The landmark decision by Delhi High Court which has declared that clause “unconstitutional” which criminalizes homosexuality has opened up a new gate of Freedom not only for India but also for this whole region. Section 377 of Indian Penal Code which criminalizes homosexuality was a dirty legacy of British Imperialism. Justice Murlidharan, has not received any “Harvard Medal of Freedom” unlike our honourable  Chief Justice, but his decision is truly revolutionary.  Our great chief justice despite having received “Harvard Medal of Freedom” has not written a single decision which could bring freedom to Pakistani Ahmedis, homosexuals, Dalits [Musalli of Punjab] or Balochs. All his decisions have empowered military dictators. The situation is not peculiar to Justice Iftikhar and Justice Murlidharn, the comparison goes beyond that when “secular” Muslim League created a communal state. While writing this decision Justice Murlidharn quoted Jawaherlal Nehru’s vision of equality and secularism which he put forward in “objective resolution” of 1946. One “objective resolution” was passed in Pakistan too by Muhammed Ali Jinnah’s prime minister “Nawabzada” Liaqat Ali Khan, in which state of Pakistan was for ever declared subservient to Quran and Sunnah. Our secular clowns spend all their time in proving secular credentials of Jinnah and PML but they never look at the reality. Nehru’s vision made India a constitutional democratic state no matter how much “Hindu” he was in his heart [as these thugs say] , Jinnah made a muslim nation state and his PM made it Islamic no matter if both of them drank wine . Nehru’s Objectives Resolution is quoted by a judge to bring freedom and end bigotry and Jinnah’s PM’s Objectives Resolution is quoted by Mullahs and Taliban to justify their insurgencies. This is the verdict of history. Below is the excerpt from the landmark decision. I am thankful to my dear friend Vijay Sai for sending me the decision. Today i say from the core of my heart “Joy Hind!”

Shaheryar Ali

jawaharlal_nehru“CONCLUSION 129. The notion of equality in the Indian Constitution flows from the ‘Objective Resolution’ moved by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on December 13, 1946. Nehru, in his speech, moving this Resolution wished that the House should consider the Resolution not in a spirit of narrow legal wording, but rather look at the spirit behind that Resolution.

Nehru said, ‘Words are magic things often enough, but even the magic of words sometimes cannot convey the magic of the human spirit and of a Nation’s passion…….. (The Resolution) seeks very feebly to tell the world of what we have thought or dreamt of so long, and what we now hope to achieve in the near future.”

130. If there is one constitutional tenet that can be said to be underlying theme of the Indian Constitution, it is that of ‘inclusiveness’. This Court believes that Indian Constitution reflects this value deeply ingrained in Indian society, nurtured over several generations. The inclusiveness that Indian society traditionally displayed, literally in every aspect of life, is manifest in recognising a role in society for everyone. Those perceived by the majority as “deviants’ or ‘different’ are not on that score excluded or ostracised. 131. Where society can display inclusiveness and understanding, such persons can be assured of a life of dignity and nondiscrimination. This was the ’spirit behind the Resolution’ of which Nehru spoke so passionately. In our view, Indian Constitutional law does not permit the statutory criminal law to be held captive by the popular misconceptions of who the LGBTs are. It cannot be forgotten that discrimination is antithesis of equality and that it is the recognition of equality which will foster the dignity of every individual.

132. We declare that Section 377 IPC, insofar it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private, is violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution. The provisions of Section 377 IPC will continue to govern non-consensual penile non-vaginal sex and penile non-vaginal sex involving minors. By ‘adult’ we mean everyone who is 18 years of age and above. A person below 18 would be presumed not to be able to consent to a sexual act. This clarification will hold till, of course, Parliament chooses to amend the law to effectuate the recommendation of the Law Commission of India in its 172nd Report which we believe removes a great deal of confusion. Secondly, we clarify that our judgment will not result in the re-opening of criminal cases involving Section 377 IPC that have already attained finality. We allow the writ petition in the above terms.”

Ah, the magic lurking in the dry legalese:

We declare that Section 377 IPC, insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private, is violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

Shining India. Joy Hind

Shining India. Joy Hind

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Shaheryar Ali

I like to offer my red salute to communist Aitzaz Ahsan and great secular feminist Tahira Abdulla [who in her usual hysteric fiery oratory saluted Jamate Islami for fighting for free judiciary, in the fits of passion she obviously forgot the raped Bengali women, who were molested by her favorite Jamate Islami goons in 71, at the recent SPO conference held in Lahore] for granting us the free judiciary and realizing the maternal instinct of our state.[Riyasat ho gi maa’n ki jesi] Our mother like state soon after the great “Black Revolution” [This is one of the greatest revolutions of the history, last time black colored clothes were linked to a revolutionary movement, it was “Black shirts” of Mussolini The notorious march on Rome by the Black Shirts, snuffed out the week

March on Rome

March on Rome

Liberal government and brought Mussolini to power “constitutionally” in accordance with “Statuto Albertino”. This was from where we first got the word “Fascist”. Now considered an abuse and a pejorative term “Fascist” was the official name of one of the most proud nationalist movement which shook the most advance of human civilization, Europe] killed three of her sons in Balochistan. Not satisfied by her act of maternal mercy, euthanasia is an act of mercy after all; our mother state mutilated their bodies.

Now because our mother state was born a “muslim” with the slogans of La Illaha Illallah and her ancestors included the great Islamic empires, mutilating dead bodies is her family custom. You don’t believe me, of course, Jamate Islami’s text books which most of you have read don’t tell these things, the Naseem Hijazi’s novels you have read also paint a great picture of our mother state’s ancestors. Let’s not forget the PTV plays which fill us with Jihadi passion. Like let’s take one on the great great grandfather of our mother state Muhammed bin Qasim , cute Babar Ali with long hair and mild manners was not shown killing infidel Sindhis was he? Chach Nama speaks of those heinous crimes. Institute of Sindhiology has published it. After the regime change in Damascus , great hero ancestor of ours , Muhammed bin Qasim captured from Sindh [?Multan] , he was sewed in Cow’s hide and sent to Damascus, now you can all imagine what would have reached there.

Banu Qurayza Messacre

Banu Qurayza Messacre

Before our mother state was born, her uncle, great poet Iqbal saw a dream and than gave a prophecy to people in grounds of Allahabad. Uncle Iqbal doubted the genealogy of our mother state. He thought that the empires were not the true ancestors of ours. State of Madina and the rightly guided Caliphs, companions and their disciples were our true ancestors. When I was in school is got my hands on Watt’s account of Bannu Qurayza’s massacre which took place after battle of trench.; One of the most heinous acts of genocide in history. The Jewish tribe was annihilated. The crime was high treason, without making any distinction between culprits, all males were killed, women and children were enslaved Trenches were dug in Medina and men [600-900] were brought tied like goats and slaughtered. For the sake of precision trousers were removed of the growing children and those who had pubic hair were slaughtered too.

Younger children were sold as slaves and women ended up as sexual slaves [Londi]. We feel concerned why Taliban cut people throats and flog women?

