Showing posts with label Dacca. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dacca. Show all posts

Quaid-e-Azam and the youth

Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the outstanding leader and a visionary statesman created this nation state of Pakistan by legal and constitutional means, with the power of the pen, speech and vote. To understand Pakistan, the reasons which led to its creation, what Pakistan stood for and was intended to accomplish, one has to understand Jinnah.

From an early age Jinnah displayed a remarkable interest in the life and conditions around him. The small world around him was the object of his interest and public events were the books he studied. At the young age of 16, he left for England to establish commercial connections in London but later he enrolled himself at the Lincolns Inn and began preparing for the Bar. He was called to the Bar at 21 and in the same year he returned to India.

As a barrister and advocate, Jinnah holds a place which is unique in the subcontinent. Great lawyers and men many years his senior acknowledged him as a master in the art of advocacy. He had the remarkable ability of making the most complex of facts look simple and obvious. He could be furiously aggressive or almost boyishly persuasive as the occasion demanded.

He possessed a remarkably clear mind and an abundance of commonsense, which is the most uncommon of qualities. Even those who disliked or disagreed with his convictions acknowledged and applauded him for maintaining the highest traditions at the Bar. He always kept away from the heat of controversies, intrigues and squabbles.

The abilities which led him to success in the legal world also suited a political career. Being endowed with qualities, such as a heart fired up by great fervour and sincerity, a clear vision and intellect, he was destined to play a prominent part in politics. With unusual powers of persuasion, luminous exposition, searching arguments and a sound judgment, he earned for himself an enviable reputation as a great debater.

Jinnah has often been referred to as brilliant and arrogant, and there is no denying the fact that he made no effort to socialise with those with whom he had little in common. He was formal and reserved in his dealings and never gave into emotions or sentiments. The overall picture of Jinnah as reflected by leaders of the subcontinent reveals that he was a man of unquestionable integrity, honesty, honour and unwavering belief in principles. His commitment to a cause he took up was definite and permanent. He spoke openly and fearlessly against discrimination, communalism, sectarianism, parochialism and believed in the separation of religion from the affairs of the state.

Advice to students

Jinnah placed great importance on the youth and gave his advice to students on several occasions. At a public meeting in Dhaka on March 21, 1948, he said:

“My young friends, students who are present here, let me tell you as one who has always had love and affection for you, who has served you for ten years faithfully and loyally, let me give you this word of warning: you will be making the greatest mistake if you allow yourself to be exploited by one political party or another…. Your main occupation should be — in fairness to yourself, in fairness to your parents, in fairness to the state – to devote your attention to your studies.”

Leaders of tomorrow

Addressing the Punjabi Muslim Students Federation at Lahore on October 31, 1947, Jinnah said:

“Pakistan is proud of her youth, particularly the students who have always been in the forefront in the hour of trial and need. You are the nation’s leaders of tomorrow and you must fully equip yourself by discipline, education and training for the arduous task lying ahead of you. You should realise the magnitude of your responsibility and be ready to bear it.”

Education policy

In a message to the All Pakistan Educational Conference in Karachi on November 27, 1948, Jinnah said that the education policy in Pakistan must be moulded on lines suited to our people, consonant with our history and culture, and having regard to modern conditions and vast development that has taken place all over the world. He said:

“What we have to do is to mobilise our people and build up the character of our future generation. In short, this means the highest sense of honour, integrity, selfless service to the nation and sense of responsibility, and we have to see that our people are fully qualified and equipped to play their part in the various branches of economic life in a manner which will do honour to Pakistan.”

Equality

Jinnah always spoke in favour of equality, fraternity, human rights, rights of minorities, justice, freedom, integrity and fair play. He very clearly stated that Pakistan was not going to be a theocratic state as Islam demands from us tolerance of other creeds and we welcome the closest association of all those who are willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan.

A moral and intellectual achievement

Jinnah called Pakistan a moral and intellectual achievement. He called upon Pakistanis on August 31, 1947, to build, reconstruct and re-generate our great nation. He said:

“It is in your hands, we undoubtedly have talents, Pakistan is blessed with enormous resources and potential. Providence has endowed us with all the wealth of nature and now it lies with man to make the best of it.”

Discipline and unity

In his speech at the Dhaka University in 1948, Jinnah said: “Freedom which we have achieved does not mean licence. It does not mean that you can behave as you please and do what you like irrespective of the interest of other people or of the state. A great responsibility rests on you and now more than ever, it is necessary for us to work as a united, disciplined nation. What is required of us all is a constructive spirit and not a militant spirit. It is far more difficult to construct than to have a militant spirit. It is easier to go to jail or fight for freedom than to run a government. Thwarted in their desire to prevent the establishment of Pakistan, our enemies turned their attention to finding ways to weaken and destroy us but they have been disappointed. Not only has Pakistan survived the shock of the upheaval but it has emerged stronger and better equipped than ever.”

We are all Pakistanis

In a reply to the civic address presented by the Quetta Municipality, Jinnah said:

“We are now all Pakistanis – not Baloch, Pathans, Sindhis, Bengalis, Punjabis and so on, and as Pakistanis you must feel, behave and act and you should be proud to be known as Pakistanis and nothing else.”

Jinnah’s Pakistan

Pakistan, with its strategic geographical location and an impressive population of 170 million people, a large majority of this being the youth of Pakistan waiting to be moulded in the right direction to peace, progress and prosperity, has been battling for its survival for quite some time. We need to develop leadership in Pakistan in the role model of Jinnah at all levels in the country.

Nations that forget or ignore the teachings and guidelines of their founding fathers are often doomed to disaster and end up as failed states. There is urgent need for our youth to read and understand the principles, ideals, values and vision of our founding father, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and ensure that we achieve and have for all times to come “Jinnah’s Pakistan”.

The author is a grand-nephew of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He is the author of several publications on Jinnah, and was conferred Sitara-i-Imtiaz for public service in education and health.

source: Dawn

Farewell Message to East Pakistan (28th Mar 1948)

Broadcast Speech from Radio Pakistan, Dhaka on 28th March, 1948.

During the past nine days that I have spent in your province, I have been studying your local conditions and some of the problems that confront east Bengal. Tonight, on the eve of my departure, I want to place before you some of my impressions. Before I do this, however, let me first cordially thank you for the great warmth and affection with which you have received me everywhere in your midst during my stay here.

