Chapter 3 : ARRIVAL OF A RIVAL.
“This country, the soil of this country has never seen life in fragments, but as a whole. This wholeness in life is the essence of this country which is why it is all set to become a great power.” (Atal Bihari Vajpayee, New Delhi, 4th Feb 2000)
It is said that what begins well, ends well. If this is true, the opposite should be true as well.
For Pakistan, the beginning of its journey as a new born nation was far from being good or pleasant. Mainly because it was NOT born out of a love for a country of its own but out of hatred hatched by the reckless, disgruntled elements.
The division of India into Pakistan had never been a smooth affair. It just could not be. The very idea of breaking a country to reward someone, that too on religious lines, was bound to be destructive by nature.
The idea of a separate Muslim nation to be carved out of united India was, surely, a sudden thought. Till early part of 19th century, nobody had ever raised this issue in any forum. When it cropped up, a forceful opposition to it came from none other than Moulana Abul Kalam Azad – the first education minister of free India in Nehru’s cabinet.
His interview to Lahore based Urdu magazine Chattan in Apri 1946 is a classic by itself wherein he states thus: (thank – ‘New Age Islam’)
“If Pakistan were the solution of Hindu Muslim problem, then I would have extended my support to it.
Regardless of the fact whether it is the right solution to the problems of Indian Muslims, it is being demanded in the name of Islam. The question is when and where Islam provided for division of territories to settle populations on the basis of belief and unbelief. Does this find sanction in the Quran or the traditions of the Holy Prophet? Who among the scholars of Islam has divided the dominion of God on this basis? If we accept this division in principle, how shall we reconcile it with Islam as a universal system?”
“Division of territories on the basis of religion is a contraption devised by Muslim League. They can pursue it as their political agenda, but it finds no sanction in Islam or Quran. What is the cherished goal of a devout Muslim? Spreading the light of Islam or dividing the territories along religious lines to pursue political ambitions? The demand for Pakistan has not benefited Muslims in any manner. How Pakistan can benefit Islam is a moot question and will largely depend on the kind of leadership it gets.”
“This is a surmise and God alone knows what is in the womb of future. Pakistan, when it comes into existence, will face conflicts of religious nature.”
“As far as I can see, the people who will hold reins of power will cause serious damage to Islam. Their behavior may result in the total alienation of the Pakistani youth who may become a part of non-religious movements. Today, n Muslim minority states, the Muslim youth are more attached to religion than in Muslim majority states. You will see that despite the increased role of Ulema, the religion wil lose its sheen in Pakistan”.
That was Moulana Abul Kalam Azad in 1946. He went on to say –
“If Pakistan was right for Muslims then I would have supported it. But I see clearly the inherent dangers in the demand. I do not expect people to follow me, but it not possible for me to go against the call of my conscience. People generally either submit to coercion or to the lessons of their experience. Muslims will not hear anything against Pakistan unless they experience it”. (clearly, this reference was about the present day Pakistan Muslims)
Till date, as it stands today and as it will remain ever in future, given a choice between India and Pakistan, not a single Indian Muslim would opt for Pakistan. And, Indian Muslims need not prove anything to anyone. They are as truly patriotic as any other here.
The word ‘they’ itself is wrong in this context. It is used only to drive the point home. It is but a bare truth that India is growing, flourishing and is marching ahead triumphantly by the contributions of every region, every religion and every section of the society; and that ‘Faith’ has never come in the way of one’s attachment to the Land.
This has been the case for ages, all through the history of India. This was real during the British period, during the Mughal period and during every other period ever before.
The Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, The Buddhists, the Sikhs, the Jains, the Parsis.. were the same while it comes to their nationality – unflinching; unfettered; unfazed; undeterred.
There never really rose a popular demand for a separate country for Muslim to be carved out of India. A division on religious lines was never ever supported by any one in India. Yet it happened.
The idea of partition remained a non starter till the time the British government came out openly in support of it. When it did, even the hardcore proponents of the plan were taken by surprise. Because the idea was mooted more to score over the rivals within the organizational set-up of the Indian National Congress. There was indeed nothing more in it. A fervent, passionate voice never once surfaced.
The British played the spoil sport to its best (worst?) and there were a handful of people led by an ambitious leader gratefully succumbing to the ungracious plan of dividing a country for petty political gains. The people of present Pakistan had never nurtured a separate nation and there was never a protest, a procession, a meeting or a call for Pakistan where the people participated. This is history.
While India was fighting against the British for independence, the people of present day Pakistan participated in large numbers too. Many parts of the present Pakistan witnessed mass movements against the colonial rule and the leaders of the freedom movement were so popular there as they were in any part of undivided India.
Hypothetically, if at all a referendum on creation of Pakistan among the people of that region had been held, the proposal for partition would have met with a decisive ‘no’ by their own people. The British and the ‘leaders’ perpetrating division cleverly avoided any such eventuality.
For the first time in the history, the empire initiated steps on its own; ‘created’ an ‘own country’ and awarded ‘freedom’ without the people having to demand one!!!
In fact, the great audacious leader Mohamed Ali Jinnah himself put it thus in his first presidential address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947: “You know really that not only we ourselves are wondering but, I think, the whole world is wondering at this unprecedented cyclonic revolution which has brought about the plan of creating and establishing two independent Sovereign Dominions in this subcontinent.”
Is it correct to say that there never was a demand by the people of Pakistan for a separate country? Yes. It is. If at all any such demand existed, can Pakistan give to the world a list of ‘martyrs’ or ‘freedom fighters’ or at least existence of a ‘movement’ for its liberation? Nothing of that sort has ever been produced by Pakistan. And so, Pakistan is perhaps the only country in the world that does NOT have a history of freedom fight!
Interestingly, in his first presidential address, (the one that was quoted earlier) Jinnah does not even remotely refer to any ‘fight’ or ‘sacrifice’ by anyone, carefully avoiding the customary thanks by the Head of the State on such special occasions to the ‘martyrs’!
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1817 – 1898) a scholar, philosopher and a retired Judge was in fact the first one to speak about ‘two nation theory’. This was later endorsed by Mohamed Ali Jinnah. The personal traits and the greatness of these two leaders can never be undermined. They deserve reverence and respectability. Mohamed Ali Jinnah was a leader of unmatched caliber and he truly was the most influential force behind the creation of Pakistan.
A lawyer by profession, Mohamed Ali Jinnah played an important role in shaping ‘Lucknow Pact’ in December 2016. It advocated Hindu – Muslim unity and vowed to fight for India’s freedom. This clearly demonstrates that creation of a separate country was not in his mind till then. It perhaps erupted at a much later stage. Yet as the tribute goes, “Pakistan owes its very existence to his drive, tenacity and judgment”.
Anyway, the country was born. And it was a born as an independent, sovereign State with all the powers it needed to uplift their people to better living and all prosperity in life. Pakistan could have adopted an approach that would have earned repute and goodwill as a responsible nation in the world. But it chose the wrong path – driven by a single, negative agenda of defaming India.
Will it ever work?
Author – Baskaran Krishnamurthy, Writer, Columnist & Income Tax officer
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