Madhu Limaye

Sri Madhu Limaye

   A noted secularist, Sri Madhu Limaye has foreseen the explosive growth of the Muslim population and the consequent decline of the Hindus in India5. He says in an article published in Muslim India, Maybe the Hindus are a dying race as Shraddhanand warned 50 years ago. Perhaps India will have a non-Hindu majority by the year 2300 (if the world survives that long), after that there will be a precipitate Hindu decline and they will become extinct in this ancient land of ours. There is much that is bad in Hinduism (Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism). But there is something priceless too. Thanks to the stupidity, social exclusiveness, and cowardliness of Hindus in the past millennium that ‘priceless something’ which is the heritage of the entire human race will disappear and that makes me sad.” Of course Mr. Limaye gives three hundred years for this to happen although we shall see in the chapter on demography that such a situation will come about around 2050 itself.

   Hence it would appear that several secular scholars have more or less correctly gauged the problem posed by Islam to the present Indian society. And their general understanding has been that the solution to this problem is the expectation that as education and modernity spreads in India and Islam, Muslims will no longer be under the sway of their clergy and will become more open and accommodative. It is now over two decades since their books were written (and now two decades since this book was written, so over four decades since their books were written) and yet no signs of this change are to be seen. They have also failed to show that this indeed has happened anywhere else in the world. Even in the modern European and American states where the Muslims are a small minority, they have not given up their ghetto mentality and fundamentalism.

   (This was the case before 9/11, this book was written before 9/11. Now after 9/11, one would have expected USA and Europe to become strict and cautious in dealing with Islam. Unfortunately, Islam has only strengthened in both places. There is a big problem with Islam in Europe now, with Muslims playing a crucial factor in many Parliamentary seats in UK and other parts of Europe, such as France. Even in Europe and USA, Muslims are trying hard at converting the local people to Islam and achieving a bit success as well. Europe is already no longer safe with Muslims having the capacity to murder critics like Theo van Gogh in a city like Amsterdam in Holland in 2004. There are many others who need security. Muslims are trying hard to implement Shariah laws in Europe and USA, even trying to build a mosque at Ground Zero- the site of 9/11. And the American and European media is as pro-Muslim as ever, even a blow like 9/11 has not made them change their ways, not to talk of other blows like Bali 2002 bombings, Madrid 2004 bombings, London 2005 bombings etc.)

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   The only exception perhaps is Turkey where Kemal Pasha forced the Muslim clergy not to interfere in his reforms. But even here, Islamic fundamentalism is again rearing its head. In fact we can safely conclude that the secularists in spite of many pious utterances, will not be able to solve the Muslim problem. The question that the Hindu patriots and organisations have to ask is, “Can we and how?”. The fate of our nation depends on the solution of the problem posed by Islam.


1. Pakistan or The Partition of India, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Vol. 8, Education Dept, Govt. of Maharashtra, Bombay, 1990.

2. Religion and Society in India, Prof. A. B. Shah, Somaiya Publications, Bombay, 1981

3. What Ails our Muslims, Prof. A. B. Shah, Indian Secular Society, Pune, Reprint 1992.

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4. Muslim Politics in India, Hamid Dalwai, Nachiketa Publications, Bombay, 1968.

5. Is India going Islamic, Baljit Rai, B. S. Publishers, Chandigarh, 1994.

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Prof. Narhar Kurundkar

Prof. Narhar Kurundkar, another noted thinker and a socialist with the Seva Dal had the additional advantage of proficiency in Urdu. In his writings in Marathi, he has reiterated the points made earlier and has added a few of his own. He explains some of the Islamic concepts.

“Islam means Peace, But this religion has no relation to peace. It categorises humanity as (1) Muslims (2) Jews and Christians (3) Fire worshippers (4) Idol worshippers. Jews and Christians can live in a Muslim country by paying Jiziya. But this option is not available to fire and idol worshippers. They have only two alternatives – become Muslims or perish. But Abu Hanifa granted a concession to idol worshippers – to pay Jiziya. Other traditions do not grant this concession. Hence the clergy in India was very unhappy about it and termed it as a danger to Islamic rule. This tax was imposed by Muhammad bin Kasim in Sind in 712 AD and it continued until Akbar finally abolished it.

Hindus describe God as being just, Muslims define justice as what Allah says and does. Hence justice is to faithfully follow the precepts of Quran and injustice is not embracing Islam. Death with stoning is the punishment for irtakam (altering Allah’s commands), irtadad (questioning Allah’s commands), jindik (altering the meaning of Allah’s commands) and basshd (renouncing Islam). The more disturbing concepts are hijr (immigrating from a non-Muslim country) and sabar (deceitful compromises). The latter enable Muslims to enter into agreements, promises, treaties etc. with non-Muslim states with the intention of sabotaging them at the opportune time. And hence public speeches, compromises and such actions although apparently anti-Islam are not a crime.”

Sri Kurundkar gives an example of the attitude of the ‘nationalist Muslims’ by quoting Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani who has termed the Indian constitution a ‘mauhida’ i.e. a treaty of non-interference between the Hindu and Muslim nations. He has said that the Muslim problem is not basically a problem of minorities but has arisen due to the concept that only Islam is the true and only religion and that other religions have no right to exist.


Hamid Dalwai

   A colleague of Prof. Shah in the Indian Secular Society was the well known social activist Mr. Hamid Dalwai [29 September 1932- 3 May 1977]. Dalwai, who was a member of the Seva Dal, was also a noted writer in Marathi, and a rare, enlightened Muslim who was deeply conscious of his society’s shortcomings. He formed an organisation called Muslim Satyashodhak Samaj for modernizing Muslims. As is to be expected, his movement encountered stiff resistance from the orthodoxy. Unfortunately, Dalwai died at a young age of 44 due to kidney failure and his movement lost its impetus although some followers are trying to carry this work forward. His wife continued his work (with very little success, it must be added). She passed away in June 2017 at the age of 88.

   Hamid Dalwai has written a small book, ‘Muslim Politics in India’.4 Although he has carefully refrained from criticizing the basic tenets of Islam, he is quite forthright in condemning the behavior of Indian Muslims. One may regard his contribution as a significant beginning in the assertion of a liberal Muslim. At the same time, one must conclude that he has not been very effective in changing the attitudes of his co-religionists who have offered a stiff and sometimes violent resistance to his mission. Hindu organizations will do well to study his writings (mostly in Marathi) on this subject in detail so that they can effectively use them when required as will be seen from the quotations below.


   Mr. Dalwai is clear that Hindu communalism is a product of Muslim fundamentalism. “I come from the Muslim community and yet I can not entirely blame the extremist Hindu communalists. Whereas the extremist Muslim communalists have aggressive plans to destroy the Hindu community, the extremist Hindus, in reaction to them, want to eliminate the Muslims in self-defense. Thus I view extremist Hindu communalism as a reaction to Muslim communalism. Unless Muslim communalism is eliminated, Hindu communalism will not disappear… It is no fault of the Hindus that the Indian Muslims embraced this theory of a separate Muslim nationalism, nor is it the fault of Hindus that Indian Muslims regarded Hindus in Pakistan as hostages ensuring their own security in India” (P. 30).

