Friday, December 31, 2010

Rehmat Ali - the changing contours of Pakistan

Sikh reaction to the Muslim League's 1940 Lahore Resolution resulted in Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, the original author of Pakistan, revising considerably his scheme for sovereign Muslim states in India.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Ideology of Pakistan

This is from "Pakistan & Constituent Assembly", by Iftikhar-ul-Haq (1946). It is a reply to Gandhi's
"I find no parallel in history for a body of converts and their descendants claiming to be a nation apart from the parent stock. If India was one nation before the advent of Islam, it must remain one in spite of the change of faith of a very large body of her children."
 You do not claim to be a separate nation by right of conquest, but by reason of acceptance of Islam. Will the two nations become one if the whole of India accepted Islam? Will Bengalis, Oriyas, Andhras, Tamilians, Maharashtrians, Gujaratis, etc., cease to have their special characteristics if all of them become converts to Islam?
Iftikhar-ul-Haq writes:

"I have no quarrel with the beliefs of other religions.  Christianity in modern times has lost its vitality and Hinduism may be a rigid and insular social system, yet as a religion it has no hard and fast principles.  It can at once accommodate an atheist, a theist and a polytheist.  But the religion of Mussalmans is diametrically different from this.   For a Mussalman religion is not a private affair, but a special outlook on life, a specialized attitude of mind, and a general code of Laws and regulations.

Islam does not confine itself to spiritual tenets, moral doctrines, or ceremonies of life, marriage and death, but governs the Muslim society and every sphere of human life, individually and collectively.  Islam is the motive spring of all our activities in every department of life and Quran is the fundamental code not only of theology but also of civil, commercial, judicial, criminal and penal jurisprudence.

Not only this, it lays down the broad principles upon which the government of a country is to be based, and Islam is a state concept in itself.  The rules and laws laid down in the Quran are to be enforced by state authority, otherwise this body of regulation would be reduced to the status of academic theories.  Islam comprises in itself the state and the church, and but for ruling power it would be a hollow force, a mystical religion, a collection of worn out dogmas and effete superstitions. Politics is a part of Islam and the religion of a Mussalman is his politics.  This is what Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru contemptuously called "MediƦvalism," and it is exactly this spirit and ideal which the Mussalmans cannot afford to forgo.  Little does the learned Pandit realize that his so-called "Modernism," based as it is on national egoism, is only another form of barbarism.  It is a direct outcome of an over-developed industrialism, through which men []acify their primitive instincts.

The systematic collection of statutes and the body of laws so arranged in Islam is Almighty's guidance and the enforcing power is "Hakumat-i Ilahya"—the kingdom of Almighty God.  Thus when a people has been gifted with the statute-book, they must have the state power to put it into practical use, or in other words, they ought to be the agents of Almighty to rule the land.   To these people, Islam gives the name of Muslims and their mission in life is to carry out His orders, spread the message and gospels of Quran, and bring peace and order to the ailing humanity.  But the membership of this organization is not restricted by the barriers of class, race and geography.   All those who come under the banner of Islam and subjugate themselves to the will of Almighty, form this cosmopolitan society, called the brotherhood of Islam.

The Quran speaks of true followers as one without any distinction of caste and colour.  Thus race, colour and language, the community of which is considered the sole basis of nationhood, have no recognition in Islam.  The renowned historian Hane-Poole in his history of India observers: "The caste system had accustomed Indians to immovable barriers between classes and though Muslim kings had no claim of pedigree and not much distinction of ceremonial purity, they formed in a way a caste, the caste of Islam, a fellowship of equal brotherhood unsurpassed in coherence and strength in all the world.  The great power of Islam as a missionary influence in India has been due to the benefi[] of this class.  The moment an Indian accepts Islam, he enters a brotherhood which admits no distinction of class in the sight of God and every advancement in office and rank and marriage is open to him."

Here is contained an exact classification of the two nations—Hindus and Muslims, and also the reply to Mr. Gandhi's query: "Will the two nations become one if the whole of India accepted Islam? Will Bengalis, Oriyas, Andharas, Tamilians, Gujaratis, etc., cease to have their special characteristics if all of them become converts to Islam?"  It is a pity that a man of Gandhiji's intelligence and acumen cannot see the fact as it is, while a foreign historian could fully understand the problem.  Mr Gandhi should know that Islam brings in its train revolutionary ideas, which overshadow the special characteristics of different people who accept Islam as their creed and religion.  Islam brings complete metamorphsis in the outlook towards life, character, social behaviour, political thoughts and sense of value and proportion of every convert to Islam....."

Iftikhar-ul-Haq continues:

"From the above discussion, another fact is prominently conspicuous, viz., Mussalmans can have no compromise, but only a treaty with non-Muslims.  The very idea of forming a composite organization with non-Muslims is alien to Islamic teachings and philosophy.  Mussalmans can enter into coalitions with non-Muslim bodies but they can never merge their entity with non-Muslims and must keep their independent national character intact.  So there is a religious bar for Muslims to enter into a political organization formed of all the heterogenous elements such as Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, etc."


Well, Pakistan has had 62+ years to demonstrate that the theory above is workable.

K.L. Gauba

I came across the book "The Consequences of Pakistan", 1946,  by K.L. Gauba and was curious about the author.  Read about him here.

"Half-a-century ago, if the name of K L Gauba had been in any general knowledge examination paper, almost every candidate would have got the answer correct : eldest son of the banker millionaire and first Hindu minister of Punjab, Lala Harkishan Lal Gauba; barrister, author, politician; a man who took his religion and his women as it suited him; much censured and much reviled for whatever he did.
What made Kanahya Lal Gauba the odd man out in every society is not very hard to guess. His father was the most distinguished and respected Punjabi of his times. K.L. , as he was popularly known, flouted social norms of the times, by going through a much publicised conversion to Islam almost entirely to hurt his father - as Mahatma Gandhi's son had done to him. He was careful to retain his initial identity and never used his new name Khalid Latif in full. As a convert, he won the hearts of Punjabi Muslims and cashed in on his popularity by winning an election to the Punjab Assembly from a purely Muslim constituency which included Lahore's notorious red light district, Hira Mandi, where he had been a familiar figure even before his conversion. Although he wrote a book on the life of the Prophet Mohammed, it was common knowledge that his conversion was 'naam ke vastey' and 'kaam ke vastey'."
"On the partition of the country, Khalid Latif Gauba did not stay on in Muslim Pakistan but migrated to India with other Hindus and Sikhs. A few months later I ran into him in Simla. He had acquired a very lovely, young, burqa-clad Begum from Hyderabad. After some time the Hyderabadi Begum vanished and was replaced by another lady, and later yet another. K.L. settled down in Bombay but his practice never picked up. He moved from big to smaller apartments and then to a lodging house. He tried to add to his meagre income by writing articles and books. He churned out another scissors-and-paste job listing atrocities committed against Indian Muslims which, though entirely unauthenticated, provided plenty of propaganda fodder to Pakistan. K.L. gradually sank into poverty and spent his last years living on the charity of his step-brother, M L Gauba and his generous-hearted Sindhi wife, Gopi."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ayesha Jalal's thesis

"By apparently repudiating the need for any centre, and keeping quiet about its shape, Jinnah calculated that when eventually the time came to discuss an all-India federation, British and Congress alike would be forced to negotiate with organised Muslim opinion, and would be ready to make substantial concessions to create or retain that centre. The Lahore resolution should therefore be seen as a bargaining counter, which had the merit of being acceptable (on the face of it) to the majority-province Muslims, and of being totally unacceptable to the Congress and in the last resort to the British also. This, in turn, provided the best insurance that the League would not be given what it now apparently was asking for, but which Jinnah in fact did not really want" (The Sole Spokesman; page 57).
The problem with this thesis is that at no time during the negotiations did Jinnah really agree to a meaningful centre. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Two by Feroz Khan

Two by Feroz Khan.  Emphasis added, and some proof-reading

By following this thread and observing how the argumentative lines of logic are developing, it is interesting to witness a gradual emergence of an intellectual mea culpa. It seems, from comments posted and replies made to them, that debate is being characterized as one between resident Pakistanis and non-resident Pakistanis and their view on Islam; with the non-resident Pakistani identified as seeking a more extremist response to the end of a religious role, while the resident Pakistanis suggesting that Islam/religion is not a problem, but its interpretation which is the root of all the evil in Pakistan.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

From The Fundamentalist's Pen

With all due respect i must say to please accept the Islam as it is. This is not only a divine revelation but also a test for any one who believe…many things sound barbaric and extreme to modern human mind but in reality it is in the benefit of mankind. If you allow a 4 year old boy to enter in operation theater, he will be terrorized for the rest of his life because what he will see is group of people with the mask tearing and cutting a human body with knives.Same is true for Islam.

This world is not a infinite thing.Our lives is even much much shorter. Do not fail in this test by changing the questions rather giving a right answer.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Regarding Direct Action

Communal Riots in Bengal, 1905-1947 by Suranjan Das

In its editorial on Direct Action on 1 August 1947, the Asr-e-Jadid {a newspaper that supported the Muslim League} stated candidly: 'to the Muslim Direct Action means a fight and a fight implies violence', see Government of Bengal, Home Dept., Political Notes on the Causes of the Calcutta Disturbances August 1946,(Calcutta 1946; hereafter PNC), p.7;

Friday, September 3, 2010

A comment

From PakTeaHouse:

Raj (the other one)
Dear Gorki,
Thanks for your response. I appreciate the idealism in your words. A good measure of idealism is a must for any society.
You are a fellow Indian, and I respect your right to your sentiments. To be truthful, in my school years I had similar thinking.
I am flattered to be mistaken for an intellectual of the JNU types but the truth is that I am just an ordinary apolitical Indian from a small ordinary Indian town.
I have never been able to see any intellectuality in the JNU types. It is a pseudo-intellectuality, based on proposing ill-fitting semantic constructs on a society, constructs imported unfiltered from Western social and political thinkers; denying local cultural reality; using a sham outward attire to show identification with the underprivileged. If they were in USA, none of them would even be considered for a seat in a think-tank. But India has many jokers, be it the politicians or the JNU jholawallas. There is also a place for them in India.
The Truman quote is appropriate because while my post about corruption in India and its fragility as a state may have upset you but it is the sad truth.
Believe me, I am not upset by the ‘sad truth’. In fact I am not upset at all. I am however often amazed by the conclusions that are drawn, and justifications that are made, based on the ‘sad truth’.
I have developed certain stereotypes of Indians, for getting a first impression and measure of a man. Now no stereotype, or even a set of stereotypes, can really capture the complexity of a human, but it is a start.
My intent is not to degrade anybody or hurt anybody’s feelings, but based on some of your comments, I’d like to venture a stereotype. So have some patience with me here.
It is not that I am ashamed of India or am oblivious of its successes.
The double-negatives here indicate actually a very deep shame. That thought would not even whistle past someone who feels at ease in his skin and amongst his people.
I root passionately for India during the cricket matches and anxiously await the good news of its scientific endeavors like the Chandrayaan launch with each press release.
Interesting here is not, what is mentioned as targets/objects of pride, but what is negated through this shortlisting.
The shortlisting is based not on what constitutes a nation, the culture, the faiths, the people and their customs, the history of the people and the nation. Rather it is based on a West-sanctioned political correctness manifesto regarding patriotism. Sport is considered ‘halaal’ as an outlet for patriotism. In fact it is deemed as mandatory for de-racinated-marxist-liberals, so that they not be accused of being unpatriotic. As far as scientific achievements go, that too is given a green flag. It is thought that pursuit of science, would aid in uprooting people from their culture and religion. The Western manifesto writers however forget that scientific curiosity and pursuit, have been at the heart of the Indic thought process. Scientific thought is at home in India. It can never be the trojan horse that they assumed to smuggle in. But the de-racinated-marxist-liberals buy the Western argument that it is a trojan horse and show willingness to cheer India’s scientific achievements.
I beam with pride when I see the PM represent India at the G8 meet as an equal partner
It is fine and good that India can speak with others at still another forum. But there is not the least need for any of us, to feel pride if an outsider accepts us or not. Our equality with other nations, the equality of Indian citizens with citizens of other nations, is not ordained by their reaction to us.
Most of the time I live in Germany. Half of my family is German. Would I be feeling pride if other Germans accept me and talk to me? Is that some sort of honor. My self-esteem is not a function of acceptance of me by anybody. It is rooted in my heritage, it is rooted in my culture which allows me, to be open-minded, pluralistic, rational, self-critical, forward-looking. It is rooted in my citizenship of Republic of India.
or hear western media men like Tom Freidman who once described India admiringly as a ‘showcase democracy, with a Hindu majority, its Government headed by a Sikh PM and a catholic woman as the head of its largest and oldest political Party under a Muslim President’
I am a fan of Tom Friedman. I think for an American he has the ability to transcend the self-centrism of America and look for values and trends in other parts of the world. He is able to see, salvation of the world, emanating from quarters other than the Eurocentric world view.
Pluralism has however been a hallmark of Indian Civilization, and is not something that suddenly becomes visible as soon as a Westerner sheds light on to it. Tom Friedman’s message is meant for the Westerners who know little about India. His message is not meant for giving Indians self-esteem.
or the predictions of India becoming a larger economy than the US by mid century.
The Indian economy was a giant in the past. It was not called the jewel of the British crown for nothing. Here some figures – the Indian share of the World GDP in the past (as per Angus Maddison) was:
1 32%
1000 28%
1500 24.3%
1600 22.3%
1700 24.4%
1820 16%
1870 12%
1913 7.4%
1950 4.1%
1973 3%
2003 5.5%
So a thousand years ago, our GDP was ~ a third of the world.
There is nothing extraordinary that our GDP share will rise in the future.
I am truly thrilled about all that. Yet I am also not unaware of the unfinished business we have on our hands. The same man after which the premier Indian University you mentioned is named
JLN was indeed a great man, because he gave India a vision, he gave inspiration and he gave India an industrial base. At the same time he was also allowed grave failures in leadership.
The University is there, and it instills a social conscience among the Indians, but at the same time, the graduates are corrupted by a foreign narrative of goodness. They end up becoming tools of Western interests.
laid out the task clearly for all of us in the early years of our Republic when he mentioned that ‘as long as there are tears and suffering, our job will not be done’. I wrote those words of caution in my earlier post on this forum to highlight all that still remains to be done.
That is a mission statement, that our first PM gave us. Both you and me, and a billion other Indians have to try to fulfill that.
What the de-racinated marxist-liberals of India however do is that they instrumentalize poverty and try to push ideological crap, policies which would only do cosmetic changes to poverty, instead of eradicating it. Secondly they try to wrap themselves around poverty, using it as their flag, and do moral grand-standing. Important is not how much one bi.ches about poverty, but rather how much of one’s own money and effort one invests fighting it and bringing opportunity to the underprivileged. Using poverty as a stick to beat India will not remove poverty.
When a politician like Jayalalitha decides to publicly flout her ill gotten wealth in a 100 crore wedding for a close relative or the President of the Medical council of India is caught with literally tons of gold in his possession it does not appear to me that the economic growth or the growing middle class is enforcing more accountability. If anything it demonstrates a growing corruption industry keeping pace with prosperity along with a near absence of any shame among the corrupt elite.
Middle Class empowerment is both an economic as well as an awareness issue. The development takes time. Anybody can sit on the high horse and look down upon society. It is when middle class instead of becoming a disenchanted non-voting voter group becomes a majority, politically aware and a serious voter group, would one see the changes you would like.
It is perhaps considered old fashioned or in poor taste to bring up such things and call them shameful but I cannot help it because I know of no other way to improve things if we do not shine a spotlight on it or are repulsed by it.
No there is nothing wrong with increasing awareness of the problems in our country. However you are talking to our Pakistani cousins here. Do you think, they will come over and bring us democratic and good-governance heaven?
Discussion of Indian poverty on a Pakistani forum is meant for only one purpose – to preserve the illusion that India and Pakistan are equal nations sharing the same problems and doomed to the same fate. This forms the basis of Pakistani arguments why India should come to the table, and treat Pakistan as an equal. The Pakistanis feel falsely reassured when Indians show the same despondency, the Pakistanis feel at the moment for their country. The Pakistanis want to be reassured that they did not make a mistake at the time of Partition. The Pakistanis want to be reassured that the ideological basis of their state, Islam, is just as effective as a political and social ideology, as any state ideology that Hindu India comes up with. You are only feeding their appetite for reassurance, instead of telling them to do some open-minded introspection outside the bounds imposed by Islam.
I post such things not out dislike for India but as a word of caution out of my love for my Republic.
India is more than just a Republic.
I beg to differ here. There is a reason for concern, very great concern here.
I could not care less about what the Arabs or the Indonesians think but when I see our own teenagers dying on our own streets throwing rocks at our own security forces I am concerned at what our republic is coming to.

I wonder why there are no Kashmiri Pundit kids throwing rocks amongst the teenagers you mention from Kashmir!
Perhaps for an extreme nationalist it is not a problem; it is India, right or wrong and a ‘little mayhem’ as you mention it is nothing new.
As for me, I believe in the Republic of India, founded upon noble principles of tolerance and justice for all, and held together with the implied consent of all its constituents.
It is not an Indian Empire, to be held together by force.

