Not too long ago, when Brahamdagh Bugti, the son of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti – the slain Baloch leader, made an impassioned appeal to the Indian media stating unequivocally that Balochistan was supposed to have been an independent nation, that appeal fell on many deaf ears. However, I decided to do a little searching of my own upon hearing what he said. The revelation revealed a certain possibility to me – that the Pakistan we see today was never supposed to exist legally speaking. And the fact that it does exist might have a far more insidious foundation than the one we can think of.
In 1948, Mir Ahmad Yar Khan was, according to Baloch nationalists, coerced into signing the accession to Pakistan. Soon after, a nationalist Balochi uprising took place which was subdued by the Pakistani army. Given the fractious nature of the Baloch tribal rulers and their families, a number of them could be bribed into Pakistan’s side while a good number of them including the Bugti family would hold out against Pakistan and continue to demand their independence.
Tribes such as the Achakzai too were instrumental in the uprisings and a good many of them were arrested. Many aristocratic Baloch leaders such as Prince Karim Khan and Nawab Nowroz Khan were leading the anti-Pakistan struggle which is still ongoing today. The irony is that even in accordance to the British clause of ‘allowing the princely states to choose their nation of accession,’ the annexation of Balochistan in 1948 was illegal.
What was worse was that it was not just the princes who wanted independence (as was the case in Junagadh and Hyderabad) or even accession to India, but a large percentage of the people themselves did not want to join Pakistan. The Mengal and Marri tribes for instance form the majority of Balochistan’s population and they are the most vocal in their demands for independence.
Their cries had for nearly 70 years has remained ignored by a largely Congress ruled India (which is ironic as the Congress is one of the most Muslim appeasing political parties in the world and the Baloch are majority Sunni Muslim on paper at least) but were heeded at long last by Narendra Modi – a greater irony as he is a Hindu nationalist leader.
If we rewind to Sindh’s history, we see a region with large pockets of Hindu majority acceding to Pakistan – a state that had pledged itself to be a champion of Islamization in the subcontinent. Areas of Sindh like Tharparkar and Karachi had thriving Hindu populations often in the majority and yet, when Sindh’s assembly went to vote, we see a largely Muslim dominated vote which voted for Sindh’s accession to Pakistan. The Hindus had no say in it.
Moreover, one would have expected that the regions with Hindu majorities would have at least been assisted by India to accede to India. Considering that Nehru ruled India then, it is not surprising that Sindh was wholly neglected by India.
We constantly notice one thing in Pakistan’s formation in 1947-48 – a Punjabi Muslim elite commanding largely Pashto speaking and rural Punjabi Muslim rag tags into committing genocide against Hindus.
In fact, the whole theatrical formation of Pakistan was based out of Punjab. Pakistan’s leaders took their seats in Lahore and Islamabad and the majority of Pakistan’s genocidal formation was laid in Punjab. No one ever asked himself the question ‘Why Punjab?’
It is one thing that Punjab’s Muslim landowning gentry are the centres of Pakistan’s wealth, but the choice of Punjab to be the nerve centre of the future Pakistani state seems rather disturbing to me.
If we rewind to the 1700s, after the fire breathing Marathas in mainland India, the one force that the Muslims of the north and the west of India feared (as far as Afghanistan and Gilgit-Baltistan) was Punjab and its ruler Maharaj Ranjit Singh. Ever prior to that, Aurangzeb’s campaign to Islamize the south of India and annihilate Hinduism failed largely because of the Sikh revolutionaries of Punjab who fought to the last man, woman and child to stave off the annihilation of Hinduism.
Even when Nader Shah Afshar of Iran invaded India in 1738, it was Punjab which offered some of the stiffest resistance to the extent of attacking and freeing several caravan trains full of Hindu women who were being deported as sex slaves. Punjab was the liberator of Kashmir 300 years after Sikandar Butshikan and his converted nobles expelled and cleansed Hindus in that land. Jammu today has a Hindu majority largely due to Maharaj Ranjit Singh’s policies.
If we observe the arch nemesis of the Sikhs and north western Hindus, we notice the Afghans. For centuries, the Afghans vied for control over Kashmir, Punjab and lands as far as modern day Haryana. It was only due to combined Sikh and Jat resistance that they largely lost in most of these theatres of medieval Jihad.
If we juxtapose these events in history with Jinnah’s demand for a Pakistan, we can conclude the obvious disturbing possibility that:
Jinnah realized by historical example that a Muslim state of Pakistan can never ever exist as long as the Sikh and Jat rulers of western Punjab continued to rule the land demographically. By historical example, he also seems to have taken note that the Pashtuns of the far west would be more than happy to indulge in the outright cleansing of these lands given that for 2 centuries prior, they had already been trying to do exactly that.
The choice therefore to make Punjab the nerve centre of the future Islamic state of Pakistan had only one goal to reach – to deprive the most formidable enemies of Islam in that region of the homeland, thereby creating a homeless refugee exodus into India and in the process, supplanting the most formidable enemies of Islamization overnight with a Muslim majority.
What followed was expected – Pashto and Punjabi speaking Muslim hordes all over Kashmir and Northwest Frontier Province and Punjab were imported into the rest of Pakistan. It worked like a charm. Sindh, Kashmir and Punjab saw a wave of Hindus running for their lives and flooding Indian cities. One might think that they were safe within India. The truth is they were not and the reason for that is much deeper than the obvious.
An uprooted population
The amount of psychological trauma faced by an uprooted expelled population is immeasurable. When a population – especially a population whose entire culture and identity are rooted in the geography of its ancient homeland, is uprooted, you end up creating a scenario wherein the population loses its identity along with its homeland.
In Punjab’s case, many holy sites (many of them now destroyed) stood across the lands of 5 rivers. One of the most prominent of them being Nankana Saheb. When I spoke to a Sikh around 2 years ago about the plight of Hindus in Pakistan, he told me unequivocally that there are none left. That most of them have been killed, expelled or forcefully converted. That places like Nankana Saheb are relic sites of Hindus and Sikhs – now amidst a sea of Muslims while only a generation or two ago, the scenario was opposite.
In all this, Pakistan today uses the cleansed half of Punjab to cultivate and traffic drugs – a plan which they seem to have had for long considering the meticulously planned industry that drugs in Punjab have become. Even out of personal experience, I can state that the drug culture is more rampant with the descendants of the uprooted migrants as the drug culture exponentially rises as we go towards the border towards regions wherein the drugs are actually produced.
Likewise, cultural perdition is more rampant among the descendants of migrants who grew up in a surrounding that never had the spiritual, cultural, geographical or even the emotional connect their folk enjoyed for generations. Such a population of uprooted lost people will lose all purpose to exist as a separate identity for when a man loses the soil of his homeland, he loses his purpose to fight, survive and live.
Such a population will try to assimilate into its new surroundings and no matter how friendly and culturally similar those surroundings may be, the inherent resentment of having to live as a guest in a neighbour’s and the inherent sense of clinging on to what one has lost will make such a population destructively assimilate with its surroundings. And as time goes by, such a population will spawn a generation of resentful people who blame fate and circumstance for everything, and this in turn will lead to ingratitude, inferiority and ultimately to self-hate.
Is it any wonder that Punjab produces so many liberals?
Is it any wonder that Punjab entertains anti-India parties like AAP and Congress on such a war footing?
Is it any wonder that Punjabis among some of the most culturally deracinated people on the one extreme, while some of the most culturally rooted on the other extreme?
Is it any wonder that so many youth are steadily losing their lives to drugs in the same land that Maharaj Ranjit Singh spawned defenders of our faith and folk?
The drugs are merely the second stage. They are a consequence of the uprooting and of the insidious and devilish plan to rid India of her most illustrious defenders – the men and women of Punjab. We can either try to spiritually reorient Punjab – a gargantuan and Herculean task which cannot occur under the current secular setup given the inherent media bias against any such thing and given that this is a nation that will not even repatriate the Kashmiri Pandits, let alone try to instil cultural pride into Punjab. We can otherwise take back the real Punjab and integrate both the Punjabs together into a Greater Punjab, followed by a repatriation of all those Hindus whose grandparents had to run for their lives. Or we could do nothing and watch – something we as Hindus are experts at doing.
70 years later, as India seems to be awakening from its Nehruvian slumber of deceit, communism, lies and self-hate, Pakistan’s plan seems to be moving towards fruition.