Tag Archives: independence struggle

Dividing India To Save It

This is an article from an Indian Muslim writer  in response to Jaswant Singh’s book on Jinnah which poses some very interesting questions regarding partition and the role of Nehru and Patel in it.  Should make for interesting debate for scholars of partition on PakTeaHouse-YLH
By M J Akbar_775267_jinnah300
Jaswant Singh’s Jinnah has certainly provoked much ado about something, but what is that something? Would this biography have made news if the author had not been a senior leader of the BJP?

 The world of books requires some chintan, but fortunately no chintan baithak. Who or what, then, is the story: Jinnah or the BJP? The two are not entirely unrelated, for the BJP was formed as a direct consequence of the creation of Pakistan. The umbilical cord still sends spasms up its central nerve.

Two questions frame the Jaswant-Jinnah controversy. Was Jinnah secular? Do Nehru and Patel share the “guilt” for Partition? Continue reading

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The Contradictions of the Khilafat Movement

I first came across the writings of Mr. Hamza Alavi in College. This piece in particular shaped my ideas about South Asian history more decisively than others.  It was therefore a pleasant surprise to see this up on Red Diary.  Enjoy.  YLH 

by Hamza Alavi

The ‘Khilafat’ Movement of 1919-24, is probably quite unique inasmuch as it has been glorified with one voice by Islamic ideologists, Indian nationalists and communists alike and along with them by Western scholars, as an anti-colonial movement of Muslims of India, premised on the hostility of the British to the Turkish Sultan, their venerated Caliph.1 Little attempt has been made to examine the premises on which the movement was founded, the rhetoric of its leaders being taken at face value. On closer examination we find extra-ordinary paradoxes and contradictions behind that rhetoric. Continue reading

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Pakistan, Two Nation Theory and Secularism: Response to an Indian Poster

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

This was written in response to an Indian poster who suffers particularly from the ailment of which Oscar Wilde spoke unfavorably once upon a time.    Since the arguments are the usual : cliched, hackneyed and ill-informed chest thumping on why India is better, why two nation theory was wrong, why Pakistanis suck,  why Pakistan is a failed state,  I thought I’d put up this response for the general education of this jingoistic Indian type.   I’ve always thought that these gungho Indians (not all though- there are so many fine Indians we know who can’t be put in this bracket) act like the newly rich of the world and therefore their attitudes towards Pakistanis and the rest of the world smack of a lack of class, manners, decency or sense of balance and proportion. 

Dear Indian poster,

You keep repeating your mantra that India is secular because of the Congress and its one nation idea but the fact is that your constitution itself was authored by a man who opposed Congress’ conception of one nation.  Read B R Ambedkar’s writings especially on the issue of separate electorates for the Dalits and Scheduled Castes. In every way B R Ambedkar’s politics was closer to the two nation theory than one nation theory. And yet this fellow gave you the secular Indian constitution… and if you read the ICA debates you would see just how hard B R Ambedkar had to struggle to keep Gandhian and Hindu Majority’s ideas out of the Indian constitution. Continue reading

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The People’s Hero: Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh

Disturbed to life by the atrocious massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in 1919, disillusioned by the national political leaders who recoiled the promising Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922, alarmed by the rising religious divisions and reactionary rhetoric in the mainstream politics, and motivated by the Bolshevik Revolution of workers and peasants of Russia of 1917, Bhagat Singh and his compatriots entered the political scene of India and became the icon of the aspirations of the people of India in no time. Their aim was to bring a revolution that would not only end the colonial British regime but would also lay the foundations of a system that shall combat all forms of injustices. It was for these crimes that Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were hanged by the rulers of British colonialism on 23rd of March, 1931, at Lahore Camp Jail. Bhagat Singh was only 23 years old at the time of his hanging. Continue reading

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