Monday, March 5, 2012

Are Muslims a Minority or a Separate Nation?

Excerpts from speeches by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Mohammed Ali Jinnah : Muslims are not a Minority. Muslims are a Separate Nation. Muslims and Hindus can not live together.
I. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (born October 17, 1817, died March 27, 1898)
In no country do Muslims living as a minority identify themselves with the country's nation. For example, in Sri Lanka, racially Indian, linguistically Tamilian, but religiously Muslim, they call themselves Muslims and have a party like Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. In India, there is an Indian Union Muslim League. In France, UK, Norway and the US, they like to be called Muslims first. In India for quite some time past, they are saying they are Muslim Indians, not Indian Muslims. This means they are first and last Muslims who happen to be in India. This question, whether Muslims are part of the nation, has been clearly spelt out by the most leading intellectuals and politicians of Muslim Indians. As early as in 1888, that is just 3 years after the Indian National Congress was founded, Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan, the first tallest western educated Muslim of India, made a speech in Meerut on 16th March, 1888, asserting that Muslims are a separate nation. He advised the Muslims not to join the Indian National Congress. His speech was titled, "One Country Two Nations". Here are excerpts.
I think it expedient that I should first of all tell you the reason why I am about to address you on the subject of tonight's discourse. You know, gentlemen, that, from a long time, our friends, the Bengalis, have shown very warm feeling on political matters. Three years ago they founded a very big assembly, which holds its sittings in various places, and they have given it the name "National Congress." We and our nation gave no thought to the matter. And we should be very glad for our friends the Bengalis to be successful, if we were of the opinion that they had by their education and ability made such progress as rendered them fit for the claims they put forward. But although they are superior to us in education, yet we have never admitted that they have reached that level to which they lay claim to have attained. Nevertheless I have never, in any article, or in any speech, or even in conversation in any place, put difficulties or desired to put difficulties in the way of any of their undertakings. It has never been my wish to oppose any people or any nation who wish to make progress, and who have raised themselves up to that rank to which they wish to attain and for which they are qualified. But, my friends, the Bengalis have made a most unfair and unwarrantable interference with my nation, and therefore it is my duty to show clearly what this unwarrantable interference has been, and to protect my nation from the evils that may arise from it.
what I am about to say is not only useful for my own nation, but also for my Hindu brothers of these Provinces, who from some wrong notions have taken part in this Congress. At last they also will be sorry for it — although perhaps they will never have occasion to be sorry; for it is beyond the region of possibility that the proposals of the Congress should be carried out fully.
After this long preface, I wish to explain what method my nation — nay, rather the whole people of this country — ought to pursue in political matters. I will treat in regular sequence of the political questions of India, in order that you may have full opportunity of giving your attention to them. The first of all is this — In whose hands shall the administration and the Empire of India rest? Now, suppose that all English, and the whole English army, were to leave India, taking with them all their cannon and their splendid weapons and everything, then who would be rulers of India? Is it possible that under these circumstances, two nations — the Mahomedans and the Hindus — could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should conquer the other and thrust it down. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and the inconceivable. At the same time, you must remember that although the number of Mahomedans is less than that of the Hindus, and although they contain far fewer people who have received a high English education, yet they must not be thought insignificant or weak. Probably they would be by themselves enough to maintain their own position. But suppose they were not. Then our Mussalman brothers, the Pathans, would come out as a swarm of locusts from their mountain valleys, and make rivers of blood to flow from their frontier in the north to the extreme end of Bengal. This thing — who, after the departure of the English, would be conquerors — would rest on the will of God. But until one nation had conquered the other and made it obedient, peace could not reign in the land. This conclusion is based on proofs so absolute that no one can deny it.
The aspirations of our friends, the Bengalis, have made such progress that they want to scale a height to which it is beyond their powers to attain. But if I am not in error, I believe that the Bengalis have never at any period held sway over a particle of land. They are altogether ignorant of the method by which a foreign race can maintain its rule over other races. Therefore, reflect on the doings of your ancestors, and be not unjust to the British Government to whom God has given the rule of India; and look honestly and see what is necessary for it to do, to maintain its empire and its hold on the country. You can appreciate these matters; but they cannot who have never held a country in their hands nor won a victory. Oh! my brother Musalmans! I again remind you that you have ruled nations, and have for centuries held different countries in your grasp. For seven hundred years in India, you have had Imperial sway. You know what it is to rule. Be not unjust to that nation which is ruling over you, and think also on this: how upright is her rule. Of such benevolence as the English Government shows to the foreign nations under her, there is no example in the history of the world.
we ought to unite with that nation with whom we can unite. No Mahomedan can say that the English are not "People of the Book." No Mahomedan can deny this: that God has said that no people of other religions can be friends of Mahomedans except the Christians. He who had read the Koran and believes it, he can know that our nation cannot expect friendship and affection from any other people. At this time, our nation is in a bad state as regards education and wealth, but God has given us the light of religion, and the Koran is present for our guidance, which has ordained them and us to be friends.
Now God has made them rulers over us. Therefore we should cultivate friendship with them, and should adopt that method by which their rule may remain permanent and firm in India, and may not pass into the hands of the Bengalis.
II. Mohammed Ali Jinnah (born December 25, 1876, died September 11, 1948)
Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who is identified as singularly responsible for the division of India and creation of the Islamic state of Pakistan, had in his famous March 1940 speech at Lahore to the Muslim League, when it adopted the Pakistan resolution, once again asserted that Muslims are a separate nation, separate from Hindus and other non–Muslims. Here are excepts from his speech.
Notwithstanding thousand years of close contact, nationalities, which are as divergent today as ever, cannot at any time be expected to transform themselves into one nation, merely by means of subjecting them to a democratic constitution and holding them forcibly together by unnatural and artificial methods of British Parliament statutes. What the unitary government of India for 150 years had failed to achieve cannot be realized by the imposition of a central federal government.
It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits and is the cause of most of our troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fall to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literature. They neither intermarry, nor interline together and indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and likewise their victories and defeats overlap. 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.
History has presented to us many examples such as the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, Czechoslovakia and Poland. History has also shown to us many geographical tracts, much smaller than the subcontinent of India, which otherwise might have been called one country, but which have been divided into as many states as there are nations inhabiting them. The Bulkan peninsula comprises as many as seven or eight sovereign states. Likewise, the Portuguese and the Spanish stand divided in the Iberian Peninsula, Whereas under the plea of unity of India and one nation which does not exist, it is sought to pursue here the line of one central government when we know that the history of the last twelve hundred years has failed to achieve unity and has witnessed, during these ages, India always divided into Hindu India and Muslim India. The present artificial unity of India dates back only to the British conquest and is maintained by the British bayonet, but the termination of the British regime, which is implicit in the recent declaration of His Majesty's government, will be the herald of the entire break-up with worse disaster than has ever taken place during the last one thousand years under Muslims. Surely, that is not the legacy which Britain would bequeath to India after 150 years of her rule,nor would Hindu and Muslim India risk such a sure catastrophe.
Muslim India cannot accept any constitution which must necessarily result in a Hindu majority government. Hindus and Muslims brought together under a democratic system forced upon the minorities can only mean Hindu Raj. Democracy of the kind with which the Congress High Command is enamored would mean the complete destruction of what is most precious in Islam. We have had ample experience of the working of the provincial constitutions during the last two and a half years (1937-39) and any repetition of such a government must lead to civil war and raising of private armies as recommended by Mr. Gandhi to Hindus of Sukkur, when he said that they must defend themselves violently or non-violently, blow for blow, and if they could not, they must emigrate.
Mussalmans are not a minority as it is commonly known and understood.
Mussalmans are a nation according to any definition of a nation and they must have their homelands, their territory and their state.
Muslims, who agitated, rioted and voted for the division of the country and creation of Pakistan in the two decades 1930s & 1940s have continued to live in India. Similarly, the former Razakars and their progeny, who wanted to establish the Islamic state of Nizam, who took to arms to convert the Nizam Nawab's of Hyderabad territory into a sovereign independent Islamic state are also continuing to live in Hyderabad and Telengana. Now, all these are calling themselves minorities and in order to assert their separatism, they have demanded and have been granted by the vote-seeking and hunting "secular" parties, minority commissions, minority educational institutions, minority finance corporations, minority (majority) districts, minority Urdu universities and now reservation for minorities. Very soon, they will be asking for separate electorate as before 1947 and then autonomy for the Muslim districts (90 of them as planned by the UPA government) and ultimately secession from India like in Kashmir. The "secular" parties, are either innocently or criminally collaborating with this minority, whose ultimate goal is the restoration of the whole of this country to Muslim rule either by conquest or by demographic explosion.
Author: Excerpts from the speeches by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Mohammed Ali Jinnah
Source: Secularism Combat 2010 March

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