Friday, August 07, 2009

Muslim elites, particularly landlords and capitalists fuelled the Two-nation theory

[Two-nation theory has bred practice of hatred By M J Akbar... Pakistan emerged out of the notion that Hindus and Muslims could not live together. The threat perception was raised into the claim that Islam itself would be obliterated in a Hindu-majority India, during the seminal general elections of 1936-37. The Muslim League's slogan was: "Islam in Danger!" Neither history nor theology could have sustained such a slogan, but Muslim elites in British India, particularly landlords and capitalists, manipulated the incipient ideology of the Muslim League, and fuelled it with incendiary sentiment in order to create a state where they could protect their vested interests. They were not really afraid of "Hindu Raj"; they were terrified of land reform and socialism - however pale a version it might be - that the Congress would enforce. It is no accident that till today there has been no serious land reform in Pakistan. Gandhi's honest faith in Hinduism was maliciously exploited to spread the perfidy that India would never offer an equal place to Muslims. Appeared in Times of India - December 07, 2008
Posted by M J Akbar at 15:13]

[You also wonder if Sri Aurobindo and his colleagues, when they were trying to throw off British rule, could not have done more to include the Muslims.
Peter Heehs: Certain historians and political journalists insist that the rhetoric of Sri Aurobindo and his colleagues during the Swadeshi period was responsible for bringing about communal violence between Muslims and Hindus. I went back to his actual statements and read them as they would have been read at the time, and concluded that such charges are unsustainable. At the same time, it is true that Sri Aurobindo didn't think that ‘social problems', such as Hindu-Muslim tensions, needed to be dealt with then because India was engaged in a struggle with the colonial power and that had to take precedence. In retrospect, had more attempts been made at the time to create a united front, to engage in give-and-take with Muslim organizations, things might have worked out better.
An extraordinarily complex individual August 2008 ... Auroville Today]

Peter Heehs' conjectures as regards Sri Aurobindo's handling of the Hindu-Muslim tension are, of course, questionable. [TNM]

1 comment:

  1. "At the same time, it is true that Sri Aurobindo didn't think that ‘social problems', such as Hindu-Muslim tensions, needed to be dealt with then because India was engaged in a struggle with the colonial power and that had to take precedence. In retrospect, had more attempts been made at the time to create a united front, to engage in give-and-take with Muslim organizations, things might have worked out better."

    All this is utter nonsense! Sri Aurobindo made it known to CR Das that it would be best if the Hindu-Muslim problem could be settled before the British left. He showed every concern for the problem and made every effort that he thought would be helpful. But he might have also felt that most solutions were premature and doomed to fail - neither the Hindus and certainly not most of the muslims were ready.

    As for "..give-and-take with Muslim organizations", Gandhi and the Congress gave away a lot more to the muslim league than they ever got back in return according to several fellow leaders of the day. And it still didnt bring about any rapprochement. This kind of revisionism by Heehs is neither history nor good analysis.

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