28 October, 2020

Blog

Lessons From India’s Partition

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

The approach of the seventieth anniversary of the Partition of India has inspired much writing in both India and Pakistan about its significance. William Dalrymple wrote in the New Yorker of June 29, 2015, that the Hindu-Muslim mutual genocide that accompanied the Partition was as unexpected as it was unprecedented. Between one to two million were killed, fifteen million were uprooted, and all imaginable horrors were committed by both sides. Dalrymple wrote that some British journalists who witnessed the Nazi death camps claimed that Partition’s brutalities were even worse.

The Nazi holocaust against the Jews, together with the two world wars of the last century, have been regarded by many analysts as signifying the failure of the Enlightenment project, which had behind it an ideology that gave primacy to rationality and individualism. George Orwell saw the Second World War as falsifying the vision of Walt Whitman – who merits position as the quintessential American poet – according to which the democratic vistas would open out endlessly: instead they led to the barbed wire of the concentration camp. However, it would be wrong for Asians to see those wars and the holocaust as showing up only the limitations of the West. The horrors of the Partition were even worse than those of the holocaust, which fact suggests that all those and similar horrors should be seen in terms of man’s inhumanity to man, the propensity to which recognizes no boundaries and applies to all humanity. Since the holocaust took place in highly civilized Germany and the Partition in highly civilized India, those horrors should also be taken as testifying to the fact that high civilizations can suddenly lapse into utter savagery.

The most important question that will be prompted by the approach of the seventieth anniversary of Partition is whether it was worth it. It is pertinent here to recall my own experience of the aftermath of Partition. I served in our High Commission in Karachi, the then capital of Pakistan, for two years beginning in 1957, which was just eleven years after Partition. It was impossible not to meet many who had been traumatized by the Partition, prompting the conclusion that there was indeed no alternative to Partition. But other facts prompted a different conclusion. During my first week in Karachi I was pointed out a gentleman in a felt hat as the brother of the Nawab of Pataudi: the families of the two brothers had settled down quite happily in India and in Pakistan. Mansur Ali Khan, an Indian batting great like his father the Nawab, married Sharmila Tagore the grand-daughter of the poet. The Pakistan Foreign Secretary was Baig, a former member of the ICS like his brother who – if I remember rightly – was Chief of Protocol in the Delhi Foreign Office. The Pakistan Deputy Chief of Protocol was Tyabji, another branch of whose family were very distinguished members of the legal profession in India. Such facts were legion, prompting the question whether the Partition was really necessary. Going beyond my immediate field of experience in Karachi, I will mention just one fact: Nehru was a Kashmiri Brahmin the Persianised culture of whose ancestors made them more akin to the world of Islam than to that of the Hindus, which might perhaps partly explain Nehru’s universalism as distinct from the Hindu particularism of Gandhi – one of the facts that drove Jinnah to think of Pakistan.

The question that has to be decided is whether the Partition was a contingent development, the consequence of the fortuitous coming together of various circumstances, or whether it was the inexorable working out of the incompatibility or antagonism between Hinduism and Islam and other historical factors. The evidence strongly suggests that it was a contingent development, something that could have been avoided. First of all, we must explode the myth of an essential antagonism between Hinduism and Islam: there was no such antagonism in traditional India. The Muslim conquest of India began with the capture of Lahore in 1021 by Persianised Turks from central Afghanistan. By 1323 the Muslims had established a sultanate extending as far south as Madurai.

According to Dalrymple the invaders were not identified in medieval Sanskrit inscriptions by religion as “Muslims”; they were identified by linguistic and ethnic affiliation as Turushka (Turks). He acknowledges that there was carnage and destruction of Hindu and Buddhist sites – which still enrages our local Islamophobes – but he writes that “India soon embraced and transformed the new arrivals”, which led to the birth of a hybrid civilization. Islam spread in India not through conquest but through the preaching of Sufi mystics who were stunningly ecumenical in their outlook, even to the extent of regarding Hindu scriptures as divinely inspired – a tradition that continued until the last Mogul Emperor. Commonsense should tell the Islamophobes that the Muslim invaders from Central Asia quite simply did not have the manpower to impose Islam by coercion over millions of Hindus in Punjab and Bengal. I had better make a clarification at this point that Dalrymple is not a Muslim engaging in Islamic apologetics – he is a cousin of Virginia Woolf and a reputed Indophile historian who figured in the Galle Literary Festival some time ago.

An almost millennium long history of Hindu-Muslim co-existence should have made the idea of Partition outrageous and unthinkable. So Dalrymple asks how did India’s deeply intermixed and profoundly syncretic culture unravel so quickly, the polarization taking place in a mere couple of decades. The horrors that accompanied the Partition have to be explained in terms of man’s inhumanity to man while the polarization can be explained only in terms of the fortuitous and the contingent, not in terms of the inexorable working out of historic forces. It is a surprising fact surely that the Muslim League’s commitment to establishing a separate state came in its Lahore Resolution as late as 1940, just seven years before Partition. Actually even that Resolution was not unambiguously in favor of the establishment of Pakistan.

Many Asians will be disposed to wonder whether Britain had changed its imperialist policy of divide and rule to one of divide and depart: the parting devil was out to kick the rice-pot. It is known that Churchill, notorious for his hatred towards Hindus, had assured Jinnah that he would do everything possible towards the establishment of Pakistan. But he was not in power at that time. It is possible that there were powerful personages in the British Establishment who wanted the dismemberment of India, but they could not have taken decisive action. What was decisive was the bitter hatred that had come to prevail between Jinnah on the one hand and Nehru and Vallabai Patel on the other. Gandhi proposed that Jinnah be made the first Prime Minister of India, but Nehru and Patel would not agree. In the alternative, it is likely that Jinnah would have died of cancer while being Prime Minister and a united India would have survived. Anyway it seems very reasonable to conclude that Partition was the consequence of the contingent and the fortuitous, not of inexorable processes.

What lessons can we draw from the Partition? We can engage in a selective reading of history emphasizing the differences between the Sinhalese and the Tamils or their commonality, making Sri Lanka a hell on earth or a good place to live in. What interests me most is the play of the contingent and the fortuitous after 1977. By 1971 the imbalances that had been irksome to the Sinhalese had all been corrected, but new imbalances were created which in their turn required correction. In the ensuing years the Sinhalese side has shown a willingness to take corrective action and it is a reasonable surmise that the ethnic problem would have been solved and a reasonable degree of ethnic harmony established. Instead President JR, a man of blood, exercised virtually absolute power from 1977, and under him there was State terrorism from 1977 to 1983, leading to a quarter century of war. I don’t see that as the inexorable working out of historic forces in Sri Lanka.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    9

    Mr. Hussein:

    when LTTE was bombing very important Sinhala buddhist temples such as Temple of the tooth, Anuradhapura temple with 150 devotees, and many more incidences like this what did LTTE expect ?

    WAs it partition or what ?

    where were you all this time ?

    I think Tamils wanted a partition some where around 1915.

    • 16
      2

      Mahabodhi Jim Softy,
      He and the muslims are still gnawing the stolen one million square kilometers of hindustan land. and rejoicing the slaughter of unarmed, unwilling to fight hindus.

      Harry Truman who saw creepy people gave it to the islamist to destroy the place which they are doing with kuddu and terrorist.

      given the opportunity they loot as in 1983- loot is islam in practice.
      turn a blind eye they slaughter non believers.

      why is he outside and not in the zoo nearby??

  • 10
    3

    How can you compare India to Sri Lanka? India has a population of 1200 million compared to 20 million in Sri Lanka.

    India even has more muslims(300 million) living peacefully among Hindus than Pakistan and Bangladesh put together!

    Indian politicians are managing the country better than Sri Lankan politicians?

  • 9
    2

    The writer has penned an article which is thought provoking. Disunity and division can only give hell. What has all the ethnic and/or religious disturbances in this country and the world over, say within the span of from the beginning of 20th century to the present, produced? Losses, losses losses to every stakeholder in the dispute.

    What is of interest is that leaders of a society can lead it either to be with or not to be with the rest of the population. The author has demonstrated that well in his article. Personal biases of leaders are crucial in this exercise.

    Big issues or problems can be the sum effect of small ones. So let us as a responsible community exercise certain basics. Mutual respect between two individuals is crucial. If this can be cultivated among people irrespective of their race, religion, caste, creed, social standing etc. a lot can be sorted out towards amity and harmony. The theme should be how to live together instead of separation and divorces.

    Towards this extent, again, leaders can do a lot.

    • 0
      0

      Yes, I totally agree.

      The creation of non-secular, religion based political entities were very much the flavour of the colonials when they had to make a quick exit. The partition of Pakistan is a typical example, but not necessarily the only one.

      These newly created countries are responsible for nurturing and fostering much of the terrorism and misery, that exists in the world today.

      Even the progressive principles of Kemal Ataturk, are today being reversed in Turkey, with some patronage from NATO.

  • 10
    0

    Izeth
    “JR, a man of blood, exercised virtually absolute power from 1977, and under him there was State terrorism from 1977 to 1983”

    This is some admission.

    what happened to you Izeth?

