Keeping Bharat’s magnificent pride in mind, the youth of Bharat will again bring Bharat to its past glory so that Bharat attains the dignity and grandeur, it so rightly deserves and we can form the country of Maharishi Aurobindo’s dreams
Alongside the nationalist movements, there were certain political efforts also to bring about independence. The formation of the Indian National Congress was one of them. Indian National Congress was initially formed by AO Hume in 1885 to safeguard the interests of the British empire in Bharat and there were only two conditions one had to meet to become a member. These were knowledge of English language and avoid looking at British with anti-nationalist view. Hence, the initial members of Congress were overtly devoted to the British and considered British rule as boon. This thought process changed after the movement for the Partition of Bengal in 1905. Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal, Rabindranath Tagore and Maharishi Aurobindo helped people to see in a new light. Subsequently Mahatma Gandhi took it to a national level. Gandhi went on a Non-cooperation Movement (1920-1922) against the British after the Jalianwala Bagh massacre and Rowlatt Act. Bharat rose with its other movements like the Savinay Avagya Andolan (1930-34) and the Quit India Movement (1942-1944)and finally got its freedom on August 15th 1947.
The shrinking boundaries of Bharat
Although Bharat didn’t exercise its sovereignty over Tibet (1914), Nepal (1923), Bhutan (1907), they always were effective states for her .Tibet’s relations with other countries and even its postal services were to a great extent managed by Bharat. The British made Sir Ugyen Wangchuk the first King of Bhutan in 1907 which was spread over 47,000 square kilometers. Apart from this, Maldiv (till 1965) and Mauritius (till 1968) which was under Lakshwadeep were also under Bharat’s direct control and the latter also carried on surveillance of ships that came from the Chagaus Islands to the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka (till 1931) and Myanmar (till 1937 ) were politically part of Bharateeya subcontinent.
After our Independence in 1947, not only were our borders insecure but our geographical and political boundaries started shrinking . It is a well- known fact that 96.5 per cent of Bharateeya Muslims supported the formation of Pakistan. Ideally, they were to be given 22-24 per cent land for the same but they were finally allotted 30 per cent. East Bengal , West Punjab, North-West Frontier and part of Sindh were assigned to them. Soon after, on October 27th,1947, Pakistan attacked Kashmir. They were bravely countered by the Bharateeya forces as a result they were forced to retreat. But the advancing Bharateeya army was advised by the Centre to ‘cease fire’ and consequently Bharat lost one-third (83,614 sq. km) of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan. Strategically sensitive regions like Baltistan, Gilgit, Chilhas and Hajipeer went to Pakistan.
In the same manner on October 20th 1962 China attacked Bharat and subsequently on November 21th, because of one-sided ceasefire Bharat lost 37,555 sq km area in the form of Ladakh. Later in 1963, Pakistan which was now an ally to China, gave 5,180 sq. kms of the acquired Bharateeya land. This included the Karakoram Range of mountains which was an extremely important part from Bharat’s security stand-point. The part of Gilit and Baltistan which joined Gilit to the borders of six countries , namely , Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, China , Tibet and Bharat went to China. This made Bharat extremely vulnerable from security stand-point.
On one side where Bharat did not retain the Chamb Sector which she had won after the Indo – Pakistan War of 1965, on the other side , it helped the Bangladesh in its new birth after the war in 1971 but could not keep it as an ally.
Bharat was also unsuccessful in stopping the infiltration into Assam and other neighbouring states, which still remains as a burning issue.
Therefore , when we learn about Bharat from the time of the Vedas to the present , we know that it was undoubtedly a world leader in the past. It was instrumental in creating what we know as the Great Cultural Bharat. Its political and geographical boundaries were secured and stretched far and beyond . Even amidst foreign invasions , our brave men and scholars continued to retain its heritage and sacrificed their lives in the process.
Although our country is free today , she is still not culturally independent. Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of Ram Rajya and Gram Swaraj was never fulfilled. Neither have we really stayed in touch with our glorious past nor its thousands years old nationalism. Our present situation is a result of our aimless wandering in the years post-Independence. We are hopeful that keeping Bharat’s magnificent pride in mind , the youth of Bharat will again bring our country to its past glory so that Bharat attains the dignity and grandeur, it so rightly deserves and we can form the country of Maharishi Aurobindo’s dreams .
Dr Satish Chandra Mittal (The writer is Professor (Retd.), History Department, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra)