Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

In particular the khudai khidmatgars or the frontier

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In particular the Khudai Khidmatgars, or the Frontier Redstarts, as they are called, were still outlawed. This organization had become a regular part of the Congress in 1931, and represented it in the Frontier Province. Thus, although the Congress had completely drawn off the direct action part of the struggle and had reverted to constitutional ways, the Government kept on all the special laws meant for civil disobedience and even continued the proscription of important parts of the Congress organization. Special attention was also paid to the suppression of peasant organizations and labor unions, while, it was interesting to note, high Government officials went about urging the zamindars and landlords to organize themselves. Every facility was offered to these landlords' organizations. The two major ones in the United Provinces were having their subscriptions collected for them by official agency, together with the revenue or taxes. One of the secretaries of the Hindu Mahasabha actually went out of his way to approve of the continuation of the ban on the "Redshirts," and to pat Government on the back for it. This amazed me. Apart from this question of principle, it was well known that these Frontier people had behaved wonderfully during the years of struggle; and their leader, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, one of the bravest and straightest men in India, was still in prison a State prisoner kept confined with out any trial. It seemed to me that communal bias could hardly go further. I was much upset by this Hindu Sabha secretary's statement. It was bad enough in itself, but to my mind it appeared as a symbol of the new state of affairs in the country. In the heat of that summer after noon I dozed off, and I remember having a curious dream. Abdul Ghaffar Khan was being attacked on all sides, and I was fighting to defend him. I woke up in an exhausted state, feeling very miserable, and my pillow was wet with tears. This surprised me, for in my wak ing state I was not liable to such emotional outbursts. My nerves were obviously in a bad way in those days. My sleep be came troubled and disturbed, which was very unusual for me, and all manner of nightmares came to me. Sometimes I would shout out in my sleep. Once evidently the shouting had been more vigorous than usual, and I woke up with a start to find two jail warders standing 329
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near my bed, rather worried at my noises. I had dreamed that I was being strangled. About this time a resolution of the Congress Working Committee had also a painful effect on me. This resolution was passed, it was stated, "in view of the loose talk about the confiscation of private prop erty and necessity of class war," and it proceeded to remind Congress men that the Karachi resolution "neither contemplates confiscation of private property without just cause or compensation, nor advocacy of class war.
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  • Fall '16
  • Alan Kolata

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