nationalism in south asia summary

In the case of Hindu nationalism in India, we, for example, seem to have a reasonable grasp of its ideological foundation, the appeal of the BJP as a political party and how it compares with other similar parties globally, the type of leadership Narendra Modi represents, and so forth. Many hundred thousand people were killed and numerous women had to face untold brutalities during the Partition.

JIs infrastructural network, which includes publishing houses, magazines, and digests, not to mention its status as a purely ideological party, renders it the most significant of domestic actors when it comes to education politics in Pakistan. As Deng Xiaoping confessed in the aftermath of the pro-democracy movement at Tiananmen, I have told foreign guests that during the last 10 years our biggest mistake was made in the field of education, primarily in ideological and political education not just of students but of the people in general. While the articles in this special issue provide many and good answers to the question where is the nation, they do not sufficiently address the equally imperative query concerning why the nation in the first place. It is not, as the articles in this special issue show, a direct consequence of a neat entwinement or coherence of nationality and territoriality. Aside from Gandhi, there are no obvious good guys or bad guys in the history. pdf academia In his article, Magnusson, for example, attends to how Baltistan in both India and Pakistan became an object of internal colonialism and state- and nation-making, [and] part of a new geography with a new geopolitical agenda. Hence, for the Balti community, Independence, Partition, [and] division [in 1947] meant the transition from one mode of colonial domination and subalternity to another (this volume). In a regional context such as South Asia where there are myriad examples of how the nation state adopts colonizing, imperial, and marginalizing expressions, it would be a mistake not to consider the alternatives that might exist if we were to transgress, transcend, or deny the primacy of extant forms of nationalism. An apt illustration is available in Boris Willes article included here on the Maldives, in which Pakistan, as part of a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit held in November 2011, contributed a commemorative monument that, contrary to the original intention, was perceived by the Defend Islam campaign to be a case of idolatry. As an example, it is especially noteworthy since it confirms how neighboring states are often perceived foremost negatively even when, as in the case of the Maldives, a significant other religious [national] community is absent.. It is equally crucial to pose and try to answer questions about the limits of political community as grounded in shared nationhoodespecially in a region concurrently marked by majoritarianism, cross-border affinities, and transnational patterns of community-making. 2017. Why not Islamic Juridical Ethics? Such an emphasis seems logical given Pakistan was a new state birthed in 1947, while India was the successor state to the territory controlled by the British raj. Nation as form is, however, as we know, predicated upon identifying sameness and difference; and although it is ill-suited to name this sameness in concrete and conclusive terms, it is well-suited for sorting out difference, for marking and distinguishing distance, estrangement, and subordination. Overall, 1947 is more unalloyed in Pakistani than Indian textbooks. The answer, at least in the case of India and Pakistan, is yes. The Alien Who Is a Citizen. In,,, Simply think of the communal violence that India has periodically suffered since its inception as a postcolonial state in 1947 or the treatment of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan. Thomas Macaulay, president of the Committee of Public Instruction in British India, was strongly in favor. He was keen that Hindus and Muslims support each other in any just cause., Pakistani textbooks treat 1947 differently. If we, for instance, used to be able to speak of a specific Indian brand of secularism, today we need to admit that the Indian state is committed to advancing a highly particular interpretation of Hinduism and, by extension, of what it means to be Indian. Accordingly, the nation both acts as a vessel for and propels collective agencyan agency, if we accept Jacqueline Stevenss account (2009), that is not only intimately linked to the active preservation of membership as foremost inherited, but also is recurrently the root cause of large-scale conflict, violence, and suffering. If viewed in this light, it should be possible to critically ponder the historicity, and thus the particularity and chance character, of the sense of sameness and shared community that is supposed to underpin present-day nation-building efforts. Of particular note in this rendition is the antipathetic tone taken against Gandhi and the Indian National Congress more generally, portrayed as conspiratorial Hindus bent upon control and exploitation of the Indian Muslim population.

In terms of commonalities, I note as a basic starting point, with Katharine Adeney, that majoritarian nationalism is gaining in prominence in the region (2015), with India since the last general election as the most obvious example. In his article on Bangladesh, Korom observes a very different content to how the state manages, maintains, and monitors religious nationalism. However, this search for completion through restoration, as well as the aforementioned fear of small numbers (Appadurai 2006), isas scholars of South Asia very well knownot new. The nation as the principal mode of enacting and envisioning community is, hence, clearly not unique in a transhistorical sense, and it is not unique nor does it hold the status of exclusivity in the lives of many people now living in South Asia.

The date is portrayed as the culmination of an ineluctable political process that began with the arrival of the first Muslims to the subcontinent in pre-medieval times.

For instance, referring to the early associations of Indian nationalism mentioned above, including Congress, the textbook states that [T]ough many of these associations functioned in specific parts of the country, their goals were stated as the goals of all the people of India, not those of any one region, community or class. Referring to the protest movement against the Rowlatt Act in 1919, the textbook informs its readers that during the Rowlatt Satyagraha the participants tried to ensure that Hindus and Muslims were united in the fight against British rule.

The articles, hence, do not extensively reflect either on the comparative qualities of the neighboring states nor on the possibility of utilizing South Asia as a tenable regional delimitation and scope in the first place.

There is, of course, also an international dimension at work here.

In some instances, neighboring states are even imbued with the connotation of having been responsible for or participants in the original and founding violence. Why Islamic Ethics? Hence, instead of a direct correspondence between the yearnings for nationhood and territorial statehood, notions of paramountcy, overlapping authority claims, and divisible sovereignty prevailed. Although the overall focus of this special issue has been on South Asian nationalisms, in conclusion it remains possible to enquire about the extent to which what we see foremost resembles nation-building practices, or if it is more aptly conceptualized in terms of a continuation of empire by other means. However, drawing out such shared lessons on the basis of the special issue is not an easy task, given that the individual articles do not start from the same theory, method, problem, and so on. With respect to the former, the textbook focuses on the waning of British power in India, particularly in the face of organized resistance and charts the birth of Indian nationalism from the middle of the nineteenth century. 2019. The implications of this imbalance are at once somber and striking, for it means that the most nationalistic elements of the body politic control what young people read and learn.

So, the joy of our countrys independence from British rule came mixed with the pain and violence of Partition. . The specific narratives presented within textbooks are an outgrowth of domestic political constellations. It is therefore imperative to attend to why the present moment, despite this, equals a seemingly crucial juncture for the congealing and success of religious nationalism in the region. An alternative way of conceiving individual cases as comparable beyond pointing to a set inventory of concrete similaritieseither the ones already mentioned or such things as dynasticism, the criminalization of politics, and the highly pronounced fear of balkanization and of small numbers, to use Arjun Appadurais term (2006)would be to stress the role neighboring states fill as constitutive and contrasting outsides. More importantly, the loss of one-third of British India to the creation of a new country, Pakistan, is presented as a cost of independence, rather than liberation itself as in the Pakistani book. In the present special issue, Schaflechners study of how the Hindu minority is rendered in Pakistani popular culture is another example of this. The second explanation (which is fully reconcilable with the first) would instead foremost stress how a more integrated world hassomewhat paradoxically at first sightled to inward-looking needs and propensities, and how perceived uncertainties of significant groups in society result in a loss of what Anthony Giddens and others have referred to as ontological security (for more on this, see Kinnvall and Mitzen 2017). This reflection does not solely apply to internal colonialism in the form of state attempts to, on the one hand, reshape and mold what citizens relate to as shared cultural traits and to, on the other hand, gather and classify knowledge about all inhabitants and their place within a conjectured whole. Even though Dalit activists across the region increasingly base their work on the insight that caste is not exclusive to India or to Hindu communities and that external pressure, built through a global layer of activism, is needed to make sure that individual states commit to the eradication of casteist practices, it has proven very hard to turn the struggle against caste-based discrimination into a regional or international, rather than a domestic, issue. With Angharad Closs Stephens, it might even be argued that there is no way out of the nation as form at present; that is, as the principal form of structure to assume and conform to for any political community that desires to be sovereign and to exercise self-determination, articulate legitimate claims to a delimited territory, and claim to be able to represent the will of its members (2014; see also Balibar 2004; Samaddar 2012). Until roughly the early 1990s, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and Indian textbooks were aligned to a secular nationalist position. Since the 1990s, and the attendant ascension of the Hindu right, these themes have been challenged repeatedly for being in the thrall of secular, Westernized, Marxist views of history rather than one that champions Hindu nationalism and its symbols and attachments. Let us here take the recently opened Partition Museum in Amritsar as our example. Second, across South Asia, we find increasingly violent attempts to impose a nation-wide uniform, majoritarian, hegemonic, and communal ideology on those who do not subscribe to it.. This holds true both for what is conventionally designated religious and secular nationalism. These twin themes freedom, but at the cost of division are emphasized throughout the chapter. Schaflechners article convincingly conveys how ostensibly insignificant and pulp stories have the effect of disseminating and reinforcing ideas about the incommensurability of Hindus and Muslims, even to the degree of turning Pakistans horror genre into a suitable stage for representing [an] ambivalent and frightening relationship of the Hindu to and with Pakistans founding ideology. In Koroms article here, we find an analogous instance of banal nationalism, and a related display of incommensurability, in the form of a rickshaw panel that depicts a woman hiding in the jungle to protect her innocent child from the onslaught and ravages of the Pakistani army during the war for liberation. As Korom (this volume) germanely notes, every ride . One Class 10 textbook from Punjab notes simply that On 1st October 1947, while addressing the officers of the Government of Pakistan, he [Jinnah] said that their mission was the establishment of a state where they could live like free people in their own socio-cultural set up necessary for the promotion of social justice and Islamic Ideology. Another passage matter-of-factly states that Pakistan emerged as an independent state on the map of the world on 14 August, 1947.