Justice Markanday Katju, a senior
judge in the Supreme Court of India, delivering the valedictory
address of the three-day international inaugural conference of
IOS in New Delhi.
New Delhi: The British rulers in
India through re-writing of history painted the eight hundred
Muslim reign in the country with misrule wherein showcasing their
Kings and Nawabs being intolerant, prejudiced and bigoted towards
their Hindu subjects to create mistrust and deep rooted hatred
between Hindus and Muslims against each other. This was done to
strengthen the reins of power in the backdrop of 1857 uprising.
Thus, the British rulers adopted divide and rule policy to sow the
seeds of communalism in India by getting the history distorted and
suppressed the facts of glorious communal harmony traditions
practiced by many Muslim rulers. The facts that the Muslim rulers
in honour of their Hindu subjects facilitated celebrations of
their festivals at the government's expenses and gave annual
grants and "Jagirs" (landed property) to temples were obliterated.
While the acts of a few greedy Muslim rulers who indulged in
demolishing some temples to loot gold were highlighted and this
was included in school textbooks to influence adversely the
impressionable minds and create tension between Hindus and Muslims
post 1857 uprising.
The British taking over after the end of Muslim rule in India
crushed the 1857 uprising with an iron hand which had been
spearheaded jointly by the Hindus and Muslims to overthrow the
yoke of foreign rule. The history of communal riots in the country
started thereafter which culminated into the 1947 holocaust
following the Partition of India and Pakistan.
The above observations were made by Justice Markanday Katju, a
senior judge in the Supreme Court of India, while delivering the
valedictory address of the three-day international inaugural
conference on “Towards Knowledge, Development and Peace --
Outlining Roadmaps for the Future” to mark the year-long silver
jubilee celebrations of think tank Institute of Objective studies,
(IOS), held here at the India Islamic Cultural Centre which
concluded on Sunday.
Justice Katju said diversity is our asset and our guarantee for
staying secular. India has been a nation of diversities as 92 per
cent of the populace is the descendants of the immigrants who
migrated dating back to 10,000 years from the North West to the
country for greener pastures here. Since the India's economy was
agriculture based with the land being very fertile the immigrants
found it to be a paradise. "We all are Bahar Ki Aulad (the
descendants of the migrants) irrespective of being Hindus or
Muslims”, he remarked. With people of all hues kept coming to
India and a common culture between Hindus and Muslims was
developed which he termed as "Sanskrit-Urdu" culture.
He gave full credit to former Prime Minister late Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru for maintaining the secular credentials of India
which has been the land of various types of diversities. Pandit
Nehru was the real architect of secular India as despite being
under immense pressure to declare India a Hindu state after
Independence in 1947, after Pakistan had announced the
establishment of an Islamic state, stood his ground and did not
succumb to the rabid elements then. India has kept together
through federalism which is catering to the diversity in the
country. The diversity, reflected in the wide range of religions,
castes, languages and physical attributes found among the
descendants, led the founding fathers to draft a Constitution with
strong federal features, he emphasized.
He said the British Government in England in order to tighten
their grip over the their rule in India conspired and planned ways
and means to create an atmosphere of hate, mistrust and suspicion
between the Hindus and Muslims. Before 1857 uprising there had
been no Hindu-Muslim conflict in India. However, thereafter, the
British rulers engineered riots as there game-plan to govern the
country, he pointed out.
Justice Katju based his contentions on former Rajya Sabha member &
Governor of Orissa late Prof. B. N. Pande's book “History in the
Service of Imperialism” which clearly states that a glimpse into
official British records will show how this policy of
Divide-et-Imp era was taking shape. The Secretary of State Wood in
a letter to Lord Elgin [Governor General Canada (1847-54) and
India (1862-63)] had said: “We have maintained our power in India
by playing off one part against the other and we must continue to
do so. Do all you can, therefore to prevent all having a common
Meanwhile, George Francis Hamilton, Secretary of State of India,
wrote to Curzon:“I think the real danger to our rule in India not
now, but say 50 years hence is the gradual adoption and extension
of Western ideas of agitation organisation and if we could break
educated Indians into two sections holding widely different views,
we should, by such a division, strengthen our position against the
subtle and continuous attack which the spread of education must
make upon our system of government. We should so plan educational
text-books that the differences between community and community
are further strengthened (Hamilton to Curzon, 26th March 1886).
