Understanding the Ideology of Pakistan

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Note: This write-up will cover the topic ‘Ideology of Pakistan in the light of speeches and statements of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’ – CSS (Pakistan Affairs) Oriented Article.

What is an ‘Ideology’?

An ideology is a set of opinions or beliefs of a group or an individual. The ideology of any nation reflects the ideals and aspirations of its people, and religion, and culture, and shape their thinking which binds them together.

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 underpinned by their collective experiences of subjugation and persecution that shaped their demand for a separate homeland (Pakistan) where they would live their lives according to the golden rules and teachings of Islam.

Understanding the Two-Nation Theory

According to the two-nation theory, Muslims and Hindus are two separate nations, with their own customs, religion, and traditions; therefore, from social and moral points of view, Muslims should be able to have their own separate homeland outside of Hindu-majority India, in which Islam is the dominant religion, and be segregated from Hindus and other non-Muslims.

This theory, advocated by prominent Muslim leaders like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and Allama Iqbal, and was the founding principle of the Pakistan Movement, led to the partition of India in 1947.

The ideology of Pakistan in the Light of 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 that changed the entire course of 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,

“I would like to see the Punjab, NWFP, Sindh, and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim state appears to be the final destiny of the Muslims at least of North-West India.”

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 the Muslims would get one-third of 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 1916’ and ‘the Delhi Muslim Proposals 1927’. It was due to his 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 Hindu and Muslim 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.

Let’s analyze the ideology of Pakistan and the two-nation theory in the light of the speeches and statements of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

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 Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literature. They neither intermarry nor interdine together, and, indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based 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, different heroes, different episodes. Very often the hero of one is the foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and ‘final’ destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state.”

The Quaid-e-Azam strongly refuted the notion that the 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 readout Lala Lajpat Rai’s letter of 1924 to C.R. Das in which he had categorically stated that the Hindus and the Muslims were two separate and distinct nations that could never be merged into a single nation.

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 and of 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 that led to the forceful struggle by the ‘All India Muslim League’ to attain a separate homeland for Muslims.


To cap it all, these speeches and statements stirred the Pakistan movement that ultimately changed the course of history and the fate of Indian Muslims.


Reference: Trek to Pakistan

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