Jaswant Singh’s right-wing worldview can be partially pardoned for he has made an attempt to set the record straight. The vilification of Jinnah to the extent of presenting him as a demon in mainstream Indian discourse has received a severe blow. Singh also blames the stalwarts of Congress for Partition and this has been the independent view held by many historians. It is shameful that a right winger had to condone Jinnah but then someone had to take the first step in the popular domain. The earlier voice of H M Seervai was drowned in the cacophony of nation-state jingoism and because he was from a fringe community, his dispassionate views did not receive much attention. In fact many in India and Pakistan have no clue about Seervai.
So much for historiography and history in the bitterly divided and acrimonious South Asia. But things will change. As we move away from the horrors and traumas of Partition, many more voices will emerge that will look at the way history should be recorded – with evidence, dispassionate analysis and sobriety. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
An impartial history of the Pakistan Movement and the rise of the Muslim Nationalism in South Asia shows that the main engine behind it – the Muslim Bourgeoisie – was entirely drawn from the modernist educational tradition of Aligarh and other Muslim educational institutions founded and run by pro-west Muslim reformers like Sindh Medressah (which was a school modelled after British tradition, name notwithstanding), Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam schools and colleges as well entirely secular institutions like the Government College, Punjab University and Peshawar University. In comparison the religious and scholarly class – i.e. Ulema- largely stood either aloof or in opposition to the the Pakistan Movement. Darul Uloom Deoband, the most important Islamic seminary in all of India, was as much an arsenal of pro-Congress Muslim Ulema after the Khilafat Movement as Aligarh was that of Muslim Nationalism. As the independence movement progressed, the pro-Western Aligarh Muslim University came to be associated more with Muslim minority’s cause and was denounced as “reactionary” by Congress as a whole. Pro-Congress Muslims created their own parallel Jamia Milli in Aligarh which was alter shifted to Delhi. Today it is the premiere Muslim institution in India, whereas Aligarh has been decaying. Continue reading
The more I think about it, the more Jaswant Singh looks, sounds and acts like Colin Powell of India. Like Powell, Singh is a liberal in a right wing party and like Powell, Singh is a patriotic, military-man-turned-diplomat. And like Powell, Singh is now the target of the extreme right wing of his own party. RSS and BJP’s disgraceful action shows the narrowmindedness of these two parties. YLH
Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) — India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party expelled Jaswant Singh, former finance and foreign minister, party chief Rajnath Singh said today from the northern town of Shimla.
The move by the Hindu-nationalist party comes after Singh praised Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of neighboring Pakistan, in his recent book on the leader, “Jinnah — India, Partition, Independence.” Continue reading
By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari
Vulgarity is vulgarity, no matter what mouth it comes out of – Maya Angelou
Well then so is bullshit. Because that is what it would be called if someone asked President Obama in a public forum what his wife, Michalle Obama thought about the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Continue reading