Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quaide-Azam's Death Anniversary: Is Two Nation Theory Dead?

Some argue that the Two Nation Theory died with the 1971 partition of Pakistan that led to the separation of East Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh. Others say that the TNT (Two Nation Theory) was dead the day Pakistan's founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah passed away on Sept 11, 1948.

As Pakistanis observe the 65th anniversary of the Quaid-e-Azam's passing, let's examine the state of the Two Nation Theory which gave birth to the Pakistan movement on March 23, 1940.

The key question that needs to be answered regarding the events of 1971 is as follows: Did the Awami League in East Pakistan fight to create their own country later named Bangladesh? Or did they shed their blood to re-unify the eastern wing of Pakistan with India?

These questions are answered by French historian Christophe Jaffrelot in his book "A History of Pakistan and its origins".

Jaffrelot  cites British-Pakistani history Prof Samuel Martin Burke rejecting the notion that the Two-Nation Theory died in 1971 with Pakistan's split into Pakistan and Bangladesh. Burke says that the two-nation theory was even more strongly asserted in that the Awami League rebels had struggled for their own country, Bangladesh, and not to join India. In so doing, they had put into practice the theory behind the original resolution to form Pakistan, which envisaged two Muslim states at the two extremities of the subcontinent.

Here's an excerpt from the Pakistan Resolution passed in Lahore in March 1940:

"Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designated on the following basic principle, viz. that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to constitute "Independent States" in which the Constituent Units shall be autonomous and sovereign"

Clearly, the Pakistan Resolution called for "Independent States" of Muslim majority areas in the "North Western and Eastern Zones of India" in which the "Constituent Units shall be autonomous and sovereign".

What happened in 1971 with the creation of Bangladesh essentially put into practice the theory behind the original resolution to form Pakistan, which envisaged two Muslim states at the two extremities of the subcontinent.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Jaswant Lauds Jinnah

Are Muslims Better Off in Jinnah's Pakistan?

Comparing Pakistan and Bangladesh

Is This a 1971 moment in Pakistan's History?

Is Pakistan Too Big to Fail?

Global Firepower

Jinnah's Pakistan Booms Amidst Doom and Gloom

Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan

India Wins Freedom by Maulana Azad

Ayesha Jalal Taking On Pakistan's Hero

The Poor Neighbor by William Dalrymple

Iqbal and Jinnah


Hasan said...

Up till now it looks quite logical that the two nation theory & the Pakistan resolution hold good. This would have not been the case if the people of East Bengal would have struggled for a Bangladesh including west Bengal which did not happen in 1971. According to this analysis, the people of Bangladesh should have maintained Quaid-e-Azam as their hero & supported the formation of Pakistan in 1947, but unfortunately this did not happen.Even in the future they can realize this & correct their mistake. The two nation theory will however blow off if the movements like sindhu desh, greater pakhtoonistan & greater Baluchistan get strong & succeed....

Riaz Haq said...

Hasan: "According to this analysis, the people of Bangladesh should have maintained Quaid-e-Azam as their hero & supported the formation of Pakistan in 1947, but unfortunately this did not happen.Even in the future they can realize this & correct their mistake. The two nation theory will however blow off if the movements like sindhu desh, greater pakhtoonistan & greater Baluchistan get strong & succeed...."

Had the 1971 creation of Bangladesh been amicable and a loose federation or confederation maintained with Pakistan, Bangladeshis would have had a different view of Pakistan and Quaid-e-Azam. Even so, I think a large segment of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have a soft corner in their hearts for each other.

As to the independence movements you mention in Sindh and Balochistan, I see these movements as insignificant relative to the strength of the federal government and the broad popular support for the federation of Pakistan after the 18th amendment. I think the chances of any break-up of Pakistan into smaller units appear remote.

Hasan said...

You are perfectly right, but the rulers after the Quaid, specially those after 1958 treated Pakistan as a unified state instead of a federation (Even a confederation was allowable as mentioned in Pakistan resolution) and did not do justice with the people of east Pakistan even as a part of a unified state which resulted in movement leading to their separation from Pakistan. They, instead of giving them their rights treated them as traitors. So the idea of a loose confederation was not possible in 1971. After the recognition of Bangladesh, Mr. Bhutto could have attempted on these lines, but he rejected such proposals by saying that a Unified state is the easiest to govern, a federal more difficult & a confederation most difficult to run. My point was that now after more than 40 years when no such attempt of forming a confederation is possible, the leaders of Bangladesh should at least accept the two nation theory & formation of Pakistan & regard Quaid-e-Azam as their hero, and regard only his successors at fault & responsible for their grievances which resulted in their separation from Pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Hasan: "You are perfectly right, but the rulers after the Quaid, specially those after 1958 treated Pakistan as a unified state instead of a federation (Even a confederation was allowable as mentioned in Pakistan resolution) and did not do justice with the people of east Pakistan even as a part of a unified state which resulted in movement leading to their separation from Pakistan."

The violence so embittered the two sides that the idea of even a loose confederation was not feasible post-1971.

As to injustice with East Pakistan, the facts indicate otherwise.

Economic gap between East and West Pakistan in 1960s is often cited as a key reason for the secessionist movement led by Shaikh Mujib's Awami League and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. This disparity has grown over the last 40 years, and the per capita income in Pakistan now stands at more than twice Bangladesh's in 2012 in nominal dollar terms, higher than 1.6 as claimed by Akbar Ali Khan in 1971.

Here are some figures from Economist magazine's EIU 2013:

Bangladesh GDP per head: $695 (PPP: $1,830)

Pakistan GDP per head: $1,410 (PPP: $2,960)

1. Bangladesh is still categorized by the World Bank among low income and least developed countries of the world, while Pakistan is a middle income country and classified well above the list of least developed countries of the world.

2. Bangladesh is ranked as 11th poorest country in the world by the World Bank in terms of the percentage of population living on $1.25 or less a day. Neighboring India is the 14th poorest on this list, while Pakistan does not show up on it. The rest of the nations on this list are all in sub-Saharan Africa.

3. In 1947, East Pakistan started with a lower economic base than West Pakistan, and the loss of its Hindu Bengali business elite in 1947 left it worse off. It also didn't have the benefit of the large number ofMuslim businessmen who migrated to West Pakistan, particularly Karachi, after partition of India in 1947.

4. Pakistani economist Dr. Ishrat Husain explains it well when he says that "although East Pakistan benefited from Ayub’s economic reforms in 1960s, the fact that these benefits were perceived as a dispensation from a quasi-colonial military regime to its colony—East Pakistan—proved to be lethal."

Anonymous said...

How will the muslims in India look at 2 nation theory? Two nation theory did not consider muslims scattered all over India and just went after creating two populous regions independent.
A theory which did not consider anything for 150 million muslims living in India.
In fact two nation theory has been the worst thing which could have happened to muslims of the United India. Muslims are devided now in 3 countries.
Dont you think had they been united they could have got better deal than whatver is today.

Today only Punjab and Sindh,Karachi and Dhakka are prosperous but rest muslims of entire subcontinent are still struggling.

With regards to Pakistan being better on the poverty index, majority population of pakistan is living along indus(one of the most fertile and prosperous belt of resources). Compare your punjab to Indian punjab you will find similar prosperity. Compare port cities of India to Karachi you will find similar prosperity. When comparing India and Pakistan you are comparing apples with oranges. Each state of India has a different economy due to geography which is same for hundreds of years.
Bangladesh is sitting most resourceful belt but couldnt progress much because the key trading and business communities left along with Education driven economical culture which is still there in West Bengal even with large number of Muslim population. West bengal is still one of better off state on India due to port and economy.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Today only Punjab and Sindh,Karachi and Dhakka are prosperous but rest muslims of entire subcontinent are still struggling"

The latest World Bank data shows that India's poverty rate of 27.5%, based on India's current poverty line of $1.03 per person per day, is more than 10 percentage points higher than Pakistan's 17.2%. Assam (urban), Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are the only three Indian states with similar or lower poverty rates than Pakistan's.

West Bengal, too, fares much worse than Pakistan, according to this report. West Bengal's poverty rate is about twice that of Pakistan's.

Anonymous said...

Again you are comparing Population of Punjab and sindh which is 90 percent of pakistan to whole of India.

My point is punjab and sindh has been rich agricultural belts for centuries even before independence. Poverty was already very low.

India has rich belts across all river basins where agriculture has boomed due to water availability.

Poverty is in dry regions of vidarbha, telangana, MP, rajasthan, Northeast where no rich agri belts exist.

Pakistan has definitely done very good progress in industries in Punjab and sindh.

What lacks in your analysis is whether pakistan has turned around any regions which were in dark in last 65 years?

Poor belts in Balochistan, FATA and gilgit baltistan still there. They are still poor and lack resources due to geography.

In India nobody compares Punjab to Rajasthan because of geography. Same way no comparison can be done of himalayan states to Rich ganges basins.

Orissa has large tribal belts and huge minerals but it is not compared with gujarat.

My point is when you put figures it doesn't tell you complete story.

You are a very good analyst and have collected good material which I can call a very good inventory for the policymakers and every critical piece must analysed.

Mayraj said...

"Mr. Modi’s political sense was on display at the very first rally on his nomination as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. Addressing ex-servicemen at Rewari he laid out his security agenda that would no doubt have been music to the ears of the gathering. Declaring an intent to make Pakistan behave, China back off, the civilian defence sector deliver and have the coffers cough up ‘one rank one pension’, he suggested that since all this would require a ‘strong’ leader, he was the best man for the job. Missed in the deconstruction of his speech has been the more significant aspect: that of politicisation of the military."
Modi And The Military: Not Quite An Innocent Beginning

Riaz Haq said...

#IndianMuslims suffer widespread discrimination in education, employment and housing in #India … via @DailymotionUSA

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an India Tomorrow report on anti-Muslim and anti-Christian criminal justice system in India:

According to the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB), a government of India institution that works under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of detainees belonging to Muslim and Christian minorities is more than double of the share of the two communities in the national population.

The NCRB report ‘Prison Statics India- 2012’ reveals that in 2012, as many as 28.02 per cent of the total detainees in entire country belonged to the Muslim community while the community constitutes only 13.4% of the national population. The year 2012 saw an increase in the number of Muslim detainees – in 2011 there were 26.5 per cent Muslim detainees in Indian jails.

According to the report, the proportion of detainees from Christian minority is also very high. As per the census data, Christians are only 2.3 per cent in Indian population but at least 6 per cent of detainees in 2012 belonged to the Christian community.

According to NCRB, any person detained in prison on the orders of competent authority under the relevant preventive detention law is called detenue (detainee).

The report says that a total of 1922 persons were detained in 2012 and 28.2 per cent of it (i.e. 543) were from the Muslim community. According to Census of India- 2001 the percentage of Muslims in India is only 13.4%.

Muslims are far more than their national population share not only among detainees but also among undertrials and convicts.

Out of the total 2,54,857 under trial prisoners, 21 per cent (53,638) belonged to Muslim community in 2012.

Out of the total convicts in the said year, 17.8 per cent (22,687) were Muslims. Interestingly, 53.5 per cent of convicted Muslims were lodged in four states Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AsiaNow report on disproportionate population of Muslims and Christians in Indian prison:

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The high number of prison inmates from socio-religious minorities "is due to the attitude of some states, which target the most vulnerable sections of society," said Arun Ferreira, an activist for Christian Dalits and tribals, who spoke to AsiaNews following the release of the 2012 Prison Statistics report by the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB).

According to the report, Muslims, who are 13.4 per cent of India's population, represented 28.02 per cent of the prison population in 2012. Christians are in the same situation. Nationally, they are 2.3 per cent of the population but they constitute 6 per cent of the prison population.

For the activist, "We get these percentages because Dalits, Tribals, Muslims and Christians are often the victims of loopholes and sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Ferreira should know. He personally experience what it means to be behind bars. Accused of being a Naxalite (Maoist) guerrilla, he was arrested in May 2007 in Nagpur (Maharashtra) and indicted on 11 charges, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

During his detention, he was tortured and interrogated twice after being treated with a "truth serum," a psychoactive drug that is now illegal. After four years and eight months in jail, he was released on bail.

"My experience in prison is that every state tends to target minorities, showing some of its specific features," Ferreira told AsiaNews.

"In states where Hinduism is strong, like Orissa (where the effects of anti-Christian pogroms still linger), many innocent Christians have been arrested and thrown in prison, falsely accused of being Naxalites. However, the same thing happened in Gujarat after the 2002 riots."

"In Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, which are also under strong Hindu influence, the authorities have overtly attacked the Christian community, treating its members as the 'criminal' element in the Dalit and Tribal groups."

All too often, Christians fall into the clutches of the justice system on false evidence because they back causes that embarrass the authorities.

"In Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, some tribal Christians were arrested on false accusations of terrorism," Ferreira noted, "when in fact the problem was their struggle against large-scale mining projects that required huge tracts of land to be expropriated."

The same is true for Tamil Nadu, where Christians have been charged with 'subversion' for opposing the construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

"Sadly, neither the government nor the NCRB recognise political prisoners as a separate category, so there are no statistics about it."

Riaz Haq said...

India rejected a report issued by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which strongly criticizes Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for subjecting minorities to violent attacks, according to news reports on Thursday (BBC, IBNLive). A statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated: "It [the USCIRF report] appears to be based on limited understanding of India, its constitution and its society. We take no cognizance of this report" (NDTV). The USCIRF report states that religious minority communities have been subject to "derogatory comments by politicians linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)" (Economic Times). The report recommends that the Indian government "publicly rebuke government officials and religious leaders that make derogatory statements about religious communities." U.S. President Barack Obama, during his visit to New Delhi earlier this year, said that "India will succeed so long as it is not splintered on religious lines."

Riaz Haq said...

"Sorry, we don't hire Muslims". Top #India company rejects qualified #Muslim candidate with MBA - The Hindu …

If they wanted to reject my application they could have given another excuse, says Zeshan Ali Khan

In a case of religious discrimination, a leading diamond export company here has rejected the job application of a young man just because he is a Muslim.

“Thanks for your application. We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates,” was the reply MBA graduate Zeshan Ali Khan received.

Having completed his MBA in international business, Mr. Khan was searching for a job in a leading export house. He emailed his resume to Hare Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. on Tuesday. The diamond conglomerate is headquartered in Mumbai and has a global presence

“Along with a bunch of friends, I forwarded my resume to the company. Almost half of them were immediately placed. I got a reply within 20 minutes of my application. I was shocked when I read it,” Mr. Khan told The Hindu.

“Initially, I thought it was a joke. Had they wanted to reject my application they could have given other excuses…,” he said.

Mr. Khan then put up a post on his experience on his Facebook page and generated sharp reactions. After the outrage gained traction, Mr. Khan on Wednesday received a “regret” e-mail by a senior executive of the company. “We would like to clarify that the company does not discriminate against candidates based on gender, caste, religion, etc. Any hurt caused in the matter is deeply regretted,” said Mahendra S. Deshmukh, Associate VP & Head-HR of the company.

Mr. Deshmukh’s email, a snapshot of which was shared with The Hindu by Mr. Khan, further said: “This erroneous email was sent by my colleague Mrs. Dipika Tike who has joined recently and is still on training.”

Riaz Haq said...

Maududi was the most vociferous opponent of Mr. Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement. I reproduce here some of his referenced works here from his “Muslims and the Present Political Turmoil” (Vol.III) First Edition published from Delhi. Jamaat-e-Islami claims that the whole Two Nation Theory project was derived from Maududi’s writings which is completely untrue. Maududi described the idea of Muslim Nationalism as unlikely as a “chaste prostitute”. Here he wrote:

” Who are the Muslims you are claiming to be a separate nation? Here, the crowd called Muslims is full of all sorts of rabble. There are as many types of characters in this as in any (other) heathen people”. (Vol. III, P.166)

“If you survey this so-called Muslim society, you will come across multifarious types of Muslims, of countless categories. This is a zoo with a collection of crows, kites, vultures, partridges and thousands of other types of birds. Every one of them is a ‘sparrow’. (Ibid. P.31)

One of Jamaat-e-Islami’s latter day claims has been that Mr. Jinnah wanted an Islamic state. Ironically this is what Jamaat-e-Islami’s philosopher in chief Maulana Maududi was writing back then:

“Pity! From League’s Quaid-e-Azam down to the lower cadres, there is not a single person who has an Islamic outlook and thinking and whose perspective on matters is Islamic“. (Ibid. P.37)

“To pronounce these people fit for leading Muslims for the simple reason that they are experts of Western type politics and masters of Western organizational arts, and are deeply in love with their people, is a manifestation of an unislamic viewpoint and reflects ignorance of Islam”. (Ibid. P.70)

“Even with a microscopic study of their practical life, and their thinking, ideology, political behaviour and style of leadership, one can find not a trace of Islamic character.”

Jamaat-e-Islami now claims claims that the Muslim League won the elections because it promised Pakistan as an Islamic state. Here is what Maulana Maududi said then:

“In no Muslim League resolution, or in a speech by a responsible leader of the League it has it been made clear that their final goal is of establishing an Islamic system of government. Those who believe that by freeing Muslim majority areas rule of Hindu majority, an Islamic government will be established here in a democratic set up, are wrong. In fact what will be achieved will be a heretical government by Muslims, indeed worse than that.” (Ibid. P.130-32)

One of the main arguments in favor of separate federations in India put up by Muslim League was that parliamentary democracy would not work in United India given the permanent minority that Muslims were with their own majority zones. Thus Pakistan – as a separate federation- had to be a democratic state. Jinnah’s vision, as Gandhi concluded after his abortive meetings with Jinnah in 1944, was of a perfect democracy in Pakistan. This vision was rejected by Maulana Maududi and his party. The fact that Jinnah used electoral methods and strengths of numbers for his politics also upset Maulana Maududi quite a bit. He wrote:

“For these reasons, the great numbers (of Muslims) that we find. (listed) in the census records has become worthless for purposes of Islam. Anything done on the strength of these numbers will result in acute frustration.” (Ibid. P.56)

Had these great numbers supported Maududi he would have gladly accepted their strength. In 1947, he moved to Pakistan and brought here with him his cancerous Jamaat-e-Islami too. He remained however a committed opponent of the Pakistani national causes including the Kashmir struggle calling it unIslamic. Today the Jamaat-e-Islami castigates anyone and everyone who wants a peaceful settlement in Kashmir. I suppose Maududi could not call the Kashmir struggle a Jihad because then Ahmadis were involved in fighting there under their Al-Furqan brigade.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's "Secular" #India: No flat for Misbah Quadri in #Mumbai because she is #Muslim …
Growing up in Gujarat post-2002 riots exposed her to religious prejudice and forced ghettoisation. So when Misbah Quadri moved to Mumbai, she hoped the city, known for its cosmopolitan culture, would treat her better.

However, the 25-year-old communications professional is today knocking on the doors of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after she was denied a flat in the city just because she is a Muslim. After a hard search, Ms. Quadri found a tidy 3-BHK apartment at Sanghvi Heights in Wadala. Her new flatmates — two working women, in their early twenties and Hindu — found her on Facebook.

However, a day before Ms. Quadri was to shift, the apartment’s broker warned that the housing society did not accept Muslim tenants. Even if something worked out, the broker told her, she would have to sign a “no-objection certificate” declaring that if she faced any harassment from her neighbours because of her religion, the builder, the owner and the broker “would not be legally responsible.” She was also asked to submit her resume. Though she disagreed with the terms, she moved in because the notice period at her previous flat expired and her flatmates supported her and she hoped for a compromise later.

But within a week, the agent contacted her again. “He threatened to call the cops and throw me out of the flat. It got very ugly.” When she approached the representative of the builder, she was told that it was “a policy” of the company not to have Muslim tenants. She was then served an ultimatum to vacate the house. Ultimately, she was forced to leave the flat. Incidentally, the other women had to pay a price for sheltering a Muslim; they have vacated the house unwillingly.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excepts of Nisid Hajari's NPR Fresh Air interview promoting his book "Midnight's Furies":

"This rivalry between India and Pakistan has been going on now for nearly 70 years and it seems like a feature of the landscape ... as if it has always existed, and once you created two countries out of one that it was inevitable," Hajari says. "I don't think it was inevitable and a closer look at what happened in 1947 teaches you how the seeds of this rivalry were planted. It was obviously worsened over the years by various actors, but this is where it all started."

They (Hindus) controlled the schools, they controlled the educational curriculum, they oversaw the police and they gave out jobs and patronage to their own followers. And Muslims could see, particularly professional Muslims, Muslims who would otherwise have perhaps won these jobs, could see that they would have very little power in a democratic system, a parliamentary system after independence.

On that (Direct Action) day (1946), the speeches that were given were fairly inflammatory, and some of the Muslim listeners of these speeches went out and started burning and looting in Hindu areas. At the same time, Hindus in different parts of the city were also throwing bricks and stones at Muslim marchers. It's very hard to say exactly how it started or who started it [but] both sides behaved violently.

The Sikhs really were the accelerant to the riots in August 1947, which is, when people talk about partition, this is what they're talking about. These are the massive riots that broke out around the time that the British withdrew from India, and anywhere from 200,000 to 1 million people were killed.

As independence was approaching, all sides were forming militias, which they claimed were for self-defense. The Sikhs, because so many of them had served in the army, were the best trained and the best armed and the best organized of these militias, and therefore the rampages that they engaged in were more effective and bloodier and more damaging.

The Pakistani support for the Taliban had to do with their desire to have an influence in Kabul and to block Indian influence in Afghanistan. Pakistani strategists have this idea of strategic depth that if they were engaged in a major conflict with India that they would be able to use Afghanistan as a sort of rear-guard area to fall back to. They have a fear of being encircled by Indians and there have always been rumors that the Indians were trying to gain influence with various Afghan governments and that they had spies in Afghanistan and so on. Afghanistan has never fully agreed to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, so that creates more tensions.

But this fear of Indian encirclement, that's what goes back to partition in 1947. The seeds of that rivalry were planted in these weeks and months of violence and bloodshed back when both countries were still being born and they were exacerbated over the years by further conflicts and by various military dictators and politicians and so forth, but the basic pattern was set very quickly. As a smaller, weaker country, this asymmetric strategy of using surrogates to do your fighting for you seems appealing, but it has very destructive repercussions.

Riaz Haq said...

Mani Shankar Aiyar: What #India's #Modi Has Not Recognised About #Pakistan: ITS RESILIENCE AND NATIONALISM … via @ndtv

"unlike numerous other emerging nations, particularly in Africa, the Idea of Pakistan has repeatedly trumped fissiparous tendencies, especially since Pakistan assumed its present form in 1971. And its institutions have withstood repeated buffeting that almost anywhere elsewhere would have resulted in the State crumbling. Despite numerous dire forecasts of imminently proving to be a "failed state", Pakistan has survived, bouncing back every now and then as a recognizable democracy with a popularly elected civilian government, the military in the wings but politics very much centre-stage, linguistic and regional groups pulling and pushing, sectarian factions murdering each other, but the Government of Pakistan remaining in charge, and the military stepping in to rescue the nation from chaos every time Pakistan appeared on the knife's edge. The disintegration of Pakistan has been predicted often enough, most passionately now that internally-generated terrorism and externally sponsored religious extremism are consistently taking on the state to the point that the army is so engaged in full-time and full-scale operations in the north-west of the country bordering Afghanistan that some 40,000 lives have been lost in the battle against fanaticism and insurgency.

"And yet," as was said on a more famous occasion, "it works!" Pakistan and her people keep coming back, resolutely defeating sustained political, armed and terrorist attempts to break down the country and undermine its ideological foundations. That is what Jaffrelot calls its "resilience". That resilience is not recognized in Modi's India. That is what leads the Rathores and the Parrikars to make statements that find a certain resonance in anti-Pakistan circles in India but dangerously leverage the impact on Pakistani public opinion of anti-India circles in Pakistan. The Parrikars and the Saeeds feed on each other. It is essential that both be overcome.

But even as there are saner voices in India than Rathore's, so also are there saner - much saner - voices in Pakistan than Hafiz Saeed's. Many Indians would prefer a Pakistan overflowing with Saeeds to keep their bile flowing. So would many Pakistanis prefer an India with the Rathores overflowing to keep the bile flowing. At eight times Pakistan's size, we can flex our muscles like the bully on the school play field. But Pakistan's resilience ensures that all that emerges from Parrikar and Rathore are empty words. India is no more able than Pakistan is to destroy the other country"

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpt of "Transcending divisions: the consolidation of Pakistan" by Benazir Bhutto published in 1996 in Harvard International Review:

DURING BRITISH COLONIAL RULE, a superb feat of political engineering kept together several nationalities clearly differentiated by religion, ethnicity, language, and cultural tradition. As a result, the withdrawal of the colonial power in 1947 brought to the surface national tensions similar to those which had already led to the creation of scores of nation-states in Europe, each based on the principle of national self-determination. The inevitable creation of Pakistan as an independent sovereign state in 1947 illustrates the historic existence of multiple nationalities in South Asia. It is further substantiated by the fact that when the eastern wing of Pakistan broke away in 1971, it did not return to India, which had militarily intervened to bring about the secession, but asserted its independence from India as strongly as Pakistan has always done.

In contemporary South Asia, states like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka continue to be multiethnic and multi-national states. For each of these states, internal consolidation and cohesion has depended on the successful resolution of great sub-regional rivalry and competition. Occasionally, internal conflict has loomed so large as to create a genuine crisis of governability.

The case of Pakistan seems unique in many respects. It is the only country in which the internal contradictions that existed between the two wings of the country, separated by more than a thousand miles of hostile India, exploded into a major bloody conflict leading to the emergence of a third state in the subcontinent, Bangladesh. Paradoxically, the trauma of this separation led to deep soul-searching in Pakistan which, in the due course of time, profoundly affected its political culture. The loss of East Pakistan in 1971 did not exacerbate the tensions within West Pakistan, even though these tensions had been largely neglected during the pre-war attempts at mediation of the East-West conflict. Rather, the new Pakistan rediscovered a set of principles and allegiances which have played an important role in the country's consolidation.


Pakistan now stands at a crucial juncture in its history, where most of the instability it faces comes not from domestic separatism but from external interference and threats. It earnestly hopes that economic policies in South Asia in the direction of free enterprise and participation in the global economy will counteract and neutralize aggressive tendencies. Pakistan would like to open an entirely new chapter of cooperative relations with India, and invites the leaders of India to negotiate a peaceful solution to the Kashmir problem as well as a reciprocally-binding non-proliferation regime for nuclear weapons and delivery systems. We invite India's leaders to take parallel measures to limit and reduce military spending in the interest of the billion people living in South Asia. In addition, as the two largest states of the subcontinent, India and Pakistan owe it to South Asia to transform its only regional organization, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, into a more meaningful and effective vehicle of regional economic and social development. History will not forgive us if we forego the great opportunities present today for shared prosperity and peace.

Riaz Haq said...

Book Review: The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience

BY Jibby Katayan, DNA, India;

Jaffrelot delves into great detail on three sources of tensions that roiled Pakistan: ethnic schisms, be it Bengali, Baloch, or Pashtun, and their federal aspirations that came into conflict with the unitary definition of the Pakistan nation; the army's tendency to interrupt the democratic process; and differences between Islamists and those who view Islam as a common cultural identity marker that distinguishes Pakistan from, say, India.

Jaffrelot concludes that Pakistan appears less vulnerable to the centrifugal forces of ethno-nationalism in the 2000s compared to the 1970s, when these movements first assumed militant stances. A notable feature of the chronic instability and alternating periods of democratisation and martial law is that the country never slipped out of the clutches of the ruling elites. As a result, land and fiscal reforms were non-starters and benefits of secular education never really reached the grassroots.

This directly fed into Zia-ul-Haq's Islamisation policy – a period of unprecedented state support for madrasas coupled with liberal funding from Saudi Arabia. However, Jaffrelot is clear that Zia was driven by the idea of state control over Islamic religion and would never have brooked Islamic leaders calling the shots in Pakistan. Nevertheless, Pakistan paid a heavy price for his Islamisation policy. It sprung two offshoots, jihadism and sectarianism, that pose a greater threat to Pakistani society than the possibility of ethnic strife or another army coup.

Jaffrelot is unsparing in blaming Pakistan for promoting jihadism, expecting this to provide a strategic counterweight against India, and extend Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan. In this context, Pakistan could have made a clean break with Islamists post-9/11. Here, Jaffrelot notes that the Pakistan army's perception of the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani network, and Lashkar-e-Taiba as assets and the refusal to tackle these groups head-on enabled them "to acquire such power that today they can defy the state and create the conditions of a low-intensity civil war". In discussing the possibility of civil war, Jaffrelot proceeds to discuss the army's actions in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

In the end, Pakistan's (and India's) best bet for long-term survival is economic upliftment of the masses. The world over, there is growing discourse around economic inequality, but South Asian nations continue to be enmeshed in the polarising rhetoric of cultural-religious nationalists.

Jaffrelot has given us a comprehensive tome, that combines a sociological perspective of Pakistan's history and a deep – occasionally sympathetic – understanding of positions staked out by the politicians and army generals in steering the country through choppy waters.

Riaz Haq said...

Op Ed by Uday Mahurkar:

It is said that to label a patriot as non-patriot is one of the greatest sins. Against the backdrop of this adage there is the curious case of Abul Kalam Azad, India’s first education minister and a nationalist Muslim credited with steering the boat of the Congress and, by that virtue, of India during the most difficult phase of the Pakistan movement from 1939 to 1945 under the shadow of World War II. There is a significant section of responsible Indians who believe that Azad and his ideological friends belonging to the Wahabi stream - the Deobandi Muslim leaders of that period - opposed Partition because they felt territorial nationalism had no place in Islam since the faith stood for converting the entire world and that the division of India would divide Muslim strength and awaken Hindus from a deep slumber under Muslim rule to the dangers of Pan-Islamism.

One of those who thought so was late retired bureaucrat, and a witness to the Partition, Yuvraj Krishen. His landmark book Understanding Partition is a good read on the actions and objectives of the Muslim League on one hand and, on the other, the Deobandis with their favourite Azad - who were in the Congress. Writing a guest column on the Partition for India Today in 2007, Krishen wrote:

"There is ample evidence now to prove that nationalist Muslims like Abul Kalam Azad and the then Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind president Ahmad Hussain Madani opposed Pakistan only because they felt that Partition would affect Muslim domination in the sub-continent and Muslims would heavily lose. Plus they tried to extract a heavy price from the Congress for their patriotism in the name of minority protection. Congress leaders have tried to hide the fact that as Congress president in 1945, Azad even went to the extent of agreeing to a proposal of rotating Indian headship. It meant India would have a Hindu and then a Muslim head of State and army chief by turns. So, eventually Gandhi and Nehru made Congress a hostage to ‘Hindu-Muslim unity at any cost’ which Jinnah skillfully exploited and got more concessions from the Congress to establish parity in numbers between Hindu and Muslim representation."

But a better way to look at Azad is from the eyes of secular and lslamic scholars/leaders of Pakistan. Amongst them the leaders of the Wahabi stream in Pakistan, generally opposed to Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s modernist approach, see Azad with respect while the Jinnah admirers see him as the representative of an unbending, orthodox and even retrograde brand of Islam and question Gandhiji for taking the support of retrograde Islamic forces. This can be gleaned from the writings and speeches of Wahabi stream leaders like late Tanzeem-e-Islami's (an Islamic socio-political body in Pakistan) Ameer Israr Ahmed and Jamat-e-Ulema-e-Islam president and Deobandi leader Fazlur Rehman and pro-Jinnah, liberal scholars like Ayesha Jalal - who teaches history in United States. Among other such supporters include Hamza Alavi, the eminent late Pakistani social scientist, Naeem Ahmad, an expert on the Pakistan movement and Sharif-Al-Mujahid, a well known Pakistani academic and freedom movement scholar.

Riaz Haq said...

What makes Pakistan resilient
By Tariq MahmudPublished: November 2, 2015

Anatol Lieven and Christophe Jaffrelot, two distinguished writers, in their copious research over time, have taken their readers through the chequered chronicles of Pakistan’s history. Their writings on Pakistan are marked with recurring manifestations of violence and instability, of divergence and divisiveness, of an existential threat still looming large. Both, however, stop short of calling the country a failed or a failing state. According to them, it is the quality of resilience of the state and society that keeps Pakistan afloat.

Over the years, the country has faced acts of terrorism, extremism, sub-nationalist insurgencies and many other challenges, like natural calamities, with societal overlaps providing support to the state’s endeavour to counter them. Resilience, as a phenomenon, has lately been engaging the attention of social scientists. It is a unique capability, which after turbulence and disruption, enables a society to revert to its normal chores. Social receptors, spread over the entirety of societal fabric, respond to the recurring threats with innate spontaneity while the key organs, on balance, continue to retain their basic elements and functionality. The virtue of resilience is not something unique to Pakistan. It is found in other societies as well as it is a normal behavioural response in the face of sudden, mounting odds. What distinguishes Pakistan from the rest is that despite exceptional odds peculiar to the country, there is innate strength with a measure of efficacy in our fallback options. Pakistan is the only country in the post-Second World War era, which suffered a violent disintegration within 24 years of its existence at a scale never known till that point in history. Despite the fissiparous tendencies, the country has existed for over four decades as a compact state with a sense of history and a vision for the future.

Pakistan’s real and perceived vulnerabilities have been attributed to our relatively weak political traditions; these are also attributed to our ideological precepts and assumptions. To Pakistan-watchers, a deterministic form of religion, an over-centralised political dispensation and a skewed civil-military relationship explain much of the country’s paradoxes.

However, there could be a counter-view as well. Deterministic Islam, in many ways, offers choice and autonomy to its followers when it comes to its practice. Islam in Pakistan is the state religion but its practice is a privatised affair. There is no central command authority when it comes to religion, with the Auqaf departments only exercising control over a few mosques. It is the khateeb of the mosque who sets the pace. There is no concept of a supreme religious leader vetoing parliamentary decisions. There can be no denying that certain elements have flexed their muscles to appropriate the right to interpret religion as their exclusive preserve. However, thanks to society’s innate resilience, there continues to prevail, a no-win situation for them.

On a larger plank, we may view the separation of East Pakistan, which amongst many other things, was also on account of a lack of shared interdependencies. It was a case of unequal exchange both, in quantitative and qualitative terms that poisoned the relationship between the two wings of Pakistan. The situation in Balochistan, as of today, alludes to the same drift. During the Musharraf era, the province received an exceptionally large allocation in the public sector development programme, but regrettably there was no framework to cultivate a sense of ownership and mutual sharing with the Baloch people. We need to turn latent interdependencies into a living force and a sustained policy framework as a way forward for Balochistan. That is the only way to deepen resilience in that part of Pakistan, which is also our largest province.

Riaz Haq said...

There are some who see Khaleda Zia as pro-Pakistan and charge that her husband Gen Zia wanted confederation with Pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Hindu Nationalist explanations of India Muslims' deep deprivation remind me of Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal's study of "implicit bias" in America.

He found that White America oppresses Black Americans and keeps them poor, unemployed. ill-educated and backward. Then it points to their lack of education and backwardness as proof of their inferiority.

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian barbarity from Gill to Kalluri #Sikhs #Muslims #Adivasi #Kashmir #Gujarat #Chhattisgarh … via @georgiastraight

by Gurpreet Singh

Thousands of innocent Muslims were slaughtered by mobs led by BJP activists. This came after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire and burned, leaving more than 50 passengers dead. The Modi government promptly blamed the incident on Muslim fundamentalists and dubbed it a terrorist attack.

The BJP not only accused Pakistan of aiding and abetting the crime, but also charged suspects with terrorism-related crimes. However, those involved in well-organized violence against Muslims were spared being charged under antiterror law.

When I asked Gill why those who killed Muslims were never charged for terrorism, he said that the antiterror law didn’t apply to them.

Gill was glorified and became a celebrity for ending Sikh extremism and his admirers continue seeing him as a man who resolutely fought against terrorism. But they won’t ever dare to question why he did not take on terrorism perpetuated by Hindu groups using similar techniques that were frequently applied to deal with Sikh separatists.


Ever since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, there has been a huge increase in cases of violence and terror by Hindu fanatics. Neither Gill nor his supporters who were so perturbed by terrorism in Punjab raised a question over the Hindu militancy back then, nor they have raised it ever since the menace has spread across India under Modi. So much so, this government is also trying to give back-door amnesty to Hindu extremists charged and arrested for bombings.

The extra-judicial measures widely used against Sikh militants to deliver quick justice were not even considered to deal with them.

While the mainstream media is too busy paying tributes to Gill, a senior police officer in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, Inspector General S.R.P Kalluri, is being patronized on similar lines. He is posted in a state that is under the influence of Maoist insurgents.

Chhattisgarh is one of several states with a sizable number of indigenous communities. Their traditional lands sit over natural resources and that’s why they continue to face eviction by the extraction industry with the backing of the Indian establishment. Due to the structural violence against them, many are forced to join Maoist movement.

Much like the Sikhs, who merely form two percent of the Indian population, the tribals, with only eight percent of the population, can easily be bothered by the government and security agencies to assure the Hindu majority of peace and prosperity.

In the meantime, Muslims continue to face persecution every day. Islamophobia in the western society has made it easier for Modi and Indian forces to target them. Apart from nonstate actors who often threaten and assault Muslims for eating beef, which is considered blasphemous by orthodox Hindus, the police are in the habit of seeing them as potential terrorists. Particularly in Muslim-dominated Kashmir where a fight for self-determination has been going on for years and whee the army and its vigilantes openly attack people in the name of national unity and integrity.

