Islamic Terrorism in India

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Mahatma Gandhi: Hindus should die cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them

Posted by jagoindia on March 5, 2009

Gandhi: The Father of Hindu Genocide

Scroll down the Link:

Mahatma Gandhi on Muslim massacres of Hindus and Sikhs: “I would tell the Hindus to face death cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them. I would be a real sinner if after being stabbed I wished in my last moment that my son should seek revenge. I must die without rancour. … You may turn round and ask whether all Hindus and all Sikhs should die. Yes, I would say. Such martyrdom will not be in vain.”

He criticised refugees fleeing the Pakistani jihad, and told them to go back and die: “I am grieved to learn that people are running away from the West Punjab and I am told that Lahore is being evacuated by the non-Muslims. I must say that this is what it should not be. If you think Lahore is dead or is dying, do not run away from it, but die with what you think is the dying Lahore.”

Here are two more related articles

Muslim Appeasement: The Guiding Path of Gandhi
by V. Sundaram

Gandhi’s Experiment With Islam And Why It Failed

Posted in Appeasement, Hindus, India, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Mahatma Gandhi, Pakistan, Terrorism | 12 Comments »

When India nearly lost Assam to Pakistan

Posted by jagoindia on September 4, 2008

When India nearly lost Assam to Pakistan
Assam became a part of the Indian Union only after a tug-of-war between the Congress and Muslim League.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah made strong claims for the state’s inclusion in Pakistan but tenacious opposition from the Congress leadership in the state with Mahatma Gandhi’s direct support saved Assam from joining Pakistan.

The Assam Congress’s determined opposition ensured that the arrangement did not take off. The Cabinet Mission may have sought to preserve the unity of India, but it compromised with the Muslim League on the inclusion of Assam, a Hindu majority province, in Pakistan.

In February 1946, Pethic Lawrence, the then secretary of state for India, circulated a note on the viability of Pakistan. In the note, he mentioned that Assam, due to economic, defence and financial considerations, was to form part of East Pakistan.

The Assamese were aghast and felt this was a clever British ploy to keep their commercial interests intact. The Cabinet Mission sought to camouflage its real intention by keeping the grouping clause vague and created an impression that they were not serious about exerting pressure on Assam in consonance with the Muslim League’s demand.

On May 16 1946, the Cabinet Mission recommended that Assam and Bengal be tagged together to frame the provisional constitutions for the provinces.

The Mission laid stress on provincial autonomy and viewed that every province be constituted on a linguistic and cultural basis. The recommendation came by despite the appearance of Assam Premier Gopinath Bardoloi before the Mission.

Assam, Bardoloi said, had always been a separate state with a distinctive identity and must be allowed to remain in India under a provincial status.

However, Saadullah, leader of the Muslim League in the Assam assembly, suggested that the province could be attached to Bengal. This helped Lawrence in forming a belief that Assam had such a close connection with Bengal that its separation from Bengal was impossible.

The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee was taken aback to find the Cabinet Mission toeing Saadullah’s line by tagging Assam along with Bengal.

The APCC felt that small provinces like Assam would be forced to accept a dispensation which would largely be determined by the majority of another province.
But the Congress leadership seemed to treat Assam’s case on a low key. It perhaps apprehended that taking up the issue at that stage might result in confusion and a stalemate of the larger priority of India’s freedom.

It was thanks to Gandhi’s support that the Congress Working Committee adopted a more responsible attitude to the Assam problem.

At one point, Gandhi even suggested to a Congress delegation from Assam that they leave the party if the CWC did not support its stand. “Satyagraha Karo Congress se,” Gandhi told the Assam Congressmen.

Ultimately, it was to Bardoloi’s credit that Assam saw the collapse of the arrangement. He successfully organised a movement on behalf of the province because he was convinced that once Assam committed itself to grouping, it would be impossible to extricate from it later.


