Jinnah’s Harvest of Hatred || LIVE IMAGE

The opportunistic falsification of history has been one of the gravest and most persistent follies of the Indian political leadership and intellectual elite. We demonize and iconize at will, with no concern for facts or for reality, yielding to expediency or the fashions of the moment. So it is, now, in the current controversy over Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan and, overwhelmingly, of the carnages of Partition.

We may quibble over Mahatma Gandhi’s eccentricities and Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘intransigence’, in apportioning ‘blame’ for Partition, but it must be clear that Jinnah, and Jinnah alone among the prominent leaders of undivided India, sought this ‘solution’, passionately and often violently – witness the call for ‘direct action’ in August 1946, which resulted in thousands of innocent deaths – advocating his disgraceful ‘two-nation theory’ of communal ghettoisation. The argument that he was neglected or marginalized in the Congress, and this ‘forced’ him to an extreme position is no more a justification than is claimed by other groups that commit communal carnage in the name of present ‘neglect’ or past wrongs.

It is useful, here, to reiterate that Gandhi is, today, recognized as one of the most visionary leaders of the 20th Century, and though he now appears to inspire few among India’s own leadership, his ideas and example have catalyzed – and continue to impact on – some of the great transformations of history across the world. Nehru, too, despite his many failings and notable errors of judgment, was immensely influential, both within India and internationally. We may dispute elements of his legacy – but we cannot deny its enormity.

But Jinnah, today, is historically dead; utterly irrelevant. His vision and his legacy are fractious icons of failure, lawlessness and discord. Outside the sub-continent, few have even heard of him; within it, he is reviled everywhere but in the fractured land of his creation – and even there, more and more are questioning his bequest with the passage of time.

Did Jinnah make a grand speech about his great vision for a ‘secular Pakistan’ where he declaimed, "You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state"? Did he speak of a Pakistan where, "in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state"? Of course he did. But that was because he could not see the malignant aberration his vision and murderous actions had shaped; or because, in his dying days, he sought to confine or moderate the monster he had created.

Did Jinnah eat pork, drink whiskey and violate other Islamic commandments? Again, of course, he did. But he systematically used and abused the Islamic identity and the idea of jihad to secure his short-term political ends. British administrators record the use of the idea of jihad during the ‘Direct Action’ movement, and the fact that much of the inflammation occurred in mosques, with active participation of extremist mullahs. It is on record that Jinnah exhorted and funded Iskandar Mirza, a civil servant who resigned to foment disorders in the NWFP in 1947 on his direct command, to start a jihad in the frontier province, which was dominated by Badshah Khan’s committed and secular ‘Red Shirts’. The secular forces that existed in the Punjab at that time, moreover, found it impossible to stand up to the militant Islamist forces of the Muslim League, and to prevent or mitigate the great slaughter of Partition.
There are vivid accounts of Nehru’s acute and manifest distress at the sight of Muslim bodies after riots in Old Delhi. Indeed, Nehru’s anguish at the massacres of Partition even led him, however briefly, to consider the possibility of asking the British to resume control of affairs in the country, so that the slaughters could be brought to an end. But no such act of regret, compassion or contrition has ever been attributed to Jinnah at any point of time during the massacres of Sikhs and Hindus in the newly formed Pakistan.

The consequences are unsurprising, and a nation born out of an ideology of hatred has become the fountainhead of a universal ideology and movement of terrorism – the current and international Islamist jihad. It is useful, in this context, to notice that, despite its prominence in Islamist rhetoric, it was not Palestine that gave birth to the current movement of global terrorism. Indeed, the many other movements of ‘Islamic jihad’ – Chechnya, Algeria, the Kurds, Uighur and Uzbek – are essentially sub-national movements, articulating local ethnic rivalries and targeting their own Governments under the guise of a jihad. It is Pakistan that brought together forces from across the Arab and Muslim world into its terror camps in Afghanistan and on its own soil, to fashion this global movement of terror; it is Pakistan that created the Taliban, the Al Qaeda and the myriad groups that have ranged out across the world to commit appalling and unforgivable acts of terror.

Notice, also, that non-Muslims, who formed 23 per cent of the population of West Pakistan at the time of Partition, had been reduced to three per cent by 1991 – the last census in which minority population data was given – and are believed to have fallen well below two per cent now.
This is the Pakistan Jinnah created, notwithstanding his occasional and wavering statements of commitment to opportunistic secularism.

There are very grave lessons to be drawn from this. In the delusional euphoria that ‘peace processes’ generate, it is easy to lose sight of reality; to the extent that this is happening – and it seems to be the pervasive trend in Indian politics across party lines today – we will be condemned to pay for our folly in a manner that is too horrifying to contemplate. General Pervez Musharraf has skillfully manipulated our perceptions, our hopes and our vulnerabilities to secure the most unlikely endorsements for Pakistan’s ‘change of heart’. But thousands still fall to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism each year; dozens of ISI-backed terrorist modules are identified and disrupted every year, across India, outside Jammu & Kashmir; the infrastructure of terrorism remains intact in Pakistan; and, worst of all, the ideology of communal hatred continues to be taught in extremist madrassahs and state run public school alike, and to be advocated from the mosque and political pulpit without restraint. Some of the methods are changing – adapting to transformations in the international context – but the ends remain constant, unwavering. 

It is, consequently, imperative that we do not allow the militant minority in Kashmir – concentrated in just part of the Valley, which, in turn, is just a small fraction of the total area of the State – openly backed by Pakistan, to dictate and jeopardize the future of the whole region. We are, today, listening to Islamist fundamentalists and terrorists in Kashmir because they use extreme and indiscriminate force – not because they have reason or popular will or right on their side.
That, precisely, is the weakness Jinnah exploited, using random and excessive violence to make the unreasonable and iniquitous seem acceptable and necessary; that is the failure of that led to Partition; that, again, is the strategy, and the characteristic myopia of the Indian response, that the Pakistani establishment is capitalizing on today; and that is the blindness that is building up to another and potentially dire crisis in South Asia.

 




By - Javed Inayat

From - Pakistan OccupiedKashmir


Kashmir - #Jihad Education ?

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