Monday, August 9, 2010

Dialogue with a Giant

 Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan.

In December 1943, Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, gave an interview to a British journalist, Beverley Nichols. On returning to England from his tour of India, Nichols wrote a book, “Verdict on India” (publisher: Jonathan Cape). One of the chapters in this book has the title “Dialogue with a Giant”, a reference to Quaid-e-Azam. Extracts from this chapter are presented below. On the occasion of Pakistan’s Independence Day this month, we would do well to reflect on how far we have moved from Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan as a nation united under the banner of Islam, not so much a religion as a Code of Conduct. What this interview - and several of the Quaid's speeches - show is that, the Quaid was neither secular (as claimed by the so-called liberals) nor was he a religious demagogue in the sense that so many of Pakistan's self-styled religious leaders are.  

How would you describe the ‘vital principles’ of Pakistan?

In five words. The Muslims are a Nation.

When you say the Muslims are a nation, are you thinking in terms of religion?

Partly, but by no means exclusively. You must remember that Islam is not merely a religious doctrine but a realistic and practical Code of Conduct. I am thinking in terms of life, of everything important in life. I am thinking in terms of our history, our heroes, our art, our architecture, our music, our laws, our jurisprudence …… [pause]
.... [continuing]:
In all these things our outlook is not only fundamentally different but often radically antagonistic to the Hindus…….  Take one example, the eternal question of the cow. We eat the cow, the Hindus worship it. A lot of Englishmen imagine that this ‘worship’ is merely a picturesque convention, an historical survival. It is nothing of the sort. Only a few days ago, in this very city, the cow question became a matter for the police ……. But the cow question is only one of a thousand.

Are the Muslims likely to be richer or poorer under Pakistan?

Supposing you were asked which you would prefer, a rich England under Germany or a poor England free – what would your answer be?

It’s hardly necessary to ask.

Quite. Well, doesn’t that make your question look a little shoddy? This great ideal rises far above mere questions of personal comfort or temporary convenience. What conceivable reason is there to suppose that the gift of nationality is going to be an economic liability? A sovereign nation of a hundred million people – even if they are not immediately self-supporting and even if they are industrially backward – is hardly likely to be in a worse economic position than if its members are scattered and disorganized, under the dominance of two hundred and fifty million Hindus whose one idea is to exploit them.

….. the Muslims are awake …  they’ve learnt, through bitter experience, the sort of treatment they may expect from the Hindus in a ‘United India’. A ‘United India’ means a Hindu-dominated India. It means that and nothing else. Any other meaning you attempt to impose on it is mythical. ‘India’ is a British creation, it is merely a single administrative unit governed by a bureaucracy under the sanction of the sword. That is all. It is a paper creation, it has no basis in flesh and blood.

The ironical thing is that your critics say that Pakistan itself is a British creation – that it is an example of our genius for applying the principle of ‘divide and rule’.

Jinnah (with some heat):
The man who makes such a suggestion must have a very poor opinion of British intelligence, apart from his opinion of my own integrity. The one thing that keeps the British in India is the false idea of a United India, as preached by Gandhi. A United India, I repeat, is a British creation – a myth, and a very dangerous myth, which will cause endless strife. As long as that strife exists, the British have an excuse for remaining. For once in a way, ‘divide and rule’ does not apply.

What you want is ‘divide and quit’.

You have put it very neatly.

You realize that all this will come as something of a shock to the British electorate?

Truth is often shocking. But why this truth in particular?

Because the average, decent, liberal-minded voter, who wishes Britain to fulfil her pledges, and grant independence to India, has heard nothing but the Congress point of view. The Muslims have hardly a single spokesman in the West.

Jinnah [bitterly]:
I am well aware of that. The Hindus have organized a powerful Press and Congress – Mahasabha are backed up by Hindu capitalists and industrialists with finance which we have not got.

As a result they believe that Congress is ‘India’, and since Congress never tires of repeating that India is one and indivisible, they imagine that any attempt to divide it is illiberal, reactionary, and generally sinister. They seriously do believe this. I know that it is muddle-headed, but then a democracy such as ours, which has to make up its mind on an incredible number of complicated issues usually is muddle-headed. What they have to learn is that the only liberal course, the only generous course, the only course compatible with a sincere intention to quit India and hand over the reins of government  ….

And the only safe course, you might add, is …


To appreciate Islam more as a Code of Conduct and less as religion (as commonly understood), you might like to click on the following link:


Pakistan's Nemesis said...

Jinnah should have been alive today to witness the "state" of the State that he created.

Jinnah's comments - "A ‘United India’ means a Hindu-dominated India. It means that and nothing else. Any other meaning you attempt to impose on it is mythical. ‘India’ is a British creation, it is merely a single administrative unit governed by a bureaucracy under the sanction of the sword. That is all. It is a paper creation, it has no basis in flesh and blood" and "A United India, is a British creation – a myth, and a very dangerous myth, which will cause endless strife" have not turned out to be true. The myth that he talked about became a reality. India survived, flourished and continues to flourish, notwithstanding the social ills, lop-sided distribution of wealth, and Pak-sponsored terror. Less said the better about Pak's achievements - not even worth repeating what its achievements are.

Indian Muslims have had fair representation in government - at least 3 of independent India's Presidents have been Muslims, several judges of the country's Supreme Court (including Chief Justices) and High Courts have been Muslims, entrpreneurs like Azim Premji (Wipro) and Allana are Muslims. The top cop of Mumbai during 26/11 was also a Muslim. The list is endless. So comments about dominance and repression can be used to further political purposes and nothing more. If Muslims are backward in India, it is largely due to the clergy-the mullas, etc who desire to exercise control over illiterate and ignorant masses.

The Blogger is free to delete even this comment. In any case, it will be published in

Sakib Ahmad said...

The only comments that have ever been deleted here contained abusive language. I have kept a couple of your abusive comments so people can see your inner state of visceral hatred for Pakistan and its people.

Time has proved Jinnah right. The massacre of Muslims in Gujrat and continued repression of the worst sort in Kashmir - PLEASE REFER TO AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, no doubt a hard-core Muslim organisation to you! - and the general sorry state of the Muslim population in India speak volumes about Jinnah's vision of the future of Muslims in India.

Apart from the question of Muslims, be honest and tell us how many insurgencies are going on in India at the moment! The false propaganda you are trying to put up here is getting very tedious. Don't forget I am able to talk to expatriate Indian Muslims first hand in the UK. The examples of successful Muslims that you quote are simply the exceptions that prove the rule. The president is simply a figurehead with no real power. Now, if a Muslim became the Prime Minister of India then that would be something!

The real tragedy of Pakistan today is that it bears no resemblance to the country envisioned by Jinnah all those years ago. One purpose of this blog is to spread awareness among Pakistanis of how far we have moved from the position we should have occupied.

Pakistan's Nemesis said...

Mr. Blogger, I simply don’t care whether you retain or delete my comments. As stated earlier, if blogs contain half-baked nonsense and distortions, the blogger must be ready to receive not so civilized comments (including abuses). Insofar as hatred is concerned, the Indians have merely reciprocated the hatred that has stemmed from Pak since the time of independence. Notwithstanding this hatred from your country-men, Mr. Blogger, Indians continue to play host to Pak artistes like Ghulam Ali, Abida Parveen and Rahat fateh Ali Khan. It is in Pak, that there is a move to ban Bollywood movies. It is time that bloggers like you had a re-look at the allegations that you level against Indians and India.

Gujarat happened a few years back. It hogs the limelight because minorities were killed. What about the Kashmiri Pandits who were killed by Pak-sponsored jihadis, Mr. Blogger? That was ethnic cleansing. This is the typical hypocritical Pak attitude – ignore or justify killings of innocents in Kashmir as freedom struggle and portray killings of Muslims elsewhere as carnage. And where Muslims are accused of terror and killings and violence, float conspiracy theories that these acts are aimed at maligning Islam. Since independence, it is the Muslims who have been the main culprits who have perpetrated riots and communal disturbances, not the majority community. It is inherent and intrinsic to their nature. In almost all trouble spots from Philippines to Africa, it is Muslims who carry out terrorist attacks, not Christians, Jews or Hindus. Violence is ingrained in their behaviour.

Well, the President may be a figurehead, to put it in your language, but remember, Presidents like Dr. Abdul Kalam, Dr. Zakir Hussain and Dr. Radhakrishnan could not be pressurized. They were pretty independent as Presidents. A Muslim if capable and competent may become Prime Minister of India. Already a Sikh is a PM of the country. But, can a person other than a Muslim dream of becoming a President or PM? Pakis(tanis) do not have any locus standi to pass judgments on our system. Before questioning India and Indians who are more secular than the entire Muslim community, please ask what rights do Hindus have in theocratic Pakistan? Your country is in self-destruction mode with Muslims butchering Muslims (Sunnis killing Shiites, Ahmediyyas, etc) and where possible attacking a few Hindus who are left over. This is the mentality of the typical Muslim which can never change.

Pak should stop preaching to India about Kashmir and mind their own problems in Baluchistan (where genuine freedom fighters like Bugti have been murdered in cold blood), NWFP and Sindh. If and only if, had Pak concentrated on development and economy, rather than bleeding India, Jinnah's dreams of Islamic Pakistan could have been justified. Unfortunately whether the blogger likes it or not, Pakistan is today a hopelessly FAILED STATE.

Sakib Ahmad said...

You spend so much of your time writing comments and you don't care if they are retained or deleted! Is it your way of admitting that your one-sided propaganda is worthless? Actually, it deceives no one. At a time when Pakistan is drowning in floods I have more important things to do than to engage in futile debates.

The truth is that the armies and the secret agencies of most countries live by sub-human values. The pride of place is occupied by the USA/CIA and Israel/Mossad but most countries are complicit in trampling human values underfoot. This blog has heavily criticised Pakistan army/ISI. Below is a BBC report filed by a Hindu reporter in Indian occupied Kashmir - this will help you see the ugly face of Indian army/RAW.

16 August 2010 Last updated at 02:30

The angry housewives setting Kashmir ablaze
By Soutik Biswas
BBC News, Srinagar

Whenever there are protests demanding "freedom from India" in her crowded neighbourhood in Srinagar, Firdousi Farooq makes a point of participating, her four-year-old son in tow.

Joining such demonstrations in Indian-administered Kashmir these days is fraught with risks.Security forces have often fired on stone-pelting protesters, killing over 50 people, mostly teenagers, in the past two months as the valley has been convulsed by what most locals call a fierce peoples' "uprising" against India.

So what makes a mother of three hit the angry streets of Kashmir?

Ms Farooq's eldest son, Wamiq, was killed in January when a tear gas shell fired by the police exploded on his head. The 14-year-old top-of-the-class student, who loved watching cartoons and dreamed of becoming a doctor, had stepped out for a game of cricket.

The police report describes him as a "miscreant who was part of an unlawful assembly", at which the forces had fired tear gas shells in self-defence. Very few - including his neighbours, lawyers and journalists - believe this.

[BBC news story continues in the next comment]

Sakib Ahmad said...

... BBC news story continues:


Sitting in her home in the crowded old city, Ms Farooq says she had decided to hit the streets after her son's "murder".

"Why should I not protest? Why should I not pick up a stone? I am doing this in the honour of my martyred son. I am doing this for azadi (freedom) from subjugation and repression," she says defiantly.

Firdousi Farooq is just another addition to the burgeoning army of women who have been taking part in the protests in Kashmir this summer. You see them on the streets; you see them in the pictures. Young and old, middle-class and poor, mostly dressed in floral tunics, they defy the armed forces, pelting stones at them, shouting slogans and singing anti-India songs. When night falls, some of them even lead protests with their children.

Out of more than 50 people killed in the latest round of violence, three have been women.

Yasmeen Jan, 25, was standing near a window inside her house in Batamaloo on 6 July, watching a demonstration wind by when she was hit by a bullet allegedly fired by security forces.

"Mummy maey aaw heartas fire" (Mummy, my heart has taken fire), she told her mother, turning away from the window, before collapsing on the floor, dead.

Fifteen-year-old Afroza Teli took a bullet in her head during a protest demonstration in Khrew village in Pulwana district on 1 August. She died later in Srinagar. Angry Kashmiris set fire to an irrigation office, a revenue office and a court building after her death. A police station and a police vehicle were also set on fire.

Aisha Shiekh, a 55-year-old housewife and resident of Srinagar, was allegedly hit by a stone flung from a sling shot by the security forces when she was walking with her granddaughter to buy milk on 7 August. She died from her wounds a day later.

This is not the first time that women in Kashmir have come out in droves to protest, but their numbers and impact appear to be greater than ever before.

"This time the intensity of protests by women is more. You can also see more women protesting. Women have borne the brunt of the Kashmir conflict, and it is not surprising that they are at the end of their tether," says Kashmiri journalist Afsana Rashid.

.... continues ...

Sakib Ahmad said...


As Bashir Ahmed Dabla, who teaches sociology at Kashmir University says, Kashmir's women have "seen their children husbands and fathers being killed in the conflict, and routinely humiliated by the security forces".

Studies have shown there are up to 32,000 widows of the two-decade-long conflict in the Kashmir valley, and nearly 100,000 orphans. Another 10,000 men have allegedly disappeared during the conflict, says a rights group. Then there are some 400 "half-widows", whose husbands disappeared in the custody of troops or police. Women have also been the target of rape by the security forces.

"Women have been compelled to come out and protest because of the injustice and repression," says Professor Dabla.

Parveena Ahangar, a softly spoken housewife turned feisty activist, has been making a regular trek from her Gangbugh residence to the city's downtown every month, to protest against the disappearances during the conflict.

Ms Ahangar's son Javed was 16 when he was picked up by security forces in 1990 from the family home. He never returned. The indefatigable woman has travelled around the world to highlight her cause, leaving behind her husband, debilitated and out of work after 10 surgeries, and her remaining three children, including a daughter.

"As long as I am alive, my struggle will go on. I want a simple answer from the authorities: Where did these men go?"

The coming out of women in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir valley has been helped by the fact that they have been traditionally freer than their counterparts in many parts of the world. They have not observed the purdah, or faced religious or cultural segregation from men, say sociologists. Men and women have always worked in the farms together, prayed side by side in mosques and participated in religious congregations.


They have traditionally played an important role in the neighbourhood citizens' committees, preparing food for their protesting menfolk and taking the injured to hospitals. The pro-freedom movement has also thrown up a number of women leaders - both fundamentalists and liberals.

"Kashmiri women are among the most politicised women in the subcontinent," says Professor Dabla.

Zaitun Khan, a 20-something homemaker, is one of them - she remembers participating in "peaceful" protests when she was in college, but is now determined to hit the streets to demand freedom. Her brother Fayaz Ahmed Wani, who worked as a labourer in the floriculture department of the government, was hit by a bullet fired by the forces and killed while on his way to work on 6 July.

Mr Wani was 29, and left behind his wife and two daughters.

"I will go and join the protests now," says Ms Khan.

"He never protested or threw a stone in his life. But he died. How many more men will have to die? I want to go out and protest and demand freedom. Freedom to live."

Pakistan's Nemesis said...

Yes Mr. Blogger, I don't care if my comments are deleted because the very same comments can be read at

Mr. Blogger, try to use some common sense - Pak has made it impossible for Kashmir and Kashmiris to have peace. When law and order is disturbed as it is today, rights and freedoms are bound to be curtailed. Are these rights available to the common man in your country when say there is an operation against enemies of the state? The answer is no. Thanks to pak's perfidy, India is forced to have a large concentration of troops. Secondly, Kashmir is a state which has borders with two enemy states, viz. your beloved motherland and its master China.

To put it very bluntly, excesses are bound to happen when a state is in the midst of perrenial terror, particularly when it is sponsored by your beloved motherland. You may give any number of instances of excesses which may or may not be even true. We as a nation can deal with the situation in Kashmir if those across the borders will keep their hands off. And one thing is certain, if Pak even nurses a belief that India will cede even an inch of Kashmir, I think it is rather stupid and utopian. India would rather combat Pak than give an inch to Pak. I think Pak should deal with its own problems - BTW One-fifth of Pak is under water and there is a serious shortage of essential commodities - instead of fomenting trouble in India and Kashmir.

Pakistan's Nemesis said...

Mr. Blogger, do not waste your time countering my comments. Certainly, you should be busy dealing with the flood situation. But all the same, in typical PAKISTANI fashion, you have taken the pains of reproducing stories/reports from BBC, which otherwise Pak and your esteemed countrymen tends to condemn as being propaganda material. How very hypocritical!

Anonymous said...

Well done, guys. I really enjoyed this dialogue.

MoinSaddiq said...

Guys guys, stop fighting, we Pakistanis have a big task ahead of us. Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar are all bleeding.

Hafiz Said is saying flooding is because of our sins.

Please pray for Pakistan Army

Sakib Ahmad said...


The rampaging gentleman is not a Pakistani! He just hates us: we are all devils and there reside angels across the eastern border, who are permitted to commit the most despicable acts without losing their angelic badge!!

Pakistan's Nemesis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pakistan's Nemesis said...

Well, the devils from across the Eastern border offered aid for the Pak angels who were badly affected by the floods, which aid was refused because of the deep affection that exists. Subsequently, very reluctantly and after much hullabaloo and under US pressure Pakis did a great favour in accepting the aid.

When Pak was struck by a devastating earthquake a few years back, the angelic Pakis were given blankets by the evil Indians. And guess what, the blankets were torn up. So much for Paki love and affection.

The Eastern neighbour should have told Pak to go to hell instead of forcing the aid down its throat much against its wishes. And talking about despicable acts, the Blogger should look at his own countrymen's attitude, demeanor and acts of terror committed world-wide in the name of a religion before pointing fingers at others.

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