially enhanced Congress membership particularly among those that believed Gandhi would shortly deliver Swaraj, if only, by magic.

Section D: Was Chauri Chaura the cause or pretext for abrupt termination of the Non-Co-operation movement ?

In February 1922, Gandhi abruptly called off the non-cooperation movement, not on the grounds that India is already free, but that non-violence has not been observed. On February 16, 1922, he wrote that: "God has been abundantly kind to me. He has warned me the third time that there is not as yet in India that truthful and non-violent atmosphere which and which alone can justify mass disobedience which can be at all described as civil, which means gentle, truthful, humble, knowing, wilful yet loving, never criminal and hateful......God spoke clearly through Chauri Chaura. " p. 177, [65]. Subhas Chandra Bose has described the incident as follows: "On February 4, at a place called Chauri-Chaura in the United Provinces, the villagers in a fit of exasperation set fire to the police-station and killed some policemen. When this news reached the Mahatma, he was horrified at the turn of events and immediately summoned a meeting of the Congress Working Committee at Bardoli. At his instance, the Committee decided to suspend the civil-disobedience movement (that is, the defiance of laws and governmental decrees, including non-payment of taxes) entirely throughout India for an indefinite period and all Congressmen were enjoined to confine themselves to peaceful constructive work. The 'constructive programme' included hand spinning and hand weaving, removal of untouchability, promotion of inter-communal unity, suppression of the drug traffic, extension of 'national education', suppression of litigation and establishment of arbitration boards-without voluntarily violating any law or governmental ordinance existing at the time.The Dictator's decree was obeyed at the time but there was a regular revolt in the Congress Camp. No one could understand why the Mahatma should have used the isolated incident at Chauri-Chaura for strangling the movement all over the country. Popular resentment was all the greater because the Mahatma had not cared to consult representatives from the different provinces and because the situation in the country as a whole was exceedingly favourable for the success of the civil-disobedience campaign. To sound the order of retreat just when public-enthusiasm was reaching the boiling-point was nothing short of a national calamity. The principal lieutenants of the Mahatma, Deshbandhu Das, Pandit Motilal Nehru, and Lala Lajpat Rai, who were all in prison, shared the popular resentment. I was with the Deshbandhu at the time and I could see that he was beside himself with anger and sorrow at the way Mahatma Gandhi was repeatedly bungling. He was just beginning to forget the December blunder when the Bardoli retreat came as a staggering blow. Lala Lajpat Rai was experiencing the same feelings and it is reported that in sheer disgust he addressed a seventy-page letter to the Mahatma from prison. " pp. 81-82, [1].   

Gandhi's lieutenant JB Kripalni confirms Bose's account: "He (Gandhi) called a meeting of those members of the Working Committee who were outside jail at Bardoli and decided to suspend the movement. This step was not approved of by some prominent leaders in jail. They thought it would demoralise the country. A session of the All India Congress Committee was held in Delhi. The debate was acrimonious. A no-confidence motion against Gandhiji was moved by Dr. BS Moonje. The Bardoli resolution, suspending mass civil-disobedience, was sought to be rescinded. It was, however, clear that only Moonje and some of his friends supported the idea. The Bardoli resolution was endorsed. However, it made it clear that the P.C.C's would have the right to permit the continuance of civil disobedience by individuals under the stringent condition of non-violence." pp. 93-94, [2]   

Gandhi called off Chauri-Chaura under the pretext of truth and non-violence: "the only virtue I want to claim is Truth and Non-violence." p. 178, [65]. Yet, his creative reinterpretation of Swaraj, and equating the crime of the perpetrators of Moplah violence with the plight of their hapless Hindu victims as also his enlistment in 1918 of Indians for fighting the first world war have revealed that he was committed to neither around this time. Besides, he had not called off the non-cooperation movement when far worse violence was perpetrated on Hindus, repeatedly (in Malabar, Malegaon, Barabanki and many other places) a few months earlier in association with the Khilafat movement.  On October 20, 1921, commenting on the Moplah riots, Gandhi had said: "I want both the Hindus and Mussulmans to cultivate the cool courage to die without killing. But if one has not that courage, I want him to cultivate the art of killing and being killed, rather than in a cowardly manner flee from danger. For the latter in spite of his flight does commit mental himsa. He flees because he has not the courage to be killed in the act of killing. " pp. 448, [71]. But then the offenders at Chauri-Chaura did exactly what Gandhi had suggested - cultivate the art of killing and die rather than flee. Gandhi had himself written how the constables who were killed at Chauri-Chaura had provoked, abused and open fired at the masses p. 177, [65]. By his argument of June 1, 1921 in support of the Khilafat agitation, pp, 151, [11] cited in Section B above, Gandhi promoted violence by refusing to assist the villagers of Chauri-Chaura by means strictly non-violent in the just cause of attaining freedom even though their acts did not entirely coincide with the principle of non-violence. Going by his argument there, surely, robbed of their freedom, the citizens of an enslaved nation had justice on their side. So, his response to violence directed by Indians against the British was in stark contrast to that for violence directed by Muslims against the Hindus (and British) repeatedly, within a few months and associated with the same agitation. And, the stated grounds for calling off the non-cooperation movement did not hold.

Gandhi may well have called off non-cooperation in February 1922 as it was well past his one year deadline of attaining Swaraj through it and the continuation of the movement would linger the memory of the deliverance he promised and failed to fulfill. But, Bose has speculated on another possibility: "In semi-official circles another explanation has been given of the sudden volte-face of the Mahatma. It is alleged that elaborate arrangements had been made by the Government in secret to render his no-tax campaign at Bardoli a debacle and that a large portion of the next instalment of taxes had already been collected. Official circles, sympathetic to the Mahatma, conveyed secret information to him regarding the counter-measures adopted by the Government and warned him of the possibility of a failure, in case he launched the campaign. When Mahatma Gandhi was brought face to face with these facts, he realized the hopelessness of the situation and thinking that without a successful campaign at Bardoli, he could not work up the movement in the country, he decided to use the Chauri-Chaura incident as a pretext for calling off the civil-disobedience movement. Those who know the Mahatma more intimately will not, however, accept this explanation. " p. 82, [1]. We discount the last disclaimer given that Bose had written this part in the first edition of his book that was published on January 17, 1935, p. ix [1], at which time he believed he had a freedom fight ahead of him as part of Congress in which Gandhi had the last word (it comes across as a customary health warning at the end of an advertisement for cigarette or disclaimers in fictionalisation of real life stories that disavow resemblances to specific individuals as entirely coincidental). The fact that Bose had included this conjecture in his book indicates that he associated certain credibility to it. Any event, Chauri Chaura was a pretext to provide Gandhi a face saver from the failure of accomplishing his stated goal of Swaraj in a year or from the failure he believed the movement was doomed to.

Section E: Gandhi breathed fire post his abrupt withdrawal of non-cooperation movement and went to jail convicted of sedition

What followed the withdrawal of the movement was even more farcical. First, it is astonishing that Gandhi was not incarcerated before he called off the movement while all the front ranking leaders of Congress were. It is even more astounding that he was arrested and sentenced to a prison term after he withdrew the non-cooperation movement. Perhaps, to regain his standing among the Congress rank and file disillusioned after the withdrawal of the movement, Gandhi breathed fire in an article, titled "Shaking the manes" that he wrote in Young India on February 23, 1922: "How can there be any compromise whilst the British Lion continues to shake his gory claws in our faces?.....Lord Birkenhead reminds us that Britain has lost none of her hard fibre. Montagu tells us in the plainest language that the British are the most determined nation in the world, who will brook no interference with their purpose. Let me quote the exact words telegraphed by Reuter: 'If the existence of our Empire were challenged, the discharge of responsibilities of the British Government to India prevented and demands were made in the very mistaken belief that we contemplated retreat from India-then India would not challenge with success the most determined people in the world who would once again answer the challenge with all the vigour and determination at its command. '  

Both Lord Birkenhead and Montagu little know that India is prepared for all 'the hard fibre' that can be transported across the seas and that her challenge was issued in the September of 1920 at Calcutta  that India would be satisfied with nothing less than Swaraj and full redress of the Khilafat and the Punjab wrongs. This does involve the existence of the 'Empire', and if the present custodians of the British Empire are not satisfied with its quiet transformation into a true Commonwealth of free nations, each with equal rights and each having the power to secede at will from an honourable and friendly partnership, all the determination and vigour of 'the most determined people in the world' and the 'hard fibre' will have to be spent in India in a vain effort to crush the spirit that has risen and that will neither bend nor break. It is true that we have no 'hard fibre'. The rice-eating, puny millions of India seem to have resolved upon achieving their own destiny without any further tutelage and without arms. In the Lokamanya's language it is their 'birthright', and they will have it in spite of the 'hard fibre' and in spite of the vigour and determination with which it may be administered. India cannot and will not answer this insolence with insolence, but if she remains true to her pledge, her prayer to God to be delivered from such a scourge will certainly not go in vain. No empire intoxicated with the red wine of power and plunder of weaker races has yet lived long in this world, and this 'British Empire', which is based upon organised exploitation of physically weaker races of the earth and upon a continuous exhibition of brute force, cannot live if there is a just God ruling the universe. Little do these so-called representatives of the British nation realise that India has already given many of her best men to be dealt with by the British 'hard fibre'. Had Chauri Chaura not interrupted the even course of the national sacrifice, there would have been still greater and more delectable offerings placed before the Lion, but God had willed it otherwise. There is nothing, however, to prevent all those representatives in Downing Street and Whitehall from doing their worst. I am aware that I have written strongly about the insolent threat that has come from across the seas, but it is high time that the British people were made to realize that the fight that was commenced in 1920 is a fight to the finish, whether it lasts one month or one year or many months or many years and whether the representatives of Britain re-enact all the indescribable orgies of the Mutiny days with redoubled force or whether they do not. I shall only hope and pray that God will give India sufficient humility and sufficient strength to remain non-violent to the end. Submission to the insolent challenges that are cabled out on due occasions is now an utter impossibility. " pp. 217-219, [67].

