அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு

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அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு.

'' நீதி, மதம், அரசியல், சமுதாயம் சம்பந்தமான எல்லாவித சொல்லடுக்குகளுக்கும் பிரகடனங்களுக்கும் வாக்குறுதிகளுக்கும் பின்னே ஏதாவதொரு வர்க்கத்தின் நலன்கள் ஒழிந்து நிற்பதைக் கண்டுகொள்ள மக்கள் தெரிந்துகொள்ளாத வரையில் அரசியலில் அவர்கள் முட்டாள்தனமான ஏமாளிகளாகவும் தம்மைத் தாமே ஏமாற்றிக்கொள்வோராகவும் இருந்தனர், எப்போதும் இருப்பார்கள். பழைய ஏற்பாடு ஒவ்வொன்றும் எவ்வளவுதான் காட்டு மிராண்டித் தனமாகவும் அழுகிப் போனதாகவும் தோன்றிய போதிலும் ஏதாவது ஒரு ஆளும்வர்க்கத்தின் சக்தியைக் கொண்டு அது நிலைநிறுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. சீர்திருத்தங்கள், அபிவிருத்திகள் ஆகியவற்றின் ஆதரவாளர்கள் இதை உணராத வரையில் பழைய அமைப்பு முறையின் பாதுகாவலர்கள் அவர்களை என்றென்றும் முட்டாளாக்கிக் கொண்டே இருப்பார்கள். இந்த வர்க்கங்களின் எதிர்ப்பைத் தகர்த்து ஒழிப்பதற்கு ஒரே ஒரு வழிதான் உண்டு. அது என்ன?

பழைமையைத் துடைத்தெறியவும் புதுமையைச் சிருக்ஷ்டிக்கவும் திறன் பெற்றவையும், சமுதாயத்தில் தாங்கள் வகிக்கும் ஸ்தானத்தின் காரணமாக அப்படிச் சிருக்ஷ்டித்துக் தீரவேண்டிய நிர்ப்பந்தத்திலிருக்கிறவையுமான சக்திகளை, நம்மைச் சூழ்ந்துள்ள இதே சமுதாயத்துக்குள்ளேயே நாம் கண்டுபிடித்து, அந்தச் சக்திகளுக்கு ஞானமூட்டிப் போராட்டத்துக்கு ஸ்தாபன ரீதியாகத் திரட்ட வேண்டும். இது ஒன்றேதான் வழி. ''

மாமேதை தோழர் லெனின்
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Thursday, 22 June 2017

போயர் யுத்தம்: போலிச் சுதந்திரமும் போக்கிரி காந்தியும்

 

Meet Sergeant Major Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
 
Manimugdha S Sharma
| TNN | Oct 2, 2014, 09.11 PM IST

NEW DELHI: British steamer SS Kinfauns Castle had reached the English Channel from Cape Town in South Africa in August 1914 when one of the passengers received important news: the British Empire was at war with Germany. Upon reaching Britain, he would declare unconditional support to the British war effort and propose to raise an Indian volunteer unit. He was barrister Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi*

(*Born: 2 October 1869, Porbandar, India Assassinated: 30 January 1948, New Delhi, India ENB)
























Historians and political pundits have forever struggled to explain why the apostle of peace and non-
violence had rendered support to the British Empire in the First World War*(*28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918.ENB)

Some say Gandhi was a loyalist who had great faith in the British; some say Gandhi was an opportunist who tried to use the Great War to extract political concessions from Britain. Gandhi himself struggled to explain it and gave contradictory statements to justify his stand right up to the mid-1920s. But until the end of the war, Gandhi understood Britain's cause to be a righteous one and worth fighting for.

 "We have to understand that Gandhi was a politician back then, and like all politicians, he did contradict himself several times. But at that time in India, there was no demand for total independence or 'poorna swaraj' but dominion status. So it wasn't just Gandhi but most political leaders of that time, cutting across party lines, supported in varying degrees the British war effort," says military historian Squadron Leader Rana T S Chhina (Retd).

