This READER on the Two-nation theory has been penned on the demand of friends from world-over so that one can have an authentic and systematic understanding of the whole discourse on the Two-nation theory from its birth to the present day.
No other fascist organization, in the present world, can beat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in demagogy, double-speak and unabashed use of conspiracies. A leading Indian English daily, in the aftermath of 2002 genocide of Muslims in Gujarat, candidly wrote that in case of the RSS, what George Orwell termed as "doublespeak" would be an understatement.[i] It stands true always in the case of RSS. So far as its conspiring mind-set is concerned, it was none other than Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who became the first President of independent India, who brought to the notice of the first home minister of India, Sardar Patel that,
According to Ansari, his programme at AMU was publicly known and the authorities concerned had been officially intimated about the standard arrangements, including security for the occasions. Despite all this “the access of the intruders to close proximity of the university guesthouse where I was staying remains unexplained”.[iii] The Hindutva hoodlums justified the attack arguing that in AMUSU a photo of founder of Pakistan was displayed. Jinnah's photo was there as he was conferred life-time member ship in the year 1938. It never bothered the Hindutva gang for more than 80 years but resurrected this issue as Hindutva rulers in power in UP were losing fast support of the common Hindus. Ansari, rightly said that precise timings of the attack on AMU and "the excuse manufactured for justifying it" raises serious questions. The Hindutva arsonists demanding removal of Jinnah's portrait thought that nation did not know that Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, ran coalition governments with the Hindu Mahasabha in 1942-43, as we will see later.
FEW FACTS ABOUT JINNAH WE MUST KNOW
It is pertinent to know the past of Jinnah before he became a prophet of Muslim separatism. He was a die-hard secularist and part of Congress leadership, including, Dada Bhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishan Gokhale, Annie Besant, MK Gandhi, Nehrus (Moti Lal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru), Maulana Azad, Sardar Patel and other such icons who led the freedom movement against the British rule.
Jinnah was not supporter of the militant activities against the British but when Bhagat Singh was jailed and judicial process to hang him started in his absence, he delivered a powerful speech against his trial in the Central Assembly (the then Parliament of India), on September 12, 1929. Jinnah said:
"the man who goes on hunger strike has a soul. He is moved by that soul, and he believes in the justice of his cause. He is no ordinary criminal, who is guilty of cold blooded, sordid wicked crime... I do not approve of the action of Bhagat Singh... I regret that rightly or wrongly the youth of today is stirred up... however much you deplore them and however much you say they are misguided, it is the system, this damnable system of governance, which is resented by the people,'' [iv]
Earlier, in 1916, he was the leading defence counsel of Bal Gangadhar Tilak (a favourite of the Hindutva clan) in a sedition case against him; punishment for which could be death penalty. Jinnah won the historic case against the British government to the terrible humiliation of the foreign rulers.
Around 1935, there arose a serious religious conflict between Sikhs and Muslims of Lahore over possession of a religious site which was claimed to be a [shaheedee/of martyrs] Gurudwara and a mosque by Sikhs and Muslims respectively. The Muslim party approached Jinnah to fight legal battle on its behalf. Jinnah refused the brief and kept away from the case. He parted with the Gandhi led Congress in 1920-21, as former was against mass politics, specially, involving religious leaders in national politics. Congress tried to isolate him and instead of fighting back, he chose to take a path which led him to lead the same Muslim League which he had described as representative of feudal and aristocratic elements of the Muslim community. In his personal habits and religious beliefs, he could not be counted as a practicing Muslim. Incidentally, he did not know how to read or write Urdu, being proficient in English and Gujarati.
Importantly, when Jinnah was apostle of the Hindu-Muslim unity and stood for the freedom of a united India, he was denigrated by the Hindutva camp; Gandhi, Motilal Nehru, Azad being the other victims.
HINDU NATIONALISTS AND NOT JINNAH PROPUNDED THE TWO NATION THEORY
Long-long before the appearance of Muslim advocates of the two-nation theory, Hindu nationalists had propounded this idea. Muslim League practitioners of the Two-nation theory were late comers. In fact, in this case, they borrowed heavily from the Hindutva school of thought.
BENGALI BRAHMINS WERE THE FIRST TO VUSUALIZE INDIA AS A HINDU NATION.
The ball was set rolling by Hindu nationalists at the end of the 19th century in Bengal. In fact Raj Narain Basu (1826–1899), the maternal grandfather of Aurobindo Ghosh, and his close associate Nabha Gopal Mitra (1840-94) can be called the co-fathers of Two-nation theory and Hindu nationalism in India. Basu established a society for the promotion of national feelings among the educated natives which in fact stood for preaching the superiority of Hinduism. He organized meetings proclaiming that Hinduism despite its Casteism presented a much higher social idealism than ever reached by the Christian or Islamic civilization.
Basu not only believed in the superiority of Hinduism over other religions but also was a fervent believer in Casteism. He was the first person to conceive the idea of a Maha Hindu Samiti (All India Hindu Association) and helped in the formation of Bharat Dharma Mahamandal, a precursor of Hindu Mahasabha. He believed that through this organization Hindus would be able to establish an Aryan nation in India. He visualized a powerful Hindu nation not only overtaking India but the whole world. He also saw,
Nabha Gopal Mitra started organising an annual Hindu Mela (fête). It used to be a gathering on the last day of every Bengali year and highlighted the Hindu nature of all aspects of Hindu Bengali life and continued uninterrupted between 1867 and 1880. Mitra also started a National Society and a National Paper for promoting unity and feelings of nationalism among Hindus. Mitra argued in his paper that the Hindus positively formed a nation by themselves. According to him,
R. C. Majumdar, a keen observer of the rise of Hindu nationalism in Bengal, had no difficulty in arriving at the truth that,
ROLE OF ARYA SAMAJISTS
The Arya Samaj in northern India aggressively preached that Hindu and Muslim communities in India were, in fact, two different nations. Bhai Parmanand (1876–1947), a leading light of the Arya Samaj in northern India who was also a leader of both Congress and Hindu Mahasabha, produced an enormous anti-Muslim literature which stressed the fact that India was a land of Hindus and Muslims should be relocated.
Long before V. D. Savarkar (1883-1966) and M. S. Golwalkar (1906-73), who laid down elaborate theories of Hindu Rashtra allowing no place for minorities, it was Bhai Parmanand who declared in the beginning of the twentieth century that followers of Hinduism and Islam in India were two different peoples because Muslims followed a religion which originated in Arab lands. Parmanand specialized in writing popular literature in Urdu in which the main emphasis would be on Hindus being true sons of India and Muslims as outsiders.As early as 1908–9, Parmanand called for the total exchange of Hindu and Muslim populations in two specific areas. According to his plan, elaborated in his autobiography,
Lajpat Rai (1865-1928), a renowned leader simultaneously of Congress, Hindu Mahasabha and Arya Samaj,
By 1924 he was more articulate in summarizing his Two-nation theory. He wrote:
Lajpat Rai proposed the partition of Punjab in the following words,
It may be noted that Muslim flag-bearers of Two-nation theory had fair knowledge of theories propounded by Lajpat Rai and others. However, instead of challenging this anti-national and anti-Muslim theory, they simply copied it.
HINDU NATIONALIST MOONJE, HAR DAYAL, SAVARKAR AND GOLWALKAR AS PROPHETS OF TWO-NATION THEORY
Dr. B. S. Moonje was another prominent Congress leader (who equally dabbled in organizing the Hindu Mahasabha and later helped the RSS in its formation) who carried forward the flag of Hindu Separatism long before Muslim League’s Pakistan resolution of March 1940. While addressing the third session of the Oudh Hindu Mahasabha in 1923, he declared:
It was sheer semi-illiteracy of Moonje that he presented England, France and Germany as justification for India for Hindus. The English, the French and the German identities had nothing to do with religions, these were secular identities of the people living in those countries.
Lala Har Dayal (1884–1938), a well-known name in the Ghadar Party circles, too, long before the Muslim League’s demand for a separate homeland for Muslims, not only demanded the formation of a Hindu nation in India but also urged the conquest and Hinduisation of Afghanistan. In a significant political statement in 1925, which was published in the Pratap of Kanpur, he stated:
All such ideas of declaring India as a Hindu nation and excluding Muslims and Christians from it were further crystallized by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his controversial book Hindutva as early as 1923. Interestingly, he was allowed to write this polarizing book despite being in the British jail. According to his definition of the Hindu nation, Muslims and Christians remained out of this nationhood because they did not assimilate into Hindu cultural heritage or adopt Hindu religion. Savarkar decreed:
Savarkar, the originator of the politics of Hindutva, later developed the most elaborate Two-nation theory. The fact should not be missed that Muslim League passed its Pakistan resolution in 1940 only but Savarkar, the great philosopher and guide of RSS, propagated the Two-nation theory long before it. While delivering the presidential address to the 19th session Hindu Mahasabha at Ahmedabad in 1937, Savarkar declared unequivocally,
The RSS, following into the footsteps of Savarkar, rejected out rightly the idea that Hindus and Muslims together constituted a nation. The English organ of the RSS, Organiser, on the very eve of Independence (August 14, 1947) editorially chalked out its concept of nation in the following words:
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, a keen researcher of the communal politics in pre-independence India, while underlying the affinity and camaraderie between Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League on the issue of the Two-nation theory wrote:
Ambedkar agonized by the evil designs of Savarkar regarding the Two-nation theory and Hindutva rhetoric over it, wrote, as early as 1940, that,
HINDU MAHASABHA LED BY SAVARKAR RAN COALITION GOVERNMENTS WITH MUSLIM LEAGUE
The children of Hindu nationalist, Savarkar ruling India presently are oblivious of the shocking fact that Hindu Mahasabha led by Savarkar entered into alliances with the Muslim League in order to break the united freedom struggle, specially, the 1942 Quit India Movement against the British rulers. While delivering Presidential address to the 24th session of Hindu Mahasabha at Cawnpore (Kanpur) in 1942, he defended hobnobbing with the Muslim League in the following words,
Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League also formed a coalition government in NWFP also.
MUSLIMS AGAINST PARTITION OF INDIA
One of the greatest lies concerning Partition of India, continuously spread by the Hindutva gang is that all Muslims of India in unison demanded Pakistan and they got the country divided. This lie believed as truth by the Hindutva cadres has become the most important cause of persecution of Muslims in India. It is true that India was partitioned in 1947 due to Muslim League’s demand for a separate homeland for Muslims. And there is no denying the fact that the Muslim league was able to mobilize huge mass of Muslims in favour of its demand. But it is also true that very large sections of Indian Muslims and their organizations stood against the demand for Pakistan. These Muslims against Partition challenged the Muslim League theoretically and confronted the latter on streets. Such Muslims fought heroically, many times paying with their lives. The lie of culpability of all Indian Muslims for Partition continues to be spread not only due to the nasty anti-Muslim politics of Hindutva but also due to the fact that Indian Muslims are not aware of the great heritage of their ancestors who challenged the politics of the Muslim League, politically, religiously and physically.
Within weeks of the Pakistan resolution of the Muslim League at Lahore, Indian Muslims organized MUSLIM AZAD CONFERENCE in Delhi (Queen's Park, Chandni Chowk) between April 27-30, 1940 (it was to conclude on April 29 but was extended by one day due to tremendous participation and pressure of the work) with 1400 delegates from almost all parts of India attending it. The leading light of this conference was former Premier of Sind, Allah Bakhsh who presided over the conference. was one of such heroes.
The major Muslim organizations represented in this conference were All India Jamiat-ul-Ulema, All India Momin Conference, All India Majlis-e-Ahrar, All-India Shia Political Conference, Khudai Khidmadgars, Bengal Krishak Proja Party, All-India Muslim Parliamentary Board, the Anjuman-e-Watan, Baluchistan, All India Muslim Majlis and Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadis. The Azad Muslim Conference was attended by duly elected delegates from United Province, Bihar, Central Province, Punjab, Sind, NWF Province, Madras, Orissa, Bengal, Malabar, Baluchistan, Delhi, Assam, Rajasthan, Delhi, Kashmir, Hyderabad and many native states thus covering the whole of India.[xxi] There was no doubt that these delegates represented “majority of India’s Muslims.”[xxii]
Apart from these organizations a galaxy of leading intellectuals of Indian Muslims like Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari (who was in the forefront of struggle against the communal politics of Muslim League, died in 1936), Shaukatullah Ansari, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Syed Abdullah Brelvi, Shaikh Mohammed Abdullah, AM Khwaja and Maulana Azad were associated with this movement against Pakistan. Jamiat and other Muslim organizations produced large number of booklets in Urdu against Two-nation theory and in support of co-existence of Hindus and Muslims in India.Allah Bakhsh, in his presidential address declared the Pakistan resolution as suicidal for Muslims as well as India. Stressing the inclusive nature of Indian society and polity he said:
ALLAH BAKHSH MURDERED BY ASSASINS HIRED BY THE MUSLIM LEAGUE
How many of us know that long before MK Gandhi's murder by the Hindu nationalists, Allah Bakhsh was murdered on May 14, 1943 by professional assassins hired by the Muslim nationalist (Muslim League leaders) at Shikarpur town in Sind. Allah Bakhsh had become a symbol of unity amongst against the Muslim League and its demand for Pakistan. He needed to be liquidated as Gandhi had become the biggest stumbling block in the Hindutva project of converting India into a Hindu rashtra.
THE MUSLIM LEAGUE TERROR
All leading leaders of anti-Pakistan movement were physically attacked, their houses looted, family members attacked, mosques where they stayed or addressed Muslims were damaged, Shiekh-ul-Islam, Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani was victim of violent attacks in UP and Bihar. Maulana Azad, Ahrar leader, Habeebur Rahman, Maulana Ishaque Sambhali, Hafiz Ibrahim, Maulana M. Qasim Shajahanpuri and many other leading ulama faced murderous attacks. At places ulama were attacked with daggers causing severance of body parts, they were shot and office of the Jamiat at Delhi was set on fire. Momin Conference meetings were special targets of attack, its cadres killed and Conference had to warn the Muslim League of war.
According to a contemporary document,
HINDU NATIONALISTS WHO BELIEVED IN THE TWO-NATION THEORY PARADED AS INDIAN NATIONALISTS
Despite all these facts only Muslims are branded as guilty men of Partition and originator and perpetrator of the Two-nation theory. The leading Hindu nationalist leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malviya, M. S. Aney, B. S. Moonje, M. R. Jayakar and N. C. Kelkar, Swami Shardhanand etc. (some of whom were also Congress leaders) did not subscribe to an all-inclusive India but were committed to the building of an exclusive Hindu nation. They believed that India was primordially a Hindu nation and should be nurtured as one. Nevertheless, they went around as great Indian ‘Nationalist’ leaders.
In fact, the majority community had the advantage of disguising their communalism under the cloak of nationalism. Take one glaring example, Madan Mohan Malviya. While he was President of the Indian National Congress which stood for a composite India, in 1909, 1918 and 1933 he also presided over the sessions of Hindu Mahasabha in the years 1923, 1924 and 1936. He was the originator of the most divisive slogan ‘Hindi-Hindu-Hindusthan.[xxiv] Despite his history of spreading communal hatred he continues to be known as a great Indian nationalist leader.
If Muslim leaders can be distinguished on the basis of whether they believed in a multi-religious India or in the creation of Pakistan as a homeland for Muslims, then the same distinction should apply to Hindu leaders. When we study Indian nationalism we are generally told that all Hindus were nationalists whereas there were few patriotic Muslims and the rest were with the anti-national Muslim League. In order to clear the air we need to define what nationalism meant in Indian context. If Indian nationalism had been about creating a multi-religious secular nation state, only those who shared this commitment would be called nationalist or patriotic. But this is rarely the case when we discuss communal Hindus or Hindu Nationalist leaders. Despite their being decidedly against a multi-cultural India, they are still held up as nationalist icons. The truth is that the Hindu nationalist leaders were decidedly anti-patriotic or anti-national, in precisely the same way as the Muslim League was.
In the same way that not all Hindu leaders were patriotic by this standard, not all Muslims were anti-patriotic. A large number of Muslim individuals and mass-based Muslim organizations opposed the Two-nation theory and the creation of Pakistan with all their resources, often laying down their lives. The saddest part is that the children of the Hindu nationalists, inheriting the politics of Two-nation theory are ruling India. This ruling elite whose political ancestors like Moonje, Savarkar and Golwalkar played no role in the freedom struggle, cooperated with the Muslim League and the British rulers are questioning the patriotism of the Indian Muslims.
TASK FOR INDIAN MUSLIMS
The Indian Muslims instead of getting defensive against this onslaught by the anti-national Hindu nationalists, must aggressively challenge the propaganda against Muslims. The history is with them. Indian Muslims are children of those fearless Muslims who waged a glorious fight against the Muslim League and its demand for Pakistan. They did not agree to Pakistan but were helpless victims of a deal amongst the British rulers, the Muslim League and the Congress for partitioning India. The following statement of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the Frontier Gandhi to MK Gandhi in June 1947, after Congress had agreed to the partition of India, symbolized the pervasive sense of betrayal of anti-Pakistan Muslim. He wrote:
"We Pakhtuns stood by you and had undergone great sacrifices for attaining freedom. But you have now deserted us and thrown us to the wolves…"[xxv]
Whereas the children of Savarkar and Golwalkar who rule India today, hail from a heritage which propounded Two-nation theory and allied with Jinnah. The Muslims against partition of India had a solid case for not dividing the country on the basis of religion. Their resolve and commitment for a united democratic-secular India was clear from the following anti-Pakistan poem titled, ‘Pakistan chahne walon se’ (To those who want Pakistan) penned by renowned poet, Shamim Karhani which became Indian Muslim's anthem against the Muslim League. Since Muslim League had converted the demand for Pakistan into a religious project, Shamim Karhani responded in the same vocabulary. Every Indian Muslim should be proud of it.Humko batlao tau kiya matlab hae Pakistan kaa
Jis jagah iss waqt Muslim haen, najis hae kiya who ja.
[Tell me, what does Pakistan mean? Is this land, where we Muslims are, an unholy land?]
Nesh-e-tohmat se tere, Chishti kaa seena chaak hae
jald batlla kiya zameen Ajmer kee na-paak hae.
[Your slur has wounded Chishti’s breast; Quick, tell me, is Ajmer impure?]
Kufr kee vaadi maen imaan kaa nageena kho gaya
Hai kiya khak-e-najis maen shah-e-meena kho gaya.
[Can you say the precious jewel of Islam ‘Shah Meena’ has lost in the unholy valley of Infidelity?]
Deen kaa makhdoom jo Kaliyer kee abaadi maen hae
Aah! Uskaa aastana kiya najis vaadi mae hae.
[Is the place of high dignity at Kaliyar where Makhdoom (Master of Din/religion) is resting is an unholy valley?]
Haen imamon ke jo roze Lucknow kee khaaq per
Ban gaye kiya tauba-tauba khitta-e-napak per.
[Whether the Mausoleums/Shrines of Imams at Lucknow are built on impure land?]
Baat yeh kaisee kahee tu ney kee dil ne aah kee
Kiya zameen tahir naheen dargah-e-Noorullah kee.
[A deep sigh came out over your statement. Can you say the Shrine of Noor-ul-lah (at Agra) is not pious?]
Aah! Iss pakeezah Ganga ko najis kehta hae tu
jis key paany see kiya Muslim shahidon ne wazoo.
[Alas! You call the holy Ganga water impure, which was used by martyrs for the ablution (wazoo).]
Nam-e-Pakistan na le gar tujhko pas-e-deen hae
Yeh guzishta nasl-e-Muslim kee badi tauheen hae.
[Don’t take the name of Pakistan if you have least respect for your faith because demanding Pakistan is immense disrespect to our Muslim predecessors.]
Tukre-tukre ker nahin sakte watan ko ahl-e-dil
Kis tarah taraj dekhen gey chaman ko ahl-e-dil.
[Those who have a sensible heart cannot split the country and how will they dare to see a ruined and plundered motherland?]
Kiya yeh matlab hae ke hum mahroom-e-azadi rahen
Munqasim ho ker Arab kee tarah faryadi rahaen.
[Do you want us to remain devoid of freedom and lament like divided Arabs?]
Tukre-tukre ho kay Muslim khasta-dil ho jayegaa
Nakhl-e-jamiat sarasar muzmahil ho jayegaa.
[By division Muslims will split and the tree of community will wilt.][xxvi]
پاکستان چاہنے والوں سے
- شمیم کرہانی
ہم کو بتلاو تو کیا مطلب ہے پاکستان کا
جس جگہ اِس وقت مسلم ہیں، نجس ہے کیا وہ جا
نیشِ تہمت سے تیرے، چشتی کا سینہ چاک ہے
جلد بتلا کیا زمیں اجمیر کی ناپاک ہے
کفر کی وادی میں ایماں کا نگینہ کھو گیا
ہے کیا خاکِ نجس میں شاہِ مینا کھو گیا
دین کا مخدوم جو کلیر کی آبادی میں ہے
آہ! اس کا آستانہ کیا نجس وادی میں ہے
ہیں اماموں کے جو روضے لکھنو کی خاک پر
بن گئے کیا توبہ توبہ خطہء ناپاک پر
بات یہ کیسی کہی تو نے کہ دل نے آہ کی
کیا زمیں طاہر نہیں درگاہ نوراللہ کی
آہ! اس پاکیزہ گنگا کو نجس کہتا ہے تو
جس کے پانی سے کیا مسلم شہیدوں نے وضو
نامِ پاکستاں نہ لے گر تجھ کو پاسِ دین ہے
یہ گزشتہ نسلِ مسلم کی بڑی توہین ہے
ٹکڑے ٹکڑے کر نہیں سکتے وطن کو اہلِ دل
کس طرح تاراج دیکھیں گے چمن کو اہلِ دل
کیا یہ مطلب ہے کہ ہم محرومِ آزادی رہیں
منقسم ہو کر عرب کی طرح فریادی رہیں
ٹکڑے ٹکڑے ہو کہ مسلم خستہ دل ہو جائے گا
نخلِ جمیعت سراسر مضمحل ہو جائے گا
For some of S. Islam's writings in English, Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu & Gujarati see the following link: