Golwalkar — a Freedom Fighter?
Posted January 24, 2010on:
The Madhya Pradesh government is trying to re-write history. It wants the people to believe that the Freedom Struggle (against the British Raj) did not end in 1947 (with the achievement of Independence) but continued till 1949 and Sadashiv Golwalkar (Guruji) was the lone “Amar Senani” (the immortal soldier) to carry forward the Freedom Struggle. (Guruji, as is well known, was the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh –RSS, which was held responsible for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination).
The new piece of “historical research” appears in the latest issue of “Madhya Pradesh Sandesh”, the official monthly publication of the Madhya Pradesh government. Commissioner of Public Relations (CPR) of the State government Manoj Shrivastava is the publisher. Shrivastava is pretty close to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and is considered part of the chief minister’s “think tank”.
The “Madhya Pradesh Sandesh” contains an article on Seoni jail where the British government had incarcerated several Freedom Fighters, “particularly those under whose able leadership the agitation (against the British domination) moved forward”. The article is written by Ghanshyam Sirsam, an Assistant Director in the Public Relations Department.
The Seoni jail, according to the article, still has a cell belonging to the British period where Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was kept for nearly five months. Not only Subhash Chandra Bose, “the immortal soldiers of India’s struggle for Freedom like Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Guru Golwalkarji, Sharad Chandra Bose, Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla, Peer Pagaro, Pandit Dwarka Prasad Mishra and H.V.Kamath were also confined in this jail in those days”, according to the article.
In all, 41 Freedom Fighters were detained in the Seoni jail during different periods. While 40 of them were confined between 1931 and 1945, “Shri Sadashiv Golwalkar (Guruji)” was detained there from January 10,1949 to June 6, 1949, according to the article. The article gives to Guruji the third place among the “immortal Freedom Fighters”, after only Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Acharya Vinoba Bhave. Ravi Shankar Shukla, H.V.Kamath, Seth Govind Das, M.V.Abhyankar, Kaka Kalelkar, Vamanrao Joshi, Madhav Shri Hari Ane, P.K.Deshmukh and others come only afterwards.
FOOTNOTE: The February issue of “Madhya Pradesh Sandesh” carries a “correction” stating that the name of then RSS chief Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (Guruji) was included in the list of eminent freedom fighters “by mistake”. It further says that the mistake occurred because the Seoni jail authorities had supplied a composite list of the freedom fighters and “other prominent persons” who were detained in the Seoni jail during the “British period”. Does it imply that the “Sandesh”, the official organ of the Madhya Pradesh government, considers that the British period lasted till 1949? Golwalkar was jailed at Seoni from January10, 1949 to June 6, 1949. Moreover, the name of Golwalkar in the “Sandesh” was third after Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Acharya Vinoba Bhave in the list of 41 “freedom fighters”.