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.