Tag Archives: Muslim League

Was Jinnah secular?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani 

(In wake of the national debate on ideology and textbooks, Mr. Raza Rumi, the founder and editor of Pakteahouse, recently asked me to revisit the issue of Jinnah’s secularism through a comprehensive blog-post. This blog post is written for PTH exclusively and may be reproduced by giving PTH credit.)

Many people (though not all) on all sides of the ideology divide in Pakistan take umbrage with the description of Mahomed Ali Jinnah – the anglicized founder of Pakistan- as a secular leader or a secularist. Islamists in Pakistan say that he wanted an Islamic state. Islamic modernists say he wanted a modern Islamic democratic state (whatever that means), some people from the left say he was a communalist who was not secular because he championed Muslim separatism (albeit only in the last 11 years of his life). All of these groups agree that if Jinnah had been secular, it would not have been necessary to make a separate state. All of them – unconvincingly and inaccurately- claim that those who lay claim to a secular Jinnah are basing it on a solitary speech of Jinnah made on 11 August 1947. A slightly different claim is made by the Wali Khan group- which is ideologically consistent if historically errant- which claims that Jinnah wanted a secular state and that his push for Pakistan was the result of British manipulation and divide and rule which made him utilize Islamist rhetoric for the creation of Pakistan. While respecting all these points of view, I disagree with all of them and through this article I will explain why. Continue reading

Advertisements

206 Comments

Filed under Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, secular Pakistan

Secularists And Jinnah’s 11th August Covenant

There is no more a sacred covenant than this speech by the founding father, statesman, law-giver and philosopher in chief ,  Mr. Jinnah,  for this country and it spoke clearly, undeniably, incontrovertibly, clearly not vaguely that religion would be separate from the state and that religion would be the personal faith of an individual. I’d like to add that there are 30 odd other speeches of Jinnah which also speak of an inclusive democratic polity unfettered by priests with a divine mission but 11th August is the most important speech because it is spoken to the constituent assembly which was about to start framing the constitution of Pakistan.    This is a solemn promise and should have the status of a sanctified compact between the state of Pakistan and all its people.   It is this compact that the honorable justices of our Supreme Court should have considered when they chose to spray the judgment against NRO with Islamic injunctionsYLH

By Ishtiaq Ahmed

No ideological tendency in Pakistan identifies itself with the August 11 speech of Jinnah with greater enthusiasm than the secularists. Among them are included the marginalised leftists, oppressed minorities, retired senior bureaucrats and radical intellectuals. Both Marxist and liberal versions of secularism inform their thinking. The secularists are divided on many things, but agree that the secular nature of the Quaid’s message is unequivocal and incontrovertible. Their lament is that his unworthy successors broke a sacred covenant of equal rights bequeathed by the Founder of Pakistan. Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Egalitarian Pakistan, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Left, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, People's Pakistan, secular Pakistan, secularism

The Man Who Forged An Interview: Shorish Kashmiri’s Maulana Azad Hoax

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Some people believe that if you repeat a lie enough times it becomes the truth. Making the rounds on the internet these days is a “suddenly discovered” interview of Maulana Azad which he allegedly gave to Agha Shorish Kashmiri of Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam in April 1946.

Well I hate to break it to all of you – Agha Shorish Kashmiri was a fraud and the interview itself was most probably cobbled together through excerpts from Azad’s book “India Wins Freedom” and his famous address to the Muslims left behind in India in Jamia Masjid- both easily available texts. Before I come to the actual nature of the forgery, let us re-cap for a second what this creature Majlis-e-Ahrar was and just how deep its motivation ran in discrediting Pakistan and the leadership of Mr. Jinnah who Majlis-e-Ahrar considered an outright Kafir. Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam, a group of Islamic fanatics closely allied to the Congress party, was one of the most rabid anti-Pakistan movements around. Continue reading

102 Comments

Filed under History

Going Jinnah’s Way: An Indian Muslim’s View

By Jawed Naqvi

The expulsion of former Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh from the Bharatiya Janata Party could not have come as a surprise to him. He had said last week that having written an adulatory account of Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his seminal book on the Quaid-i-Azam, he was ‘prepared for the noose.’ Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

Partition of India: Pakistan and Islam

The Series continues from our last piece Partition of India: The Final Years . We reproduce the seminal work on this issue by the foremost Pakistani intellectual,  the late Hamza Alavi,  who explains why Pakistan was not created as a confessional state but as a secular state and also gave his famous “Salariat” theory which went a long way in explaining the forces behind the creation of Pakistan.

By Hamza Alavi

There is a pervasive belief, held more widely outside Pakistan than in the country itself, that Pakistan like Israel and Iran, is one of three confessional states in the world; that, like Israel, Pakistan’s very origin was to fulfil a religious ideal, to create an Islamic state and Islamic society for Muslims of India. Within Pakistan itself that slogan was proclaimed most stridently by the Jamaat-e-Islami, a fundamentalist extreme right wing party, which was aided and abetted by politically bankrupt regimes such as that of Gen. Zia which hoped, by exploiting the good name of Islam, to gain some spurious political legitimacy. Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under History

History through Women’s Voices

Pakistani women agitator asks for abolition of women's wings

Pakistani women agitator asks for abolition of women's wings

From Morung Express

By Pippa Virdee 
A generation of Pakistani women striving to affirm their rights in the public sphere can draw on a rich history to which education is central
 
Many of the conflicts and crises that today affect Pakistan seem to have the experience of women at their heart. The images of the punitive flogging of a young woman in the newly Talibanised region of Swat are but one especially vivid symbol of the degrading treatment that women can face. Yet such depictions can also mislead, in that the history of the lands that became Pakistan also contain many examples of women’s participation in civic and public life in search of their own and their country’s betterment. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under History

Mukul Kesavan’s India and Pakistan

Mukul Kesavan has always impressed me.  His novel “Looking Through the Glass”  for example has an interesting fictional discussion between the main protaganist who is a waiter at Cecil Hotel in New Delhi, and Mahomed Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League. Though fictional the discussion between two is based on Ayesha Jalal and H M Seervai’s view of Jinnah and his demand for Pakistan: a semi autonomous or even completely automonous Muslim majority part of an over all India whole, standing on equal footing with Hindustan through a confederation or common arrangements.    Continue reading

87 Comments

Filed under Pakistan