In 1909, Arya Samaj leaders Lala Lajpat Rai, Lal Chand and Shadi Lal established the Punjab Hindu Sabha. Madan Mohan Malaviya presided over the Sabha's first session at Lahore in October 1909. Mahasabha campaigned for Hindu political unity and conversion of Muslims to Hinduism. All India Hindu Sabha was formed as an umbrella organisation of provincial Hindu Sabhas in April 1915, at the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.
In 1925, a member of Mahasabha, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar left to form RSS (Rāṣṭrīya Svayamsevaka Saṅgha, National Volunteer Organisation or National Patriotic Organisation), a right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organization. The RSS is the leader of a large body of organisations called the Sangh Parivar, the family of the RSS. The saffron flag of Shivaji, the Bhagwa Dhwaj, was used by the RSS who propagated the ideology of Hindutva and became muscelemen of the majority Hindu community for fighting the Indian Muslims.
In 1937, the Indian National Congress won provincial elections and formed governments in eight provinces, and became a coalition partner in three others. In 1939, the Congress ministries resigned in protest against Viceroy declaring India to be a belligerent in the Second World War. This benefitted the Hindu Mahasabha which joined hand to form governments in certain provinces. In Sindh, Hindu Mahasabha joined Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah's Muslim League government. In the North West Frontier Province, Hindu Mahasabha members joined Sardar Aurangzeb Khan of the Muslim League to form a government in 1943. The Mahasabha member, Mehar Chand Khann became its Finance Minister. In Bengal, Hindu Mahasabha joined the Krishak Praja Party to form Progressive Coalition ministry of Fazlul Haq in December, 1941.
Savarkar who wrote ‘The First Indian war of Independence: 1857’, was accused of sedition and sentenced in 1909 to transportation for life twice to run consecutively. He was freed in 1937 and became the head of the Hindu Maha Sabha. Savarkar promoted Hindutva. He advocated that Islam and Christianity are foreign religions, with their holy places in Arabia, Palestine and Rome, and that Indian Muslims and Christians are descendants of Hindus who were converted by force, coercion and bribery. Therefore he called for the re-conversion of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism.
Savarkar claimed that Gandhi's adherence to non-violence had left Hindus vulnerable to armed attacks by militant Muslims. Savarkar warned that the Indian National Congress would deceive the people and vivisect India to appease Moslems. His desciple, Nathuram Godse shot and killed Mahatma Gandhi on 30 January 1948.
RSS was banned for assassination of Gandhi. Shyama Prasad Mukerji established the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. RSS joined Jana Sangh in 1971 which merged with the Janata Party in 1977, and became Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1980. RSS organised the Ram Rath Yatra in 1990, and was again banned for demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.
The Ayodhya issue and the communal riots, polarised the electorate along religious lines. BJP built a major coalition, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha and succeeded in the general election in 1998 with Vajpayee as their Prime Ministerial candidate. However, RSS and the other Sangh Parivar elements in BJP were not happy with Vajpayee as they were for banning cow slaughter, abolishing the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and legislating an uniform civil code. They wanted Muslims to discard Arabic and Persian names to Indianise themselves which practically means conversion of Muslim to Hinduism. A Vice President of All India Hindu Mahasabha, VP Sadhvi Deva Thakur said that, "The Union will have to impose emergency, and Muslims and Christians will have to be forced to undergo sterilization so that they can't increase their numbers". According to the last census held in 2011, 79.8% of the population of India was Hindu, 14.23% Muslim, 2.30% Christian, and 1.72% Sikh.
Narendra Damodardas Modi a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who had served as chief minister of Gujrat for three tenures when thousands of Muslims were murdered and burnt alive in Gujarat, led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to a landslide victory in 2014 and 2019 elections, and Modi became the first prime minister outside of the Indian National Congress to win two consecutive terms with an absolute majority.
After Modi’s rise to power, the Hindu Mahasabha began to portray Nathuram Godse, who killed Gandhiji, as a patriot. It created a documentary film Desh Bhakt Nathuram Godse (Patriot Nathuram Godse) and published his last statement before the court as bible for new generation of Bharatiya Janata party activists. Here is what killer of Gandhi, Godse, had to say,
“The accumulating provocation of 32 years culminating in his last pro-Muslim fast at last goaded me to the conclusion that the existence of Gandhiji should be brought to an end immediately. Gandhiji was guilty of blunder after blunder, failure after failure and disaster after disaster. No one single political victory can be claimed to his credit during 33 years of his political predominance. Here are some of them :
(a) Mahatma misconceived the idea that by helping the Khilafat Movement he would become the leader of the Muslims in India as he already was of the Hindus and that with the Hindu-Muslim Unity thus achieved the British would soon have to concede Swaraj. Instead by leading the Indian National Congress to identify itself with the Khilafat Movement, he introduced theological element.
(b) The Moplah rebellion was the most prolonged and concentrated attack on the Hindu religion, Hindu honour, Hindu life and Hindu property; hundreds of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam, women were outraged.
(c) When the Khilafat movement failed Ali Brothers decided to secretly invite the Amir or Afghanistan to invade India and promised him every support. The vigilance of the British broke the conspiracy and Hindu-Muslim Unity remained as far away as before.
(d) Gandhiji displayed his love for Muslims by a most unworthy and unprovoked attack on the Arya Samaj in 1924. The result was that a ban on Satyartha Prakash was imposed by the Government of Sind and provoked a Muslim youth to murder Swami Shraddhanandji.
(e) The Mahatma supported the separation of Sind from the Bombay Presidency and threw the Hindus of Sind to the communal wolves. Numerous riots took place in Karachi, Sukkur, Shikarpur and other places.
(f) With each defeat Gandhiji became more keen on his method of achieving Hindu-Muslim Unity. Like the gambler who had lost heavily he became more desperate increasing his stakes each time and indulged in the most irrational concessions.
(g) Congress Party decided to boycott this Round Table Conference, and started Salt Campaign, which created tremendous enthusiasm and nearly 70,000 people, went to jails in breaking the provisions of the Salt Act. The Congress soon regretted its boycott of the First Round Table Conference and decided to send Gandhiji alone as the Congress Representative to Second Session of Round Table Conference. Mahatma went to the length of inviting Mr. Ramsay McDonald to give what was called the Communal Award, thereby strengthening the forces of communalism.
(h) Provincial Autonomy was introduced from the 1st of April, 1937 under the Government of India Act 1935. The rejection by Congress of Muslim League Members as Ministers gave Mr. Jinnah a tactical advantage which he utilised to the full and in 1939 when the Congress resigned Office in a huff, the Governments of the Congress Provinces were taken over by the Governors and the Muslim League Ministries remained in power and authority in the remaining Provinces.
(i) The congress opposed the war. Muslim League passed a resolution for the partition of India as a condition for their co-operation in the war.
(j) Mr. Jinnah openly opposed the ‘Quit India’ Movement as hostile to the Muslims and raised a counter slogan ‘Divide and Quit’. That is where Gandhiji’s Hindu-Muslim Unity had arrived.
(l) Gandhiji could not have the courage to advocate the adoption of Urdu against Hindi, hence the subterfuge to smuggle Urdu under the garb of Hindustani as National Language of India. That is what the Mahatma tried to do.
(m) Muslims disliked the celebrated song of ’Vande Mataram’ and the Mahatma forthwith stopped its singing or recital wherever he could. His Hindu-Muslim Unity idea only meant to surrender, capitulate, and concede whatever the Muslims wanted.
(n) Gandhiji banned the public recital or perusal of Shiva Bavani a beautiful collection of 52 verses. The refrain of that collection says ‘if there were no Shivaji, the entire country would have been converted to Islam.’
(o) When the Muslim League started Direct Action, there broke out in Calcutta an open massacre of the Hindus which continued for three days. Gandhiji however went to Calcutta and contracted a strange friendship with the author of these massacres. To him Suhrawardy was an object of admiration from which he could not be diverted. No wonder two months later there was the most virulent outbreak of Muslim fanaticism in Noakhali and Tipperah as 30,000 Hindu women were forcibly converted according to a report of Arya Samaj, the total number of Hindus killed or wounded was three lacs not to say the crores of rupees worth of property looted and destroyed.
(p) Gandhiji’s followers enthusiastically supported a rebellion in Kashmir State against the Hindu Prince. This attitude contrasted with what Gandhiji did about the affairs in Muslim States.
(q) Mr. C. Rajagopalachari hatched a plot of conceding Pakistan which Gandhiji allowed him to negotiate with Jinnah. Gandhiji later on discussed this matter for three weeks with Mr. Jinnah in the later part of 1944. Gandhiji went every day to Mr. Jinnah’s house, flattered him, praised him, embraced him, but Mr. Jinnah could not be cajoled out of his demand for the Pakistan.
(r) Mr. Desai offered equal representation to the Muslims with Congress. With the full agreement of the Congress party 25% of the people of India were treated as if they were 50% and the 75% were brought down to the level of 50%.
(s) Early in the year 1946 the Cabinet mission arrived in India. The Congress virtually submitted to Pakistan by accepting the mission’s proposals which made certain the dismemberment of India.
(t) The Congress Party abjectly surrendered to Mr. Jinnah at the point of bayonet and accepted Pakistan. Gandhiji uttered not one work of sympathy or comfort for millions of displaced Hindus, he had only one eye for humanity and that was the Muslim humanity.
(u) In one of his articles, Gandhiji while nominally ostensibly opposed to Pakistan, openly declared that if the Muslims wanted Pakistan at any cost, there was nothing to prevent them from achieving it.
(v) Gandhiji declared that Sheikh Abdullah should be entrusted the charge of the state and that the Maharaja of Kashmir should retire to Benares for no particular reason than that the Muslims formed the bulk of the Kashmir population. This was in contrast with his attitude on Hyderabad where although the bulk of the Population is Hindu, Gandhiji never called upon the Nizam to retire to Mecca.
(w) From August 15, 1946 onwards the private armies of the Muslim League began killing, devastating and destroying the Hindus wherever they could lay their hands on. All the time from the 2nd September 1946 the so called National Government consisting of two hybrid elements utterly reconcilable to each other was in office but the Muslim League members who were 50% of the Congress did every thing in their power to make the working of a Coalition Government impossible. India was vivisected. One third of the Indian territory became foreign land to us from the 15th of August 1947. This is what Gandhiji had achieved after thirty years of undisputed dictatorship and this is what the Congress Party calls Freedom’. Never in the history of the world has such slaughter been officially connived at or the result described as Freedom, and ’Peaceful Transfer of power’.
(x) Gandhiji states that I cannot impose my will upon a person who does not wish voluntarily to abandon cow-slaughter. India does not belong exclusively to the Hindu. Muslims, Parsees, Christians also live here.
(y) The tricolour flag with the Charkha on it was adopted by the Congress as the National Flag out of deference to Gandhiji. If any Hindu attached any importance to Shivaji’s Hindu flag, "Bhagva Zenda" the flag which freed India from the Muslim domination it was considered communal.
The real cause of the British leaving this country is threefold and it does not include the Gandhian method. The aforesaid triple forces are :
The movements of the Indian Revolutionaries right from 1857 to 1932, i.e. upto the death of Chandra Shekhar Azad at Allahabad, then next, the movement of revolutionary character not that of Gandhian type in the countrywide rebellion of 1942 and an armed revolt put up by Subhash Chandra Boss the result of which was a spread of the revolutionary mentality in the Military Forces of India are the real dynamic factors that have shattered the very foundations of the British Rule in India. And all these effective efforts to freedom were opposed by Gandhiji.
So also a good deal of credit must be given to those, who imbibed with a spirit of patriotism, fought with the Britishers strictly on constitutional lines on the Assembly floors and made a notable progress in Indian politics. This section was generally represented by late Lokmanya Tilak, Mr. N. C. Kelkar, Mr. C. R. Das, Mr. Vithhalbhai Patel-brother of Hon. Sarder Patel, Pandit Malaviya, Bhai Parmanand and during last ten years by prominent Hindu Sabha leaders. But this school of men of sacrifices and intelligence was also rediculed by Gandhiji himself and, his followers by calling them as job hunters or power seekers, although they often ultimately resorted to the same methods.
