In modern history, India is perhaps the only country in the world which was divided on the basis of religion in 1947. A number of countries were divided in the past and in modern times as well, but on the basis of language and ethnicity. The latest to be partitioned on such grounds is Czachoslovakia into Czach Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Earlier, with the break-up of the USSR in 1991, seven different independent Islamic Republics had emerged in Central Asia. Islam and Christianity are world religions, yet, rarely among them countries have been vivisected on ground of religion. Shias and Sunnis in Islam and Catholics and Protestants in Christianity have not gone out of their respective religious folds. The demand for a separate homeland by the Indian Muslims is not something that had emerged suddenly in India. On the contrary, separatism is an integral part of Islam. It is the only religion that declares in no uncertain terms that sovereignty belongs to Allah, The Merciful. Hence there is no distinction between politics and religion. Therefore, the creation of Pakistan (dar-ul-Islam) by Muslims was fully in keeping with tenets of Islam.
M.A. Jinnah who had led the Indian Muslims in their demand for the division of India was a hard-headed realist. This is abundantly reflected in his speeches and correspondence. He had demanded vivisection of India into Hindustan for Hindus and Pakistan for Muslims. Alas! Gandhi and Nehru had listened. Very few Hindu leaders of the freedom movement and much less the leaders of the Indian National Congress had appreciated the inability of the Muslims to live under the majority rule of the Hindus. Hindu leaders had ignored the fact that Muslims had ruled over the Hindus uninterruptedly for 651 years (1206-1857 AD) The leaders who had misled and deceived the Hindus of India in this respect were M.K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Throughout their political careers, these two leaders espoused the cause of Muslims and eventually died for them.
Among those, who had fully considered the demand for Pakistan and logical corollaries thereof were Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1940) and Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1946). Incidentally, at the commencement of their interaction in 1944 M.A. Jinnah had asked Gandhi to read Dr. Ambedkar's book (Thoughts on Pakistan). On being asked later by Jinnah, Gandhi replied that he did not agree with Ambedkar’s thoughts even though he had not read the book. Evidently, Gandhi had considered India as his personal fiefdom.
In this issue, we are analyzing the views of Dr. Rajendra Prasad. His book (India Divided) is as comprehensive and detailed as Dr. Ambedkar's book. The volume first came out in January, 1946 after the failure of the Simla Conference. Shortly after the end of War in Europe in May, 1945 Viceroy Wavell called a conference of the leaders of the Congress, Muslim League and premiers of the provinces. At this meeting, he proposed the formation of an interim central government. The conference was held at Simla between 25 June and 14 July. The conference failed to achieve anything because of the Muslim League's insistence that all five Muslim members of the executive council should be from the League. A new impression of the book appeared in May, 1946. When Partition of the country appeared certain, in June 1947, the third addition was published. In the preface, Dr. Prasad observes: “It has not been possible for me to revise the text or to incorporate the matter that was given as an Addendum in the reprint… But I have brought the discussion of the subject up to date by extending the Addendum”. Prior to 1945, Dr. Prasad was a protagonist of United India. He blames the British for discord between Hindus and Muslims. He is all praise for the composite culture that had developed between Hindus and Muslims over centuries of Muslim rule. He even does not blame the Muslims for Moplah riots and killing of Swami Shraddhanand in 1926. He completely debunks the historical fact that Muslim rulers had treated the Hindus as Zimmis, that is, Hindus had to pay Jizya (Poll tax) to survive. During 1945-46 general elections Muslims had overwhelmingly voted for the creation of Pakistan and the British rulers were left with no other option but declare the division of India.
Realising the fact that creation of Pakistan was now a fait accompli, Dr. Prasad wrote an extended Addendum to the book. Dr. Prasad asserts that Muslims left behind in India would become aliens. M. A. Jinnah too had agreed with this formulation. Later, when he assumed the august office of the President of India, he went completely silent on the issue of Partition.
