India has not realised and is still not realising its potential. The people are wise,
intelligentsia is as well educated as any in the world. The country's technocrats,
managers and businessmen have proved themselves to be world class. The resource
base of the country is sound. Yet the pace of progress is slow. Why? One reason is that
the country is unable to move in unison. A significant section of the Muslim population is
dissatisfied, sullen and unhappy. Many of the Muslim leaders are cantankerous, complain
frequently and seldom have a good word for India; their followers are perpetually
Mohammed All Jinnah and his Muslim Leaguers had foreseen this fate.
They were anxious and had therefore made the exchange of population an integral part of
their demand for Pakistan to pull together all the Muslims of undivided India. The
territorial vivisection was to provide exclusive space for their homeland or a
Dar-ul-Islam for the entire Muslim population to flourish under the writ of the sharia
The demand for the new state was led by men who resided in the provinces of Bihar,
Bombay and United Provinces (UP). M.A. Jinnah was a Gujarati where asNawabzada Liaquat All
Khan hailed from what is now Haryana. To accommodate the expected mohajirs. the
Muslim League governments encouraged ethnic cleansing whereby non-Muslims were forced to
move to Hindustan. The cleansing was thorough in the western wing of Pakistan and less
thorough in east Pakistan.
However, not many Muslims migrated or undertook hijrat. Punjab
was the only province where there was an exchange of population. For the rest, whether
Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province, Sindh or Bengal, the exodus was largely one way
into India by the Hindus. There was no exchange. Overwhelmingly, the Muslims resident in
the rest of Hindustan stayed put. Some who had migrated even came back. Assurances by
Hindu leaders made all the difference. The Constitution of India was also attractive for
Muslims Articles 29 and 30 offered several special privileges to them. As a result,
Jinnah's dream remained unfulfilled, which explains why the agenda of partition is still
On the other hand, Hindustan's single biggest obsession since
Independence has been its minority which is an euphemism for Muslims. A separate civil
code, based on the sharia, continues to be followed for them although it is
violative of Article 44, a directive principle of policy in the Constitution.
The ugliest symptom of minority obsession is the frequency of communal
riots, which is again an euphemism for Hindu Muslim riots. Or else, occasionally there
should be a Hindu Christian riot, at least in Kerala and Tamilnadu, where Christians are
in greater numbers than Muslims. Yet there has only been Muslims rioting whether in
Coimbatore or in Kochi.
Why? The author tried to find out. His clue came from the Muslim League
leaders especially Sir Feroze Khan Noon who rose to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
He had threatened that unless Hindu leaders agreed to an exchange or a transfer of
population, India would witness a re-enactment of the violent orgies of Chengez Khan and
Halaqu Khan. The Muslim League showed that it meant business, first by directaction begun
with the Great Calcutta Killings of August 1946 and then with the riots during partition
and the subsequent ethnic cleansing.
In the absence of a Dar-ul-Islam or a land where the writ
of the sharia runs, many Muslims feel they cannot fulfu lthemselves as momins or