From the Archives: ‘Treat minorities fairly’, Gandhi's advice to Hindus | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

From the Archives: ‘Treat minorities fairly’, Gandhi's advice to Hindus

Sep 29, 2023 11:26 PM IST

“The British will make of us two nations and that with a flourish of trumpets. Is that to be the parting shot? I hope not”, Mahatma Gandhi said.

The division of India with subdivision of some provinces puts us on our mettle, says a message issued by Mahatma Gandhi, and read out in place of his usual speech at the prayer meeting on Monday, his silence day.

Mahatma Gandhi in Noakhali, Assam, during the Partition riots of 1947. (HT file photo)
Mahatma Gandhi in Noakhali, Assam, during the Partition riots of 1947. (HT file photo)

The message adds: “The papers today (Monday) talk of a grand ceremonial to take place in London over the division of India into "two nations" which were only the other day one nation. What is there to gloat over in the tragedy? We have hugged the relief that though we part we do so as friends and brothers belonging to one family. Now, if the newspaper report is correct, the British will make of us two nations and that with a flourish of trumpets. Is that to be the parting shot? I hope not.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

"If the major partner is true to his salt the foreshadowed wisdom can be confounded not in the shape of avoiding partition, however distasteful it might be, but by right behaviour on the part of the major partner by always acting as one nation, by refusing to treat the Muslim minorities as aliens in their own home.

‘Reform Hindu religion’

"This means a revolutionary reform in the religion of the major partner. Let us not shut our eyes to the plain fact. The untouchables – the Scheduled Classes – are the target because they are the weakest point of Hinduism. One reads reports of Muslim League speakers holding forth that the Scheduled Classes in Pakistan can have separate electorates. Is that to be a call for joining Islam of the Pakistan type? I do not wish to recall the tales of forcible conversions. But having heard so much from their own mouths, I shudder to contemplate the worst.

"What is the answer to this feat or threat? It is undoubtedly that there should be no untouchability whatsoever in Hinduism, no Scheduled Classes therefore in India, no caste divisions whatsoever in the eye of the law.

Hindus are all one, no high or low. All the neglected classes such as the Scheduled Classes and the so-called aboriginal classes should receive special treatment in the matter of education, housing, etc. On the electoral roll they will be one. This [indecipherable] than the present but better in every way. Will Hinduism come up to the high level or will it court extinction by hugging infamous superstitions and aping bad manners?”

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Narendra Modi Live Updates along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, March 03, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On