Role of RSS Founder in Freedom Struggle

Dr HEDGEWAR’S ROLE IN FREEDOM STRUGGLE

Author : Rakesh Sinha

Dr.Hedgewar

The propaganda against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) crossed all limits of not only political moralism but also academic discipline, as the Marxist academicians and intellectuals, failing to counter the growing influence of the Sangh Parivar, use Goebble’s Big Lie tactics to prove that the RSS remained aloof from the freedom struggle. A prominent CPM leader Sita Ram Yechury in his article ‘What is Hindu Rashtra?’ (Frontline March 12, 1992) says – “It (RSS) virtually boycotted and at times opposed the freedom struggle”. Four Marxist historians including Sumit Sarkar in their tract ‘Khaki Short and Saffron Flag’, while accepting the anti-imperialist character of Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, claimed that the RSS remained aloof from the Civil Disobedience movement, (P. 22).

Similar claims were also made by K.L. Mahendra, a CPI ideologue, in his pamphlet ‘Defeat the RSS Fascist Designs’, (third edition, 1990, P.22-23) when he says ‘the RSS never participated in the freedom struggle’. However a Marxist bites another Marxist. The veteran Communist leader E.M.S. Namboodiripad (in his one of the most critical booklet `BJP-RSS: in the service of the Right Reaction’) reveals:

“One of those who were highly impressed and inspired by the Savarkar thesis was Dr.Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS. A nationalist who participated in the Gandhi led movement, he continued to be a Congressman for a decade more and participated in the 1930 Salt Satyagrah”. (p.8).

The Nehruites and Communists have manipulated the truth, distorted facts and misinterpreted incidents for their gains in the past too but what is conspicuous is the level the brain is being exercised to malign the face of the RSS by those who betrayed the most crucial struggle (Quit India Movement) for India’s independence in 1942.

At no stage of the freedom struggle either the RSS as an organisation or any individual member of it cooperated or integrated with the colonial regime and administration. Even Bipin Chandra,a Marxist historian conceded, however in a distorted manner, this truth when he says Hedgewar never integrated with the colonial regime. (Communalism in Modern India. P. 332). Both before and after the formation of the RSS, Hedgewar missed no opportunity to strengthen the anti-colonial struggle. To him, “there is no politics for a dependent nation other than the politics of freedom struggle. It is a sine qua non for it”. Mahatma Gandhi’s call for civil Disobedience Movement was responded by Hedgewar to such an extent that he transferred the responsibility of the Sarsanghchalak of the RSS to Dr. Paranjape, and along with prominent leaders of the infant organisation, including Appaji Joshi, jumped into the movement. He was arrested in Yeotmal while breaking the “Forest Law” and was sentenced to nine months prison. Can anyone imagine what would have been the reaction of the followers whose leader jumped into the movement and was imprisoned ? In fact Hedgewar did not want to create another political centre by using the banner and platform of the RSS. They were already divisions in the Congress. Besides the Communists, Hindu Mahasabha, Muslim League etc. had differences with the Congress not only on ideological plank but also in tactics, strategy and programmes too. It was on ominous sign for the freedom struggle. The need of the day was to accept the strategy and programmes of the Indian National Congress instead of beating drums separately under different banners what Hedgewar actually did.

Tilakite

Hedgewar’s political career begins from 1905 and ends with his death in 1940. In the first phase (1905 – 1918) of his political life, he was ‘an unalloyed Tilakite. Maharashtra witnessed two simultaneous lines in the public life one, propagated by Agarkar, emphasised the necessity of social radicalism as precondition of political change. But, Tilak emphasised on political activities as the first priority. Hedgewar endorsed Tilak’s approach.

