I have appended a 4 minutes video from the BBC archives along with my comments. After listening to this video, a question came to my mind, even though posthumously, why should Jinnah not be tried for war crimes?
The broken promise has a reference to the history that caused a deep impact with implications reverberating for centuries in the lives of the people within the South Asian Continent comprising of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who envisioned a Muslim state, carved out a country on seemingly unrealistic and perfunctory ideology of artificially bringing people under the guise of nation, exploiting the religious and cultural sentiments amongst the Muslim population of United India.
Readers are advised to listen to the attached recorded video clip by Jinnah on the creation of Pakistan. This clip was sent to me by a Pakistani friend, and the accompanying blog is the discussion I had with him. This friend has deep roots with India and I often exchange secular opinions about Muslims (aggression) and Hindu backlash and rightwing consolidation.
Pro-Independence Movement in India was dominated by two polar political alignments, those representing the grass roots, irrespective of religions, such as secular pan British-India based Indian National Congress, represented mostly by leaders from Hindus, Muslims and Other Religions. These were supported by regional independence movements such as Khudai Khidmatgar and Khaskars, geopolitically located in the north and northwest British India. Though the latter two were led by Muslims, they were secular and had a vision for undivided India under the rule of Hindu-Muslims.
Muslim League, collectively represented by Nawabs and Mullah’s, was formed to mainly protect the interests of smaller pockets of Muslim sultanates and religious Mullahs. It is noteworthy that Muslim League was not formed or represented by common man amongst Muslims. Muslim League exploited the sentiments of the Muslim common man, without whom they could not conceptualize the idea of Muslim nation. Jinnah and his predecessors spearheaded this ‘Two Nation’ Theory at the costs of poor and middle class Muslim. It should be noted that Muslim League is not synonymous with Muslims, and not all Muslims were in support of ‘Two Nation’ ideology. Common Muslims were misguided into this trap and Jinnah was responsible for eliminating other Muslim dominated Pro United India movements. Had the Khudai Khidmatgars (Frontier Gandhi aka Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan) or Khaskar’s dominated the Muslim community and their perspectives, Muslims would have never been misinterpreted and we possibly would have not seen today’s radical polarization dominating our contemporary national and international politics.
Understanding Muslim League
In Pakistan, many consider Mohammed Ali Jinnah a visionary and father of Muslim state. Like scores of Indians, I share a very contradictory opinion about his legacy. However, I go a step further and propose Jinnah should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Despite knowing that such separation would inflict immensely deep wounds on those directly affected and the future generations living under the shadows of such mass amputation and exodus. Despite being aware of the catastrophic proportion of human problem both materially, psychologically and ideologically, he pushed his agenda of separation from India, deceptively eliminating pro united India Muslims organizations such as Khudai Khidmatgar, Khaskars (to establish Hindu-Muslim government after defeating British ) and carved out a land for Muslim based on the religious precepts. Contemporary history speaks volumes about Pakistan as a failed state and many may know that Bangladesh, once a part of Pakistan, separated from West Pakistan after a bitter subcontinental fight secondary to exploitation and ideological differences.
A tale of two brothers
I often compare the history of India and Pakistan to two brother separating and starting on an entirely different journey. India and Pakistan, both were equally impoverished in every other way after independence. Today, India is leading in every sphere, right from human rights, vital parameters of health, industry and other spheres of influence. It dominates space technology, medicine, information technology, agriculture, engineering, including theatre, arts, culture and cinema. Pakistan, on the contrary, has become a hotbed of terrorism, crime, radicalized bigotry and regression to fundamentalism. There is no Industry, little Agriculture or Science, no place for industry or commerce to anchor and flourish.
The ideology of artificially building a nation based on religion was flawed from the inception and it has proven itself wrong after seventy years of its existence. Unfortunately, even if we presume his intent was sincere, Jinnah’s vision exists in shambles and in a failed state. First, India has more Muslims than Pakistan; Second, Indian Muslims are far more successful than those in Pakistan. Muslims in India are far better educated, socially mobile, financially rising; women are enjoying more freedom and liberty in achieving self-actualization. As a community, they are enjoying better quality of life. Third, Indian Muslims enjoy equal rights and freedom of expression as any Indian. In fact, had they been in Pakistan, many would have been subjugated for suppression.
Opponents argue citing the Hindu-Muslim riots in contemporary India. However, Pakistan too has its own Shia-Sunni riots, violence against Muhajir (MQM) migrated from British India. Time and again, Human Rights Watch has reported grave conditions and sectarian violence, targeting specific religious group as a norm in Pakistan. Shia-Sunni riots, riots and violence against Ahmadi, Hindu and Christian are a regular event, so are the attacks on Sufi shrines by Salafis and the rampant killing of Human Rights Activists. Violence here is a severe repression of the expression of human choice, irrespective of religion, faith or way of living. If there is an objective indicator to gauge Jinnah’s dream, this would be a dismal performer.
Jinnah was a highly acclaimed barrister. History can’t absolve him for the ignorance and the inaptitude of working out the logistics of moving and relocating millions of Muslims across remote pockets of British India. Of course, he showed scant consideration for the Hindus and people of other faith, who moved out of today’s Pakistan. He knew the pain from this body severing act. He ignored even his own Muslim brothers whom he so avowed to protect. He had all this analysis and was aware of the human loss. It was willful subjugation of people to this avoidable human tragedy. Despite knowing, he persisted with his plan for separation. People of this subcontinent, irrespective of religion suffered immensely. Several thousand lost their kin, livelihood, property, women lost their honor, Kids were orphaned and families lost their social milieu. With impunity, he went ahead executing the ‘Two Nation’ theory despite the several consultations with Mahatma Gandhi, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and several other leaders.
False Pretext of Muslim Nationhood
For Jinnah staying with united India meant losing Muslim identity under a majority Hindu population. It’s an unfortunate event in the history but Indian Muslims (India and Pakistan included) share a common ethnic stock with the rest of Indians, their culture is significantly interweaved with the fabric of India. Muslim, as a religion and culture, had a significant impact on every aspect of the life and living in India. It provided a dimension and vibrancy, so unique that became an inseparable part of our destiny and future. There is so little that can be called purely Hindu India. His ‘Two Nation’ theory was like dismembering right arm from left, like separating mother from father. Despite the differences, none can operate independent of the other. A common man like us should ask ourselves, haven’t Muslims lived with dignity and dominated social or a Muslim Indian should ask, would I have got better life in Pakistan than what I am living and enjoying here in India? The later question would be a better reflection and gauge to Jinnah’s vision.
Muslims always had a place in India
Currently, India has more successful Muslims than Pakistan and if India were a subversive nation, we would have not seen them succeed. I can name several successful Muslims just because of their merit and their individual enterprise, vision and hard work. In social life, Non-Muslim Indian don’t transact business with Muslims based on their religions but exclusive on the attributes mentioned before. This notion of having a different identity from Hindu India has had deeply flawed with repercussions. If these argument were to be true, Jinnah should have carved out pockets (comprising of smaller stated) within Pakistan. This same logic of creating nation on the basis of religious identity could have been eventually applicable to most ethnic grouping even more specifically within Pakistan. Just because one is Muslim, so they should coalesce to form a country provides how perfunctory or defunct logic was used for the creation of a nation such as Pakistan. Imagine a nation being created from Afghan Muslims and Indonesian Muslims coming together simply because they are Muslims.
A radical Hindu perspective
Had India been a (united) kingdom, as against the small princely states, India could have opposed those thirteenth invaders and not let them corrupt or debase its Vedic culture. Even historians have incomplete visibility over history and even if complete, we can’t revert time back to its original place. We know this better than anyone, that time cannot be relived and we respect the verdict of time and in that spirit, we accommodated and internalized a lot of cultures, Muslims being one of them.
In fact, reflecting deeply, Hindus should have complaint what Jinnah insisted, that Hindus should have a country to practice their own religion. And here we have Jinnah, whose ancestry runs from Rajputana, saying we don’t want to live under Hindu domination. It is one thing to carve out a country based on vexed philosophy and another to usher it into a successful society. In India, secularist think Jinnah is a greedy despicable, whose lust for power and hatred of Hindus destroyed this continent and changed the history of mankind forever. Yes, I repeat mankind since his vision created a cauldron of aggressive radicals. Jinnah should be tried for war crimes, hate crimes, for intently and willfully subjugating scores of people to misery and pain. In retrospect, he should be tried for the injustice he unleashed and inflicted upon the wider Indian community and his own comprising of Muslims.
The Grand Deception
Jinnah was well aware of all the consequences though varied parley with leaders, his own expertise and knowledge (and analysis) from the annals of history. He did this despite knowing that history was replete with enough evidence and he was sufficiently advised and appraised on the consequences. It wasn’t ignorance or cognitive dissonance but a cool calculated emotional hatred of Hindus and willful commission to be the founder of a nation. I insist, he did this knowing the suffering and the anguish.
He knew that this was set for failure, but he went ahead experimenting, to satisfy his greed and lust for power and the dream of being the founder and father of Muslim nation. Even today, the ramifications of that greed and lust are re-lived as a nightmare by the 1.6 billion populations of these three countries. As Pierce Brown said in his novel Golden Son, ‘Liars make the best promises’ and when those come from whom we consider father of our nation, it is purposeful deception or let us call it ‘Grand Deception’.
Read blog on Quora to understand the contribution of Muslims in Independence Struggle
Read my blog on Oil and Christian Crusaders – http://wp.me/p7XEWW-1m
Pro Hindu-Muslim Independence Movements
Pro Partition Independence Movement – Muslim League
Human Rights Watch – Pakistan
Sectarian Violence in Pakistan
Read Human Rights Report – Dreams Turned into Nightmares
Historical Map of Asia