On September 27, 2021, the pro-Al-Qaeda Al-Firdaws Foundation released a nine-minute Bengali-language video featuring an audio recording of Maulana Saeed Yusuf, an Islamic cleric from northeastern India’s Assam State, titled “Assam and Muslims of the Entire Subcontinent: Do Not Forget the Victim Muslims!” Yusuf claims that Muslims in Assam and throughout India are being massacred by Hindu nationalists and urges Indian Muslims to reject secularism and nationalism and defend themselves by preemptively striking “Hindu extremists” and supporting the jihad in Kashmir. This is on the spur of the moment that has given rise to heightened tension between India and Pakistan.
Another on the spur of the moment is the video of Makhan Lal Bindroo’s daughter. She is ferocious in asserting that she has read the Quran and she being educated can face the truth of the moment and the slayer of her father cannot! In speaking out the truth she also strikes with her left hand her bicep of the right arm. An orphan’s feelings are remarkable and cogent.
This is as far as the statement goes
But the ideal will persist after this hurly-burly confusion is cleared because the noble sentiments would prevail. Those who speak on the spur of the moment need a deeper understanding of what Abul Ala Mawdudi says spontaneously:
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other places of 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. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of the state. go to you are free to go to your temple. You are free to go to…”
As of now October 7, 2021, this is an extreme view of what happened on September 23, 2021. Muslims of the subcontinent know what is not in their domain. Still, they are aware of the refugee problems. If they are not in government, they also are not in a hurry to disturb any other issue and create problems for the refugees. No one is espousing the cause of refugees and knows what can be done through tolerance and creating an educated atmosphere to solve problems.
To this end, it is necessary to recall what MA Jinnah had said extempore on August 11, 1947: “you are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in the state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the State…We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of the state…and you will find that in 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.”
“It is because of the sacrifices of the Myanmar Muslims that the ummah is waking up and we are seeing this new awakening among the Muslims of the world. All Muslims of the world must unite for this cause. We have to do something. And do it urgently. Myanmar’s soil is earnestly waiting for the thumping sound of the footsteps of the conquerors,” Mr. Azhar wrote. Rohingya refugees, Assam refugees and Afghan refugees pose problems of seeking help as a matter of their survival. Neighboring countries that have a sizable Muslim population are obliged to help them. Thanks to the leaders with a conscience and sense available Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, etc, are likely to give their attention to the problems.
This is the sober realization and obligation to do the needful
The leaders of India and Pakistan are mired in the quagmire of the past and are not able to rise above petty considerations.
It is again stasis time in the troubled relations between India and Pakistan. We have again come back to the point where we started. Almost like conjoined twins, both of us cannot seem to move away without the other following in tandem. As in the case of the nuclear tests; when India conducted the tests in May 1998, Pakistan followed suit. Time and again both countries have taken parallel routes.
This parallelism affects even the foreign dignitaries dealing with the two countries. So, when British Foreign secretary Jak Straw visits New Delhi, he has to follow it up with a tour to Islamabad. The same with terrorist attacks. If there is a bomb blast in Kashmir, one can also read about a blast in Karachi. India and Pakistan are united and set apart in both suffering and jingoist rhetoric. When one side blames the other, the other returns the compliment. Oh, when will these twins bury the ghosts of hatred?
There is much that the two major countries have inherited from the British parliamentary system. However, both have evolved a distinct political ethos. While Pakistan has shown a penchant for military rule, India’s democracy trundles along amidst all the trials and tribulations. But even against such disparate settings, each political event is taking place in one country is followed with alacrity in the other. All this has to do with the tortured dynamics of the births of the two countries.
Indo-Pak Politics: Pot & Kettle
When a population sharing the same heritage and living together for centuries together was wrenched apart, it was only obvious that wounds would be left behind which have not yet healed even after over half a century. Even the diasporic Indians and Pakistani communities have not been able to overcome this trauma. Then there are those who are particularly adept at rubbing salt into the wounds.
In his influential book, We or Our Nationhood Defined (1939) Golwalker of RSS says, “The non-Hindu people in Hindustan must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential- treatment, not even citizens’ rights.” What took place in Gujarat was the ruthless practice of the Golwalkar doctrine. Or how else can you explain that even supply of ration was stopped the relief camps? How else can you explain that no condolences were allowed to be expressed in the Parliament over the death of MP Ehsan Jaffri who was killed in the riots? How else, other than by saying that this Golwalkerism in its entre letter and spirit—no privileges, no preferential treatment, not even citizen’s rights?
In the context of India and Pakistan, there have been occasions when the two countries could have made a new beginning forgetting the sordid past. Soon after the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, India had presented a list of 20 criminals to Pakistan seeking their release from that country. The list included the names of Dawood Ibrahim for his role in the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.
Had Pakistan agreed to turn these men over to the Indian authorities, a new and welcome chapter could perhaps have been written in the history of the India-Pakistan relationship. But nothing of the sort happened, instead, the Pakistanis came up with a demand of their own that Home Minister LK Advani should be handed over to them for his alleged involvement in the Karachi conspiracy to assassinate Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
This was simply unheard-of, to say the least
Thus, the agonized march of the tortured dynamics of the subcontinent goes forth unhindered. It is for both nations to realize that for healthy growth, the dynamics between themselves must no more be tortured by ideologies and imbroglios of the past. But the signs are not encouraging. The recent elevation of a hawk, LK Advani, to the post of India’s Deputy Prime Ministers would not have gone down well with the Pakistani ruling echelon.
They have always had a troubled relationship with Advani much the same way as General Pervez Musharraf’s lack of acceptance among the Indian establishment. What should now be given prominence is the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, who once forced the Indian government to pay back several crores of rupees that we owed to Pakistan.
But that may be like asking for the impossible, for the ground situation is getting ever more complex and intractable. The latest proposal by right-wing groups in India that the state of Jammu and Kashmir be trifurcated—a Muslim Kashmir, a Hindu Jammu and a Buddhist Ladakh—is akin to suggesting a leap from the frying pan to the fire itself. The proposal would not only justify Mohamad Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory but also add fuel to the fire that is consuming the subcontinent’s politics.
Mustafa Khan holds a Ph.D. on Mark Twain. He lives in Malegaon Maharashtra, India. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.