- The British rule of India was partial to the Muslims and contemptuous of Hindus.
- The resulting Clash of Civilizations, Abrahamic vs. Hindu, is responsible for the partition, the Anglo-Pak military alliance, and the persistent anti-India chorus.
- Britain supported partition in part because the Congress Party ruled out a military alliance. London internally approved the idea of partition as early as 1921. [Note: The Congress party was the largest indigenous political entity in the years leading up to the end of British rule in 1947].
- The Clash of Civilizations has continued unabated since WWII, with terrorism, social destabilization, and coordinated two-pronged non-military attacks.
- India must take the persistent attempts to balkanize the country very seriously.
Christianity and Islam as natural frenemies
In a speech before the British Parliament in 1843, Thomas Macaulay suggested how Britain should deal with India’s Hindu majority versus its Muslim minority. Britain, he said, should “take no part in the disputes between Mahometans and idolaters. But, if our government does take part, there cannot be a doubt that Mahometanism is entitled to the preference”. 
So why did Macaulay recommend preferential treatment for the Muslims? From the very early days of colonial rule, the British considered Muslims allies in the fight against Hindus. They realized that the Muslims, being foreign invaders like the British, were more likely to collaborate in the conquest of India. Due to this Abrahamic nexus, India became a victim of the War of Civilizations long before the term became popular in the late 20th century.
This nexus is best illustrated by an episode from the Mughal Empire’s dying days when the Hindu Marathas had become virtual masters of Delhi. In 1771, in return for a paltry payment of 30,000 pounds, the Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar – the great-grandson of the tyrant Aurangzeb – issued a series of firmans (decrees) , giving the English a virtual carte blanche to export and import goods in Bengal without paying taxes; to purchase 38 villages near modern Kolkata; the right to keep a garrison; the right to issue passes, which would ensure the free passage of goods without being checked at the custom houses; and the right to mint gold and silver coins, which would be honored throughout the Mughal Empire.
The grant of the firmans was one of the most important events in the history of the British in India, giving them extraterritorial privileges and correspondingly affecting the sovereignty of Indian rulers.
It is appalling that the Mughals, who did not permit Hindus – except some of their Rajput allies – to bear arms, allowed armed English garrisons in key cities of the empire. Such an act would have been unthinkable by an English monarch, and it signaled to the foreigners that the Mughal core was collapsing and India was up for grabs. “The concessions gave the Company an edge over its rivals and, more importantly, gave it a cause to fight for. In consequence, the Company was transformed from a Vaishya (trading) organization into a Kshatriya (territorial) one.” 
Compare the benevolence shown by Farrukhsiyar towards the English versus his hatred for Hindus. In February 1718 – just four months after his infamous decrees – the emperor’s mentors, the Sayyid Brothers, signed a treaty with the Marathas, increasing the Maratha share of the revenue from Mughal territories and also allowing the Hindus the right to maintain 15,000 cavalry troops to protect the Mughals. Farrukhsiyar remarked angrily: “It was not proper for the vile enemy to be overbearing partners in matters of revenue and government.” 
The great-grandson of Aurangzeb clearly viewed the rise of the Hindus as a threat to Islam. Thus, His decrees aimed to thwart the Hindu re-conquest of India so the Europeans could sneak in through the backdoor. Ramakrishna Mukherjee comments in The Rise and Fall of the East India Company: “With the connivance of the Mughal Emperor, the Company emerged as a strong power.”
Against this backdrop of Abrahamic collaboration, we must view the 1947 Partition of India and the continuing support the West provides Islamist forces in India. For, every time there is a communal clash, whether it’s Gujarat 2002, Delhi 2001, or Mewat 2023, the Western media is quick to pin the blame on Hindus while portraying Muslims as innocent victims. To get a complete picture of this backdrop, we need to look at the Partition itself.
Christian-Muslim Nexus – The real force behind India’s Partition
There is no denying the fact that Muslims were responsible for India’s vivisection in 1947 because they did not want to live alongside the Hindu majority. In the 1946 election, the Muslims overwhelmingly voted for the Muslim League, whose raison d’etre was the creation of Pakistan. The party got 100 percent of the Muslim vote in Madras, Bombay, and Orissa; 95 percent in Bengal; 93 percent in Central Provinces; 91 percent in Assam; 86 percent in Punjab; 85 percent in Bihar; and 82 percent in Sindh and UP. 
But there’s another, equally important, side to the story. Behind the Muslim League stood the wily British, who wanted to create a vassal state as a buffer against Russia. Narendra Singh Sarila, the aide-de-camp to Louise Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, had a ringside view of the events just before and after Partition. He writes: “Once the British realized that the Indian nationalists who would rule India after its independence would deny them military cooperation under a British Commonwealth defense umbrella, they settled for those willing to do so by using religion. Their problem could be solved if Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Muslim League Party’s leader, succeeded in his plan to detach the northwest of India abutting Iran, Afghanistan, and Sinkiang and establish a separate state there – Pakistan.” 
Muslims were a spent force
The secular and Islamist view of colonial history is that the British had snatched India from the Mughals. Therefore, the Muslims should have been the country’s rightful rulers after the British exit. This wishful thinking resulted from incorrect knowledge of history. In reality, the British had taken India from the Hindus, not Muslims.
Islam was a defeated force in India by the mid-1700s, with the Hindu Marathas having liberated vast swaths – around 70 percent – of the country from Muslim rule.  In 1771, the Marathas defeated the Mughals, Delhi came under Maratha rule, and the Mughal emperor became a Marathas’ protectee. 
By 1780, the Mughal ’empire’ barely existed outside Delhi.  The Marathas were the masters of Delhi until 1803, when the British defeated them in the Battle of Patparganj.  In Muslim Civilization in India, S.M. Ikram writes that “the Mughal empire, long a dependant of the Marathas, passed into British control.” 
And here’s the most concrete evidence of Hindu ascendancy. Of the 584 kingdoms (or princely states in colonial terminology) that comprised India, only 56 (or less than 10 percent) had Muslim rulers. In other words, when the British started taking control, Islamic rule was in steep decline, and effective political power had shifted to Hindus. 
The Nexus Begins
The idea of dividing India along religious lines predates any Muslim thinking. In his book Untold Story of Partition, Wali Khan, the son of legendary Pakhtun freedom fighter Badshah Khan, writes, “The British were manipulative people, experienced in ways of modern sabotage. They seriously set out to find the best means for establishing control over the numerous small kingdoms and millions of individuals…..Unity among Indians spelled disaster for the British, which they wanted to avoid at all costs.” 
To counter Hindu-Muslim unity, the British first divided Bengal into Muslim and Hindu halves in 1905. Four years later, they created separate electorates so Muslim votes could be cast only for Muslim candidates and Hindu votes for Hindu candidates. 
The British then started looking for collaborators among Indian Muslims. On November 2, 1921, Mohammad Shafi, a member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, submitted a memo that proposed an Anglo-Mohammadan Union that would operate in the interest of the British Empire. It stated that to undermine religious unity in India, separating the Muslims from it was essential.
Less than a year after Shafi proposed the Anglo-Mohammadan Union, the colonial government claimed success. On September 21, 1922, the Viceroy, Reading, wrote to Birkenhead, the Secretary of State for India: “I have sent you a telegram which will show you how near we have been to a complete break between Muslims and Hindus. I have been giving the greatest attention to this possibility, and I have the greatest assistance from Shafi in my council, a highly respected Mohammadan.” 
Gaming the Muslim Elites
The British made their intentions very clear to the Muslims. Viceroy Irwin told Shafi that attending meetings and writing newspaper articles wasn’t enough; the Muslim League would have to fight hard. “They must go out as whole-time missionaries and carry the flaming torch throughout the length and breadth of India. They must be prepared to build up a great organization which might focus all constructive efforts to fight the Congress… and they proposed to get to work, vigorous and comprehensive.” 
Through bribes, inducements, and the promise of a disproportionately large role for Muslims in free India, the British made sure all top members of the Muslim League were on the same page. The Muslim nobility provided large bribes, arson, and rioting, with the Nawab of Bhopal being the chief funder.
In this way, the British succeeded in turning many Muslims away from the idea of independence. Muslim League leader Abdullah Haroon telegram the Viceroy: “The Muslims have no differences with Great Britain….They wanted the British to stay, and they are now growing popular with the Muslim community.”  Wali Khan comments: “The British and Muslim League were converging towards a complete understanding.”
In 1939, as the rift between Hindus and Muslims grew, the British intelligence service in India wrote to the Secretary of State in London: “The differences between Hindus and Muslims have reached a point at which there is only one solution: Partition. Thus, shortly, a nation of Muslim India should be established.” 
Backdrop of War
On May 5, 1945, the day Germany surrendered, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered an appraisal of the “long-term policy required to safeguard the strategic interests of the British Empire in India and the Indian Ocean” by the War Cabinet. On May 19, the Post-Hostilities Planning Staff of the War Cabinet tabled a top-secret document citing four reasons why India was of strategic importance to Britain: 
- British forces located in India could be deployed in the Indian Ocean area, the Middle East, and the Far East.
- India was a transit point for air and sea communications.
- It had a large reserve of manpower of good fighting quality.
- Northwest India was suitable for deploying air power against Russia.
Geopolitical motives aside, Churchill was inspired by Beverly Nichols’ 1944 book ‘Verdict on India’ which argued that the British could not quit without creating a separate homeland for the Muslims. “I agree with the book and also with its conclusion – Pakistan.”
The British chiefs of staff became enthusiastic proponents of a Pakistan that would cooperate with Britain in military matters. On May 12, 1947, General Leslie Hollis put forward the following points to Churchill’s successor Prime Minister Clement Attlee, to bolster the case for breaking India:
- We should obtain important strategic facilities such as the port of Karachi and air bases in northwest India and the support of Muslim manpower.
- We should be able to ensure the continued independence and integrity of Afghanistan.
- We should increase our prestige and, improve our position throughout the Muslim world, and demonstrate, by the assistance Pakistan would receive, the advantage of links with the British Commonwealth.
- Our link with Pakistan might have a stabilizing effect on India as a whole since an attack by India on Pakistan would involve India in war, not with Pakistan alone, but with the British Commonwealth.
- The position on the frontier might well become more settled since relations between the tribes and Pakistan would be easier than they could be with a united India.
Countdown to Partition
In May 1947, Jinnah told an American delegation that if the British left behind a united India, it would have disastrous consequences for the Western world. The Congress, a sworn enemy of England and other Western countries, would be unwilling to protect their interests in the Middle East and the Gulf. Jinnah coupled the danger of Russian aggression with another ‘problem’ Muslim nations might confront. He said the establishment of Pakistan was essential to prevent the expansion of “Hindu imperialism” to the Middle East. 
So, if the Americans allowed Britain to partition India and create Pakistan, the West could build an Islamic bastion against the Soviet Union. The slogan was, “Create Pakistan and save the Western world!” 
In 1946, the new Viceroy Wavell devised a new scheme: “The disputed areas between the Congress and the Muslim League were located on the border. The Pakistan scheme was divided into two parts – North West and North East. These were areas with a Muslim majority. Wavell suggested that the areas with a Congress majority should be handed over to them and be given complete autonomy. The British, along with their army, civil servants, and families, should move into areas with a Muslim majority…. The territories were specified: in the East, Bengal, and Assam; in the West, the Frontier Province, Punjab, and Sindh. Delhi would be under direct British control, and the rest would go to the Congress.”
Wavell’s plan was in keeping with Churchill’s advice while the Viceroy was on his way to India: “Keep a bit of India.” Basically, the British were ready to Balkanize India. 
The Muslims agreed to Wavell’s proposal. League leader Liaquat All Khan, who would become the first Prime Minister of Pakistan (and be assassinated in double quick time), ingratiatingly told the British: “If your Excellency was prepared to let the Muslim League have only the Sindh desert, I would still be prepared to accept it.” 
The collapse of empires and the end of colonialism after World War II did not end the West’s ties with Islamists. In fact, they grew stronger. Western governments continue to conspire with terrorist groups to control oil resources, overthrow governments, and promote their financial interests. India remains a special target of Abrahamic forces not only because it is set to be one of the world’s largest economies but also because India is among the last few polytheistic countries. So, the two forces that divided India in 1947 have now launched a coordinated pincer attack on India.
However, given the high costs of engaging India in combat, the West seeks ways to destabilize the country with the growing range of indirect and non-military tools. From fake news to terrorist financing and provocative actions by its numerous well-funded think tanks and universities, these approaches often lie in the contested arena between routine statecraft and open warfare – or gray zone warfare.
According to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, “Today, the toolkit for coercion below the level of direct warfare includes information operations, political coercion, economic coercion, cyber operations, proxy support, and provocation by state-controlled forces.”
This explains why you don’t hear American, British, German, or French leaders talk about launching missile strikes on Indian cities, but their media outfits, the BBC, Reuters, NYT, Washington Post, Deutsche Welle, and Le Monde portray India as a poor, violent and misogynistic country where Hindus are ready to unleash genocide against Muslims, backward castes and women. The hatred of Hindus is so trenchant that in any religious clash, the Hindu is the default aggressor, and the Muslim is shown as the innocent victim. There is not even a semblance of a fact check. The Western ecosystem won’t even talk to Hindu victims or the administration but will quickly highlight the views of Muslim groups.
Australian author and University of Sydney professor Salvatore Babones says this Western-Islamic alliance is real and dangerous for India. “Western elites are using Islamist militants as the shock troops for their own anti-Hinduism,” he says.  According to him, whatever individual Westerners may think of India, “the West is thoroughly anti-Indian, and that institutional hatred is getting stronger by the hour.”
Professor Babones makes the case that global Islamism and Western elites have found a common cause in Hindu bashing: “For the first half-century of modern India’s Independence, Western anti-Hinduism was relatively muted. But lately, it has broken out in places like Leicester, Toronto, and New Jersey. In all three places, the root cause is the same: an informal alliance between global Islamists and Western elites. Groups linked to Islamist extremism have convinced anti-Hindu Westerners to support their aggression toward Indians and India.”
So, what exactly is the West’s motive? Anti-Hindu Western intellectuals do not fear the rise of India; they resent it, says Babones. “Just as Western anti-Semites are offended by the success of Israel, Western anti-Hinduists are offended by the success of India. They can’t accept the idea of a strong and independent Hindu-majority country. They would much rather keep India weak and poor, just as their ancestors did centuries ago.”
Checkmating Partition 2.0
As the Muslim population grows unchecked, there are renewed calls for a second Partition. Various terror groups such as PFI and SDPI have called for Mughalistan.  It’s almost like in the 1920s when anti-Hindu violence was almost a daily affair in Muslim-majority areas.
In this scenario, India has two choices. One, do nothing like the Congress leaders of 1947, who lacked the stomach to take on the Muslim League goons and settled for what they got. Not one of them, except Sardar Patel, considered digging in for a fight and calling the Muslim League’s bluff. A few days of mobilization by nationalist Indians would have been sufficient to silence these Leaguers. But this was prevented by leaders like Gandhi, who curiously did nothing when Muslims went on killing sprees but preached non-violence and would threaten to fast till death when Hindus counter-attacked or merely acted in self-defense. This approach will undoubtedly lead to demand for a second partition and further chaos and violence.
Alternatively, drop the soft approach. India must accept that the country’s self-interests and security are above all else. The West and Islamist groups operate through their proxies in the media, academia, secular parties, and especially NGOs. Exposing and isolating these internal enemies should be a primary task. This will involve tracking down suspected treasonable individuals and groups infiltrating and manipulating them. This strategy is essential against the urban naxals who have grown deep roots in India’s colleges and universities and are poisoning young minds against the nation and its values. Indian journalists in the pay of Western intelligence agencies can be easily ferreted out using technology and human intelligence.
Referring to the enemy’s gray zone warfare, the late General Bipin Rawat stated: “This is a proxy war, and proxy war is a dirty war. It is played in a dirty way. The rules of engagement are there when the adversary comes face to face and fights with you. It is a dirty war….That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovations.”
- The Gates of Somnauth, by Thomas Babington Macaulay, a speech in the House of Commons, March 9, 1843 (franpritchett.com)
- Rajesh Kochar, The Truth Behind the Legend: European Doctors in Pre-Colonial India
- Satish Chandra, Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughal Empire, 2007
- Robert W. Stern, Democracy and Dictatorship in South Asia: Dominant Classes and Political Outcomes in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (2001)
- Narenda Sarila, The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India’s Partition (2006)
- History of the Maratha Empire (Maratha Confederacy): Rise, Fall & Administration (culturalindia.net)
- Delhi’s Scindia age: 1771-1803 (indiatimes.com)
- Wali Khan, Fact Are Facts, Chapter 1, British and The Politics Of Communalism, page 1
- Wali Khan, Fact Are Facts, Chapter 1, British And The Politics Of Communalism, page 14
- Wali Khan, Fact Are Facts, Chapter 1, British And The Politics Of Communalism, page 16
- Wali Khan, Fact Are Facts, Chapter 1, British And The Politics Of Communalism, page 28
- Narendra Sarila, The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India’s Partition, page 26
- S. Venkataramani, American Role in Pakistan, http://phr.ucpress.edu/content/54/1/111
- Wali Khan, Fact Are Facts, Chapter 7, Wavell’s New Scheme: The British Need For Pakistan, page 100