The Muslim Vanishes

All the Answers

By Sara Danial | May 2022

Saeed Naqvi is a senior journalist and television commentator. Naqvi has written three books and his latest literary venture ā€˜ The Muslim Vanishesā€™ is a play, written in three acts, spread over two days. What would happen if the Muslims of India suddenly vanished? Most of us acknowledge that Indians, including Hindus and Muslims alike, built and continue to build India. Yet, not everything known about the past is factual clarity. Whatever we know about the Partition is through old tales from the relevant generation or the media ā€“ and these opinions are generally skewed. Facts, fiction, and opinions are more than a mere thriller in this book.

Of all the Muslims who went to Pakistan after the Partition, nearly 20000 returned, by March 1948. Why? Because they didnā€™t like the country they had gone to. The dilemma of these returnees was terrible. The properties they had vacated while departing had been occupied by the arriving Hindus. Restrictions on Hindus leaving East Pakistan left the ones coming from West stranded and vulnerable. In other words, Muslims from West Pakistan were not welcome but Hindus from East Pakistan were. These are meaningful details. Muslims in other parts of India stayed where they were. Only limited numbers went, or were sent, to the secretariat in Karachi, which was Pakistanā€™s first capital. Added to all these complications are the two interconnecting triangles in the hands of politiciansā€”resulting in a cauldron bubbling with hate. One triangle is the caste pyramid. And the other one is composed of three sidesā€”Indiaā€“Pakistan, New Delhiā€“Srinagar, Hinduā€“ Muslimā€”all contributing to a mess of issues, none of them getting near to resolving.

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