Tag Archives: Indian freedom struggle

15th of August 1947 Message by Sri Aurobindo

The 15th of August 1947 Message by Sri Aurobindo

[Sri Aurobindo wrote this message at the request of All India Radio, Tiruchirapalli, India, for broadcast on the eve of India’s independence. This is the message which was broadcast on August 14, 1947. It is of special relevance and importance even now.]

August 15th, 1947 is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But we can also make it by our life and acts as a free nation an important date in a new age opening for the whole world, for the political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity.

August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition. Indeed, on this day I can watch almost all the world-movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime, though then they looked like impracticable dreams, arriving at fruition or on their way to achievement. In all these movements free India may well play a large part and take a leading position.

The first of these dreams was a revolutionary movement which would create a free and united India. India today is free but she has not achieved unity. At one moment it almost seemed as if in the very act of liberation she would fall back into the chaos of separate States which preceded the British conquest. But fortunately it now seems probable that this danger will be averted and a large and powerful, though not yet a complete union will be established. Also, the wisely drastic policy of the Constituent Assembly has made it probable that the problem of the depressed classes will be solved without schism or fissure. But the old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India’s internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even frustrated. This must not be; the partition must go. Let us hope that that may come about naturally, by an increasing recognition of the necessity not only of peace and concord but of common action, by the practice of common action and the creation of means for that purpose. In this way unity may finally come about under whatever form—the exact form may have a pragmatic but not a fundamental importance. But by whatever means, in whatever way, the division must go; unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of India’s future.

Another dream was for the resurgence and liberation of the peoples of Asia and her return to her great role in the progress of human civilisation. Asia has arisen; large parts are now quite free or are at this moment being liberated: its other still subject or partly subject parts are moving through whatever struggles towards freedom. Only a little has to be done and that will be done today or tomorrow. There India has her part to play and has begun to play it with an energy and ability which already indicate the measure of her possibilities and the place she can take in the council of the nations.

The third dream was a world-union forming the outer basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind. That unification of the human world is under way; there is an imperfect initiation organised but struggling against tremendous difficulties. But the momentum is there and it must inevitably increase and conquer. Here too India has begun to play a prominent part and, if she can develop that larger statesmanship which is not limited by the present facts and immediate possibilities but looks into the future and brings it nearer, her presence may make all the difference between a slow and timid and a bold and swift development. A catastrophe may intervene and interrupt or destroy what is being done, but even then the final result is sure. For unification is a necessity of Nature, an inevitable movement. Its necessity for the nations is also clear, for without it the freedom of the small nations may be at any moment in peril and the life even of the large and powerful nations insecure. The unification is therefore to the interests of all, and only human imbecility and stupid selfishness can prevent it; but these cannot stand for ever against the necessity of Nature and the Divine Will. But an outward basis is not enough; there must grow up an international spirit and outlook, international forms and institutions must appear, perhaps such developments as dual or multilateral citizenship, willed interchange or voluntary fusion of cultures. Nationalism will have fulfilled itself and lost its militancy and would no longer find these things incompatible with self-preservation and the integrality of its outlook. A new spirit of oneness will take hold of the human race.

Another dream, the spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India’s spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice.

The final dream was a step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness and begin the solution of the problems which have perplexed and vexed him since he first began to think and to dream of individual perfection and a perfect society. This is still a personal hope and an idea, an ideal which has begun to take hold both in India and in the West on forward-looking minds. The difficulties in the way are more formidable than in any other field of endeavour, but difficulties were made to be overcome and if the Supreme Will is there, they will be overcome. Here too, if this evolution is to take place, since it must proceed through a growth of the spirit and the inner consciousness, the initiative can come from India and, although the scope must be universal, the central movement may be hers.

Such is the content which I put into this date of India’s liberation; whether or how far this hope will be justified depends upon the new and free India.

http://aurosociety.org/sri-aurobindo-mother/august-message.aspx

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Madanlal Dhingra – Challenge to British

dhingra photo

Madanlal Dhingra was a handsome youth inspired by Swatantraveer Vinayak Savarkar. He sought revenge from the British on the inhumanly treatment of freedom fighters and also the poor.

Dhingra courted arrested after assassinating Curzon Wylie. His last statement in court is a must read for all patriots given below. He left his body on 17th August 1909.

” I do not want to say anything in defense of myself, but simply to prove the justice of my deed. As for myself, no English law court has got any authority to arrest and detain me in prison, or pass sentence of death on me. That is the reason I did not have any counsel to defend me.”

“And I maintain that if it is patriotic in an Englishman to fight against the Germans if they were to occupy this country, it is much more justifiable and patriotic in my case to fight against the English. I hold the English people responsible for the murder of 80 millions of Indian people in the last fifty years, and they are also responsible for taking away ₤100, 000, 000 every year from India to this country. I also hold them responsible for the hanging and deportation of my patriotic countrymen, who did just the same as the English people here are advising their countrymen to do. And the Englishman who goes out to India and gets, say, ₤100 a month, that simply means that he passes a sentence of death on a thousand of my poor countrymen, because these thousand people could easily live on this ₤100, which the Englishman spends mostly on his frivolities and pleasures. Just as the Germans have no right to occupy this country, so the English people have no right to occupy India, and it is perfectly justifiable on our part to kill the Englishman who is polluting our sacred land. I am surprised at the terrible hypocrisy, the farce, and the mockery of the English people. They pose as the champions of oppressed humanity—the peoples of the Congo and the people of Russia—when there is terrible oppression and horrible atrocities committed in India; for example, the killing of two millions of people every year and the outraging of our women. In case this country is occupied by Germans, and the Englishman, not bearing to see the Germans walking with the insolence of conquerors in the streets of London, goes and kills one or two Germans, and that Englishman is held as a patriot by the people of this country, then certainly I am prepared to work for the emancipation of my Motherland. Whatever else I have to say is in the paper before the Court I make this statement, not because I wish to plead for mercy or anything of that kind. I wish that English people should sentence me to death, for in that case the vengeance of my countrymen will be all the more keen. I put forward this statement to show the justice of my cause to the outside world, and especially to our sympathizers in America and Germany.” Original Case Image

“I have told you over and over again that I do not acknowledge the authority of the Court, You can do whatever you like. I do not mind at all. You can pass sentence of death on me. I do not care. You white people are all-powerful now, but, remember, it shall have our turn in the time to come, when we can do what we like “.

A pamphlet issued by the Indian revolutionaries in London on 17th Aug 1909 titled “The Challenge” by Madanlal Dhingra. The pamphlet was issued as his last words before going to the gallows.

“I admit the other day; I attempted to shed English blood as an humble revenge for the inhuman hangings and deportations of patriotic Indian youths. In this attempt, I have consulted none but my own conscience; I have conspired with none, but my own duty.
I believe that a nation held down in bondage with the help of foreign bayonets is in a perpetual state of war. Since open battle is rendered impossible to a disarmed race, I attacked by surprise; since guns were denied to me, I drew forth my pistol and fired.
As a Hindu I felt that a wrong done to my country is an insult to God. Her cause is the cause of Sri Ram! Her services are the services of Sri Krishna! Poor in health and intellect, a son like myself has nothing else to offer to the Mother but his own blood and so I have sacrificed the same on her altar.
The only lesson required in India at present is to learn how to die and the only way to teach it, is by dying ourselves. Therefore I die and glory in my martyrdom! This war of Independence will continue between India and England, so long as the Hindu and the English races last (if the present unnatural relation does not cease!)
My only prayer to God is: May I be reborn of the same Mother and may I redie in the same sacred cause, till the cause is successful and she stands free for the good of humanity and the glory of God!”

-Vande Mataram-
Dhingra challengeCase of Dhingra

Lala Hardayal – A Life in Exile – A Mission for Freedom

Lala Hardayal

Lala Har Dayal (October 14, 1884 – March 4, 1939) was a nationalist who founded the Ghadar Party in America. He was a polymath who turned down a career in the Indian Civil Service. His simple living and intellectual acumen inspired many expatriate Indians living in Canada and the USA.

Har Dayal was the sixth of seven children of Bholi Rani and Gauri Dayal Mathur. His father was a Reader in the District Court.  Under the influence of his devoted mother, Hardyal in his boyhood visited and prayed at a Delhi Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Along with his academic studies, he also studied the ‘Gita’, ‘Manu Smriti’ and ‘Rig-Veda’.

The Government of India awarded him a scholarship of 200 per annum for higher studies in England. He joined St. John’s College, Oxford, for the Honours Course in Modern History. He also did his Ph. D. from the London University.In London he came under the influence of Shyamaji Krishna Verma, Editor of the Indian Sociologist and a recognized leader of the Indian Revolutionary Movement. He also came under the influence of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Madam Cama.

Devotion to the cause of freedom : Such was the charm of their company that Hardyal threw away the scholarship, declaring that “No Indian who really loves his country ought to compromise his principle and barter his rectitude for any favour whatever at the hands of alien oppressive rulers of India.”

 Henceforward the talents of his genius were entirely devoted to revolutionary work. About education, he wrote, “The awakening of patriotism through the teaching of national history is thus the first requisite of a sound educational system. It must awaken in boys a sense of their the national type of character; it must accustom boys to the national modes of life and thought which are around them. Popular education will lead to a demand for free political institution. The despotism of the princes will be curbed; so it has been in Europe, so it shall be in India.” Read his Book on Education

He went to Lahore in 1908, stayed with Lala Lajpat Rai, met his associates and suggested ‘passive resistance’ as a weapon of struggle against the British. In this he anticipated Mahatma Gandhi by ten years.

 In 1911, Lala Har Dayal moved to the United States and joined the Stanford University as Professor of Sanskrit and Philosophy. He was the secretary of the San Francisco chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World. The body was granted land in Oakland and he helped set up the Bakunin Institute of California there.His association with the Indian immigrants had also been growing. To encourage young Indians to come to the United States, he convinced Jawala Singh, a wealthy farmer, and set up the Guru Gobind Singh Scholarships for higher education at Berkeley in USA. On the lines of the home of Shyamji Krishna Verma in London, he opened his own rented accommodation house for these scholars — this was known as India House. Events in India, especially the assassination attempt on the Viceroy, further fuelled his nationalist fervor. He addressed Indian community groups and exhorted them to liberate mother India with the force of arms. During his visit to Astoria, Oregon, Gadar Movement was born with Sohan Singh Bhakna as president and Har Dayal as secretary general. The movement spread like wildfire in the United States with large number of immigrant Indians joining – these included the students as well as the workers. To spread their message, the Gadarites brought out a newsletter in different languages. The newsletter, also called Gadar, talked of revolution and a violent overthrow of the British from India. They also gave instructions on bomb manufacture and use of explosives.

 The onset of the First World War was seen as an opportune time to launch the offensive in India. As such, several thousand Indians returned to India by sea with arms, explosives and funds. In April, 1914, Lala Har Dayal was still in the United States when the American government, under pressure from the British, came to arrest him on charges of spreading anarchist propaganda. The British had tried to force the Americans to deport Lala Har Dayal, but that did not happen. He managed to obtain bail and moved to Berlin where other Indian revolutionaries in exile had set up the India Independence Committee.

Sacrifice of family :  Hardayal was married to Sundar Rani, Their son, born two years later, died in infancy, but their daughter, Shanti born in 1908, survived. The sacrifice of Har Dayal’s family was immense. She lived an entire lifetime away from her husband who was away working for the freedom movement.  His daughter never saw her father in her lifetime. 

His View on Sanskrit :  Some people say that Sanskrit is a dead language and it cannot be commonly used for purpose of national business. This idea is altogether erroneous. It is easier for a Hindu to learn Sanskrit than English. Sanskrit is not dead – it is we who are dead. Those who desire to make a great and United Nation must take their stand on Sanskrit as the eternal refuge and glory of the Indian people.

Last Years :  The last years of Lala Hardayal were wrapped in mystery. He died in Philadelphia on March 4, 1939. In the evening of his death he delivered a lecture as usual where he had said “I am in peace with all”. A very close friend of Lala Hardayal and the founder member of Bharat Mata Society , Lala Hanumant Sahai did not accept the death as natural, he suspected it as poison.