The Direction Action Day, and the Partition Riots that followed a year later, marks one of the darkest phases of modern India. Indeed, India has achieved some degree of greatness since then but it has managed to do so only because the country has managed to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of its past.
Despite the monumental significance of it, until now, Direct Action Day and the Partition Riots have hardly ever been discussed as they should be in Independent India. Instead of national reconciliation, what we received instead was propaganda that blamed everything on the British and did not do enough to address the worldview that led to the genocide of Hindus.
Instead of focusing on Islamism, the genocidal worldview that ravaged the Indian subcontinent, emphasis was laid instead on ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’ and other figments of imagination. Circumstances were so dire that by end of the second decade of the 21st Century, we had the Congress party feeling emboldened enough to claim that the Two-Nation Theory was first propagated by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, a lie of gigantic proportions if there were any.
Indeed, by this time, we had columnists for The Wire absolving Mohammed Ali Jinnah of all his crimes and choosing to blame it all on ‘Hindu fascists’ instead. That particular columnist, Sharjeel Imam, was arrested later for attempting to incite communal disharmony and urging people from his community to cut off North East India from the rest of the country.
During the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, slogans such as ‘Jinnah wali Azadi’ was also raised. It is for this reason that the decision to observe the 14th of August as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’ is so important. It indisputably ties the day Pakistan celebrates as its independence day with the tragedy that it should invoke.
The genesis of Pakistan in a genocide can now longer be brushed aside. It also provides an opportunity for others to highlight essential facts about the Two-Nation Theory and Pakistan that can no longer be brushed aside so that some political party in the future decides to blame a Hindu for the genocidal crimes of the past.
The Two-Nation Theory
Unlike what the Congress party and Left-oriented ‘historians’ would have us believed, it was first promulgated by Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, and not Savarkar.
Syed Ahmad Khan said in 1876, “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 voiced similar sentiments. He said, “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.”
Twelve years later, he stated, “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.”
Savarkar was born in 1883. It appears that the Congress party’s ’eminent intellectuals’ want us to believe that the Hindutva Stalwart was influencing the minds of one of the most prominent Muslim intellectuals of the time years before he was conceived in the womb of his mother. Then, Veer Savarkar’s intellectual prowess was such even at a young age that at the tender age of 5 years, he influenced Syed Ahmad Khan to voice support for the Two-Nation Theory again.
The idea is even improbable than the opinion that Rahul Gandhi is an able politician. Nonetheless, it is an idea that has been floated by Congress luminaries.
Truth be told, the idea that Islam encapsulates a separate nation is even more ancient than that. Karl Marx, the Father of Communism, stated 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.”
Despite great evidence to the country, the Congress party continues to blame the Hindutva Camp for it.
Islamic Separatism is not a localised political problem
Another idea that is often propagated by ‘intellectuals’ is that Kashmiri separatism is a localised issue, which is, of course, a clear denial of reality. The truth of the matter is, Kashmiri Separatism is Islamic separatism and that is always global and not local.
It is clear from the primary source of terrorism in the valley. Pakistan continues to harbour its fantasies of uniting Kashmir under the banner of Islam. It involves quite a grave negation of historical realities, such as the fact that Kashmir since time immemorial has occupied a position of centrality within the sphere of Hindu Civilization.
And such separatism is often justified with allegations of persecution. But such allegations were often dubious, if not downright ridiculous. As Sitaram Goel says in his book ‘Muslim Separatism: Causes and Consequences’, “If the Hindus sang Vande Mãtaram in a public meeting, it was a ‘conspiracy’ to convert Muslims into kãfirs. If the Hindus blew a conch, or broke a coconut, or garlanded the portrait of a revered patriot, it was an attempt to ‘force’ Muslims into ‘idolatry’. If the Hindus spoke in any of their native languages, it was an ‘affront’ to the culture of Islam. If the Hindus took pride in their pre-Islamic heroes, it was a ‘devaluation’ of Islamic history. And so on, there were many more objections, major and minor, to every national self-expression. In short, it was a demand that Hindus should cease to be Hindus and become instead a faceless conglomeration of rootless individuals.”
He continued, “On the other hand, the ‘minority community’ was not prepared to make the slightest concession in what they regarded as their religious and cultural rights. If the Hindus requested that cow-killing should stop, it was a demand for renouncing an ‘established Islamic practice’. If the Hindus objected to an open sale of beef in the bazars, it was an ‘encroachment’ on the ‘civil rights’ of the Muslims. If the Hindus demanded that cows meant for ritual slaughter should not be decorated and marched through Hindu localities, it was ‘trampling upon time-honoured Islamic traditions’. If the Hindus appealed that Hindu religious processions passing through a public thoroughfare should not be obstructed, it was an attempt to ‘disturb the peace of Muslim prayers’. If the Hindus wanted their native languages to attain an equal status with Urdu in the courts and the administration, it was an ‘assault on Muslim culture’. If the Hindus taught to their children the true history of Muslim tyrants, it was a ‘hate campaign against Islamic heroes’. And the ‘minority community’ was always ready to ‘defend’ its ‘religion and culture’ by taking recourse to street riots.
It usually begins with allegations of persecution followed by forcing their own laws in areas where they are in the majority, which leads to demands of Sharia law to be applicable in their localities, a distinct legal code separate from national law, and before long escalates into full blown separatism. The initial stages of it are observed in France where President Macron has decided to take the battle to Islamism.
The Precursor to Partition Horrors
There were enough signs that Islamism was about to unleash a grave tragedy for years before the era when it actually happened. Indian Muslims took to the streets in support of the Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate against the British Empire in 1919-20.
In 1921, the Moplah Massacre led to the killing of hundreds and thousands of Hindus in Kerala. Annie Besant spoke of the massacre in her book ‘The Future of Indian Politics’, “They murdered and plundered abundantly, and killed or drove away all Hindus who would not apostatize. Somewhere about a lakh of people were driven from their homes with nothing but the clothes they had on, stripped of everything. Malabar has taught us what Islamic rule still means, and we do not want to see another specimen of the Khilafat Raj in India.”
Babasaheb Ambedkar had remarked in one of his books, “The blood-curdling atrocities committed by the Moplas in Malabar against the Hindus were indescribable. All over Southern India, a wave of horrified feeling had spread among the Hindus of every shade of opinion, which was intensified when certain Khilafat leaders were so misguided as to pass resolutions of “congratulations to the Moplas on the brave fight they were conducting for the sake of religion”.”
This happened in 1921 and yet, between then and 1946, the senior Congress leadership failed spectacularly in countering the radicalism that was widespread among the Muslim community at the time.
In 1929, Mahashay Rajpal was murdered for publishing Rangeela Rasool, a satirical take on the domestic life of prophet Mohammed. His murderer was defended in Court by Jinnah himself and Muhammad Iqbal, a raging favourite among Indian liberals today, eulogised him.
The signs were all there, if only the politicians of the era had enough clarity to recognise the threat and mitigate when it was still feasible to do something about it. But then, there was also the British regime which did not hesitate to support the worst elements of Muslim society to consolidate their own power.
Direct Action Day and the Partition Riots
On the 16th of August, 1946 that Mohammed Ali Jinnah gave a call for nationwide protests demanding the creation of Pakistan. It directly resulted in the 1946 Calcutta Killings, which saw the streets of Kolkata littered with corpses.
Women were raped, entire families were wiped out but even then, it was not to be the worst that India would see. The partition of the country would spark migrations of population to an extent hitherto unheard of. There are stories of how the male head of the family killed their own daughters because they did not want the women to be raped by the Islamist hordes.
People lost their homes, they had to flee lands their ancestors had lived in for generations and generations. Centuries old connection to their native land ended in a matter of days. And yet, after all the horrors Hindus had to endure, the Indian Secular State for its own cynical objectives did not even provide an opportunity for national mourning and reconciliation.
The horrors of the past continue to haunt generations to this day. The ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’ should only be the first step, a lot more should be done to ensure that India never forgets the horror in its past. It is necessary because those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.