 By late August, 1914, it had become clear to Gandhi that the Indian Army would be deployed on the Western Front and there could be many Indians wounded needing medical care.
So Gandhi proposed to raise an Indian ambulance corps that was soon sanctioned by the British war office. It was not the first time that Gandhi had appealed to Indians to join a British war: during the Second Boer War in 1899-1902 and Zulu War in 1906, Gandhi, then in South Africa, had raised an Indian ambulance corps in which he served as a sergeant-major of the British Army. In the next five months, Gandhi managed to inspire many Indians to join the corps, some of whom later served in hospitals in Southampton and Brighton where Indian war casualties were treated. In this cause, he was aided by his wife Kasturba and Sarojini Naidu, who also drew up a resolution for unconditional support to the British Empire.


Gandhi himself took nursing classes, though he soon fell ill with pleurisy and couldn't himself tend to the Indian wounded. "Gandhi is considered to be an icon in Indian military medicine. We still have a photo of him in military uniform at the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune," says Brigadier MSVK Raju (Retd), formerly the head of psychiatry at AFMC.

In the next few years, Gandhi continued to espouse the cause of the British, though he also fought British imperialism through Champaran satyagraha in 1917 and the Kheda satyagraha in 1918. In fact, after Kheda satyagraha ended, Gandhi aggressively started campaigning for the war as a recruiting officer of the empire. This time, Gandhi wasn't recruiting non-combatants but fighters. Other leaders like Gopalkrishna Gokhale, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mohammed Ali Jinnah also endorsed the empire's cause in varying degrees.

 According to UK-based author Vedica Kant, who is in India for the launch of her first book, 'If I die here, who will remember me? India in the First World War', Gandhi was different from other leaders. "Like others who demanded or expected concessions from the British in return for support to the war, Gandhi, right from the beginning, gave unconditional support. Gandhi was also instrumental in expanding the recruiting bases of the Indian Army to Gujarat and other places: places that didn't have the so-called martial races as identified by the British. By 1918, the empire was in dire need of men and they had to look to Gujarat, Bengal, Madras etc for recruiting," Kant says.

 One of the many recruiting centres in Gujarat was set up at Pollen Dharamshala in Godhra (now mostly remembered for the Sabarmati Express burning incident of 2002). There, on April 16, 1918, a large gathering of Thakores of Rewa Kantha Agency and Panch Mahals, and common people heard Gandhi present a report on his recruiting work. He said Kaira area had contributed the most in Gujarat. Gandhi then donated a sum of Rs 102 from his own pocket for the war effort. At the end of the day, Rs 4,500 had been collected for the war; Rs 1,000 more came from a ticketed concert held in the evening. The government, in gratitude, awarded bonuses to both recruits and recruiters.


Then on June 26, 1918, Gandhi addressed a mass gathering in Borsad taluka and said, "Voluntary enlistment is the right key to self-government, to say nothing of the manliness and broadmindedness it confers. The honour of our women is bound up with it inasmuch as by enlisting ourselves, we shall acquire that capacity for self-defence, the absence of which at present makes us unable to protect our women and children... The opportunity for military training now open to us all will not present itself in the future... A man who is afraid of death is constitutionally incapable of passive resistance. For a proper appreciation of the true significance of passive resistance the power of physical endurance needs to be cultivated.

























After the alone can practise 'ahimsa' who knows 'himsa' not in the abstract but in fact."

he war, though, following the British government backtracking on its assurances of granting self-government to India and coming up with repressive measures, Gandhi lost faith in the empire. He and many others started seeing the Indian soldiers who volunteered for the war as mercenaries.

"That's where we went wrong. The Indian Army fought with the consent of the Indian leadership. And that's why our soldiers cannot be called mercenaries. Now, people today may not like it that so many Indians fought for the empire, but you can't just write them out of history," Kant says.

 It was this politics between the British and Indian leaders that robbed the Indian soldier of his rightful place in history.

(Write to this correspondent at manimugdha.sharma@timesgroup.com)

 

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