The consequences of Muslim separatism have been seen throughout Indian history but it came to a head during the time of partition.
S. Srinivas is a historian and researcher who has worked for over a decade as a lecturer; assistant editor for Quarterly Journal of Mythic Society as well as a journalist. He was awarded a Ph.D. by Bangalore University for his thesis on the History of Civic Administration in Bangalore(1862-1950). Currently, he is fully engaged in writing on topics pertaining to ancient India.
Perpetrators of India’s Partition
Today we find Muslim communalists in India posing as the protectors of Dalits and accusing Hindu organisations of being communal. Many Muslim leaders talk as though they (Muslims) did a great sacrifice by remaining in India and not going to Pakistan after partition. Many people in India especially the power-hungry politicians and the majority of those in the media believe in the fabricated myth, through the history text books written by Marxist historians, that put the blame for India’s partition squarely on the Hindu nationalists and the British all the while portraying the Muslims as the aggrieved and innocent. But a thorough examination of facts reveals that the very existence of anti-patriotism among the Indian Muslims was responsible for the partition of India. What the Britishers did was to exploit and aggravate the problem. But the problem was there even before the arrival of the Britishers.
The Genesis of Muslim Separatism
The separatist and intolerant tendencies of the Muslims in India were dormant even before the establishment of British rule in India. During the Medieval period, though the Hindu rulers and the people accorded a generous treatment to Muslims, they did not reciprocate the same. For example, the Zamorin of Calicut gave orders that in every family of fishermen in his dominion; one or more of the male members should be brought up as Mohammedans. The Hindu reformers and teachers emphasized that Hinduism and Islam were two different paths leading to the same goal. They preached that Ram and Rahim, Krishna and Karim, Ishwar and Allah, were different names of the same god. An earnest attempt was made to bring about unity between the two communities by deprecating priestly ritualism and formalities and emphasizing inner religious devotion. Not only were the foreign Muslims honoured and respected, but even Indian converts to Islam were shown regard and a treatment which was better than that meted out to lower castes among the Hindu themselves. The Muslims on the other hand, believed in their superiority and branded the Hindus as an inferior people, feeble and unprogressive. If a Hindu, who was converted to Islam, showed any inclination to revert to the religion of his forefathers, he was, according to the law of the Sultanate, put to death, and if any Hindu preached that Hinduism and Islam alike were true religions, he was liable to capital punishment. Moreover, according to the Quranic injunction it is not permissible for a Muslim male to marry a non-Muslim woman without first converting her to Islam; nor it was permissible for a Muslim woman to be given in marriage to a Hindu, unless he himself became a Muslim. Further, by the orders of the Quran, Muslims were prohibited from showing any respect or consideration for their non-Muslim ancestors. This Quranic injunction made it impossible for Indian Muslim, most of them who were converts from Hinduism, to have anything to do with their Hindu ancestors, or to have legitimate pride in the ancient history of this country.
Religious Fanaticism and Aggression
The Muslims of India though living in this country for centuries unmolested by the Hindus and having full religious freedom could not develop any friendly feeling with their Hindu counterpart or consider India as their motherland. The main reason for this was the religious fanaticism of the Muslims. The Muslims always insisted on their separate identity and never regarded themselves as Indians first. To them a Muslim foreigner was a nearer kith and kin than a Hindu neighbour. They were more sensitive to the misfortune of their Turkish co-religionists than to the murder of their Hindu brethren at Jallianwallabagh. The Indian Muslims searched for their national roots elsewhere and to some extent found them in the Afghan and Mughal periods of India. This search for their culture roots led the Indian Muslims to Islamic history and to the periods when Islam was a conquering and creative force in Baghdad, Spain, Constantinople, Central Asia and elsewhere. After the collapse of the Muslim power in India with the arrival of the British, the Indian Muslims began to derive their temporal and spiritual inspiration from the Turkish Empire and its Khalifa.
In contrast the Buddhist of China and South East Asia knew that their Lord (Buddha) was born in India, but never sought to glorify or emancipate India; they were exclusively concerned with national matters of the country in which they lived. Speaking on the Hindu-Muslim question, Bharat Ratna Rabindranath Tagore opined that it was almost impossible for Hindu-Muslim unity to become an accomplished fact as the Muslims could not confine their patriotism to any one country. The poet said that he had very frankly asked many Muslims whether in the event of any Mohammadan power invading India, they would stand side by side with their Hindu neighbours to defend their common land; he could not be satisfied with the reply he got from them. (The Times of India, April 18, 1924)
Spewed Venom on Hindus
All prominent Muslim intellectuals were rabid communalists who had nothing but contempt towards India and Hindus. In a speech on 16th March 1888, Syed Ahmed Khan said that the Hindus and Muslims were not only two nations but as two warring nations who could never lead a common political life should ever the British quit India. Mohammad Iqbal said to be the originator of a separate Muslim State was inspired by the spirit of Pan Islamism. He proposed the formation of a Muslim State in the North-West part of India. Mohammad Ali Jinnah considered as the father of Pakistan at the Lahore session of the Muslim League in March 1940 said that the Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs and literatures and it is a dream that Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality.
During the Khilafat movement the Moplahs (Muslims of Kerala) committed terrible atrocities against their Hindu neighbours which included ripping open the stomach of pregnant Hindu women; this in spite of the Hindus giving support to their movement. None of the leaders of the Muslim community condemned this action of the Moplahs and instead denied the atrocities and even tried to shift the blame on Hindus. The Muslims animosity and hatred against Hindus was such that they even did not spare MK Gandhi. One of the leading men of the Khilafat Movement, Mohammed Ali made a statement in 1924 at Aligarh where he said that however pure Gandhi’s character may be, from his (Mohammed Ali) point of view he (Gandhiji) is inferior to any Mussalman even though that Mussalman may be of bad character. Many dismissed this statement as press fabrication. Later when he was asked to clarify Mohammed Ali reaffirmed that statement he had made. Mohammed Ali’s contempt for India was such that he preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather in India.
The Muslim leaders were so intolerant that they found fault even with progressive leaders like Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Aurobindo, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Gandhi just for being pious Hindus in their personal life, for taking pride in their historical and mythical heroes and for praising their motherland. Contrast this attitude of the Muslims with that of Hindu nationalists; who all believed in the concept of Akhand Bharat and proclaimed that all those who live in India were Hindus. It should be remembered that the formation of Hindu Mahasabha and RSS. took place only to counter the aggressive attitude of the fanatical Muslims who at the drop of a hat used to organise communal riots.
Appeasement Policy of the Congressmen
The Congress leaders from Gokhale to Gandhi presumed that by a policy of generosity they could win over the Muslims; but the Muslims demands were insatiable. The Muslim demanded certain rights which they were not prepared to concede to others. They wanted the right to convert Hindus to Islam but objected to the Shuddi movement of Arya Samaj (a movement to bring back converted Muslims to their ancestor's faith). The Muslims demanded the right to self-determination but tried to deny the same right to minorities in Muslim majority provinces. The Muslims were against parliamentary system because they wanted to dominate the political life of the country and reimpose their rule in India. Deep inside their hearts the Congressmen knew the real character of the Muslims but acted as liberals in public as they wanted their support to fight against the Britishers. According to Gandhiji it was Hindu’s cowardice that had made the Mussalman a ‘bully’ leading to Hindu Muslim riots and the parents of middle-class Hindus, themselves timid, continue to transmit their timidity to their children. (Harijan, January 6th, 1940) The Congressmen knew that it was impossible to live with Muslims peacefully in united India and hence agreed to partition. Sardar Patel’s argument was that if two brothers cannot stay together, they better divide. If they are forced to stay together, they tend to fight every day. It is better to have one clean fight and then separate than have bickering every day. C Rajagopalachari also supported partition and so also Ambedkar. But Ambedkar was of the view that there should be mutual transfer of population, Muslims living in India to migrate to Pakistan and Hindus living in Pakistan migrating to India so that Hindus could live in peace and free from Muslim aggression. But the Congress party under the leadership of Gandhiji and Nehru allowed the Muslims to stay behind in India to showcase their secular credentials thought they did not have such credentials. For instance, when Moti Lal Nehru’s daughter wished to marry Syed Hussain, the editor of a newspaper Independent, Moti Lal Nehru threatened that he would commit suicide. Gandhiji later persuaded Syed Hussain to forget about his marriage and to leave the country. Similarly, when Gandhi’s son embraced Islam, he ostracized him and only reconciled once he was brought back into the Hindu fold under Birla’s influence.
Reasons behind Muslims remaining in India
In the elections of 1945-46 the Muslim League captured an overwhelming majority of Muslim seats in all the provinces which shows that Muslim living all over India supported Pakistan. For most of the gullible Muslims who supported partition of India, Pakistan meant the very place they lived. Only later they realised that they had to leave their home, job and start a new life if they had to go to their dream land Pakistan. Hence except the rich and powerful, most of the Muslims stayed back. Moreover, the Muslims living in India were never threatened by the Hindus to convert nor their women’s honour outraged. Moreover, the mullahs had other sinister designs. The Jamait-ul-ulema was opposed to Pakistan, as it would affect its propagation of Islam. Maulana Madani delivering a speech on 19th September 1945 in Delhi on the occasion of the formation of the Azad Muslim Parliamentary Board to fight the last constitutional battle against the demand of Pakistan said that at the termination of the Muslim rule, there were about 25 million Muslims in India. Within a period of less than a century their number increased up to 100 million. The missionary work of the Jamait has a great share in this increase. The great object of an overall spread of Islam in the whole of India cannot be realized by appealing to passion of hatred and antagonism. It is the non-Muslims who are the field of action for the tabligh (spread of Islam) and form the raw material for this splendid activity.
Muslim and Dalit divide
With regards to the Muslim pretension of being friends of Dalits, way back in 1947 Ambedkar had cautioned Dalits to be vary of Muslims intentions. On November 27th 1947 in a press release Ambedkar said that it would be a fatal for the Scheduled Castes, whether in Pakistan or in Hyderabad to put their faith in the Muslims or the Muslim League. It has become a habit with the Scheduled Castes to look upon the Muslims as their friends simply because they dislike the Hindus. This is a mistaken view. The Muslim wanted the support of the Scheduled Castes but they never gave their support to the Scheduled Castes. Jinnah was all the time playing a double game. He was very insistent that the Scheduled Castes were a separate entity when it suited him but when it did not suit him he insisted with equal emphasis that they (Scheduled Castes) were Hindus. After the formation of Pakistan, Ambedkar invited the Scheduled Castes to come to India as they were subjected to forcible religious conversion.
It is high time that Hindus become aware of the real facts that had taken place in our history, especially our younger generation and very importantly those working in the media and public sphere.
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