01 December, 2020

The Cynic As Daydreamer

Jinnah drove the idea of the first country created in the name of Islam. Then, he chanted secularism.

The Cynic As Daydreamer

Many tomes have argued that Mohammed Ali Jinnah wanted a secular Pakistan and was really a liberal. It has been implied that if Pakistan had followed his “real” vision, it would have had a very different trajectory. Eminent Pakistani scholars suggest this, as do some figures of the Hindu right like L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh.

These arguments are quite bogus. Jinnah first set the house on fire, then expressed some regret at the death toll; he sought the first country created in the name of Islam, and after getting it said he wanted it to be secular. Pakistan (or Land of the Pure) he called his project, though there would be little room in the hearts of the new nation’s keepers to respect the Bengali Muslims of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He formulated the “two-nation” theory, then spoke of the need for Pakistan to treat its minorities well.

How on earth would the residents of his “nation of the pure” respect the minorities when the word ‘Pakistan’ itself suggests that non-Muslims are impure?




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