Thoughts on Pakistan by Dr Ambedkar

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National Frustration 1

1. Muslim mind on Independence - So far as profession of political aims go, all the parties seem to be in agreement in as much as all of them have declared that the goal of India’s political evolution is Independence. The Congress said so in 1927, the Hindu Maha Sabha said in 1937. The Muslim League declared its political creed in 1912 to be the establishment of Responsible Government in India. In 1937 it changed it to independence and thereby brought it in line with the Congress / Maha Sabha.

Independence meant freedom from British Imperialism. But a unanimous agreement on freedom from the British is not enough; there must be an agreement upon maintaining an Independent India. But on this obligation there does not seem to be the same unanimity. At any rate the attitude of the Muslims on this account has not been very reassuring. Indeed it is obvious from the numerous utterances of Muslim leaders that they do not accept the obligation to maintain India’s freedom. I give below two utterances.

In a meeting held at Lahore in 1925 Dr Kitchlew said – excerpts “The Congress was lifeless till the Khilafat Committee put life into it. When that happened, it did in one year what the Hindu Congress had not done in forty years. The Congress also did the work of uplifting the seven crores of Untouchables. This was purely a work for the Hindus. Mine & my Muslim brother’s money was spent on it like water. But the brave Muslims did not mind. Then why should the Hindus quarrel with us when we Muslims take up Tanzim work and spend money on it that belongs neither to the Hindus nor the Congress? If we remove the British from India and if the Afghans or any other Muslims invade India, then we Muslims will oppose them and sacrifice our lives to save the country from the invasion. But one thing I shall say plainly: Listen my Hindu brothers! If you put any obstacles in the path of our Tanzim Movement, and do not give us our rights, we shall make common cause with Afghans or some other Muslim power and establish our rule in this country”. ‘Friends was that not clear cut blackmail’.

Said Maulana Azad Sobhani 27/1/1939 at Sylhet “Our big fight is with the 22 crs Hindus who constitute the majority. Only 4.5 crs Englishmen have practically swallowed the world by becoming powerful. And if these 22 crs Hindus who are equally advanced in learning, intelligence and wealth as in numbers, then these Hindus will not only swallow Muslim India but gradually move to Egypt, Turkey, Mecca and Medina. The English are gradually becoming weak – they will go away from India soon. So if we do not fight the greatest enemies of Islam, the Hindus, from now and make them weak, then they will not only establish Ramrajya but also gradually spread all over the world. It depends on 9 crores Indian Muslims to weaken the Hindus. So it is the essential duty of every devout Muslim to fight by joining the League so that a Muslim rule may be established after the English depart”. ‘Friends well said. The truth is that Muslims have inspite of their best efforts not been able to weaken the Hindus. As predicted by the Maulana the Hindus have spread all over the world. They have become very rich & influential esp. in the U.S.A. & England. In fact it is they who have contributed greatly to the Hindu renaissance of the 1990’s’.

The Hindus are aware of what is passing in the Muslim mind and dread the possibility of Muslim using independence to enslave them. These are the fears of those who are qualified to judge. Mrs Annie Besant says – excerpts “Since the Khilfat agitation, things have changed, (as compared to 1916 when the Lucknow act was signed) and it has been one of the many injuries inflicted on India by the encouragement of the khilafat crusade, that the inner Muslim feeling of hatred against unbelievers has sprung up, naked and unashamed, as in years gone by. We have been forced to see the primary allegiance of Muslims to Islamic countries. The claim now put forward by the Muslim leaders that they must obey the laws of their particular prophet above the laws of the State in which they live is subversive of civic order and stability of those states. If India were independent the Muslim part of the population - for the ignorant masses would follow those who appealed to them in the name of their Prophet – would become an immediate peril to India’s freedom. Aided by other Muslim countries they would establish Muslim rule in India”.

In 1924 the editor of a Bengali paper had an interview with Dr Rabindranath Tagore, quote “another important factor which, according to the Poet, was making Hindu Muslim unity impossible was that the Muslim could not confine patriotisms to one country. When he asked Muslims whether they would defend India in the event of a Muslim invasion of India he could not be satisfied by the reply he got from them”.

