It is our misfortune that
the country was divided into two parts. The division was avowedly by reason
of religious cleavage. Behind it might be economic and other causes. They
could not have brought out the cleavage. The poison that fills the air arose
also from the same communal cause. Irreligion masquerades as religion. It
sounds nice to say that it would have been better if there had been no
communal question. But how could the fact be undone?
It has been repeatedly
asked whether in the event of a war between the two, the Muslims of the
Union will fight against the Muslims of Pakistan and the Hindus of one
against those of the other. However unlikely it may appear at present, there
is nothing inherently impossible in the conception. There is any day more
risk in distrusting the profession of loyalty than in trusting it and
courageously facing the danger of trusting. The question can be more
convincingly put in this way: Will the Hindus ever fight the Hindus and the
Muslims their co-religionists for the sake of truth and justice? It can be
answered by a counter question: Dose not history provides such instances?
In solving the puzzle the
great stumbling block in the way is that is at a discount. Let us hope that
in this holocaust some there are who will stand firm in their faith in the
victory of truth.
Partition was demanded on
religio-communal grounds and it is therefore the duty of Pakistan, as its
name implies, to remain clean in all its dealings. Both Hindus and Muslims
had resorted to cruel acts and made grievous blunders, but that dose not
mean that this mad race should go on, culminating in war. A war would bring
the Dominions under the sway of a third power and nothing can be worse.
If there is a war (between
India and Pakistan), the Hindus in Pakistan cannot be fifth columnists
there. No one would tolerate that. If there loyalty lies not with Pakistan,
they should leave it. Similarly, the Muslims whose loyalty is with Pakistan
should not stay in the Indian Union. To secure Justice for the Hindus and
Sikhs is the function of the Government. The people can make the Government
do their will…. The Muslims are reported to have said hanske liya Pakistan,
larke lenge Hindustan… Some dream of concerting the whole of India to Islam.
That never will happen through war. Pakistan can destroy themselves and
their faith. Similarly, if Islam is destroyed, it will be destroyed by the
Muslims in Pakistan, not by the Hindus in Hindustan.
Delhi Diary, pp. 40-41
The universal way to have
proper adjustment is for both the States to make a frank and full confession
of guilt on either side and come to terms, failing agreement to resort to
arbitration in the usual manner. The other and rude way is that of war….
There is no escape from it if there is neither agreement nor arbitration.
Meanwhile…Muslims, who had not of their own free will chosen to migrate to
Pakistan, should be asked by their neighbours to return to their homes with
a perfect feeling of safety. This cannot come about with the aid of the
military. It can be done by return to sanity by the people concerned.
Delhi Diary, p. 19
To drive every Muslim from
India and to drive every Hindus and Sikh from Pakistan would mean war and
eternal ruin for the country. If such a suicidal policy is followed in both
the States, it would spell the ruin of Islam and Hinduism in Pakistan and
the Union. Good alone can beget good. Love breeds love. As for revenge, it
behaves man to leave the evil-doer in God’s hands.
Diary, p. 26
Death for me would be
a glorious deliverance rather then that I should be a helpless witness of
the destruction of India, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. That destruction is
certain if Pakistan ensures no equality of status and security of life and
property for all professing the various faiths of the world and if India
copies her. Only then Islam dies in the two Indians, not in the world. But
Hinduism and Sikhism have no world outside India.
Delhi Diary, p. 332
Surely, it is cowardly on the part of the majority to kill or banish the minority for fear
that they will all be traitors. Scrupulous regard for the rights of
minorities well becomes a majority. Disregard of them makes of a majority a
laughing stock. Robust faith in oneself and brave trust of the opponent,
so-called or real, is the best safeguard.
Delhi Diary, pp. 31-32
Those who have felt
driven from Pakistan should know that they are citizens of the whole of
India, not merely of the Punjab or N.W.F.P. or Sind. The condition is that
wherever they go, they should mix with the inhabitants there, as sugar with
milk. They should be industrious and honest in their dealings. They must
realize that they were born to serve India and add to her glory, never to
degrade her. They should refuse to waste their tine in gambling and drinking
or quarrelling among themselves. It is human to err, but it is also given to
human being to learn from their mistakes and not to repeat them. If the
refugees follow this advice, they would be an asset wherever they go and the
people in every province would welcome them with open arms.
Delhi Diary, p. 82
If Pakistan would be
a purely Muslim State and the Indian State a purely Hindu and Sikh State,
with no rights for the minorities on either side, it would mean ruin for
both the States.
Delhi Diary, p. 91
Had not the
Quaid-i-Azam said that Pakistan was not a theocratic State and that it was
purely a secular State? That the claim cannot always be justified in action
is, unfortunately, too true. Is the Union to be a theocratic State and are
the tenets of Hinduism to be imposed on non-Hindus? ...The Indian Union will
then cease to be a land of hope and promise, a land to which all Asiatic and
African races look, indeed the whole world. The world expects not littleness
and fanaticism from India whether as the Union or Pakistan. It expects
greatness and goodness from which the whole world can derive a lesson and
light in its prevailing darkness.
Delhi Diary, p. 140
Neither the Maharaja saheb
in neither Kashmir nor His Exalted Highness the Nizam had any authority to
accede to either Dominion, without the known consent of their people. This
was, so far as he knew, made clear in the case of Kashmir. If the Maharaja
alone had wanted to accede, Gandhiji could not defend such accession. The
accession was provisionally agreed to by the Union Government because both
the Maharaja and Sheikh Abdulla, speaking for the people of Kashmir and
Jammu, wanted it. Sheikh Abdulla came on the scene because he claimed to
represent the people of Kashmir and Jammu, not merely the Muslims but the
whole of the people.
He had heard whispers
that Kashmir could be divided into two parts, Jammu going to the Hindus and
Kashmir to the Muslims. He could not think of such divided loyalties and
splitting up of Indian States into so many parts. He hoped, therefore, that
wisdom would rule all India and an ugly situation would be avoided without
delay if only for the sake of the lakhs of Indians who felt compelled to
become helpless refugees.
(From post-prayer speech at Delhi on 11-11-47)
Delhi Diary, pp. 163-64