Partition wounds yet to heal!

India and Pakistan are celebrating their 76th anniversary of Independence from colonial British India. But the wounds and stains while parting between predominant provinces of both the Hindu and Muslim communities are yet to fully heal. It may be difficult to fix blame on any individual or groups for the undoing of unity among these two major religious entities. However, they had to part their ways at the insistence of then Muslim League party  headed by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. And, even Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the independence movement from the front, failed to prevent the  inevitability of partition. Yes, succumbing to the pressures of Jinnah and his party, which wanted to establish a separate Islamic nation called Pakistan. It might have succeeded in taking away major chunk of provinces where the Muslims are predominant and literally sliced rest of India between their East and West provinces – then known as East Pakistan, which has become the republic of Bangladesh following the 1971 war – only to get sandwiched.

That not only caused large-scale loss of lives and an unprecedented migration between the two dominions but also hatred to remain forever. Among refugees, it solidified the belief that safety lay among co-religionists. In the instance of Pakistan, it made palpable a hitherto only-imagined refuge for the Muslims of British India. And, those few hundred families, who chose to remain in India and abide by the Constitution, now prove to have done with ulterior motives. This was evident from how they managed to multiply to reach close to 20 per cent of India’s population. On the contrary, the 8 per cent Hindus who could not cross over to India, were reduced to a dismal one per cent or less today, thanks to the policies pursued by the Islamic nation since its formation.

Against that backdrop, the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to remember the gory clashes that took place before or till August 14, a day before the two nations formally parted to become two independent republics in the sub-continent, cannot afford to gloss over. This is in the wake of the rejuvenated Muslims, whose population multiplied to challenge the majority, openly hold out threats to convert even India as another Islamic nation by 2047 with the help of external and internal Jihadi elements. Whoever might have held out such a serious threat, the majority Hindus and others cannot take it lying down or prefer to duck spinelessly, in new and emerging India. In fact, a similar threat was brazenly held out by the All-India Ittehadul-e-Muslimeen’s Telangana assembly floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi at a public rally stating that “adha gante ke liye ye police hata dho, phir dekho Hinduvonka haalat” (just remove or tie-down hands of the security forces for 30 minutes and then see the result). In other words, he boasted that half an hour was good enough for the 15 per cent Muslims to wipe out the 80 per cent Hindus. Although, the court has dismissed the video gone viral on technical grounds, yet it continues to linger on in the ears of Hindus, who now seem to realize the threat is real. And some of the hardcore members of that community and their representatives on TV debates attack every good initiative of the Modi government at the Centre or the Yogi Adityanath-headed Bharatiya Janata Party government in the country’s biggest state, Uttar Pradesh, explains their hidden agenda.

Heal, don't relive Partition trauma : The Tribune India

Hence, it has become necessary for the younger generation to know the real causes of partition of India and escalating religious tensions between Muslims and Hindus. According to others, the communal politics that emerged in the 20th century resulted in partition. They claim that the creation of separate Muslim electorate gave rise to separatist tendencies. The British India was divided into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, leading to widespread migration as Muslims in large numbers moved to newly-formed Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs moved from there to India. The mass-migration was accompanied by great communal violence. The partition of India was the result of various political, social, and religious factors. The British government’s decision to grant independence to India was influenced by the growing nationalist movement and the Indian people’s desire for self-rule. The two real motives behind the partition of Bengal was to curb the radical Bengali nationalists and to weaken their movements. To weaken Bengal, the nerve centre of Indian nationalism and divide the Muslims and Hindus based on religion, Lord Louis Mountbatten assumed the role of the last Viceroy on March 24, 1947. He announced the Partition Plan on June 3, 1947, declaring that the British had decided to transfer power to the Indian and Pakistani governments by mid-August 1947. Bengal was partitioned on October 16, 1905, by Viceroy Lord Curzon. The British cited the administrative reasons for it. The plan was to carve out modern-day Bangladesh and Assam as East Bengal and make Dhaka as the new capital. The Hindus of West Bengal complained that the division would make them a minority in a province that would incorporate the province of Bihar and Orissa. Hindus were outraged at what they saw as a “divide and rule” policy, even though Curzon stressed it would produce administrative efficiency.

But the rogue Britishers’ decision to divide India into three – two blocks to Pakistan and one to India – indeed had the acceptance of Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, who believed to have allegedly cooperated to the extent of  compromising India’s interests. Both of them cannot deny that they were solely responsible for hanging of Bhagat Singh brothers or of the killing of Subhas Chandra Bose, or decision to not to intervene in Savarkar’s issue – the facts which were swept under the carpet are now in public domain with reasonable available historical evidences. And, the debate has already begun on these and many other mistakes committed by Gandhi and Nehru and it may be worth for the present government at the Centre to declassify whatever recorded evidences are available in the archives. The unruly behavior of minority Muslims either in their dominated areas in states like Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, dare to raise the pro-Pakistan slogans and hoisting Pakistani flags, exposes their brazenness not to heal the wounds of the partition.