Central Information Commission (CIC) wants that all the pre-Independence realities preserved in government records should be made public; now when 65 years have passed since Independence, it has become necessary that details of important developments of that most important age of history be made public; what were the agreements made before Independence, who said what and how many leaders went to Pakistan, all this should be told to people so that students of history, research scholars and common citizens having interest in the history of that age might come to know the realities. In this regard it would be wrong to refer to some section of R.T.I Act under which information of this kind cannot be made public. According to newspapers of 6 June, Central Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra issued this direction to the Government on a petition of an R.T.I activist Subhash C. Agrawal. Mr. Agrawal sought under this law the text of the two speeches Mohammad Ali Jinnah had made on All India Radio just before the declaration of Independence. These two speeches are preserved in the archive of All India Radio, under the supervision of Prasar Bharti.
These three terms of Independent India
“Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Partition of India, Pakistan” – these three terms have been very sensitive and cause of political chaos in Independent India. Where on the one hand, a section of population which was left most affected with the act of partition and has been suffering the punishment of sins they have never committed, is very much cautious in using these terms, on the other hand there is a section, a big part of whose political business runs with the help of these terms. Presenting the causes of partition of India in a twisted way and then condemning Indian Muslims under the pretext of “Mohammad Ali Jinnah”, “Partition” and “Pakistan” is its typical politics. And for that matter, shelving the realities of Partition has been done at the governmental plane as well. After the Independence, Indians are being taught one-sided history. Therefore it is the desire of conscious Muslim citizens that the realities behind the Partition should come to the fore. Besides, what Mohammad Ali Jinnah in fact was, what did he want, why was he compelled to demand Pakistan, what was the part of Muslim League, Congress and Hindu Mahasabha in the Partition – all this should be told to the new generation. It is a matter of pleasure that this voice has been raised by a responsible citizen through R.T.I. And more important is the fact that the chief of a government institution like Information Commission has supported it.
What would have been there in the speeches?
It is not known yet why Subhash Agrawal wanted those speeches of Jinnah dug up, and what expectations he had with the contents thereof. Likewise, it is also not clear whether the Information Commissioner approved Mr. Agrawal’s application in a cursory way or he also kept the mindset of the country’s ruling class before him. In reply to Mr. Agrawal, Prasar Bharti initially said it was searching the speeches and later, referring to Section 8(1)A of the R.T.I Act, replied that the speeches cannot be made public as they are of very delicate and sensitive nature. While when the speeches were broadcast, thousands would have listened to them and their reports must have found place in newspapers, it is wrong to call this document secret and clandestine. But it is also true that a period of 66 years has passed, people forgot it or passed away; therefore the government wants to keep this chapter closed. However, this point is also apprehensible that if there might have been something improper in the speeches which might have been exploited to condemn Pakistan or Muslims, then this might not have been the government standpoint. Therefore, the opinion of Subhash Agrawal and the Information Commissioner should be supported in a great way.
13/06/2013 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf