Monday, December 28, 2015

Bajirao Mastani The Latest in a Revisionist Agenda

Bajirao Mastani is the latest attempt by a revisionist agenda of corporate India to highlight any non-Muslim figures in the history of India. Before recent times, the fact remains that the glory of India has always been under Muslim rule for over the last 1000 years - from the Delhi Sultanate to the Mughal empire.Yet the Indian media only highlights Akbar (and to some extent Shah Jahan) because Akbar was the least Muslim of the lot. He founded his own religion (Dil Ilahi) and married a Rajput princess. He is the one glorified today in India and the rest of these Muslim rulers - who led India to heights that she hasn't reached even today - are forgotten. Some are actually vilified - such as Aurangzeb - with allegations against him debunked by many historians yet repeated all the time by those with a Hindutva agenda.

Instead, we are taught about the greatness of a man Bajirao, a petty man who managed to carve a little country for himself when the Mughal empire was in decline, and who actually hastened the decline leading to the acceleration of British control over all of India. Similarly they highlight the story of another loser called Maha Rana Pratap, who sniped at the Mughals from the sides and again gave the British an opening they wanted. Meanwhile, real heroes who faught against the British such as Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan - no movies are made about them because they happen to be Muslim.

The inconvenient fact remains that for the vast majority of Indians, going from Muslim rule to British rule was merely a change of masters (and the British were the far cruel masters). Only the Muslims were affected as they used to be in power, so they fought for freedom. Not until the War of Independence (or the Indian Mutiny) did the rest of India join them. Gandhi was a much flawed man whose tactics did not win India independence - it was the guerrilla attacks by many others (such as Bhagat Singh and Master ji) and the pressure of American diplomacy amongst other factors that caused it. Gandhi did not even want independence; he wanted India to be made into a dominion. Yet today he is the father of a nation.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Guide for my Pakistani Friends About 1971

  1. Realize that no matter how close we are, 1971 is a sensitive topic. Never, even jokingly, refer to modern Bangladesh as 'East Pakistan'. In fact, NEVER joke about 1971.
  2. Realize that we do not blame you personally or hold you personally responsible for 1971 in any way. We do, however, blame your government for trying to whitewash history and pretend nothing happened.
  3. Never say, 'oh, but both sides committed atrocities'. The scale does not even compare. It's like the Nazis saying, after they have gassed thousands of Jews, that one of them threw a rock at us.
  4. I know it's hard for you to comprehend, but the army that you look up to and revere, has committed horrible war crimes, genocides and atrocities.
  5. Never say 'it's the past and we should forget it in the spirit of forgiveness and brotherhood'. Forgiveness can only be given to those that sincerely repent and ask for it. Your government has denied any atrocities, let alone ask for forgiveness.
  6. Do not automatically start speaking to a Bengali person in Urdu. Know about 1952, and ask for permission first.
  7. Visit Bangladesh. You will find almost all Pakistanis speaking positively about their time there, and visit the War Museum in Dhaka. Educate yourself about your own history.
  8. Ask your own government and challenge your own countrymen as to why 1952, 1971 are forgotten chapters in your history.
  9. Finally, stop blaming India or Indian conspiracies and start building your own country. Start tolerating, no rather, start accepting those who speak and think and believe differently than you. The mistakes you made in 1971 are being repeated today in your country on the Ahmedis and on Baluchistan. Why?