Friday, April 20, 2018

Post-Truth Partition Narrative Delegitimizes Pakistan

The partition of India to carve out the Muslim majority state of Pakistan was strongly contested by the Hindu-dominated Indian National Congress. It was also opposed by many within the Indian Muslim community from both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum. In the end, the vast majority of Indian Muslims sided with Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Pakistan became a reality on August 14, 1947. It was a great accomplishment of the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. His biographer and American historian Stanley Wolpert, Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), has acknowledged it as follows: “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” Sore losers as they are, Pakistan's and Quaid-e-Azam's detractors continue to promote falsehoods to delegitimize both the founder and the country he created.

Quaid-e-Azam Mohamad Ali Jinnah Time Magazine Cover
Churchill Created Pakistan:

The latest attempt to delegitimize Pakistan is being made by some who now argue that it was late British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill who created Pakistan. The film "The Viceroy's House" is a new manifestation of this delegitimization campaign. It is nothing but false history.  Why? Because it ignores several well-documented facts contradicting it, including the following:

1. Churchill was ousted as prime minister of Britain two years before the partition of India when his party lost the 1945 British parliamentary elections. He was replaced by Clement Attlee who introduced the India Independence Act 1947 in the British Parliament. Churchill spoke in opposition to it.

2. Churchill opposed the end of the British Raj. "Churchill was very much on the far right of British politics over India," says Charmley. "Even to most Conservatives, let alone Liberals and Labour, Churchill's views on India between 1929 and 1939 were quite abhorrent." Churchill's stance was very much that of a late Victorian imperialist, says John Charmley, author of Churchill: The End of Glory.. "[Churchill] was terribly alarmed that giving the Indians home rule was going to lead to the downfall of the British Empire and the end of civilization."

3. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had earlier accepted the Cabinet Mission proposal for full autonomy for Muslim majority provinces and the right to form regional groupings of provinces within India, a proposal that was rejected by Nehru thereby paving the way for the Partition of India.

4. British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten assured Indian leader Jawharlal Nehru in 1947 that Pakistan was only a "nissen hut", a temporary tent.   Here's the exact quote from Mountbatten: "administratively it [wa]s the difference between putting up a permanent building, a nissen hut or a tent. As far as Pakistan is concerned we are putting up a tent. We can do no more." Both expected Pakistan would soon fail, fold up and rejoin India. Pakistan has defied that "hope" by not only surviving but thriving in the face of mounting challenges from the first day it became an independent state.

Two Nation Theory:

The Quaid's quest for Pakistan as an independent state for Muslims was motivated by a desire to give India's disadvantaged minority Muslims better opportunities to grow and prosper. While it's true that Pakistan has not lived up to the Quaid's expectations, it is also true that, in spite of all their problems, Muslims in Pakistan are still much better off  than their counterparts in India.

The growing intolerance in Modi's India and the Indian government commission headed by former Indian Chief Justice Rajendar Sachar confirm that Muslims are the new untouchables in caste-ridden and Islamophobic India. Indian Muslims suffer heavy discrimination in almost every field from  education and housing to jobs and criminal justice.  Their incarceration rates are much higher than those of their Hindu counterparts.

According to Sachar Commission report, Muslims are now worse off than the Dalit caste, or those called untouchables. Some 52% of Muslim men are unemployed, compared with 47% of Dalit men. Among Muslim women, 91% are unemployed, compared with 77% of Dalit women. Almost half of Muslims over the age of 40 can not read or write. While making up 11% of the population, Muslims account for 40% of India’s prison population. Meanwhile, they hold less than 5% of government jobs.

Those who say that the Two-Nation-Theory died with the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 are wrong. They need to be reminded that the Lahore Resolution of March 23, 1940, in fact called for two "independent states",  not a single "state", in Muslim majority areas of India in the north east and the north west. The other fact to remember is that Bangladesh did not choose to merge with India after separation from Pakistan.

Muslim Zion:

There have also been attempts by some to compare Pakistan with Israel to argue that Pakistan is illegitimate as is the Zionist state.

Such arguments fail to highlight this fundamental difference between the two states: Unlike Israel that was founded by people brought in from Europe for the explicit purpose of creating the Jewish state in Palestine, Pakistan was created by indigenous population of Indian Muslims who were led by leaders born and raised in India. Pakistan is the result of Indian Muslim Nationalist movement, not an outpost of European colonialism started by foreign transplants.

Economic Opportunity For Muslims:

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah sought better opportunities for Indian Muslims who felt deeply deprived in India.  In 1947, most of the agricultural land in the largely agrarian provinces of Sindh and Punjab was owned by non-Muslims.  The urban elites of the major cities of Karachi and Lahore were almost entirely non-Muslims. Muslims were in majority in both provinces but they were mostly poor peasants.

In Punjab, two-thirds of the land-holdings and 99% of bank deposits of Rs. 100 crore in Lahore were held by Hindus and Sikhs, according to the British archives researched by Dr. Kirpal Singh, author of "PARTITION of PUNJAB", published in 1972.

Only 3 out of 16 colleges in Lahore were run by Muslims. Of the 15 professional colleges, excluding 3 run by the government, all were run by non-Muslims. All 12 hospitals were operated by non-Muslims. Muslims in undivided Punjab had very low standards of living relative to Hindus and Sikhs, they were poor and backward, and there was no Muslim professional or business class in Lahore of 1947.

In Sindh province, about 60% of the agricultural land was owned by Hindus. The rest of the land was owned by big and small Muslim landowners but they were almost always in debt to Hindu moneylenders who exacted over 100% interest on the money they lent, according to The Imperial Gazeteer of India by W.W. Hunter. These massive debt burdens on Sindhi Muslims were removed when most of the Hindu moneylenders fled to India at the time of the partition in 1947.

Education and health care in Sindh were entirely controlled by non-Muslims, mainly Hindu Sindhis, according to The Imperial Gazeteer of India by W.W. Hunter and Nandita Bhavnani, author of "THE MAKING OF EXILE: SINDHI HINDUS AND THE PARTITION OF INDIA", published in 2014.  The educated elite, including the professional and business classes, were mostly Hindus and a few Parsees.

The partition in 1947 has been tremendous boon for both Sindhi and Punjabi Muslims of Pakistan. They have reaped great benefits from: 1) Departure of powerful non-Muslims landowners and moneylenders to India in 1947 2)  Massive investments made by Pakistani government in major irrigation projects to create the world's largest contiguous irrigation system for farming since 1947. 3) Large investments in education, health care and urban development that have helped raise standards of living significantly as seen in various health (life expectancy) and wealth (per capita incomes)  indicators after 1947.

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Quote Tweeted By UN Human Rights Coordinator

Quaid-e-Azam's Vision:

Pakistan's founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah sought Pakistan as a homeland for Indian Muslims where they had better opportunities to grow and prosperity. But the Quaid's vision was a pluralistic vision. It is reflected in the words of what he described as Prophet Muhammad's first constitution called Misaq-e-Madina. It is also found in Quaid-e-Azam's other speeches that are mistakenly seen by some as conflicting with his quote: "Who am I to give you the constitution? The Prophet of Islam had given us a constitution 1300 years ago."

Here is a quote from one of Quaid-e-Azam's August 11, 1947 speech that reaffirm his pluralistic vision of Pakistan:

"You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State"

This vision is a very much Islamic. It is a reflection of the constitution of the world's first Islamic state in Madina. Here's the opening line of Misaq-e-Madina:

"This is a document from Muhammad the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), governing relations between the Believers i.e. Muslims of Quraysh and Yathrib and those who followed them and worked hard with them. They form one nation -- Ummah."

It clearly says that all citizens of "Yathrib" (ancient name of Madina), regardless of  their tribe or religion, are part of one nation--"Ummah". So the word "Ummah" here does not exclude non-Muslims.

Further into the "Misaq" document, it says: "No Jew will be wronged for being a Jew. The enemies of the Jews who follow us will not be helped. If anyone attacks anyone who is a party to this Pact the other must come to his help."

The Mesaq assures equal protection to all citizens of Madina, including non-Muslim tribes which agreed to it. The contents of Misaq-e-Madina, Islam's first constitution approved by Prophet Mohammad 1400 years ago, appear to have inspired Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah vision of Pakistan where people of all religions and nationalities live in harmony with equal rights and protections under the law.

Pakistani Nationalism: 

Some Indian and western writers and journalists present caricatures of Pakistan that bear no resemblance to reality.  They portray Pakistan as a artificial and deeply divided failed state. What they fail to see is  Pakistan is not one or two dimensional; it'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. Pakistan is neither a delusion nor owned by mullahs or military as claimed by some of Pakistan's detractors.

In a 2015 Op Ed for NDTV titled "What Modi Has Not Recognized About Pakistan", Indian politician Mani Shankar Aiyar recognized Pakistani nationalism as follows:

"..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".


Pakistan was created in the face of strong opposition from Hindu dominated Congress Party and some Muslim groups from the right and the left. The vast majority of Muslims of India supported the Muslim League and the partition of India to carve out the new state of Pakistan.  It was a great accomplishment of the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. His biographer and American historian Stanley Wolpert, Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), has acknowledged it as follows: “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.” Sore losers as they are, Pakistan's and Quaid-e-Azam's detractors continue to promote falsehoods to delegitimize both the founder and the country he created.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Is Two Nation Theory Dead?

Lahore Resolution of 1940

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan

Islamophobia in India

Hinduization of India

Pakistanis Send $5 Billion a Year to Relatives in India

Pakistan: A Blessing For Muslims

India-Pakistan Nuclear Arms Race

The Other 99% of the Pakistan Story


nayyer ali said...

Pakistan has had its share of problems, but it has fulfilled the key element of Jinnah's vision, giving the Muslims of Sindh and Punjab a state in which they would not be second class citizens and relegated to poverty and marginal existence. The Muslim population of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh all are about 170-210 million people each. But the status of Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh is far better than that of the Muslims of India. And the disparity continues to grow.
The big question about 1947 was whether East Pakistan should have been created as its own state. To knit together two wings of a nation seperated by a thousand miles, and not sharing a common language or culture, would have challenged the most advanced societies. For the Muslims of South Asia in 1947 it was an impossible task. Even at the beginning key errors were made, such as denying Bengali official language status. On the flip side, Jinnah also erred when he did not accept Kashmir and give up any claim to Hyderabad (Deccan) in exchange. To create a viable Muslim state in Hyderabad was impossible, and pursuing that fantasy turned out to be a costly choice.

Nisar M. said...

I wonder if one of the 'sore loser' who is a regular contributor of lies and negativity about Pakistan ever read Stanley Wolperts book.

Ahmad F. said...

I am sure the "sore loser" has read it. :) I have also read some of the other books by the prolific professor, such as those about Gandhi, Nehru and Mountbatten? Wolpert is not the big fan of Pakistan, or the army, that many in Pakistan take him to be. Also read the books by Ayesha Jalal and others about Jinnah.

Muneeb Z. said...

Which category does Husain Haqqani fall into?

Riaz Haq said...

Muneeb: "Which category does Husain Haqqani fall into?"

Here's my post and discussion on Husain Haqqani:

Riaz Haq said...

#US Govt Report: #Civilian authorities in #Pakistan maintain effective control over #security forces. #StateDepartment

Civilian authorities in Pakistan have managed to maintain effective control over security forces in the last few years as orderly transitions in top political and military leadership helped solidify the democratic process in the country, according to a recently released report on Human Rights Practices by the State Department of the United States.

The report released on Friday was severely critical of the condition of basic human rights in Pakistan over the past year, attributing widespread rights violations to terrorist violence and abuse by non-state actors within the country. The authors of the study concluded that a lack of government accountability, in which abusers often go unpunished, is responsible for festering a culture of impunity among perpetrators.

However, the findings praised Pakistan for sustained and significant operations against militant groups inside the country over the past twelve months which have contributed to a reduction in violence, as fatalities from terror-related incidents reduced from 1,803 in 2016 to 1,084. Legislative efforts and amnesty offers which aim to integrate rebellious or marginalised groups back within the national fold, particularly in Balochistan, were appreciated in the report.

According to the study published by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour at the US State Department, the most serious incidents related to abuses within Pakistan in 2017 were extra-judicial and targetted killings. In addition to these problems, corruption within the government and police, lack of criminal investigations or accountability for cases related to rape, ethnic and religious violence, and labour rights remained areas of considerable concern for the international community.

Anonymous said...

Do read this very interesting article on the reasons for Pakistan's creation.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi loving #Hindu Nationalists hate #Gandhi and #Nehru as much as they hate Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah . #India #Pakistan #AMU #BJP #Jinnah

all that the community ever needed, like anyone else, was equal rights as citizens, including jobs in the army, police and bureaucracy, but above all scientific education. A Muslim president or a Muslim movie star should not ideally be the chip in a social bargain. Justice Sachar died the other day after untiringly reminding us of the need to mainstream Muslims.

A key point of rupture between Gandhi and Jinnah came over their approach to a scientific outlook. Sir Syed as well as Jinnah had sought to keep modernity and reason upfront in their quest to retrieve Muslims from the talons of the clergy. Gandhi, with his support for the Khilafat Movement and his love of religious symbolism, did the opposite as he sought to take an entire community back to their mediaeval past and, thereby, to the clergy, the forerunners of today’s All-India Muslim Personal Board.

It’s the same clergy that every Indian party uses to its advantage in the electoral fray after having pushed a multi-million-strong community into the arms of mullahs. Jinnah’s hero, lest we forget, was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the anti-clerical liberator of his community from centuries of obscurantist hold.

So why did Prime Minister Modi’s supporters suddenly find Jinnah’s portrait disagreeable in the students’ union hall of AMU?

One day a deputy from the party wrote to the vice chancellor to remove the portrait and the next day they attacked the university, helped by the police. The portrait has been there for decades, after all, from the day Jinnah visited the students. And that was way before prime minister Vajpayee went to Lahore and finally put his seal of approval on the idea of Pakistan by visiting Minar-i-Pakistan.

That should have rankled Nathuram Godse’s spirit. His ashes were kept to be immersed in River Indus when it would be part of a Hindu rashtra. Vajpayee drowned that dream with one gesture and no Hindutva agent protested.

There’s no logic to what mindless hordes do to pander to their notions of nationhood on either side of the border. The explanation to the latest round of vandalism was, however, rooted in realpolitik. The Karnataka assembly elections are due to be held on May 12. The Congress party rules the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party sees the polls as its gateway to southern India but it is struggling to find a durable toehold anywhere in the south.

It was not possible for the BJP to communally polarise the Karnataka elections with violence — a ploy that usually works for it — in a state under Congress rule. The hoodlums were unleashed in far away Uttar Pradesh on May 1 over Jinnah’s portrait. TV channels betrothed to Hindutva transmitted the violence to middle-class drawing rooms in Karnataka dutifully.

How much traction the issue finds with the electorate will be revealed when the votes are counted on May 15 for the three-cornered contest. Suffice it to say that the BJP has thrown everything into the elections, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was also dispatched to berate Karnataka for accepting a government that allows cow slaughter and beef eating in the state.

Together with the southern states, beef eating is perfectly legal in BJP-ruled Goa and all north-eastern states. And if you think the BJP has distanced itself from Muslims to galvanise the Hindu vote you are wrong again. It has set up dozens of Muslim candidates for local elections in West Bengal where Muslims generally tend to support Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. And who were at the helm of the anti-Jinnah tirade the other day? It was Muslims loyal to the BJP.

The question is where do Indian liberals stand on the Jinnah controversy? Can the Indian left forget, and if so to what avail, that it had endorsed Jinnah’s campaign for Pakistan?

Riaz Haq said...

Study: One in two #Indian #Muslims fears being falsely accused in #terrorism cases. #Modi #Hindutva #Islamophobia

A survey by NGO Common Cause and Lokniti shows Adivasis are most afraid of being framed for Maoist activities, while Dalits are afraid of being falsely accused of petty thefts.

New Delhi: The sense of being discriminated against by police is strongest among Muslims, especially those in Bihar, said a study that seeks to analyse the perception about police along state and community lines.

The survey was carried out by NGO Common Cause and Lokniti, a research initiative of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), among 15,563 respondents across 22 states in June and July 2017.

“Among the total number of respondents, 26 per cent of Muslims were of the view that police discriminated on the basis of religion, while less than 18 per cent of Hindus and 16 per cent of Sikhs thought the same,” the report added.

The researchers also discovered that as many as 44 per cent of Indians were fearful of being beaten up by police, a finding reported by ThePrint Monday in the first of its series of reports on the study.

According to the survey, over 47 per cent of Muslims across the country said they feared being falsely accused of terrorist activities. Trying to explain the perception, the researchers cited the “large proportion” of Muslims in the country’s jails. This sentiment was said to be most widely prevalent in Telangana.

The percentage of Muslims in jails is higher than the community’s share in the population of India, a fact, critics said, that stems from an alleged “systemic bias” against them.

The 2011 census pegged the Muslim population at 14.23 per cent; and, in 2014, the government told Rajya Sabha that people from the community comprised 16.68 per cent of convicts and 21.05 per cent of undertrials.

What Adivasis and Dalits fear
The report suggested a similar fear among the Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis) and the Scheduled Castes (Dalits). According to the survey, 27 per cent of the Adivasis said they feared being framed for anti-state Maoist activities, while 35 per cent of Dalits held a similar fear regarding petty thefts.

“Nearly two in every five… respondents said police falsely implicated members of backward castes such as Dalits in petty crimes including theft, robbery, dacoity,” the report said.

“One in four… was of the opinion that such a false implication of Adivasis and Muslims did occur,” it added.

The results of the survey also suggested a perception that caste-based discrimination among police personnel was most prevalent in Bihar, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

It said people were more likely to report class-based discriminatory attitudes of police, followed by gender- and caste-based discrimination.

Riaz Haq said...

Indians were equally responsible for Partition, not just Pakistan or British: Hamid Ansari

Former Vice President Hamid Ansari said while people like to hold Pakistan or the British responsible for India's partition, no one wants to admit that India was equally responsible for it.

Referring to a speech delivered by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's on August 11, 1947, four days before India got its independence, Ansari said in that speech, Patel had said "he took these extreme steps after great deliberation".

Ansari claimed that Patel in this speech also said that "despite his previous opposition to Partition, he was convinced that to keep India united, it must be divided".

He said these speeches are available in Patel's records.

"But as politics of the country changed, someone had to be blamed. So Muslims became the scapegoat and were blamed for Partition," Ansari said.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janta Party has hit out at Ansari. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra demanded an apology from Ansari for his comments.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Muslims worse off than lowest #castes. Proportion of youth who have completed #schooling among Muslims in 2017-18 is 14% as against 18% among #Dalits, 25% among #Hindu OBCs, and 37% among Hindu upper castes #brahman. #Modi #BJP #Apartheid

Written by Christophe Jaffrelot, Kalaiyarasan A |
Updated: November 1, 2019

The percentage of youth who are currently enrolled in educational institutions is the lowest among Muslims. Only 39% of the community in the age group of 15-24 are enrolled against 44% for SCs, 51% for Hindu OBCs and 59% for Hindu upper castes.

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections have reconfirmed the political marginalisation of Muslims — MPs from the community are very few in Parliament’s lower house. This process is converging with the equally pronounced socio-economic marginalisation of the community. Muslims have been losing out to Dalits and Hindu OBCs since the Sachar committee submitted its report in 2005.

Using the recent “suppressed” NSSO report (PLFS-2018) and the NSS-EUS (2011-12), examine the socioeconomic status of Muslim youth vis-à-vis other social groups in India. We use the same set of 13 states covering 89 per cent of the 170 million Muslims enumerated in 2011. We use three variables: Percentage of Muslim educated youth (21-29 age) who have completed graduation, percentage of the community’s youth (15 to 24 age) in educational institutions and the percentage of Muslim youth who are in the NEET category (not in employment, education or training). These variables together reflect pathways of educational mobility for the country’s youth.

The proportion of the youth who have completed graduation — we call this, “educational attainment” — among Muslims in 2017-18 is 14 per cent as against 18 per cent among the Dalits, 25 per cent among the Hindu OBCs, and 37 per cent among the Hindu upper castes. The gap between the SCs and Muslims is 4 percentage points (ppt) in 2017-18. Six years earlier (2011-12), the SC youth were just one ppt above Muslims in educational attainment. The gap between the Muslims and Hindu OBCs was 7 ppt in 2011-12 and has gone up to 11 ppt now. The gap between all Hindus and Muslims widened from 9 ppt in 2011-12 to 11 ppt in 2017-18.

Muslim youth in the Hindi heartland fare the worst. Their educational attainment is the lowest in Haryana, 3 per cent in 2017-18; in Rajasthan, this figure is 7 per cent; it is 11 per cent in Uttar Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh is the only north Indian state where the Muslims are doing relatively better in education — their educational attainment is 17 per cent. In all these states, except MP, SCs fare better than Muslims. The gap between SCs and Muslims with respect to educational attainment is 12 ppt Haryana and Rajasthan and 7 ppt in UP. In 2011-12, in all these states, SCs were slightly above the Muslims on this parameter.In eastern India, the educational attainment among the Muslim youth in Bihar is 8 per cent, as against 7 per cent among SCs, in West Bengal it is 8 per cent, as against 9 per cent for SCs, and in Assam it is 7 per cent as against 8 per cent for SCs. While the gap between Muslims and SCs has narrowed in the last six years, the latter still fare better.

In western India, the educational attainment figures for Muslims are better compared to 2011-12. But they do not necessarily reflect a significant educational improvement when compared to the SCs and Hindu-OBCs. In Gujarat, the gap in educational attainment between the Muslims and SCs is14 ppt in 2017-18; six years ago, it was just 8 ppt. In Maharashtra, the Muslims were marginally — by 2 ppt — better off than SCs in 2011-12, they have now not only lost to SCs but the latter has now overtaken them by 8 ppt.

Riaz Haq said...

#BJP's Ram Madhav: “The RSS still believes that one day these parts which have, for historical reasons, separated only 60 years ago will again through popular goodwill come together and Akhand (united) Bharat will be created" #Hindutva #India #Pakistan

Faced with an ultimatum, the Congress had to make a choice. It could either accept the Plan as a whole, with grouping and a weak Centre – and keep India united. Or it could press for Partition. After vacillating for a few months, as anarchy mounted all around, the Congress chose Partition.

There was already a plan for Akhand Bharat in 1946 – and India's founding fathers rejected it
If Akhand Bharat was as desirable as BJP’s General Secretary Ram Madhav claimed in a recent interview, why did the Congress reject the united India promised in the 1946 Cabinet Mission Plan?

Politically uniting the subcontinent into one entity has long been a cherished goal of the Hindutva movement. Even Vinayak Savarkar, who was an explicit supporter of the Two Nation Theory never, unlike Jinnah, spoke of Partition (although his conception of India had Muslims “play the part of German Jews”). Nevertheless, any practical conception of a united subcontinent has eluded its supporters. In fact, in the summer of 1946, a year before the British transferred power, a constitutional scheme for a united subcontinent was keenly pushed by the Raj and hotly debated by politicians ­– but in the end was firmly rejected by India’s founding fathers.

The Cabinet Mission Plan

This constitutional scheme is known to history as the Cabinet Mission Plan, uninspiringly named so because it was led and drafted by three members of the British cabinet. After two centuries of holding onto India, the British, greatly diminished by World War II, were desperately looking to get out. This three-member team was, therefore, entrusted to find a way to transfer power into Indian hands. The delegation arrived in India in March 1946 and set about talking to Indian politicians of all stripes. After a grueling month of discussions, the Mission was ready to make some suggestions.

The way it saw things, there were only two options to transfer power. The first was to partition British India into a sovereign India and Pakistan (which – spoiler alert – was what happened eventually). Partition, however, was much disliked by the British, who wanted to keep India united and preferably in the Commonwealth in order to best maintain its influence even after its formal exit. It was obviously disliked by the Congress, which was still opposed to splitting British India. Somewhat surprisingly, given his strident demands for “Pakistan”, the partition plan was also rejected by Jinnah, who called it “definitely unacceptable”. Consequently, Partition as an option, was dropped by the Cabinet Mission.

Three-tiered federation of united India

That left the other option, which was a united India. Declared on May 16 1946, the final scheme proposed by the Cabinet Mission took great care to explicitly point out that is was rejecting a sovereign Pakistan. It proposed a three-tiered federation, with British India’s provinces split into three groups which correspond roughly to present day India, Pakistan and a combination of Bengal and Assam. The plan was very close to what the Congress had wanted from the Cabinet Mission during its negotiations, rejecting Muslim League proposals which wanted “parity” (or equal representation) between Hindu and Muslim provinces at the Centre. The Congress had bitterly opposed this – Gandhi has called parity “worse than Pakistan” – and the Cabinet Mission had agreed, simply dividing seats in the central legislature by population.

Riaz Haq said...

Hindu nationalism has been the bedrock of the Indian State and polity. Nehruvian secularism was the fringe

by Prof Abhinav Prakash Singh
Delhi University

The first Republic was founded on the myth of a secular-socialist India supposedly born out of the anti-colonial struggle. However, the Indian freedom movement was always a Hindu movement. From its origin, symbolism, language, and support base, it was the continuation of a Hindu resurgence already underway, but which was disrupted by the British conquest. The coming together of various pagan traditions in the Indian subcontinent under the umbrella of Hinduism is a long-drawn-out process. But it began to consolidate as a unified political entity in the colonial era in the form of Hindutva. The Hindutva concept is driven by an attempt by the older pagan traditions, united by a dharmic framework and intertwined by puranas, myths and folklore, to navigate the modern political and intellectual landscape dominated by nations and nation-states.

Hindutva is not Hinduism. Hindutva is a Hindu political response to political Islam and Western imperialism. It seeks to forge Hindus into a modern nation and create a powerful industrial State that can put an end to centuries of persecution that accelerated sharply over the past 100 years when the Hindu-Sikh presence was expunged in large swaths of the Indian subcontinent.

India’s freedom struggle was guided by the vision of Hindu nationalism and not by constitutional patriotism. The Congress brand of nationalism was but a subset of this broader Hindu nationalism with the Congress itself as the pre-eminent Hindu party. The Muslim question forced the Congress to adopt a more tempered language and symbolism later and to weave the myth of Hindu-Muslim unity. But it failed to prevent the Partition of India. The Congress was taken over by Left-leaning secular denialists under Jawaharlal Nehru who, instead of confronting reality, pretended it did not exist.


Hindu nationalism has never been fringe; it is Nehruvian secularism that was the fringe. And with the fall of the old English-speaking elites, the system they created is also collapsing along with accompanying myths like Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb and Hindu-Muslim unity. The fact is that Hindus and Muslims lived together, but separately. And they share a violent and cataclysmic past with each other, which has never been put to rest.

Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb was an urban-feudal construct with no serious takers outside a limited circle. In villages, whatever unity existed was because the caste identities of both Hindu and Muslims dominated instead of religious identities or because Hindu converts to Islam maintained earlier customs and old social links with Hindus like common gotra and caste. But all that evaporated quickly with the Islamic revivalist movements such as the Tabligh and pan-Islamism from 19th century onwards. It never takes much for Hindu-Muslim riots to erupt. There was nothing surprising about the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests and widespread riots. As political communities, Hindus and Muslims have hardly ever agreed on the big questions of the day.

What we are witnessing today is twilight of the first Republic. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is but a modern vehicle of the historical process of the rise of the Hindu rashtra. In the north, Jammu and Kashmir is fully integrated. In the south, Dravidianism is melting away. In the east, Bengal is turning saffron. In the west, secular parties must ally with a local Hindutva party to survive.

Qaisar Ilyas said...


Great read. Direct and well written. Kudos.

Any chance you have it know where to locate the magazine shown.

TIME Magazine 22nd April 1946


Riaz Haq said...

92-year-old Reena Verma from #India now visiting #Pakistan said that no Muslim or Sikh lived in the neighborhood (in #Rawalpindi) before the Partition. “All Hindus used to live here. I love Pakistan dearly and want to visit Pakistan again and again"

Ninety-two-year-old Indian woman Reena Verma Chibbar, who has reached Pakistan on a three-month visit visa, was overjoyed when she reached her ancestral home in Prem Niwas Mahalla, situated on DAV College Road, Rawalpindi after 75 years.

Chibbar's decades-old neighbours welcomed her by showering rose petals. The Indian woman danced to the beats of the drum.

Verma, who went to India with her family before the Partition when she was only 15 years old, reached her ancestral home on Wednesday and went to every room on the second floor of her ancestral home and refreshed her memories. She sang while standing on the balcony and cried remembering her childhood.

On reaching Prem Nawas Mahalla near DAV College, the area residents gave her a rousing welcome. Drums were played and flower petals were showered on the guest. Chibbar could not control herself and kept dancing as she heard the thud of the drums. The people of the neighbourhood warmly welcomed the guest on her return to her birthplace.

Chibbar said that she did not feel she was from another country. “People living on both sides of the border love each other very much and we should remain as one,” she said.

When she entered the house, she took a look at all the rooms. She said that she was 15 years old when she migrated to India with her parents and other family members. She kept looking at the door and wall of the house including her bedroom, yard and sitting room for a long time. She talked about her life back in those days. Reena told the people of the neighbourhood of the map of Rawalpindi 75 years ago.

The senior Indian citizen said that she used to stand on the balcony and hum when she was little. She sang the same 75-year-old tune to reminisce her childhood and cried. She said that the memories of the house were palpable to her. “I can still see myself here today,” she said, adding that the neighbours living there at that time were very nice. “When someone got married, all the children of the street, including me, used to run and there was happiness everywhere. Now, once again, the heart wishes to remove the hatred between Pakistan and India and start living together again.

“Everyone was sad at that time when we left. Neighbours were considered members of the household and we would visit everyone's house,” she said, adding that those were very good days, not knowing where those people would go.

Chibbar said that all the people of her age have died. The grandchildren of their old neighbours now live in the house where she and her family lived. But the wall has not been changed even today. Reena Verma Chibbar also pointed at a closet in the house. She said that she used to keep books there.

“I moved to India at the time of Partition,” she said, adding that she never forgot her home or the street. “Friends and food here are still fresh in my mind. Even today, the smell of these streets brings back old memories. I did not even imagine that I would ever come back here in life. Our culture is one. We are the same people. We all want to meet each other. A local person found me and sponsored a visa after which I reached Rawalpindi through the Wagah border,” she said.

She said that no Muslim or Sikh lived in the neighbourhood before the Partition. “All Hindus used to live here. I love Pakistan dearly and want to visit Pakistan again and again,” she said.

Riaz Haq said...

The Education Ministry data showed that the number of Muslim students decreased to 19.21 lakh in 2020-21 from 21 lakh in 2019-20.

AISHE 2020-21: Enrolment of Muslim students for higher education decreases to 4.6%
The Education Ministry data showed that the number of Muslim students decreased to 19.21 lakh in 2020-21 from 21 lakh in 2019-20.

The number of Muslim students enrolling for higher education in India has dropped in the 2020-21 academic year compared to the previous year, according to a report by the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21.