Secularists on Islam- Hamid Dalwai (1932-1977)

   Mehrunnisa Dalwai, wife of prominent Muslim activist and thinker late Hamid Dalwai (1932-1977)  and the protagonist of a reformist movement ‘Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal’, passed away at 87 at her residence in Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra on Thursday, 8 June 2017. She married Hamid Dalwai in 1956 and worked with him for justice and equal rights for Muslim women.

   She had spearheaded a march to ‘Mantralaya’ in Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra state of India and India’s financial capital, seeking abolition of triple ‘talaq’. After the death of her husband, the founder of Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal, Mehrunnisa continued to spearhead the movement of safeguarding the rights of Muslim women and reformation of Muslim community.

   She eventually became the president of the Mandal and later founded Islamic Research Institute and Maharashtra Talaq Mukti Morcha. Her autobiography, “Mi Bharun Pawle” is considered an inspirational piece for progressive movement. As per her wish, her body will be donated.

In the light of this development, it is worth remembering the writings of her husband Hamid Dalwai, who died very young.

Hamid Dalwai

   A colleague of Prof. Shah in the Indian Secular Society was the well known social activist Mr. Hamid Dalwai. Mr. Dalwai, who was a member of the Seva Dal, was also a noted writer in Marathi, and a rare, enlightened Muslim who was deeply conscious of his society’s shortcomings. He formed an organization called Muslim Satyashodhak Samaj for modernizing Muslims. As is to be expected, his movement encountered stiff resistance from the orthodoxy. Unfortunately Mr. Dalwai died at a young age and his movement lost its impetus although some followers are trying to carry this work forward. Dalwai has written a small book, ‘Muslim Politics in India’.4 Although he has carefully refrained from criticizing the basic tenets of Islam, he is quite forthright in condemning the behavior of Indian Muslims. One may regard his contribution as a significant beginning in the assertion of a liberal Muslim. At the same time, one must conclude that he has not been very effective in changing the attitudes of his co-religionists who have offered a stiff and sometimes violent resistance to his mission. Hindu organizations will do well to study his writings (mostly in Marathi) on this subject in detail so that they can effectively use them when required as will be seen from the quotations below.

   Mr. Dalwai is clear that Hindu communalism is a product of Muslim fundamentalism. “I come from the Muslim community and yet I can not entirely blame the extremist Hindu communalists. Whereas the extremist Muslim communalists have aggressive plans to destroy the Hindu community, the extremist Hindus, in reaction to them, want to eliminate the Muslims in self-defense. Thus I view extremist Hindu communalism as a reaction to Muslim communalism. Unless Muslim communalism is eliminated, Hindu communalism will not disappear…… It is no fault of the Hindus that the Indian Muslims embraced this theory of a separate Muslim nationalism, nor is it the fault of Hindus that Indian Muslims regarded Hindus in Pakistan as hostages ensuring their own security in India “(P. 30).

   Mr. Dalwai then analyses the psyche of the Indian Muslims. But his analysis of the problem as a Muslim is interesting. “It is an old habit of Muslims to blame Hindus for their woes. However, the Indian Muslim intelligentsia has never been critically introspective. It has not sought to relate its problems to its own attitudes. It has not developed a self-searching, self-critical attitude….. Muslims remained backward because they were religion-bound revivalists who refused to modernize themselves….. The foundation of Muslim nationalism is the postulate that Hindu and Muslim societies are autonomous and parallel social structures…… It is a tragic fact that there does not yet exist a class of critically introspective young Muslims in India….. Their idea of religious freedom is merely that the structure of the Muslim society in India should remain unaltered….. There is a curious collusion between these Indian Muslims and the others who envisage the conversion of India to Islam…… The only effective answer to the problems of Indian Muslims would involve on their part a total rejection of the prejudices of history….. Pakistan was not the last demand of the Muslims of this subcontinent. Even today, both among Indian Muslims and among the rulers of Pakistan, there are influential groups whose ‘last demand’ would be the conversion of the whole of India to Islam.” (P. 32-36).

   He however considers suicidal “the Hindu communalist attempt to answer Muslim communalism by obscurantist Hindu revivalism. “Muslim communalism will be defeated only when the Hindu achieves a greater degree of social progress and modernizes himself….. the Hindus have slid backward only because of their religious obscurantism. Mahmud Ghazanvi could defeat Hindu armies simply by using herds of cows as a shield for his own army!…… Hindus must discard all those religious beliefs which hindered their progress and deprived them of their freedom….. When Indian Muslims are shocked out of their slumber by the advancement and modernization of Hindu society, a similar process will start in Muslim society” (P. 37). Unfortunately, “there is a kind of Hindu who is always terrified when he thinks of Muslims. This is no doubt a shameful state of affairs. At every critical moment this Hindu pretends to be more of a Muslim than a Muslim himself, and thwarts the attempts of those who are trying to make the average Muslim less of a fanatic.” (P. 45).

   Dalwai has written about the need for a new generation of secular Muslim leaders. He gives the example of Mr. George Fernandes, a Catholic [Indian politician who is now retired from politics], and would like the secular Muslim leaders to emulate him. (P. 48) He also envisaged such leadership to develop in the next two decades which unfortunately has not happened.

   He is of course quite critical of the Marxist-Muslims who ‘pollute public life with religious interests’. He traces their intimacy to the similarity in the two dogmas. “There are significant resemblances between the communist movement and the Muslim communalist movement. First, both movements are international in scope and character. Both aim at establishing an ideological state and neither cares for the means employed in achieving its end. However their purpose and the processes by which they achieve their objectives are different. As regards the communists, first there is the emergence of the communist international movement in a country. This movement seeks to establish a state. Once the state is established, the movement is directed towards creating the ideal, that is, the Marxist society. In the case of Muslims the process is just the reverse. A Muslim society already exists. This society seeks to establish its own state. Pakistan is an example of this. In the absence of a Muslim society, a Muslim state cannot be brought into existence …… the communists believe that Islam was the first religion to bring about social equality. In fact, it is the claim to social equality that links both these doctrines…. When communists are not in power, they are internationalists; when Muslims are in a minority in any country they lack a nationalistic spirit and have an internationalistic [Admin’s observation- supra-nationalist more than internationalist], that is, pan-Islamic attitude…… Both Muslims and communists regard their own concept of social structure as perfect. Both reject freedom of thought. What is even more significant is the fact that both employ strikingly similar methods of propaganda against their opponents.…. As soon as they come to power, communists suddenly change from internationalism to extreme nationalism….. the same happens within the course of the Islamic movement…… Communists purge their opponents no sooner than they come to power. Muslim nationalistic movements, wherever there is a Muslim majority, do not allow non-Muslims to exist freely and equally….. In fact, Arab nationalism is not even Islamic nationalism. It is racist….. When the CPI accepted the Ranadive policy of nation-wide subversion and uprising, many eminent Muslim League leaders throughout India suddenly became Communists!’’ (P. 80-83)

   Another significant fact of Islamic society has been brought out by Mr. Dalwai. He says that although the Muslim community has sometimes been enslaved by aggressors, its religion has never been threatened. The western conquerors of Mecca and Madina did not inflict any changes like the Turks tearing down the church in Constantinopole and building a mosque. In India, Shivaji “pushed back aggressors, and yet he made grants for the preservation of Pirs and Dargahs…… Muslims have been destroyed and Muslims have been ruled by others, but Muslim society has not been destroyed. When a society survives, it can free itself from the shackles of alien domination. It can reestablish a state of its own.” (P. 75)

