Glad that India was partitioned: Congress veteran

New Delhi: “I am glad that India was partitioned” or else the Muslim League would not have allowed the country to function and there would have been more “Direct Action Days”, Congress veteran K Natwar Singh said on Sunday.

The former foreign minister was speaking at the launch of Rajya Sabha MP MJ Akbar’s new book “Gandhi’s Hinduism: The Struggle Against Jinnah’s Islam”. It was released by former president Pranab Mukherjee at his residence.

“In my view I am glad India was partitioned. Because if India had not been partitioned we would have had Direct Action Days — the first we had during Jinnah’s lifetime was on August 16, 1946 when thousands of Hindus were killed in Kolkata and of course then the retaliation took place in Bihar where thousands of Muslims were killed.

“Also, it could have been impossible for the simple reason that the Muslim League wouldn’t have allowed the country to function,” he said.

“Therefore you can imagine this on a larger scale, if India was not partitioned, the Muslim league would have made things very very difficult for us to function. Also, the government situation (then) would have worsened by the week,” he explained. Singh described Gandhi and Jinnah as two very “great” and “difficult” persons.

“It would have been impossible to live with them. Because Gandhiji standards were very high and Jinnah’s temperament was so abrasive that I certainly wouldn’t have got on with him,” the 88-year-old said.