Before the attainment of independence, India was partitioned into three parts. The division was done on the basis of religion which became the reason for suffering of the people. Millions were displaced, and many lost their lives due to mindless hate and violence. Although the poison of division was advanced by Jinnah but it was Pandit Nehru’s mistakes that culminated in the partition of India. His policy of appeasement and personal ambition surpassed the country’s good and resulted in these horrors.
Last year Prime Minister Modi declared 14th August as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day to be observed every year. Consequently, we give tribute to those who suffered and remind the successive generations of the pain caused due to the partition on the Partition Horrors Remembrance Day. In giving tribute, we will also recall the three mistakes of Nehru that led to the ‘Horrors of Partition’.
Mainstreaming of Muslim League
Founded on 30 December 1906, All-Indian Muslim League remained a communal party throughout the freedom struggle. The British had weaponized the party to advance their ‘divide and rule’ policy. Their communal aspirations were well known to people, that’s why they were not even trusted by Muslims.
In the 1930s, using Muhammad Iqbal’s two-nation theory, the Muslim league tried to gain validation of Muslims and deeply cooperated with British to divide the country. But even then, the partition of the country was a daydream for the Muslim league. The popularity of the Muslim League can be understood from the fact that in the 1937 Indian Provincial elections, All-India Muslim League failed to garner votes in any province, on the other hand, Indian National Congress gained power in eight provinces.
But the resignation of all members of the Congress Party from Provincial and Central offices in protest of Viceroy’s decision to make India a party to the Second World War without duly consulting Indians acted as a ‘lifeblood’ moment for Muslim League. Capitalising on the absence of Congress, Muslim League made ground for itself. On 22 December 1939, the Jinnah marked the ‘Day of Deliverance’ celebrating the Congress’ resignation and end of their rule. As the Congress was mainly led by Nehru, he failed to stop Jinnah from communalising the issue and the foundation of partition was led due to the absence of Congress.
Prime Ministerial ambitions of Nehru
Yet Nehru was not the most popular contender for the post of Prime Minister in the country. Some enthusiastic people wanted to see Jinnah in office, some people wanted Gandhi but most of the Indians wanted Sardar Patel to assume Prime Ministerial post.
When the British were about to leave India, there were 17 PCCs (Pradesh Congress Committee) at that time. Gandhi was the head of the freedom movement, so the British asked him to choose a prominent person from the Congress party for Prime Ministerial post.
Gandhi expressing his opinion on the PM post said, “To become Prime Minister wearing Khadi is not enough, education is necessary, it is necessary to talk to foreign countries, so my choice is Nehru.” Then Gandhi asked the 17 PCCs to write the name of the person of their choice. 15 committees voted in favour of Sardar Patel, 1 vote went vacant and 1 voted for Acharya JB Kriplani. Not a single vote went to Nehru. If ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi had any respect for democracy, he would have allowed Sardar Patel to become the Prime Minister of the country unopposed. But he took an oath from Patel that he would make Nehru the Prime Minister and would never claim this post during his time!
Nehru’s gluttony of power was so acute and irritating that it continued even after independence. According to MK Nair, who was the Secretary of Sardar Patel, it was due to his blind gluttony that Jawaharlal Nehru imposed partition on India and he wanted to do the same to Hyderabad. But when Sardar Patel opposed this ‘total Islamization’ of India, Nehru humiliated him, saying, “You are a communal person and I will never be a part of your actions.” After that Sardar Patel also took an oath that he would never be a part of Nehru’s private cabinet meeting and he kept that promise till death.
Special Relationship with Edwina Mountbatten
Edwina Mountbatten arrived India with her husband and last Viceroy, Mountbatten in March 1947. At that time the country was feeling the heat of communal violence. Everywhere from Punjab to Bengal, women were being raped, people were mercilessly killed and the suffering of common people was increasing day by day.
In this scenario, when the country was in need of its leaders to unite its people, Nehru, advancing on the Mountbatten Plan, decided to break India. Taking the advantage of love affairs between Lady Edwina Mountbatten and Nehru, Mountbatten divided India.
Rather than finding a solution to communal violence, Nehru decided to break India to pieces. His lust to become the Prime Minister not only decreased surface area of Bharat but inflicted pain and suffering on millions of people. It was the decision of partition that forcefully displaced millions of people. Reports state that about 2 million people were killed and about 20 million people were displaced by this decision. The displacement of such magnitude cannot be peaceful in any manner.
The problems we discussed above are not the only wrongdoings of Gandhi and Nehru. These leaders knowingly or unknowingly imposed wrong decisions on Bharat in their mindless greed of power.
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