The first minority government in India. Absence or inadequacy of social fusion in a country creates the problem of the minority. Religious, racial, regional, linguistic, ethnic group-feeling marked by narrow-mindedness or fanaticism affect the healthy working and the healthy life of a nation. Corporate interests are ignored and conflicting interests which are more artificial than natural are created. Just as for an individual it is difficult to be natural they do not achieve so for a community or a nation, balance and a natural change of interests. Integration is a plant of slow growth. It achieves harmonious living in a pluralistic society at all event step by step and phase by phase.
In India, we have a multiplicity of races and nationalities, of regional habits and ways of life, of manners and customs, of languages, of diets and dresses and other divergences. The builders of India’s life during all periods of Indian history made invaluable contributions to the evolution of fundamental unity amidst bewildering and insurmountable divisions and diversities. Religions and religious differences became a tool in the hands of separatists and divisive forces. In the Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that the enlightened man sees similarities and unities where in-enlightened men see only dissimilarities and disunities. Ours is a country of contrasts, but even during the centuries known as the Muslim period, and even afterwards, till today, Hindus and Muslims have given proof of a fraternal life the like of which no other country and no other nation can show. It is a miracle of Indian history.
But the foreign British government undermined and sabotaged this fusion, this integration and this unity and fraternity. It made the Hindus feel that British rule favoured the Muslims. They made the Muslims feel that even with British favour the Hindus were running away with all the prizes. Only men With searching minds endowed with dispassionate discernment could see that British rule had to sap an emasculating effect on the overwhelming majority both of Hindus and of Muslims. It lost constructive national work resulting in mass uplift and the mass sight of, and a non-existent created Hindu-Muslim problem took the place of constructive thinking and of mass welfare both of the Hindus and of the Muslims. Hindus and Muslims fought for shadows and neglected the substance. For misguided people in both the communities shadows became substances. Cow slaughter the Hindi-Urdu question, percentages of Communal representation in ineffective bodies, and in services, assumed an inflated importance compared to such vital questions as the economic uplift, the educational uplift, transferring political power to the people, etc.
Introducing separate electorates sowed the of lasting discord between the Hindus and Muslims. Ramsay Macdonald, the Prime Minister of England, who called himself a socialist, further tried to disrupt India’s national unity by proposing separate electorates for the untouchables and other backward classes of Hindu society. Evil became a self-generating force of chain-reaction by introducing separate electorates. Men with insight, whose ideal was a welfare state, found that communal representation being a meaningless and mischievous term was neither here nor there. It was neither fish nor flesh nor good red herring. It only meant turning India into a cockpit; it only meant the Balkanization of India. Every agriculturist, every skilled and unskilled labourer, every middle-class Indian had to have an opportunity for remunerative work and adequate wages. Political and economic power structure had to be changed to enable every Indian to come into his own. The supreme task of India nation-building needed creating a condition not of sectional but of universal welfare. When every Hindu and every Muslim family was to be adequately provided for, the Hindu-Muslim problem or the majority-minority problem would automatically cease to exist. It is only when a few are favoured and the many of teeming millions are left to their own fate that the problem of minorities can crop up. The social, economic and political thinking was substituted and selected by the middle and upper classes of both Hindus and Muslims. Universal welfare and the uniform growth and development of the entire Indian society simply did not matter to the vast majority and the minority problems. There are no majorities and no minorities of Hindus or Muslims. Each and all have to be helped by the State to lead a decent life. Each and all have to be rescued from want and poverty. Each and all have an equal share in the blessings of a truly welfare state. With this aim and ideal do not the words ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ become meaningless?
In the name of the majority, only a microscopic section of Hindus were the beneficiaries. And the same story is true for the Muslims. In both communities, only a microscopic minority was having almost everything to itself. What is the picture even today? A handful of Hindus and Muslims alone are the beneficiaries. They are the Establishment. For the overwhelming majority of both Hindus and Muslims, unemployment, less than semi-employment, poor wages and salaries, the absence of all hopes and all prospects, unrelieved misery is the reality. Whether it is Hindus or Muslims, fortune smiles only on the few and frowns on the many. A microscopic minority both among the Hindus and Muslims is among the ‘haves’, the rest are among the ‘have-not. Hunger and poverty have no community and no religion.
The myth of Hindu majority interests has been exploded in India and the myth of Muslim interests has met a similar fate in Pakistan. It has been very rightly said that the masses of one country, whatever their religion, have and can have conflict With the masses of other countries. It is only the class champions both among Hindus and Muslims who speak of religious majority and religious minority. The minority problem simply does not exist. There are only the problems of want, hunger, economic misery, employment and wages, not for a majority or a minority but of all, which are concrete, actual and real. For humanity’s sake let us have clear thinking and not deformed, befuddled thinking. There are no majorities and no minorities. There are only humanity and an undivided and indivisible society.