2.  If Independence is impossible then what? I feel certain that the Hindus would be happy with Dominion Status but the Muslims would not, they want Independence. If proof is wanted there is abundance of it.

‘Friends over six pages the proof is given. I have chosen not to reproduce that as it is too lengthy’. Excerpts are – This shows that Hindu opinion is not in favor of Independence but in favor of Dominion Status. It may be asked what about the Congress Resolution of 1927. It is true that a resolution reading “This Congress declares the goal of the Indian people to be complete National Independence” was passed.
But there is enough evidence to support the contention that this resolution did not and does not speak the real mind of the Hindus in the Congress. Otherwise it is not possible to explain how the Nehru Committee which was appointed a year after the Madras resolution of 1927 to adopt Dominion Status as the basis of the constitutional structure framed by it.

3. Notwith-standing this difference in their ultimate destiny, an attempt is being made to force the Hindu Muslims to live in one country, as one people, bound by the political ties of a single constitution. Assuming that his is done and the Muslims are convinced into it what guarantee is there that the Constitution will not break down?

The successful working of Parliamentary Government assumes the existence of certain conditions, when fulfilled can such a form of governance take roots. One such condition pointed out by Lord Balfour in 1925 – “This idea of representative government has got into the heads of nations who have not the smallest nation of what its basis must be. I doubt if you would find it written in any book on the British constitution that the whole essence of the British parliamentary govt lies in the intention to make the thing work”. Asked why the opposition in England does not go the length of stopping the machine he said “Our whole political machinery presupposes a people--- fundamentally as one”.

How far can there be said to be an intention in Hindus & Muslims to make representative govt work? To prove the futility and unworkability of representative govt it is enough even if one of the two parties shows an intention to stop the machinery of govt. If such an intention is enough, then it does not matter much whether it is found in the Hindus or in the Muslims. The Muslims being more outspoken than the Hindus one gets to know their mind. How the Muslim mind will work and by what factors will it be swayed will be clear if the fundamental tenets of Islam which dominate Muslim politics and views expressed by prominent Muslims having a bearing on Muslim attitude towards an Indian govt are taken into consideration.

Know Tenets of Islam to understand Muslim mind - A. Among the tenets is one which says that in a country which is not under Muslim rule wherever there is conflict between Muslim law and the law of the land the former must prevail over the latter and a Muslim will be justified in defying the law of the land. Said Maulana Mahomad Ali in justification of the guilty, excerpts “Speaking as a Muslim, if I am supposed to err from the right path, the only way to convince me of my error is to refer me to the Holy Koran or to the authentic traditions of the last Prophet”.

B. This must make any one wishing for a stable govt very apprehensive. But this is nothing compared to the second fact to be noted. It related to Muslim tenets which prescribe when a country is a motherland to the Muslim and when it is not. According to Muslim cannon law the world is divided into Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). A country is the former when Muslims rule it and the latter when Muslims reside in it but are not rulers. That being the case India cannot be the common motherland of Hindus & Muslims living as equal. It can be the land of Muslims only if they rule it. This view is not of academic interest.

It did greatly influence the conduct of the Muslims when the British occupied India. A discussion was started in the Muslim community, which Dr Titmus says lasted for half a century as to whether India was Dar-ul-Harb or Dar-ul-Islam. Some of the more zealous elements under the leadership of Sayyed Ahmed (founder of the Wahabi Movement in India appeared early 19th century, it was his ambition to restore Muslim power in India by bringing about the overthrow of the Sikhs in Punjab & the British in Bengal), actually did declare a holy war, preached the necessity of emigration (Hijrat) to lands under muslim rule, and carried their agitation all over India.

It was left to the ingenuity of Sir Syed Ahmad founder of the Aligarh Movement to persuade the Muslims not to regard India as Dar-ul-Harb merely because it was not under Muslim rule. He urged Muslims to regard it as Dar-ul-Islam because the Muslims were perfectly free to exercise all the essential rites and ceremonies of their religion. But the former doctrine was preached during the Khilafat Movement again and many Indian Muslims crossed over to Afghanistan.

