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Saturday, June 1, 2019

blabbering actor needs to know history of 1926 and earlier too !


 One should not pay any attention to the blabbering of actor turned politician – his views has never been stable – a person known for making long sentences, without fullstop and from the start till end – only confusing.  He and his supporters for sure, would know history and certainly not this piece of history of the killing of 1926 – nor that of the case before Calcutta High Court in 1927 titled – ‘ Ishwari Prasad Sharma And Anr. vs King-Emperor on 13 July, 1927’.  For ease of reference, it was a petition by an editor of a weekly newspaper published in the Debnagri character in Calcutta called "Hindi Punch"; and the printer of that.  They had been convicted by the Chief Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta under Section 153A, I.P.C., and sentenced .. …

Swami Shraddhanand (22 Feb 1856 – 23 Dec 1926), also known as Mahatma Munshi Ram Vij, was an Indian educationist and an Arya Samaj missionary who propagated the teachings of Dayananda Saraswati. This included the establishment of educational institutions, like the Gurukul Kangri University, and played a key role on the Sangathan(consolidation and organization) and the Shuddhi (re-conversion), in the 1920s.

 He was born in  1856 in the village of Talwan in the Jalandhar District of the Punjab Province of India. He was the youngest child in the family of Lala Nanak Chand, who was a Police Inspector in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), then administered by the East India Company.  He first met Dayanand Saraswati when Dayanand visited Bareilly to give lectures.  He after  completing his studies practised as lawyer.   He headed the 'Punjab Arya Pratinidhi Sabha', and started its monthly journal, Arya Musafir.  In 1902 he established a Gurukul in Kangri, Indianear Haridwar. This school is now recognized as Gurukul Kangri University.   In 1917, Mahatma Munshi Ram took sanyas as "Swami Shradhanand  Saraswati".

He was actively involved in reforms as also in Independence movement.   He also joined the nationwide protest against the Rowlatt Act. In the early 1920s he emerged as an important force in the Hindu Sangathan (consolidation) movement.  Wikipedia reports that Swami Shradhanand was the only Hindu Sanyasi who addressed a huge gathering from the minarets of the main Jama Masjid New Delhi, for national solidarity and vedic dharma starting his speech with the recitation of ved mantras.  He wrote on religious issues in both Hindi and Urdu. He published newspapers in the two languages as well. He promoted Hindi in the Devanagri script, helped the poor and promoted the education of women.  

On 23 Dec 1926 he was assassinated by a person named  Abdul Rashid. Two days after his death,  Gandhi moved a condolence motion at the Guwahati session of the Congress.  An excerpt from the speech in relevant part reads "If you hold dear the memory of Swami Shraddhanandji, you would help in purging the atmosphere of mutual hatred and calumny. You would help in boycotting papers which foment hatred and spread misrepresentation. I am sure that India would lose nothing if 90 per cent of the papers were to cease today. . . Now you will perhaps understand why I have called Abdul Rashid a brother and I repeat it. I do not even regard him as guilty of Swamiji's murder. Guilty indeed are all those who excited feelings of hatred against one another. .. it reads that Gandhi did not condemn the killing but spoke of hatred !
A statue of him was placed in front of Delhi Town Hall after independence, replacing a statue of Queen Victoria.

Pic  :  By Varun Shiv Kapur from New Delhi, India - Town Hall, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30105177

Now the case AIR  1927 Cal 747 before Calcutta High Court - Ishwari Prasad Sharma And Anr. vs King-Emperor on 13 July, 1927

The petition had been made by   Iswari Prashad Sharma, the editor of a weekly newspaper published in the Debnagri character in Calcutta called "Hindi Punch"; and Mukund Lall Burman, its printer thereof. They had been convicted by the Chief Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta under Section 153A, I.P.C., and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonments.

The subject-matter of the charge against the two petitioners was  the publication of an article in the form of a drama called Balidan (sacrifice) at page 109 in the issue of the newspaper in question dated the 27th Jan 1927. The immediate occasion, as claimed by the Govt for the publication of the drama in question was the murder of Swami Shradhanand at Delhi in 1926. The murder according to the Magistrate was an event which deeply moved the Hindu world and not only the Hindu world but all classes and conditions of men, and there can be no question that the Hindu community in particular all over India was intensely agitated after the assassination.   In the drama the murder of Pandit Lekhram in Lahore in 1897 by a Mahomedan is recalled apropos of the assassination of Swami Shradhanand, and the writer after indulging in an attack on the miscreants, urges in support of his argument that the salvation of India lies in what is called the Suddhi movement, the fact that at diverse times the Hindus have not received at the hands of Mahomedans the treatment which they thought they had a right to receive from them. The last words are our paraphrase of many of the expressions used by the writer in the drama.

The Judge held that  the intention of the writer has to be judged not only from the words used in scene 4 of the drama but from the drama taken as a whole. The drama taken as a whole, as has been pointed out, is one which was written at a time of great public excitement. It is possible that the writer may have without any malicious intention and honestly thought that he should express himself in the manner in which he did with a view to the removal of causes which according to him were promoting or had a tendency to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of His Majesty's Indian subjects, to wit, the Hindus and Mahomedans. Bearing that in mind and reading the article as a whole from that point of view it is difficult to say that the intension of the writer of this drama was to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of His Majesty's Indian subjects. We think that the writer was quite honest in the view which he took (it may be that it was a wrong view) that the only way to prevent murders like those referred to above was to take steps in the direction indicated in the concluding portion of the drama. If that was so, the writer could not in our opinion be brought within the mischief of Section 153A, I.P.C.; at any rate there is much in the drama which entitles to us to give the benefit of the doubt to the accused.

The Court opined that the conviction and sentence of the petitioners must be set aside. The petitioners who are on bail should be  discharged from their bail bonds.

Interesting but forgotten piece of history ~ also makes us understand the views of Gandhi, Congress, the way our history has been written and more !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th May 2019.

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