The Future Belongs To Jinnah

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Jaswant Singh’s 670-page book on Pakistan’s founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, has reignited the debate on Partition. From an academic point of view, however, he doesn’t seem to have said anything out of the ordinary. Much of this was first stated by Maulana Azad in his “India Wins Freedom”. In the intervening years between Azad and Jaswant Singh, several perceptive historians and authors, many from India, also presented a similar view of history, chief amongst them H M Seervai with his classic “Partition of India: Legend and Reality”. However, there is a new angle in Singh’s biography that is as much an indication of where things are moving in India as much as it is a historical context.

Not long ago I wrote a piece called “Jinnah’s India” which none of the websites and newspapers I wrote for then published. In that piece I argued that India today with its rising middle-class, secular constitution and a strong capitalist economy was Jinnah’s India not Gandhi’s or Nehru’s, whether Indians cared to admit as much or not. My argument was not a novel one though it seemed so to those who rejected it. Karan Thapar had written as much in an article back in the beginning of this decade. It wasn’t a surprise then that Thapar was the first one to interview Jaswant Singh after his book was released. My feeling is that India – with its economic gains and a confident new middle-class — is looking for an alternative founding father and more appropriately the founding father it lost. In the 1930s and the 1940s, the Hindu bourgeoisie was not nearly as mature – though much more so than its Muslim counterpart — to look up to a successful and secular barrister from the minority community as its leader. Things are different today though. The new middle-class in India finds itself alienated from its heroes – if only subconsciously.

Gandhi just doesn’t cut it – his rejection of materialism, his village philosophy, his glorification of poverty and his idealisation of ancient Hindu society, things that made him so popular in his time are exactly what are alienating him from this class. He can be revered but never emulated. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, though secular, has two major drawbacks: he was born to considerable wealth and he was a socialist. For many Nehru represents – despite his secularism and role as a global statesman — the wrong kind of politician, a politician who has never had to work a day and therefore holds those who do work for a living in contempt. The ironman, Sardar Patel, has been played up as an alternative but he has been appropriated by the Hindu nationalist crowd and the havoc Hindu nationalists wreak on not only minorities but most things western (for example, their opposition to Valentine’s Day) automatically distances this new class from Patel. Maulana Azad couldn’t possibly be an idol for this class because he was from the clerical Muslim class and represents in the Indian mind all the stereotypes associated with a Muslim.

Jinnah stands in contrast to all of the traditional founders of India. He was from the middle-class and was entirely self-made. Through sheer hard work and some luck he reached the top of his game both as a lawyer and a politician. Though a Muslim, he was entirely westernised – perhaps more modern in every sense of the word than most Indians and Pakistanis even today — and knew the ways of the world. He carved out his space in cosmopolitan Bombay through his own efforts and this is something that most in the Indian bourgeoisie have always admired about him even if they disagreed with his post-1937 politics. He was part of the Congress when Gandhi was still in South Africa and when Nehru was in boarding school in England. His legislative contributions to India are second to none. He might well have been the founding father of an independent India — as Sarojini Naidu had predicted — had Gandhi not arrived on the scene and pulled the rug from under him. Jinnah’s support for Bhagat Singh is also increasingly underlined. The latter is seen — despite his Marxism — as an icon of a new Indian youth. Now free men and finally successful, the Indian middle-class is doing what free men are known to do – questioning officially sanctioned views of history. It is to this class that Jaswant Singh has spoken.

This also indicates an internal struggle within the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP has been successful in the past by bringing together the various anti-Congress elements in India. The party itself has two or more distinct groups — one of which is led by the RSS-inspired Hindutvist ideologues. Their vision of the BJP is that of a party of the Hindu right and this is the wing that champions crazies like Varun Gandhi – ironically a great grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru. The other group consists of those like Jaswant Singh who realise that for the BJP to remain relevant it needs to become a party of the centre or the centre-right. They have correctly analysed that in the 21st-century India it needs to pose an alternative to the Congress that is secular and business-friendly. It is they who want to re-package Pakistan’s founding father – hitherto abused, demonised and denigrated as a communal — as a secular founding-father of India who was lost to bad policies. This is a prospect that needs to be welcomed by all. India is too big a country to have one or two visions alone. That it is now welcoming back into its fold its prodigal son and one of its most successful patriots can mean good things for the future.

But where does it leave us Pakistanis? After all Jinnah of Pakistan did happen. And he did create our country. It certainly can’t be that we agree with Jaswant Singh’s biography and yet hold on to our bankrupt conception of Pakistan and Nazaria-e-Pakistan based on some undefined ‘ideology’ which our lawmakers take oath on. It is now time to dismantle the lies and build Pakistan on Jinnah’s vision. It would require taking back the ground given to those opponents of Jinnah, the maulanas and the ulema of South Asian Islam. The good news is that here too we have a bourgeoisie that is increasingly dictated by the global world and the more they realise the dividend that peace and modernity holds, the more they will underscore the vision given by Mohammad Ali Jinnah on August 11, 1947, and in several other speeches of a Pakistan that is inclusive, tolerant, secular and at peace within and without. There is no other way and the future belongs to Jinnah.

Courtesy The News

65 Comments

Filed under History, India, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, Partition

65 responses to “The Future Belongs To Jinnah

  1. Majumdar

    Interesting points.

    I hope one day India will make amends to this hero and install his portrait in the Central Hall of the Indian Parliament. Irrespective of what happened in 1940-47, his achievements in 1906-1927 which were faith-blind warrant that. But the acceptance of MAJ (pbuh) sahib as an all-India hero by the Indian middle classes will probably require another 15-20 years or so when the midnight generation is gone.

    Regards

  2. Jinnah was a genius,with a team of pygmies.Had he lived longer,things might have been different in Pakistan.
    He famously said,”Pakistan and India can live together like America and Canada”. Well there is hardly any difference in culture and language of Canada and America.

    But America does not insist that its smaller neighbour should be readmitted to the USA.Pakistanis and Indians need to learn from Canadian experience.Pakistan cannot fly its flag on Red Fort Delhi and India cannot annex Pakistan.
    P.S
    I liked the way Majumdar wrote ” MAJ(Peacebe upon him) Sahib”

  3. YLH, Hear Hear! I hope that this is the future that comes to pass for Pakistan.

  4. Akash

    YLH,
    Lets hope that first of all, Pakistan views the future that includes Jinnah. Indians, mostly Hindus, as some would say rather condescendingly, are lowly idolators, worshiping false Gods. That also means the most of us have no problem including a new God, providing he/she brought something new. But before we do that, we still have a few figures whom we have unceremoniously relegated to the background. I guess, you forgot Bose.

  5. Vijay Goel

    An Excellent analysis.I wd not however agree that Nehruji was not fully accepted because he did not hv to work for a single day.His Socilism may hv been flawed and it made India stagnant but his sincerety and enthusiasm were neve in doubt.As it is said it is better to have loved and lost than not to have never loved at all.So it was better for us to have experienced Socialism and then decided that a dash of Capitalism serves us better.It is a pity that a more practical MAJ was not given a chance neither in India nor in Pakistan.But never too late to learn.

  6. Gorki

    There is a story about Benedict Arnold, a one time hero of the American Revolution who was one of the most brilliant of Washington’s commanders till he decided in a moment of pique to switch sides and join the British.
    After that he became one of the most detested men for the American patriots.
    Before defection, he had fought bravely for the Americans at the battle of Saratoga and had lost the use of his leg in that battle.

    After his defection, he once came face to face with a young American officer, who was now a POW in the British hands. Arnold asked him what the officer thought Americans would do if they ever captured Benedict Arnold alive.
    “With due respect, Sir” said the captive American officer; “I think they will cut off your leg that was injured in the service of the revolution and bury it with full military honors, and then they will hang you for defection to the enemy”.

    I think this story carries a moral; human beings, even heroes and villains are too complex to simply label as either.
    Unlike the giant one dimensional cutout of political leaders seen commonly in India during elections, real leaders are multifaceted and should be treated as such. In this context is indeed encouraging tonote that Jaswant Singh’s book about MAJ is forcing the new generation of Indians to take a mature look at the legacy of this great son of India.

    For decades MAJ was a respected leader in the Indian Parliament and when the Indians finally become mature enough to hang his portrait in the central hall of the parliament they will be honoring themselves as much as the man in question.

    Regarding the legacy of his great rival Nehru, his legacy is secure too, at least the way he wanted it to be seen.

    When asked by Norman Cousins, “What do you want to be your legacy?” Nehru is reported to have said, “Four hundred million people capable of governing themselves.”

    Today they are far more than the original four hundred million and although they do not always do it very elegantly; they certainly have become capable of governing themselves.

    Regards.

  7. Hayyer 48

    YLH:
    I wish you had taken your argument further.
    If India in its shameless catholicity appropriates Jinnah now, or soon enough as makes no difference, where does that leave Pakistan?
    The danger is real and the Pakistani middle classes cannot counter it.
    The siren call of the continent of Circe may yet once again seduce and abort PMA’s vision.

  8. bonobashi

    @Hayyer 48

    That is nothing more than a joining-the-dots exercise. But there are paradoxes in plenty waiting famished beyond the rapids and narrows.

    If the matlab of Pakistan is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, secular democracy, as is becoming increasingly clear, one with its orientation to the West and the North, one which is a ‘homeland’ for Muslims, or rather, for all who profess to be Muslim, it becomes an elegantly simple concept, a nation-state in the making, in the mould of Iran and Turkey, and one with the normal trajectory of any such constitution.

    But what goes into this is the subversive part of the DNA.

    If Pakistan can achieve intellectual and psychological stability in this manner, in spite of multiple ethnicities and languages calling out stridently for attention, if the pulls and pressures even within Islam can be reconciled satisfactorily, and vigilante majority groups are prevented by force if necessary from intimidating and brutalising the minorities, whether Christian or Ahmadi, it raises some curious questions.

    At this stage of enquiry, history might give way to set theory.

    As they put it in Latin, verb. sap.

  9. Koschan(immersed in brachial plexus)

    I agree to a large degree with bonobashi’s posts.
    i just have some queries for the highly learned author……
    1.if the creation of pakistan was justifiable in the light of providing a better atmosphere for the muslims,is the concept of independent baluchistan not equally justifiable?Are the balochis not as persecuted a minority as the 1940 muslims were?was the creation of banglades not equally justifiable because it has been recorded that bengalis esp the hindus were a persecuted comm in the greater pakistan..If the authors answer to this is yes, does he rever the icons of bangladesi lib movement the same way as he revers the icons pak creation movement?
    2. If jinnah was as great a visionary as he is made out to be,why did he not groom a successor or passed on the mantle to a secular person when he knew that he was destined to die soon?
    3.Does the pakistan creation movement not presuppose that a big minoroty cannot healthily live under a big majority?Is this assumption not too farfetched as far as assumptions go…
    4.can indians reconcile to loving a person who took a major part divided their nation, made sindhi hindus a community without a homeland , gave birth to a nation whose hallmark exports are kasab et al.?

  10. bonobashi

    @Koschan

    Sometimes I wish you would plunge head-first into the brachial plexus and stay there; ‘the author’ has already answered this (1)! It’s in the post “Pakistan’s Baloch: Life on the Margins of Punjab”, if I got that correct.

    About the Bangladeshis, he has reservations, already expressed clearly, on the grounds of the gross inadequacy of the personalities involved (don’t be surprised; just look up the bonehead posting under a suggestive name elsewhere in the post “A Bangladeshi’s Visit to Pakistan” and you’ll understand why he won’t answer this).

    About(2), Jinnah’s succession, one of the great accusations against Nehru, ironically, was that he never groomed a successor. That is an aside, with no bearing on your question, btw. Vision or statesmanship does not mean creating a line of succession; that totally vitiates the democratic principle, for one thing.

    For another, I know you don’t intend to, but you are coming across as callous and heartless. You are talking of a dying man engaged in a race against time. He knew very well that every day was precious, every second was precious. He had a limited amount of time available in which to do a thousand, million things. Do you, do I, do any of us have the right to challenge him, without having come to do a fraction of what he did in those fateful years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds?

    Regarding (3), no, it does not. It does presuppose a variation, not a very subtle one. It presupposes that a big minority cannot live under a big majority, if the majority is not mentally prepared to let it live healthily. If you are wondering how things changed, what happened since then, consider the following: the shock of partition, and the resultant national awareness of the need to coexist as majorities and minorities all pitched into the same bag (or melting pot, or frying pan – select your own metaphor here) made most Indians realise the need for giving minorities their space. Ironically, it took a partition of the country for this lesson to get across. I think it has got across.

    As far as (4) is concerned, how on earth would YLH even begin to respond to this? Without turning into an Indian himself? That’s for you and me and Gorki and Majumdar and Hayyar 48 and Kiran and Jitendra Kaushal, and Akash and every other Indian, on or off this forum, to answer.

    Back to your medical excavations, or Gorki will write to you.

  11. PMA

    Hayyer 48 (August 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm):

    “The siren call of ‘The Continent of Circe’ may yet once again seduce and abort PMA’s vision.”

    Hayyer: I am unaware of the ‘siren call’ of this book, ‘The Continent of Circe’ by an Indian author. Could you please elaborate your point.

  12. Koschan(immersed in brachial plexus)

    Bonobashi ji,4 was meant to be a rhetorical question.
    in 2 i was mainly concerned bout the fact that how on earth could majumdar’s jinnah not recognoze that his aiml chums were not as secular as he was……look his successors did the opposite of jinnahs aug 11 speech.Does this demonstrate an error of judgement on jinnahs part or sheer naivete?In extraordinary times as the 1940s was it not morally obligatory on jinnahs part to leave pakistan in safer hands, democratic principles can temporarily take a back seat in precarious times.(in any case, the majority demos-people- of 1940 pakistan believed and stilll believe thar pakistan ka matlab la illah ill allah)
    unfortunately, bb, history is a callous and heartless arbitrer.

    Off to the ulnar nerve of brachial plexus.Bye

  13. Gorki

    “The siren call of ‘The Continent of Circe’ may yet once again seduce and abort PMA’s vision.”
    ……………………………………………………….

    @PMA Sahib, I don’t mean to steal Hayyer’s thunder so I guess I will wait for him to elaborate further on his quote for the benefit of all of us.

    @Hayyer Sahib: Regarding the same quote above; (and with due respect to PMA Saab’s vision), isn’t it what we are told by one and all lately that MAJ wanted in the first place; if not a complete seduction back to the fold then at least the ears (and minds) firmly tuned to the Circe song?

    Regards.

  14. Hayyer 48

    Koschan (submerged in more than just a brachial plexus):
    In Jinnah’s case I suspect neither naivette nor error of judgement. The man had already fallen on his sword for secularism, and arisen from the dead as it were in 1934. The resurrection was of a different Jinnah who saw the Congress clearly for what it was.
    Forget Nehru, even Gandhi would not go beyond a point in defying the Hindu right wing. Jinnah did Muslim hardliners repeatedly and split his party in 1927 to pursue his secular ends. He switched off that track when he realized that the Congress just could not budge from its one directional view.

    PMA: Just joining the dots as Bonobashi says. The book by Nirad Chaudhuri has no siren call. Circe was the head siren, used as a metaphor for India, luring sailors to their doom. Nirad Chaudhuri’s thesis was that all those who land up lured into India, starting with the ancient Aryans, end up turned into swine.
    I was suggesting that if Hindu Indians now adopt Jaswant Singh’s Jinnah redux after all, and incorporate him as an element in their iconography, as Hindus Indians are wont to, then those seductive calls from across the border to which Pakistanis have been immune may become more difficult to resist.

    Gorki:

    I feel sorry for Jinnah. I believe Delhi’s modus operandi is to be deaf and blind as a matter of policy. As the Bible tells us, it is a worst case scenario because it is volitional.

  15. Jitendra Kaushal

    It saddens me to see so many gifted thinkers surrendering their soul to the ghosts of history. Is this escape into decades old issues a genuine search for answers to our dilemmas or a flight from them? Jinnah, Nehru and Patel were not puppets who dangled on strings from a bunch of crafty fingers. They were men of substance, men of mettle not seen in our times, moral and intellectual giants who not only inspired an awake and struggling generation, but were also idolized by it.

    History, as being used here, appears more as a dissecting tool in a mortuary, than a thinker’s torch to throw light on the darkness ahead. What do we, my friends, expect to gain by dwelling on the merits and demerits of the pre-partition generations and the men and women followed by them? In retrospect, this debate would, sadly, underscore the utter bankruptcy of thought in the self-proclaimed intellectuals of this generation of moral pygmies and spiritual ciphers.

    The view of India projected in some of the paras above is far from the reality. It is said about statistics, that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. India today is as poorly led as any dying and defunct republic would be. We are an anarchy hidden under the blanket of conventional wisdom of its teeming and voiceless millions. It is the magic of Hindu ethos with its endless tolerance, undying faith in Divine justice and ready forgiveness that hold this notion of a nation in place.

    The difference between India and Pakistan is that, here, Mamtas and Jaswants can say what they like and not lose their lives, but, in Pakistan free speech is possible in PTH, a virtual haven for real dissenters.

    Come, let us swear to focus on the ills of the present and shun this cheap intellectual thrill of butt and parry on lifeless dummies of the past. When we walk out of our homes this morning we should silently ask our naked and hungry compatriots if it matters to them as to which hero we worship. He or she needs our attention and our limited stock of energy now and urgently. In this year of 2009 our agenda should be set by the scenario before us and not by the follies and foibles of ancient or recent history.

    A generation immersed deeply in the present and reaching out for the future alone has the power to stamp history with its determination and designs. Can we be such a generation???

  16. Has anybody here heard of a certain Ambedkar ?

    Maybe not for the upper caste middle classes, but for the emerging Dalit middle class and the vast Dalit underclass he means much more than Gandhi does.

    Incidentally he was also a self-made lawyer, although I would argue that his circumstances were more difficult than Jinnah’s.

  17. Gorki

    Has anybody here heard of a certain Ambedkar ?
    ……………………………..

    Vikram Sahib:
    Who?
    I take it you are new to the site.
    Feel free to browse around, if you still do not find what you are looking for, do not hesitate to ask for help.

    (Hint: Try entering the name of the subject in question in the box labeled search, and then click find.😉 )

    Regards.

  18. Koschan(immersed in brachial plexus)

    Very true ,vikram

  19. YLH

    Dear Hayyer, I disagree with the datre. It was 1937 not 1934

  20. Hayyer 48

    You may be right. But was it not in 1934 that Jinnah emerged as the leader of the reunited AIML and returned from England? The TNT began later but I think the seeds were being sown about then
    @Jitendra Kaushal:
    Hinduism is more tolerant than most faiths but not endlessly tolerant as you say. It has a large share of intolerance. Caste for example, which Gandhi defended is a particularly vicious form of intolerance.
    Hardly anyone on this site would disagree with you that it is Hinduism which holds India together. That was the unspoken hypothesis on this site.
    Dissecting dead icons should not disturb your equanimity. It is by renewing our perspectives that we evolve.

  21. bonobashi

    @Vikram

    Never heard of him. This blog is a collection of effete snobs with no knowledge of events beyond their narrow little circle of ignorance. Who is this Ambedkar person? Someone Indian, from the sound of his name? Probably a cricketer or something? Or was he a cultural figure? From your vague hints, that’s what it sounds like. A singer, perhaps? Actually, while it is highly unlikely that the lazy and inattentive crowd that hangs around this site will take the trouble to ask you, there’re probably many of us quite keen to know. Please tell us.

    @Jitendra Kaushal

    Come, let us swear to focus on the ills of the present and shun this cheap intellectual thrill of butt and parry on lifeless dummies of the past. When we walk out of our homes this morning we should silently ask our naked and hungry compatriots if it matters to them as to which hero we worship. He or she needs our attention and our limited stock of energy now and urgently. In this year of 2009 our agenda should be set by the scenario before us and not by the follies and foibles of ancient or recent history.

    A generation immersed deeply in the present and reaching out for the future alone has the power to stamp history with its determination and designs. Can we be such a generation???

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, and with your eloquent remarks and the elegance with which you have expressed your views.

    Have you considered the amount of good you could do by ignoring this bunch of dilettante thrill-seekers, and instead spending your own time on setting right the ills of the present? You should consider your naked or hungry compatriots, each one of them. He or she needs your attention and your limited stock of energy now and urgently. In this year of 2009 your agenda should be set by the scenario before you and not by the follies and foibles of ancient or recent history.

    We look forward to your reports from the field.

  22. PMA

    Hayyer 48 (August 29, 2009 at 11:18 pm):

    Thanks for the expaination. For a moment I thought may be the book itself has a ‘siren call’. But you are right. Look at those Moguls of the history. They entered like lions and exited like miserable sheep. I hear some in India have tried to include Prophet Mohammad and Sufi saints of Islam into the long list of Hindu gods. If Indians now adopt Jinnah as one of their own, then they also have to accept that they were wrong at the first place and may have to accept Pakistan as well. I am not sure if Indians are ready for either.

  23. bonobashi

    @PMA

    The rot has set in beyond your worst fears.

    There is a standard puja offered to Satyanarayana, especially when a series of mishaps has overcome a location, say, an office, or a dwelling place. You will be shocked and surprised if you delve into the antecedents of the Satyanarayana who is worshipped.

    This goes one step beyond the worship of pirs, which is widespread in Bengal. A look at the offerings made by fishermen in the Sundarbans before they go into tiger-infested mangrove swamps on their fishing trips might be illuminating.

  24. PMA

    bonobashi (August 30, 2009 at 4:26 pm):

    That is India for you. Brits were smart. They saw it coming and ran. Mughals on the other hand could not and perished. But we are setting things right in Pakistan now.

    Footnote: Before any of you guys get all worked up, this is all said ‘tongue’n cheek’. Please.

  25. bonobashi

    @PMA

    That was Nirad Chaudhuri’s thesis: that everything degenerates in India, in the Indian heat and dust and maddening habit of complicating and debilitating everything vigorous and healthy that enters.

    You must read it sometime; it is a bit frightening though. Very bitter, absolutely devastating. Sentimentalists and the soulfully romantic will hate it.

  26. Jitendra Kaushal

    Hullo Bonobashi

    Your command is not very clearly expressed. Do you want me to unburden my CV here? If you are from Bangalore and indeed are a speaker for benefit of others then you might also know of the three modes by which we humans act, namely, mind, speech and action. Of the three, Mahabharata places mind’s thought process at the top in their order of importance.

    Evolved souls, or those striving in that direction, do no more than dedicate their mind and heart in the business of ‘parmarth’. When ordinary men are consumed by ‘chinta’ about their mundane affairs the enlightened ones are lost in ‘chintan’ about pain and privation of others. In the indian tradition one does not have to become a missionary but make ‘tapas’ one’s life’s mission. For elaboration of the concept of ‘tap’ you may like to revert to the Gita. I dislike the idea o boring readers here.

    I am touched by your concern about me and the suggestion you make. Thank you. But ‘swanteh sukhaye’ is the mantra that I live by and would be hard put to produce for you a tally of my deeds or misdeeds in a life span of seven decades. Should you still need more details about me, you may have to follow in the foot steps of Sherlock Holmes.

    I do not share your views about this site. The honesty of purpose and intellect pervading it is uncommon in human discourse today. Pakistani thinkers who speak here are blazing a new trail. Their concerns are weighty and worrisome and they are here not for the idle thrill of debating but to lay bare their anguished soul before their fellow compatriots and others who have the inclination to empathies with them.

  27. @ Gorki and Bonobashi,

    My comment was for this particular post, in which you have claimed that middle class India is rejecting the ideas of its founders and is veering towards Jinnah. I simply challenged your claim on the basis of a plausible argument which you have chosen not to respond to.

    In the context of this post, it doesnt matter how many times you have referred to Ambedkar previously in your blog.

    Perhaps this will help,

    http://vikramvgarg.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/understanding-the-dalit-cultural-emergence-in-the-indian-heartland/

    http://vikramvgarg.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/the-culture-of-the-scheduled-castes-through-the-ages/

  28. bonobashi

    @Jitendra Kaushal

    No, I don’t want your CV. Nor do I want to know what you did with your past seventy years, any more than I wish to inflict on the cornered and helpless readers any superfluous, self-proclaiming information about my own sixty.

    This site is about issues and topics which are clearly captioned. It is not about you, your personal life, your beliefs and faith, or about what you wish everybody else to do. It is not a forum for you to question me on my location, or to ask whether I speak for the benefit for others; as it happens, I write this from Electronics City, for whatever it means to you, and I speak for the benefit of nobody but my own stupid self. I do not parade my age, in fact, have never done so before, as I do not believe it has the slightest relevance. I do not pontificate, and after doing so, state that I do not wish to bore the reader.

    If I were seeking the company of holy men, I would look elsewhere, not on this forum.

    My views about the forum are my views. No doubt in contradicting them and interposing your own, you have the authority of your long study of the transactions on this site. You seem to know everything about what goes on, judging by the remarks in your concluding paragraph; however, it is not really as close to a psychiatric ward as it may seem to you. There is no need for that feverish, overheated description of a set of perfectly normal, rational human beings, most of whom are dealing with the issues surrounding their nation, and most of the balance of whom are seeking to comment in a constructive, intellectually honest manner.

    I am not sure what your intentions are, but pray permit me to direct your attention to the nature of this thread, which is titled “The Future Belongs to Jinnah”. Do your remarks and your biography have any particular connection to this topic? Or are you just feeling lonely?

  29. Foolsparadise

    YLH,
    I think you took JS, Indians & Pakistanis for granted, I have read this book now and can tell you clearly, what JS is doing here is an “Intellectual introspection” of Mr. MAJ life being partition as one of his defining moments. he looks at different Jinnahs, the one who was at early 19s and the won who was before and after wards, The one who was self made and the one who marries a Parsi and the one who was a true Indian Patriot etc etc. and does justice with different roles & qualities and even admires them.

    There are books and Bollywood movies on other leaders too like Bhagat Singh, Bose, Ambedkar,Azad, Veer Sawarkar etc etc they all had some sort of difference in views with Congress and Gandhi’s theories of non-violence and the one (Gandhi’s) theory which stood out as most acceptable is because of several reasons, one being Gandhi himself.

    Leader are also normal people and often does mistakes, eat their own words and feel ashamed in front of public (you see Gandhi himself is criticized commonly in India even now) The point I am brining is , yes you are right, we probably would have no issue including Mr. Jinnah and we might do that in future, but think about it “NO other leader gave a slogan of Divide or Destroy India” would you go that far with your bargain (how good/Intelligent/great personality you are personally) is something surrendering on knees to Gandhis(who interestingly believed in non-violence at least publically) or Nehrus, as a leader I would have showed my real talent and done things differently? none of the other leaders mentioned above would have done that, reason may be the “factor Islam” but that also was (as per the book & you) was against Mr MAJ philosophy, then how would you understand MR MJH? and his consistency in comparison on Gandhis and Nehrus of India.

    On a lighter note Laloo & Sonias became Gandhis foster sons and Taliban & Zardaris became MAJ’s foster sons, you decide.

    Regards!

  30. bonobashi

    @Vikram

    There’s nothing you said which challenged anything I’d said; I wish you would direct your darts with more precision.

    Your so-called challenge was difficult to decipher; it seemed to want to introduce Ambedkar, and there was not much hint of a specific reference to context.

    In any case, to defend it by saying that this mythical challenge was directed at something that I had written was fallacious, considering I have written no such thing.

    Just leave it at that.

  31. yasserlatifhamdani

    The “divide India or destroy India” commented was invented by the over active imagination of one Margaret Bourke-White because of reasons best known to her. It was repeated by Collins and Lapierre with her as the source.

    There is absolutely no statement from Jinnah that forms part of the primary record nor is there any statement from Congress leaders referring to Jinnah’s “divided or destroyed” comment.

    It is reasonable to assume that this was a case of bad journalism which is what Margaret Bourke-white practised. I do one day intend to write an article on Bourke-white’s numerous distortions of history vis a vis Jinnah.

  32. yasserlatifhamdani

    Taliban mindyou have an unbroken ideoligcal connection to Gandhi’s loyal Mullahs of Deoband. The father of taliban is Maulan Fazlur rahman who is the son of Congress’ biggest ally “mufti mahmud”. Two years ago the JUI-F (which is the ideological successor of JUH and not Usmani’s JUI) refused to acknowledge Jinnah as a freedom fighter.

    No one can link the Taliban to MAJ though because even Jinnah’s coalition consisted of Aga Khanis, Ahmadis, Barelvi Sunnis and a very small Thanvi faction of deobandis …none of these groups have been part of Afghan Jehad including the thanvis.

  33. Hayyer 48

    PMA:
    Hindu iconography is endlessly fascinating. Sai baba was a Muslim Peer in Shirdi. He is now practically a Hindu saint and is worshipped as such. A modern day Sai Baba claims to be an incarnation of the original.
    In Gujarat a Shia shrine (I forget the name) which originally may have been part of a taqiyya posing as Hindu, is now half Hindu and half Muslim with both sets of faithful. Countless graves of long dead pirs are now practically Hindu shrines.
    The adorative capacity of Hinduism is unlimited. We have temples to living politicians; how can a dead one cope with such powers of worship?There is even a Bollywood inspired goddess called Santoshi Ma who has a cult following since the movie was made in the 60s.

    My question was; if in some indeterminate future Jinnah becomes the leader of a Hindu cult in India what can you do about it-not pay homage?

  34. Gorki

    Vikram:

    I followed your URL to your blog and found it interesting. I understand that you are a student in a US university doing some research on India with a special interest in its Dalit population and its experience. I think you may find some of the discussion on the PTH useful.

    As you know MAJ, Ambedkar, Nehru and Gandhi among many others were all contemporaries who make up the pantheon of heroes of our freedom struggle.
    Although most of us on PTH have one or another of them as our personal favorites (except Bonobashi who is too academic and Hayyer who I doubt has any personal favorite at all😉 ) the fact is that being freedom fighters opposed to a colonial rule, these men were allies much longer than they were rivals.
    Thus it is but natural that their individual visions for India (and Pakistan) were much more complementary than they were mutually exclusive.

    Your point is duly noted that the resurgent Dalit movement in India looks upon Ambedkar as its own special icon and role model; however this does not in any way negate Nehru or Gandhi’s legacy. In fact I would argue that the emergence of such a movement is in fact a fulfillment of their visions. (Note my earlier post with Nehru’s quote.)

    In your blog you discussed in another essay that the Indian nationhood remains strong when measured by the following parameters of a successful nation (based on a survey which was answered affirmatively by the majority of people questioned):

    1) Despite cultural identities among citizens of the polity there will be at the same time a high degree of positive identification with the state, and pride in being citizens of that state
    2) Citizens of the state will have multiple but complementary political identities and loyalties
    3)There will be a high degree of trust in the most important constitutional, legal and administrative components of the state.
    4)By world democratic standards, there will be a comparatively high degree of positive support for democracy, among all the diverse groups of citizens in the country

    This to me is a ringing endorsement of the vision of all our founding fathers (among whom we should also include MAJ for his contribution to the cause of India’s Freedom Struggle)

    It was especially satisfying to note that your essay pointed out regarding the last of the four points “India fares very well in this area too, with 70 % of Indians (esp. Muslims and SCs and STs) indicating a support of democracy. Support for democracy runs very high across rural India and with high participation in campaigns and elections.”
    In fact I would argue that the results of the survey is proof enough that Nehru’s own hoped for legacy (to leave behind 400 million people capable of governing themselves) is alive and well.

    In any case; keep up the good work. There is still a lot of work to be done and miles to go. India and Pakistan can use dedicated and sincere kids like you.
    Regards.

  35. PMA

    Hayyer 48 (August 31, 2009 at 2:48 am):

    “My question was; if in some indeterminate future Jinnah becomes the leader of a Hindu cult in India what can you do about it-not pay homage?”

    Other than claiming royalties for the unauthorised use of the name and images of my ‘Baba-e-Qaum’, absolutely nothing! Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah is big enough of a figure to be shared with others who also wish to adore him. But I am afraid his principles may be too hard to follow by those who can not distinguish between a man and a God. Thankfully he never made any spiritual claims and Pakistani nation although adores him, does not worship him in any form or shape. For us he was a human being with all the qualities and short comings of one.

    And about pirs and their worshipers. We have plenty of those ‘jahals’ in our Pakistan. I understand some Indian Muslims are more inclined to what I call “Shrine Culture” than most other Muslims. Perhaps it has to do with their proximity to the Hindu culture. But I don’t want to open up another discussion, so let us not go there. Religion is a very sensitive issue. So better stop here.

  36. Majumdar

    PMA sb,

    You may as well be right in dismissing off the pirs and their followers as jahils. Unfortunately (and I believe YLH has noted it elsewhere) the alternative is the Taliban.

    Regards

  37. Foolsparadise

    I am sorry to post my previous comment here on your post and waste your and mine time when you have no guts to publish them.

    Thanks,

  38. It’s very clear that the author’s politics coincide with Jinnah’s, but whilst Jinnah may have wanted a secular, progressive society, that was never going to happen in Pakistan. I just don’t see it.

    Whether Pakistan was carved out of India by intent or by accident, Pakistan was/is Muslim in character, and Islam was never in it’s history been non-political. Therefore whether this was 1947 of 2009, large sections of the politicised Muslims will expect their state to be Islamic in all its characters. After all the rallying cause, the emotional stirring that paved the way for Pakistan was Islam.

    That today’s Jinnah defenders don’t see this is, for me the greatest disappointment and because the response is always “we would have suffered under Hindu India” is totally unproven. The heartland of Jinnah support, in modern Pakistan barely extends beyond the Punjab. Jinnah’s sympathisers don’t see that the people dragged into Pakistan, and its neighbours may one day, ask questions about whether the one man’s idea was in fact workable.

  39. Hayyer 48

    PMA:
    I apologize if, inadvertently the impression of paying religious homage was conveyed. ‘Homage’ was used in a pure secular sense. I spoke of a cult not a faith. I meant ofcourse of a cult that Hindus might begin to follow. On Islamic religious practices I have no comment to make whatever.

  40. PMA

    Majumdar (August 31, 2009 at 6:23 pm):

    To me both the ‘pir worshiping Muslims’ and the ‘Taleban’ are ‘jahals’.

  41. Gorki

    The heartland of Jinnah support, in modern Pakistan barely extends beyond the Punjab. Jinnah’s sympathisers don’t see that the people dragged into Pakistan, and its neighbours may one day, ask questions about whether the one man’s idea was in fact workable.
    ————————————————–
    I must admit that Tor Khan’s question has bothered me ever since I read it. How much support does Jinnah’s vision have with in Pakistan and its current generation today?

    And more importantly, in light of the recent book by Jaswant Singh (and by several other historians such as Ayesha Jalal) does it matter if all the academic historians in the world agree on MAJ’s vision if his very followers chose to not believe it or else even if they believe it, they decide to willingly ignore it and chart a new course anyway?

    I guess what I am asking is this; is it fair to expect the majority of people in this nation (or any new nation) to blindly follow the vision of a charismatic leader (regardless of its natural impulses?) like obedient children if the authenticity of this vision is proved beyond doubt?

    The next question that follows is this: What are the natural impulses of this nation anyway? Are they in sync with MAJ’s vision? Were they ever?
    As a liberal and a well wisher, I am having some moments of self doubt and am listening.
    Regards.

  42. yasserlatifhamdani

    TorKhan represents those who have now seen that they were wrong all along and are now trying to look for fresh new legs to stand on.

    How genuine was the Muslim fear of Hindu domination. My recommendation- read Jaswant Singh’s book and you will see just how acrimonious Hindu-Muslim relations had gotten and how long and hard Jinnah tried to bring them together while being abused and humiliated by both Muslim communalists (who thought him pro-Hindu) and Congress leadership which considered him pro-muslim.

    As for Jinnah’s support not extending beyond Punjab heartland today – this is a joke by someone who obviously to play province against province. Strongest support for Jinnah’s vision will come from Sindh …even urban middle class of NWFP is completely for Jinnah. They don’t and will never support the half baked idea of a tribal nationalism that Pushtun nationalists like Tor Khan re-package.

    This is why I don’t consider Bacha Khan and his progedny too honest about things. If they are all they claim to be they should be thrilled at the re-opening of the question.

    But their politics was always parochial, always narrow, always without focus. This is what you have today in NWFP – an excessively stupid party called ANP that signs deals with Swat’s Sufi Muhammad and then claims all sorts of things under the sky.

    The truth is that the future does belong to Jinnah. Both here and in India. You can either accept it right now or do what the Churchill accused Americans of : eventually doing the right thing after exhausting all the wrong options.

  43. If the future does belong to Jinnah, is there hope that we can eventually get into some sort of federation or EU type arrangement, and thus “undo” Partition? I’m not saying that I want Pakistan to disappear or anything, but is a larger South Asian arrangement not a good thing to aspire to?

  44. yasserlatifhamdani

    What is this desire to “undo” history?

    The bus on a larger South Asian arrangement left the terminal in July 1946.

  45. YLH, the bus may have left then, but it didn’t leave for eternity. The day may yet come when all South Asians–Indians and “Pakistanis” realize that an EU-type arrangement is in the best interest of everyone.

    Inshallah.

  46. Excellent article!

    Jinnah’s Pakistan has begun to emerge for a variety of reasons. The disparate ethnic groups of the country have had a difficult time gelling due to the lack of constitutional arrangement.

    Surprisingly, even the Pushtuuns today have become pro-Pakistan after the Pakistani Army has turned against the Taliban. Aside from a couple of Baloch tribes, the various ethnic groups see their future in Jinnah’s Pakistan.

  47. Akash

    YLH saab,
    I read somewhere that Jinnah in one of his outbursts at being irritated with Gandhi addressed him with the following words: “You are a Hindu! You are a Jew!” Is this true or is it one of the fabricated stuff? I also read that the eminent historian Rafiq Zakaria was apalled at the venomous anti-hindu speech that Jinnah gave in Bombay. Please do clear the doubts that may be floating around about Jinnah. On the other hand, if such statements are true, then his critics can be excused for balking at the supposed saintly image of Jinnah that is being peddled around.

  48. Gorki

    Dear Bonobashi, Hayyer, PMA:

    I had a few minutes and thought I should write this post which I had meant to write ever since I read PMA’s comments about his unfamiliarity with Nirad Choudhary. I agree with Bonobashi that reading Nirad is not for the faint of the heart; his commentary being dark and depressing but for those who enjoy reading the posts at PTH may find his writings quite interesting. Coming to think of it, both Bonobashi and Hayyer48 reminds one of the literary giant himself.

    First, Bono Da is in many ways like Nirad C. not only in that he too is a cultured Bangla, (a Bhadralok?) with a gift for writing beautiful prose but also has the same dry sense of humor, a keenly observant eye for the bigger picture. More importantly both have a firmly occidental academic and philosophical mooring yet both are commentators of the oriental world. Throw into this combination an acid wit and we have a rare combination.

    Hayyer 48 too reminds me of Mr. Choudhary in his almost ruthless analysis of the Indian political scene, his breath of observations and his stiletto sharp criticisms. In fact the comparison seems to hold a key to understanding Hayyer Sahib’s personal political views for Mr. Choudhary too like Hayyer refused to take sides but a one got a small peep into his mind when he refused to criticize the destruction of the Babri Masjid with words to the effect that what is destruction of one Masjid when the Hindus had been tolerating destruction of many of their temples since 1000 AD.

    I must add that I do not believe that Nirad C. was ever a Hindutva proponent; only an observer and commentator.

    Regards.

  49. YLH

    It is absolutely not true – the statement about Gandhi. There is no such statement from Jinnah. He was not given to such outbursts and most of his discussions with Gandhi are well documented. I have never read anything like it ever nor is there anything anywhere that remotely suggests this. On the contrary there is one occasion where Jinnah reprimanded an overzealous Muslim Leaguer for calling Hindus “sons of Shylock”. Jinnah was horrified and told him to hold his tongue.

    I don’t want to comment on people like Rafiq Zakaria and their distortions of history.

  50. YLH

    PS previous post addressed to Akash.

  51. YLH

    PS I’d also like you to in good faith produce the exact article, book or link where you allegedly came across this claim.

    If not I’ll delete your post for malafide intent because I know how a section in India operates vis a vis concocting stuff.

    If you want to break any saintly images start with Gandhi whose racist views in South Africa had the potential of shaming even Adolf Hitler. Just because you can’t bring Jinnah down by faith means doesn’t mean you will allowed to use lies and unfair means.

  52. YLH

    Erratum “be”

  53. Bloody Civilian

    he refused to criticize the destruction of the Babri Masjid with words to the effect that what is destruction of one Masjid when the Hindus had been tolerating destruction of many of their temples since 1000 AD.

    Gorki, in light of the above, either you were wrong when you said that NC had “firmly occidental academic and philosophical mooring”… or you and i don’t see such moorings the same way. with an occidental academic, commentator and observor like that, who needs a hindutva proponent.

  54. Gorki

    BC:

    I commented about NC’s observation for two reasons. One was to give an example of his somewhat jarring style of writing (which Bonobashi likes to call a ‘take no prisoner’ approach.
    The second was to illustrate it as an example of something that is uncharacteristic of NC.

    I have my own theory about why he said what he said but would like to see if Bonobashi or Hayyer Sahib have something to say about it first.

    Regards.

  55. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    I surface merely to caution you against wily occidentals bearing secular ideals or multicultural wreaths. As an anodyne (since we are talking about Nirad Babu, this is oh-so-apt a word) to long evenings in a Spartan hostel, I have been reading Samuel Huntington. Beware of the paleface! Or, if you don’t believe me, believe those who have given at least one old master of this and other fora much grist for his mill, the Greeks of Bactria and Gandhar and parts West: Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes!

    To put that dire fear, that unheeded prophecy into context, it was the cry of Laocoon when he rushed out of his temple to prevent the Trojans from dragging the beautiful wooden horse inside the walls of Ilium. As I am more than 350 kms inland, I have no fear of Laocoon’s fate.

    Now I shall sink slowly back to the shocked stupor which overcame me on reading Gorki: you may imagine that a sonorous intonation of one’s virtues by a physician/surgeon strikes fear into one’s vitals. What was it in that last X-ray?

  56. Akash

    YLH,
    Before I start, let me make myself very clear. It is not my intention to discredit or eulogize anyone. I would be happy to discuss with you the various follies of Gandhi. As I repeated earlier, this post is about Jinnah. As such, I prefer to discuss Jinnah sans Gandhi, Nehru, etc. If any discussion about Jinnah has to involve abuse or criticism of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, that would be a sad commentary on the current state of discussions that his story cannot be unhinged from the simultaneous pulling down of others. I am also amazed that you peremptorily dismiss Rafiq Zakaria. To my knowledge, he is/was one of the foremost intellectuals of the subcontinent. In any case, I was merely referring to his statements with regard to facts and not his perceived distortions of history. I apologize for the misquote that I referred to earlier. He referred to Gandhi as a Bania and not as a Hindu. Here is the article that has that quote. In all fairness, I do not consider Mani Shankar Aiyar as a particularly reliable source. He is a Gandhi family poodle.
    http://forums.sulekha.com/forums/coffeehouse/mani-shankar-aiyar-says-nehru-was-not-responsible-for-partition-973230.htm

    If you had read my earlier posts, you would have realized that I was not ignoring that stature that Jinnah held in times of Tilak and Gokhle. It is a well known fact that Tilak hired Jinnah as a lawyer to defend charges against him. I have also desisted from calling Jinnah by various epithets that you regularly attach to Gandhi and Nehru. I agree with you that Gandhi committed a grevious mistake in supporting the regressive Khilafat Movement. In fact, Jinnah shone as one of the few bright spots in criticizing the involvment of Indian Muslims in affairs beyond the subcontinent. The same Jinnah, 30 years later, went on to paint a dark foreboding picture of a dominating Hindu ’empire’ to none other than some Turkish delegation. That would irritate even the most generous of patriotic Indians. To illustrate the point further, are the following comments a fabrication too?
    “It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders; and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality; and this misconception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits and is the cause of more of our troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literature[s]. They neither intermarry nor interdine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects [=perspectives?] on life, and of life, are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, their heroes are different, and different episode[s]. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other, and likewise their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent, and final. destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state.”

