Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blaming the heroes

India is in a row over Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah, the founding leader of Pakistan. He praised him for his secular credentials that later got a supportive argument from K Sundarshan, the retired RSS chief himself. While BJP battles internal unrest bitten by two consecutive defeats in national polls, this new political upheavel becomes important. First, it came out of BJP a political avatar of Hindu Mahasabha that has its roots planted in denial of two nation theory that many blame Jinnah for. Second the leaders who said and gave support to this argument have been associated with BJP for more than a few decades. This episode is also important as it challenges the history that is being taught in schools at both sides of the border. Today as we see it, probably partition was a good thing at least for India. The cancer that has spread across the world emanating from a region of Pakistan, even though has victimized India but not to an extent that it would have been if India and Pakistan were a one big nation. It is also unfortunate that heroes are judged on the decisions they made generations ago. Maturity of a nation is when it knows, admits and corrects the blunders of leaders of past and moves on. As it turns out Jinnah changed himself to what he was not and never believed in, because of indifferent attitude of some of the leaders of the then freedom movement. While Gandhi saw an opportunity in garnering support of Muslims for freedom from British rule in Caliphet movement of Turkey, Jinnah took a more pragmatic approach and opposed it on the grounds of no association of Caliphas with Indian muslims. It was not because he wanted the British rule but because it had no Indian roots in it. This position should be saluted. Personalities collided and decisions were made based on egos. As much one theory failed the other succeeded but neither of the two sides of leaders were responsible for either its successes or failures. Decision to not buy an umbrella because it did not rain can not be used as an argument to prove of one being a visionary. Every human has a Ram and a Ravana inside him, but he is judged based on when he brings out who. While Jinnah was a hurt soul, Nehru a stubborn visionary, Patel had to save what was to be left. They all had to play a role in history and they did for never to be forgotten. Now what? Pakistan is a reality and India is a reality only the truth is not real. It is time to move on as the past fades away in oblivion.

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