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Wake up Pakistan ! Presently the Muslim societies are in a state of ideological confusion and flux. Materialism, terrorism,...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two Nation Theory

March 23 and the Two Nation theory
The passage of Pakistan Resolution on 23 Mar 1940 was a watershed in the history of politics in the Sub Continent. The idea for a homeland for Muslims in the majority areas of their habitation had been earlier envisioned by poet ñ philosopher Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal in his address to the Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930 and ever since had been captivating the aspiration of Indian Muslims and gathering momentum. But it was on this momentous day that Quaid, for the first time formally outlined the demand for Pakistan based on the concept of the Muslim nationhood. Its importance is evident as the day marking the genesis of the idea of Pakistan. 
The venue was Minto Park in Lahore where the Pakistan Resolution was moved by the Bengal Chief Minister A K Fazlul Haq and seconded by Choudhry Khaliquzzaman. It stated; ìno constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principle, namely, that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, Ö that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority , as in the north-western and eastern zones of India, should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereignÖî Quaid-e-Azamís address to the session outlined the spirit of the concept carried by the Resolution which later came to be known as the Two Nation Theory. ìThe Hindus and Muslims belong Öto two different civilizations which are based on conflicting ideas and conceptionsÖTo yoke such nations under a single state , one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority , must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a stateî. 
Addressing a raptly attentive gathering, the Quaid used the platform at Lahore to demolish the Congress pretensions that it represented the whole of India including some ninety five million Muslims in the sub-continent, representing a quarter of the total population. 
He now stood out as the sole spokesman for the Muslim community of India; much to the chagrin of the Nehru-Gandhi duo who had entrenched reluctance in accepting legitimacy of the Muslim League as an equal political entity. Nehru could no longer claim with impunity that there were only two parties; the British and the Congress who could settle the question of independence of the sub-continent. The conclave of 23 March unequivocally established Muslim League, under Quaidís leadership, as a force to reckon with in affairs of the undivided India. A bitter struggle lay ahead for him as well as the Muslim community but Quaid, on this fateful day had resolutely set course for destination Pakistan. 
The Quaid had made up his mind for a separate homeland after having relentlessly worked to secure the political and economic interests of Muslims in an undivided India. Time and again while working from the platform of Indian Congress and closely watching the Nehru-Gandhi duo keeping the politico- economic interests of the Muslim community subservient to Hindu domination, he was convinced that future for Muslims in an undivided India was bleak. He was rightly convinced that under a dispensation dominated by Hindu majority and in the absence of any constitutional guarantees, Muslims had no chance to prosper and be able to live a life according to their ethos and culture. He realized that unless Muslims secured a homeland of their own, Hindu prejudices, accumulated over centuries of living under Muslim rulers, would create a backlash to the disadvantage of Muslim community. 
Quaid, during the course of his long association with the Hindu leaders, and having diligently worked to realize the dream of Hindu-Muslim unity, had assessed that promises of equal opportunities and a secular dispensation in yet to be freed India were only a chimera created by the Hindus to hoodwink Muslim community. He could instinctively feel that there would be no equal opportunities and a level playing field for the Muslims in a Hindu dominated governance. 
It is important to realize that his Two Nations concept was not to create a theocratic state but to provide a progressive environ in the Muslim dominated areas where the Muslims could prosper, both economically and culturally, free from the Hindu dominance. 
The passage of sixty four years since the creation of Pakistan only effectively endorses vision of the great leader and underscores his stature as a great statesman. Celebrating the Pakistan Day on 23 March provides us with an ample opportunity to reflect upon the great gift of Pakistan at a time when the Hindu majority in India is becoming increasingly assertive and denying political space to the minorities ñ particularly Muslims, to progress economically and be able to freely exercise their culture and religion in line with their aspirations.