Chapter I : What does the league demand ?

Chapter II : A nation calling for a home

Chapter III : Escape from degradation



The Muslim Case for Pakistan is sought to be justified on the following grounds:

(i)              What the Muslims are asking for is the creation of administrative areas which are ethnically more homogeneous.

(ii)             The Muslims want these homogeneous administrative areas which are predominantly Muslim to be constituted into separate States,

(a)  because the Muslims by themselves constitute a separate nation and desire to have a national home, and

(b)  because experience shows that the Hindus want to use their majority to treat the Muslims as though they were second-class citizens in an alien State.

This part is devoted to the exposition of these grounds.






On the 26th of March 1940, Hindu India was startled to attention as it had never been before. On that day, the Muslim League at its Lahore Session passed the following Resolution :

" 1. While approving and endorsing the action taken by the Council and the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League as indicated in their resolutions dated the 27th of August, 17th and 18th of September and 22nd of October 1939 and 3rd of February 1940 on the constitutional issue, this Session of the All-India Muslim League emphatically reiterates that the Scheme of Federation embodied in the Government of India Act, 1935, is totally unsuited to, and unworkable in the peculiar conditions of this country and is altogether unacceptable to Muslim India;

" 2. It further records its emphatic view that while the declaration dated the 18th of October 1939 made by the Viceroy on behalf of His Majesty's Government is reassuring in as far as it declares that the policy and plan on which the Government of India Act, 1935, is based will be reconsidered in consultation with the various parties, interests and communities in India, Muslim India will not be satisfied unless the whole constitutional plan is reconsidered de novo and that no revised plan would be acceptable to the Muslims, unless it is framed with their approval and consent;

" 3. Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designated on the following basic principle, viz. that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to constitute "Independent States" in which the Constituent Units shall be autonomous and sovereign;

" 4. That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights, and interests in consultation with them ; and in other parts of India where the Musalmans are in a minority, adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the constitution for them and other minorities for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights, and interests in consultation with them ;

" 5. This Session further authorizes the Working Committee to frame a Scheme of Constitution in accordance with these basic principles, providing for the assumption Finally by the respective regions of all powers such as defence, external affairs, communication, customs, and such other matters as may be necessary."

What does this Resolution contemplate ? A reference to para 3 of the Resolution will show that the Resolution contemplates that the areas in which Muslims predominate shall be incorporated into independent States. In concrete terms, it means that the Punjab, the North-Western Frontier Province, Baluchistan and Sind in the North-West and Bengal in the East instead of remaining as the provinces of British India shall be incorporated as independent States outside of British India. This is the sum and substance of the Resolution of the Muslim League.

Does the Resolution contemplate that these Muslim provinces, after being incorporated into States, will remain each an independent sovereign State or will they be joined together into one constitution as members of a single State, federal or unitary ? On this point, the Resolution is rather ambiguous, if not self-contradictory. It speaks of grouping the zones into " Independent States in which the Constituent Units shall be autonomous and sovereign." The use of the term " Constituent Units " indicates that what is contemplated is a Federation. If that is so, then, the use of the word " sovereign " as an attribute of the Units is out of place. Federation of Units and sovereignty-of Units are contradictions. It may be that what is contemplated is a confederation. It is, however, not very material for the moment whether these Independent States are to form into a federation or a confederation. What is important is the basic demand, namely, that these areas are to be separated from India and formed into Independent States.

The Resolution is so worded as to give the idea that the scheme adumbrated in it is a new one. But, there can be no doubt that the Resolution merely resuscitates a scheme which was put forth by Sir Mahomed Iqbal in his Presidential address to the Muslim League at its Annual Session held at Lucknow in December 1930. The  scheme was not then adopted by the League. It was, however, taken up by one Mr. Rehmat Ali who gave it the name, Pakistan, by which it is known. Mr. Rehmat Ali, M. A., LL.B., founded the Pakistan Movement in 1933.  He divided India into two, namely, Pakistan and Hindustan. His Pakistan included the Punjab, N. W. F. Province, Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan. The rest to him was Hindustan. His idea was to have an " independent and separate Pakistan " composed of five Muslim provinces in the North as an independent State. The proposal was circulated to the members of the Round Table Conference but never officially put forth. It seems an attempt was made privately to obtain the assent of the British Government, who, however, declined to consider it because they thought that this was a " revival of the old Muslim Empire." 1[f.1] 

The League has only enlarged the original scheme of Pakistan. It has sought to create one more Muslim State in the East to include the Muslims in Bengal and Assam. Barring this, it expresses in its essence and general outline the scheme put forth by Sir Mahomed Iqbal and propagated by Mr. Rehmat Ali. There is no name given to this new Muslim State in the East. This has made no difference in the theory and the issues involved in the ideology of Mr. Rehmat Ali. The only difficulty one feels is that the League, while enlarging the facets, has not christened the two Muslim States with short and sweet names as it might have been expected to do. That it did not do and we are left to carry on the discussion with two long jaw-breaking names of Muslim State in the West and Muslim State in the East. I propose to solve this difficulty by reserving the name Pakistan to express the ideology underlying the two-nation theory and its consequent effect, namely, partition, and by designating the two Muslim States in the North-West and North-East as Western Pakistan and Eastern Pakistan.

The scheme not only called Hindu India to attention but it shocked Hindu India. Now it is natural to ask, what is there that is new or shocking in this scheme ?


Is the idea of linking up of the provinces in the North-West a shocking idea ? If so, let it be remembered that the linking of these provinces is an age-old project put forth by successive Viceroys, Administrators and Generals. Of the Pakistan provinces in the North-West, the Punjab and N. W. F. P. constituted a single province ever since the Punjab was conquered by the British in 1849. The two continued to be a single province till 1901. It was in 1901 that Lord Curzon broke up their unity and created the present two provinces. As to the linking up of the Punjab with Sind, there can be no doubt that had the conquest of Sind followed and not preceded the conquest of the Punjab, Sind would have been incorporated into the Punjab, for the two are not only contiguous but are connected by a single river which is the most natural tie between them. Although Sind was joined to Bombay, which in the absence of the Punjab was the only base from which it could be governed, the idea of disconnecting Sind from Bombay and joining it to the Punjab was not given up and projects in that behalf were put forth from time to time. It was first put forth during the Governor-Generalship of Lord Dalhousie; but for financial reasons, was not sanctioned by the Court of Directors. After the mutiny, the question was reconsidered but owing to the backward state of communications along the Indus, Lord Canning refused to give his consent. In 1876, Lord Northbrook was of the opinion that Sind should be joined to the Punjab. In 1877, Lord Lytton, who succeeded Northbrook, sought to create a trans-indus province, consisting of the six frontier districts of the Punjab and of the transindus districts of Sind. This would have included the six Frontier districts of the Punjab, namely, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu (except the Cis-indus tracts), Dera Ismail Khan (with the same exception), Dera Ghazi Khan, and trans-Indus Sind (with the exception of Karachi). Lytton also proposed that Bombay should receive the whole or part of the Central Provinces, in order to compensate it for the loss of trans-indus Sind. These proposals were not acceptable to the Secretary of State. During the Vice-royalty of Lord Lansdowne (1888—94), the same project was revived in its original form, namely, the transfer of Sind to the Punjab, but owing to the formation of the Baluchistan Agency, Sind had ceased to be a Frontier district and the idea which was military in its motive, lost its force and Sind remained without being incorporated in the Punjab. Had the British not acquired Baluchistan and had Lord Curzon not thought of carving out the N. W. F. P. out of the Punjab, we would have witnessed long ago the creation of Pakistan as an administrative unit.

With regard to the claim for the creation of a National Muslim State in Bengal, again, there is nothing new in it. It will be recalled by many that in 1905, the province of Bengal and Assam was divided by the then Viceroy, Lord Curzon into two provinces :

(1) Eastern Bengal and Assam with Dacca as its capital and

(2) Western Bengal with Calcutta as its capital. The newly-created province of Eastern Bengal and Assam included Assam and the following districts of the old province of Bengal and Assam: (1) Dacca, (2) Mymensingh, (3) Faridpur, (4) Backer gunge, (5) Tippera, (6) Noakhali, (7) Chittagong, (8) Chittag-ong Hill Tracts, (9) Rajashahl, (10) Dinajpur, (II) Jalpaiguri, (12) Rangpur,  (13) Bogra,  (14) Pabna and  (15) Malda. Western Bengal included the remaining districts of the old Province of Bengal and Assam with the addition of the district of Sambalpur which was transferred from C. P. to Western Bengal.

This division of one province into two, which is known in Indian history as the Partition of Bengal, was an attempt to create a Muslim State in Eastern Bengal, inasmuch as the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam was, barring parts of Assam, a predominantly Muslim area. But, the partition was abrogated in 1911 by the British who yielded to the Hindus, who were opposed to it and did not care for the wishes of the Muslims, as they were too weak to make themselves felt. If the partition of Bengal had not been annulled, the Muslim State in Eastern Bengal, instead of being a new project, would now have been 39 years old. 2[f.2] 


Is the idea of separation of Pakistan from Hindustan shocking ? If so, let me recall a few facts which are relevant to the issue and which form the basic principles of the Congress policy. It will be remembered that as soon as Mr. Gandhi captured the Congress, he did two things to popularize it. The first thing he did was to introduce Civil Disobedience.

Before Mr. Gandhi 's entry into the politics of India, the parties contending for power were the Congress, the Liberals and the Terrorists of Bengal. The Congress and the Liberals were really one party and there was no distinction between them such as divides them today. We can, therefore, safely say that there were only two parties in India, the Liberals and the Terrorists. In both, the conditions for admission were extremely difficult. In the Liberal Party, the condition for admission was not merely education but a high degree of learning. Without first establishing a reputation for study, one could never hope to obtain admission to the Liberal Party. It effectively excluded the uneducated from rising to political power. The Terrorists had prescribed the hardest test conceivable. Only those who were prepared to give their lives for the cause, not in the sense of dedicating them but in the sense of dying for it, could become members of their organization. No knave could, therefore, get an entry into the Terrorists' organization. Civil disobedience does not require learning. It does not call for the shedding of life. It is an easy middle way for that large majority who have no learning and who do not wish to undergo the extreme penalty and at the same time obtain the notoriety of being patriots. It is this middle path which made the Congress more popular than the Liberal Party or the Terrorist Party.

The second thing Mr. Gandhi did was to introduce the principle of Linguistic Provinces. In the constitution that was framed by the Congress under the inspiration and guidance of Mr. Gandhi, India was to be divided into the following Provinces with the language and headquarters as given below :




















Bombay (City)
























N. W. F. P.









Tamil Nadu



United Provinces










In this distribution no attention was paid to considerations of area,   population or revenue. The thought that every administrative unit must be capable of supporting and supplying a minimum standard of civilized life, for which it must have sufficient area, sufficient population and sufficient revenue, had no place in this scheme of distribution of areas for provincial purposes. The determining factor was language. No thought was given to the possibility that it might introduce a disruptive force in the already loose structure of the Indian social life. The scheme was, no doubt, put forth with the sole object of winning the people to the Congress by appealing to their local patriotism. The idea of linguistic provinces has come to stay and the demand for giving effect to it has become so insistent and irresistible that the Congress, when it came into power, was forced to put it into effect. Orissa has already been separated from Bihar. 3[f.3]  Andhra is demanding separation from Madras. Kamatak is asking for separation from Maharashtra.4[f.4]   The only linguistic province that is not demanding separation from Maharashtra is Gujarat Or rather, Gujarat has given up for the moment the idea of separation. That is probably because Gujarat has realized that union with Maharashtra is, politically as well as commercially, a better investment.

Be. that as it may, the fact remains that separation on linguistic basis is now an accepted principle with the Congress. It is no use saying that the separation of Karnatak and Andhra is based on a linguistic difference and that the claim to separation of Pakistan is based on a cultural difference. This is a distinction without difference. Linguistic difference is simply another name for cultural difference.

If there is nothing shocking in the separation of Karanatak and Andhra, what is there to shock in the demand for the separation of Pakistan ? If it is disruptive in its effect, it is no more disruptive than the separation of Hindu provinces such as Karnatak from Maharashtra or Andhra from Madras. Pakistan is merely another manifestation of a cultural unit demanding freedom for the growth of its own distinctive culture.




That there are factors, administrative, linguistic or cultural, which are the predisposing causes behind these demands for separation, is a fact which is admitted and understood by all. Nobody minds these demands and many are prepared to concede them. But, the Hindus say that the Muslims are going beyond the idea of separation and questions, such as what has led them to take this course, why are they asking for partition, for the annulment of the common tie by a legal divorce between Pakistan and Hindustan, are being raised.

The answer is to be found in the declaration made by the Muslim League in its Resolution that the Muslims of India are a separate nation. It is this declaration by the Muslim League, which is both resented and ridiculed by the Hindus.

The Hindu resentment is quite natural. Whether India is a nation or not, has been the subject-matter of controversy between the Anglo-Indians and the Hindu politicians ever since the Indian National Congress was founded. The Anglo-Indians were never tired of proclaiming that India was not a nation, that ' Indians 'was only another name for the people of India. In the words of one Anglo-Indian " to know India was to forget that there is such a thing as India." The Hindu politicians and patriots have been, on the other hand, equally persistent in their assertion that India is a nation. That the Anglo-Indians were right in their repudiation cannot be gainsaid. Even Dr. Tagore, the national poet of Bengal, agrees with them. But, the Hindus have never yielded on the point even to Dr. Tagore.

This was because of two reasons. Firstly, the Hindu felt ashamed to admit that India was not a nation. In a world where nationality and nationalism were deemed to be special virtues in a people, it was quite natural for the Hindus to feel, to use the language of Mr. H. G. Wells, that it would be as improper for India to be without a nationality as it would be for a man to be without his clothes in a crowded assembly. Secondly, he had realized that nationality had a most intimate connection with the claim for self-government. He knew that by the end of the 19th century, it had become an accepted principle that the people, who constituted a nation, were entitled on that account to self-government and that any patriot, who asked for self-government for his people, had to prove that they were a nation. The Hindu for these reasons never stopped to examine whether India was or was not a nation in fact. He never cared to reason whether nationality was merely a question of calling a people a nation or was a question of the people being a nation. He knew one thing, namely, that if he was to succeed in his demand for self-government for India, he must maintain, even if he could not prove it, that India was a nation.

In this assertion, he was never contradicted by any Indian. The thesis was so agreeable that even serious Indian students of history came forward to write propagandist literature in support of it, no doubt out of patriotic motives. The Hindu social reformers, who knew that this was a dangerous delusion, could not openly contradict this thesis. For, anyone who questioned it was at once called a tool of the British bureaucracy and enemy of the country. The Hindu politician was able to propagate his view for a long time. His opponent, the Anglo-lndian, had ceased to reply to him. His propaganda had almost succeeded. When it was about to succeed comes this declaration of the Muslim League— this rift in the lute. Just because it does not come from the Anglo-Indian, it is a deadlier blow. It destroys the work which the Hindu politician has done for years.  If the Muslims in India are a separate nation, then, of course, India is not a nation. This assertion cuts the whole ground from under the feet of the Hindu politicians. It is natural that they should feel annoyed at it and call it a stab in the back.

But, stab or no stab, the point is, can the Musalmans be said to constitute a nation ? Everything else is beside the point. This raises the question : What is a nation ? Tomes have been written on the subject. Those who are curious may go through them and study the different basic conceptions as well as the different aspects of it. It is, however, enough to know the core of the subject and that can be set down in a few words. Nationality is a social feeling. It is a feeling of a corporate sentiment of oneness which makes those who are charged with it feel that they are kith and kin. This national feeling is a double edged feeling. It is at once a feeling of fellowship for one's own kith and kin and an anti-fellowship feeling for those who are not one's own kith and kin. It is a feeling of " consciousness of kind " which on the one hand binds together those who have it, so strongly that it over-rides all differences arising out of economic conflicts or social gradations and, on the other, severs them from those who are not of their kind. It is a longing not to belong to any other group. This is the essence of what is called a nationality and national feeling.

Now apply this test to the Muslim claim. Is it or is it not a fact that the Muslims of India are an exclusive group ? Is it or is it not a fact that they have a consciousness of kind ? Is it or is not a fact that every Muslim is possessed by a longing to belong to his own group and not to any non-Muslim group ?

If the answer to these questions is in the affirmative, then the controversy must end and the Muslim claim that they are a nation must be accepted without cavil.

What the Hindus must show is that notwithstanding some differences, there are enough affinities between Hindus and Musalmans to constitute them into one nation, or, to use plain language, which make Muslims and Hindus long to belong together.

Hindus, who disagree with the Muslim view that the Muslims are a separate nation by themselves, rely upon certain features of Indian social life which seem to form the bonds of integration between Muslim society and Hindu society.

In the first place, it is said that there is no difference of race between the Hindus and the Muslims. That the Punjabi Musalman and the Punjabi Hindu, the U. P. Musalman and the U. P. Hindu, the Bihar Musalman and the Bihar Hindu, the Bengal Musalman and the Bengal Hindu, the Madras Musalman and the Madras Hindu, and the Bombay Musalman and the Bombay Hindu are racially of one stock. Indeed there is more racial affinity between the Madras Musalman and the Madras Brahmin than there is between the Madras Brahmin and the Punjab Brahmin. In the second place, reliance is placed upon linguistic unity between Hindus and Muslims. It is said that the Musalmans have no common language of their own which can mark them off as a linguistic group separate from the Hindus. On the contrary, there is a complete linguistic unity between the two. In the Punjab, both Hindus and Muslims speak Punjabi. In Sind, both speak Sindhi. In Bengal, both speak Bengali. In Gujarat, both speak Gujarati. In Maharashtra, both speak Marathi. So in every province. It is only in towns that the Musalmans speak Urdu and the Hindus the language of the province. Bu,t outside, in the mofussil, there is complete linguistic unity between Hindus and Musalmans. Thirdly, it is pointed out that India is the land which the Hindus and Musalmans have now inhabited together for centuries. It is not exclusively the land of the Hindus, nor is it exclusively the land of the Mahomedans.

Reliance is placed not only upon racial unity but also upon certain common features in the social and cultural life of the two communities. It is pointed out that the social life of many Muslim groups is honeycombed with Hindu customs. For instance, the Avans of the Punjab, though they are nearly all Muslims, retain Hindu names and keep their genealogies in the Brahmanic fashion. Hindu surnames are found among Muslims. For instance, the surname Chaudhari is a Hindu surname but is common among the Musalmans of U.P. and Northern India. In the matter of marriage, certain groups of Muslims are Muslims in name only. They either follow the Hindu form of the ceremony alone, or perform the ceremony first by the Hindu rites and then call the Kazi and have it performed in the Muslim form. In some sections of Muslims, the law applied is the Hindu Law in the matter of marriage, guardianship and inheritance. Before the Shariat Act was passed, this was true even in the Punjab and the N. W. F. P. In the social sphere the caste system is alleged to be as much a part of Muslim society as it is of Hindu society. In the religious sphere, it is pointed out that many Muslim pirs had Hindu disciples ; and similarly some Hindu yogis have had Muslim chelas. Reliance is placed on instances of friendship between saints of the rival creeds. At Girot, in the Punjab, the tombs of two ascetics, Jamali Sultan and Diyal Bhawan, who lived in close amity during the early part of the nineteenth century, stand close to one another, and are reverenced by Hindus and Musalmans alike. Bawa Fathu, a Muslim saint, who lived about 1700 A.D. and whose tomb is at Ranital in the Kangra District, received the title of prophet by the blessing of a Hindu saint, Sodhi Guru Gulab Singh. On the other hand, Baba Shahana, a Hindu saint whose cult is observed in the Jang District, is said to have been the chela of a Muslim pir who changed the original name (Mihra), of his Hindu follower, into Mir Shah.

All this, no doubt, is true. That a large majority of the Muslims belong to the same race as the Hindus is beyond question. That all Mahomedans do not speak a common tongue, that many speak the same language as the Hindus cannot be denied. That there are certain social customs which are common to both cannot be gainsaid. That certain religious rites and practices are common to both is also a matter of fact. But the question is : can all this support the conclusion that the Hindus and the Mahomedans on account of them constitute one nation or these things have fostered in them a feeling that they long to belong to each other ?

There are many flaws in the Hindu argument. In the first place, what are pointed out as common features are not the result of a conscious attempt to adopt and adapt to each other's ways and manners to bring about social fusion. On the other hand, this uniformity is the result of certain purely mechanical causes. They are partly due to incomplete conversions. In a land like India, where the majority of the Muslim population has been recruited from caste and out-caste Hindus, the Muslimization of the convert was neither complete nor effectual, either from fear of revolt or because of the method of persuasion or insufficiency of preaching due to insufficiency of priests. There is, therefore, little wonder if great sections of the Muslim community here and there reveal their Hindu origin in their religious and social life. Partly it is to be explained as the effect of common environment to which both Hindus and Muslims have been subjected for centuries. A common environment is bound to produce common reactions, and reacting constantly in the same way to the same environment is bound to produce a common type. Partly are these common features to be explained as the remnants of a period of religious amalgamation between the Hindus and the Muslims inaugurated by the Emperor Akbar, the result of a dead past which has no present and no future.

As to the argument based on unity of race, unity of language and inhabiting a common country, the matter stands on a different footing. If these considerations were decisive in making or unmaking a nation, the Hindus would be right in saying that by reason of race, community of language and habitat the Hindus and Musalmans form one nation. As a matter of historical experience, neither race, nor language, nor country has sufficed to mould a people into a nation. The argument is so well put by Renan that it is impossible to improve upon his language. Long ago in his famous essay on Nationality, Renan observed :

" that race must not be confounded with nation. The truth is that . there is no pure race;   and that making politics depend upon ethnographical analysis, is allowing it to be borne upon a chimera . . . Racial facts, important as they are in the beginning, have a constant tendency to lose their importance. Human history is essentially different from zoology. Race is not everything, as it is in the sense of rodents and felines."

Speaking about language, Renan points out that :

" Language invites re-union ; it does not force it. The United States and England, Spanish America and Spain speak the same languages and do not form single nations.   On the contrary, Switzerland which owes her stability to the fact that she was founded by the assent of her several parts counts three or four languages. In man there is something superior to language, —will. The will of Switzerland to be united, in spite of the variety of her languages,' is a much more important fact than a similarity of language, often obtained by persecution."

As to common country, Renan argued that :

" It is no more the land than the race that makes a nation. The land provides a substratum, the field of battle and work; man provides the soul ; man is everything in the formation of that sacred thing which is called a people. Nothing of material nature suffices for it"

Having shown, that race, language, and country do not suffice to create a nation, Renan raises in a pointed manner the question, what more, then, is necessary to constitute a nation ? His answer may be given in his own words :

" A nation is a living soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is in the past, the other in the present. One is the common possession of a rich heritage of memories ; the other is the actual consent, the desire to live together, the will to preserve worthily the undivided inheritance which has been handed down. Man does not improvise. The nation, like the individual, is the outcome of a long past of efforts, and sacrifices, and devotion. Ancestor-worship is therefore, all the more legitimate ; for our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past, great men, glory,—1 mean glory of the genuine kind,—these form the social capital, upon which a national idea may be founded. To have common glories in the past, a common will in the present; to have done great things together, to will to do the like again,—such are the essential conditions for the . making of a people. We love in proportion to the sacrifices we have consented to make, to the sufferings we have endured. We love the house that we have built, and will hand down to our descendant. The Spartan hymn, ' We are what you were ; we shall be what you are,' is in its simplicity the national anthem of every land.

" In the past an inheritance of glory and regrets to be shared, in the future a like ideal to be realised ; to have suffered, and rejoiced, and hoped together; all these things are worth more than custom houses in common, and frontiers in accordance with strategical ideas; all these can be understood in spite of diversities of race and language. I said just now, ' to have suffered together ' for indeed, suffering in common is a greater bond of union than joy. As regards national memories, mournings are worth more than triumphs; for they impose duties, they demand common effort."

Are there any common historical antecedents which the Hindus and Muslims can be said to share together as matters of pride or as matters of sorrow ? That is the crux of the question. That is the question which the Hindus must answer, if they wish to maintain that Hindus and Musalmans together form a nation. So far as this aspect of their relationship is. concerned, they have been just two armed battalions warring against each other. There was no common cycle of participation for a common achievement. Their past is a past of mutual destruction—a past of mutual animosities, both in the political as well as in the religious fields. As Bhai Parmanand points out in his pamphlet called " The Hindu National Movement":—"In history the Hindus revere the memory of Prithvi Raj, Partap, Shivaji and, Beragi Bir, who fought for the honour and freedom of this land (against the Muslims), while the Mahomedans look upon the invaders of India, like Muhammad Bin Qasim and rulers like Aurangzeb as their national heroes." In the religious field, the Hindus draw their inspiration from the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, and the Geeta. The Musalmans, on the other hand, derive their inspiration from the Quran and the Hadis. Thus, the things that divide are far more vital than the things which unite. In depending upon certain common features of Hindu and Mahomedan social life, in relying upon common language, common race and common country, the Hindu is mistaking what is accidental and superficial for what is essential and fundamental. The political and religious antagonisms divide the Hindus and the Musalmans far more deeply than the so-called common things are able to bind them together. The prospects might perhaps be different if the past of the two communities can be forgotten by both, Renan points out the importance of forgetfulness as a factor in building up a nation :

" Forgetfulness, and I shall even say historical error, form an essential factor in the creation of a nation; and thus it is that the progress of historical studies may often be dangerous to the nationality. Historical research, in fact, brings back to light the deeds of violence that have taken place at the commencement of all political formations, even of those the consequences of which have been most beneficial. Unity is ever achieved by brutality. The union of Northern and Southern France was the result of an extermination, and of a reign of terror lhal lasted for nearly a hundred years. The king of France who was, if I may say so, the ideal type of a secular crystalliser, the king of France who made the most perfect national unity in existence, lost his prestige when seen at too close a distance. The nation that he had formed cursed him ; and today the knowledge of what he was worth, and what he did, belongs only to the cultured.

" It is by contrast that these great laws of the history of Western Europe become apparent. In the undertaking which the king of France, in part by his justice, achieved so admirably, many countries came to disaster. Under the crown of St. Stephen, Magyars and Slavs have remained as distinct as they were eight hundred years ago. Far from combining the different elements in its dominions, the house of Hapsburg has held them apart and often opposed to one another. In Bohemia, the Czech element and the German element are superimposed like oil and water in a glass. The Turkish policy of separation of nationalities according to religion has had much graver results. It has brought about the ruin of the East. Take a town like Smyrna or Salonica; you will find there five or six communities each with its own memories, and possessing among them scarcely anything in common. But the essence of the nation is, that all its individual members should have things in common; and also, that all of them should hold many things in oblivion. No French citizen knows whether he is a Burgundian, an Alan, or a Visigoth; every French citizen ought to have forgotten St. Bartholomew, and the massacres of the South in the thirteenth century. There are not ten families in France able to furnish proof of a French origin; and yet, even if such a proof were given it would be essentially defective, in consequence of a thousand unknown crosses, capable of deranging all genealogical systems."

The pity of it is that the two communities can never forget or obliterate their past. Their past is imbedded in their religion, and for each to give up its past is to give up its religion. To hope for this is to hope in vain.

In the absence of common historical antecedents, the Hindu view that Hindus and Musalmans form one nation falls to the ground. To maintain it is to keep up a hallucination. There is no such longing between the Hindus and Musalmans to belong together as there is among the Musalmans of India.

It is no use saying that this claim of the Musalmans being a nation is an after-thought of their leaders. As an accusation, it is true. The Muslims were hitherto quite content to call themselves a community. It is only recently that they have begun to style themselves a nation. But an accusation, attacking the motives of a person, does not amount to a refutation of his thesis. To say that because the Muslims once called themselves a community, they are, therefore, now debarred from calling themselves a nation is to misunderstand the mysterious working of the psychology of national feeling. Such an argument presupposes that wherever there exist a people, who possess the elements that go to the making up of a nation, there must be manifested that sentiment of nationality which is their natural consequence and that if they fail to manifest it for sometime, then that failure is to be used as evidence showing the unreality of the claim of being a nation, if made afterwards. There is no historical support for such a contention. As Prof. Toynbee points out :

"It is impossible to argue a priory from the presence of one or even several of these factors to the existence of a nationality; they may have been there for ages and kindled no response and if is impossible to argue from one case to another; precisely the same group of factors may produce nationality here, and there have no effect."

This is probably due to the fact, as pointed out by Prof. Barker, that it is possible for nations to exist and even for centuries, in unreflective silence, although there exists that spiritual essence of a national life of which many of its members are not aware. Some such thing has no doubt happened in the case of the Musalmans. They were not aware of the fact that there existed for them the spiritual essence of a national life. This explains why their claim to separate nationality was made by them so late. But, it does not mean that the spiritual essence of a national life had no existence at all.

It is no use contending that there are cases where a sense of nationality exists but there is no desire for a separate national existence. Cases of the French in Canada and of the English in South Africa, may be cited as cases in point. It must be admitted that there do exist cases, where people are aware of their nationality, but this awareness does not produce in them that passion which is called nationalism. In other words, there may be nations conscious of themselves without being charged with nationalism. On the basis of this reasoning, it may be argued that the Musalmans may hold that they are a nation but they need not on that account demand a separate national existence ; why can they not be content with the position which the French occupy in Canada and the English occupy in South Africa ? Such a position is quite a sound position. It must, however, be remembered that such a position can only be taken by way of pleading with the Muslims not to insist on partition. It is no argument against their claim for partition, if they insist upon it.

Lest pleading should be mistaken for refutation, it is necessary to draw attention to two things. First, there is a difference between nationality and nationalism. They are two different psychological states of the human mind. Nationality means

   " consciousness of kind, awareness of the existence of that tie of kinship."  Nationalism means " the desire for a separate national existence for those who are bound by this tie of kinship." Secondly, it is true that there cannot be nationalism without the feeling of nationality being in existence. But, it is important to bear in mind that the converse is not always true. The feeling of nationality may be present and yet the feeling of nationalism may be quite absent. That is to say, nationality does not in all cases produce nationalism. For nationality to flame into nationalism two conditions must exist. First, there must arise the " will to live as a nation. Nationalism is the dynamic expression of that desire. Secondly, there must be a territory which nationalism could occupy and make it a state, as well as a cultural home of the nation. Without such a territory, nationalism, to use Lord Acton's phrase, would be a " soul as it. were wandering in search of a body in which to begin life over again and dies out finding none." The Muslims have developed a " will to live as a nation." For them nature has found a territory which they can occupy and make it a state as well as a cultural home for the new-born Muslim nation. Given these favourable conditions, there should be no wonder, if the Muslims say that they are not content to occupy the position which the French choose to occupy in Canada or the English choose to occupy in South Africa, and that they shall have a national home which they can call their own.




"What justification have the Musalmans of India for demanding the partition of India and the establishment of separate Muslim States ? Why this insurrection ? What grievances have they ? "—ask the Hindus in a spirit of righteous indignation.

Anyone, who knows history, will not fail to realize that it has now been a well established principle that nationalism is a sufficient justification for the creation of a national state. As the great historian Lord Acton points out :

" In the old European system, the rights of nationalities were neither recognised by Governments nor asserted by the people. The interest of the reigning families, not those of the nations, regulated the frontiers, and the administration was conducted generally without any reference to popular desires. Where all liberties were suppressed, the claims of national independence were necessarily ignored, and a princess, in the words of Fenelon, carried a monarchy in her wedding portion. "

Nationalities were at first listless. When they became conscious—

" They first rose against their conquerors in defence of their legitimate rulers. They refused to be governed by usurpers. Next came a time when they revolted because of the wrongs inflicted upon them by their rulers. The insurrections were provoked by particular grievances justified by definite complaints. Then came the French Revolution which effected a complete change. It taught the people to regard their wishes and wants as the supreme criterion of their right to do what they liked to do with themselves. It proclaimed the idea of the sovereignty of the people uncontrolled by the past and uncontrolled by the existing state.  This text taught by the French Revolution became an accepted dogma of all liberal thinkers. Mill gave it his support. ' One hardly knows, ' says Mill, ' what any division of the human race should be free to do, if not to determine with which of the various collective bodies of human beings they choose to associate themselves.' "

He even went so far as to hold that—

" It is in general a necessary condition of free institutions that the boundaries of governments should coincide in the main with those of nationalities. "

   Thus history shows that the theory of nationality is imbedded in the democratic theory of the sovereignty of the will of a people. This means that the demand by a nationality for a national state does not require to be supported by any list of grievances. The will of the people is enough to justify it.

But, if grievances must be cited in support of their claim, the Muslims say that they have them in plenty. They may be summed up in one sentence, that constitutional safeguards have failed to save them from the tyranny of the Hindu majority.

At the Round Table Conference, the Muslims presented their list of safeguards, which were formulated in the well-known fourteen points. The Hindu representatives at the Round Table Conference would not consent to them. There was an impasse. The British Government intervened and gave what is known as " the Communal decision ". By that decision, the Muslims got all their fourteen points. There was much bitterness amongst the Hindus against the Communal Award. But, the Congress did not take part in the hostility that was displayed by the Hindus generally towards it, although it did retain the right to describe it as anti national and to get it changed with the consent of the Muslims. So careful was the Congress not to wound the feelings of the Muslims that when the Resolution was moved in the Central Assembly condemning the Communal Award, the Congress, though it did not bless it, remained neutral, neither opposing nor supporting it. The Mahomedans were well justified in looking upon this Congress attitude as a friendly gesture.

The victory of the Congress at the polls in the provinces, where the Hindus are in a majority, did not disturb the tranquillity of the Musalmans. They felt they had nothing to fear from the Congress and the prospects were that the Congress and the Muslim League would work the constitution in partnership. But, two years and three months of the Congress Government in the Hindu Provinces have completely disillusioned them and have made them the bitterest enemies of the Congress. The Deliverance Day celebration held on the 22nd December 1939 shows the depth of their resentment. What is worse, their bitterness is not confined to the Congress. The Musalmans, who at the Round Table Conference joined in the demand for Swaraj, are today the most ruthless opponents of Swaraj.

What has the Congress done to annoy the Muslims so much ? The Muslim League has asserted that under the Congress regime the Muslims were actually tyrannized and oppressed. Two committees appointed by the League are said to have investigated and reported on the matter. But apart from these matters which require to be examined by an impartial tribunal, there are undoubtedly two things which have produced the clash: (1) the refusal by the Congress to recognize the Muslim League as the only representative body of the Muslims, (2) the refusal by the Congress to form Coalition Ministries in the Congress Provinces.

On the first question, both the Congress and the League are adamant. The Congress is prepared to accept the Muslim League as one of the many Muslim political organizations, such as the Ahrars, the National Muslims and the Jamiat-ul-Ulema. But it will not accept the Muslim League as the only representative body of the Muslims. The Muslim League, on the other hand, is not prepared to enter into any talk unless the Congress accepts it as the only representative body of the Musalmans of India. The Hindus stigmatize the claim of the League as an extravagant one and try to ridicule it. The Muslims may say that if the Hindus would only stop to inquire how treaties between nations are made, they would realize the stupidity of their view. It may be argued that when a nation proceeds to make a treaty with another nation, it recognizes the Government of the latter as fully representing it. In no country does the Government of the day represent the whole body of people. Everywhere it represents only a majority. But nations do not refuse to settle their disputes because the Governments, which represent them, do not represent the whole people. It is enough if each Government represents a majority of its citizens. This analogy, the Muslims may contend, must apply to the Congress-League quarrel on this issue. The League may not represent the whole body of the Muslims but if it represents a majority of them, the Congress should have no compunction to deal with -it for the purpose of effecting a settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question. Of course, it is open to the Government of a country not to recognize the Government of another country where there is more than one body  claiming to be the Government. Similarly, the Congress may not recognize the League. It must, however, recognize either the National Muslims or the Ahrars or the Jamiat-ul-Ulema and fix the terms of settlement between the two communities. Of course, it must act with the full knowledge as to which is more likely to be repudiated by the Muslims—an agreement with the League or an agreement with the other Muslim parties. The Congress must deal with one or the other. To deal with neither is not only stupid but mischievous. This attitude of the Congress only serves to annoy  the Muslims and to exasperate them. The Muslims rightly interpret this attitude of the Congress as an attempt to create divisions among them with a view to cause confusion in their ranks and weaken their front.

On the second issue, the Muslim demand has been that in the cabinets there shall be included Muslim Ministers who have the confidence of the Muslim members in the Legislature. They expected that this demand of theirs would be met by the Congress if it came in power. But, they were sorely disappointed. With regard to this demand, the Congress took a legalistic attitude. The Congress agreed to include Muslims in their cabinets, provided they resigned from their parties, joined the Congress and signed the Congress pledge. This was resented by the Muslims on three grounds.

In the first place, they regarded it as a breach of faith. The Muslims say that this demand of theirs is in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution. At the Round Table Conference, it was agreed that the cabinets shall include representatives of the minority communities. The minorities insisted that a provision to that effect should be made a part of- the statute. The Hindus, on the other hand, desired that the matter should be left to be regulated by convention. A via media was found. It was agreed that the provision should find a place in the Instrument of Instructions to the

Governors of the provinces and an obligation should be imposed upon them to see that effect was given to the convention in the formation of the cabinets. The Musalmans did not insist upon making this provision a part of the statute because they depended upon the good faith of the Hindus. This agreement was broken by a party which had given the Muslims to understand that towards them its attitude would be not only correct but considerate.

In the second place, the Muslims felt that the Congress view was a perversion of the real scope of the convention. They rely upon the text of the clause 5[f.5]  in the Instrument of Instructions and argue that the words " member of a minority community " in it can have only one meaning, namely, a person having the confidence of the community. The position taken by the Congress is in direct contradiction with the meaning of this clause and is indeed a covert attempt to break all other parties in the country and to make the Congress the only political party in the country. The demand for signing the Congress pledge can have no other intention. This attempt to establish a totalitarian state may be welcome to the Hindus, but it meant the political death of the Muslims as a free people.

This resentment of the Muslims was considerably aggravated when they found the Governors, on whom the obligation was imposed to see that effect was given to the convention, declining to act. Some Governors declined, because they were helpless by reason of the fact that the Congress was the only majority party which could produce a stable government, that a Congress Government was the only government possible and that there was no alternative to it except suspending the constitution. Other Governors declined, because they became active supporters of the Congress Government and showed their partisanship by praising the Congress or by wearing Khadi which is the official party dress of the Congress. Whatever be the reasons, the Muslims discovered that an important safeguard had failed to save them.

The Congress reply to these accusations by the Muslims is twofold. In the first place, they say that coalition cabinets are inconsistent with collective responsibility of the cabinets. This, the Musalmans refuse to accept as an honest plea. The English people were the first and the only people, who made it a principle of their system of government. But even there it has been abandoned since. The English Parliament debated 6[f.6]  the issue and came to the conclusion that it was not so sacrosanct as it was once held and that a departure from it need not necessarily affect the efficiency  or smooth working of the governmental machine. Secondly, as a matter of fact, there was no collective responsibility in the Congress Government. It was a government by departments. Each Minister was independent of the other and the Prime Minister was just a Minister. For the Congress to talk about collective responsibility was really impertinent. The plea was even dishonest, because it is a fact that in the provinces where the Congress was in a minority, they did form Coalition Ministries without asking the Ministers from other parties to sign the Congress pledge. The Muslims are entitled to ask ' if coalition is bad, how can it be good in one place and bad in another ? '

The second reply of the Congress is that even if they take Muslim Ministers in their cabinet who have not the confidence of the

majority of the Muslims, they have not failed to protect their interests. Indeed they have done every thing to advance the interests of the Muslims. This no doubt rests on the view Pope held of government when he said :

" For forms of government let fools contest ; What is best administered is best. "

In making this reply, the Congress High Command seems to have misunderstood what the main contention of the Muslims and the minorities has been. Their quarrel is not on the issue whether the Congress has or has not done any good to the Muslims and the minorities. Their quarrel is on an issue which is totally different. Are the Hindus to be a ruling race and the Muslims and other minorities to be subject races under Swaraj ? That is the issue involved in the demand for coalition ministries. On that, the Muslims and other minorities have taken a definite stand. They are not prepared to accept the position of subject races.

That the ruling community has done good to the ruled is quite beside the point and is no answer to the contention of the minority communities that they refuse to be treated as a subject people. The British have done many good things in India for the Indians. They have improved their roads, constructed canals on more scientific principles, effected their transport by rail, carried their letters by penny post, flashed their messages by lightning, improved their currency, regulated their weights and measures, corrected their notions of geography, astronomy and medicine, and stopped their internal quarrels and effected some advancement in their material conditions. Because of these acts of good government, did anybody ask the Indian people to remain grateful to the British and give up their agitation for self-government ? Or because of these acts of social uplift, did the Indians give up their protest against being treated as a subject race by the British ? The Indians did nothing of the kind. They refused to be satisfied with these good deeds and continued to agitate for their right to rule themselves. This is as it should be. For, as was said by Curran,

the Irish patriot, no man can be grateful at the cost of his self-respect, no woman can be grateful at the cost of her chastity and no nation can be grateful at the cost of its honour. To do otherwise is to show that one's philosophy of life is just what Carlyle called ' pig philosophy '. The Congress High Command does not seem to realize that the Muslims and other minorities care more for the recognition of their self-respect at the hand of the Congress than for mere good deeds on the part of the Congress. Men, who are conscious of their being, are not pigs who care only for fattening food. They have their pride which they will not yield even for gold. In short " life is more than the meat ".

It is no use saying that the Congress is not a Hindu body. A body which is Hindu in its composition is bound to reflect the Hindu mind and support Hindu aspirations. The only difference between the Congress and the Hindu Maha Sabha is that the latter is crude  in its utterances and brutal in its actions while the Congress is politic and polite. Apart from this difference of fact, there is no other difference between the Congress and the Hindu Maha Sabha.

Similarly, it is no use saying that the Congress does not recognize the distinction between the ruler and the ruled. If this is so, the Congress must prove its bonafides by showing its readiness to recognize   the other communities as free and equal partners. What is the test of such recognition ? It seems to me that there can be only one—namely, agreeing to share power with the effective representatives of the minority communities. Is the Congress prepared for it ? Everyone knows the answer. The Congress is not prepared to share power with a member of a community who does not owe allegiance to the Congress. Allegiance to the Congress is a condition precedent to sharing power. It seems to be a rule with the Congress that if allegiance to the Congress is not forthcoming from a community, that community must be excluded from political power.

Exclusion from political power is the essence of the distinction between a ruling race and a subject race ; and inasmuch as the Congress maintained this principle, it must be said that this distinction was enforced by the Congress while it was in the saddle. The Musalmans may well complain that they have already suffered enough and that this reduction to the position of a subject race is like the proverbial last straw. Their decline and fall in India began ever since the British occupation of the country. Every change, executive, administrative, or legal, introduced by the British, has inflicted a series of blows upon the Muslim Community. The Muslim rulers of India had allowed the Hindus to retain their law in civil matters. But, they abrogated the Hindu Criminal Law and made the Muslim Criminal Law the law of the State, applicable to all Hindus as well as Muslims. The first thing the British did was to displace gradually the Muslim Criminal Law by another of their making, until the process was finally completed by the enactment of Macaulay's Penal Code. This was the first blow to the prestige and position of the Muslim community in India. This was followed by the abridgement of the field of application of the Shariat or the Muslim Civil Law. Its application was restricted to matters concerning personal relations, such as marriage and inheritance, and then only to the extent permitted by the British. Side by side came the abolition, in 1837, of Persian as the official language of the Court and of general administration and the substitution of English and the vernaculars in place of Persian. Then came the abolition of the Qazis, who, during the Muslim rule, administered the Shariat. In their places, were appointed law officers and judges, who might be of any religion but who got the right of interpreting Muslim Law and whose decisions became binding on Muslims. These were severe blows to the Muslims. As a result, the Muslims found their prestige gone, their laws replaced, their language shelved and their education shorn of its monetary value. Along with these came more palpable blows in the shape of annexation of Sind and Oudh and the Mutiny. The last, particularly, affected the higher classes of Muslims, who suffered enormously by the extensive confiscation of property inflicted upon them by the British, as a punishment for their suspected complicity in the Mutiny. By the end of the Mutiny, the Musalmans, high and low, were brought down by these series of events to the lowest depths of broken pride, black despair and general penury. Without prestige, without education and without resources, the Muslims were left to face the Hindus. The British, pledged the neutrality, were indifferent to the result of the struggle between the two communities. The result was that the Musalmans were completely worsened in the struggle. The British conquest of India brought about a complete political revolution in the relative position of the two communities. For six hundred years, the Musalmans had been the masters of the Hindus. The British occupation brought them down to the level of the Hindus. From masters to fellow subjects was degradation enough, but a change from the status of fellow subjects to that of subjects of the Hindus is really humiliation. Is it unnatural, ask the Muslims, if they seek an escape from so intolerable a position by the creation of separate national States, in which the Muslims can find a peaceful home and in which the conflicts between a ruling race and a subject race can find no place to plague their lives ?



Contents                                                                     PART II

 [f.1]Halide Edib— Inside India, p. 355.

 [f.2]Government of India Gazette Notification No. 2832, dated 1st September 1905. The two provinces became separate administrative units from 16th October 1905.

 [f.3]This was done under the Government of India Act, 1935.

 [f.4]Kamatak also wants some districts from the Madras Presidency.

 [f.5]" In making appointments to his Council of Ministers, our Governor shall use his best endeavours to select his Ministers in the following manner, that is to say, to appoint in consultation with the person who in his judgement is most likely to command a stable majority in the Legislature, those persons (including so far as practicable, members of important minority communities) who will best be in a position collectively to command the confidence of the Legislature. In so acting, he shall bear constantly in mind the need for fostering a sense of joint responsibility among his Ministers. "

 [f.6]See the announcement on 22nd January 1932 by the British Prime Minister on the decision of the cabinet to agree to differ on the Tariff Question and the debate on it in Parliament.