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Congress cannot absolve itself from responsibility of dividing Bharat in 1947
8/22/2018 11:30:29 PM
Ravinder Jalali

"India, which is also
called Bharat, would have remained a united country if Jinnah had become the first prime minister", the 14th Dalai Lama said in Goa some days back. He was speaking at an event organised by Goa Institute of Management. "Mistakes always happen. Now, look at India. I think Mahatma Gandhi ji was very much willing to give Prime minister ship to Jinnah. But Pandit Nehru refused," he said. "Pandit Nehru, I know very well, was a very experienced person, very wise, but sometimes mistakes happen." He was answering a question asked by a student on how to "make sure we don't take wrong decisions due to our emotions while making these choices." Dalai Lama is living in exile in India since he fled Chinese forces in 1959. It may be his perception but not a statement of fact. He may not be in know of the basics of 1947 partition and it was a just a casual remark and may not deserve any attention other than the academics of it. The debate over who were responsible for the Partition, which led to the creation of the dominions of India and Pakistan, has been raging on for many years now. It is under this shadow I thought of putting partition of India in a perspective.
If we will go into deeper dimension of the Partition which includes the role of Muslim League as well as Congress, it will not be fair to blame squarely Congress for partition but for obvious reasons, Muslim League as well as British, were responsible for it. Although Britain had no stake in the partition because of being outsiders and knowing that it hardly matters for them because they are the outsiders and are not going to settle in India but for Muslim League and Jinnah it was a bounty with power and money. Does it mean that Jinnah can not be held responsible for Partition? Absolutely, No. It was he (Jinnah) who sowed the seed of partition on the basis of the religion and is the main culprit. The letter of Jinnah to Gandhi dated September 17, 1944, is a testimony to it which read as under:
"Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a nation. We are a nation of a hundred million, we are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitudes and ambitions-in short we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all cannons of international law we are a nation."
The demand for Pakistan was based on the homeland concept. It was meant to be a separate homeland for protecting the Muslims. It is here pertinent to mention that neither Jinnah nor any resolution of the Muslim League ever suggested that a separate state was needed because Islam was in danger. However, some Muslim League leaders made religion-oriented speeches in the per-independence period and Islamic slogans were raised by the Muslim League in order to build support for itself in the 1946 provincial elections.
The role and responsibility of Congress in dividing Bharat and creation of Pakistan, a country founded on an idea of religious identity of Muslims is also of great significance and can not be ignored. It seems quite logical to infer that it is the Congress who can be also held responsible for creation of Pakistan on the basis of the fact that when Congress claims itself as a champion of freedom struggle and the main architect of Indian independence, then it should claim itself as cause of creating Pakistan. Pakistan is a bye-product of gaining India's Independence.
If we will go through one of the videos of former Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court and son of poet Iqbal, Dr. Javed Iqbal who clearly states that that Muslims are not capable of creating nation. If we will go by Cabinet Mission Plan there was a concept of Autonomy with in Indian union which Jinnah also accepted.
If today somebody is raising a demand for freedom or autonomy or something, it does not mean that he will get it unless it is given to them and it is the giver who is responsible for it. If in today's scenario, e.g. some separatists are demanding freedom, does it mean that we should give it? When slogans in JNU are raised which are anti -India or the demands are anti-national, but we did not accede to their demands. Similarly some separatists in Kashmir, backed by Pakistan are demanding cessation or freedom from India, does it mean that we should grant them, No. Then how demand of Muslim League for creation of Pakistan for Muslims could be granted? Who acceded to their request? Now it will be argued that the British is responsible for dividing India, but why Congress accepted the two nation theory on the basis of religion and in a hurry. It simple means that they negotiated and compromised the freedom of India by giving a portion of India to Pakistan.
If Muslims succeeded in getting their Pakistan where they feel free to practice Islam and will be Islamic country governed by Islamic rules, then what about the other faiths? Then obviously the areas other than Pakistan should have been for the rest of the faiths only, which is not. What I feel that it was Hindu Mahasabha an organisation of Hindus who vehemently opposed the creation Of Pakistan on the basis of religion.
Congress can not absolve itself by saying that it was British who divided India but then why they accepted the freedom? We can not say that Congress has achieved or fought for freedom, but was offered by British on the condition that the country will be divided between Muslims and Hindus. We could have continued with our fight for freedom for the whole of India, for further more periods. Congress can not plea that it would have taken longer period or the country could not have got freedom so early. It seems that congress was very eager to get power rather than the freedom of country. Had they been fighting sincerely for freedom of their mother land, and then they would not have accepted the partition no matter what Jinnah or Muslim league would have demanded, if going through the events of history and the freedom struggle
Those who say that Muslim League fought for independence of India are not correct. They never fought for independence but for Islam and caliphate. It was during popular Khilafat movement in Turkey for retaining the caliphate, protests emerged across the Muslim world, the most prominent activities took place in India and Muslims support for the caliphate. To its founders and followers, the Khilafat was not a religious movement but rather a show of solidarity with their fellow Muslims in Turkey. They aimed to build political unity amongst Muslims and use their influence to protect the caliphate. In 1920, they called upon the British to protect the caliphate and for Indian Muslims to unite and hold the British accountable for this purpose. After the victory of Mustafa Kemal's forces, which overthrew the Ottoman rule to establish a secular republic in independent Turkey and abolished the role of Caliph and sought no help from Indians, the Khilafat leadership fragmented on different political lines. They played a major role in the growth of the Muslim League's popular appeal and the subsequent Pakistan movement.
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