Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan?

Raza Rumi writing for Express Tribune:

The massacre of Ahmadis in Lahore has once again exposed the inner fissures of our society. As if treating them like second class citizens was not enough, the attacks on their private space of worship has confirmed that militant Islamism is now an embedded reality. Those who have been denying the presence of Punjabi Taliban will have to construct another web of denial and disbelief. We saw signs of that after the fateful tragedy. Instead of constituting investigation teams and ensuring that all necessary leads are collated, senior officials of the Punjab government made a direct reference to RAW, the infamous Indian intelligence agency.

That the terrorists can attack anyone and anywhere is now an established reality. The fact that they chose Lahore and a vulnerable community is a clear message. Indeed, Pakistan as a state should reconsider its goals and strategy of survival. The symbolism of the day chosen for the heinous mass murders is also significant. It was Yaum-i-Takbeer when Pakistan’s atomic prowess was proved on the global stage. Perhaps the greatest delusion of the state’s might and invincibility seems to have been blown to bits. The process of bigotry that started in the 1950s culminated in Zulfikar Bhutto’s tragic action of declaring Ahmadis as non- Muslims in 1974. The Zia years deepened this culture of intolerance. Whilst we may have secured our ‘external defence’ through the much touted nuclear deterrence, internally Pakistan and its hapless citizens are more vulnerable than ever. Fundamentalism is a cancer that has widely spread in the body politic. Yet few wish to tackle it. For the past two years, get-Zardari debates have dominated Pakistan’s public discourse punctuated by the anti-Americanism of the right. The interior minister has been portrayed by the media Taliban as a corrupt nincompoop; and blood thirst for him is evident from the news pages and TV screens. Taliban apologists cannot confront the military establishment directly but the truth is the fight against the Taliban requires political stability and a domestic consensus. The right of Ahmadis to worship and lead a normal life according to the Constitution of Pakistan has been violated. What should a community do when the state and non-state actors are all geared to hound them? Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan? No.

We have gone too far and pessimists are now saying that the process of destroying Pakistani society is irreversible. There is still hope that we shall overcome this menace if Pakistani public opinion is fashioned to look a little deeper inside and not find all sources of evil in Washington or Delhi. The electronic media has a critical role to play but lack of self-regulation and introspection is missing. If anything, we find more and more analysts and commentators siding with the militants. Pakistan’s fight against terrorism has entered a new, decisive phase. If the political forces are not going to unite against this menace then they should learn a lesson or two from history. The secular and moderate political parties will be the obvious victims of this menace. Similarly, Pakistan’s military establishment needs to revise its paradigm of national security. If the offshoots of Taliban and al Qaeda are going to destroy Pakistani society and further incapacitate the state then what good are nuclear weapons and state-of the- art equipment? Clearly, there is a need for concerted action now. Political mobilisation against terrorism, involvement of moderate religious leaders and media campaigns must precede further military action in the north. We cannot let Taliban sympathisers run media campaigns and interfere in state operations.

Most importantly, the governments at the federal and national level need to acknowledge that the state and its civilian institutions have lost their core capacities due to decades of misgovernance. Police reform and reorganisation of intelligence agencies is perhaps most vital at this juncture.

The battle for Pakistan’s survival cannot be lost. This is the only country we have.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 30th, 2010.

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26 Comments

Filed under Al Qaeda, Jinnah's Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, War On Terror

26 responses to “Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan?

  1. Anwar

    Well written – fully agree with contents and sentiments expressed in this post.

  2. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Pakistan: Culture Of Intolerance

  3. This persistent emphasis on going back to Jinnah’s pakistan is simply another example of inventing an imagined past. A past that never has never existed for a number of reasons.

    Pakistan was created in a hurry. There is no doubt about the context that brought about partition nor is there any doubt about the nature of the migratory elite. Jinnah was a secular/liberal of the Western ilk. He never argued for a nuanced South Asian form of secularism. In his mind, the state was to adhere to the strict liberal principles of governance, predominantly those found across the Western world, in which the state has no business in regulating religiosity in the public domain.

    Furthermore Jinnah was also a strong constitutionalist. This would suggest that like any good liberal, he firmly believed in the rule of codified law.

