In his article "What’s in a name?"
Raheemullah Yusufzai commenting on Afghanistan’s information minister Makhdoom Raheen’s letter to Pakistan complaining about using the names of Afghan warrior-kings Mohammad Ghauri and Ahmad Shah Abdali for medium- and long-range nuclear-capable missiles manufactured by Pakistan, wrote:
"Makhdoom Raheen needs to be reminded that Ghauri, Abdali and Ghaznavi
are very much part of Indian, and for that matter Pakistani, history due
to their frequent forays into the subcontinent."
Yes, sadly, they are very much part of Indian (and thus Pakistani) history
but India does not glorify them. It is only Pakistan that does so.
He went on to write: " Many Muslims in the subcontinent consider them their heroes for liberating them from Hindu and Sikh rule and establishing Muslim power. It is widely believed they were requested to invade India to rescue the Muslims."
Rahimullah Yusufzai got it all wrong. Except Abdali, neither Ghaznavi nor
Ghauri came to rescue Muslims from the Hindu yoke. There were no Muslims in
India at that time. Their sole purpose was to plunder and Islamize India.
He continued: "Both Pakistan and India have chosen the names of warrior-kings for their formidable missiles."
Indian missiles are not named after warrior kings. Pakistan in
order to justify the names of their missiles after Ghauri, Abdali etc tries to
pass of f the name Prithvi as if it was named after Prithvi Raj Chauhan. It is purpose
specific as it is ground to ground missile and thus Prithvi. One is named Akash—that ground to sky, one is Agni and so on. These are generic secular names
after natural things like earth, sky, fire.
A Pakistani can see India only in its own image -- within the narrow concepts of its religion.
One can only imagine what hell would have broken loose if India had named
its missiles after the names of Hindus who fought the Muslims. These names
would have been Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Maharana Pratap Singh, Govind Singh, Ranjit Singh or even Savarkar etc etc.
If Pakistan is looking for naming its missiles after its native warrior
kings or heroes, it can always do so and name its missiles after Govind Singh, Ranjit Singh or Hari Singh Nalwa or even King Dahir or Jayapal -- the Kings who fought valiantly against Pakistan's invaders Kasim and Ghaznavi —now, they were the real son-of-the-soil warriors.
Afghanistan has made a valid point which -- I have tried to point out many
times -- why should Pakistan glorify Afghan "heroes" instead of its own?
Pakistan is probably the only country that glorifies those who invaded and
plundered its own land and massacred its people. And in my opinion it comes
from their hatred of any thing Hindu and of India. Pakistan does not see
itself as the inheritors of the history and culture of their own land but as an extension
of Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
February 24, 2006