It was this day 65 years back that India became a free nation getting rid of the British colonialism. It didn’t happen in a day, it was rather much prolonging a phenomenon, which actually took off in 1857 with revolt, popularly known as ghadar, by an army personnel named Mangal Pandey. Thereafter, it took long 90 years for India to get independence. History of this long period is red in blood, red in tooth and claw. History may talk of many a martyrs, yet it may omit several thousands of heroes who laid their lives obliviously fighting for freedom of the country. Who knows them? Virtually no body!
Gandhi factor is an integral part of the total movement, which aspect none can deny. He was a faqir, as Winston Curchill called him, but for the British, he was more than a monster practicing non-violence. They were afraid of him. Why they were afraid of him is the moot question. It was not because Gandhi’s weapon of non-violence had any thing to do with them physically; it was for the fear that if there was any kind of harm caused to him, it was bound to erupt into a revolt much beyond their control, as in that situation a blood shed at a large scale followed by attacks and counter attacks at the level of the general public, was just inevitably imminent. Non-violence has the characteristic of surviving on violence. Simply because some body is observing fast, or even fast unto death, it is not going to elicit any outcome, unless of course such an action possesses necessary potential vulnerability of a mass upsurge capable of resulting into a large scale violence. History has it that never any fast, dharna (peaceful dharna as they call it), or any mode of non-violence oriented method of protest or assertions, was successful unless it had the fear of violent methodology in the background. Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent movement had this advantage sumptuously, and that was the secret behind the mission of his non-violence. More importantly, the fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose, Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ram Prasad ‘Bismil’, Bhagat Singh, Ashfaqullah Khan, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Manmath Nath Gupt, Rajendra Lahiri, Sachindra Nath Bakhshi, Batkeshwar Dutt, Shahnawaz Khan, Awadhesh Dutt Awasthi, Cheetu Pandey, were the people who waged a battle against the British confronting them every where from streets to main centres in different cities and villages. Cheetu Pandey, popularly known as tiger of Ballia, virtually even declared his district as free and independent, and there was no British rule there for days together. These revolutionaries caused sleepless nights to Britishers and shook the entire British empire, who had to feel alarmed and panicky. These revolutionaries forced them to realise that their days in India were numbered, and that they were now bound to flee and pack up back to Britain.
Such a burning situation was read by the British rulers in conjunction with Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful satyagrah based on non-violence. Gandhi’s movement alone could not have been enough to compel the British rulers to quit India, but it certainly became a strength to count when both the factors, method of non-violence and revolution obviously involving violence, were taken jointly forming a gigantic force capable enough to oust the foreign rulers from the country. ‘Freedom at Midnight’ on 14/15 August’1947 at Lal Qila in Delhi thus emerged out of the blood of the revolutionaries coupled with Mahatma Gandhi’s movement. Country in fact owes a debt of gratitude not to Gandhi alone but equally, nay more, to the great revolutionaries.