Why I won't celebrate India's independence
By Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun
First posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 05:33 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 05:50 PM EDT
Aug. 15 will mark India's 70th anniversary as a free country. That was the day in 1947 when it emerged from its long, dark, winter of almost 1,000 years of foreign rule.
The first invasion of India, with the intent of permanent occupation and destruction of its Hindu ethos, was made by the Arabs in AD 710.
After that came Afghan, Turkic and Central Asian barbarians who committed untold horrors on a largely civilized and peaceful people.
India still lives with the scars of these invasions, but more on that later.
From the 16th century onwards, it was the turn of the Europeans, who ostensibly came for trade, but reduced India from being one of the most prosperous places on earth, to one of the poorest.
First came the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch, French and finally the British Raj, that lasted 200 years. India's independence 70 years ago came at a huge price and left a permanent scar that may never go away.
The 7,000-year-old Indian civilization born on the plains of Punjab and the River Indus, and in the foothills of the Himalayas, would have both its limbs amputated as the price of freedom.
What began in AD 710 as an Islamic attempt to destroy "Hind" as prophesized in Islama's doctrine of "Ghazwa-e-Hind" (Prophet Muhammad's war on India) led to India losing the very River Indus it was named after to the Islamic State of Pakistan.
The process of India's amputation began on Aug. 16, 1946, barely a year after the Second World War ended, revealing the horrors of the Holocaust, where six million Jews were targeted for annihilation.
The leader of the Pakistan movement in India, M. A. Jinnah, ordered a so-called "Direct Action Day" which ended in the killing of Hindus in the city of Calcutta, to blackmail the secular Indian National Congress to concede to his demand for the "Partition of India."
This so he could carve out an Islamic state, claiming Muslims could not live under the rule of non-Muslims, particularly the supposedly "unclean" Hindus.
On that day Jinnah unleashed his thugs in Calcutta to an orgy of death, slaughtering Hindus without mercy. Thousands were killed.
A Hindu reprisal against Muslims is what Jinnah was hoping for and he got what he had planned.
Days before the riots, Jinnah told a press conference, as reported by American journalist Margaret Bourke-White in her book, Halfway to Freedom: "We will either have a divided India or a destroyed India."
Both Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi succumbed to Jinnah's blackmail.
By the time the massacres were over, few Hindus or Sikhs were left alive in Lahore, the ancient Hindu city believed to be named after "Luv" the son of Lord Ram.
While Muslims who moved to Pakistan from India came of their own accord, Hindus and Sikhs did not leave their homes on their own account. Many were hunted down and killed or chased away.
Just two years after the world had said "Never Again" what happened to the Jews in Germany happened to Hindus and Sikhs in the new Islamic state.
It is politically incorrect to say so, but the facts stare us in our face.
On Aug.15, this Muslim Indo-Canadian will not celebrate my motherland's amputation.
I leave that for the fiction writers, who live in the rarefied air where lies are passed off as goodwill gestures.