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Showing posts from May, 2017

Gandhi, and the origins of the Hindu Mahasabha

Haridwar, 1915, Kumbh Mela. The usual Cholera outbreak at the Kumbh was consuming thousands of pilgrims. Meanwhile, on 13 Feb, a little away from the bathing masses, an umbrella organization of the various provincial Hindu Sabhas was being established. The formation of this umbrella organization was not a sudden decision though. At the Indian National Congress session in 1910 (Allahabad), the delegates passed a formal resolution to establish the All India Hindu Mahasabha, and a draft constitution was supposed to be prepared. In parallel, another group of Congress delegates, vexed with the Minto Morley Reforms of 1909 that created separate electorates for Muslims, tried to form their own Hindu Mahasabha. They too couldn’t get much work done.World War I began soon after. The Punjab Hindu Sabha took the lead in 1913, and proposed that by the 1915 Purna Kumbh at Haridwar, all the Hindu leaders should arrive at a consensus and establish an umbrella organization. Alm…