|VOL. 1 NO. 21 DELHI: Thursday, Kartik Shukla 7, November 20, 1947 Four Annas|
Pandit Nehru, Prime Minister, during his recent campaign for the establishment of peace and goodwill among the people made it a point to speak in strong language against the idea of making India a Hindu State. Though in recent past, no responsible section of Indian public opinion has made any demand to that effect, yet Pandit Nehru has quite unnecessarily felt exasperated about it and thought it fit to condemn the very idea of a Hindu State in the most vehement language.
Such denunciation of a just and reasonable aspiration would otherwise have been dismissed as the thoughtless fulmination of an irresponsible person quite ignorant of the full implication of his words, but since it proceeds from a man of Pandit Nehru’s standing, I think it is necessary to examine the question thoroughly.
His Pet Aversion
Pandit Nehru cannot stand for a moment the word ‘Hindu’ associated with any organisation. The very term ‘Hindu’ seems offensive and repulsive to his sensitive temperament. It stands in his view for all that fascism, reactionary imperialism and anti-nationalism jointly or severally signifies. He seems to think as if it is on offence against modern progressive trends to call oneself Hindu or be a member of any institution bearing the name Hindu.
It is important to remember that he not only does not hate but has always had a soft corner for number of fanatical Muslim communal organizations, viz. Anjuman-Ahrar-Islam, Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Hind Azad Muslim Board and the Muslim Majlis.
A Political Term
I would like to point out that the word ‘Hindu’ does neither denote any community, nor religion, nor even any theological system. It connotes nationality. It is a political term which encompasses every single individual of our motherland. It excludes none except those who insist on owing extra-territorial allegiance. Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians, Arabians and Iranians called us Hindus without importing any religious distinction.
What Others Say
Further, all the dictionaries i.e., Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and English define the term likewise. Americans call all the inhabitants of Hindusthan as Hidus. Muslim students from India in the famous Al Azhar University of Cairo are addressed as ‘Hanood’, i.e. Hindus.
Lest the authenticity of the above facts should be unacceptable to him, it would be well to cite the evidence of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the well-known Muslim leader of the last century. Says he: “It is patent to us all, whether we are Hindus or Muslims, that we are born in and inhabit the same land, and are governed by the same ruler. . It is precisely for these reasons that I call both the communities of India by one name, viz., Hindu, meaning thereby the inhabitants of Hindusthan.”- (Life of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan by Maulana Hali, Page 498, 2nd Vol.)
It would be appropriate to point out to Pandit Nehru that he is entirely wrong when he says: “The very idea of a theocratic Hindu State is not only mediaeval but also stupid,” and that “the very conception of a Hindu State is fascist in outlook and ruinous to India’s progress and prosperity.”
The entire historical evidence eloquently proclaims the fact that the period of thousands of years, when our country was ruled by Hindus, saw all-round freedom of thought, peace and prosperity.
It might be well-known to him that when the satanic fury of Arab nomads, intoxicated religion of Islam, unleashed itself on the inhabitants of Iran, i.e., Zoroastrians, and wrought untold bloodshed and destruction the latter fled from their country and sought refuge in the Hindu States of Gujarat. Armenian Christians and Jews have been residing in South India and freely following their respective faiths now for well over 15 centuries. It would be known to many that Muslim traders and businessmen from Arabia settled under Hindu Governments in Gujarat, Malabar coast and other parts of Southern and Northern India at least two centuries earlier than Mohammad Bin Qasim, the first Muslim invader. There is not an iota of evidence on record that any Hindu State persecuted or hindered them in the full and free exercise of their legitimate activities. Historical facts therefore contradict or controvert the assumption of Pandit Nehru that the very conception of Hindu State is fascist, intolerant and reactionary.