Sunday, November 27, 2016

Indo-Pak Two Nation Theory; US Thanksgiving & Vote Recount

What is the origin of the "Two Nation Theory" (TNT) in South Asia? When was it first postulated? Who first proposed it? Was it a Hindu leader or a Muslim leader? Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah? Or Nabagopal Mitra? Or Bhai Paramanand? Or Lala Lajpat Rai? Or VD Savarkar? Or MS Golwalkar?

Why did Quaid-e-Azam accept the British Cabinet Mission proposal to have a united federation in India with autonomy for Muslim and Hindu regions? What motivated him? Religion? Economy? Other rights? 

Who was the first to bring religion into the independence movement discourse in India? Was it Gandhi? Or M.A. Jinnah. If the Quaid-e-Azam was not religious, why did he talk about Islam in his speeches?

Did Muslim League's Lahore Resolution of 1940 call for one or more Muslim states in north east and north west of India? Did the creation of Bangladesh kill the Two Nation Theory?

Has the rise of Hindu Nationalism and Hinduization of India confirmed Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's worst fears?

What is American celebration of Thanksgiving all about? What does the turkey feast commemorate?

Why is Green Party's Jill Stein asking for a vote recount in three states? Are the results in doubt? Is Trump victory in doubt?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with VPOS panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

(in English) Is the Two Nation Theory valid today US Thanksgiving & Vote Recount from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Two Nation Theory Dead?

Bangladesh Nationalists' 1971 Myths Debunked

Quaid-e-Azam and Misaq-e-Madina

Creation of Pakistan: Blessing for Muslims in Punjab, Sindh?

Partition of India: Furies of 1947

Muslim League's Lahore Resolution of 1940

Hinduization of India

Trump Victory in America

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel


Riaz Haq said...

Does #India’s Right Wing #Hindu Have Any Ideas? #Modi #BJP

What all these people had in common was an immense sense of grievance against an establishment they had vanquished electorally, but whose ideas still defined them. As the journalist Ashok Malik said while pointing out the right’s many victories, “Rather than confidently advance tomorrow’s agenda, the intellectual warriors of the right are still comfortable fighting the battles of yesterday.”

The targets of their rage are internationally familiar: the liberal elite, the news media, academia. But in India there is an added twist, a double sense of affront. It was not merely elitism that the New Right is reacting against, but an elitism that had the secret backing of the West, through its various newspapers, nongovernmental organizations and think tanks.

“So if you are an embattled Hindu, or even an atheist Indian,” Rajeev Srinivasan wrote in the right-wing magazine Swarajya, “you feel there is an entire constellation of powers with a negative intent arrayed against you, and that they have created a galaxy of sepoys, especially in media and academia.”

Historically, a “sepoy” was an Indian soldier serving in the British Army. It has become a favorite jibe on the right for an Anglicized liberal elite that was seen to be working against its own country.

At first glance it would seem that Shaurya Doval, who had organized the conclave, is part of such an elite. His father had been the director of India’s internal intelligence agency. He grew up in privilege, traveling the world. He has a business degree from the University of Chicago, and spent 10 years as a Wall Street banker.

But Mr. Doval, in fact, represents a new pain that globalization has wrought: the pain of cultural loss. In America, he had a revelation. “The eureka moment,” he told me, “came when I discovered the disconnect between what India really is, and who I am.”

It was true. The Indian elite had gloried in this disconnect; “foreigners in their own land,” Gandhi had called them in 1916. Even the modern state had in many ways been an extension of colonial power. Here, in Goa, it was as if the entire intellectual enterprise was suspect. Many felt that Western ideas like liberalism, secularism and freedom of speech had been used cynically against them to maintain the power of a cultural oligarchy. These exalted words were now terms of abuse.

But that did not mean the right wing had ideas of its own. Mr. Doval spoke of the need for “modern Indian state players” to make “a connect” with “India’s civilizational ethos.” He felt India had not been able to unlock the potential of its young, energetic population because the modern state represented too abrupt a break with the continuity of old India.

But was it really possible to reverse this process? Could modern India be remade to fit these sentimental longings? And didn’t all modernity represent a rupture with tradition?

The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which had, until recently, dominated politics since independence, was the supreme political achievement of an older English-speaking elite. Mr. Modi’s election was the crowning achievement of this new Indian elite.

The writer Patrick French, who was also at the Goa conclave, said of the right, “I’ve never ignored these people because I could see they had a political future.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India leads global #defense growth with $56.5 billion budget in 2018 to be #3 (after #US, #China ) #Modi … via @FT

● $38.17bn: Indian defence spending in 2010
● $64.07bn: Indian defence spending (projected) in 2020
● $1.6tn: global defence spending in 2016
Source: Jane’s

India’s drive to modernise its military has helped it to oust Russia from the world’s top five spenders on defence this year, while the country is set to push Britain from the number three spot by 2018.


India this year surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the fourth biggest defence budget, spending $50.7bn against Russia’s $48.5bn and the UK’s $53.8bn. After three years of budgetary constraints, Jane’s is forecasting that Indian spending will surpass Britain’s, rising from $38bn in 2010 to a forecast $64bn in 2020, against expectations of $55bn for the UK.

Meanwhile, China’s defence spending continues to accelerate and the Jane’s analysts predict the shift from territorial protection to power projection, along with rising tensions around the South China Sea, could prompt faster budget growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Between 2011 and 2015, states surrounding the South China Sea spent $166bn on defence equipment. Between 2016 and 2020, that will rise to $250bn, the review states.

China’s defence budget will have doubled within 10 years from $123bn in 2010 to $233bn in 2020, the report predicts. In 2016, China spent $191.7bn. By 2020, China will be spending more than the whole of western Europe and by 2025, more than all states in the Asia-Pacific region combined.

Riaz Haq said...

Valentine's Day was widely celebrated in Pakistan in spite of the ban by a lone right-wing Islamist judge who used to be a member of Jamaat e Islami Party.

What you get from news media is a caricature of Pakistan.

Pakistan is not one or two's much more complex as explained by Christophe Jaffrelot in his book "The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience". Political, military, religious, ethnic, sectarian, secular, conservative and liberal forces are constantly pushing and pulling to destabilize it but Pakistan remains resilient with its strong nationalism that has evolved after 1971.

Riaz Haq said...

What is Hindutva?

Savarkar wrote, “... Hindutva is not identical with what is vaguely indicated by the term Hinduism. By an ‘ism’ it is generally meant a theory or a code more or less based on spiritual or religious dogma or system. But when we attempt to investigate the essential significance of Hindutva we do not primarily — and certainly not mainly — concern ourselves with any particular theocratic or religious dogma or creed”. His concern was politics; the political mobilisation of Hindus into one nation.

If not religion, what, then, is the basis for the divide? With crystal clarity, he wrote, “To every Hindu … this Sindhusthan is at once a pitribhu and a punyabhu — fatherland and a holy land. That is why in the case of some of our ... countrymen, who had originally been forcibly converted to a non-Hindu religion and who consequently have inherited along with Hindus, a common fatherland and a greater part of the wealth of a common culture — language, law, customs, folklore and history — are not and cannot be recognised as Hindus. For though Hindusthan to them is fatherland as to any other Hindu yet it is not to them a holy land too. Their holy land is far off in Arabia or Palestine. Their mythology and god-men, ideas and heroes are not the children of this soil. Consequently their name and their outlook smack of a foreign origin”.

The divide cannot be bridged except by obeying Hindutva’s demand for conversion to Hinduism. Savarkar exhorted, “Ye, who by race, by blood, by culture, by nationality possess almost all the essentials of Hindutva and had been forcibly snatched out of our ancestral home by the hand of violence — ye, have only to render wholehearted love to our common mother and recognise her not only as fatherland (Pitribhu) but even as a holy land (Punyabhu), and ye would be most welcome to the Hindu fold”.

Gandhi’s assassination put paid to Savarkar’s ambitions, but the RSS picked up the baton. Its supremo, M.S. Golwalkar, drew inspiration from Hindutva and coined its synonym, ‘cultural nationalism’, in contrast to ‘territorial nationalism’ in his book, A Bunch of Thoughts (1968). Everyone born within the territory of India is not a nationalist; the nation is defined by a common ‘culture’ (read: religion).

Golwalkar wrote, “... here was already a full-fledged ancient nation of the Hindus and the various communities which were living in the country were here either as guests, the Jews and Parsis, or as invaders, the Muslims and Christians. They never faced the question how all such heterogeneous groups could be called as children of the soil merely because, by an accident, they happened to reside in common territory under the rule of a common enemy … The theories of territorial nationalism and of common danger, which formed the basis for our concept of nation, had deprived us of the positive and inspiring content of our real Hindu nationhood ...”

This explains the RSS’ ghar wapsi (‘return to your home’) campaign, simply a repeat of the past shuddhi (‘purification’) movement. Nothing has changed; an unbroken ideological thread binds Savarkar’s Hindutva, Golwalkar’s ‘cultural nationalism’ and the RSS-BJP policies today. On Sept 24, 1990, BJP president L.K. Advani launched “a crusade in defence of Hindutva”, which culminated in the demolition of Babri Masjid, in his presence, on Dec 6, 1992.

Since 1996, the BJP’s election manifestoes for Lok Sabha elections pledge to espouse Hindutva in these terms: “The cultural nationalism of India … is the core of Hindutva.” This explains the Modi government’s systematic purge of educational and cultural institutions. It is a quarrel with history. As scholars Susanne and Lloyd Rudolph remarked, modern hatreds are supported by ancient, remembered wrongs, whether real or imagined. The RSS-BJP combine rejects the concept of composite culture that Jawaharlal Nehru and others propounded.

Riaz Haq said...

Excerpts of Pakistani historian Ayesha Jalal's interview:

Jinnah did not want Partition, in case people have forgotten that, Similarly, when the United Bengal plan was floated, Jinnah said it was better that Bengal remained united.

Jinnah was from a province where Muslims were in a minority. He wanted to use the power of the areas where the Muslims were a majority to create a shield of protection for where they were in a minority. The possibility that the areas that became Pakistan would offer a kind of protection for Muslims living in areas which have remained in India was not acceptable to the Congress. It was easier for them to partition the subcontinent and let these areas go.

There were two steps in Jinnah's strategy. The first was the consolidation of Muslim majority areas behind the All-India Muslim League and then to use undivided Punjab and Bengal as a weight to negotiate an arrangement for all the Muslims at an all– India level. But the Congress had Punjab and Bengal partitioned [to frustrate the first element of his strategy].

All politicians and parties are limited and restricted by their rank and file in some ways. One very important limitation that led to the acceptance of Partition by the Congress can be identified in the interim government's so-called 'poor man's budget' [in 1946] which we all know was not the brain child of Liaquat Ali Khan, but of the finance department The Congress supporters in business wouldn't tolerate that. They thought the budget was untenable. The other limitation was the scale of communal violence. Increase in violence decreased room for the Congress leadership to negotiate a compromise. Every out break of violence hardened the Congress position.

The Congress lacked imagination as far as mass contact with Muslims was concerned. Secondly, even men like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were saying until the end that the Muslim Question was a psychological one rather than a political one. When Jawaharlal Nehru made the plea for Partition as opposed to sharing power, Azad was still arguing that the Congress should make some concessions to keep the Muslims within India. But then he was sidelined by Gandhi and others.

The Congress basically cut the Muslim problem down to size through Partition. But, in the process, it threw us out of India. Our cultural heritage is all there. Jinnah never gave up on that heritage. He fought tooth and nail that the name "India" should not be allotted to the Congress. He called the place Hindustan until he lost.

Riaz Haq said...

India’s Muslims and the Price of Partition

The League began to argue that the Hindu majority of undivided India would swamp Muslims and suppress their religion and culture. As evidence, the League pointed to Hindu-Muslim riots in the northern states of Bihar and the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), both ruled by the Congress, as an ominous portent. They argued that the movement to ban the slaughter of cows, led by an assortment of religious leaders, Hindu nationalist groups and some members of the Congress, was aimed at subverting Muslim culture. Unlike Muslims, Christians, Jews and animists, a segment of Hindus worship the cow and don’t eat its meat.

In 1937, Congress adopted as the national song of India some verses from “Vande Mataram,” or “I praise you, Mother,” a poem written in the 1870s by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, a Bengali poet and novelist, as an ode to the Hindu goddess Durga. The League objected to its singing as it depicted India as Mother Goddess, which the League construed to promote idolatry, anathema to Muslims.

The most alarming trend has been the lynching of Muslims suspected of possessing beef, for ferrying home cattle purchased legitimately from cattle markets elsewhere.

The markers of Muslim identity — beards, skullcaps and head scarves — invite frowns, even violence, in India. On a late June afternoon, Junaid Khan, a 15-year-old Muslim boy, was stabbed to death on a train near New Delhi. Mr. Khan was traveling with his older brother and two friends. They were identified as Muslim because of their clothes and skullcaps. After an argument over a train seat, their fellow passengers threw religious slurs at them, killed Mr. Khan and injured the other boys.


India’s Muslims didn’t feel secure and weren’t flourishing before the B.J.P.’s rise. There were Hindu-Muslim riots then as well; Muslims were targeted and discriminated against. Their representation in elite government services has been less than 5 percent, according to the Indian government report in 2006.

Today India’s Muslims are apprehensive. Before sectarian violence was often orchestrated to win elections in a clutch of seats, almost always followed by a process of reconciliation. The Hindu-Muslim rivalry never constituted the political language of the Congress Party, the principal recipient of Muslim votes for much of India’s 70 years. The B.J.P. seeks to permanently consolidate Hindus against Muslims and keep the social caldron simmering.

Riaz Haq said...

By rewriting history, #Hindu nationalists lay claim to #India. #Modi has appointed committee of #Hindutva "scholars" to change #India's national identity to one based on #Hindu religion. #Islamophobia #Pakistan … via @SpecialReports

By RUPAM JAIN and TOM LASSETER Filed March 6, 2018, 11 a.m. GMT

NEW DELHI - During the first week of January last year, a group of Indian scholars gathered in a white bungalow on a leafy boulevard in central New Delhi. The focus of their discussion: how to rewrite the history of the nation.

The government of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi had quietly appointed the committee of scholars about six months earlier. Details of its existence are reported here for the first time.

Minutes of the meeting, reviewed by Reuters, and interviews with committee members set out its aims: to use evidence such as archaeological finds and DNA to prove that today’s Hindus are directly descended from the land’s first inhabitants many thousands of years ago, and make the case that ancient Hindu scriptures are fact not myth.

Interviews with members of the 14-person committee and ministers in Modi’s government suggest the ambitions of Hindu nationalists extend beyond holding political power in this nation of 1.3 billion people - a kaleidoscope of religions. They want ultimately to shape the national identity to match their religious views, that India is a nation of and for Hindus.

In doing so, they are challenging a more multicultural narrative that has dominated since the time of British rule, that modern-day India is a tapestry born of migrations, invasions and conversions. That view is rooted in demographic fact. While the majority of Indians are Hindus, Muslims and people of other faiths account for some 240 million, or a fifth, of the populace.

The committee’s chairman, K.N. Dikshit, told Reuters, “I have been asked to present a report that will help the government rewrite certain aspects of ancient history.” The committee’s creator, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, confirmed in an interview that the group’s work was part of larger plans to revise India’s history.

For India’s Muslims, who have pointed to incidents of religious violence and discrimination since Modi took office in 2014, the development is ominous. The head of Muslim party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi, said his people had “never felt so marginalised in the independent history of India.”

“The government,” he said, “wants Muslims to live in India as second-class citizens.”

Modi did not respond to a request for comment for this article.


Helping to drive the debate over Indian history is an ideological, nationalist Hindu group called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It helped sweep Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to power in 2014 and now counts among its members the ministers in charge of agriculture, highways and internal security.

The RSS asserts that ancestors of all people of Indian origin - including 172 million Muslims - were Hindu and that they must accept their common ancestry as part of Bharat Mata, or Mother India. Modi has been a member of the RSS since childhood. An official biography of Culture Minister Sharma says he too has been a “dedicated follower” of the RSS for many years.

Referring to the emblematic colour of the Hindu nationalist movement, RSS spokesman Manmohan Vaidya told Reuters that “the true colour of Indian history is saffron and to bring about cultural changes we have to rewrite history.”