Speakers stated this at a discussion on how the relations between Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have progressed compared to what was intended 74 years ago
Even though the Partition of 1947 was irrational, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh must stop the politics of blame game over the partition to build an effective relationship among themselves, said eminent academics.
They were speaking a virtual discussion entitled "74 Years of Partition: The Evolution of the Relationship between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh" on Saturday night.
The world-renowned experts discussed how the relations between these three countries have progressed compared to what was intended 74 years ago.
The event was organised by: the Oxford Bangladesh Society, the Oxford Pakistan Society, the Oxford India Society, and Youth Policy Forum.
This is the first time that the organisations have come together to discuss the historic event.
Speakers who joined the inaugural discussion from four different countries included: Professor Nurul Islam, Professor Harun-or-Rashid, Professor Faisal Devji, and Professor Yaqoob Bangash.
Professor Nurul Islam, emeritus fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, initiated the discussion by echoing the well-known line, "A nation does not require state," and that a nation cannot be justified by religion, as stated by Jinnah.
He expressed his belief that a unified India would not have been successful because of the permanent majority-minority in the different religions, which would have thus enabled impotence of the democracy.
Prof Dr Harun-or-Rasid, vice-chancellor of Bangladesh National University asserted that the partition on the basis of the two-nation theory was irrational, as it did not resolve many issues.
"It did not resolve the question of the national identity of Bengalis," he added.
"What was the Bengali view of Pakistan?" asked Professor Rashid who then initiated his debate.
He believes that the unanimous support of Bengali Muslims orchestrated the partition. The main reason the Bengali Muslims were whole-heartedly supportive of this partition was not only religion, but socio-economic emancipation.
"It is not fair to blame Jinnah for the partition. Congress leaders were mostly responsible for this," he said.
"If we had had good leadership, the partition could have been avoided. However, the emergence of Bangladesh was inevitable after the partition," he added.
Faisal Devji, professor of Indian History at St Anthony's College, said, "The Partition of India produced what is now the oldest conflict at the United Nations. This continues to hold back all the countries of South Asia from achieving their social, economic and political potential."
"Far more than a merely historical or regional issue, it comprises a truly global problem affecting the lives of nearly two billion people, and as such deserves much more attention than is usually given it," he added.
He believes that Pakistan was a fresh idea, lacking historical background. He then cited the words of Jinnah which were, "We have two brothers, Hindus and Muslims, the problem is that they are too close to each other." Using this, he described the conflict between the Hindus and Muslims and the British approach of partition to enable independence and prosperity for both countries.
Professor Yaqoob Bangash, director of the Centre for Governance and Policy at the Information Technology University in Lahore, focused on looking forward to building a stronger relationship by avoiding the blame game over the Partition of India.
He argued that Bangladesh is not a post-colonial state like India or Pakistan. "Bangladesh emerged on a different perspective of colonialism."
He blamed the military ruler of united Pakistan for the emergence of Bangladesh.
Zahidul Hassan Sajid, general secretary of Oxford Bangladesh Society, delivered the welcome speech.
He said, "We have a shared history and it will be written by our generation. Let us be remembered by them for forging productive and respectful relationships irrespective of our concrete differences."
The Oxford India Society commented that the panel discussion helped them open up communication between the people of the three countries, which is expected to bring everyone onto the same page.
The event was moderated by Dr Akhtar Mahmood.