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Two Nation Theory and Creation of Bangladesh

Raza Habib RajaThis article is not a “defense” or repudiation of the two nation theory (TNT). Rather it tries to critically evaluate the argument that creation of Bangladesh in fact proved that the two nation theory was not valid. Those who claim that the two nation theory has proven to be a failure cite creation of Bangladesh as an example. It is claimed that ethnic nationalism trumped religion and therefore the two nation theory has proven to be a failure. I do not intend to prove that the two nation theory is wrong or right but just evaluate it with reference to creation of Bangladesh.

Frankly speaking I am not a history expert and do not claim any command on minute details of partition and its various narratives. However, as a student of political thought and comparative politics, I have often been fascinated by the two nation theory. Now for someone who calls himself a “Pakistani Indian”, it may appear that I will be a staunch opponent of the “two nation” theory. The way, it is often interpreted is that Hindus and Muslims are two distinct nations who would have found it impossible to live together and therefore Muslims who were the minority at that time would need a separate politically autonomous state. I do oppose this version and I think that it is highly debatable. If being a Muslim is the criteria of a separate state then why stop at India? Why not also include all the Muslims of the world and merge them into one nation state?

We know such a thing is not possible and is in fact laughable. The two nation theory would start making sense if only we understand the fleeting concept of identity. We are not just Muslims, but are also have ethno linguistic identities which at times may be competing with each other and at times complimenting each other. Everything revolves around a complex phenomenon known as identity and in politics that is often the most important factor in mobilization. Identity itself may be constructed or at times may simply be something you are born with. Moreover, identity may be dormant and can become active. It is when an identity becomes active, political expression follows.

How a particular identity becomes active often depends on the perceived benefits as well as drawbacks associated with it. It also becomes active, if there is a perception that you are being victimized on the basis of that particular identity. Once an identity is activated, it can form various political expressions which range from political mobilization to demand greater rights to outright demand s for a separate nation state. What determines the exact form of political expression depends on many things. For example gender identity can form a political expression but it is not possible ( at least has not happened ever) for women to demand a separate country! Demand for equal pay and improved civil rights are expressed largely through civil society and do not aim to change the geographical and administrative structure of a particular country.

On the other hand ethnic identity can form various political expressions ranging from formation of political parties on ethnic lines to demands for a separate state. Ethnic nationalists can demand a separate state particularly when an ethnicity views that it is possible to secede and the secession will lead to better standard of living and greater rights. The demand for a separate nation state is also hugely dependent on actual geographical dispersion of the population belonging to that ethnicity. If there are geographical concentrations then the demand for secession is more likely compared to a situation where the ethnicity is evenly dispersed all over the country.

Religion like ethnicity is an identity though compared to ethnic identity is less “rigid”. It is generally said that religion is merely set of believes, but at least in political literature, it has always been considered much more than that. In fact, some have gone to the extent of calling religion of birth as a form of ethnic identity. Yes theoretically speaking it could be changed, but religious identity is a powerful identity particularly in circumstances where discrimination or perceived discrimination is conducted on religious lines.

Put simply religion can also be an effective political identity provided certain conditions are there. And like other identities, it can form a political expression of demanding a separate state.

Demand for Pakistan ( whether we consider it as an actual demand or as bargaining ploy by Jinnah) was a consequence of an activated political identity. There were incidences which activated the Muslim identity and Congress is equally responsible for that as much as the Muslim elites.

Like ethnicity, religion can be a politically potent factor leading to possible demands of a nation state. In Pakistan’s case Muslims were also concentrated in two geographical zones (present day Pakistan and Bangladesh). While a substantial number was also dispersed all over the country there is no denying of the fact that areas forming West Pakistan ( Present day Pakistan) and East Pakistan (Bangladesh) were Muslim majority areas.

It is true that ethnic identity on its own is often a stronger motivating factor though at the time of independence there were no mass movements demanding independence on ethnic lines. In fact if demand for a nation state is only justified on ethnic lines then India itself should have been divided into many parts as there are so many languages spoken there.

Moreover, the term “partition” is misleading because India has rarely been politically a single unit. Throughout its history, there was just a loose geographical continuity which has always enabled this land to be called India. Within this geographical unit, there have been various political configurations. The right question is not whether there should have been a “partition” but rather whether the areas coming under present day Pakistan and Bangladesh should have joined Indian federation ( as visualized by Congress) or not.

So there were in reality various identities emerging out of Indian subcontinent. There was a broader Indian identity, religious identities, and ethnic linguistic identities. In other words there have always been nations within a nation. And then there is a concept of hybrid identity. It is not important for many to be just Muslims but rather they want their religious freedom as well as their ethnic and cultural independence. So I may be Muslim but at the same time I would prefer that my Punjabi cultural freedom is also safeguarded.

When Bengali and Sindhi Muslims voted for Pakistan (after all let’s not forget that these two provinces clearly voted for Pakistan), the idea was not merely preservation of their religious freedom but a combination of both religious as well ethnic/cultural freedoms. Thus when Bengali Muslims (who were also geographically concentrated) voted for creation of Pakistan, it was also for the preservation of their Bengali identity along with religious identity.

The choice was to join Indian federation or join Pakistan. Those who voted for Pakistan joined Pakistan with the view that perhaps their ethnic and cultural freedom would be better safeguarded in Pakistan rather than India.

The reason why Bangladesh came into being is less to do with fallacy of two nation theory but more with how actually West Pakistan treated East Pakistanis. It is not the idea itself but the way Pakistan tried to over centralize and negate Bengali culture and their ethnic identity. Pakistan superimposed Urdu over Bengali and adopted a policy of sustained repression. Bengalis seceded mainly because of the way we treated them. The discrimination activated the Bengali nationalism and led to secession. But once again it was the hybrid identity of both Islam and Bengali ethnicity which dictated the choice of independence rather than merger with India. What had earlier prompted them to opt for Pakistan, once again led them to become an independent state.

The two nation theory would have been discarded IF Bengalis had opted to join India in 1971 rather than opting for going independent.

Personally I think history is yet to give its verdict about the two nation theory. We cannot just say that just because Bangladesh came into being therefore it is wrong.

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559 Responses to "Two Nation Theory and Creation of Bangladesh"

  1. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    In other words, to any decent bengali Muslim, there would appear to be little fundamental difference between the Congress’s approach to Muslims and West Pakistan’s approach to East Pakistanis.

    This, to me, represents the heart of the TNT. It seems clear to us, but to most Hindus, such ‘confusion’ would make no sense at all.

  2. Bin Ismail Pakistan Google Chrome Windows says:

    @ BAK (February 5, 2013 at 8:22pm)

    It was the persistently chauvinistic attitude faced by the Muslim League that led to India getting divided in 1947, and it was the chauvinistic attitude faced by the Awami League that led to Pakistan getting divided in 1971.

    Well said.

  3. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    CM
    James Watt did not invent the steam engine. He transformed it and so he is credited with it.

    Akbar created an unprecedented narrative of secularism which both Hindus and Muslims look up to in a time that was not tolerant. The dynasties before were extremely intolerant. What happened to Kabir for example, illustrates that.
    Akbar is not considered secular because of Man Singh, after all, Aurangzeb also had Mirza Raja Jai Singh.
    Akbar ‘revived’ Indian secularism. Hindus for the most part not long before, called any outsider ‘mlecchas’(barbarians).
    His legacy is incredible. To the extent that he is probably the only Muslim historical figure in Indian, who can come back from the sands of time, romance a Hindu woman on the silver screens of Bollywood, and be adored for it.

  4. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    *in Indian history.

  5. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Fingolfin

    The problem here seems less in recognizing Akbar’s contributions to secularism than in calling him in a Muslim, and thus in imagining that Akbar can ever be any kind of an practicable role model, or a plausible beacon to anyone but a Hindu, or to a Hindu nation.

    As such, Akbar has no role in the Hindu-Muslim relationship except in the mind of Hindus.

    Those are strong statements, no doubt, but Akbar’s deen-e-llahi, just as his ethical system, has no resemblance to Islam.

    Again, this is no criticism of the man’s ‘secularism’ but whether such one odd examples as Akbar or Dara Shikoh should be taken as examples of secularism or examples of the failures of secularism even when promoted at such absolutely highest levels. (May be therein lies hidden some lesson for those who think that the ghost of Jinnah will pull Pakistan out of Islam.)

    FG, if you have read Sen, does the economist realize, and explain that the person who left the greatest religious legacy from those years was not Akbar, but the Great Sufi Saint Sirhindi whose name shall eternally be written in golden letters.

  6. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Chote Miyan
    .
    “I am sure you will understand the implicit message. As always, you are blinded by a Sen’s achievements and, therefore, take his word as gospel truth. I have read his work, “The Argumentative Indian”. You probably haven’t.”
    .
    You are incapable of implicit messages. Giving implicit message requires a special skill that you don’t have. Sorry.
    …..
    As for reading books, I have read more books than you have. I have also read “The Argumentative Indian”. I have not read “The Argumentative North Indian”, if such a book exists, but I think it doesn’t.
    .
    “Sen does appear on a less certain ground when he propounds his theories of secularism. When I read that book, I was struck by how easily he generalized the whole subcontinent by his experience in Bengal, and that too in a small part of Bengal.”
    .
    Sen is on very certain grounds when he propounds his theories of secularism. I agree with you however that he generalizes too much based on his experience in Bengal. The book should have been titled “The Argumentative Bengali”, but I think he or the publisher wanted to market it nationally hence a change of title.
    .

    .
    “Was Akbar really the first emperor to practice secularism because he placed Man Singh as his general? That is factually incorrect as well. Before Akbar, Ibrahim Lodhi had a Hindu general, Hemu who briefly captured the throne of Delhi. The syncretic philosophy started much earlier, during the time of Amir Khusrau. Of course, don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.”
    .
    Give me a break, will you? Akbar was “syncretic” not ONLY because he appointed Man Singh. Sen was giving a talk, a chat, on a forum. He was/is not writing a scholastic essay on India’s “syncretism”. This objection of yours and your dear friend Juggu’s is as ludicrous as the other one: Sen calls Fajlul Haque secular just because he wrote a congratulatory letter to one Tapan Roy, how dare he!!! Fingolfin is right, “naive” is the correct word for such reading of a discussion.
    .
    “Whether Huq was secular or not is a moot point. He was, first and foremost, a politician and a very slipper customer. I am surprised that Sen is advocating a refinement of the definition of secularism. By his logic, Modi is secular too.”
    .
    Read about Fazlul Haque, alright, before making such inane comments. Read what transpired to him before 1946 and after 1947 as well, in East Pakistan. Don’t judge anyone by the window of 1946-47. The events in this narrow window did not exist in a vacuum. The label of slippery customer applies more to some others you yourself are intoxicated about. But of course, as always, you are too naive and simple for that sort of introspection.
    .
    “I thought you would be a little more circumspect with singing hosannahs of Bengali Jholawallahs after the turd that came out of that self-appointed intellectual, Ashis Nandy.”
    .
    Ashis Nandy is not a jholawalla, YOU are. I would never call Nandy a jholawalla, far from it.
    .
    “I am not surprised that Jaggu has found holes in his theories.”
    .
    The only holes Jaggu can ever find are on his torso. He is unable to find holes, even craters, anywhere else.

  7. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    Why do you have to come across as the most bigoted around here time and again? Instead of calling tajender etc as Bengali Muslims (he is from the great city of Lucknow) and commenting on the pre-partition Bengal despite your self-acknowledged ignorance on Fazle Haq, Sher e Bengla, you would better concentrate on what you are really good at, Ahmedi bashing (there are plenty of preys here for you). BTW, the language movement in East Pakistan started right in 1948, was led by the students in Dhaka University, was supported by the Bengali speaking Muslim politicians, was rejected by the Urdu speaking “Bengali” politicians (Najimuddin, Suhrawardy, Fajlur Rahman, all of whom were Urdu speaking “Bengali”, and Liaquat Ali Khan who also had his parliamentary seat from what is now Bangladesh), and the first amendment in the language question was brought by the Hindus, widely supported by the Bengali speaking Muslims. So it’s a little more complicated than what your simplistic reading implies. Sorry.
    http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=221008

  8. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP

    Please give this a thought: Bengali Muslims’ demand for the primacy of bengali language in Bengaladesh was NOT a rejection of TNT which was just implemented (the preceding year) amidst the most horrible bloodshed and religious violence (on a scale probably probably exceeding (?) what happened in Punjab). Nor does Bengali Muslims’ celebration of a Hindu who promoted Bengali language, after the implementation of TNT, in any way contradict TNT.

    This is where – on this focus on clothes and language – that Mr Huq’s partners, the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS – get their history and understanding of group dynamics wrong.

    Tragically, the modern, rational, progressive Jinnah too made that mistake and imposed Urdu on Bengali Muslims who had done the most – worked the longest and the hardest in the subcontinent – for promoting TNT.

  9. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal

    you know, it’s difficult to address a comment to you because you have created this Chanakyesque aura around yourself to the extent that no comment of yours can be taken at face value.
    what you really think and believe in is by and large a mystery to me, i have only my theories, so it is seems somewhat disingenuous to make an argument to you.
    But such as it, here it is.
    I think that you are absolutely right.

  10. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    What do clothes and language have to do with TNT? Nothing – Gujrat and Bengal remind us.

    Gujrat is the land of the Great Sufis, of memons and Ismailis, and of Gandhi. All Gujratis speak the Gujrati langauge. They all speak pretty much the same food. I am not sure if Hindu and Muslim Gujratis dress differently. Doubt it.

    Yet Hindus and Muslims there have long lived in a state of cold war. A cold war that culminated in a massacre of Muslims.

    Few people would automatically assume today that Gujrati Hindus are non-communal. Why? Because we KNOW of the riots, of the massacre, and most importantly, of Mr Modi. Irrespective of shared clothes, language, food, or whatever it is that all Gujratis do.

    Strange then that we are unable to see that the same clothes, language, food have no anti-TNT meaning at all when it comes to Bengal – where religious riots and massacres and communal politics took far bigger shapes and had far greater impact.

    —————

    FG, I think you are right as well. I want this to be a fair exchange. Ha ha :)

  11. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    kaal

    :D
    so, Gujju’s cant be communal because they elect Modi, they do not have a choice.
    we can call them communal, if they had a secular and able administrator to chose from, and yet they chose Modi.
    Until such a time, the argument made comparing Gujerati and Bengali/Punjabi, and bracketing them as communal people as a validation of the TNT, is moot.

  12. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    FG

    That is exactly right. These comparisons can hide more than they reveal. Nor must such comparisons be taken at face value.

    The only point I tried to make is that post-implementation rejection of TNT, as in Bengal, must not be taken as evidence of a-priori rejection of TNT. That was precisely Jinnah’s idea too.

    We have to look at the situation up to 1947 just as it was then – based on what we reliably know today.

    ————-

    And Bengal, from everything I have seen, was always among the most religiously communal of all places in India. Even Akbar faced the wrath of Bengal for breaking communal religious boundaries (OK, that is a bit unfair but I want to deliberately make a point. :) )

    The reason why, IMO, Bengalis and Bangladesh gets painted as ‘rejectors’ of TNT is just post 1947 politics – understandable, and probably well meaning politics, but merely politics, nevertheless.

  13. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    And one more point, my last on this board because nobody can be unaware of the pain such a discussion may cause to some of my best friends. I want to say only what is the minimum necessary here.

    The fact is that Muslims in what is currently Pakistan, in UP etc were always contemptuous and dismissive of ALL Bengalis – Hindus and Muslims alike. If nothing else, you can read the most progressive of them all – Sir Syed Ahmad.

    Muslims in Punjab etc – those who thought of Pakistan – never really thought of Bengal. No B exists in Pakistan. Bengali Muslims tagged along not because they were forced by Punjabis at gun point, but on their own. They had no respect from others before, and they got no respect after. They deluded themselves into thinking they would get respect in Pakistan, just as we sometimes make the mistake today of believing that Bengali Muslims did not see themselves in religious terms prior to 1947. Sure lack of education and poverty often dulls such awareness but sufism is particularly adept at forging identities using ignorance. And if nothing else, Bengali ‘Muslim’ was a sufi.

    With that probably controversial (to some) statement, and begging forgiveness from all my friends for any unfair statements inadvertently made, I will sign off from this board now. Best.

  14. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra, you amaze me!! If these are what you really said and meant,
    .
    “amidst the most horrible bloodshed and religious violence (on a scale probably probably exceeding (?) what happened in Punjab).”,
    .
    and
    .
    “Strange then that we are unable to see that the same clothes, language, food have no anti-TNT meaning at all when it comes to Bengal – where religious riots and massacres and communal politics took far bigger shapes and had far greater impact.”,
    .
    then please stop commenting on partition, NOW. Instead, first do some fact-checking on communal riots in India. Compare the people killed in the Punjab and Bengal in 1946-1947. KC, there is no comparison (one ran into thousands, the other in hundreds of thousands) , even taking account of the fact that in the Direct Action Day, mostly the north Indian Urdu-speaking Muslim settlers of Calcutta fought with the north Indian Hindus and Sikhs also settled in Calcutta, with a number of Bengali Hindus joining in. Noakhali was a different story, but even then there was no comparison with Punjab!!!.
    .
    Seriously, do you know anything about the history of partition, or just simply right away whatever comes to your mind?

  15. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    OK, romain, I will stop after this. :)

    But since you did mention Noakhali, apart from the Direct Bengal Action Day, I found a few details here. If these are not right, you can please correct us.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noakhali_genocide

    Now, no doubt these attacks were carried out not for religious reasons, but for rational, modern, and progressive reasons alone, but still, reading the details, these do not appear to be representative of a religiously neutral society.

    Were these all North Indians killing other North Indians while Bengalis themselves collectively celebrated Laxmi Puja under Mr Huq’s leadership (:)), it’s hard to say.

    Only two questions, and then I will keep my peace.

    (1) How on earth, Romain, did these North Indians completely take over, for an entire full week, areas of Ramganj, Begumganj, Raipur, Lakshmipur, Chhagalnaiya Sandwip, Hajiganj, Faridganj, Chandpur, Laksham and Chauddagram, and killed, raped and converted each other while real Bengalis, Hindus and Muslims, sat at home, in peace and harmony?

    (2) And if they did, can and should these latter good people be trusted to create and maintain a TNT free society unless we get all these North Indians out from Ramganj, Begumganj, Raipur, Lakshmipur, Chhagalnaiya Sandwip, Hajiganj, Faridganj, Chandpur, Laksham and Chauddagram and all other areas to which they might have spread since then?

    In practical terms, this seems like a lost cause for real Bengalis and for anyone else who might rely on them, do’t you think?

    Regards, and I promise not another word from me on this. :)

  16. RHR United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    @ Kaal and HP

    Ideas in social sciences are always debatable. Even facts are debatable as these reach us through someone else’s observations and reporting. Many a times biases are there. And when we are trying to interpret those facts ( which themselves are debatable), we have to be mindful of the fact that our conclusions will differ and moreover the counter argument may not be totally wrong.

    A little exercise in doubt is essential…as we may not be totally “right”

    Regards

    Raza

  17. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    “Bengali Muslims tagged along not because they were forced by Punjabis at gun point, but on their own. They had no respect from others before, and they got no respect after. They deluded themselves into thinking they would get respect in Pakistan, just as we sometimes make the mistake today of believing that Bengali Muslims did not see themselves in religious terms prior to 1947.”
    .
    Seesh, wrong again!! Chaudhury Rehmat Ali didn’t think of Bengal, but Shurawardy at some point was Jinnah’s right hand man, before his relationship with him soured, and he was replaced by Najimuddin. Both of them went on to become Pakistan’s Prime Minister. Bengal got involved in the vortex of TNT politics only in the mid forties, at the insistence of the Urdu-speaking “Bengalis” Najimuddin, Shurawardy, Ispahani, all rich men, some from the Nawab family of the Kashmiri lineage. The Bengali speaking Fazle Haq etc, who held power until 1943, were always ambivalent, but got into the vortex anyway because of some bad politics from Congress. Post 1947, the ethnic Bengalis slowly kicked the other ones out.

  18. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    KC,
    C’mon. Don’t leave so soon. Your ingenious method of drawing out uncomfortable truth from people will be sorely missed. We cannot write in Avadhi here but I am sure I speak for most of us that you bring the classic Lucknowi style of heaping insults laced in the most sugary sweet language. Rexie has not figured it out as yet. Just as a teaser and to encourage you to keep writing, here is an interesting anecdote from one of Shekhar Gupta’s columns that I had kept as a reference:
    .
    “Nobody raises this question more tellingly than Nazir Ahmed, owner of a tiny tea-shack on the highway in Orai. “Woh (Rahul) marz to batate hain, par marz ki dawa nahin (he diagnoses the disease, but does not tell us the treatment).” And then, even though this is far from the genteel old state capital, he concludes with a flourish laced with devastating Lucknawi subtlety: “Aur phir woh yeh bhi nahin batate ki khud kis marz ki dawa hain (and then he doesn’t even tell us which disease is he going to cure us of).” ”
    .
    .
    Don’t let yourself distracted by our Bengali brethren. They have their own definition and logic. For example: Fazl-e-Huq was a closet secularist because he tied up with Mahasabha. Hmmm. Did that make Mahasabha a closet secularist party too?

  19. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    I did say Noakhali was a different story, didn’t I? Or were you unable to read that line? Even then, compare the deaths in Noakhali with that in Punjab. As I said, one was in thousands, the other in hundreds of thousands.
    .
    I am amazed and astonished that a person of your erudition compared the number of deaths in Bengal and Punjab, even to the extent of saying the former possibly exceeded the latter!!! This actually gives everybody a reliable pointer (except possibly to your lackey Chote Miyan) as to where you are coming from, which is total ignorance, about any of the sub-continental Muslim politics.
    .
    Painting all the sub-continental Muslims under one brush, as if they are some collective bunch of uniform one-headed zombie with no variation and difference, is bigoted indeed!!

  20. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Heavy Petting,
    I think you should decide for yourself, once and for all. First of all, you jump in with your chauvinistic bias, bring forth a theory, and when countered, you start indulging in personal insults. No issue here but don’t start whining when the going get tough. Let’s settle the most important thing: criticizing Sen or Tagore doesn’t mean criticizing Bengal.
    .
    You brought Jaggu for reference, I didn’t. Sen is a world class economist but who said that his historical ideas are not open to question? Is this the idea of a free open society? I don’t know for sure what he said in that conference. I couldn’t find the original wording and, therefore, I based my criticism on his reference in Jaggu’s article. If Jaggu is right about what Sen said, then Sen is factually wrong. Why don’t you counter that with a reference of your own?
    “Akbar was “syncretic” not ONLY because he appointed Man Singh. ”
    .
    Tell me your argument supported by facts and they will receive due attention. So far, you aren’t doing justice to your boast that you have read a lot. All you have done is to write a lot, most of it grade A garbage gleaned from reading nonsense from third class journals.
    .
    “Read what transpired to him before 1946 and after 1947 as well, in East Pakistan. Don’t judge anyone by the window of 1946-47.”
    .
    Ummm..nopes. I referenced that from an earlier decade: post 35 phase.
    .
    “I would never call Nandy a jholawalla, far from it.”
    .
    I agree. He is a bombastic fool, an emperor without clothes.
    .
    “I have not read “The Argumentative North Indian”, if such a book exists, but I think it doesn’t.”
    .
    You are right, it doesn’t. We discuss rather than argue. Of course, I shouldn’t remind you of that urban legend about what people call a gathering of 3 Bengalis. :P

  21. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP,
    I also think, as I advised another member of your exclusive club, that you guys should sort out things among yourself before you start blaming other people. Just as an example:
    Sen claimed that Bangladesh was better than India in every social indicator. He is right but then your chief minister along with numerous commentators (Didi’s comedy show) claim that the infrastructure of WB has succumbed to pressure from migrants from the East. So can we conclude that Bangladesh’s social indicators have gone well because it pushes the most desperate of its citizens across the border? You can’t have it both ways: Like Muslims, it’s everyone’s fault but your own. So Maulana Azad is quickly usurped as a Bengali but Tajender is not a Bengali. Wah Wah!

  22. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Fingolfin,
    .
    “Akbar created an unprecedented narrative of secularism which both Hindus and Muslims look up to in a time that was not tolerant. The dynasties before were extremely intolerant. What happened to Kabir for example, illustrates that.”
    .
    What happened to Kabir? Where did you get that info that the dynasties before him were extremely intolerant? I just gave an example of Ibrahim Lodhi. Sher Shah Suri was religious but he was not an intolerant person. Raja Todar Mal first worked under him. There are numerous examples that are not hard to find.
    .
    “Akbar ‘revived’ Indian secularism. Hindus for the most part not long before, called any outsider ‘mlecchas’(barbarians).”
    .
    Hindus still termed those people as mlecchas. I am not sure what you mean by “revived” secularism.
    .
    “His legacy is incredible. To the extent that he is probably the only Muslim historical figure in Indian, who can come back from the sands of time, romance a Hindu woman on the silver screens of Bollywood, and be adored for it.”
    .
    You should read more about Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Such examples are strewn throughout our history.

