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Emperor of Gallispania
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Nov 4, 2015
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Hello and welcome to the newest Kaiserreich AAR in the Kaiserreich Connected Universe by SibCDC. By now, this universe is already quite established and as a matter of fact, this AAR is the last 'chapter' in Phase One of this Universe. For those of you who might not have read my other AARs yet, here's a quick summary of my other AARs.
"Pigs treat us as equals" follows the Kingdom of Canada and the United States through the events of the Second American Civil War and the War of Homecoming.
"In Flanders Fields" follows Belgium in the Second Belgian Revolution, the Second Weltkrieg (against the Internationale) and the Tripartite War (against Germany, Austria and Japan).
"The Golden Circle" follows Cuba in the 1960s with Huey Long as their leader.​


SibCDC's Kaiserreich Connected Universe (KCU):
Phase One:
"In Flanders Fields" - Belgium
"Pigs treat us as equals" - Canada & US
"The Golden Circle" - Cuba
"The Path of Peace" - India
Phase Two:
"Gott mit Uns" - Prussia

You can recognize chapters which are relevant to other AARs in my Canon, by the little flag icons underneath each chapter's title. The same goes for chapters in my other AARs relevant for this story. To recognize them, look out for this icon:

This AAR will follow the story of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as he tries to reunite the Indian subcontinent. The start date will be the 1st of January 1936. There is but one rule which I will try to follow: do not declare any wars. This means that I'll try to avoid any and all wars declared by the country I'm playing as (be it the Bharatiya Commune or India in a later stage). Defensive wars do not count, but wars declared by me through events do. This means that I'll sometimes reload my safefile to prevent the AI from getting me to declare war (this is specifically the case for Nepal and Bhutan). The AAR will mainly focus on the period from 1936 to 1949 and it'll show things which have been left out of the other AARs but should have been included in them (f.e. how Britain in exile rebuilt Britain after the War of Homecoming). With this out of the way, I hope you'll enjoy this AAR and let's get started.

Table of Contents:
Prologue: The Peacock and the Sea (1st of January 1936)
Chapter I: Satyagraha March (1st of January - 19th of April 1936)
Chapter II: Two Meetings and a Funeral (20th of April - 15th of August 1936)
Chapter III: The Mahatma and the General (16th of August - 31st of December 1936)
Chapter IV: The 1937 Indian National Congress (2nd of March - 4th of March 1937)
Chapter V: The 1937 Spartakiade (17th of April – 9th of May 1937)
Chapter VI: The Question of Bengal's Elites (1st of June - 23rd of July 1937)
Chapter VII: The Question of Burma (9th of August - 15th of August 1937)
Chapter VIII: The Question of Nepal (15th of September - 16th of November 1937)
Chapter IX: The Great Middle Eastern War (20th of December 1937 - 19th of March 1938)
Chapter X: The Maximist Uprising (1st of May - 31st of May 1938)
Chapter XI: The Lucknow Summit (10th of July - 29th of August 1938)
Chapter XII: The War of Southern Aggression (13th of November 1938 - 28th of September 1939)
Chapter XIII: The 1940 Elections (23rd of May 1940 -14th of November 1940)
Chapter XIV: The Bombay Plan (1st of January 1941 - 15th of January 1942)
Chapter XV: A Famine Prevented (16th of January 1942 - 23rd of February 1943)
Chapter XVI: The 1944 Elections (28th of June 1943 - 20th of August 1944)
Chapter VII: When Gandhi met Churchill (10th of January 1945 - 6th of December 1946)
Epilogue: A Peaceful Ending at Midnight
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Prologue: The Peacock and the Sea
Prologue: The Peacock and the Sea
1st of January 1936

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi looked out onto the Bay of Bengal from his ashram near Calcutta. He still couldn’t believe what had transpired in the last ten or so years. Yet he was there when on the 19th of October 1925, the Republic of Bengal was declared in Calcutta in the aftermath of the British Revolution. He was there when the total collapse of order happened in India. He still remembered how sad he was to see this beautiful subcontinent split into three as British troops fell back to the northwest and the Indian princes in the south imitated the Republic and declared independence. He was sad when Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan took advantage of the power vacuum and seized rightful Indian land. But Gandhi was there to ensure the stability of the Republic along with his fellow Indian nationalists. Together, they stabilized the Republic and got rid of British imperialists, who mostly fled to Delhi. The British royalists on the other hand radicalized in their colonialism after they had successfully dealt with a local Sikh uprising. In the aftermath of the rebellion, the Raj became the Dominion of India, more independent from the Empire but still loyal to the Crown. Although many in the Republic thought the state of Dominion was merely a front for further imperialism, Gandhi believed that it was also partly a result of their neighbours’ desire for freedom and democracy. While the British were consolidating in Delhi, the Princely Federation to the south was founded on the power of the local princes. Under the influence of Gandhi and his followers, the Republic of Bengal initially had a careful stance on foreign policy. Gandhi was particularly worried about a German intervention, as they had done in China. But in the early 1930s, Gandhi’s ideas about foreign policy lost popularity and the Republic of Bengal adopted a more outwards-looking stance. A large scale war is still out of the question. Instead, Bengali foreign policy is aimed at supporting syndicalist movements in neighbouring countries, hoping to bring them in the Bengali sphere of influence by doing so. In that same policy, the People’s Republic of Bengal was renamed to the Bharatiya Commune, to adopt a more pan-Indian stance. By now, it had become clear that war with the Delhi imperialists was on the horizon and that the Commune’s foreign policy was bearing fruit in Indochina and Burma. Gandhi still believed in a peaceful solution. Just by looking at the beautiful nature in this country, he could tell that there was more to life than politics between countries.


Map of the Indian subcontinent on the 1st of January 1936.

But at the same time, there were signs that the Commune’s internal politics would soon enter a new stage. President of the Indian National Congress, Lala Lajpat Rai, was becoming old. Gandhi’s secretary Mahadev Desai had shared his belief more than once with Gandhi that Rai would retire within the next year. Rai’s future resignation could mark a potential end to the compromise government that emerged after the Indian Civil War, with both Subhas Chandra Bose’s Maximists and Gandhi’s own faction, the Agrarians, longing for definitive influence within the Congress and the Calcutta government as a whole. Meanwhile, on the other side of the border, it was becoming clear that King George V’s reign was near its end. The question was whether the British would choose to reform to appease local nationalists, or if they finally would succumb to the Indian unrest which has been plaguing the subcontinent ever since 1925. All of these things were going through Gandhi’s head, as he was watching a peacock, an age-old symbol for India, stretching its tail feathers and revealing the beautiful and diverse patterns it had kept hidden.

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The path to peace is wrought by war.
Whose name is Gandhi? :p

Who's named Gandhi?*

At least not the one true leader of India, the King of Great Britain and Emperor of India
The path to peace is wrought by war.
And Gandhi has seen his fair share of it. He fought in the Second Boer War, was part of an ambulance unit during the Zulu War, actively recruited Indians during the Weltkrieg and more recently he witnessed the violent removal of British rule in the Golf of Bengal.
Who's named Gandhi?*

At least not the one true leader of India, the King of Great Britain and Emperor of India
Well, King of Canada would be a more accurate term. Angry miners and workers made sure of that.
And Gandhi has seen his fair share of it. He fought in the Second Boer War, was part of an ambulance unit during the Zulu War, actively recruited Indians during the Weltkrieg and more recently he witnessed the violent removal of British rule in the Golf of Bengal.

Well, King of Canada would be a more accurate term. Angry miners and workers made sure of that.

The title is still his even if he reside in Canada. I am sure the traitors will get what they deserve..

On a more serious note, I hoped to see more from the Asian theater in your universe. The different rules you have also set seem very intruiging.
The title is still his even if he reside in Canada. I am sure the traitors will get what they deserve..

On a more serious note, I hoped to see more from the Asian theater in your universe. The different rules you have also set seem very intruiging.
Ha, part of the connected AARs is that you know part of the outcome already. As for Asia, I deliberately left out mentions to India in the other AARs so I could fill in the gaps in a separate AAR. As to other Asian countries, some have already some 'lore' set for them, such as Japan and China and how they interact in the Tripartite War. Everything leading up to that though will hopefully be revealed here.
Will Gandhi be the unifier of India, or will he be ousted by his rivals?
Chapter I: The Satyagraha March
Chapter I: The Satyagraha March
1st of January – 19th of April 1936

17th of January, in the late evening.

Mahadev knocked on his employer’s door. No answer. He put his ears to the wall and couldn’t hear a thing. He decided to enter the room nonetheless. Carefully and quietly, Mahadev opened the door. As he suspected, his master was meditating, probably thinking about the election campaign that within the year would be on their hands. Gandhi was planning on running for President of the National Congress. Mahadev was sure his employer could win with ease, but the main opponent, Subhas Chandra Bose, still posed a big opponent. While Mahadev had fallen into his own train of thought, Gandhi had noticed his secretary’s presence. “Well Mahadev, what a beautiful day it is, don’t you think?” he said. By the look on Mahadev’s face, Gandhi presumed that something was bothering his friend. Mahadev fell out of his train of thought and replied: “A good day it is. Bapu, I came with important news. This noon, King George V died from his illness. His son Edward will soon take up the throne. While George was too weak to lead the Empire back to Britain, Edward might usher in a new period of instability.” “Do not worry, my friend,” Gandhi said, “as is custom, the Chamber of Princes will head a regency until Edward’s coronation. His influence in the Dominion is not immediate. In the Commune, however, I expect that people will soon be celebrating on the street. I hope this won’t give the wrong signal to our neighbours.” Mahadev picked up on what Gandhi said and told him the real reason why he had come: “Indeed, I already spoke to a number of people about the news. Most of them saw this as a gift or as a blessing for a future war with the Dominion. I even heard that Bose has sent a letter to Oswald Mosley, the British leader of the Maximists, stating his support for his ideas on politics and economy. They are indeed in a similar situation. Both are not in control of their country, but for both of them, an opportunity might be looming on the horizon. We might want to take action of our own to counter Bose’s growing influence in the Congress.” Gandhi thought for a moment before sharing his thoughts with his friend. “It might be time to start holding our campaigns in public. Our support basis lies in the countryside. It is there that we must begin laying out our policies and beliefs. I propose we march along the Ganges River and gather as many people as possible. The National Congress cannot deny the millions of Indians which support our case.” “I will make the necessary arrangements”, Mahadev said while moving towards the door. “Before you go, my friend, would you be so kind to take my letters to the post office?” Gandhi asked. Mahadev nodded as he left.


6th of February, in the early evening.

Gandhi was walking along the banks of the river Ganges, followed by an immense crowd of people. Gandhi was getting tired, but luckily they neared a village which could provide a safe shelter for the Mahatma and his followers. Upon reaching the village, Gandhi was surprised to see his friend Mahadev Desai amidst the welcoming party. The two men embraced each other and Mahadev started speaking: “Bapu, I must inform you that the Imperial Conference in Ottawa has ended. From what was released in the press, we have learned several things about the Empire’s intentions for the following years. First of all, Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister of Canada, argued in a rather rousing speech that all efforts should be put into retaking Great Britain from the Union of Britain. Surprisingly, when his proposal was put to a vote, while all voted in favour, the Dominion of India chose to abstain.” Gandhi took this information in and replied: “I am not surprised that the Empire chooses to follow this path. As for Delhi, I feel they are too much concerned with us to worry about the situation in Britain.” Mahadev nodded and continued his report: “Next, it was Delhi’s turn. A delegate from the Chamber of Princes took the stand and ushered his concerns about India. His most important point was that a good responsible government should actively seek to reunite India. While the message might seem peaceful, his tone was very much aggressive towards the Commune and the Princes.” Gandhi once again shared his opinion on the matter: “Yes, that was to be expected from a delegate of Delhi. By setting their minds on a preparation for war, they mind up making such a war inevitable. We must try and seek a way to reunite India indeed, but an India reunited by war is not the India which I stand for.” The crowd which had gathered around the two man started applauding Gandhi for his vision of peace. Once the crowd had calmed down again, Mahadev continued: “Next to take the stand was the Caribbean Federation. They chose to not talk too much about the geopolitical situation of the Empire, but rather to focus on the economy. They suggested that the Empire could only be restored if good investments were made in the economy and industry of its Dominions. The final speaker at the Imperial Conference was the delegate from Australasia. Similar to the Caribbean delegate, he chose to avoid much of the geopolitics of the Empire. He stressed the need for the return of democracy to Australasia and the need for scientific cooperation between the Dominions.” Gandhi thanked Mahadev for his report and made a gesture to move inside, as the cold of the night was setting in. Mahadev was not finished however: “There is one last thing. I have received news from our friend Hermann that the stock market of Berlin has crashed. The Europeans call it Black Monday and Hermann expects it will spread to other countries in the next few weeks.” Gandhi looked out onto the crowd in front of him and spoke to them: “Do not worry, my friends. What happens in Berlin is not of our concern. We are a country of farmers, not traders. This Black Monday will not affect us. And if it does, in some way, affects your lives, then I will make it my personal mission to lighten your burdens.” With those last words, he disappeared into one of the village’s houses and entered the world of dreams.


The Dominion of India’s voting behaviour at the Imperial Conference, which lasted from the 25th of January until the 6th of February.

7th of February, around noon.

Gandhi was on the move again, walking from village to village, gathering support for his cause and at the same time showing his support for the farmers of India. He had said goodbye to Mahadev early in the morning, expecting to see him again not until next week. How wrong he was. Just as Gandhi was preparing to take a rest and lunch under a beautiful tree by the riverside, a car stopped by and delivered his friend Mahadev back to him. “Bapu, I have more troublesome news, I am afraid. This morning, not long after you left, the newspaper was delivered. The front page was full of it, terrible news for India”, Mahadev started saying. “But what is it, my friend? What could be so terrible that you had to take a car and catch up with me?” Gandhi asked. Almost out of breath, the 40-year old man continued: “Around midnight, Afghanistan has declared war on the Dominion. The Fifth Anglo-Afghani War has begun. They must have thought King George’s death and Black Monday would give them an advantage. But they must realise the Dominion’s army is far more superior, even if fighting is hard in the hostile mountains of Afghanistan, they stand no chance.” Gandhi had a disappointed look on his face. “This is indeed troubling news. It will not be British blood that is spent on taking back Quetta and Peshawar. Indian boys are being led into the death trap called Afghanistan. Let us hope the government in Delhi intends to stop the conflict as soon as the opportunity arises.”


