British Colonialism and How India and Pakistan Lost Freedom by Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.

British Colonialism and How India and Pakistan Lost Freedom

Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.

Irony of Historic National Freedom and Unspoken Tyranny of Imperialism

29 Dec 2021 – 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 Moghul Empire was an economically well-integrated and politically viable entity and European maintained strong commerce, trade and political relationships.  After intrigued conspiracies and planned division, the British invaded 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 chronicle. Bahadur Shah Zafar – the last Moghul 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.  Shah was hurriedly taken to Rangoon (Burma) and imprisoned in a garage and later on died and was buried only to write poems in loss of his freedom and beloved country.  Did the British overtake India to be a free country for democracy or to support the Hindu domination of futuristic India?  British robbed Moghul India and looted its wealth and heritage to become Great Britain and imagined India as an absolute entity of the British Empire.

Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Dr Mohammad Iqbal, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Khan though educated in British intellectual traditions but articulated new missions and visions for national freedom as a revulsion against the British colonial political traditions and continuity of the British Raj in India. Was this violent and ruthless indoctrination part of the British heritage or history-making efforts to besiege India forever?  Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy made sure that Indians will remain loyal and committed subservient to the futuristic blending of so-called celebrated national freedom after the 1947 partition into India and Pakistan. British by design failed to deliver the truth of national freedom to both nations in a universal spirit of political responsibility. Hindu mythology believes in “Mahabharata” (Greater India) and teaches school children that Pakistan and Afghanistan are part of the “Mahabharata” plan. Ironically, Hindus practise a caste system denying human equality in public life, whereas, Islam teaches the unity of mankind offering equality to all. The successive states of India-Pakistan both betrayed the reality of equal human rights and participation in governance.

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, British made no security arrangements to ensure communal peace and harmony which resulted in millions of people being killed in ethnic violence while migrating from one place to another.

Tormented by injustice, public discord and political lethargy, British imperialism changed the Indian mindset and behaviour within a century, but India and Pakistan even after 75 years remained glued to the British colonial systems in thoughts, systems and governance. Does it not signal a naïve and void imagination of national freedom professed by both nations since 1947?  They continue to interact with one another as the most hated enemy of time and history, wars, the threat of nuclear arsenals, the Kashmir dispute and worst of all lack of direct people-to-people communication or business relationships – all seem to be part of a highly ruptured and purging pursuit of national freedom.

 Indian and Pakistani Leaders Follow Egoistic Agenda for the Future

The aerial view of New Delhi reflects an Islamic image of the city – Grand New Delhi Mosque, nearby historic and beautiful Taj Mahal, Old Fort and a lot more. The first book ever written on India was “Kitab-al-Hind” (Book on India) by Abu Raihan Al-Brunei – a 10th-century Muslim scholar. Under the Moghul Empire, Delhi was one of the most intellectually and economically advanced progressive capitals. 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 their future with a new generation of educated, intelligent and proactive people who could have contributed to a promising future for Pakistan. Most pernicious consequences defy logic as most Indian and Pakistani elite lack intellectual foresight to connect national freedom to a continuous movement for the greater cause of nation-building. Despite the political independence in 1947, the nation-building goal was forgotten and lost in the symbolic values of national identity.

India’s political agenda was intact when in December 1971, East Pakistan disintegrated and Bangladesh was created by Mrs Indra Gandhi –the Prime Minister – a power conspirator in India. Pakistani governing elite would not dare to admit that it was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Genera 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 conclusions of that historic misfortune.  As a graduate student, I met General PNK Choudry (the former Chief of the Indian Armed Forces) arbitrarily retired by Mrs Indra Gandhi and sent as an Ambassador (HC) 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 and lunch. During the summer while working at a photo store, General Choudry comes in with two cameras on his shoulder and many times we had lunch together and walked and photographed together.

On weekends, at the university library- often I got library books to share with him and we talked about global affairs and his past and India-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 ft approx tall person, humble and spoke openly and truthfully as I recall him. As an Indian top army Genera,l he may have been a tyrant but as a human being and a diploma, the 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:

