Jawaharlal Nehru-led Congress, not Muhammad Ali Jinnah was responsible for Partition: Farooq Abdullah

In a statement which may once again open the contentious debate over the Partition of India, National Conference chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday claimed that it was Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad who were responsible for the Partition of India and not Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

Speaking at a function at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan in Jammu, Abdullah said that it was the refusal of the three Congress leaders to accept minority status for the Muslims which led to the Partition of India.

Abdullah added that Jinnah did not want Pakistan in the first place. But Congress' refusal to a special representation for Muslims and Sikhs, Abdullah believed, forced Jinnah to seek a separate nation for Muslims.

"Or else there would have been no separation. There would have been no Bangladesh, no Pakistan; there would have been one India," ANI quoted Abdullah as saying.

File image of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah. Firstpost/Sameer Yasir

File image of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah. Firstpost/Sameer Yasir

Abdullah decries use of religion in politics

Abdullah also expressed grave concern over the "communalisation of politics" ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and cautioned BJP to desist from "dividing the nation on religious lines".

“A polarised India is detrimental to its growth, progress, unity, and peace,” he said.

The former chief minister decried the misuse of religion for political and electoral gains. Cautioning the audience about divisive forces in the state, Abdullah said that Jammu and Kashmir has to flourish and progress as a single entity.

The debate over Partition

The debate over who exactly were responsible for the Partition, which led to the creation of the dominions of India and Pakistan, has been raging on for many years now.

In a 2017 book on the events preceding the event, "Partition: The Story of Indian Independence And The Creation of Pakistan in 1947", noted military historian Barney White-Spunner, while taking a holistic view of the historic event, believed that it was Congress' inability to get along with the Jinnah-led Muslim League that led to the eventual Partition of British India.

"It was Nehru and Patel who decided to get on with it quickly. It may be stunning to know that Nehru, with Mahatma Gandhi’s support, even tried in May (1947) to get the British to (conclude the) hand over (of India) in June. Congress was impatient for power," a The Times of India book review noted.

The partition debate took a political turn in 2009, when Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Union minister Jaswant Singh wrote in his book, "Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence" that it was Nehru's centralised policy which forced Jinnah to seek a separate homeland for Indian Muslims.

For his views, Jaswant was expelled from BJP, whose parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, had opposed the Partition of India.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Mar 04, 2018 11:31 AM

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