Afghanistan’s offence quickly came to a halt and the Dominion started counterattacking on the 11th of February. Two main attacks were made, one in the south to retake Quetta, and one in the north to try and take Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital.

15th of February, in the afternoon.

The Mahatma and his followers were almost at the end of their journey. For 20 days they had marched through the Indian countryside, gathering and giving support along the way. They were now marching through the city of Rajshahi, heading towards the market square, where Gandhi would deliver a speech. While the Mahatma was preparing to take the stand, he was informed about the events in China. Two days before, on the 13th of February, unrest had begun in the Allgemeine Ostasien-Gesellschaft-controlled part of China when the Head-Office was burnt down. The event probably marked the beginning of greater unrest in China. The Mahatma was worried that the unrest against colonial rule might spread across the rest of Asia and trigger a violent response from the authorities. Gandhi decided to change his original speech and talk about the unrest in China, in the hopes of reaching audiences across colonial Asia. He took the stand and started his speech. “My friends, initially I planned to speak to you today about the need for a strong policy towards agriculture, but it has come to my attention that unrest is spreading among the oppressed in China. The message which I will bring here today is directed to those who feel oppressed, no matter where in the world. When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always. It is important to remember this fact. I know how dangerous and how tempting it can be to resort to violence to solve your problems. But what difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy? That is why I say, whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love. That, my friends, that is true power. Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment. Heed these words and spread them among your neighbours. May God be with you and guide you in your endeavours.” With those words and under a thunderous applause, the Mahatma concluded his speech.


9th of March, at noon.

Gandhi was enjoying lunch with his wife and his children under a big Cashew tree at his ashram. It had been several weeks now since his Satyagraha March had ended. It had been a tremendous success. People from all over the countryside flocked to the villages where the Mahatma would supposedly pass through. On several occasions, the Mahatma had had the chance to give a speech and lay out his policy of non-violence and his view on the economy. Although the latter was more intended at the bureaucrats in Calcutta than at the farmers who had gathered to listen to him. After all, that was what politicians did, use the people to gain power. But Gandhi was special in that he did not intend to cling to that power longer than necessary. He would use the power of President to reunite India, nothing more, nothing less. While his children now played on the field near the Cashew Tree, Gandhi and his wife enjoyed some privacy. Such things had become a rarity ever since Gandhi took up the fight against colonial rule back in South Africa. But even here at his own ashram, his privacy could not last for long. His trusty secretary, Mahadev, came towards the old couple, briefly playing with the children on the way. When he came under the Cashew tree, he handed over a newspaper to his friend. “For once in a long time, there’s some good news in the newspapers. I’m talking about page 2 and page 9”, Mahadev said. The Mahatma turned to page 9, his wife looking over his shoulder to see what they were talking about. “This is indeed good news. Elections in Australasia, democracy has returned at last”, Gandhi commented. “Yes, Earle Page’s Country Party managed to gain enough support in the Canberra parliament to form a minority government. Many hope that he will bring an end to the Emergency Protocols of 1924”, Mahadev said to summarize the article. “Let’s hope this Earle Pages is true to his word then,” Gandhi said while turning back to page 2, “The Treaty of Delhi was signed yesterday. So the war with Afghanistan is over at last. Delhi was wise enough to not push further and to spare Indian blood.” Mahadev agreed on that point, but added: “I’m afraid however that as a result of the massive failure in the war, some elements in Afghani society have openly called for an end of the King’s regime. While some are on the democratic side of politics, many more are conservative Muslims calling for an Islamic State of Afghanistan. I hope that the violence won’t spread to the Muslims of India.” Gandhi agreed with his friend, the relationship between Hindus and Muslims in India had always been precarious. Even in the Commune, where equality between the religions was implemented in the constitution, Hindus and Muslims occasionally fought against each other on the street. Instead of talking further about the subject, Gandhi took an apple from the tray and offered it to his friend. “Here, take an apple and have lunch. I have a goat to milk. Would you be so kind to look after my wife in the meantime?” Mahadev was not at all surprised by Gandhi’s words. “Bapu, I’m sure you’re wife doesn’t need someone to look after her, but I’ll be the best company she’s had today”, he said with a smile on his face. Gandhi burst in laughter while walking away, looking for the goat.


Outcome of the Treaty of Delhi.

19th of April, at dusk.

