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Aitzaz Ahsan And Meghnad Desai Listings

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1 Aitzaz Ahsan and Meghnad Desai
Divided By Democracy
Roli Books; New Delhi, India; 2005; 8174364250 / 9788174364258; First Edition; Hard Cover; New; New; 
The second book in the Cross-border Talks series examines why India is a democracy while Pakistan is not. Meghnad Desai identifies the revolutionary decision of the Constituent Assembly to adopt universal adult franchise as the key to the survival of democracy in India. The overwhelming desire of the leaders of the independence movement, many of whom were educated in England, was for a Westminster-style democracy. The adoption of this model led to demands for inclusion from lower and backward castes and Dalits, and today Indian democracy is a heady and vigorous mix of ethnic and immigrant groups, class cleavages as well as rural/urban and North/South divisions. Aitzaz Ahsan argues that at Partition, while India had a strong middle class and political structure and a subordinated civil and military bureaucracy, in Pakistan it was the opposite. It inherited a strong feudal class, an insignificant bourgeoisie and an entrenched civil and military bureaucracy. These vested interests have never relinquished their control over the country, and have in the process choked the spirit of democracy there. Printed Pages: 144. 012380

Price: 7.00 USD
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2 Aitzaz Ahsan
The Indus Saga - From Pataliputra to Partition
Roli Books; New Delhi, India; 2005; 8174364218 / 9788174364210; First Edition; Hard Cover; New; New; 
The Indus region, comprising the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent (now Pakistan), has always had its distinct identity—racially, ethnically, linguistically and culturally. In the last five thousand years this region has been a part of India politically for only five hundred years. Pakistan, then, is no ‘artificial’ state conjured up by the disaffected Muslim elite of British India. Aitzaz Ahsan surveys the history of Indus—as he refers to this region—right from the time of the Harappan civilization to the era of the British Raj, concluding with Independence and the creation of Pakistan. Ahsan’s message is aimed both at Indians still nostalgic about ‘undivided’ India and at his Pakistani compatriots who narrowly tend to define their identity by their ‘un-Indianness’. EXCERPT: ‘Two generations of Pakistanis have been told that their very identity was their “un-Indianness”: banish this thought from the mind and Pakistan will collapse. Moreover, the Pakistani is Muslim and the Indian is Hindu. Period. That alone was the rationale of the partition of the subcontinent. But even if valid, being “un-Indian” is a manifestly incomplete answer to any question about identity. It only purports to state what the Pakistani is not. It does not address the issue as to what indeed he is … The Pakistani does not necessarily have to be an Indian, but he has to be somebody. Who is that somebody? Moreover the smug answer ascribing a singular role in the Partition to the differences between Hindus and Muslims fails to deal with the fact that the number of Muslims in India is greater than the population of Pakistan ... That is why some questions remain: is the centripetal pull of India an inexorable force that could again pull the Indus region (Pakistan) to itself? Or does the Indus region have a primordial existence outside India? Does it not have an identity of its own? Printed Pages: 467. 011953

Price: 17.00 USD
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