Hindu–Muslim unity

(Redirected from Hindu-Muslim unity)

Hindu–Muslim unity is a religiopolitical concept in the Indian subcontinent which stresses members of the two largest faith groups there, Hindus and Muslims, working together for the common good. The concept was championed by various persons, such as leaders in the Indian independence movement, namely Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan,[1] as well as by political parties and movements in British India, such as the Indian National Congress, Khudai Khidmatgar and All India Azad Muslim Conference.[2] Those who opposed the partition of India often adhered to the doctrine of composite nationalism.[3]

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan of the Khudai Khidmatgars and Mohandas Gandhi of the Indian National Congress both strongly championed Hindu–Muslim unity.

History edit

In Mughal India, the emperor Akbar advocated for Hindu–Muslim unity, appointing both Hindus and Muslims as officials in his court.[4] Akbar participated and promoted festivals of both Hinduism and Islam.[5] He also created feasts, such as Phool Walon Ki Sair (although this festival is said to have been started much later in the nineteenth century under Akbar II) to be celebrated by citizens of all faiths.[6] During the Mughal era, Indian art and culture thrived, with the construction of grand monuments such as the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The Mughals fostered religious harmony and cultural advancements and nurtured Hindu scholars, poets, and artists, facilitating a dynamic cultural interchange that enriched both Islamic and Hindu traditions.[7]

Chhatrapati Shivaji also promoted Hindu–Muslim unity. Maratha Hindavi Swarajya had many Muslims in high posts. Shivaji's personal security, his most trusted courtiers, were Muslims. A Muslim general had led the Maratha troops in the third battle of Panipat and sacrificed for the cause.

Sayyid Jamal al-Din al-Afghani Asadabadi advocated for Hindu–Muslim unity, maintaining that it would help the Indian independence movement in their goal to establish an independent India.[8][9]

During the 17th to 19th centuries, India was ruled by the British, who introduced a policy of divide and rule to maintain their control over the country.[10][11] In the Indian Rebellion of 1857, many Hindus and Muslims of India mobilized together to fight against the East India Company.[12] Reflecting on this in 2007, Manmohan Singh stated that these events "stood as a great testimony to the traditions of Hindu–Muslim unity that held out as an example for subsequent generations".[12]

The Lucknow Pact of 1916 was seen as an "important step forward in achieving Hindu–Muslim unity" during the era of the Indian independence movement.[13] Muhammad Ali Jinnah advocated Hindu–Muslim unity in early years of his political career.[14] Gopal Krishna Gokhale stated that Jinnah "has true stuff in him, and that freedom from all sectarian prejudice which will make him the best ambassador of Hindu–Muslim Unity".[15]

Muslim scholars of the Deoband school of thought, such as Qari Muhammad Tayyib and Kifayatullah Dihlawi, championed Hindu–Muslim unity, composite nationalism, and called for a united India.[16] Maulana Sayyid Hussain Ahmad Madani, the leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, stated:[17]

Hindu-Muslim unity is a prerequisite for freedom of India. It is the religious and political duty of the Muslims that they should work for the freedom of India and continue this struggle until the Government accedes to their demand. It is their duty, which they must do with or without companions, it is the order of the Almighty. If non-Muslims extend to you the hand of friendship, you too must extend yours, for compromising for the right cause will establish you as true believers in Allah.[17]

Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana, the Premier of Punjab in colonial India, advocated for amity between the religious communities of undivided India, proclaiming 1 March as Communal Harmony Day and aiding in the establishment of a Communal Harmony Committee in Lahore, in which Raja Narendra Nath served as president and Maulvi Mahomed Ilyas as secretary.[18]

In 1940, Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi established the All-India Jamhur Muslim League to support a united India and to counter the Lahore resolution, passed by the All-India Muslim League, for a separate Pakistan based on Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Two nation theory. He served as the first General Secretary of the All India Jamhur Muslim League.[19]

Threats to Hindu–Muslim unity edit

In the Indian Rebellion of 1857, many Hindus and Muslims in India joined together as Indians to fight against the British East India Company.[20] The British introduced a system of separate electorates, which exacerbated the divide between the Hindu and Muslim communities.[21][22] The British government became concerned about this rise in Indian nationalism therefore; according to some writers, they tried to stir up communalistic feelings among Hindus and Muslims so that they might not again unite to try and overthrow crown rule.[20] For example, Theodore Beck, the principal of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, had told Syed Ahmad Khan that Muslims should have no sympathy with the objectives of the Indian National Congress and that "Anglo-Muslim unity was possible, but Hindu–Muslim unity was impossible".[20]

The author of Composite Nationalism and Islam, Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, a Deobandi Muslim scholar and proponent of a united India, argued that the British government were attempting to "scare Muslims into imagining that in a free India, Muslims would lose their separate identity, and be absorbed into the Hindu fold", a threat that "aim[ed] at depoliticizing the Muslims, weaning them away from struggle for independence."[20] In the eyes of Madani, support for a two-nation theory resulted in the entrenchment of British imperialism.[20]

In the same vein, Kashmiri Indian politician and Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju wrote in The Nation:[22]

Up to 1857, there were no communal problems in India; all communal riots and animosity began after 1857. No doubt even before 1857, there were differences between Hindus and Muslims, the Hindus going to temples and the Muslims going to mosques, but there was no animosity. In fact, the Hindus and Muslims used to help each other; Hindus used to participate in Eid celebrations, and Muslims in Holi and Diwali. The Muslim rulers like the Mughals, Nawab of Awadh and Murshidabad, Tipu Sultan, etc were totally secular; they organised Ramlilas, participated in Holi, Diwali, etc. Ghalib’s affectionate letters to his Hindu friends like Munshi Shiv Naraln Aram, Har Gopal Tofta, etc attest to the affection between Hindus and Muslims at that time. In 1857, the ‘Great Mutiny’ broke out in which the Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. This shocked the British government so much that after suppressing the Mutiny, they decided to start the policy of divide and rule (see online “History in the Service of Imperialism” by B.N. Pande). All communal riots in India began after 1857, artificially engineered by the British authorities. The British collector would secretly call the Hindu Pandit, pay him money, and tell him to speak against Muslims, and similarly he would secretly call the Maulvi, pay him money, and tell him to speak against Hindus. This communal poison was injected into our body politic year after year and decade after decade.[22]

On the other hand, Ajay Verghese says that the conflicts between the Hindu-Muslim population existed long before arrival of the British to the Indian subcontinent; he says that in places where British had less influence (like the princely states), the number of communal riots was more frequent as compared to places which were directly under British rule (like British Indian provinces).[23] In addition, Hindu nationalists cite the historical persecution of Hindus by Muslim rulers as a basis for their counterattack.[24]

In the same year that the Babri Masjid was destroyed, Indian legal scholar Tahir Mahmood told The New York Times:[24]

There is a very fundamental difference between Hindus and Muslims. If we go by religious beliefs, what is most abhorrent in Islam is idol worship. For our religion it is so abhorrent. For the other it is normal practice. For followers of Islam, they cannot compromise on that. That seems to be the main reason these communities cannot reconcile.[24]

Hindutva violence edit

In contemporary times, many observers highlight instances of polarization and tensions driven by political ideologies such as Hindutva has been described as a variant of right-wing extremism.[25] Critics point to instances where elements of Hindutva ideology and its incidents of violence have raised apprehensions about potential implications for Hindu-Muslim unity.[26][27][28]

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in violence motivated by Hindutva ideology, particularly towards Muslims,[29] and includes acts of extremist terroristic violence.[30][31][32] This has principally been perpetrated by or has implicated members, or alleged members, of Hindu nationalist organizations such as the RSS or Abhinav Bharat.[33][34][35] The violence has also been condoned by the BJP politicians and used as an electoral strategy to garner support from the far-right Hindu population.[36][37] The veneration of cows as deities and restrictions on meat consumption have also been used by to justify violence against Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and lower-caste Hindus.[38] Approximately one-third of state governments enforced anti-conversion and/or anti-cow slaughter laws against non-Hindus.[39][40]

In recent times, there has been a increase in the production of films that have raised concerns over their potential impact on Hindu-Muslim unity. Some of these movies have been criticized for promoting Islamophobic narratives and perpetuating unfounded theories such as "love jihad," a conspiracy theory that relies on disinformation to conduct its hate campaign and have the potential to deepen societal divisions and fuel mistrust between communities.[41][42][43][44]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Bhave, Y. G. (1997). The Mahatma and the Muslims. Northern Book Centre. p. 39. ISBN 9788172110819.
  2. ^ Veeravalli, Anuradha (2016). Gandhi in Political Theory: Truth, Law and Experiment. Routledge. p. 84. ISBN 9781317130994.
  3. ^ Na, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im; Naʻīm, ʻAbd Allāh Aḥmad (2009). Islam and the Secular State. Harvard University Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-674-03376-4. The Jamiya-i-ulama-Hind founded in 1919, strongly opposed partition in the 1940s now although this was accpetable for muslims but not hindus and all of the hindus started chanting under a flag of a white tiger "zarshan our only leader in the west let's all kill the rest" and was committed to composite nationalism.
  4. ^ Bahadur, K. P. (1990). Rasikapriya of Keshavadasa. Motilal Banarsidass. p. i. ISBN 9788120807341.
  5. ^ Bahadur, K.P. (1976). Selections from Rāmacandrikā of Keśavadāsa. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. p. 1. ISBN 9788120827899.
  6. ^ Indian and Foreign Review, Volume 23. Publications Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. 1985. p. 82.
  7. ^ Mehrotra, Abhishek (9 December 2017). "The Real History of Hindu-Muslim Relations Under Akbar". The Diplomat. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  8. ^ "AFḠĀNĪ, JAMĀL-AL-DĪN". Encyclopaedia Iranica. 22 July 2011. In Hyderabad 1880-81 Afḡānī published six Persian articles in the journal Moʿallem-e šafīq, which were reprinted in Urdu and Persian in various editions of Maqālāt-e Jamālīya. The three major themes of these articles are: 1. advocacy of linguistic or territorial nationalism, with an emphasis upon the unity of Indian Muslims and Hindus, not of Indian Muslims and foreign Muslims; 2. the benefits of philosophy and modern science; and 3. attacks on Sayyed Aḥmad Khan for being pro-British. On nationalism, he writes in "The Philosophy of National Unity and the Truth about Unity of Language" that linguistic ties are stronger and more durable than religious ones (he was to make exactly the opposite point in the pan-Islamic al-ʿOrwat al-woṯqā a few years later). In India he felt the best anti-imperialist policy was Hindu-Muslim unity, while in Europe he felt it was pan-Islam.
  9. ^ Aslam, Arshad (28 July 2011). "The Politics Of Deoband". Outlook. Much before Madani, Jamaluddin Afghani argued that Hindus and Muslims must come together to overthrow the British. Husain Ahmad would argue the same thing after five decades.
  10. ^ Rehman, Aziz (11 May 2018). "The British Art of Colonialism in India: Subjugation and Division". Peace and Conflict Studies. 25 (1). doi:10.46743/1082-7307/2018.1439. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  11. ^ Smith, Randall (10 August 2017). "The Partition: The British game of 'divide and rule'". Al-Jazeera. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  12. ^ a b "'1857 revolt tribute to Hindu–Muslim unity'". Hindustan Times. 10 May 2007.
  13. ^ The Pearson CSAT Manual 2011. Pearson Education India. 2011. ISBN 9788131758304. An important step forward in achieving Hindu–Muslim unity was the Lucknow Pact, 1916.
  14. ^ WELL, IAN BRYANT (2005). AMBASSADOR OF HINDU–MUSLIM UNITY JINNAH'S EARLY POLITICS. Vanguard Books. ISBN 8178241447. Archived from the original on 26 January 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  15. ^ Wolpert, Stanley (1984). Jinnah of Pakistan. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 33–35. ISBN 978-0-19-503412-7.
  16. ^ MacLean, Derryl N. (2013). Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9780748656097.
  17. ^ a b McDermott, Rachel Fell; Gordon, Leonard A.; Embree, Ainslie T.; Pritchett, Frances W.; Dalton, Dennis (2014). Sources of Indian Traditions: Modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Columbia University Press. p. 457. ISBN 978-0-231-51092-9.
  18. ^ Talbot, Ian (1996). Khizr Tiwana, The Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of India. Curzon Press. pp. 77, 303.
  19. ^ Ministry of Culture, Government of India. "Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi". amritmahotsav.nic.in.
  20. ^ a b c d e Syeda, Lubna Shireen (2014). "Madani and Composite Nationalism". A study of Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind with special reference to Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani in freedom movement (A.D. 1919 – A.D.1947). Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University/Shodhganga. pp. 207–211, 257–258. hdl:10603/54426.
  21. ^ Tharoor, Shashi (2017). Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India. Hurst. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-84904-808-8.
  22. ^ a b c Justice Markandey Katju. "The truth about Pakistan". The Nation. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  23. ^ Verghese, Ajay. "British Rule and Hindu-Muslim Riots in India: A Reassessment". Georgetown University. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  24. ^ a b c Gargan, Edward A. (11 December 1992). "The Hatreds of India; Hindu Memory Scarred by Centuries Of Sometimes Despotic Islamic Rule". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  25. ^ Leidig, Eviane (17 July 2020). "Hindutva as a variant of right-wing extremism". Patterns of Prejudice. 54 (3): 215–237. doi:10.1080/0031322X.2020.1759861. hdl:10852/84144. ISSN 0031-322X.
  26. ^ Babur, Anum (2021). "Hindutva and Islamophobia". Strategic Studies. 41 (4): 1–16. doi:10.53532/ss.20210401. JSTOR 48732336. S2CID 247268905. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  27. ^ Madan, Aman (30 May 2019). "How India's BJP cultivated a Muslim front for its Hindu nationalism". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  28. ^ Sarfraz, Hammad (28 August 2020). "Modi is a threat to India's unity". The Tribune Express. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  29. ^ Ramachandran, S. (2020). "Hindutva Violence in India: Trends and Implications". Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses. 12 (4): 15–20. JSTOR 26918077.
  30. ^ Gatade, S. (2014). "Pawns In, Patrons Still Out: Understanding the Phenomenon of Hindutva Terror". Economic and Political Weekly. 49 (13): 36–43. JSTOR 24479356.
  31. ^ Bidwai, P. (2008). "Confronting the Reality of Hindutva Terrorism". Economic and Political Weekly. 43 (47): 10–13. JSTOR 40278200.
  32. ^ Das, Runa (2006). "Encountering Hindutva, interrogating religious nationalism and (En)gendering a Hindu patriarchy in India's nuclear policies". International Feminist Journal of Politics. 8 (3): 370–393. doi:10.1080/14616740600792988. S2CID 142800345.
  33. ^ Pubby, Vipin (4 October 2015). "Hindutva terror cases: NIA on the backfoot as apex court questions complicity charges". Scroll.in.
  34. ^ Christophe Jaffrelot (29 January 2009). "A running thread of deep saffron". The Indian Express. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  35. ^ Subhash Gatade (October 2007). "Saffron terror". Himal. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  36. ^ "Why the BJP Won't – and Can't – Give Up on Hindutva as an Electoral Strategy". The Wire. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  37. ^ "The politics of Hindutva in India". IISS. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  38. ^ Shakuntala, Banaji (2018). "Vigilante Publics: Orientalism, Modernity and Hindutva Fascism in India". Javnost - the Public: Journal of the European Institute for Communication and Culture. 25 (4): 333–350. doi:10.1080/13183222.2018.1463349. S2CID 149962714.
  39. ^ Annual Report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (PDF) (Report). U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. April 2018. p. 37.
  40. ^ "States Where Cow Slaughter is Banned So Far, and States Where it Isn't". 26 May 2017.
  41. ^ Samanth, Subramanian (10 October 2022). "When the Hindu Right Came for Bollywood". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  42. ^ Bureau, The Hindu (7 May 2023). "The Kerala Story pulled out of multiplexes in Tamil Nadu". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 9 May 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2023 – via www.thehindu.com.
  43. ^ "The Kerala Story: Why an Indian film on Islamic State is so controversial". BBC News. 10 May 2023. Archived from the original on 19 May 2023. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  44. ^ MASOOD, USAMA (3 February 2023). "From 'Mission Majnu' to 'Pathaan,' How Bollywood Packages Islamophobia". Collider. Retrieved 15 August 2023.