Pearls of Nehruvian Wisdom

Came across a conversation between India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and an IAS probationer, Yuvaraj Karan in 1950, in [1]. The complete conversation from [2] is provided below.

(We reproduced below a conversation between Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and an IAS Probationer, Sri Yuvaraj Karan in 1950.)

Mohammed Ali Jinnah who propounded the theory that Moslems are a separate nation and so demanded the partition of India  for creation of the Islamic state of Pakistan (and Bangladesh) as a national home for the subcontinent’s Muslims proposed an exchange of population between Hindu Indiai and Islamic Pakistan. Dr. B R Ambedkar in his masterly analysis of the Muslim problem of India in his book, “Pakistan  of Partition of India”, also advocated the  exchange of minority population  and cited the example of the exchange of Muslim and Christian populations in the  Balkans of  Europe on the dissolution in 1919 of the Ottoman Turkish empire. The exchange of population was supervised by the  League of  Nations after the first World War and thus put an end to the Muslim problem in non- Muslim Balkan states.

Here in India, Jawaharlal Nehru and  Mahatma Gandhi  opposed the  exchange of populations. Both said they did not  accept the two nation theory, but agreed to divide India on the  basis of religion! In the event, Islamic Pakistan ethnically cleansed Hindus, Sikhs and  Buddhists from that country and the Islamic state of Bangladesh is also doing the same  thing in steps, but here in India  the  Muslims who rioted for Pakistan, were affectionately patronized by Nehru (and his Dynasty) and also Mahatma Gandhi.  The 9% of Muslim population in India in 1947 has gone upto 13.4% according to census 2001 of  India  and over 15% according to Sachar Committee Report.  Incidentally,  Js Rajender Sachar, Manmoham Singh,Kuldip Nayar as well as Jyoti Basu and Budhadev Bhattacharji to mention a few ‘Secular’ warriors have fled from the  Islamic state of Pakistan in 1947 to escape massacre or forced conversion.

Sri Yuvaraj Karan, a former IAS Officer, who is also one of the  escapees from Pakistan (so beloved of Rajender Sachar, I K Gujral, Manmohan Singh and Company)  has written a book,  ‘Understanding Partition’ published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.  When he was at eh IAS Training Institute in Dehradun, in the first batch IAS trainees, Jawaharlal Nehru was invited to address them. At the  end of Sri Nehru’s self-confident and all-knowing address; Sri Yuvraj whose mind was particularly exercised for the  continued stay in India  of the  leaders of the  Muslim League who had brought about partition of India and fought for the  establishment of Pakistan, reacted to the  observations made by Jawaharlal Nehru and  provoked a dialogue.

Here it is:

Y Krishna (YK) : Well, Sir, those who have brought about Partition have been left behind in the  partitioned India. The Muslim League had declared that the Hindus an d Muslims were two nations and  had asked for partition because they feared that the Muslim, being a minority, would suffer oppression and atrocities at the hands of he  Hindu majority. Pakistan was to be their  homeland where they could live in freedom from the   tyranny of  the non-Muslim majority.  But lo! And behold!  The vast majority of the  Muslims of U.P, Bihar, Central Provinces, Bombay, etc. remained behind in India  and did not  migrate to the homeland (Pakistan) created for them.  We never accepted the  two-nation theory though we were driven to accept Partition to avoid bloodshed and to achieve Independence.

Prime Minister (P M):  We are not a communal State. The Muslims, who have decided to stay in India, are as much honorable citizens of the  country as the members of the majority community. They cannot be victimized in the new situation for their actions and conduct before and  at the  time of  Partition. We cannot and must not live in the  past.

YK: True sir, but the immense suffering the people have undergone  and the  problems; only it has created  new ones.

P M: you are too young to understand.  The overwhelming majority of the Indian Muslims are politically backward and have been misled by the  pernicious and poisonous propaganda of the  Muslim League.  So it will be wrong to treat the  vast majority of Indian Muslims as being responsible for the  ills of our country.

YK :  True sir, the vast majority has been misled by the two-nation theory.  But this does not absolve the Muslim League leadership; they are  the  authors of Partition.  And yet, the majority of this leadership has also stayed back in India..  The Muslims  of Pakistan , West Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan, as such, never wanted or asked for Pakistan.  In fact, they did not need to.

There was a pause and silence for a couple of minutes.

YK: The Raja of Mahamudabad, Begum Aizaz Rasul, Raja of Pirpur, Maulana Hasrat Mohanti etc., from U P, Syed Hussain Imam from Bihar, M .Mod.  Ismail from Madras etc., to name a few of the host of Muslim League leaders, have stayed back in India  though they had actively worked for the  creation of Pakistan  as the homeland for the  Indian Muslims.  They are not an iota of  justification for such leaders being allowed to stay in India after having got the country partitioned on the  basis of the  two -nation theory.  They ought to have gone to the homeland they asked for and obtained.

There was again a pause P M Nehru’s face was flushed. After a brief silence, he resumed

P M : we cannot abandon the  nationalist Muslims who had fought an d sacrificed for India’s Independence.

YK: But the  Congress has already abandoned the  Khidmatgars led by the  Frontier Gandhi.

P M: This was a most decision forced on us by the  geo-political realities.

YK: I am not sure of the  loyalty of the  so-called nationalist Muslims after the  creation of Pakistan, considering the speeches (mischievous and rabble  rousing) of the  national Muslim leaders  (those who were opposed to Partition) like Dr Syed Mahmud, Maulana Hafizur Rahman (of Jamiat-ul-ulema-e-Hind) etc., at the Lucknow conference of Mussalman, Hind (Dec 1947).

P M: This is  false, mischievous, a canard intended to defame and  denigrate the  nationalist Muslims who have  played a glorious role in India’ Independence.

YK: The P M must be correct on this point. I have perhaps been wrongly informed.  But the basic fact remains that the Muslim League leaders and worked from Western UP – Meerut, Moradabad, Aligarh, Saharanpur, etc –organized the riots in Rawalpindi in March, 1947 which set the  Punjab ablaze.  It was not the  work of the  local Muslims of Rawalpindi in the initial stages but of the  Muslim League leaders from UP.  Is it also not shocking that  the  Muslim League leaders of Rampur State in UP should have launched a violent agitation by setting on fire several government buildings demanding accession of the  Rampur State to Pakistan?

The face of the Prime Minister turned red in anger. He started puffing at this silver cigarette-holder. At this point I had a very strong urge to recall the advice PM Nehru had given to the  Kashmiri Pandits in 1945 at a meeting in Sopore in the Kashmir Valley that if non-Muslims  wanted to live in Kashmir, they should join the National Conference (which was overwhelmingly a Muslim party) or bid good-bye to the  country (Kashmir).  But sensing the mood of the  Prime Minister I was sullen and  kept quiet. The Principal of the Training  School M J Desai, ICS was visibly feeling uncomfortable and  edgy.  As there was palpable tension in the atmosphere and the Prime Minister Nehru was silent and red faced, the  Principal asked for the  dinner bell to be  rung. This relieved the  tension in all of us.  We collected our plates and made a bee-line for the dining table…

(Readers would note how indifferent if not hostile Sri Nehru was to the plight of Hindus even after partition.  -Ed)