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OM MANDLI- SOURCE-MATERIAL ON ITS PAST

BY DR. DUR MUHAMMAD PATHAN

 

 We have never researched any event, organization or personality of past as required to research methodology, but have believed  as has been narrated, described and  desired by their followers and lovers. We accept, what so ever we are told. But, never peep into the past and search real truth. In the last decade before partition, Om Mandli was established by a person known as Bhai Lekhraj and a lady Radhae was also master-mind of the adventure. It was an organization of socio-religious nature and  though, religious-cum-spiritual-oriented education was being imparted, but  pages of history proves that it was also  a movement for advocating for free-sex  approaches. This Mandli was formed by wives of Sindhworkis so as get rid of worries created by isolation due to longest waiting for their husbands. Some of these ladies opted for religious activities, some of them started social work and few of them accepted ground realities and started meeting their social/sexual needs on their own with creating circles.In India, Om Mandli has taken a different shape and is discharging its services in the field of Hindu Religion and Education and is headed by female leaders but, in Sindh it is headed by Bhai Lekhraj who became controversial and disputed for so many reasons. Such as the criteria of Hindu religion about becoming Jagat Guro. He was not of that rquired age at the time of his claim of Jagat Guro. It is said that some personal differences with Bhaiband community brought problems for him. Such as marrying of his daughter Palu with Mukhi Motiram Dhanrajmal outside his community. But, this was not the serious and real cause of opposing him and his teaching/philosophy. The reason was different. His teaching followed by girls and grown up ladies, who in their respective positions in their families as daughters and wives took to abnormal courses of conduct: marraiageable daughters declining to get married and married wives refusing to live with their husbands. Even widows reacted in violation of their religious teachings. For example Rukmani Bai, daughter-in-Law of Bhai Hassomal Thakurdas refuse to live in her father-in-law’s house but rented a house CLOSED TO OM NIVAS. Bhaibands were not only against Bhai Lekhraj, but every political party and every outstanding Sindhi Hindu took keen interest in agitation launched against Bhai Lekhraj and his Om Mandli.

 Sadhu Vaswani a man of name and fame issued call. It reads: ‘My appeal is to all my countrymen. The Om Mandli is a dean of darkness. Close it down without delay. Your children, my dear Sindhi countrymen are your richest treasure. Bring out all your children from the dark den of Om Mandli, and let all young widows come out of its poisonous atmosphere. What a shame that immoralities should go unchecked in this land of the Vedic Rishis’. This Call was carried by so many papers in Sindh. It is my hypothesis that Bhai Lekhraj intended to introduce free sex philosophy in Sindhi Hindus and faced very tough time from Hindus.

During the days of aggitatation against Om Mandli, political leaders, writers, social workers and other people spoke a lot about Bhai Lekhraj and his Om Mandli. Khanchand Gopaldas, Advocate urged that :” My Country men ! This Mandli has thrown many girls and women into abyss. Let us not forget that the guide to freedom is the gread Gospel of Social Morality. You can not save freedom by selling the souls of girls and women”. D.D.Chawdhry advised people of Karachi that :” Om Mandli is responsible for the breakdown of so many happy homes and should therefore be stamped out by the Karachi public as was done by the public of Hyderabad’.  Hassaram Pamnani of Rohri and Member of the Sindh Legislative Assembly  was of view that :” The doctrine of Dada Lekhraj asking women to refuse conjugal rights to husbands was opposed to all the cannons of all religions”. Karsondas Manek shared his views that :” This modern Krishna, unlike the ancient one, taught women to reble against their husbands and treat them as dogs”.Shrimati Kamla Hiranand was sure that :” Dada was running the show of the Mandli for his own pleasure’. Eminent writer Jethmal Parsram always called it ‘Om Khandli’. Let me put on record that present generation will not have an idea of the magnitude of subjectivity in the official narration of the history of the Om Mandli until and unless peep into past and go through  of pages to know truth about the Om Mandli.

People, those were againsit Bhai Lekhraj his philosophy and Om Mandli, all were men of name and fame. SADHU VASWANI was not only Hindu Philospher but, outstanding scholar of his own right. After migration to India, he was treated , accepted and respected as Saint Philosopher. SHEWAKRAM  KHUBCHAND DASWANI was partner with  Bhai Lekhraj in his business at Calcutta and were living in same building for years. He was witness to his personal life and his affidavit speaks a lot against Bhai Lekhraj. It was submitted along with application to the Chief Secretary. DEWAN DOULATRAM BULCHAND ADVANI was an outstanding figure of Hyderabad, he was head of so many social and educational organizations and he served Hyderabad as the President of Municipality. JETHMAL PARSRAM was an outstanding ‘man of letters’, educationist and journalist. He played vital role in freedom movement. VISHNO SHARMA was an eminet journalist and freedom fighter, who was sentenced to imprisonment for his pen work against the Government. KAMLA DEVI and her husband HIRANAND KARAMCHAND were known journalists and Congress Activists. COITHRAM P. GIDWANI was Congress leader, likewise PROF.GHANSHYAMDAS was Congress leader and member of the Sindh Legislative Assembly. RAI BAHADUR GOKALDAS MEWALRAM was eminent politician from Larkano and Minister in Sindh Cabinet.D.D.CHOUDRI  was Insuarance Expert and Municipal Councillor. He was associated with various Labour Unions and was nominated on various Bodies by Karachi Municipality, he was also Secretary of Hindu Sabha.RAI BAHADUR JAGATSING AILMAL was former Collector and origional member of Om Mandli and afterwards one of its opponents.He was witness to the inner story of that organization. SHAMDAS P. GIDWANI was the President of Hindu Maha Sabha. He was one of the founders of Social Service League, and head of Social and Educational organizations. I am not here to throw light on lives and achievements of every man or woman who plyed his/her anti-Om Mandli role, but the attention of readers is invited to the point that almost all political parties, panchayats and people length and breadth of Sindh were against Om Mandli and most of agitators were famous and outstanding in their fields. Whereas, Bhai Lekhraj was not supported by popular figures. Radhe was the only Om Mandli leader (President) on all fronts. In courts, in press and every where. Though, Bhai Lekhraj and Radhe, Om Mandli and their Philosophy stood isolated, but with courage and determination not to surrender.

In spite of vigorous opposition Bahi Lekhraj remained determined to go ahead and he gave tough time in this way  to his opponents also. He influenced and affected more than 50 Hindu castes. People belonging to and affiliated with him and his New Philosophy number in hundreds. I have studied his influence and people’s attachment from various aspects.It  can help readers of history to understand Bhai Lekhraj and his philosophy. Let us start with age-wise classification of his close friends and followers as in 1938. I have gone through list of those people. Their age-wise number is as follow: [Age is indicated first and it follows number of people] 5 years-3, 6 years-9, 7 years-4, 8 years-12, 9 years-8, 10 years-8, 11 years-19, 12 years-18, 13 years-14, 14 years-15, 15 years-14, 16 years-8, 17 years-11, 18 years-13, 19 years-6, 2o years-4, 21 years-4, 22 years-6, 23 years-7, 24 years-4, 25 years-6, 26 years-3, 27 years-4, 28 years-4, 29 years-4, 30 years-2, 31 years-2, 32 years-4, 33 years-3, 34 years-1, 35 years-3, 36 years-4, 37 years-3, 38 years-3, 39 years-2, 40 years-10, 41 years-Nil, 42 years-2, 43 years-1, 44 years-1, 45 years-5, 46 years-1, 47 years-1, 48 years-4, 49 years-Nil, 50 years-3, 51 years-Nil, 52 years-4, 53 years-Nil, 54 years-3, 55 years-77, 56 years-3, 57 years-Nil, 58 years-Nil, 59 years-Nil, 60 years-2,  61 years-Nil, 62 years-Nil, 63 years-Nil, 64 years-Nil, and 65 years-1. Ages of more 138 friends and followers are not recorded. Hassomal t. Utamchandani was oldest one of 65 years old. Number of ladies/women/girls was more than 250. Whereas males were not more than 60. Out of 250 females only 98 were married. All these male and female friends/followers of Bhai lekhraj were from following castes:

 Advani,  Bakhshani, Balani, Bathija, Belani, Bhagat, Bhalani,Bharvani, Bhelani,  Bhojwani,  Brahimni,  Budhrani, Chabria, Chandiramani,  Chhapru,  Chhatiani,Chhugani,  Chulani, Dansingani,  Daryani,  Daswani, Dadlani,  Harjani, Hathiramani , Kewalramani,  Khiantani, Kirplani, Lalvani,  Lohi,  Mahbubani,   Mahtani, Melwani, Mirchandani,   Mirpuri,  Mohinani, Moorjani, Mulani, Nagrani,  Paryani,  Punjabi,  Rajwani, Ramchandani,Ramsingani,  Sakhrani, Saroff,  Shamdasani,  Samtani, Shikarpuri,   Sukhrani, Surtani, Thadhani, Utamchandani,  Vahan, Vanho, Vasandani,  Wadhwani & Wasvani.

Cate-wise list of some followers and friends of Bhai Lekhraj are as Under:

ADVANI: Atmaram Gobindram [He was Teacher,Secretary and Legal Advisor for Om Mandli].

BAKHSHANI: Bhagwanti Khiomal, Kala Bagomal, Pari Khiomal, Sita Khiomal, Vishni khiomal,

BALANI: Hasi Parmanand,  Roopvanti Hassaram, Ruki Jethanand, Sarswati Khemchand, Sita Manghraj,

BELANI: Hari Lekhraj, Permeshawari Lekhraj, Sita Menghraj,/BHALANI: Hasi Dhanomal,  /BHATIJA:  Ishwari Parmanand,  Shanti Parmanand,/BHAGAT: Devi Hiranand, /BHARVANI: Drupati Navalrai, Putli Bulchand, Sita Ghanshamdas,  /BHELANI: Hemi Mangharam,/BHOJWANI: Kalan Wadhomal,  Kamla Girdharimal, /BRIHMANI: Lachhmni Lekhraj, /BUDHRANI:Dham Jiomal,  Drupati Issardas,  Khushali K., Lachmi Valiram, /CHABRIA: Daya Lakhmichand, /CHANDIRAMANI: Ganga Dewandas, Gobindo  C., Gopi Dewandas, Hari Sirumal, Lila Jesseromal, Mohni Thakurdas., Ratni Thakurdas,   /CHHAPRU: Devi Udhadas, /CHHATIANI: Hemi Nenumal,  /CHHUGANI: Savitri Hotchand, Bhanbhi Ramchand, /CHULANI: Demblu Chandiram, Jasoti Hassaram, Lachhmi Sobhraj,  Mevi Sobhraj, Radhi Vasanmal, Rukan Sobhraj, Ruki Hassaram, /DANISIGANI: Madhu Jawahirmal, /DARYANI: Bhagwany S., Ganga Jashanmal, Gobindo Hariram, Gulri Hariram, Hemi Sanwaldas, Jamna Shewakram, Lila Jashanmal, Mohan Hariram, Murli Hariram, Ram Hariram, Ruki Hariram, Sita Sanwaldas,/ DASWANI: Bhagwanti G., Devi Ghanshamdas, Devi Khubchand, Devi Ramchand, Drupati Gangaram, Hasi Gangaram, Jamna Bulchand, Janki Khubchand, Lila Bulchand, Lila Kishinchand, Lachmi Gangaram, Lachmi Parmanand, Mithi Naraindas, Mohni Khubchand, Naraindas Tikamdas,  Radhi Kishinchand, Rupwanti Kishinchand, Savitri Gangaram,  /DADLANI: Devi Thakurdas, Jamna Bhagwandas, Radhi Tikamdas,  /HARJANI: Sita Lilaram,

HATHIRAMANI: Doulat [Grand son of Haki Gopaldas], Ganga Girdhaimal of 36 years age], Gopi Hashmatrai, Haki Gopaldas, Haki Kismatrai [sister of Bhai Lekhraj], Ishwari [Grand daughter of Haki Gopaldas], Lila Girdharimal, Mathuri  L.,  Manghanmal K., Mira Premchand,    Moti [Grandson of Haki Gopaldas],Rama Gopaldas [Daughter of Hai Gopaldas], Rukmni P.[Grand daughter of Haki Gopaldas],, Sati [Daughter of Haki Gopaldas],/KEWALRAMANI: Ruki  J. [Jotshi] , /KHIANTANI: Dhani  Chandiram, Hari Doulatram, Jasota Chandiram [She was of 40 years age and close to Bhai Lekhraj alongwith her daughter Dhani]

KIRPLANI:  Dimbku Lekhraj,  Devi Ramchand [Daughter of Rami Bai and Rami Bai was brother’s wife of Bhai Lekhraj], Ghanshamdas [Grand son of Bhai Lekhraj], Ghanshi Kishinchand, Haki Gopaldas, Haki Bai Kismatrai [Sister of Bhai Lekhraj & wife of Kismatrai Hatiramani. It is said that ‘Om Mandli’ was idea of this man. He also gave the philosophy that was introduced by Bhai Lekhraj. But, Kismatrai Hathiramani is not traceable. Whereas his wife Hakibai is very much with her brother Bhai Lekhraj. It is still riddle for research scholars],Ishwar Navalrai, Janki Metharam, Jasoda Lekhraj [wife of Bhai Lekhraj],  Khushal Bheromal [Son of Savitri Bheromal & Savitri was daughter-in-law of Rami Bai and Rami Bai was Bhi Lekhraj’s Brother’s wife], Lachmandas [Grand son of Bhai Lekhraj],  Lachu Kishinchand, Lekhraj Khubchand [Founder], Mathuri Lachiram [Daughter of Rami Bai], Narain Lekhraj [son of Bhai Lekhraj], Om Radhe [Jasoda Lekhraj’s cousion’s daughter], Palo Motiram [Daughter of Bhai Lekhraj & wife of Motiram], Pari Navalrai, Radhika Kishinchand [Daughter-in-law of Bhai Lekhraj], Parvat Nanikram [Bhai Lekhraj’s cousin],Rami Bai Tulsidas [Brother’s wife of Bhai Lekhraj], , Shyam Navalrai,  Savitri Bheromal [Daughter -in-law of Rami Bai], Sarswati Navalrai,  Sati Navalrai, Savitri Bheromal,  Savitri Metharam,  Surya Kumari [Daughter of Bhai Lekhraj],

LALVANI: Kishni Narumal, /LOHI:   Bhagwandas Dialdas, Ganga Parsram, Hari dialdas, Isar Rewachand,  Parpati Hemandas, Radhi Hemandas, Sati Jhamatmal,   /MAHBOBANI:  Gopi Pokardas, Kishin Gangadas, Padma Karamchand, /MAHTANI: Buli Chandiram, Chelaram Lokomal, Devi Chelaram, Devi Chuharmal,  Devki Ramchand, Drupati Chelaram,Gudi Kewalram, janki Chelaram, Janki Parmanand, Jasoti Dulomal, Jaswani Chelaram, Kamla Chelaram,  Lachmani Dulomal,  Lachhmi Chelaram, Mohni Chelaram, Putli Metharam, Rami Ramchand,  Satbhama Gagandas,  Sati Chandiram, Sati Tahilram,  Sundri Chuhermal, Sundri Karamchand, Sushela Kewalram, Tilti Ramchand,  Toti Gagandas, Udhomal Assudomal,

MELWANI: Arjun [Son of Dayaram Khubchand], Devi Mathrdas, Dayaram Khubchand [He alongwith his family was close to Bhai Lekhraj], Gopi Shewakram, Hardevi Dayaram [wife of Dayaram Khubchand],  Hari [ Niece of Dayaram Khubchand], Hasi Viromal, jasoti [Niece of Dayaram Khubchand], Issar Rewachand [Mother -in-law of Dayaram Khubchand],Ishwari Dialdas [Niece of Dayaram Khubchand], Jamna Bulchand, Jasoti Dialdas,  Kishni Dialdas {Daughter of Dayaram Khubchand],Kishno [Son of Dayaram Khubchand],  Lachhmandas Narumal, Mathuri  Dialdas [Niece of Dayaram Khubchand],  Mira Dayaram[Daughter od Dayaram Khubchand], Radhi Dialdas [Daughter of Dayaram Khubchand], Radhi Kishinchand,Ruki Bhagwandas,Ruki Viromal,/MIRCHANDANI: Dodi Tahilram, Sati Tahilram, /MIRPURI: Mohni Shewakram, Ruki Shewakram,  Satbhama Shewakram, /MOHINANI: Devi Khushiram, Mathuri Assudomal, Rukmani Naraindas,  /MOORJANI: Assudomal T., Balram Tirathdas, Gopi Tirathdas, Ishwari Nathumal, Jamno Dayaram, Lachhmi R., Lila Tirathdas, Papur Nathurmal,  Ramchand Viromal, Rukhmani Nathurmal, Sati Nathurmal, Tirathdas Virumal,  /MULANI: Parpati Dayaram, /NAGRARI: Sati Bulchand,

PARYANI:Kalan Sadhuram,  Lachhmi Thanwardas, /PUNJABI: Devi Shewakram, Navaninh M., Sadhumal Naraindas, /RAJWANI:  Radhe Pokardas, Rochan Pokardas,/RAMCHANDANI: Cheti Naraindas, Dharamdas T., Jethi Sobhrai, Mirchu D.,  /RAMSIGANI: Rukhmani  K., /SAKHRANI: Jasoti  Jagomal, Kalan Rijhomal, Sati Rejhomal, /SAROFF: Chelaram Khubchand [He was close to Bhai Lekhraj alongwith his family members, and they were: Ishwari [Daughter], Kishni Chellaram [Mother], Lachmi [Daughter], Miran [Daughter],Mohan [Son] and Ratni [Daughter]./SHAMDASANI: Giani Tolaram, Kalavati Sadhuram,    Navanidh Bulchand, Rami Karamchand [Alongwith her family close to Bhai Lekhraj. She was of 42 years age], Ruki Bhuromal, Sati,  Savitri Naraindas, vasi Kimatrai,  /SAMTANI: Devi Jhamandas, Ganga Tulsidas, Gope Hiranand, Lachmi Chelaram, Lila Chuharmal,   Mohan Chelaram, Parpati Hirananad, Ratni Chelaram, Ruki Bhuromal, Sati Karamchand,  /SHIKARPURI: Chandra Vasudev, Darupati Sitaldas,Devi Bhgwandas,  lachhmi  Girdharimal, Jai Devi Sitaldas, Nona Kanayalal,  Putli Tikamdas, Sushila Thakurdas, 

SUKHRANI: Bhagwanti Rijhomal, Cheti Balchand,  Gagan Rejhomal [Son of Jaumal Rejhomal],  Huri [Adopted daughter of Lachmi-Dhinishwari],Jagomal Rejhomal [Son of Rejhomal Partabrai],  Jasoti Jagumal [Daughter-in-law of Rejhomal Partabrai], Kala Rejhomal, Lachmi [known as Dhianishwari sister of the wife of Rejhomal], Lachhmi Rejhomal, Lila Rijhumal, Rejhomal Partabrai [His whole family was with Bai Lekhraj, name are included above here], Ram Jagumal [Son of Jagomal Rijhomal], Sati Rejhomal[Rejhomal Partabrai’s wife], /SURTANI:  Harji Valiram, Hasi Lalchand, Ishwari Sobhraj, Jetho Isardas,  Khemi  Lalchand Narumal, Kishni Issardas, Lachmi  [Daughter of Ratanchand], Motil Ratanchand [ Daughter of Ratanchand],    Navanindh Issardas,  Pari [Daughterof Ratanchand], Ratanchand Jhamatmal [ He alongwith his family members was with Bhai Lekhraj],  Ramchand Viromal [Son-in-law of Ratanchand Jhamatmal], Ruki  [daughter of Ratanchand Jhamatmal],Ruki Khanchand,  Sham [Son of Ratanchand Jhamatmal],Sita Ratanchand [Wife of Ratanchand], Tikam Rattanchand, Tikan Jhamatmal [Daughter of Ratanchand], Tili Ratanchand, /THADHANI: Dialdas Mulchand, Ishwar Dialdas, Lachhmi Dialdas, /UTAMCHANDANI: Devi Harumal,  Dev Kirshin [Son of Jethanand], Drupati [Daughter of Jethanand], Gopi [Daughter of Rukmani Tulsidas], Hassomal T., Jamina  J., Jethanand [Alongwith with his family close to Bhai Lekhraj], Jethi Tulsidas [Daughter of Rukmani Tulsidas], Lal [Son of Jethanand], Lilawati  M., Mathuri W., Mohni N., Molchand K., Motil Mulchand,   Papi Jethanand [Mother  of Jethanand], Pari [Daughter of Jethanand], Parpati  J., Ram Kirshan [Son of Jethanand],  Rukmani [Daughter of Jethanad], Rukmani  Tulsidas [close alongwith her family. 44 years old], Savtiri M., Vashi  Shewaram,  VAHAN: Gopi Rijhumal, /VASANDANI: Jamna tolaram,  Vishno Khanchand, /WADHWANI: Durga Kishinchand, Kishinchand J., Sati Bhojraj, /WASVANI:  Khubchand Isardas, Kishinchand Isardas, Kishino Tolaram, Papi Kirpaldas, Parpati Nanikram,

Hundreds of pages are available on Om Mandli, its history and contribution, in pages of newspapers and Government records, Judicial Records and Newspapers. But none of Hindus is serious to conduct research seriously where as so many questions are still un-answered regarding its real founder, spititual status and claim of of Bhai Lekhraj  about his reincarnation as Jagat Guru and religious status and services of Om Mandli . At present the Om Mandli has become an outstanding institution of Social work and teaching of Hindu religion in India. Now, Bhai Lekhraj is not alive and disputes are no more there.However, some riddles about its past are there , such as: 1). How a busniess  became spirtual leader over night? Whereas, there is no any clue in his life history that he was a religious-minded person, 2).Why he ignored his sincere wife at eleventh hour of his and her age and married his ‘spiritual daughter’?, 3). Why he ignored his trust-worthy friend and Business partner Shevak Ram soon after giving turn to his life?, 4). Who was that Urdu speaking Muslim [Murtaza alies Rishi]  man with him in Hyderabad and Karachi? And what role he was plying there in Om Mandli affairs?, and is there any role of Lekhraj’s Brother-in-law in his spiritual journey?  etc. 

  During working on this topic,I found that two major groups are working and doing research work on the past, present and future of Om Mandli. One is trying to protect the system and another is having very serious doubts regarding Bhai Lekhraj, his philosophy and strategy of Om mandli. Both groups are as at tig of war. Very important information has been kept secret by one group and it is bent upon sharing the ‘Supervised and selected history/information’ and other is busy to unlock the hidden information and try to know and share Truth with people. Attachment is good, but partiality is bad. In this situation, first I decided to indicate major research mistakes being conducted by both groups. But I later on thought it as my undue involment in disputed matters. Whereas, I am not party. Hence, I have adopted impartial approach and have tried to share with common man and common reader, what is already in possession of both groups and they have not made it readable. My simple way of presentation will help common reader and lover of history to form his opinion  based on figures and facts. As I have nothing to do with present position, status anf performance of Om Mandli, hence, I have done my level best to cover its early history relating to Sindhi Hindus action and reaction regarding Om Mandli. I have avoided ‘subjectivity’, however, some very vital questions have also raised so as to make both ‘fighting groups’ realized that yet the third party is not satisfied by some way of telling story of Om Mandli by them.

I have come across such type of source-material, that tells a different story  about Om Mandli.It  created my interest to compile Chronology of this institution Today, it has been completed, and is being shared with lovers of history. Dr.Dur Muhammad Pathan].

15.12.1884: Lekhraj Khubchand Kirplani is born in Hyderabad. In Om Mandli’s official records it has been told that he was born on 15th of December, 1876, but it is lacking documentary evidence. Lekhraj alongwith his trust-worty friend Shewakram Khubchand Daswani started business at Calcutta. They were dealing in Preals and Diamonds and their shop was known as “ Lekhraj- Sewak Ram & Sons”. It was housed in Surana Mansion, at 7-A Lindsay Street, opposite Charles Hogg Market. Both were living in same building of their shop. Bhai Lekhraj on 2nd floor and Shewaram on 3rd floor. In 1931, Bhai Lekhraj came in touch with a Sadhu and gave him Ten thousand rupees and got ‘Mantar’ [Secret Knowledge]. There-after he gave up his connection with business and returned to Sindh [Hyderabad]. In next year [1932] his daughter Palu was married to Motiram Dhanrajmal . Lekhraj was living in Hirabad, Hyderabad. In 1939 [25th of February] Bhai Lekhraj’s friend partner Shewakram is seen in the court of City and Sub Divisional Magistrate, Hyderabad for verification and attestation of his Affidavit against Bhi Lekhraj. Bhai Lekhraj and his family lived in Karachi for 14 years and migrated/moved to India in 1950.

1893: Birth year of Jasoda Lekhraj Kripalani. She was nine years younger than her husban Bhai Lekhraj. Breathed her last in May 1961. Her Husband married with Radhe, when Jasoda was of 60 years old and her husband Bhai Lekhraj was 69 years old and Bhai Lekhraj’s new wife was 33 years old.

1917: Palu, a daughter is born to Lekhraj. Married to Motiram Dhanrajmal and also remained a member of the Managing Committee of the Om Mandli.

1920: Om Radhe is born. She joined Om Mandli when she was of 17 years old. She become the President of Om Mandli. Lekhraj accepted and treated her as ‘spiritual daughter’, but married with her in 1953 and renamed her as ‘Sarswati’. She breathed her last on 24th of June, 1965. Lekhraj’s first/legal wife  Yashoda breathed her last in 1961 after witnessing Lekhraj and Radhe as Better Half to each other for 12 years. Before Yashoda’s death her daughter informs from Mumbai to  her father Lekhraj who was in Madhuban, about Yashoda’s failing health, Lekhraj telegraphed her that runs: “ Child ! don’t worry about any thing. She was your mother and my wife. Eat pudding even if your mother dies or if one’s wife passes away”. (Source: Autobiography of Dr.Nirmla Shanta)  

1932: Palu becomes the ‘better half’ of Mukhi Motiram of Hyderabad.She was of 15 years old.

October 1937: The Om Mandli forms its Managing Committee. It consisted of : 1). Radhe Pokardas Rajwani [ Unmarried / 18 yeas old/ living in Haroo Sadhwani Paro of Hyderabad], President; 2). Palu Motiram Dhanrajmal [of 21 years old/daughter of Bhai Lekhraj/married, living in Hirabad); 3). Parpati Nankram Wasvani [unmarried of 21 years age, living in Hotchand Vishindas Lachmam Beragi Street of Hyderabad]; 4). Roopvati Hassaram Balani [married/24 years old/living Haroo Sadhwani Paro, Hyderabad]; 5). Sundri Karamchand Mahtani [unmarried/17 years old/ living in Old Hospital, Hyderabad], Vice President; 6). Gudi Kewalram Mahtani [married/28 years old/Pishori Paro, Hyderabad]; 7). Rama Gopal Hathiramani [unmarried/18 years old/Old Hospital- known as ‘Dadi Prakashmani]; 8). Radhika Kishinchand Kirplani [married/26 years old/living in Om Nivas]; 9). Motil Ratanchand Surtani [unmarried/living in Bachal Shah Incline]; Co-opted: 10). Lila Rijhumal Sukhrani [unmarried/15 years old/living in Om Nivas],11). Mithi Naraindas Daswani [unmarried/18 years old/living in Om Nivas]; 12). Lachmi Parmanand Daswani [unmarried/17 years old/living in Om Nivas]; 13). Rukmani P. Hathiramani [married/36 years old/living in Mathradas Sobhraj Building, Hyderabad- known as Bholi Dadi]; 14). Gopi Hashmatrai Hathiramani [Women’s Hospital], 15). Sati Bhojraj Wadhwani [married/18 year old/living in wadhwani Lane, Hyderabad]; 16). Lachhmi Sobhraj Chulnani [married/40 years old/living in Bachal Shah Jo Piru, Hyderabad]; 17). Sati Rijhumal Sakhrani [married/45 years old/living in Om Nivas] and 18). Jasoda Lekhraj Kirplani [Wife of Bhai Lekhraj/45 years old/ living in Om Nivas]

17.2.1938: Bhai Lekhraj with consent of his family members makes a ‘Will’ transfering all his moveable and immoveable properties to the Om Mandli, the Managing Committee being the executors.(Source: the book ‘Om Mandli’).

17.3 1938: Reports and querries begin to appear in the local papers:  the ‘Swatanta’,the  ‘Nawajivan’, the ‘Desh Mitra’,  and the ‘Sindh Daily News’ about the  various strange and abnormal incidents that had been witnessed by those who had attended the Om Mandli Sat Sang. (Source: indicated). An open letter appears in the Daily Sindh News, by a person who had visited the Om Mandli and Bhai Lekhraj. He wites about Bhai Lekhraj that ‘he was again and again asked questions to answer and satisfy the public but he would not, because he could not reason or explain. He relied only on his uncanny powers of influence over the women-folk, who owing to their ignorant and blind faith and under hypnotic influence never asked questions or argued bur accepted and followed what ever he said’.(Source: The Daily Sindh News & the book ‘Om Mandli’).

May 1938: Anti-Om Mandli Committee is formed to investigate facts regarding the Om Mandli. It held  22 sittings of an average 3 hours each, examined a great many witnesses, most of whom had attended Mandli meetings and many were even members. Bhai Lekhraj was interviewed twice by all the members of the Committee. When this committee launched movement against the Om Mandli, it was joined by other leading men of name and fame. Some of them are:Bapo Kishinchand [Congress leader of Hyderabad], Bhai Dayaram Awatrai;  Bhai Hassomal Thakurdas;  Bhai Ladharam Gurnomal [Secretary Anti-Om Mandli Committee];Bhai Narain Shewakram [Secretary Anti-Om Mandli Committee]; Bheromal Issardas [Eminent writer]; Dr.Chimandas Issardas [President Congress Committee, Hyderabad, Was sentenced to Jail]; Dr.Tarachand Lalwani [Editor of ‘Karachi Daily’ and Medical Practitioner]; Ghanshyam [He was Congress worker and went on hunger-strike thrice]; Gobindram Jhamatmal; Harkishindas Gurdinomal [Makhi of Dal Panchayat, Hyderabad]; Hiranand Karamchand [Editor ‘Hindu’, Karachi]; Javhermal;  Jethmal Parsram[He was Professor in D.G.National College, Hyderabad at that time and was sentenced to jail for taking part]; Kamla Hiranand [Wife of Hiranand Karamchand]; Khanchand Gopaldas [Vice President of the Khuda Abadi Amil Panchayat, Karachi]; Mahraj Vishnu Sharma[He was editor of ‘Hindu’ at time and was sentenced to jail due to taking part]; Mangharam Gurdinomal [President of the Anti-Om Mandli Committee]; Miss Gopi Mangharam [court arrested during agitation]; R.B.Jagatsing Ailmal [Former Collector of Dadu];  R.B.Naraindas (Shikarpur]; Sadhu Vaswani [a man of a great name and fame and leaded huge procession in Karachi and was sentenced to Jail]; Seth Lokomal Chelaram [Sahtya Community, Karachi];Shamdas P. Gidwani [President, Hindu Maha Sabha]; Shewakram Khubchand Daswani;  Shrimati Devibai Hasommal. (Source: this information has been collected by Dr.Dur Muhammad Pathan from various sources)

26.6.1938: Anti-Om Mandli Committee starts sitting with Bhai Lekhraj in the presence of the D.S.P Bhagwandas. Sittings continued for a few days. Bhai Lekhraj declares to disband the Om Mandli altogether.(Source: The Karachi Daily).

28.6.1938: A public meeting is held at Hyderabad by Anti Om Mandli Bhaiband Community and it is decided that on behalf of the community a deputation should wait on the Collector and present him a Memorandum.

30.6.1938: Deputatons of Anti-Om Mandli and Om Mandli wait upon the District Magistrate of Hyderabad, U.M. Mirchandani. It is decided that the President of Om Mandli would after consulting with her Committee offer terms for compromise. (Source: Mirpurkhas Gazette).

3.7.1938: Anti-Om Mandli Committee releases its report to the press. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid).

4.7.1938: Om Mandli Authorities issue the list of its Managing Committee, Members & students etc.

  On the same day and date, The Daily Sindh News, in its issue of today refutes some statements and arguments of Om Radhe, the President of Om Mandli. The paper writes ‘thus the assertion of Om Radhe that not a word was whispered against the Om Mandli and its ideals for three years is false and baseless and a myth invented only for the purpose of misleading the public’. (Source: indicated).

5.7.1938: The Collector of Hyderabad District after hearing Om Mandli representatives and deputation of Anti Om Mandli Bhaiband Community  put forth suggestions and conditions to the Om Mandli so as the problem can be resolved. Those conditions are: 1). The Satsang at Mandli will take place for ladies only, 2). Bhai Lekhraj or any male member will have no direct or indirect connection with either ‘Om Mandli’, or ‘Om Nivas’, 3). Mandli will be established at their old permises in Khatubund Lane and not at Om Nivas or any other place, 4). No girl or a lady will be able to go to either Om Nivas or Om Mandli without a written permission of her guardian, 5). If Om Mandli permits any such person without the permission of the guardian, then the guardian will draw the attention of the Committee, and also write a letter to the Mandli then Mandli will see that such a person is not allowed to come in or enter, 6). The time for Om Mandli Satsang will be made so convenient that it will not interfere with household work or duties of those who come, 7). Om Nivas will remain school only for girls and a written permission from guardians will be very essential for their admission, and without school hours no male member will be able to visit Om Nivas, 8).Bhai Lekhraj’s residence will have no connection whatsoever with Om Nivas, both will be separated from each other, 9). Such spiritual and religious teaching will be given at Om Mandli, that, it may not interfere with the ordinary working of the life of members, nor they will create any rifts amongst them or their homes, nor will they spoil the social status of the community. The teaching should be such as to create a beach of peace in the Hyderabad City. (Source: Book on OM Mandli).

7.7.1938: In reply to the certain suggestions put fort by the Collector, the President of Om Mandli states that ‘the object  of Om Mandli was to do religious work and give Gita Gyan and not create any rift amongst the people and if any people have suffered or gone astray, they were prepared to put a stop to such things and not do such a propaganda in future’. (Source: Newspapers).

 

17.8.1938: Five of Mandlities including the founder Bhai Lekhraj, his wife Om Jasota and his daughter –in-law are served with orders under Section 112 of Criminal Procedure Code to show cause why they should not be bound down under Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

2.9.1938: M.D.Bhat, Secretary to Government of Sindh, vide his secret Demi-official letter No.P.25-H-(8)/38, dated 2nd September,1938 writes that: “ Of late, an institution known as the Om Mandli of Hyderabad, has been receiving much publicity. The Mandli is reported to have been started in 1935, obtensibly as a ladies’ Satsang, where religious lectures and discourses, etc,were given; subsquently, the Satsangs were extended to include selected males also and finally a free boarding school for children was opened on the premises. Rumours began to spread, however, that the institution was not that it actually profess to be; and enquiries in the matter strengthened the suspicion that the Mandli was not being run on correct lines of moral rectitude. The rumours caused a stir in the Bhaiband Community of Hyderabad, to which most of members belong, and ultimately culminated in hostile demonstration against the Mandli including picketing of the Mandli’s premises. The intervention of the local authorities prevented a breach of the peace, but the trouble has not ended and more is likely to be heared of this institution in the future.”(Source: indicated)

16.9.1938: The Sindh Government informs the Government of India that “ proceedings under section 107, CriminalProcedure Code have been instituted by the local Police in Hyderabad against Bhaiband community and Om Mandli Management. (Letter No. P-25-H (S0/37 ).

18.1.1939: The mothers of two girls aged 12 & 13 file an application against Om Mandli, in the court of the Additional Magistrate, Karachi, that their daughters were wrongfully being detained at the Om Mandli. The court ordered the girls to be sent to their mothers. (Source: Om Mandli Website).[Note: The information uploaded on the website is not correct. Neither the applications were filed in the court of Additional Magistrate, Karachi, nor girls detained were of 12 and 13 years . they were 16 and 18 years old and case was filed in the court of city Magistrate, Hyderabad, on this date. Dr. Dur Muhammad Pathan]

28.1,1939: The girl of about 18 years age, Hindu, by caste Bhaiband of Hyderabad states before Sobhsing, City Magistrate, Hyderabad that :’ Dada Lekhraj preached no restraint in sex matters between males and females who were members of the Om Mandli, because on account of Mandli Giyan what ever they did could not amount to sin’.On this date Mr. Balchand was Examination-in-Chief. (Source: The book on ‘Om Mandli’- a rejoinder to Radhe’s book ‘Is this Justice?’)

30.1.1939: Same girl of 18 years old is recalled and today Mr. Mulchand is Examination-in-Chief. She states: ‘One day he [Bhai Lekhraj] called me to meet him in Sldier Bazar building. I went in the car to meet him there. He took me to a room. He embraced me and kissed me there and passed his hands over my body. This court paid by him to me appeared for peculiar significance. He asked me to kiss him also…..Dada Lekhraj had power in his eyes. Whenever he started at any girl, tears used to fall from her eyes. After this the girl used to follow him madly’.

31.1.1939: An other girl of 17 years old belonging to Bhaiband caste of Hyderabad records her statement in the court of the City Magistrate, Hyderabad. Examination-in-Chief is Mr. Motiram. She states: ‘ I had seen Dada Lekhraj misbehaving with……by seating them on his bed over which the followers were spread and kissing and embracing them there. It was usual practice for Dada Lekhraj in the mandli to embrace and kiss all grown up girls and women living in the Om Mandli’.She was examined by Mr.Balchand, A.P.P and other council also today.(Source: Book on Om Mandli).

1.2.1939: Om Radhe, the President of the Om Mandli is examined by Vishindas in the Court of the City Magistrate, Hyderabad. She states her age as about 23 years.She says that ‘all  the males and females residing in the Mandli fell in a trance and that Bhai Lekhraj kisses and embraces the girls as their spiritual father’. (Source: Book on OM Mandli)

2.2.1939: The dislosures made by Radhe, the President of Om Mandli  during the trail of case further inflames the public mind  and they started demanding that  action should be taken under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. (Source: Newspapers).

9.2.1939: A public meeting is held at Holmstead Hall, Hyderabad to discuss the Om Mandli affairs. Following resolution is unanimously passed on this occasion: “ This public meeting of the citizens Hyderabad, while inviting the attention of the Sindh Government  to the satanic activities of the Om Mandli, strongly urges on them to exercise their Special Powers and declare the Om Mandli as unlawful and to restore the girls and ladies confined therein to their parents and husbands respectively and also to hold an inquiry in the past nefarious activities of the Om Mandli and bring the offenders to book.

This meeting further confirms the resolutions of the Hyderabad Dal Panchayat in connection with the sending of a strong deputation to Karachi to wait upon the Sindh Government”. (Source: The Daily Mirror).

10.2.1939: Bhaiband Nari Sabha of Hyderabad, in its meeting resolves that ‘ This meeting appeals to the citizens of Hyderabad to organize a complete hartal in order to impress on the Government the necessity of ordering the immediate closing down of the Om Mandli and visit the offenders with exemplary punishment. In case Government fail to respond immediatelt, further steps be adopted to compel Government to needful’.(Source: Newspapers).

12.2.1939: In its meeting of the Managing Committee of Khudabadi Amil Panchayat of Hyderabad, it is resolved that ‘ the Om Mandli and its teachings are determental to Hindu society…This Panchayat offers all legitimate help for the purpose of putting a ban over the Om Mandli teachings and activities so as to prevent their harmful results’. (Source: Newspapers).

13.2.1939: harchandrai Seth Manoomal, who presided over meeting of Meeting of the Mirpurkhas Panchayat writes to Mukhi Harkishindas of Dal Panchayat of Hderabad informing him about the meeting he presided over and has attached the copy of resolution passed in that meeting. The resolution reads as: “ This meeting of the Mirpurkhas Panchayat strongly condemns the satanic activities of the Om Mandli and urges upon the Sindh Government to declare the Om Mandli as unlawful under their special powers and restore the girls and ladies to their relations immediately. The meeting further request the Government to appoint an Inquiry Committee to submit their report on the criminal activities that have been hitherto carried on in the Om Mandli and award severe punishment to the offenders.

This meeting appreciates the efforts of the Hyderabad Dal Panchayat and fully sympathises with them.

This meeting resolves to send copy of the resolution to the Sindh Government and Tharparkar Hindu Members of the Sindh Assembly with a recommendation that they should carry on a very strong agitation against the Om Mandli and get it banned for ever”. (Source: Mirpurkhas Gazette).

15.2.1939: The Daily Mirror in its issue of today offers comments on two meetings held to condemn and oppose Om Mandli. Both meetings were held at Hyderabad. One convened by the local Congress  and other called by representatives of all Hyderabad Panchayats. (Source: indicated).