Posted in Assam, India, Mahatma Gandhi, Pakistan, State | Leave a Comment »

Gandhi’s absolute pacific caused a lot of violence in India

Posted by jagoindia on August 6, 2008

For full article click below

The varieties of pacifism: (Part I)–Gandhi’s absolutism

Wednesday, September 28, 2005,

I had grown up hating and fearing war. As a woman, I knew I’d never be forced to fight one. But at the same time I certainly knew that I would and could (and, during the Vietnam War, did) have loved ones who would probably eventually fight in one.

The dilemmas inherent in deciding whether a war was just or not became familiar to me, both in the abstract and personally. How did I resolve them? You might say that, originally, when quite young, I had a sort of pacifist ideal; I just wanted us to “all get along.”

But even back then I realized there was a flaw; I hadn’t a clue as to how that might actually happen. The United Nations of my early youth was an early hope, but I soon began to realize that it was at best impotent (and later, at worst, counterproductive). It could not prevent conflict after conflict from happening. I was a post-WWII child, and it seemed clear to me that Hitler could not have been deterred by any human forces known to me–whether it be the power of love or that of the international courts–and those who thought otherwise seemed hopelessly, naively, and dangerously foolish.

Absolute pacifism–the most extreme form–eschews war in any guise. And what would absolute pacifism have suggested as a response to the Holocaust? Many years later I came across Gandhi’s answer, in an essay he wrote in 1938 advising the Jews on the subject of what to do about Hitler. In it, he sets out the case in unequivocal terms; and clearly, he understands that the Jews face grave dangers:

…the German persecution of the Jews seems to have no parallel in history. The tyrants of old never went so mad as Hitler seems to have gone. And he is doing it with religious zeal. For he is propounding a new religion of exclusive and militant nationalism in the name of which any inhumanity becomes an act of humanity to be rewarded here and hereafter. The crime of an obviously mad but intrepid youth is being visited upon his whole race with unbelievable ferocity. If there ever could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity, a war against Germany, to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race, would be completely justified.

So, Gandhi recognizes that, if ever a war would be justified, this is the war. And here is the Gandhian pacifist answer, that of the absolute pacifist–a non-negotiable and rigid faith that makes such justification impossible:

But I do not believe in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is therefore outside my horizon or province.

So for Gandhi, whatever the question, “war is not the answer.”

And what is? He wrote:

Germany is showing to the world how efficiently violence can be worked when it is not hampered by any hypocrisy or weakness masquerading as humanitarianism. It is also showing how hideous, terrible and terrifying it looks in its nakedness.

Can the Jews resist this organized and shameless persecution? Is there a way to preserve their self-respect, and not to feel helpless, neglected and forlorn? I submit there is…If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German may, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this, I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance but would have confidence that in the end the rest are bound to follow my example. If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than now. And suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy which no number of resolutions of sympathy passed in the world outside Germany can. Indeed, even if Britain, France and America were to declare hostilities against Germany, they can bring no inner joy, no inner strength. The calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews by way of his first answer to the declaration of such hostilities. But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant. For to the godfearing death has no terror. It is a joyful sleep to be followed by a waking that would be all the more refreshing for the long sleep.

When I read this passage of Gandhi’s, I experience a profound weariness. I have long felt that religions focusing on the transient nature of life on earth and emphasizing instead the glory of the world to come, although giving much comfort and joy to their adherents, run the risk of exhibiting just this sort of thing: a callous disregard of suffering in the here and now (not that they inevitably fall into that trap, of course).

Here Gandhi, with what I believe were the best intentions, does just that. He is casually suggesting the Jews use his method of satyagraha (which he developed and honed against the far milder British) against the Nazis, an example of an attitude that can at best be called naive, and at worst, fatally flawed. The transformative power of nonviolent non-cooperation was something Gandhi had, quite literally, staked his life on, and it was an article of faith to him that it could (and should!) be applied universally. If it could save the Jews, fine. But if not, then at least they would be massacred while doing the right thing. It almost sounds as though, to Gandhi, one result would be nearly as good as the other,and that makes me shudder.

A belief that powerful can’t be argued with; it simply is. This is the case with absolute pacifism; it lies beyond the realm of logic and argument, and is an article of faith. But if one tries to imagine that somehow, all six million Jews–men, women, and children–had somehow complied with what Gandhi suggested, what would have been the result? He says their action would either have wakened the respect of the Germans and they would have been spared, or it would have stirred up German anger and they would have been killed on the spot. My guess is that German reaction would have resembled the latter far more than the former, although there is no way to know for certain.

However, it’s a moot question, and not just because the Holocaust is over and done with. It’s a moot question because no people on the face of the earth could be expected to sustain that sort of response in the face of such danger. So Gandhi’s premise would be impossible to test. His suggestion shows a profound lack of understanding of human nature, and is an example of where idealism can take us–to what appears to be an absurdity, and a dangerous one at that, well-meaning though it may be.

All great visionaries are extremists, and Gandhi was no exception. By the sheer force of his personality he managed to hold together a movement against the British that ended up with a measure of success in terms of winning Indian independence. But that initial success was followed by the unleashing of internal forces of violence of such an extreme nature that they dwarfed any outrages the British had committed in India. When partition (which Gandhi had opposed) occurred, the country was already on the brink of a turmoil that erupted into a series of massacres which killed at least a million or more, although the true figures will never be known. Gandhi’s methods were utterly powerless against the violence between Moslem and Hindu, as opposed to his relative success against the British colonial authorities.

Gandhi was not only extremist, he was utterly consistent as well. I was shocked to learn that what he had earlier recommended for the Jews in the face of Hitler, he also applied to his own people on partition: that they surrender themselves to death. In this article by Dr. Koenraad Elst, a Belgian scholar on India, the author discusses a number of mistakes he feels Gandhi made. Elst writes:

Gandhi refused to see the realities of human nature; of Islamic doctrine with its ambition of domination; of the modern mentality with its resentment of autocratic impositions; of people’s daily needs making them willing to collaborate with the rulers in exchange for career and business opportunities; of the nationalism of the Hindus who would oppose the partition of their Motherland tooth and nail; of the nature of the Pakistani state as intrinsically anti-India and anti-Hindu.

In most of these cases, Gandhi’s mistake was not his pacifism per se…The Khilafat pogroms revealed one of the real problems with his pacifism: all while riding a high horse and imposing strict conformity with the pacifist principle, he indirectly provoked far more violence than was in his power to control. Other leaders of the freedom movement, such as Annie Besant and Lala Lajpat Rai, had warned him that he was playing with fire, but he preferred to obey his suprarational “inner voice”.

The fundamental problem with Gandhi’s pacifism, not in the initial stages but when he had become the world-famous leader of India’s freedom movement (1920-47), was his increasing extremism. All sense of proportion had vanished when he advocated non-violence not as a technique of moral pressure by a weaker on a stronger party, but as a form of masochistic surrender…

During his prayer meeting on 1 May 1947, he prepared the Hindus and Sikhs for the anticipated massacres of their kind in the upcoming state of Pakistan with these words: “I would tell the Hindus to face death cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them. I would be a real sinner if after being stabbed I wished in my last moment that my son should seek revenge. I must die without rancour. You may turn round and ask whether all Hindus and all Sikhs should die. Yes, I would say. Such martyrdom will not be in vain.” (Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, vol.LXXXVII, p.394-5) It is left unexplained what purpose would be served by this senseless and avoidable surrender to murder.

Even when the killing had started, Gandhi refused to take pity on the Hindu victims, much less to point fingers at the Pakistani aggressors. More importantly for the principle of non-violence, he failed to offer them a non-violent technique of countering and dissuading the murderers. Instead, he told the Hindu refugees from Pakistan to go back and die. On 6 August 1947, Gandhiji commented to Congress workers on the incipient communal conflagration in Lahore thus: “I am grieved to learn that people are running away from the West Punjab and I am told that Lahore is being evacuated by the non-Muslims. I must say that this is what it should not be. If you think Lahore is dead or is dying, do not run away from it, but die with what you think is the dying Lahore…”

This is absolute pacifism run amok; as Elst writes, “a form of masochistic surrender.” There is an ancient Talmudic saying: “He who is kind to the cruel ends up being cruel to the kind.” The fact that in Gandhi’s efforts to stop violence “he indirectly provoked far more violence than was in his power to control” is a good example of that principle in action.

Gandhi is venerated by peace activists worldwide. I wonder whether they have studied his actual words, or the real-world consequences of his actions. If they did, would they still emulate and revere him?

[ADDENDUM: I decided to move this passage of mine up from the comments section. I wrote it in response to a commenter who asked what would have happened had the Jews resisted the Nazi roundups:

If you study the history of what the Nazis actually did, they practiced all sorts of clever deceptions to make sure the people they were rounding up did not know what was happening. There were told they were being relocated, and to pack bags, and many believed them. The entire roundup apparatus was geared to maintaining the deception to the bitter end, including the false showers at the death camps, in order to forestall any chance of rebellion. In additon, as many have pointed out, there were many women, children, and old people involved, and the populace, unlike that of the US, was not armed. Furthermore–and this is also of the utmost importance to remember–where would they have gone, even if they had been successful? Remember that Jews who managed to flee were turned back in droves, into the arms of the Nazis. Most of Europe would not accept them, nor would the US, and they were not even able to go to Israel (see the film “Exodus,” which contains a fictionalized version of some real incidents of this nature where ships were turned back to certain death). This fact is one of the main reasons the world later allowed the founding of Israel.

One likes to think there was a way out. It would have required 20/20 hindsight, perfect organization, knowledge, arms, and a safe haven–none of which were possible. As for awakening the German conscience–another nice dream, I’m afraid. Although the Germans (like the Jews) were not especially aware of death camps at the time, they witnessed and participated in terrible persecutions of Jews on a daily basis, mostly with no pangs of conscience whatsoever. It is hard and painful to look back and see how truly evil the behavior was, even without the death camps, but it was.]


At 1:43 PM, September 28, 2005, Blogger Dymphna said…
Astute, Neo, as usual.

Gandhi’s methods only work against an adversary who believes in the worth of the individual and values human liberty. They definitely do *not* work against fascists of any kind, be they Muslims, Nazis, Communists, or tyrants of any stripe.

I sometimes think Gandhi painted himself into a corner and because of pride couldn’t — simply could not admit he’d done any such thing. So he was stuck there.

In the Christian gospels, the term to “turn the other cheek” meant that you could be passive in the face of someone else’s fury if you chose to, but it was a choice. It didn’t have to go any further than that. Turning the cheek did not imply also putting one’s head on the chopping block. A lot of damage has been done by taking that out of context. “Laying down your life for your friends” is not in the same category as giving your life to your enemies — a step which is nihilistic at best.

Going to meet death with courage or resignation is different — e.g., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who brought about his own demise by publicly condemning the Nazis; or the Italian journalist who defied his jihadist executors at the moment of death.

I look forward to your essay on the Friends.

Posted in Jews, Mahatma Gandhi, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Gandhi’s Way Isn’t the American Way: Collective suicide is no foreign policy

Posted by jagoindia on July 19, 2008

Full article by Fred Thompson is here. The relevant part is below:

At what point is it okay to fight dictators like Saddam or the al Qaeda terrorists who want to take his place?

It turns out that the answer, according to Gandhi, is NEVER. During World War II, Gandhi penned an open letter to the British people, urging them to surrender to the Nazis. Later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives as they did in Warsaw and Treblinka. “The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife,” he said. “They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.” “Collective suicide,” he told his biographer, “would have been heroism.”

The so-called peace movement certainly has the right to make Gandhi’s way their way, but their efforts to make collective suicide American foreign policy just won’t cut it in this country.  When American’s think of heroism, we think of the young American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking their lives to prevent another Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein.

Gandhi probably wouldn’t approve, but I can live with that.

— Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.

Posted in Jews, Mahatma Gandhi, Terrorism, United States of America | 1 Comment »

All you want to know about terrorism in India

Posted by jagoindia on June 15, 2008

All you want to know about terrorism in India
Dr Anil A Athale,  June 11, 2008
After the Jaipur terror attacks on May 13, we saw the routine that happens after every attack. There were VIP visits, compensation announced to the victims, politicians spoke of ‘zero tolerance’, television channels held the usual debates, the police announced imminent breakthroughs. Soon everything is forgotten, till the next terror attack. At which time, I am sure the same sequence will be repeated.
I have been a student of insurgency and terrorism for 24 years. At social gatherings when asked what I do for a living, my answer invariably provokes a flurry of questions, much to the annoyance of my better half (who glares and hints that I should stop holding forth on my pet topic and not ‘spoil’ the party). Here is my attempt to answer some of those frequently asked questions.

Why are attacks by Islamic groups called Islamist terrorism? Other terror groups like the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) or the IRA (Irish Republican Army) have Hindus or Christians but are not called Hindu or Christian terrorists?

It is undoubtedly true that there are other terrorists as well, for instance the Naxalites or Maoists. The reason why the adjective ‘Islamists’ is used is that no other terror group invokes religious sanction or quotes religious texts to justify their acts. In fact, the Tamil Tigers has Hindus as well as Christians (their spokesperson for many years was Anton Balasingham, a Christian). Neither has the IRA nor Tamil Tigers ever quoted any religious scriptures to justify their actions, the Islamists have and continue to do so. The link between religious places and schools to these acts, is also well established.

Finally, the Islamist terrorists themselves have time and again openly admitted the religious nature of their ultimate goal — Islamisation. It would be dishonest if this reality is ignored.

What about State terrorism?

It is true that the State also uses force to deal with revolts and violence and against criminals. But in a democracy with a judiciary and rule of law, the use of force by the State is accountable and has to be within the bounds of law. At times individuals do transgress those limits, but those are aberrations. Use of force by a State to enforce law cannot be equated with State terrorism, unless that State has a policy of genocide or is dictatorial like Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union.

Unfortunately social activists and champions of human rights forget that it is the legitimate function of the State to use force. If the State abdicates this responsibility then we are inviting anarchy and in words of Hobbes, a 16th century English philosopher, a situation of war of every one against every one and human life ‘nasty, brutish and short.’

You are biased, what about the terrorism of the Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal etc?

These are indeed organisations that believe in violent means and must be dealt under the law. But at worst, these are extremists and militants, like militant trade unions for example. The shallow coverage by the media has created the confusion about definition of terrorism and who is a terrorist. There is tendency to lump together terms like militants, insurgents, extremists, fundamentalists and terrorists.

While all the variety of people fighting for some cause or other may at times indulge in terrorism, a terrorist is one whose primary aim is to cause maximum destruction. In that sense strictly speaking, when a Kashmiri extremist attacks a soldier, it is wrong to call it a terrorist attack, it is part of an insurgency. We must be clear about this difference.

A terrorist is an individual who carries out a terrorist act. A terrorist act is one in which totally unconnected persons are targeted and killed. Terrorism is random violence that makes no distinction between people and promotes fear. It is no accident that in the Jaipur attack as well as elsewhere, many Muslims lost their lives.

It is a fallacy to claim that everything is fair in love and war. Even in war there are written and unwritten rules. The terrorists do not follow them. For instance in war, civilians are not deliberately targeted (they still die as collateral damage) while terrorists, for instance in Beslan in Russia [Images] chose a school or local trains in Mumbai.

While there are groups and organisations that are militant, fundamentalist and violence prone, they have not yet graduated to earn the ‘terrorist’ tag. If the State fails to curb minority terrorism then the majority may well begin to have its own terrorist organisations.

If we use violence against terrorists then are we not betraying our Gandhian legacy?

Gandhian methods of non-violent struggle were successful against the British colonialists. But the British were a civilised people. British liberals like Edmund Burke were in favour of Indian independence as early as in 1773 (Burke’s speeches in the British parliament on the Regulating Act). To assume universality of success of these methods for all times to come is false.

Did the non-violent Jews survive Hitler? Closer home, in Gandhi’s lifetime itself, in October 1947, it was force that saved the Kashmir valley from Pakistani-backed raiders. Even more telling, the same non-violent movement in the Portuguese colony of Goa [Images], failed in 1956-1957. Goa was liberated by force in 1961.

An oft quoted Gandhian phrase is that if all were to follow an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth, then the world would go blind. The counter to that is that if only some follow this and others don’t then it is the non-violent who would go blind while the rogues will rule the world.

Part II: How India can win the war on terror

Colonel Dr Anil Athale (retd) is former joint director, war studies, ministry of defence, and co-ordinator of the Pune-based Initiative for Peace and Disarmament

Posted in Hindus, Islam, Islamization, Islamofascism, Mahatma Gandhi, Muslims, Must read article, Terrorism | 1 Comment »

Why Gandhi’s experiment with Islam failed?

Posted by jagoindia on June 6, 2008

Gandhi’s experiment with Islam and why it failed

by Hindu Woman

When India ‘s independence struggle was at its height Gandhi realized that independence cannot come about by the efforts of the Hindus alone. Muslims too must be involved in the struggle. It is important to note that Muslim separation or Hindu involvement in the national movement is not a simple monochromatic affair. There were some Muslims already in the fold and many Hindus who supported the British rule. However Gandhi decided to bring in the Muslim masses and particularly their religious leaders. This led to the Khilafat Movement of 1919-24. Gandhi and led by him the Indian National Congress joined hands with the religious group knows as Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind. This was Gandhi’s experiment with orthodox Islam and it was a spectacular failure.

The demands of the Jamiat were simple. In Turkey the Caliph (the supreme religious ruler who was also the temporal authority) was being repeatedly threatened by the Young Turks who were Republican Nationalists. The power of the British in Turkey had rendered the Ottoman Caliphs subservient to British interests. However since the Caliph was also a religious figure, the Jamiat wanted the power of the Caliph to be restored to the full and all republican movement to be stopped. It claimed that the Caliph was the true ruler of all Muslims everywhere; therefore the Muslims must restore him; in the process they must oppose the British who had weakened the Caliph’s authority is such a manner and allowed secular forces to take over. The Jamiat therefore proposed an alliance with the Congress to fight the British in India . Without realizing the implications Gandhi agreed to join the ‘restore Caliph’ movement. Thus the Jamiat’s entry into Indian national movement had nothing to do with India , but everything to do with a faraway country. Even more importantly it had nothing to do with Hindus, Christians, Parsis or secular Muslims — in short it had no interest in the welfare of Indians as such; the Jamiat cared only for the religion of Islam. That was the first mistake Gandhi made: he believed that the movement would bring Hindus and Muslims closer; but since the primary focus of the movement was on Islam (the independence struggle being a side-dish), such an alliance cannot last. When finally Ataturk by a coup took over Turkish government and secularized it, the movement came to an end. But it did nothing for Hindu-Muslim friendship.

For the sake of Hindu-Muslim alliance Gandhi continued to make compromise after compromise, but ultimately the alliance collapsed. It collapsed because of several reasons and because Gandhi did not think things through. He was not interested in Turkey but according to his own words wanted to buy Muslim friendship. He also believed that the British were truly oppressing the Muslims everywhere. The problem was that Gandhi simply did not understand the mindset of Islamic leaders he was dealing with.

(i) In the first place, the Jamiat presented the image of a Christian war against Muslims in the regions of Ottoman Empire . But this is a misreading based on their religious prejudices. What was happening in the Balkans and Arabia were nationalist movements. The Arab colonies though Muslims were in revolt against the Ottoman rulers because they wanted national states. Secondly the British were in no way opposed to the Ottoman Caliphs. In fact British forces actively tried to prevent Republican Nationalists in Turkey from taking power. The British government had even financed a Khilafat trip to Europe to plead their cause. It was only after World War I when Turkey lost its colonies that the Indian Muslim religious groups turned against British. Up until then they had been very loyal to the British. But Gandhi ignored these facts in his eagerness. The Islamic movements are not anti-British, not anti-Imperialists or pro-nationalists – they are simply supporters of their version of Islam. They are extremists to whom orthodox Islam is everything.

(ii) The Muslim leaders of the Khilafat movement painted a picture of world-wide conspiracy against Muslims. Gandhi was swayed by the eloquence of Mohamed and Shaukat Ali. It is common for Muslims to claim that everyone is unjustly persecuting them and there is a conspiracy against them everywhere. (These claims of victimization can be as ridiculous as “9/11 was carried out by Jews” or “Americans beheaded Paul Johnson to give Islam a bad name”)

(iii) Gandhi ignored voices coming from the Indian Muslim community. There were many Indian Muslims who did not support the Khilafat movement. The more religious held that the Ottoman Sultans were not legitimate Caliphs. In India the acceptance of the Turkish Sultan as the universal Caliph was only from the middle of 19th century and that too due to the propaganda by Urdu press. By accepting the legitimacy of Khilafat movement Gandhi was actually strengthening the hold of an orthodox clergy. There was also a more secularized tradition. Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan had distinguished sharply between the political realm and religious realm declaring the two to be separate. He also said that a Caliph is the Caliph only of his own territory and there is no universal Caliphate. By these reasoning Indian Muslims owed no loyalty to the Turkish Caliph. Neither the first nor the second group, were pro-Hindus. What Gandhi did was to legitimize Islamic identity over other ties and give a boost to the pan-Islamic identity.

(iii) Another mistake Gandhi made is to ignore the sections that would have actually helped him. He ignored the sects of syncretic Islam that had arisen in the Indian subcontinent. Such sects were more willing to live in peace with other religions. A ‘pure’ form of Islam yearning for Dar-ul-Islam puts up with non-Muslims only as long as they [the Muslims] are weak. Gandhi should have encouraged these heretical sects. There were also a growing number of secular Muslims. But Gandhi ignored them in favour of religious mullahs.

(iv) The Muslim clergy did not believe in living peacefully with other religions. The Koran divides the world into Dar-Al-Harb (House of war) and Dar-Al-Islam (house of Islam). The faithful are commanded to fight until the non-Muslims are converted, subjugated or annihilated. Though the Koran also allows treaties with pagans, according to traditionalist interpretations based on Muhammad’s own actions, such a peace is to be kept only as long as Muslims are weak. A strict interpretation of such commandments means there can be no tolerance in Islam for other religions, particularly of non-Abrahamic variety. After the British conquest of India when it was realised that there was no way for any Muslim ruler to gain power, there had been a debate about whether India was Dar Al-Harb or Dar Al-Islam. One school favoured the former since Muslims were no longer sovereigns. During the Khilafat movement the Ali brothers and Maulana Azad declared that India was enemy territory and so favoured migration to Turkey . A group actually set out to go to Turkey under their inspiration. It is obvious therefore such Muslims had no love for India or for their fellow citizens; they cared only for their pure Islam.

(v) It cannot be emphasized enough that Khilafat movement had no real connection with India ‘s national movement. It was all about Turkey ; but the Turks themselves have kicked out their Caliph. Yet Indian Muslims were asked to fight for this deposed leader. The reverence was based solely on religious feeling. Though ‘moderate’ Islamic intellectuals like Ashgar Ali Engineer lecture that it was through Khilafat movement that Muslims were brought into the secular fold, there is nothing secular about a movement that tried to replace the secular government by a religious government. Gandhi thus ignored the actual nature of Khilafat agitation. It was only later when many Congressmen began to question the extra-territorial loyalty of Muslims that Gandhi woke up.

(vi) Gandhi viewed Islam through his own spirituality ignoring how the parishioners of Islam actually saw it. For them religion and politics are inseparable. To Gandhi this was not bad since he also believed that religion and politics should not be separable and religion is needed to make politics ethical. He himself was a devout Hindu and declared his allegiance to Hinduism as an essential component of national struggle. But his Hinduism was of a different brand than the Islam practiced by orthodox Muslims. About Hindu sacred texts Gandhi said, “My belief in the Hindu scriptures does not require me to accept every word and every verse as divinely inspired… I decline to be bound by any interpretation, however learned it may be, if it is repugnant to reason or moral sense. … Every word of the printed works passing muster as `Shastras’ is not, in my opinion, a revelation … The interpretation of accepted texts has undergone evolution and is capable of indefinite evolution, even as the human intellect and heart are …. Nothing in the shastras which is manifestly contrary to universal truths and morals can stand… Nothing in the shastras which is capable of being reasoned can stand if it is in conflict with reason.” Such evolutionary Hinduism is a part of Hindu tradition. But no devout Muslim can accept this as true of the Koran or even the Hadith. For them their revealed texts are eternal and immutable; the commandments are not to be rationally scrutinized but simply accepted. Though there is a limited space for interpretation, there is no space for questioning or rejecting the doctrines even if they conflict with reason and morality. That was the essential difference between the way Gandhi practiced his religion and the orthodox Muslims practice theirs.

(vii) It was not that Gandhi was ignorant of Islamic fanaticism. He complained that Muslims are bullies and Hindus are cowards during riots. The Ali brothers had invited the Amir of Afghanistan to invade India . Swami Shraddhananda who was converting Muslims into Hinduism was shot dead by Abdul Rashid. No Muslim condemned the murder; instead Rashid was declared a martyr and was given a namaaz (prayed upon) in the mosques. However Gandhi’s response was the mistaken one of appeasement: the belief that the bully would be transformed if only one shows friendship. So he pardoned every Muslim fanaticism. He said, “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”. He did not support the Hindu and Sikh protests against the cruelties of Nizam of Hyderabad. After 1947, he said “Hindus should never be angry against the Muslims even if the latter might make up their minds to undo even their existence.” Also: “They (Hindus) should not be afraid of death. After all, the killers will be none other than our Muslim brothers”. Unfortunately spirituality and brotherhood do not have any impact on Muslim fanatics who by the very tenets of their religion are called upon to regard the non-Muslims as their enemies. No matter how much you give them they are never satisfied until the world is Islamic according to their views.

Needless to say Gandhi’s experiment with Islam failed. The results were disastrous for both Hindus and Muslims. In the first place since the movement understood nothing about the dynamics of Turkish politics and nationalism it was bound to fail – the time of Sultans was over. In 1922 there was violence and Gandhi withdrew his support for the movement. Now let us take a look at the consequences of support to this Islamic movement:-

(a) The Muslim clergy became the centrepiece of Muslim politics in India . Though they had a toehold in politics they were not very powerful. But now they became de facto leaders and the genuinely secular and educated Muslim leaders were sidelined. As usual Congress leaders bent backwards to help fundamentalist Muslim leaders to come to power – a policy they have continued to this day.

(b) Muslims blamed Gandhi for the failure of the restoration of Khalifa.

(c) It led to Mopla riots. The Mopla Muslim community heard rumours that the time for jihad had come and an end must be put to all kaffirs. So they violently attacked the Hindus, killing old and young, raping women, tearing off fetuses from wombs. Finally the British restored peace. This must be the only time during the national movement when British troops were welcomed with open arms by the Indians. It is evidence that religion-addicted Muslims cannot live in peace with non-Muslims for long. That was what Hindus got for taking part in a purely Islamic agitation.

(c) The Khilafat movement made the Muslims more conscious of their Islamic identity. It was this that finally led to the Pakistan movement and partition. Even if the partition was inevitable and the net result had been good for Hindus, a great chance was lost to reform Indian Islam so that it can cope with the modern world. Instead India was divided on the basis of religion and a Muslim minority remained.

(d) Let us see how the orthodox Muslims repaid Gandhi: In 1924, Mohammed Ali to whom Gandhi showed such affection said, : “However pure Mr. Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to me, from the point of religion, inferior to any Mussalman even though he be without character.” In 1925 he emphasized: “Yes, according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mr. Gandhi”. That is the true Islamofascist mentality revealed in all its glory.

In this way Gandhi’s experiment with Islam failed. This should serve as an object lesson to all who try to appease the fanatic Muslims. It will not succeed but only lead to greater fanaticism and destruction.

Source: is a leading international website on Islamic terrorism and extemism.

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