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

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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!!

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    attack on…

  14. 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……

  15. 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.

  16. 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..

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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. :)

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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?! :)

  34. 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.”

  35. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Fingolfin,
    Err..That is the problem with jumping in without reading a post in entirety. I never said that appointing a hindu general is a mark of secularism. That line was (allegedly) taken by Dr. Sen as claimed by one Jaggu and gleefully reproduced here by HP. I was merely countering that line of reasoning. It’s improbable that Sen based his deductions on this one small fact.
    .
    As for the rulers before Akbar, except for some notorious ones, they were, in general, tolerant. Jaziya even if imposed, was rarely enforced. An ideologue ruler could not survive in India or elsewhere. Some of the prominent examples are Altamash (Iltutmish, even though he sacked Ujjain), his daughter Razia Sultana who was also the earliest known example of a ruler clashing with the clergy and openly lamenting that the holy book was meant to interpreted metaphorically, not literary. Muhammad Tugluq, who, in my view, is the most fascinating of all the Muslim rulers. Despite a general posturing as a Muslim, he was, for most part, an agnostic with a deep understanding of various philosophies, intellectually curious and extremely bright. Alauddin Khilji was a ruler first and religion came way down the list for him. It’s inconceivable that someone like Amir Khusrau could flourish in a stifling atmosphere. The Lodhis, as I mentioned earlier, had a general tolerant outlook. Against Humayun, it was the Pathan-Rajput combination that held fort. Abolition of Jaziya was a very important landmark but Akbar was not the first to do it, even though as an emperor of significant importance, his was a signal contribution. But the grip of clergy cannot be downplayed so most of the time, the rulers had to impose such taxes as a sop to the clergy that was (surprise!) overwhelmingly Barelwi and yes, that means it also included Sufis and Pirs. I am not sure but I remember reading that Akbar reimposed it for a few years before doing away with it forever.
    So, in summary, this discussion was not about secularism of Akbar, which cannot be doubted but the quibble was about the yardstick for its measurement.
    Thank you for your suggestion of Habib. Now would you be so kind as to tell me which of his works you are referring to, because the general way in which you clubbed all the rulers from pre-Akbar era into “Slave dynasty”, I am inclined to believe that you have not read it any detail.
    .
    “When they make a hit movie on Baz Bahadur, let me know.”
    .
    I must say this must gladden the hearts of our Bollywood enthusiasts that their films are taken so seriously. It’s safe to say that Gabbar Singh is the most influential historical character. Bravo!
    Also, pardon me for grating on your high artistic sensibilities honed as it is from living among intelligent south Indian chaste Hindus, but there was a hit movie in the 50s titled Rani Rupmati that was based on this story.
    .
    “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.”
    .
    When did I say that he deserves an FIR? Am I biased for insisting that such empirical judgements with no basis in facts and figures are product of a fool and not an nuanced intellectual as Nandy is made out to be? This kind of logic is surreal! I am not surprised that such “scholars” find support from people like you. Here is an excellent rebuttal written by none other than his acolyte, Shuddhabrata Sengupta:
    .
    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?283738
    .
    Some relevant quotes:
    “First of all, such statements are of extremely dubious empirical value. They reflect the prejudice of the speakers and the spoken to more than they mirror facts on the ground. Secondly, even if they were to contain a modicum of truth—‘yes, some of those caught for corruption have been Dalits, yes, some of those found guilty of terrorism are Muslim, yes, some of those who were early carriers of the HIV were gay, and yes, some of the leading plutocrats are Jewish and some of those involved in right wing Hindu fascism are Marathi speaking Brahmins’ stating them in bald terms necessarily involves the assertion of a falsehood, simply because there are always more counter factual instances that disprove each of the above assertions. For each X that is why Y ( here, for X, read an identity category—Dalit, Muslim, Gay, Jew, Brahmin etc. and for Y read an attribute—corrupt, terrorist, disease carrier, plutocrat, fanatic), there are way too many Xs that are also not Y for any correlation between X and Y to be meaningful. In fact no statements of this kind, or pretences to facticity of this nature actually tell us anything valuable about corruption, terrorism, AIDS, finance capital, or Hindutva, or for that matter, about Dalits, Muslims, Jews, Gays or Brahmins.”
    .
    And more importantly:
    .
    “They reflect instead a habit of inexactitude and imprecision that is indulged in Indian intellectual life, based on the easy anecdote, idle prejudice and plain statistical dissimulation, and deployed, casually, in passing as the currency of opinion, in may I add, largely male homosocial gatherings, where no one actually challenges anyone else. It reflects the sad fact that the mainstream of Indian intellectual life has not yet learnt to think beyond, below or besides identity based categories.”
    .
    Does this ring a bell?
    .
    And another devastating critique by S. Anand:
    .
    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?283765
    .
    “And Bengal is one of the least corrupt states. UP Bihar on the other hand are the worst.”
    .
    Here is a relevant article that was found by a simple google search. Please do have a look at Table 1 in that article.
    .
    http://www.worldfinancialreview.com/?p=1575
    .
    “The State-level variations are brought out with the help of an index constructed using data from 4 five year periods – 1990-95, 1996-00, 2001-05, and 2006-10.6 In the last few years, Bihar and Gujarat score much above the other States.(Table 1)”
    .
    According to that article, West Bengal is at the bottom of the heap.
    .
    If this is the kind of lazy study you are used to, you are gonna have a hard time in graduate school, especially if you are planning to go for a PhD. It’s good to read more and talk less.

  36. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    BTW, RHR, speaking of ‘wahabism’ here is something that might interest you (obviously, since unfortunately or fortunately you will need to deal with these issues far more than I have to).

    Did you know that this lets-see-if-we-can-blame-wahabism-for-whatever-we-don’t-understand-or-don’t-wish-to-acknowledge strategy (which I mistakenly imagined was a recent fetish of luckless liberals) goes back to at least 1857?! Seemingly, the British and their stooges were blaming WAHABISM to explain away the violence of 1857!!

    Verily, we move very little, and learn even less than little.

  37. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    RHR,
    I do accept that I have sometimes taken the recourse of parochial judgements. In my defense, I have always started with a fair position. As you have seen, there have been bigots of all kinds but when a barely cloaked chauvinism with little basis in fact is peddled by supposedly educated people then it needs to be forcefully countered. That’s all. Whether you post my comments is entirely up to you. I may be guilty of a lot of things but I have been, on the whole, fair and rarely spoken without backing up my statements with facts and figures.
    Thanks.

  38. RHR United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    CM

    My comment was not for you alone but all three of you including Kaal and HP..

    Of course I will always post your comments. You are one of the most intelligent commentators at PTH

  39. RHR United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Kaal

    Unfortunately some catch all terms have become “explanations” for everything….and wahabism is one of them. We sacrify credibility just to safely appear “liberal”

    In Pakistan Zia ul Haq has also become source of literlly everything bad and people assume that before 1977, Pakistan was a very “liberal” society which was converted by Zia into today’s Pakistan..

  40. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal,

    I thought you would understand beside sense of humour,what I wrote about the milky way comparison with TNT. the T standing for a theory. There are words for theories which are not fully understood, become occasionaly facts which cannot be fully undertood, such as non-communal, non-entity and so on. One can not add further weak and non authentic terms to clarify them.

    Wahabism is one of those terms! It is a meaningless attribution to Mr Wahab and is a worthless except for those who want to insrumntalise it.

    The term TNT can also mean the notorious “Divide and rule” politicsof the angl saxons and toay the neo-cons and zionists. TNT is a standard term today for the Palestinian land; whereas ‘Islamism’ and the nickname ‘Islamists’ are the 21st century terms intended to replace ‘wahabism’ and ‘salafism’ etc. etc.

    Rex Minor

  41. Bin Ismail Pakistan Google Chrome Windows says:

    @ Romain (February 7, 2013 at 6:55 am)

    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.

    I’m not sure whether 1971 disproves the Two Nation Theory. This inference, to me, appears somewhat of a grey area. What I can contend, with relatively greater confidence, is that marginalisation does lead to dissent.
    Regards

  42. Kashif United States Safari Mac OS says:

    @ Romain (February 7, 2013 at 6:55 am)
    //…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…//
    In my opinion, 1971 does not at all disprove the TNT. The reason is that Bangladesh, inspite of its separation from Pakistan, continues to be a sovereign Muslim-majority country within the Subcontinent. The sovereignty of this Muslim-majority region of the Subcontinent is what continues to make Bangladesh a proof of the continuity of the TNT, in the Subcontinental landscape.

  43. BAK United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    According to Jinnah’s vision of “Pakistan”, as expressed by him in his remarkable 11th August 1947 speech, Pakistan was meant to be the following:

    1. A modern Muslim-majority state

    2. A Secular state

    3. A country run on the principles of Equality, Justice and Fairplay

    Between today’s Pakistan and Bangladesh, it is Bangladesh that fulfills the above description. Pakistan needs to catch up.

  44. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Rex, I did get that, but I for once wanted to appreciate as aspect of your conributions that people normally don’t comment upon :) .

    Yes, to hear someone babbling (and I use that word consciously) about how ‘wahabis’ and ‘mullahs’ or as RHR said, Zia-ul-Haq in case of Pakistan, are sources of all problems is to be almost certain that one is speaking to a clueless person.

    —————————-

    NC and HP

    Here is the point that kashif, BI, RHR, and I are trying to make:

    The minority of 10% Hindus living satisfied lives in Bangladesh DOES NOT disprove TNT at all.

    On the contrary, it could be argued that that means TNT was the only correct solution to the problem of Hindu-Muslim coexistence.

    We appear to be going round in circles over an issue that seems very straightforward. We are missing something. :(

  45. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    BAK

    Over the last couple of days, trying to familiarize myself with the history of Bengali Muslims, this is my tentative understanding – a further strengthening of a view of Bengali TNT being the clearest and most decisive.

    Bengali Muslims seem to have led everyone else (or been at the forefront) in developing, refining, and popularizing TNT.

    Here is the reason why TNT succeeded so well in Bangladesh, while it failed in Pakistan. In Pakistan, while it existed in practice, its awareness and appreciation came very late, it was the handiwork of a few. Jinnah was anything but a social thinker, or an articulator of clear social messages.

    In Bengal, TNT was a MASS MUSLIM MOVEMENT, with a history of over half a century before 1947. Bengali Muslim leaders had mastered TNT, breathed and acted upon it. Not so in the case of Pakistan.

    That Bengali Hindus were and remained determinedly in the dark about it, or in some cases, in denial of it, merely provides strength to the basic argument of TNT – that Hindus and Muslims, in groups if not individually, are fundamentally different.

  46. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    By Pakistan, I meant, obviously, the ‘West Pakistan’ area.

  47. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Hope for Pakistan

    As a well-wisher of Pakistan, here’s wishing that Pakistan is able to implement TNT as Bangladesh has been able to.

    Were I a Pakistani liberal, this is the argument I would make to Pakistanis – an argument that will make sense to the masses, whose cooperation is the ONLY way forward.

    Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, we are glad and grateful to Allah that He helped us get rid of Hindus. The ones who remain here, with the Grace of God, can never enslave and oppress us, as they had always done. The brahmin and the bania have been beaten here, as Bangladeshis have beaten what they call Kababs.

    Now, let us remain vigilant that these Hindus never raise their heads again, but in the meanwhile, so long as Islam is not threatened by them, we should treat them, and other minorities, with some kindness and judicial equality. Let us be generous in victory. Let us be good Muslims, and not be said that Islam is mean to its minorities.

    ————-

    Words can be adapted to suit the occasion, but something to that effect – a clarification and validification of TNT – is the only liberal message (and it is liberal) that will sell, and sell quickly, at the mass level in Pakistan.

  48. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Bengali “Kabab” – Kaysathas, brahmins, baidyas, the historical oppressors of Muslims in Bengal.

  49. Zainulabideen United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    One simply can’t help noticing the role of Maudoodiism in the breaking of Pakistan in 1971. We should also recall that Jamaat-e-Islami, earlier on, before and around Independence, had fiercely opposed both the creation of Pakistan and Jinnah himself. Al Badr and Al Shams were two militant outfits of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Its recruits were mostly madrassa students, under training to become militant mullahs. These two outfits committed great atrocities during the 1971 episode. It should also be noted that Maudoodiism in the subcontinent is just another version of Saudi Wahhabism.

  50. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Zainu

    That is silly. Pakistan was broken by West Pakistan’s racist bigotry and contempt for Bengalis in general. It was also broken that Jinnah himself did not understand TNT as clearly as Bengali Muslims did – that implementation of TNT did NOT require Urdu.

    JI, seeing themselves as Muslims, first and last, tried to be a vehicle for West Bengali domination, but they did not play a primary role.

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