Architect of Swaraj - 6

It was too much even for Gandhi. He wrote to Nehru, the Congress President, while forwarding the award, "It is my view that by his conduct in this matter, Nariman has proved himself unfit to hold any responsible position." Nehru placed the award before the Working Committee which resolved, "The Committee are of the opinion that in view of the findings in this report, and his (Nariman's) acceptance of them and his subsequent recalcitrance, his conduct has been such as to prove him unworthy of holding any position of trust and responsibility in the Congress organization."

[caption id="attachment_800" align="alignright" width="300"]Studio/May, 50, A22b The Hon'ble Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Deputy Prime Minister of India, was received on disembarking from I.N.S. “Delhi” at Cochin by the Rajpramukh of the Union of Travanoore-Chchin and the Maharaja of Cochin. Soon after his arrival at the port, he was taken to the Bolghatty Palaoo where he was given a rousing reception; This group photograph showing the Hon'ble Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel with H.H. the Rajpramukh of the Union, Maharaja of Cochin, Mr. V.P. Menon, Secretary, Ministry of States, Governmane of India, Miss maniben Patel and mr. V. Shankar, his Private Secretary, was taken after his arrival in Cochin. (May, 50). The Hon'ble Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, H.H. the Rajpramukh of the Union, Maharaja of Cochin, Mr. V.P. Menon, Secretary, Ministry of States, Governmane of India, Miss maniben Patel and mr. V. Shankar, his Private Secretary, was taken after his arrival in Cochin. (May, 50).[/caption]

Now let us turn to the Khare episode. Dr. Narayan Bhaskar Khare was the Chief Minister of Central Provinces. C. P. comprised Hindi Speaking and Marathi speaking areas. Soon after the Ministry was formed three ministers, namely D. P. Misra, R. S. Shukla and D. K. Mehta withheld their co-operation to their leader Dr. Khare. They charged some of the Ministers of Dr. Khare's cabinet of corruption and nepotism and submitted their resignations. Sardar Patel, however, intervened. He called a meeting on 24th May, 1931 at Panchmarhi and succeeded in resolving their differences. But these again came to the surface and the three Ministers continued to send complaints against Dr. Khare to Patel. They also withheld their co-operation to their leader. Dr. Khare asked them to resign but they refused. Then he tendered his resignation hoping that they too would resign but still they refused to resign. So the Governor asked for their resignations and when they refused their services were terminated. Next day the Governor invited Dr. Khare to form a Government which he did.

Constitutionally Dr. Khare did not do anything undemocratic and the action of the Governor was also not unjust. But the Congress Working Committee took exception to it. The Committee called Dr. Khare and held him guilty of approaching the Governor without first approaching the Congress Working Committee. He was also taken to Gandhi. Khare agreed to resign but declared his intention to contest for the leadership of the Party. This was not acceptable to the Working Committee and Gandhi who held him guilty. The Working Committee and the instance of Patel resolved that Dr. Khare was unworthy to hold any position in the Congress.

In 1939 the Second World War had started. In July, 1940 the position of England had become precarious. The Congress Working Committee offered their help to Britain if India was promised independence after the War. This, however, was not acceptable to Gandhi and he parted company with the Congress. This idea of conditional help was that of Rajaji and Sardar was its firm supporter. Patel had undergo mental anguish. On the one side was his loyalty to Gandhi and on the other side was his faith that non-violence would be of no avail in War time. But the Britishers had no mind to give freedom to India. They told the Congress to settle with the League. The Congress approached the League again and again got and a rebuff from Jinnah.

After the failure of Cripps Mission the Congress passed a resolution calling for the Britishers to quite India. The resolution was passed on the midnight of 8th August 1942 by the All - India Congress committee at Bombay. The resolution sought the withdrawal of British rule from India as an urgent necessity both for India and for the success of the cause of United Kingdom. As anticipated by Sardar Patel, a few hours after the resolution was passed the Government arrested all the important leaders of the Congress.

Lord Wavell, who had replaced Lord Linlithgow, was sympathetic to India. His first step in this direction was the release of all political leaders. He invited a conference of 21 leaders from all parties at Simla. The Conference met at Simla on June 25, 1945. Sardar Patel went to Simla but did not participate in the Conference.

The Conference failed because of Mr. Jinnah. Sardar Patel was unhappy over the failure of the Congress was outlawed Jinnah had used all his energy in strengthening his party. And it had become so powerful that Jinnah had acquired the power of veto in political matters.

India's chances, however, brightened when the Labour Government came to power on July 26, 1945. The Labour Government lost no time and on 19th September, 1945 the Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced that provincial autonomy would be restored to India after the elections, a Constituent Assembly would be set up as soon as possible to frame out future constitution and the Viceroy's Council would be reconstituted in consultation with the principal Indian Parties. This announcement was joyously greeted and the people felt that for the first time Government meant business. Both the Congress and the League started campaigning for the ensuing elections.



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