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The Two Nation Theory

The Two Nation Theory

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Published by mehrshah

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: mehrshah on May 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Two-Nation Theory
also known as
The Ideology of Pakistan
was the basis for thePartition of India in 1947. It stated that Muslims and Hindus were two separate nations by everydefinition, and therefore Muslims should have a self-governing homeland in the Muslim majorityareas of British India for the safeguard of their political, cultural, and social rights, within or without a United Nation. The two nation theory is the reason Pakistan came into being andacquired independence.
The Two-Nation Theory or Islamic Ideology of Pakistan was merely a negation of the philosophy that the Indian sub-continent was only one nation. The Two Nation Theory explainsthat Indian sub-continent has two large communities as Hindus and the Muslims.The Two Nation Theory developed through an evolutionary process. The Muslim modernistand reformer Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) was the pioneer of the Two Nation Theory. Heused the word “Two-Nations” for Hindus and Muslims once he was convinced of the Hindu andCongress’s hatred and prejudice towards the Muslims of the sub Continent.The famous poet and philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), provided the philosophical explanation whereas Barrister Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1871-1948) translated itinto the political reality of a nation state.
 TheAll-India Muslim League, in attempting to represent Indian Muslims, felt that the Muslimsof the subcontinent were a distinct and separate nation from the Hindus. At first they demandedseparate electorates, but when they came to the conclusion that Muslims would not be safe
in aHindu-dominatedIndia,they began to demand a separate state. TheLeaguedemandedself- determinationfor Muslim-majority areas in the form of a sovereign state promising minoritiesequal rights and safeguards in these Muslim majority areas.
1 Samina Mallah,
"Two-Nation Theory Exists,"
Pakistan Times,
hereafter, Mallah, “Two Nation”
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Nation_Theory#cite_note-Two-Nation_Theory_Exists-0
The evidence cited for the differences dates to the beginning of the eleventh century, when thescholar Al-Bairuni (973-1048) observed that Hindus and Muslims differed in all matters andhabits.Allama Iqbal's presidential address to theMuslim Leagueon December 29, 1930 is seen as the first introduction of the two-nation theory in support of what would ultimately becomePakistan. Ten years later,Jinnahmade a speech inLahoreon March 22, 1940 which was very similar to Al-Biruni's thesis in theme and tone. Jinnah stated that Hindus and Muslims belongedto two different religious philosophies, with different social customs and literature, with nointermarriage and based on conflicting ideas and concepts. Their outlook on life and of life wasdifferent and despite 1,000 years of history, the relations between the Hindus and Muslims couldnot attain the level of cordiality.
Quaid-E-Azam a first rate lawyer and later on the father of Pakistan entered politics in 1906 bytaking part in the Calcutta Session of the All India National Congress. Jinnah joined congress because it aimed at securing self-government by adopting constitutional means. He was greatlyimpressed by Krishan Gopal Gokhale and aspired to become ‘a Muslim Gokhale’. He eagerlydesired to raise the status of India in the international community and to develop a sense of Indian nationalism among the people of India.
 By 1916 Jinnah became a prominent face in the politics of the subcontinent. He was respected bythe Muslims and the Hindus of India. He resigned from the executive council in protest againstthe passage of Rowell Act. By 1920 Gandhi became a prominent figure in the Indian politics.Gandhi was an extremist Hindu leader with pro-Hindu approach to politics. Jinnah resigned fromthe Congress in 1920 due to Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement and joined the MuslimLeague. After resigning from the Congress, Jinnah stayed away from politics for several years but the pro-khilafat period saw the rise of Jinnah again, however by 1928 after the publication of  Nehru Report he had changed his mind about Hindu-Muslim unity.The elections of 1937 proved to be the turning point in the relations of the two parties. Thecongress’s decision of eliminating the Muslims from the ministries of the six provinces under their party widened the gap between the Hindus and Muslims. Jinnah was highly pained to find
3 Ibid p 1.4 M. Ikram Rabbani
Introduction to Pakistan Studies ( 
Lahore: Caravan Book House 2007)p.17.
the Congress acting in a highly anti-Muslim behavior. In 1937 he declared “Muslims can expectneither justice nor fair play under Congress Government.”InMuhammad Ali Jinnah's All India Muslim League Presidential Address delivered at Lahore,on March 22–23, 1940, he explained:

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