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British Colonialism and How India and Pakistan Lost Freedom

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British Colonialism and How

India and Pakistan

Lost Freedom

Irony of historic national freedom and unspoken tyranny of imperialism
Do nations and civilizations grow out of the moral mire of military conquests, killings of innocent people, political cruelty and subjugation by imperialism? For more than 800 years, India, as a Mughal Empire, was an economically well-integrated and politically viable entity, and west Europeans had strong trade and political relationships with it. After intrigued conspiracies and planned division, the British Occupied India in 1857, committing cold-blooded massacres of two million people, mostly Muslims, opposing the military invasion described just as a “Mutiny” in the British chronicles. Bahadur Shah Zafar – the last Mughal emperor – was deposed overnight in Delhi, his youngest son’s head was chopped off and put on a breakfast plate to strangle the Shah and make him surrender unconditionally. He was hurriedly taken to Rangoon in Burma (today’s Myanmar) and imprisoned in a garage – where he later died and was buried – only to write poems in loss of his freedom and beloved country. Did the British overtake India to make it a free country for democracy or was it to support the Hindu domination of futuristic India? Britain robbed Mughal India and became itself the ‘Great Britain’ and imagined India as an absolute entity of the British Empire.

Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru, Dr Mohammad Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, though educated in British intellectual traditions, articulated new missions and visions for national freedom as a revulsion against the British colonial political traditions and continuity of British Raj in India. Was this violent and ruthless indoctrination a part of the British heritage or history-making efforts to besiege India forever? Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, made sure that Indians will remain loyal and committed and subservient to the futuristic blending of the so-called celebrated national freedom after the 1947 partition into India and Pakistan. The British failed to deliver the truth of national freedom to both nations in a universal spirit of political responsibility. Both nations continued to engage in military warfare, ethnic conflicts and hegemonic control to dominate each other by undermining their own future.

History could not have confined the tyranny and oppression of “divide and rule” of British imperialism against the will of the Indian masses. Canons of rationality clarify that national freedom granted to both new entities in August 1947 was a fake chronology of time and history. The so-called national freedom perpetuated a hybrid socio-economic and political culture – part human, part vulture. The British made no security arrangements to ensure communal peace and harmony which resulted in the killing of millions of people in ethnic violence while migrating from one place to another.

Indian and Pakistani leaders follow egoistic agenda for the future
An aerial view of New Delhi, the capital of India, reflects an Islamic image of the city – Grand Mosque, Red Fort and a lot more. To foreigners, it does not look like the capital of Hindu India at all. If this inference has any reality, the future of India and Pakistan should have been a collaboration and lasting friendship. India always wanted to subdue Pakistan and its national freedom. Pakistan’s bad luck entailed many military coups breaking its integrity and trust in freedom. Egoistic and foolish Generals created bogus and corrupt politicians claiming to be the leaders of future-making. They lacked the moral and intellectual capacity to imagine its future with a new generation of educated, intelligent and proactive people who could have contributed to a promising future of Pakistan. Most pernicious consequences defy logic as most Indian and Pakistani elite would not dare to be on the rational side of time and history. Nation-building is a forgotten and unreasonable goal to their pursuits.

India’s political agenda was intact when East Pakistan was disintegrated in December 1971, and Bangladesh was created by Mrs Indira Gandhi – a power conspirator Prime Minister of India. Pakistani governing elite would not dare to admit that it was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and General Yahya Khan – both major conspirators – who led to the defeat of Pakistan. Even half a century later, Pakistanis still live in the delusional and unarguable conclusion of that historic misfortune. As a graduate student, I met General PNK Choudry (the former Chief of the Indian Armed Force) forcibly retired by Mrs. Indira Gandhi and sent as Indian High Commissioner to Canada. At a local university campus, we met when he was a guest speaker. Later on, I invited him for a class gathering with fellow students to lunch. During the summer while working at a photo store, General Choudry 

would come in with two cameras on his shoulder and many times we had lunch, walks and photography together. On weekends, at the university library, I would often get library books to share with him and we talked about global affairs and his own past and that of India and Pakistan. He denied any alleged conspiracy against Mrs. Gandhi to oust her and bring a military coup in India. My interaction with General Choudry continued for almost two years. After his 

diplomatic assignment, he was hired by McGill University, Montreal, as a lecturer and that is where he died in 1975. He was a simple, 6.5-foot (approx.) tall and humble person who spoke openly and truthfully as I recall him. As a top Indian General, he may have been a tyrant but as a human being and a diplomat, he was a decent person. He fought wars with Pakistan and knew most of the military establishments. Here is what he disclosed during many conversations and it should be alarming to Pakistanis, if they deny it:

