By Justice Markandey Katju-
I have a dear friend, an Indian Muslim, and who has been living and working as an IT professional in the US for about 20 years.
He grew up in a small town in western UP, and by sheer hard work has risen to a high position in America.
I have been writing a lot of articles lately about developments in Pakistan, which he has been following, and the last one is here.
On reading this, he spoke to me on WhatsApp and said that it appeared that I am more interested in Pakistan’s affairs than India’s.
He said Satyapal Malik had made a lot of statements about the Indian army and our political leaders, and they were really serious, and I should write something on those allegations as well. He said he was less interested in Pakistan’s affairs and more in India’s issues.
I responded by saying that I regard India and Pakistan as one country, so developments in Pakistan are developments in India. Unless he understands this he will understand nothing .
He replied that even if we consider India and Pakistan as one country, which, according to him they are not, this is a hypothetical argument. We still need to write more on the bigger part of the geo-group, which is India.
I replied that the most important developments in India today are taking place in that part of India called Pakistan, where a fierce struggle is going on between democratic and fascist forces.
As regards my contention that India and Pakistan are really one country, I advised him to carefully read my articles ‘The puppeteeer and the puppets‘ and ‘Indian reunification is an idea whose time has come‘ published on this very site.
I said that India’s Partition in 1947 was a British swindle on the basis of the bogus two-nation theory (that Hindus and Muslims are two different nations). We are one nation, sharing the same culture, and were one since Mughal times.
To those who say much time has elapsed since 1947, my reply is Germany was reunited in 1990 after 45 years of separation, and Vietnam in 1975 after 30 years of partition.
Mazzini was called a dreamer when he spoke of Italian unification, but the ‘dream’ became a reality thanks to Cavour and Garibaldi. So time is immaterial.
I told my friend that since he believed that India and Pakistan are two different nations, he must logically subscribe to the two-nation theory that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations, and therefore he, being a Muslim, and I, being a Hindu, belong to two different nations.
If he agreed that the two-nation theory was bogus, as any sensible person would, then he must logically agree with me that Partition was a historical British swindle, and that Pakistan is a fake, artificial country, and will one day surely reunite with India (along with Bangladesh). It is as simple as 2+2=4.
He replied that I may have my own perspective, but others may have a different one, and ignoring or demeaning any other perspective is not rational, and is not the correct approach in a free world and open democratic society.
He said India and Pakistan were no doubt part of the same origin, but now they have different systems and different societies, and all nations in the world recognise them as different countries.
The two nation theory may not have been a good idea, but the reality is that today India and Pakistan are now two different countries. He also said I am playing it safe by not writing about India.
I replied that firstly not all things have two or more perspectives. 2+2=4 has only one perspective. There may be a debate on several issues, but there can be none on several others.
For instance, there can be no debate on the proposition that India must create a political and social system which enables us to rapidly modernise and industrialise, so as to abolish the curse of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, lack of proper healthcare and good education for our masses. Certain things have only one rational perspective, and all others are fallacious.
Secondly, it does not matter whether the whole world recognizes Pakistan as a country separate from India, and only Markandey Katju does not. At one time the whole world believed that the sun goes around the earth (the geocentric theory), and only one man Copernicus believed it was vice versa, i.e. that the earth goes around the sun (the heliocentric theory).
The point is, who represents the truth?
Thirdly, it is not true that I am playing it safe by not writing about India. I have written innumerable articles about India. But today to my mind the most important developments taking place in the Indian subcontinent are not the victory of Congress in Karnataka, turmoil in Manipur, etc, but the fierce struggle in Pakistan (which I regard as part of India, only temporarily separated from it by a wicked British machination) between the democratic forces led by Imran Khan, and the fascist forces unleashed by the Pakistan army, abetted by the corrupt PDM leaders, a party that has imposed a reign of terror in Pakistan.