Mahboob A. Khawaja

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Germany

How India and Pakistan Lost True Freedom

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Europeans went to West Asia pretending to be businessmen and fostered political intrigues and treachery to become the ruler of the Sub-Continent. The conquest and looting of Moghul India in 1857 transformed Britain into “Great Britain.” British and French for a while competed for military and political influence to pave the way for ultimate hegemonic control. Portuguese and Dutch also engaged in trade and a wider scheme of colonization.

The European colonization schemes originated from its socio-economic-political and ethnic supremacy over all other things. They shared a common military strategy to subdue most of the Islamic people from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to North Africa to erect new empires. They subjugated masses to “divide and rule” policies and practices of the European mental microscope which never viewed the besieged subjects as equal human beings to stand beside the colonial Masters. The masses across these continents were not conquered at the doors but first betrayed and then systematically divided and degenerated by the Master European race. They institutionalized the colonization scheme by establishing institutions of armed forces, police and civil service to govern the nations of Muslim Pakistan and Hindu-dominated India for a long time to come. Consequently, freedom gained by political movements was lost by the institutionalized scheme of imperialism. Any prospects for change and new beginning were opposed by the institutionalized colonization. H.G. Wells (Outline of History, Book 5) said it right: “So began the first of the most wasteful and disastrous series of wars that has ever darkened the history of mankind.”

Terrorism originates from the Western colonial powers but none would dare to concede it for the FEAR of unknown intellectual, moral and political consequences in contemporary history – this author elaborated the dictum of imperialism (“Western Imperialism and the Unspoken Tyranny of Colonization.”

When the European businessmen explored new world markets for diminishing resources and their armed forces invaded and occupied the vast Islamic world, there were no television, internet, video cameras and stone-throwing public and voices of reason to call them foreign mercenaries, aggressors and terrorists. The colonization scheme of things was not outcome of the Western democratic values to spread freedom, liberty and justice but ferocity of violence and killings of millions and millions of human lives for the Empires to be built on coloured bloodbaths. The European crusaders crossed the channels and unknown time zones to subjugate the much-divided Muslim people as part of their superior nationalism perception and values that Muslims were inferior to the European race and could be used as subjects without human identity and as raw material to build the new Empires.

National freedom looks more like a hypothetical phenomenon rather than a political reality. India and Pakistan continued to be at war and political enemies as if national freedom had no practical meaning. The engagement with dubious past remained active and alive in politics. British colonialists had historic animosity towards Muslims as they occupied Moghul India in 1857 by forcibly removing its last Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and imprisoned him and his family in a garage in Rangoon, Burma where he died. British had small wisdom of seeing beyond the obvious but to Muslims, the loss of the Moghul Empire was the loss of an enriched progressive civilization.

British Educated Political Leaders Sought Freedom from the British Empire

Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Mohammad Iqbal, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Khan though educated in British intellectual traditions but articulated new mission and visions for national freedom as a revulsion against the British colonial political traditions and continuity of British Raj in India. Was this violent and ruthless indoctrination part of the British heritage or history-making efforts to besiege India forever? Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy made sure that Indians will remain loyal and committed subservient to the futuristic blending of so-called celebrated national freedom after the 1947 partition into India and Pakistan. British by design failed to deliver the truth of national freedom to both nations in a universal spirit of political responsibility and political accountability. Hindu mythology believes in “Mahabharata” (Greater India) and teaches school children that ‘Pakistan and Afghanistan’ are part of the “Mahabharata” plan. Abu Rihan al-Biruni, a 10th-century Muslim scholar wrote the first ever book: “Kitab ul-Hind” (Book on India), after living a decade with Hindu priests at various temples; he describes Hindus being extreme nationalists believing to be superior to other human races (caste system) and highly proud and prejudice to other people.

History could not have confined the tyranny and oppression of British imperialism policies and practices – “divide and rule” against the will of the Indian masses. Was it a disguised democracy inflicted on the Indian subjects? Canons of rationality clarify that national freedom granted to both new nations on August 14-15, 1947, was a fake chronology of time and history. Does it not signal a naïve and void imagination of national freedom professed by both nations since 1947? They continue to interact with one another as the most hated enemy of time and history, wars, the threat of nuclear arsenals, Kashmir dispute and worst of all lacking direct people to people contacts or business relationships – all seem to be part of a highly ruptured and purging pursuit of national freedom.

Entrapped Political Freedom and Colonized Elite doing the Wrong Things

Since the partition of 1947, India was overwhelmingly led by religious phenomenon of Hinduism under the pretext of secularism. Pakistan fell victim to military coups indoctrinated by British-trained military Generals making Islamic ideology fake imagery of the nation-state. Under PM Modi, Hinduism is the top priority to divide and rule India by social and political discards and infested hatred against the minority communities of Muslim, Sikh, Christian and so many others. India’s geography is enlarged every day by such religious-political conflicts. Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu extremism, Nehru died a natural death. Mohammad Ali Jinnah died on a Karachi roadside in a broken ambulance and Liaquat Ali Khan, the first highly acclaimed PM was murdered by Punjabi political enemies. After 75 years of lost time and opportunities, Pakistan under the dictatorship of various army Generals dismantled public institutions, devastated social and economic affairs, corrupt and indicted criminals turned politicians; most recently, Imran Khan – a new age visionary elected leader was abruptly dismissed by military intervention to drag the nation into havoc socio-political chaos and degenerating future.

British changed the sub-continent in 90 years, but Pakistan after 75 years has no viable system of political governance. Its home-grown enemies and traitors like ZA Bhutto, General Yahya Khan, Zardari, Sharifs and General Musharraf were more harmful than foreign enemies. The Five individualistic military coups and its by-product leaders flunked the originality of ideological Pakistan. They all escaped legal accountability for stolen wealth and heinous crimes against the people. Along with few military Generals, they were complacent in robbing the nation of its freedom, integrity, security and sustainable future. Pakistan lives in limbo with missing a legitimate system of political governance, public institutions and legal system of justice.

History will see the Leaders by their Actions, Not by their Claims

Contrary to Gandhi’s peace and non-violent political movement, shortly after the 1947 freedom, India invaded militarily and occupied some of the regional states wanting to join Pakistan as was Jammu and Kashmir, Hyderabad and Juna Gahar. Despite the UNO assurances of a democratic plebiscite in Kashmir, none of these issues were resolved to this day. A panoramic view of New Delhi’s Grand Mosque and famous Taj Mahal at Agra enlightens the foreign visitors with everlasting image of Islamic culture and civilization, not of obsessed Hindu mythology of political domination under PM Modi.

India under the Congress Party of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru evolved some of its political institutions and systems of people-oriented governance. They shared a vision for political change and secularism. At times, power was transferred peacefully to opposition groups. It did not happen in Pakistan as it fell victim to political conspiracies and military interventions losing its ideological originality and intellectual capacity for planned thinking, a system of governance and nation-building. In 1971, with the help of then Indian PM Indira Gandhi, ZA Bhutto and Sheikh Mujib Ur Rehman were installed as the new rulers of defeated Pakistan. Please see: “British Colonialism and How India and Pakistan Lost Freedom” .

How to imagine a New Future and Peaceful Co-existence?

Unless concerned intellectuals and politicians RETHINK for a Navigational Change, the Indian and Pakistani political horizon overshadows dark imagery of catastrophic nuclear and conventional conflicts. They desperately NEED new generation of educated, proactive and honest leaders to make a different future to happen. PM Modi is committed to Hindu extremism; he could be replaced in the next election as more Indian intellectuals are getting worried about national politics, human equality and future-making. If Imran Khan returns to power during the next election, it could be seen as a positive move for peaceful political change and stability away from the corrupt governance by military dictators. But the current chaotic political culture carries a lingering suspicion of naïve and egoistic Generals involvement in political configuration process. The evidence supports the alliance of indicted Bhuttos, Sharif’s, and some military Generals to remove Khan in a defunct National Assembly. If there is a fair system of justice, the current Chief of Staff General should be held accountable for his alleged intervention to oust Khan.

Likewise, Sharif brothers should face accountability for money laundering, stolen wealth and political mismanagement. Imran Khan needs intelligent advisors to plan political change with concerted actions. He lost four years of precious time but he was not corrupt and he did not kill or robbed any national treasury.

At the edge of REASON, a rational thinker and peacemaker would view extremism and violent assumptions of racial superiority as inhuman and immoral, be it Hinduism, Muslims or Europeanism could plague the sense of mystery and endanger the futuristic movement for change, security and normalization of human relationships. Progressive nations produce the best, most educated and intelligent people to assume leadership roles. Both Indian and Pakistani failed the demands of masses and of formative history for a change. PM Modi‘s Hindu nationalism will not move India to nation-building and peaceful future-making, and military Generals and affiliated corrupt and indicted criminals in Pakistan will be of no use to the security and future of Pakistan. The unchallengeable truth arising from the facts of history states that leaders either lead or they are imposters and stage puppets. Proactive vision and truth live in a spatial, pure and simple narrative. Pakistan and India need desperately new, educated and intelligent proactive leadership to facilitate friendship, resolution of major political problems and a sustainable future to exist in peace.