Nizam and Liaquat opposed Partition
The former Nizam told Viceroy Lord Wavell in 1946 that partition would be a fantasy that those divorced from ground realities would chase L K Advani,...
The former Nizam told Viceroy Lord Wavell in 1946 that partition would be a fantasy that those divorced from ground realities would chase L K Advani, after all, achieved his objective of initiating a national debate, albeit 58 years too late, on who was the architect of Pakistan and whom history should blame for Partition. But does such a discussion serve any purpose, beyond raking up old sores and providing an opportunity to the living to settle their scores with the dead? After all, one can stick up any dead person as a cockshy! A nation still smarting under the catastrophe it experienced nearly six decades ago should, instead, remember with gratitude those who had the moral courage to oppose Partition of India, even though they were not many and the motives of some of them were suspect. Unfortunately, however, not many seem even to remember such intrepid souls. Robert Walpole once remarked that "no great country was ever saved by good men because good men will not go to the lengths that may be necessary". That observation is true at least of the few who opposed Partition because it militated against their convictions of inter-religious harmony.
First, there was Gandhiji who did not acquiesce, until he had no choice, in the demand of rich Muslims of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, in particular, for the creation of a "homeland" for Indian Muslims. What was the logic behind the demand? Muslim landlords had a vested interest in the creation of Pakistan because they feared that in a united India, in competition with non-Muslim landlords, they might not be able to flourish to the extent they could in a country of their own. But how was such a country to be created? The zamindars knew that they themselves were far too few to be able to achieve their objective in spite of open support from the British. So they sowed in the minds of Muslim masses the fear that in a united India they would be discriminated against by Hindus who were vastly superior numerically, at least because they were Muslims, and, as such, the salvation of all Muslims lay in a country of their own. Poor and illiterate, Muslim masses fell for the logic, and worked and sacrificed for the creation of a Pakistan in which they found too late that they themselves had no place! Muslims plying rickshaws in Lucknow, Allahabad, Delhi, Hyderabad, and many other Indian cities today are the direct descendants of those rickshaw-pullers who had allowed themselves to be manipulated and mobilized by kulaks with communal logic. One lesson from Partition that people of both India and Pakistan are yet to learn is that in a conflict between ideological affiliation and self-interest, the latter invariably prevails. That much is proved by the fact that in the case of many Muslim League leaders commitment to the creation of a separate State for the community was only skin-deep. Why else would they agree to betray the cause? Take, for instance, the case of Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, who ended up as a Prime Minister of Pakistan. Was he willing to go the whole hog for the fulfillment of the dream? Let historical facts answer that question. There is evidence to suggest that Liaquat wanted to avert Partition when he thought the end of Muslim League president Mohammad Ali Jinnah was imminent. A controversy raged for some years in Pakistan over the role of Liaquat before and after Partition. Former Attorney-General and Law Minister of Pakistan Sharifuddin Pirzada, who had served Jinnah as secretary, sensationalized the controversy by issuing a long press statement claiming that the founder of Pakistan had died a heart-broken man due to the attitude of Liaquat Ali Khan. According to Pirzada, Liaquat had gained so much confidence of Jinnah that in 1943 the latter had described him as his "right-hand man". However, in 1944, when the Congress Working Committee members were in jail for launching the Quit India Movement, and the Gandhi-Jinnah talks failed, Liaquat expressed his keenness to come to terms with the Congress without the knowledge of Jinnah. This desire was conveyed to the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party Bhulabhai Desai in a letter written by Dr Syed Mohammad. According to the letter, Liaquat was keen to come to terms with the Congress after the functions and the composition of the interim government were settled. The result was the Liaquat-Desai Pact of January 1945. While Desai had obtained the approval of Gandhiji, Liaquat did not inform Jinnah about the talks leading to the pact. Sir Mohammad Yamin Khan, at whose house the Muslim League members had met to finalize the pact, wrote in "Nama-e-Amal" that the question of seeking Jinnah's approval had not been discussed at the meeting because Liaquat had been told by doctors that Jinnah had only a few days to live. Jinnah learnt of the pact through "leakage" in the press, and was very angry. But Liaquat told him that the pact was only a draft! Or take the case of the last Nizam of Hyderabad. So many canards have over the years been spread against him as to make the present generation believe that he was a votary of Pakistan. However, concrete evidence is available, suggesting that Osman Ali Khan considered the concept of Pakistan "a shadow without reality". He thought it was "impracticable", and opposed it, and in writing at that! The former Nizam conveyed these views to Viceroy Lord Wavell in 1946, a year before Pakistan was born. He told the Viceroy that he did not believe in the partition of India. These facts are revealed in the eighth volume of the "Transfer of Power, 1946-47" that covers the period from July to November 1946 when Lord Wavell was trying to form an interim government. After Nehru and Jinnah failed to agree on participation of the Muslim League in the interim government, the country faced a grave crisis. At that juncture, the former Nizam wrote to Wavell: "I do not at all believe in Pakistan. In fact, it is impracticable. I consider it a shadow which has no reality. "In my opinion, Jinnah must see things in the right perspective or understand their reality, and should not waste his wealth and time in trying to achieve something which is not practicable. Instead of this, he should demand a proportionate share in government for Muslims along with other communities�Jinnah cannot succeed in his struggle until he takes to a correct course. Wise men have said that one should desire only what is good or possible," the former Nizam added. The former Nizam advised Lord Wavell to do his best to get the Muslim League into the interim government, and thus stall any future crisis. "Indian Muslims deserve to be shown some consideration" by the British government. Lord Wavell did not comment on this letter, only acknowledged it! � MV