What Dr Hoodhboy got wrong

Sir, please don’t insult us by assuming that we minorities were not "enthusiastic" about Pakistan. We were and...

Danielle Sharaf March 06, 2012
An opinion piece in The Express Tribune "Run for your life" by Dr Pervez Hoodhboy on March 5, 2012 read:
This essay deliberately excludes Hindus, Christians, and Parsis. The reason: these communities were never enthused about India’s partition (even though some individual members pretended to be)...

First of all, bravo Dr Hoodbhoy for such a brave article on the injustices faced by the non-Muslim Pakistanis in the name of religion.

While Dr Hoodbhoy painted a factual picture on the general state of affairs, he conveniently made some very disturbing assumptions on behalf of people, that to date, are fighting for their right of "Pakistaniyat" just as Shias or Ahmadis, thanks to the Pakistan studies books we were fed on.

With all due respect sir, I expected better of you.

I would be surprised if you had not heard of Mr Jogendra Nath Mandal and his role in the freedom struggle. A leader of the scheduled castes, he 'enthusiastically' fought for the cause of Pakistan along with the Muslim League, convinced that Jinnah’s Pakistan was a superior ideology than ‘MaBharata’. Born in Bengal, he was chosen to be Pakistan’s first Minister of Law and Labour— but is now a forgotten Hindu.

Mr SP Singha was the speaker of the Punjab Assembly when the resolution for Pakistan was moved. Short of three votes he 'enthusiastically' rallied the Christian members to vote in favour of Jinnah. Muslim League won, resulting in the inclusion of several populations near Sialkot, Chunia, Kasur etc. in present day Pakistan. Singha died a Pakistan “enthusiast” Christian -conveniently ignored.

And who can forget Samuel Martin Burke? He was the magistrate of the Election Petition Commission of Punjab in 1945 who moved 16 petitions in favour of Muslim League, all to the chagrin of Congress and Sir Hayat’s Unionists who wanted a United India. These petitions eventually won Pakistan’s case, and after partition Mr Burke chose Pakistan as his native country.

To date, he is revered as a pioneer of Pakistan’s foreign policy. As Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Canada, he is accredited to convincing USA and Canada of Pakistan’s need of nuclear reactors. Mr Burke passed away as a Non Muslim Pakistan “enthusiast”. Ignored again.

These are, but a few names that shared Jinnah’s dream of Pakistan and were instrumental in leading thousands of Hindus and Christians to join the cause. Whoever thinks that it’s only the Muslims who migrated on that glorious night of August 13, 1947, needs a history lesson. Several thousands of non-Muslims left the Ganges behind believing that Pakistan was their true calling - my family included.

Where is it that we have fallen short of patriotism or denied service to our country? Christian, Hindu and Parsi soldiers have fought and accepted martyrdom as recently as the operations in Swat. They have been both war heroes and prisoners, enduring harrowing tortures for the country. Who can forget the Cecil, Cyril, Anthony Chaudhrys, Mervyn Middlecoats, Peter Christies, Brig Golwalas, Nazir Latifs, Justin Sharafs and many other like them who answered the call of Labaik?

Since independence, missionary schools and hospitals have opened their doors to every Pakistani without difference. According to recent stats only 2.1 percent of the total Christian population has immigrated abroad, the rest stayed put. So where is it you see that we were never enthusiastic about the creation of Pakistan?

I am sorry Sir, but please don’t insult us by assuming that we, as a community, were never better than frozen poultry that was waiting to be re-branded as “minority” Pakistanis rather than “minority” Indians. Not from you sir...not from you.
Danielle Sharaf An Electrical Engineer from NUST, Danielle heads a multifaceted technology venture and currently resides in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Mariyah | 11 years ago | Reply Thats very well and boldly presented Danielle, i bet if you could you would have detailed more. Apart from these, theres still much more that needs to be mentioned and acknowledged.
shappal | 12 years ago | Reply "Pakistan ka matlab kia" La Ilaha Il Allah. "Muslim ha tw league ma aa" These two slogans were very famous for the creation of pakistan. Pakistan was created on the basis of religion islam. The sole purpose of pakistan was to safe the interests of muslim community. Dr Hoodboy is one of the few intelectual scholarz in pakistan who knows the basic foundation of pakistan.
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