Sunday, July 7, 2013


                                      By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Vishwanath Ji was uprooted from his home and hearth at the age of 27. He was born in Lahore in 1920, brought up in an Arya Samajist home, imbibed the old world charm in company of poets and men of letters who worshipped the Muse irrespective of the Faith their families professed. And yet he lost everything that he had stood for, for the last quarter of a century plus. He saw his literary real crumble like a house of cards, friends turned foes, worshippers of the poetic culture turned killers overnight. The young man who had inherited the profession of publication from his late lamented father, Mahashay Rajpal Ji, a martyr for the cause of freedom of expression, of which right to publish was an integral and unalienable part, burnt the midnight oil to rank among the first and the foremost. Alas! Partition of India at the behest of vested interests raised a unbreakable wall against which our young man’s hopes were dashed.
Young Vishwanath, all of six, had seen his father, Shaheed Rajpal Ji breathe his last after being stabbed by an illiterate Muslim, coached and trained by bigoted Mullahs. By exercising the right of freedom to publish and actually letting a booklet based on Truth see the daylight, Rajpal Ji was dragged to various courts of Lahore but was eventually acquitted with honour by the Punjab High Court. Vishwanath Ji had stood by his father and even penned his thoughts on how lonely his dad had been in fighting the legal case for years.
Vishwanath Ji had inherited the grit and determination of his fighter-father and in his young mind was sown the seed of “ rebellion against oppression” and he let the seed germinate and blossom into a banyan tree. For him to become an independent publisher was the best course of action, that is karma of the rightful order. What better stage there could be to carry on the Mission of Truth than the Arya Samaj. He chose just that. As a matter of fact he had inherited that too from his father too in ample measure.
Lahore was the citadel of the Arya Samaj and Dayanand Anglo Vedic school and college. On the sad demise of Swami Dayanand Saraswati at Ajmer on the Diwali evening in 1883, the Aryas of Punjab made a decision to open educational institutions charged with the mission of Dayanand to carry forward his principles and practices to groom the youth for future. Indeed a correct decision it was. The DAV School and later DAV College did see many young men pass out of its portals who were second to none in patriotism, scholastic and administrative achievements and what have you. Vishwanath Ji was one of them who turned out to be a shining star in the firmament.
Linguistics was his forte. He was equally at home in English, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi. A voracious reader, a prolific writer, Vishwanath Ji was fond of attending poetic symposia both in Hindi and Urdu. He would compose, recompose until he was fully satisfied with his own finished product. Generally speaking, the audience applauded him and boosted his morale on stage. Just before our motherland was vivisected and that factory of Islamic terror called Pakistan was born, the poetic symposia in Lahore were sometimes overladen with lines that eulogized communal philosophy in political and literary writings and speeches but Vishwanath Ji kept aloof. He was an Arya patriot and fought for the causes that were so dear to Swami Dayanand Saraswati but he had no rancor for men of other religions who did not see eye to eye with the philosophy of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
I recall an incident in connection with presentation of Merit Awards to writers of eminence on rolls of the DAV Colleges in Delhi and elsewhere. He had written to me to compere the function being held in honour of Shaheed Rajpal Ji. I immediately accepted the offer and prepared my notes of compering accordingly. Just at the eleventh hour, as the honoured guests were being seated on the dais, he walked over to me and said” Please see that you do not overplay your criticism of the assassin and his co-religionists who had assassinated my father”. I just smiled. Mahashay Vishwanath Ji was a changed man. He had mellowed a lot and did not want to associate with rabble rousers. The time for VAJRA PRAHAR ON OPPONENTS OF VEDIC DHARMA WAS OVER. The era for winning them over with love and compassion has begun. The perception had undergone a discernible change.
Arya Samaj was his First Love and he stuck to his Vedic guns till he breathed his last. I always addressed him as Mahashay Vishwanath. He did not resent and I carried on with this form of address for years. He was almost fourteen years senior to me in age but never let it be reflected in our interaction. A chat or a discussion on a Vedic topic or on a political subject always ended up without any conclusion. But never did he raise his voice to denote disapproval of a point, an issue or the manner of delivery. Having lived in Lahore in the pre-partition days when the Indian youth was sucked in by the freedom movement, he just could not afford to remain untouched by the political TSUNAMI against the British Raj. As far as I know Vishwanath Ji was not a part of the Satyagrah movement but he did admire Mahatma Gandhi. Indeed that was a point of disagreement between him and me because I had several reasons to blame Gandhiji for all the troubles that the Hindus had suffered. We may keep the issue in reserve for another day used to be our finale on the issue.