As Gandhi was looking out onto the sea, searching for the lights of fishing boats in the distance, his friend Mahadev approached him. “Any news from Paris yet?” Gandhi asked as he noticed Mahadev. “That’s why I’ve come, Bapu. The Congress of the Third Internationale ended yesterday. The small delegation Calcutta has sent has waited until the very last day to take the stage. The young Nehru explained why India had remained so quiet during most of the Congress. While talking about the precarious state of the revolutionary government in Calcutta, he strongly called for international support in building up the Bharatiyan army to rival Delhi and Hyderabad. Of course, the government in Calcutta is enraged, as they have tried to avoid actively angering Germany or the Entente by cooperating with the Third Internationale. Calcutta quickly sent out a message to say that the army is fine and doesn’t need improvement. However, that is a blatant lie, as our army is short on 15 000 guns for its infantry.” Gandhi smiled and said: “Ah, but the young Nehru simply spoke for himself and his followers. You’ve got to admire the courage of the man, even though the message is wrong. Once he is back from France, I think I’ll have a talk with him about non-violence and its strength.” “I’ll try and arrange a meeting. In other news, you might have heard that trouble is brewing north of the Indian subcontinent, as Mongolia has declared war on the Ma Clique on the 15th of April”, Mahadev said. The Mahatma was not surprised. “The Mad Baron was always a liability. Let us hope he doesn’t drag the rest of Asia into his wars of conquest.” “Let us hope indeed”, Mahadev replied.


GAMEPLAY NOTE: I must give credit where credit is due. Thank you @Tom D. for playing as the Dominion of India and to ensure that events in the Dominion happen as they should happen. Without you, this playthrough would not have been possible.​
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Will Gandhi be the unifier of India, or will he be ousted by his rivals?
I guess that has been spoiled already by some maps in previous AARs, but don't worry, the path is more important than the destination.
I don't doubt that Gandhi might get used by his foes, but I also don't doubt that he may have a trick or three up his sleeve :D
I don't doubt that Gandhi might get used by his foes, but I also don't doubt that he may have a trick or three up his sleeve :D
Also, Gandhi is surrounded by a lot of smart people. Here we've met Mahadev, but there'll be plenty enough to support Gandhi and give him the support and ideas he needs.
In a world with so much war and conflict, only the greatest of men will be able to rise above the carnage and walk the path of peace. Thankfully the Commune has the greatest of souls ready to take the helm, though the Mahatma certainly has his work cut out for him. Perhaps it is not too late to compromise with the Dominion. Their words are harsh and warlike, but an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Hopefully all will go according to plan. The event where the totalists seize power and the Agriculturalists launch a revolt, causing Ghandi to be so saddened by the violence committed in his name that he retires from public life, is actually pretty sad.
In a world with so much war and conflict, only the greatest of men will be able to rise above the carnage and walk the path of peace. Thankfully the Commune has the greatest of souls ready to take the helm, though the Mahatma certainly has his work cut out for him. Perhaps it is not too late to compromise with the Dominion. Their words are harsh and warlike, but an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Hopefully all will go according to plan. The event where the totalists seize power and the Agriculturalists launch a revolt, causing Ghandi to be so saddened by the violence committed in his name that he retires from public life, is actually pretty sad.
I'll try to avoid waging war in Gandhi's name as much as possible, but some things are inevitable.
Always happy to help, and in the end you only needed me for the first year or so - maybe for the best looking at the quality of the screenshots that are clearly from me :p.
Not everyone can have the best resolution on their computer screen :p
Chapter II: Two Meetings and a Funeral
Chapter II: Two Meetings and a Funeral
20th of April – 15th of August 1936

7th of May, in the afternoon.

Gandhi and some of his followers, after having talked about Tibet joining the war against the Ma Clique just four days ago, were now clutched around the radio. Main topic of the programming today was the Imperial Durbar in Delhi. King Edward VIII had come all the way from Canada to celebrate his coronation as King-Emperor of India. His speech was now broadcasted all over the Indian subcontinent, of course commented on by different propagandists. He expressed his hope that one day the Entente would rule over all of the Indian princedoms again. This hope was quickly put away by the radio host as imperialism and colonialism, not far from the truth in fact. Edward VIII also announced that Maharaja Ganga Singh would become his Viceroy of India and that he would leave the matters of state to him and his government, so that he could focus on Canadian politics. Viceroy Singh then took the stage and talked about the coming Indian elections. He expressed his belief in the democratic process and his willingness to govern India with whatever party wins the elections. Edward VIII didn’t stay in Delhi for long, as the debate about his Bill C-7 was heating up. Gandhi and his followers were somewhat surprised by this turn of events. Many thought that Edward’s brother Albert would take up the role of Viceroy. Gandhi was not so sure, however, what this meant for the role of the Viceroy. Would the Maharaja merely be a figurehead, or would he actively involve himself in the daily governance of the Dominion? The Mahatma and his followers discussed on this matter for the rest of the day, overlooking the fact that elections would soon be held in their neighbouring country.


Portrait of King-Emperor Edward VIII, made in honour of his coronation.

10th of May, in the late evening.

Gandhi had invited some Chinese friends over at his ashram, mainly to talk about the current situation in their country. That day, the unrest in the Allgemeine Ostasiengesellschaft had come to an end, with their reintegration into Qing China. A series of reforms had failed to revive the German controlled economy and as unrest mounted, the administration saw reintegration as their only solace. Gandhi was somewhat disappointed that the unrest didn’t take another, more radical turn. Instead of reintegration into Qing China, he had hoped for the establishment of a Republic of China. His Chinese dinner companions agreed on the opportunity that was lost here, but they hoped that the Qing would somewhat counter the Japanese and the Mongolian aggression in the region. For them, the bigger threats these countries posed outweighed the need for a democratic government. Gandhi couldn’t disagree more. He believed a democratic government would be all the more worth fighting for and defending.

21st of May, in the late afternoon.

Mahadev Desai hurried to where Gandhi was taking his nap. Some disturbing events had occurred of which Gandhi had to be notified. Yesterday, the Trade Union Congress in the Union of Britain was forced to elect a new Chairman as Philip Snowden resigned. Out of the four major factions in the TUC (Maximists, Autonomists, Federationists and Congregationists), Oswald Mosley’s Maximists managed to maintain the loudest voice and get their leader elected as Chairman. Mahadev was worried, as Mosley was much more in favour of military action than any other faction. But much more worrying was the fact that Bose had congratulated Mosley on his victory in such a manner that it seemed like he was speaking for the government in Calcutta. Of course the people actually in charge of the government were furious. But this action demanded that Gandhi also sent a reply out into the media. Mahadev was not sure what his friend and employer could say that wouldn’t be a harm to their cause. Calling out Mosley on his militarism might turn even more Congressmen against Gandhi, while congratulating him might provoke Delhi and Hyderabad. When Mahadev approached Gandhi, the Mahatma was no longer asleep. “Yes, Mahadev, what’s the matter?” Gandhi asked his friend, who clearly looked out of breath. “It’s that damn Bose again. He is at it again with his big mouth. This time he has sent a letter to Mosley, congratulating him on his victory, but he made it seem like he spoke for the entire Congress”, Mahadev said, with the little breath he had left. “Don’t be angry, my friend. Spare your breath for a cause more worth of your effort. I’ll be sure to send Mr. Mosley and Mr. Bose a message of my own. Let’s show these men that we won’t be bullied and that we’re fine speaking for ourselves”, the old man said. By now, Mahadev had found back his breath and asked: “Bapu, shall I write your answer down for you?” Gandhi nodded and started dictating the words: “As a great statesman and leader, one must shake many hands. But one cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. As a great statesman and leader, one must not only act in the present, but also regard the past and build the future. Your tomorrow depends entirely on what you do today. Mankind may remember you a hundred years from now, but only the most holy of men last a thousand years. What you must do as a statesman and as a leader is simple. Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen, and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him. Only if you act on trying to better the lives of the poor, you can call yourself a great leader. If your own gain is all you seek, you may count yourself among your tyrant predecessors.” Mahadev was impressed, this answer was perfect. After adding the usual opening and closing sentences, Mahadev would send this letter as soon as possible.


28th of May, around tea time.

Six days ago, elections were held in the Dominion of India. Gandhi, and the rest of the world, learned of the results the next morning. He was surprised to see that Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his social democrats, the All-India Home Rule Party, had won most of the votes. Viceroy Singh kept his promise of respecting the elections’ outcome when he opened negotiations with Jinnah to form a cabinet. Yesterday, Jinnah reached an agreement with the social liberal Swaraj Party of Narasimha Kelkar, giving the new government with Jinnah as PM a slight majority in parliament. Gandhi decided to pay a visit to his friend Rabindranath Tagore to discuss the matter. Tagore was a poet, and a good one to say the least. His work was widely read throughout the syndicalist world and beyond. His words of wisdom were considered by many to touch on the basic truths of mankind. Gandhi did not always agree with his friend on ideological matters, but as a friend, Gandhi knew he could count on Tagore for advice at any time. Over a cup of tea, the two discussed the elections. “What do you think about Jinnah?” Gandhi asked. “He is the best possible outcome of all the parties in my opinion. I’m certain that if the Conservatives had won, the Dominion would have mobilised already. At least Jinnah has an ear for negotiations. He has proved this through his alliance with the social liberals”, Tagore said. “My only worry is that he will use his religion as an argument against unification”, Gandhi replied. “How so?” Tagore asked with a slight surprise. “After the Revolution, many Muslims fled from the Bengal Republic to the Dominion. They feared heavy regulation on everything to do with religion. So now the Dominion is a majority Muslim country, while the Commune is a majority Hindu country. Jinnah will certainly use this to either push his own religious agenda, or to refuse reunification altogether”, Gandhi explained. “Then we must show that we are willing to listen to his religious concerns. My friend, you of all people have the power to do this. You have such an open mind regarding the Muslim, Hindu and Christian religions. Use that open mind. Unite the people of India, whatever religion they adhere to. The peaceful reunification of India is just too important to be poisoned by religious debates. Know that I support you, even though we might have our differences from time to time”, Tagore spoke wisely. Gandhi agreed fully with his friend. They continued to discuss other matters for the rest of the day, until it was time for Gandhi to return to his ashram.


8th of June, late in the evening.

