Pakistan: A Failure of Intellectuals

 BY AZHAR ASLAM AND SHERMEEN BANO (Cross-post from Vision21)

Every Identity has a history and so does that of Pakistan. It is short but tumultuous, although some say it was born with the conversion or settlement of the first Muslim in India. In truly modern sense though India was only itself born, when British firmly established their rule from Afghanistan to Burma, by 1890s. In the process of doing this however, they sowed the seed of national consciousness in the minds of Indians. British influence moulded Indian nationalism by omissions and commissions. However it inevitably also laid the seed of communalism, as different regions and nationalities in the sub continental melting pot, woke up to the British rule and demanded their rights.

Without going into the details, Muslim consciousness evolved from being Pathans, Mughals, Punjabis, Sheikhs, Bengalis etc ( term quam was used for all these), to a Muslim nation living in Hindustan. The two main definitions that competed for the attention and eventual adoption by Muslims were those of Azad and Deobandis on one hand and Sir Syed and Iqbal on the other. Azad and Deobandis believed that Muslims were not a minority in India and should stop seeing themselves as one. Muslims they argued were rather a part of a universal ummah, so where they lived did not matter much. Iqbal, like Sir Syed took a more practical line and they both wanted to firm up the place of Indian Muslims in the political setup of India while it was still within British Empire and after British had left.

It has been argued, however that even within this line of thinking Sir Syed’s understanding of community and his attention was focused on largely Urdu Speaking  Muslims in and around Central and northern India. Muslims of northwest and northeast India were peripheral to his concerns. In contrast Iqbal showed a genuine grasp of geography on politics and proposed geographically defined and limited states in the Northwest and Northeast. However the difference between these two could simply be down to the fact that Iqbal’s ideas were being proposed nearly 50 years after the time of Sir Syed, during which Muslims of India has experienced much. In any event this discussion is lea relevant here. What is important is that eventually it were these evolved ideas of Iqbal, in the line of Aligarh movement which took hold of Muslims imagination and belief and won the ground from Azad and Deobandis. Congress and Hindu’s obstinate and communal attitudes provided much needed help in engraving the ideas espoused by Iqbal, deeper onto Muslims consciousness.

In espousing these ideas, Iqbal had specifically argued that he was not following European ‘nationalism’ ideas (which he opposed because according to him it contained the germs of atheistic materialism which he saw as the greatest danger to humanity); but rather was taking a practical approach in that ‘the survival of Islam in India depended upon its centralization in a specified area’. But it was not only the survival he was concerned about. Being a much wiser and prescient man that he was, Humanity and Universalism were his concern. ‘ if you want to make it ( universalism)  an effective ideal and work it out in social life, you must start……….with a society… with a well defined creed and a well defined outline but ever enlarging… such a society.. is Islam’. (Letter to Nicholson). At the same time he distanced himself from Shariah inspired version of community that relied on ulema as well as Sufism. In fact in a letter to Nawab of Bahawalpur in 1938, he described Ulema and their attitudes as a threat to the Muslims of India.

Looking back now at his approach, three quarters of a century later, Iqbal essentially performed an Ijtihaad, in that he defined the limited political shape of Indian Muslims while aspiring for Universal values and ethos. He thereby made Islam’s universal values expressible in a form compatible with the modern idea of state. In other words he applied Islam in a new ‘time and space’. This was essentially without precedence in the Muslim history.

Iqbal believed that Islam constructed nationality out of a purely abstract idea, a common spiritual aspiration. The sense of solidarity among Muslims was due to a certain view of the world and a commitment to sacrifice ones’ life for this ideal. For Iqbal the territorial borders were essentially temporary devices destined over time to wither away by enlarging into a commonwealth of Muslims (first and then of whole world into a global Ummah of Humanity). For Iqbal religion was neither national, nor racial nor personal but purely human. Similar ideas in Christianity has been described a ‘agape’. We have called it Allah’s Paradigm at another place..

Jinnah gave these ideas and ideals practical shape, by appealing to Islamic universalism. He believed ardently in an indivisible Pakistani nationhood that was based on an absolute conviction in intrinsic excellence of the Islamic principles. Jinnah responding to Mountbatten had said:  ‘The tolerance and goodwill that the Emperor Akbar showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It dates back to thirteen centuries ago when our Prophet not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians after he had conquered them with the utmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faith and beliefs’. According to Dr Safdar Mehmood, Jinnah mentioned Islam as basis of Pakistan 101 times before partition and 14 times after partition. But the same Jinnah by articulating that religion had nothing to do with the affairs of the state, and that there were no concepts of theocracy in islam, was making it absolutely clear what his understanding of Islam was and was giving a voice to Iqbal’s ideals.

Jinnah and Iqbal clearly both saw an Islam that was free from the bounds of theocracy and tradition, influence of Arabian Islamic Imperialism and thus compatible with modernity and change. According to Iqbal Islam was not a religion in the ancient sense of the word. It is an attitude.. a protest… it is discovery of man’. In the state created in this image, it was indispensable that Islamic codes of public morality based on equality, justice, fair play, tolerance, and pluralism are implemented. Iqbal considered that acceptance of social democracy was a return to the original purity of Islam. Jinnah’s Islamic state stood for religious and cultural pluralism and peaceful coexistence. We have discussed these ideas at length in Quaid’s Islam.

Hence, formation of Pakistan was a joint venture and a shared dream of the political leaders and Muslim intellectuals of pre-partition India, led by Jinnah. This is not to say that there was uniformity or unanimity in every single idea or action. But there was certainly an undeniable singularity of purpose, intent and action, the like of which has been seldom seen in human history.

The idea of Pakistan was also a source of inspiration for Muslims intellectuals all over the world who were attracted to the potential of Muslim led state and Islamic renaissance. At the time of Pakistan’s independence, much of Muslim lands were still under colonial rule. Those who were independent in Arabia and Iran were under direct influence or control of the western powers. Turkey was the only other truly independent Muslim nation, but one who had denied its Muslim character and instead opted for a western based nationalism. Under these circumstances Pakistan was a beacon of hope for those Muslim intellectuals, who saw in its creation, the seed of Islamic renaissance and freedom of Muslims from the clutches of Ulema and Sufis.

This idealism took a severe knock however in the ensuing decade. Taken up by politicians, military dictators, ulema, nationalists and intellectuals of every following generation, Pakistan’ s identity as a Muslim State still continues to be marred by  controversies and disagreements on the very basics of this idea. Every generation of leaders has tried and tested their own versions of Muslim state and have failed miserably.  The upshot has been a failed state and an entire generation with confused identities.

So why has Pakistan failed to build the dream? We believe this is mainly, because we have lacked the intellectuals with this clear vision to provide underpinnings for materialization of this dream. A few with the vision have displayed the lack of the courage to stand up for it or took a social route for reform instead of political one and in this process have become voices in wilderness. Some such as Fazal ur rehman, suffered from the inaptitude of the politician and rulers who instead of aspiring to protect the ideals, simply took the easy route of succumbing to the political expediencies to protect their short-lived rules. Majority have simply been complicit with the rulers and served their interests.

While Mauduadi setup a political framework, for his flawed vision of an Islamic state, and every conservative traditionalists has political presence in Pakistan, people like Ghulam Pervaiz, Amin Islahi and Fazal Rehman stayed within academic bounds and social parameters with no political voices. In the present day people like Ghamidi, Riffat Hassan, Hoodbhoy etc continue on this course. Pakistan more than being the failure of politicians, military or bureaucracy has been the failure of intellectuals closely followed by judiciary. Had one honourable Justice stood up to the usurpers, history would have been very different.

With formation of Pakistan in 1947 followed by immediate death of Jinnah in 1948, leaders of the newborn state found themselves at a crossroads.  The country needed a constitution and that too an Islamic one. It has been argued that this was due to lack of local roots for the political leaders of the league. The needed ‘ Islamic legitimation’. However this argument appears spurious since had anyone at that stage tried to proclaim anything other than Islam, he would have been charged with hypocrisy at the least. Objectives resolution is considered by many as a victory for the Ulemas and Jamaatis. However some Like Mian Iftkihar voted against it as they considered it against the progressive and democratic dimensions of Islam. Even those who supported this were more inclined towards affirmation of Islamic ethos and social concerns rather than interested in particular legal injunctions.

Farzana Shaikh has called this a legacy of 19th century Indo-Muslim apologists. Historical objectivity however forces one to conclude that this was nothing but the real framework of understanding of Islam for League leaders, neither an apologetic attitude (which is frankly unconceivable in the presence of euphoria of victory of independence and creation of new state; rather such euphoria actually leads to firm faith in truth of one’s’ ideas and beliefs), nor a hypocritical accommodation, for which league leaders had little need in the first few years. Farzana Shaikh’s analysis casting aspersions on these individual’s motives is nothing more than a crude attempt from her own perspective rooted in probably her own weak personal identity.

The utopian discourses propagated during Pakistan Movement had to be now given a definite political form. While Islam was still recognized as the most essential coordinate for Pakistani identity, it was discord on the nature of Islam that eventually revealed the extent of disarray among Muslim leadership and intellectuals. From then on began the ambivalent relationship of Islam and state. The future of Pakistan, from then onwards, would see Islam reduced to a mere device in hands of politicians, so-called nationalists, ulema and intellectuals for furthering their personal agendas.

Hence the early years of Pakistan saw the failure of intellectuals in the foremost task at hand; development of a nation around defined Islamic ideals. While Deobandis, jamaatis, Ulemas and Pirs built on the readily available interpretation of Islam which suited their purposes and served their narrow interests, the legacy of Iqbal and Jinnah was not developed and nourished the way it should have been.

The fact that it took us nine years (India three) to formulate a constitution goes to show the level of ambiguity that was faced by the then leaders and intellectuals. This long period of uncertain ideals created an identity gulf that would continue to haunt our generations for years to come. More so, it opened up the arena for the very players that Jinnah had tried so hard to keep away from our state affairs.

So strong was the influence of Islamic rhetoric in the political language that by 1970’s Islam and state, developed a direct liaison under the Islamic socialism of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The only imprint of Islam on laws and functioning of Pakistani state till now had been limited to the commitment of upholding the Shariah and the title “Islamic Republic” (1956 constitution). However, Bhutto changed all this that. His regime engaged Islam and politics soon after the fall of Dhaka by making Islam the central element of all foreign policy, law making decisions and social and economic issues facing the country. But he too neglected the most fundamental of the requirements. Intellectual basis was neither encouraged nor supported.

Yet Islam still remained an open and forward looking faith for the citizens of the state during Bhutto’s era. It was Zia-ul-Haq who brought a backward looking Islam into the social sphere through advocating his ambition of founding complete Nizam-e-Mustafa. Zia’s Islamisation, solely intended for the consolidation of his own personal power, caused turmoil and created lasting fissures in the social, economic, legal and political structures of the country and society with far reaching destructive consequences. The country has since experienced sectarianism and disproportionately increased influence of theocracy. These eleven years of Ziaism finally put an end to Quaid’s Islam and established a state based on imperialistic and antiquated religious ideas of Ulema. Not as much by the force of argument but through the brute force of raw power and crude and unsophisticated tactics.

Paradoxically, however, it was under “Enlightened Moderation” of Musharraf’s military regime that Islam in Pakistan would experience the worst blow. Musharraf’s idea of enlightened moderation should have provided progressive and free thinking intellectuals, the freedom to develop their Islamic ideas in context of Pakistani nationhood and with respect to modern times.

However, it did exactly the opposite. Enlightened Moderation degenerated into a political farce. An intellectual orphan, whose sole purpose of existence, like Zia’s Islam, became to consolidate the power for Musharraf, it became an historical irony of the highest order. Two military leaders at either end of the democratic chaos enhanced and extended their rule by exploiting two contrasting interpretations of Islam. The irony is put into even sharper focus if one considers the nature of the armed forces that both military commanders commanded at the time. In Zia’s time it was still by and large a less religiously minded army which stood by his shenanigans. Paradoxically Musharraff commanded, which are generally considered a much more religiously zealous armed forces , who stood by his ‘ enlightened moderation’. This phenomenon in itself deserves to be studied, as the implication is either a highly disciplined force, two decades across the time, in complete obedience of its commander or a force whose loyalty has been bought over by its commander, both in 1980s and 2000s.

Hence, Musharraf’s Islam, a graceless mish mash of western and distorted Islamic ideals, coupled with the space provided to the obscurantist and rigid ideas championed by ulema, delivered a final blow to the ideals Of Iqbal and Jinnah and by default further dented the already misshapen national identity of Pakistan. This further division of nation has provided the vacuous spaces into which terrorists roam freely now. Regrettably, today’s generation of Pakistanis find it difficult to identify hardly with any of the available labels that define Pakistan. As a result, our nation finds itself stumblingly blindly into a much an identity abyss.

So has the dream gone sour forever? Can a nation divided against itself, withstand the pressures of an ever changing world of global politics and religion? Most importantly, are we going to let it be? We have gone against everything Jinnah stood for. Iqbal and Jinnah’s Pakistan, A Muslim State, was modern yet not western. It was Islamic yet not fundamentalist. They envisioned Islam in its true spirit; open to change and ever-evolving. The day we can understand and develop such an Islam we will find our identity too.

We hear about the extremists / extremism taking over Pakistan day and night. The only reason any extremist may take over Pakistan or there may be danger of a disintegration of the dream that Pakistan is, is because, the rest of us sit silently and have let loose the likes of zardaris, sharifs, fazul rehmans, Gilanis etc to run our affairs. Our politicians are witless and vision less. They cannot see beyond their noses (assuming they have any).

There is no intellectual framework that can provide bulwark against the tyranny of both Taliban Islam and failed Westminster style parliamentary system which is not very conducive to democracy in its structure and provides an easy conduit for dictatorship in a country that has powerless masses, broken institutions and is without robust and transparent systems of accountability and governance.

The call of the time is for the Pakistani and Muslim intellectuals to wrest back their ‘virasat of jamhorriyaat’ and stand up for their ideals of Equality, Justice and Liberty; not only for Muslims but for all humans.

60 Comments

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60 responses to “Pakistan: A Failure of Intellectuals

  1. wajid

    What? What is this? Some kind of term paper? What’s the point here and why is this writer so confused?

  2. Milind Kher

    The most important task before any Muslim nation, in my opinion, is to develop an ability to merge seamlessly with the world fabric.

    The tendency to view nations or people as “Muslim” or “Non Muslim” must be done away with. While religion does provide a moral and ethical system and caters to peoples’ spiritual needs, at the same time, it should not become a means of creating differences between people.

    This again comes back to the solution lying in adopting Mr Jinnah’s ideals.

  3. wajid

    Milind ji- is this what this “whatever this is” is about? Coz seriously 90 percent of it has been taken from history books and in the last three paragraphs the writer has no idea what’s she’s talking about.
    Someone tell her that Zardaris and Gillanis didn’t just take over, there was a process, an electoral process – so likes of them will be (rightly or wrongly) eliminated in this process if this system sustains.

  4. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Ms. Kazmi,

    This is a muddled article with the same pitfalls.

    Let me just state a few things:

    1. Not only was Iqbal irrelevant to the Pakistan movement, his ideas are terribly out of touch with modernity.

    2. The politics of 1940 was politics of expediency for all concerned. There was no “Quaid’s Islam”. Mr. Jinnah was not committed to an ideology and his ambiguous references to Islam – progressive or not- were for political expediency.

    3. Jinnah’s vision – in the balance- was of a modern demcoratic state based on rule of law and separation of church and state.

    4. The dichotomy between Zia and Musharraf … and your criticism of enlightened moderation – whatever that meant- is not very clear. Musharraf was a military dictator… all his policies were dictated by that expediency. His policies were socially liberal and permissive however… so long as they did not impact military’s hegemony.

    The issue should never be of ideology etc etc but a level playing field. In Pakistan, the playing field can be level only if Army stays out of politics.

  5. Milind Kher

    The essence that comes out of the above discussion is that a secular and democratic model is the best one to follow.

    The military can strive to be secular and liberal in a limited way, but it can never be democratic.

    So, the best way seems to be to support the democratically elected leaders, their shortcomings notwithstanding.

  6. CORRECTION: THE ARTICLE IS WRITTEN BY AZHAR ASLAM AND SHERMEEN BANO AND SUBMITTED BY SHAISTA KAZMI.

  7. yasserlatifhamdani

    To G-vishvas,

    We’ve discussed the question of why or rather how Pakistan many times here and we are not going to open the debate just because you fancy it.

    In response to your abuse against Pakistan’s founding father, I’ll quote B R Ambedkar…a man of integrity and truly a remarkable figure who said:

    They forget that Mr Jinnah, who represents this ideological transformation, can never be suspected of being a tool in the hands of the British even by his worst enemies … It is doubtful if there is a politician in India to whom the adjective incorruptible can be more fittingly applied. Anyone who knows what his relation with the British Government has been, will admit that he has always been their critic, if indeed, he has not been their adversary.

    Now … let me inform you sir, that I do not intend for my friends from India to suffer a fool like you any further on this website.

    Therefore don’t expect to post on this site again.

  8. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    At the outset, let me say that we find PTH a very broadminded site, where we have a lot of learned discussions. We appreciate your allowing us to post here freely, and apologize on the behalf of any that may have abused that privilige.

    As far as Dr Ambedkar is concerned, he fought tremendous odds so that the Dalits who had suffered for thousands of years may come up. His dream will be realized when they can stand shoulder to shoulder with their more priviliged brethren. The process has started, and may it continue. In the years to come, we will realize what we missed out on.

  9. aaina

    MILIND, do you spot a hindu name to avoid being harassed in india?

  10. Milind Kher

    Aaina, what I believe in is more important to me than how my name sounds..

  11. aaina

    dont give me this bollywood dialogue bullshit again.I know many indian muslims who use hindu pseudonyms to avoid being biased agaqinst in india.

    And besides, i feel offended that a believer like you should use such a hindu name .Youu may be a convert,but brother your name also needs conversion.

  12. Milind Kher

    @Aaina,

    What I choose to do is my business. Let us leave it at that. Thank you..

  13. PMA

    “Iqbal is irrelevant to the Pakistan Movement?”

    I beg your pardon!

  14. Milind Kher

    @PMA,

    As I understand it, Allama Iqbal was a prime mover at the point of time Pakistan was formed. From what I understand, YLH is saying that Pakistan has moved on since.

    This is my understanding, it may not be entirely correct. Also, I would imagine that Allama Iqbal was rooting for a theocratic state in contradistinction to the secular state now being asked for.

  15. Vijay

    aaina,

    what is Hindu name , Muslim name ?

  16. PMA

    “Also, I would imagine that Allama Iqbal was rooting for a theocratic state”

    What?

  17. Milind Kher

    @PMA,

    Consider this. On the surface, Allama Iqbal rejects a theocratic state. However, what is he actually working towards?

    A state where Islam would be the basis of law is not a theocratic state according to Allama Iqbal, because as per him, theocracy implies fanaticism and Arab Imperialism. However, consider the constant shift in mindset that was happening:

    The scripting of Taraana i Milli after Taraana i Hind, the writing of Jawabe Shikwa after Shikwa. These distinctly point towards a movement in the direction of conservatism.

    Would making Islam the basis of legislation not indicate the working towards a theocratic state even if he appeared to reject it on the surface?

    You would know much better, so if you have a contrary point of view, I would like to hear it. If your argument is better, I will be the first one to concede you are right.

  18. swapnavasavdutta

    If religion is a factor in polity when it come to
    Hindus and Muslims, why is not religion a factor
    when in comes to polity amongst Muslims?

    If religion is a factor in creating a state, why it can’t
    be a factor in governing a state?

  19. Gorki

    Aaina:
    “And besides, i feel offended that a believer like you should use such a hindu name.”

    What a control freak!!

  20. hoss

    I cringe when I hear “Pakistan ideology”. Anytime someone raises this issue on a serious discussion place like PTH, I feel I will puke instantly. The whole idea of Pakistan ideology is noxious, entirely sloppy, and bordering on delusional rant.

    As someone has pointed out, the article loses all its grandeur when it is time to draw conclusions from a screed about nothing. How in hell are you going to draw conclusions from nothing?

    The whole concept of ideology of Pakistan was developed after Pakistan had already come in to being. Iqbal’s poetry and Jinnah’s Pakistan were poles apart. They don’t meet anywhere. The ideology of Pakistan was invented by the JI types. Countries don’t have ideologies they have systems and the ideology of Pakistan is no system at all.

    The article draws from the JI’s nonsense that the idea of Pakistan excited Muslims all over the world. The truth is Muslims all over the world were just aghast at the idea that some are presenting a nation state based on a religion. From Iran to Marrakech, Muslims were fighting the idea of Israel based on religion in the 40s and here we have another country reducing the contiguous India based on a religion. That is the reason that in most Muslim majority states except for Saudi Arabia, Pakistan was greeted with hostility. Insistence of an ideology based on religion actually destroyed Pakistan credibility in international affairs. The isolation from the very inception led to Pakistan to join cold war alliances that were primarily against the nationalist minded arab-mulsim nations.

    The author has pointed out two trends in Indian Muslims that converged in the Pakistan movement. She is about 50% correct. The trend led by the Sir Syed School as far as the Muslims in the central provinces is concerned, is the root cause of the current cultural and intellectual ambiguity in Pakistan. All these Muslims came from provinces where they were a minority and their political thoughts and ideas were primarily based on their perception of dominance by the majority community.

    The other trend came from the Muslim Majority provinces where the nature of the conflict reversed. But propagating or in the JI case believing that the Iqbal represented all Muslim majority provinces or even Punjab is just pulling the rug over and denying the other trends that existed at the time of partition in India. Sindhi, Punjabi, Bengali and the Pathan were at different stages of their political struggle in 1947 and they were not a single unit as the article attempted to show nor was Iqbal their intellectual leader.

    Sindhi-Muslim bitterly opposed Sindh being under Bombay presidency but the Sindhi Hindu and the Congress supported that. Generally, that was the primary reason the Indian National Congress was never popular in Sindh and the Muslim League was greeted with open arms in the 40s.The struggle against the Bombay presidency culminated after Sindh was declared a province under the India act 1935. The struggle established the intellectual basis for an independent Sindh after the British leave India. Similarly no Bengali or Pathan nationalist was inspired by Iqbal and his nonsensical ramblings at drunken states. So pigeonholing different trends in other provinces to conform them with convoluted ideology of Pakistan via Iqbal and his nonsense is a typical JI propaganda line and nothing else.

    The Pakistan movement in Punjab was popular not because of Iqbal but because the feudal leaders saw that an opportunity for an unhindered control of the province.
    The Indians claim that they were afraid of Land reforms or the money borrowed from Hindus bania is utter nonsense. There was no way congress would have imposed land reforms in Punjab nor were the Feudal in favor of dividing Punjab in to Hindu and Muslim Punjab. They wanted a unified Punjab where their political dominance would have been unchallenged by outside progressive forces. Iqbal had no role whatsoever to play in this equation.

    After the creation of Pakistan, an influx of the demagogues from the central provinces and the uprooting of the poor Punjabi Muslims from their homes in East Punjab changed the political landscape of Pakistan. The Muslim intellectuals– if you could even call those half educated JI inspired thugs as intellectuals– high after they got Pakistan but never really understood the dynamics of governing as majority, imposed their idiotic thoughts on Pakistan starting with the Obj.Res and pressuring the country to maintain a antagonistic approach towards Hindu India that they inherited from their earlier life in India.

    The article is yet another attempt to frame the issues in Pakistan based on the idiotic construct that was developed by JI and its cohorts in the media. There is no Iqbal’s Pakistan or Jinnah’s Islam. The reality of federation of Pakistan is based on four provinces with different political and nationalist goals. The only intellectual endeavor needed is to find a common ground with Pakistan’s constituents.

    Fazal Ur Rehman( I don’t know who is that person) or Israr or Ghamadi are some former Jamaatis still living in La La land of Islam and they have no place in any intellectual forum simply because their ideology is based on ridiculous notions and nothing else..

  21. PMA

    “as per him, theocracy implies fanaticism and Arab Imperialism.”

    Did Iqbal say that? Does theocracy mean fanaticism and imperialism?

    “Scripting ‘Taraana-e-Milli’ after ‘Taraana-e-Hindi’ and writing of ‘Jawab-e-Shikwa’ after ‘Shikwa’ is a movement in the direction of conservatism.”

    Really?

    “Would making Islam the basis of legislation not indicate the working towards a theocratic state even if he appeared to reject it on the surface?”

    Your implication is that Iqbal was a ‘theocratic’ at heart and he rejected ‘theocracy’ only “on the surface”. Also with your logic Europe and Americas would be ‘theocratic’.

    Based on what you have said so far I am beginning to wonder about your understanding of theocracy, Iqbal and his thoughts on theocracy. I do not know if you are able to read and understand his Urdu/Persian work, but you may want to avail from his English writings and English or any other language translations. As far now you have not establish any grounds on which you and I can stand and have a meaningful discussion on Iqbal.

  22. Gorki

    swapnavasavdutta:
    YLH has tried to answer your questions in the past but it seems you still have doubts.

    Your line of thinking seems to go thus: If MAJ wanted a secular republic then what was the need for a Pakistan.
    On the surface, it is not an unreasonable doubt; but one has to scratch the surface a bit to see why a lifelong secular and conservative like MAJ opted for the Pakistan solution.

    I want you to stand in the shoes of a minority and start thinking about the future ‘nation’ you want.

    You have grown up an Indian but conscious of the fact that the majority has a religious identity which excludes you. You love your country too but when it is called ‘Bharat Mata’ it conflicts with your faith that says no to idolatry of any kind.
    When Gandhiji talks about the “Ram Rajya’ it again feels alien to your sense of community. You have a feeling that your own idea of historic symbolism say invoking an idea of a just emirate may be taken as alien or communalism yet Ram Rajya is considered quintessentially Indian.
    So in such an environment, would you not ask yourself what exactly is Indian and where do I fit in?
    It is not that you want an Islamic Emirate, you too want a modern secular nation but which resonates with your own identity and your own self image.

    Now, if you are a proud Hindustani and believe that this is your country too and that your forefathers too have contributed to the fabric of your country, you are in a quandary.
    Your personal identity and the memory of those contributions are at a risk of being diluted out or lost.

    You have but one of the two options.
    Either you can insist on a totally identity neutral Indian state or another novel solution where there are two equal political entities in a union, one with an Ancient\Hindu flavor and another with a relatively newer Indian\Muslim version based on its Islamic past.
    Both are supposed to treat all Indians equally before the law with rights for everyone and anyone to travel from one side to another without any fear of persecution or harassment.

    In my reading of the history, MAJ originally wanted the first but then with Gandhiji insistence on dragging his version of religious symbolism into the public arena, he opted for the second one.

    Apparently it failed when the congress rejected the CMP. It could have worked but then it required the confidence of secular congressmen like Nehru and Patel to work.

    The mistake that we all Indians today make is to compare MAJ with avowed seculars (with even an atheistic streak) like Nehru. The truth is that Nehru was strangely passive in the face of all the Hindu imagery invoked by Gandhiji during that time.
    If you notice carefully, even in the period of 1940-1947 all the references to Islam by MAJ in his speeches are no different than the references to religion by Gandhiji.
    Had Nehru been more vocal, maybe MAJ would have felt more comfortable in working with him in a religion\identity neutral political scenario.
    The fact that he had to stand up to Gandhiji, no doubt a sincere man but who wore his religious underpinning on his sleeve made MAJ’s task a Hobson’s choice.
    Unfortunately the Pakistan of today is dominated by little Pigmies who are so bigoted themselves that they cannot appreciate the vision and the genius of their very open-minded founder.

    That IMHO dear swapnavasavdutta is the tragedy of MAJ.

    Regards.

  23. swapnavasavdutta

    Gorki, Thanks for taking time to write such a
    detailed reply. Right now I have more important
    things to do like watching Bobby Flay on food network, so once that is done, I will reply.

    But a short response would be, for the people who
    had problem with Hindu symbolism, they had no
    compunction in asking non Muslims to live with
    Muslim symbolism in future Pakistan.

  24. swapnavasavdutta

    Gorkiji, if devout Muslims like Maulana Azad had
    no problem living with Hindu symbolism, what
    problem did nominal Muslims like Jinnah had with it? It was symbolism after all, it was not going to
    be a law of the land, there could really have been
    no a common Hindu law/order because there is
    no one overarching one. Jinnah should have known
    that, he had lived amongst Hindus for so many years.
    Gandhi was not perpetual, he was not going to live
    forever, nothing remains static. If they had problems with any laws, they could have agitated
    and try to get it removed. Would you advocate
    splitting Pakistan everytime someone or some coummunity has a problem with a law in Pakistan?

    Jinnah took the easy way out and used the crutch
    of religion to create a country and then he is advocating religion should not play part of in that
    country and everybody is equal.
    India was promising the same but just because it
    was hindu majority, he did not like it.
    He was hypocrite and opportinistic. He could have
    created a national level party as an alternative to
    INC with like minded people exposing the holes
    he found in Gandhi’s approach.
    He took the easy way out, the ones used by likes
    of Babar, using religion to achieve his goals even
    though the religion was never paramount in his life
    and then suggesting not to use the religion.
    Sorry, somebody else will have similar ideas i.e.
    using religion for the purpose they deem equally
    important for them.

    Anyway, Jinnah and partition of India is history,
    this really does not affect me, what Pakistan does is its business as long as it does not keep sending and
    training terrorists on Indian soil (that includes
    Indian Kashmir as far as I am concerned).

    I am trying to get away from this site (and chowk)
    and hoping to make this ranting last post on this
    topic and overall.

    Thanks.

  25. swapnavasavdutta

    Like, what is the basis for Baluchis and Punjabis
    should together no matter what happens in Pakistan
    or Shias and Sunnis should stay together in Pakistan
    no matter what happens but if Hindus introduce a symbolism, Muslims would ask for a separate state.
    This I really do not get it and another thing, why
    would appointing a Hindu law minister Pakistan
    was going to be a secular state after creating it in the
    name of religion, that I really do not understand.
    Would appointing a Muslim Law minister in united
    India have been enough/sufficient enough for these separatist Muslims that India would be a secular nation, I do not think, they were not willing to settle
    for anything short of their 14 or how many ever points!

  26. Bloody Civilian

    swapna

    you are trying to tell us that both communities had an equal right to fear or trust each other. and an equal right to self-determination (although you haven’t mentioned, and likely not thought about self-determination). you are doing no more than proving the point you think you are arguing against.

    you do get your majority:minority numbers/ratios wrong though, because you base them on the radcliff line as insisted upon by the hindu mahasbha and duly imposed by congress. had you looked at the CMP-type ratios, or even that of the lahore resolution 1940, you’d have realised that the problem of answering the question ‘who goes first?’, with respect to the right of each to mutual fear or trust or that to self-determination, would have been largely removed.

  27. swapnavasavdutta

    B C

    “you are trying to tell us that both communities had an equal right to fear or trust each other,”

    No, what I am saying is if Muslims could not trust
    Hindus without those iron clad guarantees, how was
    Jinnah or AIML were expecting minorities like
    Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan to trust Muslims
    without the same iron clad guarantees because
    Jinnah was saying Pakistan is created for not just
    Muslims.

    That is what I feel is duplicious, not giving what
    you were asking.

