India won her independence in 1947 and for winning this independence Congress, as a political party, played the predominant role.
The leaders of the Congress party, then, were great leaders — stalwarts — really dedicated to the cause and to the party which they served. Mahatma Gandhi was the undisputed leader and there were leaders of such caliber as Jawahar Lai Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, C. Rajagopalacharya, Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Sarojini Naidu, Subhash Chandra Bose and a host of others of all castes and all creeds.
Among Muslims, there were Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Abul Kalam Azad, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and among the lower castes — lower castes as then was called — Kamraj in South and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Nobody ever thought of castes and creeds — all were fighters for freedom and were fighting a concerted and combined battle against a foreign rule.
Politics then was not for power but for breaking the shackles of the foreign power. There was complete oneness in aims and objects — the ways might have differed a bit. Subhash Chandra Bose did not see eye to eye with Mahatma Gandhi’s creed of non-violence and resigned from the Presidentship of the Congress.
There was the group of young spirited revolutionaries like Chandrashekhar Azad, Sardar Bhagat Singh, Ashfaqullah, Ras Behari Bose, and others who wanted to win freedom through violent means. They were feeling uneasy and restive with the Gandhian policy of peace. With all these ideological differences in the modes and methods there was complete unanimity in gaining the one objective — freedom from the foreign yoke. All these leaders had a character; they had a dedication, they had a faith.
India won freedom in 1947, but the communal politics had begun to raise its head. The Muslim League and Jinnah could not accept anything less than a separate country — Pakistan as against Hindustan — that was Bharat. It is from here that rifts began to surface up on communal and caste lines.
Mahatma Gandhi also had his own thinking and his own agenda with regard to the downtrodden class — the British called them scheduled castes —The Shudras’ in the caste hierarchy of old. Mahatma Gandhi was all out to uplift this downtrodden...