Text of Memorandum submitted
by 14 Muslim leaders of India
to Dr. Frank P. Graham, United
14 August, 1951
It is a remarkable fact
that, while the Security Council and its various agencies have devoted
so much time to the study of the Kashmir dispute and made various suggestions
for its resolution, none of them has tried to ascertain the views of the
Indian Muslims nor the possible effect of any hasty step in Kashmir, however
well-intentioned, on the interests and well- being of the Indian Muslims.
We are convinced that no lasting solution for the problem can be found
unless the position of Muslims in Indian society is clearly understood.
Supporters of the idea of Pakistan, before this
subcontinent was partitioned, discouraged any attempt to define Pakistan
clearly and did little to anticipate the conflicting problems which were
bound to arise as a result of the advocacy of the two-nation theory. The
concept of Pakistan, therefore, became an emotional slogan with little
rationale content. It never occurred to the Muslim League or its leaders
that if a minority was not prepared to live with a majority on the sub-
continent, how could the majority be expected to tolerate the minority.
It is, therefore, small wonder that the result
of partition has been disastrous to Muslims. In undivided India, their
strength lay about 100 million. Partition split up the Muslim people, confining
them to the three isolated regions. Thus, Muslims number 25 million in
Western Pakistan, 35 million to 40 million in India, and the rest in Eastern
Pakistan. A single undivided community has been broken into three fragments,
each faced with its own problems.
Pakistan was not created on a religious basis.
If it had been, our fate as well as the fate of other minorities would
have been settled at that time. Nor would the division of the sub- continent
for reasons of religion have left large minorities in India or Pakistan.
This merely illustrates what we have said above,
that the concept of Pakistan was vague, obscure, and never clearly defined,
nor its likely consequences foreseen by the Muslim League, even when some
of these should have been obvious.
When the partition took place, Muslims in India
were left in the lurch by the Muslim League and its leaders. Most of them
departed to Pakistan and a few who stayed behind stayed long enough to
wind up their affairs and dispose of their property. Those who went over
to Pakistan left a large number of relations and friends behind.
Having brought about a division of the country,
Pakistan leaders proclaimed that they would convert Pakistan into a land
where people would live a life according to the tenets of Islam. This created
nervousness and alarm among the minorities living in Pakistan. Not satisfied
with this, Pakistan went further and announced again and again their determination
to protect and safeguard the interests of Muslims in India. This naturally
aroused suspicion amongst the Hindus against us and our loyalty to India
Pakistan had made our position weaker by driving
out Hindus from Western Pakistan in utter disregard of the consequences
of such a policy to us and our welfare. A similar process is in question
in Eastern Pakistan from which Hindus are coming over to India in a large
and large number.
If the Hindus are not welcome in Pakistan, how
can we, in all fairness, expect Muslims to be welcomed in India ? Such
a policy must inevitably, as the past has already shown, result in the
uprooting of Muslims in this country and their migration to Pakistan where,
as it became clear last year, they are no longer welcome, lest their influx
should destroy Pakistan's economy.
Neither some of the Muslims who did migrate to
Pakistan after partition, and following the widespread bloodshed and conflict
on both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border in the north- west, have been
able to find a happy asylum in what they had been told would be their homeland.
Consequently some of them have had to return to India, e.g Meos who are
now being rehabilitated in their former areas.
If we are living honorably in India today, it
is certainly not due to Pakistan which, if anything, has by her policy
and action weakened our pooition.
The credit goes to the broadminded leadership
of India, to Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, to the traditions
of tolerance in this country and to the Constitution which ensures equal
rights to all citizens of India, irrespective of their religion caste,
creed, colour or sex.
We, therefore, feel that, tragically as Muslims
were misled by the Muslim League and subsquently by Pakistan and the unnecessary
suffering which we and our Hindu brethren have to go through in Pakistan
and in India since partition, we must be given an opportunity to settle
down to a life of tolerance and understanding to the mutual benefit of
Hindus and Muslims in our country - if only Pakistan would let us do it.
To us it is a matter of no smaller onsequence.
Despite continuous provocations, first from the
Muslim League and since then from Pakistan, the Hindu majority in India
has not thrown us or members of other minorities out of Civil Services,
Armed Forces, the judiciary, trade, commerce, business and industry. There
are Muslim Ministers in the Union and State cabinets, Muslim Governors,
Muslim Ambassadors, representing India in foreign countries, fully enjoying
the confidence of the Indian nation, Muslim members in Parliament and state
legislatures, Muslim judges serving on the Supreme Court and High Courts,
high-ranking officers in the Armed Foroes and the Civil services, including
the police. Muslims have large landed estates, run big business and commercial
houses in various parts of the country, notably in Bombay and Calcutta,
have their shares in industrial production and enterprise in export and
import trade. Our famous sacred shrines and places of cultural interest
are mostly in India.
Not that our lot is certainly happy. We wish some
of the state Governments showed a little greater sympathy to us in the
field of education and employment. Nevertheless, we feel we have an honourable
place in India. Under the law of the land, our religious and cultural life
is protected and we shall share in the opportunities open to all citizens
to ensure progress for the people of this country.
It is, therefore, clear that our interest and
welfare do not coincide with Pakistan's conception of the welfare and interests
of Muslims in Pakistan.
This is clear from Pakistan's attitude towards
Kashmir. Pakistan claims Kashmir, first, on the ground of the majority
of the State's people being Muslims and, secondly, on the ground, of the
state being essential to its economy and defence. To achieve its objective
it has been threatening to launch "Jehad" against Kashmir in India.
It is a strange commentary on political beliefs
that the same Muslims of Pakistan who like the Muslims of Kashmir to join
them invaded the state, in October 1947, killing and plundering Muslims
in the state and dishonouring Muslim women, all in the interest of what
they described as the liberation of Muslims of the State. In its oft-proclaimed
anxiety to rescue the 3 million Muslims from what it describes as the tyranny
of a handful of Hindus in the State, Pakistan evidently is prepared to
sacrifice the interests of 40 million Muslims in India - a strange exhibition
of concern for the welfare of fellow- Muslims. Our misguided brothers in
Pakistan do not realise that if Muslims in Pakistan can wage a war against
Hindus in Kashmir why should not Hindus, sooner or later, retaliate against
Muslims in India.
Does Pakistan seriously think that it could give
us any help if such an emergency arose or that we would deserve any help
thanks to its own follies ? It is incapable of providing room and livelihood
to the 40 million Muslims of India, should they migrate to Pakistan. Yet
its policy and action, if not changed soon, may well produce the result
which it dreads.
We are convinced that India will never attack
our interests. First of all, it would be contrary to the spirit animating
the political movement in this country. Secondly, it would be opposed to
the Constitution and to the sincere leadership of the Prime Minister. Thirdly,
India by committing such a folly would be playing straight into the hands
We wish we were equally convinced of the soundness
of Pakistan's policy. So completely oblivious is it of our present problems
and of our future that it is willing to sell us into slavery - if only
it can secure Kashmir.
It ignores the fact that Muslims in Kashmir may
also have a point of view of their own, that there is a democratic movement
with a democratic leadership in the State, both inspired by the progress
of a broad minded, secular, democratic movement in India and both naturally
being in sympathy with India. Otherwise, the Muslim raiders should have
been welcomed with open arms by the Muslims of the State when the invasion
took place in 1947.
Persistent propaganda about "Jehad" is intended,
among other things, to inflame religious passions in this country. For
it would, of course, be in Pakistan's interests to promote communal rioting
in India to show to Kashmiri Muslims how they can find security only in
Pakistan. Such a policy, however, can only bring untold misery and suffering
to India and Pakistan generally and to Indian Muslims particularly.
Pakistan never tires of asserting that it is determined
to protect the interests of Muslims in Kashmir and India. Why does not
Pakistan express the same concern for Pathans who are fighting for Pakhtoonistan,
an independent homeland of their own ? The freedom-loving Pathans under
the leadership of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Dr. Khan Sahib, both nurtured
in the traditions of democratic tolerance of the Indian National Congress,
are being subjected to political repression of the worst possible kind
by their Muslim brethren in power in Pakistan and in the NWFP. Contradictory
as Pakistan's policy generally is, it is no surprise to us that while it
insists on a fair and impartial plebiscite in Kashmir, it denies a fair
and impartial plebiscite to Pathans.
Pakistan's policy in general and her attitude
towards Kashmir is particular thus tend to create conditions in this cauntry
which in the long run can only bring to us Muslims widespread suffering
and destruction. Its policy prevents us from settling down, from being
honourable citizens of a State, free from suspicion of our fellow-countrymen
and adapting ourselves to changing conditions to promote the interests
and welfare of India. Its sabre-rattling interferes with its own economy
and ours. It expects us to be layal to it despite its importance to give
us any protection, believing at the same time that we can still claim all
the rights of citizenship in a secular democracy.
In the event of a war, it is extremely doubtful
whether it will be able to protect the Muslims of East Bengal who are completely
cut off from Western Pakistan. Are the Muslims of India and Eastern Pakistan
who sacrifice themselves completely to enable the 25 million Muslims in
Western Pakistan to embark upon mad, self-destructive and adventures?
We should, therefore, like to impress upon you
with all the emphasis at our command that Pakistan's policy towards Kashmir
is fraught with the gravest peril to the 40 million Muslims of India. If
the Security Council is really interested in peace human brotherhood, and
international understanding, it should heed this warning while there is
Dr. Zakir Hussain
(Vice Chancellor Aligarh University)
Sir Sultan Ahmed
(Former Member of Governor General's Executive
Sir Mohd. Ahmed Syed Khan
(Nawab of Chhatari, former acting
Governor of United Provinces and
Prime Minister of Hyderabad)
Sir Mohd. Usman
(Former member of Governor
General's Executive council and
acting Governor of Madras)
Sir Iqbal Ahmed
(Former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court)
Sir Fazal Rahimtoola
(Former Sheriff of Bombay)
Maulana Hafz-ur-Rehman M.P.
Col. B.H. Zaidi M.P.
Nawab Zain Yar Jung
(Minister Gcvernment of Hyderabad)
(Former President of Muslim Majlis)
(General Secretary West Bengal Bohra Community)
Kashmir - Memorial of Mistakes
A Bitter Saga of Religious Conversion
Author: Narender Sehgal
Utpal Publications, 1994