An unknown legend of india - A bharat ratna #774133

di Gaurav Pundeer


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“I had gone to Delhi to attend the meeting of the Congress Working Committee. It was the meeting at which partition of the country was discussed. Gandhiji and I were against the partition. I cannot say what the other members felt about it, because I had not talked to them yet. But Sardar Patel and Rajagopalachari were in favor of partition and they were putting pressure on others. The question of a referendum in the North-West frontier Province was also discussed. Gandhiji and I were against the referendum too. I said there was no need at all for a referendum. Less than a year ago, the election in the province had been fought on the issue of India or Pakistan. We had won with a large majority and the Muslim League had lost , it was as simple as that. Sardar Patel did not see eye to eye with us and they put a lot pressure on the Working Committee and argued about the desirability of referendum at great length. Finally the Working Committee agreed with them and voted in favor of both partition of the country and the referendum.

On this occasion I told the Working Committee and Gandhiji that we Pathans were standing side by side with them in the struggle for the freedom of India and that we had made great sacrifices for the cause. “But you are deserting us now, I told them and throwing us to the wolves.” Is there any doubt about what the Pathans wanted? That was one reason we do not want the referendum. And another reason is that India has left us in the lurch. So why should we have to have referendum over India or Pakistan?” Whereas everywhere in India the representative Assemblies had been asked to decide whether they wanted to remain in India or go over to Pakistan, the North West Frontier Assembly had not been given this right to choose. This was an insult to the whole nation of Pashtuns, which we could not tolerate."

A great speech by Abul Zaffar Khan.

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Gaurav Pundeer