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The other March anniversary

Posted in fantasy by jrahman on March 24, 2011

This week, Bangladesh celebrates its 40th birthday — the country came into existence on 26 March 1971.  As it happens, this week as also seen the 71st anniversary of another seminal event — on 23 March 1940, the Lahore Resolution was presented at a meeting of the All India Muslim League by AK Fazlul Huq, the then Prime Minister of Bengal.   Popularly known as the Pakistan Resolution, it stated:

That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in 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.

Did the events of March 1971 nullify the resolution of March 1940?  Or was the earlier resolution realised by the later events? 

Beyond the chest thumping Bangla blogs and op ed columns, there is actually a very lively academic discourse that wrestles with these questions.  I strongly recommend the reader to writings of Ahmed Safa, Jatin Sarkar, Tazeen Murshid or Joya Chaterjee — a page of their average writing is much better than a dozen op eds by, say, Syed Badrul Ahsan (unless you read Ahsan for sheer entertainment value).

Personally, I prefer to see myself as a student of history, not a scholar.  So I don’t really have anything terribly original to say about that discourse.  Instead, let me indulge in ‘what if’ fantasies about a two-winged Pakistan surviving beyond 1971.