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
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
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
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