Ever since Islam came to India, Bengal has been the worst victim of religious fundamentalism. It paid the price in lives lost and blood shed. Bengal thrived when any other people would have shriveled and quietly faded away into history. But was it only Bengal that faced the brunt of Islam’s extremism?

NO

At the other end, far into the western end of India was another beautiful place – The Land of 5 Rivers – Punjab. For centuries the pre partition Punjab had withstood the onslaught of invading armies of islam. These invaders were mad with religious zeal, had greed in their heart, lust in their loins and brutal in action. These invasions saw the verdant lands echo with cries of innocents & farms soaked with blood.

These two states were Hindustan’s arms, its granaries & fountainheads of courage and culture. But these two states had one more thing in common – both of them were muslim majority states. It was this last feature that not only resulted in Hindustan’s amputation, genocidal massacre of Hindus and Sikhs but also a perversion of history that has made us forget the horrors of islam’s religious fundamentalism. Genocides were whitewashed and sanitized, violence was rationalized with false equivalence and victim (the Hindu) was blamed for bring on himself a massacre that has no parallel in history.

MUSLIM LEAGUE

The amputation of Hindustan & violence during the Partition in 1947 was the final result of a long series of unreasonable demands by muslim league and the concessions given by the British and the Congress. The more the Congress became pliant, the more belligerent the muslim league grew. Lucknow Pact, considered to be the result of amicable relations between League and Congress, was actually a surrender by the latter to muslim communalism and separatism. Gandhi clubbed religion and politics with the purpose of erecting a united front of the two most populous communities in India against the colonial rule – sadly his short sightedness cleared grounds for the infestation of Hindustani politics with a very skewed & poorly defined secular political ideology.

The aggressive muslim league of the 1940’S owed its paternity to a movement launched seventy-five years earlier to restore muslim dignity and position after the debacle of the Indian Mutiny of I857. Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan began by founding the Aligarh College (Later Aligarh Muslim University), to be the hub of education and morale for Indian islam. He and his successors, who organized the Muslim League in 1906, all believed that muslim fortunes could be best rebuilt by currying favor with the British rulers of the country.

Some notable members of the muslim league :- Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, a Punjabi residing in Cambridge, was, in 1933, evolving a scheme of the Partition of India and Muhammad Iqbal, in May -June 1937, was writing to Jinnah that they should ‘ignore muslim-minority provinces’ and instead concentrate on demanding a separate federation of muslim (majority) provinces in the north-west and the north- east’. Jinnah, troubled by the results of 1937 elections, was evolving a much more violent and openly aggressive scheme to win over the muslim masses to his side. He wrote to Governor Brabourne in Bombay in early June 1937 ‘of his plans for consolidating the Muslim League throughout India’ and of his ‘policy …. To preach communalism morning, noon and night … and to teach …. the Muslims generally “to stand on their own feet and make themselves independent of the Hindus”. The lines of war had been drawn and Hindustan was put on the path to much more violent days than it had ever seen before in its long history.

JINNAH – THE ELEGANT JIHADI WHO MURDERED HINDUSTAN

A tall, thin, hawk-faced man with patrician instincts and a sharp legal mind, Mohammed Ali Jinnah appeared more English than Indian. He wore faultless English-styled clothes, habitually affected a monocle, filled his homes with Western furnishings, and through much of his career wrote and spoke only in English. This suave elegant man was the exact antithesis of a Jihadi. He was a wine drinking pork eater who broke every covenant of a momin. However his ambition saw him collide with the congress leadership – Nehru & Gandhi. He opposed Gandhi’s Non Cooperation Movement. This made him an enemy of the autocratic Gandhi/Nehru combine. They saw Jinnah’s acceptability among Hindus as a threat to Nehru’s ambition. Reprisals from the duo saw him being sidelined and marginalized in Congress. Goaded by the British, Jinnah drifted towards Muslim League. During the provincial elections under the British, muslim league lost terribly and this angered Jinnah, who then resorted to the time tested formula of religious fundamentalism – set aflame passions using islamic calls for jihad against kaffir Hindus.