   It will be interesting to note Mr. Dalwai’s analysis of the Hindu mind. “The Hindu wears many masks. In a sense, Hindu society is a multi-headed organism. Sometimes this creates great complications. It also explains the indecision and ambivalence of the Hindu mind. It postpones decisions and avoids frankness. At the same time, it tries to obtain full credit for its independence of mind…… I must observe that the Hindu society lacks the dynamism without which no national challenge can be faced. for centuries it has been in the doldrums. It is yet to find a direction [emphasis ours]……….. Today, India is a shrinking nation in this sense and this points to the lack of dynamism in a majority of Indians. It is not leadership alone which is responsible for this waning of influence……. even in periods of difficulty we have been unable to overthrow our weak leadership. Our leadership is merely a symbol of the weakness of Indian society as a whole…… The Hindu is conservative. He would not transcend self-imposed limitations. This habit of the Hindu is sometimes expressed in an absurd form. He decides not to enter Kashmir which is a part of his own nation. He refuses to allow everyone, including himself, to enter Naga territory [Indian state of Nagaland]. These are symptoms of decadence……. I believe that if the Hindus were sufficiently dynamic, the Hindu-Muslim problem would be solved. For if the Hindus were dynamic, they would subject the Indian Muslims to several shocks which history has spared them. Muslims would be left with one stark alternative to perish if they would not wish to change. And any society prefers change to extinction……….. Unfortunately, the Hindu mind lacks balance. Even those Hindus who have accepted modernity, justice and brotherhood as their guiding principles sometimes support Muslim communalism. Some avoid speaking against it and some even indirectly encourage it…… The secularism of such Hindus encourages the anti-secularism of the Muslims.” (P. 92-94)

   Mr. Dalwai in the end outlines several steps for national rejuvenation which may have salutary lessons for all of us. 

   Scintillating and thought-provoking, this book gives an absorbing summing up of the problem of Muslim communalism in India.  It relates Muslim communalism to the make-up of the Indian Muslim mind and its historical background.  Balanced and well documented, Mr. Dalwai’s analysis of the origin and nature of Muslim communalism has earned him a rapidly increasing audience in recent years.  His wide research on this subject leads him to make an eloquent and forceful plea for a movement for modernization, secularization and liberalization as the only long-term solution to the communal problem.

   Written in a refreshing, anecdotal style, these essays on the problem of communalism and its remedy will prove invaluable for an understanding of the Indian political scene.  Hamid Dalwai belongs to a middle-class Marathi speaking, Muslim family. A self-educated man, Mr. Dalwai had been active in Politics for many years and was an experienced journalist. In Maharashtra, he was known as a provocative publicist and also as an outstanding short story writer.

   1. Foreword by Dr A B Shah, President, Indian Secular Forum

1.1 – Educated Muslims prefer playing safe even though that would mean pandering to the prejudices and superstitions of their less fortunate brethren. That Mr. Dalwai is engaged in what may be called a one-man crusade against the obscurantism of Muslim society in India. (pg.6)

1.2 – Mr.Dalwai’s thesis is that the basic malaise of Muslim society (in India as elsewhere with the exception of Turkey and perhaps Tunisia) lies in the fact that it has never had a renaissance in its entire history of more than thirteen hundred years. (pg.7)

1.3 – However the type of integration that is necessary here cannot be achieved unless Muslims no less than Hindus learn to separate religion from the rights and obligations of citizenship of a modem state. (pg.7)

1.4 – It is difficult for a Hindu to visualize, except by a special effort of reason and the imagination, a mind that is almost totally lacking in the conception of the individual and derives the significance of human life solely from the individual’s membership of a collectivity. (pg. 12)

1.5 – The founder of Islam had therefore also to found a state before its message was fully delivered, let alone developed in contact with a more advanced culture without the attainment of force. (pg.13)

1.6- (Dalwai) dwelt at some length on this aspect of Islam as a cultural tradition. The reason is not that Islam is unique in its record of intolerance in the past; it is, rather, that Islam still exhibits the same intolerance of free inquiry and dissent as it did in less enlightened times. (pg.14)

1.7 – The tragedy of Indian Muslims does not lie so much in the backwardness of a vast majority of them in relation to the Hindus which is only a symptom – as in the unwillingness of educated Muslims to undertake a critical reappraisal of their heritage. (pg. 16)

1.8 – For historical and other reasons, the Hindu is at an advantage in this respect. But precisely because of that he has to accept the onus of promoting the modernization of Muslim society. (pg.20)

  2 – Chapter I – Historical Background

 2.1 – But the Hindus also had a liberal humanist tradition. (pg.33) The only effective answer to the problems of Indian Muslims would involve on their part a total rejection of the prejudices of history.  Only when they rid themselves of the misconceptions that history and tradition produce can they arrive at the conception of a free, modern mind committed only to fundamental human values. (pg.34)

 2.2 – I oppose the ban on cow-slaughter on agro-economic ground. I oppose it even more strongly on non-economic grounds, because if the Hindus belief in the sacredness of the cow is encouraged, it would prevent the Hindus from modernizing themselves and from achieving a great degree of social progress. (pg.36)

 2.3 – Hindu communalists should not continue to make the tragic blunder of mistaking every Muslim for a communalist.  It is true that today [in 1968] it is difficult to find a thoroughly secular Muslim in India.  But if we want secular minded Muslims, in the near future, we must encourage and support those Muslims who are already stepping in that direction. (pg.37)

3 – Chapter II – Reading the mind of Indian Muslim

3.1 – Most Muslim leaders in India advance the odd argument that Muslims were not responsible for partition, and even argue that Hindus alone were responsible for it. (pg.40)

3.2 – History provides some clues to the strange behaviour and arguments of Indian Muslim leaders.  Indian Muslims always tried to impose their own demands on Hindus with the help of the British, who were a third party in the position of a judge. (pg.40)

3.3 – When they saw that the judgement in this dispute was to be given by a third party, they tried to till the balance in their own favour even by resorting to an unscrupulous and fallacious argument, and the Hindus who were eager for independence conceded their demand. (pg.40)

3.4 – Indian Muslims have committed an even worse sin.  They not only relied on a third party but also participated in a movement which aimed at creating a separate nation comprising all provinces which had a Muslim majority. (pg.41)

3.5 – The question which arises here is- why do Indian Muslims make the obviously false claim that Pakistani Hindus are treated with due justice?  And why did the Muslims earlier refuse to rely on the conscience of Hindus to get full justice for themselves? (pg.43)

3.6 – Indian Muslims leaders believe that in their dispute with the majority in India, Pakistan is the third party occupying the position of the judge.(pg.44)

3.7 – However, it must be pointed out that the support of Indian Muslims to the creation of Pakistan was not entirely based on emotional frenzy.  It was also based on the theory of hostages.  At the same time, Indian Muslims believed that India would eventually be ruled by Islam. (pg.49)

3.8 – Sardar Patel merged the princely states within the Indian Union and thus shattered their hopes. This is why Muslim leaders hate Sardar Patel. (pg.50)

3.9 – Indian Muslims still regard themselves as Pakistanis, and they believe that their emancipation has been ensured by the creation of Pakistan. (pg-50)

4 – Chapter III – Muslims : The so-called Nationalists and the Communalists

4.1 – All Muslim leaders unanimously complain that injustice is done to Muslims in India.  However, they have a strange definition of injustice…..One of the methods of ensuring justice is to claim that Pakistani infiltrators in Assam are not Pakistani at all. A second method is to demand the granting of Indian citizenship to those Pakistanis who are illegal residents of Bihar, West Bengal and some other states of India. A third method is to oppose family planning. (pg.53)

4.2 – Savarkar admitted the existence of a separate Muslim nationalism.  He had even shown his willingness to give them a written guarantee that their culture, their language and their proportional representation would be safeguarded. The only thing Savarkar denied to the Muslims was a separate, independent and sovereign state. (pg.59)

4.3 – In an undivided India a specially privileged Muslim community would have vigorously continued a movement for Islamization of India. (pg.61)

   Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni was considered a great ‘Nationalist Muslim’ leader. He was president of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-i-Hind.  When the Ulema convened a conference in Delhi in the year 1945, he said in his presidential address, “It is the non-Muslims who are the field of action for this ‘tabligh’ of Islam and form the raw material for this splendid activity … We are opposed to the idea of limiting the right of missionary activities of Islam within any particular area.  The Muslims have got a right in all the nooks and corners of India by virtue of the great struggle and grand sacrifices of their ancestors in this country.  Now, it is our duty to maintain that claim and try to widen its scope, instead of giving it up.” (“The Deobad School and the Demand for Pakistan” by Z H Faruqi, Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1963, pg.117) The same learned Maulana has said elsewhere, “If Dara had triumphed, Muslims would have stayed in India, but not Islam.  Since Aurangzeb triumphed, both Muslims were here to stay.” (pg.61-62).

4.4 – What was the difference between Jinnah and the nationalist Muslims?  While Jinnah wanted a separate state, the nationalist Muslims wanted the whole of India. (pg.62)

4.5 – Muslim leaders always blame Hindu communalism for partition. I fail to see where, in this entire discussion, Hindu communalism comes in. (pg.62)

4.6 – Jinnah was not fighting Savarkar and Golwalkar. He never mentioned their communalism.  Jinnah accused Gandhi of being a Hindu communalist, refusing to concede his demands. He criticised Nehru in the same way.  Similarly, when Muslim leaders hold communalists responsible for the partition, they want to suggest that it was Gandhi and Nehru who were ‘Hindu communalists’. The implications are clear: they charge every Hindu with being a communalist. At the same time, they make the strange claim that every Muslim is a nationalist. (pg.63) The real conflict, therefore, was not between Hindu and Muslim communalists.  It was a conflict between the secular nationalism of Gandhi and Nehru and the religious nationalism of Indian Muslims. (pg-63)

4.7 – When Christians were not modern, even they forcibly converted Muslims to their own faith. (pg.65)

4.8 – Independence, according to the Muslims, is synonymous with all power being concentrated in the hands of the Muslim community. (pg-66)

4.9 – They claim that the Hindu majority in India treats them with injustice. They fail to realize that their definition of Islam is twisted and strange, for these leaders believe that the greatest injustice to Indian Muslims is the simple fact that there is a majority of Hindus in this country. (pg.69)

5 – Chapter IV – The Communal Malady : A Diagnosis

5.1 – Secular parties in India have always considered the problem of Hindu-Muslim relations from the viewpoint of romantic idealism and have refused to face boldly the harsh truth underlying it.  After the outbreak of a communal riot, they have hardly thought it necessary to do anything beyond issuing public appeals for communal peace and ritually denouncing Hindu communalist forces as the prime cause of trouble. (pg.70)

Note: See 5.3, 5.7

5.2 – If today the liberal trends among the Hindus are on the wane, the main cause is to be traced to the continuing predominance of separatist and communalist trends among Indian Muslims even 23 years after partition. [This was written around 1970, i.e. 23 years after the Partition of India and creation of Pakistan in 1947] (pg.71)

5.3 – These traditions of Islam and the strong separatist trends they have engendered among Indian Muslims are the main cause of the persistent communal tension. To claim that Muslim separatism continues to exist because the country has not adequately imbibed the spirit of secularism is to betray ignorance of the working of the Muslim mind. The real cause of the present conflict is that the separatist urges of Muslim nationalism have always existed parallel to those of secular nationalism.  Muslims have never agreed that partition put an end to this problem.  As I have mentioned in a recent article, Mr Hasan Surhawardy, Chief Minister of undivided Bengal, had pointed out in 1946 that, “Pakistan is not our last demand”.  In his letter written after the partition to Choudhary Khaliquzzaman, Mr Surhawardy had propounded the. idea of a Muslim majority area in India.  It is without significance that the post-independence trend of Muslim politics in India has followed the direction laid down by Mr Jinnah and Mr Surhawardy. (pg.72)

Note: See 5.1, 5.7

5.4 – Nehru was perhaps the only Indian statesman who understood the historical forces operating behind Muslim politics in India. (pg.73)

5.5 – Nehru’s insistence on a common electorate and the inclusion in the Constitution of the enactment of a uniform civil code as a Directive Principle of state policy inspire of fierce opposition from the Muslim communalists may be cited as examples of his determination in this regard. (pg.73)  [Note: RSS has also the same programme]

5.6 – Moreover, Nehru was well aware that Muslims could easily combine themselves in one political party because of their social structure and the total absence among them of a modern political consciousness based on secular considerations. As regards Hindus, he knew that their stratified social structure always impeded their mobilization on a common political platform. At the same time, because of their liberal reformist traditions, Hindus had developed a progressive political consciousness which made them alive to larger socio-economic issues.  Hence, he knew, they tended to choose political parties, on non-religious considerations.  Because of this peculiar situation he usually tried to project himself as a guardian of Muslim interests with a view to preventing the re-emergence of a strong Muslim party. (pg.74)

5.7 – Every communal riot has helped the growth of Muslim communalist forces.  Muslim leaders claimed that communal riots did not take place wherever the League had a strong force/hold among Muslims.  Many a times communal troubles are provoked by Muslims. (pg.75)

5.8 – The Khaskar’s tradition of dots and the orgy of violence, arson and loot indulged in by the Razakars in Hyderabad are too well-known to need detailed mention. (pg.76)

5.9 – The Prime Minister (Smt Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India in 1970) wants to eradicate communalism from this land, but she is indulging in self-deception if she feels that she can curb Hindu communalist forces by conniving at Muslim separatism. (pg.77)

5.10 – The unceremonious exit of Mr.M.C.Chagia from her cabinet and the relaxation of the rule prohibiting polygamy among Muslim employees of the Central Government are but two examples of the concessions she is making to Muslim communalism. (pg.77)

5.11 – The problem of national integration cannot be solved by appeasing Muslim separatism. (pg.77)

6 – Chapter V- Strange Bedfellows: Communists Intimacy with Communalists

6.1 – In fact, this intimacy is not at all surprising.  There are significant resemblances between the Communist movement and the Muslim communalist movement. (pg.78)

6.2 – The basis of the Islamic movement is hot the whole of a society but only the Islamic segment of it.  The Islamic movement can establish its own state only by subjugating, if not destroying, the other parts of society. (pg.79)

6.3 – Most nations with a Muslim majority are extremely nationalistic in their social and political outlook.  In pre-partition India, the Muslim League used to demand greater provincial autonomy. (pg.81)

6.4 – Communists purge their opponents no sooner than they come to power. Muslim nationalistic movements, wherever there is a Muslim majority, do not allow non-Muslims to exist freely and equally. (pg-81)

6.5 – (The Communists) decided to back Muslim communalists in order to precipitate nation-wide disintegration, gain a popular backing. from the Indian Muslims, induce the ruling group in Pakistan to support Soviet policies, and to benefit from the general chaos and factional fights in the entire sub-continent. (pg.82)

7 – Chapter  VI – The Chief Obstacle in the way of Muslim Integration

7.1 – Among Indian Muslims there is a conspicuous absence of unbiased self-critical and rational individuals who can discuss this problem fruitfully. This is not entirely the fault to individual Indian Muslims. The capacity for self-criticism, the courage to face facts, the ability to lead the community with a critical awareness of one’s own virtues and shortcomings implies the existence of a level of sophistication in the intelligentsia. The Muslim intelligentsia in India lacks these qualities. Their so called leaders are usually the leaders of a blind, orthodox, and ill-educated community. Such people do not discuss their own faults; rather they obdurately cling to their own view.  All of them put forward the same arguments in the same tone again and again.  When they find faults, the faults are invariably those of other people. They do not have the capacity to understand their own mistakes. (pg.86)

Chapter VII -The case of the missing hair at Hazratbal.

7.4 – I must frankly state that there is a kind of Hindu who is always terrified when he thinks of Muslims. (pg.88)

7.5 – The real obstacle in the way of secular integration is the vast gulf that separates the intelligentsia of the two communities. An intellectual minority always helps to shape the rest of the society on proper lines. (pg.89)

7.6 – As long as such a vital difference exists between the mental make-ups of the two communities, Hindu-Muslim tensions are not likely to abate. I think this difference between the two communities is in the nature of a disparity of cultural levels. (pg.90)

7.7 – As modern men, we do not rely on religion for deriving our concept of social conscience.  Our social conscience is inherent in the democratic system of government we have accepted. (pg.93) Muslim opposition to secular Integration : Nature, Causes and Remedies

7.8 – Secularism in India, although embodied in the Constitution, is as yet only an aspiration. It has not yet permeated our social life. (pg.94)

7.9 – Muslims who are today leaders of political parties such as the Right Communist but like Mr.Mohammed Illiyar of West Bengal are proven communalists, must be exposed. (pg.97)

8 – Chapter VIII – Humanistic Modernism the only solution

8.1 – (The orthodox Hindu) stages an agitation against the proposed removal of the word ‘Hindu’ from Benares University, and secures the support of the Muslim League. He would start an agitation for a ban on cow slaughter and Muslim communalists would support even that. For when they support him on such issues, both of them can establish a united front against Mr.Chagla, and then the Muslim communalist would also be left free to stage nationwide agitations for re-display of the prophet’s lost hair.  He can bully critics of the Prophet.  In short he  will always turn Hindu revivalism to his own benefit. (pg. 104)

9 – Chapter IX – Indian Muslims at the Crossroad

9.1 – One line of thinking was that as Muslims were denied recognition as a political entity enjoying parity with the majority, they were left with no alternative to establishing a state of their own.  Others thought that in a united India Muslims all over the subcontinent were bound to remain perpetually at the mercy of the Hindu community. (pg.111)

9.2 – Muslims who were to remain in India were called upon to sacrifice their security and welfare to ensure a glorious future for fellow Muslims who would constitute the majority in Pakistan. (pg.111)

9.3 – Whenever Muslims are in a majority they have refused to recognise the equal rights of non-Muslim minorities and where they are in a minority they have been generally reluctant to regard themselves as part and parcel of a non-religious nation. The recent revolts of Muslims in Philippines, Thailand and Ethiopia are merely expressions of the Muslim unwillingness to participate in a common social order on equal terms with others and this unwillingness is rooted in a long and deeply entrenched historical and religious tradition. (pg. 116)

9.4 – Even educated Muslims whose religious faith is often skin-deep rarely rise to a broad, humanist outlook. This sensitivity to human suffering as human suffering is as yet feeble. (pg.119)

9.5 – Surely the actual practice of the persons following a religion provides a much more reliable guide to its values than their professions. (pg.120)

9.6 – Gandhiji never asserted that Hindus were, as a matter of fact, tolerant. He only insisted that they should cultivate tolerance. (pg.120)

9.7 – If Muslims do not have the courage to confront these historical forces and the religious and social traditions which create and sustain them, they will be able to do very little to help their society to extricate itself from its present predicament. (pg-1 23)

10 – Chapter X – Failure of a Mission ?

10.1 – That is why also violence in India immediately calls forth condemnation by organized public opinion. (pg. 1 29)

10.2 – The difference between the two communities does not end here.  Wherever Muslims are in a majority, they have denied equal citizenship to non-Muslims. (pg.130)

10.3 – The fact that no major Hindu-Muslim riot has taken place in Pakistan after 1964 [East Pakistan i.e. today’s Bangladesh violence of 1964 when the Hindus fled to India] does not mean that the Muslims of Pakistan suddenly became secular after that year’s holocaust. Steady persecution of the Hindus and even of Muslims from what now is India has been going without allowing the facts to come out. Hindus are not now allowed to migrate to India without forfeiting their property to the Government. Nor are they allowed to sell their property except with the prior permission of the Government. (pg. 131)

11 – Chapter XI – The Meaning of Bangla Desh

11.1 – While attempting to create a nation of their own the Muslims only achieved their own political, social and cultural disintegration. (pg. 138)

11.2 – A nation is created with a purpose; Its existence cannot be taken for granted in the absence of a secular purpose shared by its constituents. The rulers of Pakistan never recognised this.  They took for granted the political unity, of all Muslims. (pg.139)

11.3 – Were Pakistan to disintegrate and become weaker, India would have no need to support the Arabs unconditionally in their fight against Israel. (pg.147)

11.4 – The greatest beneficiary of the disintegration of Pakistan would be India, and no Muslim nation would accept this with equanimity. (pg. 147)

11.5 – Nehru’s own views were sharply different from the two trends among the Hindus described above. He accepted as relevant India’s historical but not its religious traditions. (pg.150)


A veteran journalist and provocative publicist, Hamid Dalwai has long crusaded for a secular outlook among the new generation of Indian Muslims.  “…This young Muslim who has chosen to take his own religion to task for obstructing the way to successful secularism in India, has certain positive points which may not be ignored.  One has to applaud the courage…” -Hindustan Standard, Calcutta [Now Kolkata]

4. Muslim Politics in India, Hamid Dalwai, Nachiketa Publications, Bombay, 1968.

1 Response

  1. Face_The_Truth says:

    Indian Muslims’ fundamentalist views and practices for continuous Islamic communalism and Islamic riots on Indian “Hindus” have been encouraged and supported by Indian Communist Party operatives as well as by the Indian National Congress Party intelligentsia even before the Partition of Indian subcontinent.

    In fact, Indian Communist Party actively supported the creation of an exclusive Sunni Muslim Islamic State named “Pakistan” in 1947 A.D.

    From Indian historian Sita Ram Goel’s book “Defence of Hindu Society”, here I quote the following lines:

    ‘Twenty years ago I had been invited to a seminar on “Hurdles To Secularism”.

    There were four or five Muslim participants present in that seminar.

    One of them was a professor of Arabic from a leading university.

    Another was a lawyer well-known for his championing of all Communist and Islamic causes at all times.

    And then all of a sudden I saw some fireworks from the same silent and satisfied Islamic fraternity.

    They had all stood up, shaking with uncontrollable rage, and were shouting at the same time, “He is lying!”

    They were pointing their fingers at the gentleman who had been invited to speak by the president, and who had said only a few sentences.

    This was the late Hamid Umar Dalwai.

    I had heard of him.

    But this was the first time I saw him.

    He was a tall man with a slight stoop, a smiling face, and a rather relaxed self-possession.

    Hamid Umar Dalwai was saying,

    “All that has been said about Hindu communalism today is nothing new.

    We have heard it for the nth time.

    The intention of the working paper of this seminar, however, was to highlight for the first time what has so far been ignored by all progressive people who swear by Secularism.

    What I want to expose today is Muslim communalism which has already divided the motherland, and which is still strong enough to poison our body-politic.”

    Hamid Umar Dalwai continued:

    “Hindu society has produced many communalists.


    But it has also produced men like Mahatma Gandhi who went on a fast unto death to save the Muslims of Bihar from large-scale butchery.

    It has produced men like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who had the Bihari Hindus bombed from the air when Bihari Hindus did not respond to the Mahatma Gandhi’s call.

    These have not been isolated men in Hindu society, as Rafi Ahmad Kidwai and M.C. Chagla have been in Muslim society.

    The Mahatma was a leader whom the whole Hindu society honoured.

    Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has been kept as Prime Minister over all these years by a majority vote of the same Hindu society.

    “Now let me give you a sample of the leadership which Muslim society has produced so far, and in an ample measure.

    The foremost that comes to my mind is Liaqat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.

    Immediately after partition, there was a shooting in Sheikhupura in which many Hindus who were waiting for repatriation in a camp, were shot down.

    There was a great commotion in India, and Pandit Nehru had to take up the matter in his next weekly meeting with Liaqat Ali Khan in Lahore.

    The Prime Minister of Pakistan had brought the Deputy Commissioner of Sheikhupura with him.

    The officer explained that the Hindus had broken out of the camp at night in the midst of a curfew, and the police had to open fire.

    Pandit Nehru asked as to why the Hindus had broken out of the camp.

    The officer told him that some miscreants had set the camp on fire!

    Pandit Nehru protested to Liaqat Ali Khan that this was an amazing explanation!!!

    Liaqat Ali Khan replied without batting an eye that they had to maintain law and order.

    This exemplifies the quality of leadership which Muslim society has produced so far. This…”

    All hell now broke loose as the Islamic fraternity stood up again, and started shouting that they had not come to the seminar to be insulted by “a hired hoodlum of the RSS fascists”.

    As we walked out, I saw that the Hindu champions of Secularism avoided Hamid Umar Dalwai as if he was a snake.

    Hamid Umar Dalwai was trying to take leave of them by approaching each one of them with a smile still lingering on his face.

    I was the only Hindu who shook hands with him, and patted him on the back for the brave stand he had taken in the face of a rowdy opposition.’

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