  • 5
    15

    Kallathoni Izeth Hussain .. yes JR did state sponsored aggregation over tamils because Tamil racists wanted fucking Ekllam.. Finally History was written again by crush them to Nandikadal.. Next turn to Muslims.. Live full or leave .. No fucking ethnic problem.. all minority to racists need either self determination right or more power to continue blood bath.. we are ready for any rebellion.. Old man dont write nonsense.. live your short life peacefully

    • 3
      1

      This is exactly what Bill Clinton would have said. You have earned your right to keep your chosen name. You are a kind man. Had you had chosen JR instead and written what he would have said poor Izeth Hussain would have fallen dead, on the spot.

    • 9
      1

      Bill Clinton

      “No fucking ethnic problem..”

      I hate to agree with you.

      It is a Sinhala/Buddhist problem imposed on rest of the people.

      “all minority to racists need either self determination right or more power to continue blood bath..”

      The Sinhala/Buddhist, the noisy minority racists, want to turn this island into an Aryan Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto.

      Please tell us whats wrong with self determination and enjoying more democratic power to the people? Didn’t it occur to your stupid mind that concentration of power in Colombo, vested in a few people, unaccountable crooked politicians and corrupt bureaucrats is the worst kind of political system which is not fit for the purpose.

      Your racism harms more people (21 million) than you wish for. One can say you are blinded by your ignorance, racism and cannot see beyond your nose. Motivated by your own stupidity you are willing to cut off your nose to spite the face. Or is it because of your paranoia which stops you from see things clearly in this well connected world?

      • 0
        0

        Native
        How did you manage to get the word “fucking” published without censorship

        • 2
          0

          Rajash

          “How did you manage to get the word “fucking” published without censorship”

          I merely quoted Colin’s wise words.

          • 1
            0

            Native Vedda

            Or, were you or Colin, referring to a village?

            Fucking, Austria

            Fucking (German pronunciation: [ˈfʊkɪŋ] ( listen), rhymes with “booking”) is an Austrian village in the municipality of Tarsdorf, in the Innviertel region of western Upper Austria. The village is 33 kilometres (21 mi) north of Salzburg, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) east of the German border.

            Despite having a population of only 104 in 2005, the village has become famous for its unusual place name in the English-speaking world. Its road signs are a popular visitor attraction, and they were often stolen by souvenir-hunting tourists until 2005, when the signs were modified to be theft-resistant.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fucking,_Austria

  • 12
    2

    Clinton you are living in a dream world.It is definitely going to be a pluralistic Sri Lanka in which ALL communities will live and prosper as Sri Lankans with EQUAL rights.UNHCR and the Geneva process is all about this., whether you or other racists like the Rajapaksas like it or not.What more, a majority of our Sinhalese Buddhits are for pluralism as seen by the 2 Elections in 2015 in which all communities rejected communalism.Don’t forget that we Sinhalese are also descendents of Vijaya and his 500 REFUGEES from India as all other communities,except the Vaddahs, are.its a fait accompli and rightly so for our Sri Lanka.

    As for Izzeth Hussein and his writings, one may not always agree with him.But we must learn to humbly accept and Infact learn from his from his brilliant,superior ability in English and his obviously vast resovoir of reading.We may wish to remind ourselves that he was a English honours student under the legendary Professor EFC Ludowyke besides been the widely known as the “Father” of the Non Alinged Summit Declaration 1976.Only if and when we Sinhalese learn to humbly accept that those of other communities have a right to equality that we can truly claim to be civilized and thereby justly claim of not having an inferiority complex.

    • 0
      3

      Leelananda,

      To your list of accolades of nana you forgot the more important one where nana tells us the legendary Indian journo GK Reddy crowned him with the title of “one of the five best diplomats in the world” at that time – that is, in the company of Henry Kissinger and the like. We must assume it was done somewhat secretly because no one else at the time seem to have heard of it. A “very horrible” mistake, don’t you think?

      Backlash

  • 5
    0

    Mr. Hussein,
    Is it not possible to speculate further on what might have happened if Pakistan and Bangladesh didn’t exist? India would have a border with Afghanistan. Would the Soviets have invaded that country? If they didn’t, then Reagan would not have had to create the Mujaheddin with Saudi help. In that case, neither Al Qaeda or ISIS would exist today. Afghan and probably Iranian ladies would be wearing not burqa but mini-skirts. What could have been……
    Do you think Sri Lanka in its present form would have survived the attentions of an omnipotent India?

    • 1
      1

      old codger

      “Do you think Sri Lanka in its present form would have survived the attentions of an omnipotent India? “

      Nehru considered Ceylon to be part of India. Of course Goa, was part of India, occupied by the Para-Portuguese. So, may be Nehru would have thought it is all right to occupy Lanka. After all the Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils, and Para-Muslims are mainly of Indian subcontinent stock generically.

      The superpowers would have made a little noise and forgotten about Ceylon.

      The there would have been no LTTE, and the Sinhala “Buddhists” would have become Sinhala “Hindus”.

      Then no MaRa Mara ChaTu MaRa to talk about.

      • 1
        0

        Amarasiri,
        What would we talk about in the absence of MaRa? He does look like a Tamil movie villain, though, and might have done well in that role.
        Another thing: “Of course Goa, was part of India, occupied by the Para-Portuguese”
        The Indian excuse for invading Goa was harassment of fishermen. Now, isn’t that interesting?

        • 0
          0

          old codger

          “The Indian excuse for invading Goa was harassment of fishermen. Now, isn’t that interesting? “

          Aren’t the Sri Lankans harassing the Indian Fisherman and confiscating Indian Fishing boats these days?

          So, to solve the problem, come up with the Goa fishing solution?

          A new version of the “Parripu” Drop?

    • 3
      1

      Dear old codger,

      This is just to tell you that you’ve got your analysis dead right in a place “where angels fear to tread”. The issues are only seemingly parochial, but I cannot do my job of keeping the issue alive (well I retired ages ago, so my job now is exposing the “fascinating creature” – the Anglican Church) unless the rest of our society contributes the sort of comment that you have made: it is the very last at this moment:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-thomian-pharisees-are-unrepentant-why-this-matters-to-all-sri-lankans/

      You are quite right about the church haemorrhaging adherents to other denominations, and when there is quite this level of dishonesty in the running of the schools, the “anything goes” church is doomed. The Anglican Church may have lost its relevance, but it controls a good deal of big business.

      As for the spelling of surnames, all that I know is that I’m holding on to the improvement my father made: it had earlier been “Edrisinha”; he used to tell me that the Sinhala meaning – “hostile lion” was bad, and my Birth Certificate, written in Sinhalese, has “forward-going lion” – “Idirisinhe”. I feel that all this fuss originated not from the school where my ancestors would have begun their schooling (Christ Church, Baddegama, which was Anglican), but from the more noteworthy Methodist school in Galle – Richmond College – the school that produced EFC Ludowyke.

      Few of those turning up for even OBA meetings in the two Uva schools are “second generation Thomians”. Do you wish I would stop squabbling and doing – well what DO you see as my job? I have always seen it as being educating a cross-section of our people. I’m acutely conscious of our failing in this. I am about the oldest guy who turns up (my brother, five years older, wisely says nothing) and money alone seems to count, and it is I who am seen by these yuppies as the “goday ischool drop-out”. Leelananda de Silva is quite right when he says that “we Sinhalese must learn to humbly accept that those of other communities have a right to equality.” So impressed was I with Izeth Hussain’s vast reservoir of reading that I obtained his contact details and actually looked him up. Yes, “old codger”, his alma mater, the Catholic St Joseph’s, is forging ahead, and what you find pitiful may indeed happen to the Anglican schools.

      It is quite deliberately that I am placing this comment here: warring religions have caused havoc. Syncretism may not be philosophically fashionable, but it is preferable to the hypocrisy that now rules these schools.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Mr. Edirisinhe,
        I am not accusing you in particular of squabbling, but current OBU members in general.Maybe this has something to to with what you call first-generation Thomians.
        St.Thomas’ is an institution of national importance, as you say. I would hate it to go the way of St.Aloysius’s College Galle or St.Anthony’s Kandy. I am sure you know about those two schools.

      • 0
        0

        Mr.Edirisinhe,
        I just realized that I relied to you in the wrong post. Obviously you are as absent-minded as I am!

        • 2
          0

          Neither of us is absent-minded! You did what any innocent person would do in pressing “reply”.

          I was rather more devious. Even as it is, I have said some pretty harsh things about the Anglican Church: I don’t know whether you cottoned on to the place where I professed admiration for the Quakers – who have no creed. Some Quakers today are downright atheists; I think that I, too, was so; but I don’t want to be so combative now: agnosticism is humbler and will do for me – but NOT for most Sri Lankans. They want certainties. I didn’t want my comment to you seen by the Chief Pharisee; these guys don’t even have a sense of humour.

          It is clear to me that you are sophisticated, and that you know a good deal of Christianity. I’m sorry to say that many of the Buddhists in particular see dalliance with Christianity as making them superior to their totally swabasha counterparts. I’m sure that I’m not telling you anything new; I’m merely trying to assure you that I myself am not as naive as most people are turning out to be. There are just too many bits of information floating around and it looks as though ever fewer young people bother to have a sensible overview of knowledge. I DON’T think of myself as being overly clever; also, it smacks of cowardice – what I’ve said about NOT posting where my comments will be seen by those whom I don’t want to antagonise any more.

          I believe that schools exist to educate all students currently enrolled in them. Taken by itself, the expression “first-generation Thomian” is not one I would normally use; it sounds snobbish. Far too snobbish for a guy like me who has drawn my salary direct from the Ministry of Education for 29 years (that includes 5 years of study leave). It is the little village schools that must be developed.

