Dr. M. K. Teng
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Cross-Border Terrorism

A Historical Perspective

By Dr. M.K. Teng

M.K. TengThe English and the European historians of the British empire in India, nursed a vested interest in their resistance, to recognise the Sanskirit content of the Indian civilisation as a fact of the history of the sub-continent. To perpetuate the British rule in India, they sought to divide the Hindu society in order to dilute the Hindu majority character of the Indian population, which they knew was the only formidable force they had to contend with. The conflict between the British outlook and the Indian aspirations came to surface with the Indian renaissance which provided ideological content to the national movement in India and for civilisational frontiers of the Indian nation.

The Muslims in India had also a vested interest in refusing to recognise the Sanskritisation of India as a fact of history. They had ruled India for a thousand years and all through their rule they had followed their religious responsibility to de-Sanskritise as much of India as they were able. The Muslims spurned the Indian renaissance and Muslim India, in whatever way it was described by the British and the Muslims themselves or even the Hindus, did not share the national response the Indian renaissance evoked. They rejected the unification of India on the basis of the Sanskrit content of the Indian civilizationa, the continuity of the Indian history and the civilisation frontiers of the Indian nation, the Indian renaissance underlined. The ideological commitments of the Indian national movement were bound to reverse the de-Sanskritisation of India, the Muslims had followed. As the national movement spread out to the masses of the Indian people and assumed a more revolutionary course with the commencement of non-cooperation, the Muslim leadership stepped up the campaign of Tablig, propagation of Islam and Tahreek its operationalisation through an organisational movement the Tanzim to re-state their rejection of unity of India on the basis of its civilisational frontiers.

The Muslims leadership did not take long to recognise the identity of interests between the British and the Muslim in India and assigned themselves in support of the British empire. Mohammad Ali Jinnah who supported political reform in India on the basis of British liberal tradition, parted with the Indian Congress, no sooner, the Congress described parameters of the Indian struggle for freedom. Jinnah was a Muslim, who conceptualised secularism in terms of liberalist reform, which the British empire in India enshrined. Freedom of India from the British empire, envisaged the empowerment of the Hindu majority in India, which was bound to identify the Indian unity with the civilisational frontiers of India. The Muslim leaders, including Mohammad Ali Jinnah, supported the Indian national movement only so far it accepted de-Sanskritsation of India as a part of the Indian freedom movement.

The Indian renaissance evolved widespread response from the Indian states people and they assumed a revolutionary role in the Indian national struggle. The Muslim leadership expressed strong disapproval of the extension of the Congress activities to the states. The states people formed one-fourth of the population of India and the states spread over one third of the territories of India. For the Muslim leadership, the states, particularly the Muslim ruled states were independent of the Hindu India which claimed freedom fearful of further alienation of the Muslims, Gandhi and a part of the Congress leadership, forbade the extension of Congress activities to the States, a policy for which the country had to pay a heavy price in the long run.

The leadership of the Indian National Congress attempted to resolve the ideological conflict by offering to accept a political organisation of a United India, which did not recognise the civilisation content of the Indian history as the basis of the Indian unity and which did not recognise the civilisational frontiers of the Indian nation, the Indian renaissance had described. The Congress leadership offered to accept constitutional reorganisation of India, within the broad structure of the British empire, which was based upon a configuration of political power, representing the ethnic diversity of India and the interests of the various religious communities and ethnic groups which constituted the population of India. The Congress leadership went to the extent of accepting a division of power in India, on the basis of religious divisions of the Indian population when it accepted the cabinet Mission Plan for the transfer of power to the Indian hands.

It is a little known fact that the Cabinet Mission Plan was actually the handiwork of the Muslim leadership in the Congress and the whole plan was stealthy conveyed to the members of the Cabinet Mission, with the assurance that it would be accepted by the Muslim League. The plan appeared to be acceptable to the British, because, it virtually recognised the separate identity of the Muslim India, ensured a separate political identity of the princely states and retained the British the power to safeguard the political arrangement, it envisaged.

The Cabinet Mission envisaged the establishment of a  multi-national state of India constituted of a Muslim India, a Hindu India and an India of the princely states. The Muslim India was constituted of the Muslim majority provinces with the non-Muslim majority province of Assam and the Hindu India was constituted of the remaining Hindu majority provinces. The India of the princely states was constituted of five hundred and sixty two large and small Indian princely states. The three Indias were united in a loose federal union of which the federal centre was vested with powers in respect of foreign affairs, defence and communications. However, the federal centre was not vested with powers to raise finances to exercise its powers.

The Cabinet Mission Plan recognised the separate identity of the Indian princely states and offered them the option to accede to the federation or remain out of it. The princely states, many of them ruled by Muslim potentates stubbornly refused to join the federation. The Muslim rulers claimed the right of conquest and prescription to hold on to their kingships as well as the prerogative to govern their subjects in accordance with the principles of their faith.

Nehru, who was elected the President of the Indian National Congress in the meantime, reiterated the resolve of the Indian people to make the federal centre an effective instrument of governance and warned the rulers of the princely states against any attempt to remain out of united India. Nehru's rejoinder unhinged the Muslim League, which was reported to be sercretly encouraging demographic changes to consolidate its hold on Assam and supporting the Princes, particularly, the Muslim rulers to remain out of the Indian federation. The League leadership repudiated its acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan and in consequence gave a call  for Direct Action for the realisation of Pakistan. The Direct Action, launched in August 1946, plunged the country into a civil war. Gandhi's non-violence struggle for the unity and freedom of the country below in smoke. The Direct Action drove the wedge deep enough to break-up the country and concede the Muslim demand of Pakistan.

Maulana Azad's observation's that Nehru had ended the last effort the Congress had made to keep India united were published many years after India won freedom. Many of the British officers in India and Englishmen, who were involved in the negotiations for the transfer of power in India those days however, wrote that the implementation of the Cabinet Mission Plan would have driven India straight to its Balkanisation.

Pakistan, after it was founded in 1947, inherited the legacy of the Jehad the Muslim League had carried on to divide India. It assumed an extra-territorial right to protect the interests of the Muslims left behind in India, which it has reiterated time and again during the last five decades of the Indian freedom. It stated claim to interfere in the princely states, which were either populated by Muslim majorities such as Jammu and Kashmir or ruled by Muslim princes, such as Junagarh and Hyderabad. The insistence of the Muslim League on the exclusion of the states from the partition was in fact, motivated by the interests of the League leadership do use the states to divide India further and to provide the ground for the continuation of the Jehad to expand the Muslim power of Pakistan eastwards into the Indian mainland.

The invasion of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, and the incessant struggle for the right of the self-determination of the Muslim majority of the population of the state, Pakistan has spearheaded during last six decades is a part of the Jehad, that country has waged against India. The militarisation of pan-Islamic fundamentalism, what Pakistan has used as an instrument of its policy against India and the war of subversion and international terrorism, which it has unleashed in India, during the last two decades, is also a part of the Jehad that country has waged against India.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

 

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