Excerpts Preface (To the First Edition)
As a student of history and international politics and observer of the Indian political scene, I have been amazed at the lack of historical sense and political realism among the Hindus. Hindu leadership seems to have learnt nothing from history. As a result Hindustan and Hindu society are losing the very instinct of survival.
This realisation first dawned on me when I studied the muslim problem in depth to write a detailed essay on - "Communal Problem, its Causes and Solution", in response to the call given by the Indian Liberal League. My essay was adjudged to be the best and it bagged the first prize. It was published in book from under the title - "India on the Cross-roads", at Lahore on the eve of partition in 1947.
Study of the minority problem took me by countries like Egypt Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan where Islam is the dominant force, to Malaysia and Lebanon where Muslims constitute about 50 per cent of the population and to countries like Cyprus, Yugoslavia, Israel, Philippines, Burma, Thailand and Nepal where they constituting 5 to 20 per cent of the population. My on the spot study of the problem in these countries in the background of my intimate knowledge of the conduct of Muslim minority as a religio-political group in India, Pakistan and Bangla Desh in historical perspective, has convinced me that India may lose its distinct historical cultural identity like ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt unless it gets rid of mental confusion created by the utopian approach to the problem posed by Islamism, which is more a religio-political ideology like communism than a spiritual tradition, and comes to grip with the realities of the developing situation with an uninhibited mind.
It has been my sincere desire and effort that Muslims who stayed back in truncated India after partition join the national mainstream and that they should treat their religion as a matter of communion with God and get rid of its separatist political overtones inherent in concepts of Millat and Kufr and Dar-ul-Islam and Dar-ul-Harab and Jihad. The developing situation in and around India has begun to have its impact on the Hindu mind also. Thinking people have begun to feel that it was a mistake to accept the partition and reject its logical corollaries in 1947. There is a growing realization that Indian can preserve its unity and survive as a nation state with a distinct identity only if it is declared a Hindu State.
Hindu State-its Rationale & Relevance
Creation of an Islamic State under the name of Pakistan within the natural boundaries of India, the basis on which the demand for Partition of India was raised, the course of events that led to its acceptance and the carnage that accompanied it pointed to certain lessons, and corollaries which needed to be chewed, digested and implemented by the Government and people of truncated Hindustan.
The most important lesson of Partition was that nations are not made by bargains with and appeasement of those who refuse to identify themselves with the body and soul of the nation. Muslims of India had conclusively demonstrated through the general elections of 1946 which was fought on the specific issue of United India Versus Partition and Pakistan that they were for partition and Pakistan. 93 per cent of the Muslim voters who voted in that crucial election voted for the Muslim League and Pakistan. The 7 per cent who voted against Muslim League mainly belonged to N.W.F.P. (Pakhtoonistan) Punjab and Sindh, the area which were to form part of the proposed Pakistan. Muslims living in that part of the country which now constitute India solidly voted for Muslim League and Pakistan. They had been the most vociferous advocates of Partition and the entire campaign for partition was mainly organised and led by them. Those living in Delhi, Bombay, U.P., Bihar and West Bengal had been particularly active.
Therefore it was clear that Muslims of 'truncated India where they were in minority had no mind to come in the national mainstream. They claimed to be a separate nation antagonistic to the main body of the Indian nation or Hindu Rashtra and could not be expected to be loyal to the Indian State.
The second lesson of the Partition was that talk of composite culture can prove suicidal for any country and nation. Culture is the sum total of the highest achievements of a people in the field of Art, Philosophy, literature which create a sense of pride and oneness in the people who cherish that culture. Language is also part of the cultural heritage of a nation. Over 95 per cent of Muslims of India are Hindu converts. Hardly 5 per cent of them can claim to be the scions of foreign Arab, Turk, Mughal and Persian invaders. They have the same culture and way of life as their Hindu compatriots.
The role played by Urdu was particularly destructive and divisive in this context. Urdu is not a separate language. As is clear from the word Urdu, which is Turkish name for Army or Lashkar, it was the hybrid dialect spoken by Turkish and Mughal Troopers in talking to the people of this country. All its verbs are Hindi verbs. But many of the nouns, and adjectives used in it are of Persian, Turkish and Arabic origin. According to the Science of Linguistics, a language is determined by its verbs. Therefore, Urdu is a style of Hindi with a heavy admixture of Persian and Turkish words and phrases and not a separate language. What really distinguishes it from Hindi is its foreign Persian script. It was not spoken language of any region or province of united India.
Practical Politics and realism demanded that the divisive and destructive potential of Urdu was grasped and effective steps taken to lndianise it by the adoption of Devnagri script for it. That one step would have gone a long way towards lndianisation of such people who had developed special attachment for Urdu for communal reasons to sustain their separatism.
The third lesson of Partition was that non-violence was alright as a policy in the Struggle against the British, but its acceptance as a creed was unrealistic, unpractical and unacceptable. The most potent weapon in the hand Muslim League in its campaign for Partition and Pakistan was organised violence against the Hindus in the form of communal riots and direct action. Its leaders threatened that they would follow the methods of Cliengiz Khan and Halaku if their demand for partition was not accepted. The Congress leadership, particularly Gandhiji, were more influenced by this violence and bluff and bluster of the Muslim League leaders than by anythinking else.
Partition had its logical corollaries as well. Having accepted the Partition, it was imperative that these corollaries were also accepted and steps taken to implement them.
The first corollary of Partition was that only those parts of the country should be allowed to get out of the country and become part of the Islamic State of Pakistan, majority of whose people had voted and opted for it.
Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the great nationalist leader with an analytical mind and incisive intellect worthy of a true Brahrnin, did a great service to the country by writing his thought provoking book, “Thoughts on Pakistan”, which was published on the eve of Partition. He was opposed to Partition. But as a realist and objective observer of and actor on the political stage of India, he was convinced that Congress leadership would not be able to safeguard the unity of the country. He, therefore, took great pains to demarcate the specific areas with the help of facts, figures and maps, that could from part of Pakistan in the eventuality of Partition.
The second corollary of Partition was exchange of Hindu ppulation left behind in Pakistan with the Muslim population left behind in truncated India.
Mr. jinnah was for it: He was on record that Muslims could not co-exist with Hindus. It logically flowed out of the arguments put forth in support of the two nation theory and Partition of the country on that basis. There was another and more weighty reason for effecting exchange of population, It was clear from the literature that had been published by various Muslim organisations in support of Partition and Islamic law and tradition about treatment of non-Muslims in Islamic States that no Hindu including Sikhs and Buddhists and other non-Muslims would be able to live in peace with dignity in the Islamic State of Pakistan. Dr. Ambedkar with his deep study of history and Muslim Law and practice was convinced that Hindus left behind in Pakistan would be wiped out. He therefore, considered it an imperative necessity and a "logical corollary" of Partition that a planned exchange of population should follow the partition of the country.
He gave a detailed plan of such exchange of population in his book "Thoughts on Pakistan". This Plan was based on the experience of exchange of Christian and Muslim population of Turkey and Greece and other adjacent Christian areas which were separated from Turkey after the First Would War. Nearly two and half crores of Hindus had been left in the areas ceded to Pakistan including about one and half crore in East Bengal. About an equal number of Muslims had been left behind in truncated India.
The third logical corollary of Partition was that truncated India be explicitly accepted as Hindu Rashtra and declared a Hindu State.
The people of both India and Pakistan were at that time mentally prepared for exchange of population. Muslims left behind in India had specifically opted for Pakistan. They had been the real criminals of Partition. They and their Mecca, the Aligarh Muslim University, had worked up frenzy and tilted Muslim opinion in favour of Partition in the key provinces of Punjab and Sindhi. Therefore, there was no justification whatsoever for showing any mercy to them.
As against this plight of Hindu left behind in Pakistan, Muslims in India have been getting favoured treatment from the successive governments at New Delhi. Their population has increased four fold during the last fifty years. They have not only refused to get Indianised and join the national mainstream but, what is worse, they are back to their pre-Partition game of disruption with greater confidence and determination. A number of factors, both internal and external, have enabled them to pose a new and unprecedented threat not only to the unity and integrity of truncated India but also to its very existence and identity as a Hindu country.
As regards declaring India a Hindu State, the record of India leadership has been even more dismal and disappointing. The people of India, the Hindus of Hindustan, have also failed to do their duty in the matter.
ALL WERE INVADERS: GREEKS, SCYTHIANS, MUSLIMS, PORTUGESE, FRENCH AND ENGLISH: The invasion of Hindu India is unique in more than one way. In recorded Indian history, the first invasion was carried out by Alexander the Great in 326AD. Those who followed Alexander were absorbed in Hindu India. The last Hindu emperor to rule North India was Harsha Vardhana who died in 647AD. The invasion of India which began with Alexander finally ended in 1947 after nearly 2300 years. In other words, the foreign control of India was the longest in world history.
The Muslims rule of India began with the invasion of Sindh by the Arab commander Mohammad bin Kasim in 712 AD. It came to an end in 1858 AD when the English deposed the last Mughal emperor to Rangoon. The English rule which had begun with the grant of Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the English in 1765 AD came to end with the grant of independence in 1947.
All over the world, invaders were either thrown out, killed or were forced to embrace the religion of the natives. Only in India, and in India alone, were the Muslim invaders not given any of the above options. In other words, they were not treated as invaders. On the contrary, our beloved Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru not only gave them a separate homeland but also endowed them with superior Fundamental Rights in the Constitution of India. In short, Muslim rule over Hindu India which had begun with Arab invasion of Sind has continued after the British left India. The irony is that the British who saved the Hindu civilization and culture from complete extinction were declared foreigners and are now to asked to apply for visa before coming to into India whereas Muslims who did their best to destroy the Hindu universe are treated as Indian national. The fact of the matter is that all, be the Greeks, Muslims, Portugese, French or the English, were invaders and should have been treated as invaders and no more.
A great tragedy that struck India in the 20th century was the rise of Mahatma Gandhi on the political horizon. He was the greatest anti-Hindu leader born after Jai Chand of Kannauj whose treachery had led to the establishment of Muslim rule in India in 1206 AD. Legendry V.P. Menon is on record to the effect that Gandhi lived for Muslims and eventually died for them.
The Oxford History of India observes: No attempt at Indian history dated even in the roughest fashion can be made before the seventh century B.C. The first exact date known is 326 B.C. the year of Alexander's invasion. Harsha Vardhana (606-647 AD) was the last Hindu king who had united Nothren India. The partial unity of India vanished with death of Harsha in 647 AD. In the meanwhile, in the Arabian peninsula, Islam was on the rise. The conquest of Sindh was effected by Muhammad bin Qasim in712 AD. and the province came under Arab rule. Punjab was annexed to the Ghazni kingdom in 1020 by Sultan Mahmud. However, the spread of Islam in India proper began with the defeat of Prithviraj Chowhan in 1192 AD. In 1206 AD. Qutb-ud-Din Aibak became the first Sultan of India. The Muslim rule that began in 1206 AD. finally ended in 1858 AD when the British exiled Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor, to Rangoon. Late Profssor Iswari Prasad, a distinguished historian, described the condition of India at the end of 12th century in the following words: What India lacked was political unity and social solidarity, her leaders counted by hundreds: her energy was frittered away in petty squabbles between the various states. She may correctly be described during this period as merely a geographical expression.
HINDUS SUFFERED THE MOST UNDER RULE OF THE SULTANS: Under the Muslim rule as a whole, we learn more frequently of periods where the Hindus suffered extreme persecution, and the chronicles of the Muslims are full of blood thirsty gloating over the wholesale massacre and oppression of infidels. The Jizya or poll-tax on non-Muslims was a marked feature of Muslim rule. It was laid down as a matter of state policy that Hindus must not be allowed to amass wealth. Sir Percival Griffiths concludes: On the eve of entry of the British, India stood sharply divided between Hindus and Muslims. The feelings between them were much what could be expected, since one community had been dominant, and the other subject, and often, oppressed. What is today called communal dissension was thus the permanent and evitable legacy of centuries of Muslim rulers.
THE CRESCENT IN INDIA: The capacity of the Hindu society for assimilation of peoples and culture unlike its own, before the advent of Islam seemed to be infinite. The Crescent for the first time, revealed its limitations. Islam was on the ascendant for one thousand years from the advent of Arabs in Sind in 712 AD to the deposition of the Mughal emperor in 1858 AD. During this period India, like Christian Europe for a similar period faced double threat of conversion and assimilation. Throughout the middle ages, India was governed like an Islamic state. When Bihar and Bengal were invaded by Muslims towards the close of 12th century (1197-99), the great Buddhist academy of Vikarmasila and its 107 temples were destroyed with the wholesale destruction of monastries.
Late Professor S.R. Sharma in his book The Crescent In India, (1955), points out that up to the death of Harsha Vardhana (647 AD), India was characteristically and exclusively Hindu. Whatever changes took place up to that age were changes in Hindu India, which remained Hindu. It absorbed in its bosom divergent social elements such as Aryan, Dravidian, Scythian and Mongolian and religious differentiations such as Brahmans, Animism, Jain and Buddhism. Hieun Tsiang's India ( ) was of this composite character. But it soon became quite different from what it had been since. The active agent of this metamorphosis, that is change from Hindu India to Muslim-ruled India was Islam.
Writing at the beginning of the 20th century (1903) Sir Stanley Lane-Poole, a distinguished British historian, observed the following about the Muslim invasion of India: The population of India in the present day is over three hundred million, and every sixth man is a Muslim. Nine hundred years ago there were no Mohammedans east of the Indus; where now there are more than fifty millions, and the King of England rules twice as many Muslims subjects as the Sultan of Turkey and the Shah of Persia together. For six centuries the Hindus submitted to the sovereignty of Mohammedan kings, and when the great effort was made in 1857 to throw off the British yoke, it was record the Mohammedan emperor of Delhi though a mere shadow of famous name, that the mutineers rallied. How the Muslims, foreign both in creed and race, came to conquer India, and how this small but increasing minority imposed its will upon the greater part of the people of the land is the subject matter of scrutiny.
