Jaswant Singh's Novel

Jinnah - India, Partition Independence (Critical Evaluation)

Written By: Shahkar Khan


1. Jaswant singh says that why is that only in india the Muslims couldn't co-exist whereas in many other countries muslims remain in harmony with the others locals without demanding their separate country.
Jaswant singh needs to be reminded that india was never ever one country. It comprised of different states each with its own ruler. Let alone a city, a province and the entire india, Muslims and hindus couldn't co-exist even in the same house. And this is still applicable.

Chapter 1

1. Jaswant singh says: if the assertion of the highly questionable thesis that ' Muslims are a separate nation' led to the creation of Pakistan, then why did an integral part of that very 'Muslim nation', reject the notion in its entirety and separate, yet again, in violence, indescribable human suffering and death? Why did Bangladesh opt out?
I don't want to touch the topic concerning the part played by India in the partition of Bangladesh.
Let's suppose that India had nothing to do with it, even then the Bangladesh partition never justifies that hindus and Muslims could co-exist, because if this was the case why didn't Bangladesh rejoin India. The point is Bangladesh separated from Pakistan and not from Islam (na-aouzbillah).
And even if the partition of Bangladesh was solely on the grounds of human suffering, in that case they would have left India even before 1971.

2. Jaswant posses the question that why was the advent of Persianised Turks into india characterized as 'Muslim conquest' and not as Persian conquest, since spanish conquest of North America termed as spanish conquest and not as 'christian conquest'. Jaswant singh says ' Why make an exception in the case of Islam alone?'. And from where therefore, has this notion of an Islamic conquest of india found such a secure hold amongst the historians of india?.'
Jaswant singh imply that it's was only due to the perceived prejudice of the historians of india, by co-relating persians conquest to the religion of Islam, that became 'Jinnah's assertion of being the champion of a seperate nation within india, hence wanting a different geographical state.
Jaswant Singh surely has not at all delineated the true reason for independence. Is he not aware the blood baths our Muslims were put through?
Native american religions exhibited a great deal of diversity due to relative isolation of different tribes there were spread out across the entire breadth of north america continent. There was no single religion that could have joined the native americans as one nation. But in case of indian sub-continent, Muslims were all combined by their common faith in ONE ALMIGHTY GOD.
They were not the Arabs, Afghans, Persians or the Mongols that wanting independence. They were the MUSLIMS, that could no longer bear the blood baths they were put through by kafirs.
It was not due to endorsing the name of 'Islamic Conquest' that the muslims were able to, or gain strength to, form a separate nation or even to imagine it. It was due to 'Islamic Identity' (that all the Muslims represented) that the urge for a separate nation emerged.

3. Jaswant singh further adds How is it that british conquest of india is only british and not christian? He says that it is this kind of standard historiographic practice that has given birth to our fixations with such misleading phraseology.
By misleading phraseology Jaswant singh implies the endorsement of the phrase 'Muslims conquest' for persian conquest of india i.e drawing lines on the map of the world in the name of Islam.
Here Jaswant singh fails to understand the underlying beliefs and understandings of the historians that gave meaning to the observable behaviour for such endorsement. The art of understanding history lies in the fact the it is not a linear descriptive process rather it is a complex and vague account of all the past happenings that can only be understood by taking into account all of the environmental situations that existed at that time.
Historians perceiving all the events in the appropriate manner is not the case here. Our perceptions are shaped by our beliefs and our beliefs never gain recognition by any artificial endorsement or ethnic stereotype. Beliefs are natural; and hence the case with sub-continental historians. We obtained independence due to Islam not by the reason of endorsing Islamic name and historians used the term Islamic conquest due to their perceived understanding of our true motto and not that they were biased.
On the other hand historians could not have formed such beliefs about the british conquest
simply because of the reason that british conquest was backed by the phrase 'Divide and Rule' as opposed to Muslims who pleaded independence for exercising their religion Islamic; which was only possible through independence.

