What makes a nation? This is the question which was raised and sparked a big debate in the Subcontinent in the first half of the 20th century. Although the discussion was not among the public, the decision makers of public were arguing for this. According to a great number of thinkers from the Subcontinent of that time, a nation formed on the basic of a common language, territory, economic life, psychological make-up, manifested in a common culture. This was the viewpoint of Hindus and some Muslim scholars, as the same concept was presented by Stalin, a famous philosopher form Soviet Union. According to them, all people living in the Subcontinent made one nation. This theory was acceptable to many, but some Muslim scholars denied and presented the true concept of a nation.
According to the Islamic ideology which was later known as Pakistan Ideology, it is the religion that makes a nation. This ideology leads towards the Two Nation Theory which was the basic and major reason for the formation of Pakistan. As Muslims distinguished themselves from all other people in the Subcontinent on the basis of religion, two nations were formed. One is Muslim and other is non Muslim.
The Two Nation Theory refers to the cultural, political, religious, economic and social dissimilarities between two major communities. Why were these dissimilarities present there while all the people were living in same region, speaking the same language and sharing certain social values? It is Islam that makes them different. Islam is a Dean, not just a religion, and it gives you a complete code of life and guides in every part of life. That is why the Muslims were different from Hindus, the major community, and all other communities living in the Subcontinent.
The Two Nation Theory was not a new theory or a new statement but the same was said by Al-Beruni in 1001 CE in his famous book ‘Kitab-ul-Hind’: ‘’The Hindu society maintained this peculiar character over the centuries. The two societies, Hindus and Muslims, like two streams have sometimes touched but never merged, each following its separate course.”
The major differences between Hindus and Muslims which led to the formation of Pakistan were led by religion. The Hindus and Muslims belong to different religions. Islam preaches Tawheed (oneness of Allah) and believes in equality of man before law. Muslims are the believers in Allah, the Prophet (PBUH), the Quran and hold a cohesive approach towards life. Hinduism, on the other hand, is based on the concept of multiple gods, their society follows a caste system, divided into four classes, and has a very narrow approach towards life.
Other than religion, more differences were there but this was the major and actual difference. You will see it as Hindus consider the cow as a goddess and venerate her. On other hand, Muslim used to slaughter and eat the cow meat. In this situation, how could they live together, while one nation ate the god of the other?
As it was clear that both nations were completely different, the leaders of Muslims at that time demanded a separate piece of land for Muslims. This fact was realized by a lot of thinkers such as Allama Muhammad Iqbal, in the annual session of Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930. He was the first important figure who propounded the idea of a separate homeland for Muslims. He said: “India is a continent of human beings belonging to different languages and professing different religions…I therefore demand the formation of a consolidated Muslim state in the best interests of Muslims of India and Islam.”
After Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the person who adopted this theory and buckled up for the separate homeland of Muslims. He expounded the Two Nation Theory in such detail that most Muslims and even some Hindus came to believe in its truth. He declared: “Muslims are not a minority; they are one nation by every definition of the word ‘nation’. By all cannons of international law, we are a nation.”
He reiterated that Hindus and Muslims could ever evolve a common nationality was an idle dream. They are a totally different nation. They have an unbridgeable gulf between them and they stand miles apart in regard to their ideals, cultures and religions.
Due to all above mentioned reasons and differences, the Muslims apprehended that they would lose their identity if they remained a part of Hindu society. Hence, it is right to say that this theory i.e. the Two Nation Theory is the basic and major reason behind the partition of the Subcontinent. Without this as a base, Pakistan would not have come into being on 14th August 1947, and we would not be breathing freely in our homeland. May Allah protect Pakistan and make it a true Islamic state.