Two – Nation Theory Study Materials

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Two – Nation Theory Study Materials

TWO-NATION THEORY

The Lahore Resolution

            From 22 to 24 March 1940, the All India Muslim League held its annual session at the Minto Park, Lahore. This session proved to be historic. On the first day of the session Muhammad Ah Jinnali narrated the events of some preceding months. In an extempore speech, he presented his own – solution to the Muslim problem. He said that the problem of India was not of an inter-communal nature, but manifestly an international one and must be treated as such. To him, the differences between Hindus and Muslims were so great and so sharp that their union under one Central Government was full of serious risks. They belonged to two separate and distinct nations and therefore, the only chance open was to allow them to have separate states. In the words of Jinnah: ‘Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither inter-marry nor inter-dine anti, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations that dre based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts on life and of lite are different. It is quite clear that the Hindus and the Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other, and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations tinder a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing tsconten an final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up forthe government of such a state’. He further son nation according to any definition o nation. We wish our people to develop to the fullest spiritual, cultural,  economic, social and political life in a way that we think best and m consonance with our own ideals and according Jinnah, the Chief Minister of Bengal, A. K. Fazl-ul-Haq, moved the historic resolution, which has since come to be known as the Lahore Resolution are the Pakistan Resolution.

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Two-Nation Theory: Origin of the Concept

          This theory held that there were two nations-one belonging to the Hindus and one two the Muslims-living in the territory of India. Sir Syed Ahmad khan was the first exponent of the Two-Nation Theory in the modern era. He belived that India was a continent and not a country, and that among the vast polpulation of different races and different creeds, Hindus and Muslims were the two major components. Events such as the Urdu-Hindi controversy (1867), the partition of Bengal (1905), and the Hindu revivalism set the Hindus and the Muslims further apart. However, the annulment of the partition of Bengal in 1911 by the British Government brought the Congress and the Muslim League on one platform. Starting with the constitutional cooperation in the Lucknow Pact (1916), they launched the Non-cooperation and Khilfat movements to press upon the British government the demand for constitutional reforms in India in the pos-World War I era.

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Reaction to the Two-Nation Theory

            The politicisation of the Muslim community came about as a consequence of three developments:

  • Various efforts towards Islamic reform and revival during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • The impact of Hindu-based nationalism.
  • The democratisation of the government of British India.

While the antecedents of Muslim nationalism in India go back to theearly Islamic conquests of India, organizationally it stems from the demands presented by the Simla deputation to Lord Minto, the Governor-General of India, in October 1906. proposing separate electorates for the Indian Muslims. The principal reason behind this demand was the maintenance of a separate identity of the Muslim nationhood.

In the same year, the founding of the All India Muslim League, a separate political organization for Muslims, highlighted the fact that the Muslims of India had lost trust in the Hindu-dominated Indian National Congress. Besides being a Hindu-dominated body, the Congress leaders, in order to win support at the grass roots for their political movement, used Hindu religious symbols and slogans, thereby arousing Muslim suspicions regarding the secular character of the Congress.

After the collapse of the Khilafat Movement, Hindu- Muslim antagonism revived once again. The Muslim League rejected the proposals forwarded by the Nehru Report and they chose a separate path tor themselves. The idea of a separate homeland for the Muslims ot Northern India as proposed by Allama Iqbal in his famous Allaha a Address showed that the creation of two separate states or the Muslims and Hindus was the only solution. The idea was reiterated during the Sindh provincial meeting of the League, und finally adopted as the official League position in the Lahore Declaration of 23 March 1940.

Thus, these historical, cultural, religious and social differences between the Hindus and the Muslims accelerated the pace of political developments, finally leading to the division of British India into two separate, independent states—Pakistan and India—on 14 and 15 August 1947, respectively.

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