Tag Archives: Iqbal

On Not Having Sindh – Reflections on an Irredentist Anthem: Sajan Venniyoor

Guest Post by  SAJAN VENNIYOOR

Hoax claim that circulated for a while

(Image added by Kafila for no good reason)

Every once in a while, it dawns on an Indian citizen that, among the list of provinces of British India thoughtfully provided by Tagore in our national anthemSindh is an anomaly.

Sindh was a fairly significant part of the British Empire ever since it was absentmindedly conquered by General Napier in the 1840s. (He is believed to sent his superiors a brief message on the conquest, Peccavi, Latin for ‘I have sinned’, which is to say, Sindh. The man was an insufferable nerd).

However, the Partition of 1947 placed Sindh on the wrong side of the Indian border, and its continued presence in the national anthem does not sit well with some Indians. “Why Sindh?” they ask plaintively. “Why not Rajasthan or Jammu & Kashmir? What about the North East States? Isn’t it time we rewrote Jana Gana Mana to reflect our current political realities, etc?”

Passing lightly over the fact that replacing ‘Sindh’ with ‘the North East States and Sikkim’ would play hell with the scansion of the disputed line, there are apparently very good arguments for not tinkering with Jana Gana Mana as it has stood from 1911.  I have only the haziest notion of what these arguments are, but among other things, we are told it would “disregard its existence as a poem by Rabindranath Tagore and an associated ethic that you do not take other people’s poetry and make changes to them.” Continue reading On Not Having Sindh – Reflections on an Irredentist Anthem: Sajan Venniyoor

Can Happiness and Resistance Go Together? Gowhar Fazili

Guest Post by Gowhar Fazili

Does resistance necessarily have a direct relationship with suffering and inverse relationship with pleasure and happiness? This is a question that is particularly significant for long drawn resistance movements facing a formidable enemy insensitive to and largely unruffled by the exertions of resistance.  The engagement with occupation often involves violent and non-violent struggle.  Both demand sacrifices that warrant shunning of such mundane pleasures and opportunities taken for granted by the populations reconciled with power.  If the struggle extends over multiple decades, it is bound to generate fatigue and disillusionment especially among those who have not voluntarily committed themselves to the life of endless self abnegation even while they may desire freedom from occupation.   While all people want to be free from the indignity of living under occupation and dominance, human nature puts limits on how far individuals and populations may be willing to stretch themselves in their denial of bodily desires and material pleasures that life has to offer.

Continue reading Can Happiness and Resistance Go Together? Gowhar Fazili