4. Jaswant singh says that since the hindus accommodated Muslim invaders as just another alien group so why did historians categorize Muslims invasion as purely Islamic conquest?
Firstly Jaswant singh should understand that you cannot accommodate invaders, they accommodate you. Historians categorization of Muslims invasion as Islamic conquest was never morphed on just the battles and respective take overs by the Muslims over india; rather it was morphed on the vast Islamic culture that soaked up in the very roots of the indian sub-continent. This Islamic culture was quite visible to the historians through mosques, language, food, traditions, art, literature and the life style; and the historians couldn't link such attributes to any other invasions other than the Muslims invasion. It were these attributes that influenced many hindus to convert to Islam.
In this regard Jaswant singh says on page 19 ' To understand how and why Islam became (despite all the loot and rapine and pillage) a part of india's cultural landscape requires a much deeper understanding of the nature of this land and its people, and then a grasp of the enormous body of India's Islamic traditions; examinations that we cannot really undertake here as that is not the primary focus of our search.'
Jaswant singh understandably could not have argued on the role that Islamic culture played on the history of sub-continent.

5. Jaswant singh on the same page further adds that Pakistan was formed due to political exploitation of that time's politicians for the purpose of electoral benefits to themselves; which decreased social intercourse.
I just cannot make up the social harmony that Jaswant singh is referring to. Muslims and hindus could not have co-existed even in the same house. Even living in the same place (not country) we were always apart from each other. Can jaswant singh picture a Muslim and a hindu living in the same house, and the Muslim wanting to zibah a cow for sawab and at the same time the hindu wanting to puja the cow. Can jaswant singh interpret such encroachment a social intercourse. I hope not. It could rather be a hostile intercourse.

6. This next error is just a blunder and just a tool used to prove the author's point of view by merely using round about way to draw a conclusion.
The conclusion drawn is the presence of social intercourse ( or if i interpret the author's point 'social harmony').
The argument represented is ' the acceptance of the Holy Quran (a non-native book) by the hindus and the conversion to Islam is a prove of social intercourse and this social intercourse was decreased due to political exploitation.'
I have no object in accepting the presence of social intercourse as far it is interpreted in its right sense. Social intercourse means social interaction which cannot be weakened due to any kind of exploitation simply because of the reason that as far as you belong to the same place you will keep on interacting. But by giving social intercourse a relative degree of positiveness or negativeness and its dependence upon exploitation; Jaswant singh use the word social intercourse as social harmony.
Keeping the above discussion in mind and considering social intercourse not as social interaction but as social harmony let us proceed forward:
Jaswant singh should be reminded that social harmony is a two way process and cannot be achieved without both the parties agreeing upon some common factors. Now if we (just for the sake of argument) accept that social harmony existed in the indian sub-continent and that due to this social harmony many of the hindus converted to Islam; then i would be obvious that due to the same social harmony at least a few Muslims should also have became hindus. Where many hindu kings accepted Islam; at least one Muslim sovereign should also have accepted Hinduism. But this obviously was not the case only because there was no harmony at all.
This justifies that in the indian sub-continent there was never a social harmony but only an influence due to social interactions.
Now if a hindu says that Islamic revolution in sub-continent was achieved by the use of force, it is also an unjustifiable allegation simply because of the reason that the use of force cannot achieve mass conversion towards Islam; as was the case of the indian sub-continent, which (as Jaswant singh says on page 19) ' became home to almost a third of the world's Muslim population.
Here it should be stated that Islam has not played influential part in sub-continent alone. The rapid spread of Islam in America is the best example. Now it would not be right if we say that Islam in America is spreading by the use of force; rather it is the true understanding of Islam that is influencing their lives.
Further on page 40-41 Jaswant Singh deviates from his social intercourse theory by elaborating the differences between the 'two faiths (words used by JS pg40)' based on language.

7. On page 19, Jaswant Singh says political parties used religion for exploitation. On the contrary, on page 43 Jaswant Singh admits that i was due to differences (language, cow protection movement, holding processions on religious occasions) between 'two faiths' that inclined political parties to use the word religious parties.
Atleast JS admitted that there existed differences and that exploitation was not for the purpose of personal gains.