Tag Archives: partition of India

Did Jinnah Want Pakistan?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani
This is partly a continuation of my earlier article “Was Jinnah secular?” but mainly a response to a letter posted by Moin Ansari addressed to Mr. Najam Sethi called “refuting Mr Sethi’s blasphemy” in response to a TV show the latter did on the distortion of history in Pakistan.
Ahrari Fifth Columnist Moin Ansari is from a breed of self appointed Pakistani McCarthyites who abuse and attack anyone who tries to point out some facts about the creation of Pakistan. All of his “evidence” is usually badly sourced, or is selectively quoted. Those quotes trying to argue that Jinnah wanted an Islamic state have been addressed in the aforesaid “Was Jinnah secular” article, especially the misquoted Karachi Bar Association speech that seems to have captured the imagination of every Ziaist Islamist and right wing religio-fascist of Mr. Ansari’s camp. For a discussion on that please feel free to join that thread. Continue reading


Filed under History, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

Old man by the sea

From The Hindu


Moral figurehead: Aredeshir Cowasjee.

Photo: Courtesy: The Herald, Pakistan Moral figurehead: Aredeshir Cowasjee.
Ardeshir Cowasjee is more than just a columnist for a Pakistani newspaper. He has become the conscience of a nation.

Many interesting stories are told about Ardeshir Cowasjee, some true and some apocryphal. There is the story, true, about how he and other former students of Karachi’s BVS Parsi School were asked to rescue a bust of Gandhi during the Hindu-Muslim riots in the city in January 1948. The bust remained in his father’s house for some years, later moved to the Indian consulate in Karachi, and now occupies pride of place in the foyer of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. Continue reading


Filed under Jinnah's Pakistan

Three Poems By Iqbal II: Maa Ka Khawab.

By Dr. Ali Hashmi

A Psychological Interpretation of ‘A Mother’s Dream’

On the surface this poem is simply a description of a mother’s dream about her young son who is lost somewhere. Some commentators have described it as a lament by a mother whose child has died. However, there is a more life affirming explanation which makes more sense psychologically.

The poem starts out simply enough. It is in the first person with a mother describing her dream:

‘Main soey jo ik shab toe dekha yeh khwaab

Badha aur jis say meraa iztiraab

Yeh dekha kay main jaa rahi hoon kahin Continue reading


Filed under Partition, Philosophy, poetry

Three Poems By Iqbal: Introduction

A Psychological Interpretation

 By Dr. Ali Hashmi

‘Everywhere I go, I find that a poet has been there before me’ Sigmund Freud

One of Iqbal’s translators, the Scotsman Victor Kiernan wrote ‘Mohammad Iqbal, the ‘Poet of the East’, lived a life of which outwardly there is little to be said and inwardly, of which little is known.’ Works on Iqbal by scholars and academicians would fill up a small library, particularly in Pakistan, where he is revered as one of the country’s founding fathers. He was one of the early proponents of the idea of a separate state for the Muslims of British India, a fantastically improbable idea at the time. His eventual whole hearted support for the idea of Pakistan was surprising considering that one of his early poems ‘Tarana-e-Hindi’ (‘Song of India’), first published in 1904, is still sung and revered widely in India. Mahatma Gandhi wrote to Iqbal that he sang it hundreds of times during his many prison terms for sedition and political activity against the British Raj. Iqbal did not live to see his dream of a separate homeland for India’s Muslims brought to fruition and would, surely, have ‘recoiled in horror’, as Kiernan wrote, had he witnessed the communal blood bath that accompanied the birth of his vision. There are still no accurate estimates of the number of people that perished on both sides of the newly created border but half a million people killed and twelve million made homeless is one estimate. All this came much later though. Before all this was the poetry, page after page of lyrical, melodious poems reflecting on themes as simple as mountains, animals and insects and as exalted as God, Heaven, Angels and everything in between. Continue reading

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Filed under Partition, Philosophy, poetry

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


Filed under History

“Bring Back Jinnah’s Pakistan” II


Secular And Nationalist Jinnah (Cover of a book by Dr. Ajeet Jawed, published JNU Press)

Ardeshir Cowasjee writing in Dawn:

There has to be something seriously wrong with a country in which many of its citizens are still arguing as to whether it should or should not have been made, or debating as to whether it came into being by accident, intent, design or even intrigue. All possible accusations have been levied against the logic of Pakistan’s making.

The fact is that Pakistan exists and has existed for 62 years — in what shape is quite another matter. Arguments on that score will never cease, and they should not as it failed initially to take off in the right direction. Continue reading


Filed under History, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, Partition, Rights

Sir Christopher Lee talks about Jinnah of Pakistan

With all the buzz about Jaswant Singh’s book, our regular contributor, Aisha Fayyazi Sarwarichristopher_lee_jinnah_185_20070521has shared the transcript of a radio show she did some time back.

In 2001 I had the opportunity to Interview Sir Christopher Lee for a radio show I produced for Pakistan News Service in California.  – Aisha

Aisha Sarwari: Sir Christopher Lee, we are honored to have you here on the show (Previously Pakistan News Service), thank you for your time.

Sir Christopher Lee: Not at all

Aisha Sarwari: I’d like to ask you a few questions about the recently released film, Jinnah of Pakistan, Produced by Jamil Dehlvi and directed by Akbar S. Ahmed. I am curious to know how an independent film like this inspire you to act as a lead, in comparison to box office hits like, say, The Lord of The Rings?

Sir Christopher Lee: You can’t compare one film with another. Because you have to remember that Jinnah was a comparatively low budget picture, although it looks like a very big budget picture. You can’t possibly compare a film which is about basically one individual and the people around him who created a nation with a film like The Lord of The Rings which is a great epic, in fact, it is three films. And it’s not just about basically one person, certainly not about one person who was a founder of a modern nation. Continue reading


Filed under Cinema, History, Jinnah