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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gandhiji had a secret meeting with Charles Tegart to plead the heroic case of the Bengali patriots

from Prithwin Mukherjee prithwin.mukherjee@gmail.com to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 29 Apr 2009 13:09 subject Bagha Jatin and Gandhi. Bhâi Tusâr,

Yesterday the Kolkata issue of The Statesman has revealed a fundamentally significant information. One year after the death of Chittaranjan Dâs ("Deshabandhu"), on 25 June 1925, Gandhiji had a secret meeting with Charles Tegart, the notorious Police Commissioner, to plead the heroic case of the Bengali patriots. Before coming to Gandhiji's tribute to Bâghaâ Jatîn, let me remind you a few steps supplied by history.

Professor Amales Tripathi mentions having learnt from Bhupendra Kumar Datta that Jatindra Nath Mukherjee was ideologically influenced by the Upanishads, the Gita, Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo : by fight for independence, Jatindra meant the spiritual endeavour (sadhana) to promote human society from the status of animal to that of divinity; this was corroborated by his disciple Naren Bhattacharya alias M.N. Roy, in his New Orientations.[1]

More explicit in his assessment, Bhupendra Kumar Datta wrote indeed that the spiritual endeavour to raise humanity to a divinised society lies on an utter surrender to the Divine’s Will, on the capacity of transcending those “miserable aims that end with self.” On discussing with Gandhiji the issues of violence, Datta came to discover that – ideologically speaking - Gandhi’s dream of a non-violent society was similar to Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the divinised society, in spite of a difference in their two methods. Datta realised that only a personality of Jatindra Mukherjee’s stature could reconcile the cult of strength (shakti) with that self-surrender.[2] Elsewhere Datta claimed that Jatindra was probably a herald of that transformed man.

It has been revealed that in a secret meeting on 25 June 1925, Gandhiji told Tegart (the notorious Commissioner of Police) that Jatin Mukherjee, generally referred to as “Bagha Jatin”, was “a divine personality”. The writer comments : “Little did he know that Tegart had once told his colleagues that if Jatin were an Englishman, then the English people would have built his statue next to Nelson’s at Trafalgar Square. In his note to JE Francis of the India Office in 1926, he described Bengali terrorists as “the most selfless political workers in India”.[3]

M.N. Roy claimed to have admired his Jatinda [“Jatin, the Elder Brother”] “because he personified (…) the best of mankind. The corollary to that realisation was that Jatinda’s death would be avenged if I worked for the ideal of establishing a social order in which the best in man could be manifest.”[4]

Can you let me know what you think of this wonderful turn our history is taking ?
Warm regards.
Prithwindra Mukherjee

[1]
Loc. cit.
[2] Datta, op. cit., pp221-222
[3]Gandhi, Tegart and the Bengali Terrorist” by Sobhanlal Mukherjee, in The Statesman, Calcutta, 28 April, 2009
[4] M.N. Roy’s Memoirs, Allied Publishers, 1964, p36

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