J. B. Kripalani

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Acharya Kripalani

Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani (11 November 1888 – 19 March 1982), popularly known as Acharya Kripalani, was an Indian politician, noted particularly for holding the presidency of the Indian National Congress during the transfer of power in 1947 and the husband of Sucheta Kripalani. Kripalani was an environmentalist, mystic and independence activist who was long a Gandhian socialist, before joining the economically right wing Swatantra Party later in life.


  • The tense situation in Delhi during those days has been described by Kripalani : ‘‘Soon after the partition, the atmosphere in Delhi had grown more tense as refugees in thousands poured in from West Punjab. They brought with them gruesome tales of their sufferings in Pakistan-whole villages devastated, women dishonoured, carried away, distributed as “‘booty,’” sometimes openly sold. Infants-in-arms and children were speared to death in cold blood. Wives came without their husbands, husbands without their wives and children without their parents. There were innumerable conversions. Arson and loot were rampant. Attacks were made on refugee convoys and refugee trains on the route. Many were killed and many more reached Delhi having been wounded on the way. The Muslims who fled in panic to Pakistan on account of rioting in some parts of Northern India fared no better. As the biggest migration of population recorded in history was in progress, a most dangerous situation arose in the capital. Every fourth person in Delhi was a Hindu or Sikh refugee from Pakistan. They were furious not only against the Muslims who were at the root of partition but also against the Congress for agreeing to it. “To make matters worse, there were, rumours of a coup d’etat on the part of the Muslims to seize the administration of the capital. The fact that the Muslims had collected arms gave credence to the rumours. Searches of Muslim houses by the police had revealed dumps of bombs, arms and ammunition. Sten-guns, Bren-guns, mortars and wireless transmitters were seized and secret miniature factories for the manufacture of the same were uncovered. At a number of places these weapons were actually used by the Muslims in pitched battles. The Sikh and Hindu refugees and many of the non-Muslim residents had no faith in the ability of the Government to afford them protection from any attack from the Muslims. Some even doubted whether the Government would take action against the Muslims. --- Riots broke out in Delhi on September 4, 1947. The Government immediately went into action. “The task of the Government in quelling the riots was made difficult as the bulk of the police was Muslim. A number of them in their uniform and with arms had deserted. The loyalty of the test was doubtful. The Government had to bring police and military forces from other provinces.’’
  • On the 24th (October 1946) Diwali was to be celebrated by the Hindus as ‘“‘Dark’”? Diwali, a mourning day, in sympathy with the sufferers in Bengal. In Chapra a local Muslim leader exhorted his followers to ‘rejoice’ by illuminating their houses. On the 25th when a meeting was held by the Hindus to protest against the happenings in Bengal, riots broke out’ in all their intensity and ferocity and raged for five days... 76 ‘Communal tension had been growing for some time past. The Muslim League, infuriated at the success of the Congress Ministry, had let loose- insidious propaganda of ‘atrocities’ committed on the Muslim minority in the Congress- governed provinces. They also published a mendacious report called the ‘Pirpur Report’ which helped to inflame the sentiments of both Hindus and Muslims. “Also, during the ‘Quit India’ movement there was a great upheaval in Bihar. At that time the attitude of the Muslim League was such that the general opinion was that it stood as a ‘barrier to the freedom struggle.’ This had made the Muslims unpopular. “ “In Calcutta riots, as we have seen, at first the Muslims had the upper hand. The labouring class of Hindus from Bihar had greatly suffered at the hands of Muslim rioters. They brought with them harrowing accounts of their experience. This excited the anger of the Hindus. At this time a pamphlet purporting to have been issued by some League leader was distributed in Bihar. It contained instructions ‘to kill the Hindus,’ Hindus believed that the Muslims were planning some mischief in Bihar. On top of this, an unfortunate incident occurred in Muzaffarpur towards the end of September. It was reported that a Hindu girl abducted from Calcutta was brought to Bihar and kept confined in the house of a local Muslim, The Hindus tried to persuade him to release the girl. Failing in this, the crowd went to search the house. But they found that the man had disappeared along with the girl. At this the crowd lost control and wreaked vengeance on the local Muslims by looting and burning their houses and killing some of them, So far as the League Government in Bengalwas concerned, it had helped the Muslim rioters. It roused itself only when the Hindus took action on their own. In Bihar the Hindus being in the majority did not wait to be attacked by the Muslims.’’ “The Viceroy no more prevented the Central Government from acting on the plea of provincial autonomy... When we re- buked the people for what they had done they did fee] ashamed. The police repeatedly resorted to firing to quell the rioting .... Those who raided Muslim houses were not accompanied by sadhus and sannyasis; they were not fighting a jihad as the Muslims were doing in Calcutta, Noakhali and in the North. It was collective revenge coupled with the apprehension that if they did not take the offensive there would be no protection for them.... While the Hindus in Noakhali would not get encouragement from Gandhiji’s visit to return to their homes, the same cannot be said of the Muslims in Bihar... At Gandhiji’s suggestion, at many places the Hindus went to the camps and brought back Muslims to their village homes. Hindus contributed funds to the the rehabilitation of Muslim refugees. Hindu women donated their ornaments to Gandhiji for the purpose and fed and looked after Muslims, “The work of relief and rehabilitation that was going on was now placed under a Muslim Minister, Abdul Qayum Ansari, Gandhiji’s work was, however, made difficult by the attitude of the Muslim League workers. The Government of Bihar, as a gesture of goodwill, had handed over the camps to be run by the volunteers of the League. Soon the camps became the hot-beds of intrigue, and the work of rehabilitation was hampered greatly as they prevailed upon the refugees not to go back to their homes. The Muslim League Ministry of Bengal also did all in its power to prevent the Muslim refugees from returning to their homes in Bihar. They wanted to draw as large a number of Bihari refugees as possible to Bengal in order to settle them in the bordering districts where the Hindus were in a majority.’’
  • The situation created in the N.W.F.P. and the Punjab had become serious. Riots broke out first in N.W.F.P. and thereafter spread to the whole of the Punjab. On our way to Kashmir (in May 1947) we stopped at Lahore and from there went up to Rawalpindi. We found intense apprehension among the Hindus because the Muslim leaders were openly and boastfully talking of using violence against the Hindus. In the Rawalpindi district, we found widespread destruction. Every Hindu and Sikh public building in that city had been turned into a refugee camp. We saw a house where the children from the village had collected and which had been set on fire. We saw the bones of the little ones. “In a village called Thoa Khalsa, after a prolonged fight between Hindus and Sikhs on one side and Muslims on the other, when all men belonging to the Sikh and Hindu com- munities were killed, seventy-four women and girls and children decided to save their honour by jumping into the well of a house where they had all collected for safety. Led by the wife of the owner of the house, Smt- Lajwanti, all of them jumped into the well after reciting japji. We were shown the well and given photographs showing it full of dead bodies. ““We were informed that when some local leaders ap- proached a highly-placed British official for protection, he said, “Go to Gandhi, he will come to your help.
  • “The Working Committee met in a tense atmosphere. Everybody felt depressed at the prospect of the partition of the country. The Viceroy’s proposals were accepted without much discussion. Asa matter of fact, Jawaharlal and Vallabh- bhai were already committed to the acceptance of the proposals. There was no critical examination. For instance, in Sind where there was a League Ministry, the decision of accession to Pakistan was left to the Assembly. In the North-West Frontier Province, where there was a Congress Ministry in office, this decision was not left to the Assembly, but there was to be a referendum of the people to ascertain anew their pre- ference. Again, while the Sylhet district of Assam having a Muslim majority was carved out of the province for ascertaining the will of the people, the same choice was denied to the district of Tharparkar in Sind on the borders of Rajasthan where there was a Hindu majority. It was quite natural for our foreign masters to ignore all these inconsistencies in order to favour the League; one cannot understand why we of the Working Committee did not even draw their attention to these important details.’’7

