Justice Markandey Katju-
Jinnah’s birth anniversary was on 25th December, and on this occasion many Pakistanis said that considering the developments in India since the BJP came to power in 2014 and the atrocities on Indian Muslims, Jinnah and the 2 nation theory he propagated (that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations ) have been proved to be right, and Partition of India in 1947 was correct, and was necessary to protect Muslims.
To my mind these are fallacious ideas, and in fact it is Partition which is largely responsible for the plight of Indian Muslims, as well as the plight of minorities in Pakistan today. In fact it is also responsible for the plight of Muslims in Pakistan, most of whom are poor, many unemployed, and many suffering from lack of proper nourishment, healthcare, good education, etc. It would not have been so had India been united under modern minded, genuinely patriotic leaders.
What is the truth ? To know this we will have to go deep into the matter, and distinguish between appearance and reality. Superficially, it seems obvious that the sun goes around the earth (the geocentric theory of Ptolemy and the Bible ), as we see the sun arising in the east in the morning, move overhead at noon, and then set in the west in the evening. But Copernicus scientifically demonstrated in 1547 that this was only a superficial understanding, and in fact it is the earth which goes around the sun (the heliocentric theory ).
When we see a puppet show we see only the movements of the puppets, we do not see the puppeteer hidden behind a screen, who is the real cause behind the movements of the puppets.
So also, when we try to understand the causes of Partition and the creation of an avowedly Islamic State ( Pakistan ) we should not be led away by superficial explanations e.g. that Hindus and Muslims are inherently enemies because Hindus worship idols and cows while Muslims oppose idol worship and eat cows. In fact, as I have pointed out in my article ‘The Truth about Pakistan’ ( published in the Pakistani newspaper The Nation ), there was no communal hatred before the Mutiny of 1857, and it was only artificially created by the British thereafter ( see also BN Pande’s ‘History in the service of Imperialism’ online ).
So let me place my understanding and opinion for the consideration of the reader
- As I have said many times, this world in fact consists of two worlds : the world of the developed, highly industrialized countries ( North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China ), and the world of the underdeveloped countries ( which include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc ).
- The national aim of Indians must be to be transform and uplift India from the ranks of the underdeveloped countries to the ranks of the developed countries, as China has done. Without doing so we will remain condemned to massive poverty, massive unemployment, appalling level of child malnourishment, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses etc.
- On the other hand, the secret unwritten iron rule among the developed countries is that INDIA MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO BECOME A DEVELOPED COUNTRY.Why do I say this ?
- To understand this we must delve into economics.
The cost of labor is a big chunk of the total cost of production, and so if the cost of labor is less, the cost of production is less, and if the cost of production is less, one can sell at a cheaper price and undersell his business rival. There is competition in the market, and one businessman eliminates another not with guns or bombs but by underselling him.
China was a very poor country before its revolution in 1949. After that, the Chinese leaders built up a massive industrial base in China. This massive industrial base, coupled with the cheap labor available in China, enables the Chinese to undersell the whole world in consumer goods.
Western supermarkets are packed with Chinese goods, because they sell at less than half the price at which a Western manufacturer can sell them ( because Western labor is expensive ). So China has become a headache for the West.
Now Indian labor is even cheaper than Chinese labor, and so we can even undersell the Chinese. What we lack today in India is a massive industrial base, and if we build it will the industries of the developed countries survive when faced with Indian competition ? Who will buy their expensive goods when we will be selling them at one third the price ? One China has become a headache for the developed countries. Will they permit another ? Certainly not.
They surely do not want their industries to close down.
- Upto 1947 India had very few engineers and very few industries. That is because the policy of our British rulers was broadly not to allow India to industrialize ( for then Indian industry would become a big rival to British industry ). So the British did not allow us to set up heavy industries like steel plants, and allowed us to set up only some light industries like textiles and plantations, and kept us feudal and backward, retaining the zamindari system.
This situation changed after 1947. After 1947 there was a limited degree of industrialization, a heavy industry base e.g. steel plants, was set up, and many engineering colleges ( e.g. IITs ) were established. Today India is very different from the India of 1947. Today we have thousands of bright engineers, scientists, technicians, etc. In fact today our IT engineers are largely manning Silicon Valley in California, and Indians are to be found in large numbers as Professors of Science, Engineering and Mathematics in American Universities.
- Today India is the most developed of the underdeveloped countries. If there were no impediment, in 15-20 years it can easily become a highly developed country. This is all the time it takes to transform a backward country to a highly developed one, as the experience of Japan after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 shows.
- However, as I have pointed out above, the developed nations will oppose such a transformation tooth and nail ( for the reasons I have already mentioned ). And how do they do this ? By making Indians fight each other on the basis of religion, caste, race, language etc. In view of the tremendous diversity in India ( since it is broadly a country of immigrants, as explained in my article ‘What is India’ ) it is easy to do this, through their agents.
- Many people blame the RSS and BJP for spreading communalism in India, but I regard RSS and BJP as only small fries, puppets being handled by the puppeteers ( the developed countries, who are not seen, but whose presence one can rationally infer from what has been explained above ). RSS was only a creation of the British in 1925 in pursuance of their divide and rule policy, and its purpose today also is to divide the Indian people, so that India does not emerge as a modern industrial giant ( of which it has all the potential today ).
Since with its huge pool of technical talent and immense natural resources India is on the verge of smashing its way into the ranks of the highly developed countries, the latter have stepped up their effort to prevent this, and this is the real reason why religious polarization in India has sharply increased. RSS and BJP are the main agents, the main puppets, in this game.
- Keeping what has been said above firmly in mind, it becomes clear that far from proving Jinnah and the two nation theory correct, recent developments in India only establish what has been stated above. Partition only further increased the artificial animosity between Hindus and Muslims created by the British and their agents ( see my articles on Gandhi on my blog Satyam Bruyat ), the whole object being that India should not emerge as a modern industrial giant.
- The real reason for Partition was (1) the British did not want united India to emerge as a modern industrial giant, and thus a big rival to British industry (2) they wanted India to remain a big market for the Western arms industry ( India is perhaps the biggest purchaser of foreign arms in the world ). See in this connection Mission Statement and Addresses to the Indian Nation in indianreunificationassociation.co.in
- So what is the way out for us ? The way out is to see through that historical British swindle called Partition, effected by the British agents Gandhi and Jinnah, patiently explain to our people that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are really one country, sharing the same culture, which were one since Mughal times, and reunite them under a strong secular government led by modern minded, genuinely patriotic, selfless leaders who are determined to rapidly industrialize and modernize the country.
- How this object will be achieved, how much time it will take, who will be our leaders in this historical leap forward, it is impossible to predict. One cannot be rigid about historical forms. But it can certainly not be achieved under the system of Parliamentary democracy, as experience has shown this operates largely on the basis of caste and communal vote banks. Casteism and communalism are feudal forces which must be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy further entrenches them. So people have to use their creativity and devise an alternative system.
Also, a historical united people’s struggle led by patriotic modern minded leaders like Mustafa Kemal of Turkey or the leaders of Japan after the Meiji Restoration will be required for bringing about this transformation, but this has yet to appear on the horizon.
[Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.]