On Partition

I only just finished listening to the excellent podcast with the historian Venkat Dhulipala. My initial thoughts are that I am not surprised at how it went as I’ve read the book and heard Dhulipala speak a few times before and I am aware of Omar’s views on the topic.

The lack of surprise aside, I think it was a great 100th podcast. I think in general any discussion of the bloody Partition of India invariably has two interwoven threads – how reasonable was the Partition of India, i.e. did it actually solve a problem bigger than it created? And could a settlement of any sort have been achieved any other way, i.e. could the Partition have been averted?

My own view on the topic perhaps approaches Prof Dhulipala’s side more than it does Omar’s. Mainly because I am not Punjabi and frankly beyond some cultural and familial ties to Punjabis, I do not identify at all with the region. Like S Indians this contributes to my personal laissez faire-ism on the division of Punjab. Besides despite how much Punjabis go on about Punjabi bonhomie, it is evident that the Punjabi wavefunction collapses spectacularly when the religions are measured. So I remain sceptical of the claim of being one-people and positing counterfactuals to that effect.

That said, I am not at all gloating on my brethren from the piṇḍ (< Skt piṇḍala, lit. path through furrowed fields) and being a Kashmiri have sympathy for their position – as long as the emoting and ki banoo duniyā dā is kept under control. Let’s say, just enough for Gurdas Mann music videos 🙂


Anyway, back to the topic of Partition and the reason I am writing this post. I think there has been enough literature in the academia (as was discussed in the podcast too) on Pakistan being an unintended consequence of political brinksmanship. Jinnahbhai’s dalliance resulting in more than he had bargained for with the best of intentions. Even though, as the theory goes, it was an unintended issue Daddy wanted the best for it. Secularism, Democracy, welfare-state based on the loftiest moral abstractions that Islamicate civilization could offer and a humble refuge for Muslim minorities at the mercy of predatory Hinduism. Besides there’s the Medina theory of the religious conservatives, which Dhulipala’s book actually adds some hard evidence to.

Now I don’t know which one of those it really is, or maybe it is a bit of both. Yet there’s a third angle to this which almost never gets explicitly mentioned/debated. I am referring to the agency of Hindus in precipitating the Partition. I think this is a non-trivial question on which there doesn’t seem to be much historical literature (happy to be corrected; suggestions welcome!)

While it is often assumed that Hindus always wanted a United Pre-Partition India I don’t think there’s enough evidence to suggest that Hindu leaders had much appetite for an Akhand Pre-Partition Bharat. There was no serious mass-mobilisation of Hindus ever in India for keeping the old British India intact and Gandhi (with his constant need for moral one-upmanship) was driven to irrelevance on this question. A price worth paying in the eyes of Indian leadership at the time for territorial integrity and a strong central government – the ever closer union that EU still hankers after but never seems to reach. The transactional attitude was certainly the dominant Congress response to nebulous schemes like the Cabinet Mission Plan. In short, the Congressis were more serious in creating a state and were willing to pay the price in land they had little emotional investment in.

In the end Partition happened because a critical mass of people seriously wanted it. The manner in which this was achieved, however, couldn’t have been worse – and is a serious topic in itself. That said, second thoughts, buyer’s remorse, wisdom in hindsight etc are pointless in political decisions that are fairly high risk by their very nature. So while historians trawl through literature to fashion their favourite teleologies, the rest of us should just move on and make the best of what we have.

[NB: I strongly moderate comments. Any trolling, baiting etc goes straight to compost. So trolls, you know who you are, don’t even bother]


104 Replies to “On Partition”

  1. I think the resistance to Pakistan from the Hindu side would have been much greater had the British not been in charge. The areas upto Peshawar would have been seen as those ‘won back’ by the Marathas and Sikhs. Add to this, Sikh industry is what made the core of whats Pakistani Punjab a productive, populous region. Also, Balochistan for its mineral resources and NWFP for its strategic importance would have been important for India.

    I think if arguments along these lines were made, we would have seen far more fervent mobilization from the Hindu majority regions of British India to prevent partition. That they were not made indeed reflects a strategic decision by the Congress leaders to exchange better control for natural resources.

    The ‘buyer’s remorse’ view in Pakistan has become more pronounced as Pakistan has squandered its significant resource advantage with uncontrolled population growth and poor economic planning/thinking.

  2. Congress was insecure by the fact that majority of army consisted of muslims from NW. Even sikhs could have gotten separate state had they really wanted it back then.

    1. How can Sikhs get their own state when they are a small minority in undivided Punjab.

  3. “In short, the Congressis were more serious in creating a state and were willing to pay the price in land they had little emotional investment in.”

    Sometimes i feel this is largely true of current day Indian regions as well. Kashmir, East of Assam, (dare i say) some regions in the south and East. What i would call “constitutional India” vis-v “natural India”. The Pakistan regions would have at best remained “constitutional India” had they not separated. I guess Pak establishment too banked on it during 65 war where they under estimated India’s will to hold on to a constitutional part.

    What India has been successful somewhat is to turn parts of those areas into “natural India”. But had these regions been separated earlier , like lets say Chinese not withdrawing from Ladkah, Arunachal (in 65) or lets say Pakistan winning Kashmir, would India really fought back to get its “constitutional parts”, i doubt. Contrast it to somewhere like Goa, where India invades to get its “natural” part.

    So i would say India and its leaders had two separate policies , one for More-Hindu regions and one for Less/Non Hindu regions. The latter regions (Kashmir/Bangladesh-post 71/N-East/Pakistan etc) are areas where “Hindu leaders do not have much appetite to hold on to”.

      1. What’s there to explain? Nepal wasn’t part of India during the Brits time. On Sikkim it was mostly the same North East operation. It was a smash and grab, and similar to Bhutan no one in India really cared if they were in or out, unlike Goa.

  4. The events of Partition were a disaster but perhaps hard to avoid given the heated atmosphere of the time and the eagerness of the British to leave. If it had not gone through, there would have been Khalistan and Kashmir style insurrections all over present day Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    What is more unfortunate is the Pakistani establishment’s eternal desire to remain on a permanent war footing with India to shore up their position. Personally I feel a lot more affinity with India than the Muslim lands further west and would love to explore it all.

    I do not see detente with India ever coming though. The public strongly feels Kashmir belongs to Pakistan. There is not much likelihood they would accept the Line of Control as a permanent border, demand military spending be scaled down and get on with improving the country.

    1. If the Kashmiri Muslims in the Valley themselves choose to stay with India, I as a Pakistani would be fine with it. Our whole diplomatic stance on Kashmir is that Kashmiris have the right to national self-determination.

      If India is OK with the LOC being the permanent border, they should stop talking about “retaking” AJK and G-B and including these territories in their domestic weather forecasts.

    2. I feel a lot more affinity with India than the Muslim lands further west

      I think it is natural. Pakistan is joined at the hip as it were.

      I think Indians (and here I include Pakistanis) just need to get used to the idea that people should be let to choose paths they want to take. To not act as chachas or chaudhries of other people. Stop trying to think your problems are somehow unique or exceptional – learn from other examples around the world where people have overcome them. Let go of the baggage. Basically, just chill.

    3. “What is more unfortunate is the Pakistani establishment’s eternal desire to remain on a permanent war footing with India to shore up their position.”

      Isn’t this untenable in the long run? Pakistan would need to spend a much larger proportion of its economy for a comparable armed force which will eat into its budget for development.

      An empirical comparison of the financial allocations for the annual budgets of Pakistan and Bangladesh over the last 10 years would make this more evident. The latter spends much less on the military, thus more on development, and it leads to an overall higher growth rate and higher income.

      It’s unlikely that the founding idealogues of Pakistan even considered having a large military permanently stationed on the Indian border. Back in the ’40s and through to the ’50s there were multiples ideas for having a joint defense. The goal was to have the army on the northwestern and northeastern borders against the communist influence from the Soviet Union and China, and not be in an eternal low-intensity war with the one country in the east that should have been its largest market and trade partner.

      1. No one in Pakistan thinks long-term. As long as the establishment is doing ok, it will let the rest of the country go hang.

      2. Bangladesh doesn’t have a territorial dispute with India equivalent to Kashmir.

        If the Kashmir Dispute did not exist, the Army may not have had such an outsize influence in Pakistan.

          1. It’s a counterfactual so one can’t say for sure.

            But it would certainly have been much harder to justify their importance if there wasn’t a hostile state on the other side with whom we have a territorial dispute.

        1. Just as a thought experiment. What would happen if Pak just keep the claim on Kashmir, utilized all its resources to have a phenomenal growth ( like South korea, other country that got US aid but in much lower quantity) to dominate the region. And then opened the dispute in much more favorable position.

          Here I am not at all suggesting that India did a great job, specially in those socialist utopia days but just highlighting that as independent country Pak too had its destiny in its hand.

          The fact that they squandered the opportunity cannot be painted as difficult conditions thrust on them and they had just one choice. Instead the military keeps economy on ventilator such that it is just alive enough to support it rather than other way around.

    4. Pakistan was inevitable. The Brits needed it. Although all they did was keep it warm for Americans. And ironically as it turns out, for the Chinese.

  5. The Partition was an intelligentsia driven project. The question of Hindu agency in its failure-marred-completion has been raised several times. The foremost practicalist of the day, Ambedkar, played a pivotal role in assessing several strands of Hindu polity. His booklet, “Pakistan, or, The Partition of India” is a fascinating insight into those times. First published in 1940, it still throws a major light on all those diverse streams of Hindu consciousness regarding the project.


    I will just give a gist of what Ambedkar, refines and elucidates to a great degree in this paper. He says, in quotes, Hindus object to the scheme of Pakistan on three grounds –
    Breaking up the unity of India
    Weakens the defence of India
    Fails to solve the communal problem

    He goes on to practically expose the hollowness of all these three claims with evidence and facts and by quoting examples from history – Roman Empire, Alsace-Lorraine etc. He very clearly distinguishes geographical unity from cultural unity.

    One of Ambedkarś lines in the paper caught my eye
    “…….an area like Pakistan, which, to repeat, is politically detachable from, socially hostile and spiritually alien to, the rest of India.”

    This booklet of his went very far in convincing the leading lights of Congress to accede and try to make the best out of the situation – which they did – by trying to implement some of his suggestions on frontiers, armed forces and resources. It was republished three times – 3 editions within a short span of 6 years – before 1947 itself. Such was its acceptability and demand.

    For myself, I am convinced that the Muslims of North India hastened what was always inevitable. In fact, Ambedkar in his booklet, has a section, “What, if not Pakistan?”. This section is essentially the devil’s playbook, showing a divining pool to Hindus, on what would be their future in an United India (P.S. – positively blood curdling). Once Congress got around to the idea of Pakistan reluctantly, they worked in earnest to have it passed.

    Regarding buyerś remorse, there is a good sociological explanation to explain how the Indian polity works, by Manu Joseph. He writes articles for Livemint. There is something called “the second best idea”. The first best idea is unobtanium, while the second best idea has the highest chance of practical success. Indians always carry around these two ideas in their head regarding anything – cars, political leaders, lifemates, careers. I think Ambedkar realised this very early on – that the Indian second best was the same as the League’s unobtanium. Patel, Nehru and Gandhi worked to make this see the light of day.

    1. What will happen once Bengal ,Assam and Kerala become Muslim majority by the end of the century?

      1. As far as Kerala, West Bengal and Assam ;

        For West Bengal, CAA is passed to encourage the remaining 12 million Bangladesh Hindus to migrate to India , and dilute Muslim % in West Bengal ; And bihari hindus can also be induced to migrate to West Bengal

        For Kerala and Assam, they may be sliced , diced and made into Union Territory without Assembly, as happened in Jammu-Kashmir

        After the Kashmir experience, no future Indian govt will ever tolerate a Muslim majority, Muslim ruled state ; Out of state immigration, gerrymandering , and all other tools will be used

    2. an area like Pakistan, which, to repeat, is politically detachable from, socially hostile and spiritually alien to, the rest of India

      I think Ambedkar is slightly over-making the point here. This is certainly not how it would appear to Sikhs, for example, and for good reason.

      Yet all said and done, when asked to choose people will let their religion do the talking and that is fair enough. We are our choices.

      1. “This is certainly not how it would appear to Sikhs, for example,”

        Well for folks of certain ethnicities it wont (seem alien). Kashmiri Hindus might see Kashmir as not (alien), while lot of other Indians might. Similarly Sindhi Hindus see Sindh as “Indian” even though the state is in Pakistan. So on and so forth.

        Also this is mis-representation that Ambedkar or his book had any degree of influence on either elite Hindus or Congress especially on Partition. Ambedkar is like Shivaji, his demi-god image (and relevance) is a factor of events after his death and not during his life time.

        1. I agree that Ambedkar had little impact on Congress decision making. the fact that the Congress was transactional on the question of Pakistan (even without babasaheb’s insights) only buttresses the point of my post.

          Secondly, Ambedkar had *huge* impact on Dalit politics in his lifetime. Anyone who could drive Gandhi to a fast-unto-death had serious street cred. Getting him to draft the Constitution was a masterstroke in co-opting a serious political adversary.

        2. “this is misrepresentation that Ambedkar or his book had any influence on Congress”

          The Poona Pact happened in 1932 and that was the start of Ambedkar’s influence into the very heart of Congress. Of course, all of this could not have happened without the instigation of the British. Raja Shekhar Vundru’ s book on Ambedkar, Gandhi and Patel will tell you the extent to which Ambedkar’s views were influential within Congress.

        3. For the most part Congress treated Ambedkar as how they treated different factions in Indian society. Sikhs, Pathans(Gaffar Khan), Militant (Bose) etc. Out of all of them perhaps they treated Jinnah (muslim league) the most seriously.

          So yeah Ambedkar views may have influenced individual Congress leaders, but its nothing much to write home about. The most telling comment is Ambedkar himself started behaving uncharacteristically nationalist and conciliatory in his speeches, towards the Congress as 47 appeared closer. It was clear that he had to back down a bit to have a role in post Independence India.

          Of course,his role in dalits poltics is a separate issue.

    3. Did Muslims flourished in Pakistan? If yes! Then why so much begging from Saudi Arabia. This country has no self respect, it is slowly surving on donations. This is the country whose muslims raped their own muslims sisters in Bangladesh.
      This is the country who bombed his own citizens in Balochistan. This is the country who sends his terrorists in Afghanistan to kill Muslims. This is the country who allowed China to make its colony on its soil. Time is near when China will control whole Pakistan.

  6. This post makes much sense. OTOH, the rules of the game were set by the British . If a large number of the British made India their home , then Britain would have made sure partition would not come about. Brits wanted to go home , whatever may happen Mountbatten was the worst thing to happen for United India or even post47 India . Jinnah had a healthy disrespect for M’s motivations, while Nehru went along with him even keeping him as the GovGen after 47. If the INC had made Britain totally responsible to deliver a United India even at the cost of delay of Independence by a few years , it may have worked . To some extent Congress and Gandhi became prisoners of their own slogans for many years Quit India now, whatever the cost
    I am reminded of Mandelbrot’s mathematical/financial ideas where the change happens suddenly

    Nehru says INC agreed to partition as the Muslim League was led by large landowners who opposed Congress plans for land redistribution

    https://youtu.be/zlTfXWFQYGQ 15:51

    1. mathematical/financial ideas where the change happens suddenly

      FYI phase-transitions were known in physics half a century or more before mandelbrot.

  7. Jinnah’s call of “Islam in Danger” found a such a tremendous response in the subcontinent’s Muslims in the end game, that this must have shaken many of the Hindu leaders of the Congress. They could see the specter of a federal South Asia once again under Islamic dominance.

    I agree with the original blog post that despite the stated objective of “Akhand Bharat” by the Hindu Mahasabha, there simply was not enough wood behind that arrow. It was really an empty and aspirational slogan that sets out a vision but has no practical way to achieve it. In fact, this remains true even today.

    South Asia avoided the fate that befell the Balkans in the ’90’s because Jinnah was unable to exploit the many divisions that existed in South Asia.

  8. Partition is often portrayed as a negative thing though there are many positive sides.

    IMO there should be more partition for the socio-economic development of everyone.

    Separate state for Dalits,Jatts,Balochis,Kashmiris,Maoists,Rajputs,Ahoms etc so that they dont mess with each other.

    There is no point in having multicultural shitholes based on some stupid pseudo-Aryan rapist heritage if it doesnt benefit ppl

  9. I read Venkat Dhulipala’s book when it came out some years ago. What sticks in mind is the emphasis on the role of the Deoband school and its stance in favour of a united India which according to the book’s reading was impelled more by religious ideology than Indian nationalism as is made out by latter-day apologists for the school. What Dhulipala missed out was, if I remember right was missing out on the Punjab sentiment.
    There was a separatist sentiment among Punjab Muslims as well notwithstanding the Unionist types, just as there was among Hindus of the Arya Samaj exemplified by Lajpat Rai. He envisaged a partition of the Punjab long before 1947. The born again Punjabi unionists have a lapse, if not a gap in collective memory.
    This lapse is no worse of course than that of the promoters of the Ganga Jumna tehzeeb. Whatever that term means it did not stand for communal amity and brotherly love. It was this tehzeeb that promoted the division of India, and whether one agrees that Partition was the best thing that could happen for the Hindus of India, or considers it a disaster, there is no gainsaying that the Muslims and the Hindus were an imiscible combination, that preserved the social niceties while living separate lives, when the constituents were good , and cut each others throats when they were bad. This was true all over North India from Bengal to Punjab. Bengalis are honest about it. They rejected the idea of living together in 1946, and despite the creation of Bangladesh show no inclination to get together again. This is particularly so among the Ghotis.
    In Bihar and UP they are more realistic; though occasional noises are made about the lost Ganga Jumna tehzeeb, the two communities live in a spirit of mutual dislike that time cannot help.
    In Punjab a small percentage of Sikhs are deluded into imagining a united Punjabi identity, but they have neither the support of the Punjabi Hindus nor of the Punjabi Muslims, and not even of the majority of Sikhs. The latter claim Arab or Central Asian forbears who adopted the Lakhnavi culture.
    But it is Kashmir where the hypocrisy is greatest. Kashmiris emphasized their common Kashmiri heritage and culture, as they still do, Pandits more so than Muslims. Pandits in particular ran with the Muslim hares and hunted with the Hindu hounds – Accusing Kashmir’s Muslims of harassment in non-Kashmiri company while stressing the Kashmiri united front against outsiders. In 1990 Kashmir’s Muslims returned the compliment by shedding crocodile tears as the Pandits were forced to leave. The newly expressed sense of common Punjabi identity is less mysterious than the Kashmiri.
    Which brings us to Dhulipala and Partition. When push came to shove Punjabis were divided as were the Bengalis. UP was not, nor Kashmir, and the people there could take the comfortable and detached South Indian view. Kashmir alas has now fallen victim to the ideology of Partition, but it never was a Shangrila of human goodness. It was just lucky, and it wasted its luck.

  10. Kashmiri Pandits have repeatedly tried acting over smart, classic Brahmin nutjobs with convoluted and lofty sounding but ultimately self-serving ideals who get routinely thrashed by reality. Check this idiot out:


    Also remember the ‘Kashmir for Kashmiris’ movement that Pandits ran. It was some Pandit minister of Hari Singh who helped put in the 35A nonsense. KP while living as refugees in other states still don’t marry even other Brahmans due to maybe regular gora-kala thing or some twisted assumed supremacy. I know for a fact that they are not liked even by their Brahman kin from Jammu.

    1. Wow, perhaps you are not aware that the author of this post is a Kashmiri Pandit? Want to tone down your offensive rhetoric?

      1. TBH Pandits paying for not explicitly choosing a side (Hindu Nat vs Secular), or perhaps playing both sides during different times.

        And that (offensive rhetoric) perhaps is the fate of all ‘conflicted’ people.

        1. ONLY @ Saurav
          I had two KP neighbour families (Kaks and Koul), knew another ones who were Dhars. All refugees, but none ever married outside KPs. One of my measure of nice-ness is open-ness/acceptance to intermarriage (especially out-group marriage of women). KPs are infamous for not doing this even with other ‘high’ (lol !) Brahmins forget others.

          I am anti-sanghi but not stupid to discount history. Naked Kashmiriyat and famed Muslim accommodation of the minorities (god bless Yazidis) was for everyone to see when mosques blared their hatred during their exodus. KPs over played their hand and were (predictably) burnt. I have no beef with KPs neither should anyone marry casteist retards but over and over again Kashmiri Pundits do this stupidity of Kashmiriyat and it irritates me. Pick a side already dammit! it is not that you have too much choice.

          This over-smartness/over-intellectualism is almost a pan-Brahmin phenomenon. I will take a Patel, Babasaheb or even Jagjivan Ram over a dozen Nehrus or Desais.

          1. Some thoughts on ‘Kashmir for Kashmiris’ type Kashmiri especially KP people,

            I mean you want us UP people to die protecting you from Pashtun invaders, you want the money, you want the unequal subsidized trade, you want the railway that won’t pay for itself in a thousand years and roads and bridges, you even want us to go and secure special rehabilitation colonies for you, you want 10% of federal budget heck even Kannadigas like Hanumanthappa have to die protecting Kashmir.

            And in return we can’t even settle there, you will not give domicile to us who have manually cleaned your sewers for 5 decades, you won’t give us land rights and best of all you will not even give your out-married daughter’s children domicile.

            Fuck you! and Fuck the guy who wrote these laws. Get the fuck out of UP if we can’t even be treated like citizens in your state. And roam around half naked in the snow with spears and bows before asking for special protections like Nagas or Khasis.

            Hail the Gujju, Marwari builders who will do plotting in Kashmir for hotels and high rises.

  11. In general the more west eurasian NW non dalits have some of the most racially hateful and supremacist leanings on average of the whole subcontinent. They feel their relatively lighter skin and more caucasoid facial features on average give them more value as humans. It is extra funny when they experience racism for the first time in the West and are relegated to the status of the rest of the subcontinentals phenotypically, outside of a few exceptions aka Nikki Hayleyoids

    Woke at home. Not elsewhere. Like Ali was saying, a lot of wealthier and educated Pakistani youth are are trying to be woke and support BLM.

    Yet they still live in a world where hating the “cowardly dravidian little black australoid cowardly Hindoo is the norm.” Dalits, Indian mohajirs,

    Christians (mostly low caste converts), and Hindus (mostly low caste who who stayed because of economics) face the brunt of this historically potentially genocidal attitude (see 1971).

    Like I said before, at least Kabir isn’t openly racially derisive towards his more east eurasian on average shifted S Asian kinfolk. That alone is quite progressive for an online Pakistani, in my experience.

    1. “Yet they still live in a world where hating the “cowardly dravidian little black australoid cowardly Hindoo is the norm.”

      Where have you experienced this? In the real world or online forums? My parents and relatives who lived in Pakistan experienced some prejudice from Sindhis and Punjabis but never to that level. Fyi we are Bihari Muslims. Both of my uncle’s are married to Punjabis and there were no issues with the families.

      Just curious is all.

    2. “Yet they still live in a world where hating the “cowardly dravidian little black australoid cowardly Hindoo is the norm.”

      I can’t say I have seen much of that sort of racism towards Hindus in Pakistan. There is the perception that most Indian Hindus look like the actors in Bollywood movies. The existence of darker south Indian Hindus does not really register at all. They aren’t visible in Hindi language movies or the Indian cricket team.

      1. LOL, this reminds me that all Bollywood movies show Pakistanis
        speaking in chaste Urdu (Janab, Mushriq), and somehow unable to curse

        And how dare u sir not recognize the fastest bowler in the world our Dravidan thunder Venkatesh Prasad

    3. LOL, love the hyperbole…but…

      One could say many things about the Pakistanis, but I’ve never seen or come across that sort of racism from them myself or had any other indians say that sort of thing here in the UK. It’s generally a grudging admiration towards Indians getting ahead in jobs, having a better cricket team, etc. And what they may discuss among themselves behind closed doors is their own business and no one should care.

    4. You are describing an online keyboard-warrior Paki stereotype, as opposed to Pakistanis generally. I would argue that a similar racist stereotyping of Indians (“dhotis”) exists in, say, Nepal too and is likely truer with very real political consequences for Madheshis of the Terai. Doesn’t generate as much heartburn because Nepal remains under the radar for most Indians.

      Anyway, I’d prefer if people stuck to the topic!

  12. While the Kashmiri Pandit love fest totally cracks me up, I must ask you chaps to stay on topic please!

  13. Yea I think the Pakistani racism thing is overplayed. I’ve never seen it and I’ve know a lot of Pakistanis. There might be some idiots who think they’re Arabs or Persians or whatever but most aren’t deluded. Hell I’ve been lectured by Pakistanis on why I’m not part of the South Asian organizations and such. I was surprised they even joined them.

    I also think the NW Indian racism thing is overplayed. South Asians find any chance to shit on other South Asians. The racism thing only works because all ethnicities in South Asia tend to value lighter West Eurasian features. If it wasn’t skin color North Indians would shit on South Indians for cousin marriage and weird names.

  14. “I am referring to the agency of Hindus in precipitating the Partition.”

    I’m speculating on what the common British Indian person might be feeling:

    Given it was a huge land, and not everyone lived in a border state, nor identified with far away lands – they may just not have cared as deeply. For an agrarian society, conceptually, partitioning of ancestral land between brothers was common. So they might have swallowed it considering no one expected the mass violence that may ensue, not to mention the wars that came. All in all, they might have just been mentally exhausted from freedom fighting and excited enough for the new nation. All this happens with an under-current of Muslim-Hindu tensions that were unresolved for centuries.

    If the above is true, then the upward pressure to the politicians would have been negligible, so it was up to the political elite. I have a jaded view, that Nehru was happy about partition – it allowed him to mould his personal vision more easily to the meeker and more subservient Hindu majority nation (yes yes I know there was resistance on Hindu laws, but it was so easily and democratically quashed). Who knows what Gandhi actually felt in the 40’s, or why he did some things he did – he was a very non-Hindu Hindu. Others had a more pragmatic view.

    1. meeker and more subservient Hindu majority nation

      Amazing how pervasive the trope of meek and subservient gentoos is.

  15. Like some brahmin communities from TN or Bengal, I think KP’s are now quite a deracinated bunch. With the former, it’s generations of living and working in urban areas in ‘intellectual’ occupations all over the country, hence there’s no real link to the land anymore. With the KP’s it’s been through the forced exile, a real low point in modern India’s history. I’ve known a few KP families very closely growing up and the older generations were clearly very attached to the land, their walnut orchards and their folk ways of worship. But that’s sadly lost (for good) in the newer generations. Being deracinated might explain the support for a form of a more intellectualised, abstract hinduism among some in these communities.

    Regarding partition, I think a united India with ~2B people would be super difficult to govern especially with a more pronounced religious faultline. Direct action day style riots would be far more common and deadly. The trajectories of the two (now 3) emergent nations are properly divergent now, in a much more fundamental way than say W&E Germany or N&S Korea. That’s all I have to say on that

    1. I dare say deracinated is not quite the appropriate term when talking of categories that do not fall into a genetic pattern. This is specially true of Kashmiri Pandits. Bengali Brahmins are not more mixed up in modern times than other kinds of Indians. The so so called deracination occurs mostly in the metros, and abroad of course, but in India the search for caste identity is still the major determinant in marriage situations. Between BBs, KPs and Tambrams the last are I think the most inclined to look for intra communal marriages, even abroad. For KPs of course anything outside Kashmir was considered abroad, so they are in mostly a foreign situation now, compared to their previous locale.

  16. It is amazing how commentators here think they know about KP culture and yet yet know zilch (and contradict each other – being deracinated Brahmins and at the same time practising kanyāvyavahāra LoL).

    I am keeping these comments for comedic value.

    1. “It is amazing how commentators here think they know about KP culture and yet yet know zilch..”

      Lol yeah, making fact-free generalizations – true sign of a desi uncle-to-be 🙂 Apols if it ruffled some feathers!

  17. “Amazing how pervasive the trope of meek and subservient gentoos is.”

    I didn’t mean this was true in absolute terms. If fact, I don’t think this is true at all. I was wondering whether this is how Nehru thought of the situation, given a choice to rule Akhand Bharat or a manageable piece of it.

  18. Bhimrao. Kashmiri Pandits have begun to marry outside their community. Not too many, but significantly more than used to. It is a small cohort, very concerned about its position demographically speaking, and very proud (rightly) of its intellectual capabilities. Kashmiris are insular folk, who do not open up with non-Kashmiris even after long years of acquaintance.
    My comments were in the light of Slapstick’s professed indifference, like South Indians he said, to the lot of Punjabis. I suppose he would not like it if Punjabis had shown a similar detachment to the fate of Kashmir’s Pandits, who have been suffering from the late realization that the theory of Punjab’s partition applies to Kashmir as well; which is why you had this demand of the Panun Kashmir movement for a separate Kashmiri enclave in the valley for Pandits
    You are right to complain about the Kashmiri attitude to outsiders settling in the valley. Pandits continued to be as vehemently opposed to outsiders settling in Kashmir or taking jobs there as Kashmir Muslims, till the very end. In that respect Kashmiris of both hue are also very similar; they escaped to Punjab whenever life was bad in the valley, and settled there permanently, but never allowed outsiders a foothold in Kashmir.
    Kashmiris continue to make a big thing of their common Kashmiriness. To invoke Slapstick’s metaphor the Kashmiri wave function is intact, even after the Kashmiri cat was found belly up in Schrodinger’s box. So we must presume that Muslims and Pandits expect eventually to reconcile. The balloon may have burst but the wind is all there.
    Three decades after the Pandit exodus their misfortunes still demand our attention, as do those of Kashmir’s Muslims, It is a continuing demand for sympathy, pity and attention from both sides. Compare that with the Punjabis, on both sides, who picked themselves up after Partition, filed away their memories, and got on with their lives. That won’t be allowed to happen in Kashmir.
    Pakistan was built on a flawed theory, but that does not mean that Hindus and Muslims are one nation, any more than Kashmiris, Punjabis and Tamils are. We Indians want to unite but we do not want to integrate, KPs least of all. Dhulipala missed out on that one I think. And Kashmiris – both sorts, are firmly committed to the idea of Partition. I mention this, because, if they were committed to the idea of an unpartitioned India, then Slapstick at least would have had to buy into the Punjabi wave function.

    1. To invoke Slapstick’s metaphor the Kashmiri wave function is intact, even after the Kashmiri cat was found belly up in Schrodinger’s box

      I like how you’re milking my dead cat. However, I will simply re-iterate what I have said in the post. I wasn’t having a gloat on Punjoos and, as I said, being a Kashmiri I understand where they’re coming from precisely because Kashmir has had its quasi-partition too. But unlike Punjabis our sort ruled India. Hence, it remains a quasi-partition and will be reversed.

      Though on the flip-side the old KP culture will never come back. The Kashmir of my childhood is dead as a dodo, and most KPs (unlike Punjabis I know) are reconciled to it. This is partly because a) Old Kashmir (emotional baggage aside) was not fit for the 21st century and b) we can still drive on NH 1a to see the ruins of avantipora or trek to the summit of gopadri and get our emotional fix.

      1. Slapstick – I was really surprised at the comment – “our sort ruled India”. Must have been a moment of weakness 😉

        1. Weakness? It is just fact and stated as a matter of it.

          In fact, Kashmir passed into non-Muslim rule (Sikh empire) due to KPs too. Our presence is the reason why Kashmir is (and will remain) a part of India on pain of Indian dissolution. Whether that is a good thing or bad, I do not know.

          1. I am not sure Pandits presence is the reason , Kashmir remained or will remain in India. There are regions in North East without any meaningful “Hindu” presence , and the army has been successful to “keep” them with India.

            If u are talking about moral legitimacy which pandits provide, i feel its overrated, but that could be just me.

          2. @Saurav

            No, I’m not talking about any moral legitimacy. Simply about the fact that were Nehru not the PM of India, Kashmir Valley would have been in Pakistani control. As simple as that.

            After the initial conditions of Indian territorial bounds were set, the Indian state’s institutions take a life of their own – beyond that Kashmiri Pandits do not really count for anything moral or otherwise.

            And I am saying that this is part of a larger historical pattern. Mirza Dhar acted in the same capacity when the Khalsa (under General Hari Singh ‘Nalwa’) were let into Afghan-occupied Kashmir Valley. KPs had a pivotal role in ensuring the Valley was not in the control of Muslims.

          3. Wasnt Nehru too cautious in dealing with the kashmir issue? I have read somewhere that it was Patel who forced his hand by asking if he wanted to risk losing kashmir by inaction.
            Or do you consider this to be revised history?

          4. Patel was transactional about Kashmir, Nehru wasn’t (old homeland and all that, as he mentions at length in the Discovery of India). It is fairly well documented that Patel was perfectly happy for Kashmir to become an independent dominion (like Nepal) had Jinnah not accepted the accession of JunagaRh and Hyderabad principalities. This is not revisionism but fairly well known.

          5. “Patel was perfectly happy for Kashmir to become an independent dominion (like Nepal) had Jinnah not accepted the accession of JunagaRh and Hyderabad principalities”

            Agreed i would even go far as say Patel would rather Kashmir joined Pakistan than remain independent even. As my original comment said , one policy for (natural India) Hindu regions, and a different one for (Constitutional India) non/less Hindu regions.

  19. Slapstick, I admire your literary style, but if you leave an opening it must be used. Thank you for confirming that the Kashmiri wave function is intact; surely you will not deny those deluded Punjabis their own version of it.
    Indeed, your sort, as you put it, ruled India. Ruling India is an imperial trait, and I would love to get into the details of that argument and its epistemology but this is not the occasion. I can only say, regretfully, that two disgraceful Punjabis did rule India, on the basis of their non-exceptional abilities. I am not proud of it. One of them hung on as the lackey of the European daughter in law married to an equally dim witted half Kashmiri, who would rather have had an even dimmer son rule India. Be that as it may, I like your optimism about Muslim Hindu relations in Kashmir. May Kashmir really be the ray of light that Gandhi saw and no one else. I think I see it sometimes, but it is always a will o the wisp.

    1. @onlooker
      I think you have misunderstood again. I am not referring to any detente between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims. That will not happen. That is what I mean when I say the Old Kashmir is dead.

      But the fact of the matter is that both groups are so small in number compared to the sea of people of India, they both will be driven to total irrelevance.

  20. Adding my uneducated two paisa.

    It seems to me the inevitability of partition was baked in over 250 years with the demographic changes in west Punjab, that had accelerated under the British thanks to canal colonies.

    How and when it happened is just detail.

    The old united India could only be held together in an imperial setup and was not suited for the age of democracy.

    1. \inevitability of partition was baked in over 250 years\
      Nothing is inevitable in history. Creation of Pakistan in 1947, while it was only slogans of some students in the UK in 1932 , shows how unfathomable history is even on a 15 years perspective.
      1914 most of Europe went to war with great euphoria. Within few years, 4 empires Austrian, Russian, Ottoman were finished. 2nd WW finished off the British, French and Dutch empires.

      Just as Pakistan suddenly came about, it’s sudden disappearance also can’t be ruled out.

      The suddenness of the creation of Pakistan is it’s weakness – nothing was discussed as to how the new state can be . It shows in the breaking away of Bangladesh under horrendous circumstances and Punjabi dominated military rule. History is more cunning than religious slogans.

      Jinnah has been a successful man, but some successes lead to more disasters than many failures

      1. “it’s sudden disappearance also can’t be ruled out.”

        Among Islamic nations, Pakistan is actually rather stable with better institutions and a decent army. It has an English speaking elite, and excepting the Sindhi Muslims, every major ethnic group has a stake in its survival.

          1. The Sindhi Muslim elite might have had a stake when they were the largest and most organized ethnic group after the Muslims of Pakistani Punjab. But that role has now been taken over by the Pakistani Urdu-Pashtuns.

          2. Yeah, agree with Ali, we Indians make a bit much about all the Hullabaloo around the Mohajir or the Sindhi “resentment” . At best its a bit like Kerala/Bengal resentment against the New Delhi.

        1. There is no serious movement for Sindhi nationalism. I don’t see ethnic tensions at the current level tearing Pakistan apart. But there will be immense stress for years from water shortage and climate change.

        2. Only thing Pakistan’s “decent army” has managed to do is to degrade all other institutions – political parties, parliamentary processes, elections, Judiciary, civil service and WHY . The decent army’s attitude to the rest of Pakistan is no different than it’s attitude to East Pakistan in 1970. It has crushed Mohajir movement, Jiye Sindh movement, used islamic fundamentalists and Taliban as hammer in crushing Pashtun subnationalism in NWFP and Baluch nationalism. It has gone into bed with Religious fundamentalism for it’s aims so much that it can’t extricate itself from it’s embrace. While in countries like Turkey , military rule was a force for modernization, it Pakistan it is a regressive force . It chief means of survival is lending itself as a hired gun for Arabs or the US or China .

      2. @Saurav
        If anything I think Sindh gets a bit less hullaballoo than it deserves. Sindh thing is serious perhaps more inflammable than Balochistan, which lacks numbers. Check out the giant JSQM freedom rallies on google.


        I suppose India should really be praised by Pak-nationalists for her restraint in not supporting ‘freedom fighters’ in Sindh. A few months ago that MQM retard from London was singing Vande Mataram and asking for intervention. But India being India will not pay back Pakistan in the same coin.

        Deep down I think the reason for current stability is twofold:
        1) Bhuttos are themselves outsiders and deeply asshole people (look at their mausoleums and shit) and like any invading party are putting on a balanced,calculated show to survive. Their glory/power is a trick and their victory is in the status-quo.
        2) Sindh has been colonized by Mojahirs who are the zealous founders of Pakistan. Because Sindhi’s home-server has been thoroughly occupied they will at most be perpetually busy in internal squabbles (think a miny pre-partition India). Sindh has become too complex to break away cleanly. Can be done but would need bloodshed, a stretched, chronically under-funded and unpopular army and miffed leaders.

        1. Bro, u really need to chill out on this whole Sindh is on the edge thing. Nothing like that gonna happen. LOL

          Just like “Natural India” now has islands of “Natural India” within “Constitutional India” (Kashmir/N-East/Dravidian) lands, similarly Pakistani identity is embedded enough in Sindh for any so called Sindh movement to really have the critical mass.

    2. I think the demographic change set the stage. But the decisive factor was Punjab’s, especially West Punjab’s unusual role within the British Indian Empire. It prospered like never before under the Raj and the Congress could just make no inroads into the mass rural population at all.

      In the UP, Congress had significant Muslim leaders. I cant think of single prominent Punjabi Muslim leader. The reasons were structural in the nature of the Raj, rather than a contingent failure of the Congress think-tank.

  21. Slapstick. I should also have asked if your hope of a reconciliation with Kashmir’s Muslims is expected to occur within the framework of India. I ask because the Punjabis who believe in a reconciled Punjab seem not to have worked out its mechanics. Is your vision of a reconciled Kashmir within India, within Pakistan, or autonomous/independent? The Muslim and Hindu conceptions have to line up and Mr. Modi is not helpful in that I think.
    Some KP acquaintances of mine occasionally visit Kashmir, gaze upon the waters, the snow covered peaks, the meadows, sigh and return; others refuse to visit, saying the place is dead for them. None I know have shown any willingness to invest there. That is understandable and shows realism. I don’t know any Punjabi who would buy a flat in Lahore. But Pakistan is enemy country, as is Kashmir to the BJP government. considering what they have done to it.
    So unless your optimism is founded on Kashmiri exceptionalism I very much fear that the possibility for the happy outcome you imagine receded infinitely on the 5th of August last year. It is something Kashmir’s Muslims have realized as well, because their hopes now seem to lie with China. Whether they would reconcile with Pandits in the present circumstance is something that wild eyed optimists might believe, and knowing what I do of Kashmir, may not be beyond the realm of imagination. In Kashmir anything is possible.

