Let's thank the people who got us freedom: No, Gandhi and Nehru had nothing to do with it

Happy independence day!


We have largely four parties to thank for our freedom. First of all, the British. contrary to what we think, they made our freedom possible. Our Nehruvian education has done excellent work in deluding us that freedom was gotten "Bina Khadag Bina Dhal." The reality is very different though.

This article present an alternate perspective on our bondage of hundreds of years, our freedom, what made it possible, and what could have been.

What we were taught in schools


Our Nehruvian education tells us: "August 15 is the day we got our independence from the British due to the bina-khadag-bina-dhal non violent movement of Mahatma Gandhiji after a 200-year bondage. If the British had not enslaved and impoverished us, we would have been a rich nation and among top countries in the world."

But through a lot of reading and thinking, I have discovered that British one of the very factors that made our freedom possible.

Confused? Allow me to explain:

We weren't free before the British Enslaved us

I was listening to a lecture by brilliant Dr Israr Ahmed of Pakistan on peace TV and he said something our textbooks or any other Indian never told us:

"Hindus did not have a problem with the British rule, as they were slaves of the Muslims anyway. They only got new masters. But the Muslims were far more bitterly against the British."

And it dawned upon me - we really were largely under the Muslim rule in India before the British came in. Had the british not come in and later left, we would have had a different set of foriegn masters that would have shaped our country in a very different way. They would have been very different rulers. What is happening in Iraq and many other places in the world, makes me shudder at the thought of the fate of the Hindus in this country. We could never have gathered the courage to come out of political correctness to oppose these masters and asked them to vacate India... like we did with the British. The British were much easier to deal with.

Our demographics would have been very different and we could resemble Afghanistan. Is it possible? Tell me why it isn't!

The British were better than our other masters

Yes, they took our wealth away. Yes they impoverished us. Yes they enslaved us. But they were primarily traders who just wanted our wealth. They were not blood-thirsty savages driven by a desire to dominate, decimate, kill, and rape us. And most importantly, they had a place to return to. They did not want to rule us forever. They caused us immense damage and resulted in millions dieing to fulfil their selfish interest. But the alternative would have been much more and prolonged (if not perpetual) genocides and a complete overhaul of the demographics of our country. 

Could we be free from our earlier masters? Could we cope with a few more hundred years of annihilation that we suffered for 800 years? I shudder to think what would have happened.

So, I put a little more thought into this and realized, there are largely four parties we have to credit for our freedom:

1. The British

cause they came in and went away - thereby freeing us from a different set of rulers who would never have left. What our fate with our other rulers could be can be visualized looking at Afghanistan or Iraq. 
Right now, we could be hiding in the mountains like the Yazidis. 

2. The Sikhs

The Sikhs warriors, precisely, in 1857. In the mutiny of 1857, our earlier masters who had absolutely no intention of freeing us ever had almost siezed the power from the British and had evicted them from Delhi. But in came the Sikhs. Their hatred for the Mughals far outweighed their hatred for the British because the Mughals had martyred Sikh gurus. (Reference:  "The Last Mughal" by William Dalrymple".) The mutiny according to William Dalrymple was more of a Christian-Muslim riot where all the whites who had embraced Islam were spared but the browns who had become Christians were slaughtered along with the Britishers.  


The Mughals had taken over the Red Fort, which was literally the headquarted of India, and the remaining British had gathered outside the Red Fort to try to take it back. It was bad situation for the British without the supplies, the required manpower, and the will. But they got a shot in the arm when they were supported by the Sikh warriors and the Rajas of Punjab. 

The pact being: We will help you take the fort back but we will own all the prisoners of the war. Needless to say what the Sikhs did with the prisoners of the war. Revenge of course. While reading the book, I was sad about this,as I thought what the Sikhs did was not good for the big picture. But now I realize that without the Sikh intervention, we would have slipped back into the hands of our earlier masters going down a completely different, bleak fate. But the British prevailing meant we got our freedom 90 years later but a complete freedom.

3. Hitler

Beside killing the Jews, Hitler in the second world war had pounded Britain very hard making them vulnerable. It's no secret that our best leader ever, Netaji, sought Hitler's help in the fight against the British. 

4. The Azad Hind Fauj

Gandhiji's ideas were nice, but it is wrong and stupid to ascribe the freedom to him. Along with the earlier explained three factors, the INA gave the British the final push out of India.

It is a largely hidden fact how badly the 43000 strong INA shook the British before they left India. Netaji was phenomenaly enterprising in creating an Army and even got the support of international allys. He gave an alternative to the indian soldiers in the British Army to fight and die for their country ... as opposed to fighting for the Queen against an enemy they had no issues with.

The Indian National Army decimated an already weakened British Indian Army. Although the British Army could overcome the INA and they brutally hanged the 3 generals at the Red Fort to prove a point, it led to spreading of mutiny in the British Army, which was largely made up of Indian Soldiers. For more information, see Consequences of the Trials on the wikipedia page Red Fort TrialsSee Maj General GD Bakshi explain this in detail.

It was ominous for the British. The smart traders understood this, made a quick exit plan, and left. 

Where do we go from here:

Share your thoughts. What do you think we need to go where the India of the 21st century ought to be.


Comments

Makwana78 said…
Thanks for sharing this stuff Gyanesh. I agree that Nehru, Gandhi were not who gave us freedom and it were the various factors as you have outlined.
However even the Britisher's were responsible for many "subtle" brutalities (not including Jalianwala) - something like creating Bengal famine where 3 million people died etc - http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/82/a1934282.shtml
Gyanesh Talwar said…
Yes Milind - I know what you are talking about. But it was a cost we had to bear.

I have mentioned it in the blog when I said:

"They caused us immense damage and resulted in millions dieing to fulfil their selfish interest. But the alternative would have been much more and prolonged (if not perpetual) genocides and a complete overhaul of the demographics of our country. "

Like Bhagwadgeeta says: Whatever happens, happens for the good!


androiddrills said…
beg to differ. the mughals were largely defeated by the marathas and they were no longer a power
You've highlighted something that doesn't get a lot of mention.We thank Gandhi and Nehru but it was really Bose that got India free.I disagree with the fact that hindus were okay with muslim and british rule.You really cannot judge the post Prithviraj Chauhan Period like that.If British wouldn't have come,someone would have definitely risen up to overthrow the Mughals
You've highlighted something that doesn't get a lot of mention.We thank Gandhi and Nehru but it was really Bose that got India free.I disagree with the fact that hindus were okay with muslim and british rule.You really cannot judge the post Prithviraj Chauhan Period like that.If British wouldn't have come,someone would have definitely risen up to overthrow the Mughals
anukalp said…
At least read some history from the Wikipedia before writing your "expert" comments. Mughals were already outed by The Maratha. The Marathas had reached Multan and Peshawar in current Pakistan. So when you equate current conditions in Muslim countries you quoted was not going to happen in India.

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