Lok Sabha Debates (1959)

Lok Sabha Debates, 8 May 1959, cols. 15918–25. quoted from Arun Shourie - Self-Deception _ India's China Policies_ Origins, Premises, Lessons-Harper Collins (2013) ch 10
  • It is nothing unusual for countries to criticize each other in their internal and external policy. Nobody takes this criticism to be interference in the internal affairs of the country. If it were so, the hard criticism that is being leveled by China itself against Yugoslavia would be considered interference in the internal affairs of the country. But in the Communist world there are two standards of judgement—one for themselves and the other for others with whom they think they are in opposition.
  • Recently we have entered into a treaty with China. I feel that China, after it had gone Communist, committed an act of aggression against Tibet. The plea is that China had the ancient right of suzerainty. This right was out of date, old and antiquated. It was never exercised in fact. It had lapsed by the flux of time. Even if it had not lapsed, it is not right in these days of democracy by which our Communist friends swear, by which the Chinese swear, to talk of this ancient suzerainty and exercise it in a new form in a country which had and has nothing to do with China.
  • It is also well-known that in the new map of China other border territories like Nepal, Sikkim, etc., figure. This gives us an idea of the aggressive designs of China. Let us see what the Chinese themselves did in the Korean War. As soon as the U.N. troops, or more correctly the American troops, reached the borders of China, it felt insecure and it immediately joined the Korean War. I do not say that because China conquered Tibet, we should have gone to war with it,... But this does not mean that we should recognize the claim of China on Tibet. We must know that it is an act of aggression against a foreign nation.
  • Yet our efforts to save it [China and its goodwill] will only result in this that they will not give us credit for good intentions. They will only give us credit for cowardice. It will never appear to a bully that you are doing things out of your goodness; it will only appear to him that you are frightened.
Wikipedia has an article about: