A translation of Sir Syed Ahmad Khans ’Hindu Aur Musalman Mai Irtibaat’
By: Abbas Ali
As much as the social behaviour, mutual love, and relationships between Hindus and Muslims keep developing positively, it looks pleasing. Even the Aryan races of the Hindus are not the pure residents of Hindustan; they have arrived from other countries and settled victoriously in Hindustan. Immeasurable time has elapsed since their settlement in Hindustan, which is why they are the nationals of Hindustan and are called the Hindu residents of Hindustan. No less time has passed since the arrival of the Muslims, whose innumerable generations have passed on the surface of Hindustan. Many Muslims have common Aaryan ancestry, and many others belong to the pure Aaryan race. Centuries have passed, and we have been living on the same land, eating the produce of the same ground, drinking the water of the same land or river, and being alive by inhaling the air of the same country. Therefore, there is no indifference between Muslims and Hindus. As the people of the Aaryan race are called Hindu, Muslims are also called Hindus (the residents of Hindustan). We have expressed that Hindustan is a beautiful bride, and the Hindus and the Muslims are her two eyes. Her beauty lies in keeping both of her eyes healthy and balanced. If one of these becomes imbalanced, the beautiful bride will turn squint-eyed, and if one eye continues suffering, it will finally turn into a one-eyed entity. The social status of both is almost the same. Instead, many Hindu habits and customs are prevalent among Muslims. So, as much as more affection, sincerity, mutual help, and brotherhood (because there is no doubt about being national brethren) between the two races increases, we will be proportionately happy to the same extent.
Three proofs of affection and sincerity have been provided publicly during current times. Firstly, nowadays, on the victory of the Sultan (Rome) over Greece, the Muslims organise celebration parties. The city was illuminated, and people sent greeting telegrams to the Sultan. We have heard that the Hindus of the Deccan celebrated the victory and sent telegrams of greeting. It is sufficient proof of brotherhood between the two races. Secondly, we have heard that in Barayli, the Hindus and the Muslims have beautifully proved each other’s love. On the day of Bakr Eid, the Muslims did not offer the sacrifice of a cow.
To appease Hindu religious sentiments, Muslims offered the sacrifice of goats and sheep instead of cows. And since the Hindus have given up on the idea: do Muslims consider sacrificing cows, goats, or sheep? Furthermore, the Hindus have agreed to participate in the grief and establish water stalls during the time of Moharram. We, too, have held the same opinion for a long time that if by abstaining from sacrificing a cow, the mutual friendship and love remain intact, then not offering a cow is a thousand times better than sacrificing a cow. Thirdly, we need to build a mosque in Civil Division Manakpurjung, District Daka and collect money for that mosque. The Hindus and the Muslims jointly formed a committee for the purpose, and they gathered money for the mosque together. Understandably, the Muslims of that place are poorer and more dishonoured.
Therefore, for mosque construction, the Hindus strive harder than the Muslims. We greet both the races for this kind of affection, helpfulness and mutual brotherhood that the Hindus have exhibited. The difference in religion between the Hindus and Muslims cannot become an obstacle to social conduct, mutual love, and sincerity. Similarly, the difference in political affairs can not become an obstacle to social behaviour, mutual love and sincerity, and mutual helpfulness. The Hindus and Muslims are subjects of the English government and live happily, peacefully, and freely under their shade and shadow. However, there is no doubt that we have different opinions on the political affairs of the two races. The Hindus are adherents to the political policy of Congress, which belongs to its elite members or supporters. And every year, the policy is announced and stressed in different places in the name of Congress. Muslims are in opposition to the policy. People cast aspersions on them, saying they are the government’s flatterers. However, this allegation is incorrect. According to Muslims, the administration and peace of the country can be disturbed by that policy. In no way is that policy suitable for the situation in Hindustan. If the purpose of unity and solidarity is for Muslims to join Congress and its policies, in my opinion, this is an unachievable purpose. It will disturb the administration and the country’s peace greatly. Some Muslims, who are inconsistent, unaware of administrative matters, and believe in impossible goals, support Hindu policy and Congress meetings. Muslims, on the other hand, are generally barred from participating. We do not care that Hindus and Muslims have different religions. We want friendship, love, harmony, and helpfulness.
Similarly, despite political differences of opinion in social affairs, we want the behaviour of mutual friendship, love, helpfulness, and brotherhood. And we believe that in the current period, how Hindus have extraordinarily expressed brotherhood and helpfulness towards Muslims is not cheating meant to include the Muslims in the Congress but real brotherhood, genuine helpfulness, and the real reason for compatriotism. We pray to Allah that it be so and that both the races may live their lives under the English government with extreme faithfulness. And we additionally pray for the safety of Respected Queen Victoriya, Caesar of India, and the longevity of her kingdom. Her unprecedented kingdom’s sixtieth-year procession will be celebrated soon.
(Anwar Sidiqi’s Intikhab Mazameen Sir Syed (pp120-23). The translator is a senior lecturer in economics.