Celeberating Pakistan Resolution of 1940

As Pakistanis celebrate Pakistan Day today, March 23, 2013,  there are some who are questioning the founder's wisdom in seeking partition of India to carve out Pakistan as an independent nation.  They do not recognize today's Pakistan as Jinnah's Pakistan. The doubters justifiably point to the rising tide of intolerance and increasing violence and  a whole range of problems and crises Pakistan is facing. Many in the  oppressed Shia community wonder aloud if it was a mistake to demand a separate country for Muslims of undivided India.


 
Wax Statues of Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi in Islamabad

Are the critics correct in their assessment when they imply that Muslims in Pakistan would have been better off without partition? To answer this question, let us look at the following facts and data:

1. Muslims, the New Untouchables in India:

While India maintains its facade of  religious tolerance, democracy and secularism through a few high-profile Muslim tokens among its high officials and celebrities, the ground reality for the vast majority of ordinary Muslims is much harsher.

An Indian government commission headed by former Indian Chief Justice Rajendar Sachar confirms that Muslims are the new untouchables in caste-ridden and communal India. Indian Muslims suffer heavy discrimination in almost every field from  education and housing to jobs.  Their incarceration rates are also much higher than their Hindu counterparts.

According to Sachar Commission report, Muslims are now worse off than the Dalit caste, or those called untouchables. Some 52% of Muslim men are unemployed, compared with 47% of Dalit men. Among Muslim women, 91% are unemployed, compared with 77% of Dalit women. Almost half of Muslims over the age of 46 ca not read or write. While making up 11% of the population, Muslims account for 40% of India’s prison population. Meanwhile, they hold less than 5% of government jobs.

2. Upward Economic Mobility in Pakistan: 

In spite of all of its problems, Pakistan has continued to offer  higher upward economic and social mobility to its citizens over the last two decades than India. Since 1990, Pakistan's middle class had expanded by 36.5% and India's by only 12.8%, according to an ADB report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present And Future".

Miles Corak of University of Ottawa calculates that the intergenerational earnings elasticity in Pakistan is 0.46, the same as in Switzerland. It means that a difference of 100%  between the incomes of a rich father and a poor father is reduced to 46% difference between their sons' incomes. Among the 22 countries studied, Peru, China and Brazil have the lowest economic mobility with inter-generational elasticity of 0.67, 0.60 and 0.58 respectively. The highest economic mobility is offered by Denmark (0.15), Norway (0.17) and Finland (0.18).


The author also looked at Gini coefficient of each country and found reasonably good correlation between Gini and intergenerational income elasticity.

 More evidence of upward mobility is offered by recent Euromonitor market research indicating that Pakistanis are seeing rising disposable incomes. It says that there were 1.8 million Pakistani households (7.55% of all households) and 7.9 million Indian households (3.61% of all households) in 2009 with disposable incomes of $10,001 or more. This translates into 282% increase (vs 232% in India) from 1995-2009 in households with disposable incomes of $10,001 or more. Consumer spending in Pakistan has increased at a 26 percent average pace the past three years, compared with 7.7 percent for Asia, according to Bloomberg.

3. East Pakistan Debacle: 

Critics love to point out Pakistan's break-up in 1971 as evidence of failure of Jinnah's Pakistan. They lavish praise on Bangladesh and scold Pakistan as part of the annual ritual a few days before Quaid-e-Azam's birthday every year.

Economic gap between East and West Pakistan in 1960s is often cited as a key reason for the secessionist movement led by Shaikh Mujib's Awami League and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. This disparity has grown over the last 40 years, and the per capita income in Pakistan now stands at more than twice Bangladesh's in 2012 in nominal dollar terms,  higher than 1.6 in 1971.

 Here are some figures from Economist magazine's EIU 2013:

Bangladesh GDP per head: $695 (PPP: $1,830)

Pakistan GDP per head: $1,410 (PPP: $2,960)

Pakistan-Bangladesh GDP per head Ratio: 2.03 ( PPP: 1.62)

4. Poverty, Hunger, Other Socioeconomic Indicators: 

 Pakistan's employment growth has been the highest in South Asia region since 2000, followed by Nepal, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka in that order, according to a recent World Bank report titled "More and Better Jobs in South Asia".


Total employment in South Asia (excluding Afghanistan and Bhutan) rose from 473 million in 2000 to 568 million in 2010, creating an average of just under 800,000 new jobs a month. In all countries except Maldives and Sri Lanka, the largest share of the employed are the low‐end self-employed.


Pakistanis have higher graduation rates in education and suffer lower levels of hunger and poverty than Indians and Bangladeshis.

Pakistanis spend more time in schools and colleges and graduate at a higher rate than their Indian counterparts in 15+ age group, according to a report on educational achievement by Harvard University researchers Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee. Pakistan has seen its human capital grow significantly over the last decade.  With nearly 16% of its population in 25-34 years age group having college degrees, Pakistan is well ahead of India and Indonesia, according to Global Education Digest 2009 published by UNESCO Institute of Statistics. UNESCO data also shows that Pakistan's lead is growing with younger age groups.


Source: Global Education Digest
Barro-Lee Data on Educational Attainment in India and Pakistan
Here is a summary of Barro-Lee's 2010 data in percentage of 15+ age group students who have enrolled in and-or completed primary, secondary and tertiary education:

Education Level.......India........Pakistan

Primary (Total)........20.9..........21.8

Primary (Completed)....18.9..........19.3

Secondary(Total).......40.7..........34.6

Secondary(Completed)...0.9...........22.5

College(Total).........5.8...........5.5

College(Completed).....3.1...........3.9



According to the latest world hunger index rankings, Pakistan ranks 57 while India and Bangladesh are worse at 65 and 68 among 79 countries ranked by International Food Policy Research Institute in 2012.


World Hunger Index 2012


The latest World Bank data shows that India's poverty rate of 27.5%, based on India's current poverty line of $1.03 per person per day, is more than 10 percentage points higher than Pakistan's 17.2%. Assam (urban), Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are the only three Indian states with similar or lower poverty rates than Pakistan's.

 Pakistan ranks well ahead of India and in the middle among 15 similar countries compared by the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010).  Other countries in this group include India, Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Moldova, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Island, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.

Poor Treatment of Minorities:

Clearly, Pakistanis have not lived up to Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's vision of a tolerant and democratic Pakistan where the basic rights of all of its citizens, including religious and ethnic minorities, are fully respected. Popular Pakistani columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee put it well when he wrote: "Fortunately for him, Jinnah did not live long enough to see his dream betrayed by men unworthy even to utter his name. He died before total disillusionment could set in (though he had his suspicions that it was on its way) and broke his heart. From what we know of him, he was that rare being, an incorruptible man in all the many varied meanings of the word corruption, purchasable by no other, swayed by no other, perverted by no other; a man of honor, integrity and high ideals. That the majority of his countrymen have been found wanting in these qualities is this country's tragedy."
 
Defying Prophets of Doom and Gloom:

Pakistan finds itself in the midst many serious crises of governance, economy, energy, security, etc. I do think, however, that all of the available and credible data and indicators confirm the fact that Muslims in Pakistan are not only better off than they are elsewhere in South Asia, they also enjoy higher economic and social mobility than their counterparts in India and Bangladesh.

On Pakistan's National Day today, let me remind everyone that Pakistanis have made a habit of proving pessimist pundits wrong. Pakistani state was dismissed as a temporary "tent" and a "nissen hut" at birth by Viceroy Lord Mountbatten in 1947. That same "nissen hut" is now a nuclear power about which Brookings' Stephen Cohen has says as follows:

“One of the most important puzzles of India-Pakistan relations is not why the smaller Pakistan feels encircled and threatened, but why the larger India does. It would seem that India, seven times more populous than Pakistan and five times its size, and which defeated Pakistan in 1971, would feel more secure. This has not been the case and Pakistan remains deeply embedded in Indian thinking. There are historical, strategic, ideological, and domestic reasons why Pakistan remains the central obsession of much of the Indian strategic community, just as India remains Pakistan’s.” 

Here's a video discussion on Pakistan:



Imran Khan's March 23 Jalsa and Musharraf's Return to Pakistan from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Here's a video report on widespread discrimination against Muslims in India:



Muslims in India by desitvonline
 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Human Capital Growth in Pakistan

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan

Rising Tide of Intolerance in Pakistan

Muslims-New Untouchables in India

Violent Conflict Marks Pakistan's Social Revolution

Economic Mobility in Pakistan

Poverty Across South Asia

Graduation Rates in Pakistan

Introspection of Pakistan's Creation

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of an Express Tribune Op Ed on youth vote in Pak elections:

Figures released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) show that a significant proportion of this year’s electorate is made up of people under the age of 35. Nearly half of the 84 million registered voters — 47.8 per cent — are aged between 18 and 35, while 19.77 per cent, or 16.88 million voters, are under the age of 26.

There is no doubt that political parties are aware of this sizeable youth vote and its potential voting power. Perhaps, the most obvious example is Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which has targeted much of its campaigning at young people over the last two years. It has a greater online presence than the other, more established parties, using Facebook and Twitter to disseminate information and engage supporters. PTI campaign material also places emphasis on the concerns of disillusioned youth, pledging to build a better economic environment with more job opportunities. These efforts have been reflected in its pubic rallies, largely populated by young people. While the PTI — a relatively new entrant to the political scene — has an obvious interest in utilising the youth vote to challenge the status quo, the more established parties have also made attempts to court the young. For its part, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has been aggressively encouraging registration for Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC). Without one, you cannot vote and many of the new registrations are expected to be in rural areas where the PPP can rely on support. There is also the fact that along with a CNIC comes eligibility for vote-winning public welfare and loans, which young people can benefit from. Meanwhile, in Punjab, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has given away thousands of free laptops to college students.

It is obvious, then, that the big parties don’t want to miss out on the votes of young people. But how important will this group actually be in deciding the election result? The first thing to note is that no one knows how these voters are going to behave. Many of them — around eight million — are new voters, created when the voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 in 2002. There is no guarantee that these newly registered voters will even make it to the polling stations and there isn’t much data available for comparison. The ECP does not collate information on how people have voted according to age group, so it is a mystery what under-35s have done in past elections. Certainly, the influx of new voters didn’t have much impact on the status quo in either the 2002 or 2008 elections. This lack of information makes it difficult to predict the future with any accuracy.
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The political parties may all be engaging with youth when it comes to winning votes, but after the next government has been formed, whoever emerges victorious would do well to focus on the things that will actually keep this young population happy, productive and engaged with society. Rather than free computers or welfare handouts, the only things that will make a difference in the long term are education, economic development and the jobs that go with it.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/525778/pakistans-youth-bulge/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an ET blog post by Paul Keijzer,a Dutch resident of Karachi:

It has been ten awesome years since I started working and living in Karachi, Pakistan. It’s a strange realisation that I have never lived longer in any other place my whole life.

I arrived in March of 2003.

It was the start of the Iraq war and one can only imagine the concern my parents felt when I told them I was moving to Pakistan. Their apprehension has not faded (they get daily reminders of the horrors that Pakistan is exposed to) but they have now accepted that this is my home.

Obviously I was also quite uneasy at first, and to make matters worse in June 2003 Time Magazine ran a front cover story with the headline:

“Karachi: The world’s most dangerous city.”

The interview inside quoted one of Karachi’s most infamous hit-men. Surprisingly, it was not the interview or the murder statistics that blew me away, it was the fact that even Karachi’s most notorious hit-man had a number of body guards for his own protection.

When I first moved here, driving on MT Khan Road was a short and excruciating version of the Paris – Dakar race. The city would get completely swamped and immobile for days following a refreshing summer rainstorms, and there was just McDonalds at Park Towers for entertainment.

Ten years is a long time and Karachi is a different city now.

Despite all our complaints, the infrastructure of the city has completely transformed and life in Karachi has moved on. It remains a city of extremes, with the newest and most expensive imported cars trading places with camel carts. With high-flying socialites enjoying coffee at the newest hot spot in town and millions of people living from day to day, if not hour to hour, fighting for survival.

However, as a Dutch man I strongly believe in an equitable society where people have similar opportunities and chances, and where success is based on merit.

We live in a country where 100 million people are under the age of 25, all who dream to acquire a branded life style. Sadly, only a small percentage of them have the abilities to do so (50% of the population under 25 can’t read or write). It is a wonder that this social time bomb has not gone off yet.

Ten years living here and I have learned to love this country.

Pakistan is an absolutely amazing place with amazing people. No other country in the world would be able to get back on its feet after the numerous mortal blows it has received.

An example that will always stay in my heart was the reaction to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. In a time of great need, it was humbling to witness the compassion and commitment to help fellow citizens.

I am very optimistic about our future. With our resources, our resourcefulness, the desire to build a better life for our families, our compassion and our love for the country, we will get it right and prosper. We will elect the right leaders that will sort out our governance issues.

We will come together unite, showing the world how magical Pakistan can be, the place that I so dearly call home.

Happy Pakistan Day – Pakistan Zindabad!


http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/16591/celebrating-10-amazing-years-in-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an EdWeek report on Punjab education:

A new book written by Sir Michael Barber explores the education reforms in the Punjab region of Pakistan over the past two years, including their use of vouchers to help encourage more children to enroll in school.

Barber, who was the the head of the British Prime Minister's Delivery Unit and chief adviser to the Secretary of State for Education under Tony Blair, and who is now Pearson's chief education adviser, was pegged to create a plan for bringing about education improvements in the Punjab region by Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the area's chief minister of education, in late 2010. The plan was rolled out in January 2011 and has since been implemented in more than 60,000 schools in the region.

Under the plan, enrollment in schools has increased by 1.5 million students and more than 81,000 new teachers have been hired. Part of the enrollment increase can be traced back to a voucher program which provides the equivalent of U.S. $15 to send children of poor families to participating private schools through the Punjab Education Foundation. To be eligible to receive the tuition funds, participating private schools that teach even one student from the voucher program are required to test all students in the school to demonstrate progress.

Over the course of the 2011-12 school year, the number of students participating in the voucher program has expanded from 20,000 to 140,000. Barber predicts the program will add an additional 50,000-80,000 students over the next 18 months.

There are about 255,000 students enrolled in school choice programs including vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and education savings accounts in the US, according to the Friedman Foundation, which gave that number to Education Week earlier this year.

Read more about Barber's findings on EdWeek's BookMarks blog from Catherine Cardno, who outlines Barber's conclusions and observations.


http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/charterschoice/2013/04/pakistan_embraces_vouchers_to_boost_enrollment.html

http://www.reform.co.uk/resources/0000/0688/The_good_news_from_Pakistan_final.pdf

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/bookmarks/2013/04/michael_barber_on_education_reform_in_pakistan.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of a Reuters' report on Karachi shares market:

The market's benchmark index continues to soar to record highs -- up 10.34 percent year to date -- fueled in part by expectations May elections will mark Pakistan's first transfer of power from one democratic government to another. Previous civilian governments were all dismissed by Pakistan's ultimate power: the military.

"Pakistan has a lot to offer investors and this is our chance to show it," said Nadeem Naqvi, the KSE chairman. He plans to embark on a series of roadshows for potential foreign partners that will take him to London, Frankfurt and Hong Kong in the coming months.

Many of the companies listed on the KSE offer double-digit returns, low stock prices and resilient business models in this frontier market with a population of 180 million. The index still has an attractive price/earnings ratio of $8.50 despite the soaring returns of the past few years.

Pakistan now has a 4 percent weighting in the MSCI Frontiers Market Index and has become somewhat of a discovery for foreign investors chasing new markets and yields.

THE SEAMIER SIDE

But the KSE's spectacular rise last year can at least be partly attributed to another factor entirely - the cleansing of "black money".

The market took off last year just as a government decree was finalized allowing people to buy stocks with no questions asked about the source of the cash. Average daily volume more than doubled last year to 173 million shares from 79 million in 2011.

Authorities say the measure will bring undocumented funds into the tax net in a country where few pay taxes. But some critics decried it as a gift to corrupt officials and criminals seeking to launder dirty cash.

"Politics and dirty money go hand in hand in Pakistan," said Dr. Ikramul Haq, a Supreme Court lawyer and a professor on tax law.

"People want to be outside the regulatory framework and outside the tax net."

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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) said it found 23 violations of securities laws that merited fines in fiscal year 2011-12 (April/March). The market regulator sent warning letters in another 19 cases, it said in its annual report. (www.secp.gov.pk/)

That's a drop in the bucket, says Ashraf Tiwana, dismissed as head of SECP's legal department after years of clashes with his bosses over fraud in the market. He has petitioned the Supreme Court to replace the SECP chairman and commissioners.

"There's a lot of fraud, a lot of market manipulation ... but not enough action has been taken, especially not enough criminal action has been taken," Tiwana told Reuters. "They're just passing small fines and giving out warning letters."

Regulators are too close to the market, Tiwana said. The head of the stock exchange is a former broker and the two top members of the SECP are former employees of Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, founder of one of the country's biggest brokerage houses.

BIG DHEDHI

Nicknamed "Big Dhedhi" for his ability to move markets, Aqeel Karim Dhedhi heads one of Pakistan's largest domestic conglomerates, the AKD Group.

Lately, the well-known philanthropist and leading member of Pakistan's business establishment has been trying to fend off arrest over allegations of insider trading.

An SECP investigator accused traders, including Dhedhi's brokerage, of buying shares in a state-run Sui Southern Gas Co before an official announcement allowing the company to raise its prices. In the weeks before Sui Southern's announcement, the stock price jumped from 13.5 rupees to 20 rupees, its biggest hike in five years.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/09/us-pakistan-stockmarket-insight-idUSBRE93813Z20130409
Riaz Haq said…
A recent UNESCO report shows that Pakistan had 162 science and tech researchers per million people in 2009, a 2X increase from from 80 in 2005.

http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=3587&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=5860&BR_Region=40535

By contrast India had 152 S&T researchers per million inhabitants in 2009, up from 136 in 2005.

http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=3587&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=3560&BR_Region=40535
Riaz Haq said…
Indian Muslims make up 14.6% of India's population, almost 50% higher than the 10% of Indian-American Muslim population. In addition, every Indian minority other than Muslims is over-represented in America.

http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Demographics/Asian%20Americans%20religion%20full%20report.pdf

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21572785-steadily-rising-muslim-population-continues-fall-behind-growing-and-neglected
Riaz Haq said…
Here's BBC's Lyse Doucet on Pak elections 2013:

Pakistan can be an unpredictable place. But in a chequered history that has kept lurching from crises to coups, one event has kept coming back, with reassuring certainty - elections.

I've covered almost every one of them since 1988 when martial law abruptly ended and a people who fought for democracy directed their energies and enthusiasm towards the battle for ballots.

What boisterous campaigns there've been - massive rallies that packed stadiums and fields, convoys of vehicles snaking, horns blaring, through villages and down highways - a chaotic carnival in every constituency.

But elections in Pakistan can't be like that anymore. It's simply too dangerous. Not a day goes by without a report of an attack by one of many armed groups on a politician, or a public space, or the police.
“Start Quote

Social media provides the safest of places to argue and analyse”

I'm back in Pakistan to find out what it's like to campaign in "Elections 2013", and what it takes to win.

The crush of massive crowds has mostly been replaced by "corner rallies". Politicians travel across the land in helicopters on carefully guarded schedules, rather than spontaneously weighing into the fray.

Something has been lost. But something else has been gained. A different kind of explosion has transformed the political landscape here.

There's a dizzying array of television channels in all the languages spoken here. And social media provides the safest of places to argue and analyse, and of course to jockey for influence and joke. It wouldn't be Pakistan if they didn't.

Another chance

Many worry about "saving Pakistan" - from the blight of official corruption, growing violence and extremism, deepening divisions. That's on top of the age-old problems of poverty and illiteracy.

Everyone talks of "change". Everyone has waited a long time for it to happen. Will it come, this time, from within the parties which traditionally dominated politics or will it usher in the rise of new political dynamic?

Yet again, this is an election where people warn that Pakistan "at a crossroads", is facing a "last chance".

Despite all the threats and disappointments, every person I have spoken to - so far - told me: "Yes of course I am voting!"

Pakistan always seems to get another chance. And yet again, you sense that at least the people want to seize it.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-22356845
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Aljazeera report titled "Pakistai economy grows in spite of state":

Lahore, Pakistan - Zia Hyder Naqi started his first business when he was eight years old, turning old newspapers into paper bags in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore. He didn’t earn much, but the 1.5 Pakistani Rupees ($0.02) he made every day was enough to buy him his lunch, and a sense of satisfaction at having made something.

Today, 40 years later, Naqi is the managing director at a plastics manufacturing firm that employs 430 people, and earned $14.2m in revenue last year.

Synthetic Products and Enterprises Ltd (SPEL) is one of the largest firms of its kind in the country, and makes everything from plastic cups to the inner sides of car doors for firms such as Toyota, Honda and Suzuki, and everything in between.

Business has been good for SPEL, Naqi says, but that's not because the government is providing a conducive climate for economic growth.

"Let's start by saying that we work in spite of the government and not because of the government," Naqi told Al Jazeera. "It really means that we have to struggle. We compete against the best in the world."

Power cuts

Pakistan suffers from a raft of economic problems - spiraling inflation and unemployment, a chronic energy crisis, a lack of implementation of existing policies and an unstable investment environment, owing to the country’s tense security situation.

Primary among those difficulties, Naqi says, is the issue of power cuts - or load-shedding, as it is referred to in Pakistan.

"Our reliability is affected when we have load-shedding, because we don't know when power will arrive and go. So we have to create back-ups, which means that the cost of operations goes up. It affects morale, it affects our work, it affects our delivery, it affects our customers. [It affects] the cost at which we deliver, and how competitive or uncompetitive we become to the customer," he says, estimating that the cost of putting in those back-up system raises the overall cost of his products by as much as 10 percent.

Last year, Naqi’s firm spent an extra $1.2m on putting back-up generators into place, fuelling them and paying for their general upkeep, as opposed to taking electricity off the grid. Moreover, he says, that $1.2m is a sunk cost, as it is not being invested into productive processes. The result: it’s harder for Pakistan’s products to compete in the international market, as the cost of producing electricity pushes firms into a loop of spiraling costs and being unable to further invest in new technologies.

Pakistan’s electricity woes, analysts say, are a result of industrial growth outstripping the pace of growth in generation, and a woefully maintained distribution system that results in line losses of around 20 percent At its peak last summer, the country’s electricity shortfall was a staggering 8,500MW - about 40 percent of the country’s total generation capacity (not counting transmission losses)
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Meanwhile, far from the think tanks and policy committees, the entrepreneurial spirit of the eight-year-old Naqi is still alive and well. Over the last month, dozens of shops have sprung up all over Lahore, selling elections campaign-related merchandise - everything from pins and badges (for about $0.40 each) to gigantic flags ($2.44), from T-shirts ($3.05) to stuffed soft toys in the shape of party election symbols.

"With the amount of money that I’m making right now," says Muhammad Imran, 30, the owner of one such shop, "we could have built a whole bridge!"
....


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/05/201358163114782192.html
Riaz Haq said…
According to World Values Survey done by two Swedish researchers, India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong by far the least tolerant.

In only three of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40 percent of respondents said they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5 percent of Indians, 51.4 percent of Jordanians and an astonishingly high 71.8 percent of Hong Kongers and 71.7 percent of Bangladeshis.

Unfortunately, the Swedish economists did not include all of the World Values Survey data in their final research paper. So I went back to the source, compiled the original data and mapped it out on the infographic above. In the bluer countries, fewer people said they would not want neighbors of a different race; in red countries, more people did.

Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier. Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/15/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-racially-tolerant-countries/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Dhaka Tribune report comparing Bangladesh, India and Pakistan:

South Asia is one of the fastest growing regions of the world and is home to one-fifth of the global population. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the three largest economies of the region, hold the key to lifting several millions out of the vicious poverty cycle into economic prosperity. Although traditionally India and Pakistan generated the most interest around the globe,

Bangladesh has come into the spotlight over the past decade with drastically improving social indicators and a growth rate of around 6% throughout the financial crisis and global recession.

So how has the Bangladeshi economy performed over the past decade compared to the Indian and Pakistani economies?

The simplest measure of economic well-being of a country is its GDP per capita which is a measure of the value of total goods and services produced in a country divided by the total population. From the graph below, one can see that all three nations have more than doubled their GDP per capita with India and Pakistan bringing larger absolute increase compared to Bangladesh.

Sadly, Bangladesh continues to remain poorer than India and Pakistan with the gap increasing over the decade and the gaps in absolute terms have more than doubled with India and Pakistan (see graph 1).

A much more dynamic performance of the economy can be seen from observing the trend in the economic growth rate of the three nations. The Bangladeshi economy maintained a near constant growth rate of around 6% throughout the decade compared to the large gyrations in growth rate of India and Pakistan and it managed to do so throughout the global financial crisis of 2008-12.....
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Long term growth potential in an economy can usually be seen from gross savings (% of GDP). Gross savings is gross national income and net transfers less total consumption in the economy. Saving in an economy is important as it in turn provides internal fund for borrowing and investment in the economy.

Bangladesh did manage to attain the highest gross savings as a proportion of GDP by 2011. It saved over 30 cents for every $1 of goods and services produced from year to year since 2003. This broadly shows that the country has a large potential to bring about significant investment from its own fund just like India and unlike Pakistan which saw a drastic fall in gross savings over the decade (see graph 4).

However, capital formation has been rather sluggish in Bangladesh despite growth in savings. Gross capital formation (Gross domestic investment) as a proportion of GDP remained constant at 25% throughout the decade unlike India, which increased it significantly. This shows that, in general, Bangladesh has been building less infrastructure and investing less in industries than it can, something that the government needs to take look into account.
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http://www.dhakatribune.com/long-form/2013/jul/11/how-does-bangladesh-measure
Riaz Haq said…
Urban elite of cities now in #Pakistan was #Hindu, #Sikh. #Muslims were peasants. #Lahore now "overrun by villagers”

http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/57YwvcZC4oXwM0Evqj7s4O/Remembering-Pakistans-intellectual-wanderer.html
Riaz Haq said…
Sindh's Muslim landowners were big beneficiaries of partition. It freed them from heavy debts they owed to Hindu moneylenders:

1. From the Imperial Gazetteer of India by W.W. Hunter 1881:

"They (Muslim landowners) are almost always in debt to t,he Hindu moneylenders who exact as much as cent per cent on their advances"

http://books.google.com/books?id=RooIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA368&lpg=PA368&dq=Sindh+landowners+indebted+to+Hindu+moneylenders&source=bl&ots=A817RIA-AK&sig=J2h546t0IanRqEd_gx0ts-mjSvI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1mRMU7G-NsrM8QHOpoGYDg&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Sindh%20landowners%20indebted%20to%20Hindu%20moneylenders&f=false

2. From The Empires of the Indus by Alice Albinia:

"Partition increased the economic power of the landowners because many of the Hindu moneylenders to who they were indebted fled for their lives to India"

http://books.google.com/books?id=zqz3bnuX7LsC&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=Sindh+landowners+indebted+to+Hindu+moneylenders&source=bl&ots=YIVGubP9q7&sig=VMtwTeecpQXCVwmEIqjgkH_44u0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1mRMU7G-NsrM8QHOpoGYDg&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Sindh%20landowners%20indebted%20to%20Hindu%20moneylenders&f=false
Riaz Haq said…
From BBC:

A court in Bangladesh has found a British journalist guilty of contempt of court for questioning the official version of the number of people who died in the country's war of independence in 1971.
The judges said a 2011 blog post by David Bergman had deliberately distorted history.
He was ordered him to pay a fine of $65 or go to prison for seven days.
According to the official account, three million people died in the war of independence from Pakistan, but Mr Bergman said there was no evidence to support that.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30298784

From Bergman's blog:

There have been a number of other estimates on the number of people who died in 1971.

(i) The Peace Research Institute in Norway along with Uppsala University in Sweden, have collected information on the numbers of 'battle deaths' in all wars since 1900. Apparently, on the basis of eye-witness and media reports as well as other data, they have estimated that about 58,000 people died in battle in 1971 in Bangladesh.

However, it has proven difficult to clarify the methodology upon which they came to this figure and relying on press reports (if this is what they have done) is clearly a far from accurate method of ascertaining the number of deaths. It should be noted that this figure does not seem to include the numbers of deaths of civilians.*

(ii) More recent research conducted by academics at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, at the University of Washington in Seattle, and published in 2008 in the British Medical Journal, analysed World Health Organisation population surveys, looking at sibling deaths, to estimate the number of 'direct violent deaths' in different wars in different countries. Their calculation suggest that the number of 'deaths from war injuries' in 1971 was closer to 269,000 – five times the number of the Scandinavian researchers which involved only 'battle deaths'. Their figures range from 125,000 to 505,000. It should be noted this does not include other war related deaths.

The reports also says that the 'estimates presented here should be viewed as conservative', pointing out that the surveys were unable to capture 'families with no survivors'. ****
(iii) Perhaps the most reliable estimate of number of deaths as a result of the war in 1971 is found in a little known study published in 1976 by the Cholera Hospital (now the ICDDRB) in a prestigious journal called 'Population Studies'. One of the article's three authors was Lincoln Chen who subsequently became a very noted public health specialist and is due, I understand, to be honored by the Bangladesh government for his contribution to independence in 1971.

The article looked at changes in population numbers in the rural area of Matlab Bazaar Thana. The Cholera hospital had collected detailed population data, including details of birth and deaths, on this area since 1963, and so was able to compare the population figures collected in 1972 with those collected during the war and prior to it to make an estimate of the number of 'excess' deaths.

http://bangladeshwarcrimes.blogspot.com/2011/11/sayedee-indictment-analysis-1971-death.html
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpt from BBC News on housing discrimination in India:


Segregation has inevitably led to curious business opportunities. Sensing that mixed neighbourhoods were fast disappearing and even well-to-do-Muslims were finding it a problem to buy property, Ahmedabad-based entrepreneur Mohammed Ali Husain began a property fair connecting Muslim builders with buyers.

More than 40,000 potential buyers have turned up for the two fairs he's held so far, checking out and buying housing offered by 25 Muslim builders.

"Earlier communities lived in segregated neighbourhoods for cultural reasons," say Mr Husain. "Now the reason is the fear of the other."

Deep divisions
In a deeply divided and hierarchical society like India, segregated living - and housing - has existed for centuries.

Mumbai has community-based "vegetarian only" housing societies. Delhi and Calcutta have Muslim ghettos, crowded, run-down and neglected. A planned apartment coming up in Delhi promises "dream homes for elite Muslim brotherhood".

Ahmedabad has been always divided on caste, community and religious lines. But, as analysts say, the ghettoisation was relative in the sense that Muslim-dominated areas co-existed with Hindu-dominated ones.

"These mixed neighbourhoods disappeared after Muslims became the main victims in communal riots which have gone on a par with their growing socio-economic marginalisation," write Christophe Jaffrelot and Charlotte Thomas in their study of ghettoisation in Ahmedabad.

The divisions of the past appeared to be more cultural in nature; the divisions of today appear to be rooted in fear, distrust and anomie.

Mr Kadri says he was picking up an order at a burger chain drive-thru a few years ago when he overheard the manager asking one of his delivery boys to not to deliver to Juhapura because, "people will chop you into pieces if you go there".

Rising urbanisation was expected to blur religious and social boundaries, but that hasn't happened fully.

So despite the fact that more than a third of India's Muslims live in cities and towns - making them the most urbanised community of a significant size - poverty and discrimination continues to easily push them into ghettos.

Even Dalits - formerly known as untouchables - who escape the stifling caste-based discrimination of their villages to live and work in the cities find that they still end up living in ghettos.



http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-30204806
Riaz Haq said…
"Sorry, we don't hire Muslims". Top #India company rejects qualified #Muslim candidate with MBA - The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/article7228666.ece …

If they wanted to reject my application they could have given another excuse, says Zeshan Ali Khan

In a case of religious discrimination, a leading diamond export company here has rejected the job application of a young man just because he is a Muslim.

