In the 1930's the big Land-owners, having benefitted from the Raj, were keen to continue to
support it. They were not yet prepared to follow Mr. Jinnah. In the Punjab, for instance, they
adorned the ranks of the Punjab National Unionist Party, established in 1923. It was committed to
the protection of the class-interests of the land owners of all the three communities, Hindu,
Muslim and Sikh. During the Sikandar Hayat ministry (1937-42) it passed some far-reaching
Acts protecting the vital interests of the agriculturist. The Restitution of Mortgaged Lands Act
1938, the Registration of Moneylenders Act, 1938, and the Relief of Indebtedness Act of 1940,
provided relief to the landowner from the clutches of the non-cultivating moneylender.
The cross-communal character of the forces impelling these reforms, directed primarily against
Hindu money-lenders, is borne out in the person of the prime mover behind, and the pilot of, these
enactments. Sir Chotoo Ram was a Hindu Minister in the Punjab cabinet. His name is revered to
this day among all land-owners, and even Muslim zamindars of Pakistan.
Meanwhile the Hindu bourgeoisie, straining for its own markets, and impatient with the
concessions allowed to imperial manufactures, had stepped up its pressure. Gandhi launched the
Salt Satyagraha, and won the concessions embodied in the Gandhi-Irwin Pact from Vice-Roy
Irwin, in 1931. The movement made the imperial government a little less confident of itself. It could
perceive the growing strength of the Indian bourgeoisie. It called a series of Round Table
Conferences in London. After deliberations in which the entire range of Sub-continent's
leadership took part, the Government of India Act, was promulgated in 1935. The Act provided for
a modicum of self government and a delegation of some lesser powers to the native
representagives. Belated elections under the Act were held in 1937, but only at the provincial
levels. The 1937 elections became the turning point that would inevitably lead to that so far
elusive "parting of the ways" between the two communities.
The Act of 1935, was scarcely a complete constitution. For one, to come into operation, its
federal arrangement dependent upon the willing assent of at least one half of the princely states as
these pretended to have certain, quite ambiguous, rights under "treaties" with Britain. It was
indeed ingenious how the "subsidiary treaty" was initially devised by Britain to grasp power from
the state in the name of the larger entity, and was now pleaded to prevent its transfer to that
larger entity itself! The introduction of weightage to the arch-conservative princes was a
preconceived method of preventing the formation of any representative governments at the federal
level even when the principle of "dyarchy" did not envisage even a substantially sovereign
authority. On a wink from the Government the princes did not submit to the application of the Act.
Federal institutions, barring the Federal Court, were thus never to come about.
Another significant anomoly in the scheme of the Act was the operation of the principle of
"weightage" at another level resulting in indefensible injustices. Muslim representation in the
Muslim majority province of the Punjab was, by this curious device, reduced to a minority. In the
Bengal this reduction left the barest majority in Muslim hands making them dependent upon
coalition support. These evident injustices of the British legislation were soon to be compounded
by the intransigence of the over-confident Congress. It pushed the Muslim community, and its
leadership, irrevocably towards the point initially visualised by Iqbal in 1930.
The Congress won five of the eleven provinces in the 1937 elections. By coalition and
manouverings it was able to form governments in another three, including the NWFP where it had
only 19 out of the 50 seats. In this province its allies, the Khuda-i-Khidmatgars, were able to
displace Sardar Abdul Qayyum's short-lived cabinet and instal Dr. Khan Sahib as the Chief
Minister. The Punjab had been swept by the Unionist Party of pro-British landowners who were
to continue to govern even after Congress Ministers resigned in 1942.
All this while the League had sought conciliation. Neither the Muslim bourgeoisie, nor the Muslim
feudals, as yet felt the need, as a whole, for any protection against any possible discrimination. The
League was prepared to nominate Muslim Ministers in Congress cabinets if its exclusive right to
represent India's Muslims was recognised. The Congress appeared to be in no mood to wait upon
an irksome "pretender" to the leadership of a minority community. It had little patience for the
uncreditworthy claims of the League, particularly as the League's showing had been poor even in
Muslim majority provinces.
What the Congress leadership did not realise was that it was purporting to judge the strength and
potenial of the Muslim bourgeois, non-landed leadership at a time when it was yet to obtain the
support of the Muslim landowners. The dominent interest that Congress represented, the Hindu
bourgeoisie, wanted to humble and capture the Muslim majority areas as its market, and then to
hold it as passive agrarian appendix to the industrially developed areas of the Sub-continent, the
ire of the Congress leadeship was not altogether incompreshensible. A weak, isolated Muslim
bouregoisie, having no inherent power and lacking the support of the established pressure groups,
was perceived as destined to fail and be overcome by desertions.
And this is exactly how Jawarlal Nehru assessed the prospects of the League in July 1937, when
writing to his predecessor President of the Congress, Rajendra Prasad in July, 1937, he narrated:
"Towards the end of June, a little before the working Committee meeting, the U.P. Muslim League
leaders, Khaliquezzaman and Nawab Ismail Khan, made an approach towards the Congress. This
had obviously some connection with the possibliity of Ministries.......When Maulana Adul Kalam
went to Lucknow from Wardha he was met by Khaliq who told that he was practically prepared to
give him a blank cheque provided two of their number were included in the Ministry, himself and
Nawab Ismail Khan, the President of the U.P.Board. Maulana looked at all this with some
suspicion but he felt attracted by the possibility of the whole Muslim League ceasing to exist as a
separate group and being practically absorbed by the Congress........We feared reaction among the
Congressmen in general and the Congress Muslims in particular, who would have been irritated at
their being excluded in preference for those who had been fighting the Congress ..... What of the
Muslims who had stood by the Congress during all these years? What of the Jamiat which was
supporting us and opposing the League?
"All this, and more we considered and we hesitated.....After much discussion.....we came to the
conclusion that we should offer stringent conditions to the U.P. Muslim League and if they
excepted them in toto, then we would agree to two Ministers from their group. Besides them one
Minister would be Rafi Ahmad......These were pretty stringent conditions and in effect amounted
to more than the Congress pledge. But we did not ask them to sever all connection with the parent
Muslim League. The position would have been a peculiar one, involving a dual loyalty to some
extent. It could not last and we expected the U.P. Leaguers to break away from the parent
Had Nehru obtained an impression that even the negotiators were amenable to defection? His
perception may have been mistaken but it does, no doubt reflect the Congress confidence when he
continues in the same letter:-
"There were talks with Khaliq who agreed to all the conditions except two: the winding up of the
Parliamentary Board and not to set up separate candidates at by-elections. These were vital
conditions. Khaliq said that he personally would agree but he had no authority to do so. In effect,
he pointed out this might happen any how....
"Today Khaliq made another approach (21st July). He suggested that he would call an emergency
meeting of his executive to consider the question of the by-election if we could postpone decision
for some days. I spoke to him on the telephone. I referred him to Pantji (G.B. Pant, Chief Minister
of the U.P. from 1937 to 1939 & 1946 to 1954) but did not encourage him at all".
If Nehru's assessment indicated the mind of the Congress leadership, it is evident that it had
again miscalculated. The League, by now had a confident and charismatic leader in Mr. Jinnah.
And its objectives were, by now, squarely identified with the fast growing Muslim bourgeoisie.
As in Europe, the development of the bourgeoisie had led to a recession of fundamentalism and
religious orthodoxy. The bourgeoisie cannot develop and progress on the basis of obscurantist
dogma. It moves with science. Its very tools are technology, and to keep in the market, it has
constantly to keep up with the latest advances. If it does not do so, its goods will not not be up to
the latest standards or, if so, will be prohibitively expensive. Of necessity the bourgeoisie weans
itself of religious dogma, without itself being anti-religion or even irreligious. The bourgeois state
may comprise overwhelmingly of citizens belonging to, and devoutly faithful to one religion. But
the state itself does not adopt it. It was surely about a bourgeois Muslim state that Iqbal was
confident, as we have seen, that it would not be ruled by religion.
Without any doubt, Mr. Jinnah was the very best of the Muslim bourgeois culture of the
Sub-continent. And he was definitively against orthodoxy, obscurantism, and the rule of religious
parties upon the state. He did not want a theocracy. That is why almost every member of the
Muslim bourgeoisie, the trader, the shopkeeper, the Aligarh students, followed him. That is why
the orthodoxy opposed him and was so roundly defeated by him.
Mr. Jinnah had established his credentials more than once with his liberal and anti-fundamentalist
articulations. There are many instances that establish that Mr. Jinnah posited politics and religion,
and therefore, the state and religion, in two separate compartments. He was quite clear in his
mind about the issue, and never missed an opportunity to make his views known. Reacting, for
instance, to a question by an enthusisatic youth about Mr. Gandhi's non-co-operation call in
1920, Mr. Jinnah had said:
"Well, young man, I will have nothing to do with this pseudo-religious approach to politics. I part
company with the Congress and Gandhi, I do not beleive in working up mob hysteria. Politics is a
On another occasion when some other ardent admirers adressed him as "Maulana Jinnah", he put
them down curtly saying:
"I am not a Maulana; just Mr. Jinnah."
But such small, though significant instances apart, two very important speeches made by him
during his career as a leader of men tell most about his thinking on the subject. The first, in 1929,
made on the Child Marriages Restraint Bill, and the other, on the eve of Independence, made by
him on 11th August, 1947, in the Constituent Assembly. These one must reflect upon. These were
well-considered deliveries. They tell the most, and in explicit terms, about Jinnah's views on the
subject. Yet, somehow, even senior and competent biographers like Ayesha Jalal and Stanley
Wolpert, do little justice to many of Jinnah's speeches. The one on the the rights of political
detenus and the one on the relationship between the state and religion, being the one on the Child
Marriages Restraint Bill, are not even noticed.
The Child Marriages Restraint Bill (later an Act by the same name), was moved in 1927 in the
Legislative Assembly by Rai Haridas Sarda. As such it was also known as the Sarda Bill.
Because of the controversy it generated, it remained pending in the House for two long years. It
proposed the adoption of a minimum age for contracting of marriage, and provided penalties for
guardians giving away their minor wards in marriage.
The Bill invoked the ire of the fundamentalists throughout the land. The House Petitions'
Committee received as many as 707 petitions against the Bill, signed by no less than 72,725
persons! A fatwa had also been pronounced by 74 leading ulema condemning the Bill. Only four
petitions, signed by a mere 10 persons, were received in support of the Bill. Inside the House the
opposition came from other Muslim members including Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qaiyum from
the N.W.F.P., Mr. A.H. Ghaznavi, from Dhakka, Mr. Mohammad Yamin Khan from U.P., and
Maulvi Mohammad Shafi Daoodi from Tirhut. The Maulana was the most vocal. He believed that if
the Bill was adopted it would be the most cruel encroachment on the rights of the Mussalmans.
Those opposed to the Bill cried that "religion was in danger" on account of the proposed law.
Mr. Jinnah was undeterred by the opposition. His words were clear and unambiguous, and I quote
some portions of his speech in his own words:
"I cannot believe that there can be a divine sanction for such evil practices as are prevailing, and
that we should, for a single minute, give our sanction to the continuance of these evil practices any
longer. How can there be such a divine sanction to this cruel, horrible, disgraceful, inhuman
practice that is prevailing in India?"
Mr. Jinnah was not insensitive towards the fundamentalist opposition, and Voltaire-like was
prepared to let them be with their sentiments and convictions. He did not grudge them these, but
was not prepared to buckle under on a matter of principle. He was firm when he observed that:
"Always the social reformer is face to face with this orthodox opinion having behind it this
conviction, this sentiment, this feeling which is perfectly understandable and to some extent
legitimate. But are we to be dragged down by this section for whom we have respect, whose
feelings we appreciate, whose sentiments we regard; are we to be dragged down and are we to be
prevented in the march of progress? In the name of humanity, I ask you.
