Hindu-Muslim Relations in India
The discord that exists between Hindus and Muslims dates back to the 16th century. The harmony between these two groups was ruined due to the abrasive Muslim rule that exists at the end of the 17th century.
With the fall of the Mughal Dynasty, the Indian subcontinent was exposed to intruders. With the onset of British rule both Hindus and Muslims came together and fought against British rule.
Hindus and Muslims were refused high-ranking jobs in the government and the military due to which tension increased between the two factions. The Indian National Congress had been formed. The Indian National Congress comprised all religions but was dominated by Hindus.
Citizens of India raise demand for equal rights and freedom from colonial rule. In the earlier stages of the freedom struggle, Hindus and Muslims rose together in a non-violence resistance lead by the head of the Indian National Congress, Mohandas K. Gandhi against British rule.
To destroy this resistance the British transferred some political power and more equal representation to the Indian National Congress.
Later on, Muslim leaders lead by M.A. Jinnah, felt that the Indian National Congress, which was dominated by Hindus, was making all the choices for British-ruled India and had an opinion that it was not taking any Muslim leaders in the decision-making process.
The Muslim leaders had an opinion that in order to protect the heritage of Islam, they must have their own state to rule over. In 1940 the All-India Muslim League under the leadership of Jinnah disclosed its desire for its own state called Pakistan, meaning “land of the pure.” This brought some sort of unrest between the two religions.
On August 16, 1946, the Muslim League demanded a separate Muslim state. This is the day when thousands of Muslims and Hindus clashed fiercely. The British took the advantage of this unrest and divided the country into two religions into the lines of two religions.
On midnight, August 14, 1947, Pakistan got its independence, the very next day India celebrated its own. Before leaving the British sowed the seed of hatred between the two religions.
A separate state of Pakistan did not solve the conflict between Hindus and Muslims; the ugly problem of hatred still remained. Violence seems to be the only solution for these two religions when we took the various incidents that happened between the two religions.
This violence has been continued over the last few decades by various incidents-. The incident, which still flashes in the memory, was the demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque in Aycdliya. Hindu groups claim that the site that the mosque was the birthplace of Ram.
In 1992 a mob of Hindu zealots destroyed the 18th-century building. This started off riots across the country Some time ago burning of a train carrying Hindus were burnt down by Muslim zealots due to which riots broke out in Gujarat.
The politicians worsened the situation. When the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) was in power the opposition started putting blame on it stating it as a pro-Hindu party instead of pacifying the people. Though some decision of some state government seems to go against the Muslims like the dissolution of the State Minorities Commission, a public body set up to help maintain the rights of minorities, in a state.
The situation deteriorated when Pakistan started spreading terrorism in our country. This increases the rift between the two religions further. There wasn’t a day when we hadn’t heard of violence in Kashmir. Unfortunately, all this violence is linked to Islam and Muslims though everybody knows that these are the handiwork of Pakistan.
There are many instances when Hindus and Muslims have come together and lived in harmony on the same land for more than a thousand years. The fair of “Phool Walon Ki Sair” is an excellent example of the integrity of the two religions.
This rift will certainly be rooted out if we people of India wanted to. With strong determination, we can put aside the history of hatred and violence and make India progress towards communal harmony.