Two Nation Theory

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Sankara Narayanan

While inaugurating the "Wall of Fame-1971 Indo-Pak war" at a Sunday's event, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "The 1971 war tells us that the Partition of India on the basis of religion was a historic mistake and Pakistan was born in the name of one religion but it could not remain one."

It was not only Muslim League that demanded a separate nation for Indian Muslims. Two Nation theory has always been the bread and butter of the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriyaswayam Sevak Sangh (RSS). Here are a few citings that set the record straight:

VD Savarkar and the RSS had unequivocal faith in the two-nation theory: "That Hindus and Muslims are two different nations". While the Muslim League under the leadership of Mohammed Ali Jinnah resolved to have a separate homeland for Muslims of India in the form of Pakistan in 1940, Savarkar propagated as early as 1937 that Hindus and Muslims were two different nations.

While delivering the presidential address to the 19th Hindu Mahasabha session at Ahmedabad in 1937, ‘Veer’ Savarkar declared: “As it is, there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India. Let us bravely face unpleasant facts as they are. India cannot be assumed today to be a unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main: the Hindus and the Moslems, in India. [V D Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol. 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p. 296]

The RSS, following in the foot-steps of ‘Veer’ Savarkar, always rejected the idea that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians together constituted a nation. Its English organ, Organiser, on the very eve of Independence, editorially (titled ‘Whither’) underlined its belief in the two-nation theory once again in the following words: “Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of the mental confusion and the present and future troubles can be removed by the ready recognition of the simple fact that in Hindusthan only the Hindus form the nation and the national structure must be built on that safe and sound foundation...the nation itself must be built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations. [Organiser, August 14, 1947]

In 1930s & 40s, members of the RSS were full of praise for Adolf Hitler. In their view, Indian Muslims and Christians deserved to be treated the same way that Hitler treated Jews in Germany. M S Golwalkar, the second chief and ideological Guru of the RSS, wrote in a passage from his book ‘We or our nationhood defined’ (1947): “To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races - the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well- nigh impossible it is for races and cultures having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by."

In another passage from the same book, Golwalkar says, "The non-Hindus in Hindustan must adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no ideas but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture i. e. they must not only give up their attitude of intolerance and ungratefulness towards this land and its age-old traditions but must also cultivate the positive attitude of love and devotion instead - in a word, they must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment—not even citizen's rights."

In other words, Golwalkar wanted to see millions of Indians treated as non-citizens. He wanted all their citizenship rights taken away. Then there is his second book “Bunch of Thoughts” brought out in 1966. In this book, while discussing India's internal security problem, Golwalkar identifies three internal dangers. One is Muslims, the second Christians and the third Communists.

During the Quit India Movement, Golwalkar cautioned the members of the RSS not to fritter their time and energy fighting the British. He advised the Sanghis to keep the powder dry to fight later the real enemies within, namely the Muslims and Christians.

Is 'Kadi Ninda' Singh in danger of losing his job? A little earlier he bluffed that it was Gandhi who asked 'Veer' Savarkar to write the mercy petition. Now he calls Partition a historic mistake. He, perhaps, is appeasing Nagpur to save his chair.


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Vol 54, No. 27, Jan 2 - 8, 2022