An Insight through past to Future
The past of disillusioned Pakistan: In search of Ideology
“ We have united India and given her that sense of nationality which she so very largely lacked over the previous centuries. She has learned from us principles of democracy and justice. When Indians attack our rule, they base their attack, not on Indian principles, but on the basis of standards derived from Britain”- Clement Attlee
In his maiden speech of 15th July,1946, made after the request of opposition leaders pertaining to their questions, before sending the Cabinet Mission to India, the then Prime Minister of Britain, Mr. Clement Attlee said, “ We have united India and given her that sense of nationality which she so very largely lacked over the previous centuries. She has learned from us principles of democracy and justice. When Indians attack our rule, they base their attack, not on Indian principles, but on the basis of standards derived from Britain”. Many will surely agree that India got the principles of democracy, freedom, justice, equality and liberty from Imperial rulers. Certainly without any doubt, Indian sub-continent in the past also, had came across efforts to unite the whole sub-continent in single unit. May it be The Mauryas, The Guptas or later the Mughals, but the efforts always left by a short distance. It was the British Rule which successfully united the people, though the unity was against the rule itself. On the eve of 14th August and 15th August, 1947, Britishers left the sub-continent leaving behind their legacy, divided amongst two Nations that is, India and Pakistan.
Picture: Jinnah arguing Gandhiji. Smoking is considered as “Haram” in islam.
History always marks a person with questions initiating with “ What if ”. Today, Pakistan stands at an opprobrium where the globe is questioning the reason behind its chaotic development. Both countries, vis-a-vis India and Pakistan, inherited the same political order aspiration, of being democratic, but if one ask what led to such a vast differentiation (in present context)? the answer would certainly be “The Vision”. The father of Pakistan, ‘ Quaid-e-Azam’ Mohammad Ali Jinnah was able to form Pakistan in only seven years. The first time the two nation theory was officially articulated in 1940 ( as officially accepted by Jinnah and his sister Fatima Jinnah). The main motive behind the formation of Muslim League (ML) was to counter the overwhelming support to the Congress party. It is quite astonishing that ML born after the Swaraj Movement in which Muslims participated equally with the Hindus. The British government understood very well the political risk of the unity and prognosticated the baby of ML and furthering with Indian Council Act 1909 by granting communal awards. Now following it is quite lucid to understand the perception of Britisher’s plenipotentiaries had towards the idea of ML. Jinnah, when in Congress, was part of the moderates and questioned Gandhiji’s every move to arouse masses to subvert the Crown. Professionally, Jinnah was western educated and qualified profound lawyer and hence was much like, “ .. interpreters between us (Britishers) and the millions (Indians) who we govern; a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect..”, Macaulay’s creation. Furthermore it is very astonishing fact that Jinnah left India in 1929 and came back in 1935, just before the 1937 elections. Many scholars believe it was the rhetoric and back-channeling by the British government in order to have inimical answer of growing Hindu – Muslim unity as they found Jinnah more egregious than Mohammad Shafi (another profound ML leader). Though, ML was not able to perform in 1937, but later in 1945 it delivered Britishers the much awaited seed of Separation.
Jinnah and ML did not have any plans for the creation of Pakistan. It is clear from the Jinnah’s and Fatima’s acquiescence of the fact that they never expected to see Pakistan in their lifetime. The inception of Pakistan was out of the insistence by Britishers and it is lucent that even Jinnah never thought much about the actual meaning of Pakistan. Furthermore, the struggle of ML was with Congress, never had been a time when Jinnah or any prominent leader of ML went to jail unlike Congress, which was fighting the imperialism, and Gandhiji, Nehru, Patel and others went to jail a number of time. Pakistan was given as a gift to Jinnah for standing by and to serve future strategic interest of the Britishers and later, the US.
The status quo of Pakistan is in conjunction with its inability to find the raison d’être. As discussed above, even Jinnah had many reservations regarding the demand of separate state. He just wanted to have separate state for Muslim majority regions (51%) and never expressed about those regions where Muslims were not in majority. Apart from that, many a times he contradicted his own vision. During one of the ML meetings before independence he expressed his view to have constitution as per Shari’ah law but later in his maiden speech in Pakistan (after independence) he went on with the perception of secular Pakistan. It was quite unfortunate for Pakistan to lose Jinnah in a year of formation. The death of Quaid-e-Azam had delusional impact on the future of Pakistan, leaving behind no leadership apart from Liaquat Ali Khan (assassinated in 1951). With no presence of legitimate and prominent leadership, Pakistan was ready for a blind and ominous Journey.
Islamisation was predominant and utmost characteristic of ML early vision. It was the only key jewel which made it Muslim representative in 1945 elections. After losing the only leaders, the new self proclaimed leaders who were unexperienced took the flambeau towards Islam. The delay in making constitution (1956) makes the perception more concrete. The constitution so made remained a dead letter and paved the way for opportunist Army chief Ayub Khan, trained under the British Armed Forces, to feat Pakistan’s first Military Coup. Ayub Khan toppled the civilian government under the garb of growing resentment towards maladministration. This gave the opening for the future coups, some successful and unsuccessful, but ruined the political structure of the Pakistan. Furthermore, the war with India, Kashmir issue and the Islamic concept of ‘Kufr’ (infidels) led to the pre-dominant disposition of Army. The dominance of Army was present from the early Britishers period as the North Western Frontier Province, Punjab, Sind and Bengal were the key regions of army recruitment. At the time of independence Pakistan got dominant army (as compare to then civilian government) which overshadowed the region. The early wars cemented the need of having strong army, at least to the limit to deter India. This perception of the leaders forced Pakistan to join American led CENTO and SEATO, while India preferred NAM. Joining these NATO’s overshoot seemed fructuous as it made Pakistani leaders feel secure, against aggressive India, and concomitantly modernising the army. During the early days army was maintained in a professional hierarchy but later led to Islamisation. Force of religion or the so called concept of ‘Jihad’ made army more aggressive towards the civilian government.
Till recently, Pakistani leaders, just to gratify the urges of people aroused on the ideological disillusionment, link Ideology of Pakistan to the Islamic Identity. It is quite astonishing that Jamaat-e-Islami, the group which was also representing Muslims in undivided India, never wanted to have a separate state under the garb of Religion. The Islamic factor, albeit, helped in amassing crowd during the ML sessions, but the same crowd failed to connect themselves later on as Muslims of different ethnic linguistic groups came together. At the time of birth, Pakistan became amalgamation of people from different ethnicities. The Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa is region made up of mainly Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan, Balochistan of Balochis, Sindh of Sindhis, Punjab of Punjabis, minority group of Serkai, the Mujahirs who settle in the Sindh region and Bengali Muslims of East Pakistan. These people were not politically active, except of the landlords and the regions were already predominately Muslims. After partition when forced with Islamic identity other than the ethnic-linguistic identity made then elusive. The Muslim identity propaganda worked well in the Hindu majority regions, but after forming Muslim state the issues of ethnicity, culture, and language emerged. Since then these regions are in tumultuous volatility and searching their lost identity. That apart, when Punjabis started condescending the people of other provinces and took prominent positions in the political structure and used it in favour of the province depriving others of their fair-share, led the power struggle and this led to arrival of reservation formulae. This all happened due to the negatory and reluctance to accept identity other than Islam.
The jealousy aggravated when India contributed in liberating East Pakistan. In fact, the separation of East Pakistan was long due. There was contrast between the two Pakistan in terms of culture, language, and perception of Islam. West Pakistan was dominated by the view of Punjabi muslims. They considered themselves superior or ‘Martial’ than the rest but the sense of political awakening and spirit of constitutionalism was more in East Pakistan, owing to the active political activity in undivided Bengal. In terms of economy, the demands of East Pakistan were never met, even though East Pakistan contributed more to economy than the West. The final blow came when the Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, even after winning election was discarded by the West. Then Army chief Yahya Khan, successor of Ayub Khan, started army crackdown over the people and supporters of Awami League (Rahman’s party). Later on with the political aptness then Prime Minister of India Mrs.Indira Gandhi sent army to help Rahman. 1971 separation fractured Pakistani Vision and questioned the pre-dominant position of Army. The defeat further added another clause of animosity in the minds of Pakistani progeny.
To be continued..
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