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Under One Flag
The Light Has Gone Out
India Wins Freedom
Apostle of Peace
The Last War of Independence
Quit India
Leave India to God… or to Anarchy
Gandhi and Ambedkar
A Pinch of Salt!
Saga of Indian Revolutionaries
Bardoli
Gandhiji Withdraws from Political Activities
The Himalayan Blunder
A People Reject Their Rulers
Jallianwala — The Aftermath
Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh
The Gentle Satyagrahi
Gandhi in Champaran
Carrot and Stick
Revolutionaries Outside India
Heroes and Martyrs
Gandhi in South Africa
From Swadeshi to Swaraj
Swadeshi Enterprise
The New Spirit of India
The Great Divide
Partition of Bengal
The Battle is Taken to the Legislature!
The Monk Who Shook The Nation
Father of Indian Unrest
An Old Man's Dream
Women : Crossing the Threshold
The Battle Lines are Drawn
The Battle For A Free Press
Pressing On !
Europeans Take To The Street!
The British Raj in Black and White
Mamool Raj
The One-Man Army
Hunger Deaths
The Delhi Durbar
Return to Swadeshi
Barbarous Britannia
‘Rani Ka Hookum’
Perishing in Peace
The Blue Mutiny
English Education
The Trial of the Last Emperor
Roll of Honour
The Empire Strikes Back
British Authority Collapses
Sepoys on the Move
Tribal Uprisings
The Empire Builders
For God and Country

The Great Divide

By the time the British arrived in India, Muslims had become sons of the soil. They were no longer outsiders. India was their home and they knew no other.
Early Muslim 'immigrants' brought to this country a culture of their own. And in the course of three hundred years or so the two great cultures of the Hindus and the Muslims influenced each other in language, literature, music, art and architecture.
Muslims took to Hindustani music and adopted the language of the region they lived in. Bengali Muslims, for example, spoke Bengali and dressed in. Bengali fashion. Muslims in the South spoke South Indian languages. Similarly Hindus in North India learnt to write and speak in Urdu.
The Mughals had become the ruling dynasty of the country and many Hindu rajas owed allegiance to them. But even in areas where the Mughals did not hold sway and in periods when Mughal rule was ineffective there were Hindu kings who were ably served by Muslim advisers and generals and Muslim rulers who depended on advice from Hindu administrators. Tipu Sultan's trusted Diwan, for example, was a brahmin named Poorniah and Shivaji's personal secretary was a Muslim.
When the British gained strength in India, neither Muslim nor Hindu rulers hesitated in seeking British help to overcome their enemies whatever their religious persuasion. Thus the Nizam of Hyderabad sided with the British against Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan, and Raghunathrao, a Maratha sought British help to put down fellow Marathas.
All this is not to say that there was never any friction between the two communities. Trouble occasionally flared up but died down just as quickly without leaving animosity in its wake. Hindus and Muslims in the period before the arrival of the British lived like loving brothers — abusing and quarrelling but never disowning each other.
According to the historian, Bipin Chandra, India before the coming of the British was remarkably free from communalism.

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