Those Fifteen Days - National Scenario During Independence -14

August 14, 1949 

Those fifteen days (Hindi) 

Prashant Pole 

Calcutta .... Thursday. August 14 

The cold morning breeze may be pleasant, but it is not so in Beliaghat area. Due to the mud spreading all around here, it was a foul stink is filled in the environment. 

Gandhiji has come out for the morning walk. In the neighborhood around him, he see some houses in broken and burnt state. The activists accompanying him tells that the Muslim goons have burnt the houses of these Hindus in the day before riots. Suhrawardy is not with him in this morning walk, because he did not dare to sleep at night in that Hydari Manzil. He is going to arrive at 11 o'clock this morning. 

A worker informs him that 'due to Gandhiji's call, joint rallies of Hindus and Muslims are taking place all over Calcutta city. There has not been a single news of riots in Calcutta since yesterday. 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

It is nine in the morning, in Karachi… 

Appearing normal, but still there is a lot of chaos in the grand assembly hall. Pakistan is going to officially come into existence in a few moments. 

Various types of people are sitting in this with conch shape auditorium d . All these people are leaders of their respective regions. These include Pathan, Afridi, Wazir, Mehsud, Punjabi, Baloch, Sindhi and Bengali. These Bengalis, living one and a half thousand miles away, are seen a bit different from others. 

Lord Mountbatten is present in his full uniform as a naval officer. He has to make the first speech. The gentleman who wrote his speech is John Christie. Emphasizing the pronunciation of each word, Mountbatten started speaking, " The rise of Pakistan is a historic event. Each history moves at a slow speed like an iceberg or at a rapid pace like a strong flow of water. We should only fret ourselves in the flow of these events, removing the bottlenecks of the flow of history. Now we don't have to look back, we should only look forward to the future. " 

Looking at Jinnah with impatient and stern face, Mountbatten further says that on this occasion I have to thank Mr. Jinnah. There is friendship and intimacy between both of us, due to this, our relations will continue to improve in the future also, I am sure that” 

Today Jinnah does not have to say anything special. He stood up for his brief speech. Shiny and fabulous Sherwani. Button closed to neck. Eyeglasses applied to a single eye and that too hinges on the base of the nose. Jinnah started speaking… “Even though Britain and the colonies they built are breaking up today, our mutual affection is still awake today. On behalf of our pious Islam, which has been in existence for the last thirteen hundred years, let me tell you that tolerance for other religions will be followed in Pakistan. Pakistan will never lag behind in building friendly relations with our neighboring nations and all other countries of the world…. ” 

After this short speech, he was to be sworn in as the first Governor General of Pakistan, he took it and with this came the rise of a nation officially called Pakistan…! 

Now the next stage in this episode was the procession. The procession was going to take place in a decorated, black colored and open roofed, Rolls Royce car. From Assembly Hall to Governor's House, that is to Jinnah's current residence. It was only three miles. Public was standing on both sides. Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten were sitting on the back seat of the car. Twenty-one cannons were saluted and the car slowly moved forward. After some distance, the car started moving with a slow speed. 

Both Jinnah and Mountbatten seemed to be feared that someone in this crowd would throw a bomb on them, because there was a huge crowd on either side of the car on the way. Thousands of people were shouting slogan of Jinnah and Pakistan Jindabad. Policemen and soldiers were standing at some distance. This distance of three miles was completed in about a forty-five minutes. 

After the cars stopped at the main gate of the Governor's House, Jinnah, had a smile on his always hard looking face, put his bones like hand on Mountbatten's knee with a slight smile and said ... "Inshallah ... I could bring you back alive ...! " 

Mountbatten was left staring at Jinnah. He started thinking in his mind that who brought whom alive ...? 'Hey, crook ... you have come back alive because of me ...!' 
____ ____ ____ ____ 

Srinagar… it is ten in the morning. 

