Gopalkrishna Gandhi | Updated: Aug 14, 2016
In this photograph taken September 22, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi visits Muslim refugees at Purana Qila in New Delhi, as they prepare to depart to Pakistan (AFP/Getty Images)
Indian nationalism has been partial to August. It has been for our country a month of great births. Also, of tragic deaths.
Aurobindo Ghose was born on August 15, 1872; Annie Besant launched the Indian Home Rule League on August 1, 1916; Lokamanya Tilak died on August 1, 1920; On August 9, 1925 bravehearts from the Hindustan Republican Association carried out the great train heist in Kakori, Uttar Pradesh.
Gandhi gave the Indian nation, restless as never before to be free of the British Raj, the slogan ‘Do or Die’ on August 8, 1942.
The Congress passed its momentous Quit India Resolution at its historic session in Bombay the next day, August 9, 1942, with the Congress leadership being arrested immediately and a wave of oppression ensuing.
Many refuse to believe that the aircraft carrying Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to Manchuria crashed on August 18, 1945. But that is the date cited in records indicating he succumbed to third degree burns in Taiwan that day.
And on a very red August, in 1947, united India demised even as it gave birth to a divided India and a new Pakistan.
On August 7, 1947, Mohammed Ali Jinnah flew quietly out of Delhi to Karachi where, on the 14th of the month, he became Governor General of the newly-created Pakistan.
Gandhi, on that day, hurtled away on a train in the opposite direction – from Lahore to Patna and then to Bengal to quell the communal frenzy.