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   Mr. Dalwai then analyses the psyche of the Indian Muslims. He repeats many comments given elsewhere and hence are not reproduced [to read those, open this link or read the larger version of this article below]. But his analysis of the problem as a Muslim is interesting. He says:

   “It is an old habit of Muslims to blame Hindus for their woes. However, the Indian Muslim intelligentsia has never been critically introspective. It has not sought to relate its problems to its own attitudes. It has not developed a self-searching, self-critical attitude….. Muslims remained backward because they were religion bound revivalists who refused to modernize themselves…The foundation of Muslim nationalism is the postulate that Hindu and Muslim societies are autonomous and parallel social structures…… It is a tragic fact that there does not yet exist a class of critically introspective young Muslims in India…..

   …Their idea of religious freedom is merely that the structure of the Muslim society in India should remain unaltered….. There is a curious collusion between these Indian Muslims and the others who envisage the conversion of India to Islam…… The only effective answer to the problems of Indian Muslims would involve on their part a total rejection of the prejudices of history….. Pakistan was not the last demand of the Muslims of this subcontinent. Even today, both among Indian Muslims and among the rulers of Pakistan, there are influential groups whose ‘last demand’ would be the conversion of the whole of India to Islam.” (P. 32-36).

   He however considers suicidal “the Hindu communalist attempt to answer Muslim communalism by obscurantist Hindu revivalism. Muslim communalism will be defeated only when the Hindu achieves a greater degree of social progress and modernizes himself….. the Hindus have slid backward only because of their religious obscurantism. Mahmud Ghazanvi could defeat Hindu armies simply by using herds of cows as a shield for his own army!…… Hindus must discard all those religious beliefs which hindered their progress and deprived them of their freedom….. When Indian Muslims are shocked out of their slumber by the advancement and modernization of Hindu society, a similar process will start in Muslim society” (P. 37).

   Unfortunately, “there is a kind of Hindu who is always terrified when he thinks of Muslims. This is no doubt a shameful state of affairs. At every critical moment this Hindu pretends to be more of a Muslim than a Muslim himself, and thwarts the attempts of those who are trying to make the average Muslim less of a fanatic.” (P. 45).

   Mr. Dalwai has written about the need for a new generation of secular Muslim leaders. He gives the example of George Fernandes (3 June 1930 – 29 January 2019), a Catholic, and would like the secular Muslim leaders to emulate him. (P. 48) He also envisaged such leadership to develop in the next two decades [i.e. from 1968 to 1988] which unfortunately has not happened, except perhaps Ahmed Patel of the Congress who appears to be relatively moderate from the outside.

   He is of course quite critical of the Marxist-Muslims who ‘pollute public life with religious interests’. He traces their intimacy to the similarity in the two dogmas. Here it would be pertinent to note that Allama Iqbal had described Islam as ‘Communism plus Allah’.

   “There are significant resemblances between the Communist movement and the Muslim communalist movement. First, both movements are international in scope and character. Both aim at establishing an ideological state and neither cares for the means employed in achieving its end. However their purpose and the processes by which they achieve their objectives are different. As regards the Communists, first there is the emergence of the Communist international movement in a country. This movement seeks to establish a state. Once the state is established, the movement is directed towards creating the ideal, that is, the Marxist society. In the case of Muslims the process is just the reverse. A Muslim society already exists. This society seeks to establish its own state. Pakistan is an example of this. In the absence of a Muslim society, a Muslim state cannot be brought into existence …

   …the Communists believe that Islam was the first religion to bring about social equality. In fact, it is the claim to social equality that links both these doctrines…. When Communists are not in power, they are internationalists; when Muslims are in a minority in any country they lack a nationalistic spirit and have an internationalistic, that is, pan-Islamic attitude….Both Muslims and Communists regard their own concept of social structure as perfect. Both reject freedom of thought. What is even more significant is the fact that both employ strikingly similar methods of propaganda against their opponents…..

 …As soon as they come to power, Communists suddenly change from internationalism to extreme nationalism….. the same happens within the course of the Islamic movement…… Communists purge their opponents no sooner than they come to power. Muslim nationalistic movements, wherever there is a Muslim majority, do not allow non-Muslims to exist freely and equally….. In fact, Arab nationalism is not even Islamic nationalism. It is racist….. When the CPI accepted the Ranadive policy of nation-wide subversion and uprising, many eminent Muslim league leaders throughout India suddenly became Communists!’’ (P. 80-83)

   Another significant fact of Islamic society has been brought out by Mr. Dalwai. He says that although the Muslim community has sometimes been enslaved by aggressors, its religion has never been threatened. The western conquerors of Mecca and Medina did not inflict any changes like the Turks tearing down the church in Constantinople and building a mosque. In India, Shivaji “pushed back aggressors, and yet he made grants for the preservation of Pirs and Dargahs… Muslims have been destroyed and Muslims have been ruled by others, but Muslim society has not been destroyed. When a society survives, it can free itself from the shackles of alien domination. It can reestablish a state of its own.” (P. 75)

   It will be interesting to note Dalwai’s analysis of the Hindu mind.

   “The Hindu wears many masks. In a sense, Hindu society is a multi-headed organism. Sometimes this creates great complications. It also explains the indecision and ambivalence of the Hindu mind. It postpones decisions and avoids frankness. At the same time, it tries to obtain full credit for its independence of mind…… I must observe that the Hindu society lacks the dynamism without which no national challenge can be faced. For centuries it has been in the doldrums. It is yet to find a direction [emphasis ours, this was written in 1968]… Today, India is a shrinking nation in this sense and this points to the lack of dynamism in a majority of Indians.

     It is not leadership alone which is responsible for this waning of influence… even in periods of difficulty we have been unable to overthrow our weak leadership. Our leadership is merely a symbol of the weakness of Indian society as a whole… The Hindu is conservative. He would not transcend self-imposed limitations. This habit of the Hindu is sometimes expressed in an absurd form. He decides not to enter Kashmir which is a part of his own nation. [This was so until Article 370 was finally abrogated in effect in August 2019 by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah] He refuses to allow everyone, including himself, to enter Naga territory. These are symptoms of decadence…….

   …I believe that if the Hindus were sufficiently dynamic, the Hindu-Muslim problem would be solved. For if the Hindus were dynamic, they would subject the Indian Muslims to several shocks which history has spared them. Muslims would be left with one stark alternative to perish if they would not wish to change. And any society prefers change to extinction… Unfortunately, the Hindu mind lacks balance. Even those Hindus who have accepted modernity, justice and brotherhood as their guiding principles sometimes support Muslim communalism. Some avoid speaking against it and some even indirectly encourage it…… The secularism of such Hindus encourages the anti-secularism of the Muslims.” (P. 92-94)

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Mr. Dalwai in the end outlines several steps for national rejuvenation which may have salutary lessons for all of us.


