Articles Comments

Pak Tea House » Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, History, Identity, Islam, Islamism, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, secular Pakistan, secularism » Nations within a Nation – The Search for a Pakistani Nation – 2

Nations within a Nation – The Search for a Pakistani Nation – 2

 By Adnan Syed

“Indeed, world is ruled by little else but ideas.” — John Maynard Keynes

The Two Nation Theory and Inequality in the New State of Pakistan

The two nation theory was primarily based on distinctive majority-two-nations within United India. The distinction was cultural as well as religious, where both of these characteristics freely overlapped each other. Given the dominance of religion within the edifice of the Muslim nation, it was inevitable that religion will form a large part in the new nation state that was carved due to the Muslim nation identity. And given a strong tradition of political Islam within the Muslim body, it was inevitable that the very political Islam will find its way through the vague contours of the shifting idea of an Indian Muslim nation that was formed mainly as a reaction to the changing landscape of nineteenth and twentieth century India.

Since Pakistan was a political unit demanded by the sudden rise in Indian Muslim nationalism in a span of 7 years, it remained a reactive idea. It was an alternative to recognition of the Muslim nation; and when that recognition was denied, Pakistan was born. And this is where the reactive nature of the idea became its own worst enemy. Since events transpired so quickly in those momentous seven years from 1940 to 1947, Muslim League remained focused on their immediate goal of winning recognition of a Muslim nation within United India, it likely never completely delved into the details of governing the new Muslim state.

 

When the new nation is formed around an ideal of cultural and religious identity, ML leadership found it hard for the new state to not turn and impose the very religious inspired identity upon all who live inside the boundaries of the newly formed nation. The very violation (or the perception of violation) of equality is what gave rise to the newly formed nation state of Pakistan. What Pakistani founders failed to realize was that if the new found state is to repeat the same mistake, its sub nations will feel immediately threatened, in a way similar to how Muslims felt due to perceived Hindu dominated India. As it happened, new nations within Pakistan did quickly rise to protect their interests and ideals.

Suddenly it becomes clear what Jinnah was thinking on August 11, when he all but proclaimed Pakistan as a secular state. He probably had a good idea of what would entail if Pakistan would opt for the route of an Islamic state. He knew firsthand the ferocity of nationalism when recognition is denied and core ideals of nations within a nation are threatened. And he knew well that nationalism based on other identities can be extremely potent and infectious. Proclaiming Pakistan as a secular state did not negate the idea of Pakistan. It was a perfectly sound continuation of an idea of Pakistan that was rooted in perceived inequality. That Pakistan was never a certain outcome was certain. But once Pakistan became a reality, it was imperative that it did not follow the very mistake that became its reason of existence.

Alas, the founding fathers of Pakistan never followed through on Jinnah’s speech of August 11. They either failed to see that precluding all Pakistanis from equality irrespective of their faith and caste will give rise to further nationalism within the new state of Pakistan. Or maybe they naively believed that Islam would allow complete equality to Muslims and non Muslims.

Jinnah was the visible exception as we hear him say again and again that the new nation was not going to be a theocratic state. He clearly said that religion would have nothing to do with the affairs of the state. But we also hear him invoking Islam during the movement for Pakistan. Jinnah used Islam to unite the Muslim polity. This was an expensive bargain; to invoke Muslims as a nation, he had to call on for Islamic principles that Muslims can relate to. Otherwise, the free-flowing multi-dimensional identities of Indian Muslims (cultural, lingual, regional) would overwhelm their collective Indian Muslim identity. He valiantly tried to keep the Muslim nationalism separate from Islamic theocracy. But he probably did not realize that invoking religious bedrock for a nation was that huge of a bargain. To complicate the matters, right after partition, all religious parties jumped into the cracks between Muslim and Islamic nationalism, stoking the uncertainty even further, and highlighting the Islamic angle of the movement at the cost of Muslim nationalism movement.