Views Of Dr. Prasad
Arguments For Partition
We have discussed at length the fundamental basis of claim for the division of India into Muslim and non-Muslim States, namely, that the Hindus and the Musalmans constitute two separate and independent nations. We have considered various schemes of division of India for cultural and political purposes and seen to what extent each of them conforms to or differs from the fundamental basis laid down by the Resolution of the All-India Muslim League for creating independent Muslim Zones in the North-West and East of India. The League has not given any detailed plan of partition and has contented itself with laying down in general terms the basis for division. We have had therefore to consider what areas in the light of the principles laid down by the League resolution can be constituted into such separate Zones and what to be. We are now in a position to consider the proposal for partition in general way from the point of view of the separate Muslim Zones and the non-Muslim zones and in the setting of international and world conditions as they are developing today. Prof. Reginald Coupland has summarized the argument for partition in a very cogent and forceful manner and I may not do better than quote him at length:
In the first place the prospect of partition goes far to resolve that complex of pride and fear which has been the chief cause of the recent deepening of the Hindu-Muslim schism. For more than half the Indian Muslims it eliminates the fear of a Hindu Raj and all it might mean for them from a minority in one great State into a majority in two smaller ones and by recognizing that they are not merely a community in composite Indian Nation but a nation by themselves, entitled to its national independence in its national homelands. Moreover it broadens their footing in the world…. Their States would stand side by side with the Muslim States of the Middle East. They would be more fully conscious than they can be today that they belong to a great brotherhood whose homeland stretch far beyond the bounds of India. If, on the other hand, they turn their backs on the outer world, if they acquiesce in a permanent subjection to the Hindu majority in an isolated India, they doom themselves to something like the fate of the minorities in Europe….
Secondly, Pakistan it is claimed, will solve the minority problem throughout India as nothing else can. It adopts the balance theory in a form in which alone it can be valid. Muslim States are balanced against one or more Hindu states, to which, whatever their size, they are equal in national status. There will still be minorities in them all…. But, though communal homogeneity is an impracticable ideal, though there will be millions of Muslims in the Hindu States, not to mention other minorities, they will no longer constitute a serious problem, for the simple reason that inter-communal struggle for power, precipitated by the mere approach of India's final liberation from neutral British control, will cease to exist in the Partition States. Coalition Governments and other statutory safeguards for minorities are part of the League's programme for the Muslim States; but it will be recognized they are essentially Muslim States in which Muslim policy and culture will predominate, just as the Hindu States will be essentially Hindu. Nor will their respective minorities be encouraged any longer to keep up their quarrel with the majorities … to ensure a communal ascendancy at the all- India centre. There will be no such centre…. And the majorities, it is argued, are more likely to discharge this responsibility- and the minorities similarly to become reconciled to their position-because it will be understood on both sides that in the last resort the “hostage” principle can be brought into play more effectively between independent States than between Federated Provinces.
Thirdly, it is claimed that Partition will ease the problem of defence for all India… The North-West Frontier will lose all importance once a Muslim state is established in the North-West. The tribesmen and the people beyond the frontier are all Muslims. They will lose all religious and political fervor for jehad against non-Muslims once they have to reckon with their brothers in Islam…. The position could be stabilized, moreover by non-aggression treaties of full-scale alliances between Pakistan and her Muslim neighbours. Why should she not make a fifth subscriber to the Pact of Saadabad which bound together Turkey, Iraq, Persia and Afghanistan for mutual security in 1937?
Fourthly, in an undivided India, when military organization is in Indian and mainly Hindu hands, the proportion of Muslims in the Indian army is bound to be reduced…. In the event the proportion of Muslim soldiers, which in 1939 was more than one-third and is now 30.8 per cent, would fall to less than one quarter. This would not only affects the standard of living in the Punjab, which as has often been pointed out, owes so much to the pay and pensions of Punjabi troops. It would give Hindu Raj the ultimate guarantee of Military Power.
