Monday, March 27, 2017

Creating a New Medina - part 1

I finally had a chance to make some significant progress reading this book about the creation of Pakistan.  A bit more background might have been helpful for me before jumping into this, but thankfully we have the internet to fill in those pieces that are presumed common knowledge, like the Government of India Act of 1935 or the Lahore Resolution.

What stands out to me is the blinkered view of India by the Congress party leadership as they tried to adapt Marxist notions to South East Asia, together with Ghandi's naive efforts to make Western Unitarianism into the national religion of India.  This would preclude them from having any understanding of the Muslim League.  The Muslim Mass Contact Programme reminds me that the surreal behavior of current Western politicians towards Mohammedans is universal among leftists as they somehow imagine that they can convince ordinary Muslims that their greater interest is in the social justice offered by the Leftists, while being utterly oblivious to the Left's own fanatical religious agendas that are motivating the social justice pretext.  The early introduction in this book of recent scholarship regarding this period and the various motivations of the actors would seem to indicate that many scholars are still having trouble coming to terms with the religious motivations that drive Islam.

The third chapter introduces Ambedkar whose scientific analysis of the sectarian situation causes me to warm up to him considerably, until the remark that the Islamic mind precludes Muslims from embracing the class warfare beliefs of the Marxists.  Wondering if that was his comment or the author's?  As a Christian, I am inclined to just do away with class as much as is feasible, but don't see much point in stirring up a war over it, and/or deliberately creating class divisions for the purpose of fomenting class warfare so that I can become a hero in the war.  At this point things are moving optimistically towards a separate state solution, with some ominous comments about hostage populations.

I am about 1/3 of the way through the book.  There is a sense that this is just scratching the surface of one thread of a complex piece of history as British India is transformed into the current modern state(s).


Rummuser said...

One book will not be enough. In fact, I don't think that reading about Pakistan will be of help in understanding it. There is always the larger issue of Islam. its own internal contradictions, and the predominant Punjabi control of all matters in Pakistan that makes all the others like the Sindhis, the Balochis, the Afghans and overriding them all, the original immigrants from India called Mohajirs and their descendants, restless. I wish you all the very best in your attempts to understand that nation.

Looney said...

This is one where I am more trying to make an inventory of the things that I don't know, which is quite a long list and always growing! It has certainly been an entertaining intro and I am happy you pointed me this way.