by Inder Dan Ratnu
Number 12: Winter 2003
The views expressed on this page are Mr. Ratnu's, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The New Terraplane or its publisher, Michael H. Burchett
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We in India particularly in Rajasthan province recently
celebrated -- with a bit of
By a stroke of luck I have been in contact with a former
Federal Minister and a Gandhian Veteran leader nearly 80 years old,
Chaudhary Daulat Ram Saran, who happen to be a former colleague of
the late Chaudhary Charan Singh. He is a very knowledgeable person and a
veteran politician of my
I saw this as a great opportunity to expand my Churchill campaign. With an imaginative twist I could so easily find a great relationship between Chaudhary Charan Singh's becoming India's PM and Churchill's work during World War II. The Nehru family -- which includes three former PMs, namely JawaharLal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi (and now Sonia Gandhi-the potential PM) -- has been the top family in the politics of India for the past half a century. If they became PMs this was no credit to anyone since they were almost aristocratic, England educated etc . But when a person like Chaudhary Charan Singh with a very humble peasant background became the PM, it was almost an endorsement of all the exertions in oratory made by Churchill during WW II.
Churchill had asserted it was "democracy" that was at
stake during World War II. Churhcill believed that democracy was
the cause of the "common people" of all the lands, and that the common
man lifted himself up through the freedoms guaranteed under a
Thus Chaudhary Charan Singh's rise justified all that
Winston Churchill had claimed during his thought provoking speeches
during the War. I have on my part found it most stimulative to
give an imaginative twist to further my own Churchill campaign agenda.
The committee organizes mass rallies and meetings in urban centers as
well as in the countryside at villages. I have made it a point to speak
at all such occasions about Sir Winston, and my audience SO FAR has
endorsed my views (it is quite possible that I may have to face heckling
someday by some knowledgeable audience in view of my
I have sent all such information to Richard Langworth at the Churchill Center, USA, including the latest photos of such meetings and rallies. I believe this has given an absolutely new dimension to my work, since now besides the Students at schools I am able to speak about Sir Winston to the "common people" of India - peasants and agricultural labourers. This has given me an excellent ground to expand my activities further, and along with the support of my friends and well-wishers worldwide has raised my morale and justification for my cause.
Copyright © 2003 Inder Dan Ratnu. All rights reserved.
Churchill and a Modern Indian Campaign
"Fundamentalists are present in
both minority and majority communities, and must be checked so that they
may not weaken this great system of democracy that has been preserved in
this world by the sacrifices of the millions of unknown people in
I have just
returned from my Gujarat tour, where I campaigned in favor of what is
termed a 'secular' party (Congress Party) candidate in the State
Assembly elections. It was largely a contest between the
fundamentalist Hindu forces and secular political forces of the country.
It may be noted that both the Center and the State are controlled by the
Party which draws upon Hinduism -- its political roots. It was an
effort on my part to fight against heavy odds. In this contest ,
fundamentalist forces have won by two-thirds majority; but the candidate
for whom I campaigned fortunately won by a wide margin -- one of the
biggest among the losers party. He won not because I took it upon myself
to work for him but, because of his own good rapport with his electorate
and his good work during the past 5 years as a member of the Assembly.
I attended a number of public meetings with him both at semi urban and
rural centres -many of which were predominantly Muslim. It is
relevant here to what I spoke during the course of my speeches .It was
by and large on the following lines .
'Extremist' forces may well lead to the derailment of democracy in our country in due course, if not right now, just as they did in Germany before the War. If not for Winston Churchill of Britain, on whom I have written two books and who has been acknowledged as the greatest man of the twentieth century largely for his defense of freedom during the War, perhaps we would not have this process of choosing our rulers through elections and having such freedom of speech as is evident at this large gathering. In order to defend democracy, it is important to defeat the fundamentalist forces at the budding stage. I trust that the candidate for whom I have come here does represent the secular forces and is widely respected by the minorities as well as the majority community. Fundamentalists are present in both minority and majority communities, and must be checked so that they may not weaken this great system of democracy that has been preserved in this world by the sacrifices of the millions of unknown people in faraway lands. Science and wisdom both dictate that religion is a matter of faith of an individual and not a matter of politics . We all have to live together in this county and on this planet in spite of our differences -- political, religious, linguistic, etc. Better we live with love and tolerance than with hate and violence...."
Then I recite a
good poem in Urdu explaining the difference between LOVE and hate.
Needless to say, at the end of my oration I was pleased to find my
audience enthusiastically applauding .
Copyright © 2003 Inder Dan Ratnu. All rights reserved.
Page copyright © 2003 Michael H. Burchett