The other day, Gandhiji has written an article in ‘Young India’ in response to a letter by ‘A Candid Critic’. There many things in this article which are utterly misleading. Even someone with a casual acquaintance with the history of Islam will realize the rashness of Gandhiji’s statement that Islam is a religion of peace. At the end of this article, Gandhiji says, “The seat of Religion is in the heart.” Oh really? Then if you have a look at the Islamic heart then you can perceive what Islam as a religion is. How do you perceive Islam right from the days its propagation began? What happened when it first trounced Syria? The Christians there suffered horrible torture and poor people had to leave their motherland. Where did they go and who gave them asylum? It was the holy Hindus who gave them asylum in south India. Next, these Mohammedans made an incursion into the once world-famous Persian empire of Darius. What happened? The whole of Iran-Persia was devastated, and the Parsis along with their reforms were on the verge of extinction. Just a boatful of patriotic and religious Parsis escaped the holocaust and set sails on the frightful ocean with their holy fire and Zendavesta. Who gave them refuge? It was the Hindus again who accorded these helpless souls a warm welcome in the loving lap of their motherland; and to this day Mother India has cared for them just like her own children. Then this proselytizing tsunami of Islam spread all over Hindusthan and, beginning with the attacks on Sorati Somanath, Hindusthan was full of furore with bloodshed, arson and pillage. Gandhiji! Is this a religion of peace? Till date, many countries have been conquered. Many conquerors are driven to conquests by the fame they give. But this kind of carnage was unique, unforeseen. It was with the onslaught of Islam alone that began the wretched tradition of treating a non-Muslim as a ‘Kafir’, confiscating his property, abducting and defiling his family and converting them forcibly to Islam. Just a mention of Muhammad Ghori of Ghazni, Mahammad Tughlaq, Aurangzeb or Tipu Sultan is enough to bring to our mind the whole history of Islam. Of course, the three Johars of Chittod consuming innumerable kids and ladies are in a class by themselves. And yet Gandhiji says, “Islam is a religion of peace.” True, there are exceptions to the aforesaid episodes. Some part of Islam does preach compassion; but the heart’ is different. Gandhiji further says in defense of Islam, “It is true that Islam is a little bit intimate with the sword, but that is the result of circumstances.” What these cumstances are is something over which Mahatmaji is tightlipped! And if the circumstances are to be blamed, then the advantage must be given to all those suffering in the holocaust of Muslim carnage – Marathas, Rajputs and Sikhs. But does Mahatmaji have any historical record as to how many mosques did the Marathas demolish or how many Muslims did they convert forcibly while founding and expanding their rule? The Marathas or the Sikhs didn’t demolish a single mosque nor convert a single Muslim forcibly. So, which one is the religion of peace – Hinduism or Islam?
In fact, there is no point in this kind of hairsplitting and digging up the past doesn’t have any hidden motive. But, when the diagnosis is wrong, the best of the medicine won’t succeed or rather would be counterproductive. I have to dwell on the past at length precisely to show how Mahatmaji’s diagnosis is baseless and anti-historical.
The fact is that the majority of the Muslim don’t regard Hindusthan as their own country and look upon the Hindus here as thorn in their side. It is this feeling that is at the root of all this strife. Barring a few reasonable Muslims, the rest have a longing that like Turkey, Iran or Afghanistan India too should be exclusively an Islamic country, and if that happens, they will love it as their motherland. The other day, Barrister Amin said in a meeting in Delhi in clear words, “In the forthcoming decade, every Muslim should convert at least three Hindus to Islam so that when Independence comes, it will be unequivocally Islamic. It is this mentality that uproots all unity, but no Muslim leader protests against this nor attempts to do so. This is the root cause of the problem, the right diagnosis.
Gandhiji must have read Barrister Amin’s highly defiant speech in Delhi. But he, along with his Muslim companions has conveniently kept mum over it had are indulging in idle talk of trashing the strength of numbers. Even on such occasions, Gandhiji doesn’t have the courage to give the Muslims a stern admonition, but when a spirited Aryasamajist reacts to this kind of cheap bragging of the Muslims, he takes great pride in attacking him like a peevish cane-wielding teacher. This is what irks the Hindus. We know that Gandhiji is a Mahatma and therefore beyond all favouritism. But according to dictionary, favouritism is leaning towards any party- the other one as well as your own.
All will be well if this is rectified. Through ‘Young India’, Gandhiji should teach the Muslims all the Islamic teachings of peace, tolerance and compassion that he knows. He should also arrange lectures on the hymns of peace in Islam on the lines of the lectures of his disciples – the Ali brothers on the Khilafat movement. If necessary, the Muslims must be made to swallow a bitter but ultimately beneficial pill to instill nationalism in them.
But, instead of this when he talks indecisively and treats Hindus as criminals and keeps mum even when the responsibility is nailed down on the Muslims in the case of Kohat, it is my duty to assert in a no-nonsense manner that his diagnosis is wrong and the real cause of the strife is somewhere else.
– Veer Savarkar
Book – The Gandhian confusion