    If not, how can an Indian see Jinnah as a role model.

    I share your skepticism about the comment about Gandhi as a bania and a jew that is attributed to Jinnah. He was far too sophisticated to indulge in such a nasty comment. I asked about it because I read it in that column. That’s all.

    You should not fear anyone maligning Jinnah. Facts speak for themselves and an impartial observer would form his/her opinion about anyone after checking and rechecking the facts. For the rest, how does it matter as to what they believe and disbelieve. It is a testament to Nehru that despite all his faults, it is his contribution to our country that JS can write a book downgrading Nehru and eulogizing Jinnah. Please do not take it as an arrogant remark but as a justifiable pride.

  57. Hayyer

    Dr. Gorki:
    You are too kind sir. Nirad Chaudhuri was a polymath. Bonobashi may approach him. I can only stand and stare.
    He was a small man. I used to see him on the street in Oxford, in the mid-nineties, a massive head resting on a spindly frame. I never approached him though he welcomed visitors in his tiny house and submerged them in data.
    However, I suspect he had just the tiniest bit of dislike for Bengali Muslims. There is a revealing passage in ‘Thy Hand Great Anarch’; but what are a few lines in 1000 pages of discourse
    The only similarity between me and the great Nirad Chaudhury is a hopeless is an unredeeming cynicism.

  58. Hayyer

    Bonobashi:
    If one had to go to a physician who better than the good doctor, with his sweet anodynes, even as rearranges your innards.

  59. bonobashi

    @Hayyer

    My dad got into enough trouble with the peppery little monster to last through my generation. He was an awesome talent, but also in ideological terms, a bit of a monster. Strange for a personally polite and even likeable, not to say lovable man. Someone from my batch in college, who still lives in Oxford, saw a lot of him in his last few years, and has told me that contact with his intellect was an experience never to be forgotten.

    I am sorry that you missed an opportunity to meet him. I missed him, always by inches, as I seem to have missed his and my Dad’s mutual friend, Khushwant.

    What keeps me from getting a swollen head from the encomia that have come my way is two things: the evident lack of worldly success that is written prominently around me, and the way my father can deliver intellectual thunderbolts, even as at 89, his mind is on its last slide to oblivion.

    The good doctor needs to be one who can get my BP down, otherwise he will not help much in any way.

  60. YLH

    Akash mian,

    The “article” you produced does not say what you claimed in the first post. It is clear to me that you are not interested in any honest dialogue. Nor have you read Jaswant Singh’s book clearly because your argument -if we can call it that- has nothing to do with the argument here.

    As for Rafiq Zakaria you can call him whatever you wish, Mr. Zakaria was an excessively dishonest person and that shows abundantly in his writings on Jinnah. You should read what Farzana Versey has had to say about him.

    As for his “The man who divided India” you should read the only reviews written on the book- Najam Sethi’s and Patrick French’s …both will make it abundantly clear that Mr. Zakaria was far from the intellectual you want to re-hash him as.

    I am sorry that Gandhi’s racism brings such a reaction. My point was that in Jinnah’s case the issue is undoing the demonization. The de-sanctification has to happen in the case of “Mahatma” Gandhi.

  61. YLH

    PS: let me also state tjat there is nothing wrong with the speech of Jinnah enunciating the TNT . It would have added to the diversity that India was. Secondly if you don’t want to look upto Jinnah you have every right to. However since writing this article I have had many Indians who have written agreeing with my views. Just like I don’t represent all Pakistanis you don’t represent all Indiansm

  62. Jitendra Kaushal

    Hullo Bonobashi

    Aurum Muraticum 30, thrice daily will bring your BP to normal. Give it a try. You seem to be in great awe NC babu.

  63. PMA

    Thank you all Indian gentleman here who have since my question of August 29 come forward to explain about Indian Bengali Author Mr. Nirad Chaudhuri, his book ‘The Continent of Circe’, his physique and his thoughts, his philosophy. This is more than what I would have done on my own. It is obvious that I do not read much about India, but what can you do. You can not visit Pak Tea House and not come across ‘All Things India’, whether you want to or not. But since then a new Indian name has come up in these discussions. I must ask. Who is this Mr. Rafiq Zakaria? Any relation to the well known Indian brown nose Mr. Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek and CNN fame?

  64. Hayyer 48

    PMA:
    Fareed Zakaria is I believe son to the self same deceased Rafiq Zakaria. He was a Congress politician of Maharashtra and minister, intermittently.
    About your other thoughts, well, I said so earlier and can say it again: If you speak for the administrators of the PTH Club you should put out a sign saying ‘No Indians Allowed”, and, I personally, would be gone before you knew it. There aren’t too many Indians who care about a sane discourse between the two countries; a few of those who do land up on this site; if that is too many the situation is easily remedied.
    @Bonobashi.
    I didn’t miss the chance. I kept away, over the course of a full academic year, even as I was frequently within hand shaking distance. I could not have had equal conversation, and my school days were over.
    Khushwant Singh because of his longevity rather than his mental calibre is now almost equally iconic, but he can compare only as a poseur. NC despite his formidable mind wasn’t just a tiny bit aware of his power to shock and awe. He revelled in it.

  65. Ram

    What BS ! You call yourself a scholar? Pass it by someone who thinks rationally. But wouldn’t that be a problem in Pakistan these days. Except Kamaran Shafi, Mahir Ali, etc. most of them have rescued themselves to Sri Lanka or London or somewhere far away!