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Hindu Muslim riots, on record, began in 1713, incidentally...
Jan 2017

Hindu Muslim riots, on record, began in 1713, incidentally in the prominent city of Ahmedabad.  Aurangzeb had died six years earlier. While the great Mughals ruled, no Hindu could raise his head.  Maharana Pratap and Shivaji were exceptions in their regions. While the Muslim ruled with an iron hand, the Hindu dared not raise his head. How then could a riot take place?

Come the battle of Plassey and the victory of Robert Clive on 23 June 1757 a turning point in Hindu destiny occurred. The Nawab of Bengal and his followers were dethroned and made to sit on the ground like any Hindu. The East India Company acquired the Diwani (revenue collection) of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

Soon followed the Battle of Buxar (1764) in which the Company defeated the Mughal army. And the faujdari powers also fell into the British lap. In short, 1764 completed the Company's conquest of eastern India. Hindus and Muslims truly sat on a level field for the first time after centuries. The Hindus now acquired the courage to resist Muslim oppression wherever they could bear it no longer.   

The riots were an emphatic signal to Hindu leaders that the Hindus and Muslims could not live together indefinitely. But Gandhiji called the riots coeval with British rule which when it ends, would disappear. He repeated this view at the second Round Table Conference, in 1931. He as well as all our other leaders missed the vital point that a subject people cannot riot against their rulers. This was a bankruptcy of common sense. Yet crores of Hindus followed the leaders.

Leave aside vision, anyone with a normal eyesight could see that an eventual separation of the two communities was inevitable. As early as 1887, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, had publicly declared that Hindus and Muslims cannot coexist. In fact, he was father of the two nation theory. He was followed by Justice Ameer Ali of Calcutta who endorsed the impossibility of coexistence before the Muslim League was founded in Dacca in 1906. Yet our leaders refused to see the light of day.


November 2017


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