Monday, December 7, 2009

Freedom Struggle Revisited-Revolutionary Terrorists- An Intellectual Quest-Part 1

In a message from the death cell, Ramprasad Bismil had appealed to the youth to give up
" The Desire to keep revolvers and pistols, not to work in revolutionary conspiracies and to participate in the open movement"

A die-hard communist, a rebel, a revolutionary, appealing people not to emulate his own path, why?
Going through the pages of the most reverred factual acount of the Indian struggle for freedom, by noted Historian Bipin Chandra,I was dumbstruck when I came across these quotes from Ram Prasad Bismil.
How can heores of our past debate their own stance so easily, did they repent the path they choose for themselves?
As I continued to read further, I came across one of the tallest figures of Indian freedom struggle, a young lad named Bhagat Singh. I was amazed to discover that this fellow had quite an apetite for books, and even at the tender age of 20 years, he was a giant of an intellectual.
His political ideology was shaped significantly by three things:
  • The Jalian Wala Bagh incident, which showed him the naked nature of British Imperialism
  • The taking back of Non-Violence Movement by Gandhiji when the movement was in it's full swing, which demolished his hopes for a free India at the prime of his youth
  • In depth readings on Socialism, Communism, the Russian Revolution, Marxism and Capitalism

Before his arrest in 1929, Bhagat Singh had abondoned his belief in terrorism and individual heroic action. He had turned to Marxism and had come to believe that popular broad-based mass movements alone could lead to a successful revolution.

Prior to his execution, the great Indian rebel, wrote to his young political workers:

"The real revolutionary armies are in the villages and in factories.

Apparently, I have acted like a terrorist. But I am not a terrorist.Let me announce with all strength at my command, that I am not a terrorist and I never was, except perhaps in the beginning of my revolutionary career. And I am convinced that we cannot gain anything through these methods."

Few weeks before his death, he wrote an article, "Why I am an Atheist"

I would love to grab one copy.

And what did the word revolution meant for them:

The draft of the famous statement of revolutionary organisation HRSA, THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE BOMB, co-authored by Chandra Shekhar Azad, Yashpal, and Bhagwati Charan Vohra, defined a revolution as:
"Independence, social, political, economic, aimed at establishing a new new order of society in which political and economic exploitation will be an impossibility"

Are we anywhere near to this colossal definition?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

5 Past Midnight in Bhopal


Something happened 5 past Midnight in Bhopal, the capital of the Heart of India, Madhya Pradesh which left it's most bloody imprints on the face of mankind.
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy.


I was in the final year of my engineering in NIT Bhopal, when I heard the name Warren Anderson, seriously, for the first time in my life.
Out on the streets of Bhopal, there were ghostly creatures, for they looked too special to be part of the same brethren of mankind to which I belonged. One fellow had joined limbs, another one had the face that would have given the Marsians a run for their money and what not.
Yet, they had that peculiar syndrome of mankind, pain, agony and disgust.
Anderson ko waapas lao, Anderson Hatyara Hai
Gas Peedeton ki Madad Karo
Bhopal awaits for Justice
It could have been you!!!
Slogans such as these could be heard across whole of Bhopal, be it MACT square, Mata Mandir, Topn Town, Railway Station, Lake.
Stirred by curiosity, I turned to the doors of the sacred British Library of Bhopal for help.
And then, Eureka, I found it!!
Five Past Midnight in Bhopal, by Dominique Lapierre.

After I finished reading the book, I wished it was fiction, I was not ready to accept that it was not a Ghost story of our childhood, but a glaring account of the genocide of about 5000 innocent Indians by a corporate, and of the millions of survivors by the petty system of our country.


The memories of reading about the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, meeting it's survivors last year in Bhopal, and the pathetic state of the government authorities in dealing with the whole matter remind me of the fact, it could have been me too, it's just chance that I was not one of them.
But Yes, today, I can be one of them, stand with them, for them, for myself, for our common shared future.
As a responsible citizen of India, I will strive towards bringing justice to the victims and ensure that the lessons of Bhopal are well learnt and we should lobby in favour of stricter safety norms for our industrial as well as civic safety.

And as an informed and active citizen, I will strive towards exposing and filling the loop-holes in our system.