Friday, December 5, 2008

Indifference in Pakistan?

हंस के लिए हैं पाकिस्तान, लड़ के लेंगे हिंदुस्तान

With a contemptuous smile, we robbed them off Pakistan;

Now we will battle, to conquer Hindustan

Synthesis of Pakistan

For many years, the above slogan (popular in pre-partition India amongst Muslims) summed up the idea of Pakistan. The State of Pakistan was an artificial creation - and popular leaders like Sheikh Abdullah refused to even meet up with Jinnah - and who was deemed irrelevant.

The Deoband seminary issued a call to Muslims, against the idea of Pakistan. Deoband seminary was set up after the 1857 War, as a religious institution to ‘escape’ British repression. 75 years after its establishment, the Deoband school became famous during Independence, due to its strong anti-Jinnah, anti-Partition stand. And 60 years after Indian independence, the Deoband seminary is again, leading an anti-terror campaign in India.

Colonial Legacy

Yet, the British colonial administrators needed to prove that only they could rule over India. Indians were after all 'men of straw ... of whom no trace will be found after a few years'. And they were led by 'half naked fakir'.

The colonial administrators created false divides - between Hindus and Muslims, between Hindus and Hindus. In some they succeeded - and in some they didn't. Kashmir, was after all an issue that was created by British commanders of Indian and Pakistani armies - in 1948. Mountbatten was the also the Governor General of India at that time.

Modern Pakistan

The Pakistan nation is actually 5 parts - The army, the ISI, the politicians, the 22 families and then there are the rest. Some may want to add the fundamentalist clergy as the sixth element. And now there are fringe terrorist groups - like LeT also on this list. Mahbub ul Haq's “22 families” speech in Karachi in 1968 highlighted the power and wealth of a few families in Pakistan.

No one in Pakistan talks to anyone. Each has contempt for the other four. And all five have separate agenda.

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn ...

And what partition era Indians remember most about the slogan above, was the indifference, to the fate of Pakistan by the soon-to-be Pakistanis - and their total India-centric focus. It is their reading, that the Pakistanis may not mourn away the passing away of Pakistan much - which is something that most Indians do not factor. Having got Pakistan for a song, they may soon be found snickering at its break up.

Is it this indifference which has allowed Pakistan to become a client state of the West?

Resident Non Indians

Some part of the Indian bureaucracy and English speaking media is possibly made up of RNIs (Resident Non-Indians), whose children and future, they have 'secured' in the West - much like the indifferent Pakistanis.

And this may be the one quality, that possibly is the one thing, that the RNIs and Pakistanis share - indifference to the fate of the country.

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