Thoughts on Pakistan by Dr Ambedkar

Muslim Case for PAK      

The Muslim case for PAK is sought to be justified on the following grounds –
1) What the Muslims are asking for is the creation of administrative areas, which are ethically more homogenous.

2) The Muslims want these homogenous administrative areas which are predominantly Muslim to be constituted into separate states

a) because the Muslims by themselves constitute a separate nation and desire to have a national home and,

b) because experience shows that the Hindus want to use their majority to treat the Muslims as though they were second-class citizens in an alien state.

This part is devoted to the exposition of these grounds.

1. On 26/3/1940 the Muslim League at its Lahore passed a series of resolutions that one, emphatically reiterates that the Scheme of Federation embodied in the Government of India Act, 1935 is totally unsuited to – unworkable and altogether unacceptable to Muslim India, two Muslim India will not be satisfied unless the whole constitutional plan is reconsidered de novo and no revised plan would be acceptable to the Muslims unless it is framed with their approval and consent, three no constitutional plan would be workable and acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designated on three principles i.e. geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial adjustments as may be in necessary, what areas of North Western and Eastern zones of India where Muslims are numerically in a majority should be grouped to constitute Independent States in which the Constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign. That adequate safeguards must be provided for in the constitution for minorities in these areas as well other parts of India where Muslims are in a minority.

What this means that Punjab, North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Baluchistan, Sind and Bengal shall be incorporated as independent states outside India. It might appear that this scheme is a new one but it is merely resuscitates a scheme which was put forth by Sir Mahomed Iqbal in this Presidential address to the Muslim League at its Annual Session held at Lucknow in December 1930. The scheme was not adopted by the League in 1930. It was, however, taken up by one Mr Rehmat Ali who gave it the name Pakistan, by which it is known. ‘Friends he divided India into two parts modern day PAK and India’. An attempt was made privately to obtain consent of the British Government. They declined because they imagined that this was a revival of the old Muslim empire. The League had now enlarged the original scheme of PAK to include Assam and Bengal. ‘Friends the rate at which Bangaldeshis are infiltrating into West Bengal and Assam they might become Muslim majority states sooner then later. This would be followed by Muslim dominated state governments after which the state of Hindus is only well known if their experience in Kashmir Valley, Bangladesh and PAK is anything to go by’.

2. The scheme shocked Hindu India! Now what is shocking or new?

The linking of Northwest provinces is an age-old project put forth by successive Viceroys  & Administrators. Of these provinces Punjab, N.W.F. P was one province ever since the Brit conquered Punjab in 1849. It was only in 1901 that Lord Curzon created the present two provinces. Although Punjab and Sindh are connected by a single river the former was conquered after Sindh so the province had to be governed by Bombay being closest to it. With the conquest of Baluchistan Sind was no longer a frontier district so there was no need to separate it from Bombay / make it part of Punjab. Had the British not acquired Baluchistan and Lord Curzon not thought of carving out NWFP out of Punjab, we would have witnessed the creation of PAK as an Administrative unit long ago.

Similarly the claim for the creation of a national Muslim state in Bengal is not new. The Partition of Bengal in 1905 created a West Bengal (Hindu) with Calcutta as capital and an East Bengal (Muslim) & Assam with capital at Dacca. The partition was abrogated in 1911 by the British who yielded to the Hindus, who were opposed to it and did not care for the wishes of the Muslims. Had the partition not be annulled, the Muslim state in Eastern Bengal would have been 35 years old now.

3.Is the idea of separation of PAK from Hindustan shocking? If so let me recall a few facts which are relevant to the issue and which form the basic principles of Congress Policy. It will be remembered that when Mr Gandhi captured the Congress he did two things to popularize it.

One was to introduce Civil Disobedience. Before Gandhi there were two political parties contending for power, the Liberals and the Terrorists of Bengal. Conditions for admission to the former were not merely education but a high degree of learning and for the latter it was those who were prepared to give their lives. Civil Disobedience did not require learning or giving up your life. It is an easy middle way for that large majority who has no learning, do not wish to undergo extreme penalty and at the same time obtain the fame and notoriety of being patriots. This middle path made the Congress more popular than others.

The second thing Mr Gandhi did was to introduce the principle of Linguistic States. In the constitution that was framed by the Congress under the inspiration and guidance of Gandhi India was to be divided into 20 provinces with a language and head quarter. ‘Friends am not reproducing the entire list’. In this distribution there is no attention paid to area, population or revenue.

The dominant factor in creation of the provinces is Language. No thought is given to the fear that it might introduce a disruptive force in the already loose structure of the Indian social life. The scheme was put forth by the Congress with sole object of winning people to the Congress by appealing to their local patriotism. The idea caught on that when the Congress came to power it was forced to put it into effect.
Orissa was separated from Bihar. Andhra is demanding separation from Madras, Karnatak from Maharashtra. The only linguistic province that is not demanding separation from Maharashtra is Gujarat. This is because Gujarat has realized that union with Maharashtra is, politically, as well as commercially a better investment. ‘Friends Maharashtra and Gujarat did eventually become separate states I think in 1960’.

It is no saying that the separation of Karnatak and Andhra is based on linguistic difference and that the claim to separation of PAK is based on cultural difference. This is a distinction without difference. Linguistic difference is another name for cultural difference. So what is so shocking about PAK another manifestation of a cultural unit demanding freedom for the growth of its own distinctive culture?

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