Chapter 14: The Best Government Is No Government
In a democracy the majority decide who is to rule, and that’s why Jinnah insisted, “We cannot live with Hindus because to live with Hindus means to live under their rule. We can never be in power.” That was his politics: to be in power.
He wanted to be in power, and with Hindus it was impossible. Gandhi was a very clever politician, so clever that he almost deceived the whole world into thinking he was a religious man. He tried to bribe Jinnah too. He made an offer to Jinnah: “You will be the first president of India - that is my promise.”
Jinnah said, “I can understand, and I trust your word - I may be the first president, but then what? I cannot remain in power forever; the majority can throw me out any day. And even if I am the president I am not really in power, because I don’t have the support of the majority of the country. Just you are making me the president; you are the king-maker, you are still higher than me.” Without the country’s support a single man’s vote is making him the president!
“But,” he said, “it is not a question of my being president; what about my people? Once you are dead, I am dead; Hindus will be ruling forever - and we cannot accept this. We are descendants of rulers, we have ruled over India for two thousand years; before the Britishers we were the rulers. Now after the Britishers we are not going to be slaves. We need a separate country.”
The Britishers were playing their game too. They had no interest in Hindus or Mohammedans or Sikhs. Their interest was, if these three go on fighting among themselves, they remain in power. Their simple plea was there - a very British type of politics, very nice. Even if they kill you, they kill you with a smile. Their politics was simple. They said, “We are ready to leave the country, we are ready to make you independent, but first you decide: to whom are we to leave the country? In whose hands? You are not united. We cannot leave the country in chaos.”
Just understand the politician’s strategy: “We cannot leave you in chaos, in disorder. You first get yourself together.”
Even in 1930 Sikhs were asking for a separate, independent country. Their leader was master Tarasingh, a very fanatic Sikh and a very powerful politician. Kashmiris also wanted to have their own country. They have a very strong politician, Sheik Abdullah, who has ruled Kashmir for almost half a century.
He wanted Kashmir to be a separate country. He said, “We don’t want to be part of Pakistan, because in Pakistan we will be lost, and we have the paradise of the earth in our hands; we don’t want this paradise to be lost, to fall into anybody’s hands. We don’t want to be with India either, because wherever we are we will be a minority and we will be lost.” His politics was to remain independent; then he would be in power.