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The Partition of India was a partition that led to the creation on 14 August 1947 and 15 August 1947, respectively, of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan (later Islamic Republic of Pakistan) and Union of India (later Republic of India) upon becoming free from British rule. In particular, it refers to the partition of the Bengal province of British India into the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and the Indian state of West Bengal, as well as the similar partition of the Punjab region of British India into the Punjab province of West Pakistan and the Indian state of Punjab.
Most Indians today happily celebrate August 15 as Independence Day, but all seem to have forgotten that August 15 marks a day when our Holy Motherland, our Akhand Bharathvarsha was divided, when about 1/3 of our land was taken away from us, when a large number of Hindus were killed and more number became refugees in their own Nation. H.V Sheshadri in his Book, The Tragic Story of Partition says-
“In the [past] one thousand years many parts of our country had been ruled by the Muslims and then by the British, but the nation had never compromised, in principle, its sovereignty over any part of the motherland. As a result, our nation had never ceased to strive for throwing out the aggressors and liberate those parts. And history tells us that ultimately it did succeed in freeing the entire land from the clutches of foreign invaders. However, for the first time, Partition conceded the moral and legal right to them over certain parts of the country and declared an ignominious finale to the one thousand years old heroic struggle for freedom. Thus it was an act of humiliating surrender on the point of principle. The usual interpretation of Partition, however, does not utter a word about this aspect. Even while conceding Partition to be a tragedy, it is sought to be made out as the only practical way out then available - as the inevitable price for achieving freedom.” 1
Throughout the history of Bharathavarsha, we find that even though there was no political unity, the whole Bharath was united together by a stronger bond of culture, that is, Sanatana Dharma. Akhand Bharat for Hindus was never a mere clod of clay. It was verily the Matrubhoomi, the Punyabhoomi, the Dharmabhoomi, the Devabhoomi, the Karmabhoomi - all sublimated into one single majestic figure of Bharat Mata. This Bharathavarsha was later painted as “Indian Sub-continent” by the English men for breaking the Hindu Morale. The territorial unity and integrity of Bharatavarsha - the land that lies south of the Himalayas, east of Sakadvipa (Seistan), south-east of Vãhlîka (Balkh), west of Burma and between the two seas - was never a political contrivance created by the sword of a conqueror. On the contrary, it was meant and manifested by Mother Nature herself as the cradle of an incomparable culture - the culture of Sanãtana Dharma.2
But, in 1947, this Bharathvarsha was divided due to the political unwillingness and the Muslim appeasing policies of our national leaders Gandhi, Nehru and their Congress party. To quote the appropriate words of Prafull Goradia in this context: "For Mahatma Gandhi, no price was too great for appeasing Muslims, so that they did not oppose Hindus. That he did not understand the Muslims was proved by the conduct of the Muslim League and by the vivisection of the country.3
No one among the national leadership had the time or the talent to take stock of the situation, see the forces at work in a historical setting, and give a resounding call for a new national resolve - to foil the consolidation of Islamic imperialism in several parts of Bharatavarsha, and to launch another struggle for winning back all our people and every bit of national territory from the stranglehold of a theocratic state that was fast taking shape. The millions of Hindus who had to abandon their ancestral homes in East and West, became refugees at the very dawn of freedom for which they had worked so hard and made so many sacrifices. Their dream of becoming the proud citizens of a country freed from every vestige of foreign imperialism had suddenly turned into a nightmare. Something had gone seriously wrong somewhere.4
Pakistan grew out of the two-nation theory of the Muslim League, The very name of the State which the Muslim League envisaged-and achieved-is, in the context in which it was adopted, a standing insult to the Hindus and other non-Muslims living in India. This name-Pakistan-means literally the Land of the Pure or of Purity. This implies clearly that Hindus and all that belongs to them credally and materially is impure, defiled and unholy.5 Dr. Mohammad Iqbal in his presidential address at the Annual Muslim League Session held at Allahabad in 1930, said that he felt a separate nation for Muslims was essential.6 In January 1933 appeared, on behalf of certain Indian Muslim students at Cambridge, headed by Chaudhari Rehmat Ali, a pamphlet entitled Now or Never. This pamphlet advocated a complete break away of the Muslims of North-Western zones of India from the rest of the Indian nation.7 At the 1940 AIML conference in Lahore, Jinnah made clear his commitment to two separate states, a position from which the League never again wavered: “The Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature… To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state.”8
The Direct Action of the Muslim League was launched on August the 16th, 1946 after cabinet Mission failed. The Muslim League Bengal Government declared August 16, 1946 to be a public holiday throughout Bengal. This Direct Action Day, also known as Great Calcutta killings, left 5,000 Hindus dead and about 15,000 injured. The Direct Action Day riots in Calcutta spread to other regions, reaching this district where a massive pogrom was organized against the Hindu minority. An important incident following Direct Action Day was the Noakhali district massacre on October 1946. The death toll is estimated to be in the thousands, with 51-75 thousand Hindus ethnically cleansed from the region. In the words of S. L. Ghosh of the Ananda Bazar Patrika- "The horror of the Noakhali outrage is unique in modern history in that it was not a simple case of turbulent members of the majority community (Muslims) killing off helpless members of the minority Hindu community, but was one whose chief aim was mass conversion, accompanied by loot, arson and wholesale devastation... No section of the Hindu community has been spared, the wealthier classes being dealt with more drastically. Abduction and outrage of Hindu women and forcible marriages were also resorted. The slogans used and the methods employed indicate that it was all part of a plan for the simultaneous establishment of Pakistan." An attack on Hindus occurred in Delhi on the 12th August, 1946. There was rioting in such vastly different places as Cawnpore, Bombay, Poona, Ahmedabad, Dacca and a few others. The lesson of it all was becoming very abundantly clear. The Muslim League was waging its war in earnest on non-Muslims to achieve its Pakistan. This was followed by genocide of Hindus and Sikhs by Muslim League in Punjab.According to Richard Symonds “at the lowest estimate, half a million people perished and twelve million became homeless”
August 15 marks this bloody partition, where Hindus not only lost a major chunk of their motherland, but also left thousands dead and millions as refugees. On the midnight of August 15, 1947, Pandit Nehru made historic speech where he said- “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”9
I am forced to ask the question H.V. Sheshadri asks, “Did the tryst with destiny which our leaders had made long years ago include this crucial twist of history also? Was it a picture of a divided Bharat which had been the cherished vision of our freedom fighters including Pandit Nehru?”
Finally, Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo in his birthday message on 15 August 1947, said- “India today became free but she has not achieved Unity… The old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into permanent political division of the country. It is hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled forever, as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled; civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India’s internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even fractured. This must not be; the Partition must go. By whatever means, in whatever way, the division must go; unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of the India’s future”10
- 1 The Tragic Story of Partition, p. 12.
- 2 Muslim Separatism Causes and Consequences, Chapter 2, Sita Ram Goel
- 3 http://www.ivarta.com/columns/OL_070120.htm
- 4 Muslim Separatism Causes and Consequences, Chapter 3, Sita Ram Goel
- 5 Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947, Chapter 1Compiled for the SGPC, By S. Gurbachan Singh Talib
- 6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_India
- 7 Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947, Chapter 2
- 8 Compiled for the SGPC, By S. Gurbachan Singh Talib
- 9 http://my-utterances.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/08/tryst-with-destiny-rare-vi...
- 10 Sri Aurobindo, Complete works, Vol 26
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