Maulana Azad’s interview given to Shorish Kashmiri

Raza Rumi

I was intrigued by this interview of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad given to the famous journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946. This interesting document has been discovered and translated by a former Indian minister Arif Mohammad Khan. Covert Magazine and newageIslam website have recently published it. The contents of this interview are difficult to agreed with. Azad is speaking from a nationalist angle, anti-Pakistan movement platform.

However, the narrative has some interesting observations and predictions for Pakistan that cannot be rubbished simply because Azad was a Congressite. This interview was conducted over a period of two weeks (parallel to the proceedings of the Cabinet Mission) and has not been documented in any book except that of Kashmiri’s book on Abul Kalam Azad, which has been out of print for decades. Its discovery is a welcome step towards better historiography on both sides of the border.

Q: The Hindu Muslim dispute has become so acute that it has foreclosed any possibility of reconciliation. Don’t you think that in this situation the birth of Pakistan has become inevitable?

A: If Pakistan were the solution of Hindu Muslim problem, then I would have extended my support to it. A section of Hindu opinion is now turning in its favour. By conceding NWFP, Sind, Balochistan and half of Punjab on one side and half of Bengal on the other, they think they will get the rest of India — a huge country that would be free from any claims of communal nature. If we use the Muslim League terminology, this new India will be a Hindu state both practically and temperamentally. This will not happen as a result of any conscious decision, but will be a logical consequence of its social realities. How can you expect a society that consists 90% of Hindus, who have lived with their ethos and values since prehistoric times, to grow differently? The factors that laid the foundation of Islam in Indian society and created a powerful following have become victim of the politics of partition. The communal hatred it has generated has completely extinguished all possibilities of spreading and preaching Islam. This communal politics has hurt the religion beyond measure. Muslims have turned away from the Quran. If they had taken their lessons from the Quran and the life of the Holy Prophet and had not forged communal politics in the name of religion then Islam’s growth would not have halted. By the time of the decline of the Mughal rule, the Muslims in India were a little over 22.5 million, that is about 65% of the present numbers. Since then the numbers kept increasing. If the Muslim politicians had not used the offensive language that embittered communal relations, and the other section acting as agents of British interests had not worked to widen the Hindu-Muslim breach, the number of Muslims in India would have grown higher. The political disputes we created in the name of religion have projected Islam as an instrument of political power and not what it is — a value system meant for the transformation of human soul. Under British influence, we turned Islam into a confined system, and following in the footsteps of other communities like Jews, Parsis and Hindus we transformed ourselves into a hereditary community. The Indian Muslims have frozen Islam and its message and divided themselves into many sects. Some sects were clearly born at the instance of colonial power. Consequently, these sects became devoid of all movement and dynamism and lost faith in Islamic values. The hallmark of Muslim existence was striving and now the very term is strange to them. Surely they are Muslims, but they follow their own whims and desires. In fact now they easily submit to political power, not to Islamic values. They prefer the religion of politics not the religion of the Quran. Pakistan is a political standpoint. Regardless of the fact whether it is the right solution to the problems of Indian Muslims, it is being demanded in the name of Islam. The question is when and where Islam provided for division of territories to settle populations on the basis of belief and unbelief. Does this find any sanction in the Quran or the traditions of the Holy Prophet? Who among the scholars of Islam has divided the dominion of God on this basis? If we accept this division in principle, how shall we reconcile it with Islam as a universal system? How shall we explain the ever growing Muslim presence in non-Muslim lands including India? Do they realise that if Islam had approved this principle then it would not have permitted its followers to go to the non-Muslim lands and many ancestors of the supporters of Pakistan would not have had even entered the fold of Islam? Division of territories on the basis of religion is a contraption devised by Muslim League. They can pursue it as their political agenda, but it finds no sanction in Islam or Quran. What is the cherished goal of a devout Muslim? Spreading the light of Islam or dividing territories along religious lines to pursue political ambitions? The demand for Pakistan has not benefited Muslims in any manner. How Pakistan can benefit Islam is a moot question and will largely depend on the kind of leadership it gets. The impact of western thought and philosophy has made the crisis more serious. The way the leadership of Muslim League is conducting itself will ensure that Islam will become a rare commodity in Pakistan and Muslims in India. This is a surmise and God alone knows what is in the womb of future. Pakistan, when it comes into existence, will face conflicts of religious nature. As far as I can see, the people who will hold the reins of power will cause serious damage to Islam. Their behaviour may result in the total alienation of the Pakistani youth who may become a part of non-religious movements. Today, in Muslim minority states the Muslim youth are more attached to religion than in Muslim majority states. You will see that despite the increased role of Ulema, the religion will lose its sheen in Pakistan.

Q: But many Ulema are with Quaid-e-Azam [M.A. Jinnah].

A: Many Ulema were with Akbare Azam too; they invented a new religion for him. Do not discuss individuals. Our history is replete with the doings of the Ulema who have brought humiliation and disgrace to Islam in every age and period. The upholders of truth are exceptions. How many of the Ulema find an honourable mention in the Muslim history of the last 1,300 years? There was one Imam Hanbal, one Ibn Taimiyya. In India we remember no Ulema except Shah Waliullah and his family. The courage of Alf Sani is beyond doubt, but those who filled the royal office with complaints against him and got him imprisoned were also Ulema. Where are they now? Does anybody show any respect to them?

Q: Maulana, what is wrong if Pakistan becomes a reality? After all, “Islam” is being used to pursue and protect the unity of the community.

A: You are using the name of Islam for a cause that is not right by Islamic standards. Muslim history bears testimony to many such enormities. In the battle of Jamal [fought between Imam Ali and Hadrat Aisha, widow of the Holy Prophet] Qurans were displayed on lances. Was that right? In Karbala the family members of the Holy Prophet were martyred by those Muslims who claimed companionship of the Prophet. Was that right? Hajjaj was a Muslim general and he subjected the holy mosque at Makka to brutal attack. Was that right? No sacred words can justify or sanctify a false motive.

If Pakistan was right for Muslims then I would have supported it. But I see clearly the dangers inherent in the demand. I do not expect people to follow me, but it is not possible for me to go against the call of my conscience. People generally submit either to coercion or to the lessons of their experience. Muslims will not hear anything against Pakistan unless they experience it. Today they can call white black, but they will not give up Pakistan. The only way it can be stopped now is either for the government not to concede it or for Mr Jinnah himself — if he agrees to some new proposal.

Now as I gather from the attitude of my own colleagues in the working committee, the division of India appears to be certain. But I must warn that the evil consequences of partition will not affect India alone, Pakistan will be equally haunted by them. The partition will be based on the religion of the population and not based on any natural barrier like mountain, desert or river. A line will be drawn; it is difficult to say how durable it would be.

We must remember that an entity conceived in hatred will last only as long as that hatred lasts. This hatred will overwhelm the relations between India and Pakistan. In this situation it will not be possible for India and Pakistan to become friends and live amicably unless some catastrophic event takes place. The politics of partition itself will act as a barrier between the two countries. It will not be possible for Pakistan to accommodate all the Muslims of India, a task beyond her territorial capability. On the other hand, it will not be possible for the Hindus to stay especially in West Pakistan. They will be thrown out or leave on their own. This will have its repercussions in India and the Indian Muslims will have three options before them:

1. They become victims of loot and brutalities and migrate to Pakistan; but how many Muslims can find shelter there?

2. They become subject to murder and other excesses. A substantial number of Muslims will pass through this ordeal until the bitter memories of partition are forgotten and the generation that had lived through it completes its natural term.

3. A good number of Muslims, haunted by poverty, political wilderness and regional depredation decide to renounce Islam.

The prominent Muslims who are supporters of Muslim League will leave for Pakistan. The wealthy Muslims will take over the industry and business and monopolise the economy of Pakistan. But more than 30 million Muslims will be left behind in India. What promise Pakistan holds for them? The situation that will arise after the expulsion of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan will be still more dangerous for them. Pakistan itself will be afflicted by many serious problems. The greatest danger will come from international powers who will seek to control the new country, and with the passage of time this control will become tight. India will have no problem with this outside interference as it will sense danger and hostility from Pakistan.

The other important point that has escaped Mr Jinnah’s attention is Bengal. He does not know that Bengal disdains outside leadership and rejects it sooner or later. During World War II, Mr Fazlul Haq revolted against Jinnah and was thrown out of the Muslim League. Mr H.S. Suhrawardy does not hold Jinnah in high esteem. Why only Muslim League, look at the history of Congress. The revolt of Subhas Chandra Bose is known to all. Gandhiji was not happy with the presidentship of Bose and turned the tide against him by going on a fast unto death at Rajkot. Subhas Bose rose against Gandhiji and disassociated himself from the Congress. The environment of Bengal is such that it disfavours leadership from outside and rises in revolt when it senses danger to its rights and interests.

The confidence of East Pakistan will not erode as long as Jinnah and Liaquat Ali are alive. But after them any small incident will create resentment and disaffection. I feel that it will not be possible for East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period of time. There is nothing common between the two regions except that they call themselves Muslims. But the fact of being Muslim has never created durable political unity anywhere in the world. The Arab world is before us; they subscribe to a common religion, a common civilisation and culture and speak a common language. In fact they acknowledge even territorial unity. But there is no political unity among them. Their systems of government are different and they are often engaged in mutual recrimination and hostility. On the other hand, the language, customs and way of life of East Pakistan are totally different from West Pakistan. The moment the creative warmth of Pakistan cools down, the contradictions will emerge and will acquire assertive overtones. These will be fuelled by the clash of interests of international powers and consequently both wings will separate. After the separation of East Pakistan, whenever it happens, West Pakistan will become the battleground of regional contradictions and disputes. The assertion of sub-national identities of Punjab, Sind, Frontier and Balochistan will open the doors for outside interference. It will not be long before the international powers use the diverse elements of Pakistani political leadership to break the country on the lines of Balkan and Arab states. Maybe at that stage we will ask ourselves, what have we gained and what have we lost.

The real issue is economic development and progress, it certainly is not religion. Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the economy without any competition from competent rivals. It will be interesting to watch how long they can keep this deception alive.

I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems:

1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.

2. The heavy burden of foreign debt.

3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.

4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.

5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.

6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.

7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.

8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.

In this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain and the Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any worthwhile help. The assistance from other sources will not come without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial compromises.

Q: But the question is how Muslims can keep their community identity intact and how they can inculcate the attributes of the citizens of a Muslim state.

A: Hollow words cannot falsify the basic realities nor slanted questions can make the answers deficient. It amounts to distortion of the discourse. What is meant by community identity? If this community identity has remained intact during the British slavery, how will it come under threat in a free India in whose affairs Muslims will be equal participants? What attributes of the Muslim state you wish to cultivate? The real issue is the freedom of faith and worship and who can put a cap on that freedom. Will independence reduce the 90 million Muslims into such a helpless state that they will feel constrained in enjoying their religious freedom? If the British, who as a world power could not snatch this liberty, what magic or power do the Hindus have to deny this freedom of religion? These questions have been raised by those, who, under the influence of western culture, have renounced their own heritage and are now raising dust through political gimmickry.

Muslim history is an important part of Indian history. Do you think the Muslim kings were serving the cause of Islam? They had a nominal relationship with Islam; they were not Islamic preachers. Muslims of India owe their gratitude to Sufis, and many of these divines were treated by the kings very cruelly. Most of the kings created a large band of Ulema who were an obstacle in the path of the propagation of Islamic ethos and values. Islam, in its pristine form, had a tremendous appeal and in the first century won the hearts and minds of a large number of people living in and around Hejaz. But the Islam that came to India was different, the carriers were non-Arabs and the real spirit was missing. Still, the imprint of the Muslim period is writ large on the culture, music, art, architecture and languages of India. What do the cultural centres of India, like Delhi and Lucknow, represent? The underlying Muslim spirit is all too obvious.

If the Muslims still feel under threat and believe that they will be reduced to slavery in free India then I can only pray for their faith and hearts. If a man becomes disenchanted with life he can be helped to revival, but if someone is timid and lacks courage, then it is not possible to help him become brave and gutsy. The Muslims as a community have become cowards. They have no fear of God, instead they fear men. This explains why they are so obsessed with threats to their existence — a figment of their imagination.

After British takeover, the government committed all possible excesses against the Muslims. But Muslims did not cease to exist. On the contrary, they registered a growth that was more than average. The Muslim cultural ethos and values have their own charm. Then India has large Muslim neighbours on three sides. Why on earth the majority in this country will be interested to wipe out the Muslims? How will it promote their self interests? Is it so easy to finish 90 million people? In fact, Muslim culture has such attraction that I shall not be surprised if it comes to have the largest following in free India.

The world needs both, a durable peace and a philosophy of life. If the Hindus can run after Marx and undertake scholarly studies of the philosophy and wisdom of the West, they do not disdain Islam and will be happy to benefit from its principles. In fact they are more familiar with Islam and acknowledge that Islam does not mean parochialism of a hereditary community or a despotic system of governance. Islam is a universal call to establish peace on the basis of human equality. They know that Islam is the proclamation of a Messenger who calls to the worship of God and not his own worship. Islam means freedom from all social and economic discriminations and reorganisation of society on three basic principles of God-consciousness, righteous action and knowledge. In fact, it is we Muslims and our extremist behaviour that has created an aversion among non-Muslims for Islam. If we had not allowed our selfish ambitions to soil the purity of Islam then many seekers of truth would have found comfort in the bosom of Islam. Pakistan has nothing to do with Islam; it is a political demand that is projected by Muslim League as the national goal of Indian Muslims. I feel it is not the solution to the problems Muslims are facing. In fact it is bound to create more problems.

The Holy Prophet has said, “God has made the whole earth a mosque for me.” Now do not ask me to support the idea of the partition of a mosque. If the nine-crore Muslims were thinly scattered all over India, and demand was made to reorganise the states in a manner to ensure their majority in one or two regions, that was understandable. Again such a demand would not have been right from an Islamic viewpoint, but justifiable on administrative grounds. But the situation, as it exists, is drastically different. All the border states of India have Muslim majorities sharing borders with Muslim countries. Tell me, who can eliminate these populations? By demanding Pakistan we are turning our eyes away from the history of the last 1,000 years and, if I may use the League terminology, throwing more than 30 million Muslims into the lap of “Hindu Raj”. The Hindu Muslim problem that has created political tension between Congress and League will become a source of dispute between the two states and with the aid of international powers this may erupt into full scale war anytime in future.

The question is often raised that if the idea of Pakistan is so fraught with dangers for the Muslims, why is it being opposed by the Hindus? I feel that the opposition to the demand is coming from two quarters. One is represented by those who genuinely feel concerned about imperial machinations and strongly believe that a free, united India will be in a better position to defend itself. On the other hand, there is a section who opposes Pakistan with the motive to provoke Muslims to become more determined in their demand and thus get rid of them. Muslims have every right to demand constitutional safeguards, but partition of India cannot promote their interests. The demand is the politically incorrect solution of a communal problem.

In future India will be faced with class problems, not communal disputes; the conflict will be between capital and labour. The communist and socialist movements are growing and it is not possible to ignore them. These movements will increasingly fight for the protection of the interest of the underclass. The Muslim capitalists and the feudal classes are apprehensive of this impending threat. Now they have given this whole issue a communal colour and have turned the economic issue into a religious dispute. But Muslims alone are not responsible for it. This strategy was first adopted by the British government and then endorsed by the political minds of Aligarh. Later, Hindu short-sightedness made matters worse and now freedom has become contingent on the partition of India.

Jinnah himself was an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. In one Congress session Sarojini Naidu had commended him with this title. He was a disciple of Dadabhai Naoroji. He had refused to join the 1906 deputation of Muslims that initiated communal politics in India. In 1919 he stood firmly as a nationalist and opposed Muslim demands before the Joint Select Committee. On 3 October 1925, in a letter to the Times of India he rubbished the suggestion that Congress is a Hindu outfit. In the All Parties Conferences of 1925 and 1928, he strongly favoured a joint electorate. While speaking at the National Assembly in 1925, he said, “I am a nationalist first and a nationalist last” and exhorted his colleagues, be they Hindus or Muslims, “not to raise communal issues in the House and help make the Assembly a national institution in the truest sense of the term”.

In 1928, Jinnah supported the Congress call to boycott Simon Commission. Till 1937, he did not favour the demand to partition India. In his message to various student bodies he stressed the need to work for Hindu Muslim unity. But he felt aggrieved when the Congress formed governments in seven states and ignored the Muslim League. In 1940 he decided to pursue the partition demand to check Muslim political decline. In short, the demand for Pakistan is his response to his own political experiences. Mr Jinnah has every right to his opinion about me, but I have no doubts about his intelligence. As a politician he has worked overtime to fortify Muslim communalism and the demand for Pakistan. Now it has become a matter of prestige for him and he will not give it up at any cost.

Q: It is clear that Muslims are not going to turn away from their demand for Pakistan. Why have they become so impervious to all reason and logic of arguments?

A: It is difficult, rather impossible, to fight against the misplaced enthusiasm of a mob, but to suppress one’s conscience is worse than death. Today the Muslims are not walking, they are flowing. The problem is that Muslims have not learnt to walk steady; they either run or flow with the tide. When a group of people lose confidence and self-respect, they are surrounded by imaginary doubts and dangers and fail to make a distinction between the right and the wrong. The true meaning of life is realised not through numerical strength but through firm faith and righteous action. British politics has sown many seeds of fear and distrust in the mental field of Muslims. Now they are in a frightful state, bemoaning the departure of the British and demanding partition before the foreign masters leave. Do they believe that partition will avert all the dangers to their lives and bodies? If these dangers are real then they will still haunt their borders and any armed conflict will result in much greater loss of lives and possessions.

Q: But Hindus and Muslims are two different nations with different and disparate inclinations. How can the unity between the two be achieved?

A: This is an obsolete debate. I have seen the correspondence between Allama Iqbal and Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni on the subject. In the Quran the term qaum has been used not only for the community of believers but has also been used for distinct human groupings generally. What do we wish to achieve by raising this debate about the etymological scope of terms like millat [community], qaum [nation] and ummat [group]? In religious terms India is home to many people — the Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs etc. The differences between Hindu religion and Islam are vast in scope. But these differences cannot be allowed to become an obstacle in the path of India gaining her freedom nor do the two distinct and different systems of faith negate the idea of unity of India. The issue is of our national independence and how we can secure it. Freedom is a blessing and is the right of every human being. It cannot be divided on the basis of religion.

Muslims must realise that they are bearers of a universal message. They are not a racial or regional grouping in whose territory others cannot enter. Strictly speaking, Muslims in India are not one community; they are divided among many well-entrenched sects. You can unite them by arousing their anti-Hindu sentiment but you cannot unite them in the name of Islam. To them Islam means undiluted loyalty to their own sect. Apart from Wahabi, Sunni and Shia there are innumerable groups who owe allegiance to different saints and divines. Small issues like raising hands during the prayer and saying Amen loudly have created disputes that defy solution. The Ulema have used the instrument of takfeer [fatwas declaring someone as infidel] liberally. Earlier, they used to take Islam to the disbelievers; now they take away Islam from the believers. Islamic history is full of instances of how good and pious Muslims were branded kafirs. Prophets alone had the capability to cope with these mindboggling situations. Even they had to pass through times of afflictions and trials. The fact is that when reason and intelligence are abandoned and attitudes become fossilised then the job of the reformer becomes very difficult.

But today the situation is worse than ever. Muslims have become firm in their communalism; they prefer politics to religion and follow their worldly ambitions as commands of religion. History bears testimony to the fact that in every age we ridiculed those who pursued the good with consistency, snuffed out the brilliant examples of sacrifice and tore the flags of selfless service. Who are we, the ordinary mortals; even high ranking Prophets were not spared by these custodians of traditions and customs.

Q: You closed down your journal Al-Hilal a long time back. Was it due to your disappointment with the Muslims who were wallowing in intellectual desolation, or did you feel like proclaiming azan [call to prayer] in a barren desert?

A: I abandoned Al-Hilal not because I had lost faith in its truth. This journal created great awareness among a large section of Muslims. They renewed their faith in Islam, in human freedom and in consistent pursuit of righteous goals. In fact my own life was greatly enriched by this experience and I felt like those who had the privilege of learning under the companionship of the Messenger of God. My own voice entranced me and under its impact I burnt out like a phoenix. Al-Hilal had served its purpose and a new age was dawning. Based on my experiences, I made a reappraisal of the situation and decided to devote all my time and energy for the attainment of our national freedom. I was firm in my belief that freedom of Asia and Africa largely depends on India’s freedom and Hindu Muslim unity is key to India’s freedom. Even before the First World War, I had realised that India was destined to attain freedom, and no power on earth would be able to deny it. I was also clear in my mind about the role of Muslims. I ardently wished that Muslims would learn to walk together with their countrymen and not give an opportunity to history to say that when Indians were fighting for their independence, Muslims were looking on as spectators. Let nobody say that instead of fighting the waves they were standing on the banks and showing mirth on the drowning of boats carrying the freedom fighters [¼].

Courtesy: Covert Magazine

231 Comments

Filed under History, India, Pakistan, Partition

231 responses to “Maulana Azad’s interview given to Shorish Kashmiri

  1. Mustafa Shaban

    @Raza Rumi: Thanks for posting this interview. It is very interesting, maulana abdul kalam raises some interesting points. But Quaid E Azam and Allama Iqbal had very good reasons to create Pakistan and also I believe that it was the best thing to do. I disagree with Maulana Abdul Kalam.

  2. Vajra

    …….And another Indian bites the dust!

    Good shot, Colonel Custer!

  3. Vajra

    @Mustafa Shaban

    You didn’t agree with Azad. Now you’ll never accept a request to detail why, except that it seems to you to be the right thing to say. Can’t go wrong supporting Jinnah and Iqbal; you get all factions united behind you.

    It doesn’t matter that you don’t realise that the two of them contradict each other at root.

    Never mind.

    Let’s do a reality check on Azad’s predictions. Which of the following, according to you, has not happened?

    1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.

    2. The heavy burden of foreign debt.

    3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.

    4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.

    5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.

    6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.

    7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.

    8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.

  4. Milind Kher

    Maulana Azad was more conservative than Allama Iqbal in politics and religion.

    Iqbal favored the two nation theory, Maulana Azad preferred the status quo. Iqbal presented a view of Islam (refer Reconstruction Of Religious Thought In Islam) that was very different, Maulana Azad adhered to the orthodox interpretation.

    Yes, there was truth in what Maulana Azad said – that after partition Muslims would be at the mercy of the Hindus.

    This has come true after the emergence of Hindutva (as different from Hinduism as Islamism is from Islam).

    Today, Pakistan is also suffering. The secular and democratic state that Mr Jinnah envisioned has not lived up to his ideals.

    Whereas both nations need to introspect where they went wrong, India definitely has an advantage in a core of solidly secular people cutting across religions.

    In Pakistan, the secular voices have not been loud enough, but there is definite hope to be seen in the way the nation is uniting against the TTP.

  5. Hayyer

    Prescient indeed was the Maulana. He almost saw it all.

  6. vajra

    @Milind Kher

    In fact, there is a small but significant detail that Azad mentioned in his interview which has a bearing on your comment; this remarkable man seems to have had a full grip of the situation in all its ramifications (in the sections quoted, the highlights are mine).

    One is represented by those who genuinely feel concerned about imperial machinations and strongly believe that a free, united India will be in a better position to defend itself. On the other hand, there is a section who opposes Pakistan with the motive to provoke Muslims to become more determined in their demand and thus get rid of them

    My understanding of that long-past situation is that the Hindu Mahasabha, the Savarkar faction and even conservative Hindu elements of the Congress were of that set which can be described by the description above set in bold.

    Surely the Hindutva + Sangh Parivar is a transmutation of these elements after independence under the unchallenged leadership of the RSS. It is an interesting study in itself how the RSS subsumed every other strand and made itself the ‘authorised’ representative of the Hindu, against all logic and against all reality.

  7. Hades

    Vajra,

    this remarkable man seems to have had a full grip of the situation in all its ramifications

    Apart from a bit of the mushy stuff about “Islamic Values”, spot on. Quite a few OMFG moments as you’ve summarized succinctly in your post at 6:24 am.

  8. yasserlatifhamdani

    ON WHY THIS INTERVIEW IS A HOAX: https://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/the-man-who-forged-an-interview-shorish-kashmiris-maulana-azad-hoax/

    Gentlemen (especially Raza Rumi),

    I await BC’s response to this because I -predict that he will tear this interview to shreds … from the proper perspective.

    That said …tis an extraordinary interview… and shows that Azad was a man of considerable intelligence but not of sterling integrity (I’ll come to what sterling integrity might have translated into). None of you are looking at this interview from the right historical perspective in the least… and I am sorry to say that this piece has been published with what Raza Rumi has given as an introduction which is entirely misleading and wrong for various reason… for some reason Raza Rumi is obsessed with promoting the ultra-conservative ahle-hadith type Maulana Azad in Pakistan when he (and his apologists like the Late Shorish Kashmiri – an Ahrari fanatic) are the root cause and not a solution of the problem we face today.

    I refer all of you to my article “A Short And Sordid History of Majlis-e-Ahrar” Let us ask ourselves ….Who was Agha Shorish Kashmiri? He was Majlis-e-Ahrar…. and he is one of the bigots responsible for Ahmadis being declared Kafir in Pakistan. Let us call a spade a spade… the proper perspective is this: this is a piece by one of the most rabid Islamo-fascists Kashmiri who interviewed Maulana Azad… the religious conservative who lost to a secular liberal in an internal battle of the Muslim community… Ahraris were pro-Congress and pro-Azad… and Ahraris are the motherload when it comes to terrorism in South Asia… clearly Maulana Azad, Gandhi and Nehru should shoulder some of the blame for introducing and promoting these entirely unwholesome elements in South Asian politics.

    There is nothing novel about Maulana’s predictions… the problems he had outlined for Pakistan are true of any Muslim majority state primarily because Muslims did not have a bourgeoisie… but what Pakistan did do was create that bourgeoisie which is required for democracy.

    As in Turkey, Pakistan created new opportunities for a people who were entirely limited to agriculture and military in the past. This is what Muslim Nationalism did in the 1920s, 30s and 40s…. this is why Muslim nationalism was always in conflict with Mullahism. Here is how Maulana Azad admits his real fears:

    Their behaviour may result in the total alienation of the Pakistani youth who may become a part of non-religious movements. Today, in Muslim minority states the Muslim youth are more attached to religion than in Muslim majority states. You will see that despite the increased role of Ulema, the religion will lose its sheen in Pakistan.

    The real reason for this is that due to insecurities and because the leadership is always in the hands of Imams and Mullahs, Muslim youth in minority situations remain hostage to Mullahs… whereas in Muslim majority countries, Muslim youth are no longer insecure and begin to question faith more openly having no threat from identity (post 80s situation is an aberration all over the Muslim world because the information age has created a perception of global Muslim minority)… still youth like me would probably still be caught up in the cobwebs of religion and Mullahism had we been a minority in United India.

    Nation states develop over years. Not every country is blessed like India to have a bourgoeisie ready in place or are blessed with the long life of a founding leader like Nehru… US went through many problems including a major civil war before settling down… so what Azad predicted was elementary but what was the alternative? Yasser Latif Hamdani as an Imam Masjid in some remote mosque in the city of Lahore… my foot!

    I draw my Indian friends'(and Raza Rumi’s) attention to this statement by Maulana Azad… responding to the question by Shorish the crook Kashmiri that some ulema were with Quaid-e-Azam as well:

    many Ulema were with Akbare Azam too; they invented a new religion for him. Do not discuss individuals. Our history is replete with the doings of the Ulema who have brought humiliation and disgrace to Islam in every age and period. The upholders of truth are exceptions. How many of the Ulema find an honourable mention in the Muslim history of the last 1,300 years? There was one Imam Hanbal, one Ibn Taimiyya.

    Lashkar-e-Taiba is a follower of Ibn-e-Taimiyya…. 26/11 is Taimiyya’s legacy extending to the 21st century! Also note that to Azad, supporting the Great Akbar was heresy itself. Also note the reference to a new religion.

    Please note this… you can’t argue both sides … either Akbar is the symbol of Indian secularism… or Maulana Azad is with his Ibne-Taimiyya…

    Cont.

  9. yasserlatifhamdani

    Mustafa,

    Both Iqbal and Azad were wrong and the reason for much confusion that existed and still exists in South Asian Muslim community… please don’t insult the Pakistan Movement and Jinnah by suggesting that Iqbal’s nonsensical views had anything to do with Jinnah’s greater vision.

    Only Jinnah was right… and Azad grudgingly admitted as much in his book “India Wins Freedom”.

  10. Milind Kher

    There is a factual error in the interview.

    When fighting against Imam Ali (a.s.), the Holy Quran was raised on lances not by the army of Bibi Ayesha at the Battle of the Camel, but rather by the army of Muawiya at the Battle of Siffin. It is difficult to believe that a scholar like Maulana Azad could have missed this.

    What Akbar did in founding Dine Ilahi and the policy followed by Mr Jinnah were two totally different things, and cannot be compared.

  11. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Milind,

    This interview is replete with factual errors of many many kinds… as well as inability to tell the whole truth. This AZAD interview is a HOAX
    However Azad was quite right in comparing Akbar the great and the great Jinnah….

    Both these men symbolized irreligious and temporal leadership more concerned with material progress than spiritual mumbo jumbo….a bothersome prospect for someone like Maulana Azad who was inspired – as per own admission- by Hanbal and Ibn-e-Taimiyya…

    It was a matter of great misfortune of the entire subcontinent that Gandhi and the Congress jettisoned the secular liberal leadership of Muslims provided by Jinnah and adopted people like Maulana Azad instead.

  12. yasserlatifhamdani

    I still have a few observations about the content and will make those observations in due course. This being Eid is a busy time.

  13. gv

    Agree with Vajra & Hayyer – rather prescient of the old Maulana. He comes across as rather nice chap.. someone you’d like to have a pleasant chat with over a beer!

  14. Majumdar

    Yasser,

    Bit pressed for time but I am glad that you have already expressed my thoughts in a much more coherent way than in which I cud have. Will try to write in anyways.

    Thanks.

    Regards

  15. yasserlatifhamdani

    It is quite sad to see people giving credit to Azad for nothing… there is nothing precient or unique about what the Maulana said… all of what he said was obvious and something that all realized… which is why Jinnah accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan….

    I have already answered why Pakistan was still worth the risk.

    gv,

    Little knowledge is dangerous. You’ve proven this little saying many times over.

    Read more about Ibne-Taimiyya who Azad followed… you’ll learn that the kind of Muslim society these Maulanas aim towards has no place for pleasant chats over a beer.

  16. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    The difference I was trying to highlight was that Mr Jinnah did not try to establish a different religion while Akbar did. Otherwise, I agree with your comparison.

    Alauddin Khilji had also once conceived a scheme of founding another religion. He equated Ulugh Khan, Alp Khan, Zafar Khan and Nusrat Khan with the first four Caliphs and said that just as the Holy Prophet (SAWA) had these 4 companions, he too had these 4 and with their help, would form a religion that would last till doomsday.

    Fortunately, he was dissuaded from this experiment and India enjoyed a stable and prosperous rule under him.

  17. Majumdar

    Yasser Pai,

    Azad was also a great fan of Waliullah Shah. Maybe you can enlighten our friends including especially our Hindoo admirers of the A-man on what Wali sahib stood for.

    Milind babu,

    Fortunately, he was dissuaded from this experiment and India enjoyed a stable and prosperous rule under him.

    So had AK formed a new religion, India wudn’t have enjoyed a stable and prosperous regime?

    Regards

  18. gv

    Fie on you sir for denouncing my poor little knowledge in public!! (and for not recognising a tongue in cheek remark for what it is)

    Leaving your absurdly nunnish devotion to Jinnah aside you have to concede that anybody making the comments he did in 1946 was being fairly prescient.

    Here are a few more prescient remarks to add to what Mr. Vajra has posted above

    1) Post partition communal violence

    The politics of partition itself will act as a barrier between the two countries. … it will not be possible for the Hindus to stay especially in West Pakistan. They will be thrown out or leave on their own. This will have its repercussions in India

    They become subject to murder and other excesses. A substantial number of Muslims will pass through this ordeal until the bitter memories of partition are forgotten and the generation that had lived through it completes its natural term.

    2) Economic disparity

    The wealthy Muslims will take over the industry and business and monopolise the economy of Pakistan.

    3) Bangladesh

    The environment of Bengal is such that it disfavours leadership from outside and rises in revolt when it senses danger to its rights and interests.
    The confidence of East Pakistan will not erode as long as Jinnah and Liaquat Ali are alive. But after them any small incident will create resentment and disaffection. I feel that it will not be possible for East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period of time. There is nothing common between the two regions except that they call themselves Muslims.
    On the other hand, the language, customs and way of life of East Pakistan are totally different from West Pakistan. The moment the creative warmth of Pakistan cools down, the contradictions will emerge and will acquire assertive overtones. These will be fuelled by the clash of interests of international powers and consequently both wings will separate. After the separation of East Pakistan, whenever it happens, West Pakistan will become the battleground of regional contradictions and disputes. The assertion of sub-national identities of Punjab, Sind, Frontier and Balochistan will open the doors for outside interference.

    4) Key driver of the Pakistan movement

    The real issue is economic development and progress, it certainly is not religion. Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and

  19. yasserlatifhamdani

    Continued from my previous post Nov 27, 2009 2 21 PM:

    Here are a few other gems from the Maulana that show what he was really after:

    What is the cherished goal of a devout Muslim? Spreading the light of Islam or dividing territories along religious lines to pursue political ambitions? …. The impact of western thought and philosophy has made the crisis more serious. The way the <leadership of Muslim League is conducting itself will ensure that Islam will become a rare commodity in Pakistan and Muslims in India.

    This sums up the point of dispute between the Maulana (Azad) and the Barrister (Jinnah)…. the Maulana wanted to further the glory of Islam… the Barrister wanted to improve the lot of Muslims economically, socially and politically.. the Maulana wanted to limit Muslims to service of Islam… the Barrister wanted to get a piece of the pie for his constituents… the Maulana was willing and prepared to play second fiddle so long as he had sway over his flock…. the Barrister was in no mood to play second fiddle to anyone just because his religion was different.

    The Maulana then says:

    The real issue is economic development and progress, it certainly is not religion. Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the economy without any competition from competent rivals.

    Once again this is the Maulana taking a potshot at the more secular minded business community amongst the Muslims…. Sumit Sarkar – the famous Indian historian- has on numerous occasions claimed that had there been no Pakistan, there would be no Muslim bourgeoisie in the subcontinent. This is precisely what the Maulana wanted… hordes of pious Muslims committed to the glory of Islam instead of their economic progress and growth.

    If anyone has doubts about what would have been the case… they should compare Hindu majority provinces and Muslim majority provinces in term of Economic opportunity, Industrialization and literacy before and after partition. Just a small example…. undivided Punjab had less than 30, 000 industrial workers… as opposed to 400,000 in Bombay and an equal number in Bengal.

    The Maulana says:

    The courage of Alf Sani is beyond doubt, but those who filled the royal office with complaints against him and got him imprisoned were also Ulema. Where are they now? Does anybody show any respect to them?

    This for the benefit of Vajra and Hayyer….Mujadid Alf Sani was a religious bigot from Akbar and Jahangir’s time. He was opposed to Akbar’s Deen-e-Ilahi and the secular culture of Mughal Court.

    And here is the dishonesty of the Maulana :

    The only way it can be stopped now is either for the government not to concede it or for Mr Jinnah himself — if he agrees to some new proposal.

    This is nonsense. Historically we know that it was Congress’ position on the groupings that cannot be justified through the text of the document that was CMP…. Muslims, the Muslim League and Mr. Jinnah all gave up Pakistan for United India under the Cabinet Mission Plan. So when I speak of Azad’s less than sterling integrity this is what I mean.

    And while most of the conclusions drawn by the Maulana are elementary, I have doubts about the authenticity of this interview … not because it has never been published anywhere other than in the biography of Maulana written by that crook Shorish Kashmiri the worst Islamo-fascist in Pakistan’s history…. and not the least because of what Milind Kher pointed out about Jang-e-Jumal and Jang-e-Siffin. These are gaping holes in the authenticity of this interview… and ofcourse the fact that the erstwhile editor of Chitan was a crook of the worst kind and utterly and totally dishonest…

    But most of all …. it was this statement:

    The confidence of East Pakistan will not erode as long as Jinnah and Liaquat Ali are alive. But after them any small incident will create resentment and disaffection. I feel that it will not be possible for East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period of time.

    This cannot be Azad’s view. You can compare the tone of Azad’s India Wins Freedom and compare it. Liaqat Ali Khan in any event did not enjoy the status being suggested… It may also be remembered that the terminology “East Pakistan” was not in vogue in April 1946…. nor was it clear that Jinnah and Liaqat would be the first rulers of Pakistan.

    This and many other issues lends me to believe that Agha Shorish Kashmiri… the Ahrari crook that he was…. invented the whole interview… post 1971. Thus this is most probably a fabricated interview… or atleast large chunks of it are… by Majlis-e-Ahrar the crooked organization I have already written in detail on.

  20. gv

    sorry continued from above:

    …They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the economy without any competition from competent rivals…

    Secondly before you don your little karakul and start hopping up and down denouncing me for being a jinnah hating mullah loving reactionary i’d like to add that I have nothing against Jinnah. In fact I have more than a healthy respect for the man. I just find the more ostentatious and brazen forms of hero worship in poor taste.

    I also don’t deny the advantages that partition brought to a certain class of the indian muslim and frankly wouldn’t have it any other way. That doesn’t mean I have to be intellectually dishonest with myself and convince all and sundry that the movement was driven by any noble ideals of egality and fraternity..

    Eid Mubarak bye the bye!!!

  21. gv

    @yasser

    “Thus this is most probably a fabricated interview… or atleast large chunks of it are…”

    you know just before you said that i was beginning to have my doubts as well.. some of the statements are unnervingly accurate..

  22. yasserlatifhamdani

    gv,

    Before you go down familiar path of accusing me of “nurdish devotion” and “hero worship”realize that I have already answered the points you raised in two of my posts. The interview itself is probably a fabrication …

    Let me also enlighten you that you are nothing but intellectually dishonest but that is not your fault. Like I said… little knowledge is dangerous… and you have little knowledge in major quantities – take that for tongue in cheek.

    Crooks like Kaashmiri spun a rather vicious web … it is no wonder that everyone here has been seduced by this lie. Tum gv to eik choti see mooli ho eik remote say khait kee…

    Achyuth Patwardhan wrote something which I believe is the crux of the issue: ‘It is, however, useful torecognise our share of this error of misdirection. To begin with, I am convinced that looking back upon the course of development of the freedom movement, THE ‘HIMALAYAN ERROR’ of Gandhiji’s leadership was the support he extended on behalf of the Congress and the Indian people to the Khilafat Movement at the end of the World War I. This has proved to be a disastrous error which has brought in its wake a series of harmful consequences. On merits, it was a thoroughly reactionary step. The Khilafat was totally unworthy of support of the Progressive Muslims. Kemel Pasha established this solid fact by abolition of the Khilafat. The abolition of the Khilafat was widely welcomed by enlightened Muslim opinion the world over and Kemel was an undoubted hero of all young Muslims straining against Imperialist domination. But apart from the fact that Khilafat was an unworthy reactionary cause, Mahatma Gandhi had to align himself with a sectarian revivalist Muslim Leadership of clerics and maulvis. He was thus unwittingly responsible for jettisoning sane, secular, modernist leadership among the Muslims of India and foisting upon the Indian Muslims a theocratic orthodoxy of the Maulvis. Maulana Mohammed Ali’s speeches read today appear strangely incoherent and out of tune withthe spirit of secular political freedom. The Congress Movement which released the forces of religious liberalism and reform among the Hindus, and evoked a rational scientific outlook, placed the Muslims of India under the spell of orthodoxy and religious superstition by their support to the Khilafat leadership. Rationalist leaders like Jinnah were rebuffed by this attitude of Congress and Gandhi. This is the background of the psychological rift between Congress and the Muslim League’

    All I want people to do is to realize that you guys are not doing anyone a favor by siding with the Mullahs … especially the Maulana in question.

    Majumdar,

    Yes. Shah Waliullah Dehlavi… who Maulana Azad admired so much… was the gentleman who invited Ahmad Shah Abdali to come to India to defeat the Marhattas and defend Muslim honor.

    So… how does a man like Maulana Azad …who hated Akbar… admired Ibne-Taimiyya, Alfsani and Waliullah… become a symbol of Indian secularism?

    Gandhi once said… adversity makes strange bedfellows. It was adversity that brought Congress and the Mullahs together.

    Achievement of Mahomed Ali Jinnah was that he gave the Muslim salariat a new confidence and hope… this rejuvenated, modern educated and progressive class of Muslims…. coming out of Aligarh … was too much for Congress’ Hindu bourgeoisie backers to handle… and the Mullahs hated them for their “irreligious” world view.. This is precisely why Maulana Azad condemned Aligarh as well above.

    Also… let us not forget the disastrous Hijrat Movement that Azad started in the 1920s… what was that about?

    Jawed Naqvi the witty Dawn columnist from New Delhi wrote in his article on Jaswant’s book that had Jinnah gotten his way, there would be no need for fake secularism of iftar invitations…. Jinnah was not allowed to have his way.

    Now we are clapping for Agha Shorish Kaashmiri… an Ahrari crook …. and his “interview” with Azad which probably never took place.

    Shame.

  23. Milind Kher

    @Majumdar Saheb,

    People would have risen up in revolt, and there would have been tumult.

    Akbar was willing to float a concept and then let it develop on its merits (on which count, BTW Dine Ilahi flopped). Alauddin Khilji may have pursued the project relentlessly and that could have caused a lot of trouble.

  24. gv

    @YLH

    you do excite so easily!

    incidentally the word i used was Nunnish -as in nun-like – you know those queer old biddies with a habit…

  25. yasserlatifhamdani

    Well I was thinking why you spelt it wrong… Sorry… nunnish.

  26. Majumdar

    Yasser,

    So… how does a man like Maulana Azad …who hated Akbar… admired Ibne-Taimiyya, Alfsani and Waliullah… become a symbol of Indian secularism?

    You will have to ask that question to the Indian succularoooooon.

    Regards

  27. Vajra

    Hmm. Fabrication, dissension, conspiracy and apostasy. A heady cocktail. Oops, wrong drink!

    @gv

    May be a good debate for beer-drinkers to sit out. Pass the popcorn, please.

  28. yasserlatifhamdani

    Let me explain why I am so touchy about this issue with Jinnah… it is not that I have accepted him as an infallible prophet… but Jinnah represents much more than the man who lived and died some 60 odd years.

    I relate to him because he was a minority within a minority… a self made man who made his own mark in life… he to me represents the best that the Muslim middle class threw up. I relate to him because he was able to break through the ridiculous and nonsensical constraints the Muslim society places on people and he was able to rise above these.

    Mullahism is an affront to my sensibilites as a 21st century citizen of the world. My distaste for Maulanas and religious scholars is partly the result of exposure to the American Muslim Imams like Hamza Yusuf and Siraj Wahhaj etc who to me symbolize all that is wrong with Muslims today. I, therefore, am in revolt against the Islamic clergy.

    To me… Malcolm X was a hero before he went to Mecca and not when he came back.

  29. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    A person can be a devout Muslim. There is no harm as long as he freely accepts the right of others to practice their faith, views human beings on a footing of equality irrespective of faith, and does not indulge in unprovoked violence in the name of religion.

    The concept of dividing the world into believer and unbeliever must be abandoned, leave the judgment to God.

  30. Majumdar

    he to me represents the best that the Muslim middle class threw up.

    The best that India threw up post 1857 at least. Pity his pa (or was it grandpa) reverted….

    Regards

  31. Excellent Piece……
    Thanks Raza for the alternative views provided for dialogue and debate….
    Azaad prophecies were proved with time
    @meri taaamir mey muzmir hai Ik Soorat Kharabi Ki

    The hype produced by the rhetorics of Muslim identity or nationalism was a farce in the same way as the myth of One Indian Nation is….
    India was a multinational society and the problem should have been dealt with keeping this in mind…
    Nehru’s “Tezgaam Internationalism” had overlooked the issues of indian various communities and avoiding genuine issues and championing of Indian Nationalism had led him to his comments on CMP.

    Azaad integrity is unquestioned….as my friend Yasser have studied in his most favourite book of H M Seervai, where he has advocated Azaad for his book “India Wins Freedom” against the Allegations of a Gandhi’s desciple and clearly praised Azad for his integrity.
    Here Azad has open heartedly praised Jinnah for his skills and commitements.

    As for as Azaad’s religious views are concerned his criticism of Akbar the great is based on a distorted version of history.I disagree him for that
    And as for his religious practices are concerned he didnt follow a specific Imam.
    He has issued many Fatwas contrary to the views of mllah of every sect
    His Fatwa about Talaaq, Twin sisters marriage, Photography and even Beards are examples…

    His commitements to secular politics are notable and of our history.

  32. Milind Kher

    Ibne Taimiya was bad news. He completely discarded all that was good in Islam, whether it was science, philosophy or any of the fine arts.

    He was a barbarian who took the Ummah back several centuries in time. It is very difficult to respect anyone who could regard him as an icon.

  33. yasserlatifhamdani

    Vajra,

    Pray tell what conspiracy?

    Let us apply a logical test shall we… how many documents, collected works, transfer of power papers, Jinnah papers you name it… had used the term “East Pakistan” in April 1946.

    I have never come across anyone referring to Bengal as East Pakistan from even the Bengal Muslim League…

    Majumdar,

    Since the entire interview is now suspect, who knows what Azad really felt about these people.

    But if he did… then it just proves my assertions many times over….

    Truth is stranger than fiction. Majlis-e-Ahrar’s role pre-1947 and post 1947 certainly shows that anything is possible when it comes to Mullahs.

  34. yasserlatifhamdani

    Milind Kher…

    “Ibne Taimiya was bad news. He completely discarded all that was good in Islam, whether it was science, philosophy or any of the fine arts”

    Yes. Precisely. So when Azad promotes Taimiyya… it should give those people who take him to be a symbol of Indian secularism pause.

    Ali…

    The interview is probably a fabrication.

    Azad’s praise of Jinnah makes the whole interview more suspect.

    You mentioned Seervai’s book… ofcourse India Wins Freedom is an entirely different creature. Azad admits things in that book that go completely contrary to his claims above. It is also known that Azad himself was in favor of the CMP.

    But that is not the issue here. The issue here is the interview above and the source.

  35. yasserlatifhamdani

    Ahrari Kharish Kashmiri laid an egg 40 years ago. Now it has hatched a lizard. I am afraid people will now accept this as gospel truth.

  36. Vajra

    @yasserlatifhamdani

    The conspiracy was the author’s in fabricating an interview and releasing it in circumstances where the principal was not around to contradict it.

    Sorry, I am not fighting this battle. I don’t know enough about the inner history of sectarian Islamic thought to keep my bearings. If another person whom we all know was capable of saying ‘boo’ to a goose, he knows enough, at least about the tenets of Shia Islam, to add to a rousing debate. Unfortunately, he seems determined to agree smilingly with as many as he can find.

  37. It is good to see that a debate has commenced after the posting of this interview. The purpose of this post is neither to prove that Azad was a great prophet nor to say that Pakistan’s creation was problematic.

    This was a lost snippet in historical materials and given that we have had several debates on Partition and Independence of 1947, this letter has a historical value.

    It would be wiser to discuss its contents threadbare than to make sweeping attacks or reverential references.

    History is a complex, nuanced narrative and we need to take it like that. There is no single history, no single truth and no linear explanation..

  38. yasserlatifhamdani

    Raza bhai,

    First of all most of the predictions that are being attributed to Azad were neither unique nor that unforseeable.
    Wilfred Cantwell Smith and many critics of Pakistan made these arguments… and what is more is that no one from Muslim League camp ever denied this possibility.

    However… the reference to East Paksitan after Jinnah and Liaqat Ali makes its authenticity questionable for reasons already mentioned.

    If the interview is indeed genuine however then more than proving Azad’s sagacity as a prophet, it shows Azad’s own contradictions and just how uneasy Azad sits with the pantheon of Indian secularism… especially vis a vis his opposition to Akbar as well as his admiration for Ibn-e-Taimiyya, Shah Waliullah and Mujaddid Alfsani i.e. Ahmed Sirhindi…

    If you then consider Majlis-e-Ahrar’s sordid politics vis a vis Pakistan and the Ahmadis…. you will see why I am reacting so forcefully to this posthumous championing of Maulana Azad.

  39. Hayyer

    If the interview is not authentic I have nothing to say. I assumed that it was.
    However if it is authentic then Azad’s own shortcomings cannot be used to traduce what he said in the interview. If what is reported as having been said was actually said when it is reported as having been said, then it was prescient, notwithstanding the fact that others saw it coming too. Azad’s own religious propensities in no way diminish from the sagacious views expressed in this context; if the interview is authentic.

  40. YLH

    More gems from the alleged interview…

    “By conceding NWFP, Sind, Balochistan and half of Punjab on one side and half of Bengal on the other, they think they will get the rest of India”

    This is another weird statement for April 1946. I am now beginning to wonder if Maulana Azad was in a state of ilham… Either that… of the VP Menon plan had Congress’ approval even before Congress and the League got into the Cabinet Mission Plan negotiations…

    But what is stranger is the reference to Balochistan…. and that NWFP was a foregone conclusion given that Congress had a government there.

    Now consider this:

    Now as I gather from the attitude of my own colleagues in the working committee, the division of India appears to be certain.

    In April 1946? Now either that is a seering indictment of the Congress.. or … well I don’t know what to say.

    A very strange interview indeed.

  41. Vajra

    @YLH

    How much was V. P. Menon involved in planning the split, planning partition? I thought he was a nuts and bolts civil servant with a thorough knowledge of the details who helped Sardar Patel implement the integration of the Indian states.

  42. YLH

    Hayyer,

    Let us assume hypothetically that it is authentic. My argument when I point out the obvious pitfalls in Maulana Azad’s admiration for Ibn-e-taimiyya and Alfsani.. is to highlight the divide between modern Muslims like Jinnah and the Ulema like Azad… and why we were ready to face the consequences …. and still are.

    But this brings me to point No.1 of the brilliant Maulana’s prescient predictions:

    The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries

    We know that it did happen in many Muslim countries in the 1950s and the 1960s… but can you or someone else name the Muslim countries where incompetent political leadership had paved the way for military dictatorships by April 1946?

    … I am really confused… because a whole lot of you have been praising Azad… so I think I am justified in asking this question.

  43. YLH

    Vajra,

    There is a letter dated January 26, 1946 from V P Menon to George Abel…which outlines with remarkable precision exactly the boundaries that ultimately emerged in Radcliffe award.

  44. @Yasser
    Good points raised….
    But most of the contents from the interview is quoted from Azaad on other sources as his Address to a gathering in Dehli Masjid after partition…Its audio is also available

  45. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    There is a paradox in partition. Mr Jinnah, inspite of being a thorough secularist, advocated a separate nation for Muslims, while Maulana Azad, despite being an orthodox Muslim, was against partition.

    I understand that even the rogue Maududi was against partition. How he could then find his comfort level in Pakistan is beyond me..

  46. Octavian

    The Muslim Lord Haw Haw, who, we are told, had a weakness for sipping whiskey, alone, in the evenings…

  47. YLH

    Ali,

    Yes… but none of those points in his Jamia Masjid address (a copy of which is appended to Jaswant’s book as well) are the prescient and accurate predictions given above.

    Ofcourse Azad predicted the separation of East Pakistan in 1957 in his book India Wins Freedom…. though the reasons are debatable (especially since East Pakistan voted for Fatima Jinnah in 1965)….

    My intention is not to impugn Azad… his role within the Pantheon of Indian secularism is for Indians to decide … but I think this interview does not occur in any other source for a reason and that reason is that Agha Shorish Kashmiri, of Majlis-e-Ahrar, was a crook.

  48. YLH

    Milind..

    I think given what they represented…. it was logical.

    Azad proposed to Gandhi a remarkable solution to keep India united… it was this solution which ultimately formed the core of the Cabinet Mission Plan…. which would have kept India united and given Muslims Pakistan.

    Since Jinnah accepted the CMP and then got a near unanimous approval for it from the ML working committee … in real terms there wasn’t much difference on the final solution between twh two.

    This interview however is odd… and contradictory and anachronistic.

  49. Vajra

    @YLH

    Do you mean that the Radcliffe Award was pre-determined? I’m kind of getting a swimmy feeling around the head now.

  50. YLH

    Well that letter certainly seems to indicate that…

  51. Hayyer

    YLH:
    “Let us assume hypothetically that it is authentic. My argument when I point out the obvious pitfalls in Maulana Azad’s admiration for Ibn-e-taimiyya and Alfsani.. is to highlight the divide between modern Muslims like Jinnah and the Ulema like Azad… and why we were ready to face the consequences …. and still are.”
    I have no dispute with you on that point.

    {‘The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries’

    “We know that it did happen in many Muslim countries in the 1950s and the 1960s… but can you or someone else name the Muslim countries where incompetent political leadership had paved the way for military dictatorships by April 1946?”}

    I can’t imagine any unless you want Turkey as an example. Also, Iran possibly because the dying Qajar dynasty paved the way for the former sargeant Reza Shah to establish the dictatorship which resulted in the short lived Pahlavi dynasty. ‘Political’ need not exclude monarchies or monarchical wannabies. However I agree that the interview is suspect.

  52. YLH

    In Turkey’s case… it was military morphing into civilian political leadership. As for Pahlavis it was a change of dynasties… same system.

    “However I agree that the interview is suspect”

    Thank you🙂

  53. Amit

    Hayyer,
    I agree with you. I understand why our friends across the border do not feel enthusiastic about Maulana, but I am rather embarrassed that he has been little served in India as well. Tons of space have been devoted to the Indiras and their vacuous acolytes but we hear nothing about Maulana and his ilk. Seems like of all people, he had the best understanding of the situation. I am intrigued as to what his prognostications about India were. I assume he would have left the unpleasant aspects out of his innate politeness.
    On another level, I am simply surprised at the quality of leaders we had when we were supposedly a “slave” nation. And, look at who we have to deal with now: Rahul baba and his chamchas.

