Polio leads to infertelity: a myth

Every few weeks, we come across articles in the newspaper that locals or the tribal elders not allowing polio vaccination in their area because people think it will render their kids infertile. Then there are efforts from government side to educate the people that it is just a myth but the myth isn’t getting destroyed. From Guardian

Now religious scholars have joined the campaign to dismantle the myths and battle the resurgence of polio. A campaign led by National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) in partnership with Unicef has brought together more than 5,000 of them, working on provincial and district levels, to tackle the issue. The group comprises of scholars belonging to the Deobandi sect, a school of thought followed by the majority of population in the tribal belt.

In Fata, clerics helped resolve 8,120 vaccine refusal cases during a week-long campaign in March this year. Another 160 religious scholars from Swat have issued a Fatwa in favour of the vaccinations. A campaign, starting this month, will be led by Shia scholars as it expands to the Parachinar valley, where the majority of the population are Shia Muslims.

Now if “polio drops leads to infertility” was a Taliban ploy, then we would not need to convince Shias as they are arch enemies of Taliban and would not have bought Taliban ploy hook, line and sinker. It doesn’t help the case that CIA used fake polio campaign to hunt for Osama Bin Laden leading to some polio administering NGOs to fly their staff outside Pakistan immediately as they would’ve been threatened.

But resistance to polio has been in the region even before Taliban took over. Where did the myth that it leads to infertility arrive. I came across this passage in the book Poor Economics talking about similar resistance to polio drops in India which gives some background:

India had had a long history with family planning, starting in the mid-1960s. In 1971, the state of Kerala experimented with mobile sterilization services, the “sterilization camps” approach that was to be the cornerstone of Sanjay Gandhi’s plan during the Emergency. Although most politicians before him had identified population control as an important issue, Sanjay Gandhi brought to the problem both an unprecedented level of enthusiasm and the ability (and willingness) to twist as many arms as necessary to implement his chosen policies.

In April 1976, the Indian Cabinet approved a formal statement of national population policy that called for a number of measures to encourage family planning, notably, large financial incentives for those who agreed to be sterilized (such as a month’s wages or priority on a housing list), and more frighteningly, authorization for each state to develop compulsory sterilization laws (for, say, everyone with more than two children). Although only one state proposed such a law (and that law was never approved), states were explicitly pressured to set sterilization quotas and fulfill them, and all but three states “voluntarily” chose targets greater than what was proposed by the central government: The targets totaled 8.6 million sterilizations “for 1976–1977.

Once laid out, the quotas were not taken lightly. The chief of the Uttar Pradesh bureaucracy wrote by telegraph to his principal field subordinates: “Inform everybody that failure to achieve monthly targets will not only result in the stoppage of salaries but also suspension and severest penalties. Galvanise entire administrative machinery forthwith repeat forthwith and continue to report daily progress by crash wireless to me and secretary to Chief Minister.” Every government employee, down to the village level, and not excluding railway inspectors and school teachers, was supposed to know the local target. Parents of schoolchildren were visited by teachers, who told them that in the future, their children may be denied enrollment in school if they did not agree to get sterilized. People traveling by train without a ticket—a widely accepted practice among the poor until then—were handed heavy fines unless they chose sterilization. Not surprisingly, the pressure occasionally went much further. In Uttawar, a Muslim village near the capital city of Delhi, all male villagers were rounded up one night by the police, sent to the police stations on bogus charges, and sent from there to be sterilized.

The policy appears to have achieved its immediate target, although the incentives probably also led to some overreporting in the number of actual sterilizations. In 1976–1977, 8.25 million people were reportedly sterilized, 6.5 million of them during just the period July–December 1976. By the end of 1976, 21 percent of Indian couples were sterilized. But the violations of civil liberties that were an integral part of the implementation of the program were widely resented, and when in 1977, India finally held elections, discussions of the sterilization policy were a key part of the debate, as captured most memorably by the slogan “Indira hatao, indiri bachao (Get rid of Indira and save your penis).” It is widely believed that Indira Gandhi’s defeat in the 1977 elections was in part driven by popular hatred for this program. The new government immediately reversed the policy.

