Modi's sense of timing and Af-Pak region
Partition Remembrance Day: Modi's sense of timing and Af-Pak region
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sense of timing actually makes a deeper point than the sheer announcement of observing August 14th as the Partition Horror Remembrance Day.
In early 1946 or sometime before that, even Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were convinced that 'Partition' - that is the birth of Pakistan - would ultimately lead to 'Balkanisation' of India.
They feared the violence also, but Winston Churchill was in no mood to listen.
London's only priority was a quick end to the British Raj and to ensure that both India and Pakistan should remain in Commonwealth. But Modi's announcement of a Partition Remembrance Day could not have been better timed than circa 2021.
August 14th is also Pakistan's birthday. It was 'Happy birthday' to the neighbour, but reminding the world of a historical mistake made in 1947 is also strategically important as the world is now grappling on how to deal with the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
The blunder in 1947 was to presume that only 'religions' could be a ground for bifurcating one civilisation and creating two nations. The western Afghan experts are these days already throwing the questions - Is this the second Vietnam ?
Is Afghanistan already lost?
Modi's all important missive is actually a Master Stroke. It tells the world, 'look this is Pakistan you all know, this is the Pakistan that helped Taliban adding to your nightmare, and do not forget, THIS IS HOW PAKISTAN WAS BORN'.
Well, a nation created with all the ingredients of 'hatred' and 'passions' could not be teaching about milk, honey and love thy neighbour principles.
Now, a look at the history - After the war, Clement Attlee’s Labour government in London recognised that Britain’s devastated economy could not cope with the cost of the over-extended empire.And hence the need to retreat, or today's more familiar word - 'withdrawal'.
Do you sense the 'similarity'?
In 2021, the US and other western allies too 'cannot cope' with the expenditures.
That's the hard reality.
In March 1940, the Muslim League’s “Pakistan” resolution called for the creation of “separate states” – plural, not singular – to accommodate Indian Muslims vis-a-vis a nation of Hindus (that is India/Bharat).
While Pakistan was born as a single entity - perhaps thanks to visionary works of the likes of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in just 24 years, Pakistan had split and Bangladesh was born.
More splits on cards ! That's a different chapter.
But on August 14, 2021, Modi's message was - Do not presume Afghanistan as a nation in isolation especially when one has to deal with Islamic extremism. The birth of Pakistan was also the result of that fanaticism.
The moot point is - if you want to handle Afghanistan differently than it has been catered to so far; it is imperative that all neighbours of Afghanistan are 'studied' with all their complexities and assets.
So, if you want to handle Afghanistan, first prepare yourself to handle Pakistan.
And handling Pakistan can be always easier if you know its history, the history of its birth. The Left-Liberal intellectualism would not appreciate this. But that's Moditva.
An attempt has been made in a newspaper article - "Which logic will we embrace — freedom or Partition?" (Indian Express).
The question does not seek an answer. It wants to guide one towards a specific journey - just forget the stories of 'partition'.
That's 'desi' point of view. Jump to big words like - universal citizenship, 'communalism always breaks nations' etc etc.
The writer only betrays his 'jaundiced' view and thus poses his question to both India and Pakistan. Again the idea is to put the two distinct cases in brackets!
Going back to history, in March 1947, Britain announced a new viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten.
His mandate - 'find a speedy way' of bringing the British Raj to an end. On June 3, he announced that independence would be brought by August 1947 and also that there will be creation of two separate states. Note the speed.
The plans were sinister right from the beginning.
And as the saying goes, as you sow, so shall you reap ! If in 2021, Afghanistan - that is Taliban in Afghanistan - aided and supported by Pakistan has added to global woes, well, the world has taken a big round and you have Natural Justice.
Thus, Modi's message is - crystal clear. To handle Afghanistan, you need to handle Pakistan in the language and manner it deserves.
Sorry to say, but Pakistan's bluff must be called in the big picture paradigm of War against Terror.
Obviously the Foreign Office spokesperson in Pakistan's foreign ministry,
Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, dubbed Modi's move "a political and publicity stunt".
“Distorting history and stoking communalism is the special forte of the RSS-BJP regime. Far from doing anything to heal old wounds, they would go to any extent to sow further dissensions for electoral gains," he said.