Sheikh Mujibur Rehman declared Bangladesh to be independent on March 26, 1971. There is a long trajectory of events that culminated in this cataclysmic event. Muslim League was born at Dacca in 1906 after partition of the Bengal Province. Lord Curzon partitioned Bengal for a number of reasons including a swollen population of 85 million. The Muslim population was happy at the partition but Hindus started agitation against English raj. They alleged that the partition was the outcome of British divide-and-rule policy.
Hindus’ reaction made Muslims realize that Hindus did not care a fig for the Muslim interests.
Lahore resolution was passed on March 23, 1940. At that time, the idea was to unite predominantly Muslim provinces. No one realized that someday a unified Islamic republic of Pakistan would come into being.
Genesis of Muslim nationalism
Lord Curzon partitioned Bengal in 1905 to split the population, then 85 million, into smaller administrative units. The population was broadly divided into Hindus and Muslims. The British recognized that Bengal (with 85 million people) was too large for a province. The Congress initiated mass agitation that brought the province to the brink of a rebellion.
The Congress believed that the dividing line cut right through the heart of the Bengali-speaking “nation”. It deprived Western Bengal’s “respectable people” (bhadralok) of their intellectual leadership. The partition resulted in the creation of a row of Muslim majority province of Eastern Bengal and Assam with its Capital at Decca. The Congress accused the British raj of acting upon the “divide and rule” policy. Congress termed the division as, “Vivisection of Mother province”. ‘Hail to mother’ (Bande Mataram) became the Congress’s national anthem. The Hindus (Congress) began to boycott British goods. Lancashire-made cloth was burnt in bonfires. Lancashire imports began to be shunned. Besides re-unification of Bengal, the Congress raised many other demands besides self-rule, and native system of education. None of the demands cared for Muslims’ sentiments. The partition was abrogated in 1912 by Lord Linlithgow. .
Muslim League’s reaction
The Muslim League of West Bengal (1912-1947) came into being in response to the Hindu nationalists’ violent agitation. The agitation exclusively focused on Hindu identity heritage, education and economic interests.
The Muslims of East Bengal vehemently supported the Bengal partition. Muslims were unhappy at being dominated by affluent Hindus. The Bengal Provincial Muslim League was created on March 2, 1912 at Muhammadan Educational Conference. Its avowed objective was to promote liberal education among Indian Muslims.
The Bengal Provincial Muslim League was a dynamic branch of the All India Muslim League. The party played an important role in Bengal Legislative Council and also in Bengal Legislative Assembly. In subsequent years, the Bengal Muslim League played a vital role in creation of the dominion of Pakistan; particularly in Muslim League’s victory in East Bengal that later became East Pakistan in 1947.
Alas! We lost our Eastern wing for failure in addressing their grievances.
Was Congress’s reaction towards the partition justified?
The turn of events following the Bengal partition (1905-1912) indicated that the Congress was not justified in opposing partition. Unless the Bengal province was partitioned, the Hindu domination of all realms of life would have continued.
The partition strengthened Muslims’ identity. It gave them confidence that they can stand up and fight for their rights. The ugly anti-Muslim face of Congress was unmasked in elections held in 11 provinces of British India. The Congress won a majority of seats in eight of the eleven provinces. Congress began to shout that Muslim League has no grounds to claim that it is the sole spokesman of the Muslims.
The Muslim league was however able to form a government in Bengal province in coalition with AK Fazlul Haq’s Krishak Sramik Party. Later when Muslim League withdrew its support to KSP; AK Fazlul Haq formed a new government in coalition with Congress.
The Congress ministries resigned from provinces after 28-months on plea that Lord Linlithgow had declared India at war with Germany without consulting Congress ministries. Muslim League observed ‘deliverance day’ as during its 28-month rule, Congress did not care a fig for Muslim’s rights. Hindu way of life and education systems was imposed on Muslims.
Bengal partition leads to partition of India
Partition of Bengal laid the foundation for the creation of Pakistan. Conduct of Congress ministries (post 1937) compelled Muslims to realize that Hindus and Muslims are poles apart.
The Quaid-e-Azam did not lose heart at poor electoral performance in 1937. The subsequent 1946 elections confirmed that Muslim League was in fact the sole spokesman of Muslims.
In a way, the Bengal partition was a prelude to partition of India.
How Bengalis became rueful
Bengalis were in the forefront of the Pakistan movement. Yet they developed the impression that West Pakistan treated them just as the British raj. Urdu was imposed on them. And due share in economic resources was denied. Mujibur Rehman was treated as a traitor. Even when East Pakistan had practically slipped out of West Pakistan control, he tried to maintain a semblance of union in the form of a confederation (Rao Farman Ali, How Pakistan was divided).
Two-nation theory still alive
Even after becoming independent, BD has retained its Muslim complexion constitutionally. Indian Bengal is at loggerheads with Bangladesh on the issue of sharing river waters. BD never called for reunification with West Bengal.
Unmasking the India-Bangladesh bonhomie
India welcomed refugees from East Pakistan but now even strongman Amit Shah calls them “termites”. BJP stalwarts openly threaten if Bengali refugees do not go back they would be shot dead. India refused to supply vaccines to BD notwithstanding a written accord. It blocked onion experts in BD.
BD is home to a million Rohingya refugees. But, India refused to accept even 81 refugees stranded in a boat in Andaman waters.
India masquerades hostility against Muslim Bangladesh. Even after independence, BD has retained its Muslim identity. There is a need for thaw in Pakistan-BD relations.
Pakistan and Germany are keen to Sustain Multifaceted and Mutually beneficial Cooperation
Pakistan has varied history of relationship and cooperation with other countries in international arena. Despite of proactive foreign policy Pakistan has been struggling to acquire global or regional status as a major power. Now in the age of globalization, the foreign relations between states have become more significant than before. Global and regional organizations, societies, economic zones and countries have network to attract and develop relationship among them. A major goal of Pakistan’s foreign policy is to develop good relations with international community and to handle global and regional issues. Activism of Pakistan‘s foreign policy reflects on the domestic socio-economic development. The national interest of Pakistan also support to regulate inputs from the external atmosphere into internal situation and to strive security and territorial integrity in the region and glob which always remained top concern of Pakistan. As bearing geo-strategic position, Pakistan seeks good relations with regional and global powers like America, China and European Union. Within European Union Germany has emergence as the developed economy in Europe. It is not only playing vital role within European Union but at the global level. Pakistan is also enjoying cordial relations with Germany on the base of common interest and perception on all international issues. Germany is also very keen to see sustainable development in Pakistan and acknowledges that the Pakistan is playing constructive role for regional peace. Germany greatly values Pakistan intense to strengthen multifaceted and mutual beneficial cooperation. Both the countries have been engaged on political, economic and socio-cultural partnership.
In past, East and West Germany had tilted towards forming alliance with India in 1950s but in 1960s, President Ayob Khan‘s visit to West Germany established economic relation between both the countries. Post Pak-India war 1971, East Germany was the first country of the Europe who recognized Bangladesh. During 1990s, Pakistan and Germany established Pakistan German Business Forum and Germany had become the fourth largest trade partner of Pakistan in 2000. Germany also was ally of Pakistan in the war against terrorism in the north-west part of the country. Since the last few years, both the countries developed trade relations as well as Germany invested in the field of science and technology in Pakistan. On August 24, 2014, Germany built Pakistan Gate in Berlin to provide business and trade facilities to the businessmen of both the countries.
In November 2018, Pakistan offered Germany to join CPEC and to invest in the Special Economic Zone (SEZs). The mutual trade between both the countries enhanced to 3.0 billion euro in 2019.In 2021, Both Pakistan and Germany are celebrating 70th anniversary of establishment of bilateral relationship. Both the countries are planning to undertake several activities in this regard. Last month German Ambassador visited Karachi Chamber of Commerce and industries to call German companies, entrepreneurs and investors to earn from the potential and opportunities which are available in Pakistan and to bring business communities of both the countries more closer as well. Foreign minister of Pakistan has visited to Germany and meeting with business and members of Pakistani community. The foreign Minister held meetings with the leadership of Germany and repeated the desire of expansion of bilateral economic activities and exchange of technology. Both sides also discussed rapidly changing situation of Afghanistan and South Asian region. During the discussion, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Mass, Pakistan and Germany agreed to review the entire gamut of Pakistan-Germany relationship and tools of further deep bilateral cooperation in the field of trade, investment security and defense, health, education, tourism. The mass of both the countries want to utilize the potential of good relationship but it is observed that both sides have lack of political hierarchy, dedication and sincerity in past. The development and expansion of bilateral relationship lies on the path of peaceful coexistence and serious changes in the socio-economic structure is needed. Peace process with the neighboring countries like Afghanistan and India may attract Germany to invest in CPEC projects and other local project of education, vocational training, dam construction, tourism and economic activities in Pakistan. There is a need to organize a forum for the students and scholars of both the countries could interact and exchange their expertise for academic, economic and technology growth. There is potential of people to people interaction and development of cooperation between Pakistan and Germany. Pakistan may be more benefit from the relationship with Germany if the serious efforts be made on government level.
Modi’s Illiberal Majoritarian Democracy: a Question Mark on the Future of Indian Minorities
The word majoritarian is an adjective which relates to or constitutes a majority, majoritarian politics, or majoritarian democracy. It can be defined as a traditional political idea, philosophy or a practice according to which any decision whether political, social, or economic of an organized society should be made by a numerical majority of that society or it can be defined as a traditional political philosophy that stresses that a majority usually branded by religious, language, social class that also includes other recognizing factors of individuals in a society are subject to a level of superiority in a society because of which they have a say in every affair of a society. The concept of majoritarian dispensation in India under Narendra Modi has deep links with four other political philosophies i.e. Populism, Nationalism, Authoritarianism, and Sultanism. Before exploring Narendra Modi’s majoritarian policy of governance in India and its effects on the future of Indian minorities, I will first uncover the link of majoritarianism to political philosophies as mentioned.
A majoritarian leader is actually a populist leader who works hard for the concerns of people that who thinks are being ignored by the established elite groups in a society, and who always present himself as a new man mostly of a modest and plebeian background against old political establishment, in spite of the fact that who is a seasoned political figure, but usually not centre stage. This is exactly what Narendra Modi is, because in his 2014 election campaign, he presented himself as a new man against the Ghandi’s family’s old political system despite the fact he was CM Gujrat at that time. He also presented himself as someone who belongs to a very plebeian background that he had to work in his father’s tea shop when he was a child. Whereas, nationalism is a political idea or a philosophy that promotes and protects the interests of a particular nation, nationalism is the bedrock of most of the populists and NarendraModi is no exception. NarendraModi is a majoritarian national-populist leader who since his childhood has been the member of RSS, and now is a full time pracharak of RSS ideology that stresses that Hindu are the true and only sons of this Indian soil.
Majoritarian national- populist leaders like Narendra Modi are basically authoritarian leaders who reject political pluralism, and this is exactly what Modi is doing in India.Modi and the BJP has made it clear that no other party should compete with it, or is even needed, as indicative from its slogan of a ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ (a Congress-free India).Whereas, Sultanism is a form of authoritarian government and according to Max Weber NarendraModi is a new sultan of India who is pushing India towards illiberal democracy by rejecting all kind of civil liberties particularly of Indian Muslim minority.
Modi’s majoritarian policy of governance in India is basically the promotion of majoritarian democracy that asserts Hindus a special and superior status in India because they constitute 80.5% of total Indian population and that this majoritarian policy protests Hindutva ideology that stresses that Hindus are the only sons of this soil and that strengthen the Hindu community. This majoritarian democracy is a big question mark on India as the world biggest liberal democracy because continuous violence, rejection of civil liberties, and crimes against the minorities that are Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians have been on the increase. About 1.8 million people who are minority communities are tortured in police custody every year. The word murder of minorities has been replaced by the term encounter killings. Torture have increased to such a huge extent that it questions the credibility of the rule of law and criminal justice. Hindu nationalists are revolting all around India especially against Muslims because they are the largest minority in India constituting 13.4% of total population and because Hindus have resentment toward their religion, Christians and Sikhs are no exception to their violence because they too constitute 2.3% and 1.9% of total Indian population.
Unfortunately, India under Narendra Modi is crawling from the world’s biggest liberal democracy to illiberal majoritarian democracy which is promoting and safeguarding only Hindu’s civil rights and liberties and that which is negating minority’s civil liberties and civil rights especially rights and liberties of Muslims of India. One such example of this is the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).Under the act, for the first time in India, religion is a basis for granting citizenship. According to some this citizenship amendment bill by BJP is an intentional act in order to marginalize Muslims from mainstream politics. In addition to this, Muslims are not only being tortured at their religious places for their religious affiliations, but they are also being tortured at their educational institutions which is evident from a video of 15 December 2020, where Delhi police brutally tortured Muslims students of Jamia Millia Islamia university.
Keeping in mind Narendra Modi’s illiberal majoritarian democracy, the future of liberal democracy or pluralistic India appears to be gloomy, where the future of Indian minorities especially Muslims is a big question mark.
CoVID-19 Control: Can Pakistan Learn From China?
It has been over a year since the first case of CoVID-19 was confirmed in Pakistan. The tally has reached 721,018 confirmed cases, 15,443 have died and 4,143 critical cases by 11thApril2021. Across many countries, since January 2020, a massive surge of research into CoVID-19 had enabled the scientific and medical community to better understand how to manage and eliminate the virus through public health interventions. Today, we have learned, CoVID-19 causes acute symptoms and death. We have learned, immunity lasts at least eight months and we also have five licensed vaccines. We have learned, the long-term effects of CoVID-19 and the morbidity attached to having this virus. We have learned, virus transmission occurs through droplets and aerosols spread through coughing, sneezing, breathing and speaking. We also have learned, stopping the spread of CoVID-19 requires people to avoid mixing though restrictions on social life. We have learned, the virus can mutate into various strains that can be more transmissible – and we also have understand cat-and-mouse game between vaccine and variants.
To alleviate the destructive effects of CoVID-19 on the economy, Pakistan has sought debt relief of slightly around $2 billion from its G20 creditors. In addition to the G20 countries, China was the largest bilateral creditor with $9 billion, followed by Japan with $5 billion. By early April 2020, when there were just about 2,000 CoVID-19 positive cases in Pakistan, the World Bank approved $200 million package to help Pakistan. Likewise, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had approved the payout of $1.386 billion as financial support to Pakistan to meet its urgent balance of payment needs halting from the CoVID-19 outbreak. Further, to support Pakistan’s public health response to the CoVID-19 and allow to meet the basic needs of the vulnerable and poor segment of society, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $500 million emergency assistance loan to Pakistan. Similarly, The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) also provided a $650 million financial package to support Pakistan in its efforts against the CoVID-19. All these grants were provided to Government of Pakistan to assist in effective and timely action in response to the spread of the CoVID-19. The objective was to strengthen Pakistan’s public health infrastructure and to alleviate socioeconomic disruptions due to the pandemic. Despite huge grants and substantial endowments, Pakistan’s response to the CoVID-19 has been unsatisfactory. Lack of basic healthcare infrastructure, disease surveillance and management system, and inconsistent implementation of policies and SOPs resulted in the rapid and incessant spread of third-wave of CoVID-19 throughout the county.
China’s extraordinary organized and preventive risk management approach, established on coalition between government officials, virologists, epidemiologists and public health experts, has demonstrated to be successful in containing and controlling CoVID-19.The experience in China emphasized the significance of listening to science and public health experts during pandemic event. Firstly, China’s response demonstrates the value of national research and public health capability. Huge investment in research and development rendered China much better prepared for CoVID-19. China’s experience indicates the value of investing in national health and research scheme to boost laboratory capacity along with workforce. They are essential to a rapid and effective national response to health emergencies and to national health security. Secondly, a strong foundation of research and development cannot ensure effective control without powerful top-level political dedication to use science to confront the outbreak. Government and leaders must respect science, understand its significance, and act on science-based advice in a way that is best for society. Thirdly, attaining speedy and successful implementation of control measures for CoVID-19 requires extensive community engagement. Public solidarity during the CoVID-19 outbreak in China had been unprecedented. Control measures that could sacrifice personal freedom were accepted readily by the nation.
To be brief, cricket is to South Asia and football is to Europe. In fighting CoVID-19, everyone is equal. Everyone has the identical liability and shares the equal threat. The effective implementation of prevention and control measures in China is a model for Pakistan other parts of world to follow. From the beginning, a science-based, risk-informed and phased approach was taken, with a clear appreciation and enthusiasm. Today, China has restarted its economy, reopened and almost returned to normality. The key of success story is to make everybody responsible, get every single division involved and held executives accountable. These are the most prominent lessons Pakistan could learn from China at national and local levels. After the failure of “Smart-Lockdown” strategy, Pakistan needs to choose a strict strategy, should follow the example of China and continue the lockdown until the number of CoVID-19 infections is brought close to zero; the strategy should then be to maintain infection rates at very low level until vaccination is done. China’s epidemic management provides an important experience from which countries such as Pakistan can learn. This applies in particular to Pakistan, which would risk to lose many of its achievements in case of a severe third wave of the epidemic. Government of Pakistan should involve not only public health experts, virologists and epidemiologists, but also scientist and respect science advice when making any decision that is required to keep the epidemic under control. The rest of the world can also learn from China’s success in bringing outbreak under control.
Covid 19 and Human Security in Anthropocene era
Since the end of second World the focus on international security has grown, not only state threats but also threats...
Athletes knock the legs from under global sports governance
Sports governance worldwide has had the legs knocked out from under it. Yet, national and international sports administrators are slow...
Biden’s Dilemma: Caught Between Israel and Iran
By all indication, the latest sabotage at Iran’s uranium enrichment facility in Natanz aimed at more than just disabling thousands...
Pakistan and Germany are keen to Sustain Multifaceted and Mutually beneficial Cooperation
Pakistan has varied history of relationship and cooperation with other countries in international arena. Despite of proactive foreign policy Pakistan...
Disability policies must be based on what the disabled need
Diversity policies, especially when it comes to disabled people, are often created and implemented by decision makers with very different...
Preparing (Mega)Cities for the 2020s: An Innovative Image and Investment Diplomacy
Globalized megacities will definitely dominate the future, in the same way as colonial empires dominated the 19th century and nation-states...
The Galwan Conflict: Beginning of a new Relationship Dynamics
The 15th June, 2020 may very well mark a new chapter in the Indo-Chinese relationship and pave the way for...
Southeast Asia3 days ago
New Leadership Takes Charge in Vietnam: Challenges and Prospects
East Asia3 days ago
Sino-US rivalry and the myth of Thucydides Trap
Europe2 days ago
Sino-Serbian relations under the “microscope”: China’s footprint In Serbia
Europe2 days ago
Ммm is a new trend in the interaction between the EU and Turkey:”Silence is golden” or Musical chair?
South Asia2 days ago
Modi’s Illiberal Majoritarian Democracy: a Question Mark on the Future of Indian Minorities
Reports2 days ago
Aviation Sector Calls for Unified Cybersecurity Practices to Mitigate Growing Risks
Europe2 days ago
The Man Who Warned Us First About Climate Change
Tech News2 days ago
7 Driving Habits That Are Secretly Damaging Your Diesel Engine