Mukul Kesavan’s India and Pakistan

Mukul Kesavan has always impressed me.  His novel “Looking Through the Glass”  for example has an interesting fictional discussion between the main protaganist who is a waiter at Cecil Hotel in New Delhi, and Mahomed Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League. Though fictional the discussion between two is based on Ayesha Jalal and H M Seervai’s view of Jinnah and his demand for Pakistan: a semi autonomous or even completely automonous Muslim majority part of an over all India whole, standing on equal footing with Hindustan through a confederation or common arrangements.   

This article below -published in The Telegraph Calcutta–  in my opinion comes the closest than any intellectual on either side of the border to explain the dissonance that exists when Pakistani and Indian secular liberals talk to each other.  Ofcourse there are some things that I don’t agree with-  in my view Indian National Congress’ idea of nationalism was not stricto senso based on the idea of representing different people but rather the sameness of “Indians” , whereas Muslim League’s Two Nation Theory suggested that if India had to stay united, it would have to be united in diverstiy. 

Mukul rightly points out that had Hindus managed to declare India a Hindu Rashtra,  India would have become Pakistan with another name.  By the same token had Pakistan managed to honor Jinnah’s promises made repeatedly during his last painful year in power,  Pakistan would have been India by another name.    But as things developed,  Pakistan did ideologically embrace the European idea of nationhood based on sameness – increasingly after 1949’s Objectives’ Resolution and then 1971’s separation of East Pakistan.  Therefore a Pakistani secular liberal – living in a country of over 90% Muslims – does tend to think in the very European terms of a separation of Church and State, not confusing secularism with multiculturalism. To a Pakistani like me,  the founding ideal – if any- rooted in Muslim identity is not inconsistent with secularism but rather it is Pakistan’s decision to identify itself as an Islamic Republic  that is not consistent with the secular ideal. 

Even if Pakistan was 100% Muslim,  the idea of secularism would be very important for Pakistan’s survival given the differences between the various sects and schools of thought.  It was not entirely without logic that only a secular and westernized politician like Jinnah could bring together the Muslim multitudes together under one flag and it is for the same reason that the otherwise very religious people of Pakistan have elected as leaders who have not been particularly religious in their outlook. 

However,  regardless of how Islamic or secular Pakistan chooses to become, the important thing – as Muhammad Hanif is quoted below- is for Indians to come to terms with the fact that Pakistan is a real country with real frontiers whether they like it or not  -YLH

Idea of India versus Idea of Pakistan

By Mukul Kesavan 

During the Jaipur Literary Festival in 2009, Pakistani writers experienced a special kind of Indian incivility. Both in casual conversation and in formal question-and-answer sessions, they were asked if they thought that Pakistan was a good idea, the implication being that it wasn’t. Mohammed Hanif, the author of a wonderful satirical novel about Zia’s Pakistan, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, responded to a variation on this question by saying, patiently, that debating the virtue of Pakistan’s founding idea was less important than coming to terms with the fact that Pakistan was a real country that had to be reckoned with.

The interesting thing is that this question is often asked by people who can be reasonably described as liberals. They don’t want the reality of Pakistan undone and they would be appalled to be clubbed with sangh parivar rhetoricians who attack Pakistan as a Muslim abomination. And yet, despite themselves, the question rises unbidden to their lips. It isn’t normal in polite society to ask someone to repudiate his national identity as a preliminary to conversation and yet, well-intentioned Indians do precisely that.

Part of the reason for this is that the last few years have seen India’s stock rise in the world at the same time as Pakistan’s reputation as a nation-state has declined. Pakistan’s co-option into the ‘war against terror’, its role in incubating terrorists and the ugly spectacle of the state’s impotence in places like the NWFP and Swat have raised large questions about the nature of Pakistan as a nation. In their role as amateur physicians, liberal, non-chauvinist Indians are happy to attribute Pakistan’s current problems to its founding idea, and their diagnosis makes that idea sound like original sin.

Why do they do this? If I were a Pakistani I might reach for the idea that Indians, sixty years after the event, aren’t reconciled to Partition, that the need to write an alternative (happy) ending for the story of Gandhian nationalism makes them brood unproductively on the wrongness of the world as it exists. And I wouldn’t be wholly wrong: there is an element of historical denial in Indian attitudes towards Pakistan. But the liberal Indian’s need to press his Pakistani counterpart to admit to the wrongness of Pakistan is rooted in other things.

It’s rooted, first and most importantly, in the difference in the way the nation is imagined in India and Pakistan. Instead of basing its nationalism on the idea of a homogeneous People (as every European nationalism did), the Congress built it on its claim to represent different sorts of people.

In contrast, Pakistani nationalism was derived from the classic European template, the principle of sameness, which in Pakistan’s case was a shared religious identity: the Romantic idea of a homeland for a People, the subcontinent’s Muslim People. Had India embraced the RSS’s dream of a Hindu rashtra and become a Hindusthan instead of Hindostan, India would have been Pakistan by a different name. But it didn’t so choose, and that choice had important consequences for the evolution of the two republics.

An Indian liberal’s understanding of democracy and secularism is often subtly, but fundamentally, different from that of the Pakistani liberal. The difference I’m talking about has little to do with language or culture: it is located squarely in politics. Six decades of experience as a pluralist democracy has left Indian liberals with a particular set of political reflexes and instincts that are different from those of the progressive Pakistani.

Take the statement that Pakistani civil society is broadly secular because its electorate, whenever it’s given a chance to vote, votes overwhelmingly for secular political parties like the Pakistan People’s Party or the Pakistan Muslim League and not for fundamentalist or Islamist or ulema-controlled organizations like the Jamaat-e-Islami.

There is a useful and important distinction to be made between parties that support the implementation of sharia law and parties that support a secular code of law. And it’s likely that a majority of Pakistanis would rather not live in the Dar-ul-Islam dreamt of by fundamentalist Muslim parties. But this doesn’t make a country’s politics ‘secular’, not in the Indian construction of that term.

For an Indian like me who thinks of himself as liberal, the Pakistani state and the politics it sanctions, the politics within which its democratic processes are contained, isn’t and can’t be secular because Pakistan announces itself as an Islamic republic. It isn’t secular in the same way that Israel isn’t secular because it was brought into being as a Jewish state and functions as one. In my political lexicon, the term ‘secular’ means, above all, that the state must not be owned by, or act on behalf of, a religious community. This means that political dispensations that call themselves Jewish or Islamic or Buddhist (as Sri Lanka does) are, by definition, incapable of nurturing a secular politics. They are majoritarian, denominational states, inimical to the pluralist democracy that Indians have come to equate with political secularism.

This reflexive scepticism about the secular potential of denominational states is rooted in India’s domestic politics. Historically, the most serious threat to the pluralist and secular idea of India written into the Indian Constitution has been Hindu majoritarianism. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh would like to reconstitute India as a Hindu state. This would be, like Israel, a constitutional democracy with minorities free to worship and vote and associate, but nonetheless a state defined by the culture, the priorities and the prejudices of its religious majority.

This is not to claim that India’s constitutional pluralism translates into secular institutions or automatically protects minorities from discrimination and prejudice. It is to argue that to have this backwardness, this discrimination, these prejudices institutionalized and given the force of law in a formally majoritarian state is the secular Indian’s worst nightmare.

Majoritarianism is an ideology that creates two classes of citizens — those considered ‘natural’ citizens (Jews in Israel, Muslims in Pakistan, Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka) and those who live under their protection (Arabs in Israel, Hindus in Pakistan, Tamils in Sri Lanka). No matter how earnestly such states enumerate the rights enjoyed by its minorities, they remain second-class citizens. For the secular Indian, the argument against majoritarianism in India is systematically subverted by the embrace of majoritarianism by its neighbours.

To look at the Sri Lankan and Pakistani flags is to see majoritarianism graphically proclaimed. The Sri Lankan flag has most of its surface area taken up by a Sinhala emblem, a rampant lion, while its minorities are represented by two thin stripes, one green (for Muslims), one orange for Tamils. The Pakistan flag is mainly green; the colour represents Islam as does the crescent-and-star device centred in the flag. The smaller white stripe stands for Pakistan’s religious minorities. Why is this important? It is important because states whose insignia and founding constitutions explicitly endorse a denominational affiliation create a dilemma for their ‘liberal’, ‘secular’ or ‘pluralist’ citizens.

The Indian liberal, even when he feels beleaguered by majoritarian mobilization or oppressed by its electoral success, knows that the Constitution is on his side. In his arguments against Hindutva, for example, he can invoke the Constitution because all the best lines in that charter were written for him. It is possible for a democratic pluralist or a liberal in India to be both politically correct and patriotic, to resist the state as it is by invoking the state as the Constitution lays down it should be.

But it’s hard for him to imagine how his Pakistani counterpart can reconcile liberal principles with the foundational idea of Pakistan, the idea of a Muslim homeland. Big ideas set limits on politics: no political party in Pakistan can challenge the illiberal, discriminatory idea of an Islamic republic and remain politically credible. This cuts both ways: it also follows that a Pakistani liberal will find it hard to be nationalist: to affirm the founding myth of Pakistan is to compromise his liberal values.

The case of Israel is a good example of the tension between liberal democratic values and the denominational nation- state. The recent bombing of Gaza and the slaughter of innocents were endorsed by every non-Arab Israeli party and by many who describe themselves as progressive or liberal. These liberals chose to be true to the Zionist ideal that underwrites Israel and to do this they had to park their principles.

Which brings us back to the rudeness of “do you think Pakistan was a good idea?” Indians oughtn’t ask this question because it’s rude and, given Pakistan’s current troubles, suggests a malicious satisfaction derived from its misfortunes. But it is important for Pakistanis to recognize that the motive behind it is a political anxiety, not Schadenfreude. The question springs from a need to be consistent in their view of the world: opposing majoritarianism within India necessarily implies rejecting it in the world. When they put the question, they are clumsily asking for reassurance that the pluralism enshrined in the idea of India has some resonance beyond its borders.

87 Comments

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87 responses to “Mukul Kesavan’s India and Pakistan

  1. Shahzad

    Mukul in my opinion suffers the same afflictions as do all Indian liberals, primarily that they are the proud citizens of a secular country.

    While they may very well be liberals and secularists, a small minority, India surely is not a secular country.

    There have been no meaningful inquiries of the Babri masjid/Gujrat massacres or the Samjhota Express bombing orchestrated by a serving army man. India has had a good run with it’s Incredible India campaign but it doesn’t mask the underlying realities. BJP and the RSS thrive on some imagined grievances against Hindus in a land where they are in the majority. Pakistan at least does not have a mainstream party which derives it’s power from exploiting it’s citizens imagined grievances.

  2. yasserlatifhamdani

    Shahzad,

    Much of what you say is true. I find it ironic that despite all of Pakistan’s shortcomings, many Indian Muslims even today try to migrate to Pakistan- it is not uncommon to come across a number of Indians in Lahore or Karachi Passport offices surrendering their Indian passports for Pakistani ones.

    However…there are many parties in Pakistan “exploiting” grievances of various sections of society.

  3. alok

    back again to your editing gimmicks scoundrel….after your lies were exposed….still nursing wounds from the combat kid….

  4. lal

    shahzad ,
    the people of both countries are basically the same in there attitude towards minorities….but the constitution is different…atleast on that part mukul kesavans argument is very credible..a very well written article indeed

  5. lal

    YLH,
    ur information on indian muslims lining up b4 pakistan embassy was really informative…i was aware that some of our brethern do cross the border to learn first hand the technical skills that pakistan cottage industry has to offer and to be a part of ur booming exports around the world….we do here at times very encouraging reports on some of these people ,who after learning the tricks from the masters,return with nostalgia,and set up there own small scale industrial units…what i didnt know though,and what u taught me,was that they had to go through the long ques in front of ur embassy along with arabs,chechneans,somalis,afghans and yemenis and get their H1B visa stamped…i often thhought it was more of a hush hush affair

  6. Milind Kher

    Shahzad,

    You are a person after my own heart. You have said ABSOLUTELY what I feel.

    If the authorities took action on what you have said, minorities would breathe much easier. The Indian ethos is by and large tolerant. If the saffron brigade were to be neutralized, it will make a world of a difference.

  7. Amber

    “Indians to come to terms with the fact that Pakistan is a real country with real frontiers whether they like it or not ”

    YLH, Indians are very well aware that Pakistan is a real country. Not sure from where you get this notion that Indians don’t see Pakistan as a separate entity. We do not wish to have any part of Pakistan. Stay put and live peacefully. Get out of this mentality of being under siege all the time.

    And if you really think that Muslims are queuing to leave India, wonder why we still have one of largest muslim population in the world. I suggest you start a movement in Pakistan to get all the Muslims into their land of pure and then live peacefully ever after.

  8. YLH

    Amber …

    We’ve discussed these issues many times … To cut the long story short Pakistan was not meant to nor is it able to absorb all Indian Muslims. The Lahore Resolution spoke of large minorities on both sides living as equal citizens (now before you start with why aren’t there minorities in Pakistan- note that Punjab and Bengal were illogically carved up at the insistence of Congress and in complete contravention to the Lahore Resolution essentially stripping east and west of these provinces of their minorities. The Pakistan that you see was not the one that we had asked for).

    On the other issue- it is not that I am merely speculating, I have seen Indian Muslims turning in their passports with my own eyes.

  9. YLH

    Alok mian,

    I feel no need to edit your abuse. You do more to discredit your point of view than I ever can.

  10. Topgun

    YLH,

    I am really sorry that you did not get the Pakistan that you asked for.

    However, the Lahore resolution was an internal resolution passed by Muslim league. It was not legally binding either on the british government or Congress. So, if you don’t believe your word to be straight from God, it does not become “contravention” in any sense. Stop believing that you have been wronged by India. Since Independence, you have wronged yourself enough to start crying about one more “wrong” from India.

    As for logic, viewed in hindsight, if Bengal had gone your way, you still would have lost it today. Punjab would be happy to be on the wrong side of logic – given that it is the most prosperous state in India.

  11. Dastagir

    YLH : Edit this – make it more compact and brief :

    RSS/Safforn Brigade CAN NOT be contained. That is the reality. Taliban Elements have penetrated the Pakistani Army / Police / Bureaucracy / Judiciary / Corporate world / Media., exactly as RSS & Co. Hate Merchant Ideology has penetrated every pore of the Indian Army / Police / Bureaucracy / Judiciary / Corporate World / Media / Education / etc. etc. That is a reality. Face it.

    Why and how did this happen ? 80 years of consistent hate poured 24×7. A “Gadar” is a golden-jubilee hit., whereas a thought-provoking film like “Delhi-6” is a flop ! In Gujarat, India., thought-proking scenes are not allowed to be screened. There is an iron wall, painted safforn !

    The atmosphere is vitiated in India. Anyone speaking for reason., against Jingoism is labelled as a Pakistani Spy / an ISI agent / A terrorist. Toe the RSS line – abuse islam – abuse prophet Mohammed – abuse Pakistan – talk about cutting their hands and slash their necks… publicly… talk of amending Islam… and then you will be accepted as a “Secular” and a “Good” Indian. RSS is the grading agency – that will grade the patriotic quotient of the nationals. (Like Standard + Poors).

    RSS is now a banyan tree. I am sorry to say, but it is winning the battle. The Hindus by and large may have huge differences amongst themselves (languages/caste/etc); but they are united in their hatred for Islam (symbolised by the existence of Pakistan). Pakistan is getting weak by the day. They are living off the Rent from “bases” given to the US for its geo-strategic plans. When countries are small…. thats what they become. Bases-for-rent.

    Is there a solution : Practically, there is none. Though to escape the ugly reality… one can dream… that 500 years from now… Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran could become one unit. Where the language of science and physics and math may be English or French… a unit that has great institutions… and has not “individual wealth” but institutional wealth and assets. There is no harm dreaming… A country (unit)… to counter the RSS… if that is not possible… all the 3 join China.. to create a huge country… so that RSS fears… and behaves properly.

    It is very important for the ugly RSS / Taliban to FEAR. There is no fear from any quarter., that is why they are doing what they are doing. There should be someone to hold their hand… If there is not that power., create that power… (it is not possible in 24 hours… this may take a century or more). Until then… wait and pray and hope… till gangs of 5000 come and slash necks / wrists… and send us Muslims to heaven.

    I used to be a great liberal., but of late., i am beginning to realise the harsh reality of the wisdom of living in a “ghetto”. Agreed, i may hate my muslim neighbour… agreed he will not give me a rupee when i need one… agreed he may not give me a glass of water… but atleast he will not kill / burn me ! Because when gangs of 5000 come., even the highly-educated hindu neighbours., close their windows… and when someone asks a question… the standard Hindu reply is : “We dont know”. So this difference is dawning upon me. Better to be amongst your own.. no matter how ugly.. no matter how filthy.. rather than try to ENTER the Hindu Club… and smile artificially… conveying all is well… whereas beneath the artificial surface… all is NOT well.

    Mrs. Indira Gandhi spoke of cutting legs (she had as much hatred for Islam and Muslims as Varun, her grandson… but she was sophisticated… and wily.. so she spoke of chopping legs / something else.. .in reference to Pakistan…). Her son Sanjay Gandhi also spoke of shopping off hands / legs / he got Muslim school-going kids, abducted by Police and operated (Vasectomy) because he felt., Muslim population was growing too fast in India., and that Muslims must be kept “jooti ke neeche”. What was in Mrs. Gandhi’s heart., has come on Varun Gandhi’s tongue. That is the way they have always spoken within the privacy of their home. Afterall Narasimha Rao was so close to Indira… and Indira was RSS (but a sophisticated version.. not the crude version). Thats all.

    What is the point of writing this all. In Nandita Das’ debutant movie : “Firaaq” released yesterday (except in Gujarat where it is un-officially banned), Naseeruddin Shah plays a musician… and he says : “7 SURs (notes) do not have the strength to combat THIS power of HATRED”.

    Israel-USA-India axis has now taken a world-view that is extremely dangerous. This is not paranoia… This is a real problem… and must be faced as such… but the mis-fortune is… there is no country… strong enough… stable enough… to sit back and reflect.

    Hinduism has become “Hating Islam and Muslims”. It has come down to that level. From a civilisational level, it is a huge loss to the ideology itself., but in the short-term it is giving Hindus a high… it is pushing their adrenaline levels… Here are the muslims.. you can do anything you wish.. with them. Kill them.. rape their women.. steal their belongings.. occupy their house.. occupy their lands… Who is there to hold them ? That PSYCHE has entered the average Hindu., and when that is in the air., The constitution of India (as it stands on paper) today is totally ineffective.. in fact it is a dead letter. RSS is working towards making India into a Hindu Raj (de jure, i.e. cuz de-facto it already is)… The worst part is… that RSS wants to achieve THAT goal., via killing Muslims… on muslim blood and tears… and there is nothing to hold the hands of RSS.

    Every single day., 1 crore rupees., are sent to Bal Thackerey from Dubai.

    Caravan ke dil se ahsaas-e-ziyaan jaata raha. They dont even have a “sense of loss”… they are in such slumber. The so-called Muslim countries have lost USD 1 Trillion + in the recent economic collapse. But they dont care. They want a hot meal… and they are thinking about “girls”. RSS has studied the muslims and their weaknesses very minutely… and is playing its cards.

    Question is : Have Muslims researched RSS… and studied its weaknesses.. and strengths…

  12. YLH

    Topgun,

    This is an academic discussion- what happened in 1947 has nothing to do with me in any event. Nobody is blaming you … I am sure you were not personally responsible for the actions of Gandhi and Nehru.

    You obviously don’t understand the issue. It was Muslim League’s internal resolution yes and it was this resolution that was the basis of League’s mobilization which led to its victory in the elections.

    But in any event- yes the Lahore Resolution was not binding on the Congress but then don’t question our “founding idea” because Pakistan as conceded in 1947 was not in accordance with the founding idea which in any event was the reconstitution of constituent units and not arbitrary and illogical carving up of provinces in order to hurt “jinnah and the league’s chances of having a stable Pakistan”.

  13. Milind Kher

    The RSS is a past master in marketing itself. Also, it has tremendous media support. This makes it very powerful.

    Their diatribe against Muslims is very sophisticated and plausible. Who will protest against it? The uneducated Muslims? They are not equal to the task. The educated Muslims? They are too busy being “accepted”.

    It is only people like Yoginder Sikand and Ram Puniyani who take up for the Muslims. More and more right thinking Hindus have to talk. There are many good people. However, the saffron brigade has cowed them down.

  14. Amber

    @Milind

    Do you have any references to show that RSS is a master of media marketing and what is so sophisticated about their diatribe against the Muslims. Their tirade against the Muslims is brazen and uncouth. The idea that Indian Muslims are incapable of defending themselves and that they need a “Hindu messiah” is downright stupid.

    The situation is not so simple and straightforward as you make out to be. RSS or BJP have not ruled India since the past 60 years. It is the so called secular parties like Congress that have ruled and benefited from the Muslim votes. Keeping Muslims backward and illiterate serves the so called Secular parties very well. They invoke the fear psychosis of Muslims for being under the threat of Hindu right wing before elections. Muslims vote en masse for or against a party depending on what their religious community leaders tell them. They thus are never really voting for any specific issues that really matter to them as a community. For example, Varun Gandhi’s speech has been getting far more critical media attention than it deserved. You can easily imagine who planted the story in Media right before the elections and whihc way the votes are going to sway.

    Another factor that we often overlook is the distribution of backward Muslims. The Muslims that are the most backward come from the BIMARU states of Bihar, Rajasthan, MP and UP. These are the most backward states and Muslims are often at the bottom of the heap along with the SCs. If you come to South India Muslims are much better off and better educated. Their contribution to India is also commendable. Father of India’s missile program and our highly respected president Sri APJ Abdul Kalam is a south Indian Muslim.

    Muslims are not in Minority in India. If 154 million is a minority then what number will get them to majority is not clear. Parsis, Jains, Sikhs are also minority by that definition but they are the richest and most influential communities in India. Why Muslims are backward is a question that only they can answer, but before that they need to believe in themselves.

  15. Milind Kher

    @Amber,

    “India Shining” was a classic example of a very well publicized campaign. Unfortunately, they did not have a finger on the pulse of the people.

    Also, the saffron brigade has people like Arun Shourie, M V Kamath, Dileep Padgaonkar etc who push the saffron agenda in a sophisticated manner. No doubt, they have their uncouth counterparts as well.

    There is no “fear psychosis” in Muslims as far as the Hindutva elements are concerned. It is a well founded fear.

    After the Babri Masjid outrage, the massacres after that and the genocide in Gujarat, Muslims would obviously be scared.

    Don’t say that the Muslims vote en masse. If they really did, they would have a lot more power than they do.

    Why do you say Varun Gandhi’s statements are getting more media attention than they deserve? Do you think all that hate mongering and abuse is just childish prattle?

    Indian Muslims have proved both, their mettle and their patriotism. However, they are always under pressure to prove both 24×7.

  16. Amber

    @Milind

    If the saffron brigade is really so sophisticated then how come all the Muslims in India know about their real intentions and distrust them. Even a 10 year old kid in Azamgarh knows what the BJP is up to.

    And if the Muslim fear is well founded what are it’s root. As long as I can remember Muslims have been in this state of despair since the time of British. Who were they fearful then? Remember the caste dynamics play a very strong role in India. Since most Muslims in BIMARU states belonged to the backward castes they tend to be below par in terms of development just like their Hindu brethren. Government again gives the same stupid argument of job reservation without addressing the root cause of the problem. Also this argument falls flat if you look at the example of Pakistan and Afghanistan where Muslims are in absolute majority and without and fear of any other community.

    We are just trying to find excuses for our own failures. Just as we blame Pakistan for every bomb blast that occurs in India, we blame BJP and RSS for the state of Muslims. The main cause lies within not outside.

  17. Milind Kher

    @Amber,

    You are right. The Muslims have been in a difficult situation ever since 1857. The British identified them as the leaders of the Mutiny, and did a neat divide and rule by favoring the Hindus and putting down the Muslims.

    A secularist patriot like Mr Jinnah was sidelined by the Indian leaders. After that, he took up the cause of forming Pakistan and succeeded. Had the Muslims been secure, he would have found no takers.

    Please bear in mind that the Muslims in India stayed behind by choice, with full faith in the Indian ethos. However, with the emergence of the saffron Taliban, things are changing.

    Muslims will excel, and will improve provided the right conditions are there.

  18. Topgun

    YLH,

    If the states were carved out to hurt the chances of stable Pakistan, then it did have some logic. Even if you were on the wrong side of it, it was not arbitrary or illogical.

    Let us have some background of the Lahore resolution you talk of. Muslim League had lost the 1937 elections – even in Muslim majority areas of India. Jinnah had called the Lahore session to analyze the defeat of Muslim League. The resolution that you talk of was passed in this session. Previously, Jinnah was the champion of Hindu-Muslim unity. After this session, he was soon advocating the cause of a separate state – Pakistan. I don’t see any watershed event that precipitated his thinking of a separate state. Subsequently, Muslim League did win seats in the elections of 1946. I would call that realpolitik more than anything else.

    But that is not the issue. You fail to see the point that is conveyed by your own post. In today’s times, Pakistan is anything but stable. And reading your post gives an impression that Nehru, Gandhi and Congress were incredibly successful in their design of keeping Pakistan eternally unstable. Suppose your founding idea was realized in 1947. How then could Bengal and Punjab have made Pakistan stable? And how did their loss make you more unstable in 1947?

    In 1947, Jinnah accepted the annexation of Junagadh in Saurashtra with Pakistan – which was majority Hindu area. He also tried to convince rulers of Jodhpur, Bhopal and Indore to accede to Pakistan. This despite that those states were neither geographically linked to Pakistan nor were they Muslim majority. They were Hindu majority,

    If “founding idea” was the only thing that was dominating Muslim League’s thinking, they would not have accepted annexation of Saurashtra. This is a historical fact.

    You are emphasizing and oversimplifying the context of “founding idea” at the expense of complex events of 1947 that formed the basis of partition of India. Founding ideas tend to be romantic but they necessarily not be realized in full. There were many resolutions of Congress that spoke of united India. Obviously that did not happen in the tumultous times of 1947 for various reasons.

  19. Shahzad

    To all those who think the RSS/BJP are in the minority, just google Narendra Modi + Ambani. There are quite a number of videos out there with the Ambanis praising Modi as if he was god. The saffron brigade in India has a considerable following and is not a product of just the last 16 years. Godse and the others who assassinated Gandhi in cold blood are accepted as heros today, Varun Gandi’s latest diatribe against Muslims is an extension of a long list of hate mongers. Nehru were he alive today would be ashamed.

    To my Pakistani friends, we have made a monster out of Gandhi for no reason. True that he initially did not favor partition as a matter of principal, not because of some hatred against Muslims. Once it looked as if it would be the only solution to India’s ills, I feel he was the only Hindu who truly accepted it and paid for it with his life.

    Some of the comments mention the differences in our constitutions and that somehow India’s is the holiest document on this earth. It may be, but the proof’s in the pudding. Congress has done nothing for India’s muslims but every now and then will commission some report which infact is just a bureaucratic exercise and once complete gathers dust in an obscure corner for posterity.

    My prediction for the coming Indian elections, Congress will lose big time, the goons of BJP will improve their numbers significantly and Mayawati’s coalition will pick up all the poor states.

  20. Shahzad

    Amber my dear you seem to have led a very sheltered life……… 🙂

  21. YLH

    Topgun,

    I don’t think you’ve gotten the context of my comment.

    The issue was why and how Pakistan adopted the European Template of nationhood Kesavan talks about because Lahore Resolution does not propose a homogenously Muslim state … It is in that context that I have spoken about partition of Bengal and Punjab.

    That “stable” bit was point of view of the Congress which insisted on the arbitrary and illogical carving of Punjab and Bengal province. They felt that if they could do it they would Pakistan unviable and unworkable economically and financially.

    In the end, Pakistan survived despite Congress’ fondest hopes. But that is not the point of our discussion.

  22. Amber

    @Shahzad Mian

    Who claims that BJP does not have mass support.
    Surely they do have support.

    Ambanis and Modis both belong to the same state and hence there is a natural brotherhood amongst them. Also, Ambani is a businessman he will look for the best possible place to do business. And guess what, Gujrat led by the monster Modi is the least corrupt and best governed state of India.
    I suggest you search “Tata Nano” in Google.

    Why should Congress do anything for Muslims? What is it that Muslims have done which make them worthy of such preferential treatment. Congress surely did not do anything for the other minorities and they seem to be doing rather well. The moment we make such statement we bring the development agenda to a grinding halt. From then on it becomes communal politics with majority vs minority tussle. Policies should be geared towards development of all rather than xyz community.

