Saturday, April 16, 2016

Fwd: E-Understanding the Muslim mind through Dr Ambedkar-Sanjeev Nayyar-14 April 2016

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India's inability to understand the sub-continent Muslim mind has resulted in our failure to deal with Pakistan and solve the Muslim problem in India. This article takes extracts from Ambedkar's masterpiece Thoughts on Pakistan and gives a brief comment on each extract.

Understanding the Muslim mind through Dr Ambedkar

Sanjeev Nayyar

14 April 2016


The Pakistan envoy to India, Abdul Basit, stunned India by unilaterally announcing the suspension of the peace process and saying the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir is the root cause of mutual distrust between the two nations.


Have we not heard this before? The only constant is India's inability to understand the Pakistani mind!


This article analyses extracts from Dr BR Ambedkar's 1941 masterpiece 'Thoughts on Pakistan' on the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary. The author's purpose is to share insights and not to provoke anybody.


1. Loss of political power

"The condition of Muslims was best stated by a liberal, R M Sayani in his Presidential address at the 12th session of the Congress held in 1896. … Before the advent of the British in India, the Muslims were the rulers of the country. The court language was their own (Persian was the official language till 1842). Every place of trust and responsibility, or carrying influence and high emoluments, was theirs by birthright. The Hindus did occupy the same position but were tenants-at-will of the Muslims.


"Meanwhile, British introduced English education into the country. The Hindus were used to this, as under Muslim rule, they had practically to master a foreign tongue, and so easily took to new education. But the Muslim had not yet become accustomed to this sort of thing. Muslims resented competing with the Hindus, whom they had till recently regarded as their inferiors." [History and Culture of the Indian People, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Vol. X, p. 295]


-          Whether it be 1896 or today, Muslims tend of hold the government responsible for everything, rather than pull up their socks and face the contemporary world. It is easy to criticize others but difficult to change oneself. The intrinsic nature of Sanatana Dharma helps Hindus to keep changing with time.


2. Cohabiting in independent India

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University, said on 16 March 1888, "Now suppose all the Brits were to leave India, then who would be the rulers of India? Is it possible that Hindus & Muslims could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not."


-          Sir Syed and the Muslim leaders who fought for Pakistan clearly realized that one man one vote is at the heart of democracy. As Hindus outnumbered Muslims, the latter could not expect a disproportionate share of power. After partition and independence, they increased their population (from 3.77 crore in 1951 to 17.22 crore in 2011).


3. Communal composition of Indian Army  

"The Indian Army today is pre-dominantly Muslim in its composition. The Muslims who predominate are from Punjab and North West Frontier Province (see table below). It means that such Muslims are made the sole defenders of India from foreign invasion. The Hindus will have to pay for the Army but will not be able to use them because the realist must note that of all the Muslims, those of the North-West is the most disaffected Muslim, in his relation with the Hindus". [Thoughts on Pakistan, p. 89]


 Changes in the Communal Composition of the Indian Army @


Area & Communities

% in 1914

% in 1930


Punjab, NW.F.P & Kashmir




Nepal, Kumaon, Garwhal




Upper India




South India (includes Marathas)











@ pg 75 2 . Post 1930 no data was available.


"Out of the total revenue of Rs 59.04 crs the Pakistan area contributed Rs 7.13 crs. Of this Rs 52 crs is spent on the army, the bulk of which is on the Muslim army drawn from the Pakistan area." [ibid].


-          That India is secure today because of its Army is incontestible. That is very likely the reason why the Army is sought to be weakened by tying it down in counter-insurgency operations and maligning it.


-          One wonders if the large percentage of Punjabis in the Pakistan Army is the reason for the latter dominating Pakistan's political landscape since independence, at the cost of the civil liberties of the population. 


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