19.2.1939: A joint meeting of political, social and other organizations’ leaders is held at Karachi and resolution is adopted that reads: “ From the facts concerning the Om Mandli which have now seen the light of the day, through sources external as well as internal, this public meeting of citizens of Karachi has been convinced that the activities  which are being carried on within its precints are absolutely harmful to public morals, have destroyed many homes and are undermining the very foundations of the Society. This meeting, therefore, is emphatically of the opinion tha these activities be immediately stopped and urges on the Government of Sindh that immediate effective measures be adopted to end them.” This resolution is signed by the following leaders: Choithram P. Gidwani [President, Sindh Congress]; Choithram Valeecha [Member Sindh Legislative Assembly]; D.D.Choudri [President Arya Samaj]; D.M.Tahilramani [United Press];  Hiranand Karamchand [editor ‘Hindu’]; Kamla Devi Hiranand;  Karsondas Manek [editor ‘Daily Mirror’];  Lilaram Jethmal [Retired Judge]; Prof. Ghanshyamdas Jethmal [Member Sindh Legislative Assembly];Rai Sahib Gokaldas Mevaldas [Member Sindh Legislative Assembly, later on Minister]; Rai Sahib Issardas Parumal [Retired Income Tax officer];  Ram Sahai [Secretary Hindu Maha Sabha]; Shamdas P. Gidwani [President, Hindu Maha Sabha]; Seth Hotchand Hiranand [Member Sindh Assembly];  Seth Valiram Nenumal [Secretary Hyderabad Panchayat]; Tarachand Lalwani [Municipal Councillor and editor ‘Karachi Daily’], 

On the same day and date [19.2.1939] Nava Jivan Shewak Sabha of Hyderabad also hold meeting and passed the following resolution: “ This meeting, while drawing the attention of the Sindh Government, strongly urges on them to use their special powers and declare the Om Mandli as unlawful and restore girls and ladies to their relations immediately and hold as an inquiry into past criminal activities of the Mandli and bring the offenders to book”. (Source: The Karachi Daily).

21.2.1939: With heading :”Government urged to intervene- Institution of Om Mandli- harmful to public morals”, The Sindh Observer provides details about a largely attended public meeting held at Rambagh recreation Ground presided over by Dr. Choithram P. Gidwani, President of Sindh Congress. (Source: indicated).

22.2.1939: Shankar Sing, Secretary to Amarkot Panchayat writes to Mukhi Mangharam of Hyderabad informing him about the meeting held at Amarkot and he also attaches the copy of resolution passed in that meeting. The text of resolution is: “ This meeting of the Panchayat of Amarkot is unanimously and emphatically of the opinion that Bhai Lekhraj by starting his Om Mandli, has disgraced the Hindus particularly the Bhaiband  Community and urges on the Chief Minister to award severe penalities to this hypocrite of Bhai Lekhraj and his associates and close down the Om Mandli”. (Source: Mirpurkhas Gazette). On the same day and date the meeting of Puj Panchayat is held at Bubak of District Dadu and following resolution is passed by the Panchayat :” The Puj Panchayat resolves that it has been shocked to read the exposures of Om Mandli which have appeared in the Newspapers and is surprised to find that in the sacred name of Om Mandli immoral and criminal activities are being carried on and that the pure atmosphere of Hindu life has been vitiated and many families are bitterly crying against the Om Mandli. This Panchayat further considers that if the Om Mandli is not forthwith declared illegal and put a stop to its immoral and criminal activities will spread even to the villages and disturb their quiet, peaceful life and spoil their happiness. The Panchayat therefore urges upon the Sindh Government through this resolution to declare the Om Mandli unlawful as early as possible and award appropriate punishment to the offenders”. (Source: The Mirror).

23.2.1939: Hindu Members of Sindh Assembly submitted their joint application against Om Mandli to the Chief Minister, Sindh, requesting him to take immediate action against Om Mandli . (Source: Newspapers).

24.2.1939: The meeting of the General Panchayat is held at Shikarpur, with Seth Chairai Jumani, the President of Panchayat in chair. This meeting disussed Om Mandli issue and ended with passing the following resolution : “ This meeting of the General Panchayat of Shikarpur, while inviting the attention of the Sindh Government  to the perverse activities of the Om Mandli strongly appeal to them to take appropriate measures to declare the Om Mandli unlawful and restore the girls and ladies now confined in the Mandli to their relations. (Source: The ‘Sindhi’, Sukkur).

24.2.1939: Dr.Tarachand Lalwani [editor ‘Karachi Daily’ and a Medical Practitioner], Hiranand Karamchand [editor, ‘Hindu’], Mrs. Hiranand Karamchand; Karsondas Manek [editor, ‘daily Mirrior’]; Hashmatrai Vishindas [Merchant of Hyderabad] submitted their Affidavits in the case of Bhai Lekhraj. All these Affidavits were attached with application presented to the Chief Secretary on 27th of February 1939. (Source: Book ‘Om Mandli’).

On this day and date, The Sindh Observer, in its issue offer comments on activities of Om Mandli. It reads:” The Om Mandli has become notorious, not on account ot its ordinary educational activities, such are generally associated with a boarding school for small boys and girls, but for what are its religious doctrines and activities. The public have had a glimpse of these activities from the evidence tendered by Om Radhe, the President of the Om Mandli, before the City Magistrate of Hyderabad”. (Source: indicated).

25.2.1939: shewakram Khubchand Daswani in capacity of Deponent in the case against Bhai Lekhraj submits his Affidavit and his affidavit is verified by Sobhsing, City & Sub Divisional Magistrate of Hyderabad. Shewakram was trust-worthy friend of Bhai lekhraj since Lekhraj was of 19 years age. He remained Lekhraj’s partner at Calcutta.Their Firm/Shop was known as “ Lekhraj-Sewak Ram & Sons”. They were dealing in Pearls & Diamonds business and their shop was housed oo the First floor of a seven-storey building at 7-A, Linndsay Street, Surana Mansion, opposite Charles Hogg Market. Bhai Lekhraj’s family was residing on the second floor of that building and Shewakram was residing on third Storey.

On this day and date, The Sindh Observer, in its course of editorial warns Government that :” public indignation with regard to the Om Mandli is at boiling point and it will be very unwise not to take some immediate drastic action to appease public feeling and soothe the lacerated hearts of parents and guardians who have boys and girls in this wretched home”. (Source: indicated).

27.2.1939: Application under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment is made to the Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh against Om Mandli, by Harkishndas Gurdinomal, Khanchand Gopaldas; Shamdas P. Gidwani and Mangharam Gurdinomal.In this apllication, petitioners have given 14 grounds and requested the Chief Secretary to move the local Governments to declare the Om Mandli an unlawful assembly or unlawful association. (Source: Government Records). Full text of that application is reproduced here so as not to deprive readers of origional source of information:

          To

           The Chief Secretary,

           Government of Sindh,

           Karachi.

           Subject:- Application under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

           PETITIONERS: 1). Harkishindas Gurdinomal, 2). Khanchand Gopaldas, 3). Shamdas P. Gidwani,

           4). Lokamal Chelaram, and 5). Mangharam Gurdinomal.

                           The Petitioners above named submit that Petitioner No.1 is the Mukhi of the Dal

           (combined) Panchayats of Hyderabad, Sindh, No.2 is the Vice – President of the Amil Panchayat at

           Karachi, No.3 is the working President of the Hindu Maha Sabha, No.4 is one of the leading

            Citizens of Karachi and headman of the Sahta Community and No.5 is the Chairman of the

           Committee appointed by the public of Hyderabad to investigate into the activities of the Om

           Mandli. We request you that you will be pleased to move the local Government  to declare  the

            Om Mandli an unlawful assembly or unlawful association on consideration of the following

          Grounds:-                                       

(1)   That this Om Mandli Association was first started at Hyderabad ostensibly for imparting religious education to Members of all communities.

(2)   That the founder Lekhraj succeded in hoodwinking several parents of various girls into the belief that their girls and women folk will get more religious minded and turn out to be better girls and women.

(3)   That as the matter of fact the petitioners have been since than convinced that the object of the founder was a sinister one, and that on the contrary no religious training is imparted to the inmates of the Mandli. That on the contrary the inmates are taught to forget themselves in all directions and lead a dissolute and immoral life.

(4)   That the petitioners are convinced that the founder practises either hypnotis or mesmerism or some sort of black magic and also complete all entrants to the Mandli to apply to a particular sort of antimony to their eyes. That the various devices deprive the inmates of their free will and judgment.

(5)   That the petitioners are further convinced that the inmates are definitely taught to hate their husbands and their parents and relations and to have nothing to do with any non member of the Om Mandli.

(6)   That the petitioners also are convinced that the inmates are terrorised and made to believe that if any inmate leaves the Om Mandli  and goes to her husband or parents she will by any manner of means br compelled to re-seek or re-enter the Om Mandli and then her fate will be anything but bearable.

(7)   That the parents and relations of the girls had their auspiciions as to their moral life which was led inside the Om Mandli but they had no convincing proof till lately.

(8)   That  after the parents of the 7 girls succeeded in freeing them from the Om Mandli, the entire Hindu  Community is fully convinced that their children and wives are living an absolutely disgraceful life inside the Om Mandli.

(9)   That the petitioners have received information which the believe, that founder’s previous life had not been above suspicion in the normal sphere and that he used to live rather a dissolute life. That the entire Hindu Community are convinced that all along the one studied effort of the Om Mandli is to get away with him to the jungles and mountains and this has given reasonable ground that he may at any time take away the female inmates including minor children to some for distant place and dispose them off.

(10)                That the five girls mentioned in para 8 above have given evidence in public court which have been fully published in all papers and that has naturally put not only the parents and relations of the inmates in an exceedingly excitable mood but has created a very deep feeling of resentment throughout the entire Hindu community. In this connection certified copies of the depositions are attached herewith. That the petitioners submit that it has been only the definate, persistent and vigorous effort on their part and on the part of other leading citizens that they have been able to restrain the Hindu public from creating disturbance and taking to force in freeing the inmates from the unholy hold that the founder has over them.

(11)                That there were meeting of very large gathering both at Hyderabad and Karachi and that many Panchayats in Sindh have been agitating over this question and demanding that Association should immediately be declared unlawful and the Government should take imediately a decisive step to prevent the further mischief. That the petitioners submit that only the law abiding Hindu Community of Sindh has so far restrained itself from losing their balance, for which they have very grave cause and reason.

(12)                That the petitioners submit that the nature of things is such that  it is difficult, may almost impossible, to have recourse to ordinary Courts of Law. As submitted above, the inmates have lost their independent judgment and  will have  almost lost all feelings of shame, that it is now impossible for them to make up their minds to leave the Om Mandli voluntarily.

(13)                That petitioners submit that the evil influence of this institution, though at present mostly confined to one Community, is likely to spread to other communities also, as its portals are open to all.

(14)                That the petitioners further submit that the women folk who attend his so-called Sa-Sangs frequently faint away – embracing and hugging Lekhraj and calling him ‘Krishna’ and he would respond to them as his ‘Gopies’. The impersonating as Krishna by Lekhraj is extremely objectionable and violates the religious susceptibilities of the Hindus.

(15)                The affidavits in support are attached.

The petitioners subscribe themselves as your most obedient servants.

(16)                

(17)                

(18)                

 

 

    

28.2.1939: The Sindh Government informs the Government of India that: ‘ The activities of the institution known as the Om Mandli of Hyderabad, were the cause of much agitation during the fortnight. The rumours that the institution was not what  it acyually professed to be and the suspicion that the Mandli was not  being coducted on correct moral lines have become more and more prevalent. There has been a widespread feeling of revulsion against the founders of the institution who are alleged  to have victmised  innocent girls and women with the result that legal proceedings have been instituted against the founders and Government have been approached to ban the Mandli under the provisions of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. No decision has yet been taken. (Source: indicated).  On this day and date a meeting is held  in the Temple of Bhai Chaubrim at Hyderabad by Jagiasu Hassabrim Atmasing Panchayat  and it is resolved to take part in the satyagraha and support people those are determined to see the Om Mandli closed. (Source: The Daily ‘Insaf’, Hyderabad).

 1.3.1939: The Byragi Mandal adopted resolution in its meeting that “ This Mandal is of the view that the Om Mandli and the Om Nivas started by Bhai Lekhraj are very dangerous and their teachings have created suspicions in the public. This Mandal recommends the Government that since Bhai Lekhraj is attracting girls of respectable families to the Om Mandli and Om Nivas by means of hypnotism and resorting to objectionable practices, he should be ordered to leave Sindh”. (Source: The Karachi Daily). On this day and date Bhaiband Sabha of Hyderabad sends Telegram to Mukhi Mangharam. It reads: “ Om Mandli danger to religion and morality. People very much agitated. Kindly disolve Om Mandli”. (Source: Newspapers).

6.3.1939: The President of Sindh Work Merchants Association of Hyderabad sends Telegram to the Chief Minister, Home Minister; Nihchaldas Vazirani [Minister] and Sadhu Vaswani. The Text of the Telegram is: “ Hindu religious susceptibilities sentiments solely wounded by Om Mandli’s suicidal irreligious teachings. Town seathing with unrest. Sindh Work Merchants Association Hyderabad strongly denounces its organisers and prays for its immediate abolition”.

13.3.1939: The paper ‘The Daily Mail’ carries its Correspondent’s report about Om Mandli agitation. It reads: ‘ Five thousand angry husbands, parents and guardians yesterday marched on the Sindh Government Secretariat in protest against the activities of the Om Mandli  celibacy cult here. The cult has aroused fierce indignation by including young girls to refuse to marry and wives to leave their husbands. A clash seemed inevitable as the march had been banned by the Government. The crowd led by the crippled Hindu leader Vaswani in the wheeled chair came face to face with a cordon of poilce. Then the Minister of Public Works, Mr. Vazirani, intervened. He gave a written guarantee that the Government  would order the cult to discontinue certain practices. The crowd dispersed. Founder of cult is  handsome 44 years old Bhai Lekhraj, against whom  charges of kidnapping are being heard in the magistrate’s court. Om Radhe, his pretty daughter-in-law and president of the Om Mandli society is charged  with  abetting him. The cult was started two years ago in Hyderabad, but was driven from there by a  well organized  campaign of opposition and murder threats’. (Source: The Daily Mail).

23.3.1939: The Notice is served on the President and Secretary of the Om mandli at 11.15 P.M at Karachi  by the court of the District Magistrate, Karachi. It is worded as under:

“ Whereas it had been made to appear to me that male persons come to and visit the premises occupied at  Karachi by the Om Mandli and Om Nivas.

Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred on me by Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, I hereby order you to abstain from admitting or causing to be admitted into the premises occupied on Victoria Road and Reay Road at Karachi by the Institutions”.

