Swaraj and Hindu-Muslim unity : The Tribune India

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Lahore, Thursday, July 10, 1924

Swaraj and Hindu-Muslim unity



NO saying is commoner in India today than that Hindu-Muslim unity is the first essential condition of Swaraj. Mahatma Gandhi was by no means the first Indian leader to lay down the proposition — in fact, it had been fairly common among educated and politically minded Indians long before Gandhi came on the scene — but to him belongs the undoubted credit of bringing it into such universal currency as to make it almost hackneyed. What is not usually realised, however, is that Swaraj itself is just as essential to Hindu-Muslim unity as Hindu-Muslim unity is to Swaraj. We do not mean merely that it is only in a state of Swaraj that the two communities can be expected finally to adjust all their supposed irreconcilable differences, and to regard themselves as what they really are, belonging to each other politically. Nor do we mean merely that so long as a third party is in possession of political power, it can never lack either the will or the opportunities to create an occasional division between the two communities in order to be the better able to rule both. Both these are obvious propositions, and have long been among the commonplaces of nationalist politics. What we do mean is that it is only in their common, burning love of freedom and self-government that the two communities can find the strongest motive for overcoming their mutual differences and prejudices and making themselves into one. Here are two communities which, in spite of their having lived as neighbours for centuries, are today as far off from being one united whole as they ever were; in some respects, they are actually farther off from this goal than they were in the not very distant past. 

#Mahatma Gandhi


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