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.
A reluctant fundamentalist in India has spoken. Good job that he was expelled. His tears were rather shocking for he should have known better for the thirty years he tagged along the Hindutva ideology.
But for us Pakistanis we need to take things with a pinch of salt – praises from BJP-RSS wallahs are at best double-edged.