What is Two Nation Theory:
The two-nation theory was the basis for the partition of India in 1947. This theory supported the proposal that Muslims and Non-Muslims should be two separate nations. It is the ideology that the main identity and unifying aspect of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent is their religion, rather than their language or ethnicity.
As the britishers were supposed to leave the Sub-continent in near future. The future of the Muslims of Subcontinent was at stack and their national identity was likely to be lost. Muslims who had ruled over Indian for centuries would be in an eternal slavery of Hindus, after British departure. According to the western concept of democracy the Hindus were hoping to rule all over the India because of their majority. Therefore they emphasize over the concept of union of India and the one nationalism. But the Muslims of India who in spite of living with Hindus for centuries, never mingled and merged in Hindu nation. They always maintained their separate nationhood. Muslims were of thought that there are two quite different nations living in India; Non-Muslims and Muslim. And this distinction was based on religion and creed. And the difference between the creeds of the two nations was so large that it was imposible for them to be one nation even they start living with each other for centuries.
It is the two nation theory which gave birth to the Ideology of Pakistan. As the founding features of both the theories are same therefore if we say that the Two nation theory is the mother of Ideology of Pakistan, it would not be wrong.
Two nation theory and Quaid-e-Azam:
Quaid e Azam was a staunch believer of Two Nation Theory and considered the Muslims a separate and distinct nation. He said, ”Pakistan was created the day the first Indian national entered the fold of Islam”. He further said, ”The Muslims are a nation by every definition of the word nation”. They have every right to establish their separate homeland. They can adopt any means to promote and protect their economic, social and cultural interests”.
Quaid e Azam laid great stress on the Islamic Ideology as being the basis of struggle for Pakistan because he believed that Islam was the only unifying force of the Muslim Millat. He said, ”What is that relationship which knits the Muslims into one whole, which is that formidable rock on which Muslims adicifies has been erected, What is that sheet anchor providing base to Muslim Millat????? That relationship, that rock and that sheet anchor is Holy Quran. In 1946, addressing a gathering at Islamia College Peshawer, he said, ”We did not demand Pakistan simply to have a piece of land, buth rather we wanted a laboratory where we could conduct experiments on Islamic Principles”.
Two Nation Theory in the eyes of Allama Iqbal:
Allama Mohammad Iqbal was born on 9th November 1877 in Sialkot. After seeking early education, he was admitted to Government College Lahore, where he obtained M.A. degree in Philosophy. He left for England for higher studies in 1905. In 1907, he obtained the Degree of Doctorate (Ph.D.) from Munich University.
Allama Iqbal never wanted the independence of a United India. He knew the outstanding differences between Muslims and Non-muslims, therefore he had always supported the concept of Two Nationalism.
Allama Iqbal firmly believed that the Muslims of India have a separate identity and to protect this identity, the establishment of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India was necessary. On 28th March 1909, he rejected the invitation from the secular party “Minswa Lodge” highligting the fact that:
“I have been a keen supporter of this theory that religious differences in this country should end and even now I practise this principle. But, now I have started to believe that separate national identity for the Muslims and the Hindus is necessary for their survival.”
In 1930, in the Annual Session of Muslim League at Allahbad, Iqbal said:
“India is a continent of human groups belonging to different races, speaking different languages and professing different religions. Their behaviour is not at all determined by a common race conciousness. I therefore, demand the formation of a consolidated Muslim state in the best intrest of India and Islam.”
Allama Iqbal’s Presidential Adress at Allahbad in 1930 determined the political path of the Muslims of sub-continent. In his address, he in clear words said:
“I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh and Balochistan been combined into a single state”.
He further stated that:
“The formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of the north west India.” Thus, Iqbal demanded a sovereign independent Muslim state even before the Muslim League demanded it in Pakistan’s Resolution.
In 1930, Iqbal presided over the twenty-first session of the All-India Muslim League held at Allahabad and delivered his famous address. In this he suggested that the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent should demand territorial specification in the form of a separate State on the basis of distinct cultural unit. He stated: “I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single State. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated North-West Indian Muslim State appears to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of North-West India.“ Iqbal was not the first to suggest this. But it is to his credit that he was the first to suggest a homeland for the Muslims from the platform of the All-India Muslim League, which was the only representative political organization of the Muslims of the subcontinent.
Moreover through his poetic verses he always stressed upon the religious values of Muslim and unity among them. He never defined a nation on geographical and boundaries basis, but rather he was of the view that nations evolve on creeds and beliefs. As the entire Muslims community have similar creeds and beliefs therefore they are one nation, while the other nation in the world is Non-Muslims. He explained his views in his poetry and prose and awakened the passion of separate entity among Muslims.