"And if we are going to allow ourselves to be influenced by the public opinion that can be created
in the name of religion, when we know that religion has nothing whatsoever to do with the matter
--- I think we must have the courage to say: 'No, we are not going to be frightened by that'."
It may be difficult for a Pakistani today, exposed as he is to a selective rendering of
Jinnah's statements, to believe that these are indeed Mr. Jinnah's own words. The
theme that there were some matters that had nothing to do with religion would continue in the
other speech alluded to above. And even more strongly and emphatically for in that later
speech Mr. Jinnah would spell out the Grundnorm of Pakistan. But we will examine the
contents of speech of 11th August, 1947 later.
Although Nehru had predicted defections from the ranks of the Muslim League, and even though it
lacked, as yet, a mass following and an electoral vote-bank, it would not suffer any defections.
Jinnah was gradually tightening his political grip on the minds and souls of the Muslim masses,
and the Indus person.
The Muslim League had, no doubt been routed in the 1937 elections. It needed to broaden its base
among the masses. It had to expand its electoral vote-bank. A mass following was essential.
Even the support of the feudals and landowners in the Muslim majority areas was contingent upon
the League first acquiring, and demonstrating, support among the broad masses. It had to set
about building this support, But how to wean all the Muslims from the seemingly secular embrace
of the Congress?
The Congress itself provided the League leadership its first opening. The Congress policy of
attempting to break or discredit Muslim ministries in Muslim majority provinces (such as the
NWFP) was the League's opportunity. And Jinnah would not let it go by. The Congress had
provided the League with the crucial issue. The League leadership reacted at once. The perception
that Congress was intolerantly anti-Muslim could now be disseminated without much difficulty.
The issue was so formulated as to set up the League's "Muslim" image in contradistinction with
the Congress' "Hindu" orientation.
This perception, once generated by Congress intrusions in the provinces that had Muslim
ministries, worked in two ways. First, it won for the League a wider and less qualified support in
the Muslim Community. Second, the vigour of the campaign built for the League its first foundation
as a mass organisation. It reached out to the Muslim populace. Even Rajendra Prasad was to
complain to Valabhai Patel, that right-wing representative of the big Hindu bourgeoisie:
"The Mussalmans as a body have been alienated and inspite of all that the Congress ministries
have been doing to be just and even generous to them, there is not only no recognition but positive
opposition......I think if we had not been engaged in breaking, or at least discrediting, Muslim
ministries in non-Congress provinces, the position would have been different. The Muslim League
propaganda has gained much strength on account of this attitude of the Congress in Muslim
It was not merely the League ministries that were under threat. Within its own ranks the
Congress leadership began to display a certain narrow-mindedness that was to cost it dearly.
Abul Kalam Azad, one-time President of the All-India Congress Committee, and India's first
Minister for Education, published his memoirs entitled "India Wins Freedom", in 1958. Some
portions were, however, held back by him for publication after the passage of thirty years from his
death. He died in 1958. The book has again been published, in 1988, with these additional portions
the publication of which may have embarrassed him, or others, during his lifetime. These portions
tell, in Azad's own words, of the Congress' misguided and costly mistakes. In one of these
withheld pieces he bitterly wrote of how Congress decided to form provincial governments after
the elections of 1937, and the policy it pursued thereafter:
"As a result of these discussions, the Congress ultimately decided to accept office. At first, it did
so in the provinces where it had a parliamentary majority, then in the provinces where it was the
single largest party in the Legislature, and finally whereever it could...... Two things happened at
the time which left a bad impression about the attitude of the Provincial Congress Committies. I
have to admit with regret that both in Bihar and Bombay, the Congress did not come out fully
successful in its test of nationalism. The Congress had grown as a national organisation and given
the opportunity of leadership to men of different communities. Thus in Bombay Mr. Nariaman was
the acknowledged leader of the local Congress. When the question of forming the provincial
Government arose, there was general expectation that Mr. Nariman would be asked to lead it in
view of his status and record. This would have however meant that a Parsee would be the Chief
Minister while the majority of members in the Congress Assembly Party were Hindus. Sardar
Patel and his colleagues could not reconcile themselves to such a position and felt that it would be
unfair to the Hindu supporters of the Congress to deprive them of the honour. Accordingly Mr.
B.G. Kher was brought into the picture and elected leader of the Congress Assembly Party in
"A similar development took place in Bihar. Dr. Syed Mahmud was the top leader of the province
when the elections were held. He was also a General Secretary of the All India Congress
Committee and as such he had a position both inside and outside the province. When the
Congress secured an absolute majority, it was taken for granted that Dr. Syed Mahmud would be
elected the leader and become the first Chief Minister of Bihar under Provincial Autonomy.
Instead, Sri Krishna Sinha and Anugraha Narayan Sinha who were members of the Central
Assembly, were called back to Bihar and groomed for the Chief Ministership. Dr. Rajendra Prasad
played the same role in Bihar as Sardar Patel did in Bombay. the only difference between Bihar
and Bombay was that when Sri Krishna Sinha formed the Government, Dr. Syed Mahmud was
given a place in the Cabinet.
"These two instances left a bad taste at the time. Looking back, I cannot help feeling that the
Congress did not live up to its professed ideals. One has to admit with regret that the nationalism
of the Congress had not then reached a stage where it could ignore communal considerations and
select leaders on the basis of merit without regard to majority or minority."
Azad could have added one other factor that gave impetus to Hindu-Muslim friction. The Hindu
majorities in some of the provincial legislatures began to insist upon that the proceedings
commence with the recital of the 'Banday Matram', a nineteenth century Hindu revivalist anthem.
Muslim members resented this move, and resisted it. The 'Banday Matram' controversy singed
its scar upon Muslim minds. Compare this with the liberal and broad-minded approach
inherent in Jinnah's principles. He would choose his first Foreign Minister, on merit, from what
has since been constitutionally been decreed as a minority community. His first Law Minister
was a Hindu. Would the present-day fundamentalist lobbies that have held successive
governments under intense pressure, endorse any such induction today?
To his last day he would endlessly exhort his supporters to safeguard the rights of the
minorities. The principle would, indeed, be a grund norm of the State he was now struggling to
create. As we will see it reflected in his speech on the eve of the establishment of Pakistan, he
was possessed by this one passion.
Disillusionment with the divergence inherent in the Congress leadership's policy and practice
spread fast among the minorities. The Muslim masses now began to rally around the Muslim
League flag. Congress opportunism was contrasted with Jinnah's inflexible comitment to
principles. Muslim League ranks began to fill up, To consolidate its widespread support, the
League had now to mobilize its followers in a show of strength which would also make it a
The Congress now provided a second, and crucial opening upon the commencement of the Second
World War. In October 1939, the Congress asked all its ministries to resign in a dispute on the
war aims made explicit by Lord Linlithgow. The adept Jinnah did not miss his chance. He
immediately called for the observance of a "Day of Deliverance" from Congress rule.
The widespread observance of December 22 by the Muslim community as Deliverance Day
established, at once, the credentials of the League as well as of its new support in all the Muslim
majority areas. Even though tentative in demand and vague in parametres, the Pakistan
Resolution by the League in its Lahore Session on 23rd March 1940, was a natural follow up.
The League demanded that "geogrpahically contiguous units [be] demarcated into regions which
should be so constituted, with such terirtorial readjustments as may be necessary that the areas
in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North Western and Eastern Zones of
India should be grouped to constitute 'Independent States' in which the constittuent units should
be autonomous and sovereign." But even though the initial Resolution seeking a separate
political identity may have yet been tentative, the mood of the Muslim League was no longer
hesitant, or double-minded. It was now prepared to exploit any opportunity provided to it. This did
not take long.
As the Second World War progressed and India's contribution to the War effort was, again,
decisive. Britain had no intention of being deprived of it. But Indian leaders were aware of the
significance of its role. It had provided an enormous resource base, of men, manufactures, food and
provisions, to the Allied forces around the world. and Britain seemed to be giving nothing in return.
In 1942 the Congress passed the "Quit India" Resolution. Britain was not prepared to publically
countennace this eventuality. Congress leaders went to the Ahmadabad Fort Prison.
The League leadership was also for the winding up of the Raj. But upon different terms. It
therefore responded at once with the call for "Divide and Quit". A confident and vigorous Muslim
League demanded the partition of India and the establishment separate homelands for the
Muslims of India. The Muslim League of M.A. Jinnah had thus brought 'Pakistan' upon the political
horizon of the Sub-continent. It leaders went to the Muslim masses.
The landed gentry of the Indus region was now paying heed to the League. The Sindh Assembly,
composed almost entirely of the feudal lords, had voted its adherence to the Pakistan Resolution
in 1940. In the Punjab the feudal class was led by Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat of the
Unionist Party. Even though the League had won only one out of the 86 seats in the Punjab in the
1937 elections, the Unionists now felt its presence and were under pressure. The Jinnah-Sikandar
Pact (October 1937), established the Unionist Party's realisation that it needed the support and
blessings of an extra-parliamentary party, the Muslim League. Jinnah and the League had become
inevitable for the the feudals of the Indus region. Events had come full circle. The ailing and frail
Jinnah's commitment and determination were now winning, and winning fast.
Sikandar's successor, Khizar Hayat at first attempted to assert his independence of League's
policies (guaranteed adherence to by the Pact). He could not hold his own however, after Jinnah
effectively vetoed his inclusion in the reconstituted Viceroy's Council during the Simla Talks in
Events thereafter moved fast. The Labour Government sent a Cabinet Mission, comprising of
British ministers, to the Sub-continent in March, 1946. During exhaustive discussions with the
Congress and Muslim League leaderships, no agreement could be arrived at. The Mission then
announced its formula for resolving the constitutional impasse. Even though the Cabinet Mission
Plan did not envisage Pakistan, the Muslim League accepted it as it contained principles of a three
tier federation and the formation of an interim government, with certain safeguards for the Muslims
in the shape of two groups of semi-autonomous Muslim provinces. This was the best that
seemed to be possible at the time. The Congress, intriguingly enough, withheld its acceptance. In
view of the Congress attitude, the Mission decided to ignore the Muslim League's acceptance.
Jinnah was annoyed. The British bias in favour of the Congress seemed obvious.
On July 29, 1946, the League withdrew its acceptance and called for "Direct Action". August 16
was fixed as Direct Action Day. On that day fierce Hindu-Muslim riots broke out in Calcutta. Out
of the estimated 4,000 dead, "appreciably more Muslims than Hindus were killed." Jinnah was
now firm in his "opinion that there is no alternative except the outright establishment of Pakistan
.... We guarantee to look after non-Muslim and Hindu caste-minorities in Pakistan, which will be
about 25 million, and protect and safeguard their interests in every way ..... That is the quickest
way to India's real freedom and to the welfare and happiness of all the peoples inhabiting this
sub-continent." Jinnah had, by now, become the most important of all the players in the field.
And then, during 1946, there was a mutiny in some units of the Royal Indian Navy in Bombay.
Would this mutinous virus spread to the other forces? Britain was on the edge. It now took the
most crucial decision.
Early in 1947, Mr. Clement Attlee, the British Prime Minister, announced that Britain would leave
India before June, 1948 even if the Muslim League and Congress could not agree between
themselves on the constitutional framework of an independent Sub-continent. In March Lord
Mountbatten was appointed the Governor-General of India. Mountbatten soon announced what
came to be known as the "June 3rd Plan". It proposed the Partition of the Sub-continent into India
and Pakistan. The Congress and Muslim League both accepted it.