And were as in view of the facts hereinafter set out I consider that direction herein contained is likely to prevent disturbance to the public tranquility and that speedy remedy is desirable.(Source: The Sindh Government Gazette, dt. 30.3.1939).

24.3.1939: Agitation agaist the Om Mandli starts. The procession is taken out leading towards Sindh Secretariat. Sadhu Vaswani violates the Section 144 and is arrested alongwith other agitators. (Newspapers). I.H.Taunton, Chief Secretary to the Government of Sindh writes to the President of the Om Mandli [Om Radhe] that the Sindh Government has appointed the Tribunal to inquire into the ‘Om Mandli’ affairs, hence, you are requested to make it convenient to be present alongwith such representatives, other than legal practitioners, as may desire to assist you. (Source: Letter No.249-11/H-S). this Tribunal consited of two High court Judges, C.M.Lobo and Diwan Bahadur Kaloomal Pahlumal with the following Terms of Reference: 1). The proceedings shall be held ibn camera, 2). Parties shall not be allowed to appear by a Legal Practitioner, 3). To see that whether persons residing in or visiting the Om Mandli or Om Nivas are subjected to any improper or unhealthy influence. If so, what is the nature and effect of these ifluence, 4). To see that whether the teaching given in the Om Nivas is subversive of morals and good conduct and 5). To see that wheter any improper practices are indulged in these institutions. (Source: Government Notification No.249-11/H-a).

24.3.1939: The Sindh Legislative Assembly meets at the Assembly Hall, Karachi, at 3-00 pm, Syed Miran Muhammad Shah presiding. The matter of ‘Om Mandli’ is discussed. The Portion of that proceeding is reproduced here :

THE SPEAKER: ‘Now, there is a third adjournment motion. It is from honourable member Rao Sahib Gokaldas. This adjournment motion reads as follow:- “That the House do now adjourn to discuss a definate matter of urgent and public importance and of recent occurrence, namely, the arrest of 100 citizens in Karachi as the result of Satyagraha in connection with the Om Mandli affair”. Now what has the Honourable the Leader of the House to say about it?’

THE LEADER OF THE HOUSE [K.B.Allah Bux Soomro]: ‘I think the motion is not in order, Sir, because the matter is sub-judice’.

THE SPEAKER: ‘Has the matter gone to Court?’

THE LEADER: ‘Yes, Sir’.

R.K.SIDHWA [Member]: ‘Sir, the Honourable the Leader of the House has merely expressed that the question is sub-judice but he has not explained how it is sub-judice. I was present on the spot when the arrests were made. It was then 9 a.m. One batch of ladies, who were arrested, were later released and they again came for arrest and they were arrested. Upto 12 o’ clock they were not challaned. Some of the arrested persons are at the City Police Station, some in the Sadar Police Station and yet others in the Ranchore Police Station and some of them are in the lock-up’.

THE LEADER OF THE HOUSE: ‘And some are in Court’.

R.K.SIDHWA:’I am not concerned with that. There are many others who are in the lock-up and have not yet been challaned and produced before the Court. Upto the time when this adjournment motion  of the honourable member R.S Gikaldas was given they have not been challaned in any Court but have been merely arrested and locked-up in some police station. Therefore this cannot form part of a sub-judice matter and I would request you to bear that fact in mind’.

THE SPEAKER: ‘I would like to know whether they were challaned in the Court before or after this motion’?

PIR ILLAHI BUX: ‘Even otherwise I submit that my honourable friend is wrong when he thinks that inquiry by the police is not sub-judice. I would submit that investigation into the offense is being carried on  and that is also sub-judice. Therefore until the police investigation is made and it is finally decided  whether they should be challaned or not is also sub-judice. As the Honourable the Leader of the House has just now said it may be that some are actually before the Court and some are pending their challan. After all 100 persons have been arrested and it is not a matter of two minutes to write the names of all persons and submit them to Court. They will have therefore to be divided into batches and sent to Court. I would therefore submit that the whole inquiry is sub-judice matter’.

R.K.SIDHWA: ‘ That fact on the contrary goes in favour of my contention that some people are here and some people are there . If, according to the Honourable Minister, a police arrests a person and keeps him in custody for a number of days it is sub-judice and the Legislative therefore cannot discuss the matter. Then I say it amounts to this that we cannot discuss anything at all’.

The Honourable  KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: I would like to read that para. Further. It says:

“As I understand the Opposition Benches, they propose to discuss the policy underlying this large number of raids and arrests, and not the merits of the case that are to come before the Court of Law for adjudication.

“I am quite satisfied that the matter proposed to be discussed is not sub-judice. But I am bound to say that if during the discussion of the motion for adjournment in the afternoon any attempt is made to discuss the merits of any of the cases that are proposed to be lodged, the Chair will take steps to see that such a discussion is not permitted.”

Mr. GHANSHYAM JETHANAD: We won’t discuss the merits of the cases.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH:

If the House so desires to discuss the motion on the question of policy, Government have no objection and I do not wish to stand in their way with regard to discussion of the adjournment motion. But I want to point out to the House that the arrests have started only to-day. As in the ruling I lay emphasis on the words “proposed to be lodged.” Certain case have been much to discuss. But if the House so desires, I have no objection to discuss it.

Mr. GHANSHYAM JETHANAD: Sir, the point is that even if the cases are sub-judice, whether we can discuss the policy of Government in issuing order under section 144 and effecting arrests or not . The merits of the cases are whether particular individuals have broken the order under section 144 or not. We are not discussing here that aspect of the matter. The honourable members wants to discuss the policy of Government in effecting arrests. Whether on such a matter as the Om Mandli agitation the Government ought to have effected arrests, is the point before the House. Therefore under the ruling quoted by honourable member Rao Saheb Gokaldas, even if the case is sub-judice, it could be discussed without going into the merits of the case. The House can discuss the question of policy involved in the enforcement of the order under section 144. And the adjournment motion seeks to discuss that policy of Government. Therefore the adjournment motion is quite in order. I don’t think there should be any objection to its being allowed.

Mr.R.K.SIDHWA: Sir, apart from that I want to point out one thing. We do not know what is the section under which arrests have been made because the procession has not been banned. The procession had to march to the Secretariat and the procession has not been banned. We do not know under what section they have banned the procession. If they have taken out the procession without policy permit, then that is a technical point and it does not involve any offence. We want to know how it is sub-judice when there was no breach of law under which it was banned.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: The procession was banned and section 144 was applied. The arrests were made under the section.

Mr. R.K.SIDHWA: When was it applied?

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: No. That was not necessary.

Mr.R.K.SIDHWA: Sir I do not know law. You are supposed to know law. But I know of instances where the High Court has ruled that a First Class Magistrate must read the proclamation before the people and tell them. “Such and such section has been applied and its consequences if the said section is defied.” The Honourable the Leader of the House says this was not necessary. May I know whether it will be in order?   

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: The honourable member did not understand me, correctly. He wanted to know whether its was read out to the Assembly.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: Not this House but the unlawful assembly. Not lawful assembly.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: It was announced there.

Mr.R.K.SIDHWA: I am talking of that.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: There it was announced.

Mr.R.K.SIDHWA: Who announced it?

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: I do not know. I will find it out.

R.S. GOKALDAS MEWALDAS: Sir, I must inform you that certain girls also have been arrested. They are arrested but not challaned.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: I think there has been sufficient discussion. This motion is no doubt definite and is of recent occurrence and is urgent.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: Sir, it is not the admonostrative responsibility of the Government.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: But of the Police?

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: Of the District Magistrate.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: The District Magistrate is a small limb of the Government.

So it is a matter of recent occurrence. It is definite. It is urgent and it is of public importance. The Honourable the Leader of the House says he has no objection if it is discussed.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: Sir, I say the matter is sub-judice and I have read out the ruling to you. I leave it to the Chair. If the Chair wishes to set up a precedent that even when a matter is sub-judice, the matter could still be discussed, I for one would not like to stand in the way of the Chair. But I say that it will be setting up a bad precedent. My duty is to point out to the Chair what I feel is the correct position.

SHAIKH ABDUL MAJID: Sir, may I say one word regarding the sub-judice cases? In the first place we are governed by the Sind Legislative Assembly Rules and in the conditions laid down under the relevant rule, there is no reference to sub-judice cases.

Sir, personally I know nothing of Om Mandli and in what connection the Satyagrah has started. They position is that some 100 persons have been arrested. How many have been challaned, we do not know. That is another thing.

The third thing is how many person will still offer themselves for arrest. That also we do not know. We have to discuss the Satyagrah as well in connection with the adjournment motion and the policy of Government that movement. So it covers the persons who have been arrested. It covers the persons who have not been challaned. It covers the persons who may have been challaned. Only in regard to the persons who have been challaned, their cases are sub-judice. The only thing that has to be observed is not to go into the merits of the cases, if the cases, have proceeded at all. Under the present position these cases have not been proceeded with. They  may have been filed. On these considerations, I think motions of this nature could not be reasonably rejected.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: Sir, motions have also been ruled ou of order when it appears….

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER:  Which page?

The honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: page: 31 ……… when it appears that administrative responsibility of Government was not involved.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: In connection with which matter was it?

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: Adjournment motion.

 THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: What is the context? What is the reference to the context? What was the motion about?  Is it beating of the Congress men?

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: At page 31 of volume I. These are the words:-

“It is stated in May’s Parliamentary Practice, page 248, that motions have also been ruled out of order when it appears that administrative responsibility of Government was not involved.”

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: That may be. When haris and zamindars fight and crate trouble, the police is not there and Mr. Muhammad Amin Khoso moves an adjournment motion, then the Honourable the Leader of the House will say “Our administrative responsibility was not involved. Our police has not done any wrong. That is a fight between the haris and the zamindars.” But the action of the sub-ordinates of Governments is certainly the action of Government and the Government is responsible for that. Therefore Government can be censured with regard to the action of the Officers of Government. Honourable the Leader of the House cannot go on the scene. It is the Officers who go on the spot and they act on their behalf. The only thing that I have to decide is whether or not this matter is sub-judice.
I have held that it is of recent occurrence, it is definite it is urgent and it is of public importance. It satisfies all the ingredients involved in the admission of adjournment motions of this nature. The only objection is that if the matter is sub-judice, this House cannot consider it. Although in the rule regarding adjournment motions there is no specific mention of sub-judice, as pointed out by honourable members Shaikh Abdul Majid, still since there are rulings to that effect, they are a guide to the Chair. I have referred to the rulings and it has been held that matters which are sub-judice cannot form the subject matter of adjournment motions. Several rulings have been quoted to me. I will first mention the ruling of the President of the Bombay Council, which was quoted by the honourable members Mr. Valecha and Rao Shaeb Gokaldas. I think Raosheb Gokaldas also quoted ruling No.4. In this matter it has been pointed out that the law that was put into operation was an extraordinary law. It is not so here. The ordinary law of the land, section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, is applied and no extraordinary regulations has been applied. The honourable members will please see that it is open to them to ask for leave to move an adjournment motion upon the ground that certain extraordinary regulations, instead of the ordinary law of the land has been applied. But here that is not the case.

Mr. C.T.VALECHA: Extraordinary use of the law is being complained of.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: I am quoting the ruling. It is that certain regulations instead of the ordinary law had, been applied to a case and that the enforcement was oppressive and arbitrary, without regular trial under the ordinary law. Here they have been arrested under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and they are being tried under that. The only point that arises now with regard to this motion is that if the case is sub-judice, then I cannot permit the merits of this case being discussed. The question of policy involved in the enforcement of a regulation, as against the ordinary law, is not applicable to this matter at all. This ruling refers to extraordinary law and not to ordinary cases where the law of the land has been applied, and if it had been the cases that extraordinary law had been applied, then certainly that would make it the subject matter of grievance to the honourable members.

Mr.R.K.SIDHWA: if you are dealing on that point whether the matter is sub-judice. We have not been told how it is sub-judice, sir. The questions of sub-judies arises when the case is before the Court. The Honourable the Leader of the House himself is doubtful, and he is not sure whether the case is in the court or not.     

   Mr. ISSARDAS VARINDMAL: (In Sindhi..) But I person-ally know that member of the Labour Union of honourable member Mr. Naraindas were abusing.

Mr. N. A. BECHAR: Question, question.

Mr. ISSARDAS VARINDMAL: (In Sindhi.) I am prepared to prove that. I am a friend of Labour Union. Sadhu Vaswani is very good and a selfless man.

It was not good to apply this section against him. At the time of the first procession Sadhu Vaswani had expressed that he had no objection if a Tribunal was appointed. But he put emphasis on one point, that men should not reside together with women be-cause it is detrimental to public morals. Even Honourable Mr. Nihchaldas and Honourable Mr. Dialmal are of that opinion. The letter that was written by Honourable Mr. Nihchaldas was dictated to him by Honourable the Chief Minister and Honourable Sir Ghulam Hussain.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDYATULLAH Sir, I never dictated the letter.

Mr. ISSARDAS VARINDMAL: (In Sindhi.) You were present.

The Honourable Mr. NIHCHALDAS C. VAZIRANI: I may correct him, Sir. At the time the letter was dictated, the Honourable Sir Ghulam Hussain was not present. The Honourable the Chief Minister was there and I also was there. But I do not think the Honourable Sir Ghulam Hussain is disputing the liability for the contents of the letter.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: No, no.

Mr. ISSARDAS VARINDMAL: (In Sindhi.) Honourable the Chief Minister dictated the letter to him which he gave. When he returned, Honourable Sir Ghulam Hussain was present.

 The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: Sir, may I rise on a point of personal explanation?

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: Yes.

The Honourable Sir GHULAI HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: I only wish to say that I never dictated the letter.

