What if Bhagat Singh was not hanged
Anarchism does not play a major role in India, no one spoke of a movement. But his ideas and principles did have an impact on the social and national revolutionary struggles.
So is that of Gandhi organized "Satyagraha movement“Strongly influenced by anarchism, whose roots can be traced back to the ancient Hindu thinking and which certainly had conceptions of a stateless society. On the other hand, this was only one of the possibilities or directions in Hinduism, because for the Hindus man is inherently bad and needs it Discipline through the divine right of kings to rule. These ways of thinking, which for our understanding are strongly divisive and even mutually exclusive, can also be found later in many of the utterances and actions of Gandhi himself. Whether Gandhi was an anarchist, and if so, which one, is still the subject of lively debate today. His conception of the "Satyagraha"And the corresponding actions had a strong influence on the"Anarcho-pacifism“.
„The term Satyagraha was coined by me in South Africa to express the power the Indians used there for a full eight years, and it was coined to distinguish it from the movement that was then in Britain and the South -Africa was active under the name Passive Resistance.
Its original meaning is adherence to the truth; therefore: the power of truth. I also called it the power of love or soul power. In the application of Satyagraha I discovered at the earliest stage that the search for truth does not allow violence to be inflicted on the opponent, but that he must be dissuaded from his error with patience and sympathy. Because what seems to be the truth to one person may be a mistake to the other. And patience means own suffering. So it came about that teaching means defending the truth, not by causing suffering to the opponent, but by suffering.“
Satyagraha is one of Mohandas Karamchand "Mahatma"A strategy designed by Gandhi, which is essentially based on addressing the opponent's reason and conscience through one's own non-violence -"Ahimsa“- and the willingness to take on pain and suffering. The ulterior motive is to turn the opponent around, to win him over as an ally and friend for your own cause - starting with the hope of reaching the opponent's conscience and heart through various methods. So were "civil disobedience" and "Non-cooperation“Frequent means up to fasting and hunger strike.
Martin Buber rIn 1939, however, he responded with great irritation when Gandhi recommended these methods against the fascist ogres in Germany.
„Do you or don't you know what a concentration camp is and what it is like?
What are the tortures and the methods of slow and fast killing? Man can slowly and gradually teach insightless human souls, but a demonic universal cylinder cannot be countered in this way. There are situations in which the satyagraha of fortitude cannot become a satyagraha of truth. "
Since the Satyagraha fighter submits to a series of vows such as dispossession, but also chastity, fasting and ostracizing theft, as well as equality of religion and regional economy, non-violence and wage labor, this conception was equally fascinating for the Indian national capital as it was for the farmers and Workers - and so textile magnates and Indian industrialists - often financed Gandhi's campaigns and his way of life. ("It costs us a fortune to enable Mahatma Gandhi to live in poverty“) - but it seemed worth it.
Gandhi preached the unity of the Indian classes and delighted the rich, whom he regarded as “trustees” of the poor according to Hindu theology.
Although they wanted independence from the British occupiers, they shied away from a revolutionary process - as was the case in Russia at the same time. For them, Gandhi was something like the answer to their prayers.
Gandhi's basic concept, which he drew from the Hindu religion, also alienated the Muslim part of the population.
His possibly reforming changes to the caste system, in turn, the millions of so-called untouchables, who long called him "Mahatma", as "big soul“Dear.
If he had read libertarian thinkers, he seemed to have little in common with the implementation of their ideas. If they wanted the end of a class society, Gandhi stuck to the reconciliation between the classes.
The later criticism of the state and parliamentarism can at best be seen as the words of a philosophical individual anarchist - after all, from 1920 onwards he was one of the leading figures at the Indian National Congress, which was composed primarily of members of the Indian national bourgeoisie, i.e. those who - as before said - were very concerned about social revolutionary movements in their country.
And his "Society of strong villages“Which should be politically autonomous and economically self-organized - that spinning wheel served as a symbol of this way of life - with a lot of benevolence it is at best in the area of "Anarcho-primitivism“To settle.
Bhagat Singh was 12 when he witnessed the massacre in April 13, 1919 Amritsar has been.
The Amritsar massacre was perpetrated in the north Indian city of Amritsar (in the state of Punjab) by British soldiers and Gurkhas, Nepalese soldiers in British service, Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus who peacefully and unarmed protested for India's independence. 380 women, men and children were officially gunned down as if on a shooting range. Over a thousand injured lay in the park for hours.
The officer in charge was "asked" to retire. In England he was celebrated heroically with gem crosses and a fat shooting bonus.
“Organized revolt is only amenable to the last argument - violence. At this point only courageous intervention and the compelling power of martial law help ... In Amritsar has already been intervened ... The sobering effect has spread widely and made life easier for thousands of members of both races"(Maud Diver)
http://youtu.be/RXneJhU7XwEhaben>( from the movie “The Legend
of Bhagat Singh ")
The grief and anger made many forget the principles of "satygraha". It was not until Gandhi's campaign of "Non-cooperation“Was able to bundle the resistance again.
At first deeply disturbed, little Bhagat joined this very campaign of “civil disobedience” just a year later, the refused cooperation with the English ogres. He publicly burned English clothes, and shouted slogans like " No cooperation zindabad“(Long live civil disobedience!).
However, when a police station and its contents were set on fire during a riot in the north Indian village of Chauri Chaura, Gandhi angrily recalled the campaign. (It was repeatedly emphasized from various sides that a continuation of this very successful campaign could have led to independence there)
A world collapsed for little Bhagat Singh. Be "Babu", be "Father of the nation“Who met with the English ogres and appealed to their hearts - why did he show no heart for his own people?
„The ultimate goal of anarchism is complete independence, in which no one will be tormented with God or religion, nor anyone who will be mad about money or other material desires. There will be no more chains or government control. This means that everything must be eliminated - the church, God and religion, the state and private property“
As Bhagat Singh 1928 When he wrote these words, he already had a number of years behind him as a revolutionary within the Indian independence movement. As secretary of the "Republican Hindu Association“(One of the first socialist organizations in India) he was either involved in some militant actions against the British or at least involved in the preparations - for example in a spectacular one Train robbery near the town of Kakoriwhere a considerable sum of money was stolen from the British government. The money is used on the one hand for propaganda activities, but also on weapons. Bhagat Singh and his group needed them to arm parts of the population and to organize a militia against the attacks by the British occupiers.
From May to September 1928 he published in the magazine " Kirti"Article on and about anarchism, where he repeatedly used the traditional Indian idea of"universal brotherhood“Proclaimed and declared the principles of non-domination and self-organization,"I believe that here in India the idea of" universal brotherhood, the "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam“Has the same meaning as anarchism“- and for him that could only be achieved in a social revolution by all exploited.
„For us, revolution means that all injustices must fundamentally change. Although the workers as producers are a necessary part of society, their exploiters plunder them and deprive them of their basic rights. The farmer who plants maize starves to death, the weaver whose textiles go out for world trade has no cloth to cover the body of his family. Bricklayers, blacksmiths and carpenters build the most beautiful palaces, but live in slums themselves. Radical change is necessary and it is the duty of every revolutionary to organize a society on a socialist basis.“
Although he read and quoted writings by Lenin and Trotsky over the years, libertarian influence remained predominant. For him as well as for Gandhi the principle of "Swaraj“That of self-organization and political decentralization.
At that time, only British people sat in the Indian parliament, although the treaty stipulated otherwise. During a peaceful protest march against this practice, Bhagat's mentor was Lala Lajpat Rai, beaten to death by an English officer with a bamboo stick. Bhagat, once again an unconscious eyewitness, decided to assassinate this officer named Scott. However, another British soldier was accidentally killed. Bhagat and two of his colleagues fled to Lahore, in what is now Pakistan. The British authorities took the opportunity to brutally pursue any anti-British rally or just utterance. Bhagat Singh and his group then returned to India. In order to attract the attention of the occupiers, they decided to throw small bombs, more like fireworks, into a session of parliament that neither injured nor killed.
On April 8, 1929, they were still shouted in parliament “Inquilab Zindabad "(" Long live the revolution ") arrested, denounced by former comrades as the murderers of the British soldier and sentenced to death.
The 64-day hunger strike of the prisoners, who advocated a change in the conditions of detention, was legendary and repeatedly highlighted in many films and songs.
During this time Bhagat Singh's followers grew, there were protests and small uprisings. Even Gandhi was impressed with that “This young patriot's capacity for suffering“And tried in vain to get the death penalty commuted to the English.
On March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh was hanged with two of his friends.
India gained independence on August 15, 1947. In the West this is seen as a success of Ghandi's strategy, but England's economic weakening as a result of World War II and a slow withdrawal of the colonial administration that began in the 1930s also contributed to this. They left behind civil war-like fighting between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, mass exodus to the newly created state of Pakistan, raids on villages and slaughter in the now divided Punjab.
The conception of the Satygraha seemed to have been forgotten, the "universal brotherhoodt “drowned in blood - organized in 1951 Vinoba Bhave with the Bhudan movement the movement of the "Non-violent land donation“.
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(With "Tones "Do you see "The legend of Bhagat Singh", A Bollywood-like film adaptation with English-language subtitles)
(- To be continued -)
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