Thursday, January 6, 2011

From K.M. Munshi's Hyderabad Memoirs

K.M. Munshi had the following to say (1957)(The End of an Era - Hyderabad Memoirs)
(emphasis added)

"The Indian National Congress, the architect as well as the instrument of Indian nationalism, was for several decades dominated by Mahatma Gandhi and his devoted band of followers, both Hindus and Muslims.  It exercised great self-restraint.  But for it, Muslim separativeness would have led to the growth of fierce Hindu aggressiveness.

When the transfer of power from the British to Indian hands became a clear possibility, the separativeness which dominated certain sections of Muslims found expression in their growing demands.  They wanted separate electorates; communal weightage; then, a balance of Hindu-Muslim provinces in the Federal government; later, a claim to equality of representation with the Hindu community. ...Ultimately when freedom was at hand, this separativeness took the shape of a blunt refusal to live in the same country and a determination to establish a separate homeland......

....Once  Pakistan was conceded and the Congress installed in office in New Delhi, communal fanaticism lost its hold over vast sections of the Hindus.  The fanatic impulse among most of the Muslims who remained in India was also curbed, at least on the surface.

But these new developments created little impression on the North Indian Muslims of Hyderabad....The Ittehad, inspired and dominated mostly by the Indian Muslims was also aided by local adventurers.  Its natural ambition, therefore, was to build a modern fascist centre of communal aggressiveness in India on the crumbling edifice of the State....Their object, scarcely concealed, was to establish Islamic domination, with or without the aid of Pakistan, first of Hyderabad, then of the South and ultimately of the whole of India.

Had this attempt succeeded, it would have precipitated so powerful a Hindu sentiment as to have spelt the end of a free democracy in India.  It would have also arrested its march towards a modern democratic state.  The end of the Ittehad, therefore, served to bury this potential catastrophe once for all.

...If Hyderabad had remained unintegrated with the rest of India, the country would have felt outraged.  The communal fascism of the Ittehad would have developed into a civil war between the communities.  The Muslims of India, who had been accepted as an integral part of our democratic society, would have come to be looked upon as hostiles.

...By the Police Action, the people of India not only met an internal challenge; they fulfilled the destiny which had been denied to them by the accidents of history.

With the close of the Hyderabad episode, therefore, an era came to an end.

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