It is quite fashionable among liberal Indian and Pakistani elite to question religion as a basis of nationhood. Pakistani intellectual Javed Jabbar responded to some of these "liberal" critics at a conference in New Delhi, India. He said as follows: "India was a region, not a country until 1947....Pakistan was NOT carved out of India.... Both India and Pakistan became independent countries in 1947.. Religion can be a basis for nationhood".
|Happy Independence Day Pakistan
In his detailed remarks, Jabbar made a reference to British political scientist Hugh Seton-Watson who said there is no scientific definition of nationhood.
|Most Hindus Link Hindu Religion and Hindi Language With Indian National Identity. Source: Pew
The majority of Hindus see themselves as very different from Muslims (66%), and most Muslims return the sentiment, saying they are very different from Hindus (64%). Most Muslims across the country (65%), along with an identical share of Hindus (65%), see communal violence in India as a very big national problem. Like Hindus, Muslims prefer to live religiously segregated lives – not just when it comes to marriage and friendships, but also in some elements of public life. In particular, three-quarters of Muslims in India (74%) support having access to the existing system of Islamic courts, which handle family disputes (such as inheritance or divorce cases), in addition to the secular court system.
Most Hindus (59%) also link Indian identity with being able to speak Hindi – one of dozens of languages that are widely spoken in India. And these two dimensions of national identity – being able to speak Hindi and being a Hindu – are closely connected. Among Hindus who say it is very important to be Hindu to be truly Indian, fully 80% also say it is very important to speak Hindi to be truly Indian.
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