At that time the South African government imposed an unjust tax of £ 3 on every Indian living in South Africa and Gandhi initiated talks with South African government on this matter. But the Muslims did not support this move and were displeased with Gandhi. In addition to that Gandhi, in one occasion,
Gandhi made some critical comments on Islam while he was speaking at a gathering. Furthermore, he tried to make a comparative estimate of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, which made the Muslims furious.
A few days later, on 10th February 1908, a group of Muslims under the leadership of a Pathan called Mir Alam entered Gandhi’s house and beat him mercilessly. When Gandhi fell on the ground the Muslim attackers kicked him right and left and beat him with sticks.
They also threatened to kill him. From this incident onward, Gandhi stopped to make any critical comment on Muslims as well as on Islam. According to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, this incident was a milestone in Gandhi’s life and afterwards Gandhi began to over look even the most heinous crime committed by the Muslims.
An example would help the reader to understand the matter. On 23rd December 1926, a Muslim assassin called Abdul Rashid stabbed Swami Shraddhananda to death, when the swami was ill and lying on his bed. The reader may recall that Swami Shraddhananda was a pracharak (whole time worker) of Arya Samaj and he started a Suddhai Yajna to bring the converted Muslims of this country back to Hinduism.
But his activity was detested by the Muslims. A couple of months earlier a Muslim woman came to the Swami and expressed her desire to return to Hinduism with her children. However her husband brought an allegation of abduction in the court of law against the Swami. But the court quashed the allegation and set the Swami free. The incident turned the Muslims extremely furious and within a few days Abdul Rashid assassinated him.
After a few days of this incident, Gandhi went to Gauhati to deliver his speech at the national conference of Indian National Congress. The atmosphere was depressed and gloomy due to unusual death of Shraddhananda.
But Gandhi made everyone dumbfounded and began his speech by addressing the assassin Abdul Rashid as “Bhai Abdul Rashid”. Without caring for the reaction of the listeners, he continued, “Now you will perhaps understand why I have called Abdul Rashid a brother,
and I repeat it. I do not even regard him as guilty of Swami’s murder. Guilty indeed are those who excited feeling of hatred against one another.” Thus he indirectly held Swami Shraddhananda responsible for his murder, as he was propagating hatred through his Suddhi Yajna.
Moreover, he wrote in the obituary note, “He (the Swami) lived a hero. He died a hero.” In other words, if a Hindu falls victim to the knife of a Muslim’s assassin, Hindus should consider it a heroic death.
It should be pointed out here that the said policy of Muslim appeasement originated by Gandhi, under the garb of (pseudo) secularism was responsible for the Partition of the country in 1947. Many of our countrymen, still today, firmly believe that Gandhi was against partition as in the public meetings, he used to say, “Vivisect me, before you vivisect India”.
When he was saying this in public meetings, he was expressing just the opposite view through his writings. The reader may recall that, on March 26, 1940, the leaders of the Muslim League raised the issue of creation of Pakistan as a separate homeland for them. Hardly a couple of weeks later, supporting demand, Gandhi wrote, “Like other group of people in this country, Muslims also have the right of self determination.
We are living here as a joint family and hence any member has the right to get separated.” (Harijan, April 6, 1940). A couple of years later, he also wrote, “If majority of the Muslims of this country maintain that they are a different nation and there is nothing common with the Hindus and other communities, there is no force on the earth that can alter their view. And if on that basis, they demand partition that must be carried out. If Hindus dislike it, they may oppose it”, (Harijan, April 18, 1942).
The reader should also recall that the Congress Working Committee, in its session on June 12, 1947, decided to place the partition issue to be placed before the All India Congress Committee (AICC) for a debate and the AICC approved the issue in its session held on June 14-15, 1947.
In the beginning of the debate, veteran Congress leaders like Purusottamdas Tandon, Govindaballav Panth, Chaitram Gidwani and Dr S Kichlu etc. placed their very convincing speeches against the motiom. Then Gandhi, setting aside all other speakers, spoke for 45 minutes supporting partition. The main theme of his deliberation was that, if Congress did not accept partition (1) other group of people or leaders would avail the opportunity and throw the Congress out of power and (2) a chaotic situation would prevail throughout the country. Many believe that, in the name of ‘chaotic condition’, he tacitly asked the Muslims to begin countrywide communal riot, if the Congress did not accept the partition. Till then, Sardar Ballavbhat Patel was on the fence regarding the partition. But Gandhi’s speech turned him into a firm supporter of partition and he influenced other confused members to support the issue. In this way, Congress approved the partition issue (History of Freedom Movement in India, R C Majumdar, Vol-III, p-670).
It may appear to many that, up to partition, Gandhi’s policy of nonviolence and Muslim appeasement in the name of secularism indeed harmed the country a lot. But a close look will reveal, it has done severe damage even after partition, or to speak the truth, it is causing serious damage even today. During independence, the Muslim population in undivided India was 23 per cent and this 23 per cent Muslims, got 32 per cent land area as Pakistan. The most appropriate step after partition was to carry out population transfer, or send the entire Muslim population of the divided India to Pakistan and bring all Hindus from Pakistan to India. This population transfer was included in the proposal for Pakistan by the Muslim League and after communal riot in Bihar, M A Jinnah requested the Government of India to carry out population transfer as early as possible. But Gandhi was hell bent not to undertake out the process and said that it was an impractical and fictitious proposal.
Mount Batten, the then Governor General of India, was a staunch supporter of the said population exchange and advised Jawaharlal Nehru to do the same without delay. But Nehru submitted to the will of Gandhi and refrained from doing so. It is needless to say that, from the practical point of view, the said population exchange was urgently necessary and had it been carried out at that time, many problems of today would not have arisen. But due to the policy of Muslim appeasement of Gandhi, Muslims happily stayed back in this country, while Hindus had no alternative but to come to India as refugees or penniless beggars.
Many of us perhaps do not know that due to strong opposition by Gandhi, “Bande Mataram” could not be accepted as the National Anthem” of this country. In his early life, Gandhi had a great affinity for the song and while he was in South Africa, he wrote “It is nobler in sentiment and sweeter than the songs of other nations. While other anthems contain sentiments that are derogatory to others, Bande Mataram is quite free from such faults. Its only aim is to arouse in us a sense of patriotism. It regards India as the mother and sings her praise.” But later on when he could discover that the Muslims dislike the song, he at once stopped singing or reciting the same at public places. Hence ultimately the “Jana Mana Gana” was selected as the National Anthem. During the debate over the matter in the Constituent Assembly, Nehru argued that Bande Mataram is not suitable to sing along with military band while Jana Gana Mana is free from this difficulty.
In the present context, it should also be pointed out that Gandhi was not pleased with Tri Color, the National Flag of today’s India because the Muslims disliked the same. In this regard, Sri Nathuram Godse has narrated an incident in his “Why I Assassinated Gandhi”, which deserves to be noted in this context. During his Noakhali tour in 1946, a Congress worker put a tricolor over the temporary house where Gandhi was staying. One day an ordinary Muslim passer by objected to it and Gandhi immediately ordered his men to bring flag down. So, to please an ordinary Muslim, Gandhi did not hesitate to disgrace and dishonor the flag revered by millions of Congress workers. (pp-75-76). It should also be pointed out here that in his early life, Gahdhi was very fond of the Hindi language and used to say that it was the only language having the potentiality to play the role of the national language. But to please the Muslim, he, later on tried his best to make Urdu, under the garb of Hindustani, the National Language of India. (Koenrad Elst, Gandhi and Godse, Voice of India, p – 89).