Gandhi had just arrived in the big capital of the Commune, Calcutta. His presence had been requested by President Rai. Gandhi did not know why he was being summoned. It might have something to do with his plans to resign, but Gandhi was surprised to see a foreigner in Rai’s office. The man introduced himself as the new ambassador for Siam. Apparently, a coup d’état had occurred in Siam earlier that day. They certainly were quick in replacing their ambassadors. The ambassador explained what had happened: “A group of officers and intelligentsia calling themselves the ‘Khana Ratsadon’ or ‘People’s Party’ (nothing to do with syndicalism), have seized control of the government. The King and his heir are safe and looked after by the new government. This is not a military coup but rather a peaceful transfer of power while a constitution is put in place. I was sent here to ask for recognition of our new government. We have asked Japan and Germany the same.” Rai looked at Gandhi and said: “Mahatma, I did not intend to bring you here to discuss Siam, but as you’re here now, you might as well share your thoughts.” Gandhi pondered over this question before speaking out loud: “I must be honest, I did not expect the Siamese people to be this quick in handling a matter so delicate as foreign policy. President Rai, I think it would be most wise to wait a few more days, or even weeks, to see if this new government is stable enough to be worthy of our recognition. I think that would be the best option at the moment. Who is to say that in a few hours, a representative of the old government will come knocking on someone’s door and ask for support. We must try and avoid open confrontation with Germany or Japan at all costs. India is not prepared for war. That said though, opening diplomatic relations with this new government does not require an official recognition.” The ambassador finished his plea for recognition and left President Rai and Gandhi to discuss their own matters.

17th of June, at noon.

Gandhi was still in Calcutta. His talk with the President had not been very productive. While Rai was a more careful person than he was ten years ago, he also wasn’t as influential as ten years ago. Gandhi could already see the influence Bose was exerting in some matters. For example, Bose had been appointed as Field Marshall, along with his protégé Lakshmi Saghal who became a general in the Commune’s army. Today, Gandhi had another meeting with the President. They were to have breakfast in one of Calcutta’s many restaurants. Not a place where Gandhi would go if it were up to him, but the President insisted. When Gandhi turned up at the restaurant, President Rai was already there, two guards standing next to the table. Gandhi approached the President and greeted him wholeheartedly. Gandhi broke the ice by addressing one of the guards: “Will you and your friend join us at lunch?” The guard was confused and looked at the President for an answer. “Please, I insist,” Gandhi continued, “after all, you are just human and you need to eat something.” President Rai nodded approvingly at the guard. For the people walking by, it must have been an odd sight, the President of the Commune lunching with the most esteemed Mahatma and two guards clearly out of their comfort zone. “These two men have been kindly provided by Field Marshall Bose,” President Rai explained, “the Field Marshall has been particularly interested in my safety lately.” Gandhi was not surprised by this news and expressed his thoughts: “Mr. President, I must express my concern regarding Field Marshall Bose and his followers. He’s clearly trying to wrap you around his fingers.” “Oh I know, Gandhi. That is why it isn’t going to work. You see, these guards might be provided by the Field Marshall, but their loyalty is to me. I’ve simply replaced the individuals which Bose had sent without him knowing. He still pays their wages, while I am certain of their allegiance,” the President reassured. Gandhi was not entirely convinced and turned his attention to the guards, who were having a conversation of their own. They were talking about some French guy called Louis Roubaud, Gandhi had never heard of him. Gandhi asked them what they were talking about. One of the soldiers explained: “Didn’t you hear, Mr. Gandhi? About Indochina? About the German violence?” “I can’t say I have. My secretary Mahadev usually fills me in on these things, but he’s out of town to see his family,” Gandhi answered. “Ah yes, Indochina. Yesterday, thirteen anti-colonialist rebels were brutally executed by the Germans,” the President said, “I’ve already sent the order to send equipment and volunteers. An uprising in Indochina would finally get rid of the Germans in the region, as they have already lost their holdings in China.” “President, as horrible as that violence might have been, I disagree with meddling directly in German affairs,” Gandhi said, “By the way, the Germans still have a strong foothold in Ceylon.” The President clearly disagreed: “Weakening Germany is in our best interest. And by the way, our intelligence service has information about a possible trade between Germany and the Princely Federation regarding Ceylon.” It was looking more and more like Gandhi’s second talk with the President this month would be as productive as his first talk. But Gandhi needed his support to sway the Indian National Congress. There was still time, but the President was slipping deeper and deeper into Field Marshall Bose’s pocket. Where was Mahadev when you needed him?


25th of June, in the morning.

Mahadev hurried towards the house where Gandhi had been staying. He had returned yesterday from a visit to his family in the north. But more importantly, Gandhi had to be informed about the latest news from Canada. It was disturbing to say the least. Mahadev was greeted at the door by Gandhi’s host, an influential Hindu leader of Calcutta: “The Mahatma is upstairs, enjoying the morning sun.” Mahadev ran up the stairs and found his friend on the flat roof terrace of the house. “Bapu, I have some troubling news,” Mahadev said, clearly out of breath. “Ah Mahadev, you’re back. How is your aunt doing these days?” Just as Mahadev was going to answer Gandhi’s question, the Monsoon rains started pouring down on them. Gandhi always had the worst timing regarding his outdoors habits. Mahadev was just about to hurry inside, when Gandhi said: “Mahadev, my friend, stay outside for a while. I did not come here to only enjoy the sun, the rain is enjoyable too. Just as the sun, the rain provides life to this country. It is only fair that we pay similar homage. Now, tell me, what was so important?” Mahadev stayed in the doorframe to stay dry and began talking, his breath regained: “King Edward VIII has disbanded his parliament yesterday. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he declared the Kingdom of Canada by Royal Decree just after that. New elections are not expected until September, so that gives King Edward enough time to counter liberal opposition and ensure that his supporters get elected.” Gandhi was slightly shocked. So much so that he did no longer enjoy the raining pouring down from the sky and went inside to discuss the matter further. “This is certainly worrying. The Entente, pretending to defend the free world, is starting to show authoritarian tendencies. However, this crisis might help us in the long term. Think about it. The people in the Dominion of India want to move towards more democracy and self-rule, Canada and the King have just gone in the other direction. The people of India might have an ear for reconciliation again, once Ottawa is threatening to take their freedom away.” “Let’s hope so. If Edward would be so stupid to try the same in India, I’m certain that blood will spill on the streets. If it depended on Bose, war would certainly be declared,” Mahadev said in response. “About Bose, he’s the Field Marshall now”, Gandhi said, assuming his secretary did not hear the news yet. “Well this makes our goal even harder as it already is. Bose is moving closer and closer to the presidential office, while we are yet to hold a major rally in the capital”, Mahadev said, the feeling of melancholy seeping through his words.

15th of August, in the almost darkness of the late evening.

Gandhi did not have the opportunity to pay a visit to his wife back at the ashram during the summer months. Constant political campaigning kept him from leaving the capital. But now his wife had come to Calcutta to attend a funeral. Bhikhaiji Rustom Cama, also known as Madame Cama, had lost her battle against a strong fever two days ago. Gandhi and his wife, along with all other major leaders of the Bharatiya Commune and even some international syndicalist leaders were invited. Even though Madame Cama, as a Parsi, was a follower of Zoroastrianism, she had requested a Hinduist funeral ceremony. Of all the people invited, Gandhi was selected as the lead mourner, something Madame Cama herself had requested on her deathbed. [The lead mourner in Hinduist funeral tradition is the eldest son, a priest or a male mourner who bathes himself before leading the cremation ceremony, saying a eulogy or reciting a hymn among other things] Before the Mahatma took the stage for the eulogy, he circled around the dry wood pyre with the body, passing by Field Marshall Bose and General Saghal in the process. The former giving him an angry look. Next, he took the stage so that everyone could hear and see him. Gandhi had prepared this eulogy with great care. He didn’t want to give the impression of using the funeral as a means of gaining support. Nevertheless, there was a reason why Madame Cama asked for this with her dying breath. Gandhi took a deep breath and began his speech: “In 1907, a wonderful woman from Mumbai raised the first Indian national flag at the Stuttgart International Socialist Conference. Her name was Bhikhaiji Rustom Cama, but we all knew her as Madame Cama. The things she has done for this country are remarkable to say the least. The foundations she built are the very same on which we build our country and our laws every day.” Gandhi continued with summing up Madame Cama’s many achievements before getting to the end of the eulogy. “With sadness we must say goodbye to one of India’s greatest. But one never truly is gone. Madame Cama will live on in all of us, because she knew that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. It is therefor that I say, Vande Mataram. We bow to thee Mother India. May you someday be reunited in peace.” Gandhi left the stage and approached the dry wood pyre. Gandhi revealed Madame Cama’s face by lifting the 1907 Indian flag, a shame that the museum-worthy object would burn and accompany Madame Cama to the afterlife. The Mahatma put rice in her mouth and sprinkled the body and the pyre with ghee. He then drew three lines, each one signifying death in one way or another. Before lighting the fire, Gandhi circled the pyre again, this time with a pot filled with water, which he lobbed over his shoulder once he was done. Then the pyre was set ablaze, Gandhi now circling it again, this time accompanied by Madame Cama’s relatives and closest friends. When the time was right, Gandhi set Madame Cama’s spirit free by opening up her skull. “Her spirit will now watch over all of India”, Gandhi mumbled to himself, watching the flames soar into the night sky.


1) The ingame conflict between Tibet, Mongolia and the Ma Clique is something to follow, as it will have consequences for the future of China as a whole. It was mentioned before in my In Flanders Fields AAR, but now we can follow it as it unfolds.
2) The unrest in Indochina which started here is basically the root for the future Indochinese war which we already encountered in the Golden Circle AAR.​
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