Akhand Bharat

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Not to be confused with Greater India.
Proposed Akhand Bharat includes the modern territories of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Akhand Bharat (Hindustani: अखण्ड भारत (Devanagri), اکھنڈ بھارت (Nastaleeq)), also known as Akhand Hindustan (Hindustani: अखण्ड हिन्दुस्तान (Devanagri), اکھنڈ ہندوستان (Nastaleeq)) is a Hindustani term literally meaning Undivided India.[1][2]

History[edit]

At the time of the Indian Independence Movement, K.M. Munshi advocated for Akhand Hindustan, a proposition that Mahatma Gandhi, believing that "as Britain wanted to retain her empire by pursuing a policy of divide and rule, Hindu-Muslim unity could not be achieved as long as the British were there."[3] In addition, Mazhar Ali Khan wrote that "the Khan brothers [were] determined to fight for Akhand Hindustan, and challenged the League to fight the issue out before the electorate of the Province."[4] On 7-8 October in Delhi, Radha Kumud Mukherjee presided over the Akhand Hindustan Leaders' Conference.[5]

Modern usage[edit]

The call for recreation of the Akhand Bharat or Akhand Hindustan has on occasions been raised by some mainstream Indian cultural and political organizations such as the Hindu Mahasabha, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).[6][7][8][9] The name of one organisation sharing this goal, the Akhand Hindustan Morcha, bears the term in its name.[10] Other major Indian political parties such as the Indian National Congress, while maintaining positions against the partition of India on religious grounds, do not necessarily subscribe to a call to reunite South Asia to recreate Akhand Bharat.

Pre-1947 maps of pre-partition India showing the current states of Pakistan and Bangladesh as part of the territories of India illustrate the borders of Akhand Bharat[8] The recreation of an Akhand Bharat is also ideologically linked with the concept of Hindutva (Hinduness) and the ideas of sangathan (unity) and shuddhi (purification) that seek to refocus modern Indian politics on the ancient civilizational heritage of South Asia.[9]

While the leadership of the BJP wavers on the issue, the RSS has always remained a strong proponent of the idea.[11][12] RSS leader H. V. Seshadri's book The Tragic Story of Partition stresses the importance of the concept of Akhand Bharat.[13] The RSS mouthpiece Organiser often publishes editorials by leaders such as the present Sarsanghachalak, Mohan Bhagwat, espousing the philosophy that only Akhand Bharat and sampoorna samaj (united society) can bring real freedom to the people of India.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erdman, H. L. (17 December 2007). The Swatantra Party and Indian Conservatism (in English). Cambridge University Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780521049801. "The ultimate reunification of the subcontinent is a professed goal, as it is for the Mahasabha, but here, too, there is a difference in emphasis which deserves note: for the Sangh, the goal is 'Akhand Bharat', while for the Mahasabha it is 'Akhand Hindustan'." 
  2. ^ Chitkara, M. G. (1 January 2004). Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (in English). APH Publishing. p. 262. ISBN 9788176484657. "Those who dub Shri L.K. Advani, the Home Minister of India and others as foreigners, must realise that the freedom struggle was a mass movement of all the people of entire Akhand Hindustan (United Bharat)." 
  3. ^ Ghose, Sankar (1 January 1991). Mahatma Gandhi (in English). Allied Publishers. p. 315. ISBN 9788170232056. "Later, K.M. Munishi, with Gandhi's blessing, also resigned from the Congress to plead for Akhand Hindustan as a counter blast to Pakistan. Gandhi, who previously though that swaraj was impossible without Hindu-Muslim unity, subsequently came to the conclusion that as Britain wanted to retain her empire by pursuing a policy of divide and rule, Hindu-Muslim unity could not be achieved as long as the British were there." 
  4. ^ Khan, Mazhar Ali (1996). Pakistan: The First Twelve Years (in English). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195776768. Retrieved 23 July 2014. "Many months ago, when the Pakistan issue was still in the melting pot, the Khan brothers determined to fight for Akhand Hindustan, and challenged the League to fight the issue out before the electorate of the Province." 
  5. ^ Sharma, Jai Narain (1 January 2008). Encyclopaedia Eminent Thinkers (in English). Concept Publishing Company. p. 88. ISBN 9788180694929. "On 5 August 1944, he issued a common letter to the leaders of various parties making a proposal to hold Akhand Hindustan Leaders' Conference. Such a conference was held on 7 and 8 October in Delhi. It was presided over by Dr. Radha Kumud Mukherji." 
  6. ^ Suda, Jyoti Prasad (1953). India, Her Civic Life and Administration (in English). Jai Prakash Nath & Co. Retrieved 23 July 2014. "Its members still swear by the ideal of Akhand Hindustan." 
  7. ^ Yale H. Ferguson and R. J. Barry Jones, Political space: frontiers of change and governance in a globalizing world, page 155, SUNY Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-7914-5460-2
  8. ^ a b Sucheta Majumder, "Right Wing Mobilization in India", Feminist Review, issue 49, page 17, Routledge, 1995, ISBN 978-0-415-12375-4
  9. ^ a b Ulrika Mårtensson and Jennifer Bailey, Fundamentalism in the Modern World (Volume 1), page 97, I.B.Tauris, 2011, ISBN 978-1-84885-330-0
  10. ^ Hindu Political Parties (in English). General Books. 30 May 2010. ISBN 9781157374923. 
  11. ^ Jyotirmaya Sharma, "Ideological heresy?, The Hindu, 2005-06-19
  12. ^ Radhika Ramaseshan, "Advani fires Atal weapon", The Telegraph, 2005-06-16
  13. ^ Ashish Vashi, "Anti-Sardar Patel book sold from RSS HQ in Gujarat", The Times of India, 2009-08-27
  14. ^ Manini Chatterjee, "Only by Akhand Bharat", The Indian Express, 2007-02-01