Who’s afraid of Dara Shikoh’s ghost?

Raza Rumi

Madeeha Gauhar
Prince Dara at the feet of his
Sufi saint
Emperor Aurangzeb
Dara Shikoh
Dara reading the Upanishads with Hindu priests
Maulana Maududi
To present a play on a prince who argued – with reason and reference – that there was little difference between the Upanishads and the tenets of mystical Islam is no ordinary feat. After all, this is a country where powerful forces within the state and society are hell bent on turning the Land of the Pure into a haven for cultural fascism
The Ahmedis are hounded on a regular basis, the Shias are being murdered and even the Barelvi majority feels unsafe given the high profile murders of their leadership
The propagation of Islam in the subcontinent was the handiwork of the Sufis who showed the path to a large number of people through the message of tolerance, harmony and reconciliation. Recognising the roots of our indigenous cultures is now the only weapon that Pakistan’s intelligentsia possesses

It is now a given that the Pakistani state is a playground for Islamism and extremism under various guises and forms. Since the passage of the Objectives Resolution in 1949, the state by design and sometimes by default has surrendered to the phantoms of the orthodox Islamic interpretation of the world. It is true that religion was central to the sloganeering for Pakistan, but the post-1947 architecture of the Pakistani state was meant to be secular and democratic. Whatever the proponents and apologists of a jihadi state might have to say, Jinnah’s words and deeds were clear. Iqbal’s vision, inspired by Islamic philosophy and strands of mystical thought, was also clearly anti-Mullah.

This was hardly surprising, as a majority of Indian Muslims, not unlike South Asians of today, were averse to orthodoxy. From the Bhakti movement to folk and Sufi traditions, mullahs and pundits have not enjoyed popular legitimacy, as their alliance with power was resented and rejected by the populace. It is also well known that Mr Maududi and his ilk were bitterly opposed to Pakistan and accused the Muslim League leadership of being un-Islamic. Even stranger is the fact that this essential truth is rarely discussed in the public domain, and excessive coverage and importance given to the orthodox champions of Pakistani nationalism in the media and in textbooks, betrays how the age-old nexus between Pakistani monarchs and the Mullahs has survived the test of time.

Ajoka theatre based in Lahore has been attempting to challenge the status quo. Its plays rooted in the folk and street traditions of the subcontinent have raised political themes and placed political mobilisation at the centre of any discussion for social change. Recently, its play Dara Shikoh was staged in Lahore, and this marked a watershed in our cultural and political landscape. Dara Shikoh, the elder son of Emperor Shahjehan, despite his brutal murder at the hands of his Mullahesque brother Aurangzeb, continues to represent a fault line that runs through the past and the present of South Asia, especially in Pakistan.

To present a play on a prince who argued – with reason and reference – that there was little difference between the Upanishads and the tenets of mystical Islam, is not an ordinary feat in a country where powerful forces within the state and society are hell-bent on turning the Land of the Pure into a haven for cultural fascism. Above all, Dara’s stiff resistance to a militant version of Islam and its exclusionary theological constructs is perhaps most relevant in these times.

However, Ajoka’s effort to take the play to our culturally desertified and politically bankrupt Islamabad, for a presentation at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), has been thwarted by officialdom, as it challenges the state complexion and orientation. One wishes that such a comment were merely speculation, but it seems that there is enough evidence to suggest that a female MNA from the Jamaat-e-Islami wrote to the PNCA earlier. Apparently, she believed that Ajoka was guilty of making fun of Islamic values and represented a threat to the republic of the believers and munafaqeen alike.

How ironic that this is no different from the late 1970s when a senior bureaucrat, now a media personality and scholar (of sorts), authored an article where General Zia ul Haq was compared to the austere and God-fearing Aurangzeb, and Dara was portrayed as a precursor to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The maverick civil servant argued that in the clash of ideology, Zia’s coup was symbolic of religious power. Pakistan suffered from Zia’s assumed divine right to rule in the name of Islam for eleven long years, during which intolerance, bigotry, sectarianism and dictatorship shook the foundations of this country. Intellectual voices and activist groups such as Ajoka have to constantly contend with Zia’s legacy, and the wily servants of the state are always eager to provide legitimacy to retrogression.

Ajoka’s earlier play Burqvaganza explored another explosive subject, that of purdah, and its literal interpretation at the expense of the metaphorical and spiritual meaning. The female MNA referred to above, who also happens to be the daughter of the former Amir of the Jamaat, even raised the issue in the National Assembly and protested that Ajoka’s legitimate questions about the burqa were tantamount to demeaning Islam. History and politics move in cycles, and this outcry in the Parliament was not different from the earlier assaults on the secular vision of Pakistan. All our rulers, except perhaps Ayub Khan, pandered to the orthodox lobby. Under General Zia ul Haq, Islamisation became an official policy and its instruments the un-uniformed part of the national security apparatus.

A small theatre group therefore is pitted against far larger forces of orthodoxy and regressive medievalism. This is shameful, given that an elected government is ruling Pakistan, and the ruling party has been hostile to the ideology of Zia ul Haq. But Zia seems to be alive as much as his nemesis Bhutto. Whilst the jiyalas may chant zinda hai Bhutto, the institutions are pretty smug and happy to articulate zinda hai Zia. Small wonder that JI, whose lack of electoral worth has time and again been exposed, has the audacity to become a guardian of our faith and nationalism.

When Ajoka’s executive director Madeeha Gauhar called the other day to share the recent phase of her ‘struggle’ in the democratic era, she was obviously disturbed. And given her penchant for speaking the truth she was also not too charitable about the Mullah brigade. While she was talking on the phone, her voice faded and a recording of a Hamd (a eulogy for the Almighty) emerged from nowhere. This was amusing, yet quite unnerving. Our Constitution and laws prohibit anyone to monitor citizens’ expression and speech in the public and private spheres. And, to experience this intrusion was not pleasant at all.

Interestingly, the minions of Big Brother played a popular Hamd, that begins with the verse Koi tau haye jo nizam-e-hasti challa raha haye. Muzaffar Warsi, who apparently was Zia ul Haq’s favourite poet, had composed these verses. In view of his special place in the Zia kingdom, he was accorded with various state honours and also a cushy state job. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan later rendered this piece in his magical voice.

I clearly remember a discussion that took place in the presence of the late Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi, a twentieth century literary giant. Many senior poets critiqued this Hamd for being a problematic hymn for God Almighty, since it did not express absolute belief in God but worked through an inference: there must be Someone who was managing the universe! Thus the element of doubt marred a believer’s chant in praise of his Creator.

More importantly, the bugged phone line sent a clear message: that la-deen (irreligious as secularism is understood by the clerics) Madeeha Gauhar had to be ‘censored’ even in a private conversation, and reminded that there is a God. And, the chosen, self-appointed representatives were managing the show in His name.

This is not limited to the minions of the state apparatus. Such attitudes are now embedded in our curricula, modes of instruction, thousands of madrassas and more dangerously, elements of the media who were trying to convince us of the glories of the Taliban until the Pakistan Army valiantly took on the miscreants.

A journey that commenced with the Right’s struggle to capture political space in the 1940s, and with the state’s cynical support, has culminated in capitulation to such forces. The gradual erosion of Jinnah’s Pakistan has also led to the ascendancy of all that Pakistan was not supposed to represent. The Ahmedis are hounded on a regular basis, the Shias are being murdered, and even the Barelvi majority feels unsafe given the high-profile murders of their leadership. What we have is a curious mix of a Wahabi-Salafi variant of Islamism with several local offshoots, which are not averse to using violence and butchery as weapons.

The propagation of Islam in the subcontinent was the handiwork of Sufis and sages who showed the path to a large number of people through the message of tolerance, harmony and reconciliation. Violence simply did not deliver in this part of the Islamic world.

This is why recognising the roots of our indigenous cultures is important. It is now the only weapon that Pakistan’s intelligentsia possesses. To encourage the airing of alternative messages and interpretations such as Dara’s worldview, and challenging the burqa’s form over the spirit are crucial to sustain our plural culture. If Zaid Hamid can have access to state institutions such as the Iqbal Academy in Lahore, then why is Ajoka denied a space? Is it not a brazen indicator of Zia’s legacy hounding our generations well into the future? Pakistani youth are already despondent, as all the surveys reveal, about the country’s future. They have to be educated about our history and the ways in which we can co-exist as a heterogeneous country.

Education reform and mass-awareness campaigns are also needed to challenge Zia’s Pakistan. The systemic collapse in the education sector will need to be arrested immediately if we have to survive as a viable polity. A plural culture also needs secular education and an inclusive political system that provides avenues for all voices and opinions. It is about time we became unapologetic in dealing with the narrow-mindedness of the Mullah and reclaimed Iqbal’s message, that called for ijtihad in line with the changed times.

In this twenty-first century onslaught of medievalism, Pakistanis will have to bitterly oppose any form of violence – from censorship to target killings – and exclusion. The religious parties who opposed Pakistan cannot be allowed to continue blackmailing us in the name of a universal, peaceful religion based on equality and tolerance. The state has to reinvent itself, and only Pakistan’s citizens, its intelligentsia and secular political parties, can help achieve this. The other option is too violent to imagine.

Raza Rumi is a writer and policy expert based in Lahore. He blogs at http://razarumi.com; and manages Pak Tea House and Lahore Nama e-zines. Email: razarumi@gmail.com


Filed under Pakistan

113 responses to “Who’s afraid of Dara Shikoh’s ghost?

  1. Pingback: Anonymous

  2. Shahd

    I cannot thank you more for this brilliant piece.

    I’m amazed at the fact the self styled champions of faith cannot help but intrude into the personal lives of dedicated artists who have done more for this country than the mullah brigade can ever do.

  3. yasserlatifhamdani

    Arun mian…

    The question is not of being “offended”. The question is of being utterly wrong. Your failure to draw distinctions between various strains of “Islam” and “Muslim” in the subcontinent leaves you rather bewildered and confused.

    The truth is that the seeds of what Raza Rumi describes was sown when Gandhi ignored the advice of “minority Jinnah” who in any event was merely a shia heterodox and instead chose to bring hardline Sunni fanatics and other characters in the tradition of Aurangzeb Alamgir in the field with his Khilafat Movement. To this day the Mahatma-Maulana alliance continues to cut down forces of progressive Islam in India and even Pakistan …. in India, the Congress Party overturned the Shah Bano judgment to appease “composite nationalist” Deoband. Guess who Shah Bano’s lawyer was? It was Daniyal Latifi- Jinnah’s associate and traineee and a stalwart of the Pakistan Movement who stayed behind in India. In South Asian Islam… Mahatma-Maulana Alliance (MMA) stands against Jinnah-Darashikoh-Akbar and other liberal strands of Islam.

    The basic fact is that a heterodox shia Muslim who never hid his irreligiousity can never be an heir to Aurangzeb…. There is an unbroken chain from Ibn-e-Taimiyya Sirhindi to Aurangzeb to Shah Waliullah down to Maulana Azad of orthodox Sunni Islam that Maulana Azad amply recognized …

    Did you even know that Maulana Azad – your champion of composite nationalism- hated Akbar and considered him a KAFIR (it is on record and I suggest you read it yourself). Maulana Azad – your champion of composite nationalism – hated Dara Shikoh and considered him a KAFIR. I don’t it is too hard to imagine that in the charged up atmosphere of the 1940s…. which side the Mughal Prince Darashikoh been on… on the side of liberal minded largely irreligious Muslim Ashrafia and Bourgeoisie under a heterodox Shia-by-faith leader like Jinnah … or on the side of the orthodox Ulema under the leadership of ghair muqalid Maulana Azad in service to an equally retrogressive Mahatma.

    What you don’t understand is that followers of Alamgiri Islam … the Ulema of Deoband and what not as well Maududians etc … were all in Gandhi’s corner through out the 1920s, 1930s, and the 1940s… Meanwhile Dara Shikoh’s kin… the Sufis, the Barelvis… the popular Islam of Punjab … and other heterodox groups like Shias etc were more or less in the Muslim League.

    A failure to accept the facts is obviously nothing new to your family. In making the above argument …. you’ve only contradicted yourself. You guys barked about “Dispossessed Mughal Syndrome” (which you would know better since you suffer from “dispossessed Gupta syndrome”) on chowk day in and day out. Even a cursory glance at Mughal history makes it plain that the master signifiers of Mughal “civilization” were Akbar and Darashikoh … not Aurangzeb.

  4. Arun: I think YLH has appropriately deconstructed the cliched view of history. Why do you think when we Pakistanis challenge the historical discourse we are following the strictly defined Indian nationalist discourse. I for one even challenge that. I have issues with fabricated histories that serve nation states.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted

  5. AZW


    It is fascinating to see how the forces of enlightenment and regressiveness in Muslim India have been at it for the past few centuries. And how the secular India was abetted by the regressive Muslims throughout the pivotal first half of the twentieth century.

    That the conservative Islam changed gears and slapped an Islamic theological ideals on a Muslim nationalist movement speaks of the atrocity committed on the new state. The fault lies with the Muslim League leadership for not recognizing that not successfully differentiating the Muslim Nationalism from Islamism is a recipe of disaster.

    Ironic that once Mr. Moudoudi recognized that the idea of “chaste prostitution” Muslim Nationalism can be successfully hijacked, it was done so. Pakistan has suffered for so long for this lack of vision and leadership.

    Something makes me cautiously optimistic that this confusion in our midst is giving way to serious introspection. And maybe Indians are waking up to the same phenomenon: that they were supported by the wretches of the Muslim society; the obsure, rigid and conservative elements who fled the India the moment it was born as a secular state, and directed their energies to ensure that the newly born Muslim majority state does not go down the route of universal secularism.

  6. mazbut

    Dara Shikoh was the spoiled prince-child of his majestic father, King Akber. I would have meted out the same treatment to him if I was in place of Aurangzeb and Dara was my brother who was after my life for power!! Dar was not superior in knowledge to Aurangzeb in matters of religious acumen. His only fault was though that he was a ‘staunch sunni Muslim’ who wouldn’t tolereat anyone for deviating from the Quranic edicts….and he held a team of Faqihas to test the truth on that criteria before deciding to enforce his verdict.
    King Akbar was no less than a crackpot in that he tried to ‘invent’ a new religion composed of tidbits from several religions but he badly failed and was forced to give up the idea when his own son, Jehangir , stood up against him.
    Hazrat Mian Mir was a great Sufi but his views attracted Nanak more than anyone for raising the foundation of his new religion, Sikhism.

    As far as Maududi is concerned, I have read a few Q & A books of his and I did not find any offensive in his writing. He had the right to differ from Jinnah on the division of India, and so did others such as Azad….Khilafat movement was waste of talented brilliant men such as Muhammd Ali Johar who and his like, I think wouldn’t have vainly struggled for Khilafat, had they previously known that Turkey would finally let them down!!

    If King Babar had not forbade his son Humayun to spare the lives of his inimical and treacherous brothers he would have sent them all to mincers instead of blinding them and throwing them to rot in dungeons.

  7. yasserlatifhamdani

    Raza bhai,

    Madeeha Gauhar recently wrote to encourage me after my piece on Maududi in DT. She is a bullwark against Mullahism.

    Arun and Mazbut…

    For both you geniuses, I have written the article “Nationalist mythologies and Nuances of History”. Please read.

  8. Hayyer

    It is a very important statement that Raza Rumi has made. The nationalist Congress discourse is not and was not the only discourse available. Nor is the Indian praxis entirely to be recommended. There are some rather large assumptions in Indian political theory and too many flaws in the product-invitations to Mumbai are highly presumptuous.

  9. yasserlatifhamdani


    Completely agreed …

  10. Hayyer

    Mazbut needs to reread his history; his genealogy for the Mughals is obviously wrong as it is about Mian Mir who was born a century after the founder of Sikhism.

  11. AZW


    Nah, reading history, getting facts straights, objective introspection outside of cultural and religious biases; not the required traits for Mazbut or his ilk, if past comments over the last few months are any indication.

    Why let cold hard facts get in the way of emotional rhetoric???

  12. mazbut


    Did I say Mian Mir was contemporary of Nanak or Dara??
    In any case the Sikhs benefitted more from the sufism of Mian Mir Sahib than Muslims themselves. History is full of facts turned and twisted to suit the interest of its writers….this is what some ‘adventurers’ here are trying to do it again!!

    @Hayyer & et al

    The comments by a bunch of self-serving and self-pleasing ‘players’ here are nothing more than a futile attempt to spread religious and sectarian hatred……bon appetite!

  13. @mazbut

    I didn’t see any effort at spreading religious hatred: this may have highlighted differences of opinion among sects, but certainly not among religions.

    You will understand if some readers prefer to align themselves with liberals like this, who are open to the idea of offering others space, rather than regressives of any persuasion, who are open to no ideas but those excluding all of a different view.

  14. AZW


    No you didn’t say Hazrat Mian Mir was a comtemporary of Guru Nanak. Mian Mir was actually a contemporary and spiritual guide of Dara Shikoh. What you actually said was this: Hazrat Mian Mir was a great Sufi but his views attracted Nanak more than anyone for raising the foundation of his new religion, Sikhism.

    So Guru Nanak was influenced by the views of Hazrat Mian Mir. Baba Guru Nanak (1469-1539) was influenced by Hazrat Mian Mir (1550-1635), who was born 11 years afterwards.

    Do you lie through your bare teeth as soon as you are confronted with historical numbers? Or everything is fair in your analysis, rearranging or rewriting history included.

    Truly aweful the likes of you are. Sometimes I think YLH’s harsh indictment of the right wingers (Muslims and Hindus included) as crooks and dishonest individuals is not too harsh; just right on the spot.

  15. Hayyer


    “Did I say Mian Mir was contemporary of Nanak or Dara??” This is what you said;

    “Hazrat Mian Mir was a great Sufi but his views attracted Nanak more than anyone for raising the foundation of his new religion, Sikhism.”

    Nanak was dead by the time Mian Mir was born in 1550; therefore his views could not have attracted Nanak. Mian Mir was close to the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev who invited him to lay the foundation of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Mian Mir is also supposed to have blessed the ninth Guru Teg Bahadur as a child.
    Verses written by the Muslim mystic Sheikh Farid Shakarganj of Pakpattan are included in the Sikh holy book as are those by Kabir. But as there were several Farids in the long line of that seat it is unclear whose contribution is found in the Sikh holy book. Nanak is supposed to have met the tenth successor to the seat Sheikh Brahm or Farid Sani. Not being a scholar of Sikhism I cannot say if any composition of Mir Manu is included but I doubt it.

    “In any case the Sikhs benefitted more from the sufism of Mian Mir Sahib than Muslims themselves. History is full of facts turned and twisted to suit the interest of its writers….this is what some ‘adventurers’ here are trying to do it again!!”

    I am not sure what you mean here.

    “The comments by a bunch of self-serving and self-pleasing ‘players’ here are nothing more than a futile attempt to spread religious and sectarian hatred……bon appetite!”

    Who is spreading religious and sectarian hatred? I would like to respond if you would amplify your comment.

  16. mazbut


    I take your point regarding Nanak… my mistake.
    I agree with Hayyer’s detailed elucidation on the issue and thank him for brushing up my memory:)

    I am not a follower of Maududi or anybody else of his type but I do have reason to believe that he was an Islamic scholar of repute who has influenced millions of minds. Also, there is no argument about the greatness of Jinnah…but I can see that instead of forwarding some suggestions or ways to justify their point some over-ambitious know-all’s here get carried away in maligning other personalities just for their difference of opinion or in the case of Maududi just because he opposed the creation of Pakistan and its founder, Mr Jinnah.

    Delving too much in the past and turning back to the present and future is tantamount to digging old graves (and grievances) for the benefit of the none.
    I would appreciate if posters here spent their energies (and time) in constructive issues rather than stray in the maze craze of the beaten track to the benefit of none. Clearly maligning personalities during comparative analysis and mud-slinging at people like Maududi etc who have more followers than his opponents could ever have is surely like adding fuel to the already prevailing religious and sectarian fire!! Let’s all state our own point of view without hurting the feelings of anyone who is linked with or not with the targeted personalities!

    And AZW I do not lie ….chronological errors can happen and to hell with those who think they are inflicting ” harsh indictment of the right wingers (Muslims and Hindus included) as crooks and dishonest individuals is not too harsh; just right on the spot.”


  17. mazbut


    I take your point regarding Nanak… my mistake.
    I agree with Hayyer’s detailed elucidation on the issue and thank him for brushing up my memory:)

    I am not a follower of Maududi or anybody else of his type but I do have reason to believe that he was an Islamic scholar of repute who has influenced millions of minds. Also, there is no argument about the greatness of Jinnah…but I can see that instead of forwarding some suggestions or ways to justify their point some over-ambitious know-all’s here get carried away in maligning other personalities just for their difference of opinion or in the case of Maududi just because he opposed the creation of Pakistan and its founder, Mr Jinnah.

    Delving too much in the past and turning back to the present and future is tantamount to digging old graves (and grievances) for the benefit of the none.
    I would appreciate if posters here spent their energies (and time) in constructive issues rather than stray in the maze craze of the beaten track to the benefit of none. Clearly maligning personalities during comparative analysis and mud-slinging at people like Maududi etc who have more followers than his opponents could ever have is surely like adding fuel to the already prevailing religious and sectarian fire!! Let’s all state our own point of view without hurting the feelings of anyone who is linked with or not with the targeted personalities!

    And AZW I do not lie ….chronological errors can happen and to hell with those who think they are inflicting ” harsh indictment of the right wingers (Muslims and Hindus included) as crooks and dishonest individuals is not too harsh; just right on the spot.” They are infact the biggest crooks and braggards!


  18. yasserlatifhamdani

    “like Maududi etc who have more followers than his opponents could ever have is surely like adding fuel to the already prevailing religious and sectarian fire!! ”

    Yes…that is why his party has repeatedly won the elections since 1970… oh wait.

  19. mazbut

    @ yasserlatifhamdani

    Childish talk!

    If elections were the criterion for success there would be no goodness in the world!

    MQM took over the place of Jamaat and other Islamic parties (in Karachi), the Bengali’s beat West Pakistanis in 1970 elections; what does all this suggest?? What lesson do you get from this??

    Firstly, the concept of unity on the basis of religion is gone! Divisions of state on the bases of ethnic races and languages hold to be the growing trend among people. Elections are sham….were they not fraudsters and cheats wouldn’t be ruling you now!!
    Wake up, boy!!

  20. YLH


    You said Maududi was awesome because he had so many supporters. Now when I point out the gaping hole in your ridiculous logic you start talking of goodness in the world.

    You are a joke Mazbut mian.

  21. mazbut

    @ YLH

    and you said “”that is why his party has repeatedly won the elections since 1970… oh wait.”

    What has Madudi to do with his party’s position in elections?? At least he has influenced more people than you and is still held in high esteem.

    If I am a joke here then you are a curse!!

  22. D_a_n


    at least a curse is taken seriously….

  23. mazbut

    @ D_a_n

    ”I would like to take him seriously, but to do so would affront his intelligence.”

  24. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Mazbut,

    Here is a post you ought to read:

    ‘I would like to take him seriously, but to do so would affront his intelligence.’

    Indeed. Your taking anything seriously would be an affront to that thing.

  25. D_a_n


    I didnt mean that in any context…I meant generally..

  26. mazbut

    @ D-a-n

    Haha! You are amusing!!

    @ YLH

    Boy, say something new. You just twisted and returned what I said.

    Here is a bit of elderly advice for you!!
    ” are you not obsessed with image. I don’t think you should take it that seriously. ”

    Maududi is a ‘past and closed’ chapter. I know how people change when they get in authority. Many people were disenchanted with Maududism and quit his party mainly because Maudidi also thought law into himself. Try not to walk in his footsteps, he had big shoes hence big foot prints!!
    Can’t you talk about something more beneficial and critically less negative??

  27. yasserlatifhamdani

    wow what a retreat from maududi was awesome.

  28. D_a_n


    you are the one who thinks that Maudoodi’s chapter is past and closed and could not possibly have any effect beyond his natural life…
    and I’m the amusing one?

    It must be fun to sail aboard the H.M.S. ‘Ignorance’…
    Bon voyage!

  29. mazbut

    @ yasserlatifhamdani

    Like a baby who needs attention, you are just trying to troll and I have no interest in making arguments for the sake of argument.
    I am not a retreating type….but you are no match for me!

  30. mazbut

    @ D_a_n

    Indeed you are a funny guy! You wanna squeeze out shit from a dead man’s arse!! I didn’t know Maudidi mattered sooo much to you as to scare and make you scream in your dreams!!

    Maudidi was a great Muslim scholar and his works have greatly influenced human minds all over the world. First bring yourself up to his ‘ level’ then think about criticizing him!!

    So, BTW why did Dara try to abscond to Thatta??

  31. D_a_n


    Bhai indeed your skull seems to be so mazbut. Seemingly impenetrable!

    And what s**t? Squeezing what you say?

    Please mazbut Sb but this really isn’t the place for you to project your maudoodi centric necrophiliac fantasies.

    As for the following:
    ‘am not a retreating type….but you are no match for me!’
    so says the man who was caught lying about Mian mir ….

    Just by that alone you exposed that your own works view has not been shaped by though, study, discussion or reading a book or two but just listening to some half wit talking and you letting those words imprinting themselves on your rather simple intellect. All the while protected by that mazbut skull.

    You exposed yourself belonging to that school of thought that not only has not been able to stomach a Jinnah but has not even being to stomach the role of the Sufi saints in the spread of Islam on the sub continent. That you come up with new ways to ‘discredit’ them by saying they somehow are responsible for the Sikh Faith being introduced. If you had infact read of this you wouldn’t have made this ‘chronological’ mistake as this was central to the point that you were making.

    How sad… The best a man being able to produce being mere mindless repetition. This now is the state of your intellect. Easily led.

    Have some decency man. But then that would be asking too much for maudoodi apologists.

  32. D_a_n

    Horrendous typos courteousy of the phone!

  33. Zia Ahmad

    I’m joining this discussion a bit belatedly and going by your comments and the responses couldn’t help noticing a serious error in the way you see history. Surprisingly no one as yet has pointed it out to you, despite the fact you also stumbled over the Mian Mir/Guru Nanak timeline and had to issue an apology. I regret if this discredits your line of argument so far but you started your very first comment on this post with the memorable announcement, “Dara Shikoh was the spoiled prince-child of his majestic father, King Akber”.
    You know Mazbut, this actually makes one cringe. You were keen to dispense some elderly advice, which may hint that you have seen more passing of the seasons than most of us here, though you writing style and style of argument would suggest otherwise. So it is shocking that you make this kind of a slip. Even kids in third grade know that much. And then you go on to say Akbar’s son Jahangir (this is actually where history books would agree with you) stood up against him so that confuses things a bit. So Aurangzaib, Dara Shikoh and Jahangir were brothers? Or do we ignore this as another unfortunate case of typo?
    See Mazbut-o-Tawana saab, before you entertain us with accounts of Maudaudi’s shoe-size and displaying bouts of peerless modesty “am not a retreating type….but you are no match for me!” for starters you should go through some elementary grade school history books before pronouncing judgments on anyone.
    With all due respect sir…you’re indeed a joke.

  34. YLH

    Yup that would make Shah Jehan merely a nephew of Aurangzeb.

  35. Zia Ahmad

    Almost forgot mazbut’s rather curious use of bon appetit
    Nobody’s a match for you mazboot

  36. @Zia Ahmad

    Actually, I didn’t get that myself, in spite of having responded to ‘Mazbut’ after he posted. What are these self-serving and self-pleasing ‘players (I have a horrid feeling that I am now in that number) supposed to be eating?

  37. AZW


    Just because Moudoudi is dead does not mean his venomous influence and the destructive ideology that he has left behind needs not to be criticized and rightly consigned to the dustbins that it should belong to. And you can be sure that Moudoudi’s excoriation in the history books is in its initial stages. His disciple General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq is already one of the most despised leaders in Pakistani history. And it is about time that many are realizing what mischief Moudoudi and Sayyed Quttub were up to, and how much the Muslim community have, and will suffer due to naive yet bloody philosophies of the us-vs-them world.

    And by the way, reading your comments on this thread, alongwith a few before, let me clear this out for one once and for all. In terms of intellect, YLH can wrap you, Ummi and Kashifiat around his little finger any given day. I suspect deep down all of you are aware of it. But false bravado never hurts. You may fool some people some of the time. Keep at it.

  38. mazbut

    @ Zia Ahmad

    Both errors were due to confusion and have nothing to do with a ‘superb intellect’ that people like you try to brag about. I already cleared one inadvertent error
    and even thanked Hayyer and was wondering why didn’t someone yet picked at the other. Fortunately, you picked it up now with bad taste and I have but to repeat that that’s also an error-inadvertent. Again it has nothing to do with any ones intellect nor you are justified in judging that on that basis. You seem to be good at remembering dates and names like women who don’t forget their periods or third graders who embed those in their feeble minds through rote!! Keep up the good work as it will pay you in future.

    @ D_a_n

    I really don’t understand what I should comment on your idiotic overtures?

    Yes, it were the Sufis of the time which provoked Nanak to break off from his religion and detest Islam and then create a mixture of the two which he called Sikhism. You may differ but I take it that way!!

    I never said Sufis were bad people …..for more on Sufis read Allama Iqbal as again I don’t want to quote some erroneous verse of someone as his and which will scald the back of you!

    Earlier I have clarified that I am not a Maududist nor belong to any organized Muslim sect. I have the equal right to state what I think proper and it is not necessary for me to tow your line……or whatever YLH spews out!

    As far as Jinnah is concerned I hold him in great esteem and I also ask of you guys here not to sling mud on others, be it Maududi or Aurangzeb or any body else. If you want to dance nude on the music go ahead but don’t try to malign a Great Muslim king, (whom, regardless of his human shortcomings, even the Kafirs hold in highest esteem as a true Muslim) for your vested interest. And nobody should tell me what goes on in Music parties and how far those are in conformity with Islamic tenets!!

    @ YLH

    I feel glad to note that despite my regret on inadvertent error as conveyed through my dispatch to Hayyer my pit-falling made you happier!!
    What a small man you are!!Huh!

  39. imran

    “All our rulers, except perhaps Ayub Khan”???
    what about:
    – officially declaring Pakistan the “Islamic republic of pakistan”
    -nationalisation of the waqft to undermine sufi’s ?
    – pandering to the mullahs and supporting their fatwa against fatima jinnah?

  40. mazbut

    May 23, 2010 at 8:27 pm


    …..no need to fib, I know you are poor at grammar and syntax! Anyway, whatever you scribbled was quite humorous…..keep trying, practice makes a man perfect!!

  41. Zia Ahmad

    Dear Perpetually Confused Mazboot,
    If you find my signaling of your, frankly put, ridiculous mistakes to be in bad taste, first go and reflect on your pompous and challenge-me-not demeanour. Your sexist jibes perfectly underline your intellect and taste. Dont expect me or for that matter anyone to stoop down to your standards.
    Trust me, your bewildering use of hideously spelled French phrases and wildly inaccurate recollection of basic historical facts dont need a good memory or rattafication, which clearly didnt do you any good.
    I dont know if its a matter of schooling but getting confused over what comes after the letter d and before the letter f doesnt require you to be a genious.
    So a humble request, next time around when you attempt to present already given historical or whatsoever facts, try not to get confused, keep your mind on track (consult wikipedia or a handy reference book if you have to). Please also try not to use words and phrases you dont know the meaning of.
    And you know what, people generally would excuse you for your written shortcomings and gracefully accept your aplologies, its the arrogant and you-are-no-match-for-me histronics that can get very vexing.
    Then the subsequent witty, sexist retorts dont do you any good, dear confused sir.
    Have a nice life,

  42. Zia Ahmad

    And just so you know that we are not veering away from the topic, Maududi’s taleemat have brought havoc on so many levels. Zia-ul-Haq is a good example. I’m not sure if you revere him as Shaheed-e-Afghansitan but he sure left his country in one fine big fat mess.

  43. sfaizan

    As a liberal agnostic from India , who is nevertheless conscious of his Islamic cultural roots , I must admire your courage and determination there in Pakistan. Taking on those mullahs is no mean task and whatever the measure of your success ,its really heartening to see such cultured and liberal voices speaking up against religious bigotry and obscurantism.
    Having said this I must say that speaking of a Gandhi -mullah alliance as driving Jinnah into a corner and leaving him no options but to bay for partition reeks of nationalist apologetics . I guess your repugnance for and mistrust of “fabricated histories that serve nation states ” doesn’t include the version of history you have been taught yourself. People all over the world, especially in our subcontinent must realize that religious identity never can and never will serve as the basis for a successful liberal democracy. The partition of Pakistan itself in 1971 proved this beyond doubt ,and whatever the historical niceties surrounding partition were ,it is clear now to any disinterested observer that the idea of one united secular democratic India has succeeded and division on religious lines ,whatever its justification was, has failed. To blame Gandhi ,Nehru and Maulana Azad for partition is a futile attempt one your part, I feel,at upholding the Raison d’être of Pakistan.Curiously the Hindu religious fascists of our country ,the Hindutvadis, would be at one with you on this, because they seek to discredit the secularists who founded India as having failed to protect India’s integrity in the past. As long as you will stop short of denying the writing on the wall you are bound to be immured in a dogmatic prison as narrow as the mullahs’ . The idea of division has failed and the idea of oneness has prevailed (however imperfectly) and the sooner we in the subcontinent accept this the better for us all. Peace be with you friends.

  44. mazbut

    @ Zia Ahmad

    Your pukings need no comments; those are tommyrots of a deranged mind of an uncultured and uncivilized dolt.

    Only small men give unsolicited advices which obviously reflect upon his own histrionic (not histrionic as you put it; also check out for the bad spellings, grammar and syntax of your scribble and see for yourself the intensity of your own confusion!!) condition. Only minions like you feel pride in acting as ‘mouthpiece’ of someone else and, apart from spewing personal filth, have nothing substantial to put forth. Like Hayyer who I believe to be a reasonable man to have accepted my apology on errors occurring due to confusion and which ought not to have been unreasonably agitated by some tiny men here but, on the contrary, they seem to have ganged up against me and if those ‘bullies’ think they will make me run away with their pukings they are living in fool’s paradise. Gentlemanliness demanded that any errors of fact by a poster be pointed out and corrected by other posters here rather than turn the thread into a battle ground of personal aspersions and counter-blasts. But as I have learnt this does not usually happen here because a handful of posters think this forum as their ancestral manger where others cannot come to ‘graze’!!

    Bon PTH!!
    Bon Apettit(e)!!

  45. Only small men give unsolicited advices which obviously reflect upon his own histrionic (not histrionic as you put it; also check out for the bad spellings, grammar and syntax of your scribble and see for yourself the intensity of your own confusion!!) condition.

    Er, yes. Indeed. So, so true.

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Mathew 7:3 King James

  46. D_a_n


    this just keeps getting better and better…

    just what in the world should one make of the following:

    ‘And nobody should tell me what goes on in Music parties and how far those are in conformity with Islamic tenets!!’


    so this Mazbut Sb is what it is boiling down to eventually. After being caught out lying ..

    (again, the dates were central to the point you were making. You then had the nerve to REPEAT the same in another post addressed to moi quite clearly showing that you were simply repeating what you had just picked up in casual conversation somewhere)…

    You finally show the side of you who is in some constant rage at’dan-uce parteez’ and ‘drinking shrinking’ just like a good middle class jamatia would. This is the pathetic finish line for self styled guardians of religion like you who open with Aurangzeb, bowl Zia as first change and then have Mullah Omar chuck the final over….

    Please do come back when you actually have something to say!

    PS: anybody know what a ‘Music Party’ is? Im feeling left out as Ive never been invited to one.. 😦

  47. D_a_n

    The title of this Piece….’Who’s afraid of Dara Shikoh’s ghost?’

    I dont believe Mazbut Sb realized the question was rhetorical when he put his hand up as a response….

  48. mazbut

    @ D_a_n

    For the shameless you and those of your ilk…may the Taliban curse fall on you!!

    ”A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

  49. mazbut

    @ Vajra

    Voila! here comes another eyeless toady….now reciting proverbs from the Bible!!

  50. D_a_n


    wow…so you’d want me blown to bits and/or beheaded for trading barbs on PTH…

    you’ve really covered yourself with glory on this one..

  51. Zia Ahmad

    `Only minions like you feel pride in acting as ‘mouthpiece’ of someone else and, apart from spewing personal filth, have nothing substantial to put forth`
    ‘And nobody should tell me what goes on in Music parties and how far those are in conformity with Islamic tenets!!’
    `which ought not to have been unreasonably agitated by some tiny men here but, on the contrary, they seem to have ganged up against me and if those ‘bullies’ think they will make me run away with their pukings they are living in fool’s paradise.`
    `But as I have learnt this does not usually happen here because a handful of posters think this forum as their ancestral manger where others cannot come to ‘graze’!!`
    `Bon PTH!!
    Bon Apettit(e)!!`

    Dear Mohtaram Perpetually Confused Mazboot-o-Tawana Saab,
    It is heartening to see that you have a thesaurus with you. Yet you still cant help yourself from wildly shooting off French phrases though. Please sir, stop embarrassing yourself here. Come up with arguments that make sense other than drumming Maududi`s number of fans and gloating over his shoesize.
    Your petty retorts dont merit a response.
    The least I can say is if nothing else, you are a source of amusement here. It will get tiring soon.

    By the way, you said in regards to your inaccurate account of history `Both errors were due to confusion`. Am curious, pray tell what the confusion was.

    And you also said `I already cleared one inadvertent error and even thanked Hayyer and was wondering why didn’t someone yet picked at the other.`
    So you rather have someone else point the mistake out to you rather than correcting it yourself. So much for integrity mazboot-tawana saab.

  52. Sadia Hussain

    The threat of religious extremism is always undermined in Pakistan, yet sees cases of extremism every other day. The state must stand up to these bigoted radicals who are keeping the society hostage by being the self-proclaimed custodians of Islam

  53. Pingback: Who’s afraid of Dara Shikoh’s ghost? « Secular Pakistan

  54. YLH


    As a liberal agnostic from Pakistan, I find your comments to even more disgusting than Mazbut’s. The view of history that you’ve taken umbrage to was not taught to us in schools in pakistan. In Pakistan, we are taught the same hackneyed nationalist narrative that fits in very well as the “other” to Indian nationalism. The history of Mahatma-Maulana Alliance is one that was deliberately buried by nationalist mythologies on BOTH SIDES of the border… in Pakistan to drum up Islamic nationalism… in India … the perfect other – secular nationalism.

    If you read my article “Nationalist Mythologies And Nuances of History” you’ll realize that it is by questioning the official narrative that we’ve arrived at this point of view.

    You ofcourse are caught up in your own Indian nationalist mythology to be blind to it.

    Every historian in the west… as well people like H M Seervai in India… and Maulana Azad himself (though grudgingly)… agrees with this new view of partition. By not blaming the Congress for its actions … by giving them a clean bill… even when history screams otherwise…. you are merely holding up the official Indian nationalist mythology and nothing else. Nation states every where are created out of conflict… so it is not the question of whether “idea of division” has failed and “idea of oneness” has prevailed. If the partition of Pakistan is to your mind a rejection of the idea of Pakistan, surely then the existence of Pakistan and Bangladesh itself is an utter and total rejection of the idea of oneness …. or else Bangladesh would have rejoined India… no?

    Ironically… your Maulana Azad admits that partition (and division) as it happened in 1947 was Congress’ idea not the League’s. League’s idea of Pakistan was not necessarily dependent on carving up provinces… indeed it was opposed to it. Nor did League’s idea envisage a complete break between two new federations …

    But Mr. Liberal Agnostic… you would not know the difference because you are product of the Indian nationalist mythology just as Mazbut mian here is the product of Pakistan’s hackneyed “Nazaria-Pakistan” mythology.

  55. PMA

    Dear Rumi Sahab:

    Dara Shikoh-Aurang Zeb comparison and controversy is interesting. It seems like Pakistani liberal-secularists – let me rephrase. It seems like of late, Pakistani “liberal-secularists” have taken to Prince Dara Shikoh as their patron saint. But before we get carried away and anoint him as one, we must stop and ask: Is the Prince worthy of this high position? In my study of history he comes across as much of a religious minded person as his stronger brother. My impression of the two brothers is that Aurang Zeb was a staunch Muslim, firm in his believes – somewhat of a confident and determined fella. Where as Dara bobbed between two very diverse and distinct belief systems being sure of neither. Historical Dara appears as a superstitious weak-nerve person more interested in religious men like Sufis and Saints than in the statecraft. Perhaps he would have been a failure as a king and as an emperor. I think we need not to be afraid of the ‘Ghost of Dara Shikoh’ but to examine him more closely and critically. Perhaps more than Ajoka can do.

  56. @Mazbut

    Monsieur, je vous félicite sur votre poignée plus d’une langue étrangère, que vous confinez aux expressions dans vos longs passages dans des autres, moins bien dans votre prise, hélas ! Est-ce que vous l’avez-vous apprise se reposant où vous êtes, ou vous avez dû voyager dans les pays lointains laissant des vos aimés ?

    Une faveur, s’il vous plais. À l’avenir, svp confinez-vous à votre langue plus forte ; elle nous sauvera tellement mal de tête, dans notre lutte avec votre plus faible.

  57. mazbut

    @ Vajra

    Lol…!! you made me laugh!! Shoray! I do not know French, just a few words and phrases so there is no need for you, dularay mian, to feel pissed off.
    Relying on Google translator will only tend to make a greater fool of you so keep to your own brand whatever.

    @ Zia Ahmad

    I can but only regret your mental condition and bid you and idiots like you, FORSOOTH!!

    @ PMA
    Wow!! YOu said what i wanted to convey! Congrats on this rational and factual assessment of Dara….
    who was NO match for his brave and confident brother, Aurangzeb. However, as a staunch Muslim and an adherent of Fiqah, Aurangzeb was against
    most of the things and acts which the so-called liberal-secularists aspire for. Such unscrupulous liberties as the ones sought by proponents of western values (mainly in matters of ‘entertainment and sexual amalgamation though- and not relating to work and moral uplift !) could only be available to them as they are available to people in the present Dubai bordello, in tyranny or monarchy. Democracy in its present state is a curse for Pakistan…..which desperately needs tyrants to fix up its corruption-ridden problems. Once these problems are fixed the ‘ghost of Dara’ will pop off by itself and as all people would be indulged in work and pursuits of the like the forums would also be rid of baloney spewed out by idle and leisurely class.

  58. Zia Ahmad

    I’m afraid our mazbut-o-tawana friend will not take your comment in good stride. Probably he’ll take this as a barbed offence (I kind of doubt if he is familar with the tongue in cheek type) directed towards his French speaking prowess. Chances are the choicest kind of insult will be hurled your way.

  59. mazbut

    @ Zia Ahmad

    Word of Wisdom for you and your friends here!!


  60. Zia Ahmad

    You are quick to draw mazboot-o-tawana
    And I see that thesaurus from 1635 is serving you well
    I had to look the word up and I’m not so sure if you are aware of the meaning and typed the word away in blinding rage like the rest of your comments.
    You are a funny guy
    stick around
    You will be missed once you are gone

  61. mazbut

    @ Zia Ahmad

    hahaha!! You nugget!!

    Here is another ‘compliment’ for you, enjoy!!
    ”’A fellow who is always declaring he’s no fool usually has his suspicions. ”

    mein ke mazboot-o-tawana thehra
    Tu ke ta’affun ka pataara thehra
    Kia kahoon tujh ko ay na hanjaar
    Tu zia hota toe hota na kalak baar!

    Keep reading until you faint!! And don’t…yes don’t try to take panga with me in Urdu….yahan bhi tu Moonh kee khaye ga!!
    A Curse For A Nation

    by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    I heard an angel speak last night,
    And he said ‘Write!
    Write a Nation’s curse for me,
    And send it over the Western Sea.’

    I faltered, taking up the word:
    ‘Not so, my lord!
    If curses must be, choose another
    To send thy curse against my brother.

    ‘For I am bound by gratitude,
    By love and blood,
    To brothers of mine across the sea,
    Who stretch out kindly hands to me.’

    ‘Therefore,’ the voice said, ‘shalt thou write
    My curse to-night.
    From the summits of love a curse is driven,
    As lightning is from the tops of heaven.’

    ‘Not so,’ I answered. ‘Evermore
    My heart is sore
    For my own land’s sins: for little feet
    Of children bleeding along the street:

    ‘For parked-up honors that gainsay
    The right of way:
    For almsgiving through a door that is
    Not open enough for two friends to kiss:

    ‘For love of freedom which abates
    Beyond the Straits:
    For patriot virtue starved to vice on
    Self-praise, self-interest, and suspicion:

    ‘For an oligarchic parliament,
    And bribes well-meant.
    What curse to another land assign,
    When heavy-souled for the sins of mine?’

    ‘Therefore,’ the voice said, ‘shalt thou write
    My curse to-night.
    Because thou hast strength to see and hate
    A foul thing done within thy gate.’

    ‘Not so,’ I answered once again.
    ‘To curse, choose men.
    For I, a woman, have only known
    How the heart melts and the tears run down.’

    ‘Therefore,’ the voice said, ‘shalt thou write
    My curse to-night.
    Some women weep and curse, I say
    (And no one marvels), night and day.

    ‘And thou shalt take their part to-night,
    Weep and write.
    A curse from the depths of womanhood
    Is very salt, and bitter, and good.’

    So thus I wrote, and mourned indeed,
    What all may read.
    And thus, as was enjoined on me,
    I send it over the Western Sea.

    The Curse

    Because ye have broken your own chain
    With the strain
    Of brave men climbing a Nation’s height,
    Yet thence bear down with brand and thong
    On souls of others, — for this wrong
    This is the curse. Write.

    Because yourselves are standing straight
    In the state
    Of Freedom’s foremost acolyte,
    Yet keep calm footing all the time
    On writhing bond-slaves, — for this crime
    This is the curse. Write.

    Because ye prosper in God’s name,
    With a claim
    To honor in the old world’s sight,
    Yet do the fiend’s work perfectly
    In strangling martyrs, — for this lie
    This is the curse. Write.

    Ye shall watch while kings conspire
    Round the people’s smouldering fire,
    And, warm for your part,
    Shall never dare — O shame!
    To utter the thought into flame
    Which burns at your heart.
    This is the curse. Write.

    Ye shall watch while nations strive
    With the bloodhounds, die or survive,
    Drop faint from their jaws,
    Or throttle them backward to death;
    And only under your breath
    Shall favor the cause.
    This is the curse. Write.

    Ye shall watch while strong men draw
    The nets of feudal law
    To strangle the weak;
    And, counting the sin for a sin,
    Your soul shall be sadder within
    Than the word ye shall speak.
    This is the curse. Write.

    When good men are praying erect
    That Christ may avenge His elect
    And deliver the earth,
    The prayer in your ears, said low,
    Shall sound like the tramp of a foe
    That’s driving you forth.
    This is the curse. Write.

    When wise men give you their praise,
    They shall praise in the heat of the phrase,
    As if carried too far.
    When ye boast your own charters kept true,
    Ye shall blush; for the thing which ye do
    Derides what ye are.
    This is the curse. Write.

    When fools cast taunts at your gate,
    Your scorn ye shall somewhat abate
    As ye look o’er the wall;
    For your conscience, tradition, and name
    Explode with a deadlier blame
    Than the worst of them all.
    This is the curse. Write.

    Go, wherever ill deeds shall be done,
    Go, plant your flag in the sun
    Beside the ill-doers!
    And recoil from clenching the curse
    Of God’s witnessing Universe
    With a curse of yours.
    This is the curse. Write.

  62. Zia Ahmad


    I am not in a habit of saying this but O my Gawd!!
    Are you even for real? Like real real?
    I’m flattered you wrote a third grade poem for me which is more fitting for a “Mazahya Mushaira” for six year ol kids. Same goes for your outdated choice of poetry.
    Literary criticism aside, one thing is for sure. This particular chain of jest is seriosuly taking a toll on your modest share of sanity. You are actually wishing Talibani treatment, cursing others and writing infantile urdu poetry just because you cant hold up an argument on a blog’s comment section?
    How old are you again?
    And you know what, this is getting a bit disturbing now. You are not doing a great service to the ideology you subscribe to.

    Btw this is a gem or nugget as you said
    “Keep reading until you faint!! And don’t…yes don’t try to take panga with me in Urdu….yahan bhi tu Moonh kee khaye ga!!”

    Really made me want to hide under the bed.
    So far I found your comments to be amusing, this line actually made me laugh out loud. On the other hand its gratifying to see your true self.

  63. mazbut

    @ Zia Ahmad

    if you have nothing to say keep your cross-hole shut!!

    i like you Zia, you are a damn sweet cake!! And don’t worry about my age, I am not as puerile as you!!

    Enough of crap from you, let’s get back to the topic
    and let me see your ‘intellectual prowess’, if any, in the subject.

    I would love to read your Urdu Haju…let me see how you honk in that language!

    Go swim!!

  64. mazbut

    @ Zia Ahmad

    I ought to have called you a fruitcake which you are, Mr Jackeroo!!

  65. D_a_n


    ‘Aurangzeb was against
    most of the things and acts which the so-called liberal-secularists aspire for.’

    You mean ‘dan-uce’ parties right?

  66. Dear Mazbut, D_a_n and Zia

    Can we please close the personal thread. I think all of you have made your points. If you wish to add to the debate in substantive terms please continue – otherwise the recent exchanges will lead us nowhere.

    In any case, let Mazbut and others disagree with the arguments in my article. Disagreement is healthy and we all have to learn something from each other.

  67. sfaizan

    YLH ,I sincerely thank you for your remarks on my views. Even though they were very disagreeable to me , it is wonderful that some one found my comments worthy of repudiation at all. I must however return the compliment by pointing out ,what seem to me to be the fallacies in your rebuttal.
    Foremostly ,the very line of argument that you have adopted and the belligerent tone in which you have chosen to put it forward betrays the vitiating influence of the ‘idea of division ‘ i argued against.Your response is in fact a case in point of the nationalist denial which I spoke of.This is not an ad hominem attack, I am merely pointing out what is relevant to a defense of my views.Let me substantiate my remarks point by point.
    Firstly ,you seem to be thoroughly mistaken in considering a rabid Indian nationalism as the motive behind my comments.I have absolutely no intention of being or appearing to be an apologist for what ‘my’ Gandhi did or ‘your’ Jinnah did, what ‘my’ Nehru said and ‘your’ Jinnah said ( you use the words ‘your Maulana Azad’ in your argument), it is , on the contrary , precisely this possessive sense of interpreting history as a battle between ‘ours’ and ‘yours’ ( of which your argument is a typical case)that is at the root of all our problems here in the subcontinent and indeed all over the world ,and it is this that I wrote against. Far from being a congress crony eager to extol the ‘mahatma’ at the expense of Jinnah I am keenly aware of all the colossal failures of Gandhi and Nehru but their faults do not absolve Jinnah ,any more than Jinnah’s failures exonerate them ,right? As an agnostic averse to anything remotely connecting politics with any religion I know what a deadly mixture of the poison of nationalism and the opium of religion Gandhi ended up concocting and modern India suffers because of it even today but did not Jinnah use religious identity in politics , similarly Nehru’s inordinate ambition and woolly idealism cost us all dearly but was Jinnah not even partly responsible for all that happened .What I was getting at when I mentioned the Gandhi -mullah alliance is not that it in itself is a fiction , but that using it to defend and lionize Jinnah is as foolish and irresponsible as denying the Gandhi -mullah alliance .You’ll see this if you set aside your nationalist obsession with blaming the ‘Indian nationalists’ for partition and read my comment with unbiased eyes. I would say exactly the same thing to a vitriolic Hindutvadi in our country intent on demonizing Jinnah exclusively.All I suggest is that you desist from deifying Jinnah at all costs.You speak almost like a spokes man for the league”Ironically… your Maulana Azad admits that partition (and division) as it happened in 1947 was Congress’ idea not the League’s.” “League’s idea of Pakistan was not necessarily dependent on carving up provinces… indeed it was opposed to it.” “Nor did League’s idea envisage a complete break between two new federations …” if this is not a nationalist apologetic then what is.
    Secondly , the ‘idea of oneness’ I was talking about is the belief that people of different faiths can coexist peacefully together in a single imaginary community ( that’s what ‘nations’ essentially are).My life in India has shown me how difficult this is and yet that it is not only not impossible but pre requisite to liberal democracy.And this principle is in so far as I can see incompatible with the idea of ‘the land of the pure’,because this usage presumes an ‘impure land’ with ‘impure people’. I am not railing against the idea , the Raison d’être of Pakistan from an Indian nationalist point of view but speaking against exclusivist ideology from a liberal humanitarian one. The mullahs whom you are so bravely opposing have only carried the exclusivism instinct in the idea of a ‘Pakistan’ to its logical conclusion ,you will only see this if you discard your nationalist blinkers and consider the situation fairly.The difference between the mullahesque dogma and your apparent beliefs is merely a difference of degree not of kind.Small wonder you find my views “even more disgusting than Mazbut’s” and prefer his views to mine.
    Thirdly my object in invoking the partition of Pakistan in 1971 was to show that religious identity in and of itself ,exclusive of cultural affiliation never can and never will be able to sustain a liberal democracy. Culture will always assert itself as dominant . Your argument that the partition of India is proof of the failure of the ‘idea of oneness’ in upholding a liberal democracy is specious nonsense because India when partitioned in 1947 was unlike Pakistan in 1971 not independent, not built upon a particular religious identity and not even in fact a ‘nation’ but only a motley subcontinent of princely states and the Raj.
    You claim to be a liberal agnostic but your liberalism seems to be hemmed in by nationalist loyalties and your agnosticism is not even in evidence. It was not my intention to forward one view of partition as opposed to another, nor was it my object to rail against Pakistan as a nation , I am all for comity and the brotherhood of all mankind, but religion has in all its forms been mankind’s greatest scourge and any state founded upon any appeal to religious identity whether an ‘Islamic’, ‘Jewish’,’Hindu’ one is bound to fall to bigotry as a natural consequence . To denounce bigotry while defending religious identity as a legitimate basis for a nation is as dogmatic as anything.
    I hope that you continue your fight against fanaticism in your country but also attack the idea of exclusivism throughout history whatever form it has taken. Peace be with you all.

  68. D_a_n

    @raza rumi

    raza Bhai. You are a fair man and right to call for this to stop however I believe that it should firstly be directed at mazbut Sb.

    I don’t want to sound whiny but it is indeed him who has been extremely uncouth and abusive to the extent of calling for my ‘management’ at the hands of the Taliban.

    I would like to lodge a mild protest at being lumped in mazbut Sb. A man of obvious poor breeding.

    I shall give it a rest now. Heading to a ‘dance party’ now.

    PS: it’s at Zia’s place 😉

  69. Zia Ahmad

    Raza bhai,
    With your permission one last jibe. This mazbut charachter is too funny not to ignore. Let me humor him in Urdu. Evidently he is most comfortable showing his true colors in Urdu.

    Maulana Hazrat Kamzor (mazboot) Aqal saab
    Apnay safaid balon ka hee khayal rakh lain, kyoon her baar apnay aap ko sharminda kertay hain.

    I’m sure you have boundless energy to write all sorts of inane and abusive comments but for me its getting real boring now. Just want to finish this thread by reminding you how patiently Dan tried to tell you what a rhetoric question is in a previous comment so rather than comforting me about your age ponder on the title of this article. I will close the book on this note.
    Shub Bakhair

  70. D_a_n

    Lumped in= lumped in WITH

  71. Zia Ahmad

    It’s one swinging danus party
    Come over

  72. YLH

    Dear S.Faizan,

    First of all I didn’t say I prefer Mazbut’s views over yours. On the contrary I think you and Mazbut perfectly complement each other. His views and yours are an exact match but opposite nationalistic camps. It must however be recognized that he does not use “liberal humanitarianism” as an excuse not to breakaway from ossified ways of thinking.

    You can claim all you want that you are railing against the idea of Pakistan and division from the angle of liberal humanitarianism but it is a thinly veiled attempt at best- infact hardly an attempt. It is outright lie and you know it. But we’ll come to that later.

    Your first post objected directly to my criticism – which was historically accurate- of Gandhi, Azad and Nehru. On the back foot in face of that criticism, you’ve resorted to this new claim. My friend “oneness” and a monolithic idea of identity is not necessarily placed on a greater pedestal in terms of “liberal humanitarianism”. You speak of co-existence, but unity can only exist in acceptance of diversity not an imposed idea of oneness.

    What is ironic is that you are terming as “nationalist apology” those points which have been raised not by Pakistani ideologues or champions of Pakistani nationalism but by scholars, historians and political scientists in the West as well as people like H M Seervai and SK Majumdar in India. You’ll be well advised to read H M Seervai’s “Partition of India: Legend and Reality” to learn a bit about partition without nationalist blinkers that you have on. You may also want to read A G Noorani’s “Jinnah and Tilak” and Ian Bryant Wells’ “Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity”. Needless to say none of these people are Pakistani, in case you didn’t figure that one out.

    Secondly I was not aware that one has to lie about history to qualify as a “liberal agnostic”. Why do I have to deny facts of history to qualify as anything in front of you? And I did not deny that I am acting as if I am the spokesman of the Muslim League. Frankly I am speaking on their behalf because Islamists like Mazbut and self styled “liberal humanitarians” like you have distorted history and lied about again and again and I feel compelled to stand up for them. Why does it bother you that I do when you’ve been unable to prove your point?

    Your question about Jinnah and religious identity is ironic given that you defend Gandhi’s use of Islamic clergy in the Independence Movement. Jinnah did not invent the religious identity, … for 33 years out of his 40 year career he believed in Hindu Muslim unity …. It was after the religious identity was made non-negotiable and the father of Muslim identity in Indian politics is none other than your Gandhi … and it was after Jinnah realized that Gandhians having demarcated Muslims would never allow them anymore than the status of Cinderella with trade union rights and a transistor radio in the kitchen but still in the basement… that he took up the cause of Muslims as an aggrieved party. The religious identity that he “invoked” was not of his making. He merely used it to redress some grievances. And till 1946, Jinnah was still willing to come to an arrangement over United India. But the all or nothing approach by Congress is what partitioned India. Now you can go on calling this “apology” but this view has tremendous resonance in the works of historians in the US, UK and also in India.

    Ironically – the “liberal humanitarians” of Gandhi’s Congress Party overturned the Shah Bano judgment. Did you ever wonder who Shah Bano’s lawyer was in the case? It was a gentleman by the name of Daniyal Latifi, a renowned leftist lawyer and a real liberal humanitarian. He was also Badruddin Tyabji’s grandson. But it doesn’t end there. Daniyal Latifi was not only trained in law by Jinnah himself, but was the author of the Muslim League’s manifesto in 1946 elections. He stayed back in India to fight for the minorities and for secularism. While Jinnah bequeathed to India real secular liberals like Latifi and M C Chagla, your Gandhi and Azad left Pakistan Maulana Mufti Mahmood, the Majlis-e-Ahrar and what not… should give you pause. Jinnah in comparison invoked not an exclusivist religious identity as much as he invoked a liberal and modern spirit. His idea of Pakistan was neither exclusivist nor ideological.

    But all these reasons are not enough for me to think your claim of liberal humanitarianism as hollow… it is your demeanor, the patronizing manner in which you’ve come to dictate to Pakistanis about how “oneness has prevailed” and “division was wrong” when clearly that is nonsense. Given that all nation states are created out of conflict, one wonders why you have limited yourself to attacking us? The truth is that you don’t have anything to do with “liberal humanitarianism” or whatever else it is that you use to deceive yourself or mask your ultra-nationalist sensitivity.

    My suggestion – as is to all such bleeding heart types who come here and turn rabidly fascist at the drop of a hat- is to read more and try and understand that one does not need to buy into your Indian nationalist hogwash to be “liberal” or “agnostic” or “secular”. Learn to accept that there might be differing points of view and you need not try and force your hackneyed and now debunked ideas on others.


  73. D_a_n


    ‘ Cinderella with trade union rights and a transistor radio in the kitchen but still in the basement’

    What a line Yasser! What.A.Line! 🙂

    (sent from zia’s daynce party)

  74. mazbut

    @ D_a_n


    Squeaking like a rat….a vertebrate born with long mustache!!

    Have a nice time, swinger!!

  75. @D_a_n

    Stop it, please. I’ve got a stitch in my side, laughing. Speaking as a rat born without a moustache.

    Now let’s move on before Raza Sahib gets really mad.

  76. @Zia Ahmad

    This must be the most fun one can have with one’s clothes on! Someone seems to have tipped off the genius about Google translations: hope he translated that French passage! As they used to say in boarding school, it’d be good for his character.

    Thanks for the hilarious interjections and see you around.

  77. YLH


    I wish I could take credit for such inventiveness. The Cinderella trade union rights etc analogy for Muslims of British India was either Ayesha Jalal or someone else.

  78. YLH

    Or maybe Jinnah himself …

  79. mazbut

    Jinnah lives only on the currency note! The nation loves his image more than him or his principles. What a pity, what an irony!!

  80. yasserlatifhamdani

    I am glad you realize the error of your ways Mazbut.

  81. mazbut

    Truth is bitter. It’s for you to take it or leave it. Jinnah and his ideology died with the creation of Bangla Desh in 1971. All that is left now is Bhuttoism, Mianism, Muallahism, Bachaism, Hindustaniism,Bugtiism, etc etc. Just wait and live to find how these ‘isms’ are going to screw the country in the next decade.
    Look forward, Mian YLH, past is no more there!!

  82. Bciv


    “past is no more there!!”

    “What a pity, what an irony!!”


  83. mazbut



  84. mazbut


  85. mazbut

    <<<<<<<Perhaps it is too late to visualize the separation in Gandhi’s terms, as a division between two brothers.<<<<<<<<<

    one being a 'carnivore' the other 'herbivore'!

  86. swapnavasavdutta


  87. mazbut

    It should not be a matter of surprise for anyone to note that Muslims and Hindus of India were two separate nations and the two-nation theory was the only rational solution at that time for the Muslims of Indo-Pak to break off from their oppressors. The Muslim are still one nation but lack of unity and disharmony among its various schools of thought has led to their decline. Islam teaches universal brotherhood and the fraternal tie between us Muslims shall always be there no matter whatever the differences may be, as is among brothers. Unfortunately, this was not the case with Hindus who have a distinct identity of their own and who always tried to usurp the rights of Muslims of India.

  88. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Mazbut,

    You won’t get what I am about to write but since you mirrored Arun with your comment…. I am going to address this post to you. Your Herbivore-Carnivore comment is simplifying the real issue.

    The problem with Arun’s selective quote of Jinnah-Gandhi meeting as well as Jaswant Singh’s book is that he has chosen to quote Gandhi’s hypocritical statement about “parting as brothers” but has skipped the the rest of the book which puts into context the utter hypocrisy of that suggestion.

    This is what I call confirmation bias. The entire book is a scathing attack on Gandhian politics (“politics of a religious provincial character”) juxtaposed against Jinnah’s “liberal and comspolitan leadership” but Arun mian skips all of that and goes to the excerpt which is quoted as is without comment by the author. Jaswant Singh shows quite convincingly what Jinnah was after. He was not for “parting” at all… brothers or otherwise.

    For example… both Jalal and Jaswant Singh quoted H V Hodson’s note ….

    “The real point was that each Muslim Leaguer interpreted Pakistan as consistent with the Confederation of India… This hardly surprised Hodson since no one with any foresight in the Muslim minority provinces believed in their heart of hearts that Pakistan would solve their problems. Pakistan in essence was a revolt against the minority status with safeguards. At best such a status relegated Muslims to being a Cinderella with trade union rights and a radio in the kitchen but still below the stairs…. what was now needed was “new terminology which recognises that the problem is one of sharing power”. Jinnah often stated that Pakistan, with its connotations of partition, was not the League’s idea but was a caricature imposed upon it. “They fathered this word upon us”. As he told Nawab of Ismail in 1941, he could not openly or forcefully come out with these truths because “it is likely to be misunderstood especially at present”. In a line that reveals more than a thousand pages of propaganda and research, Jinnah admitted: “I think Mr Hodson finally understands what our demand is”. So where does that leave Gandhi’s hypocritical suggestion of “parting as brothers” when Jinnah was not aiming at parting anyway. Gandhi was playing politics… this should be clear to even the most superficial observer of Gandhi-Jinnah talks.

    Gandhi’s offer of “self determination” in Muslim majority areas was facetious because it was foregone conclusion. Jinnah in response asked for the right of self determination for Muslim minority as a whole based on the basis of Two Nation Theory. Now naive readers who have no clue about the period want to stretch this to mean that Jinnah was denying Non-Muslim the right of self determination but that is not how Jaswant Singh has interpreted it… nor any serious historian. Jinnah was recommending what was later coined as “Consociationalism”… a system of power sharing which has been practised in several European and Western democracies. So much for this ridiculous claim.

    Direct Action Day unfortunately has become so ingrained in the Indian mentality as something it was not that Indians are unable to shake the nationalist drumming about it. The fact is that violence was instrumentalized in Indian politics by Gandhi’s movement. Every single one of Gandhi’s “non-violent” movements turned violent.
    Jinnah’s emulation of Gandhi in civil disobedience and direct action was regrettable but violence in Indian politics was the result of agitational politics of the 1920s and 1930s. Arun Gupta can go on lying about history. Direct Action Day mind you turned violent in Calcutta but most of the victims were Muslims (this was well documented) …so much for cold blooded planning etc. What is most ironic ofcourse is Arun’s mention of “Bhagat Singh” etc…. ironically the only legislator to take on the British Empire on the issue of Bhagat Singh was Jinnah. Gandhi on the other hand was pleased to see Bhagat Singh go to the gallows.

    All these and more have been answered many times but Arun etc thrive on these lies. You see Arun and his sister Sadna believe that if you tell a lie loud enough and enough times it becomes the truth. Well not all of us are paid to troll the “enemy’s” websites. So frankly I cannot in good conscience allow Arun and his other sockpuppets to post here.

    Now both you Mazbut and Arun … are brothers from another mother. You both emphasize the “exclusivity” and what Jinnah called a “caricature”… except Mazbut your narrative glorifies the caricature… and Arun’s narrative uses it like a strawman fallacy to discredit the idea of Pakistan. Both of you are historically inaccurate and wrong. Jinnah’s Two Nation Theory was not some etched in stone final word. Jinnah’s two nation theory was a counterpoise to the one nation theory. Only a week before June 3rd plan was revealed, Jinnah told Mountbatten … a Punjabi is a Punjabi and a Bengali is a Bengali before he is a Muslim or a Hindu. So Jinnah’s Two Nation Theory was not some exclusionary puritan idea. Unfortunately … the caricature you put up and the strawman that Arun relishes burning to the ground are precisely that.

  89. Hayyer

    It was Hodson.

  90. yasserlatifhamdani

    Raza Rumi has already answered your comments above. Do read and open your mind.

  91. Hayyer

    I see from your later post that you have already recovered the quote.

  92. yasserlatifhamdani

    Yup it was Hodson. I presume you are talking about the Cinderella comment.

  93. Promod Kapoor

    Whatever may have been the rhetoric used by the separatist Muslim leaders wanting a homeland for Muslims of India, I think that they were not ready to share power with other communities on the basis of democratic principles, being of the view that they were the natural rulers of the subcontinent. The very idea of the Hindu being their equal was anathema to them. But the following statement
    “Muslims were a separate nation by virtue of their ‘distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of value and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and tradition”
    is fallacious.
    The Arab world has everything in common as per the above criterion, but there are so many Arab states, not all of them seeing eye to eye. And using the over used example of Bangladesh, they (the Bengali Muslim) had nothing in common with West Pakistan other than religion. Therefore they opted out. And West Pakistanis had most of the things, other than religion, in common with those who were forced out. Will you ponder upon the fact that there are no Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada or Oriya speaking Muslims either in Bangladesh or Pakistan. The very basis of Two Nation Theory was shaky. Not that Indians are complaining (with due respect to all those who lost their lives emigrating) on the separation. The very process of constitution forming would have been formidable with Muslim League pulling in opposite direction. This is amply clear from what happened to the various constitutions written in Pakistan. By the way, having decimated the substantial Hindu and Sikh population of the area, what exactly do the Pakistanis of the last two generations know about them, other than what has been taught by the Governments and propagated by the Mullah?

  94. yasserlatifhamdani

    Arun mian,

    What you’ve written is nonsense again. Gandhi was very much taking a position on religiosity when he promoted Mullahs and other madmen. Khilafat was manufactured as an issue.

    I find your latest claim to be rather ironic. “Khilafat? ok? Khilafat!” but never “power sharing? Ok! power sharing”… never “adequate representation? Ok! adequate representation”.

    Because the latter two were preoccupations of the rising Muslim salariat which was modern non-clerical and westernized… and we all know how suspicious Gandhi was of anything westernized.

    Pramod Kapoor…

    Two nation theory was a counterpoise to One nation theory … and not regional identities.

    Jinnah said … a Punjabi is a Punjabi and a Bengali is a Bengali before he is a Hindu or a Muslim… what does that tell you?

    Read Jinnah’s original 4 amendments to the Nehru report… Muslims were ready to accept the Nehru report on the basis of adult franchise and joint electorate… with minimal safeguards … like residual powers lying with the provinces.

    So your point about Muslims not being ready to consider Hindus equal… is just your bias speaking and is not based in history. Indeed… that amounts to dropping the entire argument on its head.

    For details read my post addressed to Mazbut immediately above.

  95. yasserlatifhamdani

    It would help people to realize that the sufis, barelvis, Ismailis, Ahmadis etc …. were more or less in the Muslim League and supporters of the Two Nation Theory. Meanwhile those puritans of Deoband … the high church … were all opposed to two nation theory and largely in Congress’ camp. How ironic! And yet people like Sadna and Arun have the gall to say the stuff they do. Amazing.

    I mean frankly… Darul Uloom Deoband gives a Fatwa in 2010 that working in Banks is Haraam… and you wonder why the Muslim bourgeoisie chose to make their own country in 1947? Congress wanted to make all Muslims the slaves of the shaikhs of Deoband.

    Muslim bourgoeisie – both petit and haute- wanted their own country because they did not want to be misled by the Mullahs. The Congress could not come to terms with the rising Muslim bourgeoisie and sought to go over their heads and make alliances with the Mullahs.

  96. Promod Kapoor


    Then effectively you are saying that whatever Muslim League and Jinnah say or do was the correct thing and Congress/Mahatma Gandhi/Nehru were in the wrong throughout. What an argument!

    Leave aside Hindus, I was told by a Hyderabadi Muslim acquaintance, not of nawabi lineage, that Pakistanis do not consider them true Muslims! (In-spite of Sania Mirza)

  97. sfaizan

    Yasser bhai thanks for your response . I read the article you referred me too as well as other articles of yours and also your interview on the BBC website. I have only wholehearted respect and admiration for your opposition to tyranny and mullahism in your country. But to turn to your latest response.
    I must say that it was disappointing. The major portion of your response is devoted to an argumentum ad hominem circumstantial that hinges on calling into question my sincerity. It consists ,in effect, of calling me an ‘outright liar’ and an unconscionable one at that. I don’t think I can refute or counter that rationally since it is not a logical argument at all. I must only point out that a presumption of good faith is prerequisite to any rational debate , right?! I have pointed to your nationalist obsession as coloring your views but have never questioned your sincerity .I certainly am not aware of the fallacy in my argument even if there is one and am most truly a humanist who believes in the oneness and unity of humanity. I must also say that I am not being patronizing, certainly not any more than you are in trying to bring me round to your views by pointing out my flaws. Unlike Arun earlier I am not suggesting that you give up your struggle by relocating or any such sort of rubbish.
    Our points of divergence are I think mainly two-
    1. Historico-political interpretation.
    2. Religion and identity .
    On the first point I think the evidence for Jinnahs intransigence in refusing to accept any other representative of the Muslims in India other than himself and the League is well documented. He hated the likes of Azad even more than the Hindu mahasabha and congress . He even called them ‘stooges’ and repeatedly refused to attend conferences to which only he had not been invited to ‘solely represent the Muslims’. All this seems to suggest a personality as susceptible to the foibles of human character as Nehru’s or Gandhi’s. You regard my acknowledgment of the flaws of Gandhi and Nehru as putting me ‘on the back foot’, to the contrary it points to what I have been saying all along that historical personages have to be seen not through the reverential prism of dogmatic nationalist loyalties ,as you see Jinnah, but as people as motivated by personal ambition ,anger, mistrust as any other mortal would be. To deify Jinnah at the cost of the other leaders and absolve him of any misjudgment or ambition at all is simply a hagiographical interpretation of history unworthy of serious consideration.
    As regards monolithic identities ,I share your hatred of them , but if ‘Indian’ is an imposed identity is not ‘Muslim’ identity to the exclusion of cultural identities like Bengali, Malayali, Arab, Gujarati an even greater monolithic identity imposed upon a people.And for this reason it simply does not and never will work.I urged 1971 as an example to prove precisely this point.
    Any way the point that I made when I suggested that the idea of division has failed is that partition has not accomplished anything for anybody. Jinnah seemed to sincerely believe (let us assume his sincerity ,even though many historians would challenge it) that both India and Pakistan would be peaceful neighbors forever once they were separated and created. His inaugural speech to the Pakistan assembly and his ‘message to the Indian people ‘ seem to bear this out. Well, we all know how well this ‘peace by separation’ worked out. Partition did not ,as no division on artificial identities ever will, do anything for any of the people concerned. India is not the better because of it , Pakistan is certainly not doing well because of it and Bangladesh is tottering on the edge of economic collapse. And above all the Muslims it was meant to rescue have fared far better in inclusive communities .
    Another allegation you make is that I am a bleeding Hindutvadi kind of guy with a dream of an ‘Akhand bharath’ ,out here to challenge the idea of Pakistan in particular. Let me explicitly say that I find a Jewish exclusivism as seen in Zionism meant to create a ‘land for the Jews’ ( compare ‘land of the pure’)as abhorrent and despicable as I find the clamor for a ‘Hindu rashtra’ by Hindu fanatics in India. Any exclusivism is disgusting to me and leads I believe naturally to dogmatic hatred and religious conformity. You say the idea of division is not exclusivist ,well the constitution of Pakistan excludes explicitly any non-muslim from occupying the highest post , does not that fit the exclusivist bill perfectly . I read that you are working for the rights of minorities in Pakistan , that’s great but exclusivism when institutionalized at the top will always percolate to every echelon in society . As a confirmed agnostic I find all religious identity to be not only baseless and useless but immanently dangerous .I am opposed to the idea of division as say Christopher hitchens is and not as Maulana Azad was.
    Contrasting Jinnahs personal habits like pork eating, penchant for western apparel, with Gandhi’s politics is as unfair to Gandhi as contrasting Gandhi’s personal austerity to Jinnahs politics would be to Jinnah. If one has to be fair one has to look at the politics of the one as against the politics of the other and the personal habits of the one against the personal habits of the other. Personal habits and public politics are too very different things and Jinnahs later politics speaks for itself as does Gandhi’s. To attempt to prove the heterodoxy of Jinnah by referring to habits is unfair , you have to consider his public statements and later politics to prove that.
    But, in the end,I wholly respect your point of view even though, in my view, it does not take into account the full role of the Muslim League in the identity violence sourrounding partition . I don’t think we will be able to convince each other since history is just a fable agreed upon and each can and each will adduce his own interpretation suited to his own predilections as historical ambiguity leaves ample room for any number of interpretations.Finally we can all ,I think, agree that whatever our view of history ,the lessons of history are warning examples ,and those of us who will deny its dreadful episodes and the causes that led to those episodes are condemned to repeat them over and over again. History teaches us the absurd violence that religious identity led to ,the sooner we subdue and destroy this evil beast of dogmatic religion lurking in our minds the better. Lets end with a delightful phrase you use in one of your articles,
    Humanity Paindabad!

  98. YLH


    One can only marvel at your mental state if that is what you got from my post. Read the posts again and open your mind a little.

  99. mazbut

    @ YLH

    the crux of the matter is so explicitly stated by YLH…
    and I barely find any need to tell the Indian correspondents that they are totally mistaken about the Muslim character. It’s we the Muslims who provoked the creation of Bangla Desh for ‘reasons’ and we have no regrets over it. It is true that linguistic, ethnic and regional differences have significant roles of their own which are quite natural and permitted by Islam for ‘identification’ yet remaining within the ambit of the same faith. But this was and is not the case with India if you looked at how the Hindu is oppressively trying to retain
    those who are different and do not want to exist with India! Kashmir, remember??

    <<<<<<<Two nation theory was a counterpoise to One nation theory … and not regional identities.<<<<<<<<<<

    and BTW Yassir couldn't you leave me alone and compare someone else such as Dan to that Hindu

  100. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear S-Faizan,

    How am I supposed to trust your sincerity when you’ve not even bothered to address the points I raised hiding instead behind what was only a minor side point in a different article on a different issue.

    Frankly your comments don’t inspire confidence in your sincerity. Consider for example that you have chosen to apprise me – of all people- of the issues with the Pakistani constitution which I have always denounced as exclusivist, bigoted and in my opinion in complete contravention to what I like to call Jinnah’s Pakistan. Had you actually read my articles you would realize that this is one point I have always harped about – the bar against Non-Muslims. It bears repeating that Jinnah was conclusively against all such bars against communities and even Liaqat Ali Khan promised that Non-Muslims would never be deprived of that right. Now your comment about 1971 etc is irrelevant because I informed you very clearly that in my opinion the two nation theory was a counterpoise to one nation theory and not regional identities. Despite this you’ve gone back to lecture about these regional identities.

    Then you talk of partition not achieving anything. I think for one there is no historian who doesn’t recognize the remarkable uplift creation of an independent state has meant for the lower peasantry of Punjab for example … at the very least the pressures of a new state forced Muslims into professions like banking commerce etc (which Deoband in India still declares to be haram for Muslims)… according to one Indian historian Sumit Sarkar it is because of Pakistan that there is more than a token Muslim bourgeoisie in South Asia today but these are arguments that you are in no state – given the nationalist indoctrination that you suffering from- to accept…. Let us first admit a few things – Jinnah’s idea of Pakistan did not necessarily mean a partition of India. Read my post addressed to Mazbut above.

    Or read H M Seervai’s “Partition of India: Legend And Reality”. H M Seervai was your country’s finest constitutional expert. If you actually do believe that you are a liberal humanitarian go and read the book. You’ll realize a few things that you are utterly wrong about.

    Who are these “many historians” you refer to every now and then? I named several but you failed to acknowledge them. Maybe you can tell me the names of these historians you feel question Jinnah’s sincerity.

    Here is the principal author of your constitution Dr. Ambedkar on Jinnah:

    At the same time, it is doubtful if there is a politician in India to whom the adjective incorruptible can be more fittingly applied. Anyone who knows what his relations with the British Government have been, will admit that he has always been their critic, if indeed, he has not been their adversary. No one can buy him. For it must be said to his credit that he has never been a soldier of fortune. The customary Hindu explanation fails to account for the ideological transformation of Mr. Jinnah.(Pakistan or partition of India)

    And here is H V Hodson:

    One thing is certain, it was not for any venal motive that he changed. Not even his political enemies ever accused Jinnah of corruption or self seeking. He could be bought by no one and for no price. Nor was he in the least degree a weathercock, swinging in the wind of popularity or changing his politics to suit the chances of the time. He was a steadfast idealist, as well as a man of scrupulous honour.” (Page 39- the Great Divide)

    Given that these were the views of his contemporaries, I’ll choose the hagiographic route on this. You are free to continue your liberal humanitarian masquerade as you imagine yourself.

    Let me tell you another thing. Partition was entirely avoidable. It was Congress that made it unavoidable. Now that the partition has happened, we will never ever allow anyone from across the border to question our existence for whatever reason. If you are the liberal humanitarian that you claim to be, realize that your country consists of 1.2 billion people. Be liberal humanitarian and work for their betterment. Leave us alone kindly.

    Thank you

  101. Zia Ahmad

    Raza bhai!
    Comments by mazbut can either be classified as nuisance or for most of the unsuspecting readers, highly comical. The better part of yesterday was consumed by the jest fest I had with this character and diverted attention from this post. Common sense resumed and even mazbut displayed remarkable restraint on his part. Guess it’s in his nature to make a laughing stock of himself. Is it possible for him to be blocked, or have his gratuitous comments deleted. Otherwise his comments can be very distracting as well as tempting to ridicule. Like Vajra said, its the most fun one can have with his clothes on.

  102. sfaizan

    Yasser bhai I confess my ignorance of those authors, the only guy I’ve read is Seervai. I’ll surely try to educate myself on this issue since it is ,as you write in one of your articles not only ‘of tangential importance ‘ to contemporary debates about the Islamic world but very relevant indeed. It has enormous implications for all religious separatist and exclusivist ideologies whatever their faith.
    The authors I have read on this are Indian Marxists . Guha , for instance is certainly fair in his judgment of Jinnah , but recognizes his personal animosity to Nehru and the other claimants to Muslim loyalty like Azad as an important motivating factor in his stubborn resistance to reconciliation with the ‘Hindu’ congress. Similarly if you quote Hodson and Ambedkar ( who was respectful of and grateful to Jinnah for his admirable opposition of the Hindu fanatics ) then I guess people could quote Mountbatten and Nehru to reveal a different side to him. But whatever Jinnahs ideas his legacy failed him sordidly and I think you know this better than most. Whether it was because of his early death or the weakness of his idea itself is debatable.
    I wish you the best in your efforts against fanatics there and let me assure you I have no intention of ‘questioning ‘ Pakistan’s existence . My whole point has been exactly yours ,this is not merely a question of tangential importance but means a lot for the people in the subcontinent. Our beliefs about the legitimacy of religious identity ( I derived my arguments for their hollowness mainly through Amartya Sens’ famous book on this issue) might decide the future of a large number of people in the world. Hope the whole world will some day become one family not divided by absurd and baseless fictional boundaries created by some airy ‘God’ in their heads. I hope as ardently as you that Pakistan embarks , due to the efforts of liberals like yourself on a new liberal secular Renaissance. Since we ‘Indians’ don’t seem to be welcome to post our views I guess I’ll have to ‘leave you alone’ as you suggest. Wish you the best ,
    Humanity Paindabad!

  103. sfaizan

    Lastly consider these lines from Guhas book a succinct and fair representation of my point of view- “In the 1930s, Nehru arrogantly and, as it turned out, falsely, claimed the Muslim masses would rather follow his socialist credo than a party based on faith. Meanwhile, the Muslims steadily moved over from the Congress to the League. In the 1930s, when Jinnah was willing to make a deal, he was ignored; in the 1940s, with the Muslims solidly behind him, he had no reason to make a deal at all.

    It is also true that some of Jinnah’s political turns defy any explanation other than personal ambition. He was once known as an ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity’ and a practitioner of constitutional politics. Even as he remade himself as a defender of Islam and Muslims, in his personal life he ignored the claims of faith. . . . However, from the late 1930s on he began to stoke religious passions. The process was to culminate in his calling for Direct Action Day, the day that set off the bloody violence and counter-violence that finally made partition inevitable.”

  104. sfaizan

    Both of these quotes are from Jinnahs speech and Azads speech so we cant dispute their authenticity, and I for one find Jinnahs idea of Muslim and Hindu culture being mutually exclusive quite ‘exclusivist’ and Azads idea not only inclusive but historically more accurate. Indeed Azads idea has been borne out as true by the fact that there are more Muslims in India today who live side by side with Hindus than there are in Pakistan-
    (from Jinnah’s Presidential Address, 1940)
    M.A. Jinnah-” the problem in India is not of an inter-communal but manifestly of an international character, and must be treated as such. . . . It is a dream that Hindus and Muslims can evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits, and is the cause of most of our troubles, and will lead India to destruction, if we fail to revise our actions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literature. They neither intermarry, nor inter-dine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on and of life are different.
    (from Azad’s Congress Presidential Address, 1940)
    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: “It was India’s historic destiny that many human races and cultures should flow to her, finding a home in her hospitable soil, and that many a caravan should find rest here. . . . Eleven hundred years of common history [of Islam and Hinduism] have enriched India with our common achievements. Our languages, our poetry, our literature, our culture, our art, our dress, our manners and customs, the innumerable happenings of our daily life, everything bears the stamp of our joint endeavor. . . . These thousand years of our joint life [have] molded us into a common nationality. . . .Whether we like it or not, we have now become an Indian nation, united and indivisible. No fantasy or artificial scheming to separate and divide can break this unity.”

  105. YLH


    This is called selective reading of history. I have already written a detailed post about two nation theory above addressed to Mazbut. Did you bother to read it before commenting?

    Frankly I don’t understand how when quoting Jinnah or Azad you can divorce their entire history.

    Azad’s comments would amount to a rebuttal to Jinnah’s two nation theory only if it is assumed that Two nation theory was an uncompromising position on separatism..

    What must be finally understood is that Jinnah’s solution and Azad’s solution to Hindu-Muslim problem was – we now know- almost completely identical despite their public positions. This becomes clear when one considers the deliberations on the Cabinet Mission Plan which was Azad’s brainchild and which Jinnah accepted. Indeed I wouldn’t be surprised if someday some secret correspondence between the two is discovered.
    I strongly suggest you refer to H V Hodson’s detailed analysis of the two nation theory and what it actually meant instead of juxtaposing two points of view by two politicians who tactically retreated and repositioned themselves with these words and around them.

    That said …I think Jinnah was right all along and Azad grudgingly accepts many of the shortcomings of Congress in his book.

    As for Guha…I interacted with him and my view of him is that he is a prejudiced man.
    I intend to write a detailed article on two nation theory and the misconceptions about it – both the kind you hold

  106. YLH

    …Both the kind you hold and the kind our Mullahs have.

  107. PMA

    Here at PTH we spend lot of time criticising others, particularly the Islamists. Lately someone has coined a new term – RAPE – Rich Anglophone Pakistani Elite. A blogger under pseudonym ‘Watan Aziz’ (May 27th, 2010 8:08 am) in his response to a hypothetical question of a possible visit of another American first lady to Pakistan has posted these comments at another Pakistani web site. We need to read it:

    “Can Pakistan be known for scientists, mathematicians, astronomers and inventors?

    Can the residents of 3 cities look at the rest of Pakistan as more than a tourist destination?

    Can the northern areas be known for world class universities? Hospitals of specialized medicine?

    I certainly hope Mrs. Obama visits Pakistan. But I pray she does not see this video [of Mrs. Kennedy from her 1962 visit of Pakistan] before her visit. Because, in the almost 50 years since this video, nothing significant has changed for Pakistan except for the 3 major cities (that is if you consider that to be progress on the world scale). Watch the video again in disbelief, that is if you can muster disbelief.

    I mean, really, had Mrs. Kennedy gone to Mai Jori Jamali’s village, Mrs. Obama would have seen the same quality of water. 50 years! No change! Shameful.

    How shameless can the educated Pakistanis be [read RAPE]?

    In the time the world has gone from mainframes to tablets in the palm of the hand, from delivering medicine via syringe to diagnosis by DNA, all you can talk about is your “tourist destinations”? Your entertainment by “rich culture, its dancers, poets and legendary story tellers”.

    Yes, I want to shame the educated of Pakistan [read RAPE].

    You are the cause of this failure.

    You are the root of this problem.

    You have done nothing for Mai Jori Jamali and are now ready to brand her with a label that may hide your guilt and suggest that the failure is not yours but of _______ (here, fill in your favorite hate word for the blank).

    From the “botleywalla” to the “aytoonwala” to the “enlightenmentwal”, we have seen all. Everyone a crook to keep himself in power. Common between all of them is the denial of justice and equity. Supporting them, the selfish educated of Pakistan [read RAPE] in 3 cities who bought and kept goodies for themselves.

    Don’t throw it on vaderas or the ignorant mullah or whatever else you have been brainwashed into. Yes, they are not part of the solution. But you are part of the problem. You do not have bandwidth enough to hear back from me on instance after instance where you, the educated of Pakistan [read RAPE] are the problem.

    So you are the reason why Mrs. Obama might skip visiting Pakistan.

    But if you want her to visit in their potentially second term in the office, you can make a difference. Change your conduct!

    Think of Shazia Masih.

    Think of Mai Jori Jamali.

    Think how you can change those lives instead of your own.

    And I will guarantee, a visit by every first lady of the world who would like to see the most capable university and most comforting hospital and highest percentage of good looking boys and girls in schools where world class education is being taught. That is the Pakistan I want them to visit.

    The great future is yours only if you will accept the responsibility.”

  108. AZW


    So you would quote anything anywhere, as much devoid of substance, as full of empty rhetoric just because PTH does not agree with your view of the world.

    I have read this whole comment by Mr. Watan Aziz. Apart from lamentation, does he has anything to offer. He wants to shame the educated lot by painting everyone with the same brush. Watan Aziz has no clue that society can’t work without the fair laws and their implementation. What has PTH not been doing for the past two years. We condemn Islamism not for the hatred of political Islam; but because of the fact that political Islam in a public sphere is inherently discriminatory and is not equitable with fair and equal laws for all. And that most of the problems in Pakistan are directly attributable for its confused identity that has taken Pakistani efforts away from a stable democratic society.

    Mai Mori Jamali and her village will not improve for another 50 years if Pakistan does not work on its equitable society governed by constitutional democracy. Even then there are no guarantees, but life is not about going for iron clad guaranteed solutions. It is about choosing the best among the available options.

    At PTH, we devote our time because we believe in a fair and equitable Pakistan. And it heartens me to see there are many other Pakistanis, Indians and Westerners who believe in that secular and progressive Pakistan too. That away from the paranoid and chaotic media in Pakistan, there are a few forums that stick to their core message, ruffle a lot of feathers inside and outside of Pakistan and still keep at their core value; separation of religion and state, supremacy of law, supremacy of democracy and its institutions.

    I hope you realize that when you try to quote empty comments from elsewhere, you reflect the same mentality that Mr. Watan Aziz is showing. Lament, lament, and lament. If lament would solve Pakistani problems, she would have been a super power a long time ago. You can try to twist a rhetoric comment to so alled RAPE (another acronym, another boogeyman to satisfy never ending frustrations with the state of affairs in Pakistan). You lament the Indian-guest polluting your dearly beloved Pakistani board run by RAPE crowd that you dislike since they condemn the Islamists.

    I hope you realize the absurdity of your own situation; trying to cover all bases, while standing on none.

    And please do not take it as a personal attack on you. My frustration is not with Watan Aziz or his likeminded folks. They have been chasing these ghosts for a long time and will continue at it for a long time as well. But sensing a secularist in you, I am surprised by your mental iron curtains along the nationalist boundaries, and by your willingness to accept so much confusion in the name of blind patriotism.

  109. YLH

    Btw … It would no doubt add to the s-faizan’s confusion to know that the Communist Party of India both endorsed the Pakistan plan and its idea of muslim nationalities … And supported the Muslim League in wresting Punjab from the Unionists.

    Again simplistic understanding of history doesn’t answer questions about partition. I recommend all interested to read my article “Communists and the Making of Pakistan”.

  110. Prasad

    YLH: CPI , CPI(Mxst), CPI(Mao/L), CPI ( Nxl) and their progenies are big time party poopers in India. You should be glad they did not go beyond Pakistan. You’d have additional task of dealing with their high intelligence. In fact they would have created Taliban ( Mxst), Taliban ( Nxl) and so on!!

    It just defies logic to consider they even exist notwithstanding their blindfolded and fossilized ideals

    And the best part is if they ever come to power, it takes another mighty ‘rational’ ( mamata banerjee the great idiot) to unseat them!

  111. PMA

    AZW (May 28, 2010 at 8:43 am):

    “And please do not take it as a personal attack on you.”

    None taken. You Sir would never do such a silly thing.

    What ‘Watan Aziz’ has tried to point out is that the educated privileged class of Pakistan due to its own selfishness has not stepped up to the plate. It is a fact. But why would that ruffle some one’s feathers is not understandable. Is reflection mirror’s fault. The ground reality is that the Islamists have simply filled-in the vacuum left by the absence of the privileged. In any national natural or man-made disaster Islamists are the first one at the scene. They are the ones running the largest charitable organization in the land. They are the ones providing education to the masses that the privileged class rejects with disdain and contempt. And when the madrassah graduates pick up the guns what do the privileged do? Lament.

    On personal level I do not feel that “PTH does not agree with [my] view of the world.” PTH is not one person. It is an open public forum dedicated to the issues related to Pakistan. It does not have to agree with any one person. I visit PTH because of my admiration of its founder and owner Raza Rumi Sahab. But you Sir on the other hand have a self righteous chip on your shoulder. Your pettiness is obvious in your comments. Others are “clueless, devoid of substance, and full of empty rhetoric” while you are the know-all. Only you know what is right for Pakistan. What a hubristic little man. I suggest when and if you ever come down from your little soap box you would find out that you alone do not occupy the highest moral ground.

  112. This immediately reminded me of Ashok Malik’s superb piece on Dara Shikoh’s legacy in India. http://www.dailypioneer.com/195066/The-month-we-lost-Dara.html

  113. Pingback: VIEW: Stop blaming the West - Page 2 - Pakistan Defence Forum