In one of those ironic twists in which historians delight, it is not inconceivable that in the longer term, Sanjay Gandhi actually contributed to the faster growth of India’s population. Tainted by the emergency, family-planning policies in India retreated into the shadows and in the shadows they have remained—some states, such as Rajasthan, do continue to promote sterilization on a voluntary basis, but no one except the health bureaucracy seems to have any interest in it. In the meantime, however, generalized suspicion of the motivations of the state seems to be one of the most durable residues of the Emergency; for example, one still routinely hears of people in slums and villages refusing pulse polio drops because they believe it is a way to secretly sterilize children.


When was proposal for Pakistan officially made?

It has become fashionable nowadays to say that Pakistan was forced upon us by British or Congress as Muslims never demanded an independent state in clear cut terms. It is said that by asking for “independent states” instead of “an independent state” we were asking for something else and it was non-acceptance of Cripps proposal by Congress that compelled us towards Pakistan.

Below I present an excerpt from Dr. Ambedkar’s book “Pakistan or partition of India” which was published in Dec 1940 (9 months after Lahore resolution) which makes it clear as daylight that what Indian Muslims were asking for was an independent state and nothing else.

In March 1940, Hindu India was startled to attention as it had never been before. On that day, the Muslim League at its Lahore Session passed the following Resolution :—

3. Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designated on the following basic principle, viz. that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to constitute “Independent States” in which the Constituent Units shall be autonomous and sovereign;


What does this Resolution contemplate ? A reference to para 3 of the Resolution will show that the Resolution contemplates that the areas in which Muslims predominate shall be incorporated into independent States. In concrete terms, it means that the Punjab, the North-Western Frontier Province, Baluchistan and Sind in the North-West and Bengal in the East instead of remaining as the provinces of British India shall be incorporated as independent States outside of British India. This is the sum and substance of the Resolution of the Muslim League.

Does the Resolution contemplate that these Muslim provinces, after being incorporated into States, will remain each an independent sovereign State or will they be joined together into one constitution as members of a single State, federal or unitary? On this point, the Resolution is rather ambiguous, if not self-contradictory. It speaks of grouping the zones into “Independent States in which the Constituent Units shall be autonomous and sovereign.” The use of the term “Constituent Units” indicates that what is contemplated is a Federation. If that is so, then, the use of the word “sovereign” as an attribute of the Units is out of place. Federation of Units and sovereignty-of Units are contradictions. It may be that what is contemplated is a confederation. It is, however, not very material for the moment whether these Independent States are to form into a federation or a confederation. What is important is the basic demand, namely, that these areas are to be separated from India and formed into Independent States.

The Resolution is so worded as to give the idea that the scheme adumbrated in it is a new one. But, there can be no doubt that the Resolution merely resuscitates a scheme which was put forth by Sir Mahomed Iqbal in his Presidential address to the Muslim League at its Annual Session held at Lucknow in December 1930. The scheme was not then adopted by the League. It was, however, taken up by one Mr. Rehmat Ali who gave it the name, Pakistan, by which it is known. Mr. Rehmat Ali, M. A., LL.B., founded the Pakistan Movement in 1933. He divided India into two, namely, Pakistan and Hindustan. His Pakistan included the Punjab, N. W. F. Province, Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan. The rest to him was Hindustan. His idea was to have an “independent and separate Pakistan” composed of five Muslim provinces in the North as an independent State. The proposal was circulated to the members of the Round Table Conference but never officially put forth. It seems an attempt was made privately to obtain the assent of the British Government, who, however, declined to consider it because they thought that this was a “revival of the old Muslim Empire.”

The League has only enlarged the original scheme of Pakistan. It has sought to create one more Muslim State in the East to include the Muslims in Bengal and Assam. Barring this, it expresses in its essence and general outline the scheme put forth by Sir Mahomed Iqbal and propagated by Mr. Rehmat Ali. There is no name given to this new Muslim State in the East. This has made no difference in the theory and the issues involved in the ideology of Mr. Rehmat Ali. The only difficulty one feels is that the League, while enlarging the facets, has not christened the two Muslim States with short and sweet names as it might have been expected to do. That it did not do and we are left to carry on the discussion with two long jaw-breaking names of Muslim State in the West and Muslim State in the East. I propose to solve this difficulty by reserving the name Pakistan to express the ideology underlying the two-nation theory and its consequent effect, namely, partition, and by designating the two Muslim States in the North-West and North-East as Western Pakistan and Eastern Pakistan.

— “Pakistan or Partition of India”, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar – 1945 second edition. (First edition published in Dec 1940)

Pakistan : Born to lose and destined to fail ?

Don’t be turned-off (or turned-on) by the title of this post. It is not about the current media coverage of how Pakistan is or isn’t a failed state. Rather this one is about how the people presiding at the time of its creation conspired to make it fail in couple of years.

Below are excerpts from Perry Anderson’s excellent Why Partition? which covers the events that influenced the 1947 partition that created Pakistan.

For Mountbatten, paramount in importance was keeping whatever states were to emerge from the Raj within the re-labelled British Commonwealth. That meant they must accept independence as dominions. The League had no objections. But Congress had since 1928 rejected, on principle, any submission of India to fabrications from London, expressly including future as a dominion. For Mountbatten, this raised the unacceptable prospect of the lesser community, which he regarded as the principal culprit of partition, becoming a member of the Commonwealth, while the larger community, not only relatively blameless but of much greater strategic and ideological importance, remained outside it. How was this conundrum to be solved?

The answer came from the Father Joseph of the moment, V.P. Menon, a Hindu functionary from Kerala in the upper ranks of the imperial bureaucracy, working on Mountbatten’s personal staff and a close confederate of Patel, the organisational strongman of Congress. Why not offer Indian entry into the Commonwealth to Mountbatten in exchange for a partition so point-blank that it would leave Congress not only in control of the far larger territory and population to which it was entitled by religion, but also in swift command of the capital and the lion’s share of the military and bureaucratic machinery of the Raj? As a final sweetener, Menon suggested throwing the princely states – hitherto left inviolate by Congress, and nearly equal in size and population to any future Pakistan – into the pot, as compensation for what would be foregone to Jinnah. Patel and Nehru needed little persuasion. If these assets were handed over within two months, the deal would be done. Informed of this breakthrough, Mountbatten was overjoyed, later writing to Menon: ‘It was indeed fortunate that you were reforms commissioner on my staff, and that thus we were brought together into close association with one another at a very early stage, for you were the first person I met who entirely agreed with the idea of dominion status, and you found the solution which I had not thought of, of making it acceptable by a very early transfer of power. History must always rate that decision very high, and I owe it to your advice.’

In the first week of June, Mountbatten announced that Britain would transfer power at what he himself would describe as ‘the ludicrously early date’ of 14 August. The logic of such a rush was plain, and in speaking of it Mountbatten did not beat about the bush. ‘What are we doing? Administratively it is the difference between putting up a permanent building, and a Nissen hut or a tent. As far as Pakistan is concerned we are putting up a tent. We can do no more.’

Then came the issue of Bengal. It was far from states making up Pakistan.

In the Hindu community a movement led by Bose’s brother Sarat, and in the Muslim community by the local head of the League, Hoseyn Suhrawardy, joined forces to call for a United Bengal as an independent state, adhering neither to India nor to Pakistan. Mountbatten wanted only two dominions in the subcontinent, though if it was difficult to avoid, did not rule out a third. Jinnah, to his credit, said he would not oppose a unitary Bengal.

