Monday, 16 December 2019

Mridula Mukherjee's ignorance of history

Former JNU History Professor and darbari intellectual, Mridula Mukherjee asks in the Indian Express-
Who was responsible for Partition of India in 1947?
The Muslims as represented by the Muslim League demanded and got Partition. There appears to be a world wide pattern here. No Muslim majority country has consistently been a Liberal Democracy under the Rule of Law where minorities feel safe.
The answer is that Partition became unavoidable because in order to save and perpetuate their rule, the British fostered divisions among Indians along religious lines.
Sheer nonsense! The British united the Indian subcontinent including even Burma. They did this by fostering unity among Indians across regional, religious and caste lines. Without such unity, British rule could not have been fiscally viable.

Muslim countries never ruled by the British, like Turkey, treated minorities in a terrible manner.

Why did Turkey and Egypt and Iraq and Syria and many other Muslim majority countries use massive State backed force to ethnically cleanse or brutally subjugate minorities? Why did both wings of Pakistan see a dramatic fall in the non-Muslim proportion of the population? Was it because the British were secretly ruling these countries?

Why did Mukherjee's parents leave Lahore to come to India? Was it because the British forced them out? Or were they afraid of the Muslims? But Hindus have been running away from Muslims long before any British person was able to get to India.
They were masters of the art of divide and rule. From its inception in 1906, the Muslim League was a command performance with the sole purpose of acting as a counterweight to the nationalist demands of the Congress.
This is nonsense. The Hindu Bengali bhadralok objected to the Muslim majority East being separated so that the Muslims could rise up educationally and commercially. This caused a Muslim reaction which was perfectly justified. Hindu politicians tried to monopolize high office and positions of influence. So the Muslim League fought back. In Muslim majority areas, they prevailed because Muslims were prepared to ethnically cleanse their non Muslim neighbors as a matter of religious duty. Sikhs and Dogras had a similar flinty resolve. But most 'caste Hindus' had no similar cohesiveness. This was the reason India came to be conquered in the first place. It is also the reason a Dynasty- now of 50 per cent Foreign lineage- has been able to misrule India or strive for misrule in India for so long.
Various policy measures were used to form the Muslims into a separate political bloc, the most pernicious being separate electorates introduced in the Minto-Morley reforms of 1909.
Muslims asked for and were granted separate electorates because Hindus in Bengal were trying to prevent the separation of the Muslim majority area so that its native Muslim population could rise up through Government jobs.

Electorates did not matter very much. At times Congress or other Parties were able to get elected from Muslim seats.

 All that mattered was that the Muslim masses- who had no votes- would rise up to kill or forcibly convert their Hindu neighbors if called upon to do so by the Mullahs. By contrast, the majority of 'Caste Hindus' had no similar cohesiveness nor- truth be told- any sort of constructive program for National Defense . That was why India had come under Muslim rule in the first place. But Muslim power decayed. Paradoxically, during the course of the Nineteenth Century, fantasies of Jihad and the re-establishment of a more brutal Caliphate energized the Mullahs and ultimately infected the educated professional class. Islam could show vigor in tyrannizing over the weak but was supine or parasitical as an element in the World Order. By contrast, the Sinitic civilizations reformed themselves while the Muslims dreamed of Khilafat and the Hindus idealized a state of poverty and backwardness greater than any which a foreign conqueror had been able to devise.
Under these, for example, both voters and candidates could only be Muslim. This is what led to a divided polity, and, ultimately, to Partition.
This cretin doesn't get that there was no Partition of Hindu majority provinces. Separate Electorates did not matter. All that mattered was whether Muslims were in the majority. Why did the Pandits run away from the Kashmir Valley in the Nineties? Was it because of separate electorates? What about the continual exodus of Hindus from Pakistan and, later on, Bangladesh? Was it because of the British? Or did separate electorates cause the problem?

Congress did have good Muslim candidates. But it also had a useless Mahatma who continually babbled shite. Nehru had a more positive program and did have reputable Muslim followers like Kidwai and Chaghla. But Nehru fucked up and Indira was a mere Dynast of a Fascist type.
The British did not try to make amends and leave behind a united India.
No, they did try to leave behind a united India because that was in their interests. However, once Burma left, it was obvious that the Muslims could not forced to remain any more than the Buddhists. 
Even before the Muslim League could take its own demand for Pakistan seriously, the British government incorporated the idea of Pakistan in Stafford Cripps’ offer in 1942.
The Lahore Resolution calling for the creation of Pakistan was issued in March of 1940. This lady used to teach History at JNU. No wonder its students are crap.
Viceroy Linlithgow suppressed the Congress, which was the pro-unity force, brutally in 1942, and did everything to encourage the Muslim League.
The Muslim League supported the War effort. The Congress Governments resigned and later backed the 'Quit India' movement. That is why many of them were jailed. 
Louis Mountbatten, who ostensibly came to India inclined towards unity, also gave his famous Mountbatten Award in favour of Partition.
But Sardar Patel and Nehru agreed to it because they could see India would be ungovernable if the Muslim majority areas stayed in. Suppose Pakistan were to say 'let us re-unite', the Indians would not agree. 
Divide and rule could not, by a sleight of a hand, be converted into unite and quit. Its logic was divide and quit.
This cretin does not get that Britain ruled over a United India which included even Burma. But what the British could do was impossible for any Indian. Why? The British were impartial when it came to Religion and Caste and Regional origin. No Indian was considered impartial in a similar manner.
The instruments used by the British to divide the Indian people were religious, identity-based political formations.
But these pre-existed their arrival.
It was not only the Muslim League which played this role, but also organisations like the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The RSS did not support Partition. The Communists did. 
The two-nation theory was first expounded by VD Savarkar, in his presidential address to the Hindu Mahasabha in 1937, when he said, “India cannot be assumed today to be a unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main, Hindus and Muslims, in India.”
Yes. Since power was devolved to the Provinces, Hindus in Muslim majority areas understood that their days were numbered.

Pakistani scholars say the origin of the 'two nation theory' was in the works of Sirhindi, who was born in 1564, and was intensified by Waliullah who was born in 1703.
Sir Syed Ahmed, in 1887, said in a speech- '
Now suppose that all the English were to leave India—then who would be rulers of India? Is it possible that under these circumstances two nations, Mohammedan and Hindu, 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 and thrust it down. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and inconceivable.[27]
As the prospect of British withdrawal became more plausible, the two Nation theory acquired practical import. Allama Iqbal's 1930 speech to the All India Muslim League is generally considered the first explicit political articulation of the shape of things to come. Jinnah's political fortunes revived when he jumped on this bandwagon.

Savarkar was reacting to the statements of Muslim politicians. They created the theory and they turned it into reality. It is not the case that Iqbal or Jinnah paid any attention to Savarkar- few did. 
The Muslim League adopted the theory later. When Congressmen were in jail for having launched a movement asking the British to Quit India, Savarkar wrote to the Viceroy offering support and Hindu Mahasabha members joined provincial ministries in coalition with the Muslim League.
Thus the Mahasabha, but not Congress or the Communists, opposed Fascism from the first. 
The RSS, which claims nationalism as its core ideology, did not participate in or launch on their own a single struggle against the British.
Nor did they ally with Hitler and Tojo and try to invade India as the minions of a far more evil and ruthless Empire.
Even in the last big battle for freedom, the Quit India movement, they were conspicuously absent, with their cadre reportedly being told to save their energies for the upcoming battle against the Muslims.
This was perfectly sensible. There was no point kicking the Brits as they packed their bags. However, the RSS was too weak to prevent pogroms of Hindus and Sikhs. Such resistance as was put up came from Congress supporters- like the Marwaris in Calcutta- as well as the doughty Sikhs, Dogras and Andhras. 
Yet ironically, it is their descendants who are the loudest today in blaming, not the British, but the one party that did the most to oppose the divisive politics which led to Partition — the Congress.
That is perfectly fair. Congress should have accommodated Jinnah and let the Muslim League dominate Muslim majority provinces. However, this would have meant India would be a weak Federation. Hindus in Muslim areas would still have been unsafe. So, in the end, it didn't matter whether or not Congress cheated Jinnah.
Last week, the highest levels of political leadership did so in Parliament to justify the introduction of the Citizen’s Amendment Act, which seeks to introduce religion as a criterion for conferment of citizenship.
Everyone knows non-Muslims aren't safe in Pakistan and Bangladesh. One should give them citizenship because they are genuine refugees. Muslim migrants, however, are economic migrants. Furthermore, if they become a majority, they will drive out the non Muslims. In the case of Tripura, Hindu Bengalis have become the majority- to the consternation of the locals. But they won't drive out the local people or force them to convert.

But history matters. At the final stage, there were three parties to the decision to partition India in 1947. The Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the British government, and the national movement led by the Congress.
Communists supported partition as well as the creation of Israel. They too mattered because they represented the Kremlin- a Super Power at the time. 
Jinnah and the Muslim League were adamant on their demand for Pakistan. They had won a majority of Muslim seats in the provincial elections of 1945-46, and had also unleashed the Muslim National Guards on to the streets of Calcutta in August 1946, setting off a chain of communal violence which engulfed Bengal, Bihar and the Punjab, and threatened to spill over into a civil war.
So, the Muslims supported the Muslim League and were willing to kill non Muslims. Some non Muslims- e.g. Sikhs and Dogras- were willing to retaliate. That is why the country had to be partitioned. 
The British, who were the key decision-makers, while making weak noises about a united India, never took a firm stand against Partition.
So what? Their power was dissolving. Viceroy Wavell's 'Breakdown Plan' envisaged evacuating the White population while dividing Bengal and Punjab so as to make partition less appealing to the League. However, this was unworkable because Marwaris and Biharis in Calcutta were prepared to kill Muslim Bengalis who tried to kill them. Furthermore, Sikhs and Dogras could conduct a retaliatory pogrom. Thus, Partition was inevitable.
They had, in fact, since the Simla conference of 1945, given a virtual veto power to Jinnah, and had also turned a blind eye to the sectarian communal violence.
Since 1935, considerable power had been vested in the Provinces. Congress had lost in Muslim majority areas save the North West Province. But the Mullahs were against Congress and soon enough the area saw similar pogroms against Hindus and Sikhs.

The reason Jinnah had a 'veto' was because Muslims were prepared to kill non Muslims at his signal or, indeed, without any signal. This assured the creation of Islamic States in Muslim majority areas. 
Nor were they willing to hand over power to the leading party of the Indian national movement, the Congress, alone.
Why not? The answer is that Muslim army officers and civil servants were backing Jinnah. Thus, Liaquat, as Finance Minister, was able to use Muslim civil servants to block anything Sardar Patel, as Home Minister, wanted to do. 
The only one among the triad who had earnestly desired and had fought for a united India was the Congress.
If they had really wanted unity they should have made a power-sharing arrangement with the Muslim League. 
Even in 1946-47, when communal frenzy seemed to be enveloping the country, Congress leaders and workers, at great personal risk and sacrifice, tried very hard to turn back the wave of hatred.
They did protect many Muslims. However, they failed to protect non Muslims in Muslim majority areas. This caused a refugee problem which continues to this day. That is why it is only fair that India grant citizenship to non Mulims emigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh. History shows they are not safe, purely because of their Religion, in their ancestral homes.
Mahatma Gandhi set new standards of heroic non-violent action, when he walked through the strife-torn villages of the remote Noakhali district of Bengal for four long months with a small band of unarmed associates.
But he failed to stop the ethnic cleansing of Hindus.
Jawaharlal Nehru, accompanied by Vallabhhai Patel, Maulana Azad, others colleagues in the interim government, and Jayaprakash Narayan rushed to riot-torn Bihar in October 1946 and stayed there for almost two weeks till peace was restored.
Yes. Congress and other leaders did save many Muslims. The Indian army also saved the Kashmir Valley from coming under the rule of brutal tribesmen and Pakistani soldiers. 
Their heroic efforts on the ground, and their consistent stand against Partition in the high level negotiations, failed to dissuade the Muslim League from continuing to stoke communal fires and from giving up their demand for Partition. With the British continuing to give the veto to Jinnah, that the Congress, with great reluctance, to avoid civil war, and because it was left with no choice, “agreed” to Partition. To interpret this as the Congress being responsible for Partition is making a travesty out of history.
All this is nonsense. India could have remained united in name if Congress had split power with the League. It wouldn't do so. This was a good thing because India needs a strong center whereas the States have to be reorganized from time to time to prevent one group exploiting another. What makes India cohesive is Hinduism.  Only non-Hindus want to separate from the country. Thus Hindu migrants don't pose a threat to the integrity of the country. Muslim emigration in border areas, however, does present such a threat. This is what history teaches. The author may believe that the Dynasty alone is the unifying factor in India and that it had some magical power to preserve the British legacy.

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