By JG Arora
As per Barbara W. Tuchman, American historian, “Disasters of history are the result of government’s folly and perverse persistence in pursuing the policies contrary to national interests.”
Indian government’s perverse persistence in pursing the policy of appeasement and fake secularism ever since 1947 is culminating in a historical disaster.
Though reservation on religious grounds is anti-secular and unconstitutional, and though it would fragment an already fragmented India and tear apart its secular fabric, on December 22, 2011, Congress-led Central Government declared 4.5 per cent reservation for minorities (within 27 per cent reservation for OBCs) in government jobs and educational institutions to harvest Muslim votes in assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and four other states to be held in January / February, 2012.
This reservation has been given to minorities as notified under Section 2 of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, and which has notified minority communities on the basis of religion only. Thus, this reservation is based on religion only.
Shockingly, the same Indian National Congress which had rejected “Communal Award” and separate electorates for Muslims in 1932 is now giving reservation for Muslims though there can be no religion-based reservation, and though reservation for Muslims in truncated India after creation of Pakistan for Muslims is obviously untenable.
Notwithstanding the semantic jugglery used in this regard, reservation for minorities is ‘religion specific’, and violates Indian Constitution’s Article 14 (equality before law), Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination) and Article 16 (equality of opportunity in public appointments).
Since appeasement is a bottomless pit, this sinister and divisive design of minority reservation would open the floodgates for more dangerous and more divisive demands and dismember the nation.
Though government jobs and educational institutes all over India are as much open to Muslims as to other communities, some sections of Muslim have already demanded reservation in proportion to their population instead of 4.5 per cent reservation for minorities.
Reservation for Muslims defies both logic and history, and also ignores the catastrophic partition of India on religious grounds in 1947 and creation of Pakistan for Muslims as demanded by Muslims. But as aptly stated by George Santayana, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.
Proponents of Muslim reservation forget how Muslim League had demanded and obtained Pakistan for Muslims in 1947. They also ignore that such measures would re-create pre-1947 situation which would further shatter India.
How Muslim League got Pakistan
How Muslims League got Pakistan for Muslims is briefly narrated below.
Bharat Varsha comprising the present day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and even a part of Iran was Hindu land with no Muslim presence till Muhammad bin Qasim’s Arab army attacked Sindh in 711. Though Hindus fought bravely to defend their religion and motherland, they lost Afghanistan in 987, and suffered the loss of millions of lives and plunder and destruction of thousands of temples during repeated Muslim invasions for over a thousand years.
After Muslim rule, India was under the British from 1857 to 1947 when Muslim League was formed in 1906. Muslim League demanded Pakistan for Muslims in 1940.
Though Indian National Congress continued its policy of Muslim appeasement, in the elections held in 1945-46, Muslims overwhelmingly voted for Muslim League, and for creation of Pakistan.
Muslim League launched Direct Action Day on August 16, 1946 to attain Pakistan. This action resulted in slaughter of thousands of innocents.
Ultimately, Congress conceded the demand for Pakistan. And 1947 saw the shrinking of Indian boundaries, and emergence of Pakistan comprising of West Pakistan (presently Pakistan) and East Pakistan (presently Bangladesh).
Creation of Pakistan saw eviction of Hindus and Sikhs from areas now known as Pakistan and Bangladesh. Though Hindus accounted for 24 per cent of Pakistan’s population in 1947; now number less than two per cent. In Bangladesh, Hindus numbered 31 per cent in 1947; but now number nine per cent. However, in India, present percentage of Muslim population is much higher than that in 1947.
Constant ‘Appeasement’ after ‘Settlement’
Immediately after Muslim League demanded Pakistan for Muslims in March 1940, Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar wrote his book, “Thoughts on Pakistan” wherein he described the atrocities committed on Hindus by various Muslim invaders and rulers; and considering the horrible history of Hindu-Muslim relationship, and as a permanent solution of Hindu-Muslim conflict, he suggested that exchange of Hindu-Muslim population in India and Pakistan must accompany partition of India.
Vide this book, Dr Ambedkar criticised the Congress policy of ‘appeasement’ of Muslims, and advocated the policy of ‘settlement’. As per Dr Ambedkar, ‘appeasement’ sets no limits to aggressor’s demands. ‘Settlement’ does. Moreover, as highlighted by Dr Ambedkar in the said book, the creation of Pakistan for Muslims as demanded by Muslims was to be the permanent ‘settlement’ of Muslim problem in India.
However, after getting Pakistan in 1947, a large majority of Indian Muslims who had demanded Pakistan for Muslims stayed back in India, and did not go to Pakistan.
Extension of appeasement
In India anything which is anti-Hindu, pro-Muslim, divisive, sectarian, and even anti-national is ‘secularism’. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion that “Muslims must have the first claim on resources” at the National Development Council’s meeting on December 9, 2006 is noteworthy in this regard.
A few examples of havoc brought by fake secularism
Countless Pak-Bangla terrorists and crores of Pak-Bangla infiltrators planting mini-Pakistans and mini-Bangladeshs in India; genocide and eviction of Hindus from Kashmir; global missionary organisations Christianising India; government control over all prominent Hindu temples whereas no mosque or church is covered by such control; special privileges to non-Hindus under Article 30 of the Constitution; special rights to Muslim majority Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370; special benefits conferred upon non-Hindus by many state governments; and provision of Haj subsidy though none of 57 Islamic countries gives any such subsidy are just a few perversities of secular India.
Let history and common sense be our guides. With the wisdom of a thousand years’ hindsight, we must avoid policies of self-destruction.
Any policy of providing reservation for Muslims on religious grounds is divisive and dangerous with lethal consequences for the unity and integrity of the nation. Accordingly, the same must be strongly opposed.
In a truly secular polity, there should be no majority and no minority. In a really secular set-up, there would be only humans, only citizens, one law, one nation, justice to all and appeasement of none.
Instead of vicious policies like reservation for minorities, there is need to implement Uniform Civil Code as stipulated in Article 44 of Indian Constitution to make India a really secular, united and strong country. Besides, Article 370 must be abolished to bring Muslim majority Jammu & Kashmir State’s complete integration with the rest of India.
Since reservation for Muslims on religious grounds would re-create conditions which created Pakistan in 1947, all nationalist individuals and social, religious and political organisations must do their utmost to force the government to withdraw this ruinous move in order to prevent further dismemberment of truncated India, and creation of more Pakistans and Bangladeshs on its soil.
(The author is former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax)