Every time Rahul Gandhi tries to belittle freedom fighter Veer Savarkar, he scores a self goal.
It was 19 September 1923. Police intercepted Nehru when he was on his way to Punjab’s Nabha. He had went there with two of his friends to participate in a political movement.
The police asked Nehru and his friends to leave Nabha immediately, but they refused. Police had arrested them under Section 188 of the IPC. And the police “handcuffed like dog being led by chain into the jail,”. This is how Nehru mentioned the incident in his autobiography years later.
As he was about to step inside the jail, Nehru shot off letters to his wife and his illustrious barrister-father Motilal Nehru. Writing what?
He wrote: “The cell was small and damp, with a low ceiling which we could almost touch. At night we slept on the floor. And I would wake up with a start, full of horror, to find that a rat or mouse had just passed over my face.”
Motilal Nehru immediately sprung into action. He shot off telegrams to his friend and provincial minister and to the Viceroy. And by 24th of September 1923, the authorities had removed the stringent Section 188. They replaced it with a softer Section 145 of the IPC.
This is just one of instances. But, on many such occasions authorities had set him free before the jail sentence could end. Were all these released for his good conduct? Or was it for the fact that he was not a threat to the British Empire as Veer Savarkar was?
British atrocities on Veer Savarkar
Now let us compare freedom fighter Savarkar’s jail yatra with that of Nehru’s.
“Savarkar was tortured in the most abominable, medieval ways” as Vaibhav Purandare wrote in his book “Savarkar: The True Story of the Father of Hindutva.”
Purandare recounts– Jailers put him into solitary confinement for long stretches of time. They deprived him of food and water and made to do hard labour; he would faint from exhaustion still they never gave him reprieve from work. They chained him to a wall, hands extended above his head, for hours at a stretch on consecutive days. During these spells, they did not even allow him to go to the bathroom to relieve himself. Consequently, he had to stand in his own filth chained to the wall.
British politician and activist Josiah Clement Wedgwood had also exposed the medieval treatment that the Britishers were meting out to the iconic freedom fighter. He published an article in UK’s Daily Herald, which shattered the British conscience.
In 1918, Veer Savarkar admitted to his brother that his health was utterly broken. He wrote that chronic dysentery and weakness had reduced him to a skeleton.
The above two episodes make us wonder how Motilal would have reacted if his son had been packed off to Anadamans. Well, that is a hypothetical question, but the truth is that Rahul Gandhi scores a self-goal every time he launches a diatribe against Veer Savarkar and unwittingly condemns Nehru’s Nabha prison episode.
(Inputs from FirstPost)