Daily Archives: September 30, 2008

Understanding Turkish Nationalism

by Yasser Latif Hamdani

Further to the Part 2 of Shaheryar Ali’s “Historiography” series, in particular the tangential reference to Turkish Nationalism contained therein, I am sharing a few thoughts for the readers of the Pak Tea House.

Given the importance of the said discussion, it is important to set the record on straight.  Ali’s main thrust is that since Kemal Ataturk’s Turkish Nationalism took an increasingly European character, it was not a kind of Muslim nationalism but an ethnic one or linguistic one.  All of the arguments thus presented have not done anything to reveal the true nature of Turkish nationalism but rather rely on subsequent modernist endeavors of Ataturk and the Kemalist Turkish state to move away from an overtly Islamic identity to whitewash the history and context of Ataturk’s tremendous achievement i.e. leading a multitude of hapless and disoriented Muslim masses to modern nationhood and a republican national state. Continue reading

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History and Interpretations: Communalism and Problems of Indian Historiography 2

by Shaheryar Ali

We have analyzed, the origins of “communal historiography”, the “socio-political construction” of communal-identities, the conversion of “communal politics into Religious Nationalism.

Here we have given a critique of Colonial Historiography, by the secular-nationalist historians of India. What becomes clear is that colonialism in  India  resulted in formation of 3 types of Nationalism, which Romila Thapar characterizes as Anti-colonial Indian Nationalism, Hindu and Muslim Nationalism, both of whom were not anti-colonial but relied on colonialism for their historical legitimacy, we have demonstrated that looking into history and culture of India in terms of “Muslim” and “Hindu” was essentially British. Continue reading

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