Saturday, 12 May 2012

Whose fault is the communalisation of India? That of the British?

A relative of mine sends me the following excerpt, actually from a mail from a friend of mine (though I don't think my relative realises that - the excerpt has obviously done the rounds!):
Before 1857, Hindus used to celebrate Eid, and Muslims used to celebrate Holi and Diwali. Muslim rulers, like the nawab of Avadh, Tipu Sultan etc used to organise Ramlila, give grants to Hindu temples, etc. It was after suppressing the Mutiny that the British decided that the only way to control India was by divide and rule. Hence a deliberate policy was laid down by the British to generate hatred between Hindus and Muslims. All communal riots started after 1857. The English collector would secretly call the local panditji, give him money, and ask him to start speaking against Muslims, and he would also call the local Maulvi secretly and give him money to speak against Hindus.

This poison was systematically spread year after year, decade after decade, until it culminated in the Partition of 1947 (see 'History in the Service of Imperialism', and Kajtu's article 'What is India' on and the articles and the video on the website Even now, there are powerful vested interests promoting communal hatred. The truth is that 99 per cent people of all communities are good, but it will take a lot of time to remove the communal virus from our body politic. Today the situation is that whenever any bomb blasts take place, immediately Muslim individuals or groups are blamed for it.
I responded as follows:
This is further "mythification" of Indian history!
True, there were periods of Indian history when such poison was systematically spread by the use of state power (by Muslim Buddhist, Hindu, British and no doubt other rulers) 
However, it was quite common for Hindus to celebrate Eid and Muslims to celebrate Holi even when I was a teenager - at least in Delhi, where I grew up
Whatever the British did before that we can and should blame them for, certainly
but the "communalisation" of India, in the two or three generations that have passed after Independence, is the fault only and exclusively of us Indians ourselves
love from us all, as always

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