15th August 2022 – The much celebrated 75th day of Independence is a joyous occasion but as is our wont as Hindus, we forget. We forgot the tragedy that was partition of our Matrubhumi – something that 1000 years of invasions couldn’t do, Islam did it in 10 years. We forget millions that lost their lives in the most brutal of ways – senseless violence that saw infants roasted on open fires, women with their breasts cut and bellies ripped open, raped and amputated women hung from lampposts as garish displays. We forget the trains of dead bodies arriving in Delhi and Amritsar.
All this blood and death was the result of a religion’s unwillingness to co-exist. It wanted to rule even if the rule was on a pile of dead bodies.
So, on this joyous occasion let us spare a thought to those we lost and remember the reasons for the partition of our Matrubhumi
6th August, 1946….. A clerk in the viceroy office typed out a letter to the man who would rule India. The letter invited Jawaharlal Nehru – our very own Englishman and playboy extraordinaire to head the new government that would oversee the transfer of power from the British crown to the Indians.
It was at Wardha where Nehru would receive the letter with his sleeve covered in the blood of a small child (killed by his speeding car, on his way to Wardha). This was a poignant albeit forgotten moment in our history. It was also prophetic, for this letter paved the way to a genocide more barbarous than the genocide of world war 2.
AN INSIDIOUS PLAN
Britain was bankrupt and in addition to this it had accumulated a huge debt to India for the men and material they imported from India to feed their war with Hitler. This debt was a huge 6 billion USD (todays 200 billion USD). The crown jewel of the empire, India too was bankrupt. It was no longer the treasure house of rubies and spices. Britain had robbed us of all our wealth and our granaries were empty. Bengal had suffered a massive famine engineered by Churchill to feed his armies and civilians. He had robbed the nation of its grains causing a famine that claimed 4 million lives.
The only way out of the massive debt and the cost to rebuild India forced them to leave India but they could not leave without ensuring their strategic interests vis-à-vis communist Russia. For this Wavell implemented his Breakdown Plan that would pit Nehru against Jinnah and ensure breakdown of united India into two or more states, compliant to the British interests. The plan was a stroke of sheer genius. It pitted two implacable enemies with massive egos and delusions of grandeur against each other. Wavell knew that none of the would bend or compromise with the other leading to breakdown of India into 2 or (hopefully) more states.
As Lord Viceroy Wavell had decreed in that letter, Nehru’s congress party was to get 6 seats and 5 seats were to go to Jinnah’s muslim league with 3 more seats to the minority groups. This meant that for the new government Nehru had to work with Jinnah. It was a difficult task. On the surface both appeared similar – suave, western educated, well read and “modern” in their outlook. But there was another side to their relationship – of deep jealousy. Nehru was famously indecisive while Jinnah was implacably determined. Both resented each other with a passion that they hid behind their smiling demeanour.
As the plan unfolded, both Nehru and Jinnah remained unmoved. Jinnah let loose Suhrawardy, his man Friday and CM of Bengal. This man, who loved his whiskey and company of Swedish women transformed into a Jihadi and headed genocidal cleansing of Hindus from his state. Great Calcutta Riots, Dacca Riots and the brutal Noakhali Genocide led to massive deaths of Hindus as they were cleansed out of Bengal.
However, both Nehru and Gandhi forgave Suhrawardy in hopes that it would placate Jinnah. But every compromise that Gandhi made was seen by Jinnah as victory. He would become more recalcitrant and make more demands from congress. Gandhi kept on bending and Jinnah kept on demanding until such a time that Nehru agreed to partition of India.
Wavell in his diary entry dated 16th August 1946 (The day of Calcutta Riots) calls them stupid who had tossed a match onto dry kindling
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