Dawn of 23 March 2002
Lest what is presented in this book appears to be either old, obsolete
or passe, it is necessary to see how the well known Karachi daily Dawn celebrated
Pakistan Day on 23 March, 2002. Incidentally, Pakistan Day is an annual celebration of the
'Pakistan resolution' passed by the Muslim League at its Lahore session of 1940. That was
when an open and official demand was made by the League for the bifurcation of the country
and the creation of Pakistan.
To what extent have the sentiments of the Pakistan intelligentsia
remained faithful to the inspiration generated by the League leaders led by Qaid-e-Azam
Jinnah? Jinnah died in September, 1948. Yet, uncannily, the Pakistanis still appear to be
loyal to his thoughts and concepts. If any differences or disgreements with Jinnah have
been expressed, they are by Indian Muslims like Dr. Raftq Zakaria who either chose to
remain stay put in India or just could not emigrate. Even a scholar of the stature of Dr
Zakaria has taken the best part of half a century to realise and protest that Jinnah had
done enormous damage to the community which remairted in Hindustan.
Janab Sharif al Mujahid has written the lead article in the supplement to
Dawn of the same date reminding the reader of Jinnah's concept of Pakistan. There are
in all eleven articles, none of which expresses any difference of opinion with Jinnah's
dream, with the bounties that the creation of Pakistan showered upon the Muslim ummah. Remarkably,
in all the articles, the underlying presumption is that the ummah includes all the
Muslims of the subcontinent. There is no separate mention of either Indian Muslims or
Bangladeshis or the mohajirs.
That the mohagirs are ill treated either in Karachi, or the rest
of Sindh or anywhere else in Pakistan would appear to be largely a myth or at least an
exaggeration. There must be some legitimate grievances, but to say that they are because
of their being mohajirs and not the original sons of the soil. does not seem to
make sense. Had it been so, how is it that the founder of Pakistan, the Qaid-e-Azam, was a
mohajir? His successor as leader was Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan who was born in
Karnal in what is now Haryana. Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar, one of the prime ministers who
followed, hailed from Godhra in Gujarat. The longest serving President was General
Zia-ul-Haq who hailed from Jalandhar and was educated at St. Stephens College, Delhi.
General Pervez Musharraf belonged to Delhi before his immediate family emigrated to
Pakistan. Had the mohajirs been unwelcome, surely so many of them would not have
adorned the crown of Pakistan!
To reiterate, the Dawn supplement gives the impression that in the Pakistani
mind, there is no segregation of the subcontinental ummah on the basis of
national borders. Read the second paragraph of the first article:
For Muslims in prepartition India, with their deep horizontal,
vertical, regional and linguistic cleavages, Islam alone could serve as a broad political
platform a la Karl Deutsch (Nationalism and Social Communism) typology, to gather
incrementally all the Muslims under the all embracing Pakistan canopy.
Mujahid quotes Allama Iqbal:
had not only furnished the Muslims of the subcontinent with those basic
emotions and loyalties which gradually unify scattered individuals and groups, but had
also worked as a people building force, transforming them progressively into a well
defined people. The unity of Indian Islam, so far as it had achieved unity, may first and
foremost be attributed to (what Montgomery Watt calls) a dynamic image, the image or idea
of ... the charismatic community.
this explains how, scattered though they were across the length and breadth of the
subcontinent in varying proportions, they had yet developed the will to live as a nation
on the basis, in Toynbean terminology, of their social heritage. This national will in
turn provided the Indian Muslims with the intellectual and political satisfation for
claiming a distinct nationalism for themselves.
Continuing, Mujahid writes:
the demand for Pakistan was, thus, the result not primarily of racial, linguistic or
territorial nationalism, although these factors could by no means be brushed aside, but
chiefly of religious nationalism.
He goes on to quote Jinnah:
we wish our people to develop to the fullest our spiritual, cultural, economic, social and
political life in a way that we think best and which is in consonance with our own
idealsand according to the genius of our people.
Sharif al Mudahid, in order to show that the demand for Pakistan had the mandate of
Muslims across the subcontinent says:
the Muslim League, despite all odds, swept the polls in the1945-46 general elections,
bagging 75 percent of the popular vote and 85 percent of the Muslim seats.
The article goes on to answer the question again as to what was Jinnah's concept of
Pakistan. He quotes from a message given by Jinnah on 18 June 1945. It was to the Frontier
N.S.F. (Northern Security Force) and it talks about Muslim ideology which has to be
preserved, which has come to us as a precious gip and treasure.
What was this Muslim ideology was again best defined by the Qaid-e-Azam
himself in one of his contemporary speeches:
The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs,
literature... indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on
conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life and of life are different. It is
quite clear that Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of
history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes.Very often the
hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise their victories and defeats overlap.
The credit of having created a new state and founding a Darul-Islam
must go to Mohammed Ali Jinnah. It is probable that without his leadership the Muslim
League might have been out manouevred at the time, out of its demand for a Muslim
homeland. No state is perfect and Pakistan must have many a fault. Nevertheless, it is a
land where the writ of sharia runs, What this means for a devout Muslim or a momin
is seldom appreciated by a Hindu mind which has never identified the state or a
government with his own faith. Religion is something that the Hindu does not have. He has
faith only in the paramatma and his dharma which is a combination of
morality, duty and devotion. Over and above all this, he has an explanation of life, but
nowhere is there any mention of politics or government.
In contrast, one face of Islam is that of a political party, the Party
of Allah, and its name is Hizbullah, as lucidly explained by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad while
writing in his journal Al Hilal during 1913. Islam is not merely a faith. It is a
total prescription for life and living. Prophet Muhammad was a versatile genius in every
sphere of life that he lived. He traded and made money, he was a general who led the army
and made conquests. He was along, to begin with, of Madina and later large tracts of
Arabia including Mecca. He was a happy householder with the gift of many children et al.
The message or the paigham he delivered was comprehensive and covered almost all
aspects of life. For the Hindu mind to understand this is not easy.
However prosperous, successful and personally happy. however powerful or famous the
Indian Muslim might be. he cannot quite attain complete fulfilment unless his life is
allowed to blossom in a garden of Darul-lslam.