‘Myth-making’ is an intrinsic feature of the establishment of any Republic. In order to legitimise its existence and its hold over power, the ruling establishment of every country creates certain myths that helps it further entrench itself in the corridors of power and justify its ideology. A similar phenomenon has also been observed with the establishment of the Nehruvian Secular state in in India with its ideology of ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’.
One of the core tenets of the ideology of ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’ is that Indian Muslims in 1947 chose ‘secular India’ over the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and consequently, all manners of minority appeasement is justified and whitewashing of Islamic radicalism is encouraged and even glorified. This obvious lie has permitted radical Islamic leaders such Asaduddin Owaisi, whose brother is often found threatening Hindus with violence, to walk away with atrocious demands by asserting that they ‘chose’ India over Pakistan.
While it has now become almost unforgivable to question the core tenet of Nehruvian Secularism, the political stalwarts of the Independence era were well aware that Muslims had not chosen to remain in India because they rejected the philosophy of an Islamic State. Sardar Patel, in his iconic speech in Kolkata in January 1948, gave voice to sentiments that would appal our ‘secular’ leaders to day.
Sardar Patel said, “The Muslims who are still in India, many of them helped in the creation of Pakistan… Has their nation changed overnight? I don’t understand how it changed so much. They now say that they are loyal and ask why their loyalty is being questioned. So I reply why are you questioning us, ask yourself. This is not something you should ask us.”
“I said one thing, you created Pakistan, good for you. They say that Pakistan and India should come together. I say please refrain from saying such things. Let Pakistan become heaven itself, we will enjoy the cool breeze coming from it (audience breaks out into raucous laughter),” he continued. It wasn’t the only time that Sardar Patel would speak of Indian Muslims having loyalties towards Pakistan.
In his letter to G.B.Pant, the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, on the 9th of January 1950, days after Murthis of Ram Lalla and Mata Sita had magically manifested themselves within the Babri Masjid, Sardar Patel wrote among other things, “The prime minister has already sent to you a telegram expressing his concern over the developments in Ayodhya. I spoke to you about it in Lucknow. I feel that the controversy has been raised at a most inopportune time both from the point of view of the country at large and of your own province in particular. The wider communal issues have only been recently resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the various communities. So far as Muslims are concerned, they are just settling down to their new loyalties.”
The hallowed myth has also been coming apart as the edifice of Nehruvian Secularism is crumbling apart after six years of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of the country. Sharjeel Imam, a beloved ‘intellectual’ of the Left accused of playing a pivotal role in the violence that erupted in the national capital in the aftermath of the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, has written and spoken extensively on the matter.
Sharjeel Imam believes Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan, to be an Indian leader and said that there are lots of lessons Indian Muslims could learn from him. According to him, Jinnah was an Indian Muslim leader fighting against the forces of Hindu revivalism. Most significantly, however, he said that Muslims did not choose India due to ideals of ‘secularism’. He said that Muslims remained in India due to their property and other reasons.
Thus, from Sardar Patel’s own words and those of an Islamist hailed as an ‘intellectual’ by the Indian Left, it is clear that ‘Muslims chose secular India over Islamic Pakistan’ is an enduring myth of the ideology of ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’ of the Nehruvian Secular State. However, this myth, along with many others, is destined for the dustbins of history.