People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 11, 2004
CPI(M) Statement On Vajpayee's
In Freedom Movement
his ‘Bharat Uday yatra’ at Kanyakumari, L K Advani had repeated the
shop-soiled RSS propaganda that the communists betrayed the freedom struggle.
Comrade Prakash Karat, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and the Tamilnadu state
committee of the CPI(M) released a list of communist leaders who, in Tamilnadu,
alone had gone to the jail during the freedom struggle and challenged Advani and
RSS to provide a list of RSS leaders who had participated in the freedom
struggle. Till date, neither Advani nor any of his cronies have met this
need not go into the details of the already richly documented history of the
role of the Left in India’s struggle for freedom. It would suffice to note
that when the country was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Quit India
Movement in August 1992, the then president of India, Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma,
addressing the midnight session of the Parliament said: “After large scale
strikes in mills in Kanpur, Jamshedpur and Ahmedabad, a despatch from Delhi
dated September 5, 1942, to the Secretary of State, in London, reported about
the Communist Party of India: “the behaviour of many of its members proves
what has always been clear, namely,
that it is composed of anti-British revolutionaries.”
the contrary, the role of the RSS during India’s freedom struggle is an open
secret. The Bombay Home Department, during the 1942 Quit India Movement,
observed, “The Sangh has scrupulously kept itself within the law and in
particular has refrained from taking part in the disturbances that broke out in
is also no secret that the Hindutva icon, V D Savarkar, soon after his
incarceration in the cellular jail in Andamans and after whom Advani named the
Andaman airport only last year had begged the British to set him free.
Savarkar had said in a letter dated November 14, 1913, “I am ready to
serve the (British) government in any capacity they like, for as my conversion
is conscientious so I hope my future conduct would”. This is the same Savarkar
who before his conversion to Hindutva was a staunch supporter of Hindu-Muslim
unity and a firm opponent of the British rule.
BJP and its earlier formation, the Jan Sangh, have always operated under the
strange topic that whenever facts are made public about them and their
leadership, they start crying foul and with a sense of injured innocence call
for a “dignified campaign”. Why can’t the BJP leaders be reined in when
they dish out their cherished myths having no basis in reality, is
understandable only as an underhand election tactic. But they should also face
up to facts about their `supreme leader’ with 52 photographs in 48-page
“Vision Document 2004”.
1942, Atal Behari Vajpayee, around 16, as an active member of the RSS not only
did not participate in the freedom movement (as decreed by the RSS which did not
want to oppose the British) but gave a statement of his non-participation in the
militant events in his home village of Bateshwar on August 27, 1942. Not only
that, he also named the other participants in these events who bravely faced the
punishment for the same. Vajpayee
had himself accepted that the enclosed letter was signed by him.
(Frontline, February 20, 1998)
may be noted that before the investigation by some journalists in this episode,
A B Vajpayee and his hangers-on had been claiming that Vajpayee’s initiation
in politics had started with Quit India movement.
A sponsored article on Vajpayee’s birthday on December 25, 1997 had
asserted, “….it was the Quit India movement that fired his nationalist zeal.
He was arrested in 1942 for lending his voice to this mounting demand for
February 20, 1998)
January 21, 1998, Vajpayee himself issued a statement which had claimed, “It
was my involvement in the Quit India movement and my imminent arrest at Gwalior
that I was sent to my ancestral village, Bateshwar, about 60 miles from Agra.
But I got involved in the Quit India movement in Bateshwar too.”
is more than apparent that Vajpayee not only did not participate in the freedom
struggle incident but falsely kept claiming the contrary, till some enterprising
journalists brought the facts out. (see pages 8-9 of this issue). It is so
typical of the RSS.