I remember the chilly Friday of North Staffordshire’s summer when I had to accompany an Indian friend to the main sunni mosque of the town. After the prayer we met a group of young local lads distributing leaflets to the people coming out of mosque. I still remember the sharp and cold dagger of fear which I felt ripping my spine apart. The leaflet described the Banu Qurayza massacre in detail and urged Muslims to follow the prophet in act of slaughter of the Kaffirs. Most of these lads were the local kids I knew, saw them occasionally in Hope Street on weekend drinking and pursuing some local blond. Now they were in Hizb-ul-Tehrir , reminding muslims of deed of prophets which had been erased from collective consciousness by modern muslim reformists. I

Black flag of Islamic fascism

Black flag of Islamic fascism

remember the night of the same day when I was sitting in a cozy room with my favorite can of lager in hand, when I was introduced to a strikingly handsome local lad who was so polite and handsome that I found my self increasingly distracted by his green eyes, loosing the track of conversation and forgetting to sip my drink. I am a pharmacist, he was telling me. Today I told them that I will not dispense contraceptives and abortion medications. It’s against Islam. I said arnt you glad that we live in a pluralistic society where you can refuse to do things which are against your conscience. A shade of red , made his already pretty face prettier and his voice had a tinge of passionate anger when he spoke of the system of kuffer we are living in , because we have become Eunuchs , these white fags are cowards , we just need to stand up and this country will be ours. These white blond girls can be our slave as Allah has blessed us with these luxuries. He again repeated the incident of Banu Qurayza to shake me out of my defeatist pacifism. This was a lad who a community hero, kind and polite considered an angel at his work place. In those days I had recently written a critical paper on Hannah Arendt’s “Banality of Evil”, I made a note in my mind to retract it as I was looking at a living proof of the validity of the concept. I remember yet another Friday when he took me to the mosque in his NHS hospital. The hospital had converted the Chapel into mosque and one medical consultant was speaking, it was the Friday sermon. “Prophet said “I am the prophet of slaughter”, those who don’t support Jihad in Iraq, those who vote in this system of Kuffer are infidels, and they must have the same fate. Sheik Osama is the lord of ages—-Pluralism and multi-cultureism went terribly wrong.

Othaman and Ali were both married to Muhammed’s daughters and considered most righteous of caliphs. Founder of sunni fascist party Syed Abul Ala Maudaudi has written the detail of Othaman’s style of government, his massive corruption, what was doing to companions like Abu Dhar , Abdullah Bin Masood etc. After his murder, a section of companions revolted against Ali, Muhammed bin Abu Bakar , son of Abu Bakar , first Caliph of Sunnis was governor of Egypt from Ali’s side. Amr bin Aas, yet another companion invaded Egypt and conquered it. Muhammed bin Abu Baker was sewed in donkey’s hide and burned alive on his orders. Now these were the people who learned Islam directly from Muhammed and we are upset why Taliban are hanging people?

Yet another “Black Revolution”, which comes into my mind, is that of the Abbasids. The conquered Persians, slaves of the Arab feudals joined them in flocks; they raised “Black Flags” and stood up. The Umayyad authority was eroding rapidly due to dawa , the crowds cried listening to the stories of Kerbala. The black flags were to mourn the house of Muhammed , to avenge Hussein and Zaid , the Rose , who was crucified and whose body was not allowed to be removed from the cross. Than the day came, black flags entered the city, every Umayyad was murdered and all graves of Umayyad were dug and the remains crucified. People ask why Taliban crucified the body of Pir in Swat. Don’t they know it’s again a family tradition of our Islamic state?

I remember I once read a paper which spoke of evolution of Law in United Kingdom. The priests who spoke latin and wore black robes had monopoly on Law. After reformation, priests had to go and secular priests emerged with the same black robes who called each other “brothers”. Some say black robes to mourn the King became their symbol;

Islam and Secularism MIB

Islam and Secularism MIB

other says it helped them hide daggers in their dresses easily as the times were rough. The lawyers are the priests of the secular world. Rigid and obsessed with abstract texts like their predecessors. I once heard a line in my cultural studies class “Lawyers are the high priests of America”. Last time lawyers had our fate in their hands we ended with partition and one of the worse genocide in histories, 3 lawyers Jinnah , Gandhi and Nehru kept fighting on principles as the lawyers are trained to be and we entered into holocaust which now has a nuclear aspect.

Taliban in Long March

Taliban in Long March

Our great secular, democratic and progressive lawyers started a movement to make us enter into the utopia of modernism by boycotting the general election. “Justice”, “Justice” and “Justice” they cried, and made “Justice” the main issue of our national agenda. The prophets of democracy and constitution boycotted the parliament and refused to accept a constitutional amendment to solve the “justice” crisis. The stalwarts of legacy of Muhammed Ali Jinnah , started a long march with dherna [sit in] , the former was legacy of Communism and later was the tactic of Gandhi. Muhammed Ali Jinnah whom these people converted into an idol for their struggle never did a long march or dherna against the British, he preferred to deliver speeches in parliament and argue cases in courts. He never refused to plead a case in colonial courts saying “these courts are illegitimate”. That’s what Bhagat Singh [communist] and congressites use to do. Our lawyers were following him boycotting parliaments and courts. It was Gandhi which did a long march against the British, the famous “salt march” as it has become immortalized in history.

They wanted the court and justice of their liking and they got it by power. The prophets of constitutionalism actually got the “principle of power” approved they encouraged civil disobedience and snuffed out the illusion of state’s power. The dawn of justice came with the shameful collaboration with ISI , CIA and General Kiyani. One of the greatest ironies of history will be that a movement which was called nationalist and democratic resulted in re-establishing the principle of Army intervention in civil-political matters and encouragement of direct foreign involvement in Pakistani internal affairs.

a_nation_will_come-fromeastJustice is what Sufi Muhammed cries, he also wants his own justice, his own courts, his own law just as our lawyers wanted. Our lawyers forced the government by power of Army and civil disobedience of Punjabi bureaucracy. Sufi Muhammed has forced ANP with guns and inactivity and failure of Pak Army in Swat.

It’s the same principle at work here which our secular progressives established. The principle of power. Black is the color of flags of Sufi Muhammed and Black is the colour of his turban. For 2 years lawyers in the black robes dictated the national agenda. When the greatest looming threat to Pakistan was Islamic Fascism, Benazir Bhutto had fallen a victim to state agencies and its collaborators Islamic fascists, these secular priests created a smoke screen that greatest issue infront of Pakistan was restoration of Justice Iftikhar. They played in hands of Jamate Islami and PML-N who on their  shoulders demolished the Anti-Taliban agenda. These secular priests became the spoke persons of Ajmal Kasab and re-rehabilitated Pakistan Army and ISI and re-established their authority over democratic regime. Once they completely destroyed the credibility of the two parties who could fight Islamic fascism and Army, they started lamenting their concessions to victors.

They havnt said a single word against Army-ISI establishment who failed to fight the menace in Swat. All their guns are towards ANP and PPP. One wonders if PPP and ANP are such a great supporters of Islamic fascism why these two parties are the only parties being murdered by Taliban?. Why even after Nizam e Adal , ANP people are being murdered? Why Islamic fascism havnt striked Aitzaz Ahsan? Or Iftikhar Chaudhry or our English speaking bloggers whose only job is to defend ISI and condemn PPP and ANP?

Women in Black

Women in Black

They have cut the roots of the tree and now lament the lack of fruit. Before putting shame on PPP and ANP why don’t they say shame on the Army who couldnt block the FM station of Sufi or why General Shuja Pasha personally met Sufi in jail and brought him out? Why our glorious Army failed to defeat militants?

So, what tanks ANP has to fight? Hundreds of ANP activists have been murdered in Pakhtoonkhawa , when ANP was desperately giving SOS signals our secular priests were marching with PML-N and Jamate Islami who were telling the people Taliban are Patriots. So now enjoy the fruits of patriotism. The free judiciary released Evil of Red Mosque, yet another evil in black robes, The black Burqa . The great Supreme Court also re-affirmed the death penalty for Blasphemy, I once again salute Aitzaz Ahsan and Tahira Abdulla who restored democracy and justice through stick of General Kiyani and also restored our national sovereignty through Hillary Clinton and ambassador Holbrooke. My friend Raza Rumi called it “night bitten dawn”, so as Abbas Ather but this dawn is black. Black is this Dawn, or should I say Mirza Baidil Dehlvi is more appropriate who said “The night has passed but Dawn has not come”. Viva La Revolution, the Black Revolution———

Notes:

Illustration 1: The massacre of the Banu Qurayza. Detail from miniature painting The Prophet, Ali, and the Companions at the Massacre of the Prisoners of the Jewish Tribe of Beni Qurayzah, illustration of a 19th century text by Muhammad Rafi Bazil. Manuscript (17 folio 108b) now housed in the British Library. [With thanks Wiki]

Iluustration 2: Saying of Prophet Muhammed which forms the basis of alliance between Pakistan Army and Anti-India section of Islamic fascism . Translation : narrated by Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood (RA) that Prophet (SAW) said: “A Nation will come from the east with black flags and they will ask for some “Khair” (because of them being needy) but the people will not give them, then, they will fight and win over those people (who did not give them what they asked). Now the people will give them what they asked for but they will not accept it until they will hand it over to a person from my progeny who will fill this earth with justice just as it was previously filled with oppression and tyranny. So if anyone of you finds this nation (i.e. from the east with black flags) then you must join them even if you have to crawl over ice. This along with others is cited as evidence for alleged “Gizwa-e-Hind”. Islamic fascists of all creeds have therefor used Black Flags. Sufi Muhammed entered Swat with Black flags

3. Two verses form the inspiration for this post by great communist poet Zaheer Kashmiri which means “ Neither prophet hood nor the book has come from the sky , only thing which has come from sky is darkness—“ Second is by famous socialist poet Ahmad Faraz

Sub rasoolo’n ki kitaben taaq pur rakh du Faraz

Nafrato’n ke ye sahefe, ummer bhar dekhe ga kon

[Put all the scriptures of these prophets in the closet, who will read these texts of hate all his life]

Shaheryar Ali

Today I searched my old closet looking for some thing, a book which I had read long time ago. Since the last few days I have been longing to read that book again. Its Oscar Wilde’s “The picture of Dorian Gray”.

Picture of Dorian Gray

Picture of Dorian Gray

Considered a classic in English literature, the book is an experiment with the concept of “duplicity”. Just as the “Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. Strikingly handsome Dorian Gray is painted by a painter who becomes obsessed with Gray’s beauty. The portrait is a masterpiece in itself and looking at it Gray wishes he be able to remain young for ever, the wish is granted. Dorian Gray falls into a life of corruption and evil, one day he looks at the picture; instead of the serene beauty he sees a monster. While Grey was granted youth and beauty, his picture became the mirror of his soul which was sinking into pits of evil. With his every act of evil, the picture became disfigured. When Grey looks at the picture he realizes how hideous he really is and what has he become. We in Pakistan are suffering from the same “Dorian Gray Syndrome

we want to keep living in the “Utopia of Mumliqat e Khudadad”, our great rivers, our spring, our winters. Land of four seasons, the modern progressivedorian_gray_1970 Muslim democracy Jinnah created. Such is our obsession and insecurity that most advanced of our thinkers spent all their energies in charting out an “intentionalist” perspective on Partition of India. What was intention of Muhammed Ali Jinnah. He was a liberal and secular leader who was fighting for socio-cultural-economic rights of a community. A community defined by a confessional faith. Pakistan was a “bargain card” of a sort. Nehru’s and Gandhi’s refusal to address Muslim insecurities resulted in partition of India etc etc. All correct. Have any one of us ever tried to discuss the “consequentionalist” perspective on Partition of Indian. What were the natural consequences of creating a “secular” state for members of a community defined by religion? The linguistically absurd terminology we created “Muslim state” or “Islamic state”, did it make any sense to mostly ignorant and primitive “natives” on whom a highly developed colonial apparatus was being imposed with an immigrant leadership? Are muslim and Islam by any stretch of imagination mutually exclusive terms? Is it possible to be muslim without Islam or can Islam be alien to muslims? How could a “secular” muslim state exist without being evolving into a Islamic state? This is the absurd debate we are engaged in for last 50 years, muslim state or Islamic state. All abstract absurdities. Millions died in communal violence when all 3 characters of partition were secular. These were the delusions of modernity, western educated elitists leaders failed to understand what would be the consequences of their lofty ideas of secular nationalism and secular nationalism of a community defined by religion [if such a pathetic thing makes any sense] in ignorant masses. . We killed millions of Pakhtuns to defend Islam against evil of communism. Pakistan ka Matlab kiya . La Illaha Illallah. When Taliban of our country say that “this meaning” is lost and they rise to impose La Ilaha illallah on us we start lamenting ah whiskey drinking secular Jinnah. Our Constitution states Quran and Sunnah will be supreme laws of Pakistan but when Quran and Sunnah are imposed in Swat we start crying . We are so busy in our logically absurd non sense that reality has become irrelevant to us. We killed 3 million Bengalis trying to impose our “muslim nationalism”. Our state sponsored thugs are killing people but we see India’s hand. The paranoia of Hindu majority engulfing us, the remedy of which we thought was creating a Muslim state has now become paranoia of state of India. We see all evil in India. Gandhi was fascist, Nehru was hypocrite, despite both these evil characters India is a functioning secular democracy. We people of land of pure with most pure, liberal and modern leader are a failed state. No but we must keep the mantra of Jinnah’s speech and Jalal’s work on Jinnah and in this narcissism of ours we keep sinking in the pits of evil. Millions of East Pakistanis were slaughtered by our Army and Jamate Islami, we have never seek justice for them. Now Baluchiis are being butchered, silently as state has learned more. We are drunk on “sharab e tahoora”, lecturing other countries how to behave. Islamic fascism our joint venture with United States of America to provide us with “strategic depth” against the “evil Hindu” India has eroded our very roots, but we want to keep denying our evil deeds. Few days’ back Nadra Naipaul’s brother was shot dead. He was a General. The reason it appears to hush up the “deals” GHQ had with Taliban. None of our great prophets of “constitutionalism” and “Rule of Law” have even spoken a single line to demand at least an 

The brother-in-law of VS Naipaul, the British novelist and Nobel laureate, was murdered last month after threatening to expose Pakistani army generals who had made deals with Taliban militants.

Major-General Faisal Alavi, a former head of Pakistan’s Special Forces, whose sister Nadira is Lady Naipaul, named two generals in a letter to the head of the army. He warned that he would “furnish all relevant proof”.

Aware that he was risking his life, he gave a copy to me and asked me to publish it if he was killed. Soon afterwards he told me that he had received no reply.

“It hasn’t worked,” he said. “They’ll shoot me.

Four days later, he was driving through Islamabad when his car was halted by another vehicle. At least two gunmen opened fire from either side, shooting him eight times. His driver was also killed.

This weekend, as demands grew for a full investigation into Alavi’s murder on November 18, Lady Naipaul described her brother as “a soldier to his toes”. She said: “He was an honourable man and the world was a better place when he was in it.”

It was in Talkingfish, his favourite Islamabad restaurant, that the general handed me his letter two months ago. “Read this,” he said.

General Alavi and Doug Brown

General Alavi and Doug Brown

Alavi had been his usual flamboyant self until that moment, smoking half a dozen cigarettes as he rattled off jokes and gossip and fielded calls on two mobile phones.

Three years earlier this feted general, who was highly regarded by the SAS, had been mysteriously sacked as head of its Pakistani equivalent, the Special Services Group, for “conduct unbecoming”. The letter, addressed to General Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of army staff, was a final attempt to have his honour restored.

Alavi believed he had been forced out because he was openly critical of deals that senior generals had done with the Taliban. He disparaged them for their failure to fight the war on terror wholeheartedly and for allowing Taliban forces based in Pakistan to operate with impunity against British and other Nato troops across the border in Afghanistan.

Alavi, who had dual British and Pakistani nationality, named the generals he accused. He told Kayani that the men had cooked up a “mischievous and deceitful plot” to have him sacked because they knew he would expose them.

“The entire purpose of this plot by these general officers was to hide their own involvement in a matter they knew I was privy to,” he wrote. He wanted an inquiry, at which “I will furnish all relevant proof/ information, which is readily available with me”.

I folded up the letter and handed it back to him. “Don’t send it,” I said. He replied that he had known I would talk him out of it so he had sent it already. “But”, he added, “I want you to keep this and publish it if anything happens to me.”

I told him he was a fool to have sent the letter: it would force his enemies into a corner. He said he had to act and could not leave it any longer: “I want justice. And I want my honour restored. And you know what? I [don’t] give a damn what they do to me now. They did their worst three years ago.”

We agreed soon afterwards that it would be prudent for him to avoid mountain roads and driving late at night. He knew the letter might prove to be his death warrant.

Four days after I last saw him, I was in South Waziristan, a region bordering Afghanistan, to see a unit from the Punjab Regiment. It was early evening when I returned to divisional headquarters and switched on the television. It took me a moment to absorb the horror of the breaking news running across the screen: “Retired Major General Faisal Alavi and driver shot dead on way to work.”

The reports blamed militants, although the gunmen used 9mm pistols, a standard army issue, and the killings were far more clinical than a normal militant attack.

The scene at the army graveyard in Rawalpindi a few days after that was grim. Soldiers had come from all over the country to bury the general with military honours. Their grief was palpable. Wreaths were laid on behalf of Kayani and most of the country’s military leadership.

Friends and family members were taken aback to be told by serving and retired officers alike that “this was not the militants; this was the army”. A great many people believed the general had been murdered to shut him up.

I first met Alavi in April 2005 at the Pakistan special forces’ mountain home at Cherat, in the North West Frontier Province, while working on a book about the Pakistani army.

He told me he had been born British in Kenya, and that his older brother had fought against the Mau Mau. His affection for Britain was touching and his patriotism striking.

In August 2005 he was visiting Hereford, the home of the SAS, keen to revive the SSG’s relationship with British special forces and deeply unhappy about the way some elements of Pakistan’s army were behaving.

mehsudHe told me how one general had done an astonishing deal with Baitullah Mehsud, the 35-year-old Taliban leader, now seen by many analysts as an even greater terrorist threat than Osama Bin Laden.

Mehsud, the main suspect in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto late last year, is also believed to have been behind a plot to bomb transport networks in several European countries including Britain, which came to light earlier this year when 14 alleged conspirators were arrested in Barcelona.

Yet, according to Alavi, a senior Pakistani general came to an arrangement with Mehsud “whereby – in return for a large sum of money – Mehsud’s 3,000 armed fighters would not attack the army”.

The two senior generals named in Alavi’s letter to Kayani were in effect complicit in giving the militants free rein in return for refraining from attacks on the Pakistani army, he said. At Hereford, Alavi was brutally frank about the situation, said the commanding officer of the SAS at that time.

“Alavi was a straight-talking soldier and some pretty robust conversations took place in the mess,” he said. “He wanted kit, skills and training from the UK. But he was asked, pretty bluntly, why the Pakistani army should be given all this help if nothing came of it in terms of getting the Al-Qaeda leadership.”

Alavi’s response was typically candid, the SAS commander said: “He knew that Pakistan was not pulling its weight in the war on terror.”

It seemed to Alavi that, with the SAS on his side, he might win the battle, but he was about to lose everything. His enemies were weaving a Byzantine plot, using an affair with a divorced Pakistani woman to discredit him.

Challenged on the issue, Alavi made a remark considered disrespectful to General Pervez Musharraf, then the president. His enemies playeda recording of it to Musharraf and Alavi was instantly sacked.

His efforts to clear his name began with a request that he be awarded the Crescent of Excellence, a medal he would have been given had he not been dismissed. Only after this was denied did he write the letter that appears to many to have sealed his fate.

It was an action that the SAS chief understands: “Every soldier, in the moment before death, craves to be recognised. It seems reasonable to me that he staked everything on his honour. The idea that it is better to be dead than dishonoured does run deep in soldiers.”

Alavi’s loyalty to Musharraf never faltered. Until his dying day he wanted his old boss to understand that. He also trusted Kayani implicitly, believing him to be a straight and honourable officer.

If investigations eventually prove that Alavi was murdered at the behest of those he feared within the military, it may prove a fatal blow to the integrity of the army he loved.

Britain and the United States need to know where Pakistan stands. Will its army and intelligence agencies ever be dependable partners in the war against men such as Mehsud?

James Arbuthnot, chairman of the defence select committee, and Lord Guthrie, former chief of the defence staff, were among those who expressed support this weekend for British help to be offered in the murder investigation.

Inside the Pakistan Army by Carey Schofield will be published next year by Soap Box Books.

Thanks: Times on Line

Nehru’s grandson Varun Gandhi , other day spoke in a language against Muslims which shamed the legacy of his grandfather and Mahatma Gandhi. Varun Gandhi has a blood relation with Nehru but his politics has nothing to do with the legacy of Mahatama Gandhi or Jawahurlal Nehru. Mr Varun Gandhi took the line which was the line of Indian communalists before partition against which Nehru and Gandhi stood. Varun Gandhi is not in Congress but the BJP. The heir of Hindu communalism ,which existed before partition who were the real authors of “Two Nation theory”.The Hindu and Muslim communalists which are now called “Hindu and Muslim Nationalists” fashionably , are the cause of religious hatred in India and Pakistan. Varun Gandhi was yet another voice of Religious Nationalism which is “segregationist” and “separatist”. It resulted in breaking of India and the never ending conflict which plagues Indian subcontinent. War, Taliban and Nuclear proliferation are a few expressions of the evil which religious nationalism produced. Varun Gandhi mocked philosophy of Mahatama Gandhi in his speech and departed from Nehru’s secular vision. The Indian Liberal’s continuous attack on Gandhi and Nehru has resulted in slow erosion of secular-socialist values which has resulted in rise of BJP and communalism in India. Just as their muslim counterpart Pakistani liberals are bringing PML-N and Jamate Islami on their shoulders to throne of Islamabad. Time has come that people revisit the history and rediscover the evil of religious nationalism which now threat 3 states. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Following is an article sent to me by a friend JZ written a veteran Pakistani Leftist and Prof Kurt Jacobsen both of them also co-authored number of books and frequently write for prestigious publications like The Harvard International Review  and Le Monde Diplomatique it speaks about legacy of Gandhi and gives a very balanced view of Gandhi , Jinnah and others. We must stop the evil of communalism and religious nationalism weather it exist in fascist form , ie Taliban and RSS or its liberal-secular form the BJP and Pakistan Muslim League and their representatives like Varun Gandhi


SA


Sayeed Hasan Khan and Kurt Jacobsen

Mahatma Gandhi died the 30th of January 1948 at the hand of a mad Hindu fanatic. The legendary leader, also known as Bapu, was deeply tormented in those final days as he watched political power passing into the hands of those political ‘pragmatists’ who humored or succumbed to Hindu communalism, as opposed to those people championing his own multi-cultural, nonsectarian vision. Given the imminence of partition, which he had resisted with all his might, Gandhi declined to participate in independence celebrations, staying conspicuously far away from the capital.


As violence intensified, Gandhi hurried to Delhi where he implored members of the Communist Party to help him to douse the fires of sectarian hatred, to which even some Congress leaders were not immune. Among those answering his summons was Mohan Kumaramanglam, a communist who was the son of a Congress leader from Madras . When Gandhi fretted about mass killings, Mohan retorted that whatever happened merely was the logical result of Bapu’s own political strategy. Gandhi, sitting cross-legged on the floor, stood up and vowed that he was going to stop communal violence even if it cost him his life. It did, but the killing ceased immediately too. His assassin belonged to the RSS, which was banned and did not raise its ugly head again for several more decades.

When Gandhi originally arrived on the political stage there were already plenty of formidable leaders like Jinnah, Gokhle and Tilak jostling there. Jinnah carefully established himself over years in the mould of 19th century English parliamentarians, as a strict secular leader who was fighting foremost for the independence of India . When Gokhle and Tilak died, Jinnah regarded himself as the obvious successor and appears to have felt aggrieved that the position was assumed instead by that deceptively simple, loin-clothed figure.


Gandhi most certainly was a religious man, but in a radical way that transcended Hinduism. He disliked the caste system for the way upper caste Hindus exploited it. The Hindu community nonetheless was over two thirds of India ’s populace and it had to be acknowledged as such if there was to be a meaningful independence movement at all. The privileged Congress leaders, including Jinnah, were always leery of mass politics. If anything, they were suspicious of ordinary people. But Gandhi, in order to reach the masses and to unite Hindus, invoked Hindu symbols from atop Congress platforms. Gandhi as a practicing Hindu, thereby could out-maneouvre and thwart the Hindu ultra-nationalists. He was less adroit dealing with Muslims for whom the symbols he invoked were pure anathema. His call for Ram Raj antagonized them too. Jinnah, unfortunately, was accurate in his view that mass politics would bring the worst aspects of communalism to the top.


Congress itself operated on secular principles but Muslims increasingly perceived that it was Hindu-dominated. This was not true, but the mainly Hindu leadership were unable to dispel these lurking fears. Yet Gandhi forged an agreement with the Ali brothers and a majority of Muslim religious leaders to support the khilafat movement. Jinnah was sidelined, as he was the only major Muslim leader who did not side with the khilafatist. Here was a high water mark of Hindu-Muslim amity, and Gandhi with the indispensible help of Moulana Mohammad Ali achieved it. Whatever the popular misperceptions, Gandhi reached out to his Muslim neighbors in every imaginable way. When during the khilafat agitation a mob burned the police station at Chouri Choura along with the policemen inside he withdrew from the movement, which resulted in severe differences with the Muslim leadership. Jinnah felt vindicated.


Gandhi was pro-capitalist, and his principled nonviolent stance too meant that that he rejected militant revolutionary groups. He declined to support Bhagat Singh when he was arrested and hanged for shooting an Englishman. After the great massacre in Calcutta , though, Gandhi hastened to Bengal , taking former chief minister of united Bengal H.S. Suharwardy along, and managed to restore peace there. The two Punjabs, however, were busy expelling their own respective minorities. Hindus and Sikhs fled from west to east and Muslims were being pushed into Pakistani Punjab. Gandhi maintained that all minorities should be allowed to live in their own homeland. He dispatched a delegation to Gurgaon, a city near Delhi , to stop the forced migration of the minority Muslims.


The Meos community, who were Muslim, was targeted for expulsion. A Gandhian delegation was mounted, led by Mirdula Sarabhai, hailing from a Gujurat industrial family. Other members were Mohan Lal Gautam, a niece of Pandit Nehru Tara Pandit, and Mohammad Masood secretary to Moulana Azad, who told one of us this story. They discovered Muslims were being packed off to Pakistan on special trains. So they rushed to the station where they found a train full of victims about to leave for
Lahore . When their request to halt the train was rejected, Mohan Lal Gautam, a UP Congress leader, stood in front of the train and refused to move until it was emptied of its involuntary passengers.. Gopi Chand Bhargava, chief minister of
Punjab , arrived and tried to persuade Mohan to leave. Ultimately, the passengers were allowed to go back to their homes.

Thousands of them already reached Pakistan and were languishing in refugee camps in Sahiwal. Later, Chaudhry Yasin a leader of Meos, escorted some of them back to India . Today Gurgaon is no longer a sleepy town. The Meos are fully represented in the Harayana legislature and reap the benefits of their contribution to the development of their city. This all became possible because of one man’s moral stance..

Later, Gandhi asked Chaudhry Khaliquzaman, the leader of the Muslim League in the Indian parliament, to go to Pakistan to try to halt the migration of Hindus from Sindh. Khaliq sahib told one of us that he met the leaders of the government, including the chief minister of Sindh Khuruo who informed him that he himself trying to stop the flight of Hindus from Sindh but that Acharya Kirplani was urging them to migrate. Jinnah meanwhile reverted to his nationalist days and addressed the constituent assembly, pleading with them to shun religious doctrine where the work of state is concerned. The State he envisioned deemed everyone equal and guaranteed that the minorities have rights to practice their religion.

Jinnah was close to a Sindh Hindu journalist, Sharma, whom he asked not to go to India , as he needed his aid. Jinnah’s friend R.K. Dalmia had bought two English daily papers, so Sharma was likely to enjoy a secure job. Jinnah solemnly promised Sharma that he would do the same thing in Pakistan as he did in pre-partition India , which is to fight for the minorities, who now were non-Muslims. But terrible riots erupted 6 January 1948 and a fearful Sharma insisted on leaving. Jinnah arranged special passage for him. The small section of the Sindhi Hindus who were able to stay have done well, but the cream of the Sindhi Hindu community fled and Pakistan was the loser as these clever and skilled people dispersed around the world.

Gandhi often is accused of converting the Indian National Congress into a blatant Hindu organization. Yet once the Hindu majority were mobilized in the movement their religious culture was bound to seep into the organizational ‘culture.’ Despite Gandhi’s best egalitarian intentions, how could it be otherwise? Some sort of communal facade had to be allowed in order to fend off Hindu extremists. The religious political sentiment of the main community cannot help but exert its impact on any national movement.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, who was called the Frontier Gandhi, was the founder of Khudai Khidmatgar movement, which was nationalist and closely worked with the Congress. It had Hindu members but its overall culture was Muslim, even the name means servants of god. Ghaffar Khan, succeeded far more than his friend Gandhi, when he turned the hardy Pathans toward the nonviolent creed, instead of the customary rough methods they were used to settle their disputes with the government and among themselves.

Sixty years after the martyrdom of Gandhi sectarian-inspired killings occur in parts of India and Pakistan and there is no one with the moral authority to appeal to humanity to stop destroying itself in this stupid way. When Gandhi was killed Muslims throughout the subcontinent grieved for the man whom they loved to hate not so long before. Playwright Bernard Shaw said upon Gandhi’s death that one day people will be unable to believe that a remarkable man like him ever walked on the face of this earth. Jinnah said that a great Hindu leader died. He was correct, but Gandhi hadn’t left the Muslims, the Muslims left him. He died while doing his best on their behalf not as minority members but as brothers and sisters



Today in the historic city of Multan there was an inauguration ceremony of the latest book written by famous Pakistani Marxist intellectual and IMT activist Dr Lal Khan.The book is called “Pakistan’s Other Story: The Revolution of 1968-69”. This book is one of the most important texts to have emerged from Pakistan. It for the first time has put the positions of traditional left of Pakistan under a Marxist critique and has identified flawed ideology as the main reason for the failure of revolution of 1968 which resulted in emergence of Pakistan’s Peoples Party. In this event my dear friend read his paper on the book , the paper raises some important points regarding the history of philosophy and the errors committed by Communist Parties. We are publishing this paper which is an important read for all progressives from Pakistan

Dr Lal Khan is editor of Asian Marxist Review and have wrote 29 books. He was part of the revolutionary resistance against fascist General Zia-ul-Haq . Orders of “shoot at sight” were issues against him by the military high command but he was able to leave the country. He returned after Benazir Bhutto restored democracy.

Shaheryar Ali

Pakistan’s Other Story: Strategies of  Subversive Historiography

Dr Ahmad Arslan

pakistan_1968-69_bookIt’s really a great honor for me to be here today on the inauguration of the book by Dr Lal Khan. A lot has been written and said on the book which is called “The Other Story” of Pakistan. A lot have been said on the content of the book, its political importance and the narrative of the Revolution of 1968/69 but I would like to highlight yet another side of this book. What does it means in the field of Historiography and general history writing in Indian subcontinent. Not only this book highlights the “other side” of Pakistan, it in itself is the “other side” of History writing. Challenging the established discourse in history writing, not only the one which is termed as “bourgeois” but also the one which has long held the claim to be a pro people one .The book is not only a critique of events it is also a critique of history writing.

The general trends within the left wing history writing in the Indian Subcontinent have utilized Historical materialism in understanding and describing major turning points of Indian history and the associated social changes. This has been often hailed as well condemned as a ‘Marxist Historiography”. Marxist Historiography in Indian subcontinent is not a monolithic tradition; its not only the most advance methodology of history writing its also one of the most diverse. On one side it has contributed a lot in understanding the ancient history of India and has challenged a lot of European myths regarding “stagnation of History in India” and on “Asiatic Mode of Production” it has also provided the tools to understand history of forests in India and development of more contemporary schools like that of “Environmental History” .etc.

In more contemporary times the writing of history has been controversial even within the Marxist historians. The dominant school of Marxist historians in Indian subcontinent have increasingly come under an academic attack from new left historians who have demonstrated that their work is plagued by the “Nationalism” of Indian national congress. Eqbal Ahmad, Hamza Alvi and Ayesha Jalal have put forward a brilliant critique of Indian Nationalism and the history writing which evolved around it in order to legitimize it. Hamza Alvi is critical of Communist Party of India for failing to develop an independent position in India and putting all its eggs in Nehru’s basket. He is also critical of the Soviet Historians who went out of length in trying to prove the bourgeois character of All India Muslim League. Ahmad has analyzed and criticized Gandhi for “spiritualizing” the Indian politics and the analysis of “communalism” by the self proclaimed Marxist historians of India who have rested all the blame of partition on MA Jinnah . In his critique Congress and Gandhi emerge as the main proponents of Partition. Jalal has selected Jinnah for her work and demonstrated that contrary to the ideological myths in India and Pakistan Jinnah never perused Pakistan as an ideological objective rather it was just a political tactic used by him to gain political leverage.

While all three of these historians attempt to give an “advance” critique of  the more established Marxist history and politics now  branded as “Nehruvian Socialist” school from a Marxist left perspective, their critique is silent on “Muslim Nationalism” which emerges as a winner of a sort in their attack on Congress. The result is that though more advance, their analysis remains incomplete. Lal Khan first in his book “Partition and how it can be undone” and now in his book “Pakistan’s Other Story” have put all three positions ie those of Congress, Muslim Nationalists and Communist Party of India under a class critique. The result is emergence of a pro- people perspective on Partition and the later democratic struggle of the people in both nation states establishing essentially the people as “others” of States and Party. The historiographical implications of this work are:

1) What is the relationship between Party and the Working class

2) In any Marxist analysis primacy should be given to the interest of working class or the interest of Party

3) The interests of Party and that of working class is same or can it be demonstrated that at various critical turns of history a clear conflict of interest exists between the Party and working class evident by even a simple empirical analysis of events.

In his work Lal Khan has tried to demonstrate this “conflict of interest” between the working classes and the party which claimed to be its Vanguard. First of this critical point is the “Second great imperialist War” where the struggle of colonial people against imperialism was sacrificed resulting in nationalist degeneration of revolution all over the world. Second time this conflict of interest is demonstrated on Partition where all 4 apparently conflict engaged parties , the British, The National-Socialists, the Muslim Nationalists and the Communist agreed on partition of India on religious grounds. The people got genocide and a continuous communal and sectarian violence which got new and more murderous turn with the emergence of Taliban. The fact that it has been identified as main cause of state crisis and terrorism in Pakistan by even non Marxist academics like Dr Robina Saigol demonstrates its simple and empirical nature. Third time this conflict of interest is demonstrated at time of revolutionary explosion of 1968 when masses took to street and demanded end of the oppressive system for ever but the party from France to Pakistan helped the ruling classes to diffuse the revolution, this resulted in emergence of second wave social democracy in Europe and populism in colonial countries like Pakistan.

By demonstrating this Lal Khan provides the historiographical frame work for analysis of Pakistan Peoples Party as a phenomenon with it roots in the discontent which emerged from desire of the people to become masters of their destiny and the position of communists who analyzed the situation to be “non revolutionary”. Why this “distance” occurred between the interests of people and the Party? Lal Khan sees it in the Stalinist degeneration of Marxism, its conversion into a dogmatic nationalist ideology; the result was that the party instead of being vanguard of working class became a pawn in game of foreign policy wars between USSR, China and USA. Most of the revolutionary movements were abandoned in colonial countries to further foreign policy state interests of either USSR or China, weather it was Second World War or revolution of 1968.

The implications of this kind of politics on history writing have been extensively studied by academic Left wing in universities of advance capitalist countries. The communist historians as result of this turn engaged in down playing of resistance all over the globe. The rebellion of peasantry, Dalits, soldiers; trade unions in India during the time of communist collaboration have been suppressed in historical texts. The Spanish civil war was reduced to the status of a war of Artists, writers and poets. Communist historian as eminent as Eric Hobsbawm recently again repeated this position on Spanish Civil War. The movement of 1968 becomes a petty bourgeois reaction of students and lumpen proletarians with only cultural implications, ie development of counter culture, rock and pop music and sex revolution. In Pakistan it’s explained as labour unrest and part of United States agenda against Ayub Khan and China.

Legendary French historian Marc Ferro in his book ‘Uses and Abuses of History” have traced this change in communist historiography under Stalin and Mao where “party” replaced “class struggle” as the motor of history. While Marx and Marxist historiography have always understood class struggle to be the motor of history, later the position was put forward that because party is vanguard of working class, its positions represents the “correct class position” hence Marxist historiography became an attempt to historically justify various positions of communist Parties instead of documenting the class struggle. The result was this kind of history writing against which Lal Khan’s emerges as a Marxist critique.

With this Lal Khan’s methodology appears closer to Subaltern Historians who developed under the traditional communist historians but who  have put their histories under critique for ignoring the struggles of the “others” the peasants, students, Dalits, Women, Gender non conformists in developing an essentially pro people critique of upper classes as well as traditional progressives who were insensitive to natives and “others”. Though Lal Khan has highlighted the “others” and their struggles, he differs from the Subalterns by projecting his analysis into the future, thus in the book the suppressed struggle of 68 becomes essentially a symbol for a future 1968. Thus Lal Khan is writing history for the future and in this regard his work can be compared to writing of Trotsky when he wrote Results and Prospects after revolution of 1905 thus developing the theory of permanent revolution which echoed in April thesis and resulted in Glorious Revolution of 1917. Thus Lal Khan’s is “history of a revolution for a future revolution”. This in its essence a subversive task A radical approach towards history writing one which essentially links past to a future goal , A revolution which will be logical conclusion of tragedies of Partition and failure of 68.

Thanks for your patience

Dr Ahmad Arslan is a Marxist political activist and intellectual based in Multan , he associates himself with the working class tradition of PPP and is a medical doctor by profession. He has an interest in Marxist philosophy, History and Literature.

by Shaheryar Ali
The anniversary of Partition of India has gone, the unfortunate consequence of anti-colonial struggle of the nationalists , communists and socialists on one  side and the British and communalists on the other. MA Jinnah had a reputation of being a very secular leader but he is also the one responsible for partition of India on religious grounds. Year back the right wing communalist Indian leader LK Advani praised Jinnah as being secular. It caused a controversy, both sides have lost sense of proportion in examining Jinnah’s secular character. I have found this article interesting one as it tries to build some foundations for such a analysis. The mistake has been to examine Jinnah statically , either God or Satan, Communal or secular. Important thing is to analyze him dynamically, his evolution from Liberal to conservative etc and the factors that governed such a evolution . The writer is a secular progressive Indian.
The Politics of Secularism
By N.Vijay Sai

It is important to keep oneself well informed about the early political life of Jinnah to get a better understanding of an individual who was hailed as one of the most enigmatic figures in Indian politics.

There couldn’t have been a better synergy at the political crossroads of the on going Indo-Pak dialogue. When co-incidences are loud and clear, they should be appropriately recognised before they fade in collective memory. I encountered a book Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity, Jinnah’s Early Politics by Ian Bryant Wells, published this year, which stands out as the best in the current politics that were stroked out around the controversy over the credentials of Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s secularism and L.K Advani’s version of it. While Advani’s version of secularism was clearly not acceptable to his own party members and was much criticised, it has become clear in the larger political framework how the very concept of secularism is one that is still the most mis-interpreted and misused by extremist right-wing politicians to gain political mileage. It is of common knowledge that Advani is surely not an evangelical secularist that he pretends to be, one would be interested to see how these current interpretations of secularism are understood in today’s context.

Ian wells’s partial political biography of Jinnah details out the life of a great political thinker and an extremely complex strategist. It successfully manages to confound an already mysterious political character like Jinnah. This book introduces us to that Jinnah, who was the political heir to the constitutionalism of the devout Hindu politician Gopal Krishna Gokhale and the liberalism of Morley. As a person who was born into the minority Khoja community, Jinnah converted into the Shia community before entering into aggressive politics. It is a hypothetical proposition to think that he took up this conversion to the Shia community because he could not advocate his politics from the position that he was in i.e. an evolving politician from a minority within a minority. Jinnah was relatively a late starter in Indian politics when he got into the Indian legislative council at the age of thirty-five. All through out his early politics, he was strong in advocating Hindu- Muslim unity in India. This is what led to Sarojini Naidu bestowing on him the title of ‘Ambassador of Hindu- Muslim unity’.

But one needs to introspect as to how did this ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity metamorphosise into becoming the ‘Father of Pakistan’. This seems to be a huge grey area that has never been thoroughly studied by any historian and researcher. This book is no exception. Many historians have told us ad nauseum that while leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were deeply religious individuals who were secular, Jinnah and Savarkar who were atheists turned out to be figures who endorsed communal politics. It is high time we start introspecting the entire politics of that period and contextualise it. Many concepts have never remained the way they started off.

They change from time to time and it is important to recognise this change for a better understanding of the socio – cultural functioning of the nation-state. Before 1937, if one sees the political scenario, one will say that Jinnah was undoubtedly secular. The change in his attitude happened after Gandhiji joined the Congress and he was cornered. Cornered by the Congress in the late 1920’s and criticised by his own community, an isolated Jinnah left for England to practice law.

The person who was to return in 1935 was a completely different Jinnah who came back to India in the midst of Gandhi’s non- violent movement. And this time around he was not trying to fix the gap between the Congress and the League. How did this change come about? Did he feel the exercise he was pursuing to bond the Congress and the League, futile? These are some of the complex questions to which history has no answers. But after his transformation, it was not a difficult journey for him to bring about Pakistan as a separate nation. His call to the Muslims for celebrating December 22nd as the ‘Day of deliverance and thanksgiving’ turned out to be effective. From there on till the ‘Direct action day’ in the August of 1946, one can see the complete absence of his secular politics. And unfortunately this is the Jinnah that many people in India know. This is the Jinnah over which the extremist Hindutva forces pride their awareness and spread their understanding of it among the Indian masses.

Ian Wellses work is an extremely interesting document that is well researched on the early politics of Jinnah. And in the present context, it is important to keep oneself well informed about this phase of Jinnah’s life to get a better understanding of an individual who was hailed as one of the most intriguing, fascinating and an enigmatic figure in Indian politics. If one reads his speech of August 11, 1947, which was delivered to the Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly, one can sense his act of apology and acknowledgement that communal politics were extremely divisive. Here it would be interesting to ask if Jinnah was trying to get back to his earlier politics of secularism since his dream of an independent Pakistan was achieved. But before anything else was said and done, he died the next year and that was the end of understanding his politics. It will be interesting to ask questions like what if he had been made the prime minister of Pakistan in 1947? What if he had died before the Partition? Would Pakistan have been a secular nation if Jinnah had lived on?

This is not the first time that secularism is being re-interpreted. It has been done every time communal politics has taken a forefront in India. More then seeing if Jinnah was a secularist or a communal person or just a highly confused politician, it is important to recognize the tragedy that surrounds the complete ignorance of that phase of his life when he metamorphosised from a secular individual to a communal leader.

Veejay Sai is a writer, editor and a Culture Critic living and working from Bangalore, India. He has written and published extensively on Music, Fashion, Food, Theatre, Art, Film and more. He is a human rights activist and a research scholar and has worked with some of the world’s biggest social organizations. He may be reached at veejaysai.vs@gmail.com

15th August was the anniversary of Partition of India which is celebrated as “freedom” by both India and Pakistan to misguide their people. A great tragedy where million were killed and which has sowed the seeds of continuous hatred in both countries. In Pakistan situation demands a re assessment of of the concept of freedom, to challenge the official propaganda and their  historical revisionism. The only people who benefited from partition are the ruling elite of both countries , which in order to keep their rule want to continue their politics of hate, segregation and communalism.The dreams of freedom were broken soon after 1947 when people realized that it was just a change of masters.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the famous communist poet of Pakistan echoed these sentiments in his revolutionary poem “14 August , Subeh e azzadi” where he said:

Ye dagh dagh Ujala , Ye Shub guzedda shaher

Intazar tha jis ka , ye wu shaher tu nahi!!

The tragedy of partition has been lamented by all progressive writers, Manto’s Toba Tek Singh” has acquired an epic status in this respect. In this age of confusion and capitalistic right wing media invasion, we must keep our ideology and ideas clear. Dr Mubarak Ali, the eminent Pakistani historian  has published a brilliant article which was published in  the Daily Dawn on 14th August 2008.  He asks a simple question, should we celebrate independence or mourn it?

 Changing concept of independence By Mubarak Ali

FOR 61 years, Pakistan has been celebrating its independence. However, with the passage of time the concept of independence has changed for us.

It is no more the same as it was before. For example, under the British Raj, when the people of the Indian subcontinent were fighting against foreign rule, the colonial documents referred to the resistance movements challenging the rulers as “rebellions against the legitimate government”.

The uprising of 1857 was termed by the British as a mutiny and not a war of independence against their rule. By denying the legitimacy of resistance movements, the colonial government sought to justify its harsh and oppressive policies against them. However, after 1857, the emergence of nationalism and the struggle of political parties to win their basic rights changed the political perception of the people. These movements became a national struggle against colonial hegemony.

As democratic methods such as demonstrations, strikes, agitations and picketing were adopted, the British stopped calling them rebellions or insurgencies and accepted them as a political struggle.

The national struggle, which united the people of the subcontinent irrespective of their religion and caste, was an expression of their sentiments to win freedom from colonial bondage. It was a symbol of unity. A joint struggle for freedom. The national struggle, however, came to be divided when the All India Muslim League drifted away from national politics and raised the slogan of two nations and demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims.

After Partition, in Pakistani historiography, the role of the national struggle against colonialism has been downplayed and the ‘Pakistan Movement’ has received more importance. The major achievement of this movement was not only its success in ridding India of British rule but also liberating Muslims from the domination of the Hindu majority. Therefore, the Pakistan Movement became more anti-Hindu than anti-British.

How did the concept of independence change after Partition? This can be traced from the historical developments in Pakistan. The first case was that of East Pakistan. Just after 1947, the Bengalis complained about the arrogant behaviour of the West Pakistani bureaucrats who were posted there and treated the locals as their subject. These grievances accumulated until 1971 when Bangladesh split from Pakistan and declared its independence. In Bangladeshi historiography, the concept of Pakistani independence of 1947 has no place. Instead it contains a historical narration about ‘the war of liberation’ from Pakistan.

On the other hand, the independence of Pakistan soon disillusioned the small provinces which were forced to forget their regional identity and absorb it in a national one. There was strong reaction against this policy, which further strengthened the provinces’ strong resistance to a powerful centre and its institutions. The establishment of One Unit in 1955 was viewed as a step to eliminate regional identity. The result was that they lost faith in democracy and G.M. Syed even went to the extent of declaring that for Sindh it was a useless system because the Sindhis could not come to power in the presence of the Punjabi majority.

It was the same argument which was presented by the Muslim leadership in India — namely, that the Muslims of India, as a minority, could not get their political rights, therefore, democracy was not an appropriate political system. On the basis of this argument, they demanded a separate homeland. So, in Sindh slogans were raised for ‘Sindhudesh’, a separate homeland where the Sindhis could have freedom to handle their own affairs.

The nationalist elements of Sindh are not happy with the present political situation and seek autonomy if not separation for their province. The case of Balochistan is very critical because the Baloch leadership was betrayed again and again by the Pakistani ruling classes. Their resistance movements were crushed brutally and their leaders were imprisoned, tortured and assassinated. Finding no solution within Pakistan, the Baloch have been raising the slogan, ‘Liberation of Balochistan’. To them the concept of independence is no more relevant.

The situation in the tribal areas of the NWFP is also changing rapidly and they are drifting away from the national mainstream.

When the question of independence is raised in any society, we find institutions and groups of people demanding freedom from the clutches of coercive institutional authorities. For example, there is a strong movement for the independence of the judiciary because judges have played a role in legitimising all military dictators. The ruling classes are not in favour of an independent judiciary because it would be a check on their misuse of power. However, the movement has become popular and gained the support of the people. But it appears that there is little hope of the judiciary becoming independent in view of the betrayal by the politicians.

There are other groups and parties that are struggling for their independence. For example, haris or peasants who are languishing in the private jails of the landlords who have set up these jails in blatant violation of the laws. It is their basic right to be free. They are helpless and are at the mercy of their tormentors. The same is the case with women, domestic workers and other subordinate classes. They all want their independence and freedom.

So, the question is: who benefited from independence? The simple answer is that the elite and the privileged classes who are free to exploit the people and squander the resources of the state. To them, the concept of independence is the freedom to do what they like. In the absence of law and order, industrialists, feudal lords, smugglers and the crime mafia are free to fleece people, be involved in all sorts of illegal business and collect money and take it away outside the country.

For them, Pakistan is a paradise. They are happy to celebrate Independence Day. But to the common man who is suffering in poverty and misery, whose children have no access to education, who has no security against lawlessness, or medical facilities in case of illness, or financial support when he loses his job, the question remains: should he celebrate independence or mourn it?