Thursday December 13, 2018

Bharat Ratna Madan Mohan Malviya: The man who gave India meaning of ‘Swadeshi’

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By Anurag Paul

The President’s Office announced the Bharat Ratna award to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) on the eve of his 153rd birth anniversary. Today, the award was given to his family for Malviya’s outstanding work in education field and the country’s freedom struggle.

Pandit Malviya is the 12th person to be honoured the highest civilian honour posthumously. Earlier recipients of the award include former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri, along with first Governor General of free India C. Rajagopalachari, and former Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Madan Mohan Malaviya or Mahamana Malaviya was born on December 25, 1861 in Allahabad, in a family of six brothers and two sisters. He was a ardent social reformer, and looked beyond the then prevalent caste barrier. Malaviya made massive efforts for the entry of Dalits into any Hindu temple.

As an important figure of the non-cooperation movement Malaviya protested against the Simon Commission. In an act of delicious irony, Malaviya, borrowing from the ‘Buy British’ movement in England, started the ‘Swadeshi movement against the British rule. He also wrote a detailed criticism of the Montagu-Chelmsford proposal for Indian constitutional reforms in 1918.

Malaviya was a long standing member of the Congress party. As a paternal figure to many of the second wave Congress leaders, he influenced, among others, Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru. In his part Gandhi, who considered him as an elder brother, gave him the honorific title of ‘ Mahamana ’ or great soul.

A prolific journalist himself, he had been the chairman of the Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946, and was instrumental in the launch of the newspapers Hindi edition. In his youth, he also founded the now defunct English language newspaper The Leader as well as the Hindi monthly called Maryada and the Hindi weekly titled Abhyudaya.

Being an ardent Hindu, he was also one of the founding members of the Gorakshak Mandal— intended to protect and preserve cows, which  Hindus consider holy. The mandal, along with similar organisations, were instrumental in making the prohibition of cow slaughter an article in the Directive Principles of State Policy.

Being very active in the field of Indian Politics, he remained Congress President for a record number of four times- in 1909 (Lahore), in 1918 (Delhi), in 1930 (Delhi) and in 1932 (Calcutta).

 

 

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Arun Jaitely Says Indira Gandhi Was No Different Than Hitler

The BJP leader said the 42nd Amendment diluted the power of High Courts to issue writ petitions

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Harsh Penal Proceedings For Illegal Swiss Bank Deposit Holders: Arun Jaitely
Harsh Penal Proceedings For Illegal Swiss Bank Deposit Holders: Arun Jaitely. flickr
Indira Gandhi Imposed Emergency. Flickr
Indira Gandhi Imposed Emergency. Flickr

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday compared former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who imposed Emergency, to Hitler, stating that both used the Constitution “to transform democracy into dictatorship”. Jaitley, whose second blog of a three-part series coincided with the 43rd anniversary of imposition of the Emergency, also noted that unlike the German dictator, Gandhi went ahead to transform India into a “dynastic democracy”.

“Both Hitler and Gandhi never abrogated the Constitution. They used a republican Constitution to transform democracy into dictatorship,” he said. The BJP leader said Gandhi imposed Emergency under Article 352, suspended fundamental rights under Article 359 and claimed that disorder was planned by the opposition.

Jaitley said Hitler, who became the German Chancellor on January 30, 1933, got his President to invoke Article 48 of the country’s Constitution which gave emergency powers for the “protection of people in the State”. “The decree giving emergency powers put restrictions on personal liberty, free speech… The pretext for imposition of Emergency was that on February 27, 1933, German Parliament House, known as ‘Reichstag’, had been set on fire.

“Hitler claimed that it was a communist conspiracy to burn Government buildings and museums. Thirteen years later, in the Nuremberg trials, it was established that Reichstag fire was the handiwork of Nazis and Goebbels had conceived it.” He said Hitler arrested most opposition MPs.

“Indira Gandhi arrested most opposition MPs and, therefore, procured, through their absence, a two-third majority of members present and voting and enabling the passage of several obnoxious provisions through Constitution amendments,” Jaitley said.

The BJP leader said the 42nd Amendment diluted the power of High Courts to issue writ petitions, “a power which Dr. (B.R.) Ambedkar had said was the very heart and soul of India’s Constitution”. “They also amended Article 368 so that a Constitution amendment was beyond judicial review. There were a few things that Hitler did not do which Gandhi did.

 

“She prohibited the publication of Parliamentary proceeding in the media. The law which gave mandate to the media for publishing Parliamentary proceedings was popularly known as the Feroze Gandhi Bill,” he said. Since Hitler’s own election has been set aside, he had no change to make in this regard.

Also read: ‘1984 riots shut our doors to a better life’ (October 31 is the 32nd anniversary of Indira Gandhi’s assassination)

“Gandhi amended both the Constitution and the Representation of People Act. The Constitution amendment made the election of the Prime Minister non-justiciable before a court. “The Representation of People Act was retrospectively amended to insert those provisions so that the invalid election of Gandhi could be validated by changes in law.” He said amendments to the constitution made during Emergency were later reversed by the Janata Party government. (IANS)