  28. Bloody Civilian

    swapna

    what was it that jinnah accepted as a ‘minority’ as part of the pre-radcliff CMP that he was unwilling to grant to the minorities of post-radcliff pakistan??

  29. Bloody Civilian

    If they had problems with any laws, they could have agitated and try to get it removed.

    that’s exactly what they did in the 1946 elections. in fact, congress had utterly failed to make any impression at all with the muslim electorate even in the 37 elections. even then ML had won the majority of their vote in UP and bombay.

    Would you advocate splitting Pakistan everytime someone or some coummunity has a problem with a law in Pakistan?

    congress found it preferable to ‘split’ india than to address its own failure with the muslim electorate.

    as for using religion… so you are suggesting that the average muslim voter, almost all of 90 million, suffered from a bipolar disorder where they defied religious leaders like azad, the jamiat ulema e hind, deoband, and all of mullahdom – the custodians of religion – in order to save religion? now, depending on how similar you are to one g. vishwas, you might just think something like that.

    re. 14 points: read up on the 14 points. the history of the years 1927 to 1929. these were drafted by jinnah in an effort to bridge the gap between his own position, as stated by him in 1927 where azad was fully on board, and the less flexible position held by the largest cross-section of muslim political opinion – including many congress stalwarts, JUH, and the regional muslim parties – as expressed by the delhi conference (from which jinnah – the best ambassador of hindu muslim unity – had been effectively barred).

    all the best on your journey away from chowk and PTH, by the way.

  30. swapnavasavdutta

    B C, Thanks. This is an endless and futile (IMHO)
    discussion. I will let the stalwarts and erudites at PTH hash it out, I do not affect/influence any
    aspects of it anyway.
    I do intend to take that journey and stay away as
    much as I can and not post any distracting posts
    although I most of the time think most of the
    discussions are only discussions in ether and do not
    translate to any +ve changes on the ground.

  31. PMA

    “Iqbal’s poetry and Jinnah’s Pakistan were poles apart. They don’t meet anywhere.”

    IQBAL AND PAKISTAN MOVEMENT:
    In 1931 and 1932 he represented the Muslims of India in the Round Table Conferences held in England to discuss the issue of the political future of India. And in a 1930 lecture Iqbal suggested the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India. Iqbal died (1938) before the creation of Pakistan (1947), but it was his teaching that “spiritually … has been the chief force behind the creation of Pakistan.” These thoughts crystallized at Allahabad Session (December, 1930) of the All India Muslim League, when Iqbal in the Presidential Address, forwarded the idea of a Muslim State in India:

    “I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Provinces, Sind and Baluchistan into a single State. Self-Government within the British Empire or without the British Empire. The formation of the consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of the North-West India.”

    The seed sown, the idea began to evolve and take root. It soon assumed the shape of Muslim state or states in the western and eastern Muslim majority zones as is obvious from the following lines of Iqbal’s letter, of June 21, 1937, to the Quaid-i-Azam, only ten months before the former’s death:

    “A separate federation of Muslim Provinces, reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of Non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nations entitled to self-determination just as other nations in India and outside India are.”

    On 21st March, 1932, Allama Iqbal delivered the Presidential address at Lahore at the annual session of the All-India Muslim Conference. In that address too he stressed his view regarding nationalism in India and commented on the plight of the Muslims under the circumstances prevailing in the sub-continent. Having attended the Second Round Table Conference in September, 1931 in London, he was keenly aware of the deep-seated Hindu and Sikh prejudice and unaccommodating attitude. He had observed the mind of the British Government. Hence he reiterated his apprehensions and suggested safeguards in respect of the Indian Muslims:

    “In so far then as the fundamentals of our policy are concerned, I have got nothing fresh to offer. Regarding these I have already expressed my views in my address to the All India Muslim League. In the present address I propose, among other things, to help you, in the first place, in arriving at a correct view of the situation as it emerged from a rather hesitating behavior of our delegation the final stages of the Round-Table Conference. In the second place, I shall try, according to my lights to show how far it is desirable to construct a fresh policy now that the Premier’s announcement at the last London Conference has again necessitated a careful survey of the whole situation.”

    It must be kept in mind that since Maulana Muhammad Ali had died in Jan. 1931 and Quaid-i-Azam had stayed behind in London, the responsibility of providing a proper lead to the Indian Muslims had fallen on him alone. He had to assume the role of a jealous guardian of his nation till Quaid-i-Azam returned to the sub-continent in 1935.

    “The League and the Muslim Conference had become the play-thing of petty leaders, who would not resign office, even after a vote of non-confidence! And, of course, they had no organization in the provinces and no influence with the masses.”

    In his dialogue with Dr. Ambedkar Allama Iqbal expressed his desire to see Indian provinces as autonomous units under the direct control of the British Government and with no central Indian Government. He envisaged autonomous Muslim Provinces in India. Under one Indian union he feared for Muslims, who would suffer in many respects especially with regard to their existentially separate entity as Muslims.

    Allama Iqbal’s statement explaining the attitude of Muslim delegates to the Round-Table Conference issued in December, 1933 was a rejoinder to Jawahar Lal Nehru’s statement. Nehru had said that the attitude of the Muslim delegation was based on “reactionarism.” Iqbal concluded his rejoinder with:

    “In conclusion I must put a straight question to Pundit Jawahar Lal: How is India’s problem to be solved if the majority community will neither concede the minimum safeguards necessary for the protection of a minority of 80 million people, nor accept the award of a third party; but continue to talk of a kind of nationalism which works out only to its own benefit? This position can admit of only two alternatives. Either the Indian majority community will have to accept for itself the permanent position of an agent of British Imperialism in the East, or the country will have to be redistributed on a basis of religious, historical and cultural affinities so as to do away with the question of electorates and the communal problem in its present form.”

    Allama Iqbal’s apprehensions were borne out by the Hindu Congress ministries established in Hindu majority province under the Act of 1935. Muslims in those provinces were given dastardly treatment. This deplorable phenomenon added to Allama Iqbal’s misgivings regarding the future of Indian Muslims in case India remained united. In his letters to the Quaid-i-Azam written in 1936 and in 1937 he referred to an independent Muslim State comprising North-Western and Eastern Muslim majority zones. Now it was not only the North-Western zones alluded to in the Allahabad Address.

