The Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan
Oxford University Press
, 1996 - History
- 413 pages
Pakistan has been variously described as an historical aberration, the result of a split electoral mandate, the outcome of a divide and rule policy, or the product of one man's intransigence. Whatever the basis of the assumption, Pakistan has always been considered a recent breakaway from India: 'India' implying the vast land mass from Kabul to Cape Comorin and from Assam to Balochistan. In questioning the assumption, Ahsan seeks to establish that the north-west of the subcontinent, comprising the valley of the Indus and its major tributaries, has always been distinct from India. Drawing evidence from legend, folklore, poetry, ritual, and social norms, from ancient times to the modern age, The Indus Saga questions and rejects many of the widely-accepted myths of subcontinental history. The facts presented in this book highlight the dichotomy between the Indus region and India. They show the almost unbroken continuity of a distinct social and political order, bearing testimony to the primordial and restless impulse of the Indus region to be a distinct and independent nation-state. They also bring out, in bold relief, the identity of the Indus person (the modern-day Pakistani) as distinct from the Arab, the Central Asian, the European, and the Indian. They all converge, finally, in the establishment in 1947, of Pakistan.