Cabinet Mission, Nehru and Jinnah

 

“That geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North Western and Eastern Zones of (British) India should be grouped to constitute ‘independent states’ in which the constituent units should be autonomous and sovereign.”

-Lahore Resolution of Muslim League

Lahore resolution of Muslim League created blue print of Pakistan in 1940. But in 1940 Muslim League was a weak party; hence Jinnah’s claim that that Muslim League should be sole spokesman of Indian Muslims was ludicrous.

But by 1946, League had strong Muslim base. So Cabinet Mission Plan in 1946 came up with a solution which they believed will satisfy both Congress and League. This plan fulfilled demands of League as per Lahore resolution.

India was to be divided into 3 sections, with a weak centre controlling currency, defence and foreign affairs, while rest of the functions, were to be with these 3 units. Of these, two units had Muslim majority and one had Hindu majority. The princely states were to maintain their independence.

Cabinet Mission Plan

The structure was beneficial to League; they could control over large part of India esp. two important provinces of Punjab and Bengal. But League lacked political maturity. Qualities of a savvy politician were absent in leaders of League, they loved to take extreme positions. They started making demands which made no sense ex. asking for more and more territory. Instead of making governance a success, they got into street fight in name of “Direct Action”.

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It was more beneficial for League to make this arrangement work than Congress. As it is Congress was never in favour of weak centre, nor was it ready to let princely states to remain independent. Instead of winning over Nehru and Patel, they indulged in Congress bashing in name of minority politics.

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What League did not realise was such actions was alienating them from sections of Hindus who supported League. Soon strong Hindu leader like Jogendranath Mandal left Pakistan and came to India.

“Taking the logic of Jinnah’s demand to its extreme, Congress now offered him a ‘Pakistan’ stripped of the Punjab’s eastern divisions (Ambala and Jullundur), Assam (except Sylhet district) and western Bengal and Calcutta – the ‘mutilated and moth-eaten’ Pakistan which Jinnah had rejected out of hand in 1944 and again in May 1946. Such a permanent settlement would at a stroke eject Jinnah from the centre, clear the way for a strong unitary government wholly under Congress’s sway, and give away only parts of provinces which past experience had shown lay outside the Congress’s ken.”

― Ayesha Jalal, The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan

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Finally Jinnah took next extreme step, partition of India, not realising that Muslims would be biggest losers. Under new plan, Pakistan lost half of Punjab and significant part of Assam and Bengal. It divided Muslims and considerably reduced their influence on Indian politics. I am not even talking about lakhs of people who died or suffered hardship due to partition.

 

Coaching- Views and Models

“Our chief want in life is someone who will make us do what we can”

-Emerson

 

“Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance.”

-Tim Gallwey

Coaching is way of working with people that leaves them more competent and more motivated so that they are more able to contribute to their organisation and find meaning in what they are doing.

Coach does this by providing new language that allows client to make new observations.

A coach is someone who builds a respectful relationship with client, then researches the situations the client finds himself in, with particular emphasis on client’s interpretation of the events. Job of coach is to understand client’s structure of interpretation, then in partnership alter this structure so that the actions that follow bring about the intended outcome.

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Views of well-known Coaches

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 Well know coach John Whitmore, who designed well know GROW model, feels that coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistakes. Coach is aware of two things…

 

  1. He recognizes that internal obstacles are often more daunting than external ones.
  2. It may be harder to give up instructing than it is to learn to coach.

Coaching is different from mentoring. Mentoring comes from concept of apprenticeship when an older, more experienced individual passed down his knowledge of how the task was done and how to operate in commercial world. While coaching is not dependent on more experienced individual passing down his knowledge- Coach needs expertise of coaching but not subject at hand.

Coaching believes that people possess more capability than they are currently expressing, coach must think about people in terms of their potential, not their performance.

To coach successfully we have to adopt a far more optimistic view than usual of dormant capability of all people. Building awareness, responsibility and self-belief is the goal of a coach.

Whitmore says that coach should refrain from giving advice-“If I give you my advice and it fails, you will blame me. I have traded my advice for your responsibility and that is seldom a good deal.”

Our potential is realized by optimizing our own individuality and uniqueness, never by molding them to another’s opinion of what constitutes best practice.

Telling or asking closed questions saves people from having to think. Asking open question causes them to think of themselves.

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Micheal Bungay Stainer a well known coach says that, “The seemingly simple behaviour change of giving a little less advice and asking a few more questions is surprisingly difficult.” He feels that -“People have an inner advice monster – a deep need to give advice and offer recommendations that’s an instinctive response to questions,”

It is difficult because we have spent years delivering advice and getting promoted and praised for it.

According to Stainer best question to ask in coaching is the AWE question- “…And What Else” It helps in getting people to generate more options

Another critical question to ask it the strategic question- “If you’re saying” Yes” to this, what are you saying” No” to?” This helps in prioritizing.

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Marshall Goldsmith is one of the highest paid coaches; he feels that -“Coaches need to let clients know that they are ultimately responsible for their own lives. As coaches we need to make it clear that we are there to help our clients do the work – not to do the work for our clients.”

He feels that in setting goals with leaders it is important to be realistic about the time needed for client to produce a positive, long-term change in behavior. Habits that have taken 48 years to develop will not go away in a week.

Goldsmith works with his clients and their managers to determine:

 

1) Who are my client’s key stakeholders and

2) What are the key behaviors that my client wants to change?

Goldsmith is of belief that the company pays him only after his client has achieved a positive change in key behaviors as determined by key stakeholders.

Coach Henry Kimsey-House has come up with four cornerstones of coaching, which are…

 

  1. People are naturally creative, resourceful and whole- They are capable of finding answers, capable of taking action, capable of learning
  2. Focus on whole person- don’t look at person in isolation- person is heart, body, mind and spirit
  3. Dance in this moment-Present to what is happening right now and respond to that stimulus rather than master plan.
  4. Evoke transformation- Coach should see topic as expression of something more valuable to coachee. It should connect today’s goal with life’s potential. Shift from “aah” (satisfaction) to “aha”    (breakthrough)

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Different models of coaching

 GROW model

GROW of Whitmore is about have a goal setting session with client and add depth to coaching conversation. It consists of following steps…

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  1. Coaching topic- Ask coachee what he would like to discuss. Decide on subject of discussion.

2.Coaching Goal- Agree measurable output/outcome, by asking him the question, “What is your goal?”

3.Reality- Describe current situation, uncover real issues by asking him the question, “What is the Reality?”

4.Options- Draw out all possible solutions selects preferred solution by asking him the question, “What are your options?”

5.Wrap up- Discuss possible implications/obstacles, commit to action steps, identify support, check goal achieved by asking him the question, “What will you do?”

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Coaching model of Mary Beth O’Neill

 Essence of coaching is helping leaders get unstuck from their dilemmas and assisting them in transferring their learning into results for organization. The O’Neill model asks four questions…

 

  1. Which business challenges are you facing? How much time have you got?
  2. What keeps you from getting the results you want?
  3. What is challenging for you about this situation given the disappointing results?
  4. What specifically do you expect from your team that would directly lead to higher results; what will be required of you to produce those results through your team?

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CLEAR Model

 Clear model is a 5 step model; it consists of following steps…

 Contracting- Opening the discussion, setting the scene, establishing the desired outcomes and agreeing the ground rules

  1. Listening- Active listening as a catalytic coaching intervention helps the client develop their understanding of situation and generate personal insight
  2. Exploring- Helping the client to understand the personal impact the situation is having on them. Challenging the client to think through the possibilities for future action in resolving the situation.
  3. Action- Supporting the client in choosing a way ahead and deciding the next step.
  4. Review- Closing the intervention, reinforcing the ground covered, decisions made and value added. The coach also encourages feedback from client on what was helpful about the coaching process, what was difficult and what would they like to be different in future coaching sessions.

 

Shobha De, Romila Thapar and Narcissism

Narcissism consists of certain traits like extreme selfishness, a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration. Two ladies exhibit it quite well- Shobha De and Romila Thapar.

Both have need to remain in limelight, limelight means revenue.

Reveune in terms of sale of their books, getting paid for writing columns in newspaper, getting invitation as speakers etc.

Techniques used by these two ladies to remain in limelight are different.

shobha

 

Shobha’s technique is to make a controversial statement and then like spider wait for victim in get trapped in her web of controversial statement. She knows quite well that there will be a reaction, she prays for reaction, so far she has not been disappointed. Once reactions pour in , she will write articles on how she is being attacked, all attackers are labeled as misogynist. After each controversy publicity, atleast for few days, is guaranteed.

Romila on the other hand uses trap called “Argument from Silence”.

This technique was used by historian Frances Wood. Frances Wood based her controversial book “Did Marco Polo go to China?” on arguments from silence. Woods argued that Marco Polo never went to China and fabricated his accounts because he failed to mention elements from the visual landscape such as tea, did not record the Great Wall and neglected to record practices such as foot-binding. She argued that no outsider could spend 15 years in China and not observe and record these elements.

In other words silence on certain issues meant Marco Polo never went to China.

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There are few well documented evidences of history of ancient India. Romila Thapar uses this loop hole  to write on subjects which are bound to create controversy ex. book on Somnath. Once controversy erupts, she then harvests emotions for her benefit. Those who attack her are rightist and those supporting her are leftist. Fact is Romila is neither leftist nor rightist , like Shobha De, she is opportunist.

There is nothing wrong in being opportunist, these are survival tactics, and both have mastered them well.

 

Hindu Marriage Act of Pakistan

Finally Sindh Province of Pakistan approved Hindu Marriage Act.

There is a hope that it will get accepted at national level.

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“Now after passage of this bill in Sindh assembly, after 70 years, Hindus will have marriage certificate as Muslims do”

-Shahnaz Sheedi

This act shows how outdated Pakistan is. Dr. Ambedkar made revolutionary changes in social institution of Hindu marriage when he drafted Hindu Marriage Act. I had similar expectations from act esp. since it took decades to get passed, but what act talks about are basics…

  1. The groom & bride should be 18 years old at the time of marriage.
  2. Hindus can now register their marriage.
  3. If one of the spouse converts to Islam then marriage is over.

After 7 decades a Hindu, Sikh or Parsi in Pakistan can get his marriage registered!

In absence of this law, Hindu women were kidnapped, raped and converted to Islam, the husband in absence of any documents could not prove that the woman was his wife. Non registration also meant not getting visa for spouse, it was difficult for widows to claim husband’s property etc.

Passing of this act will give some protection to Hindu women.

But there are fears that clause 12(iii) of act which states that marriage will be annulled if any of the spouses convert to another religion, will be misused esp. in cases of forced conversions.

“There are fears that the clause would be misused for forced conversions of married women the same way young girls are being subjected to forced conversions”

-Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naguib Mahfouz, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee

“When all else fails, philosophize.”

 ― J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace

Some of the African nations were ruled by British directly or indirectly. Their rule brought misery to the natives, as British were busy exploiting them.

Pattern of exploitation was similar to what they did in India. Grab the best land, turn natives into unpaid/low paid labour and always practice apartheid to spread the myth of superiority of white race.

Here we will talk about three nations- Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. The literature of these countries is influenced by policies of British.

Egypt was part of Ottoman Empire, after defeat of Turkey in First World War, the British occupied Egypt. This occupation was resisted by Egyptians leading to revolution of 1919, to get rid of British and make Egypt independent.

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British tried to crush the rebellion, resulting in death of hundreds of Egyptians.

“An Englishman – in other words, the kind of man he imagined to embody all the perfections of the human race.”

-Naguib Mahfouz, Palace Walk

Naguib Mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian writer, who lived in Cairo. He was influenced by events of 1919, and wrote novels on the subject, popularly called as “Cairo Trilogy”.

“You could say … that the one thing which most shook the security of my childhood was the 1919 revolution”

-Naguib Mahfouz

cairo trilogy

The Cairo Trilogy is a three-part family saga, centred on al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad and his family — his wife Amina and their children and subsequently his grandchildren. He has three sons- Fahmy, Yasin and Kamal and two daughters Aisha and Khadija. The trilogy also covers story of Khadija’s sons Abd al-Muni’m and Ahmad. The novels roughly cover period between two World Wars.

Mahfouz presents the story in distinct chunks, rather than one continuous whole: “Palace Walk” covers the period from 1917 to 1919, “Palace of Desire” jumps ahead and covers the period from 1924 to 1927, and “Sugar Street” covers the period 1935 to 1944.

“Ignorance is your crime, ignorance … ignorance … ignorance. My father’s the manifestation of ignorant harshness and you of ignorant tenderness. As long as I live, I’ll remain the victim of the two opposites.”

-Kamal in Palace Walk

 Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988.

While Mahfouz was influenced by revolution of 1919, Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o was influenced by Mau Mau rebellion of Kenya.

Ngugi wa Thiong

Ngugi is Kenyan writer belonging to Kikuyu community. In 1950’s the British started grabbing land belonging to Kikuyu community. It resulted in protest by Kikuyu, which resulted in Mau Mau rebellion again British occupation of Kenya. The British tried to crush the rebellion by killing and detaining thousands of Kenyans.

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His first novel “Weep Not, Child” is about young boy Njoroge and white landowner Mr. Howlands. Some family members of Njoroge’s family are involved in Mau Mau rebellion; this is used as an excuse by Howlands to beat Njoroge and his father Ngotho. Howlands gets support from another rich African Jacobo. Now comes the Hindi filmi twist- Njoroge is in love with Jacobo’s daughter Mwihaki. Unfortunately novel does not have happy ending. Njoroge who is good is studies gets thrown out of school, Mwihaki leaves him, Ngotho dies and finally Njoroge ends up feeling hopeless after failed suicide attempt.

weep not child

His other novel “Grain of Wheat” also has Mau Mau rebellion in background. Indians will find it easy to identify with the characters in novel.

grain of wheat

Story starts with hero called Gikonyo who is a carpenter, he is married to Mumbi. Mumbi’s brother Kihika is revolutionary, who kills a hated British officer. But Kihika gets caught and is hanged. People suspect guy called Karanja must have betrayed Kihika. To complicated story Mumbi has affair with Karanja. Finally it is found that a guy called Mugo, whom people consider as hero is actually a villain and he betrayed Kihika. There is also an angrez villain called John Thomson.

“Our fathers fought bravely. But do you know the biggest weapon unleashed by the enemy against them? It was not the Maxim gun. It was division among them. Why? Because a people united in faith are stronger than the bomb”

 ― Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, A Grain of Wheat

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Ngugi is also critical of dictatorship in various nations of Africa. He wrote a novel called “Wizard of the Crow”, a satire on dictatorship. The story is set in the imaginary Free Republic of Aburĩria, autocratically governed by one man, known only as the Ruler.

“The condition of women in a nation is the real measure of its progress.”

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Wizard of the Crow

British (and Europeans) tried to continue their rule in Africa by practicing apartheid. The system got perfected in South Africa.

Apartheid has impact on South African writers Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee.

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Nadine Gordimer wrote novel called “July’s People” much before apartheid system ended in South Africa.

July's people

Novel is about a black servant called July, who works for a white couple Bamford and Maureen Smales. The Smales have three children Gina, Royce and Victor.

There is a civil war between Blacks and Whites. For safety the Smales family move to July’s native place and are forced to live in a hut. The situation is reversed; the Smales family is now totally dependent on July for their survival. July is no longer a polite black servant, he has become assertive. While children are able to adjust to new life in village, Maureen finds it difficult to adjust. She realizes that she is not as liberal as she thought she was. She wants her previous life back, so start running towards a helicopter which she feels will liberate her.

You like to have some cup of tea?-July bent at the doorway and began that day for them as his kind has always done for their kind.”

 ― Nadine Gordimer, July’s People

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While “July’s people” is pre apartheid, John Maxwell Coetzee’s “Disgrace” is post-apartheid. While Mureen of “July’s people” could not adjust herself in post-apartheid world, Lucy of “Disgrace” is willing to adjust herself in post-apartheid world.

disgrace

Disgrace is about a professor David Lurie who is undergoing what is called in psychology as “mid-life crisis”. He has affair with his student called Melanie, at the same time he also visits a prostitute called Soraya. His affair with student results in David getting sacked from his job. Disgraced and outcaste, he starts living with his daughter Lucy, who is settled in village.

There he is involved with three characters- His daughter Lucy who is interested in rural life, Petrus a black, who was earlier a farm laborer and now in post-apartheid era is a land owner, Bev Shaw a woman who runs dog shelter and has lesbian relationship with Lucy, later has affair with David. David starts helping Bev in running dog shelter i.e. helping her in getting rid of dogs that are put to death by Bev.

“I cannot be a child forever. You cannot be a father forever. I know you mean well, but you are not the guide I need, not at this time.”

 ― J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace

One day three blacks attack David and Lucy. Lucy is raped and their house is ransacked. Lucy refuses to lodge complain against rapists. Soon it is found that attackers were related to Petrus, and Lucy is pregnant. David asks Lucy to get rid of child and move out of village. But Lucy has decided to stay in village and plan to keep child and eventually marry Petrus. While David is not mentally ready for post-apartheid scenario, Lucy has prepared to adjust herself in new conditions.

Nadine Gordimer got Noble Prize in 1991, while John Coetzee won Noble Prize in 2003.