Plans to avoid Arrest

Posted By Author on November 27, 2010

25/1/1967:

I completed routine. Dandge and I knew not that we were taking daily bath on a dead body.  A heap of boulders protruded in the turbulent current. It was convenient to sit on it. We found a green cloth and hence removed boulders. We were shocked to see a lady’s hand with bangles. Literally we ran away in panic.

Message came that I was called in.  All were already assembled.  Baba was in pessimistic mood.  His vexation and exasperation was the result of the warrant of arrest.  Indignantly he said his body was so much deteriorated that he was unable to undertake any work. Except Ramanidada all should leave the place and go home.  He made a list of money required for each individual for journey. He told Rajat to leave on 27th or 28th Jan. and handover Chinu to orphanage of Delhi Corporation.  I too was ordered to go home.  Everybody was scared to the hilt.  He then talked with Gita in privacy and we returned for breakfast.

Before we could finish it, an urgent summons came and we rushed in.  Indignation, recital of old mistakes, shattering of body, etc. was our lot to listen.  His wrath was boundless. This was the way he relieved his mental pressure.  He said to me, “ Look Suresh, cancer is trying to upsurge.  My throat is hoarse.”  My mind did not accept illogical statement.  Radhakant and Salil wept.  I knew the cause of hoarseness was nothing but his shouting day before yesterday.

Baba then dictated a letter in Hindi to Sub Inspector and also dictated a short note in Hindi to me, which I was supposed to handover to the S.I. when he would come. The English translation is as below:

Dearest deserving Shri Baljorsinghji,

His Holiness founder of our Ashram has dictated the following letter.

Yours sincerely

Sureshchandra Padhye

Confidential and personal

“Dear Baljorsingh,

I understand that the inspiration of the satanic power to destroy my work is the cause of the warrant that has come from Calcutta. The magistrate at Calcutta is only an instrument in the hands of satanic power. I am at the pinnacle of my work and therefore I cannot give up my sadhana and tapasya and leave the banks of the Alaknanda, the Mandakini, the Bhagirati, and the Yamuna Rivers of Uttarakhand. I will have to see that the satanic force should not create hindrance in my Divine work. Secondly, I will have to see that this thing should not cause you any trouble. Therefore I shall go to some other useful place of Uttarakhand from here.

Imparting you affectionate blessing. “

Shri Baba has instructed me to inform you that you can come to see Shri Baba on 28-1-67, the Saturday morning by11 to 11.30.

Yours sincerely

Sureshchandra Padhye

* * *

Baba then said, “If you all leave this place I have no problem.  Gita insists that she will not leave.  Therefore I must go.  I keep two alternatives before you:

(i)                   All of you go.  I shall surrender and give up this body as a penance of your eight years’ mistakes.

(ii)                 I alone shall leave for unknown place for two months. Complete my ‘Sadhana’ and then start work”

Baba then repeatedly asked every individual as to which alternative he or she has selected.  Nobody answered.  He got enraged and threatened to send servant Vishwanath to call Baljor Singh and arrest him just then.  Suspense and silence ruled.  I had to break the ice.  I told him to leave for any place.  Baba frightened me that we will be arrested.  I told him that same thing was going to happen if he was taken to Calcutta and Baba laughed.  Again bout of anger erupted.  He castigated Rajat and insisted upon his choice of alternative.  The Sun got too hot and hence all of us shifted to Chinu’s hut.  Baba had a brief break and in the meantime I told all others that in the morning Baba enquired with me about the state of the hut we had constructed for him on the confluence.  Therefore he was bent upon leaving to avoid warrant but he wanted it through our mouth that he should leave.  All agreed. This arrest warrant was weighing immense mental pressure on Baba. His worry and irritation was mounting day by day due to Chinu’s arrival, money crunch, increasing debts, and warrant of arrest.

Baba came.  All suggested that he should shift to the confluence.  He posed a difficulty that police would come there.  The jurisdiction could not be waved off.  Then Baba said that he would go to any place and uttered a Hindi phrase, “ Jogika chalna aur pani ka bahan kaun janta hai ~ ” Its meaning is ‘nobody knows where the running water and a Jogi-Sadhu goes.’

Baba’s mood changed.  He said to me, “ Suresh, when the Devil plays, we must play trick with the Devil.” He told Radhakant that he would go to Kirtinagar and start afoot at night.  Radhakant should be ready to accompany him.  He lamented that there was no money otherwise from Rudraprayag special bus could have been hired.  Therefore he told that they would start at 9 P.M. and tread 45 miles.  The aim of this mission was to dodge the jurisdiction of the warrant.  Earlier wrongfully the warrant went to District H.Q. Pauri.  The current one was having sway over Chamoli district.  Shrinagar was in Pauri district and hence to avoid both districts jurisdiction of Kirtinagar was selected which was in Tehri district.  He said that they would be out of jurisdiction and not to risk Pauri district.  Tehri district was the best solution.  I asserted that I would accompany him.  He said, “Let us see”.  He pointed that he might go to Jamnotri or Amarnath in Kashmir and might visit Jwalamukhi temple.  Nothing was certain according to him. He was restless and his mind was wavering. (Dodging was in Netaji’s blood. In 1938 in Bombay he would visit German Consul. He would change dress and cover face. Change taxi two or three times. It was K.M.Munshi who reported the matter to Gandhiji.)

I proposed to Baba that to avoid all these hardships he should start work without thinking much.  Baba replied, “Last night I thought over narrow and wider aspects.  It will be too premature to start the work.”  I thought that he wanted to see new ministry after the general election and then he might think of the work. However Chinu’s birth dissuaded him from coming out. He was in great quandary. Baba said that after his departure there was a possibility that two or three of us would be arrested and I expressed that it would be a boon in disguise, as expenses on meals would be saved.  He laughed.  Baba then went for his lunch and we took rest in our hut.

Baba called us after his meal and we were discussing from 3.30 to 5.30 P.M.  All were sent away and we two were sitting and planning.  Radhakant was asleep.  I suggested that to walk through mountain would be strenuous and hence I would arrange a taxi.  He posed a problem of waste of money as debt of this region was to be refunded.  Again he stressed that time was premature to start work.  I reminded him as to why not try indirect method, i.e., get hold of people in power and subjugate them by his charisma and magnetism.  He grudged that it would give partial success immediately and he wanted complete success, i.e., no use of old skeleton.  Baba observed, “ Suresh, right from childhood my nature is to work in adverse condition. I always swam against the current. I have lost that daring and courage because of failing health and aging self. Suresh my condition is like an expert doctor whose son is on the deathbed and his hand trembles before giving injection. When I gave you that strong note, it was in my mind to start work. But since three days I am thinking and thinking. I see darkness. I am moving in a vicious circle. I have to see both narrow and wider aspects. If I see one side I lose the other. This is going. I cannot make haste. I am not prepared to gamble my twenty years’ work.”

This statement followed when I suggested that if he was confident fifty percent then rest could be gambled by reposing faith in God. I knew he would not deny Chinu’s birth and acceptance of it would destroy his rigorous ‘Tapasya’, ’Sadhana’, ‘Bhraman’, and Saint or Yogi’s role. Our people had no strength to realize his stupendous dilemma. Like Netaji, Baba’s stress was on character and high moral. Chinu’s birth gave jolt to him. But his greatest greatness was to accept responsibility of fatherhood. I feel and hope, I may not be wrong, that ‘narrow aspect’ probably meant deferring disclosure of second relationship and daughter and ‘wider aspect’ meant reaction of masses about second relationship and rejection of his saintly role. Repayment of huge amount of mounting loan and to rehabilitate Ashram’s members was a vexing problem and to solve it he had to disclose his identity and secure INA funds kept abroad.

I again suggested a taxi for travel and he wanted to know timings of the gate and hence asked me to call the rest.  We discussed for a long while.  He rejected the idea of remaining hidden inside his hut.  If he agreed to that I assured him that I would see the rest by hook or crook provided I was given a blank cheque.  He said he would not give free hand to allow me to take recourse to falsehood.  We pondered over the shortcut footpath to Tehri but the climb was too stiff for his age.

Budhiballabhji arrived from Shrinagar and with the same bus Ramesh Saxena too came.  Again we discussed proposal of taxi, as these two brought sufficient money. At long last Baba agreed at 7 P.M. Baba then proposed that one of us would walk down through night to Rudraprayag and get hold of the first gate to fetch taxi.  Then he changed his mind and told to start from here only by the first gate.

Budhiballabhji and then Saxena joined us.  Purchases of Saxena were of rupees fifteen hundred and he brought cash of rupees three hundred and fifteen. He sold his gun and ornaments to collect money.  He brought lot of things including clothes, etc.  Baba cancelled his plan to sell our goods and raise money.  He came out and examined the purchases personally.  Again we went back inside and he proposed to walk down via Bamsu.  He knew all routes well.  He called Gita, Dipali and Chinu and distributed clothes, toys etc. in our presence.  After that discussion continued and at the end he finalized that taxi would come late at night and it would be parked on the turning of road above our camp.  The departure would be at 4 A.M.  He then told Budhiballabh and Radhakant that if he did not call them at night they would start at 4.30 A.M. to bring taxi.  Then turning to me he vehemently expressed, “ Suresh, this time I am determined, I shall not come unless I am to finish this ‘Goonda Raj’. Either I shall spend two moths in sojourn afoot or live on the bank of the Ganges near Haridwar at the foot of the Chandi Mountain. For that we would construct a hut. Nothing is certain but one thing is definite. May be money would reach to you within a month but as long as I do not bring basic change in the Government I shall not come. Remember what I say.” The wording was in Hindi as below:

Yaha baat nishchit hai | Ho sakta hai mahinabhar mey paisa aa jaye lekin mai jabtak Bharatke shasanmey amulagrha badal na karsakunga tab aunga nahi yah bat khyal mey rakhana | “ Meaning: “ It is certain. May be the money will arrive in a month but as long as I cannot bring fundamental change in the governance of India I shall not come.”

I then proposed that by March I would go to my place at Amravati and sarcastically he remarked, “Why not go just now.”  It was his way of rejecting the proposal. He then said if I would go I should wash off the Ashram’s loan. (Netaji washed of Germany and Japan’s loan of millions.)

It was 9.30 P.M. and after final planning, our cluster of disciples dispersed. No dinner. Had a glass of milk and slept.

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