From the administrative point of view, East Bengal perhaps more than any other province of Pakistan, has had to face the most difficult problems as a result of Partition. Before August 14, it existed merely as a hinterland to Calcutta, to whose prosperity it greatly contributed but which it did not share. On August 14, Dhaka was merely a mofussil town, having none of the complex facilities and amenities, which are essential for the capital of a modern Government. Further, owing to partition, the province’s transport system had been thrown completely out of gear and the administrative machinery seriously disorganised at a time when the country was threatened with a serious food shortage. The new province of East Bengal thus came into being in the most unfavourable circumstances, which might easily have proved fatal to a less determined and less tenacious people. That the administration not only survived but even emerged stronger from such setbacks as the Chittagong cyclone, is a striking tribute both to the sterling character of the people as well as to the unremitting zeal of the Government of the province. The position now is that the initial difficulties have to a great extent been overcome and, though there is no ground for complacency, there are at least reasons for quiet confidence in the future. Though now undeveloped, East Bengal possesses vast potentialities of raw materials and hydroelectric power. In Chittagong you have the making of a first-class port which in time should rank among the finest ports in the world. Given peaceful conditions and the fullest co-operation from all sections of the people, we shall make this province the most prosperous in Pakistan.

It is a matter for congratulation that despite the massacre and persecution of Muslims in the Indian Domination in the months immediately following Partition, peaceful conditions have throughout prevailed in this province, and I have seen the minority community going about its normal day-to-day vocations in perfect security. Some migration of Hindus to the Indian Dominion, there unfortunately has been, though the estimates mentioned in the Indian press are ridiculous. I am satisfied, at any rate, that whatever movement there has been, has not in any way been due to their treatment here, which under the circumstances has been exemplary, but rather to psychological reasons and external pressure. Indian leaders and a section of the Indian press have indulged freely in war-mongering talks against Pakistan. There has been persistently insidious propaganda by parties like the Hindu Mahasabha in favour of an exchange of population: and disturbances in the Indian Dominion, in which Muslims have been persecuted; have not unnaturally given rise to fears in the mind of the minority community lest unpleasant repercussions should occur in East Bengal, even though such apprehensions have no foundation for they have been belied by actual facts. Over and above all these factors, the recent declaration by the Indian Dominion on Pakistan as a foreign country for customs and other purposes has involved the Hindu business community in serious economic difficulties and brought pressure to bear on many Hindu businessmen to remove their business to the Indian Dominion. I find that the Provincial Government have repeatedly given assurances and have at all times taken whatever steps were possible for the protection and well being of the minority community and have done their best to dissuade them from leaving their ancestral homes in East Bengal for an unknown fate in the Indian Union.

I would like now to offer a word of advice to the people of this-province. I notice a regrettable tendency on the part of a certain section of the people to regard their newly won freedom, not as liberty with the great opportunities it opens up and the heavy responsibilities it imposes, but as licence. It is true that, with the removal of foreign domination, the people are now the final arbiters of their destiny. They have perfect liberty to have by constitutional means any Government that they may chose. This cannot, however, mean that any group may now attempt by any unlawful methods to impose its will on the popularly elected Government of the day. The Government and its policy may be changed by the votes of the elected representatives of the Provincial Legislative Assembly. Not only that, but no Government worthy of the name can for a moment tolerate such gangsterism and mob rule from reckless and irresponsible people, but must deal with it firmly by all the means at its disposal. I am thinking particularly of the language controversy, which has caused quite unnecessary excitement and trouble in certain quarters in this province; and if not checked, it might lead to serious consequences. What should be the official language of this province is for your representatives to decide.

But this language controversy is really only one aspect of a bigger problem–that of provincialism. I am sure you must realize that in a newly-formed State like Pakistan, consisting moreover as it does of two widely separated parts, cohesion and solidarity amongst all its citizens, from whatever part they may come, is essential for its progress, nay for its very survival. Pakistan is the embodiment of the unity of the Muslim nation and so it must remain. That unity we, as true Muslims, must jealously guard and preserve. If we begin to think of ourselves as Bengalis, Punjabis, Sindhis etc. first and Muslims and Pakistanis only incidentally, then Pakistan is bound to disintegrate. Do not think that this is some abstruse proposition: our enemies are fully alive to its possibilities, which I must warn you they are already busy exploiting. I would ask you plainly, when political agencies and organs of the Indian press, which fought tooth and nail to prevent the creation of Pakistan, are suddenly found with a tender conscience for what they call the ‘just claims’ of the Muslims of East Bengal, do you not consider this a most sinister phenomenon? Is it not perfectly obvious that, having failed to prevent the Muslims from achieving Pakistan, these agencies are now trying to disrupt Pakistan from within by insidious propaganda aimed at setting brother Muslim against brother Muslim? That is why I want you to be on your guard against this poison of provincialism that our enemies wish to inject into our State. There are great tasks to be accomplished and great dangers to be overcome: overcome them we certainly shall but we shall do so much quicker if our solidarity remains unimpaired and if our determination to march forward as a single, united nation remains unshaken. This is the only way in which we can raise Pakistan rapidly and surely to its proper, worthy place in the comity of nations.

Here I would like to address a word to the women of East Pakistan. In the great task of building the nation and maintaining its solidarity women have a most valuable part to play, as the prime architects of the character of the youth that constitute its backbone, not merely in their own homes but by helping their less fortunate sisters outside in that great task. I know that in the long struggle for the achievement of Pakistan, Muslim women have stood solidly behind their men. In the bigger struggle for the building up of Pakistan that now lies ahead, let it not be said that the women of Pakistan had lagged behind or failed in their duty.

Finally, I would address a special word to Government servants, both Central and Provincial –that great body of pioneers, many of whom have been working under very difficult conditions in this province. Yours is a great responsibility. You must ensure that this province is given, not merely the ordinary routine services that you are bound to perform, but rather the very last ounce of selfless endeavour that you are capable of producing for your State. In the great task of building up this State, you have a magnificent opportunity. You must continue to face the future, handle your jobs with the same courage, confidence and determination as you have so far displayed. Above all do not allow yourselves to be made the pawns of mischievious propagandists and self-seeking agitators who are out to exploit both you and the difficulties with which a new State is inevitably faced the Government of Pakistan and the Provincial Government have been anxiously devising ways and means whereby your housing and other difficulties, inescapable in a period of such rapid transition, may be relieved and I trust that these difficulties will soon disappear. You owe it to the great State to which you belong, to the people whom you serve and, indeed, to yourself not to be daunted by any difficulties, but to press on and go forward and maintain sustained efforts with single-minded devotion. Pakistan has a great future ahead of it. It is now for us to take the fullest advantage of what nature has so abundantly provided us with and builds up a glorious and mighty State.

Pakistan Zindabad

Development of Chittagong Port (March 1948)

Speech at the Public Reception at Chittagong on 26th March, 1948.


I am grateful to you all for the warm welcome which you have accorded me on this my first visit to a city destined to be one of the biggest in Pakistan as a whole. On my part I am glad to be in your midst and I need hardly assure you that not only are your problems being dealt with steadily and progressively but that unhindered by difficulties and obstacles we are determined to make good the neglect of centuries in course of the next few years when Chittagong will rank as one of the finest ports in the world.

You are only voicing my sentiments and the sentiments of millions of Mussalmans when you say that Pakistan should be based on sure foundations of social justice and Islamic socialism, which, emphasis’s equality and brotherhood of man. Similarly you are voicing my thoughts in asking and in aspiring for equal opportunities for all. These targets of progress are not controversial in Pakistan, for we demanded Pakistan, we struggled for it, and we achieved it so that physically as well as spiritually we are free to conduct our affairs according to our traditions and genius. Brotherhood, equality and fraternity of man -these are all the basic points of our religion, culture and civilization. And we fought for Pakistan because there was a danger of denial of these human rights in this sub-continent. We aspired for these great ideals because of centuries of dual domination by the foreign rulers and by a caste-ridden social system. This domination continued for over two hundred years until we realized that it would ultimately mean complete extinction of Mussalmans individually as human beings and collectively as a nation. After all, the story of Pakistan, its struggle and its achievement is the story of great human ideals struggling to survive in the face of odds and difficulties. This biggest Muslim State came into being on 14th August 1947. It was a great day in our history. But on this great day, it was not merely a Government, which came into existence; it meant the birth of a great State and a great nation one supplementing the other and both existing for each other. I can understand and appreciate the limitations of those amongst us whose minds have not moved fast enough to realize that 14th of August ushered in such a State and such a nation. It is natural for some to think only in terms of Government but the sooner we adjust ourselves to new forces, the sooner our mind’s eye is capable of piercing through the horizons to see the limitless possibilities of our State and of our nation, the better for Pakistan. Then an d then alone it would be possible for each one of us to realize the great ideals of human progress, of social justice, of equality and of fraternity which, on the one hand, constitute the basic causes of the birth of Pakistan and also the limitless possibilities of evolving an ideal social structure in our State. It reiterates most emphatically that Pakistan was made possible because of the danger of complete annihilation of human soul, in a society based on caste. Now that the soul is free to exist and to aspire it must assert itself galvanising not only the State but also the Nation.

Such mental and spiritual changes cannot be brought about over-night. Nor can these be inflicted by anybody without dislocating the structure of human relationships.

Today, your State is hardly eight months old; but if we look back and review this short span of our national life, we can clearly see the steady evolution of great social ideologies and balanced relations between man and man. Any impartial observer will admit that in fact it has already been admitted that the minorities in Pakistan have had a better deal than elsewhere. Here in our midst they have lived not only peacefully but have enjoyed complete liberty of asserting themselves. Some have even given a lead in controversies which, but for the realisation on the part of our people, might have struck at the very root of Pakistan in an hour of grave emergency.

This, –our single biggest achievement, –alone, reflects thedirection in which we are moving. There cannot be any better evidence to show that we are determined to evolve a State based on principles of equality and social justice. If we can be fair and just to others there can be no doubt about being fair and just among ourselves.

The address of welcome, which you have just presented refreshingly, embodies your urge for progress and development. It is indeed a pleasure to see that the people of Pakistan are conscious of the great possibilities of their State; –though, I must warn you that impatience will be as dangerous as lack of enthusiasm. Chittagong is destined to be great and you, as her citizens, are destined to share her greatness and prosperity. I can assure you that the Central and Provincial Governments are endeavouring hard to catch up on years of indifference and neglect. Notwithstanding the inevitable pre-occupation of your Central Government with grave and emergent problems which confronted them in Western Pakistan which was called upon to shelter, house and rehabilitate millions of your brethren uprooted from the Indian Union, blue prints for developing Chittagong have been got ready. This potentially great port has been neglected for centuries along with other similar areas in Pakistan regions and you know that such neglect and indifference has constituted the biggest single justification for our demand for Pakistan. Accordingly, now that we are free to shape our future, we are not going to be indifferent to it. We need not look back to the past of neglect with pessimism. All that is required is courage and faith in our future, and I am glad to say, that such faith has not been found lacking during the last eight months.

I need hardly remind you that due to the determination of the people of Pakistan and the efforts made by your Government, Chittagong as a port, is already coming into its own. During the last few months, ships of various nationalities, whose ensigns fly colourfully along your roads today, have harboured in your port. Some for the first time in history to take your raw products to their countries for manufacture into finished products. Chittagong is already handling a fair portion of your export and import trade. This has been possible mainly due to the efforts of us all to decrease our dependence on others.

This achievement in such a short time shows what human will can do. Funds are no doubt necessary for development but at the same time national growth and regeneration does not depend on funds alone. It is human toil that makes for the prosperity of a people and I have no doubt that we have in Pakistan a nation of industrious and determined people whose past traditions have already distinguished them in the field of human achievement.

I have frankly and clearly associated myself with your aspirations for developing your city of which you are justly proud. Your urge for progress and your Government’s efforts to reach the goal will soon get translated in the shape of large-scale projects, which I am satisfied are being actively pursued. The most important scheme which concerns you vitally, and which is at present under active examination, is the harnessing of Karnaphuly River to control floods and silt, to irrigate fields and to develop cheap hydroelectric power. The necessary preliminary work is being expedited and the project is on our top priority list. I might tell you that one of the reasons, which prompted me to visit. East Pakistan at this juncture, when Western Pakistan particularly is passing through a period of grave emergency, was to see for myself the progress made in respect of developing your city which can now look forward to a future of great maritime importance.

While at Chittagong, I have spent the major portion of my time in studying the possibilities of port development and I am confident that embarkation for Hajis from East Pakistan but also an export and import center for which we can spare for the world and for what we need from other countries. Chittagong is destined to be the Eastern mighty queen and Gateway to Pakistan, your will to progress, labour and work and your Government’s efforts to hit targets, of progress aimed at, will I am sure do it.

Nature has endowed you bountifully. Yours is a beautiful garden land with sea, rivers and hills and magnificent scenery all-round. It remains now for man in Chittagong to play his part fully and raise Chittagong to zenith for which it is destined

So I wish you Godspeed.

Pakistan Zindabad

On need of medical relief (26th Mar 1948)

Message to the Pakistan Medical Association, Dhaka on the 26th March, 1948.

I have learnt with great interest that the Pakistan Medical Association has been formed and is going to be inaugurated on Saturday the 27th March, 1948 in Dhaka. This Association, I hope, will serve earnestly to organize the medical profession in Pakistan on a high level befitting our State. It can render many services if it is well organized and efficient. For example, it can help to speed up medical relief of which we stand in very great need indeed at present. It will also keep medical and social contact with similar interests in other parts of the world for exchange of views and ideas from time to time, and thereby establish better understanding in solving medical problems peculiar to various countries and Pakistan.

I wish Pakistan Medical Association all success.

Do your duties as servants - An advice to officers ( 25th Mar 1948)

Address to the Gazetted Officers of Chittagong on 25th March, 1948

I thank you for giving me this opportunity to see you collectively. My time is very limited and so it was not possible for me to see you individually. I have told you two things: I have already said what I had to say to the Gazette Officers at Dhaka. I hope you should read an account of what I said there in the newspapers. If you have not I would request you to take the trouble of reading what I said there. One cannot say something new everyday. I have been making so many speeches and I expect each one of you to know my views by now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I want you to realize fully the deep implications of the revolutionary change that has taken place. Whatever community, caste or creed you belong to you are now the servants of Pakistan. Servants can only do their duties and discharge their responsibilities by serving. Those days have gone when the country was ruled by the bureaucracy. It is people’s Government, responsible to the people more or less on democratic lines and parliamentary practices. Under these fundamental changes I would put before you two or three points for your consideration:

You have to do your duty as servants; you are not concerned with this political or that political party; that is not your business. It is a business of politicians to fight out their case under the present constitution or the future constitution that may be ultimately framed. You, therefore, have nothing to do with this party or that party. You are civil servants. Whichever gets the majority will form the Government and your duty is to serve that Government for the time being as servants not as politicians. How will you do that? The Government in power for the time being must also realize and understand their responsibilities that you are not to be used for this party or that. I know we are saddled with old legacy, old mentality, old psychology and it haunts our footsteps, but it is up to you now to act as true servants of the people even at the risk of any Minister or Ministry trying to interfere with you in the discharge of your duties as civil servants. I hope it will not be so but even if some of you have to suffer as a victim. I hope it will not happen –I expect you to do so readily. We shall of course see that there is security for you and safeguards to you. If we find that is in anyway prejudicial to your interest we shall find ways and means of giving you that security. Of course you must be loyal to the Government that is in power.

The second point is that of your conduct and dealings with the people in various Departments, in which you may be: wipe off that past reputation; you are not rulers. You do not belong to the ruling class; you belong to the servants. Make the people feel that you are their servants and friends, maintain the highest standard of honor, integrity, justice and fair-play. If you do that, people will have confidence and trust in you and will look upon you as friends and well wishers. I do not want to condemn everything of the past, there were men who did their duties according to their lights in the service in which they were placed. As administrator they did do justice in many cases but they did not feel that justice was done to them because there was an order of superiority and they were held at a distance and they did not feel the warmth but they felt a freezing atmosphere when they had to do anything with the officials. Now that freezing atmosphere must go and you must do your best with all courtesy and kindness and try to understand the people. May be sometimes you will find that it is trying and provoking when a man goes on talking and repeating a thing over and over again, but have patience and show patience and make them feel that justice has been done to them.

Next thing that I would like to impress upon you is this: I keep or getting representations and memorials containing grievances of the people of all sorts of things. May be there is no justification, may be there is no foundation for that, may be that they are under wrong impression and may be they are misled but in all such cases I have followed one practice for many years which is this: Whether I agree with anyone or not, whether I think that he has any imaginary grievances whether I think that he does not understand but I always show patience. If you will also do the same in your dealings with an individual or any association or any organization you will ultimately stand to gain. Let not people leave you with this bearing that you hate, that you are offensive, that you have insulted or that you are rude to them. Not one per cent who comes in contact with you should be left in that state of mind. You may not be able to agree with him but do not let him go with this feeling that you are offensive or that you are discourteous. If you will follow that rule believe me you will win the respect of the people.

With these observations I conclude what I had to say. I thank you very much indeed that you have given me this opportunity to say these few words to you and if you find anything good in it follow, if you do not find anything good in it do not follow.

Thank you very much.

Pakistan Zindabad

Students role in nation-building (24th Mar 1948)

Speech at the Dhaka University Convocation on 24th March, 1948 (Recorded by Radio Pakistan, Dhaka)

Mr. Chancellor, Ladies and Gentlemen,

When I was approached by the vice-chancellor with a request to deliver the Convocation Address, I made it clear to him that there were so many calls on me that I could not possible prepare a formal convocation address on an academic level with regard to the great subjects with which University deals, such as arts, history, philosophy, science, law and so on. I did, however, promise to say a few words to the students on this occasion, and it is in fulfillment of that promise that I will address you now.

First of all, let me thank the vice-chancellor for the flattering terms in which he referred to me. Mr. vice-chancellor, whatever I am, and whatever I have been able to do, I have done it merely as a measure of duty which is incumbent upon every Mussalman to serve his people honestly and selflessly.

In addressing you I am not here speaking to you as Head of the State, but as a friend, and as one who has always held you in affection. Many of you have today got your diplomas and degrees and I congratulate you. Just as you have won the laurels in your University and qualified yourselves, so I wish you all success in the wider and larger world that you will enter. Many of you have come to the end of your scholastic career and stand at the threshold of life. Unlike your predecessors, you fortunately leave this University to enter life under a sovereign, Independent State of your own. It is necessary that you and your other fellow students fully understand the implications of the revolutionary change that took place on the birth of Pakistan. We have broken the shackles of slavery; we are now a free people. Our State is our own State. Our Government is our own Government, of the people, responsible to the people of the State and working for the good of the State. Freedom, however, does not mean license. It does not mean that you can now behave just as you please and do what you like, irrespective of the interests of other people or of the State. A great responsibility rests on you and, on the contrary, now more than ever, it is necessary for us to work as a united and disciplined nation. What are now required of us all is constructive spirit and not the militant spirit of the days when we were fighting for our freedom. It is far more difficult to construct than to have a militant spirit for the attainment of freedom. It is easier to go to jail or fight for freedom than to run a Government. Let me tell you something of the difficulties that we have overcome and of the dangers that still lie ahead. Thwarted in their desire to prevent the establishment of Pakistan, our enemies turned their attention to finding ways and means to weaken and destroy us. Thus, hardly had the new State come into being when came the Punjab and Delhi holocaust. Thousand of men, women and children were mercilessly butchered and millions were uprooted from their homes. Over fifty lakhs of these arrived in the Punjab within a matter of weeks. The care and rehabilitation of these unfortunate refugees, stricken in body and in soul, presented problems, which might well have destroyed many a well-established State. But those of our enemies who had hoped to kill Pakistan at its very inception by these means were disappointed. Not only has Pakistan survived the shock of that upheaval, but also it has emerged stronger, more chastened and better equipped than ever.

There followed in rapid succession other difficulties, such as withholding by India of our cash balances, of our share of military equipment and lately, the institution of an almost complete economic blockade of your Province. I have no doubt that all right-thinking men in the Indian Dominion deplore these happenings and I am sure the attitude of the mind that has been responsible for them will change, but it is essential that you should take note of these developments. They stress the importance of continued vigilance on our part. Of late, they attack on your province, particularly, has taken a subtler form. Our enemies, among whom I regret to say, there are some Muslims, have set about actively encouraging provincialism in the hope of weakening Pakistan and thereby facilitating the re-absorption of this province into the Indian Dominion. Those who are playing this game are living in a Fool’s Paradise, but this does not prevent them from trying. A flood of a false propaganda is being daily put forth with the object of undermining the solidarity of the Musslamans of this State and inciting the people to commit acts of lawlessness. The recent language controversy, in which I am sorry to make note, some of you allowed yourselves to get involved even after your Prime Minister had clarified the position, is only one of the many subtle ways whereby the poison of provincialism is being sedulously injected into this province. Does it not strike you rather odd that certain sections of the Indian press to whom the very name of Pakistan is anathema, should in the matter of language controversy set themselves up as the champion of what they call your just rights? Is it not significant that the very persons who in the past have betrayed the Mussalmans or fought against Pakistan, which is after all merely the embodiment of your fundamental right of self-determination, should now suddenly pose as the saviors of your just right and incite you to defy the Government on the question of language? I must warn you to beware of these fifth columnists. Let me restate my views on the question of a State language for Pakistan. For official use in this province, the people of the province can choose any language they wish. This question will be decided solely in accordance with the wishes of the people of this province alone, as freely expressed through their accredited representatives at the appropriate time and after full and dispassionate consideration. There can, however, be only one lingua franca, that is, the language for intercommunication between the various provinces of the State, and that language, should be Urdu and cannot be any other. The State language therefore, must obviously be Urdu, a language that has been nurtured by a hundred million Muslims of this sub-continent, a language understood throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan and above all a language which, more than any other provincial language, embodies the best that is in Islamic culture and Muslim tradition and is nearest to the language used in other Islamic countries. It is not without significance that Urdu has been driven out of the Indian Union and that even the official use of the Urdu script has been disallowed. These facts are fully known to the people who are trying to exploit the language controversy in order to stir up trouble. There was no justification for agitation but it did not suit their purpose to admit this. Their sole object in exploiting this controversy is to create a split among the Muslims of this State, as indeed they have made no secret of their efforts to incite hatred against non-Bengali Mussalmans. Realizing, however, that the statement that your Prime Minister made on the language controversy, on return from Karachi, left no room for agitation, in so far as it conceded the right of the people of this province to choose Bengali as their official language if they so wished, these persons changed their tactics. They started demanding that Bengali should be the State language of the Pakistan Center and since they could not overlook the obvious claims of Urdu as the official language of a Muslim State, they proceeded to demand that both Bengali and Urdu should be State languages of Pakistan. Make no mistake about it. There can be only one State language, if the component parts of this State are to march forward in unison, and that language in my opinion can only be Urdu. I have spoken at some length on this subject so as to warn you of the kind of tactics adopted by the enemies of Pakistan and certain opportunist politicians to try to disrupt this State or to discredit the Government. Those of you, who are about to enter life, be on your guard against these people. Those of you who have still to continue your studies for sometime, do not allow yourselves to be exploited by any political party or self-seeking politician. As I said the other day, your main occupation should be in fairness to yourselves, in fairness to your parents and indeed in fairness to the State, to devote your attention solely to your studies. It is only thus that you can equip yourselves for the battle of life that lies ahead of you. Only thus will you be an asset and a source of strength and of pride to your State. Only thus, can you assist it in solving the great social and economic problems that confront it and enable it to reach its destined goal among the most progressive and strongest nations of the world.

My young friends, I would, therefore, like to tell you a few points about which you should be vigilant and beware. Firstly, beware of the fifth columnists among ourselves. Secondly, guard against and weed out selfish people who only wish to exploit you so that they may swim. Thirdly, learn to judge who are really true and really honest and UN-selfish servants of the State who wish to serve the people with heart and soul and support them. Fourthly, consolidate the Muslim League Party, which will serve and build up a really and truly great and glorious Pakistan. Fifthly, the Muslim League has won and established Pakistan and it is the Muslim League whose duty it is now, as custodian of the sacred trust, to construct Pakistan. Sixthly, there may be many who did not lift their fingers to help us in our struggle, nay even opposed us and put obstacle in our great struggle openly and not a few worked in our enemy’s camp against us, who may now come forward and put their own attractive slogans, catch-words, ideals and programs before you. But they have yet to prove their bonafides or that there has really been an honest change of heart in them, by supporting and joining the League and working and pressing their views within the League Party organization and not by starting mushroom parties, at this juncture of very great and grave emergency when you know that we are facing external dangers and are called upon to deal with internal complex problems of a far-reaching character affecting the future of seventy millions of people. All this demands complete solidarity, unity and discipline. I assure you, “Divided you fall. United you stand”.

There is another matter that I would like to refer to. My young friends, hitherto, you have been following the rut. You get your degrees and when you are thrown out of this University in thousands, all that you think and hanker for is Government service. As your vice-chancellor has rightly stated the main object of the old system of education and the system of Government existing, hitherto, was really to have well-trained, well-equipped clerks. Of course, some of them went higher and found their level, but the whole idea was to get well-qualified clerks. Civil Service was mainly staffed by the Britons and the Indian element was introduced later on and it went up progressively. Well, the whole principle was to create a mentality, a psychology, and a state of mind that an average man, when he passed his B.A. or M.A. was to look for some job in Government. If he had it he thought he had reached his height. I know and you all know what has been really the result of this. Our experience has shown that an M.A. earns less than a taxi driver, and most of the so-called Government servants are living in a more miserable manner than many menial servants who are employed by well to do people. Now I want you to get out of that rut and that mentality and specially now that we are in free Pakistan. Government cannot absorb thousand impossible. But in the competition to get Government service most of you demoralized. Government can take only a certain number and the rest cannot settle down to anything else and being disgruntled are always ready to be exploited by persons who have their own axes to grind. Now I want that you must divert your mind, your attention, your aims and ambition to other channels and other avenues and fields that are open to you and will increasingly become so. There is no shame in doing manual work and labor. There is an immense scope in technical education for we want technically qualified people very badly. You can learn banking, commerce, trade, law, etc., which provide so many opportunities now. Already you find that new industries are being started, new banks, new insurance companies, new commercial firms are opening and they will grow as you go on. Now these are avenues and fields open to you. Think of them and divert your attention to them, and believe me, you will there benefit yourselves more than by merely going in for Government service and remaining there, in what I should say, a circle of clerkship, working there from morning till evening, in most dingy and uncomfortable conditions. You will be far more happy and far more prosperous with far more opportunities to rise if you take to commerce and industry and will thus be helping not only yourselves but also your State. I can give you one instance. I know a young man who was in Government service. Four years ago he went into a banking corporation on two hundred rupees, because he had studied the subject of banking and today he is Manager in one of their firms and drawing fifteen hundred rupees a month –in just four years. These are the opportunities to have and I do impress upon you now to think in these terms.

