From the archives

Kuldip Nayar: "Partition was not inevitable"

Updated Feb 17, 2017 02:19pm


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The final phase of the partition of India: Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan with Viceroy Mountbatten and Congress leaders during a meeting on June 2, 1947 | White Star photo archives
The final phase of the partition of India: Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan with Viceroy Mountbatten and Congress leaders during a meeting on June 2, 1947 | White Star photo archives

In a career spanning over six decades, India’s veteran journalist, Kuldip Nayar has covered a host of events; he has met, interviewed and written about major figures in India’s, as well as the world's, political life: Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jai Prakash Narayan, Mujibur Rahman, Ziaul Haq, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.

The list is endless. His first major assignment as a cub reporter working for Delhi-based Urdu newspaper Anjaam was to write on Gandhi’s assassination in 1948. The poignancy of that moment left a deep impact on his psyche. Only three months into working as a journalist, he could “see” history explode before his eyes; he admits he wept unashamedly. He is still haunted by Gandhi’s words, delivered at a public prayer service a few days before his death where Nayar was present: Hindus and Muslims are like my two eyes, he had said.

Also read: When Pakistan and India went to war over Kashmir in 1999

In a previous book, Tales of Two Cities (co-authored with senior Pakistani journalist Asif Noorani), Nayar has written with empathy and clarity about Partition, which changed countless lives, including his own, forever.Was it inevitable, I ask? Could its thirst for blood have been slaked by some means other than India’s division? Holding Jinnah and Nehru equally “responsible”, Nayar explains the Partition was not inevitable to begin with. The Cabinet Mission Plan held promise of resolution but as events panned out and Nehru and Jinnah remained implacable, it became inevitable.

"One day, all of South Asia will be a union – one visa, one currency … everyone will be free to work, travel, think."

Having witnessed first-hand the blood and gore, the massacres and the communal carnage, how, then, did he not go the “other” way? After all, many did. In fact, right-wing organisations on both sides of the border fed on precisely the trauma that the first generation of migrants had experienced to swell their ranks and obtain sympathisers, if not members? Nayar explains that it is precisely because he witnessed the trauma and the madness that his belief in pluralism was strengthened. He learnt to judge a person by his beliefs and commitments, not his religion.

A portrait of Kuldip Nayar | Herald archives
A portrait of Kuldip Nayar | Herald archives

Nayar’s great love for the Urdu language is well known. In fact, in his youth, he even wrote poetry until Hasrat Mohani, the maverick poet-politician, told him he was wasting his time “writing verses that made no sense”. Yet Urdu has remained Nayar’s “first love” and he is one of its most vocal champions. But what does he make of the neglect of Urdu in India? Why is it that any Urdu-related soiree sees only a grey-haired audience? What does he make of the Indian Muslim's oft repeated lament that Urdu has languished due to official apathy? Holding Urdu to be the worst casualty of Partition, Nayar blames political parties, including Congress which held sway in post-Partition India, as responsible. in his characteristically blunt manner he says, "Such deliberate neglect is understandable on the part of the BJP [right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party], but why the Congress?"

Also read: Geeta and Pakistan-India's progress towards normalising their relations

In 1992, Nayar started the practice of a candlelight vigil at the India-Pakistan border on the night between August 14 and 15. Scores of peaceniks join him as he marches up to the border at Attari, candle in hand; an equal number of activists, writers, poets and performers surges from the other side. This annual event is viewed with some bemusement by hard-nosed political commentators and dismissed as dewey-eyed idealism by hawks on both sides, especially in times when bilateral relations suffer from frostbite. But what compels a man of 88 years to undertake this long journey – by rail from Delhi, by car from Amritsar and eventually on foot, that too at the perilous hour of midnight – year after year to raise the cry of "Hindustan-Pakistan Dosti Zindabad" in the face of continuing cynicism? "I am an optimist," he tells the Herald. "One day, all of South Asia will be a union — one visa, one currency... everyone will be free to work, travel, think." As we wind up our conversation he recites a verse by Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Also read: Who feels safe in Pakistan?

Jis dhaj se koi maqtal mein gaya, woh shaan salamat rahti hai Yeh jaan tou aani jaani hai, iss jaan ki koi baat nahi

[Immortal is the way people go to the gallows; life is not important since it has to end anyways]

And this unshakable belief is the heart of the matter. Herein lies Nayar's real eminence.

This was originally published in the Herald's August 2012 issue. To read more subscribe to the Herald in print.

*The writer is a translator and literary historian from India.

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Comments (182) Closed

arjun Aug 12, 2016 05:34am

USSA - United States of South Asia - is inevitable. Hopefully, we can see it in our lifetime.

Asif Mir Aug 12, 2016 07:14am

Urdu was never the sub-continent's language. It originated with the influence of Arabic and Persian languages on native sub-continent languages. Since it has Persian and Arabic influence Urdu, was always allociated with Muslims in undivided India. When Pakistan was created, it should have been our responsibility to keep Urdu alive. Why should we expect the people from the other side of the border to worry about Urdu. It's not their language afterall.

Syed Aug 12, 2016 08:20am

I am from pakistan and always wished partition never happened. Too late.

wellwisher Aug 12, 2016 08:21am

Had partition not happened, hindu,muslim fights would have continued, making Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan like situation.Now India,Bangla Desh are growing which covers 80% population.

usman Aug 12, 2016 08:30am

there is still hope

Rasheed Aug 12, 2016 08:44am

Floods, droughts and heat waves don't discriminate based on national boundaries. Either work together and survive, or else.

Akil Akhtar Aug 12, 2016 08:52am

Pakistan is a reality and indians need to accept it....

Ahmed Aug 12, 2016 08:56am

Nice read.

Ashutosh Mishra Aug 12, 2016 09:04am

Very true. Kuldeep Nayar is doing a good job in his twilight years.

Gaurav Aug 12, 2016 09:12am

Living in fool's paradise

AUGINPK Aug 12, 2016 09:22am

But I am happy that it happened.

Umer Aug 12, 2016 09:23am

We all need to come out of this romanticism of Sub-Continent. Its time we move on and become good neighbors.

Ajaya K Dutt Aug 12, 2016 09:24am

After Direct Action Call by Jinnah, it was utterly stupid to think that partition could be avoided.

And even if it could, at what cost?

shaukat Aug 12, 2016 09:35am

I would be lucky to be alive the day this union becomes a reality. One visa one currency. It would be great to travel to Lahore, Delhi, Beijing, Lhasa, Rangoon in one visa and with the same currency.

Doug Aug 12, 2016 09:36am

Respect for Mr. Nayyar, but the partition is done and dusted. It can't be reversed. A debate on it only results in a clash between Pakistanis and Indian. The way forward is to mend fences. Taking a cue from the European Union and we can make the borders softer and let the people interact more often.

Hussain Khan Aug 12, 2016 09:47am

Great article about a Legend! But short rather more can be written about this Kuldip .....

Rajput Aug 12, 2016 09:50am

"One day, all of South Asia will be a union – one visa, one currency … everyone will be free to work, travel, think." yesss it will happen 500 year later from now..

Curious Aug 12, 2016 10:12am

Really, what was the need for partition?? Can't one religion live peacefully with others??

Raj Aug 12, 2016 10:17am

"One day, all of South Asia will be a union — one visa, one currency... everyone will be free to work, travel, think." Hoping for this destiny to realize one day..

yogender lodha Aug 12, 2016 10:23am

why no comments? now people who talk about peace and unity does not inspire anyone. today people are more interested in violence and terrorism. people like kuldeep Nayar needs to have more and more support from our community if we really want peace and harmony in society.

sekhar Aug 12, 2016 10:25am

very Naïve article from Kuldip Sir, even if partition did not happen in 1947, all these states which are part of pakistan would have asked for independence now...

Arun Aug 12, 2016 10:26am

Please spare us this old tired story. The world has moved on. Sad to see Kuldip Nayar is still stuck on Partition.

Farrukh Sarfraz Aug 12, 2016 10:46am

With due respect, after reading the article I am a bit lost. Is the article about the main caption i.e. partition was inevitable or about life of Mr. Nayar or fate of Urdu language in India.

Ruby Aug 12, 2016 10:54am

Good article but please spellcheck before publishing.

Ruby Aug 12, 2016 10:55am

Good article but please spellcheck before publishing.

Kailash Singh Aug 12, 2016 11:03am

Wouldn't my brother remain my brother if he starts practicing some other religion? We were one people for thousands of years then what happened suddenly? Clashes of ego of overambitious persons cost a nation divided into two.

BlackHat Aug 12, 2016 11:04am

How long does it take negotiate a (just one, single) trade agreement between two countries? Partition was done in five months!

ahmad Aug 12, 2016 11:27am

guys for God's sake, now come out of this. Whether the partition was right/wrong/holy/satanic, it doesn't matter now. the reality is that it has occurred. unless you have a time machine


One day the whole Indian Subcontinent would be one happy family. Not today or tomorrow. Not till the day after we have more A-bombs than the next guy!

Mirza Mahmud Askari, Dhaka Aug 12, 2016 11:42am

Partition was absolutely essential. It saved the Indian muslims socioeconomically specially in Bengal. Look at the Indian muslims nowadays. Only 3% in West Bengal and 4% government jobs in Assam though 27% and 31% muslims respectively living in these two states according to Sachar commission. Condition of the Muslims in the rest of India is the same. Muslims in big cities can not even rent apartments in affluent areas. Bollywood Khans do not represent the Indian Muslims.

Akhand Bharat Aug 12, 2016 11:49am

I can understand what that generation feels, having experienced it. It was sad. But I dont understand, what is stopping us from being respectful to each other ? Is the Patriotism only felt by abusing each other. Some where deep within, I know, we feel for each other. Countless stories of how we have come together in distant geographies. I am afraid, with each passing day, we are becoming pawns in the hands of US and China. We will have to stand up for each other. If not for us, then for our children.

Kaly Aug 12, 2016 11:51am

Its good that partition happened, would have been better if it would have in true sense i.e. all for one particular community of India have moved there...

Pune-India Aug 12, 2016 11:51am

If there was no Partition even RSS and other Hindu right wing would had comment on Gandhiji.......Gandhi is responsible for not having Partition.....

Oracal Aug 12, 2016 11:54am

Sri Nayar can you throw some light about secret correspondence under different names used by Churchill and Jinnah and the contents of these secret correspondence.

Zafar Aug 12, 2016 12:00pm

Mr. Kuldip Nayyar, a great man. Salute to you sir.

Pune-India Aug 12, 2016 12:09pm

What happened if India and Pakistan merged together..... India literacy rate 74%.........Pakistan's 53%.........Poverty in India is 33% (40 crore) Pakistan is 67% (13 crore).....India's GDP growth is 7.5%.....Pakistan's 3%......Unemployement in India is 4.9% (2013)....Pakistan's 6% (2014) if you merged all these will get a low number than Present India's.....even if you want to merge then do it....but Independent India and Pakistan is more stable and prosperous for each other....

naji Aug 12, 2016 12:22pm

It is hard to comment. After 69 years of India partition, Pakistan is sinking in to ditch day by day, especially after 1969, when Pakistan forces started operation against East Pakistani people with the support of West Pakistani leaders. That idea (1969-1977) and philosophy is continue since 1969. Maintaining law and order by thousands of police and Ranger's mobile in Karachi, and Quetta has no meaning.

ABCD Aug 12, 2016 12:31pm

All Indians and Pakistanis are happy that partitioned happened. Now it is past. Better concentrate on present. Only unsuccessful people remember history.

PUNE-INDIA Aug 12, 2016 12:52pm

Partition was demanded by Muslims for their religious practices and rights but even today there are more Muslims in India than Pakistan and Bangladesh

Neutral Indian Aug 12, 2016 12:52pm

@Akil Akhtar: The article was actually meant for people like you on both sides. Sad you missed the entire point of the article.

PUNE-INDIA Aug 12, 2016 12:53pm

Jinnah and Nehru were great men...salute them....Gandhiji had no vision he didn't want there would be a Pakistan...

rahul1 Aug 12, 2016 01:01pm

@Asif Mir On the contrary, Persians who migrated to the divine land got influenced by languages of the land ; they tweaked Persian manuscript to adopt Khari boli

kaliraja t Aug 12, 2016 01:02pm

@Asif Mir Urdu is spoken in crores of Muslim homes in India. I have many Urdu speaking Muslim friends in Tamil Nadu.

India Aug 12, 2016 01:17pm

India and pakistan are not just family affairs and emotions of people who moved. There is no connect between pakistan and north east or south india

a Aug 12, 2016 01:21pm

@Gaurav Young people need to learn to respect elders.

Vineeth Aug 12, 2016 01:30pm

Kuldip Nayyar is an idealist, and idealism tend to be far removed from ground realities. Cabinet Mission plan, with its grouping of states based on religion would have resulted in a highly fragmented nation, unstable and ripe for secession. Once the seeds of communalism were sown by the Muslim League, an amicable divorce would have been the natural choice. For once, Nehru and the Congress were right in agreeing to the partition, so that they could atleast salvage what is left of India today.

Indian Aug 12, 2016 01:36pm

Pakistan was invitable. Jinnah was right but I do not understand why pakistan cant accept its hindu past. When we say Hindu it means native cuture and religion practices originated in subcontinent.

Countries like Iran, Egypt are proud muslims but they never hated their pre-islamic/Pagan past. Go to egypt you will find they are proud of their preislamic monuments and cultural practices. Monuments like pyramids, temple of karnak (sun temple), temple of philae. What Pakistan has done to preserve its preismic heritage.

PUNE-INDIA Aug 12, 2016 01:44pm

@arjun: What to do with such USSA .......if there is no stability within it...

Secular Aug 12, 2016 01:52pm

@Mirza Mahmud Askari, Dhaka and what the condition of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh ??

50 Shades of Khaki Aug 12, 2016 02:05pm

I am tired of stories based on 'what if'. What has happened has happened. Its been 70 years - Move on please and BTW if we could not peacefully coexist as neighbors we would not have peace coexisted in one country either. Peace!

Monsieur S Aug 12, 2016 02:06pm

@Akil Akhtar frankly............... do you really think Indians are sad about the partition ???? You are certainly not well informed ...

Yousuf Aug 12, 2016 02:49pm

@Asif Mir Urdu's most common words are more Hindi than any other language. Thats why we understand Hindi and Urdu more commonly than Urdu and Persian or Urdu and Arabic. Dear, you are looking at the differences. I look at similarity. And I see that there are more common between Hindi and Urdu than its differences.

Chaman Aug 12, 2016 02:55pm

@Akil Akhtar, My dear friend, who is questioning it

timetostopthis Aug 12, 2016 03:08pm

Its the best thing that could have happened as it happened for a very good reason. Lets accept it and make our countries the best places to live in for our people in line with the vision of our founding fathers.

JABBER Aug 12, 2016 03:27pm


Hamza Shahzad Aug 12, 2016 03:30pm

I think partition was inevitable.

aks Aug 12, 2016 03:34pm

This man has either some misplaced sense of importance to go and light candles or does not understand the ability of religion to divide. India and Pakistan will never be one again, will never live peacefully till Pakistan is Muslim majority state.

Haider Aug 12, 2016 03:38pm

Yes, today and tomorrow are more important than yesterday. However, I can understand when some people wish to speak about the Partition. My grandparents and parents moved from India to Pakistan in January 1948. This Partition has affected the psyche of at least two generations. My grandparents were completely traumatized. My mother used to to tell us children a lot of happy and pleasant stories about her time in undivided India, particularly about the friendship and mutual help between Hindu and Muslim families. Let us work for a peaceful tomorrow in South Asia.

Satyameva Jayate Aug 12, 2016 03:44pm

Partition was the best gift any god could have given to the SECULAR minded people of British India. ... Just look what they have done to Pakistan since it creation. They have nothing to show off except the NUKES. And for that too: they have The Father of the Muslim Bomb uinder 'COUNTRY-ARREST'; AQK and his family are not allowed to travel abroad.

Zak Aug 12, 2016 03:47pm

Independence was inevitable for fact, independence for Kashmir, Assam, Manipur, khalistan is also inevitable. British empire never worked, as an empire or Sub continent cannot masquerade as a nation.

M.Saeed Aug 12, 2016 03:51pm

@arjun : Do it in stages. First make Kashmir irrelevant by acting on Article-370 of Indian Constitution and giving autonomy to Kashmir, like we did in Azad Kashmir. Then, the two Kashmirs would join in some mutual arrangement making all avenues of friction between Pakistan and India irrelevant in no time.

Zak Aug 12, 2016 03:53pm

@Syed than you cannot be from Pakistan.

Rakesh Aug 12, 2016 03:55pm

Why we Indians always living in past and not face reality. We already have difficulty holding what we have now.

Punch Aug 12, 2016 03:56pm

Urdu poetry is beautiful, but lives in an unrealistic world. So do Urdu poets.

Ramesh Aug 12, 2016 03:56pm

Kuldip is from past era, who never accepted reality.sad.

Basit Aug 12, 2016 03:58pm

I am Indian Muslim and way Modi treat us, Pakistan people is lucky.

Fried Chillies Aug 12, 2016 04:00pm

@Akil Akhtar and who did you meet from India who denies it? Don't rely solely on jingoistic media before you form an opinion

Fried Chillies Aug 12, 2016 04:03pm

Our collective inability in south Asia to rise above our differences be it linguistic, cultural, religious or pettiness and myopia will ensure we are divided.

Fried Chillies Aug 12, 2016 04:07pm

@Mirza Mahmud Askari, Dhaka where do you think the rest 31% live? Who gives permission to construction activities, land, infrastructure, schools, hospitals. Widen your thoughts take a 360 view and then form your opinion.

Indian Lions Aug 12, 2016 04:08pm

Feel so emotional to think of partition times. It's good to imagine India and Pakistan coming together along with other nations of South Asia but it'll not happen in our lifetime.. I'm a Bjp supporter and believe only Bjp can bring two nations together

Asif Chaudhry Aug 12, 2016 04:09pm

I disagree with the Kuldip Nayar, partition was inevitable. The fate of present day Pakistanis would have been similar to what's happening in Jammu and Kashmir at the hand of Indian forces.

We Pakistanis are fundamentally different to the majority Hindus who object to eating beef, meat etc, just as Mohammad Ali Jinnah pointed out more than 70 years ago.

Tamil Aug 12, 2016 04:10pm

What a wasteful topic. Some people should forward with the world not move out of the world.

naji Aug 12, 2016 04:10pm

@Pune-India, If India and Pakistan will merge, there will be drastic change in the region. 1. India and Pakistan will stop spending Billions of $ on defense, 2. Boarder control expenses will drop up to 50% or less. 3. Relation with China will grow due to old Pakistan area facilities, like CPAC. 4. Relation with Russia will maintain due to good relation with old Indian relation. 5. Harmony among the people will grow because 1.4 Billion people will support it. 6. Business will grow exponential value due to already advance Indian technology. 7. GDP will grow immediately due to all above condition.

Rationalist Aug 12, 2016 04:13pm

In human history past matters as it influences future, but its influence wanes with time as present takes over. Thus it’s important to be aware of the past but not become obsessed with it, as its the present exerts more significant influence. In this case the significant present factor in the subcontinent, as well as globally, blighting humanity is religious irrationality stemming mainly from Islamism.

Iftikhar Husain Aug 12, 2016 04:20pm

It is great article and about a great man. Urdu is a language that does not belong to a sect it is a production of different cultures and thinking. The language that prodoced great poets and writers is its greatness.

Ex-Pune-USA Aug 12, 2016 04:21pm

@kaliraja t

Whatever passes in the name of Urdu in Tamil Muslim homes is hardly Urdu, but rather a hodge-podge. UP, yes; Tamil, no way.

Zealot Aug 12, 2016 04:21pm

Now he should talk more about Sudhi Sanghatan movements and then now in present the Gujrat massacre and then Shiva sena remarks considering Muslims the cancer and the hindutva deliberate conversion of Muslims to Hindus in name of Ghar Wapsi and the now killing of Muhammad Akhlaq on alleged beef eating and then recent attack on woman for allege beef eating.and kashmir violence and in pakistan law and order may understand the two nation theory in between these few events.

SHAHID MAHMOOD Aug 12, 2016 04:21pm

@Akil Akhtar well said Sir. But the Indians still do not accept it. And they are still dreaming to finish Pakistan off and make it part of India again. We wish to remain separate. Thank you very much.

xyz-Indian Aug 12, 2016 04:25pm

@Asif Mir :- India has many types of Urdu, One is south also which is spoken in Hyderabad and Bangalore, bit different than in North, trust it is not a domain of North India(I mean undivided India), lets promote a language rather than make it religious.

When I was checking for word Urdu, I came to understand that there was no language such as Urdu, Urdu meant cantonment & Hindi which was spoken in cantonment specially between Delhi to Agra came to be known as Urdu.

I would like to be corrected if few learned scholars would educate us on the same.

Punch Aug 12, 2016 04:28pm

@Zak Also for Baloch, Sindh, KP, Gilgit, and UnAzad Kashmir.

Uday Kulkarni Aug 12, 2016 04:31pm

Idealism is only a wishful thinking. Partition is irreversible now and the younger generation will not even want to talk about it; but soft borders could be a reality in future though we can see the results of European Union and draw lessons before embarking on impractical ideas and one should therefore plan with the feet on Terra firma rather than on Terra alta.

xyz-Indian Aug 12, 2016 04:42pm

@Akil Akhtar :- We accept Pak is a reality, but think over it once again what did Jinnah and Nehru achieved. How can you ask someone to leave their birth place, their houses because they belong to different religion, How can we create a artificial boundary and say tomorrow onward you will not come here, How many lost there life for what, what about Bihari Muslims who went to Bangladesh in name of Pak, who owns them , what about Rohilas Muslims of Burma who got executed in Burma, neither India, Pak nor Bdsh took any notice of the same & lets not forget how much Indian Muslims suffered. we failed guys.

If govt takes our house or some one stronger than us takes all from us, can we say the same thing. This is wrong and lets learn from our mistake and not redo it. even now we are now fighting for a language, As brothers we may have different views and lets dont trouble our mother, I am sure most Pakistani & Indians share the same value.

hiro bachani Aug 12, 2016 04:50pm

I also dream of south asia becoming a big huge united states of south asia--- with pakistan, india , bangladesh all living together happily- if that happens - there will be no kashmir dispute because kashmir will become part of the united states of south asia- shared by one and all in south asia. One nation, one visa , one common market -- indians travelling to pakistan freely for sufi pilgrimages , and pakistanis moving to mumbai for their bollywood dose- imagine how nice it will be- our armies could be cut by half- the defence budgets lowered- and the money thus wasted spent more productively on education and social happiness- but unfortunately our politicians will never allow this to happen- the pak military will never give up its golf privileges... the tragedy of the partition will continue unabated....our south asia union which could bring prosperity to billions of people - with incomes of over 10,000 dollars per capita will remain just a dream....

Deepak Nagori Aug 12, 2016 04:58pm

Why just South Asia? There should be one currency, one government for the entire world. People should be free to move around, work anywhere they want.

John Aug 12, 2016 05:08pm

Mohandas Karamchand Ghandhi was never in favour of a divided India In the early 1920s, there was an atmosphere of two revolutions in India. Civil Disobedience movement and Khilafat Movement. Civil disobedience movement was led by Mahatma Gandhi while the Khilafat Movement was led by Ali brothers. Though they were for different causes but they had a common enemy, the British. This led to an enormous revolution in which both Hindus and Muslims were united. However, after a series of events the movement was suppressed by the Britishers. But this was enough for raising an alarm in the ears of Britishers. They were aware that if Hindus and muslims were united, they would not be able to keep our country under their rule. This made them to lay emphasis on the Two Nation Theory which was on their agenda for a long while. It stated that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together in Indian subcontinent.This along with the greed of power among the politicians led to the division

Ghosh Aug 12, 2016 05:17pm

From his 'Between the Lines' days about Indira Gandhi, Nayyar could never hide his true colors of an opportunity seeker ! During the heydays of "Secular Ideals", Nayyar has made good living advocating for Pakistan - in the name of fostering Indo-Pak friendship. Now, the wave in India is that of Nationalism. So Nayyar is cautiously re-positioning himself.

Khan Aug 12, 2016 05:22pm

Indians just can't get over partition! Still debating it 70 years after the fact! Rise of Modi proves us right, in a one-man one-vote system, the Hindu majority will always win and can always disregard Muslim rights.

Zealot Aug 12, 2016 05:26pm

Pakistan got independence,that mean we must have independent also demand not to be india dependent on any level either bilateral or multilateral level and also not to be imf or world bank based for aid to trade

Zealot Aug 12, 2016 05:28pm

India would be the last country in world to whom we wont think even in dream to engage at any level.....end of story

Realistic Aug 12, 2016 05:31pm

@Syed Ppl from Pakistan do not say "I am from Pakistan" on the Dawn website. Get real. Pakistanis understand what independence means to them and will always be thankful for it

Dev Aug 12, 2016 06:00pm

@Asif Mir Urdu actually resides more in Uttar Pradesh. (Lukhnow and Awadh besides Delhi and Agra). Dont know how we forget our history. Let us not digress from the topic. The author has rightly mentioned that south asia is one in DNA, language and mehmannawaji. There has been influences from greece, persia, turkey. At the same time find it quite difficult to understand that why we cant take a lesson from history and right what was made wrong by some. Be at peace brother and spread the word.

Sana Aug 12, 2016 06:02pm

Time has proved that it was not just inevitable it was necessary.

Dev Aug 12, 2016 06:03pm

@wellwisher that is not right. There are more muslims in india than any other country besides indonesia. They are prosperous and have achieved a lot. Also their contribution to the country keeps growing.

Harisingh Aug 12, 2016 06:06pm

Partition was a very good thing. The carnage that followed where innocents were killed was indeed a shame and yes with proper planning it could have been prevented and avoided.

Partition has given long term stability to the region. Despite our faults and all our problems, we in India can still question religion and challenge each other without there being a fear for life. We want to pursue science and mathematics and it would have been impossible had it not been for the partition.

From outside we may look similar in our food, dressing, and language. But from within we are completely alien cultures and where we want our nations to go is two opposite direction.

So thank you Mr Jinnah!

Dev Aug 12, 2016 06:10pm

@Ajaya K Dutt the cost would have been lesser. Also Nehru was equally to be blamed. I just wish that Gandhi would not have been influenced by nehru and given Jinnah to become the first prime minister of India. British bleeded us and made the most of it and then again when they were forced to leave, they just split us apart.

East indian Aug 12, 2016 06:12pm

We have parted for good.

Zaka Aug 12, 2016 06:13pm

You may wanna watch Gandhi again. Jinnah was very much against partition but Nehru would not budge on his stance, so Jinnah had no choice but to press on for Pakistan. Akhund Bharat is a long lost dream. It did not happen i 6 months after 14th Auguat 1947, it did not happen after 60 years and it will not happen after 600 years either.

Dev Aug 12, 2016 06:30pm

@Asif Chaudhry there are beef eating Muslims, Christians, Parsee. Living in India and they still have party, enjoy and mix around. Please dont believe Indian media and specifically OurKnob. ;)

tariq Aug 12, 2016 06:35pm

Those who can not compromise with others, will struggle alone!

My own life experience.

Ghaznavi Aug 12, 2016 06:37pm

European Union model can work in South Asia

ram Aug 12, 2016 06:40pm

We are missing most imporant players in this pictures,

When British exit was imminent feudal MahaRaja's/Nawabs who enjoyed living in there exuberant palaces for generations bound to loose everything to simple people in democratic system. Look at what happened to all those feudal landlords in India and look at how Nawabs of Pakistan and Bangladesh turned out to be. Partition was funded and executed to safe guard there palaces and lifestyle. In Pakistan Army and Landlords take turns to rule the country and feudal system still exists in Pakistan. These Nawabs had large sums of money at there disposal the biggest looser of Independence is Nawab of Hyderabad who was the richest person on earth at that time. Look at what happened to Nawab of Junagad who left India with his dogs to Pakistan.

Please use your god given common sense. Partition has nothing to do with Hindu Muslim and Pakistan creation had nothing to do with Islam

Jakoji Aug 12, 2016 06:43pm

Don't really care.. As long as we can make the LOC into IB, I am fine with it..

Rohn Aug 12, 2016 06:48pm

It is sad that nobody remembers Fazle Ilahi, Sir Chhoturam, Sikander Hayat & Khizr Hayat Tiwana's Unionist Party as ruler of undivided Punjab & their contribution of keeping harmony among religions.

Uday Kulkarni Aug 12, 2016 06:58pm

@ABCD . Successful people do not forget history but learn from the past mistakes of history and avoid repetition of those mistakes. It is only unsuccessful people who do NOT learn the history and then the history is repeated.

Sahid Aug 12, 2016 07:04pm

As muslims it was our duty to seek an independent nation. Thank god for Islam and Pakistan. Just look at the muslims are were left in India, how badly they are treated. It's time they demanded for another partition, and free Kashmir please.

Gul Aug 12, 2016 07:15pm

Witnessing the current BJP/Modi government's attitude toward minorities specially Muslims how Mr Nayar can say or claim "Partition was not Inevitable"? What about riots is Assam and other parts of India during Indira's rule or the Congress' rule even during Nehru and Shastri's time. Hate ingrained in the psyche of upper caste Hindus can't compel most to agree what you say, you may be passionate and firm believer of your views about partition, but the fact on the ground depicts a very different and a bleak future for Muslims of India. I would like to go a step further and ask Mr Nayar about the current adventures of Indian bureaucracy and the BJP government. Isn't the Modi government is now following western powers policies of making sure to destabilize Muslim countries and India is actively pursuing to create political problems for neighboring Muslim countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

AK Aug 12, 2016 07:26pm

A united Hindustan ie without any partition would have been a paradise. Ordinary people would have loved to live like this . However it was politicians and religious fundamentalists who created the divide for vested interests. Even today efforts are to be made to unite the subcontinent. Hinduism has accomodated all religions throughout more than 6000 years of recorded history.

Bharath Aug 12, 2016 07:46pm

@Akil Akhtar and bangla desh is also a reality and future balochistan will be a reality

hamza khan Aug 12, 2016 07:48pm

@Doug def agree, and this is a path forward on kashmir too. soft borders, demilitarize both sides. musharraf formula.

Nikhil Kelkar Aug 12, 2016 07:51pm

@Syed I guess it's good it happened. Imagine if we were still one there would have been politics even in selecting the cricket team for example . The responsible thing to do is to make it as fluid as US and Canada with free exchange of populations allowed

gagan Aug 12, 2016 07:58pm

@Akil Akhtar We do but you people send terrorists to our borders. And from now on, India will pay back in the same coin.

Babloo Aug 12, 2016 08:01pm

Deport him to Pakistan. LeT will look after him.

Shiv Aug 12, 2016 08:27pm

However well intentioned Nayyar maybe, he belongs to the group of emotionally foolish from earlier generations. Partition was inevitable and Jinnah understood this better than anyone else. Nehru was a visionless crook who never understood anything beyond his desire to rule. Partition should have been a negotiated settlement between the two sides, much the way Czechoslovakia split later. It would have avoided so much of blood letting and the bad relations that affect us even today. The issue really is the quality of people we really are. Darwin said it right- we are an inferior species bound to perish.

Mohammad Ali Aug 12, 2016 08:39pm

Mr Kuldip change your name n practice Islam for a little while and you will understand that why Pakistan was Inevitable!!! I fear if hindoos intolerance n policy of total dominance continues there will be more Partitions of India. indians are so poor; come visit the Great no

Maneesh Jain Aug 12, 2016 08:45pm

@Asif Mir It was spoken in India before partition and majority of the people who speak it, stayed back in India and decided not to be part of Pakistan

Jaleel Rahman Aug 12, 2016 08:57pm

@wellwisher Syria Iraq Afghanistan all muslims fighting with each other. In India Muslims and Hindus lived thousand plus years with out any serious problems. Think.

surinder Aug 12, 2016 09:03pm

@Syed ,I am with you , with lot of pain lost brotherhood!!!!! Aug 12, 2016 09:12pm

@Syed A matured thinking from a friend on the other side of the border is appreciated, for a simple reason that, we are humans first.

Jinnah Was Right Aug 12, 2016 09:25pm

Looking at life of my close relatives who chose to stay in India, I'm 200% sure Jinnah was right & I'm lucky to be born In Pakistan!

Hamaad Aug 12, 2016 09:58pm

@Basit - appreciate your honesty. Many Indian Muslims try to hide their true thoughts out of fear of reprisal from majority Hindus.

Prakash Aug 12, 2016 10:06pm

The question is who demanded partition on basis of religion and floated two nation theory?

Zak Aug 12, 2016 10:08pm

This old man should take his candle light to IOK where thousands of Kashmiri's are dieing. When Kashmir exercise their UN given right to self determination, then peace will prevail and dosti' will come.

Zak Aug 12, 2016 10:08pm

@Rasheed or else...

Zak Aug 12, 2016 10:15pm

@Punch these are not wanting independence but Khalistan, Assam, Tamil nadu, Manipur, Mizoram, Magagyar, Orissa,Jharkand, Sikkim, Tripura,Goa,Andeman and nicobar islands, Awadh, naxaland- are asking for independence. That's the reality.

Zak Aug 12, 2016 10:17pm

@Jakoji IB after IOK joins Pakistan. Then build the great wall of China, for all we care.

Zak Aug 12, 2016 10:18pm

@Gul well on.

Bulbul brandy Aug 12, 2016 10:36pm

@Zak and Baluchistan , Sarakari , Sindh , NWFP .

Bulbul brandy Aug 12, 2016 10:41pm

@SHAHID MAHMOOD Only the land , the converts , we care little about .

Shuaib Bhat Aug 12, 2016 10:49pm

The man has lost his mind. Why cannot Pakistan be accepted as an independent NON-Indian state? Why does it bother India.

TZaman Aug 12, 2016 11:08pm

@Asif Mir You are wrong. Urdu is a purely Indian language started in the early 13th century. Read the old Urdu prose of 18th and 19th century. Arabizstion of Urdu started in the early 20th century.

So please read factual history before commenting.

TZaman Aug 12, 2016 11:12pm

Indeed, Mr. Kuldip Nayar, the division was not inevitable. The elder politicians of that time wanted to be the Viceroys and enjoy the trappings of Viceroyalty. Since one country can have one viceroy, so the simply splitter it. And the best way to do was playing the religious card, which has been used since time immemorial by all the nations where rulers-politicians had alter-ego.

Rashid Sultan Aug 12, 2016 11:15pm

@Asif Mir because it is an Indian language that was 'born' and nurtured in India. It is the spoken language of many in UP, Bihar, MP, Hyderabad, etc. We adopted Urdu as our 'national' language but it ain't ours. Ours are Punjabi, Seraiki, Hindko, Sindhi, Pashto, etc. Just because it is written in the Arabic script does not make it a 'Muslim' language. Turks adopted the Roman script - have they then ceased to be Muslims? Get real.

Syed Ali Aug 12, 2016 11:21pm

@Rajput This is the age of Nationalism, example, Brexit.

Rashid Sultan Aug 12, 2016 11:22pm

@Akil Akhtar I think you should note that India has not denied acceptance of partition and Pakistan. Who has been misinforming you? India is probably glad that it doesn't have to solve additional problems of violence, illiteracy, poverty, ill health, bankrupt treasury dependent on IMF loans and US Aid, etc that we have to confront and solve by ourselves.

Dasti Aug 12, 2016 11:23pm

@Syed I also dont see any good of this division..or even if now we are two countries still we can live with peace and love..I wish.

Raj kumar Aug 12, 2016 11:35pm

@Akil Akhtar accepted with great humility.we thank you from the bottom of our hearts to create Pakistan.otherwise we all would have been facing a Syria like civil war.

Fried Chillies Aug 12, 2016 11:36pm

Partition was inevitable. Both parties had justifiable reasons. So we split and parted. Get over it and move on.

Considering the level of education or rather the lack of it, corruption, shortsightedness and general reluctance to progress with rest of the world we would have been collective laggards. Atleast now that we are split India has zoomed ahead and so has B'desh. Once Pakistan gets its act together there progress will be the same.

M G SHAH Aug 12, 2016 11:37pm

@Haider Whatever happened cannot be undone, but let's live peacefully like good neighbours and respect eachother.

Raj kumar Aug 12, 2016 11:39pm

@ahmad happened for bettar of both countries who can go there own ways.

Sirius.Sam Aug 13, 2016 12:45am

@Sahid Dreams are good. And these are must too. But alas dreams are only dreams. Once you wake up to the reality, it just breaks.

Amir Ali Aug 13, 2016 12:46am

@shaukat Amen

Sirius.Sam Aug 13, 2016 12:49am

@Ghaznavi I believe in only one model, "good fences make good neighbours". Thank u.

Sirius.Sam Aug 13, 2016 12:52am

@Zaka Never predict anything, history has full of surprises.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Aug 13, 2016 12:54am

Be realistic! The United States of South Asia is possible but we will have to make deliberate efforts to realise it.

Imtiaz Ali Khan Aug 13, 2016 01:16am

"One day, all of South Asia will be a union – one visa, one currency … everyone will be free to work, travel, think." Can't wait for that to happen. Love Ind/Pak same people my family :)

Thamizhan Aug 13, 2016 02:29am

@Dev what do you mean by south asia was one language etc? You dont know anything about our country... learn it

Adil Aug 13, 2016 03:57am

Partition had to happen. Brits had poisoned Jinnah's ears enough for him to ask for a separate country. And it is good that it happened then. Because later on, it could have been much worst and more bloodier. The nostalgia and philosophical thinking is for hopeless romantics. Now the pragmatist should hope both the countries learn to live in peace. China and US love to divide and rule and our leaders (hate to call them leaders but they are the followers of first kind) are the pawns in their hands.

Only truth Aug 13, 2016 04:53am

@Zak I am from Assam. We don't support separate state. That why those separatist lost in shadows. If anyone says he's a separatist local people will beat him publicly and isolate their family. Specially in Assam no one supports them.

Nasiroski Aug 13, 2016 05:03am

Finally someone of his stature said it. I was waiting for this for a long time. For all on both sides of the border if you take the lens of bias that has been rammed down our brains off and think logically it will be easy to get to this conclusion. It would be real easy to see who was forcing hate and an inevitable split, it was British none other, and the last 60+ years are a testament to their razor sharp skills.

flipflop Aug 13, 2016 05:12am

@arjun Under the leadership of United states of America

Asma Aug 13, 2016 05:36am

Iam Pakistani and I wish that Indian Subcontinent hadn't divided. What did partition give to the common people of both countries besides endless poverty and rampant corruption.

Niaz Aug 13, 2016 08:02am

@Rajput No way!


Rohit Aug 13, 2016 08:20am

Partition happened and its a reality....end of discussion......lets just live peacefully with each other now!

illawarrior Aug 13, 2016 09:11am

Partition may not have been inevitable, but it happened - move on, deal with current realities.

DilliNiwasi Aug 13, 2016 09:15am

@Mirza Muslims in India should stop having large families and give priority to education to get jobs..there is no discrimination in India.

Sanjeev Yadav Aug 13, 2016 09:51am

Learn from the past, think positive, move on.

roy Aug 13, 2016 10:04am

It's EGO problem which is there for long long time and that's more elite's issue. Unfortunately common people are just suffering. It will not go away soon till major economic development happens in this region, with that context partition had to happen.

APJ Aug 13, 2016 11:52am

As an Indian I thank god that it happened. I shudder to think of Zardari, khan or sharif as prime minister of united India. In Indian democracy it is very much possible. Muslims of united India would have numerical strength to elect any of them as PM of India.

Fazal Karim Aug 13, 2016 12:16pm

Kulip Nayar is an ambassador of love and peace, he tried his best to bring India and Pakistan close. We in Pakistan should be thankful to him. If Panditjee had better under standing of the fear and feelings of minority Muslims at the time of independence and shown generosity and accommodated few Muslim League Ministers in his UP cabinet in 1937 ( although congress had clear majority) course of politics would have been different. Again if Paditjee had patience and controlled his ego to control central government Cabinet Mission Plan would have kept the unity of the country. Similarly Jinnah saheb too should have shown patience after Panditjee press conference and should not have given call for direct action resulting into serious riots in Bengal and else where resulting into death and destruction at large scale. Ego in politics is not good.

Eragon Aug 13, 2016 12:32pm

I don't think the current or next Gen will be able to understand the feelings of people who have seen and lived the partition.The pain to see a nation break will never be understood and that is well understood by some of the comments. Here the difference is people were separated then and now people are living separately. We are not the right people to comment on this.

Sudhir Neyalasinger Aug 13, 2016 01:50pm

Nayyar is one of those old school punjabi journalists who wished India remained unpartitioned. What's happened has happened. He should move on and so should we. If we learn to be good neighbours within my lifetime, I'd be happy.

R S Chakravarti Aug 13, 2016 06:57pm

@Mirza Mahmud Askari, Dhaka Don't you think the problems you mention have their roots in Partition, or rather in the sentiments encouraged in the movement for Partition?

Kamal Pasha Aug 13, 2016 08:37pm

Ghandhi was known as non violent, but 1 million people died an 15 millions became homeless. Was it non- violent partition of the sub- continent?

Fazal Karim Aug 13, 2016 09:13pm

Partition was not inevitable. Muslims and Hindus had lived together in harmony for centuries. They respected each others religion and culture. If Hindus could live peacefully under minority rule of Muslim kings why a very large community of Muslims could not live in democratic India? Mistrust was started by Britishers to prolong their rule and both communities were trapped and politics became communal resulting into partition of a country loved by Muslims and Hindus alike. It was a political divide and not division of hearts and minds . Post partition policies on two sides really divided the people and countries through blocking of people to people contacts. Rail, roads,postal and telecommunication were almost completely blocked followed by harsh visa restrictions( except members of divided families) no body was allowed to meet each other. Visitors were haunted by security agencies, specially in India. This gap has divided us permanently. Efforts by Nayar saheb have gone in vain.

Abraham Haque Aug 13, 2016 09:55pm

@Akil Akhtar as a Pakistani I am not sure

Abraham Haque Aug 13, 2016 09:58pm

@Fazal Karim same question still persists in today's Pakistan do we understand what we are doing to minorities in Pakistan sometimes as a person bron in Pakistan it seems Pakistan was created to mistreat minorities

Rajiv KR Bhardwaj Aug 13, 2016 10:42pm

@Asif Mir Mr.Mir your are DON'T know reality. I am from bihar. In my state 2nd state language is Urdu.and in every govt. School has Urdu teacher . And in college Persian and arbic taught. It is kind information for you. Is there in your country Hindi is taught. Never. ??? It is my greatness.

Rajiv KR Bhardwaj Aug 13, 2016 10:52pm

@Jalaluddin S. Hussain I agree with you.

Adee Aug 14, 2016 01:28am

The youth and the educated class today are not that biased on both sides and I believe that let's be neutral and learn from each other when it comes to history. Had Nehru and Congress accepted one-third or approximately 25% Muslim representation in the first national assembly (of liberated India) and made M.A. Jinnah the deputy prime minister of India then I believe that M.A. Jinnah and his side wouldn’t had gone for Pakistan option. It is the “hat dharmi” of Nehru and congress and their negative attitude towards the Muslim population and Muslim league that the partition had happened.

Ayub Aug 14, 2016 01:30am

The partition of India, although, was not inevitable but what had been done, it can not be reversed. Now it is high time for India and Pakistan to iron out their differences peacefully and usher a new era of good neighborly relations for the benefits of the common people of the region.

Confused Aug 14, 2016 03:35am

@BlackHat Partition was done in five months, and did you see the result ? How many dead ? And how many unresolved issues ? Still fighting over petty issues, after so many years.

P DATTA Aug 14, 2016 08:23am

If West Germany and East Germany can reunite, why can't we?

AK Aug 14, 2016 10:44am

@DilliNiwasi A cricket team is all they need, bro!

Arsalan Aug 14, 2016 01:41pm

Great article written for a great person...

P.C.Pandey Aug 14, 2016 02:23pm

Creation of Bangladesh belies the foundation of Islamic Nation.Partition has given oppurtunity to progressives like post partion India nad Bangladesh to Prosper.Whereas Pakisan is way behind on all front and expected to be that way.So at least 80% of Pre Partion India is Growing.

Tanvir Aug 15, 2016 02:12am

Nayar is missing a strong character -- Patel. It was Nehru and Patel who wanted partition at that time and they let Jinnah play their game. In the absence of their opposition a constitunal settlement between Congress and Muslim League was very much possible. But Nehru and Patel believed that was the best time to create a small homeland for Musims otherwise in latter days Muslims would ask for Hyderabad and some more Muslim majority states. Partition could be avoided only by giving Jinnah some options but both Nehru and Patel were not willing to do so. Jinnah took it as his only and last option. So far as Mr. Gandhi's speech that Hindus and Muslims were his two eyes was nothing but political stunt. He failed to use his influence over Nehru and Patel to make them compromise with jinnah.

mir aftab Aug 15, 2016 12:20pm

Sanity will ultimately prevail to mature leaders on both sides to see that keeping apart is perpetuating retardation of progress for people living in South East Asia. One visa, one currency, one foreign and national security narrative i.e. widening the stalled horizons of SAARC

dadas Aug 15, 2016 03:59pm

@Asif Mir : It is neither language from the west side of the border !! The main languages for Pakistan are Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Dari.

tanvir Aug 15, 2016 09:11pm

@John First of all you dont blame Britishers only -- they only wanted to rule the country. However, you are missing a very important part of history when Jinnah was a congress man. What lead him to join the Muslim League cannot be ignored. Will you not blame on Hindu leadership in the All India Congress who were not willing to listen Jinnah when it came to Indian Muslims and their rights in the Indian (proposed) constitution. jinnah only wanted to protect his people in the country once the British were gone. He did not want them to become a perpetual minority in the country without any constitunal place in the soiety. He was not fighting for Pakistan at that time -- what happened latter on??

Bal K. Gupta Aug 15, 2016 11:26pm

Partition was the biggest migration in the history of human race. 15 million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs became refugees (or Muhajirs) and I was one of them. Around 1.5 million humans lost their lives. Ref. "Forgotten Atrocities: Memoirs of a Survivor of the 1947 Partition of India".

WOw Aug 18, 2016 09:19am

Partition was simply wrong. If India Pakistan Bangladesh had stayed one united, we would have been some power. Look at India now, they have less religious conflicts and bloodshed compared to what happens in Pakistan between the Muslims. This is a fact. Ask any Indian muslim and he will show his pleasure. Kashmir is a different story due to Pakistan's involvement.

HajiKaji Aug 18, 2016 05:57pm

@arjun absolutely right - Akhand Bharat, as it existed for thousands of years