The Triumphant Philosophy of Jinnah
Hindus and Muslims had lived together across Hindustan for centuries, prior to the division of India in 1947. Yet Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah described them as two separate nations. He believed that evolution of Hindus and Muslims as a common nationality was a mere dream which was far too unrealistic to be actualized.
His philosophy, which became the official narrative of the movement of Pakistan was known as the “Two Nation Theory”, stating “Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, and literary traditions. They neither intermarry nor eat together, and indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions.”
Many, including Maulana Azad, believed that India, upon attaining freedom will become a secular and modern state, where differences would be economic, not communal. Political parties would contest elections on political issues not on religion. The class would be the basis for future alignment and not the community. But such dreams remain dreams as Jinnah predicted. Hindu bias against Muslims never got diluted. Since the late 1990’s India’s electoral milieu has seen a stronger surge of religious flavor, specifically from Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
BJP has gone through a renaissance under Modi, and with a dominant victory in 2019’s general elections, this man is seriously damaging the secular character of India. Cattle slaughter ban, tightening existing cattle laws in BJP governed provinces were just the trailer. Such laws are affecting thousands of Muslims and already marginalized Dalit communities engaged in the leather industry and other related occupations. Vigilante Hindu mobs, openly patronized by people like Federal Minister Jayant Sinha, are openly bullying, beating people from non-Hindu communities and vandalizing their properties.
Striking off the constitutionally guaranteed special status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) is yet another attempt against the only Muslim-majority state in India to change its demography and convert it to Hindu-majority state as well. Dismembering the state and degrading a part (Jammu) to a union territory is a unique example of lawlessness. Because of the timing of the verdict and inconsistencies in the judgment, various factions are perceiving it to be mala fide.
Similarly the controversial judgment of Supreme Court of India, in long-drawn-out dispute over Ram-Temple Vs Babri Masjid (Which stood at the site since 16th century) in Ayodha, Uttar Paradesh, is yet another example of perpetuating Hindutva in Indian society.It is obvious that different institutions are under immense pressure of majoritarian politics and have to work and decide for Modi.
Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is also a part of BJP agenda to marginalized Muslims. Through this Act, India becomes the only democracy distinguishing citizens on the basis of religion. The bill aims at providing citizenship to Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists (keep Muslim community out of its ambit) who entered India fleeing from Muslim-majority countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. This Act clearly defies Article 14 of the Indian constitution which prohibits discrimination on any ground including religion, race, gender, and ethnicity.
National Register of Citizen (NRC) is a list of people who entered India before the independence of Bangladesh in March 1971, shows obvious discrimination against Muslim migrants who will not be able to get registered under CAAwhereas their non-Muslim counterparts will be treated differently on religious basis.
Increasing instances of brutality against non-Muslims across India, discriminations in universities, attack on Jamia Millia Islamia by uniformed personnel are examples of growing Hindutva, a majoritarian political ideology that uses religion and racism as a justification for atrocities against non-Hindus in general, and Muslims in particular.
Muslim youth stone pelleting in the streets of Kashmir, raising slogans against hatred and discrimination across India on one hand, and gau rakshaks with batons in their hands on the other are revealing the brutal divide of ideology, vindicating Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s “Two Nation Theory”.
Today scholars like Shashi Tharoor and Supporters of Indian secular promise like Farooq Abdullah from IOJK are admitting that Jinnah’s ideology is triumphant in India. “India cannot be assumed today to be Unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary, there are two nations in the main- the Hindus and the Muslims”. (Quaid e Azam, speech 23rd March, 1940)
The writer is a Research Scholar in International Relations at NUML (National University of Modern Languages) Islamabad.