Creation and aim of Pakistan- Two main ViewsBy Anwar Jalal • Aug 14th, 2009 • Category: Politics, Worth A Second Look • 7 Comments
The causes of the division of India and creation of Pakistan have been debated by the intellectuals and political thinkers since the day one , Though there are more then one views regarding the causes of division of India in 1947 however here the topic would be confined to the aims and concept of Pakistan.
The main causes of the struggle for Pakistan by Muslim League under Quaid-e-Azam leadership are being stated by different Pakistani intellectuals as freedom from foreign rule ,fear of Hindu dominance in united India ,establishment of Islamic system in the newly created state ,and India muslims identity question in united India etc. Though there were many who did not agree with the logic of two nation theory but few could dispute that Pakistan came into existence on the basis of it .However what was the real aim of Pakistan it is a disputed and is being debated since its inception .There are mainly two views in this regard.
One view contends that Pakistan was created for Islam. The other one argue that its purpose was to safeguard the political., religious. cultural as well as economic interests of the muslims of India In simple words the first view is that Pakistan meant to be religious state while the other insist that Pakistan was to be a muslims well being state.
The supporters ( who are mainly the religious political parties ) of the first view base their arguments by referring to the thoughts and concept of Allama Iqbal and some speeches of Quaid Azam and also refer to some well known slogans raised and chanted during the struggle for Pakistan ( Pakistan Ka Matlab Kia ? La Illaha Illa Allah ,chanted during Pakistan movement ) Like wise they contend that Allama Iqbal, considered as the creator of concept of Pakistan, demanded in his address a separate state for the muslims of north India so that they could adopt a system according to Islamic laws .About Quaid Azam concepts they refer some of his following like statements
(1)We have to fight a double edged battle, one against the Hindu Congress and the British Imperialists, both of them being capitalists. The Muslims demand Pakistan where they could rule according to their own code of life and according to their own cultural growth, traditions and Islamic laws.”
(Speech at the Frontier Muslim League Conference on November 21, 1945)
(2) In August 1941, Quaid-e-Azam gave an interview to the students of the Osmania University to a question that What are the essential features of religion and a religious state?
Quaid-e-Azam replied that - In other words, the Islamic state is an agency for enforcement of the Quranic principles and injunctions. The contender of the second view–Muslim well being state–have their own arguments and they too quote from Quaid Azam views and speeches meant to say that Q .A never worked for Theocratic state “Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed, are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan.”
(Feb. 1948 in his broadcast to the people of Australia)
In refutation of the former view ( Religious they put the following counter arguments
(1) If Pakistan was being created for Islam why the religious political parties and most of Ulema opposed it ?
(2) Quaid Azam and other League leaders were though muslims but they were all secular regarding politics
(3)If one goes through the Muslim League Council records from 1906 to 1948, there is no reference to a theocratic Pakistan. The repeated reference (and there are a multitude of these) was that Pakistan was to be a homeland for the Muslim minority of British India.
(4)– Quaid Azam well known speech of 11 August 1947 to the constituent assembly in which he declared that religion has nothing to do with the affairs of the state, “You will 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 is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state. ”
(5)- The first Law minister of Pakistan appointed by Quaid Azam was Mundle ,a Hindu. IF Quaid Azam meant to make Pakistan as religious state he would have appointed some muslim scholar instead of him on that very important post
About the Islamic factor in the movement they are of the view that the slogan of Islam raised during the movement of Pakistan was , in the first place , not the official slogan of Muslim league as nor Quaid Azam nor the top leaders of the movement raised it , rather it was being chanted by the workers at the lower level and secondly it was just for motivating the muslim masses and mustering their support while basic end was protection of political cultural and economic interests of the muslims of north India .Regarding Allama Iqbal concept they argue that of course he did talked about Islamic state but he never meant it to be theocratic state if looked in proper context of his thoughts and philosophy No doubt he dreamed and wished for such independent muslim state in the muslim majority areas of India where the Islamic principles and laws may be applied in such way where it should also be compatible with the modern thoughts and requirements .However except some random excellent views and comments neither he had sorted out a detailed and feasible plan for it at the moment ( though he did urge the need for Ijthihad in this regard ) and nor Jinnah was his like idealistic views about the future of muslims of India.
As for Quaid Azam views they argue that of course he too had exalted the great and high principles of Islam and its importance and efficacy in his various statements however this never meant that he wanted a theocracy. They contend that his views are quoted with out context otherwise his approach was secular and liberal.( Secular does not mean anti religion as often wrongly understood mainly due to the propaganda of orthodox ) Different quotations from the speeches of Quaid Azam are referred which show that his concept of Pakistan was of modern and liberal state guided by the ideal principles of Islam ..They further argue that Allama Iqbal had presented his well known Address in 1930 while Muslims league under Jinnah for a long time continued efforts for reaching some sort of arrangement with the congress and the British government where the political cultural and economic rights of the muslims could be given constitutional guarantee. For this he made many efforts encompassing a whole decade and it was after league and Jinnah become convinced that no such guarantee could be granted then in march 1940 Pakistan resolution was passed which stated that in the light of lot experience ML has reached to the conclusion that only separate state could be the only solution of muslims political problems. Of course on that occasion Jinnah did talk of two nations and elaborated the two nation theory - However that did not mean that the demanded state was final word .Here it could be further said that if congress would have not been adamant in granting what the League were demanding then league would have never passed the Lahore resolution.
Supporters of this view further argue that though ML did pass Pakistan Resolution however as politics is the name of seeking different possibilities .and a politician has several alternative options so , being a politician ,Quid-e- Azam too had several options for the protection of Indian muslim multiple interests and preservation of their cultural identity. Among such options one was though division of India but it was not inflexible . Jinnah continued talks with both British government and Congress leaders for seeking some other constitutional ways of the Indian problem. It means that Pakistan was not the final and un negotiable option before League and Jinnah.
Second argument in support of this view is that League and Jinnah accepted the cabinet mission plan in which the demand for Pakistan was not accepted and instead a sort of loose federation or say confederation was proposed. The acceptance of that plan by league and Jinnah meant that creation of separate state was not their main and ultimate demand .As in the cabinet mission plan muslim could have got the safe guards of their rights for which they were demanding since long so league accepted it . The arrogant and imposing attitude of Nehru and congress regarding the plan led Jinnah to withdraw his earlier acceptance of the plan, otherwise India would have not been divided .This explain that if the establishment of Islamic state was his basic aim he would have been totally adamant for exclusively independent muslim state and would have never shown any elasticity.
(This topic , though , needs a separate article– However here Two Authors, both Hindus and Indians, can be referred. One is H.M Seervai ( Well kmown Indian Constitutionalist ) In his book Partition of India: Legend and Reality (1990) challenged the existing view that blamed the partition of India on the Muslim League. He argued instead that it was the latent bias on the part of Indian National Congress leadership which resulted in partition.. The other is S. K Hindu Padaya, (congress leader).
It is true that Muslims league did use the name of Islam during Pakistan Movement and for it some intellectuals and critics condemn this approach however the defenders have their own arguments or explanation for it.
According to them if the league adopted the slogan of Islam for its movement. it was justified and was a proper approach seen in the context of the situation of that time They argue that raising of such slogan was aimed for the success of such movement which had a very great objective . The objective of safety of muslims political cultural and economic rights could not be declared bad as after all this aim was by itself lofty and for the interests of billions of muslims.
Again if some one criticize M league for using the name of Islam for politics why such persons , they argue ,justify the movement launched against Bhutto by the nine parties alliance (PNA) on the name of Nizame Mustafa and ironically Nawab Zada Nasrullaha khan , Wali Khan , Pir Pagara and Asghar khan like purely secular leaders were part of that alliance and movement .If these leaders ,according to them, can be justified for employing the name of Islam for much petty cause – over throwing Bhutto government– then why Quaid Azam and league could not be exonerate as he was struggling for more lofty cause –achieving a separate state for the interests of muslim.
