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Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Was Jinnah's Pakistan worth the fight?

By Mohammad S.Solanki (PHP Managing Editor)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
(Photo : Mohammed Ali Jinnah, known to Pakistanis as "Quaid-i-Azam")
Islamabad : MORE than half a century after the end of British rule on the Indian subcontinent and the creation of India and Pakistan - born through the Hindu-Muslim partition in 1947, the Muslims who opted to stay in India are still getting a raw deal in every sphere of life. Still drowned in the scourge of poverty and backwardness, they continue fighting the ever-haunting spectre of communal riots and threats to their religious and cultural identity. The sense of insecurity experienced by the Indian Muslims in the post-partition era has compounded many times in recent years.

The man who might have made a difference was Mohammed Ali Jinnah, known to Pakistanis as "Quaid-i-Azam", the great leader. Jinnah was 70 years old and dying of tuberculosis when, in 1947, he became the first governor-general of Pakistan, a country he more or less created after breaking off from the Indian National Congress. He thought their freedom movement was becoming increasingly pro-Hindu and chauvinist as independence neared.

But Jinnah was not an Islamist. A cosmopolitan lawyer trained in London, he wore European clothes, he drank (a matter of huge controversy in Pakistan) and he was married to a member of the Parsi religion, Ruttie Petit, who has since been written out of Pakistani history.

Perhaps the savants Mohandas K. Gandhi, Lord and Lady Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru caballed to give Jinnah a ''moth-eaten'' Pakistan stripped of Kashmir and other choice territory. Richard Attenborough's portrayal of Jinnah as a cold fish in his film “Gandhi”(1982) is yet another subject of communalism.

Should there have been a Pakistan at all? On this point there remains a question of an explosive issue rarely discussed in the subcontinent. ''What if Jinnah were to come alive to see the mess that is his Pakistan?'' He asks, and then he answers: "It would still look better than Muslim life in Hindu-dominated India." With Hindu fundamentalism on the rise, there is enough evidence to back his assertion that pogroms, poverty and prejudice have dogged those Muslims who stayed behind after partition.

Jinnah would perhaps quote Dr. Balraj Madhok, former Professor of History at Delhi University who while explaining the term “Hindu” said, “Everyone living in India is a Hindu. Hinduism is no religion; it is the name of a civilization (Tahzib), a way of life.” In an interview with the New York Times correspondent in 1996 at Delhi, Professor Madhok said, “In this country we have never insisted on religious conformity and we are not going to start now. However, one we do insist on is that Muslims become Indians. They can worship as they like, but they must adopt this country's customs.”

A Gujarati Brahman, Daynada Saraswati, (1824-1883), openly raised the slogan “India for Hindus”. According to him, Hinduism was to be the sole religion of the subcontinent and the Hindus its sole master. The Muslims were foreigners. Hindu militant Bal Thackeray of the Shiv Sena and other militant Hindu organisations are thinking that Muslims have their own homeland in the shape of Pakistan. Countless incidents and discrimination can be cited against the Muslims of India.

The historic 16th century Babri mosque was razed by thousands of Hindu fanatics in Ayodhya (UP) on 16 December 1992. The government could have averted this tragedy had the law-enforcing authorities been more agile rather than being silent spectators to the demolition.

According to Indian journalist Yuvraj Mohite, recording his statement in the court at Mumbai, “Bal Thackeray, founder of Shiv Sena, ordered the massacre in December 1992 after demolishing Babri Mosque. The double-dealing Congress Ministry of the then Prime Minister Narashimha Rao at the centre did nothing to prevent destroying the 450-year-old Babri Mosque by BJP and VHP and other anti-Muslim elements. The Statesman of New Delhi (02 December 1992) reported, “The VHP and Bajrang Dal cadres were taught demolition methods by a retired brigadier of the army in a month-long training camp in a Hindu village in the Gujrat state. The state government had full knowledge of it.”

In an online article, the statement “Advani betrayed me on Babri” by Amit Sharma of The Indian Express notes that Kalyan Singh has come out with a point-by-point rebuttal of the charges against him. He claimed that L.K. Advani and other leaders of the RSS and its outfits had hatched a "deep and secret" conspiracy for demolition of the mosque and "these leaders had not only kept me in the dark on the issue but also betrayed me."

Discrimination of the Muslim community in services is another example of deprivation. According to a 1991 census, Muslims make up 12.60 per cent of the total Indian population. However, the representation in para-military forces, educational institutions and the private and public sector is far below their proportion.

The percentage of the Muslims in the civil and foreign services is less than a quarter of their population. Further, a white paper, prepared by All India Milli Council (AMIC) and presented to the then Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, on the performance of the Indian Union during the first 50 years, there were only 116 Muslims out of a total 3,883 administrative officers (2.98%), 45 out of 1,433 police service officers (3.14%), and 57 out of 2,159 foreign service officers (2.64%). In the central government, Muslims make up 1.6% of all Class 1 officers, 3.9% of all Class 11 officers and 4.4% of the technical supervisory staff.

An official report prepared by Dr. Gopal Singh Committee shows a marked disparity between Hindus and Muslims in economic, social and educational fields. The committee's report based on a sample survey of 80 districts across the country, found there were only 92 Muslims out of 2,698 students in engineering colleges. The number of Muslim students in the MBBS courses in eight universities of eight states was 98 out of 2,895. Though the statistics are for 1991, there is no significant change as far as the Muslims are concerned in all spheres of activities.

Is India really communal? One may, perhaps find a clue, that the venom of communalism was spewed during the British rule when earthen pitchers were categorized as Hindu water and Muslim water.

An article by the eminent Indian columnist Kuldip Nayar “History a la Joshi”, further gives a hint of the communal and ethnic politics that has become deep-rooted amongst Indians. In the article Nayar writes, “For the first time in the last 40 years, where the International Trade Fair at Delhi became a factor, handicrafts by Muslims and Sikhs had been displayed at a section called “Minority Handicrafts”. Handicrafts are either good or bad, they are not tagged as minority.”

The Indian Muslims are in a dilemma, whether to accept humility in the form of Indian nationalism (based on secular ideas) or to preserve their Muslim identity.

Now, the question is one of whether Jinnah's Pakistan was worth the fight.


  1. .Indians, (Brahman Hindus) are continuously building military muscle, sabotaging peace in FATA and Baluchistan and simultaneously working for elimination of Muslim identity in India. To them it is national movement of revival of Hindu culture. For Indians, two nations theory is great trouble because it argues that another nation based on religion, apart from Indian also exists which is worthy of separate homeland in South Asia. They believe this philosophy even today can fragment India. Therefore, decisive military defeat to Pakistan and its further balkanization is essential for proving this theory wrong which is so essential for survival of India.

    Quaid-e-Azam MA Jinnah, ironically, is highly criticized in India both by Hindus and Indians Muslims alike. To Hindus, he partitioned India, for Muslims he weakened them by dividing the Muslims population. The fact is that Quaid-e-Azam, through out his political career, focused on welfare and protection of rights of Indians Muslims. He as a last resort, after being thoroughly disillusioned by congress worked for independent Pakistan. It is by now very clear that Pakistan is not the cause but product of Hindus-Muslims rift and rivalry. Creation of Pakistan brought lot of benefits to the Muslims of present day Pakistan yet it is also true that Pakistani leadership fell short as expected. It also did not bring any moral or material support to Indians Muslims as visualized and promised by founding father of Pakistan. Prolonged India-Pakistan rivalry has added further miseries to Indians Muslims. Except Quaid-e-Azam and Liaqat Ali khan leadership of Pakistan falter in many fields and disappointed the masses of present day Pakistan including forgetting Liaqat - Nehru pact.

    Present day Pakistan is neither on the path suggested by great poet Iqbal nor heading in the direction envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam. In the search of Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kasmir, it has lost its eastern wing. Pakistan is still searching its soul. Dreams of common Pakistanis are totally different to the dreams and ambitions of its ruling elites. However, the struggle goes on.

  2. MA Jinnah vision of Pakistan was different. It comprised all Muslims majority provinces and Muslim princely states. It was Indians in focus unlike Iqbal who was appealing Muslims of Afghanistan, Iran and some times all nations of the East. Quaid-e-Azam though advocated discovery of Islamic spirit like Iqbal, yet primarily cared for Muslims of India. Pakistan with Eastern wing comprising Bengal (undivided) and Assam, Western wing, Punjab (undivided), Sind, Baluchistan and Kashmir and in the centre was Muslims princely state of Hyderabad, Junagarh and Manavedar. There was also a peace corridor to connect all these segments. Pakistan was to co-exist with Hindus in complete harmony.

    Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad were assuring fair and proper political representation to Muslims in united India. Muslim league didn’t trust Congress in view of her previous experiences. Later, Gandhi agreed to Jinnah’s demand of Pakistan. However, Jinnah had yet to prove that he was sole representative of Muslim of India in coming election of 1945-46, different factions of Muslim league[ National Muslim league of Sir Shafi] and few other Muslim political leaders[Abul Kalam Azad and Ghafar khan] had questioned the leadership of Jinnah. Later, Mohammed Ali Jinnah in a speech at Aligarh Muslim University, urged all Muslims of India, to help their brethren in the Muslim majority areas, achieve independence from the Hindus, even if they themselves would not be so fortunate. Muslims of majority and minority provinces responded wholeheartedly to Jinnah’s call and Muslim league gained landslide victory. Quad-e-Azam MA Jinnah was sole representative of Muslims and now his demand for Pakistan was to be honored as promised by Congress and British.

    This was considered grand success of Jinnah and Muslim league and defeat for congress. Later, Pt Nehru and congress earned plum in their caps for handing over truncated and moth-eaten Pakistan. Pakistan was created but it was neither the dream of Iqbal nor the vision of Jinnah, in fact it was “craftsmanship” of Nehru. Muslim majority provinces or “rebellious provinces” as were often labeled by the Hindu press were to make Pakistan. However, even the members of the British Boundary Commission were astonished over attitude of Congress’s President Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru in the partition issues. Nehru in connivance with Mountbatten ensured that Bengal and Punjab were not annexed to Pakistan as per their existing administrative boundaries as earlier agreed, but were to be divided from “locality to locality” and street to street on the basis of the Muslim and the Hindu population. This move provided a new justification to communal genocide and resulted bloodbath in Punjab and Bengal. History bears witness to the fact that Jinnah had no option, except to agree to such “truncated and moth-eaten” Pakistan, as the Jinnah himself called it later on. Princely states of Hyderabad, Junahgarh and Manavader that opted to join Pakistan were forcefully annexed by India on the pretext of majority of the Hindu population, but all established rules and agreed principles of division were violated on the question of Jammu &Kashmir.

    The newly established state, Pakistan did not inherit administrative infrastructure unlike that of Bharat (India). Military and other financial assets were not handed over to Pakistan.

    Congress Attitude of twisting and repudiating the terms agreed with Jinnah embarrassed even Gandhi, who went on hunger strike until his death. This protest accrued RS 700 million for Pakistan against all military and cash reserves of the United India