Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:37 am

Bhikaiji Cama
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/28/19



The movement in favour of India in US received further impetus from the visit of Madame Cama as an emissary of the Indian revolutionaries from London and Paris. Arriving in New York in October 1907, Madame Cama delivered a series of lectures before American audiences, explaining to them the purpose of her visit. “I am in America”, she said, “for the sole purpose of giving a thorough expose of the British suppression which is little understood so far away and to interest the warm hearted citizens of the great Republic” in our fight for freedom against the British rule. 20 Explaining the aims of the Indian revolutionaries abroad she made it clear that it was to achieve “Swaraj; self-government” and to strive for “liberty, equality and fraternity” with the hope of getting it within ten years.

When questioned by a press correspondent as to “how this mighty overthrow was to come about,” she explained, “by passive resistance. We are peaceful people and unarmed. We could not rise and battle if we could. We are preparing our people for concentrated resistance.” 21

In the subsequent meetings, which Madame Cama addressed at the Minerva Club and at the Adams Union Theological Seminary, she asked for the help of the American people for the political enfranchisement of India. Her only regret was that the American people had knowledge about the conditions in Russia, but they had no idea about the conditions in India under the British Government. 22

It was on account of her visit and her meeting with Barkatullah and Phelps, that both the societies decided to join in 1908 and worked together for self-rule for India. 23

The ruthless policy of the Government of India to suppress the rising tide of the national movement gradually convinced Indians abroad that it was futile to carry on the struggle on constitutional lines. Madame Cama in Paris and Savarkar in London started advocating violent methods for the attainment of freedom. Their propaganda had a direct impact on the political thinking of the Indians in America. This had already been noticed by the British Consul-General. He reported that the Indians were saying in private that they had been trying for the last twenty-one years to obtain freedom by constitutional means and were now tired of that line and that their difficulty, however, was the same as that of the Irish; they had no arms. 24

-- 3: Indian Revolutionary Movement in USA and Canada The Pan-Aryan Association. Excerpt from "Indian Revolutionary Movement Abroad" (1905-1921), by Tilak Raj Sareen, M.A., Ph.D.

A number of prominent Indian revolutionaries and nationalists were associated with India House, including Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Bhikaji Cama, V.N. Chatterjee, Lala Har Dayal, V.V.S. Aiyar, M.P.T. Acharya and P.M. Bapat….

India House is a large Victorian Mansion at 65 Cromwell Avenue, Highgate, North London. It was inaugurated on 1 July 1905 by Henry Hyndman in a ceremony attended by, among others, Dadabhai Naoroji, Charlotte Despard and Bhikaji Cama….

The Paris Indian Society, a branch of the IHRS, was launched in 1905 under the patronage of Bhikaji Cama, Sardar Singh Rana and B.H. Godrej.[26] A number of India House members who later rose to prominence – including V.N. Chatterjee, Har Dayal and Acharya and others – first encountered the IHRS through this Paris Indian Society.[27] Cama herself was at this time deeply involved with the Indian revolutionary cause, and she nurtured close links with both French and exiled Russian socialists.[28][29] Lenin's views are thought to have influenced Cama's works at this time, and Lenin is believed to have visited India House during one of his stays in London.[30][31] In 1907, Cama, along with V.N. Chatterjee and S.R. Rana, attended the Socialist Congress of the Second International in Stuttgart. There, supported by Henry Hyndman, she demanded recognition of self-rule for India and in a famous gesture unfurled one of the first Flags of India.[32]….

From the time it was founded, India House cultivated a close relationship with socialist movements in Europe. Prominent Socialists of the time like Henry Hyndman were closely linked to the house. Cama cultivated a close relationship with French Socialists and Russian communists.
The IHRS delegation to Stuttgart in 1907 is known to have met with Hyndman, Karl Liebknecht, Jean Jaurès, Rosa Luxemburg and Ramsay MacDonald. Chatterjee moved to Paris in 1909 and joined the French Socialist Party.[103] M.P.T. Acharya was introduced to the socialist circle in Paris in 1910.[104]

India House, by Wikipedia

Bhikhaji Cama
Born 24 September 1861
Bombay, British India
Died 13 August 1936 (aged 74)
Bombay, British India
Organisation India House,
Paris Indian Society,
Indian National Congress
Movement Indian independence movement

Design of the "Flag of Indian Independence" raised by Bhikhaiji Cama on 22 August 1907, at the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart, Germany.

Based on the Calcutta Flag, the green, yellow and red fields represent Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism respectively. The crescent and the sun again represent Islam and Hinduism. The eight lotuses in the upper register represent the eight provinces of British India. The words in the middle are in Devanagri script and read Vande Mataram "[We] Bow to thee Mother [India]", the slogan of the Indian National Congress.

The design was adopted in 1914 as the emblem of the Berlin Committee (later known as the Indian Independence Committee). The original flag raised by Cama in Stuttgart is now on display at the Maratha and Kesari Library in Pune.

Bhikaiji Rustom Cama[n 1] (24 September 1861 – 13 August 1936) was one of the prominent figures in the Indian independence movement.

Early life

Bhikhaiji Rustom Cama was born to Bhikai Sorab Patel on 24 September 1861 in Bombay (now Mumbai) in a large, well-off Parsi family.[1] Her parents, Sorabji Framji Patel and Jaijibai Sorabji Patel, were well known in the city, where her father Sorabji—a lawyer by training and a merchant by profession—was an influential member of the Parsi community. She was invited to hoist the flag over the parliament in Germany.

Like many Parsi girls of the time, Bhikhaiji attended Alexandra Native Girl's English Institution.[2] Bhikhaiji was by all accounts a diligent, disciplined child with a flair for languages.

On 3 August 1885, she married Rustom Cama, who was son of K. R. Cama.[3] Her husband was a wealthy, pro-British lawyer who aspired to enter politics. It was not a happy marriage, and Bhikhaiji spent most of her time and energy in philanthropic activities and social work.


In October 1896, the Mumbai Presidency was hit first by famine, and shortly thereafter by bubonic plague. Bhikhaiji joined one of the many teams working out of Grant Medical College (which would subsequently become Haffkine's plague vaccine research center), in an effort to provide care for the afflicted, and (later) to inoculate the healthy. Cama subsequently contracted the plague herself, but survived. As she was severely weakened, she was sent to Britain for medical care in 1902.

She was preparing to return to India in 1908 when she came in contact with Shyamji Krishna Varma, who was well known in London's Indian community for fiery nationalist speeches he gave in Hyde Park. Through him, she met Dadabhai Naoroji, then president of the British Committee of the Indian National Congress, and for whom she came to work as private secretary. Together with Naoroji and Singh Rewabhai Rana, Cama supported the founding of Varma's Indian Home Rule Society in February 1905. In London, she was told that her return to India would be prevented unless she would sign a statement promising not to participate in nationalist activities. She refused.[dubious – discuss][citation needed] That same year Cama relocated to Paris, where—together with S. R. Rana and Munchershah Burjorji Godrej—she co-founded the Paris Indian Society. Together with other notable members of the movement for Indian sovereignty living in exile, Cama wrote, published (in the Netherlands and Switzerland) and distributed revolutionary literature for the movement, including Bande Mataram (founded in response to the Crown ban on the poem Vande Mataram) and later Madan's Talwar (in response to the execution of Madan Lal Dhingra).[4] These weeklies were smuggled into India through the French colony of Pondichéry.

On 22 August 1907, Cama attended the second Socialist Congress at Stuttgart, Germany, where she described the devastating effects of a famine that had struck the Indian subcontinent. In her appeal for human rights, equality and for autonomy from Great Britain, she unfurled what she called the "Flag of Indian Independence".[n 2] It has been speculated that this moment may have been an inspiration to African American writer and intellectual W. E. B. Du Bois in writing his 1928 novel Dark Princess.[5] Cama's flag, a modification of the Calcutta Flag, was co-designed by Cama, and Shyamji Krishna Varma, and would later serve as one of the templates from which the current national flag of India was created.

In 1909, following Madan Lal Dhingra's assassination of William Hutt Curzon Wyllie, an aide to the Secretary of State for India, Scotland Yard arrested several key activists living in Great Britain, among them Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. In 1910, Savarkar was ordered to be returned to India for trial. When the ship Savarkar was being transported on docked in Marseilles harbour, he squeezed out through a porthole window and jumped into the sea. Reaching shore, he expected to find Cama and others who had been told to expect him (who got there late), but ran into the local constabulary instead. Unable to communicate his predicament to the French authorities without Cama's help, he was returned to British custody. The British Government requested Cama's extradition, but the French Government refused to cooperate. In return, the British Government seized Cama's inheritance. Lenin reportedly[6] invited her to reside in the Soviet Union, but she did not accept.

Influenced by Christabel Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement, Bhikhaiji Cama was vehement in her support for gender equality. Speaking in Cairo, Egypt in 1910, she asked, "I see here the representatives of only half the population of Egypt. May I ask where is the other half? Sons of Egypt, where are the daughters of Egypt? Where are your mothers and sisters? Your wives and daughters?" Cama's stance with respect to the vote for women was however secondary to her position on Indian independence; in 1920, upon meeting Herabai and Mithan Tata, two Parsi women outspoken on the issue of the right to vote, Cama is said to have sadly shaken her head and observed: "'Work for Indian's freedom and [ i]ndependence. When India is independent women will not only [have] the right to [v]ote, but all other rights.'"[7]

Exile and death

With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, France and Britain became allies, and all the members of Paris India Society except Cama and Singh Rewabhai Rana left the country (Cama had been advised by fellow-socialist Jean Longuet to go to Spain with M.P. Tirumal Acharya and Rana were briefly arrested in October 1914 when they tried to agitate among Punjab Regiment troops that had just arrived in Marseilles on their way to the front. They were required to leave Marseilles, and Cama then moved to Rana's wife's house in Arcachon, near Bordeaux. In January 1915, the French government deported Rana and his whole family to the Caribbean island of Martinique, and Cama was sent to Vichy, where she was interned. In bad health, she was released in November 1917 and permitted to return to Bordeaux provided that she report weekly to the local police. Following the war, Cama returned to her home at 25, Rue de Ponthieu in Paris.

Cama remained in exile in Europe until 1935, when, gravely ill and paralysed by a stroke that she had suffered earlier that year, she petitioned the British government through Sir Cowasji Jehangir to be allowed to return home. Writing from Paris on 24 June 1935, she acceded to the requirement that she renounce sedetionist activities. Accompanied by Jehangir, she arrived in Bombay in November 1935 and died nine months later, aged 74, at Parsi General Hospital on 13 August 1936.[8]


Cama on a 1962 stamp of India

Bikhaiji Cama bequeathed most of her personal assets to the Avabai Petit Orphanage for girls, which established a trust in her name. Rs. 54,000 (1936: £39,300; $157,200) to her family's fire temple, the Framji Nusserwanjee Patel Agiary at Mazgaon, in South Bombay.[9]

Several Indian cities have streets and places named after Bhikhaiji Cama, or Madame Cama as she is also known. On 26 January 1962, India's 11th Republic Day, the Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department issued a commemorative stamp in her honour.[10]

In 1997, the Indian Coast Guard commissioned a Priyadarshini-class fast patrol vessel ICGS Bikhaiji Cama after Bikhaiji Cama.

The high rise office complex in the posh location of South Delhi which accommodates big shot companies such as Jindal Group, SAIL, GAIL etc. are also named as Bhikaji Cama Place. This is a tribute to her.

Following Cama's 1907 Stuttgart address, the flag she raised there was smuggled into British India by Indulal Yagnik and is now on display at the Maratha and Kesari Library in Pune. In 2004, politicians of the BJP, India's political party, attempted to identify a later design (from the 1920s) as the flag Cama raised in Stuttgart.[11] The flag Cama raised – misrepresented as "original national Tricolour" – has an (Islamic) crescent and a (Hindu) sun, which the later design does not have.

Further reading

• Sethna, Khorshed Adi (1987), Madam Bhikhaiji Rustom Cama, Builders of Modern India, New Delhi: Government of India Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
• Kumar, Raj; Devi, Rameshwari; Pruthi, Romila, eds. (1998), Madame Bhikhaiji Cama, (Women and the Indian Freedom Struggle, vol. 3), Jaipur: Pointer, ISBN 81-7132-162-3.
• Yadav, Bishamber Dayal; Bakshi, Shiri Ram (1992), Madam Cama: A True Nationalist, (Indian Freedom Fighters, vol. 31), New Delhi: Anmol, ISBN 81-7041-526-8.


1. Bhikhai- (with aspirated -kh-) is the name as it appears in the biographies. Another common form is Bhikai- (with unaspirated -k-), as it appears on the postage stamp. The name is also frequently misspelled 'Bhikha-' (with missing -i-), which is a male name (unlike the feminine Bhikhai-).
2. "This flag is of India's independence. Behold, it is born. It is already sanctified by the blood of martyred Indian youth. I call upon you, gentlemen, to rise and salute the flag of Indian independence. In the name of this flag I appeal to lovers of freedom all over the world to cooperate with this flag in freeing one-fifth of the human race."
1. Acyuta Yājñika; Suchitra Sheth (2005). The Shaping of Modern Gujarat: Plurality, Hindutva, and Beyond. Penguin Books India. pp. 152–. ISBN 978-0-14-400038-8.
2. Darukhanawala, Hormusji Dhunjishaw, ed. (1963), Parsi lustre on Indian soil, 2, Bombay: G. Claridge.
3. John R. Hinnells (28 April 2005). The Zoroastrian Diaspora : Religion and Migration: Religion and Migration. OUP Oxford. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-19-151350-3. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
4. Gupta, K.; Gupta, Amita, eds. (2006), Concise Encyclopaedia of India, 3, New Delhi: Atlantic, p. 1015, ISBN 81-269-0639-1.
5. Bhabha, Homi K. (2004). "The Black Savant and the Dark Princess". ESQ. 50 (1st–3rd): 142–143.
6. Mody, Nawaz B., ed. (1998), The Parsis in western India, 1818 to 1920 (conference proceedings), Bombay: Allied Publishers, ISBN 81-7023-894-3
7. Forbes, Geraldine (1999), Women in Modern India, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 100, ISBN 0-521-65377-0.
8. Taraporevala, Sooni, Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India: A Photographic Journey, New York City: Overlook Press, ISBN 1-58567-593-8
9. Dastur, Dolly, ed. (1994), "Mrs. Bhikaiji Rustom Cama", Journal of the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, 4.
10. India Post (1962), Bhikaiji Cama, Indian Post Commemorative Stamps, New Delhi
11. Guha, Ramachandra (26 September 2004), "Truths about the Tricolor ur", The Hindu.
12 Remembering 10 Forgotten Bravehearts this Women's Day on YouTube

Further reading

• Gupta, Indra (2003), India's 50 Most Illustrious Women, New Delhi: Icon Publications, ISBN 81-88086-19-3.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:02 am

Werner Sombart
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/27/19



Werner Sombart
Born 19 January 1863
Ermsleben, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 18 May 1941 (aged 78)
Berlin, Germany
Nationality German
Known for Coining the term "late capitalism"
Scientific career
Fields Economics, sociology, history
Institutions University of Breslau, Handelshochschule Berlin, Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität
Doctoral advisor Gustav von Schmoller
Adolph Wagner
Doctoral students Wassily Leontief
Richard Löwenthal
Influences Max Weber, Karl Marx
Influenced Karl Polanyi, Joseph Schumpeter

Werner Sombart (/ˈvɜːrnər ˈzɒmbɑːrt/; German: [ˈzɔmbaɐ̯t]; 19 January 1863 – 18 May 1941) was a German economist and sociologist, the head of the “Youngest Historical School” and one of the leading Continental European social scientists during the first quarter of the 20th century.

Life and work

Wirtschaftsleben im Zeitalter des Hochkapitalismus, 1928

Early career, socialism and economics

Werner Sombart was born in Ermsleben, Harz, the son of a wealthy liberal politician, industrialist, and estate-owner, Anton Ludwig Sombart. He studied law and economics at the universities of Pisa, Berlin, and Rome. In 1888, he received his Ph.D. from Berlin under the direction of Gustav von Schmoller and Adolph Wagner, then the most eminent German economists.

As an economist and especially as a social activist, Sombart was then seen as radically left-wing, and so only received — after some practical work as head lawyer of the Bremen Chamber of Commerce — a junior professorship at the out-of-the-way University of Breslau. Although faculties at such eminent universities as Heidelberg and Freiburg called him to chairs, the respective governments always vetoed this. Sombart, at that time, was an important Marxian, someone who used and interpreted Karl Marx — to the point that Friedrich Engels said he was the only German professor who understood Das Kapital. Sombart called himself a "convinced Marxist,"[1] but later wrote that "It had to be admitted in the end that Marx had made mistakes on many points of importance."[2]

As one of the German academics concerned with contemporary social policy, Sombart also joined the Verein für Socialpolitik[3] (Social Policy Association) around 1888, together with his friend and colleague Max Weber. This was then a new professional association of German economists affiliated with the historical school, who saw the role of economics primarily as finding solutions to the social problems of the age and who pioneered large scale statistical studies of economic issues.

Sombart was not the first sociologist to devote an entire book to the concept of social movement as he did in his Sozialismus und soziale Bewegung, published in 1896. His understanding of social movements was inspired by Marx and by a book on social movements by Lorenz von Stein. For him, the rising worker’s movement was a result of the inherent contradictions of capitalism. The proletarian situation created a “love for the masses”, which, together with the tendency “to a communistic way of life” in social production, was a prime feature of the social movement.[citation needed]

In 1902, his magnum opus, Der moderne Kapitalismus (Historisch-systematische Darstellung des gesamteuropäischen Wirtschaftslebens von seinen Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart), appeared in two volumes (he expanded the work in 1916, and added a third volume in 1927; all three volumes were then split into semi-volumes for a total of six books). It is a systematic history of economics and economic development through the centuries and very much a work of the Historical School. The first book deals with the transition from feudal society to capitalism, and the last book treats conditions in the 20th century. The development of capitalism is divided into three stages:[4]

• Early capitalism (Frühkapitalismus), ending before the industrial revolution;
• High capitalism (Hochkapitalismus), beginning about 1760;
• Late capitalism (Spätkapitalismus), beginning with World War I.

Although later much disparaged by neo-classical economists, and much criticized in specific points, Der moderne Kapitalismus is still today a standard work with important ramifications for, e.g., the Annales school (Fernand Braudel). His work was criticised by Rosa Luxemburg, who attributed to it "the express intention of driving a wedge between the trade unions and the social democracy in Germany, and of enticing the trade unions over to the bourgeois position."[5]

In 1903 Sombart accepted a position as associate editor of the Archives for Social Science and Social Welfare, where he worked with his colleagues Edgar Jaffé and Max Weber.[citation needed]

In 1906, Sombart accepted a call to a full professorship at the Berlin School of Commerce, an inferior institution to Breslau but closer to political “action” than Breslau. Here, inter alia, companion volumes to Modern Capitalism dealing with luxury, fashion, and war as economic paradigms appeared; the former two were the key works on the subject until now. Also in 1906 his Why is there no Socialism in the United States? appeared. The book is a famous work on American exceptionalism in this respect to this day.[6]

Sombart's 1911 book, Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben (The Jews and Modern Capitalism), is an addition to Max Weber's historic study of the connection between Protestantism (especially Calvinism) and Capitalism, with Sombart documenting Jewish involvement in historic capitalist development. He argued that Jewish traders and manufacturers, excluded from the guilds, developed a distinctive antipathy to the fundamentals of medieval commerce, which they saw as primitive and unprogressive: the desire for 'just' (and fixed) wages and prices; for an equitable system in which shares of the market were agreed and unchanging; profits and livelihoods modest but guaranteed; and limits placed on production. Excluded from the system, Sombart argued, the Jews broke it up and replaced it with modern capitalism, in which competition was unlimited and the only law was pleasing the customer.[7] Paul Johnson, who considers the work "a remarkable book", notes that Sombart left out some inconvenient truths, and ignored the powerful mystical elements of Judaism. Sombart refused to recognize, as Weber did, that wherever these religious systems, including Judaism, were at their most powerful and authoritarian, commerce did not flourish. Jewish businessmen, like Calvinist ones, tended to operate most successfully when they had left their traditional religious environment and moved on to fresher pastures.[8]

In his somewhat eclectic 1913 book Der Bourgeois (translated as The quintessence of capitalism), Sombart endeavoured to provide a psychological and sociological portrait of the modern businessman, and to explain the origins of the capitalist spirit. The book begins with "the greed for gold", the roots of private enterprise, and the types of entrepreneurs. Subsequent chapters discuss "the middle class outlook" and various factors shaping the capitalist spirit - national psychology, racial factors, biological factors, religion, migrations, technology, and "the influence of capitalism itself."[9]

In a work published in 1915, a "war book" with the title Händler und Helden Sombart welcomed the "German War" as the "inevitable conflict between the English commercial civilisation and the heroic culture of Germany". In this book, according to Friedrich Hayek, Sombart revealed an unlimited contempt for the "commercial views of the English people" who had lost all warlike instincts, as well as contempt for "the universal striving for the happiness of the individual".[10] To Sombart, in this work, the highest ideal is the "German idea of the State. As formulated by Fichte, Lassalle, and Rodbertus, the state is neither founded nor formed by individuals, nor an aggregate of individuals, nor is its purpose to serve any interests of individuals. It is a 'Volksgemeinschaft' (people's community) in which the individual has no rights but only duties. Claims of the individual are always an outcome of the commercial spirit. The 'ideas of 1789' – Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity – are characteristically commercial ideals which have no other purpose but to secure certain advantages to individuals." Sombart further claims that the war had helped the Germans to rediscover their "glorious heroic past as a warrior people"; that all economic activities are subordinated to military ends; and that to regard war as inhuman and senseless is a product of commercial views. There is a life higher than the individual life, the life of the people and the life of the state, and it is the purpose of the individual to sacrifice himself for that higher life. War against England was therefore also a war against the opposite ideal – the "commercial ideal of individual freedom".[10]

Middle career and sociology

At last, in 1917, Sombart became professor at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, then the pre-eminent university in Europe if not in the world[citation needed], succeeding his mentor Adolph Wagner. He remained on the chair until 1931 but continued teaching until 1940. During that period he was also one of the most renowned sociologists alive, more prominent a contemporary than even his friend Max Weber.[citation needed] Sombart's insistence on Sociology as a part of the Humanities (Geisteswissenschaften) — necessarily so because it dealt with human beings and therefore required inside, empathic "Verstehen" rather than the outside, objectivizing "Begreifen" (both German words translate as "understanding" into English) — became extremely unpopular already during his lifetime. It was seen as the opposite of the "scientification" of the social sciences, in the tradition of Auguste Comte, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber — (although this is a misunderstanding since Weber largely shared Sombart's views in these matters) — which became fashionable during this time and has more or less remained so until today. However, because Sombart's approach has much in common with Hans-Georg Gadamer's Hermeneutics, which likewise is a Verstehen-based approach to understanding the world, he is coming back in some sociological and even philosophical circles that are sympathetic to that approach and critical towards the scientification of the world. Sombart's key sociological essays are collected in his posthumous 1956 work, Noo-Soziologie.

Late career and National Socialism

During the Weimar Republic, Sombart moved toward nationalism, and his relation to Nazism is still debated today.

In 1934 he published Deutscher Sozialismus where he claimed a "new spirit" was beginning to "rule mankind". The age of capitalism and proletarian socialism was over, with "German socialism" (National-Socialism) taking over. This German socialism puts the "welfare of the whole above the welfare of the individual".[11] German socialism must effect a "total ordering of life" with a "planned economy in accordance with state regulations".[12] The new legal system will confer on individuals "no rights but only duties" and that "the state should never evaluate individual persons as such, but only the group which represents these persons".[13] German socialism is accompanied by the Volksgeist (national spirit) which is not racial in the biological sense but metaphysical: "the German spirit in a Negro is quite as much within the realm of possibility as the Negro spirit in a German".[14] The antithesis of the German spirit is the Jewish spirit, which is not a matter of being born Jewish or believing in Judaism but is a capitalistic spirit.[15] The English people possess the Jewish spirit and the "chief task" of the German people and National Socialism is to destroy the Jewish spirit.[15]

However, his 1938 anthropology book, Vom Menschen, is clearly anti-Nazi, and was indeed hindered in publication and distribution by the Nazis. In his attitude towards the Nazis, he is often likened to Martin Heidegger as well as his younger friend and colleague Carl Schmitt, but it is clear that, while the latter two tried to be the vanguard thinkers for the Third Reich in their field and only became critical when they were too individualistic and elbowed out from their power positions, Sombart was always much more ambivalent. Sombart had many, indeed more than the typical proportion, of Jewish students, most of whom felt moderately positive about him after the war, although he clearly was no hero nor resistance fighter.

One of Sombart's daughters, Clara, was married to Hans Gerhard Creutzfeldt, who first described the Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.


Sombart's legacy today is difficult to ascertain, because the alleged National Socialist affiliations have made an objective reevaluation difficult (while his earlier socialist ones harmed him with the more bourgeois circles), especially in Germany. As has been stated, in economic history, his "Modern Capitalism" is regarded as a milestone and inspiration, although many details have been questioned. Key insights from his economic work concern the - recently again validated - discovery of the emergence of double-entry accounting as a key precondition for Capitalism and the interdisciplinary study of the City in the sense of urban studies. Like Weber, Sombart makes double-entry bookkeeping system an important component of modern capitalism. He wrote in "Medieval and Modern Commercial Enterprise" that "The very concept of capital is derived from this way of looking at things; one can say that capital, as a category, did not exist before double-entry bookkeeping. Capital can be defined as that amount of wealth which is used in making profits and which enters into the accounts."[16] He also coined the term and concept of creative destruction which is a key ingredient of Joseph Schumpeter's theory of innovation (Schumpeter actually borrowed much from Sombart, not always with proper reference).[17][18] In sociology, mainstream proponents still regard Sombart as a 'minor figure' and his sociological theory an oddity; today it is more philosophical sociologists and culturologists who, together with heterodox economists, use his work. Sombart has always been very popular in Japan.

One of the reasons of a lack of reception in the United States is that most of his works were for a long time not translated into English - in spite of, and excluding, as far as the reception is concerned, the classic study on Why there is no Socialism in America.

However, in recent years sociologists have shown renewed interest in Sombart's work.[19][20]


• Sombart, Werner (1905) [1896]: Sozialismus und soziale Bewegung. Jena: Verlag von Gustav Fischer. English translation: Socialism and the Social Movement in the 19th Century, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898.
• Sombart, Werner (1909) [1903]: Die deutsche Volkswirtschaft im neunzehnten Jahrhundert. Berlin: G. Bondi.
• Sombart, Werner (1906): Das Proletariat. Bilder und Studien. Die Gesellschaft, vol. 1. Berlin: Rütten & Loening.
• Sombart, Werner (1906): Warum gibt es in den Vereinigten Staaten keinen Sozialismus? Tübingen: Mohr. Several English translations, incl. (1976): Why is there No Socialism in the United States. New York: Sharpe.
• Sombart, Werner (1911): Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben. Leipzig: Duncker. Translated into English: The Jews and Modern Capitalism., Batoche Books, Kitchener, 2001.
• Sombart, Werner: Der moderne Kapitalismus. Historisch-systematische Darstellung des gesamteuropäischen Wirtschaftslebens von seinen Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Final edn. 1928, repr. 1969, paperback edn. (3 vols. in 6): 1987 Munich: dtv. (Also in Spanish; no English translation yet.)
• Sombart, Werner (1913): Krieg und Kapitalismus. München: Duncker & Humblot, 1913.
• Sombart, Werner (1913): Der Bourgeois. München und Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1913.
• Sombart, Werner (1913): Luxus und Kapitalismus. München: Duncker & Humblot, 1922. English translation: Luxury and capitalism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
• Sombart, Werner (1915): Händler und Helden. München: Duncker & Humblot. 1915.
• Sombart, Werner (1934): Deutscher Sozialismus. Charlottenburg: Buchholz & Weisswange. English translation (1937, 1969): A New Social Philosophy. New York: Greenwood.
• Sombart, Werner (1938): Vom Menschen. Versuch einer geisteswissenschaftlichen Anthropologie. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.
• Sombart, Werner (1956): Noo-Soziologie. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.
• Sombart, Werner (2001): Economic Life in the Modern Age. Nico Stehr & Reiner Grundmann, eds. New Brunswick: Transaction. (New English translations of key articles and chapters by Sombart, including (1906) in full and the segment defining Capitalism from (1916))

See also

• Werturteilsstreit


1. Harris, Abram L. (1942). "Sombart and German (National) Socialism". Journal of Political Economy. 50 (6): 805–835. doi:10.1086/255964.
2. Werner Sombart (1896), Socialism and the Social System NY: Dutton and Sons, translated by M. Epstein, p. 87
3. See the German WP article about the Verein, here
4. Sombart, Werner. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1968.
5. Luxemburg, Rosa (2008). The Mass Strike. Haymarket Books. p. 178. ISBN 978-1931859-36-3.
6. Walker, Jesse (2011-02-22) People Who Live in the Shade, Reason
7. Werner Sombart, The Jews and Modern Capitalism, English trans., London 1913. Cited in Johnson, p.284
8. Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews, p.284
9. Werner Sombart, The quintessence of capitalism: a study of the history and psychology of the modern businessman. New York: Howard Fertig, 1967.
10. Hayek, Friedrich: The Road to Serfdom. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979, p. 126.
11. Harris, pp. 808-9.
12. Harris, pp. 810-11.
13. Harris, p. 811.
14. Harris, pp. 812-13.
15. Harris, p. 813.
16. Lane, Frederic C; Riemersma, Jelle, eds. (1953). Enterprise and Secular Change: Readings in Economic History. R. D. Irwin. p. 38. (quoted in "Accounting and rationality" Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine)
17. Reinert, Erik. Creative Destruction in Economics: Nietzsche, Sombart, Schumpeter. In Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900).
18. ... nomics.pdf
19. Joas, Hans (2003). War and modernity. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-7456-2645-1.
20. ... RTICLE:322

Further reading

• Appel, Michael (1992): Werner Sombart: Historiker und Theoretiker des modernen Kapitalismus. Marburg: Metropolis.
• Backhaus, Jürgen G. (1996), ed. Werner Sombart (1863-1941): Social Scientist. 3 vols. Marburg: Metropolis. (The standard, all-encompassing work on Sombart in English.)
• Backhaus, Jürgen G. (2000), ed. Werner Sombart (1863-1941): Klassiker der Sozialwissenschaft. Eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme. Marburg: Metropolis.
• Brocke, Bernhard vom (1987), ed.: Sombarts Moderner Kapitalismus. Materialien zur Kritik und Rezeption. München: dtv
• Drechsler, W. "Zu Werner Sombarts Theorie der Soziologie und zu seiner Biographie", in Werner Sombart: Klassiker der Sozialwissenschaft. Eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme, Marburg: Metropolis, 2000, pp. 83–100.
• Iannone, Roberta (2013), Umano, ancora umano. Per un'analisi dell'opera Vom Menschen di Werner Sombart, Roma-Acireale, Bonanno.
• Lenger, Friedrich (1994): Werner Sombart, 1863-1941. Eine Biographie. München: Beck.
• Most, Kenneth S. "Sombart, Werner (1863-1941." In History of Accounting: An International Encyclopedia, edited by Michael Chatfield and Richard Vangermeersch. New York: garland Publishing, 1996. pp. 541–542.
• Muller, Jerry Z., 2002. The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought. Anchor Books.
• Nussbaum, Frederick Louis (1933): A History of the Economic Institutions of Modern Europe: An Introduction of 'Der Moderne Kapitalismus' of Werner Sombart.New York: Crofts.
• Kevin Repp (2000). Reformers, Critics, and the Paths of German Modernity: Anti-Politics and the Search for Alternatives, 1890-1914. Boston, MA.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00057-9.
• Sombart, Nicolaus (1991): Jugend in Berlin, 1933-1943. Ein Bericht. Frankfurt/Main: Fischer.
• Sombart, Nicolaus (1991): Die deutschen Männer und ihre Feinde. Carl Schmitt - ein deutsches Schicksal zwischen Männerbund und Matriachatsmythos. Munich: Hanser.

External links

• Works by Werner Sombart at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Werner Sombart at Internet Archive
• Works by Werner Sombart at Open Library
• Newspaper clippings about Werner Sombart in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:12 am

Gayatri Devi
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/27/19



Maharani Gayatri Devi
The Maharani in her early years
Maharani of Jaipur
Tenure 9 May 1940 − 1948
Titular Tenure 1948 – 24 June 1970
Born 23 May 1919
London, England, United Kingdom
Died 29 July 2009 (aged 90)
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Spouse Maharaja Man Singh II of Jaipur
(m. 1940 - 1970; his death)
Issue Maharaja Sawai Jagat Singh I of Isarda
House Koch
Father Maharaja Jitendra Narayan of Cooch-Behar
Mother Princess Indira Raje of Baroda
Religion Hinduism

Maharani Gayatri Devi (born as Princess Gayatri Devi of Cooch Behar; 23 May 1919 − 29 July 2009), was the third Maharani consort of Jaipur from 1940 to 1949, through her marriage to Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II.[1] Following her husband's signature for the Jaipur State to become part of the Union of India and her step-son's assumption of the title in 1970, she was known as Maharani Gayatri Devi, Rajmata of Jaipur.

Ethnically born in a Koch Rajbongshi Hindu family, her father was Maharaja Jitendra Narayan of Cooch Behar in West Bengal, and her mother was Maratha Princess Indira Raje of Baroda, the only daughter of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III.

Following India's independence and the abolition of the princely states, she became a successful politician in the Swatantra Party. Gayatri Devi was also celebrated for her classical beauty and became something of a fashion icon in her adulthood. She served 12 years in congress, during which time she was a prominent critic of Indira Gandhi's government. After her departure from politics, she lived a quiet life in her large estate, spending time with her grandchildren and on hobbies and leisure.

She died on 29 July 2009 in Jaipur, at the age of 90. She was suffering from paralytic ileus and a lung infection. She left an estate estimated at nearly half a billion USD, which were passed on to her grandchildren.[2]

Early life

Gayatri Devi as a child

Ethnically born in a Koch Rajbongshi Hindu family, her father, Prince Jitendra Narayan of Cooch Behar (Koch Dynasty of Ancient Assam), presently West Bengal, was the younger brother of the Yuvaraja (Crown Prince). Her mother was Maratha Princess Indira Raje of Baroda, the only daughter of Maratha King, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, an extremely beautiful princess and a legendary socialite. Early in her life, her uncle's death led to her father ascending the throne (gaddi). Gayatri Devi studied at Glendower Preparatory School in London,[3] Patha Bhavana of Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan,[4] and later in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she travelled with her mother and siblings, then studied secretarial skills in London School of Secretaries; Brillantmont and Monkey Club London.

She first met Raja Saheb (H.H. Sir Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur), when she was 12 and he had come to Calcutta to play polo and stayed with their family.[5] She married Sawai Man Singh II Bahadur on 9 May 1940.[1]

Maharani Gayatri Devi was a particularly avid equestrienne. She was an excellent rider and an able Polo player. She was a good shot and enjoyed many days out on 'Shikars'. Her Highness was fond of cars and is credited with importing the first Mercedes-Benz W126, a 500 SEL to India which was later shipped to Malaysia. She also owned several Rolls-Royces and an aircraft. Gayatri Devi had one child, Prince Jagat Singh of Jaipur, late Raja of Isarda, born on 15 October 1949, who was granted his uncle's fief as a subsidiary title. Jagat Singh was the half-brother to Bhawani Singh, who was the eldest son of his father born by his father's first wife.[1]

Rajmata saheb was once included in Vogue magazine's Ten Most Beautiful Women list.[6]

She started schools in Jaipur, most prominent of which is the Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls’ Public School established in 1943.[7] She also revived and promoted the dying art of blue pottery.

Political career

After partition and independence of India in 1947, Gayatri Devi ran for Parliament in 1962 and won the constituency in the Lok Sabha in the world's largest landslide, winning 192,909 votes out of 246,516 cast.[8] She continued to hold this seat on 1967 and 1971 as a member of the Swatantra Party founded by C. Rajagopalachari,[4] running against the Indian National Congress party.

In 1965, during a meeting with Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Gayatri Devi was again asked to join Congress. This was the time when, despite the fact that her husband was being made ambassador to Spain, she stuck to her principles and decided not to join the party. In 1967 the Swatantra party joined hands with Jan Sangh that was led by Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. The alliance won a large number of seats in the 1967 election. In the assembly election Gayatri Devi lost to Damodar Lal Vyas, in Malpura constituency, but won the Lok Sabha election.

The privy purses were abolished in 1971, terminating all royal privileges and titles. Gayatri Devi was arrested during the Emergency due to an alleged political vendetta on the false accusation of violating tax laws, and served 5 months in Tihar Jail.[9] She retired from politics and published her biography, A Princess Remembers, written by Santha Rama Rau, in 1976. She was also the focus of the film Memoirs of a Hindu Princess, directed by Francois Levie.

There were rumours that she might re-enter politics as late as 1999, when the Cooch Behar Trinamool Congress nominated her as their candidate for the Lok Sabha elections, but she did not respond to the offer.[10]


She had one son, Prince Jagat Singh, Raja of Isarda (15 October 1949 – 5 February 1997), who was granted his paternal uncle's (father's elder brother) fief of Isarda as a subsidiary title. Jagat Singh was married on 10 May 1978 to Mom Rajawongse Priyanandana Rangsit (b. 1952), daughter of Prince Piyarangsit Rangsit and Princess Vibhavadi Rangsit (née Rajani) of Thailand. The marriage produced two children:

• Rajkumari Lalitya Kumari (b. 1979)
• Maharaj Devraj Singh, Raja of Isarda (b. 1981)

Today, they are her only surviving descendants, and as such, have claimed to be heirs of their paternal grandmother. Maharaj Jagat Singh was thus half-brother to Bhawani Singh of Jaipur, the eldest son of the late Maharaja by his first wife, a Jodhpur princess.

Family relationships

Gayatri Devi pictured by Cecil Beaton in 1940.

Maharani Gayatri Devi was related to several other erstwhile royal families in India. She was herself not from the Rajput community, but from a dynasty native to Cooch Behar in Bengal and was daughter of Maharaja Jitendra Narayan and Maharani Indira Raje, who was daughter of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III and Maharani Chimnabai belonging to the Gaekwad dynasty of the Marathas. Her grand-nephew, along with his wife (Poonam Singh Mewar) and 2 sons deceased in a car crash 17 years ago.

Her grandfather-grandmother were the Maharaja Nripendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur and Maharani Suniti Devi of Cooch Behar. Maharani Suniti Devi was the daughter of illustrious Brahmo social reformer Keshab Chandra Sen.

She had two brothers, Jagaddipendra Narayan and Indrajitendra Narayan of whom Jagaddipendra Narayan became Maharaja of Cooch Behar in his infancy after death of their father in 1922.

Thus she was closely connected maternally with Gaekwads of Baroda State. Further, her sister Ila Devi was married into the Tripura royal family, and her younger sister Menaka Devi was married in Dewas Jr. State. Thus through various inter connections, she was related to the royal houses of Kota, Sawantwadi, Akkalkot State, Jath State, Dewas Jr., Jasdan State, and Sandur, Tehri-Garhwal, Mayurbhanj, Dhar State, Kolhapur, Lunawada State, Baria and Raja of Payagpur, which was normal amongst the royalties of India.


She developed gastric problems in Tihar jail during the infamous state of emergency imposed by Congress party led by then PM Indira Gandhi. Later her gastric problem grew worse and so she was admitted to King Edward’s Hospital in London. She was being treated for the gastric disorder there and had expressed her desire to return to Jaipur. Gayatri Devi was flown in an air ambulance to Jaipur. She was admitted at Santokba Durlabhji Memorial Hospital (SDMH) on 17 July 2009. She died at the age of 90 on 29 July 2009, reportedly due to lung failure.[11][12]


Gayatri Devi held the following titles:

1919-1940: Her Highness Princess Gayatri Devi of Cooch Behar
1940-1949: Her Highness The Maharani of Jaipur
1949-1970: Her Highness Maharani Gayatri Devi
1970-2009: Her Highness Rajmata of Jaipur


• Stephane Bern. Gayatra Devi, une princesse au pays des Maharajas. Documentary by Roland Portiche and Vanessa Pontet. 1h45'. 2013. First broadcast on 26 December 2013, FR2 (French TV).


1. Karim, Fariha (31 July 2009). "Gayatri Devi: the last Maharani of Jaipur". London: The Times.
2. "A battle of wills: Gayatri Devi's £250m legacy". The Independent. 19 September 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
3. Devi, Gayatri (1996), A princess remembers: the memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur, Rupa & Co., p. 87, ISBN 978-81-7167-307-0
4. Whistle-Stopping Maharani Time (magazine), 10 November 1961.
5. "'I Had Shot My First Panther Before I Turned Thirteen': Gayatri Devi turned 13 in 1932". Outlook. 20 October 2008.
6. Sahwney, Anubha (2004) I've never felt beautiful: Gayatri Devi. The Times of India. 25 April.
7. "Rajmata Gayatri Devi". London: The Telegraph. 29 July 2009.
8. The Battle Royal - Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur... Time (magazine), 28 July 1967.
9. Malgonkar, Manohar (1987). The Last Maharani of Gwalior: An Autobiography By Manohar Malgonkar. pp. 233, 242–244. ISBN 9780887066597.
10. Gayatri Devi may contest polls from Cooch Behar, The Statesman, 12 June 1999.
11. Gayatri Devi, former Jaipur queen, is dead
12. Rajmata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur dies at 90

Additional sources

• Devi, Gayatri (1977). A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur. J.B. Lippincott. ISBN 81-7167-307-4.
• Kanwar, Dharmendar (2004). Rajmata Gayatri Devi. Roli Books. ISBN 81-7436-294-0.
• Devi, Gayatri (1999). Gourmet's Gateway: A Royal Collection. Dharmendar Kanwar. ISBN 81-901221-0-X.
• Moore, Lucy (2005). Maharanis. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-303704-0.

External links

• Website of the MGD Girls School
• The Maharani's Death
• Rajmata Gayatri Devi - Daily Telegraph obituary
• Rediff article - Memoir by her ghost-writer
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:20 am

Charles Manning
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/27/19




Charles Anthony Woodward Manning (18 November 1894 – 10 March 1978)[1] was a South African academic. He is considered to be a leading figure in the English School tradition of international relations scholarship.[2]

Early life and education

Charles was the son of Dumaresque Williamson Manning and Helena Isabella Bell.[3] He was educated at the Diocesan College (Bishops), Rondebosch, the South African College, Cape Town; and as a Rhodes Scholar at Brasenose College, Oxford, which he entered in 1914. His academic career was interrupted by military service; he enlisted in the 18th Royal Fusilliers in 1914 and was commissioned in the 7th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry in the following year. He saw active service in France and Salonkia, 1915-17, was wounded and twice mentioned in despatches. From 1917-18 he served as an Acting Captain and Instructor in the 11th officer cadet battalion.[4]

Returning to Oxford he graduated with a First in Literae Humaniores ('Greats') in 1920, a First in Jurisprudence in 1921, and a First in Civil Law in 1922. He was Senior Hulme Scholar, 1921. He became a barrister in Middle Temple, 1922.[5]

Professional career

In 1922 he joined the League of Nations International Labour Office (Diplomatic Division) and in the same year was appointed Personal Secretary to the Secretary General, Sir Eric Drummond.[6][7]

His academic career resumed in 1923 when he was appointed a Law Fellow at New College, Oxford, and Law Lecturer at both New and Pembroke Colleges. He moved to Harvard University as Laura Spellman Rockefeller Fellow, 1925-26, but returned to Oxford as Deputy Professor of International Law and Diplomacy in 1927. He was Examiner in Roman Law to the Council of Legal Education, 1927-32. In 1930 he was appointed Montague Burton (formerly Cassel) Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics, University of London in 1930, a post he held until his retirement in 1962. During the Second World War he was Senior Specialist, Chatham House, 1939-43.[8]

The politics of Apartheid

Professor H.G. Hanbury (19 June 1898 – 12 March 1993), a fellow academic lawyer, describes Manning's attitude as follows:

'From 1964 onwards he was chairman of the South Africa Society, and was a brave apologist for his own country. Though his patience must have been sometimes sorely tried by vitriolic attacks made on it, often by persons whose knowledge of it was scant, he was almost always courteous to its critics, and such was the regard in which his transparent sincerity was held, that never were attacks made personally on him.'[9]

Manning's London School of Economics colleague, Professor F.S. Northedge (16 October 1918 – 3 March 1985), refers to Manning as 'a controversial writer on South Africa'.[10] This remark is expanded with the comment that 'Manning always insisted, with some passion, that scientific detachment [in his academic role] did not, and must not, mean refusal to commit oneself to causes in the political area, when laboratory coat and academic gown are doffed, and Manning did commit himself to at least one such cause, that of South Africa and its regime. But scientific inquiry and political partisanship were at all times rigidly separated from each other in his mind, and only linked in so far as the political partisan, the committed voter in a democratic election or the professional politician, enact their chosen roles the better after serving their time as non-partisan students of the world in which their partisanship subsequently does its work.'[11]

Personal life

Manning married Marion Somerville (Maisie) Johnston, a former pupil, in 1939; Marion predeceased him in 1977.[12][13] There were no children.[14] He retired to South Africa in September 1977.[15]

His recreations included watercolour, gardening, and music.[16]


1. F.S. Northedge, 'In Memoriam Charles Manning 1894-1978', British Journal of International Studies, 5 : 1, April 1979, pg.1 : ... b_contents.
2. Christian Reus-Smit, Duncan Snidal (2008) The Oxford handbook of international relations, Oxford: Oxford University Press, P. 267
3. Who's Who 1974, London : A. & C. Black, 1974, pg.2158.
4. Who's Who 1974, London : A. & C. Black, 1974, pg.2158
5. Who's Who 1974, London : A. & C. Black, 1974, pg.2158
6. Who's Who 1974, London : A. & C. Black, 1974, pg.2158
7. F.S. Northedge, 'In Memoriam Charles Manning 1894-1978', British Journal of International Studies, 5 : 1, April 1979, pg.1 : ... b_contents.
8. Who's Who 1974, London : A. & C. Black, 1974, pg.2158
9. H.G. Hanbury, 'Professor C.A.W. Manning', Times (London, England), 15 March 1978, p. 21.
10. F.S. Northedge, 'In Memoriam Charles Manning 1894-1978', British Journal of International Studies, 5:1, April 1979, p. 1: ... b_contents.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:29 am

Part 1 of 2

3: Everything That Was Good in Us, Excerpt from The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi
by Andrew Whitehead

3: Everything That Was Good in Us

Freda and Bedi made public their engagement early in 1933, in their penultimate term at Oxford. 'This was' -- she said -- 'a minor sensation'. It was certainly front-page news for the Oxford Mail, which published a photograph of the couple, apparently taken in the parks with both wearing scarves to keep out the winter cold. [1] Word also reached the student journal Isis. Its 'Dovecotes' gossip column, with its ear to the ground at the women's colleges, reported that both Freda and Bedi 'are, of course, prominent members of the October Club. Miss Houlston, who wears a very lovely acquamarine solitaire on her ring finger, told me ... that they will be married soon after Schools [final exams] and that they will live in India, where she hopes to carve out for herself a career in the writing of books about that land of mystery and promise, henceforth her own.' [2] Even at this early date, long before she had ever set foot there, Freda was coming to regard India as her country.

The couple had friends and allies among the academic community in Oxford -- notably Professor Alfred Zimmern and his wife, Lucie, of whom Freda had written so fondly in her article for the Calcutta Review. That affection was clearly reciprocated. Among the Zimmern papers at the Bodleian Library, amid letters from the prime minister, arrangements for summer schools in Switzerland and a mass of academic correspondence, is a postcard sent from 'Freda and Bedi' to Madame Zimmern in May 1933. 'Your "naughty children" want to see you. When could we come during this week?' The Zimmerns were away, so Freda followed up with a longer missive:

This is just a small note literally on the eve of Schools to tell you that our marriage has been fixed for June 21st at 11.30 A.M. My mother and father are coming up for it, but unfortunately my brother will be on the sea 'somewhere off Scotland.' We are both of us very disappointed that he can't come.

We are dividing our time at present between the last revision for Schools, and a search for a flat as we intend remaining a few weeks here until the Viva is over ...

We shall remember you both on the 21st-and hope you will remember us. [3]

Both Freda and Bedi signed the note.

'Barely a week after finishing Final Schools,' Freda wrote a decade later, 'we were married in the dark and poky little Oxford Registry Office. The registrar looked sour and pointedly omitted to shake hands with us. We came out, with my parents and a cousin from India, into a drenching downpour of rain ... "Don't worry," said my husband. "Rain is auspicious for an Indian bride."' [4] A photograph on the front page of the Oxford Mail showed Baba Bedi, wearing jacket and tie and pugri-style turban, holding an umbrella over his new wife. 'The bride, a tall slim girl, looked charming in blue and white, the dress having the merest suggestion of white epaulettes. She wore a small white cap at a fashionable angle and had a buttonhole of carnations.' [5] The Derby Evening Telegraph reported that the couple were planning to honeymoon in Italy before moving to Berlin and eventually settling in Lahore. 'They refused to discuss their plans and shunned publicity.' [6] As well as Freda's mother and stepfather, the other family member in attendance was Kuldip Chand Bedi, the groom's cousin, who later also married an English woman; few if any of their Oxford friends were present. There was a 'very simple' wedding breakfast -- 'we both decided that we were not going to have a big party or make a fuss' -- and then the newlyweds went back to Bedi's lodgings.

Freda believed that she was the first Oxford woman undergraduate to marry an Indian fellow student. Plenty of Indians had married British women, but not fellow students. The India Office in London had a file of unhappy letters from British women, often from a working class background, complaining that they had been deserted by their Indian husbands, who had returned home at the end of their studies promising to arrange for their brides to join them since when there had been silence. [7] Both Hindus and Muslims in India were at this time covered by a code of personal law which meant that they could marry in England even if they already had a wife in India, and could return with their English wife and take another wife. Seeking to annul a marriage in these circumstances was not straightforward. The Lord Chancellor's office proposed to set-up what was insensitively referred to as 'the Polygamy Committee' to address the issue, but all that was done was to urge registrars to warn would-be brides of the potential legal peril.

Tucked away in an India Office file is a cutting from a tabloid-style news magazine warning of the consequences of falling for a suave Indian student. It bore the headline: "The Lure of the Coloured Man: terrible dangers of bogus romance exposed'. [8] Scores of 'handsome' Indian students at British universities married British girls every year, the article suggested. 'In the majority of cases these men are already married to Hindu girls.' There was a parallel, if less alarmist, discussion of mixed marriages in Indian student publications. 'Not in bitterness against English women, but just as a statement of fact, it is fair to record that Indian students leaving India are warned by their parents and relatives to keep away from the women of this country,' wrote an Indian student at Oxford. "This warning is based on the consequences of marriage between Indians of social position and English women who are not equal to the situation in education, wisdom and culture -- to put it as mildly and politely as one can.' [9] On both sides, attitudes to an inter-racial romance were hardly encouraging.

'By all social laws and canons,' Freda wrote, 'it was a marriage doomed to failure'--

two students in love, refusing to recognise the barriers of race and colour, dissolving their religious differences into a belief in a common Good, united in their love of justice and freedom for the least and poorest.

... In the eyes of the world, a wild marriage without financial foundations, without social foundations, or orthodox religious foundations. In our eyes, the only marriage we could either of us bear to think about, a marriage based on everything that was good in us. [10]

As she wrote those lines ten years or so after her marriage, Freda must have been thinking back to the hostility that she and Bedi faced, and the personal crisis it provoked. However 'wild' her marriage, she was determined to make it work. Having breached the barriers of race and religion, she would not allow any of her detractors to say: I told you so.

While the racial and cultural differences between the couple were the most obvious, they also had contrasting temperaments. Bedi was large, loud, gregarious and a natural raconteur; Freda was quieter, more contained, with a personal warmth but -- at this stage of her life -- not as outgoing. They both had an impulsive streak; of the two, Freda was the more disciplined and determined. There was a class difference too. While Bedi was not as privileged by background as some Indian students at Oxford, he had grown up knowing and expecting deference. However much he may have sought to disavow this sense of inherited entitlement, traces of it remained. Bedi was also, at their marriage, much the more cosmopolitan of the two. He had been taught by Britishers in Lahore. He had travelled widely on his way to Oxford. Freda hadn't got to know any Indians, probably hadn't rubbed shoulders with any, prior to coming to Oxford, and at the end of her years there had not travelled beyond western Europe. One had seen something of the world; the other was yearning to do so.

Freda and Bedi began their married life in his room at Summertown in north Oxford. They had to wait and see if they had a viva, an oral exam sometimes required if the written papers left some uncertainty about the class of degree to be awarded. Both would have been disappointed by their degrees. Freda's 'third' was at least one step up from Bedi's fourth class honours, a classification which no longer exists and suggests a bare sufficiency of the requirements for an honours degree.

This academic setback didn't dampen Bedi's ambition to study for a doctorate. He secured a research scholarship -- in Berlin. By the summer of 1933, Hitler was already Germany's Chancellor and the Nazis were consolidating their hold on power. In July, they became the only legal political party. The communists, a mass party in Germany which attracted millions of votes, were an early target of the Nazis. They were forced underground-their leadership, and many of their elected representatives, were arrested. The German capital was not a comfortable prospect for a mixed race couple with a record of communist activity. 'The great question was: should we go? -- because the menace of fascism was then becoming very real,' Freda recalled. Her new husband thought it was worth the risk.

They decided to make their way to Germany in a leisurely manner, and to have a honeymoon holidaying across Europe with Berlin the final destination. It was a honeymoon with a difference -- Freda and Bedi travelled with a friend, an Indian from East Africa who had a car and was a keen driver. 'So we three, with a couple of tents, wandered around Europe -- in France and Belgium and Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Italy. We had a really beautiful car-and-tent tour.' One striking photo in the family album shows the couple on the beach in bathing suits. In mid-August, Freda sent a postcard from Italy to her college friend Olive Chandler. 'Tour all OK. Very brown + well. I like Venice but it's xxxx hot. Am leaving later for Dolomites + Austria (Vienna). Thence to Germany.' Her forwarding address was the Thomas Cook's office in the heart of Berlin. [11]

The newlyweds arrived in the German capital a few weeks later and Bedi formally enrolled at university in October. By then, Freda was pregnant. They managed to get a quiet place to live a little out of the centre towards Potsdam, bordering the Wannsee lakes. 'It was a really lovely place -- a charming German cottage with a lovely garden, and we had some very very happy months there preparing for the child.' This was their focus -- getting ready for the start of a family so early in their married life. Politics took a back seat, though as Hitler tightened his grip on power, the signs of racial intolerance were evident all around.

We led a very simple life. Sometimes we used to go to the big markets on Alexanderplatz to buy cheap fruit and vegetables and I remember one day coming back triumphantly with some beautiful Jaffa oranges and presented a plate-full to my landlady. But she turned up her nose and said: I don't eat Jewish oranges. So then I found out that the landlady was also a Nazi, which I didn't know before. It was all around us. [12]

She ventured to the university for her first lessons in Hindi from a Punjabi professor. 'In our class there were just three people -- two elderly ladies, one a representative of the German aristocracy, and one, although I didn't know, the wife of a Nazi. But both charming women. Politics never entered into our lives, we were just learning Hindi and we were trying to understand something at the same time of Indian philosophy.'

Another pressing priority was establishing a relationship, albeit at a distance, with her widowed mother-in-law, who spoke no English. Freda was clear from the start that with an Indian husband, she was now Indian too. After her wedding day, she made a point of dressing in Indian clothes -- often a sari, not the simplest of garments to wear. Her letters to Bhabooji, the family's name for Bedi's mother, display the charm and emotional intelligence which served her so well throughout her life. Writing in early October 1933, when Berlin must have been arrestingly new, Freda told her mother-in-law that 'our life seems to be taking on a more solid + peaceful complexion again. I will write to you as regularly as I can. It is a very great pleasure to me that you want me to write and if it gives my dear Mother pleasure I shall be delighted to do so.' She wrote of the regret in having to wait another year before meeting her Indian family, her love for her husband, and their plans for 'a quiet and studious life' in Berlin as a preparation for their work in India. [13]

What Bedi's mother would have been seeking is some sense of whether her new daughter-in-law would fit in with her Indian family or would lead her son away from it. She will have found Freda's letters reassuring:

you will want to know the little details of our life. They mean so much to a woman, I know. I am like it myself. I wear my Saree as often as I can, and only when we are leading a particularly strenuous life, as in camping or househunting, do I leave it of[ I have some amusing experiences. I wore it on all the frontiers and received an undue amount of deference from Customs officials; I wore it in towns and every waiter in the restaurant came to my feet ... I am very fond of wearing the Saree. Pyare tried to teach me himself, but being a man, he did not at all understand how women do it (bless him!) and so I was taught both by an Indian girl student at Oxford, + particularly by a very nice Indian lady, Mrs Haji ... who was visiting London

And as a further affectionate touch, Freda signed her name in Punjabi script.

A month later, the dutiful daughter-in-law was writing again -- about the warm underwear that she made sure Bedi wore to guard against the chilly Berlin winter and the sweater that her mother was knitting him for Christmas.

Now about the most important thing. You will have read in PL's letter about the baby. I am very, very happy about it, as is natural, because I love PL so much. So you will have a small grandchild to spoil when we come back to India. There is a great deal of preparation to be made, and this is all the heavier because I am alone in Berlin, separated from both you and my own mother. But it will be a labour of love.

'This is a very long letter', she concluded, 'and whoever translates it to you will have a lot of trouble. But I expect you like letters as long as possible.' [14]

Alongside Freda's personal and emotional ties to India was a political and intellectual commitment. She saw her marriage to Bedi as in part a shared collaboration; their purpose was to support India's freedom movement by personal advocacy and by creating wider awareness of the nationalist case. This joint endeavour took firm root in Oxford and persisted in Berlin and by the time the couple left the German capital they had served as the originators and editors of an impressive series of books about contemporary India, an achievement the more remarkable given that both editors were in their early twenties and one had never stepped on Indian soil.

Their first title was a selection of Gandhi's writings published in 1933 as a slim volume of eighty pages. It was in German and with a preface by a renowned Protestant theologian Rudolf Otto. The book bore the title Gandhi: Der Heilige und der Staatsmann, (Gandhi: the saint and the statesman). Freda and Bedi selected the items, which were variously spiritual and campaigning in tone, and wrote an introduction dated November 1932, early in their final academic year in Oxford. How it came about, and how it was received, is unclear -- it could well have been at Alfred Zimmern's initiative. Of all their writings, this is the title most easily available in the original edition -- so it seems to have sold well.

India was one of the primary concerns of both the Cecil Bloc and Milner Group. The latter probably devoted more time and attention to India than to any other subject. This situation reached its peak in 1919, and the Government of India Act of that year is very largely a Milner Group measure in conception, formation, and execution....

The decade 1919-1929 was chiefly occupied with efforts to get Gandhi to permit the Indian National Congress to cooperate in the affairs of government, so that its members and other Indians could acquire the necessary experience to allow the progressive realization of self-government. The Congress Party, as we have said, boycotted the elections of 1920 and cooperated in those of 1924 only for the purpose of wrecking them. Nonetheless, the system worked, with the support of moderate groups, and the British extended one right after another in steady succession. Fiscal autonomy was granted to India in 1921, and that country at once adopted a protective tariff, to the considerable injury of British textile manufacturing. The superior Civil Services were opened to Indians in 1924. Indians were admitted to Woolwich and Sandhurst in the same year, and commissions in the Indian Army were made available to them.

The appointment of Baron Irwin of the Milner Group to be Viceroy in 1926 — an appointment in which, according to A. C. Johnson's biography Viscount Halifax (1941), "the influence of Geoffrey Dawson and other members of The Times' editorial staff" may have played a decisive role — was the chief step in the effort to achieve some real progress under the Act of 1919 before that Act came under the critical examination of another Royal Commission, scheduled for 1929. The new Viceroy's statement of policy, made in India, 17 July 1926, was, according to the same source, embraced by The Times in an editorial "which showed in no uncertain terms that Irwin's policy was appreciated and underwritten by Printing House Square."

Unfortunately, in the period 1924-1931 the India Office was not in control of either the Milner Group or Cecil Bloc. For various reasons, of which this would seem to be the most important, coordination between the Secretary of State and the Viceroy and between Britain and the Indian nationalists broke down at the most crucial moments….

The Indian States had remained as backward, feudalistic, and absolutist enclaves, within the territorial extent of British India and bound to the British Raj by individual treaties and agreements. As might be expected from the Milner Group, the solution which they proposed was federation. They hoped that devolution in British India would secure a degree of provincial autonomy that would make it possible to bind the provinces and the Indian States within the same federal structure and with similar local autonomy. However, the Group knew that the Indian States could not easily be federated with British India until their systems of government were raised to some approximation of the same level. For this reason, and to win the Princes over to federation, Lord Irwin had a large number of personal consultations with the Princes in 1927 and 1928. At some of these he lectured the Princes on the principles of good government in a fashion which came straight from the basic ideology of the Milner Group. The memorandum which he presented to them, dated 14 June 1927 and published in Johnson's biography, Viscount Halifax, could have been written by the Kindergarten. This can be seen in its definitions of the function of government, its emphasis on the reign of law, its advocacy of devolution, its homily on the duty of princes, its separation of responsibility in government from democracy in government, and its treatment of democracy as an accidental rather than an essential characteristic of good government.  

The value of this preparatory work appeared at the first Round Table Conference, where, contrary to all expectations, the Indian Princes accepted federation. The optimism resulting from this agreement was, to a considerable degree, dissipated, however, by the refusal of Gandhi's party to participate in the conference unless India were granted full and immediate Dominion status. Refusal of these terms resulted in an outburst of political activity which made it necessary for Irwin to find jails capable of holding sixty thousand Indian agitators at one time. …  

From 1939 on, constitutional progress in India was blocked by a double stalemate: (1) the refusal of the Congress Party to cooperate in government unless the British abandoned India completely, something which could not be done while the Japanese were invading Burma; and (2) the growing refusal of the Moslem League to cooperate with the Congress Party on any basis except partition of India and complete autonomy for the areas with Moslem majorities. The Milner Group, and the British government generally, by 1940 had given up all hope of any successful settlement except complete self-government for India, but it could not give up to untried hands complete control of defense policy during the war. At the same time, the Milner Group generally supported Moslem demands because of its usual emphasis on minority rights.

During this period the Milner Group remained predominant in Indian affairs, although the Viceroy (Lord Linlithgow) was not a member of the Group. The Secretary of State for India, however, was Leopold Amery for the whole period 1940-1945. A number of efforts were made to reach agreement with the Congress Party, but the completely unrealistic attitude of the party's leaders, especially Gandhi, made this impossible. In 1941, H. V. Hodson, by that time one of the most important members of the Milner Group, was made Reforms Commissioner for India. The following year the most important effort to break the Indian stalemate was made. This was the Cripps Mission, whose chief adviser was Sir Reginald Coupland, another member of the inner circle of the Milner Group. As a result of the failure of this mission and of the refusal of the Indians to believe in the sincerity of the British (a skepticism that was completely without basis), the situation dragged on until after the War. The election of 1945, which drove the Conservative Party from office, also removed the Milner Group from its positions of influence. The subsequent events, including complete freedom for India and the division of the country into two Dominions within the British Commonwealth, were controlled by new hands, but the previous actions of the Milner Group had so committed the situation that these new hands had no possibility (nor, indeed, desire) to turn the Indian problem into new paths. There can be little doubt that with the Milner Group still in control the events of 1945-1948 in respect to India would have differed only in details.

The history of British relations with India in the twentieth century was disastrous. In this history the Milner Group played a major role. To be sure, the materials with which they had to work were intractable and they had inconvenient obstacles at home (like the diehards within the Conservative Party), but these problems were made worse by the misconceptions about India and about human beings held by the Milner Group. The bases on which they built their policy were fine — indeed, too fine. These bases were idealistic, almost Utopian, to a degree which made it impossible for them to grow and function and made it highly likely that forces of ignorance and barbarism would be released, with results exactly contrary to the desires of the Milner Group. On the basis of love of liberty, human rights, minority guarantees, and self- responsibility, the Milner Group took actions that broke down the lines of external authority in Indian society faster than any lines of internal self-discipline were being created. It is said that the road to perdition is paved with good intentions. The road to the Indian tragedy of 1947-1948 was also paved with good intentions, and those paving blocks were manufactured and laid down by the Milner Group. The same good intentions contributed largely to the dissolution of the British Empire, the race wars of South Africa, and the unleashing of the horrors of 1939-1945 on the world.

To be sure, in India as elsewhere, the Milner Group ran into bad luck for which they were not responsible. The chief case of this in India was the Amritsar Massacre of 1919, which was probably the chief reason for Gandhi's refusal to cooperate in carrying out the constitutional reforms of that same year. But the Milner Group's policies were self-inconsistent and were unrealistic. For example, they continually insisted that the parliamentary system was not fitted to Indian conditions, yet they made no real effort to find a more adaptive political system, and every time they gave India a further dose of self-government, it was always another dose of the parliamentary system. But, clinging to their beliefs, they loaded down this system with special devices which hampered it from functioning as a parliamentary system should. The irony of this whole procedure rests in the fact that the minority of agitators in India who wanted self-government wanted it on the parliamentary pattern and regarded every special device and every statement from Britain that it was not adapted to Indian conditions as an indication of the insincerity in the British desire to grant self-government to India.

A second error arises from the Milner Group's lack of enthusiasm for democracy. Democracy, as a form of government, involves two parts: (1) majority rule and (2) minority rights. Because of the Group's lack of faith in democracy, they held no brief for the first of these but devoted all their efforts toward achieving the second. The result was to make the minority uncompromising, at the same time that they diminished the majority's faith in their own sincerity. In India the result was to make the Moslem League almost completely obstructionist and make the Congress Party almost completely suspicious. The whole policy encouraged extremists and discouraged moderates. This appears at its worst in the systems of communal representation and communal electorates established in India by Britain. The Milner Group knew these were bad, but felt that they were a practical necessity in order to preserve minority rights. In this they were not only wrong, as proved by history, but were sacrificing principle to expediency in a way that can never be permitted by a group whose actions claim to be so largely dictated by principle. To do this weakens the faith of others in the group's principles.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Emboldened perhaps by this initial venture into print, the couple moved on to a much more ambitious project: India Analysed. 'At that time the Round Table Conference was on and I felt that something on India must be projected,' Bedi recalled; 'by that time I had met Freda my future wife and we were collaborating intellectually. It was a joy working with her and we planned together.' [15] They approached Victor Gollancz, London's leading left-wing publisher, who agreed to a series of volumes about India. Freda and Bedi were the joint editors and enlisted renowned academics and experts in Britain and India to provide rigorous articles about India's place in international institutions, its economy, trade and fiscal situation. Four volumes were planned, each containing five essays -- though the final volume on constitutional issues never appeared.

Gollancz had an impressive list, and at this time was publishing books of such renown as J.B. Priestley's English journey and Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth as well as a wide range of current affairs tides. In all, they published upwards of a hundred books a year. India did not greatly feature, so India Analysed filled a gap. The editors dedicated all three volumes to 'the Oxford University Gandhi Group in whose discussions the need for this series was realised'. The goal, they explained, was to offer a picture of present-day India:

We have attempted to provide an interesting and detailed account of the Indian situation to-day, and the forces that have gone to make it up, but an account that is neither too technical nor lacking in general interest. It is intended first and foremost for the man with an intelligent interest in Indian affairs who is not satisfied with the scrappy and often biased accounts he finds in the newspapers; and secondly for the student who will only find such material by spending time he can ill afford among a pile of Indian journals. [16]

They certainly aimed high in the contributors they enlisted. Their friend and mentor Alfred Zimmern, Oxford's first professor of international relations, had pole position in the first volume, writing on 'India and the world situation'. His counterpart at the London School of Economics, C.A.W. Manning, examined 'India and the League of Nations'. Both were big names but not -- as they conceded -- specialists on India. Only one of the five contributors was himself Indian. This seems to be what annoyed a reviewer on a Lahore daily paper, who found the essays 'ponderous', 'cursory' and 'superficial', and 'done from an angle of vision with which majority of Indians will not see eye to eye'. [17]

Looking to the contributors to the second volume, predominantly academics who were themselves Indian, this Lahore-based critic was confident that they would provide 'a truer picture of India and her ills, which had been mostly manufactured for us by an unsympathetic oligarchy for the betterment of their own people at the expense of India and Indians'. These writers indeed displayed greater expertise, and broadly shared the nationalist perspective of the reviewer. While the tone of the volumes was progressive, this was by the standards of the October Club very mild fare. Some of the contributors were on the left, but there was no hint of communism or revolution in India Analysed. That's unlikely to have been at the publisher's behest, as Gollancz published several Marxist and communist writers, but the choice of the editors. Their aim with these volumes was more to inform than to agitate; to create an awareness of India's current difficulties, particularly economic and fiscal, which in turn would help shape discussion about the country's future.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 2 of 2

The tone of India Analysed became more partisan over time, as any hopes vested in the Round Table conferences faded. Brij Narain, writing about currency in the third volume, asserted that the history of the rupee's exchange rate provided 'a good illustration of the conflict between British and Indian interests which has been the chief feature of our economic life in recent years. ... We [i.e. India] believe that we are the best judges of what is good for US.' [18] Another professor of economics, K.T. Shah, railed against the iniquity of imposing a financial burden on India to meet the costs of British wars and military endeavours. 'Mr Gandhi proclaimed, at the Round Table Conference, that India would pay with the last drop of her blood whatever was found justly to be due from her. But she cannot be asked, in fairness, to shoulder burdens which are not hers in reality, which were imposed upon her originally as a piece of injustice and inequity, and which afford no proportionate benefit to the people of India.' [19] This was a more assertive style of Indian nationalism assembling its intellectual armoury.

A multi-author project, especially with such eminent academics across two continents, would have been daunting and enormously time consuming: the process of commissioning, chasing, editing and arranging the chapters would have been anything but straightforward and Gollancz would have expected disciplined observance of the publication timetable. Freda and Bedi received no advance from the publishers, but as they were editors rather than the authors that was perhaps not surprising. For them, this was not about making money but about serving a cause. Even more, it was the joy and camaraderie of a shared project. This was, in the most literal of meanings, a labour of love. They must have used every sinew of their contacts, and of the address books of their academic friends, to attract such a rollcall of contributors, and it would also have been a huge distraction from their academic studies.

The proofs of the first volume of India Analysed, devoted to the country's international standing, reached the editors at the end of May 1933, as Freda and Bedi were preparing for their finals exams -- and for their wedding. Nevertheless, the book was ready to go to press just ten days later, and it was published in July -- at about the time that the couple were heading off on honeymoon. [20] The subsequent two volumes followed promptly. In the second volume, devoted to economic facts, Freda used her married name. The preface was written from Berlin on 5th October 1933 -- the same day as Freda's letter to her mother-in-law. The couple put the finishing touches to the third volume, about 'economic issues', in April 1934 -- by which time Freda was eight months pregnant. It appeared at about the time the Bedis and their newborn son were on their way to India. It is a tribute to their determination and resilience that they saw through these three volumes amid the turbulence of exams, moving countries, getting married and having a baby.

The series didn't attract much attention in Britain, which may have been disappointing to the editors but given the dry, academic tone of India Analysed was perhaps not surprising. The stridently nationalist temper, particularly of the third and final volume, did not however go unnoticed. It attracted a long and-hostile review in the Times of India, which argued that the essays were out of date, incomplete, biased and unduly pessimistic. [21] India Analysed had adopted an unspoken but very evident nationalist perspective, carefully argued though at times with a polemical edge. This was clearly not to the liking of those happy to place confidence in the benevolence of Imperial rule.

Seeing through all three volumes of India Analysed would have been a drain on the time of both Freda and Bedi, but it also must have given them status within the Indian student community in Berlin. Not many students in pursuit of a doctorate had such an impressive list of publications to their name. Berlin was, in the late twenties and early thirties, one of the commanding European capitals, bursting with intellectual energy. Some Indian students preferred it to London, not least because they wanted to escape the embrace of an Empire to which they were opposed. There was also an Indian emigre community in the German capital, politically engaged in ending Imperialism and sometimes working alongside Germany's powerful Communist Party. The rise of Hitler's national socialists changed all this -- but not overnight.

Bedi's research scholarship at the old-established Friedrich Wilhelm Universitat (now the Humboldt University) brought him a modest stipend of 110 Reichsmark a month, supplemented by financial support from his older brother. His research topic was about the development of classes and castes in India under the supervision of one of Europe's most renowned economists and sociologists of the time, Werner Sombart. [22] The university was popular among Indians studying in Europe. Zakir Husain, later independent India's first Muslim president, was awarded a doctorate there in the 1920s. Ram Manohar Lohia, who went on to become a commanding figure in Indian socialism, was a doctoral student at the university until early 1933.23 There was in the early 1930s an active network of left-wing and nationalist Indians in Berlin -- and of informers passing word of who was doing and saying what back to the British authorities. The British embassy in Berlin kept a close eye on the activities of Indian students and the Indian police were keen that nationalist students should not be forced out of the city, as that would disrupt the flow of intelligence. The League Against Imperialism, established in 1927 on the initiative of communists and with the active support of Nehru and the Indian National Congress, was based in Berlin until it was raided at the end of 1931. This was an important initiative aimed at creating links between nationalist movements in countries such as India, China and South Africa, western socialists who were campaigning for 'colonial freedom' and the international communist movement, and while it eventually dissolved amid political and factional recrimination, it was the sort of initiative which put the British authorities on edge.

By the time Freda and Bedi headed to Berlin there were clear indications of the worsening political atmosphere. There was a book burning at the university in May 1933, a portent of political and academic intolerance. Even more alarming, a few weeks earlier A.C.N. Nambiar was arrested, and also roughed-by by members of the Hitler Youth. He was a journalist and long-term resident of Germany who had been the administrator of the Indian Information Bureau, the rallying point for the Indian left in Berlin. The British ambassador felt obliged to protest about the ill-treatment of this British national, albeit one who was working against British rule in India. [24]

The prospect of a child and the changing political climate in Berlin discouraged Bedi from any sort of political activism which might attract the attention of the authorities. But his social circle certainly included Indian nationalists living in or passing through Berlin. Both he and Freda got to know Subhas Chandra Bose, the key figure on the radical wing of the Indian National Congress, and when in India they both published an article by him and publicly defended him from accusations of fascism. [25]

BPL refrained from any political activity in Germany, although he was keeping up-to-date with the Free India movement in India. A frequent visitor to their lakeside cottage was Subhas Chandra Bose, who went on to become one of the most prominent and controversial leaders of the independence movement. Bose was educated at Cambridge and also had a European wife – Emilie Schenkl, an Austrian. He made it a point to visit sympathetic Indian students living in Europe, and the couple had much in common with Freda and BPL Bedi.

“We came to know Bose intimately, and a deep friendship grew,” said BPL. Bose was a hard-core communist, a great admirer of the Soviet Union, who maintained that only an authoritarian state, not democracy, would be able to reshape India. (Later he was forced to resign as present of the Indian National Congress because his platform of violent resistance clashed with Gandhi’s peaceful pathway.)

In Germany, however, Bose, won the young BPL over completely. “Freda and I were both fired up with the patriotic zeal of liberating the motherland from British imperialism,” BPL said. “While we were in Berlin, an eminent journalist asked me what was my agenda for India. ‘Live dangerously,’ I replied. ‘Live dangerously for every form of exploitation of man by man. Live dangerously for every form of injustice. Live dangerously for any violation of human dignity.’”

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

1941–1943: Nazi Germany

Bose greeting Heinrich Himmler (right), the Nazi Minister of Interior, head of the SS, and the Gestapo, 1942.

Subhas Bose meeting Adolf Hitler

Bose's arrest and subsequent release set the scene for his escape to Germany, via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. A few days before his escape, he sought solitude and, on this pretext, avoided meeting British guards and grew a beard. Late night 16 January 1941, the night of his escape, he dressed as a Pathan (brown long coat, a black fez-type coat and broad pyjamas) to avoid being identified. Bose escaped from under British surveillance from his Elgin Road house in Calcutta about 01:25AM on 17 January 1941, accompanied by his nephew Sisir Kumar Bose in a German-made Wanderer W24 Sedan car, which would take him to Gomoh Railway Station in then state of Bihar, India. The car (Registration No. BLA 7169) was bought by Subhash Chandra Bose's elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose in 1937. The car is now on display at his Elgin Road home in Calcutta, India.[53][54][55][56] He journeyed to Peshawar with the help of the Abwehr, where he was met by Akbar Shah, Mohammed Shah and Bhagat Ram Talwar. Bose was taken to the home of Abad Khan, a trusted friend of Akbar Shah's. On 26 January 1941, Bose began his journey to reach Russia through British India's North West frontier with Afghanistan. For this reason, he enlisted the help of Mian Akbar Shah, then a Forward Bloc leader in the North-West Frontier Province. Shah had been out of India en route to the Soviet Union, and suggested a novel disguise for Bose to assume. Since Bose could not speak one word of Pashto, it would make him an easy target of Pashto speakers working for the British. For this reason, Shah suggested that Bose act deaf and dumb, and let his beard grow to mimic those of the tribesmen. Bose's guide Bhagat Ram Talwar, unknown to him, was a Soviet agent.[55][56][57] [b]

Supporters of the Aga Khan III helped him across the border into Afghanistan where he was met by an Abwehr unit posing as a party of road construction engineers from the Organization Todt who then aided his passage across Afghanistan via Kabul to the border with Soviet Russia. After assuming the guise of a Pashtun insurance agent ("Ziaudddin") to reach Afghanistan, Bose changed his guise and travelled to Moscow on the Italian passport of an Italian nobleman "Count Orlando Mazzotta". From Moscow, he reached Rome, and from there he travelled to Germany.[55][56][58] Once in Russia the NKVD transported Bose to Moscow where he hoped that Russia's traditional enmity to British rule in India would result in support for his plans for a popular rising in India. However, Bose found the Soviets' response disappointing and was rapidly passed over to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Count von der Schulenburg. He had Bose flown on to Berlin in a special courier aircraft at the beginning of April where he was to receive a more favourable hearing from Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Foreign Ministry officials at the Wilhelmstrasse.[55][56][59] In Germany, he was attached to the Special Bureau for India under Adam von Trott zu Solz which was responsible for broadcasting on the German-sponsored Azad Hind Radio.[60] He founded the Free India Center in Berlin, and created the Indian Legion (consisting of some 4500 soldiers) out of Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British in North Africa prior to their capture by Axis forces. The Indian Legion was attached to the Wehrmacht, and later transferred to the Waffen SS. Its members swore the following allegiance to Hitler and Bose: "I swear by God this holy oath that I will obey the leader of the German race and state, Adolf Hitler, as the commander of the German armed forces in the fight for India, whose leader is Subhas Chandra Bose". This oath clearly abrogates control of the Indian legion to the German armed forces whilst stating Bose's overall leadership of India. He was also, however, prepared to envisage an invasion of India via the USSR by Nazi troops, spearheaded by the Azad Hind Legion; many have questioned his judgment here, as it seems unlikely that the Germans could have been easily persuaded to leave after such an invasion, which might also have resulted in an Axis victory in the War.[58]

-- Subhas Chandra Bose, by Wikipedia

For Indian leftists, impatient with what they saw as the quietism of Gandhi and his allies within the Congress and demanding a more militant form of nationalism and anti-Imperialism, the rise of a race-based populist nationalism caught the eye. When in Lahore, B.P.L. Bedi wrote about the Hitler Youth in a style more descriptive than denunciatory, explaining why Hitler put such importance in organising young Germans and how he had managed to attract four million youngsters into his youth wing. [26] At the time of Bedi's stay in Berlin, his supervisor Werner Sombart -- who had once spoken of himself as a convinced Marxist -- published Deutscher Sozialismus ('German Socialism', though the English translation was published as A New Social Philosophy). This clearly looked to the Nazi party to achieve a new style of socialism which placed 'the welfare of the whole above the welfare of the individual'. Sombart asserted that "'a new spirit" is beginning to rule mankind'. There could be 'no universally valid social order but only one that is suited to a particular nation' -- and German socialism required that 'the individual as a citizen will have no rights but only duties.' [27]

During the Weimar Republic, Sombart moved toward nationalism, and his relation to Nazism is still debated today.

In 1934 he published Deutscher Sozialismus where he claimed a "new spirit" was beginning to "rule mankind". The age of capitalism and proletarian socialism was over, with "German socialism" (National-Socialism) taking over. This German socialism puts the "welfare of the whole above the welfare of the individual".[11] German socialism must effect a "total ordering of life" with a "planned economy in accordance with state regulations".[12] The new legal system will confer on individuals "no rights but only duties" and that "the state should never evaluate individual persons as such, but only the group which represents these persons".[13] German socialism is accompanied by the Volksgeist (national spirit) which is not racial in the biological sense but metaphysical: "the German spirit in a Negro is quite as much within the realm of possibility as the Negro spirit in a German".[14] The antithesis of the German spirit is the Jewish spirit, which is not a matter of being born Jewish or believing in Judaism but is a capitalistic spirit.[15] The English people possess the Jewish spirit and the "chief task" of the German people and National Socialism is to destroy the Jewish spirit.[15]

-- Werner Sombart, by Wikipedia

Freda seems to have imbibed something of this indulgence of totalitarianism. In a review of books about European fascism, she expressed understanding -- sympathy almost -- for the rise of National Socialism. 'Germany is making a determined fight for equality and national self-respect,' she declared. 'Her desire for equal arms is only an expression of it -- she has no desire to make war.' And citing her 'year of observation in Nazi Germany', she argued that one of the authors had misunderstood his topic:

He has judged Germany by the standards of democratic countries. He has seen very clearly the German love of organization, of uniform and of bands. But he has not rightly understood that the passion for discipline in Germany is a question of internal order, something ingrained in the cleanly, thorough German character -- and not an expression of an agressive [sic] spirit that is a danger to European peace. [28]

It was, alas, Freda who had failed to understand the character of German fascism.

As a chief figure in Salisbury's efforts to bolster up the Ottoman Empire against Russia, D'Abernon had always been anti-Russian. In this respect, his background was like Curzon's. As a result of the Warsaw mission, D'Abernon's anti-Russian feeling was modified to an anti-Bolshevik one of much greater intensity. To him the obvious solution seemed to be to build up Germany as a military bulwark against the Soviet Union. He said as much in a letter of 11 August 1920 to Sir Maurice Hankey. This letter, printed by D'Abernon in his book on the Battle of Warsaw (The Eighteenth Decisive Battle of the World, published 1931), suggests that "a good bargain might be made with the German military leaders in cooperating against the Soviet." Shortly afterwards, D'Abernon was made British Ambassador at Berlin. At the time, it was widely rumored and never denied that he had been appointed primarily to obtain some settlement of the reparations problem, it being felt that his wide experience in international public finance would qualify him for this work. This may have been so, but his prejudices likewise qualified him for only one solution to the problem, the one desired by the Germans. (5)

In reaching this solution, D'Abernon acted as the intermediary among Stresemann, the German Chancellor; Curzon, the Foreign Secretary; and, apparently, Kindersley, Brand's associate at Lazard Brothers. According to Harold Nicolson in his book Curzon The Last Phase (1934), "The initial credit for what proved the ultimate solution belongs, in all probability, to Lord D'Abernon — one of the most acute and broad-minded diplomatists which this country has ever possessed." In the events leading up to Curzon's famous note to France of 11 August 1923, the note which contended that the Ruhr occupation could not be justified under the Treaty of Versailles, D'Abernon played an important role both in London and in Berlin. In his Diary of an Ambassador, D'Abernon merely listed the notes between Curzon and France and added: "Throughout this controversy Lord D'Abernon had been consulted."

During his term as Ambassador in Berlin, D'Abernon's policy was identical with that of the Milner Group, except for the shading that he was more anti-Soviet and less anti-French and was more impetuous in his desire to tear up the Treaty of Versailles in favor of Germany. This last distinction rested on the fact that D'Abernon was ready to appease Germany regardless of whether it were democratic or not; indeed, he did not regard democracy as either necessary or good for Germany. The Milner Group, until 1929, was still in favor of a democratic Germany, because they realized better than D'Abernon the danger to civilization from an undemocratic Germany. It took the world depression and its resulting social unrest to bring the Milner Group around to the view which D'Abernon held as early as 1920, that appeasement to an undemocratic Germany could be used as a weapon against "social disorder."

Brigadier General J. H. Morgan, whom we have already quoted, makes perfectly clear that D'Abernon was one of the chief obstacles in the path of the Inter-allied Commission's efforts to force Germany to disarm. In 1920, when von Seeckt, Commander of the German Army, sought modifications of the disarmament rules which would have permitted large-scale evasion of their provisions, General Morgan found it impossible to get his dissenting reports accepted in London. He wrote in Assize of Arms: "At the eleventh hour I managed to get my reports on the implications of von Seeckt's plan brought to the direct notice of Mr. Lloyd George through the agency of my friend Philip Kerr who, after reading these reports, advised the Prime Minister to reject von Seeckt's proposals. Rejected they were at the Conference of Spa in July 1920, as we shall see, but von Seeckt refused to accept defeat and fell back on a second move." When, in 1921, General Morgan became "gravely disturbed" at the evasions of German disarmament, he wrote a memorandum on the subject. It was suppressed by Lord D'Abernon. Morgan added in his book: "I was not altogether surprised. Lord D'Abernon was the apostle of appeasement." In January 1923, this "apostle of appeasement" forced the British delegation on the Disarmament Commission to stop all inspection operations in Germany. They were never resumed, although the Commission remained in Germany for four more years, and the French could do nothing without the British members. (6) ''

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

In the same review, she wrote approvingly of Oswald Mosley and British fascism. 'It is useless to deny that Fascism will have a hold in England,' she declared. 'Leaving aside the personality of Mosley -- there may be differences of opinion on that -- the fact remains that a vital nationalistic policy, put forward by a group of men determined on the idea of service, has never yet failed to stir a nation to action and to progress.' She repeated this chilling endorsement of fascism in the conclusion of the review:

Fascism in its national aspect can be sure of an ultimate success, but English Fascism must beware against inheriting an imperialist tradition, with all its evils and abuses. Mosley and his men may see before them a Greater Britain, but there are others equally sincere who see before them a Greater India. And the dynamic national consciousness of India will attain its ultimate victory just as surely and thoroughly as Italy has done, and Russia and Germany. English Fascism will only succeed in so far as it limits itself to the borders of Great Britain.

Freda spoke later of the 'fascist horror', but at this stage she appeared to acquiesce in the rise of fascist movements. It was an extraordinary and unsettling argument she advanced: for its endorsement of a militaristic style of nationalism; for its insistence that this did not bring a heightened risk of war; and for the supposition that British fascism could be decoupled from Empire to the extent of tolerating the national ambitions of the colonies. While fascism was not yet tainted by the visceral anti-semitism that produced the Holocaust, by the time Freda's book review was published some of her fellow members of the October Club had been involved in pitched battles with Mosleyites at Olympia and elsewhere. Fascism had been unmasked, and the brutality that underlay it was already apparent. Freda's comments emphasise that her burning political commitment was to Indian nationalism and that her broader political outlook at this time could best be described as confused. This was a short book review not a well-developed political treatise, but it suggests an alarmingly naive and uncritical approach to the rise of the most monstrous of twentieth-century totalitarianisms.

Her most pressing task, however, was preparing for the baby -- and doing so in a new home, in a foreign country, with no family beyond her husband at hand. She made two good German friends who helped in making baby clothes and gave sound advice. One of them, Nora Morrell, recommended a nursing home -- Hans Dahlem, a well-regarded Catholic institution with its own way of doing things. 'It was an extremely good nursing home,' Freda later recalled, 'but they had this theory that one shouldn't give too much anaesthetic to young mothers. But they didn't on the other hand teach one how to have painless childbirth and give one the sort of exercises which are regularly taught these days.' [29]

The baby was born on May 13th 1934: a boy, delivered after a fairly uneventful four hours in labour. 'He was a healthy child, weighed about eight pounds, and had the most astoundingly beautiful eyelashes and a little cap of dark hair and rosy cheeks.' Freda's mother came over to Berlin for the birth-the earliest photo of the baby is at three days old, in his grandmother's arms. Mother and baby came home nine days after the birth; his cradle was Indian, swathed in cotton and blue bows. This little boy was born in the German capital to an English mother, but he was from the moment of his birth Indian. That was reflected in his name, Ranga Trilochan Bedi. Trilochan was the name of Bedi's older brother. The name Ranga, his mother recalled, was after a liberal politician who had been the editor of an Indian daily paper rooted in moderate nationalism. When news of their engagement had become public the previous year, at a time when many Indian public figures were in London in the aftermath of the Round Table conferences, it had prompted discussion about inter-racial marriages among students:

At that time we were told by friends that Rangaswami Iyengar, who was the editor of the Hindu, Madras, had staunchly supported us and had said -- 'Why shouldn't our boys marry the best English girls, why must they always marry girls who are not in the university? I think they should get married. Why not!' And hearing of that, when we went up to London next time we called on him and thanked him and we became friends. [30]

Rangaswami Iyengar had died by the time the baby was born, and the naming of the child was in part 'because it was the name of this great statesman who had helped us so much.'

Ranga's birth merited mention in the Tribune, the more nationalist minded of Lahore's English language daily papers. Its anonymous correspondent in the German capital described the Bedis as 'two very conspicuous figures in the Indian community of Berlin', destined soon to make the journey to Lahore, and gave a flattering, almost swooning, pen portrait of the couple:

Mr Bedi is a strong, impressive personality of fine manly presence. His scholarly attainments are no mere abstractions, no mental achievements that go straight to sleep after their birth in the brain of an unoriginal mind. They are blooming realities of sterling worth that struggle again and again into fruitage in the microcosm of his mind under the percussion of the macrocosm around him. In addition to his manifold activities in the University and the seminaries attached to it, Mr Bedi is doing excellent constructive work in the Executive of the Indian Students' Association. Mrs Bedi has been very busy learning the Hindi language at the University since her arrival in Berlin. She reads Premchand's short stories fluently and corresponds in Hindi with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law in India. [31]

Mother and baby 'are progressing well', the letter added more prosaically. It was an embarrassingly verbose commendation of the Bedis, but clearly well informed.

Freda and Bedi lovingly assembled two baby books for their firstborn, replete with anecdotes, photographs and letters and telegrams of congratulation from India and England. More than eight decades later, Ranga Bedi has them still. Among the letters was one from Lucie Zimmern in Oxford, who had done so much to encourage the couple to have faith in their love. 'My dear children,' she wrote, 'How happy I am for you + how much we are looking forward to meeting this little baby who carries with him such a rich + extensive heirloom. May he witness a better use made by men of their minds + spirits + may you both be inspired to guide him.' The letter was signed 'grand maman', grandmother -- the Zimmerns took an almost proprietorial interest in the romance they had helped to nurture.

The Bedi family lived a quiet life in one of the more verdant Berlin suburbs. On their first wedding anniversary, they took the baby, then five-weeks old, on his first outing-to the zoo. Another outing, with Freda's mother and stepfather, was to Sanssouci, Frederick the Great's splendid summer palace at Potsdam just outside Berlin. It must have seemed at times that the wider political situation, and above all the racial and political intolerance of Hitler's administration and the free rein given to his supporters, was receding into the distance. But inevitably, the darkening clouds intruded into their lives.

President Hindenburg, the only real constraint on Hitler's assumption of absolute power, died on August 2nd 1934. The cabinet had decreed that on his death the office of president would be merged with that of chancellor, which was already held by Hitler. He was duly declared to be Germany's fuhrer. The Bedis had been contemplating heading to India that autumn, but Bedi had kept his options open by enrolling at the university for a further year. This additional step towards a Nazi dictatorship unsettled him:

I remember B.P.L. put down the paper and said: tomorrow we get on the train and go to Geneva, it's not safe any more. He was not taking part in any active politics but he was friendly with the Indian students of Berlin ... And he knew that Hitler's ways were such that he could swoop down on the Indian students-and precisely that did happen. He had a prophetic vision of it really.

So the next morning -- literally I was packing all day. You can imagine the state I was in -- packing and getting everything ready in one day, and B.P.L. going and getting the visa to Switzerland. But he put me on the train all right, and the next morning I was on the train and Nora on the platform to wave, say goodbye. [32]

In one of the baby books, there's a photograph taken on the station platform in Berlin. Freda and Ranga are in the carriage, just visible at the window, while Bedi is standing with Nora and some Indian friends, one of whom made the journey to Geneva with them. They had been forced to take refuge from fascism. It was not a happy way of saying goodbye to their first real home as a married couple and the city where their baby was born. But in Switzerland they were safe.

Through friends, the couple had the use of a flat in Geneva, which gave them some thinking time after the hurried departure from Germany.

After their hasty exit, they spent a few pleasant weeks staying in accommodations that had been arranged by their old Oxford professor, Alfred Zimmern [Professor Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern, whose name is associated with the founding of the League of Nations], who ran a school there. In October 1934, they finally made the decision to go to India and make it their permanent home. They sailed on the SS Conte Verde from northern Italy to Bombay, a journey of three weeks.

-- -- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Bedi had to abandon plans for a doctorate, and leaving Berlin also meant forsaking his scholarship stipend. They had always intended to make their home in India and they decided to sail east as soon as they could. After just a few weeks in Geneva, the young family travelled to the port of Trieste and embarked on the SS Conte Verde. This sizeable ocean-going liner operated by the Lloyd Triestino line called at Bombay on its way to Shanghai, and had space for more than seven hundred passengers. Ranga was just four months of age and a little young for a tough two-week sea journey. 'The nightmare was to get milk for myself to drink, because I was feeding the baby. And I remember the millions of cockroaches that used to come out at night in the ship's kitchens-I used to go in and attempt to get milk.'

The photos they took on board showed Freda in a sari looking after Ranga, and there were some group photographs-it seems that two Chinese men who the Bedis knew from Oxford were also on board. 'On the ship my chief work was to prevent the discipline of [Ranga' s] little life, his regular sleep, from being disturbed by a stream of affectionate passengers who could not resist him-in particular by a charming party of Indian girl students returning from a tour of Europe, and some young nuns going East for the first time.' The voyage also offered an opportunity for Freda to reflect on and adjust to the country and the extended family which awaited her and to talk through hopes and anxieties with those sharing the journey and the experience of an inter-racial relationship:

On the boat there were three more international marriages-- an American woman with a Bengali husband and an eight-year old son; a German girl from Munich going out to join her doctor husband, 'I have left my little girl in Munich,' she said, 'with my mother. I could not bear to bring her out to strange and difficult new surroundings. I shall send for her when I have made a home.' I have often wondered since whether they met each other again. The third marriage was a young Berlin girl, a librarian, married to a Chinese and going to Shanghai. [33]

Freda's intellectual immersion in India, her commitment to the country's freedom movement and her adoption of the Indian style of dress helped to ease the shock of experiencing India -- 'so when I arrived in Bombay I felt, at least outwardly, at home. The port was just as I had imagined it, the jostling crowd of coolies and the faces of friends at the side of the ship. It was hot and sticky.'

On disembarking, the customs officials at Bombay had an unpleasant surprise in store. 'We had been listed as "politicals" because of our activities in London, mild though they were. And we were subjected to body searches ... and even Ranga's little napkin was taken off and searched because they thought I might be carrying messages in it.' [34] Her husband recalled that for seven hours, they searched the boxes of books they had brought, their personal possessions and the baby's nappies. 'Even in Hitlerite Germany,' he commented angrily, 'the search was never so thorough as here.' [35] One of the pre-occupations of the India Office was to prevent communist and militant nationalist publications from being smuggled into India and to disrupt links between leftists in India and allies abroad. To Freda, it must have seemed as if from the moment she set foot on Indian soil, she was viewed by the Raj as suspect. It must also have reaffirmed her identification with India and its politics, and her rejection of Empire and the indignities it imposed on those it ruled.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:31 am

K. T. Shah
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/1/19



Prof. K.T. Shah at the farewell of Dr. S Radhakrishnan

Prof K.T. Shah is known for his active role in the Constituent Assembly (General, Bihar) responsible for framing of the Indian Constitution. An alumnus of the London School of Economics, he was a socialist leader.[1][2] He was the main rival candidate for the first presidential election of Independent India, though losing to Dr. Rajendra Prasad by securing 15.3% of votes.

Contribution in Constituent Assembly[3]


Prof K.T. Shah was a representative from Bihar and contributed immensely in the Constituent Assembly Debates. He was a member of Advisory Committee and Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights. He died in March 1953.[4]

He made important interventions in the Constituent Assembly. Although several of his proposed amendments were rejected then, but some of them were later adopted by coming governments.

1. Professor KT Shah made two attempts to get the word "secular" included in the Constitution but failed on both the occasions. He had moved yet another amendment that India, being a secular state, should have nothing to do with any religion, creed and/or profession of faith and would be totally detached in all matters of religion.[5]

2. Professor KT Shah envisioned a greater role for Judiciary in providing social transformation. In a debate on November 19, 1948, he said that "[The judiciary] is the only authority that we are going to set up in the Constitution to give effect to whatever hopes and aspirations, ambitions and desires, we may have in making these laws and in laying down this Constitution." [6]

3. Prof KT Shah wanted to include Secular, Federal and Socialist in Article 1 and moved amendments twice for the same, Dr. Ambedkar rejected both the amendments at the meeting of the Drafting Committee.[7]

4. Prof KT Shah also stood for equality of states in the Union of States, so following amendment was raised, India shall be Union of States which are equal inter se. This amendment wasn't passed but agreed upon that provinces and states shall be merged and given equal status but now was too soon for that to happen.[8]

5. Prof KT Shah had also suggested the formation of competent Boundary Commission, or any other body or authority to settle and decide boundary readjustments. He even suggested direct referendum to make required boundary changes.[8]

6. Prof KT Shah was in favor of the adoption of Presidential system of government.

Other Facts

• He was a playwright and wrote Gujarati plays.[9]
He was one of the members of the National Planning Committee which was set up in 1938 under the chairmanship of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.[10]


1. Niraja Gopal Jayal (15 February 2013). Citizenship and Its Discontents. Harvard University Press. pp. 271–. ISBN 978-0-674-07099-8.
2. ... /facts.htm
3. "CADIndia". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
4. "CADIndia". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
5. Sanjay Kaushik (1998). A. B. Vajpayee: An Eloquent Speaker and a Visionary Parliamentarian. APH Publishing. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-81-7024-976-4.
6. ... 801000.htm
7. Shree Govind Mishra (2000). Democracy in India. Sanbun Publishers. pp. 187–. ISBN 978-3-473-47305-2.
8. Dr. Suman Sharma (1995). State Boundary Changes in India. Deep & Deep Publications. pp. 143–.
9. ... t_shah.pdf
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:00 am

Devendra Satyarthi
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/1/19




Devendra Satyarthi
Born 28 May 1908
Bhaduar, Barnala, Punjab, India
Died 12 February 2003 (aged 94)
Occupation Writer
Years active 1927-2003
Known for Punjabi folkore
Awards Padma Shri
Hindi Sahitya Sadhna Samman

Devendra Satyarthi (1908-2003) was an Indian folklorist and writer of Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi literature.[1][2][3] Born on 28 May 1908 at Bhaduar(Barnala) [4] he did not complete his education and started leading a roaming life from 1927.[5] He had a passion for folk songs and started collecting them to publish his first folk song anthology in 1935 under the name Giddha,[6] which is considered by many as a seminal work.[5]


Satyarthi published over 50 books composed of novels,[7] short stories,[8] poems, essays and folksong anthologies in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi languages, but reportedly on advice from Rabindranath Tagore, he wrote mostly in Punjabi language towards the end.
[5] Mere Saakshatkaar,[9] Miss Folklore,[10] Meet My People - Indian Folk Poetry,[11] Pañjābī loka-sāhita wica sainika,[12] Lanka Desa hai Kolambu,[13] Brahmaputra,[14] and Rath ke Pahiye[15] are some of his notable works.


