Those 15 Days 

12th August 1948 

:Prashant Pole 

Today is Tuesday, 12th August. Today is also Parama Ekadashi, Ekadashi which comes in Purushottam month. 

Couple of people around Gandhiji stationed in Sodepur Ashram near Calcutta, have fast on the occasion of Parama Ekadashi. Fruits have been arranged for them. However, Gandhiji is occupied with his thoughts about his meeting with SuharaVardi last night. 

Shahid Suharavardi 

Reference of Shahid in this name has nothing to do with martyrdom. Rather it is synonymous with a murderer. He is the main culprit behind 1946 Direct Action. He came to meet Gandhiji after 1 year of that incident. He has blood of 5 thousand Hindus, who were butchered on the day of Direct Action, on his hand and yet he is so remorseless. Extremely cunning, a philanderer, an addict and a cruel of highest order, looks very educated and civilized. Quiet modern in his outfit, but a fundamentalist Muslim to the core. 

There is huge gathering today for Gandhiji’s prayer meet. Some journalists are also present. Gandhiji starts speaking after his prayer meet. 

“In couple of days, on 15th August, an important date is going to be inscribed in Indian History. I am hearing that some Muslims are planning to observe this day as a day of mourning. I sincerely wish that the same does not happen. It is quite evident that there may be different perspectives on how to celebrate this day. We are also not keen to enforce a particular way of celebration on anybody. Now the question is what Hindus should do in Pakistan? Well, I feel they should render their respect to Pakistani Flag”. 

“I am also hearing that Indians in French and Portuguese colonies (Goa, Daman, Deev, Puducherry etc.) are also going to declare their independence on the same day. To me, it is utter non-sense. It will be inferred as an act of chauvinism. British are leaving Indian, not French and Portuguese. I feel they too will be liberated in due course, however they should not take laws in their own hands”. 

“Last night Mr. Shahid Suharavardi came to meet me and requested me not to leave Calcutta under such turbulent atmosphere. He asked me to extend my stay here till conditions normalize here”. 

“I decided to concede to his request on one condition. Both of us will stay under one roof without ant police or army protection in a turbulent area. Boundary commission will publish its report in few days. Both Hindus and Muslims need to abide by the ruling.” 


King of Kashmir rusticated his prime minister Ramchandra Kak. Ramchandra Kak’s 2 year tenure as prime minister was highly controversial. His open animosity towards congress and Jawaharlal Nehru was quite evident in those years. 

Some months back, from 19th June to 23rd June 1947, Lord Mountbatten was on a visit to Kashmir. He then urged Maharaja of Kashmir to let Kashmir be assimilated with Pakistan. Maharaj of Kashmir outrightly rejected the idea. Mr. Kak mooted the idea that if Kashmir cannot be assimilated with Pakistan, then it should not go with India either. He suggested the king that let Kashmir be independent. 

On his visit to Kashmir some days back, If Gandhiji would have put his foot down saying that Kashmir would be assimilated with India, many questions would have resolved then and there itself. But Gandhiji was showing equanimity towards both India and Pakistan and therefore made no statement on the assimilation of Kashmir. On the insistence of Nehru, He just asked Maharaja of Kashmir to rusticate Mr. Kak. 

Maharaja HariSingh heeded the advice of GandhiJi and nominated JanakSingh, a relative of his from Himachal Pradesh, as his new Prime Minister. Ramchandra kak tried to flee but was duly apprehended in his house itself. 

A new chapter in the politics of Kashmir had begun. 


Labor ministry issued an order nominating Dr. JeevRaj Mehta as Director General of Medical Services. It was an historical event of sorts. For the first time somebody from outside Indian Medical Services was nominated for this coveted post. Dr. JeevRaj Mehta was the personal physician of GandhiJi from last 20 years. 


French government of the day took back all the inhibitions on Rally’s and meetings and declared that all individuals apprehended on these charges would be released soon. 

French governor and other officials met GandhiJi and formally announced this order. Same order would be applicable to Mahe and ChandanNagar along with Puducherry. 


Since last night, Lahore is burning with communal riots. Somebody put up a grapevine that Redcliff Border commission has recommended Lahore to be assimilated with India. 

It was good enough reason for Muslim National Guard to go on rampage. Normal Muslims also got carried away with this news. In some areas of Lahore, Sangh swayamsewaks exhibited an unparalleled courage and conviction and saved many lives of Hindus and Sikhs. There was an Intelligence that Muslim National Guard was planning to attack Sangh office in Lahore even if it was located in a Hindu dominated area. Many swayamsewaks encircled Sangh office and stayed there for the whole night. 

Since morning 10 am Muslim goons accelerated their violent activities. Sikhs, on account of their outfits, were easily recognizable and therefore became the easy targets. At 11 am, Muslim goons killed an elderly Sikh person in DeputyGanj, a Hindu-Sikh dominated area, in broad day light. His intestines were taken out. He kept struggling for 5 minutes and eventually died in the middle of the road. 

Inhumanity was roaring on the roads of Lahore. Till 3pm, official casualties have crossed 50, majority of them being Sikhs and Hindus. A lucky few could make it to Hospital. Their wounds were so deep and macabre that doctors and nursing staff were literally fighting with death to save those lives. By noon, Gurudaspur and Layalpur were also burning with riots. 

By 4pm, Governor Jenkins telegrammed Lord MountBaiton that Lahore and Amritsar police cannot be trusted. Muslim National Guard is rioting in police attire. Situation is out of control. 

Lahore is burning, along with Lahore whole Punjab is burning but those cries seem to fall on deaf ers of policy makers in Delhi. 

Calcutta…2pm in the afternoon 

2.5 lakh Muslim sailors at Calcutta port published a pamphlet threating an indefinite strike if Calcutta is not assimilated with Pakistan. Since 1690, When Calcutta port was built, it has been under control of Muslims. Therefore, to hand it over to Hindu Dominated west Bengal is not rational. 

Calcutta…Sodepur Ashram 2pm in the afternoon 

Gandhiji is taking his afternoon nap. Ex-mayor of Calcutta, ‘Prime Minister’ of undivided Bengal and representative of Shahid Suharavardi, Usman has no option but to wait to meet Gandhiji. 

At 3 pm, Usman meets GandhiJi. Usman is carrying a letter from Shahid Suharavardi. Through this letter Suharavardi agrees to GandhiJi’s proposal of staying under one roof. Many suggested GandhiJi not to trust Suharavardi. But it was not GandhiJi’s habit to term anybody uncredulous without any reason. GandhIji agreed to stay with Suharavardi under one roof. 

Karachi…2 pm in afternoon 

A soon to be over congress office in Karachi has prepared a press note for the newspapers. This is edited by All India congress secretary Acharya J.B. Kriplani. He himself is present in Karachi. However nobody in office congress is willing to meet Acharya Kriplani. 

This press note denounces all the allegations on him and Congress put forth by Liyakat Ali Khan. 

“Yesterday Liyakat Ali Khan put an allegation on me that I am provoking Hindus of Sindh to revolt against the government. I denounce all such allegations. I have been objecting to the slogan “Hus ke liya hai pakistan, lad ke lenge Hindustan”(Pakistan we got with smile, India we will take with fight). I am urging both Hindus and Muslims to refrain from such provocative remarks. If Indian Army comes to border, Hindus in Pakistan will face a hard time. Similarly if Pakistani army lands on border, Indian Muslims will face hard time. Congress is still hopeful about undivided India, however we would like to have it with peaceful manner”. 

Delhi Governor House 

Lord Mountbatten is sitting in his office with his eyes closed. History of British Empire in India is being played under his closed eyes. It is today that the first political representation of British was established in undivided India. On 12th August 1765, “Allahabad Treaty” was signed. That way East India Company was operating in India since 1600. East India Company signed many treaties before “Allahabad Treaty”, with Mughals, with Marathas, with Nizams. However, all of those treaties were commercial in nature. After the war of Buxor, it was the first time that British signed their first political treaty with Mughal King Shah Alam (Second). It all happened 182 years before. Since then on, much water has flown into Ganga. 1857 mutiny happened in between. Now the British Empire is going to pass on the baton to Indians in next 2 days. 

Suddenly he was awakened from his thoughts. There is no time and relevance now to look at the past. We need to look at the present. There was an immediate business in front of him and that was to segregate the Army of Undivided India. Out of 10 squadrons of Airforce, 2 is to go to Pakistan and 8 to India. On the similar lines, 2 units of Navy and Army will be given to India and one unit to Pakistan. 

However, Till April 1948, Field Marshall Claude Auchinleck will be supreme commander for both the armed forces. Lord Mountbatten will remain chairman of Joint Defence Council. 


Indians in London are highly excited to celebrate Indian Independence. Indian Tricolour will be hoisted on India house on 15th august. British Prime Minister Atlee and his cabinet colleagues have been invited for the same. This program will be presided by the then Indian High Commissioner of Britain, Mr. Krishna Menon. This will happen at 11am on 15th August. 

Independence will also be celebrated at many other places and mong small groups in London. All Indian Restaurants in London will be coloured with Indian Tricolour. Indian students in Westend will host a function in “Swaraj House”. Socialist leader, AchyutRao Patwardhanwill be the main speaker in the gala organized by Indian Workers Association. 

On 14th August, at 11:45 pm, a special screening of the film named “Dharati” is planned in Royal Taukis located on North Ridge Road in Singapore. Trilok Kapoor and Mumtaz Shanti are the main protagonists in the movie which is already a hit at many other places. 

Haidari Manzil, Calcutta BeliyaGhat 

This is the place where Gandhiji and Suharavardi will stay under one roof. This building originally belonged to a British businessman. But in 1923, Some Dawudi Bohra Muslims, A sect of Shia Muslims from Western India, bought some property in Calcutta. Once Such property was Haidari Manzil. A Bohra businessman named, Shekh Adam, bought this building. Before dying Shekh Adam made his daughter HusainiBai Bengali as the legal heir of this property. However, now it is under the occupation of Suharavardi. 

Beliyaghat is a much shabby and dirty place. It is occupied by both Hindus and Muslims but dominated by Muslim population. This was an aloof building in this area occupied by big rodents. 

But, Because GandhiJi and Suharavardi are going to occupy this building from tomorrow, it is getting a makeover. 


At a house in Dadar, which is the house of one of “Rashtriya Sevika Samiti” volunteer, around 35 to 40 other volunteers are conducting a meeting at 9:30pm. 

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