It was because the impulse of Indus towards separatism was natural and primordial, and because
it was itself based on foundations that lay in ancient history, that history was turning full circle.
The Indus was reverting to its primordial status.
Jinnah, having started with a weak and limited following among the Muslim bourgeoesie, had won,
by the time of the elections of 1946, the support of the landed gentry of the Indus region. An
effective alliance had been forged. The newly converted feudals, with greater and traditional
economic power in the Muslim majority areas the Indus region, began to exert an even greater
influence on policy making than the bourgeoisie. Together, under the charisma and charm of Jinnah,
they were able to arouse a vigorous mass following both in the urban and rural areas. Pakistan
had become inevitable. Jinnah had been proclaimed the Quaid-e-Azam, or the Great Leader. 1947
was an irresistable step away.
On the eve of Independence the Quaid-e-Azam addressed the First Constituent Assembly of
Pakistan. The speech of the 11th of August, 1947, embodied the fundamental principles that had
impelled the creation of the country. It was a speech made by none other than its sole founding
father. It was a speech made in the forum enjoined to draw up the fundamental document, the
Constitution of the newly-created state. And it was a speech appropriately made on the very eve
of its creation. It was thus a contemporaneous rendering of the essential moorings of the new
state by the most competent authority, on the most apt, and solemn, of all occasions. It embodied
the essence of the struggle, and the definition of the objective that had been pursued and that had
now been grasped. What other testimony could have a greater cogency to the continuing
controversy about the rationale of the new State?
In the very opening words of his speech the Quaid asserted:
"You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a Government is to maintain law and order,
so that the life and property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected."
He then proceeded to decry the bribery, corruption, nepotism, and jobbery, that had afflicted the
Sub-continent and felt that a break would have to be made from this legacy. And then he pleaded
"Now, if we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous we should wholly
and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and specially of the masses and the poor.
If you will work in co-operation, forgetting the past, burying the hatchet, you are bound to
succeed. If you change your past and work together in a spirit that every one of you, no matter to
what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter what
is his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights,
privileges and obligations, there will be no end to the progress you will make.
"I can not emphasise it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all
these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim
community, because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so
on and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalis, Madrasis and
so on, will vanish. Indeed if you ask me this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to
attain its freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free peoples long long
ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls in subjection;
nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time but for this.
"Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You
are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may
belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State
"As you know, history shows that in England conditions sometime ago were much worse than
those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other.
Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made, and bars
imposed, against a particular class. Thank God we are not starting in those days . We are starting
in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no
discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental
principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State. The people of England, in course
of time, had to face the realities of the situation and had to discharge the responsibilities and
burdens placed upon them by the Government of their country and they went through that fire, step
by step. Today you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist:
What exists now is that every man is a citizen of Great Britain and they are all members of the
"Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time
Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious
sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens
of the State".
Recall, once more, the salient points of what Jinnah, the Great Leader, was saying on the eve of
Independence: "You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the
business of the State". And: "Today you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and
Protestants do not exist: What exists now is that every man is a citizen of Great Britain and they
are all members of the nation. Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal ........."
(In the present-day environment of obscurantism, these words would be dismissed as the
thoughts of a anglicised lawyer. But it was the Founder himself discussing the "ideal"). And
notice also the words: "not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each
individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State".
It was because of such thoughts that were so fine-tuned and in harmony with the spirit of the
Indus region, and because of his consistent adherence to his principles that Jinnah had been
proclaimed the "Quaid-e-Azam". His memory continues to evoke a vast an emotive following,
although its adherence to his essential philosophy has been gradually replaced by an adherence to
certain State-sponsored dogmatic precepts.
It is time to revert to the thoughts, practices and principles of the plain "Mr. Jinnah."
The Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan