Shaheed Nanak Singh's Final Speech
Sardar Nanak Singh on 4th March 1947 with Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, President Of The All India Congress spoke passionately for over an hour and warned of the consequences of creating countries on the basis of religion alone. He warned against the partition of a country on the basis of religion. He said that many will become suspicious of Muslims and our relations with each others would never be same again. If we continue to live together, we will continue to be tolerant towards each other.
“Once we go our separate ways, we will have very little in common and it may lead to conflicts of interests. We must not put religion above our country. We are Indian first then Sikh, Hindu or Muslim”.
Muslims in fact belonged to entire India and to make them live separately was not helping their cause at all. By keeping them isolated from the followers of other religions in India would only make them suspicious and intolerant towards other religions.
Those who were capitalizing on unfounded fears of their people were going to damage the Muslim cause forever. We are brothers and our destiny is linked forever and cannot be divided like commodities. God forbid if we ever get separated our today's love will turn into tomorrow's hatred.
British want to divide us because they know that a small country created artificially by force will always need their protection for its continuous existence.
India is not a property which can be divided amongst brothers, India is our Motherland and no child can ever be happy or at peace by breaking her up.
He informed the Public that he had already advised Master Tara Singh not to demand separate Sikh Home Land. He said Sikhs were created to defend India and not to break it up.
He believed that countries, which were based on religion, would go against human rights as those who had lived harmoniously for centuries before, who had helped to shape the country together were now being separated.
“Any change would bring about human catastrophe on an unparalleled proportion” he warned. “The world would never experience peace in the region again and brothers would continue to fight forever because of differences in religious beliefs”. He said, “We must keep religion a private matter and allow every family member to worship whoever or whatever gave them peace”. He also pointed out that “Our unity and diversity are like a Rainbow and if we were to remove even a colour from the Rainbow, its charm and beauty would diminish”.
“God has created different people as he believed that there is strength in diversity. If he wanted, he could have easily made us all of a similar shape and colour. To think those who do not look like us or think like us would go to hell is just a myth”.
He also pointed out "the struggle for independence had only been possible because we had all stood united. No single race or religion could achieve Independence alone. When there was so much strength in togetherness, why separate ? To think we would be stronger separately is a fallacy. One wrong step would lead to so many more wrongs".
He warned, “If the basis of a countries creation was merely intolerance for other religions, it would have to continue in this intolerance for its very existence. By removing the basis of intolerance for others, the country would becomes null and void”.
He foresaw that there would never be peace in the region as a result of a state that had no Historic, Economic, Geographical and Political reasons for its creation except religion. No religion has the strength to fulfil the aspirations of the entire mankind. . Religions are created for local needs and if we paid too much attention to one, we were bound to come into conflict with others who were not so close to us and did not live in our region.
It is a fact that mankind continues to move forward, yet the interpretation of Holy books would take mankind back to the time in which they were first written. There will always be conflict between progress and religious beliefs as they are interpreted by various individuals to suit their motives. Therefore it was paramount these two things should ever clash with each other by allowing the fanatics to use religion to further their personal agenda of exploiting mankind.
Any State which excludes people on the basis of their religious beliefs denies itself the strength and qualities of everyone. No single religion and community can find a way forward for the entire mankind. Eventually the country would become weak and backward and fall into the hands of fundamentalists who would use religion to control the people. There will be no freedom of thoughts in such countries and some would become powerful who would neither have the intelligence nor the ability to run the country successfully. Citizens of this country would never be able to compete in the world and would also become fundamentalist and blame others for their misfortunes. Hence they would continue to demand to live separately as a means of survival. Where will this practice end?
This was a very powerful speech and the Madaan echoed with cheers, claps and slogans “Long Live United India!”. Unfortunately, the truth Nanak Singh spoke was incompatible with the ideology of the fanatics and fundamentalists. They viewed his speech as a direct threat to their ideology and beliefs. They left the Madaan very angry and the very next day took their revenge by killing him in cold blood when all he was trying to do was save the innocent lives of students at the hands of religious bigots.