In response to a reader letter to his publication Harijan in 1939, Ghandi wrote this reponse. Readers of this blog will be able to figure the political position posed by the writer of the letter, but here I admire how Gandhi clearly understood the universality of people. His answers take the form of questions and the message - from any perspective - Hindu or Muslim - remains relevant today, over 62 years after Gandhi's death on 30th January 1948.
Why is India not one nation?
Was it not one during, say, the Mughal period? Is India composed of two nations? If it is, why only two? Are not Christians a third, Parsis a fourth, and so on? Are the Muslims of China a nation separate from the other Chinese? Are the Muslims of England a different nation from the other English? How are the Muslims of the Punjab different from the Hindus and the Sikhs? Are they not all Punjabis, drinking the same water, breathing the same air and deriving sustenance from the same soil? ...
... The way suggested by the correspondent is the way of strife. Live and let live or mutual forbearance and toleration is the law of life. That is the lesson I have learnt from the Quran, the Bible, the Zend Avesta and the Gita.