Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pakistan Watch - 3

At times of stress in their, national life, some Pakistanis take refuge in the notion that if they simply rename themselves, their problems will go away. For instance, for a while, they talked about their problems as being "South Asian" problems.

With the Taliban breathing down their neck, and with no coherent response from the state, such types are further retreating into the notion that they are the real India.

Here are two such. The first claims the heritage of India for "proto-Pakistan". Let us simply forget that the creation of Pakistan in 1947 was accompanied with an explicit rejection of such heritage. Forget that in subsequent years, Pakistani history is written to have begun with the invasion of Sindh by Muhammad bin Qasim in the seventh century AD. Forget what V.S. Naipaul (I think) told us, of the graffiti on the remains of the 2000BC city Harappa - "this is the fate of unbelievers". Just read an excerpt:
The Vedas, particularly the Rig Veda, with its strong avowal of monotheism, was written in proto-Pakistan. Auyurveda, the so-called Indian ancient system of medicine, now in great vogue in India, was compiled by Carak, a man from Multan, in proto-Pakistan. Classical Sanskrit was developed in proto-Pakistan. It was codified in the great Eight Chapters of Panini, a man from Swabi, in NWFP, proto-Pakistan. Kautilya/Canakya/Cankya, who wrote Arth Shaastar, and who is regarded as a huge Indian scholar, taught at Takshasila University, in proto-Pakistan.
Yoga, the ‘Indian’ system of health and meditation (and Sankhya philosophy, the cornerstone of Hinduism - a name given by the British, in the eighteenth century, to the diverse cults in proto-India - was codified by Patanjali, a man from Multan, in proto- Pakistan as the Yog Sutr..
The idea being promoted in the essay is that it is Pakistan that deserves the support that derives from any interest in the West in ancient (pre-Islamic) Indian culture.

(Snark) Anyone who cannot pronounce "tra" (as in Arth Shaastra) can hardly claim to be a descendant of the Sanskritic civilization.

The second argues thusly
...Hindus do not have the name for their own country - they have swindled us of our name “India” - which had been ours exclusively.

Indian Muslims on either side of the border have never been ‘Pakistanis’ and Hindus on either side of the border have never been ‘Indians’ - We have been ‘Indian Muslims’ throughout and they have been ‘Bharati Hindus’ throughout. Similarly Indian Muslims have never ever named their homeland as Pakistan during their 1000-year rule - and ‘Bharati Hindus’ have never ever named their homeland as India, before the Muslims rule.
The word, Pakistan has no real historical meaning and had never ever been a word or entity that had been written or entered in any dictionary or encyclopedia in any part of the world.

Why does it matter whether the people are called Pakistani or some other name?
A goodwill name does not come by overnight - it takes centuries and years that a goodwill name is established and recognized.

Namely, rename Pakistan "The Islamic Republic of India" and suddenly it becomes the recepient of goodwill that was in the centuries in the making.