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Old Saturday, July 13, 2013
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An introduction to the subcontinent
Rich cultural & religious diversity in the subcontinent
The Northwest areas treated as a separate nation since ancient history
How the concept of Two Nation Theory was born

Al-Beruni pioneer of Two Nation Theory in the subcontinent
Two Nation Theory in times of the Mughal Empire
Major events that defined the theory
Sir Syed A.K, Allama Iqbal, Jinnah and Obj resolution
Importance of TNT in the subcontinent politics
Islam and TNT

How TNT affected the political dynamics of the subcontinent
How it has evolved over time and forms the ideology of Pakistan today
TNT – the reason for the birth of Pakistan, motivation of Muslims of subcontinent and its future role in India-Pakistan politics.
*End with a quotation from Quaid-e-Azam/Allama Iqbal

The Indo-Pak subcontinent is located in the Southerly region of Asia on the Indian Plate, projecting southward into the Indian Ocean. It is home to some of the world’s highest and longest mountain ranges, lengthiest and oldest rivers, ancient passes, trade routes, scenic spots and historical places. The Indus River has cradled one of the oldest civilizations in the world – The Indus Valley Civilization in the 2500 B.C. Over the course of its four thousand years of history, it has emerged as one of the most vibrantly diversified cultural amalgam in the world. The many wars, invasions and occupations introduced races from all across the world to the subcontinent. The Aryan invasion in 1700 B.C, followed by Buddhist immigration, Roman invasion, Muslim advent in 712, Delhi Sultanate, Mughal empire and finally British occupation in 1857 for over 200 years has given the region a unique cultural diversity unmatched in the world.
The natives of The Indus Valley Civilization lived in regions of the sub-continent that now constitute Pakistan. In the 1700 B.C., Aryans from Central Asia invaded the region. This was the introduction of Hinduism into the subcontinent. The Aryans settled in the Ganges Valley. It should be noted that since the very beginning of the history of the sub-continent, Pakistan and India have been separated by leaders of this region based on their separate geographical conditions, religious and cultural beliefs and way of life. Alexander the Great came to the subcontinent in 326 B.C. the next most significant landmark in the history of subcontinent is the advent of the Muslims in this land. In 712 A.D. Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sindh and introduced Islam to the subcontinent. Oppressed lower classes of the Hindu caste system quickly embraced Islam and the good impression created by Islamic leaders brought more and more people in its folds. Mahmud of Ghazni, followed by Muhammad Ghauri also known as the ‘founder of Islamic nation’ in the subcontinent established the first Islamic rule in the region. His successors founded the Delhi Sultanate. Mughals came to this land in 1526 and ruled until 1707. Their demise led to the advent of British on the subcontinent soil.
An interesting perspective that comes to light when one reviews the glorious history of the subcontinent is the distinct separation of Pakistani and Indian regions throughout the period from 2500 B.C. until 13th century A.D. Therefore, the Indian argument that separation of Pakistan is unnatural and uncalled for, is nullified. The northwest and west have always been geographically, politically, culturally and religiously separate from the rest of India. It was only a matter of realizing this obvious fact that gave birth to the two nation theory in the subcontinent.
It is evident from historical facts and geographical demarcations that the two nation theory was born on the soils of Hindustan the day the first Hindu embraced Islam. Al Beruni, the great Muslim scholar from the court of Mahmud Ghazni quoted in his famous book Kitab-al-Hind that “they (Hindus) can never be one with us (Muslims)…..”
Various attempts were made by Muslim as well as foreign leaders to unite the widely diversified majorities and minorities of the region but all attempts failed. The Mughal Emperor Akbar launched a new religion “din-e-illahi” as a tool to bring Muslims and Hindus to a mutual compromise but both parties vehemently rejected this new system. A rift between Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus has existed since the Mughal Empire. Although, Muslim leaders accommodated the Hindus in many ways; giving them right to practice their religion, establishing and protecting their religious sites, abolishing the jizya tax on Hindus and allowing them equal rights in all other fields, however, Hindus never let go any chance of revolt against the Muslims and never developed any feelings of friendship towards them.
The history of the subcontinent experienced another major tsunami when the British occupied the subcontinent after the War of Independence in 1857. The poorly planned, ill organized revolt by the Indians against British occupation of their land resulted in a shameful defeat. Hindus cleverly manipulated the scenario and laid down the entire blame on the shoulder of Muslims. This made the British disdainful and contemptuous towards them. British aristocracy feared that Muslims are the greatest threat to their position in the subcontinent. This started the most depressing and difficult period for the Indian Muslims. Slowly and gradually, they were sidelined from every walk of life including education, politics, business, agriculture and land. The Muslims were hopeless and in a dire need of a leader.
They say, ‘there is a silver lining to every cloud’. In these times of distress and hopelessness, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was born and he led the Muslims out of misery towards the path of Pakistan. He is the pioneer of two nation theory in the subcontinent. Sir Syed realized the need of a separation between the Hindus and Muslims if both societies had to prosper and progress. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan established the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College in 18—. Students of this college later formed the All India Muslim League. He encouraged Muslims to acquire English education and proceed forward. He provided the necessary platform to unite the Muslims of the subcontinent and carried their demands to the British government. When the All India National Congress established in 18--, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan did not join and advised his fellow Muslim leaders not to take part in the congress as it acts in the sole interests of Hindus. This was later proved true in 1905 when the congress opposed the partition of Bengal.
The next major event that shaped the two nation theory in the minds of the Muslims leaders was the event of partition of Bengal by the British. For administrative purposes, the British decided to partition Bengal in 1905, which was in the interest of the Muslims as they were in the wide majority in regions of Bengal. The Muslims were happy with this decision while the congress vehemently opposed the idea. In 1911, partition of Bengal was annulled by the British who feared a Hindu revolt and it threw cold water on the hopes of Muslims.
The All India Muslim League was established in 1906 and it was through this platform that the long forming idea of two nation theory was not only voiced but also implemented and legalized. It was in the All India Muslim League’s memorable address in Allahabad in 1930, when Allama Mohammad Iqbal dreamt of a separate nation and voiced his dream to the world. He said:
When Quaid e Azam joined the Muslim league in --, a new wave of hope ran among the Muslim leadership of the subcontinent. Through his dynamic and capable leadership, the Quaid switched the course of history by realizing the Muslims dream of a separate homeland.
In his famous 14 points, which were a reply to the Nehru Report published by the Congress in 1929, Jinnah demanded autonomy for the northwestern parts of Pakistan, separate electorate and equal political representation. Although, the points were rejected by the British and Hindus, they became the embodiment of the two nation theory and served as the primary agenda of hard work by the Muslims. These 14 points soon became the backbone of Muslim demands in the subcontinent and were finally realized with the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
The whirlwind of emotions, the backbreaking hard work and the immense sacrifices of our ancestors speak the glorious story of the Two Nation Theory. Muslims all over the world are and will always be a separate nation. They have their own beliefs, customs, traditions and way of life. Unlike the western ideology of nationalism, the Muslims are joined together not by race, color or creed but by the spirit of brotherhood and unity. How then, can they survive together with the Hindus who are different from them in all possible aspects of society? Had the two nation theory not been realized by leaders like the Quaid, Iqbal and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, today perhaps we would be the oppressed slaves of the Hindus of United India.
Islam is the binding force and the primary force behind the two nation theory. It has always been Islam that has come to the aid of Muslims in times of need and bound them together to yield a strong, unbreakable force. Today as well, the concept of two nation theory is alive in the world; not only in the sub-continent but all over the world where Muslims share land with others. Palestine and Kashmir are living examples of the catastrophe that strikes when the rule of nature is violated.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that the two nation theory was the backbone of the political activities in the subcontinent after the British occupation. It was no more simply a question of ‘when’ British would leave. It was about ‘how’ they would leave. Over the course of 100 years since the War of Independence, the two nation theory remained the primary focus of the British, Hindus and the Muslims. Many efforts were made by Hindu leadership including Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru, M.S Gandhi and others to nullify the theory and detract the Quaid. However, all efforts were wasted. The Quaid’s 14 points, The Round Table Conferences, letters by M.S. Gandhi and the objective resolution are significant political maneuvers made with regard to the two nation theory and demand for a separate homeland.
Till today, Pakistan remains the only country on the map of the world that was created in the name of Islam and for practicing Islam freely. The two nation theory is embedded deeply in the ideology of Pakistan. This belief that Muslims are a separate nation in all aspects, that they are spiritual brothers and sisters and live by a different code of life has been the primary driving force in Pakistani politics, foreign policy and international relations. The constitutions of Pakistan strictly adhere to the fundamental principles of Islam and no Pakistani can forget the very reason for the creation of this state. Pakistan emerged as a sovereign independent state on the world map on 14 August 1947 and showed the world the meaning and significance of the two nation theory and Islamic ideology. In future too, this theory will continue to define the relation between India and Pakistan. They may be our neighbors, but in essence of what our ancestors achieved and believed and the meaning behind Pakistan, India and Pakistan will always remain two very distinctly separate entities on the world map, till the end of time.
-Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (19--)"
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