2ndlook

Why Do We Love Our Invaders So Much?

Posted in British Raj, Desert Bloc, History, India, Indo Pak Relations, Propaganda by Anuraag Sanghi on August 7, 2012

 

Colonial history produces in the minds of many English-speaking Indians, the belief that India has been a rather frequent military loser – even though facts are otherwise.

Colonial history, left largely untouched after Indian Independence, produces it own kinds of stunted minds. A 2ndlook reader responded with a revealing comment.

being a Hindu from east India (Bengal – Assam), believe me I would Any Day prefer the british or east India company, rather than live under nawab’s, muslim league, tikka khans (u know who was tikka khan, maybe you don’t know about the pakistan genocide of east bengali hindus in 70-71).

Ever head of the begali hindu renassiance in the 18-19 centuries (or for that matter the general Hindu reniasance all over india). I am sure u’ll be upset / angry / bitter to learn that it started once the british has booted out the nawbs / mughals

Koenraad Elst, recently wrote a blog-post calling Hindus cowards, questioning if they are all right in all the departments. All this because Hindus were not hounding out Muslims from India – or at least making them second-class citizens, if not putting them in concentration camps.

To make this point, Elst picked up on India’s partition (1947) into India and Pakistan (to later subdivide into Pakistan and Bangla Desh.).

Anglophiles apart, it is an accepted reading of events for the 1940-1947 period when the Partition was formalized, that the British did encourage Jinnah to make strident, aggressive claims for disproportionate authority and veto powers in the soon-to-be independent India – failing which, India must be partitioned.

Some 2ndlookers felt that Elst’s absolution given to the British, for the Partition of India was a trial balloon by vested interests. A logical doubt, as Koenraad Elst’s writing has been suspect – and his ‘scholarship’ distasteful.

It is Elst’s proposition in his post (linked above) – unsupported by any facts, links, citations, references that the British wanted a united India – but it was Muslims led by Jinnah who wanted otherwise.

Curiously, the most significant support for Elst came from some Indians. Some interesting ramifications and reactions to this debate.

Can Pakistan let go

Posted in America, India, Indo Pak Relations, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on March 27, 2012

Pakistan is unable to deal with the loss of Bangladesh; it cannot let go of India – and Kashmir. Sometimes, to keep what you have, you have to let go.

December 16, 1971: Pakistan's Gen. A.A.K. Niazi, right, signs instrument of surrender with Indian Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora. With nearly 100,000 lakh POWs, it is ther biggest surrender in 20th century.  |  Source, courtesy & more: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1844754,00.html#ixzz1qGDC4WLj  |  Click for image.

December 16, 1971: Pakistan's Gen. A.A.K. Niazi, right, signs instrument of surrender with Indian Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora. With nearly 100,000 lakh POWs, it is ther biggest surrender in 20th century. | Source, courtesy & more: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1844754,00.html#ixzz1qGDC4WLj | Click for image.

Get up … and get on

To most Indians, the modern India is what India ever was. The loss of Pakistan to Partition evokes little emotion today among most Indians.

But for Pakistan, the loss of Bangla-Desh is still a painful wound – and evokes strong emotions. Based on second-hand reports, it seems that this pain in Pakistan is more about the defeat at the hands of India. More than any repentance for the horrors visited on Bangla-Deshis or the loss of Bangla-Desh.

Forty years on, Pakistan has still not been able to objectively look at the Bagladesh experience. In contrast, the Indian response to the 1962 experience with China is dealt with threadbare every few years.

In modern India this victory in Bangla Desh is forgotten victory. Even way back then in 1972, immediately after the victory, the full magnitude of the victory never quite sank into minds of most Indians.

Mired that they were in economic problems of their own.

Slough of despond

Forty years after the loss of Bangla-Desh, the Pakistani narrative does not recognize that Pakistan has few friends. Read this edited account by a Pakistani military official, stationed in Bangla-Desh during that key period.

If I am asked who to blame for the debacle I would say that we were all – from the common man in the street to the highest person in the office, equally responsible for it. The common man for committing the sin of keeping himself ignorant of the under currents simmering there ever since that fateful 19th day of March 1948 when Quaid raising his admonishing finger to the Bengali students at the Dacca University convocation had warned them that Urdu will be the only official state language of Pakistan, and not trying to assess the anguish caused to the Bengalis and take measures to bring any rapprochement.

Unfortunately we all treated East Pakistan as a colony and never granted them their justly deserved status of being the major human organ of Pakistan’s body – 54 percent of the population. As power barons of the Federal government mostly hailed from West Pakistan they never shared the power willingly or happily with their Bengali brethren.

Imagine, the Bengalis though in majority going jubilant in 1956 when Suhrawardy got them ‘parity’ (equal treatment) with the West Pakistanis! Ever heard of a majority people thanking obligingly the minority people for treating them equal?! We did it again in 1971. The minority pronouncing the majority unpatriotic, traitor and secessionist! Minority forcing the majority to leave the country whose foundations they had laid in 1906! Not only, that the Bengalis were treated as unequals, but it is also a fact that they were the major revenue earner for Pakistan, mainly through the export of their Golden Fibre to Manchester and Dundee jute mills in the UK. They bore the major financial burden of Pakistan and happily too for more than 15 years and until 1962 the cash flow was from East Pakistan to West Pakistan.

Thereafter, after an equilibrium of about two years the process revers ed but not that heavily. Bengalis had, therefore, every reason to be chary of and chagrin with the sala Punzabis. (every West Pakistani was a Punjabi to them).

Though the Bengalis proved themselves to be equally, if not more, patriotic than the West Pakistanis during the 65 war with India, yet the state of mutual confidence between the two left more to be desired. By 1971 the relations deteriorated further and irreversibly. The last straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was Bhutto’s rejection of 1970 election results which had given Shaikh Mujib ur Rehman’s Awami League a clear cut majority to form the government at the centre.

ZAB’s one after the other statements like “we will break the legs of anyone going to Dacca to attend the NA session there”, “Udhar tum idhar hum” and “I would rather be a top dog of half of Pakistan than be an underdog of full Pakistan” left little doubt in the minds of Mujib and company who opted for the Civil Disobedience in the province. Their provincial autonomy stance kept becoming harder by the day and all negotiations between them and the West Pakistani leaders and the Federal government led by Gen.Yahya himself failed. The civil disobedience had transformed itself into an outright mutiny and to quell it the army struck on the night of 25th March 1971, starting an internecine guerrilla war between the military and Mukti Bahini lasting for 8 long months. On 21st November 1971 – Eid Day – the Indians launched a fully fledged armed attack on East Pakistan which lasted for 26 days of intense fighting by the Pakistan army under extremely adverse conditions

India had stopped the over flights since February 70 after the clever and clandestine planting of Ganga episode

the only squadron of the F-86s that we had could not operate as the runway of the only military airport Kurmi Tola had been rendered out of operation by the Indians bombing it incessantly.

In the second half of the year 1971 those in power – both civil and military – seemed to be suffering from a stupor and behaving like silent spectators waiting helplessly for the catastrophe to fall. I distinctly remember Major General A Rahim Khan – later Secretary General Defence, while addressing a batch of newly posted two dozen Lt Cols and Majors to East Pakistan saying on or around 11 July 1971 “Gentlemen, the entire administration of the province had collapsed. I have made it stand but only on its knees. Now it will be for you to make it stand and stand it erect.” Having said that the General went on to add, “I have given my word to the Chief (Gen. Yahya) to give me three months for the task, and if I cannot do it, he can — (I murmured under my lip, hang me!) he can – replace me”.

I was shocked that the general had equated the stakes simply to his being replaced!

On another occasion Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi – alias Tiger Niazi – the GOC Eastern Command as late as in October 71, before the start of a special briefing to the visiting high powered army team from the GHQ on the latest military situation in East Pakistan, advised his senior staff officers not to depress the visiting generals from the GHQ by giving them the dismal military picture of East Pakistan or ask them for more troops. He quipped, “gentlemen, if they send us more troops – more the merrier, but if they don’t – lesser the better”.

With the result that the operational military map on the board showed more of ‘Green’ pins all over the area than the ‘Red’ pins depicting the area under Mukti Bahini control. Whereas the map should have been clustered with the Red pins. The GHQ team returned satisfied about all being hunky-dory in East Pakistan. Similar ‘Sab Achha’ reports kept ema nating from various sectors and parts of East Pakistan to West Pakistan, till the water passed over the head.

Handling of the East Pakistan issue at the International level, too, was a fiasco on our part. Not that we did not mobilise any world opinion in our favour, we on the contrary rather alienated them mostly. On the other hand Indira undertook a whirlwind tour of 19 countries in October 1971 propagating the imaginary atrocities against the Bengalis and particularly the Hindus of East Pakistan and yet assuring each one of them that India had no intentions of aggression. Ironically, while she was convincing and canvassing the world powers, her army’s Eastern Command was giving the final touches to the Attack Plan in Fort William at the eastern bank of river Hoogli, Calcutta.

Whereas in our case despite Nixon’s more or less ordering Kissinger to ‘do some thing’ their 7th Fleet just passed by the Bay of Bengal without even radioing the customary courtesy good will message or tooting its horns thrice the Navy style. I am personally witn ess to the Chinese repeated enquiries as to what could they do for us, after we had established am emergency radio link with them? But all that we could get from the stupor struck President’s Secretariat at Rawalpindi was, “Just wait, please”.

Hopes from the sincere Chinese friends were so high that when the Indian para troopers chuted down over Narain Ganj every one waived them jubilantly taking them to be Chinese coming to our aid! (via Fall of Dacca – PakTribune).

At least people in Dhaka did mistake Indians for the Chinese. | Image by Bettmann / now Corbis Liberators Dhaka residents cheer a convoy of Indian troops. | | Source, courtesy & more: http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1844754,00.html#ixzz1qGFNwfWA | Click for image.

And Col.Jafri, these people in Dhaka were cheering the Indian troops. There was no confusion there.

If you close your eyes, reality does not quite vanish …


Elections – In The Land Of The Free

Posted in Current Affairs, Feminist Issues, History, Islamic Demonization, Media, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on March 6, 2008

This is the first blog that I have written on the US Presidential election (some presidents … some election … with apologies to Winston Churchill). I hope it is the last.

‘Mizaru’ Obama

A viral email, doing the rounds, accusses Sen. Barrack Obama of a grave crime. It claims that Obama is a Muslim. The Associated Press report, says, “Presidential candidate battles misconception that he’s a Muslim”

Poor Obama! He had to take time off from his campaign to fight innuendo and smear. Fight to remove the slur from his name. Desperately, he re-butted, “I’ve been to the same church, the same Christian church, for almost 20 years” He emphasised, “in the United States Senate, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.” In case anyone gets such an email, “send it back to whoever sent it and tell them this is all crazy. Educate” the Senator earnestly advised.

Is it a crime in the land-of-the-free not to be a Christian? Does the US Constitution forbid non-Christians from holding the highest office in the land-of-the-free?

I am pretty uneducated about the land-of-the-free, Senator. In a backward country like India, voters don’t bother about religion. Our recent President was a Muslim. I rather liked him. But I must be wrong. After all, I am from a backward country. And then the Indian voter is uneducated. Can you please educate me, Senator Obama. I have heard so much about your land-of-the-free.

‘Iwazaru’ McCain

John McCain has written an inspiring bookCharacter Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember, (co authored by Mike Salter, October 25, 2005). A review (From Publishers Weekly)says that McCain is “telling 34 stories of heroes … and … the pantheon is inclusive enough to hold Aung San Suu Kyi and Gandhi alongside Churchill and Eisenhower.”

A few weeks later, after releasing this book, at the “Charlie Rose Show” Senator McCain informed the world that a Muslim had killed Gandhiji. I come from a backward country, Senator McCain. The backward school (in my backward country) I went to , told me that a Hindu killed Gandhi. Thank you for telling me the truth, Senator. I do hope you understand my disadvantage, Senator.

Only Americans tell the truth (especially if they want to become Presidents). It is not like that in my country, India. In my backward country, India, we have been told lies that Gandhi was killed by Hindus. Just imagine the lies. I am now sure that Rajiv Gandhi was also killed by Muslims and Indira Gandhi must have also been killed by a Muslim. Thank you, Senator. I can see the truth. For as they say, the truth will set you free.

‘Kikazaru’ Clinton

Now we come to the friend of India – Hillary Clinton.

She is one helluva brave lady. Imagine a woman trying to become a President in the United States of America. The US has real men. They do not want to burden women with the Presidency.

Hillary Clinton, the Brave, has further threatened, all the caveman that they should not attack America. She has cautioned America, “We have real enemies who are sitting in some cave somewhere trying to figure out how to hurt us again.” I now understand why millions of Native Americans (then aka ‘Red Indians’) were killed. The Native American Cavemen must have also done something. Otherwise, the peace loving, land-of-the-free, American nation, will not attack anybody.

American men are not backward like South Asia ‘men.’ In fact South Asia does not have enough men. Otherwise, why does South Asia have so many women leaders. Tell me.

Three Monkeys, Toshogu Temple, Nikko, Japan

The Toshogu Temple

About 80 years ago, the Japanese sent a gift to Gandhiji. The Three monkeys from Toshogu Temple, Nikko, Japan. These three monkeys (imagine that, monkeys) tell us that we should not see, hear or talk evil. Gandhiji (that half naked … apologies to Churchill again) loved these monkeys and carried them around.

I am sure that three American Senators, still in the Presidential race, have taken inspiration from these three monkeys – Mizaru, Iwazaru and Kikazaru.

See no evil, say no evil, hear no evil

‘Mizaru’ Obama cannot see the evil of Islamic demonisation. It is not happening. ‘Iwazaru’ McCain does not want to talk about the evil of Islamic demonisation. It is not happening. ‘Kikazaru’ Clinton cannot hear the evil of Islamic demonisation. It is not happening.

God bless America, the-land-of-the-free.

Three Monkeys, Toshogu Temple, Nikko, JapanI have changed my plans. I was one day thinking of retiring to the caves – in the Indian tradition. But, with Hillary’s threat hanging over my head, I am afraid. Senators, looking at your source of inspiration, I also now understand, why the favorite Hindu god is a monkey.

I wonder

I dont want to raise embarrassing questions to my US Brothers about women Presidents and Muslim or Catholic Candidates. But I am puzzled ….

In the last 60 years, in 15 US elections, only one bald US president has been elected – and only 5 bald presidents in the nearly 250 years of Republican US. Seemingly, the US Voter and political system selects people with a headful of hair!

Does the US of A have another kind of a caste system – which discriminates against the Bald and Beautiful? I am a backward Indian, you see. So, I dont know, Senators.

You, from the Great Land of The Free, will have to enlighten me!

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