Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar

All quotations are from ‘Pakistan or The partition of India’ by B.R. Ambedkar, 3rd edition, 1946: BAWS Vol. 8, 1990, Govt. of Maharashtra Publication; previous name of the book : Thoughts on Pakistan

Hindu is a Kafir-not worthy of respect : “To the Muslims, a Hindu (and any non-Muslim) is a Kafir. A Kafir (non-believer in Islam) is not worthy of respect. He is a low born and without status. That is why a country ruled by the kafir (non-muslim) is a ‘Dar ul harb’ (i.e. the land of war) to a Muslim, which must be conquered, by any means for the Muslims and turned into ‘Dar ul Islam’ (i.e., land of Muslims alone). Given this, not further evidence seems necessary to prove that the Muslims will not obey a Hindu (or for that matter any non-Muslim) government.” (p. 301)

Brotherhood of Muslims for the Muslims only : “Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is the brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only_ There is fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity.

The second defect of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria is unthinkable. Wherever-there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country.

In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt Indian as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India.” (ibid pp. 330-331)

Difficult to see difference between a communal and Nationalist Muslim : “It is difficult to see any real difference between the communal Muslims who form the Muslim League and the Nationalist Muslims. It is extremely doubtful whether the Nationalist Musalmans have any real community of sentiment, aim and policy with the Congress which marks them off from the Muslim League. Indeed many Congressmen are alleged to hold the view that there is no different between the two and that the Nationalist Muslim inside the Congress are only an outpost of the communal Muslims.” (ibid., pp 408)

Muslim invaders planted the seeds of Islam in India : “The Muslim invaders, no doubt, came to India singing a hymn of hate against the Hindus. But, they did not merely sing their hymn of hate and go back burning a few temples on the way. That would have been a blessing. They were not content with so negative a result. They did a positive act, namely, to plant the seed of Islam. The growth of this plant is remarkable. It is not a summer sapling. It is as great and as strong as an oak. Its growth is the thickest in Northern India. The successive invasions have deposited their ‘silt’ more there than anywhere else, and have served as watering exercises of devoted gardeners. Its growth is so thick in Northern India that the remnants of Hindu and Buddhist culture are just shrubs. Even the Sikh axe could not fell this oak.” (ibid. pp. 65)

Muslim’s strategy in politics : “The third thing that is noticeable is the adoption by the Muslims of the gangster’s method in politics. The riots are a sufficient indication that gangsterism has become a settled part of their strategy in politics.” (ibid p. 269)

Murderers are Religious martyrs : “But whether the number of prominent Hindus killed by fanatic Muslims is large or small matters little. What matters is the attitude of those who count towards these murderers. The murderers paid the penalty of law where law is enforced. The leading Moslems, however, never condemned theses criminals. On the contrary, they were hailed as religious martyrs and agitation was carried on for clemency being shown to them. As an illustration of this attitude, one may refer to Mr. Barkat Ali, a Barrister of Lahore, who argued the appeal of Abdul Qayum. He went to the length of saying that Qayum was not guilty of murder of Nathuramal because his act was justifiable by the law of the Koran. This attitude of the Moslems is quite understandable. What is not understandable is the attitude of Mr. Gandhi.” (ibid. p. 157)

Hindus and Muslims are two distinct spiritual species : From a spiritual point of view, Hindus and Musalmans are not merely two classes or two sects such as Protestants and Catholics or Shaivas and Vaishnavas. They are two distinct species.” (ibid. p. 193)

Islam and Casteism : “Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stands abolished now by law. But while it existed much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries.”

But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans has remained. As an illustration one may take the conditions prevalent among the Bengal Muslims. The Superintendent of the Census for 1901 for the Province of Bengal records the following interesting facts regarding the Muslims of Bengal :-

The conventional division of the Mahomedans into four tribes- Sheikh, Saiad, Moghul and Pathan-has very little application to this Province (Bengal). The Mahomedans themselves recognize two main social divisions, (1) Ashraf or Sharaf and (2) Ajlaf. Ashraf means ‘noble’ and includes all undoubted descendants of foreigners and coverts from high caste Hindus. All other Mahomedans including the occupational groups and all converts of lower ranks, are known by the contemptuous-terms, ‘Ajlab’, ‘wretches’ or ‘mean people’ : they are also called Kamina or Itar, ‘base’ or Rasil, a corruption of Rizal, ‘worthless’. In some places a third class, called Arzal or ‘lowest of all’, is added. With them no other Mohomedan would associate, and they are forbidden to enter the mosque to use the public burial ground.

“Within these groups there are castes with social precedence of exactly the same nature as one finds among the Hindus.

1. Ashraf or better class Mahomedans.

(2) Saiads, (2) Sheikhs, (3) Pathans, (4) Moghul, (5) Mallik and (6) Mirza

2. Ajlaf or lower class Mahomedans.

(1) Cultivating Sheikhs, and others who were originally Hindus but who do not belong to any functional group, and have not gained admittance to the Ashraf Community, e.g. Pirali and Thakrai.

(2) Darzi, Jolaha, Fakir, and Rangrez.

(3) Barhi, Bhathiara, Cluk, Chrihar, Dai, Dhawa, Dhunia, Gaddi, Kalal, Kasai, Kula Kunjara, Laheri, Mahifarosh, Mallah, Naliya, Nikari.

(4) Abdal, Bako, Bediya, Bhat, Chamba, Dafali, Dhobi, Hajjam, Mucho, Nagarchi, Nat, Panwari, Madaria, Tuntia.

3. Arzal or degraded class.

Bhanar, Halalkhor, Hijra, Kasbi, Lalbegi, Mougtra, Mehtar.”

“Similar facts from other Provinces of India could be gathered from their respective Census Reports and those who are curious may refer to them. But the facts for Bengal are enough to show that the Mahomedans observe not only caste but also untouchability. (ibid. pp. 228-230)

Muslim canon oppose social reform : The existence of these evils among the Muslims is distressing enough. But far more distressing is the fact that there is no organized movement of social reform among the Musalmans of India on a scale sufficient to bring about their eradication. The Hindus have their social evils. But there is relieving feature about them-namely, that some of them are conscious of their existence and a few of them are actively agitating for their removal. Indeed, they oppose any change in their existing practices. It is noteworthy that the Muslims opposed the Child-Marriage Bill brought in the Central Assembly in 1930, whereby the age for marriage of a girl was raised to 14 and of a boy to 18 on the ground that it was opposed to the Muslim cannon law. Not only did they oppose the bill at every stage but that when it became law they started a campaign of Civil Disobedience against that Act.” (ibid. p. 233)

Muslim politicians oppose secular categories : “Muslim politicians do not recognize secular categories of life as the basis of their politics because to them it means the weakening of the community in its fight against the Hindus. The poor Muslims will not join the poor Hindus to get justice from the rich. Muslim tenants will not join Hindu tenants to prevent the tyranny of the landlord. Muslim labourers will not join Hindu labourers in the fight of labour against the capitalist. Why? The answer is simple. The poor Muslim sees that if he joins in the fight of the poor aginst the rich, he may be fighting against a rich Muslim. The Muslim labourer feels that if he joins in the onslaught of labour against capitalist he will be injuring a Muslim mill-owner. He is conscious that any injury to a rich Muslim, to a Muslim landlord or to a Muslim mill-owner, is a disservice to the Muslim community, for it is thereby weakened in its struggle against the Hindu community.”  (ibid. p. 236)

India can not be common motherland of the Hindus and Muslims as per Muslim Laws: According to Muslim cannon Law the world is divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). A country is Dar-ul-Islam when it is ruled by Muslims. A country is Dar-ul-Harb when Muslims only reside in it but are not rulers of it. That being the Cannon Law of the Muslims, India cannot be the common motherland of the Hindus and the Musalmans-but it cannot be the land of the ‘ Hindus and Musalmans living as equals’. Further, it can be the land of the Musalmans only when it is governed by the Muslims. The moment the land become subject to the authority of a non-Muslims power, it ceases to be the land of the Muslims. Instead of being Dar-ul-Islam it becomes Dar-ul-Harb.

It must not be supposed that this view is only of academic interest. For it is capable of becoming an active force capable of influencing the conduct of the Muslims”. (ibid., p. 294)

Jihad to transform Dar-ul-Harb India to Dar-ul-Islam : It might also be mentioned that Hijrat is not the only way of escape to Muslims who find themselves in a Dar-ul-Harb. There is another injunction of Muslim Cannon Law called Jihad (crusade) by which it becomes “incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rules of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway. The world, being divided into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam), Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war), all countries come under one category or the other. Technically, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler, who is capable of doing so, to transform Dar-ul-Harb into Dar-ul-Islam.

The fact remains that India, if not exclusively under Muslim rule, is a Dar-ul-Harb and the Musalmans, according to the tenets of Islam are justified in proclaiming a Jihad.

Not only can they proclaim Jihad but they can call the aid of a foreign Muslim power to make Jihad success, or if the foreign Muslim power intends to proclaim a Jihad, help that power in making its endeavour a success.” (ibid., pp. 295-296)

Why is Hindu-Muslim unity a failure? : “The real explanation of this failure of Hindu-Muslim unity lies in the failure to realize that what stands between the Hindus and Muslims is not a mere matter of difference, and that this antagonism is not to be attributed to material causes. It is formed by causes which take their origin in historical, religious, cultural and social antipathy, of which political antipathy is only a reflection.” (ibid., p. 329)

Hindu-Muslim unity is out of sight : Nothing I could say can so well show the futility of any hope of Hindu-Muslim unity. Hindu-Muslim unity upto now was at least in sight although it was like a mirage. Today it is out of sight and also out of mind. Even Mr. Gandhi has given up what, he perhaps now realizes, is an impossible task.” (ibid., p. 187)

Transfer of minorities is the only remedy for communal place : “The transfer of minorities is the only lasting remedy for communal peace, is beyond doubt. If that is so, there is no reason why the Hindus and the Muslims should keep on trading in safeguards, which have proved so unsafe. If small countries, with limited resources like Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, were capable of such an undertaking, there is no reason to suppose that what they did cannot be accomplished by Indians” (ibid., p. 116)

The problem of majority-minority will continue : “The Musalmans are scattered all over Hindustan-though they are mostly congregated in towns and no ingenuity in the matter of redrawing of boundaries can make it homogeneous. The only way to make Hindustan homogeneous, is to arrange for exchange of population. Until that is done, it must be admitted that even with the creation of Pakistan, the problem of majority vs. minority will remain in Hindustan as before and will continue to produce disharmony in the body politic of Hindustan.” (ibid. p. 117)

Protection of minorities a constitutional method : “So much for the problem of boundaries, I will now turn to the problem of the minorities which must remain within Pakistan even after boundaries are redrawn. There are two methods of protecting their interests.

“First is to provide safeguards in the constitution for the protection of the political and cultural rights of the minorities. To Indians this is a familiar matter and it is unnecessary to enlarge upon it. (Ibid., p. 379)

Exchange of Hindu-Muslim population-a possible solution : “Second is to provide for their transfer from Pakistan to Hindustan. Many people prefer this solution and would be ready and willing to consent to Pakistan if it can be shown that an exchange of population is possible. This no doubt is the sign of a panic-stricken mind. If the matter is considered in a cool and calm temper it will be found that the problem is neither staggering nor baffling.” (ibid., p. 379)


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