The Congress party and their associates, in recent times, appears to have come to the conclusion that their political prospects could be revived only by shifting the blame for the two-nation theory from Islamic fundamentalists to Hindu Nationalists. In their infinite wisdom, their senior leaders appear to have to the conclusion that the best course of action going forward is to absolve Islamic fundamentalists of all their sins and accuse Hindu Nationalists of crimes they are not guilty of. During the debate on the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Kapil Sibal had claimed that the Bill will realize “Savarkar two-nation theory”. Sitaram Yechury called the CAB a “bill of Jinnah and Savarkar’s dreams”.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma went a step further and claimed that the two-nation theory was never brought in by Jinnah at all. It was introduced by the Hindu Mahasabha, he said. Joining the list of ‘Secular’ luminaries attempting to rewrite history is the author of ‘Why I am a Hindu’, Shashi Tharoor.
Shashi Tharoor claimed that it was Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who called upon India to recognize Hindus and Muslims as two separate nations and he did it three years before the Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution. The resolution that Tharoor is referring to here was passed by the Muslim League in 1940 and argued for a separate state for Muslims.
Shashi Tharoor, Congress: The first advocate of the two-nation theory was actually VD Savarkar, as head of Hindu Mahasabha, who called upon India to recognise Hindus and Muslims as two separate nations, 3 years before Muslim League passed the Pakistan resolution in Lahore. pic.twitter.com/zfTDU0Jpim
— ANI (@ANI) January 25, 2020
In reality, the two-nation theory had been proposed and widely popular among the elite Muslim class long before the Lahore Resolution of 1940. As early as the last quarter of the 19th century, Muslim elites were talking of Hindus and Muslims belonging to two separate nations. Pakistan, too, credits Syed Ahmed Khan, the first proponent of the said theory, as the first proponent of the theory and the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University is even regarded as the father of Pakistan.
It was in 1876 that Khan said, “I am convinced now that Hindus and Muslims could never become one nation as their religion and way of life was quite distinct from each other. Seven years later, he stated, “Friends, in India, there live two prominent nations which are distinguished by the names of Hindus and Mussalmans…To be a Hindu or a Muslim is a matter of internal faith which has nothing to do with mutual relationships and external conditions…Hence, leave God’s share to God and concern yourself with the share that is yours…India is the home of both of us…By living so long in India, the blood of both have [sic] changed.”
He continued, “The colour of both have become similar. The faces of both, having changed, have become similar. The Muslims have acquired hundreds of customs from the Hindus and the Hindus have also learned hundreds of things from the Mussalmans. We mixed with each other so much that we produced a new language – Urdu, which was neither our language nor theirs. Thus, if we ignore that aspect of ours which we owe to God, both of us, on the basis of being common inhabitants of India, actually constitute one nation; and the progress of this country and that of both of us is possible through mutual cooperation, sympathy and love. We shall only destroy ourselves by mutual disunity and animosity and ill will[…]”
In 1888, Khan asserted, “Now, suppose that the English community and the army were to leave India, taking with them all their cannons and their splendid weapons and all else, who then would be the rulers of India?… Is it possible that under these circumstances two nations—the Mohammedans and the Hindus—could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should conquer the other. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and the inconceivable. But until one nation has conquered the other and made it obedient, peace cannot reign in the land.”
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born in May 1883. Unless the argument here is that the spirit of Veer Savarkar spoke of the two-nation theory years before he was conceived in his mother’s womb, then Shashi Tharoor is most definitely in the wrong here. Or, Veer Savarkar had to be the ‘wokest’ child in the history of ‘woke’ children to able to advocate such a theory at the ripe old age of five years and we will also have to believe that the Muslim community surrounding him was deluded enough to take forward an idea proposed by a five-year-old Hindu child. If this sounds utterly preposterous and ridiculous, as it should, then it is safe to say that the Congress party is totally and entirely wrong.
It wasn’t just Syed Ahmed Khan. As far back as 1930, ten years before the Lahore Resolution, Muhammad Iqbal demanded a separate Muslim state. He said in his presidential address at the 25th Annual Session of the All India Muslim League on the 29th of December that year, “India is a continent of human beings belonging to different languages and professing different religions…I, therefore, demand the formation of a consolidated Muslim state in the best interests of the Muslims of India and Islam.” Therefore, to blame Hindu Nationalists for the two-nation theory is the most despicable distortion of history.
B.R. Ambedkar, who could never be called a Hindu Nationalist, too made it clear that Veer Savarkar never advocated for the creation of a separate state for Muslims. He wrote, “Mr. Savarkar, on the other hand, insists that, although there are two nations in India, India shall not be divided into two parts, one for Muslims and the other for the Hindus; that the two nations shall dwell in one country and shall live under the mantle of one single constitution; that the constitution shall be such that the Hindu nation will be enabled to occupy a predominant position that is due to it and the Muslim nation made to live in the position of subordinate co-operation with the Hindu nation.”
Summarizing Savarkar’s views, Ambedkar continued, “In the struggle for political power between, the two nations the rule of the game which Mr Savarkar prescribes is to be one man one vote, be the man Hindu or Muslim. In his scheme, a Muslim is to have no advantage which a Hindu does not have. The minority is to be no justification for privilege and majority is to be no ground for a penalty. The State will guarantee the Muslims any defined measure of political power in the form of Muslim religion and Muslim culture. But the State will not guarantee secured seats in the Legislature or in the Administration and, if such guarantee is insisted upon by the Muslims, such guaranteed quota is not to exceed their proportion to the general population.”
Thus, quite clearly, when Savarkar acknowledges that Hindus and Muslims were part of separate nations, he was only conceding a point that was repeatedly being made by the Muslim elite class and not propagating or even supporting the two-nation theory. Amusingly enough, even Karl Marx, someone the secular-liberal intellectual fraternity is extremely fond of, has said that Muslims of any region form a different nation. He said as far back as in 1854, “The Koran and the Mussulman legislation emanating from it reduce the geography and ethnography of the various people to the simple and convenient distinction of two nations and of two countries; those of the Faithful and of the Infidels. The Infidel is “harby,” i.e. the enemy. Islamism proscribes the nation of the Infidels, constituting a state of permanent hostility between the Mussulman and the unbeliever.”
Therefore, to blame Veer Savarkar and the Hindu Mahasabha for the two-nation theory is a despicable sleight of hand by the senior leaders of the Congress party. However, accusing Hindus of crimes committed by Islamic fundamentalists is a sin that comes naturally to the party. It is similar to how the party propagated the Saffron Terror Myth to draw a false equivalence between Hindu Nationalists and Islamic Fundamentalists and went to great lengths to prove Hindus guilty of crimes they did not commit.