On Pakistani Unity

Kupamanduka protests my characterization of his post as “He wants India to be more like Pakistan”. He claims that he does not want India to be like Pakistan in every respect. But  why does he want India to be like Pakistan in that particular respect? What benefits has the deep religiosity and solidarity with fellow religionists brought Pakistan? He does not say. To the untutored eye, it seems that Pakistan is hurtling towards self-destruction precisely because of the blindness brought about by the deep religiosity. But because deep religiosity seems pleasing to Kupamanduka’s eye, he approves of it and thinks it a source of strength.

In any case, it is not at all clear to me that Pakistan is a particularly united place. I doubt whether West Pakistan and East Pakistan felt any solidarity with each other because they shared a common religion. Even if we dismiss that example as being before Zia’s time, it must be pointed out that ethnic tensions and tensions between provinces exist, and they are worse than in India. The overflowing of religiosity has hardly brought them any greater sense of national unity than it has brought India.

Kupamanduka says that it is deep religiosity and solidarity with co-religionists that causes Muslims pain when they see atrocities on Palestinians, but causes them no pain to see the atrocities in Darfur. This distinction, which Kupamanduka approves of, seems to me to be the ugliest aspect of unity.  The first question, of course, is whether the Muslims in Darfur, who are being slaughtered by their brothers feel much solidarity with other Muslims who are standing shoulder to shoulder with Palestinians. The second question is why Kupamanduka used that particular example while there is a much more pertinent one. The more pertinent example is that Pakistanis succeed in uniting themselves against Indian infidels, but fail to fight the clear and present danger of the Taliban dismembering their country.

This particular blindness, the failure to see internal threats, the propensity to blame everything on an external enemy and banding together against it, seems to me to make the case against solidarity, not for it. I would like Kupamanduka to explain why this is a strength of unity.

I have written about unity and disunity before (1,2). I believe that the puruit of “unity” is ultimately counterproductive and leads us to disunity. I may write more on this. But it is instructive to note that Kupamanduka does not even notice that he has made an extraordinary claim that needs to be backed up with some reasoning. That, I believe, is part of the problem that a pursuit of unity brings about.

10 thoughts on “On Pakistani Unity

  1. And I though you couldn’t be any more dishonest. May be Dilip D’Souza can get you a writing gig somewhere. Congrats buddy.

  2. Yes Gaurav, it is always motives that matter. It is always “Why has he said it? What is his motive? Is he planning to join the Congress? Is he looking for a writing gig in a leftist publication? Is he building up his secularist credentials?” Once you impute motives, there is no need to argue over facts. If my motives were pure, the facts would be self-evident to me.

  3. This ‘Characterization’ is great and I should say a treatise, I simply loved it. I think we the hindus always remember not to kill ants or birds showing our commitment to AHIMSA but yes we never forget the caste of a person which essentially is aimed at downsizing him most of the times. It’s like “Don’t kill humans, just kill their life”. I think he should read more about hinduism and clear his concepts. hinduism is not a faith or religion but a way of life. It’s got somethhing for everybody on the planet. Kupmanduka’s favorite pakistan has never been known to acheive any thing except theft and deception. Why Doesn’t he instead concentrate on how Chinese are alarmingly strategically encircling India, preparing for a cyber war or atleast learn about their culture. He will find Greater amount of knowledge.

  4. OK, I just went back to those old posts again. And realised that they’re not even about centralisation but the failure to build succession planning.
    .
    Coincidentally I was talking to somebody else a couple of days ago about how Indian family businesses also tend to splinter once the patriarch dies. Now here wishful thinking about the unity of the family was probably used as a justification for not doing the succession planning. But did it cause it? You could as well say that the ability to speak Marwari distracts from the desire to manage your succession and processes well. Valuing unity/ solidarity doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unable to build institutions.

  5. I am referring to a different kind of succession planning here, where the potential successors slug it out in some kind of election or leadership contest. There a unity culture prevents institutions where Advani’s successor can emerge through an open process. Family businesses are a different matter. RSS-type succession planning where the Sarsangchalak writes a chit at his deathbed is also a different issue.

  6. In family business groups where shareholding is unclear and/ or widely dispersed you again have lots of jockeying for power and influence and the organisation goes to seed. The Rajnath/ Jaitley/ Advani spats are similar.
    .
    As I understand things, the unity culture you were talking about in the two original posts was of the entire organisation being united behind one leader – and when that leader dies or retires, everything collapses as people jockey for succession and ignore building the organisation. How is this the same as the unity kupamanduka is talking about which is unity or solidarity around one idea? And why will unity/ solidarity around the idea cause succession problems?
    .
    I think that a) it’s futile to create this idea of solidarity, given the existing divisions in Hindus and how much they hate each other; b) said solidarity doesn’t seem to have any benefits. But I don’t understand why you pulled those two posts into this one.

  7. It was wrong on my part to call you dishonest, I apologize for that. However rest of what I wrote stands. This (and your twitter meltdown on Kandhar) is nonsense, you are writing this to reaffirm your secular credentials and you are a closet Hindutva sympathizer.

  8. Gaurav,

    Since secular is prone to Humpty-dumptyism, do let us know what Hindutva means. I have a feeling it may be prone to the same problem.

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