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Hey Ram… I too have shed my tears, not blood!

Image result for mahatma gandhi caricature pic

I was a six year old when he was shot dead by an assassin at point blank range in Delhi. I did not know anything about the Mahatma or the reason for his brutal murder… because, I was just a carefree kid then who had just started attending school, played ‘gilly danda’ with friends inside the huge bungalow compound of our home located nearly 2100 kilometers away from Delhi.

A 9 foot high stone compound wall surrounded the textile mill known as ‘Raja Mills’ that boasted a 5 storey high clock tower across from a huge park known as ‘Sirur Park’. At the height of its operations ‘Raja Mills and Minerva Mills owned by the Sirur & Company of Bombay employed 4000 workers.  There was another mill, known as Binny Mills too in the same area… it was owned by another company perhaps also from Bombay.

All these mill properties had been separated from the main road to Srirampur, a western suburb of Bangalore. A railway track separated mill properties from the Srirampur township.

The bungalow house assigned to my dad had been built inside a sprawling stretch of real estate with a nice lawn in the front. The bungalow house had gothic arches in front of a large verandah. A gravel road from the front of the bungalow lead to a large gate which opened to the main road to Srirampur.

My dad was Works Manager (later retired as DGM at age 68,) of ‘Raja Mills’, named so after a ‘Raja’ of erstwhile Mysore State who had also invested in the textile mill and associated business. White sheets and long cloth made at ‘Raja Mills’ had the ‘Raja’ stamp; cloth made at ‘Minerva Mills’ (another mills nearby… also under the management of Sirur Group from Bombay,) had goddess ‘Minerva’ stamp.

My dad  had been allotted a bungalow with four large bedrooms with attached baths, large living room with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. There were also a good size dinning room, pooja room, kitchen, storage room, pantry etc, etc that delighted my mom who stayed in that home for over 17 years!

We had Mango, Coconut, Jack fruit and Guava fruit trees inside our compound. My older brothers had put up a half-length cricket pitch and a Badminton court all inside our 4 acre compound that housed the bungalow; we could invite our friends and relatives into our compound to play outdoor games, including hide and seek behind the trees!

My world and future looked bright in those days!

I recall how my 5 brothers, 2 sisters, mom and dad had camped in front of the only radio we had at our house when Bapuji (later came to be known as Mahatma and also Father of the Nation) was assassinated in Delhi. News bulletins would come on AlR once every 2 hours (or so) about the shooting of the Mahatma just before his prayer meeting that day; the entire country had been plunged into grief all of a sudden.

We were informed that Bapuji said ‘Hey Ram’ before his death. The prayer song ‘vishnava jana to tene kahiye…’ would be repeated between news bulletins. The entire country grieved for the Mahatma who had lead us in removing British rule in country after nearly forty years of struggle using ‘Satyagraha’ (peaceful resistance…) because there was nothing else with us then to oppose British rulers of India who had Army, Navy and Airforce all under their control.

The Maharaja of the erstwhile State of Mysore and his sizeable personal army in the State had also sided with the British rulers at Delhi then.

I learned that the mahatma’s assassin was a member of Hindu Mahasabha (later came to be known as Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS.)

An older brother of mine used to attend ‘shakas’ to learn discipline, cane drills, marching to the beat of drums regularly, at a nearby field. A drill master used to make my brother and many youngsters of his age group learn ‘shakas’ discipline and drills.

In one of the news bulletins that came over the radio we heard that riots had broken out. Rioters were causing arson and mayhem; they were looking for people… any one… remotely connected with Hindu Mahasabha (later known as RSS) to beat up, even kill, if they protested.

We were afraid to open the front door of our house or go outside to the front yard of our secure home (we had sentry with a rifle at our gates too…) the day the Mahatma was shot dead. We just looked out through half shut windows of our house facing the main road in front of our gates where our armed sentry stood.

There were hundreds of men with lathis, farm implements and country made pistols running on the main road to Srirampur. I could see them running in front of the main gate of our house; thank god we had a sentry with a rifle at our gates.

The mobs who were running towards Srirampur  had come to know that the drill master who lead the ‘shakas’ lived near a Ram temple at Srirampur.

We heard over radio next morning that the drill master of Srirampur had been slain in front of the Ram temple.

Hey Ram, I too have shed my tears, not blood, in your memory!’

