In 1947, India faced an uncertain yet jubilant future sparked by the British retreat. The Congress and the Muslim league had major difference of opinion regarding the new independent nation. Jinnah of the Muslim league was of the ideology that a new nation needs to be established purely based on the Quran – the holy book of Islam and that true followers of Islam will not find justice in an independent India or Hindustan or Land of the Hindus. Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence, the father of the nation gave his nod. The British got to divide her although they no longer would rule!
Like every birth involves the umbilical separation, an emotionally evolving process, the birth of the new nation was too. It became to be called the ‘Partition’ and that new piece of land called Pakistan or the ‘Land of the Pure’.
In this Land of the Pure, some twenty years ago a boy named ‘Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab’ was born. They taught him Urdu and the Quran. They taught him the religious ways of what they believed to be pure and also the need to cleanse the impure as per the holy Quran. He believed that the Quran indeed sanctions killing innocents to restore the purity. He learnt dutifully as any staunch Muslim would do and should do.
He came to Mumbai along with nine other such ‘misled’ young boys on a cleansing mission. They did manage to cleanse the corruption that was quite rampant in Mumbai power circles but Allah knows if they cleansed any of the ‘impure’! Allah knows who’s mission it was that got fulfilled! They triggered quite a hysteric reaction among the common people who didn’t know where to go for help. Unfortunately, the other nine died in their cause, leaving Kasab to come to terms with his ‘learnings’ and the ‘fruits of his labor’. He does this in Arthur road jail in central Mumbai which is in the Land of the Hindus by the way.
Whiling away his time in prison, as Hindustan and Pakistan fight it out with a 11,000 page charge sheet against him, Karma, the cycle of cause and effect brings him face to face with Truth and Non-violence. He now reads the Urdu translation of the Mahatma’s autobiography ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’. Nearly, sixty years have passed with this influential book circling around the globe, but was there any possibility that this boy would read this book in the very land his ancestors had chosen to abandon?