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Reality of Divide and Rule in British India

Akhtar Hussain Sandhu1 Abstract The policy of divide and rule is seen as a mechanism used throughout history to maintain imperial rule. It identifies preexisting ethno-religious divisions in society and then manipulates them in order to prevent subject peoples unified challenge to rule by outsiders. Many Indian and other scholars have maintained that the British adopted this strategy in order to strengthen the aj. Both communal conflict and Muslim separatism are seen as having been created by this strategy. This understanding sidelines all the factors !hich forced the Muslims to see" a homeland. #ven the advocates of this theory agree to the fact that unrest$ turmoil$ communal clashes and poor condition of la! and order !ea"en the grip of the ruling authorities over the country. Therefore$ to agree !ith the existence of divide and rule strategy implies that the British !ere prepared to ris" instability !hich !ent counter to their re%uirement of la! and order. Insolent behaviour and injustice do not pave the !ay for harmony and co-operation. The &ongress !as infuriating the Muslims and their leadership although it !as clear that the Britishers had been ma"ing the fullest use of the divide and rule policy regarding the Muslims. It convinces to conclude$ !hether the &ongress leadership !as not a!are of the British divide and rule policy or it adopted deliberately the supportive attitude to!ards the British in fulfilling their sinister objectives of

(ecturer$ )epartment of *istory$ International Islamic +niversity$ Islamabad.

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vivisection of India. This article explores different dimensions of the divide and rule policy and its practicality in the politics of British India. If it is assumed that the British had governed India through divide and rule$ policy$ it reduces the &ongress to impotency that it !as unable to challenge this strategy and prevent the nourishment of communalism in the -ubcontinent. This article see"s revision from the !riters !ho believe that the British ruled over India through the policy of divide and rule in the administrative affairs. The very principle can be practical in a battlefield to reduce the number of the enemies or create rift among the confronting forces but this strategy cannot be used by the rulers !ho see" peace or la! and order in the region under their possession. .ot unrest and communal clashes but regional peace and communal or factional harmony can better serve the aspirations of a con%ueror !ho decides to stay and rule. +nder this situation$ the British adopted the policy to maintain harmony and peace. They valued unity and tran%uillity in the British India. They provided several opportunities to the Indian leaders to achieve communal harmony !ho failed to conclude any agreed settlement. Indian responsibility and agency of course %uestions the extent to !hich the burden of the failure is placed on British shoulders. /lmost all the primary sources related to the colonial era have been declassified and no document has yet been found !hich reveals evidence of a deliberate and sustained divide and rule strategy in India. Moreover$ to adopt this understanding$ one has to ignore evidence of *indu-Muslim conflict !hich predates the ruling British presence. 0urthermore$ the post-colonial governments have been confronting communal conflict for decades1 is there still a British push of divide and rule behind conflicts in 2ashmir$ 3ujrat$ /ssam or else!here in India4 The situation testifies that the British never used such a policy in India rather their revolutionary systemic changes and the communitarian response to the democratic reforms caused numerous side effects in the region !hich$ under duress of nationalism !ere later interpreted as deriving from a divide and rule strategy. It is an undeniable reality that the &ongress leadership concluded friendly dialogue !ith the imperialists !ho !ere

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projected before the masses as exploiters and enemies of India. .o doubt$ negotiations !ere imperative as dialogical rationale but the &ongress leadership never treated the British as enemies in the discussions. They had never been blunt in the dialogues branding 6iceroys and 3overnors as the conspirators or hypocrites in the case of communalism. They never refused to address the British !ith *is Majestys 3overnment or *is or 7our #xcellency. *ardly any letter from the top &ongress leaders to the British 6iceroy can be presented as evidence in !hich they had adopted a defiant attitude. They traditionally submitted to the British by addressing the officials as *is #xcellency$ *is Majestys 3overnment$ my dear$ etc. #ven the -i"h leaders used sometimes your servant in the correspondence !ith 3overnor of the 8unjab. /lthough these !ere the recognised forms in the political correspondence but this !as an imperialistic mannerism !hich the freedom fighters 9as they claim or the !riters present them: !ere not supposed to follo! such a belittling mannerism. They could use other !ords of respect to sho! decency if they desired in the correspondence. Mostly it is argued that the rulers !ere dividing the Indian communities but M. 2. 3andhi and ;a!aharlal .ehru never refused to join the rulers in the negotiations on the plea of the British conspiracy to vivisect India through the divide and rule policy. They could permanently boycott all the affairs by arguing that they could not tal"$ share$ or eat !ith the enemies of the Indian nation. But the *indu leadership had been enjoying friendly relations$ banters$ dinners$ functions$ even beyond this !ith the Britishers. )o the nationalist !riters believe that the &ongress leaders could not understand the British !ho !ere trying to separate the Muslims from the *indus through the policy of divide and rule in India4 If they !ere a!are of the British policy then they should have tried to ta"e the Muslim (eague into confidence to repudiate the British conspiracy. The &ongress leadership never pointed out this anti-Indian policy during the parleys !ith the British officials and delegations. /ll this ramifies that the &ongress leadership itself !as bac"ing the British in launching the divide and rule policy in India because despite cry from the *indu and Muslim exhortations to the &ongress$ they


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continued ignoring the Muslim (eague leadership throughout the British aj !hich gradually dragged them a!ay from the *indus. Many Indian historians maintain that the Muslim (eague played a pro-British role but never project the same aspect of the Indian .ational &ongress. .obody can negate this fact that the founding leadership of the Indian .ational &ongress in '==> and India after '?<@ !as the British. In the beginning$ the *indus had no competent person to do !hat /. A. *ume did but !hat forced them in the presence of so-called *indu statesmen that they had to re%uest (ord Mountbatten to ta"e charge as the first 3overnor3eneral of India. The most educated community of India seemed re%uesting the British officers to continue !or"ing in India after /ugust '?<@. It is true that 8a"istan also had many British officials in the civil administration$ including the 3overnor of the Best 8unjab$ -ir 0rancis Mudie and army officers$ but this !as so due to the fact that there !as a much smaller pool of %ualified officials and army officers after partition but the *indus did not face the same deficiency. Boefully$ after independence$ Indian nationalisms creed of unity in diversity meant that there !as a need to vilify the Muslim (eagues standpoint !hich had given birth to 8a"istan. Therefore$ Muslim separatism !as !ritten off as not reflecting a natural reality$ but as the construction of colonial manipulative policies of divide and rule. Thus !hilst the birth of the Muslim (eague !as put do!n as due to British encouragement in a command performance$ the British role in the emergence of the Indian .ational &ongress in '==> !as glossed over. /llan Actavian *ume not only founded the &ongress but also exerted a lot to run its affairs successfully. Throughout the starting years$ he arranged the &ongress annual sessions and for this purpose tried to be in contact !ith different persons. *e managed things li"e finance and reports. There !ere no *indus but only *ume !ho undertoo" all the Cpolitical !or" until 3opal 2rishna 3o"hale follo!ed his example in '?D'.E' 0ive Britons had been invited to preside over the annual meetings from '==> to '?'= including 3eorge 7ule in '===$ Billiam Bedderburn in '==? and '?'D$ /lfred Bebb in '=?<$ *enry &otton in '?D< and /nnie Besant in '?'@. To Mehrotra$ the C&ongress deliberately chose

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Britons as presidents in order to prove its loyal$ moderate and nonracial character.E, Membership fee !as s. ,> and according to the rules$ students !ere debarred to join the party. The &ongress president !as a four-day "ing of the Indians. )uring the annual gathering$ the representatives from different areas of India !ere supposed to stay at different places according to their religion or status.5 The British intention behind the foundation of the Indian .ational &ongress !as not the policy to divide the Indians and rule over the country rather they provided a training forum for them. But if it is accepted as a British conspiracy against the Indians$ then this policy !as not secret rather open and tangible because the British !ere adamant in furthering the cause of the &ongress. If it !as a training platform$ then all .ehrus and 3andhis !ere the students of the institution !hich !as initiated and run by the British. 8erhaps$ under the same feelings$ the .ehru family !as alleged to adopt the political gimmic" in the postindependence politics. 3urmit -ingh !rites that the .ehru family being more experienced than the other &ongressites utilised the policy of divide and rule in India after the divide of '?<@ and exhibited it !ith more barbarity than their masters in the #ast 8unjab during the early '?=Ds. /ccording to 3urmit -ingh$ CThe &entral 3overnments strategy !as to divide -i"hsE to maintain their political hold in the region.< The nationalist &ongress governments till no! have not declared national day at the national level in favour of the martyrs of the Bar of Independence of '=>@. )uring the freedom movement era$ they never o!ned the freedom fighters of '=>@ because it could displease the masters !ho !ere at good terms !ith all the &ongress leaders. The martyrs of this !ar !ere the nationalists but the &ongress leadership never dared to celebrate their days. #ven 3andhi and majority of the *indu leaders never accepted the status of Bhagat -ingh -hahid$> Babbar /"alis$F 3hadar party@ 2u"a movement= or the anti-British communists. .obody can present any document that the Babbar /"ali leaders had addressed the 6iceroy or 3overnor or British government as *is #xcellency or *is Majestys 3overnment or your servant. The &ongress leaders concluded friendly deliberations !ith the imperialists and many -i"hs and *indus can be %uoted !ho had

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been !or"ing for the British in collecting information pertaining to the political situation in different parts of India. They !ere involved in the activities of convincing the Indian leaders in favour of the British !ith different options. The divide and rule policy seems absurd !hen it is implemented in the pre and post British India or even before to it. India !as a *indu society but !ith the passage of time it !as divided on the religious lines1 first Islam and then -i"hism secured conversions. This division of the Indian society cannot be attributed to the divide and rule policy of the British. )ivision on ethnic$ religious$ lingual and political basis !as a natural phenomenon. .one can believe that the *indus !ho had changed their religion !ere bribed by any imperialist force. The *indus had *indi language but 3uru /ngad 9,nd -i"h 3uru: invented 3urmu"hi script !hich provided his follo!ers a separate identity1 then 3uru /rjun )ev 9>th 3uru: compiled %rant# &a#i' and lastly 3uru 3obind -ingh dre! a clear line bet!een -i"hs and others. .o British !as there !ho could be blamed for the divide of the *indu society. Bloody !ars too" place for the Indian throne after the death of #mperor /urangGeb1 the imperial court of India al!ays remained divided into groups !hich !ea"ened the Indian empire. It !as not provo"ed by the British under the divide and rule policy. )isunity among the Indian communities helped the British to establish their rule in the -ubcontinent$ !hich does not mean that the Indians !ere divided by the British. The *indu Mahasabha !as not founded !ith the British !ill to upset the *indu unity and to prolong their rule. -urely$ the British had not been behind all these developments rather it !as all a natural phenomenon. Indian nationalist !riters ho!ever stubbornly denied its naturalness and claimed that it !as perpetrated by the British. In '?D?$ the Muslims !ere given the right of separate electorates !hich the &ongress or the Indian scholars have attributed to the divide and rule policy of the British but their pens seem paralysed to shed light on the same right given to the -i"hs in '?'?. Bas it not a divide and rule policy4 In '?'F$ the &ongress conceded the separate electorates for the Muslims$ !hich does not mean that the &ongress leadership had joined the British conspiracy under the divide and rule policy.

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To Tuteja$ !hen 3andhi in the early '?5Ds pointed out that the -i"h demands !ere communal$ Master Tara -ingh responded that communal politics could be dealt !ith by the communalist politics.? The *indu leader should have stood for his idealism but he did not object. But in -eptember '?<D$ he !rote to Master Tara -ingh that the /"alis and &ongressmen should part company as the -i"hs believed in violence !hile the &ongress in non-violence. 'D Bhich attitude of 3andhi should be attributed to the British policy and !hich to the anti-British4 /ccording to ;as!ant -ingh Mar!ah$ (ala (ajpat ai !as a!are of Cthe British gameE that they !ere ruling over the country through divide and rule !hich Caimed at creating discord amongst various communities and religious sects to gain maximum advantage.E'' -urprisingly ;as!ant -ingh s"ipped (ala (ajpat ais opinion that the solution to the communal problem in the 8unjab !as the partition on the religious basis.', ;as!ant -ingh accepted the existence of religious identity of different communities although he opines that the British adopted the divide and rule policy. In the ound Table &onference$ 3andhi accepted the partition of the 8unjab as a -i"h representative !ith '@ points given by the /"ali leadership in !hich the partition of the 8unjab on the religious basis had been demanded. It is yet to be cleared !hether (ala (ajpat ai and 3andhi !ere the pioneers of the partitioning movements and responsible for this communal rift under the British dictation and the vivisection of India. )uring the ound Table &onference$ the Indian leaders including M2 3andhi sho!ed their inability to reconcile different community demands. The *indu and -i"h leaders consented to the British to solve the communal issue on their o!n. They virtually admitted their failure and rendered a blind trust to the enemies 9British: /lthough they !ere !ell a!are of the divide and rule strategy. It ma"es the point$ !hether they had become a part of the British policy by handing over all po!ers to the British on the very sensitive issue or some other facts moved them to this decision. 3andhi pledged to observe fast till death !hen the &ommunal /!ard conferred separate electorates upon the ()#oots !hich forced them to surrender the right but he never sho!ed the same resentment in case of the Muslims and -i"hs. *e should have protested !ith the

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same fervour !hen the separate electorate !as given to the Muslims and -i"hs but he never did. It creates a doubt !hether he !as follo!ing the British agenda or he considered the Muslims and -i"hs as nations. *e had no clear-cut standpoint about it because he seemed ready to concede the right of self-determination. -ometimes$ he stood for territorial nationalism but at others he led the religious movement li"e Tehri"-i-2hilafat. *e also favoured the right of self-determination if some community demanded. It means he !as going to accept the Muslims as a nation on the religious basis. The &ongress anti-!ar character is much projected as revolutionary !hich !as a constitutional rather than a defiant nature because a big majority of the *indus had been fighting for the British already and even the &ongress leadership gave positive nod to co-operate practically in the !ar efforts if some of their demands !ere accepted by the government. It is entirely against the philosophy of non-violence !hich demands no physical reaction in any favourable situation or inducement. In '?<D$ 3andhi Creiterates that he !ould do nothing to embarrass the British.E'5 Bhy did 3andhi not !ant to embarrass the British4 *ad he been purchased by the masters4 It seems true as he became a sign of *indu-British friendship. This amity can be !itnessed through the display of 3andhis statue in the par"s of (ondon. An the other hand$ the statues of Bhagat -ingh -hahid and +dham -ingh have not been exhibited in +2.'< Many historians !rite that the &ongress committed a blunder in '?'F and had to pay a big price for accommodating the Muslims as a nation. But they are silent about the &ongress leaders !ho seemed ready to accept the 8a"istan demand.'> More than one time$ the &ongress leaders li"e 3andhi and ajagopalachariar accepted the claim of the Muslim (eague for a separate homeland along !ith reservations. .o !riter has blamed that these leaders !ere motivated or induced by the British. /ccording to the 3overnors eport in -eptember '?<< about the ;innah-3andhi dialogues and the public reaction, the *indus condemned 3andhi because through negotiations he had revived the image of the Muslim (eague !hen it !as dying. It !as the same allegation !hich !as attributed to -ir -i"andar *ayat$ the 8unjab 8remier$ in '?5@ that he had concluded the ;innah--i"andar 8act just to revive

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the Muslim (eague status. The scholars strive their best to prove that -ir -i"andar !as dictated by the British to enliven ;innahs image among the Muslims. 3andhis position became vulnerable !hen he !as blamed by his o!n community after 3andhi-;innah tal"s. The very point needs clarification on the part of the nationalist !riters. The &ongress constantly rebuffed the Muslim (eagues offers of cooperation. The (eague too !as a claimant to struggle for the Indian independence from the imperialist British and this similarity could be used as a bridging element bet!een the t!o main parties but the *indu leadership from top to the grass root level adopted undemocratic and immoral attitude !hich could never result in any harmony. .a!abGada (ia%at /li 2han said in .ovember '?5?H
The &ongress Ministries$ instead of settling communal differences$ had intensified them greatly. *indus !ere let to believe through local &ongress committees that *indu aj !as established in India and they really began to behave themselves as the real rulers. Muslims !ere variously insulted.'F

/ll political developments on the part of the Muslim (eague !ere considered as dictated by the British but the major demand$ the 8a"istan scheme$ !as not declared as the British move. In the opinion of Maulana /bul 2alam /Gad Cthe 8a"istan scheme accepted by the Muslim (eague at (ahore in March does not represent the decision of Indian Muslims$ and he has refused to admit the possibility of Muslims elected to a constituent assembly demanding the vivisection of India.E'@ This assertion of /bul 2alam /Gad !as a clear deviation from the &ongress taunt to the Muslim (eague. *e should not have attributed the destiny of 8a"istan to the Indian Muslims rather he should have been sure that 8a"istan move !as initiated by the British under the divide and rule theory. *e should have been sure that the Muslim (eague under the British patronage !ould definitely succeed in achieving 8a"istan !hether it o!ned massive support or not. But /bul 2alam under the democratic principle seems to accept that 8a"istan demand !ould be possible if it !ould be bac"ed by the Indian Muslims. -ir -i"ander *ayat 2han joined the .ational )efence &ouncil in '?<' and then resigned from it under the (eague leadership pressure. Bas any or both the approaches dictated by the British4


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-ome authors !ho adhere to a divide and rule approach have referred to the ;innah--i"ander 8act as evidence of its existence. They maintain that that -i"ander *ayat !ent to (uc"no! under the British dictation to enliven the Muslim (eague !hich had already been hit severely by the defeat in the elections of '?5@. 7et$ -i"anders !ithdra!al from the .ational )efence &ouncil cannot be proved to be due to the divide and rule policy. The British policy of barring the Muslim (eague in the case of 8unjab is an empirical evidence that from a government officer to the 3overnor and then to the federal government opposed the (eague on the issue of 8a"istan and favoured united India. #ven the British high officials used improper language for the Muslim (eaguers in ;uly '?<5 just to save the 8unjab +nionist government from the Muslim (eague. The Muslim (eague had a democratic right to launch political activities or manoeuvrings but it had to face a severe fury of the central and provincial governments and the civil administration.'= If the Muslim (eagues activities !ere commanded and supported by the British$ it should have been accommodated in the 8unjab. The !riters raise %uestion about the British soft corner for the (eague. It !as a political coercion under the numerical strength and their importance in British India. The British also had a policy to protect minorities from majoritarianism. The +- government tried in '?<, to force the British to come to terms !ith the &ongress but the British simply replied that the minorities had supported them in the !ar$ therefore$ they could never ignore them all including the Muslim (eague$ the most popular Muslim party in IndiaH
Be must not on any account brea" !ith the Moslems !ho represent a hundred million people and the main army elements on !hich !e must rely for the immediate fighting. Be have also to consider our duty to!ards thirty or forty million untouchables and our treaties !ith the 8rincely states of India$ perhaps eighty millions. .aturally !e do not !ant to thro! India into chaos on the eve of invasion.'?

The first recognition of the 8a"istan demand by the &ripps Mission also hinted to!ards the separation. But it !as not a divide and rule policy rather the British adjusted the demands of an important minority !ho had been a ruling nation at the time of their advent and !ho !ere no! fighting for them. /t the same time$ the British !anted to avoid the Bal"anisation of India. The strategic necessity

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for this policy !as to increase !ith the later onset of the &old Bar. /s early as /ugust '?<,$ Mr. /mery !rote to the 6iceroy that the British must not only Cavoid raising false expectations among the -i"hs themselves but also to prevent encouragement to separatist tendencies in other 8rovinces li"e Madras and Bombay.E ,D The evidence from the final years of British rule is clear. +nited India$ not Bal"anisation of this region !as the creed and policy of the British. 8a"istan !as eventually to be conceded$ but !ith great reluctance. This does not accord !ith the vie! that the British had consistently adopted a divide and rule policy. /nother area of clarity may be honesty of the British regarding the election process from the start to the results. The scholars hardly have sho!n their reservations to!ards the fair and honest attitude of the British regarding the '?<F elections.,' /ll agree that the elections !ere conducted fairly then they ought to follo! the line given by many !riters that the t!o nation theory is a truth and 8a"istan is an outcome of the popular movement by the Indian Muslims and the constitutional struggle of Iuaid-i-/Gam Muhammad /li ;innah. The /"alis demanded /Gad 8unjab or 2halistan but these moves !ere never criticised by the top &ongress leadership considering them as British dictation. But the &entral /"ali )al under Baba 2hara" -ingh in an /"hand *industan conference at a!alpindi on < and > )ecember '?<5 opposed /Gad 8unjab scheme and said that it !as a British intrigue to divide India.,, Baba 2hara" -ingh$ an anti-/"ali leader$ therefore condemned their scheme but the &ongress high command remained silent. To peep into the issue$ a mention about the individual character or the role of leadership is also relevant to the study. &harles #. Trevelyan$ a British civil servant in India$ had already suffocated all such discussions !hich are being attributed to the imperialism and anti-imperialist Indian political parties !hen in '=5= he presented t!o models !hich could result in a political change in India. The first !as the .ative Model !hich !as an antiimperialist struggle through plots and conspiracies to thro! the British bac" into the sea !hile according to the second model$ the ne! generation through #nglish education did not see the British as enemy and aggressors rather they Choped to regenerate India


