Why Not United Again?

via Aju Mukhopadhyay published on March 15, 2010

Bounded by the mighty mountains on the north, extending to the west and east, peninsular India has sea on all other sides. These are the natural boundaries for millennia. It was the birthplace of the great Aryan civilization. Mohenjo-daro and Harappan sites may have some of the physical remains of it. With innumerable admixture of peoples from other countries and cultures, India remains great throughout the ages. It has spread its cultural fragrance to other corners of the globe but seldom invaded others to spread its territories.

     The people of Islamic faith have raised their claim over Kashmir, the main problem spot in modern time. They have claimed that it was the land of Sufi Rishis. The first Sufi was Suhrawardi Saint Hazrat Sayyed Sharfuddin Abdur Rahman or Bulbul Shah, who came from Turkestan in 1324 C.E. Thereafter numerous Sufis from Central Asia and Iran made their way to Kashmir. Hazrat Nuruddin Nurani (1356-1440 C.E) founded the Rishi order. ‘The Rishis were Muslims and saw the spread of Islam as their primary task.’ Yoginder Sikand has written in his ‘The Muslim Rishis of Kashmir’. It is said that conversion to Islam was made an essential condition for joining the Rishi order. Hazrat Nuruddin’s father, Shaikh  Salaruddin was a Rajput, converted to Islam by Yasman Rishi.

    Mustafa Muhammad Tahan, born in Lebanon in 1938, is a respected ideologue among the Muslims. In his book, ‘The Political Challenges Before the Islamic Movement’, he asserts that violence has no place in Islam, that no one   can call other a kafir or disbeliever. He supports his view quoting from Quran. But he says that Muslims are united by their common faith and spreading Islam is their legitimate right and that where the majority is Muslim, there should be an Islamic State. He says that people of Islamic faith have liberated Muslim lands from Western Imperialists. But such places had established civilizations much before the advent of Islam and later occupation by the Western Imperialists.

     Rishi is an Indian word. The land of India had large number of Rishis and Munis from time immemorial. It is India where the real Rishis were born. Indian epics and mythologies are replete with such names. Any pious people could imbibe their path, follow them. India never stood against anyone desirous of following a religious, spiritual path. It was a Godward journey that they undertook without any motive of spreading any cult or religion or race in other countries. Rishis were Indians.  They moved in mountains, lived in caves and had their ashrams under the canopy of giant trees. Kashmir is a part of the mountainous Himalaya. Kashmir is a land of ancient Indian Rishis.

     Physically Kashmir was and is an Indian province. The then Princely State had agreed to join the Indian Union exercising an option to join any of the two countries of the subcontinent or to remain neutral in the wake of partition of the country. Instead of driving the terrorists out, who unlawfully intruded into Kashmir, as happened during three subsequent occasions, the then Prime Minister of India had allowed the creation of the Line of Control (LOC), allowing the dispute to continue, allowing to make it a disputed land. The sore continues to trouble the subcontinent.

    The country did not want a vivisection of Bharat Mata. Congress Working Committee passed the resolution of partition with 29 votes in favour and 15 against, in spite of M. K. Gandhi’s personal pleading for it. West Bengal Assembly accepted it as a matter of routine, but rejected the division on the basis of religion, as a matter of principle, as Sri Aurobindo had advised. The partition was a national holocaust. Leaders in the forefront were in a hurry somehow to get the independence and keep the respective portions of the country under their control.  

     In a message broadcast through the All Indian Radio, Trichinopally, on the eve of independence Sri Aurobindo said that partition must go, divided India should be united otherwise it would be very weakened with risk of lurking dangers of foreign invasion. And it happened as history has recorded. Subsequently he had visions of a united India more than once. The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram made a map of united India which includes Pakistan. She said that such an undivided India was its spiritual destiny.

     Shyamaprasad Mukherjee had gone to Kashmir for its unification. According to Mother, he was the only man in India who could, to some extent understand Sri Aurobindo. ‘He could have done’, Mother said. But he was assassinated there, she said on 7 June 1967, though unofficially. She encouraged Indian Prime Ministers to proceed to unite the separated land, whenever such occasions arose.   

     On 18 December 1971 Mother found a solution. She said, ‘It won’t be done through battle: the different parts of Pakistan will demand separation… by separating, they‘ll join India- to form a sort of confederation. That’s how it will be done.’ We know that Sri Aurobindo wanted federation of States for a World Union.

     Though the division is a political reality, it is not the true reality. India’s position in the world should be accepted by all the peoples of the world. India has been adored as the Mother by the largest number of Indians, as she nurtured all her children from time immemorial. She has been addressed as ‘Bharat Mata’. If some people wish not to call her Mother, let them adore their country in any respectable way they like, but why again Pakistan for Muslims only? Why Bangladesh? Have we not learnt enough during this period how the smaller countries have been weakened by such thoughts and actions?

     Big powers have enough time and money to broke between countries in conflicting situations but they have not been able to really ease the situation anywhere. They are benefited for the continuance of such situations. We are getting more and more divided inviting foreign forces into our territory, showing more weakness to them. A United India would be a formidable force giving birth to renewed energy, wealth and prosperity. Whatever the problems remain have to be solved by us only.

     India is replete with different ideas and faiths. It is a multi-religious, multilingual State. This country has sheltered one of the largest numbers of Muslims in the world. If united, Muslim population in India would be increased but they would be more benefited living in their own, original country. By unification the civilization of the subcontinent would recover its lost face. It will be one of the very strong nations of the world. Peace will descend permanently in the sub-continent when people rationally give up the idea of proselytizing, give up the futile idea that modern nations or countries could be governed religiously. In a modern world spirituality should outlive religions. A theocratic state is beyond the modern time spirit. The leaders of the adjoining countries have to decide the type of union and the appropriate modus operandi to achieve it. This may not be limited between the two countries only but among India and all the smaller neighbours surrounding it, the mighty Bharatvarsha or Bharat.

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