Why Akhand Bharat is a Bad Idea

  • Article provides a perspective on the idea of Akhand Bharat by looking at various issues e.g. cause of Partition, Population, Future of Democracy, Foreign policy, Social & Fiscal impact, China angle plus Army.

From time to time Akhand Bharat (undoing Partition where India was divided on the basis of religion) is spoken about. In 1950 Maharshi Aurobindo told K M Munshi that India would be re-united. It was recently said that such unity may take place in the next 25 years or even earlier.


How and when will the countries unite is not known. 15-25 years from now, will Pakistan be in its present shape is difficult to say. Assuming that Pakistan remains as is this article states that Akhand Bharat is a bad idea. It looks at the causes of Partition and events in the Sub-continent since 1947. Read on.   


Former foreign secretary J N Dixit wrote in Anatomy of a Flawed Inheritance, “The partition of the sub-continent, in a manner, has its roots in Islamic ethos. It goes back to the Prophet’s journey from Mecca to Madina in 622 A.D. in the face of persecution and harassment, known as Hezira. The concept of Hezira is generally acknowledged as a norm, to the effect that Muslims do not live in tyranny or oppression from peoples of other faiths. They must remake their lives in order to practice their faith. Where Islam is not dominant, it is Dar-ul-Harb. It is necessary to move to Dar-ul-Islam.” 1 Pg. 3


Thus, the reason for the birth of Pakistan was dislike for the Indic civilization. Any nation born out of hatred for another will never be at peace with itself till the other fails. Akhand Bharat means failure of the idea of Pakistan. Indians must remember that Pakistanis hate losing to India, at war or in cricket.


What they could not achieve by being a separate nation might now be achieved by becoming part of it. Negative energy that sustained Pakistan for 75 plus years could be used to destroy India from within. Before reading Dr Ambedkar’s views see Table 1 below.


Table 1- Population and Land Area


Population in 2020 Cr

Land Area Sq kms

Population Per Sq km




















Source World Bank.               Land, Population


Akhand Bharat (AB) will make India the most populous country globally. Currently, the density of population in Bangladesh is the highest. Besides changing demographics, it is a reason why they come to India in large numbers. .

This point is substantiated by what former Governor of Assam Lt Gen S K Sinha wrote in his 1998 report, “Mr. Abdul Momin, former Foreign Secretary and Bangladesh's first Ambassador to China wrote in 1991, "The runaway population growth in Bangladesh resulting in suffocating density of population in a territorially small country, presents a nightmarish picture. If we in Bangladesh ingratiate ourselves with the hill tribes within our borders, our bulging population might find a welcome in adjacent land inhabited by kindred peoples”. Report on Illegal Infiltration into Assam.

With AB India will be swamped by Bangladeshis (including Rohingyas), notwithstanding claims of economic progress by Bangladesh.

India will need to provide Food, Water, Electricity, Jobs for a population of 176 crore. The financial and administrative responsibility would be on New Delhi.   

Hampi ruins remains are an example Indic Civilization. 

Ambedkar had, around 1941, justified partition. Here are a few reasons.


1. After getting Pakistan Jinnah was unhappy about not getting the whole of Bengal and Punjab. He complained of getting a “moth eaten and truncated Pakistan.” 1 Pg. 5 It is not known if Jinnah read Ambedkar’s 1941 book, who justified partition because the Pakistan area contributed little to the exchequer. See Table 2.

Table 2- Revenue Contribution to Exchequer – Pakistan area and Hindustan#



Rs crs

Rs crs


Pakistan Area




Punjab, N.W.F.P.























Bengal (only ½ revenue shown

based on population)






# Thoughts on Pakistan Pg. 94

The main contribution came from Hindustan. However, the Pakistan provinces received a disproportionate share of expenditure. This would also be the case if AB happens.


India is like Kamadhenu-representing abundance and generosity for all-a constant giver, and Pakistanis would want to keep benefitting infinitely from her bounty!


Why should India fund Pakistan?


2. Those from the Northwest helped the British suppress the 1857 Mutiny in which the Bengal Army was involved. The Bengal army was replaced by a Punjabized army. Table 3 shows how the British changed the composition of the Indian Army between 1914 and 1930. 

Table 3 - Changes in the Communal Composition of the Indian Army#


Area & Communities

% in 1914

% in 1930


Punjab, NW.F.P & Kashmir




         Of which Punjabi Muslims, Pathans




         Of which Sikhs




Nepal. Kumaon, Garwhal




Upper India




          Of which Hindustani Muslims




South India







# Thoughts on Pakistan Pg. 75

The British believed that a Muslim dominated army would counter the forces of Hindu agitation for wrestling political power from the British.2 Pg. 89


One of the reasons Ambedkar gave for Partition was that revenues earned from Hindustan were going to pay for a British Army dominated by Muslims.


While that might not be fully true in the case in AB, it remains that revenues from India would be used to pay salaries of today’s Pakistan army.


Finding jobs for the Pakistan Army would mean depriving Indians of jobs in the Indian Army. This is bound to create resentment esp. in rural India.  


Also, the ethos of the Pakistan Army is different from the Indian one esp. commitment to civilian control.


3. Just like Muslims made unending demands before Partition, Muslims of AB, being much larger in number, could make more demands.


In the chapter ‘What, if not Pakistan’ Ambedkar wrote, “Muslims will put forth as their alternative some such proposal as the following. That the future constitution of India shall provide -


a. That the Muslims shall have 50% representation in the Legislature, Central & Provincial, through separate electorates.

b. That ½ of the Executive in the Centre & States shall consist of Muslims.

c. That in the Civil Service 50% of the post shall be assigned to Muslims.

d. That in the Fighting forces Muslims proportion shall be one half, both in the ranks and in the higher grades.

e. That is the Prime Minister be a Hindu the Deputy PM shall be a Muslim.

f. That no changes in the Provincial Boundaries shall be made except with the consent of 2/3rd of the Muslim members of the Legislature.

g. That no action or treaty against a Muslim country and change in the Constitution shall be valid unless the consent of 2/3rd of the Muslim members of the legislature is obtained.” 2 Pg. 192  To read more


Above are excerpts from 14 points. AB means we are back to pre-partition days.  Even if India were to concede every Pakistani demand, their demands will continue because they want India to be ruled by Muslims again.


Maharshi Aurobindo wrote on November 28 1940, “The Mahomedans, they want to rule India.” 3 


We must also recall the words of R M Sayani, who in his presidential address at the 12th session of the Congress in 1896 said, “Before the advent of the British in India, the Muslims were the rulers of the country. The court language was their own. Every place of trust and responsibility, or carrying influence and high emoluments, was theirs by birth right.” 7 Pg. 295 They will seek to be in this position again. AB will hasten that process.


The optimist believes that Hindu Muslim unity is possible. The realist recalls what Sri Aurobindo said in 1909, “Of one thing we may be certain, that Hindu-Mahomedan unity cannot be affected by political adjustments or Congress flatteries. It must be sought deeper down, in the heart and in the mind, for where the causes of disunion are; there the remedies must be sought.” 3

There is more to India than the Taj-West. 

4. Ambedkar wrote in 1941, “Pakistan and Hindustan put together make a most heterogeneous Unit. Tied together they will make India the sickman of Asia”.  2 Pg. 217 He believed that separated into two, each becomes a homogenous Unit. To create such units Ambedkar suggested exchange of population.


He added, “The Musssalman, remaining faithful to the religion, has not progressed, he has remained stationery in a world of swiftly moving modern forces.” 2 Pg. 230 If over 20% of the population is stationery, can India progress? 


Please note that Muslims, due to the inherent nature of their religion, find it difficult to merge their identity in countries where they are not in a majority. Europe is a recent example.


Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1926, “The assimilation of the Mahomedan culture also was done in the mind to a great extent and it would have perhaps gone further. But in order that the process may be complete it is necessary that a change in the Mahomedan mentality should come. The conflict is in the outer life and unless the Mahomedans learn tolerance I do not think the assimilation is possible.”


5. Pakistan has been politically unstable since birth while India, inspite of its ups and downs, has been stable.


Also read Why democracy has failed in Pakistan  


Why should India become one with a nation that has made Export of Terror an Instrument of State Policy? Let them pay for their karmas!


It is because Pakistan has such a bad reputation globally that restaurants, owned by Pakistanis in the West make customers believe they are Indian! 


Also read    What stops me from loving Pakistan?


6. Some argue that AB will give India a border with Afghanistan and Central Asia that would change Asian geo-politics forever. Agreed.


Making Gilgit and Baltistan part of India can be achieved in different ways. AB is not the only way.  


So also some may argue that if Bangladesh became part of India it would  promote development of the Northeast notwithstanding its high population density. Matter requires deep study. It is eventually a matter of choices and priorities. 


7. Democracy has not taken firm roots in Pakistan

A blogger from Bangladesh, Nur E Emroz Alam Tonoy, recently wrote in the Dhaka Tribune, “There are several problems with the stipulation of religious texts -- and Islam as the state faith in the Constitution -- as it puts a serious question mark on whether Bangladesh is a democracy. If Bangladesh is democratic, it cannot be Islamic, because democracy does not bestow special privilege to one religion over another. Not to mention, that a state cannot be both Islamic and democratic because of the inherent differences between the two values that cannot be reconciled.”


Well India is a democracy yet bestows special privileges on non-Hindus. The bigger point made by Nur is, can Islam and Democracy co-exist?


Conversely, democracy is a part of India.  V.I. Sreenivas wrote in the Bhavan’s Journal (31/3/2021 issue), “Although democracy has gained ascendency in modern times, the principles of rule of law (an important part of democracy) was extolled by our sages since antiquity. Dharma shastras made it clear that the king exists for the welfare of the people and not the other way around. In other words, the ruler was not sovereign but the law was.”


Also read How Democracy evolved in India


Will AB affect the existence of democracy in and diversity of India? How will India grapple with views like Ahmadiyyas are not Muslims?


8. Pakistan is committed to the Ummah, of which Pan-Islamism is a part, and has positioned itself as a Western/Chinese ally for decades. Changing to development instead of Ummah, is easier said than done?


Should India taken upon itself the responsibility of effecting this change? Will the West and Arab World allow AB to happen? 


Ambedkar wrote, “How far will Muslims obey the authority of a government manned and controlled by Hindus. The answer need not call for much inquiry. To the Muslims a Hindu is a Kaffir. A Kaffir is not worthy of respect. He is low born and without status. That is why a country which is ruled by a Kaffir is Dar-ul-Harb to a Mussalman.”  3 Pg. 301 Notwithstanding flare ups, Indian Muslims have by and large accepted authority of a government manned by Hindus. 

Wonders of Chalukyan architecture. 

9. Inheriting the Pashtun Problem

Former High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy wrote in The Tribune, “Afghanistan claimed that the Treaty of 1893, demarcating the Durand Line as the border between British India and Afghanistan was imposed by the British. The Afghans claim that this treaty lapsed when British India handed over power to the new State of Pakistan.” Source He added, “Most Pashtuns believe that their traditional homeland extends from Kandahar to the town of Attock on the banks of the Indus River in Pakistan.” Source


The Afghan government formally repudiated the Durand Agreement in 1979. In 1993 the agreement lapsed. Afghanistan refused to renew the treaty. 5 Pg. xxiv.


The Afghans “specifically resisted Pak attempts to fence the border, which assumed traction during the Musharraf rule.” The fencing was the cause of recent fighting between the Afghans and the Pakis.


Former foreign secretary Nirupama Rao wrote in the Indian Express, “Pashtunistan-an independent country of the Pashtuns - was a demand made by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan at the time of Partition. Pakistan’s creation and support for the Taliban is seen by some as a move to obliterate ethnic Pashtun nationalism with an Islamic identity.” Source


Sooner than later the Taliban will have its own, even if limited, air, naval and land forces. Thus notwithstanding past relations and current humanitarian aid, the Indian Army would have to fight the Afghans. Note that it was only during Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s time that the Pashtuns were prevailed upon.


India would inherit the Pashtun problem and people’s anger against brutal cruelties perpetrated by the Pakistan army. “The army’s massive military operation, titled ‘Zarb-e-Azb’, which also involved the use of air power, resulted in an estimated 5 lakh Pashtuns fleeing from their homes.” Source


Does India have the resources and knowledge to deal with Pashtunistan? knowing that the Pashtun tribal organization were never made for unity!


10. In 1963 Pakistan gifted Shaksgam Valley-4,853 sqkm of Indian Territory in Jammu and Kashmir to China.


What is the geo-strategic importance of this Valley? Read IDA report here


This move laid the foundation for the making of the Karakoram Highway that connects China with Gwadar Port in Baluchistan. Note that China also built a highway through Akshai Chin (part of J&K) that connects Tibet with Xinjiang?


The dispute with China will only get more complicated.  


11. That Pakistan is heavily in debt is known 

“According to the State Bank of Pakistan data, the government's total debt stocks rose by 8 per cent in the first half of the current fiscal (2021-22) which increased the total domestic and external debt to an all-time high of Rs 51.724 trillion in December 2021, up from Rs 47.931 trillion in June 2021.” Source Business Standard


Will Pakistan allow India to do a Due Diligence of all international loans to ascertain the liability it is taking on? The liability to repay would fall on India.


The problem with Pakistan is low revenues result in the government borrowing money to run its essential operations. Source


What impact shall repayment of Pakistan’s debts have on the macro-economic stability of the Indian economy is unknown? Job losses in India could create social unrest and add to the unemployment problem. 


The Indian economy is not as strong as Germany’s which could bear the burden of integrating East Germany when the Berlin Wall was broken in 1989.

There is more to India than the Taj-East. 

12. What would India do with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that is often believed to be a state within a state?


Will those responsible for 1993 Mumbai Bomb Blasts, 1999 Kandhar Hijack and 26/11/ be handed over to India? 


13. Population of Muslims

AB would have a population of atleast 176 crs of whom app 55 crs or 31% would be Muslims.  India is unable to deal with a population of 20 crore Muslims today, 55 crs!


What would be the impact of a 55 crore population be on Indian society and harmony? Cow slaughter and conversions would go up, further damaging the environment and social fabric? 


Practically speaking Muslims will move into Hindu areas but the reverse will not happen because Hindus feel unsafe in Muslim majority areas. Hindus prefer to move out. It is worth recalling the past.


In 1924 serious riots occurred in Kohat, in North West Frontier Province, a predominantly Muslim area. The destruction forced the Hindu and Sikh population to leave Kohat for Rawalpindi etc. Even today there is a Hindu exodus in areas of Muslim majority for e.g. Kashmir 1990 and Rajasthan 2022.


So also in the 1940’s Hindus and Sikhs were forced to leave North West Frontier Province. They were accused of being Kafirs not having voted to create a Muslim nation. 5 Pg. 181


14. Treatment of Minorities

One way to gauge how minorities are treated is by population numbers. Out of India’s population in 1951 of 36.11 crores, Muslims were 3.77 crs or 10.4 %. In 2011 they were 14.2 % of a 121 cr population.


Conversely, population of Indian religions in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) has continuously fallen. It was 23 per cent in 1951, 14 per cent in 1974, 11 per cent in 1991, 10 per cent in 2001 and 9.3 per cent in 2011. In Pakistan, their population (formerly West Pakistan; before that part of undivided Punjab) was 19.7 per cent in 1941, came down to 1.6 per cent in 1951 and settled at a meagre 1.8 per cent in 1998.


Will Muslims change their approach to non-Muslims in areas where they are in a majority?


15. Minority schemes

The British gifted India the word Minority. Neither does the Indian Constitution nor have Courts or Governments, cutting across party lines, the courage to define the word Minority. Ironically, the word minority is not used in England.


In India, minority is supposed to mean any community whose population is less than Hindus. So Muslims with a population of 55 crores would be a minority and avail of various government schemes. This would put additional financial burden on the Central governments’ fiscal.


Also read Why India should have no places for a religious minority


16. Challenges for Indian Muslims

Former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal wrote in DailyO, “While the Hindu majority has been willing to shed the bitter load of history and move forward towards an inclusive future, the conservative Muslim leadership has resisted the change in thinking needed to become real partners in this national ethos and endeavour. Instead of becoming secular in its thinking for better integration, identity assertion with Arabised accoutrements has become more visible. The secular Indian constitution is no barrier to pan-Islamism, which is antithetical to Indian nationalism. The Muslims by virtue of their faith cannot delink themselves from Muslims worldwide.” Source


Will Muslims continue to put their religion above all?

Varanasi-A Passage to Immortality. 

If India, in pursuance of AB, agrees to the weakening of the Central Government it must remember what Freedom-fighter Dr K M Munshi wrote in Foreword to Volume 11, “It has been the experience of history, that this subcontinent has fallen a prey to foreign invasion in the absence of a strong central authority. This lesson of history we had in mind when we adopted a quasi-federal constitution of India.” 6


If Akhand Bharat is attempted Pakistan and Bangladesh will resist.  India will get a bad name internationally as being an "expansionist" and "destabilizing" power, thus playing into the hands of Pakistan and Muslims worldwide.


Instead, India must become such a nation that the people of these countries wish to become a part of India. That is when India, if it wishes, can negotiate from a position of strength. India must focus on developing national comprehensive power.


Also read How India can realize its true potential  


Note that my parents were born in modern-day Pakistan, father in Lahore and mother in Bhopalwala (district Sialkot).


It is good to be an optimist and hope that Akhand Bharat happens. BUT it is important to ascertain and accept the reality.   



1. Anatomy of a Flawed Inheritance by J N Dixit.

2. Thoughts on Pakistan by Dr B R Ambedkar

3. India’s Rebirth by Sri Aurobindo

4. Peace along the Durand Line shall be tenuous  

5. India’s Lost Frontier by Raghavendra Singh

6. History and Culture of Indian People Volume 11, published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

7. History and Culture of Indian People Volume 10, published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

8. Sri Aurobindo was certainly not for the disintegration of India

Receive Site Updates