New Delhi: Pakistan`s persistence in a
"confused" state and its "failure as a nation" leaves Maulana
Abul Kalam Azad a vindicated man, Congress leader Mani Shankar
Aiyar said on Friday, contending the veteran freedom fighter was
the only one to have rightly assessed the state of Muslims in
Addressing a gathering at the launch of Jamia Milia
Islamia Prof Rizwan Qaiser`s book on the Maulana, where Aiyar
and BJP leader Jaswant Singh found themselves on the same side
of the debate, the Congress MP said Azad had the genius to
spot what would happen to a country like Pakistan.
Aiyar said India`s conjoined twin had not failed as a
state but in emerging as a nation in the absence of a true
idea of its nature.
"Pakistan is not at all a failed state but a failed
nation because even after being carved out, it did not know
what it consisted of, what it stood for, and could not draw a
constitution for 10 years, and the Army stepped in," he said
after releasing the book `Resisting Colonialism and Communal
Politics: Maulana Azad and Making of the Indian Nation`.
Describing Pakistan as a "confused nation," Aiyar said
Azad had such a prescient view of the condition of Muslims in
the subcontinent that he doubted if "such an illogically
carved out nation would last for 25 years."
"How accurate his prediction was, we came to know in
1971, just 25 years after the creation of Pakistan.
"In light of these things we need to salute Maulana
for understanding the position Muslims had in the subcontinent
with a prescience no other leader had. He understood the
situation which (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah didn`t.
"Azad stands vindicated like no one else... his
nuanced secularism could have perhaps served the subcontinent
better," Aiyar said.
For once agreeing with the Congress leader, Jaswant
Singh regretted the fact that despite being a great
intellectual, Maulana is one of the not-sufficiently
recognised personalities of India`s freedom struggle.
"He was a great intellectual steeped in the tradition
of Islamic learning, such are sadly are not much visible in
India. His character was evident in his standing up against
the movement that was sweeping undivided India," Singh said.
Aiyar opined that 1931 Congress resolution of Karachi,
which clearly stated the dissolution of feudalism as its
objective, fed more into the Pakistan movement than the Muslim
League`s 1940 resolution for the creation of a separate state.
"The Muslim aristocracy feared they would be deprived
by the dissolution of feudalism. It is another thing that they
had to leave their lands behind," Aiyar said.
Borrowing terminology from David Cameron, Aiyar also
said that in "20-20 hindsight it is absurd why Congress didn`t
accept the Delhi Muslim proposals on 1927" in which Jinnah had
proposed to give up demand for separate electorate if Hindus
agreed to provide safeguards like reserved seats for Muslims.
Aiyar also said Pakistan and India need reconciliation
to make things better for Indian Muslims. "There is a salience
in Hindus about Pakistan and Muslims. It is important to
achieve reconciliation between Pakistan and India to allow
Indian Muslims become citizens in the true sense of the word,"
Prof Qaiser, the author of the book said his was
perhaps a rare attempt to deal with Maulana`s political life
in toto though he had chosen not to dwell too much on the
controversial aspect of Azad blaming Nehru for the failure of
the 1946 Cabinet mission plan in India Wins Freedom.
"I have just said Nehru`s statement to the press
surprised Maulana like it did other Congress leaders," he