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हिन्दुत्व के प्रति घृणा का इतिहास - 23

हमारा जिस ऐतिहासिक चरण पर ब्रिटेन से सामना हुआ, वह हमसे कई शताब्दी आगे था। उन्होंने जिस चतुराई से अपनी कोठी कायम करने की अनुमति प्राप्त, की, अपने माल को चुंगी से मुक्त करा कर अपने प्रतिस्पर्धियों की तुलना में सस्ता रखा, अपनी कोठियों की किलबन्दी की, सुरक्षा के लिए सेना रखना आरंभ किया और फिर स्थानीय नवाबो के साथ छेड़छाड़ करते हुए, अपनी धौंस कायम की, दूसरे प्रतिस्पर्धियों को रास्ते से हटाकर और बक्सर की लड़ाई में नवाब और मुगल बादशाह की साझी सेना को मात दे कर वैध तरीके से बिहार, बंगाल और आेडिसा की दीवानी हासिल की उससे किसानों पर क्‍या बीती, कैसे मालामाल जमींदारों का एक नया वर्ग शक्तिशाली बना, वह इतिहासकारों के अधिकार क्षेत्र में आता है, परन्तु इसी अवधि में मुसलमानों के विरोध को कुचलने के लिए उन्हों ने बंगाल के पुराने मुस्लिम जमीदारों को तबाह किया और इससे एक ओर तो उनके मनोबल को तोड़ा दूसरी ओर हिन्दुओं के प्रति, जो उनकी कीमत पर आगे बढ़ते जा रहे थे, सामाजिक स्तर पर कटुता का आधार भी तैयार किया।

मुसलमान स्वयं उनकी भाषा सीख कर उनके दफतरों में काम करने को तैयार नहीं थे और किसी अन्य रूप में उन्होंने उनको पनपने नहीं दिया। अदालती कारोबार जो पहले उनके हाथ में था उसे बदल कर उस पर उनके एकाधिकार को खत्म कर दिया। इससे मुसलमानों के मन में कंपनी राज के प्रति प्रबल घृणा थी, यह वे जानते थे क्योंकि इसकी परिस्थितियां उन्होंने पैदा की थीं। परन्तुे उन्होंने अपने से घृणा करने वालों को अपना पालतू कैसे बना लिया और उनकी घृणा को हिन्दुओं की ओर मोड़ने में सफलता पाई इसके लिए हम उनकी कूटनीतिक दक्षता को दाद दिए बिना नहीं रह सकते।

इस विषय में किसी ने एक काल्पोनिक कथा स्ताहलिन के नाम से गढ़ कर फेसबुक पर पोस्ट की थी कि एक बार वह एक मीटिंग में एक मुर्गे को टांगों से पकड़े हुए ले आया, सबके सामने उसके पंखों को बहुत निर्ममता से नोच कर फर्श पर फेंक दिया और फिर जब वह असहाय सा रेंगने लगा तो उसे चारा चुगाया और फिर दिखाया की पूरी तरह अशक्त हो जाने के बाद जीने के दूसरे सहारे छिन जाने या छिनते जाने की संभावना पैदा करने बाद वही व्यक्ति या समुदाय सभी दृष्टियों से अपनी यह दुर्गति करने वाले की कृपा पर जीवित रह जाने के बाद वह उसका इतना आज्ञाकारी बन जाता है कि उसके किसी आदेश की अवहेलना नहीं करता। इसको अंग्रेजों ने मुसलमानों पर घोषित रूप में लागू किया था इसे समझने के लिए हम हंटर की उस पुस्तक के कुछ अंश का हवाला देंगे जिसका जिक्र पहले भी कर आए हैं:

Many such families. I have personally known several. Their ruined mansions swarm with grown-up sons and daughters, with grandchildren and nephews and nieces, and not one of the hungry crowd has a chance of doing anything for himself in life* They drag on a listless existence in patched-up verandahs or leaky outhouses, sinking deeper and deeper into a hopeless abyss of hell, till the neighbouring Hindu money-lender fixes a quarrel on them, and then in a moment a host of mortgages foreclose, and the ancient Musalman family is suddenly swallowed up and disappears for ever...

If ever a people stood in need of a career, it is the Musalman aristocracy of Lower Bengal. Their old sources, of wealth have run dry. They can no longer sack the stronghold of a neighbouring Hindu nobleman; send out a score of troopers to pillage the peasantry; levy tolls upon travelling merchants ; purchase exemption through a friend at Court from their land-tax; raise a revenue by local cesses on manages, births, harvest-homes, and every other incident of rural life; collect the excise on their
own behoof, with further gratifications for winking at the sale of forbidden liquors during the sacred month of Ramazan. The administration of the Imperial Taxes was the first great source of income in Bengal, and the Musalman aristocracy monopolized it....

The Police was another great source of income, and the Police was officered by Muhammadans. The Courts of Law were a third great source of income, and the Musalmans monopolized them. Above all, there was the army, an army not officered by gentlemen who make little more than bank interest on the price of their commissions, but a great confederation of conquerors who enrolled their peasantry into troops, and drew pay from the State for them as soldiers. A hundred and seventy years ago it was almost impossible for a well-bom Musalman in Bengal to become poor; at present it is almost impossible for him to continue rich...

The Muhammadan aristocracy, in short, were conquerors, and claimed as such the monopoly of Government. Occasionally a Hindu financier, and more seldom a Hindu general, came to the surface; but the conspicuousness of such instances is the best proof of their rarity. Three distinct streams of wealth ran perennially into the coffers of a noble Musalman House- Military Command, the Collection of the Revenue, and Judicial or Political Employ, These were its legitimate sources of greatness, and besides them were Court Services, and a hundred nameless avenues to fortune. The latter I have indicated at the beginning of the last paragraph, and of them I shall not further speak ; but, confining myself to the three fair and ostensible monopolies of official life, I shall examine what remains of them to the Musalman families of Lower Bengal under British Rule....

The first of them, the Army, is now completely closed. No Muhammadan gentleman of birth can enter our Regiments ; and even if a place could be found for him in our military system, that place would no longer be a source of wealth. Personally, I believe that, sooner or later, the native aristocracy of India must, under certain restrictions, be admitted as Commissioned Officers in the
British Army. The supreme command of any regiment must always be vested in an Englishman. Indeed, great care would be required before the experiment can be entered upon at all ; but the warlike peoples of Northern India could turn out under their own hereditary leaders, a light cavalry second to none in the world. Such employment would be eagerly sought after. No commissioned officer now-a-days expects to make a fortune by serving the Queen, and the Muhammadans are perfectly aware of this. But they covet the honours and decent emoluments of a military career, and bitterly feel that their hereditary occupation is gone...

… we usurped the functions of those higher Musalman officers who had formerly subsisted between the actual Collector and the Government, and whose dragoons were the recognised machinery for enforcing the Land-Tax. Instead of the Musalman Revenue- farmers with their troopers and spearmen, we placed an English Collector in each District, with an unarmed fiscal police attached like common bailiffs to his Court. The Muhammadan nobility either lost their former connection with the Land-Tax, or became mere landholders, with an inelastic title to a part of the profits of the soil....

It was in another respect that it most seriously damaged the position of the great Muhammadan Houses. For the whole tendency of the Settlement was to acknowledge as the landholders the subordinate Hindu officers who dealt directly with the husbandmen....

We can prove from the records of every District, that Revenue was the sole object of the Musalman Government. * Almost all the functions of Administration were heaped upon the Collectors of the Land-Tax, and they might do pretty much as they pleased so long as they discharged their revenue. The people were oppressed in order that the landholder might have his rent, and were plundered in order that the landholder's servants might become rich. Complaint against wrong was useless....

The truth is, that under the Muhammadans, government was an engine for enriching the few, not for protecting the many....

With regard, therefore, to the first two great sources of Muhammadan wealth, viz. the Army and the higher administration of the Revenues, we had good reasons for what we did, but our action has brought ruin upon Muhammadan Houses of Bengal. We shut the Musalman aristocracy out of the Army, because we believed that their exclusion was necessary to our own safety. We deprived them of their monopoly of the most lucrative functions in the administration, because their deprivation was essential to the welfare and just government of the people....

During its second half century of power the tide turned, at first slowly, but with a constantly accelerating pace, as the imperative duty of conducting public business in the vernacular of the people, and not in the foreign patois of its former Muhammadan conquerors, became recognised. Then the Hindus poured into, and have since completely filled, every grade of official life. Even in the District Collectorates of Lower Bengal, where it is still possible to give appointments in the old-fashioned friendly way, there are very few young Musalman officials. The Muhammadans who yet remain in them are white-bearded men, and they have no successors. The staff of Clerks attached to the various offices, the responsible posts in the Courts, and even the higher offices in the Police, are recruited from the pushing Hindu youth of the Government School....

यह वह भौतिक और प्रशासनिक पर्यावरण है जिसमें सर सैयद अहमद अपनी प्रतिभा, प्रभुत्व के साथ अपनी जमात के लिए फिररंगी शरणं गच्छाम: की सूझ और समग्र समर्पणभाव के साथ भारतीय मंच पर उपस्थित होते हैं।

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