Scars of wounds, pains and anguish, even today,in the wake of partition in 1947 of greater India (Bharat) are giving agonising moments to the population of both India and Pakistan in Asia. Since partition both the countries-India and Pakistan-are indulging in only enmity,war,communal tension, bitter struggles for territories etc. On August 15, 2013 when the people of entire India were celebrating the Independence Day, strange thought started creeping in my mind, "if both India and Pakistan would not have partitioned, we would have "United India", most powerful country on the GLOBE.,Recent border skirmishes and killings and counter-killings of army men of both the countries are not only pained me but old reminiscences have kept me wandering in my thoughts !.
Finally, Britishers succeeded in dividing India into "India and Pakistan" by adopting 'divide and rule policy'. And both nations were freed from British rule in August 1947.Sadly, this partition resulted in killings of over two lakhs of people in both the countries another over 50 lakh people became homeless because of huge repartition of people from one country to another.Devastating tragedies had shaken both the countries. Exactly I remember the wordings of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the main architect of partition in the wake his sidelining in the Congress party led by 'Mahatma Gandhi and Co.' had said, while making an aerial survey of the situation on the ground because of huge number of persons being killed by each other as well as refugees making their way away from their respective ancestral homes towards villages and towns , they had never seen or been to earlier, expressed pain and anguish and he (Jinnah) plunged plunged into shock. Jinnah had commented. "oh. what have I done ?"-that was the shock, he expressed-no one accompanying him answered !Within months, millions of Hindus and Sikhs would have their ancient homes in Punjab and Bengal and trek to an uncertain future across unknown geography. Millions of Muslims would make their way to Pakistan, convinced that it was there they would live in dignity as masters of their destiny.
Before discussing other aspects , I must mention the circumstances leading to the partition of the country by British Raj1 A study of the Jinnah papers, the literature that has grown around Jinnah and Pakistan give the impression that essentially an introvert and a narcissist with an insatiable craze for going to the top, Jinnah was given a raw deal as a congressman. He was only utilised and exploited and thrown away when not needed. He had been an ardent Congressman who had taken to be the ambassador of the Hindu-Muslim unity. A statesman like Gokhale had seen in him a front-rank born leader. Sarojini Naidu had said about Jinnah, "......a naive and eager humanity, an intuition quick and tender as woman's , a humour gay and winning as a child's-pre-eminently rational and practical, discreet and dispassionate in his estimates and acceptance of life, the obvious sanity and serenity of his worldly wisdom effectively disguised , a shy and splendid idealism which is very essence of the man".
Jinnah's narcissism and interovertism had thrown a cloak over his core of steel that would not bend although lashed by the furies of circumstances. His domestic life was not very happy. He married late in life and after a short period of bliss the couple separated, His sister Fatima Jinnah sacrificed her life for her brother and looked after him. The brother and sister together weathered many phases in life-some times oblivion, occasional excitements, years of hard thinking and work, careful planning, cautious journeys in India ans abroad, parleys with Muslim Leagures giving up the Congress, , planned interviews where Gandhiji and Sapru could cut no ice then frenzied advocacy of Pakistan, A quite man , who once denounced communal representation and who said he was proud of being a Congressman and an Indian and advocated partition as an inescapable solution of an Indian blazed as the champion of the two-nation theory in India and creation of the Pakistan, the toy-dream of a few Cambridge Muslim scholars as the panacea for the Musilms here.An ardent Congressite, who was not given his proper honour in the inner Congress coterie and who had to say at the Howrah station platform to a friend"-this is parting ways". Subsequently Jinnah had to leave India for a while and settled down in England to start as a lawyer.
But he was waiting, keeping himself abreast with the thoughts-current in India and in the right moment, he came back to India at the call of Liyaqut Ali Khan . The Muslim League crowned him. The many, who could hardly speak Urdu and seldom wore a sherwani and pyjama in the public over night became the Messiah of Muslims. He had given that time strong confidence and warning to the millions of Muslims.He had his desolate days, exploited and neglected by the Congress.. He started dictating terms to Gandhiji .And thus, after cabinet Mission plan had to go and independent Pakistan and India were created? Did he not through blood sheds, riots, arson and loot. Did Jinnah look for his revenge for all the ignomity poured on himl? Did he not outclass Gandhiji, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Bhallav Bhai Patel ? Mountbatten was out Gandhi Ji put on the shelf when he wanted to become Governor-General Of Pakistan. Gandhi ji called him "Quaiad -E-Azam" in his parleys prior to the partition of India. Once only years before as a Congressite Jinnah had used the word "Mahatma" about Gandhi . In the later parleys he always addressed him as ""Mr Gandhi" and would not listen to him but only as leader of Hindus. Nemesis works out through mysterious ways but with Jinnah he was clearly given raw deal which he nursed secretly and gave it back when the time came.
The metamorphosed Jinnah spoke and wrote in the following strains," India of modern conception with its so called present geographical unity is entirely the creation of British who hold it as one administrative unit by a system of bureaucratic government whose ultimate sanction is the sword and not the will or the sanction of the people behind the government so established. This position is very much exploited by Hindu Congress and another Hindu organisation, the Hindu Mahasabha. India is a vast sub-continent. It is neither a country nor a nation. It is composed of nationalities and race but the two major nations are the Muslims and the Hindus. Talk of Indian unity as one constitutional government of this vast sub-continent is simply a myth................Muslims under the subjugation and hegemony of the Hindu Raj over the entire sub-continent of India which means that Muslims shall be merely transferring their bondage of slavery from the British Raj to Hindu Raj."
When one look back Jinnah as Congressman from 1906 to 1920, he was actively associated with the Indian National Congress. At that time it was observed several times that Jinnah received his political training under Dadabhai Naroji whom he first met in England and later worked as his secretary for 14 years Jinnah had also close association with Surendranath Bennerjee and G K Gokhale and often referred to Gokhale as " a practical politician" Gokhale had also his regard for Jinnah. and had said, " he has true stuff in him and that freedom from all sectarian projects will make him best ambassador for of Hindu-Muslim unity". Jinnah had taken active part in Congress session of 908, 1910, 1913 and 1917 and he used to speak disapproving the scheme of communal representation in local bodies. Jinnah left the Congress on September 30, 1921 when he was convinced that the Congress was going wrong way with Gandhiji at its helm .Later he started giving fiery speech against Congress and Hindu Mahasabha as Muslim League chief .He had spoken for the safeguards for minority. He bitterly criticised Jawahar Lal, Gandhiji, Rajgopalachjari and the Hindu Mahasabha. Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru was described by Jinnah as "most subtle and plausible and therefore all the more treacherous." he asked the Muslims to maintain "complete unity and solidarity". Jinnah's tirade and resentment was so strong for creation of Pakistan that almost all leaders including Gandhiji, Subhash Bose, Jawahar Lal, Tej Bahadur Sapru , Mirza Ismail, Jayakar had failed cope Jinnah. In 1942, it was momentous year for Muslim League under the stewardship of Jinnah . Jinnah had become idol of Muslim League and Muslim -minded people . In between and independence and partition , many incidents happened and ultimately India was partitioned and India and Pakistan were created in August 1947 by dividing from brothers to brothers , fathers , sons, daughters, and eveybodies and every things . And partition left a greatest scar on the Indian sub-continent !
The Editor of the Daily Star, a newspaper published from Dhaka, Syed Badrul Ahsan, in a recent signed article-"The Legacy of Partition" has written, " Sixty- six years after partition , one would do well to take stock of the ramifications of the vivisection of the land. Hindus and Muslims have only seen their relations worsen through the decades, to a point where communal ism continues to define life all the way from Pakistan through India to Bangala Desh. Hindutva undermines the secular vision that was once Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru's legacy. In Pakistan and to certain extent in Bangala Desh, religious bigotry threatens to wreck liberalism of all sorts, India's Muslims remain largely backward, poor, and, in a very big way, less than well-educated. In Pakistan, Hindus are as good as non-existent ; and the tiny Christian minority is always the target of blasphemy law peddlers in the Bangala Desh's Hindu population has been on sharp decline, despite the country's self-proclaimed secularism; its Christian community become smaller by the day; and after Ramu, its Buddhists are not sure this is their country any more.. Post -partition Indian has thrown up the likes of Bal Thackrey, who thought all Muslims should be kicked out of the country. Today, it is controversial, none too Muslim-friendly Narendra Modi who dreams of being prime minister.In Pakistan and Bangala Desh, that a Hindu or Christian or Buddhist can not play leading role in politics and in the administration........"
" ........if India's BJP tout Hindu nationalism, Pakistan's political parties continue to see nothing beyond Islam, while Bangala Desh's right wing discovers, through 'Bangala Deshi nationalism', a clever way of repudiating Bengali nationhood in favour of a shrewd pursuit of religion -based politics. Secular politics never took roots in Pakistan. In India and Bangala Desh , it has been forced to the ropes. The division of India has led to a diminution of politics through the rise of dynasties across the old country. The Bhutto's in Pakistan, the Nehru-Gandhi in India and Mujib and Zia clans in Bangala Desh have created perfect conditions for mediocrity to thrive in politics. Behind these larger dynasties come the little ones-in politics, indeed nearly everywhere. The modern day republic is thus but another name for monarchies in new wrappings", Ahsan writes.
He further writes lambently , " Partition saw the best among the Hindu community -teachers, philanthropists , doctors,-leave Muslim Pakistan and make new home across the newly drawn frontiers. It was Muslim gentry, as in West Bengal, make the arduous decision to move to the new state of Pakistan in hope of better future. Both groups, as also their descendants, have remained trapped in nostalgia. Artistes and writers have seen their futures devastated by partition. The singer Noor Jehasn went off to Pakistan together with Saadat Hasan Manto, Khuswant Singh, Kuldip Nayar and Inder Kumar Gujaral, their homeland suddenly foreign territory for them, resettled in an India vastly different from the one they had known earlier. Sahibzada Yaqub Khan trooped off to Pakistan even as his parents and siblings decided to stay on in India, Jinnah, Liyaqut Khan, H S Suhrawardy and Buutto abandoned their homes in India and made new homes in Pakistan . Pakistan has seen democracy, to a great extent, minus the aberrations of the 1975-77 emergency, thrive in in India.. In Pakistan, army have undermined prospects of democracy four times and continues to wield unbridled influence over making of policy. In Bangala desh, the ,liberation of which was a revolt against Pakistan , military coups have led to the systematic murder of politicians and leading freedom fighters.
Louis Mountbatten and Cyril Radcliffe, who gave us divided homes and villages and provinces. It gave us three wars. It gave the people of the sub-continent defence budgets that have left them impoverished .
And we are , after sixty six years after independence in 1947, in dark over the" legacy of partition remains questionable".
REFERENCES :-I have written many essays like Ominous Signal for Secularism in India (July 21, 2012); Muslims in Globe vis-a-vis in India (17 July 1912); Communal Harmony in India since Medieval Period (29 March, 2012); Why not Communal Harmony in India and Pakistan ? (August 24, 2013); Why this Hate Campaign Against Muslims of the World ?(16 October 2012) !