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11

Historical documents establish that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose opposed the Hindu Mahasabha as well as the Muslim League as communal and acted to prevent their growth and membership in the Congress. This is contradictory to the attempts of contemporary right wingers to appropriate his legacy.

For quite some time now, there have been attempts by Right Wing Hindu Organizations to portray people like Subhash Chandra Bose and Sardar patel in different lights to destroy the image of Jawaharlal Nehru and the legacy of Indian Secularism. Although they have mastered the art of rewriting false history, there are some things that cannot be changed. One of them is the relationship Subhash Chandra Bose had with Hindu Mahasabha.

Throughout Bose’s writings and speeches, he referred to congress Hindus as the nationalist Hindus and the likes of Hindu Mahasabha as communal, and every time equated them with the muslim league. In fact, it was during the presidency of Subhash Chandra Bose that the congress banned the dual membership of Congress and Mahasabha.

Bose wrote a editorial in his forward bloc weekly on May 4, 1940 under the title of ‘Congress and Communal Organizations’.
‘That was a long time ago’, he wrote, ‘when prominent leaders of the congress could be members of the communal organisations like Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League. But in recent times, the circumstances have changed. These communal organisations have become more communal than before. As a reaction to this, the Indian National Congress has put into its constitution a clause to the effect that no member of a communal organisation like Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League can be a member of an elective committee of Congress.’

Thus, in Bose’s estimation, Hindu Mahasabha was ‘Communal’ and to be placed in same brackets as Muslim League. Indeed, he mentioned Hindu Mahasabha before Muslim League every time he referred to Communal Organisations.

When Syama Prasad Mookerjee joined Hindu Mahasabha, Dr Mookerjee wrote in his diary that Bose met him and told him if he went about building Hindu Mahasabha as a political body in Bengal, “He ( Subhash Chandra Bose) would see to it, BY FORCE IF NEED BE, THAT IT WAS BROKEN BEFORE IT WAS REALLY BORN.”

Later, Bose came true on his words that he was not adverse to using force and intimidation to put Mahasabha down. In the words of Balraj Madhok, a leader of Mahasabha at that time, ‘Subhash Chandra Bose with help of his supporters, decided to intimidate the Mahasabha by use of force. His men would break-up all Mahasabha meetings and beat up the candidates. Dr Mookerjee would not tolerate it. He got a meeting announced, to be addressed by him. As soon as he rose to speak, a stone hit him in his head, and he began to bleed profusely.’

When Subhash Chandra Bose was forming INA. ‘Hindu nationalists’, instead of helping him were hand in glovess with British. Hindu Mahasabha, under Savarkar’s leadership organised recruitment camps for british armed forces. As Savarkar said, ‘Whether we like it or not, we shall have to defend our own hearth and home against the ravages of war and this can only be done by intensifying the government’s war efforts to defend India. Hindu Mahasabhaites must, therefore, rouse Hindus ESPECIALLY IN THE PROVINCES OF BENGAL AND ASSAM as effectively as possible to enter the military forces of all arms without losing a single minute.

The above material suggests that Bose considered these so called Hindu Organisations Communal, and this was only till 1945. If Bose was alive to see the later activities of these organisations, I wonder what he would have said or done.

This article was originally published at fakkad.in by Garvit Garg.

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Superb open letter from Sania Mirza. A must read. Particularly enjoyed the way she asserts her experience and its devaluation in being dangled some kind of pacifying trophy. A disturbing insight into how we deal with women of achievement.

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I feel absolutely thrilled and emotionally overwhelmed to have qualified to represent India at the Olympics in London. I am extremely grateful to the International Tennis Federation for the faith they have reposed in me by giving me a wild card entry that gives me a cherished opportunity to represent my country at the Olympics for the second time in my life.

While, of course, nobody in the world can guarantee winning a medal in London, I can promise that I shall leave no stone unturned to bring glory to my beloved country.

I have to admit that helplessly watching the sport that I love and passionately play, go through extremely trying times in my country in the last few days and the unusual pressures that I was personally subjected to have left me shaken and disturbed. But I can assure all my countrymen that I shall never allow these difficult circumstances to come in the way of giving  my very best when the Games begin.

Since the day AITA announced the team for the Olympics a lot of questions have been raised by friends, colleagues, their parents and of course, by the media. As I thought these questions were purely hypothetical without my having qualified into the London Olympics, I did not think it was appropriate for me to respond to them at that point of time. However, now that I am officially a part of the greatest sporting event in the world, I think it is imperative for me to clarify my feelings.

To Dr. Vece Paes, who has on camera asked me to give in writing about my intention of partnering his son for the mixed doubles event at the Olympics, I would like to point out that my commitment is to my country. For the sake of India I am committed to play with Leander Paes or Mahesh Bhupathi or Rohan Bopanna or Somdev Devvarman or Vishnu Vardhan or any other person that my country feels I am good enough to partner. There should never ever be a question on this although if asked, I am entitled to have my preferences. I will do everything i possibly can to win a medal for Inda.

To Leander Paes I would like to point out that Vishnu Vardhan is an extremely talented player, who I had the privilege of partnering. We went on to win a silver medal for India at the 2010 Asian Games, when all the three male stalwarts of Indian tennis had opted to stay away from Guangzhou. I am convinced that he can go one better when pitted with someone as good as Leander as partner. For Leander to consider partnering with Vishnu only if he has a written assurance from me to play mixed (as Vece Uncle has suggested in his television interviews) is, I think demeaning for me, Vishnu and Leander Paes.

Mahesh Bhupathi has firmly stood by his commitment to play together with his men's doubles partner, Rohan Bopanna as he genuinely believed it was good for India. However, in the process, he sacrificed the commitment he made to me to try and win an Olympic medal together for India. Each person has his or her own priorities and I would like to believe that Mahesh made his choice  in the best interests of the country.

As an Indian woman belonging to the 21st century, what I find disillusioning is the humiliating manner in which I was put up as a bait to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis. While I feel honored and privileged to have been chosen to partner Leander Paes, the manner and timing of the announcement wreaks of male chauvinism where a two time Grand Slam champion, who has been India's number 1 women's tennis player for almost a decade in singles and doubles is offered in compensation to partner one of the feuding champions purely in order to lure him into accepting to play with a men's player he does not wish to play with! This kind of blatant humiliation of Indian womanhood needs to be condemned even if it comes from the highest controlling body of tennis in our country.

I have been fortunate to achieve a career best singles ranking of 27 in the world that has been only bettered by Vijay Amritraj (16) and Ramesh Krishnan (23) even amongst the men in the modern era. I have a career best doubles ranking of 7 in the world, which only Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have bettered. I am the only Grand Slam champion from India apart from Mahesh and Leander.  I believe I can expect a little more respect from the National Tennis Federation than what has been accorded to me even if they did not think it necessary to send me a simple congratulatory message after I had won my second Grand Slam title 3 weeks ago.

What is even more shocking is the manner in which facts have been misrepresented to the public at large to paint a totally wrong picture in an attempt to justify the breaking up of a team that won a second Grand Slam title only days earlier. Leander and I are not the only combination likely to get a direct entry into the mixed doubles draw at the Olympics, as has been wrongly portrayed. If that was true, a highly intelligent man like Dr. Paes would not have felt insecure enough to ask for my written declaration to partner Leander. AITA, itself would not have needed to write a letter to Mr. Randhir Singh giving details of the final pairings and clarifying that these could not be changed without the written permission of the IOA!

I would like to reiterate that I consider it the ultimate honour to represent India to the best of my abilities at the Olympics and I will do everything I possibly can with whosoever I am partnered with. This has always been my stand and this will never change. I only seek the blessings of the people of our beloved country. Nothing more.

SANIA MIRZA

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Last year, on this day, the 19th February 2011, Swami Nigamananda took the place of another sadhu, Swami Yajnanda as a part of their long struggle against illegal mining of the riverbanks of the Ganga. Determined and unnoticed, Matra Sadan, the Ashram these Sadhus belonged to has been waging an overwhelming resistance to the illegal and environmentally harmful practice devastating the river, riverbank, water table, agriculture and health in this region.

Repeated protests and fasts have brought limited results and massive collusion to strip these precious resources leave them with little to fight with. Brief halts, yes, and then the mining resumes again. It is not an election issue at all, because while the current BJP government is complicit, so are the other parties, and there is little motivation to arrest this menace.

I have repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that while we are irresponsibly destroying our water resources for instant profit, we are actually set for a head on collision with crippling water scarcity not to far into the future, and this rape of our water tables is not helping matters.

So anyway, as we know, Sawmi Nigamananda did succeed in getting attention to the issues with his death. Less because anyone actually cared about him and more because he happened to be sharing the same ward with Swami Ramdev when he was admitted to hospital after his fast for the Lokpal and the media circus was parading right by.

Tehelka published an excellent look into the illegal mining activity that takes names and gives specifics. A must read.

We failed this man. We failed to support his voice. That is fact. It is easy to say we failed rather than ask for a second chance and risk a second failure. But I think more important than saying we failed and moving on to the next shiny thing, we should dig in our heels and not allow him to fail. We should still support the cause and take it up and drive change.

I am inspired by this man. He died trying to achieve something I value deeply. As a mark of my respect, I am going to support this struggle and raise awareness for the cause that consumed him. In different ways, but using every opportunity I find and sharing resources that I can, I am going to talk about his cause every day from today until the first anniversary of his death on the 13th June 2012. It may be tweets, it may be articles, it may be sharing statistics and research and information and history and more on the subjects. It may be writing blog posts, tweeting, sharing things others wrote. But every single day, I am going to be sure to promote some or the other enriching information that helps us understand these issues better.

I think this is a far worthier shraddhanjali to him than platitudes.

Do join in. Share articles you find, talk about it, nose around and provide information. I think this would possibly be the equivalent of showering flower petals.

Feel free to add your views in the comments. If you would like to write an article on the subject for this blog, comment, and I will send you the address to send it to.