          Yes, I understand what you mean about St Anthony’s (which I have visited), and about St Aloysius (my family having had its roots in Galle). What you said may be the same as Dr Vickremabahu Karunaratne told me rather proudly that in his time Ananda College was a Buddhist school. Those schools had a soul! Incidentally, Bahu has just one daughter, whom he had sent to his wife’s school – Hillwood College, Kandy, where she was between my two daughters in age. Bahu had not learnt just how badly the Anglican schools are managed. He’s had pleasant chats with my (religious) elder daughter and suggested that she pay special attention to St Matthews Gospel since it has more SOCIAL relevance than the others: and my daughter has done that.

          Also, I have two grand-daughters; I’m not keen on the Pharisees getting to know that the elder has been accepted for admission to Ladies’ College. We were in a bit of a funk over that!

  • 1
    0

    There was a Second Partition – of East Pakistan to become Bangladesh.
    General Tikka Khan – known as the “Butcher of Bangladesh” tried to prevent it, but failed.

  • 2
    1

    A point about Jinnah the so called “founder”of Pakistan whose picture still hangs in a lot of Pakistani homes, embassies and high commissions.
    He was English educated,always emaculately dressed, womeniser, heavy drinker,pork eating Muslim who managed to dupe the poor innocent uneducated Indian Muslims to separate from India.
    Cheers.

  • 3
    0

    “Is it not possible to speculate further on what might have happened if Pakistan and Bangladesh didn’t exist?”

    1. Many merchants of death would have no excuse to expand their trades.

    2. We would not have to suffocate ourselves with the proliferation of defense, strategic, international affairs, …. journals and expert analysis on TV, and other media.

    3. BJP would have had (182 + 156) 338 million reasons to grow exponentially.

    4. India would have to find other sources to blame for natural disasters including flood, tsunami, drought, that strike its land periodically.

    5. When defense budget dries up politicians, bureaucrats, .. intermediaries would need to find other sources of income to supplement their salary.

    6. Smuggling between India and Pakistan (estimated 10 billion a year) would be counted as domestic trade.

    7. Cricket would be much poorer without two additional competing teams.

    8. …..

    …..

    1000. …..

    • 0
      0

      Native,
      “5. When defense budget dries up politicians, bureaucrats, .. intermediaries would need to find other sources of income to supplement their salary.”
      Not if you keep China in the scenario.

  • 1
    0

    a very good paper.Must give it to Izeth. He has spoken of Nehru’s antecedents but has however avoided speaking of Jinnah’s. Bensen

  • 1
    0

    Hey Thamilan

    Indian muslim population is well below 200 million and not 300 million as you say. Pakistani current population is only 190 million this is still higher than the total Indian muslim population, this explains the real number of the Indian muslims.

  • 0
    0

    Britain granted independence to the sub-continent creating India and Pakistan. This was inevitable. A Greater India (i.e. comprising Pakistan and India) would have been unsustainable. The Islam bigots and the Hindu bigots would never have made it possible for a government to govern. The violence and savagery at the time of partition is a human tragedy but the silver lining is “It is over”. In an afore mentioned Greater India the violence would have prolonged and prolonged.

    Izeth lets Jinnah off the hook for demanding the creation of Pakistan with “the Hindu particularism of Gandhi – one of the facts that drove Jinnah to think of Pakistan.”

    Izeth’s parallel between India/Pakistan/Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is very artificial and irrelevant.

  • 1
    0

    There is a difference between the Indians people and Sri Lankans. India gained its independence after a bloody war, whereas Sri Lanka got its independence without a bloody war. The Sri Lankans failed to realize the value of independence. The LTTE failed because it has crossed the line of being a freedom fighters and demonstrated its terrorism. Pakistan has been a failed State, especially after it lost Bangladesh. As for Sri Lanka, Federalism is the most suitable form of government which could have been a possibility, had the LTTE cooperated with India. The Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord was a stepping stone towards the establishment of Federalism. But in the case of Pakistan, it was encouraging cross-border terrorism and became a failed State. After, all, Kashmir is an integral part of India. The word Kashmir derived from Kastapa. It is said in the Hindu scripture that sage Kasyapa received this Kashmir valley from the Goddess Parvathi, the consort of Lord Shiva. Pakistan has no plan to develop itself.

  • 3
    5

    Hello Izeth Naana,

    You’re no Ali Jinnah. Besides there is no parallel between what happened to Muslims in India and Muslims in Sri Lanka. Muslims in Sri Lanka are illegal immigrants from southern states of India. Your traceable family roots are in Southern India.

    Azath naana you should have asked your father and mother why they came to Sri Lanka, the country of Sinhala-Buddhists instead of migrating to East of West Pakistan.

    You may publish the answer for all of us to know.

    We the Sinhala – Buddhists, let you live in peace but we don’t have any land for partitioning.

    • 3
      1

      Sinhala Banda.
      You are full of Sinhala BS.
      Do you realise that you as most of us originally came from Africa.
      Get educated.
      Cheers

      • 2
        0

        To be exact, from MOROCCO; That is why you were known as “Maralkkala” people. They came as traders looking for fortune. The number from Morocco is very insignificant, or by the way there are few others came from North Eastern India; They were mainly engaged in Money lending and trading, settled around Colombo and big cities, number is highly insignificant and popularly known as “Baaiyo”. And there were few came from poverty stricken Indonesia and Malaysia, most of them from JAVA island, during the colonial period (JAA People) (They all came to our country because we were one of the most prosperous and richest nations in Asia. Let me educate you, at the end of WW2, there were three richest countries in Asia; Sri Lanka, Japan and Malaysia.

        The combined total of the above fortune hunters is less than 5% of the total Muslim people in Sri Lanka. 95% entered Sri Lanka, illegally from the Southern states of India; mainly from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. That is why they speak Tamil language. The language spoken by Northern African countries is Arabic (Not pure but Arabic).

        My dear therefore, Muslims are classified as a Tamil Speaking minority. What is your mother tongue? Don’t be bashful about your origin, we the Sinhala-Buddhists love to celebrate the differences between us and our guests, no matter what their legal status is in OUR COUNTRY.

        Oh, by the way we have noticed, the 5% , I have referred to above has assimilated very well into our Sinhalese-Buddhist way of life and it is very positive. If you are one of them, kudos to you.

        • 2
          1

          Dear Mr. S.Banda,
          You write:
          “To be exact, from MOROCCO; That is why you were known as “Maralkkala” people. They came as traders looking for fortune.”

          For your information, nobody came here from Morocco, except maybe Ibn Batuta in the 12th century.
          The reason why local Muslims are called “Moors” is because the Portuguese called all Muslims Moors. This is because the Muslim Moors (Moroccans) ruled over Spain and Portugal for 800 years.
          When the Portuguese landed here in 1505, they met local Muslims.
          They probably were Tamil speaking.At the time the Muslim Mughal Empire in India had advanced as far south as present-day Tamilnadu and Kerala. Do not forget also that the Sultan of Calicut supplied naval help to the Sinhala Kings to fight the Portuguese.
          For someone who comments on the purity of North African Arabic, Mr.Banda, you seem woefully mis-informed about Sri Lanka Muslims.
          Whether the Muslims were here legally or not depends a lot on the visa regulations in 1505. Perhaps you have a copy, Mr. Banda?
          Also perhaps you have information on whether Arahat Mahinda had a tourist visa or a missionary visa, and of course whether the Buddha himself had permission to land in Mahiyangana?
          As Mr.Sarrij says, ALL our ancestors came from Africa.Don’t be petty.

          • 2
            3

            Salaam Alaikum Romani

            “When the Portuguese landed here in 1505, they met local Muslims.”

            If they really met them, the reception would not have been a pleasant encounter because both parties are fortune hunters. Anyway, recorded history gives the following account and it does not say about Muslim delegation meeting Portuguese.

            “In 1505 Don Lourenço de Almeida, son of the Portuguese viceroy in India, was sailing off the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka looking for Moorish ships to attack when stormy weather forced his fleet to dock at Galle. Word of these strangers who “eat hunks of white stone and drink blood (presumably wine). . . and have guns with a noise louder than thunder. . .” spread quickly and reached King Parakramabahu VIII of Kotte (1484-1508), who offered gifts of cinnamon and elephants to the Portuguese to take back to their home port at Cochin on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India. The king also gave the Portuguese permission to build a residence in Colombo for trade purposes. Within a short time, however, Portuguese militaristic and monopolistic intentions became apparent. Their heavily fortified “trading post” at Colombo and open hostility toward the island’s Muslim traders aroused Sinhalese suspicions”

            Even at that time you the Muslims were enjoying our hospitality and protection of the Sinhala-Buddhists.

            You have attempted to belittle our religion and Lord Buddha with sarcastic comments. We have seen recently many similar comments by Muslims in Sri Lanka. It is very natural when people like Don Juan Dharmapala occupies the seat of power in Colombo.

            In the meantime, Spin doctors will try their best to dispute the Roots of Sinhala-Buddhists, you are not different.

            Maasalama

            Sinhala Banda

            • 2
              1

              Dear Mr. S.Banda,
              “When the Portuguese landed here in 1505, they met local Muslims.”
              No it was not a pleasant encounter. The Portuguese were sworn enemies of their former rulers. Why were they looking for “Moorish” ships if according to you there were no local Muslims?
              By the way, there is reference in the Mahavamsa to “Yonaka” people in Anuradhapura. These were Middle Eastern people, but not Muslims, because Islam did not exist at the time.
              Also, the Portuguese were not the first Christians to land here .There were Indian Christians here long before them.
              “In the meantime, Spin doctors will try their best to dispute the Roots of Sinhala-Buddhists, you are not different.”
              “You have attempted to belittle our religion and Lord Buddha with sarcastic comments”

              Well, it is not my fault if you choose to use arguments that have no factual base. You cannot judge what happened hundreds of years ago, Mr.Banda, by the standards of today. You are the one who wrote about the legal status of Muslim immigrants. For your information, a citizen’s loyalty at the time was to the King, not the State. Please use clear and logical arguments instead of insults.
              I will repeat this:Do not forget also that the Sultan of Calicut supplied naval help to the Sinhala Kings to fight the Portuguese.
              You may ask Ellawala Medhananda Thero for further details.

              As for all these people being “fortune hunters” , what do you expect? They had the ships and the knowledge of markets (which the Sinhalese did not have) and the Sinhalese had the elephants, spices, gems, ivory, etc for sale. You cannot eat ivory and gems, can you?

              • 1
                0

                “”By the way, there is reference in the Mahavamsa to “Yonaka” people in Anuradhapura. These were Middle Eastern people, but not Muslims, because Islam did not exist at the time.””

                what the mahawamse demala midget saw the northern conquest all the way from turkey and greece. Alexander the Great. Arabs worked in pockets of traders who stayed back if there was a shortage of payments etc etc Banda Islands had Arabs when the Portuguese were there. The Portuguese found it difficult to drive away there traders because they had become close to the natives.The Dutch drove the Portuguese so Braganza married Charles and Bombay was given as dowry to England therefore the Portuguese stayed at Goa till 1970.

                India has sufficient evidence of the island’s history because it ruled from madras Presidency until 1948. Your DNA coincides with indian proof. but not your waffel, waffel, riffel riffel.

                Politicians outside the shore know when to ignore off the cuff `civilization` when the behaviour is that of animals seeking- wealth, fame and power Buddha humbug.

          • 0
            0

            I just happened to sample this exchange. It doesn’t sound as though “Romani” is a Muslim, but who knows? And she is a woman! Sinhala Banda’s identity and mine are quite unambiguous.

            May I state, that looked at quite impartially, Romani wins that mini-debate hands down!

            Why not get on with the difficult job of building a United Sri Lanka? We won’t do that by throwing insults at all and sundry.

            • 1
              0

              Thank you Sinhala Man. Many people have very illogical ideas about their ancestors.

            • 1
              0

              Actually, Sinhala Man, my aim is not to win debates but to make even a slight change in the way people think. I don’t engage with those who throw insults, only with those who write sense.

    • 3
      2

      Sinhala Banda.
      You are full of bull and vindictiveness.
      What are you trying to convey?
      cheers.

  • 2
    2

    “What are you trying to convey?”

    Time has come for the Sinhala-Buddhists to be united and stop being apologetic or be defensive to protect our birthrights.

  • 2
    2

    Salaam Alaikum Romani;

    You have said;

    “Well, it is not my fault if you choose to use arguments that have no factual base. You cannot judge what happened hundreds of years ago,..”

    Not only you, all Muslim beneficiaries of Baduddin Mohammed’s education reforms driven by bigotry have made many attempts to denigrate our religion, dispute SINHALA heritage and the roots in the last few years. I have been a very silent observer, there are many millions of Sinhala-Buddhists like me, most of them are unaware of the ONSLAUGHT lead by Muslims in Sri Lanka to destroy our birthrights.

    The pretentious Buddhists political leaders have been aiding and abetting the Muslim chauvinist political leaders to enhance their electability – This has to stop otherwise there will not be any land left on earth for the children and grandchildren of all Sinhala- Buddhists.

    Let me say “Let us make Sri Lanka GREAT AGAIN”. You can guess what I meant.

    Maasalama

    Sinhala Banda

    • 2
      0

      Dear Banda,
      You appear to have blown a fuse over my comments. Strange that a person of your education (you have a better grasp of English than most “Sinhala-Buddhists” ) should have such narrow views about minorities.
      To start with, I am not a Muslim. It is not necessary to be a Muslim to speak the truth. It is obvious that you have no answers to the points I raised, but you prefer empty slogans like “Making Sri Lanka great” and are irritated by comments about Lord Buddha’s visa status!
      Well, all I can tell you is that if you want others to respect you and your beliefs, you should respect others.
      You call yourself a Sinhala Buddhist but insist on calling a 90-year old gent like Mr.Hussein a “Nana kallathoni” . I wonder what Sinhala Buddhism is about? I think this is more like the three-wheeler culture one finds on the streets, not the doctrine of the Enlightened One (who was also a foreigner).

