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Indian Liberals vs Pakistani Liberals

An article by Aatish Taseer in the WSJ a few days back, titled Why My Father Hated India, is still causing waves in Pakistan:

Ten days before he was assassinated in January, my father, Salman Taseer, sent out a tweet about an Indian rocket that had come down over the Bay of Bengal: "Why does India make fools of themselves messing in space technology? Stick 2 bollywood my advice."

My father was the governor of Punjab, Pakistan's largest province, and his tweet, with its taunt at India's misfortune, would have delighted his many thousands of followers. It fed straight into Pakistan's unhealthy obsession with India, the country from which it was carved in 1947.

Read on at the WSJ


25 Jul 2011, 03:33:22 PM | Buzz

Feisal Naqvi joins in:

In the interests of honesty, let me freely concede not only that I found Mr Tharoor’s response to be infuriating but that I said all sorts of rude things about him on Twitter which I probably shouldn’t have said. On the other hand, I’m not sure I want to apologise. For a professional diplomat, Mr Tharoor’s remarks were cretinous in the extreme. In fact, they were probably cretinous by any measure.


05 Aug 2011, 08:54:02 AM | Buzz

RT @ShashiTharoor: My  response to the responses to my response to a response: No More Delusions! http://bit.ly/nGzLAT End it here? @marvisirmed @ejazhaider:

What’s particularly interesting about these well-written responses is that they rely principally on refuting arguments I haven’t made. Since space limitations prescribe brevity, let me make clear where I stand. I am totally reconciled to Pakistan’s existence as an independent state, and have no desire to reintegrate it into “Akhand Bharat” — indeed, the demographic, social and political evolution of Pakistan since 1947 makes it quite unsuitable for any such reabsorption.

27 Jul 2011, 04:32:36 AM | Buzz

Meanwhile, Ejaz Haider continues grappling not just with Taseer-Tharoor but now brings in  Nitin Pai and Ashley Tellis to posit that all of this is one giant Indo-US conspiracy to (gasp) ensure that "the Pakistani military needs to be defenestrated". He also, condescendingly, decides to parenthetically tell his readers what 'defenestrated' means — (it means to throw something or person out of a window — sigh!)

27 Jul 2011, 04:38:57 AM | Buzz

RT @cpyala: As a counter to the banality of Aatish Taseer-Shashi Tharoor combine, read Mani Shankar Aiyar on Pakistan in FiveBooks http://bit.ly/ocykWG

25 Jul 2011, 04:03:52 PM | Buzz

The debate continues, now with Marvi Sirmed joining issue with Shahsi Tharoor's piece, in the Daily Times, Pakistan:

his preconceived notion seems to be that whenever a Pakistani would opine about a foreign — specifically Indian — writer on his Pakistan-specific writing, it is going to be negative. It is going to be an ‘attack’ however slightly a disagreement is made on factual information. It might be true elsewhere, but we in Pakistan keep raising uncomfortable issues with the state, and that too quite frequently. Sometimes by even putting our lives in danger.

Tharoor sahib may also like to know more about the diversity of Pakistani ‘liberals’ before passing judgements, just as we would like to know more about how Mr Tharoor defines ‘liberalism’ and if our liberalism determines the degree to which we should hate our country, it is essentially one certificate that I would not like to get from him. Similarly, for making my voice heard by the masses, I do not need to get a certificate of patriotism from the state of Pakistan.

The difference between him and I may be (in addition to his intellectual superiority) that in order to love my country, I do not feel the need to hate India, which still carries the roots of so many Pakistanis. Just like an Indian liberal is an Indian first, a Pakistani liberal is a Pakistani first. Whenever the conscience has demanded to choose, Pakistani liberals have made the right choice — truth vis-à-vis blind complacency. The reason why we are so critical about our own state is precisely this: we love Pakistan. Please take it as it is.

Please wait for the twitter-feed from the storify.com to load in the space below to follow the further exchange this led to between Mr Tharoor and Ms Sirmed

22 Jul 2011, 08:49:02 PM | Buzz

Shashi Tharoor rejoins the "Pakistani Liberals" debate via a column today which asserts "there is absolutely nothing Pakistan possesses that India wants" and that "Indians need to put aside their illusions that there are liberal partners for us on the other side of the border who echo our diagnosis of their plight and share our desire to defenestrate their military. Nor should we be surprised: a Pakistani liberal is, after all, a Pakistani before he is a liberal" http://bit.ly/rsGAvR.

Check out the updates in the Storify Tweet selection which includes some of the back and forth on Twitter today

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