Aman ki Asha

Bibliophile South Asia's new book The Reunion of India and Pakistan: Together Forever by Asif Siddiqi is written in the context of India and Pakistan's uneasy relationship. 

A strong yet balanced tone of emotional fervour rings in Asif Siddiqi s plea for the re-union of India and Pakistan, which gives fresh relevance and urgency to this long-standing theme of post-colonial South Asian Politics. Was Pakistan ever the pan-Muslim state it claimed to be, necessary for staving off kafir domination?

This is one of the key questions about the birth of the state that the author asks. He demolishes the very concept of any hard- and- fast Hindu-Muslim divide by highlighting the psychic factors underlying the creation of Bangladesh. These psychic factors, he points out, originate from perceptions and behaviour far older than those based on religion. They stem from primitive, racist reactions to chance externals like skin colour, and body build. To the West Pakistanis their co-religionists to the East were blackies first and co-religionists later.

With this kind of Primitivism under-writing the birth of the new state is it any wonder that it never did take off in the directions of prosperity and growth? The Muslims are not separate from the Hindus, nor vice versa, Siddiqi goes on. Different, yes. But not separate, not two. And they will travel back to their basic one-ness from the sheer compulsions of global forces at work today, he concludes. Stated with reckonable textual proof from various books and publications, these views however debatable are worth hearing. Along with the passion with which they are voiced, Re-Union... is certainly compelling reading.

 In iur History section, in hardcover, Rs. 350, 134 pages, ISBN: 9788192304731

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