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The Root Of India-Pakistan


It is commonly accepted as an article of faith thatKashmir is the root causeof all problems between India and
Pakistan. I disagree with this premise, and wish to demonstrate that the Kashmir issue is itself theresultof a
deeper root cause, which is a clash of two worldviews: pluralismversusexclusivism.
(It must be clarified that neither pluralism nor exclusivism is the same assecularism, because secularism denies
the legitimacy of religion, seeing it at best as exotic culture, and at worst, as a scourge. On the other hand,
pluralism and exclusivism both recognize and celebrate religion, but in entirely different ways.)
Most people fail to recognize that this clash between pluralism and exclusivism does indeed exist. This exposes
an intellectual failing and lack of preparation in getting to the root cause of the India-Pakistan conflict. This has
repressed the real problem, pushing it into the intellectual basement of the global subconscious, and turning it
into the shadow side of humanity.
Any genuine attempt to address geopolitical problems must look deeper than examining merely the symptoms of
conflict. This essay calls for a paradigm shift in the understanding of the root cause, without which attempts to
resolve the Kashmir issue shall fail, or at best bring temporary relief. It concludes by defining the hard question
that must be tackled by the world community.
Religion and Conflict
All religions have two dimensions:theologicalbeliefs that pertain to ones relationship with a Supreme Reality of
whatever kind; andsociologicalbeliefs that pertain to dealings with human society. Often, people compare only
the theologies, finding common ground across many diverse religions, and declare them all be the same or
equivalent. Hence, they naively conclude that the present global problems arenot about religion.
However, one must pay special attention to the second dimension of religions, namely, the social theories
mandated by different religions. It is here where the root of much conflict is to be located.
Christianitys onerous social demands became the subject of intense fighting after 1500 C.E., leading to the
Reformation of Christianity. Both sides orthodoxy and the reformers agreed that the social space should
allow critical thinking, independent inquiry, and separation of church and state. This clipped the wings of
Christianity from its control over the public space. Consequently, contemporary Western religion is largely a
private affair and focuses less on control over society.
While Christianity does remain very active socially today, and has strong positions on abortion, euthanasia, and
many other ethical matters, it is not the finallegal authorityto resolve sociological disputes. It has a position on
these, but this is only a position and does not automatically become the position in Western society.
The situation in Islam is entirely different. A comparable Reformation has never been accomplished successfully,
and those who have tried such amendments have been killed as heretics. Hence, in many ways, the sociological
dictates of orthodox Islam today are comparable to those of pre-Reformation Christianity. For instance, during
the Middle Ages, Catholic bishops hadfatwa-like powers to give death sentences. They had police powers, and
controlled the definition and enforcement of public law. (The greatest gift that the West could give to Muslims is
guidance in bringing about such a Reformation, as that watershed event was the beginning of the rise of the West.
The only losers would be the Islamic clergy.)

Furthermore, sociological mandates of a religion are also of two kinds:internalones, such as thevarnasystem,
marriage customs, gender relations, and so forth, that only impact the internal society within a particular religion;
andexternalones, such as the requirement to proselytize or to kill or ill-treat outsiders, that impact those who are
outsiders to a given faith.
In my view the theological and internal, sociological, aspects of a religion arenotthe primary causes of global
conflict. Rather, the external, sociological, aspects of religion are the direct causes of global conflict.
It logically follows that it is the business of the world at large to interpret, question, and challenge those aspects of
a religion that take a position concerningoutsiders. If I am the subject of some other religions doctrine, and such
a doctrine states how I am to be treated, what is to be done to me, what I may or may not do freely, then, even
though I am not a member of that religion, it does become my business to probe these doctrines and even to
demand a change. On the other hand, if a religion minds its own business, and has little to say pertaining to me as
an outsider, then I should respect its right to be left alone.
In other words, a given religions right to be left alone by outsiders should be reciprocal and contingent upon its
responsibility to leave outsiders alone.
Islams socio-political strategies in dealing with the non-Muslim world are now at the crossroads and under the
worlds microscope. The positions adopted by Islamic leaders will have long-term consequences for the entire
world, including both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Pakistans Islamic Foundations
The three important social demands that dominate the Islamic orthodoxyas adopted by Pakistans
governmentand many other Islamic States (as opposed to alternative liberal interpretations that are subverted)
are: (1) the 2-nation theory, (2) global loyalty to Islam superceding sovereignty of man-made countries, and (3)
Islamic triumphalism. These are summarized below:
1.The 2-nation theory: Pakistan was carved out of India based on the theory that Muslims require their own
separate nation in order to live in compliance with Islamic Law. This theory is equivalent to: (a)segregation(neoapartheid) by demanding a separation of socio-political jurisdiction for Muslims; and (b) Islamicexclusivenessand
imposition of Islamic Law upon the public sphere. This is the exact opposite of both pluralism and secularism.
The traumatic event that resulted from this, in India, is commonly called The Partition. Once the population of
Muslims in a given region crosses a threshold in numbers and/or assertiveness, such demands begin. Once this
ball is set in motion, the euphoria builds up into a frenzy, and galvanizes the Pan-Islamic global loyalty
discussed in #2 below. The temperature is made to boil until Muslims worldwide see the expansion of their
territory as Gods work.The US will have this experience at some point during the next few decades.
2.Pan-Islamic loyalty superceding local sovereignty:Islamic doctrine divides humanity into two nations that
transcend all boundaries of man-made countries: All Muslims in the world are deemed to be part of one single
nation calleddar-ul-islam(Nation-of-Islam). All non-Muslims are deemed to belong todar-ul-harb(the enemy, or
Nation-of-War). This bi-polar definition cuts across all sovereignty, because sovereignty is man-made and hence
inferior and subservient to Gods political and social bifurcation. Islamic doctrine demands loyaltyonlyto Islamic
Law andnotto the man-made laws of nations and states, such as USA, India, etc. Among the consequences of this
doctrine is that a Muslim isrequiredto fight on the side of a Muslim brother against any non-Muslim. This has
often been invoked by Muslims to supercede the merits of a given dispute at hand. Orthodox Islam calls for a
worldwide network of economic, political, social, and other alliances amongst the 1.2 billion Muslims of the
world. Pakistan invokes this doctrine to claim Indian Muslims as part of dar-ul-islam, with Pakistan designated as
caretaker of their interests. The Al Qaeda global network of terror is simply the extreme case of such a network
mentality turning violent against thedar-ul-harb.
3.Islamic Triumphalism:A central tenet of Islam is that Gods nation i.e. thedar-ul-islam must sooner or
later take over the world. Others, especially those who are in the crosshairs, as prey at a given moment, see this as
religious imperialism. Pakistans official account of history honors Aurungzebbecausehe plundered and
oppressed the infidels, i.e. Hindus and Buddhists. Likewise, many other conquerors, such as Mohammed of
Ghazni, are portrayed as great heroes of Islamic triumphalism. (Even Pakistans missile is named after an Islamic
conqueror of India in the Medieval Period.) Given this divine mandate, the ethos of aggressiveness and predatory
behavior is promoted and celebrated in social life, which non-Muslims see as Islamic chauvinism. September 11
was a misjudgment of timing anddar-ul-islamsability to take over. But any orthodox Mullah or Imam would
confirm Gods edict that eventually Islam absolutely must take over the world.

Socio-Political Consequences
Once ingrained, these ideological essences become thecontextsthat define all thinking concerning society,
politics, ethics, and even militancy. A sort of closed universe develops and rigidifies, and assumes a life of its own,
with its internal logic and legitimacy.
An intense identity is often programmed from childhood. For instance, history gets rewritten to fit the
requirement that anything pre-Islamic is to be seen as inferior and false. In India, this legitimized the destruction
of Hindu-Buddhist institutions. The past is still a threat, because it is too obviously Hindu-Buddhist. In Arabia, it
caused the virtual erasure of rich pre-Islamic cultures. Indigenous art got re-branded as Islamic art, even though
it was done by non-Muslims who were employed by the conquerors.
Indian contributions in math, science, medicine, art, literature, etc. were translated by Arab and Persian scholars
in the Middle Ages with explicit acknowledgment and great respect for the Indian sources, and were later retransmitted to Europe. However, since Islam now no longer has exclusive control over India, it now claims these
as Islamic sciences. This version of a triumphant Islamic history is promoted heavily by Arab sponsored
television shows, and even on public television in the US.
The education system of such societies brainwashes and hypnotizes young boys into dogma that either includes
hatred, or can easily be turned into hatred, by pushing a few buttons. It denies them job skills for the modern era,
thereby expanding the available pool of jihad mercenaries for hire.
When Islam is in a minority and brute force power is not advisable, the Al-taqiyah doctrine legitimizes deception,
if done for the larger cause ofdar-ul-islam.
All this has built a neurosis and hatred for others. There is also hatred for modernity, seeing it as evil. When the
infidels start to win economically or politically, the orthodoxy preaches that Islamic people are not doing a good
enough job on behalf of Allah, and must get re-energized to fight thedar-ul-harb. Such a powder keg blows up
under the right conditions of stress.
This thinking led to the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
History of the Two-Nation Theory
Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1876-1938), the leading Muslim philosopher of his time, was an Indian nationalist in his
early writings. But by 1930, in his poem,The Millat, his thoughts had crystallized on Muslim separatism. He
explained the concept of partition in his presidential address to the Muslim League in Allahabad in 1930: that a
unitary form of government was inconceivable, and thatreligious communityhad to be the basis for identification.
His argument was thatcommunalismin its highest sense brought harmony.
Iqbal demanded the establishment of a confederated India to include a Muslim state consisting of Punjab, NorthWest Frontier Province, Sindh, and Baluchistan. In subsequent speeches and writings, Iqbal reiterated the
Muslim claim to nationhood based on unity of language, race, history, religion, and identity of economic
The name Pakistan originated in 1933, when some Muslim students in Cambridge (UK) issued a pamphlet
titledNow or Never. The pamphlet denied that India was a single country, and demanded partition. It explained
the term Pakistan as follows: Pakistan is composed of letters taken from the names of our homelands: that is,
Punjab, Afghania [North-West Frontier Province], Kashmir, Iran, Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and
Balochistan. It means the land of the Paks, the spiritually pure and clean.
In the 1937 elections to the provincial legislative assemblies, the Indian Congress party gained majorities in seven
of the eleven provinces. Congress refused to form coalition governments with the Muslim League, even in Uttar
Pradesh, which had a substantial Muslim minority, and vigorously denied the Muslim Leagues claim to be the
only true representative of Indian Muslims. This permanently alienated the Muslim League from the Congress.
By 1939, the Aligarh Muslim groups resolution reflected the hardening of the Muslim leaderships thinking:
Neither the fear of the British bayonets nor the prospects of a bloody civil war can discourage (the Muslims) in
their will to achieve free Muslim states in those parts of India where they are in majority.
To rally political support, Jinnah used Pakistan as the unifying cause. His famous 1940 Presidential address to
the Muslim Leagues annual convention in Lahore was a watershed event to segregatedar-ul-islamin the Indian
subcontinent. He said:

It is extremely difficult to appreciate why our Hindu friends fail to understand the real nature of Islam and
Hinduism. They are not religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and distinct social
orders. It is a dream that the Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception
of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits, and is the cause of most of our troubles, and will lead India to
destruction, if we fail to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religious
philosophies, social customs, and literature. They neither intermarry, nor inter-dine together, and indeed they
belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects
on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from
different sources of history. They have different epics, their heroes are different, and they have different episodes.
Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other, and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together
two such nations under a single State, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to
growing discontent and the final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a
(Americans should visualize a future American Jinnah substituting Christianity in place of Hinduism and
adopting similar positions.)
Jinnahs theory was partially rationalized by his understanding of history according to which segregation was
normal and natural across the world. In his above speech, Jinnah went on to say:
History has also shown to us many geographical tracts, much smaller than the Subcontinent of India, which
otherwise might have been called one country, but which have been divided into as many states as there are
nations inhabiting them. The Balkan Peninsula comprises as many as seven or eight sovereign States. Likewise,
the Portuguese and the Spanish stand divided in the Iberian Peninsula.
This was a false theory of history on Jinnahs part. Recent events demonstrate the trend towards European
unification as opposed to subdivision, because the common interests greatly outweigh what divides the various
diverse peoples of Europe.
However, having once made up his mind, Jinnah politicized his two-nation theory successfully, using fear tactics
with the British:
The present artificial unity of India dates back only to the British conquest and is maintained by the British
bayonet; but the termination of the British regime, which is implicit in the recent declaration of His Majestys
Government, will be the herald of an entire break up, with worse disaster than has ever taken place during the last
one thousand years under the Muslims. Surely that is not the legacy which Britain would bequeath to India after
150 years of her rule, nor would the Hindu and Muslim India risk such a sure catastrophe.
At the 1940 Lahore convention, the Muslim League resolved that the areas of Muslim majority in northwestern
and eastern India should be grouped together to constitute independent states autonomous and sovereign and
that any independence plan without this provision was unacceptable to Muslims. The Lahore Resolution was
often referred to as the Pakistan Resolution.
Without any concrete dispute between Hindus and Muslims, the logic that prevailed was that Muslims require
segregation of political and social life in order to be in compliance with the demands of sharia. The Two-Nation
Theory was a manifestation of the doctrine ofdar-ul-islamversusdar-ul-harb.
Divergent Post-Independence Directions
India was built on an entirely different worldview, inspired by the same ideals as the United States, as is evident
from the Preamble to its Constitution:
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST
SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
* JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
* LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
* EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
* and to promote among them all
* FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the [unity and integrity of the Nation];
In sharp contrast, the Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has the following Preamble:

Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised
by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust;
After Jinnah, Pakistan became increasingly radicalized and Islamicized, in many ways more extreme than the
founders vision. For instance, the Ninth Amendment in 1985 caused Article 227 to read:
All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and
Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam,
The Ninth Amendment explains that the objects and reasons for this Islamicization are so as to provide that
the Injunctions of Islam shall be the supreme law and source of guidance for legislation and policy making and to
empower the Federal Shariat Court to make recommendations for bringing the fiscal laws and laws relating to the
levy and collection of taxes in conformity with the said injunctions.
Once there is a State religion that has a strong orthodoxy, the State must also interpret the religion. For example,
the Ahmadiyya sect of Muslims is considered heretical, because it recognizes a 19th century man born in India to
be the new Prophet of Islam. In order to preserve the purity of the interpretation of Islam, the Pakistan Federal
Government has constitutionally prohibited the group from calling themselves Muslim, even in the use of
everyday Islamic greetings. This was implemented in the Second Amendment of Pakistans Constitution in 1974,
which reads:
A person who does not believe in the absolute and unqualifiedfinalityof The Prophethoodof MUHAMMAD
(Peace be upon him), the last of the Prophets or claims to be a Prophet, in any sense of the word or of any
description whatsoever , after MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), or recognizes such a claimant as a Prophet or
religious reformer, is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution or law.
This Constitutional provision is now enforced in various application forms of the Pakistani government, such as
the following passport form on the home page of its embassy in Washington, DC. In item 14, the form asks for the
following Declaration:
a. I am a Muslim and believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace
beupon him) the last of the prophets.
b. I do not recognize any person who claims to he prophet in any sense of the word or of any
descriptionwhatsoever after Muhammad (peace be upon him) or recognize such a claimant as prophet or a
religious reformeras a Muslim.
c. I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Quadiani to be an impostor nabi and also consider his followers whether
belonging to the Lahori or Quadiani group, to be NON-MUSLIM.
As further examples of Islamization, the Law of Pakistan calls for amputation of hands or feet for many property
crimes. Consumption of alcohol by Muslimsin any quantity whatsoeveris punishable by flogging.
Under Pakistans Islamic laws, adultery and fornication are punishable by stoning to death. The law on rape (zinabil-jabr) has a very chilling effect on women who are raped because: The crime is rarely proven because it
requires that four adult Muslim males of good reputation must appear as witnesses to the act. (One is left
wondering why four men of good reputation would be watching a rape.) If the charge fails, then the woman who
has brought it can be punished for false accusation (qazf) or, more commonly, for adultery (zina) herself because
through her charge she has admitted her own involvement in an illicit sexual act. For instance, in 1991, around
two-thirds of the 3,000 women imprisoned in Pakistan were being held on such charges the victims of rape
prosecuted for illicit sex!
Islamic texts are being introduced into Pakistani military training. Middle ranking officers must take courses and
examinations on Islam. There are even serious attempts under way to define an Islamic military doctrine, as
distinct from the international military doctrines, so as to fight in accordance with the Koran.
An eminent Pakistani writer, Mubarak Ali, explains the chronology of Islamization:
The tragedy of 1971 [when Bangladesh separated] brought a shock to the people and also a heavy blow to the
ideology of Pakistan More or less convinced of their Islamic heritage and identity, Pakistans government and
intelligentsia consciously attempted to Islamize the country The history of Islamization can be traced to the
Bhutto era

General Zia-ul-Haq [another great friend and ally of the US] furthered the process to buy legitimacy for his
military regime. The element of communal and sectarian hatred in todays society are a direct consequence of the
laws that the dictator had put in place He made all secular and liberal-minded people enemies of the country.
They were warned again and again of severe consequences in case of any violation of the [Islamic] Ideology of
Nawaz Sharif added his own bit, like mandating death penalty to the Blasphemy Law With the failure of the
ruling classes to deliver the goods to the people, religion was exploited to cover up corruption and bad
governance The process of Islamization not only supports but protects the fundamentalists in their attempts to
terrorize and harass society in the name of religion. There are published accounts of the kind of menace that is
spread by religious schools run by these fundamentalists
Khaled Ahmed describes how this radicalization of Pakistan is continuing even today:
In Pakistan every time it is felt that the ideology is not delivering there are prescriptions for further
strengthening of the shariah Needless to say, anyone recommending that the ideological state be undone is
committing heresy and could be punished under law The Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) is busy on a daily
basis to put forth its proposals for the conversion of the Pakistani state into a utopia of Islamic dreams. The
Ministry for Religious Affairs has already sent to the cabinet of General Musharraf a full-fledged programme for
converting Pakistan into an ideal state We have reached this stage in a gradual fashion, where these state
institutions have become directly responsible for encouraging extremism
This hole is so deep that General Musharraf, while promising to de-radicalize Pakistan, must reassure his people
not to fear the threat of secularism. He recently clarified it as follows:
No-one should even think this is a secular state. It was founded as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
While America still has enormous racial inequality 150 years after the abolishing of slavery, the important point is
that it is committed to racial equality. Similarly, despite many flaws in Indias pluralism, the State is committed to
it. What counts is a commitment to steady improvement. India has had one of the most aggressive and ambitious
affirmative action programs in the world. The results, while far from perfect, have produced many top level
Muslim leaders in various capacities in India, and a growth of Muslims as a percentage of total population. But in
the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Hindu population has decreased from 11% in 1947 to around 1% today, as a
result of ethnic cleansing.
Pakistans Identity Crisis
The problem for an educated Pakistani is to figure out when and where his history started. If it is to be 1947 in the
geographical area that is now Pakistan, then there is very little past for him to build an identity. If it is to be from
the time of Mohammed, then his history is outside his land. If it is prior to that, then his history is largely a HinduBuddhist history, a past he wants to deny.
He must invent history to answer the question: Why was Pakistan created? Mubarak Ali, a prominent Pakistani
scholar, explains the predicament:
Since its inception Pakistan has faced the monumental task of formulating its national identity separate from
India. Partitioned from the ancient civilization of India, Pakistan has struggled to construct its own culture; a
culture not just different and unique from India, but one appreciable by the rest of the world. The overshadowing
image of the Indian civilization also haunted the founders of Pakistan, who channeled their efforts in making the
differences between India and Pakistan more tangible and obvious.
The fundamental difference between India and Pakistan was based on the Two Nation theory, strengthening
Pakistans Islamic identity.
The University Grants Commission of Pakistan made Islamic Studies and Pakistan Study compulsory subjects
at all levels of the education system, even for the professional students. This gave the government an
opportunity to teach the students its own version of history, especially the Pakistan ideology, which is described
as something like this: The struggle was for the establishment of a new Islamic state and for the attainment of
independence. It was the outcome of the sincere desire of the Muslims of the subcontinent who wanted Islam to
be accepted as the ideal pattern for an individuals life, and also as the law to bind the Muslims into a single
In asserting this identity, Pakistan is in a state of dilemma

If Pakistanis were seen merely as Indians who converted to Islam, then they would seem no different than the
Indian Muslims, who are equal in number to Pakistans total population, who are better educated and
economically placed, and who enjoy greater social freedom than their counterparts in Pakistan. Hence,the very
existence of Pakistan as a separate nation rests upon constructing an identity for itself that is radically different from
Indias. But you cannot build a nation on a negative identity.
One might say that a birth defect of Pakistan was its lack of a self-sufficient positive identity. Such a positive
identity would neither be a negation of India, nor be an imperialistic claim of authority over alldar-ul-islamof the
subcontinent. Kamal Azfar, a Pakistani writer, explains the dilemma:
There are two concepts of Pakistan: the first empirical and the second utopian. The empirical concept is based
on solid foundations of history and geography while the utopian concept is based on shifting sands. Utopia is not
an oasis but a mirage Samarqand and Bukhara and the splendors of the Arab world are closely related to us but
we do not possess them. Our possessions are Moenjodaro and Sehwan Sharif, Taxila and Lahore, Multan and the
Khyber. We should own up to all that is present here in the Indus Valley and cease to long for realities not our
own for that is false-consciousness.
This obsession to be seen as neo-Arabs has reached ridiculous extremes, such as Pakistani scholars attempts to
show that Sanskrit was derived from Arabic. Even Persian influence on Indian culture is considered impure as
compared to Arabic.
Pakistans un-Indian identity easily gets turned into anti-Indian rhetoric. In short, hatred for India has been
required to keep Pakistan together, because Allah has not done so. Pakistan is largely a garrison state, created and
sustained using the Hindu-Muslim divide.
A secure Hindu seems to be incompatible with what the Pakistani thinks a Hindu should be. Especially any
Hindu success feeds its Hindu-phobia.
Pakistans positive identity building projects are using multiple strategies. The following are three of the major
historical myths being spun by Pakistan, to secure legitimacy for its separate existence.
Myth 1: Pakistanis = Descendents of the Indus Valley Civilization
The most aggressive identity engineering project is the theory of Pakistanis depicted as the 8,000-year-old people
of the Indus Valley. This civilization is presented as different from the Ganges Valley civilization. The Indus and
Ganges are depicted as the ancestral homelands of Pakistanis and Indians, respectively. Hence, they have always
been separate people. Given this model, Pakistans Indus Valley researchers are encouraged to show the links to
the Middle East civilizations of Mesopotamia, so as to bring Pakistan and the Arab-Persian worlds into a single
continuous historical-geographical identity since the beginnings of recorded history.
The following article titled,Separating Urdu from Sanskrit, published in the Urdu newspaperJang, explains the
construction of this theory of an 8,000-year-old Pakistan:
Pakistani intellectuals have been looking for the roots of their separate identity in the remote past for the last
two decades. They are not satisfied with the two-nation theory propounded by Iqbal, according to which religion
was the basis of nationhood They want to show that the Indus and the Gangetic valleys have always been home
to separate civilizations. Being the heir to the Indus valley civilization, Pakistan is a geographic entity whose roots
go back to time immemorial
Hitherto, the generally held belief has been that Urdu came into being as a result of social contacts between the
Muslims who came to India during the middle ages and the native population. So the language was taken to be a
crossbreed of Turko-Persian-Arabic vocables with the local dialects. This is, in a nutshell, the view held by such
eminent linguists as G.A. Griesson and Sir Charles Lyall, to mention only two. This theory presupposed that these
dialects themselves were based upon, or rather were a by-product of Sanskrit.
Khalid Hasan Qadiri [a new identity developer] reaches the conclusion that Urdu has its roots in the languages
of the Munda tribes who were the inhabitants of the Indus Valley in pre-Dravidian periods. In this way we are
led to believe that the Urdu language has a very well-defined and clear-cut grammar, absolutely different from
Sanskrit in every respect. The very basic philosophy governing the grammatical structure of these two languages
is totally different. And by any stretch of imagination one cannot state Urdu to have emanated from the sacred
language of the Hindus. Grammatically speaking Urdu owes nothing to Sanskrit. Hence it cannot be grouped with
the Aryan language either. It clearly belongs to some non-Aryan group of languages. And this view is supposed to
give us some solace.

Myth 2: Pakistanis = West Asian Races

Using a more recent beginning point, there is a popular construction of Pakistanis as Arab-Persian-Turk
immigrants (with a few occasionaljihadsagainst the infidels). Here, Pakistanis get racially differentiated from
the native Indian Muslims. (A different version of this scenario says that Pakistanis are Aryans originally from
lands around Turkey.)
These theories encourage rampant Arabization of Pakistani culture. Arabization is to Pakistanis what
Macaulayism is to many Indians. The difference is that Macaulayism has afflicted only the top tier of Indian
elitists, whereas Arabization of Pakistan pervades all strata of Pakistani identity. For instance:
* Girls are discouraged from wearingmehndi, because it is seen as a Hindu tradition, even though it has nothing to
do with ones religion per se.
* The kite flying tradition during the festival of Baisakhi, celebrated for centuries in Punjab as the harvest season,
is now under the microscope of Pakistansidentity engineersfor being too Sikh and Hindu in character, and not
Arab enough.
* Emphasis is placed on being un-Indian so as to assert this new identity wherever possible.
Pakistan has these internal conflicts between its Middle Eastern religious values on the one hand, and its Indian
cultural values on the other. In this internal struggle, the Islamic values based on Middle East culture are
conquering the indigenous values of the people. Much of the neurosis is about this destruction of ones past
Myth 3: Pakistan = Successor to Mughal Empire
This is the most ominous model of all from Indians perspective: Pakistan is depicted as the successor to the
Mughal Empire. The post-Mughal two-century British rule is seen as a dark period of interruption that is now to
be reversed by returning to the glory of the Mughals. Under thisreturn of the Mughals,Hindus would be secondclass citizens, in the same manner as they were under the Mughals.
Many Pakistanis would like Mughal Emperor Akbars model, under which Hindus were tolerated and even
respected, although Muslims enjoyed higher status.
But most Pakistanis are said to prefer Emperor Aurungzebs model, under which Hindus were oppressed and
forced to convert, and Islam was asserted in ways that were not different from the Talibans policies. This
glorifies aggressiveness and Islamic chauvinism. Such an imperialistic identity has also led to a leadership claim
over Indias Muslims, even though they outnumber Pakistans entire population and enjoy greater prosperity,
freedom and culture.
This schizophrenia makes Pakistanis very insecure. To avoid this quandary, they quickly slip into talk of a panIslamic identity, hoping to escape the irrational construct with which they find themselves burdened.
It is relevant to point out that Muslims are required to point towards Mecca five times daily in prayer.
Psychologists would call this creative visualization, a form of subconscious programming. Are loyalties taking
shape deep within ones psyche, towards the Arabs, the owners of Mecca?
What is the effect of being told since childhood, in chauvinistic and triumphant terms, of Islams heroic plunder
of infidels, and its inevitable conquest of the entire world? What is the consequence of glorifying Ghazni and
Aurungzeb as is done in Pakistans public school textbooks?
Khaled Ahmed explains the neurosis resulting from such dogma:
The difficulty lies in the inability of the Muslims to mould their original revealed message to modern times by
applying logic and rationality to the ancient case law. There was a time when this was done but the era
oftaqleed(imitation) has been upon us since the medieval period. Under colonial rule, many Muslims thought of
introducing reason in the science of understanding the Holy Writ, but today no one in the Islamic world tolerates
any deviation fromtaqleedeven when thistaqleedvaries in practice from state to state. All Muslim states are
unstable either because they have enforced the shariah and are unhappy with it, like Pakistan, or have not
enforced it and are unhappy that it has not been enforced. For Muslims the question, What kind of state do we
want? is a rhetorical one, because for them it has already been answered.

Most shocking is the prevalent Hindu-bashing on Pakistanistatetelevision and instateschool textbooks. A

common theme is to depict Brahmins as cunning and wicked, and to mock at Hindu beliefs. By contrast,
thestaterun media in India is extra careful to be sensitive. Private Bollywood has many Muslims in dominant
positions and a pluralistic ethos is very much projected.
One of the most popular songs sung by Hindus isIshvar, Allah tere nam, meaning Ishvar and Allah are Gods
names. I have not come across Hindus being concerned or even conscious that they are giving Allah recognition as
equal to Ishvar. But most Muslim friends refuse to participate in any such song, as it would violate the injunction
against respecting other deities.
A friend recently told me that in her corporate office on Wall Street, she has been a close friend of a Pakistani
woman executive for many years. They bring lunch from home, and have shared each others food regularly. But
one day, my friend casually remarked that the lunch she brings is after doingpujaand offering some asprasadam.
The Pakistani woman refused to accept her food ever since. She had no qualms about saying that eating such a
meal would be a violation of her Islamic faith.
Pakistan, assuming the leadership ofdar-ul-islam, is trying to expand the territory of Islam. Militancy is a
relatively recent export of Pakistan, a sort of last resort out of desperation. The Kashmir issue is Pakistans
identity crisis externalized towards an outside enemy, so as to find a meaning for itself. The citizens of Pakistan
have been galvanized into a neurosis to Islamize Kashmir on behalf of Allah.
The Need to Decouple
The economic directions of India and Pakistan are entirely different: the technology education emphasis in India,
as compared to themadrassasin Pakistan where Islamic identity is the primary curriculum.
India is one-sixth of all humanity. It deserves its own space in the worlds mind, and should not be reduced to one
of eight countries lumped into a single South Asian region just for simplicity and convenience. Pakistan should
be let loose to discover who it wants to be, without being bothered about India.
The Garland Making Worldview
Be like a garland maker, O king; not like a charcoal burner. Mahabharata, XII.72.20
This famous statement from the Mahabharata contrasts two worldviews. It asks the king to preserve and protect
diversity, in a coherent way. The metaphor used is that of a garland, in which flowers of many colors and forms
are strung together for a pleasing effect. The contrast is given against charcoal, which is the result of burning all
kinds of wood and reducing diversity to homogeneous dead matter. The charcoal burner is reductionist and
destroys diversity, whereas the garland maker celebrates diversity.
Garland making and charcoal burning represent two divergent worldviews in terms of socio-political ideology.
The former leads to pluralism and diversity of thought, whereas the latter strives for a homogenized and
fossilized society in which dogma runs supreme.
India represents a long and continuous history of experimentation with garland making. A central tenet of
dharma is that ones social duty is individualistic and dependent upon thecontext:
* To illustrate the context-sensitive nature ofdharma, a text by Baudhayana lists practices that would be normal
in one region of India but not appropriate in another, and advises that learned men of the traditions should follow
the customs of their respective districts.
* Furthermore, the ethical views applicable also depend upon ones stage in life (asramadharma).
* Ones particular position in society determines ones personal dharma (svadharma).
* The dharma has to be based upon ones personal inner nature (svabhava).
* There is even special dharma that is appropriate in times of distress or emergency (apaddharma).
Hence, anything resembling a universal or absolute social law (sadharama) is characterized as a last resort and
not as a first resort a fallback if no context can be found applicable.
Combine this with the fact that social theories (calledSmritis) werenotdivine revelations as was the case in the
Abrahamic religions, but were constructed by human lawmakers who were analogous to todays public officials.
Hence,all Smritis are amendable, and indeed are intended to be modified for each era and by each society. This is
a very progressive social mandate, and to freeze Indian social norms is, in fact, a travesty based on ignorance.

This pluralistic social theory is deeply rooted in indigenous religions. In the Bhagavadagita (IX. 23-25), Krishna
proclaims that the devotees who worship other deities are in fact worshipping Him; and that those who offer
worship to various other deities or natural powers also reach the goals they desire.
Dr. P. V. Kane has researched ancient Indias pluralism, and concluded emphatically that there was no state
sponsored religious exclusivism. In particular, Kashmirs history of garland making spans several millennia. Its
identity was not based on any religion. Kashmiris of all religions lived in harmony, and Kashmir was the incubator
of Kashmir Shaivism, much of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism. Kashmirs survivalas a garland making
cultureis a crucial challenge to the future of pluralism in the world.
