New Delhi: At a time when the nation is witnessing uproar over the Centre’s contentious Citizenship Amendment Act for it religious connotation, former President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday stated that Mahatma Gandhi had never accepted India’s division on religious lines.
He said that Mahatma Gandhi fought for the unity of India for every moment of his public life and never accepted that the country could be divided on the religious lines.
“Gandhiji’s whole life was dedicated to Hindu-Muslim unity. Gandhiji is not just the father of our nation, he was also the maker of our nation. He was the moral vector to guide our action by the measure by which we are judged,” Mukherjee said.
He said this while launching veteran journalist MJ Akbar’s new book Gandhi’s Hinduism – The Struggle Against Jinnah’s Islam that chronicles the endgame that led to the partition of India in 1947.
Highlighting that the communal unity and harmony is the bedrock of India’s strength and the key to its glorious future, Mukherjee said Gandhi believed in the intrinsic power of Hinduism of assimilation, evaluation and adaptation.
“Gandhiji had declared that no faith could be in danger in India because India had always been the homeland for every faith,” Mukherjee further added.
The former President asserted that Mahatma Gandhi believed Pakistan would hurt Muslims more than they appreciated. “He thought (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah was suffering from an illusion when he imagined that an unnatural division of India could bring either happiness or prosperity to Pakistan,” Mukherjee maintained.
Talking about the book, Mukherjee said that the book is an important reference point for analysing the history of partition. “It very clearly demonstrates the inherent spiritual secularism that Mahatmaji stood for and the divisive colour that Jinnah gave to religion only to secure political ends,” Mukherjee said.