MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena on Monday said the pain of partition will not go away by mere symbolism, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that August 14 will be observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.
“The present day rulers must take care that seeds of another partition should not be sown from the earlier pain,” an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said. It said the pain of partition remains even after 75 years, and BJP’s L K Advani is the only leader who is a witness to it.
“The pain of partition will not go away by mere symbolism, but a definite action is needed,” the Marathi publication said.
It said if Kashmiri Pandits were given their rights and homes in the Kashmir Valley, a lot could be achieved.
“Just like the two countries were divided, hearts were also divided. (Former Indian prime minister) Vajpayee tried to bridge the divide by taking a bus to Lahore for peace.
Even Narendra Modi made an unscheduled stop in Pakistan to meet the then PM Nawaz Sharif, which means he also wanted to forget the the past and make peace. But, now he has reopened the old wounds,” it said.
It would have been better if there was an introspection on whether to rekindle the partition horrors or whether to permanently bury those memories by “teaching a befitting lesson to those who inflicted the wounds”, the edit said.
The Sena, which shares power with the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra, said only (former prime minister) Indira Gandhi had managed to take “revenge” of the pain of partition by dividing Pakistan and destroying the “two-nation concept” on the basis on which the neighbouring country was carved out.
The editorial claimed the seeds of the two-nation theory were sown first by Sir Syed Ahmed when he said “Hindus and Muslims were two separate nations”.
This was supported by the Muslim League later, it said, adding that even a staunch “Hindutvawadi” like Veer Savarkar propagated the two-nation theory.
The editorial said among the many reasons the Congress leaders supported the partition was that it could resolve the Hindu-Muslim conflict.
“But that didn’t happen. The partition wasn’t part of any politics or agreed upon happily. The partition was due to the divide and rule policy of the British and unavoidable to secure freedom from the British rule,” it said.
The Marathi daily noted that Hindus and Muslims had shed blood to make India free of the British rule.
Poet Iqbal, who played a role in the creation of Pakistan, wrote the immortal words of the song ‘Saare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara’, it said.
“Barrister Jinnah was also a prominent freedom fighter and a supporter of (Lokmanya) Tilak. Justice (Gopal Krishna) Gokhale was the political guru of Mahatma Gandhi and even Jinnah. But, the Hindu-Muslim divide grew once independence from the British rule neared and resulted in the formation of Pakistan,” it said.