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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

The Powers Behind Partition

The Powers Behind Partition
The Powers Behind Partition
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

WHILE Congress went from one civil disobedience movement to another, the Muslim League propagated among Muslims that it was "fighting for supremacy of Hinduism and submergence of Muslims".

One result of the civil disobedience movement were the two Round Table conferences convened at London—the first in November 1930 and the second a few months later. Both conferences failed because there was no agreement on the number of seats that the minorities should have in various legislatures. The British could claim with some justification that the fault lay with the Muslim League and the Congress Party; with the Hindus and the Muslims and not with them.

One of the delegates to the Round Table conference was Muhammad Iqbal, a renowned Urdu poet, said to be the author of the idea of Partition. He said: "I would like to see the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state.... The formation of a consolidated North, North-west Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-west India." But it was Chaudhary Rahmat Ali, a lawyer in England, who three years later coined the word Pakistan meaning the "Land of the Pure". "North of India is Muslim and we will keep it Muslim. Not only that, we will make it a Muslim state. But this we can do only if and when we and our North cease to be Indian. So the sooner we shed Indianism, the better for us all, for Islam," he said.

Since the question of communal electorates was the rock on which the two Round Table conferences foundered, Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress began to play it down. In the Central Assembly, when the British White Paper was processed to give "more powers" to Indians, the Congress Party stayed neutral on separate electorates. Jinnah, however, supported their...

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