Original Sin:Blogger Advani defends Jinnah comment, again

Who’s the real Pakistani? Advani or Jinnah!

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These unprovoked remarks of Advani (about Jinnah) are confusing the minds of fascists and secularists. It is the old agenda of the Mukota (mask of deception). It is well-known that Advani has his roots in Lahore, Pakistan.

The fallout of partitition is that all the relatives of Jinnah are in India (NOT in Pakistan), and NOT Muslims (but Parsis). This is the paradox of life.

Some Indians who were originally from Pakistan, have created a havoc for the rest of us Indians to bear (in terms of being fascist leaders of communalism, discrimination and fascism). Most others have progressed in life, to create businesses in India and abroad.

Should the rest of India have to suffer still today, for the losses of these Pakistanis? Do we still have to suffer, because of the fall-out of partition? Do we still have to hear about their flip-flop politics?

Come on, make up your mind, and have a closure on the “original sin” statement whether Jinnah is the best secularist! And make up your mind, whether you are a secularist or pseudo-secularist!

India needs more debates about partition, fascism, communalism, secularism and terrorism.


Original Sin:Blogger Advani defends Jinnah comment, again

Jan 10, 2009

New Delhi There is a new star in the blogosphere from the galaxy of politicians. It is none other than BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani who has used the cyber tool to justify his controversial comments on Pakistan founder M A Jinnah that had sparked a furore.

The 81-year-old BJP leader has started blogging on his website and in his latest writing on Friday he explained how his meeting with the then Ramkrishna Mission chief Swami Ranganathananda had led him to make the Jinnah comment in a “subconscious way” over three years back.

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“Swamiji(Ranganathananda), in particular, lauded Jinnah’s historic speech in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11 August 1947 and said, “The true exposition of the meaning of secularism can be found in this speech. In a subconscious way, this last conversation with Swamiji was to play a decisive contributory role in my own remarks about Jinnah when I went to Pakistan in May-June 2005,” he writes in his blog.

Advani had to resign from the party president post after his comments earned the ire of RSS. In his latest blog entry he also talks in detail about his association with late Swamiji and the memories of association with him since his days in Karachi before partition.

“Our conversation at this last meeting (in 2003 in Kolkata) centred on our days in Karachi, the tragic developments triggered by Partition and the role of Mohammed Ali Jinnah,” he writes.

Advani describes the Swami as one of the brightest spiritual lights that shone upon Indian society in our times quoting from his autobiography ‘My Country My life’.

“My last meeting with him was in 2003, when I had gone to Kolkata for a function, and Swamiji, after having become the all-India President of the Ramakrishna Mission, was living at Belur Math, the missions headquarters in the city. During the last three years of my life in Karachi, every Sunday evening, I started going to the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram to listen to the discourses on the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Ranganathananda. I was as much fascinated by Swamiji’s personality,” he adds.

“Once when Swamiji was delivering a lecture on Islam and Prophet Mohammed in Karachi, one person entered the hall and sat in the last row. It was Mohammed Ali Jinnah. After the lecture, Jinnah reportedly rushed to the dais and said, Swamiji, so far I had believed that I am a real Muslim. After listening to your speech, I understand that I am not. But with your blessings, I will try to become a real Muslim,” writes Advani.

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The blogspace of Advani promises to have two more writings from the BJP leader in a week and also invites comments from readers.

Advani, who has a dedicated website on his name, writes, “I was told that a website without a blog is a like having a letter without signature.”

Advani has joined the league of leaders who blog including Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The former deputy prime minister has also promised to increase the quantum of writing as the Lok Sabha election campaign picks up pace.

One thought on “Original Sin:Blogger Advani defends Jinnah comment, again

  1. This is the write-up by Mani Shankar Aiyar of the Congress Party (also born in Lahore) in 2005. There is the counter-point by Murli Manohar Joshi of the BJP in the same media. Are they still relevant today? Do you think think so?

    I am not at all surprised at L.K. Advani’s discovery of Mohammad Ali Jinnah because they really are such similar people. Advani believes that India is a secular country because it is a Hindu country, and Jinnah believed that Pakistan was a secular country because it was a Muslim country. And because both their credentials in secularism are based on religious nationalism, I am not surprised that Advani, who thinks of himself as secularist, should think Jinnah was secular. The fact of the matter is that Jinnah did want Hindu and Muslim communities to live together in a single country. But right from the beginning of his career, he felt that Muslims, being a minority, would need to protect themselves against Hindu chauvinism in order to ensure a secular polity. And Advani being a Hindu in a Hindu minority province had exactly the same complex-that the Hindus had to protect themselves against the Muslim majority if they were to live in a secular polity, whereas a true secular person like Mahatma Gandhi realised that secularism arose from the majority community having a sense of duty towards the minority and ensuring that the minority was able to protect its identity while at the same time belonging to a larger entity called Mother India.

    A great secularist like Jawaharlal Nehru could not bring himself to think of people in terms of only one dimension-the religious dimension. In the Gandhian or Nehruvian sense of the term, neither Jinnah nor Advani is secular. They are communal people aspiring to secularism. And in both cases, there has been a certain opportunism. So long as Advani is happily ensconced in a Hindu country and calls the Muslims of India, Hindu Muslims, and the Christians of India, Hindu Christians, while maintaining that India is a secular country, he is able to proclaim himself secular. But he is not able to detach himself from the religious identities of different communities. On the other hand, Gandhi, being deeply religious, found there was a manifestation of divinity in every human being and in every community, and believed that in order to become a better Hindu he had to read the Sermon on the Mount and the Holy Koran every day.

    There were many points in Jinnah’s political life when he attempted to reconcile a basic modern secularism with a search for community identity. At the end of the day, he failed. Any student of Pakistan knows-maybe it is a discovery for Advani-that on August 11, 1947, Jinnah proclaimed a secular Pakistan and on August 14, 1947, he started a non-secular Pakistan. What the Partition riots were to Jinnah, the mob that attacked the Babri Masjid was to Advani. In exactly the same way as Jinnah was an impotent spectator to the violation of every human value during the vicious riots of Partition so was Advani to the destruction of the Babri Masjid. Had Advani been secular in the Gandhian sense, he would have done what Gandhi did and walked under the Babri Masjid gumbad and stopped the destruction. But because he is not a secular man, he is also a coward, and in an attempt to flatter his hosts he took some lines from the Jinnah that did exist on August 11, 1947, but ceased to exist on August 14, 1947, and tied himself up in knots.

    Advani the communalist has led to a totally confused Advani the secularist in the same way a totally confused Jinnah the secularist became Jinnah the communalist. In Jinnah, Advani has discovered a mirror image of himself.

    Mani Shankar Aiyar is Union minister for petroleum and natural gas and author of Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist.
    The opinions expressed in this column are his personal views.

    Rethinking Separatism

    The debate is not about Jinnah alone. It is about why elements of separatism were created and why they continue to exist in India.
    By Murli Manohar Joshi

    Let me make it very clear. As far as the BJP and the RSS are concerned, the issue raised by L.K. Advani is closed. Once a statement has been issued to which he also has been a party, it is clear that we reject both Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s secular credentials as well as his two-nation theory. On a personal level, though, I feel that conditions still persist for a debate, and it is not about Jinnah alone. It has to be debated in a wider context. It is about why elements of separatism were created and why they continue to exist in some parts of India. Why was Pakistan formed? If the reasons for it still persist, then they need to be tackled. It is a historical fact that there were Muslim separatists led by Jinnah and counter elements led by the Congress in the run-up to Partition. Let the present generation also know what happened-it’s not as if they don’t care about their history.

    We do not need to look at one paragraph of one speech that Jinnah may have made. We have to assess his entire contribution to Partition. What happened to make the separatist elements led by Jinnah so violent that they had to resort to direct action? If Jinnah’s two-nation theory was valid, then India would not have the world’s second largest Muslim population co-existing by and large peacefully with Hindus. Is Jinnah valid at all for Indian Muslims? If he were, then they would not be living in a secular polity. I do not consider Muslims to be a minority. They are not foreigners who came with Babar or Nadir Shah or any other invader. Ninety-nine per cent of them are Hindus who have converted to Islam. They must share the same historical heritage as the rest of the nation. This has to be highlighted. If we treat Muslims or Christians as minorities then we are confirming Jinnah’s two-nation theory.

    I believe we are all one nation-call it a Hindu rashtra, Bharat rashtra or Indian rashtra. If the quarrel is about words alone, it is a minor one and can be sorted out. The basic point is that even the Supreme Court has said that Hinduism is not so much a religion as a way of life, a system of life values and a feeling of equal respect for all religions. We were known as Hindustan before the Muslims and the Christians came to live here. The Muslims did not feel they were a minority under Mughal rule. Is it that they consider themselves a minority only when they are not in control? There is a mainstream history that has portrayed them as such, influenced as it is by colonial and Marxist schools of thought. This is the school of thought which blames Hindu separatism for Muslim separatism. But all this needs to be re-examined. Was Jinnah secular? And should his two-nation theory not be repudiated?

    The attempt so far has been to not stir a debate because it will create annoyance in the minds of Muslims. Why have we placated one side and accused another for so many decades? After all, there are factors on which the Congress also contributed to Partition. Why doesn’t anyone talk about that? The debate has started and now it should take a more rational and healthy direction. Only then will future generations know the reasons for the persistent hostility between India and Pakistan. It is the duty of politicians, political thinkers and historians to examine the grounds on which India was partitioned and ensure the reasons do not recur.

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