Archive for December 15th, 2008

WHY INDIA’S ENGLISH PRINT MEDIA COMPLETELY BLACKED OUT THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWS OF THE SHOE-BASHING OF PRESIDENT BUSH? By Ghulam Muhammed

December 15, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

WHY INDIA’S ENGLISH PRINT MEDIA COMPLETELY BLACKED OUT THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWS OF THE SHOE-BASHING OF PRESIDENT BUSH?

They certainly behaved more loyal than the King. Except for The Indian Express, which published on page:13, the news of US President Bush being hit by a pair of shoes by an Iraqi journalist in his press conference in Baghdad, while saying farewell to Iraqi President Nuri al Malaki. Even though TIMES NOW and other TV channels had promptly carried the live footage as breaking news, it is an enigma, why the print media got the cold feet. If they had been cautioned by the UPA government, why not the TV channel? In fact, it was the most dramatic and historic moment in the Bush presidency’s saga of ignominy and infamy. And a fitting one at that! No amount of scorn and contempt could have been recorded for the posterity to watch in live footage than this simple act of Arab degradation to register how much Bush has brought down the prestige of the mighty USA. An Iraqi, one of the millions that carry the wounds of Bush family’s wanton destruction of their people and their country, a journalist could not bear to hold back at the supposedly solemn ceremony of the farewell of the departing President that ravaged Iraqi people, and hit it out by throwing his shoes one after the other at the person of the US President of the world’s most powerful nation. “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!”, shouted Muntader al-Zaidi, 28, when he hurled his shoes at President Bush. Bush ducked the shoe with remarkable agility. The second shoe too missed the target bodily, but hit the bull mark, with the words: “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”

It is an act of great shame that the peeved India, the moral standard bearer of the world at a time, should be compromising its very soul, its very ethos and had no word to condemn the US, for its illegal invasion of Iraq, and that too on false pretexts. India, now under the rule of the pygmies, in the shadow of giants like Nehru and Gandhi, has sold it freedom, its moral authority, its place in the comity of the nations of the world, as the voice of reason, justice and fair-play; always siding with the victims of the colonial brutalities and imperial conquests, never forgetting the trial and tribulations of its own freedom fighters, is now being trampled by every Tom, Dick and Harry from the US/UK/Israel axis, who can buy a plane ticket to New Delhi. It was not very much in the past, when the US Ambassador was to face a public outcry when he tried to lecture India, as how to run their country. Today, the ambassador of Israel has the audacity to castigate Indian leaders publicly for their negligence in not preventing the terror attack on Mumbai. The media slavishly carried his diatribe. The Prime Minister and External Affairs minister took the public reprimand and kept quite. Nobody is asking Israel, what Israeli citizens are doing in India. Who gave them permission to run a charity mission in Mumbai, which can become a center of conspiracy, at any time of Israel’s choosing? India was dragged into Afghanistan imbroglio and it is that colossal mistake that is the beginning of India’s misfortunes, starting with the Mumbai terror attack. Why our ‘war’ navy vessels should cross over to Somalia to hunt the pirates, when our own coast are so unguarded and unsecured. Who pushed India to show its naval might across the Indian Ocean, while our coast is so naked and open to invaders from the sea? What kind of conspiracy was hatched to entangle India into the great game?

And the patriotic media is silent. It is afraid to even report an event that it presumed to be further humiliation of India’s new strategic partner that has the same role of ignominy chalked out for India.

It is still time for India, to get out of the northern trap and keep Pakistan as a buffer state, between us and the wild horde of the north. It is still time for India, to say, enough is enough.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

http://www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

Media complicity in Mumbai terror – By Sunil Adam – thehoot.org

December 15, 2008

http://www.thehoot.org/web/home/story.php?storyid=3501&mod=1&pg=1&sectionId=1&valid=truehttp://www.thehoot.org/web/home/story.php?storyid=3501&mod=1&pg=1&sectionId=1&valid=true

Media complicity in Mumbai terror

The visual media and terrorism have a mutually reinforcing relationship, which needs to be broken to the detriment of the latter, says SUNIL ADAM

Posted Tuesday, Dec 09 12:50:05, 2008

The terror strategists who orchestrated the diabolical attacks in Mumbai have apparently decided that global audiences have become inured to images of suicide missions triggering spectacular explosions and mass killings.