Fifthly, by Partition and only by Partition, it is said, can Indian Muslims acquire the power of economic self-determination. Hindu-Muslim antagonism has always had its economic side, and one of the chief reasons why the Muslims dread the prospect of a Hindu Raj is the power it would give the Hindus to confirm and strengthen their economic domination in all parts of India….
The virtual monopoly possessed by the Hindu shop-keepers and money-lenders in retail trade and marketing even in an overwhelmingly Muslim countryside, the Hindu preponderance in the growth of urban life, in the new professional and commercial middle class, even in the Punjab or Sind-all that was bad enough, but the rise of industrialism made matters worse….
The North-West Muslim homeland is overwhelmingly agrarian. Its population amounts to 12.3 per cent of the population of British India, but so far as can be estimated, the proportion of its industries is only 5.1 per cent of those of British India and that of its mineral development only 5-4 per cent. Bengal as a whole is much more highly industrialized. It has 20 per cent of the population of British India, and, to reckon by the number of workers employed in factories, 33 percent of its industry. But the industrial area is mainly that of predominantly Hindu Calcutta and its neighbourhood; apart from Calcutta the North-East Muslim homeland is even more dominantly agricultural than the North-West. Indian industry, in fact, is located mainly in Hindu areas; it is financed and owned mainly by Hindu capitalists; it provides livelihood mainly for Hindu labour….
Pakistan at least could control its own economy. In the North-West, at any rate, it could establish and protect its own industries. Instead of sending its raw cotton to the mills of Bombay, it could build more mills of its own and protect their products with a tariff. And later on if capital were available, it could apply its great reserves of water-power to further industrial development. Karachi, too, might be developed till it eclipsed Bombay as the port of entry for all North-West India….
Arguments For Partition An..........
Let us consider each of the points mentioned above.
If Muslims have lost their position of advantage and superiority it is not on account of Hindus or other non-Muslims of India abusing their political power- of which they were deprived just as the Muslims had been. It is a historical fact that in the earlier days of British rule, the Muslims were more suspect than the Hindus and it is also undeniable that for some years they were oppressed and suppressed more than the Hindus. But it is equally undeniable that when it was discovered that the Hindus were beginning to challenge the authority of the British they decided that the time had arrived when the policy of patting the Hindus on the back should be changed and the Muslims given their due turn of receiving a patting. The result of this change in British policy has undoubtedly been the creation of suspicion and distrust among the Hindus and Muslims of each other, leaving the third party in the unmolested and undisturbed possession of power for the time being. A dispassionate study of events and an unprejudiced consideration of the situation should have created distrust of the third party's motives and activities but unfortunately a curious twist has been given. The backwardness of the Muslims cannot be attributed to anything that the Hindus were primarily responsible for, but to the policy of the British Government in whose hands all power has remained concentrated for more than 150 years.
As regards, broadening their footing in the world, that too depends to a large extent on their being Muslim States. There is no country in the world which is being ruled by the Muslims today where non-Muslims from such a big minority as they will do in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India. For the rest, there is nothing to prevent Muslims of India having their sympathies with Muslims of other countries. Indeed, Hindus have never stood in their way, although they have naturally expected that the Muslims will pull their full weight in the trials and tribulations of India also. Not long ago the no-Muslims rose like one man with the Muslims in defence of the rights of Muslims in other parts of the world in the days of the Khilafat agitation and suffered and sacrificed with them as much for the protection of the rights of Khalifa of the Muslims as for redressing the grievances of Indians-Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs alike-in the Punjab. The Hindus have done nothing against any Muslim country, and there is no reason to think why India should not join and be a signatory to a pact with the Muslim countries of the Middle East for mutual advantage. But after all is said and done it must be admitted that it is for the Muslims to decide whether they will insist on a satisfaction of this pride in preference to their long historical association and present and future advantages which a strong, united India can enjoy as compared to a small state which is bound to be weaker than India as a whole and equally bound to weaken the rest of India. This cannot and ought not of course to deprive the non-Muslims of the areas concerned of their say in a matter of such vital importance to them, particularly when the proposed division cuts right across the history of eight centuries.
But more than this there is a genuine fear generated by the declarations of the protagonists of partition. I will quote here some extracts which will show that the fear of an attempt to reestablish Muslim rule in the wake of separation is not unfounded. Mr. F.K. Khan Durrani introduces his book The Meaning of Pakistan with a Preface written so late as the 12th of November 1943, in which the following passage occurs; ‘There is not an inch of the soil of India which our fathers did not once purchase with their blood. We cannot be false to the blood of our fathers. India, the whole of is therefore our heritage and it must be re-conquered for Islam. Expansion in the spiritual sense is an inherent necessity of our faith and implies no hatred or enmity towards the Hindus. Rather the reverse. Our ultimate ideal should be the unification of India, spiritually as well as politically, under the banner of Islam. The final political salvation of India is not otherwise possible.’
It is necessary, says ‘A Punjabi’, ‘to make it clear that the separation of our regions from Hindu India is not an end in itself but only a means for the achievement of an ideal Islamic State. The proposed separation will undoubtedly lead to our emancipation from the economic slavery of the Hindus. But as our objective is the establishment of an ideal Islamic State, it also denotes complete independence. After independence has been achieved, it would be impossible for us to maintain for long, in an un-Islamic world, our ideal of an Islamic State. As such, we shall have to advocate a world revolution on Islamic lines. Consequently, our ultimate ideal is a world revolution on purely Islamic lines. Separation, emancipation from economic slavery of the Hindus, and freedom from the constitutional slavery of the British are only some of the means for the achievement of our ultimate ideal of a world revolution on completely Islamic lines’.
‘Muslim minorities have lived in the past in various parts of the world on the best of terms with the members of other religions. But they have never accepted the role of a minority whenever, in view of their numbers or physical strength, they felt themselves strong enough to form an independent Muslim State… This movement for independent Muslim States in India will give a tremendous encouragement to similar movements in China and Russia where Muslims have so far been assigned the status of minorities.
In Central Asia, Muslims are a majority of 95 per cent out of a population of 80 millions and yet at present they are kept under subjection by the Chinese and Soviet Governments. 'Islamic political problems are everywhere of an allied nature. Liberation of one Muslim country will directly affect another. The fate of Muslims in India will have direct repercussions in other parts of the world, particularly in the Western Provinces of China and Southern and Eastern parts of Russia where Muslims are in a majority. Acceptance of minority status within the sub-continent of India will besides sealing once for all the fate of 90 million Muslims in India, leat to permanent enslavement of 30 millions of Muslims in Soviet Russia and 50 millions in China.
It is quite natural to suppose that if India achieves independence as a united country under the ageis of the Congress, it will enter in future into permanent alliance with China and Russia so as to keep the Muslims in the latter three countries under permanent domination. The creation of an independent Muslim State in Central Asia will always be viewed with suspicion by the future separation among the Muslims in India as well.
‘The desire of the Indian Muslims to have Muslim States of their own is a part of a movement for the unification of the Muslim World (Silsila-i-Jamia-Vahdat-Umam-Islam) started in Turkey during the lifetime and at the instance of the late Ataturk under the patronage of the late Syed Jalil Ahmad Sinyusi. One of its aims is to create more Muslim republics in all those parts of the world which are predominantly Muslim, in addition to the Muslim States already functioning. Among the ten newly proposed republics one is to consist of Muslim Bengal, another is to be constituted by the Muslim North-West India and the third by the Hyderabad State.’
In view of these declarations no one can blame non-Muslims if they look upon the proposal for partition as the thin end of the wedge which in course of time is intended to complete its work by re-conquering India for Islam, by freeing the Muslims of Central Asia from the yoke of China and Russia and ultimately by bringing about a world revolution on Islamic lines.