Pandurao’s Khankhaje, leader of Swadesh Bandhav, a revolutionary organisation, wrote in Kesari, “Hedgewar and the other young men were in the forefront of Swadeshi propaganda and delivering
speeches”. After joining National Medical College in Calcutta in 1910 with the sole aim to participate in revolutionary activities, he became active member of “Anushilan Samiti” with his code name
“Koken”. He was closely associated with revolutionaries like Nalini Kishor Guha (who provides authentic account of Hedgewar’s revolutionary activities in Calcutta during his stay from 1910 – 1916). After his return from Calcutta to Nagpur, he used his contacts to organise revolutionaries with a plan of “armed revolt” which, according to P.L. Joshi (in his article “Mobilisation in Vidharba by Tilak in political thought and leadership of Tilak” edited by N.R. Inamdar P.370) was dropped on the advice of Tilak. Hedgewar’s revolutionary group was the biggest one and consisted of 150 hard core revolutionaries. G.M. Huddar says Hedgewar’s revolutionary group resembled a secret “conspiratorial group” of young men. (G.M. Huddar in -RSS and Netaji in the Illustrated Weekly of India, Oct. 7,1 1979). His plan of armed revolt was not an isolated case of adventurism but it was coincided by his manifesto for Indians Independence which was to be declared from many countries. He postponed his plan on the advise of Dr B. S. Moonje.

A Gandhian

The second phase of his political career begins with his active participation in the Amritsar Congress in 1919 and soon he was elected the secretary of the Central Provinces Congress Committee. His differences with Tilak and Moonje came on the surface on the question of World War I and Non Co-operation Movement respectively. He refused to toe Tilak’s line of “passive co-operation” during the war period (1914-1919) and separated himself from the political forum of Tilakites ie. Rashtriya Mandal and formed Nagpur National Union to campaign for complete Independence. Thus he foresaw the congress resolution of complete independence in 1930. Moreover, the most conspicuous political action of Hedgewar was his voice against both imperialism and capitalism. He moved a parallel resolution in the subject committee of Nagpur session of the Congress in 1920 stating – “the goal of the Congress is to establish a republic in India and free the countries of the world from exploitation by capitalist countries”. His differences with Moonje who was described as his “mentor” occurred on two very important issues. Firstly, Hedgewar opposed Moonjels candidate Vijay Raghavachariar for Presidentship of the Congress in the Nagpur session of the Congress (1920) on the ground that he attended Governor’s party. The differences between the two became more acute on the question of non co-operation movement. S. Suntharalingam in his work “Indian Nationalism – a historical analysis” (Vikas Publishing House P.271) reveals that prominent Tilakites led by Moonje and G.S. Kharpade opposed non co-operation movement but Hedgewar refused to toe sectarian approach and jumped in the Movement with vigour and virulence and was sentenced to one year rigourous imprisonment on August 21, 1921 by the court with the remark that his defence was “more seditious than his speech”.

Another important incident is revealed by Sri Aurobindo’s biography (Published by Publication Division in the series of Builders of Modern India, by M.P. Pandit 1983 P.270) that Hedgewar the then secretary of C P Provincial Congress went to Pondicherry to draw back Aurobindo, who had been living sequesteral life since 1910 and was considered by Hedgewar as only alternative to fill the lull created by Tilak’s death before the Nagpur Congress, in to politics. Hedgewar requested him to accept the Presidentship of the Congress in that hour of great crisis of leadership. Being a pioneer of cultural renaissance and a man of non compromising character, Aurobindo was fittest person to lead the Congress and freedom struggle. However Aurobindo modestly declined. (Explanatory letter of Shri. Aurobindo dated August 30, 1920, Sri Aurobindo himself Vol.26, P.432-34, Sri Aurobindo birth centenary library).

Hedgewar’s vision for declaring complete Independence was transformed into action with Congress decision to observe Jan 26, 1930 as Independence Day. His circular to RSS Shakhas reads, “that the Indian National Congress too has adopted a goal of Independence naturally gives us immense joy. It is our duty to co-operate with any orgainsation working for the cause… Therefore on the evening
of 26.1.1930 all the shakhas of the RSS should hold rallies of Swayamsevaks at their respective places and worship national flag i.e. the Bhagwa Dhwaj. Through speeches it should be explained what is the meaning Independence and why we should work with the end in view. The rallies should conclude by complementing the Congress for accepting the goal of Independence.” This fact is accepted by even the worst RSS critics like Sumit Sarkar in his tract “khaki shirt and saffron flag”.

Thus the slanderous’allegations against the RSS by Bipin Chandra that “the relationship of the RSS to colonial rule was more complex and subtle. Its leadership also treated the Congress as its enemy number one which had to be weakened and destroyed by all available means”, (Communalism in Modern India, p 115), shows how he consciously tried to mislead the readers through “omission tactics”. The British Government tried to prove the RSS as the conspiratorial group, but in the absence of any proof it abysmally failed to do so. It left no opportunity to suppress the organisation. During Hedgewar’s imprisonment in 1930s under the provocation of the British, the owner of Mohile Bara, where the RSS shakhas used to take place dragged the issue into the court and forced the closure of the shakha there.
Hedgewar’s sympathiser Bhosale Lakshman Rao provided ground for the RSS activities. But soon after his death in 1932, Bhosale’s children who were in the protection of the British Raj went to court and forced the RSS to stop shakha in Tulsibagh’s land in 1934 (see Krishna Rao Mohorir’s interview Pratham RSS Shakha, Jagriti Prakashan). Anti-imperialist struggle was complementedby RSS activities and despite the ideological commonality between the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha on the question of Hindu nationalism, Hedgewar preferred Congress to Hindu Mahasabha. He and the RSS did not lend
support to the strategy and tactics of the Mahasabha and instead accepted the hegemony of the Congress as the only prime platform to lead the freedom struggle.

Source :  http://www.hindunet.org/hvk/articles/0696/0127.html

Bhārat or India ? What’s in a Name

An excellent explanation by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on why we should call our country as Bhārat instead of India

https://youtu.be/VHEg5_o8HF4?t=6m9s

Bharat or India?

Kiran Bedi: Did we make a mistake in converting our name from Bharat to India?

Sadhguru: A serious mistake. Whenever somebody occupies a nation, the first thing they will do is change your name. This is the technology of dominance; this is the technology of enslaving. If you look at African–American history, when the African people were brought to America, the first thing they did was took their African name away and gave them some silly name. That is what has been done to us – Thiruvananthapuram is “Trivandrum.” Chennai is “Madras.” Like this – “India.” What does it mean? It does not mean anything. If I give you a meaningless name, you will become a meaningless, stupid person in front of me because I have a meaningful name. I have a tradition, I have a culture – you have nothing. So in that context, we have become “India.”

The concept of a nation must sink into everybody’s mind because a nation is just an idea. When this idea burns through your mind and sinks into your heart, and your passion rises, you have a real nation. Otherwise, “nation” is just on paper. This is the unfortunate reality for us right now. When the British left in 1947, the first thing we should have done is change the name in such a way that it resonates in everybody’s mind. You are using an English name for an Indian nation. Hardly a few percent of us can speak English properly in this country. The remaining are essentially left out. One thing I would like to request of the present Prime Minister is that we rename this country in a way that reverberates in everybody’s heart.

I know a whole lot of the intellectual crowd will say, “What is in a name?” When you utter your name, you must understand there is sound. The meaning is only psychological and social. The sound is existential and has a power. “Bharat” has power. This power has to reverberate through everybody’s hearts in this country. And the idea of what it means to be an Indian must get across to every human being because if everyone’s aspiration is not the same as the national aspiration, then you don’t have a nation.

झाँसी की रानी

झाँसी की रानी

सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी,
बूढ़े भारत में आई फिर से नयी जवानी थी,
गुमी हुई आज़ादी की कीमत सबने पहचानी थी,
दूर फिरंगी को करने की सबने मन में ठानी थी।
चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

कानपूर के नाना की, मुँहबोली बहन छबीली थी,
लक्ष्मीबाई नाम, पिता की वह संतान अकेली थी,
नाना के सँग पढ़ती थी वह, नाना के सँग खेली थी,
बरछी ढाल, कृपाण, कटारी उसकी यही सहेली थी।
वीर शिवाजी की गाथायें उसकी याद ज़बानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

लक्ष्मी थी या दुर्गा थी वह स्वयं वीरता की अवतार,
देख मराठे पुलकित होते उसकी तलवारों के वार,
नकली युद्ध-व्यूह की रचना और खेलना खूब शिकार,
सैन्य घेरना, दुर्ग तोड़ना ये थे उसके प्रिय खिलवार।
महाराष्टर-कुल-देवी उसकी भी आराध्य भवानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

हुई वीरता की वैभव के साथ सगाई झाँसी में,
ब्याह हुआ रानी बन आई लक्ष्मीबाई झाँसी में,
राजमहल में बजी बधाई खुशियाँ छाई झाँसी में,
सुभट बुंदेलों की विरुदावलि सी वह आयी झांसी में,
चित्रा ने अर्जुन को पाया, शिव से मिली भवानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

उदित हुआ सौभाग्य, मुदित महलों में उजियाली छाई,
किंतु कालगति चुपके-चुपके काली घटा घेर लाई,
तीर चलाने वाले कर में उसे चूड़ियाँ कब भाई,
रानी विधवा हुई, हाय! विधि को भी नहीं दया आई।
निसंतान मरे राजाजी रानी शोक-समानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

बुझा दीप झाँसी का तब डलहौज़ी मन में हरषाया,
राज्य हड़प करने का उसने यह अच्छा अवसर पाया,
फ़ौरन फौजें भेज दुर्ग पर अपना झंडा फहराया,
लावारिस का वारिस बनकर ब्रिटिश राज्य झाँसी आया।
अश्रुपूर्णा रानी ने देखा झाँसी हुई बिरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

अनुनय विनय नहीं सुनती है, विकट शासकों की माया,
व्यापारी बन दया चाहता था जब यह भारत आया,
डलहौज़ी ने पैर पसारे, अब तो पलट गई काया,
राजाओं नव्वाबों को भी उसने पैरों ठुकराया।
रानी दासी बनी, बनी यह दासी अब महरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

छिनी राजधानी दिल्ली की, लखनऊ छीना बातों-बात,
कैद पेशवा था बिठुर में, हुआ नागपुर का भी घात,
उदैपुर, तंजौर, सतारा, करनाटक की कौन बिसात?
जबकि सिंध, पंजाब ब्रह्म पर अभी हुआ था वज्र-निपात।
बंगाले, मद्रास आदि की भी तो वही कहानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी रोयीं रिनवासों में, बेगम ग़म से थीं बेज़ार,
उनके गहने कपड़े बिकते थे कलकत्ते के बाज़ार,
सरे आम नीलाम छापते थे अंग्रेज़ों के अखबार,
‘नागपूर के ज़ेवर ले लो लखनऊ के लो नौलख हार’।
यों परदे की इज़्ज़त परदेशी के हाथ बिकानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

कुटियों में भी विषम वेदना, महलों में आहत अपमान,
वीर सैनिकों के मन में था अपने पुरखों का अभिमान,
नाना धुंधूपंत पेशवा जुटा रहा था सब सामान,
बहिन छबीली ने रण-चण्डी का कर दिया प्रकट आहवान।
हुआ यज्ञ प्रारम्भ उन्हें तो सोई ज्योति जगानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

महलों ने दी आग, झोंपड़ी ने ज्वाला सुलगाई थी,
यह स्वतंत्रता की चिनगारी अंतरतम से आई थी,
झाँसी चेती, दिल्ली चेती, लखनऊ लपटें छाई थी,
मेरठ, कानपूर, पटना ने भारी धूम मचाई थी,
जबलपूर, कोल्हापूर में भी कुछ हलचल उकसानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

इस स्वतंत्रता महायज्ञ में कई वीरवर आए काम,
नाना धुंधूपंत, ताँतिया, चतुर अज़ीमुल्ला सरनाम,
अहमदशाह मौलवी, ठाकुर कुँवरसिंह सैनिक अभिराम,
भारत के इतिहास गगन में अमर रहेंगे जिनके नाम।
लेकिन आज जुर्म कहलाती उनकी जो कुरबानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

इनकी गाथा छोड़, चले हम झाँसी के मैदानों में,
जहाँ खड़ी है लक्ष्मीबाई मर्द बनी मर्दानों में,
लेफ्टिनेंट वाकर आ पहुँचा, आगे बड़ा जवानों में,
रानी ने तलवार खींच ली, हुया द्वन्द्ध असमानों में।
ज़ख्मी होकर वाकर भागा, उसे अजब हैरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी बढ़ी कालपी आई, कर सौ मील निरंतर पार,
घोड़ा थक कर गिरा भूमि पर गया स्वर्ग तत्काल सिधार,
यमुना तट पर अंग्रेज़ों ने फिर खाई रानी से हार,
विजयी रानी आगे चल दी, किया ग्वालियर पर अधिकार।
अंग्रेज़ों के मित्र सिंधिया ने छोड़ी रजधानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

विजय मिली, पर अंग्रेज़ों की फिर सेना घिर आई थी,
अबके जनरल स्मिथ सम्मुख था, उसने मुहँ की खाई थी,
काना और मंदरा सखियाँ रानी के संग आई थी,
युद्ध श्रेत्र में उन दोनों ने भारी मार मचाई थी।
पर पीछे ह्यूरोज़ आ गया, हाय! घिरी अब रानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

तो भी रानी मार काट कर चलती बनी सैन्य के पार,
किन्तु सामने नाला आया, था वह संकट विषम अपार,
घोड़ा अड़ा, नया घोड़ा था, इतने में आ गये अवार,
रानी एक, शत्रु बहुतेरे, होने लगे वार-पर-वार।
घायल होकर गिरी सिंहनी उसे वीर गति पानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी गई सिधार चिता अब उसकी दिव्य सवारी थी,
मिला तेज से तेज, तेज की वह सच्ची अधिकारी थी,
अभी उम्र कुल तेइस की थी, मनुज नहीं अवतारी थी,
हमको जीवित करने आयी बन स्वतंत्रता-नारी थी,
दिखा गई पथ, सिखा गई हमको जो सीख सिखानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

जाओ रानी याद रखेंगे ये कृतज्ञ भारतवासी,
यह तेरा बलिदान जगावेगा स्वतंत्रता अविनासी,
होवे चुप इतिहास, लगे सच्चाई को चाहे फाँसी,
हो मदमाती विजय, मिटा दे गोलों से चाहे झाँसी।
तेरा स्मारक तू ही होगी, तू खुद अमिट निशानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

सुभद्रा कुमारी चौहान

FAQs on One Rank-One Pension

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday that the government has completed processes and will implement “one rank, one pension” for the armed forces soon.

“My ministry has completed all formalities and OROP will be implemented,” Parrikar said at a function boycotted by two war veterans who were to be felicitated.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the scheme.

What is One Rank, One Pension?

The ‘one rank, one pension’ rule means that retired soldiers of the same rank and length of service will receive the same pension, regardless of when they retire.

As of now, the date of retirement determines the amount of pension. With each Pay Commission coming up with its recommendations every 10 years, the military veterans who retire early, receive less pension as compared to those who retired later with the same rank and length of service

Under OROP, a sepoy who retired in 1995, for instance, would get the same amount of pension as the one who retired in 1996.

Who will benefit from OROP?

Ex-servicemen drawing pensions will benefit from the OROP scheme, especially those who retired before 2006. Why? Because at present, pensioners who retired before 2006 draw less pension than their counterparts and even their juniors. The scheme will benefit all three services — air force, navy and army.

How much will the OROP scheme cost the government?

The United Progressive Alliance government in their interim budget had announced an amount of Rs 500 crore for the scheme. However, NDA’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget announcement allotted Rs 1,000 crore for the scheme.

Source – Rediff

The Church and Blood Money

The Vatican has a number of skeletons in its cupboards, ranging from money laundering, drug trafficking, sex scandals and paedophilia. Gerald Posner investigates the death of Pope John Paul I, operations of the Catholic Church and its nexus with politics and organised crime. God’s Bankers is more thrilling than Mario Puzo’s Godfather, writes KUMAR CHELLAPPAN

The Catholic Church is a subject of interest to millions of non-Catholics all over the world mainly because of the secrecy associated with the functioning of the world’s largest religious congregation. The Iron Curtain which shields this church will put both the former Soviet Union as well as the Italian Mafia to shame. The Vatican City, world’s smallest sovereign country (area 110 acres and population 842) and abode of the Pope, the spiritual head of the Catholics, wields tremendous influence in global politics.

The younger generation in India may not be aware of the influence wielded by the Catholic Church in India. The role it played in getting the EMS Namboodirippadu-led Kerala Government (world’s first democratically elected communist regime) dismissed in 1959 was revealed by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the former US diplomat in his book A Dangerous Place. The CIA too helped the church in Kerala, financially as well as morally, to get the communists removed from its path. The church feared that the communists would take over the vast stretches of landed properties and educational institutions owned by it.

Such is the power of the Catholic Church in India that many people attribute it to the fall of the Janata Party Government in 1979. The Freedom of Religion Bill introduced in Parliament by OP Tyagi resulted in the disintegration of the Morarji Desai Government with Mother Teresa, the queen of proselytisation herself coming out to stage protest march against the Bill.

When the Catholic Bishops Council of India, the most powerful body of the church in the country, came out against the Narendra Modi Government questioning its “indifference” to vandalisms perpetrated by “Sangh Parivar” activists on churches, all hell broke loose in India. Cardinal Cleemis, the CBCI chief, was vocal in his criticism of the Modi Government and alleged that minorities have become unsafe under the present BJP dispensation at the Centre. With law enforcement agencies unravelling the details of each and every attack on the Churches, the Cardinal has become somewhat silent.

The Catholic Church has overturned Governments and regimes in South America, Africa as well as in Europe which were not of its likings. Vatican has a number of skeletons in its cupboards. It ranges from money laundering, drug trafficking, sex scandals and cases of pedophiles. A lot of wealth under the dispensation of the church is said to be dirty money and the curia (the bureaucracy in Vatican City) has a lot to shield from public scrutiny, reportedly.

God’s Bankers, authored by Gerald Posner, the attorney-turned-investigative journalist is a well-researched chronicle about the history of money and power at the Vatican. The book has brought out hitherto unheard accounts and mysteries associated with the church and the death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. Not only the death of the Pope; many investigating officers, prosecutors and crucial witnesses who could have thrown much light into the shady deals of the powerful people in Vatican were either bumped off or killed in staged accidents.

A shocking revelation made by Posner is about a woman who was present in the official residence of John Paul I in the Vatican the night he breathed his last. The Vatican has never revealed to the outside world about this fact as it would have given rise to many uncomfortable questions about the Pope’s celibacy. John Paul I, whose real name was Albino Luciani reigned for just 33 days. He was elected Pope following the death of Pope Paul VI on August 6, 1978. According to a communique issued by the Vatican, Pope John Paul I was found dead on September 29 around 5:30 am by John Magee, his private secretary.

But Posner’s investigations are based on the secret files in the archives in the Vatican and interviews with people who had inside information and first hand access to the interiors of the papal palace and has thrown out some shocking facts which may put a shadow on the Vatican’s claims of puritanism. It was Vincenza Taffarel, a nun who had been with Albino Luciani for more than 20 years as the head of his household who first found him dead. Vincenza ran to John Magee’s bedroom and roused him from a deep sleep. Magee sprinted to John Paul’s private chamber and put his hand on the pontiff’s cheek.

Villot, the secretary of state, who decided to cover up the presence of Vincenza and drafted the version that it was Magee who found out the Pope dead. Villot also summoned two morticians to prepare the Pope’s dead body for public display. “The morticians took out a small rope from a canvas bag. They tied some around the corpse’s ankles and knees. Then they straightened his legs and secured the rope to each end of the bed’s frame. The morticians looped it around John Paul’s chest and both pulled his arms and torso until the corpse was flat,” says Posner in his account.

Though the Vatican officials described “myocardial infarction” as the cause for John Paul’s death, there were many accounts which said that the Pope was poisoned to death. One of the morticians attending to the Pope found that there were clotting around the Pope’s neck. But the group of cardinals who reached the Vatican immediately after the pontiff’s death ruled out the possibility of any autopsy which sabotaged the chances of getting any lead for the investigators.

What went unnoticed was an attempt on the life of the Pope which happened days before he was found dead. Metropolitan Nikodim, the second-ranking prelate of the Russian Orthodox Church called on John Paul immediately after his installation as the Pope. “Nikodim sipped coffee from a cup the Pope had just poured. Then the bishop dropped his cup and saucer. He clenched at his throat as he gasped for air, and fell over backward, smashing a small table as he slammed into the floor. Luciani (the Pope) called for help and dropped to his knees to administer the last rites. By the time Dr Renato Buzzonetti, the deputy chief of the Vatican medical service arrived a few minutes later, the 48-year-old Nikodi was dead”, says Posner in the book.

Strangely no autopsy was performed. A conspiracy theory swept through the Vatican; a poisonous brew that had been intended for the new Pope had killed Nikodim. This incident as well as the unexpected death of John Paul in a gap of few days are similar to the murders and mayhem carried out by the dreaded Mafia.

Much has been written about the death of John Paul 1. The book In God’s Name by David Yallop has given an entirely different account about the murder. Kunhanandan Nair, an Indian journalist, who covered the death of John Paul and the subsequent election of the next Pope, has said in his reports that the Pope was murdered by a cartel consisting of certain cardinals, politicians and mafia dons who wanted him out of the scene as they feared the Pope would throw out those responsible for money laundering and financial embezzlement worth hundreds of crores of dollars from the Church owned Bank of Vatican (Banco Ambroziano).

Immediately after assuming the throne, the Pope had ordered a thorough probe into the financial irregularities committed by this cabal of cardinals, bishops, bankers and mafia dons with money drawn from Banco Ambroziano, owned by the Vatican. The Catholic Church today is the world’s largest capitalist holding company with lot of financial, commercial and political interests.

The Banco Ambroziano was one of the largest private banks in Italy and was owned by the church. Roberto Calvi, chairman and managing director of this bank was found hanging from the London Bridge on June 18, 1982, four years after the death of Pope John Paul I. Though the coroner in London declared it as a suicide, in 2002, it was scientifically proved that Calvi was murdered and hanged from the London Bridge. Why? Posner answers this question and many other hitherto unasked and unanswered queries which are not music to the ears of the church.

But why all these shady deals and operations? The church authorities have the answer themselves: “You can’t run the Church on Hail Marys”, a bishop is reported to have told the author. Posner has given a chilling account of the activities of the Catholic Church with special focus on Italy. One cannot help laughing when Catholic bishops and cardinals in India describe the BJP, RSS and other Hindutva forces as fascists. The Vatican City, the abode of the Pope itself is a gift of the Fascist Mussolini to the Catholic Church.

The church was with Hitler and Mussolini during the Second World War. Even today, the Church is run on blood money. Blood money from where? By whom? Well, the details are in God’s Bankers. It is a must read for all those who love action-packed and suspense -filled real life incidents. God’s Bankers is more thrilling than Mario Puzo’s Godfather.

Source