November 15, 2011

The Indian mindset: A Pakistani perspective

Published: November 15, 2011


Inam Khawaja


Sixty four years have gone by since both Pakistan and India got their independence. And now a third generation is poised to assume power in both these countries. Their relations have been oscillating between active war, covert hostility, tension and overt aggression. In both Pakistan and India all shades of the political spectrum have come to power and yet have not been able to break the ice.


It is time to clearly get at the root cause of the hostility between these two nuclear powers each having over a hundred bombs and multiple means of delivering them with devastating results for peoples of these countries and their neighbours. On 3 June 1947 both the All India Muslim League led by Quaid-i-Azam and the Indian National Congress led by Nehru agreed to the partition of British India into Pakistan and India. In order to understand the genesis of the hostility between India and Pakistan it is essential to examine the resolutions passed by the two main political forces of India —Congress and BJP (Hindu Mahasabha).


The All India Congress Working Committee met on 14, June 1947 and after the first day’s debate resolved to accept the Partition Plan. However, the acceptance also included the assertion that:-


“Geography and the mountains and the seas fashioned India as she is, and no human agency can change that shape or come in the way of her final destiny. The All India Congress Committee earnestly trusts that when the present passions have subsided, India’s problems will be viewed in their proper perspective and false doctrine of two nations will be discredited and discarded by all.”


The Congress, true to form, exhibited their hostility even in this resolution that they earnestly trusted that the concept of Pakistan being a separate nation ‘will be discredited and discarded by all’. This clearly showed that the Congress in reality did not accept the establishment of Pakistan as an independent country and wanted to undo it. This became visibly apparent in the policy and the actions of the Indian Government subsequent to 15, August 1947.


The Working Committee of the Hindu Mahasabha passed a resolution stressing: “India is one and indivisible and there will never be peace unless and until the separated areas are brought back into the Indian Union and made integral part.”
This resolution clearly shows that the Hindu Mahasabha did not accept the formation of Pakistan and actually wanted to undo Pakistan by force. Right after the establishment of Pakistan on 15, August 1947 India initiated a policy of confrontation by refusing to transfer its share of financial, military and other divisible (movable) assets of British India. They stopped the export of coal (on which the Pakistan railways depended), sugar, textiles and all manufactured goods and induced the Hindu bankers to migrate to India, in the hope that it would speed up Pakistan’s collapse. Some how Pakistan managed to import coal from China, sugar from Cuba, paper from Sweden, established its own banks and so on. The railway engines were converted to burn fuel oil. When the collapse did not happen; Nehru in the Defence Committee meeting on 28 October 1947 proposed that the defence services “should consider plans to meet the contingency of war between India and Pakistan.” This is documented in Mountbatten Papers in British Library. These plans were frustrated because the British C-in-C and the British officers stated “that the preparation of plans for war with another Dominion is not part of their contract”. The Indian Army would have been paralysed without the British officers. At that time most of the battalions and almost all the brigades were commanded by British officers and all the division commanders were British. Furthermore, all the supporting arms were commanded by British officers. Brigadier Cariappa and Brigadier Thimayya were the highest ranking Indian officers. It was, therefore, impossible to prepare plans for a war without the active participation of the British officers.



The history of negotiations between these two neighbors from 1947 to date clearly shows that they have been unable to improve the relations and solve any of the problems souring their relations. The basic impediment is the fact the successive generations of Indians do not accept an independent Pakistan and continue to strive for “Akhand Bharat “. They don’t seem to tire of saying; “We are one”, “We have a common culture” and so on totally ignoring the fact “that Muslim literature, music, art, architecture, dress and cuisine are poles apart and has nothing in common with the Hindu literature (even the scripts are totally different) art, architecture, dress and cuisine are poles apart (even the method of serving food is different).”


In July 2001 during the hype created by the Agra summit the Indian media continuously harped on confederation, especially the Jain-TV and Doordarshan. Some of the commentators said if the Berlin wall could be demolished and North and South Vietnam could unite why can’t India and Pakistan? In fact this view was supported by the BJP led Indian Government. Mr. Vajpayee the Indian PM met the political leaders of various political shades before the summit to arrive at a political consensus. Mr. M. S. Yadave (ex-PM) immediately after the meeting talked of Confederation. Even Mr. L. K. Advani proposed Confederation between the two countries a few days before the summit.


Once again the Indian media is harping upon the same old theme though in subdued terms. The fact is that the Indian leaders even after sixty four years do not accept partition and consider the establishment of Pakistan a great tragedy. Jaswant Singh in his book states;


“There are some other to my mind, equally important aspects of this great tragedy of India’s partition deserving our reflection. Did not this partition of India, vivisecting the land and its people question the very identity of India itself” (page 6 & 7, Jinnah India-Partition Independence by Jaswant Singh, 2009). For Jaswant Singh and almost all Indians even today the partition of British India was a mistake and a great tragedy. In fact the real tragedy is that Indians cannot seem to get out of this mindset. The Deputy Prime Minister of India L. K. Advani in an interview with Dawn on April 29, advocated confederation and so has Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr. Jai Maharaj, furthermore it is the officially declared policy of the Samajwadi Party. The Indians of even the present generation which was born decades after independence consider the establishment of Pakistan a great tragedy. Consequently bitterness and confrontation has persisted in the minds of all the successive Indian Governments and almost all the leaders of India. The Indian media also does not seem to get over the so-called ‘tragedy of partition’. In fact it is this mindset which is the real tragedy and the real impediment in the normalisation and improvement of relations between India and Pakistan. The disputes like Kashmir, Water and dams in Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachin are in fact a result of this Indian mindset and the consequent Indian obsession with ‘Akhand Bharat’.


The development of the Pakistan specific Cold Start Doctrine on 28, April 2004 at the Army Commander’s Conference which envisages initiating offensive operations either as pre-emptive strikes or initiate offensive operations straightaway without giving Pakistan, the time to bring diplomatic leverage in play is basically designed to undo Pakistan which has been India’s aim from the beginning. Today over seventy percent of India’s defence forces are deployed against Pakistan. All these meetings, the exchange of pleasantries, signing of Most Favoured Nation Agreements, visa softening etc. mean nothing. India moved its Rapid Strike Force from Central India to Punjab only few months ago I want know why? Is this an omen for peace, amity and friendly relations or is it the reincarnation of Shiva Ji.


http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/15-Nov-2011/The-Indian-mindset

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

try to work on a better title next time. you state what actions india has taken against pakistan but give no insight as to how a reader is supposed to know why Pakistan doesn't approve of these. Some are understandable, such as economic sanctions, but most of it is how india feels about pakistan, not the other way around as your title implies. Im doing a project as to why pakistan hates india for college, i was hoping this would help from your title, but alas i was tricked. You need to treat all readers like 3rd graders, they don't know anything, the worst case scenario is, you over-explain things. Ive never heard of someone getting in trouble for over-explaining. Im outti.

Anonymous said...

Wow...this story says a lot about Pakistani mindset and insecurities over existence.