Monday, January 3, 2011

From ‘Across the Wagah. An Indian's sojourn in Pakistan’ by Maneesha Tikekar

Borders are scratched across the hearts of men

By stranges with a calm, judicial pen,

And when the borders bleed we watch with dread

The lines of ink across the map turn red

- Marya Mannes

Muslims claimed to be a separate nation …….. the demand for a separate Muslim state ……..came primarily from the United Province, Bihar and Hyderabad for fear of being submerged in the Hindu majority. Ironically the Muslim majority provinces of India except Bengal joined the movement almost at it's fag end.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah ………. His oft-quoted Presidential address in the Constituent Assembly ………

You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state … in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense … but in the political sense as citizens of the state.

Pakistani Army ………….its almost mono-ethnic composition …. Is predominantly Punjabi with …… 65 to 70 per cent and Pakhtuns constituting 25 per cent of it's strength

……. At least 69 spoken and living languages in Pakistan out of which 16 could be said to be major. …….. of the 97 per cent Muslim population Sunnis constitute 70 per cent and Shias 20.

I was told that there are also some Hindu and Sikh tribes in Balochistan and most interestingly even a ‘Marhatti’ tribe. ……….. they could be the Maratha soldiers taken as slaves by Ahmad Shah Abdali in the third battle of Panipat in 1761, when he defeated the Maratha forces. Baloch sardars who had assisted Abdali in the battle got most of the slaves as the bounty of war


Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, spoken by eight per cent of the country’s population as mother tongue today. But none of the linguistic groups from the region that became Pakistan ever spoke Urdu. It was spoken by the U.P. and Bihari Muslims who were at the forefront in the Pakistan Movement and who came to dominate Pakistani Government and administration after their migration to the new country. The language of barely three per cent of the people in 1947 became the national language overnight and was instantly converted into a symbol of Pakistani patriotism …….. Over the years Urdu had come to be erroneously identified as the language of the Indian Muslims

………. 3.72 per cent of the population ……. Includes Christians and Hindus ………… Christians and Hindus are mostly confined to menial jobs……… there are hardly any prominent Hindus in Pakistan …….. Immediately after partition, Pakistan had nearly 20 per cent Hindus.

No comments: