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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्



By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM

A little over eight decades ago Shraddhanand Sanyasi was assassinated. A Muslim bigot gained entry into his bedroom when he was convalescing from a near fatal attack of bronchial pneumonia. The Sanyasi survived the sickness but the two bullets of the assassin got him. He became a Martyr fighting for the cause of the Vedic Dharm. To set the record straight, three bullets had been fired but the third one struck the personal attendant,Dharm Singh in the hand. Meanwhile the personal secretary of the renowned sanyasi,Dharm Pal, had the better of the assassin and pinned him down until the police arrived. The law of the land took its course and the assassin was sent to the gallows where he was hanged till death.

Was the assassination of Shraddhanand Sanyasi a one man show enacted by the villain of the piece,Abdul Rashid? There is a lurking doubt in the minds of men and women. Perhaps it was a conspiracy. Pray, who were the conspirators who pulled the strings from behind the curtain. Well, no judicial authority ever went into it in depth. Indeed accusing fingers were raised at the Muslim rabble rousers who had been after the blood of the sanyasi after his roaring success at the Shuddhi andolan wherein he converted Malkana Rajputs from Islam to Vedic Dharm. Of course, the last straw on the camel’s back was the much publicised conversion of Asghari Begum and her children of Karachi,Sindh to the Vedic Dharm in the teeth of opposition from the husband and his cohorts. They even filed a legal case of abduction against the great sanyasi,his son,Indra Vidyavachaspati and son-in-law, Dr Sukhdeo. Since the Truth was the best defence of the ascetic and Asghari Begum, renamed Shanti Devi was forthright in her statement that she had voluntarily become a Vedic Dharmi(read Hindu), the Sanyasi and his kith and kin were acquitted with honour. TRUTH PREVAILED.


When I am alone in bed and am in a reflective mood , I often think of the assassination of Shraddhanand Sanyasi. Why was there no clamour for a judicial investigation? Well, the Arya stalwarts had, perhaps, demanded one. However, many top leaders of the Congress party, including Gandhi Ji, wanted the fire generated by this case to be extinguished only by hanging the assassin till death and nothing more thereafter. Gandhi Ji had made a mistake by adopting the Khilafat movement as his own and providing the Congress party plank to its promoters, specially the Ali brothers. So, even he did not want the Shraddhanand assassination case come in the way of movement against the removal of the Ruler of Turkey. What a wrong cause did Gandhi Ji champion? Even the people of Turkey did not support the Ruler and Mustafa Kamal Pasha, a secularist and forward looking leader, gave a burial to the old dynastic rule. Gandhi Ji failed miserably but in the wake of his failure the voice of Justice for the Sanyasi was muffled. Who knows if there was a conspiracy to eliminate Shraddhanand Sanyasi, a champion of the Vedic dharm and Hindu causes so that the so called secularists would rule the roost. The Truth will be known to the world when an objective history of the period is written, if ever.


The honeymoon of the politicians of the Congress party and some prominent Arya Samajists was over before it began. It was just love of the motherland that had motivated the Arya Samajists to join the Indian National Congress. No less a person than Swami Shraddhanand did so and became the Chairman of the Reception Committee for the Congress session in Amritsar. The session was held after the massacre at the Jalianwala Bagh and the British suppression of Indians was at its peak. Holding the Congress session in Amritsar was no joke. Swami Shraddhanand came forward just to free the motherland from the foreign yoke. He did a good job of it. His speech was in Hindi, first time ever in history of the Congress sessions. The sanyasi got bouquets. His fearlessness was cited as an example of Fearlessness when bared his chest to face the British bullets. He was an epitome of the much publicized Hindu-Muslim unity when he addressed the Muslim congregation in the Jama Masjid and again in the Fatehpuri Masjid of Delhi.

His dream of uniting two major communities to fight for freedom, however, was soon shattered. The Swami found that the Muslims wanted unfettered rights to convert others to Islam but were reluctant to concede the same to Hindus and others to convert Muslims to the Vedic Dharm or any other religion. Of course, this kind of one-sided love for secularism is noticeable even in free India. Just take the example of prayers at the samadhis and graves. When there is a function at the samadhi of a Hindu, a sarv dharm prarthana is organised. However, when there is a function at the grave of a Muslim, only readings from the Islamic scriptures are encouraged. Why is it so? Is it not just a lip service to so called secularism? Of course, it is. It is out and out an appeasement of Muslims for their votes in the election. In self interest the secularism, if it exists, is thrown overboard by the leaders who love their loaves and fishes.

Shraddhanand Sanyasi, an intelligent man, saw through this game of chicanery. Being an Arya Samajist, the Truth was his guiding star, like that of his mentor,Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Sooner or later, the break of the relationship between the ascetic and the pseudo secularist had to come. It came when the Swami launched the Shuddhi movement to bring back those men and women to the Vedic fold who had gone astray under coercion during the Muslim rule. Shuddhi was dear to his heart and to the Congress leadership it was like red rag to the bull. The parting of ways was just a question of time. When it came it was just perfect.

The original query raised at the beginning of this discourse : was Shraddhanand Sanyasi’s assasination a conspiracy or just a one man act : remains unanswered. As a matter of fact the leaders all over were so busy in seeking a peaceful solution to every problem that the interests of the Hindus were always sacrificed. In view of the historical past where such sacrifices were encouraged by leaders who mattered, no real result was expected by probing the sanyasi’s death in depth. Thus the matter remains where it was more than eight decades ago. Allow me to record that it shall remain so for the next eight decades to come. May God help India that is Bharat.

Let us all Salute Shraddhanand Sanyasi for his grit,determination, patience and perseverance. He was always fearless – ABHAY in the real sense of the word. He loved to take up challenging projects and always delivered the goods, notwithstanding adverse circumstances. Sometimes even friends turned into foes when the going got tough. Shraddhanand Sanyasi ,however, kept going on and on. The Vedic injunction – Charaiveti Charaiveti – was dear to him and he always followed the Ved Marg – the path shown by the Vedas.

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