“Thanks for your application. We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates,” was the reply MBA graduate Zeshan Ali Khan received.

Having completed his MBA in international business, Mr. Khan was searching for a job in a leading export house. He emailed his resume to Hare Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. on Tuesday. The diamond conglomerate is headquartered in Mumbai and has a global presence

“Along with a bunch of friends, I forwarded my resume to the company. Almost half of them were immediately placed. I got a reply within 20 minutes of my application. I was shocked when I read it,” Mr. Khan told The Hindu.

“Initially, I thought it was a joke. Had they wanted to reject my application they could have given other excuses…,” he said.

Mr. Khan then put up a post on his experience on his Facebook page and generated sharp reactions. After the outrage gained traction, Mr. Khan on Wednesday received a “regret” e-mail by a senior executive of the company. “We would like to clarify that the company does not discriminate against candidates based on gender, caste, religion, etc. Any hurt caused in the matter is deeply regretted,” said Mahendra S. Deshmukh, Associate VP & Head-HR of the company.

Mr. Deshmukh’s email, a snapshot of which was shared with The Hindu by Mr. Khan, further said: “This erroneous email was sent by my colleague Mrs. Dipika Tike who has joined recently and is still on training.”
Riaz Haq said…
Here are a few excepts of Nisid Hajari's NPR Fresh Air interview promoting his book "Midnight's Furies":


"This rivalry between India and Pakistan has been going on now for nearly 70 years and it seems like a feature of the landscape ... as if it has always existed, and once you created two countries out of one that it was inevitable," Hajari says. "I don't think it was inevitable and a closer look at what happened in 1947 teaches you how the seeds of this rivalry were planted. It was obviously worsened over the years by various actors, but this is where it all started."

They (Hindus) controlled the schools, they controlled the educational curriculum, they oversaw the police and they gave out jobs and patronage to their own followers. And Muslims could see, particularly professional Muslims, Muslims who would otherwise have perhaps won these jobs, could see that they would have very little power in a democratic system, a parliamentary system after independence.

On that (Direct Action) day (1946), the speeches that were given were fairly inflammatory, and some of the Muslim listeners of these speeches went out and started burning and looting in Hindu areas. At the same time, Hindus in different parts of the city were also throwing bricks and stones at Muslim marchers. It's very hard to say exactly how it started or who started it [but] both sides behaved violently.

The Sikhs really were the accelerant to the riots in August 1947, which is, when people talk about partition, this is what they're talking about. These are the massive riots that broke out around the time that the British withdrew from India, and anywhere from 200,000 to 1 million people were killed.

As independence was approaching, all sides were forming militias, which they claimed were for self-defense. The Sikhs, because so many of them had served in the army, were the best trained and the best armed and the best organized of these militias, and therefore the rampages that they engaged in were more effective and bloodier and more damaging.

The Pakistani support for the Taliban had to do with their desire to have an influence in Kabul and to block Indian influence in Afghanistan. Pakistani strategists have this idea of strategic depth that if they were engaged in a major conflict with India that they would be able to use Afghanistan as a sort of rear-guard area to fall back to. They have a fear of being encircled by Indians and there have always been rumors that the Indians were trying to gain influence with various Afghan governments and that they had spies in Afghanistan and so on. Afghanistan has never fully agreed to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, so that creates more tensions.

But this fear of Indian encirclement, that's what goes back to partition in 1947. The seeds of that rivalry were planted in these weeks and months of violence and bloodshed back when both countries were still being born and they were exacerbated over the years by further conflicts and by various military dictators and politicians and so forth, but the basic pattern was set very quickly. As a smaller, weaker country, this asymmetric strategy of using surrogates to do your fighting for you seems appealing, but it has very destructive repercussions.

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/09/413121135/indias-1947-partition-and-the-deadly-legacy-that-persists-to-this-day
Riaz Haq said…
Anam Zakaria's oral history of bloodshed: "Footprints of Partition" #India #Pakistan #Britain #1947 http://www.dawn.com/news/1199010

Anam Zakaria is a development professional, educationist and researcher based in Pakistan. She has an academic background in international development from McGill University and started her career with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan in 2010. She led their Oral History Project, collecting narratives of the first and second generations of Pakistanis. The Footprints of Partition is her first book.

Tell us about the methodology of your research. What do oral histories offer to the existing discourse on Pak-India history?

Oral histories, for me, help deconstruct metanarratives. The dominant discourse in Pakistan that I was familiar with throughout my childhood revolved around the bloodshed and violence of Partition. It helped me value the creation of Pakistan but always left me with a bloody aftertaste, a gruesome picture of battered bodies, massacres and blood-strewn trains. While many people I spoke to narrated similar horrific stories of Partition, interviewing them helped me understand that the past can never be a linear trajectory, nor black or white. There are many nuances that are missed in recorded history and speaking to Partition survivors brings those nuances to light, giving me (and hopefully my readers) a more holistic understanding of the past.

You say at some point that you did over 600 interviews for the Citizens Archive of Pakistan. Why did you choose to include these ones in your book?

To give you a candid answer, I chose the ones that left me with a lingering to go back and know more, that opened my eyes to new realities and left me with a desire to further explore my history. These were the stories I wanted to share with people. The research and writing process was a very personal journey for me. I was learning, unlearning and relearning. I wanted my readers, especially the younger ones, to have a chance to do the same through my book. This is not to say, however, that I was only moved by a handful of stories and not by others. One aspect that I was sure of from the very beginning was that I wanted to particularly focus on those stories where people had a chance to revisit their past, or at least had a longing to do the same. I was interested in knowing about their experiences for this was something one did not find in history books. I also wanted to include stories from different generations in order to explore what the journey of Partition has been like and what meaning Partition and the ‘other’ hold for different groups of people.

These stories don’t often feature in history books, either for the purposes of propaganda or due to issues of verifiability. In the absence of evidence, how much weight can we attach to these stories? The job of oral histories is not just to record history but to also give us a glimpse into how people feel about an event and how they choose to remember it. To filter out the feelings and sentiments of people who went through Partition perhaps raises its own questions of validity.

Pakistan is one of the few countries left with their first generation alive, and to deny them a voice simply because it may not be considered fact would be an injustice to the nation. We need to understand what goes into making history, and the eyewitness accounts of those who saw the creation of this country must be recognised as part of it. After all, who decides what history is and how it should be recorded?

What do you hope it to achieve with this book?

I hope that my book is able to highlight these relationships, and that it is able to record this part of our history for the future generations that are at risk of absorbing a rigid understanding of the past. This, in no way, should challenge our nationhood or patriotism. Who says patriotism needs to be based on hatred and hostility?
Riaz Haq said…
Shocking video of two naked ‘#Dalit women’ in #India beaten by ‘upper caste’ women goes viral. #Modi http://ambedkar.in/ambedkar/news/?p=652 … via @drambedkar

A shocking video of two ‘Dalit women’ being subjected to merciless thrashing and public humiliation allegedly women from upper caste has gone viral on social media platforms.

The video is so graphic in nature that we at jantakareporter.com have decided not to broadcast here because of poor taste and decency issue.

In the two naked ‘Dalit women’ can be seen lying in water while two women are constantly thrashing them.

We don’t know where the incident took place and what the reason for their public humiliation was. But nothing will ever justify the humiliation meted out to the victims.

What’s worse is that they are being surrounded by a group of men with most of them busy filming the incident.

Source : http://www.jantakareporter.com/india/shocking-video-two-naked-dalit-women-thrashed-upper-caste-women-goes-viral/40939
Riaz Haq said…
Hindu Nationalist explanations of India Muslims' deep deprivation remind me of Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal's study of "implicit bias" in America.

He found that White America oppresses Black Americans and keeps them poor, unemployed. ill-educated and backward. Then it points to their lack of education and backwardness as proof of their inferiority.
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpts of Pakistani historian Ayesha Jalal's interview:

http://herald.dawn.com/news/1153717


Jinnah did not want Partition, in case people have forgotten that, Similarly, when the United Bengal plan was floated, Jinnah said it was better that Bengal remained united.

Jinnah was from a province where Muslims were in a minority. He wanted to use the power of the areas where the Muslims were a majority to create a shield of protection for where they were in a minority. The possibility that the areas that became Pakistan would offer a kind of protection for Muslims living in areas which have remained in India was not acceptable to the Congress. It was easier for them to partition the subcontinent and let these areas go.

There were two steps in Jinnah's strategy. The first was the consolidation of Muslim majority areas behind the All-India Muslim League and then to use undivided Punjab and Bengal as a weight to negotiate an arrangement for all the Muslims at an all– India level. But the Congress had Punjab and Bengal partitioned [to frustrate the first element of his strategy].


All politicians and parties are limited and restricted by their rank and file in some ways. One very important limitation that led to the acceptance of Partition by the Congress can be identified in the interim government's so-called 'poor man's budget' [in 1946] which we all know was not the brain child of Liaquat Ali Khan, but of the finance department The Congress supporters in business wouldn't tolerate that. They thought the budget was untenable. The other limitation was the scale of communal violence. Increase in violence decreased room for the Congress leadership to negotiate a compromise. Every out break of violence hardened the Congress position.

The Congress lacked imagination as far as mass contact with Muslims was concerned. Secondly, even men like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were saying until the end that the Muslim Question was a psychological one rather than a political one. When Jawaharlal Nehru made the plea for Partition as opposed to sharing power, Azad was still arguing that the Congress should make some concessions to keep the Muslims within India. But then he was sidelined by Gandhi and others.

The Congress basically cut the Muslim problem down to size through Partition. But, in the process, it threw us out of India. Our cultural heritage is all there. Jinnah never gave up on that heritage. He fought tooth and nail that the name "India" should not be allotted to the Congress. He called the place Hindustan until he lost.
Riaz Haq said…
I Am A Practicing Muslim. My Concerns Right Now For India Are... by Indian Journalist Rana Ayub

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/in-response-to-naseeruddin-shah-1707581


My family was forced to move from the cosmopolitan Sahar village to the rather lower middle class Deonar which was considered safer. My brother and my father applied for a credit card thrice while we lived in that area and were which was rejected on all occasions.

We were told later that these companies have specific instructions to not issue cards to Muslims living in 'such' areas. The building in which we stayed was next to the famous Deonar dumping ground and the abattoir from where the stench would fill the neighbourhood. But we and many like us continued to stay there because it was "safe".

Despite maintaining the best of hygiene, we had to live with the stink and airborne diseases. BMC workers who would mark their presence every morning in the swanky neighbourhoods of Mumbai like Peddar Road didn't mind taking days off in our neighbourhood with the garbage piling up because we (the Muslims and our many lower middle classes companions) could live with it.

Another problematic assertion in Naseer's column is that Muslims must stop feeling victimized. I have and continue to believe as a Muslim who has had to bear two communal riots that the community, like most communities in India, has been resilient and has chosen to put its dreaded past behind it, voting in every election for a change. But when every day you have videos emerging asking Muslims to chant "Bharat Mata ki Jai" before they are thrashed and cattle traders are lynched in public, the Muslim of the country does not feel a healing touch on the scars of the past.

If indeed we are so concerned about the plight of Muslims, their education, hygiene, then the topic of discussion should be to ensure that Muslim-dominated areas, government schools for Muslims have the same level of cleanliness and attention paid to them as other areas of Swachh Bharat. Muslims in this country have moved beyond the pain of the Babri demolition, but if the well-being of Muslims is indeed the criteria, those in power move on from Ayodhya and lets discuss corruption in the Waqf Board whose proceeds could help get Muslims access to higher education and a better status in society.

The alleged participation of Indian Muslims in ISIS is 0.0002 percent of the total number across the globe. To fault them for this and use it as an excuse to deny the 99.99 percent Muslims a dignified life is the worst one can offer to one of the largest minority in the country which has a glorious past in the country's freedom struggle. And which is now, as I keep hearing from many around me, leaving me feeling like a "second-class citizen".

(Rana Ayyub is an award-winning investigative journalist and political writer. She is the author of 'Gujarat Files', a book on the politics of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in Gujarat.)
Riaz Haq said…
Indians were equally responsible for Partition, not just Pakistan or British: Hamid Ansari


https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/indians-were-equally-responsible-for-partition-not-just-pakistan-or-british-hamid-ansari-1377097-2018-10-28

Former Vice President Hamid Ansari said while people like to hold Pakistan or the British responsible for India's partition, no one wants to admit that India was equally responsible for it.

Referring to a speech delivered by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's on August 11, 1947, four days before India got its independence, Ansari said in that speech, Patel had said "he took these extreme steps after great deliberation".

Ansari claimed that Patel in this speech also said that "despite his previous opposition to Partition, he was convinced that to keep India united, it must be divided".

He said these speeches are available in Patel's records.

"But as politics of the country changed, someone had to be blamed. So Muslims became the scapegoat and were blamed for Partition," Ansari said.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janta Party has hit out at Ansari. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra demanded an apology from Ansari for his comments.
Riaz Haq said…
The Malign Incompetence of the #British Ruling Class. "Even a columnist for The Economist, an organ of the British elite, now professes dismay over “Oxford chums” who coast through life on “bluff rather than expertise.” #Brexit #chumocracy #India #England https://nyti.ms/2RWEZsY

by Pankaj Mishra

Mountbatten, derided as “Master of Disaster” in British naval circles, was a representative member of a small group of upper- and middle-class British men from which the imperial masters of Asia and Africa were recruited. Abysmally equipped for their immense responsibilities, they were nevertheless allowed by Britain’s brute imperial power to blunder through the world — a “world of whose richness and subtlety,” as E.M. Forster wrote in “Notes on the English Character,” they could “have no conception.”

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Even a columnist for The Economist, an organ of the British elite, now professes dismay over “Oxford chums” who coast through life on “bluff rather than expertise.” “Britain,” the magazine belatedly lamented last month, “is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise.” In Brexit, the British “chumocracy,” the column declared, “has finally met its Waterloo.”

It is actually more accurate, for those invoking British history, to say that partition — the British Empire’s ruinous exit strategy — has come home. In a grotesque irony, borders imposed in 1921 on Ireland, England’s first colony, have proved to be the biggest stumbling block for the English Brexiteers chasing imperial virility. Moreover, Britain itself faces the prospect of partition if Brexit, a primarily English demand, is achieved and Scottish nationalists renew their call for independence.

It is a measure of English Brexiteers’ political acumen that they were initially oblivious to the volatile Irish question and contemptuous of the Scottish one. Ireland was cynically partitioned to ensure that Protestant settlers outnumber native Catholics in one part of the country. The division provoked decades of violence and consumed thousands of lives. It was partly healed in 1998, when a peace agreement removed the need for security checks along the British-imposed partition line.

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The re-imposition of a customs and immigration regime along Britain’s only land border with the European Union was always likely to be resisted with violence. But Brexiteers, awakening late to this ominous possibility, have tried to deny it. A leaked recording revealed Mr. Johnson scorning concerns about the border as “pure millennium bug stuff.”

Politicians and journalists in Ireland are understandably aghast over the aggressive ignorance of English Brexiteers. Business people everywhere are outraged by their cavalier disregard for the economic consequences of new borders. But none of this would surprise anyone who knows of the unconscionable breeziness with which the British ruling class first drew lines through Asia and Africa and then doomed the people living across them to endless suffering.
Riaz Haq said…
Read this: https://thewire.in/rights/interview-post-sachar-report-condition-of-indian-muslims-unchanged


The situation of Muslims in India is dismal as far as socio-political marginalisation of the community is concerned. Such socio-political marginalisation has a long history after the formation of the Republic of India.

However, in the recent past, the process of marginalisation and insecurity among Muslims has been a result of a series of mob lynching incidents in the name of cow vigilantism, targeting Muslim youth under the bogey of “love jihad” and low-scale communal riots in various parts of the country. There are also credible studies showing the denial of housing to Muslims in non-Muslim localities, aggravating the process of ghettoisation of the community.

Moreover, the under-representation of Muslim minorities in the Indian parliament after 2014 has now reached an all-time low. On parameters like literacy rates, mean years of schooling, the percentage of graduates, Muslims, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes lag behind upper caste Hindus, Hindu OBCs and other religious minorities.

Also Read: A Hindu and a Muslim Started Living Together. What Happened Next Won’t Surprise You.

There is a higher degree of landlessness among Muslims than any other social groups, while Muslims are second to Dalits in small landholding. Both Dalits and Muslims are lagging behind any other social group on counts of land ownership, average land possession and average land cultivation.

Moreover, Muslim presence in top corporate boards and Muslim presence among the wealthiest Indians is negligible, along with Dalits and Adivasis. The Muslims are broadly located in the informal sector labour force, small peasantry, artisanal industries, petty production and small trade. The available data on unemployment and monthly per capita consumption expenditures show that Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis are behind other social groups.

The empirical data provided by the Post-Sachar Evaluation Committee Report (2014), Report of the Expert Group on Diversity Index (2008), India Exclusion Report (2013-14), 2011 Census and latest NSSO reports suggest that Indian Muslims are a socio-economically backward community.

In many cases, the socio-economic situation has worsened due to the burden of socio-political marginalisation and increasing prejudices in the context of a growing trend of Islamophobia. At the same time, the tragedy of Indian Muslims is that there is a sustained level of neglect towards the socio-economic issues of the community.

First, the problems of Muslims are inadequately understood by governmental agencies and political leadership. As a result, the state either ignores the real issues of the Muslims or tries to resolve them through a piecemeal approach.

Second, the lack of a progressive leadership among the Muslim community in India has traditionally meant that the problems of Indian Muslims have been restricted to the issues of identity (for example, Muslim personal laws, minority educational institutions, fatwas against controversial authors, and so on) and security (immunity from communal violence).

In effect, the visible conservative leadership among Indian Muslims have not been passionate enough to articulate the demands of equity (modern education, health, income, employment, and so on).

Third, mainstream popular culture such as Hindi cinema has misrepresented the identity of Indian Muslims by using age-old stereotypes and vilification without showing the actual problems of Muslim minorities.

As a result, only the wrong notions, misconceptions, and myths regarding Muslims proliferate and permeate in large sections of non-Muslims. The structural problems of the Muslim minorities hardly get attention for remedy.

Riaz Haq said…
B.K. Chattopadhyay, the novelist who penned "Vande Mataram" [considered the national song of India], on Islam/Muslims.Source : Ayesha Jalal, "Self and Sovereignty : Individual and Community in South Asian Islam Since 1850"


"Harping on the extra-territorial affiliations of Indian Muslims was an old dictum of the discourse on majoritarianism. Even before the formal granting of separate electorates to Indian Muslims in 1909, the discourse of Indian nationalism had become thoroughly infused with the presumption of majority 'majority' and 'minority' interests. The idea of a single Indian 'nation' was most powerfully expressed by the Bengali pen. Yet as educated Bengali Muslims noted with bitterness, the 'nation' had acquired overtones that were offensively exclusionary. In 1898 the Muslim Educational Conference formally condemned the animosity towards Muslims found in literature. Novels and poems depicting Muslims as 'wicked, tyrannical, dissolute devils and hated lecherous dogs' drew the 'praise of countless Hindus'. Leading the attack was the popular Bengali novelist Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1838-1894) whose creative imagination was not above dragging the daughters of Muslim rulers out of the harem to show them as 'desirous of the love of Shivaji', the 'devil incarnate', 'mountain-rat and slayer of women'. Muslim women were seen 'languishing for the love of pig-eating Rajputs' or portrayed as 'handmaids' of 'Hindu slaves'. The delight with which such stories were staged and appreciated suggested that 'Hindu authors, orators, poets and novelists' believed they were 'born only to slay the yavannas'. 
Unless the term yavannas was defined otherwise, Bengali Muslims would 'continue to take it as a terrible term of abuse' reserved exclusively for them. How could 'Hindus whiningly and brazenly' expect Muslims to like them while using such derogatory terms like yavannas and mlechhas? Until they realized the internal dissensions' were the 'root of ruination', Hindu-Muslim unity would 'remain a mid-day reverie'.   
Riaz Haq said…
#India's law minister B.R. Amedkar & #Pakistan's law minister Jegendar Nath Mandal, both #Dalits, quit jobs in 1950-51. Both cited lack of progress on Dalit issues. #BJP, #Modi don't mention Ambedkar but use Mandal's resignation to justify #CAA. #Hindutva https://theprint.in/opinion/bjp-claims-caa-helps-dalits-but-lives-of-jn-mandal-and-br-ambedkar-say-otherwise/355813/

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BJP’s cause
With such sustained invocation of J.N Mandal, the BJP and the RSS want to achieve mainly four things:

They want to establish that Dalit-Muslim unity is a myth, and any such associationwill prove disastrous for Dalits.
They want to show why the CAA is necessary –because Muslims have persecuted Hindus – especially Dalits – in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
They want India’s Dalits to support the CAA because the law will give citizenship to fellow Dalits.
Also, the BJP seeks to wean Dalits away from leaders like Mayawati, Chandrashekhar Azad, Prakash Ambedkar and Jignesh Mevani, all of whom oppose the CAA.
So, is the BJP lying? Or is it simply cherry-picking some historical facts that further polarises Hindus and Muslims?

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It’s true that Pakistan failed Jogendra Nath Mandal, who took a considered decision to stay there for mainly two reasons. First, Muslims and Dalits in eastern Pakistan are a lot similar and Mandal believed they could have a shared future. Second, there was nothing about Indian society to inspire confidence that Dalits in Hindu-dominated India won’t continue to face caste discrimination. So, he considered it was better if Bengali-speaking Dalits stayed in their birthplace.

History proved his first hypothesis wrong, which is tragic. It brought miseries to lakhs of Dalits in Pakistan who might have escaped this fate had Mandal taken a different decision.

In his resignation letter to PM Liaquat Ali Khan, Mandal explained why he became disillusioned with the idea of Pakistan. He listed the unfulfilled promises made to him prior to his decision to remain in Pakistan. He cited the cases of atrocities against Dalits and the involvement of Pakistani establishment in them. He also noted that Eastern Pakistan had been turned into a colony of West Pakistan and many Muslim leaders of North-West and Eastern Pakistan, like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, and A.K. Fazlul Huq were either in detention without trials or in misery.


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B.R. Ambedkar was able to sense what lay ahead for Dalits in the ‘upper’ caste-ruled Hindu-dominated India at an early stage. In his resignation letter, Ambedkar scathingly wrote: “What is the Scheduled Castes today? So far as I see, it is the same as before. The same old tyranny, the same old oppression, the same old discrimination which existed before, exists now, and perhaps in a worst form.”

He goes on to write: “I can refer to hundreds of cases where people from the Scheduled Castes… have come to me with their tales of woes against the Caste Hindus and against the Police who have refused to register their complaints and render them any help. I have been wondering whether there is any other parallel in the world to the condition of Scheduled Castes in India. I cannot find any.”

Ambedkar, like J.N. Mandal, left Nehru’s cabinet a disillusioned man. He listed some of the important promises that had not been met. Nehru’s cabinet had failed to constitute the backward classes commission. The Congress scuttled Hindu Code Bill prepared by Ambedkar. For him, the Hindu Code was “the greatest social reform measure ever undertaken by the legislature in this country. No law passed by the Indian Legislature in the past or likely to be passed in the future can be compared to it in point of its significance”.

“To leave inequality between class and class, between sex and sex, which is the soul of Hindu Society untouched and to go on passing legislation relating to economic problems is to make a farce of our Constitution and to build a palace on a dung heap,” Ambedkar wrote in his letter.
Riaz Haq said…
#BJP's Ram Madhav: “The RSS still believes that one day these parts which have, for historical reasons, separated only 60 years ago will again through popular goodwill come together and Akhand (united) Bharat will be created" #Hindutva #India #Pakistan https://scroll.in/article/778778/there-was-already-a-plan-for-akhand-bharat-in-1946-and-indias-founding-fathers-rejected-it

Faced with an ultimatum, the Congress had to make a choice. It could either accept the Plan as a whole, with grouping and a weak Centre – and keep India united. Or it could press for Partition. After vacillating for a few months, as anarchy mounted all around, the Congress chose Partition.

There was already a plan for Akhand Bharat in 1946 – and India's founding fathers rejected it
If Akhand Bharat was as desirable as BJP’s General Secretary Ram Madhav claimed in a recent interview, why did the Congress reject the united India promised in the 1946 Cabinet Mission Plan?


Politically uniting the subcontinent into one entity has long been a cherished goal of the Hindutva movement. Even Vinayak Savarkar, who was an explicit supporter of the Two Nation Theory never, unlike Jinnah, spoke of Partition (although his conception of India had Muslims “play the part of German Jews”). Nevertheless, any practical conception of a united subcontinent has eluded its supporters. In fact, in the summer of 1946, a year before the British transferred power, a constitutional scheme for a united subcontinent was keenly pushed by the Raj and hotly debated by politicians ­– but in the end was firmly rejected by India’s founding fathers.

The Cabinet Mission Plan

This constitutional scheme is known to history as the Cabinet Mission Plan, uninspiringly named so because it was led and drafted by three members of the British cabinet. After two centuries of holding onto India, the British, greatly diminished by World War II, were desperately looking to get out. This three-member team was, therefore, entrusted to find a way to transfer power into Indian hands. The delegation arrived in India in March 1946 and set about talking to Indian politicians of all stripes. After a grueling month of discussions, the Mission was ready to make some suggestions.

The way it saw things, there were only two options to transfer power. The first was to partition British India into a sovereign India and Pakistan (which – spoiler alert – was what happened eventually). Partition, however, was much disliked by the British, who wanted to keep India united and preferably in the Commonwealth in order to best maintain its influence even after its formal exit. It was obviously disliked by the Congress, which was still opposed to splitting British India. Somewhat surprisingly, given his strident demands for “Pakistan”, the partition plan was also rejected by Jinnah, who called it “definitely unacceptable”. Consequently, Partition as an option, was dropped by the Cabinet Mission.

Three-tiered federation of united India

That left the other option, which was a united India. Declared on May 16 1946, the final scheme proposed by the Cabinet Mission took great care to explicitly point out that is was rejecting a sovereign Pakistan. It proposed a three-tiered federation, with British India’s provinces split into three groups which correspond roughly to present day India, Pakistan and a combination of Bengal and Assam. The plan was very close to what the Congress had wanted from the Cabinet Mission during its negotiations, rejecting Muslim League proposals which wanted “parity” (or equal representation) between Hindu and Muslim provinces at the Centre. The Congress had bitterly opposed this – Gandhi has called parity “worse than Pakistan” – and the Cabinet Mission had agreed, simply dividing seats in the central legislature by population.

Riaz Haq said…
#Hindutva attempt to enslave #India under #Hindu elite castes by @Swamy39 via #Sanskrit language. Myth being sold that Sanskrit was the language of #India and #Muslim invaders wiped it out. Fact: Sanskrit forbidden for common #Hindus. They spoke Prakrit. https://aamjanata.com/religion-philosophy/sanskriti-sanskrit-language-brahmins/

The attempt to enslave India under Hindu elite castes continues. This time it is by shoving Sanskrit down the throats of upcoming generations so that those who know “most” about it (read priests) will once more be the final word on knowledge.

The myth being sold is that Sanskrit was the language of India and Muslim invaders wiped it out. I suppose the RSS has never heard of Sant Dnyaneshwar who wrote the Dnyaneshwari so that people could have access to the knowledge of the Bhagwad Gita in THEIR LANGUAGE which was Prakrit. Sanskrit was FORBIDDEN to them.

This is before the Muslim invasions, incidentally.

Sanskrit has been the barrier that firewalled the unwashed masses from power and knowledge recorded in it by the simple virtue of being forbidden to the masses. Its exclusiveness became its limitation.

Today there is hardly anyone other than priests who bothers with Sanskrit and the language continues to be the language of rituals conducted for the masses by the brahmans.

Now, as language is accessible to all, and the priests are left hoarding a coma while both power and knowledge proliferate in languages accessible to more people, the priests see this mythical Hindu Rashtra as an opportunity to reestablish the eroding supremacy. When the language they hoarded is no longer useful to the masses and on the verge of extinction, they impose it on the masses as their true language. Dnyaneshwar is laughing in his samadhi here.

First the upper classes used Sanskrit to hoard power, now use to regain power. Indian history is peppered with the persecution of great people for touching that holy cow Sanskrit without the “gate pass” of the Brahmin caste. When Brahmins held power, Sanskrit was hoarded and denied to the masses. The Brahmins teaching Sanskrit in the Pune Hindu college threatened to resign rather than teach Sanskrit to non-Brahmins. Now that Sanskrit is left hollow and of little practical use, its utility must be revived if the Brahmin is to be restored to supremacy. Those forbidden to use it will now be the slave labour engaged to revive it. Far from refusing it to non-Brahmins, it will now be repackaged as the true heritage of those it was denied to.

In my view, imposing an alien language on the people is a sign of colonization. Sanskrit is no longer forbidden to non-Brahmins. However, it also is no longer of interest to enough people for the removal of the ban to mean anything. Without popular adoption, Sanskrit will remain the language of mumbo jumbo rituals and the Brahmins who claim the knowledge of it will be left with a white elephant. So now the supremacists want to impose Sanskrit to restore wealth to their intellectual hoard, while people are led to believe that secrets of modern knowledge are hidden in the vedas. The masses that the language of snobs suppressed by denying Sanskrit will be the slave labour to restore it to its supremacist glory. Free! Free! Free!

The RSS are trying to invade India with a cold war on the majority of Indians who were never native adopters of Sanskrit. Nor were their ancestors. A history is being invented so that a country may be appropriated by citing it.
Riaz Haq said…
Textbook 'incorrectly' describes Agartala Case: Shawkat | The Daily Star

https://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-142345


Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali yesterday said the background of the historic Agartala Case was "incorrectly" described in the school textbooks.
He urged the education ministry to take steps for its correction.
"Two textbooks for class 9 and 10 carried a nearly identical description of the case from which it appears that the Agartala case was merely a political event related to Bangabandhu's historic six-point movement," he told BSS on the sidelines of a discussion on the historic event.
Shawkat added: "But as a matter of fact, several military officers and civil servants were involved in the case as we wanted to liberate the country from Pakistan through an armed
revolution under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman" which was not directly linked to the six-point.
He added that as part of the plan called as "the Agartala Plot" navy steward Mujibur Rahman and educationist Mohammad Ali Reza went to Agartala to seek the Indian support for Bangladesh's independence.
"Agartala case was not related to the six-point movement . .. had it been so the accused like ours -- the military and civil government officials -- would not have the scope to get involved, though we had wholehearted support for it," said Shawkat who was a captain of Pakistan army at that time and was arrested to face the trial.
Earlier, speaking at the discussion organised by Oitihashik Agartala Mamla Mulyayan Parishad, the deputy speaker urged the textbook board authorities to evaluate equally bullet-wounded flight sergeant Fazlul Haque along with martyred flight sergeant Zahirul Haque.
The Pakistani troops shot them simultaneously as they awaited trial in military custody in Dhaka cantonment.
The Agartala Case, popularly called Agartala Conspiracy Case, which had set a new course in the history of the country's independence struggle, was filed in early 1968 implicating Bangabandhu and 34 other Bengali civil servants and army, navy
and air force officers and politicians for hatching a "plot".
The case was officially called State vs. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others while the then Ayub Khan regime of Pakistan resolved to frame charge against 35 people with Bangabandhu being the prime accused.
The case ultimately resulted in the fall of General Ayub Khan in 1969 and subsequently led the nation towards the 1971 Liberation War.
"The Agartala incident was not untrue . . . we wanted to liberate the country from Pakistan," Shawkat told a function three months back as he urged all concerned to disseminate the fact to the countrymen to spread the spirit of the War of Liberation.
Riaz Haq said…
The need for Anti-India Coalition!

By N. P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu:

Mohammad Zainal Abedin, an American researcher, author and former Mukti Bahini guerrilla leader at a think tank seminar held in Islamabad recently wherein the Bangladeshi researcher admitted that “trusting India was a grave mistake by the Bengali Muslims as the act, adds Zainal Abedin, converted East Pakistan into Bangladesh, which later became an Indian proxy state”.



http://telegraphnepal.com/the-need-for-anti-india-coalition/


The visionary Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the early 1070s had very rightly predicted that the emergence of Bangladesh in South Asia would be the second “Pakistan” for the Indian regime.

Prime Minister Bhutto was speaking correct.

Recalled late J. N. Dixit, former Indian foreign Secretary in his famous voluminous book “My South Block Years” that when the Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto landed in Dhaka on an official visit, he as the Indian Ambassador posted then in Dhaka too went to greet PM Bhutto at the International Airport as per a normal diplomatic practice.

On his way back to office of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka from the Airport, writes J. N. Dixit, his car was hit by several worn and tattered shoes thrown by Bangladeshi nationals who had lined up in the Dhaka streets to greet the Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto.

Dixit says that somehow or the other he saved his life. The hatred against India had right begun after the emergence of Bangladesh? This has some meaning.

So this is what has been penned by the diplomat of a country which made all the needed efforts for the bifurcation of Pakistan which gave birth to a new nation in South Asia-Bangladesh.

Dixit’s puzzle is logical in that the Indian diplomat must have in his mind that the common Bangladeshi nationals should have lauded the kind assistance/sponsorship of India for their country’s birth, however, that was not forthcoming which is what the veteran Indian diplomat experienced himself.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian #Intelligence Agency #RAW is Actively Involved in Destabilizing Neighbors, Says a Former Mukti Bahini Activist at a Webinar. Need for anti-#India coalition in #SouthAsia. #Bangladesh #Bhutan #Nepal #Pakistan #SriLanka https://youtu.be/SLpgUEo7nQQ
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Punjab bans 100 #books as some show all of #Kashmir, including Azad Kashmir in #India. #Textbooks carry “factual errors” such as misreporting the number of districts in #Punjab and printing an incorrect map of the country. https://theprint.in/india/education/pakistan-punjab-bans-100-books-as-some-show-pok-in-india-quote-mahatma-gandhi/468320/ via @ThePrintIndia

The provincial government of Punjab in Pakistan has banned 100 textbooks that were found to be “against” the two-nation theory and whose contents were “blasphemous and objectionable”. The province is currently led by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

The Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB), led by managing director Rai Manzoor Husain Nasir, told the press Thursday that the books “had blasphemous and anti-Pakistan content”, with some of them showing “Azad Kashmir (part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) as part of India” .

He also alleged the banned books carry “factual errors” such as misreporting the number of districts in Punjab and printing an incorrect map of the country.

One of the banned books quoted Mahatma Gandhi, while another illustrated a mathematics problem with pigs — an animal considered haram in Islam.

The announcement has evoked widespread criticism from Pakistani social media users who took to Twitter to express their disagreement.

Riaz Haq said…
#AyodhyaRamMandir is the twilight of the first Republic. #QuaideAzam MA Jinnah was very prescient: #Hindu nationalism has been the bedrock of the #Indian polity. Nehruvian #secularism was the fringe. #Modi #BJP #Islamophobia_in_india #Muslim #Pakistan
https://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/ayodhya-marks-the-twilight-of-the-first-republic/story-QGXeiHufgM31X5zgjeg8hP.html

By Prof Abhinav Prakash Singh

The first Republic was founded on the myth of a secular-socialist India supposedly born out of the anti-colonial struggle. However, the Indian freedom movement was always a Hindu movement. From its origin, symbolism, language, and support base, it was the continuation of a Hindu resurgence already underway, but which was disrupted by the British conquest. The coming together of various pagan traditions in the Indian subcontinent under the umbrella of Hinduism is a long-drawn-out process. But it began to consolidate as a unified political entity in the colonial era in the form of Hindutva. The Hindutva concept is driven by an attempt by the older pagan traditions, united by a dharmic framework and intertwined by puranas, myths and folklore, to navigate the modern political and intellectual landscape dominated by nations and nation-states.

Hindutva is not Hinduism. Hindutva is a Hindu political response to political Islam and Western imperialism. It seeks to forge Hindus into a modern nation and create a powerful industrial State that can put an end to centuries of persecution that accelerated sharply over the past 100 years when the Hindu-Sikh presence was expunged in large swaths of the Indian subcontinent.

India’s freedom struggle was guided by the vision of Hindu nationalism and not by constitutional patriotism. The Congress brand of nationalism was but a subset of this broader Hindu nationalism with the Congress itself as the pre-eminent Hindu party. The Muslim question forced the Congress to adopt a more tempered language and symbolism later and to weave the myth of Hindu-Muslim unity. But it failed to prevent the Partition of India. The Congress was taken over by Left-leaning secular denialists under Jawaharlal Nehru who, instead of confronting reality, pretended it did not exist.

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Hindu nationalism has never been fringe; it is Nehruvian secularism that was the fringe. And with the fall of the old English-speaking elites, the system they created is also collapsing along with accompanying myths like Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb and Hindu-Muslim unity. The fact is that Hindus and Muslims lived together, but separately. And they share a violent and cataclysmic past with each other, which has never been put to rest.

Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb was an urban-feudal construct with no serious takers outside a limited circle. In villages, whatever unity existed was because the caste identities of both Hindu and Muslims dominated instead of religious identities or because Hindu converts to Islam maintained earlier customs and old social links with Hindus like common gotra and caste. But all that evaporated quickly with the Islamic revivalist movements such as the Tabligh and pan-Islamism from 19th century onwards. It never takes much for Hindu-Muslim riots to erupt. There was nothing surprising about the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests and widespread riots. As political communities, Hindus and Muslims have hardly ever agreed on the big questions of the day.
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What we are witnessing today is twilight of the first Republic. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is but a modern vehicle of the historical process of the rise of the Hindu rashtra. In the north, Jammu and Kashmir is fully integrated. In the south, Dravidianism is melting away. In the east, Bengal is turning saffron. In the west, secular parties must ally with a local Hindutva party to survive.
Riaz Haq said…
How Pakistan was envisaged -


Quaid e Azam M.A Jinnah quotes:

These are gems plz Circulate widely, folks!

1. “No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men... It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.”

2. “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 this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

3. “Do not forget that the armed forces are the servants of the people. You do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues and it is your duty to carry out these tasks with which you are entrusted.”

4.“ Corruption and bribery are like poison and a horrible disease which need to be put down with an iron hand “
Riaz Haq said…
Fifty Shades Of Khaki - Open The Magazine

Christine Fair on Hamood ur Rehman report on 1971 war in East Pakistan


https://openthemagazine.com/essay/fifty-shades-of-khaki/


Bhutto ordered an investigation into a war that his own behaviour had precipitated by refusing to acknowledge the results of the 1970 general election in which the Awami League had secured an outright majority (162) of the 300 seats contested. Given that this election was for a constitutive assembly, the Awami League had a mandate to prosecute many of its election promises, such as greater decentralisation of power and separate currencies in the two wings. Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) won a meagre 80 seats, which was not enough to even veto what the Awami League may have proposed. It was widely known that Bhutto had collaborated in denying Sheikh Mujibur Rahman his victory with General Yahya Khan, the military leader who had followed General Ayub Khan in contravention of Pakistan’s tattered constitution. Bhutto’s constituting this commission seems a bit like a dacoit ordering a compliant police inquiry into his own crimes to exonerate himself of wrongdoing.

Most people—especially those who never read the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report—believe that successive Pakistani civilian and military regimes alike had kept the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report classified because it exposed the extent of the Pakistan army’s atrocities in East Pakistan. Indeed, the report does concede that senior Pakistani officers looted banks and engaged in other property theft. It even recommends public trials and even court martial for some senior officials, which were never carried out. Those seeking a blow-by-blow account of the Pakistan army’s rapacious and genocidal brutality during the war will be disappointed and are better off perusing scholarly accounts of the war, such as those authored by Gary Bass and Srinath Raghavan.

In fact, the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report exculpates the army of the most serious offences and outright rejects Mujibur Rahman’s claim that troops raped 200,000 Bengali women. What is the dispositive evidence for rubbishing this claim? The report notes that “[T]he abortion team [Mujibur] had commissioned from Britain in early 1971 found that its workload involved the termination of only a hundred or more pregnancies” (page 513). It also cast aside the claims of the Bangladesh government that the army killed three million Bengalis as “altogether fantastic and fanciful” (page 513). Instead, the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report proffered the figure, supplied by the Pakistan army, to be approximately 26,000 deaths (page 513). In contrast, it alleged that “Awami League Militants” were far more barbarous and accused them of slaughtering between 100,000 and 500,000 of “helpless Biharis, West Pakistanis and patriotic Bengalis living in East Pakistan” during the war (page 508).
Riaz Haq said…
92-year-old Reena Verma from #India now visiting #Pakistan said that no Muslim or Sikh lived in the neighborhood (in #Rawalpindi) before the Partition. “All Hindus used to live here. I love Pakistan dearly and want to visit Pakistan again and again" https://tribune.com.pk/story/2366893/92-year-old-indian-woman-gets-rousing-welcome-at-her-ancestral-home

Ninety-two-year-old Indian woman Reena Verma Chibbar, who has reached Pakistan on a three-month visit visa, was overjoyed when she reached her ancestral home in Prem Niwas Mahalla, situated on DAV College Road, Rawalpindi after 75 years.

Chibbar's decades-old neighbours welcomed her by showering rose petals. The Indian woman danced to the beats of the drum.

Verma, who went to India with her family before the Partition when she was only 15 years old, reached her ancestral home on Wednesday and went to every room on the second floor of her ancestral home and refreshed her memories. She sang while standing on the balcony and cried remembering her childhood.

On reaching Prem Nawas Mahalla near DAV College, the area residents gave her a rousing welcome. Drums were played and flower petals were showered on the guest. Chibbar could not control herself and kept dancing as she heard the thud of the drums. The people of the neighbourhood warmly welcomed the guest on her return to her birthplace.

Chibbar said that she did not feel she was from another country. “People living on both sides of the border love each other very much and we should remain as one,” she said.

When she entered the house, she took a look at all the rooms. She said that she was 15 years old when she migrated to India with her parents and other family members. She kept looking at the door and wall of the house including her bedroom, yard and sitting room for a long time. She talked about her life back in those days. Reena told the people of the neighbourhood of the map of Rawalpindi 75 years ago.

The senior Indian citizen said that she used to stand on the balcony and hum when she was little. She sang the same 75-year-old tune to reminisce her childhood and cried. She said that the memories of the house were palpable to her. “I can still see myself here today,” she said, adding that the neighbours living there at that time were very nice. “When someone got married, all the children of the street, including me, used to run and there was happiness everywhere. Now, once again, the heart wishes to remove the hatred between Pakistan and India and start living together again.