    Only time will tell who will win or lose this elections. Psephology is a risky business in India. But your claim that BJP will come to absolute majority seems a little far fetched. Congress does have anti incumbency factor against them. Mayawati anyone?

  23. Milind Kher

    Modi is the least corrupt.

    Mullah Omar and Baitullah Mehsud are also squeaky clean.

    However, you don’t find people in Pakistan rooting for them. Similarly, you should not have Indians rooting for Modi.

  24. Shahzad

    Amber, big business in the US south totally supported their bigoted governments throughout the 60’s civil rights movement, doesn’t make it right does it…..

    As for why should Congress do anything for the muslims or for any other minority. Well why does India have affirmative action for scheduled castes, if you belong to one you can get into colleges even though you scored less then a Brahmin who loses out because of who he/she was born as.

    As for predicting election outcomes, I didn’t say BJP were gonna win a majority, I said they would significantly increase their numbers. And as far as predictions go, I also feel India is headed back to the politics of the 90’s, namely weaker federal govts with the coalitions breaking up much more quickly then we have seen in the recent past.

  25. Milind Kher

    Shahzad,

    You need affirmative action for scheduled castes. They have sufered immensely under the caste system.

    Even an exalted personality like Babasaheb Ambedkar used to have files tossed at him, rather than handed over to him, by people who regarded him as “untouchable”.

    Even today, many of these people are very repressed, and being bereft of adequate opportunities, cannot compete in the open market.

  26. Shahzad

    Milind,

    I should have elaborated my argument, affirmative action in my opinion is the right thing to do morally.

    It was meant as a response to Amber saying why Congress should do anything for muslims and then it would have to be extended to all minorities. Precisely my point, it should be, and if not then we are treating some to be more equal then others. Justice and fairness should be blind to color, creed or caste.

  27. Milind Kher

    Shahzad,

    The Muslims are also in as bad a state as any of the other communities.

    Yes, you do have Muslim achievers, but that is purely because of their individual merit, and not because they were given any special privilige.

    There are enough and more findings which show Muslims to be under represented, but that is mostly dismissed as “their fault”.

    The community lacks strong leaders. The scheduled caste had Babasaheb Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule.

    There have been people like Zakir Hussain and APJ Abdul Kalam, but these were thinkers, not statesmen.

  28. Shahzad

    Just an observation……have a lot of Indian friends and acquaintances from all over India, from what I have gathered Kerala seems to have fairly decent communal harmony. I am thinking that’s because of the communists who have been in power for quite some time now, anyone wana expand on that…….

  29. Milind Kher

    Shahzad,

    That has been the case till now. However, the RSS is focusing on Kerala in a big way. They have set up some 3000 shakhas (branches).

    Unless the administration is strong, this could pose a problem in the time to come.

  30. Amber

    Milind,

    It is not me and you who decide whom people should support.

    I looked purely from Modi’s achievements as the CM of Gujrat and his economic policies. The problem I had was with the line of thought that anyone who deals with Modi is also politically motivated towards right wing extremism. If that is the case Congress will be far worse.

    That Muslims do not have strong leaders is a known fact. But why is this after more than 60 years is the question? But do we really need strong political leaders to succeed as a community?
    Parsis or Jains don’t have any visibly strong political leaders yet still they are highly developed and wield greater influence. If we keep on waiting for the political Messiah then we might as well forget about it.

    I agree with Shahzad that we are most likely headed for a fractured mandate. But you never know which way the wind will blow in two months time.

  31. Shahzad

    Milind,

    Wow, wasn’t aware of that. Hopefully it doesn’t deteriorate, would like to have some dosa’s in TVD someday 🙂

  32. Milind Kher

    Amber,

    Parsis never had any history of antagonism with Hindus. Also, they are a very small community. So, they are free of a lot of disabilities that attach to the Muslim community.

    Jains are essentially Hindus, so they do not have an issue.

    Muslims have historically clashed with Hindus. Added to that, there is the history of partition. All this has made a lot of people very hostile towards Muslims.

    We definitely need to have strong leaders in the Ummah, so that our AAM MIYA BHAI feels secure.

  33. Shahzad

    Amber,

    There’s a good article on Modi in the recent Atlantic monthly. I am not arguing against what he’s done for Gujrat. I am just pissed at the fact that the BJP feels the only way to Delhi is communal politics and doesn’t realize the harm it does to the Indian nation.

    Not sure about Jains, but the Parsis wield their influence with their hoards of cash. I am not saying you have to wait for a messiah, but you do need strong leaders to exert influence, so I don’t agree with you on that one.

  34. Octavian

    Umm…is it just me or did this chap completely gloss over the fact that India’s flag has a big fat Ashoka’s wheel on it – Dharmic symbol of rebirth and war as I recall?

    Oh yeah, and here is a difference between India and Pakistan: We know who the extremists / terrorists are and we condemn them; at least the educated do. In India, they vote them into power, give them money, and then lecture other about secular democracy.

  35. Amber

    @Shahzad,

    I had said in one of my previous comments about the development difference between the north and south India. Kerela is the perfect example of this.

    Kerela is the only Indian state which is 100% literate. And that probably explains why there is harmony in that state. It has a fairly large Muslim population also as you noted. Communal harmony in south is pretty much at the same level as Kerela. Again, it is probably because of the level of education here compared to the North India.

    But like everything there is a dark side also. Kerela has the highest level of suicide rate in India at almost 3 times the national average. Education does not necessarily transform into jobs. While the communists are secular (or anti religion) their economic policies have ruined Kerala’s economy. No private investor can dare open a factory in Kerala due to presence of labour unions. Similar situation exists in West Bengal which is also under communist rule.

  36. Milind Kher

    Shahzad,

    Now you get dosas everywhere in India. So, if you can’t go to your favorite TVD, there are still many other places..

  37. Amber

    Milind,

    I disagree with you.

    Jains are completely distinct religious group just as Parsis, Buddhists and Sikhs. I suggest you read this.

    http://www.jainworld.com/jainbooks/antiquity/jainorel.htm

    This is also one of the fallacy of Hindus they tend to absorb everyone into their fold probably because Hindus do not have a strict dogma. Not that it is a bad thing.

  38. Shahzad

    Octavian,

    I don’t agree with you on the Ashoka chakra. It primarily stands for rule of law and equality for all. A lot of people chose to forget that Ashoka converted to Buddhism later in his life and was not a Hindu when he died. The same forces that routed Buddhism out of India are behind the BJP/RSS.

    Amber, this post was not about economic development. For the record I am not a communist and felt the Kerala govt was full of shit when they banned bottled drinks a few years ago.

    Milind, yeah I know dosa’s are all over the place. It’s kinda like wanting to have gellato or pizza in Italy. Being a Lahori, I am up for good food anywhere anytime.

  39. Shahzad

    Amber,

    Based on your opinion Gujrat is doing really well and there really shouldn’t be any communal issues. We know that is not true, economic development may play a part but it doesn’t seem to in this case.

    As for literacy rates, I am not sure on that one either.There’s quite a number of educated folks in India who vote for BJP, please tell me that’s not true.

    I hate cliches, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  40. lal

    Shahazad,
    in kerala there was always a strong muslim leadership…c h mohammed koya is still one of the most loved chief ministers in kerala history….also there was a political leadership in the name of muslim league which had a share in power every alternate 5 years…so the political estrangement that muslims in other parts of the country felt were not so acutely felt by muslims in kerala…along with this put in a very strong christian denomination…i think the demographic distribution will be something like 20% nairs,15%ezhavas,25% other hindu subcastes ,20% xians 20 % muslims…throw in a few jains,kerala brahmins,jews..and the cocktail is complete…and as u may be aware we never had a bjp mla even in the state assembly,forget an mp to the parliament

  41. YLH

    Kerala State Muslim League Committee or the Indian Union Muslim League is the only continuous unbroken Muslim League in the subcontinent from the erstwhile All India Muslim League of pre-1947 period.

    Interesting that the politics of consociationalism that Congress was so scared of actually worked very well in Kerala…with the League playing the role of third party after Congress and Communists… I think Ashutosh Varshney(spelling) wrote an excellent book which I have somewhere “hindus and muslim ethnic conflict” which puts up League in Kerala as an example of positive communal politics in aid of Indian secularism.

  42. bonobashi

    I have been reading this blog with pleasure and considerable edification, and no intention of posting at all. However, I felt that a recent comment was most unfortunate and required a response, with the facts foremost.

    @Octavian

    It is you, I’m afraid. Shahzad has already replied this; I venture to add some supplementary material. The chakra in the Indian flag is the dharmachakra, the symbol of Buddhism. It should properly be shown with eight spokes, representing the eight-fold path taught by Gautam Buddha. The version shown in the Indian flag is a variation taken from the Lion Capital at Sarnath; ironically, this particular icon is seen by experts to have Persian antecedents. War and rebirth don’t come into it. Permit me to say that I found your comment in questionable taste.

    @Shahzad, @Milind

    With reference to Kerala, yes, there is a definite strong line that the CPM (not the CPI, as someone else mistakenly suggested – the CPI is on the verge of de-recognition, if not already de-recognised, by the Election Commission as a national party) has taken not just in Kerala but in West Bengal as well. You might like to remember that in Bengal, we have generally kept communalism out so far. However, there have been unpleasant incidents of late. On two occasions, the last as recently as a few days ago, Muslims have forced a completely unfair decision on either the government or a popular newspaper through mob violence. This example of Muslim communalism has been a bitter draught for a lifelong secularist to swallow, and I can only ascribe it to the CPM’s growing fear that it has lost the attention of Muslims in Bengal, because it did diddly squat to improve their economic condition, just as it did diddly squat to improve the economic condition of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists – the lot. And that is why a scoundrel and genocidal maniac like Narendra Modi gets the attention that he does, because in a failing market, he has managed to get jobs to Gujarat.

