Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jinnah: Bengali Muslims are from outside

In Dhaka (Dacca), addressing a public meeting, March 21, 1948, Jinnah tried to calm the apprehensions of the East Pakistanis about the official language, Urdu.  He blamed the "certain amount of excitement over the question of whether Bengali or Urdu shall be the State language of this Province and of Pakistan" on the enemies of Pakistan, who were seeking to foment provincialism.

As long as you do not throw off this poison [of provincialism] in our body politic, you will never be able to weld yourself, mould yourself, galvanize yourself into a real true nation.   What we want is not to talk about Bengali, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Pathan and so on.  They are of course units.  But I ask you: have you forgotten the lesson that was taught to us thirteen hundred years ago? [i.e., Islam]  If I may point out, you are all outsiders here.  Who were the original inhabitants of Bengal—not those who are now living.  So what is the use of saying "we are Bengalis, or Sindhis, or Pathans, or Punjabis". No we are Muslims.
[emphasis added.  Quote from Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam, Volume IV, collected and edited by Khurshid Ahmad Khan Yusufi.]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ispahani: We are from outside

Mirza Abol Hassan Ispahani was Pakistan's first Ambassador to the U.S.A.  In his letter to Jinnah, dated September 19, 1947, he encloses "for your private information, copy of the speech that I shall deliver at the time I present my credentials" {to the President of the United States}.  Here is the text of the enclosure.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pakistan ka Matlab Kya Hai - 2

Tahir Wasti, in "The Application of Islamic Criminal Law in Pakistan : Sharia in Practice",  (ISBN 978-90-04-17225-8), Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009, writes the following:

This statement is often quoted as proof that the ideology that created Pakistan—'Pakistan ka matlab kya, La Ilahlah Illallah' ('what does Pakistan mean? Pakistan means that there is no God other than Allah')— had in fact never been raised on the platform of the Muslim League. Used as an election slogan coined by a Sialkot poet during the 1945 elections to decide the partition of India, it was vehemently opposed by Jinnah himself at the first and last meeting of the All Pakistan Muslim League[21], held under his chairmanship in 1947. The incident is quoted in the memoirs of a member of the Council of the Muslim League:

During the meeting, a man who called himself Bihari put to the Quaid that "we have been telling the people Pakistan ka matlab kya, La Illaha Illallah." "Sit down, sit down," the Quaid shouted back. "Neither I nor my working committee, nor the Council of the All Muslim League has ever passed such a resolution wherein I was committed to the people of Pakistan. Pakistan ka matlab, you might have done so to catch a few votes".[22]

[21] The Muslim League, a political party founded in 1906, led the movement for the creation of Pakistan. Jinnah was its most prominent member.

[22] Malik Ghulam Nabi, Daghon ki Barat, cited in Ahmad Bashir, "Islam, Shariat and the Holy Ghost", Frontier Post, Peshawar, 9 May 1991.

As per here (Abdus Sattar Ghazali's Islamic Pakistan: Illusions and Reality), the meeting was held in the Khaliqdina Hall in Karachi.

Per this web-essay by Wajahat Masood, the story is as follows:
Now let's have a look on the testimony presented by Malik Ghulam Nabi (the former minister for education, Punjab). He was a close associate of Qaid-e-Azam and a member of Muslim League Council. On page no. 106 of his book "Kissa ek sadi ka"(The chronicle of a century) he writes: "The first conference of All Pakistan Muslim League Council in Pakistan was held under the presidentship of Qaid-e-Azam in the Dena Hall, Karachi on December 14, 1947. In the conference, a bearded man came up and said to Qaid-e-Azam, "We had told people, Pakistan ka matlab kya, La ilaha illallah," Qaid-e-Azam said, "Please sit down, neither I nor the working council of All India Muslim League has passed a resolution adopting 'Pakistan ka matlab kya, la ilaha illallah. Albeit you must have raised this slogan to garner votes."
 This incident is not mentioned in the proceedings of the Council of the All India Muslim League, December 14-15, 1947, Khaliqdina Hall, Karachi, printed by Z.H. Zaidi in the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Papers, Volume VI, #273, nor in the newspaper reports, printed as annexures to #273.  However, the following is notable, quoted from The Daily Gazette, 16 December, 1947:

A member interrupted and asked the Quaid-i-Azam if he would once again, be prepared to take over the leadership of the Muslims of India in the present hour of trial.   The Quaid-i-Azam replied that he was quite willing to do so if the Council gave its verdict in favour of such a proposal.  He recalled his statement at the time of the achievement of Pakistan, the cherished goal of the Muslim nation, that he wanted to lead a retired life. But if called upon, he was quite ready to leave Pakistan and share the difficulties of the Muslims in the Indian Union and to lead them....{ellipsis in Z.H. Zaidi}

Mr. Jinnah addressed the Council again and said: "Let it be clear that Pakistan is going to be a Muslim State based on Islamic ideals.  It was not going to be an ecclesiastical State.  In Islam there is no discrimination as far as citizenship is concerned.  The whole world, even UNO, has characterized Pakistan as a Muslim State.

There must be a Muslim League in Hindustan.   If you are thinking of anything else, you are finished.   If you want to wind up the League you can do so; but I think it would be a great mistake.  I know there is an attempt.  Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and others are trying to break the identity of Muslims in India.  Do not allow it.  Do not do it."

Pakistan Ka Matlab Kya Hai

Wikipedia tells us:
Professor Asghar Sodai (1926-09-26 – 2008-05-17) was a famous educationist and Urdu poet born at Sialkot. Pakistan ka matlab kiya?, la ilaha Ilallah was coined by him in 1944, in his immortal Tarana-e-Pakistan, which spread like wildfire amongst the Pakistan Movement rallies. He was a great worker of Pakistan Movement. Muhammad Ali Jinnah once said that Asghar Sodai has 25% contribution in Pakistan Movement. He was former principal of Government Jinnah Islamia College and Government Allama Iqbal College. He also worked as Director Colleges Punjab. Prof Asghar Sodai died in 2008 after receiving a severe heart attack at his residence in Sialkot.
The Fourth Estate: People and Politics in Pakistan, by Hasan Khalid, 1994, in the snippet available at confirms Professor Asghar Sodai as the one "who wrote the poem that became the rallying cry for Pakistan (Pakistan ka matlab kya hai, La Ilah-a-Ill-Lil'lah)".''

 Notes: Alternate spelling for Sodai is Saudai.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An unwitting contribution to Pakistan

 II.67 from volume XI of the Jinnah Papers, edited by Z.H. Zaidi:

Gulamhusein Qawwal to M.A. Jinnah
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Rahim

23 October 1945

Beloved leader,

I am a poor Qawwal of Ajmer Sharif, and I give my haazree every evening in the Durgah Sharif.

This evening Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru accompanied by the only two Congress Muslims of Ajmer, came to Durgah Sharif and sat down to listen to my Qawwali and he offered me rupees twenty as nazrana.  I am al-hamdulillah a Muslim and as such a staunch Muslim Leaguer.   Hence I believe no better use can be made of this money than for the purpose of attaining our cherished goal of Pakistan.  So I am sending the money to you for the Election Fund, which I hope you will kindly accept.   I am sending you the very notes given to me by Panditjee, and to assure the notes reaching you, I am sending them by insured-registered post.

With my humble wishes and prayers,

I remain, Sir,
Your devoted follower,

PS. Then notes are inscribed that they were given by Pandit.

PS: As per this Tribune article, Nehru gave a speech at Beawar, Rajasthan on October 23, 1945, where he said,
The cause of communism suffered most at the hands of the Communist Party of India. The role of the Communist Party of India has made nationalist India its opponent. Opposition to the Communist Party of India is not merely political. The whole nation is angry with them.
 Beawar is 55-60 kilometers from Ajmer.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Iqbal's Letters to Jinnah, 1937

Iqbal's letters to Jinnah are a significant sign-post in the road to partition.

Iqbal's first letter argues that to alleviate Muslim poverty, enforcement of the Sharia is necessary, and that is possible only with Muslim states.  He also argues that Muslims would be able to accept social democracy easily, while Hindus would no longer remain Hindus if they accept it.

In the second letter, Iqbal reveals that he considers the Hindu Mahasabha to be the real representative of the Hindu masses (though Congress had just swept the provincial elections), and that the only way to keep the peace in India was through division.