I was intrigued by this interview of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad given to the famous journalist Shorish Kashmiri for a Lahore based Urdu magazine, Chattan, in April 1946. This interesting document has been discovered and translated by a former Indian minister Arif Mohammad Khan. Covert Magazine and newageIslam website have recently published it. The contents of this interview are difficult to agreed with. Azad is speaking from a nationalist angle, anti-Pakistan movement platform.
However, the narrative has some interesting observations and predictions for Pakistan that cannot be rubbished simply because Azad was a Congressite. This interview was conducted over a period of two weeks (parallel to the proceedings of the Cabinet Mission) and has not been documented in any book except that of Kashmiri’s book on Abul Kalam Azad, which has been out of print for decades. Its discovery is a welcome step towards better historiography on both sides of the border.
Q: The Hindu Muslim dispute has become so acute that it has foreclosed any possibility of reconciliation. Don’t you think that in this situation the birth of Pakistan has become inevitable?
A: If Pakistan were the solution of Hindu Muslim problem, then I would have extended my support to it. A section of Hindu opinion is now turning in its favour. By conceding NWFP, Sind, Balochistan and half of Punjab on one side and half of Bengal on the other, they think they will get the rest of India — a huge country that would be free from any claims of communal nature. If 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
“We need slaves to build monuments,” says an Iraqi engineer living in Abu Dhabi to a reporter from the Guardian. In the published report he goes to add that he would never use the metro if it wasn’t segregated since “we would never sit next to Pakistanis and Indians because of their smell”. Continue reading
Frank Huzur, based in New Delhi has sent us this exclusive report on the Indian elections – his impressions and observations that should interest South Asian readers.
THE PRINCE IN THE CROWD: A STAR IS BORN
One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one. A good politician is quite unthinkable as an honest burglar. So said American author an humorist Henry Miller of the BlackSpring fame once upon a time! Miller was an active member of Socialist Party in Manhattan, New York City and admired socialist Hubert Harrison., the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time. A seminal and influential thinker who encouraged the development of class consciousness among working people, positive race consciousness among Black people, secular humanism, modern thinking and intellectual independence! Continue reading
PTH expresses its deepest sorrow at the passing away of the legendary Iqbal Bani who shall never be forgotten and live through her music. RR
M Ilyas Khan of BBC News reports as under:
Renowned Pakistani singer Iqbal Bano died on Tuesday in the eastern city of Lahore aged 74….
Ms Bano was best known for her semi-classical Urdu ghazal songs and
classical thumris, but also sang easy-listening numbers in 1950s films.
Few singers of classical music matched the brilliance of her voice and her command of musical notes, critics say.
Videsh: Heaven on Earth
By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari
Any film on domestic violence is not an easy one to make; Deepa Metha is getting some vitriolic reviews from India for directing a film limited in technique, plot and dialogue. This barrage of misguided critique is in fact the very essence of the reactionary logic Indians, and South Asians largely, adopt when faced with a complex problem – shoot the messenger. Continue reading
By WAJAHAT ALI and AHMED RASHID writing here
Although the smoldering fires from the Mumbai attacks illuminate hateful violence, the spread of Islam in India came at the benevolent, inclusive hands of Sufi Muslims instead of the oppressive scimitar of the Mughal rulers. Personalities such as Moinuddin Chishti, a 13th century Sufi master, personified this version of Islam by demonstrating selfless charity and proactively engaging Hindu neighbors, especially the “untouchables” and downtrodden members of society. This humanistic, open-minded model of Islam is the predominant ideology of a majority of Indian and Pakistani Muslims. Unfortunately, a strain of narrow minded and oppressive literalism also exists, exemplified by 17th century Mughal emperor Aurengzeb, whose zealous devotion to his faith left a bitter, resentful legacy of tyranny and separatism.
In the aftermath of the Mumbai tragedy, Indian Muslims have been marching overtime on the streets to side with religious plurality, demonstrate solidarity with fellow Indian citizens and vocally denounce the attacks. At the rallies, such as the 5,000 march by Indian Muslims in Mumbai last week, Indian Muslims held placards that read “Our Country’s Enemies are Our Enemies,” “Killers of Innocents are Enemies of Islam,” and a few believe “Pakistan Be Declared Terrorist State.” Continue reading