Saturday, December 31, 2005

Lala Lajpat Rai

The great freedom fighter and the ex-President of the Indian National Congress, Lala Lajpat Rai expressed similar views on Islam in a letter to Mr. C.R. Das:

Muslim leaders cannot override Quran and Hadis: “There is one point more which has been troubling me very much of late and one which I want you to think carefully and that is the question of Hindu-Muslim unity. I have devoted most of my time during the last six months to the study of Muslim history and Muslim Law and I am inclined to think, it is neither possible nor practicable.

Assuming and admitting the sincerity of the Mohammedan leaders in the Non-co-operation movement, I think their religion provides an effective bar to anything of the kind. You remember the conversation, I reported to you in Calcutta, which I had with Hakim Ajmalkahn and Dr. Kitchlew. There is no finer Mohamedan in Hindustan than Hakimsaheb but can any other Muslim leader override the Quran? I can only hope that my reading of Islamic Law is incorrect, and nothing would reliever me more than to be convinced that it is so. But if it is right then it comes to this that although we can unite against the British we cannot do sot rule Hindustan on British lines, we cannot do so t rule Hindustan on democratic liens.

What is then he remedy? I am not afraid of seven crores in Hindustan but I think the seven crores (1 crore is 10 millions - compiler) of Hindustan plus the armed hosts of Afghanistan, Central Asia, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Turkey will be irresistible.

I do honestly and sincerely believe in the necessity or desirability of Hindu-Muslim unity. I am also fully prepared to trust the Muslim leaders, but what about the inunctions of the Quran and Hadis? The leaders cannot override them. Are we then doomed? I hope not. I hope learned mind and wise head will find some way out of this difficulty. (quoted by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in ‘Pakistan or Partition of India, 1945, pp. 275-276)

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