Monday, August 18, 2008

How many 'Leagues' now?

How many Leagues now?

Immediately after partitioning in 1947 of India an era of playing blame games started which is continuing till date. While today Hindus hold all the Muslims responsible for partition and vice versa, that time the blame game was played out between three main parties; The British, the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League.

Some people are of the opinion that not everyone in the British ruling class believed in the idea of partition. Even Lord Wavell till as late as 1946, didn't favour creation of Pakistan, an idea which in his opinion was an unviable and unattractive proposition. However, it finally happened.

The British laid responsibility at the door step of the Congress party which they felt could not bring the Muslim community into the mainstream. The blame for failure of the all party interim government was also put on the party. The League had, of course, held Nehru responsible for keeping the domain of Pakistan smaller by a few provinces that would otherwise have been there with them but for the influence exerted over Mountbatten through Edwina.

The position taken by the Indian National Congress was mainly centred on the Jinnah factor. The party accepted partition only as the last resort because it found working along with the Muslim League extremely difficult. According to the Congress leaders the League was interested in only enhancing its religious agenda and India as a country didn't matter in its scheme of things. The League therefore was a stumbling block in the path of India's development and progress. The Congress party was reportedly also of the view that a united India even if smaller was better than a disorganised and weak big India.

Today, looking back, after 61 years of partition, one finds little or no significance of the views expressed by both the British and the League. However, the arguments extended at that time by the Indian National Congress are of considerable importance because the party has ruled India for more than five decades since then and the cited reasons for accepting the partition could be termed as fundamental assertions towards shaping the future of the country.

We lost a big chunk of our land with a view to having a united India by getting rid of a troublesome adversary - Muslim League. But has the goal of a united India been achieved? Look at the hundreds of 'Leagues' that since the independence emerged in this united country. India not only remains under constant threat from some international Islamic terror outfits but also continues to terribly bleed by terrorist activities of organisations mushrooming inside the country. Repeated cases of bombings in cities, trains, places of worship and even hospitals are open examples and ample proof of the activities of indigenous terror formations. Our National Security Advisor has just been reported as saying that there were about 800 sleeper terror cells aided from outside the country active inside India. We have on various occasions including the Independence and Republic day celebrations have witnessed antinational elements hoisting a Pakistani flag in the Kashmir valley - the so called integral part of India. And on this 62nd Independence Day the Indian Tricolour was torched in full public view by those whom we consider citizens of India. Worse, we, the people of India watch all this helplessly. Our politicians are busy blaming each other for this sorry state of affairs and law seems to have become a toothless and a rusted tool in the hands of an inept executive. All this is happening despite numerous concessions and relaxations extended to the Muslims in all walks of life and enactment of special status and extraordinary advantages like the Muslim personal law holding supremacy over law of the land besides the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and freedom to all the citizens.

Where have we failed then? Is this a systemic failure wherein we could not develop strong institutions of democracy? Does Islam not stand compatible with the type of democracy we in India Have?

And lastly, does this dire situation point towards dangerous portents of yet another partition of India?

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