Thursday, 9 April 2020

Hamid Dalwai's "Muslim Politics in Secular India

Hamid Dalwai's "Muslim Politics in Secular India".

This is the book "Muslim Politics in Secular India" by Hamid Dalwai, 1968, as entered in facebook by Vipul Kashyap. Chapter 3 is missing. Also an appendix has been added "Sita Ram Goel on Hamid Dalwai" from the book "Defence of Hindu Society" by Voice of India, 1983.


by Hamid Dalwai
[29-9-1932     To     3-5-1977]



1   Historical Background
2   Reading the Mind of Indian Muslims
3  Muslims: The so-called nationalists   and the Communalists [Missing]
4  The Communal Malady: A Diagnosis
5   Strange Bedfellows: Communists   Intimacy with Communalists
6  The Chief Obstacle in the way of Muslim Integration
7  Muslim Opposition to Secular Integration: Nature, Causes and  Remedies
8  Humanistic Modernism the only Solution
9   Indian Muslims at the Crossroads
10  Failure of a Mission?
11  The Meaning of Bangla Desh
12  The Angry Young Secularist

[Appendix added: Sita Ram Goel on Hamid Dalwai]

A.B.Shah, Indian Secular Forum
I shall not try to summarize Mr Dalwai's views in this foreword, for
the simple reason that I am in almost total agreement with him.  I
would rather mention here the central point of his argument and
elaborate it with a view to bringing out its significance.  Mr.
Dalwai's thesis is that the basic malaise of Muslim society (in India
as elsewhere with the exception of Turkey and perhaps Tunisia) lies in
the fact that it has never had a renaissance in its entire history of
more than thirteen hundred years.  All other problems, including that
of its secular and democratic integration in the larger Indian
society, are derivative in character.  In the absence of such
integration, what has come to be known as the Hindu-Muslim problem
cannot be solved.  However, the type of integration that is necessary
here cannot be achieved unless Muslims no less than Hindus learn to
separate religion from the rights and obligations of citizenship of a
modern state.  And only those can promote such integration who
themselves are committed to the values of an open society and to the
outlook on man and the universe that is sanctioned by science and
scientific method.  Others can at best play a passive role, if not
obstruct the process of integration.  If one accepts this view of the
problem, one cannot help feeling that Integration Committees
appointed by Governments are not likely to accomplish anything worth
the name.  For instance, the Committee appointed among its members not
Maharashtra includes among its members not only representatives of
all political parties but also of the Majlis-e-Mushawarat, whose
leaders do not believe in Hindu-Muslim co-operation for fighting
communalism (see M. A. Karandikar's letter `Muslims & India' in `The
Times of India', Bombay, November 11, 1968).  Indeed, the Committee is
so large - it has sixty members - that it could have easily been made
completely representative by adding a Naxalite communist and a member
of the R.S.S. !
    It is clear that good intentions are not enough for lesser men to
solve problems where one like Gandhi could not succeed.  Hindu-Muslim
unity and the abolition of untouchability were two of the most
important elements of his programme for the freedom and regeneration
of India.  In a sense they were among the pre-conditions of Swaraj as
he visualized it, and therefore he often described their attainment as
even more important than the withdrawal of British power from India.
He succeeded in considerable measure in his fight against
untouchability.  Though much remains to be done, no Hindu except the
lunatic fringe represented by the Shankaracharya of Puri would have a
moment's hesitation in supporting measures designed to bring about the
complete liquidation of untouchability.  However, Hindu-Muslim unity
evaded Gandhi throughout his active life in India except for a brief
spell during the Khilafat agitation.  Not only that; in spite of
Gandhi's ceaseless effort the country had to accept partition as the
price of freedom.  And soon after Independence Gandhi had to die at
the hands of a Hindu fanatic, though he alone among the leaders of the
Indian National Congress was unreconciled to partition.  Why did this
happen?  How was it that Gandhi who advised the Hindus to be patient
and generous to the Muslims, and who asked the British to hand over
power to Jinnah if they so preferred but quit, came to be increasingly
isolated not only from the Muslims but even from his own followers in
his quest for unity?  And how is it that twenty-one years after
partition the Hindu-Muslim problem is still with us, in the sense that
we are still groping even for a valid theoretical solution?  A
satisfactory discussion of these question would require an examination
of Gandhi's philosophy of life, his theory of social change and, most
important of all, the nature of the Hindu and Islamic traditions and
the types of mind that they mould.  All this cannot be undertaken in
the space of a foreword and must wait for a later date.  Here I shall
only deal with some of these questions and that, too, to the extent
that is necessary for indicating the lines on which further discussion
may usefully proceed.

Gandhi was essentially a philosophical anarchist in his view of man
and did not subscribe to the idea of original sin.  On the contrary,
he believed that man was
'essentially' good, for every human being had
a spark of the divine in him and no one was beyond redemption even
though the struggle for self-realization was bound to be arduous and
long.  He therefore approached the problem of Hindu-Muslim unity as a
well-meaning, persuasive, non-sectarian nationalist.  He worked on the
assumption, based on his experience in South Africa, that if only
Hindus and Muslims could be brought together in joint constructive
endeavour, they would see that unity was in their common interest and
learn to live together in peace and harmony.  To this end he sought to
project the universal human values preached by all major religions
including Hinduism and Islam, and hoped that in the course of time the
forces of unity would triumph over those of separatism.  For, according
to Gandhi's way of thinking, `true' religion could only join, not keep
separate  men of different faiths.  If Hindus and Muslims in India
regarded themselves as essentially separate groups the fault, Gandhi
thought, lay not in the beliefs and practices enjoined by their
scriptures but in a defective understanding of their
'real' message.
    This is a noble view of man and religion.  But it overlooks the
fact that man, as a product of evolution, is a union of good and evil,
just as it overlooks the historically determined character of his
culture and institutions.  Consequently, Gandhi missed the deeper
socio-historical and cultural roots of the religious conflict in
India.  Instead, he attributed its origin to the wily British, who
certainly were interested in keeping the Muslims away from the
`seditious' and `Hindu' nationalist movement.  Gandhi was satisfied
that if only there were enough goodwill on the part of a sufficient
number of Hindus and Muslims, sooner or later they would realize the
suicidal implications of religious conflict and work together for the
attainment of freedom from foreign rule.  This approach, because it
postulated the peaceful coexistence of Hindus and Muslims without any
fundamental modification of their attitude to religion, was bound to
fail.  It did not take into account the hold that religion with its
dogma, tradition, custom and ritual has on the minds of men in a
pre-modern society.  Also, it presupposed that the logic of individual
or small-group behavior could be applied to huge, faceless masses
whose only common bond is blind loyalty to a tribal collectivity in
the sacred name of God and religion.
    This is another way of saying that the Gandhian approach was
saintly in the main.  It was also akin to the Marxist, in the sense
that it assigned a derivative role to the cultural factor.  Gandhi
believed that the urge for freedom would enable the Muslims to take an
enlightened view of their religion.  This, however, presupposes that a
certain measure of individuation has already taken place in the
culture system known as Islam, and Gandhi assumed that it had.  The
Hindu mind is essentially individualistic, indeed narcissistic, so
that it is easy for it to transcend intermediate loyalties and take to
the path of individual salvation.  This has its disadvantages as well
as advantages, and perhaps the former outweigh the latter.  The point
is that it is difficult for a Hindu to visualize, except by a special
effort of reason and the imagination, a mind that is almost totally
lacking in the conception of the individual and derives the
significance of human life solely from the individual's membership of
collectivity.  This, however, seems to be a characteristic feature of
almost all cultures based on revealed religion.  If Christian culture
appears to be different in this respect that is because almost from
its inception Christianity was influenced by the Greek tradition.  It
was the revival of the Greek tradition that led to the Renaissance and
the rise of Protestantism with its stress on personal interpretation
of the Holy Writ.  The humanization of Christianity, with the
consequent growth of a secular conception of individuality was thus a
direct outcome of its interaction with the Greek tradition.  It is
worth noting in this connection that unlike the People of the Book
the Greeks were not blessed with a prophet nor, unlike the Hindus, to
rely on reason and observation alone for discovering the nature of
things.  Also they were polytheist and their gods were hardly
distinguishable from human beings with superhuman powers but entirely
non-transcendental interests.  Consequently, the Greeks could develop
a tradition of critical inquiry and a climate of tolerance necessary
to let `a hundred schools contend' and `a hundred flowers bloom'.
They had also another advantage.  They had no counterpart of the
Vedas, which the Hindus regarded as eternal and uncreated by man.
Unlike the Hindus, they were therefore free from the burden of
unchanging Truth and able to create science as quest and the idea of
scientific method as providing a tool of inquiry as well as a
criterion for the validity of its findings.
    The Greek tradition might have had a similar effect on Islam too.
But by the time Islam came in contact with it - in the reign of
al Mamun (813-833) - the latter had already lost its elan and Islam too
had outgrown its formative stage.  More important still, Islam arose
in a society that was riven with inter-tribal feuds, had no state
worth the name and did not hesitate to subject dissent to crude tribal
persecution.  The founder of Islam had therefore also to found a state
before its message was fully delivered, let alone developed in contact
with a more advanced culture without the arbitration of force.  The
rapid and spectacular expansion of Islam during the hundred years
following the death of the Prophet over the stagnant and often
decadent societies of the surrounding region also had an inhibitory
effect on its future development.  For continued victory over others
strengthened the Muslim's conviction that his faith was not only
perfect but superior to others and its doctrine, infallible.  Dissent,
when it arose was as ruthlessly put down in Islam as in mediaeval
Christianity, so that even the finest and most courageous of Muslim
scholars were careful to avoid saying anything that might appear as
questioning the fundamental tenets of the faith.  Thus the Mutazilites
who made use of Greek ideas in the exposition and defense of Islamic
theological doctrine, `were regarded as heretical by the main body of
Sunnite Muslims' and were treated as such.  Even Ibn Sina, one of the
few really great Muslim philosophers, was criticized by authorities of
the Muslim tradition for `limiting the power of God to a predetermined
logical structure' and for `diminishing the sense of awe of the finite
before the infinite'.  Nor is that all.  Ibn Sina himself in the later
years seems to have turned into - or posed as - a devout gnostic.
Indeed, `it comes as something of a shock to be confronted with the
thickening web of "irrational" elements in the writings of such a
personality as Avicenna'.
    I have deliberately dwelt at some length on this aspect of Islam
as a cultural tradition.  The reason is not that Islam is unique in
its record of intolerance in the past: it is, rather, that Islam still
exhibits the same intolerance of free inquiry and dissent as it did in
less enlightened times.  What little possibility there might have been
of the softening of this attitude through the development of science
and philosophy after the mutual persecution of the Mutazilites and
their orthodox opponents was effectively destroyed by al-Ghazali (d.
1111) for centuries to come.  His work ensured that no renaissance
would ever take place in Muslim society unless, as in Turkey, it were
imposed from above.  Muslim scholars look upon al-Ghazali as the
greatest thinker that Islamic culture has produced.  I am inclined to
believe that he was the greatest disaster that befell it since the
death of the Prophet.

    So great has been the hold of orthodoxy on the Muslim mind that
nowhere has Muslim society so far been able to throw up an articulate
class of liberal Muslims committed to modern values and all that
such a commitment means in various fields of life.  Such a class can
alone subject the tradition of Islam to a critical scrutiny and
prepare the ground for the entry of Muslim society into the modern
age.  For, as the experience of developing countries in the post-War
period shows, efforts to modernize the political and economic systems
in the absence of social and cultural modernization accompanying, if
not preceding them can only result in frustration or perversion.
    That the issue is basic to the future of Muslim society is
illustrated by the still unresolved conflict, characteristic of almost
the entire Muslim world, between the conception of territorial
nationalism and that of a politico-religious ummat that cuts across
national boundaries.  The repeated attempts of the Muslim Brotherhood
to assassinate President Nasser in the name of Islam merely show that
the conflict cannot be resolved until the very ethos of Islamic
culture undergoes a qualitative change.  To initiate a process that
would bring about such a transformation is the historic task
confronting educated Muslims everywhere in the world.  There are signs
of this happening in some of the countries - Pakistan, for
example - where Muslims have to face the responsibility of running the
    However, there are serious difficulties in their path, not the
least of which is the self-contradictory situation in which politicians
generally find themselves by trying to eat their cake and have it too.
At home the demands of development often compel them to adopt
policies, such as family planning and drastic modification of personal
law, which cannot but provoke the wrath of the orthodox.  At the same
time, they do not hesitate to rouse and exploit the religious passions
of their people when it suits their convenience, especially in
international politics.  Duplicity of this kind may prove useful for
the time being but the price it exacts in the long run is likely to be
out of all proportion to the gains.  For instance, it inhibits the
growth of genuinely critical, as distinguished from pedantic and
apologetic, scholarship.  The latter type of scholarship, of which
there is enough in the Muslim world, is generally sterile if not
positively harmful, from the standpoint of modernization.  It is only
the critical spirit that can release the springs of creativity and
wash away the debris of centuries.
    The tragedy of Indian Muslims does not lie so much in the
backwardness of a vast majority of them in relation to the
Hindus - which is only a symptom - as in the unwillingness of educated
Muslims to undertake a critical reappraisal of their heritage.  The
cost would be insignificant compared to what it would be in a country
under Muslim rule or what their Hindu counterparts had to pay in the
preceding century.  But the consciousness of a separate identity or
the desire to conform is unbelievably strong among them.  For
instance, even an eminent scholar like Professor M. Mujeeb finds it
advisable to begin an otherwise magnificent work with the following
obeisance to orthodoxy : `It is the author's firm belief that the
Indian Muslims have, in their religion of Islam, and in the true
(sic) representatives of the moral and spiritual values of Islam the
most reliable standards of judgment, and they do not need to look
elsewhere to discover how high or low they stand'.  This is very much
reminiscent of Hindu pandits of the past, who began their treatises
with an invocation to God regardless of whether in subsequent pages
they were to deal with logic or mathematics, statecraft or erotics.

If Gandhi was guilty of the saint's fallacy and educated Muslims of
excessive group-consciousness or desire to conform, the Marxists were
guilty of over-simplification and false induction.  They sought to
interpret Hindu-Muslim relations in terms of economic interests and
the machinations of the British.  Gandhi as well as the Marxists
assumed that the Muslim masses, as distinguished from their
upper-class leadership, had at heart the same political and economic
interests as their Hindu counterparts.  They therefore concluded that
as the struggle against political and economic injustice gathered
momentum, the basis of Hindu-Muslim conflict would gradually be
undermined.  And once freedom was established and justice was on the
march, the two communities would, it was hoped, begin to live in
friendship and peace.  In this perspective no critical examination of
religion as a socio-cultural institution, let alone a frontal attack
on some of the values and attitudes it sanctified, was considered
necessary by either group.

    That Gandhi should not have seen the need for such criticism is
easy to understand. What is surprising is the attitude of those who
swore by Marx.  For the left arose as a standard bearer of
enlightenment and was as much a protest against religious obscurantism
as against exploitation in the secular field.  It is true that Indian
Marxists were unsparing in their criticism of Hindu obscurantism.  But
that was relatively easy in view of the rather amorphous nature of
Hinduism and the tradition of critical self-inquiry started by the
reformers of the nineteenth century.  There was no such tradition in
Muslim society nor was there a large enough class of liberal,
forward-looking Muslims which, like its Hindu counterpart in the
preceding century, could initiate such a tradition.  Consequently,
Islam escaped the humanizing process through which Christianity in the
West and, to a certain extent, Hinduism in India had to pass.
Inspired by considerations that were primarily political, the Marxists
no less than the Gandhians missed the true nature of the role that the
doctrine and tradition of Islam played in the evolution of Muslim
politics in India.  Gandhi made Khilafat a national cause in order to
win the confidence of Indian Muslims.  The Marxists were not
particularly impressed by Gandhi's support of the Khilafat agitation.
But they too dared not criticize Muslim communalism except in
political terms, whereas what was required was a thorough-going
critique of the philosophy and sociology of Islam of the type that
Marx considered `the beginning of all criticism.'  Even M. N. Roy, who
alone among Indian Marxists subjected Hinduism to such an analysis,
failed in this respect.
    It is here that Mr. Dalwai is breaking new ground, though in an
indirect way.  His interest in the non-religious aspect of Islam stems
from his concern over the problem of Hindu-Muslim relations and its
bearing on our effort to develop a modern and liberal society in
India.  He therefore does not deal with religion as such, or with
Islam as a religion, except insofar as religion is used as a cloak for
obscurantist and anti-humanist ends.  It may therefore be useful to
consider here in brief the process by which all religions come to be
so used and defeat the inspiration of their founders.
    Every religion offers to its followers a vision of life and a
theory that incorporates this vision.  In the history of every
religion, however, a stage arrives when the vision fades into the
background except for a socially ineffective minority, and the theory
achieves an absolute status unrelated to the historical situation in
which it first arose.  When this happens religion proves a fetter on
human freedom and creativity, superstition triumphs over science, and
ethics itself is perverted into a specious justification of social
inequities.  Mediaeval Christianity and Hinduism from classical times
to the early years of the nineteenth century provide ample evidence
for this view.  The Renaissance humanized Christianity and Hinduism
too underwent a partial but significant change of the same type in the
nineteenth century.  However, Islam still awaits its renaissance, and
till it takes place Muslim society cannot be modernized nor can
Muslim society cannot be modernized nor can Muslims be integrated
into a modern secular society, regardless of whether it is liberal or
    The problem of Hindu-Muslim unity thus appears as an aspect of the
larger problem of the modernization of Indian society.  For, given the
composition, past history and present context of this society, it
would be unrealistic to imagine that the Hindu and the Muslim can live
together as equal citizens unless each were willing to dissociate his
political from his religious or cultural identity.  For historical and
other reasons, the Hindu is at an advantage in this respect.  But
precisely because of that, he has to accept the onus of promoting the
modernization of Muslim society.  So far, he has defaulted on this
responsibility, apparently out of expediency but mainly because his
own understanding of the task of modernization has been superficial
and imitative.  Consequently, well-meaning Hindus in public life have
generally been soft-headed secularists in relation to Muslim society.
Over the years their attitude has seriously damaged not only the cause
of democratic secular integration but also the interests of Muslims
themselves.  It has created a vested interest in obscurantism, and
encourages among educated Muslims a tendency to self-pity of the Mock
Turtle kind instead of facilitating the emergence of a secular and
forward-looking Muslim leadership.  Worse still, in reaction to the
persistent refusal, in the name of religion, of the spokesmen of
Muslim society to meet the demands of the modern conscience and the
requirements of the modern age, a growing number of well-meaning
Hindus are rallying under the banner of Hindu revivalism. If the
present trend continues unchecked, in a few years from now most
politically articulate Hindus and Muslims will be confronting each
other from platforms like those of the R.S.S. and the Jamaat-e-Islami.
One need not worry about their fate-indeed, I would say to them: `a
plague on both your houses!' But an overwhelming majority of the
people of this country, be they Hindu or Muslim, are entitled to a
more decent society and its chances would suffer a great set-back.
That is why Mr. Dalwai pleads that those who speak in the name of
secularism and democracy should refuse to have any truck with
obscurantist groups claiming to represent the interests of Muslims
even if it means the loss of the Muslim votes for some years to come.
There are enough secular-minded Muslims, mostly of the younger
generation, who would like to establish rapport with their Hindu
counterparts.  They feel alienated from the bulk of their community
and also from the Hindus because of the latter's narcissistic attitude
and short-sighted opportunism.  Let secular Hindus seek them out and
give them a sense of belonging, not as Hindus or Muslims but as
fellow-citizens engaged in building an open society in India.

    I do not know to what extent Mr. Dalwai will succeed in persuading
educated Muslims of the older generation to look upon his approach
with sympathy.  But I know from personal observation that he has
succeeded in striking a chord in the hearts of younger Muslims who
seem to be groping for new moorings in post-partition Indian society.
I also know that he has been able to give well-meaning Hindus,
particularly the idealistically motivated members of the younger
generation, a feeling that Hindu revivalism is no way of meeting the
challenge of Muslim obscurantism.  That also explains why those who
believe that India should become a Hindu Rashtra have started having
second thoughts about him.  And if the younger generation of Hindus,
who constitute nearly eighty five per cent of the population of this
country can be prevented from turning obscurantist, what others think
of Mr. Dalwai is of little consequence for the future of secularism in

                                                      A. B. SHAH, President, Indian Secular Forum


On January 24-25, 1968, Sadhana - a Marathi weekly published from
Poona - had convened a seminar on the Hindu-Muslim problem.  These
articles are based on notes for my lecture in the seminar. Sadhana
subsequently published them in the form of four articles.  To these, I
have added more articles specially written for this English edition.
    I am grateful to professor A. B. Shah for the co-operation he has
given me in preparing this book for publication in English
translation, and I must also thank Mr Dilip Chitre for translating the
articles into English.
    The Indian Secular Forum has sponsored the publication of this
book and I am grateful to this organization for all the assistance it
has given me.

Chapter 1

For the last few years I have been writing and speaking in public on
the Hindu-Muslim communal problem in India.  My analysis of the
problem has had a mixed reception.  Now that I am publishing my
articles in the form of a book, I would like to explain my views in
some detail to my readers-both Hindu and Muslim.  And I also have to
make an appeal to them.
    It is obvious why the Muslim reaction to my views should be as
adverse as it is.  It is also understandable why the Hindus have
generally welcomed my views, although there are some Hindus who
believe that my articles and speeches are aimed at confusing them.
    Although the Muslims have generally reacted adversely to my views,
there is some variety in their positions.  Among my critics are some
who had opposed the creation of Pakistan.  However, the reason why
they were opposed to the partitioning of the Indian sub-continent was
that they dreamt of converting the whole of India into Dar-ul-Islam.
Therefore, now that Pakistan has already been created, their efforts
are directed towards merging the rest of India with that Islamic
    On the other hand, there are Indian Muslims who are being
modernized gradually.  At present, such Muslims are few and they are
confused. They have doubts and anxieties about their future and they
are worried about the security of the Muslim community itself in
India.  Being in doubt and feeling insecure, these Muslims oppose any
new and different approach to the communal problem in India.  They
imagine that the security of Indian Muslims lies in clinging to the
traditional structure of Indian society.  In short, they believe that
if Muslims were to have any place in Indian life they should remain
exactly as they are today.  Hence even such Muslims are opposed to my
    Of these two broad types of Indian Muslims who find my views
unpalatable, I would not attempt to initiate a dialogue with those who
dream of converting India to Islam and of merging it ultimately with
Pakistan.  If these people believe that it is their duty to convert
all Indians to Islam by whatever means they can think of, they are the
exact counterpart of those extremist Hindus who similarly wish to
liquidate all Indian Muslims even if it involved mass extermination.
I come from the Muslim community and yet I cannot entirely blame the
extremist Hindu communalists. Whereas the extremist Muslim
communalists have aggressive plans to destroy the Hindu community the
extremist Hindus , in reaction to them, want to eliminate the Muslims
in self-defense.  Thus I view extremist Hindu communalism as a
reaction to Muslim communalism.  Unless Muslim communalism is
eliminated, Hindu communalism will not disappear.  At the same time,
one has to bear in mind that extremist  Muslim communalists are so
much obsessed by their grand dream of converting the whole of India to
Islam that no argument at present will affect any change in their
attitude.  Their grand dream has to terminate in a grand
disillusionment first.  They must become aware of the fact that their
efforts are foredoomed to failure and their objectives are
unattainable.  Today, they cannot be made aware of the futility of
their ambition and hence my appealing to them would serve no useful

    However, I believe it to be my duty to appeal to those Indian
Muslims who are confused and therefore still uncertain in their
approach to the communal problem in India.  They are misguided and,
therefore, they are communalist.  To initiate a dialogue with them and
to make them aware of an alternative approach to the problem will be
helpful.  Wherever I travel in India, I meet local Muslims and try to
discuss the issue with them.  I keep an open mind: for they may have
some genuine problems and difficulties.  I try to understand them.
Sometimes, I succeed; sometimes, I fail.  Generally, old and
tradition-bound Muslims uniformly oppose my views.  Often, they
boycott my public meetings or have them cancelled.  However, the young
Muslims I meet at such discussions do not greet my views with the
hostility shown by the older generation.  This does not, however, mean
that they agree with me on all points.  But neither do they agree with
their elders.  I have always felt that these younger Muslims are
struggling to free themselves from the shackles of rigid, orthodox
thinking.  My appeal is addressed to them.
    Even the younger generation of Indian Muslims imagine that it is
the Hindus who are responsible for all their problems and
difficulties.  They often ask me why I single out Muslim communalism
for criticism.  It is true that even Hindus are communal-minded.
And it is wrong to say that I have kept silent about Hindus
communalism while criticizing Muslim communalism in India.  I have
been ceaselessly criticizing the movement for a ban on cow-slaughter.
However, when I criticize Hindu communalist trends I do not criticize
the Hindus as such.  Nor is it the purpose of my criticism to ensure
that Muslims are able to eat beef.  That would be a naive way of
looking at the problem.  My criticism of the movement for a ban on
cow-slaughter is from the agricultural and economic point of view.  I
believe that such a ban would adversely affect two major national
interests: the development of Indian economy.  Similarly, when I
criticize certain Muslim attitudes, I criticize them in the context of
broad national interests which should be the concern of all Indians
regardless of their religious faith.  I do not criticize Muslims as
    It is an old habit of Indian Muslims to blame Hindus for their
woes.  However, the Indian Muslim intelligentsia has never really been
critically introspective.  It has not sought to relate its problems to
its own attitudes.  It has not developed a self-searching,
self-critical attitude.  Compared to the Hindus, the Indian Muslims
accepted Western education rather late.  As a consequence, the Muslims
remained comparatively backward in several fields.  The real cause of
Muslim backwardness is found in the Muslim opposition to educational
reform during the early days of British rule in India.  Behind this
view was a peculiar sense of resentment.  Muslims in India believed
that the British snatched away from their predecessors what was a
Muslim Empire.  When Sir Syed Ahmed Khan urged Muslims to accept
modern Western education the ulema of Deoband came out with the fatwa
that Sir Syed was a kafir.  How can one blame the Hindus for this?
    Muslims remained backward because they were religion-bound
revivalists who refused to modernize themselves.  Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
in this light appears as a great visionary who heralded the Indian
Muslim renaissance.  It was due to his great efforts that the rigidly
religious mind of Indian Muslims began to show the first signs of a
thaw.  Educated Muslims began to redefine life in terms of the modern
age.  They gave up the grand dream of converting India to Islam.  This
was the beginning of a great upheaval among educated Indian Muslims.
A process that should have brought Muslims close to Hindus and broadened
their view of man and society.  The trend of this process was toward a
view according to which Hindus and Muslims would have been looked upon
as equals.
    This process was, however, ironically reversed because modern
Indian Muslims proved unequal to the task.  Their modernity proved
limited and they lacked the broad vision that could have ensured the
complete success of the Aligarh renaissance.  Ironically, this very
process separated the Muslims from the Hindus instead of bringing them
closer together.  The old Muslim habit of blaming the Hindus for their
problems reappeared and was set more firmly than ever.  Although Sir
Syed Ahmed Khan was free from the vice of religious fanaticism he
lacked the virtue of being free from the atavistic vanity of an
inheritor of the Moghul past.  In this very period when it was
possible for a national consciousness to emerge Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
himself succumbed to the egoistic conception that Muslims were the
conquerors of India.  It was he who was the father of separatist
Muslim nationalism, and not Jinnah as it is erroneously supposed.
Jinnah is only a later version of Sir Syed revised and enlarged.  Thus
the aberrant modern Muslim himself was responsible first for a
separatist Muslim nationalism and later for the creation of Pakistan.
The foundation of Muslim nationalism is the postulate that Hindu and
Muslim societies are autonomous and parallel social structures.
    It is no fault of the Hindus that the Indian Muslims embraced this
theory of a separate, Muslim nationalism.  Nor is it the fault of the
Hindus that Indian Muslims regarded their own (Indian Muslims')
security in India.  It is only once in a while that an individual or a
society gets an opportunity to make or mar its own future.  The
Muslims lost their rare chance of embracing modernity simultaneously
with the Hindus when they yielded to the pressure exerted on them by
the ulema of Deoband and rejected English education.  History gave
them another chance a little later-the opportunity to strengthen
Indian nationalism by joining forces with the Hindus.  But they let go
even this opportunity by succumbing to the erroneous notion that Hindu
and Muslim societies were autonomous and parallel social structures.
They paid scant heed even to geographical realities and refused to
consider where they lived and would live in the future.  The problems
faced by Indian Muslims today can be traced back to these two lost
opportunities.  If a chance that comes only once in a century is
wasted, it takes another century to make up for the loss.
    It is high time now that younger Muslims became critically
introspective and learnt the nature of their own mistake.  It is a
tragic fact that there does not yet exist a class of critically
introspective young Muslims in India.  A society which puts the blame
on the Hindus for its own communalism can hardly be called
introspective.  If Hindu communalism is responsible for Muslim
communalism by the same logic it would follow that Muslim communalism
is equally responsible for Hindu communalism.  The truth of the matter
is that the Muslim intelligentsia has not yet given up its postulate
of parallel society.  It has still not learnt to separate religion
from politics.  Their idea of religious freedom is merely that the
structure of the Muslim society in India should remain unaltered.
Basically, they are still `Muslim nationalists'.  They have not
accepted the modern concept of nationalism, and hence their attempts
to preserve Muslim nationalist trends in the present structure of the
Indian polity.  There is a curious collusion between these Indian
Muslims and the others who envisage the conversion of India to Islam.
This is precisely what brings Maulana Abdul Hasan Nadvi of the
Jamaat-e-Islami and Dr Faridi of the Majlis-e-Mashawarat together on
the same platform.
   These are the two broad trends one discerns among Indian Muslims
today.  One group has taken its inspiration from Shah Waliullah and
the other regards Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as its mentor and pioneer.
Today it is necessary to reject both.  The Hindus too had similar
trends; they exist even today.  But the Hindus also had a liberal
humanist tradition.  Nehru kept this tradition alive; Gandhi was a
symbol of this same great tradition.  That the Indian Muslim community
could not produce a Gandhi underscores its failure.  Only the
North-West Frontier Province could produce a great man like Abdul
Ghaffar Khan.  But it is significant, though not difficult to
understand, that Indian Muslims did not respond to him.
    Will the younger generation of Indian Muslims face this challenge?
This is their third, and perhaps last, chance to liberate and
modernize themselves.  If they avail themselves of it, they can still
make up for the loss the Muslim community has suffered by wasting the
two previous opportunities to create a tradition of modern enlightened
liberalism.  The only effective answer to the problems of Indian
Muslims would involve on their part a total rejection of the
prejudices of history.  Only when they rid themselves of the
misconceptions that history and tradition produce can they arrive at
the conception of a free, modern mind committed only to fundamental
human values.  The articles which follow are an attempt in that
direction.  I would earnestly appeal to my young Muslim readers to
give them serious critical consideration.
I would also like to make a similar request to my Hindu readers.
Several Hindu friends have welcomed the attempts of persons like me to
modernize the Muslim community in India.  However, there is a class of
Hindus which views with suspicion any Muslim's attempt to transform
the consciousness of the community.  This does not surprise me.  The
motives of even a man of Gandhi's stature were suspiciously viewed by
a vast number of Indian Muslims.  In such a situation, it is but
inevitable that a number of Hindus would suspect the motives of an
ordinary man like me.  It would scarcely be worth the trouble to try
to convince them of my bona fides.  However, there are some Hindus who
view Muslim society as a society which, like any other, can be
transformed in the course of time. My appeal is addressed to such
Hindus.  I urge them to accept the facts of the situation first: there
is no class of thoroughly secular Muslims in India today.  At the same
time the idea of a common Indian nationality requires that Muslim
society be integrated in the fabric of a secular Indian society.  The
only way in which this can be achieved is by first creating a small
class of modern, liberal and secular Muslims.  This is precisely what
people like me are attempting to do.  Personally, I believe that no
religion can provide the foundation for an ideal society.  It follows
that neither Islam nor Hinduism can be the basis of an ideal social
order.  Several people ask me where precisely I differ from communal
Hindus.  It should be fairly obvious now where I differ from them and
how radical the differences are.  However I agree with them on certain
points and it would be worthwhile to demarcate clearly the area of
agreement between us.  I agree with them that Muslim communalism is a
strong force in this country at present. I also agree with them that
in this nation minorities have a claim to equal rights and equal
opportunities but they should not have a claim to special status or
privileges.  I also agree with them that Kashmir is a part of India
and that every Pakistani aggression on Indian soil must be answered by
a strong counter-attack.  Finally, I agree with the communalist
Hindu's view that Pakistan was not the last demand of the Muslims of
this sub-continent.  Even today, both among Indian Muslims and among
the rulers of Pakistan, there are influential groups whose `last
demand' would be the conversion of the whole of India to Islam.
    However, I consider suicidal the Hindu communalist attempt to
answer Muslim communalism by obscurantist Hindu revivalism.  Muslim
communalism will be defeated only when the Hindu achieves a greater
degree of social progress and modernizes himself.  By making the
Hindus more obscurantist - by making them more puritan and
orthodox - Muslim communalism can never be eliminated.  The movement for
a ban on cow-slaughter provides an apt example.  I oppose the ban on
agro-economic grounds.  But I oppose it even more strongly on
non-economic grounds, because if the Hindu belief in the sacredness of
the cow is encouraged, it would prevent the Hindus from modernizing
themselves and from achieving a greater degree of social progress.
The Hindus have slid backward only because of their religious
obscurantism.  Mahmud Ghaznavi could defeat Hindu armies simply by
using herds of cows as a shield for his own army! One hopes that such
history will not be repeated in modern times.  Hindus must discard all
those religious beliefs which hindered their progress and deprived
them of their freedom.  I say this as a friend of the Hindus and not
as an antagonist.  No Muslim communalist will object to Hindu
obscurantism for the reasons I give here, simply because no Muslim
communalist ever wishes that Hindu society should become modern and
dynamic.  As a matter of fact, to protect their own medieval
obscurantist beliefs the Muslims would find it convenient that the
Hindus also remained medieval-minded religious puritans.  I attack
all aspects of medieval religious obscurantism whether it is Muslim
or Hindu.  And hence I am opposed to the movement for a ban on
cow-slaughter.  Eighty-five per cent of the population of this country
is Hindu and therefore the progress of this nation depends on the
Hindus becoming dynamic, modern and advanced.  And I want this nation
to be advanced, powerful and prosperous because my individual future
is inextricably tied up with it.  I would go even further and tell the
communalist Hindus that they cannot free Muslims from the shackles of
their own obscurantist beliefs if the Hindus themselves remain
religion-bound.  To modernize Indian Muslims, Hindus must first
strengthen the forces of modernization among themselves.  When Indian
Muslims are shocked out of their slumber by the advancement and
modernization of Hindu society, a similar process will start in Muslim
society and that would help the efforts of persons like me.
    Hindu communalists should not continue to make the tragic blunder
of mistaking every Muslim for a communalist.  It is true that today it
is difficult to find a thoroughly secular Muslim in India.  But if we
want secular-minded Muslims in the near future we must encourage and
support those Muslims who are already stepping in that direction.  One
can cite numerous cases where the Hindus can and ought to support
certain Muslims by acknowledging the worth of their efforts.  For
example Mr. Sadiq is making sincere and systematic efforts in Kashmir
to free Kashmiri Muslims from the hold that Sheikh Abdullah has on
their minds.  It would also be honest to admit that the Health
Minister of Maharashtra, Dr Rafiq Zakaria is making sincere efforts to
propagate family planning among Indian Muslims.  I mention this
particularly because the communalist Hindu, in his zeal to condemn
all Muslims as communalists, weakens the emerging liberal and modern
forces among the Muslims.  Indian Muslims will change only when they
begin to present a differentiated picture in their thoughts and their
view of society.  Hindus would also benefit from such differentiation
among the Muslims.  For as long as the Muslims remain monolithic in
their thinking their communalism will become increasingly awesome.  If
they divide into two camps, the modern liberals and the orthodox
puritans, their communalism would be much weakened.  I suggest that
communalist Hindus and particularly the younger Hindus should pause
and consider this.
    History, which has bred prejudices and animosity, is a hindrance
to all of us.  All of us have to come out of the grip of our
prejudices which originate in our past.  Hindu communalists must also
break away from the grip of their prejudices.  It is not the fault of
the young Brahmans of today that their ancestors gave inhuman
treatment to the untouchables, and today's Indian Muslim is not
responsible for the oppression to which Mahmud Ghaznavi or Aurangzeb
subjected the Hindus.  Fortunately, there is a class of Hindus today
which bears the burden of its ancestors' sins and conscientiously
tries to undo the damage by embracing social equality as a fundamental
value.  Similarly, there has to emerge a class of Muslims which would
accept the sins of Aurangzeb and, to undo the damage, would therefore
embrace the concept of secular citizenship.  The emergence and
sustained growth of such a class of modern, secular dynamic liberals
is the only effective answer to the Hindu-Muslim communal problem.
And therefore my appeal to communal Hindus is that they should free
themselves from historical prejudices before they examine the views
expressed by me in the articles that follow.

Chapter 2

The previous article was a brief review of the problem of Indian Muslims and its solution. I have described the symptoms of a disease and outlined its treatment without naming the disease as such.  One of the reasons for doing so was to focus attention on certain aspects of the problem at the very outset.  I also wanted to
show how certain pitfalls cannot be avoided when one begins to discuss a problem from the end to the beginning.  My main reason, however, was to invite my Muslim friends to do some necessary critical introspection so that they might start the discussion in a frank and systematic manner.
    It is my experience that the arguments of Muslims leaders always sound like the arguments of defense attorneys in a court of law.  In a court of law the lawyer's sole interest is to win his case.  The argument is addressed to a judge, who is a third party and who gives his verdict in the end.  If a lawyer defending an alleged murderer argues the defendant's case effectively, his client is acquitted even if he in fact is a murderer.  The sole emphasis in this kind of argument is on convincing the judge.  Muslim leaders in India argue in much the same manner.  One does not know whether they expect some judge to give a favorable verdict in the end.  For instance, most Muslim leaders in India advance the old argument that Muslims were not responsible for partition, and even argue that Hindus alone were responsible for it.  Of course, there can be different arguments as to who really was more responsible for partition but it is factually wrong to suggest that Muslims were not responsible for partitioning the sub-continent.  When Muslims say this, they do not want to claim merely that they were not responsible for partition. Their claim is much larger; they want to claim that it was not the Muslims who demanded the partitioning of the sub-continent.
    History provides some clues to the strange behavior and arguments of Indian Muslim leaders.  Indian Muslims always tried to impose their own demands on Hindus with the help of the British, who were a third party in the position of a judge.  It was enough for the Muslims to have presented effective arguments to the British.  If one recalls the entire history of the efforts made to solve the Hindu-Muslim problem, one can easily verify this.  It was Muslim leaders who obstinately held that the Hindus should not be granted freedom unless Muslim demands were met.  When they saw that the judgment in this dispute was to be given by a third party, they tried to tilt the balance in their own favor even by resorting to an unscrupulous and fallacious argument, and the Hindus who were eager for independence conceded their demand.  It is not important to discuss how the third party arrived at its verdict.  The important thing is to remember the historical fact that the Muslims got their verdict from a third party.  They never even paused to consider that the real decision was to be taken by the Muslims themselves in collaboration with the Hindu majority.  They looked at the dispute as if it was matter of litigation and could never think of the possibility of a compromise.
    In short, Indian Muslims committed the most grievous sin of obstructing the movement for Indian independence.  They took undue advantage of the presence of a third party.  They refused to arrive at a compromise with the Hindus.  Muslims in the entire sub-continent were responsible for this.  But there is an important difference between Indian and Pakistani Muslims.  Muslims in Pakistan did not have to face the consequences of this wrong-headed agitation.  In fact if the agitation were to succeed, it would be of benefit to them. And therefore, it must be said that Pakistani Muslims deliberately took a wrong step the consequences of which were to be suffered by Muslims who were to remain in India.
    But Indian Muslims have committed an even worse sin.  They not only relied on a third party but also participated in a movement which aimed at creating a separate nation comprising all provinces which had a Muslim majority.  In short, in order to solve their own problems, Indian Muslims as a whole came to an understanding with the British as well as with the Muslim majority provinces; and they refused to make any compromise with Hindus.
    What was the nature of this understanding?  To solve our problems, argued the Muslims in the sub-continent, a sovereign and independent state comprising provinces with a Muslim majority had to be created. In this new state Hindus should be in a minority.  That way only, they further argued, would Muslims in India have security.  This argument is known as the hostage theory.  In the middle ages the cruel and inhuman practice of holding human beings as hostages was quite common. It is tragic that Muslims in the sub-continent resorted to this old practice to solve their problem.
  ` But the interesting thing is that while Pakistan needed some Hindus at least as hostages she did not even keep a sizeable number of them in her territory though the subcontinent was partitioned only because Muslims decided to experiment with the theory of hostages. At the time, several observers had warned that this theory would create a problem of minorities in both India and Pakistan and that in both countries politics would be centered on vengeance wreaked on the minorities.  A prominent Muslim intellectual had issued this warning in a book published before partition.  Shaukatulla Ansari, at present Governor of Orissa, in his "Pakistan - A Problem of India" published in 1944, has made a very significant observation.  He predicted that if the sub-continent were to be partitioned, it would be partitioned in
an atmosphere of bitter hostility which would last for generations and would be difficult to eliminate. All of us are witness to the accuracy of his prophecy.
    Muslims in India agreed to remain in India as hostages in accordance with the theory propounded by the Muslim League.  Why should Indian Muslims complain about it now?  Do they say now that this entire theory was wrong?  No; their only complaint is that Hindus have started implementing the theory.  They are not worried whether Hindus are themselves unhappy about the theory.  Their only demand is that the theory should not affect themselves.  All Muslim leaders following the theory demand that there should be no anti-Muslim riots in India.  If one asked them any question about the fate of Hindus in Pakistan, they would dismiss it.  I have already observed that among Indian Muslims there still is no liberal class whose members would take an honest and just view of things.  It is sufficient for Muslim leaders in India to argue that Hindus in Pakistan are not treated in an unjust manner.  If one points to instances of injustice done to Hindus in Pakistan, Indian Muslim leaders have a ready answer.  They would say that it is a problem of Pakistan with which they are hardly concerned.  On the other hand, they would criticize the questioner for raising an issue which has to do with Pakistan and not with themselves.
    The question which arises here is: Why do Indian Muslims make the obviously false claim that Pakistan Hindus are treated with due justice?  And why did Indian Muslims earlier refuse to rely on the conscience of Hindus to get full justice for themselves?  I shall begin with the first question.  Those who claim that Hindus in Pakistan get due justice assume that this entire problem is still a case pending trial in a court.  They still imagine, perhaps quite honestly but no doubt unrealistically, that if they argue forcefully enough there still is a third party to give them a verdict in their favor.  They do not see the plain fact that the third party has already left the sub-continent and that, in India, it is replaced by the defendant in the case.  Now the judge's position is occupied by Hindus.  If it is justice that the Indian Muslims expect, they have to win the confidence and goodwill of the Hindu majority.  Do these Muslim leaders honestly believe that arguments like those of lawyers
in a court of law are going to secure justice for them?  But they refuse to look at this problem in a sober and realistic manner.  For they still believe that a third party is going to judge their case and that all they need to win their case is an effective argument, however fallacious it may be, coupled with the right amount of pressure.
They do not clearly name who the third party in the judge's position is today.  But one need not go very deep to find out what is fairly obvious: Indian Muslim leaders believe that in their dispute with the majority in India.  Pakistan is the third party occupying the position of the judge.
    I must say that the leaders who think so are still living in the pre-Independence age.  Some months ago, I had an opportunity of meeting Dr A. J. Faridi, leader of the Majlis-e-Mashawarat.  Dr Faridi claims to have a balanced view of things.  He also believes that one ought to point out the mistakes committed by Indian Muslims.  But it is an interesting experience to discuss this issue with Dr Faridi.
Once one enters into an argument with him, Dr Faridi has the knack of evading the very principles he himself professes.  For example, when I asked him why Hindus were driven out of West Pakistan, Dr Faridi came up with the fantastic answer justice that if Vallabhbhai Patel had not sent planes to bring them back the West Pakistani Hindus would not have come back to India at all.  in short, Dr Faridi is against any injustice done to anyone.  In that respect he is a perfect secularist. But if one choose to go into factual details about the injustice done to Pakistani Hindus, Dr Faridi would categorically assert that there had never been any act of injustice towards them.  On top of this, Dr Faridi is always ready to declare that he would protest the moment he learns that there has been any injustice done to Hindus in Pakistan. However, Dr Faridi always insists on being `convinced' and, as one might guess, it is very difficult to convince Dr Faridi.
    Let us now consider some of the views of Mr. Mohammad Ismail President of the All-India Muslim League.  In an interview given to U.N.I. before the last general elections, Mr. Mohammad Ismail said, "If I am convinced that the Hindus of Pakistan are ill-treated or that they are forcibly converted to Islam I would not hesitate to criticize Pakistan.  For Islam does not permit such injustice."  In short, Mr Mohammad Ismail is always prepared to say that if Pakistan ever treated her Hindus badly he would consider it to be a very wrong thing.  The real question therefore is of determining empirically whether Pakistan really does so.  It is a question of assessing plain facts.  it is the responsibility of whoever argues with Mr. Mohammad Ismail to convince him that it is a fact that Pakistan treats her Hindus unjustly.  Once he is able to convince Mr. Mohammad Ismail about the truth of this proposition, the rest follows quite easily. As soon as he is convinced, one would find Mr. Mohammad Ismail unsheathing his sword and brandishing it against Pakistan.  But wait! Nothing of this sort is really going to happen.  For even if Pakistan does in fact treat her Hindu population badly, to convince Mr. Mohammad Ismail of it is not an easy job.  In fact, Mr. Mohammad Ismail has
decided not to be convinced on this point by anyone.
    When Mr. Shri Prakasa was Indian high Commissioner in Pakistan he had a very significant experience at Karachi.  In this book "Birth of Pakistan", Mr. Sri Prakasa has noted the following incident: In one place a Hindu temple was broken into. Mr. Sri Prakasa brought this to the notice of a Central Minister of Pakistan.  He urged the Minister to give police protection to the temple.  But the Minister refused to do so.  What he said is quite memorable.  He said, "Islam has given us the notion of perfect justice.  How, in the circumstances, can a temple be broken into at all?  Such a thing is unthinkable in an Islamic state."!  Mr. Sri Prakasa was obviously flabbergasted.  It was a fact that the temple was broken into, but an Islamic state is
always perfectly just.  And all Muslim leaders would readily point to the idea of justice in Islam whenever such allegations are made.  They do not find it necessary to go into the facts of the matter.  If there is any injustice done to the Hindus in Pakistan, it would be a verifiable proposition.  But if facts are different from the claims to perfect justice made by an `Islamic justice',  Muslims do not use the
criteria used for verifying facts by ordinary people.  When they do injustice, they apply the canons of `Islamic Justice'.  When injustice is done to themselves they would demand justice by universally accepted principles and would demand an application of the universal criteria of evidence.  As to themselves, since Koranic justice is supposed to be equitably applied in an Islamic state, Muslim leaders believe that an Islamic state is always just.  It is only others who err.  Therefore, outside the Islamic state, Muslim leaders insist on the universally accepted principles of evidence and inference.  Such are the double standards they apply.

    Can Pakistan ever hope to get a better lawyer than Mr. Mohammad Ismail?  However, Mr. Mohammad Ismail would never admit that he pleads on behalf of Pakistan.  Perhaps it does not even occur to him.  There are a number of similar examples.  When questioned, these Muslim leaders indignantly claim that they are one hundred per cent Indian, that have fully identified themselves with the aspirations of this nation, and that they regard the Hindu majority in India as their fellow-citizens.  What, however can one make of these claims when they are seen in juxtaposition with the actual behavior of Muslim leaders and the opinions they frequently express?  Even while they claim to be perfect nationalists, Muslim leaders advance arguments to support the Pakistani claim on Kashmir.  In the same way, they argue that all Pakistani infiltrators in Assam are in fact Indian Muslims. It follows that they do not believe in any rules to determine citizenship.  They are prepared to go to any absurd length to argue that Pakistani infiltrators are in fact Indians.  At the same time, they admit that all Pakistani infiltrators should on principle, be evicted from India.  They claim that they have no quarrel with Hindus
as such; and yet at the same time they issue religious rescripts objecting to the recitation of the Koran after Nehru's death on the ground that such a recitation is not permitted by the side of the dead body of a kafir.  They want Dr Zakir Husain to be the President of India.  However, they are quick to point out that it is unbecoming of a good Muslim to take the oath of office in Hindi or to obtain a benediction from the Shankaracharya.  While justifying the creation of Pakistan, they would also argue that they have nothing to do with Pakistan which is a foreign country like any other.  They compete with one another to vouch for the peaceful intentions of Pakistan. Who is responsible for disturbing the peace in the sub-continent?
Their answer is ready: it is the mistakes of the Indian leadership that have created all the trouble that exists in the sub-continent. Indian leaders according to these Muslims have never been reconciled to the creation of Pakistan and hence they bear animosity towards that country.  Pakistan quarrels with India over Kashmir.  Once Kashmir is handed over to Pakistan these people argue, there would be no quarrel. It is obvious, they feel, that India has created hostility with Pakistan by not giving up Kashmir.
    I would like to point out that these views extend to even further extremes.  There is an organization of Indian Muslims known as the Jamaat-e-Islami.  The objective of this organization is to establish an Islamic State in India.  Margdeep, the Marathi organ of the party once wrote, "Religious conflicts in India are not likely to be resolved easily.  Only when all Indians embrace a single religion, religious conflicts in India would end."
    If one tries to view the inconsistencies in the views of Muslim leaders quoted earlier in the light of the above quotation from Margdeep, it will be obvious that Muslim leaders are engaged in a gigantic jehad - a holy war- against Hindus.  this war would be over only when all Indians have embraced Islam.  to achieve this objective, Muslim leaders are prepared to indulge in all kinds of acrobatics.  It is quite true that they regard themselves as Indians.  For they look forward to ruling the entire nation.
    Why did Muslims demand Pakistan?  The answer is obvious.  Muslims believe that their community is a separate nation.  Why did they follow Jinnah?  This too is obvious. Jinnah's anti-Hindu views attracted them.  In this context, one ought to remember that as long as Jinnah had not propounded his two nation theory Muslims did not accept him as their leader.  The reason for all this are quite clear. Muslims were fiercely anti-Hindu.  As soon as Jinnah inflamed their communal passions.  Muslims supported him. The passion proved to be so consuming that Indian Muslims failed to see its simple consequence which would turn them into a minority everywhere in India.
    However it must be pointed out that the support of Indian Muslims to the creation of Pakistan was not entirely based on emotional frenzy.  It was also based on the theory of hostages.  At the same time, Indian Muslims believed that India would eventually be ruled by Islam.  The creation of Pakistan was only the first step towards an integrated Islamic state in India.  One has only to recall Jinnah's tactics for the creation of Pakistan to see this point.  he tried to induce the princely States in Rajasthan to join Pakistan.  He tried to get Junagadh merged with Pakistan.  He instigated Hyderabad to rebel against India.  His propaganda that riots took place in India alone disregarded its consequence in Pakistan itself.  What did the Muslims expect?  They expected Hyderabad to become independent.  They expected Bhopal to follow.  Junagadh had already joined Pakistan. Kashmir had a Muslim majority and would therefore naturally go to Pakistan.  They expected all princely States to refuse to join India and to proclaim their own independence.  They predicted balkanization of India, from which Muslims would eventually benefit.  These hopes were later proved to have been false.  Sardar Patel merged the princely States within the Indian Union and thus shattered their hopes.  This is why Muslim leaders hate Sardar Patel.  One can easily understand why Dr. Faridi insists that it was Patel who brought Hindus from Pakistan to India.
    In my opinion, Muslim society still mentally lives in the pre-partition world.  I would like to cite another personal experience.  Sometimes ago, I visited Agra where I met a few educated Muslim youths.  I asked them only one question: "Today you complain that Hindus are suspicious of you.  I think this is an inevitable consequence of the creation of Pakistan.  Why did the educated Indian Muslims in India fall to see the terrible consequence of partition?" These young men came up with a significant answer.  They said: "We would have remained a permanent minority in India.  A nation is governed by the whims of the majority. We would have been utterly helpless."  In fact, Indian Muslims are even today a minority.  If anything, they are such a smaller minority now than before partition. But when Indian Muslims express the views mentioned above, they believe that they have freed themselves from Hindu domination.  One can understand such views if they are expressed by Pakistani Muslims. However, one finds that views which might be expected to be voiced by Pakistani Muslims.  However, one finds that views which might be expected to be voiced by Pakistani Muslims are in fact voiced by Indian Muslims.  The reason is painfully obvious.  Indian Muslims still regard themselves as Pakistanis, and they believe that their emancipation has been ensured by the creation of Pakistan.  They expect Pakistan to deliver them fully someday. And therefore they indulge in fallacious and hypocritical arguments.  Those who cannot resort to such arguments simply blame the Hindus for injustice done to themselves.
    In sum, Muslims cannot reconcile themselves with the nationalism of any country where they are in a minority.  They wanted Pakistan because they feared to remain a permanent minority, and they also knew that the creation of Pakistan would not solve the problem of Muslims in this sub-continent.  A Muslim periodical recently observed that while partition had solved the problem of some Indian Muslims, the problem of other Indian Muslims, the problem of other Indian Muslims was yet to be solved.  Mr. Suhrawardy said in a speech after partition that partition had solved the problem only of Muslims in Pakistan.  It was necessary he said, to tackle the problem of Indian Muslims.  And a little before this he had observed in a public meeting in Calcutta, "Is Pakistan our last demand?  I will not try to answer this question; but I can say, that is our latest demand."  Each time the latest demand would be a new one.  One might ask, "Which is the last demand?" It is obvious that the last demand is going to be Assam and then for a corridor to link the two wings of Pakistan.  I hope my readers are familiar with Mr. Bhutto's views in this direction.  Those Indian Muslim leaders who loudly proclaim that they have nothing to do with Pakistan should have assailed Mr. Bhutto.  However, it is significant that none of them uttered so much as a word of protest against Mr. Bhutto's statements.
    What, according to the Muslims, is the solution to the problem of Muslims in India?  It seems that the only solution which occurs to them is the establishment of an Islamic state in India.  The Jamaat-e-Islami has already a programme to achieve this objective. And what if they fail to achieve it?  They they would seek to establish within the sovereign state of India a sovereign Islamic society.  This idea of a state within a state, and a society within a society, appeals to them.  One has only to take a look at the nine-point programme of the Majlis-e-Mashawarat to know this.  The Mashawarat has demanded that the Indian Parliament should have no power to legislate in matters concerning Indian Muslims.  Salahuddin Owaisi, a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has in fact publicly suggested, "There should be a separate Muslim state within each state of India."