Exchange of Population ruled out
It is difficult to understand how the creation of two new Muslim States out of India will solve the minorities problem in India and in the new States. There is no country in the world which has a completely homogeneous population. In the very nature of things there are bound to be minorities in each country and India is no-exception, nor will the Muslim and non-Muslim Zones of India after partition be exceptions. The expedients of doing away with the Muslim minority by exchange of population between the Muslim and non-Muslim Zones has been rightly ruled out as impracticable both on financial and human grounds.
Elimination of minorities would be possible only if there is an exchange of population on a vast scale. Exchange of population can be on a voluntary basis or compulsory. Voluntary migration of so many millions of Muslims and non-Muslims from the non-Muslim and Muslim zones is inconceivable. The experience of voluntary migration for exchange of population in the Balkans was most disappointing for the simple reason that the people would not move of their own accord out of their old surroundings.
In India the attachment to land of both Hindus and Muslims is so great that it can be safely asserted that neither would care to leave the locality where they had been settled simply to become members of another State. Nor is the experience which the Muslims had at the time of the Khilafat movement of hijrat likely to encourage any large-scale movement of populations. Besides the distance, the difference in the environments, languages, climatic conditions, mode and methods of living of the population among which the emigrants will have to settle down will be such as not only to discourage any such enterprise but altogether to rule it out. Then the cost of moving such large populations, uprooting them from where they have remained settled for generations and settling them in altogether new surroundings, and the loss of property involved in the process, even though compensation may be provided for, will impose a burden which neither the Muslim nor the non-Muslim states will be able to bear. The suffering will be immense and the scheme financially and administratively impossible of accomplishment. In case of compulsory exchange all these difficulties will be increased a hundred-fold, and to all the other difficulties will be added the difficulty of shifting the population under police and military guard-which is unthinkable. Those who speak about the exchange of a few hundred thousands between Greece and Turkey ignore that in India it will involve 68 or at least 50 millions and the distances to be covered will be immense and the costs will be so tremendous that even if the states are able to bear them, they will be crippled for a long time on account of this heavy burden which it will impose on them.
Mandatory Safeguards for Minorities Do Not Work
The League Resolution suggests that adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other right and interests in consultation with the minorities in the Muslim and non-Muslim zones.
Now, if there are to be Muslim and Non-Muslim independent States and if they have to frame their own constitutions how can any of such independent states be bound to provide such safeguards? Supposing the independent states after their coming into existence refuse to make such provision in their respective Constitutions, how is any of them to be forced to do it? Assuming that such safeguards are provided to begin with, but are altered to the disadvantage of the minorities or abrogated altogether, what is to be done to enforce the safeguards? Assuming they are allowed to remain a part of the Constitution but are not given effect to or otherwise curtailed in their application, how is an independent state to enforce them in the other independent state? It is of course presumed that the states will be independent and one will have no authority over the other nor will there be any central authority above both which may be charged with the duty of enforcing the provisions in the Constitutions. The use of the words mandatory and statutory will not improve matters, as there will be no authority to enforce he mandate and the states will be free to alter their statutes. The experience of the League of Nations, where enforcement of minorities clauses of treaties was guaranteed by the League of Nations does not encourage the hope that any outside authority can be easily invoked to enforce their observance in spite of such guarantee.
Hostage Theory Not Practicable
The hostages theory cannot work in practice. One wrong cannot justify another. Even the old law of an eye for any eye and a tooth for a tooth did not provide for one man’s eye or one man's tooth for the sin of another, no did it justify the sin of one man being visited on another man; much less can anyone justify on any human or moral principle the rule that one set of persons should be victimized or oppressed or tyrannized over for the fault of another set of men whom they do not know and to whose acts of commission or omission they were not parties in even a remote manner and with whom they had nothing in common except that they both worshipped God in a particular way. To use the words of an eminent Musalman, ‘the hostage principle will not work, and if it does, it will shift the basis of politics from civilization to barbarism.’ And despite what the protagonists of Pakistan may say I refuse to believe that the better mind of the Muslims or non-Muslims will ever consent to revert to this barbarism. The existence of separate and independent states makes it infinitely more difficult for one state to enforce fair treatment of any group of its own citizens by another than if both were members of a federated state. There is only one peaceful method open to each independent state in any such emergency, viz. diplomatic representation. That failing, war is the only sanction left. It may be only economic war or it may take the shape of war with arms. It is not easy to have a war for even serious complaints unless the people on both sides are brought to a stage when no other alternative is left. It is certainly not possible for pin-pricks. No state will embark on the hazards of a war unless it is seriously hit and the chances are that when it comes to deciding in favour of it or against it, the interests of the people of the state will weigh very heavily as against the interests of their co-religionist minority in a remote and distant corner of the country.
Nor is it all a theoretical discussion. There are Muslim States in existence next door to India. They have never in history so far gone to war with India because the Muslims there were ill-treated. Not a ripple was noticed on the placid waters of those Muslim states when the so-called atrocities were perpetrated on Muslims in India either by the British during their long rule or by the Congress Governments during their short administration or 27 months. Not even did the Muslim League ministries in the Punjab or Bengal or Sind raise their little finger when the Congress ministries are said to have misbehaved. It is all moonshine to imagine that the creation of two new Muslim States will alter the position to such an extent as to ensure and enforce fair treatment of Muslims in the non-Muslim zones or vice versa. Minorities have in all cases to depend on the fundamentals of human nature and those universal moral and human rules which govern the conduct of all civilized persons, whatever their religion. It is no good insisting that the non-Muslims are incapable of having any other objective than that of oppressing and tyrannizing over the Muslims and that the non-Muslims at the same time must accept that the Muslims are incapable of doing an unjust or unfair thing towards non-Muslims. There is a certain naivete in the assertion openly made or the assumption tacitly made that the Muslims cannot trust the non-Muslims and cannot therefore submit to a Central Government in any form or shape, however attenuated its powers and however circumscribed its functions may be, and that at the at the same time the non-Muslims must trust the Muslims and accept their assurance that they will give them a fair deal. If trust begets trust, distrust equally begets distrust and if you is trust the non-Muslims and question their bona fides at every step you have no right to expect that the latter will not return the compliment. The creation of independent states does not solve the minority problem. It makes it more difficult of solution. It leaves the minorities, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, in the independent states more helpless, less cable of taking care of themselves, and worse situated in regard to the invocation of any outside authority for enforcing their rights.
Problem of Insecure Borders Not Solved
(3) & (4) Nor will Pakistan ease the problem of the defence of India either on the North-Western or Eastern Frontier of India. It is said that the tribesmen and people beyond the North- Western Frontier are all Muslims, and once a Muslim State is established there, they will lose all religious and political fervour for jehad against non-Muslims. This hope has no basis in fact and no warrant in history. It will not be for the first time in Indian history that there will be a Muslim State in India. Indeed, right from the time when Qutbuddin Aibak made himself the Sultan of Delhi down to the time when the Sikhs established themselves as rulers in the North-Western corner of India there has always been a Muslim state. All the invasions of India from that corner during this long period of more than 600 years were by Muslims against Muslim rulers and not against Hindu rulers no Hindu ruler then. Since as early as the days of AlIauddin Khilji the Muslim Sultans of Delhi have had to combat the danger of ever recurring raids from the North-West. Allauddin had effectively to garrison the frontier outposts of the kingdom, but Muslim raiders and invaders carne again and again. And this remained the policy all through the period of Muslim rule. To mention only the most well known of the in vas ion s it will suffice to say that the invasions of Timur, Babar, Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali were all Ied by Muslims against Muslim kings of India and there is no warrant in history for the very facile and complacent assumption that once Muslim State is established in the North-West all anger invasion will on that account cease to operate. An invasion in these days may not be easy, but it will be for other reasons and not because there is a Muslim State on the North-Western Frontier, that an invasion will not occur.
Dr. Prasad does not Agree with Dr. Ambedkar
There may, however, be much to be said in favour of Dr Ambedkar’s thesis that ‘a safe army is better than a safe border.’ The question of defence has to be considered in the light of, the latest developments in the nature and form of armaments and the technique of strategy rendered necessary thereby. But even in, view of the old technique there will be a considerable sea-coast left to be defended by the Muslim State both in the North-West and in the astern Zone, apart from the enormous sea-coast left to be defended by the rest of India. All this at once raises the question of the resources of the Muslim and non-Muslim States for purposes of defence. They will both have to provide not only for defence against aggressors from outside India but also as between the Muslim and non-Muslim States within the present boundaries of India. It does not require any elaborate calculation to show that in case of partition while the resources of both the Muslim and non-Muslim States will be considerably reduced their defence requirements will enormously increase and it may well be that each by itself will find itself so crippled as to render effective defence beyond the means of any without unbearable hardship to the people at large inhabiting each zone.
Position and Status of Muslims Left in Hindustan
The position and status of the Muslims who will be left in Hindustan which according to the League proposal will be a Hindu State. On 4th October, 1944 Jinnah gave an interview to the representative of News Chronicle, London. On 5th October 1944 he gave an interview to the representation of Daily Worker, London. Mr. Jinnah, on being asked what he proposed for those areas where the Muslims are in a minority replied in the course of the interview referred to above: ‘Those areas, like Madras for instance, will have a Hindu Government and the Muslim minority there will have three courses open to them: they may accept citizenship of the State in which they are; they can remain there as foreigners; or they can come to Pakistan. I will welcome them. There is plenty of room. But it is for them to decide.’ Mr. Jinnah accepts the positron that the Muslims who are citizens of India today will, after partition, cease to be citizens of Hindustan and therefore they will have three alternatives to choose from. Let us examine these three alternatives.
Options For Muslims
The first alternative is that they may accept citizenship in the State in which they are. It may be pointed out that citizenship can be acquired by a foreigner in a State only under rules made “for that purpose by the State concerned. It is open to any State which is independent to regulate and control its own population and to lay down restrictions on foreigners acquiring citizenship and even to prohibit it altogether. The history of the British Dominions, like South Africa, Canada and Australia which are all members of the British Commonwealth and Empire, to which India also belongs, and which owe allegiance to the same King-Emperor to whom Indians are in law required to owe allegiance, shows how they have successfully and effectively prevented Indians from acquiring the rights of citizenship. The United States of America also regulates immigration and does not permit any and every foreigner to acquire the right of citizenship simply because the foreigner wishes to have that right. So if, Hindustan is to be really a free and sovereign State, it will have the same right to regulate its citizenship and to lay down rules for and even to prohibit acquisition of the rights of citizenship by foreigners. It will not lie with the Muslims left in Hindustan to become its citizens unless Hindustan permits it. Mr. Jinnah, of course, assumes that Hindus must not be allowed to put difficulties in their way.
The second alternative is that they can remain there as, foreigners. Here again he makes the same assumption. Hindustan like any other independent State will not be bound to allow foreigners to remain on its territory, particularly when they happen to be in such large numbers as the Muslims will be. It is also worth remembering that an independent State may regulate and even prohibit the acquisition of property, particularly immovable property, by foreigners within its territory. We have the illustration once again of South Africa before our eyes. The third alternative is that the Musalmans who will be left in Hindustan can go to Pakistan. This, of course, is legally possible. Every foreigner is entitled to leave the foreign State and to go to his own State unless he is accused of a crime for which he is triable in the foreign State. The Musalmans of Hindustan can leave Hindustan if they so desire but they cannot carry away with them their lands and houses, even if they are allowed and are in a position to take away their movables like cash, jewellery, cattle and furniture. Hindustan will not be bound to give any compensation for what they leave .behind. They will have migrated out of Hindustan of their own free win by reason of their having adopted a foreign nationality.