Mr. ISSARDAS VARINDMAL : (In Sindhi.) The letter was written in your presence and you are a party to it. The fact is that the Honourable the Chief Minister asked me as to why this question is being taken as affecting the Hindu comnmiity only? Everyone has got mothers and sisters. When the letter was brought to Sadhu Vaswani, we explained the matter to Sadhu Sahib and the procession returned. Now also at first people were present in hundreds and then they increased to thousands. They did not use violent means. Government ought to have known that 25 persons were to come inside and not the whole procession. Government say that the attack on Secretariat is not allowed. We admit that there is such executive order. But on the other day a party of Hajis had also come. There were thousands in the procession. They had also passed certain resolutions but no step was taken against them. I am of the opinion that Government have got no right to apply section 144 to persons who are non-violent. Government have taken an unreasonable step which was not necessary. They say Sadhu Vaswani has been jailed for 15 days and others for one month each. Hindu Ministers have not been consulted whether the section be applied or not. I would request the Honourable the Chief Minister to declare in this Honourable House that he will resign because he has not proved himself worthy to adorn that Chair.

Dr. CHOITHRAM P. GIDWANI: Sindhi.) The Honourable Mr. Nihchaldas did not know whether section 144 was to be applied.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: Sir, I have heard…..  

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: Is the Honourable Minister rising on a point of reply?

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: No, Sir. I heard the last speaker, and I find that he and some of his other friends want Government to be led by the nose to obey their dictates and to do justice to no one. Some of the speakers propounded the theory that we should not interfere with the civil liberty of the people, and that we should be guided by the opinion of the majoirty. Well, Sir, I ask those gentlemen who propounded that theory : Merely because these poor women are only a handful, should we take the law into our own hands and interfere with their liberty? You see the iniquity of it.

Mr. ISSARDAS VARINDIVIAL: Up till now their liberty has not been taken away . .. .

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH No more interruption. Shut up.

Mr. ISSARDAS VARINDMAL: He must withdraw .those words "Shut up", Sir.

Mr. R. K. SIDHWA: Sir, the Honourable Minister for Law and Order cannot orders the honourable member in such a temper. You will direct him, Sir, to address the Honourable House more politely. He loses his temper every now and then.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: Yes, the Honourable Minister will use more polite language when addressing the House.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: I am talking of the principle. If-you want equity, you must come with clean hands. My honourable friend Shaikh Sahib said that Government are interfering with civil liberties. Has Dada Lekhraj no civil liberty?

Mr. C. T. VALECHA: Then why did you issue the order against him?

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: It is not the privilege of the Opposition to interrupt: I have my right of speech. This very action on their part shows that the are riot lovers of liberty,' and that it is all lip sympathy.

Mr. C. T. VALECHA: You spoke of clean hands; it is therefore I was compelled to interrupt

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH Those who ask for liberty ought to give liberty to everyone though they may be in a majority, and the other side may consist of only a few persons, they should give the latter also their liberty. I might give instances of some of the Prophets to show. that, when they started any religion, how small was the number of their followers

Dr. CHOITHRAM P. GIDWANI: What, Prophets!!

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH Take the case of our Holy Prophet Muhammad. How many follower had he? Hardly five or ten. If we accepted the definition of civil liberty propounded by the honourable member Shaikh Sahib our Holy Prophet ought to have been stopped from propagating Islam. Sir, we should give liberty to all individuals castes and I irrespective of the opinion of the majority. We should. be ashamed of the manner in which the honourable the Hindu members With pistols in their hands demanded that the Honourable the

Hindu Ministers should bring about a decision which would suit them, and threatened that they would otherwise leave them. We cannot be forced in this way by some of the honourable members, to do injustice to others.

Sir, we have respected the Hindu sentiments more than any of the Hindus ethemselves. There was the Om Mandli in existence for the last four years. Did you here anything about it? Nothing at all. Then certain circumstances transpired. I do not wish to go into the details, but I want to show our bona fides. First their demand was—and here the honourable member Mr. Issardas will bear me out—that the minor girls should be restored. Well, without any force of law, we impressed on Mr. Lekhraj that it was not right and proper to keep the minor children of others with He said, if that was the desire, let their parents come and he would give them their children. Well, as soon ,as we yielded to this one demand of theirs, they came forward with another. Next they asked:, for the major girls. That presented a very difficult question. As you know, Sir, no major girl can be forced to do anything. However, we told Mr. Lekhraj that, if he was preaching the truth, he should show his bona fides. The relations of the major girls want them back, and he must return them. He did it. Then, Sir, all of a sudden, my friend Sadhu Vaswani turned up ,here in Karachi. He led the first procession; and, though it was against the law, we did not want to make him a martyr. All processions are peaceful in the beginning, but end in roiting, abuse and some such trouble.

Miss JETHIBAI T. SIPAHIMALANI Not. necessarily.

Dr. CHOITHRAM P. GIDWANI: We have taken out a number of processions and nothing of that sort ever happened.

The Honourable Sir. GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: Actually what happened? Sadhu Vaswani marched on the Mandli. They actually broke the panes, the fences, the walls. Was 'that a peaceful procession? They actually broke all these things. I can show you the repairs done to them. Because some of the Hindu voters do not want it, we must abdicate, resign and go away. The law is and ought to be no respector of persons. Well, he started. another march, and that was also with a purpose. Our Hindu friends and others said that, if we really want to placate the feelings of the Hindu community, the men should not reside with the girls in the Om Mandli or the Om Nivas. I was not there, but my two honourable friends wrote a letter which, for the benefit of the honourable members of this House, I will read out. Let them judge the letter on its own merits. That was also exacted by threats, I must say.

The letter reads: My dear Jethmal, In your interview with the Honourable the Chief Minister.....

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: Who is this Jethmal

The Honourable Mr. NIHCHALDAS C. VAZIRANI: Read the other letter.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH Very well. This is the letter to Mr. Mangharam:

“My dear Manghram,

In your interview with the Honourable the Chief Minister to-day you suggest that it was not desirable that any males should reside in the Om Mandli or Om Niwas……

KHAN BAHADUR A. K. GABOL: The words are "should reside."

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: Wait, please. It continues:

 "should reside in the Om Mandli or Om Niwas in company with the girls. I have discussed this matter with the Honourable the Chief Minister and he fully shares your sentiments in this respect."

Mark, the words are "reside with the girls"

"He will advise the management that the residence of these persons on the premises of the Om Mandli and Om Niwas should be discontinued and he assures me that in case this advice is not accepted, he will take the necessary steps in the matter."

Then there is this thing:

"Necessary steps" means legal measures for compelling the males to leave the Om Niwas and the Om Mandli."

The honourable members will see the words are "reside with the girls." Now, Sir, there is not a single male member residing in the Om Niwas or the Om Mandli with the girls.

Now this is the letter which is being misrepresented, which is being distorted to prejudice the honourable members of this House.

It is as clear as daylight, But we even went further than that.  The honourable member Dr. Choithram -will support me in this. Yesterday, when they said that this was not enough to please them, we said we were issuing section 144 proceedings against both parties and even the honourable member Dr. Choithram told me that, as we had issued this order under section 144 against. The mandli it ought to satisfy every reasonable man. Sir, we have issued orders under section 144 that Dada Lekhraj should not allow any of the-. males to reside with the girls and that none of the girls should visit them. What more could we do to please -our friends, the Hindu' members? We have done everything possible. Now the cases are pending in Court. If the truth is on their side, why are they not waiting for the result of those cases pending before the City Magistrate and other Courts? Leave aside that. To respect their sentiments, we say "We are immediately appointing a Tribunal so that it may go into the whole question and give a final decision on it. If it is in favour of the Anti-Om Mandli party, we will either legislate or try to find out if there is any existing-law by which we can stop their activities." Now we have done almost everything in their favour. On the contrary, the grievance ought to be on the side of the Om Mandli. To respect the sentiments of our friends, we have done everything possible in our power to please them.

Now, Sir, what is the question? We knew that we ought to hold the scales even between both the parties, and we were not afraid to lose the votes of the honourable members who were sitting on this side. We issued section 144 proceedings against both parties. When we were restraining the Om Mandli and Dada- Lekhraj and the two other persons who they say are objectionable persons, then why should we not also restrain the Sadhu. They are now telling us that we have not abided by our promises. Here are our written promises, and we have gone even further than them. The honourable members should not be in any anxiety about the breaking of the Ministry or the making of a new Ministry. They ought- to judge the issue. on its own merits.

Well, Sir, in order to respect the sentiments of our Hindu friends, we have issued proceedings under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, against them. Honourable members -know that though we have taken action against the other party, the Sadhu threatens us and says that, unless we ban the Mandli, he will take the law into his own hands. When our notice under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, was served on the other party, he ought to have waited and held his hand. But he is courting jail, and wants to create trouble. We are trying to avoid making him a martyr, but he is forcing our hands. If the honourable members wish that there should be no law and order, then, of course, that is a different matter.

SHAIKH ABDUL MAJID : Sir, I want to understand- One which I could not follow properly, and that is whether he said that they are trying to find out law to close the Mandli or they will legislate with  view go close the Mandli

The Honourable. Sir GHULAM HUSSARHIDAYATULLAH If the decision of the Tribunal is to that effect.

SHAIKH ABDUL MAJID Is that what he has said in his speech?

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: I think what he said was clear.

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATIAR: Sir, to-day I rise under the same indignation against the Government which I had at the time when they applied section 144.

Sir, as you have allowed this Honourable House to discuss the question of policy of Government, I will confine my remarks to the very question of policy of this Government.

Sir, first of all before I proceed with my observations, I want to state that so far as the present Government is there, I have failed to understand if there is any policy on any question which may be criticized or understood by any balanced-minded person. Their policy is fluctuating like a thermometer like the mercury that fluctuates in a thermometer. With heat it expands and with cold it contracts. In the morning they have some view on a matter .which will change and evaporate away with the rising of the sun and will again settle down with the setting of the sun and under the light of the moon. This is the thing which has baffled and stood in the way of this Province for making any progress in our country. Sir, we feel very sore on account of this sort of attitude of this Ministry on almost all the questions of broad principles and serious questions regarding the administration of the Government.

Sir, coming nearer to the question which has occupied the attention of this Honourable House this evening, I fail to understand whether this Ministry have taken into consideration the seriousness of their action in applying section 144 to the procession that was to start from the Khalikdina Hall. I .fail to understand that. I have gone through section 144 as it reads in the BoOk which is in my hands just now. You will bear with me that the procedure laid down under section 144 is definite. With your permission I will read out the section which says

"Such Magistrate may, by a written order stating the material facts of the case and served in the manner provided by section 134, direct any person…..

Now in applying section 144, the procedure laid down in section 134 has to be followed. Section i34 clearly lays down the method of applying section 144, and I will read section 134 before I can offer my remarks on that. There are two clauses of section 134. Clause (I) reads:

"The order shall, if practicable, be served on the person against whom it is made, in manner herein provided for service of a summons."

Sub-section 2 reads as under:—

"If such order cannot be so served, it shall be notified by proclamation , published in such manner as the local Government may by rule direct, and a copy thereof shall be stuck at such place or places as may be fittest for conveying the information to such person."

 Mr. R. K. SIDHWA: That is the point.

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: The question is that the very action of Government is wrong, because the have not followed the procedure laid down in section 134. My contention is that the Government was not right in applying this section. Presuming that they wanted to apply it, they have failed to comply. with the requirements of section 134. The very method of application of section 144, as is defined in section 134, is not followed.

Sir, I have never understood for myself whet proclamation made by the Government, promulgating section 144 her there was any banning any person or persons assembled i hibiting them one and all from m n the procession and pro_ merit a further move. Government was in possession of the information that the procession was to start at a scheduled time from the Khalikdina Hall much before, and if Government had a mind to apply section 144, where were these Ministers? Where was the Honourable Minister-in-charge of Law and Order, or where was the Honourable the Leader of the House? How were they occupied? VVhy have they not complied with the provisions of section 134? After all you are not arresting one man. The procession is composed of a number of persons. Supposing one man is informed, then I contend that is not sufficient, because it was not only he who was to be arrested but a number of persons, who formed a part of procession were to be arrested. As such I contend that the proclamation was very necessary.

Then, as is our knowledge and experience, section 144 does very, clearly lay down that such Magistrate may, by written order, etc., see that provisions of section 134, which I read out just now are followed,

Then I proceed further. Here I fail to conceive how this Government can behave differently in an identical matter. my honourable friend Mr. Issardas has very rightly pointed out—and we are—that here in the last session, before we broke, a number of Hajis who had a grievance did come to this Assembly. are also aware--that I don't complain of that. They very rightly did come. I did not object because I have my own sympathy with my Haji friends who had been victims to a number of difficulties and hardships on account of the neglect of Government. If the Hajis could come here, I could not understand why some of the persons, who wanted to come to the Secretariat this morning to apprise the Government of the grievances and their feelings, were prevented from doing that. How do Government justify their action this morning when on a former occasion they took no action whatever in preventing the Hajis. Thereby I don't say that the Hajis ought to have been pre-vented. Not even for a minute am I advocating or supporting that idea. After all the Government that is there ought to be a popular Government and it ought to be available at all times for 24 hours to the people. _When the people wanted to come and see them in a deputation or procession, they ought to have been given an opportunity. After all the heavens would not have fallen on the earth. Sind is not going to be run down and the British Government is not going to be packed off beyond the shores of the Indian Ocean, that my honourable friends on the Treasury Benches are feeling so nervous about allowing any procession to enter into the premises of the Secretariat.

Is this Secretariat a sacred premises that it is going to lose its sanctity?

The Honourable PIR ILLAHI BAKHSH: Yes.

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: I cannot understand. Then, Sir, my friend, the Honourable Pir Illahi Bakhsh began to justify some of those actions of the Government, and said that the Government could not but function as they did, because those processionists, the persons who started the procession, did not obtain the permission from the police. Now, they begin to feel doubtful if section 144 could be legitimately promulgated. There are a number of processions which are started, but sometimes they do it without obtaining the permit, and the police draw their attention to them that they have not taken the permit. Then the permission is applied for and granted, or somebody is asked to explain, and if the explanation is satisfactory to the trying magistrate, they are let off, otherwise he nominally fines them one rupee. Now, Sir, is this an offence for which they should have promulgated section 144, if they want to continue in office?

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH : We are not in the services I can tell you that

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: I am afraid I have always found the Honourable the Leader of the House lacking the in spontaneity, because he is always busy in looking after votes. - Budget is hanging on their heads, and the Sidhwas and Popatlals are in their minds always.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: Certainly not, we never remember them.

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: The Honourable Mr. Nihchaldas is sitting there and he will at least bear testimony to it, since he was always abusing Popatlal.

The Honourable Mr. NIHCHALDAS C. VAZIRANI: What? 

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: I know it because my friend Mr. Hiralal told me that because Mr. Nihchaldas was talking so loudly that he was abusing me. I do not want to wound his feelings now.

The Honourable Mr. NIHCHALDAS C. VAZIRANI: The honourable member must be a dreamer.

AN honourable member: Did he abuse or canvass?

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: He did.

The Honourable Mr. NIHCHALDAS C. VAZIRANI: Don't get irresponsible. The honourable member is absolutely irresponsible.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: The honourable member must be relevant.

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: This is what -I say, that this is a question which is weighing very heavily on them.

AN honourable member: It then means all the Ministers.

The Honourable Mr. NIHCHALDAS C. VAZIRANI: Excuse me, Sir, we are not thinking of our seat even half as much as almost every member on those benches is thinking of.

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: I do not want to yield, sir.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: Don't be personal. The honourable member should not be personal.

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: I am not getting personal. I am only saying that it is but natural that at the time of .voting, they should lose the balance of their mind and apply section 144 as they have done now.

R. K. SIDHAVA: A point of information. Know from the Honourable the Leader of the House at what time has not been stated by the Government. Was it last night? When did the Honourable Chief Minister. Inform the District Magistrate, and at what time he said the section was  proclaimed.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: The Honourable the leader of the House can make a statement.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH what concern is it of this Honourable House as to when it was promulgated? However I shall reply. The point was raised by the honourable member Dr. Popatlal that the section could only be applied after a proclamation, and that there was no proclamation. The honourable member should have read the section a it more care-fully, and, not only Dr. Popatlal but several honourable members also raised that point. For their information I shall read what the section says. It says:”

An order shall, if practicable, be served on the person against whom it is made in the manner herein provided for service of summons. If such order cannot be served......

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: Read the upper portion. You are reading the lower portion.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: "It shall be done by proclamation." Sir, notice was served on Sadhu Vaswani and so no proclamation was necessary.

(Dr. Popatlal A. Bhoopatkar got up).

No, Sir, I am not prepared to yield. I am merely pointing out what the legal position is.

Dr. POPATLAL A. BHOOPATKAR: What about others?

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: That was the point of the honourable member Mr. Sidhwa also. What of others?

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: The proclamation was read. The D.S.P. was empowered to announce that declaration, and the District Magistrate promulgated section 144.

Mr. C. T. VALECHA: Did he announce it to everybody?

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: Good manners require that there should be no interruption.

Then, Sir, as regards the various points raised by several honourable members, especially the honourable member Seth Partabrai......

Dr. CHOITHRAM P. GIDWANI: A point of information, Sir. The honourable Sidhwa put a question as to when this matter was decided by the Cabinet. I am speaking of this section 144

 THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: By the Cabinet?  I do not know if he would reply.

Mr. R. K. SIDHWA: The House is supposed to know the facts. The Government should decide on this matter.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER I 'shall be very glad if he would reply.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH the District Magistrate discussed the question with the honourable Ministers who fully approved of the action taken, and it was taken with the concurrence of the Ministers.

The Honourable Mr. NIHCHALDAS C. VAZIRANI: No, it is not for the Cabinet.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: You can hold the Cabinet meeting even here.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH Sir, it would be necessary for me at this juncture to trace back the history of this Om Mandli affair. The honourable members are aware that this Om. Mandli started originally at Hyderabad some three or four years ago, and from there they migrated to Karachi. Complaints were brought to the notice of Government about six weeks ago and, when at first enquiries were made during the course of conversation with various members of the Hindu community, no allegation of any kind with regard to immorality was laid at the door of the Mandli. It was never alleged that it was an immoral institution. It was after the evidence of those four girls, and Om Radhe that the agitation took a different turn. I visited the Mandli and the first discussion I had with Sadhu Vaswani was on the day when this Honourable House adjourned, and my honourable friends wanted to go to Tripuri. I made the position at that juncture quite clear to Sadhu Vaswani. I gathered from Sadhu Vaswani that he was not satisfied and desired that the institution should be banned. Sir, my reply to him was that it would not be possible for this Government to impose a ban on the institution. - Then the talk centered round the following matter, that the girls who were willing to go to their parents should be returned to them. The first thin' g that he said was that the minor girls who were with the Management should not be there as they had no right to keep those girls with them. I then promised that they would be sent back- to their guardians. Now under the existing law it would not be possible for Government to compel major girls to go to their homes forcibly. When I visited the institution I came to one conclusion, and I do not deny that, that the girls who resided within the institution, were unwilling too back to their parents, or recognize their parents for that purpose.

Under the existing law, I could not compel the girls to leave the institution (Om Nivas), but persuaded them to go back to their parents.

I spoke to Bhai Lekhraj frankly. I said: "People gave their children to you; they reposed in You certain confidence and hoped that these girls would be returned back as good girls. Now those girls are not prepared to go back to their parents. It is your moral duty to see they go back, but you, on the contrary, have betrayed the confidence they reposed in you."

SHAIKH ABDUL MAJID: It is six o'clock, Sir.

 Allowance cannot be made for time taken up in discussing an adjournment motion when a demand for grant is under discussion.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER let us close the debate. The motion has been talked out.

I shall have to take the Budget.

Mr. R. K. SIDHWA: Sir, three hours have been lost in discussing the adjournment motions and to-day we have one hour less, being Friday ; therefore I would suggest that we should have full 4-i hours to-day--we had 4i hours yesterday—, according to our rules we ought to have two full working days on this cut motion, so either we must sit up to Io o'clock or kindly allow us to meet to-morrow and finish the business.

KHAN BAHADUR M. A. KHUHRO: Please look up rule 29 (2), page 14 of the old rules ; we are entitled to the maximum time limit—

"Of the days so allotted, not more than two days shall be taken up by the Assembly for the discussion of any one demand. As soon as the maximum limit of time for discussion is reached, the Speaker shall forthwith put every question necessary to dispose of the demand under discussion."

Now mark the words "as soon as the maximum limit of time for discussion is reached, the Speaker shall forthwith put every question necessary to dispose of the demand under discussion." It is two full days or nine hours. We have discussed the matter for 4 hours; we are entitled for another 4i hours today; three hours have been lost on this matter of adjournment motion which has been suddenly sprung upon us. We should have two full working days before we can close discussion on General Administration altogether and put it to vote.

For further assurance I would call your reference to the following ruling of your predecessor, which he gave on the 12th August 1937, when the Budget was being discussed in this Honourable House;

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER : It is quarter to six, now I am thinking how to make up this one hour given to the and a half—it was Friday ; and hours less was  honourable members. To-morrow the Assembly will assemble at 3 p. m.

Mr. SIDHWA: What time will you take for this?

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER : I am giving full two working days to this .question ; tomorrow there will be no questions ; and that has always been the practice in the Bombay Council."

Two working days were allotted. By this arrangement three hours have been taken away and we want that we should have 3 hours tomorrow.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: The Honourable the Leader of the House.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH Sir, this side of the House, at the request of honourable members' on the opposite side of the House, agreed to forego the half hour allotted for questions, and accordingly questions were dispensed with today.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: There remains half an hour more.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: The honourable member who brought forward the adjournment motion is responsible for the loss of time. Honourable members opposite insisted on the adjournment motion being discussed and if they waste the time of the House, it is their responsibility; whose motion was it? The other side's. Therefore they must bear the consequences of their action.

GOVERNMENT BENCHES: Quite right: The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: We considered your request about dropping the questions. We do not hold ourselves responsible for the time lost in discussing the adjournment motions.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: What about the loss of half an hour because we met at three o'clock.

GOVERNMENT BENCHES: We always meet at three on Fridays.

The Honourable KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH: the honourable members know fully well the significance of the adjournment motions; it means that the normal day's work has to be adjourned. Certain days were allotted for the purpose of

discussion and sanctioning of the Budget. When the idea is that this House should be adjourned, it does not necessarily follow that the honourable members are entitled to another day for discussing the Budget. A separate day could have been allotted for the discussion of adjournment motions, but as a resolution has been passed giving priority to the adjournment motion, naturally the time was lost, and it does not necessarily follow that more time should be allotted for the day's business than is available; for it was up to the House to consider whether it was so urgent that the normal business of the day should be postponed.

Mr. JAMSHED NUSSERWANJEE: I appeal to the Honourable Ministers that some kind of large-mindedness is necessary. When something is urgent the opposition has to bring the adjournment motion; allowance should be made in such cases, whether the other side considers it urgent or not; after all some members considered it urgent. Some adjustment in time should be made in connection with such adjournment motions; Honourable Minister should agree; otherwise it will be petty-mindedness on their part.

THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: I refuse to allow further discussion. Whatever it may be, I am going to give my decision. I have to look beyond my nose but not under my nose. As the Honourable the Leader of the House pointed out, and very rightly too, adjournment motions are an interruption of the normal day to day business and therefore a restriction has been imposed that adjournment motions should be very sparingly admitted. They, with open eyes, chose to interrupt the business. They already knew that the Budget discussion is on; so they have to bear the consequences and this has always to be included unless he points out some other rule to me.

        KHAN BAHADUR M. A. KHUHRO: The Honourable Minister has not supported his statement by any law that, because an adjournment motion has been brought, and which has taken away the time, the Opposition should suffer. THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER: He has quoted rule 29 (2). Since the maximum number of two days was allotted to the discussion of the budget, and since every honourable member knew it, they chose to waste the time. I had drawn their attention to this at the very outset but still they chose to waste time. Now as regards the half an hour, it is within the discretion of the Chair to close at any time. I only consulted the Honourable the Leader of the House just to have his guidance. I am prepared to sit upto 7-3o to-day to allow the subject being fully discussed. The House shall sit upto 7-3o p. m. to-day.

I would request the Honourable the Deputy Speaker to come and occupy this Chair for half an hour because I am now tired.

(At this stage the Honourable the Speaker left the Chair and the Honourable the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair,)

THE HONOURABLE THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order.

(Discussion on Re. I cut motion—General Administration—continued.)

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: Sir, I have heard with great attention the honourable mover of Re. I cut motion. My honourable friend seems to be a great past master in the use of language.

THE HONOURABLE THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order order. Public in the gallery must, when they go out, leave their places quietly without making any noise or causing any disturbance to the House.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: Superlatives, hyperboles, and even abuse are the special gifts of my honourable friend. I want to relate one story for the amusement of this Honourable House.

Mr. R. K. SIDHWA: Sir, I am unable to hear my honourable friend the Minister for Law and Order. If he is referring to me, I would like to hear him.

THE HONOURABLE THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is a great noise in the gallery. I give one minute and I want that persons who want to go out from the gallery leave just now without making any noise.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH: For the delectation of this Honourable House, I want to relate a story. A young gentleman wanted to make a name for himself for good or bad. So he consulted one of his friends. His friend asked him whether he was good at abusing others and carrying on propaganda for himself. The gentleman told him that it was his specialty. Then his friend told him to go ahead and that he world be a great success in the world So, Sir, carrying on propaganda for oneself and abusing others is sometimes a very paying proposition. My Ministry failed because I did not know how to carry on propaganda for myself,. Like my honourable friend, the mover of this cut motion. On the last occasion too, my honourable friend the mover of the cut motion traversed the same ground that he has on this occasion, and my honourable friends in this House must have noticed that he has harped on the same strings and therefore everybody has expressed, not excluding the Press, that his music has become stale and boring now.

What is his first ground for the cut motion? The Assembly Hall: Last time, the honourable member the then Ministers-in-charge who is sitting with him said (if I remember rightly) that competitive designs should be invited for the Hall. The honourable member who is now speaking says what.is the good of inviting competitive designs. A good architect should. be called and the work should be finished quickly. Now, because this has been done, he has moved a Re. r cut motion. This time, the Honourable Minister for Public Works Department did follow his advice. He called the architect and gave him the order. And now my honourable friend says that the architect is Mr. Gorden's friend. Whe-ther the architect is a European or an Indian, the honourable Member ought not to have attributed motives to Mr. Gordon. The honourable member wanted -that the work should be. done quickly, and this is being done. Still the honourable member is not satisfied.

Sir, I ask, is there any man who is free from criticism? But .my -honourable friend considers any stick good enough to beat the Ministers with. Because -the Ministers have not completed the work, the honourable member is not satisfied. He wants the Ministers - to go with aeroplane speed. I am sure that, even if the Ministers go with aeroplane speed, he will still not be satisfied.

Then, Sir, may I ask the honourable member if he has read the books that have already been provided ? How many honourable members  of this House have read the books that have already been provided ? These are paltry reasons. I think people will laugh  at us if they hear of such flimsy grounds being taken into consideration, and if they heard of the honourable members of this House bringing 'an adjournment motion or a cut motion wants to censure the Ministry has in the Assembly on that account.

 Then the third ground on which the mover of the cut motion wants to censure the Ministry is that the Ministry has appointed corruption committees, but has taken no action on their reports. But the honourable members should know that .various circulars have been issued. I do not want to waste the time of this Honourable House by narrating in detail what effect has been given to some of the recommendations of the Committees.

Mr. JAMSHED NUSSERWANJEE.: We would like to know that, Madam.

The Honourable Sir GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH I will ask my honourable colleagues to read it out. I thought it

27.3.1939 The paper ‘Times’(Printing House Square, E.C-4) carries the story sent by its Bombay Correspondent. It is: ‘Two Hindu Minister of the Sindh Cabinet, Mr. Nihchaldas C. Vazirani and Mr. Diamal Doulatram, have resigned. The Cabinet’s difficulties are said to have been caused by the serious turn taken by the satyagraha  (Civil disobedience) movement  against the Om Mandli women’s institution, which has led to the arrest of more than 110 persons. A motion of censure proposed by the Congress Party against the Cabinet over the Om Mandli issue  was defeated after a two-day debate. The Om Mandli is a woman’s educational and cultural institution at Hyderabad, Sindh. Last September certain allegations were made regarding its management and the Government were urged to close it. The agitation has continued and has taken on a communal bias, so that a merely local question has become an issue of provincial importance’.(Source: The Times). The first sitting of the Tribunal to inquire into the Om Mandli affairs is held to decide upon the proceedure to be followed in the inquiry. The Om Mandli Management boycotts its proceedings by remaining absent. (Source: Newspapers).

28.3.1939: Sadhu Vaswani is released. He was arrested on 24th on account of violating Section 144 and leading procession. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).

28.3.1939: The Newspaper carries on the report of its Bombat correspondent on the Om Mandli issue. It has been reported that : “Two Hindu Ministers of the Sindh Cabinet, Mr.Nihchadas C.Vazirani and Mr. Diamal Doulatram have resigned. The Cabinet’s difficulties are said to have been caused by serious turn taken by the satyagraha [civil disobedience] movement against the Om Mandli women’s institution, which has led to arrest of more than 110 persons. A motion of censure proposed by the Congress party against the Cabinet over the Om Mandli issue was defered after a two-day debate. The Om Mandli is a women’s educational  and cultural institution at Hyderabad, Sindh. Last September certain allegations were made regarding  its management, and the Government were urged to close it. The agitation has continued and has taken on a communal bias so that a merely local question has become an issue of provincial importance”. (Source: The Times).

30.3.1939: The Chief Secretary to Government of Sindh apprises Home Department, Government of India of the law and order situation created by the Om Mandli issue. He writes: “The chief feature has been the continuance of the Anti-Om Mandli agitation. With a view to force Government to ban the institution, the agitators started satyagraha and under leadership of Sadhu Vaswani gave notice of their intention of taking out a mammoth procession and marching on the Secretariat permises. This they actually did, but the demonstrators dispresed when Government announced that they would use their influence with authorities of the Om Mandli to segragate the male members of institution from the women and girls. The Satyagraha was alled off for a week to see the results of these negotiations, and it has now been decided to appoint a tribunal to investigate the charges brought against the Mandli”. (Source: Letter No.P-25-H-S/39. Dated 30th March 1939).

30.3.1939: The refusal of Government  to yield to the general demand for immediate closure of the Om Mandli helped to fan the flame of agitation against Ministry and the climax was reached when a motion of no-cofidence sponsored by the Hindu Independent Party was  was moved by Dr. Hemandas , MLA, and the two Hindu Ministers resigned their seats in the cabinet in obedience to the mandates of their party. An appeal was made in vain for the withdrawal of the motion on the ground that since the last motion of a similar nature had been defeated by the House now no  new circumstances had arisen to justify a fresh motion of censure. The motion came up for discussion  on the 30th March but, in spite of the endeavour of the Opposition to press the House  for a division, no decision was reached and after 3 day full-dress debate the matter was adjourned to the following day. The House rose in an atmosphere of tense excitement and the fate of the Ministry  hung in the balance with the scales weighted according to lobby indications slightly in favour of the Opposition. The next day, however, the Hindu Independent Party sprung a complete surprise on the House by returning to the Ministrial benches. The no-confidence motion was withdrawn but in agreeing to its withdrawal the mover declared his disagreement with his party’s decision and announced his resignation from the party. The last minute rapprochement betwwen the Ministry and the Hindu Party has been received witn general satisfaction; and two Hindu ex-Minister have been re-appointed to the Cabinet. (Source: Newspapers).

30.3.1939: I.H. Taunton, Chief Secretary to the Government of Sindh, writes to the President of Om Mandli indicating that as the segregation is only nominal and access can easily be had to the premises by men living in adjoining bunglow, therefore, genuine segregation of the men-folk should be affected by arranging accomodation for them at some considerable distance from Om Mandli. (Source: Sindh Chief Secretary’s Letter).  

30.3.1939: On behalf of the ‘Panchayat Committee’, its chairman, Mangharam submitts written statement before the Tribunal appointed by  Sindh Government to inquire into the affairs of the Om Mandli. It is very lengthy and detailed statement and ends with the following para: “ Bhai Lekhraj either through hypnotism or some other uncanny influence or wrong teaching bring about such a perverted state of mind among the inmates that girls bathe with or before him half-naked without feeling abashed. …the women and he indulge in premiscuous kissing, hugging, dancing, and sleeping together and all this is offensive and immoral socially according to Hindu ideals…………” (Source: The Copy of the statement with Gul Hayat Institute).

11.4.1939: The Sindh Chief Secretary sends report to the Government of India on Om Mandli. In report it has been said that: ‘The anti-Om Mandli agitation was consideranly intensified during the fortnight. The appointment of a tribunal to enquire into all allegations against the Mandli failed to pacify the agitators, nor were they satisfied with the preventive action under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, against the founder  of  the institution and other connected with it, to ensure segregation of the sexes in the Mandli. The agitation, which had been suspended  for a week, was accordingly resumed on the morning of the 24th March by taking out a procession to the Secretariat. An order under section 144, CPC, forbidding processions to the Secretariat was defied and Sadhu Vaswani and other leaders of the agitation were arrested, tried and sentenced  to a short term of imprisonment; others who fefied the order were merely taken away and  detained for a few hours. Satyagaraha was resorted to at the Secretariat and  men and women and boys and girls vied  with each other in offering themselves for arrest. The Secretariat was practically in a state of  seige for three days and a strong force of police had to be kept at the place  to keep in check the inevitable crowed which consisted to large extent of youths and boys who had gathered to see the fun. On 28th March Government  relesed Sadhu Vaswani  and other convicted persons and withdrew the order prohibiltng processions to the Secretariat; the assembling of crows at the Secratariat thereupon ceased but propaganda against the Mandli continued to be carried on in the town. The prohibitory order to enforce segregation of sexes in the Mandli was not carried out  by inmates of the institution who contended that it was unreasonable and impracticable and moved the High Court to set it aside. The Court rejected the revision application and uphold the order and steps are now being taken to proscute those supporters of the Mandli who disregarded the prohibitory orders against them. The tribunal commenced its work on the 27th March and is holding its proceedings ‘in camera’; its report isaited’. (Source: indicated).

  24. 4. 1939: The Government of Sindh writes to the Home Department of the Government of India that ‘ Agitation against the Om Mandli was quiescent during the fortnight. The District Magistrate’s order under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, which had been uphold by the High Court, was extended by fourteen days, but the proposal prosecution of those supporters of the Mandli who disregarded the prohibitory orders against them was dropped as they gave an undertaking in writing to comply strictly with terms of order in future, The report of the tribunal has since been received and the allegations against the Mandli have been held proved. The findings of the tribunal have, however, been recorded ex parte as the Om Mandli declined to give evidence before the tribunal. The report is at present under the consideration of Government’. (Source: The Report of the Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh).

1.5.1939: The Distric Magistrate, Karachi serves notice on Secretary [Jasoti] and the President [Om Radhe] of the Om Mandli that the previous Order/Notice of this court [of dated: 23.3.1939] expires on 1st May 1939, the circumstances leading to it continue to exist. Now, you are ordered to abstain from admitting or causing to be admitted into the permises occupied on Victoria Road and Reay Road at Karachi by Institution commonly known as Om Mandli and Nivas any male visitors or male members of the said institutions. This order shall remain in force for fourteen days from the date of its service. (Source: The Sindh Government Gazette, dated, 4.5.1939)

13.5.1939: The Sindh Observer reports that the Tribunal has submitted his report to  Government and Bhai Lekhraj has been called upon to show cause, if any, within seven days, why the Om Mandli should not be declared an unlawful association under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908. (Source: indicated).

16.5.1939: The Sindh Governor, L. Graham , in his letter of 16th May, 1939 send to Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy of India, writes that ‘ You will remember that I have mentioned to you the Hindu religious reform movement entitled itself Om Mandli, which has been giving cause for much agitation to my ministers because the Independent non-Congress Hindus have been threatening to withdraw their support from the Ministry unless firm action is taken against Om Mandli.

I have throughout been trying to keep my Ministers on a sensible line in the matter, but without success. They first of all – and against my advice- set up a Tribunal consisting of a member of the Judicial Commissioner’s Court and a retired Judge of the Karachi Small Causes Court; but this Tribunal was without  powers to take evidence or even to admit legal practitioners. The Om Mandli  chose to boycott the Tribunal, which examined a considerable number of  witness and doubtless made every effort to get at the truth. The members of the Tribunal finally reached the conclusion that the Om Mandli institution [including the school] is a nest  of immorality, and that the girls and young women there are reduced to a state of complete lack of comprehension by some process of mesmerism.

My Ministry, on the ground that this canker in Hindu society was likely to produce violent reaction unless it was cut out by Government,  proposed to take  immediate action under  the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1908 and to declare the Om Mandli an unlawful association. I persuaded them to give  the Om Mandli a week’s notice in which to show cause why such action should not be taken against them. That week has now elapsed and the Ministers have decided that the long statement which has been put in by the Om Mandli presents no reason why the institution should not be proscribed. They are assured by the Legal Remembrancer that their order will be legal. This may be so, seeing how widely the Act has been drawn; but I am convinced that it was never intended that this Act should be used for a purpose of this kind, and I have tried to make plain to my Ministers that they will be placing themselves in a some what ridiculous position.

In trying to dissuade my Ministers from the line os action which they propose to adop, I have not been moved by any feeling of tenderness for the Om Mandli; but I am distressed that they should, at the bidding of the Hindu minority in Assembly, have allowed themselves to be made to proceed in this manner and to abuse the  provision of the Law.

I am not convinced that there is any danger of a public breach of the peace or of a general defiance of the forces of Law and Order; but my Ministers have chosen to take that line and I cannot find that my special responsibilities are involved in any way. I have told my Minister, therefore, that, heartily as I disagree with the acton which they promise to take, I can not prevent them from taking it.’(Source: indicated. Photo copy of the letter with Gul Hayat Institute).

18.5.1939: In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 16 of the Indian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, the Governor of Sindh  declares the association at present known by the names of Om Mandli and Om Nivas to be unlawful associations. (Government Notification No.249/3-H-S).

On this day and date, The Daily Mirror, offer comments on Radhe, the President of Om Mandli and her performance in the court. The paper writes: “ And above all, observe her reckless loyalty to and her unshakable belief in Dada. Let the whole of Sindh with one voice demounces her man, she Om Radhe would go on believing in him as long as she lives. Even if Lord Krishna himself were to appear to her in person and tell her that Lekhraj is an imposter, I am quite sure, she would get the Lord turned out of the Nivas or hand him over to one of the Om girls to be initiated unto Brahma Vidya”. (Source: indicated).

19.5.1939: The ‘Sindh Observer’, in its issue of today writes: ‘It does not lie in the mouth of any person connected with Om Mandli to declare that the findings of the Tribunal to be exparte, tthemselves being responsible for the boycott of the Tribunal. Why did they fight shy of presenting their case before tribunal? Because, they had no case and felt they could not convince two impartial gentlemen of the uprightness of their cause and their work’. (Source: Indicated).

20.5.1939: The Governor of Sindh notifies and declare their activities unlawful of the following places:Om Mandli [Two storyed building, ground and first floor, without-houses on Victoria Road known as BELLE VUE owned by Seth Tayabji Lotia], Om Mandli [Two storyed, ground and first floor, without houses on Victoria Road known as FAIZ-E-HUSSAINI BUILDING owned by Faiz-e-Hussain Trust]; Om Mandli [A separate ground floor block in the compound of the building of BELLE VEU owned by Seth Tyabji Lotia] and Om Nivas [Two storyed building, ground and first floor with outhouses on Reay Road bearing new Survey No.10. Sheet 8 and Survey No.25, Sheet F-11 at present in charge of the Official Assignee, Judicial nCommissioner’s Court, Karachi.] (Source: The Government Notification No.249/3-H-S).

21.5.1939: The Daily Mirror writes: “ The Government of Sindh yesterday banned the well-known Hindu Om Mandli celibacy institution after receiving the report of a special tribunal appointed to to investigate the institution’s activities. Om mandli was founded three years ago in Hyderabad by Dada Lekhraj a wealthy merchant to propagate  the virtue of celibacy and give expression to a growing revolt against the Hindu ideal of marriage, whereby the wife is merely the husband’s chattel. The Society had about 400 members including  many beautiful young girls. Wives discontented with their husbands fled to the Om Mandli headquarters to such an extent that last Augud irate  husbands, left  stranded , picketed  the building for a several days. Police, than took action, and began to investigate alleged orgies going on inside. The movement had enjoyed great popularity in Hyderabad says the Associated Press”. (Source: The Mirror).

31.8.1939: On behalf of the Anti-Om Mandli Committee, its Secretary moves application to the Chief Minister, praying taking suitable action against Om Mandli. The application discuss legal, social and religious obligations in details. (Source: The Copy available in Gul Hayat Institute).

3.12.1939: A letter is published in paper without bearing name of writer. The writer has termed the status of Bhai Lekhraj in his own way. He writes: “ He[bhai Lekhraj] himself revealed no promise of being a teacher of mankind till very recently, all his life-  he must be over 55 years life of age- being spent in making money in the market place. He was a successful businessman. The money he has gathered in business, he seems to be devoting to propagate his cult with himself as the centre of devotion and bestower of spiritual bliss”. (Source: Sindh Observer).

15.6.1940: Doulatram Bulchand of Hyderabad writes a forward to book ‘Om Mandli’which is a reply to Om Radhe’s book ‘Is this Justice ?’.

1950 (April): Om Mandli is moved to Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India.

25.5.1950: Lekhraj’s family is shifted to India. His family lived in Karachi for 14 years. It means they settled in Karachi in 1936.

1953: Bhai Lekhraj marries his ‘adopted daughter’- Radhe- and she is renamed as ‘Sarswati’. Bhai Lekhraj is  69 years old, where as  his new wife Radhe was of 33 years.

18.1.1969: Bhai Lekhraj breathes his last.

 

 

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