Pakistanis, along with other South Asian countries, must ponder on the fact what we were told around 90 years ago that we had no ability to run an independent country. It is, in fact, a shame for all South Asians.  Lord Birkenhead, Secretary of State for India in 1924 wrote to Lord Reading:

‘To me it is frankly inconceivable that India will ever be fit for Dominion Self-government.’

Lord Birkenhead in South AsianCan we reject Lord Birkenhead observation? India and Pakistan got independence in 1947 but no signs support that they are being governed as they should be. A rich and elite class of Brown people is ruling all the South Asian countries in a worst possible way which was not even experienced during the British rule. A rich and the elite class of Brown colored people is ruling all the South Asian countries in the worst possible way, which was not even the style of the British in 1900 century. Ruling class carries no vision and ambition for improving quality of life of people other than for their own and their  descendants. What Jinnah said about abject of poverty in Bengal in 1946 is still true:

“Some of them (in Bengal) did not get food, even once a day. I have not seen them recently, but my heart goes out to them. I feel it, and in Pakistan we shall do all in our power to see that everybody can get a decent living”.

 It is unfortunate that a large majority of people is still living far away from the threshold of decent quality life. The South Asians are still behaving as they are living in 1800-1900 centuries: they are quickly uniting against the foreign power instead of working to improve integration within their own communities. Our behavior is similar to 1913 as mentioned by Bolitho (1954) in the following excerpt:

“By 1913, Indians were migrating to England in big numbers and they were beginning to use English education to sharpen their temper against British rule. With their politics, they brought also their caste system: instead of meeting socially….; they divided themselves into many little groups, each with its own hobby-horse.”

pakistani american flagThis is still observable in all South Asian Countries, for example Pakistan. In Pakistan, all communities can gather on a short notice to chanting ‘down with America’, but remain pessimistic if people are killed for sectarian or religious reasons, Muslims or non-Muslims civil rights are violated, women are raped, the poor are roughly treated and similar other violations of human rights take place. The statistics of those people who have migrated or wish to migrate is a powerful evidence that South Asians are unable to govern their own piece of land. Like other South Asian religious communities, Muslims of South Asia have brought little change in behavior what was observed by Syed Ahmed Khan more than a century ago. According to Syed Ahmed Khan:

Sir syed_ahmed Khan Muslim Scholar“They (Muslims) are under the influence of false and meaningless prejudices and do not understand their own welfare. In addition, they are more jealous of each other and more vindictive than Hindus and suffer more from a sense of false pride. I fear that they may not able to do much for themselves” (in Bolitho 1954).

Nadeem Yousaf

uploaded 7 October 2012


Bolitho, Hector (1954): Jinnah: Creator of Pakistan; John Murray Publications; London

South Asians: Unsuitable for Self-Government