Two conceivable solutions for the hindu-muslim problem


The real problem introduced by the Mussulman conquest


was not that of subjection to a foreign rule and the ability to


recover freedom, but the struggle between two civilisations, one


ancient and indigenous, the other mediaeval and brought in


from outside. That which rendered the problem insoluble was


the attachment of each to a powerful religion, the one militant


and aggressive, the other spiritually tolerant indeed and flexible,


but obstinately faithful in its discipline to its own principle


and standing on the defence behind a barrier of social forms.


There were two conceivable solutions, the rise of a greater


spiritual principle and formation which could reconcile the two


or a political patriotism surmounting the religious struggle and


uniting the two communities. The first was impossible in that


age. Akbar attempted it on theMussulman side, but his religion


Indian Polity – 4 443


was an intellectual and political rather than a spiritual creation


and had never any chance of assent from the strongly religious


mind of the two communities. Nanak attempted it from the


Hindu side, but his religion, universal in principle, became a


sect in practice. Akbar attempted also to create a common


political patriotism, but this endeavour too was foredoomed to











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