Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bhagat Singh Application 1-10 before Lahore High Court

The 1-10 application that LHC's writ branch has frivolously stopped from getting fixed tomorrow with the main case. 



In re:
                                           Tahreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool versus CDGL etc

Diep Saeeda, wife of ___________,  resident of __________________________________                                                                                                            ……………………APPLICANT

Respectfully Sheweth:-
  1. That titled writ petition is pending adjudication before this Honourable Court.
  2. That the Applicant is a renowned peace and social activist who is filing the present application as a concerned resident of Lahore and a citizen of Pakistan and is both a necessary and a proper party because the issue affects all residents of Lahore and also citizens of Pakistan, as matters germane to the ideology and patriotism are involved, and because the Applicant wants to place on record certain important facts regarding the issue under litigation.
  3. That the issue pertains to the renaming of Shadman Chowk as Bhagat Singh Chowk after Bhagat Singh, a renowned freedom fighter, who was hanged after a trial by the British authorities on 23 March, 1931. That a frivolous impression has been created by the Petitioner organization in the present case that the decision to rename the Shadman Chowk after the name of a great freedom fighter is somehow a conspiracy against Pakistan, whereas contrary to this claim, it is the position of the present Applicant that the renaming of Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh, a son of the soil, is a supreme act of patriotism.
  4. That the Applicant submits that Pakistan is a Muslim majority country where all of us respect and cherish the Holy Prophet (PBUH). It is submitted that the petitioner organization, the objective of which is to safeguard the honour of our Holy Prophet (PBUH), has no locus standi in the present matter as Bhagat Singh, the freedom fighter, was known to hold no animosity towards Islam or our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and for the implication to contrary, the Petitioner may be put to strict proof by this Honourable Court. It is submitted that Bhagat Singh was a non-communal freedom fighter who stood for the independence of the subcontinent from British imperialism for all people of the subcontinent including Muslims.  Some of the finest Islamic scholars of the time including Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Obaidullah Sindhi and Zafar Ali Khan supported Bhagat Singh’s valiant struggle against the British rule. Many of Bhagat Singh’s closest associates were Muslims including Syed Haider Raza and even Bhagat Singh’s counsel was a Muslim, Asaf Ali, not to mention that Quaid-e-Azam  Muhammad Ali Jinnah also staunchly supported Bhagat Singh. Therefore on this ground of locus standi of the Petitioner organization alone the petition deserves to be dismissed.
  5. That the Applicant wants to place on record that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was one of the loudest voices in support of Bhagat Singh in all of India, even appearing as a witness for the defence in the case against Bhagat Singh pertaining to the cracker bombs in the Indian Legislative Assembly.  It is further submitted that the Quaid-e-Azam on September 12 and September 14, 1929 delivered a scathing speech against the British Government and in particular the Punjab Government for its treatment of Bhagat Singh. It is submitted that the Quaid-e-Azam fully sympathized with the reasons and motivations behind Bhagat Singh’s actions and called him a patriot and man with a soul. This speech is part of the record of the collected works of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It is submitted that after the Quaid’s brilliant oratory in support of Bhagat Singh, the question of renaming the chowk after Bhagat Singh being against the ideology of Pakistan does not arise.
  6. That it may be pointed out that Bhagat Singh, though born in a Sikh family, had himself transcended community and was a revolutionary patriot.  It is submitted that Bhagat Singh was a staunch critic of communal politics of all kinds and was considered an opponent of the Congress Party. It is further submitted that Bhagat Singh contributions to the cause of freedom for all people of this region, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and others are made of sterling stuff and to appropriate him to one community or one nation of this subcontinent is unfortunate. It is submitted that Bhagat Singh was a son of the soil, a revolutionary and a freedom fighter who was from this region and who was hanged here, which is why Pakistan has a greater claim to Bhagat Singh than India.
  7. That the Applicant is also incensed at the Petitioner’s suggestion that the Shadman Chowk be renamed after Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, who in his writings roundly abused and attacked Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, using language such as “quisling” and “traitor”. While it is true that Chaudhry Rehmat Ali came up with the name Pakistan but it is well known that Rehmat Ali distanced himself from the country that was founded at midnight of 14th and        15th of August, 1947, choosing instead to live out the rest of his life in Cambridge England and writing abusive tomes against Quaid-e-Azam and the Muslim League.
  8. That CDGL’s decision to rename the chowk after Bhagat Singh is a case of legitimate exercise of executive authority which cannot be impugned as it is an executive decision and is certainly not anti-Pakistan or anti-Islam by any stretch of imagination.
  9. That it is in interest of justice to implead the Applicant as a party to the present proceedings.
WHEREFORE it is prayed that this Honourable Court impleads the Applicant as both a necessary and proper party to the aforesaid writ petition.


                       (YASSER LATIF HAMDANI)
ADVOCATE HIGH COURT                                                    ADVOCATE HIGH COURT
PLH 44363                                                                                     PLH 42545


  1. just a few points Yasser.
    Bhagat Singh and the Congress were not against each other. they just had diferent methods to reach the same goals. Asif Ali, was a sworn Congressi.
    the Congress tried it's level best to save Bhagat.
    In a letter to the Viceroy on the day of their execution, he pleaded fervently for commutation, not knowing that the letter would be too late.[130] Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India later said:

    As I listened to Mr. Gandhi putting the case for commutation before me, I reflected first on what significance it surely was that the apostle of non-violence should so earnestly be pleading the cause of the devotees of a creed so fundamentally opposed to his own, but I should regard it as wholly wrong to allow my judgment to be influenced by purely political considerations. I could not imagine a case in which under the law, penalty had been more directly deserved."
    Jinnah tried no such thing. I think he was in ENgland then. Could hae done much more from there honestly.
    Also we are talking about a different Jinnnah to the one who asked for Pakistan.
    but i am guessing correct historical perspective does not matter in a case where you are trying to create a secular symbol out of Singh.
    Still, this is incorrect.

    Also, as much as the 'son of the soil' narrative goes, you should know that although he was born in Jaranwala district, his ancestral Village is in Khatkar Khalan, in India which is now known as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.
    In as much as Pakistan's claim on Singh goes, it is very heartening to see that Pakistanis have taken to Singh in a manner that they have not taken to any histroical figure. But when ou make statements like Pakistan's claim over him is great than India's you are fuelling the smae juvenile and parochial narrative of India vs Pakistan that keeps these two countries at each others throats. PLaying one agains another.
    But in any case, ideologically speaking, Pakistan has no claim on SIngh for the simple reason that had Singh lived, then exactly like the Congress, he would have opposed the creation of Pakistan and would have been Jinnah's adversary. Singh stood for everything antithetical to Pakistan's inveterate ideology. The biggest problem Pakistan will have in accepting Bhagat today is that he was a sworn Atheist. You should read his essay called "why i am an atheist" that he wrote when in jail. ell me, how will it play out for the people of Pakistan when they realize that the man they have named the chowk over did not believe in god and would have been prosecuted under the balsphemy law had he been alive? Pakista first has to open up to accepting what Singh stood for, then name the Chowk. he has to be understood first. otherwise the naming is mere tokenism because Jinnah once endorsed of his fight.
    he was also secular which paksitan is not. he was for equality which Pakistan does not believe in.
    the biggest problem in the floodgate this might open against the ideology of Pakistan, the nation state.
    right from the great grammarain Panini to all the other Hindus and Sikhs born in modern day Pakistan including Manmohan Singh will have to be feted.
    Pakista will not be able to acommodate them.

  2. I am sorry but your comments are as ignorant as those in Pakistan opposing the move.

    Jinnah who asked for Pakistan was the same as Jinnah who was once the ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity.

    I would rather Indians like you don't comment on issues you don't know anything about.

    Pakistan's ideology is post hoc. We believe in Jinnah's Pakistan. If this move opens up the floodgates against the so called ideology of Pakistan ... good.

  3. Also... Read A G Noorani's book and Kuldip Nayyar's book.

    Jinnah's speech on 12 and 14 September is a matter of record. The issue here is to respond to Mullahs' claim that naming a chowk after Bhagat Singh is against Pakistan. Not sure why an Indian like yourself is getting all excited and insecure about it.

    What I stated in my petition is the correct historical perspective. Yours is a jaundiced and prejudiced perspective that should be buried along with the Islamist perspective.

    1. I must say that i am surprised at the crude boorishness that you display. What is the need for it i wonder. And then you talk of insecurities. I suppose you can speak from experience.
      look, none of the facts that i related to you were incorrect. All are absolutely true. Bhagat Singh and the congress were not against each other and he was not against the congress or ever seen as opposed to them. they are both seen as part of a vast spectrum of the freedom struggle.
      Like i said, there was nothing in common with Asif Ali and Pakistan, Asif Ali a Congressi, who chose to remain in India after partition and even became India's first Ambassaodr to the states.\
      Neither am i denying Jinnah's early secularism. You seem to be part of the school of though that says that the Jinnah remained secular throughout and that the Pakistan demand was bargaining chip. well one of the two are wrong and we cannot tell which one is true. there is no way of saying which of the two narratives is correct.
      My point is just that Pakistan today has nothing to do with Bhagat Singh. like i said, in your petition you say that "we love the prophet" etc etc and that Bhagat Singh had nothing against Muslims. All that is fine but the moment you stop lying and mention the fact that he did not believe in the prophet or his message, you are going to have trouble.
      All i am trying to say is that for Pakistan to accept Singh. Pakistan has to change. It has to stop becoming the 'Islamic' republic of Pakistan. It has to stop becoming anti India in it's ideology.
      As an Indian and as someone who has eulogized Singh since childhood( as all Indian do), i want nothing more than that chowk named after him and that Pakistan accept him (and Gandhi and the rest). I am just saying that you are putting the cart before the horse.
      also, India's one existential concern is nuclear Pakistan. we all want it to be secular.

  4. Jinnah remained secular through out. Read H M Seervai's Partition of India Legend and Reality.

    There are no two opinions on whether Pakistan should be secular or not. It has to be secular or it won't survive.

    The point is not that Bhagat Singh has anything to do with Pakistan. Bhagat Singh is a freedom fighter who fought against British colonial rule.

    Besides I am shocked by your insecurity. No where have I said that Bhagat Singh believed in the Prophet. What I am saying is that Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool has no locus standi on Bhagat Singh as Bhagat Singh did not say anything against the Prophet. It is a response to the petitioner. If you do not understand how this law business works then refrain from commenting. It is a technical argument. To accuse me of lying is just rich. Where have I lied? Have I said that Bhagat Singh was a Muslim?

    Pakistan is a successor state to British India as is India. Pakistan therefore has a claim on Bhagat Singh just as Pakistan has a claim on Indus Valley Civilization, Gandhara civilisation, Maharaja Ranjit Singh etc...

    So your emphasis on this point shows your prejudice. You display a fanaticism that mirrors that of Islamic fundamentalists.


  5. Also you keep harping on Asaf Ali. Asaf Ali is a well known Congressite leader. He was also a Muslim.

    The CDGL has named the Fort Road in Lahore after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Does that mean Azad had anything to do with the making of Pakistan? The International Airport at Peshawar is named after Bacha Khan. Does that mean Bacha Khan had anything to do with Pakistan?

    A main thoroughfare in Islamabad is named after Faqir of Ipi who fought against Pakistan.

    Meanwhile at least one underpass in Lahore has been named after Pakistan's first law minister Jogindranath Mandal who was League's nominee to the interim government. History should never follow nationalist mythology.

    The point about Asaf Ali was in the same sense as the rest of the points... that Muslims - whether they later chose to side with the League or the Congress- did support Bhagat Singh.

    Asaf Ali was the counsel in Delhi case. One of the counsels for Bhagat Singh and Sukh Dev in the Lahore case was Malik Barkat Ali - a staunch Muslim Leaguer and a leading light of the Pakistan Movement. Muhammad Iqbal and Zafar Ali Khan both signed public petitions for Bhagat Singh.

    You seem to be too tied up in your nationalist prejudices to see the point.

  6. i belong to the proud narrative of the argumentative Indian so that subterfuge is not going to work with me. So do not try to hide your insecurity by blaming it one me so that it cannot be used on you for the fear of plagiarism.
    there is no reason why i would be insecure of you or anything to do with Pakistan.
    you on the other hand are a secular Pakistan in a country that is famed for its religious bigotry and intolerance. Your secularism feels stifled in such an atmosphere and you are insecure of the neighboring country that has by and large created a secular ethos.
    A guy like you actually belongs in India and not in Pakistan and this is what makes you insecure when it comes to Indians. You realize that India resembles Jinnah's Pakistan and that is where your insecurity stems from.
    i suppose the first thing you do when you engage with Indians is to blame them of insecurity so that you are never accused of it.
    Nothing about Pakistan can make an Indian insecure. period. I never want to use this line of argument but you brought it upon yourself. At some point you are forced into a corner where you need to call a spade a spade.
    You are not a bright guy. Your argument is ridiculous and defeats the purpose. i don't suppose you see it. Your entire point about why Bhagat Singh should be honoured is that 'Muslims supported him'. Do you realize the lacuna in your argument? all you are doing is to reinforce the Muslim=Pakistan equation.
    Bhagat Singh should be honored because Muslims supported him. Because Asaf Ali fought his case, because Barkat Ali fought his case, because he had Muslim supporters. NOT because he was a secular symbol and not because Pakistan should be secular. The eniter purpose of moving away from the narrative of Muslims for Pakistan and Pakistan for Muslims is reinforced. So much for your acumen for critical thinking which is shockingly poor.
    Law in Pakistan as much as it is an imitation of the law in India still needs to learn to impart critical thinking. but i suppose to some extent it is also genetic.
    Asaf Ali or Barkat Ali being a counsel for the defendants does not even mean anything particularly because being a cousel does not mean you espouse their cause. You are just doing your job. Something else they do not teach in law schools in Pakistan. that cases are not fought based on personal beliefs but dispassionately based on interpretation of law. so nothing can be gleaned from that.
    You do not seem to understand the point of being an atheist. An atheist Yasser is someone who does not believe in god. A hindu, a sikh or a christian still believes in god. An atheist is no reconcilable to the idea of allah. That is blasphemy.
    what i mea is that it is antithetical to the idea of Pakistan. the idea that exists now.
    Jinnah may or may not have wanted an independent Pakistan but he was the one who pushed the Congress into a corner in which they were extremely uncomfortable.
    What happened after that then cannot be blamed on the Congress alone because they were pushed into the situation where they either saved their secular credentials or give into Jinnahs story of them being Hindu.
    be that as it may, you have not been able to talk about why you are not putting the horse before the cart and indulging in tokenism.
    First please make Pak secular and then let the naming process reflect the social evolution. the other way around does not work.
    But anyway, that is not my concern and i am happy that secular Pakistanis have at least come together to fight for a cause. Good for you.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. First of all - read H M Seervai's Partition of India Legend and Reality. It is the Congress which drove Jinnah into a corner not the other way around. But that is hardly the issue here.

    The problem you have is that you either too impatient to read what is written or you are just incapable of seeing the the facts. In the process you have inverted the facts on their head.

    The civil society wanted Bhagat Singh to be honoured because he was a freedom fighter. A group came to court and said that naming the chowk after Bhagat Singh is wrong and unIslamic.

    The reference to Muslim support for Bhagat Singh is a COUNTER-ARGUMENT to their claim that it is unIslamic to name the chowk after Bhagat Singh, a non-Muslim. But I suppose you are incapable of seeing this. So go on in circles..

    While I want a secular Pakistan, the naming of the chowk after Bhagat Singh is about honouring a freedom fighter who fought against British colonial rule. Even if Pakistan is Islamic, there is no reason to not honour heroes who were not Muslims.

    So please stop wasting my time. You obviously have no clue how this law stuff works... even if you've used the word lacuna, though you clearly do not understand what the word means.

    A lacuna would have been had I marched into the High Court of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and said - look here these fellows the petitioners want to stop us from naming this chowk after Bhagat Singh because they think it is unislamic ...but we want to name it so because we are secular and Bhagat Singh was secular. Only an idiot would make such an argument. The issue at hand is not whether Pakistan should be secular but whether Pakistan as it exists today can accomodate the memory of a freedom fighter.

    My clients - one a Marxist leninist and the other a self professed Gandhian- tasked me to put a spanner in the works for this petition. I apologise if my responsibility to my client does not live up to your standards of secularism which seems to rise and set in your arse.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. in constantly raking up the atheist issue i was trying to tell you hat Pakistan does not at present have the space to accommodate an atheist. Bhagat Singh was overtly adn proudly "unislamic" since Islam does not allow you to be an atheist. it is the highest sin. shirk or shrug or whatever it is called.
    since Pakistan today and the constitution in yo country does not allow space for atheists, my point to you throughout was that you are squandering this opportunity to at least furthe the narraive of secularism in your country. Instead, all you did was to further the 'muslim certificate" narrative.
    in Pakistan if a Bhagat Singh has to be accepted, he has to have found support from Muslims. This is nothing but undercutting and counterproductive to any secular narrative you might want to propagate. It does nothing but to raise Msulims to a pedestal whrein they are the sole arbitrators of right and wrong. you can never create a secular narrative by conforming to the saga of Muslim certification like you have done.
    Trying to prove that Bhagat Singh was not unislamic by quoting a few Muslims who supported him was stupid enough. Some Muslims supporting him hardly makes him unislamic. it just makes those muslims anti-islam too. jinnah was called 'katil-e-azam' by the mullahs of your country.
    in the obvious event that you were not going to win his case at any stage. i was asking you to use this case as a platform to further Jinnah's cause which is saying that this should be his Pakistan. And THAT is why Bhagat Singh should be honoured.
    but by choosing to stick with the " bhagat Singh had support of some muslims" view, you have actually destroyed any hope for jinnah's pakistan. for if the opponents of the mullahs cannot see any other way of renaming the chowk than saying that Muslims supported him, then i am sorry to say that the Pakistan=Muslims equation is more deeply embedded in your psyche than you know.
    Unfortunate. But true. you were always putting the horse before the cart. I was never going to work. the only way Bhagat Singh can find a place in Pakistan is by making Pakistan Jinnah's pakistan and you know it.
    work towards that if you can. not against it like you just did if you really believe in secularism. Good luck with that though.
    I must tell you though that i might have come across to you as self conceited in my secularism. The truth however is that i always look up to the secular people from Pakistan. their conviction in the ideology probalby runs deeper than mine and i recognize that since they remain secular in a country that does not accept it. they display courage. It's easy for me to be secular in my country because that is what my country is. but to be a contrarian secularist in an Islamic country is no joke. so when i come across when, i always doff my hat.

  11. you did say that Jinnah supported him, but that Bhagat Singh should be accepted because he should be in Jinnah's Pakistan was not your main drift and you diluted your case by mentioning other muslims supporting singh which made your defense one of "bhagat Singh received a certificate of acceptance" by Muslims.
    you just strengthened the islamic republic of pakistan. congratulations.

  12. oh ya, far as Jinnah and Gandhi are concerned, i can name you a million other writers from your country and mine who say that it was Jinnnah who pushed them into a corner.
    He DID make the Pakistan demand. by doing that he pushem them into a corner. Whether he did is as a tactic or whether he meant it i told you, according to me, can never be known.
    But what is certain is that he did ask for it rather than fight for muslim rights in a united and secula india.
    the moment he made that speech in lahore in 1940, he pushed them into a corner where they had very few options. they chose the option of sicking to their secular credentials rather than to give into jinnah and admit that their intentions towards muslims was invidious.
    which they proved was no the case in independent India.
    anyway, water under the bridge and all that.

  13. Yawn.

    I think history speaks for itself. Almost all serious historians are now reconsidering the role of Nehru and Gandhi. Even Azad questioned it.

    Saying that Jinnah made the demand is no argument. Does not answer what Azad says in black and white.


Be respectful and you shall be heard.