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Author: M J Akbar
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789350291948
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.
PRAISE FOR M.J. AKBAR:
India: The Siege Within, Challenges to a Nation’s Unity:
‘A thoughtful and well-researched history of the conflict, 2500 years old, between centralising and separatist forces in the subcontinent. And remarkably, for a work of this kind, it’s concise, elegantly written and entertaining’.
--- Ian Jack, The Sunday Times
Riot after Riot:
‘They are poignant accounts of the tragedies of our time, lit up by flashes of brilliance to humanise us’.
--- Mulk Raj Anand, The Times of India
Nehru: The Making of India:
‘M.J. Akbar, one of India’s ablest journalists, has provided a brilliant portrait of this mercurial, sensitive, powerful figure while giving a skilful analysis of the historical forces that led to the transformation of Britain’s Indian empire into the modern states of India and Pakistan’.
--- Ainslee Embree, The New York Times
The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity:
‘To understand the complex forces – religious, political, and historical – that have fuelled the fervour for Jihad, read this book’.
--- Fareed Zakaria
‘A skilfully crafted family saga down three generations packed with information of events in the country and the world, particularly changing Hindu-Muslim relations. It could be a textbook on how to write, mix fact, fiction and history. It is beautifully written; it deserves to be in Category A1’.
--- Khushwant Singh, author and historian
1. The Age of Defeat
2. A Scimitar at Somanath
3. A Theory of Distance
4. An English Finesse
5. Grey Wolf
6. Gandhi’s Maulanas
7. The Non-Violent Jihad
8. The Muslim Drift from Gandhi
9. Breaking Point
10. Faith in Faith
11. The Godfather of Pakistan
12. God’s General
13. The Long Jihad
14. Pakistan – The Siege Within
About the Author