  54. Amit

    Of course, my comments are valid only if this interview is genuine. There seems to be plausible points against it being genuine.

  55. Anoop

    Maulana’s words are prophetic.
    How accurately he describes in details Pakistan’s present troubles more than 60 years ago!!!!
    That is amazing.
    Let us analyse,

    1) The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.
    It has come true

    2)The heavy burden of foreign debt.
    God,hasn’t this come true.

    3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.
    It has come true. This could easily have been guessed

    4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.
    It has come true

    5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.
    It has come true

    6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.
    It has come true

    7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.
    False. Actually, it is true in a way because Pakistan’s youth is getting Radicalized so the vision of peaceful Islam Azad practiced is dead.

    8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.
    Partly true. But, Pakistanis have played a big part in letting the situation getting out of control and getting a leash on their necks by the Americans and the British.

    6/8 (Almost 8 actually) is not bad considering the guys has been dead for almost 60 years!
    The prophecy about seperation of Bangladesh is so spot on! I am wondering now if HE was the real prophet from you-know-who.

  56. Anoop

    India has largely been safe from the kind of troubles Pakistan is facing since its birth like- Identity Crisis(Which eventually led to the creation of Bangladesh), Degree of Secularism, Kind of Political System to be practiced(Pakistan is still largely controlled by the army), question of its place in the world.
    India and Pakistan today are 2 completely different countries with different values and occupy different places in the comity of nations. India is a historic state in that it has always existed in some form or the other. Pakistan was basically a gamble in which India had no stake in.

  57. Bloody Civilian

    and had those who Azad must be thanking, wherever he is now, for ensuring his reputation as prescient and sagacious, stopped at ayub khan, azad would have been complaining to them instead for showing him to be not so sagacious afterall.

    had azad lived long enough – a few more months – to see ayub khan’s martial law, he might have been declared a living saint. on the other hand, if ayub khan had not gone for war in ’65 and crushed the islamists like ataturk did, e.g. carry out the original martial law court verdict against maudoodi, his only remaining problem would have been east pakistan. not that different to ataturk’s with the kurds. only democracy could have addressed that.

    YLH has already pointed out the not so perfect parts of this perfect murder. it is important to point them out for the sake of azad’s own reputation. as for the majority of the interview, of course kashmiri had read azad and knew what he was about. but lets assume, for the sake of argument, that this is a genuine interview.

    but not before i quickly point out that this is a two-week interaction with a man who was a prolific writer. more importantly one who insisted that his letters be kept safe by those he wrote to. someone who wrote his first autobiography at age 28(?). azad had a secretary mainly to assist in this task of documenting azad for posterity. the secretary himself ended up writing a biography on azad – quite a decent one. yet no one except shoorish mentions shoorish.

    azad was, at best, a reformist mullah. his concern was to pull his institutional brethren – ie ulema – away from the threat of becoming obsolete. jinnah was about making the whole lot, reformist or not, irrelevant to the progress of the community, its destiny and the journey towards that destiny that he saw as being one with all of india and indians, cooperating and standing together with the wider world.

    jinnah legitimately expected congress to support him in this effort. sadly, he was to be disappointed. he was, nevertheless, successful (in 1946) in taking the initiative away from both the regressive (whether reforming or not) and the congress sponsoring them. doing the latter, ultimately, meant partition, but not without the CMP, ie rejection of partition, first. it was jinnah affirming that congress was not the enemy. it was never meant to be the enemy. it should not have been the enemy.

    since the interview is from before the CMP, any debate on the interview, perhaps, should have ended with the acknowledgement that azad’s view of jinnah and muslim league were proven wrong with their acceptance of the CMP. indeed, his view of “his colleagues” was confirmed by the CMP (so for the sake of congress’ reputation too, the interview ought to come with a health warning). although, gandhi had told azad to ‘privately and individually’ consult his CWC colleagues about azad’s own CMP-like plan. so Azad could have formed the quoted view based on the consultations.

    but azad chose not to tell us the result of these consultations. gandhi’s response to azad’s proposal is there for all to see. seervai praises parts of azad. mainly the fact that at the end he was the only man who had not rejected or withdrawn from the CMP. seervai does not buy azad’s ‘nehru did it all’ line. he shows that the congress high command was one in their objection to grouping, led by gandhi. i don’t remember seervai taking azad to task as to what his own stance was during the time. for quite clearly he too spoke against grouping. more importantly, seervai has undertaken a congress vs muslim league investigation, and not a muslim league vs all kinds of mullah. i suspect he might have written about that too had he lived a few more years longer than the 90+ he did manage.

    and the alleged existence of these muslim capitalists in muslim majority provinces and the alleged support for muslim league from muslim landlords: the latter has been discussed here on PTH many times before. the muslim landlord existed either in the punjab or in UP etc. how many of them in bengal other than the nawab of dhaka?

    in fact, a study of the history of india’s first budget presented by a native would clarify two things: the number of muslim capitalists in india and how many migrated to pakistan, and the myth, based on patel’s pronouncement, that the muslim league blocked the work of the interim govt. equally, if not more, importantly, it’s yet another proof of muslim league’s unacknowledged credentials when it comes to the so-called class war or rights, and congress falsifying and betraying its own much trumpeted claims to socialism. i hope to write an article on just this topic soon.

    the usurpers of democracy and legitimate power in pakistan who did not allow these credentials to develop, since they relied on the same toadies for legitimacy and created a permit/license class of protected capitalist for the same reason… will be thanked much by azad, once again, for proving his credentials as a prophet.

    meri taaamir mey muzmir hai Ik Soorat Kharabi Ki

    the kharabi is an occupational hazard for anyone bold enough to try and build something new. in fact to apply the verse that is trying to point out the universality of this occupational hazard, and hence its triviality, as praise for azad’s prescient sagacity is a bit unfortunate.

    seeing that the most regressive mullahs have been empowered in pak by the dictators, and others have taken up terrorism against the country… perhaps i should become the ‘muslim youth’ that Azad wanted me to be. i must change my views about both akbar and allaudin khilji though. and subscribe to azad’s predictions and accept their coming to pass as a final failure – The End – and apply to the high court in delhi to be naturalised as a proud indian muslim in azad’s image.

    i could have gone across and joined the liberal muslim who has embraced the composite indian identity and is integrated, whatever the parivar might say, and liberated from both the reformist and more regressive mullah.. but then aliarqam mentioned azad’s fatwa on ‘marrying twin sisters’….

  58. Milind Kher

    @BC,

    Very well written. And you are right. At one point of time, Mr Jinnah was a staunch nationalist. Remember he was the only one who really stood up for Lokmanya Tilak when he was arrested.

    Coming back to Maulana Azad, he was no revolutionary, just a reformist. People have given an importance to Mullahs beyond what they are competent for. It is better for them to function as scholars rather than as powerful political entities

  59. YLH

    Anoop,

    I am afraid you have no clue about Pakistan or its youth.

    At the forefront of the radicalization of Pakistan were people like Agha Shorish Kashmiri who admired and followed Azad.

    The problem with Hindu friends is that they see things in terms of the gulf between Hindus and Muslims.

    The “peaceful Islam” of Ibne Taimiyya who Azad claimed to follow is what struck Mumbai on 26/11.

    So Indians like you ought to research more before mouthing off foolishly.

  60. YLH

    PS not to mention that this interview itself is a fabrication or atleast large chunks are.

    We at PTH are guilty of promoting Majlis-e-Ahrar’s heinous Islamist propaganda against Jinnah’s Pakistan by publishing this lie.

  61. YLH

    Amit,

    Can you tell me how you reconcile Nehruvian Secularism with Maulana Azad’s anti-Akbar pro-shah walliullah, Sirhindi and Ibne Taimiyya conception of “peaceful” Islam?

    Bunkum. It was political opportunism that ensured Azad’s inclusion in the Congress.

    In a more logical world Jinnah and Nehru would be standing against Gandhi and Azad and their religion inspired mumbo jumbo but adversity makes strange bedfellows.

  62. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    Muslims are perceived in India a monolithic entity, hence the fact that different Muslims can think differently never registers. For most non Muslims, Islamism and Islam is the same.

    Of course, in all fairness, a substantial amount of spinelessness amongst the Muslim clergy is also to blame. They declare Ahmadis as kafirs and Shias as rafizis. How many have the courage to take the public platform, NAME OBL and Mullah Omar and declare them to be apostates from Islam? Till that happens, the ummah will always be plagued by terrorists within its fold.

  63. Vajra

    @Milind Kher

    I have to admit that this tendency to objectify Muslims as a label or a category rather than vibrantly different human beings is a very discomforting trait in India. It really requires a serious effort by us all – all – to step away from categories and look at individuals.

    Without mitigating the stinging rebuke contained in your comment, it is also necessary for us to stop thinking of other labels – specifying these is obnoxious and gives the labels and their manipulators undue importance, and to start thinking of people as people.

    For once I am compelled to agree with you.

  64. ved

    @YLH
    I’m surprised. What Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah was looking for Pakistan, India become that….. a secular, democratic and pluralistic country (where religion is personal thing and has no place in the affairs of state, which is pure political).
    While suspecting on the motives of Gandhiji lest India become a theocratic country, on the contrary Pakistan become that.
    Then tell me who is the true follower of the teachings and principles of Qaid-e-Azam?

  65. Bloody Civilian

    MK

    thanks. maulana was used by “powerful political entities”. he was nothing of the kind. hence the disdain for his people that he expresses, and expressed again after partition in the (in)famous jamia masjid speech. were he a democrat he would know that he could not call himself a leader unless he was able to build some kind of consensus.

    he did try to be a politician though. he was able to make a useful contribution especially in 1945, with his proposal to gandhi. but gandhi made sure that it amounted to nought. congress had done the same to both azad and jinnah in the years 1927-29.

    while he had every right to try and be a politician, i agree with you that we would be better off if mullahs didn’t bother to do that. he was a religious reformer and it would have been better if he had let the nadwa or some other religious institution pay, instead of INC, for him to have a secretary etc so that he could write.

    as for what should or could have happened but did not, Vajra has already pointed it out: a voluntary and mutual coming together, not a forced, one-way assimilation; nor even divisive obstructionism.

  66. Milind Kher

    @BC,

    Gandhiji was a man of strong character and determination. He was a patriot too. However, he was unfortunately like a banyan tree. Nothing grew in his shade.

    Mr Jinnah and Netaji Bose could not. They achieved recognition after dissociation with him.It is not surprising, therefore, that Maulana Azad could not come up. Of course, he was not totally shunned like the other two because he still toed the line.

  67. YLH

    Ved,

    What Mr. Jinnah was looking for was not necessarily a sovereign separate state but a constitutional arrangement of the kind Azad also wanted….

    This whole interview has Majlis-e-Ahrar footprint all over it…

  68. ved

    @YLH
    ….What Mr. Jinnah was looking for was not necessarily a sovereign separate state but a constitutional arrangement….
    I’ve read CMP. It had in proposal for very loose confederate of Indian states. Where main power rest with states not with Centre, which has very little power. Initially Congress, was agreed upon this proposal as also Mr Jinnah. But obstructionist policy adopted by some League people make this plan fall flatly (an Indian opinion).
    As also congress leadership realised, that if centre had very little power on states, there were fear of balkanisation. Particularly this fear raised by Mr Neharu. So when India become independent, he opted for strong centre. Thus his vision for strong centre had prevented further division of India.

  69. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    As you know a lot about the independence movement, I have a question for you. If Mr Jinnah was not looking for a separate sovereign state, why did he finally opt for it?

    Is it because inspite of the Congress not having accepted the interim setup (although it had accepted the plan) and the Muslim League having accepted it, the Viceroy did not invite the League to form the government?

  70. Karaya

    Kher,

    If Mr Jinnah was not looking for a separate sovereign state, why did he finally opt for it?

    To quote Noorani, “He (Jinnah) was hoist with his own petard”.

  71. Bloody Civilian

    He (Jinnah) was hoist with his own petard

    by indian nationalists?

  72. YLH

    Milind/Ved,

    It was because Congress went back on the groupings clause when Nehru gave that famous press conference… the grouping clause was sine qua non for settlement. Muslim League accepted the CMP almost unanimously.

    Also… almost every Indian portrayal of the events surrounding June 3rd plan show Mountbatten bullying Jinnah into accepting it…

    Doesn’t that fly in the face of the claims that Jinnah was singlemindedly pushing for partition.

    Partition happened in Punjab and Bengal… and Muslim League was against the partition of Punjab and Bengal…. its conception of division of India was not based on mutual suspicion or hatred for a relationship akin to that of Canada and the US… Congress used ML’s Two Nation Theory against it…. that is how Jinnah was hoist his own petard.

  73. Bloody Civilian

    i really don’t understand the logic as far as the logic of using the phrase hoist with his own petard is concerned. i hope a self-described indian nationalist would explain it to me. so the democratic vote of 90 million people was used to hang whom? jinnah or the voters?

    i do not see a successful future for pakistani democracy unless punjab (and only punjab) is divided into two or three provinces. otherwise we would have a permanent majortarianism. it has absolutely nothing to do with the rights of non-punjabis living in the punjab. it is to do with the democratic rights of smaller provinces vis a vis the bigger one. that’s it. and i’m a lahori who is not ethnically a punjabi.

    whether there is any punjabi-bashing or punjabi chauvinism is totally irrelevant to the democratic question. much of what is seen as parochialism is a) normal and b) a result of a lopsidedness of the present system to the detriment of democracy. otherwise, for the largest majority of people, there is no issue of ethnic prejudice.

    i wonder if it was the insisting on such democratic empowerment, even if it was ‘overdone’ according to some who don’t see the other side, or the claims like ‘hanging one or the other by their own petard’ smacks of the communal prejudice and tensions which were the business of other forces in larger society and vested interests at the political fringes. these uglier sentiments could neither validate nor invalidate the legitimate political demands of a democratic mandate, or the other.

  74. ved

    @to all
    I just want to ask….
    1. whether partition of India, not divided muslims of subcontinent in 3 parts and thereby weakening them politically.
    2. If they would not have been divided, wouldn’t they be more powerful?
    3. When Pakistan was carved out for Muslims, to save their culture and from the Hindu domination….as two nation theory describes… now what do you think about Indian Muslims, left behind in India after partition
    4. Do you think they are safe, Are they not dominated by Hindus? if so are you not worry for their culture?
    5. If they come to you and complain about India, Are you ready to take them back into Pakistan?

    Pardon me for my questions, we love our muslims brother too much, to let them go anywhere

    But then where has gone the concept of Pakistan as the homeland of muslims of subcontinent.

    And in lighter vein,
    How is it possible in Pakistani cricket….that some cricketers speaks very fluent English such as Imaran Khan, Waqar younis, Aamir Sohail, Salman Butt, Shoib Akhtar and some other struggle as much as famous interview of Inzama-ul-Haq with Ramiz raja shows, Md Yousuf, Yunis Khan and Shoib Malik etc.
    Is their two school for two different category of people?
    It is my curiosity, I’ve met all of you first time in this site so couldn’t resist to ask.
    I’m a big fan of Wasim Akram and Yunis Khan(his speech often mixed with big laughs when interviewed in English or Urdu)

  75. YLH

    We’ve discussed these issues so many times that I am tired

  76. Milind Kher

    @BC

    Hasn’t Pakistan seen enough of the ill effects of disunity to yet allow Punjab to dominate the rest of the country?

    Earlier in India too, the Hindi speaking states dominated politics on the basis of sheer numbers, but all that has changed now.

  77. Bloody Civilian

    MK

    i’m afraid my post was unnecessarily complicated in how i said what i wanted to say.

    i think that punjab ought to be divided. but that does not mean that there is anything at all wrong with the punjabis, whatsoever. just as those asking for punjab to be divided do not automatically become ethnically prejudiced punjabi-bashers. those asking for punjab to be divided are as patriotic as punjabis. it’s a democratic debate about the structure of democracy itself.

    i used this example to try and explain my view of the politics around partition, mainly the mulsim league-congress political differences.

  78. Amit

    YLH,
    Being religious doesn’t automatically make you a fundamentalist. Maulana was a religious person, but his religiosity came out of a thought process and I can see why he and Gandhi were close. Maulana spoke vehemently against the Ulemas, in case you missed it. I got your point about his remark about Shah Waliullah. But, aren’t we extrapolating a bit. He seems to make the case about notable Ulemas. I am not sure he was being gooey-gooey about them. Even if he was, we can forgive him for some of his errors. He was human after all. As for his remark about Akbar, if he was being critical about the new religion propagated by Akbar, well, I’ll have to agree with him. It was not exactly Akbar’s finest hour to proclaim a religion where he was the godhead. It seemed to be more of political stunt, but, credit to him, it served the Mughal dynasty well. Nevertheless, I think that the Maulana was merely commenting about the spinelessness of Ulemas in general.
    That being said, being an atheist or an agnostic is not a precondition for being a secular person. The points that Maulana has made about the way Islam is being perceived in the subcontinent is very valid. To be honest, in the current scenario, it has become very hard, even for very dispassionate sources, to be totally unbiased when it comes to Islam, which is what Maulana is pointing at. I wish we had more like him instead of jackasses like Zakir Naik and his ilk.

  79. Ranjit

    Actually Jinnah and Maulana Azad were both trying to achieve the same objective in their own ways…….the objective was to further the interests of the Indian muslims, who formed 25% of the pre-partition population……..Maulana Azad had long term plans to get there, while Jinnah had short term plans to accomplish the same……

    Maulana Azad wanted to accomplish it by pushing for muslims to preach and convert non-muslims, hoping that some day they would reach a demographic majority in entire India……in fact, he alludes to that goal in this interview……..he had full confidence that in a united India, muslims would be have a strong voice and freedom to aggressively get converts……….of course, he couches this nefarious objective by talking about improving the human soul…….but essentially he wanted the entire pie for muslims in the long run, even though it meant accepting a minority status in the short term………basically he opposed Pakistan because he felt that its creation automatically locked out muslims from any further opportunity to spread in India………

    Jinnah wanted to accomplish it in a more egalitarian, secular way…….he simply wanted a separate country where muslims had demographic majority already, even if it meant a separation and the permanent loss of the rest of India to hindus……..it would maximize short term gains for muslims but in the long run it would not yield entire India to muslims…….

    From a hindu perspective, neither of these leaders had any love lost for hindus…….neither of them wanted any kinship with hindus………one wanted to convert them and the other wanted to separate from them with a piece of land…….either way the objective was to diminish and dent the interest of hindus………….except that Jinnah’s approach has indirectly helped hindus to consolidate their hold over rest of India to create a real homeland for hindus………..so I suppose Jinnah has been unwittingly beneficial for hindus……..had Maulana Azad succeeded, we would have seen a constant pressure for people to convert, leading to constant battle for the soul of India……

  80. Vijay Goel

    If CMP difference was only about whether there should be a strong centre or a centre with very little powers I think Nehru did a great service by not agreeing to it.After experiencing the quality of some of our state leaders and their polemics I am sure most Indians would shudder to give them more powers.Very likely India would have broken up like Russia.Opting for partition was not a happy decision but a weak centre with all sorts of communal and ethnic problems would have been Harakiri.

  81. Milind Kher

    Understand things from the Muslim perspective.

    After ruling India for centuries, they lost to the British. After 1857, the British viciously persecuted the Muslims, allowing them no access to better jobs and the syllabus provided no scope for religious instruction. Hence, not too many Muslims opted for the British educational system.

    The British educated Hindus then completely dominated the Muslims. This, and the marginalization of Mr Jinnah,set the stage for the formation of Pakistan.

    It was a win win situation. It gave Pakistani Muslims a homeland, and it gave Hindus a lower residual Muslim population which could be handled.

  82. Vijay Goel

    @Milind Sorry Milind for once your tongue in cheek remark does not do justice to you.Indians are Indians not Hindus and Muslims for one to be handled by other.If this were not the case Raj would be happy to handle North Indians and so on.

  83. Milind Kher

    @Vijay,

    I agree with your viewpoint. But, are Muslims being treated the way they should be?

    Have the perpetrators of the Babri Masjid riots been brought to book? And those of the Gujarat riots? Do you know how difficult it is for a Muslim to get a house on rent? These are all serious issues that need to be addressed.

  84. Vijay Goel

    @Milind What you say is only too true.But things are changing and changing fast.The younger generation whether Hindus or Muslims have no qualms about different religions.However realisation about economical and educational differences are more acute.I am saying this because I am very closely connected with a reputed Muslim educational institution catering primarily to Muslim children.The economically better off in them want to shift to Modern School etc.though the studies in their own school or of not lesser quality.Though maybe the free intermixing of the sexes in the other schools could be an attraction.

  85. vajra

    @Milind Kher

    Your post of 7:25 am

    Each word is a blow. Please stop it.

  86. Milind Kher

    I am glad that you are connected with an institution with a focus on Muslims.It will certainly make them feel reassured, and this sets a good example too.

    Their is every reason for Muslims to want modern education. And if a coed setup is an added attraction, why not?

    Purdah and segregation of the genders will never help the ummah. For a society to flourish, women have to be respected and e,powered.

  87. YLH

    Amit,

    My suggestion is you read a bit about Ibne Taimiyya, Alfsani and Waliullah. You will realize that not just Zakir Naik but the Mumbai planners had.a lot in common with Maulana Azad.

    The sad bit is that Hindus are completely ignorant about the struggle inside Islam. In this ignorance they tend to see “moderate” and “extremist” only in terms of who sided with the Hindus pre-1947 and who didn’t. This is a big mistake.

  88. YLH

    Vijay,

    You are confusing two very different things.

    The issue of a strong center and a stronger center was debated during the Nehru report and roundtable days. Mr. Jinnah during those days took a strong position saying that he didn’t want a “watered down” federation. The Muslims wanted a strong center but with residuary powers lying with the provinces (as is the case in the US for example). The Congress favored residuary powers to stay with the center. This was the scenario from 1927 to 1935. It has no bearing on CMP discussion.

    The reason why the CMP failed had nothing to do with the issue of a strong and weak center – this is hogwash and a whole lot of nonsense that people who haven’t read the CMP negotiations have invented.

    Muslim League’s idea of a center and Congress’ idea of center was more or less similar. I’ll come to that it a minute.

    The basic point of dispute between League and Congress was not the union center which both had accepted as is but whether the provinces would be allowed to opt out of their respective groups before or after first elections under the new constitution. The CMP clearly stated it was after the first election but Congress through an erroneous interpretation insisted that it was before.

    In so far as the centers go – the group centers were more or less similar to the india and pakistan centers today. I am afraid this argument that Indians have invented as to why the Congress did what it did does not hold up to facts of history…

    I have developed a healthy respect for Nehru but I am afraid all of Congress was only aiming for landgrab when it insisted on what it did.

    More discussion ” on dividing india to save it” and “ranjit sing”.

  89. mazbut

    I have already heard about the gist of this historical letter many years ago and RRumi does command commendation on bringing this historical piece to light again.

    Azad, Iqbal of Jinnah-none of them were fools. Azad had the clairvoyance and vision to foresee the consequences of Partiton of India and had, inter alia, rightly remarked ‘Pakistan has nothing to do with Islam; it is a political demand that is projected by Muslim League as the national goal of Indian Muslims” and I have no reason but to refute his observations.

    Iqbal and Jinnah looked forward a ”Pakistan’ within India….only for the purpose of protecting political ends of Indian Muslims. Hurt by encircling circumstances Jinnah later made it a matter of ego or prestige to opt for a separate chunk of India we call Pakistan where the neo-rich could monopolize ( and they are obviously doing it) all the important sectors of this political stunt! Pakistan has nothing to do with religion, whatever bit of Islam we found here is due to the natural ‘impetus’ of the Muslim majority to which the rulers have to willy nilly succumb to prolong their rule. There was NO need for a Muslim Pakistan if Jinnah had wanted his ‘prize’ to be secular! the fact is that many people here seem to realize the truth stated by Azad and craving for a change!

    Akber was opposed by his own son, Jehangir. Like most Kings he had no religion; he only wanted to prolong his rule by anything which suited his interests; he developed relationships with Hindus/Rajputs etc by marrying their women ( I don’t know if he ever gave his women folk in matrimony to Hindus ?). This was the reason that Hindus sing praise of him and malign Aurangzeb who was much of a Greater King than Akbar!!
    wa haaza minul qayas!

  90. Milind Kher

    @Mazbut,

    While Aurangzeb may have been a devout Muslim which Akbar was not, does this necessarily make him a better ruler?

    Did Aurangzeb have in his court the Navratans that Akbar had? Did he construct monuments of the kind that Akbar did?

    His having a larger empire alone does not prove anything. Firstly, he had a much larger base to build on. Also, his kingdom showed signs of decline during his lifetime on account of which he had to be perpetually in the Deccan for the last many years of his life.

  91. Hamid

    YLH:

    The itterview may or may not be true, but the people who struck at 26/11 and all the jihadi groups are the result of the use of Islam for politcal purposes by intelligence agencies and Pakistani establishment who all learnt this from Jinnah.

    Palming of blame to mullas will not solve your problem. Now you have people like Zaid Hamid who are advocating the same. The mullas were no were near powerful as of now until when Zia gave them the taste of political power.

    What you should be fighitng is your army and intelligence agencies who continue to support jihadi groups in the name of Islam. Not some 12th century philosophy of Ibne Taymiyah. Otherwise you will be fighitng a ghost enemy

  92. YLH

    Hamid mian,

    This is what you Indians have been claiming for 60 years… but the truth – as evidenced by Maulana Azad’s own words- is very different.

    It was Gandhi’s use of the Mullahs in the Khilafat Movement which started the use of religion for political purposes. Jinnah’s appeal to Islam ambiguously was merely playing Gandhi and his Mullah cronies on their level… Jinnah – as a shia Muslim with a liberal style- could not appeal to the Jehadis and the Fakir of Ipi types who were always with the Congress.

    It is true that the Pakistani establishment followed Gandhian strategy of coopting Mullahs… especially those like Maulana Azad who followed Ibne Taimiyya, Alfsani and Waliullah … So the Pakistani establishment was merely repeating what Gandhi had already done. Given that Jinnah refused to entertain Majlis-e-Ahrar etc, shows that Jinnah was cut from a completely different cloth.

    Check out my article on Majlis-e-Ahrar i.e. “The Short And Sordid History of Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam”. There is an unbroken link between the Jehadis of 26/11 and the Congress Party’s leaders – Gandhi and Azad in particular.

    The author of this interview – Agha Shorish Kashmiri – was an Ahrari and anti-Jinnah. Hafiz Saeed – the ideologue behind 26/11 bombing- was inspired by Ataullah Shah Bukhari of Majlis-e-Ahrar.

    Maulana Azad’s blue-eyed boy Ataullah Shah Bukhari called Jinnah “Kafir-e-Azam” for his irreligious secular lifestyle and called Pakistan palidistan.

    This is just one link. I can establish a thousand such links – one of which is Maulana Mufti Mahmood – an ally of Gandhi in NWFP- whose son Maulana Fazlurrahman is known as the Father of the Taliban… it was just a freak chance that Jinnah fell out with the Congress….which masked the real ugliness of the Mullahs who supported the Congress.

    So grow up. Stop lying … Maulana Hasan Madanis and Maulana Azads are not the solution.

  93. YLH

    Milind Kher,

    Islam in South Asia has always seen an internal struggle between the more secular minded leadership… and the more Islamic minded leadership.

    Historically Jinnah is – as Azad hints above- a continuation of Akbar-e-Azam and Dara Shikoh i.e. Secular tradition of Muslim leadership….
    whereas Azad and other Mullahs formed the partisans of Sirhindi, Aurangzeb etc … the religiously oriented.

    Historically Akbar and Darashikoh are looked upon with favor by the Indian Hindus but Jinnah is not despite being from the same secular variety because Jinnah was not a Mughal Emperor and was fighting to get Muslims a fair share of the pie.

    Similarly Aurangzeb is not admired but Azad is because Aurangzeb had political power and used it to hurt Hindus and Sikhs but Azad did not have that power to impose Islam on India …

    But it is high time Indians did better analysis than they have done in the past. In the long run those who follow Jinnah – and Akbar and Darashikoh before him- are better for communal amity than those who follow doctrinairre Islam of Maulana Azad.

  94. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    I agree with you. Doctrinaire Islam is very parochial and creates an “us” Vs “they” situation not only with respect to the Ummah vis a vis others, but also within the Ummah.

    No doubt, Jinnah was secular in the tradition of Akbar and Dara Shikoh, but considering his advocacy of the 2 nation theory, it becomes difficult for an Indian to admire him, and yet be considered a patriot. Look what happened to Jaswant Singh.

  95. YLH

    Yes… which is why the whole thing will have to be re-cast …. two nation theory is completely misunderstood… it was nothing but a consociationalist solution to Hindu-Muslim problem that Jinnah’s whole life had been dedicated to solving.

    After all Jinnah is the only Indian leader to be called the “The Best Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity”.

    In any event it is not about accepting him as a hero or zero… but putting things in proper perspective. I am afraid Hamid mian does a really poor job in obfuscating the reality of Azad’s Islam.

    So long as Hindus keep viewing things in the prism of which side a certain tradition was in 1947, it will continue to make the mistake Gandhi made.

    To quote Patwardhan again:

    ‘It is, however, useful torecognise our share of this error of misdirection. To begin with, I am convinced that looking back upon the course of development of the freedom movement, THE ‘HIMALAYAN ERROR’ of Gandhiji’s leadership was the support he extended on behalf of the Congress and the Indian people to the Khilafat Movement at the end of the World War I. This has proved to be a disastrous error which has brought in its wake a series of harmful consequences. On merits, it was a thoroughly reactionary step. The Khilafat was totally unworthy of support of the Progressive Muslims. Kemel Pasha established this solid fact by abolition of the Khilafat. The abolition of the Khilafat was widely welcomed by enlightened Muslim opinion the world over and Kemel was an undoubted hero of all young Muslims straining against Imperialist domination. But apart from the fact that Khilafat was an unworthy reactionary cause, Mahatma Gandhi had to align himself with a sectarian revivalist Muslim Leadership of clerics and maulvis. He was thus unwittingly responsible for jettisoning sane, secular, modernist leadership among the Muslims of India and foisting upon the Indian Muslims a theocratic orthodoxy of the Maulvis. Maulana Mohammed Ali’s speeches read today appear strangely incoherent and out of tune withthe spirit of secular political freedom. The Congress Movement which released the forces of religious liberalism and reform among the Hindus, and evoked a rational scientific outlook, placed the Muslims of India under the spell of orthodoxy and religious superstition by their support to the Khilafat leadership. Rationalist leaders like Jinnah were rebuffed by this attitude of Congress and Gandhi. This is the background of the psychological rift between Congress and the Muslim League’

    People like Hamid should be made to accept this fundamental truth. Also Deoband and others should be exposed in their true light in India… and Indian nationalist mythology should be deconstructed to allow for a greater understanding of Jinnah and why a secular liberal like him kicked the Congress where it hurt so much.

    It will only strengthen Indian Secularism not weaken it.

  96. Milind Kher

    Supporting the Khilafat against the eminently superior philosophy and operational style of Kemal Pasha was an error.

    I believe Gandhiji did it to gain acceptance amongst the orthodoxy. Unfortunately, that put him and Mr Jinnah in opposite camps, and the rest is history.

    If Mr Jinnah and the 2 nation theory are to be viewed in the correct light, some very balanced and knowledgeable writers from either side need to do it.

    Maybe M.J.Akbar and you could make a beginning together.

  97. ak

    Mauvlana Azad was Nostradamus -He was so true about Pakistan But what did he say about India?How authentic is this so called Interview with Chittan???

  98. YLH

    ak,

    We’ve already discussed this above…. major chunks of this interview are most likely forged because of the gaping holes pointed to above.

    Remember the author of this largely fictional interview was from Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam – an Islamo-fascist organization which was opposed to Jinnah, Pakistan and Ahmadis.

    The author- Shorish Kaashmiri- was one of the most bigoted fanatics who lived in Lahore … and his party laid the foundations of Islamic extremism in Pakistan. That Ahrar was the biggest ally of the Congress amongst the Muslims just adds to strange nature of cross communal alliances in the subcontinent….

    To read a complete history of Majlis-e-Ahrar… Munir Report may be referred to.

  99. M. H. Alvi

    PLAYING THE “QADIANI” CARD

    It is a well known phenomenon that in Pakistan whenever any person or party desires to discredit a public figure (usually for political motives) one of the ways of doing so is to declare him/her a “Qadiani” or at least show his/her connections to the “Qadianis”. I think even General Zia was once accused of this (perhaps explaining his zeal to enact anti-Ahmadi legislations). Now a new trend has emerged, whereby allegedly corrupt politicians are now playing the “Qadiani” card to save themselves.

    Senator (Fake PhD/ Fake Doctor), Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan was recently accused of taking Rs. 35 million in bribes (The News, November 25, 2009)
    Note that the accusation was made under oath in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Now in any civilized country a minister, if faced with such a shameful scenario, would immediately resign and officially clear his name before even daring to run for public office again. But in Pakistan the said minister has promptly declared that this is all a “Qadiani” conspiracy (The News, November 26, 2009), because he is apparently a major “hurdle” in the “nefarious designs” of the Qadianis. He then elaborates that this has something to do with his pro-blasphemy law stance (notorious for resulting in persecution of minorities including murder) and him being “Wakeel-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwat and Aseer-e-Namus-e-Khatm-e-Rusul”.

    In the end he says that he is ready to “offer any sacrifice for the defence of Islamic status of the constitution and honour of the holy Prophet (PBUH) and such tactics could not deprive him of this honour.” It is actually quite sad that a Govt. Minister accused of financial corruption (in a poor country which has one of the highest rates of child mortality this is a horrendous and inhuman crime) is linking the accusation to an attack on the honour of The Holy Prophet (pbuh). May Allah have mercy. Some one famous said (I can’t remember who): “Religion is the last refuge of the scoundrel”!

  100. Amit

    YLH,
    I have read about Shah Waliullah. He figures prominently in any essay about “reform” movements within Islam post 16th century. I don’t claim to know everything but, equally, it would be presumptuous to assume that people are unaware of struggles within Islam. As a nominal Hindu, I also know that ‘infidels’ are at the receiving end no matter what. The progressive section blames us for not suppressing the regressive section and the regressive section, well, what can I say. It’s a thankless task to take sides. Yes, Gandhi committed a blunder by supporting the Khilafat Movement but I doubt that was the sole reason why the politics got communalized. The poison of communal politics was injected much earlier. My point was merely about Maulana’s wisdom and I’ll be honest to admit that I admire his decent religiosity. And, contrary to sundry bigots who claim that Maulana had an underlying motive to convert the whole of India, I have only one thing to say. If the Islam that Azad propagated was put in front of me, it would have my fullest reverence. The constitution guarantees freedom of propagation of a religion. To blame him on account of his so-called “followers” would be no different from a large section of people who assign blame similarly. I am sure people would understand the point I am making. By the same standards, Swami Vivekanand stands in the same dock, since a significant section of loony idiots of VHP claim to derive inspiration from him.
    I have little to say to people who claim that Maulana was a coward congress sycophant and all that nonsense. It required greater courage to stand against the wave and decide to stay back in India. For example, that mischief-in-chief Rahmat Ali promptly went back to England without any compunction.

    @Alvi
    Actually the saying is “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, but religion would do too.

  101. Bloody Civilian

    that mischief-in-chief Rahmat Ali promptly went back to England without any compunction

    compuction? he was denied pakistani citizenship and was deported.

  102. Milind Kher

    @Amit,

    By and large, for all Hindus, Muslims are Muslims, a solid monolithic entity. Maybe, many Muslims even wish that this were the case, but sadly enough, it is not.

    A lot of Hindu ire is provoked by “Muslim appeasement”. That however, is not a reality. Upholding the right to a personal law, the Shah Bano judgment, Article 370 and other such things do not make any difference to the educational or economic status of a Muslim nor do they improve his welfare in any manner.

    They only earn cookie points from some self seeking Muslim leaders. In a secular setup, there should be no Hajj subsidy either. But are the Muslims to blame for that? Blame the people who make such provisions..

  103. Amit

    YLH,
    With regards to “consociationalist”, I know you are fond of this word, but kindly explain in simple language what you mean. Please.

    Milind,
    Your observation is correct, but I am not sure if it is related to my reply. It it is, kindly explain.

  104. YLH

    Amit,

    “If the Islam that Azad propagated was put in front of me, it would have my fullest reverence”

    Then you should be a big fan of Zakir Naik. Either that or you are frankly completely in denial about what “Islam” Azad propagated…. i.e.which looked down upon Akbar’s attempts to bring Hindus and Muslims together… that championed Ibn-e-Taimiyya – the godfather of all terrorists everywhere…

    It is this Islam in which “infidel” are on the receiving end.

    Had you honestly read about Shah Waliullah you would know that he is actually an 18th century figure not 16th century…. and that he invited Ahmad Shah Abdali to save Muslims from Hindu Marhattas.

    It is entirely by chance that anti-British feeling created an unholy alliance between Hindus and Islamic fundamentalists. It was this unholy alliance that turned secular minded Muslims away from the Hindus.

    But now…. almost 80 years later… you should do better analysis.

  105. YLH

    And read something about Maulana Azad’s hero Ibn-e-Taimiyya as well. The man was anti-shia, anti-non-muslims, anti-sufi… anti-everything.

    Ibn-e-taimiyya brought into Islam the straitjacket of Salafism. Yes the same Salafism that you find in the form of Zakir Naik…

  106. Amit

    How was Akbar’s attempt to bring Hindu and Muslims together served by proclaiming a new faith. That is, frankly, a loopy idea at best. Where did Maulana criticize Akbar’s attempt to bring Hindu and Muslim together? I am a little saddened by your needless extrapolation. To see any sign of religiosity as a fundamentalist trait is no secularism. I guess, we can just agree to disagree. It would be nice if, for a change, you come out of your lawyer’s garb. Nothing is served by berating someone on the basis of the most reactionary elements of his/her faith. I am not sure if that is the way forward.
    I am aware of Shah Waliullah’s letter. The chronology got a bit distorted because I always forget that writing something in century terms is one forward or backward, whatever it is. I think I have made the point about Maulana merely referring to one of the notable Ulemas. I am not sure he was in thrall of them. In fact, he has criticized them quite severely.
    I applaud your commitment to support democracy in Pakistan. That, as difficult as it sounds, involves allowing everyone to air their views and acknowledging that they may have a point. There are no holy cows, including, I must add, Qaid-e-Azam. Bereft of such a space, it is just another form of fundamentalism though with the sheen of a modernist garb.
    Maulana may have been a closeted fundamentalist et al., but he seemed to have a better idea about where the sub continent was heading than all the assorted geniuses put together.
    I am not sure if you know this, but Azad was the chief architect of our educational system after independence. It was a product of a substantive mind, and it required looking beyond a brief.
    I would also request you to read Decline of Mughal Empire by JN Sarkar. You can read only Volume 2. That would be enough.

  107. Ranjit

    Amit, it is not bigotry to understand and recognize the differences between hindus and muslims………they ARE two very different communities with very different ways of life due to fundamental differences in their doctrines…….they are natural opponents and competitors for space in the subcontinent……..this is a reality that we cannot wish away…….hence the ability to form a common nation when both communities have sizeable numbers but are competitors, is a challenge to put it mildly……….

    There are other variables in India that create differences such as ethnicity, language, caste etc…….but none of them can compare to the almost 180 degrees differences that exist between hindus and muslims…….

    Now given this situation, the only way to form a nation together is if there is true kinship…….that means mutual respect for each other’s differences……emphasizing common interests where possible……..and ensuring adequate power sharing so that both communities can get their fair share of resources…….

    In this regard, the Congress Party was an abject failure……..they latched on to the most backward, mullah type elements in the muslim community as a short cut to get muslim support…….these are the same elements that are causing havoc in teh world today……the Congress had little interest in providing any real power sharing to muslims short of just one man, one vote……..did you know that Jinnah had offered several proposals for power sharing that were summarily rejected?…….cabinet mission plan was just the last one…….eariler he had proposed 14 points to share power equitably and they were all rejected………as a result, Jinnah being the leader of his community had few options open…….

    You can contrast the performance of the Congress party to that of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress in South Africa………the ANC faced a similar situation in race relations when South Africa was getting rid of apartheid………Mandela and the ANC showed their wisdom in designing a solution for power sharing that ensured that whites in South Africa would not feel at the mercy of the blacks……..unfortunately, our leadership didnt have the same maturity………..I do not absolve Jinnah in this matter entirely………he could have focused more on demanding power sharing and less on partition……but unfortunately he chose the partition route………

  108. Ranjit

    These are Jinnah’s 14 points that he offered to the Congress party for a complete settlement of the hindu-muslim problem……..it is amazing and tragic that such a reasonable set of demands were summarily rejected by the myopic Congress leadership……..and Jinnah was not asking for muslim league representation, he was just asking for muslim representation, regardless of parties…….thats why when the Congress pretends that it was innocent in the partition saga, it is a bunch of lies…….

    The fourteen points are –

    1. The form of the future constitution should be federal with the residuary powers vested in the provinces.
    2. A uniform measure of autonomy shall be granted to all provinces.
    3. All legislatures in the country and other elected bodies shall be constituted on the definite principle of adequate and effective representation of minorities in every province without reducing the majority in any province to a minority or even equality.
    4. In the Central Legislature, Muslim representation shall not be less than one third.
    5. 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.
    6. Any territorial distribution that might at any time be necessary shall not in any way affect the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal and the North West Frontier Province.
    7. Full religious liberty, i.e. liberty of belief, worship and observance, propaganda, association and education, shall be guaranteed to all communities.
    8. 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.
    9. Sindh should be separated from the Bombay Presidency.
    10. Reforms should be introduced in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan on the same footing as in the other provinces.
    11. Provision should be made in the constitution giving Muslims an adequate share, along with the other Indians, in all the services of the state and in local self-governing bodies having due regard to the requirements of efficiency.
    12. The constitution should embody adequate safeguards for the protection of Muslim culture and for the protection and promotion of Muslim education, language, religion, personal laws and Muslim charitable institution and for their due share in the grants-in-aid given by the state and by local self-governing bodies.
    13. No cabinet, either central or provincial, should be formed without there being a proportion of at least one-third Muslim ministers.
    14. No change shall be made in the constitution by the Central Legislature except with the concurrence of the State’s contribution of the Indian Federation.

  109. YLH

    Amit mian,

    The problem with Hindus like you is that you want to impose Muslims of your choice on other Muslims…. even if they are reactionary salafists like Azad… so long as those fundamentalist Muslims toe your majoritarian line. This is what Gandhi did … which made partition inevitable.

    Instead of accusing me of everything under the sun … tell me how you reconcile Azad’s reverence for Ibne-Taimiyya and Sirhindi with Indian secularism?

    You say indentification of religiosity with fundamentalism is not secularism. This is nonsense… especially when the religiosity in question logically leads to terrorism. I find it strange and ironic that while people like you make such ridiculous extrapolations as blaming post Afghan war violence and religious conflict on the creation of Pakistan, when one points out a very direct, clear as day and ideologically consistent link between your Maulana Azad and the 26/11 bombers…. you jump up and down claiming that we are just making extrapolations.

    In order to deny secular Muslims their rightful share in India’s sovereignty, you Hindus made a faustian bargain with the Mullahs of Deoband and Salafis like Azad. Now the same Deoband wants its pound of flesh and you are unable to detach yourselves from inane and ridiculous Indian nationalist mythology that stands in the way of honest analysis.

  110. YLH

    Ranjit..

    Even these 14 points were conglomerate demands made by Mr. Jinnah.

    The original four demands by Jinnah were even more reasonable and equitable.

  111. YLH

    PS to Amit mian

    You also wrote:

    How was Akbar’s attempt to bring Hindu and Muslims together served by proclaiming a new faith. That is, frankly, a loopy idea at best. Where did Maulana criticize Akbar’s attempt to bring Hindu and Muslim together?

    This is just a denial of history. Akbar’s new faith – the Din-e-Ilahi was not as much a faith but an alliance of faiths…. it was a remarkable idea where he wanted to create a secular elite bound together in a universal set of beliefs. If you don’t see how “Hindu-Muslim Unity” was to be served by it then I can only marvel at your intelligence. It is not like Akbar imposed it on others.

    When Azad criticized Akbar’s new faith… he was infact criticizing the only real attempt Hindu-Muslim Amity before the Lucknow Pact (Jinnah-Tilak Pact) in 800 years of South Asian History.

    Azad mentions “Alfsani” i.e. Mujadid Alfsani. Mujadid Alfsani believed that Hindus had corrupted Islam and it needed to return to its puritan roots.

    I suppose you feel Hindu-Muslim unity was better served by Mujadid Alfsani’s conception?

    So in my opinion… so far you are the one who has proved himself as completely loopy.

  112. YLH

    There is zero percent difference between the religious views of Azad and Dr. Zakir Naik.

    Am I to take it that Dr. Zakir Naik is a paragon of Indian secularism as well… since according to some such religiosity is acceptable under “secularism”.

    I think such secularism is doomed for failure.

  113. Milind Kher

    @Amit,

    My first paragraph simply pointed out that most Hindus are not aware of the internal dialog within Islam.

    The other part of the thread was to highlight another popular Hindu misconception – that “appeasement” of Muslims takes place

  114. Majumdar

    Ranjit,

    Are you from chowk?

    No cabinet, either central or provincial, should be formed without there being a proportion of at least one-third Muslim ministers.

    Even in Orissa where Muslims were maybe 2% of the population???

    Regards

  115. Ranjit

    Majumdar bhai,

    Yes, it is yours truly from chowk……..chowk has become too boring and idiotic to continue there……..

    Regarding your point about Orissa, he wasnt asking for one-third of the state legislature……..he was demanding some ministries…….if a few ministers were muslims, whats wrong with that?………they would be from the same political party anyway……….so I think the 14 points and his 4 points earlier were all quite reasonable………

    Basically Congress didnt want to accept ANY substantial power sharing arrangement specially for muslims…….all they wanted to offer was one man one vote……..that completely ignores the group dynamics of hindu-muslim relations……….maybe the Congress felt that it represented muslims and would protect their interests without any constitutional arrangements……its hard to see how they could get away with that……

  116. YLH

    Was Orissa a state/province in 1929?

    To my knowledge Orissa was established as a province after the GOIA 1935.

  117. YLH

    Ranjit sb… good to see you here.

  118. Ranjit

    Yasser, good to see you too……this forum reminds me of the way chowk was 10 years back…….

  119. Majumdar

    Ranjit bhai,

    they would be from the same political party anyway……….

    Not necessarily. If separate electorates were reatined by the minorities, it wud mean that the party in minority may insist on 1/3 of seats with very small minority.

    Regards

  120. Majumdar

    Ranjit bhai,

    I wish we cud get Kaal, Zee sb, Sadna and Chachoo also to this forum.

    Regards

  121. Milind Kher

    @Ranjit Sahab,

    Thanks for reproducing those 14 points. They indeed seem very reasonable. So, there’s more to this than meets the eye.

    Maybe, some standoffs on account of ego, or an internal thinking beyond my ken to comprehend.

  122. YLH

    Jinnah at his finest was when he defended the Sarda Bill i.e. Child Marriages Restraint Act 1929 against Orthodox Reaction:

    M J Akbar wrote a few years ago in Dawn and I quote:

    His name was Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Defending the Sarda Bill in the House, Jinnah said, “I cannot believe that there can be a divine sanction for such evil practices as are prevailing, and that we should, for a single minute, give our sanction to the continuance of these evil practices any longer. How can there be such a divine sanction to this cruel, horrible, disgraceful, inhuman practice that is prevailing in India?”

    He understood the power of orthodoxy, and appreciated that they might have their reasons for what they were doing. But, matching their passion with his own, he asked, “But are we going to be dragged down by this section for whom we have respect, whose feelings we appreciate, whose sentiments we regard; are we to be dragged down and are we to be prevented in the march of progress? In the name of humanity, I ask you.”

    More, and this is important. “And if we are going to allow ourselves to be influenced by the public opinion that can be created in the name of religion, when we know that religion has nothing whatsoever to do with the matter – I think we must have the courage to say: ‘No, we are not going to be frightened by that'”.

    Jinnah may have opted for separation, but he was never a fundamentalist. What he said some 75 years ago required conviction and courage, and remains relevant. Reform in a sense is as constant as form: changing mores will always attempt to alter jealously and zealously guarded tradition.

    Sadly the same Jinnah is being presented as a communalist… (some clever Jinnah-haters even tried to claim the exact opposite of Jinnah’s position on this bill…. but the record makes clear just how extraordinary a liberal thinker Jinnah was).

    This is the Muslim leadership we want …we need… not the leadership of salafi reaction.

  123. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    Yes indeed, it was the Dawn of April 13th 2004.

    The stand taken by Mr Jinnah was a very bold and principled one. Contrast that with the stand taken by Syed Shahabuddin in the Shah Bano case.

    It is strange how people always opt for the Zakir Naik/Maulana Azad brand of Islam and never support the progressive ones. Unless it is a deliberate ploy to keep the community underdeveloped and uneducated.

  124. YLH

    Milind…

    That last line holds the key to the entire discussion.

  125. Well….most of the concerns Maulana Azad cited turned out to be, unfortunately and sadly, true word by word as the time unfolded for the new nation.

  126. vajra

    @Salman Latif

    Unfortunately, this interview is unlikely to form a sound basis for any discussion, whether or not in it Azad seems to be uncannily prescient, because its authenticity has been cast in doubt. Until it is authenticated, I for one would like to hold aloof.

  127. YLH

    Salman,

    This interview itself is Islamist Majlis-e-Ahrar’s conspiracy against the new nation.

    It is quite clear that this is a fudged interview.

  128. Amit

    @YLH
    “when one points out a very direct, clear as day and ideologically consistent link between your Maulana Azad and the 26/11 bombers….”

    Some people extrapolate it backwards and conclude that the Book itself is the problem. I assume, therefore, carrying backward your analysis, that that would be a reasonable conclusion.

    I am somewhat disappointed by unnecessary assertions contrary to what is being stated or implied. As I said before, my criticism or skepticism about Din-e-ellahi in no ways diminishes Akbar’s greatness. He is possibly the greatest Indian ruler. I am not sure about greatest Indian since Buddha would be an overwhelming favorite for that one. Yet, it would be foolhardy to assume that he was above reproach or criticism. I suggest reading in detail about Din-e-ellahi. It seems like there is a tendency to raise fresh heroes who are above any sort of criticism. It is amusing as to what sort of intellectual gymnastics people can indulge in to rationalize anything/everything.
    As for Maulana, I guess, I cannot say more. People seem to demonize him no matter what. The proof, however, is in the pudding. The educational system was his creation. It requires a considerable feat of imagination to assign him epithets like fundamentalist that is wholly undeserved. I am not going to comment as to what TNT has fostered, no matter how benign their aims were.
    If you are aiming for a democracy that stifles all expression of religion on basis of fundamentalism, I can only wish you luck. I am not sure that is a democracy, maybe a tyranny of a clique. Hanooz dilli door ast…
    “The problem with Hindus like you is that you want to impose Muslims of your choice on other Muslims…. even if they are reactionary salafists like Azad… so long as those fundamentalist Muslims toe your majoritarian line.”

    Well, why I am not surprised! I saw it coming. YLH, no matter how much you wish, religion would always be an inherent part of our fabric. I have never doubted Jinnah’s secular spirit, but you cannot wish away his role in the tragedy of partition and the rivers of blood that accompanied it. You can call upon sundry justifications, ranging from spurious theories as to how we were meant to be different et al., but it cannot obscure his role nor of his minions. His speeches post 40 are for all to see and read. A lot of your justifications sound like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    @Ranjit,
    It is not bigotry to recognize our differences, but it is prudent to think about where our similarities lie and go beyond differences. If we go by what separates us, there is no end to it.
    I agree that we could have worked on like a ANC formula, but I am not aware if Mandela ever demanded a separate state.

  129. Anoop

    @YLH,

    I do admit I dont know who Ibne Taimiyya is. One cant know every single thing that there is to know and you cant research on every little claim or point in an article. I am avid Blog reader and I look at the key points that are highlighted when I read. I may even overlook certain aspects. I am not perfect and I dont claim to be.

    I just concentrated on parts of the article I found very interesting- like when the Maulana predicts accurately how Pakistan is going to turn out. And, he is spot on. That amazed me!

    Maybe the prophet from you-know-who remark has upset you. Maybe I’ve accidentally encroached on your Religious beliefs or whatever.

    But, the my point stands. Maulana’s words were prophetic and proves he had given lot of thought about the future of the new state of Pakistan. He mainly paints a pessimistic view of Pakistan during this interview.

    In reality I am not concerned about the state of Pakistan’s well-being as much I am concerned of India’s. India ,thankfully, has felt very little impact of Partition when compared to Pakistan. There is no identity crisis here and most troubles here are economic rather than Religious in nature.

    You can solve economic issues(that is not easy,I know) but a lot harder to solve when questions of Identity are thrown in!

    That is how I see Pakistan’s situation now. Nature of trouble facing India is mainly economic while Pakistan’s troubles are intertwined of economic as well as Religious and ethnic issues.

    This is the direct result of creating a country on the basis of Religion, based on division and divisive mindset, on a belief that people of 2 different communities cant live with each other at any cost.

  130. Hossp

    One Shorash Kashmiri, I have heard about was the editor of a weekly rag “Chattan” and was known as a blackmailer. I did not know he was of Majlis e ahrar. Creating fake interview would not be beyond that blackmailer.

    I have never had a high opinion of Azad. He was a run of the mill maulvi and perhaps his claim to fame is his association with Congress. I have heard he wrote excellent Urdu but knowing one language well does not make a person a great politician. I read his book a long time ago but did not find anything worth taking note of.

