Humility is not a peculiar habit of self-effacement...it is self-less respect for reality, and one of the most difficult and central of all virtues - Iris Murdoch in The Sovereignty of Good (1970) ///
Pain make man think. Thought make man wise. Wisdom make life endurable - Sakini, in The Tea House of the August Moon (John Patrick (1953)
Sunday, 26 May 2019
Extracts from B. R. Ambedkar’s book on Pakistan (1940, 1945)
If Hindu Raj does
become a fact, it will, no doubt, be the greatest calamity for this country. No
matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and
fraternity. On that account it is incompatible with democracy. Hindu Raj must
be prevented at any cost. But is Pakistan the true remedy against it? What
makes communal Raj possible is a marked disproportion in the relative strength
of the various communities living in a country...
Not partition, but the
abolition, of the Muslim League and the formation of a mixed party of Hindus
and Muslims is the only effective way of burying the ghost of Hindu Raj... Nor should the
formation of a mixed party of Hindus and Muslims be difficult in India...
Extracts from Ambedkar’s book on
Pakistan (1940, 1945)
on Muslim League demands: pp 131 -132: After taking into account what the Muslims
demanded at the R. T. C. and what was conceded to them, any one could have
thought that the limit of Muslim demands was reached and that the 1932
settlement was a final settlement. But, it appears that even with this the
Musalmans are not satisfied. A further list of new demands for safeguarding the
Muslim position seems to be ready. In the controversy that went on between Mr.
Jinnah and the Congress in the year 1938, Mr. Jinnah was asked to disclose his
demands which he refused to do. But these demands have come to the surface in
the correspondence that passed between Pandit Nehru and Mr. Jinnah in the
course of the controversy and they have been tabulated by Pandit Nehru in one
of his letters to Mr. Jinnah. His tabulation gives the following items as being
matters of disputes and requiring settlement 33 [f.33] : -
(1) The fourteen
points formulated by the Muslim League in 1929.
(2) The Congress
should withdraw all opposition to the Communal Award and should not describe it
as a negation of nationalism.
(3) The share of
the Muslims in the state services should be definitely fixed in the
constitution by statutory enactment.
(4) Muslim personal
law and culture should be guaranteed by statute.
(5) The Congress
should take in hand the agitation in connection with the Sahidganj Mosque and
should use its moral pressure to enable the Muslims to gain possession of the
(6) The Muslims'
right to call Azan and perform their religious ceremonies should not be
fettered in any way. (7) Muslims should have freedom to perform cow-slaughter.
majorities in the Provinces, where such majorities exist at present, must not
be affected by any territorial re-distribution or adjustments.
(9) The ' Bande
Mataram' song should be given up.
(10) Muslims want
Urdu to be the national language of India and they desire to have statutory
guarantees that the use of Urdu shall not be curtailed or damaged.
representation in the local bodies should be governed by the principles
underlying the Communal Award, that is, separate electorates and population
(12) The tricolour
flag should be changed or alternately the flag of the Muslim League should be
given equal importance.
(13) Recognition of
the Muslim League as the one authoritative and representative organization of
Indian Muslims. (14) Coalition Ministries should be formed.
With this new list,
there is no knowing where the Muslims are going to stop in their demands.
Within one year, that is, between 1938 and 1939, one more demand and that too
of a substantial character, namely 50 per cent. share in everything, has been
added to it. In this catalogue of new demands there are some which on the face
of them are extravagant and impossible, if not irresponsible. As an instance,
one may refer to the demand for fifty-fifty and the demand for the recognition
of Urdu as the national language of India. In 1929, the Muslims insisted that
in allotting seats in Legislatures, a majority shall not be reduced to a
minority or equality. 34 [f34] This principle, enunciated by themselves, it is
now demanded, shall be abandoned and a majority shall be reduced to equality.
The Muslims in 1929 admitted that the other minorities required protection and
that they must have it in the same manner as the Muslims.
distinction made between the Muslims and other minorities was as to the extent
of the protection. The Muslims claimed a higher degree of protection than was
conceded to the other minorities on the ground of their political importance.
The necessity and adequacy of protection for the other minorities the Muslims
never denied. But with this new demand of 50 per cent. the Muslims are not only
seeking to reduce the Hindu majority to a minority but they are also cutting
into the political rights of the other minorities. The Muslims are now speaking
the language of Hitler and claiming a place in the sun as Hitler has been doing
for Germany. For their demand for 50 per cent. Is nothing but a counterpart of
the German claims for Deutschland Uber Alles and Lebenuraum for
Themselves,irrespective of what happens to other minorities. Their claim
for the recognition of Urdu as the national language of India is equally
extravagant. Urdu is not only not spoken all, over India but is not even the
language of all the Musalmans of India. Of the 68 millions of Muslims
35[f.35] only 28 millions speak Urdu. The proposal of making Urdu the national
language means that the language of 28 millions of Muslims is to be imposed
particularly upon 40 millions of Musalmans or generally upon 322 millions of
It will thus be
seen that every time a proposal for the reform of the constitution comes
forth, the Muslims are there, ready with some new political demand or demands.
The only check upon such indefinite expansion of Muslim demands is the power of
the British Government, which must be the final arbiter in any dispute between
the Hindus and the Muslims. Who can confidently say that the decision of the
British will not be in favour of the Muslims if the dispute relating to these
new demands was referred to them for arbitration ? The more the Muslims demand
the more accommodating the British seem to become. At any rate, past experience
shows that the British have been inclined to give the Muslims more than what
the Muslims had themselves asked. Two such instances can be cited… pp 131-132
(PP 141 onwards): Must
there be Pakistan because the Muslims have lost faith in the Congress majority?
As reasons for the loss of faith Muslims cite some instances of tyranny and
oppression practised by the Hindus and connived at by the Congress Ministries
during the two years and three months the Congress was in office. Unfortunately
Mr. Jinnah did not persist in his demand for a Royal Commission to inquire into
these grievances. If he had done it we could have known what truth there was in
these complaints. A
perusal of these instances, as given in the reports 4[f.4] of the Muslim League
Committees, leaves upon the reader the impression that although there may be
some truth in the allegations there is a great deal which is pure exaggeration.
The Congress Ministries concerned have issued statements repudiating the
charges.It may be that the
Congress during the two years and three months that it was in office did not
show statesmanship, did not inspire confidence in the minorities, nay tried to
suppress them. But can it be a reason for partitioning India ? Is it not possible
to hope that the voters who supported the Congress last time will grow wiser
and not support the Congress ? Or may it not be that if the Congress returns to
office it will profit by the mistakes it has made, revise its mischievous
policy and thereby allay the fear created by its past conduct ?
[f.4]On this point,
see Report of the Inquiry Committee appointed by the All-India Muslim League to
inquire into Muslim grievances in Congress Provinces popularly known as Pirpur
Report. Also Report of the Bihar Provincial Muslim League to inquire into some
grievances of Muslims in Bihar and the Press Note issued by the Information
Officer, Government of Bihar, replying to some of the allegations contained in
these reports published in Amrita Bazar Patrika of 13-3-39.
Must there be
Pakistan because the Musalmans are a nation ? It is a pity that Mr. Jinnah
should have become a votary and champion of Muslim Nationalism at a time when
the whole world is decrying against the evils of nationalism and is seeking
refuge in some kind of international organization. Mr. Jinnah is so obsessed
with his new-found faith in Muslim Nationalism that he is not prepared to see
that there is a distinction between a society, parts of which are
disintegrated, and a society parts of which have become only loose, which no
sane man can ignore. When a society is disintegrating—and the two nation theory
is a positive disintegration of society and country - it is evidence of the
fact that there do not exist what Carlyle calls ‘organic filaments’ - i.e., the
vital forces which work to bind together the parts that are cut asunder. In
such cases disintegration can only be regretted. It cannot be prevented.
such organic filaments do exist, it is a crime to overlook them and
deliberately force the disintegration of society and country as the Muslims
seem to be doing. If the Musalmans want to be a different nation it is not
because they have been but because they want to be. There is much in the
Musalmans which, if they wish, can roll them into a nation. But isn't there
enough that is common to both Hindus and Musalmans, which if developed, is
capable of moulding them into one people ? Nobody can deny that there are many
modes, manners, rites and customs which are common to both. Nobody can deny
that there are rites, customs and usages based on religion which do divide
Hindus and Musalmans.
The question is,
which of these should be emphasized. If the emphasis is laid on things that are
common, there need be no two nations in India. If the emphasis is laid on
points of difference, it will no doubt give rise to two nations. The view that
seems to guide Mr. Jinnah is that Indians are only a people and that they can
never be a nation. This follows the line of British writers who make it a point
of speaking of Indians as the people of India and avoid speaking of the Indian
nation. Granted Indians are not a nation, that they are only a people. What of
that ? History records that before the rise of nations as great corporate
personalities, there were only peoples.
There is nothing to
be ashamed if Indians are no more than a people. Nor is there any cause for
despair that the
people of India - if they wish - will not become one nation. For, as Disraeli
nation is a work of
art and a work of time. If the Hindus and Musalmans agree to emphasize the things
that bind them and forget those that separate them there is no reason why in
course of time they should not grow into a nation. It may be that their
nationalism may not be quite so integrated as that of the French or the
Germans. But they can easily produce a common state of mind on common questions
which is the sum total which the spirit of nationalism helps to produce and for
which it is so much prized. Is it right for the Muslim League to emphasize only
differences and ignore altogether the forces that bind ? Let it not be
forgotten that if two nations come into being it will not be because it is
predestined. It will be the result of deliberate design. (p 142)
143: Given the
experience of the French in Canada, the English in South Africa and the French
and the Italians in
Switzerland, the questions that arise are, why should it be otherwise in India
? Assuming that the Hindus and the Muslims split into two nations, why cannot
they live in one country and under one constitution ? Why should the emergence
of the two-nation theory make partition necessary ? Why should the Musalmans be
afraid of losing their nationality and national culture by living with the
Hindus ? If the Muslims insist on separation, the cynic may well conclude that
there is so much that is common between the Hindus and the Musalmans that the
Muslim leaders are afraid that unless there is partition whatever little
distinctive Islamic culture is left with the Musalmans will eventually vanish
by continued social contact with the Hindus with the result that in the end
instead of two nations there will grow up in India one nation. If the Muslim
nationalism is so thin then the motive for partition is artificial and the case
for Pakistan loses its very basis.
Must there be
Pakistan because otherwise Swaraj will be a Hindu Raj ? The Musalmans are so easily
carried away by this cry that it is necessary to expose the fallacies
underlying it. In the first place, is the Muslim objection to Hindu Raj a
conscientious objection or is it a political objection If it is a conscientious
objection all one can say is that it is a very strange sort of conscience.
There are really millions of Musalmans in India who are living under unbridled
and uncontrolled Hindu Raj of Hindu Princes and no objection to it has been
raised by the Muslims or the Muslim League. The Muslims had once a
conscientious objection to the British Raj. Today not only have they no
objection to it but they are the greatest supporters of it. That there should
be no objection to British Raj or to undiluted Hindu Raj of a Hindu Prince but
that there should be objection to Swaraj for British India on the ground that
it is Hindu Raj as though it was not subjected to checks and balances is an
attitude the logic of which it is difficult to follow.
objections to Hindu Raj rest on various grounds. The first ground is that Hindu
society is not a democratic society. True, it is not It may not be right to ask
whether the Muslims have taken any part in the various movements for reforming
Hindu society as distinguished from proselytising. But it is right to ask if
the Musalmans are the only sufferers from the evils that admittedly result from
the undemocratic character of Hindu society. Are not the millions of Shudras
and non-Brahmins or millions of the Untouchables, suffering the worst
consequences of the undemocratic character of Hindu society? Who benefits from
education, from public service and from political reforms except the Hindu
governing class - composed of the higher castes of the Hindus - which form not
even 10 per cent. of the total Hindu population? Has not the governing class of
the Hindus, which controls Hindu politics, shown more regard for safeguarding
the rights and interests of the Musalmans than they have for safeguarding the
rights and interests of the Shudras and the Untouchables ? Is not Mr. Gandhi,
who is determined to oppose any political concession to the Untouchables, ready
to sign a blank cheque in favour of the Muslims? Indeed, the Hindu governing
class seems to be far more ready to share power with the Muslims than it is to share
power with the Shudras and the Untouchables. Surely, the Muslims have the least
ground to complain of the undemocratic character of Hindu society (143)
(144): If Hindu Raj
does become a fact, it will, no doubt, be the greatest calamity for this
country. No matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty,
equality and fraternity. On that account it is incompatible with democracy.
Hindu Raj must be prevented at any cost. But is Pakistan the true remedy
against it? What makes communal Raj possible is a marked disproportion in the
relative strength of the various communities living in a country. As pointed
out above, this disproportion is not more marked in India than it is in Canada,
South Africa and Switzerland. Nonetheless there is no British Raj in Canada, no
Dutch Raj in South Africa, and no German Raj in Switzerland. How have the
French, the English and the Italians succeeded in preventing the Raj of the
majority community being established in their country?
Surely not by partition:
What is their method? Their method is to put a ban on communal parties in
politics. No community in Canada, South Africa or Switzerland ever thinks of
starting a separate communal party. What is important to note is that it is the
minority nations which have taken the lead in opposing the formation of a communal
party. For they know that if they form a communal political party the major
community will also form a communal party and the majority community will
thereby find it easy to establish its communal Raj. It is a vicious method of
self-protection. It is because the minority nations are fully aware how they
will be hoisted on their own petard that they have opposed the formation of communal
Have the Muslims
thought of this method of avoiding Hindu Raj. Have they considered how easy it is
to avoid it? Have they considered how futile and harmful the present policy of
the League is? The Muslims are howling against the Hindu Maha Sabha and its
slogan of Hindudom and Hindu Raj. But who is responsible for this? Hindu Maha
Sabha and Hindu Raj are the inescapable nemesis which the Musalmans have
brought upon themselves by having a Muslim League. It is action and
counter-action. One gives rise to the other. Not partition, but the abolition,
of the Muslim League and the formation of a mixed party of Hindus and Muslims
is the only effective way of burying the ghost of Hindu Raj. It is, of course,
not possible for Muslims and other minority parties to join the Congress or the
Hindu Maha Sabha so long as the disagreement on the question of constitutional
But this question
will be settled, is bound to be settled and there is every hope that the
settlement will result in securing to the Muslims and other minorities the safeguards
they need. Once this consummation, which we so devoutly wish, takes place
nothing can stand in the way of a party re-alignment, of the Congress and the
Maha Sabha breaking up and of Hindus and Musalmans forming mixed political
parties based on an agreed programme of social and economic regeneration, and
thereby avoid the danger of both Hindu Raj or Muslim Raj becoming a fact.
Nor should the
formation of a mixed party of Hindus and Muslims be difficult in India. There
are many lower orders in the Hindu society whose economic, political and social
needs are the same as those of the majority of the Muslims and they would be
far more ready to make a common cause with the Muslims for achieving common
ends than they would with the high caste of Hindus who have denied and deprived
them of ordinary human rights for centuries. To pursue such a course cannot be
called an adventure. The path along that line is a well trodden path. Is it not
a fact that under the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms in most Provinces, if not in
all, the Muslims, the Non-Brahmins and the Depressed Classes united together
and worked the reforms as members of one team from 1920 to 1937? Herein lay the most fruitful method of
achieving communal harmony among Hindus and Muslims and of destroying the
danger of a Hindu Raj. Mr. Jinnah could have easily pursued this line.
Nor was it
difficult for Mr. Jinnah to succeed in it.Indeed Mr. Jinnah is the one person who had all the chances
of success on his side if he had tried to form such a united non-communal party.
He has the ability to organize. He had the reputation of a nationalist. Even
many Hindus who were opposed to the Congress would have flocked to him if he
had only sent out a call for a united party of like-minded Hindus and Muslims.
What did Mr. Jinnah do ? In 1937 Mr. Jinnah made his entry into Muslim politics
and strangely enough he regenerated the Muslim League which was dying and
decaying and of which only a few years ago he would have been glad to witness
the funeral. However regrettable the starting of such a communal political party
may have been, there was in it one relieving feature.
That was the
leadership of Mr. Jinnah. Everybody felt that with the leadership of Mr. Jinnah
the League could never become a merely communal party. The resolutions passed
by the League during the first two years of its new career indicated that it
would develop into a mixed political party of Hindus and Muslims. At the annual
session of the Muslim League held at Lucknow in October 1937 altogether 15
resolutions were passed. The following two are of special interest in this
No. 7: " This meeting of the All India Muslim League deprecates and
protests against the formation of Ministries in certain Provinces by the
Congress parties in flagrant violation of the letter and the spirit of the
Government of India Act, 1935, and Instrument of Instructions and condemns the Governors
for their failure to enforce the special powers entrusted to them for the
safeguards of the interest of the Musalmans and other important
Resolution* No. 8: "
Resolved that the object of the All India Muslim League shall be the
establishment in India of Full Independence in the form of federation of free
democratic states in which the rights and interests of the Musalmans and other
minorities are adequately and effectively safeguarded in the constitution."
Equal number of
resolutions were passed at the next annual session of the League held at Patna
Resolution* No. 10 is noteworthy. It reads as follows :—
"The All India
Muslim League reiterates its view that the scheme of Federation embodied in the
Government of India
Act, 1935, is not acceptable, but in view of the further developments that have
taken place or may
take place from time to time it hereby authorises the President of the All
India Muslim League to adopt such course as may be necessary with a view to
explore the possibility of a suitable alternative which will safeguard the
interests of the Musalmans and other minorities in India."
resolutions Mr. Jinnah showed that he was for a common front between the Muslims
and other non-Muslim minorities. Unfortunately the catholicity and
statesmanship that underlies these resolutions did not last long. In 1939 Mr.
Jinnah took a somersault and outlined the dangerous and disastrous policy of
isolation of the Musalmans by passing that notorious resolution in favour of
Pakistan. What is the reason for this isolation ? Nothing but the change of
view that the Musalmans were a nation and not a community ! ! One need not
quarrel over the question whether the Muslims are a nation or a community. But
one finds it extremely difficult to understand how the mere fact that the
Muslims are a nation makes political isolation a safe and sound policy?
Muslims do not realize what disservice Mr. Jinnah has done to them by this
policy. But let Muslims consider what Mr. Jinnah has achieved by making the
Muslim League the only organization for the Musalmans. It may be that it has
helped him to avoid the possibility of having to play the second fiddle. For
inside the Muslim camp he can always be sure of the first place for himself.
But how does the League hope to save by this plan of isolation the Muslims from
Hindu Raj? Will Pakistan obviate the establishment of Hindu Raj in Provinces in
which the Musalmans are in a minority? Obviously it cannot. This is what would
happen in the Muslim minority Provinces if Pakistan came. Take an all-India
view. Can Pakistan prevent the establishment of Hindu Raj at the centre over
Muslim minorities that will remain Hindustan? It is plain that it cannot. What
good is Pakistan then? Only to prevent Hindu Raj in Provinces in which the
Muslims are in a majority and in which there could never be Hindu Raj!!
To put it
differently Pakistan is unnecessary to Muslims where they are in a majority
because there, there is no fear of Hindu Raj. It is worse than useless to
Muslims where they are in a minority, because Pakistan or no Pakistan they will
have to face a Hindu Raj. Can politics be more futile than the politics of the
Muslim League? The Muslim League started to help minority Muslims and has ended
by espousing the cause of majority Muslims. What a perversion in the original
aim of the Muslim League! What a fall from the sublime to the ridiculous!
Partition as a remedy against Hindu Raj is worse than useless…
on partition: I
was glad that India was separated from Pakistan. I was the philosopher, so to
say, of Pakistan. I advocated partition because I felt that it was only by
partition that Hindus would not only be independent but free. If India and
Pakistan had remained united in one State Hindus though independent would have
been at the mercy of the Muslims. A merely independent India would not have
been a free India from the point of view of the Hindus. It would have been a
Government of one country by two nations and of these two the Muslims without
question would have been the ruling race notwithstanding Hindu Mahasabha and
Jana Sangh. When the partition took place I felt that God was willing to lift
his curse and let India be one, great and prosperous.. https://archive.org/details/TheSelectedWorksOfDr.B.R.Ambedkar (re-organisation of states, p 3890)