Masters of Mutilation

Ayesha Jalal (India Today)

Whether you are Hindus, Muslims, Parsis or Christians,” Jinnah said in April 1942 to journalists in Allahabad, “all I can say to you is that, however much I am criticised, however much I am attacked and today I am charged with hate in some quarters, I honestly believe that the day will come when not only Muslims but this great community of Hindus will also bless, if not during my lifetime, after I am dead, the memory of my name.” That day may not have quite dawned yet, but the reassessment of Jinnah by top Hindu leaders in India suggests the day may not be far off.

Historians are unlikely to find anything dramatically new in Jaswant Singh’s recent book on Jinnah. What is new is a top BJP leader’s acceptance of an interpretation of Jinnah’s role in South Asian history that is now generally accepted by scholars. Nearly a quarter of a century ago I had shown in my book The Sole Spokesman, based on a study of then newly available archival sources, that there was a disjunction between Jinnah’s aims and the final outcome of Partition in August 1947.

Jinnah had wanted an equitable share of power for India’s Muslims, not a partition based on the agonising dismemberment of Punjab and Bengal. Far from hating Hindus, he was opposed only to a version of Congress majoritarianism that showed scant respect for difference.

Sardar Patel and Jawahar Lal Nehru

Nehru and Patel were prepared to pay for the partition for centralised power in a unitary state.

Nehru and Patel, despite their other ideological disagreements, both wanted power at the helm of a centralised state created by the British Raj. Jinnah, by contrast, believed that at the moment of the British withdrawal the unitary centre fashioned by the colonial masters should stand dissolved and a new Union of India created through negotiation among its constituent units. In the context of 1947, these units might have been Hindustan representing the Hindumajority provinces and Pakistan representing the Muslim-majority provinces, each with substantial minorities whose rights would be fully protected.

Once the all-India negotiations failed to make headway and the Hindu Mahasabha had called for the division of the two main Muslim-majority provinces of Punjab and Bengal in early 1947, Nehru and Patel insisted on partition; the sole spokesman of India’s Muslims tried to avoid such a catastrophe till the very end. Partition could have been averted had the Congress been prepared to cede more power to the provinces and give an adequate share of power to the Muslim League at a federal centre.

In the end, Nehru and Patel in their different ways were prepared to pay the price of dividing the motherland for centralised power in a unitary state after exiling a maimed, mutilated and moth-eaten Pakistan to the northwestern and eastern extremities of the subcontinent. If Jaswant’s book helps bring into public discourse what scholars have known for some time, he will have contributed to a more intellectually honest understanding of the subcontinent’s past.

A diehard liberal and a staunch Indian nationalist who ended up carving out a separate Muslim state of Pakistan, Jinnah has had a stormy life after death. Pakistanis call him Quaid-e-Azam, the great leader, who saved the Muslims of India from Hindu domination. Many Indians damn him for destroying the unity of India in pursuit of his self-serving politics. Influenced by Lord Louis Mountbatten’s narcissistic utterances glorifying his role as the last viceroy, the British found in Jinnah a perfect bogeyman to absolve themselves of responsibility for partitioning India in 1947.

For someone who famously described himself as a cold-blooded logician and kept his cards close to his chest, the founder of Pakistan is an elusive subject of history. Those with a penchant for anecdote, legend and gossip have churned improbable yarns about a man whose manifold contributions to India’s anti-colonial struggle have attracted less sober comment than furore over his role in the division of the subcontinent.

Being misunderstood is a peril from which few public personalities are immune. Jinnah’s misrepresentations in history have assumed chronic proportions because they are intrinsically linked to sacred idioms in the rival nationalisms of secular India and Islamic Pakistan. This was graphically illustrated by the uproar in India over L.K. Advani’s comments about Jinnah being “secular” during a high profile visit to Pakistan in the summer of 2005. While in Karachi, the president of the Hindu right-wing BJP commended Jinnah’s address to the first meeting of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly as a vision for a secular South Asia.

Speaking extempore, the Quaid-e-Azam told the Assembly on August 11, 1947 that if Pakistan wanted to count for something in the international comity of nations, it would have to rise above the angularities of sect and community: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed-that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

In making a point to allude to this particular speech, the BJP leader was issuing a subtle reprimand to the rulers of contemporary Pakistan. They had subverted the ideals of their founding father by becoming embroiled in religious extremism and terrorism. The irony of Advani, a “communal” leader in the Indian nationalist lexicon, teaching secularism to his Pakistani hosts was lost on his compatriots. The Congress joined the BJP cadres in condemning the statement, omitting to note that calling Jinnah ‘secular’ is a dubious distinction in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan where it is widely interpreted as la dini or irreligious.

“Who can foretell the secrets of tomorrow” or “foresee the hidden forces that sometimes work to build our destiny higher than our dreams?” Sarojini Naidu had once mused. She was paying a tribute to Jinnah, the dynamic Bombay-based lawyer who had won her admiration for his moderate, liberal views and fierce devotion to the nationalist cause. His political mentor and role model, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, had said of Jinnah that “he has true stuff in him and that freedom from all sectarian prejudice which will make him the best ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”.

The remark was popularised by Naidu, who wished she could peep into the “book of the future” to see whether it was written that “he, whose fair ambition it is to become the Muslim Gokhale may in some glorious and terrible crisis of our national struggle pass into immortality as the Mazzini of the Indian Liberation”.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah

Jinnah’s battle was against Congress majoritarianism.

The future unfolds inexplicably. Jinnah attained immortality, not as the Mazzini of the Indian nationalist struggle but as the architect of a Muslim Pakistan. Far from being remembered as the “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”, he is condemned in India as a rank “communalist”-a pejorative term used after the late 1920s for those not subscribing to the Congress’s brand of nationalism. On more than one occasion, Jinnah made it clear that his battle was against “Congress Raj” and not the Hindu community.

Even while insisting on national status for Indian Muslims after 1940, he assumed that given their physical contiguity, Pakistan and Hindustan would make federal, confederal or treaty arrangements on matters of common interest. He gave the example of America where “23 independent sovereign states” had forged agreements covering their mutual interests. European states too had inter-trade and commercial treaties as well as strategic alliances. “We are not enemies of Congress,” Jinnah informed Punjabi Muslim and Hindu students in August 1944, though “we do not agree on certain points”. “But we should be united against common enemies” just as the League and the Congress came together to vote against the colonial government in the central assembly.

“If we must have a separate State,” he went on in the same vein, “that will not mean we shall have nothing to do with each other.” He was convinced that “both Hindus and Muslims would be happy when Pakistan is established” since it was in their best interest. They would never “allow anybody, whether he is Afghan or Pathan, to dominate us” because “India is for Indians”. It would be “foolish of the Hindus, and vice versa”, not to come to the defence of Pakistan if were invaded by any outside power.

The calamitous events of 1947 did not alter Jinnah’s view of the necessity for good relations with India. He advocated “real friendship” between the two dominions, not the forced reunion that was being predicted. Pakistan had “come to stay” and was “ready to come to an understanding or enter into agreements with Hindustan as two independent, equal, sovereign States.” The two dominions “should bury the past and resolve that despite all that has happened, we shall remain friends”.

“There are many things which we need from each other as neighbours,” and “we can help each (other) in diverse ways, morally, materially and politically and thereby raise the prestige and status of both Dominions.” A prerequisite was the restoration of law and order so that peace could prevail in the two countries and the minorities in particular could “feel that their life, property and honour are absolutely safe and secure and they will get without question a fair deal from their respective Governments”.

In March 1948 when asked if Pakistan and India could settle their disputes, Jinnah replied in the affirmative, adding so long as New Delhi “shed the superiority complex” and deals with us “on an equal footing”. He had “no doubt” about the “vital importance to Pakistan and India as independent sovereign states to collaborate in a friendly way jointly to defend their frontiers both on land and sea against any aggression”. For this to happen, the two countries had to “resolve their differences”. “If we can put our house in order internally”, Jinnah maintained, “then we may be able to play a very great part externally in all international affairs”.

If Jinnah’s vision has been lost sight of in Pakistan, his hopes for a real partnership between India and Pakistan remain unrealised. The flow of history has not invalidated Jinnah’s vision. He had told his compatriots that the “scrupulous maintenance and enforcement of law and order” was vital for progress. Islam enjoined on every Muslim “to give protection to his neighbours and to the minorities regardless of caste and creed”.

While warning that Pakistan could not remain a “mere spectator” to the suffering of Muslims in India, the Quaid-e-Azam asked Pakistanis to “make it a matter of our prestige and honour to safeguard the lives of the minority communities and to create a sense of security among them” because “retaliation and violation of law and order will ultimately result in weakening the very foundations of the edifice you have cherished all these years to erect”. These words ring truer than ever at a time when Pakistan, whose establishment Jinnah had hailed as a “cyclonic revolution”, has spiralled out of control in its single-minded pursuit of strategic parity with India.

In his own assessment of his place in history in which he looked forward to the day Hindus would honour his memory, Jinnah drew an analogy between himself and the first man to appear on the street with an umbrella, only to be laughed and scorned at by the crowd because they had never seen one before. Like other personalities in history who started off on the unbeaten track, he too was carrying an umbrella.

“You may laugh at me,” he said selfassuredly, but time will soon come when “you will not only understand what the umbrella is but…use it to the advantage of everyone of you.” As the state for whose creation he is credited stands dangerously poised at the crossroads of chaos and order amidst new and emergent shifts in regional and international politics, there is an urgent need for Pakistanis and Indians to grasp the meaning of Jinnah’s metaphor of the umbrella and rustle up the courage and the conviction to use it to their mutual benefit.

-Ayesha Jalal is the Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University, USA.



Filed under Pakistan

317 responses to “Masters of Mutilation

  1. Munawar

    YLH, your friend the master mutilator.

    Quaid e Azam, A Secular Leader ?

  2. neel123

    @ Ayesha Jalal,

    India and Pakistan are historically, culturally and politically two distinctly different nations, that are charting their own destiny.

    Six decades later, India and Pakistan are two very different nations today, one that has been evolving in as a democracy, and the other a state owned by the Military.

    Where as India has evolved its own way of coexistance of diverse linguistic and cultural identity in the social fabrique, in Pakistan on the other hand the minority population has been systematically decimated in Pakistan for the last six decades, to assert establishment of a religious fundamentalist state, run by the military.

    Text books in the school education system has been systematically designed in Pakistan to sow the seed of hatred towards India and the Hindus, at a very early age.

    There is no ground for any mutual benefit between India and Pakistan, except trade may be.

  3. yasserlatifhamdani

    Yes… Quaid-e-Azam… I bless the memory of your name. Thank you for everything… and if there is a god I hope he/she too will be honest enough to bless you.

    As for master mutilators… the crooks, cranks and madmen of Jamaat-e-Islami as well as those on the otherside of the spectrum… you know who you are… you lose. I win.

    Pakistan Zindabad. Jinnah Paindabad.

  4. yasserlatifhamdani

    And thank you Raza Rumi for posting this… and Ayesha Jalal for writing this.

  5. D_a_n


    ‘Where as India has evolved its own way of coexistance of diverse linguistic and cultural identity in the social fabrique…’

    quite right old chap… I believe you call it lynching your way to diversity…

    Next time; please feel free to exit the room when the urge for a mental fart overpowers you. Silent but deadly and all that 😉

  6. Majumdar

    Well we have discussed all this before. But still a few points need to be made.

    the British found in Jinnah a perfect bogeyman to absolve themselves of responsibility for partitioning India in 1947.

    I dunno why this comes up again and again. Why shud the Brits be held responsible for partition of India when they never suggested anything of that sort. India got broken up becuase Hindoos and Muslims cudnt tag along.

    IMHO anyone who holds Brits responsible for Partition is at best disinformed, at worst a liar and a crook.

    Partition could have been averted had the Congress been prepared to …..

    Alternatively, if the AIML had been prepared to enter the successor state without any safeguards.


  7. Partition occured because all three major political players– The League, the Congress, and the British– failed to reach a settlement at various points in the twenty years that alternatives were presented. Each time a settlement was in sight, one, two or even all three of these parties destroyed any chance of its success.

    This is the thesis of Jaswant Singh’s book: Partition was a horrible tragedy, the vivisection of India was not inevitable, and could have been avoided had our politicians–all of them– moved beyond their egos and compromised.

    Also, Partition did not solve the “communal problem”. Thus, JS is right in asking what we really gained from this division.

  8. D_a_n


    ‘Each time a settlement was in sight, one, two or even all three of these parties destroyed any chance of its success.’

    ‘…. could have been avoided had our politicians–all of them– moved beyond their egos and compromised.’

    for both of the above…can you please clarify which chances for a settlement did Jinnah scuttle?

    Also, where exactly do you see jinnahs ego getting the better of any political/constitutional considerations that he had? What sort of compromise would you have liked to see him

  9. Dan,

    If you read Jaswant Singh’s book, he goes into great detail about all the various attempts to reach a settlement on India’s constitution. All these attempts failed because someone–either Jinnah, Congress, or His Majesty’s Government–refused to make crucial compromises.

    In the case of Jinnah, he categorically refused to let anyone else speak for the Indian Muslims. Whenever, Congress would nominate one of their own Muslim members to any excutive council, Jinnah would get all upset. This to me is arrogance. How can one man or party claim to speak for an entire community? Congress had the right to nominate whichever of their members they wanted, and Jinnah or the League had no right to veto them. Would Jinnah have accepted Congress vetoing his nominations?

    Also, Direct Action Day was totally unforgivable. JS writes that literature was made available telling the Muslims to commit Jehad against the Hindus, just like the first Muslims made Jehad against the unbelievers. Whether or not Jinnah directly approved this, he must have tacitly supported this. Inciting riots is completely unforgivable.

    I don’t claim that Gandhiji was a saint or that Nehru was a saint. But Jinnah was not god or rasul, he was a man like you and me and he made mistakes which led to the vivisection of India. I for one will never forgive him (or Nehru or Patel) for that.

  10. D_a_n


    I believe it was YLH that clarified issues regarding Direct Action. The very issues that your are putting up now. I’ll try and dug it up for your benifit but I believe you were part if that discussion.

    You further wrote:
    ‘telling the Muslims to commit Jehad against the Hindus, just like the first Muslims made Jehad against the unbelievers. Whether or not Jinnah directly approved this, he must have tacitly supported this.’

    hmmm really now???? I haven’t read jaswants book yet but since you brouht it ip
    for an earlier point I’ll bring it up
    again. How did you miss parts that eulogise Jinnahs immensely secular constitutionalist credentials (that much I know from jaswants interviews)..does that tacit approval for communal bloodshed really gel with what we know of the man? I would suggest revisiting every single Jinnah and partition related topic on PTH and then attempting to
    make that statement. You will also see that subsequent events showed that it was Jinnah who held the right to speak for Muslims and congress quislings like Azad and an other Mullah toadies they could produce.

    So you will never forgive him? To be honest judging by your previous posts and views on identity on PTH, it is my opinion that your bitterness towards partition is based on the fact that you seem to think it stole your ‘indian’ identity from you and ‘condemned’ you to a lowly Pakistani(at least to others..) tag.. How much easier it makes things to tell others that one is Indian no?
    So I believe that is where your coming from. From
    your earlier posts I did get the impression that you never really gave yourself a chance to even begin to identify with any semblance of a pakistani identity. Sticking instead to a punjabi centric one.
    I believe your critique of Jinnah stems from there. Otherwise you would have found it easy to forgive the man who raced against death to give you much. The fact that we have a mess on our hands is not jinnahs fault.

  11. D_a_n

    ‘Muslims and congress quislings like Azad and an other Mullah toadies they could produce.’

    should read

    ‘Muslims rather than congress quislings like Azad and ither Mullah toadies they could produce.’

  12. bonobashi


    Two points: while I respect YLH’s grasp of matters historical, especially his accuracy and his unblemished integrity in citing references, as far as Direct Action Day is concerned, I have other direct evidence as well, which is difficult to discount. As far as I am concerned, between Tuker talking about busloads of Sikhs being imported from a fictitious location, and the eyewitness accounts of my father, I know where to put my trust. Suhrawardy, incidentally, was a person well-known to the family; there is some reason to believe that there is no communal filter to these memories, a serving policeman’s at that.

    Second, on this whole issue, I believe that we have sufficient evidence to fold these analyses into a greater narrative. Perhaps in a day or two, this narrative will be in a form fit for initial comment. It does not in any way question Jinnah’s role; instead, I find that the explanation of Jinnah’s role that emerged from the discussions on PTH go a long way to explain subsequent developments in Pakistan, and that recently there has been a further enrichment and development which makes the path very clear for secular elements in Pakistan.

    I hope you will like it when you read it.

    A last point: I believe that some of the Muslims participating in the Congress party activities were sincere and honest by their lights and according to their principles. We need not rush to judgement, in the manner that conventional wisdom in India rushed to judgement about Jinnah without fully comprehending his stance, or in the manner that Nehru and Gandhi are dismissed out of hand for their opposition to Jinnah. A response to one act of denigration of upright people is not another equal and reciprocal act of denigration. I believe that what the debates on PTH sadly lack is a sense of proportion about the personalities of some of the Indian leaders. While their role at the time of partition was less than admirable, their subsequent role in building a secular democracy, which works more or less, albeit with huge and unjust scars and warts of the sort that you have quite justifiably referred to.

    More important than that, such a comparison falls into the category of argument best described as,”Your shirt is torn.””So what? Your fly is open!” It doesn’t help to enter into these comparisons.

    I would urge you not to fall prey to a tendency that PMA has already condemned, and that some of us tend to do unconsciously, that is, to constantly compare Pakistan and India. There is no juice left in that orange at all. Each state deserves its own independent assessment.

    More later.

  13. Dan,

    Jaswant does bring up Jinnah’s secular constitutionalist credentials. The whole point of the book is to explore how the man who was the ambassador of “Hindu-Muslim unity” became the founding father of a country cleaved out of a “surgical operation” (in Jinnah’s own words) on Mother India. Direct Action Day was a part of that.

    I don’t appreciate your attempts to psycho-analyze me and frankly find them very condescending. My critique of Jinnah is not based on my feeling that my “Indian” identity has been stolen from me. That identity can never be stolen from me. Whether I happen to be Pakistani by accident of birth, ethnically I am Indian and will always be Indian. I am also a Punjabi. Much of my family is from what is now India. Identity is subjective, and I have as much right to claim an Indian identity as any Indian citizen. This doesn’t mean that I think the “Pakistani” identity is lowly. I just don’t ascribe to it–that is my right.

    My criticism of Jinnah (and Nehru and Patel) has to do with the callous way that they rejected any chances of a settlement and consented to the vivsection of my homeland, India, and my province, Punjab.

  14. Contrarian


    Azad and Indian Muslims quislings? To decide to stay in their own motherland? To understand patriotism, you need to fight for your freedom.
    Has Jinnah ever seen the insides of a prison. The ones you disdain are the ones who got you freedom from the British.
    D_A_N, you may be a product of the ones who cut and ran, not us.

    At the end of the day, if Azad and Indian Muslims are quislings, Jinnah and his ilk are cowards. He is the one who took the support of the millions of Muslims in the United Provinces and Hyderabad and rather than fighting for their rights scrambled to became a Governor General of Pakistan.

  15. YLH


    I tried to reason with this guy on facebook but he is without redemption.

    I have already discussed direct action day on another board. Needless to say the Indian version which JS repeats and this Indian-wannabe accepts does not gel with the facts of that day.

    JS’s argument is quite clear- Jinnah tried to come to a settlement for 20 years before coming to Lahore Resolution. Even then he agreed to the Cabinet Mission Plan and in doing so backtracked considerably from his public positions on parity and Lahore Resolution.

    It was the Congress that blew it by insisting that grouping was not mandatory to begin with under the CMP. It was really the height of arrogance on part of Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. The CMP had called for compulsory groupings till the first legislative elections after which any province could leave. Even this was unacceptable to the trio.

    Jaswant Singh makes all these points…points which this kabir fellow would not grasp even if it jumped out and bit him.

    Jaswant Singh criticizes Jinnah was raising the Two Nation Theory and Pakistan demand. But he is entirely clear that it was Nehru, Gandhi and Patel who f-ed up on the issue of Groupings as well as 10 odd other instances.

    So I am not sure what this little boy is on. We know that Jaswant Singh does not agree with the TNT, we know he is an Indian who believes “vivisection” of India was wrong. However this is a subjective opinion. The operative part of the book is not the re-statement of the Indian position on TNT which itself is subjective and thus immune to criticism. The operative part of the book is the exposure that it lends to those key events where Jinnah despite being from the weaker party bent over backwards to come to a settlement and why and how Congress refused to take his hand.

    But ofcourse this requires analysis of which this Kabir fellow is entirely incapable. I quizzed him on the book and all he could come up with was a repetition out of context of Jaswant Singh’s subjective position on Two Nation Theory.

    Then he tried to impress me that he went to college in the US.

  16. YLH


    The British had a fine tradition of promoting their favorite set of freedom fighter by jailing them.

    Jinnah was a constitutionalist fighting for self rule. There was no reason for him to go to jail.

    As for your other nonsense… Jinnah only chose to become Governor General in late July after Nawab of Bhopal could not be released.

    Jaswant Singh has already pooh poohed the idiotic suggestion that Mountbatten could be the joint GG.

  17. YLH,

    Stop with the personal attacks. It doesn’t reflect well on you.

    Two, if you’re going to talk about the FB conversation, please bring up the whole conversation including the bits where you called me a hindu wannabe, told me to go back to singing my bhajans (not that there’s anything wrong with singing bhajans), said my father would be a chaprasi in united India, etc.

    Enough with the little boy bawkwas. You are only 6 years older than me. A 29 year old has no right to call a 23 year old “little boy”. It’s condescending and only makes you look absurd.

    It’s fine to disagree with me, but you can do so without being rude and condescending.


  18. YLH: I disagree with your characterization of the “operative part of the book”. It’s not only about the times that Jinnah bent over backwards for a settlement and Congress refused to give him one. There were also times that Congress was eager for a settlement, and Jinnah refused. There were also times when His Majesty’s government killed any chance of a settlement.

    The whole point of the book is that all the politicians of that era took decisions which made the vivisection of India inevitable. Jinnah was not special in any way.

    Both the hagiography he gets in Pakistan and the demonization that he usually gets in India are wrong. He was a man like the rest.

  19. Contrarian

    Interesting YLH.
    A man is involved in the Congress from 1896. In Indo-Pak politics for over 50 years.
    Not ONCE has he gone to prison fighting for freedom.’ Not a single movement against the British that he managed. He waited for others in the words of D_A_N, quislings, Muslims like Azad to win freedom for Muslims from the British.
    And that why, the British “chose” not to imprison him?
    YLH, just admit the fact that he was no freedom fighter. He chose to fight for Pakistan.And when he ran away to Pakistan, he left a third of his co-patriots in the lurch.

  20. YLH

    Indian identity was stolen alright. It was stolen when Nehru declared that as the seceding state, Pakistan could not claim India jointly.

    The Government of Pakistan raised its objection to Bharat’s exclusive use of India on August 26, 1947.

    However all this was long before kabir was born. On another board he declared that he had nothing in common ethnically with Pathans which itself negates the concept of a United Indian ethnicity.

    On yet another board he claimed that Pakistan and Bangladesh separated because TNT was false. The irony of it is completely lost because 1971 may have been a negation of TNT (though TNT never envisaged one state necessarily) but it was a negation of United India twice over.

    This idea – that Indian subcontinent- had to be one state is at the root of all evil. It stops even a person like JS from connecting the ultimate dots and bury the Akhand Bharat idea once and for all. It confuses people Kabir Mohan who become self hating Pakistanis like fish out of water. And it gives Mullahs who had opposed Pakistan to look for Pakistan’s justification in aspirations of Islam and Islamic state.

    Just frikkin get over it- geographicla unity does not mean political unity. Cultural unity or similarity does not mean political unity. If so Canada and the US should’ve been one state – and if history is what divides them- far bloodier history divides us.

    So let us work and come together as Pakistan and India on a SAARC level. This was Jinnah’s vision. And let us tell the kabirs, kashifs and kulkarnis to go to hell.

  21. YLH


    You don’t even know history.

    Jinnah was in the Congress from 1904-1921. You may tell me how many times Gokhale, Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta, Badruddin Tayyabji, Tej Bahadur Sapru, C R Das, M R Jayakar, Annie Besant etc went to jail. If Jinnah- under whose name a hall exists inb Bombay dedicated to him for his agitation against Wellingdon- was not a freedom fighter none of these people were freedom fighters either.

    By the way guess what Gandhi was doing when Jinnah was bringing together Hindus and Muslims at Lucknow against the British.

    Oh yes Gandhi was recruiting Indians as cannon fodder for the British Imperial Army. For this Gandhi got the title ” Qaiser e Hind.

    History is a bitch isn’t it. Especially for ignorant fools like you.

  22. YLH,

    Once again with the “self-hating” crap. Sorry, I’m not going to let you get away with that. I told you my problems with that phrase. “self hating” is what those Jews and Israelis are called who defend the rights of the Palestianians or advocate for a Palestianian State. Similarly, you call me “self-hating” because I refuse to subscribe to the official position about “Pakistani” identity. It just reflects badly on you.

    I refuse to bring myself to your level and personally attack you or your family. All I’m going to say is that for someone who claims to be an “intellectual” you are actually quite bigoted.

  23. YLH

    Btw as even Jaswant Singh admits- Gandhi’s only contribution was delaying independence by almost three decades.

    The British used Gandhi like a slasher- slashing the constitutional cooperative movement for self rule on one side and cutting down attempts at armed rebellion like Bhagat Singh and marxist groups on the other.

    By using Gandhi’s non-cooperation as an excuse, the British delayed roundtable conferences by 10 years from 1921 to 1931. As JS writes – very convincingly- a United India would have had self rule by mid 1930s at the latest had it not been for Gandhi.

    No wonder the British jailed Gandhi and erected statues for him at the same time.

  24. Contrarian

    And when he left Congress, he did what against the British?

    Nothing; Nada;Zilch. Any arguments YLH?

    He claimed to be the sole spokesperson for Muslims, but left a third of them in the lurch.
    Again any arguments?
    Stop being abusive.
    Argue with points other wise admit the truth and shutup.

  25. YLH

    No mian kabir you are nothing like those Israelis.
    You are more like those who sold their own kind to the Nazis.

    You can call me bigoted but that is because you don’t have an argument.

    Also please point out where I attacked your family here?

  26. I’m like those who sold their own kind to the Nazis? Really? You and I have a political disagreement about “Indian”, “South Asian” or “Pakistani” identity. It’s not a moral failing on either part. So now I’m a traitor because I don’t consider myself a “Pakistani”? That’s some weird type of logic you are utilizing.

    You haven’t insulted my family on this thread. But on FB you said my dad would have been a chaprasi in United India. You’ve used stronger and more vulgar language earlier, and you’d use it again if you got frustrated enough. I refuse to get dragged down into that shit.

  27. PMA

    “Ayesha Jalal is the Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University, USA.”

    I wholeheartedly endorse this article and its content. My position is that this is not what we wanted originally. As partners in the British Indian Empire, we wanted our due share of the political and economic power. As stated by Ms. Jalal “an equitable share of power for India’s Muslims, not a partition based on the agonising dismemberment of Punjab and Bengal.” Our antagonists refused to go along with our demands and instead handed us this “maimed, mutilated and moth-eaten Pakistan to the northwestern and eastern extremities of the subcontinent.”