    Scintillating and thought-provoking, this book gives an absorbing summing up of the problem of Muslim communalism in India.  It relates Muslim communalism to the make-up of the Indian Muslim mind and its historical background.  Balanced and well documented, Mr. Dalwai’s analysis of the origin and nature of Muslim communalism has earned him a rapidly increasing audience in recent years.  His wide research on this subject leads him to make an eloquent and forceful plea for a movement for modernization, secularization and liberalization as the only long-term solution to the communal problem.
   Written in a refreshing, anecdotal style, these essays on the problem of communalism and its remedy will prove invaluable for an understanding of the Indian political scene.  Hamid Dalwai belonged to a middle-class Marathi speaking, Muslim family. A self-educated man, Mr. Dalwai had been active in Politics for many years and was an experienced journalist. In Maharashtra, he was known as a provocative publicist and also as an outstanding short story writer.
   1. Foreword by Dr A B Shah, President, Indian Secular Forum

1.1 – Educated Muslims prefer playing safe even though that would mean pandering to the prejudices and superstitions of their less fortunate brethren. That Mr. Dalwai is engaged in what may be called a one-man crusade against the obscurantism of Muslim society in India. (pg.6)

1.2 – Mr.Dalwai’s thesis is that the basic malaise of Muslim society (in India as elsewhere with the exception of Turkey and perhaps Tunisia) lies in the fact that it has never had a renaissance in its entire history of more than thirteen hundred years. (pg.7)

1.3 – However the type of integration that is necessary here cannot be achieved unless Muslims no less than Hindus learn to separate religion from the rights and obligations of citizenship of a modern state. (pg.7)

1.4 – It is difficult for a Hindu to visualize, except by a special effort of reason and the imagination, a mind that is almost totally lacking in the conception of the individual and derives the significance of human life solely from the individual’s membership of a collectivity. (pg. 12)

1.5 – The founder of Islam had therefore also to found a state before its message was fully delivered, let alone developed in contact with a more advanced culture without the attainment of force. (pg.13)

1.6- (Dalwai) dwelt at some length on this aspect of Islam as a cultural tradition. The reason is not that Islam is unique in its record of intolerance in the past; it is, rather, that Islam still exhibits the same intolerance of free inquiry and dissent as it did in less enlightened times. (pg.14)

1.7 – The tragedy of Indian Muslims does not lie so much in the backwardness of a vast majority of them in relation to the Hindus which is only a symptom – as in the unwillingness of educated Muslims to undertake a critical reappraisal of their heritage. (pg. 16)

1.8 – For historical and other reasons, the Hindu is at an advantage in this respect. But precisely because of that he has to accept the onus of promoting the modernization of Muslim society. (pg.20)

  2 – Chapter I – Historical Background

 2.1 – But the Hindus also had a liberal humanist tradition. (pg.33) The only effective answer to the problems of Indian Muslims would involve on their part a total rejection of the prejudices of history.  Only when they rid themselves of the misconceptions that history and tradition produce can they arrive at the conception of a free, modern mind committed only to fundamental human values. (pg.34)

 2.2 – I oppose the ban on cow-slaughter on agro-economic ground. I oppose it even more strongly on non-economic grounds, because if the Hindus belief in the sacredness of the cow is encouraged, it would prevent the Hindus from modernizing themselves and from achieving a great degree of social progress. (pg.36)

 2.3 – Hindu communalists should not continue to make the tragic blunder of mistaking every Muslim for a communalist.  It is true that today [in 1968] it is difficult to find a thoroughly secular Muslim in India.  But if we want secular minded Muslims, in the near future, we must encourage and support those Muslims who are already stepping in that direction. (pg.37)

3 – Chapter II – Reading the mind of Indian Muslim

3.1 – Most Muslim leaders in India advance the odd argument that Muslims were not responsible for partition, and even argue that Hindus alone were responsible for it. (pg.40)

3.2 – History provides some clues to the strange behaviour and arguments of Indian Muslim leaders.  Indian Muslims always tried to impose their own demands on Hindus with the help of the British, who were a third party in the position of a judge. (pg.40)

3.3 – When they saw that the judgement in this dispute was to be given by a third party, they tried to till the balance in their own favour even by resorting to an unscrupulous and fallacious argument, and the Hindus who were eager for independence conceded their demand. (pg.40)

3.4 – Indian Muslims have committed an even worse sin.  They not only relied on a third party but also participated in a movement which aimed at creating a separate nation comprising all provinces which had a Muslim majority. (pg.41)

3.5 – The question which arises here is- why do Indian Muslims make the obviously false claim that Pakistani Hindus are treated with due justice?  And why did the Muslims earlier refuse to rely on the conscience of Hindus to get full justice for themselves? (pg.43)

3.6 – Indian Muslims leaders believe that in their dispute with the majority in India, Pakistan is the third party occupying the position of the judge.(pg.44)

3.7 – However, it must be pointed out that the support of Indian Muslims to the creation of Pakistan was not entirely based on emotional frenzy.  It was also based on the theory of hostages.  At the same time, Indian Muslims believed that India would eventually be ruled by Islam. (pg.49)

3.8 – Sardar Patel merged the princely states within the Indian Union and thus shattered their hopes. This is why Muslim leaders hate Sardar Patel. (pg.50)

3.9 – Indian Muslims still regard themselves as Pakistanis, and they believe that their emancipation has been ensured by the creation of Pakistan. (pg-50)

4 – Chapter III – Muslims : The so-called Nationalists and the Communalists

4.1 – All Muslim leaders unanimously complain that injustice is done to Muslims in India.  However, they have a strange definition of injustice…..One of the methods of ensuring justice is to claim that Pakistani infiltrators in Assam are not Pakistani at all. A second method is to demand the granting of Indian citizenship to those Pakistanis who are illegal residents of Bihar, West Bengal and some other states of India. A third method is to oppose family planning. (pg.53)

4.2 – Savarkar admitted the existence of a separate Muslim nationalism.  He had even shown his willingness to give them a written guarantee that their culture, their language and their proportional representation would be safeguarded. The only thing Savarkar denied to the Muslims was a separate, independent and sovereign state. (pg.59)

4.3 – In an undivided India a specially privileged Muslim community would have vigorously continued a movement for Islamization of India. (pg.61)

   Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni was considered a great ‘Nationalist Muslim’ leader. He was president of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-i-Hind.  When the Ulema convened a conference in Delhi in the year 1945, he said in his presidential address:

   “It is the non-Muslims who are the field of action for this ‘tabligh’ of Islam and form the raw material for this splendid activity … We are opposed to the idea of limiting the right of missionary activities of Islam within any particular area.  The Muslims have got a right in all the nooks and corners of India by virtue of the great struggle and grand sacrifices of their ancestors in this country.  Now, it is our duty to maintain that claim and try to widen its scope, instead of giving it up.” (“The Deobad School and the Demand for Pakistan” by Z H Faruqi, Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1963, pg.117)

   The same learned Maulana has said elsewhere, “If Dara had triumphed, Muslims would have stayed in India, but not Islam.  Since Aurangzeb triumphed, both Muslims were here to stay.” (pg.61-62).

4.4 – What was the difference between Jinnah and the nationalist Muslims?  While Jinnah wanted a separate state, the nationalist Muslims wanted the whole of India. (pg.62)

4.5 – Muslim leaders always blame Hindu communalism for partition. I fail to see where, in this entire discussion, Hindu communalism comes in. (pg.62)

4.6 – Jinnah was not fighting Savarkar and Golwalkar. He never mentioned their communalism.  Jinnah accused Gandhi of being a Hindu communalist, refusing to concede his demands. He criticised Nehru in the same way.  Similarly, when Muslim leaders hold communalists responsible for the partition, they want to suggest that it was Gandhi and Nehru who were ‘Hindu communalists’. The implications are clear: they charge every Hindu with being a communalist. At the same time, they make the strange claim that every Muslim is a nationalist. (pg.63) The real conflict, therefore, was not between Hindu and Muslim communalists.  It was a conflict between the secular nationalism of Gandhi and Nehru and the religious nationalism of Indian Muslims. (pg-63)

4.7 – When Christians were not modern, even they forcibly converted Muslims to their own faith. (pg.65)

4.8 – Independence, according to the Muslims, is synonymous with all power being concentrated in the hands of the Muslim community. (pg-66)

4.9 – They claim that the Hindu majority in India treats them with injustice. They fail to realize that their definition of Islam is twisted and strange, for these leaders believe that the greatest injustice to Indian Muslims is the simple fact that there is a majority of Hindus in this country. (pg.69)

5 – Chapter IV – The Communal Malady : A Diagnosis

5.1 – Secular parties in India have always considered the problem of Hindu-Muslim relations from the viewpoint of romantic idealism and have refused to face boldly the harsh truth underlying it.  After the outbreak of a communal riot, they have hardly thought it necessary to do anything beyond issuing public appeals for communal peace and ritually denouncing Hindu communalist forces as the prime cause of trouble. (pg.70)
Note: See 5.3, 5.7

5.2 – If today the liberal trends among the Hindus are on the wane, the main cause is to be traced to the continuing predominance of separatist and communalist trends among Indian Muslims even 23 years after partition. [This was written around 1970, i.e. 23 years after the Partition of India and creation of Pakistan in 1947] (pg.71)

5.3 – These traditions of Islam and the strong separatist trends they have engendered among Indian Muslims are the main cause of the persistent communal tension. To claim that Muslim separatism continues to exist because the country has not adequately imbibed the spirit of secularism is to betray ignorance of the working of the Muslim mind. The real cause of the present conflict is that the separatist urges of Muslim nationalism have always existed parallel to those of secular nationalism.  Muslims have never agreed that partition put an end to this problem.  As I have mentioned in a recent article, Mr Hasan Surhawardy, Chief Minister of undivided Bengal, had pointed out in 1946 that, “Pakistan is not our last demand”.  In his letter written after the partition to Choudhary Khaliquzzaman, Mr Surhawardy had propounded the idea of a Muslim majority area in India.  It is without significance that the post-independence trend of Muslim politics in India has followed the direction laid down by Mr Jinnah and Mr Surhawardy. (pg.72)
Note: See 5.1, 5.7

5.4 – Nehru was perhaps the only Indian statesman who understood the historical forces operating behind Muslim politics in India. (pg.73)

5.5 – Nehru’s insistence on a common electorate and the inclusion in the Constitution of the enactment of a uniform civil code as a Directive Principle of state policy inspire of fierce opposition from the Muslim communalists may be cited as examples of his determination in this regard. (pg.73)  [Note: RSS has also the same programme]

5.6 – Moreover, Nehru was well aware that Muslims could easily combine themselves in one political party because of their social structure and the total absence among them of a modern political consciousness based on secular considerations. As regards Hindus, he knew that their stratified social structure always impeded their mobilization on a common political platform. At the same time, because of their liberal reformist traditions, Hindus had developed a progressive political consciousness which made them alive to larger socio-economic issues.  Hence, he knew, they tended to choose political parties, on non-religious considerations.  Because of this peculiar situation he usually tried to project himself as a guardian of Muslim interests with a view to preventing the re-emergence of a strong Muslim party. (pg.74)

5.7 – Every communal riot has helped the growth of Muslim communalist forces.  Muslim leaders claimed that communal riots did not take place wherever the League had a strong force/hold among Muslims.  Many a times communal troubles are provoked by Muslims. (pg.75)

5.8 – The Khaskar’s tradition of dots and the orgy of violence, arson and loot indulged in by the Razakars in Hyderabad are too well-known to need detailed mention. (pg.76)

5.9 – The Prime Minister (Smt Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India in 1970) wants to eradicate communalism from this land, but she is indulging in self-deception if she feels that she can curb Hindu communalist forces by conniving at Muslim separatism. (pg.77)

5.10 – The unceremonious exit of Mr.M.C.Chagla from her cabinet and the relaxation of the rule prohibiting polygamy among Muslim employees of the Central Government are but two examples of the concessions she is making to Muslim communalism. (pg.77)

5.11 – The problem of national integration cannot be solved by appeasing Muslim separatism. (pg.77)

6 – Chapter V- Strange Bedfellows: Communists Intimacy with Communalists

6.1 – In fact, this intimacy is not at all surprising.  There are significant resemblances between the Communist movement and the Muslim communalist movement. (pg.78)

6.2 – The basis of the Islamic movement is not the whole of a society but only the Islamic segment of it.  The Islamic movement can establish its own state only by subjugating, if not destroying, the other parts of society. (pg.79)

6.3 – Most nations with a Muslim majority are extremely nationalistic in their social and political outlook.  In pre-partition India, the Muslim League used to demand greater provincial autonomy. (pg.81)

6.4 – Communists purge their opponents no sooner than they come to power. Muslim nationalistic movements, wherever there is a Muslim majority, do not allow non-Muslims to exist freely and equally. (pg-81)

6.5 – (The Communists) decided to back Muslim communalists in order to precipitate nation-wide disintegration, gain a popular backing from the Indian Muslims, induce the ruling group in Pakistan to support Soviet policies, and to benefit from the general chaos and factional fights in the entire sub-continent. (pg.82)

7 – Chapter  VI – The Chief Obstacle in the way of Muslim Integration

7.1 – Among Indian Muslims there is a conspicuous absence of unbiased self-critical and rational individuals who can discuss this problem fruitfully. This is not entirely the fault of individual Indian Muslims. The capacity for self-criticism, the courage to face facts, the ability to lead the community with a critical awareness of one’s own virtues and shortcomings implies the existence of a level of sophistication in the intelligentsia. The Muslim intelligentsia in India lacks these qualities. Their so called leaders are usually the leaders of a blind, orthodox, and ill-educated community. Such people do not discuss their own faults; rather they obdurately cling to their own view.  All of them put forward the same arguments in the same tone again and again.  When they find faults, the faults are invariably those of other people. They do not have the capacity to understand their own mistakes. (pg.86)

Chapter VII -The case of the missing hair at Hazratbal.

7.4 – I must frankly state that there is a kind of Hindu who is always terrified when he thinks of Muslims. (pg.88)

7.5 – The real obstacle in the way of secular integration is the vast gulf that separates the intelligentsia of the two communities. An intellectual minority always helps to shape the rest of the society on proper lines. (pg.89)

7.6 – As long as such a vital difference exists between the mental make-ups of the two communities, Hindu-Muslim tensions are not likely to abate. I think this difference between the two communities is in the nature of a disparity of cultural levels. (pg.90)

7.7 – As modern men, we do not rely on religion for deriving our concept of social conscience.  Our social conscience is inherent in the democratic system of government we have accepted. (pg.93)

Muslim opposition to secular Integration : Nature, Causes and Remedies

7.8 – Secularism in India, although embodied in the Constitution, is as yet only an aspiration. It has not yet permeated our social life. (pg.94)

7.9 – Muslims who are today leaders of political parties such as the Right Communist but like Mr.Mohammed Illiyar of West Bengal are proven communalists, must be exposed. (pg.97)

8 – Chapter VIII – Humanistic Modernism the only solution

8.1 – (The orthodox Hindu) stages an agitation against the proposed removal of the word ‘Hindu’ from Benares University, and secures the support of the Muslim League. He would start an agitation for a ban on cow slaughter and Muslim communalists would support even that. For when they support him on such issues, both of them can establish a united front against Mr.Chagla, and then the Muslim communalist would also be left free to stage nationwide agitations for re-display of the prophet’s lost hair.  He can bully critics of the Prophet.  In short he  will always turn Hindu revivalism to his own benefit. (pg. 104)

            9 – Chapter IX – Indian Muslims at the Crossroad

9.1 – One line of thinking was that as Muslims were denied recognition as a political entity enjoying parity with the majority, they were left with no alternative to establishing a state of their own.  Others thought that in a united India Muslims all over the subcontinent were bound to remain perpetually at the mercy of the Hindu community. (pg.111)

9.2 – Muslims who were to remain in India were called upon to sacrifice their security and welfare to ensure a glorious future for fellow Muslims who would constitute the majority in Pakistan. (pg.111)

9.3 – Whenever Muslims are in a majority they have refused to recognise the equal rights of non-Muslim minorities and where they are in a minority they have been generally reluctant to regard themselves as part and parcel of a non-religious nation. The recent revolts of Muslims in Philippines, Thailand and Ethiopia are merely expressions of the Muslim unwillingness to participate in a common social order on equal terms with others and this unwillingness is rooted in a long and deeply entrenched historical and religious tradition. (pg. 116)

9.4 – Even educated Muslims whose religious faith is often skin-deep rarely rise to a broad, humanist outlook. This sensitivity to human suffering as human suffering is as yet feeble. (pg.119)

9.5 – Surely the actual practice of the persons following a religion provides a much more reliable guide to its values than their professions. (pg.120)

9.6 – Gandhiji never asserted that Hindus were, as a matter of fact, tolerant. He only insisted that they should cultivate tolerance. (pg.120)

9.7 – If Muslims do not have the courage to confront these historical forces and the religious and social traditions which create and sustain them, they will be able to do very little to help their society to extricate itself from its present predicament. (pg-123)

10 – Chapter X – Failure of a Mission?
10.1 – That is why also violence in India immediately calls forth condemnation by organized public opinion. (pg. 129)

10.2 – The difference between the two communities does not end here.  Wherever Muslims are in a majority, they have denied equal citizenship to non-Muslims. (pg.130)

10.3 – The fact that no major Hindu-Muslim riot has taken place in Pakistan after 1964 [East Pakistan i.e. today’s Bangladesh violence of 1964 when the Hindus fled to India] does not mean that the Muslims of Pakistan suddenly became secular after that year’s holocaust. Steady persecution of the Hindus and even of Muslims from what now is India has been going without allowing the facts to come out. Hindus are not now allowed to migrate to India without forfeiting their property to the Government. Nor are they allowed to sell their property except with the prior permission of the Government. (pg. 131)

11 – Chapter XI – The Meaning of Bangla Desh

11.1 – While attempting to create a nation of their own the Muslims only achieved their own political, social and cultural disintegration. (pg. 138)

11.2 – A nation is created with a purpose; its existence cannot be taken for granted in the absence of a secular purpose shared by its constituents. The rulers of Pakistan never recognised this.  They took for granted the political unity, of all Muslims. (pg.139)

11.3 – Were Pakistan to disintegrate and become weaker, India would have no need to support the Arabs unconditionally in their fight against Israel. (pg.147)

11.4 – The greatest beneficiary of the disintegration of Pakistan would be India, and no Muslim nation would accept this with equanimity. (pg. 147)

11.5 – Nehru’s own views were sharply different from the two trends among the Hindus described above. He accepted as relevant India’s historical but not its religious traditions. (pg.150)


A veteran journalist and provocative publicist, Hamid Dalwai had long crusaded for a secular outlook among the new generation of Indian Muslims.  “…This young Muslim who has chosen to take his own religion to task for obstructing the way to successful secularism in India, has certain positive points which may not be ignored. One has to applaud the courage…” Hindustan Standard, Calcutta [Now Kolkata]
REFERENCES: 4. Muslim Politics in India, Hamid Dalwai, Nachiketa Publications, Bombay, 1968.
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It is rather surprising to note that post-Independence secular intellectuals have more or less repeated Dr. Ambedkar’s analysis. We quote below comments and excerpts from a few prominent thinkers to give examples of their thinking. We first refer to the writings of Prof. A. B. Shah and Sri Hamid Dalwai published by the Indian Secular Society, Pune. Both of them come from a socialist and Seva Dal background, thus making them ‘blue blooded’ secularists.

Prof. A. B. Shah

We shall first review two books of Prof. Shah who, although born in an orthodox Jain family, became an atheist and championed the cause of secularism all his life. He has written several articles and books on this subject. In his book ‘Religion and Society in India’2 which is a collection of his articles on this subject, he deals extensively with Islam in India. We give below a few passages from this book.

“Every religion has to accommodate this phenomenon (i.e. mysticism) at a fairly early stage in its history. Christianity and Hinduism could accommodate mysticism within their compass without serious strain……. It is one of the tragedies of history that the kind of universalism that its mystics preached, failed to humanise the culture of Islam.” (P. 18)

“This was also the attitude of Dr. Zakir Hussain, and it continues to be the attitude of most eminent Muslims even today. In private conversation they have no hesitation in adopting an enlightened, sometimes even Marxist attitude to religion, but in public they invariably swear by the Quran as the source of all the values they cherish.” (P. 20)

The 1971 census showed that during the ten years 1961-71, the Hindu population of India registered a growth of 23.69%, whereas the corresponding figures for Muslims and Christians were 30.85% and 32.60%……. As to Islam, the political and religious leaders of the Muslim community in India are not only obstinate; they are even ignorant of the history of their own religion. The Prophet Muhammad was not opposed to preventing conception by resorting to azl (coitus interruptus)…… Besides, some Muslim leaders are on record to the effect that the only way of solving the Hindu-Muslim problem in India is for the Muslims to become a majority in the population. There are no doubt a few whose commitment to India, if not to secularism, is beyond question; but their way of thinking does not command the respect of their co-religionists. Not have they made any systematic effort to promote among Muslims a sense of territorial nationalism that would cut across religious differences.” (P. 27)

“The Muslim opposition to the modernisation of their personal law and the enactment of uniform civil code in keeping with contemporary liberal values is also based on religion. Here, again, they are ignorant of the facts of history. The Shariah, which is supposed to embody the Muslim personal law, is not an integral and immutable part of the religion of Islam as the Muslims apparently believe. On the contrary, it has evolved over a period of centuries and has been seriously tampered with in almost all the Muslim countries of the world. Four-fifths of the Shariah, dealing with criminal law, the law of contracts, the law of evidence, international relations and the nature of the state are nowhere in force. The family law also has been drastically changed in countries like Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Syria and Iran. In India, too, what governs the family law of Muslims is not what the Shariah lays down in this respect but the Anglo – Muhammedan law which was enacted by the British in the eighteenth century.” (P. 28)

“What one witnesses, however, is an opportunistic combination of orthodoxy, on the one hand, and insistence on the rights that a secular state confers equally on all citizens, including the Muslims, on the other.” (P. 45)

The traditional and dominant Islamic world-view for nearly fourteen hundred years now is basically anti-humanist. It has no place for the individual except as a servant of God and as a limb of the community…... Continued victory strengthened the Muslim’s conviction that his faith was perfect and superior to others, and its doctrine infallible……. human reason is not entitled to question the statements of the Quran or of the theologians based on “the legal material of the Quran and the Sunnah” ……. The reason is that not that Islam is unique in its record of intolerance in the past – perhaps Christianity has a worse record – but that it still exhibits the same intolerance of free inquiry and dissent as it did in less enlightened times. What little possibility there might have been of the softening of this attitude after the mutual persecution by the Mutazilites and their opponents, and due to the growth of Sufism, was effectively destroyed by Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) for centuries to come….. his work ensured that no renaissance would take place in Muslim society unless, as in Turkey, it was imposed from above…… The preceding discussions would show that unlike other religions, Islam has shown a remarkable persistence of belief and habits of thought in spite of the centuries separating the present from the years of its revelation and early growth. As mentioned above, it denies the autonomy and creativity of the human being.” (P. 91-95)

The tradition of Islam is not merely anti-intellectual, it is also in-hospitable to the growth of a secular democratic polity. For instance, it does not recognise the sovereignty of man, neither of the individual nor of the people as a whole, over the affairs of civic society. It is not man but God “unto Whom belongeth the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them”…… there is no distinction between state and church, civil society and religious community, the leader in war and the leader in prayer. The ummah is a community of the chosen people of God and the state merely an arrangement to enable them to walk in His path. The Caliph is therefore both monarch and supreme authority on matters religious…….. It follows that the Shariah was the secular law as well as religious……. Islam does not countenance revolt against tyranny as long as the tyrant does not ask his subjects to act against the injunctions of Islam… even in the latter case, not revolt but disobedience is recommended…… It is clear that in Islam as von Grunebaum says, “political absolutism parallels the absolutism of God’s relation to his creatures.” (P. 96-98)

In such a system of thought there can be no place for individual freedom and human equality, much less for the moral autonomy of man. The Quran emphasises again and again the insignificance and utter impotence of man in relation to God’s will, which is not subject to any law and is therefore inscrutable to man. As to equality, one has only to note that the Quran permits slavery, and treats women as inferior to man not only in matters of divorce and inheritance, but also as regards her admissibility as witness.” (P. 98)

“The popular belief that Islam stands for equality needs corrections on two other counts. First, Islamic equality, as is to be expected from any religious culture, extends only to fellow-Muslims, not to all human beings as children of the same God. Non-Muslims, are either Dhimmis (‘protected people’) if they have a revealed scripture as the Jews and Christians have, or Kafirs who have to make a choice between the Quran and the sword. [See Surah 9.5 in Appendix A] Secondly, even this narrow conception of equality is confined to the prayer time. It does not apply in relation to the differences of wealth, status or family connection.” (P. 99) Prof. Shah then explains that Muhammad himself stressed the superiority of the Quraish tribe to which he belonged. Also, in India too, even during the Muslim rule, important posts were held by Muslims from abroad. “By the time the Mughal empire was consolidated under Akbar, they held nearly 70 percent of the superior posts in the army and civil life, the balance being shared almost equally by the Indian converts to Islam and the Hindus who had already come to terms with the Muslim rulers.” (P. 104)

Prof. Shah advocates a uniform civil code for modernising Islam and discusses the position of Muslim personal law in this context. He says, “On the one hand they take pride in the fact that Islam looks upon marriage as a civil contract; on the other they oppose any reforms in the terms of this contract on the ground that it would constitute interference in their religion.” (P. 121) He analyses the Muslim psyche and says that most educated Muslims “are sophisticated urbanites and have little first hand knowledge of the pragmatic and calculating nature of the orthodox Muslim’s opposition to the proposed reform. He is obstinate because experience has taught him that obstinacy pays. When he finds that this is no longer true and that reform is no more conditional on his consent, he will accept it with good grace or ill but without any resistance worth his name. The dramatic change in the attitude of the Nizam and the Razakars after the government of India had initiated the so-called police action in Hyderabad is typical of Muslim politics – with its bravado and bullying so long as the other party shows weakness and its sudden show of reasonableness (if not a complete volte face) as soon as it is clear that bullying would not pay.” (P. 122). Sri Dalwai has also made similar comments in his books. Hindu leaders should take note of these comments.

Analyzing Islam’s failure to modernize, Prof Shah says, “So great has been the hold of orthodoxy on the Muslim mind that nowhere has Muslim society been able to throw up, in the natural course, an articulate class of liberal Muslims committed to modern values and all that such a commitment implies in the fields of criticism and social action. Such a class alone can subject the traditions of Islam to a critical scrutiny and prepare the ground for entry of Muslim society into the modern age.” (P. 184)

And what is the stumbling block for integration? “Not the fear of Hindu oppression but the strongly separatist Muslim attitude was primarily responsible for the tragic denouement of Hindu-Muslim relations in India.….. ‘separatism’ means an insistence on the recognition of one’s community as a national or quasi-national group which, qua such a group, is entitled to special considerations and privileges. It thus indicates a certain attitude to other groups and is reflected in obstinate resistance to any process of interaction that may ultimately lead to the emergence of a common national identity cutting across the old lines of division. Separatism in this sense has always been a characteristic of Muslim society wherever Muslims are in a substantial minority, and Indian Muslims are no exceptions in this respect. Historically, it has expressed itself in different demands in different periods, their nature and content varying with the changing balance of forces at a given moment. In India, Muslim separatism has been particularly strong because of the memories of Muslim rule for nearly eight hundred years before the sepoy mutiny of 1857. How deep-rooted this attitude is among the Indian Muslims, regardless of the degree to which they are orthodox, is illustrated by the fact that both the Muslim League and the ‘nationalist’ Muslims were united in their demand for reservations, weightage and special treatment in matters of language, personal law and employment under government. Even after partition most of these demands continue to be pressed by practically all Muslim organizations in India. And, like Jinnah, they too do not make a distinction between secularists who demand the modernisation of Muslim society along liberal lines and the Hindu chauvinists who claim that India belongs to the Hindus and should become a Hindu state in which non-Hindus, including Muslims should be permitted to live as guests. In the eyes of the Muslim leadership, ‘both (the secularists and Hindu chauvinists) are equally dangerous to Muslims, untouchables and the other minorities.’ However, Muslims need not feel pessimistic about their future. ‘A single Muslim is nobler and higher than a thousand Hindus. The only need for him is to become awake and regard himself as a Muslim. He goes with Allah’s blessings. It is a holy deed when his dagger rushes into the heart of the aliens; and he is the victor.” (P. 189)

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Prof. Shah asserts that “If Muslim separatism is sui generis and not a reaction to Hindu revivalism, it still remains to trace it to its roots. I would suggest that it is inherent in the religion and culture of Islam (P. 194). He quotes Muhammad Iqbal “Islam, as a religion, has no country” (P. 179). He continues, “One may add that even Muslim intellectuals of the post-1947 generation, who profess Marxism, scrupulously avoid criticising their community’s culture and religion for reasons of expediency. Till this situation changes there can be no satisfactory solution of the Hindu-Muslim problem” (P. 195)

In another booklet3, he traces the Muslim problem due to lack of their modernization and urges the progressive Muslims, the worse offenders, to undertake a creative ‘reinterpretation’ of their faith. He laments “The failure of the Marxists to analyse the Islamic tradition and Muslim society in India has been all the more culpable. They have even gone to the extent of discovering secularism in the Muslim League in Kerala!” (P. 16) The writer then suggests a few measures to modernise the society, especially Islam. Some of them of interest to us are:

“The existing laws regarding the location of temples, mosques, durghas, the playing of music before mosques, unauthorized killing of cows and the like should be firmly implemented.” (P. 19)

There is sufficient ground for belief that certain Muslim groups in India receive funds from abroad, not all of which are utilized for the ostensible purpose for which they are given. The provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 1976 should be rigorously implemented in all such cases.’’ (P. 19)

“The government should see to it that reformist groups and movements among the Muslims are not subjected to physical or social persecution in the name of religion…… the hobnobbing of all political leaders, including ministers, with persons like the Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi and the Ulema of Deoband makes one wonder whether government and political parties are really interested in prompting a secular outlook among the Muslims.” (P. 19)

“Government should make up its mind to modify the personal laws of not only the Muslims but also the Christians, the Parsees and the Jews so as to bring them in line with modern ideas about the rights of women in matters of marriage, divorce and succession.” (P. 22)

He ends his note by pointing out that “Liberal Hindus and educated Muslims who believe that progress can be had without tears are living in a fool’s paradise.” (P. 22)

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Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

But before studying post-Independence scholars we should first look into the pre-Independence writings of one of the greatest Indian leaders and intellectuals of the twentieth century, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. He is revered by all sections of Indian society, perhaps only next to Mahatma Gandhi. Whatever be his views on Hinduism, he was honest enough to study the contents and behaviour of Islam and Christianity and wrote bluntly about them. In fact, when he decided to quit Hinduism along with his followers, in spite of several appeals and enticements by Muslim and Christian clergy and leaders, he chose to embrace Buddhism, another Hindu faith.

Unlike several Hindu leaders of this period, Dr. Ambedkar was very clear about the danger posed by Islam and Muslims to this country. During 1927 – 29, Dr. Ambedkar owned a Marathi newspaper called ‘Bahishkrut Bharat’. In it he maintained that the dispute in this country is not between two societies but two nations. He was very critical of the Nehruvian plan of separating the Sind from the Bombay province and not giving equivalent minority rights to Hindus where they were in minority. He was quite worried about the fact that in undivided India the Muslim majority provinces were on the border. He felt that due to this the borders were not safe in case of any threat to our security by a Muslim power as the Indian Muslims had no loyalty for Hindusthan. He also strongly condemned the pardah system in Islam.

Dr. Ambedkar developed this thesis subsequently in his well known book, ‘Pakistan or The Partition of India’1. In Chapter Four he traced the history of Muslim invasions and the butchering, forced conversions and rape of Hindu women and the destruction of Hindu temples and monuments. He has clearly brought out the truth that the invaders were not interested merely in looting, but also in conversion of the kafirs. He is very forthright in his description of the atrocities committed by the Muslims and has extensively quoted from historical records. He has quoted scholars who state that the Hindu peasants had to part with half of their produce as Jiziya as well as pay a large tax on their cattle. (P. 62)

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We give below a few excerpts from this book to show that Dr. Ambedkar was well aware of the various problems posed by Islam to Indian society and polity.

Chapter VII

It is a notorious fact that many prominent Hindus who had offended the Muslim susceptibilities of the Muslims either by their writings or by their part in the Shuddhi movement have been murdered by some fanatic Musalmans. ….. But Mr. Gandhi has never protested against such murders. Not only have the Musalmans not condemned these outrages but even Mr. Gandhi has never called upon the leading Muslims to condemn them “(P. 156)

“But there are others who….. believe in the possibility of Hindu-Muslim unity. This belief of theirs seems to rest on two grounds. Firstly they believe in the efficacy of a Central Goernment to mould diverse set of people into one nation. Secondly, they feel that the satisfaction of Muslim demands will be a sure means of achieving Hindu-Muslim unity”. (P. 187). Dr. Ambedkar subsequently shows that both presumptions are not valid.

Chapter X :

In this chapter Dr. Ambedkar has analysed the social evils amongst Muslims and comments as follows :

“One may well ask if there is any social evil which is found among the Hindus and is not found among the Muslims?”

“Take child-marriage….. Can the position among the Musalmans so far as child-marriage goes, be considered better than the position among the Hindus?” (P. 225)

“Take the position of women. It is insisted by Muslims that the legal rights given to Muslim women, ensure them a greater measure of independence than allowed to other Eastern women…. the Muslim woman is the most helpless person in the world…. her fate is ‘once married, always married’. She cannot escape the marriage tie, however irksome it may be. While she cannot repudiate the marriage, the husband can always do it without having to show any cause..… This latitude in the marriage in the matter of divorce destroys that sense of security which is so fundamental for a full, free and happy life for a woman. This insecurity of life, to which a Muslim woman is exposed, is greatly augmented by the right of polygamy and concubinage, which the Muslim law gives to the husband” (P. 226)

“Take the caste system. Islam speaks of brotherhood. Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stand 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” (P. 228). Dr. Ambedkar then quotes the 1901 census report for Bengal to show that Muslims there have several castes including Arzal or untouchable castes with whom no other Mohamedan would associate and who are forbidden to enter the mosque to use the public burial ground. He also quotes from the same Report about the panchayat system of each caste which extends to social as well as trade matters resulting in castes which are as strictly endogenous as Hindu castes.”

“There can thus be no manner of doubt that the Muslim Society in India is afflicted by the same social evils as afflict the Hindu Society. Indeed, the Muslims have all the social evils of the Hindus and something more. That something more is the compulsory system of purdah for Muslim women…. they are usually victims to anemia, tuberculosis and pyorrhea. Their bodies are deformed, with their backs bent, bones protruded, hands and feet crooked. Ribs, joints and nearly all their bones ache. Heart palpitation is very often present in them. The result of this pelvic deformity is untimely death at delivery…… the process of moral degeneration must and does set in. Being completely secluded from the outer world, they engage their minds in petty family quarrels….. The physical and intellectual effects of purdah are nothing as compared to its effects on morals…… a social system which cuts off all contacts between the two sexes produces an unhealthy tendency towards sexual excesses and unnatural and other morbid habits and ways…. It is responsible for the social segregation of Hindus from Muslims which is the bane of public life in India.” (P. 230)

“The Muslims have no interest in politics as such. Their predominant interest is in religion…. Muslim politics is essentially clerical and recognizes only one difference, namely, that existing between Hindus and Muslims. None of the secular categories of life have any place in the politics of the Muslim community and if they do find a place – and they must because they are irrepressible – they are subordinated to one and the only one governing principle of the Muslim political universe, namely religion.” (P. 232)

“The existence of these evils among the Muslims is distressing enough. But far more distressing is the fact that there is no organised movement of social reforms among the Musalmans of India on a scale sufficient to bring about their eradication.….. The Muslims on the other hand, do not realize that they are evils and consequently do not agitate for their removal. Indeed, they oppose any change in the existing practices.” (P. 233)

Dr. Ambedkar then goes on to analyze the reasons for this attitude. He feels that it is the fundamental assumption made by all Muslims that Islam is a world religion, suitable for all people, for all times and for all conditions which causes these attitudes. Although its rigidity is being challenged elsewhere in the world, the Indian Muslim community is still clinging to it. The reason for this is due to the peculiar position he occupies in India as he is placed in a predominantly Hindu social and political environment which he feels is encroaching on his existence. The Muslims think that the Hindus and Muslims must perpetually struggle.

Chapters XI and XII

Dr. Ambedkar discusses the causes behind the behaviour and political aggression of the Muslims in these chapters. “How the Muslim mind will work and by what factors it is likely to be swayed will be clear if the fundamental tenets of Islam which dominate the Muslim politics and the views expressed by prominent Muslims bearing on Muslim attitude towards an Indian Government are taken into consideration….. Among the tenets the one that calls for notice is the tenet of Islam which says that in a country which is not under Muslim rule, wherever there is a conflict between Muslim law and the law of the land, the former must prevail over the latter and a Muslim will be justified in obeying the Muslim law and defying the law of the land.” (P. 292). He quotes the Muslim leader Maulana Mahomed Ali, “the only allegiance a Musalman, whether a civilian or soldier, whether living under a Muslim or under non-Muslim administration, is commanded by the Koran to acknowledge is his allegiance to God, to his Prophet and to those in authority from among the Musalmans…. But the unalterable rule is and has always been that as Musalmans they can obey only such laws and orders issued by their secular rulers as do not involve disobedience to the commandments of God who in the expressive language of the Holy Koran is ‘the all-ruling ruler.” (P. 293)

Dr. Ambedkar then discusses the Muslim Canon Law which divides the world into two camps, Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war). He quotes Dr. Titus who says that a discussion took place within the Muslim community for fifty years on whether India was Dar-ul-Islam or Dar-ul-Harb. He then points out another injunction, Jihad (crusade) by which it becomes incumbent on a Muslim ruler to extend the rule of Islam until the whole world shall have been brought under its sway. “Not only can they proclaim Jihad but they can call the aid of a foreign Muslim power to make Jihad a success, or if the foreign Muslim power intends to proclaim a Jihad, help that power in making its endeavor a success.” He then draws attention to the third tenet “that Islam does not recognise territorial affinities. Its affinities are social and religious and therefore extraterritorial….. This is the basis of Pan-Islamism. It is this which leads every Musalman in India to say that he is a Muslim first and Indian afterwards……. To the Muslims a Hindu is a Kaffir. A Kaffir is not worthy of any respect. He is low-born and without status” (P. 301). Dr. Ambedkar goes on to show that this concept of Kaffir was extended even to Mahatma Gandhi by quoting his comrade-in-arm in the Khilafat movement, Mr. Mahomed Ali who said, “However pure Mr. Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view religion inferior to any Muslaman, even though he may be without character “and “Yes, according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and fallen Musalman to be better than Mr. Gandhi.” (P. 302)

Dr. Ambedkar also quotes prominent Hindu leaders who were alive to the problem. For example “Mrs. Annie Besant says….. The world has gone beyond such so-called theocracies, in which God’s commands are given through a man. The claim now put forward by Musalman leaders that they must obey the laws of their particular prophet above the laws of the State in which they live, is subversive of civic order and the stability of the State…… Malabar has taught us what Islamic rule still means, and we do not want to see another specimen of the ‘Khilafat Raj in’ India……. there is no place in a civilised land for people who believe that their religion teaches them to murder, rob, rape, burn, or drive away out of the country those who refuse to apostatise from their ancestral faiths….. Such ‘Laws of God’ cannot be allowed to override the laws of a civilised country….. In fact, Muslim sects are not safe in a country ruled by orthodox Muslims” (P. 278)

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He also quotes Lala Lajpatrai expressing apprehensions about Hindu-Muslim unity as well as a interview with the poet Dr. Rabindra Nath Tagore, “another very important factor which, according to the poet, was making it impossible for Hindu-Mohamedan unity to become an accomplished fact was that the Mohamedans could not confine their patriotism to any one country….. The poet said he had very frankly asked many Mohamedans whether, in the event of any Mohamedan power invading India, they would stand side by side with their Hindu neighbours to defend their common land. He could not be satisfied with the reply he got from them. He said that he could definitely state that even such men as Mr. Mahomed Ali had declared that under no circumstances was it permissible for any Mohamedan, whatever his country might be, to stand against any other Mohamedan.” (P. 276)

Dr. Ambedkar has also written, “Hinduism is said to divide people and in contrast Islam is said to bind people together. This is only a half truth. For Islam divides as inexorably as it binds. Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only….. 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.” (P. 330). Also “The Muslims are howling against the Hindu Maha Sabha and its slogan of Hindudom and Hindu Raj. But who is responsible for this? Hindu Maha Sabha and Hindu Raj are the inescapable nemesis which the Musalmans have brought upon themselves by having a Muslim League. It is action and counter-action. One gives rise to the other.” (P. 359)

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It may be mentioned again here that when Dr. Ambedkar decided to make Buddhism his religion after much deliberation, and in spite of several inducements, he refused to embrace Islam or Christianity and instead chose another Indian faith.

Dr. Ambedkar believed that the solution to this problem lay in the partition of British India with a systematic exchange of population. The first part of his proposal was ultimately hurriedly carried out in spite of vehement denials of the Congress leaders. Unfortunately no action on the second part i.e. the exchange of population was undertaken by out leaders and after a gap of a few decades this has led to the continuation and intensification of this problem in India. It is also very surprising that when Dr. Ambedkar was so clear about Islam, his present followers are bending over backwards to appease this community for its votes, instead of using their influence to educate them and bring them within the national mainstream. Nor have the nationalist leaders, even after partition, ever asked the Muslims to officially give up their outdated theology and concepts.


Secularists on Islam


Post-Independence establishment intellectuals, mostly Marxist by orientation and the residue comprising of neutralized Hindus have defined their intellectualism through defense of Islam and Christianity. They go to great lengths to defend Islam, an allied dogma of Marxism, and bend over backwards for showering praise on it for virtues like tolerance, love and Sarva-dharma-samabhava. There are some convenient passages in the Koran which they can always quote. The Marxists of course are in the forefront for reasons given by Mr. Dalwai below. Their general theme is that they are more sinned against than sinning. This is generally being done to show that there is nothing unique about Hindu faiths, which in fact are inferior because of what they claim are several shortcomings intrinsic in them. The whole purpose of this Macaulay-Marxist nexus is to discredit Hinduism so that Hindus lose confidence in themselves and ultimately lose the battle for survival.

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But this does not mean that there have not been scholars who have not analyzed at least some aspects of Islam, particularly in India. The more intellectually honest among them, generally genuine socialist intellectuals, have at least looked into the behavior of Muslims if not their scriptures. It will be rather surprising to note that they have echoed several comments made in the previous chapters.

1-Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

2-Prof. A. B. Shah

3-Sri Hamid Dalwai

4- Prof. Narhar Kurundkar

5-Sri Madhu Limaye