Justice Markandey Katju-
When I proposed the idea for the first time in 2012 of reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh under a secular government, a lot of invective was hurled at me. I was castigated as a madman, a senile, idle dreamer, just as Mazzini was depicted when he first proposed Italian reunification (which was achieved later by Cavour and Garibaldi).
Today the idea is steadily spreading throughout the Indian subcontinent. I had called Pakistan a fake, artificial country. At that time most Pakistanis were shocked and hurt to hear this. But I believe in speaking the truth, whether it shocks and hurts people or not. Today more and more Pakistanis are agreeing with what I said (according to the feedback I am getting from Pakistan ), though the idea cuts at the very root of the concept of Pakistan as a separate theocratic state.
Why is this so? It is so because the idea is based on truth, and truth has great power (Satya mein badi shakti hoti hai).
When Copernicus said in 1514 that the earth goes around the sun (the heliocentric theory) he was all alone in Europe to say this, since this idea contradicted the geocentric theory (that the sun goes around the earth) of Ptolemy and the Bible, which had prevailed since antiquity. Though for long the advocates of Copernicus’ theory were persecuted (the great scientist Galileo was almost burnt at the stake in the Inquisition in 1633 for advocating it, and only survived by recanting), yet since the idea represented the truth it spread, until ultimately the whole world accepted it.
As the great French writer Victor Hugo said, ” There is one thing more powerful than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”
The idea of Indian reunification is an idea whose time has come (though it will take many years of patient work by patriots to implement it).
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were one country for centuries, since Mughal times. We share the same culture, look like each other, and many of us speak the same language Hindustani (called Hindi in India and Urdu in Pakistan). When Indians and Pakistanis meet they feel no different from each other, and in foreign countries they socialize as if Partition had never taken place.
What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sind, Balochistan and the North-West Frontier Province. These were all part of India since Mughal times.
The partition of India in 1947 was the greatest tragedy in our 5,000-year-old known history, a historical British swindle to prevent India from emerging as a modern industrial giant (like China) and to keep it as a big market for the foreign arms industry. The two-nation theory on which Partition was based was patently bogus, and Hindus and Muslims were befooled into thinking they were each other’s natural enemies (see my articles, ‘The Truth about Pakistan ‘ and ‘ The Truth about Partition ‘ online).
But how much longer must we remain befooled, how much longer must blood flow between us, how much longer must we waste our precious resources in mutual hostility, when our real enemies are poverty, hunger, unemployment, lack of healthcare and good education, etc? The Indian Reunification Association ( IRA ) which has recently been formed with me as Chairman (see the website indianreunificationassociation.co.in) aims at spreading the idea of peaceful reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and undoing the historical fraud called Partition (see our Mission Statement and Addresses to the Indian Nation on our website). For achieving this, long years of patient work is required by patriots. We have to explain to our people that there was no communal problem in India before 1857 and till then Hindus and Muslims lived in our subcontinent amicably. In 1857 the Great Mutiny broke out in which Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. After suppressing the Mutiny the British decided that the only way to control India was divide and rule. From 1857 onwards the communal venom was injected into our body politic systematically and repeatedly for decades by the British and their agents ( see ‘ History in the service of Imperialism ‘ by BN Pande and my article ‘ The Truth about Pakistan ‘ online ) ultimately culminating in the horrors of Partition and its long term debilitating effects on our subcontinent.
There are no doubt powerful vested interests which will oppose tooth and nail the reunification of India, since then the very purpose of creating Pakistan ( of preventing India from emerging as a modern industrial giant and keeping it as a big market for the foreign arms industry ) will be defeated. But despite this we must reunite if we wish to see India as a prosperous, highly industrialized country with its people enjoying decent lives and a high standard of living. We make it clear that we are opposed to forcible or violent reunification. We want peaceful, voluntary reunification, like that of West and East Germany in 1990, which were reunited peacefully after having been partitioned in 1945.
Some people say that we cannot reunite as there is too much hatred between us. But this hatred has been artificially created. In fact, when Indians go to Pakistan they are overwhelmed by the love, affection and hospitality they receive, something that also happens to Pakistanis who come to India.
Others ask what practical steps can be taken to achieve reunification? Our answer is that at present we need only spread the idea of reunification and why it is necessary. Later, when the idea is widely spread throughout our subcontinent (as is bound to happen, since the idea is based on truth) people will use their creativity and find out ways and means of peacefully implementing it.
All patriotic people who love India are requested to help in this historical and sacred endeavor.
For details, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own]