If Jinnah occasionally wavered in resolving the contradictions between the demands of Muslims and inequality inside a theocratic state, his comrades completely dropped the ball after his death. Within 6 months of his death, the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was passing a resolution assigning sovereignty to Allah and holding Islamic laws as a guideline for the future constitution of Pakistan. Except one, all of Jinnah’s colleagues voted for Objectives Resolution. By embarking Pakistan on the path of an Islamic state, founding fathers were sowing the seeds of distrust and fears within the nation of Pakistan, which was composed of various sub-nations primarily along ethnic lines. Maulana Abu-al-Ala Moudoudi, who correctly saw the creation of Pakistan as a product of Muslim nationalism (“chaste prostitution” he scoffed once on this very idea) jumped in as the Muslim League failed to follow through on making Pakistan an equal for all Muslim majority nation. MJ Akbar rightly said that Moudoudi’s children wrested Pakistan from Jinnah’s children. But Jinnah’s children repeatedly catered to Moudodi’s children because they never ever realized that negating Pakistan as an Islamist state was never ever a violation of the raison d’être of Pakistan.

Once Pakistan tried to impose Pakistani nationalism with a healthy dose of religion mixed in, minorities either fled the country, or rose against it. East Pakistan rebelled against the unjustness inside the nation of Pakistan, as it feared (rightly or wrongly) that its cultural identity will yield to the religious-nationalist Pakistani identity. East Pakistan was gone within 24 years of the birth of Pakistan.

Recognizing the Nation of Nations that is Pakistan

Still some 63 years after its birth, as Pakistan struggles to define itself as a nation, it is never too late to realize that Pakistan is a nation of many nations. It may also want to hark back to its origins and see that the perception of injustice and failure to recognize the identity of an Indian Muslim nation is what gave birth to Pakistan. That this 160 million strong nation of diverse nations cannot exist if it doesn’t accord equality as equal Pakistanis. However the religious discourse in Pakistan is so strong that even though Pakistan feels its inherent contradictions, it is powerless to do anything about it. There is a violent Baloch uprising going on, and Sindhi nationalism is kept at bay only by a party led by Sindhis that has strong appeal throughout Pakistan. If democracy is derailed once again, there is no telling how ferocious Sindhi nationalism will be against the state of Pakistan.

There are no fast and easy answers to the conundrum that is the Pakistani state. Pakistan did not get here overnight and will not heal quickly as well. However, in my humble opinion, if Pakistan has to survive as a viable state, the strong religious induced Pakistani nationalism that is threatening smaller nations within Pakistan needs to be checked by Pakistanis themselves. This is easier said than done. So let’s start with the basic lessons from history:

1) For smaller nations within the union of Pakistan to have any say, it is imperative that democracy must continue. Too many of unelected leaders (General Sher Ali and others of Yahya’s rule, General Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamist coterie) have reinforced the so called Islamist ideology of Pakistan, thereby threatening the smaller nations within the union, and weakening the foundations of the Pakistani state. Only continued democracy can ensure representation of all nations; allowing proper representation is the first step in recognizing the rights of a nation.

2)  The nation of Pakistan is simply a second derivative of various ethnic nations. There is no top down ideology of Pakistan, except a simple pledge to all of its nations that their culture, language, and rights are guaranteed by the state of Pakistan. Therefore Pakistan must realize that the idea of a religious narrative and a central language for the nation is perceived as a violation of the rights of the very nations that make up Pakistan. And if the history is any guide, perception is everything when it comes to national causes.

 3) Keynes famously said that ideas of economists and political philosophers are more powerful than commonly understood. Indeed, world is ruled by little else but ideas. The idea of an equal and secular Pakistan for all Pakistanis, independent of the religious ideology, is far more powerful than any of us realize. Today, Pakistan still has a free press, a working democracy and an independent judiciary. This environment, if allowed to continue, will spur critical thinking and introspection, and will allow the inherent contradiction of the official narrative to come under intense scrutiny. Eventually, this atmosphere of free exchange of ideas should look at Jinnah and his view on secularism. Our founders talked about Islam as embodying the principles of “equality, fraternity and social justice”. But they explicitly negated theocracy. Their idea of a moderate Islam as a guiding light for a fair and just society was far removed from the theocratic state that Moudoudi or other ulema wanted. Today, we understand the free flowing overlap a bit better that obscured religious and social lines for the Indian Muslim. We can take a step further 63 years later, and say that we do not need to carry the religion bogey carried by our founders to justify equality anymore. Separating religion from politics is the first step towards making all Pakistanis equal.

 4) The birth of a nation state is a result of the binding of a nation around a cause. When a country turns around to deny the very justice for all of its inhabitants in the new state, then it begins living in contradiction. Pakistan’s salvation, at the end, will lie in the lessons gleaned from its birth.

(Concluded)




Written by

Filed under: Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, History, Identity, Islam, Islamism, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, secular Pakistan, secularism · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

1,187 Responses to "Nations within a Nation – The Search for a Pakistani Nation – 2"

  1. Werkstaetten Canada Safari  Android 2.2 Desire_A8181 Build/FRF91 says:

    Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful info specifically the last part :
    ) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular
    information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

    Also visit my web page; Werkstaetten

  2. seer Germany Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Islam is based on many deceits and self-deceits from its very beginning and hence Pakistan too.

    Lies always entail newer and more vicious lies.
    If you lie once, then you have to lie many many more times in order to “protect” this lie.
    Then all these lies become part of your “genius” or “personality” and also of your descendants.

    Islam, muslims, Pakistan – that is the exemplification of what happens when lies are not stopped but glorified.

  3. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Ahmedabad: A father of five burnt alive two of his daughters after pouring petrol on them near Ahmedabad police CID office.

    “We have booked Govind Rathod for murdering his two daughters by pouring petrol on them and setting them afire. Further investigations are on to ascertain what was the motive behind his act,” Meghaninagar police inspector DA Desai told PTI.

    According to the complaint, Govind Rathod, a resident of D-Colony in Naroda area, took his two daughters Neha and Punam in his autorickshaw, after telling his wife Indu that he would drop them off at their school.

    Most Recent
    Cleveland kidnapper Castro insists he is ‘not a monster’
    Ahmedabad father sets two young daughters on fire
    “Instead of taking them to school, he drove the autorickshaw near the police CID office, at the Meghaninagar area, poured petrol on his vehicle when his daughters were in it and set it ablaze,” Mr Desai said, adding that both the girls died on the spot.

    People who had gathered there grabbed Govind who tried to flee the spot and handed him over to the police. “We have arrested Govind and started investigating why he killed his own daughters,”

  4. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as
    you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a
    blog site? The account aided me a appropriate deal.

    I were a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided shiny clear idea

  5. That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate information… Many thanks for
    sharing this one. A must read article!

  6. queratocone China Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I got this web site from my buddy who shared with me on the topic of this site and at the moment this time I am visiting this web site
    and reading very informative posts at this time.

  7. What’s common btwn nuclear fission and Islam.In nuclear reaction its the spontaneous splitting of atoms,it’s a chain reaction of atom splitting another and so on and on .so is islam to cover one lie allah alias mohd has another in is sleeves.Islam and nuclear bombs are dangerous to humanity.u can put bombs in safe silos but want to do this human bombs
    both are against humanity

  8. Danelle Spain Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    Useful information. Lucky me I found your site

    accidentally, and I’m shocked why this twist of
    fate did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  9. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your post seem to be running off the screen
    in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or
    something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post
    to let you know. The design and style look great though!
    Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Kudos

  10. My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog.

    He was entirely right. This put up truly made my day. You cann’t consider just how a lot time I
    had spent for this info! Thank you!

  11. Merrill Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    At this time it seems like BlogEngine is the top blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using
    on your blog?

  12. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your
    site is

    magnificent, as well as the content!

    my page: http://mabeldupreeof.soup.io/?sessid=b15869fcb05b84e45ad901dfa00b979e

  13. Sienna France Google Chrome Windows says:

    Can I simply say what a aid to search out someone who

    actually is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet.
    You

    undoubtedly know learn how to convey a difficulty to

    gentle and make it important. Extra people need to read this

    and perceive this side of the story. I cant consider youre no
    more

    popular since you undoubtedly have the gift.

  14. Madie France Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Hello there, You have performed an excellent
    job.

    I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest

    to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this web site.

  15. I’m excited to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time
    for this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every bit
    of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new stuff
    on your website.

    My blog post pedagang selimut

  16. My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking into your web page for a second time.

  17. If you wish for to grow your know-how only keep visiting this web site and be updated with the
    most recent news posted here.

  18. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and
    I’m impressed! Extremely helpful info specifically the closing section :) I care for
    such info a lot. I used to be seeking this certain info for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

    Here is my web blog – Http://Smslan-Se.Com

  19. viagra 100ml China Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Wow! After all I got a weblog from where I can really take valuable information concerning my study and knowledge.

  20. Helpful information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I’m shocked why this
    accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

    Here is my site mobile phone calls to pakistan

  21. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post
    is written by him as nobody else know such detailed
    about my difficulty. You are incredible! Thanks!

  22. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter
    group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

  23. pirate bay Ukraine Google Chrome Windows says:

    DASHCOM websites are springing up all around the world.
    Just want . link is on Piratebay doesn’t imply that the users are getting,
    and hence, the flawed data. Trading invites a number of
    sites is extremely frowned upon inside exclusive Bit – Torrent community because it allows
    anti-piracy groups to infiltrate private trackers with less effort.

  24. twitter.com Google Chrome Windows says:

    VPN güvenli bir tünel oluşturur Internet’e gönderilen ve alınan tüm veriler şifrelenir.
    Diğer bölümler, örneğin IPD ve VPN de
    mütevazı bir büyüme hızına yakın gelecekte.
    önde gelen BT devleri getirdiklerine SSL VPN çözümleri kuruluşların yardımcı olacak
    Onların işle ilgili önemli bilgiler.

    My web-site vpn siteleri (twitter.com)

  25. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our
    community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on.
    You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  26. When someone writes an article he/she keeps the idea of a user in his/her brain
    that how a user can understand it. So that’s why this post is outstdanding.
    Thanks!

    Check out my page – Get More Information

  27. Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have book marked it for later!

  28. What’s up friends, its fantastic article about tutoringand fully defined, keep it up all the time.

  29. Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem along with
    your web site in internet explorer, would test this?
    IE still is the market chief and a big element of
    other folks will omit your wonderful writing due to this
    problem.

  30. Personalized playing cards are affordable ways to remindmomhow much she is loved and
    appreciated. This is a fortunate time to be component of any
    team work. Return the rest to their box and set them apart.

    Feel free to visit my weblog AskNow Psychics Reviews

  31. Website design basics take many things into account such as colors and
    designs as well as adding material that the search engines will be able to find.
    The strategies should be explained to the designer so that
    the designing is done accordingly. But this article is not so much about how to HTML as it is why HTML.

    my homepage: Jacksonville Sunshine State World Wide Web Designs

  32. Awesome article.

    Here is my web site: search phrase leads

  33. Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this
    technological world the whole thing is available on web?

    Here is my web blog This Web page

  34. It’s amazing designed for me to have a web page, which is valuable in favor
    of my know-how. thanks admin

    My site … erectile dysfunction brazilian keratin treatment detroit

  35. I pay a visit each day a feew sites and sites to read posts, howver this
    website presents quality based writing.

    Heere is my web site: luxury destinations

  36. It’s actually very complicated in this busy life to listen news on TV,
    therefore I only use internet for that reason, and get the newest news.

    Here is my web blog; search engines alike

Leave a Reply

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>