PAKISTAN: HISTORY’S ILLEGITIMATE CHILD
The title of my article is sharp, and I intended for it to be so. Over the last few years, I have done extensive reading about the Indian sub-continent, an important part of which is the genesis of Pakistan. I’ve concluded that the existence of Pakistan as a nation state is illogical and illegitimate. I will explain the reasons for my claim through this article. I’ll divide the article into what I perceive as lies that form the building blocks of Pakistan.
Each modern day nation has been formed on one or more of the following ideals:
- • Language
- • Race and ethnicity
- • Values (secularism, democracy, universal rights, communism)
- • Economic interests (European Union)
Some other states that exist today for reasons apart from the ones listed above are not modern republics and are usually dictatorial kingdoms, such as the middle eastern countries. Pakistan is the first and only state that was created for Islam. I intend to prove how religion alone cannot be the cornerstone of a state’s foundation, which Pakistanis are realizing today. Let’s analyze the lies that form the foundation of Pakistan as a nation state.
Lie 1 – Support for the idea of Pakistan:
Greater India, which refers to the traditional cultural boundaries of India, is a subject that I have been studying for many years now. Being from a family who are traditionally from western Punjab (now Pakistan), I’ve have a keen interest in the Pakistani socio-political situation. British India included most of what today is India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and indirectly controlled, Burma, Ceylon, and Afghanistan.
The start of a secessionist movement for a Muslim homeland (later called Pakistan) started with Lord Curzon’s plan to partition Bengal in 1905, where he wanted to divide power between the Hindu landowners (who backed the Congress) and the Muslim peasants (who backed the Congress too). He wanted to cull the Congress’ major support base, which was Bengal. Though Bengal reunited in 1911, it sowed the seeds of suspicion between the Muslim peasants and the Hindu landlords.
Around the same time, for the first time, separate electorates for Muslims were announced (mostly to quell a united uprising in Bengal), where certain seats in government offices were reserved for Muslims and only Muslim locals could vote for those seats. Despite having separate electorates, the ordinary Muslims were loyal to the Congress party, and the Muslim league only enjoyed support from the landed Muslim aristocracy of UP, Bengal and Punjab. Up until 1936, the Muslim league lost badly in the elections despite having Muslim electorates. Eventually, when it did win in 1945, it did so only in Punjab and Bengal. There, the league was mostly backed by rich landowners who were keen to protect their interests and were wary of the Congress’ socialist viewpoint.
The Muslim league (its name was the All INDIA Muslim League) originally started as a academic movement which resisted the unification of Bengal (1911) since doing so took away a significant chunk of privileges accorded to the Muslim elite and gentry of Bengal. This happened because after the partition of Bengal in 1905, the Muslim majority area all of a sudden had limited or no landed gentry at the helm of the social order, because most of the landlords were Hindus and weren’t part of the newly formed regions. This gave an opportunity for Muslims to occupy positions of influence, which were threatened when there was a proposal to reunite Bengal. Muslim League’s primary objective was to protect the interests of such Muslims. They weren’t representative of the ordinary Muslim of India.
Jinnah, the best known face of the Muslim League, was an example of the sort of people that ran the party. A western educated, cigar and alcohol loving, suit wearing Muslim, who hardly found any consonance in the ordinary Muslim or the clerical Muslim’s mind. The original construct offered by Jinnah (and Syed Ahmad Khan) was that as a leader of the Muslims who were to live in a Hindu dominated country, he and his party wanted to ensure the security and rights of Indian Muslims within the framework of an independent India. The much talked about Lahore Resolution (dubbed as the Pakistan resolution) didn’t even mention the word Pakistan or the demand for its creation in its adopted charter.
The fact is that till 1940s, the Muslim league could not make any substantial headway even in Punjab and Bengal. The tenor of the Muslim league and Jinnah’s arguments changed drastically in the years to come. Since their repeated attempts to instigate the ordinary Indian Muslims were not successful, they changed the narrative from ‘ Muslims in danger’ to ‘Islam is in danger’.
The ‘Islam in danger’ is a tried and tested narrative, which even turned the overall peaceful Indian Muslims into Jihadis overnight. They were being told of the impending domination and fear under which they would have to live in a Hindu ruled India. This narrative, coupled with Mohammad Iqbal’s supposed (I’ll prove that Iqbal never supported Pakistan) new found vision of an Islamic state, flared tempers in India and the Muslims began to envision a utopic land for themselves, so distinct that they even termed it Pakistan!
The reason I point to the name is because Pakistan literally means the land of the pure. With one stroke, the Pakistanis had colored themselves as superior and pure, and branded their former countrymen as being inferior and impure. This included the millions of Muslims who didn’t migrate to Pakistan.
Many notable Muslims (Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Maulana Azad) individuals and organizations (Dar ul Uloom Deoband and even the notorious Jamaat e Islami) had rejected the idea of Pakistan. Although their reasons weren’t necessarily a secular outlook, they rejected the idea that a new nation could be carved out for Muslims, and that it would secure Muslim interests in the future. As the state of Pakistan reveals today, they were right.
Lie 2 – The Two Nation theory: The two nation theory propounded by Syed Ahmad Khan and Jinnah claimed that Indian Muslims and Hindus were two different nations living under the British rule, and that they had nothing in common apart from their white masters, which is why they should live separately. This was the most blatant lie in the creation of Pakistan.
Muslims of the Indian subcontinent are basically Hindus who, over the years, have embraced Islam. Most have been coerced to by the likes of Bin Qasim, Ghauri, But-Shikan, Ghaznavids, Tughlaqs, and Mughals, where as some might have volunteered to. There are detailed historical texts written by Muslim historians employed by invadingSultans that ironically confirm this fact. There are also a limited number of Muslims who are descendants of some of the Arab and Persian invaders that settled in India or had offspring with Indian women.
Through 1947-71, there was a power struggle in Pakistan (which included present Pakistan and Bangladesh), between the Punjabi and Bengali leaders. There were two power centers in the country. It was always an impractical idea (though in the heat of the secessionist struggle, it didn’t seem so) to have a country which comprised of two parts separated by a hostile country spread across 1500 km.
The extremely supremacist and racist attitude of the tall, fair skinned, wheat eating Punjabis towards the short, dark skinned, rice eating Bengalis had reached unthinkable heights. Despite being a numerical majority, and the people who contributed most to the idea of Pakistan, Bengalis had almost no say in the national assembly of Pakistan and Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was denied his democratic right (after winning the 1970 elections) of becoming prime minister.
The Islamists from west Pakistan even wanted Bengalis to stop using Bengali, which is a Sanskrit based language, as it was not a ‘Muslim’ language (apparently anything that isn’t written in Nastaliq script isn’t understood by Allah), and not good enough to be declared an official language of Pakistan.
In the buildup to the secession of east Pakistan, members of the Pakistani military and supporting militias (most notably members of the Jamaat e Islami founded by Abul Ala Maududi and currently run by Hafiz Saeed) killed at least 300000 people and raped around 100000 Bangladeshi women (Hindus where possible, Muslim when not) in a systematic campaign of genocidal rape. As a result of the conflict, a further eight to ten million people, mostly Hindus, fled the country at the time to seek refuge in neighbouring India.
With Indian military intervention, Bangladesh came into being, and the very foundation of an Islamic state for Indian Muslims based on the two nation theory collapsed. Bloodily, it was proven that the concept of an Islamic state alone was not enough to be the foundation of a nation which, by any other account, did not exist. In 2014, the Awami League executed some Jamaat e Islami leaders in Bangladesh for their war crimes. The Awami league also wants Pakistan to officially apologize for the Bengali genocide, and in a recently concluded cricket match between the two countries held in Bangladesh, Bangladesh banned the waving of Pakistani flags!
Lie 3 – Islamic State of Pakistan for security of Indian Muslims: It came as a surprise to me, but Pakistan was the first state in the history of the world to be created for a religion. All other supposedly theocratic states including the Arab countries are not states for Islam. They are oligarchies run by descendants of dominant Arab tribes. For example, Saudi is run by the house of Saud, Jordan by the Hashmeites, and Iran by the Quraysh. None of them have been founded as a nation for Islam. Even today, Israel is the only other state that was founded for a religion.
We’ve already looked at how the two nation theory collapsed with the secession of Bengal. This particular lie is exposed by the fact that Pakistan failed as soon as it was born. Why do I say that? Wasn’t Pakistan the promised utopic land for Indian Muslims? Well if it was, then why weren’t the Muslims from all over India invited to Pakistan. Bear in mind, I am not trying to ask the question as to why Indian Muslims didn’t go. There is a difference. Forget the fact that most of them didn’t go; the issue here is that most of them that weren’t from the newly seceded provinces weren’t even invited. Did the resolution to create Pakistan or any of Jinnah’s subsequent speeches inciting Muslims request the Punjabi, Sindhi, and Bengali Muslims to accommodate their so called Ummah from other parts of India?
Did Jinnah or other leaders ever talk about the millions of Muslims of south India? Of course not, they were dark skinned, and hence could not fit in the narrative that Indian Muslims are different as they are of Arab/Persian descent. The Muslim elite of UP and Bihar, who were instrumental in the creation of Pakistan and migrated to their dreamland, found that they were not only marginalized but also racially ridiculed.
Even today, the Muslims of central India, are called Mohajirs (migrants/refugees) in Pakistan. Most of them had to settle in an around Karachi, because the Punjabi Muslims were in no mood to compromise on their personal interests for the betterment of the Muslim community. Sindh, on the other hand, had more vacant slots due to the departure of almost the entire Hindu population to India. Pakistan was never for the Indian Muslims. It was only for the Muslim elite of Punjab and Bengal…as was eventually realized by the original backers of the idea, the Muslims of UP and Bihar, when they were marginalized. Even today, there is a separate political party based in Karachi called MQM that represents Mohajirs.
If Pakistan is for safety and security of Indian Muslims, why was movement of Indian Muslims to Pakistan stopped in 1953, whereas Israel offers repatriation and citizenship for any Jew from any corner of the world even today? The fact remains that neither was Pakistan genuinely for Indian Muslims, nor did it have the resources or leadership to deal with millions of potential migrants seeking their pure land.
Lie 4 – False Identity: After seceding from India, Pakistan’s biggest challenge was to define a national identity. This was next to impossible, because their identity was integrally tied to the identity of India. After all Punjab, Bengal, and Sindh were amongst the most important provinces of India….historically and economically. The idea that was adopted was to portray Indian Muslims as being different from the Hindus, not on the basis of their religion, but on the basis of their race and ethnicity. What this means is that a Punjabi or a Bengali Muslim was supposedly of a distinct race (presumably of Arab descent) than that of their Hindu counterparts. For any sane person, this is entirely false, but even then, there are several DNA studies that conclusively prove that Indian Muslims and Hindus have no genetic differences in most cases (with the exception of small sub-communities like the Bohras).
There were several steps taken in this direction. Indian Muslims were already a confused lot, but that was compounded after Pakistan’s creation where they (one’s who were now Pakistani Muslims) were encouraged to break their cultural links with India. Names of people changed to absurd Arab names. Last names changed to Qureshi, and Syed, Khan, Shaikh and Hakim (which signify a high place in the Arab society) as if the millions of poor, uneducated, and suppressed Muslims of India who have these last names were from the royal bloodline of the Arab invaders or had descended from Mohammad. Hindu festivals were looked down upon.
Isn’t it strange that in Lahore and Karachi, which were once the epicenters of Hindustan, people don’t even celebrate Diwali today, whereas many Indian Muslims even today participate in Hindu festivals without too many qualms? Alliances were sought with Saudi Arabia and other important Muslim countries in an effort to have Pakistan recognized as one of them. They have lost their mind so much that they have vetoed India’s entry into the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) despite India having 180 million Muslims! Personally, I consider that to be another boon in disguise.
When Pakistan was formed, Hindus and Sikhs constituted nearly 20% of the population. Today they are about 2%. All efforts were made to cleanse Pakistan of any links with the Sanskrit/Vedic culture of India, which incidentally was born in what is today Pakistani Punjab! Funnily, some Pakistani intelligentsia of today claim to be the rightful guardians of the Indus valley and the Vedic civilization. Till date, Hindus in Sindh are harassed and forced to convert to Islam and their daughters often kidnapped and married of to Muslim youth. There are also several examples of how tribal communities in remove parts of Baltistan and NWFP were coerced into Islam.
Another fine example of misconstrued identity is the names of Pakistani missiles (Ghauri, Abdali, Babur). Ghauri (Turko-Afghan) and Babur (central Asian) were ruthless foreign invaders who looted and murdered Indians, many of whom were forefathers of present day Pakistani Muslims. Abdali ransacked the city of Lahore with great joy. They represented a culture where the only thing that worked was the sword, and the only thing they longed for was blood. Compare this to the Indian culture that was amongst the oldest and the richest in the world. As noted earlier, the Muslim population actually grew due to the measures taken by Muslim invaders in India that of brute force and socio-economic coercion. Similarly, Karachi’s seaport is named after Muhammad Bin Qasim, the first Arab invader of Sindh…and the main sea port in Sindh is named after him!
Can you imagine a country that considers an invader, who brutally murdered the Shia Muslim king of Multan and later gouged Prithviraj Chauhan’s eyes and hung his head outside the royal palace, as their national hero? Yes. Ghauri, Ghazni, Babur etc. are Pakistan’s icons. They have no place for Bhagat Singh (who martyred in Lahore), Bachha Khan, or Gandhi in their country, but they find solace in associating with the very people who butchered their forefathers and their countrymen. It is no surprise that the Pakistani Army beheads Indian soldiers whenever possible; it is their national character.
The worst came under the reign of Gen. Zia Ul Haq who started a systematic effort to Islamicize Pakistan (with help from Jamaat e Islami, who always sought a Sharia ruled Pakistan after Maudoodi reluctantly moved to Pakistan). This he did by introducing Sharia law in Pakistani courts, stripping rights of minorities, making blasphemy punishable by death, distorting history books to teach children lies about India and Pakistan’s past amongst other things. He is also remembered for leading the genocide of the Ahamadiyya Muslims of Pakistan, who under his reign, were declared heretics. They were outlawed from proclaiming themselves as Muslims and were routinely tortured and killed on charges of blasphemy.
Similar has been the fate of Shia Muslims in the last 15 years; they have been subject to target killings by Islamist militia. Jinnah, a Shia himlseld, would probably have been killed in today’s Pakistan for being a kafir. Jinnah’s dream, however stupid, was at least largely secular and progressive in nature. He never wanted a Sharia ruled state. His dream was long dead. It is said that once Zia was asked “How can a nation be created for Islam?” to which he responded by saying “If Pakistan was not created for Islam, what is it…a second grade India?”. One can look at it in hindsight and say that a second grade India is still better than a first grade Pakistan.
Lie 5 – Distortion of History : If you spend some time analyzing history taught to Pakistani students, you’ll either laugh or cry. In their effort to create a hollow identity, the rulers of Pakistan have turned to a creating an imaginary history of Pakistan seeking to legitimize its existence. KK Aziz was brave enough to write a book on this subject titled “The Murder of History: A Critique of History Textbooks used in Pakistan”. Ayesha Jalal, AH Nayyar, Tariq Rehman, Najam Sethi etc. are some notable historians who have tried in vain to point out about the laughable state of in history texts in Pakistan. Let’s look at some of these examples from Pakistani text books created by the provincial textbook boards and national curriculum authority. The lies are italicized and my comments follow them.
- • That Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (one of Pakistan’s founder) had opposed the mutiny of 1857, which ironically is also portrayed as the Muslim war for Pakistan’s independence. This is not told to Pakistanis.
That the Indian National Congress was a communal Hindu party which had no voice or agenda for Indian Muslims
- , even though INC had many Muslim intellectuals and political leaders, including Jinnah.
That the Muslim League was created to organize Muslims against the British and fight supposed ‘Hindu domination’
- even though the first manifesto of Muslim League stated the following two (of 3) objectives:
- o To create and promote a feeling of loyalty amongst the Muslims of India towards the British.
- o To prevent the rise amongst the Muslims of India of any feeling of hostility towards any other community of India (such has Hindus and Sikhs, which is completely contrary to the eventual creation of Pakistan).
That Pakistan as an idea was Allama Iqbal’s
- even though neither did he ever talk about Pakistan (till much later when the idea was a reality) and nor did he ever endorse the concept of a Islamic nation or Islamic governance. He only referred to a plan where two autonomous Muslim provinces can be created within India. In his Allahabad address of 1930, he clearly stated that he wants autonomous provinces for Muslims of India within India. Also, what is not mentioned is that Iqbal said that ‘our Islam is the Islam of Hindustan…and that it will be very dangerous if we (Muslim leaders) align our Islam with that of the middle east.’
Most laughably, that from the time of the Arabs in India, Pakistan was lower Indus valley (Multan to Sindh). From 11th century, Ghaznavi empire was Pakistan and Afghanistan. 13th century, Pakistan had spread over northern India and Bengal. During the reign of Khiljis, Pakistan covered central areas of India. During Aurangzeb’s reign, Pakistan was at its peak. After Aurangzeb’s death (1707), Hindus united against Pakistan and Pakistan started to become weak. Also taught is that in the 19th century, all of India was Pakistan.
- The year 1940 is when the word Pakistan was first mentioned, and according to Pakistani school history books, Pakistan was in existence since the 8th century.
That the Lahore resolution of 1940 created a formal demand for Pakistan: Often touted in Pakistan and elsewhere as the ‘Pakistan resolution’, which means that this when the demand for ‘Pakistan’ was formally made
- even though this resolution never mentioned the word Pakistan nor did it even mentioned the demand for a one new country. The demand was only two Muslim states. To quote from the resolution “The areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in north west and east of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.” This clearly states that the demand was for two states, one for the western Muslims and one for the Muslims of eastern India, and not for one Pakistan.
That the Taj Mahal was ‘given’ to India by Pakistan!
That the 1946 referendum of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) voted overwhelming in favour of Pakistan
- . In NWFP’s provincial elections of 1945 and 1946, of a total of 50 seats the Congress won 30 and Muslim league 17. This shows that the region was never in favour of Pakistan even up till 1-2 years before Pakistan was eventually created. Also, the supposed referendum that merged NWFP with Pakistan did so with only 51% of the voters participating in it whereas the Congress and the Red Shirts (
- of Baccha Khan) boycotted it. None of this is ever told to Pakistanis.
That all wars against India were won by Pakistan (1948, 1965, 1971, 1999). Also, that all wars were started by India.
That during the partition related bloodshed, only Hindus and Sikhs killed Muslims and Muslims never wanted any violence and didn’t kill any one
That Hindus are unclean and deceitful people who are prone to being thieves.Some of this stuff is laughable, but this is the reason that the new generation of Pakistanis, who have no idea about their history with India, seek to ‘recapture’ India and make it Pakistan.
Lie 6 – Kashmir belongs to Pakistan: I won’t go into the details of the ‘Kashmir problem’ in this post, but you must all know that on 22 October 1947, Pakistan-sponsored Muslim tribal militias crossed the border of the Pakistan and Kashmir. This was the first act of Pakistan as a nation (the first act of India as a nation was to forgive a large amount of outstanding loan that Pakistan owed to India). These tribal militias and irregular Pakistani forces moved to take Srinagar, but on reaching Uri they encountered resistance. Hari Singh made a plea to India for assistance, and help was offered, but it was subject to his signing an Instrument of Accession to India. Eventually, after he signed the instrument, India airlifted troops to Srinagar and troop positions solidified along what is today known as the Line of Control.
What I want to point out is that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), called Azad Kashmir by the Pakistanis, is not as free as the name suggests. It is not even Kashmir to be honest, as most if its inhabitants are Punajbi. Though Pakistan presses India to recognize the right of self-determination of Kashmiris in India, it secretly forces EACH political party in PoK to sign an undertaking that states that in the event of accession to either India or Pakistan, that party will align itself with Pakistan. Without signing this contract, a political party cannot operate in PoK. We all know that Kashmir can never become an independent country. By doing this, Pakistan is ensuring that PoK is forced to accede to Pakistan (irrespective of what its people think) when the LoC is eventually finalized as the international border.
Also, the northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan (GB), which have little in common with India or Pakistan, are Shia Muslims. Their language and culture is genuinely distinct. They’ve not been fans of the Pakistani establishment and have been systematically subjugated to be kept out of power. This includes modifying the demographics by sending a large number of Punjabi and Pathan settlers to occupy government posts in the region. Off late, they’ve also been victims of violent attacks on account of being Shias. Neither do they have any representation in the Pakistani National Assembly, because on one hand, Pakistan cannot legally call Kashmir and GB a part of Pakistan (for all the talk about self-determination) and on the other the people of GB cannot seek redressal with India as they are administered by Pakistan.
One could get an idea of the frustration of the GB people from the fact that their brethren in India, who occupy the Kargil-Drass belt, are the most fiercely patriotic Indians! It was the Shia intelligentsia of UP who provided the initial support for Pakistan and it is the Shia community across Pakistan who are in the most danger.
Lie 7 – Illegal occupation of Baluchistan and NWFP: Baluchistan was controlled indirectly by the British Indian government. It was never a part of India per say. For the last five hundred years or so, it has been an independent entity with the Khanate of Kalat administering a large part of it. The British signed a pact with the Baluchi leaders granting them independence on August 11, 1947. That is right; Baluchistan became an independent nation before India and Pakistan. This was on similar lines to Burma or Sri Lanka becoming independent. They had their own assembly and system of governance. In 255 days, Pakistan militarily invaded Baluchistan and captured it not only against the will of the people, but also illegally and contrary to the Indian Independence Act (IIA) passed by the British parliament. The IIA only talks about the Chief Commissioners Province of Baluchistan, which is around 1/4th of the Baluchistan that Pakistan holds today.
There have been five armed uprisings in Baluchistan since the 1950s. In 2005, Pakistani Air force killed the main Baluch leader Akbar Bugti in Baluchistan to quell the anti-Pakistan wave that was sweeping though Baluchistan. Apart from the maddening human rights violations, such has been the exploitation of Baluchistan that it is one of the most underdeveloped regions in the world despite having loads of oil, gas, bauxite, and gold. Baluchistan consists of around 44% of Pakistani territory and contributes to only 5% of the national population. This means that without Baluchistan, Pakistan would be almost half its size, and the population would almost remain the same, a whopping 180 million odd. For this reason, Pakistan can afford to let go of anything but Baluchistan.
In the last decade or so, Pakistani Army-ISI nexus created an extremist movement (Lashkar e Jhangvi) and ordered it to instigate violence in Baluchistan. They have been since responsible for targeted killings of the Hazaras and other Shia Baluchis, which is straining the largely peaceful social fabric of Baluchistan. Almost all major Baluchi leaders (Marri, Mengal, Bugti) are in exile and all of them seek to create an independent Baluchistan. One more funny anecdote here is that Muhammad Ali Jinnah actually represented the Khanate of Kalat as a lawyer seeking independence from the British! The Khanate of Kalat was Jinnah’s legal client! He was weighed in gold after successfully arguing in favor of his client.
Similarly, North West Frontier Province, the Afghan-Pak border areas occupied by tribals and Pathans never wanted to be part of Pakistan. In fact, their foremost leader Bāchā Khān (frontier Gandhi) had categorically rejected the idea of Pakistan. He is remembered to have wept when Congress agreed to Pakistan because he knew that the future of his people would necessarily get sealed with that of Pakistan. In 1948, a ‘referendum’ was held in NWFP with Ghaffar Khan arrested. As noted, most of his supporters and the Congress party, which formed the bulk of NWFP, boycotted the referendum, through which Pakistan claimed NWFP. In the Pakistani national assembly, Bāchā Khān said that though he was opposed to Pakistan, it is a reality now and that he and his people pledge to be loyal to Pakistan. Despite this, he was given the title of Gaddar-e-Pakistan, which means traitor of Pakistan.
Sindh, which initially under the leadership of GM Syed was happy to be part of Pakistan, eventually realized that their own identity would be virtually wiped off and replaced by a artificially created Pakistani identity. In his later years, he felt sorry for leading the Sindhi people to Pakistan and expressed his desire to create a separate country for Sindhis called Sindhudesh. GM Syed too was given the epithet of Gaddar-e-Pakistan by the Punjabi establishment of Islamabad.
Lie 8 – The language lie: Pakistan was overwhelmingly Punjabi and Bengali. In 1948, a few months after the creation of Pakistan, Governor-General Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared Urdu as the national language of the newly formed state, although only 4 per cent of Pakistan’s population spoke Urdu at that time. Urdu was a language of central-north India, and not of Punjab, Sindh, and Bengal. He branded those who supported the use of Bengali as communists, traitors and enemies of the state. The refusal by successive governments to recognize Bengali as the second national language led to the formation of the Bengali language movement and strengthened support for the newly formed Awami League, which was founded in the East as an alternative to the ruling Muslim League.
After Bangladesh was created, Pakistan (west Pakistan) almost consciously ensured that all native languages of Pakistan (most notably Sindhi, Baluchi, Hindko, and Pashto) had little or no support at a national level. Their speakers were ridiculed in the assembly, and even the dominant Punjabis started speaking Urdu as their first language. Isn’t it weird that a nation which rejected central Indian Muslims (as noted earlier) adopted their language (Urdu) as their own without any qualms? There have been a lot of talk on this issue in Pakistan, at least amongst the academic circles, along with the fact that Pakistan went into overdrive to Arabicize its people by offering Arabic as an optional language in many schools.
Even the Urdu that is spoken on Pakistani television is an artificially created language that consists of pure Urdu, which was never spoken by any people in India or Pakistan. This is because the Pakistanis want to appear as close to Persia and Arabs and as distant from India as possible. As an example, try listening to some Pakistani political debate…unless you have an excellent command over Urdu and Farsi, you will not understand much. On the other hand, watch the commercials ads that run on their TV channels; they are 90% similar to their Indian counterparts in terms of language, concepts, and sets.
Conclusion: An excellent analysis by MJ Akbar talks about the reason militants and religious fanatics find sanctuary in Pakistan. He says that it is because the idea of Pakistan itself is based on faith; so any person or group that thinks it is acting in accordance with faith seeks refuge in Pakistan. This is the reason why the Muslims of India and the Muslims of Pakistan are so different in a matter of just six decades. As he puts it, “The idea of Pakistan is weaker than the Pakistanis, whereas the idea of India (as a secular democratic modern state) is stronger than the people of India”. It is therefore no surprise that in the last ten years, an estimated 54000 people have been killed in Pakistan due to religious violence.
My objective is not to plead a case for an Indo-Pak unification. Personally, I am happy that Pakistan was created. Imagine if we had to deal with another 180 million odd Muslims (with a sizeable number being extremists). Osama would be found in India.Tehrik e Taliban e Pakistan would be called Tehrik e Taliban e Hind. Jamaat e Islami would have been in the Indian parliament. American drones would be attacking Indian cities. The reputation of India abroad would have been what Pakistan’s reputation is today.
The objective is to showcase that the foundation of Pakistan is based on a bunch of lies, which started in 1947 and have continued unabated till date. In the last two decades, some notable Pakistanis have recognized these issues and have raised them in the public sphere. These include Tarek Fatah, KK Aziz, Hassan Nisar, Najam Sethi, Salman Bashir (who was assassinated) etc. They are few and far between and have often been referred to as traitors or Indian/Israeli agents.
Bleeding India by a million wounds has been the state objective for Pakistan. Their infatuation with India suggests otherwise about their supposedly different identity and culture. It has been part of the Pakistani establishment’s (most notably the ISI) agenda to radicalize the Indian Muslims. They’ve met with partial success in Kashmir. Therefore, another objective of this article is to make the Indian Muslims aware of the mistakes of their co-coreligionists and of the price they are paying for it.
Each day an Indian Muslim progresses and rises to a position of respect in India, Pakistan is served with a slap on its cheek. The fact that Indian Muslims are better off than the average Pakistani is a stark reminder of the mistake Pakistanis made by seceding from India, because their utopic and pure land didn’t turn out that great after all. Even though the state of Indian Muslims is not what we would want it to be, they still have access to complete legal and civil rights in India. After all, two presidents of India have been Muslims, whereas the first law minister of Pakistan, who was a Hindu, had to flee Pakistan and sought refuge in India.
One of the major impediments in the welfare and upliftment of Indian Muslims is in fact the creation of Pakistan, which as rightly predicted by Maulana Azad and others, would weaken the Indian Muslim diaspora. For decades, Indian Muslims have been viewed by many in India as illegitimate residents of India, because their critics feel that they should have immigrated to Pakistan. Irrespective of that, the creation of Pakistan has handicapped millions of poor Indian Muslims, because they were suddenly perceived as aliens in their own land. Funnily, the Pakistani Muslims are indifferent to the plight of Indian Muslims (who are their own brethren and for whom that nation was supposedly made), but are very concerned about Palestinian Arabs!
A litmus test to verify this argument is to check how many refugees from Pakistan have illegally immigrated to India vs. how many Indian Muslims wish to immigrate to Pakistan. There are millions of Bangladeshi (former east Pakistan) Muslims who already have and besides them, millions of Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan have also sought asylum in India (some even today reside along the Rajasthan and Punjab borders in refugee camps). I don’t think even a single Muslim (except for Geelani and his lackeys in Kashmir…who I sincerely wish do go to Pakistan) would want to immigrate to Pakistan. Each time Pakistani fans visit India during a cricket tournament, we hear that certain number of them have gone missing, which is either for a terrorist purpose or to seek asylum.
Pakistan’s hope for survival hinges on two factors: One, that it manages to keep Baluchistan as a part of Pakistan, and two, it moves towards establishing a secular democracy with an Islamic majority. Islam has never been enough reason for creation of a state. For example, look at the Arabs. They follow one type of Islam (Sunni), speak one language, look up to the same heroes, and yet are divided into 22 countries! What makes the Pakistanis believe that they will be able to do what their masters haven’t been able to achieve.
The danger here is that if Pakistan establishes a secular state with rights for all, its hollow identity will immediately be exposed, not only to the intelligentsia but also to the average Pakistani. In my opinion, it should give up efforts to construct a fake identity and focus on being what they are…children of the Sindhu and brothers of the Hindus. They must reject the fake Arab identity that they have been taught to wear up their sleeves. I don’t expect many Pakistanis to agree with this analysis. The fact is that it is terribly hard for them to accept this as the reality, because it sits diametrically opposite what they have been told and taught all these years. It is very hard for them to accept that they’ve been victims of political game played by a few power hungry leaders and many Arab loving Islamists, and that their existence as a state itself is illegitimate, illogical, and illegal.