The Idea of Pakistan: Iqbal-Jinnah correspondence 1

Given the discussion that emerged out of my article on the same theme,  I am reproducing the letter from Allama Iqbal to Quaid-e-Azam in 1937.   Iqbal was instrumental in converting Jinnah to the idea of Muslim nationhood and  Muslim statehood.  These letters show the depth of feeling as it emerged in Punjabi Muslim middle classes for the idea of an independent Muslim majority state in North West of India and the historical forces that were at play.  Unlike Mian Kifayet Ali’s scheme,  this was fanciful.  For example how would the law of Islam- albeit modernized and liberalized-  solve the problems of Muslim poverty?  Similarly Iqbal totally miscalculated in his estimate of Hinduism’s and Islam’s ability to imbibe new and modern ideas.  It turned out to be the exact opposite.  Iqbal’s vision was ideological even if his ideology was liberal and not conservative. Jinnah was obviously not too inclined towards such a vision hailing as he did from the minority Khoja sect which applied Hindu law to inheritance issues. In 1943 when Dr. A H Kazi tabled a resolution to commit the League to an Islamic constitution,  Jinnah described it as nothing less than “censure” on every leaguer. When asked about Sharia, Jinnah replied “Sharia? Whose Sharia? No. I shall have a modern state in Pakistan”-   to him modernity was not in conflict with the true spirit and the true sharia of Islam.  –YLH

My dear Mr. Jinnah, 

Thank you so much for your letter which reached me in due course. I am glad to hear that you will bear in mind what I wrote to you about the changes in the constitution and programme of the League. I have no doubt that you fully realise the gravity of the situation as far as Muslim India is concerned. The League will have to finally decide whether it will remain a body representing the upper classes of Indian Muslims or Muslim masses who have so far, with good reason, no interest in it. Personally I believe that a political organisation which gives no promise of improving the lot of the average Muslim cannot attract our masses. 

Under the new constitution the higher posts go to the sons of [the] upper classes; the smaller go to the friends or relatives of the ministers. In other matters too our political institutions have never thought of improving the lot of Muslims generally. The problem of bread is becoming more and more acute. The Muslim has begun to feel that he has been going down and down during the last 200 years. Ordinarily he believes that his poverty is due to Hindu money-lending or capitalism. The perception that equality [is (?)] due to foreign rule has not yet fully come to him. But it is bound to come. The atheistic socialism of Jawahar Lal [Nehru] is not likely to receive much response from the Muslims. The question therefore is: how is it possible to solve the problem of Muslim poverty? And the whole future of the League depends on the League’s activity to solve this question. If the League can give no such promises I am sure the Muslim masses will remain indifferent to it as before. 

Happily there is a solution in the enforcement of the Law of Islam and its further development in the light of modern ideas. After a long and careful study of Islamic Law I have come to the conclusion that if this system of Law is properly understood and applied, at last the right to subsistence is secured to every body. But the enforcement and development of the Shariat of Islam is impossible in this country without a free Muslim state or states. This has been my honest conviction for many years and I still believe this to be the only way to solve the problem of bread for Muslims as well as to secure a peaceful India. 

If such a thing is impossible in India the only other alternative is a civil war which as a matter of fact has been going on for some time in the shape of Hindu Muslim riots. I fear that in certain parts of the country, e.g. N.W. India, Palestine may be repeated..Also the insertion of Jawarhar Lal’s socialism into the body-politic of Hinduism is likely to cause much bloodshed among the Hindus themselves. The issue between social democracy and Brahmanism is not dissimilar to the one between Brahmanism and Buddhism. Whether the fate of socialism will be the same as the fate of Buddhism in India I cannot say. But it is clear to my mind that if Hinduism accepts social democracy it must necessarily cease to be Hinduism. 

For Islam the acceptance of social democracy in some suitable form and consistent with the legal principles of Islam is not a revolution but a return to the original purity of Islam. The modern problems therefore are far more easy to solve for the Musllms than for the Hindus. But as I have said above in order to make it possible for Muslim India to solve the problems it is necessary to redistribute the coun.ry and to provde one or more Muslim states with absolute majorities. Don’t you think that the time for such a demand has already arrived? Perhaps this is the best reply you can give to the atheistic socialism of Jawahar Lal Nehru. 

Anyhow I have given you my own thoughts in the hope that you will give them serious consideration either in your address or in the discussions of the coming session of the League. Muslim India hopes that at this serious juncture your genius will discover some way out of our present difficulties. 

Yours Sincerely, 
(Sd.) Mohammad. Iqbal

P.S. On the subject-matter of this letter I intended to write to you a long and open letter in the press. But on further consideration I felt that the present moment was not suitable for such a step.

48 Comments

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48 responses to “The Idea of Pakistan: Iqbal-Jinnah correspondence 1

  1. Majumdar

    Also the insertion of Jawarhar Lal’s socialism into the body-politic of Hinduism is likely to cause much bloodshed among the Hindus themselves.

    Well, it didn’t. But pretty much put paid to whatever chances the Hindoos may have had of being a significant economic power.

    The issue between social democracy and Brahmanism is not dissimilar to the one between Brahmanism and Buddhism.

    Allama sb had a point here, no can accuse Hindooism of being an egalitarianism faith.

    The modern problems therefore are far more easy to solve for the Muslims than for the Hindus.

    Err,…. no comments.

    Regards

  2. Gorki

    Dear YLH (and Karun):

    Regarding the statement:

    “In India you can either be an Indian or a Muslim but never an Indian Muslim. This is the rationale for Pakistan”

    I had a chance to reflect on what you said and must admit that I cannot disagree with you that the source is important; in fact so is the context.

    Thus coming from MAJ in 1946 it sounds more as a statement of resignation after having failed to make Nehru and the others see how minority anxieties were being heightened by Congress’ insistence on being named the sole arbitrator of India’s future especially since it was dominated by Gandhiji who was using it as a laboratory to carry out his experiments in truth (Charkha weaving, Khadi, public display of religiosity etc.)

    The timing of the statement is equally important; thus in 1946 one can see it in the light of the parleys of 1937 and beyond. 2009 is different.

    I speak up against this statement today in 2009 on the behalf of my Muslim countrymen (and myself) in light of the declaration of the Republic on 26th January 1950. Thus today neither I nor any of my Muslim compatriots need a permission from anyone; either the Congress or the BJP or a Karun or a Varun or any Hindus at large to assert what is ours by birthright; the right to be called and Indian, or an Indian Muslim or an Indian Sikh or any combination of the above as we like.

    This is a right and not a handout; it was earned the hard way, by spilling our common blood on the battlefields of Hydaspes and Srinapatanam; Buxar and Plassey, in Jallianwala Bagh and in the dungeons of Andaman. That MAJ failed to insist on that birthright is in the real sense, the tragedy of MAJ; and of India.

    Karun is wrong in labelling MAJ a bigot or whatever, he was nothing but a patriot; even a socialist one in Nehru’s mold. Only he failed to see that Congress, which may have been very popular then but it was not India; it was only a political party. His fault was in according it the status that it insisted; of the sole party that represented all Indians (and which insisted that MAJ dissolve the ML and join the congress first before he could get his voice heard.)

    MAJ’s failing was to not go directly to the people of India over the heads of the congress. I guess he was aware of his own mortality and realized that time was not on his side. (India and Indians at that moment of euphoria were mesmerized by Gandhiji and his mumbo jumbo and more time was needed till they matured enough to see that India was much larger than even Gandhiji.)

    In this sense the whole thing was one Greek Tragedy played on a colossal stage. I would therefore quote the following two paragraphs from Noorani’s article which YLH had posted a few months ago. Even if the whole article is too cumbersome to read; the following passages should be read and re-read often by all those who care.

    “In a real sense our leaders were a profoundly ignorant and arrogant lot. They failed the crucial test which Edmund Burke propounded in his Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents written in 1770. He held that “the temper of the people amongst whom he presides ought to be the first duty of a Statesman. And the knowledge of this temper it is by no means impossible for him to attain, if he has not an interest in being ignorant of what it is his duty to learn”.

    It is not any “interest” alone which prevents self-education. So does Hubris. Jinnah, Gandhi and Nehru were men of colossal pride and vanity beyond the ordinary. Jinnah should have known that besides the inherent falsity of the poisonous concept, a nationalism based on religion degenerates into violent sectarianism. Gandhi acting as “the supreme leader” never seriously strove for conciliation in a plural society. Nehru denied the validity of the concept itself. Both spurned Jinnah. He painted himself into a corner from which he did not know how to escape.”

    Nehru’s fault was that he was too romantic and splendidly isolated from ground realities and impulses of his countrymen; Jinnah’s tragedy was that he was all too aware and coming from a minority, that made him demand iron clad guarantees which were not forthcoming in 1937.

    By 1946 it was too late; his mind was already made up and while he was willing to have a confederation or an alliance with India, he was not going to give up on a separate Pakistan.

    The fact remains that no matter what Allama Iqbal said or hoped; Jinnah’s Pakistan had nothing to do with an Islamist ideology.

    Regards.

  3. PMA

    “For Islam the acceptance of social democracy in some suitable form and consistent with the legal principles of Islam is not a revolution but a return to the original purity of Islam.”

    That Pakistani society has not been able to provide social justice for all of its members is no fault of Islam itself. The framework of social justice is there. Islam guarantees the equality of mankind and human rights. The failure is that of Muslims and not of Islam.

  4. YLH

    I think we can agree along these lines and make common cause against the major threats to our two states but common subcontinent: terrorism and poverty.

    Btw an interesting aside of Hafiz Saeed – he is the ideological follower of Syed Ataullah Shah Bukhari of Majlis e Ahrar…

    How ironic is this subcontinent and its Islamic politics.

  5. YLH

    PS: Last post to Gorki sb though I agree in part with PMA.

  6. bonobashi

    @PMA

    With regard to equality, there can be no doubt that you are right. The concept and practice of equality in Islam is exemplary.

    However, you have gone on to mention social justice and human rights. Would you please expand on that, especially on human rights? I want to know whether you consider this peculiar to Islam, or that this is shared between Islam and other religions, secondly, why you think that it is there in the first place?

    I believe that we are both considering these concepts as they are treated in Islam originally, and that it is not the way that they are dealt with in contemporary society that is under discussion.

  7. bonobashi

    @Majumdar

    The issue between social democracy and Brahmanism is not dissimilar to the one between Brahmanism and Buddhism.

    Allama sb had a point here, no can accuse Hindooism of being an egalitarianism faith.

    Aren’t you being a little ingenuous here? I completely agree that Puranic, conservative Brahmanism is a very unequal faith. But how did you jump from that to saying that Hindooism is not?

    Or is it possible to reconcile your statements, and the fact that reformist movements in Hinduism have usually concentrated their fire on the gross inequality? Perhaps you are saying Hindooism, in its reconstructed, counter-Reformation, conservative form, is unequal, and I am hearing that Hinduism, in its reformist movements, is not to be considered.

    To jog your memory, the Brahmo Samaj, and the reforms of Ramanujacharya and his visisthadvaita philosophy.

  8. Vijay Goel

    As per my way of thinking Hinduism (Whatever it may mean) is an absolutely flexible concept.If Hinduism is thought as only Brahmanical then the Respected Allama was bang on target.However if Hinduism promoted such an unequal philosophy it could not have survived for thousands of years.What it means to me is that a person and that person alone can determine his calling or destination and it is better to die than change that course.’Swadharme Nidhanam Shreya’.No Brahmin, Priest, Teacher, Parent or Philosopher can determine the path a person has to follow.It is determined by that person alone considering the time circumstance place etc he was born.The others can be guides only but not dictators.Therefor particular duty is cast on persons in high places to behave because the other people take guidance from them.

  9. YLH

    I agree with you. This is why Kifayet $ali’ss scheme made more sense old man bala.

  10. bonobashi

    @Vijay Goel

    I wish I could agree. I don’t, however; what you have enunciated is the ideal, and while I will join you in respecting this idea, it is not practised anywhere in any substantial manner in our country. On the contrary, take the khap panchayats of Haryana as a bloody example of how this concept has gone wrong. In my opinion, the foundations of religion themselves should be weakened, and human beings released from this imprisonment. Until that is done, on the social front, caste prejudice has to be fought tenaciously, on every front.

  11. karun

    if you people are liberal enough perhaps its high time to discuss the reunification of the two countries. you can perhaps call it Timbaktoo, have a ‘toad on the national flag’ and can sing ‘the sound of music’ for the national anthem i dont care

    it will really save the populace from the billions of dollars on military expenditure and state sponsored extremism.

    yes resolution of kashmir is a good idea, but i think this is even better.

    and it does not matter who was responsible for creation of pak-Nehru or jinnah, perhaps both can be revered by their respective hero worshippers in a common entity.

    we have heard so much crap on ‘cultural nationalism’ lets hear the other side

  12. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Karun,

    Re-unify with narrow-minded little bigots like you?

    Don’t you think we have enough of your kind in Maulana Fazurrahman types?

    Get a life.

  13. yasserlatifhamdani

    EDITED

  14. Vijay Goel

    @ Bonobashi I was just trying to define what my idea of Hinduism is.I did not say it is practised by everybody.We were just trying to define whether Hinduism means only what the so called Brahmanical version connotes.The Brahmanical variety is also practised the Haryana variety is also practised and so is thousands of other varities are practised.The so called Hinduism is a set of ideas evolved by philosophers over a thousand years.Unfortunately the Brahmanical caste system gathered roots God knows how.But what I said also has the authority of Bhagwad Gita where the thought is clearly enunciated and caught my fancy.There are many other passages in the same Bhagwad Gita which dont excite me.So it can be that some thoughts excite some one and some excite others.I only wanted to say that the Brahmanical caste based Hinduism is not the only Hinduism.
    About your comment that it is not practised in a general way well you may be right.The pity is that the way our media is structured all the sensational things get a lot of milage and a lot of Great work goes unnoticed.The trick is to keep chugging along and not let pessimism get the hold over you.

  15. sri ramananda

    iqbal was the electricity and jinnah was the mouthpiece. what started as an idea became a reality. had there been no lenin, the russian revolution would still have occurred. had there been no mao tse tung the chinese communists would still have come to power. but had there been no jinnah there would have been no pakistan. it was his untiring effort that resulted in the miracle of pakistan. and although the child was sickly it managed to survive a civil war and 4 wars with india. pakistanis are a nation of tough ones who won’t be wiped out in the near future. they are here to stay and insha allah will survive into the 22nd century. those who bark slogans against pakistan are unworthy scoundrels who ought to be kicked out of the state. the simple message to this separatist element is “get out!”

  16. PMA

    I have said time and again that Kashmir is not the real problem between India and Pakistan. Not from Indian perspective. From Indian perspective the ‘Idea of Pakistan’ is the real thorn in Indian behind; no matter what are the rationals or the basis of that Idea. While the nomenclature has changed, the India-Pakistan conflict is as old as the Hindu-Muslim conflict in the Sub-continent. Hindus of India, for compulsions of their own, see themselves as the only rightful owner of the Sub-continent. That is why they talk about ‘Sindhu’, that is why they refuse to let Kashmir go even though Kashmiris want no part of them and, that is why they oppose Pakistan on every platform, every forum. I am a Pakistani and I am damn proud of my country. I know why our forefathers fought for this land. We are because we say we are. We don’t have to give any explanation to anybody for our religion or for the basis of our national existence. YLH is an intellectual and he gets involved into intellectual discussions with his Indian counterparts. Intellectual discussions are fine. But for every Indian intellectual there are thousands of Indian idiots who talk about some ‘imaginary unification’ as if in our millenium long history our two nations ever existed as one ‘unified’ people. Those who question that claim need to go back into our common history. The bottom line is that neither YLH nor any other Pakistani owes any explanation to anyone: ‘Why Pakistan’. You don’t like Pakistan. Tough.

  17. bonobashi stuffed to the gills with pharmaceutical stuff

    @Vijay Goel

    As far as I can make out, we seem to be spending a lot of time violently agreeing with each other (Gorki, send me a royalty invoice and I’ll pay up).

    I have reason to believe that my chemical composition at the moment differs widely from the normal. As a result, I am befuddled: why are we debating aspects of Hinduism on a thread named The Idea of Pakistan – Iqbal-Jinnah correspondence on PakTeaHouse?

    It is clear that the answer must be obvious, but in my present, drug-induced haze, I am unable to think my way through this. All this is so confusing!!!

  18. Kiran

    @PMA

    The Indian state is based in principles enunciated in Indian constitution. Those principles state that the the people of India (as in “We, the people”) have decided to give themselves a society based on secualism, democracy, socialism and a republic. The state has been ratified through regular 5 year elections occuring for the last 60 years. Indians will naturally criticise a state based on two nation theory .

    You find that tough? perhaps you should avoid discussion forums which allow others to post or stick to PAK (pure) forums which ban other opinions. Infact I think anybody who cares enough about Pakistan and belives in secularism, democracy etc will criticize the idea of Pakistan. But who cares at present ? apart from many Indians that is.

  19. Kiran

    This article is wonderful for the following points
    1) It tells us how the influential Muslims of those days thought and perhaps a good lesson on how not to think – whether that person is a Muslim or not

    2) The irony that a caste based hierarchical Hindu society was more receptive to egalitarian social democracy than the relatively egalitarian Muslim society.

    The second point indeed is remarkable. Indeed why was it so? In my opinion the answer is along the following lines. All section of Hindus were handicapped with the caste system and had a strong incentive to lean ideologically towards social democracy. All castes wanted to make money , take up employment, enter in to politics all felt restricted by caste system.

    On the other hand the more egalatarian Islam provided a less of an incentive for Muslims to shift towards social democracy. Islam atleast in ideology ensured equality taking away the appeal of social democracy. In the process it also killed the scientific temper among the people and made them vulnerable to Pirs, hauris and nonsense.

    It is indeed ironical as the circumstances actually punished a better religion socially (like islam) and rewarded a socially horrible religion like Hinduism

  20. PMA

    Kiran (August 6, 2009 at 12:18 am):

    I take it you are an Indian. In that case I congratulate you for all of your nation’s achievements. But tell me honestly. Why would you “criticise a state based on two-nation theory”? That is unless in your heart you believe that the entire Sub-continent constitutes as one nation. But if that is what you believe in then I have to say to you and all those who think like you; tough luck.

  21. PMA

    Kiran (August 6, 2009 at 12:45 am):

    So your point is that:

    “a caste based socially horrible hierarchical Hindu society is more receptive to egalitarian social democracy and a relatively egalitarian Muslim society” is not.

    Your profoundness requires some thinking!

  22. bonobashi

    @Kiran

    On the other hand the more egalatarian Islam provided a less of an incentive for Muslims to shift towards social democracy. Islam atleast in ideology ensured equality taking away the appeal of social democracy. In the process it also killed the scientific temper among the people and made them vulnerable to Pirs, hauris and nonsense.

    I didn’t get this. Is there a connection being made between social democracy and scientific temper? Could you briefly explain how this connection was established?

    TIA.

  23. Kiran

    The connection was between theological state and scientific temper and not the connection you mention. But yes social democracies are usually secular and secular states usually do not have apostasy laws which penalize free thinking and promote scientific temper.

  24. bonobashi

    @Kiran

    Oh, yes, I see now, it was a mistake in reading the compound clauses.

    “But yes social democracies are usually secular and secular states usually do not have apostasy laws which penalize free thinking and promote scientific temper.”

    Are you referring to the Scientific Revolution or is this a generic remark? Does it apply historically, according to you?

  25. PMA

    Kiran (August 6, 2009 at 2:12 am):

    Pakistan is not a theological state. Some in Pakistan will like to see it as a theocratic state. People like YLH are trying to see that it does not happen. Iran is. Are we saying that Iran suppresses scientific thought. What is the difference between a democracy and a social democracy.

  26. Kiran

    I think I see where you are coming from. But its fair to say that after the scientific revolution has happened it is very unlikely that secular social democracies would prevent scientific temper in favour of religion of their choice. So its generic with that condition. And when I say secular I mean not in the sense of separation of church and state but in the separation of religion and the state ( or the irreligiosity of the state not merely challenging the authority of the church) which is pretty much the norm in modern secular societies.

  27. Kiran

    My previous post was directed to bonobashi. Now to PMA there is a difference between promoting scientific temper and promoting science with the intent of harnessing technology.

    Apostasy laws which exist in Pakistan to my knowledge impose costs on scientific temper. Ofcourse it is quiet possible that there are many privately atheistic eminent personalities in Pakistan but that would be possible by (again privately) going against state laws which imposes costs.

    Ofcourse its not just the state which can impede scientific temper. Hinduism with its idolatry also puts costs on scientific temper. But its an old “religion” – one expects better things from a modern state.

  28. Kiran

    Democracy guarantees political equality but giving each individual irrespective of his wealth, education ONE vote. Social democracy aims for social equality in terms of equality of opportunity in wealth creation and other social pursuits.

  29. PMA

    Kiran through number of statements has made two related points regarding socialism, logic and Islam:

    First:

    *Democracy guarantees political equality by giving each individual irrespective of his wealth, education ONE vote.

    *Social democracy aims for social equality in terms of equality of opportunity in wealth creation and other social pursuits.

    *Islam ensures equality but in the process takes away the appeal of social democracy.

    *Islam provides a less of an incentive for Muslims to shift towards social democracy.

    In other words Islam does not provide equal opportunities for individual wealth creation and social pursuits.

    Second:

    *The term scientific temper describes an attitude which involves the application of logic and the avoidance of bias and preconceived notions.

    *Islam by taking away the appeal of social democracy also kills the scientific temper among the people.

    Then the questions are:

    a) Does Islam really takes away the possibilities of equal opportunities for individual wealth creation and social pursuits?

    b) Does Islam discourages application of logic and promotes biases of preconceived notions?

    Perhaps people more knowledgeable about Islam could throw light on the subject.

  30. bonobashi

    @PMA
    @Kiran

    PMA has already spotted where I was going, and summed things up in an austere set of bullet points. However, I have certain concerns about PMA’s conclusions from the first set of Kiran’s statements, and Kiran’s formulations in certain cases. In keeping with the minimalist spirit of PMA’s post, I am putting my concerns in the form of bullets and/or numbers, to cut out prolix postings.

    PMA’s conclusion from Kiran’s points

    In other words Islam does not provide equal opportunities for individual wealth creation and social pursuits.

    In fact, I got precisely the opposite impression from the narration. Islam provides for equality, rigorous equality among all. Social democracy sets out to achieve the same objective, achieve equality among citizens with regard to access to means of acquiring individual wealth. Therefore the opposition is of the idealist mode represented by religion, and the concept of theism to the materialist mode represented by Socialism or its mutation, Social Democracy.

    Therefore, Islam competes with Social Democracy by providing the same benefits to citizens but in a different philosophical framework.

    I would surmise that Islam offers aggressive equality of opportunity to individuals to earn individual wealth, within an ethical framework provided by religious precept and practice, and based on idealism, rather than on materialism.

    Is this acceptable? In which case, Islam and Social Democracy are two options, one for believers, one for agnostics and atheists. People can be Islamic Democrats, or they can be Social Democrats, but they cannot be – theoretically and philosophically speaking – Islamic and Social Democrats. That takes care of the Labour Party support in Britain 😉

    On the next set of bullets, I have more serious concerns, even fundamental ones.

    On Islam and the spirit of Science

    PMA’s reduction is as follows (this is addressed to Kiran):

    *The term scientific temper describes an attitude which involves the application of logic and the avoidance of bias and preconceived notions.

    *Islam by taking away the appeal of social democracy also kills the scientific temper among the people.

    Then the questions are:

    a) Does Islam really takes away the possibilities of equal opportunities for individual wealth creation and social pursuits?

    b) Does Islam discourages application of logic and promotes biases of preconceived notions?

    I am astonished.

    This dismisses centuries of scientific, medical, technical and philosophical speculation and discovery. That is also why I asked about the applicability of your statements to the period before the Scientific Revolution.

    I agree with PMA that this needs a learned person’s intervention, but to my mind, this is prima facie indefensible. We need not go to an expert. The vast burden of historical evidence is against it, unless Kiran has a specific argument, historical and temporal in nature, which he has avoided expressing so far for the sake of brevity. Much depends on his response.

    Kiran, do you stand by the formulations you have proposed earlier, summed up in the form of the two bullets? If so, we need to talk.

    With acknowledgements and thanks to PMA.

  31. Vijay Goel

    @Bonobashi Dear Dada this site may have been created in Pakistan but we are invited to debate not as Hindustanis and Pakistanis, Hindus and Muslims so let us not be ultra sensitive.As it is Pakistani residents are proverbially reputed to be great hosts and I think we will be doing them less than justice if we do not respond whole heartedly to the discussions.Christianity and Islam have their sacred books namely Bible and Koran but Hinduism is a set of ideas with which one is free to agree or disagree so in a way they are different.Casteism was just such and idea like Shaivism,Vaishnavite etc.Somehow it created a strangle hold.Greatfully it is losing its following very fast.It has no meaning for the urban young or old and even in rural areas young no longer swear by it.The scourge is slowly vanishing.Creation of Pakistan is a fact of History and an intellectual debate is very welcome because we are delving into areas og social political and such other areas.

  32. bonobashi

    A caveat: I am not for or against any organised form of religion. I neither affirm nor deny these. My difficulty with Kiran’s posts is that certain statements of his cannot be reconciled to historical fact.

    The implications are obvious; however, let us await Kiran’s conclusions first. As he seems to be in the US, we may have to wait a few hours.

  33. yasserlatifhamdani

    Kiran,

    You keep repeating your mantra that India is secular … the fact is that your constitution itself was authored by a man who opposed Congress’ conception of one nation…. Read B R Ambedkar’s writings especially on the issue of separate electorates for the Dalits and Scheduled Castes. In every way B R Ambedkar’s politics was closer to the two nation theory than one nation theory. And yet this fellow gave you the secular Indian constitution… and if you read the ICA debates you would see just how hard B R Ambedkar had to struggle to keep Gandhian and Hindu Majority’s ideas out of the Indian constitution. B R Ambedkar managed to give India the constitution he did primarily because he was able to scare the Caste Hindu Majority with the prospect of another partition and perpetual communal strife. That said- let me tell you as I have told others- our archaic laws and Islamic constitution is a piece of paper and your secular constitution is a piece of a paper… the reality is that both countries treat their minorities about the same whether you like to admit it or not… infact Pakistan might actually be marginally better but let us leave that debate aside.

    Two Nation Theory was never in conflict with secularism. It never spoke of citizenship being subject to exclusivist principles. It is in no way different from Quebecois’ demands in Canada. Does that mean tht Quebecois would want a state where French speaking citizens would be somehow constitutionally privileged above non-french speaking citizens? No. Now don’t give me your little cop out that two nation theory was based on religion…it was based on much more than religion… it was not Jinnah’s fault (Jinnah who tried to reconcile the Muslims and Indian National Congress for the longest time) or even Iqbal’s … that long before they were born the British had coopted the Hindus, encouraged the Hindu mercantile class, made alliances with the Hindus… fostered a feeling amongst Hindus that Muslim rulers had oppressed them … it was not Jinnah’s fault or Iqbal’s fault that in the 19th century Chatterjee was busy writing “Anand Math” in which Hindus are fighting against foreign rule of Muslims… and in which the British are the great liberators…

    The British made alliances… the first community to benefit from these alliances were the Hindus. For the Hindu mercantile class British rule amounted to a mere change of masters or this is what British told the Hindus. Hindu bought into this theory right or wrong and prospered as a remarkable bourgeoisie community which ultimately led to the Indian independence struggle after 80 odd years of constant evolution.

    Faced with this new reality … the British switched partners …. Muslims- especially the Aligarh Modernist class- became their favored allies. The result was the separate electorates… which was opposed by Jinnah the Congressman mind you.

    Meanwhile what was Jinnah doing… from 1913 to 1937 Jinnah was making attempts to woo Muslims away from the British and closer to the Congress. He succeeded marvelously in 1913 when the Muslim League endorsed Swaraj and went from being loyalist to a pro-Congress grouping. In 1916 Jinnah managed to bring both Congress and the League together in a magnificent alliance to be called “Lucknow Pact”.

    In 1927-1929, Jinnah- whose own faction of the League was dubbed pro-Congress and pro-Nehru report- managed to convince the most loyalist of Muslims from the “Shafi” League to come to an arrangement with Congress… the 14 points of Mr. Jinnah were actually the Conglomerate demands which could have been the basis of Hindu-Muslim settlement (and Jinnah even managed to convince his Muslim co-religionists to consider dropping the separate electorates in place of guaranteed representation for a time period ) but that was spurned by the Nehrus (ironically not because the Congress wanted to block Jinnah…. but because the Hindu Mahasabha walked out and refused to be part of the settlement if Jinnah’s demands were met) … Then through out the roundtable conferences, Jinnah made common cause the Indian Nationalists against Sir Fazli Hussain and Aga Khan … but there too the Congress was unwilling to budge from its point of view…

    Then in 1937… Jinnah re-organized the League … re-oriented the manifesto to resemble Congress’ social-democratic platform… was even funded by Hindu Industrialists… all his efforts to make common cause with the Congress were spurned by Nehru who invited him to show the League’s “inherent” strength despite the fact that League had won substantially in UP and Bombay (and lost substantially in Punjab and Sindh primarily because it was pro-Congress)

    Jinnah’s adoption of Iqbal/Kifayet/Rahmat Ali formula was League’s inherent strength that Nehru had asked for. It was also a demand that was going about for a while. The truth is that Pakistan would have happened anyway… but Jinnah took the demand and made it his own. In doing so in 1946 Jinnah once again gave India an opportunity to meet both the Muslim demand of Pakistan and the Congress’ vision of a United India… that chance was lost and the rest is history.

    The Muslim League’s resolution which became the Lahore Resolution makes no mention of Islam. Jinnah’s 11th August speech which was a speech delivered by the father of the nation to the highest constitution making body in the land makes no reference to Islam. It is clear that Two Nation Theory itself was not applicable to the concept of citizenship in the minds of its most ardent advocates…nor was it in conflict with the idea of the separation of church and state.

    So why did Pakistan end up with a theocratic constitution despite Jinnah… despite Lahore Resolution? This has more to do with the evolution of Muslim community than with the creation of Pakistan. Despite Kemal Ataturk, Turkey, the only truly secular Muslim majority country, has only managed to remain secular by using force … and intervening militarily when things got out of hand. Malaysia is a highly successful model but even there it has been ensured in part by a significant Non-Muslim minority … and even then Malaysia is not secular. It has a state religion and archaic laws just like us.

    So what is the solution… for one thing Indians should stop bothering themselves with Pakistan. Your country has a pathetic record of treating its minorities despite your secular constitution. Why don’t you bother yourself with that.

    Secondly… the march of history will ensure secularization of every society as well as the idea that all citizens are equal regardless of religion, caste, creed or race… especially Muslim majority ones. Europe took a long time getting there (read their history)… and the US Supreme Court even as late as 1858 refused to recognize Black people as citizens let alone equal ones…and in Plessey v. Ferguson was speaking of “separate but equal”… Despite Brown v. Board of Education, Jim Crow laws only lost their sting in the mid 1960s…. the situation in Pakistan is much better believe it or not… the constitution in principle guarantees equal rights… even if those rights get diluted by the constitution’s commitment to Islam. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion… though bad judges have nullified some of this by some pathetic judgements but in due course of time precedents will be overturned.

    But this is an evolutionary concept… and I say once again… Indians are no one to tell us anything … certainly not boast the way they do when their own closet is full of skeletons despite the secular constitution. So fix your own country for god’s sake. Worry about the hunger, poverty, religious extremism, superstition, casteism, backwardness that is synonymous with India and Indians.

  34. bonobashi

    @Vijay Goel

    I am sorry, I did not mean to be a wet blanket, I was merely sharing my discomfort and my sense that this was the wrong forum.

    Indians are no one to tell us anything … certainly not boast the way they do when their own closet is full of skeletons despite the secular constitution. So fix your own country for god’s sake. Worry about the hunger, poverty, religious extremism, superstition, casteism, backwardness that is synonymous with India and Indians.

    If you believe that you have a worthwhile comment or a worthwhile point to make, do carry on.

  35. Gorki

    a) Does Islam really takes away the possibilities of equal opportunities for individual wealth creation and social pursuits?
    b) Does Islam discourages application of logic and promotes biases of preconceived notions?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Bonobashi, PMA and Kiran:

    I understand the general thrust of your arguments but being a very simple mind I find it easier to work with bullet points to which thankfully PMA Saab has reduced this debate to.

    However before I answer this post, I have a general question to all of you:

    When confronted with a minefield, which strategy is ideal? A quick mad dash across the field hoping for the best or a slow deliberate painstaking shuffle; testing each little bump in the topography, one painful inch at the time, hoping to avoid each and every IED by guessing its location? The answer is important since PMA, Kiran and Bonobashi have done nothing short of laying a field of IEDs under this irresistible invitation.
    I opt for a mad breathless sprint; eyes closed firmly shut, hoping for the best.

    So first thing first. I find the words of MAJ (spoken in a slightly different context) very handy here. Which Islam and whose Islam are we talking here? Shia Islam, Sunni Islam, Wahabi Islam? OR Perhaps the question should be do basic tenets remain the same for all sects? If so whose interpretation should be held up for a discussion?

    So until I can get some answers to the above rhetorical questions, I will not make any further comments regarding Islam specifically.

    For the sake of further discussion then I would use a generic religion or more appropriately a generic ideology as the basis (because I would like to include Marxism too.) of the debate.

    Here I have three problems with using any ideology (religion or otherwise) based approach to deliver social justice as opposed to liberal humanist approach.

    1. All ideologies by definition are confining and rigid; they assume to know what is in the best interest of the society. Thus community or a group is the focus of justice. But whenever there is a conflict of interest; individual interest is sacrificed for the community good. Liberal humanism OTOH assumes that the individual human is the center of focus and community good is secondary.

    As an example of an ideological approach, while the community may be better served by confining the weaker female to the home and heath while the generic hunter gatherer male of the species work out doors taking risks, the individual rights of the women are sacrificed for a perceived greater good. (Examples abound of these conflicts of individual versus group interest and theological\ideological approach invariably favor group benefits over individual human rights)

    2. The group approach sacrifices the interests of the few for the benefit of the many. When the approach is based on religion it is also exclusionary. Thus religions may be egalitarian for the chosen majority, by definition they are exclusionary in nature and excluded minorities (non believers) invariably suffer. For example by definition, Islam differentiates between the rights of believers and non believers (So does Christianity and so does Judaism.) No matter how humane; any philosophy which asks for an individual to subordinate their beliefs and to conform to one chosen way before considering for equality is by definition, unequal.

    That this apartheid may exist in theory or in practice matters not; it exists; and exists under all philosophies (including Marxism in which bourgeois, capitalist and their running dogs are the excluded enemy) and it is apartheid and under all theologies; go ask the Gazans and the West bankers.

    3. Ideologies (theological and otherwise) are rigid. It is assumed someone (divine or otherwise) has sat down and worked out all intricate subtleties of human social (and scientific?) interactions. These are considered complete and absolute, thus by definition these rules can be re-interpreted but not reinvented.

    History has found men interpreting a religious basis for even such gross injustices as slavery over the centuries (again plenty of other examples abound.) Anything that is this rigid and immutable even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary will by definition come in conflict with logic some day or another and the only way religion has found to wriggle out of these situations is to re-interpret the same old text to suit the changed circumstances but remains dogmatic as long as it can. (for example can any one foresee the religions of the book wholeheartedly accepting Darwinism, proofs not with standing?

    Thus PMA’s second question, just using the scientific achievements of the Andalusia as an example of Islam’s permissiveness would be an incomplete assessment.
    That Islam did not interfere with an advancement of mathematics and physics does not mean it is free from bias and is completely and universally receptive of logic.

    Not only Islam but again all ideologies come in conflict with logic and expression of a human mind; be it art (painting pictures in Islam) or ideas of capital theory\free speech (Marxist) something or the other is restricted as forbidden territory by each for no other reason than Taboos written in the text.

    Thus the pope may not have a problem with the solar system today, but debates will continue to rage over intelligent design.

    Hoodboy recently mentioned people writing scientific papers stating the speed with which the heavens were receding from the earth or suggestions made by theology inspired scientist of using Djinns as a source for energy!!

    Social sciences too can not progress if one can not question a faith on a question as basic as to why women’s word is not as good as a man’s?

    Blasphemy laws may not be enforced equally every where but questioning the nature of the divine; or a simple question as to why a rock formation in a certain location is more holy than another is still a no go territory for many faiths based ideologies.

    I am no Aristotle but as long as limits exist on human curiosity based on ‘faith’ they will continue to inhibit logic, the two being mutually exclusive.
    Back to you guys.

    Regards.

  36. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    Where are we? in the thread, The Idea of Pakistan: Iqbal – Jinnah Correspondence.

    Relevance of these goings on: Zero (never mind who invented it!!!).

    Just a gentle reminder: I hate thread drift.

    Question 0: How to cross a mine-field?

    Lt. General Prem Singh Bhagat, VC (that’s Victoria Cross). Look him up. He was a sapper, a fine soldier, and a great man, loved by all. Part of the Henderson-Brooks team looking into the 62 debacle.

    Got his VC for de-mining a field in (I think) Ethiopia, had his vehicle blown up twice, perforated his eardrums, suffered injuries, cited for the most cold-blooded act of courage the senior British officer citing him had seen in his military career.

    Proposition 1: All ideologies are by definition confining and rigid.

    No. Dogma is confining and rigid. Ideology is not; on the contrary.

    An ideology is a set of aims and ideas, especially in politics. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare Weltanschauung), as in common sense (see Ideology in everyday society below) and several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society. The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer change in society, and adherence to a set of ideals where conformity already exists, through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought (as opposed to mere ideation) applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought.

    I have been lazy and block-copied from Wikipedia. I don’t like it personally, there are glaring contradictions within, but it will do. A more academically rigorous definition can be sought out and presented.

    Religion, as you will see by glancing at these above, is not bound by ideology. Religion is based on faith, and is not subject to logical analysis. A religious belief is a self-contained system, and has no entry or exit point onto the rest of the world and other ‘realities’; it professes to fold in all reality into its system.

    Proposition 2: The group approach sacrifices the interests of the few for the benefit of the many. When the approach is based on religion it is also exclusionary.

    /sigh/

    No.

    Not in all groups. Consider Buddhism. Which interest of the few is sacrificed for the benefit of the many?

    Every votary of every religion will rise up in righteous indignation and smite you. Every religion thinks of itself as ‘inclusionary’, not ‘exclusionary’; all you have to do is to subscribe to the faith, and you are in. Exceptions: Jewry, the Zoroastrian faith and Hinduism.

    Ideologies (theological and otherwise) are rigid. It is assumed someone (divine or otherwise) has sat down and worked out all intricate subtleties of human social (and scientific?) interactions. These are considered complete and absolute, thus by definition these rules can be re-interpreted but not reinvented.

    Again, there is a fundamental confusion between ideology and religion which makes it impossible to proceed. However, as a Parthian shot (and with PMA looking on, I will not define their period this time around ;-)), I leave you with the thought of meta-rules and their implications.

    Bottom line: We may not compare a religion and a political or any other secular ideology.
    Reason: No jurisdiction (ask YLH).

  37. PMA

    bonobashi (August 6, 2009 at 8:08 am):

    Thanks for the explanation. So Islam & Social Democracy both provide the same benefits to citizens but in a different philosophical framework.

    Now if we could go back to Kiran’s original August 6, 2009, 12:18 am comment.

    ‘The Indian state is based on the principles of secularism, democracy, socialism and a republic. Indians will naturally criticise a state based on two-nation theory. In fact I think anybody who cares enough about Pakistan and believes in secularism, democracy etc. will criticize the idea of Pakistan.’

    If both Islam and Social Democracy do promise to provide social justice and individual opportunities to the citizens then why Indians like Kiran oppose the idea of Pakistan. India is a multi-religion society and if Social Democratic system servers her best then that is fine and good. No one is trying to force Islamic ideals on India. On the other hand Pakistan is a Muslim society and if a system of social justice based on Islamic principles of fairness is what its citizens aspire for then it should be of no concern to the outsiders like Kiran. India is adjusting her system as it grows as a polity. Pakistanis will do their own adjustments as deemed necessary. This brings me back to my previous statement. If Indians want peace in the Sub-continent, which they say that they do, then they must accept Pakistan and stop fretting about the two-nation theory. That is a fact accomplished. For now as a way forward, India need to resolve all outstanding disputes and enter into a peace agreement with Pakistan. The two countries need a period of ‘cooling off’ and ‘disengagement’. That is the road map to peace between our two people.

  38. Gorki

    Dear Bonobashi:

    I may not be able to cross a minefield but I do not need Lt. Gen Premindra Singh VC, PVSM of Metemma to help me notice a smoke screen when I see one; and that is all what I see you do behind all the word play.

    I may not have the terminology or the tools (I thought of using ‘organised religion’ but settled for ideology to include Marxism too) but substitute organised religion (or dogma if you wish) instead of ideology and my argument becomes clear; religion is confining; and requires a person to accept a new faith; before equality can be estabilished. Currently I am very busy and had only a couple of minutes to write this. Later if I have moe time, then maybe…But for the sake of intellectual honesty respond to the argument and don’t hide behind technicalities of language.

    PS: Talking about VC recipients of the Indian Army, what do you think of Saragrahi? I have a personal interest in this battle for private reasons.
    Regards.

  39. Gorki

    “all you have to do is to subscribe to the faith, and you are in”.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Oh is that all you ask? No problem.
    In that case, here is my soul!

    Bonobashi:

    Just a wild hunch; (I haven’t checked the numbers) I think in the course of human history several times more people have accepted ‘martyrdoom’ defending their ‘faith’ than all the peoples combined who died defending their home and heath.

    Also I recommend another light reading for your bed time stories: An eye witness account of the fall of Jerusalem to the crusaders and the glorious massacre of the cursed Saracens that followed to see my point.
    Regards.

  40. Gorki

    Bonobashi:

    “Bottom line: We may not compare a religion and a political or any other secular ideology.”
    OK. Understood.

    Exhibit #1:

    “So Islam & Social Democracy both provide the same benefits to citizens but in a different philosophical framework”.

    Thank you very much. 😉

    Regards.

  41. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    Heh.

    The new Gorki, with rifled barrel; or perhaps with AESA rather than PESA during the more airy moments? Certainly a new, fighting version. All right, chaps, skirting with Chobham or equivalent out and deployed, please. The man’s shooting DU at us.

    Your last mail first:

    if I may mangle the Bard,”Is that a contradiction I see before me?” Dear Gorki, we may not compare religion and secular ideology; that is part 1. We may not compare them because they are from different philosophical positions. In this case, of a Social Democracy, it is easy: we are comparing an Idealist position (Idealist in the sense of philosophy, of Kant and of Hegel, not an adherence to a romantic dream of the perfect) with a Materialist. Part 2. I am happy to explain that these are still not comparable even when the political ideology is based on Idealism. After someone brings it up, not before. Part 3.

    Is that reasonable and clear? I can drag out my texts and expound further, but am fearful of spreading a dull and throbbing headache among the readership.

    Your mail previous to that, at 12:20:

    You haven’t contradicted anything, just been broadly sardonic about it.

    Just a wild hunch; (I haven’t checked the numbers) I think in the course of human history several times more people have accepted ‘martyrdoom’ defending their ‘faith’ than all the peoples combined who died defending their home and heath.

    Also I recommend another light reading for your bed time stories: An eye witness account of the fall of Jerusalem to the crusaders and the glorious massacre of the cursed Saracens that followed to see my point.

    The point being?

    Regarding light reading, I recommend Runciman: my own copy is now on the point of giving up the ghost, but it is still in print. But I still don’t get the point. Both these say to me that people don’t give up their faith readily; how does either example, or quip, prove or disprove the ‘inclusionary’ rather than the ‘exclusionary’ nature of religion?

    Your first mail, of 11:17

    I wasn’t obfuscating, honest. I am really surprised that you are taking so long to get the point.

    In a religious system (with two exceptions, which I refuse to hand over to you on a platter), there is no questioning and no contradiction of the fount-head of revelation. Period.

    In an ideology, there can be and there is constant questioning, and ideology evolves, it never stays stuck. They even described the process in one school of thought; it goes like this: thesis – anti-thesis – synthesis.

    I know I am jabbing pins into you, but it is so tempting.

  42. bonobashi

    @PMA

    We are on the same side on this one. I have commented at length on one of the other threads. The inspiration was your mail above. My response may read acerbic at moments, but you will agree that there has been sufficient provocation by well-meaning people who come in and rake up the whole damn thing again, right back to Adam and Eve.

    I believe that you will find my extended post satisfactory.

    I am disinclined to take up the cudgels on behalf of those who have not gone through some of the recent discussions on this forum.

  43. Gorki

    Bonobashi:

    “You haven’t contradicted anything, just been broadly sardonic about it”.

    Being a guest in another’s place I usually try not to be controversial and rude, so in my posts I was trying to be circumspect. Perhaps my point remained unclear; basically I am having a problem with the following statement on a philosophical plane.

    “Islam & Social Democracy both provide the same benefits to citizens but in a different philosophical framework”

    First of all I want to start with a disclaimer; all of the following discussions, queries etc. apply if the belief system pervades into a public arena.

    I have no problem what so ever for any one holding any beliefs; in private, personal life.
    OK Then.

    1. My problem is that Religion; any religion (let us call it religious dogma or whatever) that assumes exceptionalism for itself and its adherents as opposed to all others can never be a replacement in the public arena for a secular system that is by definition is oblvious to the person’s color\creed\race\sex or sexual persuation.

    If one system asks a person to first give up his\her belief system before considering them equal to another then it has already committed an act of injustice even before getting started.

    Your post nonchalantly mentions that go ahead; give up your faith if you have to, and assume a new religious identity as if it is no big deal.
    I was only trying to point out that human belief system being what it is; this is even harder for most people to give up than say a home and heath.
    Thus even if everyone in the entire universe save one person was made up one religion (Say Christianity) and as a matter of policy assumed that that one remaining person was some how inferior to all others unless he too assumed the universal belief system for the sake of obtaining social justice then that system in my mind is inferior to another that asks for no such sacrifice.
    (This is as far as I can go in a public forum; more elaboration and examples etc. will have to wait in a private mail if needed)

    2. Because a religion derives its authority from the divine, it by definition can not be altered by a human. The problem is compounded by the fact that these divinely inspired texts often have contradictory messages; some of them incompatible with the universal human rights (which are universal in my personal belief system anyway.) Now when they come in conflict with reasonably assumed values of justice; they can only be re-interpreted (if a clergy is liberal) but never changed or deleted. (A non controversial example is that of slavery which was once justified using the Bible; now it is clearly offensive to our evolved sense of fairness but the offending text will remain in thr Bible till judgement day. It is then a probverbial Sword of Damocles that will hang on the heads of those who can be taken slaves again if the clergy could be persuaded to re-interpret a more orthodox view again)

    The above are but two points out of many as to why I am having a problem digesting your wisdom. As you notice I am trying my level best not to be offensive ot any particular faith or people.

    Yet I also have a fear that behind all the smokescreen (I am using the word seriously for the lack of a better alternative I can think of) which I believe you too are creating so as not to be offensive, I don’t know where you truely stand; philisophically speaking.

    I hope I have conveyed my meaning but have avoided giving any offence; which if I did inspite of myself, then I regret and ask forgiveness.

    Regards.

  44. Kiran

    Sorry for the delay in my reply. I will first clarify on what I think of the relevance of social democracy, Islam, science and secularism in the present context.

    Before that let me clarify one thing which should reduce the acrimony I face here. The fact that I dont agree with 2 nation theory (as a principle – there could be some practical considerations though) does not mean I question the legitimacy of Pakistani state or I oppose formation of Pakistan (I would be 60 year late – wont I?).

    Social democracy and Islam
    I belive we(here) hold that all men are equal and deserve equal access to opportunity . And thats precisely why we are debating Islam and social democracy because we agree on what ought to be the end result. And thats also why I believe Hinduism does not enter the debate as it is hopeless as far as guaranteeing equality is concerned.

    My position is that while Islam may have the appeal of democracy , it never did in fact actually be able to implement the equality in societies centered around Islam. And i don’t think it ever will and let me explain why. A society should fulfill the following conditions (necessary but not sufficient)
    1) All members of the society should be muslim. This nullifies the constraint of having to believe in Islam.
    2) All Muslims should agree on one intrepretation of Islam – this is hopeless considering how many scents Muslims are divided in to even in Saudi Arabia.

    Even if the above two are satisfies (which btw are only necessary conditions and not sufficient) further challenge comes in the form of below

    1) Islam believes governance is already described in Koran so the will of people as far as policies are concerned is irrelevant. This is not my claim but the position of many learned clerics.
    All the above makes it very difficult of Islamic governance to deliver the same results that a social democracy can.

    Secularism, scientific temper

    I don’t believe that social democracy will guarantee an increase in scientific temper but secularism does. But islamic governance will impose costs on growth of sceintific temper. Note the keyword is cost not an actual ban.

    I find it laughable to ascribe the acheivements of scientists in Islamic societies to Islam – what has islam or any religion got to do with science? Ancient egyptians too were far advanced compared to their compatriots that time does that mean their worship of Ra the sungod has got something to do with it ? If I know worship Ra will I be superior to others ?

    I will reply to YLH in another post

  45. Azygos

    @kiran

    The great Iqbal rejected democracy by claiming “it counts heads, not whats in them” All islamist countries, have failed not only democratically but also in protecting the rights of minorities. Instead, several of the 57 Islamic nations, especially Pakistan and Bangladesh have subsided on blood and gore and ethnic cleansing of religious minorities, especially the idol worshipers.

    The Hindu conception of equality is far more complicated than the modern rosy notion that beings are equally capable and equally rational. [For the Hindu idea of equality, see Hindu egalitarianism, Arvind Sharma and Hinduism and human rights, Arvind Sharma] Of course, the tolerance and acceptance of minorities including invasionists without degrading them into second rate subjects (dhimmis) is a unique feature of Hinduism which no monotheistic faith can ever come close to matching.

    Also, you might consider as to why in divided India, no party or group protested the idea of one man, one vote! What sustained Indian democracy in its turbulent phase was obviously its 85% Hindu populace

    Hierarchy is a living reality in every society and institution, and its not a necessary barrier to democratic equality provided we broaden our textbook definitions

  46. Azygos

    I find it laughable to ascribe the acheivements of scientists in Islamic societies to Islam

    => They might be credited to the Islamic civilization, but one cannot ignore the fact that most of them capitalised on their pre-Islamic heritage. Also, ever since publication of Needham’s pathbreaking work on Science in the Chinese civilization, the influence of the latter on the former cannot be ignored anymore

    => Hindu and other Indic maths and sciences are often the byproduct of their religious philosophies.
    => On the other hand, we all know how catholism obstructed science in the middle ages. Similarly, orthodox Islam impedes scientific progress whenever it disputes the word of the quran

  47. Hayyer 48

    Azygos
    Do you want to open a discussion on the scientific temperament of Hindus; or do you want to discuss the achievements of Hindu civilization. Similarly do you want to prove the achievements of Islamic science as distinct from Islamic civilization.