The long trek to Pakistan Day

The Consul : Stanley Wolpert paid tributes to the Quaid in following words, “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history.

Few still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone could be credited with creating a nation State. Muhammad All Jinnah did all three”.

Long struggle

Creation of Pakistan was a miracle. True, the Pakistan resolution was not over-night exploit of a single figure. It was culmination of a series of events and movements that converged into the idea of Pakistan: Muhammad bin Qasim established the first Muslim state in the Sub-Continent in 712-715 AD.

Shahab-ud-Din Ghouri wrote to Prithvi Raj in 1192 AD that the latter should cede the MusIim-majority areas of the Punjab, NWFP and Sindh to him or be prepared for a war at Tarain battlefield (page 101, tareekh-e-farishta). After Qasim, Qutub-ud-Din Aibak and the Moghul established their rule in India. There were 76 Muslim rulers who ruled over India for about 690 years.

Since early 1870s, there were several movements, which asserted ‘Muslim nationhood’. They include Muslims’ religious, educational, cultural and political life _Aligarh Movement (1870s), Mohammedan Educational Conference, and Urdu Defence Association (1900). Then, there was the demand for separate electorates leading to foundation of Muslim League, the Muslim university movement (1910), the pan-Islamic movements beginning with Italy’s raid on Tripoli (1911) and ending with the Khilafat movement (1918-24), and the Kanpur Mosque agitation (1913).

Muslim’s tolerance

From Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to the Quaid-i-Azam, all the Muslim leaders kept striving for Hindu-Muslim amity. The Quaid began his political career by attending Congress meeting, for the first time ,on July 28, 1904, Thereafter he struggled for about three decades for the rights of Muslim whom he regarded as a ‘minority’, rather than a nation.

Lucknow Pact (1916) was acknowledged as pillar of Hindu-Muslim friendship. However, Nehru, at the behest of the fanatic Hindus, shattered the spirit of peaceful coexistence by formulating his Nehru Report (1928).

The original resolution of 1940 mentions states, not one state of Pakistan. Towards the end of 1930, Allama iqbal used 20 April 2020 the word ‘community’ for the Muslim population in his address at Allahabad. It was only Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, who used the word ‘nation’ for Muslims in his pamphlet ‘Now or Never (1932)’.

Hindus’ intolerance

Intolerance of Hindus forced Muslims to realise that their rights would be trampled under Hindu Raj. Congress party’s criticism, as also Gandhi’s virulently critical letters to the Quaid, paved way for Hindu-Muslim split. Hindus began to call Lahore resolution, the Pakistan resolution.

The Quaid had even accepted the recommendations of the Cabinet Mission. This Mission envisaged keeping India undivided for ten years. When Congress refused to accept the recommendations of the Cabinet Commission, the British government decided to divide India.

It was Allama lqbal who convinced the Quaid of the futility of the idea of continued Hindu-Muslim amity. On March 2, 1941, the Quaid acknowledged, “It is as clear as daylight that we are not a minority. We are a nation and nation must have a territory. A nation does not live in the air. It lives on the land and it must govern land’.

The Quaid said at Minto Park on March 22, 1940, “Musalmans are not a minority as it is generally understood. Musalmans are a nation according to any definition of a nation and they must have their homelands, their territory and their state’. On October 27, 1945, the Quaid said at Ahmedabad, “Pakistan is the question of life and death for us. I shall live and die for Pakistan.” “The moon of Pakistan is shining and we shall reach it” (Dawn, October 28, 1945). “We must get Pakistan at any cost. For it we live and for it we will die.” (November 24, 1945, Mardan). “Without Pakistan, there is only death for Muslims.” (February 24, 1946, Calcutta).

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Let us re-visit Quaid’s observations the first Governor-General and president of its Constituent Assembly: “… you’ll find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that’s the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state…You’re free to go to your temples, you’re free to go to your mosques or to any place of worship, you may belong to any religion or caste or creed—that has nothing to do with business of the state…If we want to make this great state of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, especially of the masses and the poor.”

The Lahore resolution, as it was called on March 23, 1940, became the Pakistan Resolution following the 29th Annual session of the All India Muslim League held at Allahabad in April, 1942 followed by the 30th Annual session of the All-India Muslim League under the leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah at New Delhi between April 24th to 26th April, 1943.

Pakistan resolution

The resolution passed on April 19, 1946 at the Delhi convention, clarified doubts about the word ‘states’ in original Lahore Resolution. It demanded `an unequivocal understanding be given to implement the establishment of Pakistan without delay’.

Differing visions

Despite the lapse of over 70 years, India still has to reconcile with Pakistan as a reality. When Jinnah left India on 7 August 1947,Vallabhai Patel said, ‘The poison had been removed from the body of India’. But the Quaid said, ‘The past has been buried and let us start afresh as two independent sovereign States’. Nehru’s followers continued their anti-Pakistan efforts in the post-Partition period.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s rancour against Pakistan reaches a crescendo in his remark ‘I shall not have that carbuncle on my back’ (D. H. Bhutani, The Future of Pakistan, page 14). Jaswant Singh, in his book, Jinnah: India, Partition, and Independence reveals that Jinnah shelved the idea of independent Pakistan by putting his signature to the Cabinet Mission’s recommendations. When Congress refused to accept the recommendations of the Cabinet Mission, the British government decided to divide India.

Conclusion

Hindus’ visceral hatred led Lahore resolution into the Pakistan resolution. Present-day India manifested that hatred in killing Muslims in Delhi, setting mosques ablaze, and hoisting Hanuman flags atop their minarets.

 

Amjed Jaaved

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