Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Secularism and No Hindus in Pakistan; Muslims in India.

The Wikipedia (see the original post on the 'pedia) has an article on the Partition of India, and I have objected to the following text twice and removed it once myself, so I guessed the other people helping edit the article deserved an explanation:
''While Pakistan eventually chose to be an Islamic state, India continued to exist as secular state. Almost all the Hindus in the Pakistan were driven away from Pakistan, notably from Sindh. However there is still a sizeable Muslim minority in India. In fact, there are more Muslims in India than there are in Pakistan.''
This verbiage was at the end of the section on "Border definition". Here are my issues:
  • That information doesn't really belong at the end of that section.
  • The first sentence, while vaguely correct, is an over-simplification. "Continued to exist as a secular state"? There was a secular state in existence before independence? And India's secular credentials are not untroubled. And a case can be made that the secularism practised by [[Nehru]] was very different from how more recent Indian and western advocates of the concept understand it. Nehru famously said (liberally paraphrasing here) that the difference between Britain and India was that the former had an official religion but an irreligious populace, while in India, the state was a-religious while the populace was very religious. This is my POV, but IMHO, a serious case can be made that while [[Nehru]] looked at a secular state giving equal importance to all religions, modern secularists say the state should not give any importance to any religion, all the while in their heart of hearts wanting the state to be aggressively adverserial to all religious belief, if not to ban it outright.
  • The next two sentences are an even more profound over-simplification. The bloodbath happened on both sides. And the problem is that Indians keep pointing to riots (which happened not just against Hindus, but Sikhs, too) while Pakistanis point both to Hindus leaving voluntarily (as happened extensively in Sindh) and the riots against Muslims in Indian parts of the subcontinent.
  • The last sentence is true. In fact, unofficially I think India has the largest single Muslim population in the world. But again, their existence in that country is not untroubled.
IFaqeer|(Talk to me!) 21:02, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)

No comments: