Published in 1986, ‘Facts are Facts’ by the late Wali Khan was an instant hit. ‘Facts are Facts’ is an attempt to contest text book versions of Pakistan’s history. In a bid to generate debate, the Viewpoint is serializing this text
Several new aspects of Jinnah's philosophy are reflected in this speech. First of all Jinnah uses the word 'community' for the Hindus and the Muslims instead of 'nations'; he calls them majority community and minority community, but he does not stop at that. He further explains that this implied the Hindu community and the Muslim community. I believe that this is the cardinal point of the speech; the rest of it is elucidation and explanation. Another important point is that while describing the Muslims, he mentions Pakhtoons and Punjabis along with the Shias and Sunnis. Similarly, while on the subject of Hindus, he mentions Bengalis and Madrasis along with Brahmins., Shudras and Kshatriyas. Subconsciously, therefore, he makes no distinction between their religious and regional identity. In this manner he demolishes his entire fundamental thesis that a separate area should be earmarked for the followers of a particular faith. His mental process also cuts across the distinction of caste, creed and ethnicity.
Towards the end of his speech he sums up his policy:
.... Now I think that we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.
The fundamental difference between the ideology of the Khudai Khidmatgars and the Congress on the one hand, and that of Jinnah and the Muslim League on the other was that the former believed that religion was a matter for the individual and that the people of India were equal in the eyes of the law. Having established Pakistan on the basis of the contrary ideology that the Hindus and Muslims were two different nations, the same Jinnah announces with a great sense of responsibility before the members of the Constituent Assembly that Hindus and Muslims are not two nations but they are two communities and in the State polity and policies there should be no discrimination between them.
The question arises that if this was Jinnah's declared ideology, what was the need to plunge the sub-continent into bloodshed and riots, and for what purpose were so many lives lost? Why were lakhs of families mined, why was communal frenzy and hatred created, and why was permanent animosity between the two communities fanned to an extent that thousands were mercilessly butchered? It will be a long time before people forget these events. Words, in the form of political speeches, will never prove unguents for those wounds.
This only proves Lord Mountbatten's allegation that the Muslim League never bothered to give a second thought to the consequences of their demand for the division of the country or their proposal for the creation of Pakistan. If attention were to be drawn to the devastation they had caused, they would have turned stone deaf. But when the Government of Pakistan was entrusted to the League, and they were saddled with the problems of nationalism, polity and statehood, they found inherent contradictions in their politics. It now became clear to them that if a State were founded on the basis of religious faith, then the non-Muslim population of a Muslim country would be compelled to migrate to a non-Muslim State and vice versa.
Jinnah faced a serious problem of reconciling his politics with the religious ideology. He reached the conclusion that since there were a large number of non-Muslims, in the newly carved country called Pakistan, they too would be known as Pakistanis. They too would consider themselves to be members of the nation and that the word Pakistan should not become synonymous with Muslim. He realised the inadequacy of his previous political philosophy. When Hindus and Muslims became inhabitants of a new country called Pakistan, they ceased to be separate and became one nation known as Pakistan. On the basis of their religious faith and for purposes of distinction they could be described as different communities. It is ironical that Pakistan was created in a region where these two communities had lived together for centuries. The only change that occurred was that a part of this country was given a different name. According to the Muslim League, differences between the Hindus and the Muslims ceased to exist in this new country. In the context of this two-nation theory, it is necessary to dispel one more myth. The Muslim League continued to give the impression that this was their own ideology. A Government, State, or Nation, has no ideology of its own; ideology does not pertain to any landmass. It relates to a group of individuals, an organisation, or a party. It continues to be propagated by this group of individuals; parties, or organisations so long as they are in power. For instance, as a land mass, Russia has no ideology of its own. To begin with, it was the Czar's monarchy, but when the Czar was overthrown the political power passed on to the Communist Party. Thus the Communist ideology was introduced. What happened in India? Here the British held sway over crores of people. When they left, and the Country was partitioned, Pakistan had no ideology of its own. Its ideology was the ideology of the Muslim League. So long as the Muslim League continued to be in power their ideology prevailed. When another party with a different ideology came to power, the Muslim League walked out with its ideology and the ideology of Pakistan was that of the new ruling party.
(To be continued)
The book in PDF form can be accessed at: http://www.awaminationalparty.org/books/factsarefacts.pdf