India is neither an empire, nor just a republic. It is a nation, and this nation was there long before it became a republic. Depending on the time period, it may have been politically consolidated or fragmented. The sages and rishis gave this land a common life-philosophy and values; and imbibed the rulers of the land with the same political philosophy. India is the custodian of a 5000 year old civilization.
If you want to feel India, you have to close your eyes and meditate on the billions of souls around you, their aspirations and their vibrancy; on the land that has seen so much history flow through time; on our forefathers, and their fathers and mothers, who toiled this land and poured love onto their children. We are the bearers of their legacy.
The Indian Nation is like a Carriage, and the Indian Republic, our Constitution, our values are the Horse. This Horse has to take the Indian Carriage in a forward direction, in the direction of social peace and prosperity, in the direction of individual achievement and and scientific progress.
However I get the feeling some would rather get up on Horse and start giving sermons and berating the Carriage. The Horse is in the service of the Carriage, and not for bearing on it with its hooves.
Moral Grandstanders may like to mount the Horse and they will feel good about themselves. They may even find a few cheerleaders, but all in all they do the Nation no service.
The Republic of India has my utmost loyalty and will have it till the last breath in my body, but if you take away that idea of it then what remains is not a nation. Neither was it ever a nation in the past nor can it be a nation in the future and then I feel nothing for it. Moreover I am not alone many more Indians feel that way.
That is what I mean. Some people think, it was the British who gave us India. In fact, this is an idea, that is so vigorously propounded by the Western academics, that it would make one laugh, were it not for the tragedy of so many idiots who would fall for something like this.
After all, it all comes from a colonized mind. You have accepted the White Man as your superior, as the only one able to impart to you rational thoughts. The White Man gave us history, and before that we were all just apes jumping from tree to tree.
The ideas of secularism, pluralism, just political system, consensus building, rational dialog all have their roots in Indian philosophy. It is the White Man, who is trying to sell you Indian goods with a made-in-West label, because the Western World Order needs a Western narrative.
It is Indian Civilization, the Indian Nation, that has allowed the Republic of India to be realized. Why else would Indian democracy survive in a land with such diversity and after having survived a thorough plundering by Central-Asian Turks, Persians, Arabs and Brits alike?
The Indian Republic is not a book given by the British Gods to Jawahar Lal Nehru, according to which India had to be ruled!
Without the Indian Nation, the Indics, there would have been no Republic of India.
What I fear is that you wish to understand the Indian Constitution as a new ideology, in the process becoming just another ideologist like Communist, Islamist, Capitalist, etc. The Indian Constitution is a living embodiment of the aspirations of a nation, but the nation is much more than just the Constitution.
If you want to come along on the Indian journey, you should come in the carriage. Nobody should ride the Horse and do meaningless grandstanding. Fighting for the Constitution and not the people, it is supposed to protect, is, I believe, another compromise a man with an inferiority complex would make. Love the Constitution but hate the Nation, because Constitution given by nice White God.
Once the constitutional guarantees and the covenants that bind us together are stripped away, we have no India; only a geographical expression, as an Englishman once remarked.
Exactly, what I mean. “As an Englishman once remarked”!
I think you got a wrong impression. I am not afraid of the Pakistanis. What I am afraid of is the Jihadist ideology misleading our teenagers and interfering with our own process of nation building.
Jihadism is simply the natural evolution of Pakistaniyat. There is nothing to fear from evolution, one just needs to be prepared for it.
In fact, Pakistaniyat is a mid-way house between Indic values and full-throttled Islamism. As such the Indian Muslims are far more susceptible to Pakistaniyat than Talibanism. With Pakistaniyat, they get the feeling that it is Indian version of Islam, which it is not. Pakistaniyat has the extra aspect, that Muslims are a nation apart from all others. But that difference can get lost in the bonhomie.
Once Pakistan makes the irreversible transition to Talibanism, the proposition in front of the Indian Muslim youth would be far more clear – to be part of the Indian mainstream or to ape the Talibaniac Pakistanis.
Each time we have to suspend civil liberties in any part of India or an Indian under trial is killed in an ‘encounter’ it interferes with our own process of nation building. It corrupts us as people and weakens our republic and its values. It takes away our legitimacy and more importantly the loyalty of our own citizens. Such situations are best avoided.
All this is true. Mostly this happens in areas where the Indian nation has become too diluted through the infiltration of foreign ideologies. As India rises, the pull of these foreign ideologies would weaken, as the people are reconnected with their roots.
I have no doubt in my mind that separatist movements in India are wrong and need to be countered. It is only that how they are countered will decide whether we end up with a Quebec or a Chechnya on our hands.
One of the main tools of secessionists is propaganda. Truth is one thing, propaganda is another. In war, truth is the first casualty. If there is a huge pool of people telling the world that gruesome atrocities are being committed, then you are batting for the secessionists. It is as clear as that.
As soon as the Kashmiri Pundits were thrown out of Kashmir, it stopped being ethnic separatism and became a Pakistan-induced insurgency, who again were willing to use religion for political purposes.
Kashmir was a part of India long before Islam came to the subcontinent. It will also stay that way, as the Republic of India has the instrument of accession in her favor. How soon the current inhabitants of Kashmir with their alien pan-Islamist thinking come to their senses is up to them. Otherwise the Center has been pumping more money into the development of the Valley far in excess of funds other parts of India receive.
I don’t think the peace lobby in Pakistan can convince it to let go of Kashmir. It is only the Kashmiris who can do it; if they demonstrate unmistakably their own preference for India.
Kashmir remains part of India because the Indian nation owes it to the memory of the Indic ancestors of present-day Kashmiris, as well as the offspring of present-day Kashmiris, whatever their faith may be, who would want one day to enjoy some music once in a while and not want to carry beards, like in the country next door.
Pakistanis can keep on craving for Kashmir until the sun goes out. It doesn’t make a difference. Perhaps Kashmir was indeed an issue JLN left behind to unmake Pakistan. Very very clever indeed. The abyss the Pakistanis are seeing approaching is because of their determination to stay on the Kashmir course. Without Kashmir, there would not have been so many Jihadis roaming around in Pakistan.
The current troubles in the valley don’t help and must come to a peaceful end. They are in part driven by an ideology that has rightly or wrongly, captured the imagination of a large number of Muslim youth across Asia and it does not recognize international boundaries.
You are talking about the same ideology on which Pakistan is founded.
That ideology has to be defeated decisively; once and for all. In that we share a common interest with those in Pakistan who want to take their own country into the 21st century rather than the 7th.
What makes you think you share a common interest with Pakistani liberals?
What Pakistani liberals want is a soft-Islam, which allows them the privileges of the modern world, their freedoms. That much is ok. But hardly any ‘Pakistani Liberal’ is going to question the Two Nation Theory. Hardly any Pakistani would go ahead and say, that Kashmiris should remain in India, because the Indian Constitution is willing to provide them with full civilian rights.
The Pakistani Liberals are staunch Muslim nationalists, who think that religion can be a basis for nationhood. They only want that the ensuing nation should not start asking them to stop hearing music and carrying long beards.
On the other hand, they look for Indian ‘peace-lovers’ who are willing to totally eschew their Hindu faith, call themselves atheists, distance themselves from the Indian Nation itself, and bind themselves with some abstract values of humanism, constitutionalism, secularism, Marxism without the context of their applicability for the nation, people.
These Indians/Hindus accept the Pakistanis despite their Muslim chauvinism all in the name of secularism, whereas the Muslims only promise support for reform in Islam, for moderation.
And the Indians think both of them are meeting half-way. Now that is a joke.
I, (along with Raza and Tilsim among others) have been misunderstood so far by every one (including Hayyer Sahib) when we talk about an Indian engagement with Pakistan. No one is asking for a peace summit with the GOP or a meeting with the ISI etc. Such talks are bound to fail even if there were the best of intentions on both sides because the necessary mind set is not there among the ordinary people who have learnt to reflexively consider the ‘other’ as an enemy.
Indians consider Pakistan as the enemy not reflexively but because of a history of attacks, facts on the ground. Pakistanis consider Indians as the enemy because of establishment propaganda from childhood – very effective propaganda, especially as it is built on fears, rumors, hate of the Kufr and hardly any truth.
There is no need to consider them as equivalent.
While media and business contacts among such people can not deliver Kashmir or bring Mumbai attackers to justice,
It almost sounds as if one is equating the righteousness of finding justice for Mumbai Attacks and delivering Kashmir to the Pakistanis on a platter.
it can, if initiated and sustained over time, help each to see the other side as something more than a single dimension caricature that neatly fits in a stereotype of the ‘enemy’.
For the Indian, the ‘enemy’ in Pakistan is based on historical facts, Mumbai 26/11 just being the latest of such facts. When the ‘enemy’ is as such very real, is it of any interest to know that in Pakistan there is also ‘qawwali’ and ‘mujra’?
On the other hand, in Pakistan, the ‘enemy’ in India is based on institutional brain-washing. Many institutions in Pakistan, many vested interests in Pakistan are based on keeping the ‘enemy’ in India. The Pakistani liberals, I concede, may not wish this trend. However I think, this has a lot more to do with the predicament of their country, rather than some holistic sentiment.
So the single dimensional caricature of the other has a justification – for India it is to not allow distraction from reality; and for Pakistan it is to not allow a weakening of the institutions.
For example an Indian on the street must learn that a Pakistani is not only either a cricketer or a fiyadeen but can also be a journalist and a secular thinker like Rumi or even an uninteresting and uninterested clerk or a school teacher who is concerned with nothing more than everyday life.
I think the common man in India is generally aware of the diversity in any society, both in opinions and in professions.
The Pakistanis similarly must find out for themselves how few Indians know or care about the RSS or Varun Gandhi and how many of them have similar concerns about power shortages and rising food costs and honor killings.
Ah yes, .. they need the assurance that the Indians too are sharing Hell with them.
It is only after a prolonged period of such benign and ordinary but increasing contacts across the border, between media, business people etc, when we small town people start recognizing each other for what we are; can you intelligent and important people then start talking big words like ‘summits’ and ‘national priorities’.
Yes, wish you success!
PTH seems like an ideal watering hole for such contacts and Raza’s call one such call for more of these. That’s all!
Well then, don’t let anybody stop you!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Independence of India and the Muslim League

On the eve of the anniversary of Indian Independence, I thought it to be worthwhile to post a reminder of just whom was responsible for attainment of Independence.  The following are excerpts from Volume X of the Transfer of Power 1942-47, edited by Mansergh and Moon.  These are all from the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, and are a record of Jinnah's request for Pakistan to have dominion status in the British Commonwealth.    Jinnah's arguments in that regard are revealing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Apologia for the Pew Research Poll

The 2010 Pew Research poll found that Pakistanis overwhelmingly supported harsh punishments for various transgressions as prescribed in traditional Islam. C.H.U.P. attempts to find some nuance in the results.

I.M.O., this nuance-seeking mission creates more problems than it resolves.

In the case of the results generated in Pew’s Religion, Law, and Society section of the survey, respondents were asked black-and-white questions, like, “Do you favor or oppose making stoning people who commit adultery the law in Pakistan?” According to Moeed Yusuf, a South Asia Advisor at the U.S. Institute of Peace, much of the so-called “Muslim World” find it difficult to go against anything seen as ordained by Islam. He added, “At an abstract level, Islam remains important to even the most secular of Muslims — remember Islam is very candid about state and religion being an integrated whole (at least in the classic narrative) and so such questions would elicit such responses.”

When faced with a choice between what they are supposed to say and what they actually practice, respondents tend to match abstract questions with equally abstract answers. However, Yusuf noted, “Do they want to be flogged or stoned for the same sin? No way. What about their own family members? Most probably not.”

How any communication can happen when you cannot say what you really think, but say only what you're supposed to say, is beyond me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Some census information

Since this is important for the joint electorate + reservations issue:

Undivided India
Percent of Total Population in Each Religion 1881-1941

                  Hindu    Muslim

1881              78.09    19.97
1891              74.24    20.41
1901              72.87    21.88
1911              71.68    22.39
1921              70.73    23.23
1931              70.67    23.49
1941              69.46    24.28

From Davis Kingsley, The Population of India and Pakistan, ~1951.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wolpert on the Delhi Muslim Proposals

Wolpert (in Jinnah of Pakistan) tells us:
Jinnah sensed well before the end of February 1928 that Hindu Mahasabha pressure had persuaded Congress to back off from its acceptance the previous May of his new constitutional compromise.
To see what happened,  we need to see what happened in the Indian National Congress meeting,  in December 1927.  Subsequents posts will do the needful.

PS: The Congress, in its Madras, December 1927 session, carried a resolution unanimously that seems to have accepted the Delhi Muslim Proposals.  I'll post the proceedings later.  The question now is what happened after December 1927 but before February 1928 for Jinnah to feel that the Congress had backed away from the proposal?

PPS: What Wolpert does tell us is that the Muslim League had a split and held parallel sessions in Calcutta and Lahore.  What Wolpert does not tell us is that while the Calcutta session, attended by Jinnah, reaffirmed the Delhi Muslim Proposals (except that Sind, Baluchistan, N.W.F.P. reorganization had to be completed before joint electorates with reservations would come into effect), the Lahore session rejected the proposal.
This meeting of the All-India Muslim League declares that neither the proposals formulated by some Muslims in their individual capacity at Delhi on March 2nd 1927 {sic, should be March 20th 1927}, in their original form nor in their amended form as passed by the Congress at Madras are acceptable to the Mussalmans of India.
The next step in this examination will be the All Parties Conference in Delhi, February 12-22, 1928.
After that, Wolpert tells us that in March 1928,
Jinnah convened his League council, which officially "regretted that the Hindu Mahasabha has practically rejected the Muslim League proposals."
IMO, this is a way of backing out that Jinnah used later: when he inadvertently came to accord with Rajendra Prasad in 1935, he then demanded that the Hindu Mahasabha leaders must accept the accord, and that was the end of that.  Of course, that is my guess - let us see what happened as recorded in the Indian Annual or Quarterly Register.

Congress response to the Delhi Muslim Proposals

Source: The Indian Quarterly Register vol 1 (1927)
New Digital Library of India.

Summary of the Proceedings of the Working Committee which met at Taj Mahal Hotel, Bombaby, 15th May 1927 and the following days.

Initial Congress reactions to the Delhi Muslim proposals

Source: The Indian Quarterly Register vol 1 (1927)
New Digital Library of India.
Congress Working Committee's Views.

The above decision in respect of joint electorates in the forthcoming constitution was considered by the Congress Working Committee at its meeting in New Delhi on the 21st March and it appointed a sub- committee to discuss details ; but the Committee recorded satisfaction on the whole at the resolution of the Mahomedans. The Working Committee was attended by Messrs. S. Srinivasa Iyengar and A. Rangaswami Iyengar, President and Secretary, respectively of the Committee, Pandit Nehru, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, Dr. M. A. Ansari and Mr. Prakasam.

The following resolution was unanimously passed on the electorate question :—

"The Working Committee considered the report of the informal conference of the representative Mahomedan gentlemen from nil parts of India together with the proceedings at the meeting of the Hindu Members of the Congress Party during the last week. The Committee cordially appreciates the decision arrived at the Muslim conference to accept the institution of joint electorates all over the country with reciprocal concessions in favour of the minorities. The following sub-committee was constituted to discuss details with the representatives of the Muslim conference and of the Hindu community :—Mrs. Sarojini Naidu. Pandit Motilal Nehru, Mr. Srinivasa Iyengar and Maulana Mahomed Ali. The Committee trusts that upon this basis a satisfactory settlement of the differences between the Hindus and Mahomedans will be speedily effected."


The Delhi Muslim Proposals

Source: The Indian Quarterly Register vol 1 (1927)
New Digital Library of India.

This is the one time the Muslim League agreed to joint electorates but hedged with conditions.

Prelude to the Delhi Muslim proposals

Source: The Indian Quarterly Register vol 1 (1927)
New Digital Library of India.


The Hindu members of the Congress Party in the Assembly met on the 17th March in New Delhi to exchange views on the directions in which modification of the existing system of communal representation was desirable. The meeting was of a private nature and no decision was arrived at though there was unanimity of feeling on the broad aspects of the question.

Some Muslim leaders also met at Dr. Ansari's house on the same day and felt their ground on the same subject. The Nationalist Party too discussed the same question in the light of their party's view on the subject. Lala Lajpat Rai's party also proposed calling a meeting of all the Hindu members of the Central Legislature, both elected and nominated, on the 23rd.

Council of State, March 16, 1927

 Source: The Indian Quarterly Register vol 1 (1927)
New Digital Library of India.

Council of State, March 16, 1927
Deliberations on the Hindu-Muslim problem.
These were referred to in arriving at what are called the Delhi Muslim proposals.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Another Wolpertism

Just came across another instance of Stanley Wolpert's creative approach to writing history.  In chapter 8 of "Jinnah of Pakistan",  Wolpert writes:
On February 12 {1928}, Jinnah attended the All-Parties Conference chaired by Congress president Ansari in Delhi.  Motilal and Jawaharlal were there, as were Lajpat Rai, Malaviya, Jayakar, and most of the other leaders of political India.   Gandhi did not attend; he remained at his Sabarmati ashram, placing as he did so little faith in constitutional planning.
Short version: Wolpert is wrong in why Gandhi did not attend.

Long version:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

From the Hindustan Times by the famous cartoonist Shankar (as found in "Tragedy of Jinnah", Kailash Chander, 1941) (click on the image to enlarge it)

What was the aim before Mr. Jinnah ? What did he want to achieve ? What for all this fretting and fuming ? Why did not the Muslim League have a policy, a programme and an ideal ? These were the questions asked in many sober quarters. * Shankar ' the great cartoonist of India, depicted Mr. Jinnah in a wrestling mood showing his fists to Congress, Mr. Savarkar and Lord Linlithgow. , A press representative was depicted asking him, " What are you fighting for, Qaid-i-Azam ? " And Mr. Jinnah was depicted replying " I shall find out when the fight is over !" This cartoon appeared in one of the most widely read papers in India namely The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, just before the Muslim League session at Lahore.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Muslim League Secularism

B.G. Kaushik, in "The House That Jinnah Built", tells us:
The Muslim League leaders positively disapproved of the statement when M. Atay, the leader of the Turkish press mission to India, in a press interview in Lahore on January 28, 1943, stated, "We are Turks first, Muslims afterwards.  Religion is an honourable institution but it is individual and personal and has no place in the politics of our country."
I would love to learn in what terms the Muslim League leaders expressed their disapproval.

China, too

This is from 1944, "The House that Jinnah Built", by B.G. Kaushik. 

[Jinnah] has not hesitated to align himself with the most reactionary forces in the country.......

Mr Jinnah is reported to have not even spared Muslims of another nation of his disruptionist message and "strongly disapproved of the Chinese Muslims' co-operation with the Hans, as the majority of the Chinese are sometimes called."

Footnote: John Kin in an article published in the American magazine "Asia" refers to the attitude of Chinese Muslims towards Pakistan and the Indian Muslim League.  Kin says in the article: "A written appeal, addressed to Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, President of the Indian Muslim League, urging him to co-operate with the Indian National Congress, was drafted to be signed by General Omar Pai Chungshi, China's No. 1 Mohammedan general and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Chinese Army, in his capacity as President of the Chinese Islamic Salvation Federation, representing all of the Chinese Muslims."

Then Kin refers to the Chinese goodwill mission brought to India by Mr Othman K.H. Woo in 1941.  He writes, Mr. Woo's "mission in India, however was merely to inform the Muslims there of the activities of their Chinese co-religionists, and to gather information on the spot about Muslims in India.....In an interview, he (Mr. Woo) reported back to Chungking, the President of the Indian Muslim League was quoted as having strongly disapproved of the Chinese Muslims' co-operation with the Hans, as the majority of the Chinese population are sometimes called."

Majlis-i-Ahrar, Part 5

To summarize from earlier parts: the Majlis-i-Ahrar (MiA) broke with the Congress over the uncompromising attitude of the MiA on independence (Congress was happy to work for dominion status as an interim goal).  The MiA broke with the Muslim League over the same issue of independence, over the money required for standing for election, and last but not least, on the status of Ahmedis in the Muslim League.  This last was natural, since "Muslim League" provokes the question: "who is a Muslim?".

The above is not consonant with the version of history in the Munir Report.

Majlis-i-Ahrar, Part 4

Oxford University Press is due to release any day now, the following book:
A Socio-Political Study
Samina Awan
ISBN13: 9780199060115ISBN10: 0199060118 Hardback, 350 pages

In the meantime, one of Samina Awan's papers is available here.
J.R.S.P. (Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, Vol 45, No 1, 2008)

Remember the Munir Report said that
(1) the Ahrar split from the Congress over matters of religion
(2) the Ahrar always execrated the Muslim League.

Samina Awan's paper tells a different story.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cartoon ~1941

From the Hindustan Times by the famous cartoonist Shankar (as found in "Tragedy of Jinnah", Kailash Chander, 1941) (click on the image to enlarge it)

Majlis-i-Ahrar, Part 3

From Part 2, note the following about the Ahrar: "In their dealings with the Congress, religion was a private affair to them and nationalism their ideology. When they were pitted against the League, their sole consideration was Islam of which they held a monopoly from God, and the League was not only indifferent to but an enemy of Islam."

It suggests that the Ahrar saw the Congress as purely a political party; but the Muslim League as competition in the religious realm.

Of course, the Munir report also says about the Ahrar: "They left the Congress on grounds of religion, and they opposed the Muslim League and Pakistan on that ground." 

The grounds for the Ahrar splitting away from the Congress need to be examined.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Majlis-i-Ahrar, Part 2

The Munir Report, issued as an investigation into the anti-Ahmedi riots in Pakistan, in 1953, have a good bit to say about the responsible party, the Majlis-i-Ahrar.  These are reproduced below, with some highlights emphasized by me.  Later, I will attempt a simple explanation.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


It is claimed (where else, on Pakteahouse) that Gandhi supported the Majlis-i-Ahrar. On Wiki (in a disputed article) it is claimed that the Congress "freely funded" the Majlis-i-Ahrar.   This needs to be checked.  What are the mentions of the Ahrar in Gandhi's collected works?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

October 1938

New Digital Library of India
The Indian Annual Register (1938) Volume 2
Page 17
Chief Events:

October 7th:  The proposal for a separate Moslem Federation to be discussed by the Working Committee of the All-India Moslem League.

October 10th: A resolution urging that India be divided into two Federations, one for Moslems and other for non-Moslem groups was adopted at the Sindh Moslem League Conference.


Page 352 onwards:

The Sind Muslim League Conference
Welcome Address-Karachi-8th October 1938

Sir Abdulla Haroon read the welcome address...As long as the the majority community failed to recognise the deep-rooted suspicion of the minorities that their interests were not safe in the hands of the majority, unless they were afforded adequate safeguards and protection there was no prospect of a solution of the problem and if the patience of Muslim India is tried to its utmost capacity it might have no alternative left but to seek their salvation in their own way in an independent federation of Muslim states.   Sir Abdulla sounded a note of warning that the recent happenings in Czecho-Slovakia would repeat themselves in India if the majority community persisted in their unreasonable attitude and stand in the way of Muslims realising their ambition.....

Sir Abdulla then referred to the happenings in provinces where the Congress is ruling and said that the very culture, religion and existence of the Muslim community were in jeopardy and they had despaired of getting any justice at the hands of the majority community.   We have nearly arrived at the parting of the ways and until and unless this problem is solved to the satisfaction of all it will be impossible for anybody to save India from being divided into Hindu-India and Muslim India both placed under separate federations.  .....


However, page 366, "Resolutions - Karachi - 10th. October 1938" does not contain an explicit demand for two federations.   What they have is:

"The conference adopted a resolution, recommending to the All-India Muslim League to review and revise the entire question of a suitable constitution for India, which would secure the honourable status due to Muslims and disapproving of the All India Federation embodied in the Government of India Act of 1935."

In 1940, in Lahore, (The Indian Annual Register, 1940, Vol 1), it is reported:

"Sir Abdulla Haroon, M.L.A. (central) said that it was a well known fact that the Muslims came to India through Sind.  Sind Muslims were the first to moot this question which was now before the League.   In 1938 the Muslim League passed a resolution for establishing 'independent states' in the north-western and eastern zones.  Since then various constitutional schemes had been framed and they were now being examined by a command that it was the duty of the Muslims to pass it without any hitch.  Sir Abdulla Haroon warned the Hindus that if the Muslims in Hindu province were not justly treated, the Hindus in the Muslim provinces would be treated in the same way in which Herr Hitler had treated the Sudetans.  The speaker hoped that the proposal embodied in the resolution would be acceptable both to the Hindus and the British as there was no better solution of the thorny problem."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Muslim League Presidential Address, May 24, 1940

We tend to think of Jinnah as the sole spokesman of the All India Muslim League. Not true. In any case, it is time to accumulate more material. Here is the Presidential Address to the Bombay Presidency Muslim League Conference held at Hubli on May 24, 1940.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Governance in Pakistan

SouthAsian uses the ideas of Professor Ralph Russell to explain how Pakistan became the way it is with regard to religion and governance, in three excellent parts:
here, here and here.

There is nothing that you may not already know, if you're a Pakistan-watcher; but the essays are well-written and worth your time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

LUBP looks at liberal blogs too!

With unhappy results.

Selective secularism

This is the second recent article from Pakistan, as shiv notes, that calls for tolerance towards Ahmedis and Christians, but not Hindus or Sikhs.  Is it a new trend?

A clear statement, but is it true?

At PTH, we have argued for the partition as a nuanced set of events that were characterized by extreme mistrust between the two major political forces of that time. These major parties harboured deep distrust against each other. The Muslim League politics increasingly focused on the idea of Pakistan as a bargaining chip to win the rights for the sizeable Muslim majority within the United India. The British hurry to leave the United India, emergence of Muslim League as the sole spokesman for the Muslims, and Congress unwillingness to recognize the Muslim nation demands within the United India resulted in a bloody and messy partition. We still live with the scars of the partition that resulted in one of the largest uprooting and human migration of modern times.... (AZW)

This is a highly disputable version of history.  If you have the patience, absorb the material on The Cabinet Mission Plan website.

If not, just remember that:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The culture of denial

I.A Rehman writes in the Dawn:

It should not have been difficult to see that the honourable parliamentarian was only elaborating one of the Pakistani elite’s main cultural traits — the culture of denial. This norm was adopted first by the elite in nearly all fields of life — politics, warfare, economy, academics and even theology — and has been turned, through centuries of practice, into an essential pillar of belief by the commoners too.

Thus, we the Pakistanis have never done anything wrong. If we ever lost a war the reason lay in the enemy’s perfidy or the duplicity of a traitor in our ranks. All our miseries in pre-partition India were the result of a malevolent alliance against us by the British and the Hindu and at the global scale we are innocent victims of the conspiracies continually hatched by ahle-Hunud-o-Yahood. We had no part in pushing East Bengal out of Pakistan; this was achieved by a ruler who drank and womanised and who was helped by the Soviets and India. Those who are killing people in mosques and shrines are not from us, they are aliens unleashed by hostile external forces.

Pakistanis do not even hesitate to deny their part in their biggest accomplishment, the creation of Pakistan, and blame Congress for this, and this theory gathers more and more supporters as the people see their condition becoming increasingly unbearable. No, we are not responsible for people’s poverty and for making a mess of almost everything. And apart from a distorted interpretation of the belief in a pre-ordained world, there is great material advantage in blaming Providence for all our follies, excesses and misadventures.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Digression - the Christians and the Romans

The issue of the relations between the first Muslims and the pagans of Mecca quickly morphed into a discussion of the Romans and the Christians.

Below is an excerpt from Prof. Balagangadhara's book - The Heathen in His Blindness.  A very rough summary is that the Romans saw religion as tradition, practices handed down by the forefathers; and in that framework they honored all traditions.   The Jews and Christians posed a challenge to the Roman conception.  The Jews however claimed a long history, and so the Romans could "understand" them.  The Roman pagans, however, never really understood the Christians (part of the reason Balu invokes the blindness of the Heathen).

Re: Afghanistan - a welcome admission

The Leader of the Opposition in Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, has called his own policies towards Afghanistan, which were in force when he was Prime Minister, a mistake.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan should stop trying to influence affairs in Afghanistan, the opposition leader said Tuesday, while admitting that the pro-Afghan Taliban policy he pursued when he was prime minister in the 1990s was a failure.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Muslimizing Calcutta

Excerpts from a letter from Raghib Ahsan to M.A. Jinnah, 25 January 1947 follow.   This is from the Zaidi collection of Jinnah papers.  There is no reply from Jinnah to Ahsan in the Zaid collection.  Ahsan's ideas are not in any way binding on Jinnah.  This letter however illustrates the mood of the times.  Demographic engineering was in the air.  The refugees driven from Bihar by Hindu rioters presented an opportunity.

Because of imperfect imaging from my iphone, there are lacunae.

Emphasis added.

The contradiction within Pakistani nationalism

Prof. Ishtiaq Ahmed describes the contradiction within Pakistani nationalism crisply.

Pakistan is not able to shed its foundational idea so easily.  After claiming Pakistan on the grounds that the Muslims of British India were a separate nation by virtue of their religion, it has proved to be impossible to turn around and say that religion is irrelevant to the state.   And if Pakistan is a Muslim state, the question immediately arises - just who is a Muslim?   In fact, this becomes the central question.  So instead of an inclusive nationalism, there is a religion-based nationalism with gradually narrowing answer to this question.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The shape of the Pakistan to come

Excerpts from Jinnah on the nature of the proposed independent, sovereign state or states of the Lahore Resolution.
The Mussalmans should not be afraid of being crushed by the Hindu majority provinces. Let us in the minority provinces, Mr Jinnah said, "face our fate, but free the Muslim Majority provinces to live and form their own government in independent states in according with Islamic laws." (A.P.) {emphasis added}

Speech at a public meeting
Ahmedabad, Dec 27, 1940.
The Civil & Military Gazette, Dec 29, 1940

(Post started on July 5, 2010).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Genesis of Pakistan

Jinnah on the origin of Pakistan:

The only solution therefore was "Pakistan", which was already there and was not of his own creation.

Speech at the Sir Lesli Wilson Muslim Hostel
Karachi, Dec 25, 1940
The Star of India, Dec 26, 1940
Pakistan, went on Mr Jinnah, had existed for ages.  Their homelands were in the north-west and the east where the Mussalmans were even to-day in a majority of 70 percent.

Speech at a public meeting
Ahmedabad, Dec 27, 1940.
The Civil & Military Gazette, Dec 29, 1940
"It was after mature consideration that the Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution popularly known as Pakistan.  Pakistan has been there for centuries.  It is there today and it will remain till the end of the world.  They are our homelands.  They were taken from us, {by the British} and we want them back."

Speech at the meeting of the Muslim University Union
Aligarh, March 10, 1941.

(Post started on July 4, 2010).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

India unsuited for democracy

Another recurrent theme in Jinnah's speeches is that a united India was not suited for democracy.  Nor were the Hindus suited to democracy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fate of Muslims in Partitioned India

The J-Man, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, generously was willing to sacrifice the Muslims who would remain in a partitioned India, as the quotes that accumulate here will show.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What counts?

In the "J-Man and his Pakistan" published in the Daily Times, we are given the number:

Three dozen.
All of these groups, of course, use the same arguments and the same selective quotes out of context from Jinnah.  Jinnah’s ambiguous references to Islam, Islamic ideals and Islamic unity are used to demolish his vision of the state which he clearly expressed on — as per last count — at least three dozen occasions.
To which I add some more numbers:

In my book I showed that there are literally hundreds of references to Islamic terminology and principles in Mr. Jinnah’s speeches. Additionally, whilst he stressed the absolute equality of non-Muslim citizens in Pakistan, he never once used the word ‘secular’ to describe the country.
Prof Abdul Waheed Siddiqui has counted 90 speeches made by Jinnah between 1940 and 1947 in which he spoke of an Islamic State.
 I think Hoodbhoy has it right:
Decades after the horrific bloodbath of Partition, the idea of Pakistan remains hotly debated. It did not help that Jinnah died in 1948, just a year after Pakistan was born, with his plans still ambiguously stated. He authored no books and wrote no policy paper. He did make many speeches, of which several were driven by political expediency and are frankly contradictory. These are freely cherry-picked today, with some finding in them a liberal and secular voice; others, an embodiment of Islamic values. The confusion is irresolvable.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reply to Whither “Progressive” Bacha Khan’s Wife?"

While googling for something else, one link led me back to PakTeaHouse, to this "article". After noting that "Frontier Gandhi" Abdul Ghaffar Khan's first wife died in 1918, and second wife died in 1926, the author says:
Now surely there must be a picture or two of the great Bacha Khan’s wife in public sphere since it has now become fashionable to claim that he worked for women’s empowerment. Can someone please upload it? It is of urgent importance.
Abdul Ghaffar Khan was born in 1890; in 1926 he was 36.  Is there a photograph in the public domain showing him age 36 or younger?

It is further asked:   
So who is Bacha Khan’s wife? Who is Bacha Khan’s sister?  Who is Bacha Khan’s daughter?
Zakia A. Siddiqi and Anwar Jahan Zuber, in an Aligarh Muslim University publication, "Muslim women: problems and prospects", found on, say that
The two Muslim leaders of the freedom struggle who sought to bring political awareness to the women of the Muslim majority provinces dominated by them were Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in the North West Frontier Province of the then united India and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in Kashmir. Both were zealous advocates of education for women and had several schools set up for girls' education. Both were successful in drawing women to their meetings. Badshah Khan, as Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was known, used to say that men and women were like the two wheels of a chariot and that unless the movement was coordinated the chariot would not move. He would attribute the success of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement to the sympathy of the women who made it deep-rooted. It was during Sheikh Abduall and Badshah Khan's time that women began to attend Friday prayers at the mosques in Kashmir and the Frontier Province. Though both these leaders refrained from touching on the desirability of removal of purdah as a whole, it was obvious that they felt about it from the example they set for their own families. Sheikh Abdullah's own wife did not observe purdah. Badshah Khan sent his daughter to a convent and then to college in Lucknow and to London. The family women did not observe purdah.

PS: Badshah Khan's daughter-in-law, Begum Naseem Wali Khan, is a political leader and plenty of photographs of her are available on the web.

PPS: Here claims:
One of his first concerns was the role of women. Badshah Khan had long lamented the traditional system of purdah, which restricts Muslim women from participating fully in society. He encouraged them to come out behind the veil, as the women in his own family had done. His sisters became increasingly active in his movement, until by 1930 they were touring the districts of the Frontier and giving speeches--activities which would have required courage even in the cosmopolitan capitals of Islam, but which in the conservative Frontier showed truly extraordinary daring......

Well known facts of recent vintage

That Bacha Khan encouraged Fakir of Ipi’s militancy against Pakistan is a well known fact - Here

The first case of a revolt against the Pakistani state came from Waziristan by self styled Islamic Amir of Waziristan Faqir of Ipi who denounced Jinnah and Muslim League as “bastions of Qadiyanism”. Faqir of Ipi was supported in his Islamic revolt by none other than Bacha Khan, the frontier Gandhi. - Here

Damned lies and statistics

Over on Let Us Build Pakistan, statistics on "Who buys motorcycles?" was posted.  These are supposed to be numbers from the Pakistan Auto Manufacturers Association.

As reported in The News: 

LAHORE: The production of motorcycles in Pakistan has crossed million units during the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, according to a study conducted by The News.
But the PAMA website (scroll all the way to the lower right) has for July 09 - May 10 (the 11 months of the Pakistani July-to-June fiscal year)  670,892 two wheelers and three wheelers manufactured, and 670,904 sold.

Islam, Muslims in danger

One of the recurrent themes of the All-India Muslim League and its leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, during their campaign for Pakistan, was that Islam and Muslims were in danger in India.  There is a strong denial of this on PakTeahouse..  Since PakTeahouse tends to censor any quotes that actually prove this, it is necessary to put such quotes up here.  I will put them up as and when I notice them.  I'm not going to go out of my way to debunk such crass propaganda.  I will put them in chronological order, with the latest one in a different font color.

Unless otherwise mentioned, the source of the quotes is "Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-E-Azam" in 4 volumes, collected and edited by Khurshid Ahmad Khan Yusufi, and published from Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Which is it?

The author of this dailytimes article quotes Iskandar Mirza on Jinnah as follows:
Even more forthright is the version transmitted to us by Iskandar Mirza who quoted Jinnah as saying, “Shariah? Whose shariah? No. I shall have a modern state.”
But elsewhere,  the same author writes (entire comment copied, emphasis added):
That is not what he said. He was informed late and he turned around and said allegedly – don’t tell me anything. I want my conscience to be clear.

This according to George Cunningham who heard it from someone else… Iskandar Mirza actually… I think. Hardly the world’s best source.

According to Fatima Jinnah however … Jinnah knew nothing about invasion Kashmir. Jinnah had sent three major leftist stalwarts to win over Shaikh Abdullah so it is highly unlikely that he would want to stab his own effort.

But then in the lala land of Ishtiaq Ahmed’s imagination everything is possible.
 One other quote from the dailytimes article is worth noting:
That he was willing to negotiate on the basis of united India till the very end is a fact now well established as a consensus amongst historians studying partition whether in the West or in South Asia.
The problem is that the cited consensus does not exist.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Excerpt from Clow to Wavell

Acting Governor of Bombay Sir A.G. Clow wrote to Lord Wavell on September 27, 1946 outlining his thoughts on the political deadlock in India.  Wavell noted "Interesting, but not, I am afraid, realistic".  Clow advocated essentially yielding to all the Muslim League conditions as a recognition of the reality that the Muslims had an essentially different ethos than the Hindus.  There is part of his note that I think we should keep in mind when trying to understand Pakistan.

Fundamentalism at the foundation

In the Daily Times, Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur points to the fundamentalism at the foundation of Pakistan.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A model of an Islamic society

Hoisted from the comments, by shiv. 

"Liberalism" has always been a part of every Islamic society as a "front",  a layer of protection against kafirs who may get upset and fight Islam. When there is an excess of kafirs the liberals are excused as needing to do "taqiya".

Here are two interrelated images depicting Islamic society

The liberals are marked in pale green as "assimilated Muslims" . (the terminology is from a time when I had not yet seen the connection between this group and liberals)

Pak Tea House may well be an example of loss of liberalism in the sense that the same guys used to tolerate the mullahs and fundamentalists. But an increase in fundamentalism has now put their survival at risk.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pakistan was not a negotiating ploy for the average Muslim Leaguer

Elevated from the comments:

xyz_abc wrote:

In 1941, Muslim League passed a resolution making an oath of allegiance to Pakistan as a condition for Muslim League membership.

Muslim League proceedings quoted from Foundations of Pakistan, All-India Muslim League Documents: 1906-1947, Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Vol II 1924-1947, Metropolitan Book Co, New Delhi.

All India Muslim League Twenty-Eighth Session, Madras, April 1941

Moving Resolution II on the amendment to the Constitution[of the Muslim League], Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan said: We are altering our creed to-day and bringing it into line with the Lahore Resolution, popularly known as Pakistan. Our experience has convinced us that one Federation for the whole of India would create chaos, is impracticable and would lead to the domination of one community over the rest of India. It would never be acceptable to the Muslims.

He declared that Pakistan had become their article of faith, and amendment now before the House would be an effective reply to those who had alleged that it was merely a counter for bargaining. Another implication of the amendment was that every Muslim who was to join the League from now onwards would have to take an oath of allegiance to Pakistan.

Explaining the amendment, he said that the safeguards for the non-Muslims in Pakistan would be framed in consultation with the minorities and would not be imposed on them. It should be evident, he said, that our aim and object is to do justice to all. "Those who want India to be free should accept Pakistan, which will lead to the freedom of all", he added. The amendment was supported by speakers in English, Urdu and Tamil.

Doing a Jinnah

 (Full exchange here.)
Shiv quoted a pakteahouse piece as made up history. Vajra wrote on pakteahouse:

I am glad you printed that particular passage. Every single line of that, every single word has been substantiated, not by one individual, by collective examination of the records and the analyses, by collective debate and discussion, a lively discussion, whereby parts were enhanced, parts were discarded, and nothing was accepted at face value.
Then on his own blog, Vajra wrote:
The consensus history of Pakteahouse as quoted by Shiv is nothing but the consensus history of Pakistan as written by Shiv and quoted by Shiv.
Vajra has certified the consensus history evolved at Pakteahouse, not the version as quoted by Shiv.
I think we need a new expression in the newly evolving Indian English language - we would say "Vajra is doing a jinnah!".

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On the Lahore Resolution

Pravin Pania has some interesting claims about the Lahore Resolution.  He says that the Resolution as passed, intended:
Sovereignty First.  Then, Perhaps, Confederacy.

However, the Resolution, as interpreted by Jinnah's Muslim League (which expelled Fazlul Haq, whom Pania names as the author of the resolution) was:

Confederacy First.  Then, Perhaps, Sovereignty

Jinnah - Islamic socialist?

This article from dawn suggests that Jinnah was inclined towards Islamic socialism.

Jinnah - secularist or Islamist?

This interview with Saleena Karim is interesting, not because of her book, but because of other material.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Elevated from the comments

xyz_abc writes:
I wrote this letter to the editor in response to a Daily Time article:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ambedkar on Pakistan

Ambedkar tells us (January 1945) that it was wishful thinking on the part of Hindus to believe that Pakistan was a negotiating position.

Revealed - It is India's fault!

That the pakteahouse history is meant to blame India for Pakistan's troubles is explicitly made by bciv, one of the persons who Vajra named as having produced the consensus history.

“If you could be Indian and Muslim you would have no identity crisis”
Kindly, do not steal your opponents’ line and then throw it back at them pretending it is yours. Had the claim to being Indian and Muslim been acknowledged, there would have been no issues.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pakistan Bhagya Vidhata?

A sentence from Raza Rumi's blog caught my eye:
Leaving aside the political debate on the results of the recent Transparency International (TI) survey, the results are pretty damning for the masters of our destiny.
No matter how badly things are messed up, the bhagya vidhata, the dispenser of destiny, to me, is the people.

Yet another

The Daily Times has yet another article, this one by Shahid Ilyas, arguing against the pakteahouse version of history.  I think as a humanitarian gesture, a case of Pepto-Bismol should be delivered to Lahore.

PS: The response on PakTeaHouse is titled "Shahid Illyas' bankrupt article today: Just another example of how General Zia poisoned our youth."

A hard hitting piece by Hoodbhoy

Himal magazine published an article by Pervez Hoodbhoy, and it has been reproduced on pakteahouse.

Hoodbhoy makes the following point
Decades after the horrific bloodbath of Partition, the idea of Pakistan remains hotly debated. It did not help that Jinnah died in 1948, just a year after Pakistan was born, with his plans still ambiguously stated. He authored no books and wrote no policy paper. He did make many speeches, of which several were driven by political expediency and are frankly contradictory. These are freely cherry-picked today, with some finding in them a liberal and secular voice; others, an embodiment of Islamic values. The confusion is irresolvable. 

Pakistan is a bullock cart, not a Porsche

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur in the Daily Times says that Pakistan's problems arise from the actions that led to its creation  (and the conclusion one would draw is that this cannot be rectified by historical revisionism - changing the narrative of Pakistan's founding).

Friday, June 18, 2010



On chaighar, the comments veered towards the Aryan Invasion Theory.  Shiv then very cleverly points out the subjectivity of history.

On Congress misrule

January 8, 1942,  Viceroy Linlithgow to Secy. of State Amery:
"Equally I doubt the case for taking up Muslim complaints against Congress governments. As you know I never took those complaints too seriously, and I should be surprised if they did not prove to be either psychological in character or the type of quite minor oppression, insolence, injustice, which in a country so immense as this, so densely populated, and so entirely staffed by Indians of every class and kind, is bound to happen once the impression gets abroad in a major province that there is a Hindu raj or a Muslim raj as the case may be in the government of that province."
There is the historical record that we can examine fully later; but the above remark admirably summarizes the results of such a scrutiny.  It is an appropriate rejoinder to those who make allegations as referred to here:
"It was the hue and cry raised against the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by the Congress ministries in the United Provinces and Bihar that eventually gave the League the nationwide stature and strength to challenge the regional parties in the so-called Muslim majority province where it had not fared well at all."
The foundation of Muslim League stature and strength was falsehood, (and the cry that Islam is in danger).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The relevance of Gandhi

Pakistani liberals as a general rule curse Gandhi.

Fact is that Gandhi has been an enormous positive influence for India. I invite you to browse through stories that mention Gandhi on 

Just one of the examples you will find there (excerpt)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Reflections on History

Chaighar has two new articles:
Ishtiaq Ahmed’s Distortions About The Pakistan Movement
The Idea of Pakistan

You can use this area for comments on these articles.  But why spend any time at all on these seemingly unending and fruitless controversies?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Munir Report 1954

One should read the 1954 report of the judicial inquiry into the anti-Ahmedi riots of 1953. A key lesson for administrators in any of the nations of South Asia is that the public purveyance of hatred directed at any group of people needs to be firmly nipped in the bud. In this case, the police on the scene kept recommending action against rabble-rousing mullahs, but kept getting overruled by higher-ups.

As a grim aside, the precipitating event for the riots was the arrest of the leaders of the anti-Ahmedi movement. Why were they arrested? Because they had threatened a Direct Action Day. (the previous one being the August 16, 1946 Direct Action Day called by the All-India Muslim League). Who but the leaders of Pakistan to know better what Direct Action entails?

An example of Jinnah's "bluff"

The Ayesha Jalal school of thought says that Pakistan was merely a bargaining position to get a better position for Muslims in an undivided India, and Jinnah didn't really intend partition.

The problem with that theory is we know what Jinnah said in private to the British, and also what he said in public, and you have to ask just how could someone intuit that Jinnah might back down from the partition demand.

Here is an excerpt of a report of a Jinnah speech. It is the "Presidential Address at the 28th Annual Session of the All-India Muslim League, Madras, April 14, 1941", as published by the Muslim League itself.

Reply to One Myth, Many Pakistans

As soon as I opened the NYT this morning, I knew Ali Sethi's op-ed piece would feature on the Pak Tea House.  Sure enough, here it is.

One problem with Ali Sethi's piece is that it erects another myth.
Some years later, in a secluded college library in Massachusetts, I read a very different account of the Two-Nation Theory. Here I learned that it was devised in the 1930s by a group of desperate Muslim politicians who wanted to extract some constitutional concessions from the British before they left India.
The Muslims of India, these politicians were saying in their political way, were a “distinct group” with their own “history and culture.” But really, the book told me, all they wanted was special protection for the poor Muslim minorities in soon-to-be-independent, mostly Hindu India.
But the politicians’ gamble failed; they were taken up on their bluff and were given a separate country, abruptly and violently cut-up, two far-apart chunks of Muslim-majority areas (but what about the poor Muslim minorities that were still stuck in Hindu-majority areas!) that its founders (but it was a mistake!) now had to justify with the subtleties of their theory.
It was like a punishment.
This is the view promoted by Ayesha Jalal,   The problem with this view is that you have to be a mind-reader to infer that "all they wanted was special protection for the poor Muslim minorities" - their public statements and their actions on the record simply do not support it.  A online resource you can look up is The Cabinet Mission Plan.  You can read there what special protection was demanded and what special protection was offered, and whether the demand for Pakistan was a bluff.  Decide for yourself.

But that aside - Pakistan exists, has existed for 60+ years and will continue to exist.  There exists a next-to-zero sentiment in India towards any kind of undoing of Partition.  In fact, Indians would be happy if an ocean separated India from Pakistan.    I note instead this curious phenomenon that liberal Pakistanis need to insist that Partition was forced on them - as though that would somehow change the ground situation.

Reply to Political theology and literature

A.A. Khalid expands on his essay on Religious Liberalism,

The argument is that in Pakistan (and in the Muslim world) realistically, liberalism can exist only as religious liberalism.
For Pakistani liberals to have a truly transformational effect, they need to speak in the religious idiom and bring to the table a rigorous and charismatic theology of liberality. It is critical to talk about the arts, Urdu literature and the humanities but not as a hope that it will act as a creative buffer against radicalisation. The real buffer against terrorism with a religious impulse is a culture of religious tolerance and pluralism borne out of a unique theology of liberality in combination with these aforementioned disciplines.
Examples of liberal theology, the use of the religious tradition to cultivate democratic sensibilities and cherishment of tolerance and diversity do exist among Muslim intellectuals. Unfortunately, their presence is being felt mainly in traditionally non-Muslim societies in the US and Europe. There is an issue of outspoken religious liberals being exiled or forced out from their own countries due to their writings such as Nasr Abu Zayd in Egypt, Abdul Karim Soroush in Iran or the late Professor Fazlur Rahman in Pakistan. These are the theologians and religious intellectuals who call for greater democracy, tolerance and pluralism, but do so from within the religious tradition which is why their voices are more potent than say the secular left who try and locate these same concepts but in a foreign idiom. That is not to say that one should reject an idea on the basis of its origin. However, this is the reality of social and political discourse in Muslim societies.

Reply to Force, Fear keep Iran Together

Reply to Religious Liberalism - Our Greatest Hope?

A.A. Khalid argues that

1. There is a long-existing Liberal Islam.
2. There is no discourse of Liberal Islam in Pakistan.
3. Pakistani liberals could have connected with this tradition of Liberal Islam. They haven't.
4. The idea of removing religion from Pakistani politics is purely theoretical and unpractical. However, in the pursuit of this idea, Pakistani liberals have ceded the interpretation of Islam to the fundamentalists.
Hence liberals and secularists should stop asking the question if there is too much or too little religion. The question which should be asked is what type of religiosity do we need in order for Pakistan to flourish? What type of religiosity supports democratic governance, human rights, pluralism and tolerance? How can such a religiosity be constructed? The liberals and progressives need to bring to the table a genuine political theology of liberality which can find its legitimacy not only in civic reason but in religious reason in terms of establishing a link with the Quranic text.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Current puzzle

Click in the image to see my current state of confusion.

On a statement of Jinnah

A commenter at the TeaHouse brings up this
3: “.….I am NOT fighting for Muslims, believe me, when I demand Pakistan…..” (Jinnah, Press Conference, 14 November 1946)
See below - what Jinnah was saying is that the creation of Pakistan is necessary condition for independence from the British, and therefore by fighting for Pakistan he is fighting not only for Muslim independence but also Hindu independence.

"I am not fighting for Muslims, believe me, when I demand Pakistan. Pakistan and Hindustan alone will mean freedom to both Hindus and Muslims."
Whether this buttresses Jinnah's secular credentials is in the eye of the beholder.