Jinnah’s ghost

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A spirit continues to thrive within India’s political factions, which appears to oppose everything that is Indian and favours Pakistan

In cyclical regularity, over the last seven decades and more, Jinnah’s ghost in India has made apparitions through select mediums and conduits. The latest appearance was seen in the exultant expression of some when Pakistan won the cricket match against India. Some clapped, while others burst crackers and yet others vandalised small village temples and altars to express their sense of liberation at having seen Pakistan beat India at least on the cricket field.

Jinnah’s ghost then manifested itself through the intellectual medium and mass media when some widely circulated dailies, founded by towering nationalists who had made seminal contributions to India’s freedom movement, dedicated a few days and editorials in trying to explain and pontificate on why “Pakistan” is not the problem but India is, and why the cheerleaders of Pakistan must be encouraged to cheer and why it was completely untenable to resist their cheering, and that in such case entire stadiums would have to be shut down. In short, they argued that it was absolutely normal that those cheering Pakistan did so from India. To those who argued that the best way to cheer Pakistan was by being in Pakistan and adopting it as one’s homeland, the label of intolerant fascists was appended.

Traditionally, Jinnah’s ghost has best manifested itself through the medium of the Congress and the communists. To this band has now been added the socialists – Samajwadi – themselves a pale ghost or caricature of their former selves. Akhilesh Yadav’s callow and puerile naming of Jinnah as a freedom fighter, on the 75th year of India’s independence, shows why these confused political conglomerates are faced with extinction and are, besides ideological rejection, seeing an increasing depletion of their rank and file.

Pakistan’s proxies in India also best manifest and exercise themselves through such mediums.This is seen in the manner in which they bat for rioters, oppose the imposition of punitive fines when it comes to vandalising public property and pass these off as legitimate expressions of dissent and democratic anger. They spoke for those who engineered the Delhi riots and looked the other way when personnel of the law enforcing agencies were killed and dumped, they supported violent anti-CAA protests, they spoke for illegal infiltrators who have encroached on government land in Assam and violently oppose any move to vacate, they applaud outfits such as the PFI – which has a declared objective of reinstating the Caliphate in India and of meting to Hindus of the Malabar region the same treatment that the Moplahs had given them in 1921. They savoured the spectacle of SDPI cadres taking out a procession in which one of them dressed as Yogi Adityanath was chained, dragged and beaten up publicly.

Jinnah’s ghost also manifests itself through a section of the co-opted intelligentsia, former bureaucrats, columnists, thinkers, public intellectuals and activists. Take the recent case of a former diplomat, who has had the distinction of having served in one of the Western European countries, of also having served in the hallowed precincts of Rashtrapati Bhavan, who upon retirement, while teaching a course in a private university, not far from Delhi, repeatedly referred to the “Indian occupation of Kashmir.” Having spent a lifetime in sinecures supported by the Indian taxpayer and state and not having to exert oneself for a daily fight for survival, the former diplomat, on superannuation, simply offered himself up to being a sophisticated drain pipe for India breakers to pour out their toxic anti-India refuse.

It is the Congress and the communists who have actually kept Jinnah’s ghost in circulation in India. The Congress did this by rewarding ex-Muslim Leaguers with tickets in elections held after independence and by aligning with the rump Muslim League that continued to function in India. Among all, it is the communists who are the most effective medium for Jinnah’s ghosts. This is evident in the manner in which they have, for decades, aligned with Pakistan against India, by advocating Pakistan’s position on all issues more vocally against that of India’s. On the abrogation of 370 and on tackling separatism, theirs has been the most vocal voice advocating the Pakistan line in India. They have also been a medium of globalising Jinnah’s ghost by passing and broadcasting its elements on forums, platforms and networks worldwide who have taken it upon themselves to rant against India, especially an India led by Modi and the BJP, at every possible international gathering.

Take a close look at their structures and functioning, examine their representations, one will see the unmistakable imprint of the Indian communist cartels. Whether it is the pro-Khalistan and anti-Farm Bill agitations in London, whether it is the “Free Kashmir” lobby in the European Union, whether it is the “Human Rights” cabal in Washington DC and Geneva, a scratch reveals the communist network. While those they oppose are those who work to globalise Indian thoughts and ideals, Indian communists, in the last seven decades, have assiduously striven to globalise Jinnah’s thoughts and “ideals.” In their latest expression of support for Kashmiri separatists, for banned organisations in India and in their support for Pakistan cheerers in India, Indian communists have demonstrated that their only consistent political line is the Jinnah line – a line they have pursued without respite since the 1940s.

The infamous Gangadhar Adhikari thesis clearly spelt it, “Our solution”, it said, “concedes . . . to Sind, NWF Province, Punjab and eastern districts of Bengal the right of self-determination to the point of secession. This means these states, whose exact boundaries would be determined by the people later, can be autonomous and sovereign and form the federation within an Indian Union or they may secede and form their federation without.” This was in 1943. In December 1945, communists explicitly stated, “We recognise the freedom urge behind the Pakistan demand. Our stand would guarantee complete self-determination to national units with a Muslim majority and enable them to form a separate federation if they so desire.” At the forefront of imposing the Pakistan narrative, a memoir recalls how on August 14, 1947, communist party workers in East Bengal “went from house to house of Hindu families to force them to raise the Pakistani national flag and even bought the flags from their own pockets…”

It does not matter to communists that both in Islamic East and West Pakistan, they were chased away, imprisoned and persecuted after partition and could not function as a legitimate, over-ground political formation. In India, they were pampered and spoilt by the Nehruvian establishment as the only certified suppliers of logic, thesis, praxis and prognosis! In the West, anti-Semitists embody Hitler’s ghost, while in India, communists embody Jinnah’s ghosts. Both are anti-modern, anti-democratic and anti-liberal agents of evil that need determined excoriation.

Faced with relentless exorcism since 2014, both Jinnah’s ghost and its medium are tiring out. The present manifestations are its last gasps of assertion. Undeterred persistence is needed to eventually drive out both the ghosts and their mediums.

The writer is a member of National Executive Committee (NEC), BJP, and the Director of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation. Views expressed are personal

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