Muslim rule in Subcontinent
75 years down the line we are celebrating our Independence Day. Its significance is not in celebration but the concept and the history. In 1857 the sun had formally with the defeat of independence forces. That day rule of the British commenced and it took more than 2 million Muslim lives, sacrificed in the war of independence. The suffering did not end here it had a deeper manifestation for the Muslims of India. Suddenly they became subjects from being the masters. Hindus found this opportunity a golden chance, for them it was only the change of masters. They found the English better than the Muslims with the result they cooperated with the British to subdue the Muslims. A night of darkness and horror commenced as far as the Muslims of India were concerned. They did not see any light and gradually they will be isolated. The first change came with the change of official language from Persian to English in 1883. In in one stroke Muslims found themselves out of the government and the governance.
The space does not permit the details of the atrocities perpetuated by the British and the Hindus after 1857, gradually the Muslims were isolated and persecuted. The avenues of education were closed to them. The government job was shunned by the British as they had taken the government from the Muslims. They were apprehensive of Muslims rising again and they were crushed. In 1906 when Hindu atrocities were at their peak, Bengal Muslims struggled and managed to get the Bengal bifurcated. This was not acceptable to the Hindus and after a long struggle of six years Lord Curzon reversed the partition of Bengal. This indicated to the Muslims that Hindus do not want to give any rights and privileges in the government and in the day-to-day life of the Muslims. Thus in 1906 Muslim league was founded at Dacca and it was the cornerstone for the struggle of the Muslims. Congress did not accept this and they claim that they are the sole representatives of all people of India including Muslims. But 1936 elections indicated how cruel and how suppressive Hindu rule will be in case they get to rule India after the British left. Earlier the Cripps mission had failed as the Hindu leadership did not accept to give any rights to Muslims. There were many Hindu leaders of Punjab, Muker ji of Bengal who said that the United nationhood of Hindu Muslim is negation of the concept of Bharat Mata in 1908. 1922 onward Hindus made all the effort to convert Muslims to Hindus. 700,000 Rajput Muslims were forcibly converted to Hinduism in 1922. In 1937 after the victory of 1936 elections Babu Rajendra Prasad of Congress said that they will not make alliance with any other party or any other group. Therefore, Muslims redoubled their efforts to have their rights. This culminated in the Lahore Resolution which was named by wife of Mohammad Ali Jauhar as Pakistan Resolution. Jinnah asserted that there is third force, that is Muslims.
The acceptance of partition plan by the Congress was their compulsion. It was perceived that Pakistan will not last more than six months. Perpetuate that, Master Tara Singh was instrument to create situation in Punjab that Sikhs cannot live with the Muslims. Large scale riots were triggered in which thousands of Muslims died. The partition of the Punjab was forced on Jinnah. Again, a deception plan was implemented and many districts with Muslim majority were give to India in Boundary Commission.
Kashmir war started just after two months, in Oct, of the independence in August 1947. In which Pakistan was on the winning side but Pandat Nehru rushed to the United Nations and managed to get a ceasefire. This was followed by 1965 war again on Kashmir issue which is still continuing in one form and other. 1971 war was continuation of 1965 whereas India chose East Pakistan, the weaker front. Pakistan suffered because of the political rigidity on the part of all the parties who fail to see the consequences of adamant attitude in pursuit of power. The civil war in which Pakistan army was forced to fight, a war 1000 miles apart, with the weaker strength 20 time lesser than the enemy without Air Force and Navy. Hostile population was another negative factor which caused Pakistan army to surrender. Pakistan soldiers were tired with nine months of war, there were lack of resources, the uniforms were torn, the logistics and supplies were nonexistent. Still, they fought very valiantly and did not allow Indians to capture any strong point. However, they could not stop the enemy bypassing them through large gaps in the defenses and totally vertical absence of any defense. Nevertheless, Pakistan after 1971 reasserted itself and today’s Pakistan is it far stronger country with the seasoned army nuclear capability. Pakistan army which is the center point and the center of gravity managed to keep standards high to ensure it was capable to eradicate the terrorism from the soil of Pakistan in most difficult and mountains terrain and urban centers. In 80s and later on in 20s Pakistan has to face two wars in Afghanistan. This resulted in the immense human loss as well as impact on the economy. It must be given credit to this country we settled by three nuclear power, Russia, China and India. Its strategic location is such it remains the hub of geostrategic conspiracies. Pakistan’s location makes it a fulcrum in the big power politics. In any case in spite of resource constraints managed to survive these difficult times of war and peace created by this geostrategic dilemma
Today Pakistan in spite of lack of resources is struggling to fight back international conspiracies to keep it backward. Intentionally some rulers mismanage the affairs of state and created the vacuum the social values which has caused Pakistan nation immense damage. That culture of the consumerism has become the norm which created a race for the money. This resulted in the downfall of the governments as well as mismanagement in the affairs of state political structures. It further exaggerated the weakness resulting in economic decline. In spite of the fact, we have all the resources we have not been able to master them towards a stronger Pakistan. Today the need is we adopt three principles, first zero tolerance for corruption, second simple living within the means and thirdly create tolerance in the realm of politics. The nation should follow the principles ordained by the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah, unity faith and discipline. Structural reforms and connectivity of the regions by rail, road is the need of the day and education is the fundamental need of the time.
The author is Brigadier rtd, decorated with SJ and SI(M) in 1965 and 1971 wars. He has 29 years of corporate experience as head of number of multinational companies. A writer and analyst with hundreds of articles.