WRITTEN BY R. NANJAPPA                        

Post No. 8635

Date uploaded in London – – – –6 SEPTEMBER 2020   

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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We then set about the task of giving this British imposed structure an air of Indian legitimacy. When we set about making a Constitution for ourselves, none of the basic structures or their underlying purposes or continued relevance was questioned or reviewed in the light of the ideas that guided our freedom movement. That structure was taken for granted.
The man in charge of drafting it  (B.N.Rau) was a career bureaucrat and part of British administration. There was a 7-member committee to go through the draft and make amendments. 6 of these members had been part of the British system and its beneficiaries. None of them had taken part in the struggle for freedom. One of them- Dr. B.R.Ambedkar –  in fact had been a staunch supporter of the British, did not participate in the freedom movement, and was an  opponent of  Gandhiji.   Ironically, he became the Law Minister! He was a member of the Viceroy’s Council when Gandhiji, Patel, Nehru and the entire top leaders of the Congress were in Jail in 1942-45! None of these people had worked with Gandhiji, really knew or shared or cared for his ideas on Swaraj . They were mostly lawyers practising the law they loved, or were part of the administration! Naturally when they set about making a Constitution, they retained all the elements that the British system had imposed on us and with which they had fallen in love. Not a single idea of Gandhiji was included or even seriously discussed. Most noteworthy was omission of any reference to the village at all! 


Dr.Ambedkar had no love for Indian villages and he made no secret of it. He said in the Constituent Assembly:

“The love of the intellectual Indian for the village community is of course infinite if not also pathetic.” 

He openly boasted of his disdain for the Indian village:

“I hold that these village republics have been the ruination of India…. What is the village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow mindedness and communalism? I am glad that the draft Constitution has discarded the village..”

From what we know of historical records, we see that Dr.Ambedkar was completely wrong. Today, with all the historical evidence available to us, his ignorance in the matter is even more appalling. Dr. Ambedkar did not know his facts.
But we have another such gem from another man considered great, Jawaharlal Nehru. His differences with Gandhiji are well known, but are underplayed. Though he pretended to follow Gandhi, he did not share any of his core values, especially about village industries and village Swaraj.. In 1945, he wrote to Gandhi:

” I do not understand why a village should necessarily embody truth and non-violence. A village, normally speaking, is backward intellectually and culturally, and no progress can be made from a backward environment.”

This is shocking, coming from someone perceived to be close to Gandhi and supposed to be his follower. One wonders where he got this idea from- it is Cambridge, not certainly Indian villages, where Nehru had never lived or  worked! Such Westernised elite never read our true history, never understood that the poor condition of the village was due to the 150 years of British rule which had “ruined India economically, politically, culturally and  spiritually”, in the words of Gandhiji’s 1930 Resolution.

The result was that with such ’eminent’ people around, the Constitution merely solemnised what the British had created for their benefit and left behind. Our administration. law, education, general attitude to life and society, the philosophy behind the whole edifice- everything continued as before, unchecked and unaltered. With Nehru continuing as Prime Minister for 17 years, there was no chance that there could even be a second look or review. In these 17 long years, Nehru did not implement even a single programme of Gandhiji. It was Nehru who killed Gandhiji’s spirit in free India.

Some people had really informed Gandhiji that the draft Constitution had entirely discarded the village. Gandhi reacted:

“…there is no mention or direction about village panchayats and decentralisation in the foreshadowed Constitution.It is certainly an omission calling for immediate attention if our independence is to reflect the people’s voice. The greater the power of the panchayats, the better for the people……”

Gandhiji wrote this on 21 December 1947. Alas, he was dead in about 40 days. None in the Congress govt who came to power in Gandhi’s name cared to listen to him or do anything in the matter. To think that Gandhi named Nehru his successor- how awful! Great men do indeed make great and silly mistakes.


The result is that in the name of Independent India we continue with the same British systems and approach which were meant to oppress the people, and suppress their initiative. We still suffer from the cleavage between the elites and others. The police still treat the common  people as cattle, as of no worth.  Our officials still continue to treat the villagers with disdain, and continue to exploit them. Indian officials are every bit as arrogant and mindless of the people as during the colonial times.they are as ready to use force against dissent as the British. Now, they are even more corrupt. Even doctors educated in subsidized government colleges refuse to work in rural areas..  Villagers are steadily leaving their habitats and marching to towns and cities in search of livelihood. The village economy is ruined, its autonomy still lost, and its exploitation continues by the town and city. People exercise their vote once in five years, but by that they ensure their continued bondage to the town masters for another five years.

 The ideal of village emancipation lies buried with Mahatma Gandhi.

So, what was achieved on 15 August 1947 was mere transfer of power from white sahibs to their  brown Indian imitators. It is not Independence as Mahatma Gandhi taught us.


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