In his frustration, he exhibited violence in every decision, action and word which he took against Congress. He gave unrestrained expression to his sentiments against Gandhi and Nehru. He urged the Indian Muslims to organize, consolidate and become one against the Hindu front. In the Lucknow session of All India Muslim League in October 1937, the party, changed its creed from ‘Total Responsible Government’ to ‘Full Independence’ – from Hindus (but not surprisingly from the British. Jinnah was ready to accept dominion status under the British)

MURDER OF HINDUSTAN

The road that led to the murder of Hindustan and birth of two new nations from its ashes – India & Pakistan was paved with islamic fundamentalism. The shadow of the 18th century cleric Shah Waliullah loomed over the Hindu heartland goading muslims to see Hindustan as Dar ul Harb. 200 years of brain washing had infused the muslim populace with a feeling of alienation as they saw the middle eastern Arabia as their homeland. The contagion of waliullah’s islamic fanaticism was helped along by Jinnah & his cohort of Aligarh Muslim University’s (MAO) alumni.

1. SIKANDER-JINNAH PACT 1937 – In October 1937, during its Lucknow meeting, Jinnah sought support from Muslim League. Smarting from the debacle of elections, muslim league denied Jinnah’s request. But support was offered by Sikander Hayat Khan (Leader of Unionist Party) leading to the signing of the famous Sikander-Jinnah Pact. Under this pact, Jinnah would lead a mass contact programme and will have support of muslims – political parties (Unionist Party of Punjab, Coalition Party, Krishak Party etc), muslims in congress, muslim population in general. But what made this pact unique is that for the first time in modern history, overtures were made to wean away dalits, poor lower castes and tribals from the larger Hindu family.

P.S. – The same tactic is once again being played out by islamist parties under the “JAI BHEEM JAI MEEM” slogans)

The “Victim Card” was trotted out and Hindus were blamed for everything – poverty of muslims, imagined atrocities, religious supremacy. Even Hindu revival and pride in icons of freedom struggle were targeted and blamed. Pujas and evening aartis in temples were blamed as threats to muslims – Doesn’t it all sound familiar to what we are witnessing today

2. THE FAMILIAR ROAD OF HATE – A long list of grievances was put out against the Hindus – one grievance was the rendition of the patriotic song ‘VANDE MATRAM’. occasions. Muslim League felt that it was anti-muslim. The use of the ‘TIRANGA’ flag, the Wardha scheme of Basic Education, the Hindi-Urdu controversy etc. were other such issues which were aggressively used by the League to fill the muslim hearts with hate. In April 1938, the League appointed a committee to look into the atrocities committed by Hindus on the muslims. The report of this committee, commonly known as Pirpur Report, was submitted on 15th November 1938 but it contained nothing substantial against Hindus. Nonetheless, Muslim Leagues propaganda continued unabated.

3. THE SECOND WORLD WAR – Start of the Second World War was a god sent opportunity for the muslim league. The British government had pulled India into Europe’s War – Gandhi was in full support of the British war effort. He volunteered services of Hindustan’s young sons to fight and die so that the British Empire may survive Germany’s onslaught. This was opposed by nationalist leaders like Tilak, Patel etc. Under pressure of nationalists, the congress led 8 provincial governments resigned. The muslim league was jubilant & they gleefully celebrated Deliverance Day on 22nd December 1939. Meetings were called all over the nation and resolutions passed celebrating the end of Hindu rule. The league even offered its services & complete loyalty to the British. All they asked were seats in government that had been vacated by the congress.

Up to now the league had not taken the idea of partition seriously but tasting power and sensing weakness of congress, they used the idea of Pakistan to rally support among muslims. Initially Pakistan was supposed to be a bargaining chip for the league but soon Jinnah sensed the potential of the idea. Muslim League passed the infamous Pakistan Resolution at its Lahore session on 26th March 1940.

In addition to the Pakistan Resolution, Jinnah offered total loyalty to Viceroy Lord Linlithgow. Here Jinnah put forth 2 demands –

(i) That no constitution in future be drafted unless muslims (muslim league) or he agreed. (ii) That the muslim league be given representation in Viceroy’s Executive Council, similar to that of congress.

Jinnah knew well enough that both demands couldn’t be fulfilled as it was against the rules in place.Congress’s opposition played nicely into the muslim victimhood narrative of the league. These events led to a violence of words and the deadlock due to intransigence of Jinnah & Nehru/Gandhi intensified.

4. QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT – 8th August 1942, Gandhi gave the call for Quit India Movement. As the movement intensified, the British put the protesters in jails alog with congress’s leadership. Jinnah once again played the ‘betraying stooge’ of the British. He exhorted the muslims to stay away from the movement & at the same time he accused the Hindus of ignoring the muslims.

  • He mobilized the Muslim League cadre and unleashed a campaign of hate and violence in favour of Pakistan.
  • He built on the old creed of muslim superiority over Hindus (an idea that continues to find support among muslims)
  • He built on the old creed of muslim superiority over Hindus (an idea that continues to find support among muslims)
  • Call of Islam in Danger
  • Mainstreamed & normalized the idea of Anti-Hindu behavior

Muslim business communities were lured by unhindered profits (without Hindu businessmen to share the profits). The political class was lured by the promise of supreme political power – undivided & unrestrained (free from Hindu stakeholders). the religious class was given the dream of a pure land free from the subhuman Hindu kaffirs. The middle class muslim was shown the dream of easy jobs, faster promotions in jobs (when there would be no Hindus – better qualified, to compete with.

More than all this was the dream Jinnah showed to muslims – The dream of MAAL-E-GANIMAT – the wealth & women of the kaffir Hindus. This prospect of loot of wealth & women further polarized the muslim population under Jinnah’s leadership.

Maulvi Mohammed Bahadur Khan, in 1943 at the leagues Karachi meet, called for violence & blood to feed the “Tree of Millat”. Violence of words soon spiraled into violence of blood. The idea of loot, women & property of Hindus coupled with a land, pure & islamic without kaffirs inflamed passions so much that violence followed. Jinnah’s masterly evasion, hypocrisy and refusal to reach any formula of cooperation failed Gandhi-Jinnah talks in 1944 and Simla Conference convened by the Viceroy Lord Wavell in 1945. He ensured that there was no satisfactory rapprochement between the League and Congress.

5. 1946 THE YEAR OF VIOLENCE – Change of government in Britain also triggered elections in India. The 1946 elections were set to be watershed elections in the bloody history of Partition. Jinnah’s muslim league executed its strategy of continuous and ruthless attack on everyone and everything which did not suit its agenda. It raked up communal frenzy to such a height that the muslim masses got caught up in the storm of communal passion. These elections had became a prestige issue for the League as it had to prove beyond doubt that it was the real voice of muslims, that no muslim of India backed a Hindu and those who government or party & those who did were condemned as false muslims/murtads. With transfer of partition imminent, this election was the last chance for it to prove its claims to get power.

The league left no stone unturned. Sajjdanashins, Pirs, Maulvis and religious leaders were all pressed into service & they propagated the creed of hatred. It was drilled into the minds of muslims not to vote for any nationalist muslim as it was a great sin. Five times a day, after each prayer in the mosques, mosques, the Unionist Party (ruling in Punjab) & the nationalist muslims, were condemned as spies of Hindus & denounced as kafirs Anyone voting for them was also condemned as kafir & excommunicated. The impact of this vicious propaganda on the illiterate muslim masses was horrific. Every district official, school teacher, post man or even sub-ordinate revenue staff worked incessantly to whip up the mass hysteria among muslims. Hindus became the villains against whom the ruthless gospel of hatred and bitterness was directed. These acts of intimidation were very successful. The League won all the muslim seats in the Central Assembly and a vast majority of seats in the Provincial Assemblies.

The League increased its intensity of anti-Hindu campaign. During convention of the muslim league legislatures (Delhi, April 1946) unnecessary and unwarranted attacks were directed at Hindus. The resolution passed at this convention described Hindu caste system as ‘a direct negation of nationalism, equality, democracy and all the noble ideas that Islam stands for’.

Khan Abdul Qaiyum Khan threatened that the Muslims would take out their swords if Pakistan was not conceded. Hindus were labelled as enemies. Reason and moderation were forgotten and abusive epithets were employed against Hindus. A last attempt was made by Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy to avoid partition of Hindustan. Cabinet Mission Proposals were put forth and even the muslim league agreed to it. But when it was time for final agreement Jinnah walked away thereby closing the door to any resolution.

à suivre dans la partie 2 : THE VIOLENCE BEGINS

THE PARTITON SERIES

  1. Khilafat Movement 1 : Pan Islamism & Extra Territorial Loyalties of Muslims https://kreately.mars-cdn.com/khilafat-movement-1-pan-islamism-extra-territorial-loyalties-of-muslims/
  2. Khilafat Movement 2 : Rise of the Demagogue Dividers https://kreately.mars-cdn.com/khilafat-movement-2-muslim-leadership-or-demagogue-dividers/

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