    People like Azad and many from the Congress talked big after the division but one has to ask them why did they fail to prevent it when there was still time. They blame Jinnah and the Brits and then both for engineering the partition but really what was congress’s role in preventing it, has no answer.

    Congress had every opportunity to derail any talk of partition but the congress supported media promoted the Pakistan idea by terming the 1940 resolution as Pakistan resolution and then rejected every attempt including the last one with CMP and finally agreed to the partition with the stipulation that Punjab and Bengal should also be partitioned. If they wanted a united India desperately enough, they could have agreed to any political solution that would have kept India united but they did not. Azad can write big stories but if he were so much against the partition, why he did not resign from the party after Nehru and Patel agreed to it.

    In 1971 the Pakistan army had every chance of keeping Pakistan together. Accepting the six points and agreeing to accept Awami league as the largest party would have saved Pakistan and prevented the bloodshed. There is another interesting fact: within a year of taking power Mujib assumed dictatorial powers that led to his unpopularity and finally overthrow. I am sure if the Pakistan army had allowed him to lead Pakistan; he would have shown his tendencies to assume dictatorial powers in Pakistan too. Clearly he too was not a democrat at heart. But Pakistan army was not ready to risk anything and did not want to leave anything to chance so the army decided to break up Pakistan instead of sharing power with the Awami League.

    Now rollback to 1946-47, if the congress wanted to prevent the partition, the best course would have been to accept any formula that would have kept India united, zones or no zones. Jinnah was going to die or would have made some mistake later on. Muslim League was popular only in central India. It has cobbled together some alliances in Bengal, Punjab and Sindh. I am sure those alliances would have collapsed without Jinnah (as they later did). The congress had a great chance to come to agreements with many groups within the Muslim alliance and within a couple of years; congress had every chance to dismantle the zones formula.

    I hope people can see the similarities in both situations. In 1947 the congress was not interested in sharing power with the Muslim league or Jinnah or the Muslims at large, at any cost and for any period, no matter how short that period was going to be. So they opted for accepting partition when they had every chance to accept CMP or any other formula. Congress did not even present a counter plan while rejecting the CMP.

    Pakistan army too never wanted to share power with the Awami League, Mujib or the Bengalis. They never countered the Six points with any plan of their own and instead opted for the bloodshed to avoid sharing powers. The congress’s idea for the partition of Punjab and Bengal caused bloodshed in India. Similar to the decision the Pak army took when it decided to break up Pakistan. Spilling blood, instead of saving the country, was common to both the Congress and the Pak army’s decisions. Congress never tried to save a united India. Ruling a divided India by itself probably was more attractive to the Congress.
    Just some thoughts….

  131. yasserlatifhamdani

    Amit/Anoop mian,

    Frankly both of you are avoiding the issue, which shows that once you guys can’t answer logically you resort to personal attacks.

    Let me reiterate two points once again:

    1. The interview probably never happened. It was forged by Agha Shorish Kashmiri an Islamist crook who was from Ahrar- a pro-congress Mullah party which opposed the League.

    2. There is no way logically that you can reconcile Ibn-e-Taimiyya’s ideology with Nehruvian secularism. But that is for you to consider. When Azad attacks Akbar he attacks the fundamental basis of Indian secularism. But since you chappies follow “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” logic, you champion Azad and the Mullahs of Deoband…. in the long run this ideology has damaged communal relations between Hindus and Muslims much more than the “Two Nation Theory” that you love to deride.

    I am not interested in a discussion on partition and its logic… we’ve already had a number of fruitful discussions between those people who come here with an open mind. The discussion here is about merely the facts and how to put them in a proper perspective which you’ve failed to do.

  132. Samson Simon Sharaf

    One thing that Azad did in favor of Pakistan was to tell Khosa that the future of Balochistan was linked to Pakistan and not India and they better accede to Pakistan. The story goes that Khosa then the most respected Baloch and not a Muslim went to Mulana Obaid Ullah Sindhi and became a practicing Muslim.Since Maulana Sindi died in 1944, this incident must have taken place then. The incident was narrated to me by Col Wardeg, the younger brother of Senator Wardeg from Balochistan, who swore it was true.

    Senator Wardeg had also joined the forces of Fakir Ipipi before partition.

    This is information that I wish to share.

  133. Amit

    YLH,
    If you read my original post, I have mentioned that all my comments are to be seen in the context of the validity of the interview. If the interview was not genuine, I have nothing to say. I’ll have to research to make sure who all did Azad took as his mentors. If, as you insist, he was a fundamentalist at heart, I’ll have no problem in jettisoning him as one of the ideals. But, then I see his other works, substantive works, his most wonderful contribution towards our educational system and it gives me doubts. Maybe he was more complicated than I thought. In that sense, he had more contradictions than (let’s call him revered)Jinnah himself.
    I guess, it is worth thinking that if the only way the image of someone is enhanced by dragging everyone in mud, where does the problem lie.
    It is fairly presumptuous to assume that anyone/everyone who disagrees with you is of closed mind. That attitude is strangely quite common among those of whom you are sick of — the dreaded Mullahs.

  134. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Amit,

    The problem with Hindu friends like you has always been this massive sense of entitlement which you possess about appropriating who the Muslims should or shouldn’t accept as their leaders… A committed follower of Ibn-e-Taimiyya to you is merely a “fundamentalist at heart” because I say so… and not because Azad himself admitted to follow Ibne-Taimiyya, Waliullah and Alfsani.

    The issue is bigger than Azad or Jinnah the individuals. It is about the streams from which these individuals are extracted. Azad was from the Salafi stream … Jinnah was from the Ismaili/Shia Khoja stream… Azad was orthodox, Jinnah was heterodox… Azad of the old aristocracy i.e. Ashrafia sold religion for a living, Jinnah – of the mercantile Khojas of Gujurat Kathiawar, was a self made man… Azad was rooted in Eastern superstition, Jinnah was the product of western enlightenment…. now for reasons known to us all too well, the former made alliances with the Hindus and the latter fell out with them after being hailed as the best ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity.

    Because you are still stuck in looking at everything from the angle of partition, you cannot appreciate that the temporary unity that existed between the Mullahs and the Congress pre-1947 was political opportunism… and not some ideological congruence. It was Congress’ opportunism that cost Indian Muslim women dear in form of the Shahbano case… or the Imrana case… or will continue to cost India dear when it eventually and logically tries to move to a uniform civil code as it ought to do.

    So stop this self righteousness. I am merely pointing out what Azad was… I am sorry if the reality does not quite gel with what your idealized view of the Indian Independence Struggle is. I am not sure what you refer to when you say I am enhancing the image of someone by dragging Azad in the mud. This entire interview was an exercise in trying to enhance Azad’s image by dragging the Pakistan idea into the mud.

    You fail to see that those who planned and planted this fake interview are the same people who have also funded and provided material and ideological support to the same terrorists from South Punjab who attacked Mumbai.

  135. Amit

    Dear YLH,
    “The problem with Hindu friends like you has always been this massive sense of entitlement which you possess about appropriating who the Muslims should or shouldn’t accept as their leaders”

    That is gratuitous and I politely decline such a massive responsibility. Thank you very much. It would be a case of blind leading a blind. Regrettably, it also shows a loss of confidence, which Azad’s(now spurious) interview alludes to. That has made you look for chimerical reasons and insinuations where none exist. As I said, I’ll have to research as to how fundamentalist Azad was. If he was, then I shall commiserate with the inner burden and conflict that he was carrying when framing the course for IITs. How his heart would have bled lending his hand for such a heathen enterprise, a bastion of decadent west.

    “Azad was rooted in Eastern superstition”
    That sounds like a bazaar tale and not from authentic sources. Kindly look into it.

    “Jinnah was the product of western enlightenment”
    That, I assume, also entailed calling out to the most regressive sections of the Muslims to swear on Koran when giving virulent speeches. I could be wrong, however. His meetings were, no doubt, only attended by western educated, liberal Muslims, but such a behavior would have been totally unexpected from such a crowd. This incongruity can only be explained by dismissing such reports as work of congress or hindu agents, etc. etc. QED.

    “You fail to see that those who planned and planted this fake interview”
    Ok, well then the interviewer is to be blamed and you too for allowing such mischief to gather bulk.

  136. Amit

    Dear YLH,
    I am also curious as to what your thoughts are about Frontier Gandhi. Kindly elaborate.

  137. yasserlatifhamdani

    Amit mian,

    What do you mean you could be wrong. In this case I am afraid you are way way off.

    And yes… when Congress’ “Secular Nationalist” Islamic fundamentalists such Ahrar and Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind attacked Jinnah as “Kafir-e-Azam” for having an irreligious lifestyle, Jinnah did come down and play and Gandhi and Azad’s level by using religious symbols ambiguously – we have criticized Jinnah on this website many times. However that doesn’t change the core of who Jinnah was and who Azad was. Jinnah was a western educated lawyer and self made man -a minority within a minority from the Ismaili/shia khoja community- who had spent an entire lifetime fighting orthodoxy in the legislature… I have quoted Jinnah’s speech in favor of the Sarda Bill i.e. Child Marriages Restraint Act of 1929 above – may be you should read it as well.

    Your ignorance just gets the better of you when you state: “If he was, then I shall commiserate with the inner burden and conflict that he was carrying when framing the course for IITs. ”

    Clearly you don’t understand Salafi Islam. You would understand that many many engineers, doctors and IT professionals today in the West are all Salafis. Salafi Islam doesn’t have anything against modern education… especially when modern education can be used to bring down the enemy. Clearly you haven’t even bothered to research Ibn-e-Taimiyya I referred you to…

    Then you write: That sounds like a bazaar tale and not from authentic sources

    Well I refer you to the chapter called “Prospectus” in Maulana Azad’s book “India Wins Freedom” in which he writes down in some detail his religious education. I didn’t know you considered Azad a bazari source. I have more respect for him than you do it seems because I think “India Wins Freedom” is a fascinating account especially those parts which were kept out for 30 years…. where atleast on two occasions Azad admits that Mr. Jinnah was right… and atleast on two occasions claims that it was Congress not the League that divided India.

    “I am also curious as to what your thoughts are about Frontier Gandhi.”

    My thoughts on the Frontier Gandhi are the same as Maulana Azad’s thoughts on Frontier Gandhi … Maulana Azad expressed his thoughts on Bacha Khan and his brother clearly in his book “India Wins Freedom”. I think Maulana Azad was quite on the dot. You must read it… or do you want me to summarize what Azad thought of Frontier Gandhi?

  138. vajra

    @YLH

    Dear YLH,
    I am also curious as to what your thoughts are about Frontier Gandhi. Kindly elaborate.

    Yasser, I need to ask you an open question, as the answer may affect my comfort and well-being; nothing is more important as one ages.

    Will you answer every Johnny-come-lately about every topic back to the days of Adam and Eve and the Apple and the Serpent in patient, detailed explanations infinitely?

    It is frightening to open a topic under discussion and suddenly find topics that have been considered and concluded and dealt with aeons ago brought up again, just because some Charlie doesn’t have the patience to use the search engine provided with PTH. This is bad for my health.

    Since this is evidently a free-for-all, here’s my tuppence:

    Dear YLH,
    I am not in the least bit curious as to what your thoughts are about Frontier Gandhi since you have sat down and explained these and since a number of others have discussed this in excruciating detail already. Kindly do not elaborate. Kindly do not fall for this line ever again. Kindly let’s get out of this loop once and for all, and point thirsting pilgrims eager to drink at the fount of knowledge towards the search engine. Oh, and while you are being a friendly neighbourhood traffic policeman, tell them the way to the nearest Sanskrit dictionary, where they can find for themselves that the phrase is vasudhaiva kutumbakam and not as cited.

  139. Hayyer

    There is now a wealth of material on subjects that have been discussed on PTH. Administrators of the site should consider setting up sort of reference archive with links on the home page so that newcomers can be linked to the earlier discussions.

  140. Anoop

    @yasserlatifhamdani,

    Dude, When did I attack you personally? Anyway, when you said- “But since you chappies follow “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” logic”- it made me laugh cuz I read it so often in your press..🙂

    You say this Interview never took place but that is something for the Article’s Author to research. If you take it at face value then the predictions are pretty damning no matter who it comes from. The fact remains these all have come true. And, whoever the guy has given this interview 60 years ago had a sharp mind.

    Regarding Secularism in India, we dont need examples dating as back as Akbar to motivate us. We have so many Secular minded statesmen and thinkers that one man’s opinion is not going to sway the secular feelings of a nation.

    I think some of the core values like Secularism,Pluralism,Democracy,Equality have grown deep roots in the Indian Psyche. I know from time to time those values will be challenged but overall India has a bright modern future. And, that is what all this introspection is about,isn’t it?

    We study History so that we can understand our present and shape our Future. This article, if genuine, says a lot about Pakistan’s history more than India’s. India has come out of Partition very well. So, lessons of the past are more important for Pakistan than India.

  141. yasserlatifhamdani

    You are not very bright are you… The interview was invented by an Islamo-fascist ally of the Congress most probably in the mid 1970s.

    I am still waiting for answer on how Maulana Azad’s Ibne-Taimiyya enabled vision fits in with Indian secularism ….

    Despite a first rate constitution – which in large part is a credit to Ambedkar (who sided with Jinnah on the day of deliverance) and Nehru (who for all his faults was equally suspicious of witchdoctors as was Jinnah)- Indian secularism keeps getting bogged down by Shah Bano case and Imrana case and now more recently the Vande Mataram confusion. On the other end of the spectrum you have one Varun Gandhi threatening to cut off Muslims’ heads…

    The faustian bargain India’s independence leaders made by coopting Muslim religious clergy will continue to hurt India … and its fragile communal relations.

    Now take a hike little boy.

  142. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    95% of Non Muslims in India will not be able to tell a Salafi from a Shia. So, being able to gauge whether Ibne Taimiya is the right guy to go with may be asking a little too much!

    If a person has a beard, can speak good Urdu, then he has arrived. He is regarded as a devout Muslim, his spiritual bankruptcy be damned. These are what we call Sarkari Musalman. People like the Jamiat Ul Ulema, and similar Deobandis.

    A

  143. Anoop

    “You are not very bright are you…”

    You caught me,oh, you macho-brainy-man..

    “I am still waiting for answer on how Maulana Azad’s Ibne-Taimiyya enabled vision fits in with Indian secularism …. ”

    Buddy, I donno who Ibne-Tamiyya is!!! I’ve been telling you. Just because Maulana thinks great of him doesn’t automatically mean we all follow him. Great leaders are remembered for the good they do and their good values.
    For instance, Nehru really screwed up with the Indian economy with Socialism and that war with China. But, we dont remember him for that,do we? By we I mean Indians so please please dont get offended and scold me.. lol..
    Similarly, I and probably Indians dont know who Ibne guy is and just dont care. Maulana represents a secularism that is closer to Indian values. I said represents and his personal behaviour and beliefs could be much different, who knows!

    “Indian secularism keeps getting bogged down by Shah Bano case and Imrana case and now more recently the Vande Mataram confusion.”

    I agree these are all events that stand out but they do not impact the Indian machine. And, Vande Mataram controversy is just pure non-event. If I dont want to sing Vande Mataram nobody on this earth can force me. Why create a Fatwa against it?
    Its not the national anthem anyway. It was rejected as the national anthem because Nehru and few others felt that this would be controversial and would irk some Muslims.

    If it was made the national anthem and they didnt sing it that is completely a different matter.

    We dont have huge questions of Identity as you are trying to portray. India has been a historical entity since a long time and it doesn’t need anything to justify its existence. Pakistan however needs to answer the questions India can afford to ignore. Why was Pakistan created? What values does it proscribe to that is so different from India? What were the values of India before 1947 that was so intolerable? On comparison between the 2 countries, who has chosen the better path? Should we be secular or Islamic? Are we a nation of Muslims who follow Islam or an Islamic nation.?
    Why is the political system of Pakistan so different from India? Isn’t economic prosperity one of the reasons Muslims of India sought a different nation? Have we achieved that economic prosperity which we thought we could never find in India? The list goes on and I am tired of typing.

  144. yasserlatifhamdani

    I think the issue of why Pakistan was created as been dealt with sufficiently by H M Seervai’s book “Partition of India: Legend And Reality”. It has also been answered by Jaswant Singh recently… but most of all, the real Azad answered it in his book “India Wins Freedom” when declared that it was the Congress not the League that partitioned India… and that Mr. Jinnah was entirely on the right when he raised a stink about the groupings in the CMP.

    I admit that fools on the Pakistani side have been torturing themselves with the question – why Pakistan – as if nation states need raison d etre to exist any more than human beings themselves.

    As for “Shining India” line that you’ve taken… you are just blowing your own horn when the reality is quite ugly. These superficial indicators we have a dime a dozen as well…. and for 40 odd years you were no where near… which is even today Indians visiting Pakistan can’t stop themselves from exclaiming how much more organized, cleaner and nicer Pakistan is. This is superficial nonsense… nothing else… the reality of the situation is that you have your starving and we have ours… you have your poor and we have ours.

  145. Hayyer

    Anoop:
    “Similarly, I and probably Indians dont know who Ibne guy is and just dont care. Maulana represents a secularism that is closer to Indian values. I said represents and his personal behaviour and beliefs could be much different, who knows!”
    If you don’t know who the Ibne guy is, don’t care, and haven’t bothered to find out then you should not be on this site. Arguments here need to built on a foundation of knowledge not ignorance.
    The very minimum you can do is read up on Maulan Abul Kalam Azad’s early history. He may have had a clearer insight into the future of Indian Muslims but he never altered his religious orientation. Secular does not mean anti Pakistan. His values, if you mean his religious values, have no place in Indian secularism, which itself is like a blind man’s knowledge of the elephant.

  146. Amit

    Vajra,
    Thanks for your clarification. I acknowledge in all humility that my sanskrit is quite rusty, in fact, perfunctory. I am glad, however, that the meaning was conveyed, which was my original motive. Beyond that, it’s splitting hairs.

    Hayyer,
    “The very minimum you can do is read up on Maulan Abul Kalam Azad’s early history. He may have had a clearer insight into the future of Indian Muslims but he never altered his religious orientation.”
    I remember a seminar where the speaker said that Azad went through a period of self-doubt and agnosticism.
    “His values, if you mean his religious values, have no place in Indian secularism,”
    I guess, by the same token, most of our religious teachers, including Vivekananda, would be outside the fold of secularism.

  147. vajra

    @Amit

    The difficulty, no, the impossibility of discussing something with you and the likes of Anoop (I assume that we have two natural disasters on our hands, and not one of overwhelming proportions) is that you enter a discussion far advanced in the current stages, and then freely use your own interpretations of words, phrases, sentences and ideas that have in fact seen the light of day before, and been parsed, translated and contextualised to a fine degree of refinement. To the level of a split hair, actually.

    How are you going to make sense?

    Take just your last post.

    There has been an intense discussion on secularism, and what it means in our South Asian context, whether we are any longer referring to the original European secularism, whether that is religion-free secularism, whether that was in fact religion-free at its Westphalian roots, and whether South Asia, under the influence of Gandhi’s unshakable religious conviction, has come to a retrograde position and defined secularism as an all inclusive, all religious state of civil society, rather than the all exclusive, one religious state of civil society from which it originally set out.

    It is for these linguistic reasons that you, and I am sure over time Anoop also, are being politely told to go away; try to understand that it’s not personal.

  148. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Hussain Mehdi…

    Clearly you don’t have much of a command over the English Language.

    The man who planted the hoax was Agha Shorish Kashmiri who was himself the kind who would dream up conspiracy theories of zionist-american kind. Au contraire… it is the re-surfacing of the Islamist Ahrari conspiracies against Pakistan…. which have already been documented in the Munir Report.

    Had you bothered to investigate my own work you would know that I have been fighting the Mullah brigade and their conspiracy theories. Had you bothered to read the article, you would know that I had referred to the very same address of Maulana Azad in the article “The Man Who Forged An Interview”….

  149. yasserlatifhamdani

    How ironic that while Agha Shorish Kashmiri has Azad claiming intrigue and conspiracies of “international powers” in the interview, Azad’s followers are accusing us of it because we have pointed the obvious gaping holes in this nostradamus like interview.

  150. Amit

    Vajra,
    It’s amusing that while claiming to follow western thoughts, the basic premise or the fulcrum around which that thought process revolves — that it’s a good idea that everyone is heard — is being freely jettisoned. A discussion which does not make space for anyone/everyone, even simpletons like me (I wouldn’t take liberty to include Anoop), is like preaching to a choir that over time shrinks to a minority. It’s more like following the letter than the spirit, which, curiously, the retrograde Mullahs are blamed for. I am not going to comment about the intellectual arrogance that is a hallmark of your last post. It speaks more for the blog than the readers where a preconceived notion is formed about the linguistic, or whatever, ability of the people who care to post their comments. Contrary to the prevailing opinion, some of us have gone to much better places than Rutgers. As such, we are not always in thrall with anything/everything that comes with the label “western thought”. After all, you can put lipstick on a pig…

    “Gandhi’s unshakable religious conviction, has come to a retrograde position and defined secularism as an all inclusiv….”
    With regards to the word retrograde, I’ll venture forth and say that it is probably a subjective opinion. A concept like secularism is a living breathing entity open to interpretation and modifications. That is what I think.
    Before I wind up my post, I would like to, if I may, post a few lines from one of the pillars of western thought. It would be denigrating to the learned patrons of this blog to name who the author is:
    “If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do…So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.”

    With that I wish you all the best of luck. My aim was a genuine understanding of thoughts from the other side. If there were other channels, I would have taken them.

  151. Amit

    YLH,
    One last thing, which I forgot:
    “I am still waiting for answer on how Maulana Azad’s Ibne-Taimiyya enabled vision fits in with Indian secularism …. ”

    It doesn’t have to as long as it is personal. People have a right to choose what they read, learn, or think. If what they think is rubbish, it wouldn’t make a difference anyways. I still have to research that in detail.

    “which is even today Indians visiting Pakistan can’t stop themselves from exclaiming how much more organized, cleaner and nicer Pakistan is.”

    That’s probably because in India, we eat pan and are fond of spitting everywhere, even on temple and mosque walls.

    Ok. Well, thank you very much for replying to my queries and comments. Once again, all the best.

  152. Anoop

    @Hayyer,

    “If you don’t know who the Ibne guy is, don’t care, and haven’t bothered to find out then you should not be on this site. ”

    Read the all of my above posts. I just said what I said. YLH brought it up and I have already clarified it to him.
    This is a tough crowd. My god. I guess I should bow out of this discussion as you are discussing a lot of things which are not important to me. And, quite frankly you would rather not have an Indian make observations and not keep quite.

    @YLH,
    “As for “Shining India” line that you’ve taken… you are just blowing your own horn when the reality is quite ugly. These superficial indicators we have a dime a dozen as well…. and for 40 odd years you were no where near… which is even today Indians visiting Pakistan can’t stop themselves from exclaiming how much more organized, cleaner and nicer Pakistan is. This is superficial nonsense… nothing else… the reality of the situation is that you have your starving and we have ours… you have your poor and we have ours.”

    Dude, when I say what I say I am not ignoring all the indicators of poverty as you mentioned. I live in India can see the positives and negatives here 1st hand. But, India is growing,man. I’ve never claimed India is shining but its 2nd fastest growing country in the world after China.
    The facts you quote you do realize everyone in this world knows that. Inspite of that they talk about India as a region with high growth where democracy exists. Are they fools? Are the Pakistanis like you the only ones who are not being fooled by Indian “designs”?
    The world talks about India in a different breath when compared to how Pakistanis see India. India’s growth in 2nd quarter was 7.5% when the world economy is barely registering growth. Compare this to Pakistan’s growth. Not birth rate which is very high(you must be proud) but the economic growth.

    Anyway, there are lots of things India is known for and talked about. I am sure you will come across it on the internet by yourself. Kudos.

  153. vajra

    @Amit
    @Anoop

    The problem is not with anyone’s opinions, but with people’s willingness to listen. Nothing else.

    Even the most rabid opinions get heard here regularly, sometimes ad nauseam, and are not censored or checked. What does call for occasional criticism, not from the blog’s administrators, moderators or originators but from ordinary Joes like me are the crass; those who have an opinion and are unwilling to brook any alternative point of view.

    This has nuances and is not merely a question of saying “Yes, you did!” and “No, I didn’t!” in increasingly heated succession. These are the yahoos.

    That is easy enough to stop; many of us here have brought up children and are waiting for the next generation to come along.

    It is also important to understand what people mean when they say something.

    Ignoring that, or asking them to rewind to the very beginning is a discourtesy, to the point of view holder, and to the rest of those participating respectively. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t here at the beginning. Wasn’t Jinnah a communal bigot after all, didn’t he and the madly communal Muslim League preach religious hate? I mean, with Muslim in the party name and all!” That isn’t a great help, quite apart from setting both Indian and Pakistani teeth on edge.

    These are the Black Holes.

    What’s under discussion is not a western or an eastern way of discussing or of looking at matters – some of the most intense discussions have in fact been about the dynamics between the thoughts and philosophies arising out of different quarters, not just west and east – but an ability to look at things from the other person’s point of view. Period. We cannot have discussions unless I understand, or try to understand the twaddle coming from the other side, and they try to fathom my gibberish.

    Do you think that reasonable?

    If you do, one golden rule is not to resort to chicanery or outright deception. That is frowned on, and may lead to harsh words, to being chided in public, and may make the perpetrator feel sad and unloved by anyone.

    For instance, if someone writes (I have added emphasis):

    and whether South Asia, under the influence of Gandhi’s unshakable religious conviction, has come to a retrograde position and defined secularism as an all inclusive, all religious state of civil society, rather than the all exclusive, one religious state of civil society from which it originally set out.

    it is not a nice thing to reproduce it in part, cunningly truncated to make it look like something that is the opposite of what was originally conveyed:


    “Gandhi’s unshakable religious conviction, has come to a retrograde position and defined secularism as an all inclusiv….”

    Whom are you kidding?

    Another determinant of mutual comprehensibility is to agree on concepts and the meanings of words; also, not to be confused with the meaning of words, ideas.

    Some of those used commonly are secularism, Two Nation Theory, CMP; some of the ideas constantly being fought over are the nature of Jinnah’s ideas of how to protect Muslims; whether this included protection of Islamism as projected by the religious faction in contemporary Pakistan; the nature of the transition from Jinnah’s thoughts and vision, as has been painstakingly pieced together here, by truly devoted attention to historical detail and fact, to contemporary conceptions of Pakistan; the nature of the Army and its interrelationship with the religious faction and the national faction; and the nature of Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours and the community of nations.

    We don’t need ‘yahoos’, who shout down others; we don’t need ‘Black Holes’ either, sucking up the discussion and wearying people who have discussed the identical concepts many times over, generally with those who won’t read the older blogs..

    It is better for such, dear Amit, dear Anoop, to leave. Start your own blog, individually or collectively. At the cost of your losing your readership, there are many of us who will oblige your most minute thirst for detail on that blog. But not here, please, not here.

  154. Hayyer

    Amit:
    I have found you an intelligent commentator with something to say, even if it is not quite the same as my view. Vajra and I are both Indians, so it is not for us to invite you here or ask you to leave being visitors ourselves.
    In fact one of the requirements of visiting PTH as a commentator is a carapace thicker than usually found in the species. My own commenting has occasionally prompted Pakistanis to hint that my absence would be no bad thing. Hang in there.

    Anoop:
    To each his own. Many Indians post here and no one drives them off but if you cant stand the heat you should not be in this particular kitchen. You must have your facts right. If you want to take positions based on inborn prejudices or are capable only of conditioned responses then it is no use visiting here.
    Equally, some of our own fixed ideas can become unhinged with some of the facts unearthed here and the consequent wider vista.

  155. Milind Kher

    People bring a wealth of information and interesting perspectives to the table on this blog.

    However, it is necessary to obeserve some restraint and refrain from attacks ad hominem. Heated discussions are all very well as long as the heat is centered around the topics

  156. yasserlatifhamdani

    Anoop mian,

    I am not interested in a Pot and Kettle pageant. Good luck to you and your shining India. Someone once said (ok it was me) … the main difference between us Pakistanis and you Indians is that we know our shit stinks… you think yours is halwa.

    Amit mian,

    “It doesn’t have to as long as it is personal. People have a right to choose what they read, learn, or think.”

    The problem with Salafi Islam is that it’s ultimate objective is to increase numbers and then establish Khilafat. Salafis may temporarily accept a nation state, but they will ultimately aim to establish an Islamic Khilafat of their choice.

    All modern terrorist movements trace themselves back to Ibn-e-Taimiyya.

    My own view is that this is because Ibne-Taymiyyah was an anti-establishment Islamist in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Abbassid Caliphate in Bengal and the establishment of Mongol Suzerainty on the Muslim world (kind of like colonialism and these American influence). He was against Muslim rulers who were perceived as irreligious. Azad was naturally attracted to him because Ibn-e-Taymiyyah because in 14 centuries of Islamic juristic history, Taymiyyah stands out as a symbol of resistance both to irreligious Muslim ruling classes as well as the Mongols who were perceived as outsiders. Your problem is that you are placing too much emphasis on Azad the Congressite and Azad the Indian independence movement leader… but very little on what Azad and his thought meant as a whole for the Muslim community… and what that stream of thought has created more recently.

    Azad’s religious motives thus in opposing the British were roughly the same as Syed Qutb or Maulana Maududi… and Abdullah Azzam. These three men may be credited for the Islamic revival and terrorism.

    Here it wouldn’t be out of place to comment on the paradigm shift that Gandhi brought in the independence movement so that we may bring some clarity for everyone. Before Gandhi, the Congress and the self rule movement aimed at establishing responsible self government for British Indians as equal members of the British Empire. Congress as a whole was a gentlemen’s movement which believed that representative politicians ought to constitutionally oppose British bureaucracy and aim to create a sort of self government that the British themselves had in Great Britain. Granted that Jinnah himself took a strong anti-British line but that was entirely from the angle of a constitutional opposition. Motilal Nehru, Jinnah, C R Das and Annie Besant were for creating an egalitarian British Empire where India would be an equal member of that one realm and Indians would be equal to the British in every way. These were secular, westernized and liberal anglo-phile Indians who wanted to be equal to the British in everyway (and some like Jinnah considered themselves better).

    Gandhi changed the character of this movement by appealing to the people’s orthodox ancient beliefs – be they Muslim or Hindu- something along the lines of the 1857 mutiny which was – whether we Pakistanis or Indians like it or not- mainly inspired by two communal matters…. Hindu and Muslim religious sensibilities.

    Gandhi wanted to mobilize Muslims and Hindus around religious issues namely Khilafat and cow slaughter. In this he found Salafis his strongest allies.

    Indian Independence Movement may just have turned into this fantasy movement but for two factors…

    1. Hindu bourgeoisie was too strong and educated to have taken Gandhi’s ideas too seriously…

    2. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru injected leftist modernist European ideas into the independence movement which served to a large extent to counter and balance out Gandhi’s ideas. Ofcourse in the balance, Nehru’s inability to tailor those ideas to Indian environment vis a vis minorities also made partition inevitable.

    I shudder.. and you should shudder also … to think what would have been, if Nehru was superceded by some other Congressman in independent India.
    Ambedkar managed to keep Gandhian religiosity out of the constitution mainly due to Nehru’s support.

    Now where does that leave Azad ? While Nehru set a course for independent India successfully, he did not dismantle his old Islamist allies in Deoband and salafi fold who continue to play a marginal but decidedly negative role against Muslim reform.

  157. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    It is good that you have written this in so much detail. Very few Non Muslims (and many Muslims too, I suspect) have an understanding of what Ibne Taimiya stood for, or the dangers posed by his like to the world.

    Flowing beards for men, women wrapped in a sheet with two peepholes, no coed schools or colleges, no good movies and no music will be the quintessential paradise of those who adulate and emulate Ibne Taimiya.

    A frightening thought, considering that there are armed nut jobs working on this deluding the credulous that they want to bring in Nizame Mustafa.

  158. vajra

    @Amit
    @Anoop

    As on many occasions in the past, Hayyer has given a balanced view, and I have no problem in retracting my remarks and supporting what he has said.

    Having said that, this is not an invitation to come in and re-invent the wheel. Hayyer may – and does – curb my violent excesses, as do one or two others, but I still will object vehemently to lazy and unmindful wastage of others’ time. And not in kind words either.

  159. Anoop

    Alright alright, guys. Keep your panties on! I have already said I will not post. Peace..

  160. ConfusedLot

    Oh! My god , i am confused like hell. Have spent some size-able time reading the comment section. Feel like have to read it once again to get better clarity. ooofff!!!

  161. G.Vishvas

    To confusedLot

    The whole world of religions is a confused lot leading to violence and more lies (in order to cover up the old ones). This pathology and pathos is especially severe in islam since this ideology claims to be the final word of the one and only god. A god who gives revelations must have the wisdom to know that this stuff is not going to work ever. it will bring no knowledge, guidance, justice or peace but only endless misunderstanding, ego problems, interpretation difficulties, controversies etc. leading to bloodshed. Here again islam is the worst case.

    If Jinnah, Maulana Azad etc. had really wanted to do good the they would have told the muslims that the time for islam is over. You can’t milk a cow that died of tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth disease. Nor can you milk a violent bull. Whichever way islam presents itself.

  162. If this interview is true, it is certainly interesting and of value. There is little doubt that the Maulana echoed many of these views elsewhere in different places.

    Certainly a lot of Maulana Azad’s fears were justified. There is much to be learnt from this.

    I myself am pro-Pakistan and I share the Sufi belief [it’s Ok, go ahead and snigger if you like:)] that Pakistan was created by Divine Will for a hidden purpose that will eventually reveal itself.

    However, that does not mean that we have to be so black and white: sometimes it’s a choice between a bad situation and a worse one.

    Maulana Azad’s fears require some serious soul searching, not with regards to what should have happened, but with what can be done to redress some obvious wrongs.

    Peace & God bless.

  163. Bilal Gillani

    hahahahahahahaha scared much?
    deleted out comments..you so called “unbiased” man!!
    height of hypocrisy man.get a life!

  164. skhan

    Can I only say – wow!
    I am going to celebrate M Azad’s birthday with more fervour.

  165. Ganpat Ram

    YASSERHAMDANI, HAYYER, MAZBUT et al:

    As a Hindu I read all this and only feel: we Hindus had a VERY narrow escape in 1947. Jinnah saved us.

    Imgine if the Pakistan deal had not gone through and we were stuck with the Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims – nearly 500 millions of them……India would have been a bedlam and the Hindu-Muslim battles so daily and unceasing that life would have been unbearable.

    Azad doesn’t matter and should be ignored.

    The one who matters is Jinnah, because out of an impossible situation he forced through some sort of deal which gave both Hindus AND Muslims a future.

    Admittedly the cost was very great, and I regret the heavy loss of life in the Partition riots as much as anyone. But without a Partition, the chaos and communal battles would have destroyed India.

    As for Nehru’s reasons for accepting Patition, they are crystal clear. Nehru, often an indecisive man, was at his very best in this crucual time for the fate of India. He and Patel took a very hard decision and saved the country from complete collapse. Here is what Nehru told his biographer Michael Brecher in about 1960:

    “”Well, I suppose it was the compulsion of events and the feeling that we couldn’t get out of the deadlock by pursuing the way we had done….the feeling that even if we go freedom for india, with that back ground [i.e. under the CabinetMiision scheme] , it would be a very weak India, that is, a federal India with far too much power in the federating units. A larger India would have constant disintegrating pulls. ….and so we accepted [Partition] and said, let us build up a strong India. And if others do not want to be in it, well, how can we and why should we force them to be in it?”

    All those who say Jinnah was just bluffing with his Pakistan demand and did not really want Partition have to be asked: Do you seriously think the rest of India has nothing better to do with his time than to play bluffing games with Jinnah?

    How many more bluffs were there going to be?

    Nehru needed a strong central government to integrate India and enable it to survive. Jinnh would accept only a central state weakened to the extreme. That was asking for civil war and chaos.

    We can now say: Well done, Panditji! You let two-thirds of the turbulent Muslims go to their two widely separated pices of land, and saved most of the good parts of India for the rest of us, in one piece.

    Jinnah was beaten hands down in the poker match by clever Panditji.

  166. Anoop

    Ganpat Ram,

    Got to hand it to you man. You hit the nail on the head. If Nehru had accepted the Cabinet Mission scheme we would have ended up with a moth-eaten India. The creation of Federal units with lot of power and the opportunity to grant themselves Independence after a certain period. All the Muslim Majority Units would ofcourse join Pakistan or become Independent. And, India would not be as big as it is now,not even close!

    Jinnah would have accepted a Moth-eaten Pakistan but Nehru would’ve never accepted a Moth-eaten India. For India’s importance is too great to be gambled like this.

    Pakistan’s fate was sealed the day its ideology was thought of. An Ideology which says,”Human Beings had to be divided as they follow different Cultures/Religions”.

    You are right when you say, Jinnah lost the Poker match to Nehru who called Jinnah’s bluff. Jinnah’s Pakistan could only remain together for 25 years. The place which is called Pakistan now is not Pakistan at all.

    Nehru has done a lot of wrongs policy wise but this was a masterstroke. I recommend reading M.J.Akbar on this one.

    http://www.mjakbar.org/mjvoice16.htm

  167. Ganpat Ram

    ANUP AND EVERYBODY:

    If Nehru and Patel had accepted the Cabinet Mission scheme, it would have been suicide for the Hindus.

    A huge part of India was under the Princely States- some huge like Hyderabad. With a weak central government how could Nehru have compelled these states to join India?

    The British and the Pakistanis were busy intriguing with the Nizam of Hyderabad, pushing him towards independence. In the end, only the intervention of the Indian Army stopped him.

    But under the Cabinet Mission scheme, the Indian Army would not have been able to act without Jinnah’s permission. So India would have either disintegrated into fragments, or Nehru would have had to go to war with Pakistan to use the Indian Army. So much for the great Plan……Just take it away and throw it somewhere, will you?

    The Plan was a dream for Jinnah: it gave him maximum chances to disintegrate the Hindu parts of India with zero real obligations.

    But I have to add Pakistan IS a huge gain for Muslims, despite all the pessimism about it today. By and large, Pakistanis have long been considerably more prosperous than Indians. Their governments, for all their Islamist follies, followed more intelligent economic policies than Indian ones until very recently.

    Pakistan needs to abandon its inferiority complex, forget about India, and work to make itself rich.

    India needs to forget Pakistan and do the same.

    We were once one country, but are forever separate – for our own good.

    Bye bye, Pakistanis, and good luck !!! We shan’t be seeing you again. That should be the Indian message to Pakistan.

  168. Hayyer

    Ganpat Ram:
    You have many supporters on PTH, not all of whom vocalize.

  169. Ganpat Ram

    HAYYER:

    I wish they would vocalise ! I like to hear sense.

    What I find appalling and ridiculous in all this is the totally unnecessary, whining inferiority complex displayed by Muslims.

    Contrary to the current myth, Muslims in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan have a great deal to be proud, happy and encouraged about.

    It is a very widespread fashion in the West and India to keep saying Pakistan has been a brutal failure, while India is a huge success. The fact is, visitors to Pakistan from India are always surprised how much MORE prosperous Pakistan is. As William Dalrymple has pointed out, there is far less sheer poverty in Pakistan, the electricity supply is much more reliable, the infrastructure is very much superior to India’s, people generally seem healthy and well-fed compared to the weedy-looking Indians, and the houses of the Pakistani middle class are bigger and more modern.

    Even Bangladesh has done better than India in terms of healthcare and reducing infant mortality.

    So why does Pakistan have to keep apologising or feel worried about the Partition? Muslims are DEFINITELY living better as a result of the Partition.

    This is the blunt FACT Indians and even many Pakistanis will not admit.

    The truth is, Partition was good for Hindus AND Muslims.

    Now all of us have our separate, reasonably successful countries, and should work to develop them, going our separate ways and not interfering with each other.

    Pakistan and Bangladesh should simply be another two foreign countries, for India, and vice-versa.

    Stop the obsessing.

    As for Muslim liberals, let them depend on no-one but themselves. Be confident and strong.

    Even the INDIAN Muslims gained hugely from Partition.

    India became much less tense and much more manageable once two-thirds of its Muslim population left with Partition. Indian freedom and democracy became practicable. Indian Muslims enjoy freedom in most of India. They can ridicule Hinduism as much as they please, openly.

    Indian Muslims’ economic backwardness is no fault of the Hindus. It is because in India Muslims cling to Sharia and cut themselves off from modern education.

    So we are all winners with Jinnah !!!!

    Let us put an end once and for all to the morbid Muslim sense of grievance that they are the losers of Partition and live each in his own way: Pakistan and Bangladesh as proud parts of the Islamic world, India a proud Hindu nation. All of us respecting minorities.

    OK?

  170. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    No, not OK.

    I don’t see how you can unilaterally declare India a Hindu nation. You can wish for it, no more. Just leave it at that, and may you live long enough for your wishes to come true.

  171. Anoop

    Great post again, Ganpat. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessments.

    I agree with the statement, “By and large, Pakistanis have long been considerably more prosperous than Indians. Their governments, for all their Islamist follies, followed more intelligent economic policies than Indian ones until very recently.

  172. Ganpat Ram

    VAJRA:

    India IS a Hindu nation, long since. In all but name. And so much the better for it.

    Indian liberalism and freedom are based on the easy-going, undogmatic, all-ideas-considered Hindu view of life. Quite unlike the ferocious dogmatism of some other religions.

    Indian Muslims don’t lose out from India’s being Hindu. Quite the contrary: it is because of Hindu liberalism that Muslims are free in most parts of India to denounce Hinduism as much as they please, openly.

  173. Anoop

    Ganpat,

    I dont agree that India should be a Hindu nation/Hindu Republic. India’s future is a pluralistic society and we have to breakdown all the caste system in our rural areas. For that we need a secular country. There is almost no concept of Caste and Creed in Urban areas but we have to think of the Rural ones.

  174. Ganpat Ram

    ANNOP:

    Well said ! Nice to deal with intelligent chaps for a change. Most Indians I know wail with horror when I say simply:

    “The Pakistanis are MORE prosperous than Indians, and have long been that. They are usually well-built people, while Indians tend to look frail and thin and underfed. These are FACTS. Pakistan IS a success for Muslims. Jinnah DID help them immensely.

    But he also helped us Hindus. He saved us from long term Islamisation by taking away the majority of Muslims from India.”

  175. Ganpat Ram

    ANOOP:

    Well said ! Nice to deal with intelligent chaps for a change. Most Indians I know wail with horror when I say simply:

    “The Pakistanis are MORE prosperous than Indians, and have long been that. They are usually well-built people, while Indians tend to look frail and thin and underfed. These are FACTS. Pakistan IS a success for Muslims. Jinnah DID help them immensely.

    But he also helped us Hindus. He saved us from long term Islamisation by taking away the majority of Muslims from India.”

  176. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    In your post of 9:41, after a reasonable analysis, you suddenly sprang the idea of India being a Hindu nation in the last line. I was forced to point out that it was your unilateral description, unsupported by anything else but a bald statement.

    In your subsequent comment of 10:09, you state

    India IS a Hindu nation, long since. In all but name. And so much the better for it.

    Am I to understand, even taking into account your subsequent sentence in your comment, that it is your belief that typography is equivalent to logic? That placing your earlier comment in Bold Face, and adding some pablum about easy-going, undogmatic and all-ideas-considered, is sufficient to win all hearts?

    Give us a break, please.

    I am not in the mood for a long and bloody war about this, but I sincerely suggest that you enter it, if enter you must, properly armed with facts and knowledge about your issues and subjects.

    I am being very sincere about this. Please do not take this in the wrong way and come back breathing fire and brimstone, and expect every one to shrink from your manly valour.

  177. Ganpat Ram

    Anoop:

    I am not saying India has to be officially declared a Hindu nation. That is not necessary. Any more than Russia has to officially declared a cold country.

    India is Hindu. Hindu ideas prevade Indian life, and for better AND worse, make India what it is.

    Period.

  178. Ganpat Ram

    Jinnah, that marvellous man who really made modern South Asia far more than anyone else, realised that India is Hindu.

    That is why he took two-thirds of the Muslims out of it, to the lasting benefit of them and Hindus.

    Jinnah is the Bismarck of modern South Asia.

  179. vajra

    Jinnah is the Bismarck of modern South Asia.

    Fascinating.

    May we conclude from this and earlier posts by you that you are the Mungerilal of modern South Asian history?

  180. Ganpat Ram

    The secret of good writing is to state bluntly what most intelligent people know is true but do not care to admit because it violates their own prejudices or the conventional opinion of society.

    Thus, most have eyes and know Pakistanis are visibly better off than Indians, tend to be strapping, hefty characters while Indians tend to be thin and ill-fed looking. Just put 2 and 2 together and you conclude Jinnah did very well for the Muslims….

    Most know Hinduism is far more tolerant than Islam.

    Most know that Hindus and Muslims are best living in separate countries.

    But it is “fascinating” when someone says so.

  181. Anoop

    Ganpat,

    I think one of the reasons Muslims assimilated into the Hindu society is that Hindus treated Muslims like another caste. Just like they treated the Jains,Buddists and Sikhs. The belief in the old Hindu society that there are different ways to worship or reach enlightenment/salvation has greatly contributed to this.

    Even now, if Partitioned hadn’t happened, just like there are no frictions between Hindus with Parsis,Sikhs,Buddists,etc, we would not have had any friction with the Muslims.

    Partition did lead to a better system of governance in South Asia(Especially India.. Pakistan lost the plot big time) but it did lead to Hindu-Muslim animosity which is very unfortunate. But, the great absorber India is Muslims here do lead a better life or atleast have a better chance at success in the future. Especially now that India economy is poised to be the Fastest growing in 5 years(maybe even 4). Pakistan’s Muslim population has in the past few years raced past India’s Muslim population. But, look at the number of success stories among Indian Muslims and compare it with the success stories in the whole of Pakistan. India must be proud of this statistic.

    You are partly right, Ganpat, when you say Indian Muslims prefer Madrassas to Schools. Madrassas to provide better food and offer shelter compared to Govt schools but the academic performances of these students are no match to Indian standards,forget International standards.

    Muslims themselves share the blame with their plight by encouraging Mullah’s to guide their lives.
    Part of the blame goes to us Hindus as we,being in Majority, should shoulder responsibility and ensure the well being of Muslims.

    I want my India to be a proud,happy country where everyone lives on their terms and according to law. I do want Hindu values to guide but that should be acceptable to our minorities also. Even teaching Yoga in schools is opposed my lunatic Muslims.

    We dont call Hinduism a sanatana dharma for no reason.

    When Hindu culture(Culture is a word which is the most hardest to define) becomes rigid it looses its charm.

    I also feel if the demographic make was quite opposite in India(80% Muslims,15% Hindus to the present scenario- 80% Hindus,15% Muslims), India would not have been such a successful democracy it is today. Infact, minorities would have been ruthlessly witch-hunted. Look at the slide in numbers of Minorities in Pakistan and loot at the upward swing in numbers in the minorities(mainly Muslims) in India.

    If partition hadn’t happened it would have been disastrous for India and Hindus in particular. We would have had a Civil war with no end in sight. Sizeable Muslim population would have been a death-knell for India.

  182. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram


    The secret of good writing is to state bluntly what most intelligent people know is true but do not care to admit because it violates their own prejudices or the conventional opinion of society.

    At this rate, two things are bound to happen:

    1. You should soon receive, by popular acclaim (who cares for pesky literary critics, anyway?) the Nobel Prize for Literature, since you have defined what constitutes good writing, and seem to be admitting with due modesty by implication that your own writing is good.

    2. If you persist in your spiritual quest, you will soon hit upon the formula for good thinking. At this point, your good writing will have something worthwhile to write about, not just the present feverish thoughts that trouble your poor little brain.

    Thus, most have eyes and know Pakistanis are visibly better off than Indians, tend to be strapping, hefty characters while Indians tend to be thin and ill-fed looking. Just put 2 and 2 together and you conclude Jinnah did very well for the Muslims….

    Generalisations like this are best left to good writing, not to any effort at emulating logical thought and analysis.

    Please read on to understand what is meant.

    Most know Hinduism is far more tolerant than Islam.

    Most know that Hindus and Muslims are best living in separate countries.

    There is no point in taking these statements ‘on merit’, and examining their premises.

    This kind of logical structure can best be explained by reductio ad absurdum.

    Statement 1.

    Everybody knows that Dalmatians are a happy breed, largely because of their intake of yoghurt:

    a statement that might or might not be true, presented without the benefit of evidence of any kind. Apparently the author has vast experience of Dalmatians (the human beings, not the dogs), and we are to take his/her word on it. There is no need for any proof; this expert’s word is enough.

    Statement 2.

    Most people know that chapatis are triangular:

    having proved our expertise in re Dalmatians, we can now extend it freely in all directions, and can now opine about the shape of chapatis, and the prevalence of this shape in the general population of chapatis. It needs no more evidence than the first case; in fact, it needs less, since the first case, with or without evidence, is now proof of the living Buddha status of the author, and whatever he utters are automatically pearls of wisdom. Chapatis are not triangular? a sampling of people indicates that the conclusion most people is dead wrong? Please let’s not get confused; the expert has spoken. And that he is an expert is clearly evident from the previous case.

    Statement 3.

    Most people know that chapatis are best eaten standing on one’s head:

    look, be reasonable. This does not come from some moron who doesn’t know how to come to a logical conclusion, has never been trained to do so, and confuses his own mish-mash of beliefs as universal truths and the products of profound wisdom and knowledge (did I forget to mention evidence?). This comes from someone who is now two statements deep in expertise. What more do you need to prove the truth of this third?

    But it is “fascinating” when someone says so.

    No, the word fascinating was not used with regard to your conclusions and the logical wizardry from which it emanated.

    I should know, I used it about your post.

    It is fascinating to encounter, in this enlightened day and age, someone who is so full of himself that he cannot understand what a mess he is making of his arguments.

    I thought for a few moments that you might have some of the Sangh Parivar poison backed up in your think-tank. Sadly, all that appears to be the product of an intellect deeply in love with itself, and unable to look around to stare logic, observation and evidence in the face.

    I have lots of time for knaves, who need to be picked apart till nothing remains; none for fools.

    Are you G. Vishvas under yet another pseudonym?

  183. Anoop:

    “I want my India to be a proud,happy country where everyone lives on their terms and according to law.
    “I do want Hindu values to guide but that should be acceptable to our minorities also…”

    The law must have changed a lot in India since the last time I checked because the tattered old copy of the Indian constitution that I have does not mention the second statement anywhere.😉

    Regards.

  184. Sameet

    Vajra,

    You are a mean “demolition man”, way better than Sylvester Stallone could portray in that Hollywood flick. Please continue, am enjoying the edifice of sand and loose gravel constructed by Ganpat bhau being torn down and falling all over the place like a ton of bricks, or in this case, sand🙂

  185. B. Civilian

    Anoop
    March 10, 2010 at 11:23 pm:

    “Even now, if Partitioned hadn’t happened, just like there are no frictions between Hindus with Parsis,Sikhs,Buddists,etc, we would not have had any friction with the Muslims.”

    and, still Anoop
    still March 10, 2010, still at 11:23 pm, and still with the same aplomb:

    “If partition hadn’t happened it would have been disastrous for India and Hindus in particular. We would have had a Civil war with no end in sight. Sizeable Muslim population would have been a death-knell for India.”

  186. Anoop

    @Gorki,

    If you concentrate and read the sentence again you will see that I’ve expressed my desire not what the constitution states. Besides, the values in the constitution are not different from what the Bhagvat Gita says. “Everyone has their own interpretation of God, and each has their own way of worshiping it”, the Gita says. If you follow this what the Constitution of India says is perfectly in sync with the values of the Relgion(Although I dont consider Hinduism a Religion but a way of life) the majority in India follow.

    The biggest difference according to me between India and Pakistan is its Constitution. For us we have a Constitution worthy of worship and I consider it sacred. Pakistan has a piece of Paper with Constitution written on the top. Infact, it has the dubious distinction of the original version of the constitution having the shortest life in the world. Its been raped by every single Military Ruler and not-so-powerful Civilian “rulers”..

  187. Anoop

    @B. Civilian,

    The 2 statements are perfectly in sync. Partition was inevitable or atleast Civil war was if Partition hadn’t taken place. Jinnah had threatened Civil war if Congress didnt allow for the Partition of India.

    Since, Partition was inevitable animosity between Muslims and Hindus was a side-effect. But, it was a price to be paid. But, its not irreversible this animosity.

  188. vajra

    @Gorki
    @B.Civilian

    Can’t we ignore this twaddle? This is a pest who has been dealt with before, and keeps coming back for more. D_a_n’s story of the hunter and the bear applies here.

  189. B. Civilian

    vajra

    it’s either taking your advice or having some surreal debate here about whether jinnah was the best nutritionist south asia ever produced, regardless of whether or not he practiced what he preached.

  190. B. Civilian

    re. the hunter and the bear

    the bear is the victim in D_a_n’s story, of course.

  191. vajra

    @B. Civ (I like this one best)

    Yes, when I read these lunatics, surreal is the word. Like someone got at the city water supply and spooned in a plentiful supply of LSD. What do you say about an educational system that produces them?

    Regarding the bear, never thought of it. All of a sudden, I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself. Damn D_a_n and his suggestive stories!

  192. Ganpat Ram

    Vajra et al

    The point I was trying to make is fairly straightforward.

    Both Hindus and Muslims should stop whining about Partition and the silly question “Who-o-who is the blame?”, and just accept it.

    It has good sides to it.

    If Muslims had so many hangups about being in India, wanted so many safeguards and only the weakest union – and even that only at the last minute – well, they weren’t worth having. Nehru told them to go form their own state.

    Why have so many people in your country if they are so reluctant to be with Hindus anyway? All you get is big trouble.

  193. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    Let me try once again.

    I don’t know who’s whining about partition. Care to identify the mail message you’re talking about? As far as that part of your message is concerned, no problem. We all agree that partition is a fact of history.

    The next part is that there is a huge amount of discussion on historical events leading to partition. That is not equivalent to whining about partition. That is an effort to find out more about the historical circumstances. Some of us have gained enormously from becoming familiar with alternative points of view to the ones that we have been taught in formal history classes. This is not something that all readers enjoy, this is not meant for readers to enjoy, these particular posts, which are not that frequent anyway, are for a core handful of enthusiasts. If you or anybody else doesn’t like them, don’t open and read them. Move on.

    Whether Muslims were ‘worth having’ or not is really not up to Mr. Ganpat Ram sitting in the UK and offering up his tuppence. Some Muslims, not those already in the centre of the country, but those in majority Muslim provinces, decided to go along with the Muslim League’s proposal that they form themselves into a separate country. They didn’t walk out of their country and go to another one; they voluntarily took up the idea of another country. These people could hardly have been bludgeoned to stay with the rest of India against their will.

    Two provinces were partitioned. These saw exchanges of population, and unspeakable violence, with all kinds of people involved in all kinds of savage, barbaric acts. The people of East Punjab who were not Hindu or Sikh moved to West Punjab; the people of West Punjab who were not Muslim moved to East Punjab. The identical thing, with directions reversed, happened in Bengal. These are facts and we are not discussing whether these were right or wrong, just how they happened, and why they happened.

    It is when you start throwing in stuff that you clearly know nothing about that you are criticised. Say partition was good, and everyone will nod their heads and go along with you; say that it’s a good thing that Muslims have their own homeland, and everyone will nod their heads and go along with you. Say that India is a Hindu country, and you will probably not walk straight for many, many days.

    Maybe a joke will make the point clear to you.

    A gentleman from the neighbouring state to mine once had to encash a travellers’ cheque, his own, as it happened. He was then in the UK. He went into a bank and stood in queue, and finally got to the cashier. He presented the cheque, and she looked at it, saw that everything was in order, and handed it back to the customer,”Could you countersign the cheque, Sir? Right there at the bottom?”

    “And why should I? I’ve already signed it, can’t you see? Here it is, right here! I won’t stand for this pushing around. I know my rights! I want my money and I want it now! now!! now!!!” The cashier was frightened and didn’t know what to do, the queue behind the gentleman from B***r was frozen with horror, and matters were looking very ugly. The Branch Manager came out of his room, took in the situation at a glance, and very politely took the customer aside and took him to his room. There he jabbed an elbow into the man’s stomach,”Sign the cheque at the bottom.” He swiftly brought up his knee into the customer’s crotch, and the man collapsed in sudden, agonising pain. “Sign the cheque at the bottom.” As the man sat gasping for breath on the floor, the manager kicked him hard on the head, and he started bleeding profusely. “Sign the cheque at the bottom.” Then he politely escorted the customer, whose legs had apparently turned rubbery, to the end of the queue. When he got to the head, the teller couldn’t help gasping. The man was in terrible state, doubled over in pain and bleeding from wounds in the head. “I’m so sorry you didn’t sign the cheque right then, Sir, it’s such a pity that you went through this terrible ordeal.” “Oh”, said the man,” that’s all right. Nobody had bothered to explain things so clearly for me before.”

    I sincerely hope that things have been clearly explained to you now.

  194. Ganpat Ram

    Vajra:

    Gklad you agrre on everything I care about. Well done.

    I don’t have to say India is a Hindu country any more than that India is hot. It is predominanly Hindu, and Hindu ideas prevade its life.

    That’s all I care about.

    Your word that India is cold changes nothing.

    So we can part on good terms.

  195. Ganpat Ram

    apologies for typos

  196. Ganpat Ram

    By the way, I enjoyed the joke about the Hindu guy who kept on denying the obvious about Islamism until another Hindu had to take tough measure to bring him to his senses.

    In your case, rest assured I won’t bother to do anything like that. I am merely amused by such blindness.

  197. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    As a matter of record, that was intended to convey the sense of obtuseness that others get when they enter into discussions with you.

    You assume situations which don’t exist and deplore them; when their non-existence is pointed out, you fatuously claim credit, and stroll off the battlefield which never was, dwelling happily on your victories over the rascals in buckram, presumably expanding their numbers on every revisitation as in the original. For an example, your post of March 10, 2010 at 9:41 pm.

    You congratulate people who point out your fallacies for their delayed acceptance of your brilliance, under the mistaken belief that what served you in junior school will continue to do so, and that assuming that you have won and working your way forward will rock your audience with laughter and mirth. It does, but not at the target you intended. Unfortunately, this forum has seen more dense and doggedly persistent phenomena than this, and has become hardened, inured to these bits of juvenilia. For another dire example, your post of March 11, 2010 at 10:30 pm.

    Finally, on being told that you are persistent in your folly, you appear to believe that it will suffice to ponderously go through the entire dreary pageantry of pretence that the joke was on the person inflicting punishment on you to carry the day. A final foul misdeed is available for examination as an example of how not to write, since you are evidently a student of good writing, albeit one with a limited comprehension, a limited vocabulary and a limited wit, at your post of March 12, 2010 at 12:13 am.

    It appears, regrettably, that you have recently discovered this forum.

    As it happens, this forum is unable to return the compliment; we are used to buffoons who inflict their buffoonery on us for various periods, short and long.

    Certain characteristics mark them.

    Impertinence is the first, in both senses of the term. They introduce breathtakingly insulting concepts and terms, and take the silence of an exquisitely polite and hugely tolerant (there are, regrettably, exceptions to even this Olympian forebearance, and you have unfortunately attracted the attention of one such) to indicate that they have won a famous victory.

    A paucity of ideas is another characteristic. They usually travel with a single product for sale in their knapsack, and this is thrust under our startled nostrils at every opportunity, even after “things have been clearly explained”. They do not understand that their failure to contribute materially to the discussions going on are prominent and embarrassing to all, and go on flogging not merely the dead horse but its disintegrating remains.

    Complete and impregnable self-satisfaction is a third. They generally come here straight from the mount of Sinai, with their one commandment on many tablets of graven stone, and look around with satisfaction at the stilled multitude, and deliver their message from the Almighty with a burgeoning sense of their stature in the scheme of things. Usually, they are accompanied by one or two nincompoops, who trail them breathlessly from repetition to repetition, and whose adulation serves them for reason enough to go on, the same message repeated ad nauseam (the sense of nausea being generated in the disbelieving audience, not naturally in the fond author).

    That is an initial state of euphoria. As the realisation hits home that they are friendless and the butts of others barely-concealed amusement, and as this brings forth greater and greater vehemence (the argument being invariant, unfortunately), sometimes to greater and greater levels of grossness, they tend to get banned. At this stage, another characteristic shows up: a sense of martyrdom. They then become lugubrious; tears flow, clothes are rent, breasts are beaten. We are informed in shrill tones of complaint that we are intolerant and we shall regret this on the Day of Judgement, not realising that subjected to the boredom inflicted by these prosing fools, many of us wish for the Day to be visited rather earlier than the celestial plan may have considered.

    And then, after typically six weeks of such nightmarish visitations, out, brief candle. Only, while in the history of this forum, these onslaughts are brief, as said before, they are so boring that we emerge blinking and incredulous that so little time has passed after all, that we had not been bound helpless to a rock forced to read the magnificent single idea of such dolts in perpetuity.

    To my count, we have had over half a dozen visitors, perhaps eight, of your sort since I have been looking up this forum first, perhaps a year ago. This, too, shall pass.

    The phrases in italics are quotations; they are the words of other authors. Since you have a yearning for writing great things, you may spend your time to your greater profit digging out where these are from.

    Such an exercise might deflect further lucubrations from being displayed to our wincing senses.

  198. Luq

    @Ga’nphat rai,
    >Gklad you agrre on everything I care about. Well done.

    Lagta hai, hamare manager se aapki baat mukammal nahi ho payee, voh abhi busy hain, kal phir aana. Lagta hai the knee has missed but has had its effect on the spellings…….

    Luq

  199. Ganpat Ram

    VAJRA:

    Cool down. You haven’t seen me do anything but chuckle yet.

    I could of course ridicule your:

    asinine, atrocious, abysmally-absurd “arguments”;

    bibulous, bathetic, bombastic buffooneries;

    cretinous, crapulent, crass crudietes;

    demented, debased, delirious drivelling;

    egregious, execrable, emetic exaggeration;

    frenetic, feeble, frivolous, flatulent fatuities;

    gruesome, giggle-inducing, grubby grotesqueries;

    hilarious, hoarse. hortatory, horrible hectoring;

    injudicious, ignominious, inebriated, inane, inspissated injunctions;

    jerky, Jinnah-like, jest-inducing jabberings;

    kooky ku-klux-klanisms;

    lamentable, ludicrous, laughable lunacies;

    meaningless, measly, mind-numbing, muck-making mumbo-jumbo;

    noxious, naff, null-and-void, nonsensical non-sequitors;

    oleaginous, otiose, orotund obfuscations;

    puffing, piffling, paltry, pernickety, pedantic puerilities;

    quirky, querulous, quack-quack quibbling;

    rattled, risible, rubbishy riff-raffery;

    stilted, stupefying, silly, stale “stories”;

    trite, trivial, tiresome tergiversations;

    unintelligent, ugly, utterly unteachable un-thoughts;

    vile, vulpine, vulgar, verminous vituperations;

    wobbling, waddling, wah-wah-seeking witticisms;

    x-ray-refuted xenolatry;

    yellow, yowling, yodelling yelps;

    zombie, zero-rated zoolum-wit.

    All this going by memory.

    But, like Babur, Orwell, Churchill and Naipaul, I prefer the power of short well-known words to the verbal diarrhoea of the uneducated.

    Mediocrity complicates simple matters; intelligence simplifies complex ones.

  200. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    Well, if this is what it takes, this is what it takes. This is the first post on this thread where you haven’t come up with your Hindu India idiocy.

    I note that you wisely acknowledge that you can ridicule my arguments, not counter them. Sensible.

    Your tenth line of alliterations was in bad taste, by the way.

  201. Ganpat Ram

    VAJRA:

    You don’t know how to have your own thoughts, do your own thinking. This is betrayed by your pathetic pride in trotting out literary allusions, your inept, clumsy, verbose sentences.

    Simplicity is the mark of self-confident people who know what they want to say and are unafraid of being found in error – since simple language reveals error much more easily.

    Read Orwell. He explains why simple, clear language is the one to go for.

    You mistake windiness for profundity.

  202. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    If by thinking one’s own thoughts and doing one’s own thinking, one comes to your state, your comments and your analyses, that is not much of an incentive to change.

    Regarding simplicity being the mark of self-confident people, and so on, we have no doubt that you are self-confident, to the extreme point of being self-satisfied. You must understand that this is emphatically not the first time that this forum has encountered specimens such as you. This trait, that you so trustingly trot out as your own unique attribute, is one of the hallmarks of the succession of crashing bores that we have encountered previously. Please read my post of March 12, 2010 at 3:39 am, and particularly the third attribute of this hapless breed. In fact, read the whole post and recognise yourself as others see you, not as you see yourself.

    I have read Orwell. I cannot write like Orwell, even if I wished to. I certainly would like to follow his principles. My style is built of what I have read from such masters, interpreted as best as I knew. In some circles, this is known as originality. If you are open to new influences and leave some interval open for new impulses in the midst of the sound of your own voice, you might recognise this. Doubtful, but not impossible.

    You mistake painstaking detail, an attempt to cover the entire subject, for windiness. Given the manifest superficiality, the shallow, gimcrack nature of what you inflict on us, this might even be a defence, not an honest mistake.

  203. Ganpat Ram

    Monsieur Vajra:

    Your little footling essay is embarrassingly remniscent of those pitiable, laboured, clumsy imitations of nineteenth century essayists that are oft inflicted on weary literature professors by wet-behind-the-ear first-year students.

    It is the dreary task of the professor to gently wean these measly wretches away from their juvenile fascination with aping the stale diction and obsolete thoughts of a long-vanished age and to teach them the use of their own brains, ill-endowed though these be.

    I could walk you into the ground in a competition to establish who has the fatuous glory of perpetrating the most slavish pastiche of some long gone-to-dust nineteeth or eighteenth century pompous master of saying next to nothing in a multitude of long, resonant words. But confound it, Sir! – that would be an insufferable waste of my time, though admittedly not of yours which evidently has no better purposes in its sights.

    You have evinced the singular effrontery to rebuke me for avoiding the defence and substantiation of my case on this august forum, the Paki Tea Shop.

    Cast your eyes, as unseeing as your wits, back over the record of this web page, Sir. You will, once you have made up your paltry imitative “mind” to look, see that I have had but plain propositions, clearly enunciated. I have said that the Partition, so profusely lamented in these pages by so many ill-instructed persons making painful display of their inability to state a case and to defend it ( you above all, Sir) – this Partion, to repeat – was in fact for most of the inhabitants of India, a good eventuality.

    It has enabled the Hindus to live their own lives largely free of Muslim pressure; it afforded Muslims the same delicious, ineffable luxury.

    I futher pointed out that Pakistan has been on the whole better managed in matters economic than India, that this can be confirmed by the evidence of the naked eye.

    Your common or garden Pak is apt to be a strapping, fairly well set up person, of some strength of muscle; while the Hindu eqivalent tends to be a weedy character who seems about to be blown away by every gusting wind. Many a traveller to the Pak land after a visit to fabled Hind have noted this intriguing contrast.

    Have you, Sir, any evidence to confute my assertion, that Partition has been on the whole a benefit for the subcontinent, that Pakistan is a more prosperous land than the land of the Hindu?

    If so, you have but to speak.

    As to India being Hindu – an assertion to which you have taken an immoderate, comical, intemperate, unintelligent exception – that too I explained clearly: it is so, in the sense that Hindus predominate and so do their ideas, in that many-marvelled realm of Hind.

    Have you evidence to confute me?

    You have decried repeatedly a certain Vishwas, proclaiming him unworthy to grace the celestial precincts of this Paki Tea Shop.

    Pricked by curiousity by your illiterate, rancorous rants, I sought to find out for myself what the said Vishwas had stated that was so objectionable.

    I discovered him to be a gentleman of perhaps at times excessive proneness to attribute ill things to Islam, but not otherwise of any particularly atrocious culpability. He is well worth calmly refuting, to the extent that he is of mistaken trend; he is most certainly not to be denied access to a site that does some rare credit to the Pak nation by being rather open to opinion.

    You, Sir, are an abject flatterer of Paks and Islam, and evince the instinct to silence those who might demur with your contemptible sycophancy.

    Sir, you have claimed, with all the cupidity and fatuity which is your distinguishing feature, that you are one of “exquisite politeness”. It is only with a scarcely conquerable revulsion that I remind you that you spoke of offering me savage physical chastisement on this very webpage, should I dare to hold an opinion you did not share.

    Should you ever be tempted to put your bibulous threat into practice, you will find me, to your lasting regret, much more than your match, physically, too.

  204. Ganpat Ram

    I had meant to close my epistle above thus:

    I have the honour to be, Sir

    Your Very Obedient Servant

    Ganpat Ram

  205. Ganpat Ram

    See how easy all these tricks are, Vajra?

    Intelligent people have better things to do than imitate.

  206. Sameet

    “Should you ever be tempted to put your bibulous threat into practice, you will find me, to your lasting regret, much more than your match, physically, too.”

    Obviously Ganpatji, you are an exception to the “weedy character who seems about to be blown away by every gusting wind”….a rare exception in this “many-marvelled realm of Hind”….

  207. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    Ah yes! The 18th century. No doubt along with your other mistakes on points relating to history and to sociology, you perhaps think that this was the century of Orwell. There is no telling. But let me acknowledge a skilful imitation of a bygone age. The mind wanders in the direction of imposing involuntary time travel for pests of a particular kind, but let us stick to the last.

    All your posts have talked about good writing – almost all. Strangely, or perhaps indicating that that is an inherent part of the problem, they never refer to good reading.

    If you numbered that vice along with your virtue of good writing, you might even have noticed that nobody, nowhere had opposed your statements about the superior physical condition and better state of development of Pakistanis.

    Secondly, I do not know where you found laments about Partition. There have been arch-Hindu super-patriots, birds of passage, who have come and up-ended their bilious feelings on us and gone away, thankfully never to be heard from again, but none of us defended it, nor felt the need to. It is an established fact, after all.

    You mentioned that partition, or, as you would prefer,this Partion,has been lamented in these pages by some of us. To be precise, your words are that partition is so profusely lamented in these pages by so many ill-instructed persons making painful display of their inability to state a case and to defend it ( you above all, Sir).

    Put up or shut up. What have you based your astonishing flight of fancy upon? I have never defended such a stupid proposition, nor have any of the regular contributors.

    Up to this point, you would encounter no opposition, as I have stated clearly at the beginning of this exchange. Neither does anybody deny your assertion that the people of Pakistan are well off in certain physical characteristics than the people of India, nor does anybody mourn the event of partition, or wish it undone, except in two contexts: mourning the killing that accompanied it and that led up to it, and expressing a hope for closer economic ties and cooperation in future. The phrase South Asian Community has been used by some of the precocious masters who contribute here.

    My only objection, and it was a personal objection, not a collective thought, was to describe India as Hindu. You say that this is justified by the prevalent majority of inhabitants being Hindu, by a careless, throw-away phrase repeated a number of times that Hindus predominate and so do their ideas. Presumably by that you mean political ideas, economic ideas, social ideas, the lot. If so, that precisely is what I object to and would like to examine in detail.

    It seems to me that describing India as Hindu is a totally fallacious idea, as fallacious as the proposition that a predominance of people, a brute majority, sets the character and tone of a country.

    First, it denies the character and desire to express themselves of a variety of identity groups. These include the subjugated lower castes, the Dravidians, the tribals of central India, the tribals of mountainous north India, including the north-east, and all the members of minor religions, minor in the sense of less in numbers, the Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs.

    The vision of a Hindu India is limited to the manuvadi upper castes of plains-dwelling Hindus.

    It is not shared by the lower castes. If you go through the writings of Ambedkar, unfortunately not very popular because his views are unfortunately not very popular, or the latter-day speeches of Kanshi Ram or Mayawati, you will get a flavour, an extremist flavour in the cases of Kanshi Ram and Mayawati, of what these segments of society aspire to. It is not to be part of Hindu India, it is not to continue to accept the unthinkable oppression that they have suffered over centuries. If you want a fuller list of Dalit writing and thinking on this, ask. I might print it anyway, so that people can read from it know you are speaking a pernicious brand of rubbish.

    It is not shared by huge sections of the south, even as significant sections of those same parts continue to adhere to it. A closer look at the situation will reveal that the Brahmins, the traders and the land-owners stuck to Hinduism; the others, oppressed at their hands, withdrew as long ago as Ramaswamy Naicker’s movement from the 1930s. Even today, the ideology of the DMK, and to some extent of the AIADMK is founded on this quest for Dravidian identity.

    It is not shared by a Gond or a Santhal or a Maria. If you want to learn about this, read Christoph von Fuerer-Haimendorff for starters. Better still, go to Dantewada and preach your doctrine of India as a Hindu India. That entire section, Andhra Pradesh from north and east of Warangal, Chhatisgarh, Maharashtra east of Gadchiroli, Jharkhand, sections of adjacent Bihar, sections of adjacent West Bengal, sections of adjacent Orissa, all are in open revolt against, not India, but the Hindu traders and ‘industrialists’, whose only aim is to open up the lands of these marginalised Indian citizens for exploitation of forest and mineral resources.

    It is not shared by the north-eastern tribes, prominently the Nagas and the Mizos, although there are 13 distinct insurrectionary movements from this region, within the general list of 31 proscribed, involving groups and segments that do not come to public attention daily.

    Need I add evidence about the psychological distances between the minor religions and their adherents and the right-wing fascists’ concept of ‘Hindu’ India?

    If you look at this carefully, the majority of India is no longer Hindu, the prevalent thought and ideology is Hindu only to the extent that it is imposed in some places at some times by force. This imposition of Hindu ideas and tenets by force is what has led to the increasing turbulence in society, a turbulence that will only grow until the underlying reasons are resolved.

    This is what I have been trying to point out in every post of substance from the beginning, and this is what you had no time to read.

    As for the rest of your rant, you might like to note that the exquisite politeness that I claimed was an attribute of the moderators and the Pakistanis who are regulars, not mine. Finally, I am amazed that you have so much information about my personal habits and my personal life that you can call me bibulous. Perhaps this assumed familiarity is some perverted form of flattery.

  208. Ganpat Ram

    SAMEET:

    Sir, I am very much the exception in not one, but several, respects, as your ill-advised, ill-instructed, illiterate colleague, Vajra, has discovered to his considerable discomfiture.

    Confronted by a pompous prancing popinjay exuding an abjectly imitative effusion of verbal puffery, I find it excessively easy, nay, but child’s play, to device a reply in every wise fitting the biblical injunction: “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit”.

  209. Ganpat Ram

    VAJRA:

    Aha!

    You are now comically lapsing from the faux-Macaulay style to adopting the dreary frothy-mouthed drone of the practised Dravida-nadu Hindu-hater.

    Well we know the type, asserting with a tedious shrillness that everything Hindu is the monopoly of the upper castes.

    It serves little good to debate with this miserably vituperative lot. Here it will suffuce to say that Hinduism has long been outgrowing the Brahmin domination.

    I myself am a Keralite of the lower castes. We had our troubles with Brahmins. But that was decades ago. Now in Kerala, it is the lower castes who dominate, politically and increasingly economically.

    Times have changed; Hinduism, that religion whose supple flexibility maddens the Vajras, has changed and reformed. That is its trump card against Islam.

    Even in the BJP, the upper castes have no assured dominance. When the OBC quota question was debated, Modi (whom I certainly don’t favour) rudely pointed out that the majority of Hindus are OBCS, as he is himself, and would insist on the quotas. That silenced the upper caste element.

    Indeed, the rise of Hindutva (with whose methods again I disagree) has in large part been a rebellion of the middle and lower Hindu castes against the Brahmin-Muslim-Dalit combine perfected by Nehru.

    Plenty of Dalits now also support Hindutva.

    As for the Dravida fanatics, in Kerala they are the stuff of jokes. Keralites despise the Tamil fanaticism propagated by these brutish barbarians, best represented by the unlamented and deservedly dispatched Vellupillai Prabhakharan.

    In the Indian Constution, adopted under the guidance of Nehru and Ambedkar, Hinduism is stated to include the Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains.

    Missionary fanatics like Vajra may rave, along with Al-Qaeda. Hinduism will roll on.

    Bark, O Macaulay mimics !

  210. Hayyer

    Vajra:
    The history of India since 1947 at least but probably since the Bengal Renaissance is a record of escape from Hinduness. You rightly asked what aspects of India’s social economic and political development is Hindu. Except for the accounting methods of the Marwari and Bania communities I can see very little.
    Of course India’s outlook is hugely influenced by the Hindu mentality even today, but fortunately urban India is escaping that too. Hindutva is a dying creed, even thought it is not strictly speaking, representative of the Hindu mentality, only seeking to freeze it in a fascist mould.
    The more conditioned regressive modes of Hindu thought do bubble up now and then, as in the sati veneration in Rajasthan or the khap panchayats in Haryana. These are surpressed by acquired western modes of response.
    It is a pity that the more philosophical, contemplative and inquiring aspects of Hinduism are less in evidence in modern India.

  211. Gorki

    Ganpat Bhai:

    Reading your rapid fire posts and supremely self confident predictions of an awesome and superior intellect, I am getting a dreamy feeling as if I am on bridge of a Spaceship in Star trek that has suddenly been invaded by a Borg who declares rather matter of factly that :
    ‘Resistance is futile’😉

    If your aim is to impress, I am truly impressed. Reading your posts, I even agree with some of your statements, such as that if the CMP had been accepted by Nehru and Patel it may have led to a vey messy Union of India. There are even others on the PTH who like you, admire MAJ if not as a Bismarck then as a heroic founder of a modern nation in the Indian Subcontinent.

    Yet after I am done being impressed with your oratory and with witnessing the electrifying display of spellbinding verbal fireworks; I am left very uneasy with your statements and the apparent callousness, almost contemptuous style with which you chose to insult the people and the principles of the nation you seem to be speaking for. Although these provocative statements were made on several different threads, I will list them all here for ease of discussion:
    1. You have implied that somehow the Muslims have regrets about the Partition borne out of an inferiority complex (or words to that effect) and suggest they should in fact rejoice in their good fortune because the partition was good for them. You also suggest that Indians too should not lament the partition since it was good for them too. I find this a disingenuous attempt to box others into a lose-lose position that is not theirs but one you want them to first own up so that you can then demolish it in a flash of inspired brilliance. The way you do this reminds on of a rhetorical question reportedly asked by a crooked family court trial attorney seeking to trap his opponent’s client by asking:

    ‘When did you last stop beating your wife?

    I am carefully calling it disingenuous because if there is one thing that Pakistanis bristle at, it is when some neophyte Indian innocently remarks that the partition was a mistake. Almost to a man, all my Pakistani friends and my opponents have reiterated that they would not ever want to call the wisdom behind the partition into question.
    Similarly I don’t know where you get the idea that the Pakistanis have any kind of inferiority or hesitation about asserting there nationhood; (may be you hang out in the wrong crowd of Pakistanis or may be you need to get out more); for I can assure you that the number of Pakistanis who have an inferiority complex of any kind vis-à-vis a Hindu India can fit into my son’s small closet.😉
    Also you seem to go out of the way to be condescending by pointing out their superior physical attributes. Are you kidding; don’t you know they know that?😉

    As a matter of fact I will not be surprised if someone told me that even as we speak a few of them are engaged in solving the complex mathematical formula that will allow them to deduce if one Pakistani youth can take on six Ganpats or nine Ganpats (your claims of being an exceptional fighter notwithstanding).
    So my question is this; what is your point? Is it that you have come up with a great answer but whish is an orphan without a question and you desperately want that question asked so your brilliance can be suitably displayed?😉

    2. Then you have implied that India is a Hindu nation. You say that it is obvious because Hindus are in a majority and back it up by such snide remarks as denying it would be like denying India is hot. No one is denying the majority but by using that as an argument, to me, it sounds like someone saying that Obama only ‘a black man’.
    You may say that because that is the India you want to see; in which case you have the right to claim what ever you want; yet in the exact words of that same clever Pandit-ji of your, JLN: ‘facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes’. If there was one thing that Nehru spent his life patiently and repeatedly explaining to his countrymen, it was this; a Hindu majority does not mean a Hindu version of a Pakistan.
    The Indian republic was founded as a secular home for all, including us minorities and it remains a secular homeland; your wishful refutations of Vajra not with standing.

    Again, look at the facts. The BJP that you so proudly tout has been in a continuous electoral retreat after once touching a high watermark in the vicinity of about 35%.
    Its current ideologue is now trying to make the appropriate noises about taking the Muslims along precisely because its own electoral arithmetic demonstrates that the fantasy sandcastle of a sustained Hindu political majority is just that; a fantasy. The Indian electorate is far too smart to throw their weight behind a religious identity to the detriment of a national one. Election after election has shown that for the Indian of today, religion is a personal matter; it is the national and regional identities that are playing a role in how we Indians look at ourselves. Vajra tried unsuccessfully to point his out to you, but then again, facts are what?
    Just inconvenient facts; who cares? the theory OTOH is immaculate in its conception; look at it , it is a work of art, it must be right, it has to be right!!

    Even culturally speaking; the Hindutva devotees wrongly try to sell this line that culturally India is a land of the Hindus, a pure modern version of the ancient Aryavarta that just happens to have some minorities; nothing but another expression of Hindu culture.

    I would suggest that some day take a break and go to the Punjabi countryside; then select any spot, anywhere and look around you.
    Observe the architecture, the people, their language; their clothing; their social mores, not as an ideologue but as a social scientist would.
    You would be surprised with what you find. The word ‘syncretic’ will jump at you over and over again.
    For example the Sikh ‘Golden Temple’ is one of the finest examples of this ‘syncretic architecture’. And just so that you don’t think it is by accident, the Sikhs will make it a point to let you know that (multiple times if you tell them you are a tourist) and that the Temple was conceived as such and specifically as opposed to old Hindu traditional buildings, and they will also almost gleefully tell you (Those Hindu turned Sikhs, I am tellin’ ya😉 ) that its foundation was laid by a Muslim Sufi.

    While they speak, listen closely to their language, and their religious philosophy. Then do a quick mental experiment; think that if you were to remove all that was ‘alien’ (that is non-Hindutva prescribed), from these people, you will be surprised how little will be left to observe.
    Another bit of advice, no matter how highly you rate your own physical prowess in your eyes, when there, don’t try to convince any of them, especially the orthodox Sikhs that they are but ‘another type of Hindus’.
    You see these ‘specimens of Hindu India’ may not be of the predicted inferior specifications that you like to believe and consider that if you guess wrong, the results may not be pretty.😉

    These are only some of the things that come to mind off hand about only one small corner of the land of the Aryavarta. Others, who are better informed than I, may give you more pointers about other parts of our republic.
    Fortunately most people living in the Republic of India do not agree with you that Nehru and Ambedkar Sahib, among others, wrote a constitution with a ‘Hindu’ nation in mind.

    Which brings me to the last, but most important part of my struggle; with your obviously enlightened way of thinking; that Kashmir is nothing but a big piece of cheese in a large mousetrap to trap hapless Pakistanis into a perpetual struggle.

    May be because I lack a superior intellect, I happen to see things in a simple Forrest Gump sort of way and rely on simple things I was taught in high school.
    One of those things I was painfully made to commit to memory was the words to the preamble of the constitution of India.
    I am sure you can repeat it back words in Latin but indulge me a little and let me repeat them here:

    ‘We the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign socialist democratic secular democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation’
    Notice that it does not talk of any dominant group identity, Hindu or otherwise. Notice also that it claims its authority only upon the promise of an equal treatment and dignity for ALL Indians, and by the force of a written contract; a contract between the citizen and the republic. You are free to imagine that all that India owes its minorities is a slightly better treatment than the Hindu minorities are given elsewhere, but that is not what it says here!
    It was this piece of paper that made Kashmir and Punjab and Bihar and Assam a part of India; not some imagined belief in a ‘Hindu’ cultural identity. It was this piece of paper that made Sikh soldiers shed their blood when they entered the Golden temple to oust fellow Sikh rebels from it and it is in the defense of this piece of paper for which Muslim officers battle and lay their lives against their coreligionist Jehadist in Kashmir.
    As long as the people of India keep their faith in this piece of paper, it does not matter what a Ganpat Rai thinks, Islam is as much a part of India as is any other religion. However, once that piece of paper is denied as a legal document by any elected government of India, then no amount of verbal jugglery or military force can keep the Punjabis, Kashmiris, Tamils, Assamese; together in one nation.
    Fortunately going by the recent electoral trends, there is no danger of that happening in the near future.
    Regards.

  212. vajra

    @Ganpat Ram

    There was no change in emphasis at all from my first post in response to you till now. Please go back and check. It has always been about the India as a proud Hindu nation you referred to.

    Let’s try again, yet again. Perhaps it would help to remind you, for the nth time, what is being objected to.

    In this response, I have also incorporated the realisation that, going by the remarks in your last post, you are possibly not a political Hindu supremacist, of the Sangh Parivar sort, but a cultural supremacist.

    In your post of March 10, 2010 at 9:41 pm, this is what you stated:

    Let us put an end once and for all to the morbid Muslim sense of grievance that they are the losers of Partition and live each in his own way: Pakistan and Bangladesh as proud parts of the Islamic world, India a proud Hindu nation. All of us respecting minorities.

    Again, one post later, on March 10, 2010 at 10:09 pm, you added:

    India IS a Hindu nation, long since. In all but name. And so much the better for it.
    Indian liberalism and freedom are based on the easy-going, undogmatic, all-ideas-considered Hindu view of life. Quite unlike the ferocious dogmatism of some other religions.
    Indian Muslims don’t lose out from India’s being Hindu. Quite the contrary: it is because of Hindu liberalism that Muslims are free in most parts of India to denounce Hinduism as much as they please, openly.

    Your first point first. First, let us grant that your statement is a pious wish for the future, and that all of us do not as yet respect minorities as we should. I accept that that is an inseparable part of your formula, and also that in 60 years of striving, we have not achieved it, although we have achieved the self-confidence to twit our neighbours on that score.

    Leaving that aside, it is not clear at all that India is, or wished to be, or plans to be in future, ‘Hindu India’. That is your individual interpretation, and it puts a gloss and a meaning on India which is objectionable. India is a proud nation, by no means, constitutionally, socially, politically, or by religion, a proud Hindu nation.

    I have given you a large number of examples of how India is by no means a Hindu nation, whatever Pakistan and Bangladesh may choose to be as decided by their sovereign people. Our own sovereign people have put in place a Constitution which is secular in character, and this has been upheld and fleshed out by a series of acts of legislation and court judgements which have been constructed over sixty years. There is no room for ambiguity or doubt, except in some examples such as the Shah Bano case and consequent legislation, about the unshaken intention of the people, if representative democracy is to mean anything at all. Even in the exceptional case that has been mentioned, the courts of the land have brought matters back to an even keel and have restored the rights of Muslim women which were damaged by the legislation by their interpretative judgements and implementation of the act in question.

    Under this shield, there has been an increasing quest for identity mounted by the minorities that have been mentioned. I had cited the lower castes, the scheduled castes, to be precise, as one of the minorities rising against caste Hindu domination.

    I had ended by stating, without ambiguity, that

    The vision of a Hindu India is limited to the manuvadi upper castes of plains-dwelling Hindus.

    The manuvadi upper castes, mind you, not the Brahmins alone; my intention was to bring into the scope of the charge the Brahmins, the Rajputs and the traders, however they describe themselves, throughout India. This is based on the distribution of social power in North India; the categories would change, other than the Brahmin, elsewhere in India, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, in Karnataka and in Kerala.

    Your response was to show that inside Hinduism, and inside the Hindutva brigade, Brahmins had lost their domination; the OBCs were strong, and finally, in Kerala, the “lower castes” had begun to dominate society, the economy and politics.

    This shows that Hinduism is flexible, that reforms can take place, without Brahminical intervention, and the reformed religion being far less dependent on Brahmins. But it applies to Hinduism, as an internal adjustment of forces, and not to the revolt against Hindu domination by others.

    The fact that in Kerala the lower castes – and let us for the time being accept this categorisation without question, as we have used a category without question – have come to get out from under the Brahmins is the exception that proves the rule; everywhere else, except perhaps West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, they have failed to do so.

    As far as every other category pointed to is concerned, the situation remains the same. To those identity groups, India is emphatically NOT a Hindu India. Fortunately, they neither read blogs, nor do they mount vendettas against individual authors, so we can breathe easy.

    I would like to answer your point about Indian liberalism and freedom being based on secularism and on democracy in a separate post, as otherwise this reply will become too large for convenient reading or response.

  213. Anoop

    @Ganpat,

    India should never be the Hindu version of Pakistan.

    I have some opinions that I’d like to bring to your notice. First of all I do not believe in the concept of Religion. Neither did India before the Mughals came. If you look through our ancient Texts you will not notice any word pertaining to Religion,especially the word Hindu. I am not a scholar or have looked into it on the Internet but the word Hindu was probably given to us by the Mughals or the Britishers. I am not sure. But, that word is certainly not given to us by our forefathers.

    The reason they didnt is, I think, they didnt believe in the notion of Religion. They believed in Ideas. That is why it is called the Sanatana Dharma.

    http://www.courierpress.com/news/2010/feb/06/hinduism-has-long-history-multiple-themes/

    But, you can categorize Hindus based on Cultural similarities especially to separate them from Religious ideologies like Islam and Christianity.

    Our Ideas and Practices have been distorted by many factors in the past many centuries.

    I dont agree that we should call India a Hindu country. Because, I dont believe in Religion. I believe in Ideas. If you call everyone following the Ideas proscribed in our vedas Hindus, then yes, they are Hindus. Since, the values and Ideas mentioned in the Vedas are democratic in nature and respects the difference in Opinions we should not have a problem in Sikhs calling themselves Sikhs or Muslims calling themselves Muslims. If we tell them you are Hindus, then they will definitely fight the Idea. You have to respect ethnicity and Identity. India wont be India if you take away one’s Identity.

    One has to look at the Vedas to understand the Ideas of “Hinduism”. Indian version of Islam has been the most moderate in the world due to the Influence of our Ideas and Tolerance. Great Religious/Spiritual Ideas have been borne out of our Culture like Jainism, Buddism,etc..

    BJP doesn’t represent India nor does any Party. I think only the Constitution represents the Ideas of the ‘Hindu’. Muslims and Christians might take offence to fact that saying the Constitution represents Hindu Ideas. Hence, even though they are very similar lets us not talk about it and aim at spreading the Ideas enshrined in the Constitution and in effect, our Vedas.

    Regarding the Rebellious Tamils, I am from Karnataka and I’ve traveled extensively in Tamil Nadu. I think the Politics of Tamil Nadu is very Unique and I dont think you question the Indianess of Tamils. Chennai Superkings are playing tomorrow with a North Indian as Captain. Lets enjoy the action and stop insulting the Tamils just because of the peculiar king of Politics played out in their state.

  214. B. Civilian

    Gorki

    the question of questioning the wisdom of partition would only arise once you solve the whodunnit. if you have solved it, kindly let us
    know.

    also, please don’t blame the pakistani majority for what was done without its mandate or in betrayal of it. so, in fact, the root of the problem is lack of democracy, no matter how the symptoms change to the point of confusion when even a simple ailment turns chronic. it also then becomes possible to fit a bigger number of hypotheses on to the ever complex set of symptoms.

    i shouldn’t have been butting in. sorry! this was a domestic between you and a compatriot of yours. ghar diya’n dee ladai vichon baarlayaa’n noo ba’ar raen dyo. thanks🙂

  215. Gorki

    BC: I understand your point.

    All I was trying to the point out was that there is a huge difference between people debating academic historical facts and those having feelings of regret at the turn of events. The former is a sign of wisdom that comes with a self confidence while the latter seems to signal a longing to reverse history.

    I may be terribly wrong, but what I have noticed here at the PTH and at other similar sites is that while the Pakistani narrative about the partition and its causes is very different than what we in India learnt; it in no way signifies any lack of self esteem or despair among the discussants.

    Similarly, while I hear a lot of honest introspection going on in Pakistan, especially among the liberal, Western oriented individuals, it comes across to me as motivated by a determined desire to build a better country any strengthen its civil institutions rather than any kind of self pity, which Ganpat Sahib seemed to imply with his partonising comments.

    However, you or any other Pakistani gentlemen here are free to correct me if I am wrong in which case I will ask for forgivness from Ganpat Sahib.

    Regards.

  216. Ganpat Ram

    GORKI:

    Reading around the literature on Partition, I certainly sense a Pak feeling that they got the loser’s deal in 1947.

    Read Ayesha Jalal, for instance. Her version of events is almost the standard one these days, influential even in India.

    She seems for some strange reason convinced that the Muslims were entitled to partition India, but the Hindus and Sikhs were not entitled to partition Punjab and Bengal. So Pakistan lost out in a major way.

    Somehow the Hindus helped by the villainous British are supposed to have pulled a fast one on Jinnah, or the latter is said to have “overplayed his hand” by being taken seriously by Nehru and Patel on his endlessly reiterated demand for partition.

    Jinnah was just seeking the best deal he could for his Muslims within India, we are told. How unfortunate Nehru called his poker bluff and brought on Partition. Nehru dunnit.

    Well, Ayesha, life is not a clever poker game. History professsors may think so in their cool American libraries leading their easy, comfortable, not very useful lives. The real world is different.

    Hurried negotiations like this involving the life and death of scores of millions are very serious affairs; you had better mean what you say and say what you mean or you will be taken at your repeated word. Don’t come whining afterward.

    Besides, why trust Jinnah’s last-second ambiguous acceptance of Indian unity if he had been yelping for partition for years and years?

    Why trust a bluffer?

    Is it not comical that Jinnah is so often spoken of as, compared to the crooked oily Hindus, a “straightforward” man?

    And Pakistan got a pretty equitable deal in the land share out. They got all the Muslim majority areas with the exception of the small Kashmir Valley. With regard to Kashmir, it should be noted that Pakistan got the big Chittagong Hill Tracts, only three per cent Muslim in population.

    I have also pointed out that economically the Paks have been considerably better off than Indians for a long ime.

    Yet many of them seem to think Partition somehow made the Hindus big and them small.

    I can only conclude they are suffering from a “born to rule” complex, and fail to realise there were three times more Hindus than Muslims in India in 1947. Therefore, on any fair principle, three-quarters of India had to go to the Hindus.

    India is much the bigger country and likely to have much the greater destiny.

    Accept this, Paks.

    Pursue your wonderful Muslim life, live with your Arab and Persian brothers and leave Hindus to their Hindu life.

    The alternative is the fatal one you are pursuing now: beating your heads bloody on the Hindu brick wall.

    There’s nothing but ruin in that.

  217. Sameet

    “The alternative is the fatal one you are pursuing now: beating your heads bloody on the Hindu brick wall”…

    And is it your contention that the “Hindu brick wall” wont shatter from these repeated beatings? If so, why?

  218. Ganpat Ram

    VAJRA:

    If the vast majority of Indians are not Hindus, this is big news to me and to all the encyclopaedias I have ever seen.

    You have evidently made a colossal discovery. Congratulations.

    Please do me the favour of simply listing the religions of India in percentages. What religions are those peoples following who are not Hindus as was thought?

    I’m just mildly curious.

  219. Ganpat Ram

    SAMEET:

    Well, who is stopping those clever Muslim heads from shattering the Hindu brick wall?

    They can certainly try.

    Make my day.

  220. B. Civilian

    Gorki

    i completely agree with both the letter and spirit of your last post. I only had reservations about part of the letter, and not at all the spirit, of your post before that. so, i pointed them out.

    i would be more than happy to stand out this battle of yours and cheer for you from without, or jump in and stand next to you, shoulder to shoulder. my objection was only the indirect way in which i, as a pakistani, was dragged into the argument.. which i’d rather be fighting than be made a mere exhibit in against my will and view. so i pointed out where exactly was it that i disagreed.

    it was exactly two points only. with the ‘questioning the wisdom of partition’ point you made, my issue was only with your formulation, not the substance of your point. i believe i’ve explained more clearly the reasons for my disagreement with the “a Hindu majority does not mean a Hindu version of a Pakistan” line.

  221. Ganpat Ram

    GORKI:
    Yasser Hamdani in his PTH piece today on the Islamic revival pus my point about the defining role of Hinduism in India very well. What he says below is entirely applicable to Hinduism:

    “…the core values of any civilization are drawn from the dominant religio-cultural system. There are contributory factors from other minority strains but ultimately the way society is organized is around the religio-cultural system the majority of its adherents follow. So for example, the Western civilization- as we know it today- has for evolved out of a Judaeo-Christian cultural norms and as it is secularized, it is enriched by other cultural strains but it remains manifestly a product of Judaeo-Christian evolution. It certainly has strong heritage in Hellenistic past but that itself is expressed through established Christian traditions (for example Christmas which is an adopted Hellenistic holiday), much like Islam adopted a lot of pre-Islamic Arabian heritage as its own.”

    As for your fear of a Hindu state in India becoming like the Muslim state in Pakistan, it’s unrealistic: polytheistic Hinduism is an infinitely more tolerant religion than Islam with its fierce Judaic heritage of monotheism. A Hindu state in India will need to tolerate all other religions, just as the Protestant State in the UK does. We forget England is not a secular state.

    What matters is tolerance, not whether the state is secular or not.

    A Hindu state will assure the Hindus that they like other major religions have a state to look after their interests. This will make Hindus more relaxed and tolerant, not less.

    In any case, with the steep rise in Muslim numbers and violence in India, Hindus will certainly become more politically organised and defensive and will move in the direction of a Hindu state.

    In the long run this is inevitable. Jihadi violence in India is certain to go up hugely; Hinduism will organise to hit back and defend itself.

  222. Sameet

    Ganpat, I asked a question and you did not answer. Your choice if you don’t want to. I am trying to understand your views, and I needed to know more, so I asked. If you state your views on my query, would help me that much more to understand what exactly you are saying.

  223. Ganpat Ram

    SAMEET:

    My guess is that Hindus can defend themselves. The Muslims are fewer in number.

    Of course, I am assuming the Hindus will organise themselves and become tough.

    I think they will.

    During the last war in Kargil a US journalist was in a village many thousands of feet high in the mountains. She met some tough military fellows and got chatting with them.

    They said they were part of a battalion fighting at 20,000 feet. She expressed amazement. “It’s a piece of cake!” laughed the soldiers.

    Indian soldiers are a fine lot of guys, hardened in battles.

    They will take care of India.

  224. Ganpat Ram

    Another little vignette giving me a feeling of confidence in the Indian Army. A UK journalist called Sean Langhan did TV documentary on Kashmir some years go. He arranged in Srinagar to meet a major jihadi leader in a village. This was in the depths of winter, with everything snowbound.

    Langhan got to the village deep in the night. The dogs started barking. He was halted by an Army patrol.

    He tried to bluff his way out saying he was lost, etc. The miltary guys grinned. They said: “We were waiting for you, old boy. Come along to meet your friend.”

    They took him to where the jihadi was. He had just been shot. The soldiers had a photo taken of the event and politely sent Langhan on his way.

  225. Gorki

    Dear Ganpat Sahib:

    Your post to me is rich with ironic subtext but I suspect that underneath the sharp wording it carries in it more than a hint of bitterness at the partition.

    While Ayesha Jalal’s writings have certainly rekindled an interest in the events leading to the partition, hers is but one line of reasoning. I have not read Jaswant Singh’s book but I understand that he too seems to agree with it to a considerable extent.
    Here on the PTH too we have had several extended (and spirited) debates on this topic; I have a feeling that you know that already.

    My personal opinion (I am afraid a minority one) is that Nehru and the INC lost MAJ way back in 1937 and it was already too late in 1946-47.
    It is also my own opinion that both MAJ and Nehru were, in many ways, individuals who had very similar political impulses and morals, true nationalists to begin with, but like a real life version of a Greek tragedy they ended up as political adversaries at one of the most important moments in India’s history.

    Because of what I believe, I can understand your position even if I don’t agree with it completely (just as some better read people here understand mine).

    Now the problem part; again there are several subtexts but there are two major issues I have problems with. I mentioned both in my first post to you but you chose to ignore it. I will only discuss one here today.

    You can feud with Vajra all you like about the religious make up of India but surely someone with your intellect (I am not being sarcastic, I mean it) can understand that nationhood is something very different and far bigger than the confessional headcount of its residents. Underneath the Borg like exterior (pardon my using the same metaphor again but it seems too good to let go😉 ) you do seem like a passionate nationalist.

    If so, why do you insist on describing a unique civilization that has taken five millennia to evolve and only now, for the first time ever; is made up of citizens who are actually starting to see themselves as Indians first and above all else; as just a ‘Hindu’ nation?

    I can’t make up my mind why you do so; whether it is an expression of your bitterness at having the ‘Akhand Bharat’ divided on the basis of the TNT or if it is an article of faith for you, as a Hindu believer in the TNT. Either way you acknowledge that the Muslims of India are full citizens too with full constitutional rights and protection (in your words are allowed to call Hinduism names if they felt like it). Then don’t you see that by insisting on describing India, (which majority of its people think is a secular democracy); as a ‘Hindu’ nation you are narrowing its appeal? By doing so can’t you see that there is nothing to gain for a democracy minded nationalist, even a religious one, but everything to lose in terms of a national identity?

    I am not much of a believer in religion myself but have a great deal of reverence for the Hindu faith and its philosophy; culturally I feel that my Indian identity is in a large part a product of this system of philosophy. Yet large as it is, I am more than just a subset of Hinduism. I can’t banish my non Hindu cultural identity any more than I can deny my Hindu one. And I am not a minority either; I don’t know about you but I believe a majority of Indians are like me, many layers of cultural seasoning making up one unique identity: that of a 21st century Indian.

    You yourself seem to applaud the expansive character of Hinduism that allows many different philosophical streams to co exist in its midst. Yet by insisting on labeling India a ‘Hindu’ nation even as there are in its midst hundreds of millions who don’t share the majority faith, aren’t you negating its very spirit that you so admire?

    Nehru attributed the same liberal spirit not to any one religion but to the cultural ethos of our great nation that allowed many others to come here as aliens but that eventually absorbed them; each enriching the other. In going through different writings by Nehru I came across the following small passage by him that in my eyes elevated him from the ranks of the merely famous Indians to the ranks of one of the greatest sons of India:

    “So far as the two-nation theory is concerned, we have never accepted the fact that Pakistan was a result of the two-nation theory. It may be so in the minds of the people of Pakistan but we did not agree to it even then. Our position has been that we cannot consider a nation and a religious community as the same thing. Nations contain more than one religious community. Even if all the Muslims in India believed in this theory, we would not accept it or even if all the Hindus believed in it.” –JLN; collected Works

    Many people, including most of them on the PTH will dispute this. I like to believe that is true. I mention Nehru’s views here, attributing the liberal characteristics of our people to the Indian culture which you attribute to Hinduism, its major faith, to demonstrate that it seems there is only a very small gap between what you seem to imply and that which he (and I) believe.

    However the way I like to see it, even if my belief is wrong, if it is shared by everyone of our countrymen, has the potential to let our country rise to its full potential and then beyond it. Unfortunately, the way you seem to see it, even if you are right, has the potential to condemn it into a perpetual schizophrenic state that is forever at war with itself, mired in mediocrity. Those are the choices available to us and our country.
    You come across as an exceptionally gifted man. You can decide what you want to believe in.

    Regards.

  226. Gorki

    @Ganpat

    ….but I suspect that underneath the sharp wording it carries…..= but I suspect under the crisp wording it carries….

  227. Hayyer

    Ganpat Ram
    You quote YLH as follows,
    “…the core values of any civilization are drawn from the dominant religio-cultural system. There are contributory factors from other minority strains but ultimately the way society is organized is around the religio-cultural system the majority of its adherents follow. So for example, the Western civilization- as we know it today- has for evolved out of a Judaeo-Christian cultural norms and as it is secularized,…”

    Your quote is irrelevant. We are talking at this point, in this thread, about the Indian State not Hindu civilization. Indian civilization if there is such a thing is strongly Hindu influenced, but in its present form it is Muslim influenced too.
    But the discussion is about India as a modern political entity. That India is not a Hindu entity. As I said earlier modern India is all about an escape from Hinduism, or more accurately, Brahmanism.
    Your views are nothing more than a restatement of the Hindutva principle. You came to this site dressed in the robes of tolerant preacher but revealed your true colours when challenged. According to you the minorities owe their rights not to universal values (even if derived from the west) that form the basis of the modern secular state but from the tolerant Hindu. From your argument it follows that Muslims in India owe nothing to the constitutional guarantees of equality. You can even be said to imply thereby that whereas Pakistan discriminates against its minorities by law Indian minorities could not remain empowered by the law were it not for the tolerant Hindu. That is dangerous doctrine.
    Vajra believed you to be a morph of Vishwas. He was right. This site is not about Hindu versus Muslim, which your trend of argumentation is leading us too.
    I wont go into your views on Jinnah. He has been discussed at length at PTH, and some sort of consensus has emerged among the regulars here. Your blasts from the past pouring vitriol do not add to our knowledge.

  228. Ganpat Ram

    GORKI:

    Your letter is well meant, and I have read it carefully. I hardly deserve your compliments.

    It’s too easy to ridicule a poor pompous creature like Vajra, and prick his silly word-conceit by demonstrating how effortlessly one can write in the style of Johnson, Burke and Macaulay. I could do half-a-dozen other English styles if it would amuse you: Dickens, Carlyle, Wilde, Shaw, D H Lawrence, T E Lawrence, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh…..Hemingway is a particular favourite.

    But let’s get to serious matters.

    Behind all your kind of talk of a supremely inclusive Indic civilization, I sense a huge fear of Muslim violence. Hindus are told to fear being themselves and taking pride in their heritage, lest this provoke Muslims to devastating anger.

    Sorry to be a little blunt about this. This is an old, old Hindu syndrome, this fear of Muslims.

    You can see it in the writings of Nehru, for instance, excellent and often beautiful though they are. He dismisses the massive destruction of Hindu temples by Muslims by saying that those Muslims were not doing it out of their Islamic zeal, but a mere taste for destruction and loot.

    It’s a curious argument, dictated by fear. Islam, it seems, can never do wrong…..It comes oddly from a man who (RIGHTLY) is never afraid to point angrily to the faults of Hinduism, its urgent need to reform.

    In any case, this Hindu fear and resort to abnegation so as not to provoke Muslim anger puts India back precisely where it was before Partition. Partition might have ensured an enduring better future for the two communities if Nehru had insisted on a complete exchange of populations, as Ambekar, for instance, advised. But he did not….. A large number of Muslims were left in India, grew faster than Hindus and are again facing the Hindus with the demand to have their way or else……

    A tense situation.

    Giving them all they ask, pretending Hinduism is not important, won’t solve this problem. It will, in fact, only make the Muslims bolder, more inclined to resort to force.

    Hindus should state clearly that Indiua will be tolerant, but particularly after Partition it is their country and the mean to defend it.

    This time, unlike in 1947 they have the military in their hands.

    This is the future, my friend Gorki. Better get used to it.

    I do not see it as “mediocre”. I just see it as living with a large Muslim minority.

    Soft soap won’t work.

    The choice is not mine. Nehru chose for us in 1947 when he ruled out population exchange.

  229. yasserlatifhamdani

    Gentlemen I have not followed this discussion. My comment is more of an appeal to everyone concerned. This “interview” has too many holes in it… let us not dignify Agha Shorish Kashmiri by giving his lie prominence and continue to popularize this interview.

    I have considered closing the comments but I think that would be beneath me. So I am merely requesting that this discussion be moved elsewhere.

  230. Ganpat Ram

    Typos are a bigger enemy of mine than Al-Qaeda.

    I meant to say above: “Hindus should state clearly that India will be tolerant but particularly after Partition it is their country and they mean to defend it.” I should add: with complete respect for minorities. It is tolerance that counts.