It may be mentioned that migration is not the only way of escape to Muslims who find themselves in non-Muslim ruled lands. There is another injunction of Muslim cannon law called Jihad by which it becomes “incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rule of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway”. Technically, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler, who is capable of doing so, to transform Dar-ul-Harb into Dar-ul-Islam. And there are instances of Muslims India resorting to Hijrat and Jihad.

The curios may examine the history of the Mutiny of 1857 and if he does, he will find that in part at any rate it was really a Jihad proclaimed by the Muslims against the British, that was the Mutiny as far as the Muslims were concerned was a recrudescence of revolt which had been fostered by Syed Ahmad (founder of Wahabi Movement) who preached to the Muslims for several decades that owing to the occupation of India by the country had become Dar-ul-Harb. The Mutiny was an attempt by the Muslims of India to reconvert India into a Dar-ul-slam. A more recent e.g. is was the invasion of India by Afghanistan in 1919. It was engineered by the Muslims of India who led by the Khilafatists sought their help to liberate India from British rule. The fact remains that since India is not under Muslim rule according to the tenets of Islam the Muslims are justified in proclaiming jihad.

C. A third tenet, which calls for notice is that Islam, does not recognize territorial affinities. Its affinities are social & religious & thus extra-territorial. When he was committed to the Sessions Court in Karachi Mahomad Ali addressing the jury said – excerpts “Not known to non-Muslims and particularly in official circles as it ought to be is this doctrine. A Muslims faith does not merely consist in believing in a set of doctrines and living to that belief himself, he must also exert himself to the fullest extent of his power, of course without resort to any compulsion, to the end that others also conform to the prescribed belief & practices. This is spoken of in the Holy Koran as ‘Amrbil-maroof & Nahi anilmunkar”.

This is the basis of Pan-Islamism. It is this, which leads every Muslim in India to say that he is a Muslim first and Indian afterwards. Over one page in the book His Highness Aga Khan has justified this too.

Government is based on obedience to authority. But those who are eager to establish self-government of Hindus & Muslims do not seem to have stopped to inquire on what such obedience depends and how far such obedience would be forthcoming in the usual course and in moments of crisis. This is important because if obedience fails self-government must fail. It is no use arguing that representative government means working together and not working under. So being fundamentally one as Balfour said before is important in the success of self-government is only part of it but willingness to obey the authority of the Government is a factor equally necessary for the success of any scheme of self-government. ‘Friends there exists even today a reluctance amongst the Indian Muslims to obey the law, the famous Shah Bano case is only example. They obey it when it suits them like on civil matters they follow Muslim law but on criminal matters where Islamic law is very harsh they follow Indian laws. They take to violence at the drop of a hat if something is done which they perceive to be against Islam. One of the many examples - e.g. Muslims of Bangalore in Feb 03 took to rioting because some Hindu procession passed through a particular road’.

This point was discussed by James Bryce. The willingness to obey and comply with the sanctions of a government depends upon certain psychological attributes of the individual citizens & groups. According to Bryce the attitude which produces obedience are indolence, deference, sympathy, fear & reason.

How far will Muslims obey the authority of a Government manned & controlled by the Hindus? To the Muslims a Hindu is called a Kafir. Hindus have no right to feel offended at being called kafirs since they called the Muslims Mlenchas – persons not fit to be associated with. A Kafir is not worthy of respect, which is why a country ruled by a Kafir is Dar-ul-Harb to a Muslim. Given this, no further evidence seems to be necessary to prove that Muslims will not obey a Hindu government. Here is an example

In the midst of the Khilafat agitation when the Hindus were doing so much to help the Muslims, the Muslims did not forget that as compared to them the Hindus were a low and an inferior race. A Muslim wrote in the Khilafat Paper called Insaf “What is the meaning of Swami and Mahatma? Can Muslims use in speech or writings these words about non-Muslims? He says that Swami means ‘master’ and Mahatma means ‘possessed of the highest spiritual powers’ & is equivalent to ‘Ruhi-I-aazam’ and the supreme spirit.” He asked the Muslim divines to decide by an authorative fatwa whether it was lawful for Muslims to call non-Muslims by such deferential titles.

In 1923 Mahommad Ali presided over the session of the Congress, in his address he spoke of Gandhi in the following terms – excerpts “Many have compared Gandhi’s teachings & lately his personal sufferings to those of Jesus. The idea of being all-powerful by suffering & resignation, and of triumphing over force by purity of heart, is as old as the days of Abel & Cain, the first progeny of man.

The political conditions of India just before the advent of the Mahatma resembled those of Judea on the eve of the advent of Jesus, and the prescription that he offered to those in search of a remedy for the ills of India was the same that Jesus had dispended before in Judea. Self-purification through suffering, a moral preparation for the responsibilities of Government, self-discipline as the condition precedent of Swaraj, this was the Mahatma’s creed & conviction”.

A year later the same M Ali speaking at Aligarh & Ajmer said “However pure Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to be from the point of view of religion inferior to any Muslim, even though he is without character”.

‘Friends in the book India’s Rebirth Sri Aurobindo too had called Gandhi a Christian I quote his words said on 22/6/1926 “ When the Europeans say that he is more Christian than many Christians (some even say that he Christ of the modern times) they are perfectly right. All his preaching is derived from Christianity, and though the garb is Indian the essential spirit is Christian. He is largely influenced by Tolstoy, the Bible and has a strong Jain ting in his teachings. What he preaches is not Indian spirituality but something derived from Russian Christianity, non-violence, suffering etc”.’

‘Friends here is a very realist view of Hindu Muslim relations’. In a manifesto on Hindu Muslim relations issued in 1928 quote ‘Through the Eye’ Times of India 14.3.1928 Khwaja Hasan Nizami declared: “Muslims are separate from Hindus, they cannot unite with Hindus. After bloody wars Muslims conquered India and the English took India from them. The Muslims are one united nation and they alone will be the masters of India. They will never give their individuality. They have ruled India for hundreds of years, and hence they have a prescriptive right over the country. The Hindus are in a minority in the world. They are never from internecine quarrels; they believe in Gandhi and worship the cow. The Hindus do not care for self-government; let them go on with their internal squabbles. The Muslims did rule and the Muslims will rule”. ‘Friends has the mindset changed?’

4. Attempts at Hindu – Muslim Unity - Such are the religious beliefs, social attitudes and ultimate destinies of the Hindus & Muslims. Past experience shows that they are too irreconcilable and incompatible to permit them form one single or even two harmonious parts of one whole. These differences have the effect of keeping them at war and are permanent.

In the first attempt it must be admitted that every possible attempt to bring about union between Hindus & Muslims has failed. The history of these attempts begins with 1909. Attempt 1 was Separate Electorates. Gokhale has been blamed by many for giving his consent to the principle of separate electorates. His critics forget that withholding consent would not have been part of wisdom. Said Mahommad Ali – excerpts “the creation of separate electorates was hastening the advent of Hindu Muslim unity. It did a great deal to stop inter-communal warfare, though I am far from oblivious of the fact that when inter-communal jealousies are acute the men who are more likely to return are just those who are noted for the ill-will towards the rival community”. ‘Friends could not agree with M Ali more. Separate electorates was only a bargaining point for the Muslims. Unfortunately Hindus then or today seem unable to be firm with Muslims, unable to learn to say No’. It did not result in Hindu Muslim unity.

Attempt 2 was the Lucknow act of 1916 where the Hindus gave satisfaction to Muslims on every count. Result – failure. Attempt 3 was the Khilafat Movement of 1921, what followed was the Moplah Rebellion, massacre of Hindus in Malabar. Attempt 4. In 1923 the All India Muslim League passed a resolution urging the establishment of a national pact to ensure unity & harmony amongst various communities and appointed a committee to collaborate with other organizations. The Congress followed suit. Side by side the Bengali Hindus signed a pact with the Bengali Muslims titled the Bengal Pact which was rejected by the Congress because the feeling amongst the Hindus against it was so strong according to Lala Lajpat Rai. Mr Gandhi came out of the gaol after which fresh attempts were made with no result.