Their altered tactic — to stage a protracted carnage at high-value venues that guarantee greater number of victims and help create a psychological state of siege disproportionate to the actual scale of the violence — has paid off handsomely.

By injecting a “human” element into the violence – allowing victims to have “face-time” with the perpetrators, and, vicariously, with millions of television viewers, the strategists have managed to amplify the coldblooded nature of their mission. In contrast, as Brian Jenkins of the Rand Corporation said recently citing intelligence reports, the Jihadist terrorists have come to regard the remote triggering of IEDs and suicide bombings as too impersonal and not “manly” enough.

But what ensured the stupendous success of the Mumbai terrorists was the saturated coverage by international television networks, fueled by a weak news cycle over the Thanksgiving weekend in America. It was “propaganda by deed” at its best, considering that the actual organization behind the attacks didn’t bother to claim credit or make demands or issue a communiqué.

The success of this strategy is likely to motivate terrorists to stage similar attacks, possibly in Europe, if not in the United States. It will not be farfetched to imagine suicide attackers targeting, say, different venues of the Cannes Film Festival, killing dozens of international celebrities and stars — a feat that would assure them unprecedented media attention.

Curiously, while media coverage has always been central to terrorists’ strategy, it has never been factored into counterterrorism policies of targeted governments. Unlike conventional violence, which involves a perpetrator and a victim, terrorism is a triadic tactic involving a perpetrator, a victim and an audience. In other words, a terrorist needs targets as well as objects of violence. The former has no value without the latter.

For instance, without underestimating the trauma caused by the terrorist attacks on 9/11, it is plausible to assume that the impact would have been very different had the TV networks not endlessly broadcast the images of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers. Because there were no images of the downing of United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania and no dramatic footage of the plane crashing into the Pentagon building, they are not etched in popular memory the same way as the attacks and collapse of the Twin Towers are.

It is pertinent here to note that the media coverage of terrorism also has a bearing on the response of the governments. In his seminal work, “Mini Manual of the Urban Guerrilla,” Brazilian terrorist and thinker Carlos Marighella says the whole idea of staging spectacular attacks is to make the target government “overreact.”

The greater the media coverage, the greater the pressure on the government to demonstrate that it is in control, which invariably results in excessive measures that cause inconvenience to and harassment of ordinary citizens. Worse still, overreaction transforms a political situation into a military situation, as Marighella envisages.

That is precisely what the Indian government needs to resist as it contemplates its responses to the Mumbai terror outrage and that is what the Bush administration did not factor in when it declared “war” against the perpetrators of 9/11 attacks. If anything, President Bush compounded the situation by waging a war against Iraq in the mistaken assumption that a demonstration of overwhelming military power against a renegade state will send a message to the nonstate actors.

Counterterrorism’s conceptual lacuna of not factoring in media coverage becomes all the more glaring when we take into consideration that there are no foolproof ways to prevent each and every act of terrorism, let alone suicide attacks that are virtually indefensible.

No amount of intelligence gathering and monitoring of “chatter” or erecting security barriers to secure vulnerable targets can stop every planned attack. Not if all target-rich democracies are potential theaters of terrorist operations. The only option is to neutralize the efficacy of terrorism as an instrument of propaganda.

Nearly 40 years ago, when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) assembled 60 international television networks and blew up three hijacked, but empty, Boeing aircrafts at Dawson airfield in Amman, Jordan, it became obvious that without the media coverage of terrorism would be reduced to what it actually is: a low-intensity and indiscriminate violence perpetrated by a small number of non-state actors with limited resources and reach.

Yet, no effort has ever been made to curtail media coverage on the plea that it would be an affront to the freedom of the press and amount to an undemocratic measure of censorship.

But that wouldn’t be the case, if there is a voluntary effort by the media itself. After all, over the past two decades, and certainly since 9/11, citizens, institutions and businesses in every country that has been a target of terrorism have made sacrifices and accepted restrictions on their freedoms, in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks.

It is only the Fifth Estate that seems to be exempt from contributing to this global effort. If anything, the visual media, particularly the American television networks that broadcast globally, have profited from greater viewership, thanks to the coverage of terrorist activities that have gone up exponentially in recent years.

The visual media and terrorism have a mutually reinforcing relationship, which needs to be broken to the detriment of the latter.

As for the issue of press freedom, the news media, particularly in America, are not unfamiliar with either self-censorship in the interest of national security or entering into deals with the local, state and federal governments for specific purposes in the larger interest of the audience they serve.

Even if one should consider Islamic terrorism as a generational phenomenon that will dissipate when the conditions that breed it change for the better — not unlike the radical terrorism of the 1960s and 1970s – terrorism as a weapon of political struggle will remain, in this media-driven global village, an attractive option for future subnational actors with new causes.

Liberal democracies cannot afford to let the freedom of the press continue to serve the forces that seek to undermine them. Perhaps, it is time for an international conference of leading media organizations to discuss and consider guidelines for an appropriate embargo on terrorism coverage.

Sunil Adam is the editor of The Indian American, a general-interest magazine published from New York. He has been a commentator on issues related to international terrorism for nearly two decades.

ASSESS GROUND SITUATION IN PAK WELL BEFORE WE RESPOND – By Seema Mustafa – THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL, MUMBAI

December 15, 2008


ASSESS GROUND SITUATION IN PAK WELL BEFORE WE RESPOND

By Seema Mustafa

“Non state actors are operating from a particular country. What we are most respectfully submitting, suggesting to the government of Pakistan: please act. Mere expression of intention is not adequate,” said minister of external affairs Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament. The Zardari government, faced with an ultimatum of sorts from Washington, has cracked down on the Lashkar e Tayaba and its parent organization at Muridke at Lahore.

But this is just the tip of the problem. The sophisticated terrorist attack in Mumbai where ten ‘commandos’ traveled 600 nautical miles by sea escaping Indian intelligence and patrolling, to launch a three day long ‘operation’ does not have the LeT stamp. The recruits might have been LeT, of for that matter Hizb, or al Qaeda, or what have you operatives but the training was of a far superior caliber than what had been visible here in the past. It must be pointed out that the Lashkar was used largely by the Pakistan army and ISI in Jammu and Kashmir, and for a while now has been straining at the leash within Pakistan, to move towards the Afghan border. But pressure from both the Pakistan government and the US has prevented these chaps from indulging in anti-US and anti-NATO warfare in Afghanistan, with even senior LeT leaders arrested a while ago to prevent them from shifting their area of operations.

These ten men were very different from the LeT chaps, with better training, far more sophisticated weaponry, and a certain ruthlessness and determination that had our NSG commandos giving them “full marks” for holding out for three full days. These were also an indicator in the shift that has taken place within Pakistan or its sanctuaries, where the war against the US and its allies is going to be waged in countries like India where the security network is porous and penetrated with comparative ease. It is also clear that the Pakistan government had little knowledge of the operation, although it cannot be said with any certainty that sections of the army and the ISI were equally ignorant. What has not been determined as yet, and might never be, is whether the top echelons of the Pakistan military were involved in the training and deployment of the terrorists?

