|Sir C. Sankaran Nair, Member Viceroy's council and eminent lawyer.en.wikipedia.org|
|Sir C. Sankaran Nair, eminent lawyer.en.wikipedia.org|
|Jallianwalla bagh,.Punjab, India. indiatoday.in/|
|Jallianwalla bagh, Amrisar, Punjab twitter.com/|
In the wake of Sankaran Nair's resignation, realizing the gravity of grave situation after the ghastly massacre, the government lifted censorship of the press and terminated the martial law in Punjab. The royal commission of inquiry headed by Hunter with both British and Indian members was formed to go down to the bottom of this massacre. The whole of India appreciated Sankaran Nair's reaction to the massacre and no doubt he won the heart and soul of every patriotic Indian. His resignation from the most powerful post in the British government was indeed a supreme sacrifice. In those days very high positions for the Indian was a far cry and the highest post they could reach was subaltern in nature. Few eminent people like Sir Rangacharlu, Sir Sheshadri Iyer, Sir Mirza Ismail (Mysore), Sir Dinkar Rao, Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar (Travancore), Sir Visvaswaraiah, Sir Ramaswamy Mudaliar (Mysore), Sir Sheshaya Sastry (of Pudukottai), et al held positions of eminence in the British Raj.
Sankaran Nair's journey to the exalted position was an arduous one. Like many others, he began his career as an advocate in 1880 in Madras. After a long stint, he became a member of the Madras Bar. As a member of the Madras Legislative Council in 1890, he was instrumental in introducing the legislation leading to enactment of the Malabar Marriage Act of 1896. Being a staunch Congress man, obviously, in recognition of his leadership qualities and administrative skill he became an elected President of the Indian National Congress. Incidentally, the only person from Kerala ever to hold this most responsible position at its Amaravathi session in 1897. Soon he became the first Indian to be appointed Advocate General of the Madras government in 1907. Earlier in 1902, the Viceroy Lord Curzon appointed him Secretary to the Raleigh University Commission. In 1904 he was appointed a Companion of the Indian Empire by the King-Emperor and in 1912 he was knighted for his vast contribution in many fields. Later in 1908 he was elevated as judge of the Madras High Court and he held the post till 1915. He became a member of the Viceroy's Council in the same year with the charge of the Education portfolio; the highest post in the British Indian government ever enjoyed by an Indian. He had numerous departments under his control all headed by the British.
Sankaran Nair's wisdom and handwork were on full display in the preparation of the Montagu-Chelmsford Report significantly influenced the British Parliament in enacting the Government of India Act of 1919 which was a ground-breaking move toward India's independence. He, without any hesitation, mooted an ingenious deal that India's participation in the World War was contingent upon the acceptance by the British government of ''Self-Rule'' by the Indians after the war was over, thus showing the groping Indian leaders flickering light at the end of the dark tunnel, gateway to India's freedom from the British yoke. K.P.S. Menon, a great diplomat said, ...'' a prophet who was to change the course of events not only in India but in Asia and the world”. Being a courageous man, he was of the opinion that Gandhiji's ''doctrine of non-violence for self-purification was certain to lead to frightful disorders and riots”. He meant that the adamant British government, particularly under the Conservative Administration would give a damn to civil disobedience promoted by Gandhiji as a tool to get freedom. Nethaji also felt this doctrine of non-violence won't work and the British would prolong giving freedom to India.
In a sensational case Nair Verses Lieutenant-Governor Michael O’Dwyer that came up before the King's Bench in London (Mr Nair was sued for libel), not withstanding the fact both Gov. O' Dwyer and Brig. Gen. Dyer were responsible for killing countless innocent people in Punjab, the biased judge and equally prejudicial jury handed down verdict against Nair who preferred to pay 7000 pounds in damages rather than tendering an apology before the royal bench. You could not expect justice from a society that declared Gen. Dyer was a savior of British women and awarded him a big purse in London under the patronage of a well-known British newspaper. As of today Britain, which colonized India for 200 plus years and looted it as much as they could, is yet to tender an apology for the incident and similar such excesses committed by its forces on the Indians.
In 1997, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were on a visit to the bagh. The royal couple merely signed on the visitor's book and they made no comments on the innocent people who died in the disgusting massacre in April 1919. Way back in 2013, former British Prime Minister David Cameron did the same thing when he visited the bagh in Amritsar. No apology was offered. he said the Jallianwala Bagh massacre was a "deeply shameful event".
Sir Sankaran Nair retired from active politics and public life at a time when the Viceregal made an announcement granting Dominion Status to India, one step toward freedom. Unfortunately he died in 1934 at the age of 77, 13 years before India attained freedom from the British. If Sri Sankaran Nair were alive he would have become a broken man as Indian subcontinent was partitioned into ''Democratic'' India and ''Theocratic'' Pakistan, the latter has been consistently a source of trouble for the peace-loving Indians. In the last two decades, Pakistan has become a breeding ground for religious terrorists and fanatics who without any mercy engage in mass killing by setting bombs, etc and spreading ghastly violence in many parts of Asia. Hard core terrorist Bin laden was hiding in Pakistan until he was captured by the US forces. Consequently, innocent people in that country suffer on account of this misguided rule. How many of you know that Major William Alexander Brown MBE (13 December 1922 - 5 December 1984), a British military officer in British India created a big problem during the Partition of India. He vehemently led a successful coup, killing both Hindus and Muslims against the ruling Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir Guru Singh. This resulted in the Gilgit Agency (consisting of Gilgit and Baltistan, both part of Kashmir) becoming part of Pakistan administered Kashmir. The Indian government has vowed to take them over them in the future