The highlighted portions again testify that it was Dominion status or Parliamentary Swaraj that Gandhi had promised India within a year from September 1920 (in other words convincing the masses that his path was the only road to Swaraj was not the stated goal). Next, apart from the fact that Gandhi had altered the deadline for attaining Swaraj in one year, to possibly one month or one year or many months or many years, in this speech, Gandhi was almost speaking the language of the revolutionaries he routinely ridiculed. This is surely an unusual speech to deliver after withdrawing an ongoing agitation or rather replacing it with calls for constructive social programmes. One wonders if Gandhi needed the stamp of martyrdom that comes with a jail sentence to escape the resentment and revolt directed against him in Congress rank and file that Bose had written about. The British who did not care to arrest him while the movement was on, obliged - on a charge of sedition, arising out of three articles he had written in Young India, including the one above p. 95, [2].     

Gandhi's lieutenant JB Kripalani's description of the trial that followed is rather illuminating: "The trial was made memorable by the mutual courtesy that the prisoner and the judge showed to each other and by the statements of Gandhiji and the observations of the judge, an Englishman. " p. 95, [2].    Gandhi said in court (reported in Young India on 23-3-1922): "I knew that I was playing with fire. I ran the risk and, if I was set free, I would still do the same…. I wanted to avoid violence. I want to avoid violence. Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed. But I had to make my choice. I had either to submit to a system which I considered had done an irreparable harm to my country, or incur the risk of the mad fury of my people bursting forth when they understood the truth from my lips. I know that my people have sometimes gone mad; I am deeply sorry for it. I am, therefore, here to submit not to a light penalty but to the highest penalty. I do not ask for mercy. I do not ask for any extenuating act of clemency. I am here to invite and cheerfully submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen. The only course open to you, the Judge, is as I am just going to say in my statement, either to resign your post, or inflict on me the severest penalty, if you believe that the system and the law you are assisting to administer are good for the people of this country and that my activity is therefore injurious to the public weal. " pp. 380-381, [68].

We now present the following is the full text of the judgment reported in Young India on March 23, 1922: "Mr. Gandhi, you have made my task easy in one way by pleading guilty to the charge. Nevertheless what remains, namely, the determination of a just sentence, is perhaps as difficult a proposition as a judge in this country could have to face. The law is no respecter of persons. Nevertheless, it will be impossible to ignore the fact that you are in a different category from any person I have ever tried or am likely to have to try. It would be impossible to ignore the fact that, in the eyes of millions of your countrymen, you are a great patriot and a great leader. Even those who differ from you in politics look upon you as a man of high ideals and of noble and of even saintly life. I have to deal with you in one character only. It is not my duty and I do not presume to judge or criticize you in any other character. It is my duty to judge you as a man subject to the law, who has by his own admission broken the law and committed what to an ordinary man must appear to be grave offences against the State. I do not forget that you have constantly preached against violence and that you have on many occasions, as I am willing to believe, done much to prevent violence, but having regard to the nature of your political teaching and the nature of many of those to whom it is addressed, how you could have continued to believe that violence would not be the inevitable consequence it passes my capacity to understand.

There are probably few people in India who do not sincerely regret that you should have made it impossible for any Government to leave you at liberty. But it is so. I am trying to balance what is due to you against what appears to me to be necessary in the interests of the public, and I propose, in passing sentence, to follow the precedent of a case, in many respects similar to this case, that was decided some 12 years ago, I mean the case against Bal Gangadhar Tilak under this same section. The sentence that was passed upon him as it finally stood was a sentence of simple imprisonment for six years. You will not consider it unreasonable, I think, that you should be classed with Tilak, and that is the sentence, two years' simple imprisonment on each count of the charge, i.e., six years in all, which I feel it my duty to pass upon you and I should like to say in doing so that, if the course of events in India should make it possible for the Government to reduce the period and release you, no one will be better pleased than I. " pp. 385-386, [68]

Gandhi responded as: "I would say one word. Since you have done me the honour of recalling the trial of the late Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, I just want to say that I consider it to be the proudest privilege and honour to be associated with his name. So far as the sentence itself is concerned, I certainly consider that it is as light as any judge would inflict on me, and so far as the whole proceedings are concerned, I must say that I could not have expected greater courtesy. " p. 386, [68]

Then the friends of Gandhi crowded round him as the Judge left the court, and fell at his feet. There was much sobbing on the part of both men and women. But all the while Gandhi was smiling and cool and giving encouragement to everybody who came to him. ….. Gandhi was taken out of the Court to the Sabarmati jail. And thus the great trial finished. p. 386, [68]. So, Gandhi went out of the great trial with the halo of a Christ to be crucified on a sentence of six years. He was released within two years though, on February 5, 1924, after a successful appendicitis operation pp. 96-97 [2]. It is worthwhile to note that both Tilak, who the judge clubbed Gandhi with, and Subhash Bose, were sentenced to the dreaded Mandalay jail in Burma, and revolutionaries quite often to worse off Cellular. Tilak was released only after serving his full term of six years. Bose was detained in Mandalay without trial for two years, and released after acute degradation of his health. Revolutionaries were often poorly treated in jails, at par with common criminals, and had to fast to ensure better treatment for political prisoners. No such predicament had been reported for Gandhi.

Section F: Partaking the conveniences offered at an institution of sin

Gandhi's consent to his appendicitis operation in 1923-24 in English jail, conducted by an English surgeon, constituted yet another instance where he deviated from what he preached. He had written in a book he called "Indian Home Rule" in 1908: "Doctors have almost unhinged us. Sometimes I think that quacks are better than highly qualified doctors. Let us consider: the business of a doctor is to take care of the body, or, properly speaking, not even that. Their business is really to rid the body of diseases that may afflict it. How do these diseases arise? Surely by our negligence or indulgence. I overeat, I have indigestion, I go to a doctor, he gives me medicine, I am cured. I overeat again, I take his pills again. Had I not taken the pills in the first instance, I would have suffered the punishment deserved by me and I would not have overeaten again. The doctor intervened and helped me to indulge myself. My body thereby certainly felt more at ease; but my mind became weakened. A continuance of a course of medicine must, therefore, result in loss of control over the mind. I have indulged in vice, I contract a disease, a doctor cures me, the odds are that I shall repeat the vice. Had the doctor not intervened, nature would have done its work, and I would have acquired mastery over myself, would have been freed from vice and would have become happy.

Hospitals are institutions for propagating sin. Men take less care of their bodies and immorality increases. European doctors are the worst of all. For the sake of a mistaken care of the human body, they kill annually thousands of animals. They practise vivisection. No religion sanctions this. All say that it is not necessary to take so many lives for the sake of our bodies.  These doctors violate our religious instinct. Most of their medical preparations contain either animal fat or spirituous liquors; both of these are tabooed by Hindus and Mahomedans. We may pretend to be civilised, call religious prohibitions a superstition and want only to indulge in what we like. The fact remains that the doctors induce us to indulge, and the result is that we have become deprived of self-control and have become effeminate. In these circumstances, we are unfit to serve the country. To study European medicine is to deepen our slavery". pp. 277-278, [91], pp. 6-7, [55], [13].

Did Gandhi have a genuine change of heart between 1908 when he had published these and 1923/24 when he underwent his appendicitis operation under the care of an English doctor? Gandhi had reaffirmed his commitment to the said views in 1921, when he said, "I withdraw nothing except one word of it, and that in deference to a lady friend'. The reason is the indelicacy of the expression" pp. 259, [92], pp. 3, [55], [13].

Section G: Gandhi's debate with revolutionaries

The revolutionaries had supported and joined the non-cooperation movement that Gandhi announced in 1920, and privately and publicly announced suspension of their activities for a year to give his movement a chance (eg, open letter by Shachindranath Sanyal to Gandhi p. 21, [33], also revolutionaries promised to eschew violence and work devotedly for the movement in a secret meeting with CR Das, p. 87, [47] ). The revolutionaries did keep their end of the bargain until Gandhi abruptly withdrew the movement in February 1922. In fact, no major instance of violent retaliation occurred in 1922 and 1923.

A teenaged (18 year old) young revolutionary, Gopinath Saha, sought to kill a notorious Police Commissioner, Charles Tegart on January 12, 1924, and killed a civilian Ernest Day in a case of mistaken identity. He had stirred Bengal by valiantly declaring at the court that he really had intended to murder Tegart and expressed his sincere sorrow for having killed the wrong person. He was glad to pay with his life and hoped that "May every drop of my blood sow the seeds of freedom in every home of India" p. 38, [74], pp. 112-113, [1],  p. 197, [3]. He was hanged in March 1924. At Sirajgunj in Pabna, the Bengal Provincial Congress Conference held in May 1924, passed a resolution which while disassociating itself from violence, paid a tribute to Gopinath Saha's ideal of self sacrifice p. 113, [1] . Gandhi strongly disapproved of the resolution p. 236, [75], p. 229, [1]. Gandhi was in fact infuriated when CR Das praised the courage and sacrificing spirit of Gopinath Saha. A resolution was moved at the AICC at Gandhi's instance in June 1924, which characterised Saha's action as misguided love of the country and disapproved emphatically of all political murders as inconsistent with the Congress creed p. 320, [76], p. 22, [77]. p. 179, [79]. The same AICC resolution also went out of the way to commiserate with Day's family, but did not have a single word to say about the fate of the teenaged Gopinath Saha. It was almost the AICC derived a sinister satisfaction from Saha's death. Gandhi declared himself as "Defeated and Humbled" that the resolution was passed at a narrow margin of 78 in favor and 70 against p. 22, [77], p.248, [78].  He also forced the Calcutta Corporation to annul a similar resolution that it had passed p. 236, [75].  

On December 18, 1924, Gandhi harshly criticised the revolutionaries in the Presidential address that he delivered at the Belgaum Congress: " Repression, if it does not cow us down, if it does not deter us from our purpose, can but hasten the advent of swaraj; for it puts us on our mettle and evokes the spirit of self-sacrifice and courage in the face of danger. Repression does for a true man or a nation what fire does for gold. In 1921, we answered repression with civil disobedience and invited the Government to do its worst. But today we are obliged to eat the humble pie. We are not ready for civil disobedience. We can but prepare for it. Preparation for civil disobedience means discipline, self-restraint, a non-violent but resisting spirit, cohesion and above all scrupulous and willing obedience to the known laws of God and such laws of man as are in furtherance of God's laws. But unfortunately we have neither discipline nor self-restraint enough for our purpose, we are either violent or our non-violence is unresisting, we have not enough cohesion and the laws that we obey whether of God or man, we obey compulsorily. As between Hindus and Mussalmans we witness a daily defiant breach of laws both of God and man. This is no atmosphere for civil disobedience -the one matchless and invincible weapon at the disposal of the oppressed. The alternative is undoubtedly violence. We seem to have the atmosphere for it. Hindu-Muslim fights are our training for it. And those who believe that India's deliverance lies through violence are entitled to gloat over the free fights that take place between us. But I say to those who believe in the cult of violence: You may not care for your own lives, but you dare not disregard those of your countrymen who have no desire to die a martyr's death. You know that this Government believes in Jallianwala Bagh massacres as a legitimate means of self-defence. Whatever may be true of other countries, there is no chance of the cult of violence flourishing in this country. India is admittedly the best repository and exponent of non-violence. Will you not better devote your lives, if you sacrifice them in the cause of non-violence. " pp. 504-505, [15].

Shachindranath Sanyal, the leader of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), subsequently engaged Gandhi in a public debate that appeared in Young India with Gandhi's response on February 12, 1925. His brief biography in context of the history of the revolutionary freedom fight is in order. The Partition of Bengal in 1905 had led to the rise of a large number of organisations, all of whom aimed at the freedom of India. Originally, they were more limited in their aims (such as undoing the Partition of Bengal, but soon they outgrew those aims). The most famous of the ones that grew in Bengal are the Anushilan Samiti and the Jugantar Groups. A group led by Lala Hardayal, Ajit Singh and Sufi Ambaprasad operated in Punjab and the western parts of the United Provinces, Abhinav Bharat in Maharashtra and several groups in Madras, Mysore, Central Provinces and Berar and Rajputana were also very active during this time. Outside India, the India House of Shyamji Krishna Verma, based in UK, was one of the earliest groups to advocate revolutionary activity to free India. The India House moved to Paris, after the notoriety it earned in London. The Ghadar Party came to existence in the US. under the influence of Lala Hardayal, also did enormous amount of work in the US. After the flight of Lala Hardayal to Geneva, the work was carried on by Ram Chandra. In WW1, a large number of revolutionary attempts were made by various organisations from inside and outside India. However, most of them miscarried. Out of these failures was born the Hindustan Republican Association, of which Shachindranath Sanyal was a founder member.Born in Benares, Shachindranath Sanyal established there a revolutionary organisation called Anushilan Samiti in Benares in 1909. He came in close touch with important Bengal revolutionaries like Pratul Chandra Ganguli and Rasbehari Bose. During the first world war, he along with Girija Babu, the representative of Anushilan Samiti, became lieutenants of Rash Behari Bose, and planned for the overthrow of the British Government with the help of the army (Ghadar conspiracy). He went underground after it was exposed in February 1915, was arrested, and transported for life to Andaman in the Benares conspiracy case. Despite best efforts, police could not find enough evidence to hang him in the Delhi conspiracy case (in which Master Amir Chand, Balmukund etc. were sentenced to be hanged) and gave him another life sentence p. 63, [40]. He was released in 1919-1920 as part of the first world war victory celebrations of the British p. 64, [40]. He initially retired from active politics and wrote a memoir, Bandi Jeeban, depicting the hard struggle of the revolutionaries in and outside prison, which many revolutionaries found inspirational p. 64, [40]. Subsequently, he resumed his revolutionary activities, and along with other revolutionaries, founded the Hindustan Republican Association, uniting two groups of revolutionaries functioning in UP p. 67, [40]. Fellow revolutionary, Manmathanath Gupta, has assessed him as: "Sachindranath Sanyal was not only a good conspirator, but was a scholar, writer and orator of no mean merit. He at once gave the amalgamated party a name, a constitution and a revolutionary status. His very name was a sure guarantee about the integrity of the party. The party was named Hindustan Republican Association. Its ultimate objective was the federated republic of the United states of India, but its immediate objective was the attainment of Indian independence by an armed and organised revolution". p. 67, [40]. Hindustan Republican Association would embark on multiple daring exploits throughout North India between 1925-1930 (Kakori train hold up, assassination of Saunders, dropping a bomb in Central Assembly, Delhi) and count among its ranks eminent revolutionaries as Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandrasekhar Azad, etc.

In 1925, Sanyal initiated a debate with Gandhi, writing to him with a pseudonym. The letter was published along with Gandhi's response in Young India on February  12, 1925. Sanyal was arrested shortly afterwards from Calcutta, (between February 12, 1925 and April 9, 1925) p. 78, [40], and sentenced to two years of rigorous imprisonment for issuing a revolutionary leaflet likes of which were widely distributed in UP and beyond (many were seized in different places in U.P.). (His grandson, Saurabh Sanyal, has mentioned to us that he was arrested in 1923, which means he either wrote the letter before he was arrested and the letter was mailed later, or he wrote the letter from jail, which was smuggled out by his colleagues. The former option is ruled out since he has written in the letter that Gandhi had tried out his nonviolent noncooperation movement for four years - the noncooperation movement was launched in September 1920 - thus the letter was written at the end of 1924. The latter option is possible as Manmathanath Gupta who had mailed the letter has written that Rajendra Lahiri, who was later hanged, had brought the letter to him from Allahabad - thus Gupta did not get the letter directly from Sanyal. But Gupta states that Sanyal was free around the time the letter was mailed, and he was asked to mail the letter because "the idea was perhaps that in case there was a police enquiry Sanyal should not be arrested"  p. 71, [40]. We have used Gupta's timeline subsequently in this article, with the understanding that Saurabh Sanyal's timeline could also apply, and our analysis would remain same notwithstanding). Sanyal was also tried in the Kakori train hold up (incident on August 9, 1925) case, and given a second life imprisonment primarily on the ground that he was formerly a lifer under similar charges. After Congress formed provincial government in then United province, he was released along with other Kakori conspiracy convicts in 1937 pp. 247, 386, [40]. Subhas Chandra Bose visited him at Lucknow in 1938 at his house and discussed how to start a full-fledged struggle to oust the British. Sanyal suggested that public consciousness be enhanced through continual martyrdom of revolutionaries which would lead to a nationwide revolution. (We have received the information concerning Bose-Sanyal meeting from Shachindranath Sanyal's grandson, Saurabh Sanyal - Shachindranath's wife, late Smt Pratibha Sanyal, and their son, Ranajit  Sanyal , then studying in class 12th were present during the meeting. Ranajit Sanyal is currently living in Calcutta). Shachindranath Sanyal was sent back to jail, developed T.B. there during the second world war, was released from jail, went to Bhowali T. B. Sanatorium but failed to recover and breathed his last at Gorakhpur early in 1945. pp. 398-399,  [39]. His ancestral family home in Varanasi was confiscated by the British government, which has not been returned to his descendants after 66 years of transfer of power (as confirmed by his grand nephew and acclaimed author Sanjeev Sanyal).

We now reproduce parts of the Gandhi-Sanyal debate that are relevant to the Mahatma's elasticity on truth:

Sanyal (February 12, 1925, A Revolutionary's Defence): "I think it my duty to remind you of the promise you made some time back that you would retire from the political field at the time when the revolutionaries will once more emerge from their silence and enter into the Indian political arena. The experiment with the non-violent non co-operation movement is now over. You wanted one complete year for your experiment, but the experiment lasted at least four complete years, if not five, and still do you mean to say that the experiment was not tried long enough?

You are one of the greatest of personalities in the present age and under your direct guidance and inspiration, your programme was actually taken up for some reason or other by the best men in the land. Thousands of young men, the flower of the youth of our country, embraced your cult with all the enthusiasm they could gather. . . . Sacrifice and sincerity on the part of your followers were not wanting. . . . You wanted one crore of rupees and you got more than you wanted. still do you mean to say that the experiment was not tried far enough?...

To say that non-violent non-co-operation failed because the people were not sufficiently non-violent is to argue like a lawyer and not like a prophet. The people could not be more non-violent than they were during the last few years. . .

You have failed to capture the imagination of the youths of the country- youths who could dare and who are still daring to go against your wishes although they unhesitatingly recognise you as one of the greatest of personalities of the modern age. These are the Indian revolutionaries. They have now decided to remain silent no more and therefore they request you to retire from the political field or else to direct the political movement in a way so that it may be a help and not a hindrance to the revolutionary movement." pp 243-245, [26]

Gandhi (February 12, 1925, To Sanyal, A Revolutionary's Defence): "I never made any promise to anybody as to when and how I should retire from the political life of the country. But I did say and now repeat that I would certainly retire if I find that India does not imbibe my message and that India wants a bloody revolution. I should have no part in that movement because I do not believe in its utility either for India, or, which is the same thing, for the world.

I do believe that there was a wonderful response to the call of non-co-operation but I do also believe the success was more than proportionate to the measure of non-co-operation. The wonderful awakening of the masses is a standing demonstration of the fact. " p. 247, [26]

Gandhi had published in Young India his responses to another revolutionary's questions without publishing the letter he sent - the correspondent's name is as yet unknown.

Gandhi (March 12, 1925, To 'Revolutionary In The Making']:  "I am afraid your advice to me to retire from public life is not so easy to follow as it is to give. I claim to be servant of India and there through of humanity. I cannot always have it my own way. If I have had my share of fair weather I must face the foul too. I must not abandon the field of battle so long as I feel that I am wanted. When my work is done and I have become a disabled or worn-out soldier, I shall be put away. Till then I must continue to do my work and endeavour to neutralize in all the ways accessible to me the poison of the revolutionary activity. " pp. 396-397, [29]

Gandhi's articles that we have reproduced show that he had indeed suggested that he would retire if India did not get Swaraj within a year of when he launched his non-cooperation movement in September 1920. He went further to suggest that he would want to die if he could not deliver on his promise. On October 23, 1921 he wrote in Navajivan in an article titled Optimism: " I did, however, mention one thing before some friends. When asked what I would do if we had not got Swaraj by January, I said I had so great a faith in the country that till the very end of December I would continue to believe that we would definitely get Swaraj. What, therefore, I would do in January, I did not know at all, I said. With people's leave, I would retire to a solitary place and live by myself, or would welcome helping the country, to the best of my ability, in drafting its constitution under Swaraj. I should not like to remain alive next year if we have not won Swaraj by then. I am, in that event, likely to be pained so deeply that this body may perish-I would desire that it should. ..... If, putting my trust in the Congress, I issue a draft and then find that it is not honoured, where should I turn? I very much desire that in the event of our failing to get Swaraj [in this year], everyone else should suffer on January 1 as much as I would.......There is no point in continuing to give service when it is not valued as such and none in living if there is no good in it. When the body itself is worn out, would it not be better to live on the Ganga water and let it slowly perish than to keep it alive, a mere skeleton, by treating it with Vasantmalati or some such stuff? As far as I can see today, I shall never advise any course but "adopt swadeshi and win swaraj". If I cannot think of anything else at all, of what service can I possibly be? " pp. 458-459, [93] Then on November 17, 1921: " suppose further that at the end of the year I find that the people are as sceptical as they are today about the present possibility of attainment of Swaraj by means of the peaceful revolution of the wheel; suppose further, that I find that all the excitement during the past twelve months and more has been only an excitement and a stimulation but no settled belief in the programme, and lastly suppose that the message of peace has not penetrated the hearts of Englishmen, should I not doubt my tapasya and feel my unworthiness for leading the struggle? As a true man, what should I do? Should I not kneel down in all humility before my Maker and ask Him to take away this useless body and make me a fitter instrument of service? " pp. 120-121, [60]

On December 11, 1921, he wrote: "I am being implored, on the one hand, not to carry out my threat to retire to the Himalayas if we do not get swaraj by the end of this year. On the other hand, I am asked what face I shall show to the people if we fail to get swaraj. How great will be the people's disappointment? Having made a promise, I shall now realise what an error I have made.......... I expect that readers of Navajivan will not think in this manner. But I know that some of them do. My promise was conditional. Laying down conditions which could be easily fulfilled, I told the people"......If, therefore, people are obliged to ask, at the end of the year, When they would get the promised swaraj, my claim of practical wisdom would have been disproved and I must betake myself to the Himalayas. However, if the people clearly realise that the only way to get swaraj is the one I have pointed out and feel that they have covered a long distance on the road, have almost reached its end, they will have no ground for reproaching me nor I any reason for running away to the Himalayas. We shall then almost have won swaraj. ......If, at the end of the year, the people have not realised through their own experience that swaraj will be won through non-violence, through unity of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Jews, through swadeshi and the removal of untouchability, then I shall have been proved totally deficient in practical wisdom and I must retire to the Himalayas. "  pp. 227-230,  [94]

Sanyal could surely have asked how Gandhi inferred that India had imbibed his message by the end of December 1921 given that he had to withdraw his own movement in February 1922 with the message that: "God has been abundantly kind to me. He has warned me the third time that there is not as yet in India that truthful and non-violent atmosphere which and which alone can justify mass disobedience which can be at all described as civil, which means gentle, truthful, humble, knowing, wilful yet loving, never criminal and hateful......God spoke clearly through Chauri Chaura, " (on February 16, 1922) p. 177, [65]. Or that people were not asking him about the promised Swaraj, when he has himself written on December 11, 1921 that some readers of his periodical Navjivan are asking: " On the other hand, I am asked what face I shall show to the people if we fail to get swaraj. How great will be the people's disappointment" . Sanyal  was arrested around the time Young India ran his letter. So he could not continue further.   

On August 9, 1925, Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan of the Hindustan Republican Association, organised the Kakori train robbery. A group of revolutionaries lead by them, which included Manmathanath Gupta, looted the Number 8 Down Train travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow when it was approaching the town of Kakori, now in Uttar Pradesh. The train was supposed to carry the money-bags belonging to the British Government Treasury. They looted only some of the above bags, and not Indians, and seeking to fund their organisation (Indian big business would not contribute to their cause unlike they did to Gandhi). One passenger was killed by an accidental shot. British launched a massive manhunt arresting 40 revolutionaries from Agra, Allahabad, Banaras, Bengal, Etah, Hardoi, Kanpur, Lahore, Lakhimpur, Lucknow, Mathura, Meerut, Orai, Pune, Raibareli, Shajahanpur, Pratapgarh. Seventeen year old Manmathanath Gupta, who had  continued the debate that Sanyal had started, in letters that were published on April 9, 1925 and May 7, 1925 in Young India, was arrested as part of this manhunt. After the trials, Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqullah were hanged on December 19, 1927, Shachindra Nath Sanyal and Shachindra Nath Bakshi were given life imprisonments, and Manmath Nath Gupta, Yogesh Chandra Chatterji, Bhupen Nath Sanyal and others got various terms of imprisonment. There were widespread protests against the verdict all over the country, and members of the Central Legislature even petitioned the Viceroy, the Privy Council, and Gandhi, to commute the death sentences given to the four men sentenced to execution to life sentences, which were all declined.

Section H: Gandhian vascillation with truth - should India seek independence?     

Gandhi defined Swaraj as full Dominion status on January 19, 1922 pp. 468, [58] p. 63, [55], and on February 23, 1922: " This (Swaraj) does involve the existence of the 'Empire', and if the present custodians of the British Empire are not satisfied with its quiet transformation into a true Commonwealth of free nations, each with equal rights and each having the power to secede at will from an honourable and friendly partnership, all the determination and vigour of 'the most determined people in the world' and the 'hard fibre' will have to be spent in India in a vain effort to crush the spirit that has risen and that will neither bend nor break." pp. 217-219, [67].

After Gandhi's release from English jail, in February 1924, in parallel with these daring assaults launched towards India's freedom, he continued to demand Dominion status and no further. After the Guwahati session of Congress in 1926, Gandhi wrote in Young India: "Year after year a resolution is moved in the Congress to amend the Congress creed so as to define Swaraj as complete independence and year after year happily the Congress throws out the resolution by an overwhelming majority....The moving of the resolution betrays the impatience....of some ardent Congressmen who have lost faith in the British intentions and who think that the British government will never render justice to India. The advocates of independence forget that they betray want of faith in human nature and, therefore, in themselves. Why do they think that there can never be change of heart in those who are guiding the British people? What, therefore, the creed (adopted in 1920) does retain is the possibility of evolution of swaraj within the British empire or call it the British Commonwealth? " p. 52, [80] p. 200, [3], [13].

Meanwhile, under the leadership of Vallabhbhai Patel a formidable peasant movement had been shaping up in Bardoli, Gujarat in 1928 owing to a 20 per cent increase in land revenue by the Raj. As part of the agitation, peasants refused to pay taxes, and resorted to Satyagraha. Their property and agricultural land was confiscated as a result and police repression followed. Vallabhbhai motivated the agitating prisoners telling them that "your land will come back to you knocking at your door. "p. 163, [95]. "A heroic non-violent battle was waged by the peasantry of Bardoli for several months and ultimately the Government had to yield. The whole of Bombay Presidency - and particularly Bombay city - rallied to the support of the Bardoli peasants and women took an active part in the movement" pp. 168-169 [1]. The increase was rescinded in May 1929 p. 170, [95]. But on August 3 Vallabhbhai Patel was offered a settlement by Leslie Wilson, the Governor of the Bombay province that the Raj was prepared to reopen the revenue assessment, release prisoners, reinstate the talatis and headmen who had resigned and return lands that were seized but not yet sold. Vallabhbhai initially rejected the settlement on the ground that it did not return all confiscated lands to their original owners, but agreed on August 6, 1928 p. 167, [95]. Subhas Chandra Bose had written that: "Out of this campaign Vallabhbhai Patel emerged with a great reputation. Prior to this he was of course known as one of the sincerest and staunchest lieutenants of the Mahatma but the Bardoli victory brought him into the front rank of India's leaders. In appreciation of his heroic service, the Mahatma gave him the title of 'Sardar' (meaning leader) by which he is now generally called. " p. 169 [1]. We would shortly see that the peasants whose lands were sold by the Government would never get them back.

In 1928, the British government set up the Simon Commission, headed by John Simon, to assess the political situation in India. All Indian political parties, including the moderate Liberals, boycotted the Commission, because it did not include a single Indian in its membership, and the Simon Commission met with country-wide protests. When the Commission visited Lahore on October 30, 1928, Lajpat Rai led a silent march in protest against it. The superintendent of police, James A Scott, ordered the police to lathi charge the protesters and personally assaulted Rai. An injured Rai subsequently addressed the crowd and said that "I declare that the blows struck at me today will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule in India". He did not fully recover from his injuries and died on November 17, 1928 of a heart attack. Doctors thought that Scott's blows had hastened his death. Meanwhile, after Shachindranath Sanyal's arrest, the Hindustan Republican Association was reorganised as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in September 1928 under the leadership of Chandra Shekhar Azad. HSRA revolutionaries like Azad, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar plotted to kill Scott to avenge Lala Lajpat Rai's murder. The conspiracy led to the assassination of Deputy Superintendent of Police, JP Saunders (owing to mistaken identity) on December 17, 1928. Gandhi immediately condemned the act as follows: "The assassination of the Assistant Superintendent Mr. Saunders of Lahore was a dastardly act apart from whether it had a political motive behind it or not. Violence being in the air, there will no doubt be silent and secret approbation of the act, especially if it is discovered to have had any connection with the assault on Lalaji and his utterly innocent comrades. The provocation was great and it became doubly great by the death of Lalaji which was certainly hastened by the nervous shock received by him from the disgraceful conduct of the police. Some will insist, not without considerable justification, on ascribing the death even to the physical effect of the injury received by the deceased in the region of the heart. The provocation received also additional strength from the Punjab Government's defence of the police conduct. I should not wonder if the assassination proves to be in revenge of the high-handed policy of the Punjab Government. I wish however that it was possible to convince the hot youth of the utter futility of such revenge. Whatever the Assistant Superintendent did was done in obedience to instructions. No one person can be held wholly responsible for the assault and the aftermath. The fault is that of the system of Government. What requires  mending is not men but the system. …..There is equally none in the deliberate secret assassination of an innocent police officer who has discharged his duty however disagreeable its consequences may be for the community to which the assassin belongs. Let us remember that the administrators of the system have held on to the system in spite of previous assassinations. After all the story of the building of the British Empire is not itself wanting in deeds of valour, adventure and sacrifice worthy, in my opinion, of a better cause. If we may regard the assassination of Saunders as a heroic deed the British people would be able to answer this one, I hope, solitary act of so-called heroism with countless such acts enough to fill a volume. " pp. 446-447, [24]. Gandhi therefore blamed Saunders' act on the system and absolved him as one who was discharging his duty, and obliquely threatened his countrymen with the spectre of British repression in response.  

It is therefore not surprising that neither the police brutality on Lala Lajpat Rai's nor the fearless strike on Saunders nor the heroic resistance of the peasants of Bardoli could change Gandhi's stance on Dominion Status vs independence. In December 29, 1928 - January 1, 1929, in an all India session of INC, Gandhi had moved a resolution demanding Dominion Status within a year, failing which, INC will launch non-violent non-cooperation, including non-payment of taxes. But, Subhas Chandra Bose moved an amendment to the effect that Congress would be content with nothing short of independence, which implied severance of the British connection. Gandhi opposed the amendment saying that "young Bengal was making a serious blunder, for to call for complete independence was merely to chant a hollow phrase. " As he had done in 1920, he also said that "if you will help me and follow the program, honestly and intelligently, I promise that Swaraj will come within a year. " pp. 478. [81]. Thus, making false promises was not a one off thing for Gandhi. Bose recalled that "the followers of the Mahatma made it a question of confidence and gave out that if the Mahatma was defeated, he would retire from the Congress Many people therefore voted for his resolution not out of conviction, but because they did not want to be a party to forcing the Mahatma out of the Congress. " pp. 174-175, [1]. Recall that in 1921 when Gandhi failed to deliver Swaraj within the deadline he promised, he himself had resorted to such emotional blackmail to stop masses from voicing their skepticisms of his methods. The amendment lost, 973 votes to 1350 - but was no pushover.    

Subsequently, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt dropped a bomb in Central Assembly, Delhi on April 8, 1929. After the Central Assembly Hall bombings in New Delhi, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and Batukeshwar Dutt were arrested and convicted of their crime. On June 12, 1929 Singh and Dutt were sentenced to life imprisonment. Bhagat Singh would subsequently be tried with Sukhdev and Rajguru in the Lahore conspiracy case that led to the assassination of Saunders.  Meanwhile, another revolutionary, Jatin Das was arrested as part of the conspiracy to kill Saunders. Together with Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt, he did a hunger strike in Lahore jail in protest against the injustice meted out to under-trial political prisoners, and died as a result on September 13, 1929. Jatin Das' martyrdom profoundly inspired Indian youth of the time. Subhas Chandra Bose had described Jatin Das'  martyrdom as follows: "So Jatin Das died on September 13. But he died the death of a martyr. After his death the whole country gave him an ovation which few men in the recent history of India has received. As his dead body was removed from Lahore to Calcutta for cremation, people assembled in their thousands or tens of thousands at every station to pay their homage. His martyrdom acted as a profound inspiration to the youths of India and everywhere student and youth organisations began to grow up. " p. 179, [1], [109]. And, five lakh (of total eight lakh) residents of Calcutta came out to join his funeral procession headed by Subhas Chandra Bose and JM Sengupta, possibly the largest ever in Calcutta p. 208, [3], pp.503-504, Vol. 2, [48], p. 210, [47]. The extent of public support for Bhagat Singh then can be ascertained from Jawaharlal Nehru's writings: "He (Bhagat Singh) became a symbol, the act was forgotten, the symbol remained, and within a few months each town and village of the Punjab, and to a lesser extent in the rest of northern India, resounded with his name. Innumerable songs grew about him and the popularity that the man achieved was something amazing p. 24, [77], pp. 175-176, [90]. During Bhagat Singh's trial, Nehru had to publish Bhagat Singh's and Dutt's statement in the Congress Bulletin, which by his own admission was because "he was compelled to give the statement because there was very general appreciation of it among Congress circles" p. 25, [77], p. 157, [89].

On December 23, 1929 HSRA revolutionaries led by Bhagwati Charan Vohra planned and lead a bomb blast under the train of Viceroy Irwin on the Delhi-Agra railway line. The viceroy escaped unhurt, but the raw courage embedded in the act was much talked about throughout India.  

By now, sensing a groundswell of support for the demand for complete independence, as reflected in the close contest that Bose's amendment in 1928 gave to Gandhi's, and the public support for revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Jatin Das and the bomb blast under Irwin's train, Gandhi changed his stance on independence for at most a month or two. His modus operandi had always been to incorporate parts of the agenda of factions within India's political spectrum that were opposed to him, whenever public pressure would increase in their favor, and suitably rescind the same after the pressure is diffused. As Bose wrote on March 22, 1941, "In 1920, Gandhism took possession of the Indian National Congress and for two decades it has maintained its hold. This has been possible, not merely because of Mahatma Gandhi's personality but also because of his capacity to assimilate other ideas and policies. But for the latter factor, Gandhism would have ceased to dominate the Congress long ago. During its twenty years' domination of the Congress, whenever revolts appeared, the Gandhi movement took the wind out of their sails by accepting many of their ideas and policies….Again in December 1928, at the Calcutta Congress there was a revolt against Gandhism sponsored by the Independence League on the issue of independence. Mahatma Gandhi then advocated Dominion Status and he fought and defeated our resolution on Independence. But a year later, at the Lahore Congress, he himself moved the resolution (on December 31, 1929) declaring that henceforth Independence was to be the goal of  the Indian National Congress " pp. 14-15, [83].

But, no longer content with Congress merely accepting the goal of complete independence as its objective, Bose wanted to have Congress articulate a plan for reaching that goal as also a program for the coming year. Towards that end, he moved an amendment to Gandhi's resolution that "Congress should aim at setting up a parallel government in the country and to that end, should take in hand the task of organizing the workers, peasants and youths. " p. 193, [1]. His speech: "I take this opportunity of conveying my cordial hearty thanks to Mahatma Gandhi for coming forward to move a resolution to declare Swaraj to mean complete independence. But I move this amendment because I believe that the programme laid down by his resolution is not such as to carry us towards the goal of complete independence. My amendment is consistent with the goal and in keeping with the spirit of the times. I have no doubt it will find favour with the younger generation in this country. Mine is a programme of all-round boycott. ......Let us be for complete boycott or none at all. I am an extremist and my principle is - all or none. "  p. 218, [47]. Gandhi responded in the assembly: "We are not yet prepared for parallel government. We ought not to bite more than we can chew.....Hence I ask you to reject summarily the resolution of Subhas Chandra Bose......I would like to follow him through and through if I considered a parallel government a present possibility.....But I suggest to you that we have not that ability today. " pp.167-172, [85] p. 219, [47]. Bose's amendment would lose yet again in the Congress session, though Gandhi's resolution of complete independence would sail through. History tells us that Gandhi would never be ready for parallel government, but during the Quit India movement of 1942, while Gandhi was in jail, without any specific direction from him towards that end, unorganised peasants and students of India would form parallel governments that would function for several months in many parts of India. One can only envision what an organized movement could have accomplished a decade earlier.

In the Lahore Congress of December 1929, Gandhi himself moved a resolution in congratulating the Viceroy on his escape and condemning the revolutionaries. It said: "This Congress deplores the bomb outrage perpetrated on the Viceroy's train and reiterates its conviction that such action is not only contrary to the creed of the Congress but results in harm being done to the national cause. It congratulates the Viceroy and Lady Irwin and their party including the poor servants on their fortunate and narrow escape. " p. 27, [77]. pp. 157, [22]. Indeed, Gandhi's speech went further. In his speech following his moving the resolution, he said, "The Congress Resolution also congratulates the Viceroy and Lady Irwin and their party including the poor servants. In my humble opinion it is a natural corollary to what has been said in the previous  part of the resolution, that we congratulate the Viceroy and Lady Irwin and their party. We lose nothing by using common courtesy. Not only so; we would be guilty of not having understood the implications of our creed if we  forget that those Englishmen, whether in authority or not, who choose to remain in India are our charge, that we who profess this creed of non-violence should consider ourselves trustees for the safety of their lives. " pp. 159, [23]. Many Congressmen opposed the resolution, eg, HD Rajah from Tamil Nadu wondered "What did it matter to them whether the bomb hit the Viceroy or a donkey? " (later the word "donkey" was replaced by "any other" ) p. 27, [77]. As in 1921 and 1928, the supporters of the resolution threatened that if  Congress "wanted to be lead by Gandhi, they should pass this resolution without any opposition" p. 209, [33]. The resolution won, but by a narrow margin, 904 in favor and 823 against p. 27, [77].