  32. PMA

    Iqbal and the Quaid-i-Azam:

    Who could understand Allama Iqbal better than the Quaid-i-Azam himself, who was his awaited “Guide of the Era”? The Quaid-i-Azam in the Introduction to Allama Iqbal’s letters addressed to him, admitted that he had agreed with Allama Iqbal regarding a State for Indian Muslims before the latter’s death in April, 1938. The Quaid stated:

    “His views were substantially in consonance with my own and had finally led me to the same conclusions as a result of careful examination and study of the constitutional problems facing India and found expression in due course in the united will of Muslim India as adumbrated in the Lahore Resolution of the All-India Muslim League popularly known as the ‘Pakistan Resolution’ passed on 23rd March, 1940.”

    In his letters Allama Iqbal stated:

    “I know you are a busy man but I do hope you won’t mind my writing to you often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has right to look up for safe guidance through the storm which is coming to North-West India, and perhaps to the whole of India.”

    Allama Iqbal observed:

    “There is only one way out. Muslim should strengthen Jinnah’s hands. They should join the Muslim League. Indian question, as is now being solved, can be countered by our united front against both the Hindus and the English. Without it our demands are not going to be accepted. People say our demands smack of communalism. This is sheer propaganda. These demands relate to the defence of our national existence.”

    He continued:

    “The united front can be formed under the leadership of the Muslim League. And the Muslim League can succeed only on account of Jinnah. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims.”

  33. Gorki

    “…..how was Jinnah or AIML were expecting minorities like Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan to trust Muslims without the same iron clad guarantees because Jinnah was saying Pakistan is created for not just Muslims.”

    To tell you the truth, I myself have grappled with this seeming contradiction for a while too but I think the reason why it seems like a contradiction is that our point of reference is the India and Pakistan that we see today; apparently sworn enemies with air tight borders.

    I supect this was not what MAJ had in mind. Even after the failure of CMP MAJ had discussed a mutual defense treaty and JLN is said to have said
    “A joint defense against whom?”

    MAJ was hoping to have a nation with two parts; a confereration of India-Pakistan in which citizens moved freely about. A later day example is that of Punjab and Haryana, two Indian states, one with a Sikh majority and another with a Hindu one. For those Hindus who felt comfortable with the silly Sikh imagery of the Akali Dal that happens perhaps twice a year, they can live in Punjab, if not they can move to Haryana.

    Your point is well taken that in a secular society, it does not matter much where you live and what kind of superficial imagery is flouted around in public but then this is now; the fear was then. I also suspect that it was not people like Gandhiji and Nehru that MAJ was afraid of but those on their right. In fact a valid Muslim fear would have been, what would happen once the pacifists and seculars were gone, whould the Hindu Maha Sabhaites take over?

    I too have moved on like most people and am comfortable with the India that we have and hope to see it living side by side with a prosperous Pakistan but what MAJ proposed was not unheard of; there are other democratic-secular countries such as Belgium and Canada, made up of people concious of their sub-identies who came up with similar arrangements.
    MAJ’s problem was not his vision, it was his failure to articulate it in a clearly understood language because for his vision to take shape, it was important that men like Nehru understood how different he was from an average Mullah and what he wanted.
    One thing is clear though to even a casual reader of history, the Pakistan of today made up of the Ummis and the Jawad Khans was not what he had in mind.

    Like you said, it is history now. I only wrote to clear up the taint that MAJ seems to carry in Indian minds, Jaswant Singh’s book notwithstanding.

    Regards.

  34. Luq

    I had this parrot and he could repeat only one phrase …”hello, good morning”…..

    It didnt matter to it if it was night or evening or afternoon…..”hello, good morning”…..
    …..”hello, good morning”…..
    …..”hello, good morning”…..

    Luq

  35. Milind Kher

    @PMA,

    Iqbal’s views on theocracy that I presented to you were H.A.R. Gibbs take on Allama Iqbal . I would believe that he is a reasonably unbiased and fairly learned scholar.

    Of course, if you do not wish to have a discussion with me on Allama Iqbal, that is your prerogative.

  36. Luq

    Coming to the more interesting part…… some parrots are known to have learnt to type and make their nests in blogs.🙂

    What we need is a good twit-filter.

    Luq

  37. Gorki

    G. Vishvas:
    “Hindus and hindu religions should not interfere in Arabia and islam and muslims should not interfere in the ISC”

    And Buddhists should not interfere with Korea, SriLanka, Japan and China; better still they should move to Gaya…
    Ditto for the Christians and most of the world, quick, everyone, you should move back to Palestine….

    This is fun, I get the idea; OK all Hindus and Sikhs you should stop interfering in Canada and Australia and move to…
    Oops, sorry, that was the ‘Fascist’ neo-Nazi line……

    Luq: What a parrot; you crack me up.😉

    Regards.

  38. AZW

    Luq:

    WordPress filters are not the latest and greatest, but be assured that Vishwas’ comments shall be spammed from now on.

  39. Luq

    >WordPress filters are not the latest and greatest,
    >but be assured that Vishwas’ comments shall
    >be spammed from now on.

    Sorry if I sound like wanting to keep my cake as well as eating it, maybe you could just let him be a little while longer. Its quite entertaining you see, especially after what Gorki just said.🙂

    Luq

  40. karun1

    this discussion reminds me of a sardar joke:

    Q: how to keep a sradar busy throughout the day?

    A: shut him inside a circular room and ask him to find the corners.

  41. yasserlatifhamdani

    Swapnawasdutta,

    The issue was never with Hindu symbolism… that was an election slogan at best. The reason why religious conservative Islamists had no problems with United India in its form as advocated by Nehru… was because they – the Mullahs – were guaranteed their flock.

    Subsequent events in Secular India seem to confirm secular Congress’ partisanship in favor of Islamist Ulema of Deoband. It is not at all surprising that the advocate representing Shah Bano in the famous case was Jinnah’s associate and a former Muslim Leaguer Danial Latifi… whereas leading the agitation against the verdict was the heartland of Islamist reaction i.e. Deoband supported by the Congress.

    You must break free from your narrow constructs of history and see things in the complex light that they are actually in. Jinnah never wanted to partition the country… he wanted to create political space for the nascent Muslim middle class…the lawyers, engineers, salariat… as well as the mercantile class … the failure of the Congress to reconcile with this class and its sole spokesman and then Congress’ insistence on courting Islamists of Deoband, Majlis-e-Ahrar… and other people like Khaksars…. led to partition.

  42. Punjabi

    It would be helpful if the site management could explicitly articulate the posting rules, including what will get posts deleted or posters banned.

  43. Luq

    Easy one Punjabi go to google . com
    Run a search for “rules of civilized debate”
    Luq

  44. Milind Kher

    @YLH,

    The Deobandi legacy still haunts Muslims in India. The Deobandi ulema have full freedom to come up with obscurantist nonsense, and then all the saffron brigade utters shrill shrieks regarding “Muslim appeasement”.

  45. Bloody Civilian

    jinnah and his movement was about taking the intiative away from the mullahs, not from congress. and he did. it was unfortunate that congress saw it as a threat.

  46. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Punjabi,

    “what will get posts deleted or posters banned”

    We reserve the right to delete any posts/comments that are in the view of the moderators posted with the intention of de-railing the discussion or are repetitive and smack of control freakery.

    It is an entirely arbitrary standard that will be practised by the moderators from time to time … and if you don’t like it, feel free to vote with your (cyber) feet🙂.

  47. yasserlatifhamdani

    And yes… Happy New Year to all of you.

  48. Milind Kher

    Yes, indeed. A Very Happy New Year to all of you!

  49. vajra

    😀

    A Happy New Year to all reading, writing and moderating on PTH.

  50. wajid

    Is there a way to have a NYE party here.🙂 Happy New Year to you all.

  51. vajra

    @wajid

    You’re right in the middle of it, buddy!

  52. hoss

    PMA,

    Nice try but no cigar…..
    Iqbal looked at the NW India as a Muslim state or states but what Jinnah asked for was “independent states in which the constituents units shall be autonomous and sovereign”. While the Iqbal’s Pakistan was based on purely religious identity, Jinnah’s Pakistan was based on regional and secular identity. And that is the fundamental difference between the two thoughts. Btw, Iqbal was not the only one to indulge in the similar mindless intellectual exercise. There were more before and after him. One guy even went conjured up the name for the country too.

    No one in Sindh, Punjab and NWFP was buying a state based on muslim identity. But they were willing to join the Muslim League because they were promised “independent States” in the 1940 resolution. Sindh was the only legislative assembly where this resolution was approved. GM Syed presented that for approval and he was the first one to leave ML in Sindh when he saw the deception coming.

    Let us assume for a sec: had the congress had any political foresight it could have easily offered the same deal to Bacha Khan and GM Syed in NWFP and Sindh in 1940 and taken the steam out of the Muslim League momentum, but it did not thus opening the doors for the division of India. GM Syed and Bacha Khan were never excited about a “Muslim State”. As we all know in their political leanings they were closer to the Indian National Congress then they ever were to the Muslim League.

    Bacha Khan forced a referendum in NWFP and then boycotted it, had he not done that the history would have been different now. Despite the boycott by KK, the ML barely won by 50.5% of votes. What Bacha Khan could not figure out that alignment with India was the same as independent NWFP because India was not going to climb over Pakistani Punjab to keep NWFP within India. NWFP would have been an independent country if he had not boycotted the referendum then or had not asked for the stupid option of independence added in the referendum.

    Iqbal’s poetry was never about the dreams and aspirations of the people. It was all about nostalgia and revival of the lost glory of the Muslims. He had no clue about what people who did not subscribe to his nonsense believed in. His dream was sold en masse after the creation of Pakistan and the progression of that nonsense is the army’s grandiose strategy of conquering the central Asia, Iran and Toran to bring the back the lost Islamic glory. The blowback of the failed strategy is before us now.

    1940 Resolution from Wiki

    “No constitutional plan would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary. That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.

    ““That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in the units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights of the minorities, with their consultation. Arrangements thus should be made for the security of Muslims where they were in a minority.”

    Interestingly there is no mention of the champions of the Pakistan ideology from the central India in the whole resolution.

    Happy New year to all.

  53. PMA

    What Iqbal said in the company of his fellow Leaguers in 1930 in Allahabad and what Jinnah said in the company of his fellow Leaguers in 1940 in Lahore are essentially the same – demand for a territorial place for Muslims where they were in majority. The general idea put forward by Iqbal in 1930 took a politically mature form in the hands of Jinnah in 1940. I see no contradiction here. Where did Iqbal say that the law of this future state shall be based on Sharia.

    I do not agree with your statement: “While the Iqbal’s Pakistan was based on purely religious identity, Jinnah’s Pakistan was based on regional and secular identity.”

    Both, Iqbal and Jinnah based their claim on regional as well as religious identity of our people – the Muslim nationhood. Otherwise what was the justification of grouping five Muslim majority provinces into one country. Jinnah built on and refined the ideas put forward by Iqbal. If not for Muslims then for whom Jinnah was fighting for.

    Iqbal had to go back into the history to inspire our otherwise demoralised people. It saddens me that you regard Iqbal indulgent of a “mindless intellectual exercise”. Must we discredit those who articulated our aspirations and worked for our independence. Yes Jinnah is father of Pakistan. But our country and nation is big enough to accommodate all of our leaders and historical figures. Please let us not purge others according to our personal inclinations. Both Iqbal and Jinnah have a place in our nations making.

  54. YLH

    Iqbal has no relevance. I agree with Hoss except maybe the issue of GM Syed. GM Syed was never closer to the Congress as far as I know. He was actually a Muslim League stalwart and one of the prime movers of the 1938 resolution preceding 1940.
    His conception of Pakistan no doubt was of Sindh reborn and when he realized that this would not be the cased ina United Pakistan, he broke with Jinnah.

  55. Milind Kher

    @Hoss,

    I agree with you on many points. Legislation based on Islam which is yet not a theocracy is a little difficult to envisage.

    Whether I understood theocracy at all was being questioned, which as a student of Advanced History and Islam, I thought I had understood quite well. As per the classical definition, I had assumed it was a political unit governed by a deity or people who believed that they were divinely guided. Since a state based on Islamic legislation as envisaged by Allama Iqbal does not qualify for this, the inference that would logically emerge from this is that my questioner does not believe in Islam as a divine revelation. People are free tho think what they like, we cannot impose our thoughts on them.

  56. Hayyer

    G. Vishvas
    That is your first coherent statement on PTH.
    Happy new year.

  57. Sameet

    I concur with Hayyer on the above.
    Happy new year to all.

  58. Bloody Civilian

    happy new year to all

    …. and happy new vishwas, for as long as it lasts🙂

  59. vajra

    In case I forgot to say it earlier, Happy New Year to all – yes, all.

    Apologies to Silent Indian.

  60. Mustafa Shaban

    First of all Happy New Year to all of you!

    I liked the article and I totally agree with the points PMA has raised.