The main post office of the city. (GPO) Post officials are putting up the flag of Pakistan at the office. Two Sangh volunteers standing there immediately questioned the Post Master, 'How do you put the flag of Pakistan here ..? So far, Maharaja Harisingh has not merged Kashmir with Pakistan. 

At that, the Muslim post master calmly replied that 'Srinagar Post Office for now comes under Sialkot Circle. And now that Sialkot has become a part of Pakistan, we have put Pakistan Flag at this post office. ' 

Both volunteers gave this information to Premnath Dogra, the Sanghachalak of Jammu and Kashmir. Dogra ji immediately conveyed this matter to the responsible officials in the office of Maharaja Harisingh ... and sent ten-fifteen volunteers to the main post office. These volunteers explained to the post master, and in the next half hour the flag of Pakistan was taken off. 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Karachi .... it's two in the afternoon ... 

Lord Mountbatten and Lady Mountbatten have both left for Delhi, after changing the 'courtier' clothes of the morning ceremony. Both of them are looking happy. He has to be present at the accession ceremony of India tonight. Quaidazam Jinnah and his sister Fatima bid farewell to this British couple. 

In this way, Lord and Lady Mountbatten, the Governor General of India, were saying goodbye to Jinnah as the first political guest of newly formed Pakistan. 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Calcutta Airport ... it's 3 o'clock in the afternoon. 

The special aircraft of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, who was appointed as the Governor of divided Bengal, I e 'West Bengal', is coming from Delhi today. Rajaji's swearing in ceremony is going to take place tonight. There are some congress workers gathered at the airport. But there is no enthusiasm in them. Because opposition to Rajaji continues in Bengal. Subhash Chandra Bose's brother and senior Bengal Congress leader Sharat Chandra Bose has already given his resignation in protest against Rajagopalachari being attacked by the people of Bengal. 

Finally, some officials and employees of Governor's House took Rajaji from the airport in his special 'Governor's car' and went straight to Governor's House. 

___ ____ ____ ____ 


Singapore's 'Indian Independence Day Celebration Committee' had a special plan to celebrate tomorrow's day with Malay Airways with great enthusiasm. A special aircraft of Malay Airways was going to fly over Waterloo Street in Padang. The flight was to take place at the exact time when the tricolor hoisting ceremony was going to be held there. In this aircraft, the soldiers and officers of Subhash Chandra Bose's 'Azad Hind Sena' ... Women soldiers of 'Rani Jhansi Regiment' and some personnel of Bal Sena were about to travel. All these people were going to shower flours from the aircraft on the occasion of flag hoisting. 

But as soon as the name of 'Azad Hind Sena' came to light, the Civil Aviation Department of Singapore objected to this special program and canceled the permission given to this flight ...! Now the 'Indian Independence Day Celebration Committee' is engaged in planning to celebrate Independence Day celebrations in a different way tomorrow. 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Karachi .... it's four o'clock in the afternoon. 

A big mansion in Karachi. This is a family home related to the Sangh. The two women of the house are active Members (Sevika) of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti. On the roof of this mansion, a get together (Ekatrikaran) of Sevikas was organized. The arrival of the sevikas from the Hindu majority settlements of Karachi city continues. In the morning, the procession of Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten has been completed long back. Due to this, there is no more rush on the roads now. Today, despite being Thursday, schools and colleges are closed on the occasion of Pakistan's Independence Day. 

The roof of the mansion is quite large. About seven-eight hundred Sevikas will be present. The space was not sufficient to accommodate all. Some Sevikas are also standing below. The atmosphere may be serious, but it is also enthusiastic. Shakha started. The flag is placed. It is a song to inspire hope and inspire confidence in the hearts of the s Sevikas. After this, Lakshmibai Kelkar, ie Mausiji, utters the vows in her staid voice. With the same firmness and sincerity, all the Sevikas pronounce the vows with her. This pledge is about invoking the resolving power of the mind. Some time has also been kept for Q&A. 

A young servant asks, "Our honor in Pakistan is in danger." what should we do..? Where do we go..?" 

