Saturday, 23 December 2017

"Why Were Gandhi And Nehru Not Sent To The Andamans Like Savarkar? Were They British Stooges?"

Right-wing ideology never fails to amaze me. It robs even educated people of the ability to see obvious facts or apply simple logic to situations. One of my friends with right-wing sympathies asked me the following question:

Why were Gandhi and Nehru never sent to the Andaman[s]? No answers from liberals yet... British stooges?

I found this question absurd, because the historical facts have been so clearly explained to generations of Indian students in their textbooks, yet this person could not see the answer that was staring him in the face.

Nehru with Gandhi - hated by the Hindu right-wing even more than by the British, but does that make them stooges?

I'm sure there are many more like him who have bought into right-wing propaganda, so I decided to take his question at face value and answer it seriously.

"Very simple answer - Gandhi and Nehru were lawyers who understood how the British system worked. All said and done, the British Empire operated on the basis of codified law. It was not arbitrary.

If you proclaimed that you wanted revolution and intended to bring down the government, then the punishment would be severe, e.g., 50 years in the Andamans, which is what Savarkar initially got (before he became a stooge and was released early).

If you killed someone or committed an act of terrorism, then it would attract the death penalty. That's what happened to Chandrasekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh.

That's why Gandhi, Nehru, and other lawyers trained in British law (even Jinnah) were very careful not to provoke the British beyond a point. They created a lot of nuisance and clogged the system, preventing it from functioning, but always in a way that violated only minor laws. That's also why they didn't talk about revolution, but only "passive resistance", "civil disobedience" and "non-cooperation".

Even the famous Dandi March for which Gandhi went to jail was technically only a minor violation. He broke the Salt Law, which hardly called for exile to the Andamans under British Law.

The London-trained lawyer used a strategy of causing maximum possible disruption to the British Empire in India, through violations that were less serious under the law than violent revolution, and therefore did not attract severe penalties

Subhas Chandra Bose also largely operated within the law and only committed minor transgressions. He chose to escape from India when he was just under house arrest (he had not been sent to the Andamans or even to a jail within mainland India)."

I had to end it with a personal admonition.

"You see, it is all quite simple if you leave your right-wing conspiracy theories behind. You have also studied history, but your right-wing ideology prevents you from seeing these obvious facts or using simple logic."

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