Saturday, April 24, 2010

Q & A | Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

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    • Questions and Answers
    • Jinnah's two-nation theory is not only implicit in Savarkar's concept of 'Hindutva'; Savarkar also stated it explicitly. Speaking at the Hindu Mahasabha session at Ahmedabad in 1937 he said," India cannot be assumed to be an unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in the main, the Hindus and the Muslims in India". Critics of Savarkar have gone so far as to call him the father of the two-nation theory! Comment.

      The two-nation theory long antedated Savarkar's 1937 Hindu Mahasabha presidential speech. In 1930, Sir Muhammad Iqbal became Muslim League President and for the first time publicly demanded an independent, sovereign Muslim state. "I would like to see the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Baluchistan amalgamate into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to me the final destiny of the Muslims at least of North-Western India," declared Iqbal. Indeed, the roots of Pakistan may be traced to Islamic theology that considers Muslims to be an ummah that is distinct and indeed at constant war with infidels. Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto bluntly wrote, .The starting point of Pakistan goes back a thousand years to when Muhammad-bin-Qasim set foot on the soil of Sind and introduced Islam in the sub-continent" (quoted in 'The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India', KS Lal, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 1992, p 327). Savarkar was a keen student of Islam and being a hard realist, he merely stated the obvious.

    • Mahasabha President Veer Savarkar gave the above clarification when asked about the statement issued by some journalists in Nagpur.
      .You always say that in Hindusthan, Hindus are a nation and that the Mussalmans and others are communities. How does one reconcile this statement and the statement that there are two nations in Hindusthan?. When asked this question, Veer Savarkar replied, .I had clarified this in my Nagpur interview. But instead of reporting this, journalists simply reported that I accept the two-nation theory. This has resulted in the whole misunderstanding. I am surprised that a storm has been raised now on this issue. Because I have always been referring to the two-nation theory right from my Ahmedabad speech.

      It is a historic truth that the Mussulmans are a .nation.. I had clarified the historical and racial background of this theory in Nagpur. Islam is a theocratic nation based on the Koran right from its inception. This nation never had geographical boundaries. Wherever the Mussulmans went, they went as a nation. They also came to Hindusthan as a .nation.. Wherever they go, Mussulmans shall either remain foreigners or rulers. As per the Koran, those who are not Mussulmans are kafirs, enemies of Islam. Even today, after praying in the mosque, Mussulmans ask for atonement for committing the sin of living in a kafir-ruled state. As per the principle of Mussulmans, the earth is divided into two nations . Dar-ul Islam (land of Islam) and Dar-ul Harb where Islam does not rule (enemy land). As per their religious command, their campaign on Hindusthan was as a separate nation.

    • Seizing the right opportunity and taking advantage of the Congress. policy of surrender, the Muslim League once again emphatically put forth that same old theory of the Mussulman nation being a separate nation. If one turns a blind eye to this reality, the Hindu Nation is bound to be divided. So we do not care if you consider yourself to be a separate nation. The effort towards Hindu consolidation is to emphatically state that the Hindu Nation is a self-evident and unified Nation. The Mahasabha came forward as a separate and mighty national organization of the Hindu Nation. Hindu Nationalism gave a cutting edge to the effort of consolidation.
    • To summarize, the Hindu Mahasabha under Savarkar occupied positions of power whenever possible not to enjoy power per se but to safeguard Hindu interests. It is noteworthy that Savarkar himself never occupied a position of power. If he had wished, he could have joined the Congress and led a cushy life. He chose to stand up to the dominant line of thinking in the country at the time and speak what was in the best interests of the Hindus.
    • Guru Govind Singh was one of Savarkar.s heroes. Savarkar was honoured at the Golden Temple (Hari Mandir) in Amritsar during his tour of Punjab.

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