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Fake patriotism: Lessons from Jinnah’s life

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I see the big picture. I have deep interest in history, philosophy, traditions and developments in India.

In March 1936, Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared in Lahore: “I assure you that India’s interest is and will be sacred to me and nothing will make me budge an inch from that position.” He asked Muslims to “prove that their patriotism is unsullied and that their love of India and her progress is no less than that of any other community in the country.” In 1946, on 18 August, during the Direct Action unleashed by Muslim League, he was declaring that “the caste Hindu Fascist Congress,” wanted to “dominate and rule over Mussalmans and other minor communities of India.”

We see stark parallels of Jinnah in today’s India. From the leaders of rabidly communal AIMIM to many Muslim leaders of other parties, from the firebrand Maulanas to the Jihadi army in social media, from certain ‘journalists’ to unrepentant Jamatis one can see the same pattern repeat again. They claim to be patriotic, to abide by the constitution and to be paragons of secularism. Look a bit deeper and all that talk of patriotism, flag waving, constitutionalism and secularism is revealed to be just another tactic to fool the onlookers and build sympathy for their unjust cause in minds of confused Indians. The narrative of “Caste Hindu Fascist BJP” who wants to dominate over “minorities of India” is reemerging. Only this time, it is taking less time than it took last time. The only logical next step is : “As we cannot safely live in India, we need another country”. This is indeed seen in a few statements of such activists already.

The Congress in 1930s and 1940s committed a grave mistake. It showed weakness in face of fanaticism and impossible demands. It appeased Muslim League first by accepting separate electorates in 1916 and then continued till the 1940s when Gandhi and Congress accepted negotiation with Muslim League. They should have shown strength and even if it meant a Civil War, it would have cost less in lives than the tragic partition. They had the muscle power and British were anyways in a hurry to leave.

The BJP has a historic role to play today. It can either appease the fanatics and doom the country again or show the strength and deal with the issue with an iron hand. As of now it has not backed down on its steps to reform Muslim society{Triple Talaq} or on pro Hindu issues. Let us hope it continues and the government also deals strictly with lockdown violators and other lumpen elements.

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I see the big picture. I have deep interest in history, philosophy, traditions and developments in India.
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