Thoughts on Pakistan by Dr Ambedkar

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Google Plus Share to Google Plus Share to Google Plus Add to Favourites

Communal Aggression       

Even a superficial observer cannot fail to notice that a spirit of aggression underlies Hindu attitude towards Muslims and vice versa. The Hindu spirit of aggression is a new phase, which he has just begun to cultivate. The Muslim spirit of aggression is his native endowment and is very much ancient as compared with that of the Hindu. It is not that the Hindu, if give time, will not pick-up and overtake the Muslim. But as matters stand today the Muslim in his spirit of aggression leaves the Hindu far behind. Enough has been said about the social aggression of the Muslims in the chapter dealing with communal riots. It is necessary to speak briefly about the political aggression of the Muslims. Three things are noticeable about this.

One is the ever-growing catalogue of the Muslims political demands. Their origin goes back to 1892. In 1885 the Congress was founded which began with a demand for good government instead of self-government. In response the British Parliament passed the Indian Councils Act 1892. It is for the first time that the Brits accepted the semblance of the principle of popular representation as the basis of the constitution of the legislatures of India. It was a principle of nomination not election for which a person must be selected by important public bodies. Two it was in the Legislatures that were constituted under this Act that the principle of separate representation for Muslims was introduced for the first time. It was a mystery why it was introduced so stealthily. The Act says nothing about it – it was in the Directions not in the Act. It is suggested that the idea was a ploy to wean away the Muslims from the Congress. In two speeches delivered at Lucknow on 28/12/1887 and on 16/3/1888 Sir Syed Ahmed Khan asked the Muslims not to join the Congress. It may be noted that the Act did not give the Muslim community a right to claim a fixed number of seats. All that it did was to give the Muslims the right to separate representation.

Thought to start with the suggestion for separate representation came from the British, the Muslims did not fail to appreciate the social value of separate political rights with the result that when in 1909 the Muslims came to know that the next step in the reform of legislative Councils was contemplated they made demands to the Viceroy Lord Minto and were granted in 1909
• Right to elect their representatives.
• Right to elect their representatives by separate electorates.
• Right to vote in the general electorates as well.
• Right to weightage in representation.

The provisions were applied to all provinces except the Punjab & C.P. It was not applied to Punjab because such special representation was considered unnecessary for the Muslims of Punjab who were in a majority & C.P. had no Legislative Council at that time. In the year 1916 in response to further Muslim demands negotiations followed resulted in an agreement between Hindus & Muslims known as the Lucknow Pact. One of the clauses agreed to – “No Bill, nor any clause thereof, nor a resolution introduced by a non-official affecting one or other community shall be proceeded with, if 3/4th of the members of that community in that particular Council, Imperial & Provincial, oppose the Bill or any clause thereof or the resolution”.

W.r.t. related to the proportion of Muslim representation. It provided –“That 1/3rd of the Indian elected members should be Muslims, elected by separate electorates in the several provinces, in the proportion, as nearly as might be, in which they were represented on the provincial legislative councils by separate Muslim electorates”.

The Pact was criticized by the Montague-Chelmsford Report but being an agreement between the parties it was embodied in the Govt of India Act of 1919 with the exception that any legislation affecting religious rites of any community could be introduced only with the previous sanction of the Governor-General.  The following table shows that Muslims got a weightage under the Lucknow act far in excess of what the Govt gave them in 1909

Province

Muslim % of Population (1)

% of Muslim seats proposed (2)

% 2 of 1

Bengal

52.6

40

76

Bihar & Orissa

10.5

25

238

Bombay

20.4

33.3

163

Central Provinces

4.3

15

349

Madras

6.5

15

231

Punjab

54.8

50

91

United Provinces

14.0

30

214

Brit Role in promoting Muslim separatism - In 1927 the Brit govt appointed the Simon Commission to examine the working of the Indian Constitution and to suggest further reforms. There were 15 demands by various Muslim organizations of which the new ones are five, one is representation in proportion to population to Muslim majorities in the Punjab & Bengal, two is 1/3rd representation to Muslims in both Central & Provincial cabinets, adequate representation to Muslims in the Services, four separation of Sind from the Bombay Presidency and raising the N.W.F.P. & Baluchistan to the status of self-governing provinces, five vesting of Residuary powers in the Provinces & not in the Central Govt.

Notwithstanding the opposition to these demands by Hindus & Sikhs, rejection by the Commission itself the British govt granted all their demands old & new. N.W.F.P. & Baluchistan were declared as Governor’s Province on 25/1/1932, Sind was separated from Mumbai from 1/4/1936, vide by a resolution issued by the Secretary of State published on 7/7/1934 the Muslim share in the public services was fixed at 25% of all appointments Imperial & Provincial. Residuary powers were vested in the Governor General & not a Hindu majority government, which the Muslims were opposed to. W.r.t 331/3rd % representation in the cabinets of central & provincial the provision was not given effect by a legal provision in the Act but made in the provisions was made in the instruments of Instructions issued to the Governors & Governor General. The demand, which related to a statutory majority in Punjab & Bengal, was given effect to by the Communal Award without touching the weightages obtained by the Muslim minorities under the Lucknow Pact.

