By Arabinda Ghose
MOST citizens of India born around 1950s might not have heard the name of Kasim Rizvi. He was a resident of the riyasat (princely state) of Hyderabad, then under the Nizam. The name becomes important because the Nizam, after Independence, did not join the Indian Union by signing the Instrument of Accession. He was actually rooting for joining Pakistan, hundreds of miles away from the boundary of his riyasat.
Kasim Rizvi was the man leading an organisation of goons and fundamentalists called Razakars. This organisation had launched a sort of ?ethnic cleansing? of Hyderabad state of all Hindus, who were in an overwhelming majority in this princely state. If one had seen the film Sardar Patel by Ketan Mehta, one would appreciate the extent of audacity this man had in warning the Home Minister of India that the Razakars would kill all Hindus living in Hyderabad.
Sardar Patel (Thank God, it was not Nehru) took the matter in his own hands and, within two or three days of police action in 1948, made the Nizam see reason and sign the Instrument of Accession with Hyderabad joining the Indian Union.
The Razakar or the Razakar mentality, however, has not died down even today and you can see the ideological successor of this movement loudly professing ?secularism? in parliamentary speeches. Since power at any cost is the post-Independence Congress Party´s only ideology, with some honourable exceptions, the current ruler of the state has devised a none-too-novel stratagem to win votes from the minority community for the Congress Party whenever elections are held there.
The ?insignificant? step in providing reservation for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh is merely the seed, which with a proper dose of fertilisers and irrigation by some fundamentalists, one of whom joined the Congress Party recently in the name of secularism, can grow into a huge poison tree leading to demands for another Partition.
So, Dr Y.S.R. Reddy, the Congress Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, announced on July 11, 2004, that he would provide 5 per cent reservation for Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions. His decision of course had the concurrence of the country´s Super Prime Minister and Congress president, Italy-born Sonia Maino-Gandhi, since it has become almost mandatory for all Congress leaders to seek permission of 10, Janpath, New Delhi, to undertake any activity, excepting perhaps those connected with maintaining personal hygiene.
The fear that this apparently humanitarian step might ultimately lead to a further partition of the country is based on evidence of Congress Party pandering to communal demands. The Congress Party, which chants secularism day in and day out, forgets that Hindus and Muslims of India had jointly fought the first war of Independence in 1857 under the leadership of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. No one had raised the question of religion then. Both Hindu and Muslim soldiers in service with the British had revolted in May 1857 and later.
Ignoring this historical evidence of communal harmony in India during the first war of Independence, the Congress Party had repeatedly encouraged communalism during the freedom struggle, ultimately succumbing to the machinations by Jinnah and Mountbatten in accepting the Partition of India. The ?insignificant? step in providing reservation for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh is merely the seed, which with a proper dose of fertilisers and irrigation by some fundamenta-lists, one of whom joined the Congress Party recently in the name of secularism, can grow into a huge poison tree leading to demands for another Partition.
It is this fear of further vivisection of their motherland that nationalist elements in the country have taken umbrage at this Congress proposal and demanded its complete withdrawal. Lest one should dub this move anti-Muslim, one might state that a large section of Muslims themselves are opposed to YSR´s proposal.
Contrary to general belief that there is no caste system in Islam, there are a number of castes among Muslims in India and there are no inter-marriages between them. The so-called ?lower caste? population among Muslims are already covered under the Mandal Commission and enjoy reservation (27 per cent reservation) along with the social and economically backward sections (Other Backward Classes or OBCs) among the Hindus. The ?creamy layers? among both the Hindus and Muslims are exempted from the purview of this 27 per cent reservation. So, the ostensible purpose for which YSR has proposed reservation for socially and economically backward Muslims has already been covered. Then why this 5 per cent reservation for Muslims?
There must be a hidden agenda behind this move by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, whose political modus operandi, as alleged by Swaminathan Ankleshwaria Aiyar of the Times of India recently, includes even murders and the like (Times of India, July 18, 2004). The agenda could be to create in the country the atmosphere after the ?Direct Action? call by the Muslim League in August 1946, which had seen massacre of thousands of Hindus in Kolkata on August 16, 1946. Such a situation of confrontation between the two communities would suit the Italian National Congress to curb all opposition?Indira Gandhi-type Emergency not excluded?and perpetuate the rule of the Nehru-Gandhi family over India.
This is not an alarmist view of the seemingly innocuous move on the part of a Chief Minister. One must remember that this time the communists are aligned with the Congress. The communists consider every linguistic group in this country a ?nation? and call these people ?nationalities?. For them, breaking of India into different ?nations? is the most desired aim. It is these people who had demanded creation of Pakistan before India could attain freedom and some of these people had danced on the streets of Kolkata when the Chinese had invaded India on October 20, 1962. EMS himself had declared that his objective in joining the parliamentary system was to ?wreck it from within?.
It is for all nationalist elements in the country to beware of this conspiracy to balkanise India and join hands to defeat this unholy axis between the once-nationalist Congress Party and the eternal traitorous elements called the communists.