Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Hindu- Muslim Unity and the Breakup of India

Dt:  17/8/23

Hindu- Muslim Unity and the Breakup of India

-Dr T.H.Chowdary*


Gandhi and the Breakup of India”  is a book written  by  the well-known  politician and  scholar  Dr Rafiq Zakaria  in 1999 and published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan .   In the context of the  discussion about the  Uniform Civil Code (UCC)  and  the realignment of the  parties are opposed to the BJP I re-read this book  since the regional parties are talking about federalism, a word  not existing in any of the 395 articles of the  constitution  I wanted to know  what  Rafiq Zakaria a reputed nationalist Muslim, a staunch Congress man,  a Minister  for 12 years in Maharashtra had to say about Gandhiji in regard to the breakup of India leading to the creation of the Islamic state of Pakistan ( and its  splinter Bangladesh )  precede and  followed by the death of  a million persons  Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs and  million  such people being  uprooted from their  homes  on either side  of the  borders .  While in South Africa and  since his return to India in 1915 Gandhiji  insistently strove  for Hindu -Muslim unity in his firm belief that without such unity India  would not  be able to gain freedom from the  British colonial rule.  He ever tried  to assert that  change of religion cannot be the basis for the emergence of a new nation;   90% of the Muslim residents of India  are descendants of their  Hindu forefathers who had been converted by various means by the  invading and ruling foreign  Muslim  sultans .  Gandhiji believed that mere change of  religion cannot be  that  these converted Muslims would constitute a new nation separate from the Hindu nation. 


2. In his search for Hindu -Muslim unity  Gandhiji  plunged  the secular Indian National Congress into   the khilafat movement of India’s Muslims  for the restoration  to the Turkish Sultan cum Caliph the  territories that he has lost as a result  of his  defeat  in the  first world war. He warned by no less a person than Md Ali Jinnah who was then in the Congress  that   Gandhiji  involving


the Congress  in the  Indian Muslims   movement khilafat would ultimately lead to the Indian Muslims being led not by the Congress or Gandhiji but  steadily and increasingly by  the mullahs,  muftis, imams  and such  communal persons and their institutions. And the British rulers would encourage them in their  communal activities to oppose  the national Congresses movement for the freedom of India.  Persons like  Rabindranath Tagore, Anni Besant,  Lala Lajapati Rai, Madan Mohan Malavya  expressed their serious doubts about the  wisdom of the national congress  getting plunged into a communal  movement , that of the  Muslims . Gandhiji did not  heed to their  warnings and misgivings ; indeed he started  patently appeasing   action in the hope that Muslims  will take part in the  national movement for freedom of India .


3. Gandhiji  even attributed and narrated some untrue virtues to “Prophet Mohammed” ( P 95- Dr Zakaria’s book ) to humor Muslims . In his address to the students and staff of Alighar Muslim university  he dwelt on the simplicity of Prophet’s life and his faith in god .  He recalled several instances from the annals of Islam to bring home “the message of universal brother -hood    and peace that their  religion preached”.   Their  “Prophet reminded them as a model of  compassion who treated even his worst enemies with courtesy and  consideration. He narrated to them how he gave  Abu Sufiyan his most inveterate enemy and his followers the most generous treatment after his  victory in Mecca.  Gandhi also “praised the statesmanship  of the  first  two Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar. He said they always  strived to unite people of  different race and  as rulers they  conducted themselves  with charity to all and malice towards none. They made  no distinction in the worldly affair between Muslims and non-Muslims ; they also permitted freedom of worship to all !”


4. These   tributes to  Prophet Mohammad and the first two  Caliphs  are absolutely untrue.    After the Hizra  (emigration) from Mecca to Madina   in 622 AD Prophet Mohamad became the ruler  not merely   a self- proclaimed Prophet . He was ruthless. He inspired  and instigated  the  assassination of those who wrote satirical poems about him . Since  they did not convert to  Islam,   one Jewish tribe  was expelled  from Madina. Another was  not only  expelled but all their  properties  were appropriated by  him and Muslim followers and the third tribe’s  800 males were  be-headed under his   supervision and a beautiful  woman of that tribe was taken by him as his mistress.  He led expeditions to get other  Arab  tribes to become  Muslims ; their properties were  looted in his expeditions.


The  first two Caliphs referred by Gandhiji  invaded  Iran and  the subsequent ones invaded and  conquered  the whole of  North African territory and even  a large part of Spain within about 40-50 years of the Prophet’s death and the conquered were converted by force and allurement. The Caliph   conquered parts of  the Roman Empire,  smashed  churches  and converted them into mosques. All this and more was  written about with great authenticity by  noted  historians Sir William Muir , “The Life of Mahomet – From Original Sources” and “Mohammed and the Rise of Islam”  by D.S. Margoliouth.


5. Here in India, the record of the  Islamic  invaders from  Mohammad Ghazni  onward and the subsequent rulers was dismal . They desecrated and destroyed thousands  of temples and converted many of them into mosques . The  famous ones  were   - Somnath temple in Dwaraka , Sri Rama’s in Ayodhya and Shiva’s in Varanasi and Keshav Dev ( Krishna ’s) in Mathura. All this is  not unknown to Gandhiji and yet in his  fond hope to  forge Hindu-Muslim unity, he unfortunately  ignored  the savage  destruction of the Muslim conquerors, the forced conversions and destruction of  whatever is   precious to   the conquered people  in India and different  countries.  


6. What was the reward that Gandhiji got by plunging the secular  National Conges into the  communal  movement, khilafat in 1919 to  1923?  The leaders of the khilafat, Maulana Md Ali and his  brother,  Maulana Shaukat Ali were all  friendship and reverence  to Mahatma Gandhi  during their movement but   when  the khilafat movement was ignominiously   abandoned because  a revolution in Turkey deposed the Caliph cum Sultan and established  secular  regime by  Pasha Kemal Ataturk , the  Maulana  Md Ali  desecrated  Mahatma  Gandhi “ as follows:

“However pure Mr. Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to be from the point of view of religion inferior to any Musalaman, even though he be without character”.


The statement created a great stir. Many did not believe that Mr. Mohamed Ali, who testified to so much veneration for Mr. Gandhi was capable of entertaining such ungenerous and contemptuous sentiments about him.  When Mr. Mohamed Ali was speaking in a meeting held at Amina Baug  (Park) in Lucknow, he was asked whether the sentiments attributed to him were true.  Mr. Mohamed Ali without any hesitation or compunction replied. Yes! According to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Musalman to be  better than Mr. Gandhi”


Gandhiji ignored all this insult and denunciation and  the clear distinction  that  Islam’s maulanas  made  between Muslims  and  Hindus, be they Mahatmas or  Gurudevs or what not.


7. Gandhiji in his forlorn quest and endeavour to forge Hindu Muslim unity stooped to   humor Md Ali Jinnah who  through his famous  1940 Lahore  address to the  Muslim League put  forward the  call that Hindus and Muslims are two different nations and that India must be partitioned to create Pakistan for the Muslim nation .  Dr Ambedkar tried  to drive sense into  Hindus like Mahatma Gandhi and those who   believed that Hindus  and Muslims could be one nation and live together in one  state as  citizens not ranged against one another.  Dr Ambedkar wrote his  seminal book, “Pakistan or India Divided” and  established by historic   evidence  and facts that   Islam and  Hinduism   and their followers can never live together as one nation in peace in the light  of the two- nation  theory  advanced by Md Ali Jinnah. Dr Ambedkar  supported  the  division of the country and   to concede the demand of the Muslim League for the creation of  Pakistan . Most importantly, he said that the permanent solution to the Hindu- Muslim  divide is  an organized exchange  of the minorities  between the two states that is Pakistan and India. He gave the  historic example of such peaceful  exchange of   populations between Turkey and its European possessions  after the   defeat  and dissolution of the   Ottoman  Turkish Empire  in the  First World War. 


8. Unfortunately,  Gandhiji never  considered any of the   warnings of persons like  Rabindranath Tagore and  Anni Besant or  Dr Ambedkar.  He went  on striving for Hindu Muslim unity. In Sept 1944 he  walked several times to the  house of Md Ali Jinnah  to convince him   about the   fallacy of   the two- nation theory  and futilely pleaded for keeping India  undivided.


9. When  the Muslim League  on the  direction of Md Ali Jinnah   took to  Direct Action, that is, communal riots  in Calcutta and in East Bengal, they   triggered   the Hindus  retaliatory actions in Bihar and elsewhere. Gandhiji  still believed in Hindu- Muslim unity ! At one stage, he even suggested to the British India’s Governor General that   the government may be handed over to the Muslim League,  so that India   could  still be  kept undivided.  Mahatma Gandhiji’s quest for Hindu- Muslim unity did not succeeded. Reason simply  is theologically and according to Allah’s messages to Prophet Mohammad, the life and actions of Prophet   Muhammad in relation to  non-believers,  Islam as handed down in Koran and the life and actions and sayings of  Prophet Mohammad  committing its  followers  to engage in conversion with the  rest of  humanity  by all means to Islam. India is the only country   in which  inspite of  hundreds of  years of  loot, conquest  and rule,  less than 24% of the people only  could be  converted – not even all the  SC people though they were “untouchables” . This rankles  Muslims.  Gandhiji and his  trusted   lieutenant  Nehru who was at the helm of   partitioned India   did not  countenance   the idea of   exchange of minority populations. The result is  that 90% of the Muslims who rioted and voted for partition and  creation of  the Islamic  state Pakistan ( later Bangladesh)  stayed on in India,   cherishing the idea of   completing the unfinished  task enjoined by their  faith Islam to  convert the whole of India to Islam.  In democratic India  their proliferating population and their votes are  very important  for those who want  to  gain power . Therefore  many parties  are  increasingly and  more  openly  fulfilling some of  the  not yet met  demands of  Muslims so loudly and insistently presented  as in the 14- Point Demand of Md Ali Jinnah and  his Muslim League compliance of which alone can  be the basis for any  joint  action by Muslims and Hindus to gain freedom for India from the British.


10. From the narration in the  Rafiq Zakaria’s book “Gandhi  and the Breakup of India” and  other histories, it is becoming increasingly clear that  Gandhiji was  greatly mistaken to hold his   irrational belief that Hindus and Muslims   can be living in peace  in the  same land with the same nation- hood. The regional parties  which have no noble  ideology   are increasingly becoming  the clones  of the post-Aurangzeb Subedars  and regional  Nawabs  and Rajas and Maharajas who  one by one were easily  subverted and conquered  by traders of the East India  Company of Englishmen.  The  slow  demise  of a strong Union Government  is what  regional parties are  wanting.  And if  they succeed  the fate and future of India  will be  just like that of  the post-Aurangzeb post-Maratha India.  History does not  repeat in the same circle but it   will repeat  in higher and yet higher  circular fashion. Kulapati K M Munshi ji in the 1960s  small book  , “Warnings of History   warned the nation about  increasing  regionalism, linguism,  casteism and  the insidious infusion of communism  into Indian political parties  all of which will lead to debilitation of the Indian nation.  The 2024 election  to the Lok Sabha is very crucial. Unless  the  differently   inspired  and motivated  regional parties which are now combining   to take  on the  BJP  which is ideologically   committed to preserve the Union of India and not  allow it to  be degenerate  into a loose federation,  are defeated, India may be disintegrated by 2047 as  Islamists want. In fact, the Communist Party of India  in its submission to the Cripps Mission (1942) and to the Cabinet Mission (1946) and in its  Manifesto for the 1945 / 1946 general elections to the provincial legislatures advocated that India  be a confederation of 17 independent states !  Indian people must be aware of the  congenitally, theologically and ideologically  disintegrationist,  RNIs ( resident non-Indians) .  Gandhiji’s fervent  but futile efforts at Hindu-Muslim unity could not succeed. His resolve that India would be divided only over his dead body; his belief that Hindu-Muslim unity was possible and his creed of non-violence all lie unrealized.  (2,329 words)