Quaid Azam never claimed nor thought of himself any saintliness or holiness, Though the truth is that he was a true believing Muslim, but not the one who wore his religion on his sleeve. He was fighting for the rights of muslims of India since his early practical career with all sincerity which even his worst opponents can not deny , provided such persons honestly judge Quaid Azam character Quaid Azam did state about Islam being a complete code of life and no muslim can disagree with it . He did believe that Muslims were separate nation and had different interests from those of Hindus- and thus was his slogan of two nation theory . Like wise about Islamic ideal and principles ,.in particular related with social economic aspects ,his observations were that it were not only fully compatible with the modern world but were also more better and suitable compared to westerns ones Of course his approach towards religion was not orthodox like the religious class , who mainly confine Islam to the petty Fiqi issues or Hadood laws or insist only in its form , but for Quaid Azam, the spirit of Islam was of real importance . In this regard his views were in line with that of Iqbal, though he was not scholar of Iqbal caliber however the source of his Islamic insight was, besides his own personal reading , the views of Allama Iqbal and some other enlightened scholars In nut shell Quaid Azam political struggle was for the interests of Indian Muslims when he realized ,after exhausting all options , that they could not be better protected and served in united India he opted for a separate state,- Pakistan which was essentially meant mainly for the interests of Muslims but not for the cause of Islam .in the sense the religious class claimed. and perceived.
Quaid Azam approach was secular to the extent that in his view the system of Pakistan would be not run by the religion as meant and interpreted by the orthodox religious class . However Quaid Azam was also a muslim in heart and as stated above he was of the belief that Islamic ideals and principles related in particular, with the socio and economic aspects and rule of justice etc had great value and importance so he sincerely thought that these principles and ideals must be guiding source for the constitutional set up of Pakistan.
In Feb. 1948 in his broadcast to people of United States of America,”The Constitution of Pakistan is yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know that the ultimate shape of this Constitution will be, but I am sure that it will be of the democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions, and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as the framers of the future Constitution of Pakistan.”
For further support of it the opinion of Fatima Jinnah as quoted in a book Memories of Fatima Jinnah by Sorayya Khurshid is also referred as much reliable authority – According to it, Ms Jinnah believed Jinnah stood for Islamic socialism and wanted the Constitution framed on those lines and didn’t like feudalism (p.63). Similarly at another place the authors stated about her views thus
-About artists she said, ‘I feel they will not be treated well here. Some people want to color Pakistan with Mullahism by hook or by crook although the Pakistan Movement mentioned only Islamic socialism’ (p125).
* All this mean that Jinnah,s concept of Pakistan was both against Mullahism and western type of secularism in which no regard is given to ethical or spiritual values However as balanced and realistic person he did believe in the importance and utility of many Islamic ideals and values particularly in the context of Muslim culture and belief so he could never ignore or set aside them in spite of his not being personally religious in the traditional sense.
In view of many sober and balanced intellectuals if Quaid Azam had been alive for a year or so he would have defiantly helped in inculcating those great principles of Islam in the constitution ..Moderate intellectuals are of the view that Quaid Azam and Iqbal were never in favor of such religious state the like of which existed in Europe during middle ages ,governed by the clergy or of which latest example is the one set up in Afghanistan by Taliban . However Quaid Azam had had his own version of Islam .He and Iqbal had a view of such state which would be guided by the ideal and principles of Islam never meant to be ruled by Mullahs — NEVER-. IT is one of misfortunate that most of the Pakistan muslims think that only the traditional religious class can be the interpreters of Islamic teachings. And another misfortunate of Pakistan was that the then religious leaders did prevail when the constitution was being made and under their pressure Objective resolution was passed which in the course of time has been exploited both by the religious and the ruling junta for their own vested and short term political interests It is assumed that if Jinnah were alive at that time he, with his extra ordinary sagacity and wisdom would have fond out a way and Pakistan would have a very feasible and agreed political system.
In the conclusion it could be said that Pakistan was mainly created for the multiple rights of Muslim of India in the name of Islam- Though Sharia as understood and preached by Mullahs was never the aim of Quaid-e-Azam however in spite of his all secularism he was also not averse to the Ideals of Islam It is reasonably supposed that had he been alive for some time he would have recommended such political and constitutional set up for Pakistan where both the Islamic ideals and modern thoughts had been fully accommodated and Pakistan would have been such state which would be defiantly having the best principles , values and ideal of Islam in its system but would have never been theocratic state And there would perhaps have no intellectual confusion regarding the aim , political system of Pakistan and nor, thus, there would have been the religious extremism being espoused by the religious political parties who were totally against the creation of Pakistan till 14 August 1947.