'Partition a division of not just land but also minds'

Partition was not just separation of territories but also division of minds: Ram Madhav

He also said the whole idea of 'Akhand Bharat' should be seen as not about mitigating physical borders, but erasing the mental barriers that were created

RSS functionary Ram Madhav. Credit: PTI File Photo

The Partition was not just a separation of territories but also a division of minds, RSS functionary Ram Madhav said Saturday, asserting there is a need to find ways to "build bridges" and discourage the elements that believe in separatism.

He also said the whole idea of 'Akhand Bharat' should be seen as not about mitigating physical borders, but erasing the mental barriers that were created due to "this horrendous saga of Partition".

In his address during an international webinar hosted by the JNU and themed on Partition Horrors Remembrance Day, he alleged Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a leader who was allowed to "grow into a monster" during the freedom struggle and was "hell-bent on partition of India".

Jinnah, one of the most controversial figures of the subcontinent, served as a leader of the All-India Muslim League from early 20th century until Pakistan's creation on August 14, 1947, when British India was divided into two separate dominions, with India born as a free nation on August 15, 1947.

Madhav, also a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh national executive, described the partition as a "cataclysmic event" which, he said, resulted from "errors of judgment".

"Partition of India unlike many other partitions seen in other countries in that period, was not just a simple redrawing of boundaries... and it also took place on a false premise that Hindus and Muslims were separate nations, even though they had been living together despite their different practices," he said.

The RSS functionary said the Partition also holds important lessons and "we must learn from the mistakes" of the past, and attempt to "build bridges" with those who have separated, as a way forward.

"The Partition of India was not just a partition of territories but also a partition of minds. And, the partition of minds also need to be seen with utmost seriousness and utmost care. We need to build a united Indian society. And, that can happen only if the leadership and elements which believe in separatism and communal separation are discouraged, and the sense of one nationhood need to encouraged," he said.

The webinar, titled, 'India, Partition and its Aftermath: Remembering the Horrors of History', comes a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that August 14 will be observed as the Partition Horrors Remembrance Day in the memory of the struggles and sacrifices of people, saying the pain of partition can never be forgotten.

Madhav said there was a need to "build bridges" and "not be enemies" with people who have "become part of separate entities".

"We need to pull down the walls of mental separation and create, one united Indian society, so that we ensure that India shall not have to bear another trauma of partition anytime in future. And, the next step will be build bridges," he added.

"We need to find ways to build bridges that will be the real undoing of the Partition. Maybe, geographical, political and physical boundaries remain, but the mental boundaries, the boundaries of divided hearts can be erased.

“That is how, we should actually look at the whole idea of 'Akhand Bharat', not about mitigating physical borders, but mitigating the mental barriers that were created due to this horrendous saga of partition," he said.

Modi while making the announcement on August 14 had noted that millions of people were displaced and many lost their lives due to mindless hate and violence caused by the partition.

May the Partition Horrors Remembrance Day, the prime minister had said, keep “reminding us of the need to remove the poison of social divisions, disharmony and further strengthen the spirit of oneness, social harmony and human empowerment”.

Pakistan was carved out as a Muslim country after the division of India by the British colonial rule in 1947, and millions of people were displaced and many lakhs of them lost their lives as large scale rioting broke out. 

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