Thursday, August 25, 2016

Creating an identity for Pakistan!
A book written by Aitzaz Ahsan, Pakistan Senate member, former minister and noted lawyer is seen discussed currently. Indus Saga and the making of Pakistan written twenty years back is interesting in the sense it was an attempt to provide a new framework to the identity of Pakistan without any “hyphenation” with India! The title of the book is a bit funny as it tries to connect Pakistan alone, a bit of former Bharat Varsha, a splinter and product of the communal divide in undivided India, which came into being in 1947 with a Bronz-age civilisation that emerged circa 2600 BCE along the Indus River valley in Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. How is this possible?

Well, for Aitzaz Ahsan it is elementary! Based on the Aryan Invasion Theory, that postulated that the Indus valley civilisation and Ganges civilisation were separate, he links back the Pakistani identity to the Indus Valley civilisation, maintaining that the identity of the people of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa was different from those living in the Gangetic plains. So clever?

In the embarrassing context of being classified as invaders, and hence outsiders along with the Muslims, the Christian missionaries who doubled as Indologist-historians invented a theory to describe the Aryans also as colonisers damaging their claim that they are the original inhabitants of this land! This effectively sowed the seeds of cultural divisiveness such as the Dravidian. With the Marxian historiographers assiduously propagating a theory of “many nationalities” in India, the now-disproved Aryan invasion theory had inflicted considerable damage to “the idea of India”, and unfortunately will continue to do so more many years.

I think it was in his book “The Myth of Independence” that I was astonished to read (in the extracts) Z A Bhutto stupidly delineating the history of Pakistan in a purely Islamic framework, staking claim to the advent of human civilization as seen in the archaeological sites, and describing even the pre-Mogul period wars as fought by “us,” and so on!

Aitzaz Ahsan in his book appears to employ a more crooked sophistry, building upon the assumption that Indus valley civilisation and Ganges civilisation were separate in order to pre-date and also validate the two-nation theory! Just because Radcliffe award placed the two major Indus valley sites in Pakistan, and that country is in control of archaeological ruins that researchers believe to be the origin of the Indian civilisation. But this is a civilisation that Pakistan onc wanted to dissociate from while struggling to carve its own separate Islamic history.

For example, the religious party Jamaat-i-Islami has been taking pains to deride the famed archaeological sites in the present-day Pakistan as belonging to the zamana-e-jahalliya, a pre-Islamic period when human civilisation was in a state of ignorance and darkness! As history writing is imposing a pattern on events that took place in the past Pakistanis cannot be faulted for creating a “nationalist fantasy” out of available material. After all, neither Bhutto, nor Aitzaz Ahsan is a historian. Look at what some of our historians were doing, knowing very well that their “research” and results create divisions in society; and indeed pave the way for national disintegration! Perhaps they intended to! Now their books will have now quotes from the research findings of Aitzaz Ahsan!

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