Punjab Research Group

Jinnah re-visited, thank you Jaswant Singh by Beena Sarwar

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on November 6, 2011

Generations have grown up in India and Pakistan fed on distorted versions of history. Attempts to counter these versions don’t go down too well at home, as Jaswant Singh​ found out when he challenged the Indian version that lays the entire blame for the Partition on the shoulders of Mohammad Ali Jinnah​, ignoring the parts played by Jawaharlal Nehru​, the Congress and the British.

Ironically, while eulogising the country’s founder as the Quaid-e-Azam or Great Leader, Pakistan has also censored him, sweeping aside his guiding principles, secularism and insistence on justice and constitutionalism. Similarly, in India, Mahatma Gandhi​ is eulogised while his guiding principles and insistence on non-violence are made increasingly irrelevant.
Each side conveniently forgets the extremisms of its dominant faith. Hindu extremism existed well before 1947 (remember who killed Gandhi) as did Muslim extremism, particularly since 1857, when the British drove a wedge between the two religious communities. Both continue to feed off each other.

Official textbooks, policies or public discourse ignore the findings of scholars like Mubarik Ali, Ayesha Jalal​ and KK Aziz in Pakistan, and Romila Thapar​, KN Panikkar and Sumit Sarkar in India whose work is based on solid research and facts rather than emotive myths. There is no official support for a joint history project.

Read full article: http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2009/09/3225

Also see review of Jaswant Singh, Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence by Farina Mir on H-net. follow link: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=30415

Pseudo-Scholarship

Posted in Book reviews by Pippa on September 14, 2009

Jaswant Singh’s controversial book on Jinnah has nothing new to offer, except some rare photographs. It is significant only because it rudely and perhaps unexpectedly exposed the tussles within the top ranks of the BJP leadership.

C.M. Naim

With due apology to every Pathan in the world, I must start with a “Pathan” joke. A Pathan came down into the plains to visit with a friend. The friend treated him to qalaqand. The Pathan loved the chunky, grey-white sweet so much that the next day he went looking for it in the market. Unfortunately he couldn’t remember the name, and so when he saw a man selling what looked like qalaqand, he pointed to it and bought some. As he started eating he found himself in terrible agony, for what he had bought was home-made soap. Seeing his anguished look and the foam trickling out of his mouth, a man asked, “What’s the matter, Khan? What are you eating?” Gasping for breath, the Pathan retorted, “What do you think? Khan is eating his money.” 

Read the full article: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?261816

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