Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India
By Venkat Dhulipala
Published by Cambridge University Press - 2015
This book examines how the idea of Pakistan was articulated and debated in the public sphere and how popular enthusiasm was generated for its successful achievement, especially in the crucial province of UP (now Uttar Pradesh) in the last decade of British colonial rule in India. It argues that Pakistan was not a simply a vague idea that serendipitously emerged as a nation-state, but was popularly imagined as a sovereign Islamic State, a new Medina, as some called it. In this regard, it was envisaged as the harbinger of Islam's renewal and rise in the twentieth century, the new leader and protector of the global community of Muslims, and a worthy successor to the defunct Turkish Caliphate. The book also specifically foregrounds the critical role played by Deobandi ulama in articulating this imagined national community with an awareness of Pakistan's global historical significance.
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The Venkat Dhulipala interview: 'On the Partition issue, Jinnah and Ambedkar were on the same page'.
Venkat Dhulipala’s book – Creating A New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India – demolishes the existing scholarship on Muhammad Ali Jinnah that his demand for Pakistan was a mere bargaining chip, that it was the reason why he deliberately kept the idea of Pakistan vague, and that Pakistan was merely an obsession of the Muslim political elite.
Associate Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and Visiting Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, Dhulipala revisits the debate on Partition from a new perspective.
Excerpts from the interview: