Saturday, September 8, 2012

Why Gandhi Let Bhagat Singh Hang * 71

Gandhi and Bhagat Singh were two individula wih divergent political thought. Bhagat Singh believed in armed struggle to oust the British while Gandhi believd in Ahmisa and non voilence and thus was more accomodating to the british. Obviously a clash was expected and at that period and one fact as brought out is that Bhagat Singh was more popular than Gandhi, Gandhi was a whimsical and shrewd politician and he resolved that Bhagat Singh must be finished politically so that he remained the undisputed leader.

 Thus when the famous trial of Bhagat Singh commenced , Gandhi maintained a studious silence. Many requests were made to him about Bhat Singh, which he steadfastly ignored. When Bhagat Singh was awarded the death sentence , Gandhi was again requested to appeal to the Viceroy to commute the sentence of Bhagat Singh to life in jail. Gandhi again refused and one wonders how such a man can be called a 'Mahatma'. Gandhis's reason for refusing to intercede with the Viceroy or make any appeal was simple: he dreaded that an alive Bhagat Singh would be a threat to his authority and more important his philosophy.
History records that Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged by the British at night against all canons of Jail law and the prison manual and Gandhi kept quiet. At that time Gandhi's popularity touched rock bottom and he was greeted with black flags when he visited Karachi and other places after the hanging.

The episode leaves a sour taste in the mouth and the fact is Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged and Gandhi we can surmise heaved a sigh of relief. There are many facates of Gandh's life that need to be published and some more research done on them. The hanging of Bhagat Singh and his comrades is one of them and I am afraid it shows Gandhi in very poor light