Tag Archives: Pakistan

Pakistan’s crush on Shahid Afridi

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve seen a 25-year-old Pakistani Cricketer.

As an Indian, a Pakistani Cricketer is the thing of hate. But, not Lala.

The most endearing image of ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi, is do precisely his nickname suggests.

Boom! He is gone..

Afridi is a man one Army alright. But, we all are left to wonder if he is fighting the opposing team or is he being a double agent.

Self explanatory

His Batting record suggests something even a trained Monkey can attain.

Afridi’s batting average is so low that even Dinesh Mongia has a better batting average!

Shahid Afridi’s overall Batting Record:

Wah mera Lala!

Wah mera Lala!

Dinesh Mongia’s overall batting record:

Even Dinesh Mongia's Batting Record is better than Afridi's!

Even Dinesh Mongia’s Batting Record is better than Afridi’s!

But, Dinesh Mongia did not get to play even 1/4th of the matches that Afridi has. Nobody even remembers his name!

What is the mystery here? Why is this great Cricketer liked and loved in Pakistan? Why is he allowed to play, time after time, failure after repeated failure?

All hell breaks loose in Pakistan when Afridi is mocked

It must be his bowling.



On the spin friendly tracks of the Sub-Continent, the great spinner of the ball, the wannabe spinster ought to have great records, I thought.

Aaaa.. What?

No, I must be wrong.. but can’t figure out where I am wrong.

Surely, something must be off. How can one man not bat, not bowl on tracks that suit his style of bowling; and still be around for 15 years? Or, is it been 20? 25? One can never tell..

Sure as hell, Pakistan and Pakistanis have thought it best to allow him to play for 372 (Exclamation.. Double Exclamation.. Triple) ODIs.

What is the big secret?

Afridi is a master strategist! When the going gets tough, the Afridis start eating the ball.

Most people bite the dust, Afridi being a Cricketer, bites the ball

Most people bite the dust, Afridi, being a Cricketer, bites the ball

I always give benefit out the doubt to Shahid Afridi. Not because I like him like him, but because, come on, how can a guy who blatantly cheats and still be in the team, not be liked? I support Afridi.. because I am jealous!

I give him the benefit of the doubt. Hey! If in dim light, after a LOT of Al-ca-gal has gone in, after putting tapanguchi for 2 hours, when I’m hungry as hell, I am bound to mistake a white Cricket ball, to a red juicy Apple.

Do you see an Apple in the picture? That is why you can never be a Shahid Afridi

Do you see an Apple in the picture? That is why you are no Shahid Afridi..

Have I eaten a Cricket ball before? Sadly, no. That’s because I’m not a professional Cricketer. I’m sure most of the people who play Cricket on a regular basis have.

Are you telling having a Cricket ball around you all the time, in the sun and in the scorching heat, a professional Cricketer is not tempted a least bit to eat it?

Puh.. leeez! Lolz..

Lols are so passé. Lulz, also spelled – Lolz, is the bling-ed up version of the now defunct LOL.

Afridi never cheats! Even after going for so many runs, after Pakistan is on the verge of defeat, snatched from the claws of win, by none other than (most frequently), by Afridi himself, Afridi never ever cheats.

Afridi being blasted all over the park by virtually everybody

But, this incidents casts serious shadow over my hero Shahid Afridi.

Most people battle drugs, alcohol, nicotine addiction, but Shahid Afridi is different to other mortals. He battles the..


OK, I’m going to straight away ignore that and claim that never happened. I’m going into denial mode. Starting NOW!

Some guy who looks like Afridi is destroying the pitch. And, some guy who looks eerily like Kevin Peterson is mocking the great Lala. How can this be true? Unpossible.

All I remember and know is : people aim to emulate Afridi, especially English Cricketers!

Britishers trying to follow in the footsteps of Boom Boom and attempt to eat the ball

See, even the great All-Rounder, who bowls as fast as Afridi, who bats as explosively as Afridi, is trying to Ape(pun unintended) the great man.

I digress badly.

What makes Afridi click? His Batting? Unfortunately no. Bowling? Close, but.. No.. He is known as Boom Boom, not Bomb Bomb!

If he were called ‘Bomb Bomb’, he would have become the poster-boy for the Taliban. The Taliban spokesperson, nevertheless, tried to use his Boom Boom image to their benefit, but reports suggest he was not that successful. But, I think that’s untrue. 

The Taliban did try to use this particular image of Afridi; and, Shahid Afridi’s nickname of ‘Boom Boom’ to claim him as their own.

Afiridi killing Kafirs(Infidels). His routine is to kill an Infidel every time he scores a Century. Not many Kafirs have been killed in the past 2 decades.

Did they succeed?

Ask yourself – Are Taliban popular in Pakistan? Are Pakistani Politicians like Imran Khan, a great Cricketer himself(A nothing compared to the Lala of course), bending over backwards to appease them?

Imran Khan is a great fan of Afiridi and hence, a great fan of Taliban, who are in turn great fans of Afridi.

Surprise surprise, Imran Khan’s party won a LOT of seats and a majority in a Pakistani province.

Talking about Imran Khan, there are may similarities between Shahid Afridi and him. Both are very handsome, very popular cricketers in Pakistan, I hear. They both are loved; and women(and men) go gaga over them both in Pakistan, I’m sure.

But, when it comes to Cricket, the starting point of their fame, they both have contrasting records. Khan has excellent Batting and Bowling records. He has won Pakistan the World Cup as Captain, nurtured terrifying fast bowlers and has a reputation of being a never-say-die Captain.

Afridi is none of that. Not even close.

But, he has one thing in common with Mr. Imran Khan.

I’m too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my..

I am beginning to now think Pakistanis love Shahid Afridi for being, well.. good looking?

“..when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,however improbable, must be the truth?”

– Sherlock Holmes

Even men? Not many women watch Cricket in Pakistan, like in India, I’m sure. You don’t see women do this when Shahid Afridi is batting!

Pakistani Fans of Boom Boom praying he doesn’t play an idiotic shot

And, it is men who make movies on the phenomena named Shahid Afridi.

Has there ever been a movie on Tendulkar in India? But, there has been one in Pakistan about Shahid Afridi. Pakistan produced like 3 movies this year. One was about, surprise, surprise – Shahid ‘Boom Boom’ ‘Lala’ Afridi, the all rounder.

Even thought India produces hundreds of movies per year, it hasn’t sought fit to make one on the life of Tendulkar. Tendulkars may come and go Afridis persist. Heck! They don’t age, don’t get dropped, don’t score runs, don’t take wickets.

Pakistanis have already immortalised the great Shahid Afridi, even before he has retired. Oh, wait.. He has retired from Cricket many times.. But, has always managed to make a come back. A great lesson indeed to all the English Cricketers who are retiring at the drop of a hat nowadays. 

They should strive to be more like Shahid Afridi.

Shahid Afridi. Also known as - The Beast!

Shahid Afridi. Also known as – The Beast!

Enough said – Pakistanis, mostly men, love Shahid Afridi. They love his long locks, they love his beard, they love the way he walks, they love the way he runs in to bowl, the way he gets out(silly him, giving a catch to silly point), the way he calls us Indians “small hearted”. All is forgiven by the Men of Pakistan – they forgive his abysmal cricketing record, his ball-eating antics, his blatant pitch tampering, his constant shooting off his mouth.

For a nation which hates Homosexuality, considers it a Sin – an act so unforgivable, that even God will not forgive; which is punishable by death; its pretty ironic that they have a collective, strong crush on a Man.

The average Pakistani jerks off at the sight of the bare-chested Afridi. No wonder cricket is popular in Pakistan. Imran Khan, now Afridi?

Since, Homosexuality is a taboo in Pakistan; legally, socially and religiously condemned, cricket appears to a convenient excuse for the secret fantasies of an extremely homophobic nation.

While Pakistanis asks the Homosexuals to do this..

Religious pious Pakistanis convincing Homosexuals to convert to Hetrosexuals

Religious pious Muslim Pakistanis convincing Homosexuals to convert to Heterosexuality

..but secretly, they are seeing this.

This is how Pakistan imagines Shahid Afridi every time they see him walk onto the park. They don’t care he doesn’t bat nor bowl, the mere sight of him is money’s worth.

For Pakistanis, the very embodiment of male sexuality and good looks is Shahid Afridi.

Forget Ashton Kutcher, Afridi is handsomer.. Plus, he can bite a Cricket ball right through.

Forget that he is dumb as a dodo Monkey.

Oops, they caught me eating ball in front of 23 cameras. How did they do this!

All Pakistanis care about are looks. At least with Imran Khan, they had the excuse of his brilliance. He was an able all-rounder, who spoke well, was a great captain. The homophobic tendencies of the entire nation was masked behind the facade of Imran Khan’s good cricketing skills.

Shahid Afridi is none of that.

The Homosexual Crush of the entire Homophobic Pakistani Islamic Republic nation now stands terribly exposed..

Oops, I am caught jerking off to a.. Man!



Filed under Cricket, Geo-Politics, Human Rights, Love, Sports

Hafiz Saeed can be an Indian asset

Yes, you heard that right!

Hafiz Saeed, if used well, can turn out to be an advantage for India, from this point onward. Hear me out..

Hafiz Saeed has done great harm to India. Undeniable. A Terrorist. True.

But, it is also true that nobody can get to him in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan has no real power. His services to the military of Pakistan will not be forgotten, as there are too many people sympathetic to his cause in the ranks. Everyday we see him on giving statements and interviews, it hurts us, angers us.

The trick here is to turn this into an advantage.

What is our objective? To protect India, to project to the world Pakistan’s real face.

Why was Osama being killed a greater feat than a low key Al Qaeda figure? Because he was a symbol. So is Hafiz Saeed. And, unlike Osama, he is not hiding in secrecy, but moving around freely in Pakistan.

This is the key.

Things will not be the same forever. Today Pakistan is notorious for Terror. Pakistan gets away with it as US depends on Pakistan to get into Afghanistan; and, Paksitan has been using this leverage wonderfully well. But, that disappears after 2014. When NATO packs up, the dependence on Pakistan evaporates too. Add to this the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) – which run through less hostile regions and the fact that there will be far less troops to service – NATO can be free of Pakistani shackles.

US will likely blackmail Pakistan with sanctions or punitive actions to fight its war and hunt down Al Qaeda in Af-Pak. How will it serve us? We can use Hafiz Saeed as our Osama; Make him a symbol, a larger than life Terrorist, who has killed Americans and Indians, to paint Pakistan in bad light; Use our lobby-machine in Washington and Brussels to get what we want: Dismantling of Terror infrastructure in Pakistan and bring to justice the Terrorists.

Pakistan is heavily dependent on US/EU countries. A majority of exports from Pakistan is to these countries. They close down their market to Pakistan, millions will be out of their jobs in Pakistan. Deny financial help from IMF and WB, Pakistan will not be able to pay their own bills. Impose sanctions, Pakistan will be at US/EU mercy.

But, will they do it? That is where we come in. Our influence with these countries is substantial. If we take people like Hafiz Saeed and put on a show, where people like Hafiz Saeed are the villain and a danger to world peace, we would have achieved a major propaganda win over Pakistan. Its not that hard also..

We have to help Pakistan make the transition to another Iran or North Korea. Unlike Iran, Pakistan has no minerals or resources to bank on and its impact on the world is minimal. Like North Korea has nukes and its sole benefactor is China. Look how North Korea is faring.. Or, how Iran is caving, slowly, but surely, under the combined US/EU sanctions.

I know this is not nearly as equivalent to the heinous crimes he has committed with Pakistan military’s help. But, sitting on our hands and do nothing about it is not an option as well. This is doable.

If it makes you feel better, Hafiz Saeed has done more harm to Pakistan, than he can ever do to India. He has sent thousands of people across LoC to be gunned down by our guys. The ideology he preaches has given birth to thousands of Pakistanis who have joined other Terrorist groups and killed other Pakistanis. Not to forget, every time a report features in the world media about the infamous Terrorist operating freely in Pakistan, it embarrasses Pakistan(Or, at least it should embarrass them).

India should get justice, in one way or the other. Inaction is not an option.

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Filed under Geo-Politics, India

Martin Niemöller about Pakistan?

First they came for the Sikhs, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Sikh.

Then they came for the Christians, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Christian.

Then they came for the Hindus, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Hindus.

Then they came for the Ahmadis, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Ahmadi.

Then they came for the Shias, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Shia.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

If you have read some similar stuff, you can pat yourself on the back, because you have. Martin Niemöller said these immortal words(which I have taken the liberty to adapt). Like Nazism dawned on the peaceful, cultured German people undetected and in stealth, Pakistan’s metamorphosis started in 1947 when that nation’s founder decided two sets of people cannot be together simply because they were from different Religions. The principle of division was just remodelled by the people of Pakistan: First to be targeted were the non-Muslims, later on some Muslim sects were declared non-Muslims.

As time went on, the number of non-Muslims fell from around 20% at the time of Partition to 3%, Ahmadis were declared to be non-Muslims and targeted. Hate, being a virus like creature, latched onto its host and spread. It was now the turn of the Shias.

India has to guard against a intolerant, violent Pakistan. When the Shias are eliminated or reduced to minuscule numbers, hate will start consuming the people who practiced it.

Pakistan is where the Indus river runs; a river from which India derived its name. Sikhism’s holiest places are in Pakistan. We have to contend with the fact that Pakistan’s decent into chaos is irreversible and we have to make sure the violence doesn’t spill over.

A sad end to a glorious land.


Filed under Geo-Politics, Human Rights, India's Freedom Struggle

Afghanistan: Possibilities and near Certainties

Indians, thanks to Pakistan being a buffer, hardly discuss about the implications of ongoing events in Afghanistan.  That is in a way understandable as India does not share a border with Afghanistan and there is no immediate impact of the chaos which routinely engulfs Afghanistan. But, that is a very simplistic view of things. After the Kandahar hijackings its certain that whatever happens in Afghanistan will affect us, may be not immediately but gradually.

The biggest question is what will happen after 2014, when NATO’s partial but substantial withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Now for the possibilities:

Scenario 1: NATO withdraws partially, Afghan security forces manage to keep the Taliban at bay

We often see reports of how utterly incompetent the current Afghan security forces are. Whilst you can’t expect them to function as efficiently as the NATO forces, but for counter-insurgency you need a certain degree of capacity. If the Afghan forces achieve that capacity and with the unending NATO weapon supplies and monetary support, this is possible.

But, many are saying Afghan security forces are ill-equipped to takeover from NATO forces when they leave.

Scenario 2: Complete Taliban takeover to pre-9/11 levels

This is the most scariest of all. The medieval Taliban taking over a large part of South Asia. This will have tremendous impact in the region for all neighboring powers.

Pakistan might be supporting these Taliban, but there is a very real and hotly debated aspect of the boost the Pakistani Taliban will get when they see their ideological equivalents few miles across the border dominating the region. Pakistan today already is heavily radicalized and according to latest surveys view US and India as greater threats than the Taliban.

Its clear that the Pakistanis Generals and the pro-military public do not foresee the danger that this tactic of supporting radicalized Islamists might bring.

Pakistan, being rated 13th most failed state(According to FP Magazine), has very little to lose. India has greater, grander aspirations. India has a lot to lose than Pakistan.

Scenario 3: De Facto partition of Afghanistan

This is a scenario that Robert Backwill speaks of. With Pakistani state support and safe havens the Taliban will have influence and eventual control of Pashtun areas in the south of Afghanistan and areas bordering Pakistan. With support from regional powers and continued NATO support the Afghan forces might be able to hold off the Taliban from advancing into other areas of Afghanistan. Even the most pro-Taliban will accept the fact that this time it will not be a walk over for Taliban into Kabul. There will be hard fighting.

This is the worst possible scenario for Pakistan as it has a sizable Pastun population in the areas bordering Afghanistan. Remember, even under the Taliban, the Afghans refused to accept Durand Line as a border insisting that all Pashtun areas belong to Afghanistan. Pakistan might very well be faced with the scenario of Pashtun nationalism.

I think the De-Facto partition of Afghanistan is a real possibility. Afghan Forces though poorly trained and motivated have money and weapons. Not a single country surrounding Afghanistan wants the Taliban as their neighbour, except, of course, Pakistan. NATO forces will not for sure leave the region and will provide all important Air support and not to mention the precision bombing using Drones.

Those are the 3 possibilities and all the 3 eventualities are on the table.

Now, with the certainties:

1) Afghanistan will be chaotic, violent and unstable. Duh! History tells us so and there are too many competing forces trying to outdo each other for stability to set in.

2) India will not face the direct and immediate consequences of any impending civil war in Afghanistan. Pakistan, gracefully, acts as a shield. (Thank you, Jinnah?)

3) The most devastating certainty for Pakistan: Sanctions and Isolation. Not many will disagree that US and Pakistan have conflicting interests and each have been at the other’s throat. Pakistan wants everything the free world doesn’t- The control of Afghanistan by the Islamists. Pakistan has already done much damage. Were it not for the leverage Pakistan has over the NATO forces, in the form of supply routes to Afghanistan, Pakistan would already have been sanctioned by now. Post-2014 this leverage will disappear as a) NATO has Northern Distribution Network(NDN) and b) Due to massive reduction in forces the load on the routes reduces tremendously and so do the costs of operating NDN.

4) US will not have “won” in Afghanistan, but would not have lost either. It came with the purposes of defeating Al Qaeda and has been very successful. It later took on the mantle of stabilizing Afghanistan, which is a near impossible task. There it will fail. US citizens, thousands of miles away, will be safe and prosperous. It is the Afghans and Pakistanis who will die(Not that I am blaming America but this is how it is).

5) Anyway the Pakistanis look there is nothing but disaster. If they support the Taliban, it will take on the free world and result in isolation and possible sanctions. If they take on the Taliban, it will face massive, bloody blow-back and a civil war-like situation. It is the fear of India’s influence in Afghanistan which makes Pakistan support the Taliban. India by not lifting a finger is hurting Pakistan. Talk about being consumed by hate!

Ultimately, nobody will be entirely happy at the end.


Filed under Geo-Politics

How Pakistan is good for India

When a limb is infected beyond hope, you have two choices: Persist with it and hope against hope that it will heal and risk death, or you cut it off to save the body.

This is the story of India’s partition into the soul- India- and the gangrenous limb-Pakistan, or what I would like to call- the result of an idea, The Two Nation Theory.

I’ve heard from various intensely,bordering on the jingoistic, patriotic Indians, (privately, of course) how India was broken into two by the ‘M’. Little do they realize that creation of Pakistan ended up saving India.

1. Two Nation Theory

As with any political–slash-religious theory the Two Nation Theory (TNT) has different versions and interpretations based on the guy’s political leanings.

Essentially it comes down to two points:

a) There are two Nations withing India (In spite of the fact that both of them have been living side by side for centuries).

b) The point of divide being Religion (This point is important). The divide is so great that these nations cannot co-exist at any cost.

A secular, liberal, progressive mind will probably disagree, including me, but not completely. What I am going to say next might sound contradictory in nature(and, controversial even), but is really not.

I do agree that dividing Humans into two sets based on some lofty man-made idea called Religion is idiotic, but we have to also agree that division exists and have to factor that in our calculations.

Hindus and Muslims were at each others throats. Muslims formed around 25% of the population of British India, making them a powerful bloc. Owing to their size and strength in numbers in certain parts of India, they had terrible nuisance potential.

But, one will argue that this is also true of the Hindus. Yes, but Hindus never wished for a separate state from Muslims. This is important. In the Hindu Religion(If you can call it that), there is no political side, as in Islam. Its priestly class has never been all-powerful.

But, its not the case with Islam. Its scriptures do interfere in the matter of the state. For instance, there are more than 50 Muslim Majority Countries in the World and only few of them are Democracies. Most of them call themselves Islamic.

One can easily see how this is dangerous. As it went, Muslims began to see themselves as a separate entity from majority Hindus and began to see themselves as victims and more crucially, Hindus being their tormentors, despite the fact that it was the British who had complete control of India and before the British arrived there was Mughal rule in most parts of India.

What guarantee was there that these separatist emotions would have been locked away had India stayed together?

The thing is: Once a case is made for a separate state, rightly or wrongly, and if the people who make that demand are present in very large numbers, have financial and political capital (Like Jinnah had British patronage), its very difficult to impress them not to make their demands. They would not settle with anything less than complete political power, either in the present state or the new state.

A few enlightened Muslims did recognize this cancerous theory for what it is. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan (also known as Frontier Gandhi or Sarhadi Gandhi, for his love of non-violence, a trait he shared with the greatest proponent of the art- Gandhi), for instance said, “You have thrown us to the wolves”, when he learned that Congress had accepted the plan for partition. Maulana Azad too recognized that this was a flawed theory.

TNT was the disease, India the patient. The diseased part had to be cut off; A sacrifice to please the Gods had to be made.

If these separatist tendencies were ignored or somehow placated with concessions, what is the guarantee that they would not have raised their ugly head again when time seemed right? Riots went on even after Partition, with both sides attacking each other. Had Pakistan not been born, they would have occurred at a much grander scale, thereby destabilizing India, robbing it of the opportunity to build itself a solid foundation, which it got. Which brings me to my next point.

2. India needed solid foundations, not uncertainty

“We shall have India divided or we shall have India destroyed.”

– Mohammad Ali Jinnah

India got a solid foundation, thanks to Nehru. But, this would not have been possible if Pakistan had not been created. Riots would have caused havoc in all of India. India could have easily been plunged into Civil war (Note: Jinnah did in fact threaten Civil war if his demands were not met. In a show of strength he called for ‘Direct Action Day’ on the 18th day of Ramzan [Note the Religious overtone of the call]. Suhrawardy, a Muslim Leaguer and a close associate of Jinnah; who was the Chief Minister of a Muslim-Majority united Bengal and in charge of the Home Ministry, did nothing when Muslim mobs went on a rampage against their fellow neighboring Hindus). That day shook India. About 5,000 people died and 15,000 injured.

What if someone in a united free India and invoked similar emotions and demands among Muslims? The Nation would have been hostage to the blackmail of thugs like Suhrawardy, who went on to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

There was a very real chance that India could have been divided into two or more states had the Cabinet Mission Plan been accepted. The Cabinet Mission Plan, which Nehru put a brake to, would have left India a “moth-eaten” state, in which the 3 wings of India possessing the power to declare independence after 10 short years.

The proverbial steam was let off.

3. Pakistan – The buffer state

Be it Alexander or the Mughals or the Afghans, who used to raid India to loot and plunder, they all came from the same direction.

Himalayas to the North and North-East, the Indian Ocean to the South acted as natural barriers for ancient India. Not surprisingly, India was invaded and looted only from one direction (Only the British came via the sea). Pakistan, today, graciously, plugs that hole.

Pakistan and Afghanistan(Af-Pak) today are some of the most dangerous, volatile and violent regions on Earth. If Pakistan hadn’t been born, that region would have been part of India! If Pakistan didn’t exist, the porous, long borders with Afghanistan would have made sure India was sucked into the instability.

4. The Demographic Challenge

Today Pakistan and Bangladesh have a combined population of 316 Million, out of which only a fraction are non-Muslim. The total Muslim population of South Asia is around 450 Million.

If Pakistan had not been born, the Muslims would have formed about half the population of India.  India would have been sitting on a time bomb today. That bomb would have torn the fabric of India into shreds. Riots would have engulfed India and would have torn it apart not too long after Independence.

Pakistan was always inevitable. If it was not Jinnah in the 1940s, it could or would have been someone else in the 1950s or the 1960s. Religion is a handy tool to gain popularity and hold the nation hostage (Just look at the History of Pakistan where many despots and politicians alike have used it to their advantage). Jinnah did that beautifully. Nehru recognized that.

A Nation should be born on the ideas of unity, brotherhood and love of the Motherland. Sometime the ideas of division creep in and in rare cases it is best to give respect to such ideas and let them take their own course.

Today India is a Secular, Democratic, Pluralistic society, and is at peace with itself; Everything Pakistan is not. Sacrifice the limb to save a life, the saying goes.


Filed under Gandhi, Geo-Politics, India, India's Freedom Struggle

The Legacy of Gandhi-Nehru Vs Legacy of Jinnah

Two men, near, yet so far

I know I am a bit late to discuss Anna Hazare here[Title is accurate, have patience 🙂 ], as the ‘movement’ he has engineered has come a long way since he started his fast a few months ago and re-started it on August 15th , in support of the Lokpal Bill.  But, I can’t stop thinking about an observation I made.

How do you define a Leader and how do you determine his Greatness?

Anyone can be a leader of the masses, but can anyone leave behind a legacy strong enough to influence generations long after they have passed away?

This was what came to mind when I saw the media calling Anna Hazare a neo-Gandhi, or at least, inspired by Gandhi.

Let us go back in time. August of 1947 was a time of turmoil and two nations were born out of a common womb. The two Countries have since followed two different trajectories. One has proclaimed itself to be an ‘Islamic Republic’, while the other proudly calls itself a ‘Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic’.

There were many important actors during this time but the contribution of 3 leaders outrank any in this period of mayhem: Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Jawaharlal Nehru and ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi.

Jinnah went on to create his Pakistan by the sheer strength of his will and a lot of British help. Nehru and Gandhi spent half of their time between 1920 and 1947 in various British gaols and managed to get the hard-fought freedom for the Indian Sub-Continent, after a long, bitter struggle for Independence. They all come from the same era but the ideologies they espouse are different.

Gandhi, a pacifist by thought, wore only a hand-spun Khadi and a stern believer in the principles of non-violence. Nehru, considered himself a thorough ‘Gandhian’ and he had even fought with his father, a ‘Great’ himself, Motilal Nehru, in the process of sticking up for Gandhi and his policies (Motilal was opposed to dragging Religion into politics as Gandhi did so brilliantly and constructively).

Jinnah was unlike both. His strength was vague-ness and a brilliant mind. A premier lawyer of his time, who wore Saville Row suits, drank Alcohol (Alcohol consumption considered a sin in Islam) and his preferred language was English, rather than Urdu or Gujrati. Yet, he goes onto raise a cry for Pakistan, claiming ‘Islam is in danger’ [He goes onto argue for the usage of Urdu in Pakistan, even though it was not the native language of the geography nor the language of the majority, thereby sowing seeds for the birth of Bangladesh, a Country for the Bengali speakers of Jinnah’s Pakistan].

Let us not get into the details and the circumstances behind the partition as it doesn’t seem as important in the context of this observation.

So, Jinnah managed to create a “Country for Muslims”, named Pakistan (Land of the pure). And, Gandhi became the ‘Father of the Nation’ of India; Nehru its first PM.

Now, let us come back to the present.

65 years on, Gandhi and his ways are a source of inspiration, not only in India, but all over the World. A person like Anna Hazare still uses Gandhi’s methods to achieve what he thinks is right. Nehru’s name has been soiled a bit for the License-Raj rule he spawned, intentionally or otherwise. Political Parties play politics and use his bloodline to garner votes even today. Clearly he is still the darling of the Rural-India and a source of inspiration for those of us who are not corrupted by the canards propagating in Urban India.

But, what about the other guy in the famous trio? While Gandhi and Nehru are loved to be hated by the Right in India, the Left and the Centrists have been unequivocal about their love for Gandhi-Nehru; Jinnah, on the other hand, has turned out to be the quintessential poster-boy for both the Right and the not-so-Right in Pakistan.

Jinnah is quoted by all and sundry n Pakistan, for everything – Political and Religious. Ask a Pakistani if Pakistan was meant to be a Secular state, the not-so-Right will quote Jinnah’s August 11th speech [where he essentially says there should be room for non-Muslims in Pakistan] and the Right will ask you if Pakistan was meant to be a Secular state why create it in the first place and will also, most probably, quote one of Jinnah’s several speeches authenticating their point of view: A person will selectively quote one of Jinnah’s speeches depending on his/her political leanings. Jinnah has also done a great favor to the Feudalists of Pakistan by seeking their support during the 1940s and late 1930s, thereby not speaking against one of the most brutal institutions of the time- Feudalism. You won’t find him abusing the Feudals the way Nehru vent his rage on them.

Gandhi-Nehru managed to create a Country which would adopt a Constitution which stands for, or, at least does not violate both their respective ideologies. India is officially today a ‘Sovereign Socialist Democratic Republic’ and Pakistan a ‘Islamic Republic’. India is content with its identity; Pakistan’s is ripping it apart. India, almost nonchalantly, will choose a Sikh Prime Minister, who derives his support from a Catholic Congress President. No non-Muslim can aspire to become the President of Pakistan, says its Constitution.

Legacy is such an important thing, especially of those who manage to create and influence entire nations. You have a Jinnah as the ‘Father of a Nation’, you head into turmoil; the politico-religious boundaries get erased and/or tend to overlap. Islamists will use him as their poster boy, so will the Secularists. Your nation will forever be doomed to be governed by a Constitution which allows outrageous laws like the Blasphemy Law. You cannot win an argument against the Right, who tend to not only have Jinnah’s quotes on their side but also are more capable of violence. On the other hand, if you have the luxury of divine providence of having a Nehru/Gandhi as a ‘Guy you can look up to’, your boundaries are pretty clear on most of the important issues, be it regarding war/violence or economy or social evils like the Caste System, Feudaism/Zamindari System,etc. The Right cannot invoke their beliefs and speeches, because there are none.

Mind you, I am talking about legacy here, not particular quotes or specific actions of the individuals in question.

Legacies are what which can define Nations. Only the people with upright morals and genuine good in their hearts can aim to have such influence over others, who in turn may well go onto inspire others. Gandhi can inspire men like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, but Jinnah cant. The difference between the two is pretty obvious: The former used Religion to unite, the latter to divide.

On an inter-personal level, we are all Children of legacies. A Father’s legacy for his son/daughter can define and mold his/her thinking (Influence of Motilal over his son, Jawaharlal, is the best example I have come across). A ‘Guru’ (Teacher) can extend his legacy into his student, by the power and wisdom of his knowledge. Legacy is a pretty powerful tool, for those who understand it. For those who don’t, they leave a legacy too, but that legacy is of a loathsome character and invariably leads to misery.

As far as legacy goes in the India-Pakistan context, India is blessed, while Pakistan seems bound to be stuck in a vicious cycle of war of two Jinnah’s.

Indians, be proud and thank Him for giving us a ‘Mahatma’ when we most needed him!


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