Monday, May 2, 2011

Pakistan was created for the wrong reasons; It’s now suffering for the same.....And why Osama’s death could be bad for India

Pakistan was created for all the wrong reasons. It came into existence simply as a result of the belief of a few muslims in pre-1947 India that they would not be safe in India post-independence. They felt that they required a separate identity. Their religion would be the reason for the existence of their country. Jinnah took advantage of the sentiments of “his” people, and mounted a movement for the creation of Pakistan. To put pressure on the British to divide India, Jinnah fomented communal violence in August 1946; convincing the British that Hindus and Muslims could not live together. Eventually, the British had to yield....and Pakistan was born.

A country born in this “strategic” use of violence and bound to suffer. Right from its birth, the country has been in trouble. Religion was supposed to be the unifying factor for the country. People were expected to feel as one because of their religion. Pakistan forgot that what unifies is not religion, but culture and language and shared history. Because the only thing that defined Pakistan was religion, it was created in a deformed shape, with its two parts – East and West – far removed from each other. Very soon, it realized that though East Pakistan was also Muslim, that was not enough to keep it united. Soon, Bangladesh was born and Pakistan learnt the lesson the hard way. But did it? It also soon realized that just because the country was built for and by muslims alone, it was not reason enough to believe that all people were committed to nation building. Soon, the rogues amongst its citizenry took the law in their own hands and a series of dictators followed. Pakistan lost its democracy. How could Pakistan have democracy.....after all democracy’s basic tenet is respect for diversity; Pakistan had no diversity at all.

Violence was always the center piece of Pakistan’s diplomatic strategy. In the war against the erstwhile USSR in Afghanistan, Pakistan chose to side with the US. It was happy to be used as the US’s benaami fighter. India, though aligned with the USSR at that time, wanted no piece of the action in Afghanistan. It stayed away. But Pakistan was happy to fight on behalf of the US. A nation which is happy to become another’s proxy should not complain that its sovereignty has been usurped by that nation. Musharraf’s complaint on this today is laughable. Why did he not do anything to change the course of Pakistan when he had absolute power in his own hands?

Pakistan’s birth pangs also made it anti-India from the start. Usually, one would expect that the pain of Partition would have brought a bit of sense of restraint and maturity to both nations; not so Pakistan. It must have hurt when the world referred to Pakistan as an earlier part of India. It had no history....all of that belonged to India. And when India helped create Bangladesh, Pakistan became a permanent enemy of India. More importantly, it perpetuated its strategic choice of violence as a tool of diplomacy. To constantly fight India, it needed an excuse. A war was a short-lived and usually self-harming way of engaging India.....and hence the Kashmir problem was created in the 1990s. Pakistan’s mind worked smartly like that of a terrorist’s....the Kashmir strategy was a smart one. It helped distract its own people away from what they really wanted – economic progress – which they were not witnessing. It helped them deploy the muhahideen who were rendered spare after the Afghan war ended. It also made India look wrong – that India was “squatting” on Kashmir was a credible possibility. It was a masterstroke no doubt; but the point is that if a country’s biggest masterstroke is in the area of violence and terrorism, it cannot augur well for that country.

Citizens of a country which practices terrorism as its policy are bound to practice the same policy themselves. The number of Pakistanis involved in worldwide terrorism acts is so huge it would appear that terrorism was a large export earner for their country. It was alright when Pakistan’s terrorists were fighting the US’s enemies; but when they started targeting US and Western Europe, Pakistan just went too far. It had to be controlled. The relentless drone attacks the US has been conducting in Pakistan was proof of the US’s trust gap with Pakistan....and its determination to control that country.

There is a lesson for India in all this. We Indians take our democracy too lightly. We do not cherish it enough. All the media assaults on politicians; all the morchas and tamashas; the batallion of activists; the freedom of speech; the RTI; these are all taken for granted. Democracy today is “our way of life”. The biggest strength of India is its diversity. Any student of metallurgy knows that a single metal may be weak; but an alloy made with other metals is strong. India is that alloy. That’s why the BJP’s positioning of Hindutva is fundamentally flawed. It would leave India a divided country. There could possibly be another Pakistan created. If not outside India, inside it. Imagine, the kind of problems we would have then. Remember the days when the demand for Khalistan was raging? If a Hindu rashtra was created, what would prevent a Brahmin rashtra, a Shudra rashtra from being demanded? In its search for power, the BJP has played a dirty and dangerous game; it has refused to learn from Pakistan’s experience. Political parties in the developed world position themselves on different economic ideologies....usually a right-of-center (economic liberalization) v/s left-of-center (socialistic) philosophies.....never on religious grounds. The Democrats in the US are left-of-center on economic policy (they want a bigger role for government, more taxes, more socialistic schemes); the Republicans are right-of-center (small role, small taxes, government shouldn’t run Medicare etc). Likewise in the UK, the Tories, Labor and LibDems all have divergent views on economic policies. Of course, they also have differences on how modern or conservative a society should be....but those are relatively smaller issues.

Religion divides. Everyone knows that. Those who have read history know it. That’s the real reason why Europe does not want to include Turkey in the EU. Turkey is a secular country, but its people are all muslim. Turkey is a cultural misfit with Europe. That’s also the real battle in Sudan. North and South Sudan are now getting created with one being muslim and the other Christian. Most battles that happen worldwide are on religious grounds. The trust gap between the Christian and Muslim worlds is historic. Remember the crusades the Church ordered against the muslims in the 11th century? India must learn from all this. If anything, we need a constitutional reform that disallows political parties formed with religion as their primary plank.

The real truth is that Pakistan is pretty must in self-destruct mode. It’s economy is growing at only 2% per annum. Even as it self-destructs, it will harm India. Its last hurrah will probably be in Kashmir. The terrorism frontier has just reached the borders of India. Osama’s death is not good for India.....if the US now leaves Afghanistan, the twin nations of Pakistan and Afghanistan will now direct their attention to India. Under the excuse of liberating “their” muslim brethren. Contrary to what people think, I believe that Osama was a good distraction for Pakistan.....and now that he’s gone, Pakistan will train its guns single mindedly on India.....


  1. True sir! Very True! Now that Osama is gone and Obama gifting tons and tons of toys (Read it as the most sophisticated weapons if you really want to :) there is no doubt that India is in the direct line of firing.

    To top it all, despite Pakistan slapping us a thousand times, be it the Mumbai attacks, numerous bomb blasts or other such unwanted "brotherly" gifts, our politicians refuse to learn a leasson and we continue to lend our cheeks for one more.

    God save us and god save our Country!

  2. Moral of the story ... 1 billion hindus living in india are impotent