What if the subcontinent had not been partitioned?

If you ever wondered what would the situation have been today had partition not taken place and Pakistan not come into existence, you can get a good idea from what is happening to Muslims in India today.

Just consider the following:

1. Despite Muslims being at least 20 per cent of the total Indian population, there is only one Muslim in Modi’s cabinet of 57 ministers and advisors.
2. There are no Muslim ministers in 15 Indian states (including even Assam, where the Muslim population is 34 per cent of the total).
3. UP has only one Muslim minister, even though one out of its four residents is a Muslim. The BJP did not field any Muslim candidate in the last UP state elections. And in case you’ve forgotten, the UP chief minister remained silent when one of his staunch supporters told rabid Hindutva activists to dig up the graves of Muslim women and desecrate their bodies.
4. The Sachar Committee concluded that Muslim representation in government was between two and three per cent.
5. Modi is going ahead with depriving millions of Muslims of citizenship and subsequently deporting them to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
6. There are plans to demolish all Islamic monuments in India and replace them with temples (as they did with the historic Babri Mosque).
This gives us a fair idea of the hatred that Hindutva followers have always had for Muslims. If partition had not taken place, and India had remained united, very few Muslims would have made it to the assemblies. They would have been virtually powerless. It would have been very easy for rabid Muslim-hating politicians like Modi to do with us what they are doing with Muslims in Kashmir. They would have prevented Muslims from occupying positions of power, by gradually settling non-Muslims in Muslim majority areas of Sindh, West Punjab, Baluchistan and NWFP (as KP was then called). Muslim children would, of course, have been kept out of schools for the elite, they would have been peasants tilling the fields as their forebears did before partition.

In 1947, the Karachi Port Trust did not have a single Muslim officer. There were only three Muslims: a clerk, a peon and a security guard. If Pakistan had not been created, we can imagine that there would have been Hindus in every bank and government department, with Muslims practically invisible, and certainly no Muslims in positions of power. The army would have had no senior Muslim officers.

Ever wondered why there had been no industrialisation before partition in Muslim majority areas of the subcontinent?
My father once quoted from a Geography textbook from his school days in the Indian state of Gujarat. “The climate in West Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, Baluchistan and East Bengal does not support industrialisation,” it said.
Of course, it conveniently omitted to mention that those were Muslim majority regions.
Karachi and Lahore would have been small provincial towns with less than a million people. There would have been no large industries, perhaps only small cottage industries, with the majority of the population employed in tilling the fields.
So to those, who think partition was a mistake, I say, “Please thank Mr Jinnah for not surrendering to Gandhi’s tempting offer to make him prime minister or anything he wanted.”
Despite all its faults, Pakistan is the best thing to have happened to the subcontinent’s Muslims. It has saved them from extinction.
The writer is an engineer, a former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, an industrialist, and has been associated with the petroleum, chemical industries for many years. He tweets @shakirlakhani