[Reader-list] fwd: It's a mistake to equate the demand for Pakistan with the partition of India

Inder Salim indersalim at gmail.com
Wed Sep 9 16:23:51 IST 2009

it was a game played by two or three or four lawyers,...
interestingly, they all learned this art from those masters who were
occuping their homes back in India.  Have these lawyers actually
outwitted those colonial masters, i doubt, they always had an axe to
grind, and one can see that axe in action, even now.

Gandhi narrowly managed to exonerate himself as a devil player of Partition.
but he was there all the time. and so one can say he also  unwittingly
contributed to Muslim alineation. I dont see Hindus love Gandhi
anymore, Nehru is almost fogotten...

was Jinnah  the most deserving representative of muslim masses, i again doubt,

i too dont doubt his secular credentials, but his faith in democracy
was negligible. and that was the reason he saw no futture for muslims
in a Hindu majority India. that does not mean that congress were
democratic, Nehru impressed masses, but he always protected the elite
of his times,

I gues, it Jinnahs miscalculation, imagine, Pakistan Bangladesh as
part of India, in the present,
Muslims with that added proportion, obviously would have been always
the deciding factors to form a government  in any election., Mulsims
would have preserved the past more meaningfully, which they were not
able to do with the mass migrationn of people from cities, which were
occupied by muslims.  The direct action, which killed millions was by
no means a dream, it was the outcome of the endless   and failed
series of discussions held by these egoistis lawyers. how to praise,
Jinnah, or Nehur, or Patel or Gandhi for that,

Here, i must say, that Sheikh Mohd Abudullah was a real hero of the
hour of partitiion, Not a single hindu was killed in kashmir. yes,
many muslims were killed in Jammu province, because of Maharaja Hari

iwhat Jinnah dreamt actually ?  i think patition was a nightmere

both jaswant singh and Ayesha jalal should think of  the murder of
millions of humans beings, rather than these few personalities who
should be discussed as briefly as possible

with love
inder salim

On Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 3:25 AM, yasir ~يا سر <yasir.media at gmail.com> wrote:
> fwd
> http://www.tehelka.com/dotnet/mainheadline.asp?id=1
> “It is a mistake to equate the demand for Pakistan with the partition of
> India” *
> *Ayesha Jalal, Pakistani historian and author of "The Sole Spokesman", picks
> through the tangle of the Jinnah controversy
> By Shoma Chaudhury
> *What strikes you, personally, as the sharpest irony of the Jinnah- Jaswant
> Singh controversy and its fallout in India?*
> What strikes me as most ironic is the extent to which the '''secular'
> Congress and the 'communal' BJP end up subscribing to the same common idioms
> of Indian nationalism when it comes to Pakistan and its most potent symbol,
> Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
>  Jinnah of the 1916 Lucknow Pact where Sarojini Naidu hailed him as the
> “ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”; Jinnah of the 1940 Lahore Declaration
> and two-nation theory; Jinnah who wanted Pakistan to be a “laboratory of
> Islam”; the secular Jinnah of the August 11 1947 address. And the Jinnah of
> the personal domain: a Parsi wife, smoking, drinking. How is one to
> reconcile all these? Were these all stages in the evolution of Jinnah’s
> political thinking, or were they expedient positions?
> Like any other successful politician, Jinnah changed tactics without losing
> sight of his ultimate strategic objectives in response to shifting political
> dynamics during a career spanning several decades. Only a most superficial
> and politically tainted understanding of Jinnah can lead to the conclusion
> that there was an irreconcilable contradiction between his early career when
> he was hailed as the ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity’ and his later years
> when he orchestrated the demand for a Pakistan in order to win an equitable
> share of power for Muslims in an independent India.
>  As for the presumed contradiction between his personal lifestyle and
> championing of a Pakistan in which Islam would play a role, the problem
> again lies with an insufficient understanding of what Jinnah meant by Islam.
> The Islam he advocated was neither bigoted nor narrow-minded, but one based
> on principles of equity, justice and fairplay for all, regardless of caste
> or creed. Jinnah never abandoned his secular and liberal vision for purposes
> of expediency. This is amply in evidence from the speeches he gave in the
> aftermath of partition on the place of religion and the minorities in the
> Muslim state of Pakistan.
> *Your own book "The Sole Spokesman" argues that Partition was a  gross
> miscalculation and Jinnah never wanted it till the end. How is one to read
> his demand for two nations then? And what, according to you, did Jinnah
> really want?*
> What I argued in The Sole Spokesman was that it was a mistake to equate the
> demand for Pakistan with the partition of India as it took place in 1947.
> After 1940, the demand for Pakistan was intended by Jinnah as a means to
> stake a claim for the Muslim share of power in India once the British quit.
> He argued that the unitary centre of the raj was a British construction and
> would stand dissolved at the moment of decolonization. Any reconstitution of
> the centre would have to be based on the premise that there were ‘two
> nations’ in India – the Muslim nation represented by the Muslim-majority
> provinces in the north-west and north-east (Pakistan) and the Hindu nation
> represented by the Hindu-majority provinces (Hindustan). Once the Congress
> and the British conceded the principle of a Pakistan, Jinnah left it an open
> question whether the two parts of India would arrive at treaty arrangements
> on matters of common concern as two sovereign states or enter into a
> confederal arrangement on the basis of equality. Jinnah always insisted that
> ‘Pakistan’ had to be based on undivided Punjab and Bengal and resolutely
> opposed the partition of these two provinces along ostensibly religious
> lines until the bitter end. By insisting on a wresting power at a strong
> center with only the most nominal concessions to the provincial autonomy
> demanded by the Muslim-majority provinces, by endorsing the Hindu
> Mahasabha’s call to partition Punjab and Bengal and, above all, by refusing
> to grant Muslims the share of power at the all-India level demanded by
> Jinnah, the Congress led by Nehru and Patel foreclosed the possibility of
> keeping India united. Jinnah did miscalculate in believing Gandhi’s voice
> was still dominant in the Congress.
> *Was the idea of an eminent Muslim domain within a sovereign Indian Union a
> tenable idea? Indian states were in any case carved along linguistic lines,
> would a Muslim State have been in keeping with this principle? And if so,
> why were the Congress stalwarts so against it? *
> This is a counterfactual question. However, the irony is that it was Jinnah
> and the Muslim League who wanted undivided Punjab and Bengal and the
> Mahasabha-Congress combine that insisted on their division along lines of
> religion. The Congress stalwarts were against such a Muslim state because it
> entailed diluting their control over the centre and gave far too much power
> to Jinnah and the Muslim League. Linguistic states in a federal union was
> not incompatible with Jinnah’s vision.
> *In your reading of history, who would you hold most culpable for the
> Partition, and why? Jaswant Singh seems to suggest that Patel and Nehru were
> most responsible, would you agree?*
> Mr Jaswant Singh has basically endorsed the main lines of my thesis in The
> Sole Spokesman as far as apportioning responsibility for the partition of
> India is concerned. Patel and Nehru were more responsible because, as
> leaders of the larger party, they had to find the terms for an accommodation
> with Jinnah and the Muslim League so that the unity of India could have been
> preserved. In opting to seize power at British India’s unitary center rather
> than striking a compromise with the Muslim League based on a genuinely
> federal arrangement, these politicians of the Congress paved the way for
> partition.
> *
> In India we don’t want to acknowledge that Jinnah never really wanted
> Pakistan; in Pakistan it must be a kind of anathema to suggest the founder
> of the nation never wanted the nation. Why is Jinnah, in particular, subject
> to such historical ambiguity?*
> It is wrongly presumed that Pakistan as it emerged in 1947 is what Mr Jinnah
> was after all along. The demand for Pakistan, as I have explained above, was
> intended to renegotiate the power sharing arrangements at the all-India
> centre on the basis that there were two nations in India, both of which had
> to be treated on an equal footing regardless of their population
> proportions. An understanding of the difference between ‘Pakistan’ and
> partition, particularly the partition of the two main Muslim-majority
> provinces, will go some way to clearing the fog surrounding the reasons for
> the division of the subcontinent and, in the process, resolve the
> ‘historical ambiguity’.
> *What would you count as the real turning point that made Partition
> inevitable? Is it the Cabinet Mission plan of 1946? Or do you think there
> was some other catalytic moment?*
> The Congress’s refusal to agree to the grouping of provinces – even Gandhi
> called grouping worse than partition - and Nehru’s public assertions against
> a centre restricted to three main subjects (defence, foreign affairs and
> communications), made it impossible for Jinnah to stick to the Muslim
> League’s acceptance of the Cabinet Mission three tiered plan for a federal
> India instead of a fully sovereign Pakistan. The outbreak of violence in
> Calcutta in August 1946 and, subsequently, in other parts of India narrowed
> the options available to the all-India leaders and made a painful division
> rather than a negotiated accommodation seem more feasible. However, the
> partition of Punjab was not inevitable until the Congress called for it in
> early March 1947 and efforts continued to be made to avoid the partition of
> Bengal until the end of May 1947.
> *What would you say are the inconvenient or uncomfortable facts of history
> that India papers over in its construction of Jinnah? In turn, what does
> Pakistan paper over?*
> Despite the available scholarship, the nationalist self-projections of both
> countries have not managed to attain the requisite level of maturity. The
> exclusive focus on the ‘religious causes’ of partition in the public
> discourse on both sides of the divide obscures the powerful regional
> dynamics that played such a decisive role in the final denouement of 1947.
> The other associated reason is the insistence on writing history by focusing
> on the ‘great men’, whether Jinnah, Nehru, Patel or Gandhi. This makes it
> impossible for people to fully understand the complex historical factors
> that shaped the politics of these individuals. The Indian state and
> political elite find it hard to acknowledge that Congress leaders did not in
> the end stand for the unity of India. Their Pakistani counterparts are loath
> to accept that Jinnah was handed the maimed, mutilated and moth-eaten
> Pakistan in 1947 that he had categorically rejected in 1944 and 1946.
> *If Jinnah was indeed a secular and constitutional giant, why has Pakistan
> slid so easily towards a theocracy or dictatorship at different points in
> its history? Is it hobbled in any way by discrepancies in the life of its
> founding father?*
> Jinnah articulated a clear vision for Pakistan as a modern nation-state
> where all citizens, irrespective of their religious affiliations, would have
> equal rights of citizenship. He ruled out a theocracy at the very outset.
> His successors stuck to this vision when it came to keeping the religious
> divines in place well into the early 1970s. They were less successful in
> avoiding dictatorship in the context of the Cold War and chronic tensions
> with India over Kashmir. The emergence of the military as the dominant
> institution and the derailing of democratic processes after 1958 set the
> ball rolling in the gradual erosion of Jinnah’s vision for a moderate and
> democratic Pakistan. Yet, it was not until the Soviet invasion of
> Afghanistan that Pakistan under Zia-ul-Haq made the fatal decision to turn a
> narrowly construed brand of Islam into an instrument of state policy, both
> internally and externally. What plagues Pakistan today are more a result of
> the legacies of the Zia era than any specific discrepancies (other than
> partition) in the life of its founding father.
> _________________________________________
> reader-list: an open discussion list on media and the city.
> Critiques & Collaborations
> To subscribe: send an email to reader-list-request at sarai.net with subscribe in the subject header.
> To unsubscribe: https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/reader-list
> List archive: &lt;https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/>



More information about the reader-list mailing list