Most people and Strategy Experts are ill equipped at this juncture to be prepared to answer this question. In reality, none has an answer and is not prepared to think why such circumstances may develop. And tragically none is prepared to assume the worst — a necessary ingredient to strategic planning. After the nightmare of 1947, it is possible that this remains a mental block among most of us. Yet we must conjure up the possibility and try to:
1. Analyze why it could happen.
2. What will be the likely Boundaries post a 2nd Partition?
3. What will be the consequent effect on hinterland Nations and areas?
4. Whether we can recover from such a setback?
5. Is there any way to obviate this?
The consequences of another partition will be shattering, may be even fatal for most of India. It will involve a large change in thought, strategy, boundaries, power equations, complete reversal in ownership patterns of prime resources, access to most of our very holy Sansthans and much more, possibly even beyond the scope of what this blog can envision. Yet, a start can be made and broad patterns of what will likely emerge can be visualized. To do so we need to see what kind of forces seek India’s breakup. What kind of forces can India fight against strongly, and what kind they can’t. So while for example Naxalism might be strong in many districts, the Indian state through development, education and multi-party agreement or punitive action, can deter any major breakup that the Naxals might try and achieve. The Naxal fringe of the Left has emerged partly due to the emergence of the left itself over large swathes of backward territory. Rapid progress and migration itself will make people lean away from violent Marxist doctrines. Yet the possibility of Naxalites and Islamists combining and making assaults on the Indian state always exists and it is well known that both cooperate in many underground activities. So let us delve into the 1st part:
1. Why could a 2nd Partition Happen?
The simplest answer to that is for the very reason the first one happened. And even before the First! The loss of Afghanistan. The reason was the emergence of large swathes of practitioners of extremist Islamist ideology at complete doctrinal odds with the larger broader populations of the Nation. The trigger was obviously the ability of Islamists to indulge in violence that forced the State’s hand into acceding to their demands for a separate state. Pakistan’s formation was created in UP, and not in the NWFP. Ironically most of the Islamists that voted for Pakistan did not leave. Their descendants are still in Uttar Pradesh. Most of NWFP did not vote for Pakistan, most of their descendants today form the Taliban.
Secularism in India as interpreted by many parties is nothing but pandering to minority Islamist sentiment and demands. Yes it was envisaged to be a complete separation of State and Religion. Something that Indian secularism failed to achieve as separation of civil codes goes to show. The demand of Sharia rule is mandatory in Islam. According to its very doctrine there cannot be a Muslim that does not want governance under Sharia. Many liberal Muslims have many different ideas on Sharia, but unfortunately for these ‘moderates’ in the end the Mullah is right in his interpretations. So as long as our brand of appeasement Secularism is there, the phase of demographic consolidation goes on. But was there some planning as to where the demographic consolidation should happen, where would it manifest? A little research actually clearly indicates that the demographic consolidation is happening very systemically all around and in the neighbourhood of our sacred Dharmic Sthals.
The biggest disappointment to Jinnah at the first partition possibly was a moth-eaten Pakistan. Those that consolidated around Dhramic Sthals could not achieve the aim to make a Mughalistan at those spots. The two majority Muslim areas were separated by a considerable distance. Would a future Jinnah make the same mistake? To see whether there is any truth to consolidation around Dharmic Sthals, I a little research on the Internet would be very revealing. The results may or may not perplex one, but the consequences certainly may confound.
2. What will be the likely Boundaries post a 2nd Partition?
While the population of Muslims in India may be 14% as per last to last census, there are Districts in UP, Bihar, and West Bengal right below Uttarakhand and Nepal that have on the average 55 % Muslims. Darjeeling may have a 5% Muslim population but North Dinajpur is well over 50%. North Dinajpur cuts the rest of India completely from Bhutan, Darjeeling and the entire North East! One must remember also that these are figures for 2001. The districts below these trail a bit to 45% muslim population as of 2001. By 2021 these figures all may be 70% or more. We are talking of a 200-300 Km wide tract of land running below Uttarakhand, Nepal, and Darjeeling right up to Bangladesh with an average Muslim population of around 70 % certainly by 2030, if not 2020!
Here are the maps and one will get an inkling of the corridor of the 2nd partition that may become unavoidable in a few years from now.
This is the picture of Districts of UP bordering with Uttarakhand (% as of 2001 census):
Saharanpur: 50.2 %; Muzzafarnagar: 46.55; Bijnor: 66.8%; Moradabad: 65%; Rampur: 68%; Bareilly: 46.7%; Pilbhit: 43%.
The border Districts above average more than 55% Muslims in the population as of 2001 census. The set of Districts shown below also average 50% and more as of 2001.
This is the map of UP districts just below Nepal. These districts are (% as of 2001 census):
Kheri: 33.1%; Bahraich: 59.4%; Srasvati:34.5% ; Balrampur: 47%; Sidharth Nagar: 33.9%; Maharganj:20% ; Kushinagar: 24.3%
They average: 36.0%. But surprisingly while Lucknow is 27% odd, the neighbouring districts of Sitapur and Barabanki have 50% plus Muslim populations. We can clearly see a corridor opening up. But let us investigate further the Bihar-Nepal border:
The Districts of Bihar border The districts shown here are:
West Champaran: 24.5% ; Motihari: 19% ; Sitamarhi:21% ; Madhubani:18% ; Supaul: 17%; Araria:41% ; Kishanganj: 78%; Purnia 37%
The average Muslim population here is again around 32% plus.
Lets look now how the WB part of the Map looks like:
West Bengal and Bangladesh/ Nepal/ Bihar borders:
This is interesting. That North Dinajpur is 49.7% muslims, Darjeeling is just around 5.3% as of 2001. Maldah is again touching 50%, South Dinajpur bordering Bangladesh is 33%. Between these 3 Districts we have 45% plus Muslims as of 2001. This part is critical. As a 2nd partition here cuts off not only Darjeeling and Bhutan fully but also the entire North Eastern India! Jalpaiguri with 10% Muslims does not matter, neither a Darjeeling with a 5% or Bhutan. They all along with the entire NE sisters would be completely cut off from India. We have no connecting roads in our control, no rails, nothing of proximity.
3. What will be the consequent effect on hinterland nations and areas?
As by now you know the sort of demographics at work and a corridor 200 km or more wide and 850 odd km long emerging and effectively cutting off Sikkim, Darjeeling, Bhutan and the entire North Eastern part of India even as this corridor links up with Bangladesh in the East. The significance of this is that it not only cuts off these above mentioned regions, but it cuts off Uttarakhand, and Nepal completely despite their miniscule demographics with respect to Muslims. Once cut off there is nothing these Dharmic Sthals can do except wait for the Maoist Han Imperialist from up north to swallow the higher reaches and the lower ones being swallowed by a hardening Islamist setup. Kedarnath, Pashupati, Muktheshwar, Haridwar (already 2001: 25 plus %) all will be lost. China will move into the higher reaches and even into Bodh Gaya to take over and consolidate its Buddhist legacy based on its narrow contorted vision, thus completing its unfinished decimation of traditional Tibetan Buddhism. The India that will emerge from this fiasco will not possibly end just south of these above mentioned bordering Districts, it may end up even losing the entire UP, and Bihar stretch, and thus may have to recede to South India.
This kind of formation will not be sustainable for India. Kashmir will be lost too. This is the map of Kashmir’s districts:
If China decides at that juncture to take Leh, there is little we can do except lose the Western part to Pakistan and the Eastern one to China. Leaving us with Himachal, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and possibly make a military manoeuvre to take over and retain Noida and Greater Noida.
The North Eastern part of India will be then carved by China/Bangladesh and Myanmar. With the head and heart of our Dharmic civilization cut off question arises is can we survive to fight another day? So,
4. Can we recover from such a setback?
That is a question that is not easily answered till in India we have a consensus of some sort. Once a consensus is there, the simple answer is yes, a fight back is possible. If the consensus does not exist, then it will not be possible. Here is what may be necessary to build the necessary consensus and actions to be taken as of now.
The first will be to make Tibet and Nepal a core strategic part of our policy. For this we require to reverse our recognition of an India-China border and simply say and state the Truth that there is no Indo-Chinese border that has ever existed. It has always been an Indo-IndoTibetan one. When it was Indo-Tibetan we never really bothered if peasants from one side crossed and traded with the other, or pilgrims sat in meditation at Shiv Bhoomi because all of us belonged to the same Dharmic soil. We did not require visa’s because we knew that neither the Tibetans will bomb us, nor we will bomb the Tibetans. None of us coveted the land of the other to have border Armies omnipresent all along. The same situation applied to Nepal and Bhutan and is visible today. The feelings were mutual and border problems did not exist, and therefore certainly was no need of any artillery or war. No Indian minded a Nepali, or a Tibetan working and living here and vice versa. This is not the case today for Pakistanis or Bangladeshis. It will never be so as long as they are indebted to the so called Religions of Peace, Compassion and Mercy — none of which the practitioners know the meaning of and none of which respect the basic tenets of Dharma. But let us not digress here, and ask that if the partition happens what we can hope to do now at this late stage or in future in order to get back our head and heart.
5. The Solution:
1. Make a claim to Kailash and Mansarover/Shiv Bhoomi. This will make people realize that China is an occupier of very sacred Dharmic soil. The claim should not be some demand for Secular rule over the territory by India. It should be demanded that this blessed soil is sacred to Nepal, Tibet, and India, and thus must be jointly managed by these three and not by China. For this an agreement with the Tibetan govt in Exile is a must. For Tibet’s freedom the Tibetan Govt in Exile will be most gracious, and willing for joint management for this most sacred Dharmic Sthal to enable the pilgrims from these 3 nations to go without hassle, and without disturbing the pristine environs. This is also the region where ALL the major river systems for South Asia and SE Asia originate. With the control of this Dharmic Sthal one Power will not be able to arbitrarily control the source of the water systems and destroy the economy of South and South East Asia.
2. Tell China, that any agreement with Nehruvian India on the international border did not work as China did not behave in accordance with what India expected of a friendly nation, which turned out to be very ungrateful by ignoring the support by India for China in the early days in every International Forum. It behaved in a manner unbecoming of a civilized nation, humiliated and tortured fellow Dharmics in Tibet, tried erasing its culture in a most brutal manner, and generally exercise Adharmic control over a Dharmic Sthal like Tibet. So we should refuse to recognize anymore an Indo-China Border, but do recognize only an Indo Tibetan one. So, in essence ask the Han Chinese to vacate from Kailash-Mansarover/ Shiv Bhoomi (Shiva certainly is not Han Chinese) and also vacate Aksai Chin and giving Tibet back to Tibetans.
Neither of the above China will agree immediately. They will laugh it off, call us names, have Cognitive dissonance, abuse us, cut trade to their own detriment, and yes even try and launch some military manoeuvres in Leh/ Sikkim/ Bhutan and ArP. All I can say is that we must be prepared. If they do so, remember the Chinese mainland is 3000 km from Tibet with only ONE major entry point. If they take a bit here, we must take 3 bits elsewhere and hold. We have Malacca to control and yes we can pack a punch that can cause China major heartburn. Yet China would be pragmatic if we are strong and determined and refrain, while the world takes note and millions of reams are written on Tibetan freedom. This itself will consolidate opinion within China. And if like USSR, China ever opens a wee bit, the gates of freedom will dawn on Tibet again. India has to put its jackboots in Tibet the moment that happens as a protectorate similar to what it does to Bhutan (COAS Bhutanese, Boots Indian, Shiv Bhoomi: Joint Dharmic Sthal Indo-Nepal-Tibet). These minor arrangements can be worked out with Tibet and Nepal so that India again does not have to suffer a totalitarian ideologies whim from China.
If a 2nd partition happens in India after we do all this above, we see we can save Uttaranchal, Nepal, Bhutan, Darjeeling, Sikkim and the Northern regions of NE India! If we don’t achieve this in Tibet and Nepal, we cannot save all the above. We have no chance. We will have to abandon Kailash, Kedarnath, Pashupati, Nalanda, Bodh Gaya, Muktheshwar, Haridwar, Varanasi and hundreds more of our most sacred places to Maoists and Islamists.
We need to draw a line in the Dharmic sand now and understand that a Second partition may also soon emerge. And if it does we have the strategies and options in place to wear it out and regain our lost Dharmic sthals at some point in the future.
Note: Populations quoted here are 2001 Census. Some figures may depict urban center populations as of 2001.
Coming next Post: My next coming post will be about steps India can take earliest to avoid doctrinal confrontations that would enable an eventuality like the above to occur as has happened in the past.