Those 15 Days - National Scenario During Independence - 7

Those fifteen days 

August 7, 1947 

- Prashant Pole 

Thursday. August 7th. 


The statement given by Gandhiji in Lahore about India's national flag has received great popularity in many newspapers across the country yesterday. There is a special news about this in Times of India, Mumbai, while in Delhi's 'Hindustan' it has been published on the front page. This news is also in the 'Statesman' newspaper of Calcutta, as well as 'The Hindu' of Madras has also published this. 

" I will not salute that flag if there is no charkha in the national flag of India" a statement like expressing such anguish did not match Gandhi's personality and image. This news has not been published in many newspapers in India, because this news has not been reached to them. But Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu newspapers of Punjab gave much importance to this statement. The statement of Gandhiji was the talk of the town next day morning, as the whole nation was talking about the statement. 
______ _________ 

The ‘Daily Milap', published from Lahore, is in the hands of people in the morning. This is the main newspaper of Hindus. Earlier, the Hindu Mahasabha's mouthpiece 'Bharat Mata' was popular among most Hindus. But a few months ago, its caligraphist had published some misinterpretation about Gandhiji in very humiliating words. After that the daily newspaper almost closed. But many daily newspapers published in Hindi such as Milp, Vande Mataram, Paras, Pratap have published a very detailed account of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's massive General Meeting in Hyderabad of Sindh province. Also briefly published Sarasanghachalak Guruji's speech. An English daily newspaper named Dawn has also published Guruji's speech. 
________ _________ 

Today, i.e. Thursday, morning a brief meeting of leaders of 'Pakistani Hindu Mahasabha' is being conducted in a house of Rawalpindi. 

Partition is now certain and it has become clear that alongwith Pindi most of the Punjab and the whole Sindh province are going to Pakistan. Pakistan's Muslim National Guard is continuously increasing the attacks on Hindus and their property. In such circumstances, it have become necessary to do something for the Hindus left in Pakistan. That is why the leaders of 'Pakistan Hindu Mahasabha' have released one of their statements for publication in all newspapers. In this statement, it was urged to the Hindus living in Pakistan to respect the flag of the ‘Muslim League'. With this, the Pakistan Hindu Mahasabha congratulated 'Iftikhar Hussain Khan' Memdon on the occasion of being elected leader of the Muslim League's Assembly in West Punjab. Similarly, Khwaja Nizamuddin was greeted in a public function for being elected leader of East Bengal Assembly Party 

Thus Pakistan has become a reality now and Hindus should understand and accept the truth. 

________ _________ 

Hyderabad .... Sindh 

It was drizzling that night, which reduced the heat in the ambience . Guruji woke up early. At the Prabhat Shakha, where Guruji has been taken, presence of Swayamwevaks there was in large number. There is a nice big ground. They are playing in six ganas. Today, Guruji himself is present in the Shakha, seeing this, the happiness of of the Swayamsevaks knew no bound. But soon milancholi gripped the sorroundings with the thought that this secred land of our ancestors is going to become alien for us. We have to migrate to some unknown part of India. 

An informal meeting was called after Shakha was over. Breakfast was served to all Swayamsevak. Guruji was trying to ease the tense situation. His effort was to build confidence in Swayamsevaks. 

Planning is being made about how to take Hindus safely to India from areas around Hyderabad and Sindh province. Unfortunately, ther was not a bit of help in this entire exercise by the government of India. Where these Hindus going to be displaced are to be kept in India, where to settle them, in this regard, there is no direction from the current and upcoming government of India. Because the concept of population swap is basically rejected by the Congress. 

Gandhiji is advising the Hindus of East Punjab and Sindh province to live there. Gandhiji's advice to the Hindus living there is that they should sacrifice themselves fearlessly on being being attacked by Muslim fanatics ...!in this situation, when the government of India has turned its blind eye, safeguarding Hindus and taking them out needed courage and risk.But the Swayamsevaks of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh took it as a challenge , 

Immediately after finishing the breakfast at about nine o'clock in the morning, Guruji is returning to Karachi. While giving a farewell to Guruji, Swayamsevaks from Hyderabad and surrounding villages has tears in their eyes. Their consolation has become overwhelming. Nobody knows when Guruji will come again. Guruji is well aware that this is his last visit to Sindh province. It looks as though the time has stood still. The whole atmosphere is overwhelming. But the return is also necessary. Guruji has many other works to do. Guruji ‘s fleet moved slowly towards Karachi alongwith Abaji Thatte, Rajpal ji and others. 