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!ith the help of the #nglish through constitutional means$ and ultimately to attain self-government.E,5 (eadership can be categorised as follo!ingH
a. b. 6iolent or defiant leadership &onstitutionalist (eadership

Defiant Leadership: Bith such leadership$ freedom fighters tried to force the imperialists to leave their motherland !ith a violent strategy. They used !eapons and even attac"ed the pro-government elements !hether they !ere local or foreigners. -uch attac"s !ere justified as a national duty. To them$ the unity among the locals could push out the imperialists therefore the co-operation of the locals !ith the British meant the stability of the imperial rule. Their ultimate goal !as to !age a unified struggle against the foreign and pro-foreign ruling elements. &handra Bose$ Babbar /"ali leaders$ and Bhagat -ingh -hahid$ can be %uoted in this regard. Though many people provo"ed the Bar of '=>@ for their personal benefits but even then many freedom fighters fought due to the true nature of the nationalist passion. These violent elements !ere gunned do!n$ hanged$ punished$ jailed$ and banished to the /ndaman Islands. In the British 8unjab$ ;abru$ Malangi 9)a"oo:$ .iGam (ohar and many others are said to have adopted violent strategy to resist the foreign rule.,< They gladly defied the British la!s and looted the pro-government rich people. They by this strategy could not receive respect in the society because government institutions al!ays play decisive role in projecting personality under the state policy. Therefore$ the state declared them dakooo 9dacoits: but after !inning freedom$ these people !ere perceived as freedom fighters in the specific circles of the nationalists and the regionists. The government had po!ers$ institutions$ press$ la!s and the implementing agencies$ local supporters to launch campaign and financial resources !hich projected the people according to the government policy. +nder the nationalist spirit$ these defiant people struggling for freedom !ith violent strategy have been considered freedom fighters though today every violent strategy is considered tantamount to terrorism. This type of leadership considers the rulers as enemies and uses violent strategy to push them out of the land. These defiant

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individuals sacrifice their lives$ continue freedom struggle and ultimately achieve the goal. In the 8unjab$ Babbar /"ali movement and struggle of Baba am -ingh$ 3hadar Movement$ can be %uoted !hich had never been acceptable by the ruling British. /ccording to 3urcharan -ingh$ &ongress$ /"ali )al$ -i"h (eague and Babbar /"ali !ere no different as far their aims !ere concerned but the main difference !as the means to achieve the objectives. The CBabbar /"alis !ere determined to expel the foreigners$ "ill the traitors$ the toadies and the friends of the enemy.E,> Constitutional leadership In this category$ the leadership accepted the rulers victory under expediency and decided to fight for the freedom remaining in the parameters given by the rulers. It !as a matter of deal or bargaining. The local leaders conceded the rulers hold and in return the rulers accept the local leadership. Therefore$ the rulers allo!ed them to protest and demand their rights acceptable on moral or other specific ground. The rulers accepted the role of the local leadership to placate the emotions of the people because foreign rule is never !elcome by the locals. Therefore$ the role of the local leadership through the constitutional means !as the only !ay !hich could certainly satisfy the individuals. The Indian .ational &ongress$ /ll-India Muslim (eague$ 2halsa .ational 8arty$ 8unjab +nionist 8arty and -hiromani /"ali )al can be %uoted as examples of such a political tendency. Max Beber tal"s of charismatic leadership !hile -tephen ;ohn &ovey has a strong pen on principled leadership. 3urmit -ingh !rites about three types of great leadershipH
i. ii. iii. Born leaders (eaders by %ualities$ and (eaders$ product of specific circumstances. ,F

(eadership emerges as a result of some setbac"$ deprivation or violation of the rights. *uman beings have been struggling to go for better pursuits of life. -truggle needs leadership1 some individuals are endo!ed !ith the %uality of elo%uence$ response ability$ sustainable temperament$ endurance$ convincing po!er in discussion$ impressive "no!ledge and character !hich help a


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person to be outstanding and accepted as a leader of the people concerned. The leader adopts common interests as his agenda$ collects the people and converts them as his follo!ers. -ometimes$ an incident produces leadership but such leadership may follo! different attitudesH
'. after solution$ the particular incident or problem$ leadership disappears1 ,. the incident proves a base of popularity for the leadership !hich convinces him to maintain its status by ta"ing up another issue1 5. after the incident$ leadership seems neither dead nor challenging to the existing top leadership rather it continues in a normal !ay and then re-asserts influence on the local issues. An the other hand$ it may go up to the top !ith more po!erful struggle.