    This is where things get a bit complicated for Pakistan. Pakistani society is religious and conservative. Religion forms part of the identity for a lot of people and hence it becomes an important point to aggregate around. The League leadership within the areas that became Pakistan was deeply conservative and religious as well. (For further reading on Islam in Punjab refer to David Gilmartin and Ian Talbot).

    It is because of this very reason that the potential for applying secularism becomes redundant. The state will differentiate on religious lines because the people who step up to power will both use religion for their gains and/or actually staunchly believe in the fact that religion should be a constituent part of the state discourse. The Army is a classic example of this particular phenomenon. They actually believe (and are indoctrinated to believe) that they’re the defenders of Islam (as opposed to just Pakistan).

    Why is the example of India a bad example for the case of secularism? Primarily because a) they had elite consensus on adding secular clauses to the constitution, something that we have never had. b) Their state continues to rabidly differentiate on the principles of religion, caste, ethnicity. (Caste is in fact part of religion to a large extent). c) Local elites during elections use religion in the same way they uses language, region and other affiliations.

    Its well and good to remember Jinnah and revere his adherence to liberal principles but we must remember that that is nothing specific to Jinnah himself. We could revere Woodrow Wilson for the same reasons as well. Jinnah might have called for a secular state, but there was no elite consensus on secularism.

    Our responsibility as liberals/progressives is to inform the agenda for the masses. Act as a counter-weight to the discourse being presented by right-wing reactionaries. This can be done by using the non-nuanced liberalism of Jinnah (which is both irrelevant and redundant after 63 years) or we could develop an independent agenda that would appropriate the best points from Jinnah but at the same time keeps in mind the real situation as it exists on the ground.

  4. Ranjit

    Umair,

    Secularism can only be implemented in a top down manner in any diverse, underdeveloped society. When a society is underdeveloped and diverse, its politics always revolves around sectrian and social divisions. If you wait for a consensus to develop for secularism, you may as well postpone it for eternity. It is the classic chicken or the egg argument. You need secularism to develop a modern society but you also need a modern outlook to accept secularism. The only way out is a top down enforcement.

    This is the model that was implemented in Turkey and India. India could have easily become a Hindu state after 1947, given the very high communal passions in the wake of partition. Its platform prior to partition was no longer relevant after a religious division of the country. Elites in the Congress such as Sardar Patel were not exactly champions of secularism. It was Nehru who decided to implement secularism, as per the pre-partition platform and clamp down on the communal discourse. It was very hard to do as you can imagine. Refugees were pouring in who wanted to kick out muslims from UP and hindi heartland to take their revenge. That was stopped with an iron fist. That decision helped us to shape modern India and is now yielding us rich dividends as India becomes a strong nation.

    The problem in Pakistan is who will bell the cat and make it secular? Who will start the shift in the national discourse? The answer is to stop talking about secularism in the abstract, and take on a simple feasible task that is fundamentally necessary in making Pakistan secular. That task is to stop violent Jihad. Just stop it cold turkey and stop sending people on either side of your borders to do Jihad. This is a limited but very effective agenda. If the educated and progressive elements take this simple agenda and create noise around it, it will become a part of the national discourse. Given the violence happening inside Pakistan itself, people are not exactly going to object to an end to violent Jihad. Make this happen and you will set off a domino effect such as repeal of blasphemy laws and eventually secularism itself.

  5. dude40000

    Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan?

    Yes

  6. Dude: this forum is not for characters who want to score a point. I can see your IP. Please say something constructive, otherwise stay away. Raza

  7. dude40000

    Raza,

    “I can see your IP”

    Oh…I am so afraid that you know I am a Kufr. I have made a very constructive comment – yes, this is Jinnah’s Pakistan.

    Now, go ahead ban me.

  8. Dear Umair. Thanks for a thoughtful comment. However, I do not agree with you in entirety. There has to be a reference point for us. Pakistan’s creation was a complex phenomena and Jinnah was our sole spokesman. The religious parties/movements opposed Pakistan. This is an undeniable fact.
    South Asian Muslims were neither violent and coexisted with all shades of belief. The particularism of our national security state was NOT envisioned and that is a deviation from Pakistan project.
    For me and many others Jinnah’s inclusive and liberal vision is a guiding light.
    The state could not be tailored to that. Jinnah had no time and people who succeeded him wanted to appease the Mullah. This is one of our tragedies!!
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone. Typos are regretted

  9. I think your offensive tone does not merit a response. We are not keen to host anonymous commentators. There is no kufr/kafir or any such thing on this liberal and progressive e-zine. Read my writings and others who write here. But you are such a bigot and Pakistan basher that your hatred has consumed your good sense.

  10. dude40000

    Raza – Ban me, go for it!

  11. dude40000

    Raza

    “There is no kufr/kafir or any such thing on this liberal and progressive e-zine. ”

    This website’s last 3 articles are just to prove that Ahmadiya’s were muslims so yesterday masacre was wrong. If they were not muslims, then yesterday’s attack was OK and acceptable.

    If this is a liberal and progressive Pakistan e-zine then god save us from conservative pakistan.

  12. @Ranjit: If you read what i wrote carefully, you’ll see i talked about the need for elite consensus at the time of Partition. That was sadly missing in Pakistan, but and fortunately present for the Indians. That was the time when indeed a state could influence and mould society to its liking. Had our leadership at the time been significantly autonomous from provincial undercurrents, they might have been able to push through for reform. But in reality what happened was that the Muslim League (through expediency and/or belief) adopted religious overtones, something that was witnessed in the Bhutto era as well.

    Now Pakistani society is neither ‘pre-modern’ nor static. It has evolved over the course of 63 years and is a predominantly modern polity with scarce resources and multiple identities. Religion will continue to figure in politics simply because it exists. I simply dont see a secular agenda working from top-down because there is very little secularism left at the top and very little regard for secularism at the bottom.

    @Raza: Jinnah was our sole spokesman when we were bargaining for autonomy within the Indian federation. He stopped being a spokesman for Pakistan as soon as it came into being as a proposed democracy. Then our spokesmen became the Daultanas, the Mamdots, the Khuhros and others of the same expedient nature. Furthermore, the security apparatus of the state was hinged both on functional military concerns and ideological religious concerns. A further impediment to any secular project in this country.

    The question is not about what happened, but what to do now that 63 years have passed. Should we insist on top-down secularism the same way that an anglicized liberal such as Jinnah proposed? or should we try to find tolerance, peace and co-existence from within indigenous narrative? The biggest problem is that the bigoted, reactionary nature of our middle classes act as an endless obstacle in the formation of an alternate discourse. These middle classes form part of the state-structure and ultimately influence the trajectory of our policy-making.

  13. Hayyer

    Umair:

    Pakistan was not the only part of the subcontinent which was religious and conservative, nearly all of India was and religion forms an essential part of the identity of lots of Indians, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh which they do aggregate around at religious functions. Some even aggregate around religion for their politics in India.

    The Unionists who became Leaguers managed a workable secular sort of government with Hindu and Sikhs in the Punjab before partition. If you are saying that the original Leaguers in Punjab were religious and conservative that differs from the theory of the salariat of Hamza Alvi-I cannot say. If all of Punjab were conservative and religious then you have the case of the Indian Punjab to explain. If Pakistan is in a bad way it is not just an innately conservative society that is responsible.

    The ‘application’ of secularism, in your felicitous gerund is hardly the way. Political and social leaders have to agree that they want a secular polity and the dumb masses have to go along. In India no one seriously opposed a secular model despite the existence of right wing Hindu elements in the Congress. Even the BJP which is the right wing Hindu front of the RSS does not oppose secularism, only what it calls ‘pseudo-secularism’, because the vast majority want a secular polity. After partition India could have become a Hindu state, but it was obvious that only a secular model would take the country forward, and it did eventually. I don’t follow your line at all that the state will differentiate lines. Politicians will try to use religion for political advantage but if the laws prevent it they cannot do so openly. If there are communal elements in the Indian army they have to keep their sentiments confined to their bosoms. They cannot, even in their messes say anything that would label them communal. Could it be that no Pakistani leader of consequence after Jinnah actually wanted secularism in your country.
    So why are your politicians and your army a classic example? Who or what encouraged them to be defenders of Islam. How is India a bad example?
    If the Indian elite set a secular example, and not just in the constitution, why could not Pakistan have done the same? If the Indian army continued the pre-Independence model of being above religion as an institution who or what in Pakistan made it into a defender of the faith?
    Now all that is well documented with Haqqani’s book and the analyses of other authors. The analyses leave no doubt that Pakistan’s descent on to a slippery slope is no losing of track, but a leap of faith.
    I haven’t understood what you mean by saying that the Indian state differentiates rabidly on the basis of religion caste and ethnicity. Anything but! Local elites dare not use religion for electoral purposes openly. When one did last year it attracted nation wide attention. If the losing candidate proves in court that religious appeals were made the election is set aside. Elections are certainly fought on language issues, there is no law against that.

    What can liberals and progressives do? One way is build up a liberal consensus as PTH seems to be doing, but eventually you need to get your hands dirty. That means political parties that go out and propagate liberal secular views. It also means that the current government of Pakistan should cleanse the establishment of fundamentalist elements; but Pakistan does not have the laws to do so and you haven’t got a particularly liberal judiciary which will let such laws stand, even if the legislature voted them in.
    If Musharraf couldn’t do it, who can? It is a long difficult journey ahead and it can only be completed one step at a time.

  14. YLH

    Dude4000,

    I know it is beyond your mental capacity, given that you hail from the sewers of chowk.com… but why I – a self-styled non-Muslim- emphasize that Ahmadis are Muslim is because the state should have no right to determine who is what.

    Ofcourse given that you come from chowk.com … it is absolutely clear why commonsense might not work with you.

    This is why I have always advocated kicking third rate fools like you off without prejudice.

  15. bciv

    hayyer

    ayub khan did at least change – without triggering any troubles – the official name from islamic republic to just republic of pakistan. although he did use religious nonsense in his racist insults occasionally hurled at the people of east pakistan.

    yahya reverted to the old name. bhutto came up with the problematic 1973 constitution, the apartheid law ie 2nd amendment, prohibition and the friday weekend. sharif was able to go back to sunday, for entirely practical reasons, without much of a whimper.

    mush never tried to do anything about cleaning up zia’s legacy. like any good dictator he used all this talk of reforming blasphemy laws etc as mostly a smokescreen. parliament did reform zia’s hudood laws somewhat under him. but it was the MMA who were his allies, really. it was a bit unfair that they didn’t like him, personally, just because of his love for dogs and whiskey.

    zia upgraded the objectives’ resolution from preamble to substantial part of the constitution. the 18th amendment now, under the present democracy, has extended the muslim-only rule to the PM, in addition to the president.

    dictators have absolute power. their failures are more unforgivable. politicians are opportunists, but dictators’ expediencies are far more perverse. dictatorship will almost always be cannibalistic. democracy will lie, steal and even scavenge but, in the long run, have a moderating effect (often arrived at non-linearly).

  16. YLH

    “This can be done by using the non-nuanced liberalism of Jinnah (which is both irrelevant and redundant after 63 years) or we could develop an independent agenda that would appropriate the best points from Jinnah but at the same time keeps in mind the real situation as it exists on the ground.”

    You are doing the latter and very well I must add. NFP, Raza and I are doing the former…. let us hope our collective efforts can bear fruit one day… even if it is in the distant future.

  17. kashifiat

    //You are doing the latter and very well I must add. NFP, Raza and I are doing the former…. let us hope our collective efforts can bear fruit one day… even if it is in the distant future.//

    That day will never come

  18. neel123

    If the Ahmadis are treated this way in Pakistan, it is not hard to imagine what would be the condition of the Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, no wonder they have been decimated in last six decades ….. !

  19. Hayyer

    kashifiat:
    Which day will never come? What exactly are you opposing? A tolerant and peaceful Pakistan?

  20. @YLH: I hope for the sake of all those who want a peaceful, prosperous Pakistan for everyone (not for just the few bigots), that something will come out of a collaboration between liberal and progressive thought. The massacre at the MOSQUES of the Ahmadis has starkly highlighted the depth of this fracture. it will take a huge effort to counter the reactionary nature of our urbanized classes. I pray for the safety of this country and for all of its citizens. This country has been created, which is a fact that everyone has to deal with, we must strive for its salvation and the salvation of the humans who reside within its territorial confines.

  21. YLH

    Impossible can happen Kashifiat mian.

    To give you an example closer to your heart… Abu Lahab and Abu Sufiyan had sentiments much like yourself. Munh ki khai unho nay.

  22. Zulfiqar Haider

    The last line of this article clearly provides the crux; this certainly is the only country we have and it is important for us to rid our society of hatred against minorities, so that we can live in peace.

  23. Girish

    The problem that Pakistan faced was that even its best liberal faces, Jinnah included, were opportunists when it came to the use of religion. Jinnah was a liberal politician to begin with, but when push came to shove, he was ok with the misuse of Islam for his political ends. During the final few years of the campaign for Pakistan, he aligned with elements that used religious, even bigoted slogans for Pakistan. The tribal elements that started the first Kashmir war explicitly fought it on religious grounds, and this happened under his watch. The referendum in NWFP in 1947 saw the use of the worst kind of religious rhetoric by the Muslim League and once again this happened under his watch. It is all very well to point to his August 16th speech, but ignoring his other words and actions only advances a myth that can be easily disputed. In fact, the reasons for the continuing dispute on what Jinnah really wanted is due to the selective use of history on both sides. Both sides can show evidence to support the case that Jinnah really wanted a secular state or that he wanted an Islamic one. It then comes down to an argument on what he wanted more, an argument that cannot be convincingly won by either side.

    There are no other secular icons that Pakistan can fall back on either. Liaquat could have been the one to carry the liberal torch, but he was the leader under whose watch the Objectives Resolution got passed. Ayub Khan reformed Islamic family laws and did not include the word “Islamic” in the constitution of Pakistan, but the beginnings of Islamization of the military and of the polity also started under him. The 1965 war was posed in explicitly Islamic terms and racist rhetoric such as “one Muslim soldier is equal to ten Hindu soldiers”, or the reference to “cowardly Hindus” etc. was advanced by him openly (this when Pakistan still had a significant Hindu minority would be unimaginable anywhere else!). The less said about 1971, the better. The history of accelerated Islamization under Bhutto and Zia is well known and I will not repeat it.

    The point I am trying to make is that it is futile to refer to history and historical figures if the objective is to make Pakistan secular in the future. Every Pakistani leader in history, Jinnah included, failed to fight against extremism and bigotry within their midst, and in fact used and misused it when it suited their purpose while pretending that they were above it. It is so obvious that people opposed to secularism within Pakistan can easily show that the argument made by those who hark back to the desire of the founders to make Pakistan a secular state is flawed or at least incomplete.

    Hence, the only workable way to reverse this Islamization of Pakistan’s polity and public discourse is to build a new consensus on the desire for secularism and liberalism, based on contemporary facts and without the need to resort to what Jinnah or anybody else really wanted. It is a futile argument and perhaps even inadvertently weakens the cause due to the flaws in that argument.

  24. Nusrat Pasha

    Question: Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan?

    Answer: Not at all. The following words of Jinnah describe Jinnah’s Pakistan:

    1 : “…..Religion should not be allowed to come into Politics….Religion is merely a matter between man and God”…..(Jinnah, Address to the Central Legislative Assembly, February 7, 1935)

    2 : “…..in the name of Humanity, I care more for them [the Untouchables] than for Mussalmans…..” (Jinnah, Speaking about the Shudras or Untouchables, during his address at the All India Muslim League session at Delhi, 1934)

    3 : “…..I am NOT fighting for Muslims, believe me, when I demand Pakistan…..” (Jinnah, Press Conference, November 14, 1946)

    4 : “….. You are ‘free’ to go to your temples, you are ‘free’ to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed. That has ‘nothing’ to do with the business of the State…..” (Jinnah, Presidential address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Karachi, August 11, 1947)

    5 : “…..no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and ‘Equal Citizens’ of One State…..” ( Jinnah, Presidential Address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947)

    6 : “….. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in due course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of the individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State …..” (Jinnah, Presidential Address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947)

    7 : “….. But make no mistake : Pakistan is ‘NOT’ a theocracy or anything like it……” (Jinnah, Message to the people of Australia, February 19, 1948)

    8 : “….. The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly…..In any case Pakistan is ‘NOT’ going to be a theocratic State – to be ruled by priests with a divine mission…..” (Jinnah, February 1948. Talk on Pakistan broadcast to the people of USA)

    9: “…..We have many non-Muslims – Hindus, Christians and Parsis – but they are ‘ALL’ Pakistanis. They will enjoy the ‘SAME’ rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan…..” (Jinnah, February 1948. Talk on Pakistan broadcast to the people of USA)

    10 : ” …..Islam and its idealism have taught Equality, Justice and Fairplay to EVERYBODY…..” (Jinnah, January 25, 1948. Address to Bar Association Karachi)

    11 : ” ……EVERYONE of you, no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with ‘EQUAL’ rights, privileges and obligations ……” (Jinnah, Presidential Address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947)

  25. harbir singh nain

    The argument that religionists in India and Pakistan make in attacking secularism is predictable and unintelligent. “Our people are religious, our culture, society and morality are grounded in our religion, western notions of secularism are artificial in our context and nothing but the imports of western educated political elites disconnected from the public.” It is a conservative argument, motivated by the will to preserve the existing order of things, resistant to the notion the present order is not perfect, and that others may have better ideas than us

    The fact is that the human animal constantly evolves new systems of society and governance as he outgrows the usefulness of existing ones. The journey of man from naked ape in the Rift valley to Facebook networks and the Voyager interstellar spacecraft has been the journey of man constantly striving for prosperity, security, and knowledge. And on that journey man has evolved tools and mechanisms that are ever grander in scale and ever more sophisticated. Militaries, Monarchies, Republics, organized religions, democracy, economics, you name it. Each round of evolution of human civilization brings competitive advantage to its creators and renders others obsolete, and so humanity progresses.

    Organized Religion was one of these innovations. It has existed for only a fraction of the time span of human existence, perhaps 2% of the total time that people have been around. And indeed, religion served a useful purpose in the progress and development of civilization from the more primitive forms. But it is now obsolete as a mechanism of governance and social discourse.

    The future progress of human civilization now comes from Enlightenment and post-enlightenment paradigms. The societies that created or adopted these paradigms are much more successful than those that remain centered around religion. In time, they too will become obsolete. There will be a time when best democracies will be the poor, bitter, conservative, backward looking societies compared to societies at the leading edge of human civilization.

    This has happened to monarchies. It has happened to Imperialists. It happened to the ancient republics. It is happening to religion. And thats great. The human capacity to grow is a wonderful thing.

    The tendency of humans towards faith is always going to be with us (till we evolved out of it), but the socio-political force of religion is headed for irrelevance. It won’t go down without a fight of course; those who rely on it for their identity and existential context are going to fight like hell, but that does not change the reality of its obsolescence and the increasing appeal of other systems for every new generation.

    Thats not to say that religionists will just disappear. Though absolute monarchies are obsolete, they are not extinct (see Saudi Arabia). None the less, societies that fail to restrain the power of religion on their socio-political discourse will become increasingly impotent and irrelevant. The Hindutva brigades and the Islamists are not condemned to extinction. However, India and Pakistan can either have prosperity, security and progress, or they can run their societies according to their religious sentiments. They cannot have both.

    The question of how a society becomes secular is a twisted one. One can argue that in the case of India and the US founding fathers made secularism inherent to the nature of those countries. But its not a convincing answer because there are too many explicitly secular countries that didn’t have secularism imposed upon them through constitutional separation of church and state. It seems to me that secularism is an instinctive trait that arises when societies are faced with certain combinations of circumstances (one of which may be secular minded founding fathers). What those combinations are is worth studying. I have many hypotheses but none well developed enough to even mention. Suffice to say for now that looking at the subcontinent’s recent history isn’t going to be remotely enough to answer this question.

  26. Bin Ismail

    The Secular State:

    #1: Secularism does not at all mean an anti-God state, anti-religion state, or a Godless state or even a religionless system.
    #2: Secularism simply means that the State will not hold the religious affiliation of the Citizen to the advantage or disadvantage of the Citizen.
    #3: There will be no State Religion in place.
    #4: No particular religion or adherents of a particular religion will enjoy state-granted privileges, exclusive to adherents of that religion.
    #5: Adherents of all religions, without exception, will enjoy equal civil rights and have equal civil responsibilities.