ZA Bhutto andSheikhh Mujib Were Appointed by Mrs Indira Gandhi  Beforeo the defeat and surrender of East Pakistan in 1971, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had direct contact with Mrs Gandhi and 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 entity- Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujib Rehman was a nationalist and enthusiastic about a new homeland except to become the next elected leader of Pakistan. Bhutto-Yahya Khanwase competing for power even without elections. Sheikh Mujib’s Awami Party won the majority of seats in the 1971 elections of the National Assembly to be a legitimately elected leader of Pakistan. The inept and naïve Pakistani Generals had questions about Mujib’s futuristic intentions and delayed the peaceful transfer of power.  ZA Bhutto (Peoples Party) carved up his egoistic agenda for grabbing the political power even if Pakistan was defeated, otherwise,e Sheikh Mujib-Yahya could have become the next governing leader. Bhutto was a power-hungry individual without any political capacity to be a leader. Mrs. Gandhi helped both – ZA Bhutto and Sheikh Mujib and the price was the defeat and surrender of Pakistan. Mrs. Gandhi appointed Bhutto as the next President, Martial Law Administrator and Prime Minister of Pakistan and Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman as the next President of Bangladesh.  Some Pakistani would blame General Niazi for the surrender but in reality,y it was Yahya-Bhutto and the Pakistani Generals who should have faced full accountability and perhaps fired squads for their treachery and dishonesty to the national freedom and integrity of Pakistan. The lessons of history are ignored as Pakistani politics lacks accountability. 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”, “Pakistan: How to Change the Culture of Political Corruption and Rebuild the Future.” (2014), and “Pakistan and India’s leader mark freedom from British Colonial Rule but Masses look for a Navigational Change.” (2020).

To General Choudry, if the whole of Pakistan was captured by India except for the Sindh province, ZA Bhutto would have gladly become the Chief Minister of Sindh to co-exist with India.  He disclosed, that there were five or six soft-hearted” Pakistani Generals willing to align and not to challenge India’s plan for Bangladesh.  General Yahya Khan and Bhutto were highly individualistic and morally corrupt. Mrs. Gandhi had daily briefings where Yahya and Bhutto held cocktail parties and slept with prostitutes.  Shocking as it is, future Pakistani leaders never held anyone accountable for the crimes against the nation. Were ZA Bhutto and Yahya Khan more important than the existence, national freedom and integrity of One Pakistan? Dr. Ishtiaq Qureshi (Editor Urdu Digest) wrote “Skoote –Dahaka Say Purdah Uttha Hey” (1972), in which he described the details of how Bhutto and Yahya Khan 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 and districted by the Pakistani political elite even to this day. Are the Pakistanis still living in any rational denials of their chapter of history?

Moral and intellectual corruption is rampant in both countries. Masses are systematically compelled to bribe officials to get the basic services and official necessities of nationality ID, passports, driver’s license and a lot more in life. National freedom has changed from the enlarged scope of corruption and exploitation – the legacy of British imperialism. BothIndiana and Pakistani neo-colonialists look for an escape from reality and are allergic to seeing the mirror of the present and future. Allama Iqbal (pioneer of Pakistani national freedom) did not live to see his dream come true in Pakistan. Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist, and  Nehru died a natural death.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah passed away in a broken ambulance on a Karachi street, and Liaquat Ali Khan (first PM) was murdered by the then Pakistani politicians. Mrs. Indra Gandhi was killed by his Sikh bodyguard as revenge for the Indian armed attack on Sikh Golden Temple, Amritsar; Sheikh Mujib was murdered by his military commander and Bhutto was hanged for killing a political opponent. Both nations failed to produce proactive and intelligent leaders to usher in political change. Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu Janta Party and Prime Minister believes in Hinduvata domination of the sub-continent, Pakistani could not produce any leaders except Bhutto, Ms Bhutto, Zardari, Sharif and General Musharaf –conspirators and gangsters who stole wealth and committed heinous crimes and bought palaces in Europe to enjoy life.

Is There any Glimpse of Hope for People-Oriented Change for the New Generations?

India has 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 India’s occupation and violations of their basic human rights. Muslim, Christian and other minorities are oppressed underHinduvata-managed India claiming to be a secular and democratic country. The Hindu Janata Party under the current PM is committed to making India a Hindutiva State regardless of other nationalities and identities. Pakistani miserably failed to take proactive initiatives to support the freedom movement for the people of Kashmir. The old service men-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 purpose of historic British colonial systems are operative across all public affairs, policies and practices in India and Pakistan. 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 beats 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 by obsolete systems of political governance except rich landlords and the affluent compete in the elections and gain power.

There is no charge for the people in the colonized landscape exceptthe enlarged scope of moral and intellectual corruption used 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 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 the new and educated generation are deprived of any practical participation and 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 relations-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest book: Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution: Approaches to Understand the Current Issues and Future-Making, Lambert Academic Publications, Germany, 2017.


Tags: British Colonialism, History, India, Pakistan, UK

, , , ,

(will not be published)