Disappointed that Congress was a divided house on approving the above resolution, Gandhi went on to condemn the revolutionaries in an article on January 2, 1930, titled the "Cult of the Bomb" published in Young India on January 2, 1930, pp. 184-186, [32]. Bhagwati Charan Vohra, in consultation with Azad, wrote an article entitled The Philosophy of Bomb in response to Gandhi's article, which dismissed Gandhi's support for the Viceroy with contempt: It (Congress) has changed its creed from Swaraj to Complete Independence (December 31, 1929). As a logical sequence to this, one would expect it to declare a war on the British Government. Instead, we find, it has declared war against the revolutionaries. The first offensive of the Congress came in the form of a resolution deploring the attempt made on December 23, 1929, to blow up the Viceroy's special. It  was drafted by Gandhi and he fought tooth and nail for it, with the result that it was passed by a trifling majority of 81 in a house of 1713... the supporters of the resolution indulged in abuse, called the revolutionaries cowards and described their actions as 'dastardly' -and one of them even threateningly remarked that if they wanted to be lead by Gandhi, they should pass this resolution without any opposition...Having achieved a victory which cost him more than a defeat, Gandhi has returned to the attack in his article 'The Cult of the Bomb.'" pp. 208-209,  [33]

Gandhi effectively rescinded his demand for independence within a month of his complete independence resolution in December, 1929. Bose has written that "On January 30 (1930) he (Gandhi) issued a statement in his paper, Young India, saying that he would be content with the 'substance of independence' and he mentioned eleven points to explain what he meant by that expression. At the same time he virtually gave up the use of the word 'independence' and substituted in his place the more elastic expression, 'substance of independence' or another expression especially coined by him-namely, Purna Swaraj, which he could interpret in his own way. The eleven points enunciated by him had a reassuring effect on all circles that had been alarmed by the idea of independence  and they paved the way for lengthy negotiations in the months to follow. " pp. 197-198 [1]. The discerning reader would now note a remarkable similarity with how in December 1921 Gandhi sought an exit route from his promise to deliver Swaraj in one year by distinguishing between form and substance of Swaraj. His terminology apparently did not change in a decade. The eleven points enumerated demands on social and industrial reforms: 1) prohibition 2) exchange rate between rupee and pound 3) 50 per cent reduction of land revenue 4) abolition of salt tax 5) reduction of military expenditure by 50 per cent 6) reduction of salaries of the higher graded services 7) protective tariff on foreign cloth 8) reserving to Indian ships the coastal traffic of India 9) discharge of all political prisoners 10) abolition of the CID 11) issue of licences to use fire arms for self defence p. 198 [1]. To quote Majumdar, "But the ink with which the Declaration (of independence) had hardly dried, when Gandhi issued a statement in his paper, Young India, which, by no stretch of imagination, could be made compatible with the declaration to which every Indian was asked to subscribe. He enumerated eleven specific items of redress and appealed to the Viceroy in these words, 'This is by no means an exhaustive list of pressing needs. But let the Viceroy satisfy these very simple but vital needs of India. He will then hear no talk of civil disobedience, and the Congress will heartily participate in any conference where there is perfect freedom of expression and demand' pp. 271, [154].

Post complete independence resolution, Bose had noted that "though the Congress accepted the goal of complete independence as its objective, no plan was laid down for reaching that goal - nor was any programme of work adopted for the coming year. A more ridiculous state of affairs could not be imagined, but in public affairs, we are sometimes inclined to lose not only our sense of reality but our common sense as well. " pp. 193-194 [4]. Gandhi's actions a month before and after this resolution explains why he did not announce a program towards attaining the lofty goal of independence - the resolution was intended to diffuse public pressure on Congress for striving for independence which Gandhi never wanted. HSRA revolutionaries were planning to rescue Bhagat Singh and others under trial in the Lahore Conspiracy Case through a bomb blast. Vohra died in Lahore on May 28, 1930 while testing a bomb for this purpose and the plan could not be executed. On October 7, 1930, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of Saunders - the date of the execution was scheduled for late March, 1931.

Section I: The second Gandhian mass movement - civil disobedience and its betrayal   

In 1930, Gandhi announced his Dandi March and Salt Satyagraha, which was liberally supported by big Indian industrialists, because of his inclusion of their core demands in his substance of independence: a) Protection for Indian cloth via raising tariff for foreign cloth b) Control of exchange rate with Indian government and financial autonomy and c) Reservation of Coastal Shipping to Indian Companies. Further, Gandhi excluded all the demands of organised labour in his 11-point demand. This overture brought over many businessmen, including neutral Thakurdas faction, to the side of the Congress pp. 71-72, [84]. GD Birla gave between one and five lakhs between January 1930 and March 1931, Bombay Mills made their contributions liberally via SK Patil, and Kasturbhai Lalbhai led Ahmedabad mills also donated generously to the Civil Disobedience movement pp. 122, [86].

On April 6, 1930 Gandhi started civil disobedience by appropriating pieces of salt lying on a beach p. 202, [1], and the movement soon reached its height. To suppress the movement, the authorities resorted to: 1) indiscriminate and brutal use of force, 2) attack on women 3) wanton destruction of property. The unarmed agitators, including women, were attacked with powerful sticks, which being iron-shod or covered with leather, could split human skulls with ease. Shooting was occasionally resorted to - on April 23, several hundreds were shot and killed in Peshawar on one day pp. 205-206, [1]. In a letter addressed to the Viceroy, on the eve of his arrest in early may, which was published in Young India on May 8, 1930, Gandhi had enumerated the atrocities as: "Bones have been broken, private parts have been squeezed for the purpose of making volunteers give up salt which is valueless to the Government but precious to the volunteers. At Mathura an Assistant magistrate is said to have snatched the National flag from a ten-year old boy.....Paddy fields are reported to have been burnt (in Bengal), eatables forcibly taken. A vegetable market in Gujarat has been raided because the dealers would not sell vegetables to officials. " pp.  207-208, [1]. An English disciple of Gandhi, Madeleine Slade, had documented the atrocities on Satyagrahis in an article published in Young India on June 12, 1930: 1)Lathi blown on head, chest, stomach and joints 2) thrusts with lathis in private parts, abdominal regions 3) stripping of men naked before beating 4) tearing off loin-cloth and thrusting of sticks into anus 5) pressing and squeezing of testicles till a man becomes unconscious  6) dragging of wounded men by legs and arms, often beating them the while 7) throwing of wounded men into thorn hedges or salt-water 8) riding of horses over men as they lie and sit on the ground 9) thrusting of pins and thorns into men's bodies 10) beating of men after they have become unconscious, and other vile things too many to relate, besides foul language and blasphemy, calculated to hurt as much as possible the most sacred feelings of the Satyagrahis.  p. 208, [1].  

Despite the reign of terror that the masses put up with in response to Gandhi's call, by the end of year, big business was tiring of it, and plainly afraid of the consequences of the popular unrest it was stirring. Therefore, they began to pressure Gandhi to come to terms with Viceroy Irwin, as noticed by many British government officials. In January 1931, a British circular mentioned 'an increasing unwillingness on part of the Commercial community to contribute towards the movement' pp. 77, [84]. In February 1931, the governor of Bombay, Sir Frederic Sykes cabled Lord Irwin "A number of Gandhi's followers, particularly among the mercantile community, are contemplating a breach with him unless he adopts a more reasonable attitude" [87]. The increasing pressure of the business community played a part in the conditional surrender of Gandhi to Viceroy Irwin, culminating in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact in March 1931 pp. 140-141, [88].  

On March 5, 1931, Gandhi entered into the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, with Viceroy Irwin, which his close associate and a "permanent" member of his working committee, JB Kipalani would later describe as follows: "This pact was a compromise wherein Gandhiji had seemingly to give in a lot. Everybody expected that any pact with the Government would include a judicial inquiry into the excesses committed by the police and the army during the course of the movement. Gandhiji was, however, requested by Irwin not to insist on such an inquiry, as it would affect his prestige. Gandhiji, always anxious to accommodate his opponents, agreed." p. 134, [2]. The pact did not even mention independence nor Dominion Status. Big business greatly welcomed the Gandhi-Irwin pact, as evidenced by the words of Thakurdas as "a return to political sanity" p. 102, [84]. Further, in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, business did gain some concessions like higher tariffs on textiles, without any preference to Lancaster.  But, what were the gains that Gandhi saw from the pact? In the words of JB Kipalani: " To Gandhiji the real gain was that for the first time India and Britain had discussed matters concerning the country on equal terms " p. 134, [2]. Paraphrasing, overwhelmed by the fact that the colonial masters had treated him on equal terms, Gandhi traded off an enslaved nation's demand for justice for at best a symbolic gain. Subhas Chandra Bose criticised the Gandhi-Irwin pact on the following grounds: 1) the pact avoided the main issue of Swaraj 2) it proposed drafting of a constitution of India on the basis of a Federation and safeguards necessary in the interests of India 3) provided amnesty to political prisoners incarcerated in connection with non-violent movements 4) excluded the original demand of inquiry into police atrocities in the preceding civil disobedience movement. With regards to 3), Bose objected to the exclusion from amnesty of a) the detenus incarcerated without trial (there were about 1000 in Bengal alone) b) convicted and under-trial revolutionaries c) prisoners incarcerated in connection with labour strikes and other labour disputes d) Gahrwali soldiers who had been court-martialled and given heavy sentences for refusing to fire on unarmed masses e) participants of the civil disobedience movement who have been charged of violence f) under-trials in the Meerut conspiracy case, pp. 225, 230-231 [1]. By selectively ensuring amnesty for only those political prisoners who adhered to non-violence, Gandhi ensured that his ground level followers in Congress would remain functional, while British would have the liberty to persecute the revolutionaries and leftists who targeted autocratic British functionaries (police and civilian) and resorted to strikes and other labor movements.

The All India Congress session met in Karachi on March 26, and its plenary session was held on March 29. In this plenary session, then Congress President, Gandhi's staunch follower Vallabhbhai Patel "gave the go by to the Lahore resolution on independence and advocated dominion status for India'" in his opening speech as Congress President p. 229, [1]. Pertaining to the Bardoli peasant agitation spearheaded by Vallabhbhai Patel, the Gandhi-Irwin pact agreed that "where immovable property has been sold to third parties, the transaction must be regarded as final, so far as the Government are concerned".  Non-governmental efforts for the return of sold land to original owners could naturally continue (with or without the pact) p. 200, [95]. Thus, the farmers whose lands were confiscated and sold to a third party would not get them back. Despite Vallabhbhai Patel's promise to the Bardoli farmers that all their confiscated land would be returned and that he rose to nationwide prominence due to the Bardoli agitation, he did not break with Gandhi on this count. Instead, as Congress President he took a lead role in getting the pact ratified in Karachi Congress, March 26-29, 1931.

So, just as the non-cooperation movement of 1920-21 was withdrawn in February 1922 without any tangible gain, the civil disobedience movement of 1930 ended with the abject surrender that the Gandhi-Irwin pact of 1931 was.    

Section J: The false Gandhian promise that Sukhdev never got to know     

Bhagat Singh, Shukhdev and Rajguru were ineligible for amnesty under the Gandhi-Irwin pact as they were convicted of revolutionary offence, and the pact had secured amnesty only for political prisoners charged with non-violence offenses. After the Gandhi-Irwin pact was inked on March 5, Sukhdev wrote to Gandhi appealing that he secure the release all political prisoners (explicitly excluding himself and his two other colleagues from the ambit of his appeal), and urging him not to seek to alienate the revolutionaries from the masses. On March 23, 1931, that is in less than three weeks after the Gandhi-Irwin pact was inked, Bhagat Singh, Shukhdev and Rajguru were hanged. Batukeshwar Dutt, who had dropped a bomb at the Central Assembly, Delhi, along with Bhagat Singh, had communicated the following in his deathbed on February 11, 1965: "Talking of Bhagat Singh, he (Batukeshwar Dutt) said the latter was informed by the authorities about five' O clock one evening that he was to be hanged a few hours later. Bhagat Singh and two other revolutionaries, Raj Guru and Sukh Dev, then walked fearlessly to their gallows and gave their lives for their country with great courage and pride. He went on to say that their bodies were cremated by government the same day on the dry bed of river Sutlej and left there mercilessly half charred". Appendix, LXX, [39]. BM Kaul has confirmed the same account in "The Untold Story": "The British had not allowed Bhagat Singh's body to be handed over to his next-of-kin, fearing that it would incite the masses. It is alleged that his charred corpse is left on the dry bed of the river Sutlej where it was found by the locals the next morning. " Appendix, LXIX, [39].

Sukhdev's letter was published in Young India, along with Gandhi's response, on April 23, 1931, that is, after he was hanged.

Sukhdev (March 5-23, 1931, letter published on April 23, 1931]: "Since your compromise (Gandhi-Irwin pact) you have called off your movement and consequently all of your prisoners have been released. But, what about the revolutionary prisoners? Dozens of Ghadar Party prisoners imprisoned since 1915 are still rotting in jails; inspite of having undergone the full terms of their imprisonments scores of martial law prisoners are still buried in these living tombs, and so are dozens of Babbar Akali prisoners. Deogarh, Kakori, Machhua Bazar and Lahore Conspiracy Case prisoners are amongst those numerous still locked behind bars. More than half a dozen conspiracy trials are going on at Lahore, Delhi, Chittagong, Bombay, Calcutta and elsewhere. Dozens of revolutionaries are absconding and amongst them are many females. More than half a dozen prisoners are actually waiting for their executions. What about all of these people? The three Lahore Conspiracy Case condemned prisoner (Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru), who have luckily come into prominence and who have acquired enormous public sympathy, do not form the bulk of the revolutionary party. Their fate is not the only consideration before the party. As a matter of fact their executions are expected to do greater good than the commutation of their sentences. "  p. 477, [34]

Indifferent to the fate of a fallen martyr, the Bapu gloated in his response in Young India on April 23, 1931 as: "Moreover, authors of political murder count the cost before they enter upon their awful career. No action of mine can possibly worsen their fate. " p. 416, [35]. To the specific charge above, he responded:  "The open letter complains that prisoners other than satyagrahis have not been released. I have explained in these pages the reasons why it was impossible to insist on the release of the other prisoners. Personally, I want the release of all of them. I would make every effort to secure their release. I am aware that some of them ought to have been discharged long ago. The Congress has a resolution in that behalf. Sjt. Nariman has been appointed by the Working Committee to collect all names. As soon as he has got the list, steps will be taken to secure their release. But those who are out must help by preventing revolutionary murder. We may not have the cake and also eat it. Of course there are political prisoners who should be discharged in any case. I can only give the assurance to all concerned that the delay is due not to want of will but to want of ability. Let it be also remembered that when the final settlement comes, if it does, in the course of a few months, all political prisoners must be discharged. If it does not come, those who are trying to secure the release of the other political prisoners will find themselves in prison. " pp. 416-417, [35]. We would let the reader judge how much will Gandhi showed in his attempt to release Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, by quoting Viceroy Irwin's and his notes of their discussions on the topic. Irwin has reported as follows about an interview with Gandhi: In conclusion and not connected with the above, he(Gandhi) mentioned the case of Bhagat Singh. He did not plead for commutation, although he would, being opposed to all taking of life, take that course himself. He also thought it would have an influence for peace. But he did ask for postponement in present circumstances. I contented myself with saying that, whatever might be the decision as to exact dates, I could not think there was any case for commutation which might not be made with equal force in the case of any other violent crime. The Viceroy's powers of commutation were designed for use on well-known grounds of clemency, and I could not feel that they ought to be invoked on grounds that were admittedly political. pp.151, [36].  

Gandhi has reported as follows about an interview on February 18, 1931 with Irwin on Bhagat Singh: These two titbits are not worth narrating anywhere. Now the third one. I talked about Bhagat Singh. I told him : "This has no connection with our discussion, and it may even be inappropriate on my part to mention it. But if you want to make the present atmosphere more favourable, you should suspend Bhagat Singh's execution." The Viceroy liked this very much. He said : "I am very grateful to you that you have put this thing before me in this manner. Commutation of sentence is a difficult thing, but suspension is certainly worth considering. " I said about Bhagat Singh: "He is undoubtedly a brave man but I would certainly say that he is not in his right mind. However, this is the evil of capital punishment, that it gives no opportunity to such a man to reform himself. I am putting this matter before you as a humanitarian issue and desire suspension of sentence in order that there may not be unnecessary turmoil in the country. I myself would release him, but I cannot expect any Government to do so. I would not take it ill even if you do not give any reply on this issue. " pp.152, [36]. After the execution of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, on March 23, 1931, Gandhi affirmed that: "We must realise that commutation of the sentences was not a part of the truce. We may accuse the Government of violence but we cannot accuse it of breach of the settlement. " p. 293, [36]. On March 26, 1931, when Gandhi was asked in a press interview, "Does the execution of Bhagat Singh and his friends alter your position in any way with regard to the(Gandhi-Irwin) settlement" He answered: My own personal position remains absolutely the same, though the provocation has been of the most intense character. I must confess that the staying of these executions was no part of the truce, and so far as I am concerned, no provocation offered outside the terms will deflect me from the path I had mapped out when I agreed to the settlement. pp.301-302, [36].

In his response to Sukhdev, Gandhi was probably referring to concessions that he sought to attain from the second round table conference held at the end of 1931as the "final settlement." He returned empty handed from this conference in 1932, announced a civil disobedience movement in January 1932 and he did go to jail as he promised within a week of his announcement of the second civil disobedience movement. But the condition of the jail where Gandhi was hosted was such that his arrest came to him as "an act of God's infinite mercy, " and when Patel and Gandhi's secretary, Mahadev Desai arrived, they became, as Gandhi said "a merry company" pp. 162, [38], and were "practically enjoying themselves. " pp.162, [37], p. 205, [3]. Gandhi was released in 1933, he called off the civil disobedience movement right after, and his freedom was unhinged between May 8, 1933 (p. 152, [2]) and August 9, 1942 (p. 152, [2]), while many other political prisoners, particularly those accused of revolutionary offences, continued in dreaded jails until 1937, 1938 (eg, Bina Das, Shanti Chowdhury, Suniti Ghosh, Shachindranath Sanyal, Yogesh Chandra Chatterji, Manmatha Nath Gupta).


[1] Subhas Chandra Bose, The Indian Struggle (1920-1942)

[2] JB Kripalani , Gandhi His Life and Thought   

[3] Suniti Ghosh The Tragic Partition of Bengal

[4] G D Birla In the Shadow of the Mahatma

[5] Complete Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi's letter to Natarajan, 25/02/1918, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL017.PDF

[6] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, Chandra Mauli Singh, Why Brits disliked Netaji and made a Mahatma out of Gandhi http://www.dailyo.in/politics/the-gandhi-bose-interaction-personality-cult-money-power-foreign-influence-divisive-politics/story/1/3967.html

[7] WORSE THAN MARTIAL LAW Young India, 19-1-1922 pp. 471-473 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[8] G D Birla ``Bapu - A unique association''   

[9] Judith M. Brown ``Gandhi's rise to power - Indian Politics 1915-1922''  

[10] Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi's appeal in a speech in Nadiad, 22/06/1918. http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL017.PDF

[11] Nirmal Kumar Bose, Selections from Gandhi, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, April, 1957

[12] -ibid, NOTES REPRESSION IN BENGAL, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[13] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, ``Netaji's Modernism Versus Gandhi's Spiritual Swaraj'' http://www.dailyo.in/politics/mahatma-gandhi-subhas-chandra-bose-socialism-british-raj-independence-nehru/story/1/4164.html

[14] Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, A Taxing Examiner, Young India, 06/04/1921. http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL023.PDF

[15] - ibid, Presidential Address at Belgaum Congress, December 29, 1924 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL029.PDF

[16] NEXT IS GUNPOWDER Young lndia, 12-1-1922 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[17] - ibid, JAWAHARLAL NEHRU'S NOTE ON REPRESSION IN THE UNITED PROVINCES Young India, 18-8-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[18] - ibid, DESHBANDHU DAS,  Young India, 15-12-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[19] - ibid, A DELECTABLE ASSORTMENT December 19, 1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[20] - ibid,  A"HOPEFUL SIGN" Young India, 22-12-192l http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[21] - ibid, NOTES Young India, 6-10-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[22] - ibid, AICC Resolution moved by Gandhi, Lahore Congress, 31/12/1929, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL048.PDF

[23] - ibid, Gandhi speech at Congress Session, Lahore-I 31/12/1929, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL048.PDF

[24] Curse of Assassination, Young India, 27/12/1928, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL043.PDF

[25] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj,  Did Mahatma Gandhi really oppose violence? http://www.dailyo.in/politics/mahatma-gandhi-subhas-chandra-bose-non-violence-british-raj-independence-nehru/story/1/4225.html

[26] A revolutionary's defence, Young India, February 12, 1925 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL030.PDF

[27] REPRESSION IN SIND Young India, 22-9-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[28] NOTES AFFLICTED MADRAS, Young India, 29-9-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[29] To `Revolutionary In The Making'' Young India, April 30, 1925 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL031.PDF

[30] A VENOMOUS PROSECUTION Young India, 18-8-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[31] STATEMENT OF REPRESSION IN PRINCELY STATES, Aaj, 25-8-1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[32] The Cult of the Bomb Young India, January  2, 1930, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL048.PDF

[33] The Philosophy of the Bomb, Young India,  January 2, 1930, reproduced in ``To Make the Deaf Hear'' by S. Irfan Habib, Appendix C.3, pp. 205-217  

[34]  Sukhdev's letter to Gandhi, Letter from Sukhdev, Young India , 23/04/1931 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL051.PDF

[35] Gandhi's response to Sukhdev, One of the Many, Young India , 23/04/1931, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL051.PDF

[36]  Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi's statements on Bhagat Singh  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL051.PDF

[37] - ibid, Letter to Raojibhai Patel, 25/03/1932, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL055.PDF

[38] - ibid, Letter to Mirabehn, 26/03/1932, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL055.PDF

[39] Jogesh Chandra Chatterji, In Search of Freedom

[40] Manmathnath Gupta, ``They Lived Dangerously''

[41] Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh's Condolence speech, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL051.PDF

[42] All men are Brothers, Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as Told in his Own Words, Compiled and Edited by Krishna Kripalani,  Introduction by Sarvepelli Radhakrishnan

[43] NON-VIOLENCE Young India, 28-7-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[44] Ramesh Chandra Majumdar ``History and Culture of the Indian people - Vol. XI - The Struggle For Freedom''

[45] SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, ALLAHABAD, August 10, 1921,   The Leader, 12-8-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[46] REPRESSION IN THE UNITED PROVINCES, Young India, 18-8-1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[47] Leonard A. Gordon, Brothers Against the Raj - Biography of Indian Nationalists, Sarat and Subhas Chandra Bose  

[48] D. G. Tendulkar,  Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Vol I, New Delhi, 1969, Vols II-VIII, Bombay, 1951-1954

[49] MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF DHARWAR, The Bombay Chronicle, 14-7-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL023.PDF

[50] NOBLE REPENTANCE AND ITS LESSON Young India, 28-7-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[51] Complete Works of Mahatma Gandhi,  Conversations with Members of the Rashtriya Yuvak Sangh, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL082.PDF p.337

[52] ibid, NOTES SWAMI GOVINDANAND, Young India, 11-5-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[53] -ibid, REPRESSION IN C. P, Young India, 25-5-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[54] AFFLICTED SIND http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL023.PDF

[55] Sir C. Sankaran Nair, ``Gandhi and Anarchy'', 1922.

[56] Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi,  Speech on Non-Cooperation Resolution, Calcutta Congress, 20/09/1920, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL021.PDF

[57] -ibid, Interview to the Times of India, 29/12/1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[58] - ibid, Malaviya Conference, 19/01/1922 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[59] - ibid, Speech at Merchants Meeting, 26/01/1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[60]-ibid, Introspection, Young India, 15-12-1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[61] -ibid A Crop of Difficulties, Young India, 15-12-1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[62]-ibid Gandhi's fund generation drive, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[63]-ibid Gandhi's fund generation drive http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL023.PDF

[64] -ibid ALREADY FREE, Young India, 12/1/1922 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[65] -ibid The Crime of Chauri Chaura http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL026.PDF

[66] C Gopalan Nair, ``Moplah Rebellion'', 1921

[67] Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, SHAKING THE MANES,  Young India, 23/2/1922 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL026.PDF pp. 217-219,

[68] - ibid, The Great Trial, Young India, 23/3/1922 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL026.PDF p. 380

[69] - ibid, Moplah Tragedy, Young India, December 8, 1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[70] -ibid, Hindus and Moplahs, Young India, January 26, 1922,  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL026.PDF

[71] -ibid, Gandhi's speech on the Moplah Outbreak, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[72] - ibid, THE KHILAFAT, Young India, August 18, 1921  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[73] M. S. Rajaram, Gandhi Khilafat and the National Movement, A Revisionist views based on neglected sources

[74] Tirtha Mandal, The Women Revolutionaries of Bengal, Minerva Associates, 1991

[75] R. C. Majumdar, History of Modern Bengal, Part II, C. Bharadwaj and Co., 1981

[76] M. R. Jayakar The Story of my Life II, Vol. II, Bombay, 1959

[77] S. K. Mittal and Irfan habib, The Congress and the Revolutionaries in the 1920s, Social Scientist, Vol. 10, No. 6 (June 1982), pp. 20-37

[78] Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Defeated and Humbled, Young India, 03/07/1924, pp. 248 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL028.PDF

[79] ibid, The Acid Test, Young India, 19/06/1924  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL028.PDF

[80] - ibid, INDEPENDENCE, Young India, 13/01/1927 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL038.PDF

[81] -ibid, Speech on Resolution on Nehru Report, Calcutta Congress III, 31/12/1928, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL043.PDF

[82] -ibid, Malaviya Conference, Young India, 19/01/1922 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[83] Subhas Chandra Bose, Writings and Speeches 1941-1943,  Netaji Collected Works, Vol. 11, Forward Bloc - Its Justification

[84] C. Markovits, ``Indian Business and Nationalist Politics''

[85] Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi's speech at Congress Session, Lahore II, 31/12/1929, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL048.PDF

[86] Sir David Petrie, ``Logic of Gandhian Nationalism''

[87] Sykes to Irwin, Telegram, 07/02/1931, Sykes MSS Eur.F.150/3(a) IOL.

[88] S. Sarkar, `Logic of Gandhian Nationalism'

[89] Report of the Congress Session, Karachi, 1931, NMML,  SWJN, Vol 4

[90] J Nehru ``An Autobiography'', Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1941

[91] Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Home Rule, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL010.PDF

[92] - ibid, Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule, Young India, 26/01/1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[93] -ibid, Optimism,  Navajivan, 23-10-1921, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL024.PDF

[94]-ibid, One Year's Time Limit http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF

[95] Rajmohan Gandhi,  Patel - A Life

[96] Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, , REPRESSION IN C. P, Young India, 13-4-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[97] -ibid, REPRESSION IN BIHAR, Young India, 2-3-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[98] -ibid, NOTES Young India, 9-3-1921,  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[99] -ibid, INTERVIEW TO THE DAILY HERALD  March 16, 1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[100] -ibid, NOTES REPRESSION AND ITS LESSON, Young India, 30-3-192l http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[101] -ibid, RESOLUTIONS AT A.I.C.C. MEETING, BEZWADA March 31, 1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[102] -ibid, THE SIN OF SECRECY, Young India, 22-12-1920,  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[103] -ibid,  SOME QUESTIONS,  http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[104] -ibid, REPRESSION GALORE, Young India, 2-3-1921 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL022.PDF

[105]-ibid, FROM RIDICULE TO-? Young India, 20/10/1920 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL021.PDF pp. 370-371

[106]-ibid, TO EVERY ENGLISHMAN IN INDIA, Young India, 27-10-1920 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL021.PDF pp. 370-371

[107]-ibid, NOTES, Young India, 3-11-1920 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL021.PDF pp. 370-371

[108]-ibid,  A TRIUMPH OF NON-VIOLENCE, Young India, 17-11-1920 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL021.PDF pp. 370-371

[109] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj,  ``Subhas Chandra Bose's connections with revolutionaries of India'' http://www.dailyo.in/politics/revolutionary-association-of-subhas-bose-mahatma-gandhi-british-independence-ina/story/1/4197.html

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