The Pakistan Idea: Conclusion – Miss Shamim Anwar

The challenge which Jinnah took up was stupendous. When he decided to launch the Two Nations theory, he knew that he was going against   not only the political trend in India but against the flood that was engulfing the whole world. And he had to face it alone, for Iqbal, who had trusted his mission of human destiny in his hands, died. Alone he had to face the machinations of the Hindus, the subtility and hypocrisy of which we have had a mere glimpse only, in the chapters on the “Ideological Battle”. Alone he had to face the might and hostility of the British government, who, looking ahead in their own interests, wanted to keep India united. “This desire for unity became almost an obsession with all vocal British commentators towards the end of British rule. When the creation of Pakistan was assured the decision was regretted by all:   The Right, the Centre, and the Left. Myths die hard and for many years to come the Englishmen will look to the division of India as signal proof of the failure of his mission in the East. And Jinnah had done it alone. Alone he had to face the Ulema who came in their sacred garments, their sacred head-gears and their sacred beards, claiming to be the “ successors “ of Muhammad (P.B.U.H), urging the Muslims to join hand with the Congress so that they could preserve their own priestly class with all its vested interests.

Indeed today one wonders as to where are all those “ Maulanas “ and “ Maulvis “ who issued ‘ fatwas ‘ of “ Kufr “ against these freedom fighters – Syed Ahmed Khan, Iqbal and Jinnah.   How many today know the names of those who rushed to Mecca to procure a   ‘ fatwa ‘ against Syed Ahmed Khan from the guardians of the Ka’aba,!? Where are they who day in and day out screamed out that Iqbal and Jinnah were “ Kafir “? They have sunk into the oblivion of the past , unknown and unsung. History has its own laws in selecting its immortals.

It is to the credit of these leaders of the Pakistan Movement that as long as they lived they pulled the Quran out of the clutches of the Ulema and give it to the people where it belonged. And they did this without the prefix of ‘ Maulana ‘ to their names, without donning the priestly robes and without growing a beard.   The charge against Jinnah was that he had no beard and hence he could not quote the Quran. It was the knowledge of this charge that made him all the more determined not to grow one.  Same was the case with other priestly gimmicks.   Iqbal also, although rather lazy and indifferent about beards or no beards, never let it grow. Parwez was also beardless. All this may sound naïve, but in a fanatical priest-ridden society, to be accepted by it in their scholarship of the Quran is a rare achievement over since the days of the early history of Islam. Jinnah rightly claimed this victory when addressing the Muslim University Union on the 5th February, 1938: “ What the League has done is to set you free from the reactionary elements of Muslims and to create the opinion that those who play their selfish game are traitors.   It has certainly freed you from that undesirable element of Maulvis and Maulanas.” All these defeated parties involved, expressed their frustration in misconstruing Jinnah’s personality, his objective and his statements.   He was abused and condemned, but he was beyond it all.  In a letter to Gandhi during the 1944 talks, Jinnah referred to this with dignity.   “If a break comes it will be most unfortunate.   If one does not agree with you or differs from you, you are always right and the other party is always wrong, and the next thing is that many are waiting prepared, in your circle, to pillory me when the word goes, but I must face all threats and consequences, and I can only act according to my judgement and conscience.”

In the midst of this kind of opposition Jinnah accomplished the seemingly impossible within seven years of laying down the objectives.  Jamiluddin Ahmed has well said that “ Like economy of words in speech, he also practised economy of effort in practical politics.”   He did not let the energies of his people go waste in agitational politics which ends in frustration and inactivity.   Such emotional bouts reduce a nation to ashes, and nothing constructive is achieved. Shouts of “ Jai “ and   “ Zindabad “ (long live) momentarily gives cheap popularity and is therefore misleading. In fact this “ economy of effort “ was ingrained in the politics of Syed Ahmed Khan and Iqbal as well. They all appealed to the reason of the people and took them to their goal stage by stage. Even when Jinnah became the beloved Quaid-I-Azam and drew large crowds where ever he went or spoke, he remained detached, which was often mistaken for aloofness and coldness.   He kept his balance where many lesser people lost theirs, people who had not achieved even half of his success and popularity.  He operated at a high level and cheap popularity never intoxicated him.

Greatness of Jinnah was his character. Political insight and brilliance alone cannot give this stature.   The two, character and insight, must go together.   Jinnah was “ incorruptible “ according to Arther Muir, Editor of “ Statesman “. No body could buy him. He could not be reduced to a “ show-boy “ or “ his master’s voice ‘ by the lustre of gold or the pomp and show of high offices. He rejected the Prime Ministership of United India offered as a bait to give up the Pakistan Idea. Many, in fact hardly anyone else, was able to resist such baits.   This is what the Hindus and the British could not bear.   If only they could buy him! But as Dr. Ambedkar put it so beautifully:  “ Mr. Jinnah …..can never be suspected of being a tool in the hands of the British even by the worst of his enemies…. At the same time, it is doubtful if there is any politician in India to whom the adjective incorruptible can be more fittingly applied.   Anyone, who knows what his relations with the British Government have been, will admit that he has always been their critic, if indeed, he has not been their adversary. No one can buy him, For it must be said to his credit that he has never been a soldier of fortune.”   The Agha Khan has this to say: “ Of all the statesmen that I have known in my life- Clemencean, Lloyd George, Churchill, Curzon, Mussolini, Mahatama Gandhi – Jinnah is the most remarkable.   None of those men in my view outshone him in strength of character, and that almost uncanny combination of pre-science and resolution which is statecraft.” Even those who disagree with him felt the impact of his high intellectual and moral calibre.   To those “ nationalist “ Muslims who felt jealous of Jinnah’s closeness to his people, Tolu-e-Islam told them: “ The secret of Jinnah’s greatness is his character. He operates on a level where he can never be bought.   No attraction, however, tantalising it may, can shake his faith in his principles. Those who are jealous of his status can also capture the same status if they cultivate within themselves similar characteristics. Anyone who is as sincere and as sacrificing, or more, will immediately capture the hearts of the Muslims. So why this heart burning?”

The Pakistan Idea emerged as a challenge to geographical nationalism.   It was an attempt to solve the human tangle by experimenting an alternative to the prevalent systems. As such it was neither anti-British nor anti-Hindu.   None of its exponents, Syed Ahmed Khan, Iqbal and Jinnah can be charged with the fanatical hatred that geographical nationalism engenders amongst its adherents. It believed in letting Hindus go their way, and it wanted a similar freedom to go its own way.   “ And say unto those who believe not:   “ Says the Quran. “ Act according to your power, Lo! We too are acting. “   Anyone, be he British or Hindu, if he accepts the Quranic world-view, could be a part of this new state.

Thus Pakistan was not the result of negative forces of fear and insecurity as it is made out to be.   Many historians, Pakistanis or non-Pakistanis, have given lists of reasons for the transformation of Jinnah.   These negative and apologetic writings are the result of misunderstanding or non-understanding of Islam as “Ad-Deen.” Once this approach is comprehended there can be no confusion about it.   It is for this reason that, although there were more than one schemes for separation of Hindus and Muslims, only Iqbal’s plan has been discussed in this paper.  Other schemes had a negative approach – fear of Hindu domination and Hindu intolerance.   But Iqbal’s and Jinnah’s struggle was for an Islamic polity and that alone. It was this scheme that had universal appeal in Muslim India. A Muslim is free only in an Islamic polity. Mere withdrawal of the British from India was not enough. If it was question of “ religious   freedom “ they already had that under the British Raj.   Why should “ religious freedom “ under the Hindu Raj be better than British Raj? This is an important question to be ponder over Islamic polity also cannot be equated with “ state religion “ or a “ Muslim head of the State “. Islamic polity is the making of by-laws within a system of “ permanent values “ which is possible only in a sovereign state.

In the last analysis let us evaluate the essence of the achievement of Pakistan.   Wherein lies the significance of its creation and the greatness of its creators?  How is achievement to be evaluated?  Supposing it is laid down that the value of achievement lies in finding out first as to in what situation a person was born?   What were the concepts and trends prevalent at the time?   What were the difficulties and obstacles in his way?   Then when he left this situation behind what did he leave it like?  Had he submitted to it uncritically and become its victim? Or had he challenged it and attempted to strike a new Path in spite of the heavy odds against him? Keeping this criterion in view, Iqbal and Jinnah and before them Syed Ahmed Khan, were great people. It is so easy to swim with the tide.  It would have been easy to say and do what everyone else in the world was saying and doing. But Iqbal raised his voice against geographical nationalism after he visited Europe and saw its impending inhuman destructive results.   And what is more, he made himself heard.  He urged humanity ( in complete harmony with the dictates of the holy Quran 34:36)   to stop for a moment and ponder over as to where they are heading towards. He repudiated nationalism when the two world wars had not yet been fought. He paved the way for Jinnah who jumped in to the fray, made his way against it and turned the tide in the direction he understood it should turn.   “ He refused to be the plaything of circumstances or political expediency. Like the master-mind that he was, over rode events and created his own circumstances.   The whole face of Indian politics was changed by his over-mastering intellect and character. Round him revolved the entire gamut of Indian politics, as he held the key to the Indian situation.” In fact whenever he spoke there was a flutter in every camp.   This was his achievement. Those who rode on the crest of prevalent public opinion are lost to history.   Ultimately those survive who have given a new direction, sometime somewhere , even though it is not realised at the time.   The creation of Pakistkan has caused a crack in the edifice of nationalism and no matter what vicissitudes Pakistan may undergo it will one day be remembered by world posterity as one of the earliest concrete challenges to geographical, racial and lingual nationalism, and the first step in this century, however small, towards a global home for the human family.

909 total views, 3 views today

(Visited 142 times, 2 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *