Jinnah is alive
The father and founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, gave a concrete shape to his communal views on March 23, 1940, when he presided over the Lahore session of the Muslim League.
Delivering the presidential address, he said: “The Hindus and Muslims belong to two religious philosophies, social customs and literatures. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are mainly based on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts of life and on life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Musalmans derive their inspiration from different heroes and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is the foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to a growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the governance of their common motherland”.
The result of his no-holds-barred vicious propaganda, coupled with the evil designs of the British and the Congress’ muddled thinking and lust for political power, culminated in the establishment of Muslim Pakistan on August 14, 1947, displacement of millions of people and physical liquidation of thousands and thousands of people, as also in a situation under which women were maltreated, disgraced and sexually abused.
People say that the votary of the pernicious two-nation theory, Jinnah, died immediately after the formation of theocratic Pakistan. They are wrong. He is very much alive and he is in India. No, not one, there are many Jinnahs in India who are openly propagating views similar to the ones Jinnah started preaching, particularly since 1928, with a view to ensuring the country’s partition on communal lines. “Noted jurist” and well-known India-basher AG Noorani and former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah are just two of them. Leave aside the Deoband Ulemas, who only the other day issued a fatwa directing Muslims not to sing the national song, Bande Mataram, because it is anti-Islam.
No one can dispute that Noorani and Habibullah are carrying forward the legacy of Jinnah. The reason: Noorani, who has been preaching secession of Kashmir from India and opposing the extension of Central laws and institutions to Jammu & Kashmir, particular since 1954, has asked the People’s Democratic Party, the National Conference and the so-called moderate Hurriyat Conference of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to “build consensus” on “self-rule”. Besides, he has urged “practical steps” aimed at “redrafting Article 370 in the light of self-rule” so that the redrafted “document (is) made irreversible within the parameters of Indian Constitution”. (Ignore “within the parameters of Indian Constitution” because Noorani has scant regard for the Indian statue book).
Jinnah in Noorani does not stop here. He goes on to say: “Why I believe fervently that ‘self-rule’ is very good proposal is that it is the most practicable formula and will be acceptable to people in India, Pakistan and to people of Kashmir”. Further, he asked “all the mainstream parties to…have a united stand on it” (self-rule). Noorani said all this while addressing the People’s Democratic Party-sponsored seminar on self-rule at Srinagar on November 1.
It would not be out of place to mention here that Noorani is an ardent believer in the concept of talks with those firing on our soldiers. He has written in The Statesman and Frontline a number of times that “if you wish to forge a lasting peace, negotiate with those firing on your soldiers; never negotiate with those with no blood on their hands because they are irrelevant”. The context was Kashmir.
That said, Noorani, who so far has been advocating greater autonomy for Kashmir and had on more than one occasion described the People’s Democratic Party’s self-rule doctrine as a replica of the autonomy concept being advocated by the National Conference, has, it is obvious, taken a complete u-turn. The reasons are not far too seek. The most important reason is that self-rule doctrine is similar to the former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf’s four-point Kashmir solution – self-governance, demilitarization, joint-management and porous borders.
It needs to be underlined that Noorani had met Musharraf in Islamabad just before the latter’s downfall, discussed with him his Kashmir solution and thereafter wrote a very long essay in Frontline. His essay was nothing but an endorsement of the Musharraf line. He also extended unflinching support to the Musharraf solution because it was consistent with his patently sectarian approach to the so-called Kashmir problem. Significantly, like Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, he has good relations with persons in the right places. Habibullah has been holding similar views and consistently suggesting division of the Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir into five regions on purely communal lines.
Both Noorani and Habibullah enjoy official patronage and both, like mainstream separatists and others of their ilk controlling the separatist, terrorist and communal outfits in Kashmir as well as Pakistan, are staunch believers in the concept of Greater Kashmir comprising the now 100 percent Muslim Kashmir Valley and the Muslim-majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh, such as Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Kishtwar in Jammu, and Kargil in Ladakh. Both want to divide Jammu in a manner that enables Kashmir and Islamabad to establish control not only over the strategic Himalayan region, which is highly rich in green-gold, but also over river Chenab, which has the potential of producing more than 15,000 MW of electricity every year.
Not just this, both want New Delhi to abandon four million Hindus and Sikhs or to throw in their political and economic lot with Kashmiri communalists. It would be no exaggeration to say that the likes of Noorani and Habibullah are acting as mouthpieces of Islamabad and Kashmiri communalists and separatists.
Noorani’s support to the self-rule formula and the Habibullah formulations need to be viewed in this context. What Noorani said and what Habibullah believes in should clinch the whole issue, and establish that both of them believe that Muslims and Hindus cannot live together in one state and under the Indian Constitution.
A few words on the self-rule doctrine and what it envisages would be in order. What does the self-rule formula envisage or suggest? It suggests abandonment of the universally accepted “notions of sovereignty and national borders”; a “pan-Kashmir” approach; “autonomy from the nation-state of India”; “regionalization of power across J&K”; “sharing of sovereignty”; “economic integration that transcends borders”; a drastic change in the Indian Constitution that converts Greater Jammu & Kashmir into “a regional free trade area”; “dual currency system”; roll back of “Article 356” (under which New Delhi has the power to intervene if there is breakdown of constitutional machinery) and Article 249 (under which the Parliament exercises legislative jurisdiction over the state); withdrawal of the “All India Service Act, 1951” and all other Central Acts from the state; change in the nomenclatures from Chief Minister to Wazir-e-Azam and from Governor to Sadar-e-Riayast”, who shall be elected by the local assembly and who will hold office so long as he enjoys the confidence of the ruling elite in Kashmir (read committed Sadar-e-Riyasat); “establishment of “regional council of Greater Jammu & Kashmir” comprising representatives from India, Pakistan and both parts of the state; and division of Jammu province into “sub-regions” and establishment of “sub-regional councils”.
The self-rule formula further suggests: “Self-rule is aimed at providing the central element for a comprehensive architecture to be devised for the final and strategic settlement of the Kashmir issue. Self-rule will not be a mid-point into a journey or a tactical or evasive prescription. Instead, self-rule must also form the basis of relationship between the people of Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Pakistan”.
It is hardly necessary to reflect on the implications of the People’s Democratic Party’s self-rule formula as everything is self-explanatory. Suffice it to say that the self-rule formula, if accepted and implemented, would automatically mean a step short of independence from India and once it happens, it will not be difficult for the separatists to achieve their 62-year-old goal. (PDP president Mehbooba Mufti herself acknowledged on November 2 that self-rule means full freedom from India and asserted that Jammu & Kashmir is an independent country.) The implementation of self-rule as demanded by the PDP would also automatically mean a spectacular victory of Islamabad and those taking recourse to terror tactics to achieve their sinister goal.
Unfortunately New Delhi is watching all these anti-India and communal activities in Kashmir as a mute spectator and allowing Jinnahs to pollute and vitiate the secular environment in India. Even more unfortunate perhaps, is the overt and covert support of the powers-that-be in New Delhi to such out-and-out anti-India outfits as the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party.
New Delhi must refashion its whole approach towards Kashmir taking into consideration the larger national interest. It must remember that the pan-Islamists would not stop their hate and break-India campaign and subversive activities even if Kashmir is handed over to Islamabad or Kashmiri extremists on a platter. Their target is Red Fort, their goal Indian balkanization, and their watchword theocracy and barbarism, Taliban-style.
The author is Chair Professor, Gulab Singh Chair, Jammu University, Jammu