In all the forms of leadership$ a leader !or"s as a middle man or a bridging element bet!een ruled and the rulers. *e accepts authority of the rulers though he does not consider them the real and la!ful ruling people. The British to their understanding and political needs may be said to have used a balanced approach to!ards all the nations living in the -ubcontinent. They tried to accommodate all the majority and minority communities because all of them had played friendly role in the difficult times li"e !ars and administrative affairs. They had accepted the British political authority in India and had adopted a constitutional role for redress complaints and demands. The locals gradually gave a tough time to the ruling people as they had got much political and !or"ing confidence on the lines given by the British education and !estern political philosophies. The British al!ays tried to honour the importance$ sacrifices and services of the local communities. In '?<,$ !hen they desperately needed the army recruitment from the -ubcontinent and the Indians !ere ma"ing the fullest use to benefit from the situation$ British adopted such a policy !hich could neither resent nor provo"e the peoples against the positioning at the crucial juncture of the Indian freedom struggle. They had to "eep the minorities demands and the *indu importance in their mind !hile framing any policy. The 6iceroy !rites to the -ecretary of -tate for India in '?<,H

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I may be right in thin"ing that your present formula is an attempt to meet my re%uirement of not upsetting the 8unjab or the /rmy. 0rom my point of vie! this formula !ould be fatal to declaration in *indu eyes. They !ould interpret it as a virtual promise not merely of 8a"istan but of -i"histan also$ and as containing greater possibilities of disintegrating India than even ;innah claims. They !ould observe that not even a majority in a provincial assembly !ould be needed to detach some particular region from the +nion. They !ould regard it as still further empo!ering minorities to force separation on exorbitant terms by the mere refusal to agree. I do not object to giving the minorities a strong position in the future deliberations$ but if !e promise too much strength no! the declaration !ill be reviled by *indus.,@

#very nation believes itself to be the bravest and civilised. They also negate other nations particularly the rival one. The strange thing is that they feel gratification in vilifying the rival people other!ise in the modern age all can go ahead to find peace and progress in perspective of the historical realities. /ntagonism should have no place in their policies. The facts !hich cause rift and irritation for others should not be pushed for!ard. The antagonistic past should not be forgotten but ought to be overloo"ed for the sa"e of humanity and peace of the region. +nder this$ the Indian !riters ought to accept !hat forced the Muslims to part !ith the *indus including the follies on the &ongress part. )efinitely all !as not committed deliberately to push a!ay the Muslims from them but even then it happened !hich displeased the Muslims. The Muslims ought to accept that they did the same !ith the -i"hs and *indus in the political domains of the 8unjab. The -i"hs ought to be capacious in accepting the !ea" part played by their leadership. Bith the open mindedness and truth$ the -outh /sian nations can go ahead as good neighbours. The responsible scholars should not ta"e shelter of the slogans li"e divide and rule policy. The divide and rule is merely a slogan to boost the national leadership to the idealised status. The divide and rule !as neither true nor present in the British India. #ven it is not practicable in society rather it is a phenomenon pertaining to a battlefield. The British educational and democratic reforms influenced the Indian society and resulted in numerous gaps. The lac" of creative political traditions$ the Indian leadership could not fill these gaps. By adopting the theories and practices of the British masters$ they achieved


Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009

independence but could not secure integrity of the region despite their desire. The depressed sa! their posterity in the chains therefore they preferred separation to the eternal slavery. An the eve of the partition$ Iuaid-i-/Gam !arned the -i"hs not to commit suicide by joining the rude *indu majority ,= but they did. They are repenting no! and !ill be doing the same forever for joining united India. Conclusion The main aim to propagate the divide and rule policy by the *indus !as just to pressuriGe the British to abandon their prominority policies. The &ongress claimed to be a representative of all the peoples living in the -ubcontinent and !anted the support of all minorities to establish its !rit in the Indian affairs but the British too needed the support of all the minorities therefore they could never overloo" the interests of the minorities. -tatus of the ruling class and moral pressure of the Muslim !orld also played a favourable role to be receptive to the Muslim demands.,? It is a star" reality that minority politics is a politics of complaints and demands but the majority community ought to be capacious to infuse confidence among minorities !hich can cope !ith any odd situation. -tory of Muslim and non-Muslim communities revolves around the fact that the majority community made utmost endeavour to suppress and humiliate the minority instead of respecting their identity and giving them their due share in the polity. +nder the stress of Indian nationalism$ to placate the people and to get rid of the massive criticism$ the Indian leadership gave t!o points namely$ Muslim (eagues villainous role and divide and rule principle of the British nation in India. The nonMuslim leadership declared themselves innocent and ignorant as !ell because they could not get the on-going !rongs and the repercussions of the divide and rule policy 9if it existed: !hich !as pulling their sister community to!ards separation. )espite this$ they continued the policy to segregate the Muslims and Muslim (eague leadership. They should have embraced the Muslim leadership by conceding their demands and should not have given them an opportunity to go to the British enemies. But they did not come up !ith the re%uired love and fraternity to!ards the Muslims. +nfortunately$ they !ent beyond reasonable limits

Reality of Di ide and Rule! in "ritis# $ndia


!hen the Muslim (eague !as expecting very "ind response from the &ongress in the ma"ing of the +8 government in '?5@. .o civilised political leadership of the modern !orld can present example of this "ind for ma"ing a coalition ministry !hat conditions the &ongress had presented to the Muslim (eague as response to the co-operation. #ven from the very outset of the political a!a"ening among the *indus$ the &ongress leadership adopted the *induised policy. /pparently the *indu leaders maintained the secular spirit given by the #nglishmen but in fact the objectives or political creed !as planned and pursued on the religious lines. 3andhi is said to have been claimant of the territorial nationalism according to !hich all sections living in the -ubcontinent !ere a single nation. But his !ords and actions proved that he !as undoubtedly a religious man. To 3urmit -inghH
The Muslim masses became apprehensive by the strong *indu religious flavour of &ongress propaganda. They felt that 3andhi ji !as trying to identify the national a!a"ening !ith revival of *induism. Their apprehensions !ere strengthened by 3andhi jis conduct. #ven !hen appealing for *indu-Muslim unity$ 3andhi ji made the appeal not as a national leader appealing to both sections$ but as a *indu leader. The *indus !ere C!eE1 the Muslims !ere CtheyE.5D

Master -undar -ingh (yallpuri$ an anti-Muslim$ anti-8a"istan and anti-;innah man$ believed that the Muslims !ere forcibly converted from *induism to Islam therefore they ought to rejoin *induism and leave M/ ;innah alone in the political arena because he !ould dro!n the Muslims in the Indian ocean. Ane can see the analysis of such a staunch anti-Muslim leader !ho !rites that C*indus have given no e%ual social status to Muslims$ the result thereof is ;innah and other separatists.E5' The cry of divide and rule policy seems a move by the !riters rather than the *indu politicians !ho rarely had projected this phenomenon during the negotiations !ith the British authorities. ather the Indian scholars$ after '?<@$ focused on it and undertoo" to prove that the Muslim politics !as commanded under the British policy of divide and rule. Astensibly$ the ne!ly emerged India re%uired intellectual movement to promote the nationalist passions among the Indians other!ise the Indian Muslims and -i"hs could repeat the history of the Muslim (eague in future. The Indian leadership also !anted to project themselves


Pakistan Journal of History and Culture, Vol.XXX, No.1, 2009

as freedom fighters against the British imperialism. ;a!aharlal .ehru too" a very prudent decision !hen he rejected the &abinet Mission 8lan because by accepting this plan$ India could be divided into many independent states. )efinitely the !ea" federal system and prevalent po!ers to the units might induce them to split !hich convinced him to save the rest of India by conceding 8a"istan. But to sustain this integrity$ India desperately needed to portray the Muslim (eague as a stooge of the British. But one should be clear that historical realities cannot be !iped out by such propaganda. /fter the departure of the British$ the fashion to portray themselves as enemies to the imperialists !as projected !ith more Geal. It may be important but the ne!ly independent nations may project themselves as constitutionalist freedom fighters. +nder this they should have the courage to accept their submission to the ruling authorities through the constitution given by the imperialist nation. In the current century$ such an understanding can help develop a friendly relationship bet!een the nations of -outh /sia because violence is ta"ing root day by day that !ould be pernicious to their future and the international peace. If the nations accept that the imperialism !as bad but they had accepted it for the time being$ avoided violence and struggled through the constitutional means to achieve the freedom$ to create a positive lin" their past !ith the present and future !ithout fear and this status !ould be fruitful for the respective nations and the rest of the !orld.

Reality of Di ide and Rule! in "ritis# $ndia




- Mehrotra$ CThe #arly Indian .ational &ongress$ '==>-'?'=H Ideals$ Abjectives and ArganiGation$E in By B *ssays in +odern $ndian History 9)elhiH Axford +niversity 8ress$ '?=D:$ <>-<=. Ibid. Ibid.

.anda$ ed.$

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)r. 3urmit -ingh$ History of &ik# &tru,,les$ vol. I6 9.e! )elhiH /tlantic 8ublishers J )istributors$ '??,:$ 5<->=1 see also 3urmit -ingh$ -ailures of (kali .eaders#i/ 9-irsaH +sha Institute$ '?=':$ <<. Bhagat -ingh$ a -andhu ;at from (yallpur 9no! 0aisalabad: !ho had been a member of the *industan -ocialist epublican /ssociation$ 2irti 2isan 8arty and .auja!an Bharat -abha. In the /ssembly Bomb case$ he !as sentenced to transportation for life. *arbans -ingh$ 0#e *n)y)lo/edia of &ik#is1, vol. ' 98atialaH 8unjabi +niversity 8atiala$ ,DD,:$ 5'F-'=. The Babbar /"ali movement during the '?,Ds !as an anti-British drive under 2ishan -ingh 3argajj 9'==F-'?,F: !ho intended to ta"e revenge for the -i"h "illing during the 3urd!ara movement. *e !as hanged on ,@ 0ebruary '?,F. 2amlesh Mohan$ CThe Babbar /"alisH /n #xperiment in Terrorism$E Journal of Re,ional History ' 9/mratsar '?=D:H '<,-'@<.


3hadar movement !as founded in +-/ in '?', as an anti-British drive under Baba -ohan -ingh Bha"na. It !or"ed in India in '?'<. It believed in violent strategy against the British. see detail$ -ohan -ingh ;osh$ Hindustan %adar Party, ( &#ort History 9.e! )elhiH 8eoples 8ublishing *ouse$ '?@@:. 2u"a movement !as a puritan -i"h movement started by Bala" -ingh 9'@??-'=F': from a!alpindi nearly in '=>>. Baba am -ingh became successor !ho experienced non-cooperation$ boycott and s!adeshi methods of protests for the first time in India. The follo!ers of the movement are also "no!n as .amdhari -i"hs. 2( Tuteja$ C-i"hs and the &ongressH '?5D-<D$E in 6erinder 3rover$ ed.$ 0#e &tory of Pun2a', 3esterday and 0oday 9)elhiH )eep and )eep 8ublications$ '??>:$ <>5. The 8unjab 3overnors eport to 6iceroy$ (K8;K>K,<5. ;as!ant -ingh Mar!ah$ C(ala (ajpat ai and 0reedom -truggle in the 8unjab$E Pun2a' History Conferen)e$ ,Dth -ession 98atialaH 8unjabi +niversity$ '?=@:H 5'= 95'F-5,D:. 2irpal -ingh$ 0#e Partition of t#e Pun2a', ,nd ed. 98atialaH 8unjabi +niversity$ '?=?:$ 'D. (etter from 3overnor-3eneral to the -ecretary of -tate for India$ ,D May '?<D$ (K8;K=KF?,. +dham -ingh confessing the murder of M. A)!yer said that he !as sacrificing the life for his country. ;- 3re!al and *2 8uri$ .etters of 4d#a1 &in,# 9/mritsarH 3uru .ana" )ev +niversity$ '?@<:$ <'. ajagopalachariar 0ormula according to !hich ajagopalachari !rote to Iuaid-i-/Gam in ;uly '?<< that 3andhi and the other &ongress leaders !ere ready to accept the 8a"istan demand. Tai 7ong Tan and 3yanesh 2udaisya$ 0#e (fter1at# of Partition in &out# (sia 9(ondonH outledge$ ,DDD:$ 'D=1 see also *. Mitra ed.$ 0#e $ndian (nnual Re,ister5 (n (nnual Di,est of Pu'li) (ffairs, 191961978, vol. '$ '?<5 9.e! )elhiH 3ian 8ublishing *ouse$ '??D:$ 5D'. 0i1es of $ndia$ ,= .ovember$ '?5?. eport on the situation in the 8unjab for the first-half of ;une$ '?<D$ (K8;K>K,<5. #xternal /ffairs )epartment$ 3overnment of India to -ecretary of -tate for India$ ,? ;uly '?<5$ IA H (K8;K=KFF,. (etter from British 0oreign Affice to Bashington on > /pril '?<,$ 0AK?><K',/. (etter from /mery to (ord (inlithgo! on ,D /ugust '?<,$ M--.#+ .0. ',>K''. In 8unjab$ the (eague had reservations on the 3overnors influence through his machinery in favour of the +nionist and /"ali candidates but no complaint of rigging !as reported. eport on the situation in the 8unjab for the first half of )ecember '?<5. (K8;K>K,<F. -. . Mehrotra$ CThe #arly Indian .ational &ongress$ '==>-'?'=H Ideals$ Abjectives and ArganiGation$E in B. *ssays in +odern $ndian History$ <5. . .anda$ ed.$

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0or detail see 8unjabi boo"s$ Ifte"har Baraich 2alrvi$ Dais +era Je Daran Da 93ujratH oGan 8ublishers$ ,DD@:1 also see I%bal /sad$ Pun2a' de .a2/al Puttar 9(ahoreH 8unjabi /dabi Board$ n.d.: and Mehr 2achelvi$ Pun2a' de &oor1ey 90aiGpurH /sar /nsari$ n.d.:. 3urcharan -ingh$ CBabbar /"ali Movement-/ -tudy of /ims and Abjects$E Pun2a' History Conferen)e$ ,Dth -ession 98atialaH 8unjab *istorical -tudies$ 8unjabi +niversity$ '?=@:H 5<=.


,F ,@ ,= ,? 5D 5'

3urmit -ingh /dvocate$ %and#i and t#e &ik#s 9-irsaH +sha Institute of eligious -tudies$ '?F?:$ >. (etter from the 6iceroy to the -ecretary of -tate for India on ? March '?<,$ >=?--$ (K8AKF'Db 9i: ff '-','. 2apur -ingh$ &a)#i &ak#i 93urmu"hi: 9/mritsarH )haram 8archar &ommittee$ -38&$ '??5:$ '<<-<>. (etter from 6iceroy to the -ecretary of -tate for India on 5 March '?<F$ IA H (K8AKFK''<. 3urmit -ingh$ %and#i and t#e &ik#s$ 5>-5F. Master -undar -ingh (yallpuri C&hallenge to ;innah$E on ? ;uly '?<>$ 0ile-?5D$ Iuaid-i-/Gam 8apers$ .ational /rchives of 8a"istan$ Islamabad.

8ublished in Journal of History and Culture 9,DD?: