I do not know how good a Muslim Jinnah was in his faith and practice. But history is witness to the fact that, next to the British, he was the principal architect of the Partition of India on communal lines. It was he who declared, in 1940, that ‘Hindus and Muslims are two different nations who can never live together.’ At the same time, there is also considerable evidence to show that, once Pakistan was created, he was not in full control of his own creation. According to Dr Ajeet Jawed, who has written a well-researched and widely acclaimed book on Jinnah, ‘He was a sad and sick man. He cried in agony, “I have committed the biggest blunder in creating Pakistan and would like to go to Delhi and tell Nehru to forget the follies of the past and become friends again.” He had even begun to hate Liaqat Ali, on whose request and persuasion he had come back to India from England in 1937 and has assumed the leadership of the Muslim League.’
Sadly, the situation on the ground in Pakistan was totally different. Nothing that Jinnah said or did was able to allay the fear and panic that increasingly gripped the lives of Hindus in Karachi and other parts of Sindh after the formation of Pakistan. Hence, my last days in Sindh were full of turmoil and turbulence. The mammoth rally of Hindus in Karachi on 5 August, organised by the RSS and addressed by Shri Guruji, was no doubt a morale booster. But it could not stop the tempest of communal hatred and violence wrought by Partition.
Around this time, an unexpected incident occurred which precipitated the end of my own days in Sindh. On 9 September, a bomb explosion took place in the elitist Shikarpuri Colony of Karachi. In the wake of this blast, the RSS Sanghchalak Khanchand Gopaldas and nineteen other prominent swayamsewaks of the RSS were arrested. Rajpalji had gone to Delhi to attend a national meeting of RSS prant pracharaks.
I had known nothing about the blasts. Nevertheless, since the local press started to level wild charges against the RSS, my colleagues advised me to leave Karachi. Accordingly, I left for Delhi by air on 12 September. Accompanied by Murlidhar, a fellow RSS swayamsevak, I boarded a BOAC propeller aircraft. This was my first ever journey by plane, made more memorable by the fact that I was travelling as a refugee from Pakistan, like millions of others, seeking shelter and a new beginning in truncated India.
The thoughts that preoccupied me as I departed from Karachi on the BOAC flight were anchored in my own immediate concerns: How will I meet Rajpalji? How will I find the RSS office in Delhi? I should, therefore, take this narrative to the point where my air journey from Karachi to Delhi brings the formative phase of my life in Sindh to an abrupt end, and also inaugurates the next phase of my life—as a RSS pracharak in Rajasthan.
Delhi was an unfamiliar city for both my colleague and fellow-traveller, Muralidhar, and me. Our first and foremost task was to meet Rajpalji, our prant pracharak in Sindh who had come to Delhi for an important meeting of the RSS. I had only heard two names in Delhi: Vasantrao Oak, who was the prant pracharak, and Lala Harichand, Delhi's sanghchalak who lived somewhere in Sitaram Bazar.
When we entered the nearby Delhi Cantonment area, we asked someone, ‘Do you know any RSS worker here?’ The man said, ‘Go to the shop out there. He is an RSS man.’
Through his contact, we were finally able to meet Vasantrao Oak, who informed us that Rajpalji had left for Jodhpur en route to Karachi. The news unnerved me. I had to somehow contact Rajpalji and stop him from going back to Sindh. The same night, Murlidhar and I boarded a train to Jodhpur to meet him.
Upon reaching Jodhpur, I was told that a message had come from Sindh that I should not return. Besides, I learnt that all pracharaks and senior leaders of the RSS from Sindh had been asked to assemble in Jodhpur where, in due course, we would receive instructions regarding the tasks to be carried out in the coming days.
The RSS leaders instructed the swayamsewaks who had come from Pakistan that their main task to help channelise the migration of refugees in a smooth and systematic manner. We were also required to assist in the relief and rehabilitation of the immigrants. The latter half of 1947 saw us plunging ourselves in this work wholeheartedly.