Skip to main content

Hindutva founders, not Congress, were actual 'proponents' of two-nation theory

Amit Shah paying tribute to Savarkar
By Shamsul Islam*
No other organization, in the present world, can beat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in double-speak. In fact, what George Orwell termed as "doublespeak" would be an understatement in the case of RSS. The latest proof of this nasty case was provided by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, de facto Prime Minister and senior RSS leader in the Lok Sabha (akin to the House of Commons in England) on December 9, 2019.
While introducing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019, he justified the need for such a law by referring to the Partition of India in 1947. He told the law-makers: “You want to know why this bill is necessary. If the Congress had not divided this country on the basis of religion, there would be no need to bring in this bill. It was the Congress that divided the country on religious lines, not us.”
It was bulldozing of history with the aim to hide the identity of the real culprits who dissected a nation causing unimaginable bloodshed, violence and destruction. When Amit Shah claims that "it was the Congress that divided the country on religious lines, not us,” it is not due to ignorance or outcome of his illiteracy.
Let us compare the above claim of Amit Shah with the contemporary documents available in the archives of Hindutva organizations like RSS and Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar.

Bhai Parmanand

It was Bhai Parmanand, a Hindu nationalist, hero for RSS (his son was appointed Governor by RSS/BJP governments), who declared in the beginning of the 20th century that followers of Hinduism and Islam in India were two different nations because Muslims followed a religion which originated in Arab lands. Parmanand specialized in writing popular literature in Urdu in which the main emphasis would be on Hindus being true sons of India and Muslims as outsiders.
He, as early as 1908-09, called for the total exchange of Hindu and Muslim populations in two specific areas. According to his plan, elaborated in his autobiography:
"The territory beyond Sind should be united with Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier Province into a great Musalman kingdom. The Hindus of the region should come away, while at the same time Mussalman in the rest of India should go and settle in this territory." (Parmanand, Bhai, "The Story of My Life", S Chand, Delhi, 1982, p 36.)

Dr BS Moonje

Dr BS Moonje, a close confidant of the RSS founder, Dr Hedgewar and a friend of Mussolini, was another Hindu nationalist who carried forward the flag of Hindu separatism long before Muslim League’s Pakistan resolution of March 1940. While addressing the third session of the Oudh Hindu Mahasabha in 1923, he declared:
"Just as England belongs to the English, France to the French, and Germany to the Germans, India belongs to the Hindus. If Hindus get organized, they can humble the English and their stooges, the Muslims…The Hindus henceforth create their own world which will prosper through shuddhi [literally meaning purification, the term was used for conversion of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism] and sangathan [organization]." (Cited in Dhanki, JS, "Lala Lajpat Rai and Indian Nationalism", S Publications, Jullundur, 1990, p 378.)
It was sheer semi-illiteracy of Moonje that he presented England, France and Germany as justification for India for Hindus. The English, the French and the German identities had nothing to do with religious identities; these were secular identities of the people living in those countries.

VD Savarkar

All such ideas of declaring India as a Hindu nation and excluding Muslims and Christians from it were further crystallized by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his controversial book "Hindutva" as early as 1923. Interestingly, he was allowed to write this polarizing book despite being in the British jail.
According to his definition of the Hindu nation, Muslims and Christians remained out of this nationhood because they did not assimilate into Hindu cultural heritage or adopt Hindu religion. Savarkar decreed:
"Christians and Mohamedan [sic] communities, who were but very recently Hindus and in majority of cases had been at least in their first generation most willing denizens of their new fold, claim though they might a common fatherland, and an almost pure Hindu blood and parentage with us cannot be recognized as Hindus; as since their adoption of the new cult they had ceased to own Hindu Sanskriti [culture] as a whole.
"They belong, or feel that they belong, to a cultural unit altogether different from the Hindu one. Their heroes and their hero-worship their fairs and their festivals, their ideals and their outlook on-life, have now ceased to be common with ours."
(Maratha [VD Savarkar], "Hindutva", VV Kelkar, Nagpur, 1923, p 88.)
RSS, following into the footsteps of Savarkar, rejected the idea that Hindus and Muslims together constituted a nation
Savarkar, the originator of the politics of Hindutva, later developed the most elaborate two-nation theory. The fact should not be missed that the Muslim League passed its Pakistan resolution in 1940, but Savarkar, the great philosopher and guide of RSS, propagated the two-nation theory long before it. While delivering the presidential address to the 19th session Hindu Mahasabha at Ahmedabad in 1937, Savarkar declared unequivocally:
"As it is, there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India. Several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so. These our well-meaning but unthinking friends take their dreams for realities. That is why they are impatient of communal tangles and attribute them to communal organizations…
"Let us bravely face unpleasant facts as they are. India cannot be assumed today to be a Unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main: the Hindus and the Moslems, in India."
(Savarkar, "Samagar Savarkar Wangmaya" (Collected Works of Savarkar), vol 6, Hindu Mahasabha, Poona, 1963, p 296.)

MS Golwalkar

The RSS, following into the footsteps of Savarkar, rejected outrightly the idea that Hindus and Muslims together constituted a nation. The most prominent ideologue of the RSS, Golwalkar in his 1939 book "We or Our Nationhood Defined" decreed: "Hindusthan, the land of the Hindus, lives and should live the Hindu Nation... Consequently only those movements are truly 'National' as aim at rebuilding, re-vitalizing and emancipating from its present stupor, the Hindu Nation". (MS Golwalkar, "We or Our Nationhood Defined", Bharat Publication, Nagpur, 1939, p 43.)
He went to the extent of declaring that all those who did not believe in establishing the Hindu nation "are either traitors and enemies to the National cause, or, to take a charitable view, idiots". (MS Golwalkar, "We or Our Nationhood Defined", Bharat Publication, Nagpur, 1939, p 44.)
Golwalkar like other RSS leaders was a great fan of Hitler and Mussolini. Glorifying the genocide of Jews by Nazis he wrote:
"German Race pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races—the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by." (MS Golwalkar, "We Or Our Nationhood Defined", Bharat Publications, Nagpur, 1939, p 35.)
The English organ of the RSS, "Organiser", on the very eve of Independence (August 14, 1947 when Golwalkar was RSS chief) editorially chalked out its concept of nation in the following words:
"Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of the mental confusion and the present and future troubles can be removed by the ready recognition of the simple fact that in Hindusthan only the Hindus form the nation and the national structure must be built on that safe and sound foundation… the nation itself must be built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations."
Dr BR Ambedkar, a keen researcher of the communal politics in pre-independence India, while underlying the affinity and camaraderie between the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League on the issue of the two-nation theory wrote:
"Strange it may appear, Mr Savarkar and Mr Jinnah instead of being opposed to each other on the one nation versus two nations issue are in complete agreement about it. Both agree, not only agree but insist that there are two nations in India—one the Muslim nation and the other Hindu nation." (BR Ambedkar, "Pakistan or the Partition of India", Govt of Maharashtra, Bombay, 1990 [Reprint of 1940 edition], p 142.)
Hindutva zealots like Amit Shah want the nation to forget that Hindu Mahasabha entered into alliances with the Muslim League
Ambedkar agonized by the evil designs of Savarkar regarding the two-nation theory and Hindutva rhetoric over it, wrote, as early as 1940, that "Hindu nation will be enabled to occupy a predominant position that is due to it and the Muslim nation made to live in the position of subordinate co-operation with the Hindu nation". (Ibid, 143.)
Hindutva zealots like Amit Shah want the nation to forget that the Hindu Mahasabha led by Savarkar entered into alliances with the Muslim League in order to break the united freedom struggle, specially, the 1942 Quit India Movement against the British rulers. While delivering Presidential address to the 24th session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Kanpur in 1942, Savsrkar defended hobnobbing with the Muslim League in the following words:
"In practical politics also the Mahasabha knows that we must advance through reasonable compromises. Witness the fact that only recently in Sind, the Sind-Hindu-Sabha on invitation had taken the responsibility of joining hands with the League itself in running coalition Government. The case of Bengal is well known.
"Wild Leaguers whom even the Congress with all its submissiveness could not placate grew quite reasonably compromising and socialable as soon as they came in contact with the Hindu Mahasabha and the Coalition Government, under the premiership of Mr Fazlul Huq and the able lead of our esteemed Mahasabha leader Dr Syama Prasad Mookerji, functioned successfully for a year or so to the benefit of both the communities.
"Moreover, further events also proved demonstratively that the Hindu Mahasabhaits endeavoured to capture the centres of political power only in the public interests and not for the leaves and fishes of the office."
("Samagar Savarkar Wangmaya[Collected Works of Savarkar], Hindu Mahasabha, Poona, 1963, pp 479-480.)
Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League also formed a coalition government in the North-West Frontier Province ( NWFP). As if it was not enough, Savarkar with the concurrence of RSS joined hands with the British masters in defeating Netaji Subhash Chander Bose's attempts to liberate India militarily.
Savarkar gave call for 'responsive co-operation' with the British in which Hindu Mahasabha organized military recruitment camps for enlisting Hindus in the British army in order to defeat attacks by Netaji's Azad Hind Fauj (INA). (VD Savarkar, "Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan", vol 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindu Sabha, Poona, p 460.)
According to Rammanohar Lohia, who witnessed the Partition, Hindutva organizations through their high-pitch anti-Muslim propaganda prepared ground for helping the Muslim League to gain popularity among the Muslims as saviour of the community. The Hindu communalist who shouted loudest for Akand or united Bharat “helped Britain and the Muslim League partition the country… They did nothing whatever, to bring the Muslim close to the Hindu within a single nation. They did almost everything to estrange them from each other. Such estrangement is the root cause of partition.” (Lohia, Rammanohar, "Guilty Men of India’s Partition", BR Publishing, Delhi, 2012, p 2.)
---
Formerly with the Delhi University, Prof Islam's writings, video interviews/debates can be accessed here.  Twitter: @shamsforjustice, blog: http://shamsforpeace.blogspot.com/, contact: notoinjustice@gmail.com

Comments

TRENDING

Whither Govt of India strategy to reduce import dependence on crude oil, natural gas?

By NS Venkataraman*  India presently imports around 80% of it’s crude oil requirement and around 50% of its natural gas requirements . As the domestic production of crude oil and natural gas are virtually stagnant and the domestic demand is increasing at around 7% per annum, India’s steadily increasing dependence on import of the vital energy source is a matter of high energy security concern. This is particularly so, since the price of crude oil and natural gas are considerably fluctuating / increasing in the global market due to geo political factors, which are beyond the control of India. India has promised to achieve zero emission by the year 2070, which mean that the level of emission has to start declining at slow and steady rate from now onwards. It is now well recognized that global emission is caused largely due to use of coal as fuel and natural gas as fuel and feedstock. While burning of coal as fuel cause emission of global warming carbon dioxide gas and sulphur

'Blatant violation' of law by Central government in making NREGA payments

By Our Representative  In September third week, NREGA workers across the country were mobilised for two day so raise their issues and submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister. Organised the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha (NSM), a collective of groups that work with NREGA labourers across the country, workers from 13 states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- carried out Kaam Do Abhiyaan, staging demonstrations and rallies against what they called blatant violation of law by the Central government in making NREGA payments. While NREGA has had very positive impacts, it has lately become fruitless, exploiting labour, even though workers who have put in honest hard work have to wait for their wages endlessly, it was suggested.  In such a situation, there is a need to firm up NREGA implementation and end systematic corruption to ensure that workers get their basic NREGA entit

Fascism on prowl? Religious meet 'deeply pained' at silence of Church, bishops, priests

Counterview Desk  The ‘Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace’which held its 17th National Convention at the Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana from 22 to 24 September 2022 on the theme “Deepening our Identity as Religious: Responding to the Signs of the Times”, has expressed concern “at the deteriorating situation of our nation on every front”, especially stating, “Fascism seems to have come to stay” in India. At the same time, the convention, which took place with the participation of 60 persons from 16 states representing 20 religious congregations, in its unanimously-adopted statement added, “We have reached abysmal depths on every parameter: be it social, economic and political”, underlining, “The poor in India become poorer every day; the rich and powerful continue to profiteer at their expense and amass scandalous amounts of wealth.” Text: We, members (63 women and men Religious, from 16 states representing 20 Congregations) of the Forum of Religious for Justice

Muslim intellectuals met Bhagwat, extra-constitutional authority 'like Sanjay Gandhi'

By Shamsul Islam*  In a significant development a delegation of five Muslim intellectuals namely former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi; former senior bureaucrat Najeeb Jung; former AMU vice-chancellor and Lt Gen (retd) Zameer U Shah; politician-cum-journalist Shahid Siddiqui (presently with RLD); and businessman Saeed Shervani [Samajvadi Party] met RSS Supremo Mohan Bhagwat at RSS Delhi headquarters. The meeting was kept secret for reasons known to the participants and was held in August. According to the Muslim intellectuals the meeting held in “a very cordial” atmosphere continued for 75 minutes whereas time allotted was 30 minutes! In a post-meeting justification of the parleys Quraishi stated that their main concern was “the insecurity being increasingly felt by the Muslim community in the wake of recurring incidents of lynching of innocents, calls by Hindutva hotheads for genocide and the marginalisation of the community in almost every sphere”. This delegation consistin

Rajasthan cops 'halt' Gujarat Dalit women's rally: homage to untouchability victim boy

By Our Representative  In a surprise move, the Rajasthan police stopped a Dalit women's rally from Gujarat on the borders after it crossed Gujarat alleging that it would "disturb peace" in village Surana, Jalore district, where the gruesome incident of death of a Dalit boy took place on August 13 after he was brutally beaten up by his teacher on touching the drinking water pot. Sources said, while the Gujarat government had "no objection" in allowing the rally, which originated from the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), an empowerment-cut-technical institute for teens founded by human rights leader Martin Macwan, on September 24 morning, the Rajasthan police stopped it for two and a half hours before allowing it to proceed to Surana. The decision to take out a women's rally was taken at a DSK meeting on September 5 following a condolence meeting of the NGO Navsarjan Trust, also founded by Macwan, activists committed to work against caste-based discrimination, orga

Why Bose's India Gate statue suggests RSS, BJP need violence-loving ‘Hindu’ Netaji

By Prem Singh*  In a TV channel debate, a BJP spokesperson and anchor shared and served a lie that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's daughter in her letter to the Prime Minister has alleged that the Congress kept devaluing Netaji to further Gandhi's non-violence; because Netaji had taken the path of liberating the country through violence mode by forming the Azad Hind Fauj (INA). They also praised the Bombay Royal Naval Mutiny of 1946 to confirm that the country got its independence through a violent route. I stated that I have read the letter of Netaji's daughter, and there is no such allegation in it. But a lie told in the intoxication of power is bound to be blatant. Netaji's daughter Anita Bose Pfaff, even in the past, has already requested some earlier prime ministers of the country to bring back the mortal remains of her father from Japan to India. In none of the letters she has spoken about devaluation of her father’s role in the freedom movement on the basis of Gandh

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Is coal import dependence of more than 50% by 2047 of any relevance to India?

By Shankar Sharma*  I have read the article " Building Resilience in India’s Power Sector " by N Vedachalam, released by the Observer Research Foundation, with a lot of interest. I expected it to provide few useful recommendations to our authorities in charting out a sustainable pathway to green energy transition much before the climate catastrophe push our communities to the precipice. But I am sorry to say that the overall discussions or the message implied in the article disappointed me. I was expecting the article, coming from an engineer with past experience in the power sector, to discuss the much needed recommendations to put the power sector on a sustainable developmental pathway. But I could notice mostly technical jargon and a lot of statistical information, which may already be available in the public domain.   The article also seems to have simply accepted what some of the official agencies seem to have indicated as inevitable for the power sector in our country;

'True decolonisation move': Demand to name new Parliament building after Ambedkar

By Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd*  In recent weeks, there has been a demand for the new Parliament building being constructed on the revamped Central Vista in New Delhi to be named after the architect of the Constitution and anti-caste leader BR Ambedkar. On September 14, the Telangana Assembly passed a resolution urging the Centre to name the new Parliament building after Ambedkar. The Bharatiya Janata Party was absent during the debate about the resolution. The next day, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi-led government declared that the new secretariat in the centre of Hyderabad would be named after Ambedkar. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao added that he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to name the new Parliament building in Delhi “Ambedkar Parliament”. The demand is finding resonance among civil society groups too and has led to social media discussions as well as public mobilisation.  But two questions arise: Should a Parliament that makes laws for a nation over a

Government 'fails to take up' Indian migrants' unpaid wages issue with other countries

By Rafeek Ravuther, Chandan Kumar, Dharmendra Kumar*  The migrant workers were one of the most vulnerable sections during the pandemic. India experiences large-scale movement of migrants internally and internationally. After the outbreak of the pandemic, migrant workers continued to face injustice especially in getting wages in expedited manner. In the international context, India, the home of 9 million cross-border temporary labour migrants, carried out the largest repatriation exercise ‘Vande Bharat Mission’. Even though the Indian government addressed the immediate requirement of repatriation, it failed to understand and recognise their post-arrival grievances, like back wages, social protection etc. Recently many workers were deported from the middle- east region. Amidst the establishment of grievance mechanisms such as Consular Services Management System (MADAD) and helplines in Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK), the unresolved grievances remain high. The number of unresolv