Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Partition... Not an Aberration

I think now that two articles on Communalism are put, let me put this also for your consumption.

Note: I mentioned about Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Aligarh Muslim University earlier - here is something on it - I haven't looked out for a counter-view of the same, so do not consider anything stated hereunder as something that I put my weight behind.
Let's see, after some study, I shall give my own flavor - By the way, I am also looking into some of those Marxist Historians' versions on Partition - which shall be presented in the coming posts.
Sops for separatism

KR Phanda (Editorial from The Pioneer)

Those familiar with Muslim League politics between 1906 and 1947 will not be surprised at Mr Badrul Islam's demand in his article, "AMU calls for justice" (March 3). The writer says that the Aligarh Muslim University "needs to act independently in all affairs including admissions". During the first 40 years of the 20th century, the Muslim League's behavioural pattern was characterised by accusations, demands and denunciations of the Indian National Congress. The reactions of the Congress, led by Mahatma Gandhi, was marked by acquiescence, cajolery and surrender to Muslim demands.

Even after the creation of Pakistan on religious basis, the Congress did not stop pandering to Muslim demands. HRD Minister Arjun Singh's twin gifts for the AMU on its 56th annual convocation at Aligarh on March 2 should be seen in light of this age-old appeasement policy. He has announced financial assistance of eight crore rupees as well as statutory minority status for AMU.

The Congress, thanks to its votebank politics, may not want to inform the public that the AMU's founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, had nothing but contempt for it. He was the first Muslim 'moderate' to articulate the two-nation theory that eventually led to the creation of Pakistan.

As reported in the Pioneer of January 11, 1888, Sir Syed had characterised the Congress as a "Bengali movement", "a stupid organisation", and Congress sessions as a mere scribbling and talking shop. He had described Bengalis as people "who at the sight of a table knife would crawl under their chair" (Badruddin Tyabji, Husain B Tyabji, Thacker and Co, Bombay, 1952, p 197). Another Muslim leader of the time, Sir Aga Khan, wrote about the AMU: "Surely it may also be claimed that the independent, sovereign nation of Pakistan was born in the Muslim University of Aligarh" (The Memoirs of Aga Khan, Cassel & Company, London, 1954, p 36).

The status of the AMU had been decided by the Supreme Court in its judgement delivered on October 20, 1967: "The Aligarh University was neither established nor administered by the Muslim minority and, therefore, there is no question of any amendment to the 1920 Act violating Article 30 (I), for the Article does not at all apply to the University" (S Azeez Basha vs Union of India, SCR, 1968). Subsequently, under Muslim pressure, the Congress Government overturned the Supreme Court judgement.

The AMU can be said to have been the centre of Muslim separatism and the intellectual cradle of the Muslim League. The 1906 memorandum submitted by Muslim leaders to Lord Minto at Shimla was drawn up by Aligarh intellectuals led by Syed Hosien Bilgrami. The foundation of the Muslim League in the same year was also their work. Professor Francis Robinson records that "the secretaryship and power in the League generally was to remain in the hands of Aligarh and UP men for most of its existence" (Separatism Among Indian Muslims, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain, 1974, p 149).

The AMU should have been abolished for its anti-national record after Independence. Instead, the Government encouraged the setting up of more such institutions. Why should taxes collected from Hindus be used for an institution that has preached and practised separatism? Why should Muslim institutions get grants and autonomy denied to Hindu institutions? Why should India's largest minority be given special rights while the 'normative' secular paradigm treats Hindus as second class citizens in their own country?


Blogger Sagar Rastogi said...

Dude seriously.. your posts are beginning to sound like right-wing propaganda!

Just because the AMU called the Congress 'stupid' (which was most probably true anyway) and just because the idea of Pakistan was born there over a hundred years ago does not make it an anti-national organization! Have they done any such activities after independence?

Tell me why exactly do ppl say that Muslims are given priority over Hindus? Didn't they demolish the Babri masijid? Didn't they butcher Muslims in Godhra?

Most importantly, do you really care abt the AMU and what happens to it? And has any muslim has at any time been given unfair preference over you at any time?

Friday, April 08, 2005 7:07:00 PM  
Blogger agastyabhrata said...

Dear Rastogi,

All that I would say is you have jumped into making conclusions before I concluded anything. I haven't put my argument yet before you.

I have to say that this sort of "jumping to conclusions" might as well have been a reason why the History is shaped so.

But then, I shall answer each of your claims.

Right-wing propaganda - I think it is but logical for someone to feel so if one does not give much attention to what I said in the beginning - "I haven't looked out for a counter-view of the same, so do not consider anything stated hereunder as something that I put my weight behind."

The reason why I started off with the Right Wing was because "The Indian Musalmans" by W W Hunter was something which influenced a lot to the development of Right Wing ideology more than the way the Muslims politicians
"exploited" it - again a view from the Right wing. I haven't judged the merit of the argument yet.

As regards your question on AMU - regarding if they have done any separatist activities later - I hold no comment on that and the comments made by Mr K R Phanda are his. He feels it is so. That's about it.

"Muslims given priority over Hindus" - well this is not very difficult to answer. This was how the British policy turned out to be and the priority being given was also justified by them in the sense that the Muslims should be given a right for representation of their views which are different from the rest. Refer to Minto-Morley reforms of 1909. And the idea of minority "appeasing" started as early as early 1900s. I shall get back to this in greater detail in the next few posts.

As for a comment on INC falling for the Hunter's argument (my first post on Communalism) - I wish to indicate that you may go through the efforts of Gandhiji towards a Hindu-Muslim united front.

And finally regarding AMU and what happens to it - I think as a matter of fact - it is important to note that what is "good for goose is good for gander" - if this were the standard everywhere -I am fine with it. As for your final question, I think this question is irrelevant to the discussion since you are asking me a question on something that Mr. K R Phanda has opined. May be you could write these comments to him, he shall answer them from his "right-wing" angle as you put it:)

Anyways,wait for a few more days till I complete the argument.

Friday, April 08, 2005 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sagar Rastogi said...

well.. a blog is something like a diary right? What's the point of just putting both sides of argument on your blog and sitting on the fence... you need to take a stand!

"Muslims.. given priority over Hindus?" - I meant after independence.

And once again, since you have titled this blog - "Musings of a Spectator" - dude write your musings, not arguments made my people you don't agree with.

neways, waiting for your next post.

Monday, April 11, 2005 2:13:00 AM  
Blogger agastyabhrata said...

my dear fellow,

thanks for defining a blog for me.
I take it as your way of looking at a blog and nothing more.

"What's the point of just putting both sides of argument on your blog"
- That's what a Spectator does before putting his musings over them - first convey what is happening then comment.

"and sitting on the fence"... - well let's see if you say that after I finish my points.

My musings take time, and I take my own time to write them :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 1:36:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home