Tag Archives: Two Nation Theory
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
If you don’t nip a lie in the bud, it grows to be a tree. This is what has happened to the nationalist mythology perpetuated by General Zia. I don’t like wasting my weekly space in Daily Times to argue it out with specific lies of specific authors – which is why I tend to record my dissent here on PTH.
In his article today in Daily Times, Shahid Illyas, the self professed Pakhtun Nationalist and “secularist”, has reproduced the severally debunked and illogical arguments of the Jamaat-e-Islami and other Mullahs in Pakistan to bolster his own indefensible positions vis a vis Bacha Khan and Faqir of Ipi. Mr. Illyas is not bothered with the utter bankruptcy of his argument so long as he gets to abuse Jinnah and the Pakistan Movement. He is also unconcerned what his half truths would do to the cause of secularism. Like Ishtiaq Ahmed (and scores of other spent forces in our history ala Aga Shorish Kashmiri) he is seized with an irrational hatred for Jinnah, Sir Syed and the secular liberal leadership that Pakistan jettisoned – primarily through 1969’s education policy that specifically sought to down play Sir Syed’s and Jinnah’s modernity because it did not gel with the demands of Yahya’s political expediency. It is ironic that while Illyas criticizes Pakistan’s poor education system, he quotes Pakistan’s official narrative as the gospel truth. Continue reading
Cross Post from The New York Times
By ALI SETHI
Published: June 11, 2010
FOR many Pakistanis, the deaths of more than 80 members of the Ahmadi religious sect in mosque attacks two weeks ago raised questions of the nation’s future. For me, it recalled a command from my schoolboy past: “Write a Note on the Two-Nation Theory.”
It was a way of scoring easy points on the history exam, and of using new emotions and impressive-sounding words. I began my answer like this:
The Two-Nation Theory is the Theory that holds that the Hindus and Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent are Two Distinct and Separate Nations. It is a Theory that is supported by Numerous Facts and Figures. During the War of Independence of 1857 the Muslim rulers of India were defeated by the British. Suddenly the Hindus, who had always held a grudge against the Muslims for conquering them, began to collaborate with the new British rulers. They joined British schools, worked in British offices and began to make large amounts of money, while the Muslims, who were Discriminated Against, became poorer and poorer. It was now Undisputable that the Hindus and the Muslims were Two Distinct and Separate Nations, and it was becoming necessary for the Muslims to demand a Distinct and Separate Homeland for themselves in the Indian Subcontinent.
To that point, my “note” had only built up the atmosphere of mistrust and hostility between Hindus and Muslims. It had yet to give examples of the Distinctness and Separateness of the two communities (such as that Hindus worshipped the cow but Muslims ate it), of Hindu betrayals and conspiracies (they wanted Hindi, not Urdu, to be the national language). And it had still to name and praise the saddened Muslim clerics, reformers and poets who had first noted these “undisputable” differences.
I got points for every mini-note that I stretched into a full page, which was valid if it gave one important date and one important name, each highlighted for the benefit of the teacher. This was because the teacher couldn’t really read English, and could award points only to answers that carefully showcased their Facts and Figures.
After the exam I would go home. Here the Two-Nation Theory fell apart. I was part-Shiite (my mother’s family), part-Sunni (my father’s family) and part-nothing (neither of my parents was sectarian). There were other things: the dark-skinned man who swabbed the floors of the house was a Christian; the jovial, foul-mouthed, red-haired old woman who visited my grandmother every few months was rumored to be an Ahmadi. (It was a small group, I had been told, that considered itself Muslim but had been outlawed by the government.)
[This was originally published in DAWN’s blog section and then subsequently also included in the much recommended critical PPP/Let us Build Pakistan site. The link for the latter is http://criticalppp.org/lubp/archives/4072 and for the former is http://blog.dawn.com/2009/12/31/the-scholar-the-sufi-and-the-fanatic/. The critical PPP site is quite refreshing and has taken on both the naysayers as well as been critical of its own party. Even their news reports are more reliable at times than the mainstream media. In reposting the article, critical PPP has accreditted DAWN. – Ali Abbas]
By Nadeem F. Paracha Dawn 31st Dec, 2009
Roughly speaking, the political and social aspects of Islam in Pakistan can be seen as existing in and emerging from three distinct sets and clusters of thought. These clusters represent the three variations of political and social Islam that have evolved in this country: modern, popular and conservative. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
This was written in response to an Indian poster who suffers particularly from the ailment of which Oscar Wilde spoke unfavorably once upon a time. Since the arguments are the usual : cliched, hackneyed and ill-informed chest thumping on why India is better, why two nation theory was wrong, why Pakistanis suck, why Pakistan is a failed state, I thought I’d put up this response for the general education of this jingoistic Indian type. I’ve always thought that these gungho Indians (not all though- there are so many fine Indians we know who can’t be put in this bracket) act like the newly rich of the world and therefore their attitudes towards Pakistanis and the rest of the world smack of a lack of class, manners, decency or sense of balance and proportion.
Dear Indian poster,
You keep repeating your mantra that India is secular because of the Congress and its one nation idea but the fact is that your constitution itself was authored by a man who opposed Congress’ conception of one nation. Read B R Ambedkar’s writings especially on the issue of separate electorates for the Dalits and Scheduled Castes. In every way B R Ambedkar’s politics was closer to the two nation theory than one nation theory. And yet this fellow gave you the secular Indian constitution… and if you read the ICA debates you would see just how hard B R Ambedkar had to struggle to keep Gandhian and Hindu Majority’s ideas out of the Indian constitution. Continue reading
“Under my scheme the Muslims will have four Muslim States: (1) The Pathan Province or the North-West Frontier; (2) Western Punjab (3) Sindh and (4) Eastern Bengal. If there are compact Muslim communities in any other part of India, sufficiently large to form a province, they should be similarly constituted. But it should be distinctly understood that this is not a united India. It means a clear partition of India into a Muslim India and a non-Mulsim India.” For those who are not sure who said this, it was not Jinnah. Nor Allama Iqbal. Not even Chaudhry Rehmat Ali. It was ‘Veer’ Savarkar, instead, the iconic idealogue of modern Hindutva, who articulated these thoughts in 1924. He said it before any of the above mentioned names did.
A similar idea became the Muslim League’s Lahore Resolution, 16 years later, albeit with one or two distinctions. The Lahore Resolution envisaged an ‘interim period’ when India would have a single, shared centre before final settlement of India’s constitutional settlement (interesting how the Pakistan Studies school curriculum does not include a single sentence from the reasonably short Resolution). And, of course, the Lahore Resolution made no mention of any other ‘compact Muslim communities’ (that, of course, was Chaudhry Rehmat Ali and his never never land of ‘Dinia’). Continue reading