Indian Muslims

21 Mar

The Urdu-speaking population which migrated from India at the time of Partition came in two categories: 1) the upper-crust or the elite class which settled in such places as Clifton, Bath Island, PECHS and later Defence; and 2) the somewhat less well-off which settled in Nazimabad, Liaquatabad and later Korangi, etc.

Regardless of class differences, this migrant population as a whole was literate, cultured and gifted – in many ways more sophisticated than the Punjabi farmer, the Sindhi Hari, the Pathan labourer or the Baloch camel driver.

There was no television back then, only newspapers…concentrated in two large centres, Lahore and Karachi. Lahore newspapers were Punjabi dominated; Karachi newspapers, which soon outnumbered any other, were dominated, as to a large extent they still are, by Urdu speakers.

The Punjabi feudal class, very much a part of the ruling elite, was mainly interested in preserving its privileges and its landholdings. As an expression of its conservative if not reactionary political outlook, it was also in favour of joining up with the western camp as cold war warriors. Even if India had not been a security concern, the Punjabi feudal was socially and historically programmed to look towards Washington and London, not Moscow.

This was an ingrained reaction, part of the Punjabi feudal’s psyche. But insofar as the new state started developing a conscious thinking, a set of beliefs and convictions, this process was heavily influenced by the Urdu-speaking elite. Steeped in the ‘tehzeeb’ of Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal and Hyderabad Deccan, Urdu speakers had articulation and eloquence at their command. They also had a certain moral standing in that they could claim to be the progenitors or the vanguard of the Pakistan movement.

Allama Iqbal indeed delivered his Allahabad address, in which the germ of the Pakistan idea can be detected, but the Pakistan movement, the idea of a separate state, really developed in the Urdu-speaking heartland of north, middle and south India.

The holocaust of Partition took place in Punjab, the Muslim setting upon the Sikh and the Hindu, and the Hindu and Sikh setting upon the Muslim. The East Punjabi migrant came with the clothes on his back. But the Urdu-speaking elite of Delhi, Lucknow and the Deccan…they were men of ideas. They brought their distinctive thinking, their good ideas and their prejudices, with them. And it was only natural that these ideas and prejudices would become part of the thinking of the new state.

So from this elite we got the obsession with India, the overriding concern with security, the sense of a land under siege, threatened by conspiracies and enemies. Surrounded on three sides by India and on the fourth by the sea, East Pakistan had greater reason to feel threatened. But here it was the other way round. West Pakistan, or at least its elites, felt threatened by India. The Bengali intelligentsia was more concerned by the economic and political domination of West Pakistan. Both parts of Pakistan thus had their burdens but of a different kind.

So the one gift, from the Urdu-speaking elite, was that distinct brand of thinking later to be known as the ideology of Pakistan. The second gift, but much later, was from the non-elite Urdu-speaking class: the MQM. It is a matter of opinion which is the tougher nut to crack, the ideology of Pakistan or the MQM. As things stand, there is no escaping the one or the other.

Other nations may be in the business of creating wealth and improving the living conditions of their people. In Pakistan we are still stuck with arguments about the meaning of Pakistan – 67 years after the country’s founding. Equally vexed is the status of the MQM. Successive governments, successive military commands, have tried to tame it, or at least defang it…its fangs known to be pretty sharp. The effort has failed although for the first time we may be getting the sense that it is getting somewhere.

I forget. Two other gifts from the same wellspring are also worthy of mention: 1) the Urdu TV drama which has its diehard votaries but which, all in all, is perhaps a mixed blessing because watching it you get the feeling that the marriage gone wrong, or the marriage encountering the mother-in-law problem, is Pakistan’s foremost problem, perhaps even graver than its relationship with India; and 2) the Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi being also a migrant from India. If he had not chosen to come and if he had done his preaching there, to India’s lasting benefit no doubt, wouldn’t some things have been different in Pakistan?

Punjabis by weight of numbers and other things dominate the Pakistan left by the departure of East Pakistan. Punjabis are a gifted race, no doubt, but also bull-headed in many ways. They were the slowest to wake up to the implications of Partition. It should have been obvious that if the call for Pakistan reached the point of no return a line would be drawn through the heart of Punjab. But Punjab lay totally unprepared. So when Partition came it hit it like a tidal wave, sweeping all before it.

Still, it goes to the credit of the Punjabi – both the one who was here and the one who came from across the border – that the process of assimilation was so successful, this constituting one of the success stories of Pakistan.

Somewhat less successful has been the saga of ideology. Punjab played second fiddle in the drama by the name of the ideology of Pakistan. It did not invent it or write its script. But through a process of transference the bell or talli of this ideology now hangs around its neck, and so where the Punjabi bullock plods this bell rings.

I hasten to add that this is not so at the mass level. The ordinary Punjabi couldn’t care less if the school of ideology went out of business tomorrow. But when it comes to claptrap and ideology – whether neo-conservatism in the United States, Hindu revivalism in India, or born-again Islam in Pakistan – a professional class of thekedars or contractors comes into being…and long after the rest of the world has moved on these contractors keep on ploughing their angry furrows.

The funny thing is that some of the best and brightest in the Urdu-speaking community have moved to greener pastures in the Gulf, Canada and the United States. But the insecurities and anxieties which marked the intellectual life of their community have become the thinking of the Pakistani establishment.

Pakistan as a fortress of Islam…this is the highest expression, the distilled essence, of the ideology of Pakistan. As a sign of the growing maturity of the Pakistani mind, mercifully it is heard less and less. Those mouthing it even look slightly embarrassed at times…which of course is another healthy sign.

But the MQM remains, a bone difficult to throw out and difficult to swallow. But for the first time the agencies concerned are opting for the indirect approach, taking on the MQM not frontally but from the flanks, and employing the principles of psychological warfare, applying pressure drip by drip. This is putting the MQM on the defensive.

Tailpiece: Although the agencies could still be slightly more intelligent with what they are doing. For instance, since when did condemned prisoners start recording video messages from their death cells? And since when did dons or political leaders start ordering assassinations on open telephone lines, that too from London? The whole Saulat Mirza expose sounds pretty amateurish. Surely the agencies, with their long experience, can do much better.

Email: bhagwal63@gma

Letter

17 Aug

 This text is from the Achtiname (ashtinameh or ahdnama) Covenant of the Prophet Muhammad claimed to have been personally bestowed on the Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai in the second year of the Hijrah as protection of Christians living under Muslim rule. It was dictated by the Prophet and inscribed by Ali bin Abi Talib. The original was taken to Istanbul by the Ottoman Caliph Selim I in 1517 and replaced with a certified copy.
According to the monks, the Prophet visited the monastery, built at the foot of Mount Sinai where Moses is believed to have received the Ten Commandments, and enclosing the site where Moses is supposed to have seen the burning bush. The living bush on its grounds is purportedly the one seen by Moses. 
St. Catherine’s is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Interfaith marriage

17 Aug

 

“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.

 

No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.

 

No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.

 

No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.

 

Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”

 

Our ills.

12 May

I do agree and accept it as a cultural land mark Look in the mirror of the nation it is a burned face and chopped nose . This is going on for generations.Have you heard any Khutba in the mosque ? It appears our religion supports it and there is no Hadith against it. Educating women will make them independent and bring up civilized citizen so we burn the schools.Subjugation and keeping a people in bondage is our i fate. No political party talks about feudal except MQM but with their media reputation we don’t have to hear from them. We have to put in concerted efforts to do what is undoable.1 Ask the religious pulpit to raise their voice every Friday against this and other barbarian and unethical issues.Doesn’t Islam teach us to lead a pious life ? Is this not Taqwa ?. 2.School for girls if we want to change the culture in the long run and bring prosperity to the country. 3. Mother of all problems , the feudal system to release people from subjugation and bondage and make the country the granary of Umma if not for others. Alas this will not happen as our ruling class is busy in victimization and we have no visionary as well as quality of people is poor because of mental subjugation and the kind of Islam we practice.

Madrassa

8 Mar
    • Sir, its a vast subject in itself. However I will try to give you a very short glimps of it.

      The history of Madrasa education in India starts with the establishment of Maktabs and Madrasas in the towns of Sind, Dabel, Mansura, Multan by the Arab traders and settlers in 10th Century. Oudh, Multan, Lahore, Khairabad, Patna, Surat, Delhi, Agra, were the main centres of Madrasa education and Islamic studies. They multiplied during the period of Muhammad Ghouri, Iltutmish, Allauddin Khilji, Tughloq and Sikandar Lodhi. The surveys revealed that in 1995 there were about 125000 Madrassas in India. The Madrassas has provided us qualified leaders in religious as well as Social and Political spheres.

      However, the education in these institution were short of definite aims and objectives, unscientific approaches, lack of basic facilities like buildings, classrooms, furniture, blackboards and other equipments. The teachings techniques were traditional and outdated, lacking coordination between sects, defective system of examination and evaluation, poor financial conditions of teachers and institutions, lack planning and coordination etc. Madarassas are also lacking in innovations, experimentation and researches. A lot of thought have gone into it to integrate them with modern education system of the country. The linkages were established between these madarassas authorities and training institutes of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad. Madarassas now have linkages with main stream Universities like Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh University etc. A lot of emphasis is also provided to education of Muslim and rural girls who are lagging behind in Indian education system.

      The Ministry of Human Resources Development, GOI has made an elaborated “Scheme to Provide Quality Education in Madrasas (known as SPQEM Scheme). It is for qualitative improvement in Madrasa education to integrate them with national education system. To know details about the Scheme and its working please visit:http://mhrd.gov.in/qualityeduc… .

      The Zakat Foundation of India is also helping a lot in this direction. Please visit:http://www.zakatindia.org/SPQE… . Just a search hit to ‘SPQEM Scheme’ will make you understand the working of this movement in different states of India.

       
       
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        thoughtpurification  SKChadha • 2 days ago

        Thank you for your elaborate answer.We are 98% muslim country and a system of education on the model of AMU will be a good model. Up to high school we do not need brain washing system but rather brain developing system in 98% of the population. Christian western models are another useful system

         
         
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          SKChadha  thoughtpurification • 2 days ago

          Thanks, One has to select the best from all systems for human growth in this competitive world.

           
           
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            thoughtpurification  SKChadha • a day ago

            System for growth should divorce religion .

             
             
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              SKChadha  thoughtpurification • a day ago

              I disagree, Sir.

              To me no religion, faith or deen teach us to do it. We have many Institutions in India apart from Aligarh Muslim University’ and they are of International acclamation. Such Islamic centers include ‘Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi’, ‘Hamdard University, New Delhi’, ‘Osmania University, Hyderabad’ Aliah University, Kolkata’, ‘Anjuman-i-Islam, Mumbai’, ‘Darul Uloom Deoband, Saharanpur’. Please visit their sites and understand the work performed by them in the field of education and training. It is not only Islamic educational centers which are on focus. The institutions of other faiths (only few mentioned) include like ‘Banaras Hindu University, Banaras’, ‘Gurukul Kangdi Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar’, ‘Magadh University, Bodh Gaya (Buddhism)’, ‘Christ University, Bangalore’ and hundreds of Christian Collages affiliated to Churces of North and South India providing quality education to pupil. The need is of their integration and exchange of thoughts for betterment of mankind.

              ‘Madrasatul Uloom’ was also founded by Syed Ahmad Khan in 1875 at Aligarh with this intent. Syed Ahmad was painfully conscious of the plight of Indian Muslims who were blissfully ignorant of the various developments in the field of Western sciences and philosophy and wallowed in a state of nostalgia about their glorious feudal past. Syed Ahmad realized the need of the hour – the desperate need of the Muslims to acquire contemporary education and learn the English language, which the conservatives resisted as the language spoken by the ‘mushriks’. He launched, with a missionary zeal, to establish a madrasa, a school where the Indian Muslim youth would receive definite guidelines about their future. Keeping in mind the Islamic concept of ‘deen’ balanced with ‘duniya’. This was foundation of what the entire world sees today as ‘Aligarh Muslim University’. The Centre for Promotion of Science, Aligarh Muslim University is doing commendable job to integrate Islamic values with modern requirement of the humanity.

               
               
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                thoughtpurification  SKChadha • a day ago

                What you wrote is right .but when religion is integrated with growth as a national policy then it is injurious, By the way the institutions which you mentioned happened under non religious system,. Syed Ahmad Khan was opposed and abused by the religiously inclined individuals and organizations. See what Taliban did in Afghanistan tough they are sitting more than trillion $ of wealth underground.

                 
                 
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                  SKChadha  thoughtpurification • 16 hours ago

                  I do not deny what you said. It is correct that institutions which I mentioned were established during British Period. However, the Indian history what we read can’t forget the contribution of Akbar in education which continued during the period of Shahjahan and Jahangir. Read about education in India at: http://www.nios.ac.in/media/do… . Read page 259-261 about Mughal contribution in promoting education. Read in more detail at: http://www.shvoong.com/humanit… .

                  It is also true that Mughal’s were invaders and nobody accept invaders. But when we discuss historical facts, most of us believe that we have neither been indoctrinated by our main stream educational institutions/ government nor any move in this direction is acceptable to communities.

True Leader

8 Dec

As I said before hang around and you will agree with me. Pakistan is in my blood and I am like a brick in the foundation, I feel every jolt. I do not believe in speculation though I hear many because of knowing people with knowledge in Lahore . Anybody who has done wrong wether CJ , Musharraf , Zardari . Sharif and their Holiness the “Mullah ” should bear the consequences. We have to be purist for the love of our country. My criteria is in strict constitutional democracy and fair periodic elections . Parliament should be supreme , though one may see the tyranny of majority once in a while , if that happens let the voters take care of it . Micromanagement by any institution should not be allowed. Secular set up allows complete freedom of basic human values including freedom of religion and not otherwise with theocracy which is a permanent community tyranny imposed on populace. A theostatic culturally muslim state was the aim of Pakistan movement. If you follow the historical evolution since 1906 you will find that it was the aim in a secure defined borders , Many leaders over time played there part and died. Nobody was better or superior including Gama on Allama Iqbal Road in Lahore. Jinnah took the command at the end of the line and did his job well. He is the Father of the Nation and his words are final. Zardari , Kyani and Iftikhar are history. We can dissect their acts but they should not have any bearing on the present decision making. Thats how democracy evolves.You are living in one of the most democratic country. See what happens to ex president. The sanctity given to the elected president over rules everything and thats why I respected Zardari . I did not care for him with dubious history. He was elected by the biggest majority in Pakistan history with fair election. Credit should be given to him for diluting the power of presidency and gave away the authority which brought difficulties in the past. He also was the glue which held the democratic institution together and for the first times in history had a peaceful transfer of power after a full term. You know how Sharif brothers and CJ made things difficult for him. Thats why I call him a master politician. If we can separate Musharraf the dictator to Musharraf the leadr then lot of credits are due to him, Local government reform with Nazim system was an excellent vehicle to train politicians, administrators , local control and Psyche for political maturity. Establishment of 62 institution of higher learnings , development of Independent media will be remembered as his everlasting contribution unless they are reversed. I wish Sharif brothers will come out of traders mentality but I think there is genetic deficiency. $ 4.2 million watch is hard to explain. I am not writing this to win a cookie point or win an argument but to point out that anybody who has a vision for long term is a true leader. It helps if they are also good administrator.

Solution

22 Nov

Problems have been there for ever, He is recognizing them now and knows no more extensions for him. Our quality of people is poor as they are drawn from a smaller pool. We have dearth of talent We have 2% collage graduates ,not an adequate Critical mass to produce excellence. To remedy it our social structure has to change 95% land is owned by 5%of the people. Our education level is like sub Sahara Africa. We must pay compliment to Musharraf for opening 68 universities . Local government introduced by him is the only way to have participation and training of masses for political awareness and leadership.Its not only changed but fragmented. We are going to be ruled by those who won’t be answerable to us. Our social structure should produce informed productive citizen who are knowledgeable and that can only happen with education and basic political education to masses and agrarian reform and manageable provinces. At the moment we only beg Allah to give us everything in this world without effort and Jannah hereafter and resent the west because they are prosperous. We are talking about Ummah which does not exist an abstract concept unifying 68 extremely diverse people.It is a fool’s paradise.Why there is no Christian , jewish Ummah. Its not there because they are realistic.

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