Tag Archives: Modernity

Nationalist Mythologies And Nuances Of History

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

In response to my article in Daily Times where I spoke about the menace of Maududism and its sordid history in Pakistan, several sections in India took umbrage to that part of the article in which I wrote about Mahatma Gandhi’s role in bringing Islamic religious clerics into the forefront of political struggle in South Asia.   This is the same section that would rather I had drawn a line linking Islamic extremism to Pakistan’s creation.  I would have done so gladly but that would be tantamount to denying history.

The problem with nationalist histiography is that it is unable to fully grasp or articulate nuanced realities that don’t fit in with the binary of good v. evil.   Indian nationalist mythology is no different.   The naive view amongst those Indian authors taking only a very superficial view of history is that Indian partition was brought about by Muslim religious fanatics and those who opposed it were somehow secular and moderate.  This binary then affects their entire view of history where they seek – quite unconvincingly- to imagine an unbroken link from Akbar to Darashikoh to Maulana Azad as a strand in South Asian Islam committed to Hindu Muslim Unity.    This again bears no semblance to actual history.  Continue reading

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