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23rd March : From Vision to Resolution

Qammer Abbass Anka

While standing by the magnificent building of Yadgar-e-Pakistan and listening to the melodious mili naghma ‘Millat Ka Pasban hay Muhammad Ali Jinnah’, reminiscence of history flashed in my mind. The building of Yadgar-e-Pakistan is not merely a structure like many others. It bears witness to the best of the human hearts and finest leaders. In this building the evidence of the founders of Pakistan will always remain preserved. Without it, we might forget the past, and we might neglect the future. And we must never forget. We must always remember the courage, innocence and great sacrifices of all those who paved way for making of Pakistan. In this edifice, memories of all founders of Pakistan will not only remain immortalized, but that they would serve as a warning to every insane who thinks that Pakistan will fall like a house of cards. Pakistan is made to survive and it will always exist on this globe Insha Allah.
It was Friday 23rd march 1940, 3rd Safar 1359 Hijri is an important day in the history of Pakistan. On this day, All India Muslim League under the chairmanship of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah passed a historic resolution that altered the map of the world and changed the destiny of millions of Muslims throughout the sub-continent. It will be pertinent to give our youth a little detail of the occasion. The resolution named Lahore Resolution was moved by Sher-e-Bengal and Chief Minister of Bengal, Maulvi Fazl-ul-Haque. The day was also the 27th Annual Session of the Muslim League. The Resolution was seconded by Chaudhri Khaliq-uz-Zaman, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Sardar Aurangzeb Khan, Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon, Nawab Ismail Khan, Qazi Muhammad Isa Khan, Mrs. Muhammad Ali Jauhar, I.I. Chundrigar and Dr. Muhammad Alam. The Muslim Minority provinces showed their support to the Resolution too. Madras was represented by Abdul Hameed Khan, C.P. by Abdul Rauf Shah and U.P. by Syed Zakir Ali. The Resolution consisted of 400 words and four paragraphs. Its Urdu translation was made by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan. The Quaid-e-Azam delivered his speech in English for one hour and forty minutes to an envious gathering of over 100,000 people from all over the Sub-Continent who had gathered for the occasion. During the session, Mian Bashir Ahmed’s famous melodious poem “Millat Ka Pasban hay Muhammad Ali Jinnah” kept amusing and inspiring the audience. After passing of Resolution, Quaid-e-Azam paid tribute to AllamaI qbal which was quoted by Hector Bolitho’s in his book on Quaid, “Iqbal is no more amongst us, but had he been alive he would have been happy to know that we did exactly what he wanted us to do”.
Some excerpts from Quaid’s speech would help readers in understanding the rationale for demanding Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, said, “The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literatures. They neither intermarry, nor inter-dine together and, 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 Musalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, their heroes are different, and they have different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other, and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap”.
Amazingly, the logic of Quaid was realized much before the demand for Pakistan was raised by Quaid-e-Azam. Alberuni, an eminent Central Asian scholar, who studied Hindu religion and civilization in India for several years, had found that, “The Hindus differed from the Muslims in every respect, We believe in nothing in which they believe, and vice versa. Their fanaticism is directed against all foreigners. They call them impure, and forbid having any connection with them, be it by intermarriage or any other kind of relationship, or by sitting, eating, and drinking with them, because thereby, they think, they would be polluted”.
During his speech, Quaid summarized his life’s struggle for a separate Muslim homeland. Quaid clearly explained Two Nation Theory by saying that, “It has always been taken for granted mistakenly that the Musalmans are a minority. The Musalmans are not a minority. The Musalmans are a nation by any definition… What the unitary government of India for 150 years has failed to achieve cannot be realized by the imposition of a central federal government…except by means of armed forces… The problem in India is not of an inter-communal character but manifestly of an international one, and it must be treated as such… The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions… To yoke together two such nations under a single State, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must least to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a State.
The demand for Pakistan – a separate state for the Muslims of the subcontinent – was rooted in the conscious realization of ‘distinct Muslim identity’. Though Muslims lived with Hindus together for many centuries – first, as rulers whose governments were tolerant to all religious communities, and then, as the ruled, along with the Hindus, by the British – they preserved their identity. Removed from power, they feared ‘the larger community would override the interests of the smaller community’ and called for a different constitutional arrangement – separate electorates for Muslims – to safeguard their interests in the undivided India. Though the British colonial rulers acceded to Muslims’ demand for separate electorates, Hindu leaders adopted stubborn stance on a number of occasions: they rejected Jinnah’s 14 points, Lucknow Pact was doomed for their obduracy, and the Cabinet Mission of the British government remained inconclusive. The ‘chauvinistic’ designs and stubbornness disillusioned the Muslim leaders who had worked hard for bridging the difference between the Hindu and Muslim communities. Among them, Jinnah was even called ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity’. Sensing the real situation, in contrast to their lofty ideals, and feeling the pulse of the time, Muslim leaders started demanding for a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent. Had Hindu leaders reciprocated Muslims’ overtures of cooperation and coexistence, Muslims might have been content to live ‘within the British Empire’. Anti-Muslim bias of the Hindu-dominated Congress before the Partition was transformed into anti-Pakistan sentiment and conspiracy after the Partition. Communal riots that witnessed the birth of the two new states strained their bilateral relations. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, true to his reputation of being ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity and desirous to establish the new state of Pakistan on sound footing, did not see this phenomenon as communal trouble, he termed it ‘a conspiracy’ to paralyze the new-born Dominion of Pakistan, which obviously was starting from scratch.” This hostility has persisted till date, and is at the heart of tension between India and Pakistan despite many moves and rounds of talks between the leaders of the two countries aimed at resolve differences on many issues – dispute over Jammu and Kashmir being the biggest problem of them all.
Today, even after lapse of 76 years, Two Nation theory still holds its validity and relevance to the ideology of Pakistan. If someone disagrees ask him to witness the plight of Indian Muslims. Today, we all must pay gratitude to Almighty for having given us a great country like Pakistan and pay homage to all founders of Pakistan.

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