Fact Check : No, Savarkar was not the architect of Two Nation Theory which led the partition

Posted on 2019-03-12 20:36:05 by Samyuktha Mirra


As per Savarkar's Two Nation Theory, "there are two nations in India, India shall not be divided into two parts, one for Muslims and the other for the Hindus; that the two nations shall dwell in one country and shall live under the mantle of one single constitution."

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The two-nation theory is the basis of the creation of Pakistan. It states that Muslims and Hindus are two separate nations from every definition; therefore Muslims should be able to have their own separate homeland in the Muslim majority areas of India, in which Islam can be practiced as the main religion.

The ideology that religion is the determining factor in defining the nationality of Indian Muslims was undertaken by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who termed it as the awakening of Muslims for the creation of Pakistan.

A few days back, a pro-congress political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla claimed on Twitter that the two-nation theory was first proposed by Savarkar.

Earlier, The caravan Magazine had accused Savarkar of advocating two nation theory before Jinnah. Even Karan Thapar has projected Savarkar as an architect of two nation theory in his article on Tribune India.

However, True Indology has rebutted the claim of Savarkar being the architect of two nation theory. As per True Indology, it was Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of AMU who said - "The Muslims and Hindus are two different Nations Both of them cant rule together. There won't be peace until one nation conquers another".

Savarkar was not the architect of Two Nation Theory

Most of the people refer to Savarkar's speech during Hindu Mahasabha session at Ahmedabad in 1937 where he said, "India cannot be assumed to be a Unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary, there are two nations in the main, the Hindus and the Muslims in India.

However, Savarkar clarified his statement to journalists on 15 August 1943 in the office of the Marathi weekly Aadesh published from Nagpur. He also clarified his position in an interview given in Mumbai on 23 August 1943. The interview was published in the Aadesh dated 28 August 1943. Given below is an English translation of Savarkar's clarification as published in the Marathi weekly Aadesh dated 23 August 1943. 

You always say that in Hindusthan, Hindus are a nation and that the Mussalmans and others are communities. How does one reconcile this statement and the statement that there are two nations in Hindusthan?. When asked this question, Veer Savarkar replied, .I had clarified this in my Nagpur interview. But instead of reporting this, journalists simply reported that I accept the two-nation theory. This has resulted in the whole misunderstanding.

It is a historic truth that the Mussulmans are a .nation.. I had clarified the historical and racial background of this theory in Nagpur. Islam is a theocratic nation based on the Koran right from its inception. This nation never had geographical boundaries. Wherever the Mussulmans went, they went as a nation. They also came to Hindusthan as a .nation.. Wherever they go, Mussulmans shall either remain foreigners or rulers. As per the Koran, those who are not Mussulmans are kafirs, enemies of Islam. Even today, after praying in the mosque, Mussulmans ask for atonement for committing the sin of living in a kafir-ruled state. As per the principle of Mussulmans, the earth is divided into two nations . Dar-ul Islam (land of Islam) and Dar-ul Harb where Islam does not rule (enemy land). As per their religious command, their campaign on Hindusthan was as a separate nation. They conquered the Hindu Nation as a enemy nation, not as One Nation. The Hindu Nation arose again and having defeated the Mussulmans at various places, saved the whole of Hindusthan to establish Hindu Padpadshahi also as a separate Hindu Nation opposed to the Muslim nations. This history certainly cannot be denied.

Ref: Savarkar.org

According to Savarkar.org  which is a website dedicated to him and his work, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the President of Muslim League publicly demanded an independent, sovereign Muslim state for the first time in 1930. A notable point from the website is that “The starting point of Pakistan goes back a thousand years to when Muhammad-bin-Qasim set foot on the soil of Sind and introduced Islam in the sub-continent" (quoted in 'The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India', KS Lal, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 1992, p 327). Savarkar was a keen student of Islam and being a hard realist, he merely stated the obvious.”

B.R Ambedkar's View

Strange as it may appear, Mr. Savarkar and Mr. Jinnah, instead of being opposed to each other on the one nation versus two nations issue, are in complete agreement about it. Both agree, not only agree but insist, that there are two nations in India—one the Muslim nation and the other the Hindu nation. They differ only as regards the terms and conditions on which the two nations should live.

