|VOL. 1 NO. 9 DELHI: SHRAVAN SHUKLA 12, AUGUST 28, 1947 FOUR ANNAS|
The British Government’s statement of June 3 is in many ways a triumph for Mr. Jinnah. Pakistan is now an accomplished fact.
No doubt, it is not an undiluted triumph. He did not get what he claimed.
The coming of Pakistan brings us face to face with a set of new problems. We also have to revise our approach to various old political or strategic questions…
a very important point to remember is the quasi-certainty that neither Mr. Jinnah nor the Muslim League are going to take it lying down. The very fact that they readily accepted the truncated territory offered–which many expected them to reject–should put us on our guard. The division of the Punjab and Bengal and the non-inclusion of Assam are major blows to League prestige.
…There is no indication that Jinnah has renounced his old dream of a full-fledged Pakistan. On the contrary, the present division is to him the first concrete step towards that goal.
From the Muslim League point of view, Pakistan is meant to serve as a spring-board for further expansion. It is a major blunder to suppose that its present truncated shape will disillusion its devotees and show to them the absurdity of their pretensions. The achievement of an independent Pakistan is, on the contrary, encouraging them as the first solid step.
The immediate objective of the League is obviously the purification and strengthening of Pakistan, and the consolidation of Muslim position in the Indian Union. The process of purification is already going on in Bengal, Punjab and Sind. The main aim of this rapine and murder is to shatter completely the solid economic and social position of the Hindus and Sikhs, and make them helpless and weak. They will thus become politically inoffensive. When this process is complete the League will have no objection to their remaining in Pakistan. As a necessary corollary the position and privileges of Muslims in Hindusthan have to be maintained. This, according to League calculation, is not very difficult.
It is obvious that the Muslim League has been in fact, all along the League of Muslim Government servants and zamindars. While in the Muslim-majority provinces the League is ruthlessly immobilizing Hindu officials or simply eliminating them, it counts on being able to persuade India to keep intact the position of Muslim officials. In this way the Hindus and Sikhs will be reduced to a nullity in Muslim areas while the Muslims will maintain their important positions in Hindusthan.
After the achievement of their immediate objectives, future plans will depend upon developments in the Indian Union and in States like Hyderabad which are important allies of the League.
At such a critical juncture, it is our duty to speak plainly and bluntly even though it hurts a little. The panic and uneasiness that is at present prevailing all over the country, is due not so much to the fear of the League as to a grave doubt about our ability to take decisions and master the situation. Many of our leaders accuse the public of waning courage. The unpleasant fact is that the public feels their leaders are helpless, and are unable to take effective steps against disruptive and diabolic forces, hence its feeling of helplessness. It is no use blaming the public for such a belief. Only strong and decisive action can banish it and check the rising tide of demoralization in time.
The first step to stop this rot is a rigid enforcement of the principle of strict justice for all communities without any special concession or favour to any group or community. Side by side, there must be ruthless suppression of all antisocial and disruptive acts without regard for communal or personal susceptibilities.
The Muslim League is not the representative of a minority. A minority which has avowed ambition of converting itself into a majority cannot be treated like other minorities.
The League is bound to make a great effort to disrupt the Indian Union or undermine its strength.
To counteract this danger, it is necessary to deal firmly with League propaganda in India.
The safety of minorities in Pakistan is also going to be a thorny problem for the future. The league’s record is far from reassuring. Acharya Kripalani did well in pointing out that people in India cannot remain insensible to what is happening to their friends and relatives across the border, and strong reactions are inevitable if anything untoward happens. Only the fear of such reprisals is likely to restrain the League from unbridled oppression, but one cannot be too sure and we will have to be very vigilant.
-Bharat Jyoti Dr. Balkrishna Keskar