Friday, 1 June 2018

Nivedita : The Queen of the Indian Freedom Movement - 3

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:


Nivedita was well aware of the need of the Hindu-Muslim unity. Swamiji had earlier said that what India needed was Vedantic brain and Islamic body. So Nivedita also thought in the same line. She addressed quite a few Muslim gatherings. In one such meeting she remarked that the Muslims should be a great force of national cohesion. The duty of the Indian Muslims today was not to relate themselves with distant Arabia. Their duty was to relate themselves with India which was their home by blood—the heritage to which they had been born. It was for this reason that a leading advocate of Lucknow once remarked 'There were very few Indians, who were more devoted to the idea of Hindu-Muslim unity than her.' The famous South Indian poet and revolutionary, Subramanium Bharati was so inspired after meeting her that he dedicated his first book to Nivedita.

The great revolutionary Hem Chandra Ghosh (who was the founder of Bengal Volunteers) met her a number of times and organized her lecture tours. In her lectures Nivedita kept spreading the man-making gospel of Swami Vivekananda across India. Swamiji told Hem Chandra that man-making was the mission of his life.

Swamiji could neither get directly involved in politics nor had much truck with the revolutionaries although his constant dream was independent India. This dream always electrified Nivedita and she had taken up the cause. Swamiji made her a 'Brahmacharini', never a 'Sannyasini'. One of the reasons behind this action could be that he had seen the fire in his disciple. He realized perhaps that after his death, Nivedita cannot remain content within the confines of the girls' school. It is worthwhile to mention here what Swami Vivekananda expected from Sister Nivedita. This expectation was expressed in his 'A Benediction' written to Nivedita.

Swamiji wrote:
Be thou to India's future son
The mistress, servant, friend in one.

So, Nivedita was absolutely clear about what her Guru wanted from her regarding India, and how deeply he felt about the freedom of India. Nivedita was so inspired by Vivekananda's love for India, she once told the legendary revolutionary Hem Chandra Ghosh that 'India was Swamiji's greatest passion. The thought of India was virtually an obsession with him. India throbbed in his breast, India beat in his pulse, India was his day-dream, India was his nightmare. He was the embodiment of India in flesh and blood. He was India, he was Bharat, the very symbol of her spirituality, her wisdom, her power and her destiny.'

Nivedita made two trips to Europe and USA after Vivekananda's death, in 1907 and 1910. Wherever she went she highlighted the problems of India. She helped scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose draft his paper and supported him when a team of Western scientists ganged up to challenge his discovery. She wrote several books, 'Kali the Mother', 'Cradle Tales of Hinduism', 'Web of Indian Life' and regularly wrote articles in newspapers and journals on Indian freedom struggle and the memorable volume on Swami Vivekananda titled 'The Master as I Saw Him'. Veteran journalist Ramananda Chatterjee wrote about Nivedita: She was a pronounced nationalist with radical political ideas. She could never forgive partisanship or faction fights in Indian politics. She believed in the great need of efficacy of presenting a united front; the promotion of the cause of the nation was with her as much a mission and a passion as was women's education.

To Be Continued..