After reading my previous article, ‘On our Independence Movement’, some readers inferred that I was condoning or justifying the British Rule in
I do believe that our struggle for independence was long overdue. But that struggle for independence is not just against British.
Those masters were our Mughals, our Rajahs, our landlords, our zamindars, our priests, our superstitions, our beliefs, our prejudices, our occult practices, our inferiorities, our untouchability, our caste system, our sati, our persecution and marginalization of women. And also the British.
In 1947, we came victorious in toppling some of our masters who held sway for centuries- the British, the Mughals, the Rajahs. However, it is not a complete victory. Unfortunately, some of our masters still remain in power. That fight is still on. We are still not free from all those masters. The struggle for our complete independence is long overdue.
When I said – it was good that we did not get our independence in 1857, there is a reason for that.
Nationalism, which eventually united us, and also brought in the concept of a free man as a citizen with rights and institutions to protect that rights, protected by Indian Constitution and legal system, came about much later (after 1857).
Rationalism, which eventually seeped into our Indian governance, polity and educational institutions to spurn some of our superstitions and blind beliefs, and brought in reason (though we are eroding this fast now), came about much later (after 1857).
Rule of Law, which was completely missing in the Indian subcontinent, and which was not yet an instrument that Indians got acquainted with through their exposure to British-style governance respecting the universal laws and legal systems, came about much later (after 1857).
In retrospect, I am glad we did not get independence in 1857. If the rebellion had won, it would have meant that power would now be in the hands of petty rajahs and weak Mughals. Priestly power would have held sway, we would continue to be superstitious, and our untouchables and women would never be emancipated.
Also, most of our reformers and leaders came from English education. Many of our leaders wanted freedom as defined by their British masters in