Friday, January 03, 2014

A Tale of Two Countries. The Genesis. Part II

In this series of posts, which should drag on for a long time, we will be exploring the genesis of India and Pakistan. We shall treat this process as a social experiment conducted on a scale never seen before by a once mighty empire on a bunch of haggled and hapless people. We shall be deliberate and slow and we shall leave nothing unexplored, as nothing is sacred in the pursuit of truth. As is the motto of the great Nation of India: "सत्यमेव जयते" which means The truth alone triumphs, so shall it be ours.


 The "Three Nation Theory"

So the whole world is afraid to pass judgment, we on the other, us relentless warriors of truth, have no such reservations. The idea is that no idea is so sacred that it cannot be questioned. And no conclusion reached shall be ignored or stifled no matter how uncomfortable.

The genesis for Pakistan is this thing called the 'Two Nation Theory' which basically said that the India of yore was essentially two nations meshed together through the vicissitudes of fate. One the Muslim nation and the other the Hindu nation and the Muslims felt no fraternal love towards their Hindu brethren. They felt that like oil and water, they'd never mix. These two cultures held nothing in common they said, perhaps it is true that their religion had made them different. Maybe it shaped their worldview away from that of the native Hindus. What matters most however is that the British concurred, and in a truly European sense of urgency set about methodically taking this idea to its inevitable outcome; The Partition.

(I am one of those Indians that is thankful for that. Like the Americans like to say, 'we dodged a bullet there.')

Pakistan was created in two halves no less, West and East Pakistan. Separated by the Himalayas, and the Gangetic plain and the vast wheat fields of Punjab, and the mutual un-intelligibility of two languages from different families, and indeed genetic material, the two halves were as distinct as rice and wheat, thereby lending credence to the idea that this was as moronic a move as it was bold. One has to wonder what the British Empire was thinking, even after taking into consideration that this might have been one of its swan songs, one of the last few stutters before its end, and thank god for that. The British Empire's chickens have come home to roost but that is a topic for later.

Now, let's throw a spanner into our own flow of discussion in order to sanity check this spectacle. Remember that the Two Nation Theory is what led to the creation of this new Islamic Paradise. Pakistan's two halves were created because they were different from the idol-worshiping Hindus. By extension, this means that the two halves of Pakistan were similar if not exactly then at least sufficiently so, for them to not ask for independence from each other. Otherwise this would have been the Three Nation Theory.

Anyway, that is how it went, we now had Hindu India, and the new 'Pakistan' One in the west and one in the east. An Islamic 'Paradise' where one was "free to go to one's Temple or Mosque..." where in spite of the myriad differences listed above, all that mattered was that both these parts shared the same religious identity and that that alone was enough for them to feel like one and to keep them together. They were after all one nation; one united, but dichotomous, half of the Two Nation's of the Two Nation Theory Fame. The 'Other' was India. Hindu India. It is NOT the Three Nation Theory silly!

Let us mull over all of this for a bit shall we?

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