Friday, March 30, 2007

History - the Congress vs the British

Jinnah's Muslim League made a big deal about the Congress "non-recognition" of it as a major force in the country. Specifically, certain remarks of Nehru were cited, and continue to be cited, as a sign of his arrogance.

I will provide links to demonstrate the above at some later date. In the meantime, it is to be noted: (from The Partition of India, Policies and Perspectives, 1935-1947, editors C.H. Philips, M.D. Wainwright; B.R. Nanda - The Indian National Congress and the Partition of India, 1935-47)

"Nehru was aware of the fact that the Congress was anathema to the official world. In September 1936, he came across a copy of a circular letter from the secretary of the court of wards, Allahabad to all district officers advising them that it was 'essential in the interests of the class which the Court of Wards represents, and of agricultural interests generally to inflict as crushing a defeat as possible on the Congress with its avowed socialistic principles. To this end it is of the utmost importance to avoid to the greatest extent practicable a split in the landlord vote, and a consequent dissipation of the voting power of the elements opposed to the Congress'."

"It was after reading this letter that Nehru issued a statement to the press on September 18, 1936: 'The real contest is between two forces - the Congress as representing the will to freedom of the nation, and the British Government of India and its supporters who oppose this urge and try to suppress it....Let this position be clearly understood by our people as it has been understood and acted upon by the Government. For the Government, there is only one principal opponent - the Congress.'"

"This statement was directed not against the Muslim League - which later was to make much play with it - but against the government. It is noteworthy that Nehru had described the contest as between 'two forces', not between 'two parties'. What he was stating was the obvious truth: the Congress represented the main anti-imperialist force in India."