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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. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:


    True, the argument that Jinnah ‘accepted’ CMP and Nehru and others ‘evaded’ it is a classic example of the kind that I call the Ahmadi verbal legerdemain. Yet, the fact remains that CMP, even if accepted in letter and spirit, did not contravene TNT in the least, and Jinnah’s ‘acceptance’ of CMP did not imply suddenly TNT ceasing to exist in his mind or the minds of his supporters.

    Jinnah’s making clear the nature of his own ‘accepting’of CMP was a tactical mistake. It played into the hands of his opponents like Nehru, and forced him to accept what he felt was a ‘moth-eaten’ Pakistan. Had he been a little more circumspect, he would have had a much greater chance of taking both all of Punjab and all of Bengal (along with Sarat Chandra Bose :) ) away from India; perhaps Kashmir and Hyderabad too. The gentleman got impatient. He didn’t have to do that TNT itself.

  2. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    BTW, the one person here who best shows an understanding and deep regret of that mistake on Jinnah’s part is Dronacharya.

  3. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    To be fair to Mr Jinnah, probably he knew he was at the end of his life, felt he had to grab what he could and didn’t trust others in his team to outwit Congress leaders, people like Nehru and Patel had rebelled against the game that Gandhi and Azad were trying to arrange for them, the British were keen to leave and didn’t want to necessarily give Jinnah the time he needed (even if they didn’t know about his health), and so forth.

    Stars aligned against the best TNT outcome, and gave Jinnah the second best.

  4. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Your last post sums it up pretty well. A parallel event, a rough analogy, happened in the Middle East. What was acceptable in 48 was not acceptable in 67 and what was acceptable then is not acceptable now. In that sense, Jinnah knew when to fold his hand.
    I also think that Nehru is not given due credit for being a bull in the china shop. In retrospect, no one else had the requisite “jerk” factor to wreck that plan, which, in long run, would have served no purpose but to fragment the country even further.
    “The two appear to mirror a rather general trend.”
    Again, you should be careful of drawing conclusions from so small a sample. :P
    Well said.

  5. Fingolfin United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    lol, i just love it when you take the self appointed righteous stand and defend it by attacking the erring lout. Your confidence in your cliched view is so cute, that it is almost painful to rebut it.ok at no point did i say that i support him. in fact, i think what he said is improbable. But it is possible. I’m just open to the possibility and i wanted to see just how far you can go to dismiss any observation on the lines of caste just because they happen to go against your sensibilities. i find that more interesting than Nandy’s observation to be honest.
    But what you came up with in defense of your point was really trashy. HP is absolutely right. Working against corruption does not mean that your state has suddenly become the least corrupt. That is like saying that Bhutan grew at 20% and the USA at 1%, so Bhutan is a bigger/better economy.
    While it is good that Bihar has done the most, the truth also lies in the fact that Bihar has done the most because it has so much to do. Again, like Bhutan has so much to grow.
    West Bengal has done the least because it has so little to do. Which is why it has consistently done ‘badly’ on fighting corruption because there is no corruption to fight.
    That does not take anything away from Nandy’s inference because we all know what Bihar was like before Nitish. He still has a long way to go if he has to undo the decades of rot.
    So Nandy’s inference still stands because he is basing his inference on what he has seen over the decades rather than what is happening now.
    Anyway, I have not looked into the statement carefully. I just do not have the time to decide for myself.
    About Akbar, there is no one who did what he did. Making Hindus and Muslims equal in the eyes of the state. That is why is said that his life is an incredible influence on Indian secularism. No one before him was willing to take the step of making Hindus and Muslims equal in the eyes of the state for a variety of reasons, their occasional generosity of spirit notwithstanding. The nobleman were almost predominantly Muslims in a country which was then at least 95% Hindu. Akbar was a game changer. And despite the names you have named, the fact remains that in general, their rule was largely intolerant. CM, a man need go on a rampage killing Hindus ad desecrating temples in order to be called intolerant. Many refrained from doing that out of prudence. But when you keep Hindus at arms length, create a religiously based coterie of power, that is enough to be classified as intolerant according to me. Taking names of the occasional Hindu in the service of a Muslim King as an argument for secularism is specious at best.
    To RHR, “You may not be aware of the fact that in the 70s, there were increasing doubts that the country was heading for a break up. I have read magazines of that period and I am struck by the general gloom in the writings, not very different from what you see in Pakistan today”

    Hmmm…really? interesting. reference? what magazines ar you talking about and exactly what did they say?
    You know, in the narrative of modern Indian history, the seventies wast the one decade that went into national consolidation. The number of separatist movements had petered down to the Nagaland question which was well past its heyday.
    In 1962, Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai ended his demand for an Independent Tamil Nadu and added his parties name to the roll call of honour in the Indian parliament. This after he realized that perhaps they had been taking the independence for granted after the China attack.
    Kashmir during this time was peaceful. Punjab was peaceful unlike the hell it would become in the 80′s. What’s more, nationality as you know is the manner in which we see ourselves relative to other countries. In that sense, in many ways, the Indian nationalism feeds of the Pakistani narrative and vice-versa.
    Given this, 1971 happened. Indian nationalism had just been lifted to heights it had never known before. Indian secularism was boosted when it was proved that religion is not enough to keep a country together. And in war in general, the nationalism of any country is reinforced. given all this, it is surprising to hear from you that you read articles of the 70′s that spoke of doom and gloom similar to the Pakistan today! please let me know which article you read and where. Of all the decades in Indian history, the 70′s stand out as a decade of India coming into her own. you could have picked ANY other decade, but you picked the 70′s.

  6. Fingolfin United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Ok, not NO corruption, but WB has a smaller battle to fight and so smaller results on the “anti-corruption” front.

  7. mohan United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    How can we end corruption & exploitation when Hindu values worship the filthy rich?
    Every society, every country in the world is governed by its value system. And the values come from our religions. The Western values are governed by its Christian religion, the Muslim values from Islam and in the East particularly China it is the Budhism that set the values.
    That is how the West has made tremendous progress not only in science and technology but also in liberal thoughts, literature, philosophy, social sciences etc.
    The progress achieved by the West is so evident from the big rush of Indian students to Western universities and later settling down there itself for jobs, cursing India. All rich upper castes love to live and even settle down in the West, particularly the US and say they hate everything Indian.
    China replacing Japan: In the East, China is poised to become the world’s No.1 country in a couple of years. It is expected to replace Japan as the No.2 world economy in another year.
    All the Eastern countries like Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and even the little Vietnam, completely wrecked in the American bombing raids, are surpassing India in all spheres.
    Why every other country in the world is soaring to new heights while the ancient India, the second most populous country in the world (1,200 millions), is languishing and limping?
    Values come from religion: There is no mystery in this. The answer lies in our value system. And to repeat, the values come from the religion. Unfortunately our values are set by the religion of Hinduism that governs us. Defenders of Hinduism may quote from a stray sentence here and there to contradict us but there is no Hindu religious institution in India or even outside which does not roll in wealth.
    During the remote past of Indus Valley Civilization of the Harappa and Mohenjadaro glory, it was a flouring system which the invading Aryan-Brahminical marauders destroyed.
    The oppression let loose by the Brahmins produced the country’s greatest spiritual philosopher, the Budha, who fought the Brahmins and launched the golden period of Indian history.
    The Brahmins infiltrated Budhism and fought the Budha’s Dhamma both from within and without and injected their spiritual poison which caused our steep fall and deep decline.
    Manu & Chanakya : History records all the barbarous values that were injected into our veins by the Manu Dharma Shastra and Chanakya’s Arthasastra — the two guiding Brahminical spiritual poison that set our values.
    Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the Father of India, has exhaustively dealt with all these subjects in his voluminous writings and speeches. And hence no need for repetition.
    M.K. Gandhi, the humbug who roamed in the guise of a sanyasi, injected all the dangerous Brahminical values into our veins. It is these values that make us think that Gandhi is a Mahatma. As long as the country goes on calling him a Mahatma we will continue to be steeped in the Brahminic poisonous values.
    DV family members need no further elaboration.
    This has direct bearing on each and every action of our society. The governance of a society right from its President, Prime Minister, Parliament, every wing of the society — political party system, bureaucracy, judiciary, defence, education, textbooks, media, commerce and industry, art and literature, health system, business, sports etc. — all these are governed by the Hindu spiritual poison injected into our blood.
    Hindu spiritual values: That is how all of us are feeling helpless, unable to fight back the poisonous values injected into the veins of our forefathers and even to us today. And our children tomorrow.
    Why we all feel so helpless because we are governed by a set of values which are governed by the “Hindu spiritualism”.
    The most striking feature of this Hindu value system makes us think that wealth brings prestige, position, happiness and recognition. This is the most dangerous value which is killing this country.
    Because there is a desperate competition among our people even down to our youth to “somehow” become rich — beg, borrow or steal— even kill. Your parents, teachers, friends, neighbours and even the girl whom you want to marry love the rich, admire the rich. There is a country-wide craze to get rich quick.
    India’s rank falling: But how can you become rich in a country which is dirt poor? Enough statistics are before us. If you have the eyes you can see them.
    Out of about 200 countries in the world in the UN, India’s rank is about 120. And it is steadily going down. Every small country surrounding the giant India has jumped ahead of us. But we are slipping down and down — hitting the rock bottom.
    Yet we go on shamelessly claiming the Security Council seat, posing as “India Shining”. But the fact is India is a failed state. All the biggest cities — where our highest educated Hindus live and call themselves the leaders of all thought and action— are turning into slums. Yes.
    Indian money in Swiss banks: But the fact is India is not a poor country. It is a rich country deliberately kept poor. This is the fact.
    According to C.L. Narasimhan, a financial wizard and a Brahmin who writes for the country’s premier Brahmin English daily, the Hindu, the Indian money kept in Swiss banks is estimated between Rs. 30 lakh crores and Rs. 70 lakh crores. (Hindu Sept.7, 2009).
    Another Brahmin authority, Vaidyanathan, whom he quotes says: “Over the 60 years since independence, the country could have lost as much as 1.5 trillion dollars”.
    Even poorest Indian loves the rich: During the recent Parliament election, BJP leader Advani asked the govt. to get the list of Indians holding secret accounts in Swiss and other “tax heavens” and confiscate the money. ­Wah-wah. The ruling class laughed at the suggestion. Our Khatri Sick PM made a pretense of discussing the subject. Now within months everything is forgotten. Why? Because our value system not only protects the filthy rich but honours them. The Congress Party, BJP and all other parties gave election ticket only to the richest candidates because money can buy votes. Even the poorest of the poor — victim of the system — loves the rich and sells his votes. This is India. That is how Hindu India has never seen a revolution. “Class struggle” can never take place in Hindu India.
    Tirupati temple loves only the rich: What does it mean? The country has lots of fabulously rich people. Millionaires, billionaires, multi-multi crorepatis. India has much richer people than the richest in Britain. The Times of India, the English daily of the Brahminical elite, regularly publishes the list of such billionaires because they command a high respect in our society.
    In the country’s richest temple at Tirupati, the one who offers the largest amount of money gets the highest amount of punya.
    The Ambanis, who pay no taxes, command the greatest respect in India. They can simply walk into the Prime Minister’s office any time. The Brahmin priests of this “holy temple” even carry their god’s idols to the houses of the Ambanis for puja. Ridiculous.
    To repeat, Hindu India respects the filthy rich. The god loves them, newspapers give them maximum coverage. Nobody asks how the Ambanis have made money. God (TV) channels are a roaring success. What a country we have built.
    Who made us to bum-lick the filthy rich? Our religious values.
    China hates the rich: Look at the contrast in China. The world-famous Economist in its latest issue (Sept.5, 2009, p.68) reports that those who hit the richest persons list in China are immediately arrested and put on trial. Those magazines specialising in publishing the richest persons list are the Forbes and Harun Rich List. The anti-communist Economist says:
    “Wealth in China is intextricably tied to crime and corruption”.
    China’s tycoons always get into trouble. One who appeared in the Forbes list last year disappeared and subsequently arrested, it said.
    That is how China went up and Hindu India collapsed.
    In other words, the Chinese value system makes the people hate the rich and in contrast our Hindu value system makes us admire the rascals.
    We say the Ambanis became rich by their “hard work” while the fact known to all those who matter including the media is they pay no taxes and thrive by bribing the Prime Minister directly. The Finance Ministry is in their pocket. Who can touch them?
    Bal Thackeray’s riches: Look at the Shiv Sena thug Bal Thackeray. He was an ordinary journalist like us in a Bombay English daily in the 1960s. How did he become the boss of at least Rs. 1,000 crores? May be more. And commands such a big following that the police dare not touch him?
    There is not even a single rich man in India who has not acquired wealth through fair means. In such a dirt poor country how can any honest person become rich?
    Laxmi Puja: When our value system itself is corrupt, poisonous, naturally it makes us admire and worship the filthy rich. The “goddess of wealth” Laxmi ,gets precedence over the goddess of learning, Saraswati, flung into the filthy gutter and crying for our attention.
    Teachers, who in any society draw the highest respect, an unwanted profession, hated, maligned and ridiculed. No girl is ready to marry a teacher. What a fall.
    This is the Hindu India gone to gutters —stinking in filth. Who can save it?
    India under counter-revolution: There is no short-cut to solve the problem we face — except a wholesale destruction of our values which in other words means ending the hold of Brahminism (Hinduism).
    Who is ready to kill the golden cow that yields the perennial milk all through the year? We are rather prepared to cut our own head than discard this Kamadhenu. And without mercilessly slaughtering this Kamadhenu, there is no short-cut.
    In other words: Revolution. But we are caught in a whirlpool of counter-revolutions.
    Budha had done it. Babasaheb had shown it. Guru Ravidas, Mahatma Phule, Periyar EVR, all the revolutionaries of India, had recommended the same surgical operation of socio-cultural revolution.
    But we did not agree. And that is why we suffer, rot and perish. People get the society they deserve.

