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Tow nation theory


à Ideology of Pakistan

à Pakistan, an ideological state

à Islamic concept of nation and nationality and Pakistan ideology.


By no stretch of imagination can a life without purpose be deemed fruitful. This is true of nations as of individuals. In the ultimate analysis, the obsessions deter of a nation and defined and determined by the ideals to which its members subscribe. And ideals alone endow a nation with a sense and tenacity of purpose, to pursue diligently and resolutely the goals it has set before itself.

Despite the widespread Machiavellian philosophy, few indeed, could afford to ignore the dire need, for passing a policy on the highest ideals of righteousness and justice. The democrat waste for instance has established a code of morality if its own, derived from its particular individualistic, historical experience. Not with standing the claim of west to a secular orientation, their code has been profoundly influenced by Christian ethics and morality. Same is the case in the Barbua or some other countries where Buddhism has provided the ethical code to the people. Similarly Islam provides ethical bases of life to the Muslim nation. To the Muslims, Islam is more than a religion against the perception of the west. Rather it provides a complete code of life and addresses the individual and collective life. It is a set of beliefs which produces a forum, to a group of people having common interest to achieve certain goals.

Thus, Islam embraces social, political, cultural and economic aspects of human life.


Ideology of a nation may lie defined as: “the representative of its socio-politico-economics moods and orders. It always reflects the state of people’s mind, their emotions, feelings, hopes, aspiration, ideas and objectives. In nut shell, it reflects the touch stone on which a nation is oriented. The worth of ideology depends upon the extent the people’s dedication to it.

Pakistan --- an ideological state:

Pakistan claims itself to lay an ideological state because it is founded on a certain specific ideology-the ideology of Islam. It came into being because Muslims of the Indo-Pak subcontinent developed a specific attitude of mind-and attitude which was determined by the consciousness of certain principles or objectives which they felt must be realized. These were the eternal spiritual and ethical values of Islam.

Islam gives ethical bases of life to the Muslim nation. To them Islam is more than a religion as considered in the western sense. It is in fact a complete code of life which embraces social, political, economic and cultural aspects of human behaviors.

Ideology of Pakistan:

The ideology of Pakistan, the overwhelming Muslim country is ideology which comprises the dictates and sanctions which are attributed or prone to the Islamic concept of nation and that of state.

i) Muslim nationhood:

As regards the Muslims, their basis of nationhood is neither geographical boundaries nor social or linguistic similarities but their religion-Islam. All Muslims are a nation without any distinction. This is the first principle of Pakistan ideology on which Quaid-i-Azam demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent. To Pakistan, Islam is the basis of ‘Nationalism’.

II) Islamic state:

The ideology of Pakistan is based on the principles and ideals of Islam. Islam is the ideal for which Muslims struggled and on which the ideals on the newly born nation were based.

III) Ancient ideology:

Ideology of Pakistan- the Islamic way of life is not something life a manifesto that Pakistanis adopted in the morrows of their freedom. On the country, it is as old as Islam itself. Indeed Indo-Pakistani Muslim emerged as a new nation because they had stood fast to this ideology. They founded a new state because they had described to enthrone the values underlying this ideology without being checked by the domination of other conflicting values.

It has been sufficiently warranted by the historical facts that not withstanding a thousand years of co-existence of the two communities-the Hindus and the Muslims, in the Indian subcontinent, they could not become harmonic, cohesive, was the expediency which was based on regionality. But this regionality could not become effective since the Muslim community is totally different from the Hindu society having its own moods and methods, names and nomenclature legends and heroes, language and literature, this concept of co-existence between them even at the regional levels could not prove a success. Thus they started their struggle for a separate homeland on the basis of Islamic ideology.

Islamic ideology:

Now the question is what is an Islamic ideology____ which led the Muslims if the subcontinent to demand a separate homeland.

Briefly described, it is a set of universal principles and pan-cultural values given by Islam for the social and moral guidance of mankind. First and for most among them is the belief in God and his supreme sovereignty.

Islam believes in the unity of mankind and brotherhood, in fundamental rights and freedom and equality.

Islam also stands for social and economic justice for one and all. The fortunate ones whether in wealth, knowledge, wisdom or fitness, in an Islamic society have a moral responsibility towards the unfortunate ones. The relations between the nations also demand justice and morality.

These in brief are the principles, the eternal values, underlying the Islamic ideology. For Pakistani, there are Islamic values because they have secured them through the agency of Islam. On the basis of these principles, the Pakistanis seek to build their national life and a good society.

Islamic democracy:

Pakistan, both at the time when it was demanded and when it became a political fact, was envisaged as an Islamic democracy. And in Pakistan, Islam is the only ethical element which alone could spell out the social significance of democratic dispensations.

Thus, Pakistan as an Islamic and democratic country was aspired by the Muslims and is envisaged in the ideology of Pakistan.

à Muslims ---- a different society from Hindus

à Factors responsible for the creation of Muslim Nationalism in India.


Pakistan ideology was based on the fact that the Muslims were a separate nation having their own culture, civilization, customs, literature, religion and way of life. They cannot be merged in any other nation because their philosophy of life is based on the principle Islam. Pakistan ideology was erected on the Two Nation Theory which meant that Hindus and Muslims were two separate and distinct nations. There is a general impression that the concept of Muslim nationalism in the Indian subcontinent arose as a result if certain developments in the twentieth century. History does not support this view. We can trace the roots of Muslim nationalism in the following factors.

Factors responsible for Muslim Nationalism:

I) Historical Factors:

The concept of Muslim nationalism is as old as Islam itself. It was Muhammad Bin Qasim who established the first Muslim empire in the subcontinent. Later on Sultanat of Delhi was established. Then came the great Mughals, who gave India peace and glory for two centuries. Muslims maintained their separate identity throughout the history. They were a separate nation. The Muslims were the rulers and the Hindus were their subjects. It was the rise of British which brought a change in the status of Hindus and Muslims.

This brought a new zeal to the Muslim nationalism because Muslims are there on the earth to rule.

II) Political factors:

Muslims came to India as conquers and had established an empire which lasted for hundreds of years. This factor molded their outlook in many ways. Imperialism and pride went hand in hand. In India, their imperial past produced among the Muslims a sense of pride. Hindus became loyal towards the British. Hindus tried utmost to dominate the Muslims as they were in minority. The political events of 20th century India brought a new unity among Hindus but it created fear and suspicion in the minds of the Muslims because of the events like partition of Bengal and congress attitude. Thus these political events enhanced the sense of Muslim Nationalism among Muslims.

III) Religious Factor:

Religion is an essential element of Indian nationalism and exerts decisive influence on the national life of the people. Earlier, Indian nationalism was both religious and (religion) and rural (anti-British). Both Hindus and Indian Muslims were based on religion. Hinduism is absolutely incompatible with Islam. It is based on caste system whereas, Islam advocates egalitarian society. In India, Pan-Islamism movement was initiated by Jamaluddin Afghani. The doctrine was that Muslims all over the world were brothers. In India, the doctrine had stronger appeal than in other countries.

IV) Cultural Factors:

The partition of India was due to the forces of cultural separation. Culture is a great determination of a nation which lives in the minds of the men and moulds their way of thinking. In India, Hindu and Muslim cultures existed ever since the Muslims came to India. The background and contents and colors of the two cultures were so different that they never evolved a common society. Their different cultural bodies preceded their political bodies.

The difference of language was another factor. Urdu was the language of the Muslims and Hindi, was of Hindus. The more the Hindus laid stress on Hindi, the greater emphasis the Muslims put on Urdu. Muslims claimed to be a separate nation. A nation was supposed to have a language of its own- Urdu was an important stimulant of Muslim nationalism. (Urdu Hindi Controversy)

V) Education:

In education, Muslims ideals differed from those of Hindus. On the begging, the Muslims were against English but Hindus adopted it quickly. Aligarh was the symbol of Muslim nationalism in the field of education and learning. Hindus opposed the establishment of Muslim University Aligarh and introduced Wardha Scheme which was against the Muslim ideals.

VI) Literature:

Muslim literary productions were of different nature, had a different background and were inspired by different sources- religion history, influence of Persian and Arabic. Hindus were inspired by ‘Kali Das Gupta’. In promotion of Urdu ‘Abdul Haq’, ‘Nazir Ahmed’, ‘Sir Syed’, ‘Shibli’, ‘Haali’, played a vital role.

VII) Philosophy:

Hindus looked to their own ancient philosophy just as the Muslims traced their intellectual ancestry to Muslims thinkers, like ‘Iqbal’, ‘Gazali’, ‘Farabi’, ‘Ibne Seena’, ‘Ibne Khuldoon’. Hindus got inspiration from, ‘Gandhi’, ‘Radha Krishen’.

VIII) Art:

Muslims looked towards Mughal buildings as their artistic heritage. Lal Qila, Taj Mehal and Badshahi Mosque are their master pieces. Art of miniature panting was introduced by ‘Shahmber’. Hindus were equally impressed by the architecture of South Indian temples.

IX) Psychological Factor:

The difference on psychology played an important role in the rise of Muslim nationalism. Their myths and symbols were different. The fear and insecurely among the Muslims and pride in their heroes was another factor of Muslim nationalism.

X) National Consciousness (spiritual factor):

The essence of nationality lies, above all the will to live together. Muslim nationalism had existed in history for a long time but t is only through consciousness or awakening of it, that it became the absolute factor. Muslim nationalism was the result, not even of shared territory but of consciousness. Material facts of course helped the configuration but the real driving impetus behind the movement was spiritual.


It was enough to have a common religion, common history or language. People must lie conscious about their past and future. This consciousness was a great force behind the Muslim nationalism.

Two Nation Theory:


Jinnah was not the first to call the Muslims of India a nation. Before him Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had addressed them as a “Qaum”___ an Urdu word which can be paraphrased as “nation”. The Agha Khan, Amir Ali and other often refered to their community as ‘nation’. But it was Jinnah who for the first time, proclaimed that India was inhabited by two distinct nations ___ Hindus and Muslims, which could not live together in one state.

Thus the two nation theory initiated by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and further expounded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his colleagues, became the future of the Muslims of India. It finally came to be announced on the eve of Pakistan resolution and culminated in the making of Pakistan ____ an independent state for the Indian Mohammedans.

The theory enunciated:

The most clear and emphatic exposition of the theory is to be found in statements and speeches of Jinnah. He was the main expounder of the theory who made most of the Muslims and even some Hindus to believe in the truth of two nation theory.

Jinnah said, Hindus and Muslims represented two different and distinct separate civilizations and in fact as different and distinct from one another in original tradition and manners of life as were the different European nations. In India there was a major and minor nation, and a parliamentary system based on principles of majority rule must in evitable mean the rule of the major nation. Therefore, Jinnah demanded the British government to evolve such a constituent that recognizes the fact that there were two nations in India, both of whom must share the government. Jinnah made it clear that Muslims of India were by no means a minority but a solid and distinct nation.

Lahore Resolution:

The resolution demanding the partition of the sub-continent, explains the theory in detail. Jinnah, in his presidential address at Lahore said.

“Not with standing a thousand years of close contact nationalities, which are as divergent today as ever, cannot at any time be expected to transform themselves into one nation, by subjecting them to democratic consolidation and holding them forcibly together by unnatural and artificial method of British Parliamentary status.

The problem of India is not inter-communal but it is inter-national one and it must be treated as such. Hindus and Muslims belonged to two different realities of religion, philosophy, history, social and moral standards, language and literature, and such diversity could never move into unity.

Quaid-i-Azam therefore, made it clear to the British, if she was really sincere to secure the peace and happiness of India, it should allow the major nations autonomous national states. Jinnah declared it many times.

“Muslims are a nation according to any definition of a nation and they must have their homeland, their territory and their state.”

To the Hindu objection, that the Muslims were mere invaders and outsiders and had thus no territorial right to India, Jinnah specified logically that if Muslims were invaders, so were the Aryans (Hindus). They were not the heirs of India.

External Evidence:

Not only Jinnah and Muslims were convinced to the two nation theory, but there are several other eternal evidences of the genuineness of the claim.

à India is a land of two nations.” (B.K. Krishna --- 1939)

à “The reality is that Muslims population in India ___ some 90 millions, with its own system of law and social organization, its own distinct language, and its own historical traditions prove to be a separate nation.” (Economist --- 1940)

Separate elections: Mandate of the two nation theory:

The demand of the separate electorates was a manifestation of Muslim feeling of separators and the announcement of two nation theory. The raison deter of separate electorates was an affirmation to the cause of separate homeland.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, for the first time demanded separate electorate for Muslims when not a single member from Muslims had been recommended for the council of United Provinces in 1892 elections. The argument of 1906 Simla Deputation was also the same. The demand of separate electorates was based on three grounds.

Ø Since, Muslims were in a minority in all but in two provinces, it was difficult for a Muslim candidate to be elected in the general elections owing to the existing state of tension between Hindus and Muslims.

Ø If, the two communities were not kept apart at the polls, every election would result in communal riots.

Ø Wherever the system of separate electorate had been introduced, it worked well and secured peace.

Muslims were given the right of separate electorate on the basis of their separate identity in the British Indian policy in Minto-Morley Reforms (1909) which were highly condemned by the Hindus. They opposed the system on purely national basis in India. They favored this system in cylone where they were in minority to safeguard their interests. But they revisited the system in India to laminate the whole sub-continent, since they were in majority here. Thus Muslims gradually with Hindus under one political roof.

The weight age – two nation theory remained the sheet-anchor of Muslim League policy till the late thirties, after which the faith in the concept of separate electorates disappeared and Muslims launched their struggle for establishing a separate Muslim state, and that is why Pakistan was a corollary to the system of separate electorate.

Congress and two nation theory:

Congress reaction towards the formula was irritating and by no means could she compromise further with this formula. The attitude of Congress further activated the Muslims towards separatism.


The two nation theory acted as a soul in the body of Pakistan movement. Without the two nation theory, the Muslim political nationalism would have never seen the reality of the day. How much fickle was the drama of independence that paved the way for creation of Pakistan. Not withstanding the struggle of Muslims for one hundred years. The Hindus themselves were responsible for the propagation of two nation theory. Had there been no genius of two nations in Hindus the result would have been different. In short, it was the reaction of Hindus themselves which strengthened the idea of two nations.


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