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Two Nation Theory

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by DaRk WaVe, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. DaRk WaVe

    DaRk WaVe PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Two Nation Theory


    For Jinnah and the Muslim League, the Two Nation Theory was not an ideological position etched in stone. It was the restatement of the arguments needed to ensure national status for Muslims in a multinational independent India


    One of our most persistent national myths — put forward by both the state and its detractors — is that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam.

    It is said that Pakistan was created with the use of the slogans “Islam in danger” and “Pakistan ka matlab kya, La illaha ilallah”, both slogans which — ironically — were never used by Quaid-e-Azam himself. Indeed Jinnah ruled out “Pakistan ka matlab kiya, La illaha illallah” when he censured a Leaguer at the last session of the All India Muslim League after partition in these words: “Neither I nor the Muslim League Working Committee ever passed a resolution — Pakistan ka matlab kiya — you may have used it to catch a few votes.”

    Nevertheless, the fact that Pakistan was created as a result of a group’s nationalism, which was based — in whatever watered down form — on common religious beliefs, has damned Pakistan to a perpetual identity crisis that continues to sap its vitality. That no one on top since September 11, 1948 has been able to talk sense in this country has only aggravated our predicament.

    Fundamental to this identity crisis is the national confusion surrounding the Two Nation Theory, which is hailed as the ideological foundation of the state of Pakistan. It is one of the most misunderstood ideas in modern history, both in terms of what it claimed and how it has been applied by various currents in our history.

    Both India and Pakistan do not disagree on what they consider the essentials of the theory, but while in India it is a symbol of exclusivism and communalism, in Pakistan it is part of the Islamic ideological narrative. This is the publicist’s view of history, but not necessarily one that is accepted without question by historians. Perhaps the time has come to turn such conventional common (non)sense about the Two Nation Theory on its head.

    The Two Nation Theory, as adopted by Jinnah and the Muslim League in 1940, was a mere restatement of the minority problem in national terms and not a clarion call, to use Dr Ayesha Jalal’s vocabulary, for partition. What Jinnah was aiming for was what in recent years has been coined as ‘consociationalism’, a power sharing between disparate ethnic and communal groups in multinational and multiethnic states. Though the term was coined only a decade or so ago, consociationalism as a political system is quite old and is tried and tested in states like The Netherlands, Switzerland and Canada.

    When the Quaid-e-Azam articulated the Two Nation Theory, he referred to language, culture, family laws and historical antecedents. He was, as an adroit lawyer, making the case for changing the status of a minority to that of a nation and not for separation of Islam from India as is alleged by his detractors.

    The truth is that Jinnah’s idea of Pakistan was not predicated on the partition of India. His idea of Pakistan was a power sharing arrangement between the Muslims and Hindus. His Two Nation Theory did not, at least not until December 1946, suggest that the Hindus and Muslims must be separated. And yet, even in May 1947, Jinnah was pleading against the partition of Punjab and Bengal by arguing that a Punjabi is a Punjabi and a Bengali is a Bengali before he is a Hindu or a Muslim.

    Much of this is confirmed by one of the most extraordinary pieces of prescience left behind by H V Hodson, who was the Reforms Commissioner in India in 1941. Hodson wrote in clear terms very soon after the Lahore Resolution that every Muslim Leaguer from Jinnah down to the last one interpreted the Pakistan idea as consistent with the idea of a confederation of India. Hodson believed that “Pakistan” was a “revolt against minority status” and a call for power sharing and not just defining rules of conduct how a majority (in this case Hindu) would govern India. He spoke of an acute realisation that the minority status with all the safeguards could only amount to a “Cinderella with trade union rights and radio in the kitchen but still below the stairs.” Jinnah’s comment was that Hodson had finally understood what the League was after, but that he could not publicly come out with these fundamental truths, as these were likely to be misunderstood at the time.

