SECULAR JINNAH BY Bashy Quraishy

Family of the Heart - DIALOGUE & DISCUSSIONS 

 Dear Mr. Ahsan

Thanks for your elaborative remarks on my comments to your earlier posting; Jinnah of Pakistan.

It is always interesting to read other people’s reflections on ones own thoughts and especially those who avoid the subject at hand and try to shave a bald man. 

Anyhow, since you have totally misread or intentionally misrepresent as to what, I have said in my comment, I take this opportunity to explain myself again.

When I am explaining the difference between the living conditions of Pakistanis and the way, Muslims are treated in India, I am just observing a prevailing situation. There are many Indian Muslims as well as non-Muslims who admire Quaid and there were millions who wanted to come to Pakistan in 1947 but due to great distances, lack of support from British authorities and fear of massacres prevented them to leave. Go to Bihar and Hyderabad and talk to, people. I would never blame those who were left behind or stayed behind. They are poor not because they are not admirer of Quaid but because they are treated as third class citizens in India, just above the Dallits.

You have every right to doubt the sincerity of Quaid but do it on solid grounds, research and with a purpose; otherwise it would be no more than conjecture. When you say that Quaid-e-Azam’s real aim of creating Pakistan was not a secular democracy because he lacked courage and had another vision, namely an Islamic state and his hesitation is a sign of his doubtful sincerity, you indulge in rhetoric which is not backed by historians and scholars. 

I strongly believe in self-criticism, but not in self-denial or self hate which some modern day Pakistanis academics, intellectuals and journalists indulge in.

You keep on saying that Pakistan is a religious state. If that was true, then how come, religious parties do not get more than 3% votes in national elections?  Just look at the lat election. Who won, not the religious parties but PPP, MQM and ML (N).

I gather that you believe that secularism entails that there should be no state religion or equivalent, meaning a state which is totally cleansed of religion.

If we were living in an ideal world, it may be possible to have a perfect secularism but there is no country in the world, where there is total separation of state and religion.

I live in Denmark, which is proud to call itself a secular democracy. So some extent, it is true too but if you dig deeper, you will find that the Danish king or Queen has to be a Christian, the country has a State paid Ministry of Churches, State pays for the upkeep of its churches and pay the priests, a big red Cross in its flag, the parliament starts its session with a Christian mass, is closed on Xmas and Easter holidays and the list goes on and on. 

The reason, I cited Quaid’s statement which clearly separates State and religion, is to show you the true intentions of Quaid. You can reject it or accept it but the historical events are not dependant on your whims.

Quaid’s greatest achievement was the creation of Pakistan, whose air we have been breathing, on whose passport we have traveled and which would always remain my identity. We like it or not but this is the fact. You may call me a nationalist or a naïve patriot. Pakistan is a reality and what we do with it, is our sacred duty, responsibility and not Quaid’s. The sad situation, Pakistan finds itself is not due to lack of appreciation of secularism on Quaid’s part, or Islam’s role in Pakistan but the miss management by politicians, establishment and many external forces. By the way, I am totally non-practicing person when it comes to religion, so you cannot point a finger towards me for being a religious person.

That is why, I find it futile to discuss in 2010, if Quaid was a secularist or a lover of Islam. I hope that people like you would understand it.

In the end, may I recommend two books, which may give you some food for thought and shed the true light on Quaid’s dreams and aspirations?

First, Verdict on India by Beverley Nichols.1944, especially the chapter; Dialogue with a Giant. The second book is: Jinnah of Pakistan by Stanley Wolpert.1984.  

Kind regards

Bashy Quraishy
Chief Editor - MediaWatch - Denmark
Board Member - Institute for Human Rights -Denmark
Board Member - World Cultural Center - Copenhagen
Mobile; 0045 40 15 47 71
Phone; 0045 38 88 19 77

 

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