A few months before the partition, when Hindu and Sikh refugees started to come from West Punjab in droves and crowding the refugee camps of Delhi, one day Gandhi visited a refugee camp and said, “Hindus should never be angry against the Muslims even if the latter might make up their minds to undo their (Hindus’) existence. If they put all of us to the sword, we should court death bravely. … We are destined to be born and die, then why need we feel gloomy over it?” (speech delivered on April 6, 1947
In a similar occasion he said, “The few gentlemen from Rawalpindi who called upon me, asked me, “What about those who still remain in Pakistan?” I asked, why they all came here (Delhi)? Why they did not die there? I still hold on to the belief that we should stick to the place where we happen to live, even if we are cruelly treated, and even killed. Let us die if the people kill us, but we should die bravely with the name of God on our tongue.” He also said, “Even if our men are killed, why should we feel angry with anybody? You should realize that even if they are killed, they have had a good and proper end” (speech delivered on November 23, 1947)
In this context, Gandhi also said, “If those killed have died bravely, they have not lost anything but earned something. … They should not be afraid of death. After all, the killers will be none other than our Muslim brothers.” (Shri Nathuram Godse, Why I Assassinated Gandhi, p-92,93; as quoted by Koenrad Elst in Gandhi versus Godse, Voice of India, p-121). In another occasion when he was talking to a group of refugees, said, “If all the Punjabis were to die to the last man without killing (a single Muslim), Punjab will be immortal. Offer yourselves as nonviolent willing sacrifices.” (Collins and Lapierre, Freedom at Midnight, p-385). There is no doubt that if someone reads all these utterances of Gandhi, he would take him either a fool or a lunatic, but we are worshiping him as a Mahatma or a Great Soul.
Gandhi believed that Muslims were brothers of the Hindus and hence they should never take arms or wage a war against the Muslims. He used to say that the foreign policy of independent India should always be respectful to Islam and the Muslims. Moreover, independent India should never invade a Muslim country like Arabia, Turkey etc. Gandhi also said that Rana Pratap, Guru Govinda Singh, Raja Ranjit Singh and Raja Shivaji were misguided patriots because they fought war with the Muslims. In his eyes Goerge Washington, Garibaldi, Kamal Pasha, D Valera, Lenin etc. were misguided patriots as they encouraged violence.
Gandhi’s utterances painting respected Hindu heroes as misguided patriots aroused widespread commotion among the Hindus. Most importantly, calling Raja Shivaji a misguided patriots put entire Maharastra on boil. Later on, Nehru could pacify their anger partially by begging apology on behalf of Gandhi.
The Muslims whenever attack a Hindu settlement, they, in addition killing innocent people, setting their houses on fire, loot and burglary as their routine work, rape Hindu women. It is evident that, they commit all such oppressions according to the instructions of the Koran, revealed by Allah. During the Muslim rule that lasted for nearly 800 years, raping Hindu women became a common affair. To save their honour and sanctity from the lecherous Muslims, millions of Hindu women used to sacrific their lives in flames. In the wake of partition most of the Hindu families became victims of Muslim oppression and raping Hindu women was an inseparable part of their attacks. When Hindus were butchered in Noakhali in 1946, thousands of Hindu women were raped by the Muslims.
Many Hindus of this country do not know, what Gandhi, the Great Soul and the Apostle of nonviolence, thought about this behavior of the Muslims. In the 6th July, 1926, edition of the Navajivan, Gandhi wrote that “He would kiss the feet of the (Muslim) violator of the modesty of a sister” (Mahatma Gandhi, D Keer, Popular Prakashan, p-473). Just before the partition, both Hindu and Sikh women were being raped by the Muslims in large numbers. Gandhi advised them that if a Muslim expressed his desire to rape a Hindu or a Sikh lady, she should never refuse him but cooperate with him. She should lie down like a dead with her tongue in between her teeth. Thus the rapist Muslim will be satisfied soon and sooner he leave her. (D Lapierre and L Collins, Freedom at Midnight, Vikas, 1997, p-479).
From the above narrations, it becomes evident that Gandhi was never moved by the sufferings and miseries of the Hindus and, on the contrary, he used to shed tears for the Muslims. His idea of Hindu-Muslim amity was also extremely biased and prejudiced. Only Hindus are supposed to make all sacrifices for it and they should endure all the oppressions and heinous crimes of the Muslims without protest. And that was the basis of Gandhian nonviolence and secularism. So a Muslim called Khlifa Haji Mehmud of Lurwani, Sind, once said “Gandhi was really a Mohammedan” (D Keer, ibid, p-237).