Thursday, November 26, 2015

Why are we not Hindustan?

Why are we not Hindustan?

Hindustan means the Country where the Hindus live. It's Ocean is named Hind Ocean, the rivers Sapt Sindhu are S/I/Hindu. Sindh is Hind. During British rule, the popular name of the Country was Hindustan.

The All India Muslim League (AIML) after losing the 1937 provincial elections badly against the Indian National Congress (INC), was revived under the patronage of British due to couple of political mistakes by the Congress. Fighting WW-II against Hitler was a very tough task for the British. And during that crisis period, INC started agitation raising the issue of participation of Indian troops to the war without their consent. They resigned from the provincial governments in 1939. Quit India movement (1942) during the war time was another unpleasant move of INC for the British rule. They put all the three major leaders Gandhi, Nehru and Sardar Patel behind the bars for nearly 3 years (1942-45). This distance of Congress with British during 1939-45 had created a room for Quid-e-Azam Jinnah and Muslim League to cultivate Pakistan under the patronage of British. First he advanced eleven demands, then
fourteen, then twenty-one and in the end he advanced the demand for
Pakistan. The Viceroy Lord Mountbatten was in hurry and the INC leaders were old, tired of fighting freedom struggle anymore, people were intolerant indulged in violence, therefore, the nation had not thought it possible even in dreams that Mr. Jinnah would manage to get it.

Under the Cabinet Mission Plan, in elections of 1946, Muslim League revived substantially winning most of the reserve seats (425) in provinces, compared to its defeat in the elections of 1937 (106). However it could form provincial governments only in two Prants; Bengal and Sindh. The loss of Punjab province (due to coalition government formation by Congress) made them aggressive and with Mr. Huseyn Shaheed Suharawardy (took over as PM of Bengal on 3/7/1946) behind, Mr. Jinnah launched Pakistan demand through "Direct Action Day" on 16/8/1946, that resulted into large scale communal violence in the Country. The British authorities failed to register case and initiate legal action against Mr. Jinnah or the PM of Bengal. The man who didn't spend a single day in jail for freedom movement of Hindustan was demanding Pakistan arguing "two nation" theory.

In the beginning of 11th Century, Al-Biruni (973-1048) observed the descent of native Hindus and the turk Muslims (Ashrafs) in all matters and habits. Mr. Jinnah argued the same difference for the Ajlafs (conversion from Hindus) and argued that the 'Religion' is the primary identity and unifying denominator for Muslims rather than their language or ethnicity or other commonalities with Hindus. He further argued that despite 1000 years of history, the relations between the Hindus and Muslims could not attain the level of cordiality. Two nation theory based on religion was the founding principle of Pakistan movement and that has divided Hindustan in 1947, a practical solution of India's political problem. Pakistan was created by an Ajlaf whose father (Jinabhai) was born as Hindu when Hindustan was preparing for its first war of independence in 1850s.

When the division was agreed upon, we could have continued with the name Hindustan. But idealistic people we, didn't endorse the two nation theory of Mr. Jinnah. Therefore, keeping name Hindustan, the land of Hindus, will be an indirect acceptance of Jinnah's two nation theory, Nehru proposed the new name, "Union of Indian Republic". In Gandhi's words: 

"Jawaharlal says that so long as Muslims were part of the country the name Hindustan was fine for the understanding was that anyone born in Hindustan belonged to Hindustan, whatever his religion. Now Hindustan will imply that the country belongs to Hindus. And who among the Hindus? Only the caste Hindus. But as I have said the caste Hindus—Brahmins,
Kshatriyas and Vaishyas—are a very small part of the population. The
vast majority consists of untouchables and Advivasis. Will they be ruled by the few caste Hindus? True, today it is they who rule the
roost. But if the untouchables and the Adivasis are allowed to fall under the domination of the caste Hindus, Mr. Jinnah will have been proved right in saying that a handful or caste Hindus want to keep all the rest under their heel. Could we be such fools? Could we accept the two-nation theory of Mr. Jinnah? It would mean that if my son becomes a Muslim he becomes a national of another country. If we
segregate three-quarters of our fellow country-men and keep them away from the governance of the country, our Hindustan will be just as Mr. Jinnah has pictured it. Then there will be a Parsistan, a Sikhistan, separate bits for the untouchables, the Adivasis and so forth and Hindustan will no longer remain Hindustan. It will undergo Balkanization. If this is what the English desire there will be no place left in the world for them.
So we must not weep over what has happened. Jawaharlal has suggested Union of Indian Republic as the name for the country. That is, all will live together here. If a part wants to secede we shall not force it to remain, but those that remain shall live as brothers. We shall so treat them that they will not want to break away, they will not feel that they are separate. All will be loyal to the Union and serve it." - Gandhi, Prayer meeting speech, New Delhi 12/6/47

It is therefore, we are not "Hindustan" but "India" in English and "Bharat" in Hindi as per the Constitution of India.

Punamchand
26 November 2015

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