Thursday, the 26th May, 1949
The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall, New Delhi, at Eight of the Clock, Mr. President (The Honourable Dr. Rajendra Prasad) in the Chair.
REPORT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON MINORITIES--(Contd.)
Shri R.K. Sidhva (C.P & Berar: General): Mr. President. What a marvelous outlook and change in the meeting of the Minorities Committee of the 11th May 1949 as compared with the first meeting of the same Committee of in 1947. It was asked here yesterday: what has happened since 1947 that has made this Committee revise its decision? I might inform the honourable House that at the first meeting it was not that the large majority of the Members were not opposed to any reservation of seats or that several of them-minus very few-were not for complete elimination of separate electorates and of reservation of seats also: but our leaders felt that if, just at the commencement of our freedom, we want the whole hog our position would be misunderstood and it might be said that the majority was going to trample down the rights of the minorities. Therefore, they stated that we have made a very good start by removing separate electorates. Let us work it for some time and give them a chance. Some of us did not share their view and we went into voting- though we were in a minority-for the abolition of the reservation of seats. We had to agree to the other view.
But what has happened since then? It was asked yesterday why a trial is not being given. But before we give trial, what has occurred in the country? Communal incidents have played havoc in this country. I do not want to repeat what has happened. Everyone in this House knows what has happened. Due to that communal havoc, in our Parliament last year, we had to pass a resolution that no communal organization which has as its aims and objects the political rights and privileges of its members shall be recognised by Parliament. It was thirteen months ago that this resolution was passed and in my opinion this resolution should have been revised long ago but our leaders wanted the communal passions to subside. Thank God that somehow this Constitution was prolonged for its completion. Had it not been so, let me tell you that reservation of seats would have been a blot in our Constitution if it had remained. But thank God, Nature has played its part in the prolongation that has occurred and time has shown that reservations must go.
Now, if communal fracas has played such havoc. I do not understand why some want communal safeguards. How can there be any kind of communal safeguard now? It was present in the days when the British were here so that they could play their own game. Now they have gone there would be no cause for safeguard of anybody's rights. It has been our cherished desire for the last fifty years to see that this evil, that has played such havoc and which has been a kind of cancerous and poisonous element in our political life, should be done away with. Today it is a `red letter' day and when this Constitution comes into law, it will be with pride that our nation will be remembered by the nations of the world that in our Constitution we have kept no room for communalism and that we are in the true sense of the word a secular State.
My Friend, Mr. Muhammad Ismail, while arguing yesterday stated that without separate electorates the Muslims will not get justice and they will not get that representation which they desire. If my Friend, Mr. Muhammad Ismail even at this stage believes in the two-nation theory-communalism-then certainly he will have no place. But there are many persons like Mr. Lari, who told his co-religionists that "even at this stage you are talking of the two-nation theory and separate electorate: please forget all this." Whatever other views Mr. Lari may hold, I can assure him that so long as there are Muslims like him, they will command confidence of the majority: but if there are persons like Mr. Muhammad Ismail they shall not have the support of the
majority community and it is not surprising if he does not get it. In the Bombay Municipal elections, where they have joint electorates, with the support of the majority community many Muslims have come in. If the majority community had not supported the Muslim Candidates in Bombay the said candidates set up by the Congress would not have been elected. This is just an illustration. Dr. Mookherjee from his personal experience said that majority community in the past has been generous. I say that in the case of my community there has not been any instance where we demanded any special political rights or privileges we stand on our own legs and on merits, we did not demand favours, and the major community of its own accord took good care of our work. Mr. Lari while making a beautiful speech stated that the majority community should be generous fair and reasonable and Dr. Mookherjee stated that they had been. I can tell from my own personal experience as a member of the minority community that the majority community have been really generous. I am not exaggerating when I say that sometimes they have been more than generous. There is nothing to fear from the majority community if we are reasonable, if the minorities are reasonable in their demands and I can assure them that there will be no difficulty in getting a large majority of Muslims returned by the votes of the majority community.
Mr. Lari made a plea for the system of proportional representation. He said that would safeguard the interests and the right of the minorities and quoted some foreign countries like Belgium, Switzerland and even Ireland. I entirely agree him that in a system of proportional representation the interests of the minorities are properly safeguarded. In our delegates have to use this system. But it must be remembered that the delegates from each province do not exceed 500. In a small group this system can be exercised. Besides, those who are acquainted with the system know that proportional representation is cumbersome process and it has to be understood by an intelligent person. Mr. Lari wants to introduce this system in an electorate ranging from 50,000 to a lakh of voters. In Belgium and Switzerland there are hardly a few lakhs of population leave aside the small number of voters in their constituencies. In our country there are 40 crores of people and we have constituencies with voters numbering from 50,000 to a lakh. A system of proportional representation cannot work here. From the material supplied by the Constituent Assembly Office I find that in one country they experimented with this system and they had to revert to the majority ballot box system. In a general election this system can never work.
Mr. Ismail and Mr. Pocker who supported the resolution had very strong views regarding separate electorates. I might tell them that the Advisory Committee has constantly changed from time to time. At the first meeting when we passed the resolution Mr. Khaliquzzaman who was a member (he was also President of the Muslim League) supported it. Mr. Chundrigar was also a member of the Advisory Committee but have gone away to Pakistan. They were both parties to it, but believing in the two-nation theory they have gone away. How can you blame the majority community by saying that they had changed after making a decision which was acceptable to them? It is rather strange. Let them search their hearts and their conscience as to what they have done after having been a party to the resolution against the wishes of some of us. I was very much averse to reservation but I had to bow before our leaders and our Muslim friends. I said "give it a trial and you will soon give it up." The day has come and it is an auspicious day in the history of our constitution-making when we have to revise the former decision.
Syed Muhamed Saadullah yesterday stated that Dr. Mookherjee should not have made a reference to the Muslim community by saying that they were opposed to it. I wish Mr. Saadullah had said that to Mr. Ismail who in his amendment should not have stated
that other minority communities should be given separate electorates. What business had he to talk of other minorities in his amendment? If Mr. Mookherjee had no business to talk of the Muslims, what business had Mr. Ismail to tell me that I must have separate electorates, whereas my community is absolutely averse to separate electorates?
The proposition before us is of such a nature that every one, whatever community be may belong to, should welcome it and it proud of it. They has created havoc in the country is going to play a predominant part in the history of the world by bringing everybody nearer for peace and goodwill. With these words, Sir, I support the resolution.
Prof. Shibbanlal Saksena (United Provinces: General): Sir, I want to oppose the amendments of Mr. Lari and Mr. Ismail. I do not think it is necessary to oppose Mr. Ismail's amendment in any great detail, because it belongs to an age which is past and I do not want to waste the time of the House over it.
Mr. Lari's amendment needs some attention. He made out a plausible case and I have tried to work out the constituencies based on a system of proportional representation as well as on t system with cumulative voting as suggested in Mr. Lari's motion. The Muslim population is the largest in the U.P. and is 14 per cent. How can this system of cumulative voting secure for Mr. Lari and his community proper representation? There is no country in the world where this system prevails. Take for instance Gorakhpur. It has now a population of 24 lakhs and there will be three seats in it for the House of People in the new Parliament. The population of Muslims is 2 lakhs and they can pool their votes together for one candidate according to Mr. Lari's amendment. The two lacs of Muslims in the district will have one lakhs Muslim voters and they can pool 3 lakh votes on one candidate and even then will not win, because the remaining population of 21 lacs will have 11 lac voters and will be able to pool 33 lakh votes on the three rival candidates. Besides, a man having three votes, and giving them all to one person is an undemocratic principle which is not followed anywhere in the world. Besides, it will not secure the purpose which Mr.Lari has in mind. This system of cumulative voting is undemocratic, unscientific and gives one man the power to pool all his votes for one candidate, and even then cannot secure the purpose Mr. Lari has in view. Mr. Lari also wanted the country to give a trial to the system of Proportional Representation. I myself believe in this System. It gives a fair representation to each group. But if we introduce it in our country just now, many difficulties arise in the way. To work this system properly, the electorate must be well educated, because the voters has to give his preferences and illiterate person will not be able to understand the significance of the various preferences. They will have to say whom they prefer first, whom second and whom third. Even in small elections by our Constituent Assembly where the system has been adopted, it has been found that most of the members do not understand it. Only skillful experts can understand how it works. In Ireland and Switzerland where the system has been adopted the electorate is highly educated and no constituency exceeds 30,000 in Eire and 22,000 in Switzerland. Supposing we adopt this system in our country, what will happen? In the United Provinces, with a population of 560 lakhs, about ten Muslims should be elected to the House of People on the population basis. If under proportional representation, all Muslim give their first preference in equal number to ten selected Muslim Candidates and the whole province be one Single constituency, then alone these men can be elected. But a whole province with 560 lacs of population cannot be one constituency. At the most, the province can be divided into ten constituencies if Mr. Lari's purpose is not to be defeated. But then each of these ten constituencies each with 56 lac population should have an equal Muslim population which is
impossible. If we do not increase the number of multi-member constituencies above ten, and all Muslims give their first preference to one particular Muslim Candidate in each constituency, then alone ten Muslim candidates will be returned, provided the Muslim are equally distributed in each constituency which cannot be the case. Mr. Lari's solution is a solution which cannot be realised in practice. Besides, such a delimitation of constituencies will give rise to many other complications, and you simply cannot form constituencies on that basis. Besides, no secrecy of ballot will remain. Illiterate people cannot fill their preferences and somebody must fill for them, thus destroying secrecy of ballot. I therefore think, that the system of proportional representation, however much it may have proved good in other small countries, will not achieve here the desired result, and is altogether impracticable. Mr. Lari comes from my district of Gorakhpur which had before partition a population of 40 lacs and the only 4 lacs of them are Muslims. On this principle of proportional representation, the 2 lakhs of Muslim votes in Gorakhpur, will go to Mr. Lari. But if all Muslims vote for him that way, the others will not vote for him. That will be the natural tendency and communalism will come into play. Mr. Lari will not then be elected. I, therefore, think that this system will not secure what we want. It will give rise to communal feelings which we all want to destroy by the proposed arrangement.
Sir, this is a red letter day in the history of India, and the decision we are taking is a historic one. At last, we have been able to do away with this separate electorate system today after 43 years struggle. I hope here after the whole atmosphere in the country will change. The majority community is in honour bound to give proof of its sincerity by returning large numbers of Muslim Indian patriots at the polls. I am sure even larger numbers of Muslims will be elected if they come forward with public spirit and honestly and loyally serve the people and the country.
Mr. Lari told us yesterday that in the United Provinces the Socialists contested eleven seats and got about 30 per cent of the votes. I think his figure is incorrect. But let us assume it is correct. Under the arrangement proposed by him if all the eleven constituencies were grouped in 4 constituencies and if for each constituency there were assigned four members, then the socialists would have had a chance. In Gorakhpur the population of the constituency was seven lakhs. So if four constituencies formed one multi-member constituency, the population of each would be about 28 lacs. Such huge constituencies would be extremely unwieldy and each would have about 15 lac votes. Only multi-millionaires and plutocrats would be able to contest from such huge constituencies and the common people would never be returned. Besides, the votes obtained by socialist candidates were not all for their socialist programme. Everyone angry with the Congress voted socialist. Under the system of proportional representation this result cannot be achieved.
On this great occasion I congratulate the Honourable Sardar Patel who has added another feather to his cap, by bringing about the abolition of reservations of seats except in one or two cases. His report will change the course of history in our country. Sir, the minority have agreed to this proposal time even the Harijans will be in a position to rise to the occasion and give up this right of reservation. Then everybody will get proper representation without, distinction of caste or religion. At that time service, merit and ability will alone win votes, and all relics of our part slavery will have been buried deep.
Sardar Hukam Singh (East Punjab: SIkh): Sir, I extend my wholehearted support to the Resolution before the House. In doing so I have to make a few observations. The Resolution tries to do away with all reservations for religious minorities. It is agreed that it is the birth-right of every section of the population, numerical or political
minority, to have proper representation and a proper voice in the administration of the country. Nobody denies this and much less in a Secular State. But the only dispute is about the method of securing such representation. We have tried one method and that is the method of separate electorates and fixed proportions. We have given it a sufficiently long trial. We might differ as to whether all the catastrophe that we have experiences was due solely to the system of separate electorates or whether certain other factors contributed to it. But this much is common ground that separate electorates did create a cleavage among the various communities. We have given it a trial and now we want to live as one Nation-a harmonious whole. For that it is desirable that we should look to some other method. One such method has been proposed by Mr. Lari-the method of having cumulative votes. That is a wholesome measure. It can give representation to minorities and various interests. There is one difficulty that I feel about it, that in a vast country like ours, where ninety percent of population are illiterate, it would not be a practical possibility to work for the present. That is the only difficulty that I feel. Otherwise I would have welcomed it. The Minorities Advisory Committee felt that reservation should go. Of course, it was a very good jump, a great jump, from separate electorates to which we were accustomed for so long a time to unadulterated join electorates and therefore it was that the intermediate step was taken that there should be reservation. Now everyone of us feels that we should proceed towards a compact nation, i.e., not divided into different compartments, and that every sign of separatism should go. In my opinion there is no harm if we give a chance to this new experiment that is suggested for ten years. If we find that it works well, if the minorities feel satisfied, that they are secure, there will be no further demand for any safeguards.
But if they feel that they have not been treated well, that there has been some discrimination, I am sure the minorities would raise a louder voice for some other substitute and they will have a stronger case then. Therefore I think that we should give a fair chance to this new experiment that reservation for any religious minority should go. Everyone of us feels that we should contribute fully to the development of a compact nation, and the Sikhs-I assure everybody-want to contribute as best as they can towards this goal and therefore they are giving their full support to this Resolution.
I might submit here that by agreeing to this, the minorities are placing the majority to a severe test. A heavy responsibility would be cast on the majority to see that in fact the minorities feel secure. So far as I can make out, the only safety for the minorities lies in a secular State. It pays them to be nationalists in the true sense of the term. Rather it is the minorities who can work against any dilution of nationalism. But what we require is pure nationalism and not any counterfeit of it. The majority community should not boast of their national outlook. It is a privileged position that they have got. It is not their choice that they have that outlook. They should try to place themselves in the position of the minorities and try to appreciate their fears. All demands for safeguards and even the amendments that have been tabled here are the products of those fears that the minorities have in their minds, and I must submit here that the Sikhs have certain fears as regards their language, their script and also about the services. I hope that those fears can be removed easily by the executive government. The government should see that those fears are removed and there is a chance for the culture of every community to develop. Certain matters, so says the report of the Advisory Committee, can be left to conventions. This is correct. There need not be any mention of anything in the Draft Constitution. Personally I am in favour of deleting the whole Chapter on minorities' safeguards
and I gave notice of an amendment to that effect long ago. Certain conventions have to grow and it will be the duty of the majority community to see that such wholesome conventions do take root to make the minorities feel secure during the transitional period.
Then, Sir, there is the second part of the resolution about the inclusion of four castes of Sikhs in the list of Scheduled Castes. The Honourable Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has appealed to the House not to resent or to grudge this concession to the Sikhs. He was pleased further to remark-and he was very frank in saying that-"that religion was being used as a cloak for political purposes", but in spite of it he appealed to the House that they should regard with tenderness the feelings of the Sikhs as they have suffered from various causes. The Sikh community is certainly grateful to the Sardar, to the Minorities Advisory Committee and to the House for all these concessions and for their sympathetic attitude. But I must be failing in my duty if I do not submit that I have a different view-point on this particular question. We were told that the Sikhs religion does not acknowledge any discrimination on account of caste and that for securing certain political rights for the section, the Sikhs are sacrificing certain principles of their religion. I am afraid I think otherwise because, when we say that all safeguards for religious minorities should go, it would only be natural corollary to that. If we give concession and certain privilege, certain rights to the Scheduled Castes simply because they are a religious minority, must also be included in the list. So my submission is that it ought to have been done long ago that these classes also, because they are backward, were included in the list along with their other brethren of the Scheduled Castes and it should not have been considered as a concession.
Shri B. Das. (Orissa: General): Blame Sardar Ujjal Singh for it.
Sardar Hukam Singh: But in spite of it the Sikhs are not less grateful for it. If it is a concession, they are grateful for it. If they are entitled to it, then too they are grateful. They feel that one demand of theirs on which they were very serious has been met. They hope that other small things also would be considered favourably so that could feel satisfied and could walk shoulder to shoulder with other progressive forces to the cherished goal that we have before us.
Mr. Muhammad Ismail Khan (United Provinces: Muslim): Sir, I give my unstinted support to the revised decision of the Advisory Committee which has done away with reservation of seats, which only kept alive communalism and did not constitute an effective safeguard. With the vast superiority of the majority community in the number of voters, they could have had no difficulty in using this device for their own ends by electing men of their own choice and I, therefore, congratulate them that they have not thought fit to take advantage of this device.
Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru (United Provinces: General): Mr. President, Sir, we cannot hear the honourable Member distinctly. He is not at all distinct.
Mr. Muhammad Ismail Khan: Sir, as I seldom take part in the debates of this Assembly, probably I have not acquired the necessary aptitude of speaking through this microphone and so my voice does not adjust itself readily. I am very glad that this decision has been taken and I welcome it. Why? Because this reservation of seats would only keep alive Communalism and would be ineffectual as a safeguard for the Muslim minorities or for the matter of that for any other minorities. I congratulate the majority community, that they have not taken advantage of their superiority in numbers, by utilising this device for their own purposes. The Muslims have been thinking for some time that this reservation was wholly incompatible with responsible Government and I may say that when Provincial autonomy was introduced in the provinces for the first time the Muslims soon began to realize the separate representation was not going to be an effective
safeguard for the protection of their interests. Not only did they realize it but even before that the Muslims were not then convinced of the adequacy of this safeguard. I think it will be recalled that when Mr. Jinnah put forward his famous fourteen points, he contemplated that if certain safeguards demanded were conceded elections in future would be by means of joint electorates. For some time the Muslims have been thinking that with the inauguration of responsible Government separate electorates would be out of place. I would like to point out to my friends from Madras who insist on separate electorates, the circumstances and conditions which gave birth to that system. At that time when separate electorates were claimed, there were no direct elections to the legislatures. The members were elected to the legislature by the members of the Municipal or District Boards. There were no statutory safeguards in the Constitution. A foreign Government was in power and had an official bloc in the legislatures and the Muslims were able to use the separate electorates for their own purposes, but as I said just now as soon as Provincial autonomy came, they very soon found that separate electorate was no safeguard for their interests and they were doomed to remain in Opposition which led to frustration. My honourable Friend Mr. Muhammad Saadulla has said that this reservation of seats had been given away by the solitary vote of Begum Aizaz Rasul. May I remind him in this connection of a meeting which was held ten or twelve months ago in which many Muslim members of this Constituent Assembly took part in which it was decided that we should take steps to do away with reservation. So Begum Aizaz Rasul in casting her vote was not casting a solitary vote, but she did so on behalf of those people who had taken part in that meeting. I do not say that Sir Sayed Saadullah agreed with it, but there were ten or twelve members present who agreed that they take steps to have reservation done away with.
Now I would like to point out to my friends who insist on separate electorates for the purpose of safeguarding their rights that, in the Constitution today, we have justiciable fundamental rights that, in the Constitution. We can vindicate our rights in future not in the legislature, but in the Supreme Court and I say that forum is much better from our point of view. In the legislatures party feelings run high and disinterested consideration is seldom given to such matters, but with the statutory safeguards provided for in the Constitution, we have nothing to fear and our cultural, religious and educational associations should keep a vigilant eye and see that those rights are not infringed or curtailed by appealing to the Supreme Court of judicature. In future I trust the Muslim members will be able to speak on behalf of their constituencies as authoritatively as the other members. That is why I want to do away with Communalism in the shape of separate electorates so that when they come here they can speak with the same authority as any other member and as a representative not only of the Muslims but also of the majority community. There is no half-way house between separate representation and territorial electorates. Reservation was an ineffective method for the protection of communal rights and I therefore give my unstinted support to this decision which does away with it. I wish to point out to my Madras friends that even twenty years back the Muslims were thinking of giving up separate electorates provided certain safeguards were provided and conceded, but in the Constitution that was framed, for instance, in the act of 1935, no safeguards were given. The responsibility for the protection of their rights was entrusted to the Governor of the provinces by Instrument of Instructions, but today the conditions are different. Here we have got statutory safeguards. Why then do we want separate representation? How will it help us? Would it not do always keep us from joining other parties ? After all, with communal electorates, you would have to have a
communal organization to put up candidates and frame a programme and policy for their work in the legislatures which means that the present state of affairs would continue and keep alive communalism in this worst form. Would this lead to the establishment of harmonious relations? No. I therefore think that we should give up this system although many of us who have been nurtured in the old traditions find it hard to part with rights which we have so far enjoyed. We are doing all this not for ourselves, but for the future generations of Muslims in this country. The best thing is to trust the majority. Even if we have separate electorates or reservation of seats, how are we going to prevent the majority from imposing its own decision? Merely making speeches will not save you. You will have to join some party or other if you are not to be isolated and on conditions which that party may impose. Moreover we desire that our State should be non-communal and secular. Here is an opportunity and we should grasp it. Let us not stand in the way of the emergency of a really secular and non-communal State. I support the motion.
Shri Rohini Kumar Chaudhari (Assam: General): Mr. President, Sir, this resolution has my warmest support. The report to which the resolution refers is the result of the supreme efforts made by our honourable, revered and beloved leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This is one of several achievements, the credit for which must go to him entirely during recent times.
Of course, there are some reasons to complain here and there. I have also a reason of complain. But, the sum total of this resolution is this: the moment this resolution is translated into action, we will be paving our way to realise the dream of building a secular State, a composite Indian Nation. These communal troubles which have disfigured the history of India during the last few years will, I am sure, be a thing of the past.
I do not know how far minorities play a part in other parts of the world, so far as politics is concerned. But, in India, the problem of minorities has played a considerable part since the British rule. There are two kinds of minorities, as you all know in India. There is one kind of minority which, on account of the tallness of the stature, of its people the tallness of these figures and of the fact that they can take care of themselves in any part of the world, generally inspires terror in the minds of other minorities and even in the minds of the majority. There is another kind of minority, which inspires pity in our minds who constantly remind us of the folly which we had committed in the past and the treatment which we have accorded to them in the past, for which they have lots of reason to complain. To that minority we have to make amends. I am glad to be able to say that this report has given it s due consideration to the minority which really deserves pity and sympathy and encouragement and has not, for the time being, been given that attention for which the other kind of minority was clamouring for some time.
I wish in this connection to draw the attention of the House to the conditions prevailing in the province of Assam. There, the population figures stand thus. Caste Hindus from 39 per cent of the population ; Muslims form 23.6 per cent of the population; tribals form 32.4 per cent, of the population. I am only going to ask one question. When the population stands thus, is it necessary to reserve any seat for any community? I ask, when there is no majority community at all, when the difference between the so-called majority community, that is the Caste Hindus, and the Tribal community, as we find from the figures is only six per cent, is this reservation of seats necessary for any community there? I hope the House will consider this. Could you not make an experiment in that province where there is such a small difference between the different communities, of not having any reservation of seats at all? If ultimately it is your intention to do away with reservations, why not start that experiment in a
province where the margin of difference between the different communities is so small? That is the point which I would ask the House to consider.
My honourable Friend Mr. Saadulla was complaining, as I could understand, that there was no reservation for Muslims in that province. If there was no necessity for reservation of seats for the Muslims in any province, certainly Assam is one such. Because, there, the percentage of the population of Muslims is as high as 24 per cent, as stated by him. I would, Sir, take this opportunity of denying that the Muslims of our province really demand any reservation of seat. On the other hand, there are several members of his own constituency of Muslims in the Assam Legislative Assembly, who certainly repudiate the suggestion for any reservation of seats. As the majority of Muslim members in this House do not agree to have any reservation of seats, I suppose it is idle for any one to talk of reservation of seats for Muslims in Assam.
I want to draw the attention of the House to a demand made by the Honourable Mr. Lari for multiple member constituencies and cumulative voting. That, Sir, I am afraid, will destroy the very object of this resolution. If the
Muslims or any community knows that in the future they can have their own seat if they combine on the ground of religion or community, then, the evil of communalism will still linger. Wherever there is a multi-member constituency, the Muslims will combine themselves and they will secure a seat for themselves. Wherever there are lesser number of Hindus or any other community in any particular area, they will combine amongst themselves and the whole idea of unity will be destroyed by having multi-member constituencies and cumulative voting.
Another point to which I should draw the attention of the House is whether it would be desirable, in view of the population figures which have been given, to allow any community for whom seats have been reserved, to contest for the general seats. Let us examine the position for a moment. The Caste Hindus are only 39.6 per cent the tribals are 32.4 per cent. If, in addition to this, the people of the tribal areas are allowed to contest the general seats, then some of these general seats, at least will go to the tribal people. Is it desirable, I would ask the House to consider, to allow these tribal people to contest general seats? But I must be fair and say here that the figures of tribal people mentioned, i.e., 32.6 per cent, may not be quite correct. I am told that some of the population in the tea-gardens, which is covered or included in this figure are actually in the plains, and will come to the general seats. In that case, I will advocate that this figure ought to be changed, that is to say, if it is correct that a portion of this population of about ten lakhs are really not tribal population but have been wrongly included in the tribal figure, then the whole figure may have to be revised.
Mr. President: May I point out that we are not dealing with the question of tribals. We are concerned only with others. Therefore the honourable Member should confine himself to the general question of reservation, leaving out the tribes. When the time comes, he may bring up his point, if necessary, but not at this stage. Otherwise I will have to follow others also to speak about the tribals which I do not want to.
Srijut Rohini Kumar Chaudhari: I stand corrected, Sir. So I once more express my felicitations about the report and we are particularly very happy that the reserved seats have been kept for the members of the Scheduled Castes. We all hope that in no distant time-we need not wait even for ten years, but even before that- the so-called Scheduled Castes people will be progressing rapidly and that they will be equal to any other community in this country.
With these words, Sir, I support the Resolution.
Mr. Frank Anthony (C.P. & Berar: General): Sir, at the end of para 5 of the Report submitted by Sardar Patel to this house is a sentence which has specified that this Resolution does
not affect the provisions granting representation to the Anglo-Indian community; and it is because of this, Sir, that I stand here to express my sense of gratitude to the Advisory Committee, guided by Sardar Patel, for this generous and understanding gesture. I should be shirking the truth if I did not admit that there were many occasions during the sessions of the Minorities Sub-Committee, when I was deeply and even unhappily anxious. I know, Sir, that autobiographical details not only savour of egotism, but they tend to irritate. But I have in representing my community, whatever its past history, has its real home in India, That it can know no other home, that it can only find a home in all its connotations if it is accepted, and accepted cordially, by the peoples of this country. Sir, when discussions on minority rights were on the anvil, there were two questions that I asked myself. Would the leader of India be able to forget and forgive the past? And the second question was, if the leaders of India can forget, and forgive the past, will they go further and be prepared to recognise the special needs and difficulties of this small, but not unimportant minority? Sir, today, I am able to say, with a sense of inexpressible gratitude, that the leaders of India have shown that they were not only able to forget and forgive and past, but they were also able to recognise and accept the special, needs and difficulties of the community which I have the privilege of leading. I believe that in making this gesture to this small community, the Advisory Committee has been uniquely generous. When we were discussing these problems, very often I felt that in the minds of the majority of the members of the Committee were questions, not put in so many words, but nevertheless there were questions which animated their attitude towards my request, and these questions took perhaps the uniform form, "Why should you on behalf of the Anglo-Indians ask even for equality of treatment? Can it not be said of your community that not only have you not given a single hostage to the cause of independence, but perhaps have joined with the reactionary forces intended to retard the cause of Indian independence?" Those were questions which were perhaps postulated behind the minds of the majority of the members, and I realised that this was a hurdle. Sometimes I felt that it was an insuperable hurdle. In spite of that, not only did my community receive recognition as one of the Indian minorities, but it was accorded further special treatment, and its special difficulties were recognised and catered for. Sir, in this connection, I wish to place on record my sense of gratitude- I find it impossible to express it adequately- to the attitude of the Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Sardar Patel. From some speeches in this House, the impression might have been gathered that the Advisory Committee was animated by motives of wresting from the minorities what the minorities wanted or thought was necessary. I am here to refute that suggestion. There were many people who argued with unerring logic, who argued with even an implacable sense of reasonableness, that the request put forward by the minorities should not be accepted in the larger interests of the country. When I listened to them, I often felt that the minority's requests would never be accepted, because on the basis of logic, on the basis even of reasonableness, on the basis of national integration, many of the request put forward by the minority were not tenable. But fortunately, I say fortunately we has a person like the Sardar as the Chairman. I saw him brush aside, sometimes brusquely, arguments which were unanswerable on the basis of logic, argument which were irrefutable on academic and theoretical grounds and he made it clear over and over again to us in the Advisory Committee that this attitude was inspired not by logic, not by strict reasonableness, not by academic theories, but by an attempt to understand the real feelings and psychology of the minority mind. He made it quite clear that the
principle on which he was working was this. It is not necessary so much to measure what we do by the yardstick of theory or of academic perfection, but what is much more important is that whatever the requests of the minorities be, if they are not absolutely fantastic then that request should be met to the maximum extent; because if there is a fear, real or imagined, it is better in the larger interests of view of minority of the country to assuage that fear, and to look at it from the point of view of minority psychology. And that is why we have these provisions granted to us, provisions perhaps which we had no right to ask for, on a strictly logical or academic basis.
Sir, as one who understands minority psychology and the difficulties of minorities for a long time, I have sometimes regarded it an impertinence for the representative of one minority to preach to another minority, to attempt to say to that minority "Such and such a thing is good or bad for you". So I will not attempt to say anything which may savour of preaching to my Muslim friends. But I do want to say this, that whatever decisions were reached in the Advisory Committee were reached so far as all the other minorities were concerned as a result of unanimous agreement.
But what could the Advisory Committee do? There was nothing we could do when different Muslim representatives spoke with different voices. Even in this House there have been differences of opinion. The Advisory Committee was, therefore, left with no alternative but, in view of this confusion and medley of Muslim opinions, to come to a decision which was unanimously support by all the other minorities and which also found support from many of the Muslim representatives. Sir, may I say this about the decisions of the Advisory Committee? They represent no imposed decisions; they represent decisions which have been arrived at as a result of friendly understanding, compromise and unanimous agreement. I believe in bringing these decisions to fruition Sardar Patel has helped-as perhaps none else in the past few years could have done-to bind the minorities with hoops of steel to the cause of national integration and progress.
Sir, some people still feel that no safeguard should have been incorporated in the Constitution even for the interim period. I feel otherwise. I felt that it was a good thing, that it was a salutary thing, that we have prescribed a limited number of years. I tell my friends who are anxious for complete integration immediately: "Ten years represent but a fractional moment in the history of great nation." We have not yet reached the goal of a secular democratic state. It is an ideal-I hope it is not a distant ideal. Our road to that goal may be marked by ups and downs; but if during our march to it we have given some safeguards to the minorities I feel that it is a salutary and a healthy thing in order to tide these minorities over this transition period.
Sir, there is a feeling, particularly among journalists from other countries, that today the minorities in India are being oppressed, that minority representative either do not, in fact, represent the minorities or they are petrified by a sense of fear and regimentation and do not speak of or express that fear which is in their hearts. I have never suffered from any sense of fear. I have never, in the expression of my views, been subjected to any regimentation. May I say this that minority representatives today are not stooges of any particular party? When we say that we genuinely feel that we have been generously treated we mean it and it is not the result of any regimentation or fear. At the same time, we are under no sense of illusion. We do not indulge in flattery. Well, I have heard the representatives of some minority communities say that everything in the Indian garden is not perfect; for the matter of that, what can be perfect in any garden? There are causes for misgivings, yes. Today I see in certain provinces precipitate policies being followed-policies which, I feel, are inspired by ill-concealed communal
motives. I see in them the new communalism linguistic and provincial, more dangerous, communalism much more mischievous in their potential than the old dead religious communalism. I see in them communalism raising their many and their hydra-heads. I see those ardently wedded to this new communalisms flogging the dead horse of religious communalism, stalking behind it while riding their own hobby-horses of linguistic and provincial communalisms. We see, Sir,-I say it without any offence we see members of this great party who technically are members of the Congress, but spiritually are members of the R.S.S. and the Hindu Mahasabha. Unfortunately, I read speeches day in and day out by influential and respected leaders of the congress Party, who say that Indian independence can mean only Hindu Raj, that Indian culture can only mean Hindu culture. These are causes for misgivings, yes. But which great nation in is path to greatness will not have ups and downs? The main point is this-that we have set our goal and are sailing in the right direction. We have set our goal as a secular and democratic State. And may I say this in passing. Let us not once again indulge in shibboleths and make shibboleths do for facts; let us not proclaim loudly that we already a secular democratic State when this is an idea which is yet to achieved. But, as I have already said, we have set our sails in the right direction. As the Prime Minister said at a meeting the other day at which I was present, in accepting the abolition of reservations and limiting it for a period of ten years, the majority community and above all the leaders have expressed faith in themselves, to achieve what they believe. It is an act of faith on their part. It was not inspired by any intention to do away with anything which the minorities wanted. It was an act of faith made by the majority community in agreement with the minority communities. I believe that India can achieve her full stature only as a secular State. Any attempt to go back to the past, any attempt at revivalism must inevitably shrivel the potentialities and stunt the growth of this great country. And may I say this, that in our march towards the goal-it is still a goal-the minorities must be in the vanguard. Any minority which thinks that it can flourish on sectarianism is asking for ruin and death.
And, Sir, may I, before I end, refer in passing to another thing. Some people say, "Oh, Anthony, in spite of your grandiose opinions, of your grandiose sentiments, if you feel so strongly, why don't you drop this prefix `Anglo'?" Well, I say "The word `Anglo-Indian' may be good or bad, but rightly or wrongly it connotes to me many things which I hold dear." But I go further and say to the same friends of mine "I will drop it readily, as soon as you drop your label, the day you drop your label of `Hindu' ." The day you drop the label of "Hindu", the day you forget that you are a Hindu, that day-no, two days before that-I will drop by deed poll, by heat of drum if necessary the prefix or labels, not only by paying lip-service to them, not by making professions about them, but when we really feel them in our hearts, when we by our actions, not by our profession, equate these to our beliefs in a secular State, that day will be welcome first and foremost to the minorities of India, who by that time will have forgotten that are minorities and that they are Indians first, last and always.
The Honourable Shri Jawaharlal Nehru (United Provinces: General): Sir, there has been such an abundance of goodwill shown towards this motion that it is hardly necessary for me to intervene in support of it. But I have felt the urge to do so because I wish to associate myself with this historic turn in our destiny: for, indeed, it is a historic motion that my colleague, the Deputy Prime Minister has put before this House. It is a motion which means not only discarding something that was evil, but turning back upon it an determining with all our strength that we shall pursue a path which we consider fundamentally good for every part of
Now, all of us here, I believe, are convinced that this business of separatism, whether it took the shape of separate electorates or other shapes has done a tremendous amount of evil to our country and to our people. We came to the conclusion some time back that we must get rid of separate electorates. That was the major evil. Reluctantly we agreed to carry on with some measure of reservation. Reluctantly we did so for two reasons: Reason No. 1 was that we felt that we could not remove that without the goodwill of the minorities concerned. It was for them to take the lead or to say that they did not be fair to the various assurances that we had given in the past and otherwise, too, it did not look the right thing to do. Secondly, because in our heart of hearts we were not sure about ourselves nor about our own people as to how they would function when all these reservation were removed, we agreed to that reservation, but always there was this doubt in our minds, namely, whether we had not shown weakness in dealing with a thing that was wrong. So when this matter came up in another context, and it was proposed that we do away with all reservations, except in the case of the Scheduled Castes, for my part I accepted that with alacrity and with a feeling of great relief, because I had been fighting in my own mind and heart against this business of keeping up some measure of separatism in our political domain: and the more I thought of it the more I felt that it was the right thing to do not only from the point of view of pure nationalism, which it is, but also from the separate and individual view-point of each group, if you like, majority or minority.
We call ourselves nationalists, but perhaps in the mind of each, the colour, the texture of nationalism that is present is somewhat different from what it is in the mind of the other. We call ourselves nationalists-and rightly so-and yet few of us are free from those separatist tendencies-whether they are communal, whether they are provincial or other: yet, because we have those tendencies, it does not necessarily follow that we should surrender to them all the time. It does follow that we should not take the cloak of nationalism to cover those bad tendencies.
So I thought about this matter and I came to the conclusion that if at this stage of our nation's history, when we are formulating this Constitution, which may not be a very permanent one because the world changes, nevertheless which we wish to be a fairly solid and lasting one, if at this stage we put things into it which are obviously wrong, and which, and which obviously make people look the way, then it is an evil thing that we are doing to the nation. We decided some time ago in another connection that we should have no truck with communalism or separatism. It was rightly pointed out to us then that if that is so, why do you keep these reservations because this itself will make people think in terms of separate compartments in the political domain.
I would like you to consider this business, whether it is reservation or any other kind of safeguard for the minority, objectively. There is some point in having a safeguard of this type of any other type where there is autocratic rule or foreign rule. As soon as you get something that can be called political democracy, then this kind of reservation, instead of helping the party to be safeguarded and aided, is likely actually to turn against it. But where there is a third party, or where there is a n autocratic monarch, or some other ruler, it is possible that these safeguards may be good. Perhaps the monarch may play one off against the other or the foreign ruler. But where you are up against a full-holded democracy, if you seek to give safeguards to minority, and a relatively small minority, you isolate it. May be you protect it to a slight extent, but at what cost? At the cost of isolating it and keeping it away from the main current in which the majority is going,-I am talking on the political plane of course-at the cost of forfeiting that
inner sympathy and fellow-feeling with the majority. Now, of course, if it is a democracy, in the long run or in the short run, it is the will of the majority that will prevail. Even if you are limited by various articles in the Constitution to protect the individual or the group, nevertheless, in the very nature of things in a democracy the will of the majority will ultimately prevail. It is a bad thing for any small group or minority to make it appear to the world and to the majority that "we wish to keep apart from you, that we do not trust you, that we look to ourselves and that therefore we want safeguards and other things". The result is that they may get one anna in the rupee of protection at the cost of the remaining fifteen annas. That is not good enough looked at from the point of view of the majority either. It is all very well for the majority to feel that they are strong in numbers and in other ways and therefore they can afford to ride rough-shod over the wishes of the minority. If the majority feels that way, it is not only exceedingly mistaken, but it has not learnt any lesson from history, because, however big the majority, if injustice is done to minorities, it rankles and it is a running sore and the majority ultimately suffers from it. So, ultimately the only way to proceed about it-whether from the point of view of the minority or from he point of view of the majority-is to remove every barrier which separates them in the political domain so that they may develop and we may all work together. That does not mean, of course, any kind of regimented working. They may have many ways of thinking; they may form groups; they may form parties, but not on the majority or minority or religious or social plane, but on other planes which will be mixed planes, thus developing the habit of looking at things is mixed groups and not in separate groups. At any time that is obviously a desirable thing to do. In a democracy it becomes an essential thing to do, because if you do not do it, then trouble follows- trouble both for the minority and for the majority, but far more for the minority.
In the present state of affairs, whether you take India or whether you take a larger world group, the one thing we have to develop is to think as much as possible in larger terms; otherwise we get cut off from reality. If we do not appreciate what is happening, the vast and enormous changes happening elsewhere which really are changing the shape of things, and cut off our future almost completely from the past as we found it, if we stick to certain ideas and suspicions of the past, we shall never understand the present, much less the future that is taking shape. Many of our discussions here are inevitably derived from the past. We cannot get rid of them. None of us can, because we are part if we are to mould the future gradually. Therefore, form every point of view, whether it is theoretical or ideological or national or whether it is in the interests of the minority or of the majority or whether it is in order to come to grip with the realities of today and of tomorrow which is so different from yesterday, I welcome this proposal.
Frankly I would like this proposal to go further and put an end to such reservations as there still remain. But again, speaking frankly, I realise that in the present state of affairs in India that would not be a desirable thing to do, that is to say, in regard in the Scheduled Castes. I try to look upon the problem not in the sense of religious minority, but rather in the sense of helping backward groups in the country. I do not look at it from the religious point of view or the caste point of view, but from the point of view that a backward group ought to be helped and I am glad that this reservation also will be limited to ten years.
Now I would like you to think for a moment in a particular way just to realise how the present is different from the past. think of, let us say, five years ago which is not a long time. Think of the problems that you and I and the country had to face then. make a
list of them and then make a list of the various problems that his honourable House has to consider from day to day. If you do this will see an enormous difference between the lists. the questions that are before us demanding answer, demanding solution show how we have changed for good or for evil. The world is changing; India is changing, not alone politically. The real test of all change is, what are the problems that face us at a particular moment. The problems today are entirely different from the problems that five years ago faced us in any domain, political, economic or in regard to the States. If that is so we have to tackle problems in a different way, no doubt holding on to the basic ideals and the basic ideology that has moved us in the past, but nevertheless remembering that the other appurtenances of those ideologies of the past have perhaps no function today. One of the biggest things in regard to them is this one of separate electorates, reservation of seats and the rest. Therefore, I think that doing away with this reservation business is not only a good thing in itself-good for all concerned, and more especially for the minorities-but psychologically too it is a very good move for the nation and for the world. I shows that we are really sincere about this business of having a secular democracy. Now I use the words `secular democracy' and many others use these words. But sometimes I have the feeling that these words are used today too much and by people who do not understand their significance. It is an ideal to be aimed at and every one of us whether we are Hindus or Muslims, Sikhs or Christians, whatever we are, none of us can say in his heart of hearts that he has no prejudice and no taint of communalism in his mind or heart. None or very few can say that, because we are all products of the past. I do not myself particularly enjoy any one of us trying to deliver sermons and homilies to the other as to how they should behave, or one group telling the other group whether of the majority or of the minority, how they should do this or that in order to earn goodwill. Of course something has to be done to gain goodwill. That is essential. But goodwill and all loyalty and all affection are hardly things which are obtained by sermonising. These develop because of certain circumstances, certain appeals of the minds and heart and a realisation of what is really good for everyone in th long analysis.
So now let me take this decision-a major decision-of this honourable House which is going to affect our future greatly. Let us be clear in our own minds over this question, that in order to proceed further we have, each one of us whether we belong to the majority or to a minority, to try to function in a way to gain the goodwill of the other group or individual. It is a trite saying, still I would like to say it, because this conviction has grown in my mind that whether any individual belongs to this or that group, in national or international dealings, ultimately the thing that counts is the generosity, the goodwill and the affection with which you approach the other party. If that is lacking, then your advice becomes hollow. If that is there, then it is bound to produce a like reaction on the other side. If there were something of that today in the international field, probably even the great international problems of today would be much easier of solution. If we in India approach our problems in that spirit, I am sure they will be far easier of solution. All of us have a blend of good and evil in us and it is so extremely easy for us to point to the evil in the other party. It is easy to do that, but it is not easy to pick out the evil in ourselves. Why not try this method of the great people, the great once of the earth, who have always tried to lay emphasis on the good of the other and thereby draw it out? How did the Father of the Nation function? How did he draw unto himself every type, every group and every individual and got the best from him? He always laid stress on the good of the man, knowing perhaps the
evil too. He laid stress on the good of the individual or group and made him function to the best of his ability. That I think is the only way how to behave. I am quite convinced that ultimately this will be to our good. Nevertheless, as I said on another occasion, I would remind the House that this is an act of faith, an act of faith for all of us, and act of faith above all for the majority community because they will have to show after this that they can behave to others in a generous, fair and just way. Let us live up to that faith.
(Mr.Tajamul Husain came to speak).
Srijut Rohini Kumar Chaudhari: On a point of order, Sir, you called Mr. Tamizudin Khan and not Mr. Tajamul Husain.
Mr. Tajamul Husain (Bihar: Muslim): Let the honourable Member better change his glasses. The Chair called Mr. Tajamul Husain and I am Mr. Tajamul Husain.
Mr. President, Sir, reservation of seats in any shape or form and for any community or group of people is, in my opinion, absolutely wrong in principle. Therefore I am strongly of opinion that there should be no reservation of seats for anyone and I, as a Muslim, speak for the Muslims. There should be no reservation of seats for the Muslim community. (Hear, Hear). I would like to tell you that in no civilised country where there is parliamentary system on democratic lines, there is any reservation of seats. Take the case of England. The House of Commons is the mother of parliaments. There is no reservation of seats for community there. No doubt they had reservation of seats for the universities but even that has been abolished. What is reservation, Sir? Reservation is nothing but a concession, a safeguard a protection for the weak. We, Muslims do not want any concession. do not want protection, do not want safeguards. We are not weak. This concession would do more harm than good to the Muslims. Reservation is forcing candidates on unwilling electorates. Whether the electorates want us or not, we thrust ourselves on them. We do not want to thrust ourselves on unwilling electorates. The majority community will naturally think that we are encroaching upon their rights. We do not want them to think that. We must expert ourselves. Separate electorates have been a curse to India, have done incalculable harm to this country. It was invented by the British. Reservation is the offspring of separate electorates. Do not bring in reservation in the place of separate electorates. Separate electorates have barred our progress. Separate electorates have gone for ever. We desire neither reservation nor separate electorates. We want to merge in the nation. We desire to stand on our own legs. We do not want the support of anyone. We are not weak. We are strong. We are Indians first and we are Indians last. (Hear, Hear). We know of no other country, no other nation. We are all Indians and will remain Indians. We shall fight for the honour and glory of India and we shall die for it. (Applause). We shall stand united. There will be no divisions amongst Indians. United we stand; divided we fall. Therefore we do not want reservation. It means division. I ask the members of the majority community who are present here today:-Will you allow us to march shoulder to shoulder with you? Will you allow us to share your sorrows grief and joy? If you do, then for god's sake keep your hands observation for the Muslim community. We do not want statutory safeguard. As I said before, we must stand on our own legs. If we do that, we will have no inferiority complex. We are not inferior to you in any way there is no difference between you and me. Because we worship the same God by different names, in a different way, that is no reason why we should be considered a minority. We are not a minorities. The term `minority' is a British creation. The British created minorities. The British have gone and minorities have gone with them. Remove the term `minority' from your dictionary. (Hear, Hear). There is no minority in India. Only so long as there were separate electorates and reservation of seats there was a majority
community and a minority community.
I ask the majority community not to distrust the minorities now. The minorities have adjusted themselves. I will give you a concrete example. You remember the Hyderabad incident; you remember that before you took police action against Hyderabad, what happened. The majority community were afraid that there would be rioting of the Muslims if action was taken against Hyderabad. I was first man to speak about it about a year and half ago in the Central Legislature. I criticised the Government of India. I am sorry Sardar Patel was not present at that time when I was dealing with his portfolio, but my honourable Friend Mr. Gadgil was in charge. I criticised their action of the Government, I told them that they were absolutely mistaken in thinking that the Muslims would rise; they would adjust themselves. I said to them: "You march an army against Hyderabad and with in couple of days, you would take the whole of Hyderabad." I made a long speech and after my speech was over, there was a reply by the Honourable Minister in charge, Mr. Gadgil. He never spoke a single word about it and he never replied to my criticism, but I asked him: "You have replied to everybody's criticism. Why not mine? I asked you to march an army against Hyderabad; you would take Hyderabad within a couple of days and there would be no rioting." Mr. Gadgil said: " You are perfectly right and we will do it."
I appeal to all minorities to join the majority in creating a secular State. In the new state of things, I want that every citizen in India should be able to rise to the fullest stature and that is why I say that reservation would be suicidal to the minority. I want the minorities to forget that they are minorities in politics. If they think they are minorities in politics, they will be isolated. If they are isolated, the feeling of frustration will cripple them. I do not want to remain minority. Do the minorities, I ask, expect to form part of the great nation and have a hand in the control of its destinies. Can they achieve that aspiration if they are isolated from the rest of India? The minorities if they are returned as minorities, i.e., by reservation of seats can never have an effective voice in the affairs of the country. They can never form a Government. Disraeli could never have formed a Government and could never have become the Prime Minister of England had there been reservation of seats for the Jews in England. I want th minorities to have an honourable place in the Union of India. National interests must always be placed over group interests. The minorities should look forward to the time when they could take their place not under communal or racial labels, but as part and parcel of the whole Indian community.
Now, Sir, with your permission, I want to say a few words with regard to the speeches made against the motion of Sardar Patel. I take first Mr. Muhammad Ismail of Madras. He wants separate electorate. I appeal to his not to ask the charity. Asking for separate electorates is nothing but asking for charity. I tell him that the consequences will be terrible. The majority community will never trust you then. You will never be able to expert yourself. You will be isolated, you will be treated as an alien and your position will be the same as that of the Scheduled Caste. You are not poor Like the Scheduled Castes, you are not weak, you are not uneducated; you are not uncultured; you can always support yourself. You have produced brilliant men. So do not ask for protection or safeguard. You must get into the Assembly by open competition. The times have changed. Adjust yourself. You admitted yesterday in your speech that the atmosphere is better now. I appeal to you, do not spoil that atmosphere. Improve it, but do not spoil it an if you insist on separate electorate, you will spoil atmosphere very badly. If you get separate electorates, it will again become as bad as before. Say to yourself, Mr. Ismail, that you are an Indian first and an Indian last. Then you will forget all about separate
electorates. You will never think of it again.
I will tell you, Sir, that when I had sent in my amendment to clause 292 that it should be deleted, that there should be not reservation of seats, then several Muslim friends to mine, who were for reservation of seats asked me. "Do you realize that the mentality of the Hindus is such at present that if there were no reservation of seats for the Muslims, the Muslims can never succeed?" That honourable gentleman for whom I have got great esteem told me: "Look at us. We have always been with the Congress; we have been to jail and all that. No doubt we will get a ticket from the Congress; many Muslims will get tickets from Socialists and Communists and from other organisations, but what about the electorates? They will never elect you and they will never elect us. So, if there is no reservation, no Muslims will get in because of the mentality of the Hindus." I told him, Sir, what I am telling you now. I said that I entirely agreed with him that the mentality of the Hindus is such at present. I say to Mr. Ismail also that as long as there is reservation of seats or separate electorate the mentality of the Hindus will never change. You do away with these two things and the mentality will automatically change. I do not want to go into the history of this mentality. I am not going to apportion blame as that will take a long time and you have allotted me a short time and I want to be brief and finish my speech within the time. You all know how the mentality of the Hindus became such, but we have to live in this country, we must change their mentality and it is our duty to change their mentality and the only way the mentality can be changed is to become a part and parcel of the Indian Union. You should say that they are no longer our enemies and then they will be like brothers to us.
Now, Sir, with regard to Mr. Lari, he does not want separate electorates; he does not want reservation of seats; he has condemned both the systems and he says that both the systems are dangerous. He has said that, and I entirely agree with him. He has always opposed separate electorates, reservation of seats and the partition of the country. He is right. But he wants cumulative voting, that is, proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote, or something like that. My honourable Friend, Mr. Saksena has told us that it is a very cumbrous system of mathematical calculations; I am not dealing with that now. The only thing I want to say is that Mr. Lari wants to get into the Assembly by the back door. For example suppose there is a constituency that has to elect four candidates for the House or the People, and there are five candidates. One will be defeated and four will be elected. Out of these five, four are Hindus and one is a Muslim. The votes of the Hindus will be divided among the Hindus and there will get elected. The Muslim will get in on the Muslim votes. Again separate electorates, again reservation of seats. I should like to say to my honourable Friend Mr. Lari if I may say so, that is worse than separate electorate, as the method is not clean. It is not straightforward. I quite understand Mr. Mohamed Ismail's view when he asks for separate electorates. That is a straightforward method. What is this back-door method of Mr. Lari. I do not understand. I am sure the Muslims do not like these crooked methods they want a straight, honourable fight. In spite of the fact that Mr. Lari has always openly opposed Pakistan, separate electorates and reservation of seats he still inferiority complex. I would ask his to shed this inferiority complex. The country will change for the better.
Last of all, I come to the speech of my honourable and esteemed friend, for whom I have very great regard, Sir Saadulla, the Ex-Premier of Assam. He complains before us that the majority of the Muslim members of the Advisory Committee on Minorities Fundamental Rights etc., did not support the resolution that there should be no reservation of seats for the Muslims. I have already told you, Sir, that I have
very great esteem and regard for the Ex-premier of Assam, but I am afraid I must differ from him on this point. I sent my resolution to the Committee to the effect that there should be no reservation of seats. My resolution was discussed under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Sardar Patel. I spoke on my resolution. Begum Aizaz Rasul supported me. Maulana Azad was present there; he did not oppose me. The only person who opposed me was my honourable friend Jafar Imam, from Bihar. There too, I had a majority: Begum Aizaz Rasul. Maulana Azad and myself as against one. The meeting could not be finished and was adjourned sine die. Then it was held on the 11th of this month. I wanted to attend that meeting, particularly because my resolution was there I wanted to move it again. But I never received notice of the meeting. The notice was lying in Delhi; it never reached me. If I had got notice of the meeting. I would have attended it. When I came to Delhi, I learnt that there was the meeting that day. I was happy to learn that the substance of my resolution had been accepted though I was absent. I sent a statement to th Press why I could not attend the meeting that day and it was published in all the papers. Sir Saadulla could not attend the meeting; I do not know why. That meeting was attended by four honourable members: Maulana Azad, Maulana Hifizur Rahman, Begum Aizaz Rasul and Mr. Jaffar Imam. Maulana Azad and Maulana Hifizur Rehman did not oppose my resolution that there should be no reservation of seats. Every member of this House does not speak. If he oppose, be opposes. If he does not speak, but says "I vote for it", then he is with it. Maulana Azad was present. If he wanted to oppose, he would have opposed. The two Maulanas did not oppose begum Aizaz Rasul supported my resolution in substance. It was the same as my own. Begum Aizaz Rasul supported it. My honourable Friend Mr. Jaffar Imam opposed it. If the Maulana were not with my resolution, they would have sided with Jafar Imam. They said nothing. Votes were taken. There was a clear majority. The Honourable Sardar Patel, I understand, declared that the Muslims were in favour of the motion in spite of the two Maulanas remaining silent. It means that they were with me: three to one voting: there was a majority.