Delving deep into Islamic theology and politics and how they shaped contemporary India, a compelling new book explains the two landmark legislative interventions of the Central government in the first six months after returning to power in 2019 -- nullification of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
"Unbreaking India" by Sanjay Dixit, published by Garuda Prakashan, traces the events, actions and their repercussions from the historical, social and political perspectives that finally led to the government introducing these measures.
The book holds that it has become a norm among public intellectuals to discuss the events impacting Pakistan and India's own secular establishment without any reference to the root causes. It turns around that paradigm, and establishes that the opposition to the nullification of Article 370 and CAA is "a mirror image of the pre-partition politics of the Muslim League, to which the newly developed secular-liberal class has added its voice".
For Article 370, Dixit traces the history of Kashmir from its pre-Islamic past and to the events that unfolded at the time of partition, leading to the initial inclusion of Article 370 in the Indian constitution of India. He also studies in detail the legal and constitutional labyrinths, discussing the various Presidential orders and case laws from the Constitutional Benc of the Supreme Court.
For CAA, Dixit traces the constitutional history of India from the time of the partition of Bengal in 1905 to the unfortunate events of the partition. His study relies heavily on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's analysis of the reasons for the partition and the theology of a "separate nation" that prevailed during the period. The author contends that this same theology has been staging a comeback now in the form of "mazhabi pehchan" which forms the crux of the anti-CAA protests.
Arguing that engaging in rational discourse - or using "aql" (reason) - is reserved only for the high clerics class of the Muslim society under the principle of Taqlid, the book goes on to say: The anti-CAA agitation is the culmination of what is a reaction riding on a felt emotion among the Islamic high priests, of a loss of Islamic veto on national issues such as nullification of Article 370 and abolition of triple talaq, along with a failure to influence the judiciary into delaying a verdict on the Ram Mandir issue.
Interestingly, the book cover is the "original thought of Pakistan". It features the Rehmat Ali map, which was the first proposed map of Pakistan before the subcontinent was partitioned.
Terming the book "an encyclopaedia of Islamic history in the subcontinent", Sankrant Sanu, Founder and CEO, Garuda Prakashan, said: "The books on partition have often ignored or downplayed the Islamic theological angles that led up to the partition its importance. This is to create a ï¿½secularized version' of history. Dixit's book tells the real story in well-researched, painstaking detail."