Friday, March 7, 2008


In a statement made after the July,2005, blasts in London organised by suicide terrorists of Pakistani origin, Mr.Tony Blair, the then British Prime Minister, spoke of the need to counter jihadi terrorism not only operationally through better intelligence, better physical security, better counter-terrorism operations etc, but also ideologically in order to draw the attention of the public to the pernicious ideas being spread by Al Qaeda and pro-Al Qaeda jihadi organisations and counter them energetically.

2. Amognst such pernicious ideas are that there was no civilisation in the world before the advent of Islam, that the Muslims have a right to re-capture all lands which historically belonged to them, that the Muslims do not recognise national frontiers and ,therefore, have a right to wage a jihad anywhere in the world where Islam is in danger and that the Muslims have the religious right and obligation to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and use them to protect their religion, if necessary.

3. The Pakistani jihadi organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), which are members of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front (IIF), project Aurangzeb as the greatest ruler in the history of the Indian sub-continent and describe their aim as the "liberation" of the Muslims of India and restoration of what they view as the golden era of Aurangzeb in the sub-continent.

4. This glorification of Aurangzeb was actually started by the Pakistan Government after the birth of Pakistan in 1947. The text-books got written and prescribed in schools by different Pakistan Governments depicted that there was no civilisation or culture in India before the Muslims came to the sub-continent and glorified Aurangzeb. In September 1996, Murtaza Ali Bhutto, the younger brother of Benazir Bhutto, was allegedly killed by the police of Karachi after he had returned from Islamabad, where he allegedly had a fierce quarrel with Benazir and her husband Mr.Asif Ali Zardari over his demand that he should be appointed as the Vice-Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party. In a piece on the rule of Benazir, the "Economist" of London compared her to Aurangzeb.

5. This created a lot of interest among analysts over the influence of the Aurangzeb model on the minds of Pakistani rulers----political and military--- who grew up after its independence and studied the text-books, which glorified him. It is now recognised by imany that one of the reasons for the spreading prairie fire of jihadi terrorism in Pakistan is the pernicious influence of the Aurangzeb model on the mind-set of the Pakistani youth. Many of them, who are spreading havoc across Pakistan, see themselves as the Aurangzebs of today. Aurangzeb as well as bin Laden are their role models.

6. The overwhelming majority of the Indian Muslim youth, who remain intensely patriotic, have not let themselves be influenced by this pernicious veneration of bin Laden and Aurangzeb and their ideas, but recent events such as the involvement of one or two Indian Muslims in the UK with Al Qaeda, the role of two Indian Muslim youth in the attempted terrorist strikes in London and Glasgow in June last and the recent arrests of some Muslim youth of the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in Karnataka indicate that some of these pernious ideas might have started winning adherents in the India Muslim community too---- in India as well as in the diaspora in the Gulf and the West.

7. Before this spreads further, it is important to counter this phenomenon ideologically. This is what some respected Muslim clerics and scholars, who had met recently at Deoband, had done. One must welcome their initiative in condemning terrorism. That is also what some activists against terrorism under Mr.Francois Gautier, a well-known French journalist living in India for many years, have been doing. Whereas the appeal of the Deobandi congregation was addressed to the Muslim community specifically, the anti-terrorism campaign of Gautier and his small, but devoted band of associates is addressed to all people----whatever be their nationality, religion, ethnicity etc. It seeks to educate them not only on the evils of terrorism, but also on the mental origin of it.

8. To understand the mental origin of the jihadi terrorism emanating from Pakistan, it is important to identify not only their present-day mentors such as bin Laden, the Pakistani jihadi leaders and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), but also their historical idols. Aurangzeb is one of their topmost historical idols. It is important to educate the people of India on the real nature of Aurangzeb, his policies and actions so that they do not get easily carried away by the way Aurangzeb's rule is depicted by the jihadi terrorists.

9. An exhibition organised by Gautier and his associates as part of this education process had a successful run in New Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. In Pune, over 100,000 people visited it. In none of these places, did the members of the local Muslim community view the exhibition as anti-Muslim or anti-Islam. Unfortunately, some members of the community in Chennai viewed it as anti-Muslim and demanded that the exhibition be discontinued. This has reportedly been done on the advice of the Police.

10. I had attended the inauguration of the exhibition on the opening day (March 3,2008) and spoke on the importance of understanding the pernicious ideas about Aurangzeb being spread by Pakistani jihadi organisations. I had seen all the exhibits before the inauguration and did not find any of them of a provocative nature. More than the paintings, what was so eloquent in the exhibition was the collection of scanned copies of the various orders issued by Aurangzeb during his rule. These documents were authentic and the scanned copies were made over a period of three years from a Mughul Archive in Rajasthan which, I was told, contain a wealth of documents relating to the Mughul period.

11. One of the contentions of those, who protested against the exhibition, was that raking up the past would create a communal divide in Tamil Nadu, which has been relatively free of it.One of the lessons of history has been that remaining silent on unpleasant periods in history leads to a repetition of such unpleasant experiences. That is why Western school children are taught about the evils of rulers like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin etc. That is why the Jewish people keep reminding themselves and the rest of the world about the holocaust. That was why some years ago Jean-Marie Le Pen, the French rightist leader, was severely criticised for denying the reality of the holocaust.

12. When we deny harsh truths of history, we are only playing into the hands of jihadi terrorists, who see themselves as the Aurangzebs of today.

13. The Annexure gives extracts from what foreign scholars, including scholars in Pakistan itself, have been saying on this subject of what a Pakistani scholar described as a creation of myths regarding the real nature of Muslim rule.When Pakistanis have themselves started realising the damage done to their society and country by this myth-making, leaders of our Muslim community should refrain from starting a similar myth-making exercise in India about the past.(8-3-08)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )


From: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Date: 2007

"Aurangzeb or Aurangzib , 1618-1707, Mughal emperor of India (1658-1707), son and successor of Shah Jahan . He served (1636-44, 1653-58) as viceroy of the Deccan but was constantly at odds with his father and his eldest brother, Dara Shikoh, the heir apparent. When Shah Jahan fell ill in 1658, Aurangzeb seized the opportunity to fight and defeat Dara and two other brothers in a battle for succession. He imprisoned his father for life and ascended the throne at Agra with the reign title Alamgir [world-shaker]. A scholarly, austere man, devoted to Islam, he persecuted the Hindus, destroying their temples and monuments. He executed the guru of the Sikhs (see Sikhism ) when he refused to embrace Islam. Although the Mughal empire reached its greatest extent under Aurangzeb, it was also fatally weakened by revolts of the Sikhs, Rajputs, and Jats in the north and the rebellion of the Marathas in the Deccan. From 1682, Aurangzeb concentrated all his energies on crushing the Marathas, but his costly campaigns were only temporarily successful and further weakened his authority in the north. The Mughal empire fell apart soon after his death."


"Pakistan Studies departments and curricula have been criticized by academics and scholars in Pakistan and the West, for propagating jingoist and irredentist beliefs about Pakistan's history and culture. While no scholar denies Pakistan's rich historical and cultural diversity, the Pakistan Studies groups are criticized for being insufficiently objective in its portrayal, particularly with regards to political Islam and the treatment of minorities such as Hindus and Christians in the country. Irredentism is manifested through claims of "eternal Pakistan" (despite the country being created from British India only in 1947), narrow and sectarian interpretation of Islam, downplaying the tolerant aspects of the religion and focusing on Islamic Fundamentalist interpretations (such as all banking being un-Islamic), and making accusations of dual loyalty on minority Hindus and Christians in Pakistan.[1] One survey even found out that Pakistan Studies textbooks include derogatory remarks against minority religious groups, and the generalized teaching of religious intolerance as acceptable.The Pakistan Studies textbooks have been used as locations to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy makers have attempted to inculcate towards their Hindu citizens as well as Hindus in India.

"A study by Nayyar & Salim concluded in 2003 that there is an increasing trend where children are taught Pakistan Studies as a replacement for the teaching of history and geography as full fledged disciplines. Previously, children were taught the very early pre-Islamic history of South Asia and its contribution to rich cultural diversity of modern-day Pakistan.This long historical perspective of Pakistan is absent these Pakistan Studies textbooks. Instead, children are now taught that the history of Pakistan starts from the day the first Muslim set foot in India. The study reported that the textbooks also had a lot of gender-biased stereotypes and other perspectives that "encourage prejudice, bigotry and discrimination towards fellow Pakistanis and other nations, especially against religious minorities, as well as the omission of concepts ... that could encourage critical self awareness among students”.

"According to Ayesha Jalal, "Pakistan's history textbooks amongst the best available sources for assessing the nexus between power and bigotry in creative imaginings of a national past." She points out authors whose "expansive pan- Islamic imaginings" detect the beginnings of Pakistan in the birth of Islam on the Arabian pensinsula. M.Ikram Rabbani and Monawwar Ali Sayyid's An Introduction to Pakistan Studies, a compulsory reading for first and second year college students studying for an F.A degree in history, begins with a chapter on the establishment of Pakistan based on a concept of Islamic sovereignty. "Allah alone is sovereign and the 'ruler of the Islamic State does not possess any authority of his own'. The coming of Islam to the Indian subcontinent was a 'blessing' since Hinduism was based on an 'unethical caste system'." M.D.Zafar's A Text Book of Pakistan Studies claims that Pakistan "came to be established for the first time when the Arabs under Mohammad bin Qasim occupied Sind and Multan'; by the thirteenth century 'Pakistan had spread to include the whole of Northern India and Bengal' and then under the Khiljis, Pakistan moved further south-ward to include a greater part of Central India and the Deccan'. [...] The spirit of Pakistan asserted itself', and under Aurangzeb the 'Pakistan spirit gathered in strength'; his death 'weakened the Pakistan spirit'."

"Jalal points out that even an acclaimed scholar like Jamil Jalibi questions the validity of a national history that seeks to "claim Pakistan's pre-Islamic past" in an attempt to compete with India's historic antiquity. K.Ali's two volume history designed for B.A students traces the pre-history of the 'Indo-Pakistan' subcontinent to the paleolithic age and consistently refers to the post-1947 frontiers of Pakistan while discussing the Dravidians and the Aryans.

"According to some author like Amar Jaleel "What is being taught to our children in the name of history and Pakistan Studies in schools is far from the truth" .

"Jalal points out the consistent religious bias in Pakistan Studies textbooks. "While 'the houses of the Muslims were more spacious, airy and open to light' that of the Hindus had 'small rooms, verandahs and less space open to sky [sic]' which 'shows the secret and exclusive attitude of Hindu mind [sic]'. For students who have had no contact with Hindus both statements, differences in style notwithstanding, can easily fuel a form of inverted bigotry. The more so since they are given abundant 'evidence' to underline the invidiousness of Hindu majoritarianism."

"used to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy-makers have attempted to inculcate towards the Hindus. Government-issued textbooks teach students that Hindus are backward and superstitious, and given a chance, they would assert their power over the weak, especially, Muslims, depriving them of education by pouring molten lead in their ears. The report adds that in these textbooks, students are taught that "Islam brought peace, equality, and justice to the subcontinent, to check the sinister ways of Hindus." The report adds that "In Pakistani textbooks “Hindus” rarely appears in a sentence without adjective such as politically astute, sly, or manipulative."

"A new curriculum for Pakistan Studies is proposed to be implemented from the academic year 2007. According to reports the government has made "drastic changes" in the new Pakistan Studies curriculum, including new chapters on the Musharraf government’s economic and privatisation policies and “enlightened moderation”, and less biased explanations of the Two-Nation Theory and Partition. According to the report, the new National Curriculum for Pakistan Studies for grades IX and X explains the Two-Nation Theory and Pakistan’s ideology “with specific reference to the economic and social deprivation of Muslims in India”. According to an education ministry official quoted in the report, “An effort has been made to exclude all such material that promotes prejudice against the non-Muslims of pre-partition India.”

"An earlier attempt to reform the curriculum failed in 2003, because of resistance by religious parties. The 2003 protests ultimately resulted in the removal of the education minister Zubeda Jalal. Pakistan's current education minister, ex-ISI director general Lt Gen (r) Javed Ashraf Qazi has called the anti-Hindu parts of the curriculum silly, and that "it was time to acknowledge realities instead of inciting hatred."

3.Pakistan's missile symbolism ( A commentary broadcast the BBC by Zaffar Abbas,its correspondent in Islamabad)

Pakistani officials say the successful test-firing of three of its surface-to-surface missiles in the last few days has confirmed the country's capability to strike deep inside enemy territory in the event of a war.

Interestingly, these tests have not only demonstrated the effectiveness of Pakistan's missile technology; the names given to these missiles are full of symbolism.

They suggest that Pakistan relates the present conflict in South Asia to the conflicts of the mediaeval period when Muslim warriors from Afghanistan frequently invaded India.

Ghauri, Ghaznavi, Abdali - these are the three ballistic missiles Pakistan test-fired in the last week.

But these are also names of three prominent Muslim warlords, or conquerors, who invaded India from Afghanistan between the 11th and 18th centuries in an attempt to expand their empires.

Historical histrionics

The medium-range Ghauri missile is Pakistan's answer to India's Prithvi missile, and here the symbolism is perhaps most interesting.
Muhammad Ghauri was a powerful Afghan warlord who in the 12th century had two fierce battles with the Hindu ruler of northern India, Prithviraj Chouhan.
Ghauri was defeated in the first battle and later on, he returned with a bigger army to achieve a convincing victory.

Although India insists that the name Prithvi given to its missile means "earth" and has nothing to do with any Hindu ruler of the past, Pakistan wants the world to believe otherwise.

Battle fetish

The other two missiles Pakistan tested during the week are also named after 11th and 18th-century Afghan conquerors, Mehmood Ghaznavi and Ahmed Shah Abdali.

Ghaznavi is described in history books as a temple-destroyer who attacked India 17 times.

Pakistan has never given any specific reason for naming these missiles after such historical figures.

But the symbolism is a clear reflection of the official mindset in the country.
It shows that for Islamabad, the present conflict with India is a continuation of the battles of the past between people described in Pakistani history books as just Muslim invaders and several of India's cruel Hindu emperors.

4.An article carried by the "Dawn" of Karachi on March 27,2005
The myth of history

By Prof Shahida Kazi

History is a discipline that has never been taken seriously by anyone in Pakistan. As a result, the subject has been distorted in such a way that many a fabricated tale has become part of our collective consciousness
DOES mythology have anything to do with history? Is mythology synonymous with history? Or is history mythology?

Admittedly, the line between the two is a very fine one. From time immemorial, man has always been in search of his roots. He has also been trying to find a real and tangible basis for the legends of ancient days ? legends that have become a part of our collective consciousness. As a result, we witness the quest for proving the existence of King Arthur, the search for whereabouts of the city of Troy, and many expeditions organized to locate the exact site of the landing of Noah?s Ark.

During the 60s and the 70s, there was a worldwide movement to prove that the gods of ancient mythologies did actually exist; they came from distant galaxies; and that mankind owed all its progress to such alien superheroes. Several books were written on the subject.

We, in Pakistan, are a breed apart. Lacking a proper mythology like most other races, we have created our own, populated by a whole pantheon of superheroes who have a wide range of heroic exploits to their credit.

But the difference is that these superheroes, instead of being a part of a remote and prehistoric period, belong very much to our own times. A seemingly veritable mythology has been created around these heroes, their persona and their achievements, which is drummed into the heads of our children from the time they start going to school. So deep is this indoctrination that any attempt to uncover the facts or reveal the truth is considered nothing less than blasphemous.

Here are some of the most common myths:

Myth 1

Our history begins from 712AD, when Mohammad bin Qasim arrived in the subcontinent and conquered the port of Debal.

Take any social studies or Pakistan studies book, it starts with Mohammad bin Qasim. What was there before his arrival? Yes, cruel and despotic Hindu kings like Raja Dahir and the oppressed and uncivilized populace anxiously waiting for a "liberator" to free them from the clutches of such cruel kings. And when the liberator came, he was welcomed with open arms and the grateful people converted to Islam en mass.

Did it really happen? This version of our history conveniently forgets that the area where our country is situated has had a long and glorious history of 6,000 years. Forget Moenjo Daro. We do not know enough about it. But recorded history tells us that before Mohammad Bin Qasim, this area, roughly encompassing Sindh, Punjab and some parts of the NWFP, was ruled by no less than 12 different dynasties from different parts of the world, including the Persians (during the Achamaenian period), the Greeks comprising the Bactrians, Scthians and Parthians, the Kushanas from China, and the Huns (of Attila fame) who also came from China, besides a number of Hindu dynasties including great rulers like Chandragupta Maurya and Asoka.

During the Gandhara period, this region had the distinction of being home to one of the biggest and most important universities of the world at our very own Taxila. We used to be highly civilized, well-educated, prosperous, creative and economically productive people, and many countries benefited a lot from us, intellectually as well as economically. This is something we better not forget. But do we tell this to our children? No. And so the myth continues from generation to generation.

Myth 2

Mohammad Bin Qasim came to India to help oppressed widows and orphan girls.

Because of our blissful ignorance of history, we don't know, or don't bother to know, that this period was the age of expansion of the Islamic empire. The Arabs had conquered a large portion of the world, comprising the entire Middle East, Persia, North Africa and Spain. Therefore, it defies logic that they would not seek to conquer India, the land of legendary treasures.

In fact, the Arabs had sent their first expedition to India during Hazrat Umar Farooq's tenure. A subsequent expedition had come to Makran during Hazrat Usman's rule. But they had been unsuccessful in making any in-roads into the region. Later on, following the refusal of the king to give compensation for the ships captured by pirates (which incidentally included eight ships full of treasures from Sri Lanka, and not just women and girls), two expeditions had already been sent to India, but they proved unsuccessful. It was the third expedition brought by Mohammad Bin Qasim which succeeded in capturing Sindh, from Mansura to Multan. However, because of the Arabs' internal dissension and political infighting, Sindh remained a neglected outpost of the Arab empire, and soon reverted to local kings.

Myth 3

The myth of the idol-breaker.

Mahmood Ghaznavi, the great son of Islam and idol-breaker par excellence, took upon himself to destroy idols all over India and spread Islam in the subcontinent.

Mahmud, who came from neighbouring Ghazni, Central Asia, invaded India no less than 17 times. But except Punjab, he made no attempt to conquer any other part of the country or to try and consolidate his rule over the rest of India. In fact, the only thing that attracted him was the treasures of India, gold and precious stones, of which he took care and carried back home a considerable amount every time he raided the country. Temples in India were a repository of large amounts of treasure at the time, as were the churches in Europe, hence his special interest in temples and idols.

Contrary to popular belief, it was not the kings, the Central Asian sultans who ruled for over 300 years and the Mughals who ruled for another 300 years, who brought Islam to the subcontinent. That work was accomplished by the Sufi Sheikhs who came to India mainly to escape persecution from the fundamentalists back home, and who, through their high-mindedness, love for humanity, compassion, tolerance and simple living won the hearts of the people of all religions.

Myth 4

The myth of the cap-stitcher.

Of all the kings who have ruled the subcontinent, the one singled out for greatest praise in our text books is Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughals. Baber built the empire; Humayun lost it and got it back; Akbar expanded and consolidated it; Jahangir was known for his sense of justice; Shahjehan for his magnificent buildings. But it is Aurangzeb, known as a pious man, who grabs the most attention. The prevalent myth is that he did not spend money from the treasury for his personal needs, but fulfilled them by stitching caps and copying out the Holy Quran. Is there any real need for discussing this assertion? Anyone who's least bit familiar with the Mughal lifestyle would know how expensive it was to maintain their dozens of palaces. The Mughals used to have many wives, children, courtiers, concubines and slaves who would be present in each palace, whose needs had to be met. Could such expenses be met by stitching caps? And even if the king was stitching caps, would people buy them and use them as ordinary caps? Would they not pay exorbitant prices for them and keep them as heirlooms? Would a king, whose focus had to be on military threats surrounding him from all sides and on the need to save and consolidate a huge empire, have the time and leisure to sit and stitch caps? Let's not forget that the person we are referring to as a pious Muslim was the same who became king after he imprisoned his own father in a cell in his palace and killed all his brothers to prevent them from taking over the throne.

Myth 5

It was the Muslims who were responsible for the war of 1857; and it was the Muslims who bore the brunt of persecution in the aftermath of the war, while the Hindus were natural collaborators of the British.

It is true that more Muslim regiments than Hindu rose up against the British in 1857. But the Hindus also played a major role in the battle (the courageous Rani of Jhansi is a prime example); and if Muslim soldiers were inflamed by the rumour that the cartridges were laced with pig fat, in the case of Hindus, the rumour was that it was cow fat. And a large number of Muslims remained loyal to the British to the very end. (The most illustrious of them being Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.)

Furthermore, the Muslims did not lose their empire after 1857. The British had already become masters of most of India before that time, having grasped vast territories from both Hindu and Muslim rulers through guile and subterfuge.
The Mughal emperor at the time was a ruler in name only; his jurisdiction did not extend beyond Delhi. After 1857, the Hindus prospered, because they were clever enough to acquire modern education, learn the English language, and take to trade and commerce. The Muslims were only land owners, wedded to the dreams of the past pomp and glory, and when their lands were taken away, they were left with nothing; their madressah education and proficiency in Persian proved to be of no help. As a matter of fact, it was a hindrance in such changing times.

Myth 6

The Muslims were in the forefront of the struggle against the British and were singled out for unfair treatment by the latter.

Not at all. In fact, the first gift given to the Muslims by the British was in 1905 in the form of partition of Bengal (later revoked in 1911). The Shimla delegation of 1906 has rightly been called a command performance; the Muslims were assured by the viceroy of separate electorates and weightage as soon as their leaders asked for them. After that, the Muslim League came into being, established by pro-British stalwarts like the Aga Khan, Justice Amir Ali, some other nawabs and feudal lords. And the first objective of the Muslim League manifesto read: "To promote feelings of loyalty to the British government."
The Muslim League never carried out any agitation against the British. The only time the Muslims agitated was during the Khilafat Movement in the early 20s, led by the Ali brothers and other radical leaders. Not a single Muslim League leader, including the Quaid-i-Azam, ever went to jail. It was the Congress which continued the anti-British non-violent and non-cooperation movement in the 30s and 40s, including the famous "Quit India" movement, while Muslim League leaders continued to denounce such movements and exhorted their followers not to take part in them.

Myth 7

The Muslim League was the only representative body of the Muslims.

It is an incontrovertible fact that it was only after 1940 that the Muslim League established itself as a popular party among the Muslims. Prior to that, as evident in the 1937 elections, the Muslim League did not succeed in forming the government in any of the Muslim majority provinces. In those elections, out of the total of 482 Muslim seats, the Muslim League won only 103 (less than one-fourth of the total). Other seats went either to Congress Muslims or to nationalist parties such as the Punjab Unionist Party, the Sind Unionist Party and the Krishak Proja Party of Bengal.

Myth 8

Allama Iqbal was the first person to come up with the idea of a separate Muslim state.

This is one of the most deeply embedded myths in our country and the one which has been propagated by all governments. In fact, the idea that Muslim majority provinces of the north-west formed a natural group and should be considered a single bloc had been mooted by the British as far back as 1858 and freely discussed in various newspaper articles and on political platforms. Several variations of the idea had come from important public personalities, including British, Muslims and some Hindus. By the time Allama Iqbal gave his famous speech in 1930, the idea had been put forward at least 64 times. So, Iqbal voiced something which was already there, and was not an original dream. After his speech at Allahbad was reported, Allama Iqbal published a retraction in a British newspaper that he had not been talking of a separate Muslim sate, but only of a Muslim bloc within the Indian federation.

Myth 9

The Pakistan Resolution envisaged a single Muslim state.

The fact is that none of the proposals regarding the Muslim bloc mooted by different individuals or parties had included East Bengal in it. The emphasis had always been on north-western provinces, which shared common frontiers, while other Muslim majority states, such as Bengal and Hyderabad, were envisaged as separate blocs. So, it was in the Pakistan Resolution. The resolution reads: ?The areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the north-western and eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states, in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.

Leaving aside the poor and ambiguous drafting of the entire resolution, the part about states (in plural) is very clear. It was only in 1946, at a convention of the Muslim League legislators in Delhi, that the original resolution was amended, which was adopted at a general Muslim League session and the objective became a single state.

Myth 10

March 23, 1940 is celebrated because the Pakistan Resolution was adopted on that day. The fact of the matter is that the Pakistan Resolution was only introduced on March 23 and was finally adopted on March 24 (the second and final day of the session).

As to why we celebrate March 23 is another story altogether. The day was never celebrated before 1956. It was first celebrated that year as the Republic Day to mark the passage of the first constitution and Pakistan?s emergence as a truly independent republic. It had the same importance for us as January 26 for India. But when Gen Ayub abrogated the constitution and established martial law in 1958, he was faced with a dilemma. He could not let the country celebrate a day commemorating the constitution that he had himself torn apart, nor could he cancel the celebration altogether. A way-out was found by keeping the celebration, but giving it another name: the Pakistan Resolution Day.

Myth 11

It was Ghulam Muhammad who created imbalance of power between the prime minister and head of state, and it was he who sought to establish the supremacy of the governor-general over the prime minister and parliament.

When Pakistan came into being, the British government?s India Act of 1935 was adopted as the working constitution. And it was the Quaid-i-Azam himself who introduced certain amendments to the act to make the governor-general the supreme authority. It was under these powers that the Quaid-i-Azam dismissed the government of Dr Khan Sahib in the NWFP in August 1947 and that of Mr Ayub Khuhro in Sindh in 1948.

Besides being governor-general, the Quaid-i-Azam also continued as president of the Muslim League and president of the Constituent Assembly.

It was these same powers under which Mr Daultana?s government was dismissed in Punjab in 1949 by Khawaja Nazimuddin, who himself was dismissed as prime minister in 1953 by Ghulam Mohammad.

However, in 1954, a move was started by members of the then Constituent Assembly to table an amendment to the act, taking away excessive powers of the governor-general. It was this move which provoked the governor-general, Ghulam Mohammad, to dismiss the Constituent Assembly in 1954, and thereby change the course of Pakistan?s history.

These are some of the myths that have been drummed into our heads from childhood and have become part of our consciousness. There are scores more, pervading our everyday life. And there are many unanswered questions such as:
What is Pakistan's ideology and when was the term first coined? (It was never heard of before 1907.)? Why was Gandhi murdered? (He was supposedly guarding Pakistan's interest.)? What is the truth about the so-called traitors, Shaikh Mujeeb, Wali Khan, and G.M. Syed?? What caused the break-away of East Pakistan?? Why was Bhutto put to death?? Are all our politicians corrupt and self-serving?? Why does our history repeat itself after every 10 years?
The answers to all these questions require a thorough study of history, not mythology. But history unfortunately is a discipline that has never been taken seriously by anyone in our country. It's time things changed.
The myth of history -DAWN Magazine; March 27, 2005