“Everyone was sad at that time when we left. Neighbours were considered members of the household and we would visit everyone's house,” she said, adding that those were very good days, not knowing where those people would go.

Chibbar said that all the people of her age have died. The grandchildren of their old neighbours now live in the house where she and her family lived. But the wall has not been changed even today. Reena Verma Chibbar also pointed at a closet in the house. She said that she used to keep books there.

“I moved to India at the time of Partition,” she said, adding that she never forgot her home or the street. “Friends and food here are still fresh in my mind. Even today, the smell of these streets brings back old memories. I did not even imagine that I would ever come back here in life. Our culture is one. We are the same people. We all want to meet each other. A local person found me and sponsored a visa after which I reached Rawalpindi through the Wagah border,” she said.

She said that no Muslim or Sikh lived in the neighbourhood before the Partition. “All Hindus used to live here. I love Pakistan dearly and want to visit Pakistan again and again,” she said.
Riaz Haq said…
Riaz Haq has left a new comment on your post "Nehru's Secularism Was An Aberration; Modi's Islamophobia is the Norm For India":

#IndiaAt75: #Modi is Proving #Pakistan's Case For #Partition1947. 75 years after #India split apart, the nation’s beleaguered #Muslims increasingly face the marginalization and brutal prejudice that Pakistan’s founder #QuaideAzam predicted. #PakistanAt75 https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-08-14/india-s-75th-anniversary-modi-is-proving-pakistan-s-case-for-partition

Opinion by Nisid Hajari

Jinnah’s main fear was how little power Muslims would wield in a united India. That’s what drove the initial break with his former allies in the Indian National Congress party — including Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister— a decade before independence. And it’s why Jinnah retracted his support for a last-minute compromise brokered by the British in 1946, after Nehru intimated that the Congress would not honor the agreement once the British were gone.

Partition very nearly proved Jinnah’s case. Somewhere between 200,000 and two million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs were killed within a few short weeks of independence; 14 million were uprooted from their homes. The biggest massacres arguably began with attacks on Muslim villages on the Indian side of the new border.

India’s founding fathers, however, risked their lives to undercut Jinnah’s argument. When riots spread to the Indian capital Delhi and police and petty government officials joined in pogroms targeting Muslims, Nehru took to the streets, remonstrating with mobs and giving public speeches promoting communal harmony while only lightly guarded. He insisted the government machinery exert itself to protect Muslims as well as Hindus.

With even members of his cabinet convinced that India would be better off without tens of millions of citizens suspected of split loyalties, Nehru barely prevailed. The pressure to expel Muslims only really subsided months later after a Hindu fanatic assassinated the revered Gandhi, shocking the cabinet into unity and prompting public revulsion against Hindu bigotry.

That consensus and the rights enshrined in India’s secular constitution largely preserved religious harmony in India for more than seven decades. Al-Qaeda and other transnational terrorist groups made few inroads among Indian Muslims, even as jihadists flourished in nearby countries. While sectarian riots have repeatedly broken out, especially after provocations such as the 1992 demolition of a mosque in Ayodhya to make way for a Hindu temple, tensions have for the most part remained local and limited. And even if Indian Muslims faced discrimination and were on average poorer and less well-educated than Hindus, few doubted that they were full citizens — especially when their votes were needed at election time.

What makes the changes that have proliferated under Modi so dispiriting and dangerous is their corrosive impact on those feelings of belonging. The problem isn’t even so much the most horrific cases of bigotry, including dozens of lynchings of Muslims around the country. Those at least still draw outrage in some quarters, as well as international attention.

What’s worse is the steady and widely accepted marginalization of India’s nearly 200 million Muslims. An overheated and jingoistic media portrays them as potential fifth columnists, who should “go back” to a Pakistan most have never visited if they don’t like the new India. (Pakistani sponsorship of extremist groups that have carried out brutal attacks in India has exacerbated fears of an internal threat.) There’s widespread acceptance of hate speech, including open calls to exterminate Muslims. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has pursued laws that threaten to disenfranchise millions of them.
Riaz Haq said…
#IndiaAt75: #Modi is Proving #Pakistan's Case For #Partition1947. 75 years after #India split apart, the nation’s beleaguered #Muslims increasingly face the marginalization and brutal prejudice that Pakistan’s founder #QuaideAzam predicted. #PakistanAt75 https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-08-14/india-s-75th-anniversary-modi-is-proving-pakistan-s-case-for-partition

Indeed, an Indian state once convinced of its duty to protect minorities now seems unremittingly hostile. Prejudice has seeped into the courts and the police, as well as all levels of government. Laws have accepted at face value ludicrous conspiracy theories such as “love jihad” — the idea that Muslim men are romancing Hindu women in order to convert them. Modi’s decision to strip Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, of its constitutionally guaranteed autonomy has made clear that even enshrined protections are vulnerable.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, Muslims’ share of political power is dwindling. Though they make up more than 14% of the population, they account for less than 4% of members of the lower house of parliament. Among the BJP’s 395 members of parliament there isn’t a single Muslim.

True, India remains a democracy not an authoritarian state, with powerful regional politicians and some brave and independent activists and journalists. In states where Muslims make up a larger share of the voting population, they have been better able to defend their rights. Nor is India the only country where politicians and media figures are fanning ethno-nationalism for partisan gain.

Yet the trend lines are ominous. India’s political opposition is weak and divided. The mainstream media has caricatured Muslims to a degree that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. The northern Hindi belt is bursting with millions of undereducated, underemployed and angry young men. Politicians there and elsewhere know it is far easier to direct those frustrations at defenseless scapegoats than it is to fix schools and create jobs.

Modi likes to call India the “mother of democracy.” But the central test of a democracy is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens — whether their rights are protected and their views heard. Nehru and India’s other founding fathers saw it as their most basic duty to prove Jinnah wrong, forging a pluralistic India that would thrive because of its diversity not despite it. Three quarters of a century later, Indians should ask themselves whether they, not their former brethren across the border, are the ones now making a mistake.
Riaz Haq said…
Modi’s Double Engine Sarkar by Pervez Hoodbhoy

https://www.pakistanlink.org/Opinion/2022/Nov22/11/07.HTM

These are substantial, undeniable achievements that hubris-filled Hindu nationalists say derive from their greatness as an ancient civilization. But wait! China has done still better. And, though far smaller, many emergent countries of East Asia — Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore — also boast of better performance than India’s.

In every case, the secret of success is well-known — strong systems of education that create skills, knowledge, attitudes and social behavior’s suited for modern times. Together with that, a strong work ethic in the labor force. Stated differently, high national achievement springs naturally from the quickness with which a country universalizes or ‘Westernizes’ its education and creates positive attitudes towards work.

Here’s how India grew into the present. Empowered by the scientific and industrial revolutions, Britain colonized India and sought to spread Western education and values. Conservative Hindus emphatically rejected this modernization butsar reformist movements such as Brahmo Samaj under Ram Mohan Roy and others made deep inroads.

By 1947 under Jawaharlal Nehru — an avowed Hindu atheist devoted to the ‘scientific temper’ — India was already intellectually equipped to enter the modern world. For the next 50 years, India’s education sought to create a pluralist, secular, scientifically minded society. It reaps rich harvests to the present day — which the BJP happily appropriates as its own.

But Hindu nationalists now want India’s goals and self-image drastically revised. Modi’s second engine, fueled by febrile imaginations, pushes India towards emulating some kind of Hindu rashtra from an idyllic past. My friend Prof Badri Raina, now retired from Delhi University, says that “this backward engine would have us believe that in ancient times we had knowledge of plastic surgery, aeronautics, satellite vision, even as streams of foaming white milk flowed down our plains, and golden birds perched on the branches of trees”.

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The loudest call for reforming Muslim education was that of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Madressahs, he said, are entirely unnecessary. Using religious idiom, he passionately argued for science and modernity. While his efforts led to some measure of functionality and to jobs within the colonial system, they were nowhere deep or wide as that of Brahmo Samaj. Conservative backlash limited Sir Syed’s influence.

Thus, by the time Partition came around, there was a massive Hindu-Muslim gap. Nevertheless, for the first few decades, Pakistan’s engine #1 steadily gained strength and was consistently stronger than its second engine. Among other things, Pakistan’s space program (born 1961, now dead) much preceded India’s.

Riaz Haq said…
#Indian #Muslims in higher #education: Enrollment of Muslims in #India fell by 8% in 2019-20, while that of #Dalits, #Adivasis & #OBCs rose by 4.2%, 11.9% & 4% respectively. Upper caste #Hindus saw highest growth rate of 13.6%. #Islamophobia #Casteism https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/lower-in-higher-education-8598739/

The recently released All India Survey on Higher Education 2020–21 shows some contrasting trends. On the one hand, enrollment of Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs in higher education has increased by 4.2 per cent, 11.9 per cent and 4 per cent respectively compared to 2019-20. The upper castes, whose share in enrollment had been declining with the implementation of Mandal II since the late 2000s but who have come back with the highest growth rate of 13.6 per cent. On the other hand, the enrollment of Muslim students dropped by 8 per cent from 2019-20 – that is, by 1,79,147 students. This level of absolute decline has never happened in the recent past for any group.

UP accounts for 36 per cent of that total decline followed by Jammu and Kashmir, which accounts for 26 per cent, then Maharashtra (8.5 per cent), Tamil Nadu (8.1 per cent), Gujarat (6.1 per cent), Bihar (5.7 per cent) and Karnataka (3.7 per cent). Except in Tamil Nadu, Muslims alone witnessed an absolute decline in their enrollment. While the states that have a larger share of the Muslim population account for the higher share of decline, small states too show similar trends. For instance, between 2019-20 — 2020-21, Delhi lost about 20 per cent of its Muslim students while J&K lost about 36 per cent.

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Professor Sukhdeo Thorat, emeritus professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawahar Lal Nehru University and former chairman, University Grants Commission(UGC) said that financially weak Muslims may go for higher studies if they are helped through scholarships.
Speaking on a lecture ‘Where do the Muslims lag behind in higher education?: Lessons for policies’ on the occasion of the 25th Foundation Day of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (Manuu), Thorat said, “There are internal disparities among Muslims in attainment of higher education based on income level, gender and medium of education and institutions like Manuu must give preference to such groups through scholarships, differential fee structure, hostel facility and remedial coaching classes.”
He reiterated that Muslims have the lowest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at 16.6% in higher education among all the communities in the country (national average is 26.3%). He also pointed out that Muslim students depend highly on government institutions (54.1%) as compared to other communities (national average 45.2%) and only 18.2% Muslim students go to private aided higher education institutions and 27.4% go to private unaided higher education institutions against a national average of 24.4% and 30.1%, respectively.


https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/education/news/muslims-have-lowest-ger-in-higher-education/articleshow/88808430.cms

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