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:


Regarding Yasser Latif Hamdani's 'Heretic, Communist and Muslim Leaguer', ironically H.V. Hodson himself quotes Jinnah as stating in 1945 'The idea of Pakistan and the idea of united India were incompatible'.('The Great Divide') .

It is inaccurate to term Jinnah's demand for a separate sovereign Muslim state as a negotiating position when in fact only Muslim League stood to gain by it. The Muslim demand for partition was a win-win position for the Muslim League and a lose-lose proposition for Congress and Hindus, who had only two alternatives. Namely, either grant every demand of Muslim League leaders for perpetuity (including parity between 25% Muslims and 75% nonMuslims in the Central government on basis of two nation theory and a League veto over India's defence) or suffer partition of India at a time of Muslim League's choosing. The Congress and rest of India would lose either way, making negotiations futile. Hence Jinnah's demand for a separate sovereign Muslim state cannot be credibly termed a 'negotiating' position.

B R Ambedkar also warned of the perils of two nation theory( in 'Pakistan or the Partition of India') :
'they[Hindus] should note ... that there is a difference between providing safeguards and handing over the country... what may be conceded with safety to a community may not be conceded to a nation and what may be conceded with safety to the weak to be used by it as a weapon of defence may not be conceded to the strong who may use it as a weapon of attack.'

The letter was not published. I do not understand why partition era history has suddenly become a topic of interest to Pakistani newspapers - I do not see how such a discussion can solve the problems facing Pakistan today. But I think it is important to put out a counterpoint to their historical narratives where such exists.

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