An ideology is a set of beliefs of a particular group or individuals. Similarly, the ideology of any nation reflects the ideals and aspirations of its people that shape their thinking and bind them together. In this write-up, we will understand the ideology of Pakistan in the light of the speeches & statements of Quaid-e-Azam & Allama Iqbal.
Explaining the Ideology of Pakistan
The ideology of Pakistan is rooted in the Two-Nation Theory. This theory helps us understand the collective ideals and aspirations of Indian Muslims in the subcontinent. Historically, the collective experiences of oppression and persecution of Indian Muslims underpinned the Two-Nations theory. Ultimately, it shaped their demand for a separate homeland (Pakistan); where they would live their lives according to the golden rules and teachings of Islam.
What was the Two-Nations Theory?
According to the two-nation theory, Muslims and Hindus are two different separate nations. They have different customs, religions, and traditions. Therefore, from social and moral points of view, Muslims should have their own separate homeland outside of Hindu-majority India; where Islam would be the dominant religion and can be applied thoroughly in every domain of life.
This theory was advocated by prominent Muslim leaders like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and Allama Iqbal. Moreover, this was the founding principle of the Pakistan Movement that led to the partition of India in 1947.
The ideology of Pakistan in the Light of the Speeches and Statements of Allama Iqbal
In 1930, during his Allahabad Address, Doctor Allama Muhammad Iqbal laid down the idea of a separate homeland for Muslims for the first time, changing the entire course of the struggles and demands of Muslims.
He was a strong proponent of the Two-Nation Theory. In his address, he proposed the ideology of Pakistan. He strongly negated the western idea that religion is one’s private affair. He opposed the idea of a single Indian nation. Iqbal questioned why the two major nations in India had failed to reach a compromise and why all attempts to unite them had ended up in failure.
Iqbal promoted the ideas and concepts of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and remarked, “India is a continent inhabited by people belonging to different races, communities, and religions. Moreover, they speak different languages. For this very reason, the application of western democracy in India by ignoring the various religious groupings is impossible”. In this manner, he fully justified the demand for a Muslim India within India.
Giving the essence of his Address, Iqbal said,
According to him, in order to preserve Islam as a cultural force, it was vital for it to be centralized in a specified territory.
He further said that “Muslim desire is actuated by a genuine desire for free development, which is practically impossible under the type of unitary government contemplated by the nationalist Hindu politicians with a view to secure permanent communal dominance in the whole of India. I, therefore, demand the formation of a consolidated Muslim state in the best interests of India and Islam”.
He further pointed out that the Muslims would never agree to a constitutional change that affected the Muslim majority in the provinces of Bengal and Punjab. Furthermore, the constitution should also guarantee that Muslims would get one-third of the seats in the central legislature. Iqbal also laid great stress on the separation of Sindh from the Bombay Presidency.
It is evident from his speeches and statements that Iqbal was definitely visualizing the future Pakistan movement and the formation of Pakistan.
The Ideology of Pakistan in the Light of Speeches and Statements of Muhammad Ali Jinnah
The Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, initially, was a very adamant supporter of Hindu-Muslim Unity. He left no stone unturned to achieve this ambitious target. His efforts were evident in the making of the Lucknow Pact in 1916 and the Delhi Muslim Proposals in 1927. It was due to the efforts that Mrs. Sarojini Naidu gave him the title of the “Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity”.
It was after the publication of the Nehru Report on August 15, 1928, that Quaid-e-Azam had to change his course of thinking and announce his parting of ways. After all his efforts for Hindu-Muslim Unity, he realized that Hindus and Muslims are two completely separate nations with distinct ideas, values, aspirations, customs, religions, and traditions. Hence, they cannot live together/united. Henceforth, he became an adamant proponent of the two-nation theory.
The Lahore Resolution, 1940
On the eve of the Lahore Resolution, in his presidential address, the Quaid alluding to the religious and cultural differences between the Hindus and the Muslims said,
The Quaid-e-Azam strongly refuted the notion that Muslims are only a minority. He asserted, “They are a nation according to any definition of nationhood. Thus, they must have their separate homeland”.
During his speech, the Quaid read out Lala Lajpat Rai’s letter of 1924 to C.R. Das. In the letter, he had categorically stated that the Hindus and the Muslims were two separate and distinct nations. They could never be merged into a single nation.
Quaid’s Letter to M.K. Gandhi
During the final years of the Pakistan movement (1944-1947), M.K. Gandhi wrote a letter to Quaid in which he deplored the Two-Nation Theory and the ‘Ideology of Pakistan’. He wrote, “I find no parallel in history for a body of converts and their descendants claiming to be a nation apart from their parent stock. If India was one nation before the advent of Islam, it must remain one in spite of the change of faith of a very large body of her children”.
In reply to Gandhi’s letter, the Quaid wrote, “We maintain and hold that Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a nation. We are a nation of a hundred million and, what is more, we are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitude and ambitions. In short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life. By all canons of international law, we are a nation”.
In a nutshell, Quaid-e-Azam became an adamant supporter of Pakistan’s ideology. As a result, the struggle to attain a separate homeland for Muslims became more forceful.
To cap it all, these speeches and statements stirred the Pakistani movement. Ultimately, they changed the entire course of history and the fate of Indian Muslims.
Reference: Trek to Pakistan