What was Nehru’s position? India should take as much territory as it could get: if religion was a lever to that end, so be it. Mountbatten reported a formal exchange with Suhrawardy to the governor of Bengal with the revealing phrase: ‘I warned him that Nehru was not in favour of an independent Bengal unless closely linked to Hindustan, as he felt that a partition now would anyhow bring East Bengal into Hindustan in a few years.’

Now we come to actual business of partition

London dispatched the future law lord Cyril Radcliffe to Delhi to determine the boundaries of the two states, India and Pakistan, to be given independence five weeks later, on 15 August. He knew nothing of the subcontinent. But there already existed a detailed plan to divide it, drawn up in 1946 by none other than V.P. Menon and another Hindu bureaucrat, B.N. Rau, who would play a scarcely less fateful role in the events underway. Radcliffe adhered closely to the plan. Radcliffe could be bent, not to money, but to power. [At behest of Nehru] Mountbatten had little difficulty getting him to change his boundaries to allot two pivotal Muslim-majority districts in Punjab to India rather than to Pakistan: one controlling the only access road from Delhi to Kashmir, the other containing a large arsenal.

Radcliffe finalised his award on 12 August, exiting rapidly back to England before it was announced. He made sure to leave no incriminating evidence for posterity, destroying all his papers. Mountbatten, well aware of what was impending, delayed the announcement of the Radcliffe Award until 36 hours after India and Pakistan had received their independence.

If partition was to have any chance of being carried through peacefully or equitably, at least a year – the year London had originally set as the term of the Raj – of orderly administration and preparation was needed. Its conveyance within six weeks was a sentence of death and devastation to millions.

It is amazing that how much Pakistan was conspired against from its inception rather even before its inception.

In the ensuing chaos, Congress made good a primary objective.  Fourteen out of 20 armoured regiments, 40 out of 48 artillery regiments, and 21 out of 29 infantry regiments fell into its grasp, plus the larger part of the air force and navy. Of the 160,000 tons of ordnance legally allotted to Pakistan, no more than 23,000 ever reached it.

During the first India Pakistan war of 1948 over Kashmir, this what Vallabhai Patel had to say

‘If all the decisions rested on me, I think I would be in favour of extending this little affair in Kashmir to a full-scale war with Pakistan … Let us get it over with once and for all and settle down as a united continent.’

Mountbatten turned out to be the biggest villain in this saga

Mountbatten had engineered point-blank partition with the same end in mind, saying explicitly that this would ‘give Pakistan a greater chance to fail on its demerits’, and so was in the best interests of India, because a ‘truncated Pakistan, if conceded now, was bound to come back later’.

The playing field was uneven I knew but odds were so much stacked against Pakistan from the beginning is a revelation to me

In September 1948, Auchinleck reported to London: ‘The present Indian cabinet are implacably determined to do all in their power to prevent the establishment of the Dominion of Pakistan on a firm basis.’ Nehru, who had for decades denied there was any possibility of an independent Muslim state in the subcontinent, repeatedly expressed his confidence that Pakistan was such a rickety structure – by October it was in his eyes ‘already a tottering state’ – that it had no chance of surviving.

Well Pakistan did survive and has survived for more than 60 years.

Above are just a few excerpts from the brilliant piece by Perry Anderson. I highly recommend that one should read it in full.

On a related note, the only person who comes out as a gentleman and statesman is Jinnah. He may have his faults and might have made a few bad decisions on the way but he was steadfast and uncompromising on his principles unlike Nehru who would used any means (mostly wrongly) to get his way or Gandhi whose principles also seem capable of bending.

Tail piece: Though author mentions Radcliffe destroyed his paper to not leave any evidence, poet W. H. Auden captures beautifully how ruthlessly partition was decided in his poem Partition that he wrote in 1966

Unbiased at least he was when he arrived on his mission,
Having never set eyes on the land he was called to partition
Between two peoples fanatically at odds,
With their different diets and incompatible gods.
“Time,” they had briefed him in London, “is short. It’s too late
For mutual reconciliation or rational debate:
The only solution now lies in separation.
The Viceroy thinks, as you will see from his letter,
That the less you are seen in his company the better,
So we’ve arranged to provide you with other accommodation.
We can give you four judges, two Moslem and two Hindu,
To consult with, but the final decision must rest with you.”

Shut up in a lonely mansion, with police night and day
Patrolling the gardens to keep the assassins away,
He got down to work, to the task of settling the fate
Of millions. The maps at his disposal were out of date
And the Census Returns almost certainly incorrect,
But there was no time to check them, no time to inspect
Contested areas. The weather was frightfully hot,
And a bout of dysentery kept him constantly on the trot,
But in seven weeks it was done, the frontiers decided,
A continent for better or worse divided.

The next day he sailed for England, where he could quickly forget
The case, as a good lawyer must. Return he would not,
Afraid, as he told his Club, that he might get shot.

Gandhi : a false prophet of non-violence

The following quotes are from Perry Anderson’s Why Partition? which was published in London Review of Books.

Gandhi is marketed world over as preacher of non-violence but following excerpts clearly show that his willingness for bloodletting was at least as much as any other leader of extremists.

As early as Hind Swaraj, he had said that if his countrymen started to fight after the British withdrew,

‘there can be no advantage in suppressing an eruption: it must have its vent. If therefore, before we can remain at peace, we must fight among ourselves, it is better that we do so.’

In 1928, he wrote

‘I am more than ever convinced that the communal problem should be solved outside of legislation, and if in order to reach that state, there has to be civil war, so be it.’

In 1930:

‘I would far rather be witness to Hindus and Mussulmans doing one another to death than that I should daily witness our gilded slavery.’

In April 1947, he told Mountbatten that

‘the only alternatives were a continuation of British rule to keep law and order or an Indian bloodbath. The bloodbath must be faced and accepted.’

To an Indian journalist, he said he

‘would rather have a bloodbath in a united India after the British quit than agree to partition on a communal basis’.

It seems that he was in favor of ahimsa only when protesting against British (may be because they were larger and stronger force). When it came to his own unarmed countrymen, satyagarha could be a killing force for all he cared rather it seems he actually wanted it.

To his honour, when the pogroms erupted in 1947, he did what he could to stop them, to good effect in Calcutta.

Seed of Two Nation Theory

In our Pakistan History classes which were really about history of Sub Continent before partition, we were taught that Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan was the father of two nation theory as he was the one who presented this idea forward first.

Whether he was father of two nation theory or not, he surely comes across as the one who sowed the seed. I recently came across following two passages in his seminal “The Causes of Indian Revolt (1873 translation)

[5.2] If these two castes formed distinct Regiments perhaps the Mahommadans would not have objected to the use of the new cartridges.

Government certainly did put the two antagonistic races into the same regiment, but constant intercourse had done its work and the two races in regiment had almost become one. It is but natural and to be expected, that a feeling of friendship and brotherhood must spring up between the men of a regiment, constantly brought together as they are. They consider themselves as one body, and thus it was that the difference which exists between Hindus and Mahommadans had, in these regiments, been almost entirely smoothed away.

[5.3] The employment of Hindus and Mahommadans in the same regiment.

If a portion of the regiment engaged in anything, all the rest joined. If separate regiments of Hindoos and separate regiments of Mahommadans had been raised, this feeling of brotherhood could not have arisen, and, in my opinion, the Muhammadan regiments would not have refused to receive the new cartridges.

One should understand that Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan did not have any ulterior motive in mind. He was saddened by the harsh consequences for Muslims for collaborating with Hindus in the 1857 revolt. His purpose for dividing regiments along religious lines was to avoid circumstances wherein Indians of all religions feel united to rise up again against their colonial masters and then face much harsher punishments.

British took this lesson further (whether they picked this idea from Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan’s above essay or it was their own ingenious thinking I cannot say at the moment) and divided future regiments along ethnic, racial and even sectarian lines and then used this fact to their own best advantage.

PS: Thanks to A. H. Amin for introducing me to these facts.

Playing the Devil’s Advocate : Faisal Shahzad and TTP

Within two days of the failed attempt, the media circus was in full force with every magazine or newspaper churning out op-eds on the event dissecting Faisal Shahzad’s connections with TTP and trying to make sense of his motives.

Most of the op-ed pieces assigned his motives to 1. his modest upbringing (which we can easily rule out as he was son of an Air Vice Marshal), 2. Zia ul Haq impacted hate based education system of Pakistani schools and madrasas (being a son of AVM, he has probably done O and A levels), 3. anti America sentiments at his home (which is hard to believe for sons of top brass of military which is getting fat with American military aid living in bungalows, driving BMWs and Mercedes etc.), 4. his hatred for American foreign policy (though it did not stop him from applying for naturalization a few months ago), 5.watching Zaid Hamid and the likes and dreaming of world domination (this one has been beaten to death but to me he seems more like a Friends, Heroes and Lost fan) or 6.disillusionment with American dream because his house was foreclosed couple of years ago and he was looking for a reason in life (seems the most probable cause ) but as I have no idea what was going on in his mind and I am no psychologist so I will not offer an opinion.

However, I am surprised at how quickly well-respected analysts/columnists jumped the gun from calling creation of Pakistan a mistake to labeling Pakistan a failed state to calling it a jihad factory. What I found most absurd was Pervez Hoodbhoy’s column which was given wide dissemination adorning front pages of newspapers as well as e-zines from the second day without even waiting for a clear picture to emerge from US. To me it seemed that he had the material already written for some months and as soon as the news of failed attempt came out, with a few edits here and there, his article was ready for publication.

I will try to approach it from a different perspective: motive of Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in claiming that attack was carried out on their behest. I want to understand what TTP expected to gain by claiming that this half-hearted bungled-up operation was their brainchild. If I was a security analyst (which I am not) I would say that

1. TTP is on the run
2. They don’t have time to train recruits
3. They are desperate and clutching on to straws (I am surprised David Cameron’s victory as British PM has not been claimed by them.) Do you remember the firing incident at a naturalization center in US by a Vietnamese applicant which was also claimed by Baitullah Mehsud but was later denied by US authorities as a false claim?

From a PR perspective, claiming this operation as their own does not earn TTP any brownie point. It will also turn away any future would-be recruits because this shows that TTP has lost its effectiveness.

I have observed is that (please correct me if I am wrong) TTP was not on US’s list of targets. Though she carries out drone attack against TTP but it is only to oblige Pakistan which is backing/supporting US’s war on Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan (TTA – the so called good Talibans).

TTP is fighting against the Pakistan Army (which is stretched thin in terms of resources human as well as arsenal). By carrying out an attack at US soil, TTP has added its name to list of enemies of US. What objective did TTP expected to achieve from this (please bear in mind that TTP claimed the attempt after it was clear that the plan was a total failure)? Simply boggles the mind unless in their desperation TTP has also lost what little brain power it possessed.

At the risk of inviting the wrath of security agencies, what is most surprising is the incendiary device used by Faisal. Taliban are supposed to be experts in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) daily incapacitating military convoys with them. Even a Molotov cocktail is much easier and cheaper to make and causes more damage and quickly. The internet is full of resources from Taliban bomb making guides to Anarchist Cookbook to Thermite bombs all of which require around the house or around the neighborhood stuff to build and deploy. Honestly, it was a pretty retarded attempt and thanks God for that.

The only reasonable (or outlandish…depends upon how you look at it) theory I could come up with is he was part of a CIA financed campaign wherein TTP acts as agents of CIA and fools him into believing that he is carrying out the work of God by blowing up Times Square through a technique which was bound to be a complete failure from the start.

Pakistan Army has so far been resisting US pressure by not taking military operation into North Waziristan which is a sanctuary of TTA. However, since TTP claimed this attack and US has verified it further claiming that the failed operation was hatched in North Waziristan, US will now force Pakistan Army to start military operation in North Waziristan. This is a conspiracy theory but you have to admit that under the circumstances it makes sense.

At the risk of inviting further wrath of security establishment, what should have TTP done if they are serious about screwing US in the region and get Pakistan Army off their back? Very simply: use Lashkar-e-Taiba’s or Jamat-ud-Dawa’s setup and do such a bungled up effort in India. This will enrage India and they will move their forces on Pakistan border to launch an attack. This will force Pakistan Army to retreat from western region and move towards securing our eastern borders and leave the US and NATO without any support from Pakistan Army and at the mercy of so called good Taliban and bad Taliban. It should be remembered that a lot of supplies including drinking water to US and NATO army goes from Pakistan under the protection of Pakistan Army and Taliban who are paid off to allow the convoys to pass without causing much damage. Without Pakistan Army to provide support to US, logistical or otherwise, the losses of US and NATO forces increase exponentially.

Disclaimer: This article is just an attempt to understand the Time Square bomb plot from a different perspective. It should in no way be construed to be recommending any sort of violence against any nation, country or people. Who knows when the dust settles, the fact turns out that Faisal Shahzad sought training after watching Zaid Hamid and was trained by TTP who were desperate to make an impact (any kind) and have no brainpower left.

Schadenfreude: Twenty20 version

Not much of a cricket fan and the way Pakistan plays cricket there is no chance that I would ever become one. In the team’s defence, the poor guys don’t get a chance to practice enough international level cricket due to the law and order situation in the country.

However, the fluke due to which Pakistan made it to the semi final just tells you that there is a higher power that is behind Pakistan. Some people call that higher power God whereas the skeptics call it Satta Bazi (betting). Whatever you call it, the fact remains that Pakistan made it to the semi final and India got booted out despite the fact that Indian team  has got like light years worth of practice in playing T20 format with IPLs and ICLs.

For Pakistanis,  hounded by parliamentarians;  scandalized for lack of discipline, being ‘mentally retarded’, and not being ‘toilet trained’; senior players facing suspension; and comprising of young raw talent, staying ahead of India is an achievement in itself. I am glad more for India not making it to the semis than for Pakistan actually making it. Now I don’t care if Pakistan doesn’t make it to the finals.

Minute on Indian Education : 2nd Feb 1835

I recently received an email with the subject “how our back was broken. lets repair it now” and embedded in the email was the following excerpt:

I have been receiving the same text for quite a few years under different subject lines. I had tried researching it couple of years ago. It is attributed to Lord Macaulay’s Minute on Indian Education Speech that he made to British Parliament on Feb 2, 1835.

I have read the text of speech and there is nothing like above quote in his speech. Though he uses derisory terms for eastern culture some of which I reproduce below but he never made those claims that are attributed to him.

Digging a bit deeper, it transpired that the above quote is a false propaganda by Hindu supremacists. I communicated with a journalist who had reproduced the quote in one of his columns, he said that the British government might have struck out the part when releasing the text of the speech. I could only say that though its not impossible but highly implausible.

The thing is though Lord Macaulay does talk about uselessness of Arabic and Sanskrit languages in modern times in his speech, the offending paragraph does not fit in the context.

Anyway, I will leave you with some of the quotes from his speech. One should read it in full to realize how our masters thought and in case of Pakistan still think.


1. All parties seem to be agreed on one point, that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India contain neither literary nor scientific information, and are moreover so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them.

2. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.

3. But when we pass from works of imagination to works in which facts are recorded and general principles investigated, the superiority of the Europeans becomes absolutely immeasurable. It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanscrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgments used at preparatory schools in England.

You can find the whole speech here.