    Yes, as Milind says, the Parivar has identified Kerala as a hold-out state, and has severely intensified its efforts there, and this has led to bloody battles in Kannur (Cannanore). Fortunately, as also pointed out, with a 100% literacy rate, everyone is aware of the stakes. It is interesting to note that Islam came to Kerala through voluntary adoption and through migration. There was little or no coercion involved. Perhaps as a result, Kerala Muslims have a self-confidence and tend to be very even-handed on communal matters; the Moplah rebellion of the 20s during the Khilafat movement is now a memory. It is not at all clear that the Parivar will prevail; as a result, its efforts in Karnataka, the neighbouring state, have become increasingly violent and desperate.

    @Shahzad

    I was a little uneasy about your remark that the same forces that routed Buddhism from India are the ones behind the RSS. You are technically right, and I concede your point, but the RSS co-opting vedanta and the Shankaracharya’s teachings don’t make vedanta and the Shankaracharya the tools or the allies of the RSS. A detailed explanation is out of place here, but I would be glad to explain off-line.

    Did you read history?

    In general, it is unfortunate that in spite of YLH’s best efforts, the basic argument of Mukul Kesavan, which is cool-headed and rational, seems to have been lost while everybody flung mud at everybody else. Unfortunately, the idea of Pakistan and the idea of India clash in its fundamentals. This is in no way to gainsay the legitimacy of Pakistan today, or the solidity and reality of its existence; not at all. Mohammed Hanif made that point in Jaipur sufficiently strongly not to require this particular dead equine carcasse to be flogged further.

    I think Kesavan was drawing attention to the fact that in spite of our best intentions, Indian liberals find themselves, almost against their will as it were, asking the question to those Pakistanis with whom they manage to strike a rapport. Kesavan’s article was an attempt to understand this betise. I hope it will be understood in those terms, and that we can walk away from discussing what is a fact here and now, and what has to be accepted as a fact. It was in fact an internal soliloquy, not really intended for Pakistanis, and seeks to explain to us why we act in such a disastrously tactless, seemingly discourteous way. As the French say, Tout comprendre, tout pardonner.

  43. lal

    YLH,
    IUML is in the decline now.One reason was that after babri demolition muslim league did not break its alliance with congress which is widely held responsible for the demolition in kerala..muslim leagues stand was though they disapproved narasimha rao s silence in the matter,it was a time for all to stand together and strengthen the hands of the only national party with some secular credentials..but this was interpreted in certain muslim circles as the response of a power hungry party who did not want to let go the positions it hsa gained…this incident helped the growth of parties with dubious credentials like NDF and Abdul nasar madanis(accused in the coimbathore bomb blasts attempt to murder of l k advani and since released by the court) PDP…interestingly PDP and communists are in alliance in this election to rout the muslim league in its last bastion….the argument is congress and muslim league minister in the central cabinet e ahmed is responsible for the indo -us nuclear deal which is opposed by both communists and PDP

  44. Shahzad

    Bonobashi,

    I don’t claim to be a historian but yes I have read my history. We could argue for hours over what’s behind the RSS and their philosophical underpinnings. It would inevitably turn into a religious debate which can never be resolved.

    My point however was that there has always been a fundamentalist faction of Hinduaism which Ashoka, Budha and Gandhi turned away from. That may be simplistic in the interests of brevity but can not be denied. Kesavan’s arguments have to be considered in the backdrop of Hinduism/Islam even though we may not like it. Liberals in India or Pakistan have unfortunately not risen to the point where their discourse can be said to be totally free of religious influences.

    Gandhi truly accepted partition once it happened, why is that Indian liberals find it so hard to do so…

  45. YLH

    Lal,

    E. Ahamed has proved himself to be a true patriot of India and a great Muslim Leaguer at the same time in view.

    I wonder if someday we would see such unflinching loyalty to Pakistan from those like the ANP for example.

  46. Amber

    bonobashi,

    Very well said.

    And thanks all for a good discussion.

  47. bonobashi

    @Shahzad

    Please be sure that my comments below are made with respect; disagreement does not require lack of respect or of courtesy.

    The point was about the difference between those factors which diminished (not eradicated) Buddhism, and those behind the Sangh Parivar. Since the facts on each situation are readily available, I don’t see why it should need argument for hours, only for such period of time and length that it takes to arrange and deploy the evidence. It is lengthy and voluminous, and it is the length and volume from which I wish to protect the others.

    No, it is not a religious debate necessarily, because no belief in any particular religion is called for, only knowledge of the practices and the philosophical underpinnings of these, which can be addressed by those who do not hold with religion, like myself.

    Further, to say that there was a fundamentalist faction in Hinduism which Buddha, Ashoka and perhaps even Gandhi turned away from is both temporally and factually incorrect. The Buddha was reacting to a degeneration into formal, ritual gibberish which insulted human intelligence, not an insistence on a core of practice felt to be immutable with respect to time. There is no record of Ashoka’s reaction against ‘fundamentalist’ Hinduism at all, assuming for a moment that such a thing existed at that time and place (it didn’t).

    It does not appear that Gandhi thought he was required to fight fundamentalism, with perhaps his position on the lower castes, whom he called Harijans, and whom it is current practice to call Dalits, an exception. I am willing to concede the point with regard to Gandhi, interpreting both facts and intention in the broadest possible manner.

    Having said that, your point about the need for simplicity in order to achieve brevity is noted. There is obvious loss of detail in the process, which I acknowledge.

    On this, as on several further observations below, I would be more than happy to explain my interpretation of the facts where it does not hold up traffic.

    Going by recent personal experience, I am sorry I cannot agree with you about discourse being confined to the tramlines of religious difference on either side. On a number of occasions, my experience has been different. In any case, I would find it difficult to uphold any religious point of view, so the question does not arise. A desire to adhere to known and accepted facts is different from adherence to the philosophy or the ideology behind those facts.

    Finally your point about Gandhi is tendentious. There are a very large number of us who have quite happily accepted the fact of partition, and we are not confined, as far as I can make out, to any one religion.

    That apart, there is a fundamental flaw in your arguments. Generally, I submit that you are mistaken in assuming a religious context. That would demand that every Muslim desired then, and continues to support now the need for partition, and that every Hindu denied then and continues to reject now the same partition, in terms of it being needed.

    Kesavan’s remarks are perfectly compatible with, and in my opinion, made against the backdrop of a liberal, secular orientation, not a religious one. There is nowhere in his piece any evidence to indicate such a context. Nor is it accurate to assume – the only other clinching argument that might be deployed – that every Pakistani represents an observant Muslim standpoint, and that every Indian represents an observant Hindu standpoint. I am sure you will agree that this is obviously and comically untrue.

  48. Shahzad

    Bonobashi,

    I don’t think in any of my comments I attempted to make any arguments with personal attacks, discourse can be and should always be civil, so no need to worry.

    History alas is not a criminal case which we can prosecute based on presented evidence. It is precisely that evidence presented that we will disagree on and being history it will be long and arduous.

    I am happy also to know that you like to believe that your arguments don’t rest on any religious subconscious, you my friend I am afraid are an endangered species in both Pakistan and India. Personally I feel it requires on my part a visit to India to truly see what’s going on. There’s only so much you can understand through the written word.

    So perhaps one day over a cup of chai 🙂

  49. bonobashi

    @Shahzad

    Two points:

    I am taking great pains not to be misunderstood because I am a relative stranger on Pak Tea House. On ATP, among protective, caring friends who understood my idiosyncrasies and forgive my antics, it is completely different. These pains do not mean any doubt in my mind about the essential goodwill and graciousness of regulars here, these are only my way of emphasising that I speak with goodwill too, and with an open hand.

    Your point is, to some extent, correct; some personal acquaintance with the state of affairs here in India would certainly be useful. Not entirely correct; if that were so, we could none of us comment on a land we have not visited personally, and I would have to shut up about matters relating to Pakistan (not entirely a bad idea).

    I wish I could invite you to visit immediately, this minute. It would probably be better a while later, once the dust has died down, however. Certainly winter is preferable; this summer is already showing bad signs. In case you do think of such a visit seriously, do please let me know, and whatever strings can be pulled will be pulled.

    Be aware that one visit to one city is unlikely to get you anywhere. Ask other Indians on the list and they will each bombard you with a detailed itinerary, all wrong, of course, but all very confident in their being the only correct one, and all willing to explain to you in excruciating detail why they are correct. That’s India for you, even before you set foot in our strange country.

    You are welcome, dear Sir.

  50. lal

    Well i think gandhi took a 3 rd class train journey through out india after returning from south africa to have an understanding what this diverse nation was all about…these days one often sees foreigners sitting in crowded 2nd class sleepers or on a local train with a thick volume of guide book on india and a camera to focus on ‘real india’…ya u r always welcome shahzad

  51. Shahzad

    @ Bonobashi

    You should be happy to know that you are not being misunderstood. As for ATP, it’s a good blog to read but I refuse to comment there because of their heavy handed editorial policies, I had a few of my comments deleted for no good reason except that maybe the editors didn’t agree with my opinion. They were in good taste, not dogmatic and were not in any way abusive.

    Also, my feeling that you need to be in a country to gauge it’s pulse does not come from being an ultra nationalist whereby anyone who is not a citizen can not comment on it’s affairs. It arises out of a need to truly understand what is happening. If it were true that I believed only Pakistanis could comment on Pakistan, I would not have raised any of the issues that I did.

    Thanks also for the generous offer, greatly appreciated, not sure when it would happen though. Logistically it has to be tied in to my visit to Pakistan so let’s see.

  52. nobodysnobody

    Well if you watch the same movies, listen and dance to the same music,read the same Shayar and share the same family values, then partition still looks like a blunder still to me, but since it already has happened, I think both countries should look forward and leave the past way behind.

    I think the best way of doing this is:-

    1st — stop any ties and freeze any relation between for a while like 20 years and develop ourselves individually.

    2nd — Should cut all cultural ties (as Pakistan has already did), India should also keep its Bollywood movies out of Pakistan and its wired media, as that confuses Pakistani minds.

  53. yasserlatifhamdani

    nobodysnobody,

    Here is the funny thing… we – Pakistanis- don’t give a damn if you think it was a “blunder”.

  54. Shahzad

    nobodysnobody,

    The Sachar report is evidence enough that maybe partition was necessary.

  55. lal

    i dont want to debate on whether partition was necessary or not.but shahzad,i didnt get this relationship between sachar commision report and partition.justice sachar says that representation of muslims in government jobs in india is less when compared to there numerical strength.the reason he cites is the poor educational levels among indian muslims.one of the reasons for that is the large scale migration of educated indian middle class muslims to pakistan during partition,expecting a better career opportunity there.so how does sachar justify partition.kindly explain on that point

  56. bonobashi

    I rather agree with lal; the Sachar report by itself is not sufficient evidence regarding the necessity or other wise of partition. He has given some reasons; there are more.

    Besides, one could more pertinently take exception to nobodysnobody statement of his grounds for thinking partition unnecessary.

    Whatever the similarities, indeed identities, at the time of partition, after two generations of development and growth, the two countries are far apart. There are superficial similarities, especially among the Punjabi elite on both sides, but that hardly serves the purpose. So, too, on the other side of the sub-continent; development in the two Bengals has been massively differential, and we are not the same any longer. Not enough to warrant remarks of the sort made.

    Finally, vast numbers of people on both sides of the borders – note that I include both sets of borders, to the east as well as to the west – have little or nothing to do with the kindred people who were effectively divided. In the case of Pakistan, they constitute a significant minority; in the case of India, an overwhelming majority.

    (Bangladesh does prove awkward. But then, when has Bangladesh – and Bangladeshis – not proved awkward? We SDREs are getting quite used to it by now and can be humourous about it – sometimes).

    So the grounds, the premises for the conclusion are faulty. There is no need to go further or to increase our blood pressure on this point.

    None of the above is a defence of nobodysnobody or his badly-stated position; it is possible that this probably applies to lal as well. But on re-reading the provocative remarks in question, one was constrained to smile. Please follow the line of thought closely.

    If partition was a mistake, an unsettling idea that was introduced to me by a young Pakistani friend through the medium of Ayesha Jalal’s brilliant work, and

    if present similarities are superficial in nature, not substantive, and

    if these merely cause an excess of emotional rhetoric obscuring the concrete obstacles in the path of good neighbourliness,

    then one does begin to see, dimly, through a clouded glass, where nobodysnobody is coming from. One does not still agree, but at least there is a form of tortured logic underlying the position.

    A little generosity in interpretation might help us all. Beginning with myself, not all of us commenting or posting have had the privilege of advanced education that some others have had, from their public records. May I beg of those who are privileged thus that they be generous to the equivalents, on this list, of the Sachar Commission’s subjects of study, the plebeians on the list, as it were.

    And perhaps – dare I suggest it? – a sense of humour might help.

  57. Shahzad

    Nobodysnobody, Lal and Bonobashi,

    I am afraid there’s not much I can say to persuade you gentlemen. Suffice it to say, the impassioned arguments employed by you do show a certain unease with partition and why it was necessary. Case in point:

    “If partition was a mistake, an unsettling idea that was introduced to me by a young Pakistani friend through the medium of Ayesha Jalal’s brilliant work, and if present similarities are superficial in nature, not substantive, and if these merely cause an excess of emotional rhetoric obscuring the concrete obstacles in the path of good neighbourliness, then one does begin to see, dimly, through a clouded glass, where nobodysnobody is coming from. One does not still agree, but at least there is a form of tortured logic underlying the position.”

    Aside from employing one of the longest sentences I have come across recently, Bonobashi your defense of Nobodynobody is not particularly strong if all you have to offer is some tortured logic when there is none there at all.

  58. bonobashi

    @Shahzad

    Really, no, this is not on.

    My sentences will shorten. More to the point, were they not grammatical? Or do my arguments become weaker with every extra word used? Was my logic defective? I have worked with aviation-class artefacts before, but was unaware that this blog represented a similar case.

    Perhaps the strain of deciphering my rambling may have distracted you. To refresh your memory:

    “None of the above is a defence of nobodysnobody or his badly-stated position; it is possible that this probably applies to lal as well. But on re-reading the provocative remarks in question, one was constrained to smile. ”

    What more is required to clarify my stand?

    I am not sure why you are clubbing three of us together, and what that is supposed to prove or to achieve. While I respect the individuals concerned, as I do every individual, I do not need the safety of numbers to present my point of view.

    What was presented by me was a paraphrase, in easier, more logical form, of the arguments of nobodysnobody. This does not constitute either agreement or support. I am sure that, on reflection, you will realise that.

    Two points for your consideration: the ‘longest sentence’ was a summation of an entire post in one sentence. Short of re-designing and re-presenting the sutras of ancient grammatical practice, I could think of no other way. You may set it down to my sadly neglected education. Is there a prize being given?

    And finally, your triumphant final flourish doesn’t compute on several grounds.

    First, it is not my tortured logic; it is that of nobodysnobody. I assure you that nobodysnobody is not a nom de plume of mine. Also I don’t torture logic, or any other body of learning; only some parts of Wren and Martin, left behind as hostages from a border dispute many moons ago.

    Second, it wasn’t possible to understand how the final peroration ran: if what was offered was tortured logic, it is logic of some variety, however maimed and misshapen. How then did we conclude that there is none at all? You can have your cake; on the other hand, you can eat it. But not what you have done in your last post – pun unintended, I hasten to add.

    In all this kerfuffle, Kesavan’s point is well and truly lost. Let me remind you and everybody else interested (in numbered form since the compound sentence is found offensive):

    1. Liberals need not agree.
    2. Those coming from a majoritarian and those from another background may well agree on everything but find some distance still remaining.
    3. The seeming discourtesy of Indians asking Pakistani liberals about their views on the validity of the idea of the Pakistani state is due to this disparity.

    One last effort: Kesavan was not defending what people do on these occasions; he was seeking to explain. Take it at that level. Please don’t set out to answer the question.

    Please instead try to understand the different intellectual context of the two interlocuting sides.

    Similarly, on a much humbler level, I was not defending nobodysnobody; I was seeking to explain his thinking.

    Bottom line: try not to shoot the messenger in future.

  59. dear all pakistani freinds,

    if many indian muslims r giving their passports back to the pakistan then why bangladesh was seperated??the fact is…..u dont care about ur own people.Also i want to add that the recently article written by Mr.M.J.Akber in times of india stating that they have taken right decision not going to pakistan after partition looking to the present situation of pakistan.And they feel proud for that decision.

  60. yasserlatifhamdani

    What a question.

    The creation of Bangladesh had to do with their Bengali identity and the denial of their democratic rights in the federation as per Lahore Resolution.
    The creation of Bangladesh is perfectly consistent with the text of the Lahore resolution …

    As for M J Akbar… he can say whatever he wants but how does that negate the fact that there has been a constant stream of Muslim migration to Pakistan in the last 62 years?

    Mind you … the statement that Mr. Akbar made was in any event a reflection of the idiocy that passes for scholarship in our subcontinent. Neither the Lahore Resolution nor the creation of Pakistan envisaged an absorption of Muslims from India…. an exchange of populations would have been a question only if Punjab and Bengal were not divided on Congress’ behest … and that too was not envisaged by the Lahore resolution.

  61. Dastagir

    India-Pakistan : Ziddam Zidda… Nuisance Value… Tom & Jerry ! Nobody in the world gives a damn., if a million people die in India or Pakistan (there are just too many !)… The Resolution to partition India (circa 1947) was disposed off in 15 (fifteen) minutes flat in the House of Commons., just before Tea.

    Jai Ho.

    So, that mis-placed “attention-value” must be brought to ground reality(ies).

    There is great truth in the idion : “Hate the sin and not the sinner”. Varun Gandhi may be a symptom of hatred.,but then Varun spoke exactly what Sanjay did 30 yrs back… what Mrs. Indira Gandhi did (thru-out her life until death). But Indira was sophisticated to dress hate up, with elegance and nuance it. Now the circle has come full. Nehru-Gandhi family has come full circle.

    Today i got up and switched the TV on at 8 AM., because Menaka Anand Gandhi (some say she subsequently became Menaka Anand Gandhi Ahmed… god knows)., had promised to address a Press Conference in Bareilly. But she preferred to travel to Delhi. She did not say 1 (one) word., but her half-smile, and her orange saree said it all.

    I read the signal clearly. She will address the Press in Delhi (for maximum coverage / TRP / Reach) tonite, or tomorrow… (teaser campaign.. to increase curiosity among viewers).. She wants maximum exposure. This is the moment she had wanted for 30+ years now. It is her moment. She is the bride. In the Press Conference., she will blame Mrs. Sonia Gandhi for all the troubles. She will shout “vendetta”. The real target is to equate Varun and bring him in direct confrontation / equation with Rahul Gandhi. (A diamond to cut a diamond strategy). 800 million people earn < USD 2 /day in India. 400 million people earn < USD 1/day in India. This crude message will resonate thruought India. Idea is to confuse the “Gandhi” name… and sell Varun against Rahul as the “Protector” of Hindu Girls against Muslim goons. This is the old sure-shot HIT RSS movie screenplay that it has successfully used for the past 80 years (60 yrs more powerfully post 1947). The BJP fed Menaka Gandhi for 30 years… now it will extract its price. Menaka has to read the statement prepared by RSS as a quid-pro-quo.

    Menaka’s background : Even at age 16, Menaka was a RSS girl. Sanjay at age 18 too, was a RSS boy. Mrs. Gandhi, was pucca RSS (but elegant , sophisticated , she hid her innermost thoughts from the world very successfully… no one knew the real Indira., but if you dissect/analyse her actions; read / try to understand Indira thru her actions; there is one distinct line one cant miss. Her deep hatred for Islam and Muslims, comes out very clear throughout. From childhood until death. But the Nehru Family was cultured and sophisticated enough, not to let that hatred surface before the public eye. Therein lied their class and elan. Varun bared the reality for the world to see, most crudely.

    Ziddam Zidda : BJP earlier said, let us say what Election Commission says., and then we will respond accordingly. Now the Election Comm. has found Varun guilty (after the CD was examined by forensic experts in the Forensic Lab at Agra)., what is BJP’s reply. It will evade that question… change the goal-post… and take the discussion to a counter question : “The election commission has NO right to bar a candidate…”. So Varun speech / its authenticity placed on the backburner., and now the Rights of the Election Commission become the point of debate.

    This is called side-tracking (or shifting) the topic. BJP will refuse to oblige., because Ziddam-Zidda provides great excitement, and is a sign of fake Viagra machismo.

    RSS ideology is based on fake Viagra machismo !

    Jai Ho.

    What does Varun has to do with Pakistan : Varun has abused Pakistan openly – and this is unacceptable. They have every right to voice their opinions. This is not just Varun the person. it is the disease. How to counter this ? Will it take a nuclear war to make Pakistani citizens wake up and think ? Pakistan and Bangladesh MUST join China… to realise economies of scale. Dont we see corporate mergers (even between rivals… why ? to achieve economies of scale). Applying the same logic, Pak + Bangladesh must merge with China… What is the fear… what will they lose. Nothing. Infact they stand to gain all. Small countries have meagre resources. Please try to understand. I am not interested in “dissolving” your countries. If they are not working well – they should be merged with those who are successful ! Since Indo-Pak-Bangla cannot merge (cuz that would bring in 400 million muslims into India; who will chop Varun’s **** off and throw it to the dogs., if he utter 1 (one) filthy word…. they would never want that). So what is the option.

    Merge Pak + Bangladesh with China… Go for the merger without fear.

    Indian Muslims : Dont be afraid of any goonda. Whether it is Sanjay Gandhi of the 1970s, or the Sapola Varun Gandhi of 2009. Many goondas have come and gone… Realise the importance of “Secular Education”. I will not say a word about theology, cuz thats not my expertise. I want Muslims to master Physics + Math. Thats it. At the same time, go for simple marriages. Conserve money.. conserve assets.. develop synergy.. even if you hate fellow muslims (humans are flawed), understand the benefits of community living.

    Jai Ho.

  62. Majumdar

    Well, I guess a lot has already been said. So I will not say anything relevant to the topic but just a few mirchis will do.

    Re: Ashok Chakra

    I dunno what AC stands for except that it is a symbol associated with Ashoka’s understanding of Buddhism, a religion which was inspired by and broke away from Hindooism. But nonetheless it was adopted by India, a 85% Hindoo majority country. It would be bit like Pakistan, a Muslim majority country, adopting a symbol of Mirzayyat, as the national emblem of Pakistan.

    Re: The boundary lines

    Both the parties- AIML and INC were hypocrites. AIML claimed states for Pakistan on the ground of Muslim majority. Yet it did not prevent them for asking for Assam, a minority state. INC did not accept TNT for India but then insisted on applying it for Punjab/Bengal, AIML did the reverse. AIML (and its today’s supporters like YLH) cry foul over partition of Bengal and Punjab on the ground that it is wrong to divide provinces yet it did not prevent them from dividing up Assam. Same with princely states. INC wanted Hyd and Jgadh, Muslim states cos they had Hindoo majorities but wanted JK too ‘cos it had Hindoo prince. Same ways with AIML which wanted not only Kashmir but also Hyd and Jgadh on the reverse. And also intrigued with Rajputana provinces and Bhopal. And in the end, ended up losing Kashmir as well.

    many Indian Muslims even today try to migrate to Pakistan

    Well Yasser mian you can advise about 15 million BD Muslims who have migrated to India since 1947 to migrate to Pakistan instead, they are wasting their time pulling rickshaws in India. And yes there is the little matter of 200,000 Indian Muslims stranded in Dhaka.

    Dastagir babu,

    YLH : Edit this – make it more compact and brief

    Well, I will do the needful . India/Hindoos very bad, Pakis/Muslims very good. That I think sums up your post pretty well.

    Shahzad mian,

    Gandhi truly accepted partition once it happened, why is that Indian liberals find it so hard to do so…

    That is because Indian liberaloons (esp Hindoos) have their heads stuck up their a**** and dont know what is good for themselves.

    Regards

  63. Majumdar

    Dastagir babu,

    Merge Pak + Bangladesh with China…

    That is a sensible idea. China loves Muslims- just ask any Uighur. I am sure China will be very thrilled to have 300 million more Muslims citizens.

    Regards

  64. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar…

    The AIML’s position on boundaries was logical given that the demand was for reconstitution of constituent units and even an all India-center and not partition. Now Congress’ application of TNT on the other hand would have made sense if Congress came out and said that yes they accepted TNT but would apply it to constituent units as well… except that hypocritcally, Congress continued to deny the theory it most cynically used to create havoc.

    As for Assam, AIML asked for Assam because it had the backing of the scheduled caste federation and Muslims + Scheduled castes outnumbered the caste Hindus. Now it was a number game… but yes AIML did lay claim to Assam …

    Interestingly in 1939 Gandhi described Jinnah’s efforts as an attempt to create a non-communal broadbased front against the Congress… a description that Jinnah was forced to deny (but which he really was after) because this would have weakened him vis a vis other Muslim politicians especially in the Muslim majority provinces.

  65. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    except that hypocritcally, Congress continued to deny the theory it most cynically used to create havoc.

    True. While I support INC’s stand in 1946-47, what I denounce is its hypocrisy which cost thousands of innocent lives.

    AIML asked for Assam because it had the backing of the scheduled caste federation and Muslims + Scheduled castes outnumbered the caste Hindus.

    But what about the other non caste Hindoo/non Muslim communities who lived in Assam. Did their views have to count? I believe (in a way eeriely reminiscent of Gandhi’s views on blacks) some AIML reps had argued that tribals being lesser folk, their views did not count.

    Regards

  66. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Majumdar,

    I am not familiar with the numbers in Assam but I am of the view that Muslims + scheduled castes formed a clear majority in the electorate and the assembly…

    Since the representative status of Congress, ML and other parties was through the elections of 1946… I think the same rules as any other province would apply.

  67. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Hindoos were 34.6%, Muslims were 33.7%, SCs 6.6%. Tribals, Sikhs and Christians were the balance.

    40.3% certainly does not make a majority and I ams not sure that in Assam the SCs were in any case voting for ML.

    Btw, in the 1946 assembly it was a INC led govt headed by Bardoloi in power, not an ML led got so even from the legislative POV, AIML had little claim on Assam.

    Btw, I think the SC leadership of East Bengal must be given a gold medal for being the most brilliant and farsighted of all the community leadership in the Indian subcontinent in 1947!!!

    Regards

  68. YLH

    Majumdar,

    In Punjab Christians threw their lot in with the League. At the very least it was worth a shot …

    May I remind you that there was a Congress-unionist governement in Punjab even through manipulation despite League majority.

  69. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    In Punjab Christians threw their lot in with the League. At the very least it was worth a shot …

    True. But what was true of Punjoo Christains wasnt necessarily applicable for Assamese Christians and tribals.

    May I remind you that there was a Congress-unionist governement in Punjab through manipulation despite League majority.

    Yes. But that did not prevent a majority of Punjab being given to Pakistan on TNT principle. And Assam (barring Sylhet) going to India.

    Regards

  70. yasserlatifhamdani

    True… but given that the Hindu lead was slender… less than 1%… it was open to both parties and “nations” to woo other smaller communities… and in the end you won … a fair contest no?

  71. Majumdar

    Yeah. Partition was by and large fair except for Kashmir where a serious injustice was done to Pakistan. As regarding 3/4 tehsils of Gurdaspur, it was a small loss alright but balanced by small gains in Bengal.

    My gripe is with Pakis who object to Assam and partition of Bengal/Punjab as being unfair.

    Regards

  72. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar,

    Gurdaspur had serious implications for both violence and Kashmir.

    As for partition of Punjab and Bengal… the issue is not unfairness but Congress and its supporters taking responsibility for their actions instead of the double speak on it.

  73. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Congress and its supporters taking responsibility for their actions instead of the double speak on it.

    Absolutely.

    Regards

  74. Wise Old Man

    To summarize, partition did happen, and most indians accept it. In fact, it worked so well for the Pakistanis that they went through the exercise once again in 1971.

    I dont think there is a single sane indian who is today upset about Partition when he sees what’s going on there now.

    There was a joke doing the rounds when Laloo was CM of Bihar..about how Pakistan could take kashmir, but take Bihar as well. I dont think that’s so funny now – would be pretty harsh on the biharis to send them there.

  75. YLH

    1971 was a reaffirmation of the Lahore resolution and the undoing of Congress’ insistence on having Bengal in the Pakistan federation.

  76. lal

    bonobashi,
    the sachar commission full report is available fron the miniroty affairs ministry website…it is a 425 paage pdf document…an abridged form of the report is available in milligazatte,com by dr,zayed saffer mahmood…google for Summarised Sachar Report on Status of Indian Muslims…
    shehzad,there is a british movie called sliding doors.in the film we see two parallel lives of the heroine.what happens if she catches the bus and what happens if she doesnt..such some real time simulation is needed for me to comment whether partition was good or not.as of now,i have lived only in a post partition india,and i am entirely happy with it.what i asked u was something specific about ur argument on linking sachar report and partition

  77. bonobashi

    @lal

    Thank you very much for the information on the Sachar Committee report. I had to prepare a digest of it from the original in October/November year before last for a Hyderabad-based NGO involved in education and so landed up reading it in detail. Not a happy task; it is no work of literature. On the other hand, its sincerity is clear in every line. Thank you nevertheless for your kind thought.

  78. Shahzad

    Lal,

    Like you mentioned the Sachar report is a 425 page document, if you wish I would be happy to go over the specifics and point out exactly how Muslims have been sidelined over the past 60 years. It was precisely this fear of Muslim rights being usurped that finally led to Jinnah agreeing to partition. Jinnah in fact was fine with a united India even up until the Cabinet Mission plan in 1946 and only went full steam ahead for Pakistan when Congress could not agree on measures to ensure that Muslims would not find themselves in the situation that they are in today.

  79. Rubicon

    Yaseer Mian,

    Nice that you take things that happened in 1971 so optimistically. I am not sure if your compatriots will agree.

    Shahjad,
    Viewed in hindsight, if Jinnah had known how Pakistan would have turned out today ( terrorism, fundamanetalism, Taliban etc), I am not sure he would have insisted on Partition. He probably would have focussed on United India. Jinnah’s Pakistan (if it was meant to be secular, tolerant democratic country) was never realized. Hence, he was wrong on the creation of Pakistan as well. Morever, the preposterous behaviour of partitioned Pakistan since Independence has had its share of ill effects on Indian Muslims.
    Morever, Jinnah’s Pakistan will probably have the worst record of treating minorities. (Atleast India has lots of progressive minorities – Sikhs, Budhists, Parsis, Christians etc)

  80. Rex

    Abt communal harmony in kerala: it has a lot to do with literacy and communism and stuff. but as much as that, I would say the lack of historic xenophobia (that the mughal invasion created in the Hindu communities in north india) is a very important factor. Malabar region in particular was a haven for travellers from the Arab lands and the religion had thrived here more naturally and harmoniously than how the Mughals propogated it in North india. In short, islam was not imposed by invaders, it was embraced by friends/brothers-in-commerce.

    But yes, the communal harmony is being undermined by CPM sending out wrong messages by joining hands with Madani, which might give fuel to the RSS movement. As for RSS, i do not see them flourishing in kerala for a long while to come.

    As for Sachar, I do not really agree with the root cause evaluation that people seem to be gleaning from it. traditionally the muslim community in india had been, to a large extent, focused on business and small-time enterpreneurship. Even during my school years I had noticed a common attitude among a lot of my muslim friends that, education beyond 10th std was a less profitable idea than going into business from an early age.

    I confess i have not read the report in its entirety, so can anyone tell me whether they have compared the ratio of muslims who applied for a job in civil services/army to the number who got selected vis-a-vis other communities. point being, my perception is that the preference for civil services and army jobs is somewhat less among muslims. Quite possible that I may be wrong.

    @ Shahzad: What is TVD?

  81. Rex

    @ Shahzad: “….Muslims would not find themselves in the situation that they are in today”

    I do strongly believe that belonging to ANY community is not gonna help/prevent someone to reach anywhere. it is individual dedication and perseverence that counts whether he is a Brahmin or a sikh or a muslim.
    Reminds me of a line from the latest Rocky movie…
    ” Somewhere along the way you allowed someone to put a finger in face and tell you that you were no good. and then you started to look for someone else to blame your failures on.Like a ‘Big Shadow’. The world is a tough place. You or me or anyone is not gonna hit as hard as life. i dont care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it. ” Getting ahead, anywhere in the world isnt an easy job. Pointing a finger and saying, “I’m not what I should be coz of him/her/anybody” is not gonna get anybody anywhere.

    I know of friends who had ranks ten times better than their muslim/ST counterparts but were still sidelined for admissions to professional courses. those who whiled their time away blaming reservation(affirmative action) has gotten nowhere, but those who worked harder have gone places. So there….

  82. lal

    rex,
    broadly the findings are
    demography-
    1.indias muslim population in 2001 is estimated to be 138 million.
    2.there is a decrease in the population growth rate from 22.7 % in 1981-1991 to 19.9 % in 91-01.
    In 1961 hindus were 83.5 % of popualation and muslims 10.7 %.in 2001 it is 80.5 5 and 13.4 % respectively.
    3.the sex ratio of muslims is significantly HIGHER tha general population.
    4.in 2001 the urban distribution of muslim population (35.7%) is significantly HIGHER than general population (27.8%)
    5.the infant mortality ,under 5 mortality are LOWER than general poulation.(nfhs 1&2)
    6.average life expectancy is HIGHER by 1 year for muslim population when compared to general
    7.Total Fertility Rate of muslims is HIGHER than national average.
    8.no significant differance for age at marriage of muslim population when compared to general(that i never understood)
    9.child malnutrition is HIGHER for muslim population.

    EDUCATION-
    1.LITERACY-muslim total literacy in 2001 is 59.1 far below the national average of 65.1 %(sc/st is ony 52.2 %).male musim literacy is 68 % much below the national average of 75.3 %,but interestingly female literacy of muslims (50 %) and general (53 %) are comparable.
    2.the mean years of schooling 3 yeras four months is significantly lower than general population (4 years)
    3.the enrollment rate of muslim students is actually icreasing and is nearing national average.the percentage of muslims with primary level education is 42 % (national average 51 %),matric level is 16 %(nat ave 19 %) and higher sec education is 7 % to a nat average of 13 %.for graduation the relevan data are 4% and 7 %.for technical graduates it is .2 and .8 respectively.
    4.muslim representation in premier educational institutions are pathetic.only one out of 25 student in a ug course and one out of 50 in a pg course is muslim.for eg in IITs out of the 27161 students only 894 are muslims.interestingly,from IIMs,one out of every 3 muslim candidate called for interview got in which is better than other socioeconomic classes.
    5.only 4 % of muslim students study in madrassas(not in maktabs)

    ok,that covers around 100 pages…the rest at some other time.shehzad can u give us the corresponding data in pakistan.it might make interesting reading.of cos it wud be gr8 if we had the corresponding stats at the time of partition and study the changes too…

  83. bonobashi

    @Shahzad

    My sincere suggestion, no sarcasm, no innuendo included or implied, is that you take a close look at the actual report at the earliest convenient time. From personal experience, I found that it had none of the sensational content that newspaper reporters ascribed to it. You may find yourself surprised at the state of affairs described there, and the picture of the minorities, especially the Muslim minority, brought out there.

    In particular, please consider that almost the entire technical infrastructure in the software and the IT sectors is dominated by one minority.

    I would be happy to add material to your findings once you have had a dekko and have formed an opinion.

    In saying all this, I assume goodwill. I assume that you are open to the possibility that a close and detailed reading will reveal that the Indian Muslim is in bad state, but a bad state comparable to that of other sections of society, and that there is no differential impact except in one or two very high-profile matters.

    If, on the other hand, you have already made up your mind, let me not interrupt your ruminations.

  84. lal

    thanks bonoboshi,without shehzads response i was afraid of a long monologue.so if someone is listening out there i will give some more stats.this is from the unicef website mainly.

    pakistan literacy rate is around 49.9 % with a male literacy of 63 % and female literacy of 36 %.[indian muslim stats are 59 %,,68 % and 50 % respectively]
    Infant mortality rate of pak is about 78 in 2006 ( a huge improvement actually,it was 100 in 1990).india s imr is 56,and sachar says in indian muslims, imr is paradoxically low[just in case there is an mcq somewhere it is 14 in kerala 🙂 ]…actually the cia fact book says indias imr of the past year is 34 per 1000,as of both of us dont believe in cia,i am ignoring that stat.
    life expectancy at birth for pakistan is 65 and indian muslim is slightly less at 62.5

    to tell you the truth i was myself a little surprised by all that stats.because i had expected the indicators of pakistani muslims significantly better owing to historical factors.

    in any case if u go through the facts u could see that there is certainly a very marked upward trend in all the indicators in pakistan compared with the 1990 status.one more factor to consider is all the pak stats are 2006,while all the indian stats are from 2001 census.if i had used the projection available to 2006 using he trends the diferences would have been more marked.

    any way shahzad,all this ,is not to argue that indian muslims are prosperous in any way.actually if u seriously look into it i selectively compared indian muslims with general population,not with upper caste hindus, to get favourable results.why this is helpful is,sc/st s ,forming a significant part of population is behind in all the indicators(much behind muslims) and drag the stat for general population way down.so when compared to general population muslim stats look comparitively fine.

    but i think u vl have to agree that the state of pakistan is not much more better than indian muslims(more so with 2006 stats and i believe,without any genuine data back to me,the people of pakistan at the time of partition were actually better off when compared to indian muslims).where as all this is not to counter the fact of partition,or the real benefit that partition gave in way of political power to muslims of the subcontinent,i expect u 2 withdraw the statement that sachar committe report somehow validates partition.

  85. Majumdar

    Lal,

    Interesting data.

    Regards

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