The Farce of Pakistani Nationhood

An image from India’s partition (Source: The New Yorker)

The Muslims of India demanded a separate country on the basis that Hindu and Muslims are two distinct and separate nations. The British and the Congress acceded to this demand and the land was butchered in 1947. An indivisible land was mutilated; divided; millions died in the carnage of hatred.

The irony for India is that that Hindus are almost an endangered species in Pakistan today but in India you have a thriving Muslim population, even much bigger than present day Pakistan. So, by my opinion Hindu diaspora of India is the net loser in the partition who lost all; their land, culture, history which they had in the Pakistani part but have to share their remaining land with an ever increasing Muslim population among them.

I wonder, if Jinnah and Muslim League wanted to have a geographical entity where they can live, experience and experiment according to their religion. Then why was this liberty denied to the other party whose rights are usurped in the name of secular democracy?

Celebrating Independence Day on 14 August by Pakistanis is a travesty of logic. It never registered in the psyche of the Pakistani establishment that the fundamental logic of Pakistan, i.e., the two nation theory drowned in the Bay of Bengal on December 16, 1971 when Bengal got itself liberated from the despotic rule of the Pakistani Army. After the bigger geographic chunk was dismembered, they renamed the leftover ‘West Pakistan’ as Pakistan.

The truncated part should have been renamed as anything but Pakistan. An acceptance of the wrongs done and falsehood of the ideology it was founded on might have been a turning point that could have led towards reconstruction. The establishment however carried on with this viciousness in the remaining part. After Baluchistan, Sindh and the Frontier province, it is now Punjab’s turn to taste the wrath of the establishment which acts as an occupying force towards its own populace through coercion, propaganda and booty.

Its size, penetration and clout in the body-politic is so overbearing that there is no possibility of it being defeated by the street power. As an institution it is incorrigible and ruthless as a malignant cancer which mercilessly eats the body corpus on which it thrives.

Pakistan can never have a democratic government and unfortunately the future of the 2 Billion people of the region would always remain hostage.

In 1947, the British left the subcontinent partitioning it into two dominion states. As a matter of fact, this independence came to the subcontinent as a consequence of the Second World War. The British Empire had no internal energy left to continue its sway as a colonial power. The only question before the shrinking British power was how to quickly to pull out for the Indians to be able to manage themselves. So, Pakistanis can stop bragging about winning independence!

The challenge before the emerging states was how best they could self-govern; in which the state of Pakistan failed miserably on all accounts, from day one. But in Pakistan, no one seems to care or comprehend this.

Pakistan celebrates every year its ‘independence’ with such patriotic fervour and religious zeal which would seem pathologically stupid for the simple reason that the grand theory of nationhood on the basis of religion proved a fallacy when the 56% of Pakistan got liberated from the 44% of Pakistan. That was the end of the independence story!  A country which has been under perpetual military rule has no moral right to celebrate any independence.  The country still in the shackles of religious extremism, poverty, unemployment, military rule, faltering economy, intolerance, illiteracy, debt crisis, institutional meltdown celebrating independence is incongruous!  What else constitutes madness if not this?

December 12, 1971: Bengalis welcome Indian army tanks in the streets of Jessore (Source: Tribune)

The 47 years of Pakistan’s existence since 1971’s dismemberment proves that it is not brotherhood of Islam but the iron clad jacket of the occupying army which is keeping the melting pot of militant sectarianism, religious extremism, regional chauvinism, together, artificially. Pakistanis, had they been a normal nation, would have marked this day with an air of sombre and mellow introspection instead of an extravagant display of misplaced euphoria.

It is India who strove for an independent country in the name of secularism and the successive generations maintained a secular democratic status since then, despite the huge challenges of demography and extremism.

I offer my heartiest felicitations to my Indian friends on this success story!


Cover Picture: (Source:



Author: Khalid Umar

Published: Aug 15, 2018


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