Know Much About Pakistan’s Independence? Time To Read Up, Maybe

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The creation of Pakistan is a tale of blood, tears, sacrifice and irreparable losses. It is a tale of resolve, commitment, overcoming odds and standing up against powerful masters. Sadly, we know far too little about it to truly be grateful for Pakistan. Aisha Saeed explains why reading these five books could help you truly understand the difficulties with Pakistan was won and change your perspective on the motherland.

ugust is certainly one of the most important months in Pakistan and a time to celebrate the birth of our nation. The 14th day of August, the day when Pakistan gained independence from British rule, is a national holiday and is marked with various public and private ceremonies and celebrations. But while the younger generation might feel inclined only towards chanting patriotic slogans and swaying to the tunes of patriotic songs, there is much more to independence than meets the eye. The birth of Pakistan was a culmination of a lengthy struggle against an imperial behemoth and one that merits being known by heart by every Pakistani.  So if you feel really in need of expressing your patriotism, we suggest you get yourself to knowing the history that led to the creation of Pakistan. Here are some excellent, recommended books that can make you fall in love with your country all over again.

The Longest August: The Unflinching Rivalry between India and Pakistan

Dilip Hiro

Noted Historian Hiro traces the times and events that led to decades of resentment, skullduggery and conflict between Hindus and Muslims of the former British colony, beginning from the early 20th century up until the independence of Pakistan in August of 1947. Through his lucid observation, Hiro offers a glimpse in to the world before 1947, walks readers through the bloodshed, rioting, acrimony, massacres and hatefulness as he masterfully captures the spirit of the times to narrate a compelling tale.  Despite the independence in August 1947, tensions between India and Pakistan continue to date, with Kashmir at the heart of the dispute. It is one of the longest running disputes in the world and one that continues to fan hatred on both sides of the divide. Hiro traces the roots of what has become one of the most significant international dispute of modern times, and which, in spirit, is a continuation of the bitter air that defined the August of 1947.

 

Freedom At Midnight 

Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre.

Freedom at Midnight traces the political beginnings that ultimately led to the great partition of Indian Subcontinent. The book encompasses accounts of the main protagonists that include Lord Mountbatten, leader of the Muslim League Muhammad Ali Jinnah, president of the Indian National Congress Jawaharlal Nehru, and Mohandas Gandhi. The book presents a solicitous and genuine execution of India’s disastrous salvation. Collins and Lapierre encapsulate the sider political landscape and the elites that were involved while suggesting that the transition of Indian independence could have been negotiated in a much better manner. The book is historically sound and contingent that sheds light on the political aftermath that followed that the freedom. Yet the sweeping power of this epic narration renders academic debate as it takes readers through the journey of partition. Collins and Lapierre have told a critically significant tale of hegemony and persuasion, religious beliefs and political tussle –and done it right.

 

Jinnah of Pakistan

Stanley Wolpert

If you claim to know Jinnah but haven’t read this book, you should consider revisiting your claims. For this book is a glorious biography of the man whose commitment and leadership gave Muslims a new home. Portraying Jinnah’s story in all of its human complexity, Wolpert starts with the late 19th century with Jinnah’s early life as a young adult in Karachi and follows him through his journey to London where he studied law and then became a barrister. After returning to India in the year of 1896, Jinnah promptly soared up the double ladders of Indian politics and law, making his way to the top of the rung.  In his book, Wolpert shows how Jinnah’s smart and adroit leadership, combined with his excellent advocacy and remarkable tenacity, won the case for Pakistan. This exceptionally insightful biography reconnoiters the lesser known facts of Jinnah’s life, a leader who altered the map of an entire region. 

 

 

Pakistan: The Formative Phase, 1857-1948 

Khalid Bin Sayeed

This admirably complied book analyzes the historic substance of Pakistan’s creation. Starting in the year 1857, Professor Khalid recounts the various dynamics that periodically became the reason of great tensions between the Hindus and Muslims of the subcontinent. This book evaluates the strength and weaknesses of the Muslim movement, which ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan, making it worth reading both for students of history and politics.In the first phase of the book, Sayeed examines the happenings that started from the war of 1857 and the making of Pakistan to the role of Muslim League. In the latter part, the author gives a detailed record of Jinnah’s first appointment as the Governor General of the nascent state of Pakistan, the role of the governor general and the relations between the center and of the provinces during the year of 1947-48.The book is a great study of the causes and effects that eventually created Pakistan and the difficulties Pakistan faced right after gaining independence from the British masters.

The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League, and the Demand for Pakistan

Ayesha Jalal

In another remarkable account of Pakistan’s founder Jinnah, Ayesha Jalal pens down a pragmatic discourse about the genesis of Pakistan and its lone spokesman MA Jinnah. Jalal’s examination of the unrelenting corrosion of affairs between the Muslim League and the adamant Congress following the induction of Lord Mountbatten, India’s final viceroy, is perhaps the most compelling of the arguments. A communal rivalry exploited by the British and later the hegemonic mindset of the Hindus paved a natural path to the establishment of Pakistan, with Jinnah leading the Muslims to their new home. Ayesha’s immaculate arguments on the role of Jinnah and the Muslim League and the demand for a separate homeland makes the book more than just a narration of events. The book is an in-depth study and a re-evaluation of events that shaped South Asia. A highly critical yet insightful book that delves into the events that changed the course of history in the subcontinent, but also serves as a reminder of all the horridness that occurred in the process.