The Kashmir Issue
No fruitful discussion can begin with the Kashmir issue as though it were a stand-alone real estate dispute.The
root problem between India and Pakistan isnotKashmir. Neither is it about Islams theology nor its internal social
practices. Rather, it is the clash between worldviews resulting from the external projection of Islam dar-ulislamversusdar-ul-harb. This manifests as Pakistans two-nation worldview versus Indias pluralistic worldview.
The validity and success of either worldviewnecessitatesthe defeat of the other:
* For, if Pakistans worldview were right, then Muslims everywhere require their own country in order to live as
good Muslims. This would mean that Indian pluralism would have to fail, and Indian Muslims would need their
own separate nation as well.
* On the other hand, if Indias worldview were right, and Indian Muslims lived happily in a pluralistic society,
then the very foundation of Pakistans existence would become unglued and there would be a call for reunification.
IfbothIndia and Pakistan were to adopt a common worldview, there could be a stable peace, regardless of which
worldview it was:
* If both adopted the two-nation theory, there would beexclusiveand separate nations for Muslims and Hindus,
respectively. The practicalities of implementation would be horrendous, given the massive and dispersed Indian
Muslim population. But each would eventually become homogeneous internally.
* If both adopted the one-nation theory, they would re-unify.
I disfavor the first choice, because it would set a horrible precedence for humanity at large: If India were to fail as
the worlds oldest surviving garland making civilization, it would mean that any geographical region of the world
with a significant Muslim minority, even with a small population (such as Kashmirs), would eventually demand
separation from thedar-ul-harb.Given the empirical fact of a faster birth rate than the rest of the population,
Muslims everywhere would sooner or later have the same kinds of fights withdar-ul-harbas in Bosnia, prepartition India, Philippines, Kashmir, and so forth.
Partitions into Muslim nationscould never be complete until there were no others left.Such a theocracy would be
the ultimate charcoal burning social structure.
This would eventually become the biggest nightmare for the United States, China and other countries, given their
own demographic trends.
The second scenario may not be politically acceptable to Pakistan. This leads us to the hard question of
The Hard Question
Rather than pretending that these problems have nothing to do with religion, or fearing that it would be
politically incorrect to address this issue, non-Muslim thinkers and liberal Islamic leaders should brainstorm the
following question:
Under what socio-political mutual understandings could it become attractive for Muslims to live in integrated
harmony with non-Muslims, even where the Muslims are a majority or a significant minority?
In other words, lets negotiate a framework for Islamic pluralism, separation of mosque and state, and democracy.

The Wests failure to understand this clash of worldviews, and its continued approach to Kashmir astheproblem
in isolation, could end upcreating another Palestine-like unsolvable crisis. This crisis would be worse, and involve
massive populations and nukes.
There needs to be a paradigm shift in defining the problem. India should take the moral, intellectual and
diplomatic high ground to debate: one nation (pluralism) versus two nation (exclusivism) theories. In other
words, the real issue is garland making versus charcoal burning.
1. Seehttp://alfa.nic.in/const/preamble.htmlAlso, note that Article 15 explicitly prohibits discrimination on
grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
2. Seehttp://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/constitution/part9.html
3. Jinnah did have a vision as a moderate, although in an overall Islamic context. In his presidential address to the
Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947, Jinnah said: Now I think we should keep that in front of us as
our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be
Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense
as citizens of the State. Contemporary Pakistanis are often trying to deny this secularist call by Jinnah.
4. Seehttp://www.pakistan-embassy.com/pages/formA.htmThis url is to Pak Embassy in DC, giving the official
government form to get a passport.
5.In search of identityby Mubarak Ali. Dawn, Karachi. May 7, 2000.
6.What kind of state do we want?by Khaled Ahmed. The Friday Times. January 25, 2002.
7.Pakistan not meant to be secular. BBC,30 January, 2002.
8.In search of identityby Mubarak Ali. Dawn, Karachi. May 7, 2000.
9.The concept of Pakistanby Kamal Azfar. The Friday Times.
10. See the article titled,Separating Urdu from Sanskritat:http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/dec2001weekly/nos-23-12-2001/lit.htm#4
11. This term is named after Lord Macaulay, who pioneered the British program to replace Indian languages with
English, to remove respect for indigenous ideas and values, so as to create intellectual dependence and reverence
for the colonizers. This was a very essential part of the colonizing process, and its crushing impact is still being
12.What kind of state do we want?by Khaled Ahmed. The Friday Times. January 25, 2002.
13. Dr. P. V. Kane,History of Dharmasastra. Volume III, second edition, 1973, Bhandarkar Oriental Research
Institute, Poona. p.883.
Published: 2002

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