Thus, under a definite policy the Indian history text-books were
so falsified and distorted as to give an impression that the
medieval period of Indian history was full of atrocities committed
by Muslim rulers on their Hindu subject and the Hindus had to
suffer terrible indignities under Islamic rule. There were no
common factors in social, political or economic life, Prof. Pande
It may be pointed out here that Prof. Pande in his speech in the
Indian Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, made on 29 July
1977 had moved a resolution which said: “'This House is of the
opinion that the main factor retarding cultural and emotional
integration of the Indian people is the communal interpretation of
the medieval Indian history and its distortion by the British
historians, while India was under British rule, portraying the
Hindus and the Muslims as being divided into two warring camps
with little in common between them, and that this distortion paved
the way for the emergence of the two-nation theory, and therefore
recommends that the government should take immediate steps for the
re-orientation of the study of Medieval Indian History ...”
Prof. Pande had said the task is not easy, because unfortunately
the histories of India which have been taught in our schools and
colleges for generations past were originally compiled by European
writers. And Indians have not yet succeeded in shaking off the
biases inculcated by their European teachers. These so called
histories have presented Muslims as destroyers of Hindu culture
and traditions; despoilers of Hindu temples and palaces; and
brutal idol-breakers who have offered to their Hindu victims the
terrible alternative of conversion or the sword.
It is hardly surprising that educated men in India drugged with
such poisonous stuff from the most impressionable period of their
lives grow up to suspect and distrust each other. The Hindu has
been brought up to believe that the Muslim period of Indian
history which extends over eight hundred years and more is a
nightmare”, Prof. Pande had contended.
Justice Katju The Indian medieval history was distorted by British
historians under the direction of British Government wherein the
good deeds of the majority of Muslim rulers towards their Hindu
subjects was suppressed. While in a selective manner Muslim rulers
were targetted like Mahmud Ghaznawi who plundered the abundantly
gold-laden Somnath temple a number of times for its wealth. It was
highlighted to instill hatred for Muslims in the heart of Hindus.
However, the fact that Tipu Sultan gave an annual grants to 156
Hindu temples has never been revealed to soothe the minds of
Hindus. Not only this that he enjoyed cordial relations with the
Shankaracharya of Sringeri Math to whom he had addressed at least
30 letters has never been spoken of.
On the contrary in a history textbook authored by Dr. Har Prashad
Shastri, the then head of the Sanskrit Department in Calcutta
University it was stated that during Tipu's rule 3,000 Brahmins
had committed suicide to escape conversion to Islam. The only
authentication Dr. Shastri could provide was that the reference
was contained in the Mysore Gazetteer. But the Gazetteer contained
no such reference. Dr. Shastri's book, which was in use at the
time in high schools across India, was later de-prescribed. But
the unsubstantiated allegation continued to masquerade as a fact
in history books written later.
Similarly, the fact about Aurangzeb, a man who is supposed to have
been a destroyer of temples, having issued “Firmans” (order)
granting “Jagirs” to temples has never been highlighted to change
the perception of the common man about the emperor. He issued
“Firmans” for “Jagirs” to Someshwar Nath Mahadev Mandir,
Mahakaleswar temple in Ujjain, Balaji Temple in Chitrakoot,
Amparand Temple in Gauhati, Shatranjay Jain Temple and various
Gurdwaras. These “Firmans” were issued between the year 1656 and
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, chairman of IOS who presided over by
the valedictory function, in his presidential remarks while
praising Justice Katju for his open-minded rational views said his
words should be written in golden words and his message spread to
bridge the ever growing gulf between Hindus and Muslims.
Dr. Manzoor said IOS does not belong to him but the nation in
general and Muslim Ummah in particular. He said that it is the
endeavour of the IOS to establish a humane society otherwise there
would be no beneficial knowledge and peace in the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Syed Shahabuddin, a former Member of
Parliament, lauded the efforts of the IOS for creating a platform
for the social scientists, intellectuals and those from politics
to come together and plan a roadmap for change. Lauding the theme
IOS has chosen for the International Conference, he hoped the
world is rid of illiteracy and hunger while justice and rule of
law prevails all over.
In the beginning Prof. A. R. Momin, former Head of the Department
of Sociology, University of Bombay, Mumbai gave a brief report
about the deliberations in the three days of the International
Conference. The conference has been fruitful and gratifying, he
Dr. Fakhruddin Mohammad, Hony. secretary of Muslim Educational,
Social & Cultural Organisation, (MESCO), Hyderabad, gave a Power
Point presentation of the proposed Objective University Project of
the Ta’wwun Trust of IOS at Palwal in Haryana state. He said that
the university coming up on 100 acres of land will start this year
having courses in Social Sciences, Law, Jurisprudence, Technical
and many other streams. The Rs. 425 crore project university when
completed will have 5000 students on its roll with 1000 faculty
members. The project is a joint venture with local and foreign
collaboration, he added.
Justice Katju released a book titled “The Islamic World: Dynamics
of Changes and Continuity” authored by Prof. A. R. Momin. He also
released a film on IOS which highlighted the 25 years journey of
Meanwhile, a number of personalities were felicitated with the IOS
Appreciation Award for their contributions to society in the two
sessions of the day on the occasion. They included Mr. Syed
Shahabuddin, Mr. Kishor Lal and Mahant Janamje Sharanji.
Prof. Ishteyaque Danish proposed vote of thanks while Prof. M.
Afzal Wani conducted the programme with aplomb.
Meanwhile, earlier the morning a session was devoted to a seminar
on “Towards Knowledge, Development and Peace in Islamic
Perspective--Outlining Roadmaps for the Future” wherein clerics
put forth their views. The session was chaired by Maulana
Saeed-ur-Rahman Azmi Nadwi, Chief Editor, Al-Baas Al-Islami,
Lucknow. Those who spoke on the occasion were Maulana Syed
Jalaluddin Omeri, Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Hind; Maulana Abdul Wahab
Khilji, President Indian Islahi Movement, Maulana Anees Chisti (Pune)
and Mr. A. R. Agwan, Chief Editor ofan Indian news portal.
Maulana Saeed-ur-Rahman while summing up the discussion lauded IOS
chairman Dr. Manzoor Alam for his versatile efforts in the field
of education and social work. He thanked Dr. Manzoor for awakening
people like him who are dosing and are unaware of their
responsibilities towards society. Such facilities are not
available to one and all. He offered Dr. Manzoor with the title to
be called “Mohsin-ul-Mulk” for his untiring efforts towards
society which he, however, declined to accept.
The Maulana said there is no segregation of knowledge in Islam as
“Duniyavi Ilm” and “Deeni Ilm” as all knowledge belongs to Allah.
Those who lay the foundation of their career on sound knowledge
prosper in this world and Hereafter. “We have to broaden and
accelerate our efforts to propagate the “Insani Tahzeeb” (Human
Culture) which Allah has given for whole humanity and thereby lead
the masses in the right direction”, he remarked.
Maulana Jalaluddin Omeri speaking on the occasion said that when
one acquires knowledge in right perspective then it emits light
and darkness vanishes which is beneficial to oneself and the
people at large. However, despite materialistic progress in leaps
and bounds the humanity and its ethos are at the receiving end.
This is happening because “Falsafaey Hayaat” (philosophy of life)
which has been propounded in today’s world is denigrating to
mankind. Man has been reduced to the level of an animal where all
its materialistic needs have to be fulfilled by all means without
giving any thought to moral values.
Maulana Omeri lamented that nowadays the concept of development
and progress is only materialistic in approach with no space for
spiritualism in life. Thereby man fulfills his animal instincts
only with no regard to high moral values which enables him to
become a perfect human being leading a humane life. The purpose of
life has become to mint money more and more to lead an affluent
life irrespective from where the wealth is earned, be it right or
wrong, he moaned.
He quoted the Holy Quran which says that with your wealth do not
indulge into extravaganza but help your relatives, neighbours and
other needy in society. The whole world system has to be changed
to bring about into existence once again an equitable society with
emphasis on high moral values based on justice, truth, communal
harmony and equal opportunity to one and all, he emphatically