This is a PAKPOTPOURRI Exclusive and a 23rd March Special
It leaves me shell shocked, when in our drawing room discussions by the so called civil society members, play down the binding effect of a national ideology.
More than 2/3 rd of the century has gone – when an ideology, on which existence of a nation rests, was revealed to the world. It was an official birthday of the famous Two Nation Theory, which had the power of truth to change the world map, and as in the case of every truth this ideology has also been attacked, brutalized, high jacked and also cut to half but still breathe in Pakistan.
The young Pakistani minds have been pounded and bombarded by a school of thought totally in collision course with the concept of this indispensable foundation . Every now and then the words of Mr. Jinnah in relation to minorities was distorted by the pseudo intellectuals of our country. Not to be left behind, it has also been horrifyingly abused by the rightist element. Resultantly,our young generation is in a bona fide frightening dilemma, where they are more than suspicious about the struggle of one of the greatest leadership ever produced by Muslim World on this globe.
If we as a nation are mindful of the said confusion, some sort of an intellectual accountability has to be done, more than ever today and for that a very small but vital part of the Pakistan Movement is needed to be read again……………………………………
Election results of British – India (1937) sent a strong statement by All India Congress after defeating Muslim League in nearly all its strong holds – Muslim League was not even able to gather majority to form government in any province of India – The Indian National Congress was in majority in Madras, U. P., C. P., Bihar and Orrisa and were able to form a coalition government in Bombay and N. W. F. P (Now KPK) – To some extent they also proficiently secure political importance in Sindh and Assam, and formed the ruling coalition there as well.
In those elections Congress was successful to muster power in nine out of eleven provinces. On the other hand, Muslim League failed to form government in any province. Quaid-i-Azam offered Congress to form a coalition government with the League but the Congress rejected his offer. The canvas was dejected, hopeless and frightening for the Muslim community.
All the apprehensions came true, as after taking charge in July 1937; Congress declared Hindi as the national language and Deva Nagri as the official script; The Congress flag was given the status of national flag, slaughtering of cows was prohibited; it was made compulsory for the children to worship the picture of Gandhi at school; Band-i-Mataram, an anti-Muslim song taken from Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s novel Ananda Math, was made the national anthem of the country; Religious intolerance was the order of the day; Muslims were not allowed to construct new mosques; Hindus would play drums in front of mosques when Muslims were praying.
The situation was so worse that even the biased Westerner political thinkers had an in-different opinion about the Congress era (1937-1940).
Sir William Barton writing in the “National Review” in June 1939 also termed the Congress rule as “The rising tide of political Hinduism”.
Differences between British and Congress lead to the resignation of the Government, which came as a sigh of relief for the Muslims of sub continent. Quaid-i-Azam asked the Muslims to celebrate December 22, 1939 as a day of deliverance and thanksgiving in token of relief from the tyranny and oppression of the Congress rule.
Point here to contemplate is this: what made a disunited community of Muslims in sub continent to pass Pakistan resolution, just after three years of big election defeat and merely three months after the end of cruel Congress rule?
The speech made by Quaid-i-Azam at Minto Park, Lahore on March 22, 1940. In this speech, he stated that “Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, with different social customs and literature. They neither intermarry, nor eat together, and indeed belong to two different civilizations whose very foundations are based on conflicting ideas and concepts. Their outlook on life and of life is different”. He emphasized that “in spite of the passage of about 1,000 years the relations between the Hindus and Muslims could not attain the level of cordiality”.
The only difference between the writings of Al-Biruni and the speech of Quaid-i-Azam was that Al-Biruni made calculated predictions, while Quaid-i-Azam had history behind him to support his argument. Prediction which was made by this renowned philosopher of his time around 900 years before creation of Pakistan and narrated by Mr. Jinnah cannot be taken as an incident and especially when it made history of his time.
Pakistan was born . A country based on an ideology. An understanding that Hindus and Muslims were like chalk was to cheese. It was certainly through resolute leadership of Pakistan Movement which snatched Pakistan out of the jaws of British and Indian Congress leadership, but why have we, relegated our ideology, on which rests the very foundations of our country, to the back burner?
A comparison of Pakistan and the Jew State draws some interesting contradictions.
Israel’s 1953 Law of State Education specified aims for the education system.
- To base education on the values of Jewish culture.
- On love of the Homeland and loyalty to the State and the Jewish People. (Mar’I, 1978, P 50)
Over 50 years have passed since the enactment of this law, but the aims it specified remain central to current Israeli public educational policy. Though the law was amended in 2000, it maintains educational objectives for public schools that emphasize Jewish values, history and culture, while ignoring Palestinian values, history and culture (Adalah, 2003) (The legal center for Arab minorities in Israel).
In June 2001, Minister of Education, Limor Livnat, stated that she would like to see that “there is not a single child in Israel who doesn’t learn basics of Jewish and Zionist knowledge and values” (Fisher-Ilan, 2001, p.4B). The Ministry of Education operationalized these goals though programs such as the “100 Basic Concepts” curriculum unit that was introduced to the middle schools in the 2004/05 school year.
On the other hand in the same era we were busy in making up a new face of Pakistan more acceptable to US in particular and westerners in general.We were making efforts to establish ourselves away from the very ideology that created Pakistan.
Today, as we stand as a nation, on the cross road of destruction and humiliation, we need to go back to square one, where one Jinnah clogged the British Empire and opportunist Hindu mentality to create another Palestine in the lap another Israel ( India) and made us Pakistanis. I cannot, but recall, one of my teachers with great reverence, Mr Nadvi, a worker of Pakistan Muslim League ,who taught me Pakistan Studies.A flowing river of knowledge on what all our elders sacrificed to attain Pakistan, he would tell us,“Don’t open your books, till I am alive you don’t need them, I am Pakistan, listen me, you will come to know what a great nation we are”. We require hundreds of Nadvis now, to keep those books closed, as now, they have been disgustingly tampered with, as well.
According to famous historian Stanley Wolpert, “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.”
My fellow countrymen, let us salute the man who was Jinnah,appreciate the gift of a free country he gave us,and move ahead, from this point onward with the national ideology with which he carved out Pakistan!
(Jawad Raza Khan is a writer.He resides in Islamabad).