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Paks failure as a nation vindicates Azad: Aiyar

New Delhi: Pakistan`s persistence in a "confused" state and its "failure as a nation" leaves Maulana Abul Kalam Azad a vindicated man, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Friday, contending the veteran freedom fighter was the only one to have rightly assessed the state of Muslims in the subcontinent.

Addressing a gathering at the launch of Jamia Milia Islamia Prof Rizwan Qaiser`s book on the Maulana, where Aiyar and BJP leader Jaswant Singh found themselves on the same side of the debate, the Congress MP said Azad had the genius to spot what would happen to a country like Pakistan.

Pak`s failure as a nation vindicates Azad: Aiyar
Aiyar said India`s conjoined twin had not failed as a state but in emerging as a nation in the absence of a true idea of its nature.

"Pakistan is not at all a failed state but a failed nation because even after being carved out, it did not know what it consisted of, what it stood for, and could not draw a constitution for 10 years, and the Army stepped in," he said after releasing the book `Resisting Colonialism and Communal Politics: Maulana Azad and Making of the Indian Nation`.

Describing Pakistan as a "confused nation," Aiyar said Azad had such a prescient view of the condition of Muslims in the subcontinent that he doubted if "such an illogically carved out nation would last for 25 years."

"How accurate his prediction was, we came to know in 1971, just 25 years after the creation of Pakistan.

"In light of these things we need to salute Maulana for understanding the position Muslims had in the subcontinent with a prescience no other leader had. He understood the situation which (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah didn`t.

"Azad stands vindicated like no one else… his nuanced secularism could have perhaps served the subcontinent better," Aiyar said.

For once agreeing with the Congress leader, Jaswant Singh regretted the fact that despite being a great intellectual, Maulana is one of the not-sufficiently recognised personalities of India`s freedom struggle.

"He was a great intellectual steeped in the tradition of Islamic learning, such are sadly are not much visible in India. His character was evident in his standing up against the movement that was sweeping undivided India," Singh said.

Aiyar opined that 1931 Congress resolution of Karachi, which clearly stated the dissolution of feudalism as its objective, fed more into the Pakistan movement than the Muslim League`s 1940 resolution for the creation of a separate state.

"The Muslim aristocracy feared they would be deprived by the dissolution of feudalism. It is another thing that they had to leave their lands behind," Aiyar said.

Borrowing terminology from David Cameron, Aiyar also said that in "20-20 hindsight it is absurd why Congress didn`t accept the Delhi Muslim proposals on 1927" in which Jinnah had proposed to give up demand for separate electorate if Hindus agreed to provide safeguards like reserved seats for Muslims.

Aiyar also said Pakistan and India need reconciliation to make things better for Indian Muslims. "There is a salience in Hindus about Pakistan and Muslims. It is important to achieve reconciliation between Pakistan and India to allow Indian Muslims become citizens in the true sense of the word," he said.

Prof Qaiser, the author of the book said his was perhaps a rare attempt to deal with Maulana`s political life in toto though he had chosen not to dwell too much on the controversial aspect of Azad blaming Nehru for the failure of the 1946 Cabinet mission plan in India Wins Freedom.

"I have just said Nehru`s statement to the press surprised Maulana like it did other Congress leaders," he said.

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