Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Agent Provocateur: Qatil-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah

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    • Like Jaswant Singh, I am neither a scholar nor a historian. But unlike him, I am the child of parents who suffered the horrors of Partition; my father arrived in India from East Pakistan with his widowed mother and four younger siblings, penniless and virtually with nothing more than the clothes on his back. He didn’t have the privilege of growing up in princely Jodhpur, nor did life afford him the luxury of pondering over the minutiae of the politics of Partition in the amiable surroundings of Nehru Memorial Library. Yet, I do not recall him ever expressing either rancour or regret. Even if he wanted to, my mother wouldn’t have let him. The struggle for survival rode rough-shod over any emotional struggle that might have peeked hesitantly in their minds.
    • I belong to the minority which believes that Partition was the second best thing to have happened to us. The first was the failure of the ghazis to prop up a dissolute badshah in 1857. In his literally weighty tome Jinnah: India - Partition - Independence, Jaswant Singh obviously disagrees with this contention: “It was here in the middle of the 19th century that the symbol of our sovereignty was finally seized and trampled underfoot by British India.” Not everybody mourned that event, just as Hindus in Bengal were not terribly upset when Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah was given the boot in 1757.
    • But that defeat of presumed Muslim supremacy in 1857 was not without significance. Rudely stripped of their status as a minuscule minority ruling over India’s vast majority, Muslims discovered salvation in separatism in the subsequent decades — first in terms of faith and culture, and later with the formation of the Muslim League in 1906, in Muslim identity politics.
    • comments:
    • Why I say United India would have been Plato’s Utopia? For that we need to understand the core idea which lead to partition, it was “Hindus and Muslims were separate nation because of their differences and cannot stay together”.
    • The origination of this psyche can be found in Fall of Mughal Empire in 18th century and with rise of Marathas. Many may not know, buts it’s a fact that the rise of Maratha and their dominance on mughals was so much hated by muslim elites that they invited “Ahmad Shah Abdali” to invade their own country against their own Emperor to get rid of Maratha dominance.
    • After 1857 sepoy mutiny and complete annihilation of Mughals, this class saw Hindus gaining prominance in British Empire and they were getting marginalized. It was then Sir Syed Ahmed Khan the founder of Aligarh Muslim University perpetuated the idea that Muslims should align with British to marginalize Hindus.
    • Later the same psyche was found in Aga Khan, Alma Iqbal, Rahmat Ali and later espoused by Jinnah for his own political and personal gains.
    • It was the fear of Muslim elite that in a Hindu majority country, Hindus will use their majority to treat the Muslims as though they were Second-class citizens in an alien State. They had the guilt feeling that Hindus will treat them same as they treated Hindus for 800 years.
    • Regards,
      S. Chatterjee