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Eminent Opinions
May 2007
Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi

Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, a Professor at St Stephens College, Delhi, who went on to become Education Minister of Pakistan :
When nationalism began to stir the hearts of the inhabitants of the subcontinent, it was taken for granted that since all of them lived in a common habitat, they would have the same desire for national unity; it was expected of the Muslims that they would dutifully reconcile themselves to the role of a religious minority and would otherwise identify themselves completely with the Indian nation. Such hopes were built upon the most deplorable ignorance of the psychology of the Muslim community, of the thinking of its leaders and masses, and of the history of its origins, development and integration. When history asserted itself and the Muslims claimed to be a nation, many were surprised and not a few even scandalised. If there had been a proper assessment of these factors, and if their study had not been neglected for so long, solutions would have been found more amicably, and India and Pakistan would not have been saddled with such a terrible legacy of bitterness and hostility which cramps their development and vitiates their outlook. (The Muslim Community � Renaissance Publishing, Delhi, 1985)
M. Mujeeb, Former Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia,
New Delhi.

The party which demanded the creation of Pakistan, 'a sepsarate homeland for the Indian Muslims', was the Muslim League. In the election held early in 1946, which proved decisive, it secured 425 out of 492 seats reserved for Muslims in the Central and different Provincial Legislatures.It could be said, therefore, that Indian Muslims were overwhelmingly in favour of Pakistan. But the franchise was limited to the propertied classes and those who voted for the League and its policies did not know for what they were voting because the League deliberately avoided defining what was meant by the creation of Pakistan. (Islamic Influence � Meenakshi Prakashan, Delhi, 1972)

Famous Justice M.C. Chagla
I remember Jawaharlal telling me that Khaliquz Zaman was one of his greatest and dearest friends, and yet he led the agitation for Pakistan in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh was the cultural home of the Muslims. Although they were in a minority in that State, if Uttar Pradesh had not gone over to the cause of separation, Pakistan would never have become a reality. (Roses in December, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, 1973)

Constitutional Adviser V.P. Menon
The Congress had accepted the division of the country on two considerations. In the first place, it was clear from the unyielding attitude of the Muslim League that a united India would either be delayed or could only be won at the cost of a civil war. Secondly, it was hoped that the establishment of a separate Muslim State would finally settle the communal problem which had for so long bedeviled Indian politics and thwarted all progressive aspirations, that India and Pakistan would thereafter live in peaceful relations with each other, and that all men of goodwill on either side would be free to concentrate on improving the economic conditions of the common people. India's disillusionment came as a startling blow almost immediately after the partition. (Transfer of Power, Orient Longman)


April 2017


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