‘Congress treated (and treats) India like its jagir’

BAPU SATYANARAYANA writes: In Camera Chronicles, India's first female news photographer Homai Vyarawalla lays the blame for the country's Partition and its continuing troubles and travails squarely at the door of the Congress.

Congress  leaders, she says, seemed to be in a hurry to gain power. "The Congress party treated India like their own jagir giving away a part of the country as if it belonged to them," the Baroda-based photog says in her just-released memoirs.

Vyarawalla was the only photographer along with P.N. Sharma who was present at the historic All India Congress Committee meeting where the decision to go along with the idea divide India on religious lines was made.

A few 'wise men' arrogated to themselves the right to speak and act on behalf of the whole of India and thus sealed its fate, leading to the vivisection of the country, concludes the nonagenarian lenswoman.

(Vyarawalla visited Mysore two years ago to release T.S. Satyan's memoirs.)

Vyarawalla says the Congress went ahead with the move despite opposition from socialists like Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan, and to the chagrin of Maulana Azad. Only a handful of people were present at the AICC meeting that virtually altered the country.

The terrible aftermath of this decision has come to haunt India even after six decades of gaining independence.

The same jagir mindset continues and it has now morphed into sycophancy and loyalty, legitimising it as a weapon of mass destruction to continue in power, decimate the opposition and to trample every other democratic value.