India was under foreign rule for more than a thousand years before achieving independence. The muslim invaders had already established their hold over Hindustan and had been trying to convert the native population into Islam.
The author says that this struggle between the ruling Muslims and the Hindu subjects had been going on for a long time before the European powers, especially the British, came to India. While the northern part of India was quickly conquered, there was strong resistance to the Muslims in the south which lasted till the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire
Even after this, during the period of the Mughals, there was resistance again when the Maratha Empire reached its height under Shivaji. This constant struggle kept the conflict burning between the communities. The British used this to their advantage in their policy of divide and rule.
The author uses a book written by H V Sheshadri, The Tragic Story Of The Partition, to present most of his viewpoints. In this, the author presents the distinct behaviour patterns of the Muslim Leadership and that of the Nationalist Leadership. While the Muslims were aggressive, separatist and insistent upon retaining their rights and privileges, the nationalists, according to the author, were primarily weak and appeasing to all the Muslim leaders’ demands.
The author states that even after independence, these attitudes prevail, strengthening Islamic separatism and extremism. He also criticises the Indian idea of secularism. He says that the group that calls itself secular is opposed to anything Hindu and does not use the same scale while examining the actions of other communities.
The author has summed up the history, politics and the motivations behind the communal tensions and attitudes and has presented his views on the reasons for the Partition and explains why these factors still play a role in keeping the country divided.