After taking into account what the Muslims demanded at the Round Table Conference one would have thought that the limit of Muslim demands was reached and that 1932 was a final settlement. But it appears that even with this the Muslims are not satisfied. Communication between Nehru & Jinnah in 1938 indicate 14 items in dispute & regarding settlement some of which are –

• 14 points formulated by the Muslim League in 1929.
• Muslim personal law & culture should be guaranteed.
• Muslim right to call Azan and perform their religious ceremonies should not be fettered in any way.
• Muslims should have freedom to perform cow slaughter.
• Bande mataram song should be given up.
• Muslims want Urdu to be national language of India. (spoken by 41% of the 68 million Muslims.
• Muslim representation in the local bodies should be governed by the principles underlying the Communal Award, i.e., separate electorates & population strength.
• Recognition of the Muslim League as the one and only representative organization of Indian Muslims.
• Coalition Ministries should be formed.

There is no stop to Muslim demands. Within one year i.e. between 1938 and 1939 one new demand came up namely 50 % share in everything has been added. With this demand the Muslims are now speaking the language of Hitler and claiming a place in the Sun, which Hitler has been claiming for Germany.

It will thus be seen that every time a proposal for the reform of the Constitution comes forth, the Muslims are there with some new political demands. Just as the Muslim demands are endless so also the British seem to be becoming powerless to put a curb on them. At any rate if past experience is anything to go by the British are inclined to give the Muslims more than what the Muslims had themselves asked. Two instances excerpts–

One of these relates to the Lucknow Pact. The author of the Montague – Chelmsford Report was disinclined to accept it for some very weighty reasons. However the Govt of India recommended that the terms of the Pact should be improved upon in so far as it relates to the Muslims of Bengal. The proposal regarding Muslims of Bengal did not go through but the fact that it was made remains as evidence of their inclinations.

The second occasion when the British govt as an arbitrator gave the Muslims more than they asked for when the Communal Award was given in 1932. In his speech on 6/1/1931 Sir Muhammad Shafi to the Minorities Sub-Committee put forth the following proposals for communal settlement - joint electorates if accompanied by a statutory majority. If statutory majority is refused, then a minority of seats with separate electorates. The British govt took statutory majority from the first demand and separate electorates from the second demand gave the Muslims both when they had not asked for both.

The next thing that is noticeable among the Muslims is the spirit of exploiting the weaknesses of the Hindus. If the Hindus object to anything then the Muslim policy seems to be to insist upon it and give it up only when the Hindus show themselves to be ready to offer a price for it by giving the Muslims some other concessions. Example one can refer to the question of separate & joint electorates. The Hindus to my mind have been utterly foolish to fight for joint electorate’s esp. in provinces where Muslims are in a minority. Joint electorates can never be the basis for nationalism. Where two communities live an exclusive life they will not be one because they come together on one day in five years for the purpose of voting in an election. Hindus have been insisting on joint electorates because Muslims have been insisting on separate electorates. That this insistence is a matter of bargain only can be seen from Jinnah’s 14 points and the Resolution passed in the Calcutta Session of the League in 1927. There it was stipulated that only when Hindus agreed to the separation of Sind & N.W.F.P. to the status of self-governing provinces would the Muslim consent to give separate electorates.

Another e.g. of this spirit of exploitation is furnished the Muslim insistence upon cow-slaughter and stoppage of music before mosque. Islamic law does not insist upon the slaughter of the cow for sacrificial purposes and no Muslim when he goes to Haj sacrifices the cow at Mecca & Medina. But in India they will not be content with the sacrifice of any other animal. Music before mosque is played in all Muslim countries without any objection. But in India Muslims insist upon its stoppage because the Hindus claim a right to it.

The third thing that is noticeable is the adoption by the Muslims of the gangster’s methods in politics. The riots are a sufficient indication that gangterism has become a settled part of their strategy in politics. So long the Muslims were the aggressors. But the Hindus have learnt to retaliate and no longer feel any compunction in knifing a Muslim.

How to meet Muslim problem? - Simple-minded Hindu Mahasabha patriots believe that the Hindus have only to make up their minds to swipe the Muslims and they will be brought to their senses. The Congress policy is to tolerate & appease Muslims by political & other concessions, because they believe that they cannot reach their cherished goal of independence unless the Muslims back their demand. The slogan of the MahaSabha President  - Hindustan for Hindus in nonsense. ? Is the Congress way the right way? The Congress has failed to realize two things.

One there is a difference between appeasement & settlement an important difference. Appeasement means to buy off the aggressor by conciving at or collaborating with him in the rape, murder and arson on innocent Hindus who happen for the moment to be the victims of his displeasure. Two the Congress fails to realize is that the policy of concession has increased their aggressiveness & what is worse the Muslims interpret these concessions as a sign of defeatism on the part of the Hindus & the absence of will to resist.

The only remedy is Settlement. If PAK is a settlement then as a remedy it is worth consideration. For as a settlement it will do away with this constant need for appeasement and ought to be welcomed by all those who prefer the peace & tranquility of a settlement to the insecurity of a growing political appetite shown the Muslims in their dealings with the Hindus.

‘Friends let us do a reality check in 2003. Appeasement of the minorities is built into the Indian Constitution, has been part of our political system for nearly 100 years now the Congress party being its torchbearer.  India has not the peace and tranquility that BRA thought PAK would give Hindus. In fact the situation in India today is close to what it was in the 1940’s. On the other hand the % of Hindus in PAK has got down to single digit numbers, about their condition in Bengal modern day Bangladesh the less said the better. PAK has only objective – destruction of India. Muslims of the sub-continent have only one objective – Ruling India again. Having said that I must in this case admire BRA for his understanding of the Muslim mind and their tactics, British role in supporting Muslim separatism.’

Receive Site Updates