A winner of the Hindi Sahitya Sadhna Samman,[16] Satyarthi was awarded the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1977.[17] He died on 12 February 2003, at the age of 94, succumbing to old age illnesses.[5] Pancham, a monthly magazine published from Lahore, brought out a 300-page special issue on him in April 2003 and his life has been documented in a biography, Satyarthi – Ik Dant-katha, written by Nirmal Arpan.[5]

See also

• Folklore of India
• India portal


1. Amazon profile. Amazon.
2. "Satyarthi, Devendra". Worldcat. 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
3. "Open Library profile". Open Library. 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
4. ਰਾਮਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਮੁੱਕਦੀ ਫੁਲਕਾਰੀ: ਦਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਤਿਆਰਥੀ
5. "Footloose darwesh Satyarthi is dead". Apna. 2015. Retrieved 27 June2015.
6. Devedra Satyarthi (1970). Giddha. Navyug. p. 223.
7. Amaresh Datta (1987). "Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: A-Devo". Sahitya Akademi. p. 987. ISBN 9788126018031. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
8. "Selected Punjabi Short Stories". Diamond Pocket Books. 2004. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
9. Devendra Satyarthi. Mere Saakshatkaar. Kitabghar Prakashan. p. 192. ISBN 9788170166702.
10. Devendra Satyarthi. Miss Folklore. Pustakayan. ISBN 9788185134703.
11. Devendra Satyarthi (1987). Meet My People - Indian Folk Poetry. Navyug Publishers.
12. Devendra Satyarthi (1989). Pañjābī loka-sāhita wica sainika. Punjab University Publication Bureau.
13. Devendra Satyarthi (1991). Lanka Desa hai Kolambu. Navyug Publishers. p. 235. ISBN 978-8185267548.
14. Devendra Satyarthi (1956). Brahmaputra. Asia Publications. p. 466.
15. Devendra Satyarthi (1993). Rath ke Pahiye. Praveena Publications. p. 276. OCLC 36640372.
16. "Signposts". India Today. 1 October 2001. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
17. "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:00 am

Balraj Sahni
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/1/19



Balraj Sahni
Balraj Sahni in the 1955 Hindi film Seema
Born Yudhishthir Sahni
1 May 1913
Rawalpindi, Punjab, British India
Died 13 April 1973 (aged 59)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Actor, writer
Years active 1946–73 (his death)
Spouse(s) Damayanti Sahni (1936–1947; her death)
Santosh Chandhok (1949)
Children 3, including Parikshit Sahni

Balraj Sahni (1 May 1913 – 13 April 1973), born Yudhishthir Sahni, was an Indian film and stage actor, who is best known for Dharti Ke Lal (1946), Do Bigha Zameen (1953), Kabuliwala (1961) and Garam Hawa (1973).


Dharti Ke Lal (Children of the Earth in English) is a 1946 Hindi-Urdu film, the first directorial venture of the noted film director Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (K. A. Abbas). It was jointly written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Bijon Bhattacharya, based on plays by Bhattacharya and the story Annadata by Krishan Chander. The film had music by Ravi Shankar, with lyrics by Ali Sardar Jafri and Prem Dhawan.

The film was based on the Bengal famine of 1943, which killed millions of Bengali people, and was one of the first films in Indian cinema's social-realist movement.[1] In 1949, Dharti Ke Lal also became the first Indian film to receive widespread distribution in the Soviet Union (USSR),[2] which led to the country becoming a major overseas market for Indian films.

-- Dharti Ke Lal, by Wikipedia

Bengal Lamenting by Freda Bedi


Do Bigha Zamin (lit. Two bighas of land)[a] is a 1953 Hindi film,directed by Bengali film director Bimal Roy, The film is based on Rabindranath Tagore's Bengali poem "Dui Bigha Jomi", starring Balraj Sahni and Nirupa Roy in lead roles. Do Bigha Zamin, known for its socialist theme, is an important film in the early parallel cinema of India and is considered a trend setter.[1]

Inspired by Italian neo-realistic cinema, Bimal Roy made Do Bigha Zameen after watching Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948).[2] Like most of Bimal Roy's movies, art and commercial cinema merge to create a movie that is still viewed as a benchmark. It has paved the way for future cinema makers in the Indian neo-realist movement[3] and the Indian New Wave, which began in the 1950s.[4]

A moderate commercial success, it was awarded the All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film, it became the first film to win the Filmfare Best Movie Award and the first Indian film to win the International Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, after Neecha Nagar (1946), which won the Palme d'Or (Grand Prize).[5] It was also winner of the Social Progress Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.[6] In 2005, Indiatimes Movies ranked the movie amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.[7] The film was also released in China.[8]

-- Do Bigha Zamin, by Wikipedia


Kabuliwala (Hindi: काबुलीवाला) is a 1961 Hindi film based on the story Kabuliwala, by the Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore. It was directed by Hemen Gupta and starred Balraj Sahni, Usha Kiran, Sajjan, Sonu and Baby Farida.[1][2]

Gupta had remained private secretary to Subhas Chandra Bose, and went on to direct many films including Taksaal (1956), also starring Balraj Sahni, and his tribute Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1966).

-- Kabuliwala (1961 film)


Garam Hava (Urdu: گرم ہوا‎, Hindi: गर्म हवा; translation: Hot Winds or Scorching Winds)[1] is a 1973 Urdu drama film directed by M. S. Sathyu, with Balraj Sahni as the lead. It was written by Kaifi Azmi and Shama Zaidi, based on an unpublished short story by noted Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai. The film score was given by noted classical musician Ustad Bahadur Khan, with lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, it also featured a qawwali composed and performed by Aziz Ahmed Khan Warsi and his Warsi Brothers troupe.

Set in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, the film deals with the plight of a North Indian Muslim businessman and his family, in the period after the partition of India in 1947. In the grim months after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, film's protagonist and patriarch of the family Salim Mirza, deals with the dilemma of whether to move to Pakistan, as many of his relatives, or stay back. The film details the slow disintegration of his family, and is one of the most poignant films made on India's partition.[2][3] It remains one of the few serious films dealing with the post-Partition plight of Muslims in India.[4][5]

It is often credited with pioneering a new wave of Art cinema movement in Hindi Cinema, and alongside a film from another debutant film director, Shyam Benegal, Ankur (1973), are considered landmarks of Hindi Parallel Cinema, which had already started flourishing in other parts of India; in Bengal, notably by Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak as well as in Kerala. The movie also launched the career of actor Farooq Shaikh, and also marked the end of Balraj Sahni's film career, who died before its release. It was India's official entry to the Academy Award's Best Foreign Film category, nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, won a National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards. In 2005, Indiatimes Movies ranked the movie amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.[2]

-- Garm Hava, by Wikipedia

He came from Bhera, now in Punjab, Pakistan, and was the brother of Bhisham Sahni, noted Hindi writer, playwright, and actor.[1]

Bhisham Sahni was born on 8 August 1915 in Rawalpindi. He earned a master's degree in English Literature from Government College in Lahore, and a Ph.D from Punjab University, Chandigarh in 1958.

He joined the struggle for Indian independence. At the time of Partition he was an active member of the Indian National Congress, and organized relief work for the refugees when riots broke out in Rawalpindi in March 1947. In 1948 Bhisham Sahni started working with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), an organization with which his brother was already closely associated. He worked both as an actor and a director. As a result of his association with IPTA, he left the Congress and joined the Communist Party. Thereafter, he left Bombay for Punjab where he worked briefly as a lecturer, first in a college at Ambala and then at Khalsa College, Amritsar. At this time he was involved in organizing the Punjab College Teachers’ Union and also continued with IPTA work. In 1952 he moved to Delhi and was appointed Lecturer in English at Delhi College (now Zakir Husain College), University of Delhi.

From 1956 to 1963 he worked as a translator at the Foreign Languages Publishing House in Moscow, and translated some important works into Hindi, including Lev Tolstoy’s short stories and his novel Resurrection. On his return to India Bhisham Sahni resumed teaching at Delhi College, and also edited the reputed literary magazine Nai Kahaniyan from 1965 to 1967. He retired from service in 1980. Sahni was fluent in Punjabi, English, Urdu, Sanskrit and Hindi.

Bhisham Sahni was associated with several literary and cultural organizations. He was General Secretary of the All India Progressive Writers Association (1975–85) and Acting General Secretary of the Afro-Asian Writer’ Association and was also associated with the editing of their journal Lotus. He was the founder and chairman of 'SAHMAT', an organisation promoting cross-cultural understanding, founded in memory of the murdered theatre artist and activist Safdar Hashmi.

-- Bhisham Sahni, by Wikipedia

Early life

Balraj Sahni with his wife Damayanti, 1936

Sahni was born on 1 May 1913 in Rawalpindi, British India.[2] He studied at Government College University (Lahore), Punjab, British India. After completing his master's degree in English Literature from Lahore, he went back to Rawalpindi and joined his family business. He also held a Bachelor's degree in Hindi.[3]Soon after, he married Damayanti Sahni.

In the late 1930s, Sahni and his wife left Rawalpindi to join Tagore's Visva-Bharati University in Shantiniketan in Bengal as an English and Hindi teacher. It is here that their son, Parikshit Sahni was born, when his wife Damayanti was earning her bachelor's degree.[4] He also collaborated with Mahatma Gandhi for a year in 1938. The next year, Sahni, with Gandhi's blessings, went to England to join the BBC-London's Hindi service as a radio announcer. He returned to India in 1943.


Sahni was always interested in acting, and started his acting career with the plays of the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA).[3] Incidentally, his wife Damayanti became well known as an IPTA actress much before Sahni made a name for himself in films.[5] He started his film career in Mumbai with the film Insaaf (1946), followed by Dharti Ke Lal directed by KA Abbas in 1946, Damayanti's first film, Door Chalein in 1946, and other films. But it was in 1953, with Bimal Roy's classic Do Bigha Zameen, that his true strength as an actor was first recognised. The film won the international prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

He followed it up with an encore in the 1961 classic Kabuliwala penned by Tagore.

Sahni's wife Damayanti, who was the heroine of his 1947 film Gudia, died at a young age that same year. Two years later, he married his first cousin, Santosh Chandhok, later known as an author and television writer.

He acted opposite heroines such as Padmini, Nutan, Meena Kumari, Vyjayanthimala and Nargis in films such as Bindya, Seema (1955), Sone Ki Chidiya (1958), Sutta Bazaar (1959), Bhabhi Ki Chudiyaan (1961), Kathputli (1957), Lajwanti (1958) and Ghar Sansaar (1958). His character roles in films such as Neelkamal, Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani, Do Raaste and Ek Phool Do Mali were well received. However, he is perhaps best remembered by the current generation for his picturisation of the legendary song "Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen" from the movie Waqt (1965). Sahni appeared opposite Achala Sachdev in the number.

He also starred in the classic Punjabi film Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar (1970) as well as the critically acclaimed Satluj De Kande.

His role as the angst-ridden, but stoic Muslim man who refuses to go to Pakistan during partition, in his last film Garam Hawa, has often been called his best performance by critics. Balraj, however, could not see the completed film to rate his own performance, as he died the day after he finished dubbing work. The last line he recorded for the film, and hence his last recorded line is Hindustani: "Insaan Kab Tak Akela Jee Sakta Hai?" which can be translated to English as: "How long can a man live alone?"

Later life

Sahni was a gifted writer; his early writings were in English, though later in life he switched to Punjabi, and became a writer of repute in Punjabi literature.[6] In 1960, after a visit to Pakistan, he wrote Mera Pakistani Safarnama. His book Mera Rusi Safarnama, which he had written after a tour of the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1969, earned him the "Soviet Land Nehru Award". He contributed many poems and short stories in magazines and also penned his autobiography; Meri Filmi Aatmakatha. Sahni was an extremely well-read and politically conscious person.

He and P K Vasudevan Nair worked on the idea of All India Youth Federation with firebrand Delhi communist, Comrade Guru Radha Kishan to organise the first national conference of AIYF in Delhi. Their wholehearted efforts were visible as more than 250 delegates and observers representing several youth organisations of various states of India attended this session. Balraj Sahni was elected as the first president of All India Youth Federation, the youth wing of Communist Party of India. The organisation was a huge success and strong presence of the organisation was noticed by other political groups and the senior communist leaders everywhere.

Sahni also dabbled in screenwriting; he wrote the 1951 movie Baazi which starred Dev Anand and was directed by Guru Dutt. He was also a recipient of the Padma Shri Award (1969). Balraj Sahni also wrote in Punjabi and contributed to the Punjabi magazine Preetlari.

In the 1950s he inaugurated the Library and Study Centre for the underprivileged in Delhi.

Sahni was undoubtedly one of the greatest actors to ever grace the Indian screen, a highly natural actor who reminded the audience of actors like Motilal because of his simple persona and a sophisticated style of acting. He was looked up to as a role model as he was never involved in any scandal. His acting in Do Bigha Zameen and Garam Hawa were the highlights of his career. He believed in what is known as Neo-Realistic cinema.

Balraj's brother Bhisham Sahni was a well-known writer who wrote the book Tamas. His son Parikshit Sahni is also an actor. Balraj Sahni died on 13 April 1973 of a massive cardiac arrest, less than a month before his 60th birthday. He had been depressed for some time by the untimely death of his young daughter, Shabnam.

"Punjabi Kala Kender", founded in 1973 at Mumbai by Balraj Sahni, gives away the annual Balraj Sahni Award,[7] and also the "All India Artists Association".[8]

Sahni on a 2013 stamp of India


Year / Film / Role

1946 / Door Chalen / --
1946 / Dharti Ke Lal / --
1946 / Badnami / --
1947 Gudia / --
1951 / Maaldar / --
1951 / Hum Log / Raj
1951 / Hulchul / The Jailer
1952 / Badnam / --
1952 / Rahi / Doctor
1953 / Do Bigha Zamin / Shambu Maheto
1953 / Bhagyawan / --
1953 / Akash / --
1954 / Naukari / --
1954 / Majboori / --
1954 / Aulad / --
1955 / Tangewali / --
1955 / Seema / Ashok "Babuji"
1955 / Garam Coat / Giridhari
1955 / Taksaal / Jatin Mukherjee
1957 / Pardesi / --
1957 / Mai Baap / --
1957 / Lal Batti / --
1957 / Kath Putli / Loknath
1957 / Bhabhi / Ratan
1957 / Do Roti Shyam / Masterji
1958 / Sone Ki Chidiya / Shrikant
1958 / Lajwanti / Mr. Nirmal
1958 / Khazanchi / Radhe Mohan
1958 / Ghar Sansar / Kailash
1958 / Ghar Grihasti / --
1959 / Satta Bazaar / Ramesh
1959 / Heera Moti / --
1959 / Chhoti Bahen / Rajendra
1959 / Black Cat / Agent Rajan
1959 / Chand / Mr. Kappor
1960/ Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere /Panchu Dada
1960/ Bindya / Devraj
1960/ Anuradha / Dr. Nirmal Chaudhary
1961 / Suhag Sindoor / Ramu
1961 / Sapne Suhane / --
1961 / Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan / Shyam
1961 / Batwara / --
1961 / Kabuliwala / Abdul Rehman Khan
1962 / Shaadi / Ratau
1962 / Anpadh / Choudhary Shambhunath
1964 / Punar Milan / Dr. Mohan/Ram
1964 / Haqeeqat / Major Ranjit Singh
1965 / Dak Ghar / Andhe Baba
1965 / Waqt / Lala Kedarnath
1965 / Faraar / Detective Officer
1966 / Pinjre Ke Panchhi / Yaseen Khan
1966 / Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare / Khan Bahadur
1966 / Aasra / Surendra Nath Kumar
1966 / Aaye Din Bahar Ke / Shukla
1967 / Naunihaal / Principal
1967 / Ghar Ka Chirag / --
1967 / Aman / Gautamdas' dad
1967 / Hamraaz / Police Inspector Ashok
1968 / Sunghursh / Ganeshi Prasad
1968 / Neel Kamal / Mr. Raichand
1968 / Izzat(Hindi Film) / Thakur Pratap Singh
1968 / Duniya / Public Prosecutor Ramnath Sharma
1969 / Talash / Ranjit Rai
1969 / Nanha Farishta / Dr. Ramnath
1969 / Ek Phool Do Mali / Kailash Nath Kaushal
1969 / Do Raaste / Navendru Gupta
1970 / Pehchan / Ex-Firefighter
1970 / Pavitra Paapi / Pannalal
1970 / Naya Raasta / Bansi
1970 / Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar / --
1970 / Mere Hum safar / Ashok
1970 / Holi Ayee Re / --
1970 / Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani / --
1970 / Dharti / Bharat's dad
1971 / Paraya Dhan / Govindram
1971 / Jawan Mohabbat / Dr. Sarin
1972 / Shayar-e-Kashmir Mahjoor / Ghulam Ahmed Mahjoor
1972 / Jawani Diwani / Ravi Anand
1972 / Jangal Mein Mangal / Thomas
1973/ Pyaar Ka Rishta / --
1973 / Hindustan Ki Kasam / --
1973 / Hanste Zakhm / SP Dinanath Mahendru
1973 / Garam Hawa / Salim Mirza
1977 / Amaanat / Suresh


• Balraj Sahni: An Autobiography, by Balraj Sahni. Published by Hind Pocket Books, 1979.
• Mera Pakistani Safarnama (Punjabi),
• Mera Russi Safarnama (Punjabi).
• Kamey (Labourers) (Punjabi)
• Ek Safar Ek Daastaan (Punjabi)
• Gair Jazbaati Diary (Punjabi)


1. "Why we should remember Balraj Sahni". The Tribune India. 10 December 2016.
2. Singh, Paramjit (24 April 2010). "Born to act". The Tribune (Chandigarh). Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
3. Stumbling into films by chance The Tribune, 2 September 2001.
4. Parikshit Sahni turns producer Archived 8 July 2012 at Mid Day, 4 May 2006."..My dad came from a literary background and taught English Literature at Shantiniketan. My mom who was doing her Bachelor's degree there, was expecting me then, and was about to give her exams. Tagore told her that I should be called Parikshit as she was giving pariksha, while I was still in her womb.
5. BALRAJ SAHNI : The Gentleman Actor by S. S. JOHAR
6. In Jhang Manghiane, an article by Balraj Sahni Modern Indian Literature an Anthology: Plays and Prose, by K. M. George, Sahitya Akademi. Published by Sahitya Akademi, 1992. ISBN 81-7201-783-9.Page 605.
7. Balraj Sahni awards announced Archived 1 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine Indian Express, 25 November 2003.
8. Prem Chopra, Bollywood's good old bad man talks about his nomination for the prestigious Balraj Sahni Award Times of India, 10 July 2006.

Further reading

• Balraj Sahni: An Intimate Portrait, by Puran Chandra Joshi. Published by Vikas Pub. House, 1974.
• Balraj, my brother (National biography series), by Bhishma Sahni. National Book Trust, India, 1981.

External links

• Balraj Sahni on IMDb
• [1] Balraj Sahni's Convocation Address at
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Manifesto of the All India Kisan Mahasabha
by All India Kisan Mahasabha
June 10, 2010



India is still a predominantly rural and agrarian society. Apart from feeding the entire country, agriculture also remains the main source of livelihood for the majority of Indian population. Yet agriculture continues to suffer the most from all that is backward and unjust in our country, be it the prevalence of ugly remnants of feudalism or lack of access to modern means of production or the shallowness of democracy and justice in our political system. Every government in India is elected primarily on the basis of rural votes, especially votes cast by poor and middle peasants, yet agriculture remains the most neglected sector of the national economy, and the poor and middle peasants remain effectively excluded from all official policies and priorities.

Thanks to systematic neglect and adverse policies, today Indian agriculture is trapped in a deep and protracted crisis. For the overwhelming majority of poor and small peasants, it is a question of survival, and for imperialist global capital and big corporations, it is an opportunity to appropriate and exploit India’s rich natural and human resources – fertile land, abundant water, resource-rich forests, productive yet cheap labour and a potentially huge rural market. Saving Indian agriculture and the laboring peasantry from this crisis and imperialist offensive is the need of the hour.

The key to any real democratization and modernization of India lies in a thoroughgoing democratization and modernization of all that is associated with Indian agriculture. This calls for a veritable agrarian revolution, which alone can lead us to a prosperous and progressive people’s India. The All India Kisan Mahasabha, being formed through a national peasant conference in Patna on May 10, 2010, will contribute all it can in every possible way to reach this goal for which thousands of peasant fighters have laid down their lives in the course of a whole series of glorious peasant revolts and militant peasant movements since colonial times.

May 10, 1857 marked the beginning of India’s first great war of independence, in which millions of small peasants and artisans had joined hands with Indian soldiers of predominantly peasant origin. To cherish this great heritage, the AIKM resolves to observe May 10 every year as the Indian Peasants’ Day.

Cardinal Principles of the AIKM

The AIKM will fight relentlessly for complete elimination of every aspect of landlordism and freeing Indian agriculture from all kinds of feudal vestiges. Simultaneously, the AIKM will also resist every form of corporate invasion of agriculture and every government policy subjecting agriculture and the peasantry to corporate loot and plunder. The Mahasabha will fight tooth and nail against imperialist intervention in every sphere of India’s agricultural economy or the larger domain of national life and for equitable restructuring of all our external relations of trade and exchange or scientific and technological cooperation and development.

Relying on the might of the poor and marginal peasantry, the AIKM will stand for firm unity with middle peasants on every issue of common interest. While on most issues of peasant interest, poor and middle peasants have to fight against the rich peasant lobby, the AIKM will not hesitate to explore possibilities of unity-in-action with forces of rich peasantry in struggles against feudal remnants, corporate domination or imperialist intervention. The AIKM is determined to defend the rights of the tribal and indigenous people who constitute a huge contingent of laboring peasantry and yet have been systematically evicted from their habitat and robbed of their land and traditional rights over natural resources. In pursuing its objectives and demands, the AIKM will always seek close and comprehensive alliance with agricultural labourers and other rural labourers and small artisans, fisherfolks as well as the broader class of industrial and other workers.

The AIKM will fight against all kinds of obscurantist, patriarchal and communal or parochial ideas and practices and uphold secular, modern, progressive, pro-people values in every sphere of life. While uniting and mobilizing peasants in their own struggles, the AIKM will also serve as a bridge in developing the peasant movement in close unity and coordination with other wings of the larger revolutionary and democratic movement of the Indian people. The Mahasabha will also work for international solidarity of the world people in the battle against imperialism and for the promotion of liberty, justice and people’s welfare in every part of the world.

Basic Charter of the AIKM

1) Of late, the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 are being used indiscriminately by the state to grab vast stretches of agricultural land from peasants, often against their will and in lieu of meagre compensation, in the name of ‘industrialization’ and vaguely defined ‘public purpose’ which often turns out to be a veil for private profits. Coupled with systematic neglect of agriculture, this state-sponsored corporate landgrab and the resultant diversion and conversion of agricultural land has once again pushed large sections of the poor to the brink of acute malnutrition and near starvation. The spectre of food insecurity is looming large on a country that claims to be racing ahead to the status of an IT superpower!

The AIKM firmly believes that cultivable land must primarily be reserved for agriculture and the latter must be so organized as to guarantee food security in the first place. To this end, the AIKS demands immediate repeal of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and SEZ Act, 2005 and all such measures that threaten farmland and food security.

2) Most states in India have had a chronically poor record of implementation of land reform legislations. The situation has further worsened since the adoption of the neo-liberal policy package in 1991, with the limited reforms that had once been carried out being now systematically undone and reversed in many states. In spite of formal abolition of zamindari or landlordism, benami or illegal concentration of landholding continues unabated; land ceiling laws are flouted at will; and tenants and sharecroppers are routinely deprived of their basic rights and security of tenure.

The AIKM resolutely opposes every violation or reversal of land reforms and calls for rapid completion of the entire unfinished agenda of land reforms in accordance with the cardinal land reform principle “land to the tiller.” Pending actualization of the “land to the tiller” principle, the AIKM insists on legal recognition of tenants and share-croppers and mandatory provision of necessary facilities to ensure security of their tenure and profitable engagement in agriculture. Along with cultivable land, the state must also guarantee the basic right of the landless to residential plots. While fighting for tenancy rights, the AIKM is also aware of the phenomenon of reverse tenancy in areas of developed agriculture where rich peasants lease in land from poor peasants at cheap rates. In situations of reverse tenancy, the AIKM will fight for the protection of the interests and rights of small landowners. Land ceiling should apply not just on owned land but on operational holding which includes leased-in land in addition to owned land.

3) In the name of ensuring rapid technological modernization and increased productivity, the Indian state had initiated the strategy of green revolution. The strategy had initially yielded impressive results in terms of output growth and productivity increase even as it led to increasing intensification of inequality, but over the years, the strategy has run out of steam and now the green evolution areas are at the centre of an acute and persistent agrarian crisis. It must also be remembered that even in its heyday, green revolution relied on a very narrow base – it was launched in relatively advanced areas, taking the rich peasantry as the launching pad. Following the crisis of green revolution, the state is talking of second green revolution or extension of green revolution while actually following an even narrower strategy of corporatization basing on the corporate-rich farmer nexus.

The AIKM rejects such narrow bourgeois vision of agricultural development and fights for a broad-based strategy relying on the productive involvement and initiative of the broad masses of poor and middle peasants. The AIKM firmly believes that with adequate state support, the small farmer can serve as the most productive and effective base for comprehensive agricultural development. While fighting for agricultural development, the AIKM pays particular attention to the question of environmental protection and sustainability as well as the special agricultural conditions obtaining in hilly areas.

4) Even as agriculture becomes increasingly expensive and capital-intensive, public investment in agriculture is steadily declining and the reins of profitable agriculture are being systematically handed over to the corporate sector leading to gross neglect of the overall agricultural economy, indigenous agricultural research and urgent disaster-management measures. The share of investment, public as well as private, in agriculture in the total investment in the economy, which stood at around 15 per cent in 1960-61, now stands at around 5 per cent. As a share of the GDP, public expenditure on agriculture accounts for no more than a paltry 1.56 per cent. Agriculture accounts for around 60 per cent of the population, 16 per cent of the GDP but public investment in agriculture is down to 1.5 per cent of the GDP!

The AIKM is firmly opposed to this trend of dwindling public investment in agriculture and the concomitantly growing corporate invasion of agriculture. It must be the state’s job to guarantee assured supply of water, electricity, seeds, fertilisers and other key inputs and infrastructural facilities at affordable rates to the entire farming community. Public investment must be significantly stepped up to meet the whole gamut of agricultural needs from assured irrigation to cold storage, marketing and universal crop insurance. While insisting on greater public investment and promotion of cooperative and collective farming to check the growing corporate or state-corporate offensive, the AIKM also stands for ensuring greater public accountability through effective peasant participation and control.

5) Small and middle peasant agriculture in India has never really enjoyed effective state support in matters of pricing, procurement and marketing. With limited marketable surplus, the small farmer has usually been outside the pale of the Minimum Support Price mechanism of the state, left at the mercy of distress sale in the absence of any price support or procurement guarantee. Yet, there is now a growing clamour for dismantling even this limited system of price support or procurement and hand over the entire volume of agricultural produce to the ‘free play of market forces’. With increasing internationalization of trade, the so-called ‘free play of market forces’ refers, more often than not, to huge price manipulations by global players. At a time when farmers in developed countries enjoy high levels of subsidies, leaving the small agricultural producer in India to the mercy of distress sale is a sure invitation to unmitigated misery and continuing spates of suicidal deaths.

The AIKM strongly opposes this killer ‘free trade’ policy and calls for universal procurement of the marketable agricultural surplus at assured support price. Timely announcement of support price must be backed by an effective system of direct procurement from producers so as to save them from the eventuality of distress sale and reduce, if not eliminate, the profit margin accruing to middlemen.

6) Large sections of small peasants, tenants and share-croppers in particular, have no access to institutional credit and have to rely on usurers for all their credit needs. The structure of agricultural credit advanced by scheduled commercial banks is also heavily skewed in favour of agribusinesses and big ‘corporate farmers’. Between 1990 and 2006, the share of loans worth less than Rs. 25,000 fell from 58.7 to 13.3 as percentage of total outstanding advances while that of loans worth Rs. 1 crore or more rose from 5.5 to 29.5 per cent. The growing debt burden has been the number one reason driving distressed farmers to suicides – the debt-trap is turning out to be a veritable death-trap for the deprived peasantry.

The AIKM calls upon the state to extend cheap crop loans and other agricultural advances and mandatory crop insurance coverage to all poor and middle peasants including tenants and share-croppers under a differential interest regime with interest rate being directly proportional to the loan size. In times of natural disasters and crop losses, peasants and share-croppers must have a guaranteed right to full compensation for losses suffered.

7) Genetically modified crops have emerged as a major instrument for big corporations to tighten their grip on the global agricultural economy. In the name of rapid increase in output and productivity, the government of India is indiscriminately allowing the introduction of GM seeds in a whole range of crops, from a cash crop like cotton to a directly consumable vegetable like brinjal. In the process, peasants are losing all control while being forced to incur massive expenses on seeds and suffer frequent crop failure on account of allegedly spurious seeds. The seeds laws are being rewritten to free multinational seeds companies from any kind of public scrutiny and liability.

The AIKM strongly opposes the policy of indiscriminate introduction of GM crops and insists on saving India’s rich biodiversity and guaranteeing farmers’ full rights in relation to seeds. Public sector research laboratories must play the key role in developing seeds and bringing about other technological improvement s in partnership with the peasantry. While having a positive attitude to the introduction of new and safe advanced technology and the latest in modern science, the AIKM is opposed to any kind of ‘scientific adventurism’ with potentially disastrous consequences for human health and bio-diversity and driven purely by commercial considerations of multinational seed companies.

8) Ever since the inception of the WTO, Indian agriculture has been subjected to heightened imperialist offensive through a whole series of unequal multilateral as well as bilateral agreements. In the name of value chain improvement and skill development, all sections of rural India are being subordinated to the interests of the global capital. The US in particular is trying to tighten its stranglehold through controversial bilateral deals like the Knowledge Initiative Agreement signed during the Bush regime to the deal on “Agricultural Cooperation and Food Security” now being pushed through in a hurried and secretive manner. All these deals are aimed at making it easier for MNCs to enter and dominate the agricultural arena via wholesale and retail trade, contract farming and food processing industry on the one hand, and through greater imperialist penetration in the functioning of grassroot agencies like panchayati raj institutions, self help groups, micro credit agencies etc. on the other.

The AIKM is determined to thwart this imperialist game plan and save Indian agriculture and the peasantry from the clutches of imperialism and predatory global capital. Resisting the WTO-dictated anti-peasant measures and various imperialist agreements and deals will always figure high on the AIKM’s agenda. While motivating and mobilizing the broad masses of the peasantry in this direction, the AIKM will also seek to enlist the cooperation of all sections of patriotic and pro-peasant opinion in the country.

9) Nearly two decades since the 73rd Constitution Amendment Act, the panchayati raj institutions are yet to acquire real teeth in many respects, with no real devolution of powers to panchayats. For most of its role and powers, panchayats are at the mercy of discretionary powers of concerned state governments. The state governments apart, the Centre too is highly reluctant to delegate real decision-making powers to panchayats. The Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act, 1996 which theoretically empowers tribal panchayats with the authority to deny land for mega projects, mining and industries is routinely bypassed by the Centre, with the Ministry of Environment and Forests approving one landgrab project after another right in the forest areas.

While panchayats remain starved of effective powers, it is also true that most rural development and employment schemes and the public distribution system administered through panchayats remain mired in systematic corruption. This is because, as a rule panchayats remain in the clutches of the nexus of dominant feudal and kulak forces, corrupt officials and criminals. The AIKM will therefore have to fight a two-pronged battle for securing more powers to panchayats as well as subjecting the panchayats and all panchayat-administered rural schemes to effective popular participation and democratic accountability.

10) In spite of decades of formal democratic governance, rural life in India continues to suffer from deep-seated caste and gender oppression and systematic violation of the basic dignity and rights of the rural poor. Protests against such oppression are often sought to be silenced by systematic unleashing of feudal-kulak violence or state repression. Time and again Bihar has witnessed massacres of the rural poor perpetrated by feudal private armies with active connivance of the state. The colonial legacy of state-sponsored killings of peasants is also very much alive in the country – Topkara (Jharkhand), Kalinganagar (Orissa), Nandigram (West Bengal), Dadri (Uttar Pradesh), Mudigunda (Andhra Pradesh) are just a few recent additions to this infamous bloody history. Implicating peasant leaders and movement activists in false cases and subjecting them to life sentences or years of imprisonment remains a common state response to radical peasant movement in almost all states.

The AIKM holds high the banner of militant, determined and organized peasant resistance against this pattern of oppression and anti-people violence. Wherever necessary and possible, AIKM will encourage the formation of self-defence and volunteer forces from among peasants, including peasant women, to resist feudal oppression, communal violence or state terror. In the event of disasters, the AIKM will work in every possible way for rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the disaster-affected people.

Free Indian agriculture from all the vestiges of landlordism and feudalism!

Resist imperialist globalization, strengthen worker-peasant alliance!

Down with corporate domination and bureaucratic control, all power to the laboring peasantry!

Forward to comprehensive land reforms and rapid agricultural and rural development!

Forward to a truly democratic, free and prosperous India!
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