One is saying this, as the disaffection within the Pakistan army is well known. Retired generals and ISI chiefs like Hamid Gul told this correspondent earlier this year that the army was resentful and angry about being involved in the operations against its own people in the villages neighbouring Afghanistan, and that there had been large scale desertions of both soldiers and officers. They said that the Pakistan army could have managed an odd operation or two against its own people, but this sustained warfare had taken a major toll. More so, as the Pakistan army looked upon the Pathans and others in the border areas as its own, and had trained these people earlier to fight the Russians when the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan. “They do not look at all this as terrorism, they are now fighting the US,” is how the retired army generals in Islamabad put it, pointing out that military action was placing the army and “its own people” in direct conflict.

The Pakistan army, under US and international pressure to do more and more, has been finding the going very difficult and it would, thus, not be surprising if sections within decided to conduct a parallel war of the kind that the world witnessed in Mumbai. After all, the battle insofar as the Pakistan army is concerned, is for survival and for Afghanistan that it has always looked upon as its own territory and is particularly upset at having been reduced to a virtual cipher therein. This is one of the main reasons why former President Pervez Musharraf was struggling earlier to convince the Americans of using the army’s expertise to differentiate between the good and the bad Taliban, and reach some kind of a solution through negotiations with the former.

Pakistanis have always been very worried, and this applies also to the man on the street, of the vulnerability of its mainland to an Indian attack. They have always looked to Afghanistan for strategic depth, and are now particularly worried about having lost this in the global war against terror. It is a well known fact that when the US invaded Afghanistan, Islamabad pleaded with it not to bring in the Northern Alliance into the government. This was largely because of the close links between India and the Northern Alliance, and Pakistan fought till the very end to try and keep New Delhi out of Afghanistan. Instead, India opened more consulates and has become very active in the construction of strategic roads in Afghanistan, linking it to Iran and other countries.

The Pakistan army has been facing the brunt of the war on terror, and there is a certain disconnect between it and the Zardari government. The army is not particularly fond of the new President, and does not have very good links with the political parties in power at the moment. It is working as a virtually independent institution, clear from the fact that when India summoned the ISI chief to Delhi, the first response of the civilian government was a “yes.” It was only after the army put its foot down that the ISI general was not sent to India, and Zardari also toughened his responses to be more in tune with the army line. Interestingly civil society in Pakistan is closer to the army’s denial of involvement, with even progressive Pakistanis in a state of denial insofar as the involvement of the LeT and other groups in the Mumbai attack is concerned. This is particularly interesting, as for the last few years, many in Pakistan’s civil society were vociferous in their opposition to home grown terrorism. And the media was also particularly forthcoming in carrying detailed investigation of the terror camps, with critical editorials carried by several newspapers from time to time.

India will have to fine tune its response according to the reality on the ground, and not confine its responses to the LeT that is not the problem. Perhaps not even a symptom any longer. There is a deep churning going on within the Pakistan military and that has to be understood and factored in by our policy makers. Is it the beginning of the end of the army as an institution? Are we looking at a situation where the Pakistan army will become a renegade force out of the control of not just the Americans but its own political masters? If so, how will this impact on India? Remember, in a situation where the command and control of nuclear weapons in Pakistan is not absolutely clear to the outside world, who will be in charge of that briefcase with the little button that can spell disaster for not just this region, but the entire world?

Iraqi Journalist Hurls Shoes at Bush – The New York Times

December 15, 2008

Iraqi Journalist Hurls Shoes at Bush

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq tried to block a shoe that was thrown at President Bush at a news conference on Sunday in Baghdad. He was not hit.

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and ALISSA J. RUBIN
Published: December 14, 2008

BAGHDAD — President Bush made a valedictory visit on Sunday to Iraq, the country that will largely define his legacy, but the trip will more likely be remembered for the unscripted moment when an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at Mr. Bush’s head and denounced him on live television as a “dog” who had delivered death and sorrow here from nearly six years of war.

President Bush, on a surprise trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, got a taste of dissent at a Baghdad press event Sunday when an Iraqi journalist threw shoes at him, forcing him to duck.

A man was wrestled to the ground after throwing his shoes at President Bush during a news conference.

The drama unfolded shortly after Mr. Bush appeared at a news conference in Baghdad with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to highlight the newly adopted security agreement between the United States and Iraq. The agreement includes a commitment to withdraw all American forces by the end of 2011.

The Iraqi journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, 28, a correspondent for Al Baghdadia, an independent Iraqi television station, stood up about 12 feet from Mr. Bush and shouted in Arabic: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” He then threw a shoe at Mr. Bush, who ducked and narrowly avoided it.

As stunned security agents and guards, officials and journalists watched, Mr. Zaidi then threw his other shoe, shouting in Arabic, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!” That shoe also narrowly missed Mr. Bush as Prime Minister Maliki stuck a hand in front of the president’s face to help shield him.

Mr. Maliki’s security agents jumped on the man, wrestled him to the floor and hustled him out of the room. They kicked him and beat him until “he was crying like a woman,” said Mohammed Taher, a reporter for Afaq, a television station owned by the Dawa Party, which is led by Mr. Maliki. Mr. Zaidi was then detained on unspecified charges.

Other Iraqi journalists in the front row apologized to Mr. Bush, who was uninjured and tried to brush off the incident by making a joke. “All I can report is it is a size 10,” he said, continuing to take questions and noting the apologies. He also called the incident a sign of democracy, saying, “That’s what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves,” as the man’s screaming could be heard outside.

But the moment clearly unnerved Mr. Maliki’s aides and some of the Americans in Mr. Bush’s entourage, partly because it was televised and may have revealed a security lapse in the so-called Green Zone, the most heavily secured part of Baghdad.

In the chaos, Dana M. Perino, the White House press secretary, who was visibly distraught, was struck in the eye by a microphone stand.

Mr. Bush visited Iraq as part of an unannounced trip that later took him to Afghanistan, where he was meeting on Monday with American troops and President Hamid Karzai.

The shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad punctuated Mr. Bush’s visit here — his fourth — in a deeply symbolic way, reflecting the conflicted views in Iraq of a man who toppled Saddam Hussein, ordered the occupation of the country and brought it freedoms unthinkable under Mr. Hussein’s rule but at enormous costs.

Hitting someone with a shoe is considered the supreme insult in Iraq. It means that the target is even lower than the shoe, which is always on the ground and dirty. Crowds hurled their shoes at the giant statue of Mr. Hussein that stood in Baghdad’s Firdos Square before helping American marines pull it down on April 9, 2003, the day the capital fell. More recently in the same square, a far bigger crowd composed of Iraqis who had opposed the security agreement flung their shoes at an effigy of Mr. Bush before burning it.

Friends described Mr. Zaidi as a devoted journalist. “He was committed to his job and after training in Lebanon became chief of correspondents about a month ago,” said Haider Nassar, who worked with him at Baghdadia.

“He had bad feelings about the coalition forces,” said Mr. Nassar, referring to the American-led foreign forces in Iraq. Mr. Nassar also said Mr. Zaidi had asked to cover the news conference. Another friend said Mr. Zaidi often ended his reports by saying, “Reporting from occupied Baghdad, this is Muntader al-Zaidi.”

Like many Iraqi reporters at the news conference, Mr. Nassar said he did not think this was an effective way for Mr. Zaidi to make his points. “This is so silly; it’s just the behavior of an individual,” Mr. Nassar said. “He destroyed his future.”

The television channel broadcast a request for Mr. Zaidi’s release in the name of democracy and freedom of speech. “Any procedure against Muntader will remind us of the behavior of the dictatorship and their violent actions, random detentions and mass graves,” the channel said. “Baghdadia TV channel also demands that the international and Iraqi television organizations cooperate in seeking the release of Muntader Zaidi.”

Shortly before 10 p.m., Mr. Bush headed from the Green Zone by helicopter to Camp Victory, where he was greeted with cheers and whoops from hundreds of soldiers inside the enormous rotunda of Al Faw palace. Speaking at a lectern beneath an enormous American flag that nearly reached the domed ceiling, he praised the soldiers and reflected on the sacrifices of those who had died.

He called the increased deployment of American troops in Iraq last year, a strategy known as the surge, which is credited with helping reduce violence here, “one of the greatest successes in the history of the United States military.”

Mr. Bush’s arrival in Iraq during daylight hours was one measure of progress; his first visit on Thanksgiving Day 2003 took place entirely at night.

As with previous visits, preparations were secretive and carried out with ruse. The White House schedule for Sunday had Mr. Bush attending the “Christmas in Washington” performance at the National Building Museum in downtown Washington. Instead, he left the White House by car on Saturday night, arriving at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland at 9 p.m. to board Air Force One. A dozen journalists accompanying him were told of the trip only on Friday and allowed to tell only a superior and a spouse — and only in person.

At his news conference with Mr. Maliki, Mr. Bush described the security agreement as a landmark, signaling a new era in the war he began in the spring of 2003. “There is still more work to be done,” the president said about the war, but with the security agreement and “the courage of the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi troops and the American troops and civilian personnel, it is decisively on its way to be won.”

Mr. Maliki’s partnership with Mr. Bush and his backing of the security deal are unlikely to help him much once Mr. Bush leaves office.

Although a majority in the Iraqi Parliament approved the agreement, on the street, Iraqis have mixed views. Many distrust any pact made with an occupying power, and while Mr. Bush is appreciated for having overthrown Mr. Hussein, he is widely blamed for the violence that raged in the years after the war, which prompted more than a million Iraqis to flee and killed tens of thousands of civilians.

Still, Mr. Bush’s stalwart support for Mr. Maliki — after an initial period when the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, expressed doubts about him — has been a bulwark against domestic political forces who sought to topple him.

With the American president’s term ending, Iraqi politicians from parties other than Mr. Maliki’s have been discussing whether to force the prime minister out with a no-confidence vote. This is not the first time his ouster has been discussed, but with American power in Iraq on the wane and troop numbers beginning to decline in earnest, it seems a more serious threat.

Weighing against it happening, however, is that there is no agreement on Mr. Maliki’s successor or on how to divide cabinet posts. The posts are split among the political blocs that control Parliament and they would be loath to give up anything they had unless they were assured that they would get another position at least as good.

Atheer Kakan, Tareq Maher and Mudafer Husseini contributed reporting.

Akbar’s misplaced perception of ‘hatred’ – a rejoinder By M.T. Hussain, Dhaka

December 15, 2008


14 December 2008

Akbar’s misplaced perception of ‘hatred’ – a rejoinder By M.T. Hussain, Dhaka

This has a reference to the Indian journalist Mr. M J Akbar’s item published in a Dhaka English daily on the 12th December, 2008, wherein he has blamed the Muslim League leader Jinnah for his Two Nation Theory that, according to him, gave birth to ‘hatred’ and the partition of the British India in 1947. How much he was right?

The historical truth is that during the colonial British rule in India for two centuries (1757-1947), misfortunes fell no doubt on the whole population, but the Muslims as a religious group felt more badly than any other religious group en bloc. The Muslims’ feeling so perceived might not have been reasonable as some of the Congress leaders did maintain, but the Muslims in general had that feeling generated not in a day or two but for many valid reasons over the period of the British rule.

The alienation of the Muslims from the British and their native good boys had many good valid reasons. First, the Muslims en bloc turned almost pauper in matter of decades beginning enforcement of the Permanent land settlement in 1793 A.D. by forfeiture of almost all of their landed property that remained theirs for centuries. The final blow was the application of the so-called Sun Set Law in 1841 that took away the remnant few of some other Muslims landed property. In addition, the Muslim learned society was also labeled in reality as uneducated almost overnight through introduction of the English education system abandoning formally in 1835 the century old but developed Muslim education system and then in two years replacement of the official Persian language until then for centuries in India had been the Muslims media for higher education by English. Thus poverty in terms of economic fortune and ignorance so far as higher level of learning was concerned became the obvious fate of the Muslims who earlier had been fortunate on both accounts. Such changes of socio-economic status had the impact not only in backwardness but also instilling a sort of inferiority complex and alienation from both the British rulers and the newly emerging native elite who happened to be all non-Muslims. Another stark reality was that as the English historian and highly learned and experienced bureaucrat William Wilson Hunter had in 1871 stated very clearly how the well off Muslims in about one hundred years of the British rule in India became poor and destitute.

There were, no doubt, other poor Muslims even during the Muslim rule, but their richer co-religionists would maintain and care for them in needs. Unfortunately, when the richer and educated ones turned poor and disadvantaged except very few, the whole Muslim mass had nothing but complete darkness all around.

The other crucial fact was that the Muslims of Bengal, of East Bengal, in particular, had the worst exploitation suffered not only for the British rule but also more so for their henchmen but native lackeys who perpetrated torture and inflicted exploitation of the most cruel nature. Poet Rabi Thakur’s epic poem ‘Dui Bigha Zami’ is a replica of the cruelty of the landlords during the British rule whose overwhelming large numbers in East Bengal happened to be the Hindus but their tenants at will Muslims- subsistence farmers, day laborers, artisans etc. who had short of bare necessities to sustain life and living.

Such subjective conditions prevailing in society made the Muslim League gradually popular as the people through growing awareness and so shied away not only from the better organized Congress but also from the Krisak Sramik Proja Party led by the early nineteen thirties charismatic leader of Bengal, a Muslim, A.K. Fazlul Haq.

Whatever might have been others appreciation about the psyche for the shying away, the Muslims felt akin with the Muslim League and they made it themselves popular organization by 1940s, particularly when Muhammad Ali Jinnah took up its leadership at the second go in mid 1930s.

Jinnah was an astute politician, if not a statesman. He developed his own strategy for the disadvantaged Muslims of the subcontinent, to win over both the British and the Congress. The Two Nation Theory happened to be his effective strategy to establish a Muslim majority nation out of the Himalayan sub-continent along with the departure of the British granting self rule and independence. As soon as that was achieved due to his strong iron will thus defeating all adversaries and Pakistan got to its start on the 14th August 1947, he took not long time to redefine the nature of the country as a modern democratic and welfare nation guarantying equal rights and protections to all citizens of the country irrespective of religion, race, caste, ethnicity etc.

As is known to all Jinnah was never a communal Muslim who bread hatred as no Muslim can be. He had been a Congress worker and leader for decades and afterwards getting tired of the Hindu Congress leaders, not in personality score but for perceptional difference in problem solving, he parted with the Congress for good and joined the Muslim League providing full dedication and commitment. The Muslims, as well, deeply appreciated his commitment and took him as their Great Leader or the Quaid E Azam. Incidentally, the term Great Leader, was first conferred to him in address not by the Muslims but by the India’s great leader M.K. Gandhi.

He was so broad minded and liberal in thinking that even after the Muslim mass and the other League leaders had been fully committed to secure independent Pakistan, he went on trying compromising formula to keep India united as per the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946. He went further on and nodded go ahead to Huseyn Shaheed Sohrawardy and Sarat Bose to make greater Bengal independent, not only keeping that outside the proposed Pakistan but also of independent India, if the other party or the Congress would accede to any such proposition. Unfortunately, the greater Bengal plan failed just as the Cabinet Mission Plan not for Jinnah’s ‘hatred’ of anybody but for the clear hatred of the Congress leaders like Nehru, Patel etc. Is this not the truth of history?