The connection between KPS and Kalluri suggests that India has become a majoritarian democracy where the interest of the Hindus is safeguarded all the time to ensure electoral victory. Though officially India is a secular democracy, it has repeatedly shown signs of being a Hindu state inclined toward keeping minorities under its boots. This is so that 80 percent of the population that believes in Hinduism (read Hindu nationalism) can be swayed by the ruling classes in the name of nationalism.

A true democracy is inclusive and considerate of all, including those on the margins, and not just the majority.

Riaz Haq said...

‘Modi’s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy’ review: The collapse of democracy

Christophe Jaffrelot, who has caught every wave in India, says the country has changed, perhaps irreversibly, from a liberal secular polity a decade ago to a majoritarian ‘ethnic democracy’ today

Jaffrelot tracks the continually expanding catalogue of body blows that have assailed the founding ideals of the Indian republic from the time Modi announced his candidature in the fall of 2013. Those of us who have lived through the lynching of Muslims and Dalits, the assassination of rationalist intellectuals, the trolling of scholars, the detention of activists, the harassment of movie stars, the evisceration of the media, universities and courts, the decimation of the opposition, the destruction of the economy, the persecution of the minorities, the erosion of fundamental rights, the gutting of the public sector, the targeting of NGOs, the silencing of civil society, the distortion of history, the usurpation of social media by hate speech, fake news and propaganda, the defiance and denigration of Parliamentary procedure by the ruling party, the demonisation of dissent, the encouragement of vigilantism, the garrisoning of the Kashmir Valley, the battering of the Constitution, and the forsaking of truth — having borne witness, we understand why compiling this gruesome list requires nearly 700 pages.

But the book is not just an act of meticulous, unsparing documentation, though it is that too. It will prove an invaluable record of our time when future generations struggle to explain the swift collapse of Indian democracy. Once the world’s largest, liveliest and most interesting experiment in equal citizenship, universal adult franchise, regular elections, representative government, minority protection, a free press, and popular self-rule, India always had problematic enclaves of exception like Kashmir and the Northeast. But before Modi, its basic commitment to diversity and pluralism seemed genuine.

Jaffrelot doesn’t just remind us of what has been happening to unravel the liberal consensus in the past 7-8 years. He also brings to bear on these data an enormous scholarly literature and theoretical toolkit about ethnic democracy, populist strongmen, rightwing nationalism, charismatic leadership, the deinstitutionalisation of the state, creeping authoritarianism that appears electorally mandated, the relentless reduction of minorities to second-class citizenship, and the mobilisation of identities in new patterns of conflict, domination and exclusion, jettisoning tolerance, equality and inclusion.

He examines how Yogi Adityanath communalises governance, runs a militia State, and makes Islamophobia an item of official policy. Campaigns of “gauraksha”, “love jihad” and “gharwapsi” make for a deadly cocktail of privileged caste orthopraxy and social conservatism, reinforce patriarchy, and continually bully, shame and terrorise Muslims and Christians. The cow belt and Hindi heartland, including Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh along with Uttar Pradesh, spilling south into Karnataka and east into Assam, are now thoroughly saffronised.

Riaz Haq said...

Modi’s Double Engine Sarkar by Pervez Hoodbhoy

These are substantial, undeniable achievements that hubris-filled Hindu nationalists say derive from their greatness as an ancient civilization. But wait! China has done still better. And, though far smaller, many emergent countries of East Asia — Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore — also boast of better performance than India’s.

In every case, the secret of success is well-known — strong systems of education that create skills, knowledge, attitudes and social behavior’s suited for modern times. Together with that, a strong work ethic in the labor force. Stated differently, high national achievement springs naturally from the quickness with which a country universalizes or ‘Westernizes’ its education and creates positive attitudes towards work.

Here’s how India grew into the present. Empowered by the scientific and industrial revolutions, Britain colonized India and sought to spread Western education and values. Conservative Hindus emphatically rejected this modernization butsar reformist movements such as Brahmo Samaj under Ram Mohan Roy and others made deep inroads.

By 1947 under Jawaharlal Nehru — an avowed Hindu atheist devoted to the ‘scientific temper’ — India was already intellectually equipped to enter the modern world. For the next 50 years, India’s education sought to create a pluralist, secular, scientifically minded society. It reaps rich harvests to the present day — which the BJP happily appropriates as its own.

But Hindu nationalists now want India’s goals and self-image drastically revised. Modi’s second engine, fueled by febrile imaginations, pushes India towards emulating some kind of Hindu rashtra from an idyllic past. My friend Prof Badri Raina, now retired from Delhi University, says that “this backward engine would have us believe that in ancient times we had knowledge of plastic surgery, aeronautics, satellite vision, even as streams of foaming white milk flowed down our plains, and golden birds perched on the branches of trees”.


The loudest call for reforming Muslim education was that of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Madressahs, he said, are entirely unnecessary. Using religious idiom, he passionately argued for science and modernity. While his efforts led to some measure of functionality and to jobs within the colonial system, they were nowhere deep or wide as that of Brahmo Samaj. Conservative backlash limited Sir Syed’s influence.

Thus, by the time Partition came around, there was a massive Hindu-Muslim gap. Nevertheless, for the first few decades, Pakistan’s engine #1 steadily gained strength and was consistently stronger than its second engine. Among other things, Pakistan’s space program (born 1961, now dead) much preceded India’s.