The ideological roots of Pakistan

 Dr M Yakub Mughul

There is a lobby in Pakistan which overtly and covertly questions the country’s ideological basis. It says that the creation of Pakistan had nothing to do with Islam and had only securing the economic interests of the Muslims as its basic objectives. This is a blatant distortion of facts of history which is aimed at creating confusion and despondency in the minds of the young generation. By presenting the driving forces behind the Pakistan movement in their true perspective, the following article dispels the cobweb of misunderstanding woven around the subject by vested interests.

Pakistan’s emergence was not just the emergence of a new state, but it was created on the basis of Islamic Ideology. The object of the Pakistan Movement was not to separate some provinces to save them from Hindu domination. Had it been so, the Muslims of the minority provinces would never had taken the active part they did in the freedom movement. The fact is that they were the worst sufferers, both before and after the partition. They knew that if Pakistan was created they would stand to gain nothing, in fact, might lose everything. In spite of this, the Muslims of the minority provinces joined the Muslims of the majority provinces in their struggle for freedom simply because they believed that they were fighting not for a territory only, but for the preservation of their culture and civilization, language, and literature and Islamic way of life.

In the presidential address at the Lahore Session of All India Muslim League in 1940, the Quaid-i-Azam declared:

“Musalmans are not a minority, as. It is commonly known and understood. One has only got to look round. Even today, according to the British map of India, 4 out of 11 provinces, where the Muslims dominate more or less, are functioning notwithstanding the decision of the Hindu Congress High Command to non-co-operate and prepare for civil disobedience. Musalmans are a nation according to any definition of a nation, and they must have their homeland, their territory, and their state.”

For the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, the demand for Pakistan was an expression of their deepest emotions for their political and cultural identity. Pakistan was created as the first Islamic State after the establishment of the State of Medina in 622 A.D. as an ideological state on the basis of Islam. The question as to why Hindus and Muslims could not coalesce into one nation although they lived together for centuries, the Quaid in his speech at Aligarh on March 4, 1944, answered this question:

“Pakistan started the moment the first non-Muslim was converted to Islam in India long before the Muslims established their rule. As soon as a Hindu embraced Islam, he was an outcast not only religiously but also socially, culturally, and economically. As for the Muslim, it was a duty imposed on him by Islam not to merge his identity and individually in any alien society. Throughout the ages, Hindus had remained Hindus and Muslims had remained Muslims, and they had not merged their entities – that was the basis for Pakistan”.

In his presidential address at the special Pakistan Session of the Punjab Muslim Students Federation, on March 2, 1941, discussing the ideological difference of two nations the Quaid further said:

“Our demand is not from Hindus because the Hindus never took the whole of India. It was the Muslims who took India and ruled for 700 years. It was the British who took India from the Musalmans. So, we are not asking the Hindus to give us anything. Our demand is made to the British, who are in possession. It is an utter nonsense to say that Hindustan belongs to the Hindus. They also say that Muslims were Hindus at one time. These nonsensical arguments are advanced by their leaders. They say, supposing an Englishman becomes a Muslim in England, he does not ask for Pakistan. Have you got eyes to see and don’t you have brains to understand that an Englishman, if he changes his religion in England, he, by changing his religion, still remains a member of the same society, with the same culture, same social life and everything remains exactly the same when an Englishman changes his faith.

But can’t you see that a Muslim, when he was converted more than a thousand years ago, bulk of them, then according to Hindu religion and philosophy, he becomes an outcast, and he becomes a maleecha (untouchable) and the Hindus cease to have anything to do with him socially, religiously and culturally or in any other way? He, therefore, belongs to a different order, not only religious but social and he has lived in that distinctly separate and antagonistic) order, religiously, socially and culturally. It is now more than a thousand years that the bulk of the Muslims have lived in a different world, in a different society, ina  different philosophy and different faith; can you possibly compare this with nonsensical talk that mere change of faith is no ground for a demand for Pakistan? Can’t you see the fundamental difference?”

The slogan of one Indian nation from the platform of the Congress did not appeal to the Muslims of the sub-continent. It made Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and other Muslims realise that actually, the Hindus constituted a separate nation, having nothing common with the Muslims and that they could not live together anymore with Hindus. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had predicted this in 1867, when a few influential Hindus at Banaras, contemplated the removal of Urdu and Persian languages from courts and offices to replace them by Hindi and Devnagri script. After this incident, Sir Syed expressed his views before Mr. Shakespeare, an English officer and his friend at Banaras as under:

“It was not possible for the Hindus and Muslims to progress as a single nation and anyone to work for both of them simultaneously. I am convinced that both these nations will not join whole-heartedly in anything. At present, there is no open hostility between the two nations. But on account of the so-called educated people, it will increase in future, and he who lives will see.”

The later happenings convinced Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to plead the two-nation theory. In one of his lectures at Ludhiana he said:

“Remember, a nation is nothing unless it is a nation in real sense. All individuals joining the fold of Islam together constitute a nation of Muslims. As long as they follow and practice this beloved religion, they are a nation, remember you have to live and die by Islam, and it is by keeping Islam that our nation is a nation. Dear Children, if someone becomes a star of heaven and ceases to be a Muslim, what is he to us? He is no longer a member of our nation.” Other Muslim leaders who often referred to the Muslim community as a nation or nationality were Sir Agha Khan (1877-1951), Justice Ameer Ali (1849-1928), Choudhry Rahmat Ali (1895-1951), and others. Later on, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Maulana Muhammad All Johar (1873-1931) also declared that there were two nations in the subcontinent.

Allama Iqbal, our national poet, and philosopher went a step further and vigorously proclaimed the need for a separate state for the Muslims of the subcontinent. Claiming that the communal problem of India is international and not national, Dr. Iqbal argued:

“We are 70 million, and far more homogeneous than any other people in India. Indeed, the Muslims of India are the only Indian people who can fitly be described as a nation in the modern sense of the word. The Hindus, though ahead of us in almost all respects, have not yet been able to achieve the kind of homogeneity which is necessary for a nation, and which Islam has given you as a free gift.”

In the entire struggle of the Muslims of the subcontinent for a separate homeland, the attitude of Hindus was one of stiff opposition and antagonism. The Hindus did not reconcile to the Muslims’ demand for a separate state as declared in the Lahore Resolution in 1940. It was described by Gandhi as a “suicide”, a “sin” and “a vivisection of mother India” which could be allowed only over his dead body. Gandhi ji in a letter to the Quaid-i-Azam, in September 1944, wrote that the Hindus and Muslims were not two nations but one. He further criticised that Mr, Jinnah’s contention was wholly unreal. He further explained in his letter:

“I find no parallel in history for a body of converts and their descendants claiming to be a nation apart from the parent stock. If India was one nation before the advent of Islam, it must remain one in spite of the change of faith of a very large body of her children.”

In his presidential address at the Special Pakistan Session of the Punjab Muslim Students Federation on March 2, 1941, the Quaid said:

“We are a nation, (Cheers) and a nation must have a territory. What is the use of merely saying that we are a nation? Nation does not live in the air. It lives on the land, it must govern the land, and it must have a territorial state, and that is what you want to get. (Cheers).

The Quaid further continued:

“Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as precious gift and treasure and which we hope others will share with us.”

To sum up, the ideological orientation of Pakistan is nothing but the Islamic Ideology and the ultimate aim of it is the establishment of the Islamic Welfare State where no one is exploited. The State must see that there is none without food and clothes, and every individual is provided at least with all the bare necessities of life.

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