Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by lookieloo, Aug 2, 2013.
India's press council head calls for unification
The head of India's Press Council has suggested India, Pakistan and Bangladesh unite to form one secular country to avoid the excesses of nationalism.
Markandey Katju made his comment in a lecture he was delivering in the central Indian city of Nagpur on the role of media in promoting secularism, organized by the Lokmat group of newspapers, the Times of India reported.
People should refrain from falling prey to religious nationalist politics, Katju, a former Supreme Court judge, said in his lecture.
"We must not be a Hindu nationalist or even Muslim, Sikh or Christian nationalist," he said.
"We must all be Indian nationalists. India is a country of diverse people and couldn't be run for a single day without secularism."
Katju said Pakistan is an example of a non-secular state that becomes mired in violence after independence.
British colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent officially ended at midnight on Aug. 15, 1947.
But there followed mass migrations, often accompanied by widespread violence, as Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India moved across the new boundaries, which often split the old Imperial provinces and states between the two new countries.
Subcontinent independence movements and the region's subsequent division were described in the 1965 book "Freedom at Midnight" by U.S. Newsweek journalist Larry Collins and French political author Dominique Lapierre.
"Look at the state of affairs in Pakistan," Katju said. "They wanted to have an Islamic state but it has turned into a 'Jurassic Park.'
"There are schisms between Punjab, Sindh or Balochistan provinces. Sometimes I feel it is not a country at all but just a creation of the British to divide Hindus and Muslims. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh should be reunited into one secular country," Katju said.
The dominant religion in India is Hinduism followed by Islam with around 13 percent of the population, amounting to more than 160 million people, 2001 census figures indicate.
India's media also must share blame for promoting nationalism and labeling all Muslims as terrorists, which alienates them from mainstream Indian society.
Too many news organizations accept the validity of text messages on phones and emails allegedly from terrorist organizations such as the Muslim group Jaish-e-Mohammed or the Indian Mujahedin claiming responsibility for bomb blasts.
"This demonizes the entire Muslim community," he said.
"An email or SMS can be sent by any mischievous element. In fact, 99 percent of people in all communities are generally good."
But reality is the majority of Indians remain uneducated and steeped in communalism, leading them to vote on the basis of caste or religion, he said.
Katju is a former labor lawyer and was noted as one the country's fastest, at one time disposing of more than 100 cases in a week, a report by India Today in 2011 said.
Katju, 66, also is no stranger to controversy, despite his anti-nationalist and anti-violence stance.
In December, he said the vast majority of Indians are "idiots" who are easily led, ZeeNews reported.
"I say 90 percent of Indians are idiots.You people don't have brains in your heads. ... It is so easy to take you for a ride," he said at a seminar in New Delhi.
A simple mischievous gesture of disrespect toward a place of worship and people of different religions start fighting each other, he said.
"You mad people will start fighting among yourselves not realizing that some agent provocateur is behind this," he said.
Katju's latest comments come as the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party recently chose the controversial and polarizing leader Narendra Modi to head its campaign in federal elections.
BJP, a major Indian political party at state and federal levels, was set up in 1980 to protect the rights of the majority Hindu religious group.
Modi is also chief minister of the western state of Gujarat and is popular among upwardly mobile, urban middle-class Indians.
But his critics accuse him of not doing enough to quell religious violence when it breaks out.
Human rights groups accuse Modi of not making an effort to stop mobs from targeting Muslims in reprisal attacks after 58 Hindu pilgrims and activists died in a 2002 train fire that Muslims were suspected of starting. More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the violence.
Earlier this month, a senior member of the BJP in Tamil Nadu state was hacked to death inside the compound of his home in Salem, a city in the southeastern state.
The leadership of the BJP in Tamil Nadu claimed police haven't been taking seriously their calls for protection in the face of targeted attacks.
Let me play the Devil's Advocate
1. Linguistically most of the people of the Subcontinent speak Indo-European Language.
2. Culturally the traits of the Subcontinent are similar.
3. Genetically the Subcontinent people form a cluster.
4. Politically all these countries want democracy
5. All these countries were founded on the basis of Secularism and Rule of Law.
Is DA arguing for or against unification?
Replace the word unification with occupation
Because my sane self doesn't want it.
That could be an argument for Europe becoming a country.....or East Asia or Africa or South/Latin America.
In fact if we generalize a bit, that argument could apply to the whole world becoming one country.
Europe is already a unified bloc. Unlike Europe or Southa America or East Asia,
1. India was "partitioned"
2. The two entities partitioned wanted the same thing (secular democracy) except there was distrust/apprehension
3. For sometime pre-independence, some thought (Jinnah) Muslim Pakistan and Hindu Hindustan would be autonomous and together would be collectively called India
4. For many centuries this land has been united
5. The subcontinent is unique from other regions, and hence is a subcontinent.
6. Historically, the original inhabitants treat the entire subcontinent to be their "motherland"
Europe is not a country, however much of an economic bloc it may be.
1. British India was partitioned. There was no nation state by the name of India, what were partitioned were British territories. Just 10 years before the "Partition", British India had already been partitioned to break off Myanmar, so really, the "Partition" was the 2nd partition.
2. It was not the same thing. Jinnah & the ML believed the Muslims were a separate nation unto themselves, so there was no question of co-existence with the Hindu nation within any sort of meaningful union.
3. That was because having called themselves "Pakistan", they had no pre-partition identity if the country next door claimed to be India (with all its historical, geographical and cultural connotations).
4. The subcontinent has been divided for the vast majority of recorded history.
5. As mentioned above, every region is unique from other regions merely due to geographical proximity and the effect it has on the evolution of civilization.
6. Who are these "original" inhabitants?
Hate to attack the person rather than the article but when it comes to Katju normal rules don't apply.
Here's an article for those not familiar with Katju to put things into perspective.
Justice Katju: Retired Genius or Retarded Genius?
6. And until 70 years ago they had lived in an one single country: the British India Empire
Hindus and Muslims can be slaves of a third Party but not of each other...... there seems to be a fault line which Pakistan has constantly exploited
1. There was no nation prior to French Revolution.
2. Jinnah wanted what Nehru wanted, literally and figuratively. Even the Muhajirs, the muslims who left India for Pakistan; and the Islamic clergy has said that Pakistan/Partition was a folly with hindsight.
3. Jinnah believed that this muslim dominated region would be under him, and hindu dominated under Nehru and together they would be joint PMs of India (putting it simplistically)
4. Because no nations existed at the time. Yet by geographic, cultural, genetic, historical, mythological, linguistic(mostly), religious metrics this is one unified land.
5. Refer to 4.
6. The one's who passed on ASI+ANI genes to us and the ones who wrote down ancient texts. refer to point 4.
Appoint a neutral third party how about Italian origin Sonia Gandhi ? :taunt1:
You mean nation-states. Nations have existed for millennia.
If it is Marthandya katju, then it is another bogus idea.
When a pacifist like Gandhi failed to keep the subcontinent together as one, it would be very surprising if the Lotus Eaters masquerading as politicians and leaders of the three countries would able to lead, guide and stitch and keep the heart and soul of these three countries together!
Asking for another Holocaust once again!
Having parted, at best, we should be good friends.
Has Marthandya Katju, having read the 2014 tea leaves, switched allegiance from the Congress to the VHP and espousing the concept of Akhand Bharat in a rather sneaky way?
I totally agree with everything you have posted, Singh. The only problem is that you cannot undo the disaster of a social experiment which has been carried out in Pakistan. The Pakistani masses are a very paranoid, confused and a lost cause. I would play it totally hands off, as far as the Pakistanis are concerned. Whenever India becomes politically and economically dominant on a global scale, and the Middle East collapses after the oil, the Pakistanis will themselves clamour for a South Asian union, if not full integration. I know Pakistanis on a very close and personal level to guarantee this much.
The concept of Nation States is open to interpretation.
That is what I learnt in school, though I would not know of the modern research on the issue.
It is basically the identification of a group of people with similarities to a polity.
Take the case of Athens and Sparta.
They are basically two city states, but played a role in spawning the Greek civilisation that came about to be Greece.
Why were they city states initially?
Because geography did not allow ease of movement.
And yet they were of a people who had identity through similarity and polity as city states, and when there was greater interoperability, they became a Nation.
This idea of unification is the most absurd idea and will eventually completely destroy India. We are better off compared to Pak & BD only bcoz all these war mongers and darpoks went to these countries now brininging them back is like giving them the fruits of our own labour and convert this nation into another Pakistan.There will be daily bloodbaths on streets in India if it happened.
Separate names with a comma.