“India cannot be assumed today to be a unitarian and homogeneous nation, but on the contrary, there are two nations in the main; the Hindus and the Moslems, in India.” (Samagra Savarkar Vadmay—Volume 6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha Publication, 1963-65, Page 296)
Savarkar made the above statement in his presidential address at the All India Hindu Mahasabha convention in Karnavati (Ahmedabad) in 1937. From this one sentence, it is ridiculously alleged that “Savarkar proposed or advocated two-nation theory and Jinnah demanded Partition by the implementation of these principles”.
Immediately after the above statement, Savarkar further says, “And as it has happened in many countries under similar situation in the world the utmost that we can do under the circumstances is to form an Indian state in which none is allowed any special weight of representation and none is paid an extra-price to buy his loyalty to the State….. The Hindus as a nation are willing to discharge their duty to a common Indian State on equal footing.”(ibid, Page 296) Finally, Savarkar says, “We shall ever guarantee protection to the religion, culture and language of the minorities for themselves, but we shall no longer tolerate any aggression on their part on the equal liberty of the Hindus to guard their religion, culture and language as well. If the non-Hindu minorities are to be protected then surely the Hindu majority also must be protected against any aggressive minority in India.”(ibid, Page 298)
If Savarkar were to propose Two Nation Theory, would he have said “we shall ever guarantee protection to the religion, culture and language of the minorities”? If he supported Two Nation Theory, would he have said, “none is allowed any special weight of representation”? Why would Savarkar have said that “the Hindus as a nation are willing to discharge their duty to a common Indian State on equal footing,” if he supported Two Nation Theory?
Most importantly, before rendering above statement, Savarkar says, “As it is, there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so. These our well-meaning but unthinking friends take their dreams for realities….. But the solid fact is that the so-called communal questions are but a legacy handed down to us by centuries of a cultural, religious and national antagonism between the Hindus and the Moslems. When time is ripe you can solve them, but you cannot suppress them by merely refusing recognition of them.” (ibid, Page 296)
We must note that poetic-heart Savarkar was a realist too. Therefore, when he said, “there are two nations in the main; the Hindus and the Moslems, in India”, it was a bitter reality. He was simply expressing an unpleasant truth. If we accept it, then only we are able to find a solution. If one is diagnosed with cancer, he must admit that he does have cancer. Only then we can cure it. But, how can we cure it if someone has cancer and still don't admit it? How can we get rid of cancer if we continue to take treatment for tuberculosis or heart disease instead of cancer? The primary condition for treatment is to acknowledge that he or she is infected. Hence, Savarkar says, “it is safer to diagnose and treat a deep-seated disease than to ignore it. Let us bravely face unpleasant facts as they are.”
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Veer Savarkar
This part of his speech was criticised even while Savarkar was alive. Therefore, Savarkar clarified his statement to journalists on August 15, 1943 in the office of Marathi weekly ‘Aadesh’ published from Nagpur. He also clarified his position in an interview given in Mumbai on August 23, 1943. The interview was published in ‘Aadesh’ dated August 28, 1943. The important part of this interview is: “People still do not understand the important thing that stating the fact of Mussulman and Hindu nations being present in Hindusthan is not to accept the Pakistani adamancy of carving a country of the Mussalmans….. While two or two hundred nations that consider themselves separate from the Hindus have presently entered Hindusthan by force and are demanding Partition of Hindusthan, it is not by a woolly-headed and cowardly denial of this fact but rather by understanding, facing and changing it shall an independent, undivided and indivisible Hindu nation alone shall, without doubt, remain in Hindusthan. But as in our history when the Hindu Nation successfully rallied under the Hindu flag, the Hindus should come forward and rise unitedly…..We should not confuse between nation and state. Even if the state goes, the nation remains. When the Mussulmans were ruling over us, the government (state) was theirs. But the existence of the Hindus was most certainly intact. Even so, there is no problem in a common state of Hindus and Mussulmans. In the past, we had nations (Rashtra) such as Maharashtra, Saurashtra, Devrashtra (near Berar). Where are these nations? They mingled with each other. The Shakas and Huns came to Hindusthan as nations. But what is the evidence of their existence today? We digested them. So if the Mussulmans want, they could amicably stay with Hindus as a minority community. …in the end, desire is the most influential and important factor for a nation.”(www.savarkar.org)
If Veer Savarkar were to propose Two Nation Theory, would he have said “we shall ever guarantee protection to the religion, culture and language of the minorities?
Savarkar was simply expressing the reality. It means, he was merely stating the fact. Making a statement of fact does not mean advocating or propagating it. When a judge in a case of theft testifies to the evidence and says that ‘you are a thief’, it does not mean that the judge is advocating or propagating the act of theft. It simply means that it is required to state the fact that, ‘you are a thief’ while punishing the offender since the criminal cannot be punished without stating this fact. Hence, when Savarkar was saying that “there are two nations in the main; the Hindus and the Moslems, in India”, he was simply stating the fact because without accepting the truth, one cannot find the solution.
(The writer is Pune-based columnist and author of Marathi book on Savarkar, ‘Aakshep Aani Vastava’)