- Feb 23, 2009
Pakistan : A definition
A republic in S Asia, between India and Afghanistan: formerly part of British India; known as West Pakistan from 1947–71 to distinguish it from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). 310,403 sq. mi (803,881 sq. km). Capital: Islamabad.
- Source : Dictionary.com
The question of the century.
What really defines a nation? Is it defined in a geographical context as done by Dictionary.com? Is it defined by the people that make up this nation? Or is a nation defined by an abstract idea, based on speculative socio-political developments and analysis based on extrapolating the plight of one community?
Unfortunately for the nation of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the first two probabilities fail to exist. Our reality is an idealistic one, our existence was a Utopian struggle more than a nationalistic or regional struggle.
Can an idea fail? Is a man made idea too holy to discredit? These are some of the questions that can get you a public beating or at least a cringe-worthy meme or two if you happen to be realist political analyst of slight fame.
But you can't always question the idea, too. Sometimes there is fault somewhere else. Sometimes there is fault not in the idea, sometimes there is fault in execution or general "perception" of the idea. You don't always see the cogs of thought process meshing together to churn out an idea that can change the lives of millions of people for better or worse. You can't question the intentions, but yes, you can analyse the blunders in judgements during or after the idea was getting a C-section.
Like any invention of man, the best description of the "Invented" can only be given by the "Inventor". The sad thing about this nation is that we got entangled so much in trying to market how wonderful the product was that we forgot what the product really was supposed to do. Whether it was done intentionally or this fact was a product of negligence is another debate.
To dissect the concept that is Pakistan is going back to 11th August, 1947. No matter how much Iqbal is quoted in determining the direction Pakistan ideologically had to go after independence, you cannot ignore Mr. Jinnah's presidential address to the inaugural constituent assembly of Pakistan. It logically "should have" become the foundation of a Pakistani state, but logic is something that has been at large in this region, an escaped convict, a nuisance for the sanctity of the State of Pakistan as envisioned by our Pakistan Studies courses and our gloriously Holy constitution.
I know there are people who do not quite agree with the division of India and the partition of the Punjab and Bengal. Much has been said against it, but now that it has been accepted, it is the duty of everyone of us to loyally abide by it and honourably act according to the agreement which is now final and binding on all. But you must remember, as I have said, that this mighty revolution that has taken place is unprecedented. One can quite understand the feeling that exists between the two communities wherever one community is in majority and the other is in minority. But the question is, whether it was possible or practicable to act otherwise than what has been done, A division had to take place. On both sides, in Hindustan and Pakistan, there are sections of people who may not agree with it, who may not like it, but in my judgement there was no other solution and I am sure future history will record its verdict in favour of it. And what is more, it will be proved by actual experience as we go on that was the only solution of India's constitutional problem. Any idea of a united India could never have worked and in my judgement it would have led us to terrific disaster. Maybe that view is correct; maybe it is not; that remains to be seen.
This is one of the most interesting and thought provoking bits of that famous speech. These bits are interestingly left out of every mention of that speech. Everything nowadays taught to impressionable teenagers is contrary to the words of the man on all the cash. It busts a lot of myths about Pakistan as envisioned by Jinnah.
Myth # 1 : Pakistan was a unanimous Muslim demand. It might've been a majority idea in some parts of the subcontinent, but as Jinnah points out, it was far from getting unconditional love from people on both sides of the border.
Myth # 2 : Pakistan is something Holy, and talking about any post-British sub-continent without a Pakistan in it is blasphemous and punishable by death. It might've been a great idea to many people. But it was far from divine intervention. An inventor is hopeful, but you have to deal with ideas in a very realistic manner. Jinnah knew it was an idea that could go either way. "Maybe that view is correct; maybe it is not; that remains to be seen." Jinnah just casts a mortal doubt to the concept of Pakistan in his very speech. It is not something holy or divine. It is an idea conceived by a mortal man. Jinnah being a realist, was smarter and greater than most of the propaganda baboons who wrote our textbooks, he realized the weight of the task he was about to undertake, of the possibility of failure. It shows Jinnah wasn't blinded by success, but burdened by the responsibility of undertaking something he cannot undo if it becomes a blunder (that it kind of is now).
What Jinnah goes onto state next just falsifies Pakistan's reality as an Islamic Republic and discredits the Halwa Raj since Zia.
I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free people long long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls in subjection; nobody could have conquered you, and even if it had happened, nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time, but for this. Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know, history shows that in England, conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State. The people of England in course of time had to face the realities of the situation and had to discharge the responsibilities and burdens placed upon them by the government of their country and they went through that fire step by step. Today, you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen of Great Britain and they are all members of the Nation.
Jinnah goes onto give some of the most important and historical lessons for any country struggling to make a mark in the world. It's a pity that this isn't taught anywhere.
Lesson # 1 : Pakistan cannot be defined by religion. "Just deal with it bitches". If pieces of land are defined by religious affiliations, nations fail. Jinnah goes onto state that the reason for British Raj was religious discrimination. Ladies and gentlemen, the father of our great nation, the person living in that time, differs from the authors of our textbooks. Our textbooks defame Hindus for conniving with the British to take some sort of revenge by helping the British to power. But the father of our Nation doesn't do that. Strange. I guess authors in the Education boards know better. Jinnah blames divisions, both on part of Muslim community and Hindu community and now after independence, he asks these people to move on. To not become like you used to be before. Little did he know.
Lesson # 2 : "You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State." This sentence lays the foundation of the concept of "Separation of Church and State". It lays the foundation that declaring the State of Pakistan, an Islamic Republic, was never the intention of the founders. After the Independence of Bangladesh, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto laid the precedence for state interference in religious matters my amending the Holy Constitution of 1973 to declare Ahmedis non-muslims and also to define the term "Non-Muslim". It is something I attributed for a large part to Zia, but little did I know. Strange legislation from someone who drank pretty casually. Hypocrisy? Let's not go there. But Bhutto just went against Jinnah. Now let's sit down and debate who has more say in what Pakistan should and shouldn't be.
Lesson # 3 : "We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish." This is also an interesting part. Although it comes first in the overall topic, I left it for last because it is important to understand the wisdom and insight Jinnah had on issues related to minorities and how right he was. Summing up, Jinnah basically says, if you can't live in peace with Hindus, soon you will come to realize the differences among the Muslim community and be equally intolerant among yourself. Shia and Sunni divide will grow, Punjabi and Pathan divide will grow. It will be a product of your overall intolerance. Because there is no limit to the stupidity of fighting for an identity, when that identity is not your Nation. And this has happened. The Hindu Muslim fight has evolved to a Shia Sunni fight and that in turn has evolved to a regional Punjabi, Mohajir, Sindhi, Pathan fight. He also foresaw the intolerance will lead to a Bengali, rest of Pakistan divide. What brilliant and hair-raisingly perfect analysis, sadly.
Lesson # 4 : "Amreeka ki Ghulami Na Manzoor?" Simple, stop the ----ing intolerance you dumb pieces of shit.
It's sad and hilarious, everything Jinnah said in his speech on 11th August, has been shown the middle finger by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan of today. Does it mean that the idea was flawed? The idea was ----ing brilliant in all it's sense. It was revolutionary. It was the greatest foundation a state could get. What happened? Well Pakistan was, is and will remain a KKG(Obscene Urdu version of Bad Luck Brian). Jinnah could not live long enough to make sure Pakistan stays true to Jinnah's ideals. We study Jinnah, the inventor, extensively, yet every Government authorised publication fails to mention the User Guide written by the inventor. It's like we open a manual, take the manufacturer profile, and toss the manual down the drain. A flawed idea it may not be if taken in context of the speech of Jinnah, but certainly a botched execution. Somewhat like Misbah's shot in the World Cup final. Great idea, poor execution.
It's sad to read the speech and think what the state could've been.
"Maybe that view is correct; maybe it is not; that remains to be seen."
Dear Jinnah, as of 2013, we are losing, the Halwa is winning.
Pakistan : A-definition — whispersofatraitor.wordpress.com — Readability