I read with great interest what was published in Mazdoor Ekta Lehar on the occasion of the 165th anniversary of the Great War of Indian Independence – the Ghadar of 1857.
The article focuses on one main point, that the Ghadar smashed the myth that Indian people, who are divided on the basis of religion, caste and language, cannot unite in struggle against their common enemy. It highlights the relevance of this fact for the struggle of our people today.
When I was a school student in the 1960s, we were taught that what happened in 1857 was a “Sepoy Mutiny”. The history books told the story of Muslim soldiers in the armies of the East India Company who rebelled because of having to touch and bite into things made of pig’s skin. I am aware that various revisions have been made in school text books since then, but full justice is still to be done. Are the present generation of students being taught the full true story of the Ghadar? Or does the legacy of British colonial distortion and presentation of Indian history through communal spectacles continue to prevail?
Some recently published books on 1857 present a lot of detailed facts but they do not draw the pertinent lessons for the present generation of Indians. Their authors seem to think that history has no connection and no relevance for the present.
Communist Ghadar Party has identified the main conclusions and lessons to be drawn from the Ghadar of 1857, lessons that are relevant for the present.
One important conclusion is that the “reason why Divide and Rule remains the principle of government, and why state-organised communal violence remains a preferred method of rule, is because the nature of the state did not change in 1947”.
The lesson with which the article concludes is truly a source of strength and inspiration for all progressive and revolutionary forces in our country today. We can and must indeed “draw inspiration from the fact that crores of toiling and thinking people of India united in 1857 against their common enemy. It shows that it can be done.”
Let us, indeed, carry forward the program which the martyrs of 1857 began, to create the India of our dreams!
With revolutionary greetings,