      • 1
        0

        Hello Romani,

        You have admitted that you are not a Muslim, It is Ok with me but you are a non-Buddhist, otherwise you would not have descended so low to insult my religion and my only master Lord Buddha.

        Also you have said;

        “Sinhala Buddhist but insist on calling a 90-year old gent like Mr.Hussein a “Nana kallathoni” . I wonder what Sinhala Buddhism is about?”
        Yes a real SINHALA-BUDDHIST, not a pretentious Buddhist. – Kalla Thoni- Thoni=Boat, Kalla=Thief or unlawful person, Those who entered Sri Lanka from India illegally are known as Kallaathoni. Most of boats and it is not a secret. The age may be 90 years, it does not give him any privilege to challenge our Sinhala-Buddhist nation founded by SINHALA people and compare with the reasons that lead to partitioning of India. The roots of Muslims of India and Hindus of India are the same. They are children of Indo-Aryan traditions their origin can be traced back to the same families and same communities.

        But in Sri Lanka, Sinhala-Buddhists cannot be lumped together with the Muslims arrived from India or elsewhere. The 90 year old Hussein’s premise is carefully crafted to instill fear in the minds of Sinhala-Buddhists and the pretentious Buddhist-politicians currently occupying the seat of power in Colombo.

        As a Buddhist, I believe in the doctrine of my only master ; the Lord Buddha. It is driven by non-violence (Ahimsa). But as a Sinhala person, I cannot stand idle and let the Bigots destroy our religion, occupy our sacred lands and twist the history.

        Finally, “Lets make Sri Lanka Great Again” is not just a slogan, wake-up Romani, look around. Politicking and Poly-tricking since 1953 has left our Sinhala-Buddhist nation a begging bowl of the world, our children are left with huge debt burden, society is saddled with crime (rape, murder, abduction, robberies, boot legging etc..)Our children faced with drug menace (drug peddlers are in the parliament),The future is bleak, misery is everywhere, what we witness today is despair, destruction and poverty. So do you think we have a “GREAT COUNTRY” now.

        I never believed in Slogans- They are for you and Hussein ; DHARMISTA SAMAJAYA, MAHINDA CHINNYA an YAHAPALANAYA imbedded in the vocabulary of tricksters.

        So do not B…S…, It is time to initiate change.

        God bless you.

        Sinhala Banda

        • 1
          1

          Dear Banda,
          “Those who entered Sri Lanka from India illegally are known as Kallaathoni”
          Do you not know that it has been illegal only since 1948? Before that, during British rule, anybody could go either way, or to any other British possession without a passport. Where do you think the Karawes and Salagamas came from? Did they have visas, I must ask you again? Stop this legalistic BS and get real.It is very strange that some of these immigrants protest against later immigrants!
          ” Politicking and Poly-tricking since 1953 has left our Sinhala-Buddhist nation a begging bowl of the world,”
          Well, is it not the Sinhala Buddhist majority that votes for crooks and free handouts? Okay then, the solution is to disenfranchise the Sinhala Buddhists or split 50-50 with the others.
          ” As a Buddhist, I believe in the doctrine of my only master ; the Lord Buddha. It is driven by non-violence (Ahimsa). But as a Sinhala person, I cannot stand idle and let the Bigots destroy our religion, occupy our sacred lands and twist the history.”
          Okay, you have made my case for me! What a mess of contradictions.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Author and all forum members,
    The author is well aware of the recent history of India and he is warning of the consequences of partitioning. History in any part of the world never happens like the partition. It was a very long process of repeated riots, hooliganism, poverty and suffering that led to the change in history of India. The fundamental truth is humanity cannot be subjugated by one to another because one is wielding power. If one is subjected to suffer by another for some reason or other, the sufferer will definitely be emancipated. This truth is fundamental in all religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and all other branched out religions. All of us have been seeing this truth from the history of several Countries. India, Germany, Africa and many others where there was subjugation of the so called inferior by the so called superior. This change is continuous and is in progress in the world. Politicians and the so called rulers are the cause for acceleration of this change. It so happens those in power always subjugate the rest. Like the Drifting of continents, change of history cannot be avoided. But people can control change of history to better or for worse with. Good education and understanding, sympathy, and helping others always brings a change for the good. You may have to live and study for a longer time to understand the fundamentals of life.

  • 0
    0

    Sinhala Banda.

    As I said you are full of bull.
    No one is insulting your religion. Your paranoia and ignorance is the problem; you know it all. Get some medical help.

    Cheers

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.