Great article from one of my favorite websites, The Left Coaster. It’s basically the left wing of the Democratic Party in the US. They sure don’t agree with the idiot 55% moron majority of Moronicans that Obama is a socialist! In fact, they are furious at Obama, and they don’t even think he’s much of a liberal. They think he’s a corporate Democrat, which is what he is. The Repubicans are surging now, running on a ticket that Obama is not swooing enough in his abject submission to the corporate scoundrels that run the USA. Sure, Obama’s a corporatist, but he’s not corporatist enough. Apparently the American people agree, no?
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. The conflicts in Pakistan and Sri Lanka have their roots in the fascist language policies of the state. India,on the other hand, for all its faults, has had a good language policy from the very start. English was chosen as the national language, and each state chose its own majority language as the language of the state. To communicate with the central governments, the states would use English. Much ethnic tension and violence was actually defused in India by this very progressive policy.
Pakistan, insanely, chose the language of only 3% of population, Urdu, as the national language. A language that no one spoke! In fact, it was the native language of the Mohajirs, the Muslims of North India who fled to Pakistan in 1948. The Mohajirs have subsequently monopolized the Pakistani state and speakers of other languages like Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi and Pashtun were marginalized. Apparently this is where the roots of much of the Pashtun and Balochi violence in Pakistan has arisen.
Sri Lanka was worse. Sinhalese, the language of 77% of the state, was chosen as the national language. Tamil, spoken by 23%, was marginalized. The public sector was mostly Tamil at independence, and by 1970, it was mostly Sinhalese because Tamils could not speak Sinhalese well. True, the Tamil Tigers were a horrible terrorist group, but the state was just as bad. It’s been one long pogrom in Sri Lanka from 1956-on. The West has cheered every second of the way, supporting the ultra-fascist Sri Lankan state to the hilt.
The genocide reached a peak this spring when the state wiped out the remains of the Tamil Tigers, and slaughtered 100,000 Tamil civilians at the same time. The media in the West and India did nothing but stand up and cheer during the whole Tamil Holocaust. Sickening. Now the war’s over, but tens of thousands of Tamils are in concentration camps.
Sinhalese settler-colonists, like the Jews of Israel, have invaded Tamil lands to throw the Tamils off, steal their land and confiscate it for Sinhalese settlers. Not one word of this in the filthy Western media, who apparently have never met a fascist they didn’t like. Both political parties support the fascist Sri Lankan state.
On a worldwide scale, only the Left has managed to peep in protest over the Sri Lankan fascist genocide. This is one reason I’m a Leftist. We’re the only honorable people left on the globe.
3 thoughts on “The Roots of Fascism in Pakistan and Sri Lanka”
Not only can each state in India pick its own language, state borders were drawn is such a way that, as much as possible, language borders and state borders would coincide. Drawing the borders right is a condition for peace, within as well as between countries.
Also, my understanding is that there are two country-wide languages in India: English and India, just as the EU has French and English.
As to Sri Lanka, choosing the language of 77% of the population as the main language is not such a bad idea as long as the minority language has regional dominance and as long as the children of the minority language are allowed to be educated in their own language in their own region.
In Britain, Welsh has some official status, but only in Wales. In the Netherlands, Friesian also has official status, but only in the province of Friesland. Country-wide official bilingualism, as we have in Canada, is a foolish idea.
There are two views to this. Firstly Urdu was the language of the Mughals. They are now extinct.
Urdu was also spoken in parts of Pakistan during the Mughal era.
Then there’s the third generation of Pakistanis who speak Urdu as their native tongue. One of my friends who is Pakhtun (Omer) speaks Urdu as his native tongue and that goes for most urbanized Pakistanis as well.
Urdu is going through a domestication process in Pakistan by adopting word from the provincial languages.
Also it’s not the Pakhtuns who feel marginalized. The strongest anti-state elements in Pakistan come from Sindh and Balochistan. Pakhtuns are happy with Pakistan. They have a strong presence in the military and are loyal to the state.
I’ve actually done a long detailed post on ethnicity and provincialism in Pakistan.
Lastly you are only giving the Tamil point of view. Back in the 80s and 90s in Pakistan our housemaids were Sri Lankan and they gave a very different story. According to them Tamils would target all Sinhalese including women and children.
You should still explain how then the upper class Punjabis speak Urdu as their first language and promote this language as the national language.
The Punjabi establishment sees Urdu as the identity language of the country and pushes it. Punjabi elites don’t speak Punjabis to my knowledge.