Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A comparison of Muslims and Hindus

This note, below the fold, is by Chowdhury Mubarak Hossain, dated April 3, 1946, and is included in the Jinnah Papers (edited by Z.H. Zaid, Volume XIII, item #7).

It is not clear to me whether the perceptions recorded in this note are a cause for demanding partition, or merely a rationalization of that demand. 

I don't know anything about the author, but the note was written in Calcutta, so it is not like the author lived far away from any significant number of Hindus.

Also, today, Indians tend to think that Pakistanis have some fatal flaws; maybe they are just as mistaken?


It is in the air in certain quarters that the Hindu Congress may ultimately compromise on the great Pakistan issue.   This must not be allowed to happen in the interest of Pakistan itself.  It is impossible for the Hindus, with their outlook on life, to compromise on Pakistan or anything which in practice means equality and brotherhood of mankind.  The Hindus have taken to democracy in the existing form and have become its vehement supporters only because democracy is, in reality, the rule of the majority. This suits the ancient Hindu mind very well in India where the Hindus happen to be in majority.

Pakistan when established will present a rather uncomfortable and nerve-racking psychological problem for the Hindus.  Pakistan must derive inspiration and useful and practical guidance from the [holy] Qur'an in matters of state and government and the daily life of its citizens and thereby become a modern and highly progressive state.   
The neighboring Hindustan on the same analogy will be compelled to draw inspiration from the ancient Hindu books.   It is all very well for Pandit [Jawaharlal] Nehru - a veritable Brahmin - to talk, while still clad in the primitive dhoti, of internationalism and universal brotherhood and dub the Muslim League as medieval and reactionary,  and for Pandit [Gobind Ballabh] Pant to eat his pudding in pattal (tree leaves used as plates by orthodox Hindus) and for Mahatma Gandhi to preach equality of mankind and in the bargain find his own statue installed in a temple as a deity.  But when it comes to hard facts of reality [sic]  and actual practice of Hinduism in modern times according to modern advanced conception of life, our ancient and primitive friends will have to change - they may retain ancient nomenclature - the entire ancient system.   This is impossible.  Their ancient system, as it stands, has acquired unquestionable sanctity and offers no precedence [sic] to help the modern Hindus out of their uncomfortable dilemma.   The Hindus must, therefore, oppose Pakistan in order to keep alive their ancient Hinduism.

When Pakistan is established and the Indian Musalmans are able to run it on essentially Islamic principles of knowledge, tolerance, goodwill and brotherhood of mankind,  Islam must become the craze of the intelligentsia;  Islam is really so simple, scientific and appealing.   Our Pakistani young men should bear these things in mind and they should lose no time in getting rid of the prevalent false notions of life.   They must acquire knowledge of the simple and natural Islam and become worthy of the charge they have put upon their shoulders.

One need not be a graduate of the Al-Azhar University to understand this simple Islam of everyday life.  Islam is essentially based on human nature.  To be a good Musalman one has only to develop himself [sic] into a strong, healthy man - both physically and mentally - an upholder of the truth against falsehood and all that vitiates the Islamic doctrine of universal brotherhood and the proper utilization of the bounties of nature for the betterment of mankind.   This is best achieved through a simple process of intellectual jihad directed towards a thorough grasp and understanding of the intricacies of human nature leading to the proper and balanced development of the self.   This must, in turn, guarantee the development of the overpowering Islamic sympathy, goodness, sagacity, firmness and the inherent capacity to get things done peacefully and successfully.    This is the simple Islamic scheme of life to overcome, without remorse or  worry, the prevalent diplomacy, duplicacy [sic for duplicity] and fraud in human relationship and establish a system of scientific human relationship.

This is what our simple and easy Pakistan will achieve for its citizens and the Hindus must oppose it.   We welcome their opposition.  It will enable us quicker and more firmly to see our own greatness with greater clarity of vision in the existing confusion.   The Hindu opposition will also help us not to lapse into unreal goodness and tolerance that is the outcome of weakness, neglect and lethargy.  We shall be tolerant, sympathetic and humane, not because we will be weak but because we shall be strong, and full of confidence and faith in AllahAameen.

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