Professor Rakesh Sinha

Bangalore January 08, 2013: Prof.Rakesh Sinha, Associate Prof. of Delhi University and Director of India Policy Foundation, Delhi spoke on the threats emanating from separatist ideologies that are now demanding creation of separate Muslim universities. Below is an extract of his speech at Rashtrotthana Parishat, Bengaluru recently.

Professor Rakesh Sinha


“Before going into the reasons as to why there is a demand for separate Muslims university in the name of Tipu Sultan, we need to understand the antecedents of this trend. The Non-left and non-congress voices have been suppressed even from pre-independence times. The meaning of ‘secularism’was twisted to cater to separatists interests. The creation of Aligarh Muslim University was a result of such tendencies. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan catered to such separatist interests as he did not want the average Muslims to inter-mingle with people of other faiths. He created the Aligarh Muslim University for this purpose of having a separate education center for Muslims. Though Jinnah is hailed as a creator of Pakistan, it was Syed Ahmad Khan who was the actual father of the two-nation theory which resulted in dividing the country. This act of separating people of one country based on faith, which started then, is being repeated again today through the Sachar Committee.

I have gone through the entire Sachar committee report and found its intentions are highly objectionable. It is not only unconstitutional; it will eventually lead to creation of a nation within a nation. The recommendations of the committee are on communal lines and will divide the country. This is a result of the vote bank politics. Moreover, facts and figures are inaccurate as the analysis of the data collected was done by incompetent hands. It has suggested delimitation of constituencies so that the Muslim population in different places can come under one constituency. This is detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country.

The allocation of work in the committee was very lopsided. Those with secular credentials were not allocated much work and those with decidedly communal leanings were given work over and above the terms and reference. It was these members who recommended the census of Muslims in the defence forces and organizations like ISRO, DRDO and IB.This was a direct attack on the ‘secular’ credentials of the Army. It was due to forthrightness of Lt.Gen. J N Singh, who did not succumb to the machinations of the committee and refused to divulge such data. The Sachar Committee has also recommended constituencies reserved for SC/STs are de-reserved if the population of Muslims in the constituency is more than 18% and ear-mark all such constituencies for Muslims. The committee has made baseless charges that women in burqa are teased and Muslims students are targeted in schools and hence they go to Madrassas.

Several such recommendations of the Sachar Committee are in parallel to the recommendations of the ‘Huntercommission’ that led to the creation of Pakistan. In fact the ‘Peerpur Committee’ formed by the Muslim League used such canards to support their argument for creation of Pakistan. It deemed that hoisting of the tri-color and singing Vande Mataram were atrocities committed on Muslims. It claimed that Muslims were not getting appropriate share in government jobs and the Hindu majority was appropriating their opportunities. Today, the Sachar Committee is peddling similar fabrications.

The Muslimcommunity today is fed with incorrect information and wrong icons. Anyone concerned about the nation should go through the deliberations of the constituent assembly over the term ‘minority’ in the constitution.Tajammul Hussain of the Muslim League said the term ‘minority’ is a creation of the British and after their departure the term should also ‘go’. This is same as what Shri.Guruji Golwalkar says in his ‘Bunch of thoughts’. He said the there is no distinction as majority and minority. Another constituent assembly member H C Mukherjee, who was a Christian by faith, asked if they wanted to create one nation or many nations, as inclusion of the term ‘minority’ will allow creation of two nations. Sardar Patel had famously said, “You led the movement for Pakistan and got it, but now you want to divide what is already divided?” He also said there is no place for those who want religion-based reservation and create one more nation and divide us.

If the developments have come to this juncture after all these years, it symbolizes the collective failure of all those who are concerned about the nation. For the sake of unity and integrity of the nation, we need to adopt few measures that will arrest the march of the separatist ideologues. First, the nationalist forces should come out of the ‘ideological holiday’ which has created an ideological vacuum. Any separatist ideologies should be fought likewise. In 2006, ministry of minority affairs was created only to appease Muslims for the sake of votes. The objective has been to damage the secular polity of the country. After several years since the creation of the National Commission for Minorities, it has received only about 12,000 complaints till date, most of which are related to issues with traffic police and employment. Such politics of appeasement should be fought. Any attempt to divide the country on communal lines should be rejected by all. Examples of Belgium and France who voted out burqa are worth emulating in creating a uniform identity for everyone in the country. Certain people among both Muslims and Christians who are inimical to the national interests are the ones who are against this process of unification. India is the only country where multiculturalism is accepted as a norm. Hence the Muslims too should be provided an opportunity to negotiate between medievalism and modernity.

The other measure would be to deconstruct the psychology that Muslims are separate from others in this country. To enable this, Article 30 of our constitution needs to be revoked. This will enable the integration of the Muslims into the national mainstream. The nationalistic ‘Mukherjee – Tajammul Hussain paradigm’ needs to be constructed. Only when nationalistic Muslims like AA Faizi, Humayun Kabir and Arif Mohammad Khan are in the mainstream, the leftist narrative can be changed. This is a collective responsibility of all of us. It is the mindset of false identity politics that needs to be demolished. It is this mindset of being separate from the mainstream that facilitates such demands of separate university for Muslims. This has to be countered and the mindset should be deconstructed.

It is also very important to bring out critical and non-emotional literature to deconstruct the false identity paradigm that has been built.Several legislations like the enemy property acts hould be done away with. People like Salman Khurshid who portray the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots as the punishment for both the communities for the ‘crimes’ of 1947, should be condemned. Politics of opportunism displayed by former president Pratibha Patil by allowing burqa in the Indian Army must be decried. It is personalities like Kemal Ataturk of Turkey who was a truly secular Muslim who must be emulated by the community here. No doubt this is a tough and uphill task, but we need not get demoralized but must continuously works towards achieving the goal”

Report by Prashant Vaidyaraj for VSK-Karnataka.

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