The Two Nation Theory

i) Sir Syed Ahmed Khan: The man who spoke first the Muslims as a “nation” in the modern times was none other than Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. In 1867, he said: “I am convinced that both these nations will not join whole heartedly in anything. At present there is no open hostility between the two nations. But on accounts of so called educated people it will increase in the future. ” Analyzing on the demand of Indian National Congress for introduction of parliamentary elections he said: “The proposals of congress are exceeding expediently for a country which is inhabited by two different nations.

Now suppose if the English leave India who would be the ruler of India? Is it possible under these circumstances that the two nations, the Indians and the Muslims would sit on the same throne? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should surrender the other. To hope that both would remain equal is to desire the impossible. ” ii) Allama Iqbal: He was a great philosopher and political thinker. He had studied Islam deeply and had profound likening for the Islamic principles.

He compared the western culture with Islam and reached the conclusion that the welfare of mankind laid in the adoption of Islam as a way of life. He awakened the Muslims of the subcontinent and asked them to struggle for a separate homeland. This he did through his poetry. He said: “I am fully convinced that the Muslims of India will ultimately have to establish a separate homeland as they cannot live with Hindus in United India. ” Allama Iqbal openly negated the concept of one nation and emphasize on the separate national identity of Muslims.

He was against the separation of religion from politics: “India is a continent of human beings belonging to different languages and religions. To base a constitution on the conception of homogenous India is to prepare her for civil war. I, therefore demand a separate Muslim state in the best interest of the Muslims of India and Islam. ” The Allahabad address: The Allahabad address of Allama Iqbal carries great importance in the freedom struggle of the Muslims of India. In his presidential address he classified the two nation theory and demanded a separate homeland for the Indian Muslims.

He said: “I declare that the protection of the separate identity is in the best interest of Hindus and the Muslims. Since the Muslims of the sub-continent are a separate nation with their distinct culture and religious values and they wanted to have a system of their own liking, they should be allowed to live under such a system in a separate state comprising of north western frontier province Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan. ” The spirit which Iqbal infused in the Muslims by his Allahabad address developed into an ideological basis for the Pakistan movement.

The famous Pakistan resolution passed on March 23, 1940 at Lahore was in fuel based on Allama Iqbal’s presidential address of Allahabad. iii) Quaid-i-Azam: Quaid-i-Azam gave practical shape to the ideology given and enunciated by Allama Iqbal. He was at last successful in convincing the Hindus and the British of the reality of two nation theory and the Pakistan ideology. Jinnah, after entering into politics advocated Hindu-Muslim unity. He wanted joint effort of Hindus and Muslims. Thus, he came to be known as the “Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”.

Lakhnow pact became possible for his sincere acts in (1916) but later on he was greatly disappointed by the prejudicial attitude of Hindus and Congress towards Muslims. Now Jinnah believed that Congress will never recognize rights of Muslims. He said in the second round table Conference (1931). “I want to inform everybody openly that the Hindu-Muslim dispute must be settled before the enforcement of any system or constituent. Until you cannot provide guarantee for the safeguard of the Muslims interests, until you do not win their co-operation, any constituent you enforce shall not last for even 24 hours. Jinnah was a firm advocate of two-nation theory. On March 23, 1940 he said: “It has been taken mistakenly that the Muslims are a minority. They are not a minority.

They are a nation by all definitions. By all canons of international law we are a separate nation from Hindus. ” In 1942 he said: “We are a nation with our distinct culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendars, history…we have our own outlook on life and of life. He further defined the two nation theory, “The Muslims are a nation by every right to establish their separate homeland. They can adopt any mean to promote and protect their economic, social, political and cultural interests. ” In 1942 he said: “Islam teaches equality, justice and fair play with everyone. We should base our democracy on the principles and concepts of Islam. ” He said on 1947 at Islamic College Peshawar: “We did not want Pakistan to have a piece of land simply but we wanted a laboratory where we could experiment the Islamic principles. ” Syed – Iqbal – Jinnah: from unity stance to separatism.

Introduction: Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allama Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah are considered as the key personalities in the history of Muslim nationalism in the sub-continent. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan gave the idea of the two nations, Allama Iqbal dreamed a separate homeland for the Muslims in the basis of this theory and Jinnah made it a reality. But the history is self evidence of the facts that Syed, Iqbal and Jinnah, originally, were not in favor of separatism but the conditions were created in which they were forced to shift from unity stance to separatism. Let us now see why Muslim leaders changed their stance.

Sir Syed: Sir Syed — the pioneer of Aligarh Movement, is criticized by some Hindu Historians as anti-Hindu or a narrow communalist in his outlook. This can be repudiated by the fact that, his efforts were decelerated towards the promotion and advancement of all his countrymen, with of course a special reference to the position of Muslims as they were the fallen community. The translation society established at Ghazipur in 1964 which later on developed into Aligarh scientific society, whose object was to translate European literature into Urdu was being managed by Syed Ahmad’s life long friend ‘Raja Kishan Das.

Similarly the British Indian Association established in 1866, with the object of keeping in touch with the members of the House of Common was composed of both Hindus and Muslims. He was evidently not addressing his own community when at the inauguration of the British Indian Association he said, “The Indians (Hindus and Muslims) are loyal to the British. ” The year 1867 is particularly significant in the life of Indian Muslims.

Syed Ahmed Khan was posted at Banaris when he sent a communication to the viceroy suggesting the establishment of a Vernacular University and a bureau of translation to translate University text books into Urdu. As a counter proposal that the Urdu language written in Persian script should he discontinued in the government courts and therefore should be replaced by Hindi Language written in Devaragri script. It was the first occasion when he felt that it was now impossible for the Hindus and Muslims to progress as a single nation and for anyone to work for both of them.

Simultaneously, he met the commission of Banaris and discussed the problems of Muslim education. The British official was surpassed at the change and said: “Hitherto, you have always been keen at the welfare of Indians in General; this is the first occasion that I have heard about the progress of Muslims alone. ” He also said, “Hindu and Muslims are like the two eyes of a beautiful bride” Allama Iqbal: Allama Iqbal was a poet and philosopher of India. He too was an ardent advocate of Indian Nationalism and Hindu Muslim unity in his early career.

He was shifted from this stance in England during his study of western nationalism. The local political situation and Hindu Muslim siftS left its impression over his mind. But the thing which transformed him from a great exponent of Indian nationalism to the advocate of Indian nationalism and pan-Islamic was the modern nationalism which had divided nations into warring groups resulting into two world wars. This was a positive approach. He wanted to solve Hindu-Muslim problems for once and all.

In his early career he did his utmost to integrate Indian nations, but the time proved that his spiritualism and ideological change was the exigency of the time. In 1909, when he was invited to Amritsar to attend a meeting of a cosmopolitan organization with the membership opened to the Hindus and the Muslims. Iqbal; politely declined the invitation and in the course of correspondence that ensured, he wrote: “I have myself been of the view that religious differences should disappear from the country, and even now I act on this principle in my private life.

But now, I think the preservation in their separate nation enclitics in desirable for both the Hindus and Muslims. The vision of a common nationhood for India is a beautiful idea, and has a poetic appeal but looking to the present conditions and the unconscious trends of the two communities this idea appears incapable of fulfillment. Jinnah: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who led the battle for the creation of Pakistan, was however quiet a late convert to the creed of Pakistani nationalism. He strived for a long time for a ‘modus ivendi’ between Hindus and Muslims in an undivided India. He was described by Mrs. Sarojai Naido as the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. Gopal K. Gokhle was a literal leader of Indian national Congress who emphasized Hindu Muslim unity and under his influence Jinnah joined Indian National Congress in hope to bring the two communities into closer accord. From 1906 to 1920, when he left the Congress Jinnah stood for separate electorates not so much to strengthen the Muslims separatist tendency, but to bring them upon the economic and cultural level of the rest of the Indians.

His efforts in the direction of Hindu-Muslim unity were unquestioned. Even when the relations between Hindus and Muslims were steadily deteriorating despite numerous efforts made between 1921 and 1928 to bring the two nationalities together, Jinnah’s faith in Hindu Muslim unity did not weaken. But the cunningness of the Nehru report and later events slowly and gradually transferred this ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity to an extreme concept of Muslims separatism in India.

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