  23. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Please brothers and sisters (and I mean that with utmost sincerity), it would be TERRIBLE if anything in these discussions in any way contributed to any Bengalis being upset. This is NOT about Bengali and non-Bengali distinction at all. My own personal argument is that most Hindus – simply because of they way they look at the world around them in general – find it somewhat hard to see TNT in action ANYWHERE. Even when they see it, they, morally, go out of their way to discern it anywhere BUT at home, near them. It is true of Bengalis, Sindhis, Punjabs, UPites, Tamilians, everyone – because it is not a regional issue but an ideological one. And ideology does not necessarily respect boundaries. Nor is there ANY intent to paint believers in TNT as mindless zombies. TNT is merely another competing worldview.

    Still, only a fool would argue that Bengalis, Punjabis, and Sindhis did not suffer more than most others. Their pain, even today, is understandable. I respect it deeply. Particuarly, Bengalis – personally, I am their biggest admirer. May be that is why sometimes I say things to them that I might not to others. There would be no India as we know it without Bengal being what it is. Thank you, Bengal, from the bottom of my heart.

    Please, these are just harmless discussions – bouncing some ideas – without malice to anyone. Let’s keep them as such so we can all state our deepest thoughts, and reject them without fear or hesitation.

    Hopefully, that would be the end of the Bengali- non-Bengali angle. It’s really unnecessary, unproductive, and without any legs at all.

  24. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    KC,
    Say what you can but there is no getting away from the Bengali chauvinism. I am shocked that the proponents don’t feel any shame at all by rabidly professing such bigoted ideas and simultaneously blaming others for their ignorance. You don’t have to look far. I am sure you must have heard what Nandy said. Apparently, Bengal is the least corrupted state because the politics there has been dominated almost entirely by Upper castes!!! And instead of ruthlessly excoriating him for such blatant nonsense, wise old fools have come out with surreal explanations based on his supposedly unique methods of social dialogue blah, blah.
    So while your call for an impartial dialogue is very welcome, sometimes it’s necessary to call horse manure for what it is. I think we have had enough.

  25. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Chote Miyan
    .
    I wouldn’t make my hand dirty by offering you a “theory”. I referenced “Jaggu” and said that you two have a friend in him, in commenting about something you have no clue about.
    .
    “Let’s settle the most important thing: criticizing Sen or Tagore doesn’t mean criticizing Bengal.”
    .
    Saying that you gave me a hearty laugh! Okay, not everything (or everyone) is worth responding to.
    .
    “If Jaggu is right about what Sen said, then Sen is factually wrong. Why don’t you counter that with a reference of your own?
    “Akbar was “syncretic” not ONLY because he appointed Man Singh. ”
    .
    Tell me your argument supported by facts and they will receive due attention. So far, you aren’t doing justice to your boast that you have read a lot. All you have done is to write a lot, most of it grade A garbage gleaned from reading nonsense from third class journals.”
    .
    More laugh!! Why would I indulge in such an inane discussion with you? Akbar’s page is secured in history, it hardly needs your certification.
    .
    “Ummm..nopes. I referenced that from an earlier decade: post 35 phase.”
    .
    Then you have no idea what you are talking about. Sorry, I will not be bothered any more.
    .
    “Sen claimed that Bangladesh was better than India in every social indicator. .that the infrastructure of WB has succumbed to pressure from migrants from the East. So can we conclude that Bangladesh’s social indicators have gone well because it pushes the most desperate of its citizens across the border? You can’t have it both ways:”
    .
    West Bengal’s infrastructure succumbed to pressure from partition. That’s history, especially the second partition of the subcontinent. The rest of your argument doesn’t make any sense. West Bengal’s “social indicators” are also better than India average. Comprendo, Mia Saab?
    .
    “So can we conclude that Bangladesh’s social indicators have gone well because it pushes the most desperate of its citizens across the border? ”
    .
    Suffice to say “desperate citizens” come from both sides. Unlike Bombay Calcutta hasn’t got some of the wealthiest states for neighbors. But I don’t want to go along that path so give this line a stop. I beg you!!! Thank you.

  26. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    “because it is not a regional issue but an ideological one. And ideology does not necessarily respect boundaries…”
    .
    If you want to make a case, make it based on facts. Not wild assertions and some vague ideas about “Islam”. Fact based cases, preferably error free (unlike “more died in Bengal than in Punjab!!!”), have a better chance of success. In making wild assertions and vague pronouncements so far you haven’t been any better than Nata Mia.

  27. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Nata Mia? LOL, I am sure CM, you and I can chuckle over that. :)

    Sure, HP, but only if you promise to not interpret any argument that TNT was not foreign to Bengal as an attack of Bengal, or Bengalis, or natural evidence of religious bigotry.

    Otherwise, it would not be fair for me to offer any reasoning – potentially right or wrong. Sometimes, it’s wiser to let a dear brother be right than upset.

  28. RHR United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Gentlemen

    I think humbleness is a virtue and extremely learned people like you should display it.

    Once again in social sciences ( which are very different from natural sciences) there are seldom “wrongs” or rights.

    Lets not carried away by our fragile egos.

    It is a very interesting discussion but when we start getting personal we end up taking polarized opinions which unfortunately are far from being closer to the truth.

    Regards

    Raza

  29. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    attack on…

  30. RHR United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Argument in the process often ceases to be an argument..it merely becomes a clash of the egos and when that happens, we no longer seek to learn about truth together. But rather just to prove the other wrong.

    Kaal, HP and CM are the brightest commentators on PTH and yet……

  31. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    RHR, emotions can sometimes be consciously or unconsciously be deployed as a tool to tactically kill or derail arguments which are not to our personal liking. I am myself not free of the guilt of having used that rhetorical trick.

  32. RHR United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal

    We are all guilty of it…

    Anyways we can disagree without calling each other completely ignorant!!Of course eventually all of us have to take a position..

  33. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    “Sure, HP, but only if you promise to not interpret any argument that TNT was not foreign to Bengal as an attack of Bengal, or Bengalis, or natural evidence of religious bigotry. Otherwise, it would not be fair for me to offer any reasoning – potentially right or wrong. Sometimes, it’s wiser to let a dear brother be right than upset.”
    .
    Sure, Kaalchakra, when did I “interpret any argument that TNT was not foreign to Bengal or anything as an attack of Bengal, or Bengalis”? I hardly remember saying anything from that pov at all (lol I am not even Bengali by ethnicity!!!). But give that advise to your dear brother Nata Miyan. He has a bad habit of partitioning perfectly general arguments (like Subhas Bose vis a vis M. J. Akbar or the present one) and making snide reginalistic comments in the guise of a counter argument. I think he may have a terrible psychological complex that has long been left untreated. As for me I go on the attack mode (regionalistically speaking, although that doesn’t make sense for me at all) only as a reaction. Thank you.

  34. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal,

    This is seldom that I do not notice the expression of emotions, but straight egos and personal isults with a back up of book reading and their interpretation, and according secular label to the muslim rulers of India.
    Let me add my read of muslim rulers; they were plain muslims and no more or less than being plain muslims. They were as kind and cruel towards muslims as they were towards non-muslims. I fully agree with your opinion of Sirhind being of more importance for the muslim religion than the moghul rulers some of whom were cruels to their own family members. A number of Indian Sufi scholars who served the religion of Islam, regularly exchanged their knowledge and interpretation of the scriptures which they gained through their personal spirtual experience with famous arabian scholars of that time.

    It was Sufism which has been in the forefront in the service of Islam from Turkey in Europe to Central Asia to Iran and the Indian subcontient. Not the muslim rulers per say whose sole purpose was of conquest of land, wealth, and the expansion and consolidation of power. The missionaries who accompanied them were first hand from the school of sufism and were up front as commanders unlike the christian clergy which do ot participate in battles. It is not difficult to learn about the sufi members of various branches which include the names of the Indian sufis which from my memory definitely lists Bengali sufis.

    In fact at times indian sufis were at odds with moghul rulers who feared their popularity being a risk for the kingdom.

    It was also not unusual for invading muslim armies to have non-muslim commanders nor having the from contingent of non-muslim soldiers under the command of muslim clergy as well as non-muslim commanders.

    Try and sweeten your comments more generously when you communicate with the somewhat hostile mob.

    Rex Minor

  35. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    LOL, RHR, I got the point, and loved how you put it. Thank you for being so polite, yet so pointed. Reading that post made my day. :)

    ——————-

    HP, as RHR put it, I am sure sometimes CM takes some missteps, as do the rest of us. Let’s hope we all do better than we already do.

    It is an important subject. We must pursue further it at an appropriate time. Regards.

  36. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Rex, not today, but on another day I will share with you accounts of Babar’s travels through India as he conquers one place after another. It’s amazing how intelligent and decent the man comes across. Of course there is a religious element, but it is not how “Islamic invasions” are sometimes portrayed by unfriendly people. There is a particular royal logic that makes sense – IF we are willing to see things from his point of view – which is exceptionally bright, brave, generous in its own way. So even if one doesn’t go the route of Sufism, Islamic interactions in India take time to be grasped in all their complexity. Surely, it is a life’s work.

    I do make the unpopular habit of talking about things that are often either ignored or are treated in a particular way. Even so, people here are very intelligent, better than me in every way, and surely of good spirit. So like you, I never lose hope. Best.

  37. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    CM
    err..just because you hire a hindu does not make you secular. like i said, Aurangzeb was not secular.
    Preceding dynasties were intolerant, I suggest you read up on them. All the slave dynasties were.
    Akbar revolutionized secularism by making Hindus equal citizens of the state. you apparently don’t understand the importance of that yet. First one to abolish the jiziya. Equality irrespective of faith in the eyes of the state was his legacy.
    He has since been a source of inspiration for several leaders including Nehru( Discovery of India ) who was influential in shaping the secularism of India.
    If you read the great medieval historian Irfan Habib, you understand exactly what Akbar’s indelible imprint has been on India. Please give him some time.
    When they make a hit movie on Baz Bahadur, let me know.
    About Nandy, liberals are supporting him because no matter what his views, he does not deserve an FIR. you are again letting your biases interfere in inference. A man like Nandy would not have said this without research. It is possible. He says corruption is being used as an equalization force( a good thing) which is intriguing. And Bengal is one of the least corrupt states. UP Bihar on the other hand are the worst. To think that in a strongly caste based society like ours, uncomfortable inferences should not be made based on caste is weird. It’s just blase parochialism spawned by expediency.

  38. M3T United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    >great medieval historian

    What makes him a great historian? You should read his own statements about his approach to writing history. If a Christian was writing the history of Goa in order to prove that his religion could inspire nothing unpleasant, would you consider such a person a historian at all?

  39. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal,

    You are kind and therefore mostly look at positives and this gives you a unique style which is accepted at several levels. I do not believe that there are bloggers on PTH who are not intelligent but at times some of them are naughty and rude when people do not follow their view point or evaluation the events to their stated conclusions. Like Ppaktea once pointed out that history usualy reflects the opinion of one, the author, which may not be all that factual. Only last week people were made aware of King Richard the third, who was lying buried under a car park, which will necessitate the rewrite of Shakespear?

    Most Indians give great importance to people, personalities including powerful political leaders and ofcourse monarchs and rulers and even glorify them. The religion of Islam does not grant nor condone a superior status to either living or dead, simply because we are all sinners and glory is alone for the almighty God and God alone.

    Babar was a soldier and like his ancestors had many human weaknesses as well. His slogan was to enjoy life while one can since this world will not return again. Obviously, all monarchs and rulers in ancient times are remembered as we remember our current political leaders for their legacies. Indian muslim monarchs are remembered for their legacies as well.

    Rex Minor

  40. Kashif United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Romain (February 5,2013 at 8:36 am)
    //…I am not saying that BMs did not want MAJ’s TNT. They did. They realized they made a mistake and demanded and got BD, which to me proves that TNT as envisioned by MAJ was undone. So RHR’s assertion is wrong…//
    Why are we ignoring the fact that Bangladesh is still a Muslim-majority nation-state? Transition from East Pakistan to Bangladesh does not change the fact that it is still a Muslim-majority nation. The Two Nation Theory aimed at attaining autonomy for the Muslim-majority provinces of India. Of course, due to the attitude of what they call the Gandhi-Nehru-Patel Nexus, autonomy became independence for these states. It was the Two Nation Theory that resulted in East Bengal becoming a province of Pakistan. The people of East Bengal voted for Pakistan, and it was by the power of their own vote, that they became Pakistanis. In the general elections of 1970 in Pakistan, the Awami League emerged as the single largest party and won the national elections. The Awami League should have been asked to form the national government in the centre, but they weren’t. This had nothing to do with either the Two Nation Theory or the Three Nation Theory. It was simply a political marginalization of a political constituency and of course a fatal political mistake. And Pakistan lost East Pakistan. Political marginalization, whether perceived as a risk or confronted as a reality, is bound to lead to division. It was political marginalization that was seen as a risk by both the Indian Muslims at large and the Muslim-majority provinces, that divided India in 1947, and it was again political marginalization of the representative party of East Pakistan, that divided Pakistan in 1971.
    Regards
    Kashif

  41. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    So TNT remains a classical theory which many do not understand and became a fact which can not be fully explained!! The milky way in the world of galaxies has similar properties.

    Rex Minor

  42. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Hindu TNT

    Some remarks about the roles of Bengalis and non-Bengalis made earlier were so fascinating that they gave rise to a whole new series of ideas and speculations. One such – about a theorized “Hindu TNT” is share with my friends here, despite my earlier promise to discuss it no more. It is shared only till such time as when we can more fully investiage the alleged sole role of non-Bengalis in developing communal award, communally separate education system, and in perpetrating communal riots in Calcutta and Noakhali.

    So here goes.

    Definition: TNT, for now, is defined as follows: Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations such that Muslims can be secured against injustice from (the oppressive section of) Hindus only through political domination of Hindus by Muslims, if possible, and Muslim autonomy from Hindu control, if necessary.

    Speculation: Many Hindus find it impossibly hard to apprehend TNT as defined above because they view the world their own version of (“Hindu”) TNT, defined below.

    Hindu TNT: The world, and people’s ability to live shared, injustice-free communal lives, is divided geographically. Those who are geographically “us” are one nation. The rest are others.

    This might explain why the Bengali Hindu explains conflictual events in Bengal in terms of Bengalis versus non-Bengali distinction; Sindhi Hindu explains such events in Sindh in terms of Sindhis versus non-Sindhi distinction; Punjabi Hindu explains such events in Punjab in terms of Punjabi versus non-Punjabi distinction, and so forth. In the absence of this geographical outsider, the Hindu sees a rather idyllic coexistence based on shared local cultural factors.

    This statement of Hindu TNT fits neatly into the larger Hindu worldview, segmented at different levels. The “geographical segmentation” so vastly overcrowds “mental segmentation” in Hindu mind that it makes the (original) TNT pretty much invisible, and even when visible, morally unacceptable, to most Hindus.

  43. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Milky way! LOL, Rex, because you are always dealing in ideas, probably few ever tell you this, but you do have a terrific sense of humor. :)

  44. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal,

    I thought Kashif has explained the role of the Bengali Nation in TNT! What is missing now is the role of Zardari Bhutto in TNT. I wonder if Mr Jinnah had any idea about the roles of this family who came up with peoples party slogan versus the league of muslims only.

    We had a discussion this evening about the role of third Reich military force of more than a million strong, fully mechanised which spread across Europe and then the role of the allied forces who at the end could not prevent the division of Europe in two parts, half taken over by the Russians. Can someone explain to us how the war was lost?

    And later when I visited this blog, the exchange on TNT had not ended. Two different worlds and yet we call it a global village.

    Rex Minor

  45. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Ps

    I must admit that I have a plenty of sense of humour and this refreshes me at times in my profession but occasionaly gets me in trouble in my free time.

  46. romain Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Kasif Mian,

    thank you for succiently pointing out that solution bd ended up in 1971 was really the problem needed to be solved. TNT was thought of as a solution and as such it didnt turn out to be the solution. In that sense, the solution of 1971 disproved TNT and Jinnah’s demand for TNT.

  47. no-communal United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    “Some remarks about the roles of Bengalis and non-Bengalis made earlier were so fascinating that they gave rise to a whole new series of ideas and speculations. One such – about a theorized “Hindu TNT” is share with my friends here, despite my earlier promise to discuss it no more. It is shared only till such time as when we can more fully investiage the alleged sole role of non-Bengalis in developing communal award, communally separate education system, and in perpetrating communal riots in Calcutta and Noakhali.”
    .
    Kaal, although facts don’t seem to deter you from “bouncing off” theories (what are a few facts if you can’t get around them), here is one more attempt, in all sincerity.
    .
    “we can more fully investiage the alleged sole role of non-Bengalis in developing communal award, communally separate education system, and in perpetrating communal riots in Calcutta and Noakhali.”
    .
    The Communal Award of 1932 was for the whole of India, not just Bengal. Under this all minorities everywhere, religious as well as caste based, received separate electorate and reserved representations. The caste based part of the award was later annulled in favor of a joint electorate but reserved representation for the Dalits which was known as the Poona Pact. None of this was specific to Bengal but received the maximum press with regard to that state because the award was perceived as an effective instrument by the British government to silence the political agitation of the Bengali Hindus, by far the most vocal opponent of the colonial government, by drastically reducing their legislative representation.
    .

    .
    About “communally separate education system” the seat of that was the Aligarh Muslim University and possibly also the Benaras Hindu University. The Dhaka University that came as a result of the education initiative of the East Bengalis (which you are probably implicitly referring to) was secular, as was the University of Calcutta.
    .

    About communal violence in Calcutta and Noakhali it has already been mentioned here, correctly, that the Direct Action Day riot was between the Urdu speaking Calcutta Muslim settlers from Bihar and UP (a large number of them can be found, other than in the central districts of Calcutta, also in the industrial and mining towns of Asansol/Ranigang, parts of which still resemble Pakistan with little green Pakistani flags flying atop the roofs of houses during an India-Pakistan cricket match) and the north Indian Hindus, Sikhs, and also a liberal number of Bengali Hindus. This is a historical fact that can be checked from any reliable source. I don’t expect a volley of attacks on my motives because I mentioned north India in the preceding sentence.
    .
    Noakhali was perpetrated by the ethnic Bengali Muslims on the ethnic Bengali Hindus, no doubt about that. The chain of riots started with the Direct Action Day (in which, reportedly, more Muslims died than Hindus), Noakhali was a reaction to the DAD, Bihar was a reaction to Noakhali, and so on. As has already been said here the total number of deaths in Bengal, even including the Calcutta riots between the north Indian settlers from both sides, was in the thousands (not tens of thousands) while the number of deads due to partition riots in the Punjab ran into hundreds of thousands, possibly a million.
    .
    “This statement of Hindu TNT fits neatly into the larger Hindu worldview, segmented at different levels. The “geographical segmentation” so vastly overcrowds “mental segmentation” in Hindu mind that it makes the (original) TNT pretty much invisible, and even when visible, morally unacceptable, to most Hindus.”
    .
    What you are calling as “Hindu TNT” is nothing specific to the Hindus. Humans, by possibly a genetic disposition, are psychologically segregated based on geography. In the US, you see a clear separation and a (healthy?) mistrust and dislike between the east and west coasters and the southerners. I am sure the same segmentation exists in Europe as it does in India. This idea of emotional attachment based on geography is in fact the source of what we call nationalism. Communism and Islam, for two, tried to superpose on this natural human trend of geographical segmentation an ideologically based super narrative independent of geography but failed. The Two Nation Theory failed in Bangladesh precisely for this more general failure of Islam itself, in its mission of creating a world wide Ummah free of nationalism that has turned out to be unsuccessful.
    .
    There is another reason for the failure of TNT in Bangladesh that is worth mentioning. A major component of TNT, as formulated by its earlier ideologues and later taken up by Jinnah himself (but merely as a political tool if we go by the rest of his career), was the idea of “otherness”. This idea of kinship with the further west had much more traction among the Muslims from north and north-west than in Bengal. In Bengal itself, there was a clear separation in the degree of acceptance of TNT between the Urdu speaking Muslim leaders such as Najimuddin Suhrawardy Ishpahani and the Bengali speaking ethnic Bengalis such as Haque, Akram Khan, Shahidullah. Post partition, after some initial setbacks, the Bengali speaking faction gained in power and eventually shooed the West Pakistanis away in 1971 with India’s help.
    .
    TNT is defeated in Bangladesh not because it has rejoined India (which is a wild proposition anyway) but because it has shown that Muslims and Hindus can live together with a shared culture, language, and lifestyle which are not all that different. This is in direct contrast to Iqbal and Jinnah’s numerous advertisements to the contrary.

  48. RHR United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Ok

    Very interesting points. I find it funny because I personally am NOT a supporter of TNT. Let me be very clear here: If I was alive in 1946, I would have been behind Azad and Nehru…

    However in my opinion TNT’s validity is not based whether I support it or not.

    Did TNT claim that in Pakistan ( once it came into being) Hindus wont be able to live with Muslim???Or that it is impossible for them to live together?

    Living togther is a seperate thing but fearing political majority of one is another. It was the fear of political majority of one over the other in United India which led to all this…

    The article in fact threw a lot of light on WHY it came into being in the first place. And the concept of hybrid identity.

    In my opinion TNT is not discarded by the following:

    1. The way Pakistan has fared compared to India. Some say since it has fared worse therefore TNT was “wrong”. The problem is that if we make the subsequent performance of Pakistan a yardstick then failure actually in a twisted way “endorses” TNT!!!!Why? Because it proves that India would have been worse off if Pakistan had not come into being!!In fact on PTH I have read several Indians praising MAJ for “creating” Pakistan.So TNT by seperating Pakistan did a favor to India which in essence means that those living in Pakistan were actually not compatible with Indian nation.

    2. Frankly creation of bangladesh at least in my opinion does not prove TNT was wrong. The reason is simple: bangldesh’s creation was due to what West Pakistan did and NOT because of fallacy of TNT. And aalthough we can claim it is a “wild” assertion that Bangladesh rejoins India. But has there even been large scale public sentiment in Bangladesh of even contemplating this thought (forget the actual difficulties in rejoining for a moment). TNT seperated present day Bangladesh from India. It will be defeated if majority of Bangladeshis at least support the notion of rejoining India. My question is that what makes them not even contemplate this thought at a large scale? Ok what is different between Bengalis living in India and bangladesh??? Yes they share the same language and culture, but something is different…

    When that different thing will become redundant, TNT will be discarded..

    Regards

    Raza

  49. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    RHR

    Just like the word ‘secularism’ is seen by many Pakistanis (i daresay, many Muslims) through their own prism, the phrase TNT is seen by many Indians (generally, Hindus) only through their own lenses. These latter simply lack the basic mental constructs and the moral latitude necessary to even consider TNT objectively.

    We need to explain to Hindus that

    (1) TNT did NOT mean that Hindus and Muslims could never live together.

    (2) TNT was not about people being religious zombies or fanatics.

    (3) TNT was not about violence, wahabism, deobandism, or whatever else that scares daylights out of Hindus.

    (4) TNT was not even about non-secularism (since for whatever odd reasons known only to God Almighty, Hindus love secularism more than they love life or themselves)

    (5) TNT is not an evil, immoral, regressive thing. One may agree or disagree with it. It is simply a way or organizing shared living, based on certain beliefs (beliefs whose basis Hindu secularism accepts as essentially honorable).

    Now, when I say that confusion and ignorance, thy name is Hindu – some Hindu friends don’t quite see the ‘friend’ in me. Geez! What all has a friend to do these days?! :)

  50. no-communal United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Raza
    .
    What is different between the Bengalis living in India and Bangladesh is a different sense of nationalism, not particularly based on religion but in the sense defined in my earlier post. Bengalis in India think of themselves as Indians while those in Bangladesh do not, due to historical reasons. Had the pre-partition leaders especially those of the Congress Party played their hands differently the ethnic Bengalis from the east could possibly have been easily co-opted into a one-nation framework. At the risk of inviting another volley of attacks from my fellow Congress admirers let me point out that Bose tried precisely that in 1938 (with Fazlul Haque) but it was foiled by Gandhi on G. D. Birla’s insistence.
    .

    “Did TNT claim that in Pakistan ( once it came into being) Hindus wont be able to live with Muslim???Or that it is impossible for them to live together? ”
    .
    Yes, that’s how it was advertized, and that’s what transpired in Pakistan. I am sure MAJ didn’t mean it, but his following statement is negated by the existence of Bangladesh with about 10% Hindus, living, for the most part, unpersecuted.:
    .
    “It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, litterateurs. They neither intermarry nor interdine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspect on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built for the government of such a state.”

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