 

 

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Suresh Rao

Mellowed out and enlightened septuagenarian. Tech savvy. Social writing is just a pastime to kill time. I keep contributing to several developmental projects in the area of engineering education, IT and Healthcare projects launched by my kith and kin. I am too lazy to write a book, 'cause I think my life itself is a book! I am also at www.facebook.com/sureshnrao
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Navneet Bakshi
1 year ago

I think in most of the cases, it’s the motivators who incite them, so there should be a way of monitoring them. I think sometime ago, the government had started had made it compulsory for the religious institutions to include teaching of other subjects besides religion. Education- right education is necessary for drawing the people out of darkness. तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय should be the motto of all education being imparted in the schools.

Navneet Bakshi
1 year ago
Reply to  Suresh Rao

But, I would say that the justice too should be delivered promptly and the punishments should be exemplary.

Navneet Bakshi
1 year ago
Reply to  Suresh Rao

Such a large scale violence cannot be without meticulous planning. The investigating agencies should leave no stone unturned to dig out the perpetrators and their sources of funds and arms and ammunition. Attack on the police should be seen as the attack on the state and should therefore be dealt with firmly.

Navneet Bakshi
1 year ago
Reply to  Suresh Rao

A silver lining in this story is… Sane groups of educated Muslims whose businesses and property are also under attack in the KG Halli area (nearly 60% muslim, 25% SCST) are forming human chains around Hindu temples in region to protect them from the rioters. I hope it catches up. I think one reason for increasing instances of Islamic terrorism is that, the silent majority is not a mute witness but tacit supporter of this. Had the Muslim elders and intelligentsia been coming out to condemn the acts and the actors then things wouldn’t have come to this pass.

Navneet Bakshi
1 year ago
Reply to  Suresh Rao

These kind of things are what the cause one worry. Religious leaning is one thing but endorsing, funding, being the conduit for propagation of a militant cause is dangerous for the society and why should people have such things on their mind? What do they think they can achieve by this? Please Allah? Two days ago, I got one Whatsapp forward in which a woman can be seen in a departmental store in Bahrain, shouting at the employees and breaking the idols of Hindu deities. Though one can not understand what she is saying but from her action one can make out that she is furious against idolatory. Who the hell is she to question other peoples faith? Next day, Ashu posted a news clipping that the police has initiated a legal action against her. Even that should be seen as quite some change in the states’ attitude in a Muslim nation where until some decades ago, any practicing of any faith other than Islam was seen as blasphemy the punishment for which as par Sharia is death. So, forget about punishing the woman perhaps the shop owners could have been booked for blasphemy.

Navneet Bakshi
1 year ago
Reply to  Suresh Rao

That’s not a good news. India is a soft target and perhaps because that India is on the radar of ISIS and other fanatic Islamic Jihadi groups. I believe one reason of this is unstopped sprouting of Mosques and Madrassas where militant Jihad has been preached uninhibited for many decades now and all this has been funded by money pouring in from Gulf for furtherance of Islam, but in India, lack of political will and vote seeking, power hungry politicians and the radicalizing outfits have prospered under the protection of the very people who are trusted with the responsibility of development of the area. What we are seeing is a factory like production of morons ready to die for furthering the cause of the religion.

Ushasurya
1 year ago

Aw!! Suresh..Memories are painful. But life has to go on!!! Well, we have a great P M now, who KNOWS what to DO!! Who is no hypocrite !!! Past is well past. Let us pray that the future holds great things for our kids.

Navneet Bakshi
1 year ago

Was there a violence against RSS on the streets in India? I wasn’t aware of this. Charumati Ramdas is posting here a serialized novel ” Badvanal- Conflagration” that she translated from original Marathi. I read that novel after purchasing a hard copy, when she asked me to read it. Only from that novel I came to know that there was a armed rebellion against the British in Indian Navy, which threatened to flare up in to a full fledged war, with Army and Air-force planning to join in under the leadership of Subhash Chandra Bose, but sadly the plan went haywire and the rebels had to surrender as the Congress sided with the British. It is only now that the nation is waking up to the other side of the story that Congress never let become public because, it had actually run away with the liberation story scripted by S.C. Bose and projected itself as main party that spearheaded the freedom struggle while the truth was entirely different. It is now being openly acknowledged that British didn’t leave India because of Satyagrahas of Mahatama Gandhi, but because of the imminent threat of a war waged against them by INA. I still have a Whatsapp fwd. I received a few days ago in which Ajit Doval is openely saying it from a dias, making one of his rare appearances on the stage.

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