India and Pakistan
By Justice Katju
Just as Prime Minister Vajpayee's acclaimed Lahore bus visit and the Lahore Declaration in February 1999 was followed by the Kargil war in May the same year, so also Prime Minister Modi's recent Lahore visit, with all its bonhomie, hoopla and fanfare has been followed by the attack by militants on the Pathankot air force base.
There are many people who want improvement of relations between India and Pakistan. They say that if France and Germany can live as good neighbours after long years of animosity, why cannot we?
In my opinion such people are living in a fool's paradise, and they forget certain basic facts.
Pakistan was created by the Britishers as a theological state on the basis of the bogus two nation theory, that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations,so that Hindus and Muslims keep fighting each other, and thereby two aims of Westerners are achieved
(1) Our subcontinent remains weak, and does not emerge as a modern industrial giant, like China, of which it has now all the potential with our huge pool of engineers, technicians, scientists, and immense raw materials, and our economy does not become a big rival to Western industries.
(2) India ( of which Pakistan is really a part ) keeps spending billions of dollars on arms purchases from Western arms manufacturers, money which could and should have been spent on the welfare of our people to reduce poverty, unemployment, malnourishment, lack of healthcare, etc.
So all this talk of ' improving ' relations between India and Pakistan is cant. There can never be good relations between India and Pakistan. If there are good relations, the very raison d'etre of Pakistan will disappear.
How was Pakistan created ? For this we have to delve into history.
Up to 1857, there were no communal problems in India; all communal riots and animosity began after 1857. No doubt even before 1857, there were differences between Hindus and Muslims, the Hindus going to temples and the Muslims going to mosques, but there was no animosity. In fact, the Hindus and Muslims used to help each other; Hindus used to participate in Eid celebrations, and Muslims in Holi and Diwali. The Muslim rulers like the Mughals, Nawab of Awadh and Murshidabad, Tipu Sultan, etc were totally secular; they organised Ramlilas, participated in Holi, Diwali, etc. Ghalib’s affectionate letters to his Hindu friends like Munshi Shiv Naraln Aram, Har Gopal Tofta, etc attest to the affection between Hindus and Muslims at that time
In 1857, the ‘Great Mutiny’ broke out in which the Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. This shocked the British government so much that after suppressing the Mutiny, they decided to start the policy of divide and rule (see online “History in the Service of Imperialism” by B.N. Pande). All communal riots began after 1857, artificially engineered by the British authorities. The British collector would secretly call the Hindu Pandit, pay him money, and tell him to speak against Muslims, and similarly he would secretly call the Maulvi, pay him money, and tell him to speak against Hindus. This communal poison was injected into our body politic year after year and decade after decade.
In 1909, the ‘Minto-Morley Reforms’ introduced separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims. The idea was propagated that Hindi is the language of Hindus, while Urdu of Muslims (although Urdu was the common language of all educated people, whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh in large parts of India upto 1947). All this vicious propaganda resulted in the partition of 1947, which created a fake, artificial theocratic nation called Pakistan.
Nation states arose in Europe around the 16th century because of the rise of modern industry. Modern industry, unlike feudal handicraft industry, requires a big market for its goods and a large area from where it can get raw materials.
The creation of a state based on religion destroys the very basis of a nation, because it cuts off industries from markets and raw materials. British imperialism created India as a big administrative unit. The British policy was to prohibit the growth of heavy industry in India; otherwise, the Indian industry, with its cheap labour, would have become a powerful rival to British industry.
When the British left India, they divided us so that we may keep fighting each other and remain backward and weak, and not emerge as a modern powerful industrial state (for which we have now all the potential). This was the real reason for creating Pakistan.
I submit that Pakistan was doomed from its very inception; firstly, because there is such tremendous diversity in our subcontinent that only secularism can work here, and secondly, because a modern nation cannot be based on religion (because this will cut it off from its markets and raw materials).
If this theory, that religion can be the basis of a nation, is accepted then logically England should be partitioned into at least about 8 states. The majority in England are Anglican Protestant Christians, but there are many Scottish Presbyterians and other kinds of Protestants, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, etc. Similarly, France has a sizeable Muslim population (descendants of North African Arabs belonging to the former French colonies in North Africa) and Germany has many Turks.. The French and German Muslims too should then be given a separate state (if the two nation theory is accepted as valid ).
Anyone can see that this will create chaos. Hardly any country can survive if this theory is accepted because in almost every country there are people of different religions. And in the Indian subcontinent secularism is all the more vital in view of the tremendous diversity here (because the Indian subcontinent is broadly a country of immigrants, as I have pointed out in my article 'What is India' on my blogjusticekatju.blogspot.in and in the video on the website kgfindia.com ).
We can see the result of creating a theocratic state (Pakistan) in which chaos and religious extremism is prevailing so that many people cannot lead normal lives. Apart from the minorities (Hindus, Christians, Sikhs,etc), Ahmadis, Shias, etc are also persecuted, and intolerance and terrorism is the order of the day. So secularism is the only policy which is suitable to our subcontinent.
I am confident that with passage of time people, both in India and Pakistan, will realise the truth in what I am saying, and India and Pakistan ( and Bangladesh ) will reunite under a strong, secular government which does not tolerate religious extremism, whether Hindu or Muslim, and deals with it with an iron hand.
Secularism does not mean that one cannot practice his religion. It means that religion is a private affair, unconnected with the state that will have no religion.
What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP. All these were part of India since Mughasl times.
When I meet Pakistanis, we speak in Hindustani, we look like each other, share the same culture, and feel no difference between ourselves. We were befooled by the Britishers into thinking that we are enemies, but how much longer must we remain befooled? How much longer must blood flow in religious violence in Quetta, Karachi, Gujarat, Kashmir etc..?
Those who oppose the idea of reunification say it is only a pipe dream. But when Mazzini proposed unification of Italy his idea too was initially regarded as a pipe dream, but this dream became a reality later under Cavour and Garibaldi. Germany was united by Bismarck..
Many people say that we were divided in 1947, and much water has flown since then. But Germany was united in 1990 after being divided for 45 years. Vietnam was united in 1975 after being divided for 30 years. China has not yet recognized Taiwan, though separated from it since 1945.
Many people say that we cannot unite because there is too much religious extremism on both sides. I submit that this extremism is largely artificially created, and will subside once we are reunited under a strong secular government which does not tolerate it. Most people want to live in peace and harmony.
I do not expect reunification in the immediate future, particularly since those who have divided us will not let us easily reunite. But reunification is an idea whose time has come, and this idea must be spread by all patriotic people
लेखक जस्टिस मार्कंडेय काटजू देश के जाने-माने शीर्षस्थ न्यायाधीश रहे हैं और अपनी बेबाक बयानी व लेखनी के लिए जाने जाते हैं.