The War of Independence of 1942:

The Second World War was in progress. The relation among the friendly countries was deteriorating day by day. The attack by Germany upon Russia brought some relief to Britian. But the surpise attack on America by Japan also included America in the war. Japan quickly overran the Philippines, Indo-China, Indonesia, Malaya and Burma.

The British Government now desperately wanted active support from the Indians in the war effort. But it refused to accept Congress’s demand for the immediate transfer of power. Therefore Congress had no other option but to launch protest. All India Congress Committee met at Bombay in the first week of August 1942 and thus passed the famous ‘Quit India Resolution’.

People were filled with enthusiasm to oust the British. The agitation was severely crushed by the British this time. It happened in Jabalpur also. All senior leaders including Govind Das ji were arrested. The other leaders were Kunjilal Dubey, Beohar Rajendra Singh, Lakshmi Singh, Govind Prasad Tiwari and Narmada Prasad Saraf. Though this time, Govind Das ji did not had much time to write but completed his play ‘Karna’. Bhavani Prasad Tiwari and Govind Prasad Tiwari composed the songs of the play. They decided to stage the play in jail. However, it could not be staged.

An incident took place during their stay, which brought all together. It was order by the government to lock the political prisioners. All opposed it by not going to their cells. Seeing the tough stand put up by the prisioners, the government had no other option but to take back the orders. The following day, Govind Das ji was shifted to Nagpur. It was here; he was associated with Acharya Vinobha Bhave. During his stay he wrote 2 plays one historical based on SherShah Suri while another titled ‘Pakistan’. The later came to be known as a forecast by Govind Das ji for the coming into being of Pakistan as a nation.

Transfer to Vellore Jail: 

Most of the Political prisoners from Nagpur were transferred to Vellore. Those transferred included Vinobha Bhave, Kaka Kelkar, Beohar Rajendra Singh, Lakshmi Singh Chauhan, Syed Ahmed and Govind Das ji.

During his stay at Vellore jail, he wrote ‘Sneh ya Swarg’ based on Homer’s Iliad. It was a poetical play. Prose composition under the title ‘Pashta Darshan’ was also composed, comprising of one character. As days passed by, he dedicated most of his time to writing. One day, he received news about his father’s illness. As a result of this, he was transferred to Jabalpur jail.

Vellore Jail to Jabalpur Jail:

Somehow the news about Govind Das ji’s coming to Jabalpur reached here and spread like forest fire. His family went to Itarsi station to accompany him back to Jabalpur. His second son, Jagmohan accompanied him from Nagpur. The following day, they started for Jabalpur accompanied by family of Govind Das ji, his eldest son, Manmohan and his son-in-law Lakshmi Chandra.

He was brought to Jabalpur, due to the ill health of his father. At that time, Superintendent of the Jail was Dr. Date while the Deputy Commissioner was Nagendra Singh, younger brother of Sungarpur King, with whom Govind Das ji’s family has good relation. They both acquainted them with the patrol condition. Since Dr. Date knew about his refusal in Nagpur jail, for him it was not new, when Govind Das ji refused the offer of release by the British Government.

Despite repeated request he refused to be persuaded by the offer. The following day, another proposal was put before him according to which the government would take him to his father. After giving second thought to the proposal, he accepted it. All preparations were made by the local administration to take him to Gokul Das Palace. On reaching home, Govind Das ji saw, a frail old man lying on bed. He could not recognise his father. His illness had weakened him. Moreover, it was separation for his only son that had contributed a lot towards his falling health. The meeting was short. But during the period, Jeevan Das ji made it clear that even if he dies, his body would not be cremated. His pyre would be lit by him, only by him. For he said if he (Govind Das Ji) could by adamant on his word, then he can also, for he was his father.

Transfer to Damoh Jail:  

It was not long when, British government decided to shift Govind Das ji from Jabalpur to Damoh. Later, he came to know that for his refusal of patrol, the government had take up the decision. Though Damoh was not so far as Vellore is from Jabalpur. It was due to his father, the government had adopted such a liberal attitude.

It was here, he penned down his first novel, ‘Indumati’. The story of the novel takes place during the 1916. It’s a psychological biography. Govind Das ji before writing down any work prepared a synopsis. But when he wrote this work every day new things were added and as result the novel comprises of 933 pages.

But for some critics believed that some of the historical accounts in the novel could be shortened or dropped altogether. While some believe the opposite. Shantipriya Dwivedi described the novel as encyclopaedia of human life.

Fixed programme after his release:

After his release, he was all set down to follow a set programme to initiate his political work. During his stay in Jail, he had decided to take out the publication ‘Nav Bharat’ with the assistance from Ramgopal ji from Nagpur. Previously, a Private Limited company managed all the affairs regarding its publication. Govind Das ji entrusted upon Ramgopal ji and his second son Jagmohan. As result of this, in later course of time, it came out under the name ‘Jaihind’. 

Since after he had resigned after the Tripuri session, therefore with others, he was again selected as member of Regional Congress committee. He was elected unopposed. It was 7 years, since he again came back to the committee.

Previous     Next