Was Congress Truly Behind ‘2-Nation Theory’ or Is Shah Faking it?

Was Congress behind ‘Two-Nation Theory’ and did they divide the country based on religion? Or was it all a hoax?

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When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said these words in the Constituent Assembly of India on 14 August 1947, the country was getting ready to celebrate independence.

But 72 years later, ‘India is going to wake up to less freedom’ is the cry that echoes across the country.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah, has given way to questions, tensions, and major concerns about the future of the country. 

Amidst the ruckus in Lok Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah said:

“There was a pressing need to introduce this Bill because the Congress had accepted the division of the country on the basis of religion.”

But the question of the hour is: Did the Congress truly support the ‘Two-Nation Theory’ or was there no truth to the home minister’s statement?

The other questions which prevail are:

Whether the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is weakening the roots of the country?

Will Hindus left out of the NRC be supported through the Bill?

What about Muslims?

Are decisions being taken on the basis of religion in a secular country like India?

Home Minister Amit Shah’s speech in the Lok Sabha might have disappointed crores of people in the country . However, Pakistan’s ‘Father of the Nation’ Muhammad Ali Jinnah would have been really proud, as would have been the other advocate of the two-nation theory and BJP’s idol Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

They must be pleased thinking that even years later, someone is swearing by their words.

In 1940, Jinnah’s Muslim League had asked for a separate state by the name of Pakistan for the Muslims of India. However, Savarkar, 17 years before that (1923), in his book ‘Hindutva’ spoke about India being a Hindu Country.

In his book, he wrote:

“Characteristics of Hindutva are one nation, one caste and one culture.”

Nearly 88 years ago in 1937, Savarkar in the 19th session of the Hindu Sabha in Ahmedabad had said, “Hindu and Muslim are two separate nations.”

Historian Ramachandra Guha also tweeted clarifying that Savarkar in 1943 had supported Jinnah for the two-nation theory.

Well-known historian Srinath Raghavan also refuted Amit Shah’s claims. He took to Twitter saying:

Freedom fighter,  anti-Congress voice and socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia had clearly warned the country against the right wing’s two-nation theory.

In his book The Guilty Men of India’s Partition Ram, Lohia explained the Hindu right- wing’s contribution to division.

“There was no point in opposing radical Hinduism for Partition as it was radical Hinduism which was one of the most powerful causes of Partition in the country. This is like a criminal trying to wash his hands off the crime.”
Ram Manohar Lohia, Freedom Fighter

He had also written that the current Jana Sangh and its ancestors helped Britain and the Muslim League in the Partition.

Coming back to if the Bill and if it will weaken the secular roots of the nation:

If the country that stands tall on the foundation of secularism is represented by only one religious community, would it not change its identity? Would it not impact the country’s image?  

It is good to show empathy towards persecuted Hindu minorities from other countries but what is the crime done by the persecuted Muslims? Why the double standards? Why is the government adopting a selective approach?

Let’s assume for a minute that all my arguments are incorrect and that the Congress committed the error of Partition:

Why is the same error being made again?

Which leaves us with the question:

Janab Aise Kaise?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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