Amidst the gathering gloom about imploding Pakistan, I came across a positive news from Pakistan. It said Pakistan carried out drone attacks in Feb: US Officials . Well, isn’t it a surprise when many Pakistan political leaders were deriding US drone attacks for killing innocent civilians along with terrorists and wanted it to be stopped, that establishment in Pakistan realised that with US departure, now Pak army has to do what US was doing all along. Well, other news emerging from that country seem all depressing. A third major attack within last 2 month on Shia community and the news that part of the Pakistan state is now controlled by outside fighters not just in FATA etc but within its biggest city Karachi itself is hugely depressing. The Shia community is new target. Earlier targets for attacks have been other religious minorities like Hindu, Christian. The puzzle now seems who will follow Shias. Will it be Barelvis, Muhajir (Muslim migrants from India who came at Pakistan creation), will it be Punjabi v rest Pukhtuns, Sindhis etc. Baluchi like Shia are already on the anvil getting hammered.
Figure 1 After the Shia Bombing in Pakistan
Every time, all these bad news gather pace, the question goes back to the genesis of Pakistan. Was it necessary to placate and encourage a few Muslims by British to create a partition of India. The present affairs of Pakistan seems uncontrollable but who knows if more resources come into Pakistan, it may stabilise. There seems more if statements and wishful thinking about it, though.
Recently, I came across a facebook Hindu group page wanting to besmirch the good memory of Mahatma Gandhi decided to post a picture of Gandhi’s killers. The others were supposed to fall in line and pay respect to the killer because it would have meant rejecting Gandhi’s love for Muslims, Hindus etc. I was not happy for them losing sight of Gandhi’s contribution in India’s freedom as well as inspiring others like Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. etc for the world peace in general.The group photo had included unfortunately another individual called “Veer Savarkar” who spent considerable years in jail from (1911 -1924) for violent struggle against British. Savarkar was a complex person. In jail, he turned to revive Hinduism and wrote several books. In 1920, the Indian National Congress and leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Vithalbhai Patel and Bal Gangadhar Tilak demanded his unconditional release. Savarkar tactically signed a statement endorsing the trial, verdict and British law, and renouncing violence, a bargain for freedom. But his incarceration continued. After his release, however, in stead of joining India’s non-violent freedom movement with Congress, he went against the Congress and Jinnah’s Muslim League. He, presided over a new organisation till 1943 called Hindu Mahasabha which became a pre-cursor to current BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party). Hindu Mahasabha could not reconcile to partition. Gandhi was considered guilty as he acquiesced to partition. It is hard for anyone to conclude those days in 1948 that Veer Savarkar had nothing to do with Gandhi’s murder, if he was sitting in that photo along with Gandhi’s eventual killers and met the killer just before the murder mission. So, Savarkar was also arrested for Gandhi’s murder too along with others but he was freed as the evidence linking him with it lacked independent corroboration. Current BJP brigade keep bringing Veer Savarkar in front because of their need to highlight his message of Akhand Bharat (undivided India) and also for his so much work on Hinduism. Savarkar was a patriot to the core and devoted to the cause of India. I believe he should be brought to lime light denied to him so far but BJP should not dismiss Gandhi’s contribution and spoil his memory as it was not just Savarkar who gave the message of Hindu unity and empowerment but Gandhi too did the same in equal measure, if not more.
BR Ambedkar, the man responsible for Indian Constitution, talked about Savarkar like this –
“In his scheme a Muslim is to have no advantage which a Hindu does not have. Minority is to be no justification for privilege and majority is to be no ground for penalty. “
Savarkar also expressed joy at the recognition of the claim of Jewish people to establish an independent Jewish state, and likened the event to the glorious day on which Moses led them out of Egyptian bondage.
However, there is a concern in majority Hindus that the current Congress and many other parties in India like SP, BSP, TMC(Trinamul Congress), AIADMK etc who all want Muslim votes are doing the same thing that led to partition of India. It was then the active appeasement of Muslim constituency by British. The appeasement of any section of society lead to disenchantment in others. Already the reservations for even Hindu lower castes(dalits etc) is causing this. This has been extended to Muslim reservation in number of states but if Muslim reservation for Jobs etc goes nationwide, it will exacerbate into a deep seated anger against the beneficiaries and divide the communities along religious lines too besides already castes divided Indians. So, while most Indians thinking nostalgically about Pakistan hurts in one way asking question as to why we had to separate or why this dream of Savarkar ‘s Akhand Bharat could not be kept, I have begun to feel and thank God for partition that India is saved at least from the mayhem (daily bombs) that Pakistan is facing. The Hindu community swelled after migration from Pakistan, perhaps, they must be feeling blessed too that they have become now an Akhandit Hindu Samudaay (undivided Hindu Community). However, it is not just Hindus, but Muslims feel relieved too. Here there is one Shia Muslim expressing his joy on remaining in India .He commented on the Pakistani news paper Dawn’s website like this –
So much for the two nation theory, Maulana Azad was 100% right, I am glad my parents stayed put in India and not move to Pakistan, on the eve of partition. Being a Shia , and a minority in India, I feel much safer in Haryana, a 90% Hindu area where I live, then I ever will in a Muslim nation. Pakistan needs to learn to respect people and be tolerant, if the Hindus want they can wipe out Muslims from India and the world would probably do nothing , as it is a big economic power on which no military or economic sanctions will work, but that does not happen in India, periodic riots do happen that is as much a fault of Muslims and Hindus or Sikhs, Our MLA is a Muslim, the next constituency the MLA is a Sikh, and again the population of both communities is less then 10%. I hope that this venom from Pakistan does not spread to Muslims in India, already we have seen anti Shia violence in Lucknow.
Well, I hope India remains undivided between castes, groups and religions for long long time irrespective to whatever is happening in Pakistan.It was a blessing in disguise that partition happened. India should survive to give refuge to any one undergoing persecution anywhere.