Second, the exchange of populations during the Partition introduced a social vacuum uniquely habitable to thugs and goons. If the aggressions of an organized few are usually enough to frighten the unorganized many in times of stability, they are enough to terrorize in times of social upheaval. Thus, self-protection alone must account for a great deal of the nonresistance. Such self-protection, while perhaps not noble, is also not a vice. Third, there was legitimate confusion over the future of the country given the erratic policy of the British government and the brinksmanship between the League and the Congress.
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Likewise there was legitimate confusion over cultural identity, particularly given that tensions by had risen to a point where extreme views had managed to win the tacit if not explicit support of moderates. Confusion is eminently permissive of ethical failure. Fourth, the incendiary quality of media coverage only hastened the collapse of good judgment. Finally, distinctions must be made between the overt perpetration of violence and the willing allowance of violence, and also between first and retaliatory acts of violence.
The original perpetration of violence is unquestionably to be condemned. But the allowance of violence and retaliatory violence are not necessarily indicative of pure ethical rot: they may just as well proceed from the gross error in judgment of people acting in anger who did in fact know better. While such errors are not justified, they are perhaps more easily understood as products of war. All five violence-begetting elements--the ambient political and social violence, the terror of an organized few and the self-protective reaction of the many, political and cultural confusion, inflammatory media reportage, the natural retaliatory impulse in the face of violence--do not in any way contradict the thesis of shared history and essential amity between groups.
For Bhalla there is apparently no explanation for the violence, short of a nihilistic conclusion about human nature, which Bhalla is loathe to make. Indeed it seems that Bhalla considers himself noble for not making such a conclusion, which the horror of the events would warrant. The only way Bhalla can ask this question seriously is if Gandhi has himself become a mythical figure of universal unification. Ambedkar, who criticized him for his support of the varna system and gender inequalities, and mainstream Muslims who were justifiably suspicious of his trading on Hindu symbolism to rally political support.workgedcari.tk
The Angst Of Failed Jinnahs
To make Gandhi into a model universalist is to take him entirely on his own terms, which is a sport for the gullible. I do not think, however, that Bhalla is merely a dupe of Gandhian myth. Bhalla says, in effect, that Gandhi represents the pinnacle of Hindu ethical consciousness, which is a pure achievement beyond its political manifestation, and so deserves to be embraced by members of all faiths as a solution compatible with secularism to the problem of communal hatred.
Because I respect that Bhalla offers his opinions sincerely, I hesitate to call them arrogant. Trying to make Gandhian Hinduism the true path of ethical universalism, and the natural handmaiden of political secularism is a dicey proposition, if only in the effort to be true to the historical record, as Bhalla insists we must be.
And even his personal ethics are not universally lovable, at least as Gandhi presents them in his Autobiography, where he frequently appears egocentric, rigid, unforgiving and exceedingly authoritarian. Bhalla risks playing into the hands of those fundamentalists he opposes. First, the problem is not that Hindu fundamentalist historians falsely construct entities called Hindus and Muslims, as Bhalla claims, but that they distort differences that do exist for the sake of creating enmity.
Second, Bhalla fails to consider that not only was Muslim resistance to the Hinduized politics of the Indian National Congress not a betrayal of India, as the Hindu historians claim, but it was a legitimate forum of resistance. Third, and perhaps most seriously, Bhalla has the temerity to attack current Pakistani historians who justify the violence of the Partition in defense of Pakistan as an historical destiny, without decrying the ways that hindutva history is currently used to justify the persecution of the Muslim minority in India--indeed without mentioning the appalling levels of communal violence in the s that such history has abetted.
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Where Bhalla positions himself as a lone ethical hero trapped in a universe of parochial fiends, and then fails to live up to the self-critical standards he expects of others, Mushirul Hasan emerges as a sober critic who clearly understands the gravity of the ethical failure the Partition played out--without self-righteousness. Hasan has collected two thoughtful, compelling volumes of literary and documentary material from Urdu, Hindi, Panjabi and English, that enable a deep consideration of the social configuration of the Partition, largely but not exclusively from the Muslim perspective.
Neither Hasan nor his collegues question that the status of the Muslim minority raised a nearly intractable dilemma in the context of rising Indian nationalist consciousness: such consciousness grew, on the one hand, as against the colonial regime, but on the other along the contours of internal cultural differences. Where the colonial status quo involved reducing all groups to minority parties, encouraging them to make their separate peaces with the British regime--gaining privelege, protection, or being ignored--Indian nationalists divided between builders of an integrated, pan-Indian coalition, and builders of a mass majority with pronounced minority exclusion.
First, the League galvanized the fears of the Urdu-speaking muhajir bourgeoisie that they were in direct competition with and mortally outnumbered by a tightly knit, conspiratorial Hindu bania. Second, it swayed self-seeking local lanndlords and political henchmen, particularly in the Panjab, by capitalizing on the electoral miscalculations of its opponents the Congress, the Panjabi Unionist Party , and by secretly promising not to enact land reforms in Muslim controlled areas.
Third, it sent pirs together with Aligarh students to canvass the countryside. The pirs, whom the League paid tens of thousands of rupees, convinced large numbers of people that dedication to the Muslim League was a religious duty. What Hasan and others call into question is how much Jinnah actually wanted partition. The secular, liberal Jinnah, according to the new thinking, was imperfectly committed, even perhaps uncommitted--but in any case far less committed than the Muslim religious right--to the two nation theory of essential cultural and political differences between Hindus and Muslims, and the picture of Islam in danger-- of, that is, Muslims as hapless victims of communal riots perpetrated by a hostile Hindu majority, of the Muslim salariat in a losing battle with the dominant caste Hindu salariat, and of Urdu under seige.
Incidentally, he was also far less committed than the Hindu religious right, which viciously attacked not only Muslims but secularists also. In short, Jinnah made a bargaining chip of the spectre of partition in his effort to make a place for himself and the League in a united, free India. For the Congress, the reverse would be true: a partition of the country would certify its control over a strong central governement.
Such control, Hasan and his corps argue, ultimately proved more important to the Congress than Indian unity. The genius of the Congress strategy was to force Jinnah to wear the black mark of division, putting up a facade of unity while deliberately pushing Jinnah toward his Pakistan. The Muslims must have the same right to self-determination that the rest of India has. We are at present a joint family.
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Any member may claim a division As a man of non-violence, I cannot forcibly resist the proposed partition if the Muslims of India really [insist] upon it [sic] My whole soul rebels against the idea that Hinduism and Islam represent two antagonistic cultures and doctrines But that is my belief. I cannot thrust it down the throats of the Muslims who think that they are a different nation.
They were now able to get rid of the demands about proportionate representation in legislatures, services, cabinets, etc The Congress then destroyed the option by refusing to accede to parity with the League in the interim government, or to a compulsory grouping of the six Muslim provinces. So it was that Jinnah remained obstinate in public and considerably more pliable behind the scenes. The scholarship suggests the following answer to the question of whether Pakistan was an historical destiny: bloodshed was the destiny of the politics of arrogance and deceit.
And so like Bhalla, Hasan believes that Hindus and Muslims in the subcontinent formed a single people, sharing a culture in which linguistic, regional and fraternal bonds crossing religious communities were socially foundational, and indeed, in which folk religious worship was frequently a fusion of Hindu and Muslim practice.
Who were the losers in the Partition? Without question it was the great majority of common people who had lived side by side for generations, and had cultivated deep attachments to land, language, friendship and a shared cultural heritage. Most were caught up in the cross fire of religious hate.
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Most were driven out of their homes and drifted from one place to another out of fear, panic and a sense of hopelessness. They were indeed hapless victims of a triangular game plan, worked out by the British, the Congress and the League without care or consideration for huge number [sic] of people who had no commitment to a Hindu homeland or fascination for an imaginary dar al-Islam. Across the anthologized material, three central thematic areas emerge: rupture, protest and repair. Though none of the anthologies is thematically arranged, these three motifs taken in a progression form a natural response to the Partition, a continuum from pain to healing.
Stories of rupture involve a basic confusion, a groping for sense and sanity amid personal, social and sometimes existential loss. Stories of protest grow fundamentally from anger, and decry human savagery, the vitiation of values, the betrayal of social contract. Stories of repair, finally, remind us of the sparks of ethical conscience that dwell in the human soul, even in the most degraded of times, and of the healing power of positive memory.
Of course, many stories include more than one of these themes. The three anthologies do differ slightly in their thematic emphases. Cowasjee and Duggal include mainly stories of rupture and protest. Bhalla includes stories of all three types, with perhaps a larger quotient of stories of repair. It should be said to the credit of all the editors and translators that their selections are, in general, literarily sophisticated as English works. The story is simplistic and specular in a literal sense: it describes events as a mute passerby might see them. By literarily sophisticated I mean not that the other stories are all successful, but that they are dramatically, emotionally, psychologically or philosophically skilled.
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Within such skill is a range of success. Many plot-driven works read well, perhaps because they are relatively easy to translate. Of the emotionally driven works, those focussing on anger tend to be more successful than those based in melancholy, which easily becomes facile sentimentality. Luckily, nearly all the stories that work primarily as psychological and philosophical studies are decently translated, particularly those of Intizar Husain.
The writer of historical fiction strives to make particular events resound with the vast catalogue of silent events, to make the writing conjure what can never be fully spoken, and historical fiction thereby validates historical truth precisely in its power to represent. Documentary writing, on the other hand, remains closely attached to particular persons, particular contexts, and achieves a sense of representation only when the person relating the events is especially insightful. When the two genres are combined, what might seem like poetic license in the fiction--for example, in descriptions of violence and crimminality--reads true to the personal experiences of the nonfiction.
But, I also see a greater Bangalore where everything is growing very fast and there is wealth all around. I see super highways coming all around Bangalore and I see the metro tracks coming inside Bangalore. This is just one city in India. You can see similar things happening in various cities in India. You just have to look at the right places,just like you look at slums to find India's poorest. The bottom line is India is growing at 7. A bigger percentage of people will be coming out of poverty in India than in Pakistan.
The question is often asked why democracy has survived in India but not in Pakistan. Here are some fundamental differences between India and Pakistan that are often overlooked: 1. India's founders Nehru, Patel and Azad lived long enough after partition to implement their vision of a democratic India free of the legacy of Feudalism left by the Brits. India could not have survived as a nation-state without the foundation laid by its wise founders. British writer William Dalrymple has accurately described the politics in Pakistan as follows: "There is a fundamental flaw in Pakistan's political system.
Democracy has never thrived here, at least in part because landowning remains almost the only social base from which politicians can emerge. In general, the educated middle class - which in India seized control in , emasculating the power of its landowners - is in Pakistan still largely excluded from the political process.
As a result, in many of the more backward parts of Pakistan the local feudal zamindar can expect his people to vote for his chosen candidate. Such loyalty can be enforced. Many of the biggest zamindars have private prisons and most have private armies. Gandhi believed that India has no choice but democracy.
India is much larger and too diverse to be ruled by an autocrat or any military, however large. Speaking about it last April, the US South Asia expert Stephen Cohen of Brookings Institution said, " But there is no all-Indian Hindu identity—India is riven by caste and linguistic differences, and Aishwarya Rai and Sachin Tendulkar are more relevant rallying points for more Indians than any Hindu caste or sect, let alone the Sanskritized Hindi that is officially promulgated".
In the Heat of Fratricide: The Literature of India's Partition Burning Freshly
Indians are a lot more patient than Pakistanis. They have been willing to endure bad governance over extended period of time. Democracy in India has failed to deliver any benefits India's democracy is a deeply flawed democracy and it survives because alternatives are far worse for Indians. Power in Pakistan has alternated between military and feudal politicians in the last six decades. Pakistan's experience has clearly shown that military generals are better ruler who deliver economic growth.
Related JINNAH’S VICTORY, PAKISTAN’S LOSS: The Poisoned Legacy of Partition
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