[Chapter 3 Missing]
[Although the full chapter 3, Muslims: The so-called Nationalists and the Communalists, is unavailable, I am adding, on 28/4/2020, the following selected quotations from this chapter, taken from elsewhere]

p.53: All Muslim leaders unanimously complain that injustice is done to Muslims in India. However, they have a strange definition of injustice..... One of the methods of ensuring justice is to claim that Pakistani infiltrators in Assam are not Pakistani at all. A second method is to demand the granting of Indian citizenship to those Pakistanis who are illegal residents of Bihar, West Bengal and some other states of India. A third method is to oppose family planning.

p.59: Savarkar admitted the existence of a separate Muslim nationalism. He had even shown his willingness to give them a written guarantee that their culture, their language and their proportional representation would be safeguarded. The only thing Savarkar denied to the Muslims was a separate, independent and sovereign state.

p.61-62: In an undivided India a specially privileged Muslim community would have vigorously continued a movement for Islamization of India. Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni was considered a great 'Nationalist Muslim' leader. He was president of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-i-Hind. When the ulema convened a conference in Delhi in the year 1945, he said in his presidential address, "it is the non-Muslims who are the field of action for this 'tabligh' of Islam and form the raw material for this splendid activity ... We are opposed to the idea of limiting the right of missionary activities of Islam within any particular area. The Muslims have got a right in all the nooks and corners of India by virtue of the great struggle and grand sacrifices of their ancestors in this country. Now, it is our duty to maintain that claim and try to widen its scope, instead of giving it up." ("The Deoband School and the Demand for Pakistan" by Z H Faruqi, Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1963, pg.117) The same learned Maulana has said elsewhere, "if Dara had triumphed, Muslims would have stayed in India, but not Islam. Since Aurangzeb triumphed, both Islam and Muslims were here to stay.".

p.62: What was the difference between Jinnah and the nationalist Muslims? While Jinnah wanted a separate state, the nationalist Muslims wanted the whole of India.

p.62:  Muslim leaders always blame Hindu communalism for partition. I fail to see where, in this entire discussion, Hindu communalism comes in.

p.63: Jinnah was not fighting Savarkar and Golwalkar. He never mentioned their communalism. Jinnah accused Gandhi of being a Hindu communalist, refusing to concede his demands. He criticized Nehru in the same way. Similarly, when Muslim leaders hold communalists responsible for the partition, they want to suggest that it was Gandhi and Nehru who were 'Hindu communalists'. Theimplications are clear: they charge every Hindu with being a communalist. At the same time, they make the strange claim that every Muslim is a nationalist.

p.63: The real conflict, therefore, was not between Hindu and Muslim communalists. It was a conflict between the secular nationalism of Gandhi and Nehru and the religious nationalism of Indian Muslims.

p.65: When Christians were not modern, even they forcibly converted Muslims to their own faith.

p.66: Independence, according to the Muslims, is synonymous with all power being concentrated in the hands of the Muslim community.

p.69: They claim that the Hindu majority in India treats them with injustice. They fail to realize that their definition of Islam is twisted and strange, for these leaders believe that the greatest injustice to Indian Muslims is the simple fact that there is a majority of Hindus in this country.

Chapter 4

Secular parties in India have always considered the problem of
Hindu-Muslim relations from the viewpoint of romantic idealism and
have refused to face boldly the harsh truth underlying it.  After the
outbreak of a communal riot, they have hardly ever thought it
necessary to do anything beyond issuing public appeals for communal
peace and ritually denouncing Hindu communalist forces as the prime
cause of the trouble.  If, even after the recent communal flare-up in
Maharashtra, they do not make any attempt to understand the real
nature of this problem and fail to make conscious efforts to foster a
new secular trend in the country, the future is likely to be more
bleak than ever.
There are many reasons why the communal problem has again assumed
menacing proportions.  After the birth of Pakistan Muslim communalists
were, for some time, lying low because of the fear of Hindu
retaliation.  Hindu communalists were paralyzed by the intensity of
popular reaction to Gandhi's assassination at the hands of a Hindu
fanatic.  Now in the changed situation, both are again rearing their
    This, however, is not the whole diagnosis.  During the
pre-independence period, Hindu communalism was never very strong, and
even today it is not as powerful as we imagine it to be.  It would be
unfair to underestimate the influence of the secular forces generated
by the Hindu liberal movement over the past hundred years.  If today
the liberal trends among the Hindus are on the wane, the main cause is
to be traced to the continuing predominance of separatist and
communalist trends among Indian Muslims even twenty-three years after
partition.  These separatist forces are motivated by the ideal of
separate nationhood rooted in the idea of a religious community and
are therefore opposed to the concept of secular nationalism.  It is
high time that secularists grasped this basic fact of our political
    The true character of this conflict can be appreciated only if we
understand the historical urges of the Muslim mind.  The Muslim mind
considers nationalism in the context of religion and this problem
exists with varying intensity in all the countries-such as India,
Ethiopia, the Philippines-that have Muslim minorities.  The Islamic
doctrine of exclusiveness is essentially responsible for it.
    The tradition of considering nationalism in the context of
political power for a religious group impelled Indian Muslims in the
pre-independence days to keep themselves aloof from the emerging
secular nationalist trends in the country and demand a separate nation
comprising Muslim majority provinces.  However, even after the
creation of Pakistan, Muslims remained a minority in India. Mr. Jinnah
had asserted that after the creation of two nations, the problem of
minorities in both would wither away.  In a way, the problem did
"wither away" in Pakistan, in the sense that the Hindu minority was
ruthlessly made to wither away in West Pakistan.
    In India, however, the legacy of partition has remained to haunt
us in the form of a two-fold problem.  We have, on the one hand to curb
the expansionist ambitions of Pakistan and, on the other, integrate
the Muslims of India into the fabric of our secular nationalism.
    These traditions of Islam and the strong separatist trends they
have engendered among Indian Muslims are the main cause of the
persistent communal tension.  To claim that Muslim separatism
continues to exist because the country has not adequately imbibed the
spirit of secularism is to betray ignorance of the working of the
Muslim mind.  The real cause of the present conflict is that the
separatist urges of Muslim nationalism have always existed parallel
to those of secular nationalism.  Muslims have never agreed that
partition put an end to this problem.  As I have mentioned in a recent
article, Mr. Hasan Suhrawardy, Chief Minister of undivided Bengal, had
pointed out in 1946 that, "Pakistan is not our last demand".  In his
letter written after the partition to Choudhary Khaliquzzaman, Mr.
Suhrawardy had propounded the idea of a Muslim majority area in India.
It is not without significance that the post-independence trend of
Muslim politics in India has followed the direction laid down by Mr.
Jinnah and Mr. Suhrawardy.
Muslim communalism was not eliminated even during the Nehru era.
Muslim communalists in the Constituent Assembly had opposed his
concept of secular nationalism and, even during his regime, they had
raised a cry of "genocide" of Muslims being committed in India.  Mr.
Hafizur Rahman, leader of the Jamiyat-ul-Ulema had, in 1958, accused
him of being partisan on the issue of the Hindu-Muslim relations.  It
is also noteworthy that Muslim organizations had never supported Mr.
Nehru's stand on Kashmir and had charged that his double-faced policy
was responsible for non-recognition of Urdu as an official language in
certain States.
    It is necessary to consider here briefly Nehru's stand on the
issue of Hindu-Muslim relations.  The charge leveled by some of his
critics that he was pro-Muslim betrays their ignorance of his deep
understanding of history.  He was perhaps the only Indian statesman
who understood the historical forces operating behind Muslim politics
in India.  His policy was therefore aimed at rendering Muslim
separatism ineffective by strengthening the forces of secular
nationalism.  His insistence on a common electorate and the inclusion
in the Constitution of the enactment of a uniform the civil code as a
Directive Principle of State Policy in spite of fierce opposition from
Muslim communalists may be cited as examples of his determination in
this regard.
    Moreover, Nehru was well aware that Muslims could easily combine
themselves in one political party because of their social structure
and the absence among them of a modern political consciousness based
on secular considerations.  As regards Hindus, he knew that their
stratified social structure always impeded their mobilization on a
common political platform.  At the same time, because of their liberal
reformist traditions, Hindus had developed a progressive political
consciousness which made them alive to larger socio-economic issues.
Hence, he knew, they tended to choose political parties on
non-religious considerations.  Because of this peculiar situation he
usually tried to project himself as a guardian of Muslim interests
with a view to preventing the re-emergence of a strong Muslim party.
    He did succeed in achieving this objective to a limited extent.
But during the same period while the Jamaat-e-Islami, an anti-Hindu
Wahhabi organisation could establish its hold among Muslims in North
India, the Muslim League emerged in Kerala and the Tamir-e-Millat and
Ittehadul-Muslimeen were revived by former Razakars in the old
Hyderabad State.  Similarly, the Jamiyat-ul-Ulema which had associated
itself with the Congress in the national movement gradually adopted an
obscurantist and communalist posture.  Not only that, its influence on
the ruling party prevented the emergence of a secular Muslim
leadership within the Congress.
After Nehru's death the Indian political scene underwent a radical
change and there commenced a process of consolidation of Muslim
communalist forces. The Majlis-e-Mashawarat was established as a
united front of all Muslim communalist organizations.  It should be
remembered that the Mashawarat's call to vote against the Congress in
the 1967 general election was a decisive contributory factor in
radically altering the political situation in the country.
    A mere glance at the charter of demands drawn up by the Mashawarat
would reveal that it wants a sovereign status for the Muslim
community.  This is not surprising.  Being a community scattered all
over the country, Muslims cannod demand a sovereign constitutional
status within the Indian Union, to begin with.
    To be sure, the Mashawarat has not been able to achieve all its
demands.  For example, its demand for recognition of Urdu as an
official language in U.P. and Bihar could not be conceded by the
leftist parties because of the strong popular opposition.  However, in
Kerala the League could join the State Ministry and secure the
objective, advocated by Mr. Suhrawardy, of establishing a
Muslim-majority area in the form of Malappuram district.
    The aims of the Muslim separatists are clear and unambiguous.  The
Congress split had made the emergence of a coalition Government at the
centre a distinct possibility.  It was therefore not surprising that
these separatist forces counted on the possibility of Muslim
communalist organizations gaining representation in the Central
Government if the Muslim political parties and groups came together on
a common platform.
      Every communal riot has helped the growth of Muslim communalist
forces.  In this context, it is necessary to understand the viewpoint
advanced by the Muslim League leaders at its recent conference at
Palghat.  In their speeches, they claimed that communal riots did not
take place wherever the League had a strong hold among Muslims; they
occurred only where it was not strong enough.  It was therefore
contended that the League needed to be built up into a strong
organization all over the country to eliminate the specter of communal
riots.  This argument, however, also implies the communal riots are
essential for strengthening the Muslim League.  No other reason needs
therefore to be sought for the fact that many a time communal troubles
are provoked by Muslims.
The argument that the Muslims are always the worse sufferers and
therefore it is unlikely that they would ever provoke the riots is
also similarly deceptive.  Riots and political assassinations have
always been used as weapons by Muslim communalists to further their
ends.  The League achieved Pakistan by resorting to communal violence.
    Similarly, it engineered the assassinations of Mr Allabaksh in
Sindh, brother of Mr Rafi Ahmed Kidwai in 1937 and of Sir Shafat Ahmad
Khan, Congress member of the Interim Government at the Centre in 1946.
    The Khaskar's tradition of riots and the orgy of violence, arson
and loot indulged in by Razakars in Hyderabad are too well-known to
need detailed mention.  Muslims suffered more in these riots, also.
But these organizations had taken this into account while formulating
their objectives and strategies.  According to Muslim communalists,
this is part of their holy jehad and the Muslim victims are shaheeds
who lay down their lives for the cause of Islam.  It is not without
significance that Dr A.J. Faridi leader of the Majlis in U.P.
admiringly refers to these victims as shaheeds!
    Those who regard their community as constituting a separate nation
would always work for the attainment of separate nationhood.
Gradually that demand is being skillfully put forward by the Muslim
community.  Communal riots are grist to the propaganda mill of these
separatists.  They are asking for Muslim-majority areas as a step in
that direction.
    Radiance, the weekly organ of the Jamaat-e-Islami, in its May 17,
1970 issue has already asked: "Why not an effort be made to take five
or six States on a cultural basis, so that Muslims from all the States
may live there in an atmosphere of peace, free from periodic
chastisement?"  This indicates the ultimate aim of the Muslim
separatist forces.
    The Prime Minister wants to eradicate communalism from this land
but she is indulging in self-deception if she feels that she can curb
Hindu communalist forces by conniving with Muslim separatism.
    In fact, under pressure from Muslim separatists, she is
undermining the very foundations of secular nationalism laid by her
father.  The unceremonious exit of Mr. M. C. Chagla from her Cabinet
and the relaxation of the rule prohibiting polygamy among Muslim
employees of the Central Government are but two examples of the
concessions she is making to Muslim communalism.  The appeasement of
Muslim obscurantist forces would only jeopardize the future of our
secular nationalism.
    It is a tragic irony of our political life that the Hindu
obscurantists who demand abolition of the property right conferred on
Hindu women by the Hindu Code clamor in Parliament for equal rights
for Muslim women; while the leftists and others, who are pledged to
modernize our society, support, if not justify, Muslim separatism and
    The problem of national integration cannot be solved by appeasing
Muslim separatism.  It can be solved only by consciously fostering
liberal modern trends among the Muslims.  The policy of appeasement
adopted by the so-called secular parties is really hindering this
    Unless it is given up, it would be futile to hope for any
improvement in Hindu-Muslim relations.  Indeed, they will continue to
deteriorate more and more till Muslims and the secularists learn from
experience or the Hindu-Muslim problem is "finally" solved in a tribal

Chapter 5

Muslims communalists in India and Indian communists have always
remained strange, but inseparable, bedfellows.  Many people are
perplexed by this unusually intimate relationship between those who
claim to believe in the Marxist dictum, `Religion is the opium of the
people' and see social change in terms of dialectic processes in
history, and Muslim communalists in India.
In fact, this intimacy is not at all surprising.  There are
significant resemblances between the communist movement and the Muslim
communalist movement.  First, both movements are international in
scope and character.  Both aim at establishing an ideological state
and neither cares for the means employed in achieving its end.
However, their purpose and the processes by which they achieve their
objectives are different.  As regards the communists, first there is
the emergence of the international communist movement in a country.
The movement seeks to establish a state.  Once the state is
established, the movement is directed towards creating the ideal, that
is, the Marxist, society.  In the case of Muslims the process is just
the reverse.  A Muslim society already exists.  This society seeks to
establish its own state.  Pakistan is an example of this.  In the
absence of a Muslim society a Muslim state cannot be brought into
    The basis of the Islamic movement is not the whole of a society
but only the Islamic segment of it.  The Islamic movement can
establish its own state only by subjugating, if not destroying, the
other parts of society.  For instance, if Muslims happen to be in
minority they can establish an Islamic state only by reducing the
non-Muslims to the status of a minority - either by proselytization or
by force.  Where there already is a Muslim majority an Islamic state
is naturally in existence. No modernist or liberal trends in a truly
Islamic state can ever revise its social structure.  This crucial
difference is likely to be ignored, for instance, in the context of
the collaborative attempts of China (a Communist state) and Pakistan
(an Islamic state) to precipitate chaos in India.  Islam is a religion
and therefore the elimination of other religious beliefs is a
necessary precondition for an Islamic state.  And no social change in
such a state would ever bring about a restoration of the former
composition of society.  An Islamic state may change.  It may even
become a secular state.  But even this secular state would be the
secular government of and by a Muslim majority, in which non-Muslims
would have little or no place.
      It would also be worthwhile to note the significant resemblances
between the communist and the Islamic movement.  The communists
believe that Islam was the first religion to bring about social
equality.  In fact, it is the claim to social equality that links both
these doctrines.  (Did Islam in fact bring about social equality?
What is the nature of social equality in Islam? Such questions arise
in this context, but they will have to be dealt with separately).  It
is assumed that neither movement is nationalistic in character.  When
communists are not in power, they are internationalists; when Muslims
are a minority in any country they lack a nationalistic spirit and
have an internationalistic, that is, pan-Islamic, attitude.  When
either the communists or the Islamists are faced with a choice between
modern territorial nationalism and allegiance to the state on the one
hand, and their own international ideology on the other, most of them
invariably choose the latter.  In short, a communist, when not in
power, is primarily an internationalist and only secondarily, if at
all, a nationalist. A Muslim in minority is primarily a Muslim and
only secondarily, if at all, a nationalist. Both Muslims and
communists regard their own concept of social structure as perfect.
Both reject freedom of thought.  What is even move significant is tha
fact the both employ strikingly similar methods of propaganda against
their opponents.  The communists usually dismiss their opponents
merely by calling them "stooges of the imperialists" (the current vogue
is to brand them all as "agents of the C.I.A.").  Indian Muslims, when
they criticize another Indian Muslim, call him an "agent" or "stooge"
of the Hindus ! (Footnote: For instance, Maulana Azad. I too have been
dubbed a 'Sanghist Muslim' in an editorial by "Radiance", the weekly
organ of the Jamaat-e-Islami.) Chair man Mao brands Russians
communists as "revisionist". In the Koran when Muhammad discusses the
messages of earlier Messiahs such as Moses and Jesus, he criticizes
them as `impure' due to `revisions.
      The resemblances between these two movements do not end at this
point.  As soon as they come to power, communists suddenly change from
internationalism to extreme nationalism.  Instead of decentralizing
power, they pursue a policy of strengthening and further centralizing
power.  The same happens within the course of the Islamic movement.
Most nations with a Muslim majority are extremely nationalistic in
their social and political outlook.  In pre-partition India, the Muslim
League used to demand greater provincial autonomy.  But as soon as
Pakistan was created, all remnants of autonomy were totally
eliminated.  Although all Arab nations have a common history,
tradition and language, they fail to unite.  Communists purge their
opponents no sooner than they come to power.  Muslim nationalistic
movements, wherever there is a Muslim majority, do not allow
non-Muslims to exist freely and equally. A clear example of this is
provided by the forced exodus of non-Muslims from Pakistan.  But is
phenomenon is not limited to Pakistan.  Every Muslim nation state,
with the exception of Turkey and Indonesia, treats minorities as
unequals.  Even Arab nationalism is no exception to this.  In fact,
Arab nationalism is not even Islamic nationalism.  It is racist.
Arabs believe that being Arab is being the most perfect Muslim and to
them "Islamic" means "Arabic".  In the Arab world, the political
connotations of the terms `Arab' and `Muslim' are identical.
    Let us turn now to India.  Events in India after 1945 help to
explain the communist strategy behind their justification of the
demand for Pakistan.  Since 1942 the communists had lost the
possibility of getting a popular backing due to their dissociation
from the struggle for independence.  There was hardly any backing to
be lost by them even if they supported the demand for Pakistan.  India
was on the verge of becoming independent.  The nature of this
independence was, for Indian communists, a matter of anxious
    Peace had broken out and the cold war had begun.  The Soviet Union
and its Western Allies against the Nazi menace had developed a
relationship of increasing tension among themselves.  In such a
situation, the Indian communists had to speculate whether the ruling
party in India would support the Soviet Union or the West in the cold
war.  They decided to back Muslim communalists in order to precipitate
nation-wide disintegration, gain a popular backing from the Indian
Muslims, induce the ruling group in Pakistan to support Soviet
policies, and to benefit from the general chaos and factional fights
in the entire subcontinent.  This strategy has proved to be a
spectacular failure, because the assumption on which it was based was
wide off the mark.  Pakistan dealt with communists very sternly.  Dr
Ashraf and Mr. Sajjad Zahir who went to Pakistan from India to give a
momentum to the communist movement there landed up directly in jail.
It took them ten years to get out of jail and they chose to return to
India.  Although Ayub and Kosygin display a most cordial friendship,
there are many communist workers rotting for the last twenty years in
the jails of East Pakistan.
    However, during the intervening years Muslim communalists and
Indian communists seemed to act almost in collusion.  It was not a
mere coincidence that the Razakar movement in Hyderabad and the
subversive uprising in nearby Telangana occurred at about the same
    When the CPI accepted the Ranadive policy of nationwide subversion
and uprising, many eminent Muslim League leaders throughout India
suddenly became `communists'!  The well-known Assamese writer Abdul
Malik, the editor of the Urdu weekly (and a fellow-traveller) Siyasat
published from Hyderabad - Abid Ali-Maulana Ishaq Shambli of U.P.,
Mohammed Iliyas of West Bengal, and Dr Ghani are some of the more
glaring examples of this phenomenon.
   The year 1947 saw the dissolution of the Muslim League in India.
Most of its leaders went to Pakistan.  Communal riots shook India and
the Hindus developed a feeling of strong abhorrence towards Muslim
communalism. Muslim communalists chose to change their strategy under
these circumstances.  Some pretended that they had given up their
communalism and joined the Congress.  The idea was to protect Muslim
interests from within the ruling party.  Mr A.K.Hafizka of Bombay, for
example, in such a recruit.  Those who did not relish compromises of
this type decided to continue with their subversive tactics under a
more acceptable label, knowing that Hindus would react adversely to
open expressions of Muslim communalism. They were attracted towards
communism not because they embraced the Marxist ideology but because
the communist strategy of permanent subversion was congenial and
appeared useful to them.
    Indian communists, however, have continued to practice
double-dealing in relation to Indian Muslims.  Their acrobatics make
an interesting study in itself.

Chapter 6

The demand for Pakistan was based on the theory that there was nothing
common between the Hindus and the Muslims of India.  In order to
justify this demand it was argued that the presence of a Hindu
minority in Pakistan was a guarantee for the safety of a Muslim
minority in India.  in short, a minority of the Muslims demanded in
1947 that (i) an independent sovereign state be established comprising
provinces with a Muslim majority, (ii) the Hindus should remain as a
minority in Pakistan, and (iii) the Hindus in Pakistan should be held
as hostages by the Pakistani Muslims for the wellbeing of Indian
Muslims.  The Hindus reluctantly conceded this demand and thus the
decision to divide the sub-continent was reached.
    I consider the Hindu-Muslim problem as a problem specific to
India.  Its scope does not extend to the entire sub-continent, nor is
it necessary to extend it in that manner.  The Hindu-Muslim problem in
the sub-continent no longer remains an issue between two communities;
it has now assumed the proportions of an international dispute between
India and Pakistan.  It is therefore a question of international
relations.  it can be seen as a conflict between two different kinds
of nationalism and the motive forces operating behind them.  We are
therefore compelled to discuss the nature of the decision made in
    To discuss the decision to partition the subcontinent is to
discuss the ambivalence that clouds it.  It is necessary to clarify
all the implications of this decision and to discuss the obstacles in
the way of its implementation. It is not only a matter of discussing
the decision to partition the sub-continent.  We must also remember
that we decided to integrate the rest of India on secular lines in
1947.  Our leaders decided to grant Indian Muslims as well as all
other minorities equal status as citizens of India.  We gave ourselves
a Constitution which grants equal opportunities to all citizens and an
even more important aspect of this decision is that we vowed that we
would create a multi-religious, secular, and integrated Indian society.
The moment we made this historic decision, the Hindu-Muslim problem
was in one sense eliminated for two reasons: (i) we gave Pakistan to
the Muslims in order to solve the Hindu-Muslim problem once for all;
and (ii) even more importantly, we decided to create an integrated
nation based on equal citizenship, cancelled separate electorates, and
abolished special representation.  We abolished all kinds of religious
prerogatives.  The moment we did this, we solved the problem for all
practical purposes.
    Today, the real problem we face in India is that of creating a
secular, integrated Indian society.  We are concerned today not with
the Hindu-Muslim problem but with that of removing the obstacles in
the way of a liberal society integrated on secular lines.  In short,
my theme in this essay is the problem of Muslim integration in the
fabric of a liberal and secular Indian society.
    To discuss this problem certain preconditions must be fulfilled.
We need participants in the discussion who are self-critical,
introspective and capable of thinking in a secular way.  Among Indian
Muslims there are very few people who are capable of introspection.
Individuals like Mr. M. C. Chagla and Professor Habib are exceptional.
Among Indian Muslims there is a conspicuous absence of unbiased,
self-critical and rational individuals who can discuss this fault of
individual Indian Muslims.  The capacity for self-criticism, the
courage to face facts, the ability to lead the community with a
critical awareness of one's own virtues and shortcomings, implies the
existence of a level of sophistication in the intelligentsia. The
Muslim intelligentsia in India lacks these qualities.  Their so-called
leaders are usually the leaders of a blind, orthodox, and ill-educated
community.  Such people do not discuss their own faults; rather, they
obdurately cling to their own views.  All of them put forward the same
arguments in the same tone again and again.  When they find faults the
faults are invariably those of other people.  They do not have the
capacity to understand their own mistakes and when people who lack
this capacity pretend to find solutions for a problem, the solutions
are hardly useful.  When the wrong kind of people enter the fray,
discussion does not lead to any meaningful dialogue. It only leads to
further mutual bitterness and further aggravation of tensions already
in existence.
    When I say that the Muslim mind is incapable of critical
introspection, I imply that the Hindu intelligentsia has to a certain
extent developed this capacity.  One sees that the Hindu intelligentsia
sometimes refuses to be swept by emotional appeals.  During the recent
agitation for a ban on cow-slaughter, one saw several instances which
could support this observation.  Some Hindu intellectuals have
been consistently opposing the demand for a ban on cow-slaughter.  It
is not necessary here to discuss the grounds on which they oppose the
demand.  Some oppose it because they believe that such a ban would be
incompatible with the secular ideals of Indian society.  Others oppose
it because they believe that the ban would hinder the economic and
agricultural progress of the nation.  In short, some members of the
Hindu intelligentsia view even a religious agitation such as this from
a rational viewpoint.
    The differential characteristic of an intellectual is that he
always analyses problems rationally.  If this criterion were to be
applied to the so-called Muslim intellectuals we would be sorely
disappointed.  It would soon become apparent that the `Muslim
intellectual' is not an intellectual in the real sense of the term.
He is merely a Muslim.  I would cite two examples in support of my
    In 1953, the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan published an abridged edition
of the book Living Prophets published originally by Thomas and Thomas.
Indian Muslims objected to the book on the ground that it contained
some misleading statements about the Prophet Muhammad.  However, they
did not stop at that.  They demanded a ban on the book.  In fact, they
launched a nation-wide agitation to demand enforcement of the ban.  It
is significant that there was not a single Muslim intellectual in the
country to point out that the agitation had an entirely wrong basis,
that other people had a right to express their opinions-even if they
wrong opinions and even if they were opinions about the Prophet.  When
the holy hair enshrined at Hazratbal was found missing, the same
attitude was laid bare.  I would have been happy if at that time some
Muslim intellectual had the courage to point out that it was wrong to
give the hair such great importance, and it was certainly senseless
that the whole of the Kashmir administration should be brought to a
standstill because of the missing hair.  But the unfortunate fact
remains that not a single intellectual from among the number of
Muslims who style themselves as intellectuals had the courage to speak
out openly on this occasion.
    A personal experience of mine throws light on a different aspect
of this issue. At that time I wanted to express the views which I have
stated above.  But when I wrote an article on the subject and took it
to the editor of a journal, he refused to publish it.  It fact, he
retorted: "Do you want me to have a Muslim demonstration storming my
office?: It is hardly necessary to add that the gentleman was Hindu.
A Hindu is used to playing several roles and he is an expert in
assuming different forms on different occasions.  I have already
referred to Hindu intellectuals and given the due praise.  But I must
frankly state that there is a kind of Hindu who is always terrified
when he thinks of Muslims.  This is no doubt a shameful state of
affairs.  At every critical moment this particular type of Hindu
pretends to be more of a Muslim than a Muslim himself, and thwarts the
attempts of those who are trying to make the average Muslim less of a
    The real obstacle in the way of secular integration is the vast
gulf that separates the intelligentsia of the two communities.  An
intellectual minority always helps to shape the rest of society on
proper lines.  It helps to establish a necessary equilibrium.  It
leads progressive movements in the society.  It effectively fights
obstinate revivalists.  It continuously accepts fresh ideas and
welcomes new values.  It examines values on the basis of its own
rationality.  It is conscious of its own faults and shortcomings
before it criticizes the defects of others.  An intellectual has the
capacity for critical introspection.  His approach is dispassionate
and analytical. The progress of a society is measured by the existence
and size of its intellectual minority.
    However, such a class does not come into existence in a society
all too easily.  It is the product of several complex historical,
social, political and other processes.  Exposure to such processes
helps to create a tolerant attitude which is necessary for the
existence of an intellectual minority and its movement.  Hindu society
has gone through such a process.  It has withstood the critical
pressures inherent in this process.  It has therefore been able to
give rise to a class of self-critical, liberal intellectuals.  The
Muslim community in India has not undergone such a process of
transformation.  It is just about to enter a phase in which this
process begins.  That is why I consider it a remote possibility that i
shall be able to discuss this problem with Muslim leaders whose
arguments are at present predictably obstinate.
    I do not, however, mean that there are no rational individuals
among the Indian Muslims.  There are a few exceptional individuals who
can think dispassionately and in a secular manner.  They are examples
of a progressive Muslim mind, but a handful of such people do not make
a liberal intellectual class and it is not possible for isolated
individuals to have any appreciable effect on society.  These people
cannot create a movement in the Indian Muslim community because they
do not have a place in the community.  The moment they became liberals
they lost the confidence of their backward and orthodox community.
Hindu liberals have been far more fortunate.  Nehru is an example.  In
1946 when anti-Muslim riots erupted in the State of Bihar, Nehru
threatened to bomb the rioting Hindus if they would not stop their
violence; and yet the Hindus continued to accept Nehru as their
leader.  In spite of partition Nehru gave this nation a secular
constitution; he gave Muslims equal rights; and yet a large majority
of Hindus accepted him as their leader.  One can cite numerous
examples of this sort.  Mr. Nirad C. Chaudhary is another example.  In
his book "The Continent of Circe", Mr. Chaudhary has discussed what he
considers the decadence of the Hindu mind.  He has attacked the Hindus
by calling them degenerate and yet Hindus consider him one of
themselves.  But the situation with the Muslims is different.  Maulana
Azad opposed Pakistan and it would be interesting to recall how he was
greeted by the Muslims for that.  This was twenty years ago.  What
status has Mr. Chagla today in the Indian Muslim community?  We know
what storm of criticism he had to brave when he proposed the Aligarh
University Bill.  As long as such a vital difference exists between
the mental make-ups of the two communities,, Hindu-Muslim tensions
are not likely to abate.  I think this difference between the two
communities is in the nature of a disparity of cultural levels.  The
wide cultural gulf that separates the two must be bridged.  Compared
to the Hindus, the Muslims today are culturally backward.  They ought
to be brought on a level with the Hindus.  This would imply the
creation of a liberal class in the Muslim community.  The Indian
Muslims today need, most urgently, a liberal movement.
    I do not think that fruitful discussion of this subject between
Hindu and Muslim leaders and intellectuals is going to be possible for
another decade or two.  Then there will be a meaningful dialogue
between the two communities.  And when this happens Indian Muslims
will have already found an equilibrium.  I do visualize the creation,
in the near future, of a class of liberals among Indian Muslims.  I am
not saying this simply because I am an optimist.  I feel that after
about twenty years Indian Muslims will have the benefit of a new
leadership. Such a leadership will not talk of protecting the
`religious' interests of Muslims.  It would be a leadership leading
different classes and strata of Indian society as a whole.  I shall
give only one example of the kind of leadership I have in view, the
example provided by My George Fernandez.  Mr. George Fernandez is a
Catholic by faith but his faith does not intrude into his social and
political life.  He is a leader of the working class.  He talks not of
defending `Catholic' interests but rather of defending the interests
of the working class.  People may assess Mr. Fernandez's political work
in different ways, what is relevant here is the fact that he does not
represent the `religions' interests of Catholic when he speaks as a
social and political leader.  When he speaks of removing English as
the medium of administrative and public communication, he forgets that
he is a Catholic.  He did not attend the Eucharistic Congress held in
Bombay.  It is irrelevant whether or not in his personal life he is
religious.  What is important is the fact that he does not bring his
religious interests into public life.  I hope that in future Indian
Muslims too will have such a leadership.  Today they do not have it.
In fact, even those Muslim leaders who call themselves Marxists
pollute public life with religious interests.  Mr. Mohammad Iliyas, a
Right Communist leader of West Bengal, is a case in point.  He
styles himself as a working class leader.  However, in 1967 he led a
demonstration of Muslim devotees seeking to assert their right to
offer prayers at a place the ownership of which was in dispute.  He
led this demonstration on a Friday - the day on which Muslims offer mass
prayers.  It is important to remember that Mr. Iliyas did not pause to
consider that dispute about the ownership of the place was sub-judice.
In order to justify his action Mr. Iliyas, who had no patience to wait
for the verdict of a court of law, made the curious claim that he was
defending religious freedom and was therefore defending the
fundamental rights of aggrieved citizens.  But surely, Mr. Iliyas's
`Marxism', which defines religious freedom as the right to trespass on
disputed property even as a court of law is about to settle the
dispute, is an odd kind of Marxism?