Mohammad Ali Jinnah Propounded the Two Nation Theory, but it is his Biggest Failure
Jinnah and the Congress party
Jinnah was a long standing member of the Congress party and when Gandhi arrived in India in 1915, Jinnah did not take much notice of him. But within a few months Jinnah realized that he was losing ground in the Congress party, because of the Hindu thrust of Gandhi. Gandhi started all his morning meetings with prayers from the Gita and Jinnah realized that Gandhi had the greater appeal.
Jinnah now took a conscientious decision to leave the Congress party and he resigned. Jinnah at that time was put off by Gandhi's rabid Hindu cloak. He himself was a modern Muslim who felt that religion and politics don't mix. Gandhi left no choice to Jinnah and for his political survival he left the Congress party and joined the Muslim league.
Jinnah and the Muslim League
Jinnah's joining the Muslim League was basically an attempt to keep himself relevant in India at time. He realized that he had no future outside the Muslim league as Gandhi had taken complete control of the Congress party. In a way Jinnah had to reinvent himself and this he did with gusto. He began to propagate the Muslim league theory that Muslims and Hindus could not live together. Maybe he himself did not believe in this, but the politics of expediency prevailed and Jinnah began to champion a separate homeland for the Muslims. At best he was ready for a confederation of states where only defence, currency and Foreign affairs were to be under central control.
This loose confederation was not acceptable to the Congress party and the parting of ways was complete as Jinnah hardened his stand and began to insist on a separate state for Muslims of the sub-continent.
The british played a devious game in this sordid affair . Lenard Moseley in his book" Last days of the British Raj" brings out the fact that the British were keen to divide India and so they egged on Jinnah and supported him
Do you feel Jinnah was right to ask for a separate Homeland for Muslims?
Clash of cultures
Jinnah got his Pakistan( homeland for the Muslims) , but he himself referred to it as a moth eaten state as more Muslims were left behind in India than in Pakistan. Worse the state was divided into 2 parts, almost 1500 miles apart. Overland communication was only through India. The eastern part called East Pakistan was basically Bengali speaking and also racially different from their counterparts in the west.
Jinnah died soon after creation of Pakistan of tuberculosis and the new state tried to cement a relationship based on religion. This did not happen as the west dominated and the east was neglected. Economics played a big part and the per capita income of Muslims of East Pakistan was much lower than Western Pakistan. there was also very little development in the East and teh bengal language was neglected and Urdu the language of the west thrust down teh throats of the Bengali population.
The East began to ask for autonomy, but the military rulers in west Pakistan responded with brute force and mass scale killings and rapes commenced. The Pakistan government also raised a irregular force called the Razakars, who spread terror among the Bengali population and abducted, killed and raped at will.
Religion is not a uniting force still
The situation turned for the worse and an indigenous military force called the Mukti Bahni emerged. Indira Gandhi the Indian prime minister thought it the right time to cut Pakistan to size. In a swift operation the India army moved in and within a fortnight the Pakistani army surrendered and a new state, Bangladesh was created.
One thing was clear that Islam alone could not keep the nation united and thus Jinnah's theory which he had propounded met a sad death. It was proved that ethnic links , language and economics, matter more than just religion. Bangladesh was born in a bloodbath as the Razakars were killed and collaborators of Pakistan executed.
Matter have not ended there as in West Pakistan itself there is a growing resentment against the Punjabi dominance and now a full scale insurrection is on in Baluchistan. Jinnah died early and if had lived longer he would have been greatly disillusioned.
The two nation theory that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together is thus not of any value as in India over 160 million Muslims reside along with Hindus and have all rights as citizens. One has only to look at the Middle East where all nations though Islamic are divided and yet Islam is not a uniting force. In Islam there is a Sunni -Shia divide and there is constant war of attrition between the two.
There is also emergence of Islamic terror groups who have debased Islam and these groups are fighting against their own governments who are Muslim. It is a deadly cauldron and one can't help feeling that in reality creation of Pakistan was a big mistake.
Jinnah was wrong
In effect the events of the last 6 decades show that Jinnah was wrong. There is nothing like a two nation theory of separate home land for Muslims which he championed. How many know that there are more Muslims in India than the entire population of Pakistan and many occupy important positions in public life. Religion by itself has never been a uniting force anywhere and one has only to see the political divide in the Middle East to realize that there is nothing like a separate homeland for the Muslims. Perhaps if Jinnah had survived he would have realized the blunder he committed
Likely Further Breakup of Pakistan
Pakistan despite being a predominent Muslim state is in the throes of a great upheavel. There is a terror war on by the Sunni Muslims against the Shia and Ahmeddiya minority. Bomb blasts , killing hundreds are a common occurrence in the mosques of these minorities. The Shia's are also retialiating wherever they can
There is also a Wahabbi insurrection on in the North West Frontier now called FATA( Federally Adminstered Territory). Despite use of fighter jets and tanks and heavy artillery the Wahabbi Islamists are able to hold their own. There is also an insurrection on in Baluchistan. All these potend a great divide and ultimate break up of Pakistan. That will be the last nail in the dream of Mohamedali Jinnah.