    1. You have misrepresented my opinion the third time in a row. I neither hope nor care for any reconciliation. I think it is a pointless exercise.

  22. I feel all UC (trads) from non/less Hindu region,having lost whatever political power they had in their region to Communism/sub nationalism are either in the west or on social media.

  23. Slapstick. Alright, if that is how you feel, though I wish you had shown how I have misrepresented your views. Even in your second to last post you spoke of reconciling with Kashmir’s Muslims while mocking the same desire among Punjabis. I asked if that was Kashmiri exceptionalism? You are free not to answer.

    1. @Onlooker

      your second to last post you spoke of reconciling with Kashmir’s Muslims

      If you are referring to “I think you have misunderstood again. I am not referring to any detente between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims. That will not happen” then maybe you should look up the meaning of the word detente. I said the detente will not happen!

  24. In many ways I find the KPs and Parsis to be strikingly similar, both from regions where a majority of their co-ethnics converted to an irascible belief system, followed by the remaining original religious minority becoming unwelcome and then forced to leave their native lands.

    Both groups being highly educated, mostly urban, having a low population compared to other Indian ethnoreligious groups, below replacement birth rates, a fear of losing demographic identity by intermarriage with the larger population, being relatively wealthy in the places they live, and having the ability to quickly adjust themselves to the upper-middle class/ elite in countries they migrate to. Perhaps the combination of the above makes these two groups aware of a certain undercurrent of social capital they possess and would lose upon mixing with the rest of the regular Indians.

    I remember in a Dawn memorial about the Parsi writer Ardeshir Cowasjee, when asked why his tribe weren’t willing to outmarry to ensure Zoroastrian numbers said, “Listen, if you have an Alsatian, would you breed it with a mongrel?”, and followed it up with, “Well you shouldn’t, and if the saala Alsatian has no one to mate with and has to die, you let it die.”

  25. if only kps take a vow that the next dewali/ dussera will be celebrated in srinagar there will be some connection to the land and eventually they may own houses there. this is similar to jews of europe who would promise to themselves that the next passover will be celebrated in Jerusalem.
    kps of earlier migrations should also do this.
    i had once asked a kp as to when they had visited srinagar, thinking that they were recent migrants. i was told that they came out when aurangazeb, started conversions!!!

  26. @Slapstick. Indeed you did say “That will not happen”. I misread it in my hurry. The reason can only be that in the rural retreat I am holed up in (because of the virus) the net comes and goes according to its own eccentric timings, and my router is defective. I try to hurry with my posts. I retract that portion of my comment and apologize for the ill-will on that account. You will also agree I suppose that some Punjabis may feel a detachment about the KP plight equal your own about their saga.
    I have studied the subject, and pondered a bit about the role of Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah on the accession to India. The fact is that J&K came to India because of Maharaja Hari Singh. It is no credit to him of course; he would rather have been independent and was forced to accede to India because of the tribal raiders. I have argued with Kashmiri Muslims that they excoriate Sh. Abdullah unnecessarily. He did not join Kashmir to India, he only supported the accession.
    Patel had no role to play. He offered to exchange J&K for Hyderabad, and sent a message through Mountbatten to Jinnah, asking him to lay off Hyderabad in exchange for J&K. Jinnah and Liaqat both refused. Patel, as a Gujrati, was passionate about Junagarh, and cared two hoots about Kashmir. Nehru, on the other hand almost had a nervous break down over the possibility of losing Kashmir.
    Pandit Birbal Dhar certainly escaped from Kashmir through Banihal to reach Lahore and plead for Sikh intervention. Ranjit Singh however had had his eyes on Kashmir for some time earlier, and would have gone in sooner or later. His asylum for and later tiff with Shah Shuja is a pointer in that direction. J&K is not part of India for that reason however. It was the Treaty of Amritsar that is responsible, because it was that agreement that made the Jammu Jamwals masters of Kashmir, and they brought Kashmir into India.
    Had there been no buyers for the territory the British put on sale after the Sikh wars, the area would have remained part of British India and there would have been no J&K State. And as a part of British India Kashmir being Muslim majority would certainly have gone to Pakistan under the Radcliffe award. India would have got Jammu and Kathua districts and half of Udhampur.
    Kashmiri Pandits have played pivotal roles in many historical situations, and there was even a Tikoo Wazir (Dewan) of the Afghan kings, (I am told there is a Tikoo mohalla in Kabul), An otherwise illustrious Pandit, however, wanted Kashmir to be part of Pakistan. Till R C Kak was Prime Minister Jinnah hoped that Kashmir would join Pakistan, or become independent. It was his dismissal by Hari Singh that led to the tribal invasion.

  27. Many formulas that have been suggested to resolve the issue of J&K, the most recent foray being the one that was mooted when Musharraf was in power. The BJP/RSS may speak to an Akhand Bharat, but that is aspirational and not grounded in reality. Even recent references to Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir by the BJP government are I believe meant to posit a maximalist position which could be leveraged in future negotiations. The BJP has created new ground realities by dividing J&K into multiple Union Territories, just as Pakistan has separated G-P from Azad Kashmir.

    So, if we were to essentially rule out a major conventional/nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan, is there any “settlement” of the Kashmir issue? If so, what does it look like?

    1. The Musharraf-Manmohan plan forms the best basis for negotiations on the Kashmir dispute. Neither side has to lose any territory, the LOC becomes the permanent border and Kashmiris on either side have freedom of movement.
      The bottom line is that any resolution to the dispute must be acceptable to all stakeholders– India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri people.

  28. I agree wholeheartedly with Slapstik. There’s no such thing as Punjabiyat, 1947 proves it once, the Bhindranwale movement proved it a second time, and 1984’s anti Sikh pogrom proves it three times over.

    1. Punjabiyat and Kashmiriyat are meaningless terms propagated by fellow travellers of the Delhi establishment. They represent a sort of ‘orientalist’ view. That is to say they represent attempts to manufacture a synthetic discourse that has no existence in the life of the people referred to. There is nothing Punjabi or Kashmiri about Punjabiat aand Kashmiriat.

  29. On Pakistani Punjabiyat and “Indus valley” people, and that person who remarked that i unnecessarily Orientlalize/exoticize Pakistanis as “different” people from Indians 😛



    “Most peoples don’t like invaders, but Pakistan’s psyche is somehow special. Perhaps overwhelmed by Erdogan’s aggressive style, Prime Minister Khan proudly tweeted that Turks had ruled India for 600 years. Historians will raise their eyebrows — this is between quarter-true to half-true only. But it must be rare for a prime minister to hail imperial rule over his land.

    Khan is not alone. Pakistan celebrates all post-eighth century invasions beginning with Mohammed bin Qasim’s conquest of Sindh in 712 AD. Urdu novelist Nasim Hijazi’s books, devoured by millions, are an ode to the Arab conquest of India. Like filmmaker Mehmet Bozdag, Hijazi’s strength lay in creating imagery unconstrained by facts.”

    1. Latest addition to Islamiyat is Etrugul’s statue in Lahore
      Celebrating ‘man on a horseback’ is worshiping brute power. Perhaps it is a clever proxy for military rule.
      Can’t think of one country or race which celebrates foreigners who conquered them. Even American Indians don’t celebrate Columbus or Pizarro or ‘thanksgiving day’ , even though most of them are Christians


    2. I agree with Dr. Hoodbhoy about “Ertrugrul”. However, it is interesting that you chose not to copy paste the very next paragraph where he applied the exact same logic to hindutva.

  30. It pleased me to read Hoodabhoy use the term ‘Pakistaniat’ in the article you linked, a third entry to the fraudulent list that contains so far, only Punjabiyat and Kashmiriyat. Thank God we have been spared corresponding neologisms such as Hindustaniat, Bhartiyat Tamiliat, Bangaliat, Gujratiat and so on. One would think these extensions to the idea of Insaniyat might have become automatic in a world of fake concepts.

    Ertrugul’s show is popular in Kashmir too, and probably would be in the rest of India as well, at least among Muslims. The Ramayana and Mahabharat were reasonably popular among Pakistanis who saw them. It would be a stretch of course to imagine them erecting statues to Ram and Krishan.

  31. @Kabir. It is not obligatory in India to balance criticism of the one by also raking the other as Pakistanis do. Hoodabhoy could well have said what he did without bringing the big bad Indians into it. When Indian liberals criticize right wing Hindutva they dont need to excuse themselves by also mentioning the fundamentalist strain that governs Pakistani discourse. It is the Indian right wing that taunts our liberals for ignoring the iniquities of the other side. The actress Kangana Ranaut, for example, criticized Indian protestors over George Floyd by saying they didn’t protest the killing of Sadhus in Maharashtra. In Pakistan it seems de’riguer that you cant do one without doing the other, regardless of affiliation.

    1. Indians always enjoy Dr. Hoodbhoy’s criticisms of Pakistan but don’t like it when he points out the exact same phenomena in India. That is called hypocrisy.

      His point (which he explicitly states) is that “invaders” should be considered dispassionately as a matter of history and neither be glorified nor reviled.

      1. Kabir. Well, what if they do. Enjoying Hoodabhoy’s criticism of Pakistan is merely confirmation bias and can be pleasurable for its own sake. We don’t need to be told India’s ills; we know them well enough.
        The point is not that some Indians like one sort of comment but not the other, but that Pakistanis should feel obliged to balance one with the other.

        1. It is hypocrisy to appreciate the argument when it is applied to the “enemy” country and to not appreciate it when it is applied to your own.

          Dr. Hoodbhoy’s point is simple: Revivalist thinking is foolish. It doesn’t matter what kind of revivalist thinking it is.

          “We don’t need to be told India’s ills”– Neither do Pakistanis need to be told Pakistan’s ills but it certainly doesn’t stop you all. Hypocrisy again.

  32. TBF I have no issues liberals of either country using examples of other countries while discussing their own. Outside of Pakistan liberal bubble no one seriously considers Pak and India (even the current Hindutva one) to be equal in terms of nation building, constitution, minority treatment, freedom of speech etc. If Pakistanis want 2 drink their own kool aid of their Nazi=Hindutva or Jinnah 14th August speech , than that;s their choice.

    “However, it is interesting that you chose not to copy paste the very next paragraph where he applied the exact same logic to hindutva.”

    Well for the most part Hindutva is not that distinct from other nativist movement in different parts of world. So in most parts of the world there is a binary of native-good vs foreign-bad dynamics, including progressive ones. He says “Hindu revivalism is fixated upon the wicked foreign invader who shattered the seraphic heaven of Mother India.” I mean u can literally change words here to fit any nationalism. That;s the reason i didnt point it out.

    What’s different with Pak nationalism is the reverse of the dynamics which Hoodbhoy points where the invader is the one to be glorified, the native vilified. Which is what it shares with Turkey where the “invader” population becomes so large that they become the “native” pops

  33. The reason Pervez Hoodbhoy’s assessment of Hindutva more or less worthy of throwing in the trash is because there are barely any Hindus left alive in Pakistan. Thus, it follows all his assessments of Hindutva come from second hand sources and are only hearsay.

    We can extend this logic to all Pakistanis. They’ve already killed off their Hindus. The remaining unfortunates are no better than beat dogs – certainly no Hindutvawadis.
    When your sources are themselves op-eds, your opinions don’t bring any new info to the table.

  34. On the hoodbhoy piece: it is a common misconception that being fair and truthful requires criticism of two opposing camps of ‘bigotry’.

    In any case, Hindutva remains a reaction to Islamism and for that reason it does not have any imagination to succeed. If it were an anti-Western movement at least the founders would have chosen creative adversaries to beat. Unfortunately Hindutva founders chose one of the most morally decrepit of modern pathologies to feed off of. Well, when you look long into the abyss the abyss looks into you.

  35. Well its odd to expect creative and intellectual articulation from a movement which has not been in power for most of its history.In a country with abysmal education and learning outcomes. In a country where almost all other ideologies (Communism,Socialism,Sub-nationalism) also mostly a rip off their European counterparts with no originality of their own, to speak of.

    Its odd to expect only one ideology to shine in this sea of mediocrity. Unreasonable and odd

    1. @Saurav
      I have noticed your arguments almost always involve felling strawmen fallacy. Just saying.
      Nobody claimed that one should only expect Hindutva chaps to bear the burden of more creativity. I am sure others could do better too – but one doesn’t feel obliged to name every type of arsehole in a sentence.

      1. Kabir,“We don’t need to be told India’s ills”– Neither do Pakistanis need to be told Pakistan’s ills but it certainly doesn’t stop you all. Hypocrisy again.”
        You misunderstand. We don’t need to quote Hoodabhoy on India’s ills. We know our ills and write about them just as Hoodabhoy does. What we do not do is criticize Pakistan when we criticize Hindutva. We can criticize you and you can criticize us, but we feel no need to criticize you while talking of our own problems whereas your liberals need to balance off by including India in their discourse. That is the point I am trying to make.

        1. I don’t think Dr. Hoodbhoy was trying to “balance” anything. His point applies equally well to Modi’s India and he used it as another illustration. Revivalist thinking is foolish and it doesn’t matter who is doing it.


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