INDIAN PARTITION - DISSECTED AND ANALYSED
Many interpretations of historical events are often taken as sacred and sacrosanct truths. History thus becomes coloured and tailored to fit those interpretations, which in turn become an authentic chronicle of historical events and developments for future generations.
This tendency is often more pronounced especially when the events are of the recent past and leading political actors have taken part in them. A diabolically distorted and manufactured version of history can serve neither as a point of inspiration nor as a warning to the nation in its future march. Very unfortunately most of the books on partition present a very distorted and garbled version of events without enabling any one of us to have an informed understanding of the course of events which led to the grim tragedy of partition of India in 1947. Viewed in this light, the book on partition titled 'UNDERSTANDING PARTITION' (India Sundered: Muslims Fragmented) authored by Yuvaraj Krishan, a distinguished civil servant, historian and scholar in indology assumes a great significance. This book was published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan as a part of its Bhavan's Book University Series in 2002. I am not surprised that this book has been ignored by the pseudo-secular mafia of mass media in India who consider Pakistan as a victim of Indian Saffron Hindu terrorism!
The partition was undoubtedly the most crucial and tragic event in the entire chequered course of our nation's history over the millennia. Yuvaraj Krishan has clearly brought out the fact that Pakistan grew out of the two nation theory of the Muslim League, which from 1927 was synonymous with its permanent President Mohamed Ali Jinnah called by the Muslims Qaid - Azam or the Supreme Leader.
The career of Qaid - Azam Jinnah indicates a curious and ironic transformation from being 'apostle of Hindu-Muslim unity' as he was called by many admiring Congress men before 1940, to being the chief exponent, advocate and creator of Pakistan -- a State based upon the thesis that the Muslims of India are a separate nation, and as such need a homeland and State for themselves, separate from Hindu-land.
It was no idle boast of Jinnah when he claimed that he had won Pakistan with the help of his Private Secretary and his typewriter. S R Khairi said: 'Jinnah created history, and one is tempted to say, altered geography'. Penderal Moon of the ICS paid this tribute to Jinnah: 'To have transformed in little more than seven years the chimerical idea of Pakistan into a living political reality was an astonishing achievement'.
Carl Posey in a brilliant article in TIME in 1996 wrote: ' By shear force of will, Jinnah sundered the grand ruby that had been British India and raised Pakistan from shards'.
Y Krishan rightly observes that Jinnah made three unique contributions: he significantly altered the course of history, modified the map of the world and created a nation-State. According to the author what is most amazing is that Jinnah on behalf of the Muslim League was just one man ranged against a galaxy of Congress leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Dr Rajendra Prasad, besides the third party, the British Government represented by the Governor General.
Yuvaraj Krishan succinctly states in his introduction to his book: 'It deals with the triumph and tragedy of partition: it was a triumph of the two-nation theory. It was also a triumph for Jinnah. The creation of a State, almost single-handedly, was a unique achievement in world history. But it was a tragedy for the Indian Muslims for whom the homeland, Pakistan, was established at enormous cost in terms of loss of human life, destruction of property, unprecedented uprooting and mass migration'.
This book seeks to correct judgements or findings of many historians like Maulana Azad, Ayesha Jalal, Asgar Ali Engineer and Rafiq Zakaria to name a few, about the unwise role of the Congress leadership, Nehru and Patel, as being responsible for the growth of separatism among the Muslims in 1937 and for rejecting the Cabinet Mission Plan in 1946 which could have maintained the essential unity of India. In the light of solid and irrefutable documentary evidence, Y Krishan rightly declares : 'A careful scrutiny of facts shows that this is absolutely wrong to say that Nehru's refusal to show accommodation to Muslim League's desire for sharing power with the Congress in the provinces after 1937 elections was responsible for pushing the Muslim League to the goal of Pakistan. If Nehru had compromised with the Muslim League at that time he would have been accused of strengthening a communal organisation which, at that time, was politically weak and insignificant'. Y Krishan is very right because the Muslim League won only 105 seats out of a total of 499 Muslim seats all over India in 1937.
FRONT COVER OF BOOK
Y Krishan argues that it is wrong to accuse the Congress leadership -- Nehru, Patel, Rajendra Prasad---of throwing away the last chance of maintaining a united India by rejecting the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946.
Y Krishan clearly proves his thesis that acceptance of this Cabinet Mission Plan would have balkanised the country, eventually leading to the creation of a Bigger Pakistan in the then near future. The author also deals with the mischievous role of Lord Mountbatten IN CREATING CONDITIONS OF BREAKDOWN OF ADMINISTRATION BY HURRIED TRANSFER OF POWER IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD, AND COMMUNALISATION OF SERVICES, ESPECIALLY OF SECURITY FORCES, BY ADVANCING THE DATE OF TRANSFER FROM JUNE 1948 TO AUGUST 1947, AS A QUID PRO QUO FOR INDIA, AFTER BECOMING INDEPENDENT, AGREEING TO REMAIN IN THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AS A DOMINION. IN THIS CONTEXT, THE AUTHOR REPORTS WHAT FIELD MARSHALL TEMPLAR IS REPORTED TO HAVE TOLD LORD MOUNTBATTEN: 'YOU ARE SO CROOKED, DICKIE, IF YOU SWALLOWED A NAIL YOU'D SHIT A CORKSCREW'. FINALLY THE BOOK EXAMINES WHY THE PARTITION HAS FAILED TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF HINDU - MUSLIM CONFLICT IN INDIA EVEN TODAY.
In my view, this is a landmark book by virtue of its original contribution to the historiography of Partition. The writer of history, I believe, has a number of duties vis-a-vis the reader, if he wants to keep him reading. The first is to distil. He must do the preliminary work for the reader, assemble the information, make sense of it, select the essential, discard the irrelevant - above all, discard the fraudulent -- and put the rest together so that it forms a developing narrative. Narrative, it has been said, is the lifeblood of history. To offer a mass of undigested facts, of names not identified and places not located, is of no use to the reader and is simple laziness on the part of the author, or pedantry to show how much he has read. To discard the unnecessary requires courage and also extra work, as exemplified by Pascal's effort to explain an idea to his friend in a letter which rambled on for pages and ended, 'I am sorry to have wearied you with so long a letter but I did not have time to write a short one'. The historian is continually being beguiled down by fascinating byways and sidetracks. But the art of writing, the test of the artist, is to resist the beguilement and cleave to the subject. This is what exactly Yuvaraj Krishan has achieved with remarkable precision in his path-breaking book.
Rafiq Zakaria in his book on Partition cites the lament of a Muslim poet:
‘Among the sinners we are counted
Though for what sin we know not
Of the punishment we are aware
But for what, God alone can tell'
SCHOLARS LIKE RAFIQ ZAKARIA, AZGHAR ALI ENGINEER, DR.SYED MAHMUD, AND SEVERAL OTHER MUSLIM SCHOLARS OVERSTRAIN THEMSELVES THROUGH EITHER EXAGGERATED OR CONSCIOUSLY LOADED ARGUMENTS TO DILUTE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MUSLIMS OF INDIA IN BRINGING ABOUT THE PARTITION OF THE COUNTRY. THEY DO SO BY CHALLENGING THE REPRESENTATIVE CHARACTER OF THE MUSLIM LEAGUE OF JINNAH ON THE EVE OF PARTITION.
For example Azghar Ali Engineer observes: 'It would be very difficult maintain that all Indian Muslims were responsible for the creation of Pakistan. Only the educated Muslim elite classes of UP and Bihar who supported Pakistan out of fear of losing their privileges in these feudal States. There was no universal franchise at that time. Only 10 per cent of population had franchise at that time: And not more than 5 per cent voted in the crucial election of 1945. Out of these only 3.5 per cent supported the Muslim League. Thus only a miniscule minority of Muslims supported the Pakistan movement.'
Krishan dismisses these untenable arguments by concluding that these Muslim scholars have deliberately overlooked the fact that an overwhelming majority of politically enfranchised Muslims in India supported the Pakistan movement.
A pseudo-secular Congress politician of the Nehru era Dr Syed Mahmud in his address to the All India Muslim Conference held at Lucknow in 1964 said:
'Pakistan could not have been possible only by the support of the Muslims if the non-Muslims had not agreed. The leaders of both the com¬munities nave sinned and both are responsible for the tragedy of Partition."
MAULANA AZAD, AYESHA JALAL. ASGHAR ALI ENGINEER AND RAFIQ ZAKARIA HAVE ALL CONCLUDED THAT JINNAH DID NOT WANT PAKISTAN. ACCORDING TO THEM NEHRU AND PATEL WERE THE REAL ARCHITECTS OF PAKISTAN. THESE HISTORIANS CONTEND THAT IT WAS THE CONGRESS WHICH INSISTED ON PARTITION. THESE ARE ONLY A FEW MINOR FLASHES FROM THE BOUNDLESSLY RICH AND VARIED BATTERY OF ANTI-KAFIR, BLATANTLY ISLAMIC AND HYSTERICAL HISTORIOGRAPHY!! These great historians are only a hairline away from the declaration that Jinnah was a helpless victim of terrorism let loose by Mahakafir Mahatma Gandhi!!! THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC AND AVID TAKERS OF THIS GREAT THEORY WOULD BE SONIA GANDHI, DR.MANMOHAN SINGH, P. CHIDAMBARAM, ALL THE SUCKING AND SUCKABLE, MALLEABLE PUTRIFIED AND STINKING MASSES OF FLESH IN THE ANTI-HINDU ANTI-NATIONAL SONIA CONGRESS HIGH COMMAND OPERATING FROM AKBAR ROAD IN NEW DELHI! THE PLAYBOY P.CHIDAMBARAM WOULD MAKE HIS FORMIDABLE LEGAL INPUT INTO THIS POOL BY STATING THAT SAFFRON HINDU TERRORISM WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BIRTH OF PAKISTAN!
After an exhaustive and penetrating analysis of the facts derived from the primary sources and a critical examination of all the major studies of the different aspects of Partition by distinguished scholars, Y Krishan comes to the categorical conclusion that it was the handiwork of Jinnah and the Muslim League leaders. To quote his own words: 'They had mobilised mass and passionate support of the Muslim community by raising the bogey of the Muslim minority and Islam being in danger, by actively promoting separatism by vigorously fertilising the poisonous weed of the Two-Nation Theory and eventually creating conditions which made peaceful co-existence of the two major communities — Hindus and Muslims — virtually impossible.'
Y Krishan has also once for all destroyed the myth marketed by Jinnah and the Muslim League leaders after 1939 that the Congress Provincial Governments committed atrocities against Muslim minority in the Provinces of United Provinces (UP), Bihar, Central Provinces and Bombay in 1937 - 39. The Muslim League had asked the Raja of Pirpor (UP) Mohammed Mehdi Raja Syed to give a report on the Congress atrocities against the Muslims in 1938. Like most of the anti-national Muslim clerics in India today, he concluded: 'The conduct of the Congress Governments seems to substantiate the theory that there is something like identity of purpose between Congress and the Hindu Maha Sabha. We Muslims feel that vast majority of the Congress members are Hindus who look forward to the establishment of a purely Hindu Raj.' The Muslims of U P view the use of the Congress flag, the use of the National Anthem (Vande Mataram), the reverence paid to Mahatma Gandhi, the policy of cow protection and the use of Hindi as an attack on the civil and cultural rights of the Muslims. The same anti-Kafir Islamic swan song was sung with vicious communal gusto by the Shareef Committee Report (1938) about the plight of Muslims in Bihar under the Congress (Hindu-majority rule). It complained of the reign of terror in Bihar. The same kind of General Report was given by the one-man Committee Report by Fazlul Haq (1939). He spoke of the sufferings of the Muslims under the Congress-Rule denigration of Islam, interference with the religious beliefs and practices and cow slaughter and above all desecration of mosques by throwing pig meat in them etc. According to Y Krishan these three reports laid a solid foundation for the birth if Pakistan. Jinnah blessed it in 1939 by declaring: 'Democracy of the kind with which the Congress high command is enamoured would mean a complete destruction of what is most precious in Islam.'
It is clear from Y Krishan's acute analysis that it was Jinnah who sabotaged Gandhiji's proposal in 1944 to the effect that in a referendum on Pakistan in Muslim majority areas, the non-Muslim citizens would have the right to vote. Jinnah stuck to his position that only the Muslim residents had the right to vote. This meant that the non-Muslim bona-fide residents would not be treated as citizens and nationals of Jinnah's future Pakistan because of their religion. THUS JINNAH WAS CLEAR AND CATEGORICAL IN HIS COMMITMENT TO MAKE PAKISTAN THE HOMELAND FOR MUSLIMS ONLY.
Lord Wavell, the Viceroy also assisted Jinnah and the Muslim League by coming out with his totally sinister Parity Principle to be made applicable to both the Muslims and the Hindus during the political negotiations in 1945 at Simla. By cleverly omitting to invite the truly secular Unionist Party from the Punjab for the Simla Conference in 1945 and by denying a seat to that Party in the Governor General's Council, Lord Wavell strengthened the hands of Jinnah and the Muslim League in the sordid process of manipulation for the creation of Pakistan. IN THE PROCESS, THE CIVILIZED AND DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST PARTY TOTALLY DISAPPEARED FROM THE POLITICAL SCENE.
Another strikingly important point brought out by Y Krishan in this seminal book is that the government of India destroyed the composite character of the Civil and other Public Services by making the administrative apparatus partisan and discriminatory which became clear during those dark days of complete breakdown of law and order in the Punjab. This end process was diabolically achieved by giving option to Services in 1947 to serve in Dominions of their choice. Consequently all the Hindu minority officers came back to India from Punjab and all the Muslim minority officers went back to Pakistan from India. The entire civil administration in Pakistan was thus converted into a barbarous clan of violent marauders for letting loose organised Islamic violence against the Hindus.
After the Cripps and the Cabinet Mission Plans, Jinnah and the Muslim League became certain of British Government's support for the establishment of Pakistan. Thereafter they were not willing to make a settlement with the Congress except on their own terms.
Y Krishan also gives an interesting account of a discussion he had with Pandit Jawarlal Nehru as an IAS probationer in the IAS training col¬lege at Metcalfe House in Delhi in 1948. Nehru’s face turned red when Y Krishan, then only 26 years old, put a straight question to Nehru: 'Sir, why have you allowed anti-national Pakistan supporting Muslim leaders like the Raja Of Muhammedabad, Begum Aizaz Rasul, Raja Of Pirpur, Maulana Hasrat Mohani etc from UP, Syed Hussain Imam from Bihar, Mohammed Ismail from Madras, who have shamelessly worked with Jinnah for the creation of Pakistan, to remain in India even after 15 Au¬gust, 1947?'
I AM OF THE VIEW THAT Y KRISHAN SHOWED GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF THE ANTI-NATIONAL MUSLIM PSYCHE AS A YOUNG MAN THAN ISLAM-EMBRACING NEHRU IN 1948! If only those anti-national men had been thrown out of India in 1947, the rest of the Muslims in India would have settled down to a life of peaceful co-existence in post-independent India.
Finally Jinnah gave a parting Islamic kick to both Nehru and Gandhi on 15 August, 1947 by giving this solemn appeal to the Muslims of India: 'Now that your country is divided, you should be loyal citizens of India.' Was this not an act of betrayal of the Pakistan movement and of the Indian Muslims for whose 'liberation' India was partitioned?
All in all Y Krishan's book is a major path-breaking book on India’s partition. General, abstract truth is the most precious of all blessings: 'without it, man is blind, it is the eye of reason'. Y Krishan has clearly brought out some unknown, unpleasant but very vital truths about the partition of India. He has indeed given a cubic content to the follow¬ing immortal words of a timeless historian TACITUS: ‘This I hold to be the chief office of history, to rescue virtuous actions from the oblivion to which a want of records would consign them, and that men should feel a dread of being considered infamous in the opinions of posterity, from their depraved expressions and base actions’.