Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Imran Khan on Pakistani liberals

Who are these liberals? I want to know because if you look at our rallies, for me it was very satisfying because I have struggled for 15 years, but it was all cross-sections of society. It was girls coming in jeans. It was women coming from deeni madrassas, it was Urdu medium, English medium, the religious. All of them came. It's the only party in Karachi that does a rally and all sections of society come; the Pashtuns come and the Urdu speaking come and the Balochis, Sindhis. So it is a party that hopes to get all the country on one platform. I don't know whom you talk about. These liberals. I don't know these liberals, because these liberals back bombing of villages. They back drone attacks. I mean, I don't call them liberals. I call them fascists. In my book these people are fascists. They have criticised me because I opposed this War on Terror. I opposed this criminal bombing, aerial bombing of villages, women and children getting killed. And these people were applauding it. These are not liberals. This is the scum of Pakistan who call themselves liberals, who have brought this country to this stage. Because of them we have extremism in this country. When they look at these people who stand behind every American policy which allows this country to, all human rights being violated, people being picked up and disappeared, and they've applauded all that. These liberals, so called liberals, applauded the incineration, where they bombed this mosque when there were children and women in it, students in it. And these liberals were in the forefront. I don't call them liberals. I agree. I really think these are the scum of this country.
Full transcript of the interview

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sardar Patel on Direct Action

Volume III, Chapter IV, item 145 of Sardar Patel's Correspondence, issued in ten volumes edited by Durga Das:  Sardar Patel's letter to R.K. Sidhwa in Sind.

New Delhi
27 August 1946

My dear Sidhwa,

I have received your letters of the 22nd and 24th instant along with their enclosures.  

The Muslim League tried its programme of direct action in Calcutta and to their great bewilderment they have found out that two can play at the game although it may be started by one.  The poor Muslims in Calcutta have suffered terribly and the League had discredited itself by their doings in Calcutta.  If they follow the same method of arson, loot, murder and anarchy, they may be able to inflict hardship on the non-Muslims but eventually that way will without doubt lead the League organisation to ruin and destruction.  

I am not sure that your Governor will allow any violence or disturbance to take place, because he is much too clever not to understand his own responsibility and his own reputation would be at stake.  He will no doubt try his best to keep the Ministry in office but he will not allow his own reputation to suffer.  I hope things will ultimately straighten themselves.

Yours sincerely,
Vallabhbhai Patel

Shri R.K. Sidhwa


Some letters of Sardar Patel

Sardar Patel’s daughter, Maniben Patel, deposited his papers with the Navajivan Trust, Ahmedabad. Around 1970 Maniben Patel decided that it was time to make public Sardar Patel’s correspondence. The Navajivan Trust brought in Durga Das, former Chief Editor of the Hindustan Times, as editor, and ten volumes of correspondence, covering the period 1945-1950 were published.

Volume III, Chapter IV contains letters related to the Cabinet Mission Plan. Some of those are reproduced here.  I don't think any commentary is needed, because Sardar Patel's point of view is expressed very clearly.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jinnah: a Bangla view

Mr. YLH points out:
It is important to draw a distinction here between state language/lingua franca and national language. The two are entirely distinct — the former is appurtenant to statehood and the latter is a cultural construct. Nowhere in any of his speeches on that fateful trip to East Pakistan did Jinnah refer to Urdu as the national language. He used the words state language and lingua franca interchangeably. More importantly, he repeatedly emphasised in the same speeches that East Pakistanis had every right to safeguard and protect the Bengali language and culture as the official language and culture of East Pakistan. The impression therefore that Jinnah was out to destroy the Bengali language and culture is erroneous.
Since it is a matter of language, let's see what Jinnah said and what Bengalis heard:
In a Radio Address to East Pakistanis before his departure from East Pakistan on March 28, 1948, Jinnah had harshly rebuked the critics of his language policy.  He characterized the opponents of Urdu language as the "opponents" of Pakistan.  He said that the supporters of Bengali as a state language are nothing but the "paid agents" of foreign countries.  Aimed at castigating those who had the guts to demand Bengali to be one of the State languages of Pakistan, an imbecile Jinnah had labeled the champions of Bengali language as "communists,"  "enemies of Pakistan," "breakers of integrity of Pakistan," "defeated and frustrated hate-mongers,"   "champions of provincialism," " breakers of peace and tranquility," "political assassins and political opportunists," "traitors," " inhabitants of fools' paradise," and "self-serving, fifth columnists" etc. He commended the Chief Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin for using various forms of repressive and aggressive measures against the supporters of Bengali language. Jinnah had repeatedly reminded the proponents of Bangla language that the Central Government of Pakistan "is determined to take appropriate stern actions" against these evil forces.
Note: the above is a composite of the speeches that Jinnah gave around that period, and all of the above is not in the one radio address.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jinnah: Bengalis Muslims are all from outside

Mr. YLH keeps making points about Jinnah that cause me to look it up and find more interesting things about this man.  YLH writes:
Jinnah overturned the martial race theory, declaring that the martial qualities of the Bengalis had been suppressed by the colonial rulers and that the Bengalis were second to none. He thus became the first ruler in 200 years to undo the officially sanctioned racism against the Bengalis.

Even this is funny - prior to the revolt of 1857,  as you can check in Wiki or elsewhere - the British did not discriminate against the Bengalis in recruitment.
Each of the three "Presidencies" into which the East India Company divided India for administrative purposes maintained their own armies. Of these, the Army of the Bengal Presidency was the largest.
Since Jinnah gave a speech in 1948 reminding the Bengalis of their martial tradition, (and it is not clear he did anything to improve Pakistani army recruitment of Bengalis), it was only 91, not 200 years.  But Pakistan is known for its madrassa math.

But I digress.  Let me get to the point made in the headline.  In Dhaka (Dacca), addressing a public meeting, March 21, 1948, Jinnah tried to calm the apprehensions of the East Pakistanis about the official language, Urdu.  He blamed the "certain amount of excitement over the question of whether Bengali or Urdu shall be the State language of this Province and of Pakistan" on the enemies of Pakistan, who were seeking to foment provincialism.
As long as you do not throw off this poison [of provincialism] in our body politic, you will never be able to weld yourself, mould yourself, galvanize yourself into a real true nation.   What we want is not to talk about Bengali, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Pathan and so on.  They are of course units.  But I ask you: have you forgotten the lesson that was taught to us thirteen hundred years ago? [i.e., Islam]  If I may point out, you are all outsiders here.  Who were the original inhabitants of Bengal—not those who are now living.  So what is the use of saying "we are Bengalis, or Sindhis, or Pathans, or Punjabis". No we are Muslims.
[emphasis added.  Quote from Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam, Volume IV, collected and edited by Khurshid Ahmad Khan Yusufi.]