Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jinnah and Jaswant - Subsequent Issues

Jaswant Singh, I assume, had the idea that there will be backlash. He was thrown out of BJP, that he may not have seen coming but extreme opposition to him must have been crystal clear to him. After all, he had L K Advani's case before him who was ostracized for praising Jinnah. Mind you, pakistanis are going berserk that he praised Jinnah. Jaswant holds Jinnah 'responsible' for partition but spreads the blame on Nehru and Patel as well. (Read this article of Aaker Patel)

Amongst the unleashed discussions, is the one favourite with pakistanis - whether Jinnah wanted an Islamic state or a secular one. The liberals quote his speech to the First Constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947 wherein he said

"You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State…."
The conservatives on the other hand say he wanted an Islamic state. For instance this quote of Jinnah made in Sibbi Darbar in 1948

"Let us lay the foundations of our democracy on the basis of truly Islamic ideals and principles. Our Almighty has taught us that our decisions in the affairs of the state shall be guided by discussion and consultations."

So what did he want? (Read this article by Pervez Hoodbhoy)

As for me.. frankly, I don't get it whats the fuss all about. Jinnah might or might not have campaigned for a homeland separate for muslims. What he definitely said 'afterwards' was that state will have no business with the religion of a person. Or you think its the otherway round?

Whats the big deal?

I was born after formation of Bangladesh. I did not even see united Pakistan. The answers of whether Jinnah wanted a pure Islamic state or a secular state make no difference whatsoever on my being a pakistani. I am a pakistani irrespective of whatever opinion you hold. Even after it being split in to two.

Talking of relations of state with minorities, 'persecution' of a minority by a state on any basis especially on basis of religion is abhorrent. This holds true if the state is secular or it is theocratic.So we should be ashamed of Gojra incident where christians were killed irrespective of what opinion you hold about Jinnah's ideals. This should not happen!

There are issues that have to be dealt with in earnest. On international scale - terrorism and our relationship with our neighbors. Whether Pakistan is Islamic or secular will have no bearings whatsoever on international relations which have to be maintained as 'GOOD'. India cannot destroy us nor we can bleed India to death - we have to live together if this mass of earth is to be improved than the rest.

Locally, we have much broader range of issues to deal with. Democracy, human rights, minority abuse, corruption, ineffective government, terrorism, religious extremism, constantly spiraling downward social indicators. Poverty is killing Pakistanis. Wake up brothers and sisters! Believe in whatever you think regarding what Jinnah thought.. just don't get bogged down in it. It serves no purpose whatsoever.

My Other Post

- Prophet Muhammad vs Ghazil Ilam Din


The Chef said...

I have rarely seen any great religious text or a great political figure speaking in black and white. They always have created contradictions and ambiguity , possibly to their own benefit. and yes how does it matter now to us as to who did what in 1947 unless they are setting up some tribunal for Root Cause Analysis. We have too much to take care of.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised at how you fail to see the difference a secular state potentially may or may not make as opposed to a theocratic one. Firstly, a secular state doesnot side itself with any religion, thus allowing for equal rights for ascribers of any religion. A secular state grants freedom of speech, which doesnt seem to hold any value to Pakistanis these days. The satanic verses may not be banned in a secular state. The only Nobel Prize winning muslim scientist maynot be ostracized/ alienated from his own country. It would allow for the existence of much more moderate minds when the idea of religion having nothing to do with the state is allowed to stand and thus as an extension would shape religion as part of the private space. Reason would prosper, as opposed to demagoguery- that is allowed to be used because of the misconstrued idea of Pakistan being founded as an islamic state-, always to serve the demagogues own interest. We would stop being the "thekedars" of Islam and instead become Pakistanis. Our school and even college textbooks would stop being biased, free thought would be allowed and more so the rest of the world would stop calling us, or perhaps be a bit more reluctant in calling us a nation of religious fanatics . If you dont understand something as elementary as the identity of a nation state then you dont realize anything.

PostMan said...

Thank you Anonymous for your comment. You gave Pakistan as the example of 'theocratic' state in comparison to a secular state. Funny. Do you consider Taliban as archetype muslim?

Pakistan has horrendous laws including blasphemy laws that were promulgated by a military dictator by using/ contorting religion to further his rule. Nothing as a theocratic model. Frankly, I don't think there is any.