Moscow 
Almost exactly at the same time, that was six O’clock in the morning at Mascow in Russia , when ... the first Indian ambassador to the then Soviet Union, Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit, who was appointed for the then Soviet Union, landed at the International Airport of Moscow. Although the month of August may have been the summer season for Moscow residents, Vijayalakshmi Pandit was shivering with cold in the atmosphere. The national flag fitted with the Ashok Chakra, which was to become flag of independent of India, was hoisted at the airport. Probably this is the first instance of officially flagging the flag of India out of India. Vijayalakshmi Pandit smiles for this thought came to mind. 

Forty-seven year old Vijayalakshmi, even though she was the sister of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the relationship, but this was not her only identity. She herself also participated in freedom struggle many times and sentenced to imprisonment. She herself is a master of sharp intellect. Since Vijayalakshmi was almost eleven years younger than Jawaharlal Nehru,s he did not get much of Nehru's closeness. When she was twenty-one years old, she married to a well-known lawyer, Ranjit Pandit of Princely State of Kathiawar. 

For this, while appointed as Ambassador to Russia to the independent India, it was not only eligibility as 'Jawaharlal Nehru's sister', but it was also her own ability. Russian officials welcomed the Indian ambassador, Jawaharlal Nehru's sister, warmly and intimately. The beginning of her tenure of Russia was very excellent... 

________ _________ 

In the afternoon, around one o'clock, the special Dakota aircraft of the Viceroy sahib landed at Karachi's Mauripur airport with Kayde-Azam Jinnah from Delhi. Jinnah, his sister Fatima and her three associates also descended from the plane. As a creator of Pakistan, there was no enthusiasm in the Muslim League workers on the occasion of this first visit of 'proposed Pakistan'. That's why very few workers had come to the airport to welcome Jinnah. Though these workers raised slogans like Pakistan and Jinnah Zindabad, but the passion in their voice was almost non-existent. 

For Kayad-e-Azam Jinnah, coming for the first time in the country of his lifelong dreams, Pakistan, was very disappointing. 
____ ____ 

_ Mumbai.... 

There are clouds in the sky. The weather is pleasant due to the rain. A small ceremony has been organized in front of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation in Bori Bunder. Two buses of 'BEST' are standing in front of the building and a small pandal has been erected. 

'Bombay Electric Supply and Transport', the company working in the service of Mumbai residents since 1874 is now going to be under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, just a week before the independence of India. This ceremony is in this context. 'Best' has 275 buses and now all these buses are being transferred in the possession of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation on August 7, 1947. A new chapter is going to start in the history of Mumbai .... 

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Warangal .... 

Capital of Kakatiya Dynasty. A famous place for a temple with a thousand pillars and a large city of Nizamshahi kingdom. It's eleven o'clock in the morning. Even in August, the sun is blowing up the fire. There are no signs of clouds far and wide. The wind is not even moving. The leaves of the trees and plants are stagnant like silent and inanimate. Warangal is almost silent on the main square of the city. In such an environment, suddenly hundreds of workers gathered at the crossroads,carrying Congress flag and shouting slogans "Merge the Nizam Shahi into the Union of India" .... Congress workers were lead by Warangal District Congress Committee president Kolipaka Kishanrao Garu. 

As per the order of Hyderabad State Congress Committee, these activists have started satyagraha against Nizam for merger in India. Hyderabad State Congress President Swami Ramtirth has appealed to the public to join the satyagraha. He himself is involved in slogans and performances along with hundreds of Congress workers in Kachiguda area. 

Knoking of freedom could be heard everywhere in India. But this vast land of Nizam's kingdom is still remained in the darkness of slavery. Forced to live in the inhuman torture of Rajakars ...! 
____ ____ ____ ____ 

Today's major news on the first page of all the daily newspapers like 'Ananda Bazar Patrika', 'Daily Basmati', 'Statesman' of Calcutta is that the Chakravarti Rajgopalachari alias 'Rajaji' has been appointed the governor of Bengal. Rajaji is going to be the first governor of this split Bengal, that is, 'West Bengal' Rajaji is a tall personality of the Congress Party. Running the entire Madras province alone but in the recently concluded provincial elections, he had to face defeat. Apart from this, Rajaji's another identity was his utmost hyperactivity in favour of Partition of Bengal '. For this reason, the people of Bengal did not like this decision. 

Hearing this news sitting in his library Sharad Chandra Bose could not resist his dismay.He immediately prepared a statement and sent it to all the daily newspapers for publication. Sharad Babu wrote that, "Appointment of Rajagopalachari is indeed an insult to Bengal. The person who was rejected by Madras, defeating him in the elections, what is the wisdom to bring on our head? 

______ 

Here the headquarters of the Indian Army in Delhi. 

A disciplined environment. The movement of soldiers in well shining uniforms continues. On going inside a bit, the change in the environment is clear. More serious ... more disciplined ... more respectable. This is the office of the Commander-in-Chief of India. At the door, there hangs a large name plate of brass. The name written in the trunky letters - Sir Claude John Auchinleck. In this compound of this office building behind a large Mahogani Table, was sitting, Sir Auchinleck. A small Union Jack kept on this table, suddenly attracted our attention. 

A very important letter was kept front of Sir Auchinleck. On this day of proposed Independence Day, this note sheet is about the release of all Indian prisoners of political nature. In this letter, the word 'All Indians' attracts the attention of Sir Aachinlek. This means that the soldiers fought by Subhash Chandra Bose's 'Indian National Army' also ...? Yes, according to the note sheet, this is what it means. Achinlake's brain begins to flutter. 'Leave Subhash Chandra Bose's colleagues ..? Release the 'Azad Hind Fighters' who presented a real challenge to the British? No, not at all. Until at least August 15, there is British power, I will not leave them. 

Then he called his steno and began to write a feeble, but rude voice, that the Indian army has no objection to releasing all other political prisoners. But we are strongly opposed to leaving the soldiers of 'Indian National Army' under the leadership of Subhash Chandra Bose. 

Thus, all associates of Subhash Babu, who had laid down their lives to liberate India, the brave soldiers of the 'Azad Hind army' would not be able to escape at least until August 15, it was decided. 

Meanwhile, the Madras government released a circular in the afternoon, according to which it was announced that five acres of land will be given free to all the people of Madras province participating in the freedom struggle of India. A public holiday was announced on August 15 and 16 along with this. 

The Sun of freedom is now only one week away to Rise ... 

It is four o'clock in the afternoon. A meeting of local cinema hall Managers in Madras is going on. This meeting has been organized in the context of independence. KCR Reddy is the most senior theater owner. In the meeting, he proposed that, - "From August 15, the National Anthem of the British will not be played in all cinemas. Any Indian Patriotic song will be played in its place. "This proposal of public opinion is accepted with the thunder of clapping and applause. 
________ 

On the other hand, in a large mansion in Karachi, Mrs. Sucheta Kriplani is taking a meeting of nearly hundred Sindhi women. All these Sindhi women have gathered on this bungalow despite the insecure atmosphere. Sucheta Kripalani's husband, Acharya JB Kripalani is the national president of the Congress. Public mood is very angry in the border areas due to Congress accepting the decision of partition. Therefore, efforts to both the husband and wife are continuing to calm the atmosphere boiling against Congress in their home province. All Sindhi women, has been complaining to Sucheta Kriplani, how insecure they are and about the Sindhi women facing the brutal atrocities of Muslims 

But Sucheta Kripalani does not agree with these women's statements.She presents herself to their embrace and say, "I roam freely in Punjab and Noakhali, no Muslim fanatics even dare to look at me. Because I do not make gaudy make-up or use lipstick. You women wear a low-neck blouse, wear transparent saris. That's why the attention of the Muslim goons goes towards you. And suppose a horde has attacked you, then you should put the ideal of Rajput sisters in front of you, and should do 'Jauhar' (throw yourself in fire ...! 




(Indian Daily Mail - News of August 7. First page) 



Sitting in that sprawling mansion, dreaded Sindhi women counting the days of their lives, what could they say on this statement of Sucheta Kripalani, all of them literally speechless . 'What is this the wife of a national president saying to us? Will women make a gorgeous makeup at such a critical situation? Will wear low-cut blouse? And is this the only reason that Muslims are attracted to us? And if they try to rape us, are we left with only option, killing ourselves to save our respect, should we become equal to the those Rajput women and do Jauhar? 

Not only the leaders of the Congress, but also their wives are far from the ground reality and the Muslim mindset . 
____ ____ ____ 

The same army headquarters in Delhi ... 

A large courtroom on the second floor. There is a small office related to the military headquarters of the Gurkha Regiment. A small regiment of the brave soldiers who displayed their bravery in the name of 'Gurkha Rifles' in the whole world. Four officials of this regiment are having intensive discussions near a large table. Since the Indian soldiers are going to be partitioned, therefore now the Gorkha Regiment should go to Pakistan or not, this is a major issue. Earlier, on the request of the British officers, a few soldiers of Gorkha Regiment were given to Singapore. Some Gurkha soldiers were sent to Brunei. The Nepal Government also agreed for all these things. But even one Gurkha soldier is not ready to go to Pakistan. 

Finally, those four senior officers of the Gurkha Regiment unanimously prepared a note sheet and handed it over to the Commander-in-Chief, that even a single Jawan of Gorkha Regiment was not ready to join the Pakistan army, we would remain in India. 

____ ____ ____ ____ ___ 

Lucknow.... 

Chief Minister's Office in the State Assembly. Govinda Vallabh Pant, who has a strong body and a thick mustache, a jovial person, is discussing with his colleagues as usual, in his living temperament, with laughter and jokes. Ministers like Kailashnath Katju, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and PL Sharma are sitting around him. 

The topic of the discussion is that the names of Cities and Rivers changed and distorted by the British Government, should be again brought to their original Hindu name. The British had made Ganges to 'Ganga' and Yamuna River was called 'Jumna'. The holy Mathura town was named by the British as 'Mutra'. All of these must be identified by their original name. In this context, this committee, under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, issued an order and declared that the changed names of the rivers, villages and cities should be known only with the their original names with immediate effect. 
 ____ ____ ___. 

17, York Road. Current residence of Jawaharlal Nehru or. the present Chief Administrative Center of Independent India 

It is Now six o'clock in the evening and Nehru has come in the role of Foreign Minister. Only one week is left to Pakistan to come into existence. It is urgent to have an Ambassador of India in this Pakistan too. There are many things that India and Pakistan have to settle with mutual harmony. The main question of the displacement of Hindus and Sikhs and their problems is also to be solved, so in Pakistan, India needs an ambassador. For this purpose a name emerged in the mind of Nehru, that is of Sri Prakash . 

Mr.Sri Prakash is also from Prayag. That is, from Nehru's Allahabad. He has often participated in the freedom struggle. In the 'Quit India' movement he remained in jail for two years. Shri Prakash is a humble and expressive speaker. The administrative capacity of this fifty seven-year-old man who received high education in Cambridge is the best. Thus Shri Prakash was appointed as the first High Commissioner of India to newly created Pakistan. On August 11, Qaid-e-zam Jinnah is going to give his first speech in the Parliament of Pakistan. It became necessary for Sri Prakash,to report to Karachi before that. 



For the next two years the issue of the millions of Hindus and Sikhs who were displaced from Pakistan... Pakistan's stubborn, unruly, deceptive attitude ... Pakistani maneuvering to grab Kashmir ... such and many more difficult questions and problems had to be faced by Sri Prakash He did not even think of it in a dream. 

Thursday. August 7th ... 

Night is going deeper. Gandhiji's train journey started from Amritsar continues. The body of Gandhiji stiffened, sitting in the same place. He always loved walking. Keeping such a person in one place for twenty-four hours is actually like a punishment for him. But even in the train, Gandhiji's reading and contemplation continued. This time the train is going through the Unified Provine. Wherever the train stops, Congress workers and people at the railway station are sure to meet him. Most people have only one question - 'Bapu, when these Hindu-Muslim riots will stop?' 

Here, his beloved Bapu is restless in the train. Whatever he saw and heard in Wah's Refugee Camp and Lahore City, they are very terrifying and nightmarish. But still his heart is not accepting this: 'Should they run to India, leaving their home, land and belongings fearing the attack by Muslims. Then the principles,I lived so far will all be proved to be false ... ' 

Gandhiji will get down at Patna tomorrow morning. His train is moving ahead shearing the darkness of night and Gandhiji is looking towards the horizon away from the window of the train ... is his personal determination to see the future of an unhealthy India ...! 

- Prashant Pole 

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