IMPACT OF ISLAM: The valley of Indus was invaded in 712 by Mohammad ibn Kasim and Sind was converted to Islam. Thereafter, the fall of Multan laid the Indus valley at the feet of the conquerors. Sabuktagin was the first Muslim who attempted the invasion of India from the north-west. He had repeatedly defeated Jaipal, the raja of Punjab in the Kabul valley. Sabuktagin died in 947 AD. His son Mahmud of Ghazni, the idol breaker revived the dream of his father. Between the years 1000 and 1026 AD he made at least sixteen distinct invasions in India. Year after year Mahmud swept over the plains of Hindustan, capturing cities and castles, throwing down temples and idols, and carried titles of Victor and Idol-breaker (Ghazi and Butshikan). In 1018 AD he marched upon Kannauj, the capital of Tomar Rajas, and the chief city of Hindustan. The march was an orgy and an ovation. The sack of Somnath in 1025-26 AD made Mahmud of Ghazni a champion of the faith in the eyes of Muslims for nearly 1000 years. Mahmud was followed by Mohammad Ghori who led a series of campaigns in India which recalled the days of the Idol-breaker nearly two centuries earlier. Thirty years Mahmud had ravaged Hindustan from the Indus to the Ganga; and for thirty years Mohammad Ghori harried the same country in the same way. He took Multan in 1175 and by 1182 had taken the whole of Sind. Peshwar had already been taken in 1179 AD; took Lahor and Sialkot in 118AD.
The defeat of Prithivraj in 1192 AD laid the foundation of Muslim rule in India. In 1206, India had a Mohammedan King of its own, ruling not from outside but in India itself. Mohammed Ghori's Viceroy Aybek became the first of the thirty two Muslim kings who ruled at Delhi up to 1526 when Babur, the Mughals dynasty began.
TREATMENT OF HINDUS UNDER THE CESCENT: The Muslim conquerors had devastated the land with war and plundering rounds and looted wealth from temples and royal treasuries. They spent this mostly in mobilizing larger armies and luxuriating in their capitals. The Hindus were made to pay very heavily for the crimes of sticking to their ancestral religion. Islamic tradition not only sanctioned invidious treatment of the infidels, but made it a duty to exact from them (Hindus) the price of even their limited tolerance. Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji boasted : At my command the Hindus are ready to escape into holes like mice. Sultan Sikander Lodi not only destroyed temples, but also prohibited Hindus from bathing at the sacred ghats or the Jamuna and even banned barbers from shaving them. Killing of Hindus was an everyday affair.
The bigoted policy of the Muslim rulers was characterized by: wholesale destruction of Hindu temples; imposition of Jizya, exaction of heavier or custom duty from Hindus, dismissal of Hindus from imperial services, prohibition against the free exercise of religious festivals, prohibition against Hindu fairs; prohibition on wearing of fine dresses and riding of horses and proscription of Hindu learning.
MUSLIM RULE VERSUS BRITISH RULE: Muslim rule of seven centuries left behind a trail of destruction of Hindu civilization and culture where the English control of India effectively for only about two centuries benefitted India in some important and significant ways.
GROWTH OF NATIONALISM: Sir Percival Griffiths of the Indian Civil Service has written: In the realm of ideas, the British influence on the Indian people has been the stringest. This was reflected in the development of Indian nationality and growth of Indian nationalism. India had for centuries possessed a marked cultural unity, but some dynamic force was needed to engender that group-consciousness and command pride on which nationality depends. That force was provided by the British rule in three ways (a) A string and ubiquitous Central Government administration and a uniform law with a high degree of efficiency relentlessly imposed a homogeneity unknown in Indian history (b) the introduction of English education brought the upper middle classes under the influence of western thought. Besides, it provided a common medium of communication the Press furnished Indians with a means of voicing their political aspirations. On the negative side, Islamic thought and customs were too clear cut to be absorbed by Hinduism, and the clash leading to Partition when foreign control disappeared, was inevitable.
Perhaps the next most important result of the British rule is the new belief in the rule of law. Equally important has been the impact of western science on India. The degree of conditioning however has not been uniform. Islam has been significantly unaffected.
Besides, the establishment of law and order on firm basis which has survived many shocks post 1947; the development of communications and especially of the great Indian railway system; the construction of vast irrigation works and the improvement of agriculture; the development of India's productive resources and the establishment of great industries; the introduction of new and progressive system of commercial and industrial organization; and the remarkable improvement in health infrastructure are some of the significant achievements of the British Raj of about 200 years.