Repudiation of the two-nation theory by Muslim League
When the Muslim League accepted the Cabinet Mission's proposals and agreed to a federal structure for India, with the Central Government based on a grouping of States, they had, in effect, abandoned their demand for Pakistan. Since the creation of Pakistan was based on the two-nation theory, the logical conclusion was that along with their demand for Pakistan they had also given up this theory. It is difficult to understand that the leaders of the Muslim League who had chosen religion as their main political instrument and sought justification for their every move in the Islamic point of view, should keep altering its basic tenets. Islam does not allow any amendments in its basic principles. Muslims regard Hazrat Mohammad as the last of the Prophets. They believe that he has left a complete, perfect and immutable system for regulating the life of the individual and the community. When the Muslim League decided to create Pakistan they gave the state the fundamental principle of Islam, La Ilaha Illal lah [there is no other god but The God]. Then, how was it that the same leaders of the Muslims now decided that they would abandon the demand for Pakistan thereby renouncing the cardinal ideology of Islam? Having established an indissoluble link between Pakistan and Islam it seemed these very leaders became disillusioned with its basic tenets. Religion does not permit tinkering with its fundamental principles; a movement launched today, called off tomorrow, all in the name of Islam is repugnant to the devout followers of the religion.
This is a fundamental problem which is faced by every organisation or party which exploits religion in order to further its political objectives. There are, no doubt, other organisations which carry on religious movements for pure religious objectives. For instance, in India there were the Ulemas from Dar-ur-Uloom of Deoband. They considered it their religious duty to launch a movement or Jehad against the British infidels. They confined their actions strictly within the parameters of religion. But political parties, particularly the Muslim League which was exploiting religion for politics, encountered the difficulties mentioned above, because the path of religion is straight and narrow, while politics is a winding road! This is an admonition of those who mix religion with politics. As a result of deviation from its political credo, the Muslim League had to abandon its demand for Pakistan. Since this demand was based on the fundamental tenets of Islam, it follows, they renounced not only their political but also their religious ideology.
If we look at the political history of the Muslim League, we find that the leaders acted in accordance with their own wishes or convenience. When Mr. Jinnah came to the North-West Frontier Province, he met a number of religious leaders and Pirs. He wrote To the Pir Sahib of Manki Shareef, Amin-ul-Hasanat that Pakistan would be an Islamic State in which Islamic laws ordained by Shariat would be followed. Iskander Mirza's evidence is contrary to Jinnah's statement. He wrote:
Before we all left Delhi, I said to the Quaid-i-Azam one day, "Sir, we are all agreed to go to Pakistan; but what kind of polity are you going to have? Are you going to have an Islamic State?" "Nonsense," he replied, "I am going to have a modem State."
As a matter of fact the Muslim League had modeled Pakistan along the lines of paradise as enunciated by the Mullahs! You got whatever you desired, stream's of milk and honey flowed, and countless Houries and Ghilmans [Beautiful girls and handsome boys] were close at hand for service and entertainment. The fruit you desired would appear, whether it be grapes, pomegranates, apples or almonds. Growing, watering and manuring them would not be an ordeal. And if Shariat law was vouchsafed to Pir Sahib of Manki Shareef, that promise, too, would become illusory!
We have seen that when Muslim League was allowed to join the Interim Government, they included as Minister one Joginder Nath Mandal who was a Hindu and a Harijan. It was unusual that a totally Theocratic State which had arrogated to itself the responsibility of safeguarding the interests of the Muslims, could entrust them to a Hindu Minister.
Three days before the official declaration of the establishment of Pakistan, namely, on 11 August 1947, Jinnah's detailed speech in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, enunciated the policy of the Government:
If you change your past and work together in a spirit that everyone of you, no matter what community he belongs to, no matter what his colour, caste or creed, is first, second, and last a citizen of this State, with equal rights, privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make. I cannot emphasize it too much; we should begin to work in that spirit, and, in course of time, all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vaishnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and so on, will vanish. You may be forced to go to your temples, mosques or any other place of worship; you may belong to any religion or caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the State.... We are starting with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.... [G. Allana, Historical Documents, pp. 545-6].
It is important to remember that this speech was not made by the Quaid-i-Azam at a press conference nor in any reception given in his honour; but it was the official proclamation of the policy of the new State, made in its Constituent Assembly, in the presence of the members who were expected to draw the constitution for the Islamic State of Pakistan and to define the fundamental rights of her people. The question arises from what position was Jinnah making these statements? He was the undisputed leader of Pakistan; the father of the nation, the elected President of the Muslim League Party which claimed to represent the Muslims of the entire subcontinent. What is important, he was also the Governor-General of Pakistan, and finally, the elected President of the Constituent Assembly. There was no responsible organ of the Government or the ruling party which Jinnah did not represent. He was reading from a prepared text. This was probably the first written speech that an experienced barrister and parliamentarian like Jinnah had delivered; he knew that it was a very important and historic speech because it enunciated the policy of the new State.
(To be continued)
The book in PDF form can be accessed at: http://www.awaminationalparty.org/books/factsarefacts.pdf