Friday, 11 March 2016
Debate on Two Nations Theory, Dr Shabir Choudhry
Debate on Two Nations Theory
Dr Shabir Choudhry 11 March 2016
Pakistan will be 69 years old in August, but still people are not sure what the purpose of establishing this new country was. Moreover, what is the future of this unfortunate country, which suffered humiliating defeat in 1971 and a break up of its Eastern wing, now known as Bangladesh?
Growing body of opinion now believe that Pakistan was not created to serve Islam or for the benefit of Muslims of united India, if anything, the partition of India divided Muslims of the Indian Sub Continent. Also it resulted in death of more than half million innocent people, rapes, destruction and unending hatred and extremism.
Some critics even say that creation of Pakistan was designed to serve the British interests after their departure from South Asia. The British Generals in India proposed a creation of a buffer state between India and Afghanistan, stretching from Gilgit Baltistan to Balochistan. Idea was to protect India from Soviet Russia. The British also wanted to reward the landed aristocracy and the men in uniform who helped the British Raj to expand and survive in the Indian Sub Continent.
Muslim League under the unyielding command of Mohammed Ali Jinnah apparently championed the cause of Pakistan in name of Islam. Before we analyse what Mr Jinnah wanted to do with his new country, let us look at what were the aims and objectives of the Muslim League, the party that spearheaded the campaign for Pakistan. The Muslim League was set up on 28 December 1906 in Dhaka, with the following objectives:
1. To promote among Muslims a feeling of loyalty to the British government and to remove misunderstandings;
2. To protect and advance the political rights and interests of Muslims, and to represent properly their needs and aspirations to the British government; and
3. To prevent the rise of hostility among Muslims toward other communities. 1
The Muslim League and the rulers of Pakistan, to date, have very sincerely served the British and the American interests in Pakistan and in the region. To accomplish this task, the landed aristocracy and the men in uniform also played their part brilliantly, and benefited immensely.
The bitter fact is that the landed aristocracy, the Generals and the security forces now control Pakistan and its destiny; and sad thing is even they don’t know what is the destiny of this unfortunate country and how to reach there. Another bitter fact is, service to Islam and welfare of the Muslims is no longer priority of those who control and run Pakistan. I have heard Muslims of other countries saying that they feel sorry for the Pakistani Muslims, as they are not safe even in their own country.
Was Two Nations Theory a political stunt?
Of course millions of Pakistanis still believe that the Movement for Pakistan was to advance the cause of Islam. In reality that is not true. Some analysts believe there was a competition between two brilliant Gujrati lawyers – Mr Jinnah and Mr Gandhi for supremacy in the Indian Congress and in the Indian politics. Both had charisma and brilliance, and both had great influence in the Congress. However, gradually Jinnah felt he was outmaneuvered by politics of Nehru and Gandhi; and in frustration he shifted to Britain.
Critics ask, if he was such a staunch Muslim and true and dedicated soldier of Islam who wanted to advance the cause of Islam, then why did he accept the Cabinet Mission Plan in 1946, which provided a unitary State within India?
Jinnah was not a fool. Indeed he was a shrewd politician. He knew he could not take all Muslims to his new country – Pakistan. He knew millions of Muslims will stay behind in India. He also knew that nearly all Islamic scholars opposed his idea of dividing India in name of religion. Then question arises why he was bent upon to get India divided. Was it because of his pride and ego; or was there some other agenda?
Mountbatten had a meeting with Mohammed Ali Jinnah on 17th April 1947; and told him that if he insisted on dividing India in name of religion, then the provinces of Punjab and Bengal should also be divided on religious lines. This, Mountbatten asserted, would mean you will have ‘Very moth-eaten Pakistan, the eastern and north-west parts of which were unlikely to be economic propositions, and which would still have to come to some centre for general subjects for a long while after we had left’.
To this Mr Jinnah replied by saying: ‘I do not care how little you give me as long as you give it to me completely’. 2
These words of Mr Jinnah ‘I do not care how little you give me’, makes it clear that his project did not have service to Islam or welfare of the Muslims of India as his top priority. However, he and his team skilfully used the name of Islam as the slogan to motivate Muslims, millions of whom were illiterate. Smaller and truncated Pakistan meant a weaker Pakistan, separated by one thousand miles. This kind of Pakistan did not have a bright future. Moreover, millions of Muslims would be left outside of this Pakistan. Did he not think for a minute, what would be the fate of the Muslims left back in India, especially when the Two Nations Theory unleashed a genie of hatred and violence?
It leads people to only one conclusion: Mr Jinnah wanted the division of India at any cost, and become a Governor General of the new country that he could be at par with Mountbatten who would be the Governor General of India after independence.
Furthermore, before the creation of Pakistan Mr Jinnah forcefully asserted that Muslims and non Muslims cannot live together. However soon after the creation of Pakistan he asserted:
‘You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State........... Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and 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’. 3
Question arises, if it was not possible for Muslims and non Muslims to live together because of strong differences and bitterness, then how could all this changed soon after Pakistan was established? Is it because his agenda of dividing united India was accomplished with disastrous outcome? Or Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s ego was satisfied and he had become the Governor General of Pakistan.
Why Jogendra Nath Mandal was appointed first Law Minister of Pakistan
Critics argue if the purpose of establishing Pakistan was to serve Islam and have Islamic laws in Pakistan, then why he made the above statement in the Constituent Assembly? His speech clearly shows he wanted to have some kind of a secular Pakistan. Furthermore, if he wanted to serve Islam and have an Islamic Pakistan then he should have appointed a Mufti or a religious scholar as a Law Minister of Pakistan.
Instead of appointing a Muslim Scholar as a Law Minister he appointed Jogendra Nath Mandal, a Hindu, as the first Law Minister of Pakistan. Surely he did not expect Jogendra Nath Mandal to enact and implement Islamic laws. People of Pakistan have been fooled for too long in name of religion. Time has come to call spade a spade, and understand what was done in name of Islam.
Many people might not know that Mr Jinnah appointed Jogendra Nath Mandal the first Chairman of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. He presided over the historic session of the Constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947, where Mohammed Ali Jinnah was sworn in as the first Governor-General of Pakistan. Apart from being the Law Minister, Jogendra Nath Mandal was also the Minister of Labour, and Second Minister of Commonwealth and Kashmir Affairs.
On the role of Jogendra Nath Mandal, Ahmed Saleem notes:
“The fact that one of the minority members was elected to preside over the session hints at the progressive attitude of the new state, and it augurs well for the future. Pakistan itself was brought into existence by the unrelenting efforts of a minority of the Indian Subcontinent. 4
After the death of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Jogendra Nath Mandal was disgraced; and he was left with no choice but to resign. Chaudhry Mohammad Ali sincerely served the British Raj before the emergence of Pakistan. After becoming Secretary-General of the Pakistani Cabinet Secretariat, he thought Mr Mandal was not a sincere Pakistani, and perhaps Mohammed Ali Jinnah made an error of judgement in appointing Mr Mandal to this key Ministry. On this topic, Pir Ali Mohammed Rashidi wrote:
‘Consequently, he tried to keep many cabinet documents away from the Law Minister. It was too much for Mandal. His pride was hurt. Hitherto, he had lived as a self reliant man, who knew his self-worth. Before becoming a minister, he had offered huge sacrifices and as a Hindu, swum against the tide to support our Quaid in the Pakistan Movement. How could he possibly pocket the insult from a cabinet secretary, who had taken it upon himself to judge a Hindu minister for his political character and loyalty to his country? Mandal quit as minister and went back to Calcutta to spend the rest of his life being taunted by Hindus.’ 5
Frustrated and humiliated Jogendra Nath Mandal, on 8th October 1950, wrote 18 pages long letter to Liaquat Ali Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and narrated his services to Pakistan Movement and Pakistan; and explained why he had to resign. In the last paragraph of his long letter he wrote:
‘Leaving aside the overall picture of Pakistan and the callous and cruel injustice done to others, my own personal experience is no less sad, bitter and revealing’. 6
Plight of Chaudhry Rehmat Ali
Chaudhry Rehmat Ali was the man who first coined the word Pakistan. He arranged a reception in honour of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in Waldorf Hotel, London; and explained to him his idea of Pakistan. He presented him his booklet ‘Now or Never, We are to Live or Perish for Ever’, which he wrote in 1933. Mohammed Ali Jinnah was not persuaded; and retaliated by saying, ‘Pakistan was an impossible dream’.7
Later on in life, Mohammed Ali Jinnah got convinced that he had to use his skills and ability to accomplish the task of this ‘impossible dream’. After creation of Pakistan, in April 1948, Chaudhry Rehmat Ali also moved to Pakistan – a land of his dream. However, he soon developed some differences with the Muslim League government; and he was ordered by the government to leave Pakistan. He left Pakistan in October 1948 and settled in England, where he died on 3 February 1951. No one was there to even take responsibility for his funeral. This duty was performed by a Professor of the Cambridge University and he was buried on 20 February in a grave yard on New Market Road, Cambridge.8
As always, I know some emotional Pakistanis will use foul language against me to express their anger and frustration; but I hope some sane people will appreciate the effort and the valuable information this article provides.
Writer is a political analyst, TV anchor and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email:email@example.com
1. Quaaid-i- Millat Liaquat Ali Khan', Page 27, by Ziuauddin Ahmed.
2. Marseger, Nicholas, Transfer of Power, Volume 12, H.M. Stationery Office, London, 1982-83. Viceroy’s Personal Report No. 3: Point 19.
3. Speech of Mohammed Ali Jinnah to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11 August 1947.
4. Ahmed Saleem ‘Pakistan aur Aqliatien’ (Pakistan and Minorities), page 104
5. Jogendra Nath Mandal: Chosen by Jinnah, banished by bureaucracy, Akhtar Balouch, Dawn 4 November 2015
7. Collins, Larry and Lapierre, Dominique, Freedom at Midnight, London, 1976, page 120
8. Dr Lal Khan, Abi Manzil ne ahi