Finally, I thank you again Mr. Chancellor and particularly you Mr. vice-chancellor for the warm welcome you have given me and the very flattering personal references made by you. I hope, nay I am confident that the East Bengal youth will not fail us.

Pakistan Zindabad

National Consolidation (March 1948)

Speech at a public meeting attended by over three lakhs of people at Dhaka on March 21, 1948.
Asalam-o-Alaikum!
I am grateful to the people of this province and, through you Mr. Chairman of the Reception Committee, to the people of Dhaka, for the great welcome that they have accorded to me. I need hardly say that it gives me the greatest pleasure to visit East Bengal. East Bengal is the most important component of Pakistan, inhabited as it is by the largest single bloc of Muslims in the world. I have been anxious to pay this province an early visit, but unfortunately, other matters of greater importance had so far prevented me from doing so.
About some of these important matters, you doubtless know. You know, for instance, of the cataclysm that shook the Punjab immediately after partition, and of the millions of Muslims who in consequence were uprooted from their homes in East Punjab, Delhi and neighboring districts and had to be protected, sheltered and fed pending rehabilitation in Western Pakistan. Never throughout history was a new State called upon to face such tremendous problems. Never throughout history has a new State handled them with such competence and courage. Our enemies had hoped to kill Pakistan at its inception. Pakistan has, on the contrary, arisen triumphant and stronger than ever. It has come to stay, and play its great role for which it is destined.
In your address of welcome you have stressed the importance of developing the great agricultural and industrial resources of this province, of providing facilities for the training of the young men and women of this province for entering the Armed Forces of Pakistan, of the development of the port of Chittagong and of communications between this province and other parts of Pakistan, of development of educational facilities and finally you have stressed the importance of ensuring that the citizens of Eastern Pakistan get their due and legitimate share in all spheres of government activity. Let me at once assure you that my government attaches the greatest importance to these matters and is anxiously and constantly engaged in ensuring that Eastern Pakistan attains it full stature with the maximum of speed. Of the martial powers of the people of this province, history provides ample evidence and as you are aware, Government has already taken energetic steps to provide facilities for the training of the youth of this province both in the regular Armed Forces and as volunteers in the Pakistan National Guards. You may rest assured that the fullest provision shall be made for enabling the youth of this province to play its part in the defense of this State.
Let me now turn to some general matters concerning this province. In doing so, let me first congratulate you, the people of this province and your Government, over the manner in which you have conducted yourselves during these seven months of trials and tribulations. Your Government and loyal, hardworking officials deserve to be congratulated on the speed and efficiency with which it succeeded in building up an ordered administration out of the chaos and confusion which prevailed immediately after partition. On the 15th August, the Provincial Government in Dhaka was a fugitive in its own home. It was faced with the immediate problem of finding accommodation for the thousands of Government personnel in what was, after all, before partition only small mofussil town. Hardly had government got to grips with administrative problems thus created when some seventy thousands Railway and other personnel and their families suddenly arrived in this province, driven out of India partly by panic owing to the disturbances immediately following the partition. There were further, owing to the wholesale departure of Hindu personnel, great gaps left in the administrative machinery and the entire transport and communication system had been disorganized. The immediate task that faced the Government, therefore, was hurriedly to re-group its forces and reorganize its administrative machine in order to avert an imminent administrative collapse.
This Government did with extraordinary speed and efficiency. The administration continued to function unhampered, and the life of the community continued undisturbed. Not only was the administration speedily reorganized but also the great administrative shortages were quickly made good, so that an impending famine was averted, and what is equally important, peace was maintained throughout the province. In this latter respect, much credit is due also to the people of this province, in particular to the members of the majority community, who showed exemplary calm and determination to maintain peace despite the great provocation afforded by the massacre and oppression of the Muslims in the Indian Dominion in the months immediately after partition. Despite those horrible happenings, some forty thousand processions were taken out by the Hindu community during the last Puja in this province without a single instance of the breach of peace, and without any molestation from the Muslims of this province.
Any impartial observer will agree with me that throughout these troubles the minorities were looked after and protected in Pakistan better than anywhere else in India. You will agree that Pakistan was able to keep peace and maintain law and order; and let me tell you that the minorities not only here in Dhaka but throughout Pakistan are more secure, more safe than anywhere else. We have made it clear that the Pakistan Government will not allow peace to be disturbed; Pakistan will maintain law and order at any cost; and it will not allow any kind of mob rule. It is necessary to draw attention to these facts, namely, the building up of an orderly administration, the averting of an imminent famine and the maintenance of the supply of food to some forty million people in this province at a time of overall food shortage and serious administrative difficulties, and the maintenance of peace, because there is a tendency to ignore these achievements of the Government and to take these things for granted.
It is always easy to criticize, it is always easy to go on fault-finding, but people forget the things that are being done and are going to be done for them, and generally they take those for granted without even realizing as to what trials, tribulations, difficulties and dangers we had to face at the birth of Pakistan. I do not think that your administration is perfect, far from it, I do not say that there is no room for improvement; I do not say that honest criticism from true Pakistanis is unwelcome. It is always welcome. But when I find in some quarters nothing but complaint, fault-finding and not a word of recognition as to the work that has been done either by your Government or by those loyal officials and officers who have been working for you day and night it naturally pains me. Therefore, at least say some good word for the good that is done, and then complain and criticize. In a large administration, it is obvious that mistakes must be made; you cannot expect that it should be faultless; no country in the world can be so. But our ambition and our desire are that it should be as little defective as possible. Our desire is to make it more efficient, more beneficial, more smooth working. For what? What has the Government got for its aim? The Government can only have for its aim one objective –how to serve the people, how to devise ways and means of their welfare, for their betterment. What other object can the Government have and remember; now it is in your hands to put the Government in power or remove the Government from power; but you must not do it by mob methods. You have the power; you must learn the art to use it; you must try and understand the machinery. Constitutionally, it is in your hands to upset one Government and put another Government in power if you are dissatisfied to such an extent.
Therefore, the whole thing is in your hands, but I advise you strongly to have patience and to support the men who are at the help of your Government, sympathize with them, try and understand their troubles and their difficulties just as they should try and understand your grievances and complaints and sufferings. It is by that co-operation and that good spirit and goodwill that you will be able not only to preserve Pakistan, which we have achieved but also, make it a great State in the world. Are you now, after having achieved Pakistan, going to destroy it by your own folly? Do you want to build it up? Well then for that purpose there is one essential condition, and it is this complete unity and solidarity amongst ourselves.
But I want to tell you that in our midst there are people financed by foreign agencies who are intent on creating disruption. Their object is to disrupt and sabotage Pakistan. I want you to be on your guard; I want you to be vigilant and not to be taken in by attractive slogans and catchwords. They say that Pakistan Government and the East Bengal Government are out to destroy your language. A bigger falsehood was never uttered by a man. Quite frankly and openly I must tell you that you have got amongst you a few communists and other agents financed by foreign help and if you are not careful, you will be disrupted. The idea that East Bengal should be brought back into the Indian Union is not given up, and it is their aim yet, and I am confident –I am not afraid, but it is better to be vigilant –that those people who still dream of getting back East Bengal into the Indian Union are living in a dream-land.
I am told that there has been some exodus of the Hindu community from this province. I have seen the magnitude of this exodus put at the fantastic figure of ten lakes in the Indian Press. Official estimates would not put the figure beyond two lakhs at the utmost. In any case, I am satisfied that such exodus, as has taken place has been the result not of any ill treatment of the minority communities. On the other hand, the minority communities have enjoyed, and rightly so, greater freedom, and have been shown greater solicitude for their welfare than the minorities in any part of the Indian Dominion.
The cause of this exodus are to be found rather in the loose talk by some war-mongering leaders in the Indian Dominion of the inevitability of war between Pakistan and India; in the ill-treatment of the minorities in some of the Indian provinces and the fear among the minorities of the likely repercussions of that ill-treatment here, and in the open encouragement to Hindus to leave this province being sedulously given by a section of the Indian Press, producing imaginary accounts or what it calls the plight of the minorities in Pakistan, and by the Hindu Mahasabha. All this propaganda and accusations about the ill-treatment of the minorities stand belied by the fact that over twelve million non-Muslims continue to live in this province in peace and have refused to migrate from here.
Let me take this opportunity of repeating what I have already said: we shall treat the minorities in Pakistan fairly and justly. Their lives and property in Pakistan are far more secure and protected than in India and we shall maintain peace, law and order and protect and safeguard fully every citizen of Pakistan without distinction of caste, creed or community.
So far so good. Let me now turn to some of the less satisfactory features of the conditions in this province. There is a certain feeling, I am told, in some parts of this province, against non-Bengali Muslims. There has also lately been a certain amount of excitement over the question whether Bengali or Urdu shall be the State language of this province and of Pakistan. In this latter connection, I hear that some discreditable attempts have been made by political opportunities to make a tool of the student community in Dhaka to embarrass the administration
My young friends, students who are present here, Let me tell you as one who has always had love and affection for you, who has served you for ten years faithfully and loyally, let me give you this word of warning: you will be making the greatest mistake if you allow yourself to be exploited by one political party or another. Remember, there has been a revolutionary change. It is our own Government. We are a free, independent and sovereign State. Let us behave and regulate our affairs as free men; we are not suppressed and oppressed under the regime of a foreign domination; we have broken those chains, we have thrown off those shackles. My young friends, I look forward to you as the real makers of Pakistan, do not be exploited and do not be misled. Create amongst yourselves complete unity and solidarity. Set an example of what youth can do. Your main occupation should be –in fairness to yourself, in fairness to your parents, in fairness to the State to devote your attention to your studies. If you fritter away your energies now, you will always regret. After you leave the portals of your universities and colleges taken you, can play your part freely and help yourself and the State. Let me warn you in the clearest term of the dangers that still face Pakistan and your province in particular as I have done already. Having failed to prevent the establishment of Pakistan, thwarted and frustrated by their failure, the enemies of Pakistan have now turned their attention to disrupt the State by creating a split amongst the Muslims of Pakistan. These attempts have taken the shape principally of encouraging provincialism.
As long as you do not throw off this poison 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: have you forgotten the lesson that was taught to us thirteen hundred years ago? 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 Punjabi”. No, we are Muslims.
Islam has taught us this, and I think you will agree with me that whatever else you may be and whatever you are, you are a Muslim. You belong to a Nation now; you have now carved out a territory, vast territory, it is all yours; it does not belong to a Punjabi or a Sindhi, or a Pathan, or a Bengali; it is yours. You have got your Central Government where several units are represented. Therefore, if you want to build up yourself into a Nation, for God’s sake give up this provincialism. Provincialism has been one of the curses; and so is sectionalism –Shia, Sunni, etc.
It was no concern of our predecessor Government; it was no concern of theirs to worry about it; they were here to carry on the administration, maintain law and order and to carry on their trade and exploit India as much as they could. But now we are in a different position altogether. Now I give you an example. Take America. When it threw off British rule and declared itself independent, how many nations were there? It had many races: Spaniards, French, Germans, Italians, English, Dutch and many more. Well, there they were. They had many difficulties. But mind you, their nations were actually in existence and they were great nations; whereas you had nothing. You have got Pakistan only now. But there a Frenchman could say ‘I am a Frenchman and belong to a great nation’, and so on. But what happened? They understood and they realized their difficulties because they had sense, and within a very short time they solved their problems and destroyed all this sectionalism, and they were able to speak not as a German or a Frenchman or an Englishman or a Spaniard, but as Americans. They spoke in this spirit: ‘I am an American’ and we are Americans’. Andso you should think, live and act in terms that your country is Pakistan and you are a Pakistani.
Now I ask you to get rid of this provincialism, because as long as you allow this poison to remain in the body politic of Pakistan, believe me, you will never be a strong nation, and you will never be able to achieve what I wish we could achieve. Please do not think that I do not appreciate the position. Very often it becomes a vicious circle. When you speak to a Bengali, he says: ‘Yes you are right, but the Punjabi is so arrogant’; when you speak to the Punjabi or non-Bengali, he says, ‘Yes but these people do not want us here, they want to get us out’. Now this is a vicious circle, and I do not think anybody can solve this Chinese puzzle. The question is, who is going to be more sensible, more practical, and more statesmanlike and will be rendering the greatest service to Pakistan? So make up your mind and from today put an end to this sectionalism.
About language, as I have already said, this is in order to create disruption amongst the Mussalmans. Your Prime Minister has rightly pointed this out in a recent statement and I am glad that his Government has decided to put down firmly any attempt to disturb the peace of this province by political saboteurs, their agents. Whether Bengali shall be official language of this province is a matter for the elected representatives of the people of this province to decide. I have no doubt that this question shall be decided solely in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants ‘of this province at the appropriate time.
Let me tell you in the clearest language that there is no truth that your normal life is going to be touched or disturbed so far as your Bengali language is concerned. But ultimately it is for you, the people of this province, to decide what shall be the language of your province. But let me make it very clear to you that the State language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language. Anyone who tries to mislead you is really the enemy of Pakistan. Without one State language, no Nation can remain tied up solidly together and function. Look at the history of other countries. Therefore, so far as the State Language is concerned, Pakistani language shall be Urdu. But, as I have said, it will come in time.
I tell you once again, do not fall into the trap of those who are the enemies of Pakistan. Unfortunately, you have fifth columnists –and I am sorry to say they are Muslims –who are financed by outsiders. But they are making a great mistake. We are not going to tolerate sabotage any more; we are not going to tolerate the enemies of Pakistan; we are not going to tolerate quislings and fifth-columnists in our State, and if this is not stopped, I am confident that your Government and the Pakistan Government will take the strongest measures and deal with them ruthlessly, because they are a poison. I can quite understand differences of views. Very often it is said, “why cannot we have this party or that party? Now let me tell you, and I hope you will agree with me, that we have as a result of unceasing effort and struggle ultimately achieved Pakistan after ten years. It is the Muslim League, which has done it. There were of course many Massalmans who were indifferent; some were afraid, because they had vested interests and they thought they might lose some sold themselves to the enemy and worked against us, but we struggled and we fought and by the grace of God and with His help we have established Pakistan which has stunned the World.
Now this is a sacred trust in your hands, i.e., the Muslim League. Is this sacred trust to be guarded by us as the real custodians of the welfare of our country and our people, or not? Are mushroom parties led by men of doubtful past to be started to destroy what we have achieved or capture what we have secured? I ask you one question. Do you believe in Pakistan? (Cries of yes, yes). Are you happy that you have achieved Pakistan? (Cries of yes ,yes), Do you want East Bengal or any part of Pakistan to go into the Indian Union? (No, no). Well, if you are going to serve Pakistan, if you are going to build up Pakistan, if you are going to reconstruct Pakistan, then I say that the honest course open to every Mussalman is to join the Muslim League Party and serve Pakistan to the best of his ability. Any other mushroom parties that are started at present will be looked upon with suspicion because of there past, not that we have any feeling of malice, ill will, or revenge. Honest change is welcome, but the present emergency requires that every Mussalman should come under the banner of the Muslim League, which is the true custodian of Pakistan, and build it up and make it a great State before we think of parties amongst ourselves which may be formed later on sound and healthy lines.
Just one thing more. Do not feel isolated. Many people have spoken to me that East Bengal feels isolated from the rest of Pakistan. No doubt there is a great distance separating the East from the West Pakistan; no doubt there are difficulties, but I tell you that we fully know and realize the importance of Dhaka and East Bengal. I have only come here for a week or ten days this time, but in order to discharge my duty as the Head of the State I may have to come here and stay for days, for weeks, and similarly the Pakistan Ministers must establish closer contact. They should come here and your leaders and members of your Government should go to Karachi, which is the capital of Pakistan. But you must have patience. With your help and with your support we will make Pakistan a mighty State.
Finally, let me appeal to you to keep together, put up with inconveniences, sufferings and sacrifices, for the collective good of our people. No amount of troubles, no amount of hard work or sacrifice contribution for the collective good of your nation and your State. It is in that way, that you will build up Pakistan as the fifth largest State in the world, not only in population as it is but also in strength, so that it will command the respect of all the other nations of the world. With these words I wish you God speed.

Pakistan Zindabad

The All India Muslim League

The year 1906 was extremely important and eventful in the history of Indian nationalism. On 1st October, 1906, a deputation comprising of 35 Muslim leaders from all parts of India gathered in Simla to meet the new viceroy and place forth their appeal for help against the unconcerned attitude of the Hindus towards the needs and status of the Muslim majority in future political setup. They informed the viceroy about their hopes for the representation of Muslims in every branch of government. They further elaborated that the Muslims should not be regarded merely as a minority but a distinct community with strong historical and political background.

Group photo taken at the Annual Mohammaden Educational Conference in Dacca, 1906
The Viceroy was sympathetic to the demands of the group and applauded their loyal and articulate address. As a result of this meeting, the Muslims were promised separate electorates, which was a recognition of separate Muslim identity and proved a historical milestone in the making of Pakistan.

In the year 1906, a leading landlord of Dacca, Nawab Salimullah Khan invited the annual Mohammedan Educational Conference to be held in Dacca. The founding meeting of the All India Muslim League was held in Dacca’s Shahbagh on December 30th, 1906. It was presided over by Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk. The resolution was moved by the Nawab of Dacca, and was seconded by Hakim Ajmal Khan. Nawab Viqar-ul-mulk, who was the first president of the infant Muslim League, declared:

“The musalmans are only a fifth in number as compared with the total population of the country, and it is manifest that if at any remote period the British government ceases to exist in India, then the rule of India would pass into the hands of that community which is nearly four times as large as ourselves …our life, our property, our honour, and our faith will all be in great danger, when even now that a powerful British administration is protecting its subjects, we the Musalmans have to face most serious difficulties in safe-guarding our interests from the grasping hands of our neighbors.”

Members of the All-India Muslim League Working committee; Muslims were not happy with the Communal Award

The main cause for the formation of the Muslim League was to safeguard and advanc the rights and the welfare of the Muslim community and to convey their needs and problems to the government. The Muslims had realized that it was important for them to have a platform to voice their demands; their meeting with the Viceroy at Simla had already proved productive and fruitful. Another reason for the formation of the Muslim League was to prevent the rise of any kind of hostility among the Muslims towards other communities. Aga Khan was appointed the first honorary president of the Muslim League. The London branch of the League was also founded by Syed Ameer Ali.

Partition of Bengal

The partition of Bengal shook India in 1905. Lord Curzon, one of the most powerful British rulers gave affect to the partition. With a population of over 80 million, it was difficult to administer the province so a line was drawn between the Hindu dominated West Bengal and the Muslim dominated East Bengal. Dacca became the capital of the new Muslim majority province comprising Eastern Bengal and Assam. West Bengal with Hindu majority was administered from Calcutta. The birth of the “Eastern Bengal and Assam” province was considered as a blessing and a moment of relief for the Muslims whereas it was an eyesore for the Hindus.

The Hindu community was aghast at the creation of the Muslim majority province and even a movement was launched against the partition. Calcutta’s Bengali Hindu elite protested vehemently against this partition. Large rallies and protests on the streets were carried out frequently all over the country and the British goods were also boycotted.

The impassioned anti-government speeches brought the common man in the streets. Though Jinnah was not very vocal about the issue of the partition of Bengal but its effects were to alter his life and career tremendously in the future. The partition of Bengal gave the Muslims of Bengal adequate representation in the power structure and awakened political consciousness among them which led to the formation of the Muslim League in 1906.

Nations are born in the hearts of poets!!!

The poetry of Allama Iqbal was a breath of fresh air throughout Pakistan Movement... ...This is the historical and extremely memorable pic o...