Why I won’t cel­e­brate In­dia’s in­de­pen­dence

Ottawa Sun - - COMMENT - TAREK FATAH

Au­gust 15 will mark In­dia’s 70th an­niver­sary as a free coun­try. That was the day in 1947 when it emerged from its long, dark, win­ter of al­most 1,000 years of for­eign rule.

The first in­va­sion of In­dia, with the in­tent of per­ma­nent oc­cu­pa­tion and de­struc­tion of its Hindu ethos, was made by the Arabs in 710 AD .

Af­ter that came Afghan, Tur­kic and Cen­tral Asian bar­bar­ians who com­mit­ted un­told hor­rors on a largely civ­i­lized and peace­ful peo­ple.

In­dia still lives with the scars of these in­va­sions, but more on that later.

From the 16th cen­tury on­wards, it was the turn of the Euro­peans, who os­ten­si­bly came for trade, but re­duced In­dia from be­ing one of the most pros­per­ous places on earth, to one of the poor­est.

First came the Por­tuguese, fol­lowed by the Dutch, French and fi­nally the Bri­tish Raj, that lasted 200 years. In­dia’s in­de­pen­dence 70 years ago came at a huge price and left a per­ma­nent scar that may never go away.

The 7,000-year-old In­dian civ­i­liza­tion born on the plains of Pun­jab and the River In­dus, and in the foothills of the Hi­malayas, would have both its limbs am­pu­tated as the price of free­dom.

What be­gan in 710 AD as an Is­lamic at­tempt to de­stroy “Hind”, as proph­e­sized in Is­lam’s doc­trine of “Ghazwae-Hind” (Prophet Muham­mad’s war on In­dia) led to In­dia los­ing the very River In­dus it was named af­ter to the Is­lamic State of Pak­istan.

The process of In­dia’s am­pu­ta­tion be­gan on Au­gust 16, 1946, barely a year af­ter World War Two ended, re­veal­ing the hor­rors of the Holo­caust, where six mil­lion Jews were tar­geted for an­ni­hi­la­tion.

The leader of the Pak­istan move­ment in In­dia, M. A. Jin­nah, or­dered a so-called “Di­rect Ac­tion Day” which ended in the killing of Hin­dus in the city of Cal­cutta, to black­mail the sec­u­lar In­dian Na­tional Congress to con­cede to his de­mand for the “Par­ti­tion of In­dia”.

This so he could carve out an Is­lamic state, claim­ing Mus­lims could not live un­der the rule of non-Mus­lims, par­tic­u­larly the sup­pos­edly “un­clean” Hin­dus.

On that day Jin­nah un­leashed his thugs in Cal­cutta to an orgy of death, slaugh­ter­ing Hin­dus with­out mercy. Thou­sands were killed.

A Hindu reprisal against Mus­lims is what Jin­nah was hop­ing for and he got what he had planned.

Days be­fore the ri­ots, Jin­nah told a press con­fer­ence, as re­ported by Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist Mar­garet Bourke-White in her book, Half­way to Free­dom: “We will either have a di­vided In­dia or a de­stroyed In­dia.”

Both Jawa­har­lal Nehru and Ma­hatma Gandhi suc­cumbed to Jin­nah’s black­mail.

By the time the mas­sacres were over, few Hin­dus or Sikhs were left alive in La­hore, the an­cient Hindu city be­lieved to be named af­ter “Luv” the son of Lord Ram.

While Mus­lims who moved to Pak­istan from In­dia came of their own ac­cord, Hin­dus and Sikhs did not leave their homes on their own ac­count. Many were hunted down and killed or chased away.

Just two years af­ter the world had said “Never Again,” what hap­pened to the Jews in Ger­many hap­pened to Hin­dus and Sikhs in the new Is­lamic state.

It is po­lit­i­cally incorrect to say so, but the facts stare us in our face.

On Au­gust 15, this Mus­lim Indo-Cana­dian will not cel­e­brate my moth­er­land’s am­pu­ta­tion.

I leave that for the fic­tion writ­ers, who live in the rar­efied air where lies are passed off as good­will ges­tures.

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