Kamalnayan Bajaj - page 82

KamalnayanBajaj –Architect of theBajajGroup
Abrother’s love
TheAugustKrantiMovement of 1942wasat its
peakwithpeople inflicting small damages: cutting
telegraphwiresand removing rail tracks. A few
workersof theWardhaAshramwere tempted to join.
On thispretext, adozen leadingworkersof Vinobaji’s
Ashram includingVallabhSwami andDattobaBhau
Congressmeetingswereheld inBajajwadi,Wardha.
Thedecision to launch theAugustMovementwas
taken inBajajwadi.Manymembersof theBajaj family
were in jail. For all these reasons, the familywas the
target of the furyof theBritishRaj. Thegovernment
was justwaiting for the smallest excuse toarrest
Kamalnayan. Therewaspressure fromDelhi toarrest
someone from theBajaj family. Theypickedonme.
Iwas inBuldhana Jail at the time. Iwasbrought to
Wardhaandhoused in the tehsil court’s special cell.
There I came toknow that apart fromchargesof
destroyingpublicproperty, theauthoritiesplanned
to implicateme in themurder of thepolicemen.
Buldana, Ihadconspiredtothemurders insecretmeetings.
Kamalnayanwasmostly living inBombay in those
days. Inorder that theBajaj’sBombayofficemaynot
assist inmycaseasalso to scareKamalnayan, the
policearrested twomunims–Kaluramji andMotilalji
– from theBombayoffice.
The feelingof patriotismwas sohigh that lawyersof
all parties rose todefendus. Theonlyprosecution
lawyer fromWardhawasShri Chendke, all others
wereoutsiders. The falsemurder chargewas tried in
theNagpurHighCourtunder a special ordinance.
TheBritishgovernmentwas trying tocrush the
Movementwith full force. Peoplewerequite terror
strickenand thegovernment created falsewitnesses
throughbribery.Our problemwashow tocounter
these falsewitnesses. But thewitnessesgot busted
due to theeffortsofKamalnayan, the lawyersof other
friendsand society. TheStatecouldnot sentenceme.
Yetunder theDefenceof IndiaAct, Iwaskept in jail
for threeyears. Somewerehanded sentences, some
were released; this isa long story. I leave it at that.
Itwasanordeal-by-fire forKamalnayan. Butwithout
anyhesitationandpanic, he threwhiswholemight
indefending thiscase.MywifeAnusuyawouldworry
butKamalnayan lookedafterhis
AfterGandhiji’s release from jail, someAshramites
toldhim that thewitnesseswerebribed todefect.
Gandhiji became serious. Everyonebecame
apprehensive.Wecan’t liebeforeBapu. And the truth
maycompel him toundertakea fast.Wepresented
forward to facehim.He toldBapu, “Bapuji, these
dayspeoplebribe to tell a lie. Butwepaidmoney
towitnesses tobehavehonestlyand speak the
truth.What iswrong in that?”
Bapu laughedatKamalnayan’s strategyandweall
felt relieved.
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