Reviewed By Maqbool Ahmed Siraj
Roots of Communalism in India
By Dr. M.K.A. Siddiqui
66 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road,
Price: Rs.30/- , Pages : 46.
This book_let by anthropologist Dr. M.K.A. Siddiqui brings to light the British effort to communalise history writing in India in their pursuit to drive a wedge between Hindus and Muslims. Going by the slenderness of the book_let, this should form a synopsis for an elaborate study of the colonial historiography.
The author begins from exclusion of Muslims from the 50th anniversary celebration of India’s independence and finds in this a culmination of a trend to construct a divisive history where Muslims are shown to be tyrants, Hindus victims of tyranny and the British rule as deliverance from the tyranny. The second half of the 19th century was a period when British historians laid the foundation for reviling the Muslim rule by spinning a web of slander, falsehood and forgery. Their Hindu disciples such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dwarka Nath Tagore, Bankin Chandra Chatterjee, Nabagopal Mitra etc took over from them by the last decade of the 8th century and ably carried the hate campaign under the British patronage. The ‘divide and rule’ policy sowed enough seeds of discord and led to a tribe of national leaders championing the communal partition of India.
They included leaders such as Veer Savarkar and Lal Lajpat Rai who wanted separation of Muslim dominant provinces much before Jinnah or Rahmat Ali popped upon the scene. This naturally led to construction of a mindset that placed Muslims outside the orbit of nationalism and freedom struggle.
The sufficiently documented study builds up a sound case for a project on reinterpreting the colonial and freedom history. This is imperative in the light of the doctored history being a large source of the communal discord and serving the political motives of the fascist forces.
Chapter on origin of Indian nationalism traces the syncretic movement in India which had helped build foundations for a homogenous modern nation-state.
Extremely readable, the booklet begs for attention of the academics to expand the scope of study in order to detect the virus of separatism and debunk myths pertaining to the role of Muslims.
By Saliha Altaf
Madina Mansion, Narainguda
Hyderabad- 500 029
Page : 80 Price Rs. 15/-
Youth occupied centrality in the message poet Sir Mohammed Iqbal conveyed all through his life and his enliving Urdu Poetry. The education has had deep imprint on Iqbal who had the advantage of making an in-depth study of the Holy Qur’an and the West Iqbal blended the West’s activism and Orient’s philosophy. His ideal youth was like Shaheen, the bird which does not build an abode but lives a life of recluse in the hills. Saliha Altaf has compiled the biography in Urdu highlighting various faeets of Iqbal’s personality, character and family. Some of them are quite revealing. Iqbal as a child, student, teacher, poet and father impresses the reader. But the most touching chapter is the one on his death. The biographical sweep gathers into the few pages a life spanning over six decades and filled with action, inspiration and activism. The book’s contribution lies in highlighting the impact of a loving and caring family on the intellectual life of Iqbal Saliha Althaf has sensitively dealt with various aspects of the life of the poet of the east. (MAS)