“REGARDING the Mussulmans in Hindusthan, it may be said that you (Hindus) are trying to rope them with you but do the Mussulmans so desire? In the end, desire is the most influential and important factor for a nation. If they consider themselves separate, what is achieved merely by saying that you consider them your own? And hence, we need not worry whether they come with us or not. And there is no reason why we should sacrifice Hindu interests and plead with them to perforce say that they are not a separate nation. Hindus are a nation unto themselves. Considering this, the Hindus should continue the freedom struggle by consolidating themselves irrespective of whether the Mussulmans come with them or not. If they so desire, they may stay here, else they shall go where it pleases them.”
Savarkar’s consistent view on this subject was best summarised by him in his Presidential address in Nagpur in 1938. He said, “It is absurd to call us (Hindus) a community in India. The Germans are the Nation in Germany and the Jews a Community. The Turks are a Nation in Turkey and the Arab or the Armenian minority a Community. Even so the Hindus are a Nation in India-in Hindusthan and the Moslem minority a Community.”
It is undeniable that Muslims consider themselves as a nation or Ummah. It was not Savarkar’s invention nor did he ever endorse this Islamic concept. It is noteworthy that the Afro-American religious movement started by Wallace D Fard Muhammad in Detroit, Michigan in 1930 was named ‘Nation of Islam’.
To say that Jinnah adopted Savarkar’s idea is arrant nonsense. Can Digvijay Singh or his ilk quote a single sentence from Jinnah’s speeches or writings where he has named Savarkar as his source of inspiration? In a letter to newly elected Congress President Badruddin Tyabji (1888), Sir Syed Ahmed wrote, “Is it supposed that the different castes and creeds living in India belong to one nation, or can become nation, and that their aims and aspirations be one and same? I think it is quite impossible.” The answer given by Tayyabji, the former President of Digvijay Singh’s grand old party is even more revealing. Tayyabji writes, “Now I am not aware of anyone regarding the whole of India as one Nation and if you read my Inaugural address, you will find it distinctly stated that there are numerous communities or nations in India…”(Source Material for a History of the Freedom Movement in India, Vol.2, pp70-73). The idea of an independent, sovereign Islamic State carved out of India was first publicly stated by Sir Muhammad Iqbal in his Presidential address to the Muslim league in 1930. Iqbal said, “I would like to see the Punjab, the North West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single State. Self-Government within the British Empire or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to be to me the final of the Muslims at least of the North-Western India.” Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto accurately observed that “the starting point of Pakistan goes back a thousand years to when Muhammad-bin-Qasim set foot on the soil of Sind and introduced Islam in the sub-continent”.
It is a travesty that Congressmen who accepted the Islamic demand of a separate state on the basis of religion and Leftists who fervently believe India to be a hotchpotch of multiple nationalities should hurl the charge of advocacy of the two-nation theory on Savarkar, a lifelong champion of a unified India. (Concluded)
(The writer is a Pune-based specialist in diabetes and hormone disorders. He has authored books on Islam, contemporary Buddhist-Muslim relations and played a major role in developing www.savarkar.org)