Recently, a senior Police office, Mr Nageswara Rao tweeted his opinion about the outright hostility to Hindu beliefs embedded in the Educational system in India.
He began with listing the Education Ministers of Independent India – Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, his understudy and successor, Humayun Kabir, MC Chagla and later Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.
It is instructive to note that all of these leaders were devout Muslims and committed to Islamic ideals.
Be that as it may, here is a small background on Maulana Azad, his educational background and his beliefs.
Maulana Azad was from a family of Afghan origin that had lived in Bengal for many years. His father had left India after the 1857 War and settled in Makkah. His mother was from Medina and the daughter of a prominent cleric.
The family settled in Calcutta when the Maulana was a child. He was home-schooled in Islamic theology and Islamic jurisprudence. It may be interesting that all of formal education in India was placed in the hands of a man who had never undergone education in a regular school or college and whose primary languages of intellectual discourse were Arabic and Persian.
He demonstrated precocious intelligence and had advanced in his studies to be able to contribute to a literary magazine at the age of 14.
Having had a brief look at his background, let us see what his opinions and positions were. Some of his opinions
- He had the idea of India and Pakistan sharing a common United Army to guard their borders. Given that the Royal British Indian Army was dominated by Muslim officers, one wonders what position Hindus would have had in the sub-continent if this situation had come to pass.
- His opposition to Partition was based on his conception of a give and take transaction between Islam and the Indian sub-continent. ‘For 1100 years, we handed over our wealth to her and she unlocked the door of her own riches’. By ‘our wealth’ one assumes he means the message of Islam and in return for which, Muslims of the sub-continent obtained access to the human and natural resources of Hindustan.
- Maulana Azad was a firm Pan-Islamist. In an address rallying support for the Khilafat movement – ‘If even a grain of the soul of Islam is alive among its followers, then I should say that if a thorn gets stuck in a Turk's sole in the battlefield of war, then I swear by the God of Islam, no Muslim of India can be a Muslim until he feels that prick in his heart instead of sole because the Millat-e-Islam (the global Muslim community) is a single body’.
- His vision of Muslims as global citizens of the Caliphate. When the Ottoman Caliphate fell, he and other Indian clerics gave a call to hijirat – that Muslims should not live under an infidel British rule, but immigrate to Afghanistan, where a Muslim ruled.
Given his background and his opinion, is it not possible that if history writing of India were under his supervision, there would be a natural tendency to represent the Islamic rule in favourable terms?
His successor, Humayun Kabir, was Western educated and was much more conversant in Urdu and English. He served for several years as Maulana Azad’s deputy and can be assumed to have shared many of the Maulana’s views.
The first 15 odd years of Independent India were thus handed to Education Ministers with the views of a Muslim cleric. Is it any wonder that when the famous Nehruvian scientific temper is invoked, the subject of its scrutiny is almost always the Hindu and his religion?
We could go on and examine the views of successive occupants of the Education Ministry such as MC Chagla, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and Nurul Hassan, but suffice to say that they were from the same social milieu of upper class North Indian Muslims, the same class that was at the forefront of the Pakistan movement.
Given this background, is it any surprise that one after the other, Establishment historians called to testify in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhumi case, perjured themselves and gave untenable evidence?
Will not whole generations of historians continue to paper over the unspeakable atrocities committed by the rulers like Bakhtiyar Khilji and Tipu Sultan?
Let us now shift focus and review the list of Education Minister in Indian Secularism’ laboratory- Kerala.
One may note that the two Hindu names – Chandrasekharan and Ravindranath – are from the Communist Party and are as such, Atheists.
The 50% of Hindus of Kerala thus never had any representation in the Education Ministry. Is it any wonder that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes lag behind the rest of the State in educational attainment?
That the State leads in per capita ISIS Brides and fighters is very much an indicator that while the literacy percentage is very important, it is equally important to be cognizant of what we are teaching our children.
What we need to confront is the polite lies of the Indian Republic that hide in plain sight. The truth is inconvenient, but only in the truth is the path to our intellectual freedom.
Image Credits: The Times of India