Back | Next
ONLINE BOOKS > INDIA OF MY DREAMS > The Problems of Minorities
The Problem of Minorities
Hindus if they want unity among different races must have the courage to trust the minorities. Any other adjustment must leave a nasty taste in the mouth. Surely the millions do not want to become legislators and municipal councilors. And if we have understood the proper use of Satyagraha, we should know that it can be and should be used against an unjust administrator whether he be a Hindu, Musalman or of any other race or denomination, whereas a just administrator or representative is always and equally good whether he be a Hindu or a Musalman. We want to do away with the communal spirit. The majority must therefore make the beginning and thus inspire the minorities with confidence in their bona fides. Adjustment is possible only when the more powerful take the initiative without waiting for response from the weaker.
So far as employment in the Government departments is concerned, I think it will be fatal to good government, if we introduce there the communal spirit. For administration to be efficient, it must always be in the hands of the fittest. There should be certainly no favoritism. But if we want five engineers we must not take one from each community but we must take the fittest five even if they were all Musalman or all Parsis. The lowest posts must, if need be, be filled by examination by an impartial board consisting of men belonging to different communities. But distribution of posts should never be according to the proportion of the numbers of each community. The educationally backward communities will have right to receive favoured treatment in the matter of education at the hands of the national Government. This can be secured in an effective manner. But those who aspire to occupy responsible posts in the Government of the country can only do so if they pass the required test.
Young India, 29-5-24
Independent India cannot afford to have communal representation and yet it must placate all communities, if the rule of independence is not based on coercion of minorities.
Young India, 19-1-30
Hindustan belong to all those who are born and bred here and who have no other country to look to. Therefore, it belongs to Parsis, Beni Israels, to Indian Christians, Muslims and other non-Hindus as much as to Hindus. Free India will be no Hindu raj, it will be India raj based not on the majority of any religious sect or community but on the representatives of the whole people without distinction of religion. I can conceive of a mixed majority putting the Hindus in a minority. They would be elected for their record of service and merits. Religion is a personal matter which should have no place in politics. It is the unnatural condition of foreign domination that we have unnatural divisions according to religion. Foreign domination going, we shall laugh at our folly in having clung to false ideals and slogans.
I swear by my religion. I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The State has noting to do with it. The State would look after your secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That is everybody’s personal concern.
Anglo-Indians and Foreigners
All foreigners will be welcome to stay here, only if they look upon themselves as one with the people. India cannot tolerate foreigners who wish to remain here with safeguards for their rights. This would mean that they want to live here as superior persons and such a positive must lead to friction.
If this is true of the European, how much more true must it be for those Anglo-Indians and others who have adopted European manners and customs in order to be classed as Europeans demanding preferential treatment? All such people will find themselves ill at ease if they expect continuation of the favoured treatment hitherto enjoyed by them. They should rather feel thankful that they will be disburdened of referential treatment to which they had no right by any known canon of reasoning and which was derogatory to their dignity.
His political right is in no danger. It is his social status which is non-existent. He frets over his Indian parentage and he is disowned by the European race. He is therefore between Scylla and Charybdis. I often meet him .He is washed out in the process of living above his means and trying to live the European life and look like European life and look like Europe and. I have pleaded with him to make his choice and to throw in his lot with vast multitude. If these men and women will have the courage and the foresight to appreciate this very simple and natural position, they will serve themselves. They will serve India and they will be spared the galling position in which they find themselves. The greatest problem before the dumb Anglo-Indian is that of determining his social status. He is saved, the moment the recognizes himself as an Indian and lives like one.
Young India. 29-8-’29