An RSS-affiliated think tank has asserted that Pakistan is “not a state” but a “state of mind” and urged Pakistan to “reexamine her cultural and civilisational roots”.
The right-wing think tank India Policy Foundation has expressed these views in the first issue of a quarterly journal, Pakistan Watch, which will be released Monday in Delhi by two top RSS members, joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale and all India prachar pramukh Manmohan Vaidya. India Policy Foundation’s honorary director Rakesh Sinha, who regularly appears on TV channels as a senior RSS ideologue, is the editor-in-chief, the first one dedicated to Pakistan by any right-wing body. It carries forward the Sangh Parivar’s argument that the solution to Pakistan’s “identity crisis” lies in realising its shared Hindu past and stresses Partition amounted to “self-alienation from culture” of Pakistan citizens.
Last December, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, among the most important Sangh functionaries, had expressed a wish before Al-Jazeera TV that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can reunite through “popular goodwill” to form “Akhand Bharat”. “The RSS still believes that one day these parts, which have for historical reasons separated only 60 years ago, will again, through popular goodwill, come together and Akhand Bharat will be created,” Madhav had said.
At a press conference after a meeting of the Sangh and the NDA government last September, Hosabale had said India and Pakistan share a sibling bond and referred to the two nations as Pandavas and Kauravas. “Pakistan and Bangladesh were our body parts earlier. People living in these countries are of our family,” he had said.
The editorial by Sinha in the upcoming journal also goes back to the shared roots and says “the question ‘who am I’ remains imprisoned in a shallow constitutional identity”. Arguing that “ancestors and historical experiences cannot be divided on the basis of religion and politics”, Sinha describes the creation of Pakistan as “one of the biggest onslaughts on India’s cultural and civilisational unity.”
Listing the challenge before Pakistan that “has failed to evolve as a nation-state”, Sinha adds that “the most pertinent question is: will Pakistan reexamine her cultural and civilisational roots or continue to base her nationality on pre-1947 moorings and ideology of hate?”
Sinha also has a detailed interview with Pakistan-born Islamic scholar Tarek Fateh, who now lives in Canada. To a question whether the “struggle” in Balochistan is similar to that of “East Pakistan against West Pakistan”, Fateh says: “Unless India helps Balochistan in its freedom struggle on moral and strategic grounds, the Pakistan military will make the Baloch people strangers in their own land.”
The journal focuses on the theme that the two-nation theory was a fallacy and “reconnecting with a pre-Islamic past and cultural and intellectual legacies of undivided India can give stability to Pakistan”. “The problem in Pakistan is not of the middle class, but is one of an identity crisis. Almost everyone born in Pakistan is of Indian heritage and Hindu ancestry, but is either unaware, or in denial of the truth,” Fateh tells Sinha.
A most telling statement comes from Fateh, who, in reply to a question about Pakistan’s nationality, asserts: “Pakistan is not a state. Pakistan is a state of mind. A state of mind cannot have a nationality. Sooner or later Pakistan will end up in the scrapheap of history, Insh’allah.”