Mr. Jinnah says India should be cut up into two, Pakistan and Hindustan, the Muslim nation to occupy Pakistan and the Hindu nation to occupy Hindustan.

Mr. Savarkar on the other hand insists that, although there are two nations in India, India shall not be divided into two parts, one for Muslims and the other for the Hindus; that the two nations shall dwell in one country and shall live under the mantle of one single constitution; that the constitution shall be such that the Hindu nation will be enabled to occupy a predominant position that is due to it and the Muslim nation made to live in the position of subordinate co-operation with the Hindu nation. In the struggle for political power between, the two nations the rule of the game which Mr. Savarkar prescribes is to be one man one vote, be the man Hindu or Muslim. In his scheme, a Muslim is to have no advantage which a Hindu does not have. The minority is to be no justification for privilege and majority is to be no ground for a penalty. The State will guarantee the Muslims any defined measure of political power in the form of Muslim religion and Muslim culture. But the State will not guarantee secured seats in the Legislature or in the Administration and, if such guarantee is insisted upon by the Muslim, such guaranteed quota is not to exceed their proportion to the general population. Thus by confiscating its weightages, Mr. Savarkar would even strip the Muslim nation of all the political privileges it has secured so far.

Ref: columbia.edu

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan: Seeder of two nation theory

True Indology pointed out that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the first to propose the theory or at least laid the seeds of the two nation theory. In his speech in Meerut on 14th March 1888, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan said that the Muslims and Hindus are two different Nations and both of them cant rule together. There won't be peace until one nation conquers another. He also said that Muslims must not be thought insignificant or weak as the Pathans from Afghan mountains are capable of making rivers of blood flow from north to Bengal.

After this long preface I wish to explain what method my nation — nay, rather the whole people of this country — ought to pursue in political matters. I will treat in regular sequence of the political questions of India, in order that you may have full opportunity of giving your attention to them. The first of all is this — In whose hands shall the administration and the Empire of India rest? Now, suppose that all English, and the whole English army, were to leave India, taking with them all their cannon and their splendid weapons and everything, then who would be rulers of India? Is it possible that under these circumstances two nations — the Mahomedans and the Hindus — could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should conquer the other and thrust it down. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and the inconceivable. At the same time you must remember that although the number of Mahomedans is less than that of the Hindus, and although they contain far fewer people who have received a high English education, yet they must not be thought insignificant or weak. Probably they would be by themselves enough to maintain their own position. But suppose they were not. [[38]] Then our Mussalman brothers, the Pathans, would come out as a swarm of locusts from their mountain valleys, and make rivers of blood to flow from their frontier in the north to the extreme end of Bengal. This thing — who, after the departure of the English, would be conquerors — would rest on the will of God. But until one nation had conquered the other and made it obedient, peace could not reign in the land. This conclusion is based on proofs so absolute that no one can deny it.

Ref: columbia.edu

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had once stated, "I look to both Hindus and Muslims with the same eyes & consider them as two eyes of a bride. By the word nation, I only mean Hindus and Muslims and nothing else. We Hindus and Muslims live together under the same soil under the same government. Our interest and problems are common and therefore I consider the two factions as one nation."

However, when Hindu-Urdu controversy broke out, he said: "I am now convinced that the Hindus and Muslims could never become one nation as their religion and way of life was quite distinct from one another."

However, some people argue that it is not quite sure whether Sir Syed was advocating multiculturalism or two nation theory. Many considered that he was the architect of the Two Nation Theory. He believed and propagated Muslim identity and self-awakening. An article from Indian Express suggests that Sir Syed and his ideas were misread. According to the article, “Sir Syed believed in multiculturalism under which all cultural communities must be entitled to equal status under the state.” Eminent historian Anil Seal has argued that during Sir Syed’s times, “there were no two nations, there was not even one nation, there was no nation at all”.

If we accept the argument of Anil Seal, then Sir Syed theory was similar to that of Savarkar i.e two nation within a single country(geographical boundary). However, many Pakistanis describe him as the architect of the two-nation theory. The poet-philosopher Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938) provided the philosophical exposition and Barrister Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1871–1948) translated it into the political reality of a nation-state.

Muhammad Iqbal (Allama Iqbal)'s presidential address to the Muslim League on 29 December 1930 is seen by some as the first exposition of the two-nation theory in support of what would ultimately become Pakistan.

Ref: Jinnah of Pakistan

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