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Unfinished Agenda

7. Subcontinental Ummah is One

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.

Mujahid continues:

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.

Unfinished Agenda
Prafull Goradia
1. Why Transfer Population?
10. Frontiers
11. Financial Resources
12. Armed Forces
13. Pakistan and Communal Peace
14. Redrawing Boundaries
2. Unfinished Agenda of Partition
23. Two Nation Theory
24. Ethnic Cleansing by Pakistan
25. Get Out of Bangladesh
26. Population Transfer Between Greece and Turkey
3. Betrayal
4. Hindu Muslim Gulf
5. Theological Genesis of Separatism
6. Medieval Experience
7. Subcontinental Ummah is One
8. Separate Homeland For All Muslims
9. Ambedhar on Partition

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