Lord Minto Revisited! - 2

Lord Minto, the mentor of UPA Govt's appeasement

When Lord Minto 'engineered' the deputation of a delegation of prominent Muslims under the leadership of Agah Khan on October 1, 1906 at Simla, it was a dastardly attempt to put down the nationalist forces of all grades and shades, without distinction of caste, color, creed or religion which had united in Bengal under the same flag to launch the Swadeshi Movement and to fight against the politically maneuvered partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon in 1905. The seed of the future birth of Pakistan was sown in the womb of time on that fateful day. Lady Minto recorded her views in her journal that very evening after she had watched her husband Lord Minto talking to the Agah Khan delegation with tremendous verve and enthusiasm for the sectional Muslim cause. Lady Minto was in a mood of exhilaration when she wrote in her journal that day: 'This has been a very eventful day ' an epoch in Indian history'.

One of the Civil Servants who had engineered the planned and planted deputation of prominent Muslims to the Viceroy to ask for special concession to the Muslim community, sent a letter presumably to Lady Minto within hours of the Agah Khan deputation's visit which speaks for itself: 'I must send your Excellency a line to say that a very, very big thing has happened today, a work of statesmanship that will affect India and Indian history for many a long years. It is nothing less than the backing of 62 millions of people (Muslims!) from joining the ranks of the seditious opposition'. Maulana Mohammed Ali (1878-1931) became a prominent leader in the days of the Kilafat Movement. As President of the Congress Session at Kakkinada in 1923, he described the Muslim deputation of Agah Khan to Lord Minto in 1906 as 'a command performance'.

Even after Pakistan was born in 1947, Nehru and Patel in the Congress Government in New Delhi foolishly rejected the serious proposal of Mohammed Ali Jinnah for a planned exchange of population between India and Pakistan in a phased manner within an agreed framework of Government to Government arrangement. If that proposal had been accepted, the horrors of partition could have been avoided. But that was not to be.

What has been the track record of Pakistan after 1947 and Bangladesh after 1971 in regard to the treatment of Hindus and Hindu Temples in the respective countries? There has been a planned genocide of Hindus in both Pakistan and Bangladesh during the last 60 years. The percentage of Hindu population in Pakistan came down from 15% in 1947 to 1% in 2003. Likewise in Bangladesh the percentage of Hindu population came down from 30% in 1971 to 9% today. There has been a planned destruction of Hindu temples and Hindu places of worship in both these countries with Government of India standing on the sidelines and watching if not applauding with pseudo-secular glee and political impotence all the time. President Musharaff's attitude today towards Dr. Manmohan Singh can only be described through the poetic lines of the English Poet W H Auden: 'May you lie loveless, upon my faithless arms'.

Every time when Hindus get killed by Muslim terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, our National (In)Security Adviser will piously proclaim to the world 'The peace process between India and Pakistan will not get derailed'. Likewise, Pakistan has declared yesterday that the demolition of the 'Krishna Mandir' in Lahore ? the last Hindu temple in Lahore ?? would not in any way affect the dialogue process with India as it was neither a 'political' nor a 'religious' issue. The temple was recently demolished after officials of the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB), the Government body maintaining properties of minorities in Pakistan, especially Hindus and Sikhs, reportedly concealed facts from the Trustees of the Board regarding the nature of the building that was getting demolished. A private Muslim developer was allowed to demolish Krishna Mandir at Wachhoowali, Rang Mahal and raise a commercial complex in violation of the EPTB's own scheme for management and disposal of urban Evacuee Trust Properties. The demolition was objected to by several opposition members of the National Assembly in Pakistan, who reportedly moved a motion against the demolition, saying such an act could worsen Pakistan's relations with neighbouring countries.

When a Newspaper in Denmark published an offensive cartoon caricaturing the Prophet, the non-descript Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh called up the Denmark Prime Minister to object to the publication of the cartoon. The same Prime Minister maintained an attitude of cold and calculated pseudo-secular silence when a hundred year old Malaimel Sri Selva Kaliamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur was demolished very recently. Our Prime Minister did not even issue a statement, much less call up the Malaysian Prime Minister. Against this known anti-Hindu stand of the Government of India, even within the country, no respectable or responsible Indian citizen can ever expect our Prime Minister to speak boldly to President Musharaff, lodging his protest against the demolition of the Krishna Temple in Lahore.

Though on paper we have rules and regulations to the effect that religion and politics must be kept strictly separate, in actual practice the Congress Party in India after independence has functioned only as an official Election Agent of the so-called minorities who have been given a super-incumbent status through specially designed Laws and Procedures exclusively for the minorities viewed as repositories and depositories of vote bank politics.

The undeclared political motto of the Congress Party has been 'Divide the damned Hindus and unite the Blessed Minorities; be merciful to the helpless(!) Minorities'. The quality of this Congress mercy is not strained; it is twice blessed. It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. This is in no way different from the anti-Indian policy inaugurated by Lord Minto in 1906 at Simla.

Singapore is characterized by a high degree of religious heterogeneity, with the population comprising Buddhists (0.5%), Taoists (13.4%), Christians (18.7%), Muslims (16%), Hindus (4.9%), people with no religion (17.6%), other insignificant religions (1.1%). Yet, in Singapore, there is only one Civil Code for all the people.

In India we have different civil codes for different faiths. The quintessential principle of 'freedom of worship' in Singapore is that of 'Multi-culturalism'. In Singapore, all the major world religions are represented and so the State argues that 'to accommodate such totally different spiritual and moral beliefs among the people without being torn apart, Singapore must be a strictly secular State'. This does not mean that the State is anti-religion per se. The Maintenance of Religious Harmony Bill, passed in November 1990 in Singapore, is designed to define behavior that is acceptable as opposed to that which is not.

The UPA Government in New Delhi can never come out with such a Bill for the maintenance of religious harmony in India. But, thanks to the machinations of the Congress party after independence, the Hindus have been officially reduced to the status of Kafirs. The might of the State has been used to give official sanction to some of the basic tenets of Islam. In this way of playing crooked minority vote bank politics, the majority has been given the inferiority complex of a minority and the minority have been invested with the authority of a superiority complex of a majority. Hinduism has become a dirty word and the UPA Government expects every Hindu in India to learn to disown his own identity. At the same time, castes, panths, and creeds have been given special prominence by the UPA Government, making them feel very important in order to acquire their own momentum, power, justification and vested interests.

It can be asked as to what is the burden of my essay here. I will answer it effectively to all the pseudo-secular enthusiasts dedicated to the careerist politics of communal scoundrelism in the UPA Government in New Delhi in the words of a heroic and socially committed journalist Radharajan:

'The message from secular Indian polity is loud and clear. It has one yardstick for rioting Hindus and another for Muslims and Christians, it has one yardstick for Hindu temples and religious institutions and another for Muslims and Christians, it has one yardstick for Hindu sensibilities and another for the sensibilities of the two most vocal and organized minority communities, it has one yardstick for Muslim victims of Gujarat riots and another for the Hindu victims of Jihadi Islam. Hindus must effect an attitudinal change if Indian polity must be brought to its knees, if secular Indian polity must be caught by the scruff of its neck and taught to respect Hindus and Hindu sensibilities. The Hindu worm must turn'.

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More by :  V. Sundaram

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