The Communists, especially the Marxists, who have been ridiculing the Indian Freedom Movement till recently, have found a new love for the country’s struggle to get the colonialists out. A well-known Leftist P Sainath — who created a sensation across the western world with his work Everyone Loves a Draught — is coming out with The Last Heroes-Foot soldiers of Indian Freedom. Though the author is silent about the term Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is a bete noire of “intellectuals” like Sainath and Gopala Krishna Gandhi (grandson of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi), they have accepted the reality that India got freedom from colonial masters after waging a long drawn war with the British.
The comrades charge that secularism, socialism, pluralism, liberalism, and democracy are facing serious threat from the BJP and other Sangh Parivar organisations. Their claim that there is no freedom of expression in the country since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014 have fallen flat because the Indian mainstream media shouts daily (nay, 24X7) from rooftops that media freedom is under threat in the country. That is the main news both in secular, liberal and Communist funded channels and newspapers. They allege that the Sangh Parivar is working overtime to rewrite Indian history to suit the convenience the Hindu zealots. The real heroes of the freedom struggle like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Lal Bahadur Shastri, B R Ambedkar, Birsa Munda got national recognition only during the BJP regime.
The people propagating imported ideology had succeeded in projecting Vaariyamkunnan Ahmed Haji, the Islamic zealot who led the butchering of hundreds of Hindus in 1921 for their refusal to convert to Islam. The Communists and the Islamic extremists portray this pogrom as a fight against the British imperialists! Independent historians have succeeded in bringing out the truth behind the Mappila Rebellion of 1921 and thus has upset both the Communists as well as their new comrades in arms, the Islamists. The so-called agitation staged as Khilafat Movement was nothing but an act of ethnic cleansing – a mission to annihilate the Hindus from Malabar and declare the region as a separate country by name Mappilastan.
“So who really spearheaded India’s Freedom Struggle? Millions of ordinary people–farmers, labourers, homemakers, forest produce gatherers, artisans and others–stood up to the British. People who never went on to become ministers, governors, presidents, or hold other high public office. They had this in common: their opposition to Empire was uncompromising,” says Peter Modoli, General Manager, Penguin Random House, publishers of this book.
In The Last Heroes, these footsoldiers of Indian freedom tell us their stories. The men, women and children featured in this book are Adivasis, Dalits, OBCs, Brahmins, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. They hail from different regions, speak different languages and include atheists and believers, Leftists, Gandhians and Ambedkarites, says Peter Modoli about the book.
The Lefts were shouting from roof tops that what the country got on August 15, 1947 was not freedom at all. Till 2022 they never celebrated the Independence Day. But Azadi Ki Amrith Varsh, and its acceptability among the general public made the Lefts understand that there was lot of opportunities in this occasion. That’s how Sainath chose to write a volume on a topic which was anathema to them till early this year. They are following the strategy which have been promoted by the Communists- “if you cannot fight them, join them”.