M. J. Akbar, "Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan"
M. J. Akbar, "Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan"
Ha...rCol...s | 2011-01-11 | ISBN: 9350290392, 9350290391 | 360 pages | PDF | 194 MB

Indians and Pakistanis are the same people: Why then have their nations moved on such different trajectories since freedom in 1947? The idea of India is stronger than the Indian, and the idea of Pakistan has proved weaker than the Pakistani. Pakistan was not born across a breakfast table. It was the culmination of a search for what might be called Muslim space that began during the decline of the Mughal Empire, by a north Indian elite driven by fear of the future and pride in the past. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, master of the endgame, wanted, in essence, a secular nation with a Muslim majority, just as India was a secular nation with a Hindu majority. The father of Pakistan did not realize there was another claimant to the nation he had delivered, Maulana Maududi, founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami, and the godfather of Pakistan. In Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan, M.J. Akbar embarks on a historical whodunit to trace the journey of an idea, and the events, people, circumstances and mindset that divided India. The investigation spans a thousand years, and an extraordinary cast: visionaries, opportunists, statesmen, tyrants, plunderers, generals, and an unusual collection of theologians, beginning with Shah Waliullah who created a theory of distance to protect Islamic identity from Hindus and Hinduism. Akbar brings an impressive array of research, perception and analysis to solve this puzzle, writing the story in a fluent, engaging style that makes a difficult subject deceptively accessible. There could be no better guide to the subcontinent s past, and a glimpse into its future.

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