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Pak Tea House » Politics » A case for evolutionary change

A case for evolutionary change

By Saad Hafiz:

The recent “anti-establishment” rallies confirm that Pakistanis are more politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive than ever.  It is heartening to witness the quest for personal dignity and economic opportunity in a country painfully scarred by memories of decades-long domination by the “status-quo”. The pattern is also consistent with the political turmoil and stirrings against the established order so widespread today around the world. The youth in Pakistan are particularly restless and resentful and politically alert and engaged.  The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well.  The rapidly expanding demographic bulge in the 25-year-old-and-under age bracket is creating a huge mass of impatient young people. Their minds have been stirred by sounds and images that emanate from the region and beyond and which intensify their disaffection with what is at hand.  It remains to be seen whether the recent social consciousness presents a greater or more direct challenge to entrenched and centralized power structures or it will “fizzle-out” like earlier “anti-establishment” awakenings.

It is tempting to think that Pakistan harbours revolutionary impulses that could trigger a radical transformation of politics and society.  Some may argue that Pakistan needs a revolution to overhaul the oppressive culture of corruption and impunity that continues to enrage the Pakistani masses today.  The people are victims of the same indignities that incited revolt in the Middle East: corruption, oppression, and injustice.  Successive despotic dictatorships and dynastic political governments have made the masses feel helpless and ineffectual.  A pertinent quote from Friedrich Engels applies to Pakistan: “We find two great gangs of political speculators, who alternately take possession of the state power and exploit it by the most corrupt ends — the nation is powerless against these two great cartels of politicians (add generals) who are ostensibly its servants, but in reality dominate and plunder it.”

Having said that, it is unclear whether the country would benefit if the re-discovered “peoples-power” is translated into a major shift and change, or revolution, in the political, social and economic realms.  It can be argued that the evolutionary democratic path would be far more preferable.  The recent upsurge in social consciousness is an opportunity to maintain pressure on the entrenched and centralized power structures through the ballot box to address the extraordinarily high levels of inequality in society.  Along the way, Pakistanis can help disprove Giuseppe Prezzolini, who said that “representative government is artifice, a political myth, designed to conceal from the masses the dominance of a self-selected, self-perpetuating, and self-serving traditional ruling class.”

Pakistan has the edifice of a democracy in place with a functioning legislature, independent judiciary, lively media which operates relatively free of state control and multi-party elections which are fiercely competitive. Pakistanis have solid party associations and have several organized national parties and numerous regional political parties with very strong following. This is a genuine foundation for a democracy: organized political parties and their base is an absolute precondition for any viable democratic system.  On the flip side, Pakistani democracy is a system that mostly serves the interest of “the all ambitious, prosperous and self-confident elites”. The challenge is for the prevailing democratic dispensation to evolve from just representing the elite to becoming broadly participatory as well.  Any society which claims adherence to an inclusive, participatory democracy would demand nothing less of its elected representatives.

The process of “democratic legitimation” in Pakistan will require: First, the state’s acknowledgement that it regards the citizens as the foundation of its rule and the “ultimate seat of all powers that it exercises.”  Second, that a bond links the populace to the state via the notion of citizenship: a set of general and equal entitlements and obligations vested in individuals with respect to the state, as well as the content of society’s activity and outputs. Third, “the rule of law” exists.  Law is brought into the “organization of political power and the modes of its exercise,” establishing what Max Weber called “legal-rational domination.” Fourth, opposition to the state, debates and contestation over policies, critical orientations, and expressions are legitimized and institutionalized — indeed, they are regarded as productive.  This in turn is linked to the idea of the public sphere: recognition of the rights of assembly, association, and petition. Fifth, there is the established institution of representative government based on free and fair elections.

As this happens, Pakistan itself is at a pivotal moment in its history.  The current government, ineffective as it may be, is the first government in decades that is almost there, almost about to finish its five-year term.  The upcoming May elections have the potential to begin a tradition of civilian government and peaceful transitions between democratically elected administrations.  A mass potentially violent revolution is the last thing Pakistan needs at this stage.  The best path forward for Pakistan, reformative as it might be, is not to ask and hope for a mass revolution but the continuation of the process in the form of timely held general elections. Only democratic continuity will enable Pakistan to strengthen its civilian institutions and build its political and public sphere.

 

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115 Responses to "A case for evolutionary change"

  1. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Friends, sufism in general is nothing but a wonderful gate to Islam, nothing more, nothing less. No rational Muslim who has cared to read the Holy Quran even once believes that Sufism constitutes the entirety of Islam. Appropriately, as more and more Muslims are able to read the Holy Quran on their own, sufism for sufism’s sake is being, gradually, eliminated from all Muslim countries. It is being ‘folded in’. For some (biological ?) reasons, (some) human beings have mystical needs. Holy Quran itself being not the fondest of mysticism, sufism is kept in Muslim countries to the extent of serving those ritualistic and mystical needs. It is thus a tool of faith for those whose faith wavers or must develop. Quite rightly, again, sufism for sufism’s sake attracts some woolly-headed non-Muslims who look at one Bulleh Shah and burst uncontrollably into a dance believe that is what sufism is.

    From Sind to Punjab to Malaysia, to Indonesia, for centuries on end, Sufis have sung songs in praise of, full of absolute love to every imaginable Hindu deity – from Vishnu to Krishna – which in the fullness of time means not a jot, and every Sufi scholar knows this.

    How many Hindus have read the earliest Ginans that led to Mr Jinnah and his (somewhat muddled exposition of) TNT that our Hindu friends so strongly detest? Or, the reincarnations of Vishnu that introduced Malaysia to Islam which ultimately led to the modern rational Malaysia where to be a Malay means being a Muslim.

    And all this utter junk exist only on the land-mass of so-called Greater India. None of this exists outside of it – in Turkey, in Iran, in Central Asia, where Sufi ‘gurus’ have traditionally come from and/or once they return to it. None of this krishna, kali, vishnu nonsense (with apologies to my Hindu friends) has any meaning in the ocean of Sufism itself (other than sometimes necessary reflections of Islam, Prophet Muhmmad, and the Holy Quran – as I described earlier. Add the Rightly Guided Ali to the list, since our Shia brothers have been very active and for reasons unknown to me, my Hindu friends love to shout and clap at every opportunity – “Ya Ali!”).

    If all this has the slightest meaning it has to the blessed Hindu alone who imagines that his corner of sindh constitutes the entire world, his kashmir constitutes the whole universe, and his Bengal, the brahmand itself. Sorry, my brothers, but that is the truth.

    —————–

    I confess that I have read little of Bengal. It is possible that Bengal is the one corner of the world where all laws of nature have failed. Where new Islam and new Sufism have finally made their appearance. But I think that is nothing but typical Hindu delusion and ignorance.

    More likely, what appears different is a matter of history, location, poverty, lack of education. Islam penetrated relatively late in Bengal, as it did in places like Indonesia and Malaysia. The socio-political conditions in these places were such that it didn’t have to fight wars to dominate the land; sufism was enough to draw people in and to keep them there for centuries. Again, for socio-historical reasons, evolution in these places was slow.

    Will places like bengal, malyasia, indonesia et al continue to be what they are? The future is hard to predict, but IMO the great modern and rational force of Islam will do its best to make them what it must everywhere. And if the treatment of our Ahmadi brothers and sisters – clear deviants from Islam – is any sign, I think we have reason to believe that the task has already begun, a few shahbag squares notwithstanding.

  2. yazid United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Inshallah Kaal

    Let the killings continue of infidels….

    Killing non believers is the only thing that non Islam does.

  3. yazid United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Almost universally Muslims claim that Islam teaches tolerance, yet in practice one word of criticism and they proclaim a fatwa of beheading that person on the charge of blasphemy.

    It seems that Allah is not omnipotent, when it comes to eliminate someone. He can carry out the most intricate process of creating a life, but then leans upon the shoulders of fanatics to carry on the job of eliminating that. In the opinion of fanatics, that job has been entrusted to them. It is a great pity that the threat of violence stops publishers from publishing such books.

    Muslims still believe that sword is mightier than pen.

  4. lord of the rings India Google Chrome Windows says:

    Thank you, Hamara Kaal!

  5. NDelhi India Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Kaal,
    As George Orwell says,
    ” Telling truth in this world of deciet is a revolutionry act”

  6. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    “I confess that I have read little of Bengal. It is possible that Bengal is the one corner of the world where all laws of nature have
    failed. Where new Islam and new Sufism have finally made their appearance. But I think that is nothing but typical Hindu delusion and ignorance.
    .
    More likely, what appears different is a matter of history, location, poverty, lack of education. Islam penetrated relatively late in Bengal, as it did in places like Indonesia and Malaysia. The socio-political conditions in these places were such that it didn’t have to fight wars to dominate the land; sufism was enough to draw people in and to keep them there for centuries. Again, for socio-historical reasons, evolution in these places was slow.”
    .
    Kaallu, if you have read little of something you should stop writing about it, NOW. The ignorance of your above post is only matched by its arrogance, and stupidity.
    .
    Kaallu, Islam arrived in Bengal only shortly after Mr. Ghori brought it to north India, through the efforts of Khilji. Even before that the sufis arrived who had to fight small scale wars all around. As regards to poverty the Bengal region was fertile and always prosperous because of agriculture. A significant part of the imperial revenue to the Mughals used to come from this region. Read up on Robert Clive who noted in his diary that Murshidabad the capital of Siraj ud Doulla was bigger and grander than London of 1757.
    .
    Kaallu Miyan, in your pathetic analysis you fail to note that just as Hindu Bengal suffers the least of religion in Hindu India, Bangladesh suffers from the least of Islam in the Muslim India, broadly defined. Both are traceable to a strong cultural influence, distinct from Islam, developed during the renaissance period. If Mr. Tagore and Mr. Islam are your popular poets/song writers, there isn’t a way in hell fundamentalism can win over the middle class in the long term. This is of course difficult for you to understand because of a different socio-cultural conditioning as it is to your sidekick Chottu Miyan.

  7. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP, there is an amusing tendency among some to argue that Islam arrived the next afternoon after Prophet Muhammad was born or Christianity arrived before Jesus did, but the fact of the matter is that most of the conversions occurred late, among the poor and amidst all that goes with poverty.

    Your basic mistake is that you can only associate TNT with ‘fundamentalism’. You simply are unable to grasp what Islam stands for or what Jinnah wanted. Even if TNT is all around some Hindus they won’t see it – except in terms of ‘religious fanaticism’. And once TNT has been perfected, as in Bangladesh, Muslims don’t need to see it either.

    As to Bangladesh’s future, don’t close the book on history so soon. We will see the number of Hindus after just three or four decades. Hopefully, we will both be alive and healthy, and can then discuss the global uniqueness of Bengal. :)

  8. Dr A Mishra, Harrowgate United Kingdom Internet Explorer Windows says:

    kallu- “And if the treatment of our Ahmadi brothers and sisters – clear deviants from Islam – is any sign blah blah blah”

    Kaalchakra- beneath the English prose you reek of murderous contempt to whom you consider the other.

    You are a hindu from India????? why even my Pakistani doctor friends here in Yorkshire to whom I have occasionally shown your posts say you remind them of some crazy relatives they left back in Pakistan- you know the ones whose beards flow below the umbilicus and the ones who indulged in mayhem on Ashiq e Rasool day last year !!!

  9. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Misra ji, again, you speak like a Hindu. You have convinced yourselves that the faith in Islam can belong only to the ones whose ‘beards flow below the umbilicus’.

    That is why I call your modern Hinduism a faulty religion. It completely blinds its adherents. It is the ONLY religion that teaches that the truth is immoral.

    Please read:

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20132\26\story_26-2-2013_pg3_3

    PS: Since reading is an art lost on Hindus, let me quote from the article:

    (in Zaheerudin v State) in a landslide decision, the (Pakistani Supreme) Court wrote, “The [Ahmadis] who are non-Muslims want to pass off their faith as Islam? … [a] [Muslim] believer…will not tolerate a Government, which is not prepared to save him of such deceptions or forgeries…”

    ————–

    What you need to do is to find better Pakistani friends who teach you some good old-fashioned truth.

  10. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Islam: Be weak, and refuse to think, to open your mind.
    Lose yourself in the fake love of a make-believe god that no Muslim has ever seen, nor heard, and will never see or hear. Ever.
    Yes, Islam is open, open for submission. Head to the Mosque, pray to the lord Mohammed( Allah is second fiddle), for he is the one behind Islam.
    Pray to the man who claimed to talk on behalf of his fake god.

    DO NOT try to interpret the Quran. ACCEPT it for what it is. DO NOT question it. For if you QUESTION it, you become a doubter.
    Doubters are not welcome in Islam, they are a menace.
    Only submitted individuals that unconditionally love Islam, and it’s fake god, are welcome.

    Claim that you are tolerant, yet do not tolerate a word and claim blasphemy. Hate Allah followers who do it a different way ( Shia and Ahmediyas)

  11. Vish United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    “Kaallu, Chottu, kallu,”. All honorifics by those who have lost it.

  12. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    yazid, whatever may be the truth about Islam, but about what people call Hinduism today one thing is absolutely clear – it blinds most people to reality. A vast majority of good Hindus are simply unable to accept that one may fully believe in TNT and yet be modern and progressive like Jinnah and Suhrawardy.

    Suhrawardhy and Sarat Bose form the perfect pair. They individually satisfy all the conditions necessary to jointly make a world that appears ideal to each of them, from their own perspectives.

    Later.

  13. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    “HP, there is an amusing tendency among some to argue that Islam arrived the next afternoon after Prophet Muhammad was born or Christianity arrived before Jesus did, but the fact of the matter is that most of the conversions occurred late, among the poor and amidst all that goes with poverty.”
    .
    That was true with all of India. What was your point made specifically about Bengal again?
    .
    “Your basic mistake is that you can only associate TNT with ‘fundamentalism’. You simply are unable to grasp what Islam stands for or what Jinnah wanted. Even if TNT is all around some Hindus they won’t see it – except in terms of ‘religious fanaticism’. And once TNT has been perfected, as in Bangladesh, Muslims don’t need to see it either.”
    .
    That’s muddle headed thinking at its worst. Had it not been about fundamentalism some form of TNT exists everywhere. The Hindus in the US also form a separate nation in modes of worship, food, culture, arranged marriages, and what not. Only fundamentalism proclaims that different “nations” cannot co-exist under one political set up. Fundamentalist Muslims want Sharia making it impossible to co-exist for non-Muslims. None of this exists in Bangladesh and they never did. Bangladeshis are as far away from Sharia as Hindus are from Manu Smriti.
    .
    Don’t bring Jinnah into it. That fight was personal and there were two sides to it. TNT in those hands was a weapon, the means not the end.
    .
    “As to Bangladesh’s future, don’t close the book on history so soon. We will see the number of Hindus after just three or four decades. Hopefully, we will both be alive and healthy, and can then discuss the global uniqueness of Bengal.”
    .
    Your ignorance of anything outside UP is amusing. Hindus drove the language movement, broke Pakistan. Yahya and Tikka Khan killed many Hindus not for nothing. Many Razakars the young Bangladeshis are rising against were killers of Hindus. Bangladeshis have two names one Muslim one Hindu. One acquaintance goes by the name “Manisha” although she also has a Muslim name. Kaallu, the Hindus in Bangladesh are safe and secured, more so than the Muslims in India.

  14. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP brother, Hindus in the US do not form a separate nation. Have never heard anyone claim otherwise. Nor do the Jains, the Buddhhists, the Christians, the Sikhs (even such a well-knit community as Sikhs) in India form a separate nation.

    “Kaallu, the Hindus in Bangladesh are safe and secured, more so than the Muslims in India.”

    It’s good you believe so, HP. That may even be true. That is what Jinnah would have believed true of TNT, too, in the first place.

    HP, you seem to be upset at the thought of TNT without understanding anything about it.

  15. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    yazid, whatever may be the truth about Islam,

    So you accept what I said?

  16. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    “That is what Jinnah would have believed true of TNT, too, in the first place.”
    .
    And that is why TNT was only a weapon in Jinnah’s hands. It was a means not the end. A very unfortunate use of means in the hands of one who never believed in it.
    .
    “HP, you seem to be upset at the thought of TNT without understanding anything about it.”
    .
    Okay so why don’t you explain it to us once and for all.
    .
    What are upsetting are clamors for islamic state with Allah as the ultimate authority and strains of sharia in the legal code, all with the force of majority, making it impossible for non-Muslims to co-exist. Those were the promises, implicit or otherwise, made in 1946 and that’s how Pakistan was won (and that’s what Pakistan has become). That’s what I understand as TNT and fundamentalism is at the root of it. Leave the fundamental incompatibilities among various communities aside, a much diluted, and harmless, form of TNT exists everywhere, but it would not win you votes.

  17. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Islam: Be weak, and refuse to think, to open your mind.
    Lose yourself in the fake love of a make-believe god that no Muslim has ever seen, nor heard, and will never see or hear. Ever.
    Yes, Islam is open, open for submission. Head to the Mosque, pray to the lord Mohammed( Allah is second fiddle), for he is the one behind Islam.
    Pray to the man who claimed to talk on behalf of his fake god.

    DO NOT try to interpret the Quran. ACCEPT it for what it is. DO NOT question it. For if you QUESTION it, you become a doubter.
    Doubters are not welcome in Islam, they are a menace.
    Only submitted individuals that unconditionally love Islam, and it’s fake god, are welcome.

    Claim that you are tolerant, yet do not tolerate a word and claim blasphemy. Hate Allah followers who do it a different way ( Shia and Ahmediyas)

  18. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP, I will do this very quickly, and then we can discuss it if you like.

    TNT was nothing about fundamentalism, beards, murder etc. It simply meant what almost every (Pakistan) Muslim seems to have understood then and understands now – Muslims could not live (without being unacceptably disadvantaged) under the political domination of permanent majority Hindus.

    There is no need to believe, nor do we have any compelling evidence, that the gentleman was faking anything about tools and means. He wanted to take Hindus’ power to cause too much damage to Muslims away.

    Nothing more.

    To Jinnah, except for his confusion over langauge issue, Bangladesh, not today’s Pakistan, would have been closer to his ideal.

  19. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    Here are the inconsistencies in your argument. Dig deeper, remove them, your definition would be same as mine.
    .
    “Muslims could not live (without being unacceptably disadvantaged) under the political domination of permanent majority Hindus.”
    .
    And why is that so? Is it because the “political majority Hindus” may not concede to Allah being the ultimate arbiter, insist on freedom of speech of some form, on a document called Constitution and not Al Quran? Note these were precisely the “fears” played on the ordinary Muslim mind. Jinnah was of course fine with all of them. So what you call TNT was basically Jinnah’s own fight with the Congress Party, the ordinary Muslims interpreted them in exactly the way I describe. Pakistan has become what the ordinary men and women imagined it to be, as a fall out of their understanding of TNT . Neither Jinnah nor Bangladesh would have believed in that “dream”, had it not been the tumult of 1947.

  20. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP

    Please help me understand where you see those inconsistencies.

    Let me reiterate Jinnah’s and probably most widely understood Muslim view of TNT:

    Muslims could not live (without being unacceptably disadvantaged) under the political domination of permanent majority Hindus. Hence the primary task of a believer in TNT was to work to remove the political domination of Hindus over Muslims to the extent possible.

    I can see one inconsistency. What about the rights of those Muslims who could not join his Muslim power state? For them, he had the second best option advise. They should seek to live as equal citizens of a democratic, secular polity so they minimize/remove the consequences of being a persecuted minority.

    Is there something that you disagree with here?

  21. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP

    I would be really interested in understanding if you thought the above did not constitute the mental construction of TNT by Jinnah and most Muslims who supported him. What inconsistencies would we find in Jinnah’s behavior at any time if we accepted that as his view of TNT? Thanks.

  22. beacon India Internet Explorer Windows says:

    to kaal

    If muslims cannot live under a non-muslim majority then the muslims should go to Makkah and live there and not snatch land from non-muslims and set up islamofascist states on these lands.

    Islam does not and cannot have a concept of human rights and dignity for non-muslims that does justice to the non-muslims in the 21st century. All muslims, even Jinnahs, live, kill, lie and die in their fantasy about islam being perfect and final and uncriticizable and muslims being divinely entitled to power, revenge, supremacy and rewards.

  23. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    What you call as TNT was Jinnah’s (and some other Muslim Leaguers’) own political ambition fueled by his being spurned by a hegemonic Congress Party. Look at it this way, if he had succeeded to remain at the upper echelon of the Congress Party, India still would have been under a permanent majority Hindus, but going by his conduct up until the late thirties Jinnah himself would not have had a problem with it. What you call TNT is therefore nothing but political squabbling among the leaders. The Muslim mass of the subcontinent was fed a different idea, they were made to believe that Islam would be in danger, Allah Quran and Sharia would take the backseat, and the fundamental incompatibilities of the two communities were highlighted in the most explicit way possible. This, then, was the real TNT, that Hindus and Muslims were fundamentally incompatible with each other, and in a state with the Muslims in permanent majority, Islam, Quran, and Allah would take precedence over everything else. Such a state, with fundamental Islam at the root of it, would by construction not be welcoming to the non-Muslims and Jinnah himself would have had no place in it. The inconsistency in your argument is that you do not describe TNT the way the Muslim mass understood it, which is what Pakistan (but not Bangladesh) has become, as a course of natural progression from the elections of 1946.

  24. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP

    I must congratulate you for the death sentence awarded to Delwar Hossain Syeedi, which you probably support. I have a feeling that had Jinnah been alive, he might have supported the death sentence to Maudoodi too, and might even have encouraged its actual implementation, unless he had been hired by Maudoodi himself.

    But you make a mistake in assuming that Jinnah and the sufis who made TNT such a roaring success were fundamentalists of any sort. They were closer to our Bengali brother tajender. They simply did not trust Hindus and, like tajender, did not think much of the latter’s religion.

    But there is too much distance between us regarding our understandings of Islamic liberalism of Jinnah, Tajender, and Bengali Muslims. So with your permission we would agree to disagree.

  25. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    Bangladeshis are generally not the lot who “did not think much of the latter’s religion”. I am sure exceptions are out there but tajender is not one of them as he is from UP. Cal Muslims also don’t count as they have little in common with Bengal. (The other day the Calcutta Muslims led a rally in support of Jamaat i Islami and denouncing the Dhaka Shahbag movement . KC anyone who hasn’t read Tagore does not count as Bengali and Cal Muslims haven’t read a word of him.
    .
    Back to what I was saying I have never met a Bangladeshi who spoke little of Hindus. I am sure some exist and this guy is one of them (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1VnZHpYPSY). Listen from the horse’s mouth about the state of Islam in “secular fundamentalist” Bengali Muslims.

  26. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Heavy petting

    Allah’s pimp Muhammad has been informed to keep 72 virgins ready for Kaal Chakra……….

  27. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    HP, I would surprise you by agreeing with you partly – language, specially, its script, can make a non-trivial difference. A Bengali who reads and writes in Bengali(?) script is likely to be on average, a different person than a Bengali who reads and writes primarily in Urdu (or Bengali in Persianized script, if such a thing existed).

    This influence of script is so fundamental that the great sufis, when they first entered India, took elaborate care to replace local scripts with Persianized/Arabized scripts wherever they could. A Punjabi who reads and writes in Gurumukhi is simply not the same person, on average, than a Punjabi who reads and writes, primarily in Shahmukhi.

    Having granted that, I do not know of ANY ideological/intellectual model anywhere that can keep a muslim society immune from Islam forever. To me, societies like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia etc seem like still largely Hindu societies gradually moving into the arms of Islam. Bangladesh appears unique only in that thanks to Mr Jinnah’s political follies its sense of ‘national’ self has emerged, taken form, in antagonism to an ‘Islamic’ Pakistan.

    A bit like Turkey’s, which has had a history of political antagonism with the Arab world; or like Iran, which has had political reasons to shape its identity different from the Arabs.

    Will that be enough to keep Bangladesh ‘unique’ forever? Islam penetrates and impacts Muslim societies in so many ways, shapes and forms that I would still not vote against it, if I were a Bangladeshi. As an outsider, I would merely watch it evolve, with some curiosity. As of today, one must agree with you, it is a good day to be an Islamic unbeliever in Bangladesh.

    ———–

    May I ask you one last question on this topic – in your construction of real versus unreal Bengalis (or Bengali speaking versus Urdu speaking Bengalis) where would Shaheed Suhrawardy and his family stand? Were these people real Bengalis or outsiders? I ask because it seems to me, this sharp distinction you have drawn may be a post 1947 phenomenon, more meaningful after 47 when the ‘other’ was an Urdu-speaking Muslim than before 47, when it was a Bengali-speaking Hindu. Still, were these Suhrawardys Bengali walas or Urdu walas?

  28. romain United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Kc mian,

    your post to HP mian justified my belief that u are very perceptive albeit a diabolical one.

    cheers

  29. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    yazid, aapke munh me ghee shakkar. Women are lovely creatures and there can never be enough of them as far as I am concerned. :)

  30. Skeptic India Safari iPad says:

    “anyone who hasn’t read Tagore does not count as Bengali ”
    This real versus unreal Bengali has echoes of the eternal problem in Islam — real versus unreal Muslim.
    Perhaps HP has a point ; Bengali nationalism may prove to be an antidote to Islamic fundamentalism. More likely ,KC is right; it will only serve to delay the inevitable.

  31. Pankaj India Google Chrome Windows says:

    Pakistanis have ALREADY evolved into BARBARIANS
    because of Religious extremism
    .
    Now what is left for evolution
    .
    A country which was Born out of HATRED for HINDUS
    has now evolved into a country which HATES everybody
    .
    SHIAS ; AHMEDIAS ;HAZARAS ;Balochis ; CHRISTIANS ;Jews
    Americans ;Russians ;Indians; Hindus ;Sikhs all are hateworthy
    for Pakistanis

    Punjabis hate Sindhis and vice wersa
    .
    Everybody else hates Punjabis
    .
    MQM hates Pushtoons and vice versa
    .
    Barelvis hate Deobandis and vice versa
    .
    Pakistan has reached the PINNACLE of evolution

  32. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    yazid, Kaalchakra is a suave, but fundamentalist, Hindu. I have no doubt he doesn’t care for Muhammad, but admires the religious zeal of his followers. He pines for a similar fundamentalism in the Hindus.

  33. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    The Bengali script, in use in Indian Bengal, Bangladesh, Asam, Tripura, is identical to Devanagari, with one or two minor differences, and a slightly different style of writing. Right after Pakistan’s birth there was an attempt to replace the Bengali script in East Pakistan by Arabic, but East Pakistan resisted it.
    .
    Shaheed Suhrawardy was Urdu speaking. So was Khawaja Nazimuddin and both of them went on to become Pakistan’s Head of State. The Bengali speaking leader of note was Fazlul Haque. He was the Chief Minister of undivided Bengal in the early forties. Another Bengali speaking student leader was Sheikh Mujib, who eventually became independent Bangladesh’s first Prime Minister.
    .
    Skeptic
    .
    The reference to Tagore was meant to highlight the sobering influence of his work. I said earlier that as long as Mr. Tagore and Mr. Islam defined the Bengali consciousness, fundamentalism would find it hard to spread its tentacles.

  34. kaalchakra United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP

    That’s what I guessed. And that strengthens my suspicion that the role of language, although absolutely important (I have not the slightest doubt, for instance, about the clear Islamic role of Urdu, not only in Bengal, but all over India), was far from so unmistakably clear in pre-partition Bengal.

    The Great Hindu Bengali nationalists, Sri Sarat Chandra Bose and company, for instance were joining hands with ‘Muslim Bengali nationalists’ who, by your exposition, turns out, were not (real) Bengalis at all!

    So did “Bengali nationalist Hindus” really know what they were doing in dealing with “Bengali nationalist Muslims”?

    I doubt it.

    PS: Ironically, Suhrawardy went on to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan making contributions to the One Unit program. Sarat Chandra and co did not fall behind. They focused on producing progeny who write history today in collaboration with Ayesha Jalal to highlight the hegemonic designs of Gandhi and Nehru.

  35. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Kaalchakra
    .
    By then Suhrawardy fell out of favor with Jinnah because of his association with Gandhi. He was no Liaquat Ali Khan (who was also elected to the Pakistan constituent Assembly from Bengal). Suhrawardy later founded the Awami League in East Pakistan which went on to win independence for Bangladesh under Mujib. Here is an article on Suhrawardy by Pakistan’s Khaled Ahmed that you will profit from (http://tribune.com.pk/story/101025/suhrawardy-liaquat-ali-khan/).
    .
    Sarat Chandra Bose had just misgivings about the Congress Party. This was the party that evicted his younger brother by deceit and trickery. The same party went on to use his brother’s name and reputation in the ’46 elections, only to renege later on the promises made to the INA returnees. When Nehru was playing to the gallery in worthless lawyer’s robes in Delhi’s Red Fort (the real case was argued by Desai), Sarat Bose on his own went to Burma to fight the legal case for the INA captives. His progeny is doing fine work of scholarship throughout the world. Sugata Bose, professor in Harvard, and Sumantra Bose, professor in the London School of Economics, are renowned experts in their fields that do not involve history of India. Anita Bose Pfaff, Subhas Bose’s daughter, is an economics professor in the University of Augsburg, Germany. None of them has written anything on the hegemonic designs of the Congress Party. Which BTW they should have had, if only to lift the veil for the ganja men of India from the oh so pious Gandhi Baba and Nehru.

  36. Vish United Kingdom Google Chrome Windows says:

    Wasn’t the Bengali speaking Sheikh Mujib, who eventually became independent Bangladesh’s first Prime Minister and later lifelong President, one of the ‘very active’ participants of the Muslim League on Direct Action day? He did all this under the able guidance of the Urdu speaking Bengali??? Shaheed Suhrawardy.

  37. Maggu India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Where is that little brown talibani puppy claiming to be a gora chikna German, Rex Manure? Did someone spank him hard enough for him to forever hide under a pile of sausage?

  38. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    When I come here every few months, I notice that neither the Pakis nor their Indian friends are closer to understanding either what is Pakistan or in understanding what is India!
    .
    Indians don’t know what India is. Pakis don’t know what Pakistan is.
    .
    Pakis are killing each other because there are hardly any Hindus left there! Nehru lovers are telling Jinnah lovers that Jinnah was stupid to create Pakistan. Had he not done so, there would still have been enough Hindus for Pakis to kill, and Muslims would not have been at each other’s throats!
    .
    The Aman ka Tamasha brigade have accepted this logic! Jinnah Lovers however have a difficulty accepting that their leader made a mistake because of his lack of confidence in the power of Islam to subdue the Hindus. The Nehru Lovers think that because they won the match against the Jinnah Lovers, they have won! The Nehru Lovers think that their Islamic strategy was more effective than that of Jinnah! But that is counting one’s chicks before they hatch!
    .
    What the Nehru Lovers did not calculate was that the stupid Nehruvian-Secularism they used to mesmerize India is way past its expiry date! They thought their hold over English, the national media and the state apparatus would help them keep the rest of the Indians stupid. Well stupids, smell the coffee.
    .
    To the Jinnah Lovers and victims of Paki-Autophagia, let me tell you, you wouldn’t be asking for asylum in India. You are the ones who have won. Jinnah was good for both Pakis and Indians. You will soon have to accommodate Nehru Lovers in Pakistan itself. I assure they too are all Muslims and would scrub and wash your balls with full delight.
    .
    For in India, it is the Bharatiyas who are about to rise and chew up the asses of Nehru Lovers!

  39. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    If the whole world was Islamic, it would look exactly like the FATA region!
    .
    How many Pakjabis go willingly there?

  40. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Pakistanis have ALREADY evolved into BARBARIANS
    because of Religious extremism

    pankaj i dont know when u will have capacity to analyze things in proper way.in pakistan everybody is fighting for interest,scenerio is same as it was in lebnon few years back.hindu fascists create religious extremism not muslims.on 6th nov 1948 they killed 250000 muslims in jammu with help of raja.this is called extremism.there is no mass exodus of minorities though pakistan has passed through worst of his time.not even single sikh or hindu family left waziristan.they feel protcted there.pls awnser.

    A country which was Born out of HATRED for HINDUS
    has now evolved into a country which HATES everybody

    islam has no place for hatred towards religious minorities.country was dividede by imperialist muslims or hindus never wantd this to happen.first call for partition came from rss,hindu fascist/zoinist.

    remaining all problems exist everywhere.now america is leaving the scene,things will be back to normal like in lebnon.especilly after democracy.imperialist bring problems..on national issue they apear united like in case of transfer of gwadar port to china.so unneccary pak baiting will fetch nothing.good relation with pakistan will profitable to india as well.only sindh has 178 billion tons of coal.

  41. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    RajTOO says:
    March 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm
    If the whole world was Islamic, it would look exactly like the FATA region!
    .
    How many Pakjabis go willingly there?

    if whole world will be hindu,it will look like har kee paudhi full of naked sadhus.

  42. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    .
    Pakis are killing each other because there are hardly any Hindus left there! Nehru lovers are telling Jinnah lovers that Jinnah was stupid to create Pakistan

    they are killing each other because presence of foreign forces who want to break pakistan.they are paying to all groups for bomb planting.

  43. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Tajender

    They are killing each other because presence of foreign forces who want to break pakistan.they are paying to all groups for bomb planting.

    Is Pakistan so weak!!! Can not it protect few hundreds of Shia who are killed each month !!!

    Is Pakistan so naive to allow drones in its own territory.

    If that is OK, then Pakistan must declare itself as a failed state and allow UN forces to maintain peace :) :) :)

  44. kaalchakra United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    HP, tajender

    That article on Suhrawardy and Liaquat Ali Khan is instructive. It clearly repeats what I have been saying all along – the secularist Suhrawardy was no different from the secularist Jinnah. Both were smart enough to realize that owing to various characteristics of the Hindu society (for instance the oppressive, exploitative upper castes, regressive and superstitious beliefs, and violent and fanatical Hindu right) Muslims could not live with Hindus unless the political dominance of Muslims was guaranteed and binding.

    This was NOT an irrational, fundamentalist, or fanatical religious demand, as some Hindus think. Great Hindu Bengali Intellectuals like Sarat Chandra Bose and co. fully supported it and made its acceptance in Bengal a condition to their continued cooperation with the Congress. They knew that the Congress was merely a second team of Hindu Mahasabha which had, because of its own religious bigotry, rejected TNT and its guaranteed arrangements giving power to Muslims over Hindus. Sarat Chandra’s progeny still makes that argument. We can’t just dismiss them as frustrated bitter losers because they all work in very impressive universities.

  45. romain United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Guys,

    recommend that lets stay out of this jugalbandi between Mians KC and HP

    I am thoroughly enjoying it. Saad Sb any comments where this board has gone?

  46. RHR United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    @ Romain…

    We are what we were born….
    Nothing else..the rest is just intellectual rationalization of our instincts..

    wink wink…

  47. beacon India Internet Explorer Windows says:

    KC is claiming islam as the best garantee for secularism – this shows that islam-praisers are totally shameless in their dishonesty and cynicism.

    Imagine someone telling you to hand over your 13 year old daughter to a pimp as her care-taker, educator and protector.

    If Jinnah and ilk thought up such idiocies and roguisms then they are the most deceitful guys. Islam is totalitarian militant allah-centred fascism that tolerates no other faith.

  48. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    tajender wrote:

    RajToo wrote:

    If the whole world was Islamic, it would look exactly like the FATA region!
    .
    How many Pakjabis go willingly there?

    if whole world will be hindu,it will look like har kee paudhi full of naked sadhus.

    So how come naked sadhus are the rage with tourists and FATA beards are the rage with terrorists!
    .
    So whose approval do we look for: of tourists’ or of terrorists’?

  49. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    So whose approval do we look for: of tourists’ or of terrorists’

    none alqaida is trojan horse of imperialist.pak army and drones both are killing innocent citizens.har kee paudhi is owned by my muslim friend.he himself cannot go there.

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