Pakistan’s Jinnah – by Ayesha Siddiqa


“Some devious elements are tinkering with Jinnah’s person and his narrative” Writes Ayesha Siddiqa in the following article.

[Jinnah+with+daughter+and+dogs.jpeg.jpg]

Some time ago, I had a chance to read veteran columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee’s article ‘Bring back Jinnah’s Pakistan’ in which he talked about the founding father’s liberal vision for the country.

Mr Cowasjee’s argument was that the state envisioned by Mohammad Ali Jinnah would have been governed by a different set of social norms than the one in place today.

I would like to inform the respectable writer that while he is searching for Jinnah’s Pakistan, we might be threatened with the eventuality of losing Pakistan’s Jinnah.

A journalist friend was recently presented with a historic photograph of the founding father in which he was holding his pups.

I am glad it was given to a friend rather than a foe because there is always the possibility these days that the person presenting the photograph would be accused of being a foreign agent for distributing such photographs of Jinnah.

We shouldn’t be surprised if in a few years’ time we come across a doctored photograph of the founding father in a turban and a beard to prove a certain point.

There are now devious elements who are tinkering with Jinnah — the person — and his narrative. We are being told that all those details which describe the Quaid-i-Azam as a man with western liberal habits are but a conspiracy and a figment of the imagination of enslaved minds.

We are being told that Jinnah never had a lifestyle that might not get the approval of the puritanical-religious crowd in the country. The purpose behind altering details of Jinnah’s personality is the first step towards changing the national narrative.

The next step will be to argue that Jinnah wanted a state where only a certain school of thought could live. Others would have the status of second-class citizens or be shunned, or put in jail for their alternative identity.

But why is a liberal Jinnah unpalatable to these people? Mohammad Ali Jinnah could have hidden his identity as a liberal as he concentrated on the legal case of getting a separate state for the Muslims of India.

He didn’t hide his reality or make an effort to adapt to what the majority of the people followed because in his mind the new state could allow for all creeds, castes and religions.

The Muslims of India had not struggled to move away from the dominance of one culture to the dominance of another. This would be a country where people of different religions could proudly become equal citizens.

In a speech in 1948, Jinnah had said: “We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.

We have many non-Muslims — Hindus, Christians and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”

Having access to modern forms of media, these characters seem to be assisted by ‘ghost warriors’ in creating a new national narrative formulated on the basis of a post-modernist agenda.

The country’s survival, hence, does not any longer depend on the struggle of its citizenry to make its political system work, but on establishing an imagined political system which these people guarantee their followers will rid the state of all its evils. Based on puritanical norms, the new political system, which they call the ideal khilafat, can do wonders.

These people are not the Taliban, nor are they even a single bunch of people. There are several layers operating at various levels and in different forms.

There are those that market the traditional religious identity and then there are others who appeal to the secular. Not to forget those who sell high doses of what they term ‘nationalism’ while pursuing a very western, liberal kind of lifestyle.

Very few people realise that the country’s national narrative is being strategically and cunningly reorganised and rewritten. The underlying norm of the new narrative is a puritanical version of religion and history.

In the process, the nation-state is being stretched and society adjusted to meet the challenges of the new version of nationalism.

What goes without saying is that there is probably very little space for those who do not conform to the description of an ‘ideal’ citizen. The description not only extends to those condemned as ‘enemies of the state’ but also others who cannot fall into the category of this description due to their peculiar caste, creed, faith, ethnicity, or other factors.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I would like to inform Mr Cowasjee that the new perimeters of citizenship define a citizen and give him/her rights on the basis of their putative relationship with religion as interpreted by a certain set of people.

This is no longer about a pluralistic state and a multi-polar polity. Therefore, the new narrative makes it imperative for this ‘gang’ of people to kidnap Pakistan’s Jinnah.

Can the honourable columnist and citizen do something about getting the founding father back? Surely, there will be those willing to fight for his recovery or even a pay ransom to do so.

The writer is an independent strategic and political analyst.
ayesha.ibd@gmail.com

Source: Dawn, 19 Feb, 2010


82 responses to “Pakistan’s Jinnah – by Ayesha Siddiqa”

  1. Jinnah’s secularism is nothing but an ironic admission of the moral, ethical, political and philosophical baselesness of the so-called ‘Two-nation theory’. How very hypocritical that Jinnah declares Pakistan a secular dominion on 11th August 1947, only to celebrate it’s birth three days latter midwifed by a bigoted, pro-imperialist and communalist political discourse. My friends of the LUBP, please look at history objectively and do not kid yourselves. The current Pakistan is exactly what Jinnah and his clique sowed through 1937-1947. The only way Pakistan could have prospered was for it to become a true federation/confederation. It may just be too late now.

  2. Nadir, I kind of understand your perspective. However, I wish history was as black and white as we would like it to be.

    Pakistan is indeed an outcome of a communalist discourse, however, that discourse emerged when the majority population in the pre-partition India refused to recognize and respect the identity and rights of the minority population.

    Thus, while we can attribute current Pakistan to a bigoted and communalist discourse of Jinnah, how would we explain the plight of minorities in India which was founded on a secular and non-communal discourse. Events in Gujarat, the rise of BJP and the Babri Masjid episode are a few examples which come to mind.

    Perhaps history and its outcomes are much more greyer than what we sometimes think.

  3. Nishapuri Brother,
    This fallacy is propagated by the security tsardom of Pakistan and the bastardizers of history at their payroll that the Indian Moslem was under threat. Firstly, their is no such thing as an ‘Indian Moslem’. There are Gujratis, Beharis, Bengalis and Tamils etc. Secondly, the leadership of the Congress, save perhaps for Vallabhai Patel, was either agnostic/athiest (Nehru), Moslem (Azad, Syed Mahmud, Baacha Khan) and those who can never be thought of as communalists (Gandhiji, Baacha Khan). Thirdly, the Moslems in the Indian Subcontinent would have been in a far better position now had their been a United India.
    Brothers, get your heads out of the PTV/Kashmir Media Cell/Nawa ye Waqt gutter. The Indian Republic is a very good example of Secular pluralism. And who are we to speak of the Moslem/Minority rights? Have we forgotten the 3 million killed and 0.7 million raped Moslems in Bengal? And what of the 2.8 million Afghans/Pashtuns killed since 1979? And what of the Balochs killed in 5 operations since the March of 1948?

  4. Nadir: Thank you for providing this insight.

    Can you please explain the following:

    “the Moslems in the Indian Subcontinent would have been in a far better position now had their been a United India.’

    and

    ‘The Indian Republic is a very good example of Secular pluralism.’

    Is it just me who sees an incongruence in the above statements?

    Thank you.

  5. wel this is a very much repeated conversation,ayesha,s point of view is strong but without a any solution expected from a scholar of her stature.Taking the political aspect of this is the moment we utter the words “secular”or moderate we r termed as non believers,westren stooges and zionists,all in one.So its impossible 2 use term secular in our political culture,and without strong political forces we cant counter these bigots and fundos.We have 2 find a way and i expect from ayesha to contribute.About the secularism of inda,the less said the better.And the fact that it was the leadership of congress that lead to the division of india[punjab and bengal]to create a communal boundry for ever.Jinnah even accept cabinet mission plan,it was nehru,sspeach to the press next day which forced jinnah to back track,and its not just the jaswant singh,s book recently published and rose to fame just becoz he was a bjp heavy wieght,it was all researched and published by,ayesha jalal,stanely wolpert,patrik french and last but not the least h m seerwai and kanji dwarka das.

  6. @Kashif, I tend to agree with your very well argued response.

    By the way, what exact solution or solutions do you have in mind?

    Please keep visiting and contributing to LUBP through your comments (and also articles if you wish).

  7. Partition was cruel, but thanks to it the Hindus at least got free of a large number of perpetually violent and angry Muslims – two-thirds of them, who ended up in Pakistan.

    If the Congress HAD accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan, India would not have known a day’s peace.

    Indian cities would have been permanent war zones, the Muslims would have stalled debate on every question except their endless gripes and demands, the army would have been tied down in endless civil wars, etc. India without Partition would have been totally unworkable.

    Despite its horrors – which could have been avoided had the leaders shown more sense – Partition was the only solution for a workable India.

    Nehru himself, who was more against it than anyone, realised Independent India could never survive with such a large and permanently angry Muslim population because of his crushing experience trying to run the Interim Government before Independence with the Muslim League. He could not get them to agree on a single thing; every issue, no matter how petty, became an excuse for vile accusations.

    He once asked Liaquat Ali Khan of the Muslim League to meet him prior to a Cabinet meeting to be presided over by the Viceroy, so Indians could present a united case or at least know where each stood. Liaquat accused him of insulting him by sending his secretary with the invitation instead of coming in person !

    Experiences like this finally convinced Nehru, like Patel, that it was after all better if the Muslims got their separate state and left other Indians alone. We must cut off the poisoned limb, Patel said.

    Nehru’s great mistake was not insisting on a complete transfer of populations, as Ambedkar wisely demanded.

  8. Ganpat Ram :
    Partition was cruel, but thanks to it the Hindus at least got free of a large number of perpetually violent and angry Muslims – two-thirds of them, who ended up in Pakistan.
    If the Congress HAD accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan, India would not have known a day’s peace.
    Indian cities would have been permanent war zones, the Muslims would have stalled debate on every question except their endless gripes and demands, the army would have been tied down in endless civil wars, etc. India without Partition would have been totally unworkable.
    Despite its horrors – which could have been avoided had the leaders shown more sense – Partition was the only solution for a workable India.
    Nehru himself, who was more against it than anyone, realised Independent India could never survive with such a large and permanently angry Muslim population because of his crushing experience trying to run the Interim Government before Independence with the Muslim League. He could not get them to agree on a single thing; every issue, no matter how petty, became an excuse for vile accusations.
    He once asked Liaquat Ali Khan of the Muslim League to meet him prior to a Cabinet meeting to be presided over by the Viceroy, so Indians could present a united case or at least know where each stood. Liaquat accused him of insulting him by sending his secretary with the invitation instead of coming in person !
    Experiences like this finally convinced Nehru, like Patel, that it was after all better if the Muslims got their separate state and left other Indians alone. We must cut off the poisoned limb, Patel said.
    Nehru’s great mistake was not insisting on a complete transfer of populations, as Ambedkar wisely demanded.

    How about some soul searching before hurling generalized sweeping statements against the Muslim Community, a mirror is as under on “Peaceful Hindu Community”

    I am very liberal and secular too the core but I don’t take cover when it comes to Innocent Human Life and in case of India, read two reports

    “We Have No Orders To Save You”

    State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat April 2002 Vol. 14, No. 3(C) http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2002/india/
    Poor Muslims of India & Rajinder Sachar Report – 2
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/poor-muslims-of-india-rajinder-sachar_18.html

    Rajindar Sachar was the Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi
    Download another report on Pathetic State of Affairs of Mulsim Community in India Complete Sachar Report

  9. AAMIR MUGHAL:

    Hindus and Muslims have been bitter enemies for a very long time, unfortunately. The Hindus have suffered terrible things wherever Muslims have dominated in Indian history. To take one recent example, it is estimated that the vast majority of the three million people butchered by the Pakistani Army in Bangladesh in 1971 were Hindus. At the time of Partition the proportion of Hindus and Sikhs in what became West Pakistan was about 25 per cent. Now it is about 3 per cent. The Muslim figure in post-Partition India was 8 per cent, now it is 14 per cent.

    That tells a story, I think.

    Muslims in India have had their troubles, but riots and killings are not one-sided. Many Hindus also perished at Muslim hands. If one Muslim mosque was destroyed by Hindus (Babri) which I DO NOT defend, hundreds of Hindu temples were destroyed by Muslims in Kashmir, etc. The economic (relative) backwardness of Muslims is to a very large extent due to their determination to maintain a Sharia-dominated society that prevents modern education and impedes female literacy. Muslim intellectuals themselves have noted this.
    In India, except in a few places like Gujarat and Mumbai, Muslims can freely ridiucule Hinduism (as they have EVERY RIGHT TO- I AM NOT COMPLAINING), have great freedom of expression and political activity. In Pakistan, even a rumour that a Hindu is critical of Islam brings death.

    That tells a story, think.

    My point here is really that Hindus and Muslims are best off in separate states. Otherwise there will be limitless conflict. So Partition was a blessing, despite its losses. Let us part company, and stay away from each other. You go with the other Muslims – Arabs, Persians – and we remain our old Hindu civilsation.

    Satisfied?

  10. One final point: if Nehru and Patel had been crazy enough to accept the Cabinet Mission Plan (CMP), they would have had to concede the future of India’s majority to the absolute veto of the Muslim minority. The CMP allowed only for an extremely weak central government, confined to defence, communications for defence and foreign affairs. It had no taxation rights to maintain an army. Moreover, a huge part of British India consisted of Princely States, with the right to claim secession if they wanted. If Hyderabad, big as France with mostly Hindus but a Muslim ruler, chose Independence, as Jinnah was advising, there would have been nothing Nehru could do about it, under the CMP. He would have no army to deploy without Pakistani permisssion. In any case, the whole CMP was for 10 years only, after which the whole question of India’s future was up for redeciding. A pretty mess, indeed! Nehru would have been a raving lunatic to accept such a Plan, which gave every possible opportunity to Muslims to push their claims at Hindu expense. How ironic that Muslims demanded an end to any Hindu rule of Muslim-majority areas, yet demanded also Hindu and Sikh majority areas of Punjab and Bengal? Of course, as a minority in a one-man-one vote syste, the Muslims would also have been subject to the majority’s veto. But if they could not accept that as the con-comitant of democracy, they had no option but to go for a separate state, which WAS conceded to them. But what Jinnah was demanding was not just safeguards for the minority, let us say in strictly religious matters or a proportion of representation: he was seeking guaranteed EQUALITY with the majority. That was patently unfair to the majority, and made nonsense of democracy. So Nehru and Patel rightly rejected the CMP, which embodied Jinnah’s parity claim.

    Well done, Nehru and Patel ! You saved India.

  11. Ganpat Ram :
    AAMIR MUGHAL:
    Hindus and Muslims have been bitter enemies for a very long time, unfortunately. The Hindus have suffered terrible things wherever Muslims have dominated in Indian history. To take one recent example, it is estimated that the vast majority of the three million people butchered by the Pakistani Army in Bangladesh in 1971 were Hindus. At the time of Partition the proportion of Hindus and Sikhs in what became West Pakistan was about 25 per cent. Now it is about 3 per cent. The Muslim figure in post-Partition India was 8 per cent, now it is 14 per cent.
    That tells a story, I think.
    Muslims in India have had their troubles, but riots and killings are not one-sided. Many Hindus also perished at Muslim hands. If one Muslim mosque was destroyed by Hindus (Babri) which I DO NOT defend, hundreds of Hindu temples were destroyed by Muslims in Kashmir, etc. The economic (relative) backwardness of Muslims is to a very large extent due to their determination to maintain a Sharia-dominated society that prevents modern education and impedes female literacy. Muslim intellectuals themselves have noted this.
    In India, except in a few places like Gujarat and Mumbai, Muslims can freely ridiucule Hinduism (as they have EVERY RIGHT TO- I AM NOT COMPLAINING), have great freedom of expression and political activity. In Pakistan, even a rumour that a Hindu is critical of Islam brings death.
    That tells a story, think.
    My point here is really that Hindus and Muslims are best off in separate states. Otherwise there will be limitless conflict. So Partition was a blessing, despite its losses. Let us part company, and stay away from each other. You go with the other Muslims – Arabs, Persians – and we remain our old Hindu civilsation.
    Satisfied?

    No offence but would you kindly provide a reference for the numbers given by you above and if from Wikipedia then please quote the reference from where Wikipedia have collected from.

  12. Ganpat Ram :
    Well done, Nehru and Patel ! You saved India.

    Saved India! Like this:

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 1

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/british-charity-hindu-extremism-1.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 2

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/british-charity-hindu-extremism-2.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 3

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-3.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 4

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-4.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 5

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-4_01.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 6

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-6.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 7

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-7.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 8

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-7_01.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 9

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-9.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 10

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-10.html

    British Charity & Hindu Extremism – 11

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/12/british-charity-hindu-extremism-11.html

    1 – American Funding of Hindutva – 1

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-1.html

    2 – American Funding of Hindutva – 2

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-2.html

    3 – American Funding of Hindutva – 3

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-3.html

    4 – American Funding of Hindutva – 4

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-4.html

    5 – American Funding of Hindutva – 5

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-5.html

    6 – American Funding of Hindutva – 6

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-6.html

    7 – American Funding of Hindutva – 7

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-7.html

    8 – American Funding of Hindutva – 8

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-8.html

    9 – American Funding of Hindutva – 9

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-9.html

    10 – American Funding of Hindutva – 10

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-10.html

    11 – American Funding of Hindutva – 11

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-11.html

    12 – American Funding of Hindutva – 12

    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/american-funding-of-hindutva-12.html

  13. Ganpat Ram :
    AAMIR MUGHAL:
    Let us part company, and stay away from each other. You go with the other Muslims – Arabs, Persians – and we remain our old Hindu civilsation.
    Satisfied?

    No offence intended towards Hindu Civilization but how would you define this?

    DALITS, LIKE FLIES TO FEUDAL LORDS

    On September 3, a mob beat up Gajbhiye, the ostensible reason being his alleged illicit relationship with Surekha Bhotmange. Gajbhiye filed a police complaint against 15 men from Kherlanji village, 12 of whom were arrested. Surekha signed on the FIR as one of the witnesses and identified the 12 in a police parade.

    The Price of Do Bigha Zameen

    Surekha Bhotmange, 45: raped, murdered

    Priyanka Bhotmange, 17: raped, murdered
    Roshan Bhotmange, 23: murdered

    Sudhir Bhotmange, 21: murdered

    Surekha and Priyanka were stripped, paraded naked, beaten with bicycle chains, axes and bullock-cart pokers. They were gang-raped until they died. Some raped them even after that http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/dalits-like-flies-to-feudal-lords.html

  14. Ganpat Ram :
    Well done, Nehru and Patel ! You saved India.

    Save India like this???

    Mysterious Killing of Hemant Karkare in Mumbai Terror.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/myestrious-killing-of-hemant-karkare-in.html

    A valiant Indian Police Officer Hemant Karkare died in Mumbai yesterday and it was a targetted killing. I wonder how the hell it was possible to kill him in such rumpus and very precisely? Late Police Officer was conducting the enquiry of Indian Army Officers involved in Terrorism within India:

    Friday, 28 November 2008

    From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 48, Dated Dec 06, 2008

  15. Ganpat Ram :
    Well done, Nehru and Patel ! You saved India.

    What about the desecration of Golden Temple by the Indian Army?

    Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale (1947 – 1984) – 1
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sant-jarnail-singh-bhindrenwale-1947.html

    Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale (1947 – 1984) – 2
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sant-jarnail-singh-bhindrenwale-1947_31.html

    Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale (1947 – 1984) – 3
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/sant-jarnail-singh-bhindrenwale-1947_2964.html

  16. he was seeking guaranteed EQUALITY with the majority. That was patently unfair to the majority, and made nonsense of democracy. So Nehru and Patel rightly rejected the CMP, which embodied Jinnah’s parity claim.
    Well done, Nehru and Patel ! You saved India.

    What’s this Indian treatment with Christian Minority? Indeed Late. Nehru did save India!

    Christians in Orissa i.e. in Secular India. Hindu Mobs in Orissa Torch Churches on Christmas By Steve Herman New Delhi 26 December 2007
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/christians-in-orissa-ie-in-secular.html

  17. AAMIR MUGHAL:

    I am not in the least offended. I do not say India is perfect, fsar from it. It has a long way to go to establish a decent, fair society. But at least it is a democracy, allows free expression in most places (Gujarat I exclude from this). I don’t intend to, or need to, defend India from Pakistanis. Their own treatment of minorities is horrendous.

    As for the Pakistani genocide in Bangladesh, the wiki site has a wealth of sources and is a good place to start. What is your evidence in this matter?

    Whenever I get into these debates with Pakistanis, I realise once again, that for all their faults, Nehru and Patel took the right decison for India in 1947. India’s problems are bad enough. Add 350 more Muslims to the brew, and India will lose all hope.
    Luckily, that is unlikely to happen.

    We are now separate, and will grow more and more separate as the years pass. You guys are in many ways VERY fortunate: you don’t like Hindus (I can see from your own posts) and most of you adore Arabs, Iranians, Central Asians, Turks – all the wonderful Muslim Ummah. Great. I have no complaint.

    I respect you or sticking with what you like. Just give us poor Hindus the same right, that’s all.

    I did not claim Hinduism was great, either. But we Hindus hope to overcome its faults in time.
    In any case, now Hinduism is our affair. You have good reason to be rid of it forever. Well done, Jinnah !!!

  18. Ganpat Ram :
    AAMIR MUGHAL:

    As for the Pakistani genocide in Bangladesh, the wiki site has a wealth of sources and is a good place to start. What is your evidence in this matter?

    Now read this news:

    Sheikh Mujib wanted a confederation: US papers By Anwar Iqbal July 7, 2005
    http://www.dawn.com/2005/07/07/nat3.htm
    WASHINGTON, July 6: The US State Department’s newly declassified documents about the 1971 debacle show that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to have a “form of confederation” with Pakistan rather than a separate country. The documents include two telegrams dating Feb 28, 1971 and Dec 23, 1971 “based on the sentiments of Sheikh Mujib and the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,” showing that Sheikh Mujib was not secessionist, as many in the then West Pakistan believed.

    The telegrams, sent to the State Department by the US embassies in Pakistan and India, document key foreign policy decisions and actions of the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. The telegram, entitled “Conversation with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” shows the path followed by the Awami League leader as he “talks of excesses by West Pakistan, states he (Mujib) is not willing to share power and does not want separation but rather a form of confederation.”

    In November 1969, a year before the war began, a US diplomat sent this report to Washington: “… East Pakistan, one also senses a growing undercurrent that beyond some intangible point the West Pakistan landlord-civil service-military elite might prefer to see the country split rather than submit to Bengali ascendancy.”

    One telegram quotes Indira Gandhi as saying that President Nixon has “misunderstanding about India’s case” and that “there is fantastic nonsense being talked about in the US about our having received promises from the Soviet Union about the Soviet intervention against the seventh fleet and against China.”

    The documents released on June 28 provide full coverage of the US policy towards India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the newly created state of Bangladesh from January 1969 to December 1972. Documents from March to December 1971 include intelligence assessments, key messages from the US embassies in Islamabad and New Delhi and the Consulate General in Dhaka, responses to National Security Study memoranda and full transcripts of the presidential tape recordings that are summarized and excerpted in editorial notes in volume XI.

    The historian branch of the State Department held a two-day conference on June 28 and 29 on US policy in South Asia between 1961 and 1972, inviting scholars from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to express their views on the declassified documents. During the seminar, Bangladeshi scholars acknowledged that their official figure of more than 3 million killed during and after the military action was not authentic.

    They said that the original figure was close to 300,000, which was wrongly translated from Bengali into English as three million. Shamsher M. Chowdhury, the Bangladesh ambassador in Washington who was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1969 but had joined his country’s war of liberation in 1971, acknowledged that Bangladesh alone cannot correct this mistake. Instead, he suggested that Pakistan and Bangladesh form a joint commission to investigate the 1971 disaster and prepare a report. Almost all scholars agreed that the real figure was somewhere between 26,000, as reported by the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, and not three million, the official figure put forward by Bangladesh and India.

    Prof Sarmila Bose, an Indian academic, told the seminar that allegations of Pakistani army personnel raping Bengali women were grossly exaggerated. Based on her extensive interviews with eyewitnesses, the study also determines the pattern of conflict as three-layered: West Pakistan versus East Pakistan, East Pakistanis (pro-Independence) versus East Pakistanis (pro-Union) and the fateful war between India and Pakistan. Prof Bose noted that no neutral study of the conflict has been done and reports that are passed on as part of history are narratives that strengthen one point of view by rubbishing the other. The Bangladeshi narratives, for instance, focus on the rape issue and use that not only to demonize the Pakistan army but also exploit it as a symbol of why it was important to break away from (West) Pakistan.

    Prof Bose, a Bengali herself and belonging to the family of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, emphasized the need for conducting independent studies of the 1971 conflict to bring out the facts. She also spoke about the violence generated by all sides. “The civil war of 1971 was fought between those who believed they were fighting for a united Pakistan and those who believed their chance for justice and progress lay in an independent Bangladesh. Both were legitimate political positions. All parties in this conflict embraced violence as a means to the end, all committed acts of brutality outside accepted norms of warfare, and all had their share of humanity. These attributes make the 1971 conflict particularly suitable for efforts towards reconciliation, rather than recrimination,” says Prof Bose.

  19. One final point: when I spoke of the absurdity of Jinnah demanding parity for Muslims as a community with the rest of India, I meant his demanding EQUAL Muslim right to decide the affairs of India with the 75 per cent majority. Muslims as individuals had every right to equal participation in politics in any democracy; they also had a reasonable claim to safeguards in their own religious affairs, a right to equitable representation etc. But not, in any reasonable system, the right as a community to equal political power with the majority. That latter was Jinnah’s claim, and it mde nonsense of democracy.

    In any case, we can now go our separate ways. What a relief! Well done Nehru, Patel AND Jinnah !!!

  20. SARAH KHAN

    Though I want to leave this site as I see no point in debating a settled issue – India and Pakistan are forever two countries and I don’t want to change that nor I think do you – still, I shall reply just to you.

    That sequence in the Jinnah film was a powerrful one. Though no doubt a bit fictionalised it did catch the essence of a historical moment.

    But I have no intention of defending Gandhi. His intervention in the Khillafat affair was a lunatic absurdity. He thought it was a good way to do what proved impossible: get Muslims and Hindus on the same side behind the nationalist cause. But it merely encouraged Islamist radicalism. However, that was going to happen anyway. Jinnah’s Muslim League, be it noted, only began to get a lot of votes when it openly inflamed Muslims against Congress dwelling on religious emotions in the 1930s.

    Was Gandhi secular? I would say he was, despite his personal Hindu beliefs, which he tried to mix with Christian and Muslim ones too. He believed in looking at politics in very moral terms, drawing on the moral aspect of religion. But he believed in a secular state which did not give precedence to or profess any religion. Is that not secularism?

    Was Jinnah secular? He lived for most of his life in a very Western way. But he was devoted politically to a community based on religion: the Muslims. If you keep standing up for a community based on religion, it does become hard to be seen as secular. But it becomes impossible when, as Jinnah and his supporters did, foment public anger by invoking religious ideas and sentiments. The Pakistan he set up, as far as we know, was going to be a state recognising Islam as the state religion, even if would not be ruled by religious personages.

    The broader issue is that Indian nationalism was doomed to get mixed up with religion, as only the predominance of a religion – Hinduism – unites most Indians. If politicians never spoke in Hindu terms. they would have little following: the masses only understood that language. But it is one thing to speak in religious terms in politics; quite another to foment religious anger, as Jinnah did.

    You know, I am, as I have said before, very glad Partition happened and we can live, Hindus and Muslims, mostly in separate countries. Partition was a costly, cruel process, but it was for the best in the event.

    Jinnah even in the film is so angry…….No united India with him and his like would have worked.

  21. SARAH KHAN

    One further, rather devastating thought occurs to me. For all his ceaseless demands for very high representation for Muslims in the political structures of any united India, and very strong safeguards for them, as a minority, we tend to forget that Jinnah proposed no such provisions for the Hindu minority in his Pakistan – which in East Pakistan was very large then: 25 per cent, as high as the Muslim percentage in British India.

    So much for Jinnah’s rhetoric of minority rights.

    Now, of course Hindus are only 2 per cent in Pakistan and about 8 per cent in Bangladesh.

    Oh well.

  22. Abdul Nishapuri :
    Nadir: Thank you for providing this insight.
    Can you please explain the following:
    “the Moslems in the Indian Subcontinent would have been in a far better position now had their been a United India.’
    and
    ‘The Indian Republic is a very good example of Secular pluralism.’
    Is it just me who sees an incongruence in the above statements?
    Thank you.

    I gather that most of the feedback to this post is inspired by Mutaliya ye Pakistan style crap (my apologies but this is really how I feel, so..).
    1 The partition left the body of the ‘Indian Moslems’ (again I do not believe in such a thing but just to be clear) divided and crippled. Even if we take the special cases of Pashtunistan and Balochistan (who would have gone their respective natural ways) the Moslems would have formed a sizeable and politically/economically significant part of United India. The West, the North West and the East of United India would have been dominated by Moslems. Come to think, the ‘Hindu’ India is more Islamic (again an absurd term) than the ‘Bastion of Islam’ Pakistan.
    About Indian Secularism: I never said that India has achieved perfection in communal relations. But it has a secular constitution. Institutions that are theoratically and practically secular. The only Moslem-majority state of India, Kashmir, has special arrangments under the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The Moslems of Indian Kashmir are more free and have a greater autonomy than the Pashtuns and Balochs of Pakistan. What do we have to blame India for? 2000 in Gujarat and the Baabari Masjid? Again, Nishapuri brother, Pakistan has killed more Moslems in 62 years than US/India/Isreal combined. Another example. In the British India days the Federal/Concurrent list had 97 subjects. Now a days, it has 114 (or more) subjects. The Christian/Colonial British gave Pukhtunkhwa more autonomy than Moslem/Brother Pakistan.

  23. Sarah Khan :
    Gandhi vs Jinnah – who is secular?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4Kibr2LzNE
    It was Jinnah who opposed the infusion of religious terminology in the non-violence movement of Gandhi as well as the Caliphate movement of the Ali brothers.

    Another Mutaliya inspired story. If only we were able to appreciatre our ‘human-ness’ and realise it’s concequence that we think rationally and do not be farm animals bred on ‘Mutaliya’ fodder. The whole life of Gandhiji and Badshah Khan was the negation of communal and hateful ideologies. That Gandhiji always stood for and follwed a secular discourse is evident to any human who can see the world beyond the mediocre and animalistic confines of Paki/Psuedo-Moslem/Communal ‘Nationalism’. Gandhiji’s personal life, his political ideology, his political organization and his world approach was always based on the wider brotherhood of humanity. Jinnah was the exact opposite. Whatever the details of his personal life, his political fulcrum was the ‘devide and rule’ British tactic. He was propelled as an alternative to the anti-British politics of the INC. His coming to prominence, his leadership of the AIML and Pakistan itself was nothing but an imperialist design vis-a-vis USSR.

  24. @Nadir Ali Dirojay Pukhtunyar
    I agree with you that thinking and reasoning rationally is much more important then being farm animals bred on ‘Mutaliya Pakistan’ fodder. May I also suggest to exclude a hybrid of Soviet Socialist and INC fodder from this discussion?

    Thus, I suggest that we leave rhetoric outside this conversation.

    While you conveniently ignored Jinnah’s stance on the infusion of religion by Gandhi and Ali brothers, hope you will not discard the following testimony (as Mutaliya fodder) by an Indian writing in the Times of India in October 2009.

    “Contemporary Congressmen needed a cardboard Jinnah as the all-purpose villain who could soak up all the guilt of Partition. An obstinate, communal hate figure was planted into Indian schoolbook history. This was then morphed into something more insidious.”

    http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/TheSiegeWithin/entry/the-truth-is-gandhi-is

  25. @Ganpat Ram
    “The broader issue is that Indian nationalism was doomed to get mixed up with religion, as only the predominance of a religion – Hinduism – unites most Indians. If politicians never spoke in Hindu terms. they would have little following: the masses only understood that language.”

    Thanks for clarifying your perspective on secularism that Gandhi stood for. Your words such as ‘only the predominance of a religion – Hinduism – unites most Indians’ exactly explain why the majority of Muslims in the pre-partition India rejected the ideology of Gandhi and his comrades.

  26. @Ganpat Ram
    Again, a rhetoric sans evidence. Do you know that today Urdu speaking persons (or Muhajirs) constitute more than 7.5% of the population in Pakistan. I suspect they have come from where the majority of Hindus have gone to.

  27. SARAH KHAN

    I suggest we leave the debate there. There is clearly no chance of agrreement.
    IIf men such as Gandhi and Nehru are not secular enough for you, I can’t think who would be. They were as tolerant and Indian nationalist oriented as any humans could ever be.

    If a man like Jinnah, from the 1930s onwards calling on the Muslim faithful to defend the faith from the deadly threat of Hinduism, is nonetheless a paragon of secularism, so be it. All I can say is that it is to me a very baffling thesis.

    The good thing is that at least we are not sitting in one undivided India thoroughly failing to agree, yet with no separate countries to go to !

  28. @Ganpat Ram I respect Gandhi, Nehru as well as Jinnah. In my view, all of them are secular though their secularism is shaped by their respective political inclinations and expediencies.

    However, I contest any black and white portrayal of history, which remains very grey and complex.

    By the way, when you write: “The good thing is that at least we are not sitting in one undivided India thoroughly failing to agree, yet with no separate countries to go to.’

    I am thinking of some fine Indian scholars such as Aaker Patel, S. J. Akbar and Jaswant Singh. You won’t like to force emigrate them from India only because of divergence of views. Or would you?

  29. SARAH KHAN:

    Fine. You be secular in your way, and leave us to be secular in ours. If our way conforms better with what the liberal tradition the world over calls secularism, that is unimportant. Everyone is secularist. Different kind of secularism force Partition.

    Satisfied, I hope.

    As for Jaswant Singh and the others (do you mean M J Akbar?) – I have no problems whatsoever with their being in India. Everyone who accepts the one-man-one-vote principle, whatever other views he or she might have, is entitled to participation in the Indian political system. In the end, that was why Jinnah had to go. He simply made democracy unworkable by his demands. Since he left India has (with a short lapse under Mrs Gandhi) has been a functioning democracy. Hope it is the same in Pakistan.

  30. SARAH KHAN:

    I owe to you one important insight: what forced the creation of Pakistan was that JINNAH was a secularist, and the Congress (despite Gandhi or Nehru) a stronghold of Hindu religious bigots.
    Interesting interpretation.
    Pakistan was a movement for a SECULAR homeland, which had to breakaway from the bigoted Hindus.
    Well, we live and learn.

  31. Ganpat Ram :
    SARAH KHAN:
    Fine. You be secular in your way, and leave us to be secular in ours.

    Blast In Goa By Ram Puniyani 26 October, 2009 Countercurrents.org
    http://www.countercurrents.org/puniyani261009.htm

    Goa, the paradise for tourists, witnessed a bomb kept in a scooter going off on the eve of Divali (17th Oct 2009) in Margao. It killed Malgonda Patil and seriously injured Yogesh Naik. Another bomb was detected in Sancoale in a truck carrying 40 youth for Narkasur competition. Interestingly Narkasur day, one of the five festivals of Divali, is celebrated in Goa on a big scale. Sanatana Sanstha, to which both the activists belong, is opposed to Narkasur festival on the ground that it is celebration of evil. The second aim of this blast was to create communal tension in Margao, which has a history of communal violence. Fortunately, the bomb went off before being planted in the crowded place and so the casualty was less.

    This is the same Sanatan Sanstha, which came to light in the context of a blast which occurred in Gadkari Ragayatan in Thane on 4th June 2008, this had injured seven people. In one of the few cases of success in investigating such cases in Maharashtra or anywhere for that matter, the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Police, succeeded in nabbing the culprits, against whom cases are going on still. It was a clear case of involvement of Hindu Right wing organizations involved in a case of terrorism. The culprits belonged to Hindu Janjagaran Samiti (HJS), an outfit of Sanatana Sanstha, whose one of the ashrams is based in Panvel near Mumbai. These culprits were also involved in other blasts, in Vashi, Panvel and Ratnagiri.

    In Thane the blasts were done to protest against the play Amhi Pachpute, a satirical play on Mahabharata. The allegation was that the play insults Hindu Gods. The earlier blast in Panvel was in a theater where the film Jodha Akbar was being screened. In this film the Hindu princess is married to Akbar, a Muslim king, and that is regarded by these outfits as insult to Hindu religion.

    Sanatan Sanstha founded by Dr. Jayant Balaji Athwale is inspired by the political ideology of Savarkar of Hindu Mahasabha and Hedgewar of RSS. It has branches spread all over, including one in Panvel near Mumbai, while its head office is in Ramnathi in Goa. In earlier Thane and nearby blasts also all the accused belonged to this organization. Sanatan Sanstha says it has nothing to do with the blasts, despite the fact that those involved were members of the organization. Police is investigating the links of these accused with the recent Miraj Sangli riots in Maharashtra on the eve of elections (2009).

    The same organization also brings out a paper called Sanatan Prabhat, carrying the ideas of Hindu Rashtra, and propagating against minorities. Since the last overt action from this organization, no serious action has been taken against this organization, despite Maharashtra ATS asking for a ban on this organization. Now it surfaces that Goa transport miniter Dhavalikar’s wife Jyoti is also associated with this organization. It is again same organization which campaigned forcefully against the screening of M.F. Hussein’s film ‘Through the eyes of a painter’, due to which the screening of the film in the Goa Film Festival held in November 2008 was shelved.

    One recalls that starting from April 2006, many acts of blasts done by the RSS associates, Bajrang Dal, Sadhvi Pragya group etc. came to light. The pattern of these was to target the mosque at time when the crowd of Muslims is maximum there, especially on the Jumma, Friday afternoon namaz (prayer). In case of Sanatan Sanstha associates the blasts so far seems to be taking place to protest against something which they don’t approve of, staging of play Amhi Pachpute, screening of Film Jodha Akbar to here in Goa the celebration of Narkasur festival. The Hindutva related terror seems to be having two types of operations, from which they can be demarcated. And so within the Hindutva inspired terror groups these two clear cut demarcations need to be understood.

    What is strikingly painful is the police and media response to such events. One knows that in Bajrang Dal- Sadhvi Pragya variety of terrorism starting from Nanded to Malegaon, the investigation has been lukewarm and slow. Initially the investigators refused to believe that Hindu Right wing groups can be part of terror acts. It is only after Hemant Karkare’e immaculate investigation unearthing the role of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Dayananad Pande and company that it was taken with some seriousness. One recalls Karkare having stated that he has collected all the evidence against Sadhvi group. Despite that why the investigation is so slow?

    One also recalls that while doing this investigation, Karkare was under immense pressure, he was called Deshdrohi (anti National) etc. His pain and anguish went to the extent that he shared this with a senior police officer, Julio Rebeiro, who in turn correctly advised him to continue doing his work with same degree of professionalism. It is same Karkare who got killed in the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai prompting the then Minorities Affairs minister A.R. Antuley to state that there may be something more than meets the eye in the murder of Karkare. Will the truth ever come out?

    When any blast takes place, and what are popularly called ‘Jihadi terrorists’ are suspected, the newspapers generally devote front page banner headlines, with all details and suspicions spelt out day after day. In cases related to Nanded types or the ones related to Hindu Jagran Samiti type, the coverage is relegated to small columns in the back pages. The visual media which generally carries non-stop running commentary around such an event is now muted when it comes to Hindutva inspired terror.

    Abhay Vartak, the spokesperson of Hindu Sanatan Sansthan said that his organization has nothing to do with these blasts. He went on to say that talk of his organization being part of it and so banning it, is meant to defame his organization. But still the problem remains, those who have done it are part of his organization. Why they are regularly involved in it, in personal capacity or as organization is a question which needs to be answered? What they preach, teach, indoctrinate due to which the terrorists are mushrooming in his Ashram needs to be investigated.

    A terrorist is a terrorist. To mete out different treatments to them according to their religion is a product of biased minds and distorted social common sense, which needs to be overcome to strive for justice.

  32. Ganpat Ram :
    SARAH KHAN:
    Fine. You be secular in your way, and leave us to be secular in ours.

    RSS And Minorities By Ram Puniyani 07 October, 2009 Countercurrents.org
    http://www.countercurrents.org/puniyani071009.htm

    The new RSS Sarsanghchalak, Mr. Mohan Bhagawat told Minorities (Sept 20, 2009) that they should join RSS and see that ‘our intentions are clear and our behavior is good’. As per him all Muslims in India were Hindus in the past. They have only changed their way of worship, and if they accept this fact there will be no clashes. He told Christians that they should not convert people, as that creates communal violence.

    Mr. Bhagwat is partly correct in saying that Muslims have Hindu ancestry. Islam spread in India, by various ways, major being the attempt of Shudras to escape the tyranny of Landlord Brahmin, to quote Swami Vivekananda, “Why amongst the poor of India so many are Mohammedans? It is nonsense to say that they were converted by the sword. It was to gain liberty from Zamindars and Priests…” (Collected Works-Vol 8-Page330). These conversions took place as dalits were not permitted to enter temples so they were visiting the shrines of Sufi saints and under the influence of the Humanistic aspect of Islam they took to Islam. There were other reasons like, anticipation of reward, interaction with Muslims, the least important factor being fear of Muslim kings. So he is partly right that most Muslims have local ancestry.

    But is the change of religion mere change of mode of worship or is it a total change in religious belief system? We do recognize that syncretic traditions of Hinduism and Islam have drawn a lot from each other. But as far as Holy book, belief in one God, Allah, belief in Mohammad as the prophet, this is not just a change in mode of worship, it is much broader than that.

    So, are there clashes because Muslims deny their ancestry, and culture. By no means! As far as culture is concerned for the extremist elements, for the clergy and for those using religion for politics, the culture is just a subset of elitist version of their religion. For average people culture is a broad category, it is affected by regional factors and by some aspects of religion. A large population of Muslims and Hindus both regarded culture as a meeting and mixing point, while elite traditions look down upon the culture of the ‘other’. In India Muslims and Hindus did live in peace, creating different facets of culture, Music, Poetry, clothes and food habits, architecture and religious traditions. We see Ustad Bismillah Khan creating his wonderful work, devoted to Hindu gods and goddesses while sitting on the pavements of Kashi temples, we see Rahim and Raskhan writing beautiful poetry in devotion of Lord Krishna, we see people taking to jalebi,
    Biryani and other food items coming from Iran and other places from where Muslims came. We also see the intermixing in the customs, festivals. To delineate a Hindu and Muslim component of our culture was difficult at a point of time. We have the lovely tradition of people from both religions following the teachings of Ramdeo Baba Pir and Satya Pir. We have that great Saint Kabir who was loved by both Muslim and Hindus.

    The problem begins with the communal historiography, looking at History through the prism of religion, introduced by British to pursue the policy of divide and rule. This version was picked up by the communal streams of Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha-RSS, and aided in the communalization of society and rise of communal violence, more so from the decade of 1940s. To think that clashes are there because Muslims deny their common ancestry is wrong. Also Islam is a religion with its own spirituality and to reduce any religion to just a mode of worship is not correct. In post Independence India the clashes were brewed by this communal thinking, by political motivations not because of religions. Those who deny that Sufis are a part of Indian culture, or Urdu is and Indian language or that the contributions of Muslim Kings, poets, artisans, are the one’s who have created divisiveness leading to clashes. Those who deny that Bhakti tradition was part of tradition which was respected by a section of Muslims, or that celebrating Holi, Divali or Muharram and Id is part of Indian culture are the cause of the political thinking which leads to clashes.

    Coming to Christians, it is not they came here with the British. Christian community in India is over 1500 years old. While their may be some aggressive proselytizers, mainly the conversions take place because of social interaction and genuine charity work. If conversions were a forced phenomenon, how to explain that there are merely 2.30% Christians in India toady? How do we explain that during last four decades the all India percentage of Christians has fallen down, 1971-2.60%, 1981-2.44%, 1991-2.34% and 2001-2.30%? One concedes that some dalits taking to Christianity may not be getting registered as Christians to keep availing the job reservations, but surely this cannot tilt the population percentage to a very great extent.

    Wadhva Commission, which investigated the burning of Pastor Graham Stains by Bajrang Dal’s Dara Sing and is facing the jail term for that, concluded that Pastor Stains was not involved in any work of conversions and that the percentage of Christians in Keonjhar of Manoharpur district in Orissa, did not go up. Even recently the anti Christian violence was launched on the pretext of murder of Swami Laxmananand. It was a clear pretext to scare the Christian missionaries away from the Adivasi areas, where they are involved in the work of education and health care of Adivasis, something which empowers Adivasis. It was a clear pretext as Maoists had owned the murder of Swami.

    Most of the organizations at the core of communal politics are manned on one side by Muslim Communalists and on the other by the RSS trained swayamsevaks working and controlling BJP, VHP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram or Bajrang Dal. Minorities want a safety, and freedom to follow their own religion. Indian Constitution does give us the liberty to practice and preach our own religion. Also RSS is not the representative of Hindus at large. We have diverse traditions of Hinduism ranging from the one of Gandhi to the other ones which are like those of Bajrang dal etc.

    RSS has tried to co-opt and win over sections of minorities for enhancing its agenda. RSS progeny BJP keeps doing it, trying to win minorities, so often for electoral purpose. But over all the minorities have experienced at heavy cost of loosing lives, that RSS is like a wolf trying to put on sheep’s clothing. It is unlikely that after what has been done by its pracharks, Swayamsevaks through its progeny, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Bajrang Dal and vishwa Hindu Parsishad etc. that minorities can ever be fooled by the language being used by Mr. Bhagwat. By now it is also well known that the second Sarsanghchalak of RSS, M. S. Golwalkar had ordained that minorities “the non-Hindu people in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and revere Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but the glorification of Hindu nation i.e. they must not only give up their attitude of intolerance and ingratitude towards this land and
    its age old traditions, but must also cultivate the positive attitude of love and devotion instead; in one word, they must cease to be foreigners or may stay in this country wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation claiming nothing, deserving no privileges far less any preferential treatment, not even citizen’s rights.(We or our Nationhood Defined, 1938, p. 27)

    RSS is no representative of Hindus. It stands for values which are opposed to the human rights of weaker sections of society, Dalits, workers, adivasis, women and minorities. It stands for values of birth based hierarchy of caste and gender as ordained in Manu Smriti. Its primary goal is to establish Hindu nation, i.e. nation with primacy of Hindu elite men, rather than the nation envisaged by the Indian people during the freedom movement, the values which are an amalgam of the principles of Bhagat Singh, Ambedkar and Gandhi. One wishes RSS rather than deceiving others, learns the lessons of freedom movement and makes Gandhi’s Hinduism as its base rather than pursuing Godse’s Hinduism. One knows this is a practical impossibility as RSS is the organization of those who are not elected beings; they are self-appointed guardians of Brahmanical Hinduism, who neither represent Hindus nor the Humanistic aspects of Hinduism. Let’s wish RSS clan can be retrained to think as Indians rather than just as Hindus with Brahmanical values!

  33. Ganpat Ram :
    SARAH KHAN:
    Fine. You be secular in your way, and leave us to be secular in ours.

    SHAME Cry, The Beloved Country Reflections on the Gujarat massacre by a serving IAS officer. HARSH MANDER WEB | MAR 19, 2002 http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?214944

    Numbed with disgust and horror, I return from Gujarat ten days after the terror and massacre that convulsed the state. My heart is sickened, my soul wearied, my shoulders aching with the burdens of guilt and shame.
    As you walk through the camps of riot survivors in Ahmedabad, in which an estimated 53,000 women, men, and children are huddled in 29 temporary settlements, displays of overt grief are unusual.

    People clutch small bundles of relief materials, all that they now own in the world, with dry and glassy eyes. Some talk in low voices, others busy themselves with the tasks of everyday living in these most basic of shelters, looking for food and milk for children, tending the wounds of the injured.

    But once you sit anywhere in these camps, people begin to speak and their words are like masses of pus released by slitting large festering wounds. The horrors that they speak of are so macabre, that my pen falters in the writing.

    The pitiless brutality against women and small children by organised bands of armed young men is more savage than anything witnessed in the riots that have shamed this nation from time to time during the past century.

    I force myself to write a small fraction of all that I heard and saw, because it is important that we all know. Or maybe also because I need to share my own burdens.

    What can you say about a woman eight months pregnant who begged to be spared? Her assailants instead slit open her stomach, pulled out her foetus and slaughtered it before her eyes. What can you say about a family of nineteen being killed by flooding their house with water and then electrocuting them with high-tension electricity?

    What can you say? A small boy of six in Juhapara camp described how his mother and six brothers and sisters were battered to death before his eyes. He survived only because he fell unconscious, and was taken for dead.

    A family escaping from Naroda-Patiya, one of the worst-hit settlements in Ahmedabad, spoke of losing a young woman and her three month old son, because a police constable directed her to `safety’ and she found herself instead surrounded by a mob which doused her with kerosene and set her and her baby on fire.

    I have never known a riot which has used the sexual subjugation of women so widely as an instrument of violence in the recent mass barbarity in Gujarat. There are reports every where of gang-rape, of young girls and women, often in the presence of members of their families, followed by their murder by burning alive, or by bludgeoning with a hammer and in one case with a screw driver.

    Women in the Aman Chowk shelter told appalling stories about how armed men disrobed themselves in front of a group of terrified women to cower them down further. In Ahmedabad, most people I met – social workers, journalists, survivors – agree that what Gujarat witnessed was not a riot, but a terrorist attack followed by a systematic, planned massacre, a pogrom.

    Everyone spoke of the pillage and plunder, being organised like a military operation against an external armed enemy.

    An initial truck would arrive broadcasting inflammatory slogans, soon followed by more trucks which disgorged young men, mostly in khaki shorts and saffron sashes. They were armed with sophisticated explosive materials, country weapons, daggers and trishuls. They also carried water bottles, to sustain them in their exertions.

    The leaders were seen communicating on mobile telephones from the riot venues, receiving instructions from and reporting back to a co-ordinating centre. Some were seen with documents and computer sheets listing Muslim families and their properties. They had detailed precise knowledge about buildings and businesses held by members of the minority community, such as who were partners say in a restaurant business, or which Muslim homes had Hindu spouses who should be spared in the violence.

    This was not a spontaneous upsurge of mass anger. It was a carefully planned pogrom.

    The trucks carried quantities of gas cylinders. Rich Muslim homes and business establishments were first systematically looted, stripped down of all their valuables, then cooking gas was released from cylinders into the buildings for several minutes. A trained member of the group then lit the flame which efficiently engulfed the building.

    In some cases, acetylene gas which is used for welding steel, was employed to explode large concrete buildings. Mosques and dargahs were razed, and were replaced by statues of Hanuman and saffron flags.

    Some dargahs in Ahmedabad city crossings have overnight been demolished and their sites covered with road building material, and bulldozed so efficiently that these spots are indistinguishable from the rest of the road. Traffic now plies over these former dargahs, as though they never existed.

    The unconscionable failures and active connivance of the state police and administrative machinery is also now widely acknowledged. The police is known to have misguided people straight into the hands of rioting mobs. They provided protective shields to crowds bent on pillage, arson, rape and murder, and were deaf to the pleas of the desperate Muslim victims, many of them women and children.

    There have been many reports of police firing directly mostly at the minority community, which was the target of most of the mob violence. The large majority of arrests are also from the same community which was the main victim of the pogrom.

    As one who has served in the Indian Administrative Service for over two decades, I feel great shame at the abdication of duty of my peers in the civil and police administration. The law did not require any of them to await orders from their political supervisors before they organised the decisive use of force to prevent the brutal escalation of violence, and to protect vulnerable women and children from the organised, murderous mobs.

    The law instead required them to act independently, fearlessly, impartially, decisively, with courage and compassion. If even one official had so acted in Ahmedabad, she or he could have deployed the police forces and called in the army to halt the violence and protect the people in a matter of hours.

    No riot can continue beyond a few hours without the active connivance of the local police and magistracy. The blood of hundreds of innocents is on the hands of the police and civil authorities of Gujarat, and by sharing in a conspiracy of silence, on the entire higher bureaucracy of the country.

    I have heard senior officials blame also the communalism of the police constabulary for their connivance in the violence. This too is a thin and disgraceful alibi. The same forces have been known to act with impartiality and courage when led by officers of professionalism and integrity. The failure is clearly of the leadership of the police and civil services, not of the subordinate men and women in khaki who are trained to obey their orders.

    Where also, amidst this savagery, injustice, and human suffering is the `civil society’, the Gandhians, the development workers, the NGOs, the fabled spontaneous Gujarathi philanthropy which was so much in evidence in the earthquake in Kutch and Ahmedabad?

    The newspapers reported that at the peak of the pogrom, the gates of Sabarmati Asram were closed to protect its properties, it should instead have been the city’s major sanctuary. Which Gandhian leaders, or NGO managers, staked their lives to halt the death-dealing throngs? It is one more shame that we as citizens of this country must carry on our already burdened backs, that the camps for the Muslim riot victims in Ahmedabad are being run almost exclusively by Muslim organisations.

    It is as though the monumental pain, loss, betrayal and injustice suffered by the Muslim people is the concern only of other Muslim people, and the rest of us have no share in the responsibility to assuage, to heal and rebuild. The state, which bears the primary responsibility to extend both protection and relief to its vulnerable citizens, was nowhere in evidence in any of the camps, to manage, organise the security, or even to provide the resources that are required to feed the tens of thousands of defenceless women, men and children huddled in these camps for safety.

    The only passing moments of pride and hope that I experienced in Gujarat, were when I saw men like Mujid Ahmed and women like Roshan Bahen who served in these camps with tireless, dogged humanism amidst the ruins around them.

    In the Aman Chowk camp, women blessed the young band of volunteers who worked from four in the morning until after midnight to ensure that none of their children went without food or milk, or that their wounds remained untended. Their leader Mujid Ahmed is a graduate, his small chemical dyes factory has been burnt down, but he has had no time to worry about his own loss. Each day he has to find 1600 kilograms of foodgrain to feed some 5000 people who have taken shelter in the camp.

    The challenge is even greater for Roshan Bahen, almost 60, who wipes her eyes each time she hears the stories of horror by the residents in Juapara camp. But she too has no time for the luxuries of grief or anger. She barely sleeps, as her volunteers, mainly working class Muslim women and men from the humble tenements around the camp, provide temporary toilets, food and solace to the hundreds who have gathered in the grounds of a primary school to escape the ferocity of merciless mobs.

    As I walked through the camps, I wondered what Gandhiji would have done in these dark hours. I recall the story of the Calcutta riots, when Gandhi was fasting for peace. A Hindu man came to him, to speak of his young boy who had been killed by Muslim mobs, and of the depth of his anger and longing for revenge. And Gandhi is said to have replied: If you really wish to overcome your pain, find a young boy, just as young as your son, a Muslim boy whose parents have been killed by Hindu mobs. Bring up that boy like you would your own son, but bring him up with the Muslim faith to which he was born. Only then will you find that you can heal your pain, your anger, and your longing for retribution.

    There are no voices like Gandhi’s that we hear today. Only discourses on Newtonian physics, to justify vengeance on innocents. We need to find these voices within our own hearts, we need to believe enough in justice, love, tolerance. There is much that the murdering mobs in Gujarat have robbed from me.

    One of them is a song I often sang with pride and conviction. The words of the song are: Sare jahan se achha Hindustan hamara…

    It is a song I will never be able to sing again.

  34. I am a happer man now I know that if India is not secular enough for me, there is a place where I can go enjoy the bliss of REAL secularism: Pakistan.

  35. AAMIR MUGHAL:

    Please read my exchange with Sarah Khan. I have accepted that Pakistan is secular but India is a Hindu bigotdom. At least can I come to Pakistan to enjoy the full rights of being a Hindu in a decent country? Promise me.

  36. Ganpat Ram :
    Well done, Nehru and Patel ! You saved India.

    Recalling Nellie 1983: http://www.twocircles.net/special_reports/nellie_1983.html

    Thousands of Muslims were killed in Nellie area of Assam in broad daylight on February 18th, 1983. Their only crime was that they exercised their democratic right to vote. In this series of articles Diganta Sharma and Anju Azad recall the horror of Nellie, events leading up to the massacre, aftermath and current situation. http://www.twocircles.net/2009feb17/recalling_nellie_1983.html_0

  37. Ganpat Ram :
    AAMIR MUGHAL:
    Please read my exchange with Sarah Khan. I have accepted that Pakistan is secular but India is a Hindu bigotdom. At least can I come to Pakistan to enjoy the full rights of being a Hindu in a decent country? Promise me.

    Dear Mr Ram,

    You would have to read a lot on this very blog on what I have to say about Pakistan and Pakistani State’s treatment with Minorities and believe me very few Pakistani expose the wrong so lets call spade a spade to help those whose voices are drowned “in Rampant Pakistani and Indian Nationalism” in the name of Patriotism because these Poor and Hapless people need support and sympathy on both side of the Broder.

    The marked people By Harsh Mander

    In today’s world, many things have been globalised. One of these is prejudice. In the name of the global war on terrorism, an entire community has been labelled and demonised. Terror attacks, whether in Washington, London or Madrid, are followed by paranoid surveillance, strip searches and prolonged detentions of large numbers of Muslim youth, often without even tenuous evidence or respect for their elementary human rights.

    The latest to join this global assault on democratic rights — in the wake of the three bomb blasts that hit Hyderabad this year — is the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh. The state Minorities Commission has reported the abduction and illegal detention and torture by the police of a large number of Muslim youth within days of the blasts on August 25, 2007. I have heard from several terrified families of many youth who “disappeared” for several days without legal trace, chilling testimonies similar to those made by youth incarcerated in Cheraiapally Jail before the fact-finding committee established by the Commission. The committee comprised advocate Ravi Chandran, Professor of forensic sciences Mahender Reddy, and activists Nirmala Gopalakrishnan, K. Anuradha and Afsar.

    What emerges is that tens of — it is feared hundreds — Muslim youth have been forcibly picked up from their homes, and more often while they are on way to work or the market or to worship, without legal arrest. These detentions have been forced by men in civilian clothes presumed to be policemen. Among those illegally arrested is an autorickshaw driver, an embroiderer, a medical student and a software engineer. Almost none have criminal records.

    As they struggle against their abductors, they are bundled into vehicles without number plates, their eyes covered with blindfolds that they are not allowed to remove throughout their detention, their hands bound and their mouths gagged. They are then driven to unknown destinations, possibly farm houses in the periphery of the city. In these locations they, and other youth, are subjected to various forms of torture, including denial of food for long periods, electric shocks and beatings on the soles of their feet. Their eyes continuously masked, they lose track of night and day. They are driven every few days to new torture chambers, grilled about their role in the bomb blasts and coerced to agree about their alleged role in the blasts and their sympathies with international jehad. They are continuously battered with communally-charged taunts by the interrogating policemen. Some succumb by signing blank confession papers; others stoutly resist.

    Their hapless families are, of course, not informed by the police about the detention. They are sometimes informed by witnesses of the police abduction. Many are poorly educated and impoverished, desperate, but unable to comprehend how to set about finding their loved ones. They contact the police, who deny any knowledge of the missing men. Others frantically contact lawyers and human rights organisations to file habeas corpus petitions in the high court. These are heard without urgency by the judges, and the police routinely deny, in court, that the missing men are in their custody. However, in a few days, they are indeed produced by the same police before magistrates, claiming that they were arrested just a day earlier. It is not possible that the habeas corpus petitions by the families of the youth could have been filed before their arrest by the police, in anticipation of their future arrest by the police.

    The fact-finding committee found “tell-tale signs of bodily abuse obviously not self inflicted” in the incarcerated youth, including “noticeable small scars of 1 cm diameter noted on external ears” and “1 mm to 2 mm scars noted around nipples indicative of electricity or needle entry”. Even jail records in three cases acknowledge injuries. They were visibly traumatised, some vomited blood, and others were severely dehydrated with swollen limbs and barely able to walk. The Commission observed that since these injuries “are not self inflicted, these obviously arose during police custody… [therefore] custodial atrocities on young detainees, all minority persons, stand proved”.

    What is even more worrying is that the magistrates abdicated their duties by wantonly ignoring the visible signs of torture (some even noted later in jail records), when the detained youth were presented before them. Even the high court judges ignored Supreme Court guidelines by listing habeas corpus matters for hearing only once a week, unmindful of the imminent threats to the survival of the youth.

    It is remarkable that even after legal production, following prolonged interrogation under torture, the police could still not charge most youth with involvement in the bomb blasts. Instead, the police alleged the youths’ support for international jehad been ‘proved’ by possession and propagation of ‘inflammatory’ CDs and pamphlets. The remand case diaries that I have in my possession describe these CDs as containing “Gujarat communal incidents like showing burnt bodies, damaged houses, the statements of victims as well as their relatives” and the other “clippings like shooting and beheading of… western forces by jehadis”. I possess and exhibit at least the former. Is that evidence to detain me for waging war against the State, in the way that these unfortunate youth have been charged?

    The dazed families of the detained men live with their loss in intense social isolation. They are not just stigmatised by people of the ‘other’ community, even their neighbours, friends and relatives avoid contact with them, for fear that they too will be suspected by the authorities to harbour sympathies with terrorism. The larger community, especially poorer Muslims in the city, subsist with the daily cold dread that their own loved one may be the next target of the police.

    An agonised young woman related to one of the detained youth cried out in a solidarity rally, “We are also Indians; we love India. Why are we seen as ISI agents and traitors?” Speaking from the heart, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned recently against the dangers of precisely such ‘labelling’ of communities as unpatriotic or violent. It is a warning that governments led by his own party, in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Assam, do not seem to heed. He recalled that his own community of Sikhs was similarly labelled in the 1980s. What he did not mention was that thousands of youth were similarly abducted by the police in Punjab in those times, exterminated and cremated in mass graves. The story is hardly different for thousands of young people alleged to be Naxalites in Andhra, who are similarly abducted and eliminated.

    After terror incidents, a hamstrung police are under unbearable pressure to perform. But crippled by ramshackle intelligence, poor investigative skills, demoralised and untrained forces and the crumbling fibre of police leadership, it resorts to shortcuts like the illegal abductions and torture that Hyderabad has witnessed. As the advocate appointed by the Commission, Ravi Chandran, concludes, “What is at stake is not just the lives of 20 odd young boys living in resigned solitariness in a cell tucked away somewhere on the periphery of the modern city. What is at stake is the functioning of a healthy democracy. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.”

    Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/

    In today’s world, many t

  38. @Ganpat Ram
    I am sorry for any inadvertent offence caused.

    I was only scratching the holier than thou stance of Indian (or Gandhian) secularism which forced (I repeat forced) Jinnah to take a communal stance in order to safeguard the interests of a sizeable minority in the pre-partition India.

    Decontextualising Jinnah’s politics in the post 1930s from his politics in pre-1930s may lead us to a skewed understanding of history and politics, I am afraid.

    As far as LUBP’s perspective on secularism and minorities rights is concerned, you may wish to search ‘minority’, ‘Hindu’ or ‘Christian’ in the search box provided above.

    Here are a few specimen posts:

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/1077

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/1426

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/1424

    I hope this clarifies my position and many of my co-editors of this blog.

  39. Ganpat Ram :
    AAMIR MUGHAL:
    Please read my exchange with Sarah Khan. I have accepted that Pakistan is secular but India is a Hindu bigotdom. At least can I come to Pakistan to enjoy the full rights of being a Hindu in a decent country? Promise me.

    A Gujarati’s piece of mind to the Big B

    AMITABH Bachchan seems to have stepped on his own foot. The Bollywood legend’s decision to become the brand ambassador of Narendra Modi’s Gujarat has drawn flak from different quarters.

    And now danseuse and social activist Mallika Sarabhai has sent a letter (full text on right) to Bachchan, asking him what prompted him to become the brand ambassador of a state which is reeling under poverty and has witnessed the killings of innocent Muslims. Current affairs 20 Feb 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com Mallika Sarabhai protests Amitabh Bachcchan’s decision to represent Narendra Modi’s Gujatat http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamCurrentAffairs_1.aspx?ArticleID=2485

  40. Ganpat Ram :
    Happier, I meant, happier. Pakistan =Secularism….a pleasant thought.

    Of saffron variety ANUPAMA KATAKAM The Malegaon blast probe points to the existence of Hindu extremist outfits in Maharashtra.

    • November 2003: A bomb explodes at the Mohammadiya Masjid in Parbhani, Maharashtra. Several injured.

    • August 2004: Bomb blast at the Quadriya Masjid in Jalna, Maharashtra. Several injured.

    • August 2004: Bomb blast at Merag-ul-Uloom Madrassa in Purna, Maharashtra. Several injured.

    • April 2006: Two Bajrang Dal activists die while making a pipe bomb in Nanded, Maharashtra. Investigations reveal that the house belongs to a Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) worker.

    • January 2008: Bombs explode at Gadkari Auditorium, Thane, Maharashtra. Perpetrators turn out to be members of the Sanatan Sanstha, which is linked to the Hindu Jan Jagran Samiti, a well-known extremist organisation in Maharashtra.

    • September 2008: A bomb explodes at Bhikhu Chowk in the largely Muslim-populated town of Malegaon in Maharashtra. Five people die and 89 suffer injuries.

    EVIDENCE emerging from the investigation into the Malegaon bomb explosion led the police to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and two associates, Shivnarayan Singh Kalsangra and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu. With their arrest on October 23, they became the first to be picked up in connection with the incident. Subsequently, Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested six other people, including two Army officers, one serving and the other retired. The ATS believes that a couple of top Hindutva leaders and right-wing politicians may be involved in the blast. Informed sources say that the mastermind, a “Ramji”, is still at large and once he is found the entire “Hindu fundamentalist plot to avenge the recent blasts perpetrated by jehadi groups in India” will be unravelled.

    The sadhvi’s arrest is the first case of a Hindu right-wing member being taken into custody and held responsible for a bomb explosion. Although the police are yet to make a statement about radical Hindu groups being responsible for other blasts in the State, they say there are enough facts to indicate that these groups are involved in those strikes.

    As the investigation progresses, what seems to be emerging is that there are several Hindu extremist outfits in Maharashtra, some of them linked to one another, and they all have a single-point agenda – combating jehadi terror with terror. Political observers and secularists believe that the saffron brigade, which is known to cause terror through communal rabble-rousing, has now adopted a different form of violence. They say that the establishment must, in the same way it cracks down on jehadi terror cells, pay attention to the rising saffron movement and suppress it before it is too late.

    “Until now, the police were under the assumption that only Muslim groups would carry out terror attacks. Ever since the Parbhani blast and the Nanded incident, we [human rights groups] have been asking them to look elsewhere, too. Why would a jehadi group place a bomb in a mosque on a busy prayer day where a number of Muslims would be killed? They do not gain anything by this,” said Asghar Ali Engineer, a Muslim scholar and human rights activist.

    He added: “I am certain that the arrest of the sadhvi and others is just the tip of the iceberg. We will soon see exactly what these so-called Hindutva groups are responsible for. If the police are left to do their job without any pressure, much more will be revealed and hopefully the real culprits will be caught.” http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2524/stories/20081205252411200.htm

  41. In this, Nehru was not being vituperative, but simply accurate. Mookerjee had practised fraud on the nation and Nehru was out to expose it. As his Cabinet colleague, from August 15, 1947, to April 1950, Mookerjee was privy to a lot on which he reneged later; to the adoption of Article 370 on Kashmir, for instance, as Sheikh Abdullah’s letter of February 4, 1953, sharply reminded him. He was privy, above all, to a resolution which the Constituent Assembly unanimously adopted on April 3, 1948, in the wake of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination through a conspiracy of which Savarkar was a member as Justice J.L. Kapur of the Supreme Court held.

    The Constituent Assembly’s resolution read thus: “Whereas it is essential for the proper functioning of democracy and the growth of national unity and solidarity that communalism should be eliminated from Indian life, this Assembly is of the opinion that no communal organisation which by its constitution or by the exercise of discretionary power vested in any of its officers or organs, admits to or excludes from its membership persons on grounds of religion, race and caste, or any of them, should be permitted to engage in any activities other than those essential for the bonafide religious, cultural, social and educational needs of the community, and that all steps, legislative and administrative, necessary to prevent such activities should be taken.” REVIEW ARTICLE The BJP: A crisis of identity A.G. NOORANI Volume 22 – Issue 25, Dec. 03 – 16, 2005 India’s National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU http://www.flonnet.com/fl2225/stories/20051216001507600.htm

  42. Nationalism gone berserk – The growing hubris-driven, illiberal, intolerant nationalism in India falsifies and glorifies the country’s “Hindu” past. It is viscerally hostile to Pakistan, but servile to the United States. Volume 19 – Issue 03, Feb. 02 – 15, 2002
    India’s National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU http://www.flonnet.com/fl1903/19031200.htm

  43. An agenda unmasked

    BISWAMOY PATI

    RSS’s Tryst with Politics: From Hedgewar to Sudarshan by Pralay Kanungo, New Delhi, Manohar, 2002, pages 314, Rs.625.

    THIS book examines the history of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh from its inception till contemporary times. With its policy of exclusion, the RSS has been directly associated with major assaults on the democratic and secular fabric of free India. Its expansion, besides being dramatic, has been clearly based on high levels of planning and organisation, which is rooted in its divisive politics. The expansion of the RSS has been accompanied by the growth of a number of organisations that have developed under its umbrella and have, at least apparently, many faces. Nevertheless, what is normally called the `Sangh Parivar’ is actually one family that comes under the umbrella of the RSS. Consequently, by choosing to study the RSS the author focusses on the `brain’ of all these Sangh Parivar outfits. Volume 19 – Issue 25, December 07 – 20, 2002 India’s National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU http://www.flonnet.com/fl1925/stories/20021220001207600.htm

  44. Ganpat Ram :

    Well done, Nehru and Patel ! You saved India.

    The makeshift temple that was erected at Ayodhya after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. The organising principle of the politics of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple was not only the privileging of faith over reason, but also the ident ification of an enemy who acted against the religious interests of Hindus. Outsider as enemy The politics of rewriting history in India. K.N. PANIKKAR Volume 18 – Issue 01, Jan. 06 – 19, 2001 India’s National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU http://www.flonnet.com/fl1801/18010730.htm

  45. In defence of Advani Interview with Sudheendra Kulkarni. Volume 22 – Issue 13, Jun 18 – Jul 01, 2005 India’s National Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU
    http://www.flonnet.com/fl2213/stories/20050701005501500.htm

    Sudheendra Kulkarni is a secretary in the Bharatiya Janata Party and secretary to party president L.K. Advani. He was part of the delegation that accompanied Advani during his recent visit to Pakistan. Certain sections in the party feel that Kulkarni, who was entrusted with the responsibility of preparing Advani’s speeches, was responsible for the ideological confusion on Jinnah. An ex-activist of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kulkarni was earlier a journalist in Mumbai. He began his association with the BJP in 1996 and was Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s scriptwriter during the six years he headed the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre. Kulkarni was then Officer on Special Duty in the Prime Minister’s Office. In an interview to V. Venkatesan, he defends Advani in the Jinnah controversy. Excerpts:

    There is a perception that in agreeing to withdraw his resignation Advani’s stature has diminished as he has been forced to accept the party’s resolution condemning Jinnah’s role in history.

    It is a complete misrepresentation of the party statement. The impression that was created after Advani’s visit to Pakistan – that he praised everything about Jinnah – was not the case. He made specific, limited references to Jinnah. What were those two references? In recalling the words of Sarojini Naidu, he said in his earlier years he was called an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. The second reference was to the speech Jinnah delivered at a very important forum, that is, the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, on August 11, 1947. He said that speech was a classic and forceful espousal of the secular state in which every citizen had the freedom to follow and practise freedom of faith and the state shall make no discrimination on the grounds of faith. This is what he said. He elaborated on that in a subsequent speech in Karachi itself.

    So Advani has not withdrawn anything that he has said. What the party, however, has done is to remove the impression created in the media that Advani had endorsed everything Jinnah did in his lifetime. Advani was an official guest of the Government of Pakistan. He could not probably have said anything critical of the founder of that country on Pakistani soil.

    Did Advani anticipate the kind of reaction from the Sangh Parivar to his statement on Jinnah?

    I cannot answer whether he anticipated it. But in his speech at the Karachi Council of Foreign Relations, Economic Affairs and Law, he elaborated why the positions had hardened on both the sides. The point he made was that we should respect these critical viewpoints. And he said nothing could be achieved by disparaging or by dismissing these critical viewpoints.

    In his speech in Karachi he said: “The painful manner in which the Partition happened in 1947 but also subsequent hostilities have hardened feelings and rigidified mindsets in both India and Pakistan. After all, Partition resulted not only in unprecedented violence but also in the largest cross-migration in the history of mankind… . This has left behind a trail of tragedy. The wars that followed, the long period of terrorist violence and other events have contributed to the hardening of positions in certain sections of society in both India and Pakistan. This is the reason why even well-intentioned moves for peace and normalisation are often viewed with suspicion and met with disapproval on both sides. We should give due weightage to these critical viewpoints… . This is because those who view the peace process with suspicion both here and in India are not substantial in number. Therefore, it is axiomatic that we should strive to carry with us all sections of society and public opinion in our two countries.”

    If you compare what Advani said with the resolution adopted by the party, you will find that he almost said the same thing without using the name of Jinnah.

    But the fact is that the BJP’s resolution disparages the role of Jinnah and Advani had to agree to it although he took care not to be critical of Jinnah in Pakistan Would it not lower his esteem in Pakistan?

    No, I don’t think Pakistanis are giving this interpretation. It is just that there are suspicions about Pakistan in India, and these suspicions are not just in the BJP. Even outside the BJP there are suspicions. Similarly, there are suspicions about the BJP and the Congress in Pakistan. There are more suspicions about the Congress than about the BJP in Pakistan. They trust the BJP more than they trust the Congress party. For the peace process to go forward, we need to have an honest appraisal of history, so that the suspicions are minimised and the desire for peace and normal relations is strengthened, and this was Advani’s endeavour throughout his visit.

    Some sections of the people think that Advani’s resignation and its subsequent withdrawal are mere drama.

    It is not drama; it has been a huge learning experience for the entire nation. For the very first time, especially the new generation has come to know what went on in those crucial decades. There were strong reasons for him to quit, and there were equally strong reasons for him to withdraw his resignation. If the reaction it [praise of Jinnah] had created within the circle of the party’s ideological Parivar made him quit, its resolution after a democratic debate led him to withdraw his resignation.

    Was the party’s resolution a compromise?

    No, it is certainly not a compromise statement. There was a debate about its contents, because it was a very democratic process, a healthy process. We should see the significance of all these for what it portends for the future. That is far more important. The debate on the past is of course necessary, But we have a task ahead of us: it is how we can put this era of hostility and tension with Pakistan behind us without in any way giving up our national interest.

    Is there a message for Indian Muslims that the real Advani is different?

    It is for the people to realise. After all, the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan, the resolution of problems between India and Pakistan, and the lasting peace between the two countries is going to have a salutary effect on the communal situation in India. Partition did not help in the relations between Hindus and Muslims in India. Therefore, this is the other dimension of the visit. Here is a leader of a party which is considered anti-Muslim and who himself is considered anti-Muslim. He is taking the initiative, which is going to calm the situation, build greater goodwill between Hindus and Muslims. Is it not good for the nation?

  46. SARAH KHAN, AAMIR MUGHAL:
    Rest assured that nothing you have said has offended me in the least.
    I am not in the business of defending India against Pakistan, especially on the question of minorities. I merely note that in India – in most but not all parts of it – Muslims enjoy great freedom of expression and political activity, to the point of ridiculing Hindus and Hinduism ( as they have every right to do – no complaint from me).
    If Pakistan affords a similar right to the Hindu minority – ie, the right to condemn Islam if they feel like it – then all I can say is, well done! We really are gettting somewhere.
    I could plaster a hundred websites here with material about the oppression of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the horrors of Islamic politics and so forth. But why bother?
    One point more: I have no brief for the RSS and its cohorts. Even the RSS has its different voices, though: as you yourself note in regard to Advani.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/opinion/08french.html?src=tp
    This article about the India-Pakistan comparison by Patrick French in the New York Times probably expresses my view as well as anything. French is interesting in this context because he became well known for his history of Indian Independence which was very pro-Pakistani.

    I suppose the only consolation in all this is that we do have separate nations and ought to keep to them. Debate between Indiians and Pakistanis is a waste of time.

  47. Ganpat Ram :
    SARAH KHAN, AAMIR MUGHAL:
    This article about the India-Pakistan comparison by Patrick French in the New York Times probably expresses my view as well as anything. French is interesting in this context because he became well known for his history of Indian Independence which was very pro-Pakistani. I suppose the only consolation in all this is that we do have separate nations and ought to keep to them. Debate between Indiians and Pakistanis is a waste of time.

    Dear Mr Ram,

    New York Times is quite good for playing politics on both side:

    World Briefing | Asia: India: U.S. Refuses Visa To Hindu Politician By HARI KUMAR (NYT) Published: March 19, 2005 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9500EFD9113CF93AA25750C0A9639C8B63&fta=y

    AHMEDABAD, India — Five years after more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed as riots swept through the Indian state of Gujarat, the man censured by the courts for failing to stop the violence is in a tight race to keep his job as the state’s chief minister. Bloodshed in ’02 Shadows Indian Politician in Race That Tests Nationalist Party By AMELIA GENTLEMAN Published: December 11, 2007
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/11/world/asia/11gujarat.html?ref=asia

    Dear Mr. Ram,

    I don’t believe in Pro Pakistan, Anti Pakistan, Pro Indian, Anti Indian, I am least bothered about tags.

  48. India’s Secret Army in Kashmir: New Patterns of Abuse Emerge in the Conflict
    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,HRW,,PAK,,3ae6a8558,0.html

    In 1996, the conflict in Kashmir entered it seventh year, with little indication that parliamentary elections in May would either lead to peace or end the widespread human rights abuses that characterized the war. In the months preceding the elections, Indian security forces intensified their efforts against militant groups, stepping up cordon-and-search operations and summarily executing captured militant leaders. Alongside them, operating as a secret, illegal army, were state-sponsored paramilitary groups, composed of captured or surrendered former militants described as “renegades” by the Indian government. Many of these groups were responsible for grave human rights abuses, including summary executions, torture, and illegal detention as well as election-related intimidation of voters.

  49. 1984 Delhi Massacre: Justice Denied Issue No.19, February 2005 Naunidhi Kaur
    Naunidhi Kaur is based in Toronto where she is working as a freelance journalist for television and print media. — Editors http://www.sikhspectrum.com/022005/justice_nk.htm

    It is not easy to come to terms with images of a family member being burnt alive by a mob in front of you. If that happens, psychoanalysts say, you end up living with “death guilt.” Most survivors of 1984 carnage live with this death guilt. Silently they condemn themselves for not getting killed with their family member. Punishment to the guilty can assuage their feelings. This has not happened. Twenty years after the 1984 carnage the guilty politicians who led the riots are members of the parliament and cabinet ministers. The police officers who helped the killing mobs have retired or have been promoted.

  50. 1984 Sikhs’ Kristallnacht – Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS1lughRF_0&feature=related

    1984 Sikhs’ Kristallnacht – Part 2 [Sikh Driver burned to death near Indian Parliament]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bFupEaUXSU&feature=related

    1984 Sikhs’ Kristallnacht – Part 3
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  51. Sarah Khan :
    @Nadir Ali Dirojay Pukhtunyar
    I agree with you that thinking and reasoning rationally is much more important then being farm animals bred on ‘Mutaliya Pakistan’ fodder. May I also suggest to exclude a hybrid of Soviet Socialist and INC fodder from this discussion?
    Thus, I suggest that we leave rhetoric outside this conversation.
    While you conveniently ignored Jinnah’s stance on the infusion of religion by Gandhi and Ali brothers, hope you will not discard the following testimony (as Mutaliya fodder) by an Indian writing in the Times of India in October 2009.

    “Contemporary Congressmen needed a cardboard Jinnah as the all-purpose villain who could soak up all the guilt of Partition. An obstinate, communal hate figure was planted into Indian schoolbook history. This was then morphed into something more insidious.”

    http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/TheSiegeWithin/entry/the-truth-is-gandhi-is

    Why woukd you want to keep the ‘Socialist/INC’ fodder out of the discussion? Hasn’t the bastradization of history, impostion of fake Pakistaniyyat, and the suppression of natural, humanist and progressive discourses brought Pakistan to the verge of extinction? The ‘Socialist/INC’ fodder has produced revolutionaries, statesmen and stable republics. What do you have to show for your ‘Mutaliya/Pak’ fodder? 130 million sub-humans and a failed state? I fail to understand the aversion of the Paki(Indic) minds to the true face of history.
    Secondly: Do you think that an obscure opinion can change the hard facts of history? Ayan Hirsi Ali is an ex-Moslem who has the most terrible things to say about our Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Are we supposed to renounce our religion because one of our own has spoken the ‘truth’?
    The religious facet of Gandhiji’s association with the Khilafat movement is a natural thing because of the religious nature of the issue. The Caliphate is not a secular institution. In orthodox Islam, the Caliph is the vicar of Muhammad (SAW). Hence it was necessary to appeal to the religious sentiments of the people to mobilise them to work for the Caliphate. A secular movement/rhetoric/action would have been ineffectual/unnatural and irrational.
    Thirdly: You claim that the ‘Indian Moslems’ had no confidence in the ‘Hindu’ INC. Nothing can be far from the truth as the results of the 1946 elections show. In Ounjab the Unionists/Congress won. In Pukhtunkhwa, Hazrat Baacha Khan RA won 33 out of 50 seats and in Sindh Allah Bux Soomro (Don’t remember the exact name)who was opposed to Pakistan, won. Only in Bengal, did the ML won. (which is ironic in itself)
    How can you claim that the ML/Jinnah were the sole representatives of ‘Indian Moslems’?
    Fourthly, Amir Mughal brother, would you be kind enough to google ‘Bengal massacre 1971’ , ‘Al Badr, ‘ Al Shams’ , ‘Crimes against humanity 1971’, ‘ Balochistan operations 1948/59/62/73/06’ , ‘Taleban’, ‘Mazar Massacres’, ‘Pukhtunkhwa bloodshed through proxies’ before you went your venom on India?
    Fifthly, Nishapuri brother, why would the concept that the ‘Indian Moslems are threatened by Hindus in India’ appeal to me at all? Pukhtunkhwa is 99.76% Moslem. Why fear did I have of the Hindus? and for that matter of the Indics? I, the son of Ahmed Shah and Sher Shah. I, the vanquisher of Alexander, Mongol, Moghul, the Saffavid. I, the conqueror of Delhi and Nishapur. Why would I fear the Hindu domination.

  52. Nadir Ali Dirojay Pukhtunyar :

    Fourthly, Amir Mughal brother, would you be kind enough to google ‘Bengal massacre 1971′ , ‘Al Badr, ‘ Al Shams’ , ‘Crimes against humanity 1971′, ‘ Balochistan operations 1948/59/62/73/06′ , ‘Taleban’, ‘Mazar Massacres’, ‘Pukhtunkhwa bloodshed through proxies’ before you went your venom on India?

    Dear Nadir Sahab,

    Try to search on this blog [don’t bother to go to google search] and find my comment on above tragedies.

  53. Nadir Ali Dirojay Pukhtunyar :

    and in Sindh Allah Bux Soomro (Don’t remember the exact name)who was opposed to Pakistan, won. Only in Bengal, did the ML won. (which is ironic in itself)
    How can you claim that the ML/Jinnah were the sole representatives of ‘Indian Moslems’?

    Sindh Assembly Motion for Pakistan is as under whose Mover was a Rafizi and major supporters were Rafizi Waderay of Pakistan:

    Read the Sindh Assembly Resolution:

    “QUOTE”

    LATE. Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Shah AKA G M SYED [A DIEHARD COMPANION OF LATE. JINNAH]

    SEVENTEENTH SESSION

    RESOLUTION ON MATTERS OF GENERAL PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

    On 3rd March, 1943, Mr. G.M. Syed moved the Historical Pakistan Resolution:-

    “This House recommends to Government to convey to His Majesty’s Government through His Excellency the Viceroy, the sentiments and wishes of the Muslims of this Province that whereas Muslims of India are a separate nation possessing religion, philosophy, social customs, literature, traditions, political and economic theories of their own, quite different from those of Hindus, they are justly entitled to the right, as a single, separate nation, to have independent national states of their own, craved out in the zones where they are in majority in the sub-continent of India.

    “Whereas they emphatically declare that no constitution shall be acceptable to them that will place the Muslims under a Central Government dominated by another nation, as in order the order of things to come, it is necessary for them to have independent National States of their own and hence any attempt to subject the Muslims of India under one Central Government is bound to result in Civil War with grave unhappy consequences.”

    Walkout by Hindu Members

    The Honourable mover of the resolution stated that his resolution was intended to convey the views and sentiments of only the Mussalmans of Sind and not of the entire population of Sind. The Chair also held that it was only the wish of the Mussalmans of Sind which was going to be conveyed by this resolution. In view of this ruling of the Chair that the Hindus had no interest in the resolution and that it was only the religion and sentiments of the Mussalmans of Sind that were to be conveyed through it, the following Hindu members left the House.

    Mr. Nihchaldas C. Vazirani, Mr. Dialmal Doulatram, Mr. Ghanumal Tarachand, Mr. Partabrai Khasukhdas, mr. Akhji Ratansing Sodho, Mr. Mukhi Gobindram and Rao Bahadur Hotchand Hiranand.

    Division

    The Resolution was pressed to division.

    RESULT OF DIVISION ON PAKISTAN RESOLUTION.

    YES.

    SHAIKH ABDUL MAJID

    KHAN BAHADUR ALLAH BAKHSH K.GABOL

    KHAN BAHADUR HAJI AMIR ALI LAHORI.

    MR. ARBAB TOGACHI.

    MIR BANDEHALI KHAN TALPUR.

    MIR GHULAM ALI KHAN TALPUR.

    HONOURABLE SIR GHULAM HUSSAIN HIDAYATULLAH.

    KHAN BAHADUR GHULAM MUHAMMAD ISRAN.

    SAYED GHULAM MURTAZA SHAH.

    KHAN BAHADUR SAYED GHULAM NABI SHAH.

    HONOURABLE PIR ILLAHI BAKHSH NAWAZ ALI.

    NAWAB HAJI JAM JAN MUHAMMAD.

    MRS. JENUBAI G. ALLANA.

    S.B. SARDAR KAISER KHAN.

    SYED MUHAMMAD ALI SHAH

    HONOURABLE KHAN BAHADUR M. A. KHUHRO.

    HONOURABLE HAJI MUHAMMAD HASHIM GAZDAR.

    MR. MUHAMMAD USMAN SOOMRO.

    MR. MUHAMMAD YURI CHANDIO.

    SAYED NUR MUHAMMAD SHAH.

    RAIS RASUL BAKHSH KHAN UNER.

    MR. ALI GOHAR KHAN MEHAR.

    MR. SHAMSUDDIN KHAN BARAKZAI

    KHAN SAHIB SOHRAB KHAN SARKI.

    NOES.

    THE HONOURABLE RAI SAHIB GOKALDAS MEWALDAS

    THE HONOURABLE DR. HEMANDAS R. WADHWAN

    MR. LOLUMAL R. MOTWANI.

    The Historical Pakistan Resolution was passed by the Sindh Legislative Assembly on 3rd March, 1943 during the Session, out of 38 Members 24 Members favoured and 3 Members opposed the Pakistan Resolution.

    “UNQUOTE”

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