The motivation for this book has been provided by the liberal Muslims who have been trying to stand on their own in their struggle against the massive control of fundamentalist forces over the Muslim community. This struggle of the liberals to extricate the community from the fundamentalist mentality of past may not have acquired the semblance of a movement at any time in the history, but in the present stage of human civilization, when peace and harmony have become the rarest commodities, it is only the defeat of all forms of fundamentalism that will offers a chance to the humanity to escape from the bloody catastrophe that awaits it at the end of the path it is currently moving on. In this struggle, the liberals will hardly be able to move ahead all alone; they will need the support of all secular elements in the century. But unfortunately, the secularists in the country have proved to be the biggest appeasers of fundamentalism. Dr B.R. Ambedkar, however, was a shining exception to this. He raised his powerful voice against the religious orthodoxy in the Hindu society on the one hand, and against the fundamentalist politics of the Muslim community on the other. The latter aspect of Dr Ambedkar’s thoughts has been ignored by the Intellectuals in Independent India. This book seeks to present how Dr Ambedkar looked at the problem of Muslim fundamentalism, and it is hoped that it may help the liberal Muslims and the secular forces in adopting a firm and forthright stand against this fundamentalism, like Dr. Ambedkar had done.
A brief outline of the chapters in the book is as follows:
Chapter 1- Vain Illusion: Hindu assessment of Islam; Secularism; Dr Ambedkar’s appeal to Hindu intellectuals.
Chapter 2- What did the Muslim League demand? Pakistan Resolution; Jinnah’s speech (excerpts); Hindu resentment; common features between Hindus and Muslims; what divides them.
Chapter 3- Bitter and bloody history; deep bitterness; long history of Muslim invasion; destruction of Hindus and spread of Islam.
Chapter 4- Ideological Inspiration; concepts of Darul-Islam and Dar-ul- Harb; Hijrat; Jihad; extraterritorial affinities; attitude towards Hindus.
Chapter 5- Efforts for Hindu-Muslim unity fail; British advent changes Muslim position; Hindu efforts for unity with Muslims; Gandhi Ji’s support to Khilafat; failure of unity efforts; wide-spread riots including Mopla massacre of Hindus; why unity efforts failed?
Chapter 6- Dimensions of communal politics: Political aggression; expanding Muslim demands; exploitation of Hindu weaknesses; gangsterism in politics; Congress appeasement of Muslims; Islamic separatism; contempt for non- believes; Democracy and Secularism no concerns of Muslim politics.
Chapter 7- On exchange of population: Communal harmony-a primary need; homogeneous countries necessary for communal harmony.
Chapter 8- If Pakistan were not created? question of India’s defence; question of communal harmony; ‘nationalist’ Muslims how much different from Muslim- Leaguers.
Appendix- India needs Hindu unity: India’s ancient unity; weakend national identity; need for reforms in Hindu society; adoption of Buddhism; advice to Dalits.
I acknowledge my deep gratitude to my friends Shri Sudhir Kumar and Shri M.D. Prasad for their valuable cooperation in the preparation of this book.
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