Mausiji tells hir in his reassuring voice that, "Come to India as soon as possible. How to get out of here and reach Hindustan, just consider it. In Mumbai and other cities, the Sangh has made arrangements for you, do not worry. We are all one family. We will share these difficult times together. ” 

In her brief speech at the end of the ceremony, Mousiji said… “Sisters be patient, be patient… save your dignity… Trust your organization completely. Continue your pledge to serve your motherland even in these difficult times. By the strength of the organization, we will get out of this crisis safely. ” 

Hearing such reassuring words from Mausiji's mouth has definitely built a confidence in those Sevikas of Sindh ...! 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Karachi once again ... 

If the Jinnah-Mountbatten procession in Karachi and the cheering in the celebrations are omitted, then there is not much enthusiasm for Independence Day in Pakistan. The green flag of Pakistan with moon and stars is seen in many places, but only in West Pakistan. In East Pakistan, the moon-star flag is almost nil. It could possibly be because the last days of Ramadan are going on. 

But one thing is certain, that due to the rise of Pakistan, a country with strong leadership has emerged among the Islamic nations, everyone is feeling like this. 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Calcutta Beliaghat 

It is time for Gandhiji's evening prayer. Today will be his last prayer for slave India. Till date, Gandhiji has always talked about many topics in many such evening prayers. His favorite subjects range from cotton-spinning to the dangers of Atom Bomb, the structure of the intestines in the body, sanitation hygiene, the benefits of celibacy, the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita, non-violence etc. 

On the eve of independence, 'what Gandhiji says today' is a curious thing in everyone's mind ... and that's why this evening's prayer is going to be held in the public garden of Beliaghat. 

In front of a crowd of about ten thousand people standing in front, Gandhiji started speaking in a calm voice, "First of all I congratulate you that you have eliminated the Hindu-Muslim dispute in Calcutta. This was very good, because I hope that this is not an immediate solution, but both of you will always remain with brotherhood even further. " 

"From tomorrow we are going to be free from British slavery. But with this tonight, this country of ours is also going to be divided. Therefore, as yesterday's day is pleasant on one side, on the other side it is also painful. After the independence, the responsibility of all of us will increase significantly. If the wisdom and fraternity of the city of Calcutta remains intact, it is likely that our country will survive a major crisis. But if the flame of ethno-religious animosity engulfed this country, then will our newly found independence be able to last long…? ” 

"I feel very sorry to tell you that personally I will not celebrate tomorrow's Independence Day with joy. I will also urge my followers to fast for twenty-four hours tomorrow, spend their time in prayers and spinning yarn on charkha. This will save our country. " 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Delhi .... It is six o'clock in the Congress headquarters. The rain continues incesently. 

The press statement of the National President of Congress is about to go out for publication. In this, Chairman Acharya J. B. Kripalani has written that, "Today is a day of sorrow for us. Our beloved motherland is going to be divided. But we will overcome this and build a new India ....! 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Delhi. It's six o'clock in the evening 

Bungalow of Dr. Rajendra Prasad. Except Nehru, most of the ministers in his cabinet are present here. Defense Minister Baldev Singh is on a tour of Punjab, so he has not arrived yet. But soon to arrive. 

In the premises of this bungalow, the yajna is going on for a bright future for independent India. In presence of Acharyas accomplished with Vaidik Knowledge, a yajna is being performed. The chanting continues in pure Sanskrit, in a clear and high voice. It is raining outside. The whole atmosphere is filled with a happy and holy spirit. 

After the completion of this yajna, all ministers have to go to the State Council Building for the ceremonial function after taking their refreshment. 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Delhi .... it's about ten o'clock in the night ... 

The rain is still outside. All members of the Constituent Assembly, ministers, senior officials are gradually gathering in the State Council Building. Thousands of people are frozen in their place outside the circular hall, regardless of rain and wetness. 

Sardar Patel, Azad, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, Dr. Ambedkar, Baldev Singh, Nehru, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. . . All the ministers are continuously coming one after the other and the enthusiasm of the people present there is beginning to reach the peak. The praising slogan are being shouted in the names of every minister on their arrival. People are shouting slogans, 'Vande Mataram', 'Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai'. 

The Chair of this auditorium, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, is sitting on the highest seat in the hall. On his left, slightly below, Lord Mountbatten is present in his full military attire. Nehru has also done white tattered churidar pajamas, newly sewn achkans (a close necked coat) and a brilliant jacket on that coat and a rose in that jacket… such a fabulous costume. 

Dr. Rajendra Prasad started the meeting. He recalled all the known-unknown soldiers, freedom fighters. He also remembered, who suffered immensely for the freedom of this country and also embraced death. At the end of his speech, he made a special mention of Mahatma Gandhi and said that "Our Guru and the Deepstambha, who show direction to all of us, Gandhiji, today, a thousand miles away from us, is constantly engrossed in the work of establishing peace ...! " 

After this Nehru stood up to speak. The rose flower in the button hole of his cotton jacket, in this midnight night is also very refreshing. 

Nehru began speaking in a calm and sincere voice… “Many years ago, we made a treaty with destiny. Today, we are going to fulfill it, if not completely, but to a great extent. Just after midnight, when the whole world is sleeping in peace, India will enter a new era of freedom… in a new birth…! ” Nehru adorned his speech with many ornamental words. He might have spent several nights preparing such a speech ...! 

Sitting in that hall at exactly twelve o'clock in the night, a member wearing a Gandhi cap blew a conch with him. Every person present there was thrilled with that conch sound. A new history was being created ... a new era was going to begin. The souls of many revolutionaries present in heaven were satisfied after seeing this scene, and getting peace ... 

India is now independent. 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Delhi. dead of night... 

Very strong rain continues. Flooding has started in areas like Daryaganj, Minto Bridge in Old Delhi. Even in such severe rains, a small office of the Sangh located at E-42, Kamla Nagar, some pracharaks and some prominent workers of the Union of Delhi are gathered. There are many issues before them. Many exiles from Punjab and Sindh are coming to Delhi. Their residence and food have to be arranged. On the day of tomorrow, some groups of Muslims can tinkle with Independence Day celebrations, they are getting such information. They have to pay attention to that side too. 

Many volunteers have not slept for the last several nights… the next few nights are also going to present many similar challenges in front of them. 

____ ____ ____ ____ 

Calcutta Governor's House. One o'clock in the middle of the night… 

On the other hand, the program of transfer of power has been completed in Delhi, and here a new chapter is being written in this old capital of the British. 

The program of swearing in the Governor's House as Chakravarti Rajagopalachari is going to begin. A very short program. The outgoing Governor Sir Frederick Burrows assigns his charge to Rajagopalachari. In this program of only ten-fifteen minutes, Rajaji took oath in English, but newly appointed Chief Minister Dr. Prafulchandra Ghosh and all other ministers took oath in Bengali. 

A huge crowd has gathered to watch this program. Tonight, is the night of independence anyway. That is why the Governor's House has been opened to the general public today. Therefore, a lot of people are also busy in this midnight stroke. People are shouting with great enthusiasm, 'Jai Hind', 'Vande Mataram' 'Gandhiji Zindabad' ... till date the Governor House which was engaged in completely destroying all Indians, and especially the revolutionaries, everyone is feeling a special pleasure, special enthusiasm in loudly shouting 'Vande Mataram' slogan. 

This huge crowd became uncontrollable as soon as Rajaji took over as Governor. They clueless to know what to do and what not to do in this Governor's House. In the same excitement and enthusiasm, this crowd started coming out and shouting slogans of 'Mahatma Gandhi Zindabad' with the precious items present in the Governor's House, silver cutlery etc. 

The first sun of independent India had not yet come out, that the first public ceremony of independent country ended in this way ...! 

- Prashant Pole 

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