Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammed Ali Jinnah: A Man for All Seasons

Kashkin

To achieve your own dreams it takes a lifetime but to achieve the dream of millions, it’s a feat only a few can perform in the history of mankind. And Jinnah was one of them. And to achieve that one has to rise above the fear and display courage. The ability and skills which he manifested in the process of creation of Pakistan and the fight he carried in all quarters, with reason and logic to bring the dream of a lifetime for millions of souls was unsurpassable. We will always remain in debt to this man and those millions of sacrifices.
There has been a lot written about him; there is a lot that has been said of him.  From Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre to Stanley Walport- all agreed on one thing: this man, this Jinnah, this leader and founder of Pakistan had resolve of a man unbreakable even by the might of the mightiest, the British Empire, the connivance and huge presence of Hindu pressure and by all who thought that to create Pakistan was something beyond comprehension and reason. But he stood his ground against all who promised, tempted, and applied pressure from all directions and yet they could not move him, not even an inch. He was to give all, right to their end of days the question how he single handedly carried this responsibility and what were those elements that made him unique in all sense; as a leader, as a tactician, as one of the finest implementer of law, as a symbol of governance and system which we all forgot, the very citizens and leaders of Pakistan after his death.

In all his numerous speeches given in whatever little time he had, it paved way for all to see and to learn and to practice how Pakistan should develop its economic policies, foreign policies, protect rights of its minorities, based on justice and fairness, a society modeled on the principles of Islam, where all will be able to contribute to its success and progression. And we all forgot within months of his departure.

It is still time for Pakistan and Pakistanis to wake up from its slumber and to invoke the spirit of its founder to bring back this country to its feet. All the challenges we see around us, all the opposition we face amongst ourselves and from outside can be dealt with if we could only understand the persona of Jinnah and his life and understand the mechanics in creation of a country that became second largest Muslim country in 20th century. A presence, a home for all where fairness and justice will exist.  But alas, this was not to happen as we forgot our very own sacrifices, our very own people and our very own founder Jinnah.

Instead of following him and his vision; we followed our instincts based on greed and promotion of values against all what he created and practiced; against all what the vision of Iqbal and his philosophy stood for; against all what Chaudhry Rahmat Ali envisioned. We forgot Jinnah and all those very people that stood by him against opposition the world had never seen. These people exist in all of us. Never a day that goes past, when we do not come across the saying and quotations from any of these, but we have turned all this into a big ceremony. We have turned Jinnah into just a mere symbol. A place where he rests now needs no salutes, no visitor’s book, no swarming crowd to take pictures. It is his words; it is his life that needs to be lived in all of us. We have betrayed him in last 61 years. It is still time to appreciate and to revive that spirit in Pakistan and in all of us, and to forget these differences that we have created. We must become more understanding and tolerant of each other and work together. It is this challenge that is the need of the time and our responsibility.

Remember a young boy, seventeen years of age, arriving at Southampton. Remember a person who learnt the ways of life in those dreary months of winter. Remember that person who once walked near river Thames, immersed in his own thoughts questioning himself what change means and how it will be brought. Even Jinnah had no idea at that time but he learnt to reason well in a language that was once remote and alien, he learnt that understanding Law will take him far but he never imagined that one day he will fight for something and in a way no one had done it before. One day he will fight for the hopes of millions, for cause greater than anything he had imagined, or any of us in years to come. Imagine how it feels to be part of that change and history and  the destiny, to make a separate homeland for all of us, to carry those aspirations in years to come through thick and thin. Little did he know that he will one day stand with Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Mountbatten and the whole British Empire- all the opposing forces. But he fought well with all his mind and his words and actions to turn this dream into reality- a reality which no one could ever understand and accept to this day. It is upon us now as individuals and as a society and as leaders of this nation to understand the cause and all what it took.

It is this man Mohammed Ali Jinnah who became in the process our Quaid-e-Azam, our leader and founder of Pakistan. It is this man we owe our responsibility to as free citizens of Pakistan. It is this man Jinnah, his words and his vision we owe our alliances to.  It is this man we owe our debt resulting from his endeavor to turn this dream of a separate homeland for millions of Muslims. It is this man, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam, a man for all seasons we owe our lives to and to Pakistan.

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230 responses to “Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammed Ali Jinnah: A Man for All Seasons

  1. Furkan

    Dear Kashkin,
    welldone! you wrote a very beautiful thread.God Bless You.it seems that you are like other jinnah lover’s and fanz u have got the maxima RESPECT for MR.JINNAH may his soul rest in peace.it was HIM who kicked the whole british empire single handedly from sub continent.EVEN gandhijee was just a himslef made hero.the real winner & hero is jinnah 🙂

  2. I’ve been following this site for some time now, and I’ve found some of the views expressed here to be very sane.

    I would, however, disagree with this hagiographic description of Jinnah principally because I have an aversion to identity politics that Jinnah was a master at. This, of course, has been India’s bane even after partition with people like Modi taking it up with gusto.

    Is the writer of this piece aware of what transpired on 16 August, 1946 in Calcutta? How Suhrawardy declared a holiday to enable the Muslim League to effectively respond to Jinnah’s call for “Direct Action”?

    A chill went down my spine when I read the history of the Great Calcutta Killings- because I had read it all in the papers before, in 2002, when I was 15. The Gujarat riots were also “helped” by a VHP bandh-to mobilise “troops”. This time the Leader, didn’t call for Direct Action but he did say that every action has an unequal and opposite reaction.

    Thus, both times the killings of thousands of people was justified using the word “action” in some form or the other.

    Till people don’t stop supporting people like Modi and Jinnah, who don’t mind killing people to achieve their aims, India and Pakistan will never see peace, I’m afraid.

    P.S: I hope criticizing Jinnah is taken in the right spirit. This is what I feel. I’d be more than open to views on the contrary, though.

  3. YLH

    Hades,

    First of all Jinnah resorted to identity politics only after exhausting all other options. He is the only politician in South Asia to be known as the best ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity. He was a thoroughly secular man and remained committed to United India for atleast 33 out of 40 years of his political career if not more.

    Comparing Jinnah to Modi is ignorance at its worst. I suggest you pick up a good book on partition and learn something from it. May I suggest “partition of india: legend and reality” by H M Seervai.

    In any event to compare Jinnah to Modi- leader of a minority fighting for safeguards to a majoritarian fascist is akin to comparing Dr.King or Malcolm X to white supremacists.

    You are also dead wrong about the direct action day. Jinnah in any event had nothing to do with Calcutta. In Calcutta, the report by Wavell confirmed- that three times the number of Muslims died than Hindus. If you honestly apply your mind to the Direct Action Day events by looking through the Transfer of Power Papers you will realize that the nonsense drummed into you by third movies like Hey Ram or partisan pro-congress ideologues is the exact opposite of the events as they turned out after inquiry report. Now we are well aware of what Gandhi’s favorite correspondents like Bourke-white wrote but official papers tell a very different story. For example you might even discover that Jinnah never said “we’ll have india divided or destroyed” and that this line was invented altogether. Have you tried searching the term “Direct Action” on line and seeing what it really means?

    Now thanks for telling us not to admire the one man about whom the author of your constitution Dr. Ambedkar said: “There is no politician in South Asia to whom the word “incorruptible” maybe more fittingly applied than Jinnah”. This is a reputation that was confirmed by everyone who came into contact with the man including H V Hodson, Gandhi, Nehru and Louis Fischer. Many have tried to impugn this reputation but unsuccessfuly- the most recent being the taliban-sympathizer author Tariq Ali, whose own grandfather was sikandar hayat a British toady who hated Jinnah, …the poor irrelevant and clueless Tariq Ali tried to make a case on the basis of the fact that the US gifted Jinnah with a ceiling fan. Wow.

    But..
    Perhaps you wish us to admire Gandhi instead? But then have you read the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi? The man was a racist casteist misogynist Hindu fascist- yes that’s right- I challenge you to read Gandhi’s collected works and I can assure you that Gandhi will look like Adolf Hitler’s brother from another mother. Gandhi believed that black people were subhuman.and it was Gandhi who introduced the scourge of identity politics in South Asia by supporting the Khilafat movement against better advice of secular and liberal Muslims like Jinnah? So why do you abuse the man who resorted to it only at the end of his 40 year long career?

    But who am I tell you anything?

    I hope my comment is not taken in the wrong spirit. I am just trying to open your eyes to the facts of history. I am well aware that it will – in the words of the Great Mr. Dickinson of Pennsylvania- diminish my already declining popularity on this website. But I can assure you what I’ve written above is a considered position based on Transfer of Power Papers and Gandhi’s collected works.

    You may want to read some of my own articles on Jinnah and Gandhi on this website. Search Yasser Latif Hamdani.

  4. YLH

    Hades,

    First of all Jinnah resorted to identity politics only after exhausting all other options. He is the only politician in South Asia to be known as the best ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity. He was a thoroughly secular man and remained committed to United India for atleast 33 out of 40 years of his political career if not more.

    Comparing Jinnah to Modi is ignorance at its worst. I suggest you pick up a good book on partition and learn something from it. May I suggest “partition of india: legend and reality” by H M Seervai.

    In any event to compare Jinnah to Modi- leader of a minority fighting for safeguards to a majoritarian fascist is akin to comparing Dr.King or Malcolm X to white supremacists.

    You are also dead wrong about the direct action day. Jinnah in any event had nothing to do with Calcutta. In Calcutta, the report by Wavell confirmed- that three times the number of Muslims died than Hindus. If you honestly apply your mind to the Direct Action Day events by looking through the Transfer of Power Papers you will realize that the nonsense drummed into you by third movies like Hey Ram or partisan pro-congress ideologues is the exact opposite of the events as they turned out after inquiry report. Now we are well aware of what Gandhi’s favorite correspondents like Bourke-white wrote but official papers tell a very different story. For example you might even discover that Jinnah never said “we’ll have india divided or destroyed” and that this line was invented altogether. Have you tried searching the term “Direct Action” on line and seeing what it really means?

    Now thanks for telling us not to admire the one man about whom the author of your constitution Dr. Ambedkar said: “There is no politician in South Asia to whom the word “incorruptible” maybe more fittingly applied than Jinnah”. This is a reputation that was confirmed by everyone who came into contact with the man including H V Hodson, Gandhi, Nehru and Louis Fischer. Many have tried to impugn this reputation but unsuccessfuly- the most recent being the taliban-sympathizer author Tariq Ali, whose own grandfather was sikandar hayat a British toady who hated Jinnah, …the poor irrelevant and clueless Tariq Ali tried to make a case on the basis of the fact that the US gifted Jinnah’s sister with a ceiling fan. Wow. This is the best Jinnah’s critics can do.

    But..Perhaps you wish us to admire Gandhi instead? But then have you read the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi? The man was a racist casteist misogynist Hindu fascist- yes that’s right- I challenge you to read Gandhi’s collected works and I can assure you that Gandhi will look like Adolf Hitler’s brother from another mother. Gandhi believed that black people were subhuman.and it was Gandhi who introduced the scourge of identity politics in South Asia by supporting the Khilafat movement against better advice of secular and liberal Muslims like Jinnah? So why do you abuse the man who resorted to it only at the end of his 40 year long career?

    But who am I tell you anything?

    I hope my comment is not taken in the wrong spirit. I am just trying to open your eyes to the facts of history. I am well aware that it will – in the words of the Great Mr. Dickinson of Pennsylvania- diminish my already declining popularity on this website. But I can assure you what I’ve written above is a considered position based on Transfer of Power Papers and Gandhi’s collected works.

    You may want to read some of my own articles on Jinnah and Gandhi on this website. Search Yasser Latif Hamdani.

  5. YLH

    Hades,

    First of all Jinnah resorted to identity politics only after exhausting all other options. He is the only politician in South Asia to be known as the best ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity. He was a thoroughly secular man and remained committed to United India for atleast 33 out of 40 years of his political career if not more.

    Comparing Jinnah to Modi is ignorance at its worst. I suggest you pick up a good book on partition and learn something from it. May I suggest “partition of india: legend and reality” by H M Seervai.

    In any event to compare Jinnah to Modi- leader of a minority fighting for safeguards to a majoritarian fascist is akin to comparing Dr.King or Malcolm X to white supremacists.

    You are also dead wrong about the direct action day. Jinnah in any event had nothing to do with Calcutta. In Calcutta, the report by Wavell confirmed- that three times the number of Muslims died than Hindus. If you honestly apply your mind to the Direct Action Day events by looking through the Transfer of Power Papers you will realize that the nonsense drummed into you by third movies like Hey Ram or partisan pro-congress ideologues is the exact opposite of the events as they turned out after inquiry report. Now we are well aware of what Gandhi’s favorite correspondents like Bourke-white wrote but official papers tell a very different story. For example you might even discover that Jinnah never said “we’ll have india divided or destroyed” and that this line was invented altogether. Have you tried searching the term “Direct Action” on line and seeing what it really means?

    Now thanks for telling us not to admire the one man about whom the author of your constitution Dr. Ambedkar said: “There is no politician in South Asia to whom the word “incorruptible” maybe more fittingly applied than Jinnah”. This is a reputation that was confirmed by everyone who came into contact with the man including H V Hodson, Gandhi, Nehru and Louis Fischer. Many have tried to impugn this reputation but unsuccessfuly- the most recent being the taliban-sympathizer author Tariq Ali, whose own grandfather was sikandar hayat a British toady who hated Jinnah, …the poor irrelevant and clueless Tariq Ali tried to make a case on the basis of the fact that the US gifted Jinnah’s sister with a ceiling fan. Wow. This is the best Jinnah’s critics can do.

    But..Perhaps you wish us to admire Gandhi instead? But then have you read the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi? The man was a racist casteist misogynist Hindu fascist- yes that’s right- I challenge you to read Gandhi’s collected works and I can assure you that Gandhi will look like Adolf Hitler’s brother from another mother. Gandhi believed that black people were subhuman.and it was Gandhi who introduced the scourge of identity politics in South Asia by supporting the Khilafat movement against better advice of secular and liberal Muslims like Jinnah? So why do you abuse the man who resorted to it only at the end of his 40 year long career?

    But who am I tell you anything?

    I hope my comment is not taken in the wrong spirit. I am just trying to open your eyes to the facts of history. I am well aware that it will – in the words of the Great Mr. Dickinson of Pennsylvania- diminish my already declining popularity on this website. But I can assure you what I’ve written above is a considered position based on Transfer of Power Papers and Gandhi’s collected works.

    You may want to read some of my own articles on Jinnah and Gandhi on this website. Search Yasser Latif Hamdani.

    Keeping an open mind is a good idea.

  6. YLH

    Some kinda malfunction it seems. Moderators please delete first two posts.

  7. YLH

    Btw- there are people who can and will argue against Jinnah’s eventual and reluctant separatism. It depends on perspective. Whether Jinnah was right or wrong about Pakistan is a long debate without any quick answers but no serious historian or a contemporary (including his rivals) of Jinnah has ever doubted two things :

    1. His integrity and honesty.

    2. That he abhorred violence as much as if not more than Nehru Gandhi etc and that violence pained him greatly be it in Calcutta or Noakhali or in Gurdaspur…regardless of community. His valiant defence of Hindus in Karachi for example is well documented.

    So if someone wants to criticize him, criticize him with atleast some justification. Here was probably noblest man – refined, liberal and schooled in European secular humanism – of the subcontinent and to compare him to banal and basic communal desires of corrupt and thirdrate hindutva majoritarian fascists when Jinnah was a leader of a minority fighting for its survival …is just.a travesty.

  8. azhar aslam

    Give it another fifty years and Jinnah would be considered (for me he already is) as one of six political leaders (others being Churchill, Hitler, Ben Gurion, Attaturk, Stalin and Deng Xiaoping )whose life and legacy has had the deepest impact on the course of human history in the 20th century and beyond.

    All other Indian leaders including Ghandi were pygmies, both in politics and in character, when compared to him.

    Among the Muslims in the 20th century, only Kemal Attaturk comes near him, but he stands head and shoulders above them all.

  9. ‘Give it another fifty years and Jinnah would be considered (for me he already is) as one of six political leaders (others being Churchill, Hitler, Ben Gurion, Attaturk, Stalin and Deng Xiaoping )whose life and legacy has had the deepest impact’

    ‘All other Indian leaders including Ghandi were pygmies, both in politics and in character’

    Ah, the happy marriage jingoism and bigotry… Go Pakistan!

  10. YLH

    Azhar is neither a bigot nor a jingoist. Perhaps you would try and break out of your mental chains and realize that what Azhar wrote is what historians like Patrick French, Wolpert and Indians of proven integrity like Dr. Ambedkar, M N Roy and H M Seervai has already said several times.

  11. YLH

    Have… Not has

  12. lal

    YLH,
    No complaints about jinnah as a person,but why 50 years from now.It is already 60 years since they have left the scene.Let us asses what are the effects of these people in world history.
    1)India considers gandhi as the father of nation and believes he is responsible for indian independence by and large.I m always willing to encourage any contrary views on that.I agree that Indias independence had as much to do with the political scenario post 2nd world war as much as our indpendence movement.But when you are questioning him as an individual you might as well read the quote on him by einstein.
    2)Patel,whatever be his views towards right of spectrum ,has an invaluble contribution in puttting all the apples in the basket.Modern India’s territorial integrity is very much a cotribution of Patel.
    3)Nehru,whatever be his personal indiscretions,was a liberal and has a huge role in instituting democratic ethos in Indias mind.Infact if democratic spirit still survives in India despite Indira Gandhi ,Nehru should be rightfully credited.
    4)Coming to Jinnah,there is no questioning his personal integrity or political acumen or even his secularist credentials,but the net effect of his actions is the creation of the state of pakistan.Jinnahs legacy can only be justified by Pakistan and its actions.You have some idea how Pakistan is viewed in the whole world.I fervently hope that 50 years from now the whole world will acknowledge Jinnahs impact,but it is upto you people….

  13. YLH

    Lal,

    I have not asked anyone to refrain from criticizing Jinnah’s legacy but that criticism ought to be based in fact and not blanket ignorant statements which impugn the character of the man, when history shows him to quite blemish free and there is unanimity over it.

    Was he right or wrong in making Pakistan? Frankly given the mess we’ve made of things, I wonder if he would have pressed forward with Pakistan had he known. But such things are not answered once or even in 50 years.

    what I do know is what you’ve affirmed above and that is why I admire Jinnah.

  14. trp

    “Jinnahs legacy can only be justified by Pakistan and its actions”

    True. otherwise his personal integrity is of little importance. while jinnah asked for pakistan, his judgement in doing so can and shud be questioned. creating a nation state based on a new idea is indeed a great achievement – but for who? the muslim ruling class to secure their future? a great leader should have seen this and taken the more difficult option. jinnah went for instant glory and power, gandhi did not even take a post in the govt. gandhi’s idea of non violence is what pakistan needs today, and india too, jinnah’s idea of separation failed in 1971.

  15. YLH

    What instant power? What glory? Jinnah was offered premiership of independent India and he rejected it on principle.

    I strongly suggest that instead of imagining history in your head you consult transfer of power papers and apply your mind to it. Any honest man will come to the same conclusions H M Seervai did. Seervai was no Pakistani mind you but he concluded that Jinnah acted honestly and honorably and tried to come to an arrangement on the basis of United India even as late as October 1946 only to be let down by the power hunger of Nehru, Patel, Gandhi and the rest of the motley crew, Maulana Azad being the solitary exception.

    As for Gandhi’s idea of “non-violence”, having read Gandhi’s collected works and his life in some detail I consider Gandhi to be one of the biggest frauds of 20th century. But if Jinnah’s legacy is to be questioned on the basis of partition, why should you not question Gandhi who made religious identities non-negotiable by introducing the khilafat movement, against counsel and advice of Jinnah. As Patwardhan pointed – Gandhi was merely interested in promoting Muslim mullahs because secular and liberal Muslims like Jinnah within the Congress drove a hard bargain and laid an equal claim to Indianness which Gandhi was not willing to reconcile himself with- being quite the medieval fascist that he was.

    Pakistan and India need constitutional non-violence … that Jinnah espoused for most of his career …and not the fake fraud lie that Gandhi’s “nonviolence” entailed.

    I have no doubt that a future historian will one day conclusively lay to rest the Gandhi delusion and lies about partition which Gandhians of India and Islamic ideologues of Pakistan have spread around.

    I pray that people learn to be honest at long last in the meanwhile and stop insulting the intelligence of the common man by prescribing witchdoctors like Gandhi as a model for the ills that are Gandhi’s doing in the first place.

    Jinnah’s Pakistan Zindabad.

    Long live humanity

    Down with witchdoctors of all religions.

  16. azhar aslam

    I posted my comments as my personal opinion, not as some definitive medal awarding announcement. And I don’t want to have to defend it just for the sake of it. Everyone is entitled to think what they want about my comments. However I see that poor YLH is having to defend me through no fault of his own.

    So I want to present my reasons for choosing the seven (sorry I was wrong in saying six) most influential politicians of 20th century. First, please note I am talking about political leaders only. And I shall try to resist the temptation of writing an essay. In my opinion impact on 20th century events and beyond is based on the following criteria:

    Influence on people: Jinnah and his legacy has influenced and continues to do so, on at least the following number of people in reducing order of influence: Subcontinent(Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis) nearly 2 billion ( or 1/3rd of humanity directly), Greater Subcontinent including Afghanis, Sri lankans, Burmese, Bhuttanis etc; Muslims all over the world ( 1.5 billion); indirectly the Western world and finally now courtesy of the ‘war on/of terrorism’ most of if not the whole world population . And by influence I mean influence on day to day life and influencing the decisions people make in their lives.

    Influence on the world events: From ‘cold war’ to the ‘war on terrorism’ Jinnah’s legacy has been central or pivotal to most events in past sixty years

    Influence on ideas and ideologies: From theocracy to secularism, Jinnah’s legacy has contributed to the war among and interaction of ideas.

    Influence on Islamic renaissance

    Influence on the Western life and ideas including clash of civilization theory through discourse of Islamic renaissance and indirectly through the creation of Jihadism

    Influence the course of history through all of the above.

    I can assure every one, that although it probably does not make an iota of difference to anyone, I did not take this
    lightly. One notable omission, which was difficult and would be my eighth choice, is Mikhail Gorbachev. I do not find any one from European politics pre-first world war, and post Second World War with an all pervasive influence. American Presidents have been mostly reactive to the world events and certainly none has really influenced the course of history significantly. FDR would be my choice out of them. Similarly soviet leaders are not as notable between Stalin and Gorbachev; Mandela has more of a spiritual influence; Latin America and Indochina including Australia has been mostly peripheral with exceptions of Hu Chi Minh, Che Guevara, Ibarra, Soekarno, and few others. Among the Islamic world would be Nasser, Faysal and Khomeini. Sure they were great leaders or inspirational figures but we are talking about a long lasting impact and legacy that has influenced the course of world history.

    Briefly, why did I choose the others? Ataturk’s influence straddles across continents and civilizations. Stalin comes ahead of Lenin due to his role in the Second World War and establishment of Soviet empire; Hitler’s legacy is reflected in European ideas and European Union by reactive default; So is Churchill’s, who did save Britain and played a key role in the second world war ( the most important result of his efforts perhaps was US continuing to play leading role in the old world after second world war); Ben Gurion whose single mindedness contributed more than any one else in creation of the state of Israel ( and the subsequent consequences) and Deng Xiaoping whose decisions put China back at the centre of the world after 500 years. China would have been even without Mao, but it would not have been, where and what it is now, without Deng.

    I am sorry to disappoint my Bharati friends but I am sure they can see why I do not include Ghandi in the list. I have neither time nor space to substantiate YLH’s thesis about him (which I whole heartedly agree with). I am sure there are plenty of western survey and sites who will include Ghandi in their lists and satisfy their egos. That they may be doing it more out of political correctness and as a PR exercise, rather than on the basis of any raw evidence, is obviously beside the point.

    I shall single out one fact so far as Jinnah’s integrity is concerned. He was one politician in British India who was not arrested. And only a person well versed in history can appreciate what I am saying. As to his character, Dina Jinnah came to see him at London airport after he had not spoken to her for years. He did not stop to say hello to her, his only child. Now who among us is capable of doing that.

    All bearded ‘momins’, please note

  17. Ali Rehman

    Good Day
    I am studying in Stockholm,Sweden. I have to give a presentation on Pakistan to my university.Although this is not the proper forum to ask but I wanted to present a 5 minutes video on Pakistan with pictures of all major cities and regions like the North of pakistan. Besides does someone have something similar made in power point or can you people help me in telling me the links where I can get such information then it would be highly appreciated. Moreover we need to dispel the impression of Pakistan therefore I ask you ppl to help asap. I need to present tomorrow.
    Thanks a lot.
    Regards
    Ali Rehman
    Stockholm School of Economics
    verboseguy@hotmail.com

  18. lal

    Azhar,
    Everybody has their viewpoint.You can always have your own list of 6.But may I raise some points.Putting Ben and Deng in that list is fine enough.Keeping Jinnah ahead of Gandhi is a matter of opinion.But what amused me is keeping Stalin,Hitler and Churchil in the same list.I think there influence or there legacy as u put it is on the vane even now.The relevance of there contribution after 50 years….and all of them together.because as anybody knows they were in such conflict with each other tat all their ideologies surviving 50 years is unthinkable.Personally I would have put Simon bolivar and nelson mandela in that list for sure

  19. Vandana

    Gandhi medival fascist!
    Jinnah the greatest secularist!!
    Isn’t there any place for shades of grey in this discussion?

  20. trp

    YHL, thanks for the sloganeering. did i publish a cartoon?

    “Jinnah was offered premiership of independent India and he rejected it on principle.” – there are debates over this version.

    you shud also read abt the change in jinnah’s stand abt whipping up communal passions after the league’s defeat in 1937.

    and jinnah has no responsibility for direct action day??? its amazing how its accepted wisdom in your nation to create a monster to serve political purposes and then show complete denial when the monster behaves like one.

  21. YLH

    Trp,

    I suggest you read H V Hodson’s “the Great divide” and how it deals with direct action day.

    No historian who has honestly studied the events of direct action day has accused Jinnah of personal culpability. Nor did Gandhi or Nehru point any fingers on Jinnah blaming Suhrawardy instead and that too inaccurately. Direct Action means “civil disobedience” (you may pick up a good book on political science and learn from it) and Jinnah made it clear in his instructions two days before the appointed day that it was a programme where Muslim League would resort to peaceful civil disobedience.
    Infact even Bengal Muslim League was itself not blamed as investigations carried out by the British showed in the words of Wavell himself “no evidence of League’s involvement was shown”. Ofcourse this letter (addressed to Pethick Lawrence) was not declassified till the transfer of power paper came out. It also showed that the British thought appreciably more Muslims had been killed than Hindus. Ofcourse they decided not to reveal this to the public so as to pressurize the League to come into the interim government.

    Also if one reads Frank Burrows’ account – one notices a very interesting fact: Muslims were armed with brickbats and sticks. Busloads of Sikhs who arrived in the city and the Hindus were armed to teeth with guns. Somebody had planned Sikhs and Hindus armed with guns to be bussed in. These are your own white masters writing? Surely if we must take their word for it on what happened in Mumbai, we should also accept their secret- previously classified and now de-classified- correspondence?

    I think an honest person who reads the events of direct action day will realize that the Congress version no longer cuts it .

    I’ll be willing to discuss each and every such lie that Congress and foreign correspondents spun.
    Now coming to your comment about 1937…once again little knowledge is dangerous. On the contrary in 1939, he prevailed over Punjab’s famous “Pakistan” scheme and had it changed to “confederacy of India”. This crass accusation that Jinnah whipped up communal passions is dealt with by H M Seervai in his book “partition of India legend and reality”.

    After 1937 Jinnah spoke primarily for Muslims and after 1940 his struggle took a separatist character …but this was through an evolution of thought that had more to do with Congress and Gandhi and Nehru’s actions that spanned two decades.

    Otherwise why would the staunchest Indian nationalist, and the politician to be known as the Best Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity resort to Muslim separatism. Don’t say “instant power and glory”… Jinnah had reached his pinnacle as a leader long before Gandhi walked in and had Jinnah stayed on and played by Gandhi’s rules, he would be honored above many others in your country (until ofcourse he would do or write something like Azad, Shaikh abdullah or Antulay and he would be similarly abuse).

  22. YLH

    Azhar,

    By that criterion I’d day Gandhi too deserves to be on that list for:

    1) Encouraging Mullahs to come into politics which Gandhi did in form of Khilafat movement.

    2) For the creation of Jamiat e ulema hind in 1924 whose founding meeting Gandhi attended and encouraged.

    3) For Congressi Mullahs like Mufti Mahmood from NWFP whose ideology and whose son formed the Taliban.

    4) For politicizing Deobandi Islam, which Gandhi did to use it against the League. The same Deobandi Islam was then used by ISI in Kashmir and most recently in Mumbai by Lashkar e Taiba.

    That makes Gandhi the grand daddy not just of the Taliban but also of all terror aimed at India and Pakistan … Especially Mumbai. Now if Mumbai leads to Nuclear war… Gandhi may stand as the most influential of all world leaders in 20th century.

  23. YLH

    Vandana,

    Maybe on Jinnah’s status as the greatest secularist but certainly no room for shades of grey on Gandhi’s status as a medieval fascist.

    I think of two great Indians who thought similarly- Dr. B R Ambedkar and M N Roy.

  24. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    I think of two great Indians who thought similarly- Dr. B R Ambedkar and M N Roy.

    Although I am not a great man, I am an Indian at least so u can add me to the list.

    Azhar mian,

    You seem to a Jinnah phobe playing a pro-Jinnah image. As YLH points out if MAJ (pbuh) has to be credited with the alleged jihad MKG deserves the title a 100 times over.

    As a general comment it seems that on this board at least, MAJ (pbuh) is being pilloried for the misdeeds of his creation- Pakistan. Now that wud be a fair coment if Pakistan had modelled itself after its Founder. But as Yasser himself says that this Pakistan is not Jinnah’s Pakistan but a mere imposter. Jinnah’s Pakistan was choked bit by bit from 1949 (Obj Reslution) and finished off in 1971.

    Regards

  25. Yaser,
    First of all Jinnah resorted to identity politics only after exhausting all other options.

    Ah! The ready refrain of every fundamentalist—they started it first; we had no other option…

    Sigh! When will people learn that killing thousands of people CANNOT be justified?

    I will now try and clear up thing with regards to DAD (Direct Action Day):

    Firstly, you say that Jinnah’s call to violence as recorded by has been made up by Bourke-White. While ignoring the treasure trove that Halfway to Freedom is, we can still prove a lot by other means too.

    1) The very act of calling for “Direct Action” in the Calcutta/India of 1946 itself was the biggest crime of them all. I trust you are well versed with the history of Calcutta to know that the city in 1946 was a communal tinderbox. The slightest spark could have lit a raging fire. Surely, Jinnah might be accused of many things but dim-wittedness was something that he did not possess. He very well knew that an ambiguously worded “Direct Action” would ignite Calcutta and other parts of India taking him one step further to his ambition. We could go on and on by what the phrase “Direct Action” really meant, but to a seething city in the August of 1946, it could only mean one thing. Again, maybe you see things differently. After all, to many, the VHP had only called a bandh the day after Godhra to protest the innocent loss of lives. That it exploded into a mass genocide is something they can’t be held accountable for.

    2) By the way, when Jinnah was asked to explain what DA meant here’s what he had to say: “Go to the Congress and ask them their plans. When they take you into their confidence I will take you into mine. Why do you expect me alone to sit with folded hands? I also am going to make trouble” (emphasis mine)

    Again, you might argue that by “trouble” he meant, say, peaceful protests. Maybe he did. But to call for “trouble” in the India of 1946 and to expect peace is something that only a demented Pollyanna would do.

    3) Here’s what Suhrawardy had to say at a convention of Muslims counselors held on 9-10 April under Jinnah’s chairmanship: “Let me now honestly declare that every Muslim of Bengal is ready and prepared to lay down his life for Pakistan Now I call upon you, Mr. Jinnah, to test us.”

    Maybe you could also consult The Great Divide by Harry Hodson for more stails on the Great Calcutta Killings.

    Also, I find your reading of history very disconcerting, Yasser.

    To dismiss a source like Bourke-White with an accusation like “inventing” facts is a bold accusation. If jingoism drives you to it, then it’s okay. But pray don’t try and deflect attention by raising the bogey of official papers. Trust me, if we only went by what the British Indian government had to say, Jinnah would come of a lot worse that what Bourke-White could present.

    Towards the fag end of the British Empire in India, Nehru had Mountbatten in his pocket (or vice-versa, even!) with the British thoroughly irritated by this scheme of a “mad-man” (attributed to Mountbatten by Wolpert) to divide India. That an idiot like Mountbatten could be so correct while the brilliance of a man like Jinnah was clouded by greed and ambition is the tragedy that we, in India and Pakistan, have to live with.

    The rest of your post, intriguingly, focuses on the personal lives of Gandhi and Jinnah.

    The man was a racist casteist misogynist Hindu fascist- yes that’s right- I challenge you to read Gandhi’s collected works and I can assure you that Gandhi will look like Adolf Hitler’s brother from another mother

    Racist, maybe, from his days in Africa. But casteist?

    I would be ever so obliged if you could provide me quotes from Gandhi’s writings which indict him as casteist.

    Also, comparing Gandhi with someone like Jinnah is fallacious in the extreme.

    To call Gandhi a saint might be stupid cos, as you have pointed out, he had quite a few faults.

    And again as you pointed out Jinnah was an exceptionally brilliant man, endowed with many qualities that set him apart.

    However, even with his faults, Gandhi’s politics never caused genocides. In spite of his brilliance, Jinnah’s communal Two-Nation theory caused, perhaps, the greatest human tragedy the world will ever see.

    To end, I’d like to tell you to go and read the 1940 Pakistan resolution. Partition and the ensuing violence can be blamed on a number of factors but who will you blame the Resolution on? It is sad that while most other modern countries are founded on the equality of men, Jinnah chose to found his nation on an explicit plank of inequality.

    Jinnah thought that Muslims need a Pakistan because they cannot live peacefully with Hindus and Modi is of the opinion that all Indian Muslims should go to Pakistan —I see no difference. I only see two sides of the same bad penny.

  26. That makes Gandhi the grand daddy not just of the Taliban but also of all terror aimed at India and Pakistan

    Interestingly, Yasser, right-wing fundamentalist Hindus in India think along the exact same lines blaming Gandhi for “Muslim appeasement”.

    Poor chap, hated by the Leftists, the Muslim right-wing and, of course, killed by the Hindu Right-wing.

    Judge a man by his enemies, they say…

  27. YLH

    Hades,

    Ah little knowledge is so dangerous.

    I find your inability to break out of the propaganda drummed into you disconcerting.

    Consider that you want us to take Margaret bourkewhite’s word for it when margaret bourkewhite claims that the meeting she attended was a public one where “fezzes” were flying in the air. Ironic because the meeting she explicitly refers to in her sensational account actually was a central working committee meeting and not a public meeting with fezzes flying. She was lying and that is why no real historian in the west researching the issue after the declassification of transfer of power papers has used her as a reliable source which makes sense because she was at the end of it a photographer deeply enamoured with Gandhi. So I am afraid I am going to discount her view as a prejudiced one based on deliberate distortion of the facts as shown above. No historian studying the life of Jinnah be it in India, US, UK or anywhere else has lent credence to “India divided or destroyed” except for the authors of “freedom at midnight”.

    Now coming to direct action day… For your information the term direct action was used by Nehru first when he said that Muslim League did not have the moral courage to launch direct action. Clearly you don’t have a clue what “direct action” means do you? I suggest you look it up. Jinnah clearly defined direct action day as a day of civil disobedience by peaceful means which is exactly what it was all over India except Calcutta …

    Now coming to Calcutta, evidence points to Congress sponsored Goons who were armed to teeth with guns according to Frank Burrows. Now I do not doubt that Suhrawardy wanted to have a show of strength but he did not arm his followers with guns. I wonder how busloads of armed Sikhs arrived so soon if the whole thing was not planned ? Or are Punjabi sikhs with guns indigenous to Calcutta?

    The fact is whatever happened in Calcutta, no one – not even Gandhi and Nehru – dared to raise a finger at Jinnah because Jinnah did not have anything to do with it and had the moral integrity and courage to reprimand his own Bengal Muslim League the very next day despite the fact that the British declassified documents show that there was absolutely no evidence of Muslim League’s involvement. Calcutta was designed to teach Muslim League a lesson ie to refrain from revolutionary action.

    By Harry Hodson I suppose you mean HV hodson- an author you clearly haven’t read because he has written exactly what I’ve written above.

    Now coming to the Lahore Resolution -have you read it? I doubt it. Lahore Resolution lays down a principle which is the basis of the Pakistan movement: that no permanent cultural majority shall dominate a permanent cultural minority by sheer numbers alone.

    Pakistan movement (the real thing) was based on this principle which was egalitarian progressive and essentially secular. As for your claim that Jinnah founded the country on a plank of inequality is similarly your ignorance speaking. The principles that Jinnah put before the new nation and to which he remained committed were equality of citizenship regardless of religion caste gender or creed welfare of the masses. It was not just the famous 11th August speech but so long as Jinnah was alive he made every effort to ensure that this vision was followed. To this end he specifically had a scheduled caste Hindu preside over the first session of the Pakistan constituent assembly. It was for this reason that he had chosen a scheduled caste Hindu to represent Muslim League in the interim government before partition and it was for this reason that the same scheduled caste Hindu became the first Law minister of Pakistan. Even for things like the first national anthem he got an Urdu speaking Hindu to write the first national anthem and to ensure that there would be no one religion above another, Jinnah refused to have the PCA sessions start with the recitation of the Holy Quran.

    Ofcourse Pakistan today has forsaken all of this- as Majumdar pointed out above- but if there was ever a country founded on the principle of equality, justice, fair play and all the fine ideals you have in the Indian constitution for example- it was Pakistan. Indeed Dr.Ambedkar was an old ally of Jinnah and it is fitting that this old ally of Jinnah drafted the constitution of India and made it the secular document it is today.

    Now coming to your statement about fundamentalists blah blah. All the Muslim fundamentalists were more or less with the Congress Party so I don’t know what you are talking about? But I ask you is Jinnah not the only Muslim politician to be called the Best Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity ? Did he not give most of his life to the cause of United India? His credentials are well established and only an ignorant person will deny it.

    As for Modi, the famous Indian writer Farzana Versey once called Modi the ideological progeny of Gandhi. Gandhi introduced religious revivalism and Modi and others took it to the highest level. Both spoke of Ram Rajya…one was soft and deceptive Hindutvist (Gandhi) and the other is blatant and open Hindutvist ie Modi.

    Your attempt to compare Jinnah to Hindutvists is too simplistic and historically untenable. Jinnah spoke as a minority leader… when he achieved Pakistan he resigned as president of League (on 17th December) and retired the two nation theory -which again you’ve failed to understand.

    His two nation theory was a consociationalist scheme and did not suggest till early 1947 atleast that Hindus and Muslims could not live together. If you read the Lahore resolution (which you haven’t read) you will realize that the resolution speaks of safeguard of minorities on both sides. So your claim doesn’t make sense. Jinnah, after 1940, envisaged a Muslim majority state and Hindu majority state coming together to form one Union of India. This is exactly what the Cabinet Mission Plan envisaged as well but was vetoed by the Congress. So who are you blaming?

    You speak of “greed”. What nonsense really? Atleast try and pick up a biography of Jinnah… You will realize that he was offered governorships on several occasions but he refused them and you will discover that Gandhi even tried to bribe him with the first Premiership of independent India…so what greed? To become the GG of a truncated smaller state and ironically if one reads Jinnah papers carefuly one realizes that Jinnah had planned on retiring and only came back to become the Governor General after Hameedullah Khan of Bhopal withdrew his name in July. So its not like Jinnah was the first choice of GG either… So what greed? Had you actually read H V Hodson (who you called Harry Hodson above) you would probably know better because Hodson calls Jinnah the most selfless scrupulous and principled politician in India.
    Now I come to your question about Gandhi’s casteism. Gandhi’s casteism was exposed well by Dr. B R Ambedkar’s “what Gandhi and the Congress Party have done to the untouchables” and “Gandhi and Gandhiism”. Gandhi’s own essay in Niya Jawan or something like that shows that he believed that caste system was the natural military organization of humanity. You ought to read it … It makes fascinating read really into the mind of Gandhi who has hailed by so many. Glad you admit Gandhi was a racist.

    Now coming to question of whether my view of Gandhi mirrors that of Hindu fundamentalists… If it did, I wouldn’t be bothered but it doesn’t really. Hindu fundamentalists view Gandhi as a friend of Muslims because he tried to sound politically correct. The truth is that Gandhi did probably the most to hurt the Muslims materially politically and economically. He was no friend to Muslims and was probably the greatest Hindu chauvinist in the history of the subcontinent. He encouraged the Mullahs because Gandhi felt that he could control Mullahs better than the secular minded legal eagle that Jinnah was… Mullahs too saw that a secular Muslim leadership like that of Jinnah would always threaten their religious dukaandari.

    Finally you don’t want me to quote declassified official papers… I wonder why? Is it because an Indian lawyer of integrity Mr. H M Seervai already did that and concluded that Jinnah had it right and that the Congress acted dishonorably?

    I would hope that you would raise yourself above the circumstance of your birth.

  28. YLH

    PS: you are right. Comparing Gandhi to Jinnah is fallacious. Gandhi was a racist casteist Hindu fasicist misogynist bugot …

    Jinnah was none of these things. He was a modern minded liberal Muslim who believed in minorities’ rights and women’s rights…and in equality of citizenship regardless of circumstance of birth.

    If I gave the impression that I was comparing the two men, I wish to dispel such notion. I would not dare compare Jinnah to someone as distasteful as Gandhi or his modern avtar Narendra Modi.

  29. YLH

    That is “bigot” not “bugot” where I describe Gandhi’s many virtues.

  30. Kaffir

    Hates,

    If by the greatest tragedy known to man you mean violence at partition, I ask two questions:

    1.Was it really the greatest tragedy known to man? It certainly was a grave tragedy but if it was the greatest tragedy known to man Indian government certainly did not think so because VP Menon is on the record describing partition violence as “mere disturbances” when responding to Zafrullah’s description of violence as “genocide”. The numbers of dead vary from 165000 to 585000 with Penderel Moon capping them at 200000. But even if we accept the 1 million figure that Pakistanis and Indians claim, that is 1/6th of the number killed in the holocaust for example. This doesnot take away from the tragedy however.

    2. How was two nation theory to blame for it? By all accounts the majority of those who died died in Gurdaspur which was kept a secret by Mountbatten.. Most of the dead were Muslims fleeing Gurdaspur. So why not blame Mountbatten who failed to do his duty or who unfairly gave Gurdaspur to India? Why not blame the Congress for insisting on carving up Punjab? The two nation theory and the Lahore resolution never said anything about arbitrary partition of constituent units? And Congress claimed that Two Nation Theory was invalid…then why did they insist on partitioning Punjab and Bengal thereby causing a large part of the violence?

    The reason why the Indian government took the official position that partition violence was “mere disturbances” was because violence happened Congress’ nose and Congress is far more culpable than some abstract idea or theory that led to the creation of a separate state.

    Learn to take responsibility instead of passing the buck.

  31. ylh

    If the idea and the theory and those who forwarded it are to be blamed instead of applying the simple rule of English jurisprudence : “I took the gun, I shot my wife” … and blaming the real culprits of violence, why stop at blaming two nation theory? Why not blame Gandhi for introducing religion into politics and making religious identities non-negotiable or for stabbing Azad in the back on the issue of cabinet mission?

    To blame Jinnah and the Pakistan movement for the violence and tragedy is like the British laying the blame for all deaths in American revolutionary war on George Washington and the founding fathers of the US ie Adams, Franklin and Jefferson instead of blaming their own inability to come to terms with these gentlemen all of whom were at one point staunchest supporters of Britain.

  32. trp

    “Why not blame Gandhi for introducing religion into politics and making religious identities non-negotiable or for stabbing Azad in the back on the issue of cabinet mission? ”

    why not go all the way back and blame the people who implanted the different religion in india 🙂 – the first citizen of pakistan as u call it 🙂

    its a joke.

  33. ylh

    Perhaps … though no one ever annointed Mr. Bin Qasim the first citizen of Pakistan.

    The so called saying that is quoted is that Pakistan had come into existence when the first native converted to Islam.

    It is more of a matter of fact statement than anything especially if it came from Jinnah who had most reluctantly given up his Indian nationalism.

    After all didn’t Indira speak of avenging a thousand years of oppression when Pakistan was beaten in 1971 and didn’t Nehru describe Shivaji as a great patriot fighting against “foreign domination” of Mughal Empire (his exact words are quoted in Shivaji – a Hindu King in Islamic India)? Are you telling me that the native born puritan Aurangzeb Alamgir was a foreign ruler but his own great grandfather Akbar -despite his Persian upbringing- is held to be the greatest Indian emperor?

    I do very much blame those who planted the evil of religions on this land but I extend it to include all religions that have come to this subcontinent.

  34. (I)

    Yasser,

    I find your superciliousness amusing, my man.

    Just to puncture a bit of that, I’ve procured these nifty little web links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Hodson

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19990331/ai_n14217238

    Much as I’d like to, “Harry Hodson” wasn’t a name invented by me for HV Hodson.

    Not a problem, though. Humility is way over-rated. Of course, when short on knowledge it’s often a prudent course.

    ***
    I will ignore your claims of Bourke-White “lying”. As I said, I find the way you read history disconcerting when you bandy around words like “lying” when the source doesn’t suit you. Try and not look for such a monochromatic narrative, is a bit of advice that I might offer.

    Now onto the meat.

    There’s a lot of jhamela over what Jinnah meant when he called for Direct Action.

    Yassir: Have you tried searching the term “Direct Action” on line and seeing what it really means?

    Hades: Again, you might argue that by “trouble” he meant, say, peaceful protests. Maybe he did. But to call for “trouble” in the India of 1946 and to expect peace is something that only a demented Pollyanna would do.

    Yassir: Jinnah clearly defined direct action day as a day of civil disobedience by peaceful means which is exactly what it was all over India except Calcutta …

    I will again repeat what I’ve already said. It doesn’t matter what Jinnah “meant” when he used the term “Direct Action”. You can define DA in any way you want, but to expect peace in the India of 1946 using a term like “Direct Action” is, as I’ve already said, something only a demented Polyanna could expect.

    Only an idiot could not have foreseen what was to happen when Jinnah declared that he was going to cause “trouble”. And trust me, Jinnah was no idiot.

    The rest of your point focuses on how Muslims suffered more than the Hindus in the Great Calcutta Killings. Which is sad, because you really haven’t understood communal South Asian politics if you somehow feel that Muslims suffering lets Jinnah of the hook. In 2002, the masacre of Hindus in Godhra was the best thing to happen to Modi in his sad little life.

    Each person killed in a riot made Jinnah’s Two-Nation theory stronger. Each dead Hindu or Muslims made Jinnah’s claims of the inability of the two communities to live in peace stronger.
    Innocent Muslims getting killed was a small price to pay to further his ambitions.

  35. (II)

    Since you insist on focusing on focusing on the personal life of Jinnah and Gandhi, I will oblige.

    You speak of “greed”. What nonsense really? Atleast try and pick up a biography of Jinnah… You will realize that he was offered governorships on several occasions but he refused them and you will discover that Gandhi even tried to bribe him with the first Premiership of independent India…so what greed?

    I see a lot of claims that Jinnah refused the PMship of India. Apparently it’s also there in some movie called ‘Jinnah’.

    Let’s see what Wolpert has to say:

    According to Wolpert, Gandhi did propose this to Mountbatten. The shrewd old SOB knew that that is the one thing that could placate Jinnah’s ambition and stop the MAD that was about to happen.

    As I’ve already said, Mountbatten, though, thought Jinnah to be quite mad. Plus, he was also influence by Nehru who was quite shocked that his mentor has betrayed him so.

    Thus, according to Wolpert, this offer of premiership was never ever conveyed to Jinnah.

    I trust, Yasser, my man, that Wolpert is not “lying”. 😛

    To become the GG of a truncated smaller state and ironically if one reads Jinnah papers carefuly one realizes that Jinnah had planned on retiring and only came back to become the Governor General after Hameedullah Khan of Bhopal withdrew his name in July. So its not like Jinnah was the first choice of GG either… So what greed?

    Again, I would advise you to read up on Wolpert.

    According to his narrative, Jinnah handled Pakistan till his health could permit.
    .
    .
    .
    Uff, I’m finding these hagiographic descriptions quite tiring and boring to refute.

    Gandhi:

    Now I come to your question about Gandhi’s casteism. Gandhi’s casteism was exposed well by Dr. B R Ambedkar’s “what Gandhi and the Congress Party have done to the untouchables” and “Gandhi and Gandhiism”. Gandhi’s own essay in Niya Jawan or something like that shows that he believed that caste system was the natural military organization of humanity. You ought to read it … It makes fascinating read really into the mind of Gandhi who has hailed by so many. Glad you admit Gandhi was a racist.

    When you can get the name of the essay right without adding an “or something” then we can talk.

    And I see you’re quite positively gleeful that I’ve admitted that Gandhi was a racist. Actually, my man, Gandhi’s faults would fill up tomes. Some of the personal faults you suppose of Gandhi are correct, assuming, of course, a bit of hyperbole on your part.

    However, this belittling of Gandhi and comparing him with Jinnah is absurd. I will repeat what I said earlier: However, even with his faults, Gandhi’s politics never caused genocides. In spite of his brilliance, Jinnah’s communal Two-Nation theory caused, perhaps, the greatest human tragedy the world will ever see.

  36. (III)

    The Pakistan Resolution

    Now coming to the Lahore Resolution -have you read it? I doubt it. Lahore Resolution lays down a principle which is the basis of the Pakistan movement: that no permanent cultural majority shall dominate a permanent cultural minority by sheer numbers alone.

    I will, of course, ignore the puerile ad hominem about me not having read it and will assume you have.

    The resolution has, as I said, some are some very ugly parts which do accentuate the inequality of men based on religion and maybe explain why Pakistan was unable to enforce this principle of minority protection that you (correctly) speak of.

    Here are some excerpts:

    “Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designed on the following basis principles, viz. that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern and zones of India should be grouped to constitute ‘Independent State’ in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.”

    “. It has always been taken for granted mistakenly that the Mussulmans are a Minority and of course we have got used to it for such long time that these setlled notions sometimes are very difficult to remove. The Mussulmans are not a Minority. The Mussulmans are a nation by any definition. The British and particular.y the Congress proceed on the basis, well, you are a Minority after all what do you want ? What elso do the minorities want ? Just as Babu Rajendra Prasad said. But surely the Mussulmans are not a Minority. We find that even according to the British map of India we occupy large parts of this country, where We Mussalmans are in a majority such as Bengal, the Punjab, Northwest Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan.”

    “It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fad! to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are. in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindu and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality and this misconception of one Indian nation lies gone far beyond the limits and is the cause of most of your troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time.”

    You’ve mentioned that Jinnah worked all his life for a United India. In fact, he did—till 1937. Here he calls it a “misconception”.

    These lines, in particular, are quite damning; a start to Jinnah’s new career in identity politics trying to accentuate the differences between Hindus and Muslims rather than bridging it:

    The Hindus and Muslims belong to too different religious philosophies, social customs, literatures. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts on life and of life are deferent.. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussulmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victory and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single State, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state

    I really don’t know what your benchmark for calling something communal is, but in my view the Lahore resolution is it.

    His two nation theory was a consociationalist scheme and did not suggest till early 1947 atleast that Hindus and Muslims could not live together.

    Firstly, I’m glad that you admit he did suggest it, although somehow him suggesting it late is, to you, a great mark of character.

    Secondly, read the third excerpt above. As early as 1940 Jinnah had made up his mind that the two communities had “conflicting ideas and conceptions” and yoking together the two communities would lead to “final destruction”.

    “Jinnah spoke as a minority leader… when he achieved Pakistan he resigned as president of League (on 17th December) and retired the two nation theory -which again you’ve failed to understand.”

    Retired the two nation theory?

    So the Two-Nation theory only held till a Pakistan was formed. After that all those “conflicting ideas and conceptions” were to magically disappear because Jinnah had decided to “retire” them, is that it?

    It would be funny, if it weren’t so tragic.

    … an Indian lawyer of integrity Mr. H M Seervai already did that and concluded that Jinnah had it right and that the Congress acted dishonorably?

    Who is Seervai to judge? Today’s Pakistan is up for everyone to see—the true indicator of who got it right—Jinnah with his theory of separation based on a communal identity or the Congress which claimed in 1942 that “giving liberty to any component state of territorial unit to secede from the Indian Union or Federation will be highly detrimental to the best interests of the people of the different States and Provinces and the country as a whole.”

  37. P.S: I have broken up my reply into three parts. The first part is stuck in moderation.

    To help keep things less confusing I’d think it better to wait for the first post to appear before replying.

    Regards

  38. trp

    Are you telling me that the native born puritan Aurangzeb Alamgir was a foreign ruler but his own great grandfather Akbar -despite his Persian upbringing- is held to be the greatest Indian emperor?

    Yes, because akbar did not piss off the locals, like aurangzeb did. he’s no foreigner because he was puritanical (my school books praised him for earning his own living), but he’s a foreigner because he tried to enforce foreign ideas, believed in them.

    I do very much blame those who planted the evil of religions on this land but I extend it to include all religions that have come to this subcontinent.

    Including the religions the people of the sub continent created / evolved for themselves and did not force other ppl to follow them? ok! in the context of the partition tho, its islam thats the problem, as its a separate ‘civilisation’ as claimed by the league. hindus, jains, buddhists, sikhs, animists are the same ‘civilisation’ 🙂

  39. YLH

    Hades,

    Let us first start by acknowledging that you’ve failed to make the case to prove that Jinnah called for violence in Calcutta. Now you are attacking his politics or your deliberate distortion of the same… so let me take point by point your various “arguments” if we can call them that:

    1. Whether it was Henry Vincent Hodson or Harry Hodson is irrelevant to the issue I trust that you can see that… or is scoring some irrelevant point more important to you? He wrote in the book:

    One thing is certain, it was not for any venal motive that he changed. Not even his political enemies ever accused Jinnah of corruption or self seeking. He could be bought by no one and for no price. Nor was he in the least degree a weathercock, swinging in the wind of popularity or changing his politics to suit the chances of the time. He was a steadfast idealist, as well as a man of scrupulous honour.” (Page 39)

    2. You can ignore my claims about Margaret Bourke-White’s lie… all you want. However the inconsistency in her account is clear as day which is why no serious historian has given him time of day as an authentic source of history – especially after the transfer of power papers have come out. So keep harping about Bourke-White’s testimony while we have in the transfer of power papers what Jinnah actually did say in his statement on 14th August 1946 in which he defined Direct Action clearly.

    3. The Direct Action Day – as HARRY Hodson points out would have gone on peacefuly with limited disturbances … but what happened in Calcutta was clearly – and I have shown you why above- a well planned operation by the Congress Party in which busloads of armed sikhs suddenly arrived in Calcutta… unlike the Muslims, these guys were armed with guns. So .. again I am afraid you’ve failed to prove your accusation.

    4. Now I see that you have taken leave of your senses and taken to personal attacks on me but the fact remains that violence on Direct Action Day weakened League’s position and did not strengthen it… Muslim League was forced soon after to come into the interim government on terms not its own liking and this was because the British had concluded that Jinnah could no longer afford a direct action day like situation which results in the killing of Muslims.

    5. It is true that Wolpert wrote that the offer was not conveyed to Jinnah but I am afraid he is wrong and an academic can be wrong about events he hasn’t himself seen (without being accused of lying – because unlike Bourkewhite- he did not deliberately distort something or claim something that didn’t happen) . Jinnah was made this offer thrice actually… the last being from Mountbatten himself … but the first two came from Gandhi directly. Jinnah had refused it because he said that a Prime Minister from a minority would always be at the whim of majority party’s cabinet. Again had you consulted the Transfer of Power Papers you would have come across Mountbatten’s own account of when he offered Jinnah premiership and how he (Mountbatten) saw that it tickled his (Jinnah’s) “vanity”… at the very least, either Mountbatten is lying or he did offer Jinnah premiership which the latter refused despite having his “vanity” tickled…

    cont.

  40. ylh

    On Lahore Resolution:

    First of all I am not sure what it is that you understand from what you’ve quoted or how it proves any of your points. Did we deny that Jinnah spoke for Muslims as a nation after 1940?

    For one thing you’ve mixed up the Lahore resolution and Jinnah’s presidential address which shows me that you picked it up from Wiki or something. The second paragraph of the Lahore resolution that you conveniently omitted or could not find on Wiki spoke of safeguard of minorities in Pakistan and India. As I am writing through a handheld I can’t quote the second paragraph right now but will soon produce it. It shows clearly that the Lahore resolution did not envisage an exchange of populations between India and Pakistan.

    This takes me to my next point: When I wrote about Jinnah retiring the two nation theory, I did not mean that it was something worth discarding but that Jinnah saw that Muslim nationalism at a time when Muslims were in a minority was a useful tool to organize them. However once in a majority, Jinnah believed that Muslim national identity had to be de-emphasized because as a student of European history, Jinnah understood well the difference: while minoritarian nationalism is a liberationist force majoritarian cultural nationalism is always oppressive and fascist. This is the essential difference between Jinnah’s Muslim nationalism which was minoritarianism and Gandhi’s and savarkar’s and Modi’s Hindu nationalism which is majoritarian in nature and therefore fascist.

    So he did not retire the two nation theory because it was invalid or to please sissies on either side of the border but because as a secular liberal trained in European liberal value system, Jinnah could not conceive of the state of Pakistan forwarding a Muslim majoritarian discourse in polity for that would have negated his own struggle against Soft Hindutva of the Congress which had resulted in the creation of Pakistan. Ofcourse I don’t expect someone like you to understand such logic for you are too drunk with your own Indian jingoism.

    As for what Congress stood for blah- do read Azad’s “india wins freedom”. I consider it nothing less than a confession by a leader of the Congress Party that Congress was a Hindu party and represented Hindu bourgeoisie interests …don’t worry I’ll quote relevant passages from all these books I have mentioned as soon as I make it to my computer.

    Ofcourse for this book Azad won the ire of Gandhi’s grandson who wrote a pathetic response called “India wins errors” and which shows the intolerance of the Congress mindset to even someone who acted like a loyal poodle like Azad.

    Now coming to H M Seervai… Your response once again shows that you have not actually read his book. Seervai shows conclusively that Jinnah’s role throughout was to preserve the unity of India and that in 1946 Jinnah bent over backwards to come to an arrangement with Congress giving up almost everything that the League stood for.

    As for Pakistan, no one is claiming that it is perfect and it is not because it has refused to follow the advice Jinnah had given to the people of Pakistan.

    Cont.

  41. YLH

    On Gandhi:

    Here is a translation of Gandhi’s essay as he wrote it in 1922 in Gujurati magazine Niya Jawan:

    (1) I believe that if Hindu Society has been able to stand it is because it is founded on the caste system. (2) The seeds of swaraj are to be found in the caste system. Different castes are like different sections of miliary division. Each division is working for the good of the whole….

    (3) A community which can create the caste system must be said to possess unique power of organization.

    (4) Caste has a ready made means for spreading primary education. Each caste can take the responsibility for the education of the children of the caste. Caste has a political basis. It can work as an electorate for a representative body. Caste can perform judicial functions by electing persons to act as judges to decide disputes among members of the same caste. With castes it is easy to raise a defense force by requiring each caste to raise a brigade.

    (5) I believe that interdining or intermarriage are not necessary for promoting national unity. That dining together creates friendship is contrary to experience. If this was true there would have been no war in Europe…. Taking food is as dirty an act as answering the call of nature. The only difference is that after answering call of nature we get peace while after eating food we get discomfort. Just as we perform the act of answering the call of nature in seclusion so also the act of taking food must also be done in seclusion.

    (6) In India children of brothers do not intermarry. Do they cease to love because they do not intermarry? Among the Vaishnavas many women are so orthodox that they will not eat with members of the family nor will they drink water from a common water pot. Have they no love? The caste system cannot be said to be bad because it does not allow interdining or intermarriage between different castes.

    (7) Caste is another name for control. Caste puts a limit on enjoyment. Caste does not allow a person to transgress caste limits in pursuit of his enjoyment. That is the meaning of such caste restrictions as interdining and intermarriage.

    (8) To destroy caste system and adopt Western European social system means that Hindus must give up the principle of hereditary occupation which is the soul of the caste system. Hereditary principle is an eternal principle. To change it is to create disorder. I have no use for a Brahmin if I cannot call him a Brahmin for my life. It will be a chaos if every day a Brahmin is to be changed into a Shudra and a Shudra is to be changed into a Brahmin.

    (9) The caste system is a natural order of society. In India it has been given a religious coating. Other countries not having understood the utility of the caste system, it existed only in a loose condition and consequently those countries have not derived from caste system the same degree of advantage which India has derived. These being my views I am opposed to all those who are out to destroy the caste system.

    These are the views of Mr. Gandhi on caste.

    Now coming to that part of Lahore Resolution… which you deliberately did not quote :

    That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in the units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights of the minorities, with their consultation. Arrangements thus should be made for the security of Muslims where they were in a minority

    This proves that there was not going to be any exchange of populations according to Lahore Resolution which envisaged equality, fraternity and justice for all concerned. It infact guaranteed that majority could not decide the fate of a minority …. it was a revolutionary idea : that a permanent cultural majority by sheer numbers alone could not dominate a permanent cultural minority.

    Dr. B R Ambedkar on Jinnah’s evolution (From Pakistan or Partition of India)

    A study of his past pronouncement may well begin with the year 1906 when the leaders of the Muslim community waited upon Lord Minto and demanded separate electorates for the Muslim community. It is to be noted that Mr. Jinnah was not a member of the deputation. Whether he was not invited to join the deputation or whether he was invited to join and declined is not known. But the fact remains that he did not lend his support to the Muslim claim to separate representation when it was put forth in 1906.

    In 1918 Mr. Jinnah resigned his membership of the Imperial Legislative Council as a protest against the Rowlatt Bill. 98[f.54] In tendering his resignation Mr. Jinnah said :

    ” I feel that under the prevailing conditions, I can be of no use to my people in the Council, nor consistently with one’s self-respect is cooperation possible with a Government that shows such utter disregard for the opinion of the representatives of the people at the Council Chamber and the feelings and the sentiments of the people outside. ” In 1919 Mr. Jinnah gave evidence before the Joint Select Committee appointed by Parliament on the Government of India Reform Bill, then on the anvil. The following views were expressed by him in answer to questions put by members of the Committee on the Hindu-Muslim question.

    EXAMINED BY MAJOR ORMSBY-GORE.

    Q. 3806.—You appear on behalf of the Moslem League— that is, on behalf of the only widely extended Mohammedan organisation in India ?—Yes.

    Q. 3807.—I was very much struck by the fact that neither in your answers to the questions nor in your opening speech this morning did you make any reference to the special interest of the Mohammedans in India: is that because you did not wish to say anything ?—No, but because I take it the Southborough Committee have accepted that, and I left it to the members of the Committee to put any questions they wanted to. I took a very prominent part in the settlement of Lucknow. I was representing the Musalmans on that occasion.

    Q. 3809.—On behalf of the All-India Moslem League, you ask this Committee to reject the proposal of the Government of India ?—I am authorised to say that—to ask you to reject the proposal of the Government of India with regard to Bengal [i.e., to give the Bengal Muslims more representation than was given them by the Lucknow Pact].

    Q. 3810.—You said you spoke from the point of view of India. You speak really as an Indian Nationalist ?—1 do.

    Q. 3811.—Holding that view, do you contemplate the early disappearance of separate communal representation of the Mohammedan community ?—I think so.

    Q. 3812.—That is to say, at the earliest possible moment you wish to do away in political life with any distinction between Mohammedans and Hindus ?—Yes. Nothing will please me more than when that day comes.

    Q. 3813—You do not think it is true to say that the Mohammedans of India have many special political interests not merely in India but outside India, which they are always particularly anxious to press as a distinct Mohammedan community? —There are two things. In India the Mohammedans have very few things really which you can call matters of special interest for them—I mean secular things.

    Q. 3814.—I am only referring to them, of course ?—And therefore that is why I really hope and expect that the day is not very far distant when these separate electorates will disappear.

    Q. 3815.—It is true, at the same time, that the Mohammedans in India take a special interest in the foreign policy of the Government of India ?—They do ; a very,—No, because what you propose to do is to frame very keen interest and the large majority of them hold very strong sentiments and very strong views.

    Q. 3816.—Is that one of the reasons why you, speaking on behalf of the Mohammedan community, are so anxious to get the Government of India more responsible to an electorate ?—No.

    Q. 3817.—Do you think it is possible, consistently with remaining in the British Empire, for India to have one foreign policy and for His Majesty, as advised by his Ministers in London, to have another ?—Let me make it clear. It is not a question of foreign policy at all. What the Moselms of India feel is that it is a very difficult position for them. Spiritually, the Sultan or the Khalif is their head.

    Q. 3818.—Of one community ?—Of the Sunni sect, but that is the largest; it is in an overwhelming majority all over India. The Khalif is the only rightful custodian of the Holy Places according to our view, and nobody else has a right. What the Moslems feel very keenly is this, that the Holy Places should not be severed from the Ottoman Empire— that they should remain with the Ottoman Empire under the Sultan.

    Q. 3819.—I do not want to get away from the Reform Bill on to foreign policy.—1 say it has nothing to do with foreign policy. Your point is whether in India the Muslims will adopt a certain attitude with regard to foreign policy in matters concerning Moslems all over the world.

    Q. 3820.—My point is, are they seeking for some control over the Central Government in order to impress their views on foreign policy on the Government of India ?—No.

    EXAMINED BY MR. BENNETT

    Q. 3853.—………..Would it not be an advantage in the case of an occurrence of that kind [i.e., a communal riot] if the maintenance of law and order were left with the executive side of the Government ?—1 do not think so, if you ask me, but I do not want to go into unpleasant matters, as you say.

    Q. 3854.—It is with no desire to bring up old troubles that I ask the question ; I would like to forget them ?—If you ask me, very often these riots are based on some misunderstanding, and it is because the police have taken one side or the other, and that has enraged one side or the other. I know very well that in the Indian States you hardly ever hear of any Hindu-Mohammedan riots, and I do not mind telling the Committee, without mentioning the name, that I happened to ask one of the ruling Princes, ” How do you account for this ? ” and he told me, ” As soon as there is some trouble we have invariably traced it to the police, through the police taking one side or the other, and the only remedy we have found is that as soon as we come to know we move that police officer from that place, and there is an end of it. ”

    Q. 3855.—That is useful piece of information, but the fact remains that these riots have been inter-racial, Hindu on the one side and Mohammedan on the other. Would it be an advantage at a time like that the Minister, the representative of one community or the other, should be in charge of the maintenance of law and order ?—Certainly.

    Q. 3856.—It would ?—If I thought otherwise I should be casting a reflection on myself. If I was the Minister, I would make bold to say that nothing would weigh with me except justice, and what is right. Q. 3857.—I can understand that you would do more than justice to the other side; but even then, there is what might be called the subjective side. It is not only that there is impartiality, but there is the view which may be entertained by the public, who may harbour some feeling of suspicion ?—With regard to one section or the other, you mean they would feel that an injustice was done to them, or that justice would not be done ?

    Q. 3858.—Yes; that is quite apart from the objective part of it ?—My answer is this: That these difficulties are fast disappearing. Even recently, in the whole district of Thana, Bombay, every officer was an Indian officer from top to bottom, and I do not think there was a single Mohammedan—they were all Hindus—and I never heard any complaint Recently that has been so. I quite agree with you that ten years ago there was that feeling what you are now suggesting to me, but it is fast disappearing.

    EXAMINED BY LORD ISLINGTON

    Q. 3892.—. …… You said just now about the communal representation, I think in answer to Major Ormsby-Gore, that you hope in a very few years you would be able to extinguish communal representation, which was at present proposed to be established and is established in order that Mahommedans may have their representation with Hindus. You said you desired to see that. How soon do you think that happy state of affairs is likely to be realized ?—1 can only give you certain facts : I cannot say anything more than that: I can give you this which will give you some idea: that in 1913, at the All-India Moslem League sessions at Agra, we put this matter to the lest whether separate electorates should be insisted upon or not by the Mussalmans, and we got a division, and that division is based upon Provinces ; only a certain number of votes represent each Province, and the division came to 40 in favour of doing away with the separate electorate, and 80 odd—1 do not remember the exact number—were for keeping the separate electorate. That was in 1913. Since then I have had many opportunities of discussing this matter with various Mussulman leaders ; and they are changing their angle of vision with regard to this matter. I cannot give you the period, but I think it cannot last very long. Perhaps the next inquiry may hear something about it.

    Q. 3893.—You think at the next inquiry the Mahommedans will ask to be absorbed into the whole ?—Yes, I think the next inquiry will probably hear something about it.

    Although Mr. Jinnah appeared as a witness on behalf of the Muslim League, he did not allow his membership of the League to come in the way of his loyalty to other political organizations in the country. Besides being a member of the Muslim League, Mr. Jinnah was a member of the Home Rule League and also of the Congress. As he said in his evidence before the Joint Parliamentary Committee, he was a member of all three bodies although he openly disagreed with the Congress, with the Muslim League and that there were some views which the Home Rule League held which he did not share. That he was an independent but a nationalist ,is shown by his relationship with the Khilafatist Musalmans. In 1920 the Musalmans organized the Khilafat Conference. It became so powerful an organization that the Muslim League went under and lived in a state of suspended animation till 1924. During these years no Muslim leader could speak to the Muslim masses from a Muslim platform unless he was a member of the Khilafat Conference. That was the only platform for Muslims to meet Muslims. Even then Mr. Jinnah refused to join the Khilafat Conference. This was no doubt due to the fact that then he was only a statutory Musalman with none of the religious fire of the orthodox which he now says is burning within him. But the real reason why he did not join the Khilafat was because he was opposed to the Indian Musalmans engaging themselves in extra-territorial affairs relating to Muslims outside India.

    After the Congress accepted non-co-operation, civil disobedience and boycott of Councils, Mr. Jinnah left the Congress. He became its critic but never accused it of being a Hindu body. He protested when such a statement was attributed to him by his opponents. There is a letter by Mr. Jinnah to the Editor of the Times of India written about the time which puts in a strange contrast the present opinion of Mr. Jinnah about the Congress and his opinion in the past. The letter 99[f.55] reads as follows :—.

    ” To the Editor of ” The Times of India ”

    Sir,—1 wish again to correct the statement which is attributed to me and to which you have given currency more than once and now again repeated by your correspondent ‘ Banker ‘in the second column of your issue of the 1st October that I denounced the Congress as ‘ a Hindu Institution ‘. I publicly corrected this misleading report of my speech in your columns soon after it appeared ;.but it did not find a place in the columns of your paper and so may I now request you to publish this and oblige. ”

    After the Khilafat storm had blown over and the Muslims had shown a desire to return to the internal politics of India, the Muslim League was resuscitated. The session of the League held in Bombay on 30th December 1924 under the presidentship of Mr. Raza Ali was a lively one. Both Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Mahomed Ali took part in it. 100[f.56]

    In this session of the League, a resolution was moved which affirmed the desirability of representatives of the various Muslim associations of India representing different shades of political thought meeting in a conference at an early date at Delhi or at some other central place with a view to develop ” a united and sound practical activity ” to supply the needs of the Muslim community. Mr. Jinnah in explaining the resolution said 101[f.57] :—

    ” The object was to organize the Muslim community, not with a view to quarrel with the Hindu community, but with a view to unite and cooperate with it for their motherland. He was sure once they had organized themselves they would join hands with the Hindu Maha Sabha and declare to the world that Hindus and Mahomedans are brothers. ”

    The League also passed another resolution in the same session for appointing a committee of 33 prominent Musalmans to formulate the political demands of the Muslim community. The resolution was moved by Mr. Jinnah. In moving the resolution, Mr. Jinnah 102[f.58] :—

    “Repudiated the charge that he was standing on the platform of the League as a communalist. He assured them that he was, as ever, a nationalist. Personally he had no hesitation. He wanted the best and the fittest men to represent them in the Legislatures of the land (Hear, Hear and Applause). But unfortunately his Muslim compatriots were not prepared to go as far as he. He could not be blind to the situation. The fact was that there was a large number of Muslims who wanted representation separately in Legislatures and in the country’s Services. They were talking of communal unity, but where was unity ? It had to be achieved by arriving at some suitable settlement. He knew he said amidst deafening cheers, that his fellow-religionists were ready and prepared to fight for Swaraj, but wanted some safeguards. Whatever his view, and they knew that as a practical politician he had to take stock of the situation, the real block to unity was not the communities themselves, but a few mischief makers on both sides. ”

    And he did not thus hesitate to arraign mischief makers in the sternest possible language that could only emanate from an earnest nationalist. In his capacity as the President of the session of the League held in Lahore on 24th May 1924 he said 103 [f59] :—

    ” If we wish to be free people, let us unite, but if we wish to continue slaves of Bureaucracy, let us fight among ourselves and gratify petty vanity over petty matters. Englishmen being our arbiters. ”

    In the two All-Parties Conferences, one held in 1925 and the other in 1928, Mr. Jinnah was prepared to settle the Hindu-Muslim question on the basis of joint electorates. In 1927 he openly said 104[f.60] from the League platform :—

    ” I am not wedded to separate electorates, although I must say that the overwhelming majority of the Musalmans firmly and honestly believe that it is the only method by which they can be sure. ”

    In 1928, Mr. Jinnah joined the Congress in the boycott of the Simon Commission. He did so even though the Hindus and Muslims had failed to come to a settlement and he did so at the cost of splitting the League into two.

    Even when the ship of the Round Table Conference was about to break on the communal rock, Mr. Jinnah resented being named as a communalist who was responsible for the result and said that he preferred an agreed solution of the communal problem to the arbitration of the British Government. Addressing the U. P. Muslim Conference held at Allahabad on 8th August 105[f.61] 1931 Mr. Jinnah said :—

    ” The first thing that I wish to tell you is that it is now absolutely essential and vital that Muslims should stand united. For Heaven’s sake close all your ranks and files and slop this internecine war. I urged this most vehemently and I pleaded to the best of my ability before Dr. Ansari, Mr. T. A. K. Sherwani, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Dr. Syed Mahmud. I hope that before I leave the shores of India I shall hear the good news that whatever may be our differences ; whatever may be our convictions between ourselves, this is not the moment to quarrel between ourselves.

    ” Another thing I want to tell you is this. There is a certain section of the press, there is a certain section of the Hindus, who constantly misrepresent me in various ways. I was only reading the speech of Mr. Gandhi this morning and Mr. Gandhi said that he loves Hindus and Muslims alike. I again say standing here on this platform that although I may not put forward that claim but I do put forward this honestly and sincerely that I want fair play between the two communities. ”

    Continuing further Mr. Jinnah said: “As to the most important question, which to my mind is the question of Hindu-Muslim settlement—all I can say to you is that I honestly believe that the Hindus should concede to the Muslims a majority in the Punjab and Bengal and if that is conceded, I think a settlement can be arrived at in a very short time.

    “The next question that arises is one of separate vs. joint electorates. As most of you know, if a majority is conceded in the Punjab and Bengal, I would personally prefer a settlement on the basis of joint electorate. (Applause.) But I also know that there is a large body of Muslims—and I believe a majority of Muslims—who are holding on to separate electorate. My position is that I would rather have a settlement even on the footing of separate electorate, hoping and trusting that when we work our new constitution and when both Hindus and Muslims get rid of distrust, suspicion and fears and when they gel their freedom we would rise to the occasion and probably separate electorate will go sooner than most of us think.

    ” Therefore I am for a settlement and peace among the Muslims first; I am for a settlement and peace between the Hindus and Mahommedans. This is not a lime for argument, not a time for propaganda work and not a time for embittering feelings between the two communities, because the enemy is at the door of both of us and I say without hesitation that if the Hindu-Muslim question is not settled, I have no doubt that the British will have to arbitrate and that he who arbitrates will keep to himself the substance of power and authority. Therefore, I hope they will not vilify me. After all, Mr. Gandhi himself says that he is willing to give the Muslims whatever they want, and my only sin is that I say to the Hindus give to the Muslims only 14 points, which is much less than the ‘ blank cheque ‘ which Mr. Gandhi is willing to give. I do not want a blank cheque, why not concede the 14 points ? When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru says: ‘Give us a blank cheque ‘ when Mr. Patel says : ‘ Give us a blank cheque and we will sign it with a Swadeshi pen on a Swadeshi paper ‘ they are not communalists and I am a communalist ! I say to Hindus not to misrepresent everybody. I hope and trust that we shall be yet in a position to settle the question which will bring peace and happiness to the millions in our country.

    ” One thing more I want to tell you and I have done. During the lime of the Round Table Conference,—it is now an open book and anybody who cares to read it can learn for himself—I observed the one and the only principle and it was that when I left the shores of Bombay I said to the people that I would hold the interests of India sacred, and believe me—if you care to read the proceedings of the Conference, I am not bragging because I have done my duly—that I have loyally and faithfully fulfilled my promise to the fullest extent and I venture to say that if the Congress or Mr. Gandhi can get anything more than I fought for, I would congratulate them.

    ” Concluding Mr. Jinnah said that they must come to a settlement, they must become friends eventually and he, therefore, appealed to the Muslims to show moderation, wisdom and conciliation, if possible, in the deliberation that might take place and the resolution that might be passed at the Conference. ”

    As an additional illustration of the transformation in Muslim ideology, I propose to record the opinions once held by Mr. Barkat Ali who is now a follower of Mr. Jinnah and a staunch supporter of Pakistan.

    When the Muslim League split-into two over the question of cooperation with the Simon Commission, one section led by Sir Mahommad Shafi favouring co-operation and another section led by Mr. Jinnah supporting the Congress plan of boycott, Mr. Barkat Ali belonged to the Jinnah section of the League. The two wings of the League held their annual sessions in 1928 at two different places. The Shafi wing met in Lahore and the Jinnah wing met in Calcutta. Mr. Barkat Ali, who was the Secretary of the Punjab Muslim League, attended the Calcutta session of the Jinnah wing of the League and moved the resolution relating to the communal settlement. The basis of the settlement was joint electorates. In moving the resolution Mr. Barkat Ali said 106 [f62] :—

    ” For the first time in the history of the League there was a change in its angle of vision. We are offering by this change a sincere hand of fellowship to those of our Hindu countrymen who have objected to the principle of separate electorates. ”

    In 1928 there was formed a Nationalist Party under the leadership of Dr. Ansari. 107[f.63] The Nationalist Muslim Party was a step in advance of the Jinnah wing of the Muslim League and was prepared to accept the Nehru Report, as it was, without any amendments—not even those which Mr. Jinnah was insisting upon. Mr. Barkat Ali, who in 1927 was with the Jinnah wing of the League, left the same as not being nationalistic enough and joined the Nationalist Muslim Party of Dr. Ansari. How great a nationalist Mr. Barkat Ali then was can be seen by his trenchant and vehement attack on Sir Muhammad lqbal for his having put forth in his presidential address to the annual session of the All-India Muslim League held at Allahabad in 1930 a scheme 108[f.64] for the division of India which is now taken up by Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Barkat Ali and which goes by the name of Pakistan. In 1931 there was held in Lahore the Punjab Nationalist Muslim Conference and Mr. Barkat Ali was the Chairman of the Reception Committee. The views he then expressed on Pakistan are worth recalling 109[f.65] Reiterating and reaffirming the conviction and the political faith of his party, Malik Barkat Ali, Chairman of the Reception Committee of the Conference, said :

    ” We believe, first and foremost in the full freedom and honour of India. India, the country of our birth and the place with which all our most valued and dearly cherished associations are knit, must claim its first place in our affection and in our desires. We refuse to be parties to that sinister type of propaganda which would try to appeal to ignorant sentiment by professing to be Muslim first and Indian afterwards. To us a slogan of this kind is not only bare, meaningless cant, but downright mischievous. We cannot conceive of Islam in its best and last interests as in any way inimical to or in conflict with the best and permanent interests of India. India and Islam in India are identical, and whatever is to the detriment of India must, from the nature of it, be detrimental to Islam whether economically, politically, socially or even morally. Those politicians, therefore, are a class of false prophets and at bottom the foes of Islam, who talk of any inherent conflict between Islam and the welfare of India. Further, howsoever much our sympathy with our Muslim brethren outside India, i.e., the Turks and the Egyptians or the Arabs,—and it is a sentiment which is at once noble and healthy,—we can never allow that sympathy to work to the detriment of the essential interests of India. Our sympathy, in fact, with those countries can only be valuable to them, if India as the source, nursery and fountain of that sympathy, is really great. And if ever the lime comes, God forbid, when any Muslim Power from across the Frontier chooses to enslave India and snatch away the liberties of its people, no amount of pan-lslamic feeling, whatever it may mean, can stand in the way of Muslim India fighting shoulder to shoulder with non-Muslim India in defence of its liberties.

    ” Let there be, therefore, no misgivings of any kind in that respect in any non-Muslim quarters. I am conscious that a certain class of narrow-minded Hindu politicians is constantly harping on the bogey of an Islamic danger to India from beyond the N.-W. Frontier passes but I desire to repeat that such statements and such fears are fundamentally wrong and unfounded. Muslim India shall as much defend India’s liberties as non-Muslim India, even if the invader happens to be a follower of Islam.

    ” Next, we not only believe in a free India but we also believe in a united India—not the India of the Muslim, not the India of the Hindu or of the Sikh, not the India of this community or of that community but the India of all. And as this is our abiding faith, we refuse to be parties to any division of the India of the future into a Hindu or a Muslim India. However much the conception of a Hindu and a Muslim India may appeal and send into frenzied ecstasies abnormally orthodox mentalities of their party, we offer our full throated opposition to it, not only because it is singularly unpractical and utterly obnoxious but because it not only sounds the death-knell of all that is noble and lasting in modern political activity in India, but is also contrary to and opposed to India’s chief historical tradition.

    ” India was one in the days of Asoka and Chandragupta and India remained one even when the sceptre and rod of Imperial sway passed from Hindu into Moghul or Muslim hands. And India shall remain one when we shall have attained the object of our desires and reached those uplands of freedom, where all the light illuminating us shall not be reflected glory but shall be light proceeding direct as it were from our very faces.

    ” The conception of a divided India, which Sir Muhammad lqbal put forward recently in the course of his presidential utterance from the platform of the League at a time when that body had virtually become extinct and ceased to represent free Islam—I am glad to be able to say that Sir Muhammad lqbal has since recanted it—must not therefore delude anybody into thinking that it is Islam’s conception of the India to be. Even if Dr. Sir Muhammad lqbal had not recanted it as something which could not be put forward by any sane person, I should have emphatically and unhesitatingly repudiated it as something foreign to the genius and the spirit of the rising generation of Islam, and I really deem it a proud duty to affirm today that not only must there be no division of India in to communal provinces but that both Islam and Hinduism must run coterminously with the boundaries of India and must not be cribbed, cabined and confined within any shorter bounds. To the same category as Dr. lqbal’s conception of a Muslim India and a Hindu India, belongs the sinister proposals of some Sikh communalists to partition and divide the Punjab.

    ” With a creed so expansive, namely a free and united India with its people all enjoying in equal measure and without any kinds of distinctions and disabilities the protection of laws made by the chosen representatives of the people on the widest possible basis of a true democracy, namely, adult franchise, and through the medium of joint electorates—and an administration charged with the duty of an impartial execution of the laws, fully accountable for its actions, not to a distant or remote Parliament of foreigners but to the chosen representatives of the land,—you would not expect me to enter into the details and lay before you, all the colours of my picture. And I should have really liked to conclude my general observations on the aims and objects of the Nationalist Muslim Party here, were it not that the much discussed question of joint or separate electorates, has today assumed proportions where no public man can possibly ignore it.

    ” Whatever may have been the value or utility of separate electorates at a time when an artificially manipulated high-propertied franchise had the effect of converting a majority of the people in the population of a province into a minority in the electoral roll, and when communal passions and feelings ran particularly high, universal distrust poisoning the whole atmosphere like a general and all-pervading miasma,—we feel that in the circumstances of today and in the India of the future, separate electorates should have no place whatever. ”

    Such were the views Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Barkat Ali held on nationalism, on separate electorates and on Pakistan. How diametrically opposed are the views now held by them on these very problems ?

    So far I have laboured to point out things, the utter failure of the attempts made to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity and the emergence of a new ideology in the minds of the Muslim leaders. There is also a third thing which I must discuss in the present context for reasons arising both from its relevance as well as from its bearing on the point under consideration, namely whether the Muslim ideology has behind it a justification which political philosophers can accept.

    Many Hindus seem to hold that Pakistan has no justification. If we confine ourselves to the theory of Pakistan there can be no doubt that this is a greatly mistaken view. The philosophical justification for Pakistan rests upon the distinction between a community and a nation. In the first, place, it is recognized comparatively recently. Political philosophers for a long time were concerned, mainly, with the controversy summed up in the two questions, how far should the right of a mere majority to rule the minority be accepted as a rational basis for government and how far the legitimacy of a government be said to depend upon the consent of the governed. Even those who insisted, that the legitimacy of a government depended upon the consent of the governed, remained content with a victory for their proposition and did not cane to probe further into the matter. They did not feel the necessity for making any distinctions within the category of the ” governed “. They evidently thought that it was a matter of no moment whether those who were included in the category of the governed formed a community or a nation. Force of circumstances has, however, compelled political philosophers to accept this distinction. In the second place, it is not a mere distinction without a difference. It is a distinction which is substantial and the difference is consequentially fundamental. That this distinction between a community and a nation is fundamental, is clear from the difference in the political rights which political philosophers are prepared to permit to a community and those they are prepared to allow to a nation against the Government established by law. To a community they are prepared to allow only the right of insurrection. But to a nation they are willing to concede the right of disruption. The distinction between the two is as obvious as it is fundamental.. A right of insurrection is restricted only to insisting on a change in the mode and manner of government. The right of disruption is greater than the right of insurrection arid extends to the secession of a group of the members of a State with a secession of the portion of the State’s territory in its occupation. One wonders what must be the basis of this difference. Writers on political philosophy, who have discussed this subject, have given their reasons for the justification of a Community’s right to insurrection 110[f.66] and of a nation’s right to demand disruption. 111[f.67] The difference comes to this : a community has a right to safeguards, a nation has a right to demand separation. The difference is at once clear and crucial. But they have not given any reasons why the right of one is limited to insurrection and why that of the other extends to disruption. They have not even raised such a question. Nor are the reasons apparent on the face of them. But it is both interesting and instructive to know why this difference is made. To my mind the reason for this difference pertains to questions of ultimate destiny. A state either consists of a series of communities or it consists of a series of nations. In a state, which is composed of a series of communities, one community may be arrayed against another community and the two may be opposed to each other. But in the matter of their ultimate destiny they feel they are one. But in a state, which is composed of a series of nations, when one nation rises against the other, the conflict is one as to differences of ultimate destiny. This is the distinction between communities and nations and it is this distinction which explains the difference in their political rights. There is nothing new or original in this explanation. It is merely another way of staring why the community has one kind of right and the nation another of quite a different kind. A community has a right of insurrection because it is satisfied with it. All that it wants is a change in the mode and form of government. Its quarrel is not over any difference of ultimate destiny. A nation has to be accorded the right of disruption because it will not be satisfied with mere change in the form of government. Its quarrel is over the question of ultimate destiny. If it will not be satisfied unless the unnatural bond that binds them is dissolved, then prudence and even ethics demands that the bond shall be dissolved and they shall be freed each to pursue its own destiny.

    V

    While it is necessary to admit that the efforts at Hindu-Muslim unity have failed and that the Muslim ideology has undergone a complete revolution, it is equally necessary to know the precise causes which have produced these effects. The Hindus say that the British policy of divide and rule is the real cause of this failure and of this ideological revolution. There is nothing surprising in this. The Hindus having cultivated the Irish mentality to have no other politics except that of being always against the Government, are ready to blame the Government for everything including bad weather. But time has come to discard the facile explanation so dear to the Hindus. For it fails to take into account two very important circumstances. In the first place, it overlooks the fact that the policy of divide and rule, allowing that the British do resort to it, cannot succeed unless there are elements which make division possible, and further if the policy succeeds for such a long time, it means that the elements which divide are more or less permanent and irreconcilable and are not transitory or superficial. Secondly, it forgets that Mr. Jinnah, who represents this ideological transformation, can never be suspected of being a tool in the hands of the British even by the worst of his enemies. He may be too self-opinionated, an egotist without the mask and has perhaps a degree of arrogance which is not compensated by any extraordinary intellect or equipment. It may be on that account he is unable to reconcile himself to a second place and work with others in that capacity for a public cause. He may not be over-flowing with ideas although he is not, as his critics make him out to be, an empty-headed dandy living upon the ideas of others. It may be that his fame is built up more upon art and less on substance. At the same time, it is doubtful if there is a politician in India to whom the adjective incorruptible can be more fittingly applied. Anyone who knows what his relations with the British Government have been, will admit that he has always been their critic, if indeed, he has not been their adversary. No one can buy him. For it must be said to his credit that he has never been a soldier of fortune. The customary Hindu explanation fails to account for the ideological transformation of Mr. Jinnah.

    Cont.

  42. YLH

    Damning quotes from Azad’s book:

    The first was the case of Mr. Nariman, a Parsee and an acknowledged leader of the local Congress in Bombay, who was generally expected to lead the provincial government. Sardar Patel and his colleagues could not reconcile with such a leadership of non-Hindu Chief Minister where “the majority of members in the Congress Assembly Party were Hindus.“ [p. 16]

    “Mr. Nariman was naturally upset about the decision. He raised the question before the Congress Working Committee. Jawaharlal was then President and many hoped that in view of his complete freedom from communal bias; he would rectify the injustice to Nariman. Unfortunately this did not happen. … He [Jawaharlal] sought to placate Patel and rejected Nariman`s appeal. … Nariman was surprised at Jawaharlal`s attitude, especially as Jawaharlal treated him harshly and tried to shout him down in the meeting of the Working Committee.“ [p. 16-17]

    “Nariman had lost the case even before the enquiry began. It was finally held that nothing was proven against Sardar Patel. None who knew the inner story was satisfied with this verdict. We all know that truth has been sacrificed in order to satisfy Sardar Patel`s communal demands. Poor Nariman was heart broken and his public life came to an end.“ [p. 17]

    “A similar development took place in Bihar. Dr. Syed Mahmud was the top leader of the province when the elections were held. He was also a General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee and as such he had a position both inside and outside the province. When the Congress secured an absolute majority, it was taken for granted that Dr. Syed Mahmud would be elected the leader and become the first Chief Minister of Bihar under Provincial Autonomy. Instead, Sri Krishna Sinha and Anugraha Narayan Sinha who were members of the Central Assembly, were called back to Bihar and groomed for the Chief Ministership. Dr. Rajendra Prasad played the same role in Bihar as Sardar Patel did in Bombay.“ [p. 17]

    “These two instances left a bad taste at the time. Looking back, I cannot help feeling that the Congress did not live up to its professed ideals. One has to admit with regret that the nationalism of the Congress had not then reached a stage where it could ignore communal considerations and select leaders on the basis of merit without regard to majority or minority.“ [p. 18]

    The real reason for difference between Jinnah and Gandhi… to quote Achyuth Patwardhan, one of the Socialist stalwarts in the Congress, has given a remarkably candid and self critical analysis of the Congress Party vis-a-vis Khilafat:

    ‘It is, however, useful to recognise our share of this error of misdirection. To begin with, I am convinced that looking back upon the course of development of the freedom movement, THE ‘HIMALAYAN ERROR’ of Gandhiji’s leadership was the support he extended on behalf of the Congress and the Indian people to the Khilafat Movement at the end of the World War I. This has proved to be a disastrous error which has brought in its wake a series of harmful consequences. On merits, it was a thoroughly reactionary step. The Khilafat was totally unworthy of support of the Progressive Muslims. Kemel Pasha established this solid fact by abolition of the Khilafat. The abolition of the Khilafat was widely welcomed by enlightened Muslim opinion the world over and Kemel was an undoubted hero of all young Muslims straining against Imperialist domination. But apart from the fact that Khilafat was an unworthy reactionary cause, Mahatma Gandhi had to align himself with a sectarian revivalist Muslim Leadership of clerics and maulvis. He was thus unwittingly responsible for jettisoning sane, secular, modernist leadership among the Muslims of India and foisting upon the Indian Muslims a theocratic orthodoxy of the Maulvis. Maulana Mohammed Ali’s speeches read today appear strangely incoherent and out of tune with the spirit of secular political freedom. The Congress Movement which released the forces of religious liberalism and reform among the Hindus, and evoked a rational scientific outlook, placed the Muslims of India under the spell of orthodoxy and religious superstition by their support to the Khilafat leadership. Rationalist leaders like Jinnah were rebuffed by this attitude of Congress and Gandhi. This is the background of the psychological rift between Congress and the Muslim League’.

    Cont.

  43. YLH

    Now from the declassified documents – Page 274 of Volume VIII of the TRANSFER OF POWER by Mansergh:

    “2. The Last weekend has seen dreadful riots in Calcutta. The estimates of casualties is 3000 dead and 17000 injured. The Bengal Congress are convinced that all the trouble was deliberately engineered by the Muslim League Ministry, but no satisfactory evidence to that effect has reached me yet. It is said that the decision to have a public holiday on 16th August was the cause of trouble, but I think this is very far-fetched. There was a public holiday in Sind and there was no trouble there. At any rate, whatever the causes of the outbreak, when it started, the Hindus and Sikhs were every bit as fierce as Muslims. The present estimate is that appreciably more Muslims were killed than the Hindus..

    From while While Memory Serves by Sir Francis Tuker (London: Cassell, 1950), pp. 137-151

    From then onwards the area of military domination of the city was increased. Static guards took over from police guards and a party of troops under Major Littleboy, the Assistant Provost-Marshal, did valuable work in the rescue organisation for displaced and needy persons. Outside the `military` areas, the situation worsened hourly. Buses and taxis were charging about loaded with Sikhs and Hindus armed with swords, iron bars and firearms.

    Volume 8

    page 577, Enclosure to No. 360(full text)
    Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence 24 September 1946

    Intelligence Bureau (Home Department)

    Secretary has asked me for an appreciation of possible moves in the Muslim League field and of the consequences that might flow from them. In attempting this I necessarily base it on the assumption that Mr. Jinnah`s talks with His Excellency the Viceroy have once again ended in failure to achieve agreement. An appreciation would otherwise be unnecessary.

    2. Mr. Jinnah would appear to have before him the choice of three alternatives; first, to resile with such grace as he can muster from the precipice of civil war, secondly, to stall for time in which to improve his organisation, and, thirdly, to take a plunge into direct action.

    3. The reasons that might prompt him to flinch from the third alternative are:-
    (a) Fear or dislike of the bloodshed and butchery and, it may be, the chaos which will result.
    (b) The hesitance of some of his immediate subordinates, not all of whom are men of action or wholly irresponsible.
    (c) The proof afforded by the Calcutta carnage that it is the poor, including the Muslim poor, who suffer most from the savagery and from the aftermath of disorder.

    Meanwhile the Congress Mouthpiece “Blitz“ wrote this about Direct Action Day:

    The worst enemies of the Muslim League cannot help envying the leadership of Mr Jinnah. Last week`s cataclysmic transformation of the League from the reactionary racket of the Muslim Nawabs, Noons, and Knights into a revolutionary mass organisation dedicated, by word if not be deed, to an anti-Imperialist struggle, compels us to express the sneaking national wish that a diplomat and strategist of Jinnah`s proven calibre were at the held of the Indian National Congress. There is no denying the fact that by his latest master-stroke of diplomacy Jinnah has outbid, outwitted and outmaneuvered the British and Congress alike and confounded the common national indictment that the Muslim League is a parasite of British Imperialism

    Now consider H V Hodson`s description of the League Programme:

    “The working committee followed up by calling on Muslims through out India to observe 16th August as direct action day. On that Day meeting would be held all over the country to explain League`s resolution. These meetings and processions passed of- as was manifestly the Central league leaders` intention- without more than commonplace and limited disturbance with one vast and tragic exception… what happened was more than anyone could have foreseen.“

    (Page 166 `The Great Divide`)

    Explaining Direct Action Jinnah made it clear that the direct Action will not be in any form but in peaceful form…

    “16th August is not for the purpose of resorting to Direct Action in any form or shape, Therefore I enjoin upon the Muslims to carry our the instructions and abide by them strictly and conduct themselves peacefuly and in a disciplined manner.“

    Press Release Jinnah 14th August 1946

    All these are quotes or statements referred to in my earlier posts.

  44. YLH

    trp,

    The events of Orissa point to a very different direction. As for Aurangzeb Alamgir… why was his puritan Islam “foreign” and why is Hinduism “local”?

    I think Shivaji was a real hero fighting against Islamic fundamentalism… but he was not fighting a foreign ruler. He was fighting an Indian. That Nehru described him as a freedom fighter fighting foreign domination was not a comment on Aurangzeb’s puritanism but rather Muslim identity of the Mughals.

  45. Yassir,

    *Yawn* Are you done wth the ctrl+c, ctrl+v?

    Are you even reading what I’m writing before rushing to paste stuff?

    Example 1:

    I said: The rest of your point focuses on how Muslims suffered more than the Hindus in the Great Calcutta Killings. Which is sad, because you really haven’t understood communal South Asian politics if you somehow feel that Muslims suffering lets Jinnah of the hook. In 2002, the masacre of Hindus in Godhra was the best thing to happen to Modi in his sad little life.

    Each person killed in a riot made Jinnah’s Two-Nation theory stronger. Each dead Hindu or Muslims made Jinnah’s claims of the inability of the two communities to live in peace stronger.

    Innocent Muslims getting killed was a small price to pay to further his ambitions.

    Yet this is a line you chose to highlight: “the present estimate is that appreciably more Muslims were killed than the Hindus..“

    Example 2:

    I said: The resolution has, as I said, some are some very ugly parts which do accentuate the inequality of men based on religion and maybe explain why Pakistan was unable to enforce this principle of minority protection that you (correctly) speak of.

    You said: Now coming to that part of Lahore Resolution… which you deliberately did not quote :…

    I await a rebuttal of my points, if possible. I do not await a monolgue spamming this space, my good man.

  46. trp

    YHL,

    events in orissa? u mean to say the killing of swami laxmanananda saraswati? yeah it was terrible and the violence that followed too, but i’ve not mentioned christians in my ‘common civilisation’, so what point r u trying to make? infact in orissa the tribals were fighting in the name of ‘hinduism’ (while they are hardly mainstream hindus).

    i’ll have to check what nehru has actually said abt shivaji and aurangzeb both. i don’t have any sources now, so i’ll just accept ur poing for now that its incorrect to call aurangzeb foreign, hut his ‘islamic fundamentalism’ was indeed foreign.

  47. ylh

    To Hades

    My good sir, it now appears that you’ve indeed taken leave of your senses. May I be so audacious as to suggest that contrary to your desperate protestations, I have shown you how you are wrong about Jinnah’s position getting stronger because of Calcutta violence. Your naïve analysis might appeal to the ill-informed but what I have written is what trained impartial historians both in India and abroad have concluded – that violence in Calcutta weakened the League’s position and strengthened the Congress’. That Jinnah later turned it around was a tribute to Jinnah’s excellence as a master tactician.
    As Louis Fischer once said “history upset Jinnah’s calculations. And then able Jinnah upset history” (Gandhi- by Louis Fischer).

    Your rather desperate and dishonest attempt to side step the discussion by claiming that I copied and pasted is rather amateurish even for someone like you for posts 3 4 and 5 are the references that you yourself clamored for and correspond to each of the claims made in posts 1 and 2 of the five posts addressed to you, broken down only to facilitate reference and for your convenience.

    That you fail to see that each one of your points has been answered and with all relevant footnotes forces me to conclude one of two things:

    1. Either you have not properly reviewed posts 1 and 2 and simply gotten over awed by primary and secondary source references I posted (and spent a long time typing out) in posts 3 4 and 5…in which case I recommend that you review posts 1 and 2 and see 3 4 and 5 as reference posts for validation of points made in posts 1 and 2.

    Or

    2. You are simply resorting to dishonesty having had all your arguments blasted. In that case I fear that you sir are at best a charlatan and a crook and it is best that we discontinue this correspondence.

    Now giving you the benefit of doubt, I hope for the sake of your mental well being and future (as one should not be as cynical and deceptive at 21 as the prospect or spectre of option 2 lends us) I do not wait for rebuttals to the points that I have made because I know for a fact that you don’t have any. I recommend rather a lesson in humility and good manners which would help you excel in life.

    In so far as I am concerned you’ve failed to make a case for your abusive claims and bad manners are no substitute for arguments that actually have substance.

    As Karl Marx would say “last words are fools” and on that token I most courteously and humbly offer you that honor in our debate.

    Good day sir.

  48. ylh

    Errata : “last words are for fools”.

    Trp: so christians are another exception to common civilization eh? How about Buddhists or is it just semitic religions.

    Nehru’s brilliant introduction to Shiva ji is quoted in “shivaji: a Hindu king in Islamic India” …

  49. kaffir

    It maybe that Hates assumes that Quaid-e-Azam was like your run of the mill Patel Nehru Gandhi type of politicians.

    However if Ambdkaar’s and Hodson’s comments are anything to go by, it is completely understandable why none of Jinnah’s contemporaries ever pointed a finger at his character nor his singleminded pursuit for Pakistan to ambition.

  50. Yassir,

    My good sir, it now appears that you’ve indeed taken leave of your senses.

    Oooh! The scathing ad hominem.

    I do not wait for rebuttals to the points that I have made because I know for a fact that you don’t have any.

    And not to forget the, er, confidence. 😛

    I will, in fact, have the last word in spite of it making me a “fool”.

    And I will use it to impart a short lesson on the pithy science of logic.

    An example, for lucidity:

    Suppose I have to prove X is a murder and you have to prove he is innocent.

    I claim that on Sunday he killed, say, a person called India (incidently, the name of Mountbatten’s granddaughter).

    I prove it using a video shot on Sunday which shows X killing India.

    You on the other hand, with a flourish, show a video of the other six days of the week, where all X is doing is devouring ham sandwiches. And you claim that, therefore, X is innocent based on your data.

    You see, our little exchange regarding, say, the Pakistan resolution is exactly mirroring that.

    I claim that it is a document that plays up the differences between Hindus and Muslims, of the inequality of men based on communal considerations. I provide an excerpt to prove it.

    You avoid that excerpt and provide another which says nothing about Hindus and Muslims and speaks only of minority safeguards.

    I again repeat, I will have little respect for a man who is supposed to have authored the following lines to serve as the blueprint for a modern nation:

    The Hindus and Muslims belong to too different religious philosophies, social customs, literatures. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts on life and of life are deferent.. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussulmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victory and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single State, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state

    When we have a video of X on Sunday, why look anywhere else?

    Regards,
    The chap who quotes from Wikipedia

    P.S : Thanks for that essay by Gandhi. Would you by any chance have a link to the original source? Would be much obliged if you could provide it.

  51. P.P.S: I loved it when even Wolpert (in spite of being quite correct, in your view while supporting that Azhar chap) was wrong and poor old Margaret, was, of course, lying.

    I *heart* fundamentalists-what they do with history and indeed logic when it disagrees with their views is nothing short of magic.

    I hope you agree, Yassir, my man.

  52. ylh

    All I can say is I feel sorry for you. You started off by claiming x (that Jinnah was culpable in direct action day) and having failed moved onto Z(that Jinnah after 1940 championed two nation theory).

    Nobody is asking you to respect anyone. However the quote on Lahore Resolution is actually Jinnah’s presidential address outlining the need for such a resolution and is not intended as a “blue print”. Lahore Resolution does not contain the said text but you are too in your head to see it.

    As Lahore Resolution does not provide for a definite Pakistan, how could Jinnah’s statement of fact which is no way offensive to Hindus be termed as the blue print for Pakistan I do not know. Maybe such logic will appeal to your counterparts in Pakistan ie Mullah Fascists who sided with Congress to begin with but this logic does not appeal to trained historians.

    Like I said you are not required to respect anybody, but you came here asking us not to respect Jinnah and you’ve failed to convince us otherwise. Calling me a fundamentalist only proves that you are out of touch with reality and are quite a Hindu fascist yourself.

  53. ylh

    PS. I am not sure what Azhar chap you are talking about but Wolpert did write a fascinating biography of Mr. Jinnah. But I merely quoted Mountbatten to show that he did indeed offer premiership to Jinnah. If that is not the case, the first Governor General of India was the liar not Wolpert. And if it is true, Wolpert can be excused for having overlooked this particular topp as he is a human being.

    Bourke-white’s case is entirely different. She claimed to be an eye witness to a public meeting on July 29 which turns out to be Central Working Committee meeting closed to journalists altogether. She speaks of fezzes flying as if it is a graduation ceremony of a US college. She speaks of life size portraits of Jinnah when Muslim League never used such portraits (being afraid to alienate a large section of Muslims for obvious reasons) and in a meeting which was held not in Public … She puts words in Jinnah’s mouth he never uttered according to all reports. I’d say “wrong” would be an understatement. It was an out and out lie. Now unless you can prove that Bourke-white was indeed there, that it was a public meeting, that it had fezzes flying and there were lifesize portraits of Jinnah at any Muslim League meeting in the 1940s, I would stick to my assessment of Bourke-white which I suspect is the reason all serious historians have ignored her as a credible source.

    Now just because you can’t argue logically doesn’t make me a fundamentalist. It makes you a dimwit sir.

  54. trp

    “Trp: so christians are another exception to common civilization eh? How about Buddhists or is it just semitic religions.”

    yes, but not because i say so, but because the semitic religions say so 🙂

    buddhism, as also the other religions i mentioned, they were created by the people of the sub continent for themselves. so they seem to have lived with relative peace with one another (and christians (and parsis and jews) too btw, as the christian rule’s religious persecution (and/or religious persecution in the name of christianity) was largely limited to Goa, diu, Daman). not so with islam and hence the baggage we carry.

  55. Aisha Sarwari

    The blue print for Pakistan was what Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said as the president of the constituent assembly and repeated again and again and again :

    “You are free to go to your temples, mosques or any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion caste or creed- that has nothing to do with the business of the state.

    If we keep this infront of ourselves as a principle, in due course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims, not in a religious sense, but in a political sense as citizens of one state”

    Jinnah sb spoke these words clearly. He did not repudiate the two nation theory which was a fact but simply that were the Muslim majority of Pakistan learn from the mistakes of the Congress and ensured equality, fraternity and justice to all, the two nation consciousness could be overcome in Pakistan.

    His 1940 address -eloquent and articulate as it was and which is being quoted above, identified a legitimate need: a Muslim majority state equivalent of Hindu majority India and Pakistan fulfilled that need. It thus was a chapter closed.

    Jinnah did not want his new state to treat its minorities the way he feared the Hindu majority treated its minorities. Was he putting too much faith in Muslims? Perhaps… But the fact remains: Jinnah’s blue print for Pakistan was modern, egalitarian and secular.

  56. ylh

    Well said Aisha. One correction though: Jinnah said “not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual”.

    But this is very well and succinctly put.

    Trp,

    Since Buddhism was founded by an Indian and is an Indian faith no doubt, could you enlighten us as to the total number of Buddhists (barring the tibetans in refuge or the Dalits who mass-converted in. 1955) living in India since …oh say an arbitrary century- the third century AD ie almost 600 years after Asoka had made India a Buddhist empire? What accounted for the complete eradication of Buddhism from India?

  57. aisha sarwari

    Yasser,

    Thanks for the correction.

    I also don’t understand how hades can speak with a straight face about ugliness, when given Gandhi’s statements and Nehru’s statements. There is nothing ugly about that speech and nothing that contradicts Jinnah’s later speech which I have quoted as Pakistan’s blue print.

    I think Jinnah was probably the last Muslim leader to realize the truth of those words spoken in 1940. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the great Muslim modernist, had realized the two nation thesis in 1867. And the great Muslim philosopher Iqbal had given his idea of a Muslim nation in 1930. These were all reasonable and modern minded Muslims who had been spurned by the Hindu majority.

    Even a great Hindu freedom fighter like Lala Lajpat Rai had spoken of it in 1925. And what was all commotion about Hindu-Muslim Unity the need for it, if what was said in 1940 was not indeed a fact.

    The Quaid’s earlier career as best ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity was the result of his youthful naivety. That Congress managed to alienate a pork-eating whisky drinking Indian-firster like Jinnah who at one point used to donate 1000 rupees (a very large sum for that time) weekly to the Congress Party just proves that Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Allama Iqbal were right all along…

  58. Kaffir

    I suspect that Hates is not interested in an honest discussion nor does his objection to Jinnah have anything to do with secularism or equality, but the fact that Pakistan, despite all its problems and flaws, led to the creation of industrial class amongst those who belong to the Muslim community. Pakistan also created economic opportunity where there was none. I shudder to think where we would be – had there been no Islamabad or Karachi- Pindi would be small garrison town and Karachi would be small fisher town.

    Was it Sumit Sarkar who said that without Pakistan there would be no real Muslim middle class in the subcontinent.

  59. Kaffir

    Kaffir= ylh btw.

  60. Yassir,

    To start with let us put paid to all this about Bourke-White:

    She speaks of life size portraits of Jinnah when Muslim League never used such portraits (being afraid to alienate a large section of Muslims for obvious reasons

    I will not accuse you of lying for reasons of Propriety but I will say that you are WRONG.

    http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=a90ec502824978f7&q=bombay+source:life&usg=__82Oqz6XgzihY4sOJ8S4Ukcv5ygA=&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbombay%2Bsource:life%26start%3D60%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

    Hopefully, this would also calm you down, like good ol’ Harry did.

    Of course, you never know…maybe while “lying”, Bourke-white also did doctor the pictures she took, to damn Jinnah all the more.

    Maybe she went into the future and used Photoshop, even. 😛

    I find your case of Jinnah being secular very weak when you:

    1)take the support of him becoming communal later on in his career (His two nation theory was a consociationalist scheme and did not suggest till early 1947 atleast that Hindus and Muslims could not live together)

    2)claim that Jinnah’s communal Two-nation theory being a part of the opening address (and not a part of the actual resolution). Incredibly, that, to you, is a great redeeming aspect.

    You started off by claiming x (that Jinnah was culpable in direct action day) and having failed moved onto Z(that Jinnah after 1940 championed two nation theory).

    Actually here’s another lesson in logic: If I prove Z, it immeasurable strengthens my case to prove X. And both have been proved.

    Since it is beyond doubt that Jinnah did champion the communal Two-Nation theory I will now for, I think, the fourth time, outline briefly why Jinnah and the ML were culpable on the 16th of August:

    1)Ambiguous declaration of “Direct Action”— Till today people disagree on what DA meant—divide and destroy, “trouble” or Gandhian-style civil disobedience? Of course, to the communal tinderbox of India in 1946 it meant only one thing.

    2)Jinnah was no babe in the woods: Even a child could have foreseen what was to happen when a person who had championed the comunal two-nation theory and was president of the Muslim League called for Direct Action and “trouble”. To claim that Jinnah had no inkling of what his words were going to unleash is underestimating the genius of the man.

    3)Suhrawardy’s bandobast—Why the police needed to be confined in their barracks on a day of “peaceful civil disobedience” in beyond me. did it have something to do with this statement by the Pm of bengal? :”Let me now honestly declare that every Muslim of Bengal is ready and prepared to lay down his life for Pakistan Now I call upon you, Mr. Jinnah, to test us”

    4)The motive angle: A communal clash of the magnitude seen in Calcutta would “prove” Jinnah’s Two-Nation Theory. A small trailer to what Jinnah meant when he said that the co-existence of the two communities would lead to “final destruction”. Pakistan after 16 August, 1946 became inevitable and a United India an impossibility.

    I would very much appreciate a rebuttal to these four points, if possible. I would not appreciate puerile ad hominem (All I can say is I feel sorry for you) or Jinnah’s statements espousing secularism in another time and place (especially pre-1937 or post formation of Pakistan). Do refer to the little post on ‘logic’ before replying.

    Also, I might be unable to reply due to an upcoming trip. However, I will try and read your reply and reply at a later date.

    In spite of our obvious differences in perceptions of History, or because of that, I had fun locking horns with you. I would still appreciate it if you could provide me with that whole essay by Gandhi.

    Cheers,
    Hades

  61. Aisha,

    He did not repudiate the two nation theory which was a fact but simply that were the Muslim majority of Pakistan learn from the mistakes of the Congress and ensured equality, fraternity and justice to all, the two nation consciousness could be overcome in Pakistan.

    I see. So Pakistan was to better India’s treatment of its minorities, is that it?

    Do you know what the percentage of religious minorities in Pakistan is today, Aisha? Do you know what it was before Jinnah founded Pakistan?

    Are you aware of the existence of a law making Blasphemy against Islam ad the Prophet a punishable law in Pakistan?

    Of course, Pakistan has mistreated other minorities too (other than religious that is). In a matter of months, three million Bengalis (mostly Muslim but not Punjabi) were killed by the Army of the country founded by Jinnah to better treat its minorities. To put that number in perspective, estimates put the number of people dead during the Gujarat riots at around 2000.

    No doubt, India has a long way to go before it can claim that it treats its minorities fairly. But to claim that Pakistan was formed to better India in this regard, is nothing but ridiculous.

  62. Creation of Pakistan hit the indian’s in the heart and they will never accept it as a strong state. So there is no point in arguing with sensless idiots who are just looking for another oppurtunity to undermine Pakistan!

  63. Kaffir,

    No, personally speaking, I am against the formation of a state like Pakistan for many reaons.

    As I said, first there is the natural aversion to a state formed on communal lines. Second, there is the natural aversion to a state which is formed over the blood of people.

    As far as emancipation of Muslims on the sub-contintent go, in your hubris you forget that Pakistan contains but a third of the sub-continent’s Muslims.

    1)The Indian Muslim is forever condemned to be looked upon as a foreigner in his land of birth because some Punjabi landlords wanted a cushy life. Unfortunately, in a bid for power, Jinnah had all but forgotten about what was to happen to him after Pakistan was formed.

    2)The Bengali Mulsim will take a long time to recover from three million of its citizens getting killed by, what it though, were its own army-men.

    3) The Pakistani Muslim-As far as I see, Pakistan will go deeper into the abyss of fundamentalism-something it has been doing ever since its formation.

    You see, once you define a nation on lines of a religion, there’s no end to it. You get rid of all the non-Muslims then what? Then you turn on the peope who don’t speak your language. You turn on people who don’t fit your brand of Islam-Ahmedis maybe. You turn on anybody who is in the least not like you.

  64. ylh

    Hades old chap,

    Read Majumdar’s comment above. Nobody said that Pakistan has lived up to its promise.

    The tragedy of Pakistan is that repudiated Jinnah and adopted instead the Mullah fascists as its ideologues who had sided with Gandhi ironically.

    The success of India (or whatever success India is) on the other hand that it rejected- all but in name- Gandhi and his ideas. After all you owe your constitution to Dr. Ambedkar who in any event was closer to Jinnah and who hated Gandhi and pre-independence Congress Party.

    But you didn’t get Aisha’s point at all. Pakistan’s founding principle was modern, secular and egalitarian as India’s if not more. Instead of extracting your own meanings from what is written, it would be worthwhile to see that Aisha has explained how Jinnah’s presidential address of 1940 merely identifies the need for Lahore Resolution and is not intended to be a blue print of Pakistan. This is obvious from the fact that even the consquential document ie Lahore Resolution gives a menu of options out of which present day Pakistan may be considered one option.

    Ofcourse we have an uphill battle to get back to Jinnah’s vision but I don’t see what your locus standi is.

    I suppose in India secularism and equality means appeasing Deobandi fundamentalists by undoing Supreme Court’s decision in say Shah Bano case. But that is a luxury we in Pakistan can no longer afford.

  65. trp

    “He did not repudiate the two nation theory which was a fact but simply that were the Muslim majority of Pakistan learn from the mistakes of the Congress and ensured equality, fraternity and justice to all, the two nation consciousness could be overcome in Pakistan.”

    hilarious. so even before tasting ‘hindu rule’ even once u were convinced that u’d be ill treated in united india but u were sure that u’d treat the same minorities well who u did not treat well under islamic rule when they were majority 🙂 boy! what spin!

    princefino, hope venting ur anger makes u feel strong. good for u then 🙂

  66. ylh

    Hades mian,

    You are now merely going in circles. The Pakistan that Jinnah formed had Non-muslim minorities, a Hindu law minister and an Ahmadi foreign minister. Jinnah did not envisage a Pakistan which would turn on its minorities and that has abundantly proven above.

    Since I actually do belong to an Ahmadi family (though I am myself a non-believer in every way) I suggest that you don’t have locus standi to speak for this community.

    The Ahmadis were victimized by the same group of Mullahs who had opposed Jinnah. Maulana Mufti Mahmood was a great Congressi Mullah. So let’s set the record straight- Ahmadis are being persecuted not because of Jinnah’s Pakistan of which they were in the forefront and contributed greatly to… But because of the Mullahs that Gandhi introduced into politics.

    The clearest evidence of this is the recent violence and persecution of Ahmadi Muslims by Indian Muslim community in general. What happened there? Was it Pakistan too?

    Ofcourse in Pakistan petty politics and military dictatorship institutionalized this discrimination but then that is not Jinnah’s failure who had repeatedly warned against discrimination based on religion.

    So what is your point really? Why don’t you stick to it? You came here asking us not to admire Jinnah and then you made a number of claims which you’ve failed to justify. Why should we listen to you? Jinnah continues to inspire many secularists and liberals in Pakistan and rightfuly so …he continues to be the symbol of nationhood that all Pakistanis regardless of religion or other distinctions associate with? Why should that upset you so?

    What India and Pakistan are today are despite their founders. In our case we wish to hark back to Jinnah’s vision so that we can climb out of the abyss his enemies have thrown us into.
    So be on your way. Concentrate on your country. Don’t you have some Muslims or Christians to burn in India today? Go do that. And leave us to our fate.

  67. ylh

    Trp,

    Jinnah did not want religious rule or theocracy. He wanted Pakistan to be impartial.

    This is precisely why he appointed a Hindu as the first law minister of Pakistan.

  68. trp

    “Don’t you have some Muslims or Christians to burn in India today? Go do that. And leave us to our fate.”

    thats a good idea, we would. but can u guarantee more ajmal kasabs won’t be coming here from ur country to kill more hindu, jain, muslim, christian, parsi, sikhs, jews and buddhists in mumbai? can u tell ur ‘boys’ to only kill ur countrymen and we’ll only burn ours?

  69. trp

    “Jinnah did not want religious rule or theocracy. He wanted Pakistan to be impartial.”

    YHL this may be true, but his idea is not workable, so he was atleast a bad judge?

    besides, the spin given by Ayesha is too much, unless she can give a source that Jinnah thought so.

  70. trp

    YHL, so mullah’s were introduced to politics by Gandhi 🙂

    the marriage of politics and religion in islam is gandhi’s doing… oh that sly hindoo bastard sure cost the world dear!!!

  71. ylh

    I know hades mian doesn’t like it when I quote scholars instead of his favorite Wikipedia but here is Stephen Cohen, Washington’s foremost Pakistan expert and a darling of Indian establishment, who writes on Page 280 of “Idea of Pakistan”:

    “America and Israel compare with Pakistan in the latter’s attempt to reconcile democracy with its origins as a homeland for a threatened religious minority. Each was founded by such a minority”

    So I wonder what our Indian counterparts think of that given that India today doesn’t leave any opportunity to give head to both the US and Israel.

    Would the “states like Pakistan” proviso apply here or is Stephen Cohen a deluded Pakistani secretly?

  72. trp

    “Pakistan as a homeland for a threatened religious minority.”

    hmm, so

    1) which religious persecution the muslims in india were subjected to (under khilafat / mughals /british etc?)
    2) how many mosques were destroyed / converted to temles?
    3) how many muslims were forced to convert (except in moplah rebellion… OOPS… oh thats hindoos again)

    threatened by what? a sense of guilt?

  73. ylh

    Trp,

    I think the speech that she quoted speaks of the Indian experience, the necessity of a secular order and Jinnah’s fondest aspirations for Pakistan. You should read it in full. And there is no spin. What she wrote in her two posts succinctly punctured the arguments by Hades mian. Are you his multi-nic btw like kaffir is mine.
    As for Jinnah being a bad judge … not of Gandhi, Nehru and company but perhaps he had too much in Muslims which might have been misplaced.

  74. ylh

    Trp mian,

    Take that up with Stephen Cohen.

    As for your other question…if you refer to my three longish reference posts, you will find a quote from one Mr. Patwardhan of the Congress Party. He points out exactly how Gandhi brought Mullahs into politics and spurned secular Muslims like Jinnah. I happen to agree with him.

    So no need to be clever by half.

  75. trp

    YHL,

    Can u tell me where can i find that speech? i’d like to read it with my pakistani friend, coz when i told him that pakistan was supposed to be a secular state, he laughed his ass off.

    no i’m not hades. but i’d like to borrow the kaffir one. its cool. can i?

  76. ylh

    Well I suspect you are Hades. Kaffir is my known screen name and I have already clarified this above. So nice try but sorry.

    As for your Pakistani friend…judging by the company he keeps why am I not surprised.

    Search Jinnah 11th August speech google. That’s what’s it is for.

  77. ylh

    Also on the nick “Kaffir” …the word is taken from Gandhi’s collected works. Gandhi used it to describe native Africans who he considered of lesser racial stock and subhuman.

    Atleast a Muslim doesn’t consider kafirs subhuman. Why a Kafir (rana Bhagwandas) was not long ago the senior most justice of Pakistan’s Supreme court. on that count being a proud Kafir myself, I thank heavens I don’t have to pay homage to a “kaffir-baiting” racist Gandhi as my father of the nation.

    It is this that I wish to celebate with my online avtar “Kaffir”.

  78. trp

    I’ll call myself ‘Kaffir by birth’ ok?
    i’m not hades, hades, pls help me and tell YHL something that only he and u would know. then he’ll be convinced 🙂

    abt my pakistani friend, i agree. his family is ‘jamati’. what can u expect?

  79. Kaffir

    More from the Idea of Pakistan by Stephen Cohen Page 45:

    The large and influential ngo community also hearkens back to Jinnah’s earliest dream of a society
    With a commitment to positive social change, although it also indicates that the Pakistani state failed to meet the basic needs of its citizens in the fields of health, education, civil liberties and social equality- all areas emphasized by Jinnah in his final speeches.

    Would Jinnah recognize the Pakistan of today? Perhaps, but just barely. Several of the religious parties that opposed him in 1947 now govern two provinces, while Pakistan is governed by a politically powerful army and not by mainstream parties of persuasion similar to his own; Jinnah would certainly see army rule and the disproportionate influence of the Islamists as an aberration, and he would undoubtedly be distressed about Pakistan’s distorted economy and the loss of more than half of Pakistan after civil war and Indian intervention. Perhaps most troubling …would have been the way in which his image and his reputation were appropriated by those attempting to create a state at variance with his hopes and expectations;after all Jinnah’s was a middle of the road approach.

    To quote Majumdar, Jinnah being pillioried for the shortcomings of Pakistan would make sense if we in Pakistan would have atleast made some effort to fulfill Jinnah’s vision.

    Jinnah’s most enthusiastic supporters were in the East. They are the ones who supported Fatima Jinnah wholeheartedly as well in 1965 … They were persecuted and forced out of the federation by an elite which was at best lukewarm to the Pakistan idea.

    Jinnah’s real supporters were Ahmadis who were persecuted by the same Mullahs who were openly hostile to Jinnah.

    So let us not abuse Jinnah for the failings of those who either hated him or were indifferent or have plotted to undermine him.

  80. Kaffir

    The quote from Cohen extends all the way to “jinnah’s was a middle of the road approach”.

  81. Kaffir

    Jamaati eh, well Jamaat e islami was one of the parties that Stephen Cohen mentions above as being opposed to Jinnah.

    Jamaat e Islami has about as much ideological similarity to the Quaid as VHP as to Nehru.

  82. Adnann

    Yasir,

    This discussion has been an excellent knowledge source for me, as well as I am sure a lot of other people who are following the roles Jinnah, Gandhi, and Nehru played in the events leading up to the Great Partition.

    An excellent book I would recommend to look at the events as they were unfolding in 1946-47 is Alex Von Tunzelmann’s “Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire”. She focuses more on Nehru, Mountbattens, and Gandhi, but Jinnah invariably shows up. Alex’s book is also an excellent narrative of how much Winston Churchill was active in supporting the creation of Pakistan.

    Jinnah in my mind was a huge leader. He was father of our nation, and after reading Wolpert, my esteem for him has grown even further. However, Jinnah’s stance on separation of religion vs. state is at best ambiguous. One article I would suggest reading in this regard is Dr. Parvez Hoodbhoy’s “Jinnah and the Islamic State – Setting the Record Straight”. A lot of ambiguity is explained by the reason of political expediency of the times; however, Pakistan has continued to suffer as it tries to define itself for the last 60 years, and fruitlessly searches for the answers in its founder’s speeches.

    http://www.chowk.com/articles/12462

    And another comment: I appreciate your excellent efforts in answering the comments and questions. Yet the answers are invariably followed by insults and taunts in many cases. A case of a good meal followed by sour dessert I must say.

    Regards,

    Adnann

  83. Kaffir

    “Some Punjabi landlords wanted power”

    This is more of that little knowledge that Hades is legendary for.

    Punjabi landlords were lukewarm to the idea of Pakistan and in 1946 their party the Unionist Party made the government in Punjab with none other than the Congress Party.

    The reason why the Communist Party of India lent Muslim League wholehearted support was because Sajjad Zaheer and G Adhikari and others saw Muslim League as the only party capable of challenging the stranglehold of Punjabi landlord party ie Unionists.

    The antipathy that Punjabi landlord Khizer Hayat Tiwana for Pakistan is well known …the hate his predecessors Sir Fazli Hussain and Sikandar Hayat had for Jinnah is also well known.

    The Punjabi landlords and their party the Unionist Party were the biggest allies of the Congress and biggest opponents of Pakistan. It is true that many of them defected to Muslim League at the very end but they had no role in the making of Pakistan.

    I strongly suggest everyone here reads “communist movement in Punjab” by Bhagwan Josh.

    Poor Hades’ assumptions are so off the mark that they make me laugh.

  84. Aisha Sarwa

    Hades,

    Pakistan’s failures notwithstanding, I only quoted what Quaid-e-Azam put before as a vision. That the vision has not been fully realized is a fact no Pakistani denies.

    And while some of your criticisms are on the money (mistreatment of minorities and the persecution of Qadiyanis) others are merely a figment of your imagination.
    Despite being an officially Islamic Republic, Pakistan has not seen the kind of religious pogroms that are a normal routine in India be they against Chrisitians or Muslims. That does not mean that minorities are fine and dandy in Pakistan but they are certainly not living under the threat of a sudden violent flare up as is the case in India. I have family in India and they tell us horror stories…not to mention the poverty and squalor and the very real discrimination they face on the ground. In contrast, I have in my office in Islamabad four hard working Non-Muslim executives : three christians and one Hindu. We have a total strength of 6 executives. A minority in Pakistan may not be able to become the President (which is something that needs to change) but unlike India, atleast a Pakistani Hindu or a Pakistani Christian is relatively alright financially. This is not the case for the overwhelming majority of Indian Muslims and please don’t tell me otherwise because I have been there and my maternal family is from Konkan.

    We can settle this issue by comparing say the plight of Ahmadis- Pakistan’s worst persecuted community- with any one minority group in India either financially or in terms of security. Financially, despite awful discrimination, Pakistani Ahmadis retain 100 percent literacy and one of the highest per capita income barring the Parsi and the Ismailis. Would you care to elaborate on what you think corresponding figures are for the Dalits or Scheduled castes? But perhaps that is not a fair comparison because Ahmadis maybe ostracized by the fundamentalists but they are certainly not treated as something less than human – as is the wont of Hindu uppercaste men when dealing with dalits etc.

    Now coming to security- since 1974 when official discrimination started to 2008 (34 years), 77 Ahmadis have lost their lives to what was religion-related rioting. it is a shame and a blot really but as you said Pakistan has slipped into the abyss of fundamentalism.

    However could you tell me the number of Muslims killed in Gujurat in a single day? Or Christians in a corresponding period?

    We may be an Islamic Republic but atleast we don’t go around burning Austrian priests and their children alive? Now it is true that crazy Islamic fundamentalists burn CD shops in tribal areas every now and then but let’s not forget what RSS and VHP does in Delhi on Valentine’s Day.

    And since General Zia’s time, Pakistan has introduced draconian anti-women legislation which must be opposed. It also means that we have one of the lowest female to male ratios but believe it or not we are still higher than one country. Yes yours. We have an excuse : General Zia. What’s your excuse? Infanticide.

    And Pakistan has become highly radicalized no doubt. It is true- our media is short sighted. Pakistan is facing a terror problem. And yet, I can assure you that three of our biggest lollywood stars would never in a million years make a movie called “mullah raj”, “ossama raj” or “qazi” or “qazi raj” or “maulana raj”.

    And you can pick up Pakistani TV dramas/soaps not just of today but even when General Zia had imposed Islam by force …you won’t find any reference to prayer worship or islam. These are TV plays from the official TV channel of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    Could you name a single Indian soap which does not have a Hindu Puja scene or a major movie? “Secular” India is god obsessed.

    The point is not that Pakistan is perfect. It isn’t. It certainly isn’t the secular democratic state based on rule of law that Jinnah wanted. But on the ground the situation might be at considerable variance to your estimate.

    So instead of wasting everyone’s time, isn’t it better to agree to disagree?

  85. kashkin

    Dear Friends,
    It is great to see that this article sparked lots of conversation. It was a tribute to a person who has done a lot. Pakistan and its failings cannot be attributed to Jinnah or anyone for that matter during that time at those cross roads of history.

    What happened afterwards is another story,another debate. Each country has its fair share of problems and Pakistan is no exception. No one denies that..But India must accept its responsibilities too rather than continue to twist, contort and convolute the past. We must learn from the past but not live in it.

    Jinnah after all was a human just like me and you. Perfection is not something gained from mere words but through actions and he did as much as he could. For a cause like that, there is always a price. There is not a single book of history which does not carry that price. All those democracies in the West which India and Pakistan and all those countries aspire to came too with a price.

    In last century alone, they lost almost 100 million people alone. Go to Imperial War Museum and there you will see the clock ticking away the lives lost in conflicts for all the right and wrong reasons.

    And all those lives that were lost were for a reason, for a belief that one day we will have a place of our own, a place where we will have a presence, support and acceptance of our opinions. Jinnah, Iqbal and many others were part of that aspiration which became the voice of millions.

    In the end, I will thank all of you and in particular YLH and Aisha Sarwa for their elaborate and objectivity. Keep up the great work guys. Many thanks.

    Kashkin

  86. Unfortunately, my posts are not being published on the site.

    If selective screening of posts is done in such a way it will be tough for me to continue this, so far, fascinating dialogue.

    Iwill repost my article and hope that it passes the censors this time. If not I’d like an explanation as to why not from the site admins.

  87. Aisha,

    Despite being an officially Islamic Republic, Pakistan has not seen the kind of religious pogroms that are a normal routine in India be they against Chrisitians or Muslims.

    Comparisons of minority treatment by the countries can go an forever. Both India and Paksiatn have along way to go in this regard.

    But just to compare the two countries, I ask you to conduct two simple exercises:

    1)Find out the percentage of minorties in India and Paksitan on 14/15 August 1947.

    Compare it to today’s percentage.

    2)Find out how big the number 3 million actually is. Find out how many “pogroms” India has committed where casulaties come up to the number of casulaties in 1971.

    History might be inexact but naked numbers seldom lie.

    Regards,
    Hades

  88. Kaffir,

    (I)

    I’m short on time, but on the issue of the Punjabi landlords do find out what happened to them after the death of Sir Sikandar.

    How Pakistan went from being a “mad-scheme” to an actual country, owes a lot to the financial clout of the above mentioned group.

    A few months of support to the movement has paid of handsomely for them, of course.

    (II)

    You also mention Pakistan emancipating the Punjabi and to some extent the Sindhi Muslim.

    That you find Pakistan economically emancipated when it dances to the dictates of the IMF 62 years after “freedom” is in itself so starkly ironical that I will not even waste time on a rebuttal.

    That you find Pakistan ensured the physical security of Muslims of the sub-continent when 3 million Bengali Muslims were killed by the Pakistani army and as we speak Pakhtun Muslims are being killed by the Pakistan Army in collaboration with the US army requires no rebuttal too.

    (III)

    Also on the nick “Kaffir” …the word is taken from Gandhi’s collected works.

    While I have no intentions of defending Gandhi on his views on Race, please do note that you are factually incorrect.

    Gandhi did not invent the term ‘Kaffir’ for native Africans. He merely used an existing term which was in common use at his time.

    For more knowledge you could check out this article from my favourite source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_(ethnic_slur)

  89. P.S: Appreciate the prompt action by the admins in releasing my previous post.

    However, there is one more stuck. Web links seem to be the problem, me thinks.

  90. Aisha,

    Pakistan’s failures notwithstanding, I only quoted what Quaid-e-Azam put before as a vision. That the vision has not been fully realized is a fact no Pakistani denies.

    True. But which Jinnah is the real one? Is it the secular one after the formation of Pakistan or is it the one that invented the Two Nation theory proposing that a multi-religious society is headed for “final destruction”?

    Is it the one who refused to start sessions of the PCA with readings from the Quran after the formation of Pakistan or is it the one who called for “Direct Action” in the India of 1946?

    Who is it? Is he the one who married a Parsi or is the real Jinnah the one who disowned his daughter for marrying a Parsi?

    Is the real Jinnah the one who wore Saville row suits to Congress meetings in the 1920s as a protege of Noaraji or is the real Jinnah the one who wore achkans to meetings of the Muslim League in the 1940s?

    Studying Jinnah’s three phases (pre-1937, 1937-1947, 1947-death) is fascinating. Unfortunately, only one of those three phases created Pakistan and that one phase will have to take responsibility for the country that it created.

    So instead of wasting everyone’s time, isn’t it better to agree to disagree

    BORING! 😛

    No just kidding. But its so much fun doing this! Why in the world would you call it a waste of time?

    Regards,
    Hades

  91. Aisha Sarwari

    I must echo ylh above and say little knowledge is indeed dangerous.

    1. Out of the five provinces that were to form Pakistan, three had substantial Non-Muslim populations, Sindh, Punjab and Bengal.
    Bengal and Punjab were
    stripped off its Non-Muslim minority districts at partition. However migration happened mainly in Punjab. Therefore Bangladesh still retains 20 percent Hindu population. However if your concern is with Punjab, the accurate comparison has to be with corresponding Muslim population in East Punjab. In both cases the population numbers have fallen greatly.

    Sindh it might be added retains a large Hindu population – now close to 4 million.

    So if you want to compare the population figures according to official figures – stripped of non-muslim majority areas (which became part of India) then Pakistan on 15th August had approximately 15 to 20 percent non-Muslims.

    Now if we go by official numbers given by the census of Pakistan (notorious for under reporting Non-Muslims recently) former West Pakistan has about 4 percent Non-Muslims. And Former East Pakistan has 20 percent I believe. You do the math – 4 percent of 165 million + 20 percent of 140 million = 346 million Non-Muslims in former Pakistan.

    34.6 million divided by 305 million comes to 11.5 percent. So yes there has been a reduction in percentage now but that has to also take into account high population growth rate amongst Pakistani Muslims or is that stick only to be used when conveniently beating up Indian Muslims?

    Ofcourse neither the NGOs nor the Churches and other minority leaders accept the 4 percent figure. Pakistan Christian Congress and Pakistan Christian National Party claim that 20 million Christians in Pakistan. This is no doubt an exaggerated number but a better estimate would be 6 million Christians in Punjab alone. And couple of million in Sindh. That alone accounts for more than 4 percent non-Muslims …forget the between 4 to 5 million Hindus, or a half a million others. I tell you as someone deeply involved with Pakistani minorities that they number somewhere between 10-15 percent today. And that if we don’t count Ahmadis as they declare themselves Muslims (as they should). If we were to count Ahmadis as minority, the number would jump to about 18 or 19 percent in my estimate. Now this number scares the Mullahs and latter day chachas of Pakistan.

    2. What Pakistani elite did to the patriots of former East Pakistan was deplorable. But was it really three million? Even Mujib had initially claimed a grand total of 300 000 which included all civilian and military casualties on both sides.

    Harvard University (yes the one in America) sent a fact finding mission under Sarmila Bose, an Indian and a relative of a famous Indian leader, to investigate 1971. She published a complete report in which she concluded that the numbers were grossly exaggerated to unrealistic proportions. At one place where Pakistanis were said to have massacred as many 14000 people, she could confirm only 8 deaths. Solitary number 8. Now this is the conclusion of an Indian-American Professor from Harvard University not mine. It must be remembered that there is no parallel with the holocaust (which is a proven tragedy in which 6 million lost their lives). For Pakistanis to have massacred 6 million in a space of 9 months in which they had fought a full fledge war with India as well would entail supervillainy from Marvel Comics. Bose’ research should give you some pause.

    So you see naked numbers do lie. I just marvel at your naivety and simplicity.

    Anything else? Because so far your case has been built on nothing but hot air.

    -Aisha

  92. YLH

    Hades,

    Don’t whine. Whenever anyone posts a link, the post gets delayed for moderation. Just Indians censor comments on their websites, doesn’t our friend Raza does the same.

    I just saw your post allegedly missing. I can’t believe the lengths you will go to lie. The pictures of Jinnah that Margaret Bourke-white took were in 1947-1948. How would those pictures prove that Bourke-white was telling the truth when her account of the meeting of 29TH July 1946 turned out to be a fabrication?

    Now coming to your points- which I already rubbished above.

    The motive angle might appeal to someone who has a rudimentary interest in politics. Jinnah’s case did not get stronger because Jinnah was aiming at parity in the center. That he had not envisaged a complete separation is now an article of faith with historians who have written about partition since the 1980s. His political objective was frustrated by violence in Calcutta not strengthened by it. If what you were saying is true, muslim League would have created such trouble in Delhi or Lahore.

    A much stronger motive for violence in Calcutta lay with the Congress which was trying to taint Jinnah’s law abiding character. It was Congress that benefited from the Calcutta killings. It was Congress that managed to force Jinnah to drop his demand for parity and come into the govt on Congress’ terms. It was Congress that ultimately dictated its terms on the issue of partition. Interestingly -and I have proof for this elsewhere- Congress had worked out its desired partition boundaries as early as January 23rd 1946. The moth eaten Pakistan foisted on Jinnah was exactly the same as the one VP Menon had in a letter revealed to George Abell as being acceptable as early as 1946
    No.R.265/46. 23 January 1946.

    So you keep going in circles on the motive angle for Congress clearly had greater motive. And not only that had you bothered to read my reference posts (the ones you dismissed as cut’,’paste) ou would see I have established quite clearly that the people responsible for Calcutta violence were members of the Hindu underworld acting on the orders of the Congress Party. It is quite clear that not just motive but evidence itself points in that direction. The classic Indian argument is akin to the argument of a white supremacist who lynches a black man and then blames him for it- therefore.

    So far you’ve not produced anything but simplistic regurgitation of the massive cover up that the British and Congress plotted and which has now been proven (from primary sources) to be so.

    Now I’d like to make a comment about your equally ignorant “which Jinnah is the real Jinnah post” addressed to Aisha. She has explained that there is no contradiction in all three phases. Perhaps if you were to read her post in entirety, you would realize that she has answered your question already. You ask her which Jinnah is the real Jinnah “the saville row suit wearing Jinnah of the 1920s” or “the achkan wearing Jinnah of 1940s”. I suggest you try looking at simla negotiations or Jinnah’s pictures from the 1940s. You’ll find that in most pictures he still wears a saville row suit and these public pictures I am talking about. Even your favorite Bourke-white’s account has Jinnah wearing a suit. The point is that Jinnah never abandoned his secular liberal core- at the height of communal tension, Jinnah nominated a Hindu to represent the Muslim League as a member of the Congress led interim government thereby proving that pluralistic character of his movement.

    I suggest you acquaint yourself with a book or two instead of relying on Wikipedia alone. So long as you are ignorant of the basic facts of history, I concur with Aisha that this discussion is a waste of time.

    Aisha,

    Once again. Excellent. Poor Hades doesn’t know what hit him.

    Adnan,

    Thanks for the kind wors. In so far as ambiguity is concerned, at most it has to do with terms. Jinnah did not use the word secular in public after 1940 (though he did so in private). It had more to do with Muslim community allergy to the term and also the fact that Congress’ Mullah allies were already denouncing Jinnah and the League as secular kemalists.

    The basic principles of statehood as expressed by Jinnah through out the Pakistan movement and during his term in office are the following:

    1. Sovereignty to rest with the people regardless of religion caste or creed.

    2. Adult franchise.

    3. Equality of citizenship without any bars on religion and effective separation of church and state.

    4. Safeguard for minorities and their cultures .

    This was not just after partition was certain. Jinnah’s speech vetoeing the motion to commit Pakistan’s future constitution to Islam in 1943 is another example.

    I’d describe these as secular principles. After all neither the US constitution or Ambedkar’s constitution of 1950 contained the word secular (Secular and socialist were added to the Indian constitution in the 1970s). Similarly it doesn’t matter if we call this vision christian, islamic or secular but this is the vision Jinnah unambiguously had through out.

    As for the insults, since I was given epithet of being a fundementalist no less for disagreeing with Hades’ half baked ideas, I am only giving as good as I receive.

    Yours sincerely,

    YLH

  93. Aisha Sarwari

    Hades,

    It is a waste of time because you are going in circles. An argument cannot go on for ever when both sides have nothing new to say and besides I have too much work to do then indulge in a quasi-academic discussion with no end.

    Consider this my last post.

    -Aisha

  94. Kaffir

    Hates,

    Please answer the following will you?

    I. In 1947 the main Landlord Party under Khizer Hayat Tiwana was in government with which other party in Punjab?

    Hint: it starts with a C. And its president’s name had the these initials JLN.

    II. Aisha has already dealt with the issue of 3 million. Can you tell me which leader it was who insisted in 1947 that Bengal joins Pakistan and who vetoed an independent Bangladesh in 1947?

    Hint: it wasn’t Jinnah who had accepted an independent Bengal scheme as per Lahore Resolution which afforded this choice.

    Hint 2: This politician’s daughter undid her father’s work in 1971.

    Hint 3: His last name was Nehru.

    III: Are you suggesting that Gandhi did not use the word “kaffir” repeatedly in his collected works to describe all “racially inferior” people of African descent? If that is what you are saying, please let me know- I’d be happy to provide you with direct quotes from Gandhi.

  95. Kaffir

    For clarity: the independent Bengal scheme was presented by Suhrawardy and Sarat Chanderbose. Jinnah agreed to it.

    Then Nehru vetoed it.

  96. ylh

    also- I somehow missed this part.

    Jinnah who refused to start PCA sessions with the Holy Quran was a statesman from the newly formed majority of Pakistan. He was anxious to ensure equal rights of minorities.

    Jinnah who championed Muslim nationalism before 14th August was the leader of a minority community.

    This is what sets Jinnah’s identity politics apart from Gandhi’s or Modi’s majoritarian fascism. The Quaid was never a majoritarian fascist. His different positions were indicative of different locii standii.

  97. ylh

    PS: Hades you keep saying that Jinnah should have foreseen that his call for civil disobedience would lead to violence (though it did not in most of India and as I showed you in Calcutta it was the Congress Party behind it). You say even an idiot would have seen it. Now I am not sure who made you the authority on the issue but here is H V Hodson’s view :

    “The working committee followed up by calling on Muslims throughout India to observe 16th August as direct action day. On that day meetings would be held all over the country to explain the League’s resolution. These meetings passed off –as was manifestly the central League leaders’ intention– without more than common place and limited disturbancws with one vast and tragic exception…what happened was more than anyone could have foreseen.”

    Page 166 – the great divide by H V HARRY Hodson.

    Apparently Hodson – who mind you lay some of the blame on Suhrawardy for being negligent- doesn’t think it could have been foreseen and he certainly didn’t think it was Jinnah’s intention in the least to create violence. Hodson was a man of responsibility who was present there. He was also impartial. So why should anyone take your word over Mr. Hodson’s.

  98. alok

    of course as pakistanis you are obliged to defend and venerate MAJ though i would think that just honesty and incorruptibility does not make a great statesman .the true result of who is right and who is wrong has been proved in posteriety of what India has become and what pakistan has.

    Gandhi’s genius lies in the discovery/invention of ‘satyagaraha’ , peaceful noncoperation which spearheaded not only Indias freedom but also gave motivation to great leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King (who probably said that christ showed him the way..gandhi gave him the tools…smthg like that…).

    Even the current US president Barack Obama acknoledges the importance of gandhian principles in the world polity

    Not to be derisive, but whenever you go out of the subcontinent, gandhi and his principles are much better known or understood than jinnah…who had nothing to expound…except creation of a nation state based on religion, which later got fragmented beacuse of language…and god knows what is next…

    my personal take: democracy can be truely successful in a secular way only, and if pakistan was meant to be secular, why create pakistan?

  99. Majumdar

    Aisha boudi,

    First of all a very happy new year to you and nice to see you debating again.

    I am afraid Hades is correct. I agree that in Punjab the migration was complete. But it will be very illuminating to look at census figures for other states.

    In East Pak, Hindoos made up almost 25% of the population as late as 1951. In 2001, they were around 10% or so. By contrast in neighbouring WB and Assam the % of Muslims has gone up significantly. As a matter of fact there are over 10 million BD Muslims living illegally in the “Hindoo fascist hellhole” called India.

    In UP, which was the original home of most of Pak’s Mojos, Ms constituted 15% in 1941 Census, in 2001 as much as 18.5%.

    In Bihar, another major source of Mojo emigres, Ms constituted 13% or so of the population in 1941, in 2001 they consistuted over 15% (incl Jharkhand which was carved out of Bihar).

    In Sind, non Muslims constt 1.33 million folks (29% of the population) in 1941, in 1998 2.7 million (9%). Now assuming pop in 1998 is around 3X 1941, that would mean that almost 35% of the non M population of Sindh has been driven out.

    http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/ambedkar_partition/appendices/02app.html

    http://www.statpak.gov.pk/depts/pco/statistics/statistics.html

    http://www.censusindia.net/

    Regards

  100. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Can you tell me which leader it was who insisted in 1947 that Bengal joins Pakistan and who vetoed an independent Bangladesh in 1947?

    To the best of my knowledge, the INC had no objection to the Muslim majority distts of Bengal and Assam being a separate Bangistan. What they objected to (very rightly so) was to an independent Bangistan which wud include Hindoo majority distts of Bengal and Assam.

    Nehru-Gandhi duo were otherwise traitors of the first order, but torpedoing the CMP-46 and insisting on the Partition of Bengal and Punjab were the only sensible things these worthless fellows ever did.

    Regards

  101. YLH

    alok,

    The question you’ve raised has already been answered. Your question pre-supposes that the issue Jinnah and the league had with Congress was its stated objectives, when the issue- they had- was with Congress’ inability to realize those objectives. So the fact that Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be secular has no bearing on why Pakistan was made in the first place. Pakistan was made not on religion but on the principle that a permanent cultural majority ought not to dominate a permanent cultural minority by sheer numeric strength alone. Sadly this principle has been clouded by both Indian nationalists and our own Islamo-fascists… both of whom insist on asking this question which frankly is inane. My answer : go read history instead. Read H M Seervai’s “Partition of India : Legend and Reality” for example … it will open your eyes to facts of history that are deliberately left out by state-sponsored mythologies in India and Pakistan.

    Jinnah’s legacy has been delineated above succinctly and now historians atleast will not concur to cutting down of the man in such simplistic terms as you’ve done. But thanks for acknowledging our right to defend and venerate Jinnah as Pakistanis.

    Barack Obama or whoever else has every right to venerate whoever he wants to. That does not concern us. Ofcourse, my personal research shows, that Dr. King was pitifully unaware of Gandhi’s true character. And the Gandhi that is admired in the US has little to do with the real Gandhi who was the leader of the Indian National Congress. If they were to read some of Gandhi’s collected works, – which they will not to their detriment- they would realize that Hollywood Gandhi has about as much resemblance with the real Gandhi … as night and day. Nor did Gandhi invent the idea of civil disobedience. That honor g0es to a great American thinker – Henry Thoreau.

    But Jinnah laid no claim (nor do we to) to any dent in global consciousness … he was – and we admire him as – a honest and incorruptible barrister who won our case for us. It was in 1995 that Nelson Mandela visited Pakistan as the head of state of South Africa and a de-tour to Karachi. In Karachi Mandela insisted on being driven straight to Jinnah’s Mausoleum and the museum next to it from the air port. After spending a good deal of time there, Mandela wrote in the visitor’s book:

    ‘Ali Jinnah is a constant source of inspiration for all those who are fighting against racial or group discrimination.’

    Now you will concur that Mandela has never been in a habit of just filling out formalities… when he said the above, he meant it. Jinnah’s legacy – in so far as we are concerned- is a minority’s struggle for equality.

    Now for your hopeful analysis about where India is and where Pakistan is… I don’t know if the success of a posterity can adequately reflect on the achievement of people long dead… but whether Pakistan was the right thing or India is the right thing… or how much India’s success or failure depends on the events that shaped it … are issues that have no one right or wrong answer. Don’t tread on us. Much of your inflated opinion of yourselves is nothing but hot air. Defer the matter to a historian far removed from the events of our subcontinent… according to one American academic atleast, had the subcontinent not seen partition in 1947, it would have broken away along regional and ethnic lines instead.

  102. alok

    the idea of cultural minority/majority is flawed…then and now also…( i think its an attempt to hoodwink what’s truely a partition based on religion)

    for example speaking of culture: a tamil muslim for example has more similarity to a tamil hindu in terms of language, food habits,dressing habits and other customs as opposed to a punjabi muslim….he would probably feel much intimidated/different from the punjabi fellow than the tamil hindu. not only will he not be able to converse with the punjabi muslim he would not be able to idenitfy with him anything except the religion

    probably this was the case in the creation of bangladesh,where the differences mind you ‘in the same minority culture’ could not sustain a nation state..
    where urdu had to subjugate bengali…etc….

    hence: to assume that people of one minority religion have the same culture and differs vastly from that of the majority religion is a major flaw and should have been nipped in the bud but anyway narrow political considerations won and we have the resulting mess today.

    May be its the difference between pakistan believing the two nation theory and india not conceding the same

  103. Majumdar

    Alok,

    I have never been able to make out why it was right to carve out India from the British Empire becuase Indians are different from Englishmen or Canadians or Kenyans. And why it was wrong to create Pakistan and India out of the British Indian Empire becuase Muslims and Hindoos are different.

    But having said that we must appreciate that MAJ (pbuh) never “divided” India. He put down the safeguards that Muslims wanted in India (which were not his personal whims and fancies but the demand of the Muslim community as a whole) and these safeguards were unacceptable to INC. Thus they went their separate ways.

    Btw, I am not implying that INC was wrong in refusing those terms. It is just that the two worldviews were different.

    Regards

  104. alok

    and Yaseer…

    please stop quoting “partition of India legend and reality” by seervai and asking everone to read it. Anyway his research is based on the work of Rajmohan Gandhi on MAJ.besides its highly controversial and is against the common belief/fact that muslim league was responsible for the partition which definitely seems to suit your diatribe.
    You will find hundreds of facts otherwise from hundred other historians(majority) against your views.

    The important question is not who did what but the intention behind partition. whether it is justifiable.

  105. Majumdar

    Alok,

    besides its highly controversial and is against the common belief/fact that muslim league was responsible for the partition.

    So was Galileo’s belief that the Earth went around the Sun, not the other way round.

    Regards

  106. YLH

    Alok,

    With all due respect, you have the right to your view and I have the right to mine. I am not going to stop quoting H M Seervai, Ayesha Jalal, Sumit Sarkar or Patrick French because you don’t like it.

    Just because you feel a certain conception is flawed doesn’t mean that I feel that way. Majumdar has succinctly listed the pitfalls of that line of argument. I believe very late in his life, PM Nehru also made a speech where he accepted that communal conception is as valid or invalid as any other national conception.

    To me it is perfectly justifiable and I have already given my reasons why.

  107. YLH

    Majumdar,

    But having said that we must appreciate that MAJ (pbuh) never “divided” India. He put down the safeguards that Muslims wanted in India (which were not his personal whims and fancies but the demand of the Muslim community as a whole) and these safeguards were unacceptable to INC. Thus they went their separate ways.

    Precisely. And furthermore… he had the mandate to do so- as strong a mandate as Congress had to represent the majority of India.

    H M Seervai’s research – unike alok’s claim- is not based on Raj Mohan Gandhi’s research but rather the Transfer of Power Papers. Raj Mohan Gandhi’s “8 Muslim lives” came after Seervai’s classic “Constitution of India” – the introduction to which contained the thesis that became “Partition of India Legend and Reality”.

    In his final edition, Seervai demolishes Raj Mohan Gandhi’s “India wins errors”.

  108. alok

    Dear Majumdar,

    British ruled the country from london and not from Delhi/kolkata which was just the centre for provincial governance.

    If the british ruled India from delhi, no doubt they shall be accepted as citizens like the white people settled in South africa.

    British bureaucracy and administration at that point did not consider their motherland as India and made it amply clear that they are ruling a ‘colony’. This is in contarst to Hindus and muslims who lived and owed allegiance in every respect to India, including MAJ and Nehru.

    By the way there is no end to create divisons in a society, you already see it in the Balkan states, in Africa, in our subcontinent.

    The solution is, was, will be, irrespective of geography, history and socio-politics(to a practical extent of course): to join and not to divide

    and Yaseer as far as Mandela is concerned here what he has to say:
    THE SACRED WARRIOR – BY NELSON MANDELA

    India is Gandhi’s country of birth; South Africa his country of adoption. He was both an Indian and a South African citizen. Both countries contributed to his intellectual and moral genius, and he shaped the liberatory movements in both colonial theaters.

    He is the archetypal anticolonial revolutionary. His strategy of noncooperation, his assertion that we can be dominated only if we cooperate with our dominators, and his nonviolent resistance inspired anticolonial and antiracist movements internationally in our century.

    Both Gandhi and I suffered colonial oppression, and both of us mobilized our respective peoples against governments that violated our freedoms.

    The Gandhian influence dominated freedom struggles on the African continent right up to the 1960s because of the power it generated and the unity it forged among the apparently powerless. Nonviolence was the official stance of all major African coalitions, and the South African A.N.C. remained implacably opposed to violence for most of its existence.

    Gandhi remained committed to nonviolence; I followed the Gandhian strategy for as long as I could, but then there came a point in our struggle when the brute force of the oppressor could no longer be countered through passive resistance alone. We founded Unkhonto we Sizwe and added a military dimension to our struggle. Even then, we chose sabotage because it did not involve the loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Militant action became part of the African agenda officially supported by the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) following my address to the Pan-African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa (PAFMECA) in 1962, in which I stated, “Force is the only language the imperialists can hear, and no country became free without some sort of violence.”

    Gandhi himself never ruled out violence absolutely and unreservedly. He conceded the necessity of arms in certain situations. He said, “Where choice is set between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I prefer to use arms in defense of honor rather than remain the vile witness of dishonor …”

    Violence and nonviolence are not mutually exclusive; it is the predominance of the one or the other that labels a struggle.

    Gandhi arrived in South Africa in 1893 at the age of 23. Within a week he collided head on with racism. His immediate response was to flee the country that so degraded people of color, but then his inner resilience overpowered him with a sense of mission, and he stayed to redeem the dignity of the racially exploited, to pave the way for the liberation of the colonized the world over and to develop a blueprint for a new social order.

    He left 21 years later, a near maha atma (great soul). There is no doubt in my mind that by the time he was violently removed from our world, he had transited into that state.

    No Ordinary Leader : Divinely Inspired

    He was no ordinary leader. There are those who believe he was divinely inspired, and it is difficult not to believe with them. He dared to exhort nonviolence in a time when the violence of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had exploded on us; he exhorted morality when science, technology and the capitalist order had made it redundant; he replaced self-interest with group interest without minimizing the importance of self. In fact, the interdependence of the social and the personal is at the heart of his philosophy. He seeks the simultaneous and interactive development of the moral person and the moral society.

    His philosophy of Satyagraha is both a personal and a social struggle to realize the Truth, which he identifies as God, the Absolute Morality. He seeks this Truth, not in isolation, self-centeredly, but with the people. He said, “I want to find God, and because I want to find God, I have to find God along with other people. I don’t believe I can find God alone. If I did, I would be running to the Himalayas to find God in some cave there. But since I believe that nobody can find God alone, I have to work with people. I have to take them with me. Alone I can’t come to Him.”

    He sacerises his revolution, balancing the religious and the secular.

    Awakening

    His awakening came on the hilly terrain of the so-called Bambata Rebellion, where as a passionate British patriot, he led his Indian stretcher-bearer corps to serve the Empire, but British brutality against the Zulus roused his soul against violence as nothing had done before. He determined, on that battlefield, to wrest himself of all material attachments and devote himself completely and totally to eliminating violence and serving humanity. The sight of wounded and whipped Zulus, mercilessly abandoned by their British persecutors, so appalled him that he turned full circle from his admiration for all things British to celebrating the indigenous and ethnic. He resuscitated the culture of the colonized and the fullness of Indian resistance against the British; he revived Indian handicrafts and made these into an economic weapon against the colonizer in his call for swadeshi–the use of one’s own and the boycott of the oppressor’s products, which deprive the people of their skills and their capital.

    A great measure of world poverty today and African poverty in particular is due to the continuing dependence on foreign markets for manufactured goods, which undermines domestic production and dams up domestic skills, apart from piling up unmanageable foreign debts. Gandhi’s insistence on self-sufficiency is a basic economic principle that, if followed today, could contribute significantly to alleviating Third World poverty and stimulating development.

    Gandhi predated Frantz Fanon and the black-consciousness movements in South Africa and the U.S. by more than a half-century and inspired the resurgence of the indigenous intellect, spirit and industry.

    Gandhi rejects the Adam Smith notion of human nature as motivated by self-interest and brute needs and returns us to our spiritual dimension with its impulses for nonviolence, justice and equality.

    He exposes the fallacy of the claim that everyone can be rich and successful provided they work hard. He points to the millions who work themselves to the bone and still remain hungry. He preaches the gospel of leveling down, of emulating the kisan (peasant), not the zamindar (landlord), for “all can be kisans, but only a few zamindars.”

    He stepped down from his comfortable life to join the masses on their level to seek equality with them. “I can’t hope to bring about economic equality… I have to reduce myself to the level of the poorest of the poor.”

    From his understanding of wealth and poverty came his understanding of labor and capital, which led him to the solution of trusteeship based on the belief that there is no private ownership of capital; it is given in trust for redistribution and equalization. Similarly, while recognizing differential aptitudes and talents, he holds that these are gifts from God to be used for the collective good.

    He seeks an economic order, alternative to the capitalist and communist, and finds this in sarvodaya based on nonviolence (AHIMSA).

    He rejects Darwin’s survival of the fittest, Adam Smith’s laissez-faire and Karl Marx’s thesis of a natural antagonism between capital and labor, and focuses on the interdependence between the two.

    He believes in the human capacity to change and wages Satyagraha against the oppressor, not to destroy him but to transform him, that he cease his oppression and join the oppressed in the pursuit of Truth.

    We in South Africa brought about our new democracy relatively peacefully on the foundations of such thinking, regardless of whether we were directly influenced by Gandhi or not.

    Gandhi remains today the only complete critique of advanced industrial society. Others have criticized its totalitarianism but not its productive apparatus. He is not against science and technology, but he places priority on the right to work and opposes mechanization to the extent that it usurps this right. Large-scale machinery, he holds, concentrates wealth in the hands of one man who tyrannizes the rest. He favors the small machine; he seeks to keep the individual in control of his tools, to maintain an interdependent love relation between the two, as a cricketer with his bat or Krishna with his flute. Above all, he seeks to liberate the individual from his alienation to the machine and restore morality to the productive process.

    As we find ourselves in jobless economies, societies in which small minorities consume while the masses starve, we find ourselves forced to rethink the rationale of our current globalization and to ponder the Gandhian alternative.

    At a time when Freud was liberating sex, Gandhi was reining it in; when Marx was pitting worker against capitalist, Gandhi was reconciling them; when the dominant European thought had dropped God and soul out of the social reckoning, he was centralizing society in God and soul; at a time when the colonized had ceased to think and control, he dared to think and control; and when the ideologies of the colonized had virtually disappeared, he revived them and empowered them with a potency that liberated and redeemed.

    SOURCE: TIME

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6310701.stm

  109. Majumdar

    Yaar Yasser,

    I think you need to paste your famous “MKG was a Hindoo racist casteist, fascist, misogynist, bigoted freak” thesis along with MKG’s own writings as corroboration for Alok bhai’s information.

    In short, Gandhi ki kahaani, Gandhi ki zubaani. Trust you will oblige.

    Regards

  110. Majumdar

    Alok,

    Re: Gandhi and science

    You may not be aware of this but Gandhi allowed his wife to die becuase he wud not allow penicillin to be administered to her hypodermically. And yet at a previous date to this during his “captivity” in Aga Khan’s palace he actually allowed the doctors to operate on him for appendicitis.

    He was opposed to railways, post office and such stuf and yet he used to travel as a part of a whole army of Congress workers on a train, all paid for by British govt.

    He was opposed to violence and yet he forced INC from condemning the Moplah massacre of Hindoos in Kerala. He supported war efforts of the British govt in WWI and in the Boer and Zulu Wars.

    Regards

  111. alok

    Dear Majumdar,

    questions about greatness (A vs B) creates difficulty for individuals on either side who associate with A or B and to the extent A or B is linked to the identity of the individual/nation.Dispassionate view always comes when own identity is not involved or when ones identity supercedes the notion of A&B

    Its a mark of maturity in a civilisation/society which can accept criticism (not slander) against individuals/leaders and retain such independent ideas and dissension.

    Are there any critiques on MAJ by pakistani authors? On Gandhi by indian authors are plenty.

    would be interested if you have any…

    one sided view is always dull and boring.

    Regards

  112. Majumdar

    Alok,

    There is criticism aplenty of MAJ (pbuh) in Pakistan both from the Islamic right and from the left. Incidentally you will find some of these critics on PTH.

    Regards

    PS: Btw, if it is of any relevance, I am an Indian and a Hindoo

  113. alok

    yes your id suggests so, but thanks its of no relevance 😉

  114. YLH

    Dear alok,

    I frankly don’t understand this need you have for others like me to agree with you? Why do you consider your view the gospel truth? What is this insecurity that makes you think as much?

    As Majumdar has pointed out there are many who offer critique of Jinnah in Pakistan and many who would willingly agree with you. It is there prerogative. I certainly do not agree with you and I have given enough reasons why. You talk of dispassionate analysis- but you call the analysis by H M Seervai controversial. I challenge you to produce a single historian in the west- writing after the de-classification of Transfer of Power documents in the 1980s who does not hold the view or the variant of the view that H M Seervai expressed.

    The only reason I quoted Mandela’s laudatory remark on Jinnah was it is important to you that someone like Mandela praises a leader as some sort of test of statesmanship. Now since Mandela means so much to you, you won’t take his comment lightly. To Jinnah doesn’t need crutches that Gandhi does. Please refer to my earlier post addressed to you. Mandela’s article on Gandhi is of no consequence to me because the things Mandela praises – the critique of industrial society, the anti-modern attitude of Gandhi, Gandhi’s obsession with God, Gandhi’s uneven support for those businessmen who supported him etc that I think are a problem with the man.

    Additionally my view of Gandhi is derived from his own collected works. To me Gandhi was an anti-modern, anti-women fundamentalist – a sort of a Hindu Taliban… not to mention a racist and casteist of the worst kind.

    Like Adolf Hitler, Gandhi also compiled his racist manifesto when he was an accomplished barrister of age 35. Please note his extensive usage of the word “Kaffir” for black people- Citations are from Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi .. you may verify the sources as were your convenience.

    “A general belief seems to prevail in the colony that the Indians are little better, if at all, than the savages or natives of Africa. Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir. ”
    Collected works of MK Gandhi, Vol. 1, pg 150-151

    “the whole objection to the Indian proceeds from sanitary grounds, the following restrictions are entirely unintelligible:
    1. The Indians, like the Kaffirs, cannot become owners of fixed property.
    2. The Indians must be registered, the fee being 3 pounds 10S.
    3. In passing through the Republic, like the Natives, they must be able to produce passes unless they have the registration ticket.
    4. They cannot travel first or second-class on the railways. They are huddled together in the same compartment with the Natives.
    So far as the feeling has been expressed, it is to degrade the Indian to the position of the Kaffir. ”
    Petition to Lord Ripon, CWOMG, Vol. 1, pg 199-200

    “Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of a raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness ”
    Address in Bombay, CWOMG, Vol. 2, pg 74

    “…A reference to Hunter’s ‘Indian Empire’, chapters 3 and 4, would show at a glance who are aborigines and who are not. The matter is put so plainly that there can be no mistake about the distinction between the two. It will be seen at once from the book that the Indians in South Africa belong to the INDO-GERMANIC STOCK or, more properly speaking, the ARYAN stock We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race.
    Indian Opinion 24-9-1903, CWOMG Vol. 3, pg 453

    …The petition dwells upon “the co-mingling of the Coloured and white races”. May we inform the members of the conference that, so far as the British Indians are concerned, such a thing is practically unknown? If there is one thing, which the Indian cherishes more than any other, it is the purity of type. Why bring such a question into the controversy at all?
    The Transvaal Chambers and British Indians, Indian Opinion 24-12-03, CWOMG Vol. 4, pg 89

    Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian Location should be chosen for dumping down all the Kaffirs of the town passes my comprehension. …Of course, under my suggestion, The Town Council must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location. About this mixing of Kaffirs with the Indians, I must confess I feel most strongly
    Indian Opinion, 10-4-04, CWOMG Vol. 4, pg 130-131

    It is one thing to register Natives who would not work, and whom it is very difficult to find out if they absent themselves, but it is another thing and most insulting to expect decent, hard-working, and respectable Indians, whose only fault is that they work too much, to have themselves registered…
    What is a Coolie, Indian Opinion 2151904, CWOMG Vol. 4, pg 193

    It reduces British Indians to a status lower than that of the aboriginal races of South Africa and the Coloured people.
    Indian Opinion 15-9-1906, CWOMG Vol. 5, pg 419-423

    Mr. Stead has boldly come out to give us all the help he can. He was therefore requested to write to the same Boer leaders that they should not consider Indians as being on the same level as Kaffirs.
    Indian Opinion, 15-12-1906, CWOMG Vol. 6, pg 183

    …the Governor of the gaol tried to make us as comfortable as he could…But he was powerless to accommodate us beyond the horrible din and the yells of the Native prisoners throughout the day and partly at night also. Many of the native prisoners are only one degree removed from the animal and often created rows and fought amongst themselves in their cells.
    Indian Opinion 7-3-1908, CWOMG Vol. 8, pg 120

    Apart from whether or not this implies degradation, I must say it is rather dangerous. Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilized — the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty, and live almost like animals. Each ward contains nearly 50 to 60 of them. They often started rows and fought among themselves. The reader can easily imagine the plight of the poor Indian thrown into such company!
    Indian Opinion, 7-3-1908, CWOMG Vol. 8, pg 135

    When I reached there, the chief warder issued an order that all of us should be lodged in a separate room. I observed with regret that some Indians were happy to sleep in the same room as the Kaffirs, the reason being that they hoped there for a secret supply of tobacco, etc. This is a matter of shame to us. We may entertain no aversion to the Kaffirs, but we cannot ignore the fact that there is no common ground between them and us in the daily affairs of life. Moreover, those who wish to sleep in the same room have ulterior motives for doing so. Obviously, we ought to abandon such notions if we want to make progress.
    Indian Opinion, 6-1-1909, CWOMG Vol. 9, pg 149

    CWMOG = Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi

  115. YLH

    erratum: “their” not “there” in second line second paragraph.

  116. alok

    yes indeed you are free to have your own view but i consider your view to be parochial and tinted as against the major world view.(and i mean THE WORLD VIEW). No i am not at all insecure. There are many who have critised gandhi in past and many continue to do so and many will do so in future. Does not bother me in the least

    what bothers me,For 1 statement of his which you find bigoted you will find 10 statements which speak of a statesman but which you conveniently seek to ignore. probably if you would have read the works properly you would have very easily find the rebuttal against the same sentences.The selection that you have given is very naive

    I feel completely amused at your attempt in maligning Gandhi…Comparing Gandhi and Hitler…:)

    anyway atleast people have the liberties to go through the work of gandhi ambedkar and nehru all great people in their own right:)

    an interesting article….
    by Aakar Patel

    India’s early leaders wrote a lot. Ambedkar’s Writings and Speeches number some 20 volumes. Nehru’s Selected Works, still being edited, have reached volume 39 and the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, who wrote almost every day, sprawl over 100 volumes, possibly unmatched anywhere in the world.

    These are books meant to be dipped into, not consumed front to back — except for Ambedkar’s, whose collected works do not include letters he wrote, and whom every Indian child must be taught, along with Gandhi.

    He had clarity on Pakistan as early as 1940, and Partition, though inevitable, might have been less painful if his Thoughts On Pakistan had been more widely read and understood. Jinnah wrote no book, but his letters have been edited by Z H Zaidi. For some reason Zaidi also includes correspondence to Jinnah, and most of it is banal. This is irritating because the Jinnah Papers volumes are very expensive.

    Each volume of Gandhi’s collected works can be bought for as little as Rs25 (free online), while each volume of Jinnah’s is between Rs2,500 and Rs4,750. It is surprising the Pakistan government does not subsidise the publications of its founder, as India does the publications of its early leaders.

    Pakistanis who trawl through the Jinnah Papers will not find much illumination: Jinnah wrote little about his view of Islam, or its history or Pakistan’s future or form of government. His letters are about everyday life: motor car repairs, travel plans, statements of accounts, granting of appointments, telling people not to name their companies after him, accepting or declining invitations, a series of very brief exchanges with Liaquat, a rejection of Bombay Bar Association’s decision to honour his 50 years at the Bar in 1947, saying that the vote was carried narrowly.

    One woman, Mrs K L Rallia Ram of 5, Masson Road, Lahore, wrote to Jinnah every other day in 1946 and 1947, alerting him to the conspiracies she was convinced Hindus, Sikhs, Communists and the RSS were plotting against him. She attached newspaper clippings in support of her theories. Zaidi has included many letters by her in the volumes.

    While there is abhorrence for Jinnah in India, Iqbal’s is a grey figure. He is reviled for the idea of Pakistan, but the educated North Indian loves the width and beauty of his writing.

    Manmohan Singh began reintroducing Iqbal to India through couplets that he delivered in Parliament’s Central Hall in the middle of his budget speeches of 1991-1996, through which he liberalised India’s economy.

    I was familiar with the basic lines of Tarana-i-Hind but had not registered its most stirring couplet: Yunan-o-Misr-o-Roma sab mitt gaye jahan se, ab tak magar hai baqi naam-o-nishan hamara, till Manmohan Singh recited it in his Punjabi lilt. Iqbal is to be read like Ambedkar is to be read: front to back, and carefully.

    His great work is the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, and it is one of the world’s undiscovered classics. His understanding of east and west is majestic, perhaps unmatched in all India. And his defence of religion in the opening lecture is the best I have ever read, and would be an excellent response to recent books by the rationalists Dawkins and Hitchens.

    Naipaul’s dismissal of Iqbal, though it is comprehensive, does not appear to have incorporated the reforming side to him. Muslims of course love the middle-period Iqbal of Shikwa and Bang-e-Dara and Javidnama but not the author of the Reconstruction lectures, or the young unifier of India, before he went to Europe.

    I have spent many hours talking about Iqbal with my late friend Dr Rafique Zakaria, who said he had a book of Iqbal’s bawdy verse somewhere but could never find it. It is no surprise that the great scholar Annemarie Schimmel chose Iqbal as her muse in India. The man that Pakistan’s Muslims, and perhaps India’s, needed alive after 1947 was not Jinnah, who died in 1948, but Iqbal, who died in 1938.

    The formulation of the current Islamist intellectual Tariq Ramadan (Hassan al-Banna’s grandson) that Muslim states retain their Hudood laws but suspend their execution would have found favour with, and is possibly lifted from, Iqbal, through his sixth lecture. This is actually something that the Pakistan state has lapsed into doing, though without reasoning it through.

    The other Islamist of course was Maudoodi, who had a very nimble mind. Al-Jihad fi al-Islam was written when he was only 24. It was interesting to go through the work of the modern Islamists, al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb and see how much they had lifted from him, especially Qutb. And how much brighter he was than them (strange to be proud of the fact that ‘our’ fundo is better than ‘their’ fundo!).

    His political extension of the concept of Tawheed, and his construction of a religious state around it and also its top-down implementation was the work of a very intelligent and creative mind, but one with limited understanding of civilisation’s universality.

    The writings of Hindu reformers Vivekanand and, in particular, Gandhi, softened the religion and made it flexible enough for Nehru and Ambedkar to legislate their reforms. Gandhi and Vivekanand were effective because they modernised the faith from the inside, unlike Ambedkar who fought it from outside and was ineffective outside his community.

    The true Hindu intellectual was Radhakrishnan, India’s second president. His writing was like Iqbal’s: deeply immersed in the culture and the religion, but with the perspective of a trained European scholar.

    The RSS’s writers were more passionate than intellectual, in part because of the audience they were addressing. The writing of RSS ideologues Golwalkar and Upadhyay is mostly moderate, and written in the emotional style of the Indian religious discourse. Hindutva, Savarkar’s classic, is simple, but overly emotional. Though his message on inter-caste marriage was pragmatic, and derived in scholarly fashion, he succumbed to caste when he insisted on his children’s marriage to fellow Chitpavan Brahmins.

    Savarkar’s inclination towards the 19th century Italian reunifiers Mazzini and Garibaldi makes one think of what his thoughts would be on nationalism as it has now evolved in Europe.

    Today India has no intellectuals in politics other than Manmohan Singh and Arif Mohammed Khan, a very fine mind. Except in Bengal, where caste is in decline, democracy has removed the layer of nominated, as opposed to elected, politicians, who have traditionally carried intellect to Delhi.

    Few autobiographies have been written by Indian politicians in recent years, and no good ones other than one by Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was born in 1941 in Lahore’s famous Laxmi Mansion, home to Manto after 1948.

    Political biographies in Pakistan peaked in the 90s when Bhutto’s supporters (Mubashir Hasan, Rafi Raza, Iqbal Akhund) and opponents (K M Arif, Sherbaz Mazari, Akbar Bugti, G M Syed) published their memoirs after Zia’s death. While a lot of Pakistani autobiography, like Indian autobiography, is self-aggrandising and dishonest, this period’s writing was possibly the most direct, and certainly the most entertaining. Mubashir Hasan wrote about his ministerial tenure in great detail but let his fellow liberals down by not revealing what he did, or even thought of, during Bhutto’s passing of the inhumane Second Amendment. He does not mention it at all, even in passing.

    Bhutto comes across as deranged. The contours of his character revealed through his treatment of that fascinating character J A Rahim in Hasan’s and Raza’s books; his treatment at the hands of Akbar Bugti in Mazari’s book; and his behaviour just before his hanging in Gen Arif’s book are astonishing.

    Zia wrote no book, but Ayub Khan wrote one and shouldn’t have. It starts off wrongly — by leaning on religion — and it paints a picture of him that collapsed the year he was booted out. He is seen positively today by very few excluding, presumably, Samuel Huntington (who likened Ayub to the Greek lawgiver Solon) and the economist Shahid Javed Burki.

    Altaf Gauhar also wrote on Ayub, and his writing was dishonest — but Rafique Zakaria told me a story about Gauhar’s superb understanding of secularism and Islam, which made me see Gauhar in a different way.

    Musharraf will be seen 20 years later in a better light than he now is, but he damaged his cause with his second-rate autobiography, actually written by Humayun Gauhar. Politicians have stopped writing in Pakistan and India. On the evidence of Ardeshir Cowasjee’s reporting, Asif Zardari cannot even spell, leave alone write. It will be strange if the only picture of him as a man comes out from newspaper columns.

  117. azhar aslam

    Alok

    atleast you now in your latest post, seem to be at peace with yourself. However i take great affront about two things in the article you have quoted:

    1. ”Muslims of course love the middle-period Iqbal of Shikwa and Bang-e-Dara and Javidnama but not the author of the Reconstruction lectures, or the young unifier of India, before he went to Europe.”

    That is not correct. Muslim intellectuals (and Non Muslim scholars of Islam) and educated Muslims not only acknowledge the critical importance of this work, but also its influence is mounting. The works of this nature continue to be influential for centuries. So that comment is both premature and immature.

    If you care to know about Iqbal, there is plenty of literature available in Pakistan; and as to his influence and understanding even by the masses you just have to spend half a day sitting outside his grave to know how he is venerated ‘more than a saint’ but not in the ‘saint-like’ dargah way.

    2. ”Talking of Iqbal and Moududi in the same breath.”

    How could you. That is so unfair and below the belt. Iqbal is among the first of the renaissance; Moududi and his ideas are the last breath of a dying creed; he is like a high pitched scream before one loses one’s strength completely.

  118. Milind Kher

    Allama Iqbal was a philosopher and a man of letters par excellence. His “Reconstruction of thought in Islam” is brilliant.

    By contrast, Maududi was a medieval fundamendalist determined to push the Ummah into the Dark Ages.

    For Tabligh and dawah, it is the true face of Islam that needs to be shown to theworld, not an obscurantist face. Why do Maulanas forget that themost brilliant reformist and modernist was our very own Holy Prophet (SAWA)?

  119. YLH

    alok mian,

    Amazing. So now anyone who does not agree with your view is “parochial”. Is my buddy Majumdar also parochial? With all due respect sir, I consider your view to be a fraud no less but does it matter what I think? And then you contradict yourself by saying that there are many who have criticized Gandhi. Are they all parochial? I’d say you are insecure.

    Then you have the gall to write:

    “For 1 statement of his which you find bigoted you will find 10 statements which speak of a statesman but which you conveniently seek to ignore. probably if you would have read the works properly you would have very easily find the rebuttal against the same sentences”

    Gandhi a “statesman”? Ok. Could you perhaps quote the context and correct me ? Or could you put up statements that show that Gandhi indeed had a different view of black people than the racist one that appears from Gandhi’s works?

    Gandhi is what Gandhi is. It does not matter what you or I think the world view is. People make the “world view”. Now I grant you that Indian Government has managed to by bankrolling the “Gandhi PR” campaign world wide sell a lot of hogwash … and good for it. But serious academics have serious doubts about Gandhi.

    I have already the article that you quote in the News. Are you Aakar Patel by any chance because you’ve been quoting a lot of his articles from The News recently. I hope not because I had a much better opinion of the guy. This fellow used to be quite reasonable a few years ago. I have the complete set of Jinnah Papers and if you are indeed “Aakar Patel”, I’d happily gift you the entire set so that you may find whatever it is that you wish to find.

    However, having studied Jinnah Papers in some detail, I am a little surprised that Aakar Patel could only find letters on every day matters like motorcar repairs. Perhaps he didn’t buy a volume of Jinnah papers but rather the Shamsul-Hassan collection called “Plain Mr. Jinnah”. Because a discerning historian cannot but admire the logical sequence plus the appendices that Mr. Zawar Hussain Zaidi has put up in Jinnah Paper volumes I-VI. It contains almost of all of Jinnah’s policy pronouncements. Not only that … the sequence establishes a lot of what has now become an article of faith with historians in the west: the Anil Seal/Ayesha Jalal/H M Seervai theory – also known as the Cambridge School on partition: that it was Congress that pushed for the partition in its present form.

    Still … Aakar Patel has the right to his own view. I won’t call it parochial even if it is dead wrong because I have read Aakar’s earlier stuff about Pakistan and the man has in him the germ of rising above Indian propaganda.

  120. Milind Kher

    A word on Qaide Azam Jinnah. When we appreciate people at a human level, we need to rise above national boundaries and admire people for their intrinsic worth.

    Mr Jinnah was indeed an ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity at one time and a thoroughly secular person. Unfortunately, he was not handled well by the top politicians at that time.

  121. YLH

    Milind and Azhar,

    Well said. It must be remembered that Maududi the nut was one of Pakistan’s most vociferous opponents.

  122. YLH

    “Mr Jinnah was indeed an ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity at one time and a thoroughly secular person. Unfortunately, he was not handled well by the top politicians at that time.”

    Thank you. Thats all that needs to be said really.

  123. Milind Kher

    YLH,

    Thanks for yor supportive comments.

    Now, on a slightly different note, I would like to make an observation. When there is such a wealth of talent available which thinks in the right direction, why are outdated people allowed to rule the roost in religion?

    Just think, if a tech savvy guy, who is well dressed and conducts himself well in society, talks eloquently about Islam, would he not be a much better role model for the youth? We need to think along these lines.

  124. Majumdar

    Milind babu,

    Just think, if a tech savvy guy, who is well dressed and conducts himself well in society, talks eloquently about Islam, would he not be a much better role model for the youth?

    I believe most of the 9/11 bombers met your criteria. I hope you do not consider these gentlemen as good role model for youth.

    Regards

  125. Milind Kher

    Majumdar,

    9/11 bombers were not Muslims. No terrorist can ever be a Muslim.

    And what kind of person would you like to preach Islam? Some anachronistic self stled aalim?

  126. Majumdar

    Milind babu,

    And what kind of person would you like to preach Islam?

    My friend- Yasser.

    Regards

  127. YLH

    I’ll be disqualified for several reasons as you well know :).

  128. alok

    🙂 no i am alok, why malign poor aakar patel? Perhaps he would have been more eloquent than me.

  129. alok

    i am not James D. Hunt 😉

    Gandhi and the Black People of South Africa
    James D. Hunt

    Shaw University

    The South African period of Gandhi’s life continues to be the least explored and the least understood. Even Judith Brown’s fine new study, Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope, published last month by Yale, is of little help in this regard. Yet more than ever it demands analysis, especially as recent events call for a deeper understanding of the various populations of South Africa.

    A particularly vexing question has been the relationship between Gandhi and the Black people. Did he restrict his efforts strictly toward the betterment of the Indians? Could he have achieved more by working in cooperation with the other oppressed populations of the country? Was he even aware of the strivings, the leaders, and the organizations of the Blacks? If he was, why did he not attempt to work with them toward common goals?

    Many scholars have looked at this relationship and found it unsatisfactory. Les Switzer, an expatriate South African who is an authority on the Black press in that country, wrote in 1986,

    Men of the moral and intellectual stature of Solomon Plaatje, John Dube, John Tengo Jabavu, Walter Rubusana and Abdul Abdurrahman, to name but a few, exercised, if anything, a more profound influence in the history of resistance in this period than did Gandhi. Did the Mahatma have links with any of these Black leaders or with any of the political, economic and cultural organizations being developed by Blacks during this period? The record suggests that he did not.

    Switzer continues,

    There is no record in the Mahatma’s published remembrances or in the pages of Indian Opinion during this period to suggest that Gandhi saw passive resistance as anything other than an instrument of protest on behalf of the Indian in South Africa.

    These statements are an interesting mixture of fact and fiction. It is quite true that Gandhi confined his efforts to his own Indian community in South Africa and never formed a common front with Black leaders or Black organizations. He consistently sought a special position for his people which would be separated from and superior to that of the Blacks. However he was not ignorant of these organizations or their leaders, nor is it evident that a common front could have been formed in that country in the first decades of this century.

    This paper will examine the relations between the various non-White groups, to see what light this may throw on Gandhi’s behavior.

    THE NON-WHITES IN SOUTH AFRICA

    South Africa was a typical European agricultural colony until late in the 19th century when its fabulous mineral wealth was discovered, first diamonds and then gold. By that time the native Black peoples had been subdued by military force, and a small modernizing elite had begun to emerge among them. Economically these were of the petty bourgeoisie, small landholders, a few teachers and small businessmen. They were often educated in the mission schools and accepted Christianity. They valued self-help, personal advancement, and the advantages of education. Several went abroad for higher education, to England or the United States. Their political hopes were for assimilation into the modern European society, in accordance with Cecil Rhodes’s slogan, `equal rights for all civilized men’. They grounded these hopes in Christianity, in the moral rhetoric of the British Empire and in the law of the Cape Colony, where non-Whites had the vote. For this purpose they formed a number of political organizations in the late nineteenth century, most of a local or regional character.

    Similar small modernizing elites emerged also in the other major non-White populations: the Coloured people and the Indians. Gandhi was already a member of this class when he came to Africa, having gone to school in England, and then becoming an advocate of the English lifestyle for his people. For example, except for his first year, he never lived in the Indian section of town.

    The development of non-White political organizations was greatly stimulated by the South African War of 1899-1902 and its aftermath. British complaints against the Boers had included criticism of their racial policies, so that Africans, Indians, and Coloured alike expected a more liberal policy to be established after the war. However the peace treaty of 1902 deferred “the question of granting the franchise to natives” until the introduction of self-government. By this decision the British abandoned any effort to extend to the conquered territories the Cape system of limited political rights for Africans, and turned the fate of the non-Whites over to the settler populations.

    The second event that galvanized non-White political activity was the movement for South African Union, resulting in the Union Bill of 1909 which left the franchise to the separate provinces, so that the other three provinces could refuse the Cape system of non-White voting. The bill also limited the parliament to Whites. In the interval between 1902 and 1909 the basis for modern South African racial politics was established, but within this structure of events, each of the three groups moved on a different agenda.

    THE INDIAN PEOPLE

    Let us look first at the Indians. They had come to Africa as a result of the expansion of the British Empire, and they occupied an ambiguous position. They were among the exploited and among the exploiters. Most were very poor, having come as indentured laborers under a brutal system that was very close to slavery. When their terms of indenture expired, many stayed on as laborers or small farmers. A smaller but more prominent group of Indians came voluntarily to engage in trade. They opened up shops and warehouses and some of them were quite rich. It was a member of this class who engaged attorney Gandhi to come to South Africa on a temporary assignment in 1893. There also existed a very small modernizing Indian middle class, largely Christian, which during the next two decades would become increasingly influential.

    The political mobilization of the Indians came as a response to an attack on their voting rights. In Natal nearly 400 Indians with property had the vote, but as soon as self-government was granted to the settlers in 1893, efforts were begun to strike off these voters. The Franchise Amendment Bill of 1896 prohibited any Indians from registering in the future, while allowing those already on the rolls to remain. In a few years this eliminated the Indian vote entirely. It was this threat that caused the merchants to ask attorney Gandhi to stay, and around it was established the Natal Indian Congress, the first Indian political organization.

    In their petitions against the Natal franchise bill, the Indians, with Gandhi as their spokesman, complained that “the Bill would rank the Indian lower than the rawest Native”. In attempting to protect their own position, they believed they had to separate themselves from the native Blacks. They wanted to present themselves, with their long cultural heritage, as among the civilized peoples. In their view, the Blacks were not civilized; they were “raw”.

    Gandhi’s earliest statements about Africans show a great sense of distance from them. Speaking in Bombay after three years in Africa, he told his audience,

    Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.

    The statement is a veritable catalogue of racial stereotypes. The language of “raw Kaffir”, degradation, laziness and indecent nakedness was common parlance among white settlers and Indians alike, and the young Gandhi did not rise above it.

    Indians in general had quite a bit of experience with Black people, but little of it contributed to deep intercultural understanding or laid a foundation for political cooperation. The leading merchants engaged Black laborers and rented to Black tenants. The small retail merchants sold trade goods in small shops and by peddling. Poor Indians lived in the slums side by side with Blacks. Few of these contacts would have led to close relations with Africans.

    Indians frequently complained of being mixed in with Natives in railway cars, lavatories, pass laws, and in other regulations. They sought a separation between themselves and the Blacks. One of the first achievements of the Natal Indian Congress which Gandhi established was the creation of a third separate entrance to the Durban Post Office. The first was for Whites, but previously Indians had to share the second with the Blacks. Though they would have preferred to enter with the Whites, they were satisfied with achieving a triple segregation.

    Little is known of Gandhi’s personal relations with native Africans. He employed Zulus for labor at his Phoenix settlement, but later insisted that the residents do all the labor themselves. A Black squatter family lived on Tolstoy Farm and did occasional labor, but they were not part of the community there. When his civil disobedience began Indians were jailed with the Natives, and Gandhi led protests over being given the Native diet and about having to share cells with them. He experienced some physical abuse and admitted fear of more while in prison with them.

    Furthermore, Gandhi joined in the bloody suppression of the Zulu Rebellion in Natal in 1906. Despite his doubts concerning the justice of the Government’s case, he believed that in a crisis Indians should rally to its defense, and he organized a stretcher-bearer corps to go along with the troops. In fact he treated Native victims more than whites, but his purpose had been to suppress the revolt.

    We should not take Gandhi’s personal sense of distance from the Blacks as a sufficient explanation for his lack of cooperation with them. He had a capacity to grow beyond his limitations, and to recognize errors and learn from them. Psychological factors are only one element in the equation, and sometimes not the most important. We must look to the situation of the other players on the field, their interests, and their motivations as well.

    in the face of settler determination to establish white rule, all the non-White groups tried to go over the heads of the colonial governments to higher imperial powers. In this strategy the most successful were the Indians, who could appeal both to England and to India. This underscores another fact about Gandhi’s position: his eye was on India. Unlike the Coloured and Blacks who were unquestionably Africans, the Indians were regarded as unwelcome guests, and most Indians, including Gandhi, saw India as the real homeland.

    In his first 13 years in South Africa, Gandhi was a lawyer for Indian business interests and a community reformer who tried to raise the standards of Indian life into a more modern British pattern. He helped form community organizations including a hospital, and started a newspaper. In his community defense work he was preoccupied with relations with the British, who were the dominant power and from whom Indians hoped to gain relief from some of the forms of discrimination which limited their economic and other possibilities. He had no need for an outreach to other population groups until 1906, when he challenged the government with passive resistance against a registration act which applied only to Asiatics.

    THE CHINESE PEOPLE

    [This section is greatly abridged.]

    When Gandhi found an ally during his passive resistance campaign, it came by accident, and was neither with the Blacks nor the Coloured; it was with the Chinese. There were about a thousand Chinese laborers and businessmen in the Transvaal Colony when Gandhi began his passive resistance in 1906. Most of them were in Johannesburg, especially in small trades such as laundry and groceries.

    The free Chinese fell under the Asiatic registration act which was the target of the Indian passive resistance campaign. Like the Indians they boycotted the permit offices and refused to register. They also were arrested, refused fines, and went to jail, continuing to do so right up to the end of the campaign in 1911.

    Gandhi had not sought a Chinese alliance. As he confessed at a joint meeting with them in December 1907, he had been trying to draw a line between British subjects and others–his Johannesburg organization was named the British Indian Association–, and he had been pleading that “there should be a discrimination between British subjects and other Asiatics”.

    The political basis of the alliance, however, was mutual self-interest: both Chinese and Indians were required to re-register under the Transvaal Asiatic Law, and were included together in other anti-Asiatic legislation.

    THE COLOURED PEOPLE

    Among non-White peoples, the second largest was the Coloured community, 89% of whom lived in the Cape Colony. Generally thought of as a mixed-race group, it was so loosely defined as to include some Indians, Malays and native Africans. Like the Indians, the Coloured are neither Black nor White, and their intermediate position generated fears of being reduced to the status of the Blacks. They had one great legal advantage. In the Cape they possessed the franchise, limited though it was by literacy and property qualifications so that only 3.7% of the population could vote. Their nearly 15,000 voters were concentrated in a few constituencies, including District Six of Cape Town, which in 1902 elected Dr. Abdullah Abdurrahman (1872-1940), a British-trained physician, to the City Council, a post which he held (with one brief exception) until his death in 1940. He was the first non-White elected to that body. A few years later he was elected to the Cape Provincial Council and held that seat also for over 30 years.

    Coloured leaders in Cape Town established the African Political Organization (APO) in September 1902. Like most community organizations of the time, the APO represented the educated elite. Its aims included the protection of civil rights, the advancement of the group with a special emphasis on education, the promotion of unity between the coloured races, and voter registration. In 1905 they chose Dr. Abdurrahman as President, and he held this post also for the rest of his life.

    The initial efforts of the APO were directed to two issues: a threat of forced removal from Cape Town, and the hope of extending the municipal franchise for Coloured to the Transvaal Colony. The first was easily settled, for the Mayor of Cape Town assured them that the proposed locations were to be established for Blacks and not for Coloured. The form of this settlement was an omen of the difficulties of racial unity. With their own housing thus precariously protected, they did not mount a campaign to preserve housing for the Blacks amongst them. The APO had hoped to be an organization for all non-White Africans, but its membership and its interests were for the protection of the Coloured community first.

    The campaign for the extension of the Coloured franchise to the Transvaal was a failure, but Gandhi attended some of their meetings and met the Coloured leaders including Dr. Abdurrahman. Soon afterwards Gandhi made some observations on the difficulties of cooperation between the two groups:

    This Association of Coloured People does not include Indians who have always kept aloof from that body. We believe that the Indian community has been wise in doing so. For, though the hardships suffered by those people and the Indians are almost of the same kind, the remedies are not identical. It is therefore proper that the two should fight out their cases, each in their own appropriate way. We can cite the Proclamation of 1857 in our favour, which the Coloured people cannot. They can use the powerful argument that they are the children of the soil. They can also argue that their way of life is entirely European. We can petition the Secretary of State for India, whereas they cannot. They belong largely to the Christian community and can therefore avail themselves of the help of their priests. Such help is not available to us.

    Dr. Abdurrahman, unlike Gandhi, reached out to the other oppressed communities. He attended the South African Native Congress in 1907 and supported the South African Native Convention in 1909, and aided individual African leaders such as Rev. Walter Rubusana and John Tengo Jabavu. He publicized the Indian passive resistance struggle in his newspaper The APO, and to help them he collected an Indian Passive Resistance Fund.

    In 1909, when representatives of all races were in London as the South Africa Union Bill was being debated in Parliament, Abdurrahman and Gandhi were in close communication, though their aims were different. Abdurrahman, along with Black leaders and some liberal White politicians from the Cape, struggled unsuccessfully to remove the clause restricting the new Union Parliament to Whites, but Gandhi saw no benefit for the Indians in such an effort. For all that, Gandhi was in the Strangers’ Gallery of the House of Lords the night the South African Bill was under debate, along with Abdurrahman, Schreiner and Jabavu. After the failure to alter the Act, Gandhi recommended that Abdurrahman take up passive resistance and invited him to lunch to talk it over. He promised to get him a copy of Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience. A few weeks later Abdurrahman suggested in his newspaper that the Coloureds adopt the Indian strategy of passive resistance, and Gandhi wrote an article for The APO. But that organization never moved into mass action. The teachers and small businessmen of the APO preferred the political methods of a parliamentary party.

    Gandhi stayed closer in touch with Abdurrahman than with any other leader. Indian Opinion frequently reprinted news from The APO, and they corresponded on issues of mutual concern.

    Despite Abdurrahman’s interest in cooperation among nonwhite racial groups, few opportunities for effective work seemed to emerge. The chief issues before the Coloured community were not those which the Indians faced. The Indians had a very small group of enfranchised people at the municipal level in Natal but none in the Transvaal and it was never made a plank in their campaign. Most of the pressing issues for the Coloured were in the Cape, while the Indians struggled in Natal and the Transvaal. Thus a broad alliance between Indians and Coloured was never much of a possibility. While Abdurrahman was interested in it and Gandhi was not, the real difference was not in their personal attitudes but in their constituencies.

    Abdurrahman’s power base was his position as the only nonwhite elected official on the city and provincial councils for about 35 years. The Coloured and Black vote gave him domination of District Six of the city. With his position on the councils assured, Abdurrahman would benefit in terms of increased influence by representing the interests of Indians and Africans as well.

    Gandhi, on the other hand, was struggling to lead a voteless people in a campaign of intentional lawbreaking. The issues of that campaign were of concern only to Indians (and the Chinese). He would not have strengthened his support among Indians if he took on issues pertinent to other groups, and he did not believe that he could lead a passive resistance campaign for other groups; each had to work out their own efforts.

    THE BLACK PEOPLE

    Now let us look at the Black population. Then as now, it was larger than all the others combined, amounting to 67% of the total. Most of the Blacks lived in the countryside following a traditional way of life, but a class of progressive farmers was also forming. Many of these had become Christians and had some education from missionaries. In the towns many Blacks worked as laborers. There also a small class of Black professionals was beginning to emerge. These included newspaper editors, lawyers, and teachers.

    The oldest form of African political organization was by tribes, and while the chiefs and royal families continued to be influential, in the towns the new mission-educated spokesmen were evident, particularly in the Cape colony. Among the prominent modern leaders of the early period were John Tengo Jabavu (1859-1921) and Rev. Walter Rubusana (1858-1936). A second generation of young leaders, some educated abroad, emerged after the South African War. Prominent among these were Solomon Plaatje (1878-1932), John L. Dube (1871-1946), Pixley Seme (c.1880-1951) and Alfred Mangena (1879- ? ). Most of these participated in the formation of the African National Congress in 1912.

    In his memoirs, written a decade after leaving South Africa, Gandhi described the Blacks completely in terms of their traditional rural life, and made no reference to educated Africans or to any African individuals. This might suggest that he did not know of any, but his newspaper Indian Opinion shows that he was very much aware of them.

    Among the issues which concerned the Black population in their dealings with Whites were access to land, voting rights, and education. The pass laws and the rigid segregation of public facilities were constant irritants. Voting rights were an issue as well. In Natal Africans could vote, but so stringent were the restrictions that only two persons had qualified by 1903. In the Cape, the African vote was a significant factor in parliamentary elections, and the Rev. Walter Rubusana was once elected to the Provincial Council.

    The voting issue both united and divided the non-Whites. In the Cape the Africans and Coloured shared an interest in maintaining the vote and in its extension to the conquered northern colonies. Consequently there were meetings between the leaders on this subject. The Indians, who were very few in the Cape, did not have much hope for gaining the franchise elsewhere. Gandhi never included the franchise in his goals for passive resistance. He took the position that Indians should accept White dominance. Thus there was no opportunity for common action on the franchise.

    The land issue also affected Blacks and Indians differently. For the Blacks, the 1913 Natives’ Land Act was a major disaster, restricting them to only a small portion of the land. It was in opposition to this act that Blacks from all parts of the country united in 1912 to form the South African Native National Congress (later renamed the African National Congress). Though Gandhi protested its injustice, Indians were not themselves touched by it, and there was no basis for common action. In Natal, where over 80% of the Indians lived, they could buy rural land. In the Transvaal, where the passive resistance campaign was conducted, they could not. But there the Indians were overwhelming urban, and they were allowed to buy land in the locations established exclusively for Indians. Both races were restricted, both found the restrictions an economic threat, but each was under a different law.

    The closest approach to cooperation among Indians, Blacks, and Coloured came at the time of the movement for South African Union. At this time the Coloured and Africans united in an attempt to amend the Union Bill. Gandhi did not participate.

    The Transvaal Native Congress instructed the young African attorneys in London, Pixley Seme and Alfred Mangena, to work with the arriving delegations, including Gandhi’s. Gandhi is known to have communicated with Abdurrahman in London, but no record has yet been found of his communicating with the Black delegates.

    The one African leader with whom Gandhi and his associates are known to have had some close contact was his neighbor at Phoenix, John L. Dube, the first President of the South African Native National Congress (ANC). Although Les Switzer has written, “Even a man like Dube was apparently unknown to Gandhi,” there is ample evidence that the two were acquainted. Dube, educated at Oberlin College in Ohio, was like Gandhi an admirer of the industrial school of Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute, and established his own school in 1901, the Ohlange Institute. It was the first African-controlled industrial school in South Africa. Two years later, Gandhi established his own rural settlement at Phoenix, only a mile or two from Ohlange. Dube began a Zulu newspaper, Ilanga Lase Natal (Light of Natal) in 1903, printing the first copies at the International Printing Press, controlled by Gandhi, which also printed Indian Opinion when it was launched a year later.

    Gandhi introduced Dube to readers of Indian Opinion. “This Mr. Dube is a Negro of whom one should know,” he told his Gujarati readers.” There were visits between residents of Phoenix and Ohlange, When Dube, “our friend and neighbor”, was chosen first president of the Inter-State Native Congress (later the ANC), Indian Opinion not only noted the event but published portions of his manifesto.

    There is also evidence that Dube respected Gandhi. When Gandhi’s active “passive resistance” began in Johannesburg, Dube praisted it in Ilanga, and when Gandhi brought to South Africa his political mentor Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a member of the Viceroy’s Council, he was taken to Ohlange Institute to meet Dube, where they “spent some time discussing the Native question”. Dube reported on the meeting in Ilanga, telling his readers that “We have seen and heard a great man whose knowledge is equal to that of the foremost statesmen of our day, and he is a black man.”

    After the conclusion of the l913 campaign, Dube was visited by the Rev. W. W. Pearson, who had come from India with Rev. Charles F. Andrews to help Gandhi with the settlement of the dispute. Pearson visited Ohlange Institute in January 1914, accompanied by an adult resident of Phoenix, Raojibhai Patel, who recorded the conversation in his memoirs.

    Pearson urged John Dube to take up passive resistance, and Dube replied,

    Yes, Mr. Pearson, I understand what you say. I have thought about it a great deal. I have closely studied the struggle of the Indians under Mr. Gandhi’s leadership. My eyes have seen many incidents of fearlessness in the course of passive resistance.

    Mr. Pearson, we cannot do what the Indians have done. We do not have that divine power. I have been wonderstruck to see their capacity for self-suffering.

    Dube then related that he had observed striking Indians near Phoenix standing their ground despite whips, bayonets, and shooting, and he concluded,

    Mr. Pearson, if I lead my people along this dangerous path, we shall be destroyed. The Indian labourers may be illiterate, uneducated, ignorant and uncultured, but they come from an ancient culture. That culture is in their blood. A leader like Mr. Gandhi could awaken their latent divinity, their capacity to follow that ancient culture and undergo self-suffering. The inherent divinity in men was activized by Mr. Gandhi in the case of the Indians and they could demonstrate an extraordinary capacity for self-suffering. Our Negro people will not be able to control their tempers in a similar situation. They will hit back in self-defence and that is all the excuse the whites need to wipe us out. If my people kill one white man in their excitement, thousands of my countrymen will be killed with machine-guns and we shall be ruined, totally destroyed. No, Mr. Pearson, we do not have the capacity to take up a passive resistance struggle. The Indians alone are capable of it.

    No doubt Dube’s speech has been somewhat altered in Patel’s recollections, but it has a ring of authenticity. Dube, whose school was receiving government funds, was a cautious man who knew well the hostile environment in which he lived. The story shows his careful observation of the Indian struggle and his awareness of the philosophy behind it.

    The press, both White and Black, took notice of Gandhi’s passive resistance from the moment of its inception, and frequently speculated on its adoption by the Natives.

    Gandhi argued that the adoption of Satyagraha by Blacks would would be beneficial to Whites and Blacks alike. In an interview to The Natal Mercury in 1909, he said,

    If the natives were to adopt our methods, and replace physical violence by passive resistance, it would be a positive gain for South Africa. Passive resisters, when they are in the wrong, do mischief only to themselves. When they are right, they succeed in spite of any odds.

    In an address to a White audience in a suburb of Johannesburg later that year, he repeated the theme:

    Nor could such a weapon, if used by the Natives, do the slightest harm. On the contrary, if the Natives could rise so high as to understand and utilize this force, there would probably be no native question left to be solved.

    However, no African satyagraha took place, nor was there any parallel uprising among Africans. Or is that entirely true? In July 1913, after the Orange Free State decided that Black women should carry passes, about 600 women gathered and handed a bag of passes to the authorities. They were imprisoned, and after the campaign was carried on for some years the authorities were forced to withdraw the pass law for women. In 1919 the SANNC (ANC) organized a passive resistance campaign on the Rand (the mining region) in which thousands of passes were handed in and over 700 Africans were jailed. Were these inspired by Gandhi’s ideas or his example? I do not yet know. Certainly the great defiance campaign of 1952, led in part by Gandhi’s son Manilal, was.

    CONCLUSION

    How are we to evaluate this inability of Gandhi to work in cooperation with Black people?

    The Indians, Coloured and Africans were often fighting their battles in different colonies, against different laws, and on the basis of different cultural foundations. The Coloured achieved the first effective political organization, the Indians launched an unconventional passive resistance struggle, and the Blacks, with a larger and more heterogeneous population, were finally forced into unity by the Land Act. The separatist and ethnocentric views of Gandhi and the Indians were often matched by leaders in the other groups; none seems to have been as inclusive in perspective as Dr. Abdurrahman. With the qualified exception of Abdurrahmman, it seems doubtful that a common strategy was an alternative seriously entertained by any non-White group.

    Gandhi began as a very conventional Victorian Indian, seeking accomodation and personal success within the British Empire. He shared the prejudices of his class concerning Black people, and his lifestyle and work kept him isolated from them. In this respect he became a segregationist, albeit a liberal one, arguing for a special status for his own people while objecting to the treatment given the Black Africans.

    Gandhi also exhibited class limitations within the Indian community. Recent studies such as Swan’s have demonstrated the inability of Gandhi to recognize the needs of indentured Indians or to offer leadership to the mass of Indians until the very end of his South African career.

    None of these should be surprising, except for the tendency to wish that our heroes would have been consistently heroic throughout their lives. Gandhi began as a perfectly ordinary intelligent lawyer trying to establish a career. In time he transformed himself into something else. It is that transformation which should interest us. He did fail to change South Africa very much, but in the attempt he learned a great deal, grew in personal stature, and left behind a legacy of resistance to injustice.

    What he accomplished above all was to develop the concept of a mass non-violent struggle, and to practice several forms of it enough so that he had the authority to attempt other variations in India.

    It seems clear that he learned much from his South African experience. When he entered national politics in India, he did what he had not done in Africa. He built a coalition of alliances with many distinct groups. Judith Brown has detailed the process in Gandhi’s Rise to Power. Among the groups he sought out was one with which he had had mixed success in Africa, the Muslims. In India he deliberately adopted Muslim political concerns: the Khilafat and the detention of the Ali brothers. He began to break out of the isolation he had fostered in Africa.

    It is also true that he retained to the end some of the limitations of his original position. As he drove deeper into the philosophical foundations of Satyagraha, he emphasized the need for Indian cultural roots, which had a strong Hindu flavor. Thus he moved away from the modernizing English cultural ideal which he previously had shared with African and Coloured professionals, and he also moved away from his Muslim merchant hosts (who were simultaneously moving away from him because of the material costs of his campaign, as Swan has shown). Decades later, his use of Hindu symbols such as “Ramraj” was said to have widened the gap between Hindus and Muslims within the nationalist movement. Despite his inclusive intentions, the cultural and religious forms of his politics could not satisfy everyone.

    Finally, underlying Gandhi’s disinclination to seek effective allies in South Africa was something else: the belief that allies were not really necessary, nor even helpful. Instead of enlisting the support of 440,000 Coloured people and 3.4 million Blacks, Gandhi chose to begin his final, and amazingly successful, campaign with 4 women and 12 men. They were the fruit of his intensive training at Tolstoy Farm and Phoenix. Satyagraha, he believed, depended on committed individuals, not on great numbers. A few people who understood it, and who had prepared themselves physically and spiritually, could resist any power or any government.

    If the South African Blacks learned that, he believed they could not fail. The demonstration of satyagraha was the greatest gift he had to offer to both the Indian and the Black people of South Africa.

    MARCH 17 1990

  130. Majumdar

    Alok,

    I can understand that MKG was unable to start an agitation on a large canvas including black people as well. He was a young man with limited ability and vision and large challenges.

    But surely calling black people as little more than animals and saying that white people are superior to everyone else smacks of racism

    Regards

  131. alok

    You are as free as yaseer to have your own views just like M.Lthr King, Mandela , Obama and your’s truly have the right to have theirs.

    1.) Its the right of every individual to grow and evovlve and reach a height as lofty as possible. its up to you to be fixated on ratnakar or valmiki(valmiki’s transformation from a dacoit into a sage).

    2.)Bura jo dekhan main chala bura na milya koi
    Jo kudh dekha aapno mujhse bura na koi

  132. Majumdar

    Alok,

    I may be a bad man as the couplet suggests but my badness affects only me and my family. MKG’s badness ruined India and the whole subcontinent.

    Regards

  133. YLH
    Glad you’ve clarified that you are not Aakar Patel. I was getting worried. But what a cop out indeed. Gandhi says that Black people are of a lesser racial stock… Gandhi says that Black people are like savages…. Gandhi extols the virtues of superior racial stock of the Indo-Germanic Indo-Aryan race…. and all you have is that it wasn’t politically expedient. Now that you have set the bad precedent of quoting Opinion Articles of authors of unknown quantity… I too shall quote an article on Gandhi: The Gandhi Nobody Knows By Richard Grenier [From the magazine, “Commentary,” March 1983, published monthly by the American Jewish Committee, New York, NY.] I HAD the singular honor of attending an early private screening of Gandhi with an audience of invited guests from the National Council of Churches. At the end of the three-hour movie there was hardly, as they say, a dry eye in the house. When the lights came up I fell into conversation with a young woman who observed, reverently, that Gandhi’s last words were “Oh, God,” causing me to remark regretfully that the real Gandhi had not spoken in English, but had cried, Hai Rama! (“Oh, Rama”). Well, Rama was just Indian for God, she replied, at which I felt compelled to explain that, alas, Rama, collectively with his three half-brothers, represented the seventh reincarnation of Vishnu. The young woman, who seemed to have been under the impression that Hinduism was Christianity under another name, sensed somehow that she had fallen on an uncongenial spirit, and the conversation ended. At a dinner party shortly afterward, a friend of mine, who had visited India many times and even gone to the trouble of learning Hindi, objected strenuously that the picture of Gandhi that emerges in the movie is grossly inaccurate, omitting, as one of many examples, that when Gandhi’s wife lay dying of pneumonia and British doctors insisted that a shot of penicillin would save her, Gandhi refused to have this alien medicine injected in her body and simply let her die. (It must be noted that when Gandhi contracted malaria shortly afterward he accepted for himself the alien medicine quinine, and that when he had appendicitis he allowed British doctors to perform on him the alien outrage of an appendectomy.) All of this produced a wistful mooing from an editor of a major newspaper and a recalcitrant, “But still….” I would prefer to explicate things more substantial than a wistful mooing, but there is little doubt it meant the editor in question felt that even if the real Mohandas K. Gandhi had been different from the Gandhi of the movie it would have been nice if he had been like the movie-Gandhi, and that presenting him in this admittedly false manner was beautiful, stirring, and perhaps socially beneficial. An important step in the canonization of this movie-Gandhi was taken by the New York Film Critics Circle, which not only awarded the picture its prize as best film of 1982, but awarded Ben Kingsley, who played Gandhi (a remarkably good performance), its prize as best actor of the year. But I cannot believe for one second that these awards were made independently of the film’s content–which, not to put too fine a point on it, is an all-out appeal for pacifism–or in anything but the most shameful ignorance of the historical Gandhi. Now it does not bother me that Shakespeare omitted from his ‘King John’ the signing of the Magna Charta–by far the most important event in John’s reign. All Shakespeare’s “histories” are strewn with errors and inventions. Shifting to the cinema and to more recent times, it is hard for me to work up much indignation over the fact that neither Eisenstein’s ‘Battleship Potemkin’ nor his ‘October’ recounts historical episodes in anything like the manner in which they actually occurred (the famous march of the White Guards down the steps at Odessa–artistically one of the greatest sequences in film history–simply did not take place). As we draw closer to the present, however, the problem becomes much more difficult. If the Soviet Union were to make an artistically wondrous film about the entry of Russian tanks into Prague in 1968 (an event I happened to witness), and show them being greeted with flowers by a grateful populace, the Czechs dancing in the streets with joy, I do not guarantee that I would maintain my serene aloofness. A great deal depends on whether the historical events represented in a movie are intended to be taken as substantially true, and also on whether–separated from us by some decades or occurring yesterday–they are seen as having a direct bearing on courses of action now open to us. On my second viewing of ‘Gandhi,’ this time at a public showing at the end of the Christmas season, I happened to leave the theater behind three teenage girls, apparently from one of Manhattan’s fashionable private schools. “Gandhi was pretty much an FDR,” one opined, astonishing me almost as much by her breezy use of initials to invoke a President who died almost a quarter-century before her birth as by the stupefying nature of the comparison. “But he was a religious figure, too,” corrected one of her friends, adding somewhat smugly, “It’s not in our historical tradition to honor spiritual leaders.” Since her schoolteachers had clearly not led her to consider Jonathan Edwards and Roger Williams as spiritual leaders, let alone Joseph Smith and William Jennings Bryan, the intimation seemed to be that we are a society with poorer spiritual values than, let’s say, India. There can be no question, in any event, that the girls felt they had just been shown the historical Gandhi–an attitude shared by Ralph Nader, who at last account had seen the film three times. Nader has conceived the most extraordinary notion that Gandhi’s symbolic flouting of the British salt tax was a “consumer issue” which he later expanded into the wider one of Indian independence. A modern parallel to Gandhi’s program of home-spinning and home-weaving, another “consumer issue” says Nader, might be the use of solar energy to free us from the “giant multinational oil corporations.” AS IT happens, the government of India openly admits to having provided one-third of the financing of ‘Gandhi’ out of state funds, straight out of the national treasury–and after close study of the finished product I would not be a bit surprised to hear that it was 100 percent. If Pandit Nehru is portrayed flatteringly in the film, one must remember that Nehru himself took part in the initial story conferences (he originally wanted Gandhi to be played by Alec Guinness) and that his daughter Indira Gandhi is, after all, Prime Minister of India (though no relation to Mohandas Gandhi). The screenplay was checked and rechecked by Indian officials at every stage, often by the Prime Minister herself, with close consultations on plot and even casting. If the movie contains a particularly poisonous portrait of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, the Indian reply, I suppose, would be that if the Pakistanis want an attractive portrayal of Jinnah let them pay for their own movie. A friend of mine, highly sophisticated in political matters but innocent about film-making, declared that ‘Gandhi’ should be preceded by the legend: *The following film is a paid political advertisement by the government of India.* “Gandhi”, then, is a large, pious, historical morality tale centered on a saintly, sanitized Mahatma Gandhi cleansed of anything too embarrassingly Hindu (the word “caste” is not mentioned from one end of the film to the other) and, indeed, of most of the rest of Gandhi’s life, much of which would drastically diminish his saintliness in Western eyes. There is little to indicate that the India of today has followed Gandhi’s precepts in almost nothing. There is little, in fact, to indicate that India is even India. The spectator realizes the scene is the Indian subcontinent because there are thousands of extras dressed in dhotis and saris. The characters go about talking in these quaint Peter Sellers accents. We have occasional shots of India’s holy poverty, holy hovels, some landscapes, many of them photographed quite beautifully, for those who like travelogues. We have a character called Lord Mountbatten (India’s last Viceroy); a composite American journalist (assembled >from Vincent Sheehan, William L. Shirer, Louis Fischer, and straight fiction); a character called simply “Viceroy” (presumably another composite); an assemblage of Gandhi’s Indian followers under the name of one of them (Patel); and of course Nehru. I sorely missed the fabulous Annie Besant, that English clergyman’s wife, turned atheist, turned Theosophist, turned Indian nationalist, who actually became president of the Indian National Congress and had a terrific falling out with Gandhi, becoming his fierce opponent. And if the producers felt they had to work in a cameo role for an American star to add to the film’s appeal in the United States, it is positively embarrassing that they should have brought in the photographer Margaret Bourke-White, a person of no importance whatever in Gandhi’s life and a role Candice Bergen plays with a repellant unctuousness. If the film-makers had been interested in drama and not hagiography, it is hard to see how they could have resisted the awesome confrontation between Gandhi and, yes, Margaret Sanger. For the two did meet. Now *there* was a meeting of East and West, and *may the better person win!* (She did. Margaret Sanger argued her views on birth control with such vigor that Gandhi had a nervous breakdown.) I cannot honestly say I had any reasonable expectation that the film would show scenes of Gandhi’s pretty teenage girl followers fighting “hysterically” (the word was used) for the honor of sleeping naked with the Mahatma and cuddling the nude septuagenarian in their arms. (Gandhi was “testing” his vow of chastity in order to gain moral strength for his mighty struggle with Jinnah.) When told there was a man named Freud who said that, despite his declared intention, Gandhi might actually be *enjoying* the caresses of the naked girls, Gandhi continued, unperturbed. Nor, frankly, did I expect to see Gandhi giving daily enemas to all the young girls in his ashrams (his daily greeting was, “Have you had a good bowel movement this morning, sisters?”), nor see the girls giving him *his* daily enema. Although Gandhi seems to have written less about home rule for India than he did about enemas, and excrement, and latrine cleaning (“The bathroom is a temple. It should be so clean and inviting that anyone would enjoy eating there”), I confess such scenes might pose problems for a Western director. ‘Gandhi,’ therefore, the film, this paid political advertisement for the government of India, is organized around three axes: (1) Anti-racism–all men are equal regardless of race, color, creed, etc.; (2) anti-colonialism, which in present terms translates as support for the Third World, including, most eminently, India; (3) nonviolence, presented as an absolutist pacifism. There are other, secondary precepts and subheadings. Gandhi is portrayed as the quintessence of tolerance (“I am a Hindu and a Muslim and a Christian and a Jew”), of basic friendliness to Britain (“The British have been with us for a long time and when they leave we want them to leave as friends”), of devotion to his wife and family. His vow of chastity is represented as something selfless and holy, rather like the celibacy of the Catholic clergy. But, above all, Gandhi’s life and teachings are presented as having great import for us today. We must learn from Gandhi. I propose to demonstrate that the film grotesquely distorts both Gandhi’s life and character to the point that it is nothing more than a pious fraud, and a fraud of the most egregious kind. Hackneyed Indian falsehoods such as that “the British keep trying to break India up” (as if Britain didn’t give India a unity it had never enjoyed in history), or that the British *created* Indian poverty (a poverty which had not only existed since time immemorial but had been considered holy), almost pass unnoticed in the tide of adulation for our fictional saint. Gandhi, admittedly, being a devout Hindu, was far more self-contradictory than most public men. Sanskrit scholars tell me that flat self-contradiction is even considered an element of “Sanskrit rhetoric.” Perhaps it is thought to show profundity. GANDHI rose early, usually at three-thirty, and before his first bowel movement (during which he received visitors, although possibly not Margaret Bourke-White) he spent two hours in meditation, listening to his “inner voice.” Now Gandhi was an extremely vocal individual, and in addition to spending an hour each day in vigorous walking, another hour spinning at his primitive spinning wheel, another hour at further prayers, another hour being massaged nude by teenage girls, and many hours deciding such things as affairs of state, he produced a quite unconscionable number of articles and speeches and wrote an average of sixty letters a day. All considered, it is not really surprising that his inner voice said different things to him at different times. Despising consistency and never checking his earlier statements, and yet inhumanly obstinate about his position at any given moment, Gandhi is thought by some Indians today (according to V.S. Naipaul) to have been so erratic and unpredictable that he may have delayed Indian independence for twenty-five years. For Gandhi was an extremely difficult man to work with. He had no partners, only disciples. For members of his ashrams, he dictated every minute of their days, and not only every morsel of food they should eat but when they should eat it. Without ever having heard of a protein or a vitamin, he considered himself an expert on diet, as on most things, and was constantly experimenting. Once when he fell ill, he was found to have been living on a diet of ground-nut butter and lemon juice; British doctors called it malnutrition. And Gandhi had even greater confidence in his abilities as a “nature doctor,” prescribing obligatory cures for his ashramites, such as dried cow-dung powder and various concoctions containing cow dung (the cow, of course, being sacred to the Hindu). And to those he really loved he gave enemas–but again, alas, not to Margaret Bourke-White. Which is too bad, really. For admiring Candice Bergen’s work as I do, I would have been most interested in seeing how she would have experienced this beatitude. The scene might have lived in film history. There are 400 biographies of Gandhi, and his writings run to 80 volumes, and since he lived to be seventy-nine, and rarely fell silent, there are, as I have indicated, quite a few inconsistencies. The authors of the present movie even acknowledge in a little-noticed opening title that they have made a film only true to Gandhi’s spirit. For my part, I do not intend to pick through Gandhi’s writings to make him look like Attila the Hun (although the thought is tempting), but to give a fair, weighted balance of his views, laying stress above all on his actions, and on what he told other men to do when the time for action had come. Anti-racism: the reader will have noticed that in the present-day community of nations South Africa is a pariah. So it is an absolutely amazing piece of good fortune that Gandhi, born the son of the Prime Minister of a tiny Indian principality and received as an attorney at the bar of the Middle Temple in London, should have begun his climb to greatness as a member of the small Indian community in, precisely, South Africa. Natal, then a separate colony, wanted to limit Indian immigration and, as part of the government program, ordered Indians to carry identity papers (an action not without similarities to measures under consideration in the U.S. today to control illegal immigration). The film’s lengthy opening sequences are devoted to Gandhi’s leadership in the fight against Indians carrying their identity papers (burning their registration cards), with for good measure Gandhi being expelled from the first-class section of a railway train, and Gandhi being asked by whites to step off the sidewalk. This inspired young Indian leader calls, in the film, for interracial harmony, for people to “live together.” Now the time is 1893, and Gandhi is a “caste” Hindu, and from one of the higher castes. Although, later, he was to call for improving the lot of India’s Untouchables, he was not to have any serious misgivings about the fundamentals of the caste system for about another thirty years, and even then his doubts, to my way of thinking, were rather minor. In the India in which Gandhi grew up, and had only recently left, some castes could enter the courtyards of certain Hindu temples, while others could not. Some castes were forbidden to use the village well. Others were compelled to live outside the village, still others to leave the road at the approach of a person of higher caste and perpetually to call out, giving warning, so that no one would be polluted by their proximity. The endless intricacies of Hindu caste by-laws varied somewhat region by region, but in Madras, where most South African Indians were from, while a Nayar could pollute a man of higher caste only by touching him, Kammalans polluted at a distance of 24 feet, toddy drawers at 36 feet, Pulayans and Cherumans at 48 feet, and beef-eating Paraiyans at 64 feet. All castes and the thousands of sub-castes were forbidden, needless to say, to marry, eat, or engage in social activity with any but members of their own group. In Gandhi’s native Gujarat a caste Hindu who had been polluted by touch had to perform extensive ritual ablutions or purify himself by drinking a holy beverage composed of milk, whey, and (what else?) cow dung. Low-caste Hindus, in short, suffered humiliations in their native India compared to which the carrying of identity cards in South Africa was almost trivial In fact, Gandhi, to his credit, was to campaign strenuously in his later life for the reduction of caste barriers in India–a campaign almost invisible in the movie, of course, conveyed in only two glancing references, leaving the audience with the officially sponsored if historically astonishing notion that racism was introduced into India by the British. To present the Gandhi of 1893, a conventional caste Hindu, fresh from caste-ridden India where a Paraiyan could pollute at 64 feet, as the champion of interracial equalitarianism is one of the most brazen hypocrisies I have ever encountered in a serious movie. The film, moreover, does not give the slightest hint as to Gandhi’s attitude toward blacks, and the viewers of ‘Gandhi’ would naturally suppose that, since the future Great Soul opposed South African discrimination against Indians, he would also oppose South African discrimination against black people. But this is not so. While Gandhi, in South Africa, fought furiously to have Indians recognized as loyal subjects of the British empire, and to have them enjoy the full rights of Englishmen, he had no concern for blacks whatever. In fact, during one of the “Kaffir Wars” he volunteered to organize a brigade of Indians to put down a Zulu rising, and was decorated himself for valor under fire. For, yes, Gandhi (Sergeant Major Gandhi) was awarded Victoria’s coveted War Medal. Throughout most of his life Gandhi had the most inordinate admiration for British soldiers, their sense of duty, their discipline and stoicism in defeat (a trait he emulated himself). He marveled that they retreated with heads high, like victors. There was even a time in his life when Gandhi, hardly to be distinguished >from Kipling’s Gunga Din, wanted nothing much as to be a Soldier of the Queen. Since this is not in keeping with the “spirit” of Gandhi, as decided by Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi, it is naturally omitted >from he movie. Anti-colonialism: as almost always with historical films, even those more honest than ‘Gandhi,’ the historical personage on which the movie is based is not only more complex but more interesting than the character shown on the screen. During his entire South African period, and for some time after, until he was about fifty, Gandhi was nothing more or less than an imperial loyalist, claiming for Indians the rights of Englishmen but unshakably loyal to the crown. He supported the empire ardently in no fewer than three wars: the Boer War, the “Kaffir War,” and, with the most extreme zeal, World War I. If Gandhi’s mind were of the modern European sort, this would seam to suggest that his later attitude toward Britain was the product of unrequited love: he had wanted to be an Englishman; Britain had rejected him and his people; very well then, they would have their own country. But this would imply a point of “agonizing reappraisal,” a moment when Gandhi’s most fundamental political beliefs were reexamined and, after the most bitter soul-searching, repudiated. But I have studied the literature and cannot find this moment of bitter soul-searching. Instead, listening to his “inner voice” (which in the case of divines of all countries often speaks in the tones of holy opportunism), Gandhi simply, tranquilly, without announcing any sharp break, set off in a new direction. It should be understood that it is unlikely Gandhi ever truly conceived of “becoming” an Englishman, first, because he was a Hindu to the marrow of his bones, and also, perhaps, because his democratic instincts were really quite weak. He was a man of the most extreme, autocratic temperament, tyrannical, unyielding even regarding things he knew nothing about, totally intolerant of all opinions but his own. He was, furthermore, in the highest degree reactionary, permitting in India no change in the relationship between the feudal lord and his peasants or servants, the rich and the poor. In his ‘The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi,’ the best and least hagiographic of the full-length studies, Robert Payne, although admiring Gandhi greatly, explains Gandhi’s “new direction” on his return to India from South Africa as follows: He spoke in generalities, but he was searching for a single cause, a single hard-edged task to which he would devote the remaining years of his life. He wanted to repeat his triumph in South Africa on Indian soil. He dreamed of assembling a small army of dedicated men around him, issuing stern commands and leading them to some almost unobtainable goal. Gandhi, in short, was a leader looking for a cause. He found it, of course, in home rule for India and, ultimately, in independence. WE ARE therefore presented with the seeming anomaly of a Gandhi who, in Britain when war broke out in August 1914, instantly contacted the War Office, swore that he would stand by England in its hour of need, and created the Indian Volunteer Corps, which he might have commanded if he hadn’t fallen ill with pleurisy. In 1915, back in India, he made a memorable speech in Madras in which he proclaimed, “I discovered that the British empire had certain ideals with which I have fallen in love….” In early 1918, as the war in Europe entered its final crisis, he wrote to the Viceroy of India, “I have an idea that if I become your recruiting agent-in-chief, I might rain men upon you,” and he proclaimed in a speech in Kheda that the British “love justice; they have shielded men against oppression.” Again, he wrote to the Viceroy, “I would make India offer all her able-bodied sons as a sacrifice to the empire at this critical moment To some of his pacifist friends, who were horrified, Gandhi replied by appealing to the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ and to the endless wars recounted in the Hindu epics, the ‘Ramayana’ and the ‘Mahabharata,’ adding further to the pacifists’ honor by declaring that Indians “have always been warlike, and the finest hymn composed by Tulsidas in praise of Rama gives the first place to his ability to strike down the enemy.” This was in contradiction to the interpretation of sacred Hindu scriptures Gandhi had offered on earlier occasions (and would offer later), which was that they did not recount military struggles but spiritual struggles; but, unusual for him, he strove to find some kind of synthesis. “I do not say, `Let us go and kill the Germans,\'” Gandhi explained. “I say, `Let us go and die for the sake of India and the empire.\'” And yet within two years, the time having come for swaraj (home rule), Gandhi’s inner voice spoke again, and, the leader having found his cause, Gandhi proclaimed resoundingly: “The British empire today represents Satanism, and they who love God can afford to have no love for Satan.” The idea of swaraj, originated by others, crept into Gandhi’s mind gradually. With a fair amount of winding about, Gandhi, roughly, passed through three phases. First, he was entirely pro-British, and merely wanted for Indians the rights of Englishmen (as he understood them). Second, he was still pro-British, but with the belief that, having proved their loyalty to the empire, Indians would be granted some degree of swaraj. Third, as the home-rule movement gathered momentum, it was the swaraj, the whole swaraj, and nothing but the swaraj, and he turned relentlessly against the crown. The movie to the contrary, he caused the British no end of trouble in their struggles during World War II. BUT it should not be thought for one second that Gandhi’s finally full-blown desire to detach India from the British empire gave him the slightest sympathy with other colonial peoples pursuing similar objectives. Throughout his entire life Gandhi displayed the most spectacular inability to understand or even really take in people unlike himself–a trait which V.S. Naipaul considers specifically Hindu, and I am inclined to agree. Just as Gandhi had been totally unconcerned with the situation of South Africa’s blacks (he hardly noticed they were there until they rebelled), so now he was totally unconcerned with other Asians or Africans. In fact, he was adamantly *opposed* to certain Arab movements within the Ottoman empire for reasons of internal Indian politics. At the close of World War I, the Muslims of India were deeply absorbed in what they called the “khilafat” movement–“khilafat” being their corruption of “Caliphate,” the Caliph in question being the Ottoman Sultan. In addition to his temporal powers, the Sultan of the Ottoman empire held the spiritual position of Caliph, supreme leader of the world’s Muslims and successor to the Prophet Muhammad. At the defeat of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria, Turkey), the Sultan was a prisoner in his palace in Constantinople, shorn of his religious as well as his political authority, and the Muslims of India were incensed. It so happened that the former subject peoples of the Ottoman empire, principally Arabs, were perfectly happy to be rid of this Caliph, and even the Turks were glad to be rid of him, but this made no impression at all on the Muslims of India, for whom the issue was essentially a club with which to beat the British. Until this odd historical moment, Indian Muslims had felt little real allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan either, but now that he had fallen, the British had done it! The British had taken away their khilafat! And one of the most ardent supporters of this Indian Muslim movement was the new Hindu leader, Gandhi. No one questions that the formative period for Gandhi as a political leader was his time in South Africa. Throughout history Indians, divided into 1,500 language and dialect groups (India today has 15 official languages), had little sense of themselves as a nation. Muslim Indians and Hindu Indians felt about as close as Christians and Moors during their 700 years of cohabitation in Spain. In addition to which, the Hindus were divided into thousands of castes and sub-castes, and there were also Parsees, Sikhs, Jains. But in South Africa officials had thrown them all in together, and in the mind of Gandhi (another one of those examples of nationalism being born in exile) grew the idea of India as a nation, and Muslim-Hindu friendship became one of the few positions on which he never really reversed himself. So Gandhi ignoring Arabs and Turks–became an adamant supporter of the Khilafat movement out of strident Indian nationalism. He had become a national figure in India for having unified 13,000 Indians of all faiths in South Africa, and now he was determined to reach new heights by unifying hundreds of millions of Indians of all faiths in India itself. But this nationalism did not please everyone, particularly Tolstoy, who in his last years carried on a curious correspondence with the new Indian leader. For Tolstoy, Gandhi’s Indian nationalism “spoils everything.” As for the “anti-colonialism” of the nationalist Indian state since independence, Indira Gandhi, India’s present Prime Minister, hears an inner voice of her own, it would appear, and this inner voice told her to justify the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as produced by provocative maneuvers on the part of the U.S. and China, as well as to be the first country outside the Soviet bloc to recognize the Hanoi puppet regime in Cambodia. So everything plainly depends on who is colonizing whom, and Mrs. Gandhi’s voice perhaps tells her that the subjection of Afghanistan and Cambodia to foreign rule is “defensive” colonialism. And the movie’s message that Mahatma Gandhi, and by plain implication India (the country for which he plays the role of Joan of Arc), have taken a holy, unchanging stance against the colonization of nation by nation is just another of its hypocrisies. For India, when it comes to colonialism or anti-colonialism, it has been Realpolitik all the way. Nonviolence: but the real center and raison d’etre of ‘Gandhi’ is ahimsa, nonviolence, which principle when incorporated into vast campaigns of noncooperation with British rule the Mahatma called by an odd name he made up himself, satyagraha, which means something like “truth-striving.” During the key part of his life, Gandhi devoted a great deal of time explaining the moral and philosophical meanings of both ahimsa and satyagraha. But much as the film sanitizes Gandhi to the point where one would mistake him for a Christian saint, and sanitizes India to the point where one would take it for Shangri-la, it quite sweeps away Gandhi’s ethical and religious ponderings, his complexities, his qualifications, and certainly his vacillations, which simplifying process leaves us with our old European friend: pacifism. It is true that Gandhi was much impressed by the Sermon on the Mount, his favorite passage in the Bible, which he read over and over again. But for all the Sermon’s inspirational value, and its service as an ideal in relations among individual human beings, no Christian state which survived has ever based its policies on the Sermon on the Mount since Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire. And no modern Western state which survives can ever base its policies on pacifism. And no Hindu state will ever base its policies on ahimsa. Gandhi himself–although the film dishonestly conceals this from us–many times conceded that in dire circumstances “war may have to be resorted to as a necessary evil.” It is something of an anomaly that Gandhi, held in popular myth to be a pure pacifist (a myth which governments of India have always been at great pains to sustain in the belief that it will reflect credit on India itself, and to which the present movie adheres slavishly), was until fifty not ill-disposed to war at all. As I have already noted, in three wars, no sooner had the bugles sounded than Gandhi not only gave his support, but was clamoring for arms. To form new regiments! To fight! To destroy the enemies of the empire! Regular Indian army units fought in both the Boer War and World War I, but this was not enough for Gandhi. He wanted to raise new troops, even, in the case of the Boer and Kaffir Wars, from the tiny Indian colony in South Africa. British military authorities thought it not really worth the trouble to train such a small body of Indians as soldiers, and were even resistant to training them as an auxiliary medical corps (“stretcher bearers”), but finally yielded to Gandhi’s relentless importuning. As first instructed, the Indian Volunteer Corps was not supposed actually to go into combat, but Gandhi, adamant, led his Indian volunteers into the thick of battle. When the British commanding officer was mortally wounded during an engagement in the Kaffir War, Gandhi–though his corps’ deputy commander–carried the officer’s stretcher himself from the battlefield and for miles over the sun-baked veldt. The British empire’s War Medal did not have its name for nothing, and it was generally earned. ANYONE who wants to wade through Gandhi’s endless ruminations about himsa and ahimsa (violence and nonviolence) is welcome to do so, but it is impossible for the skeptical reader to avoid the conclusion–let us say in 1920, when swaraj (home rule) was all the rage and Gandhi’s inner voice started telling him that ahimsa was the thing–that this inner voice knew what it was talking about. By this I mean that, though Gandhi talked with the tongue of Hindu gods and sacred scriptures, his inner voice had a strong sense of expediency. Britain, if only comparatively speaking, was a moral nation, and nonviolent civil disobedience was plainly the best and most effective way of achieving Indian independence. Skeptics might also not be surprised to learn that as independence approached, Gandhi’s inner voice began to change its tune. It has been reported that Gandhi “half-welcomed” the civil war that broke out in the last days. Even a fratricidal “bloodbath” (Gandhi’s word) would be preferable to the British. And suddenly Gandhi began endorsing violence left, right, and center. During the fearsome rioting in Calcutta he gave his approval to men “using violence in a moral cause.” How could he tell them that violence was wrong, he asked, “unless I demonstrate that nonviolence is more effective?” He blessed the Nawab of Maler Kotla when he gave orders to shoot ten Muslims for every Hindu killed in his state. He sang the praises of Subhas Chandra Bose, who, sponsored by first the Nazis and then the Japanese, organized in Singapore an Indian National Army with which he hoped to conquer India with Japanese support, establishing a totalitarian dictatorship. Meanwhile, after independence in 1947, the armies of the India that Gandhi had created immediately marched into battle, incorporating the state of Hyderabad by force and making war in Kashmir on secessionist Pakistan. When Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist in January 1948 he was honored by the new state with a vast military funeral–in my view by no means inapposite. BUT it is not widely realized (nor will this film tell you) how much violence was associated with Gandhi’s so-called “nonviolent” movement from the very beginning. India’s Nobel Prize-winning poet, Rabindranath Tagore, had sensed a strong current of nihilism in Gandhi almost from his first days, and as early as 1920 wrote of Gandhi’s “fierce joy of annihilation,” which Tagore feared would lead India into hideous orgies of devastation–which ultimately proved to be the case. Robert Payne has said that there was unquestionably an “unhealthy atmosphere” among many of Gandhi’s fanatic followers, and that Gandhi’s habit of going to the edge of violence and then suddenly retreating was fraught with danger. “In matters of conscience I am uncompromising,” proclaimed Gandhi proudly. “Nobody can make me yield.” The judgment of Tagore was categorical. Much as he might revere Gandhi as a holy man, he quite detested him as a politician and considered that his campaigns were almost always so close to violence that it was utterly disingenuous to call them nonviolent. For every satyagraha true believer, moreover, sworn not to harm the adversary or even to lift a finger in his own defense, there were sometimes thousands of incensed freebooters and skirmishers bound by no such vow. Gandhi, to be fair, was aware of this, and nominally deplored it–but with nothing like the consistency shown in the movie. The film leads the audience to believe that Gandhi’s first “fast unto death,” for example, was in protest against an act of barbarous violence, the slaughter by an Indian crowd of a detachment of police constables. But in actual fact Gandhi reserved this “ultimate weapon” of his to interdict a 1931 British proposal to grant Untouchables a “separate electorate” in the Indian national legislature–in effect a kind of affirmative-action program for Untouchables. For reasons I have not been able to decrypt, Gandhi was dead set against the project, but I confess it is another scene I would like to have seen in the movie: Gandhi almost starving himself to death to block affirmative action for Untouchables. From what I have been able to decipher, Gandhi’s main preoccupation in this particular struggle was not even the British. Benefiting from the immense publicity, he wanted to induce Hindus, overnight, ecstatically, and without any of these British legalisms, to “open their hearts” to Untouchables. For a whole week Hindu India was caught up in a joyous delirium. No more would the Untouchables be scavengers and sweepers! No more would they be banned from Hindu temples! No more would they pollute at 64 feet! It lasted just a week. Then the temple doors swung shut again, and all was as before. Meanwhile, on the passionate subject of swaraj Gandhi was crying, “I would not flinch from sacrificing a million lives for India’s liberty!” The million Indian lives were indeed sacrificed, and in full. They fell, however, not to the bullets of British soldiers but to he knives and clubs of their fellow lndians in savage butcheries when he British finally withdrew. ALTHOUGH the movie sneers at his reasoning as being the flimsiest of pretexts, I cannot imagine an impartial person studying the subject without concluding that concern for Indian religious minorities was one of the principal reasons Britain stayed in India as long as it did. When it finally withdrew, blood-maddened mobs surged through the streets from one end of India to the other, the majority group in each area, Hindu or Muslim, slaughtering the defenseless minority without mercy in one of the most hideous periods of carnage of modern history. A comparison is in order. At the famous Amritsar massacre of 1919, shot in elaborate and loving detail in the present movie and treated by post-independence Indian historians as if it were Auschwitz, Ghurka troops under the command of a British officer, General Dyer, fired into an unarmed crowd of Indians defying a ban and demonstrating for Indian independence. The crowd contained women and children; 379 persons died; it was all quite horrible. Dyer was court-martialed and cashiered, but the incident lay heavily on British consciences for the next three decades, producing a severe inhibiting effect. Never again would the British empire commit another Amritsar, anywhere. As soon as the oppressive British were gone, however, the Indians–gentle, tolerant people that they are gave themselves over to an orgy of bloodletting. Trained troops did not pick off targets at a distance with Enfield rifles. Blood-crazed Hindus, or Muslims, ran through the streets with knives, beheading babies, stabbing women, old people. Interestingly, our movie shows none of this on camera (the oldest way of stacking the deck in Hollywood). All we see is the aged Gandhi, grieving, and of course fasting, at these terrible reports of riots. And, naturally, the film doesn’t whisper a clue as to the total number of dead, which might spoil the mood somehow. The fact is that we will never know how many Indians were murdered by other Indians during the country’s Independence Massacres, but almost all serious studies place the figure over a million, and some, such as Payne’s sources, go to 4 million. So, for those who like round numbers, the British killed some 400 seditious colonials at Amritsar and the name Amritsar lives in infamy, while Indians may have killed some *4 million* of their own countrymen for no other reason than that they were of a different religious faith and people think their great leader would make an inspirational subject for a movie. Ahimsa, as can be seen, then, had an absolutely tremendous moral effect when used against Britain, but not only would it not have worked against Nazi Germany (the most obvious reproach, and of course quite true), but, the crowning irony, it had virtually no effect whatever when Gandhi tried to bring it into play against violent Indians. Despite this at best patchy record, the film-makers have gone to great lengths to imply that this same principle of ahimsa–presented in the movie as the purest form of pacifism–is universally effective, yesterday, today, here, there, everywhere. We hear no talk from Gandhi of war sometimes being a “necessary evil,” but only him announcing–and more than once–“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” In a scene very near the end of the movie, we hear Gandhi say, as if after deep reflection: “Tyrants and murderers can seem invincible at the time, but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always.” During the last scene of the movie, following the assassination, Margaret Bourke-White is keening over the death of the Great Soul with an English admiral’s daughter named Madeleine Slade, in whose bowel movements Gandhi took the deepest interest (see their correspondence), and Miss Slade remarks incredulously that Gandhi felt that he had failed. They are then both incredulous for a moment, after which Miss Slade observes mournfully, “When we most needed it [presumably meaning during World War II], he offered the world a way out of madness. But the world didn’t see it.” Then we hear once again the assassin’s shots, Gandhi’s “Oh, God,” and last, in case we missed them the first time, Gandhi’s words (over the shimmering waters of the Ganges?): “Tyrants and murderers can seem invincible at the time, but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always.” This is the end of the picture. NOW, as it happens, I have been thinking about tyrants and murderers for some time. But the fact that in the end they always fall has never given me much comfort, partly because, not being a Hindu and not expecting reincarnation after reincarnation, I am simply not prepared to wait them out. It always occurs to me that, while I am waiting around for them to fall, they might do something mean to me, like fling me into a gas oven or send me off to a Gulag. Unlike a Hindu and not worshipping stasis, I am also given to wondering who is to bring these murderers and tyrants down, it being all too risky a process to wait for them and the regimes they establish simply to die of old age. The fact that a few reincarnations >from now they will all have turned to dust somehow does not seem to suggest a rational strategy for dealing with the problem. Since the movie’s Madeleine Slade specifically invites us to revere the “way out of madness” that Gandhi offered the world at the time of World War II, I am under the embarrassing obligation of recording exactly what courses of action the Great Soul recommended to the various parties involved in that crisis. For Gandhi was never stinting in his advice. Indeed, the less he knew about a subject, the less he stinted. I am aware that for many not privileged to have visited the former British Raj, the names Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Deccan are simply words. But other names, such as Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, somehow have a harder profile. The term “Jew,” also, has a reasonably hard profile, and I feel all Jews sitting emotionally at the movie ‘Gandhi’ should be apprised of the advice that the Mahatma offered their coreligionists when faced with the Nazi peril: they should commit collective suicide. If only the Jews of Germany had the good sense to offer their throats willingly to the Nazi butchers’ knives and throw themselves into the sea from cliffs they would arouse world public opinion, Gandhi was convinced, and their moral triumph would be remembered for “ages to come.” If they would only pray for Hitler (as their throats were cut, presumably), they would leave a “rich heritage to mankind.” Although Gandhi had known Jews from his earliest days in South Africa–where his three staunchest white supporters were Jews, every one–he disapproved of how rarely they loved their enemies. And he never repented of his recommendation of collective suicide. Even after the war, when the full extent of the Holocaust was revealed, Gandhi told Louis Fischer, one of his biographers, that the Jews died anyway, didn’t they? They might as well have died significantly. Gandhi’s views on the European crisis were not entirely consistent. He vigorously opposed Munich, distrusting Chamberlain. “Europe has sold her soul for the sake of a seven days’ earthly existence,” he declared. “The peace that Europe gained at Munich is a triumph of violence.” But when the Germans moved into the Bohemian heartland, he was back to urging nonviolent resistance, exhorting the Czechs to go forth, unarmed, against the Wehrmacht, *perishing gloriously*–collective suicide again. He had Madeleine Slade draw up two letters to President Eduard Benes of Czechoslovakia, instructing him on the proper conduct of Czechoslovak satyagrahi when facing the Nazis. When Hitler attacked Poland, however, Gandhi suddenly endorsed the Polish army’s military resistance, calling it “almost nonviolent.” (If this sounds like double-talk, I can only urge readers to read Gandhi.) He seemed at this point to have a rather low opinion of Hitler, but when Germany’s panzer divisions turned west, Allied armies collapsed under the ferocious onslaught, and British ships were streaming across the Straits of Dover from Dunkirk, he wrote furiously to the Viceroy of India: “This manslaughter must be stopped. You are losing; if you persist, it will only result in greater bloodshed. Hitler is not a bad man….” Gandhi also wrote an open letter to the British people, passionately urging them to surrender and accept whatever fate Hitler’ had prepared for them. “Let them take possession of your beautiful island with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds.” Since none of this had the intended effect, Gandhi, the following year, addressed an open letter to the prince of darkness himself, Adolf Hitler. THE scene must be pictured. In late December 1941, Hitler stood at the pinnacle of his might. His armies, undefeated anywhere ruled Europe from the English Channel to the Volga. Rommel had entered Egypt. The Japanese had reached Singapore. The U.S. Pacific Fleet lay at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. At this superbly chosen moment, Mahatma Gandhi attempted to convert Adolf Hitler to the ways of nonviolence. “Dear Friend,” the letter begins, and proceeds to a heartfelt appeal to the Fuhrer to embrace all mankind “irrespective of race, color, or creed.” Every admirer of the film ‘Gandhi’ should be compelled to read this letter. Surprisingly, it is not known to have had any deep impact on Hitler. Gandhi was no doubt disappointed. He moped about, really quite depressed, but still knew he was right. When the Japanese, having cut their way through Burma, threatened India, Gandhi’s strategy was to let them occupy as much of India as they liked and then to “make them feel unwanted.” His way of helping his British “friends” was, at one of the worst points of the war, to launch massive civil-disobedience campaigns against them, paralyzing some of their efforts to defend India from the Japanese. Here, then, is your leader, 0 followers of Gandhi: a man who thought Hitler’s heart would be melted by an appeal to forget race, color, and creed, and who was sure the feelings of the Japanese would be hurt if they sensed themselves unwanted. As world-class statesmen go, it is not a very good record. Madeleine Slade was right, I suppose. The world certainly didn’t listen to Gandhi. Nor, for that matter, has the modern government of India listened to Gandhi. Although all Indian politicians of all political parties claim to be Gandhians, India has blithely fought three wars against Pakistan, one against China, and even invaded and seized tiny, helpless Goa, and all without a whisper of a shadow of a thought of ahimsa. And of course India now has atomic weapons, a satyagraha technique if ever there was one. I AM SURE that almost everyone who sees the movie ‘Gandhi’ is aware that, from a religious point if view, the Mahatma was something called a “Hindu”–but I do not think one in a thousand has the dimmest notion of the fundamental beliefs of the Hindu religion. The simplest example is Gandhi’s use of the word “God,” which, for members of the great Western religions–Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, all interrelated–means a personal god, a godhead. But when Gandhi said “God” in speaking English, he was merely translating >from Gujarati or Hindi, and from the Hindu culture. Gandhi, in fact, simply did not believe in a personal God, and wrote in so many words, “God is not a person … but a force; the undefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything; a living Power that is Love….” And Gandhi’s very favorite definition of God, repeated many thousands of times, was, “God is Truth,” which reduces God to some kind of abstract principle. Like all Hindus, Gandhi also believed in the “Great Oneness,” according to which everything is part of God, meaning not just you and me and everyone else, but every living creature, every dead creature, every plant, the pitcher of milk, the milk in the pitcher, the tumbler into which the milk is poured…. After all of which, he could suddenly pop up with a declaration that God is “the Maker, the Law-Giver, a jealous Lord,” phrases he had probably picked up in the Bible and, with Hindu fluidity, felt he could throw in so as to embrace even more of the Great Oneness. So when Gandhi said, “I am a Hindu and a Muslim and a Christian and a Jew,” it was (from a Western standpoint) Hindu double-talk. Hindu holy men, some of them reformers like Gandhi, have actually even “converted” to Islam, then Christianity, or whatever, to worship different “aspects” of the Great Oneness, before reconverting to Hinduism. Now for Christians, fastidious in matters of doctrine, a man who converts to Islam is an apostate (or vice versa), but a Hindu is a Hindu is a Hindu. The better to experience the Great Oneness, many Hindu holy men feel they should be women as well as men, and one quite famous one even claimed he could menstruate (I will spare the reader the details). IN THIS ecumenical age, it is extremely hard to shake Westerners loose from the notion that the devout of all religions, after all, worship “the one God.” But Gandhi did not worship the one God. He did not worship the God of mercy. He did not worship the God of forgiveness. And this for the simple reason that the concepts of mercy and forgiveness are absent from Hinduism. In Hinduism, men do not pray to God for forgiveness, and a man’s sins are never forgiven–indeed, there is no one out there to do the forgiving. In your next life you may be born someone higher up the caste scale, but in this life there is no hope. For Gandhi, a true Hindu, did not believe in man’s immortal soul. He believed with every ounce of his being in karma, a series, perhaps a long series, of reincarnations, and at the end, with great good fortune: mukti, liberation from suffering and the necessity of rebirth, nothingness. Gandhi once wrote to Tolstoy (of all people) that reincarnation explained “reasonably the many mysteries of life.” So if Hindus today still treat an Untouchable as barely human, this is thought to be perfectly right and fitting because of his actions in earlier lives. As can be seen, Hinduism, by its very theology, with its sacred triad of karma, reincarnation, and caste (with caste an absolutely indispensable part of the system) offers the most complacent justification of inhumanity of any of the world’s great religious faiths. Gandhi, needless to say, was a Hindu reformer, one of many. Until well into his fifties, however, he accepted the caste system in toto as the “natural order of society,” promoting control and discipline and sanctioned by his religion. Later, in bursts of zeal, he favored moderating it in a number of ways. But he stuck by the basic varna system (the four main caste groupings plus the Untouchables) until the end of his days, insisting that a man’s position and occupation should be determined essentially by birth. Gandhi favored milder treatment of Untouchables, renaming them Harijans, “children of God,” but a Harijan was still a Harijan. Perhaps because his frenzies of compassion were so extreme (no, no, *he* would clean the *Harijan’s* latrine), Hindu reverence for him as a holy man became immense, but his prescriptions were rarely followed. Industrialization and modernization have introduced new occupations and sizable social and political changes in India, but the caste system has dexterously adapted and remains largely intact today. The Sudras still labor. The sweepers still sweep. Max Weber, in his ‘The Religion of India,’ after quoting the last line of the ‘Communist Manifesto,’ suggests somewhat sardonically that low- caste Hindus, too, have “nothing to lose but their chains,” that they, too, have “a world to win”–the only problem being that they have to die first and get born again, higher, it is to be hoped, in the immutable system of caste. Hinduism in general, wrote Weber, “is characterized by a dread of the magical evil of innovation.” Its very essence is to guarantee stasis. In addition to its literally thousands of castes and sub-castes, Hinduism has countless sects, with discordant rites and beliefs. It has no clear ecclesiastical organization and no universal body of doctrine. What I have described above is your standard, no-frills Hindu, of which in many ways Gandhi was an excellent example. With the reader’s permission I will skip over the Upanishads, Vedanta, Yoga, the Puranas, Tantra, Bhakti, the ‘Bhagavad-Gita’ (which contains theistic elements), Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the terrible Kali or Durga, to concentrate on those central beliefs that most motivated Gandhi’s behavior as a public figure. IT SHOULD be plain by now that here is much in the Hindu culture that is distasteful to the Western mind, and consequently is largely–unknown in the West–not because Hindus do not go on and on about these subjects, but because a Western squeamishness usually prevents these preoccupations from reaching print (not to mention film). When Gandhi attended his first Indian National Congress he was most distressed at seeing the Hindus–not laborers but high-caste Hindus, civic leaders–defecating all over the place, as if to pay attention to where the feces fell was somehow unclean. (For, as V.S. Naipaul puts it, in a twisted Hindu way it is *unclean to clean*. It is unclean even to notice. “It was the business of the sweepers to remove excrement, and until the sweepers came, people were content to live in the midst of their own excrement.”) Gandhi exhorted Indians endlessly on the subject, saying that sanitation was the first need of India, but he retained an obvious obsession with excreta, gleefully designing latrines and latrine drills for all hands at the ashram, and, all in all what with giving and taking enemas, and his public bowel movements, and his deep concern with everyone else’s bowel movements (much correspondence), and endless dietary experiments *as a function* of bowel movements, he devoted a rather large share of his life to the matter. Despite his constant campaigning for sanitation, it is hard to believe that Gandhi was not permanently marked by what Arthur Koestler terms the Hindu “morbid infatuation with filth,” and what V.S. Naipaul goes as far as to call Indian “deification of filth.” (Decades later, Krishna Menon, a Gandhian and one-time Indian Defence Minister, was still fortifying sanctity by drinking a daily 1 of urine.) But even more important, because it is dealt with in the movie directly–if of course dishonestly–is Gandhi’s parallel obsession with brahmacharya, or sexual chastity. There is a scene late in the film in which Margaret Bourke-White (again!) asks Gandhi’s wife if he has ever broken his vow of chastity, taken, at that time, about forty years before. Gandhi’s wife, by now a sweet old lady, answers wistfully, with a pathetic little note of hope, “Not yet.” What lies behind this adorable scene is the following: Gandhi held as one of his most profound beliefs (a fundamental doctrine of Hindu medicine) that a man, as a matter of the utmost importance, must conserve his bindu, or seminal fluid. Koestler (in ‘The Lotus and the Robot’) gives a succinct account of this belief, widespread among orthodox Hindus: “A man’s vital energy is concentrated in his seminal fluid, and this is stored in a cavity in the skull. It is the most precious substance in the body … an elixir of life both in the physical and mystical sense, distilled from the blood…. A large store of bindu of pure quality guarantees health, longevity, and supernatural powers…. Conversely, every loss of it is a physical and spiritual impoverishment.” Gandhi himself said in so many words, “A man who is unchaste loses stamina, becomes emasculated and cowardly, while in the chaste man secretions [semen] are sublimated into a vital force pervading his whole being.” And again, still Gandhi: “Ability to retain and assimilate the vital liquid is a matter of long training. When properly conserved it is transmuted into matchless energy and strength.” Most male Hindus go ahead and have sexual relations anyway, of course, but the belief in the value of bindu leaves the whole culture in what many observers have called a permanent state of “semen anxiety.” When Gandhi once had a nocturnal emission he almost had a nervous breakdown. Gandhi was a truly fanatical opponent of sex for pleasure, and worked it out carefully that a married couple should be allowed to have sex three or four times *in a lifetime*, merely to have children and favored embodying this restriction in the law of the land. The sexual-gratification wing of the present-day feminist movement would find little to attract them in Gandhi’s doctrine, since in all his seventy-nine years it never crossed his mind once that there could be anything enjoyable in sex for women, and he was constantly enjoining Indian women to deny themselves to men, to refuse to let their husbands “abuse” them. Gandhi had been married at thirteen, and when he took his vow of chastity, after twenty-four years of sexual activity, he ordered his two oldest sons, both young men, to be totally chaste as well. BUT Gandhi’s monstrous behavior to his own family is notorious. He denied his sons education–to which he was bitterly hostile. His wife remained illiterate. Once when she was very sick, hemorrhaging badly, and seemed to be dying, he wrote to her from jail icily: “My struggle is not merely political. It is religious and therefore quite pure. It does not matter much whether one dies in it or lives. I hope and expect that you will also think likewise and not be unhappy.” To die, that is. On another occasion he wrote, speaking about her: “I simply cannot bear to look at Ba’s face. The expression is often like that on the face of a meek cow and gives one the feeling, as a cow occasionally does, that in her own dumb manner she is saying something. I see, too, that there is selfishness in this suffering of hers ….” And in the end he let her die, as I have said, rather than allow British doctors to give her a shot of penicillin (while his inner voice told him that it would be all right for him to take quinine). He disowned his oldest son, Harilal, for wishing to marry. He banished his second son for giving his struggling older brother a small sum of money. Harilal grew quite wild with rage against his father, attacked him in print, converted to Islam, took to women, drink, and died an alcoholic in 1948. The Mahatma attacked him right back in his pious way, proclaiming modestly in an open letter in “Young India,” “Men may be good, not necessarily their children.” IF THE reader thinks I have delivered unduly harsh judgments on India and Hindu civilization, I can refer him to ‘An Area of Darkness’ and ‘India: A Wounded Civilization,’ two quite brilliant books on India by V.S. Naipaul, a Hindu, and a Brahmin, born in Trinidad. In the second, the more discursive, Naipaul writes that India “has little to offer the world except its Gandhian concept of holy poverty and the recurring crooked comedy of its holy men, and … is now dependent in every practical way on other, imperfectly understood civilizations.” Hinduism, Naipaul writes, “has given men no idea of a contract with other men, no idea of the state. It has enslaved one quarter of the population [the Untouchables] and always has left the whole fragmented and vulnerable. Its philosophy of withdrawal has diminished men intellectually and not equipped them to respond to challenge; it has stifled growth. So that again and again in India history has repeated itself: vulnerability, defeat, withdrawal.” Indians, Naipaul says, have no historical notion of the past. “Through centuries of conquest the civilization declined into an apparatus for survival, turning away from the mind … and creativity … stripping itself down, like all decaying civilizations, to its magical practices and imprisoning social forms.” He adds later, “No government can survive on Gandhian fantasy; and the spirituality, the solace of a conquered people, which Gandhi turned into a form of national assertion, has soured more obviously into the nihilism that it always was.” Naipaul condemns India again and again for its “intellectual parasitism,” its “intellectual vacuum,” its “emptiness,” the “blankness of its decayed civilization.” “Indian poverty is more dehumanizing than any machine; and, more than in any machine civilization, men in India are units, locked up in the straitest obedience by their idea of their dharma… “The blight of caste is not only untouchability and the consequent deification in India of filth; the blight, in an India that tries to grow, is also the overall obedience it imposes, … the diminishing of adventurousness, the pushing away from men of individuality and the possibility of excellence.” Although Naipaul blames Gandhi as well as India itself for the country’s failure to develop an “ideology” adequate for the modern world, he grants him one or two magnificent moments–always, it should be noted, when responding to “other civilizations.” For Gandhi, Naipaul remarks pointedly, had matured in alien societies: Britain and South Africa. With age, back in India, he seemed from his autobiography to be headed for “lunacy,” says Naipaul, and was only rescued by external events, his reactions to which were determined in part by “*his experience of the democratic ways of South Africa*” [my emphasis]. For it is one of the enduring ironies of Gandhi’s story that it was in South Africa–*South Africa*–a country in which he became far more deeply involved than he had been in Britain, that Gandhi caught a warped glimmer of that strange institution of which he would never have seen even a reflection within Hindu society: democracy. ANOTHER of Gandhi’s most powerful obsessions (to which the movie alludes in such a syrupy and misleading manner that it would be quite impossible for the audience to understand it) was his visceral hatred of the modern, industrial world. He even said, more than once, that he actually wouldn’t mind if the British remained in India, to police it, conduct foreign policy, and such trivia, if it would only take away its factories and railways. And Gandhi hated, not just factories and railways, but also the telegraph, the telephone, the radio, the airplane. He happened to be in England when Louis Bleriot, t
  134. YLH

    cont. Gandhi that nobody knows:

    the great French aviation pioneer, first flew the English Channel–an event which at the
    time stirred as much excitement as Lindbergh’s later flight across the Atlantic and Gandhi was in a positive fury that giant crowds were acclaiming such an insignificant event. He used the telegraph extensively himself, of course, and later would broadcast daily over All-India Radio during his highly publicized fasts, but consistency was never Gandhi’s strong suit.

    Gandhi’s view of the good society, about which he wrote ad nauseam, was an Arcadian vision set far in India’s past. It was the pristine Indian village,
    where, with all diabolical machinery and technology abolished–and with them all
    unhappiness–contented villagers would hand-spin their own yarn, hand-weave
    their own cloth, serenely follow their bullocks in the fields, tranquilly prodding them in the anus in the time-hallowed Hindu way. This was why Gandhi taught himself to spin, and why all the devout Gandhians, like monkeys, spun
    also. This was Gandhi’s program. Since he said it several thousand times, we have no choice but to believe that he sincerely desired the destruction of
    modern technology and industry and the return of India to the way of life of an idyllic (and quite likely nonexistent) past. And yet this same “Mahatma Gandhi handpicked as the first Prime Minister of an independent India Pandit Nehru, who was committed to a policy of industrialization and for whom the last word in the
    politico-economic organization of the state was (and remained) Beatrice Webb.

    WHAT are we to make of this Gandhi? We are dealing with two strangenesses here,
    Indians and Gandhi himself. The plain fact is that both Indian leaders and the Indian people ignored Gandhi’s precepts almost as thoroughly as did Hitler. They ignored him on sexual abstinence. They ignored his modifications of the caste
    system. They ignored him on the evils of modern industry, the radio, the telephone. They ignored him on education. They ignored his appeals for national union, the former British Raj splitting into a Muslim Pakistan and a Hindu India. No one sought a return to the Arcadian Indian village of antiquity. They ignored him, above all, in ahimsa, nonviolence. There was always a small number
    of exalted satyagrahi who, martyrs, would march into the constables’ truncheons, but one of the things that alarmed the British–as Tagore indicated–was the explosions of violence that accompanied all this alleged nonviolence.

    Naipaul writes that with independence India discovered again that it was “cruel and
    horribly violent.” Jaya Prakash Narayan, the late opposition leader, once admitted, “We often behave like animals…. We are more likely than not to become aggressive, wild, violent. We kill and burn and loot….

    Why, then, did the Hindu masses so honor this Mahatma, almost all of whose most cherished beliefs they so pointedly ignored, even during his lifetime? For Hindus, the question is not really so puzzling. Gandhi, for them, after all, was a Mahatma, a holy man. He was a symbol of sanctity, not a guide to conduct.

    Hinduism has a long history of holy men who, traditionally, do not offer themselves up to the public as models of general behavior but withdraw from the world, often into an ashram, to pursue their sanctity in private, a practice which all Hindus honor, if few emulate. The true oddity is that Gandhi, this holy man, having drawn from British sources his notions of nationalism and
    democracy, also absorbed from the British his model of virtue in public life. He was a historical original, a Hindu holy man that a British model of public service and dazzling advances in mass communications thrust out into the world,
    to become a great moral leader and the “father of his country.”

    SOME Indians feel that after the early l930’s, Gandhi, although by now world-famous, was in fact in sharp decline. Did he at least “get British out of India”? Some say no. India, in the last days of British Raj, was already largely governed by Indians (a fact one would never suspect from this movie), and it is
    a common view that without this irrational, wildly erratic holy man the transition to full independence might have gone both more smoothly and more
    swiftly. There is much evidence that in his last years Gandhi was in a kind of spiritual retreat and, with all his endless praying and fasting, was no longer pursuing (the very words seem strange in a Hindu context) “the public good.” What he was pursuing, in a strict reversion to Hindu tradition, was his personal holiness. In earlier days he had scoffed at the title accorded him, Mahatma
    (literally “great soul”). But toward the end, during the hideous paroxysms that accompanied independence, with some of the most unspeakable massacres taking place in Calcutta, he declared, “And if the whole of Calcutta swims in blood, it will not dismay me. For it will be a willing offering of innocent blood.” And in his last days, after there had already been one attempt on his life, he was heard to say, “*I am a true Mahatma.*”

    We can only wonder, furthermore, at a public figure who lectures half his life about the necessity of abolishing modern industry and returning India to its ancient primitiveness, and then picks a Fabian socialist, already drawing up
    Five-Year Plans, as the country’s first Prime Minister. Audacious as it may seem to contest the views of such heavy thinkers as Margaret Bourke-White, Ralph Nader, and J.K. Galbraith (who found the film’s Gandhi “true to the original”
    and endorsed the movie wholeheartedly), we have a right to reservations about such a figure as a public man.

    I should not be surprised if Gandhi’s greatest real humanitarian achievement was an improvement in the treatment of Untouchables–an area where his efforts were not only assiduous, but actually bore fruit. In this, of course, he ranks well behind the British, who abolished suttee over ferocious Hindu opposition–in 1829. The ritual immolation by fire of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres,
    suttee had the full sanction of the Hindu religion, although it might perhaps be wrong to overrate its importance. Scholars remind us that it was never
    universal, only “usual.” And there was, after all, a rather extensive range of choice. In southern India the widow was flung into her husband’s fire-pit. In
    the valley of the Ganges she was placed on the pyre when it was already aflame.

    In western India, she supported the head of the corpse with her right hand, while, torch in her left, she was allowed the honor of setting the whole thing on fire herself. In the north, where perhaps women were more impious, the widow’s body was constrained on the burning pyre by long poles pressed down by her relatives, just in case, screaming in terror and choking and burning to
    death, she might forget her dharma. So, yes, ladies, members of the National Council of Churches, believers in the one God, mourners for that holy India before it was despoiled by those brutish British, remember suttee, that
    interesting, exotic practice in which Hindus, over the centuries, burned to death countless millions of helpless women in a spirit of pious devotion, crying for all I know, Hai Rama! Hai Rama!

    I WOULD like to conclude with some observations on two Englishmen, Madeleine Slade, the daughter of a British admiral, and Sir Richard Attenborough, the producer, director, and spiritual godfather of the film, ‘Gandhi.’ Miss Slade
    was a jewel in Gandhi’s crown–a member of the British ruling class, as she was, turned fervent disciple of this Indian Mahatma. She is played in the film by Geraldine James with nobility, dignity, and a beatific manner quite up to the level of Candice Bergen, and perhaps even the Virgin Mary. I learn from Ved Mehta’s ‘Mahatma Gandhi and his Apostles,’ however, that Miss Slade had another master before Gandhi. In about 1917, when she was fifteen, she made contact with
    the spirit of Beethoven by listening to his sonatas on a player piano. “I threw myself down on my knees in the seclusion of my room,” she wrote in her autobiography, “and prayed, *really* prayed to God for the first time in my life: ‘Why have I been born over a century too late? Why hast Thou given me realization of him and yet put all these years in between?'”

    After World War I, still seeking how best to serve Beethoven, Miss Slade felt an “infinite longing” when she visited his birthplace and grave, and, finally, at the age of thirty-two, caught up with Romain Rolland, who had partly based his renowned ‘Jean Christophe’ on the composer. But Rolland had written a new book now, about a man called Gandhi, “another Christ,” and before long Miss Slade was quite literally falling on her knees before the Mahatma in India, “conscious of
    nothing but a sense of light.” Although one would never guess this >from the film, she soon (to quote Mehta’s impression) began “to get on Gandhi’s nerves,” and he took every pretext to keep her away >from him, in other ashrams, and
    working in schools and villages in other parts of India. She complained to Gandhi in letters about discrimination against her by orthodox Hindus, who expected her to live in rags and vile quarters during menstruation, considering her unclean and virtually untouchable. Gandhi wrote back, agreeing that women should not be treated like that, but adding that she should accept it all with
    grace and cheerfulness, “without thinking that the orthodox party is in any way unreasonable.” (This is as good an example as any of Gandhi’s coherence, even in his prime. Women should not be treated like that, but the people who treated
    them that way were in no way unreasonable.)

    Some years after Gandhi’s death, Miss Slade rediscovered Beethoven, becoming conscious again “of the realization of my true self. For a while I remained lost in the world of the spirit….” She soon returned to Europe and serving
    Beethoven, her “true calling.” When Mehta finally found her in Vienna, she told him, “Please don’t ask me any more about Bapu [Gandhi]. I now belong to van Beethoven. In matters of the spirit, there is always a call.” A polite description of Madeleine Slade is that she was an extreme eccentric. In the vernacular, she was slightly cracked.

    Sir Richard Attenborough, however, isn’t cracked at all. The only puzzle is how he suddenly got to be a pacifist, a fact which his press releases now proclaim to the world. Attenborough trained as a pilot in the RAF in World War II, and was released briefly to the cinema, where he had already begun his career in Noel Coward’s superpatriotic ‘In Which We Serve.’ He then returned to active
    service, flying combat missions with the RAF. Richard Attenborough, in short–when Gandhi was pleading with the British to surrender to the Nazis,
    assuring them that “Hitler is not a bad man”–was fighting for his country. The Viceroy of India warned Gandhi grimly that “We are engaged in a struggle,” and Attenborough played his part in that great struggle, and proudly, too, as far as I can tell. To my knowledge he has never had a crise de conscience on the matter, or announced that he was carried away by the war fever and that Britain
    really should have capitulated to the Nazis–which Gandhi would have had it do.

    ALTHOUGH the present film is handsomely done in its way, no one has ever accused
    Attenborough of being excessively endowed with either acting or directing talent. In the ’50’s he was a popular young British entertainer, but his most
    singular gift appeared to be his entrepreneurial talent as a businessman, using his movie fees to launch successful London restaurants (at one time four), and other business ventures. At the present moment he is Chairman of the Board of Capital Radio (Britain’s most successful commercial station), Goldcrest Films, the British Film Institute, and Deputy Chairman of the BBC’s new Channel 4 television network. Like most members of the nouveaux riches on the rise, he has
    also reached out for symbols of respectability and public service, and has
    assembled quite a collection. He is a Trustee of the Tate Gallery,
    Pro-Chancellor of Sussex University, President of Britain’s Muscular Dystrophy
    Group, Chairman of the Actors’ Charitable Trust and, of course, Chairman of the
    Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. There may be even more, but this is a fair
    sampling. In 1976, quite fittingly, he was knighted, by a Labor government, but
    his friends say he still insists on being called “Dickie.”

    It is quite general today for members of the professional classes, even when not
    artistic types, to despise commerce and feel that the state, the economy, and
    almost everything else would be better and more idealistically run by themselves
    rather than these loutish businessmen. Sir Dickie, however, being a highly
    successful businessman himself, would hardly entertain such an antipathy. But as
    he scrambled his way to the heights perhaps he found himself among high-minded
    idealists, utopians, equalitarians, and lovers of the oppressed. Now there are
    those who think Sir Dickie converted to pacifism when Indira Gandhi handed him a
    check for several million dollars. But I do not believe this. I think Sir Dickie
    converted to pacifism out of idealism.

    His pacifism, I confess, has been more than usually muddled. In 1968, after
    twenty-six years in the profession, he made his directorial debut with ‘Oh! What
    a Lovely War,’ with its superb parody of Britain’s jingoistic music-hall songs
    of the “Great War,” World War I. Since I had the good fortune to see Joan
    Littlewood’s original London stage production, which gave the work its entire
    style, I cannot think that Sir Dickie’s contribution was unduly large. Like most
    commercially successful parodies–from Sandy Wilson’s ‘The Boy Friend’ to
    Broadway’s ‘Superman,’ ‘Dracula,’ and the ‘Crucifier of Blood’–‘Oh! What a
    Lovely War’ depended on the audience’s (if not Miss Littlewood’s) retaining a
    substantial affection for the subject being parodied: in this case, a swaggering
    hyperpatriotism, which recalled days when the empire was great. In any event,
    since Miss Littlewood identified herself as a Communist and since Communists, as
    far as I know, are never pacifists, Sir Dickie’s case for the production’s
    “pacifism” seems stymied from the other angle as well.

    Sir Dickie’s next blow for pacifism was ‘Young Winston’ (1973), which, the new
    publicity manual says, “explored how Churchill’s childhood traumas and lack of
    parental affection became the spurs which goaded him to a position of great
    power.” One would think that a man who once flew combat missions under the
    orders of the great war leader–and who seemingly wanted his country to win–
    could thank God for childhood traumas and lack of parental affection if such
    were needed to provide Churchill in the hour of peril. But on pressed Sir
    Dickie, in the year of his knighthood, with ‘A Bridge Too Far,’ the story of the
    futile World War II assault on Arnhem, described by Sir Dickie–now, at
    least–as “a further plea for pacifism.”

    But does Sir Richard Attenborough seriously think that, rather than go through
    what we did at Arnhem, we should have given in, let the Nazis be, and even–true
    pacifists–them occupy Britain, Canada, the United States, contenting ourselves
    only with “making them feel unwanted”? At the level of idiocy to which
    discussions of war and peace have sunk in the West, every hare-brained idealist
    who discovers that war is not a day at the beach seems to think he has found an
    irresistible argument for pacifism. Is Pearl Harbor an argument for pacifism?
    Bataan? Dunkirk? Dieppe? The Ardennes? Roland fell at Roncesvalles. Is the ‘Song
    of Roland’ a pacifist epic? If so, why did William the Conqueror have it chanted
    to his men as they marched into battle at Hastings? Men prove their valor in
    defeat as well as in victory. Even Sergeant Major Gandhi knew that. Up in the
    moral never-never land which Sir Dickie now inhabits, perhaps they think the
    Alamo led to a great wave of pacifism in Texas.

    In a feat of sheer imbecility, Attenborough has dedicated ‘Gandhi’ to Lord
    Mountbatten, who commanded the Southeast Asian Theater during World War II.
    Mountbatten, you might object, was hardly a pacifist–but then again he was
    murdered by Irish terrorists, which proves how frightful all that sort of thing
    is, Sir Dickie says, and how we must end it all by imitating Gandhi. Not the
    Gandhi who called for seas of innocent blood, you understand, but the
    movie-Gandhi, the nice one.

    THE historical Gandhi’s favorite mantra, strange to tell, was ‘Do or Die’ (he
    called it literally that, a “mantra”). I think Sir Dickie should reflect on
    this, because it means, dixit Gandhi, that a man must be prepared to die for
    what he believes in, for, himsa or ahimsa, death is always there, and in an
    ultimate test men who are not prepared to face it lose. Gandhi was erratic,
    irrational, tyrannical, obstinate. He sometimes verged on lunacy. He believed in
    a religion whose ideas I find somewhat repugnant. He worshipped cows. But I
    still say this: he was brave. He feared no one.

    On a lower level of being, I have consequently given some thought to the proper
    mantra for spectators of the movie ‘Gandhi.’ After much reflection, in homage to
    Ralph Nader, I have decided on Caveat Emptor, “buyer beware.” Repeated many
    thousand times in a seat in the cinema it might with luck lead to 0m, the Hindu
    dream of nothingness, the Ultimate Void.

    ….

    Disclaimer: I have only quoted this article in response to the pathetic cop-out of an article that alok posted above.

  135. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Grenier sahib’s article was well-written and I have incidentally read this before too. Although it is only appropriate to point out that this article was written in 1983 when Indians were the bad guys.

    In this days of Hanood-Yahood bhai bhai I wonder if Grenier sb wud write something as hard hitting.

    Btw, I am emailing our childhood take on He Ram to you.

    Regards

  136. trp

    ha ha.

    1) so hindus and muslims can not live together
    2) so muslims want a separate nation as not safe to be a minority (even tho they never lived under ‘hindu’ rule)
    3) but the minority in that new nation will be safe as evident from the speeches

    Mr Jinna’s conclusion – hindus can not be trusted to treat minority muslims well, BUT muslims can be trusted to treat minority hindus well 🙂 in short – muslims better than hindus. not supremacism – its just secularism 🙂

    mr YHL, i know u can’t see the contradiction in mr jinna’s stand and how that stand is responsible for the current state of pakistan, u’d rather blame the ‘others’ – including even gandhi 🙂 gandhi as a person is irrelevent – his inspiration is relevant, non violence is relevant. as to separatism of mr jinnah – how many more pakistans to create? with what result? we’ll just agree to disagree.

  137. alok

    YHL cool down…east is east and west is west and twain shall never meet.

    I do not want a lesson in Indian history nor on Mahtama Gandhi. You had thrown a challenge with your selection and i feel my response was more than adequate.

    I do not wish to do a PHD on gandhian philosophy nor do i intend to teach you the same and a i am perfectly comfortable with your hatred towards gandhi and i do not wish to be enlightened further.

    Pothi padhat jag muan bhaya na pandit koi
    dhai aakhar prem ka jo padhe so pandit hoi

  138. lal

    YLH,
    Truth has many faces and depending upon who is telling the story the same event can be told in so many ways, all of them parts of truth but not the whole truth.Whoever a Mr.M.K.Gandhi is and whatever be his ideas, I was taught in my school history books that he was secular,always stood for ahimsa and worked for the upliftment of harijans,he is the father of our nation and we should follow his ideas.Are these false?May be ,may not be.Should i really care.I am not worshiping him.I am worshiping those ideas.It doesnt make a difference to me whether those ideas are his or not.As a state for us to survive we will hold onto these ideals.Now i know you will start writing about the status of secularism or dalits in India.I wholeheartedly agree.Rather than villifying personalities these are the issues on which Indians should be critiscised.It is our digressions from our core values(even if they are pointed out from pakistan) that will undermine us,not whether somebody who lived in last century was a saint or not

  139. Aisha,

    I must echo ylh above and say little knowledge is indeed dangerous.

    And a happy new year to you too.

    Getting back to what really matters: Who is the undisputed king of Pogroms on the sub-continent?

    1) I think Majumdarda has in his rather too-calm manner (adda the aitho calm hole moja ta kee, dada?) provided you with sufficient data on the reduction of the non-Muslim population in Pakistan.

    For a number of reasons, such debilitating pogroms have not been carried out in India which would actually cause the population of a community to actually fall.

    2) But was it really three million?

    Ah, yes. Was expecting this too come up. These bloody Bongs. First they get massacred, and then they inflate their figures. Sheesh!

    Since you do not accept the figure of three million, which figure do you accept?

    Maybe Archer Blood’s telegram should convince you of the Army plan for, as he calls it, “genocide”.

    Maybe Rummel’s figure of “a prudent 1,500,000” will suffice?

    Now since we were comparing the two countries (an exercise which, truth be told, makes me feel a bit stupid,), how many pogroms has India had where 1.5 million people were killed?

    Apart from the massive death toll and the systematic targeting of intellectuals there is one more thing about the Bangladesh Genocide which I find highly disquieting.

    This genocide, unlike the one in 1947 wasn’t carries out by, to use a new addition to my vocabulary, “non-state actors”. Oh, no, not at all. They weren’t carried out by mad –mullahs which could be dismissed as aberrations by Pakistan. They were carried out by the Army of the Pakistan whose supreme commander was once a man named Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

    To end off, I’d like to mention that this in no way means that India has an extremely good record of treating its minorities. No, not at all. India is not angel in that regard. But to compare it to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is making a joke of the issue.

    Regards,
    Hades

  140. Yassir,

    (I)

    Just Indians censor comments on their websites, doesn’t our friend Raza does the same.

    Quite evil, Indians are, no?

    As for the insults, since I was given epithet of being a fundementalist no less for disagreeing with Hades’ half baked ideas, I am only giving as good as I receive.

    Apologies for that bit of needless ad hominem. A bit of hot-headedness on my part, Yassir.

  141. II
    On Bourke-White:

    You said: “She speaks of life size portraits of Jinnah when Muslim League never used such portraits (being afraid to alienate a large section of Muslims for obvious reasons”
    Again, let me first start with our little lessons on logic. To disprove you assertion here all I have to do is to show that the ML did use “life size portraits of Jinnah”.

    And that is what I’ve done with this picture:
    http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=a90ec502824978f7&q=bombay+source:life&usg=__82Oqz6XgzihY4sOJ8S4Ukcv5ygA=&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbombay%2Bsource:life%26start%3D60%26ndsp%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

    The picture shows Jinnah renouncing Cabinet Mission Plan and declaring intention to create Pakistan in 1946 (which btw, would put it before DA). And as is clearly visible, there is a large “life size portrait of Jinnah”

    So there we have it. As I said, I find your habit of bandying about the term “lying” disconcerting.

    It was Congress that managed to force Jinnah to drop his demand for parity and come into the govt on Congress’ terms.

    Sigh! Back to the motive are we? That the ML came into the government at all (after the rather dishonest back-room dealings that the Congress and the British carried out which technically allowed the British to allow only the Congress into the Government after the ML was forced to reject the Plan) is because of Direct Action.

    Wavell has said: “As a result of the killings in Calcutta, India is on the verge of civil war. It is my duty to prevent it. I cannot prevent it if I allow the Congress to form a Govt. which excludes the Muslims. They will then decide that Direct Action is the only way and we shall have the massacre of Bengal all over again.”

    Also, Yassir, Jinnah did not have one “demand”. He had two demands. The other demand of course was the sole right of Jinnah to nominate Muslim members (“show-boys” is what he called Azad, if I’m not wrong). Quite the secular chap was Jinnah, I must say.

    It was Congress that ultimately dictated its terms on the issue of partition.

    That had nothing to do with Direct Action at all. It was British policy. Once Partition was conceded, the Congress’ demands would hold precedence over the ML’s.

    On what DA meant:

    Here’s another illuminating quote from Jinnah which gives us a bit of a window into his mind: “What we have done today is the most historic act in our history. Never have we in the whole history of the league done anything except by constitutional methods. But now we are obliged and forced into this position. This day we bid good-bye to constitutional methods.
    He also mentioned that, “Today we have also forged a pistol (he had earlier said the the Brits and the Cong had pistols) and are in a position to use it”

    The interpretation of these statements is up to you.

  142. III
    Aisha has already dealt with the issue of 3 million. Can you tell me which leader it was who insisted in 1947 that Bengal joins Pakistan and who vetoed an independent Bangladesh in 1947?
    Hint: it wasn’t Jinnah who had accepted an independent Bengal scheme as per Lahore Resolution which afforded this choice.
    Hint 2: This politician’s daughter undid her father’s work in 1971.
    Hint 3: His last name was Nehru.

    Since you bring it up, do check my reply to Aisha.
    Now let’s get down to Bangladesh:

    Firstly when you talk of the Lahore resolution which one, do you speak of? The pre-1946 one or the post-1946 one? The one with “state” or the one with “states”?
    The post-1946 one did not give Jinnah this choice.

    Secondly, it is rather unfortunate that you bring this up because this precise incident exposes Jinnah’s expediency.

    Firstly, when facing the spectre of a state with a population that largely comprises of people not from his religious background this is what Jinnah has to say: “To yoke together two such nations under a single State, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state”

    Yet, incredibly, he supports an independent Bengal where again Hindus and Muslims would be yoked together, “ one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority”

    Why?

    Because he knew an independent Bengal because of demographics could easily be controlled by him. In United India, on the other hand, he would be a non-entity.

    Secondly, you confuse the terms Bengal and Bangladesh. These two are not interchangeable.

    For example for IG to “undo her father’s work”, as you put it, she would have to liberate east Pakistan and then let go of West Bengal to merge with EP, to form Independent Bengal.

    What IG actually did, Jinnah could have easily done if he had not changed “states” to “state”.

  143. (IV)
    The Quaid was never a majoritarian fascist.

    You are, I’m afraid, only partly correct. Yes, Jinnah did tone his rhetoric down once partition had been achieved and millions killed, but by how much? You see the laws of inertia apply to some extent, even in the social sciences.

    Even after the formation of Pakistan, Jinnah’s views regarding the separation of the state and religion were a rather specious. Here are a few quotes:

    “Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which, we hope other will share with us” (1945)

    “We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind”” (1948)

    We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play. (1947, after partition)

    “The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principle of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. 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” (1948)

    Yet in that same address he also mentions that, “ 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.”

    That Jinnah wanted his state to embody the “principle of Islam” and not be a “theocratic state” is the ultimate paradox of Jinnah.

    Unfortunately, Pakistan is suffering greatly due to this dual character of one of India’s most intelligent sons.

    Regards,
    Hades

  144. please ignore the previous post

    (IV)
    The Quaid was never a majoritarian fascist.

    You are, I’m afraid, only partly correct. Yes, Jinnah did tone his rhetoric down once partition had been achieved and millions killed, but by how much? You see the laws of inertia apply to some extent, even in the social sciences.

    Even after the formation of Pakistan, Jinnah’s views regarding the separation of the state and religion were a rather specious. Here are a few quotes:

    “Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which, we hope other will share with us” (1945)

    “We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind”” (1948)

    We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play. (1947, after partition)

    “The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principle of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. 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” (1948)

    Yet, in that same address he also mentions that, “ 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.”

    That Jinnah wanted his state to embody “the essential principle of Islam” and not be a “theocratic state” is the ultimate paradox of Jinnah.

    Unfortunately, Pakistan is suffering greatly due to this dual character of one of India’s most intelligent sons.

    Regards,
    Hades

  145. This will, unfortunately, be my last post on this topic.

    I’m afraid matters of work have been piling up a bit too much.

    Thanks to everyone for the absorbing discussion, especially Yassir who had to suffer my “half-baked knowledge”. 😀

    I can surely say that I now know more than when I started this discussion.

    P.S: I still wouldn’t mind a reply to my last few posts, Yassir, although I’ll try my best not to reply.

  146. Aasma

    I just came to know of this site and I found this post.

    While the post itself was a run-of-the-mill hagiographic piece, the ensuing debate was rather absorbing.

    @Yassir: You are obviously well informed about your history. Most of the arguments you make are on the money.

    Also, I must agree with Adnan, when he says that your personal insults with regards to Hades totally spoilt the spirit of the debate.

    @Hades: You, young man (or so I say after seeing your age on your blog) are an exceptional debater. Even though I disagree with most of your (pro-India?) views.

    Hope to be a regular on this site from now onwards.

  147. Yasser you’re a Pakistani, and Hades, you’re an Indian. You both have your facts – what you don’t have is the other person’s facts. Do you know about that study that showed how our brains are hard-wired for unconscious confirmation bias?
    You’ll just have to agree to disagree, and YLH, please stop obsessing over this and give us a post on Israel’s military campaign on Gaza.

  148. Just by the way…

    The quotes given by YLH in the comments do not make Gandhi a caste-ist, because in the society he envisions, there is no superiority and inferiority between the castes – the castes have their roles, but each role is as good as others. The caste system for Gandhi represents a harmonious social order with a social division of labour, much like the Islamic social order which envisages a social order based on the division of social and economic responsibilities according to sex.

    We can’t just focus on Gandhi’s political career. Gandhi was able to achieve great philosophical insights into the nature of self, violence and sexuality, and our relationship with the cosmos, and his thought remains relevant for green political theorists and anarchist philosophers today.

  149. Amit

    ……… there is no superiority and inferiority between the castes – the castes have their roles, but each role is as good as others. The caste system for Gandhi represents a harmonious social order with a social division of labour, much like the Islamic social order which envisages a social order based on the division of social and economic responsibilities according to sex.

    How can this “harmonious social order” be achievable unless society is full of robots or highly ethical volunteers? In former case, it wont matter if i am cleaning shit or teaching mathematics and in later, i am delightfully doing any work that is given to me just to maintain that order. Gandhi certainly was not assuming/proposing (in 1940s) the former case . So, it is another “Shram-daan”(volunteered work that we children were ‘forced’ to do at 2nd Oct in our school days) like concept from Gandhian philosophy to me. He could go to any distance to defend things that were romantic to him.
    I always wonder why people so obsessed with order and all ….. fear driven psychology or nut case ? 😀

  150. azhar aslam

    ”That Jinnah wanted his state to embody “the essential principle of Islam” and not be a “theocratic state” is the ultimate paradox of Jinnah.”

    Hades

    That is precisely what you don’t understand or misunderstand. Jinnah provided Muslims a state where essential principles of Islam can be experimented on, conclusions reached, inferences drawn, new theories created.

    Essentially a laboratory to let Islam evolve again. The evolution that stopped 1300 years ago. The great experiment of democracy that was stopped short by institution of Umayyad empire is to be restarted. The same freedom of thought, action and belief is to be reinstituted. In essence Islam is to start its renaissance and be yanked into a new paradigm.

    Jinnah’s vision was far greater in depth and scope that many understand. And that is why his legacy and influence will last longer.

    Now that may not be important for you or for many but its one of the most important factors that shall influence the fate of this planet.

    And please no ad hominem this time. And please don’t joke by trying to point out ” the extremism in Pakistan”.

  151. What Gandhi wanted was to give meaning to the lives of exactly those people who will have to clean shit. He could not see the sense in an social-economic order in which everyone despised all things ‘shitty’ and only those stuck with them will have to do them. That’s capitalism, by the way, and Gandhi had a problem with it.

    But you’re right about how order when imposed becomes antithetical to individualism. I am not my caste, I am myself. But capitalism doesn’t allow me cater to my individuality either, as class comes to substitute caste. If I’m poor, it doesn’t matter if I wanna be a mathematics teacher – I might just have to clean shit to feed my children. So in our society, money and ‘references’ determine the colleges I go to and the career I take up…how’s that better than caste?

    But I don’t subscribe to Gandhi’s social order either, just like I reject the Islamic social order based on sexual division. I just wanted to highlight how for Gandhi the caste system achieved social harmony, and that social harmony is central to a lot of other belief systems.

  152. That comment was directed at Amit’s comment above.

  153. YLH

    Hades,

    tsk tsk

    I see that you have taken to heart the propaganda by your brothers from another mother – the Islamic fascists who ironically supported your Fascist Congress Party in 1947.

    The qu0tes you’ve given – out of context as usual (for example about the constitution- he also said in the same speech Pakistan shall not be theocracy to be run by priests with a divine mission but you conveniently left that out )- only prove that Jinnah was couching his secularism in Islamic terms to make it acceptable to Muslim majority.

    Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan was based on following principles:

    1. Adult franchise
    2. Sovereignty resting with the people
    3. Equality for all citizens
    4. Impartiality of the state to personal faith of an individual.

    Is this Islamic? Is it secular? Do you have an Islamic state when you have a Hindu law minister? Do you have a secular state? It all becomes irrelevant and presupposes that Islam is opposed to principles that have become associated with a secular state.

    Now the “picture” that you’ve quoted… poor guy. My objection was Margaret Bourke-White’s reporting on “Muslim League’s meeting” not the press conference. Since Bourke-White imagined the entire meeting and I have already proved why she was lying you can go on in circles but she is an unreliable source and it has been accepted as such.

    Since you’ve gone back to direct action day, I will quote again for your benefit:

    December 29, 2008 at 10:38 am
    Now from the declassified documents – Page 274 of Volume VIII of the TRANSFER OF POWER by Mansergh:

    “2. The Last weekend has seen dreadful riots in Calcutta. The estimates of casualties is 3000 dead and 17000 injured. The Bengal Congress are convinced that all the trouble was deliberately engineered by the Muslim League Ministry, but no satisfactory evidence to that effect has reached me yet. It is said that the decision to have a public holiday on 16th August was the cause of trouble, but I think this is very far-fetched. There was a public holiday in Sind and there was no trouble there. At any rate, whatever the causes of the outbreak, when it started, the Hindus and Sikhs were every bit as fierce as Muslims. The present estimate is that appreciably more Muslims were killed than the Hindus..“

    From while While Memory Serves by Sir Francis Tuker (London: Cassell, 1950), pp. 137-151

    From then onwards the area of military domination of the city was increased. Static guards took over from police guards and a party of troops under Major Littleboy, the Assistant Provost-Marshal, did valuable work in the rescue organisation for displaced and needy persons. Outside the `military` areas, the situation worsened hourly. Buses and taxis were charging about loaded with Sikhs and Hindus armed with swords, iron bars and firearms.

    Volume 8

    page 577, Enclosure to No. 360(full text)
    Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence 24 September 1946

    Intelligence Bureau (Home Department)

    Secretary has asked me for an appreciation of possible moves in the Muslim League field and of the consequences that might flow from them. In attempting this I necessarily base it on the assumption that Mr. Jinnah`s talks with His Excellency the Viceroy have once again ended in failure to achieve agreement. An appreciation would otherwise be unnecessary.

    2. Mr. Jinnah would appear to have before him the choice of three alternatives; first, to resile with such grace as he can muster from the precipice of civil war, secondly, to stall for time in which to improve his organisation, and, thirdly, to take a plunge into direct action.

    3. The reasons that might prompt him to flinch from the third alternative are:-
    (a) Fear or dislike of the bloodshed and butchery and, it may be, the chaos which will result.
    (b) The hesitance of some of his immediate subordinates, not all of whom are men of action or wholly irresponsible.
    (c) The proof afforded by the Calcutta carnage that it is the poor, including the Muslim poor, who suffer most from the savagery and from the aftermath of disorder.

    Meanwhile the Congress Mouthpiece “Blitz“ wrote this about Direct Action Day:

    The worst enemies of the Muslim League cannot help envying the leadership of Mr Jinnah. Last week`s cataclysmic transformation of the League from the reactionary racket of the Muslim Nawabs, Noons, and Knights into a revolutionary mass organisation dedicated, by word if not be deed, to an anti-Imperialist struggle, compels us to express the sneaking national wish that a diplomat and strategist of Jinnah`s proven calibre were at the held of the Indian National Congress. There is no denying the fact that by his latest master-stroke of diplomacy Jinnah has outbid, outwitted and outmaneuvered the British and Congress alike and confounded the common national indictment that the Muslim League is a parasite of British Imperialism

    Now consider H V Hodson`s description of the League Programme:

    “The working committee followed up by calling on Muslims through out India to observe 16th August as direct action day. On that Day meeting would be held all over the country to explain League`s resolution. These meetings and processions passed of- as was manifestly the Central league leaders` intention- without more than commonplace and limited disturbance with one vast and tragic exception… what happened was more than anyone could have foreseen.“

    (Page 166 `The Great Divide`)

    Explaining Direct Action Jinnah made it clear that the direct Action will not be in any form but in peaceful form…

    “16th August is not for the purpose of resorting to Direct Action in any form or shape, Therefore I enjoin upon the Muslims to carry our the instructions and abide by them strictly and conduct themselves peacefuly and in a disciplined manner.“

    Press Release Jinnah 14th August 1946

  154. YLH

    Freethinker…

    Wow what logic… so by promoting apartheid, South African regime must not be racist either? This is in response to Gandhi casteist comment.

    As for Indian, Pakistani etc… this is what Hades doesn’t understand. He can’t come here and tell us who to admire and who not to… when skeletons in his closet…. are far uglier than the ones he imagines in ours.

  155. YLH

    PS to Haes.

    Post 1946 or Pre-1947 resolutions are of no consequence when one considers that Suhrawardy and Sarat Chander Bose came to an arrangement on the basis of an independent and united Bengal state… which was accepted by Jinnah in 1947 and rejected by Nehru.

    This happened in 1947.

    I think I have responded to most your repetitive nonsense but let me know if I’ve left out anything.

  156. YLH

    Oh yeah… the old claim by the Congress that Jinnah was wrong in asking for nomination of all Muslim members.. it made sense since Muslim League had gotten 87 percent of all Muslim seats in the subcontinent…. and even Gandhi was forced to accept it … he signed on the dotted line:

    “The Congress does not challenge but accepts that the Muslim League now is the authoritative representative of an overwhelming majority of the Muslim of India. As such and in accordance with the democratic principles they alone have today an unquestionable right to represent the Muslims of India.

    This is Gandhi’s signed statement on behalf of the Congress… which the Congress later repudiated claiming instead that Gandhi held no office in the Congress. How pathetic.

    Hades’ selective quoting of Jinnah where he objcts to Jinnah’s use of the word “Islamic” or “Muslim”…. reminded me of this article I had written for Pakistaniat in which I made plain that to Jinnah atleast Islamic principles did not violate principles of secularism:

    Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan

    By Yasser Latif Hamdani

    Today being 11th August Day has a great significance in Pakistan’s history.

    60 years ago, Mr. Jinnah, Pakistan’s undisputed Quaid-e-Azam, Governor General and elected President of the Constituent Assembly elaborated his vision for the future of Pakistan.

    Jinnah’s vision is unambiguous.

    1. The state would be completely impartial to religion of the individual.
    2. The state where every citizen would be equal and there would be no distinction between citizen on the basis of faith or caste or creed.

    A lot of controversey has emerged about this speech. Any student of political science would tell you that is the classic exposition of a modern secular democratic state. However, the issue of whether this constitutes a “secular” state or an “Islamic” state is besides the point. A rose by any name is after all a rose.

    Here is what Mr. Jinnah said on that fateful day. It is worth reading in the full:

    I know there are people who do not quite agree with the division of India and the partition of the Punjab and Bengal. Much has been said against it, but now that it has been accepted, it is the duty of every one of us to loyally abide by it and honourably act according to the agreement which is now final and binding on all. But you must remember, as I have said, that this mighty revolution that has taken place is unprecedented. One can quite understand the feeling the exists between the two communities wherever one community is in majority and the other is in minority. But the question is whether it was possible or practicable to act otherwise than has been done. A division had to take place. On both sides, in Hindustan and Pakistan, there are sections of people who may not agree with it, who may not like it, but in my judgment there was no other solution and I am sure future history will record its verdict in favour of it. And what is more it will be proved by actual experience as we go on that that was the only solution of India’s constitutional problem. Any idea of a United India could never have worked and in my judgment it would have led us to terrific disaster. May be that view is correct ; may be it is not; that remains to be seen. All the same, in this division it was impossible to avoid the question of minorities being in one Dominion or the other. Now that was unavoidable. There is no other solution. Now what shall we do? Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor. If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet you are bound to succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that every one of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this State with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.

    I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities the Hindu community and the Muslim community-because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabies, Shias, Sunnis and so on and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnvas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis, and so on-will vanish. Indeed if you ask me this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free peoples long long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls in subjection ; nobody could have conquered you, and even if it had happened, nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time but for this. Therefore we must learn a lesson from this. You are free ; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed-that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know, history shows that in England conditions some time ago were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some State in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. The people of England in course of time had to face the realities of the situation and had to discharge the responsibilities and burdens placed upon them by the Government of their country and they went through that fire step by step. Today you might say with justice that Roman Catholic and Protestants do not exists ; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen, of Great Britain and they are all members of the Nation.

    Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.

    Many have alleged that this was the only time he expressed such a vision. Unfortunately, these people are not very well versed with the life and work of Quaid-e-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah, who was after all a staunch secular Indian nationalist for most of his life and had turned to the Pakistan idea only after exhausting all the options for a United India.
    Here are some of his other statements regarding what kind of Pakistan he wanted:

    25th October 1947. Interview with Reuters’ Duncan Hooper note: not to be confused with his interview with Reuters’ Doon Campbell which has been quoted in detail else where.

    Minorities DO NOT cease to be citizens. Minorities living in Pakistan or Hindustan do not cease to be citizens of their respective states by virtue of their belonging to particular faith, religion or race. I have repeatedly made it clear, especially in my opening speech to the constituent Assembley, that the minorities in Pakistan would be treated as our citizens and will enjoy all the rights as any other community. Pakistan SHALL pursue this policy and do all it can to create a sense of security and confidence in the Non-Muslim minorities of Pakistan. We do not prescribe any school boy tests for their loyalty. We shall not say to any Hindu citizen of Pakistan ‘if there was war would you shoot a Hindu?’

    30th October 1947. To a Mass Rally at University Stadium Lahore.

    The tenets of Islam enjoin on every Musalman to give protection to his neighbours and to the Minorities regardless of caste and creed. We must make it a matter of our honor and prestige to create sense of security amongst them.

    Same Day. On Radio Pakistan.

    Protection of Minorities is a sacred undertaking. (On Partition Massacres) Humanity cries out loud against this shameful conduct and deeds. The civilized world is looking upon these doings and happenings with horror and the fair name of the communities concerned stands blackened. Put an end to this ruthlessly and with an Iron hand.

    9th January 1948. Tour of Riot affected areas of Karachi.

    Muslims! Protect your Hindu Neighbours. Cooperate with the Government and the officials in protecting your Hindu Neighbours against these lawless elements, fifth columnists and cliques. Pakistan must be governed through the properly constituted Government and not by cliques or fifth columnists or Mobs.

    25th January. Address to the Karachi Bar association on the occasion of Eid Milad un Nabi.

    I would like to tell those who are misled by propaganda that not only the Muslims but Non Muslims have nothing to fear. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. Islam has taught Equality, Justice and fairplay to everybody. What reason is there for anyone to fear. Democracy, equality, freedom on the highest sense of integrity and on the basis of fairplay and justice for everyone. Let us make the constitution of Pakistan. We will make it and we will show it to the world.

    3rd February 1948. Address to the Parsi Community of Sindh.

    I assure you Pakistan means to stand by its oft repeated promises of according equal rights to all its nationals irrespective of their caste or creed. Pakistan which symbolizes the aspirations of a nation that found it self to be a minority in the Indian subcontinent cannot be UNMINDFUL of minorities within its own borders. It is a pity that the fairname of Karachi was sullied by the sudden outburst of communal frenzy last month and I can’t find words strong enough to condemn the action of those who are responsible.

    21st March 1948. Mass Rally at Dacca.

    Let me take this opportunity of repeating what I have already said: We shall treat the minorities in Pakistan fairly and justly. We shall maintain peace, law and order and protect and safeguard every citizen of Pakistan without any distinction of caste, creed or community.

    22nd March 1948. Meeting with Hindu Legislators.

    We guarantee equal rights to all citizens of Pakistan. Hindus should in spirit and action wholeheartedly co-operate with the Government and its various branches as Pakistanis.

    23rd March 1948. Meeting with the ‘Scheduled Caste Federation’.

    We stand by our declarations that members of every community will be treated as citizens of Pakistan with equal rights and privileges and obligations and that Minorities will be safeguarded and protected.

    13 June 1948. Speaking to Quetta Parsis.

    Although you have not struck the note of your needs and requirements as a community but it is the policy of my Government and myself that every member of every community irrespective of caste color, creed or race shall be fully protected with regard to his life, property and honor. I reiterate to you that you like all minorities will be treated as equal citizens with your rights and obligations provided you are loyal to Pakistan.

    Jinnah’s address to the people of the US in Feb 1948.

    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.

    So what did Jinnah stand for?

    He stood for justice and fair play for every one regardless of religion caste or creed. Let us make a solemn promise to ourselves on this 11th August Day (or the day I like to call Jinnah’s Pakistan Day) that we shall honor this vision of Pakistan as a pluralist, inclusive and progressive democratic state.

    —–

    Jinnah- unlike Gandhi, Advani, Savarkar and Modi- was never into majoritarian identity politics.

  157. YLH

    alok mian,

    Good for you. I wouldn’t want to force Gandhian philosophy (deceit, hypocrisy, anti-modernism, misogyny, racism and bigotry) on anyone.

  158. YLH

    Btw… as Aakar Patel wrote in his article – Jinnah was inspired by the “second rate” biography of Kemal Ataturk – Grey Wolf… Jinnah was well aware of Kemal Ataturk’s efforts to de-emphasize Islam from Turkish society…

    Now consider his quote on Ataturk’s death:

    “He (Kemal Ataturk) was the greatest Musalman in the modern Islamic world and I am sure that the entire Musalman world will deeply mourn his passing away. It is impossible to express adequately in a press interview one,s appreciation of his remarkable and varied services, as the builder and the maker of Modern Turkey and an example to the rest of the world, especially to the Musalmans States in the Middle East. The remarkable way in which he rescused and built up his people against all odds has no parallel in the history of the world. He must have derived the greatest sense of satisfaction that he fully accomplished his mission during his lifetime and left his people and his country consolidated, united and a powerful nation. In him, not only the Musalmans but the whole world has lost one the greatest men that ever lived.

    (Quaid-e-Azam and the Islamic World, Rizwan Ahmed, Published 1981 on the occasion of OIC Foreign Ministers’ conference in Karachi)

    Thus Jinnah considered Kemalist Turkey to be an example of an “Islamic” State…. I think we can put the matter to rest by saying that Jinnah’s Muslim state was one where there was separation of Church and State.

    And if Islamic symbols and Jinnah’s pride in his heritage bothers anyone … well then here is another quote:

    “There cannot be a better and more illustrious example than that of Husein who was the greatest embodiment of courage, conviction and sacrifice and every Mussalman in particular should take the great example of his life and service and follow it.”

    Mahomed Ali Jinnah – message in a souvenir commemorating 1300 year anniversary of Ashur.

  159. Majumdar

    Freethinker,

    Yasser you’re a Pakistani, and Hades, you’re an Indian. You both have your facts – what you don’t have is the other person’s facts.

    Well, I am an Indian and a Hindoo to boot and have both sides fact and I wud cast my vote on MAJ (pbuh)’s side. That shud be decisive, no?

    Regards

    PS: Btw, are you Mohammed Gill sb from chowk?

  160. Majumdar

    Yasser mian

    ……the Islamic fascists who ironically supported your Fascist Congress Party in 1947…..

    While I am no great admirer of the INC I need to put in a rejoinder here. It is this “Fascist INC” which gave India a constitution that MAJ (pbuh) wud more or less have approved of (barring maybe the non-reservation of seats in legislature for minorities) while the “progressive” Muslim League shoved the Objective Resolution down the minorities throats hardly had the great man breathed his last.

    Regards

  161. YLH

    Jinnah would have approved of the Indian constitution… coming as it did from his old comrade Dr. Ambedkar who was with him in opposing the majoritarian fascism of the Congress … especially on the day of deliverance.

    INC – somewhat chastened by its own actions- did the right thing by Dr. Ambedkar … they feared in Ambedkar another Jinnah …. and chose instead to do what they should have done vis a vis Jinnah in the 1930s… asked him to preside over the framing of the constitution.

    Muslim League’s actions in the passing of Objectives Resolution was a negation of its own political standpoint and is blot on an otherwise stainless career of Liaqat Ali Khan.

    It must be remembered that the Muslim League did not have too many tall leaders other than Jinnah … Pakistan had its George Washington but was without a John Adams or a Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately too many Alexandar Hamiltons were there to tilt Pakistan and the Muslim League conclusively in the wrong direction.

    India had its Thomas Jefferson in Nehru, John Adams in Ambedkar … and a Hamilton to keep check on them in form of Patel.

  162. YLH

    PS: Jinnah, Nehru, Patel and Ambedkar would have made a great team of founding fathers for a United States of India waisay…

    It was the motley crew of Gandhi, Azad and other smaller varieties of anti-modernists and medievalists who blew it for the subcontinent.

  163. nikita

    I wouldn’t want to force Gandhian philosophy (deceit, hypocrisy, anti-modernism, misogyny, racism and bigotry) on anyone.
    gandhi was a racsist in the early years of his life, he might as well have changed in the later years of his life but i have not come up with any writings on it, unlike the other erudite bloggers i have not read word by word any n every book n gandhi so i shall conclude that gandhi was a racsist and hence not an egalitarian. he did set the base for the unholy alliance between religion n politics by supporting khilafat movement, probably he thought that it was a splendid platform to bring about hindu muslim unity or probably he was a dim wit, god knows, but this move was definitely short sighted. it was dumb on his part to ask the jews to go for collective suicide, but why could not the savant who wrote this statement have mentioned that his advice to the sikhs who were victims of partition was that they just ought to forget about the scars that they have suffered and accept d partition of punjab for maintaining the peace and integrity of the country? why did he not write that gandhi had kept a fast unto death to compel the indian gov. to hand over 55 crore rupees to the newly formed nation of pakistan as per the partition council agreement and to end the communal violence? to completely ignore his positive points by deliberately posting tediously long excerpts from books that end up manifesting only one side of the picture is also an apt example of narrow mindedness and parochialism that some well read and highly intelligent bloggers oppose.
    inspite of marrying a parsi woman, jinnah was opposed to his daughter marrying a parsi and denounced her when she went against him. this, as far as i know, is anti modern and an insanely orthodox position. but again, it is only gandhi who can be parochial. nobody is challenging the formation of pakistan but to espouse the view, albeit indirectly, that two religious communities can not live peacefully together is not something that can be placed in the ambit of sagacity.
    suhrawardy, architect of the reorganised muslim league and the chief minister of west bengal, declared a public holiday on the day of direct action day. perhaps he did not have any intention but when he knew that the atmosphere was all charged, to take such an action did prove to be destructive and the failure of the league government to prevent the riots from spreading ought to be condemned. i m not gonna go through the detailing bit again but a cursory glance through the pages of certain books written on the topic prove that jinnah could not be passed off as an innocent politician who was deliberately maligned by the “fascist congress”, the description being an oxymoron. both the leaders were humans and were flawed, to praise one at the cost of the other is an act of immaturity.
    tragedy is that the same people who ask us to break the shackles of jingoism, parochialism are unfortunately themselves bound by them and use the power of their knowledge and words to perpetuate what they think is correct.

  164. Apartheid was about enforcing white supremacy. And Gandhi, who wanted everyone, including the Brahmans, to take pride in doing menial tasks, did not say that one caste is superior to others.

    But be of good cheer YLH, for I too think that such ‘social harmony’ is too impractical. What I wanted to point out was that the logic of the division of roles is found in other worldviews as well, making a mention of Islam with regard to the male-female division. And when feminists call Islam sexist, Muslim apologists rush to defend just the ‘social harmony’ Gandhi talked about.

    And speaking of bad logic, scroll up and read your first comment in this post, the one that started all the debate here. To prove to us your point about Jinnah, you threw dirt on Gandhi. It’s almost like you said ‘Jinnah is right because Gandhi is wrong’…isn’t that the logical fallacy of False Dichotomy?

    And you ARE obsessed with that dichotomy, portraying Gandhi and Jinnah in a Manicheistic opposition- no shades of gray as a commenter pointed out upthread.

  165. YLH

    Nikita,

    You are merely repeating all the points that gace answered above. I don’t understand why indians like you feel that repeating already debunked lies will somehow help you in your argument? I have responded to Indian hogwash about Direct Action Day above and will not indulge this issue. I’ve also responded to the Indian (and Pakistani Islamist) myths about the two nation theory and the Pakistan movement … in any event, H M Seervai, Ayesha Jalal, Anil Seal and Patrick French’s school of thought on partition has now firmly demolished the Indian Nationalist and Pakistani Islamist mythology amongst western historians.

    I don’t care much for your “highly intelligent” blah blah. If telling the truth makes me parochial, I’d rather be parochial than be a liar. Now you allege that Gandhi was a racist only early on in his career? Could you produce some evidence showing that he repented or distanced himself specifically from the views he espoused so passionately right upto age 45?

    Now coming to the issue of Jinnah’s opposition to his daughter’s marriage. As things have emerged, it is now clear that Jinnah did not disown his daughter (see the case pending in the Bombay High Court on the issue of Jinnah House) especially not for marrying a n0n-Muslim. But yes… he did oppose the marriage … mostly because Neville Wadia was man of ill-repute and Jinnah thought was a bad match for Dina (as it turned out – when in 1944 Dina divorced Neville for being intolerable to live with)… contrary to what has become an article of faith, Dina continued to interact with her father and Jinnah proudly carried his non-Muslim grand child’s picture (as well as her Parsi daughter’s) in his bag… this too is well known as Jinnah often showed his grandchildren’s pictures to his friends according to Begum Shahnawaz. So if there had been a religious reason, wouldn’t Jinnah hide his grandchildren and deny their existence?

    But lets humor you (and the Mullahs in Pakistan who insist on this story) … does Jinnah’s personal religious belief – if at all- have any bearing on the issue at hand? After all Gandhi hit the roof after his son converted to Islam… Mahatma’s tolerance went to zero and later Gandhi had to give a thousand explanations for his horrible behavior.
    Nehru opposed his daughter’s marriage to Firoz (Gandhi) presumably for religious reasons – he was apparently a Parsi (and some say even worse a Muslim) ….

    For Muslims atleast … marriage of Muslim women outside the faith is anathema and is under Islamic law irregular and taboo.. so assuming that you are right aout Jinnah objecting to his daughter’s marriage to Neville Wadia on grounds of faith…. that definition of “parochial” would cover almost 99% of Muslim community and I’d say atleast 90% of the Hindu community… which just proves that Hindus and Muslims are parochial and therefore you torpedo your own earlier point.

    My own view is that Nehru’s opposition to Indira’s marriage or Gandhi’s opposition to his son’s conversion to Islam does not make them parochial. Gandhi’s record – i.e. opposition to modern medicine, racism against black people, opposition to the suffrage movement etc- makes him parochial and anti-modern…

    So in order for that accusation to stick, even if we grant that Jinnah’s personal opposition to Dina’s marriage was on grounds of faith (which is highly unlikely as I have shown above)… it would not be enough to merit those terms… for you clearly don’t apply a similar standard to Gandhi and Nehru… and classify this as personal life.

    So break your shackles of jingoism … and learn to argue honestly for once.

  166. YLH

    freethinker…

    I exposed Gandhi after trp prescribed him to us as a model …. instead of Jinnah. I have no desire to discuss something as distasteful, disgusting and ridiculous as the career, life and times of Mr. Gandhi.

    “Mahatma” Gandhi stood for Caste Hindu Domination. His “harijan” nonsense has been well exposed by Dr. Ambedkar, the man to whom you owe your constitution of India.

  167. YLH

    And if by my reference to Gandhi’s works in my first post gives you that that is my only argument… then I can only pity your comprehension skills really.

  168. YLH

    Asma,

    “@Yassir: You are obviously well informed about your history. Most of the arguments you make are on the money.

    Also, I must agree with Adnan, when he says that your personal insults with regards to Hades totally spoilt the spirit of the debate. ”

    Thanks for the compliment. On the other issue, I am assuming that you missed Hades’ knee jerk response to a perfectly reasonable post where he proceeded to call me a fundamentalist because I did not agree with his half baked thesis? He is only receiving what he doled out first.

  169. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Jinnah would have approved of the Indian constitution… coming as it did from his old comrade Dr. Ambedkar,…… INC – somewhat chastened by its own actions- did the right thing by Dr. Ambedkar … they feared in Ambedkar another Jinnah

    You have made two arguments over the past few years (ever since we started debating on chowk). First, that India owes its constitution to BRA, second that INC was afraid of BRA becoming another MAJ (pbuh). You are wrong on both counts.