Attempt 4 was in 1927. This attempt was made prior to the Simon Commission. As a preliminary, a Conference of leading Muslims was held 20/3/1927 at which certain proposals were made. These proposals were considered by the Congress. Subsequently in consultation with other parties The All parties Convention appointed a committee in Feb 1928 to frame a constitution. The Committee prepared a Report with a draft of the constitution known as the Nehru Report that was placed before the all Parties Convention on 22/12/1928. On 1/1/1929 the Convention adjourned sine die without coming to any agreement, on any question, not even the Communal question. This is rather surprising because the points of difference were not substantial. Jinnah wanted four amendments to be made in the Nehru Report. ‘Friends very briefly issue one related to the Muslim demand for one third representation in the Central Legislature, two related to the reservation of seats on population basis in Punjab & Bengal i.e. claim to statutory majority, three related to residuary powers which the Nehru Committee has vested in the Central Government and four related to the separation of Sind from the Bombay Presidency.

These differences show that the gulf between Hindus & Muslims was not in any way a wide one. Yes there was no desire to bridge the same. It was left to the British govt to do so who did it by the Communal Award. Attempt 5 was in 1932 after an agreement between the Hindus & the depressed classes but nothing came out of it.

Attempt 6 was to tackle social & religious differences namely three, one cow slaughter, two music before mosque, and three conversions. The first attempt in this direction was made in 1923 when the Indian National Pact was proposed, it failed. Gandhi’s release from gaol in Feb 1924, his efforts lead to a Unity Conference but it did not produce peace the two communities. It produced only a lull in the rioting which had become the order of the day. In 1926/27 rioting was renewed with intensity & malignity unknown before.

Stung by the rioting the Viceroy Lord Irwin moved to establish amity that was followed by another Unity Conference in August 1927. It failed. Writing in the Comrade of 14/1/1911 said Mahommed Ali, excerpts “We have no faith in the cry that India is united. If India was united what was the need of dragging the venerable President of this year’s Congress from a distant home?”

Looking back at the history of these thirty years one call well asks whether Hindu Muslim unity has been realized. Unity has not been realized. On the contrary there now exists the greatest disunity between them. Unity is like a mirage and that the idea must now be given up, anyone who has the courage to do so cannot be called a pessimist or an impatient idealist. Two it must be admitted that the Muslim viewpoint has undergone a complete revolution. How great the revolution is can be seen by reference to the past pronouncements of some who insist that PAK is the only solution to the Hindu Muslim problem? Among these Jinnah is the foremost.

In 1906 Jinnah did not lend his support to the Muslim demand for separate electorates. In 1919 he gave evidence before the Joint Select Committee appointed by Parliament on the Govt of India Reform Bill, then on the anvil. Although Jinnah appeared as a witness on behalf of the Muslims League he did not allow his membership to come in the way of his loyalty to other political organizations in the country. He was a member of the Congress & Home Rule League. He openly disagreed with others. That he was independent & a nationalist is shown by his relationship with the Khilafat Muslims. He refused to join them inspite of the power they wielded between 1920-24 because he was opposed to Indian Muslims engaging themselves in extra-territorial affairs relating to Muslims outside India.

After the Congress accepted non-cooperation, civil disobedience and boycott of Councils Jinnah left the Congress. (‘friends these are Gandhi’s way of protest probably indicates his dislike for Gandhi’). But he never accused of it being a Hindu body. Addressing the League session on 30/12/1924 he said, excerpts “The object was to organize the Muslim community, not with a view to quarrel with the Hindus but with a view to unite and cooperate with it for the motherland”. In moving a resolution for appointing a committee of 33 prominent Muslims to formulate Muslim demands Jinnah said excerpts “The real block to unity was not the communities themselves, but a few mischief makers on both sides”. On 8/8/1931 addressing the U.P. Muslim Conference he said excerpts “It is essential that Muslims stand united. As most of you know, if a majority is conceded in Punjab & Bengal, I would personally prefer a settlement on the basis of joint electorates. I say to the Hindus give to the Muslims the 14 points only and not a blank cheque that Mr Gandhi says he is willing to give the Muslims”. The book has views similar views of Jinnah. Such were Jinnah’s views on Nationalism, separate electorates and PAK which were diametrically opposed to the views now held on these very problems.

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