now believe that the civilizational unity of Hindus have been
shattered by external onslaughts; that Islam in India has been too
syncretistic and internally divided to be able to define itself in
terms of its own values; that its apparent unity was largely the
product of a deliberately fostered hostility to Hindus; and that
nationalism in our case has to be pluralistic in its approach and
has to centre on our civilization which is universal in the deepest
sense of the term by virtue of its being the only primordial
civilization to have degenerated into a narrowly defined religion.
Indeed, it is precisely because Indian nationalism has been informed
by a civilization remarkable for its catholicity and broadmindedness
that it has not become a narrow creed. That is why it did not
acquire an anti-Muslim bias either when the Muslim League unleashed
widespread violence, as part of its campaign for Pakistan, or when
Pakistan was, in fact, created.
To return to the subject under
discussion, 15 August 1947 was a landmark in the rise of Hindus
because we emerged as an independent civilization-nation-state.
Hindu power was no longer open to challenge which it would have been
in the absence of partition. But this reality could not be so
defined not only because the Congress leadership was not trained to
think in terms of civilizational contests but also because the shock
of vivisection of Mother India was too great for most Hindus to
allow them to realize that they had reached an important milestone
on the rod to recovery and reassertion.