When will politics be free of religion as tool? Here is what was it was in August 1947. Patel's Views On Communal Representation New Delhi, 27 August 1947 Sardar Patel, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Minorities, Fundamental Rights etc. today in the Constituent Assembly (while submitting the reports of the committees) congratulated the various minorities who had taken a correct perspective of the problems and helped in arriving at unanimous conclusions on many items. There remained, however, Sardar said, one matter of controversy and that was behalf of the Muslim League and the Scheduled Castes. A point was raised that members of those communities should poll certain percentage of votes of their community to be declared successful in the elections. The matter was discussed and the Advisory Committee rejected the suggestions by a large majority. Chaudhury Kaliquzzaman pleaded for granting of separate electorates for the Muslims Addressing Sardar Patel, he said, You have become the final arbiter of the fates of the minorities. If you grant us separate electorates, what is the harm if the Muslim community feels it will help ub determining their true representative character? After all they will appeal to you and not to any Third Power - not even to Pakistan - for redress of their grievances. I beg of you to consider the new situation in which this question is now being discussed. Earlier referring to the new factor that has emerged, namely, the disappearance of the Third Party, he said that in the light of that, if the country really visualized the situation existing today in its true perspective, much of the suspicion that hung around separate electorates would disappear. There was no longer any Third Party to whom the Muslims could go and appeal. There was no doubt that if things untoward happened anywhere they must now go to Sardar Patel. Replying to the debate, Sardar Patel said he was surprised that there should have been such a debate on the motion His mind (the Sardar said) went back to this day when the question of separate electorates was first discussed. Many eminent Muslims had recorded their view that communal electorates were a serious flaw in the body politic. Many Englishmen had also admitted that the country had to be partitioned today because of separate electorates. The Sardar said, When Pakistan was conceded, at least it was assumed that there will be One Nation in the rest of India and that there will be no attempt to thrust the Two-Nation theory here. It is no use saying, we shall ask for separate electorates, but will abide by your decision. We have heard this for many years. Do you still want there should be two nations? Will you show one free nation which has a religious basis? If this unfortunate country is to be again oppressed by this, even after its division, then woe betides it. It is not worth living for. You say you want to be loyal to the nation. May I ask you, is it loyalty. Sardar Patel said he had not intended to speak, but apparently there was something still wrong in the land. If you want peace in this land - you can do nothing either here or in Pakistan without peace - I appeal to you at least at this stage to show that everything is forgotten. I appeal to you to withdraw your amendment and pass this clause unanimously so that the world outside may understand that we have forgotten. Times of India, 28 August 1947 New Delhi, 28 August 1947 Speaking in the Constituent Assembly, Sardar Patel said : When I agreed to reservation on population basis, I thought that our friends in the Muslim League will see the reasonableness of our attitude and accommodate themselves in the changed circumstances after the separation of the country. But now I find repetition of the same methods which had been adopted when separate electorates were introduced in the country. In spite of ample sweetness in the language used by the speakers, there is a full dose of poison in the methods adopted. Quoting the analogy of the younger brother making suggestions to an elder brother used by a speaker, the Sardar said,The last speaker (Naziruddin Ahmed) has said we will lose the affection of the younger brother if we do not accept the amendment. I am prepared to lose it because otherwise it would prove the death of the elder brother. The formula suggested by the amendment had a history behind it, the Sardar said. It was known as the Mohammed Ali formula. The formula had been evolved by nationalist Muslims to prevent separation of the communities from each other. But now separation was complete and the country was divided, he did not understand the demand for its introduction. Sardar Patel said, If the process that was adopted in the past, which resulted in the separation of the country, is to be repeated, then those who want that kind of thing can have a place in Pakistan, not here. We are laying the foundation of one nation. And those who think of dividing again and sow the seeds of disruption will have no place and no quarter here. You must change your attitude and adapt yourself to changed conditions, and do not pretend to say our affection is very great for you. We have seen the affection. Let there be no talk about it. Let us face realities. The point is whether you really want to cooperate with us, or what to adopt disruptive tactics. I appeal to you to have changed hearts, and not merely change your tongues, because it would not pay. If you think this is going to pay, you are mistaken. I know how much it costs me to protect Muslim minorities here in the present conditions and in the present atmosphere. I appeal to you to forget the past. You have got what you wanted. And remember, you are the people who are responsible for Pakistan, and not those who live in Pakistan.You led the agitation. What is it you want now? We do not want the country to be divided again. I sincerely tell you there will be no injustice done to you. There will be generosity towards you, but there must be reciprocity. If it is absent, then you take it from me that no soft words can conceal what is behind the words. Let us forget the past and let us be one nation. Times of India, 29 August 1947 (Source:India's Bismarck: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel by B. Krishna, Indus Source Books, Mumbai) ********************************************************** Read these the news reports carefully. If they are true, then has anything changed? Are we not chasing our own tail today? When will India be free from religion being used as a apolitical tool? Why is religion such a flame that attracts moth to eventually perish in that fire?