Showing posts with label 1940. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1940. Show all posts

Quaid-e-Azam turned a dream into a reality

ON March 23, 1940, the Muslims of the sub-continent resolved to create a separate homeland, Pakistan. The decision was neither taken in haste nor precipitated by a sudden, dramatic turn of events.

Hindus and Muslims had lived in India for centuries but had remained two distinctly different cultural entities presenting marked dissimilarities that neither time nor assimilation could erase; they were like two streams running a parallel course. So manifest and so profound were the differences that the London Times, commenting on the Government of India Act of 1935, had to ungrudgingly concede: “Undoubtedly the difference between the Hindus and Muslims is not of religion in the strict sense of the word but also of laws and culture, that they may be said indeed to represent two entirely distinct and separate civilizations.”

This incontrovertible realization found a more convincing elucidation in the words of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: “Notwithstanding thousand years of close contact, nationalities which are as divergent today as ever, cannot at any time be expected to transform themselves into one nation merely by mean of subjecting them to a democratic constitution and holding them forcibly together by unnatural and artificial methods of British Parliamentary Statutes.”

The background of Pakistan Resolution is such that in 1937, provincial autonomy was introduced in the sub-continent under the Government of India Act, 1935. The elections of 1937 provided the Congress with a majority in six provinces, where Congress governments were formed. This led to the political, social, economic and cultural suppression of the Muslims in the Congress ruled provinces.

The Congress contemptuously rejected the Muslim League’s offer of forming coalition ministries. The Muslims were subjected not only to physical attacks but injustice and discriminatory treatment as regards civil liberties, economic measures and employment and educational opportunities. The Congress Ministries introduced the Wardha scheme of education, the object of which was to “de- Muslimize” the Muslim youth and children.

Ian Stephens, former editor of the newspaper “Statesman” and an eyewitness to the working of the Congress Ministries, says: "The effect of this simultaneously on many Muslim minds was of a lightning flash.

Rajgopalacharya has no mind

C Rajgopalacharya with the Quaid-e-Azam

In the course of his statement on the Pakistan Resolution Mr. Rajgopalacharya said “Indeed not even Tipu Sultan or Hyder Ali or Aurangzeb or Akbar, all of whom lived during the days when difference seemed more deep rooted than now, imagined that India was anything but one and indivisible.”

On his Quaid-i-Azam observed: “Yes, naturally they did so as conquerors and paternal rulers. Is this the kind of government Mr. Rajagopalachrya does still envisage? And did the Hindus of those days willingly accept the rule of these ‘great men?’ I may or may not be suffering from a diseased mentality, but the statement of Mr. Rajagopalcharya and his criticism of the Lahore Resolution indicate that in him there is no mind left at all.”

Timeline of Quaid-e-Azam

through the yearsJinnah
December 25, 1876   Born at Karachi
1882   Education started at home
1887   Admitted to Sind Madrasatul Islam, Karachi
1892   Married Emibai at the age of 16 
  Left Karachi for Europe
1893   Joined Lincoln's Inn 
  Emibai died at home
1895   Became Bar-at-Law 
  Mother died at Karachi
1896   Returned to Karachi from London 
  Migrated to Bombay
1897   Enrolled as Advocate in Bombay High Court
1900   Appointed Presidency Magistrate, Bombay
1906   Appointed Personal Secretary to Dadabhoy Naoroji
1909   Father died 
  Elected to the Supreme Imperial Council uncontested
1910   Elected to the Legislative Assembly, Bombay
1911   Piloted Waqf Alal Aulad Bill -- the only private member's Bill to be passed 
  (in 1913)
1912   Attended All-India Muslim League Council Meeting
1913   Left for England with Gokhale 
  Founded London Indian Association
  Joined All-India Muslim League
1915   Initiated the move for setting up of a League-Congress joint committee 
  for Hindu-Muslim unity
1916   Presided over the sixteenth Bombay Provincial Conference 
  Presided over the All-India Muslim League Lucknow session; Lucknow 
  Pact signed
1917   Became President, Home Rule League, Bombay 
  Organised "Memorandum of the Nineteen
1918   Married Rattenbai at Calcutta 
  Foiled the move to set up "Willingdon Memorial" in Bombay. Jinnah's 
  People's Memorial Hall constructed as a tribute to his services.
1919   Daughter (Dina) born 
  Resigned from the Imperial Legislative Council as a protest against Rowlatt Act
1920   Resigned from Home Rule League 
  Resigned from the Congress on differences with Gandhi
1922   Participated in All Parties Conference in Bombay as one of the three 
1923   Elected to the Imperial Legislative Council from Bombay
1924   Presided over the All-India Muslim League session in Lahore
1927   Boycotted the Simon Commission. Presided over a meeting of all the 
  important Muslim leaders at Delhi
1928   Attended National Convention at Calcutta
1928   Rattenbai died
1929   Jinnah's amendments to Nehru Report rejected 
  All-India Muslim League rejects Nehru Report at its Delhi session
  Jinnah's Fourteen Points
1930   Attended Round Table Conference in London
1931   Stayed on in England; gave up political activities temporarily
1934   Returned to India. Got actively engaged in politics 
  Again elected to the Central Legislative Assembly
  Elected Permanent President of All-India Muslim League
  Elected leader of the Independent Party in the Assembly
1935   Government of India Act, 1935 passed 
  Jinnah-Rajendra Prasad Formula
1936   Constituted All-India Muslim League Central Parliamentary Board to fight elections under 1935 Act
1937   Provincial elections under 1935 Act 
  Congress forms ministries in six provinces; Congress raj begins
  Jinnah presides over League session at Lucknow. All-India Muslim League turned into a mass organisation and compete independence adopted as goal
1938   Presides over Special League Session at Calcutta 
  Presides over League Session at Patna
1939   Demand Royal Commission to inquire into Muslim grievances under Congress rule. 
  Day of Deliverance observed (on exit of Congress Ministries)
1940   Historic Lahore (Pakistan) Resolution passed
1943   Rejected Rajagopalachariya formula 
  Presided over All-India Muslim League's Karachi session and said: "We have got millions  behind us; we have got our flag and our platform; and what is more we have now the definite goal of Pakistan." Toured the subcontinent like a storm
1944   Jinnah-Gandhi talks
1945   Participated in Simla Conference. Elected to Central Legislative Assembly
1946   January 11, All-India Muslim League sweeps the polls in Muslim constituencies; Victory Day 
  April 4, Meeting with Cabinet Mission
  April 9, Called a convention of all Muslim members of the Central and Provincial 
  Assemblies at Delhi
  May 16, Cabinet Mission Plan announced
  June League accepts Cabinet Mission Plan. League also accepts Short-Term 
  (Interim Government) Plan
July Conditional acceptance of Cabinet Mission Plan by Congress. Congress rejects Short- Term Plan. Viceroy's volte face on the formation of Interim Government. All-India Muslim League withdraws earlier acceptance, rejects Cabinet Mission Plan and announces boycott of Constituent Assembly. Called upon Members to renounce all British titles and honours in protest against British attitude towards Muslims and decides to launch Direct Action to wrest Pakistan
  August 16, Direct Action Day
  October 25, All-India Muslim League agrees to participate in the Interim Government
  December 2, Reaches London on invitation from Secretary of State
  December 6, British Government's clarification upholds League's viewpoint on Cabinet Mission Plan
1947   February 20, Prime Minister Attlee announces that the British would relinquish power in India by June 1948 
  June 3, Plan envisaging partition of India and establishment of Pakistan announced.  Jinnah's historic broadcast accepting the Plan
  July, Indian Independence Act passed by British Parliament
  August 7, Left Delhi for Karachi by air
  August 11, Elected President of Pakistan Constituent Assembly. Presidential address in the Constituent Assembly. Title of "Quaid-e-Azam" conferred on him
  August 14, Pakistan comes into being; the Quaid-e-Azam sworn in as the first Gvernor-General
  October, Set up headquarters at Lahore to supervise settlement of refugees in Punjab
  December 25,   First official birthday
1948   July 1, Inaugurated State Bank of Pakistan; gave a call for evolving a new economic system 
  July 14, Left again for rest at Ziarat
  August 14, First Independence Day; last message to the nation
  September 11, Returned to Karachi from Ziarat; Breathed his last.

The Pakistan Resolution (1940)

Jinnah's Lahore address lowered the final curtain on any prospects for a single united independent India. Those who understood him enough know that once his mind was made up he never reverted to any earlier position realized how momentous a pronouncement their Quaid-i-Azam had just made. The rest of the world would take at least seven years to appreciate that he literally meant every word that he had uttered that important afternoon in March. There was no turning back. The ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity had totally transformed himself into Pakistan's great leader. All that remained was for his party first, then his inchoate nation, and then his British allies to agree to the formula he had resolved upon. As for Gandhi, Nehru, Azad and the rest, they were advocates of a neighbor state and would be dealt with according to classic canons of diplomacy. - Stanley Wolpert, Jinnah of Pakistan.

The British had been compelled to recognize the Muslim League as the sole representative of the Muslims of India by 1940 and Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah as its undisputed leader.

Time and Tide of London published an article by Jinnah on January 19, 1940 under the caption "The Constitutional Future of India". He maintained: "Democratic systems based on the concept of a homogeneous nation such as England are very definitely not applicable to heterogeneous countries such as India." He called the Hindus and the Muslims "two different nations" with different religions and different social codes. It is obvious that by calling the Hindus and the Muslims two nations, Jinnah had reached the threshold of partition, but he was still reluctant to abandon his lifelong dream that Hindus and the Muslims would come to an understanding and in unison make "their common motherland " one of "the great countries of the world".

The Quaid-i-Azam crossed the barrier at the Lahore session of the Muslim League in March 1940. He traveled to Lahore from Delhi in a colorfully decorated train on which green flags were mounted, bearing the emblem of the Muslim League: the crescent and star.

Jinnah decided to address a public gathering on the opening day. It was a huge gathering of the Leaguers, the Khaksars and the Muslims at Minto Park (now Iqbal Park). Jinnah had expounded the rationale of the resolution in his presidential address that lasted for hundred minutes and frequently punctuated by thunderous applause. Though, most of his audience of over 100,000 did not know English, he held their attention and visibly touched their emotion. He asserted that the Muslims were "a nation by any definition". In his historical address he laid the foundation of a separate state for the Muslims of India:

"The Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs, and literature. They neither inter-marry, nor inter-dine together, and indeed they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspirations from different sources of history. They have different epics, their heroes are different, and they have different episodes. Very often the hero of one is foe of the other, and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and the final destruction of any fabric that may be so built for the government of such a state."
The Pakistan Resolution is moved by A K Fazlul Haq

The session began with Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan presenting the annual report on March 23, 1940. After the report, Maulana Fazlul Haq from Bengal, moved the famous Lahore Resolution, better known as the Pakistan Resolution, "…the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute 'Independent States' in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign." The resolution was seconded by Choudhry Khaliquzzaman who gave a brief history of the causes which led the Muslims to demand a separate state for themselves. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Sardar Aurangzeb Khan, Sir Abdullah Haroon, Nawab Ismail Khan, Qazi Mohammad Isa and I.I Chundigar supported it, among others.

The resolution passed in Lahore on March 23, created a scare in the minds of the Congress and the Hindus. They could see that the Muslim League had now openly advocated the division of India into "Independent States." The Quaid had anticipated the Hindu reaction and had taken organizational steps to face the opposition of the Hindus. He himself set an example of calm courage and an iron determination to lead the Muslims to their cherished goal of freedom. The Pakistan Resolution released the potential creative energies of the Muslims and even the humblest amongst them made his contribution for the achievement of Pakistan. The Quaid knew that without a well-defined goal that could be understood even by the simplest Muslim, there could be no real awakening of the Muslims. The Pakistan Resolution gave them a legible, objective and reachable goal: Pakistan.
Minar-e-Pakistan is a tall minaret in Iqbal Park Lahore, built in commemoration of the Pakistan Resolution ( 23 March, 1940) . The minaret reflects a blend of Mughal and modern architecture. Pakistan now celebrates this day as a national holiday each year. Photo credit: Khurram Abbass

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