    But friends, that is history now. We Pakistanis [whether we are living abroad, or living inside the country] must get out of this ‘would have, could have’ state of mind and concentrate building on what we got. If each of us, no matter where we are, in our own way contributes something towards building our nation and serving our homeland, there is no doubt in my mind that one day we will not be a great nation. We have been there before. We can get there again. Let historians take care of the history. Let us all work for the present and for the better future. May God help us. A’min.

  28. YLH


    That just shows your ignorance again.

    From 1921-1937 he did nothing else but trying to bring Congress and League together. Read some history. The famous Simon Commission boycott was Jinnah’s doing. So was the Indianization of the officer corp, the attempt at making import payment in rupees.

    Your ignorance of history is baffling.

    As for the 1/3rd being left in the lurch, Jinnah’s idea of Pakistan was not based on complete separation nor did the Lahore Resolution envisage an exchange of populations. 25 million + were always going to be in India.

  29. YLH


    My conclusion is that the English language is not your forte. Which is why you insist on misinterpretting my argument. Your loss.

    As for my statement on facebook- yes I stick by it. Your father would not be anything but a chaprasi in United India. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  30. Contrarian


    You need to brush up on your history old boy.

    Only a faction of the Muslim League led by Jinnah boycotted the Simon Commission.
    The fact remains that Jinnah needed the Congress and its mass movement to get freedom from the British.
    The Congress did not need Jinnah.

    The fact remains that Jinnah took the support of the 25 million Muslims(in your words) to get Pakistan and left them out to hang.

  31. YLH


    We need to get rid of the pathetic fraud that is called Nazaria e Pakistan as much as Indians and their sidekicks (the self hating Pakistanis who want to be congratulated for Slumdog millionairre) get rid of this false notion that Indian subcontinent had to be one political state.

  32. Hayyer

    The accuracy of Jinnah’s prophesy is probably borne out in so far as one section of Allahabad’s population is concerned. The Muslims of UP are unlikely to think the same way. There is I think almost universal regret at the political emasculation of Indian Muslims because of Pakistan.
    Its creation was probably a blessing for Hindu India except Bengal and Punjab. It may have been a blessing for Sindh-I cannot say. It has been an unmitigated disaster for Kashmir and the Frontier.
    Muslim Punjab and Muslim Bengal may have gained; the former at considerable cost, but eventually Muslim Bengal suffered to. If one were to do a cost benefit analysis the beneficiary is undoubtedly India. Less of India suffered, more of Pakistan did.
    Would an accord have been possible if Jinnah had not insisted upon being the sole spokesman? It is not axiomatic that all Muslims in the Congress were quislings; even if they were not of Jinnah’s calibre they were men of considerable standing and good Muslims to boot.
    Suppose, as a thought experiment, that the Congress had bound itself not to have Muslims in its ranks; could Jinnah have prevented Muslims in general from joining other political parties? Jinnah’s stand was tantamount to the Congress declaring itself a Hindu party, even a caste Hindu party, it may have been one in fact, but it aspired to something larger than itself, and it could not have accepted restrictions on what it should or could be.
    Political parties are not mentioned in the constitution. If a common constitution had been written up as well as those for the groups could the Congress have been barred from putting up Muslims candidates for elections in all three groups.
    There can be hardly any Punjabis who think like Kabir today in the Indian Punjab. Punjabi Muslims survive only in Malerkotla. Hindu and Sikh refugees are now assimilated in this part of the Punjab and Delhi and the generation with memories is dying out. Kabir can imagine what being Indian means; on this side it would take a poet or novelist to imagine being Pakistani. There are memories there of being Indian but none here of being Pakistani.
    While large sections of literate India may accept the new picture of Jinnah as a result of JS’ book the knicker wallahs never will. India has moved on beyond the partition mentality, as I am sure has Pakistan. Most people here don’t care too much about the history of partition anyway being settled in with the stereotypes of public discourse. They see Zia’s Pakistan not Jinnah’s. They want peace with Pakistan but not at a price. I imagine similar attitudes prevail in Pakistan. Sadly, there is little to be optimistic about.

  33. YLH:

    The English language is not my forte? Sweetie, I have a degree in English literature. “The English language is not your forte”. That is the most absurd statement I have heard in my entire life.

    I grew up in the states where we used (guess what?) the English language. It’s not like I did all my school work in Punjabi 🙂

  34. YLH

    Contrarian mian,

    Now you are contradicting yourself. Your claim was that Jinnah didn’t do anything after he left the Congress.

    Now you are asking me to brush up on history by pointing out that it was Jinnah’s faction that boycotted the Simon Commission. How is that different from what I said? Didn’t I say that Jinnah tried to bring Congress and the League together till 1937? f Congress didn’t need Jinnah why complain when in 1942 he refused to join Quit India movement? I think history has already proved your pathetic argument wrong.

    Indeed this arrogance and ignorance is what led to partition.

    As for your argument about Muslims left behind, read Ayesha Jalal’s article again. What you are repeating are myths already dissected by most impartial historians.

  35. YLH

    Kabir mian,

    Well clearly then the states is not the place to study the English Language.

    By the way for someone
    who repeats day in day out that he is a Punjabi and refers to Punjab in a rather pathetic fashion as “my Punjab” you sure seem to have some hang ups about the Punjabi language now don’t you.

  36. Contrarian


    The fact is that Jinnah could not even get the Muslim League to work in cohesion and had a faction supporting him to stand up against the Simon Commission.

    With or without Jinnah, the Quit India movement occurred. Jinnah stayed on the bylines like a loyal, proper British subject.

    He chose to ditch his people whose loyalty made him great. If he was truly a spokesperson for the Muslims, he would have ensured the right representation of every muslim within his homeland.

    There is no arrogance, just the facts. You see arrogance when your facts are hollow.

  37. YLH,

    It was a joke, hence the smiley face. Are you not familiar with internet emoticons?

    Seriously, this is getting beyond ridiculous.

  38. YLH


    First of all that is not true. Jinnah’s claim to speak for Muslims was based on electoral math. By 1944 he had managed to command the support of most Muslim legislatures . And in 1946 the League won all seats in the central legislature and 87 percent of all Muslim seats in the provincial legislature.

    Congress didn’t even win Muslim seats in 1937 and in 1946 it was trounced on all Muslim seats.

    Gandhi signed an accord saying clearly that by democratic logic Congress accepted League’s claim of being the sole representative of Muslims provided it would not object to Congress appointing its own members. Later Congress backed out.

    And may I remind you that out of the six Congress members in the interim government one was Asaf Ali. Jinnah in the end gave up the sticking point on the issue of parity as well as appointment of all Muslim members.

    The accord in the end did not happen because of Congress’s dubious and bogus interpretations of the 16th May declaration’s clauses 19 V and VIII which dealt with Groupings.

    Either Nehru and Gandhi were bad lawyers or dishonest lawyers or both. Nonetheless they claimed to be lawyers in front of Wavell and in the end Wavell called them blackmailers.

  39. YLH


    More ignorance of history.

    Jinnah brought all of the factions of Muslims not just the League when he presented the very reasonable 14 points in 1929. A Congress-League unity would have been guaranteed. Nehru turned it down under pressure from Hindu Mahasabha.

    As for Quit India movement, the only thing Jinnah did was not obstruct the war effort. As for his position against the British search Time Magazine’s report on it – search “Time + Walkout + Jinnah + Gandhi + war + Linlithgow” on google. What a slap on your face.

    Jinnah was justified- thanks to the horrible behavior of Nehru and the Congress in 1937-1938 – for staying out of the aimless, shameless Quit India movement which had it succeeded would have led to Japanese occupying India and strengthening the Nazis.

    Why should Jinnah have come to the rescue of power hungry crooks of Congress and their witchdoctor Mahatma when they had gone back on their alliance in 1937?

    I am glad he showed people that sidelining major sections of Indian population to appease Hindu majoritarian fascists would not work nor would propping up Maulanas to take Muslim leadership.

  40. YLH

    PS. Contrarian could you tell me if the Lahore resolution said anything otherwise.

    In any event partition as it happened was not Jinnah’s solution.

  41. Hayyer

    It is correct to say that the CMP did not succeed only because Nehru and the Congress were deliberately obtuse on the true meaning of the 16th May statement and in a denial mode right up to the meeting with Atlee in December 46.
    My point is that if the issue of the sole Spokesman had not been taken up earlier some headway may have been possible. AIML did become the preferred party of nearly all Muslims in 1946, but earlier it was not so.
    Jinnah was seeking parity and sole spokesmanship. He would have settled for less, but had this been his stance earlier things may turned out differently.

  42. YLH

    Two things here

    1: Between 1937-1945
    Jinnah managed to bring the disparate groups in Punjab and Bengal and Sindh to don the League cap. So when he did claim what he did, he was right as right as he was post 1946.

    2. In 1937-1938 the reason for breakdown was not League’s insistence on any exclusive right to speak though it did have more of a right to it then Congress, it was the Congress’ backtracking on the alliance between the League and the Congress.

    Backing out of the claim and allowing Congress to speak for Muslims when it didn’t according to the electoral logic was unacceptable after 1941 and had Jinnah backed down he would have been wrong.

  43. YLH

    Btw the interim govt of 1946 showed that Jinnah settled for way less.

  44. Bloody Civilian


    There is I think almost universal regret at the political emasculation of Indian Muslims because of Pakistan.
    Its creation was probably a blessing for Hindu India except Bengal and Punjab.

    before we go in to the dredit and blame sides of your assessment, who do you credit or blame for partition? that could give us a motive for the results of parition, as per you.

    Suppose, as a thought experiment, that the Congress had bound itself not to have Muslims in its ranks; could Jinnah have prevented Muslims in general from joining other political parties?

    how are the interim govt and congress the same thing? did jinnah ask for congress not to put in muslim candidates in the 46 elections??

    his claim to sole spokesmanship was limited to india’s constitutional question/settlement negotiations. the interim govt was a big part of it… i.e an important stage. congress had shown already shown how much it could be trusted in the matter of this constitutional settlement. muslims had shown how much they trusted it in the general elections. in any case, jinnah stepped down from even this stand which was made merely to point out congress’ track record which was did not exactly signify trustworthiness.

    He would have settled for less, but had this been his stance earlier things may turned out differently.

    how much earlier? earlier than 46? 44? 37? 34? 29? 16? or even earlier?

  45. YLH


    Well said.

    Unfortunately this is the myth that has been perpetuated in India- that Jinnah somehow by claiming the sole spokesmanship of Muslims was asking Congress to turn out Muslims. This is completely false.

    Nothing could be farthest from the truth. His claim was only based on Congress inability to meet Muslims’ concerns and to win Muslim vote.

    Had Congress kept up its alliance with the League in 1937, it could legitimately claim to represent a large percentage of Muslims atleast in UP and Bombay.

  46. What if Jinnah had won

    Ashutosh Varshney

    The current debate over partition is radically incomplete. The debate has been framed around Jinnah’s desire for a federal but undivided India, in which the states would have been more powerful than Delhi. In contrast, Nehru’s preference is said to be for a centralised polity, with Delhi given more powers than the states. It has been argued that the latter was responsible for India’s partition.

    What is wrong about this way of framing the discussion? Contemporary political theory suggests another perspective on Jinnah. Historical research has not wrestled with a fundamental theoretical question: was Jinnah in favour of what political theorists call “consociational democracy”? It is a term I will explain in a moment. But its grave real-world implications can be stated right away: if Jinnah’s argument was indeed consociational, then partition was inevitable and Jinnah was as responsible for it as anybody else. For the Congress party to accept a consociational argument would have meant denying everything India’s freedom movement had stood for. Nehru could not have possibly agreed. Nor, incidentally, could Gandhi.

    A consociational democracy opposes liberal democracy on at least three counts. First, according to consociational theory, groups — religious, linguistic or racial — are the unit of politics and political organisation, not individuals. As we know, strategising about groups is a pervasive feature of politics, whether in the US or India. The consociational theory goes far beyond that. It says that the constitution should allocate political power and offices to different religious or ethnic groups — 50 per cent of offices would go to group A, 30 to group B, 20 to group C, etc.

    Second, each community would be represented by a political organisation of that community only, not by an organisation that claims to be multi-religious or multi-ethnic. This is the “sole spokesman” idea: that only the Muslim League would represent India’s Muslims. LTTE made similar claims about the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

    Third, minorities would have a veto in governmental decision-making, and consensus should be the basis for governmental functioning. If the Muslim League did not like something that others wanted Muslims to consider, the deliberation would not go any further.

    The consociational theory is not simply an abstract exercise. In books after books, Arend Lijphart, a Dutch political scientist, has demonstrated that consociational democracy was used in several small European countries after World War I: Holland, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. More controversially, he has also argued that a consociational democracy is much better for multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies, for it allows disaffected groups to develop a sense of security.

    Outside Europe, too, there are examples. Consociational versus liberal democracy was a matter of serious debate during South Africa’s transition after apartheid. Lebanon after 1943 opted for consociational democracy. Malaysia today has a semi-consociational model.

    A key question about Jinnah is this: was he a consociational or a liberal democrat? We don’t know the answer conclusively, for that is not the frame within which historical research has been conducted. But the hypothesis that Jinnah was consociational, not liberal, is profoundly plausible. Consider three different points in the evolution of his argument.

    First, it is after the Lucknow Pact of 1916 that, in a pre-theoretical moment of political exuberance, Sarojini Naidu called Jinnah an “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”. One should, however, note that the Lucknow pact was fundamentally premised upon separate electorates for Muslims, and also on one-third of representation reserved for Muslims in government.

    Second, the Lahore Resolution (1940) made the case that Hindus and Muslims were not simply two distinct religious groups, but two different nations that required separate political roofs over their cultural heads. In the words of Jinnah, “Hindus and Muslims belong to… two different civilisations that are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes. 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”. In comparison, the argument of Maulana Azad, a deeply religious Muslim and a Congress leader, was dramatically different. “I am a Muslim and proud of that fact… In addition, I am proud of being an Indian. I am part of the indivisible unity that is Indian nationality… Eleven hundred years of common history have enriched India with our common achievement. Our languages, our poetry, our literature, our culture, our art, our dress, our manners and customs, the innumerable happenings of our daily life, everything bears the stamp of our joint endeavour. There is indeed no aspect of our life which has escaped this stamp… This joint wealth is the heritage of common nationality.”

    Nehru’s view of the nation and politics also departed radically from Jinnah’s. This is what he wrote in The Discovery of India: “There was a fundamental difference between the outlook of the Congress and that of religious-communal organisations. Of the latter, the chief were the Muslim League and its Hindu counterpart, the Hindu Mahasabha. These communal organisations, while in theory standing for Indian independence, were more interested in claiming protection ad special privileges for their respective groups.”

    1946 is the third key point in the evolution of Jinnah’s argument. Unless future research proves me wrong, Jinnah by that time was wholly consociational. He was not only talking about a federal India with greater powers for the provinces. He was also emphatic about the Muslim League being the “sole spokesman” for India’s Muslims.

    Even if the Congress had accepted the idea of a loose federal state, how could it have agreed that Congress was only a Hindu party, not different from the Hindu Mahasabha, and it could not represent Muslims at all? There were undoubtedly some Hindu nationalists in Congress, but they never took control of the commanding heights of the party. At least since Gandhi burst on the scene in 1919, the Congress was always committed to the idea of a composite nation. Agreeing with Jinnah’s consociational argument would have meant fundamentally denying the ideological commitment to the possibility of a multi-religious politics and a secular Indian nation.

    Finally, would consociationalism have really brought peace to an independent India? The available comparative research is quite clear. Consociational democracies have worked well in richer European settings. In lower income postcolonial scenarios, consociationalism has actually been a recipe for endless troubles. Lebanon’s case is the best known. The fundamental problem is that a polity so exclusively group-based only deepens group identities. It does not make groups secure. In the end, it undermines national feeling.

    It is hard to imagine a post-1947 India, which had separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims, which allowed only one communal party representing each religious group, which apportioned political offices strictly on the basis of religion, and which nonetheless had peace. Partition was a horrific event, but it is not clear that a consociational India after 1947 would have fared better. Nehru’s critics must confront the consociational puzzles about Jinnah’s ideology and conduct.

    The writer is a professor of political science at Brown University, US. His books include ‘Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India’.

  47. why should my comment await moderation

  48. Well the indian express article i pasted above clears a lot of things.

  49. yasserlatifhamdani


    I am afraid this is simply hogwash written by Ashutosh Varshney (whose well researched but badly argued “Hindus and Muslims Ethnic conflict” I have read and found to be rather limited in thought even if thorough in research)… even if it comes from a professor at Brown (which proves my earlier point about American universities sadly).

    1. Jinnah was in principle against the separate electorates. He had opposed them when they first came around. He offered to give it up on several occasions… provided other safeguards were met. Even his 14 points speak of eventual discarding of the separate electorates. This point comes out clearly in terms of Jinnah-Gandhi talks where Jinnah says ofcourse joint electorates are the preferable.

    2. Consociational Democracy: The concept has worked well in Netherlands, Switzerland and several other nations. But the prime modern example of Consociational Democracy is not in Europe … Ashutosh Varshney will never accept it but all political scientists looking at things impartially will… it is India… yes your so called Modern Secular Liberal India.

    The irony is that India post 1947 adopted the consociational model but jettisoned the modernist Muslim leadership that could have given it meaning. Who are India’s Muslim consociationalists today? Darul Uloom Deoband.

    I submit that the consociational solution presented by the League was not all that different … indeed it was more democratic. It certainly did not solve the communal conflict by presenting communal solutions… it presented federal solutions and confederal solutions for communal conflict.

    Groupings would have created three sub-federations…. in these sub-federations, it was open to the provinces to leave after the legislative elections. The principle of separate electorate was most likely to be given up by Jinnah – who disliked the idea of communal electorates but had accepted the idea only as a necessarily evil given Congress’ refusal in 1929 to accept residuary powers clause which was a sine qua non for settlement according to Punjab and Bengal’s Muslims. The impulse behind Congress’ rejection was not any fear of consociationalism but simply hunger for power and land grabbing instincts.

    The consociational argument if any can only apply to CMP and that to by stretching and drawing analogies. And it certainly does not gel with Post-1947’s Modern India which is for all purposes as consociational a state as CMP India would have been.

    But what about 1929? What about 1937?

    The truth is that Ashutosh Varshney probably knows deep down that he has laid an egg… and we shall expose him for this.

  50. karun1

    kabir@ 23 you are very impressive. Keep it up man!

  51. karun1

    and lest you people forget: Musharraf has conceded the misutilistaion of US funds against India.

    Bheek mago fir aur bheek se pathar khareed kar padosi par feko.

  52. YLH, i am pondering over your point number 2. Hmmmm…

  53. YLH– regarding your earlier criticism of my statement that Jalal argues that Jinnah used the Pakistan demand as a bargining chip, I have the Seervai book in front of me, and he argues essentially the same thing that I was arguing.

    He writes: ” On this point it is [Jalal’s] thesis that Pakistan was a mere bargaining counter and what Jinnah was after was parity in the Central Government as the only effective means of protecting the interests of the Muslims in a united India”. (Seervai pg.2, footnote is to Jalal pg. 213)

    Thus, I was right when I said that Jinnah used Pakistan as a bargaining chip, and Congress called his bluff, leading to Partition. What do you have to say to that?

  54. Bloody Civilian

    Even if the Congress had accepted the idea of a loose federal state, how could it have agreed that Congress was only a Hindu party, not different from the Hindu Mahasabha, and it could not represent Muslims at all?

    simple: by winning muslim votes. it failed to win even 5% even in ’37 and not even that in ’46. to then pretend to represent them by show-casing a muslim member in the interim government, against the party that held the mandate of 90% muslims, was patently dishonest and only meant to mislead. to use an otherwise unrelated example, an uncle tom or two is no substitute for democratic mandate, let alone ‘civil rights’.

    as for consociationalist vs liberal democracy.. it would be a narrow liberalism indeed which is incapable of seeing the dangers of and guarding against majoritiarianism. identity-related anxieties, aspirations and politics are a reality in a heterogeneous polity… ie. with groups of large/comparable size. in such a polity, there are two ways of progressing towards a liberal democracy: a) consociationalism, or b) partition. choice b) could be amicable or acrimonious… violent or peaceful.. depending on how (well) it is handled. btw, consociationalism need not be the opposite of liberal as the professor would have us believe. it would be so only if the consociationalists were (i.e. led or represented by) reactionaries etc. in any case, the groups would move closer together towards a ‘one nation’ or further apart, as time goes on, as per their democratic will. in case of partition, the independent nations would be free to come closer together or move further apart as neighbours.

    @ professor of political science at Brown University, it wasn’t a young sarojini naidu in her political exuberance but a much wiser and older gokhale who had called jinnah the ‘best ambassador of hindu muslim unity’.

    It is not axiomatic that all Muslims in the Congress were quislings; even if they were not of Jinnah’s calibre they were men of considerable standing and good Muslims to boot.

    while i do not see how the “good muslims to boot” bit is relevant, i agree with the rest. their electoral failure when it came to convincing the muslim vote is no more than just electoral failure. it casts no shadow over their personal calibre or standing. but their stance in the khilafat movement does. those of us who are troubled by gandhi’s support of the khilafat movement cannot overlook the fact that these men were the khilafat movement. with their ‘jihad or hijrat’ fatwas and writings. their association with the JUH/Deoband… with people who even as they condemned the moplah violence chose to preface it with their refusal to deny, ‘in principle, the right to use violence against idolators’. and the less said about gandhi ‘protecting’ the moplah’s from british justice (or at least imposition of law and order) as ‘a religious people acting according to their religion’.. the better.

  55. Thanks Karun, I will keep articulating my point of view even when faced with bigots like YLH who claim to be objective intellectuals yet can’t bear to hear any criticism (whether historically grounded or not) of “Quaid-e-Azam” Jinnah. Also he can’t stand it when people refuse to ascribe to his precious “Pakistani” identity. I’m not forcing him to call himself an “Indian” or even a “South Asian” for that matter.

    He then has the gall to resort to personal insults, like “go sing your bhajans little boy, it’s all you’re good for” or “go do your nautanki and leave me alone.” Why should we even take such a person seriously?

  56. Bloody Civilian


    IMHO anyone who holds Brits responsible for Partition is at best disinformed, at worst a liar and a crook.

    is it possible that to protect themselves against such people/groups/parties, the brits, or at least their last viceroy, decided to make jinnah the scapegoat?

    on a separate note, i’m a bit curious about knowing your answer to the question i had posed you on another thread: was there a difference between the questions facing the voters in the ’46 elections and the one in nwfp in july ’47?

    did the UP voters, for example, think they were children of the mughals and pakistan a half-sister of their UP? had they started packing up even before they went to the polling station, or did they think delhi would be the capital of pakistan?

  57. Majumdar

    Civvie mian,

    was there a difference between the questions facing the voters in the ‘46 elections and the one in nwfp in july ‘47?

    There was. No one knew for sure exactly what Pakistan meant in 46, in terms of borders and in terms of relationship with the rest of India. In 1947 there was no such ambiguity. Having said, I have no doubt that had voters in 1946 knew that things wud pan out the way they did, Muslim voters at least in the Muslim majority provinces wud have voted the same way as they actually did.

    did the UP voters, for example, think they were children of the mughals and pakistan a half-sister of their UP?

    Yes. This is commonly referred to as the dispossessed Mughal syndrome on another website.

    had they started packing up even before they went to the polling station


    or did they think delhi would be the capital of pakistan?

    Possibly yes. Not only that some of them were also led to be of the opinion by some crooked leaders (which is basically much of AIML barring our beloved Qaid himself) that Agra and Lucknow too wud be part of Pakistan.


  58. Bloody Civilian

    “it casts no shadow over their personal calibre or standing. but their stance in the khilafat movement does.”

    that’s wrong. i should’ve said that their stance is open to criticism, had i been giving more attention. i’ve never been much good at muti-tasking. sorry

    similarly, i might as well explain my view about gandhi’s statement on the moplahs. it’s more that i, personally, cannot fathom the wisdom of such a statement and am at a loss to explain how it was expected to help.

  59. Bloody Civilian



    I have no doubt that had voters in 1946 knew that things wud pan out the way they did, Muslim voters at least in the Muslim majority provinces wud have voted the same way as they actually did.

    so it was more about the dynamics of regional rather than communal politics? would the majority community in each province have voted for or against partition of their province, if given the choice?

  60. Majumdar

    Civvie mian,

    would the majority community in each province have voted for or against partition of their province, if given the choice?

    Naturally, yes. An exception being Assam which was happy to have gotten rid of Sylhet.

    so it was more about the dynamics of regional rather than communal politics?

    No, both.


  61. D_a_n


    a few things here m’boy about what you wrote:

    ‘I don’t appreciate your attempts to psycho-analyze me and frankly find them very condescending. My critique of Jinnah is not based on my feeling that my “Indian” identity has been stolen from me. That identity can never be stolen from me. Whether I happen to be Pakistani by accident of birth, ethnically I am Indian and will always be Indian.’

    My intentions were not at all to be condescending. I was merely stating that it was important to keep in mind the baggage you carry to keep your comments in context. OTOH, by your comments above, you have confirmed my analysis. Whether they be Pakistani’s….or Iranian Diaspora (an extra special case of self loathing for a significant part of their history) or any other group of people who deny their very identities, I find it very sad indeed. I have met a few Pakistani’s with your views so I knew. From my side, it was on observation. No more on the subject.

    Now, you didnt answer my question. What would you have had Jinnah do differently. What compromise should have been made at what point that would have absolved him of blame in your eyes?

    And Last but not least, you have managed to win compliments from Karun. A known Jinnah hater and bigot. And I believe that his compliments to you are not so much to do with what you wrote… (I dont think he will be so kind to an Indian Punjabi from Lahore claiming to be Pakistani)…..but because in his neat little world view, your identity vector stands as a repudiation of Pakistan, partition, Jinnah and a validation of his little RSS infected mind. As in ‘see how Pakistanis are dying to be Indians….Aha!!!! So good work there buddy!

    You reveled in his compliments even when you read that he has told Jinnah to to go and bugger himself. Please ask yourself what that says about you.

    @ Contrarian….you spake:

    ‘Azad and Indian Muslims quislings?’

    Quite right there. Azad and the Deobandi brigade of Fitna-ists were congress toadies. If you need further enlightenment on this issue, please feel free to scour PTH for a wealth of material.

    ‘D_A_N, you may be a product of the ones who cut and ran, not us.’

    ah that old nugget! To be honest I dont know about cut and run but I believe the decision was made for them by the mob hurrying to their neighborhood and their Sikh neighbor who raised the alarm but was also good and brave enough to bundle them go safety in a truck risking his own neck. So no, I dont believe we cut nor ran.
    and Cut and run????? Dont tell me….Fox News fan right? 🙂


    Sir…my initial knowledge of Direct Action was not upto snuff for PTH. The references that YLH had cited and his explanation of events was very credible. Now, you have your own first hand sources as well which I would be hard pressed to doubt. Maybe a separate thread on that for the benifit of the unread like myself? Will appreciate the effort from yourself and YLH.

    ‘A last point: I believe that some of the Muslims participating in the Congress party activities were sincere and honest by their lights and according to their principles.’

    that is a reasonable point to make Sir. However as far as Azad and the other religiously (Deo-bandi) oriented Muslimleadership is concerned, my question remains that what motive could there have been for standing in opposition to constitutional safeguards for Muslims as demanded bu Jinnah? I dont see anything positive there. As an aside, I believe they had personal issues with the type of leadership offered by Jinnah. It was an existential threat to the clerical leadership and had to be opposed. They knew the type of political space Jinnah wanted to create would have no place for them (had he lived). You might this a bit simplistic but their actions post partition in Pakistan validate my general view.

    ‘I believe that what the debates on PTH sadly lack is a sense of proportion about the personalities of some of the Indian leaders. While their role at the time of partition was less than admirable, their subsequent role in building a secular democracy, which works more or less, albeit with huge and unjust scars and warts of the sort that you have quite justifiably referred to.’

    I believe this is because the debated on PTH tend to focus in great detail on the pre-partition era and partition itself that the Indian leadership comes out looking less than stellar. What happened afterwards is another story. I for one hold Nehru in great esteem. Yes, his contribution to building and maintaining (warts and all) a sustainable democratic tradition is singular and undeniable. He is a Giant of history.

    ‘I would urge you not to fall prey to a tendency that PMA has already condemned, and that some of us tend to do unconsciously, that is, to constantly compare Pakistan and India. There is no juice left in that orange at all.’

    Definitely no Juice left in that orange AT ALL! It has never been my intention to play that game and my apologies if I gave that impression. It is a pointless exercise and I like to think I outgrew such things a long time ago. I have enough things at my own home to get in order. far too much. That being said…Im sure you’ll appreciate that even with those views…I wouldn’t like being goaded.

  62. D_a_n:

    Whether or not you intended to be condescending, your remarks were condescending.

    I am not “denying my very identity”. I was born in Pakistan which by many people’s definitions (yours?) makes me Pakistani. However, I am fighting for the right to maintain my Indian identity. As I keep saying, ethnically I am Indian, my family is Indian, my heritage and culture is Indian, and nothing you or YLH can say will ever change that. Hell, prior to 1947, there was no such thing as Pakistani and thus no such thing as Pakistanis. What would you call our ancestors? Proto-Pakistanis (as ridiculous as that sounds) or rather “Indians” or “Hindustanis” as they actually were.

    Karun may be a bigot (I personally think YLH is a bigot– it’s a human tendency to find people one disagrees with “bigoted”), but he has a point.


  63. D_a_n

    @ kabir

    ‘Hell, prior to 1947, there was no such thing as Pakistani and thus no such thing as Pakistanis. What would you call our ancestors? Proto-Pakistanis’

    but eversince 1947 there has been but it seems like you didn’t notice…
    My ancestors were Indian sure. I personally have no issues with that. I feel no need to project am alternate identity onto them or myself for that matter. Second generation on from partition, we’ve been pakistanis. Identifying with just one ethemic identity is your right but does no favours to Pakistan and it’s people and is one of our foremost afflictions.

    My only point is that your identity projections are a result of how much easier life outside Pakistan would be (in your opinion) as an non Pakistani given the climate if the past 8 years.

    PS: you never answered my question.

    PSS: I guess you are new to the forum son. You wouldn’t have compared YLH to a prick like karun otherwise.

  64. D_a_n,

    I conced that post-1947, Pakistan and “Pakistanis” exist. I concede that by accident of birth I am “Pakistani”, thus I am a Pakistani national. However, as I keep repeating, ethnically there is no such thing as “Pakistani”. We are all ethnically Indian (except Pathans who are a distinct ethnic group).

    You don’t have a point. I am a US citizen, and can call myself American without having to modify that statement in any way. The reason why I choose to identify as “Indian” is because I want to claim my heritage, my language and my culture.

    P.P.S. YLH has behaved like a bigot to me and that is the reason why I am calling him one. It has nothing to do with my newness or not to the forum.

  65. Majumdar

    Kabir bhai,

    We are all ethnically Indian (except Pathans who are a distinct ethnic group).

    Lots of Pakistanis and North Indians are ethnically Pathans as well becuase of the karnameys of the Pathan men who used to come visiting in the past.


  66. D_a_n

    @ kabir

    The reason why I choose to identify as “Indian” is because I want to claim my heritage, my language and my culture.

    being a Pakistani wouldn’t stop you from doing the same. Just as it doesn’t stop me or countless others…

  67. D_a_n,

    To answer your question:

    1) My problem with Jinnah is that he propogated something as stupid as the Two Nation Theory. Just because Indian Muslims had a different religion than the majority of the Indian population, does not make them a different “nation”. I share the opinion of Gandhiji who told Jinnah that he had never heard of sons of converts deciding that they did not belong to the parent stock. The TNT was frankly a ridiculous theory, and Jinnah used it because he relized that he was not going to attain power from a Congress platform, and that the Muslims were his alternative constituency. The Congress Muslims who were the true nationlists never felt the need to differentiate themselves from other Indians.

    1971 and the creation of Bangladesh showed how stupid the TNT was. If all Indian Muslims were a “nation”, then why did the Bengalis feel the need to claim that they were a nation as opposed to part of the “Pakistani” nation. True a lot of this has to do with the oppression that they recieved from the West Pakistanis, but it shows how ethnic ties trump religious ties (a trend that is consistently seen in the world). I believe in a united India, Bengal would not have felt the need to declare independence.

    2) Jinnah could have compromised by not claiming that he and only he represented all Muslims. There were muslims in Congress and other non-League parties who did not agree with him, and whom he did not represent. Thus, his claim was arrogant and displays his power-hungry nature.


  68. D_a_n: you want to claim the Pakistani identity and be a proud Paki, fine that’s your right, good for you. Why must you force that identity on me– an identity that I want no part of– I am “Indian”, “Hindustani” or “South Asian” not Paki.

  69. Also, when I say I am “Indian” that claim includes all the 5000 years of Indian culture and civilization– it’s arts, sciences, technologies,literatures, etc.

    What can “Pakistan” claim? The Indus Valley, Islam, the Mughals, and then 1947 onwards? So you see why I don’t like the more restrictive identity.

  70. Majumdar

    Kabir bhai,

    1971 and the creation of Bangladesh showed how stupid the TNT was.

    If the TNT was stupid, why did the Bongs create a BD, why not do the simpler thing merge themselves into India? After all then all the BD Muslims cud have reclaimed their much cherished and lost “Indian” heritage (which sadly you cannot.)


  71. Majumdar

    What can “Pakistan” claim? The Indus Valley, Islam, the Mughals, and then 1947 onwards?

    Well sir you seem to have missed out on the Vedas, Panini, Gandhara, Porus etc.


  72. Majumdar–

    I can’t claim my “Indian” heritage? Who’s going to stop me? You?

    I’d like to see you (or anyone else) try. I will keep calling myself “Indian” or “Hindustani” till the day I die. What are you going to do about it?

  73. Majumdar

    Kabir bhai,

    I dare not question your Indian identity.

    But then don’t we come to the next logical conclusion. That Partition has not really severed the identity of anyone. All Pakistanis are welcome to cherish their Indian heritage and Indians the vice versa. Is that not what our beloved Qaid wanted too.


  74. Majumdar,

    But you see. I am the exception to the rule. Most “Pakistanis” don’t accept or want to acknowledge their Indian heritage or identity. They believe that “Pakistani-ness” is something eternal that has always existed. However, those of us with a minimum of social science training, realize that identities are socially constructed and subjective. I have no problem with other people claiming a “Pakistani” identity or an Islamic identity or whatever the hell else they want to claim. All I’m asking is, why must I be considered a traitor because I refuse to ascribe to the “Pakistani” identity?

  75. Also, our “beloved Qaid”– he may be beloved to you, he certainly isn’t to me– is the one who started all this shit by claiming that Indian Muslims were a seperate “nation” and thus needed their own nation-state. They were not a seperate nation. They were just Indians who happened to be Muslim, like other Indians happened to be Hindu or Sikh or Christian. Or do all these religious groups need their own nation states?

    I take the position that Congress (and Gandhiji) took: that Indians of whatever religious persuasion were and continue to be Indians. This is, to my mind, the only truely nationalist position. Anything else is just rationalization for political ends.

  76. Bloody Civilian


    We are all ethnically Indian (except Pathans who are a distinct ethnic group).

    shahrukh khan is not indian? nor is bacha khan? or a kabir khan living somewhere in peshawar? or born in peshawar and now living in the US? i guess you won’t allow him to call himself an american either. since he is a pashtun.

    Most “Pakistanis” don’t accept or want to acknowledge their Indian heritage or identity. They believe that “Pakistani-ness” is something eternal that has always existed. However, those of us with a minimum of social science training, realize that identities are socially constructed and subjective

    had i not been a pakistani, i would have had the minimum of social science training during which i would have come across the surveys that confirm the claims made about pakistanis and ‘pakistani-ness’ made above. alas, i’m no exception to the rule. i can see D_a_n’s post of 2:20pm, for example. shucks!

    from reading the partition debate here on PTH for the last many weeks, i can safely say that the ‘most’ pakistanis you talk of, kabir, stay away from this forum. does that make PTH ‘an exception to the rule’?

    I share the opinion of Gandhiji who told Jinnah that he had never heard of sons of converts deciding that they did not belong to the parent stock.

    wasn’t it the ‘parent stock’ that dictated that they ‘no longer belonged’? that they were now mlechhas? if you can brazenly generalise, my friend, so can I. except you do worse than generalise, e.g ‘pathans are not indians’.

    by claiming it, you should at least share your indian identity with every indian… except you don’t. you choose who is an indian and who is not. as per your proclamation, pathans are not indian. yet you claim that you’re being denied the right to choose your identity. consistency, please? wish you the best of luck with your “fight to maintain your indian identity”.


  77. D_a_n

    @ kabir

    You didn’t really answer the questions but half truths debuked many times..

    1. The TNT is irrelevant here. Even he hadn’t pushed it he would have still been asking for the same safeguards for the Muslim community. So it doesn’t matter.

    2. 1946 proved that indeed it was Jinnah that spoke for Muslims. Abondoning that mandate to accomodare deobandi mullah toadies would have been betraying the very people who called him their leader. No wonder congress kept pushing that lot as representatives of Muslim wishes.
    So there goes that one kiddo.

    Also, please refrain from the overtly racist term paki.

  78. karun1

    And Last but not least, you have managed to win compliments from Karun. A known Jinnah hater and bigot. And I believe that his compliments to you are not so much to do with what you wrote… (I dont think he will be so kind to an Indian Punjabi from Lahore claiming to be Pakistani)…..but because in his neat little world view, your identity vector stands as a repudiation of Pakistan, partition, Jinnah and a validation of his little RSS infected mind. As in ’see how Pakistanis are dying to be Indians….Aha!!!! So good work there buddy!

    thats the problem with you rascal!

    to all:
    there are two ways of proceeding with identity

    Selfcenterd: me then my family then my community then my state then my nation and then the world

    Selfless: the world then nation then state then community then family then me…

    if you jump the gun on nation in either one well you are just being illogical:

    his little RSS infected mind.

    Arey bhai! The RSS erstwhile chief sudarshan was all praise for jinnah. Go kiss his ass.

  79. D_a_n

    @ karun

    rascal???? 🙂 just how many south Indian movies did you watch to prep yourself for that flourish…
    You forgot to add ‘mind itttt’ at the end…

    Since the rss chap has come around to my point of view he should be kissing my arse! No go be a good boy and tell him that will you..

  80. karun1



    did you watch ‘Shotgun Murugan’ by any chance?

  81. D_a_n

    I believe it’s quick gun murugan…

  82. karun1

    haha…yup….quickgun murugan…….

    you bloody ‘rice plate reddy’!! mindd itttt!!!!

  83. bloody civilian–

    I am not deciding who is or is not Indian. But the fact remains that Pathans are a distinct ethnic group from (Pakistani or Indian) Punjabis, Sindhis, etc. According to the wikipedia article on the Pashtun people, they are eastern Iranian. Recent genetic geneology studies have also shown that they are related to Iranian peoples. So it’s not me arbitrarily deciding that they are not Indian.

    Shahrukh Khan is of course Indian (whether by ethnicity or not) because he is an Indian national. The whole point I’m making is that ethnicity and nationality are two different things.

    Also the “minimum of social science training” thing has nothing to do with Pakistanis. Many people, whether Pakistanis, Indians, or denizens of Greater Timbuktoo, who have not had social science training but who are tehnically trained, believe that identities are eternal and immutable. It is only through social science training that one realizes that identities are socially constructed and subjective. I also didn’t think through these issues very clearly until I took a course at LUMS called “Anthropology of Ethnicity and Nationalism.”

    I have come across “Pakistanis” who believe they have always been eternally different from “Indians”. I have also come across Pakistanis who are convinced they are Arabs ( wait till they tell that to the Arabs who will laugh them out of the room– where’s all the “Muslim bhai bhai” then?) So you can see why I’m a bit emotional about the issue of us actually being Indian. Of course, these generalizations don’t apply to all Pakistanis.


  84. D_a_n:

    I have no problem with Jinnah asking for legitimate constitutional safeguards for the Muslim minority, even asking for weightage in excess of the percentage of muslims in the population. What I do have a problem with is the retarded and exclusionary Two Nation Theory.

    Sorry for using the term “Paki”. I will go back to using “Pakistani” from now on.

    And don’t call me “kiddo”. It’s condescending.


  85. karun1

    @ everyone
    (I dont think he will be so kind to an Indian Punjabi from Lahore claiming to be Pakistani)

    on my visit to Amritsar (my 1st visit) was staying in a hotel in the old city near the (J bagh and G temple) managed by an Old Sikh gentleman.

    Without me asking and probing he himself remarked.

    ‘ Ye bhi koi Punjab hai. Ab to sirf do nadiyan hi rah gayi hain. He was very remorseful of what has remained (amritsar se ludiana)and what it used to be (the land of five rivers) with its centre at lahore. I guess lahore is at the heart of every punjabi, Indian or Pakistani, and in that sense if someone from India wants to claim being a pakistani in that sense, why the hell i should have a problem!!

    just that pakistani identity according to me is a little spurious and synthetic. otherwise why did bengali identity could not fit into it.

    i am sorry to say (with the risk of sounding jingoistic) as kabir pointed out, only an Indian identity stands as an umbrella for a punjabi/bengali/tamil/sindhi identity(not balochi for sure, pashtun i am not sure)

  86. karun1

    of course you have a readymade answer for that:

    India after all is not a country at all, its so many countries together(possibly bcos u are still pondering why bengali muslims could not stay within a pakistani identity).

    hmmm…welll each to his own….

  87. @ Karun,

    My nana’s family is from Amritsar, and after Partition when they came to Sialkot, they carried the keys to their house in Amritsar everywhere they went, always thinking that one day the situation would calm down and they could go back home to India. Absolutely agree with you. Lahore, Amritar,etc… we are all Punjabi and we are all “Indian” (whether or not some of us are Indian nationals).

  88. Hayyer

    My internet was on the blink till now and I see that the debate has moved on but just to reply to the points raised.
    YLH and BC:
    We are arguing from different perspectives. I was not indulging in a blame game as BC asks. I was following up from Ayesha Jalal’s opening lines where Jinnah is addressing people in Allahabad.
    “how are the interim govt and congress the same thing? did jinnah ask for congress not to put in muslim candidates in the 46 elections?…………………………his claim to sole spokesmanship was limited to india’s constitutional question/settlement negotiations. the interim govt was a big part of it… i.e an important stage. congress had shown already shown how much it could be trusted in the matter of this constitutional settlement. muslims had shown how much they trusted it in the general elections. in any case, jinnah stepped down from even this stand which was made merely to point out congress’ track record which was did not exactly signify trustworthiness.”
    Jinnah adopted the principle of sole spokesmanship and parity around 1938. There was no constitution under discussion then and no CMP. This was after taking a last shot at the old 14 points which Nehru arrogantly dismissed as being no longer relevant. Had Jinnah been flexible on the sole spokesman issue in, say, 1945 at the Simla Conference convened by Wavell an interim government could have been formed and who knows where matters may have gone from there.
    True,Jinnah did not ask the Congress not to put up Muslim candidates. But he did trash Congress Muslims even though he was an ex-Congressman. He did want the Congress to accept his own definition of its scope and field of activity, as a party of caste Hindus. He was equating it with the modern BJP. How could the Congress which aspired to be everyman’s party accept this?
    If Congress could not give its senior Muslim leaders due position, even as show boy Muslims, would it not have ensured that Muslims support for the Congress fell even further from the already abysmal levels? Would not the AIML hold up Congress Muslims to even more ridicule? It is not argued that Jinnah wanted Muslims turned out, but that no Muslims would join the Congress if careers were only to be had in the AIML. Despite its earlier failure in UP Congress still hoped to win over Muslims.
    If the idea of Pakistan already existed full blown Jinnah was a latecomer. Ayesha Jalal says he never wanted Pakistan. She refers repeatedly to the ‘inwardness’ of Jinnah’s thinking. At the end of it all what did Jinnah want? If he did not want Pakistan then some flexibility shown earlier in the day may have preserved that inward vision and avoided the bitterness at the end of it all.
    On the other hand If Pakistan was a desirable end (even in its moth eaten, and later, truncated form) the discussions with Gandhi in September of 1944 and the even earlier Rajaji formula may have obtained better results.
    While I find Gandhi’s position in the thirties on the Muslim question evasive and weak, and Nehru’s mendacious and even downright dishonest, Jinnah himself went from complete accommodation to complete hostility.
    About the Gandhi Jinnah formula I would like some clarification.
    The operative words are”……As such, and in accordance with democratic principles, they alone [the league] have an unquestionable right to represent the Muslims of India. But the Congress cannot agree that any restriction or limitation should be put upon the Congress to choose such representatives as they think proper from amongst the members of the Congress…”
    Jinnah and Nehru interpreted this differently. Did the formula allow Congress to choose Muslim representatives?

  89. Bloody Civilian

    no Muslims would join the Congress if careers were only to be had in the AIML

    easily fixed. make the party attractive to the muslim electors.. not an alternative career path for some muslim politicians. INC totally failed at it, as emphatically declared by the electors in both ’37 and ’46.

  90. Bloody Civilian


    But the fact remains that Pathans are a distinct ethnic group from (Pakistani or Indian) Punjabis, Sindhis, etc. According to the wikipedia article on the Pashtun people, they are eastern Iranian. Recent genetic geneology studies

    is identity cultural, genetic, national or whatever a group and an individual chooses? do make up your mind.

    btw, who taught you the course at LUMS.. if you don’t mind me asking. i hope you weren’t quoting wikipedia in your coursework 😉


  91. YLH

    Dear BC,

    The problem with Kabir is a simple issue of reading comprehension. He just simply doesn’t get plain English. … the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    It is better to leave Kabir alone or probably alone with Karun1 who wants to wage war against all Pakistanis (ironically I am the bigot in the situation because I refuse the Hindu fascist version of history that Kabir and Karun propagate
    Kabir mian,

    The rest of your posts doesn’t deserve a comment.
    You are someone with incredibly little knowledge … Whatever Seervai said, in order to judge Jalal you must go to Jalal… she wrote an article in Dawn where she explained her point of view… and here is an interview which repeats the same thing:

    Some have misinterpreted Dr Jalal as saying that Mr Jinnah never wanted a separate Muslim state. “I think that’s a complete distortion of what I had said. I had said that there was a demand for Pakistan but the Pakistan which emerged in 1947 had been dismissed by Mr Jinnah as a ‘mutilated, moth-eaten Pakistan’.

    “The error is to assume that the Pakistan which emerged in 1947 is precisely the Pakistan that was wanted. I tried to investigate how the demand for Pakistan evolves and in that context you have to take account of the aspirations of Muslims in regions where they were in a majority as in Punjab and Bengal and regions in which they were in a minority as in the UP or central provinces.

    “It becomes evident that because Muslims could never occupy a coherent, clearly demarcated geographical territory, in any creation of a Pakistan based on the Muslim majority areas there would be almost as many Muslims outside Pakistan as there would be Muslims within.”

    She explains: “To say that Mr Jinnah who raised the demand on behalf of all Indian Muslims only wanted exactly the Pakistan that emerged, not only defies history because there are problems in that argument but assumes that he had no concern whatsoever for Muslims in his own constituency. He himself was from Mumbai, a minority province for Muslims. Many of the strongest supporters of Pakistan were from the minority provinces.”

    Clearing the misconception, she adds: “Mr Jinnah accepted the 1946 Cabinet Mission Plan in which the British offered a three-tiered power sharing arrangement where there would be a federal centre, a group of provinces and just provinces at the bottom. It was the Congress who did not wish to weaken the centre and share power with the Muslim League and because Mr Jinnah needed the Muslim majority provinces of Punjab and Bengal undivided — because if there would be non-Muslims there, the Congress would have reason to negotiate — the Congress simply divided those provinces. In that sense he got a weakened Pakistan. Congress also accepted partition on the condition that Mr Jinnah would cease to make demands on behalf of Muslims and the rest of India.”

    When asked if she thought Jinnah wanted a secular state, she says: “Mr Jinnah envisaged a liberal, democratic and progressive Pakistan. If by a theocracy we mean the rule of mullahs then there is no question that Mr Jinnah was opposed to that. The meaning of secularism has been distorted. I don’t see Islam and secularism as opposites necessarily. I mean you could have wanted a Muslim state but one that was not necessarily discriminatory towards other citizens simply on account of their different religion.”

    She gives the example of India. “India is a state whose majority population is Hindu but it is not a Hindu state, and even though there are elements as we know that wish to turn it into a Hindu state, India likes to define itself as secular on the grounds that it does not discriminate against any community on account of their religion. So I think in that context Mr Jinnah was talking a similar language”

    So you see little boy… you are the one who is wrong here… because you are an impatient little twit who doesn’t know when to quit. Maybe if you were to read a little… or take English as the second language course or something you would get what one is trying to say here.

  92. BC:

    I think all these factors come into play, but if I had to pick one, I would say that culture dominates. For example, from what I know about Pathans, I know that they have a sense of being distinct from the other ethnic groups on the Indian subcontinent. They have myths of a common ancestor, of being descended from the lost tribes of Israel, etc. Also, according to some definitions, one cannot be a Pathan without practicing Pashtunwali. Similarly, there is such a thing as Punjabiyat or Kashmiriyat, which transcends national identities of India and Pakistan.

    Also identity is subjective, so at some level it is whatever the individual or group feels like. It’s about what one emotionally connects to. I don’t emotionally connect to the idea of Pakistan– a seperate country for Indian Muslims. I emotionally connect to Hindustan and to Punjab. At some point, there is no logic, it’s just emotion.

    The course at LUMS was taught by professor Marta Bolognani who had done her graduate work on the Pakistani immigrant community in Bradford. And yes, I did try to refrain from the temptation to go to wikipedia:)

  93. yasserlatifhamdani


    We are basically arguing with someone who can’t argue logically.

    On the one hand Pathans are distinct ethnic group… but apparently Punjabis and Tamils are the same ethnic group. Punjabis and Pathans can’t be in a nation called Pakistan despite being not long ago part of the same Sikh Empire and till 1933 the same province… but Punjabis and Tamils thousands of miles apart are one ethnically…. When Bengalis go their own way – it is a negation of Two Nation Theory (forget that it the Lahore Resolution itself envisaged more than one states and the CMP that Jinnah accepted also had these as different groups… forget that Jinnah accepted Suhrawardy’s proposal for a United and Independent Bengal State which Bengal Congress also accepted)… but when arguing United India.. even Pathans, Tamils and Bengalis are one nation. How does one argue with someone who eats and defaecates and then eats that defaecation at the same time.

    Jinnah – who was universally held to be incorruptible and selfless when it came to leadership- is some how p0wer hungry for claiming that Muslim League – by virtue of winning all Muslim seats and Congress winning none despite its Muslims- was the sole representative party of the Muslims…. but when one points out that Gandhi signed a formula saying exactly that … and using the word democratic for it… the little boy shuts up.

    He doesn’t know what he is on about himself. This is why I keep telling him to stick to things he does best. Instead he continues to stalk me like a mad man.

    These “K” dudes… are all Krazy I tell you.

  94. PMA

    Hayyer (September 15, 2009 at 6:50 pm):

    “If the idea of Pakistan already existed full blown Jinnah was a latecomer.”

    I don’t know if the “Idea of Pakistan” (Nazria-e-Pakistan) was “full blown” or not before Jinnah took it up, but it was there alright. It is well known that Jinnah rejected that idea when first presented. What Jinnah really wanted was the constitutional safeguard of the minority rights; Pakistan is the failure of the majority to provide that constitutional safeguard. To Jinnah Pakistan was an alternative that he as a good lawyer kept in his pocket in case his constitutional efforts failed.

    But he was not the original architect of Pakistan.

    Muslims of the Sub-continent have always been aware and conscience of their “self-hood”. That awareness comes from their own history and not just from being ‘muslim’, some things that our friend Kabir is unable to comprehend. What started as ‘awareness of self-hood’ over time and events precipitated into ‘nationhood’.

    For years I have tried to study and understand the history of the landmass stretched from Eastern Mediterranean to the banks of Indus. I have come to understand that religion, nationhood, ethnicity….all are moving targets. They change with time. What perhaps started as a phenomenon of ‘self awareness’ for the Muslims of the Sub-continent many centuries ago culminated as ‘nationhood’ in the mid nineteenth century. What will be the shape of the things to come one thousand years from now. It is very hard to tell.

    Today in Pakistan in 2009 the meanings of being ‘punjabi’ are very different than being Punjabi in 1909. First of all there are hardly any Hindu and Sikh Punjabis left in Pakistan’s Punjab. Taking their place are the descendants of Muslim families from North India. In 1947 one set of six million Punjabis moved out and another set of eight million Punjabis as well as non-Punjabis moved in. Second, millions of Kashmiri, Pashtun and non-Pashtun families have moved into Punjab for economic reasons. If Ranjit Singh by some miracle rose up from his ‘samadi’ in the court yard of ‘badshahi masjid’ in Lahore, he will not be able to recognise the areas beyond his ‘hazori bagh’.

    There are Afghan refugees all over the place selling ‘kabuli chanas’.

    The Punjab that Kabir is dreaming about living in the USA, does not exist any more; neither geographically nor ethnically. Instead there is a new country there called Pakistan. There is no ‘india’ left in Lahore! Not any more.

  95. PMA: Lahore is and always will be an Indian city, steeped in Indian culture and heritage. What are you going to do about it?

  96. yasserlatifhamdani

    “Lahore will always be an Indian city”

    The pipedream of Akhand Bharat Hindu Fanatics and their sidekicks …

    I am a real Lahori unlike Kabir Mohan Altaf. My family has lived in Lahore for more than a thousand years. Lahore is not part of India… it was the capital of Raja Ranjit Singh who led a great confederacy of Indus (Sindh) when India was under British subjugation… this was a confederacy consisting of Indus wallahs Punjabis and Pathans…. it is the site of the Lahore Resolution. It was part of British India… and perhaps the word India was stolen from us … but India has no claim on Lahore… nor should they fool themselves.

    Nor should their sidekicks who can’t write a logical sentence or understand English language make such idiotic claims…. especially after claiming that Pathans are ethnically distinct.

  97. Btw, Lahore is full of Mughal monuments. What were the Mughal capitals? Oh let’s see, Delhi and Agra. Were the Mughals an Indian dynesty? Yes.

    Case closed. QED.

  98. YLH

    There are Mughal monuments in Kabul too. Kabul was part of the Mughal Empire till the end of Aurangzeb’s reign. Why isn’t Afghanistan part of this Indian identity festival? The founder of the Mughal Empire – Babur- is buried there.

    And while we are on the topic of Mughals being Indians (which one would have liked to believe) why did Jawaharlal Nehru – the first Prime Minister of Independent Secular India- proclaim Shivaji’s valiant struggle against the Mughals as “freedom fighting against foreign rule”?

    I think you’ve just shot yourself in the foot. Either that or you have your foot in your mouth as usual.

  99. Afghanistan is not part of the Indian subcontinent. The Mughals may have been Afghan orginally but over time they assimilated and became Indian.

    I don’t have to defend every word that came out of Nehru’s mouth. That’s not my job and doesn’t take away from my point.

    Now go crawl into a hole with your Mr. Jinnah.

  100. YLH

    Who the hell do I think I am?

    Well here is a simple test about Lahoripun. Let’s meet up in Lahore – the real Lahore not Defence where you Lahore starts and ends- and let’s walk down old campus, anarkali, down to GC and then onwards to Ranjit Singh (RA)’s mari. Let us test for ourselves:

    1. Who runs into more people on a random basis that he personally knows?

    2. Who knows the roads, ways, byways, back alleys and eating joints?

    3. Who can bargain better with the old book wallahs there?

    And I’ll make it even easier- I’ll come dressed in my finest suit and most expensive shoes that I have and you can come in a dhoti and dressed like a villager.

    You’ll see that who the real son of the soil is. And who knows people there. That should prove conclusively who the real Lahori is- I – the brown sahib wannabe- or you – the Hindu-wannabe.

  101. YLH

    You said Lahore was Indian because it had Mughal monuments and was part of the Mughal Empire.

    I showed you that Kabul has mughal monuments and that first Mughal Emperor of India is buried there. Now you say Afghanistan is not part of the Indian subcontinent even though Kabul was as long a part of Indian Empires as Lahore was.

    Brush up on your history a little.

    And like I pointed out earlier even the word “India” was stolen from us but now things have evolved and India no longer denotes anything outside of the borders of the Republic of India.

  102. YLH

    Some of us who admire Mr. Jinnah work for a living and work hard for it- with honesty, integrity and sincerity of purpose.

  103. PMA

    Kabir. There is nothing I am going to do. Neither about you, nor about Lahore. Lahore and its culture has changed many times over the centuries and will keep on doing so long after you and I are gone. Lahore of 2009 is not the same as Lahore of 1947. Nothing remains the same for ever. Particularly culture and ethnicity. The Pashtuns you dismiss so easily own half of Lahore. You may not even know it, but there may be Pashtun blood running through your veins. This ‘ethnic’ business is not as clear cut and permanent as you think. When Turkic Muslims were governing Lahore they took Hindu girls all the time as their wives and concubines. When Sikhs were ruling Lahore and Peshawar they took Pashtun girls as their wives. But I can not tell you so. That will unbalance your little world.

  104. YLH


    According to Jinnah – after Gandhi signed the formula in which Congress accepted Jinnah and the League’s sole democratic right as you quoted above to represent the Muslims- Congress could nominate anyone on its seats.

    Nehru made Gandhi back out of the signed deal. This notwithstanding the interim government had Asaf Ali from the Congress side.

    Jinnah’s claim as Gandhi accepted was simply that as the party with a near perfect mandate from the Muslim community League alone represented the Muslims. Once this was conceded he didn’t care if Congress put up 6 out 6 Muslims on the interim cabinet … Jinnah himself appointed a scheduled caste on Muslim League’s seat.

    So it is sad that such confusion exists on an issue that was reallly very simple. If Jinnah would have been a lesser man he would have been browbeaten into accepted the false proposition that Congress despite having lost all Muslim seats still represented some Muslims because it had Muslim members.

  105. YLH

    Erratum : “into accepting”

  106. lal

    gorki sahb,
    aapko kya hua ….somebody shud summarise all these 100 different arguments 🙂

  107. YLH

    One last thing- every page of Jaswant Singh’s book exoposes the power hungry nature of the Congress leadership. B

    And all their champus can do is accuse Jinnah of being arrogant for claiming very democratically. Tjat he and his patty represented the Muslims. A claim that even Gandhi admitted was the democratic positiion.

    What next ? Mutahida Majlis e Amal represents Christian women because it had a Christian woman legislator from a reserved seat? I suppose all Christians better accept that the MMA represented the Christians as well just like the Congress represented the Muslims despite losing every seat almost.

  108. YLH

    Last post not for Hayyer but is addressed to that loser who can’t read what is written in simple English.

  109. Bloody Civilian


    with all due respect, i don’t know which is more ridiculous: your knowledge of the pathans, or your presumption that you know anything at all about them. and with all due respect again, there is no point making any comments about the glaring inconsistency in your ‘argument’… since i’ve lost count of how many gaping holes in your ‘argument’ have already been pointed out.

    i already told you about faiz’s ‘ethnicity’. so he is not indian.. or even punjabi according to your diabolical argument. maulana abul kalam azad’s ancestors were heratis. he was born and brought up in makkah. so he was an ethnic ‘afghan’ (whatever that means), culturally iranian, saudi but cannot possibly have been indian. i forgot… you don’t even consider the self-described pukka-pakhtunwali type bacha khan to be indian… so that settles it, i guess.

    what a waste of time. but it’s one of the hazards of blogging. nice talking to you. all the best

  110. stuka

    Abay yeh randi rona abhi tak chal raha hai?

    Let me tell you who is responsible for partition – the Muslim minorities of India (Jinnah Liaqat) and the Hindu Sikh minorities of Pakistan (My ancestors)

    Jinnah Liaqat brigade did not want to live in Hindu raj. We did not want to live in Muslim raj.

    Hence, partition. All of you people doing Hai Hai probably belong to majority areas yourselves..Hindu Bhayyas and Punjabi people supported your respective brethren and gave them deliverance.

    We thank you for that.

  111. stuka

    Waisey neither Gandhi nor Jinnah nor Nehru nor Liaqat were Muslims..well Liaqat was supposedly from Ambala but he was not Punjabi speaking. Anyways, it’s quite funny that these non Punjabis were trying to make Punjabis live together either as part of India or part of Pakistan. But the Punjabis themselves were clear on Partition on their respective terms (Muslims for Pakistan with hole of Punjab and Shindus for partition of Punjab)

  112. Hayyer

    Liaqat Ali Khan was not from Ambala. He was from Kunjpura in Karnal. Kunjpura is close to the Yamuna and most of his land holdings were I am informed across the Yamuna, in UP. Ambala in any case is only marginally Punjab.

  113. PMA

    stuka: You make lot of sense. Simple but sensible. Muslims of Pakistan did not want to live under Hindu Raj, so they got out. Hindu/Sikhs did not want to live under Muslim Pakistan, so they split Bengal and Punjab. Like you I too don’t understand what is this ‘randi rona’ and ‘hai hai’.

  114. Gorki

    Dear Lal Sahib:

    Thanks for noticing.

    “Abay yeh randi rona abhi tak chal raha hai? ”

    How much more do you want to anyone to summarize? 😉

    Just kidding. Seriously both Ms. Jalal’s and Prof. Varshney’s essays are very informative not only for their content but also for the clarity of arguments and the writing styles.


  115. stuka

    September 16, 2009 at 2:26 am
    Liaqat Ali Khan was not from Ambala. He was from Kunjpura in Karnal. Kunjpura is close to the Yamuna and most of his land holdings were I am informed across the Yamuna, in UP. Ambala in any case is only marginally Punjab.”

    Actually, you are right..I meant Karnal which is present day Haryana but that time was in Punjab..but I think he was later in life associated with the hill areas around Nainital / Almora but I am not sure.

  116. stuka

    “Waisey neither Gandhi nor Jinnah nor Nehru nor Liaqat were Muslims..well Liaqat was supposedly from Ambala but he was not Punjabi speaking. ”

    was meant to be

    Waisey neither Gandhi nor Jinnah nor Nehru nor Liaqat were Punjabis…

  117. YLH: “Some of us work for a living” Who doesn’t work for a living? what are you on about?

    BC: My arguement is not “diabolical”. I’m not out to decide who is not Indian. I concede that Pathans have had a lot of influence on the history of the Indian subcontinent. Faiz was of course Indian because he was born in British India. Maulana Azad was Indian because he felt himself to be Indian and was a staunch Indian nationalist.

    I’ve consistently said that national identity, cultural identity, and ethnic identity are not all the same, though they may overlap.

  118. YLH


    Your inability to answer various questions and your refusal to grow up renders you worthless for any objective discussion.

    You’ve already admitted above that you are emotional not logical. I didn’t know some men also had that time of the month.

  119. YLH

    And Faiz is Pakistani because he lived and died as a Pakistani… And voluntarily accepted the editorship of The Pakistan Times in Jan 1947 when Pakistan was not even a reality.

  120. To clarify my earlier point:

    Lahore is and will always be culturally a North Indian city, like Delhi. Of course, it’s not part of India, in the sense that it’s not part of the Republic of India, but culturally it is North Indian and there is nothing “Pakistanis” can do about that. Culturally “Pakistanis” are North Indian….

    I can’t tell you how many Pakistanis I have met who insist that they are Middle Eastern or Arab, instead of South Asian. Who are they kidding?

  121. YLH

    Gorki sb,

    Ashutosh Varshney’s article was not truthful. I have already discussed consociationalism. First the distinction between consociationalism and liberal democracy does not exist. India is a consociational state today.

    The rest of the points don’t make sense and I have taken them apart above.

  122. YLH: If it makes you happy, you can claim Faiz as Pakistani, but he was born an Indian and steeped in the literary and cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent, and thus us “Hindustanis” or “South Asians” can claim him to be a Indian as well. We can claim all the great artists and writers in the same way.

    Qurratulain Hyder, the great Urdu novelist, came and tried to live in Pakistan after Partition. Within less than twenty years she had moved back to India. Hmm, I wonder why? Now, YLH, pray tell is she “Pakistani” or Indian?

  123. YLH

    I don’t care much for her. Faiz and Manto I care about.

    Your point is neither here nor there. If she necame n Indian by choice which she did, she did so by moving to the nation state that is known as India.

    Besides your hangups are too small too limited. You suffer from linguistic commplication and a lack of clarity. English language is not your cup of tea.

  124. “Muslims of the Sub-continent have always been aware and conscience of their “self-hood”. That awareness comes from their own history and not just from being ‘muslim’, some things that our friend Kabir is unable to comprehend. What started as ‘awareness of self-hood’ over time and events precipitated into ‘nationhood’.”

    PMA Sahib: Can you cite emperically, when this sense of “self-hood” began? 1200? 1400? 1700? I would guess that it was only post 1857 that Indian Muslims began to be concious of their status as a minority. Prior to that, they were Indian and happy to be so.

  125. YLH

    “If it makes you happy, you can claim Faiz as Pakistani”

    The man was the voluntary editor of Pakistan Times… from January 1947. His editorials during the Muslim League civil disobedience movement against Khizer were denounced by the Congress press as too partisan… the man lived in Pakistan and loved it. There is nothing that signifies Pakistan more than Faiz’s poetry. He repeatedly described himself as a Pakistani..

  126. lalded


    ” Singing Bhajjans” may not be such a useless pastime for a large chunk of humanity.

  127. yasserlatifhamdani

    It is amazing how all these lets hold hands sing kumbaye types are all the same. Now… it is about Manto’s “Toba Tek Singh” which is an obvious criticism of how partition was carried out in the end (which Jalal and others have proved was not Jinnah’s doing) and not the Pakistan demand itself.

    Read Manto’s “Swaraj Kay Liye” and the “Niya Qanun” on Government of India Act 1935. The man was an extremely complex and sophisticated thinker… not some pinko-Bhajjan Singer. Manto’s classic “Mera Sahib” is a sketch of Mahomed Ali Jinnah’s life … which shows an incredible human being of great refinement and humanity… probably the finest piece writte on Jinnah’s life by any writer any time.

    Is it any wonder that Ayesha Jalal is his grand niece? Ayesha Jalal’s view of history is directly influenced by Saadat Hassan Manto’s political thinking and inclination according to Ayesha Jalal.

    Manto left Bombay and settled in Lahore after partition. According to his nephew Hamid Jalal, he used to spend Pakistan day putting up little flags of Pakistan. What does that mean? I have met his daughter recently … as a child I used to play in the same building directly over the room where once Manto had written his famous stories. Unlike the bleeding hearts like Kabir mian… some of us are too deeply rooted in Lahore and its history to be taken by false dogmatic nonsense of either the Islamist or Bhajjan Singers.

  128. minimalist

    ylh, bhajans mean devotional songs .Why are you using the word bhajan in such a negative sense?

  129. From a reasonable debate this has turned into a cyber-battle ground. I have moderated a lot of comments here.
    Karun, I take the responsibility of removing your posts.
    Kabir and YLH: I have also taken off some of the comments and also edited stuff.
    No more personal comments please!!!

  130. karun3

    Rumi uncle, if it is you then i backtrack….you are sensible and i will go with your judgement.

    let there be peace…amen. pls remove my blocks. 😉

  131. yasserlatifhamdani

    bhajjan, qawali, devotional music, spiritualism, witchdoctor’s chanting… the list goes on.

    Humanity does not need this stuff anymore.

  132. Majumdar


    All of you people doing Hai Hai probably belong to majority areas yourselves..Hindu Bhayyas and Punjabi Muslims…you people supported your respective brethren and gave them deliverance.

    Thanks for posting a very simple and the most meaningful post on this thread.

    But it is quite interesting really. The Indians who have been the most avid partitionists- DM, you, me- are all people who shud be considered “victims” of Partition.


  133. “the man lived in Pakistan and loved it. There is nothing that signifies Pakistan more than Faiz’s poetry. He repeatedly described himself as a Pakistani..”

    Faiz spent most of his life either in prison or in exile. Some good Pakistan did to him.

    “Toba Tek Singh” is not just about how Partition was carried out, it’s about how the whole idea of dividing a country is completely illogical and bizarre in itself. Another book that expresses this same idea is Bapsi Sidhwa’s “Cracking India”. The narrator writes imagines her neighborhood of Lahore being divided, and her grandmother’s house being in India while she is in Pakistan.

    Incidently YLH, I was reading an essay by Shashi Tharoor in which he stated that according to law, the definition of a “natural born Indian” is someone with at least one grandparent born in undivided India. Since all four of my grandparents were born in undivided India, I am therefore Indian. And that’s the legal definition. So there.

  134. YLH

    Little boy,

    Faiz was what he said he was not what you say he was. No one elected you to speak on anyone’s behalf.

    Similarly Bapsi Sidhwa has called herself Pakistani and now Pakistani American. I doubt that you’ve read “ice candy man” in full to comment on anything. As for Toba Tek Singh- your interpretation is your own and it is quite clear that Manto himself did not share such ideological pretensions as you -the Bhajjan Singing self hating Pakistani India wannabe reject- aspire to.

    As for Shashi Tharoor’s alleged definition – I say alleged because your suffer from interpretive blinders- why don’t you apply for Indian citizenship on these grounds and see what happens.

    Legal definitions are not invented by writers etc. Legal definitions are those which give rise to legal obligations and rights. Unless you can back your little claim up with actual action – attainment of Indian citizenship- your claim and Shashi Tharoor’s definition is worthless.

    Ofcourse someone who was fired as an intern from the performing arts industry in Washington DC of all places would not get such real world arguments. Most people intern in DC with Congressmen, Senators, Lobbyists, Law firms… Kabir mian… what does it tell us about you that you were an intern in the performing arts of a city that is known as political center of the world? It tells us that you are a twit.

    And Raza Rumi it is requested that you allow me to complete this loser’s education for his own good.

  135. Bloody Civilian

    Faiz spent most of his life either in prison or in exile

    since we already know that you don’t care about facts, so the blatant lie above can’t be a result of poor maths. that you didn’t even care to check out wikipedia, confirms that you’re more interested in trolling than anything else. that is 8 out of 37 years of his life after pakistan spent in prison or exile. you wrote: “Faiz spent most of his life either in prison or in exile

    faiz died 37 years after pakistan coming in to existence. of these he spent 4 in prison and 4 in exile (during zia’s time). he returned to zia’s pak in 1982 and died 2 years later.

    Some good Pakistan did to him.

    pakistani dictators were not pakistan. btw, he chose to work for the Pakistani (military) govt’s dept of information during the ’65 indo-pak war, on an honourary (i.e voluntary) basis.

    And that’s the legal definition.

    under the law of which jurisdiction? there isn’t a jurisdication called united india any more. and we know which jurisdiction tharoor belongs to and represents the present govt there.

    btw, this post/comment is not intended for trolls who don’t care about facts, but for objective readers.


  136. Sweetie,

    I have read “Ice Candyman” in it’s entirety and written a paper on it, so I am completely entitled to comment. I have a degree in English literature, which you don’t, therefore I am much more qualified to comment on literature than you will ever be. Stick to your Mr. Jinnah.

    As for why I interned in the performing arts industry: What’s it to you? It was my choice. Just because you think law is the ultimate thing doesn’t mean everyone else in the world thinks it is. Btw, I notice your law degree is from Punjab University, not Harvard or Yale, so shut the hell up, you Paki freak.

  137. Bloody Civilian

    “didn’t even care to check out wikipedia”… that is, your ‘authoritative reference’ on pathans, for example.

  138. Btw, Shashi Tharoor was Under-Secretary of the UN and now he’s India’s junior foreign minister. Much more eminent than Mr. “YLH” who works for xxxxxxx will ever be.

    Ab kutay bhokna band karo.

  139. YLH


    Extraordinary. The problem with kabir types is their lack of facts and general knowledge. They make idiotic statements thinking that no one will take them to task.

  140. YLH: Shut the hell up you pathetic freak. Go curl up in bed with your Mr. Jinnah teddy bear and tell him your troubles. Oh, my god Kabir won the argument, so now I have no other recourse but to attack his person, his father, or his bhajans.

    You are no better than the Taliban. But what else can one expect from this bloody country? No wonder India is so far ahead in all spheres. Indians are recognized as artists, musicians, scientists,etc. Pakistan is recognized as nothing but the epicentre of global terror and Pakis are recognized as nothing else but terrorists and people who kill Christians for blasphemy. Mr Jinnah would be turning in his grave to see what a shitty country he founded.

  141. YLH

    Kabir mian,

    Be that as it may, please prove the point by basing your case for immigration to India on Shashi Tharoor’s article.

    As for how eminent he is or whether I will be as eminent or more or less- we shall see about that. All I know is that while one can only work towards greatness some people are meant to be losers.

    “Bhokna band karo kutay”

    Raza I beg you not to delete Kabir Mohan aka Kabir Altaf s/o Anjum Altaf “phd” Stanford here.

    We made this mistake with the other K dude. Let this Hindu fanatic fascist be exposed for what he really is.

  142. I’m a hindu fanatic fascist? Since when? Religion is not an issue for me, unlike some of you who feel the need to prove that “Muslims have always felt themselves to be different from Hindus” and “Pakistanis are oh so different from Indians”.

    I’m not a fascist, you are.

  143. YLH

    Ha ha. You think you won the argument? Are you interning in a comedy club? Mind answering BC’s questions?

    Mian – my Punjab University law degree is probably more useful than your “witchcraft and magic” degree from wherever. Could you tell me though why despite all your tall claims about “my Punjab” you are so ashamed of everything Punjab? Now I too a bit about American higher education – probably a little more than a transfer student who spent only two years there- but given your limited English comprehension it is a wonder you even graduated.

    Btw you know why I know that you are an intern in the performing arts industry is because you check my linked in profile on a daily basis and it sends me an alert that some loser from the “performing arts” Industry has checked your profile. I am sick of that alert really. Stop visiting my profile when we are not even linked nor do I want to be linked with a Bhajjan singer.

  144. One last thing? Who’s the stalker? you must have been reading my FB profile very carefully to find out about my internships. As for the issue of being “fired” or not, I don’t know where you got that ridiculous idea from. But, regardless, it’s not really any of your business.

    Why didn’t you go to law school in the States? Couldn’t hack it and had to come running back to desh?

  145. YLH

    Your latest post shows your limited English comprehension as well as dishonesty.

    There are many Indians who would disagree with your attempt to distort my point of view into something I have never claimed.

    It will be a cold day in hell before a Bhajjan Singer can successfuly dent my reputation.

  146. I don’t check your stupid profile on a daily basis. Stop making shit up.

  147. The fact that you keep derisively referring to me as a “bhajan singer” shows the limits of your so-called tolerance. I am classically trained, and can sing a lot of other stuff besides bhajans including ghazals and khayal. Yet you seem to focus exclusively on the bhajans, as if singing bhajans and not being totally on board with the “Pakistani” identity is some sort of moral failing or crime.

    What is your problem, sweetie? Why are you acting like a spoiled little boy who is throwing a tantrum?

  148. YLH

    Fb page

    I didn’t add you. If you read the post above yours you will see how on linked in I get a daily alert “a loser from the performing arts industry in the Washington DC area viewed your profile”.
    Now either I am very good looking to attract such attention from DC interns in the performing arts industry (highly unlikely) or you are obsessively clicking on my profile.

    “Why couldn’t you go to law school in the states”

    Unlike you not all of us are shameless enough to live off our parents’ tukray nor was my family rich enough to afford it. Thanks for asking.

    You on the other hand seem to have a lot of money to waste …why don’t you try to get into a real masters programme especially since you are already over age for a college grad?

  149. And where did you get “witchcraft and magic” from? I’m really quite curious.

    For the record (as you know since you’ve checked out my facebook profile) I have a BA in Dramatic Literature from The George Washington University. How does that translate into “witchcraft and magic”?

    Bachay ko roza lag raha hai? I can’t figure out any other reason for your exessive frustration. Why not go have iftaar and calm down?

  150. So now we come to the crux of the matter: you are frustrated with me because my family is economically comfortable, I have US citizenship and grew up in the states. While poor Yasser couldn’t afford to go to law school in the states and carries a Paki passport and is thus treated as a suspected terrorist at every airport he has the misfortune of goint to.

    “Beware the green-eyed monster, my lord”

  151. Majumdar


    Your recent exchanges remind me of another famous tennis match in those glorious days on chowk, which got me addicted to the Net. One of the participants of course was Yasser.


  152. YLH

    Kabir mian,

    Your latest responses are classic and deserve to be read on their own without any commentary from me.

    I just hope Raza Rumi doesn’t delete them.

    -poor Pakistani-passport holding Yasser

  153. YLH

    PS: be a man- albeit Bhajjan singing one- and accept that BC has poked so many holes in your identity that you might as well change it from Indian to swiss.

  154. You didn’t answer the question: Where did you get “witchcraft and magic” from? Or is that something that you made up in your poor deluded little head where the rest of your filthy lies come from? You are one pathetic piece of scum.

    Now you’re showing your true colors: “I have nothing against bhajans”, yet you use “bhajan singer” as a term of contempt.

    You also clearly think English lit is something only studied by people with too much money to waste. What did Faiz Sahab study at Government College? Oh, yeah that’s right: English Lit ( and Arabic).

    Lastly, I have nothing against Pakistani educational institutions or the people who attend them. I just find it funny that someone like you who claims that I attended a “third rate institution” like GW doesn’t even have a law degree from abroad.

    My nana was a practicing criminal lawyer in Lahore. My mamu and mumani are currently running his law firm “Khwaja Waheed and Associates”. My cousin is going to study law in England. So I know a lot about law and where Punjab University stands in the scheme of things.

  155. Why does my identity get to you so much? Your’s isn’t that important to me. For all I care, you can call yourself a resident of Greater Timbuktoo. Why do you treat my ascribing to an Indian identity as a moral failing? You are seriously messed up.

  156. YLH

    Chotay Bachay,

    Now I am going to be a little serious as someone needs to make you smell the coffee. First of all I thought you were an exchange student. And you have atmost a BA?

    Now go fool someone else. Since I did go to College in the US at twice as long as you did since you are merely an exchange student… I know a bit about what your degree is actually worth. I have seen many like you end up as security guards- you ofcourse have money and won’t end up with that fate. Punjab University doesn’t stand anywhere. I didn’t even attend classes to score what I did in the LLB examinations. But in the real world – forget my American education- even my LLB from local university would be more lucrative than your little degree.

    By the way … how many of Pakistan’s leading lawyers are American educated? Hardly any. Why? Because an American JD is almost worthless for practice or legal consultancy in Pakistan… You’ve already seen the exploits of one “JD-MBA” lady on facebook. She suffered from same delusions as you.

    Ofcourse for someone like you – a drop out from LUMS, with minimal American experience in College, talent for Bhajjan Singing and perhaps stand up comedy though latter inadvertent- degrees mean everything. Ever watch Good Will Hunting? Ever hear of the Indian worth aspiring to. Ramanujan?

    By the way Faiz sb’s degree was also from Punjab university as GC was an affiliate College then. So was Dr. Salam’s.

    And now you keep contradicting yourself – first you say you were Dramatics major …now suddenly it is English lit.

    Listen mian I am proud of what I am and what I have achieved in life. I have not done it with a push or a lift … I make my own living and I will never trade in my passport – the passport of this soil of this South Asian Nation called Pakistan- have probably had more chances then you can imagine.

    Your pride in your American passport, your third rate education, your inability to survive in the real world or earn a living for yourself other than flipping burgers… are not anything that any young man from any country or region can be proud of. Get it? Your are 24 years old …and you haven’t earned a cent… Are you proud of being an unproductive lazy bum who is fat also? Do you want to go through life as a loser? Do you think your father is going to be there forever? Have some shame- even I feel bad for the poor guy to have spawned such a loser.

  157. YLH

    Erratum : “than” not “then” and “you are” not “your”

  158. First of all,

    I’m 23– clearly you are unable to do simple arithmatic. 2009-1986= 23

    Second, I’m not contradicting myself. My degree is technically called “Dramatic Literature” but it is basically English Literature, except rather than analyzing fiction or poetry we focus on analyzing drama. Surely you would have realized this had you given it some thought.

    Third, have you really sunk so low that you’re commenting on my weight? What does that say about you?

  159. YLH

    All I know is what the great John Adams said to the French:

    I study Law and Politics so that my children would have the luxury of studying natural sciences. And they would study mathematics and physics so that their children could study art and literature.

    Third worlders studying “dramatic literature” as a major (when it can easily be dabbled with as an elective) are a bunch of frauds.

    The reason why India has begun to outshine Pakistan is because Indians study computer science, physics, business, medicine etc in the US… and Pakistanis – well they learn to sing Bhajjans after dropping out of LUMS and call it an American education.

  160. YLH bhai:

    Regarding your quote from John Adams: My parents studied medicine and engineering so that my brother and I could study art and literature. You have a problem with that?

    Pakistan’s stagnation is not my problem. Personally, I believe that any healthy society–Pakistan, India, or Timbuktoo–needs artists and intellectuals just as much as it needs doctors, engineers and IT specialists. You are just revealing your narrow-mindedness.

    Pakistan has fallen behind India because half the time the country has been under military rule. Also, because the “leaders” are too busy deciding who is a good muslim or not and trying people for blasphemy. The truth hurts doesn’t it?

  161. Also, poor Pakistan has spent its resources waging covert war against India and exporting terrorism throughout the world, all while the masses live in poverty and are illiterate. These are larger systemic ills and have nothing do with whether an individual such as myself chooses to study “soft” subjects such as literature, theatre, and music.

    And what is this continued obsession with bhajans? Do you not appreciate the intense training it takes to become a classical singer? I’ve been training since I was 10 years old for the record.

    Or do you think music is “marasipana” or unmasculine or what? I really don’t understand your problem.

  162. First of all sweetie, Hindustani classical music is dying in Pakistan thanks to the great zia and islamization. People associate music with hindus, since most of the classical bandishes refer to shiva and krishna (incidently my ustaad was a Bengali Muslim who had no problem singing or teaching bhajans– a true secular man). Also, people think that music–all music– is “unIslamic”. This is the sad state of this country.

    Also what is this obsession with “witchcraft and magic”? It’s getting beyond ridiculous.

  163. YLH

    Ever hear of Raza Kazim and the Sanjan Nagar institute of Musicology?

    Raza Kazim – the inventor of Saghar Veena and an authority on Hindustani classical music known in India as well- is also one of the highest paid lawyers in Asia.

    Oh and he does not have a PhD from Stanford. Nor did he study Witchcraft and Magic at GW. He does have a simple LLB from Punjab though.

  164. Gorki

    Faiz Sahib and Faraz were overheard talking while taking a walk in their heavenly abode. Faiz Sahib was despondent. “Have you seen the PTH lately? With fans like these, who needs any detractors?” he asked. Faraz Sahib consoled him as follows. “Look at the bright side, with these guys throwing so much muck around no one will ever notice they have anything in common with you or me”.

    I hope you all get the point. I was waiting for some grown up to come forward but people like PMA Sahib, Bonobashi etc. are missing in action. Rumi Sahib tried to be subtle but subtlety is lost in the cacophony so I am going to step in and perhaps be plastered with garbage as well but at this point I don’t care.

    Kabir, YLH; take a hold of yourself guys. Do you not see what you both have been reduced to?
    Kabir, I admire you sometimes but you disapoint me now. You take pride in your name; don’t you think you have a special responsibility to look after it well? Your heart is in the right place but son, there is a wide difference between knowledge and wisdom. You have more than enough of the first to make you arrogant but not enough of the second to make you humble yet. Pride in Indian cultural is fine, but Pathans from Afghanistan are excluded! Who told you? They have been a part of Indian experience since the eleventh century. A long line of India’s monarchs, including one of its most loved one, Sher Shah Suri; was an Afghan.
    An Indian President in the modern era was of an Afghan descendant. Besides if you read the writings of one of the architects of modern India; Nehru you will know how he admired the Afghan\Pathan contribution to Indian mosaic and how he discouraged the idea that anyone else could decide who was Indian; cultural or otherwise.

    And YLH; you suave man of law look what depths have you fallen into?

    There are only so many hours in a day. You can either spend them dueling about nothing on PTH or wisely thinking about the larger context and the work you seem to have cut out for yourself.

    Another thing; you too have a lot of knowledge and are a good debater but don’t attack the antecedents of the person you disagree with. Regardless of whether you like a professor A or B or not; that is immaterial; reply to the point in question and resist the easy but low road of attacking the messenger if you don’t like the message.

    BTW: It was disappointing to read you quoting Nehru out of context and calling him something he was not by saying he called Shivaji’s struggle a nationalistic one. I have not had the chance to pull out my DOI today but I remember reading him saying something like “Nationalism as it is today was unknown in Shivaji’s times and his struggle was one among the many that breaks out during the dissolution of an empire. He also wrote that even if he was nationalistic it was in a narrow Maratha context, not an Indian one; Nehru made it a point also to mention that Shivaji employed many Muslims in his forces.

    Look I have a lot of respect for you and your aims but don’t compromise the means for the end. You too feel bad when MAJ is quoted out of context; which brings me to the second point. If anyone has to be battled it is people like Munawar who tried to goad you by his first post. I did visit his site; you can check it out for yourself how they have distorted MAJ.

    And people like Karun, what can I say..? Just when I think that you may have something intelligent to say after all you come out with masterpieces like the first post that you wrote. I doubt you do much serious thinking; only have fixed ideas.

    Sorry folks. If I sound disappointed, I am.

  165. For the last time, I did not study “Witchcraft and Magic”. I studied Dramatic Literature. “Witchcraft and Magic” is something that exists only in your own mind. Is that even a degree offered anywhere?

    Yes I have heard of Raza Kazim, I have had the pleasure of hearing his daughter, Noor Zehra Kazim play the Sagar Veena.

    I’m done arguing with you. I get that you don’t respect my life choices, and you have no arguement thus you’ve resorted to personally attacking me and my family. I really have nothing else to say to you.

  166. Actually, YLH, you wouldn’t like my brother either. He’s writing a novel and studying creative writing, I’m sure you think that’s akin to “witchcraft and magic” as well 🙂 But you might want to ask Raza about him, he thought he was one of his most diligent interns. So my family must be doing something right, though we fail to meet your expectations.

    I’m sorry Gorki sahib. I let YLH rile me up and goad me into saying stupid things. Let me clarify for the last time that I am not in the business of deciding who is or is not Indian. I just personally don’t relate to Pathans, that’s not a moral failing.

  167. YLH

    Dear Gorki sb,

    I think that link has hogwash. I have responded to those comments many times.

    However I don’t think I have quoted Nehru out of context:

    The quote occurs on page 7 of Shivaji : Hindu King in Islamic India where the author James W Laine quotes J L Nehru’s introduction to the chapter Sivachatrapati in a fourth grade textbook in Maharashtra as under:

    Shivaji did not belong to Maharashtra alone; he belonged to the whole Indian nation…a devout Hindu he was tolerant of other religions. Shri Shivaji is a symbol of many virtues especially love of country”

    For the record though in my view it does not negate any of Nehru’s secular ideals. It does however break the myth that Mughals were viewed as Indians.

  168. YLH

    Also I did not bring up Mr. Mohan’s antecedents on this board – he did it all by himself. I only referred to them after he brought them up along with his American passport etc etc.

  169. YLH

    Yes the more secure kind are more concerned about their American passports etc.

  170. YLH

    Gorki sb,

    Just an addition to the quote- two pages later Laine quotes Nehru as describing Shivaji as a symbol of Hindavi Swaraj – Hindavi being the direct translation of Indian.

    All this is alright and makes logical sense except when one considers Akbar and Aurangzeb. Akbar- because of his state secularism- is obviously considered Indian with muted protests about Vijaynagar etc. Meanwhile Aurangzeb is the puritan Islamic ruler.

    If Shivaji was the symbol of Hindavi Swaraj – he was fighting the Mughals. How is it then that the great grandson who was born and brought up and raised in India is a foreigner and but Akbar who grew up in Persia was an Indian?

    Now more current history shows that those of Aurangzeb’s ilk ie puritans and simple pious Muslim types ironically supported Composite Nationalism and the Congress Party whereas the Persian elite which Akbar typified was what emerged with the Two Nation Theory in form of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. Why? Because the former- including Aurangzeb- were fully indigenized and integrated despite their Islamic puritanism whereas the latter were not despite their generally secular and irreligious lifestyles- they continued to look westwards.

    Given these facts the message sent out when admiring Shivaji as a symbol of Hindavi Swaraj may not be such a bright idea from an Indian perspective.

  171. PMA

    Gorki (September 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm):

    I was hoping someone sane like yourself will intercede sooner or later. Multiple references about my old alma mater GC and my ideal Faiz were made here. I was almost tempted to defend my education in Pakistan as well as in the USA!! (Faiz does not need my defence.) But then I looked at the level of the arguments made by the two gentlemen educated in the finest schools of Pakistan and the USA and thought better of it.

    I have nieces and nephews of Kabir’s age. From them I have learned one phrase, “ABC Pakistanis”. Unless our friend Kabir was born and raised in the USA, this term will not fit him. But then again I may be wrong. While rest of us have found refuge in the country of our birth or residence, poor fellow is lost in the ‘no man’s land’. This reminds me an old Urdu song of Mohammad Rafi: Ja’ain Tu Ja’ain Kahan; Samjay Ga Kawun Ya’han……..

    And about YLH. He is ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ of PTH. On one hand he is an intellectual. And on the other, he is a dirty street fighter. Pakka Lahori.

    Now could some one please tell me what was the fight about? I lost the track long time ago.

  172. Archaeo (cowering under his bed: is it safe to come out yet?)


    You don’t want to know. Believe me, you don’t want to know.

  173. different opinion

    In medicine what matters alot is the practical aspect.In my medschool which is based in delhi, we get cases which are sometimes so rare that they routinely get published in leading med journals like JAMA,bmj ,Lancet.Consequently , the med students in tertiary health care centers in delhifrequently turn out to be much more skilled in clinical diagnosis than their counterparts in the unitedstates.These mbbs students are not only readily accpted at mayo, cleveland ,beth israel for their residencies but also turn out to be some of americas leading doctors like 0\dr ajay nehra.My point: an mbbs degree in india from a cool med school may be much better choice than an equivalent one from an american med school, just like an iit btech degree is often better than that from yale .plus mbbs from harvard (called md) costs over 50 lacrupees but one from delhi’s aiims costs 10000rupees .50% of aiimsosnians from 1989 to 2000 are currentlydoctors in usa on par with harvardians(source who paper)

  174. different opinion

    i wrote bout medicine coz i had nth more useful to say bout and i had to say sth

  175. PMA

    YLH (September 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm):

    Indians, read Hindus of India, have a selective attitude towards Mughals. Akbar, son and grandson of foreign Turkic parents and born in Persia, who beats the shit out of his Indian opponents – Hindus and Muslims alike – is acceptable as an Indian. But Alamgir I, a pious man with Hindu grand and great-grand mothers, who also beats the shit out of his Indian opponents -Hindus and Muslims alike – is not acceptable.

  176. PMA: I was born in Pakistan but raised mostly in the US. You can call me an “ABC Pakistani” or an American-born Confused Desi if you like, but I am secure in my worldview. You are welcome to your worldview. To each his own.

  177. Gorki

    “But Alamgir I, a pious man with Hindu grand and great-grand mothers, who also beats the shit out of his Indian opponents -Hindus and Muslims alike – is not acceptable.”

    PMA Sahib:

    Not so for Nehru.
    Hold the thought, I am busy now and will reply later in the day after brushing up on my tattered copy of the DOI.

  178. Akbar is acceptable to most Indians because he was a tolerant ruler who didn’t believe in imposing his own religion on others. Aurungzeb by contrast was agressively anti-Hindu (Though he had his own brother killed, so it can be argued he did whatever it took to stay in power).

  179. sss

    EDITED For Nonsense.

  180. Thanks SSS,

    I still don’t understand the “witchcraft and magic” thing. He insists on calling it that though I’ve repeatedly clarified that it was called “Dramatic Literature”.

    And I don’t care if he doesn’t like my bhajan singing. I like singing bhajans, it makes me happy, so I’m going to keep doing it 🙂

  181. PMA

    Kabir: I will debate with you if I thought you had some depth to your knowledge of history of Persia, Central Asia and India. But at the moment you have not demonstrated that. When you do you will find out that Akbar was acceptable as a ruler by the Hindus of India (then and now) because after subjugating them, he would include his former opponents in his administration. This policy served the Mughals very well and was continued by his son Jahangir and grandson Shah Jahan, who both had Hindu mothers and Hindu uncles in the court. The drawback of this policy (for the Palace) was that with time the in-house Hindus became much more powerful and started to take sides in the palace intrigues. They would play one claimant to the throne against the other. That is why Noor Jahan saw to it that Shah Jahan does not marry a Hindu girl and picked her own niece as his bride. Alamgir, who did not have a Hindu mother, when he came to power he reversed the policy of his elders and purged the palace from intriguers. At least so he thought. That is why former is looked more favorably than the later by the Hindus of India. It has nothing to do with the singing of Bhajans in the Mughal Court. It was all about power politics.

  182. PMA sahib:

    I agree with you that it was about power politics. That’s what I tell people who say that “Aurengzeb destroyed temples, which proves that Hindus and Muslims have never gotten along, hence TNT.” Aurungzeb had Dara killed, ostensibly because Dara followed a more liberal, hybrid form of Islam, but of course it was really about power politics.

    Still it’s true that Akbar was more liberal and tolerant and he tried to establish “Din-e-Illahi”. He didn’t make people feel like Islam was the one and only religion. And yes he married Rajput princesses, but he did let Jodha bai continue to practice her own religion even after marriage.

    And please don’t follow in YLH’s footsteps by obsessing over the bhajan thing:)

  183. PMA

    Kabir: When you read more, you will find out that Dara was backed by the Hindus. His side lost and hence he was eliminated. Other than Hindus, there were two more groups in the Mughal Court that played significant role in the power play. The Persians and the Turkics. Those who sided with victorious Alimgir were rewarded, and those who sided with his brothers were purged. Please do not buy into this Hindu-Muslim thing about Mughals. Mughals were equally ruthless towards their Hindu as well as Muslim opponents. They were rulers not theologians. And I have nothing against you singing bhajans. I equally dislike qawalis and bhajans.

  184. Gorki

    Dear PMA Sahib:

    I am still busy but in the name of historical objectivity please consider the following:
    1. There were no Hindu factions in the court of Jahangir; only two factions; both (semi?) Persian.
    2. One was led by Noor Jehan ( formerly Mehr-u-Nisa) and another by her brother Asaf Khan.
    3. Both became the powers in the royal harem after Mehr-u-nisa wed Jehangir and became a sovereign in all but name.
    4. She promoted her family, including brother Asaf Khan. To promote him she had his daughter married to prince Khurram.
    5. She married her own daughter to another Prince; Shahryar.
    6. The two then fell apart due to pure nepotism; and opportunism; a family tussle for supremacy.
    7. Both factions had their favorite Princes to succeed Jehangir; Noor Jehan favored Prince Shahryar as he was her son in law by a daughter from a former marriage and her brother’s favorite was Prince Khurram; later Shah Jehan.
    8. As we know the later faction won.
    9. It had nothing to do with Hindu-Muslim religion; Absolutely nothing.
    More later; maybe.


  185. YLH

    Wow- now I am the talibanistic. I wonder what Daily Ummat will have to say about that since they’ve denounced me as an “ahmadi advocate” whatever that means.


    I don’t consider Hinduism a pagan religion. I consider all religions to be superstitions.

    Therefore kindly grow up before making such a claim. My issue is with … Mr. Mohan who is – as PMA points out- deliberately trying to claim Toba Tek Singh.

    Do you think it is fair that while I look down upon that Qadri fella who is on countless channels singing Islamic music… or that I consider “Christian” Rockstars to be fundamentalists.. but praise Kabir mian for singing Bhajjans?

  186. yasserlatifhamdani


    I think our resident Bhajjan singer has missed the irony…

    According to the spurious logic… Aurangzeb – born and bred Indian – was not “Indian” because he was an Islamic fundamentalist … hence war against him was “freedom fighting” against a foreign ruler.

    And yet… Akbar was local despite having spent his formative years in Shah Tahmasp’s court in Iran and despite being the son of a Turkic King born and bred outside India and born of a non-Indian mother … because he was tolerant.

    The confusion is further exacerbated when one considers that a large majority of those Muslims who supported Gandhi, Congress and Composite Nationalism were from Aurangzeb Alamgir’s religious of school of thought.

    And a large majority of those who accepted Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s formulations chiefly the Two Nation Theory were from the Persianized largely irreligious Muslim elite that Akbar had promoted and created. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan himself was a biographer of the great Akbar.

  187. Gorki

    I spoke with Professor Laine earlier today and he told me in so many words that:

    1. He was no scholar on Nehru and that he had only mentioned him in a passing in his book about Shivaji.
    2. He asked me to consult a later edition of the Discovery of India as a better reference on Nehru’s views about the Mughals.

    So I checked out my copy of DOI.
    It is a 1961 edition, reprinted in 1964; by Asia publishing house.

    Here is what Nehru has to say under the title: Aurangzeb puts the Clock back, Growth of Hindu Nationalism.

    “He (Aurangzeb) infuriated the great majority of his subjects by imposing the old hated jezia tax on the Hindus and destroying many of their temples. He offended the proud rajputs who had been the pillars of the empire. In the north he roused the Sikhs, who from a peaceful people representing a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic ideas were converted by repression into a militant brotherhood. All over the empire there was a ferment and growth of a revivalist sentiment, which was a mixture of religion and nationalism. That nationalism was certainly not of the modern secular type, nor did it as a rule, embrace all of India. It was colored by feudalism, by local sentiments and sectarian feelings.
    He then goes on to quote his sources and later on writes: It is true that during this period of disruption, when a great empire was breaking up, many adventurers, Indian and foreign were trying to carve out principalities for themselves, nationalism in its present sense, was hardly in evidence at all”.

    Still later, he writes: “The real protagonists for power in India during the 18th century were four: two of these were Indians and two were foreign. The Indians were the Marathas and Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan in the South; the foreign were the British and the French”.

    This covers Nehru and his views about nationalism in the 18th century and who was foreign and who was not.

    So how do other Indians view the Mughals?

    This is a difficult question as there is no one ‘Hindu’ view about it. If one were to ignore the outliers (Hindutva brigade on the right and the leftists like Romila Thappar) the consensus is still that the Mughals (including the later Mughals) were very much an Indian dynasty, to be viewed with pride.

    Most people don’t have a favorable view of Aurangzeb, not because he was foreign but because he was Aurangzeb; he was something like a mirthless 17th century Zia ul Haq; who banned music (though an excellent Veena player himself); was a murderer of his brothers, usurper of power who imprisoned his father; and exiled his sons.

    I doubt the battle between him and Dara Shikoh was viewed by the combatants as that between the Hindus and Muslims; most of the ten thousand or so who were killed on Dara’s side that day on the battlefield of Samugarh saw themselves as defenders of the Emperor of India’s wishes against a rebel prince.

    Many of those (both Hindus and Muslims) who had earlier served Shah Jehan saw themselves as serving the Emperor of India. Thus once Aurangzeb was declared the Emperor they continued to serve the new Emperor; Aurangzeb.

    Many loyal Hindus thus continued in his service, often serving with distinction. For example Raja Jai Singh (the only general who was able to bring Shivaji as a sort of prisoner, to the Mughal court) remained a senior general at the court for many years.

    Neither was this feeling (of communal divide) universal in the Muslims of India in the 17th century. Many served (and died valiantly) in the third battle of Panipat on the Maratha side. The name of one such general; Ibrahim Gardi is still revered in Maharashtra even today.


  188. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Gorki sb,

    In my reading of the email that you forwarded to me Dr. Laine categorically said that he believed that Nehru had accepted Shivaji as a nationalist belonging to all of India.

    If you don’t mind, with your permission, I’d like to reproduce the email from Dr. Laine.

  189. yasserlatifhamdani

    Gorki sb,

    Well I am posting the email – if there is some reason – after your post above- that you want it deleted, let me know and I’ll edit it out.

    “Dr Brar

    Thanks for your inquiry. I am not a specialist on Nehru, so there are Indian historians who would give you a better answer than I can. In my reading, early on, in the early editions of “Discovery of India”, Nehru accepted the British interpretation of Shivaji as more “rebel” than nationalist patriot. But he later revised his opinion and described Shivaji as a nation-builder and patriot, belonging to India, and not just to Maharashtra.

    If you could get copies of the earliest and latest editions of Discovery of India, you would probably find the clearest answer to your question.

    J. Laine “

    In my reading he doesn’t say he mentioned Nehru in the passing. Besides in the book he spends a lot of time discussing Nehru’s attitude and that of Ranade… both liberal Hindus with secular views who played up Shivaji for the reasons you mentioned above.

    My objections (7:47 above) remain especially in view of Nehru’s views presented above.

    And for the record… Nehru’s introduction to Shivaji as it appeared in 4th grade social science curriculum in Maharashtra in 1988:

    Shivaji did not belong to Maharashtra alone; he belonged to the whole Indian nation…a devout Hindu he was tolerant of other religions. Shri Shivaji is a symbol of many virtues especially love of country

  190. yasserlatifhamdani

    Also I produce my own email to put things in proper perspective:

    Dear Gorki sb,

    {{Line One edited- personal reference}}

    The problem essentially with the whole issue of partition and independence struggle is the paramount position religious identity came to occupy and this happened before Jinnah, Gandhi, Nehru etc. probably Sir Syed as well. That was the original basic fault line. Everything subsequent had to be re-imagined along those lines. This is my only point of dispute with most people. And yet what if it would have been something else.

    The important thing is to imagine geographical unity distinct from political unity just as the need of the hour was in pre-1947 to imagine political unity distinct from imagined identities.

    I have no doubt that Nehru, a deeply sensitive man, was capable of complex emotions the end of the day we have the same issues and challenges to our respective states today. Nehruvian secularism will be a staunch ally of Jinnah’s Pakistan I am sure. The two men didn’t realize it but I am sure their real followers will bury the hatchet.

  191. Contrarian

    D_A_N, YLH,

    You may ascribe any “Mullah” epithet to Azad, but the fact remain that he and his fellow patriots fought against the British. That is a FACT you cannot deny.
    Jinnah had no interest in any MASS based activities that would require him to let go of his 200 hand made suits and “tauba tauba” go to prison like any common Muslim Patriot.
    Please provide me with any occasion when Jinnah was EVER imprisoned.
    Please provide me with any Mass movement led against the British that Jinnah led.

    He hides behind constitutional politics( as per YLH) yet does not understand that constitutional politics also means his people are free to choose the leader they wish. He wants the Muslim League to be the sole spokesperson for ALL Muslims in India and fights for that right.

    Yet when given the leadership, he deserts a third of the people who have reposed their faith on him.

    He had a chance to unite the Muslims of India and he chose to divide them. He had the chance to influence the history of undivided India with the full representation of ALL Muslims, yet he chose to walk away to lead in his words -Please see the link

    Since you provided me with a Time link, let me return you the favor.,9171,868577,00.html

    You may call Maulana Azad backward and reactionary. That is your prerogative. You cannot doubt his patriotism.
    You may disagree with him in his philosophy, but he chose to stay in his motherland and defend the rights of his fellow Muslims whereas Jinnah did not.

    Jinnah uses the Two nation philosophy, to justify the call for Pakistan, saying Muslims needed a separate state to protect their rights.
    I quote “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 for the government of such a state.”

    But the rights of a third of the Muslims left behind in India don’t resonate with him?
    And suddenly, on the eve of independence, he discovers his secular roots?

    “We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish.”

    “you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State”

    If that was the case, why could he not find this secularism before he created Pakistan and divided the Muslims of India?
    Two nations cannot stay together prior to independence but after independence, differences will cease to exist?

    45% Muslim and 54% Hindus cannot stay together in United India but 15% Muslims and 80% Hindus is ok in partitioned India and 8% Hindu and 81% Muslim can stay without differences in Pakistan?

  192. Gorki

    Dear Yasser:

    You are right; and I have no problem with that assessment.
    I wrote Nehru’s own words to clarify what Nehru himself meant by the ‘Hindu Nationalism’ in the 17th century.

    Yasser Sahib: Look, I know you well by now and trust your personal beliefs in secularism.
    My intent in writing about Nehru is not to diminish your own beliefs in any way or your faith in MAJ but to strengthen them by showing how universal they are.
    I have learnt a lot from you and BC about MAJ; all of my efforts are in the same vein to repectfully present another side of the coin; which to me, is not that much different.


  193. Contrarian, I totally agree with you. There were a lot of contradictions in Mr. Jinnah’s political beliefs. It’s fascinating to try to understand how someone who was the “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity” could so fiercely advocate the exclusionary and divisive TNT. Also, you are right, if hindus were going to cease to be hindus and muslims were going to cease to be muslims as far as the state was concerned, then why Partition on the basis of religion? It seems completely contradictory to me.

    YLH bhai, if you sincerely believe what you have written to Gorki Sahib, then why are you so defensive about Pakistan? I never meant to tell you that you couldn’t hold whatever identity you wished to. All I’m arguing for is the right to call myself a Hindustani. But then, I’m just a bhajan singing “hindu wannabe”, so what do I know:)


  194. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Contrarian,

    You write:

    constitutional politics also means his people are free to choose the leader they wish

    Jinnah’s claim as the sole spokesman was based entirely on this principle. He had – between 1939-1945 – the support of the majority of the Muslim legislators of India… and in 1946, the Muslim League won 100% of all the Muslim seats in the central legislature and 87% of the Muslim seats in the provinces. It was on this basis that Jinnah claimed to be the sole spokesman of Muslims.

    And even Gandhi admitted that this was a democratic claim… his signed statement is as follows:

    “The Congress does not challenge but accepts that the Muslim League now is the authoritative representative of an overwhelming majority of the Muslims of India. As such and in accordance with democratic principles they alone have today an unquestionable right to represent the Muslims of India. “

    This is Gandhi accepting Jinnah’s claim of being the sole spokesman as completely democratic.

    I’ve already pooh poohed your little theories above and there is no point going in circles on other issues. We don’t accept Azad as anything but a misguided Mullah who belatedly confessed – grudgingly- to all that we say here. Read India Wins Freedom. It is nothing less than a confession by one time president of Indian National Congress …

    Also this part of your post:

    “Jinnah had no interest in any MASS based activities that would require him to let go of his 200 hand made suits and “tauba tauba” go to prison like any common Muslim Patriot.”

    Jinnah had warned against using Khilafat issue to stir the masses.

    “Please provide me with any occasion when Jinnah was EVER imprisoned.”

    The British only imprisoned those who they wanted to make into leaders. Had you read Jinnah’s contribution as an opposition leader against the British in the central legislature you would have shut up.

    “Please provide me with any Mass movement led against the British that Jinnah led.”

    Why does the Indian National Congress compound in Bombay have “Jinnah Memorial Hall” dedicated to one Mr. Jinnah for leading the agitation against Lord Wellingdon… by the citizens of Bombay?

    But in so far as “mass movements” are concerned… which of Gandhi’s mass movements actually drove the British out. History is now quite clear that Gandhi’s mass movement was either engineered by the British or used by them to deny India Dominion status as in the 1920s…

  195. yasserlatifhamdani


    If you totally agree with what contrarian wrote despite it being historically false… for reasons given above, then you and I can have no common ground. Had you honestly read Jaswant Singh’s book and the discussion between the Lloyd and Susan Randolph you would not be asking this question. Either that or your English comprehension is poor.

    As for your other question… you don’t have the depth or the brain cells to understand my position.

    Don’t call me bhai. Refer to me as YLH or Mr. Hamdani.

  196. YLH:

    History is subject to interpretation. You and I look at things from different frameworks. I can never agree with something as exclusionary as the TNT. To me, Hindus, Muslims, whatever, were all Indians. Jinnah and Gandhi were both Gujrati. The differences in religion are totally irrelevant to me. If that makes me a “hindu fascist” in your eyes, that’s fine. I am a true secularist and I’m confident in that.

    Looking at things differently is not a moral failing, that’s what you don’t understand. You are entitled to your POV just as I am. You are not the ultimate authority on anything, even your beloved Mr. Jinnah.

  197. yasserlatifhamdani

    You don’t even understand TNT … to know whether it was exclusionary, consociationalist or liberal. Isn’t it ironic that you who sings Bhajjans is telling me that “religious differences” don’t mean anything … me who wishes all religions to the bottom of the sea? This shows how little you grasp anything… you are far from a true secularist. Your positions are patently unsecular, backward… you and Jamaat e Islami are two sides of the same coin.

    Ofcourse even an idiot has the right to his own “pov”. After the other K … Kashif … also keeps insisting his pov is the right one…. even though he is wrong… as are the ideologues of Pakistani nationalisms…who look for justification for Pakistan in “Nazaria-e-Pakistan”… both they and you agree that TNT was “exclusionary”… when Congress in India continues to implement it but with the name “secularism” (and that which is denounced as “pseudo-secularism” by BJP).

    You are one of the many ironies of the illiteracy that is common place in the subcontinent… so yes you have the right to a pov… if only to underline the complete paucity of common sense and clear thinking that exists in the subcontinent.

  198. yasserlatifhamdani

    Looking at things differently may not be moral failing… but calling night day and day night… as in the case of contrarian… and then agreeing with it… is dishonesty… and dishonesty is a moral failing.

  199. yasserlatifhamdani

    “45% Muslim and 54% Hindus”

    ha ha… with facts like these… I think people can see why what I do is a thankless job given the dishonesty, bigotry and backwardness that is common place in this South Asia.

  200. Contrarian


    You did not give me an answer to why Jinnah changes his mind on the eve of independence. Please refute, if you can, why Jinnah deserted his people?

  201. yasserlatifhamdani

    contrarian various (spam)

    You keep claiming – in Monty Python Black Knight fashion- that I haven’t given you justification. Read the post again. I have given ample justification. That you don’t get it is because you are the kind that like to imagine history in their head instead of basing it on real facts.

    There is no point going in circles when you are not well read. As far as I am concerned I have already answered your pov more than enough. You may read more and then come back once you’ve equipped yourself with requisite knowledge.

  202. D_a_n

    @ Contrarian….

    What is this obsession with going to Jail? How is it that only going to jail qualifies one as a patriot and a freedom fighter….

    by your logic..a general is not a soldier and has not really fought a war because he is not directly in the trenches himself manning a machine gun…utter rubbish!

    ‘200 suits’…

    so your blaming a man for being well dressed????? No wonder you seem to have a thing for Deoband and it’s spawn…

  203. yasserlatifhamdani

    You write: “You did not give me an answer to why Jinnah changes his mind on the eve of independence”

    He did not. The 11th August speech is a consistent view that he took. You may go through Jinnah-Gandhi talks where he told Gandhi that minorities in Pakistan would be completely equal and perhaps treated better (sadly we in Pakistan have forgotten this) … and he said in categorical terms that he preferred joint electorates in Pakistan (as he had done through out his life)- unless the minorities would decide not to have them.

    The idea of two concurrent federations with treaty arrangements coming together in an EU like entity was based on two assumptions:

    1. Unitary center for India was a British creation (which is entirely true historically as well as constitutionally) and post 1947 this would get dissolved making constituent units sovereign. Any new centers had to be negotiated.

    2. Jinnah thought that having Muslim majority provinces with significant minorities and Hindu majority provinces with significant minorities which would then come together through common arrangements …. was a real solution to the intractable Hindu Muslim problem of India which Jinnah did not create.

    This idea was mutilated by the haste that Nehru and Patel showed. Jinnah had even scaled down these demands… the Cabinet Mission Plan had one federation with three groupings. It did not even have parity at the center. Jinnah accepted it nonetheless. It was a great middle point.

    “Please refute, if you can, why Jinnah deserted his people?”

    A lot of people repeat this but without any real basis. Assuming that Jinnah “partitioned” Muslims… the truth is that Lahore Resolution always spoke of Muslim majority areas. Now either living under Hindu Majority rule is good or it is bad… if it is good, then well there was no deserting was there… and if it is bad… well why did you want 66% of the community stay under it?

    The real issue came when Punjab and Bengal were partitioned and then even that partition award was held back by Mountbatten till the 17th quite callously… resulting in horrific violence in Gurdaspur in Punjab which spread all over. AIML did not want to partition Punjab and Bengal…. and it certainly did not have anything to do with Mountbatten’s decision to keep the boundary award a secret for so long.

    And assuming that you are talking about Jinnah’s belated decision to accept GG-ship… Jinnah had announced his retirement at the AIML meeting soon after June 3rd plan. He had also famously said “there gentlemen – you have your Pakistan, now do whatever you want with it”. He was planning on living out his days in his house in Bombay.

    It was not untill July that it became clear that Nawab of Bhopal would not be available for GG-ship and Mountbatten wanted to be the joint GG. Only Jaswant Singh has come straight out and described why this was the most ridiculous idea ever… and why Jinnah then had to jump back in.

    So on both counts… your questions are rhetorical at best, certainly not structured or historically placed.

  204. yasserlatifhamdani


    Tell me about it… The most ridiculous comment by any Indian is “oh but Jinnah didn’t go to jail” and it usually comes when they are left with no argument.

    Ofcourse Jinnah didn’t go to jail. He was a parliamentarian not some agitational rabble rouser.

    The contribution he made to attainment of responsible government, economic independence and even things like getting Indians the right to become officers in the Indian Army… are far greater than the so called Jailbirds. Jinnah can rightly be called the Father of the Modern Indian Army Institutions for example because it was through his work – which took him as the opposition member on Legislative committee to Sandhurst, Westpoint etc- that Dhera Dhun was founded. It also is largely because of Jinnah that child marriages were banned in India… it is because of his efforts that the British government was forced to buy its stores in “Rupee tenders” instead of “Pound Sterling”… thus saving India a lot of foreign exchange…. he even tried to force the British government to make elementary education universal and compulsory … his finest speech was delivered then…

    I wrote an article about Jinnah’s contributions to India …

    But no Indian is ever going to acknowledge such facts. To them going to Jail is some sort of a frikkin medal. To them … Maulana Azad’s fatwa calling for “Mass exodus” to Afghanistan is “patriotic” but Jinnah’s efforts to get all Indians a fair share in their own government are not.

    This is the irony… but I tell you Mr. Jinnah was the finest politician and leader that this entire region produced. These people can accept it now.. or later… or never. But the objective historian of the future shall fully agree with me in this assessment.

  205. yasserlatifhamdani

    BTW Kabir also wrote :

    “To me, Hindus, Muslims, whatever, were all Indians. Jinnah and Gandhi were both Gujrati. ”

    True to that statement when Gandhi returned to India… it was Jinnah who presided over the “Gurjar Sabha” event to welcome Gandhi as a fellow Gujarati and fellow Indian. Jinnah wore his characteristic suit … mind you he was M A Jinnah- he signed M A Jinnah …. There was nothing Muslim about him… other than what those “M and A” stood for.

    What did Gandhi do? Kabir knows the answer to this – unless he skipped over the first few chapters (a distinct possibility). Gandhi spoke thanking Jinnah and appreciating that a minority Muslim was presiding over the Gurjar Sabha.

    Like Jaswant Singh wrote : Gandhi’s leadership had a provincial religious character. Jinnah’s leadership was liberal, national and non-sectarian.

    Was it Gandhi’s fault? Or was it that religious differences were sadly steeped in Indian history that the Mahatma just had to describe a thoroughly secular man welcoming him as a fellow Gujurati … a “minority Muslim”?

  206. D_a_n

    @ YLH….

    Now Good Sir…Why would you expect the facts to get in the way of the fantasies that they have constructed for themselves….

    @ Contrarian/Kabir…

    you’d better be glad Jinnah didnt yield his rights to Sole Muslim spokesman in favour of say… people like Azad…
    you might have living in Paktika or Jalabad right now.

  207. bonobashi


    Yasser, now just a cotton-pickin’ moment. That’s a sweeping generalisation.

    Two points: first, Jinnah’s obvious adherence to the concept of the rule of law was one of his outstanding personality traits, and the reason in the first place why it felt wrong to characterise him as I had been used to seeing him characterised.

    His excellent character and his priceless contributions in no way impugn the efforts of others who fought for freedom in their own way. This is not, as it seems at some very dreary moments, a zero-sum game; it is not that any ‘brownie’ points given to someone else other than Jinnah immediately reduce his stature. Please give this unrelenting hagiography a break. Many of us admire him; there is a growing wave of realisation of his sterling worth; but to insist that it was he, in all seasons, and for all issues the only one that counted, and the rest didn’t, reduces him to figures of ridicule. That is really not called for.

    Second, it is certainly proper and right to fight against an oppressive regime, and to go to jail if necessary in the course of that fight. Why should those who did these dreadful things, not confined to going to jail alone, but to beatings and to death, by the way, not take legitimate pride in that? Might I remind you what your co-opted idol, Bhagat Singh, sought to avenge? Or, since you have on recent occasions defended Pathans against the comments of their traducers, what happened at the Story-Tellers’ Bazaar in Peshawar? Are those also silly little bits of childishness?

    Take your own movements for greater rights, for instance. Is it your case that the students’ movement against Ayub Khan was achieved by virginal bloodlessness? Are those who suffered vicious injuries and even died as a result to be belittled?

    Is it therefore a case that the Lawyers’ Movement should not have been, because it involved breaking the laws of a tyrant administration? Or that the Bangladeshis should have gathered around in 1971, read the proclamation banning crowds and peacefully dispersed, knowing that there was nothing so demeaning and sinful as an unlawful assembly?

    What is the point of all this?

    And what is the meaning of phrases like “…but no Indian is ever going to acknowledge such facts. To them going to Jail is some sort of a frikkin medal.”

    If you want to know, yes, it is, indeed, the equivalent of a medal, or more; just to remind you what a medal is, knowing if you do the circumstances under which gongs are sought and awarded, a jail sentence, and the general mayhem attending it, is a reality. Not every medal citation is. Ask D_a_n if you will.

    Running down simple, ordinary people who didn’t hesitate to go to jail, to be assaulted, to die knowing that they were facing death, in this manner is not on. I cannot believe that in a sober moment, you will wish to use the same words or use the same sentiments.

  208. bonobashi

    What I wrote above is neither a defence of Gandhi nor of Azad; they have their own defences and their own defenders. I wrote in anguish and in anger against the belittling of the common man. And will not hesitate to do so again.

  209. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Bonobashi,

    No one says that there weren’t any genuine freedom fighters in jail. They were but few and far between. And besides… a lot of glorification of the independence movement is in any event manufactured.

    You should read “Swaraj Kay Liye” by Saadat Hassan Manto…. I think it really opens up new perspectives on the issue… given that Mr. Manto was there in Amritsar during the hey day of this all.

    But the issue here is the other way around… why are Jinnah’s contributions to India’s journey to self rule and independence shot down because he didn’t go to jail? All through out the 1910s and 1920s Jinnah did more to advance the cause of self rule than the entire Congress coterie together through out the so called Independence struggle.

    Infact the so called independence struggle only succeeded in delaying Dominon status which is what India got as two countries in 1947.

    It is unkind and absolutely wrong to compare Bhagat Singh’s case with Congress’ “satyagrahis”. Congress’ “freedom fighters” were manufactured. How many of Congressite freedom fighters were sent to the gallows?

    Bhagat Singh was a genuine freedom fighter. He was dispatched to the gallows.

  210. yasserlatifhamdani

    Nobody belittled the common man. Where did I belittle the “common man”? The common man has contributed a lot to genuine movements… we were talking about leaders etc.

    In the so called Independence Struggle, the common man was busy in his fields or selling Hindu and Muslim pani on the sidelines of crowds of satyagrahis chanting “eishwar allah tero nam…”

    Irony upon irony…. Bonobashi sahib.

  211. ylh, are you alluding to a passage in the Moor ‘s Last Sigh?

  212. bonobashi


    I just went back into this thread and looked at the exchange that got your collective goat. There is no doubt that the kind of single-minded oafishness displayed by Contrarian would get even a saint mad, and there is no hope that either you or Yasser is a saint; quite the contrary, if I have any opinion.

    Contrarian’s points are so utterly stupid that they don’t call for the huge waste of energy and effort that has gone on. Such an idiotic reductio ad absurdum as he resorted to does not need the sweeping counter-attack that you two made, for the simple reason that there were literally thousands of little people, who gave up huge things, their lives in some cases, not literally but in the way of little hopes that small people have, to go where their leaders led. Not all of these were conscienceless goons or place-seekers; they did not lead from the back; they marched to the front, willingly and happily, giving all that they had, which to you and to me might seem trivial, but which to them was literally all, for a cause.

    If they were not soldiers, what were they?

    And how do you feel when people mock the soldiers currently making sacrifices, including the sacrifices of their lives, including the ones beheaded, in order to set right what the pols, and some verminous generals, between them, have set afire?

    That’s how I felt when, not Contrarian, but the people who went to jail, were mocked.

    That’s not on.

  213. Majumdar

    The only Congressman who I can think of was bumped off is Lala Lajpat Rai, who no doubt Yasser Pai will claim as a Pakistani.


  214. YLH

    That is all Bonobashi sb. A fighter pilot and a lawyer can respond the way he no disrespect to any of those who genuinely participated. Contrarian is wrong and that was our point, thanks for saying it. knows.

  215. bonobashi


    I have to be at a meeting for which I am already late – ironically, a legal meeting.

    Very briefly, please understand clearly that we are totally in agreement about Jinnah’s contributions. These are not to be belittled by some college debater finding a seeming chink in the armour and going on about it for his entire allotted time.

    Saying that – and I am proud and privileged to proclaim Jinnah’s outstanding role in leadership, compared to the other leaders on all sides, although some of them made huge contributions – in no way negates the sacrifice of going to jail.

    You say that they were few and far between.

    Bollocks, to use an unparliamentary word. There were a number of charlatans in recent years, not in those days, when a wave of fervour swept the country. It was precisely because there was all this faith which was wasted and allowed to go down the drain that I feel angry with some of the leadership. As someone has pointed out, Gandhi’s efforts, his leadership of the Congress, actually may have retarded the steady movement that was in train before his arrival.

    You say that Jinnah did more single-handed to advance the course of Indian freedom than the entire Congress coterie. Where did you get the impression that I favour the Congress, or that I had a rose-tinted picture of them? Having got that bit off my chest, may I delicately bring to your attention that almost all the achievements that you listed rightly and deservingly in an earlier post were achievements of Jinnah when he was a respected member of the Congress, a member of the coterie, so to speak?

    I completely agree with your point about Dominion status having been delayed. What has that to do with going to jail being some kind of sick joke in this discussion?

    You say that the common man was busy going about his own affairs while some jokers were – what was it? – oh, yes, singing bhajans; I note that we have a base point of reference here thanks to the efforts of Kabir. If we are to be so contemptuous about the level of political consciousness in Asiatic countries, we may as well go back to reading one Professor Edward Said, and remind ourselves what he had to say about Orientalism.

    Please let us not belittle ourselves quite so much. Please do not imagine that the British were struck dumb by Jinnah’s forensic eloquence and suddenly dried up and flew away. They were driven out, they did not walk out. They were driven out by a combination of the mass organisation of the Congress and (later) the Muslim League, the war-weariness and class-hatred in the UK, and the increasing unreliability of the Indian Army, affected by the constant refrain from leaders of the independence movement. It was the Naval Mutiny which scared them, not Direct Action Day, which they could have quelled using all those methods that you held up to such ridicule, including the lathi, the machine gun and the gallows.

    By all means “let us praise famous men”; let us not get derailed.

    As far as you have stated that you are not very respectful of the leadership, I am with you. As long as you are clear that you have no disrespect for those who went to jail, merely because they went to jail, I am with you. I wish you would make these clearer in the heat and passion of your advocacy.

  216. bonobashi


    Contrarian does not deserve your time!

    It is really irritating to see you wasting your time on fribbles like these. Please ignore them; responding to them is a bore, for you and for us.

  217. majumdar sir, well said 🙂

  218. D_a_n

    @ Bonobashi…

    ‘ … does not need the sweeping counter-attack that you two made, for the simple reason that there were literally thousands of little people, who gave up huge things, their lives in some cases, not literally but in the way of little hopes that small people have, to go where their leaders led. Not all of these were conscienceless goons or place-seekers; they did not lead from the back; they marched to the front, willingly and happily, giving all that they had, which to you and to me might seem trivial, but which to them was literally all, for a cause.

    If they were not soldiers, what were they?

    And how do you feel when people mock the soldiers currently making sacrifices, including the sacrifices of their lives, including the ones beheaded, in order to set right what the pols, and some verminous generals, between them, have set afire?

    That’s how I felt when, not Contrarian, but the people who went to jail, were mocked. ‘

    Sir..That was never my intention here. If you feel that I have mocked those that gave up their physicsal freedom to go and spend time behind bars and endure God knows what over there….my apologies..

    my only point was that Not having gone to Jail by luck or design does not disqualify one from being a freedom fighter. Nothing more.

    As for the rank and file…..they were not goons nor place seekers as you say but Yes soldiers like you say. People who did not matter in any scheme of things individually and probably did not have very much to offer except their passion and physical presence.

    Soldiers of another kind I suppose and I never really blame soldiers for much (were excluding those on both sides that engaged in butchery later on)….
    I blame the leadership and the brass…

    ‘but in the way of little hopes that small people have’ ….oh that one cut and is SO true for this is all they have in most cases…
    I would be livid with myself for mocking such folks….

  219. D_a_n


    yes…We all know you’ve read ‘Moors Last Sigh’ for this is probably the 15th reference to it here on PTH … 😉

  220. d_A_N sir,no no i have read many more books too.But in one of the passages of moors last sigh, Rushdie ji reproduces an r k narayan short story ” Waiting for the Mahatma” and that passage even features a sketch of narayan s brother( r k laxman)’s famous cartoon character Common Man. Narayan s short story was based on the same theme that ylh was elaborating upon.Since ylh also mentioned Common Man , i kind of thought that he was alluding to moors last sigh.
    Vaise , i never show off my talent .Have you ever heard me saying that i have ‘managed’ to peruse Finnegans wake? 🙂

  221. D_a_n

    @ koschan

    yes I know you are a Rushdie ‘ji’ fan. Personally I don’t care much for his writing.

    I merely thought it funny that you keep bringing the book up:) but please don’t stop on my account ….

  222. @ koschan,

    Rushdie ji is one of the most amazing writers of fiction in the world, though some of this latest efforts haven’t been up to standard. But someone who has written such great works as “Midnight’s Children”, “Shame” “The Satanic Verses” and “The Moor’s Last Sigh” can only be admired.

    As Sashi Tharoor said “Rushdi is the head of my profession [Indian novelists writing in English]”

  223. PMA

    D_a_n (September 17, 2009 at 6:00 pm):

    First it were Brits and their ‘Sir Rushdi’. Now it is Indians and their ‘Rushdi Ji’. It is already getting to be knee-deep. What is next? Nobel Prize?

  224. YLH


    Even he was inadvertently done away with.

    I do claim him (not as a Pakistani but as an Indus man … Pakistan being the latest Indus state)… He was also the original architect of partition by the way but I claim him for many reasons…

  225. Salman Rushdie deserves the Nobel Prize on the strength of “Midnight’s Children” alone. That he also wrote “The Satanic Verses”, “Shame”, and “The Moor’s Last Sigh” is an added bonus 🙂

  226. PMA

    Gorki: Your comments of

    1) September 17, 2009 at 3:01 am
    2) September 17, 2009 at 8:06 am
    3) September 17, 2009 at 8:46 am

    all deserve thorough responses. I don’t when I will get to that. There is so much going on here at PTH that my head is spinning! Nehru’s account of eighteenth century India appears to be self-serving at best; an attempt to fit his twentieth century view of Indian Nationalism. But then again he is not alone in this regard. The latest ‘butcher’ of history is that fella, Rushdi “ji”. I not too long ago read his “fiction”…’The Shelter of The World’. It is about Akbar. A fabrication of course but a sad distortion of history. The man is sick.

  227. YLH

    Dear Bono,

    I didn’t mean to question the sacrifices of those who went selflessly but my reading of the Indian Independence Movement suggests something else altogether.

    First of all the delaying of the Dominion Status is key. Secondly the British did not fly away at all. Had there been no satyagraha, the British would have no excuse to delay round table conference…which was delayed by 10 years atleast and even when it happened the most decisive one (the first) was boycotted by the Congress giving British an excuse to set aside the proposals of the first conference. The situation after 1937 was quite different.

    In the second world war had Jinnah joined the Quit India movement – the British may have been “driven” out but that chapter was closed thanks to Nehru’s letters to Jinnah … with one thing leading to another. And thank god Jinnah didn’t. He didn’t go and join viceroy’s council (infact he walked out of the legislature) but he didn’t obstruct either. The alternative was Japanese Raj and Axis powers which had links with some in the Congress.

    The reason why the British left in my view had nothing to do with the Congress. The real credit for British exodus goes – posthmously- to the Aryan Mahatma (to use Majumdar’s delightful term).

  228. Hayyer

    After the war the British were exhausted and could not have held on to India. The Naval Mutiny only confirmed that. I have always been puzzled by the failure of Nehru to insist on complete Azadi when Gandhi and Jinnah were happy with Dominion status. Incrementally speaking full independence could not have been long delayed thereafter. There was not so much to object to in having His Majesty’s Government operating out of Delhi.
    While I enjoy the discussions on PTH I must abhor the recent descent from the high standards. Also, there is excessive generalization. The term Hindu and India is used interchangeably I think. For example about Akbar and Aurangzeb. An accurate formulation about the two in the context of what was being discussed some posts earlier might go like this:
    “Among the Indians there are some Hindus who believe that all Muslims rulers were foreigners, including all the Mughals. Of the Mughals, Hindus generally prefer Akbar to Aurangzeb because he was liberal in his beliefs,(much like YLH in fact) and abhor Aurangzeb because he is believed to have been conservative in his religious beliefs and political practices.”

  229. pma, dear sir, salman rushdie writes fantastic novels .His novel’s plot should not be expected to represent historical truth.
    And if your pique originates from the Satanic Verses , dont u think that he has the freedom of speech to write whatever he wants?Dont they write the da vinci code, afterall?
    india hasnt produced a nobel laureate in literature since 1913 , may salman rushdie be the next indian nobelist(he is an nri despite his british citizenship).

  230. Hayyer

    Sorry above; please read ‘failure of Nehru in insisting on complete Azadi’

  231. Ylh, does your interpretation of M A Jinnah ‘s actions differ ,in any way, from the interpretation of Ayesha Jalal’s?

  232. …….of Ayesha Jalal?

  233. YLH

    Minor matters… Nothing substantial.

  234. Gorki


    I think the Aryan Mahatama may be getting far too much credit; after all his magic did not prevent the French from going back to reclaiming the Indo-Chine and Algeria or the Dutch from trying to retake Indonesia after he was all said and done. 😉

    The phenomena of colonialism and its demise is far too complex (the revulsion with racism, economic factors, the rise of Communism and of course the non violent movement(s) etc.) to put into neat boxes like that.

    Having said that, I envy the way Majumdar Da can focus the debate so exactly with a few well chosen words. (“Brevity; is the soul of wit” said an English literature\drama type peron a long time ago. 😉 )


  235. D_a_n

    @ PMA Sb …

    Rushdie ‘ji’ is grossly over rated as a writer and at a personal level I find his writing to have a sort of manufactured lyrical-ness about it.

    The Brits knighting him would most likely be a conspiracy to promote cumbersome prose upon the rest of us if anything.

    The fault is ours though for giving his crappy books the notoriety one can only dream off. His work would have died an undistinguished death had we not.

  236. bonobashi


    Just back from the lawyers’ conference, where instead of decapitating me, they were kind and gracious! My further remarks may not be entirely untinged by this unsettling occurrence; please make allowances.

    Yasser and D_a_n, I have a quarrel with your words, not with your views. Of course I know you didn’t mean the humble, and were drawing attention to the ridiculous proposition that only those who went to jail had any patriotic credentials; please, I only look stupid.

    Let me re-state my point: there is little doubt in the minds of reasonable speakers in these discussions that Jinnah has been given less than his fair share of praise. There is little doubt also that many lesser people, very small people gave their all for the cause.

    Along with this band of the chosen there were large numbers of cheats and blackguards.

    Proposing to lead this unlikely amalgam of the virtuous and the less so were a number of leaders, many, or most of whom were not very sure what they were doing.

    Gandhi was very, very sure, but not, in my very humble opinion, directly successful; his indirect success is obvious but the deeds of the independence movement and the actions of our Netas (I am alluding to what I am alluding) need careful disaggregation to figure out how much success, and we will ultimately never know for sure. Nehru was a spoilt brat; there was nothing entirely unalloyed about him before independence, although he deserves some credit for some actions after independence.

    But at the base were the people around whom all this sound and fury swirls, the common man. I feel that we have, all of us, not particularly you, neglected the role of the ordinary Indian, or South Asian, if you prefer. This has been a feeling of guilt within me for some time. It really stung me to see you making a rhetorical point in a careless way, which gave a distinct impression that you thought of history as did Carlyle. If that were to be true of any of those whom I have come over these months to respect and admire, it would break my heart.

    Yasser made a poignant statement about Bhagat Singh; I feel embarrassed about my ill-considered reference. Please permit me to withdraw it.

    But there were those who were grievously hurt, if not killed outright. We cannot, should not draw such refined degrees of distinction. What if the Englishman’s lathi had not landed squarely on Lalaji’s head? Would he, alive and whole, or alive and crippled, have been a lesser martyr?

    Finally, since I have seen what conflagrations can be caused by these unnecessary debates, and since YLH insists on replying anyone and everyone, I am declaring vendetta on all unread and mentally impoverished newcomers who come in to light fires. What is the ‘Net word for it? Trolls? Bring them on. As much as my own burdens permit, I have a bullet for each of them.

  237. dan sir, even before some of rushdie ji’s work s got infamous , nyt critics used to gaga over his novels.Those reviews ARE stilL available on the nyt website.Andmind you , nyt critics go ga ga only once in ablue moon.
    waise your choices seem to be quite refined.I dont know if its ok to ask you,at pth forum, who is ur favorite author in english language .

  238. stuka

    ” That is why former is looked more favorably than the later by the Hindus of India. It has nothing to do with the singing of Bhajans in the Mughal Court. It was all about power politics.

    It’s all about the Jazia. Auranga brought back the Jazia for Non Muslims. But the Hindu view is more nuanced than what Muslims believe. The debate about Aurangzeb is less about him being a firangi, and much more so about him being a tyrant and against the Hindu majority.

    In 1857, it was a Hindu majority regiment that first revolted against the Angraiz. It was Hindu and Muslim soldiers who came to the red fort and beseeched Bahadur Shah Zafar to again lead them.

    Aurangzeb is an intra-Muslim issue. Indian Muslims (Not Pakistanis per se because they have their own history now) need to decide if Aurangzeb was a Good Muslim or a Bad King. In the Hindu POV, we don’t care how good or bad a Muslim he was, he was a bad king. Anyone who fought Aurangzeb is considered a Hero, from the Marathas to the Sikhs.

  239. Hayyer

    Which is why probably Maharana Pratap who fought Akbar has never reached the heights of Hindu hero worship that Shivaji did.

  240. bonobashi


    Having said that, I envy the way Majumdar Da can focus the debate so exactly with a few well chosen words. (”Brevity; is the soul of wit” said an English literature\drama type peron a long time ago.)

    “Et tu, Brute?” OK, I get the point.

    Also, the quotation was apt; it’s open season on newbies.

    This business is well ended.
    My liege, and madam, to expostulate
    What majesty should be, what duty is,
    Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
    Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief: your noble son is mad:
    Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
    What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
    But let that go.

  241. Gorki


    I think your mind turns devilish by the day, for only a mind inspired by the devil himself can turn a backhanded compliment (at least in my part of the world, that is what a comparison with the bard is considered) into a brutal whipping. 😉

    For the record, no, I have not joined the brigade from the ministry of vice and virtue and was not trying to intimidate the newbies on the PTH; I was only trying to soften the impact of my tongue lashing of yesterday on all concerned by the above gentler comparison. 😉

    The only thing I have to say to the likes of Bonobashi and Archaeo is this; go easy.
    The last time I barely saved your guilty hind from the kids you left crying on another post; I can’t do it all the time.
    OK. One last time; I again admit it was brilliant. 😉

  242. Gorki

    Besides Maharana Partap, for all his stubborn bravery remained a local footnote in history while the Maratha conferdacy founded by Shivaji came within inches of mastery over India.

    It is one of those ‘histories what ifs’ to wonder if Sher Shah Suri had outlived Humayun and the mughals never staged a comeback then would anyone even remember Babur, the Uzbek?

  243. I sincerely hope that Rushdie Ji wins the Nobel Prize for Literature. He deserves it on the strength of “Midnight’s Children” alone:)

  244. Apropos of the discussion on Akbar and Aurengzeb, I would like to link to a post written over the South Asian Idea called “On Emperor Akbar”. I think the readers of PTH might find it interesting


  245. yasserlatifhamdani


    His best novel is Shame in my opinion.

  246. Yasser,

    “Shame” is a brilliant novel and an amazing allegory of Pakistan’s political experience, but “Midnight’s Children” was arguebly the novel that first launched South Asian writing in English. It also captured the whole experience of the Partition generation, who are now even called “Midnight’s children”.

  247. yasserlatifhamdani


    Did you read this article over on your own website?

    Not so much as why… but just as a record… this article is brilliant. I don’t know who wrote it… but perhaps if you were to apply your mind to your own website instead of fighting with me you’d grow up a little.

  248. “South Asian writing in English”
    Kabir, i think the standard word is Indian Writing in English(IWE)!!
    Waise, inspite of my herculean efforts i have not been able to procure a copy of satanic verses from delhi(i even tried that from the old book market at daryaganj, delhi but the rehriwallahs said,” sir, yeh book banned hai!! ” ), so i cannot say which one is the better one of rushdie ji ‘s novels. But , the kind of ‘psychedelic’ experience that shame has given me is unforgettable

  249. PMA

    Gorki: I will try to briefly response to your earlier comments of September 17, 2009 at 3:01 am. What you are relating to is the simpler version of the internal politics of the Mughal Court. A version popular in India and constructed to suite twentieth century Indian Nationalism.

    The House of Timurids was Turkic and not Indian or Persian. The family and its close associates spoke Turkish. Babar wrote his diary in Turkish. The Persian component comes in when his son Humanyoun is forced to escape to Persia and fifteen years later returns to India with the help of joint forces of his own Turkic troops and hired Persian troops. This is the beginning of the Persian involvement in the Mughal Turkic Indian rule. At this point Mughals had two main enemies: Muslim Afghans and Hindus of India. Akbar when he comes to age never took his eyes off the Afghans, While after subjugating Hindus, he would make peace with them. This served both the Hindus and the Mughals at the cost of Afghans. Akbar was so mindful of the Muslim Afghan danger that he moved his capital out of the Ganges Valley and moved it to the Indus Valley, closer to the troublesome Afghans. To consolidate his “Hindu Strategy” he made a Court policy for himself, his son Salim, and his Turko-Persian noblemen to marry Hindu girls and took Hindus into his Court. Even though there was nothing “Indian” about Akbar who spoke Persian and Turkish, Indian Nationalists of the twentieth century for this very reason have taken him up as “Indian”.

    Akbar marries his son Salim to a Hindu girl even though Salim was in love with a Persian girl Noor-un-nisa and marries her off to one of his generals. When Salim comes to throne as Jahangir, the first thing he does is to take his old love back from the general and makes her as his empress first as Noor Mahal and then as Noor Jahan. At this stage there are three components to the Mughal Court: Turks, Persians and Hindus (call them Indian if you wish). Each one of the three groups is jockeying to gain supremacy over the other by continuously conspiring with and against the other. Noor Jahan as a co-sovereign with the help of her brother tries to out maneuver Turkic and Hindu groups but fails at the end and Shah Jahan with the backing of Turkic and Hindu groups becomes emperor and moves his capital out of Lahore to Shah-jahan-abad. Noor Jahan and her group are left in Lahore.

    Aurangzeb like his father was born in Lahore. His mother was Persian and not a Hindu. In his war of succession he is aided by the Persians and the Turks and not by the Hindus. As Emperor Alamgir he reverses the policies of his father and grandfather and purges the Court from Hindus who had sided with his brother Dara. The Persians are back in favor again and Hindus are out, a move that later on comes to haunt him and his successors. For this reason the twentieth century Indian Nationalism constructionists regard him as a villain and has compiled a list of “crimes” against him. Their historic dishonesty does not allow them to see the events of the Mughal Court in political light as it should be. Instead, in twentieth century every thing is looked through the prism of Indian Nationalism. Akbar all ‘good good’ and Alamgir all ‘bad bad’.

    Then there is the question: Were Mughals Central Asian Turks, Persians or Indian? It depends. Up till Akbar they were Turks and then Turko-Persian. Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Alamgir were Turko-Persian-Indian. Then all those later day Mughals in post-Alamgir era were pathetic and shameful Indians.

  250. Majumdar

    PMA sb,

    Akbar was so mindful of the Muslim Afghan danger that he moved his capital out of the Ganges Valley and moved it to the Indus Valley, closer to the troublesome Afghans.

    I am not as well versed with history and geography as you are but to my limited knowledge he had only three capitals in his life- Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri both of them within a hundred miles of each other and all along the banks of River Yamuna, a tributary of the River Ganga. And if I am not mistaken he shifted his capital from Delhi to Agra which wud be towards the Ganges not away from it.


  251. Then all those later day Mughals in post-Alamgir era were pathetic and shameful Indians.———————————–
    ….pathetic and shameful indo-pakistanis…..

  252. Koschan– ok Indian Writing in English. I just using South Asian writing to keep PMA sahib and YLH from freaking out:)

    I’ve read “Satanic Verses”– bought in America. It’s a great novel, though he does become gratuitously offensive at times–naming prostitutes after Mohammad’s wives, that’s a bit too far in my opinion, but if you can forgive that, then it’s a great novel. I still like “Midnight’s Children” best.

    @ PMA: The Mughals may have been foreigners to start with, but the assimilated and became Indian (Hindustani) and are responsible for some of the glories of our South Asian composite culture.

  253. Majumdar

    Lahore can hardly be described as Akbar’s capital. He was roving much of the time in 1580s and 1590s and finally he died in Agra.


  254. PMA

    Majumdar (September 18, 2009 at 6:58 pm):

    It is a sad sad part of Indian historic dishonesty that the Indian movie “Mughal-e-Azam” never mentions that the fictional story is set in Lahore and not in the present day India. Joda Bai is shown as mother of Salim when in fact she was not. It is little known to most Indians that Akbar in 1572 moved his capital from Agra to Fateh Pur and in 1584 to Lahore. He rebuilt the old Lahore fort of Sultan Mahmud of Gazna to his own needs and also built the Attack fort at the banks of Indus to keep Afghans out. Jahangir’s total reign was from his capital Lahore where he and his wife are buried. His son Shah Jahan and grandson Alamgir were born in Lahore. Shah Jahan for political reasons of his own took capital out of Lahore in 1638 to the new city of Shah Jahan Abad.

  255. Majumdar

    PMA sb,

    For most of 1585-1595 he was anyways moving around here and there. And towards the end 1590s he settled down finally at Agra and died at Fatehpur Sikri.

    In that sense Lahore can hardly be described as Akbar’s main capital.

    In the case of Jehangir certainly yes.


  256. PMA

    No Kabir your Indian friend Koschan is right. It is ‘Indian Writing in English’. There is no political entity such as ‘South Asia’. It is a vague regional concept that only serves Indian interests. But please don’t debate with me. I am not interested.

    And to Koschan: How is that Akbar who reigns over modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, North India and Bengal is “Indian” and later day Mughals who had only Ganges Valley under their control and “Indo-Pakistani”. That is what I call Indian historic dishonesty.

  257. PMA: South Asia is a valid geopolitical term, whether you think it should be or not. If you prefer, we can call it the Indian Subcontinent.

  258. And by the way, in Western universities, courses are taught in “South Asian literature” not in “indian” or “pakistani” literature. Also, people get master’s in “south asian studies” not in “indian studies” or “pakistani studies”. The US state department has an undersecretary for South Asia. South Asia is here to stay whether PMA or YLH like it or not.

  259. PMA

    Kabir: I don’t care what you call it. I know there are is Pakistan and then there is India. That is good enough for me. You want to create a ‘South Asia’. Well it ain’t there yet. When there is one, we will call it so. Until then I am happy to be a Pakistani.

  260. PMA sahib:

    I think you misunderstand me. There is Pakistan and there is India. Both (sovereign and indepedent) countries are also part of a region called South Asia. They are not mutually exclusive.

    It’s like there is France and Germany, which are both countries in Europe. Do you see that you’re not making sense now?


  261. PMA

    Kabir: You are confused as always. South Asia is a vague regional concept. It means different things to different people. Some include Afghanistan in it, some don’t. Some think Balochistan is in South Asia, some don’t. There is no such polity as ‘South Asia’. I like to speak in clear terms of Pakistan and India. South Asia is too vague for me. Now please go away.

  262. PMA sahib:

    “South Asia” is an accepted term used in academia and the real world. Governments make policy for “South Asia”. You can’t make the term go away because you personally don’t like it. If people could that, Pakistan wouldn’t be an “Islamic Republic” right now.


  263. Gorki

    ” Shah Jahan, and Alamgir were Turko-Persian-Indian. Then all those later day Mughals in post-Alamgir era were pathetic and shameful Indians.”


    PMA Sahib:

    I read with amusement your account of the Mughal history and geneology.

    It reminded me of my grandfather who, bless him, lived life on his own terms (all 104 years of it).
    My dad remembered him for claiming his accomplishments with delight by telling his wife, my grandmother as follows:
    “Did you hear how well my son played in the hockey match today” etc.
    However whenever he was upset with my dad, he would complain to his wife as follows:
    “Look, your son is no good, he did such and such bad thing etc. today”.

    You get the idea.

    So explain to me how Alamgir pasha was Turko-Persian-Indian yet his sons and grandsons were pathetic Indians?
    What suddenly happened to the remarkable Persian-Turkish blood in their veins? 😉

    Anyway, I am busy organising an academic symposium the next two days and will reply in detail later if I can.

    BTW till then can you also explain how Noor Jehan’s brother became non-Persian overnight? wasn’t he the one leading the battle for sucession against her faction on prince Khurram’s behalf? The same who later became Shah Jehan?

  264. PMA

    Look Kabir. Do you seriously think that I don’t know that the term ‘South Asia’ exists in the academic world. What I am trying to tell you is that there is no polity such as ‘South Asia’. It is a vague regional concept that means different things to different people. For long academics and politicos have tried to fit Pakistan in that ‘South Asian’ box. The latest Afghan wars have shown that Pakistan west of Indus could not be properly placed in to that ‘South Asian’ box. Now they have come out with a new term ‘Af-Pak’. If you come back to the academic world you will find out that now courses are being offered and academic work is being done on the subject of ‘Af-Pak’. These are all vague regional concepts that keep on shifting with changing geopolitical situations. Europe and all other continents have a definite demarcations. Terms such as ‘Middle East’ or ‘South Asia’ do not definitively mark out the regions they are suppose to represent. India is central to South Asia and thus the term serves it very well. In case of Pakistan that is not so. There are academics who for the cultural and political reasons now include Pakistan in what they are calling ‘The Greater Middle East’. But some people particularly Indians are not agreeing to that. Some Indian academics don’t even like the term ‘Middle East’. They like to call it ‘West Asia’. I am no ‘South Asianist’. I prefer Pakistan and India. The term ‘South Asia’ does not serve Pakistan well.

  265. PMA

    With all due respect to your beloved grandfather and leaving sarcasm aside, I will try to answer your question.

    “So explain to me how Alamgir [pasha] was Turko-Persian-Indian yet his sons and grandsons were pathetic Indians?”

    He was Turko-Persian-Indian because his father side lineage was Turkish as well as Indian. His one grandmother and one great-grandmother from father side were Indian Hindu ladies. His mother was Persian. Up till Alamgir’s time Afghanistan and Balochistan were in Mughal control. The House of Timurids had direct links with the Central Asian and Persian people. There was a continuous influx of new comers from that region keeping the ethnic links alive. In post-Alamgir era the Mughals lost control of the areas and then lost Punjab, Kashmir and Sindh as well. They were no longer the mighty Mughals but a pathetic bunch of paan chewing Indians confined to the Ganges Valley with very little relevance to Persia and Central Asia.

    And as you already know, the genealogy and ethnic transformation does not happen “overnight”. It takes place gradually with every generation marrying into the next group. Once fearsome and warlike Turks after two hundred years become spindle-legged pot-bellied Indians. But don’t mistake me. I am not saying that I ‘own’ early Mughals and ‘disown’ later Mughals. I ‘own’ all of them as our collective forebears.

  266. PMA Sahib:

    I realize that you don’t like the term “South Asia”. That is your right, but the term is not going away. I will continue to use it when the context is appropriate.

    Also, it’s ironic that you seem to favor “Greater Middle East” as that is a term that was popularized by the last Bush Administration– and it includes basically the major trouble spots of the world according to Bush, it’s not an Islam friendly term. But hey, if you like that, it’s fine.

    It’s clear from your posts about the later Mughals became “spindly legged pot bellied Indians” that you viscerally dislike Hindus and Indians. There’s no arguing with people like you. Putting Hindus down doesn’t make Pakistanis or Muslims like you look good– just makes you look insecure and pathetic.


  267. Once fearsome and warlike Turks after two hundred years become spindle-legged pot-bellied Indians.—————————–
    Parvez alahi PMA , you are a racist chootiya masquerading as a scholar.In an ideal case scenario, you should be banned from this website.

  268. PMA

    Kabir. I don’t think you read very carefully. We are speaking of later day “Indianised’ Mughals here. Yes when they were chewing paans and listning to Qawalis in Lal Qala, the Indian Marhattas were getting ready to beat the shit out of them. What is the problem here?

    And it is not whether I like it or not. The term ‘South Asia’ has come to stand-in for India. It serves India, but it does not serve Pakistan well. You sir may continue to use it. And where did I say I prefer the term ‘Greater Middle East’?

  269. PMA Sahib:

    “South Asia” doesn’t serve Pakistan well? Pakistan is part of SAARC, also the Pakistani government is always talking about “peace in South Asia”. Did someone send you an official memo about this that I missed, that as good Pakistanis we are not supposed to use the term “South Asia”?

    Pakistan is not a Middle Eastern country, so “Greater Middle East” is just a stupid term. Even one buys your previous argument that the “West Bank” of Pakistan is not “South Asian”, at least Punjab and Sindh are– that is the geographical reality.

    Your latest sentence about “pot bellied Indians” was frankly racist. Koschan is right: if this site had a stringent non discrimination/anti-hate speech policy, you should by all rights have been banned.

  270. PMA

    Kabir. I will say one more time. The term ‘South Asia’ as it is being used leaves many parts of Pakistan out. Therefore it does not serve Pakistan well. This is just my opinion. You are welcome to your opinion. So what if Pakistan is part of SAARC. It is also part of ECO and OIC. What does that mean. Pakistan is a large country spread over many regions. It could not be boxed into one region alone. To be a regional player Pakistan must claim its place in South Asia, Central Asia and The Greater Middle East, all at the same time. I know you do not agree with me. So leave it there. Would ya?

  271. karun

    The term ‘South Asia’ as it is being used leaves many parts of Pakistan out.


    perhaps they should be left out, did i hear balochistan!!

  272. karun

    @gorki the sweetheart

    And people like Karun, what can I say..? Just when I think that you may have something intelligent to say after all you come out with masterpieces like the first post that you wrote. I doubt you do much serious thinking; only have fixed ideas.

    arey dada!

    the 1st statement was an expression of exasperation at this entire affair….jinnah…nehru….patel…jinnah…merry go round….(over and over again)

    my head is spinning again…….

    it was not meant to insult jinnah….it was just like saying: get lost…find some new topic…just that the language was a little flowery 😉

  273. bonobashi


    Just out of curiousity, why are you on this forum?

    You disagree with all the topics and the trends of the discussions on them.

    You get along with just one other person, a person of pronounced intellectual handicaps, almost intellectual an and fixed notions.

    You have nothing original to state; your most ‘original’ statement was to abuse an eminent statesman.

    So why?

  274. karun


    i will answer that after you answer my question

    yeh bangali log panjabi kyon pehenten hain 😉


    chill yaar!!!

  275. Gorki

    Your latest sentence about “pot bellied Indians” was frankly racist. Koschan is right: if this site had a stringent non discrimination/anti-hate speech policy, you should by all rights have been banned.

    I am addressing this post to the above two youngsters here since they may still have some idealism left in them even after we the ‘intellectual elders’ are finished with them.

    First of all racist or not, the comment was certainly meant to insult and hurt.
    To his credit PMA Sahib has never been known to mince words. He has made it amply clear how he feels about the Indians in the past; he has complained numerous times about us hijacking the PTH, he has told us that in his private life he walks away the moment any Indian comes up to him and god forbid utter those taboo words “we are the same people” and now he has written the Mughal history as he likes it:
    That Shah Jehan was Persian never mind there was never any Persian territory under his control but the later Mughals ceased to be Indo-Turkic if they lost control of a piece of territory; that contacts with Turkic\Iranian speaking central Asians made Mughals the same yet the genetic convergence of Indian and Pakistanis matter not and they are separate peoples. That Turkic blood made Akbar an Uzbek and non Indian but tons of ‘Indian blood’ in the current day Pakistanis doesn’t matter since again god forbid that will make them a kin of those pot bellied Indians. Whatever.

    I have no further questions for him since I do not want to tie this eminent historian into any further knots.

    Regarding the remarks themselves; there is a tendency in the Gangetic people living in my second homeland, the USA to present one face to the white, liberal American intellectuals which is liberal, claiming universality of ideas among peoples and brotherhood of mankind but another when we are amongst us.
    At least one Gurarati school mate couple are very polite with the Caucasian company yet have choicest epithets for the Muslims that would make a Sadhavi Rithambra blush; when they are alone among us.
    I don’t know if the Indus people do this also but one such luminary certainly does; a gentleman namrd Moin Ansari; claims universal brotherhood of this kind; he even claims to head some kind of Jew-Muslim understanding forum; except he has only choicest insults for us potbellied Indians.

    Now, coming back to Kabir and Koschan.

    Koschan, I know where you live. I know where your parents live. Next time I catch you using such foul language for another, (especially a gentleman who is old enough to be your father,) I am going to call your dad; and then both of us will come to your hostel and humiliate you in front of your peers by making you wash your mouth with soap water.
    You are going to be a physician; talk like one. You have to learn to not take the bait when it is offered, even if it is ‘Oh so tantalizing’.

    Kabir, you are a good kid at heart. Having seen my own child proudly graduate out of GWU recently I know you have gone to a good university; I think you are well ahead of your peers; in time you will develop a great deal of learning; remember to work on wisdom enough to stay calm. “Look what you made me do” is never a good defense.

    As for me; it is appropriate that I finish writing my post this way on a topic titled Masters of Mutilation since I am sure I too must have contributed to this mutilation going on. Anyway serves me right for not taking enough hints and buzz off earlier.

  276. PMA

    Gorki (September 19, 2009 at 12:55 am):

    I have said about “Later Day Mughals” just what I have said. They were no good pathetic bunch. If we could criticise our twentieth century leaders like Gandhi, Jinnah and Nehru, then why we can not open mouth about those “Later Day Mughals” who were directly responsible for the decay and decline and ultimate colonization of the Sub-continent by the Brits. May be the religious sensitivities of India do not allow such criticism of her Muslim rulers of the eighteenth century. But before some one accuses me of Hindu hating, those I criticize the most were Muslims and not Hindus. Chances are that being a Muslim and a Pakistani I am more closely associated to those pot-bellied Indians than any Hindu Indian on this site. So please lay off this comments about me being racist. I walk away from those Indians who refuse to acknowledge my nationality because I find it personally offensive. It has nothing to do with the race or the religion. No one has ever questioned my nationality except Indians. I am not writing my own history. I just refuse to accept the conveniently constructed Muslim history of India to fit the needs of twentieth century Indian (and Pakistani) Nationalism. Mughals were Turkic, Persian and Indian because that is what they were. At the end they were totally Indianised with no relevance to their forefathers. Why that should not be true. Pakistanis and Hindus of India are different as well are similar in many ways. If I go into details I would be repeating myself. The bottom line is that we Pakistanis are who we are. We do not owe any explanation to any one. Enough said. I am getting off this topic and the discussion. See you at the next post.

  277. Gorki Sahib,

    You are right. “Look what you made me do” is never a good defence. I’m sorry for losing it earlier.

    PMA Sahib:

    “Pakistanis and Hindus of India are different as well are similar in many ways. ”

    What about “Pakistanis” and Indian Muslims? Are they different in any ways? genetically? culturally?
    What you need to realize is that Pakistani is a national identity, not an ethnic one. Ethnically we are all Indian, so you are really only insulting yourself when you insult other Indians.


  278. bonobashi


    Unfortunately I have been busy elsewhere and couldn’t comment.

    In essence your report of identity of ‘Indians’ is correct as far as identity of DNA, or rather, variations in DNA are concerned. Presumably you are quoting the report that the DNA of Indians in general, and including Pakistani Punjabis, but not including the Pakistani Sindhis, Baloch and Pathans, is identical. IMHO, this would have caused far less kerfuffle if you had cited your sources right at the outset, rather than seeming to have dredged something out from a particularly obscure corner of Organiser (that’s what it seemed like at first, even while I suspected that you were probably citing that report).

    If you were talking of some other evidence, please give me URLs and leads to that.

    Your post above does not make sense until you formally bring up this hypothesis for general introduction. In fact, without that context, it seems repetitive and rude.

  279. bonoboshi.

    It is not my intention to be repetitive or rude. I’m just very distressed by PMA sahib’s quasi-racist characterization of “spindly legged pot bellied Indians” as opposed to the “fierce warlike Turks”

    Please do hold others to the same standards of evidence that you are holding me to. Otherwise, you are just singling me out for no reason.


  280. Amit

    I guess, the Qaid was protecting the Muslims of India, when he gave his not very subtle go-ahead to launch the tribal lashkars in Kashmir. I am baffled as to why this federalist notion that Jinnah had of post-independent India was not extended to the Bangladeshis. Of course, his speech in Lahore in 1940 was a gem when it comes to propagation of Hindu-Muslim unity. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day, someone propagated a new thesis that Nehru was a closeted Hindu fundamentalist.

  281. gorki sir, i just want to say that i regret using unparliamentary language against a person very senior to me(in age).I will be more careful in future.Thanks for pointing to me my error and bb sir, thankyou for making me realize that i was frittering my samay

  282. yasserlatifhamdani

    Amit mian,

    It is quite sad that people like you don’t want to open their minds and remain closeted into what was drummed into your heads as kids.

    My suggestion read Jaswant Singh’s book and when you then get a chance pick up H M Seervai’s “Partition of India : Legend and Reality”. I could repeat what I have said again and again but that would make no sense at all to a prejudiced mind.

    In so far as Bangladesh was concerned it was a federating unit under the Government of India Act 1935 … By undoing section 93 (which Nehru retained in India) Jinnah virtually made provincial legislatures immune from dismissal from the center.

    Unless you are talking about his declaration about Urdu (which theoretically was correctly advised to him since Urdu was not the regional language of any one unit and yet all units spoke it and it was not that Bengali was “banned”- in the same speech Jinnah said Bengali should be given provincial status- ironically 60 percent of Pakistanis speak Punjabi today should Punjabi be the national language?) there is nothing constitutionally that contradicts the federal demands Jinnah had put up to the Congress for settlement in 1927 and then in 1929- not even on the language issue.

    On the Kashmir charge – there is still debate whether Jinnah even knew about the General Akbar Khan’s ambitious plans let alone giving a “not so subtle” go ahead … Alastair Lamb and a host of other historians of the dispute claim that Jinnah came to know about the insurgency only a few days later and when going into the summit with Mountbatten remarked “don’t tell me anything else- I want my conscience to be clear”.

  283. yasserlatifhamdani

    I honestly can’t believe Kabir and the way he twists arguments he cannot counter.

    Gorki sb please talk some sense into him. He keeps telling me “south asia exists” when I have always maintained that Pakistan is a South Asian country and Pakistan has no other geographical alignment except South Asia.

    Indeed this is the point of contention between PMA and myself- the only disagreement. And PMA only says that Pakistan is a South-Central Asian country. The reason I disagree with him is because I hold still to Jinnah’s idea of a subcontinent working together…as independent and sovereign states which were friendly neighbors. We are as South Asian as anybody.

    And the irony is that the only person who theoretically agrees with PMA’s South Central Asian conception is none other than Kabir himself. It is Kabir who has declared repeatedly that he as a Punjabi has nothing in common with the Pathan. If what Kabir says is true then logically he must also accept PMA’s point. He can’t argue both sides of the position and then claim to have a coherent position.

    So ask little boy-this little crook to grow up instead of repeating a lie that his heart is in the right place. You – as an elder person- should encourage foolish little boys who are do completely dishonest in their behavior as this Kabir fellow.

  284. yasserlatifhamdani

    PS Gorki sb I apologize if what I have written above has come out tersely…it was meant as an appeal from a younger brother or nephew to someone older

  285. Yasser,

    Please stop your personal vendetta against me. My remarks about “South Asia” were not even addressed to you, but to PMA sahib who took offense to the term “South Asian Writing in English” and told me that there is only India and Pakistan and he doesn’t believe in “South Asia”. All I said was that whether or not he personally believes in South Asia, it is an accepted geopolitical term used in academia and in policy-making. I don’t believe in “Islamic Republics”, but that doesn’t mean I can deny that Pakistan is one.

    P.S. Raza and I have talked about your behavior to me, and he agrees that attacking my father, etc was totally uncalled for. Please learn to show some respect for the norms of debate.

    P.P.S. You still haven’t published abba’s article. He replied to your comment on TSAI.


  286. yasserlatifhamdani

    I intend to publish it. Unfortunately my computer is not working. Blackberry publishing is not possible.

    About South Asia yousaid: “whether PMA or YLH like it or not”m

    It is you whohas the vendetta.

  287. yasserlatifhamdani

    Also not only am I against “islamic republics” I reject its very concept and only accept the constitution of 1973 as a stop-gap till the Pakistani nation matures and discards the so called “Islamic provisions” of the said constitution … For the record the constitution of 1973 with its Islamic provisions is one of the draconian constitutions in the world despite the fact that it enshrines fundamental rights and right of writ. It is also the most ironic constitution of the world.

  288. yasserlatifhamdani

    Erratum “one of the most”

  289. Yasser:

    I apologize for “whether PMA or YLH like it or not”– There was no need to gratuitously bring you into it. My remarks to PMA sahib still stand. Also, please reflect on the racist nature of his remarks about Indians, which even Gorki sahib found offensive. I don’t think that kind of hate speech should have a place on an intellectual blog like PTH, but that’s just my opinion. But I’m asking you, do you want to be associated with such a sweeping characterization of “hindus” as opposed to “turks”?

    I don’t have a vendetta against you. Frankly, I have neither the time nor the energy to pursue a vendetta against anyone. We can agree to disagree, as long as we both refrain from personal attacks not germane to the debate. So what if I sing bhajans? What skin is that off your back?

    I can call myself “Hindustani” or a citizen of greater timbuktoo, it doesn’t preclude you from calling yourself Pakistani, nor does it cause Pakistan to cease to exist.


  290. Amit

    Yasser saab,
    I don’t think I have a closed mind. You would be surprised that there was a time when I thought the same as JS because my dad was quite sympathetic to Jinnah. Later I found out that it was because of his dislike for Nehru rather than any genuine love for Jinnah. Contrary to what you think, we are exposed to different view points. JS is not the first person to put up a view like that. I would take your word but then I look at utterances like this and it amazes me that in today’s world, if someone says stuff like this anywhere and in whatever capacity, they would be treated as rank communal.
    Sample this morsel:
    “I told them of the danger that a Hindu empire would represent for the Middle-East… If a Hindu empire is achieved, it will mean the end of Islam in India, and even in other Muslim countries.”
    Or, the more egregious:
    “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 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, litterateurs. They neither intermarry nor interdine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspect 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, different heroes, and different episodes. 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 for the government of such a state.”
    When you start with a premise like that, partition was a sole conclusion. That it happened in 47 was just chance. It would have happened later, anyways.
    Apparently, in addition to giving speeches like this, he was also going on asking people to swear on Koran et al. So the Qaid was not above board when it came down to using whatever means available to force or extort things out of his opponents. Bengalis, as you may note, have quite an unflattering view of the Qaid.
    In fact, the most charitable view is that the Qaid had lost his marbles by 43-45. That is why we see so many contradictions. The less courteous among us think that he hardly had any views of his own, but took whatever nonsense Rehmat Ali or Iqbal fed him. It was merely his training as a lawyer that made him secular.

    If you think that I am maligning Jinnah because of my revulsion towards two-nation theory, you would be mistaken. I think it was the right thing to do, though it could have happened in a more orderly fashion. The kind of federal structure that Jinnah was propagating would have torn our country into hundreds of petty states or would have kept the nation perpetually hostage to ransom and arm-twisting of centrifugal forces.
    As regards Ayesha’s work, well just like any other theory, it has a certain weightage, but it would be a mistake to assign it as being a sole view of partition. It is rather hard to imagine that a man would obsessively pursue a dream just to get a good bargain in the end. In that case, Jinnah was a bad businessman. I have seen a lot of people quote from a Hindu article about him. What they fail to mention is also that the article described him as a sort of megalomaniac in his later years. That, to be honest, is what most of us believe.
    As for Jinnah being in dark about the Kashmir fiasco, give me a break. It would require a naivete that escapes even the most gullible among us.

  291. yasserlatifhamdani


    As for the second part it is based on a poor understanding of my positiion.

  292. Amit

    You are welcome. Thank you for your patience. Peace!

  293. D_a_n

    @ Amit…

    ‘That, to be honest, is what most of us believe.’

    Fair Enough. You might also believe that Leprechauns lead you to a Pot O’ gold and a rainbow…..

    that don’t make it so…

  294. yasserlatifhamdani


    That last post was not addressed to you. You have to be an idiot to think that I would not take your ridiculous views and break them to pieces.

    You have no clue. Why Jinnah was secular has been addressed by Kabir’s father Anjum Altaf in his article that has been linked above. I’d say that he has done a fabulous analysis based and caste and background.

    As for your little uncharitable and charitable nonsense. Jinnah spent 20 years prior to 1940 trying to bridge the divide between the Congress and the Muslims of Punjab and Bengal… His restatement of the problem in terms of nationhood was actually an attempt to work towards a consociationalist solution (though not in terms stated by Ashutosh Varshney). The failure to distinguish between state and nation has been pointed out as the reason for the inability of people like you to come to terms with the facts.

    Had you read before imagining history in your head and basing it on random google searches you would know that Jinnah himself was in favor of a stronger federation almost all his life.

    Then you make a claim that the kind of federalism that Jinnah was advocating would tear up India. Pray tell how and where you get this idea? Did you bother to read the 16th May declaration and the clauses on which the dispute was created? Either you don’t understand the Congress position or you are just talking out of places you shouldn’t talk out of.

    My suggestion: open your prejudiced jaundiced mind. Realize that these excuses that you give for Nehru are merely delusions. The 19 v an 19 viii clauses don’t talk about the stuff that you claim led Congress to reject the federal structure. Alternatively you may want to quote what it was in the 14 points that you think was unacceptable? Residuary powers? Well US has residuary powers vested in the states -does that make US a weak federation? If not then your claim about Jinnah’s federal solution does not make sense.

    And no one is asking you to take my word for anything. But you don’t even understand the position that we’ve placed let alone take my word for it.

    And finally on Kashmir- I have quoted an established authority who is a tenured professor at NYU and is an impartial authority on Kashmir. You may quote some other source pointing out exactly when and where Jinnah was made aware of the Kashmir incursion. If you can’t then – well your words only words which cannot be accepted as facts.

  295. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Raza bhai,

    It is requested that you kindly put Dr. Anjum Altaf’s. “Jinnah, Nehru and the ironies of history” and Beena Sarwar’s “another anthem and another time” for PTH’s readers to chew on.

    The reason I can’t because my computer has ceased to work.

  296. “As for the second part it is based on a poor understanding of my positiion.”

    Yasser– I’m not clear what this is referring to. Would you mind clarifying?


  297. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Kabir,

    By poor understanding I mean the following:

    1. That I have a problem with you identifying as an Indian. This is not true as I have on numerous occasions explained to you that if you want to define the subcontinent as the Indian subcontinent and call yourself ethnic Indian without questioning those who associate with a national identity instead of an ethnic one you have every right to. I also pointed out the word “India” belonged more logically to Pakistan but legally it means something else now. What baffles me is the switching of goalposts. Either Indian is an ethnicity or it is not and if it is then Pathans are part of it and the subcontinent but in the same breath you declare that Punjabis and Pathans have nothing in common. Similarly the reason why you said you didn’t tell people you were from Pakistan was because you wanted to be congratulated for Slumdog Millionaire.. This is what I criticized you on.

    2. That I have a problem with you singing Bhajjans. Again I applauded you for the fine music you make. And frankly I’d like a Pakistani who goes under the name “Kabir Mohan” and sings Bhajjans. What I don’t accept is your constant reference to your adoption of a more indigenous and therefore Hindu identity/culture to prove your secular credentials or as a false trump card in this debate.

    Also South Asia is a geographical location! It is also -like Europe- a conglomerate of cultures. Just like Europe, there is an idea of South Asia that transcends national boundaries without erasing them. Travelling within South Asia is -despite its international status- not travelling abroad. Expats who come to their respective homelands often cross the border and visit the rest of South Asia as well in one go. So what are you fighting for? Pakistan is a South Asian country- Pakistan will always be a South Asian country… as Jinnah told Gandhi “Pan Islamism is a bogey and nothing else” and that Pakistan and India should have “South Asian Monroe document” stronger than America… I am proud of being a South Asian I am proud of being a Pakistani. So why are you fighting with me about South Asia- I am your best frikkin’ hope for it (I as in people like me).

  298. Dear Yasser:

    1. Who am I to question what other people choose to call themselves? By all means, people have the right to call themselves Pakistani. I just choose not to identify as such because emotionally I don’t connect with Pakistan and what it stands for, I don’t identify with Islam and can’t stand to associate myself with an “Islamic Republic.” I emotionally connect with the civilization and culture that goes by the name of “Hindustani” civiliation or North Indian civilization, which incidently is largely the culture of the entity now known as Pakistan as well.

    I’m not switching goal posts. I think you misunderstood me. Of course, Pathans and Punjabis are both Indian (or Pakistani as the case may be). All I meant was that I personally don’t relate to the Pathan culture. I don’t speak the language, etc. I relate to Punjabi culture because I am a Punjabi and have spent time in Punjab with Punjabis. This is a reflection on me and my life experiences, not some unalterable truth about “Indian-ness”. Again, who am I to decide other people’s ethnic or national identity for them?

    Also, you take the “slumdog millionaire” thing out of context. The causation is not that simple. First of all, the reality is that I am ethnically Indian, so if I answer yes when someone asks me if I’m Indian, then i’m not lying. The national identity is completely irrelevant to me. At the same time, there is an element of not wanting to be associated in people’s minds with Taliban or “Islamofacism” things that I don’t believe in or stand for. I’d much rather be associated with a positive accomplishment like a successful movie or industry than be constantly asked questions about Islamic fundamentalists. Maybe this has an element of trying to save my own skin. You can call it dishonest, but that’s your opinion.

    2. You did applaud me on my singing. Yet a few days later, you turned around and derisively referred to me as a “bhajan singer” and said “be a man—albeit a bhajan singing one”. You also implied that I should stick to singing bhajans because I lack any intllectual capacity. You must admit this sudden change sounds kind of schizophernic. If you said those things in the heat of the moment, and didn’t really mean them, then I am willing to accept your apology.

    I don’t think that my adopting a more “indigenous” (I would quarrel with labeling it a “Hindu” identity–for me, it has nothing to do with religion, rather with culture) identity proves that I’m a better person because I’m “secular”. If I came across like that, I’m sorry. I’m just fighting for my right to adopt the identity I choose and not be labeled “self loathing” or a “traitor”. I don’t appreciate anyone’s attempts to psychoanalyze me. The identity I choose to adopt should have no impact on the identity anyone else chooses to adopt.

    3. I completely agree with you about South Asia and the fact that there is a broader “South Asian” or “desi” identity, just as there is a “European” identity. Just because someone chooses to call themselves a “European” doesn’t mean that they think the French or German identities are invalid. The same applies to me. I choose to focus on what unites: “South Asia” rather than on what divides “Pakistani” or “Indian”.

    PMA sahib is the one who doesn’t believe South Asia exists– not you. Thus, this is not a battle I’m fighting with you.

    I hope we have gotten things clear now. I have great respect for your knowledge about Jinnah, though I do not regard him in the same positive light that you do. I also greatly respect your committment to fighting for a secular Pakistan. However, I will not accept from anyone either condescension or personal attacks. You are no one to judge my family, or my career choices or anything like that. I am no one to judge yours either.


  299. YLH: I will post the two articles today.

    YLH-Kabir debate: Please don’t start all over again. YLH has actually come much closer to your standpoint. The differences in emphasis and interpretation is a matter of subjective understanding.

    YLH – you have said enough and Kabir you have said enough too.

  300. RR, Consider the debate closed from my side. I think me and Yasser understand each other now, even if we must agree to disagree:)

  301. YLH:

    One last thing (if RR will permit me). About Jinnah– let’s be clear that I admire his comittment as a Congress politican to “Hindu Muslim unity”. What I disagree strongly and viscerally about is his politics post 1937, when he began articulating the TNT and raising the Pakistan demand. I can’t understand how somone who (correctly) advised Gandhiji not to bring religion into politics would then turn around and start doing so himself. For essentially that is what the TNT is– it’s asking people to identify solely on the basis of their religion as “Hindus” and “Muslims” rather than as Gujrati, Punjabi, middle-class, lower-class, whatever the grouping happened to be. Taking religion to be the most salient grouping is not really behavior expected of a secular politician. I also feel that Jinnah was smart enough to realize that if he unleashed the communal genie from the bottle, then it wasn’t going go back in right away. How could he expect India and Pakistan to be friends, when people had just killed each other in the name of religion, trains had come to the station full of bodies, etc?

    My father explained to me that Jinnah was a lawyer and not an intellectual. He did whatever was necessary to win his case (just like YLH does whatever is necessary to score points against his opponent) without regards for the possible consequences. Nehru and Patel did the same.

    The only person who I feel took a principled stand throughout was Gandhiji who refused to entertain the idea of vivisecting India. Yet finally, he realized that he was outnumbered, and Partition was going to happen with or without him. That’s why towards the end of his life Gandhiji considered himself a failure. Still despite his mistakes (such as the khilafat movement or referring to Jinnah as a “minority muslim” instead of as a fellow Gujrati), I admire his strategies of civil disobedience and his comittment to fighting the British.


  302. bonobashi


    If you actually answer this damned ‘one last thing’, you’ll start making enemies. Just ignore him, please.

  303. Amit

    Yasser bhai,
    I am amused at your quoting some ‘impartial’ author in your defense of Jinnah. I guess, in our subcontinent, impartiality of someone is based on how much he/she agrees with our views. It’s quite surprising that on one hand you dismiss that huge body of westerners who disagree with you as being ignorant and what not, but on the other hand you are too willing to quote someone who in all probability, has never been to Kashmir, but has become an authority merely by choosing sides. Surely, we are grown up enough to solve our collective problems without bringing a third party to act as a referee or judge.

    You have not addressed my main points, which leads me to believe that you either don’t want to address them or you have no answer to them. Ayesha Jalal would have done well without quoting the speech that Jinnah gave in a congregation of Hindu, Muslims, et al. How can one interpret it? Any impartial observer would look at those two speeches within two years of each other as a sign of confusion in the speaker’s mind or worse , a janus-faced speaker who changed his tune to suit the choir. So, in front of a mixed congregation, he paints himself as a sacrificial lamb, and then he goes in front of a group of rabid Mullahs and throws out venomous speeches accompanied with cries of Allah-ho-Akbar. That would leave me cold if I was a Hindu and embarrassed if I was a Muslim. In addition, he displayed a singular lack of any historical or cultural knowledge when he made statements like how Bin Qasim was the first Pakistani, blah, blah. And, what does that speech about Hindus and Muslims being separate nations say to people like me who find Zafar and Ustad Bismillah Khan closer than some mythical Hindu ruler in ancient past. It tells me that I cannot identify with these people because they are Muslims. And, then, in the morning of ’47, the Qaid wakes up in the manner of Rip Wan Winkle and gives homilies about how we can live together as Hindus, Muslims etc. What a satirical piece! Not to be undone, on the other side, that prancing fool, rouses a tired, bedraggled nation with some rhetoric about ‘tryst with destiny’ and some other intellectual claptrap.

    I am not implying anywhere that Jinnah was non secular pre or post 1937. But, then, I look at these pieces and I get confused. I don’t buy that flimsy argument that he was secular but was forced to indulge in communal politics because of circumstances. That, unfortunately, is the standard reasoning of all bullies and megalomaniacs.

    As for me defending Nehru, I am not sure where you got that idea from. Nehru, like Jinnah, only worse, was another self-obsessed spoiled brat, high on rhetoric and low on octane. He went around peddling his Hindi-chini bhai bhai nonsense and when the Chinese showed up with toothy grins and tommy machine guns, he quickly crawled into his lair and handed us the most humiliating defeat. One thing is for sure: that humiliation would have been avoided if Jinnah was at helm. I admire his persistence and his impatience with silly, puerile moral reasons. When he decided to do something, he did it, whether it was by burning one part of country by call to Direct Action or by arm twisting fools around him. Of course, I feel rather irritated when he went around doing “ji-huzuri” in front of those good-for-nothing, half-educated brutes of Middle east painting dark pictures of impending Hindu empire and all that puerile nonsense. In that sense, the current rulers of Pakistan have faithfully followed the Qaid, only that they go and pay their obeisance in front of that fat cat in ghaghra whose only claim to importance is his petro dollars. Forget about Pakistanis, even as an Indian, I feel humiliated when the Commando goes and begs in front of those Sheikhs.

    I am rather skeptical about this line of reasoning that the Qaid was merely bargaining by waving his TNT. In any case, it was a poison that should have been best avoided. I think he was chagrined as to what he called as receiving a moth-eaten Pakistan. But, then, he should have expected this. As you revel in quoting from American context, may I contribute my two cents: “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” It is fruitless to blame your rivals for lack of honor or concern when you yourself showed little when it came to bargaining. Kashmir was not an isolated incident. Junagadh was another place where the Qaid tried his hand and fared worse. Frequently, I hear from some quarters that since he belonged to a minority community, he should have been handled with kid-gloves. That, in my view, is a spurious reasoning. That kind of reasoning seeks to exempt any leader, and Qaid himself, from any sort of personal responsibility. I have no doubt that Nehru and Patel et al. were upto their machinations, but did the country deserve such a fate?
    As for your comparison with American Federal structure, that is not a suitable context. The American system came into being after 250 hears(till then) and after a civil war that cost half a million lives. And, that, after they had Lincoln at the helm. Where was our Lincoln? Gandhi lived in a parallel universe. About the rest, the less said the better. Bose could have been, but he was dead and marginalized. Plus, our fissures ran deeper. The only good thing that Nehru did was to maintain a strong central government. Otherwise, we would still be looking at the rascality of various faux princes and rajas and that king of dissolute, the Nizam of Hyderabad. I am going to round off my piece with my problems with the specific points of the 14-point resolution:
    (1) In the Central Legislature, Muslim representation shall not be less than one third.
    (2) Representation of communal groups shall continue to be by means of separate electorate as at present, provided it shall be open to any community at any time to abandon its separate electorate in favor of a joint electorate.
    (3) No bill or any resolution or any part thereof shall be passed in any legislature or any other elected body if three-fourth of the members of any community in that particular body oppose such a bill resolution or part thereof on the ground that it would be injurious to the interests of that community or in the alternative, such other method is devised as may be found feasible and practicable to deal with such cases.
    (4) No cabinet, either central or provincial, should be formed without there being a proportion of at least one-third Muslim ministers.

    The inherent premise in that whole argument, that everything should be done on the basis of religion, is a recipe for disaster. I consider myself moderate, but I would have a hard time acceding to such demands. What it would have done is to hold an entire country to ransom by a few troublemakers. So, instead of fighting poverty and illiteracy, we would have been engaged in discussing the Israeli-Palestinian (another set of idiots) conflicts or some other worthless causes. The dalits, in any case, would have had the worse of all people.

  304. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Amit,

    In my view Alastair Lamb is an impartial historian since he is neither from Pakistan nor from India and is considered an authority on border disputes. Since you made the assertion and I provided you a source that proves otherwise, it is your responsibility to produce that “that huge body of westerners who disagree with you”. If that “large body” exists why don’t you bring it up?

    Then you claim that I haven’t addressed your main point because I either don’t want to or don’t have an answer to them. Anyone here will tell you that you are completely incorrect. We’ve had this debate many times and not only have I answered those points in my reply to you (though it is possible given your superficial view of history that you are not able to comprehend my response fully) but we’ve discussed this issue many times on this website.

    The reason why nothing makes sense to you and the most solid events appear “flimsy” to you is because you haven’t bothered to read history with an open mind. Jinnah did not turn to two nation theory immediately … he tried to bring the Hindus and Muslims together for 33 years before he re-stated the communal problem in national terms. The Two Nation Theory is a consociationalist solution… the demand for Pakistan was not the same as partition of India … nor was the restatement of nationhood necessarily a separatist one.

    But let us not forget that you are completely contradicting yourself when you now launch a subjective attack on an equally subjective idea. Only a few posts ago you wrote:

    “If you think that I am maligning Jinnah because of my revulsion towards two-nation theory, you would be mistaken. I think it was the right thing to do, though it could have happened in a more orderly fashion.

    It can’t be both wrong and right at the same time. Don’t even bother to explain because whatever you say from this point onwards would mean that you want to have your cake and eat it too.

    I am not interested in debating the whole idea of TNT anyway because frankly you haven’t read enough about it or even about Jinnah except that which acts as a confirmation bias for your strongly held personal beliefs.

    Therefore we can only have an objective debate about the facts… you wrote:

    “The kind of federal structure that Jinnah was propagating would have torn our country into hundreds of petty states”

    When I asked you what in either the Cabinet Mission Plan or the 14 points that would have done this you came up these 4 points:

    1) In the Central Legislature, Muslim representation shall not be less than one third.
    (2) Representation of communal groups shall continue to be by means of separate electorate as at present, provided it shall be open to any community at any time to abandon its separate electorate in favor of a joint electorate.
    (3) No bill or any resolution or any part thereof shall be passed in any legislature or any other elected body if three-fourth of the members of any community in that particular body oppose such a bill resolution or part thereof on the ground that it would be injurious to the interests of that community or in the alternative, such other method is devised as may be found feasible and practicable to deal with such cases.
    (4) No cabinet, either central or provincial, should be formed without there being a proportion of at least one-third Muslim ministers.

    First of all none of these points prove that the federal structure would have created 100s of petty states. So that is the end of that little argument you put up earlier.

    Secondly you say you are a moderate and you would have a hard time acceding to these demands. I suppose only the Hindu Mahasabha were the moderates like you then because it was their trenchant opposition to these demands that forced Motilal Nehru to reject Jinnah’s earlier four points which were even more reasonable than these.

    These were not “few troublemakers” by the way. If you would have read history you would know that the Muslim camp itself was divided into

    1. Muslim Conference

    2. Muslim League Shafi Faction

    3. Muslim League Jinnah Faction

    Only Jinnah faction was pro-Nehru Report, pro-Congress and opposed to the Simon Commission.

    Muslim conference and the Shafi League wanted to cooperate with the Simon Commission. It was Jinnah who persuaded them to cooperate with Congress… and these 14 points were the conglomerate Muslim demands which would have brought all of them in the Congress net.
    Jinnah – who was personally opposed to separate electorates- created an opening for eventual acceptance of the joint electorates. Furthermore all sane and reasonable leaders of the Congress had accepted 25% representation of Muslims.
    So what you say actually does not make sense in terms of the events of the time.

    The underlying issue thus is whether Muslims could be considered a political entity… on a logical plain divorced from the events of the time, I would not want them to be… however the acceptance of Hindus and Muslims as political entities pre-dates Jinnah. Infact Jinnah was far more opposed to any such status for Muslims in his first 10 years in the Congress… through out this period all major Muslim leaders – other than Jinnah- were convinced that Muslims were a political entity….

    Jinnah himself was introduced into the Muslim League by the Congress itself to wean Muslim League away from the British. Congress thus conceded – and with Congress Jinnah also conceded- that Muslims had the right to a political identity… then when Jinnah rode this tiger of the Muslim identity and rode it back to the Indian jungle… the Congress – now under new leadership – refused to accept him back. And he kept coming back… kept being repulsed. Then you have a problem when he told Congress majoritarianism to go to hell.

    Harry Alastair Lamb – Phd from Trinity College of Cambridge and established global authority on boundary and territorial disputes – the reference that you don’t quite like – wrote:

    ‘The “Two Nation” scheme, which is usually seen as a realization of M A Jinnah’s vision, preserved a great deal of the integrity of the subcontinent which had emerged under British rule: it is thus foolish, as many Indian politicians still do, to deride it. The alternative it is more than probable would have been a gadarene rush to Balkanization. Had it not been for the Kashmir dispute, it is not difficult to argue, the achievement of the two nation idea would have been even greater, the creation out of British Raj not so much of two discrete Dominions as a pair of twin dominions evolving towards each other’

    Page 3-4 Incomplete Partition.

    Those who keep repeating that Jinnah’s 11th August speech – a simple statement of equality of citizenship and separation of Church and State- as being a fundamental departure from Jinnah’s struggle simply don’t understand either the struggle or the concept of constitutionally secular state that Jinnah believed in through out his life without fail and which makes him a secularist…

  305. Ganpat Ram

    What would it take to convince you people that Muslims had a profound opposition to the Hindus in the times of Muslim rule in India?

    The FACT that rulers like Aurangzeb rpeatedly expressed acute contempt and for Hinduism and the desire to eradicate it is not enough.

    The FACT that Muslim rulers destroyed vast numbers of Hindu temples on any number of pretexts is not enough.

    The FACT that Hindus were subject to all manner of disabilities under Muslim rule is not enough.

    Then what is?

    As for Hindus having collaborated with Muslim rulers…..So what? Did not Indians collaborate with British rulers?

    As for the idea that a British census can create the Hindu-Muslim split: what sort of unity was it that could be split so easily?

    Why dream about a unity that is illusory?

    Just accept the division and live with it. India puts up with a separate Lanka and Nepal, which have infinitely more in common with India culturally than Pakistan and Bangladesh….Why can’t it accept a separate Pakistan and Bangladesh?

    Pakistan got ALL the large Muslim majority areas contiguous with its Western and Eastern wings except Kashmir.

    India did NOT get all the large Hindu-Buddhist areas- for instance, the Chittagong Hill Tracts went to Pakistan.

    Territorially, the Hindus lost.

  306. yasserlatifhamdani


    The questions you’ve asked here are better addressed to those who are attempting for the unity you speak of.

    We don’t wish to- we only want peace between India and Pakistan and nothing else.

  307. bonobashi

    @Ganpat Ram

    This is leading up to an important point, from the way it has been presented.

    What is it?

  308. Hayyer

    Ganpat Ram:
    This site is not dedicated to re-union of India and Pakistan. Many of those posting here want nothing to do with India.
    Arguments here are academic even when biased. Emphatically, it will do no good to begin a re-examination of the Muslim Hindu interchange since Mohammed bin Qasim.

  309. Oh God and now we have Ganpat Ram.
    Where/when will this thread end?

  310. Amit

    Yasser bhai,
    I think you have a very rose tinted view of PhDs from Trinity, Harvard et al. May I remind you that not very long ago there was a Yale graduate who was going around the world like a bull in a china shop. I shall post my replies soon.

  311. Amit

    Ganpat looks like he woke up and started writing on what he thought was a different blog..

  312. yasserlatifhamdani


    There is no tainted view here. What I have written is now the generally accepted view amongst scholarship.

    The whole issue is whether Muslims were justified in seeing themselves as a political entity and that in any event happened before and despite Jinnah.

    There is a great book- much better than Jaswant’s- by Ian Bryant Wells called “ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity” – it shows just how much Jinnah tried to bury communal identity amongst the Muslims.

  313. Amit

    Ok, before I write my extended reply, let me clarify myself. I have not said that Jinnah was communal nor have I said that he was a closeted communal muslim. You are confusing what I have tried to convey. In fact, before ’37, he was rightly described as a stellar ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. There is no dispute regarding that fact. Whoever says that Jinnah or Muslim league was the solely responsible for Partition are deluding themselves. Congress was the biggest party then. It would be extraordinary to claim that congress had no hand in that. What I wanted was to understand was the communal turn that politics took post ’37. That is frankly, quite annoying. You have confused my acceptance of Partition as my support for TNT. They are two different stances. One doesn’t necessarily mean the other. Since, I am at work, I cannot write too much, but I shall get back. I agree with you on one singular point: that my authorship about Partition leaves a lot to be desired. But, I try to understand and interpret facts themselves before I get someone else’s view or authorship. If you remember, there was at one time the scholarship headed by Macaulay that proclaimed that we were not fit for anything. So, I take any such ‘scholarship’ with sufficient skepticism. But, more later. Meanwhile Eid Mubarak!

  314. yasserlatifhamdani

    Once again the re-statement of the communal problem as a national one opened the door for a consociationalist solution.

    TNT was the solution not the problem- the problem started with the acceptance of Hindu and Muslim identities in the first place.

    Also I happen to agree with Lamb’s comments.

  315. yasserlatifhamdani

    It is also presumptuous of you to think that what I have written is borrowed. The claims I made (google me) through my own interpretation are shared by scholars.

    I have read your posts and may I suggest you interpret the facts when you have your facts in total. You don’t. Your posts show a confirmation bias in a selective reading of facts.