The part of the globe labelled today as south Asia was called Hindustan and in some instances as Bilad-e-Islamiyah-Hind. At that time, it was not the same underdeveloped, poverty-stricken and a hungry land as represented today. It was rather known as the golden sparrow. Formerly, the land was inhabited by a people in extremely poor social conditions. The religious leaders used to divide humanity into casts, giving some of them a higher status against the alleged lower casts which were brutally discriminated against. They were deprived of any humanly treatment merely on the account that they were born in the lower casts. The people remained in darkness for long until the light of Islam came to enlighten this part of the world.
The perished people embraced the glory of Islam with joy and happiness and without any coercion or compulsion. Muslim rulers treated the local population as human beings, worthy of respect and love, as opposed to the former conquerors of the land, who used to treat the local inhabitants totally inhumanly. This resulted in such a glorious society and civilization that Hindustan became known as the Jewel. As Europe emerged from the dark age, because of the Muslim scholars’ efforts and equally respectful treatment of the European students in the universities of Spain, Baghdad and Cairo, and as they started exploring the world, they felt proud in having good relations with this part of the world. It was none other than India, for which people like Vasco da Gama and Columbus set off on risky voyages from Europe, where people go (or dream to go) for joy and glory today. Gama even breathed his last in India where he was temporarily buried in the Fort of Kochin, located at the south-west coast of India, before his dead body was taken back to Portugal. The explorers showed the path which merchants and traders followed to carry the goods of the glory and joy back to the continent which was just emerging of the dark. With time, these merchants grew shrewd enough and the people of this land lame enough that they started colonizing it. For centuries, they brutally looted the land, the people and the resources.
In doing so, they relocated whole lots of populations to exploit the fertile lands, the people (treated as slaves) and the resources as they pleased. For instance, they relocated millions of poor people from the southern areas to the Island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for coffee and tea cultivation. Likewise, millions were relocated in Burma also solely for the economic gains of the colonial masters. Although the allegations against the Rohingya, of the Rakhine State of Myanmar, of being relocated there in the British era is not well proved, yet this allegation alone serves the interests of the Burmese majority to commit ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.
Colonial master did not disturb geographical demography only, rather the overall status queue of the Sub-continent was effected. Some ethnic groups were raised above the others for the benefits of the de facto masters. Particularly Muslims who were at the highest rank were systematically marginalized in every field of life. This aroused a sense of threat among the learned Muslim leaders of India, whereas the other lethally discriminated against and brutally persecuted ethnic minorities is the region, due to their inability to foresee the future and to effectively articulate the cause and to devise a consolidated plan left them solely in the hands of the hostile majority. This is evident in case of Sri Lanka and Burma, where the Tamils and Rohingya were subjected to extremely terrible acts of revenge by the majority Sinhalese and Buddhist population right after they were liberated from the crown of Britain, with the help of the governments of the respective states. The minorities were denied of the very basic right of citizenship and an endless process of discrimination, oppression, persecution and even genocide started which go till today without any visible end.
It is reported that some Rohingya leaders in Arakan, Burma had expressed their wishes to secession from Burma to join the newly formed Pakistan (Rachel Bloquist,2015).
The idea of Partition of the sub-continent, as proposed by the legend, Sir Dr. Muhammad Iqbal was a reflection of his foresightedness, developed from the in-depth study of history of Muslims in Spain, Cyprus and elsewhere. Although the Hakim-ul-Ummah breathed his last before the dream of Pakistan became reality, yet his vision survived long enough to save the Muslim populace from a catastrophe as faced by their brethren in Burma and other places. Had there been enough awareness among the minorities of Sri Lanka and Burma to articulate their cause effectively and to devise a plan for a partition of their lands early enough, they would have saved their lines, property and dignity from persecution snatching and humiliating.
The colonization of the prosperous land of subcontinent by the European invaders brought upon the local populace in many ways, although they claimed to have come to enlighten and to civilize the people of Asia and Africa. The treatment of the white people towards the local inhabitants was that of a master towards his slaves. This superiority complex of the white people is evident even in the literature they produced here. The disturbance resulting from this enslavement of the eastern people was so deep rooted and long lasting that even after three quarters of century past, the clashes and the conflicts continue to strike calamites on the inhabitants of the land now being termed as ‘South Asia’. The way out from such a havoc lied in the partition of the land giving autonomy to every ethnicity against another. Only in the case of PAKISTAN it took place partly while others suffer endlessly. Even in case of Pakistan, Kashmir is still bleeding because of the non -accomplishment of the partition plan. If the minorities of these areas are to be rescued, the rest of the land needs to be divided on ethnic lines.

The writer is a student of Internation Relations at the National Defence University. An avid reader. Writes on South Asian issues.