    For Jinnah and the Muslim League, the Two Nation Theory was not an ideological position etched in stone. It was the restatement of the arguments needed to ensure national status for Muslims in a multinational independent India. It was also a vehicle to get parochial elements in Muslim majority provinces into line behind the Muslim League at the All India Centre. At the very least, Jinnah’s Pakistan did not necessarily envisage a partition, secession from or division of United India. This is why he jumped at the opportunity of the Cabinet Mission Plan, which did not even deliver 50 percent of what he had demanded. In the end, however, the idea of power sharing with the League and Muslims was too much for the Indian National Congress to gulp, even if Gandhi and Nehru could have been brought around to the idea. Maulana Azad’s grudging admissions in his book India Wins Freedom seal this argument.

    It is important, however, to note that Jinnah’s August 11 speech and all his pronouncements thereafter made it absolutely clear that the Two Nation Theory would have no role to play in the principles of citizenship of the new state. Significantly, after partition, Jinnah went back to using the word ‘community’ for Hindus and Muslims instead of nations.

    The concept of citizenship to Jinnah the liberal — a keen student of British history — could not be fettered by issues of identity. He wanted Pakistan to be an impartial inclusive democracy rather than an exclusivist theocracy, which regrettably Pakistan has become increasingly over the last 30 odd years.

    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
     
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  2. DaRk WaVe

    DaRk WaVe PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    The very creation of this nation & its ideology has been hijacked by the people who were opposed to its creation, Pakistan was never meant to be a delusional Flag Bearer of Islam & so called Caliphate, We need back our Jinnah's Pakistan, not a Pakistan based on religious bigotry & delusion
    [​IMG]

    Stop making excuses for the clergy


    Historically, the latter-day self-styled champions of Islamic ideology in our country were almost entirely opposed to the creation of Pakistan. Yet so entrenched is the state indoctrination of the Pakistani mind that it is unable to break free from the idea that Pakistan was created for faith. Shahid Ilyas — who hails from Waziristan — makes a similar mistake in his piece ‘Stop blaming the West’ (Daily Times, June 2, 2010). Indeed it is erroneously titled. It should have been titled, ‘Stop blaming the Islamic parties and Afghan jihad’. That is what the writer is asking us to do. I, for one, did not understand how the title of the article corresponded with its contents.

    His claim is that Pakistan took the trajectory it did because it was founded in the name of Islam. The truth is that Muhammad Ali Jinnah was neither the proponent of an exclusivist ideology nor a promoter of any religious cause. His creation, Pakistan, emerged from an epic struggle; a democratic, plural and fair fight for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, after a union had been marked out as an option by the majority party.

    Jinnah was a proponent of the separation of religion and state, and had a deep sense of fair play for all citizens. Look at his cabinet when his party formed the first government of Pakistan: a Hindu for the post of law minister and an Ahmedi, Sir Zafrullah Khan, at the post of foreign minister.

    The essence of the League’s struggle was economic and political. The Muslim League comprised the petit bourgeoisie from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan, Muslim minority areas in undivided India, and Bengal. In the Muslim League’s camp were Ismailis, Ahmedis, Shias, Sunnis and other heterodox elements of Muslimdom. The Indian Congress Party, on the other hand, consciously promoted an orthodoxy amongst its Muslim members by and large. The maulanas of Deoband and other doctors of religion were firmly in their camp. It goes without saying that every Islamising impulse in Pakistan has come from groups opposed to the creation of Pakistan. This is a fact of history deliberately being swept under the rug.

    This divide was a fact greater than the gentlemanly conduct of a seasoned lawyer and politician who was secular to the core. And this divide had less to do with the irreconcilable differences in religion than it had to do with a system of egalitarian division of resources in the region and the deep historical sense of disenfranchisement in both communities.

    Jinnah never stated that Pakistan was to be a theocracy; in fact he laid it out in plain words: “Pakistan is not to be a theocracy to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.” Jinnah was a man who parroted no one in the religious frenzy worked up by Gandhi during the Khilafat Movement. Jinnah opposed the Khilafat Movement for fear that such politicisation of Islam would lead to a mob hysteria that would not be contained in the call for independence, shadowing it with violence. Jinnah, after the creation of Pakistan, left no doubt as to the ethos of the state in his address to the Constituent Assembly in 1947 — “You are free, you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan, you may belong to any caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

    Jinnah abhorred prejudice, intolerance or presumptuousness in the company he kept — a friend of Sarojini Naidu, a disciple of Tilak, an admirer of Gokhale, a follower of Ambedkar and a husband to a feisty independent Parsi girl, Ruttie Jinnah. He dined with the British, refused a bribe-coated bone from Gandhi to run the prime ministership of United India and struggled with himself as he returned to England in self-exile in the 1930s in disgust with Indian politics. No matter what page you find yourself reading from his life, Jinnah comes out “incorruptible”, as defined by his political rival Nehru.

    The turning point, as historians call it, was when Jinnah hit a wall with the Congress Party leadership, which he broke away from and joined the Muslim League. The conflict was simple: give the minority community safeguards from a tyrannical majority, address their political and economic insecurities and let us work together for a greater India. This demand was rejected by the ever-centralising Congress Party, now aptly drawn out in Jaswant Singh’s new book. Providing a group their rightful safeguards was a just demand, and its rejection clarified to Jinnah the conceited unwillingness on the part of the Hindu leadership riding the high wave of Gandhi’s Hindu revivalism. No principled politician could be expected to stand by and watch. Jinnah’s astute legal brilliance made him take the demand to its logical course, for not a vindication but a fair playing field for a people who were different in that terrain. Jinnah stood for the rights of a minority community.


    Had the leadership of Pakistan that followed Jinnah respected his wishes, Pakistan would now be far ahead in world politics and economics. Shackled by obscurantism dogging the masses with religious war and decrees, Pakistan is taking a sad turn away from its manifest destiny. Driving down Jinnah will only strengthen obscurantism and nothing else.

    My suggestion to Shahid Ilyas is to stop making excuses for the clergy by trying to create a link between sectarian terror and the principles on which Pakistan was founded. Pakistan was founded on the principle of justice, fair play and equality for all citizens of Pakistan and this is what we need to get back to.

    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
     
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  3. BelligerentPacifist

    BelligerentPacifist SENIOR MEMBER

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    Voilà Two Nation Theory 2.0, postulating:

    "There are two nations living in Pakistan - the khawaaS-aristos- and the 3awaam-commoners. Their interests are diametric, if one gains it is at the cost of the other, making Pakistan's existence a paradox in their coexistence.

    Your side has been chosen for you, now unless you take up arms arms, Pakistan's potential may not be unfettered."

    Quoi! Des cohortes étrangères
    Feraient la loi dans nos foyers!

    Aux armes, citoyens
    Formez vos bataillons
    Marchons, marchons!
    Qu'un sang impur
    Abreuve nos sillons!
     
  4. Awesome

    Awesome RETIRED

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    Pakistan was made for the oppressed minorities of India. Muslims being the largest minority there was always an Islamic point of view to the movement to it, but Jinnah's words on the governance.

    Moreover the Two nation theory is just one page in the book of Tehreek-e-Pakistan (The movement for Pakistan) and viewing anything out of context will result in a distorted perception about what Pakistan is (was supposed to be).
     
  5. Xeric

    Xeric PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Ok, first the Ahmadis and now the 2 Nation Theory.

    You know what, i am surprised over this sudden surge in these highly 'self-righteous' articles that are being posted at a high rate lately.

    Anywaz, coming over to the topic;

    The Two-Nation Theory was just a way of negating the misplaced 'truth' that the British india had only one nation. It indeed countered the easily accepted fact that all the inhabitants of the sub-continent were one Nation.

    The Two Nation Theory just (strongly) advocated that there were infact, Two distinct Nations residing inside the sub-continent, namely Hindus and Muslims. Furthermore, it also suggested that this 'new' Nation needs a proportional representation in the routine affairs of the country and demanded greater autonomy.

    Though some hawks try to connect the Two Nation Theory with fundamental Islam (which indeed never existed in those times as it was a phenomenon created in the 80s), but a closer look at the Theory reveals that there is no such connection. Yes, the theory did accept some support from the religion (as it formed the basis of the theory), but then the religion factor therein was overshadowed by the Nationalistic tinge - the custom, traditions, language, culture, family laws and historical antecedents debate.

