o Noakhal, … My present mission is the most difficult and complicated one of my life … I am prepared for any eventuality. ‘Do or Die’ has to be put to the test here. ‘Do’ here means Hindus and Mussulmans should learn to live together in peace and amity. Otherwise I should die in the attempt … No one can escape death. Then why be afraid of it? In fact, death is a friend who brings deliverance from suffering.
Mahatma Gandhi was a freedom fighter and leader of India who strongly opposed any violence among Hindus and Muslims. As mentioned above, he preferred to teach the world that Hindus and Muslims should learn to live together. Gandhi opposed the partition of India from the beginning to the end.
In May 1947, he was called to Delhi where the new Viceroy Lord Mountbatten had succeeded in persuading the congress leaders to accept Jinnah’s insistent demand for the partition of India as a condition precedent for British withdrawal. Gandhi was against partition at any cost but he was unable to convince the congress leaders of the wisdom of his stand.
On August 15, 1947, India was partitioned and became free. Mahatma Gandhi declined to attend the celebrations in the capital and went to Calcutta where communal riots were still raging. When Gandhi returned to Delhi in September 1947, the city was in the grip of communal hysteria. Ghostly tales of what had happened to Hindus and Sikhs in West Pakistan had kindled passions which burst into a conflagration when the uprooted victims of this tragedy poured into the city. In a frenzy of vengeance, Hindus and Sikhs had taken the law into their hands and were looting Muslim houses, seizing Mosques, and stabbing innocent passers-by. (Prasad, 1954 p.24)
Despite the numerous communal clashes which claimed a number of innocent lives, the separation of India still went ahead.
Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of the subcontinent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam, because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the life of humanity today.
Liaquat Ali Khan
The birth of Pakistan on August 14-15, 1947 undermined, from the liberal and left perspective, the values of religious tolerance and cultural pluralism. The ideological foundations of secular nationalism, the main plank of Indian National Congress in its mobilization campaigns, also weakened. For the Muslim communities that remained in India, partition was a nightmare. (Hasan, 1997 p. 6)
Liaquat Ali Khan was trying to explain to the world the need for separation and the reason for separation of India into two since the teachings and traditions of Islam would not mix with Hinduism. Meanwhile, in his book, Hasan was emphasizes the horrors of separation for the Muslim communities in India.
Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister shared the same view as Mahatma Gandhi on the partitioning of India and the violence occurred as a result of it. In an impromptu radio broadcast on September 9th 1947, he said, it is an extraordinary thing that I have seen. I have seen horror enough and I have seen many people die. … Death is bad and painful, but one gets used to death. But there are some things much worse than death that have taken place. I am ashamed of the acts that my people have done and I fear the disgrace and the consequences of evil deeds will remain with us for a long time. … This morning, our leader, our master, Mahatma Gandhi, came to Delhi, and I went to see him, and I sat by him for a while wondering how low we have fallen from the great ideals that he had placed before us.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah was being encouraged by his followers on separating Hindus from Muslims, and creating conflict between the two.
A Muslim was overheard saying to Jinnah in 1946, a large factory for the mass Hinduisation of Muslims has been established in Delhi under the very name of the All-India Muslim leaders … I am referring to the so-called Jamia Millia. Dr. Zakir Husain was selected by Gandhi and Co. for carrying out their plan for Hinduising Muslims in the spirit of the Wardha scheme which was prepared … under the guidance and supervision of Gandhi, the most astute and cunning hypocrite of all time. The object of the Jamia Millia is to make Muslims as much Hindu in outlook and every other respect as possible … for example, (the young children) are taught the slogan The Muslim league is dead, the Congress is good. With grown up Muslim boys, more subtle methods are used. The aim is to make their inside Hindu and let their outside remain Muslim. …
If this factory for Hinduising Muslims is allowed to continue its evil work, real Islam will soon disappear from India. The great killings like to one in Bihar grieve upon us most profoundly, but they do not kill Islam. They rather revive it to some extent. But the slow and secret poison of the Jamia Millia Islamia will soon kill Islam, and will make every Muslim a mere ‘show-boy’ of the Hindus. This is the cleverest plot so far designed for the destruction of Islam in India. (Hasan, 1997 p. 240)
The communal violence between Hindus and Muslims has been an often occurrence in India and Pakistan. When looking at the causes of these clashes, one may find various reasons through books, or public opinion. We will concentrate on the separating of India into India and Pakistan as the primary cause of the communal violence. This paper will be expressed under the following topics:
1. Making of a separate nation.
2. The empowering of differences.
(a) Political actions
(b) Sectarian Violence
(c) Retreat of Secularism
3. Ayodhya and its Consequences.
The explanation and reasoning for the Hindu-Muslim clashes is a very large topic which would need a lot of time and research to document it. This paper will concentrate on the partitioning of India and will follow the topics mentioned above.