(iii) There is also one more but nonetheless important reason for the Britishers which made them part with power and that is the advent of Labour Government and an overthrow of Mr. Churchill, superimposed by the frightful economic conditions and the financial bankruptcy to which the war had reduced Britain.
So long as Gandhian method was in ascendance, frustration was the only inevitable result. He had throughout opposed every spirited revolutionary radical and vigorous individual or group, and constantly boosted his Charkha, non-violence and truth. The Charkha after 34 years of the best efforts of Gandhiji, had only led to the expansion of the machine-run textile industry by over 200 per cent. It is unable even now to clothe even one per cent of the nation. As regards nonviolence, it was absurd to expect 40 crores of people to regulate their lives on such a lofty plane and it broke down most conspicuously in 1942. As regards truth the least I can say is that the truthfulness of the average Congressman is by no means of a higher order than that of the man in the street and that very often it is untruth in reality masked by a thin veneer of pretended truthfulness.
The Congress under the leadership of Gandhiji commenced its surrender to the Muslims, right from the time the 14 demands of Mr. Jinnah were made till the establishment of the Pakistan. Is it not a deplorable sight for people to see the Congress celebrate the occasion of the establishment of a Dominions Government in the rest of country shattered and vivisected by the Pakistan in the East and West and with the pricking thorn of Hyderabad in its midst. On seeing this downfall of the Congress under the dominance of Gandhiji, I am reminded of the well known verse of Raja Bhartrihari to the effect :The Ganges has fallen from the Heavens on the head of Shiva, thence on the Himalayas, thence on the earth, and thence in the sea. In this manner, down and down she went and reached a very low stage. Truly it is said that indiscriminate persons deteriorate to the low position in a hundred ways.
Every condition given by him for giving up the fast is in favour of Muslims and against the Hindus. One of the seven conditions imposed by Gandhiji for the breaking of his fast unto death related to the mosques in Delhi occupied by the Refugees. This condition was to the effect that all the mosques in Delhi which were occupied by the Refugees should be vacated or got vacated and be made over to the Muslims. Gandhiji got this condition accepted by the Government and a number of leaders by sheer coercion brought to bear upon them by his fast. Those were the days of bitter or extreme cold. Families of refugees who had, come to Delhi for shelter were driven out and while doing so no provision was made for their shelter and stay.
It was impossible for the Government in spite of all the powers to take any strong measures against the Muslim State like Hyderabad so long as Gandhiji was there. Had the Government then decided to take any military of police action against Hyderabad it would have been compelled to withdraw its decision just as was done in the case of the payment of Rs. 55 crores, for Gandhiji would have gone on fast unto death and Government’s hands would have been forced to save the life of Gandhiji.
Had Gandhiji really maintained his opposition to the creation of Pakistan the Muslim League could have had no strength to claim it and the Britishers also could not have created it in spite of all their utmost efforts for its establishment. But Gandhiji played false with the people and gave parts of the country to the Muslims for the creation of Pakistan. I stoutly maintain that Gandhiji in doing so has failed in his duty which was incumbent upon him to carry out, as the Father of the Nation. He has proved to be the Father of Pakistan. It was for this reason alone that I as a dutiful son of Mother India thought it my duty to put an end to the life of the so-called Father of the Nation who had played a very prominent part in bringing about the vivisection of the country-Our Motherland.”
Gandhiji was shot point blank in the evening at 5.00 P.M. on 30 January 1948 by Nathuram Godse while he was on his way to the dais for the prayer meeting. Gandhi, fell to the ground. He went unconscious instantaneously and breathed his last some twenty minutes later.
Before Godse was hanged he wrote a letter to his brother to preserve his ashes till it can be sunk in the Holy Sindhu (Indus) river when it flows freely under the aegis of the flag of Bharatvdrsha i.e. Hindusthan.
Suhail Zaheer Lari