Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Two-Nation Theory Lives

The 2014 Lok Sabha elections were one of the most polarized in history with every social group except Muslims clearly backing now Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 1947, India was partitioned on the basis of the two-nation theory; but while Pakistan accepted it as the basis for its formation, India rejected it. It is ironic then that while Pakistan actually proves the theory as being wholly incorrect, it is in India that it is being proven true and that too by parties that claim to believe in so-called secularism, a much-maligned term that has come to be synonymous with appeasement.

Arun Shourie probably summed up the situation the best - "Fifty years ago, calling a Muslim a Muslim was considered communal; today, calling a Muslim an Indian is communal." The Congress-led UPA, in the last ten years, has sowed and nurtured the seeds of the two-nation theory once again in the country. From special provisions to separate financial allocations, no stone has been left untouched. Possibly the worst of this has been the rewriting of Indian history, with murderous tyrants like Aurangzeb becoming saints, festivals celebrated by all people of India becoming Hindu festivals and a uniform civil code becoming against the interests of Muslims and not an aim of the state, as the writers of the Constitution had envisioned.

Much damage has been done to India by the rebirth of the Two-Nation Theory. It manifested in the words uttered after the BJP's stupendous victory came with the lowest Muslim representation in the Lok Sabha in recent times. The idea that Muslims alone can represent Muslims and the fact that there are so few of them in this Lok Sabha somehow attests to the death of a secular nation is a classic proposition of separate electorates, an integral component of the Two-Nation Theory. In fact, it was the firm rejection of this proposition by the Congress itself that eventually led to Partition. Now, this demand has once again gained currency despite the fact that the election was free and fair.

The sad truth is that, while this election possibly pulled India back from the brink of doom, it has clearly shown that we are destined to another Partition in the future. Muslims, a large majority, clearly do not see their future in an India where they are treated as equals. This might sound harsh, but it is apparent that the so-called secular parties have proved that a secular India is no longer possible.

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