Three significant observances mark 9 August every year: the anniversary of the ‘Quit India Movement,’ the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Though each of these observances have their own specificity, there is a deep interconnectedness among all three, particularly in the values that they are intended to highlight on a day like this! Three underlying words emphasise this” Kranti (meaning ‘revolution’), Adivasi (the Indian word for ‘indigenous people) and Nagasaki (the bombed city)
KRANTI! A call to revolution! A call for change! A call for freedom. It was a clarion call given by Mahatma Gandhi, when on 8 August, 1942 at the Bombay session of All India Congress Committee, he introduced the resolution to start a ‘Quit India Movement.’ The resolution was unanimously passed at that historic meeting. Later, Gandhi gave a fiery speech at Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank Maidan (today known as August Kranti Maidan) marking the beginning of the Quit India Movement. He said, “There is a mantra, a short one that I give you. You imprint it in your heart and let every breath of yours give an expression to it.
The mantra is do or die. We shall either be free or die in the attempt.” The next day on 9 August, the ‘kranti’ had begun; they were out on the streets demanding that the British should leave India immediately! Most of the leaders, who belonged to every strata of society were arrested. On expected lines none of the ‘sanghis’ who belonged the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) (founded in 1925) were there demanding that the British leave. There is enough of historical evidence to show how they ‘toed’ the line of their British masters. Sadly, they rule the country today and have destroyed India in every possible way. Gandhi’s mantra for a new Kranti is today loud and clear, as never before!

Fr Cedric Prakash SJ