Click here to skip to content

Indian Independence: Partition Source 1

Report of the Publicity Committee of the Bihar Provincial Muslim League on some grievances of the Muslims 1938-39.

[IOR: L/P&J/8/686 ff.72 etc.]

The following report highlights the Muslim-Hindu conflicts in certain provinces of India in 1938-39:

Mr S M Shareef M A (Contab) Barrister At Law Published by The Bihar Provincial Muslim League, Patna

. partiality to one community and prejudice against the other and have very often taken the Government as their guides. A perusal of this Report will show how, over and over again, justice has been denied to the Muslims. How Hindu offenders have been left un-prosecuted and untouched, no matter what their offences against Muslims, even if the offence be murder. Attitude of the Police: From a perusal of this Report it will be noticed time and again how the communal attitude of the local police has become blatant. Hindu offenders have in practically all the cases under Report gone free. No arrests have been made. No legal action has been taken against them, though the offences committed are arson, loot, assault-often grievous and even murder of Muslims, or if by accident or owing to pressure from some very senior police official, often European, action has been taken by chance against the Hindus, the investigation being in the hands of these lower graded police officers, the selection of the witnesses and the evidence which is to be placed before the courts against these offenders being in their hands; they have so fearfully mismanaged the prosecution case that even these few cases have resulted in acquittals of the Hindus. Such prosecution of Hindu offenders are merely isolated ones, but rare exceptions. The general rule has been that such offenders are left untouched as will appear from a perusal of this Report. It will be interesting to refer to a statement made by the Ex-Finance Minister of the Congress Government on the unhappy incidents of a village named Konand, in the Sub-division of Bihar. ...

... It is not surprising that here have been such wholesale miscarriages of justice whenever there have been communal frictions in this province. It will also be seen from the perusal of this report, that though the properties of the Muslims have been looted, they have been seriously injured and in one case of communal riot although the only case of a fatal injury was that upon an old Muslim who died subsequently, it is the Muslims alone who were prosecuted and after considerable harassment, alliance, one with the other, and thus Mr Jinnah says in his reply to Mr Gandhi as reported in the Search-light of the 5th November 1939:
"The Congress is a Hindu body. It is the same coin with the same stamp on the one side of Hindu Mahasabha and on the other that of the Congress and what one speaks out openly the other practises. We are determined to fight and fight to the last ditch for the rights to which we are entitled inspite of the British or the Congress. We do not depend upon any body".

Interference with Muslim Language and Culture

The blight of the Wardha Scheme, should it unfortunately prove effective, has been dealt with in an earlier portion of the Report and nothing need be further written on this subject excepting the matters mentioned below:-

I. Shahabad District figures in 1938-1939 (a) Managed Schools Muslims 4 out of 19 Muslims 20% or less Funds Allotted Hindus Rs. 4124/4/- Muslims Rs. 737/4/- Muslims have 6.6% (b) Stipendiary U.P. Schools Muslims Nil out of 6 Funds Allotted Hindus Rs. 766/- Muslims nil percentage of funds nil Stipendiary Lower Primary Schools MUSLIMS NIL OUT OF 16 Funds Allotted Hindus Rs. 4134/- Muslims Nil percentage of funds nil II.

District Champaran In this District there are 70 Middle English and Vernacular Schools, but amongst them, there are only 3 Middle English Schools on an Urdu basis. In these 70 Schools there are only 3 Muslim Headmasters. 3 Muslims out of 70 schools\4.3 p.c.