    So peaking frankly there isnt exactly any formidable connection between the two factors as being projected by some in the garb of suger-coated articles and extraneous beliefs!
     
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  6. sparklingway

    sparklingway PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    YLH is perhaps the most dedicated guy amongst the youth.

    @Xeric:- History cannot be viewed through one lens. If you read Ayesha Jalal's work, she concludes that even until Jan. 1947, Jinnah was not really asking for Independence, rather a far greater share in a confederation and the call for Pakistan was a political tool. For people like us to disagree with her, it is wrong for her work is based on decades of study. Other historians have disagreed with her. Even those who agree with the liberalist point of view including Mubarak Ali.

    Some of the letters in the Jinnah Papers do lay credence to these claims. The fact of the matter is that anybody who tries to interpret today the two nation theory outside the state sponsored version is somehow labeled anti-Pakistan and questioning the very nature of our existence. It is the historian's duty to analyze it but people start calling them "go back to India" and stuff, which is dis heartening.

    This happens to be a very concise article by YLH. You can go through his work at PTH and Chowk to get a better gist of his work. He has a very good grasp on history.

    http://www.chowk.com/writers/925
     
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  7. Gin ka Pakistan

    Gin ka Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    If Muslims in India were ahead in education and success I would have been the person to say that Two Nation Theory is wrong. There are more Muslim doctors in Karachi in percentage then doctors from whole Indian Muslims .

    I don't want to paste the BBC article here but any one can read the link.

    India Muslims 'have lowest rank' BBC
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6159178.stm
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  8. sparklingway

    sparklingway PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Nobody has claimed that it was wrong, what has been examined is its classical interpretation by the state. Entirely rejecting the basis of the article and start questioning the author or falsely interpreting the analysis is downright accusatory and heinous.

    It is none of my concern but I'll ask you one thing, how much time have you spent "independently" pursuing exploration of the two nation theory and pre-partition history? For this is necessary to analyze YLH's brief column.
     
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  9. Gin ka Pakistan

    Gin ka Pakistan SENIOR MEMBER

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    We all say clergy is taking over but aren't PPP and JUI in the same boat ? they were with BB too.
     
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  10. sparklingway

    sparklingway PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    How is this relevant here? The author is laying focus on a history of misinterpretation, indoctrination of a hagiographical thought and change in the nature of the state rather than focusing on the work on a group of people or a party. The op-ed is entirely a summarization and analysis of the evolution of the two nation theory rather than a history of the clergy.
     
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  11. Omar1984

    Omar1984 ELITE MEMBER

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    Everyone has their own defination for the two nation theory. If someone says that Pakistan was created for Islam, let them say it. If someone says that Pakistan was created for secularism, let them say it. Just be glad that we are not indians.
     
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  12. Horus

    Horus ADMINISTRATOR

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    Once again this article makes me believe in , Jiski lathi uski bhens.
     
  13. sparklingway

    sparklingway PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    I hope you guys read his works where he destroys the common Indian argument against the two nation theory, its relevancy and their main arguments against the partition. I respect YLH for he has the necessary knowledge to defend the two nation theory in its purest form, the one that was put forward and argued upon by Jinnah. Read this one for instance :- http://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/20...-and-secularism-response-to-an-indian-poster/

    His defence of Jinnah and his relevancy today is not based on Jinnah's perceived secularism rather a complete appreciation of his personality.

    My grandfathers were proud to be Indians and Pakistanis.

    Nationalism is different from patriotism. Nationalism is an ideology that teaches you to hate people you have never met.
     
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  14. Omar1984

    Omar1984 ELITE MEMBER

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    My grandparents never said they were indian. They said they were Muslims, they were Punjabis, but they never said they were indians.

    They were proud Pakistanis though and taught their children and grandchildren to always be proud of being PAKISTANI !!!!!!!!!!!


    Yes Im a Nationalist. We need more Pakistani nationalists.

    By the way, I've met tons of indians. each day i see dozens of indians.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
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  15. Zaki

    Zaki MODERATOR

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    self delete
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
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