    Firstly, BRA was not the author of India’s Constitution, he was merelythe chairman of the drafting committee and the constitution of India was the collective effort of all of India’s founding fathers aka members of the Constt Assembly including the drafting committee. (Although this is not to deny that BRA did stamp his influence on the final outcome)Besides, there was nothing really revolutionary or original about the Constt, it was largely a patchwork of GOI Act 1935 coupled with features borrowed from US and Irish constitution and British conventions and usages. If there is anything India’s Constt Assembly has to be given credit for is the complete absence of any reference to Hindooism/God in the Indian Constt. (Given the path that Indian politics had taken ever since Gandhi wade into it)

    Secondly, BRA was hardly as influential as you make him to be. For a number of reasons. Firstly, Dalits were barely 15% of India’s population as opposed to Muslims 25% and given the large social stigma/oppression, backwardness and lack of organisation and internal cohesion in real terms their influence was even more negligible. Secondly, BRA was hardly the Sole Spokesman of the Dalits as MAJ (pbuh) was among the Muslims. Finally, post scrapping of separate electorates for Dalits following the Poona Pact, the Dalits were hardly in any position to wield a great deal of political power on their own. Even if you look at ILP/SCF’s own electoral standing their influence was largely restricted to Maharashtra and Eastern Bengal and following the Partition even the East Bengal base was lost. Incidentally, BRA himself lost the LS election from Maharashtra in 1952 (which is of course more a commentary on the casteist and narrow minded nature of the electorate which rejected him rather on BRA himself) and was subsequently nominated to the RS with INC support. In short, INC’s appointment of BRA as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee was a stellar act of statesmanship and foresightedness of the INC leadership rather than something done out of fear.

    India had its Thomas Jefferson in Nehru, John Adams in Ambedkar … and a Hamilton to keep check on them in form of Patel.

    As a confirmed right winger, I have always wished that the opposite had happened. The right-wing Patel-Rajaji duo in charge of affairs with Nehru- BRA forming the opposition. Had it not been for Gandhi, this wud indeed have been the case.

    Regards

  170. Majumdar

    Freethinker,

    portraying Gandhi and Jinnah in a Manicheistic opposition- no shades of gray as a commenter pointed out upthread.

    I have often pondered about this and regret to conclude that at least in this case, the Manicheistic dualism is substantially true. (Yasser is right on who is good and who is bad)

    Regards

  171. alok

    oh! majumder you are a right winger! how typical!
    i usually avoid believing in stereotypes but no wonder…

    its amusing how much YLH believes in BRA . of course you would subscribe more to Arun shourie’s views….

  172. Milind Kher

    It is considered a very in thing to debunk Gandhiji.

    Yet, the fact remains that the frail little man who held no political office was the strongest man in the country.

    Very few people have achieved in their lifetimes what he achieved in his. So, even if you hate him, you have to grant him that.

  173. Azhar,

    Incidentally, the Hindutva chaps think rather similarly. A nation which embodies the essential principles of Hinduism, they say, will intrinsically secular.

    I am, of course, a man with “half-baked” knowledge, as Yassir would confirm.

    When you use the name of a religion and ‘secular’ in the same sentence/paragraph reinforcing each other, it sends my mind for a toss.

    Maybe, my definition of secular is too rigid for countries like Pakistan and even India. Maybe.

  174. Yassir,

    He is only receiving what he doled out first.

    An eye for an eye will make the world blind, is all I’ll say with tongue firmly in cheek.

  175. alok

    MAJ’s position in 1947 pakistan. Andhon main kana raja (a one eyed fool gets to be the king of blind)

  176. P.S: Jinnah, Nehru, Patel and Ambedkar would have made a great team of founding fathers for a United States of India waisay…

    Patel? You oppose Gandhi and support Patel. I would like it if you could provide the reasons why, if it’s possible.

    P.P.S: If possible I will reply in length during the weekend. No time during the week. 😦

  177. No, no, TRP’s comment came later. It was you who brought up Gandhi on this thread. I know you have difficulty respecting people who disagree with you, but at least TRY avoiding saying things like ‘bad comprehension skills’ and ‘wow- what logic’.

    I could be disrespectful too. To me, you’re just a Pakistani lawyer idolizing Jinnah and feeding your nationalistic ego. You’re also too lazy to overcome the psychological construct that comes with Pakistani social conditioning – of seeing Gandhi and Jinnah as opposites. And I know that social conditioning because I’m a Pakistani, not an Indian as you assume (I’m guessing that’s what you meant when you said ‘your constitution of India’)

    Mujimdar, the comparison is unfair because Gandhi was more than a lawyer and a politician. Anyway the question of whether he was good or bad is a question of value-judgement and not fact-judgement. If you hate monks and anarchists, then I understand how you think Gandhi is bad. But don’t try to dress that up as fact.

    Gandhi was a monk and a philosopher. And the fact that most of his inspiration came from Hindu traditions does not mean that he was a hindu supremacist – let’s not forget that Hindus considered him a heretic.

    He reworked Bhagavad Gita, showing how inspiration is different from just reading a text, how hermeneutics is to be stressed over literal readings of ‘scriptures’. Gandhi felt that rigid, unchanging belief that is separate from lived experience and immanent realities would lead to a twisted hypocrisy that would subvert you – something that Muslims could learn a lesson from. He hated dogma, and preferred the search for truth over absolutism.

    So it doesn’t matter what you or me or anybody thinks of Gandhi. His ideas remain a source for a lot of inspiration today, not for you maybe, but others. His inquiry into the nature of self and violence remain relevant for spiritualists and pacifist activists. His ponderings over the self’s relationship with the rest of the cosmos, living and non-living, human and non-human, are important for green political theorists and anarchists today.

  178. Amit,
    oh! majumder you are a right winger! how typical!
    i usually avoid believing in stereotypes but no wonder…

    Actually, Majumdarda‘s positions, at least on this thread, and his proclamation as a right-winger are far from stereotypical.

    In fact, he leaves me rather confused.

    Regards,

  179. Majumdarda,

    If there is anything India’s Constt Assembly has to be given credit for is the complete absence of any reference to Hindooism/God in the Indian Constt. (Given the path that Indian politics had taken ever since Gandhi wade into it)

    Do you view Gandhi’s introduction of Hindu (Hindoo?) sensibilities into Indian politics as a positive or a negative?

    Are you, by any chance, of the MAJ-was-the greatest-benefactor-of-Hindus-if-he-was-not-a-Hindu-in-disguise school?

    Of course, these questions relate to your personal views and I wouldn’t mind it in the least if you did not answer.

    Regards,
    Hades

  180. YLH

    Let me tell you something “freethinker” mian… this is what you get for assuming too much…

    When I went to the US for college back at age 18, I did not see Jinnah and Gandhi as opposites… indeed, I had nothing but respect for Gandhi having read about him in my “First Steps in History” (by Ferozesons) textbook as being a great and saintly non-violent person. Now for some reason I hadn’t seen Gandhi the movie but I saw it there and before you lecture me on “laziness” of social conditioning, perhaps you should lecture the Indian government which bankrolled Attenborough’s lopsided fiction.

    Shocked and awed by how far Gandhi the movie went out of its way to demean and denigrate Jinnah, I decided to read up on Gandhi. Gandhi is a racist bigot and a fascist who should be seen as such…

  181. YLH

    PS: When in Indian comes up and lectures me asking me to stop revering Jinnah – as Hades did- and when I have responded to his inaccuracies about the man… it is a very valid point to ask if we can also ask him not to revere Gandhi – whose record is let’s say not so clean.

    But I exposed Gandhi’s racist and misognynist philosophy only after Gandhi was prescribed above to us by trp.

  182. Aisha Sarwari

    Hades,

    You asked what number for Bangladesh would be acceptable. Since I am not a statistician I can’t say for certain. However, if Indian-American Professor Sarmila Bose and her Harvard funded research are to be believed, even Mujeeb’s initial figure of 300 000 dead, including combatants on both sides and Bihari toll, seems to be a crass exaggeration.

    One should remember that violence at partition was much greater. Penderel Moon and other authors (including ylh’s favorite H V Hodson) however cap partition violence at 200 000.
    So I am of the view that the figures for Bangladesh war are highly exaggerated especially given the fact that Bose shows how atleast two of the main alleged massacres of Bengalis turned out to be Biharis butchered by Mukti Bahini.

  183. YLH

    Aisha,

    That is true. And the violence at partition was avoidable… it happened because of three wrong turns:

    1. Congress’ insistence on carving up Punjab and Bengal as opposed to Muslim League’s demand which was to reconstitute existing constituent units as two different centers. In other words Congress, being a rowdy bunch of hypocrites really, refused to accept the Muslim two nation theory but it did not stop it from cynically using the two nation theory to distort a perfectly justifiable demand of reconstitution of consituent units in two different centers and constitutions that Jinnah and the League had put up.

    2. Not satisfied with its dishonest conduct, Congress manipulated Mountbatten into giving Gurdaspur, a Muslim majority district, to India. As most of the violence took place in and around Gurdaspur, this was the second wrong turn.

    3. And most of the violence could still have been avoided had Lord Mountbatten revealed the boundary award earlier…. but Mountbatten waited and waited till it was the most opportune time for the Congress.

    Had these three things not happened in this order or even if one of them had not happened, there wouldn’t have been any great violence at partition at all.

    It thus makes sense that while Pakistan protested to the UN complaining of genocide, India’s representative to the UN VP Menon described violence at partition as “mere disturbances”.

    Today they use the mere disturbances to question the very creation of Pakistan. What a bunch of hypocrites really.

  184. nikita

    in the initial proposal of radcliffe, gurdaspur was indeed with pakistan but later on was amended to the bebefit of the indians. the reasons are long and varied, some say that since gurdaspur had a very slim majority of muslims, its being given to pakistan would have gone against the interests of the large hindu and sikh minorities(49%) while some maintain that it was deliberately left with india bcoz of its strategic location, with regard to jammu and kashmir. as a result, in spite of slim non uslim majority, chittagong hill tracts were given to pakistan, even lahore, with its slight non muslim majority, was handed to pakistan. the story is not as simple as you put it.
    as for dina jinnah thing, relations between them were very formal and did not even bear the veneer of normalcy, even after the former’s marriage did not work out, the feroze gandhi issue is little more complex, the man exposed a major corruption case involving the top notch companies that forced the then finance minister to resign, much to the embarassment of nehru and did not hesitate in lambasting his father in law’s gov, all these things soured the relations between him n nehru.
    lastly, i made it very clear that since i havent come across anywhere gandhi abandoning his biased attitude, i would call him the champion of equality, read properly before jumping at conclusions.

  185. nikita

    i would call him the champion of equality
    forgot to add not

  186. YLH

    The story my friend Nikita is indeed that simple…
    Gurdaspur was handed over to India at Mountbatten’s behest. It was a Muslim majority district and should have gone to Pakistan. It wasn’t as slight as you put it.

    As for your “veneer of normalcy” … my conclusions are quite different and I have already discussed it above.

  187. YLH

    PS: Glad that you don’t see Gandhi as a champion of equality. That is all I want- a de-sanctification and humanization of Gandhi.

  188. Aisha,

    One should remember that violence at partition was much greater. Penderel Moon and other authors (including ylh’s favorite H V Hodson) however cap partition violence at 200 000

    That does seem to be a bit too low, now does it not Aisha? I say this because Pakistan itself acknowledges a civilian death toll of 26,000 (The Rahman commission).

    Btw, just as an aside, how many pogroms has India carried out with 200,000 casualties?

    Regards,
    Hades

  189. I made a boo-boo.!

    Sigh! Blame it on work pressure, I will, or something.

  190. That’s it right there…Gandhi a fascist! He didn’t even believe there should be a State! In that ‘Arcadian vision’ he had, people wouldn’t be warring each other and fascism wouldn’t make any sense.

    Yes, maybe he was naive. But that doesn’t make him a fascist. And I still don’t agree with ‘caste-ist’. Besides, Gandhi as I said before, did not want people blindly following religions and ideologies, and the last thing he would have wanted is for caste-ists and fascists to make him into an ideologue. And OK, so you hate how Gandhi is deified, and how Jinnah has had bad press, but going around spreading hatred is no way to go about things.

    And I am not defending any Indian nationalist or any movie that was made. People in their right minds wouldn’t trust a movie, or any other hagiographic nationalist account, with history.

  191. alok

    to the pakistani lawyer idolizing jinnah a message from wolpert:

    1. he blames jinnah for direct action
    2. he blames jinnah again for not allowing to create bangladesh

    Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammed Ali Jinnah did all three.
    Born in Karachi in 1876, eldest son of a wealthy Muslim merchant, young Jinnah was shipped off to London alone at age 16 to study business management. During his next three years in the bustling capital of Victoria’s booming Empire, Jinnah’s eager mind focused on politics and the law rather than commerce. He was inspired by the “Grand Old Man” of India’s National Congress, Dadabhai Naoroji, just elected to Britain’s House of Commons, whose maiden speech Jinnah heard from the balcony.
    Jinnah was called to London’s Bar from Lincoln’s Inn in 1896, and returned home to launch his singularly successful legal career in Bombay. At 34, he was elected to serve as the Bombay Presidency’s Muslim representative on the Viceroy’s Central Legislative Council, whose members then included ex-Congress president Gopal Krishna Gokhale, hailed by Mahatma Gandhi as “my political guru”. Gokhale’s high regard for Jinnah’s integrity, intellect and moderation is reflected in the sobriquet he coined for his junior colleague, “best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”. And in December of 1916 Jinnah managed in Lucknow to bring India’s National Congress and the hitherto far more conservative and loyalist Muslim League together in demanding the same set of post-War representative reforms, which Jinnah drafted, the Lucknow Pact.
    Before the end of World War I, then, Jinnah was the most prominent young leader of both major political organisations in British India, enjoying the ear of the viceroy and his ICS cabinet on their own council as well. Moreover, his fearless opposition to Bombay’s arch-conservative governor, Lord Willingdon, moreover, won him the adulation of Bombay’s youth at war’s end.
    The aftermath of World War I brought only the repressive sword of the Rowlatt “Black” Acts, extending wartime martial “laws” during peacetime. Jinnah was the first member of the Viceroy’s Council to resign, protesting against uprooting of “fundamental principles of justice” by government’s “overfretful and incompetent bureaucracy”.
    Jinnah’s love of the law was too great, however, to allow him to adopt the revolutionary method of Satyagraha launched by Mahatma Gandhi in protest against those black acts and against Dyer’s subsequent brutal massacre of unarmed peasants in Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh that dark April of 1919. Though Jinnah tried at Nagpur’s Congress session in 1920 to argue against Gandhi’s revolutionary resolutions, fearing they would lead to more violence, he was outvoted, booed and heckled from the pandal, leaving the Congress to Gandhi’s undisputed leadership, soon afterwards leaving India to live in London.
    Jinnah initially tried to win British support for a seat in the House of Commons, but failed. He finally accepted fervent appeals from Muslim friends to return home and help them to revitalise the demoralised leaderless Muslim League. He was again reelected to the expanded National Assembly, which met for the first time in Delhi in January of 1924. The Khilafat Movement, embraced by Gandhi when he’d launched his first nationwide Satyagraha in August of 1920, had by then collapsed, as had the planned final phase of Satyagraha in Gujarat in the painful aftermath of Chauri Chaura’s arson and mayhem. Most Congress leaders and Pan-Islamic Muslims remained in prison cells, while Jinnah reorganised his Muslim League as its permanent president, and won the respect of most British liberals and future prime minister Ramsay MacDonald. Jinnah advised MacDonald as soon as he became prime minister to convene a Round Table Conference in London to draft a constitution for what Jinnah still hoped would emerge as a single nation-state of independent India, with adequate safeguards and separate electorates for its Muslims and other minorities. Gandhi and the Congress boycotted the first London conference, but after reaching an agreement with Lord Irwin Gandhi did attend the second conference, as sole representative of the Congress.
    Elections were held throughout British India under the Government of India Act of 1935 in 1937, and the Congress, thanks in great measure to Jawaharlal Nehru’s charismatic campaigning, won a clear victory in most provinces. The League, confronting a number of regional Muslim party competitors, was unable to claim a single province, mustering only 109 seats, compared to Congress’ 716. Nehru, therefore, insisted there were only “two forces” left in India, the Congress and the British, urging all others to “line up”.
    Jinnah refused, however, to accept Nehru’s invitation. “There is a third party in this country and that is the Muslims,” he said. That December of 1937 the Muslim League met again in Lucknow. President Jinnah addressed his devoted followers, dressed no longer as a British barrister, donning instead the black Persian lamb cap and black sherwani in which he would soon become famous the world over as Quaid-i-Azam of the Muslim nation, soon to be born as Pakistan.
    Jinnah hereafter charged Congress’ leadership with alienating all Muslims by pursuing an “exclusively Hindu” policy. Mahatma Gandhi’s “revolution” and his leadership Jinnah now viewed as anti-Muslim, totally “Hindu”. Nor would several prolonged summit meetings with Gandhi in Jinnah’s Malabar Hill-top home ever change his mind. Jinnah insisted that unless Gandhi and his Congress admitted their Hindu bias, and recognised his Muslim League as the only political party representative of British India’s Muslim population there could be no solution to south Asia’s Hindu-Muslim conflict and “civilisational divide”, short of Partition.
    In 1940 Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah thundered to 1,00,000 cheering Muslim League followers gathered in the Mughal Gardens of Lahore: “The Musalmans are not a minority (but) a nation The problem in India is not of an inter-communal but manifestly of an international character, and it must be treated as such.” The next day, March 23, 1940, the League passed its famous “Pakistan” Resolution, insisting that no future British constitutional plan would be “workable” or “acceptable to the Muslims” unless it provided for the demarcation of Muslim majority units in the north-western and eastern zones of India “grouped” to constitute independent “autonomous and sovereign” states.
    The word Pakistan was not mentioned, and there is good reason to believe that the committee drafting that resolution, chaired by Bengali Fazlul Haq meant two sovereign Muslim states, Pakistan in the west and what only after 1971 became Bangladesh in the east. But when Jinnah was asked by the press whether his League had one or two states in mind, his firm answer was, “one”. Every headline the next day, therefore, called it the “Pakistan Resolution”.
    Most Congress leaders and many British officials believed that Jinnah was merely bargaining for more power on the Viceroy’s Central Council or more separate seats for Muslim League members in every provincial cabinet. He adamantly refused, however, to alter his demands, the first being that any Muslim member chosen to sit on the council be nominated by his League, thereby excluding Congress “National Muslims” like Maulana Azad, and secondly that the Muslim majority regions of the north-west and north-east be turned into a separate dominion of Pakistan as soon as the British agreed to leave.
    After World War II ended Attlee’s Labour government sent a Cabinet Mission to India, which hammered out a three-tiered confederational plan, whose autonomous groupings of provinces in the north-west and north-east would have granted “Pakistan” in everything but name, without the awful blood-letting of the following year’s Partition. Jinnah, whose fatally afflicted lungs were by then fast failing him, reluctantly agreed, as did the Congress.
    That July of 1946, Nehru reclaimed the Congress presidency he had abdicated during his wartime years in prison and informed the press at his first interview that India’s forthcoming constituent assembly would be a sovereign and completely autonomous body, not committed to any formula or “groupings” of provinces devised by any mission — Cabinet or otherwise.
    In his outraged response to that news, Jinnah bid “good bye to constitutions and constitutional methods”. In mid-August, Jinnah called upon his “Muslim Nation” to launch “Direct Action”. A full year of murderous “civil war” began in Calcutta, swiftly spreading to East Bengal and Bihar, then on to Punjab and the Frontier, engulfing all of south Asia in its rivers of blood long after the last trickle of troops of the British Raj beat their retreat in mid-August of 1947, with all the media fanfare Lord Mountbatten was so expert at arranging.
    When Mountbatten first met with Gandhi in April 1947, asking his advice as to what could be done to help restore order, Gandhi urged him to appoint Jinnah prime minister (the job Nehru then held). The viceroy, unfortunately, never extended that offer, agreeing instead with Nehru, who advised him that poor old Gandhi had been “out of touch” with Delhi much too long to be taken seriously.
    Mountbatten decided to opt for Partition, as Krishna Menon and Nehru had advised. Mountbatten, of course, easily convinced Nehru to ask him and Edwina to linger on a bit longer in Delhi as dominion India’s first governor-general, though hard as he tried could not persuade Jinnah to agree to offer him that same job in Pakistan. Jinnah opted instead to serve as his own governor-general, equal in rank to Mountbatten. An appropriate honour for Pakistan’s founding father, but one he could only enjoy for the last single pain-filled year of his life.
    Stanley Wolpert is professor of history, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Jinnah of Pakistan and Nehru: A Tryst with Destiny.

    my take:
    Jinnah is the worst bloody communalist in the recent history of mankind and truly does not deserve an iota of attention

  192. alok

    interesting take by ayesha jalal in one of the interviews, full can be found in nytimes article:

    What has angered so many Muslims here and in her homeland is Ms. Jalal’s assertion that the revered founding father of Pakistan, the slender, eloquent Mohammed Ali Jinnah, had feet of clay. She argues that the 1947 partitioning of India — the event that opened the door for the creation of Pakistan — was an accident, a colossal miscalculation. What’s more, she says that Jinnah never wanted a separate Muslim state; he was only using the threat of independence as a political bargaining chip to strengthen the voice of the Muslim minority in the soon-to-be sovereign India.

    For proof, she maintains, one need look no further than Jinnah’s reaction to the partition. Today’s officially sanctioned ”nationalist attitude seems to suggest that what Mr. Jinnah had dismissed as a mutilated, moth-eaten Pakistan is what they were actually fighting for,” Ms. Jalal, 42, said in a recent interview, explaining that Jinnah twice rejected what turned out to be the final model for Pakistan.

    This is heresy to most Pakistanis, for whom the partition is a point of pride, a landmark historical event comparable to the declaration of the state of Israel for Zionists. And to many Pakistanis, the individual most responsible for the partition is nothing less than a Muslim paladin. ”It’s as though you’re telling Americans that George Washington wasn’t a starry-eyed nationalist but a coldblooded, opportunistic militarist,” remarked David Ludden, an associate professor of South Asian history at the University of Pennsylvania.

    of course true historians vs pack of liers

  193. azhar aslam

    Hades

    you are such a child. hehehe.

    you should have stuck to your guns and not posted any more comments…… atleast you could have claimed consistnecy by being absent….

    ‘a fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.’

    Aisha

    Hades wants to know where has Bharat killed 200,000 people ?

    A certain geographical part in the very northwest of the subcontinent…. hint : illegally, unlawfully occupied by Bharat; hint : begins with letter ‘K’…

  194. Azhar,

    Actually, you are right. I did act quite puerile with my answer to Aisha. I cringe when I read it. I would ask Aisha to ignore it, if possible!

    However, you are, in my opinion, wrong about Kashmir.

    India’s official figures stand at just over 40K for K. While that figure is (and should be) doubted, nobody sane has put in above a lakh. However, if there are any sources that you could bring to my notice, I’d be more than happy.

    Also, please note the vast difference between the Kashmir conflict and Bangladesh War. The most obvious is the time frame, of course.

    Also, there are some very respectable people who claim the ’71 toll to be a lot more than 2 lakh.

    Regards,
    Hades

  195. Majumdar

    Hades/Alok et al,

    There is no need for you to be confused about my beliefs any more. I am a right wing Hindoo (although I scarcely believe in Hindooism at all) but unlike most right wing Hindoos have never denied the Muslims’ right to self-determination in the areas where they constitute a majority. And I do not let my personal political beliefs come in the way of recognising Truth (or so I hope).

    Are you, by any chance, of the MAJ-was-the greatest-benefactor-of-Hindus-if-he-was-not-a-Hindu-in-disguise school?

    Well, I do believe that Partition was a big boon to Hindoos becuase it united almost 95% of them in a country where they constituted a overwhelming majority of the country. Now the same thing can be said about Muslims of Pak/BD but since I am not a Muslim I won’t be the best person to judge that. Now coming to whether MAJ (pbuh) was a benefactor of Hindoos I can’t say that ‘cos I dont know to what extent he was responsible for Partition. At any rate both the Hindoos of India and Muslims of Pak/BD squandered their chances. India thru adoption of socialism and pro-USSR foreign policy, Pak by abandoning democracy, provincial autonomy and secularism- the pillars on which it was created in the first place.

    Now coming to why I believe partition was good. If India’s example is anything to go by a nation which is 2/3rd Hindoo and 1/3rd Muslim would have been a recipe for an eternal civil war.

    But it need not have been so and in fact before Gandhi entered the scene, INC headed by the likes of Gokhale, Jinnah and MLN was heralding a transition towards a secular, non sectarian political order. But once Gandhi had unleashed the demons of religious fascism by his espousal of Khilafat, that phase was done for. But hopefully, this is only a temporary phase and eventually South Asians will evolve politically, culturally and spiritually and become the kind of citizens that my beloved Qaid had in mind when he made his 8/11 speech. At that point of time, even a reunion cannot be ruled out.

    So when I support partition I am reacting to situation as it is and was in 1947, and not how it ought to be.

    Hope that clarifies.

    Regards

  196. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Congress’ insistence on carving up Punjab and Bengal

    The Hindoos and Sikhs of Punjab, Bengal and Assam- the three Partitioned provinces demanded in whole by Pakistan- made up almost 50 million people and constituted a majority in 12 of the 28 districts of Bengal, 13 of the 14 districts of Assam and 12 of the 30 districts of Punjab and all these districts formed clear contiguous blocks of territory. There was no way the INC wud have given up these territories or the Hindoos/Sikhs of this region submitted voluntarily. So if someone accuses INC of being hypocrites or unfair in demanding these territories he wud have to be very really high on some stuff.

    as opposed to Muslim League’s demand which was to reconstitute existing constituent units as two different centers.

    The Hindoos and INC were under no obligation to give ML and Pakistan what they wanted to. As it is, partition was fair except Kashmir and Gurdaspur (barring Pathankot tehsil) which should have gone to Pakistan

    but it did not stop it from cynically using the two nation theory

    Incidnetally Ayesha Jalal in the Sole Spokesman refers to this that the same TNT which was used to divide India wud be used to deny MAJ (pbuh) and Pakistan the whole of Bengal and Punjab.

    Congress manipulated Mountbatten into giving Gurdaspur to India

    Had MAJ (pbuh) agreed to mount Mountbottom’s bottom, Kashmir and Gpur would have been Pakistan’s.

    Regards

  197. Oh shut the hell up alok.
    Fighting for the rights of the oppressed against a political and cultural hegemony is NOT ‘communalism’.

    And you’re just going about picking up things from here and there trying to make your case against YLH, not even giving a thought to how your back-to-back comments with quotes from Wolpert and Jalal are kind of contradictory: you call Jinnah ‘the worst bloody communalist’ and then go ahead and quote a ‘true historian’ who says that Jinnah didn’t even want a Pakistan.

    A lot that is being posted on this page is debating for debate’s sake. Please, moderator, turn off the comments on this post.

  198. ylh

    Hades mian,

    Why do you first shout off like an idiot and then try and retract your nonsense. The fact is that Aisha quoted an established Indian American professor of Hindu origin to prove her point. Her research is recent. It blows up your pov. Just accept that you don’t have a valid counter argument with humility and grace… instead of ranting and raving like a lunatic.

    Aisha will do well to ignore someone as childish and immature as you…who comes here trying to dictate to us and when unable to argue resorts to personal insults and then whines like a baby when he gets as good as he gives.

    On the Bangladesh figures- the total number that Aisha is giving includes both sides- and all the combatants. So whatever number – and Hamoodurrahman reports are closest to the truth it seems- is far less than Indian attrocities in Kashmir which are well in excess of 100 000. You can deny the holocaust in Kashmir all you want but Azhar is right on the money on this one.

    Also another thing I missed:

    An “eye for an eye” makes the world blind you say. In Gandhi’s perfect world only Hindus are supposed to have eyes.

    And if you really do believe in this utterly distasteful and idiotic philosophy of the fraud that Gandhi was, how about letting Mumbai terrorists off the hook?

    Right- the philosophy is only good till it suits you.

    Just walk away…

    Alok mian,

    That is not an interview but an article on Jalal’s book. Your problem is that you don’t actually have the ability to make up your mind and depend on opinions. David Ludden’s view on Ayesha Jalal’s book is not the only view.

    I actually wrote to Jalal asking her if she agreed with the conclusion drawn. Her response was that her book on the contrary is the best defence of Jinnah against hogwash by Indian nationalist.
    Ayesha Jalal’s book is very clear. It points out that Jinnah’s idea of Pakistan was within a United India. It is the same view that H M Seervai.

    Now on your take – “does not deserve an iota of attention” now you have your view as stupid and idiotic as it maybe. However Stanley Wolpert himself considers Jinnah as one of the tallest leaders of the world and says as much in his book “Jinnah of Pakistan”.

    Wolpert’s quote does not blame Jinnah for violence but speaks of a fact. The murderous civil war did begin in Calcutta but as I have proved by primary sources above that murderous civil war was started by the Congress not Jinnah.

    What are you going to allege next ? That the violence caused by the American revolutionary war was the fault of George Washington and not those in Britain who refused to come to a compromise with the elected representatives of the colonies? Tsk tsk.

    Majumdar,

    Even if we accept that dividing up Punjab and Bengal was fair (it was not since Pakistan demand was couched in terms of constituent units and since it was the League and not the Congress that put up the demand, and Congress did not accept the TNT, Congress did not have a locus standi -unless ofcourse it stated clearly that TNT was valid and that their counter demand was on the basis of TNT- which is what it admitted defacto) you do see how Gurdaspur and Kashmir were unfair and have been the cause of violence and bloodshed. This is something I willing to agree on as well.

    The whole thing does paint Gandhi and Nehru as pretty big on hypocrisy.

  199. ylh

    Freethinker,

    We are all hardened our positions … Maybe future historians will be more balanced than us.

    I personally am too scarred by Gandhi the movie and its one sided nonsense to even consider the other side of Gandhi which you’ve pointed to and which might as well exist but which to me is inconsequential.

    I apologize for hurting people’s feeling but I cannot and will not stop talking of Gandhi’s racism, bigotry and misogyny till I have had my revenge as a Pakistani and a citizen of this world for the one-sided hollywood hogwash.

    Hope you understand my position.

  200. ylh

    PS to freethinker:

    Alok obviously missed gaping irony in quoting the article he did after he denounced H M Seervai’s view as false above.

    Thanks for your post to alok.

  201. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    you do see how Gurdaspur and Kashmir were unfair and have been the cause of violence and bloodshed.

    The real culpability lies with Mountbottom. The boundary lines of Bengal, Assam and Punjab and the disposal of the princely states should have been finalised at least six months if not one full year ahead of the actual transfer of power so that minorities who felt threatened could have either migrated to safety or come to peace with their new neighbours/overlords.

    The whole thing does paint Gandhi and Nehru as pretty big on hypocrisy.

    Immaterial. What Gandhi and Nehru did was to safeguard the interests of the community which voted them into power (a rare ocassion in which they did so). The same thing cud be said of MAJ (pbuh) too, he was willing to divide India on TNT principle but not give benefit of TNT to Punjabi, Bengali and Assamese Hindoos/Sikhs who formed local majorities in large swathes of territory.

    I apologize for hurting people’s feeling

    There is no need to apologise for calling a thug a thug. Besides, increasingly the G-man is hated and despised by many Indians/Hindoos so there is no need to reverse the trend in Pakistan.

    We are all hardened our positions …

    Again I dont think there is anything wrong with your position, except perhaps on the issue of partition of Bengal and Punjab.

    Regards

  202. ylh

    Majumdar,

    The difference is (as you’ve often said yourself) that Jinnah openly (before August 1947) claimed to be the representative of Muslim minority/nation and did not deceive anyone. Gandhi and Nehru looked out only for Hindu interests while refusing to acknowledge that they were leaders of that community alone. That makes their position on partition of Punjab and Bengal hypocritical in my view.

    The difference ML’s conception of TNT and Congress’ cynical use of the same is that ML spoke of constituent units. Why is that more tenable than districts ? Because there are Muslim majority districts in India -non contiguous to Pakistan- and there is atleast one or two Hindu majority districts in Pakistan non-contiguous to India which should be exchanged by that logic.

    If we abandon TNT above constituent unit as ML proposed and think Congress’ conception of districts more reasonable, what is to stop us from extending it further to villages and even family units.

    Re-constitution of constituent units has happened several times. When the colonies in America separated from Britain, they reconstituted themselves as the United States. The issue in the subcontinent was of a complete secession of constituent units and then reconstitution around their respective centers ie Delhi and Karachi. This would by pass the question of partition and the mockery that happened in its name altogether.

    Again this is my view and I know yours.

  203. ylh

    PS. In any event all parties contested elections under the territorial allocation of the Government of India Act 1935 …so one could argue that federal principle dictated secessions of all constituent units from the British Empire and then re-constitution as India or Pakistan respectively as per the US model.

  204. alok swain

    freethinker…someon’es freedom fighter is someone’s terrorist…

    hence Fighting for the rights of the oppressed against a political and cultural hegemony appears crass communalism to me. As an afterthought bloddy was not appropriate.

    True historian was a pun intended to YLH who thinks the trio/quatret as the true historians! you didnot get it perhaps 🙂

  205. alok swain

    🙂 i was supposed to know that YLH sent a letter to ayesha jalal to get her views clarified…

    YLH claims that jinnah was commited to formation of pakistan and ayesha jalal actually thinks that he was posturing….yet i had my foot in my mouth….how subtle indeed.

    Freethinker thank you for chiding me. YLH is very happy 🙂

  206. Not trying to make anyone happy, I can assure you.

  207. ylh

    Alok swain,

    I am not happy about freethinker chiding you per se but the fact that you’ve made an utter fool of yourself by not reviewing what you were about to post.

    Now you say that I believe Jinnah was committed to Pakistan irrevocably. Have you taken a complete leave of your senses now?

    My contention has always been that Jinnah was ready to scale down his demands and did so in the Cabinet Mission Plan very clearly.

    This is what H M Seervai wrote (you denounced him as being controversial) and this is what Ayesha Jalal wrote which is what you are now quoting to some how disprove me?

    Either you are very stupid or very ill informed.

  208. Yassir,

    Calm down, my man. Seriously. 😛

    All I did was mistake Aisha’s 200K for 20K.

    Anyways…

    My contention has always been that Jinnah was ready to scale down his demands and did so in the Cabinet Mission Plan very clearly.

    Yes, the whole bargaining chip thing that Jalal wrote about. Assuming we take that to be true:

    Jinnah never wanted Pakistan at all; it was a colossal mistake.

    Fair enough, since Partition has harmed the Muslim more than any other group on the sub-continent. The three groups that the Indian Muslim got divided into after partition are all in the doldrums.

    But whose mistake was it? You assume the Congress to be a hopelessly ” Hindu- fascist party” so blaming them for harming Muslims, would be facetious. So who does the South-Asian Muslim blame for messing things up?

    Why Jinnah, of course. He was the sole Muslim leader on the sub-continent of any stature at all. And he messed up, big time. The Congress and the Brits, as you say, took him for a ride. The Congress got him to accept a Pakistan that he had earlier called “Moth-eaten”. The Brits got the strong India that they wanted. And Jinnah went on to found a nation that he hoped would “not be theocratic” and would follow “the essential principle” of a religion.

    Blame Jinnah on moral grounds or on grounds of competence, but do blame him, Yassir.

    Regards,
    Hades

  209. YLH

    Have you read Ayesha Jalal’s book? When you finally read it, then talk about it… now you want to argue about something that you probably hadn’t heard of until you came on this website. Perhaps a little intellectual honesty is in order don’t you think?

    The collossal miscalculation (Jinnah’s and your’s) was to assume two things:

    1. Gandhi and Nehru were honest men like Jinnah.

    2. Gandhi and Nehru were interested in compromising for the sake of unity as he was.

    I think that comes out very clearly from “The Sole Spokesman” and “Partition of India: Legend and Reality”. Sorry we won’t blame Jinnah for trying to get the best deal for his constituents. We will blame Gandhi and Nehru … for the reasons enumerated by many people here and globally.

    That said… I am glad we are separate nations.

  210. alok

    🙂 you bet YLH….majority of indians are as glad as you are….but not me…. i believe we are a common people with a common heritage and could have had a common set of goals…but for MAJ

  211. Aisha Sarwari

    Hades,

    I responded to your post on “two speeches in august” board by mistake.

    You can see the reply there in detail but just to repeat the two points I make:

    1. Hamoodurahman figures sound about right.

    2. Ayesha Jalal has described the bargaining chip theory as bad interpretation of her book. According to her, Pakistan was a general demand which presented a menu of choices which had both a sovereign Pakistan and a Pakistan within an Indian union. Jinnah was quite serious about Pakistan but whether this Pakistan was going to be within a united India or without it was upto Congress. And they chose the latter.

  212. YLH

    Alok mian,

    Whether we are one people or many, we could’ve been one country had it not been for Gandhi’s ridiculous philosophy and Nehru’s hunger for power my friend.

    This is what H M Seervai concludes. I agree with that conclusion.

  213. alok

    adieu mes amis,

    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
    there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

    When the soul lies down in that grass,
    the world is too full to talk about.
    Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each-other’
    doesn’t make any sense.

    Rumi

  214. Milind Kher

    Jinnah was a a thoroughgoing secularist. When asked if he would like Pakistan to be run as an Islamic state, he asked a very pertinent question, “Whose Islam?”

    With every maslak claiming that its fiqh was the best, it would have been very difficult to have harmony.

    This is the precise reason why Taliban cannot establish an Islamic state in Pakistan. They failed miserably in Afghanistan too.

  215. Indian

    Why don’t you pakis shut up and swallow whats right? You guys will always have your asses kicked just like we kick your asses in wars like 1971 and kargil. Idiots like YLH have always had their asses kicked by true Indians like Hades.

  216. YLH

    Lol ok. Talk about delusions of grandeur.

  217. Indian,

    Truthfully speaking, I think you’re a bit wrong. I hardly kicked Yassir’s ass in this debate (except for Yassir’s somewhat puerile ad hominem, which maybe made you think that way). In fact, reading through the whole thread, as an impartial observer with no previous baggage, I’d vote for Yassir’s point of view rather than mine.

    However, since I am not an impartial observer and am hardly in the habit of speaking the truth, I will agree with you and thank you for your kind words.

    Regards,
    Hades

    P.S: Thank you for calling me a true Indian. I was always afraid of being a false one.

  218. Yassir,

    Have you read Ayesha Jalal’s book? When you finally read it, then talk about it… now you want to argue about something that you probably hadn’t heard of until you came on this website. Perhaps a little intellectual honesty is in order don’t you think?

    I thought it was established a long time back that my only source was Wikipedia. Why to stir up one of the few things that we actually agree on? 😛

    The collossal miscalculation (Jinnah’s and your’s) was to assume two things:

    Well then, you should be calling him an idiot with “half-baked” knowledge like you do me. Not revering him!

    If a person who was the sole-spokesman for millions people across a sub-continent screwed up because he wanted to idealistically trust a couple of chaps, then I’d call him pretty thick.

    Regards,
    Hades

  219. Aisha,

    Yes, in that I’d agree that “technically” it was on option but as far as I know, Partition was always the most extreme option. A sort of Nuclear-option that Jinnah never really intended to use until things got really uncontrollable. In as much, for all practical purposes, till the events in the last few months leading to partition, it was always a bargaining chip. Hence, Jinnah purposely never really defined what Pakistan was going to be until the June third plan defined it for him.

    This is, as far as I know is Jalal’s view. I’d like it if you could link me to one of those articles you speak of.

    Regards,
    Hades

  220. YLH

    Hades,

    You assume that I think he screwed up. He didn’t.

    Pakistan is far from perfect but it is better than the alternative.

    My only contention (in response to your objection to partition) is that Pakistan could have existed within an Indian union but that was rejected by Gandhi and Nehru not Jinnah.

    In either way we did 3/4th of all that could possibly have.
    That is better than say what the Palestinians have after 60 years of struggle.

  221. YLH

    ‘You should be calling him an idiot and “half baked”‘

    Why? Did he come to this board and call me a fundamentalist for disagreeing with him?

    😉

  222. YLH

    BTW… you should be thankful for Indian’s patriotic support. One thing Indians do – even Majumdar who disagrees with you- is never shoot a fellow Indian in the back … this is the success of your nation state.

    A Pakistani on the other hand will always write an inane and thoroughly ridiculous critique of another Pakistani and his motives … to prove himself “liberal” and “free thinking” (really free-crapping but hey I am not sitting in judgement on the issue).

  223. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    even Majumdar who disagrees with you- is never shoot a fellow Indian in the back … this is the success of your nation state.

    That is the power of democracy, it brings a sense of ownership and loyalty to your nation. Had Pakistan been democratically governed I wud have no doubt that Pakis would have behaved the same.

    Regards

  224. Yassir,

    Pakistan is far from perfect but it is better than the alternative.

    Sigh!

    Jinnah could not prevent “the alternative” that you speak of for a third of the people he claimed to represent!

    Secondly, you say, Pak was formed on the principal “that no permanent cultural majority shall dominate a permanent cultural minority by sheer numbers alone”.

    Assuming this to be true, a third of the the people Jinnah claimed to represent–the Ms in the minority provinces, were most in need of this principle. For example, in a state like United Bengal it would be stupid to say that Muslims needed to be protected from being swamped by “H culture”. I anything, it was the other way around.

    Yet, it is they (minority Ms) that were left behind and did not gain from the creation of Pakistan! Far from gaining, they suffered greatly from its creation.

    In fact, all its life the AIML’s major base was in these M-minority provinces (thus it pushed for separate electorates, something a M majority politician like Fazl-ul-Haq actually fought against). Yet, it ultimately achieved an outcome that harmed them greatly. Maybe you would care to compare per capita incomes from Ms in Pakistan and India?

    In view of your claim that Pak was formed on the principal “that no permanent cultural majority shall dominate a permanent cultural minority by sheer numbers alone , I feel Jinnah failed miserably. The creation of Pakistan, if anything, greatly increased this majoritarian “cultural domination”, be it in present day India or Pakistan

    Regards,
    Hades

  225. YLH

    Hades,

    I find this a rather paradoxical argument on your part. I thought your contention was that the fear of Hindu majority was baseless. Now if it is baseless, then surely, it doesn’t matter that 1/3rd of Muslims are left behind. But assuming that it is not baseless, should the freedom for 2/3rds be sacrificed for the sake of 1/3rd …especially since Muslim majorities in muslim majority provinces were at best slight- which would mean that under a strong central govt- the kind proposed by Congress- Muslims anywhere would be a minority regardless of their slight majorities in certain provinces.

    It is like some of our own Islamic types who criticize partition because they feel that a larger Muslim minority would have somehow over powered the Hindu majority. In reality it would mean a virtual halt on progress- if we accept that line of argument. India today has a clear Hindu majority and that has informed the state’s solidarity and nationhood. Similarly Pakistan too has benefitted from a clear cultural majority – though it has squandered much of it through military rule and abandonment of secularism. Ultimately the idea of a Hindu majority secular India and a Muslim majority but secular Pakistan -both ensuring complete equality and protection to their minorities- is the only rational solution for the subcontinent …and Jinnah got us there – both of us- 3/4th of the way. Future historians will no doubt recognize it.

    If you read the Lahore resolution it is very clear that the grouping of Muslim majority provinces was suggested. This demand once adopted was something Muslim League did not deviate from. The people voted for it.
    would have benefited indian Muslims better had this federation existed within an Indian union but that was a decision taken by the Congress and Jinnah could not possibly impose a sub-federation on the Hindus who did not want it now could he?

    You mention separate electorates. If you read Ambedkar’s longish quote on Jinnah above (the reference posts) that Jinnah himself was against separate electorates. But this was a demand that was quite popular amongst Muslims for exactly the reasons that you’ve mentioned. Were they wrong? I don’t think so.

    You are correct that till 1938 Muslim League’s main constituents were Muslims in Hindu majority provinces but they realized in 1937 elections that despite having won almost all the Muslim seats in Bombay and UP, Congress would not take them seriously till they won the Muslim majority provinces.

    This is where Muslim League changed its strategy and took on a demand that was essentially popular in the Muslim majority provinces. It might surprise you that neither Rahmat Ali nor Kifayet Ali nor any of the pioneers of the Pakistan National Movement were Muslim Leaguers.

    When Kifayet Ali wrote his pamphlet “a confederacy of India” he had originally named it “Pakistan”. It was Jinnah in 1939 who convinced Kifayet Ali to call it “confederacy of India” instead.

    Jinnah’s strategy rested on getting the best deal for most of his constituents. His idea of Pakistan did not necessarily mean a complete partition as you’ve yourself admitted.

    Now I took the same line you’ve taken in my article “Muslim League’s politics 1937-1947” (you can find it on chowk)as I have read more I realize that Lahore Resolution atleast spoke clearly about Muslim majority provinces as independent and autonomous (presumably to keep the door open for a confederacy). It also spoke of minorities on both sides and safeguards for them. And like I said above the League remained ready and committed to having these provinces within the Indian Union which Congress vetoed.

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