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It is a mystery to many as to why the Muslims of undivided India insisted on the Partition.
Apr 2015

 It is a mystery to many as to why the Muslims of undivided India insisted on the Partition. The areas that went into Pakistan were already Muslim majority. The community there was having its way as the premiers were Muslim, be it Baluchistan, Bengal, NWFP, Punjab or Sind. All the other provinces had Hindu majorities and therefore the Muslims there could possibly ask for safeguards. By the fact of Partition, prima facie they be in a weaker situation.  With the Ashrafs migrating, the Ajlaffs lost many of their patrons. This was known and obvious to most people at the time. Yet the Muslims of U.P., to an extent those of Bihar and the Bombay Presidency, were at the forefront of the agitation for Pakistan. Indeed a paradoxical situation!

Just published is a book called Creating a New Medina by Venkat Dhulipala and published by the Cambridge University Press, which offers a clue to this paradox. The Muslims inspired by ideologues at the Aligarh Muslim University, were anxious to create a replacement for the abolished headquarters of Islam at Istanbul. The Caliphate was based there until Kemal Mustafa abolished the institution and exiled the Caliph-cum-Sultan. As the Muslims of U.P.  felt, Pakistan would be the ideological centre of world Islam. Even if the Muslims remaining in India happened to suffer, the sacrifice would be well worthwhile for the cause of Islam.

Author Dhulipala has quoted at considerable length what Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani of Bijnore (U.P.).  had advocate. He glorified Pakistan as the first Islamic state in history that would attempt to reconstruct the Islamic utopia created by the Prophet in Medina. He constantly used Pakistan and Medina interchangeably to solidify their identification in the public mind.

As is well known Medina is considered by Muslims as an ideal Islamic polity as desired by Allah.


April 2017


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