  8. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:


    To be honest democracy is a process, the means to develope and create a community, a society from people of the land of a consense for freedom, dignity and justice preventing the opportunists from exploitation of human weaknesses. India has taken the first step and have set up a democracy; it will take decades and centuries to come up to the values which the Europeans have.

    Europe has taken hundreds of years before the killing spree stopped in their midst. We have no longer capital punishment and are moving towards legalising same sex marriage and perhaps later a legal marriage among the three and four people. Indian social problems caused by their sexism driven cults, faiths, religion or whatever are surfacing in the open exactly in the same style and intensity which the European civilisation had to go through. Patience and time will overcome the democracy hiccup problems eventualy. The next generation and the generations thereafter will have lesser f what the current generation is going through. The world as we experience today shall not be relived, so as the Sultan/King Babar said to himself, ” Enjoy this world since it will not come again.

    Rex Minor

  9. zainulabideen United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Kaalchakra (February 8, 2013 at 12:09 am)

    “Jamaat-e-Islami does some great work. If you misrepresent them or their role I will have a soft corner for them.”

    Sorry to say this, but truthfully speaking, you are the one misrepresenting them. We’re discussing Bangladesh. You’re saying that Jamaat-e-Islami does some “great work”. All I can say is that from 1970 to 1971, the only “great work” Jamaat-e-Islami and its allies did in Bangladesh was loot, rape, arson and murder. Great work?

  10. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:


    From the perspective of Jamaat-e-Islami, this is how matters stand:

    In the period of 1970s, Bengali Mukti Bahini with the help of Hindus and Indians had let loose an unrestrained reign of terror – of loot, rape, arson, and murder – against Muslims and non-Bengalis. Despite Jamaat-e-Islami’s best efforts to maintain peace, in the finest traditions of Islam, unfortunately some cases occurred in which a handful of young hotheads responded to Hindu, Indian, Mukti-Bahini terror in kind.

    That you are stuck in the past and are unable to move forward to build a better, more inclusive, rational and progressive society respectful of Jamaat-e-Islami shows how ignorant, biased, and bigoted your approach is.

  11. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    BTW, you seem to be quite unfamiliar with the latest research based on hitherto un-examined historical sources, which is closer to the above Jamaat-e-Islami view than your view.

    Needless to say, that path-breaking research has been carried out by the fearless Dr Sarmila Bose, of the family of the great fearless man, Sarat Chandra Bose, and of Sugata and Ayesha Jalal Bose.

  12. Zainulabideen United States Safari iPhone says:

    Let me guess. You’re a former Mujahid of either Al Shams or Al Badr. No problem. I’m a tolerant person. That was war and the Mukti Bahini may have killed some of your guys, but please realize that you guys, Jamaat-e-Islami that is, were also busy killing Bengalis. Both these wings of Jamaat-e-Islami – Al Shams and Al Badr – were busy doing what Al Qaeda and Taliban are doing today. In the early 70s, you Jamatias were busy, shamelessly and ruthlessly killing innocent and unarmed Bengalis. The Jamaat-e-Islami has forever, the blood of the Bengali nation on its hands

  13. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:


    You may be biased and bigoted against Al Shams and Al Badr. You may defame these brave and honorable men who were only defending their families. But you cannot save yourselves from the truth being uncovered by the equally brave and honorable, and hardworking researchers of the Bose family. We shall still win.

  14. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Please just call him, Kaal the enlightened ONE, he does not need additional titles. Also do not mix up the Talibans with Al Qaeda ideologists, the latter is classifie by the USA Drone committe as terrorists whle the Talibans are friends of the clintonians and the Obamas!

  15. Milestogo United States Safari iPhone says:


    You never responded – let me ask this again

    Are punjabi Sikhs and punjabi Muslims two different nations? Why or why not? If yes then when did they become two different nations? Were they ever one nation?

    Now the problem is as time passes these questions are being killed ruthlessly – in about 20 years from now punjabi Muslim will convert to Muslim alone.

    So answer these questions while they are still living…

  16. Asoka India Safari iPad says:

    Please just call him, Kaal the enlightened ONE, he does not need additional titles. Also do not mix up the Talibans with Al Qaeda ideologists, the latter is classifie by the USA Drone committe as terrorists whle the Talibans are friends of the clintonians and the Obamas!

    The Talibaani love fest rolls on, Aadmi hoon Aadmi say pyar karta hoon

  17. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Let me get this correct: So my view is cliched because I insist that Nandy’s rant that backward castes are more corrupt was stupid because there was no basis on data or statistics while claiming that scheduled caste/tribe are more corrupt is an example of breakthrough study? Very nice. No data, no study, just I-thought-so is hawked as an example of research! What was new in that hackneyed casteist idea? Please tell me.
    I see that you and HP have constructed a straw man argument to detract from the main point. As usual and, no doubt, swayed by the rediff’s claim, you probably didn’t check the original article. The original paper conducted the research on ***BPL*** households.
    “It had randomly selected a sample of 22,728 BPL (below poverty line that is poorest) households from all across the country”
    Here is the main article, which I trust you will never read:
    There is also a subtle subtext to their methodology. They “randomly selected a sample” from all over the place. There is no information as to how they randomly selected. If you check the list of states faring worse in their ranks, it is filled with the usual suspects. Even a cursory glance will tell someone that these states have a disproportionate number of people in BPL category and, therefore, receive more central money under MNREGA and, therefore, greater the chances of corruption.
    Now, as for the paper by Debroy, I had taken that reservation into account which you and HP have pointed out and which is the most obvious thing that will come to mind. As expected, you and HP’s focus is on polemics than a serious discussion. All you had to do was to study that table careful. The indices for the top ranked states have been increasing. Bihar (0.41 to 0.88), Gujarat (0.48 to 0.69) Most studies that I know of have talked about decrease in corruption in both the states. Conversely, the indices for WB and Assam have been decreasing, which means that the level of anti-corruption measures has been going down in those states. Does that mean that people are becoming more honest there?
    About Akbar, I agree that he was a remarkable ruler, the greatest Indian ruler after Ashoka but not just for the reasons you have cited. I would write more but, frankly, it’d be a waste trying explaining to someone whose answer to any query about his references or detail is oh-I-don’t-know-but-in-general-they-were-intolerant. You obviously have not read Irfan Habib. Again, don’t indulge in useless name dropping.
    As for the references for my statement about the 70/80s, that’s also quite a bit of work and also a waste. You have shown no curiosity, no effort, just idle platitudes. Just to get you started, 70s witnessed emergency, the first serious threat to democracy overturned by the efforts of one JP who no one talks about now.
    Of course, if RHR wants, I’d happily oblige.

  18. Majumdar India Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Kaal bhai,
    Needless to say, that path-breaking research has been carried out by the fearless Dr Sarmila Bose, of the family of the great fearless man, Sarat Chandra Bose, and of Sugata and Ayesha Jalal Bose.
    You know in 1947, Sarat babu had tried to create an independent Bangistan. Then Nehru had thwarted him (with support of Patel) by shoving a bamboo up his gandhiji. But his daughter has avenged the dishonour done to her father by exposing Nehru’s daughters kaale karnamey in 1970-71.

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

    Majumdar Dada
    Nehru had no clue what to do about it. S. P. Mukherjee thwarted that plan of Sarat Bose and H. S. Suhrawardy. Also, a minor typo, Sarmila Bose is Sarat Bose’s grand-daughter , daughter of the famed pediatrician Sisir Bose (Subhas Bose’s nephew who drove him from his house on the Elgin Road, Calcutta, to the Gomoh station in Bihar, from where he took the Kalka Mail and then the Frontier Mail in his 1941 escape).

  20. Majumdar India Internet Explorer Windows says:

    NC mian,



  21. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Majumdar Dada

    Do you remember that intrepid and objective writer on Chowk, Angana Chatterji, whose guide and leader and a renowned social worker in his own right – Ghulam Nabi Fai fell prey to the malice and bigotry of visible Hindus in both India and the US? Wonder if that intelligent lady shares the legacy of the Bose Family, even if not through any direct social connection.

    Sarat, Sarmila, Sugato, Ayesha, and Angana – there may exist an outstanding moral and intellectual Bose tradition, sans Neta ji himself, that has escaped general public’s attention in India.

  22. peace United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    kaalchakra- I come to PTH regularly, and there are many gas bags here. But you are the only one who satisfies all of these criteria-

    - gasbag
    - cheap Islamic fundamentalist
    - surprisingly good with English language
    - intellectually bankrupt
    - pretending to be an Indian Hindu

    You irritate hugely KAALCHAKRA. Sorry if i offend Sir

  23. Yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Rexie, come and rescue Kaal the en… one

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

    As far as I know Sugata Bose has never written anything on the India-Pakistan issue, except for his book on Netaji. Sarat Bose was a distinguished Barrister nationalist who stayed with INC even after his brother was removed by a Congress “culture” of cunning, deceit, and horse trading (which is continuing till today). Ayesha Jalal’s thesis (written under A. Sil of Cambridge, another Bengali not related to the Bose family) is a marvelous piece of work and exposes both sides of the coin who jointly bear responsibility for the mess we are in. These are high achieving men and women contributing to the intellectual domain and supporting themselves on their own. Quite unlike the scions of the other family, Rahul and Vadra, C students and intellectual/political failures, who will soon feed off the government coffers and “run” our country.
    BTW, Nirad C. Chaudhury is Sarmila Bose’s other distinguished grandfather from the mother’s side. For making controversial commentary she takes after the indomitable Nirad Babu more than anyone else.

  25. BAK United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    @Zainulabideen (February 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm)

    The Jamaat-e-Islami has forever, the blood of the Bengali nation on its hands

    It’s an interesting coincidence that the mullahs in Pakistan too, have their hands stained, or shall we say, soaked with the blood of innocent people.

  26. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Neiter reasoning nor logic are friends of hate, jealousy, and ignorance. Prejudice canot be lasered and people loose over time their eyesight without the vibrant insight. My knowledge of English is very limited but I reckon that ‘Nostalgy’ might be the appropriate explanaion of those who spit out slurs with the term ‘Islam’. The last Samurai who carelessly did that has offered to resign his seat of holiness.

    As a child I once tried to make the moon disappear with the palm of my hand and later I saw a blind person aware fully conscious of the Sun simply because of its warmness.

    In my observation, Kaal has never claimed to be what others have claimed for him. He is the enlightened one because what he sees, others do not and what he says, others cannot. His judgement can be easily explained as it is usualy based on the twin brain structure of the human body, namely the Brain mass in the head with the network of neurons and the stomach which has the independent mass of billions of nerves and cells which collates feelings from the major organs planted in the human body. Very seldom people combine the two, one which we call’Geist’ mind and soul and the other which we call ‘gut feelings’.

    Kaal is therefore the unique one and to evaluate him accurately one must not use any preconceived prejudice or misconceptions. He is very popular on ET Blog amng Indians, Pakistanis and others and this is rare.

    And what peace has said is very provincial and ordinary.

    Rex Minor

  27. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    “it is usualy based on the twin brain structure of the human body, namely the Brain mass in the head with the network of neurons and the stomach which has the independent mass of billions of nerves and cells which collates feelings from the major organs planted in the human body.”
    That made my day. KC watch your backside.

  28. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    CM, I feel really honored to count Rex a friend. He is the sort of person one would normally expect to see at the Whitehead Insititute, to which he may well be related in some significant capacity.

    NC, all good points, no doubt.

    Peace, my friend, NEVER again apologize for offending me. Your expressing your opinions truthfully is of far greater import to us all than your protecting the feelings of one Mr. Kaal.

  29. romain United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Kaal mian,

    “He is the sort of person one would normally expect to see at the Whitehead Insititute, to which he may well be related in some significant capacity.”

    I thought Whitehead was a research institute that did some good.

  30. Dark Knight Pakistan Google Chrome Windows says:

    @Zainulabideen (February 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm)

    //…The Jamaat-e-Islami has forever, the blood of the Bengali nation on its hands…//

    I have the deepest respect for your forthright expression as well as for your honesty. I also truly admire your passionate advocacy of the Bengali people. What you have stated, is absolutely true, with or without any path-breaking research.

  31. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    I said it with a sense of envy, you enlightened one. I doubt I have a “stomach which has the independent mass of billions of nerves and cells which collates feelings from the major organs planted in the human body.”
    that makes me sad. :(

  32. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Zainu, without dragging this thing forever, please understand our point of view. We (people who think like me) are behind none in extending our sympathies to all who may ask for it. However, as we would expect, a competent and well-trained member of the pre-eminent Bengali nationalist family of Sri Sarat Chandra Bose has assiduously pulled down the web of untruths woven by Indian and Bangladeshi authorities. It has become clear that the Pakistani army and their partners were as much sinned against as they were the sinners. Overwrought Bengali/Indian recollections of Al Shams, Al Badr having the ‘blood on Bengali Nation’ seem mostly terribly exaggerated, unless self defence is given the label of ‘genocide’.

    There is absolutely no reason why you and I should believe that Sarmila, Sugata and Ayesha Bose et al – all best placed to feel the pain of Bengali community, and of sterling Bengali pedigree and connections themselves, would let ANY untruths stand in this matter.

    That is all I have to humbly submit on this subject.


    CM, PLEASE don’t be. :)

  33. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:


    Not bad your guess, though Max-Planck would have been closer! Just a joke of the day after hearing the Inquisition Chief resigning.

    RHR has told us about the intellectuals of PTH! What he did not say that these personalities function within a pre-determined concise and restricted thinking mechanism because of their exposure to anglo saxon education system, which more or less anesthises their trechea. As a matter of fact I enjoy it when they keep going in circles time and time again playing the hand driven orgal.

    Rex Minor

  34. Asoka India Google Chrome  GT-N7100 Build/JZO54K) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.166 Mobile Safari/535.19 says:

    Taliban love fest rolls on.

    The one straight shooting straight talking world personality steps off stage. The Regensberg speech of 2006 will be remembered as the best straight talk ever to the axis of evil and it’s seventh century leader.

  35. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Jamaat-e-Islami does have the blood of the Bangladeshi nation in its hands. The sufferings of the Bangladeshis were real and painful and do not require certification by anyone. Even so, here’s a befitting reply to the sordid research done by Ms. Sarmila Bose: (
    Please don’t mind Jaalchakra. If I were you I wouldn’t respond to him. He is from our ganga land, land of the folks usually stoned as a black hole. If you see him, smile, nod, and be sympathetic.

  36. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Al Sind

    Although I am not the biggest fan of name changes, I celebrate Sindi brothers and sisters recognizing the importance of their Arab heritage and inspiration.

    Sindi Hindus, naturally, are all aghast, again. They are trying to decide whom they should ‘blame’ this one on – Punjabis, Bengalis, Balochis, Tamilians, or the Chinese who have been very active recently.

  37. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP, most of us have no stake in this debate. We simply trust the Great Bose Family who are all established and respected historians. Had there been an iota of truth in your allegations, Sugata, Ayesha, Sarmila would have acknowledged it by now. An article in a biased newspaper does not constitute sufficient refutation of their celebrated lives’ scholarly work. Best.

  38. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Those people who keep on going in circles do so involuntarily and simply avoid their landing in the black hole. This movement helps them to keep their muscles survive for a longer period in the aging process. However, their lack of capacity to break away from the strong magnetic forces of the planets slows down the regeneration process of the cells in their body resulting in the acceleration of the aging process. In a lay man’s language they are called today’burnt out’.

    Axiom; do not repeat what others have said and extract phrases out of context, unless one is able to visualise the time and the place when history lived and opinions were expressed, and then tries to express the personal opinion. Freedom of Expression is the word used in the civilised world. Not freedom of expressing crap which denegrades peoples religions and cultures.

    Rex Minor

  39. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Mr Kaal
    Why did you make false claims about burning the rape victim? Is not it your hatred and biases?
    Mr, Kaal you are a Mullah in the guise of a Hindu name.
    Your theory about fluidity is invalid and there is an obvious feud in the Islamic world. Why all these Islamic countries are separate but not one? Why a Baloch wants to go away from Pakistan? Why does a Shia believe otherwise than Sunni?
    Thankfully some people accept the very nature of human psychology and do not issue fatwas fir Hazir and Nazir..

  40. Asoka India Google Chrome  GT-N7100 Build/JZO54K) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.166 Mobile Safari/535.19 says:

    Rex Minor, do you read what you type before you post? Or is it some random word generator that you use? If these are coded messages between you two lovers (kaal and you) them forgive me for intruding

  41. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Asoka
    Rexie is direct from Saarne Institute in Estonia, trying to reconnect long lost friend Kaal

  42. Mohan United Arab Emirates Safari iPad says:


    Sindhi Hindus in India had long time ago stopped blaming anyone. Initially after the partition some of them were under ithe impression that they will go back to Sindh but once they realized that it was not possible than they got on with their life and through their business acumen have made their decent space in the society.

  43. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Mohan

    Some Shias ( who are butchered in Pakistan (well a Shia was a creator), in India also thought that and have been doing well. Azim Premji, Khorakiwala brothers have been doing well. The fanatics who are killing each other are destroying their own nation, while India is now a recognized upcoming economic giant.
    Seriously can anybody answer is anyone except few northern Indian states, is bothered about Pakistan???

  44. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Mohan, I agree. In general, that is true of Sindi Hindus. However, one does run into a few hard nuts once in a while who remember nothing but an idyllic existence pre-1947. From a little of the history of Sind I have read such recollections, I am sure, are little short of complete delusion. But to re-emphasize our agreement, true, unlike our Bengali brothers, Sindis have moved past the childish game of blaming others. (Does that also explain, partly, their greater success? Perhaps, perhaps not)

  45. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Thankfully Bangladesh is from daily fidayeen attacks which kills hundreds of people a month and still gets help from Russia to establish Nuclear power plant. On the other hand Punjabi bros get drones….

  46. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Thankfully Bangladesh is ….. free….from

  47. Zainulabideen United States Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    @Kaalchakra (February 12, 2013 at 4:21 am)

    Al Shams, Al Badr having the ‘blood on Bengali Nation’ seem mostly terribly exaggerated, unless self defence is given the label of ‘genocide’.

    Giving genocide the label of “self-defence”, is simply malicious. That is how I would put it. The role of Jamaat-e-Islami in the life of Bangladesh, has been a thoroughly criminal and violent one, from its creation till this day. Jamaat-e-Islami preaches and practices violence and gets its volunteers from madrassas and money from the Saudis.

  48. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Zainu, I have complete respect for you. May be you are right, and then perhaps the role of Jamaat-e-Islami, in the life of any nation, has a thoroughly criminal and violent one; and that this organization preaches and practices violence.

    I still find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that the Bose Parivar – Sugata, Sarmila, and Ayesha – all outstanding historians who have dedicated their lives to studying and teaching ‘history’ have not see this fact as clearly as you do.

    Can you explain why Bose Parivar would see and teach what they call history so differently from the way you do? Is it just a matter of perspective, and the Boses are as right as you are? Thanks in advance.

  49. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Jamaat-e-Islami preaches and practices violence and gets its volunteers from madrassas and money from the Saudis. This is not an opinion but a judgement, a fatwa, a character assasination of the Jamat-e-Islam, Madrassas and the Saudi estabishment, without having put forward any supporting evidence. This also tells us about the character of the man and the school of religion he practices.

    Rex Minor

  50. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:


    “HP, most of us have no stake in this debate. We simply trust the Great Bose Family who are all established and respected historians.”
    What is this “Bose Parivar” that has written anything about Bangladesh? Show us something from anyone other than Sarmila.
    Jaali, you and lackey, have never known anything other than Hindus and Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, being at each other’s throat. But why do you assume it is the same everywhere? People are different, you know, daam maro daam, is not universally popular everywhere.

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