compulsion not to see them. Caste which was for ages the most cohesive factor and a suresource of strength for Hindu society, has been converted into a cancer which poisons the verysprings of our politics. Regionalism fostered by local patriotism, missionary machinations, andsectarian separatism has assumed alarming proportions such as imperil the very unity of themotherland. And Islamic imperialism has become many times more self-confident and self-righteous than on the eve of Partition.
THE CHARACTER OF HINDU UNITY
The only stumbling block which has so far stood in the way of this national integration
promoted by our ruling class is the spirit of unity that still survives in Hindu society.It is quite some time that Hindus lost the consciousness of their spiritual centre which unites their society, culture, and way of life. The only source of Hindu unity now is a consciousness of common history, particularly the history of freedom struggles fought against Islamic and Britishimperialism.Hindu society still takes pride in its great past when it made major contributions to the spiritual,cultural, philosophical, and scientific wealth of mankind. Hindu society still cherishes the memoryof its great sages, seers, saints, scientists, scholars, soldiers, and statesmen. Hindu society stillremembers the days of its distress when it had to struggle ceaselessly and very hard againsthorde after horde of Islamic invaders who not only slaughtered, burnt, pillaged, and enslaved butalso tried too foist by force its own brand of barbarism.It is this common consciousness of its history which prevents Hindu society from accepting theMamluks, the Khaljis, the Tughlaqs, the Bahmanis, the Sharqis, the Sayyids, the Lodis, and theMughals as native dynasties on par with the Mauryas, the Sungas, the Guptas, the Cholas, theMaukharis, the Pandyas, the Palas, the Rashtrakutas, the Yadavas, the Kaktiyas, the Hoysalas,the Sangamas, the Saluvas, the Marathas, the Sikhs, and the Jats. Hindu society can never concede that Jaypala Shahiya of Kabul, Maharani Nayakidevi of Gujarat, Prithiviraj Chauhan of Delhi, Jayachandra Gahadvad of Kanauj, Singhanadeva of Devagiri, Vikrama Pandya of Madura,Prolaya Nayak of Andhra, Harihar and Bukka and Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara, MaharanasKumbha and Sanga and Pratap, Shivaji, Banda Bahadur, Maharajas Surajmal and Ranjit Singh,who resisted the Islamic invaders, were petty local chieftains conspiring for personal gains.Hindu society honours these heroes as freedom fighters against Islamic imperialism, in the sameway as it honours its freedom fighters against British imperialism.
THE CHARACTER OF ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM
That is what causes no end of trouble for our promoters of national integration. The Muslim
component of the composite nation has serious objections to this Hindu view of history and
hero-worship. Muslim Indians are not at all prepared to take pride in any period of pre-IslamicIndian history, or honour any hero who flourished in that period. They want the pre-Islamic periodof Indian history to be disowned even by Hindus as an era of darkness. This, they swear, is
demanded by the scriptures of Islam. But, at the same time, they want Hindus to honour criminals, gangsters, mass murderers, criminals and tyrants like Muhammad bin Qasim, MahmudGhaznavi, Muhammad Ghuri, Alauddin Khalji, Muhammad Tughlaq, Sikandar Lodi, Babur,Aurangzeb, and Ahmad Shah Abdali. They also expect the Hindus to denounce as disgruntledrebels, if not as traitors, the medieval Hindu heroes who resisted and ultimately routed Islamicimperialism in India.