Vishwanath Ji was an enthusiastic Ved pracharak too in his youth in the rural areas of undivided Punjab. After alighting the railway train at Multan, he hired an Ekka on a sharing basis to go to a remote village where an Arya Samaj activity had been organized. As they entered the interior of the backward rural area, came melodious singing sound of Punjabi women and the song was in Hindi promoting spinning wheel as harbinger of SWATANTRATA. Vishwanath Ji was very pleasantly surprised to hear a Hindi song in a backward area where even Punjabi was not correctly spoken. Of course, he gave the credit for this awakening to Gandhiji. On hearing this anecdote, I had little option but to go in for a pucca Maun Vrat.
Vishwanath Ji was a born editor. He took to editing as fish takes to water. When He and his brothers shifted their book shop and publishing outfit to Delhi from Lahore, teething troubles were experienced. He and other members of the family took it in the normal stride of life. With hard work, customer care, literary drives, launching Pocket Book edition with his brother Dina Nath and many such steps produced positive results. Rajpal and Sons made a name for themselves and were back in business in the right way.
Arya Samaj, DAV School and College, Lahore left many indelible impressions on the personality of Vishwanath Ji. His love of Hindi always remained undiluted. Even as a student of the DAV School, Lahore he had opted for Hindi and Sanskrit. This held him in good stead in later life. When he wished to please the Muse, it was Hindi language that he chose to write poems in. ANTARA is a book containing his new poems in Hindi.
 He mentioned to me that it was opposition of the Arya Samaj to casteism that prevented him and his brothers from adding the caste name as a suffix. Just VISHWANATH. That was it. Commendable indeed. We loved him for that. Today we miss him more than ever before. His departure from this world is forever. When his soul enters a new body, he will have another opportunity to complete the mission that remained unfulfilled in this life.
 He remained attached to the DAV group of institutions in one way or the other. He remained Vice-President of the DAV College Management Committee till he breathed his last. His reverence for Mahatma Hansraj Ji was next to that for Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati. He preached the Vedic Dharn, he practiced the Vedic Dharm and he wielded his pen for propagating the Vedic Dharm.
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Friday, July 5, 2013


                                     By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
A.K.Antony, India’s Raksha Mantri is now in Beijing leading an official delegation. China knows all about the mild personality of the man from Kerala who never gets provoked and always keeps his cool. What he says carries weight because the world knows that he is Sonia Gandhi’s man. He is an honest man. So he has not purchased any type of guns for the Indian Artillery in the last quarter of a century. Bofors was the last of the long range effective howitzers bought by Rajiv Gandhi before his fall from grace and loss of his Congress party at the polls. Antony  is against the concept of history repeating itself. Keep smiling is his motto. Never mind what the Chinese PLA General, Luo Yuan said in public and our press corps interpreted it as a warning.
China is a powerful country both economically and militarily. Much water has flown down the Ch’ang Jiang river between the colonial days more than two centuries ago when eight nations, including USA, UK, Japan etc had divided China among themselves and controlled both economy and governance. That was the time when China lost the Opium war and was forced to cede large territory around Hong Kong to the United Kingdom. The wheel of history has turned full circle and the Chinese have recovered lost ground diplomatically without firing a shot.
Sun Tzu was a great philosopher and past master of strategy who wrote treatises on Art of War. His concept is taught and discussed in colleges of combat in many countries including India. Acharya Chanakya wrote and practiced the Chanakya Neeti and became a famous  philosopher in both civil and military circles. Unfortunately Acharya Chanakya did not come in the limelight as his present day compatriots slavishly followed the former British masters and the latter had degraded every thing that was Indian in origin.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu as practiced in China emphasizes brow beating the enemy to such an extent that he loses will to fight and surrenders. The Chinese generals of today dutifully follow the philosophy of life, the art of war etc as enunciated by their ancestors many millennium ago. Ancestor worship is a part of Dharma in China.
With a view to  browbeating the Indian leadership before the arrival of Antony led delegation in Beijing, a Major General of the People’s Liberation Army issued a public statement to be carried by the global media, warning the Indian authorities to desist from provoking the Chinese government and their powerful military lest it boomerangs and harms the Indian interests. It would be appropriate to recall that just before the arrival of the Prime Minister of China in India, the Chinese PLA troops had intruded almost nineteen kilometers into the Indian territory, destroyed some hutments, had threatened the local cowherds before withdrawing on a reciprocal basis. Their aim was to put the Indian Prime Minister, meek Manmohan Singh on the backfoot and psychologically dominate his thinking so that he accepts whatever the Chinese Prime Minister dictates. The Chinese strategy was a success.
What General Luo Yang said and did is a repeat performance of the previous script that was successfully enacted by the Chinese in the Ladakh region that had its direct effect in Delhi. Let not a shot be fired and force enemy psychologically to surrender. Men like Manmohan Singh and his foreign minister are ever keen to walk into the Chinese lap to avoid an aggressive argument. After the Chinese intrusion into Ladakh, when the Indian Foreign Minister visited Beijing he cared not to raise the intrusion issue with his Chinese counterpart as he did not believe in grave digging to unravel the past. A wek kneed policy that brought shame to India.
Antony may be what he is but certainly not to be compared with the personality of Mark Antony of Rome and Cleopatra fame. One need not worry in New Delhi now. As members of the Indian delegation are Lt General Dalbir Singh, an Army Commander slated to be Army Chief in due course of time, and,of course, Admiral Kohli already nominated to be the next Chief of the Naval Staff. These two Chief material officers know how to stand their ground in a discussion on military strategy and not allow the Chinese generals to have the upper hand. India in the year 2013 is much different from India of 1962 that the PLA of China had defeated in NEFA, now Arunachal Pradesh. Even then Ladakh was a different story. More about that on a later date and not now.
Suffice it to say that the Indian troops in 1962 were ill clad, ill armed and ill trained for mountain warfare. There was more politics practiced in the corridors of power and the Army Headquarters than military strategy. The situation is so different now that the Chinese generals would not like to launch a probing action and burn their fingers. Just issuing a public statement warning Indian generals to desist from war mongering would be good enough for the time being. Nevertheless India must not lower its guards and must be ever ready to go to war. Prepare for war and look for Peace to enjoy life.
In the diplomacy of today we meet diplomats and strategists of every nation and say, Good Morning with a smile. Even when armies have moved forward and stand deployed in the battle zone in battle order, never lose a chance to negotiate Peace. We all know that Peace brings Prosperity but war brings destruction and devastation. However, to talk to enemy, we must know the enemy. Let us assume for a moment that the Chinese nation would be India’s adversary, if not a declared enemy. With a view to dealing with the adversary effectively, a thorough knowledge of his culture, language, people at large and behavior of common man or average citizenry in war and peace is an absolute must. Lack of knowledge about the enemy may be suicidal. So, before knowing yourself and your allies, make an endeavour to know the enemy.
The Chinese are an enigmatic people. Everything in China is an enigma. One has to understand nuances of a particular question or reference made before answering it. It does not matter if answering a query takes time; take your time but understand it well before answering it. It is said that the Chinese diplomats and leaders are, generally speaking, non-committal even on issues of normal conversation, what to say of matters military and issues of international diplomacy. If you meet a Chinese person in the morning and after saying Good Morning, just ask him, out of courtesy, how is the weather today?, he will look up and down, look at your face and just smile rather than committing about the state of weather. No wonder it takes a lot of time in discussing an issue of international diplomacy and preparing a document for signature of political or military representatives of both India and China.
The present delegation of India in China knows how to stand firm and not yield ground to wily opponents. The Indian delegation comprises of seasoned army and navy officers who know what is what and are not to cower before an empty threat of a Major General of the People’s Liberation Army. Indeed we know very well that even innocuous statements issued for public consumption or just for the crowd back home, are read, scrutinized and cleared by the Intelligence people and accorded political approval before being used.
In the present case, the Chinese leaders wished to assess the reaction of an average citizen in the cosmopolitan cities before proceeding further. Now they know that India of today is different and must not be put to test by firing paraflares. Our compatriots must rest assured that there is no imminent danger of a shooting war and normal life should go on.
Let there be business as usual.

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