Unlike Amit Shah and his colleagues’ claim, the partition of India was never on a religious basis. The argument of partition on religious lines is a purely concocted lie. People have been, of late, fed with distorted facts about India’s history and culture that have been dished out for public consumption.
India’s partition took place. It is history. Jinnah went his way and Pakistan was formed as a separate state. That new nation decided to be a Muslim state. Our freedom fighters in India wanted a country where everybody will be equal with a spirit of oneness under the constitution. They saw beauty in diversity, cultural and religious. Hence, taking inspiration from this united effort, the founding fathers of our constitution presented to us a constitution with fundamental rights of equality, freedom to profess, practice and propagate one’s religion, freedom from discrimination and exploitation.
That in no way meant that India decided to be or opted to become a Hindu state. The non-Hindus who lived in India before the partition and after the partition have Indian identity, not Hindu identity. Every community has its own religion and culture. There is no one culture that can be considered as India’s total culture or superior culture. India’s culture is varied. There is the Dravidian culture. There is the indigenous culture. There is the Aryan culture, the Khasi culture, the Naga culture and the like.
So is the religious factor. The fact that India has Hindu majority does not mean that this is a Hindu Rashtra. Our constitution does not accord such a privilege. No wonder, there are sinister forces calling for changing and rewriting the constitution into saffron.
Those who want to downplay India’s diversity of communities and religions want to feed Indian citizens with the distorted fact that partition took place on religious lines. It is a ploy they play to assert that this is a Hindu state. Nothing can be far from the truth. It is misrepresenting history and those who advocate it, as Shashi Tharoor very well put it, did not pay attention in their history class.
Home Minister Amit Shah’s controversial statement in the Lok Sabha that there was ‘the deal between Jawaharlal and Liyaqat Ali to take care of their minorities’ is purported to din into the minorities that they are and will be in future at the mercy of the majority community. This was in no way the mind of the freedom fighters or the constitution makers. Our freedom fighters belonged to all communities and stood shoulder to shoulder to win India’s freedom. There was no identity problem or identity crisis. They never thought that they were fighting for freedom so that they would cut up our country into two nations. If Jinnah wanted to go the Muslim way, it did not mean that India’s leaders wanted to go the Hindu way.
Taking care of the minorities is not the prerogative of any party or faction. That responsibility is given to the Constitution of India and the party in power has the bounden duty to abide by the constitutional provisions. Therefore, let not anybody fool us with the argument that minorities in India are to live and behave at the behest of a particular party or a community, neither the Congress, nor the BJP nor any messianic muse.
The Sang Parivar’s attempt to be on a warpath to go the Hindu way with the aim of reconstructing India into a Hindu Rashtra is a well calibrated attempt to take this secular nation into a suicidal precipice. Savarkar had openly advocated it. His followers are now choreographing his idea for a murderous dance of death for the Indian nation. We have been witnessing many sinister steps in that direction. Sadhus and Sadvins capturing the political stage for advocating the Hindu Rashtra. A clear example of politicising religion and using inflated religious emotions even to wrest a legal point.
Their vituperative and vilifying remarks against minority communities, particularly the Muslims have been condemned by sensible people as nauseating vomit. The nation has been shocked by the gory lynching of persons of minority communities mostly in the cow belt. According to UCA News agency, “Since 2014, the attacks on Christians have been increasing. It was 292 in 2018, 240 in 217, 208 in 2016, 177 in 2015, and 147 in 2014. As a matter of fact, according to the World Watch List of 50 countries, India is the 10th most dangerous country in the world to live in for Christians as against 28th in the year 2014.”
In order to push their communal agenda they are adept in turning fiction into facts, deny scientific findings and call them concocted. They tell the nation that they hold the keys to the truth which everyone should uphold. A monumental example is the controversy unleashed by them about the Aryan entry into the Indian subcontinent. They want to assert and establish that it was the Aryans who entered India first and they have the right to call this a Hindu nation. The excavations at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa and the findings point to a different direction.
The group of ‘the horse riders from the Steppe who spoke a precursor to Sanskrit began migrating to South Asia, bringing their language, rituals and belief systems with them.’ That was the Aryan migration between 2000 and 1500 BCE as a well established scientific proof. The nationalist advocates do not accept this proof and still hold on to the argument that the Aryans were the earliest settlers at Harappa-Mohenjo-Daro belt. Bolstered with such distorted and unscientific arguments, they ride roughshod on the rest of the Indians as if their religion is the Indian religion and they have the primordial prerogative to establish their Aryan Kingdom as Hindu Rashtra.
It is such an agenda that propels them to take umbrage under the argument that the Congress was party to breaking India into two religious nations. In one way they blame the Congress. In another way they are happy to project India as a religious nationalist nation.
It has been the agenda of the Sang Parivar all along to establish India into a Hindu Rashtra. The recent Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is another determined effort in that direction. Today they say Muslim migrants are out and the other minorities are allowed in as if by way of their benevolence. Tomorrow they can say that India being a Hindu Rashtra the minorities have no place here. They can go to the extent of carpet bombing the constitution and achieve their purpose. They have already been brazenly telling the Adivasis that they are fallen away Hindus and their only identity is Hindu identity.
The recent timely caution at this juncture by India’s former President Pranab Mukherjee is very pertinent. Delivering the Second Memorial Lecture in honour of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mukherjee said: “A numerical majority in elections gives you the right to make a stable government. The lack of proper majority forbids you becoming a majoritarian government. That is the message and essence of our parliamentary democracy.’ This word of abundant caution came when the nation from the North-East to Kanyakumari burst into flames of anger and resistance at the introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Act is enough proof that the BJP government with its numerical majority in the Lok Sabha is riding rough shod to establish the so called majoritarian thrust on all citizens.
“The reduction of non-Hindus to second class status in their homeland is unthinkable. It would be a second Partition: and a partition in the Indian soul would be as bad a partition in the Indian soil.” (Shashi Tharoor in ‘The Paradoxical Prime Minister.’)
(Published on 23rd December 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 52)