Skip to main content

Jinnah-Gandhi, Birathers in Arm. Hysteria of Blather.

-Jaswant 'eyebrow' Singh, in his baritone voice:
Mera jaanam mera saajan mera saajan mera baalam
Mera baalam mera majnu mera majnu mera raanjha.
Jinnaaaaah
Tu mera jaanu hai, tu mera dilbar hai
Meri taareeqi kitaab ka tu hero hai

-His 'Hey Bhagwan! they are in fact KKK in saffron bedsheets' friends, keeping up with the tempo (they knew the song) and the lingo (they won't say it but they hate it) :

Par Bharti taareeq ke panno par
uski taqdeer toh zero hai, hoOhoooo

He would have been fine, even though he is no singing canary, still he would have been fine, but then he followed that song with an unusual little number with lines unkind even to 'Sangh Friendly' Sardar 'Iron' Patel.
They together took the whole Indian nation
Locked us on this reservation
Though I wear a shirt and tie
I'm still part redman deep inside

Indian people, Indian tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

But maybe someday when they learn
Indian nation will return, will return, will return, will return, will return
He got booed off  the stage. Great chiefs did some chintan. Let it be said, much to their credit, there was not (and never is) any smoking involved in 'think gatherings' of these Indians. Yet, it was agreed that the 'Brow' was singing in the wrong song, he shouldn't even be in the pub. We hear the album is a bestseller.

-0-

Image: M.A. Jinnah and M.K. Gandhi after talk failure in Bombay, September 1944. Actual image comes from Patrick French's Liberty or Death: India's Journey to Independence and Division. (HarperCollins, 1997)

The book offers following extract from Jinnah's famous 'secular' speech of 11 August 1947, given extempore (which in this part of the world is often considered synonymous to dilsay or direct from the heart), to the Pakistan Constituent Assembly:

"You are free, you are free to go to your temple, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in the State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the State... We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed or another. We are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State... Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State."
Sounds good. It's delicious, in the sense that only speeches and peaches are. (Only in speeches are you find such horrible wordplay). One should read that particular speech of Jinnah in all its glory.  [Read it here] Re-sample this:
You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know, history shows that in England, conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State. The people of England in course of time had to face the realities of the situation and had to discharge the responsibilities and burdens placed upon them by the government of their country and they went through that fire step by step. Today, you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen of Great Britain and they are all members of the Nation.

Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.
Isn't that last line the actual 'working' definition of 'Secular' in India? And so, he implies, this perfect 'secular state' could not have been achieved, 'in course of time', under undivided India but could be achieved, 'in course of time', under Muslim and Hindu dominated separate lands. Guess they had discussions like these prior to agreeing on partition. It didn't get them far.

Going through Jinnah words, after all these years since partition, can certainly be confusing, at least for an Indian citizen. Here is a man who had demanded a separate nation for "100 million" Muslims, but now, in one of his finest hour in life, standing before the new rulers of his new nation, he talked  about "400 million souls" of undivided India. As his 'second point', earlier in speech, he cursed the curse of bribery and corruption put upon India. At times, it seems he was talking, in some parallel dimension, to the Indian Constituent Assembly. Change the word 'Pakistan' with 'India' and the speech is fit for Indian assembly.

About partitions, he quips, 'future history will record is verdict in favour of it.' That's the beauty of these verdicts, they never arrives till you are well gone. And then it doesn't matter all.

If anybody is to be blamed for partition, it's the good people of England. By living peacefully with their erstwhile enemies and foes, they established an extraordinarily good precedent according to this Indian leader (Can we now call Jinnah that?). He saw the problems facing India, understood them and he knew the solution:  Aadhe idhar jao, aadhe udhar jao, baki Kashmir jao. Jaswant 'eyebrow' Singh ji recognizes the genius of the old idea and simplifies it for modern times, 'Tamasha Bandh Karo, Sab apnay apnay Ghar Jao.'
-0-
Title is definitely unfair to Gandhi.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Famous Old Faces of Doordarshan

Some people recall the faces and some people recall the names. Here are images of some of the famous readers and presenters of Doordarshan down the years. If you recognize any of them, leave a comment.
[Update 1: Most of the faces now have names thanks to helpful comments by olio-gallimaufry]
[Update 2: Included image of one of the earliest presenters, Gopal Kaul. Send in generously from personal collection by son, Ashutosh Kaul. Sept, 2010.]
[Major Update 3: Got a tip-off about a documentary about the famous faces of Doordarshan from the makersof“The Golden Trail , DD@50 :Special feature on Golden Jubilee of Doordarshan” from which these caps were taken. I managed to catch the incredible documentary and am adding some more faces/name and part of the docu here. New ones can be found after the image of Narotam Puri. 30th Oct, 2010]

 Pratima Puri. Believed to be the first Doordarshan reader.

Indian Cigarette Vintage Ads

He put a cigarette in his mouth and, as a matter of silent routine, offered one to Gwyn, who said ‘No thanks.”Richard looked at him.”I packed it in.”"You what?”"I stopped. Three days ago. Cold. That’s it. You just make the life choice.”

Richard looked up and inhaled needfully. He gazed at his cigarette. He didn’t really want to smoke it. He wanted to eat it. Almost the only thing that he still liked about Gwyn was that he still smoked…Paradoxically, he no longer wanted to give up smoking: what he wanted to do was take up smoking. Not so much to fill the little gaps between cigarettes with cigarettes (there wouldn’t be time, anyway) or to smoke two cigarettes at once. It was more that he felt the desire to smoke a cigarette even when he was smoking a cigarette. The need was and wasn’t being met…

While it would always be true and fair to say that Richard felt like a cigarette, it would now be doubly true and fair to say it. He felt like a cigarette. And he felt like a cigaret…

Kishore Kumar, Yodel-ay-ee-oooo Songs, A List

*Updated with corrections pointed out by Bart Plantenga, author of some incredible book on Yodeling including Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World.

-0-

Kishore Kumar's brother Anoop Kumar, who we basically know for the line 'O manu tera toh hua ab mera kya hoga', used to own lots of Austrian music records. And from these records, Kishore Kumar picked up the art of Yodel singing, an art perfected in bathroom and then introduced by him to the world of Hindi film music. According to his biography 'Kishore Kumar: method in madness‎ ' by Derek Bose, "Kishore was a fan of the Swiss singer Tex Norton [* Tex Morton, an Australian cowboy born in New Zealand who sang  in the gene autry / Jimmie Rodgers style] and the Australian Jimmy Rogers [*Jimmie Rodgers, perhaps the most American and one of the most famous yodelers in the world, famous for his blue yodels] as well."

Although most of these songs by Kishore Kumar are thought to be '…