A continuation from “Was Jinnah secular?” and “Did Jinnah want Pakistan?”.
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
There are many people who criticize Jinnah – quite incorrectly in my opinion- of having laid the foundations for subsequent periods of authoritarian military rule. They allege that Jinnah’s decision to become the Governor General was the first blow to parliamentary democracy in Pakistan. Unable to distinguish the argument of constitutional purists pleading the ceremonial and executive roles of president and prime minister i.e. head of state and head of government from that of democratic argument about the sovereignty of parliament, these authors etc make the fatal error of not making an effort in understanding both the constitution in place and the environment under which Jinnah exercised his constitutional authority. By confusing the two, they make a mockery not just of the latter issue, but history itself. In the process they end up abusing the one person in Pakistan’s history who can truly be called a liberal democrat in every sense of the word. Continue reading
Shahran Asim’s contribution for PTH
I know in our Pakistan Studies we have always read that Mahatma Gandhi was not secular and he did ‘nt want Muslim minority to have their share in the post partition scenario. When I raised these questions, someone suggested me to listen to his speeches which have been posted by an organization called Gandhi Server Foundation (www.gandhiserve.org). It is a great historical resource of information related to Mahatma Gandhi, contains his audio library , his letters to Quaid-e-Azam, Nehru and others, etc.
I have selected this speech which was addressed to Hindus but is is mostly related to create peace and harmony among the Hindus and Muslims. Please listen to Gandhi on Muslims, start from 3 mins and I would suggest to
listen it completely. How he praised the contribution of Muslims to India, Urdu, etc.
Filed under India, Pakistan
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
Late last week I attended a packed show of “My Name Is Khan” in Lahore’s DHA Cinema and while I went through all the emotions the film maker wanted to evoke, I found the film entirely misplaced and misdirected. The film itself was well made 70 percent of the way. It began to go downhill from the time our hero returned to Georgia to find it stuck in the Civil War era and by the time President Elect Obama made his appearance the film which is essentially Khuda Ke Liye meets Forest Gump meets Rainman meets Milk was completely over the top. Continue reading
Many Pakistanis are still not prepared to develop the patience required to see democracy through its early, evolutionary stages – especially difficult stages as a result of the violence done to it by military dictatorship after military dictatorship. They still look for and believe in personalities, not for a sustainable and equitable system. Many will tell you that the only cause for all of Pakistan’s woes is “humain aaj tak koi ddhang ka leader nahin mila (we never found a decent leader)”. The observation is correct. But the way we have gone about finding a decent leader has been completely wrong. Continue reading
I saw this film a while back but I decided to check it out again and was surprised by how close it came to admitting the truth about partition. Here is a sample.
Ashok Mitra writes in The Telegraph Calcutta:
The Cabinet Mission did not concede Mohammad Ali Jinnah his Pakistan. But what he got was enough; he was sure of controlling Group B and reasonably confident about Group C. He accepted the plan; his sole reservation was regarding the composition of the interim government where he demanded parity of representation with the Congress. The Congress leadership, on the other hand, hemmed and hawed. Yes, formally the integrity of India was preserved. Continue reading
Yasser Latif Hamdani writing in The News:
Jaswant Singh’s book “Jinnah India — Partition Independence” has elicited interesting reviews in Pakistan. They are interesting entirely because of how off the mark they are which shows how little our country’s so-called intelligentsia understands the finer points of political science, constitutional law and history, especially those deep wells from which Jinnah himself professed to have drunk. Much has been written about the book – including the justified criticism that has been levelled at it for terrible punctuation and grammar. If Jinnah was calling, from beyond the grave, for his definitive biographer, the definitive biography now calls for an able editor. However, not many critics have addressed the political theme which has made it so famous. Continue reading