All these considerations which arise out of the two nations theory do not appear to trouble the protagonists of Pakistan. Mr. Jinnah now evidently accepts the position, which indeed cannot I questioned, that the Muslims in Hindustan will have the status of foreigners or aliens and will, therefore, be subject to the same disabilities that a foreigner suffers from.
The same consideration might not apply to Hindus and non-Muslims who will be left in Pakistan, as they do not claim to be members of another nation and as such citizens of another State. But in any case even if they are treated as foreigners or aliens, the difference in their position will be that foreign citizenship will have been forced upon them against their will, while in the case of Muslims, it will have been chosen by them of their own free will with their eyes open and indeed against the wishes and in face of the opposition of the Hindus and other non-Muslims.
This addendum will not be complete without reference to general elections to the Assemblies both Central and Provincial. The Muslim League attained phenomenal success in the elections to the Central Assembly and secured all the seats reserved for Musalmans. It may, however, be pointed out that the Nationalist Muslims secured nearly one-fourth of the total votes polled as against the League. In Sind they secured 32 per cent and in the Punjab 30 per cent of the total Muslim votes cast. The N.-W.F.P. sends only one representative to the Central Assembly who is returned by a joint electorate of Muslims and non-Muslims. So also does Delhi send one representative elected by a joint electorate. Both these places were captured by Muslim candidates who had been set up on behalf of the congress.
At the provincial elections the Muslim League had set up candidates for the seats reserved for Musalmans and there was contest in many of them between the League candidates on the one hand and other Muslim candidates set up by Jamait-ul-Ulema, the Momins, the Ahrars and other Nationalist Muslim organizations and some Independents on the other. The League secured the seats mentioned below in the Provinces claimed by the League for Pakistan and in which elections have been held. Baluchistan has no assembly at present and hence no elections.
The Muslim League was unable to form ministries in the N.-W.F.P., the Punjab and Assam. In the N.-W.F.P. and Assam the Congress had an absolute majority in the Assembly and as such the Congress Party alone was in a position to form ministries and it was asked by the Governor to do so and it did. It may also be mentioned that in the N.-W.F.P. not only had the Congress an absolute majority in the Provincial Assembly but it had also a majority from among the Muslim members in it. In the Sind Assembly, the Congress along with non-League Muslims had 29 members; the League had 28. There were 3 Europeans, who declared themselves to be neutral in the matter of formation of the ministry. The Governor, however, chose to invite the League to form the ministry which it did and the ministry is able to function with the help of the 3 European members. The only other Province where the League has been able to form a ministry is Bengal.
The leaders of the League have, however, declared that they did not fight the elections with a view to forming ministries but for the larger and higher purpose of establishing Pakistan and they claim that the elections have shown that Musalmans are overwhelmingly in favour of Pakistan. The figures given above, however, show that in the North-West Frontier Province a majority of Musalmans is opposed to the Pakistan idea. In Sind no less than 43 per cent and in the Punjab 34 per cent of Muslim voters are opposed to the League and Pakistan. In Assam, which is overwhelmingly non-Muslim, 31 per cent even of the Muslims are opposed to it. The figures for Bengal are not given because they were not available at the time of writing this. It is unnecessary to go into the figures of the other Provinces which are not claimed by the League for Pakistan and the opinion of Musalmans there can have significance only as being a vote in favour of the Musalmans of those Provinces being regarded as foreigners there. It may also be pointed out that it would be most unfair not to recognize the right of non-Muslims of the areas sought to be separated to express themselves on the question of separation. If their votes at the elections are counted along with those of the Musalmans who are opposed to Pakistan, it will be clear that the Provinces as a whole are opposed to Paksitan and the results of the Assembly elections, far from being in favour of Pakistan, are opposed to it.