Hindus and Muslims are living together in this country for thousand years. In every city, town and village they are not next neighbour, but they are also colleagues and partners in business and trades, schools and offices. They have also jointly participated in the movements launched for the liberation of the country from the foreign rule, and are still co-workers in different political and social organisation; in the railway and buses the ca be seen travelling together; but it is an incomprehensible mystery that they are not even as much acquainted with each other’s religious beliefs, customs, tradition and culture as the people belonging to two different lands. What they do know about each other is more often than not a jumble of tittle-tattle and misconceived notions, hearsay and prejudices. Naturally, such a distorted angle of vision aided and abetted by the malice and prejudice of sectarian propaganda gimmick and distorted text-books of history is bound to produce a perverse and grotesque picture of the other community.
But this is not matter to be laughed away; it is serious enough to eat one’s heart out. We have been living together for hundreds of years but we are still so ignorant of each other! The responsibility for this does not lie on any particular community; it devolves of both and, particularly, on those who claim to be religious and social workers, patriots and philanthropist. It is they who have as yet made no sincere effort to diffuse correct and unbiased information about the two communities; whatever effort they did made in past has been inadequate and half-hearted.
Having performed what I considered to be my duty on behalf of the Indian Muslims, I hope that our non-Muslim friends would soon come forward to help in rooting out the present feelings of alienation and estrangement which are largely a product of ignorance of the way of living and thinking of the different communities living on this sub-continent.