Bhutto and Mujib were ‘appointed’ by Mrs. Gandhi
Prior to the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had direct contact with Mrs. Gandhi and he wanted India’s help to become the next leader of Pakistan. India was looking for such an opportunity and wanted East Pakistan to become a new country – Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was a nationalist but was also enthusiastic for a new homeland rather than to become the next elected leader of Pakistan. Bhutto and Yahya Khan were competing for power even without elections. Sheikh Mujib’s Awami League won the majority of seats in the 1971 elections of the National Assembly to be the next legitimate Prime Minister of Pakistan. The ill-informed Pakistani Generals, who had questions about Mujib’s futuristic intentions, delayed the transfer of power. Bhutto, whose Pakistan Peoples Party won most seats in West Pakistan, carved up his own egoistic agenda for grabbing political power even if Pakistan was defeated, otherwise, Sheikh Mujib and Yahya could have become the next leaders. Bhutto was a power-hungry individual without any political capacity to be a leader. Mrs. Gandhi helped both Bhutto and Mujib, but the price was the defeat and surrender of Pakistan in the 1971 war. Mrs. Gandhi appointed Bhutto as the next President, Chief Martial Law Administrator and Prime Minister of Pakistan and Mujib as the first President of Bangladesh. Some Pakistanis would blame General Niazi for the surrender but, in reality, it was Yahya-Bhutto and the Pakistani Generals who should have faced full accountability and perhaps firing squads for their treachery and dishonesty to national freedom and integrity. None of this ever happened in Pakistan. To see more, please view the articles by this author: “Pakistan: Leaders Who Stabbed the Nation” (2009); “Pakistan: Leader or Criminals?” (2014); “Pakistan: Reflections on the Turbulent 69th Independence Day”; (2015) “Pakistan: How to Change the Culture of Political Corruption and Rebuild the Future” (2014); and “Pakistan and India’s Leaders Mark Freedom from British Colonial Rule but Masses Look for a Navigational Change” (2020).

To General Choudry, if the whole of Pakistan were captured by India except the Sindh province, ZA Bhutto would have gladly become the Chief Minister of Sindh to co-exist with India. He disclosed, there were five or six “soft-hearted” Pakistani Generals willing to align and not to challenge India’s plan for Bangladesh. Shocking as it is, future Pakistani leaders never held anyone accountable for the crimes against the nation. Were Bhutto and Yahya more important than the existence, national freedom and integrity of One Pakistan? Dr Ishtiaq Qureshi (Editor Urdu Digest) wrote “Skoot-e-Dhaka Say Purdah Uttha Hey” (1972), in which he described the details of how Bhutto and Yahya betrayed Pakistan and stabbed the nation. Dr Qureshi was imprisoned by the Bhutto government. This dreadful tragedy infallibly resulted to question the very basis of the originality of Pakistan and remains unacknowledged by the Pakistani political elite even to this day. Are the Pakistanis still living in any rational denials of their own chapter of history?

Are there any hopes for people-oriented change?
India has its multiple problems of socio-economic and political diversity. It is unable to counteract the national freedom movement of the Sikh nation for an independent Khalistan. Kashmir was never a part of British Indian dominion and its masses continue to seek freedom from illegal Indian occupation and violations of their basic human rights. Muslim, Christian and other minorities are oppressed under Hindutva-managed India which ironically claims to be a secular and democratic country. Pakistan miserably failed to take proactive initiatives to support the freedom movement for the people of Kashmir. The old servicemen-led elite could not imagine new and creative strategies to organize international conferences or effectively communicate to the Western world to share the aspirations of the Kashmiri masses.

The degeneration of the Indian-Pakistani moral and intellectual culture is well in progress. The essence, meaning and purposes of historic British colonial systems are operative across all public affairs, policies and practices in both neighbouring countries. The armed forces, the civil service and legal jurisprudence all remain under the sinister influence and disfigured reality of the two so-called free nations. Police still beat the protesters and open fire on peaceful demonstrators, be in New Delhi, Kashmir or Islamabad. National freedom does not empower futuristic societies to establish political absurdity, immoral and intellectual decadence and political injustice. Common people in both countries are besieged in obsolete systems of political governance while rich landlords and the affluent compete in the elections and gain power. There is no change for the people in the colonized landscape except the enlarged scope of moral and intellectual corruption guised as freedom. If you will question both elites having many common values of the British Raj, they would deny if there is anything wrong with their thinking, role play and management of public affairs. The new and young generation who could not imagine a new sustainable future is vanishing fast and migrating to Europe and America in search of better opportunities. The old generations of landlords and retired civilian-military officials manage the governing bodies whereas people of new and educated generation are deprived of any practical participation and they prefer to migrate to Europe and North America and never return to their home countries. The hub of political culture is divided and delusional about national freedom and sustainable future-making. There are no wars for the people of the sub-continent to fight but they are fighting wars on several fronts without reason — known and unknown. The compelling realities across the beleaguered sub-continent demand new thinking, new visionary leadership, men of new ideas and plans to deal with the unwarranted exploitation of masses, communal deaths, and deliberate destruction of the historic culture and millions of people looking for a change and a new beginning of cordial borders and relationships.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Lambert Academic Publications, Germany,

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