All the famous statements and arguments of Allama Iqbal and M A Jinnah justifying the ‘Two Nation Theory’ have been proved to be wrong. Had they been alive now, they would have found that their prophecies and convictions about the future of Pakistan (and inadvertently Bangladesh) have been utter disasters.
Iqbal’s father was converted from a Kashmiri Hindu Brahmin family and Jinnah’s grandfather was converted from a Gujarati Hindu Baniya family. Being Muslims through recent conversion of father/grandfather they were more eager, like many such people, to become the staunch supporters of Islam and Islamic state.
The big question is if an average Pakistani or Bangladeshi is much better off than an average Indian today? We know that the answer is ‘no’ and thus ‘Two Nation Theory’ falls flat on its face.
Though Jinnah was Muslim by religion, his life style and practices were un-Islamic. He fought for Pakistan more for the sake of his personal ego satisfaction than anything else. But in contrast, Iqbal was a devout Muslim and he sincerely believed in a separate state for Indian Muslims. Barring the political acumen of Jinnah and poetic genius of Iqbal, their political philosophy was immature. Both of them could not foresee the futility of religion as the basis for separate nationhood and were in utopian mind set.
Iqbal died before creation of Pakistan and thus saved himself from the intellectual humiliation about the failure of ‘Two Nation Theory’. But, Jinnah was not that much fortunate. He understood the blunder and expressed dissatisfaction before his death when Ulema were putting pressure on him to impose Shariya in early days of Pakistan.
Bangladesh came out of Pakistan within two and a half decades of independence from the British. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh later became Islamic countries very much against the original concept of Jinnah and Mujib. Pakistan is a failed state and Bangladesh is an over populous bottom less basket now. Islam has not done anything good to the common people these two countries.
An undivided India with approximately 450 millions of Muslims population today would have been a sufficiently strong deterrent to Hindu hegemony. But Muslims had missed the bus. They went for division of India and in the process became the real victims of ‘Two Nation Theory’.
The current position shows that a ‘Three Nation Theory’ (India, Pakistan & Bangladesh) is in actual action. If we think critically, it expands to “Six Nation Theory’ with addition of Kashmir, Baluchistan & Karachi. The last one has recently been proposed by Altaf Hussain of MQM from UK.
Islam-based political leaders and politics-based Islamic leaders have been playing such divisive games. They are a perpetually restless lot suffering from ‘maladjustment syndrome’. They are self righteous and know that Islam is their only source of power and authority. As the filthy capitalists thrive and prosper on wealth, these leaders also thrive and prosper on Islam. Jamaat-Shibir, Hefazat and BNP combine’s support for erstwhile Razakars and Al-badrs in present day Bangladesh is a pointer. If Islam is separated from the state of Bangladesh, thousands of such leaders will be jobless and millions of their followers will be clueless about the meaning of life. It is not a state of mind. Because the leaders and followers of divisive games do not have any mind of their own.
It is an irony that Bangladesh still has a very big proportion of Paki boot lickers who have become extremely dominant in Bangladeshi politics lately. Bangladeshi Zia patronized those to dilute and ultimately erase the legacy of Mujib (It is another matter that Mujib did many bad things also). There is every reason to believe that Zia was a Paki stooge. It was he who rekindled Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh and Islamized the politics of the country.
The world has changed in past 1400. Islam could not keep it unchanged. It is high time that Bangladeshi leaders stop exploiting poor people in the name of Islam. Their shrewd assertion that the common people who do not stand by them will not stand by Allah on the Day of Judgment is poisonous, false and needs to be stopped. Bangladeshi should understand the facts of history and discard aping Arabic culture.
(The situation in Pakistan is beyond repair. Pakistan has been passing through Somalia-like situation and its future is very gloomy. The real cause of the Somali conflict is the segmentation of the Somali people into different hostile groups or clans who have been at war with each other. A similar picture is visible in present day Pakistan).
In Bangladesh, it astonishes one to see the growing mass support for Jamaat-e-Islami which produced Razakars, Al-Badrs, Al-Shams and Peace Committees during liberation war of 1971 to rape the then East Pakistan in connivance with Paki Armies. Ghulam Azam was its fountain head then and Ahmed Shafi is the present protagonist.
Why Bangladeshis fought for and got liberated from Pakistan? Was it to hand over the country to Jamaat-Shibir on a platter? How on earth the Jamaat-Shibir supporters can justify the activities of Ghulam Azam, Ali Ahsan Mojaheed and likes during liberation war of 1971? Does any Bangladeshi remember that in 1972 Ghulam Azam formed ‘Purbo Pakistan Punoruddhar Committee’ in London? How a large group of common Bangladeshi has not only been tolerating Jamaat-Shibir (and Hefazat now) but also supporting the group which was 100 per cent against the liberation of Bangladesh and unlashed atrocities against its own countrymen?
So far Jamaat is concerned; it seems that the post 1971 generation of Bangladeshi has been successfully fed with concocted history of liberation war. The nefarious activities of Jamaat sponsored Razakars, Al-Badrs, Al-Shams and Peace Committees during liberation war of 1971 were white-washed by Pakistani backed Zia and BNP. Jamaat has been projected before younger Bangladeshis as the only group which thinks and acts for Islam and Ummah. Islamic Ummah is a non-sense concept. If Islam could be the basis of Ummah, why are there 22 Arab Islamic Nations today? Well Jamaat do not want to understand this simple fact because the unrealistic and unrealizable Ummah is its main life line. Another lifeline of Jamaat is its cry ‘Islam is in danger in Bangladesh’. If with 90 per cent Muslims, Islam can be in danger in Bangladesh then Jamaat leaders and supporters need immediate psychiatric care.
In Bangladesh, anybody talking sense is labeled as stooge of Hindu India. Such propaganda finds takers in poor and backward Islamic Bangladesh easily. Unlike common Bangladeshis, common Indians are not interested about a loser Bangladesh as it is of no consequence to them. Can any Jamaat member objectively make a list of the bad deeds of India against Bangladesh except helping its people from the atrocities of West Pakistanis during 1971, extending medical care to common Bangladeshis who go to India for treatment and allowing tens of thousands of illegal Bangladeshi to stay and earn livelihood in all major cities of India and then become Indian citizens? Tista and Chhitmohals are non-issues. Then why Jamaat and BNP want to fight a phantom enemy (India)? It is because they are yet to come out of Paki mentality. The only unifying factor in utterly divided Pakistan is its anti-India stanch and propaganda. Does Bangladesh want to fall in this psychological trap and be a part of Pakistan once again? Nerha bel-tolay koto bar jabe?
Is Bangladesh an ‘offshoot of Two Nation Theory’ or a ‘product of Islamic fundamentalism’ (as evident in the activities of Jamaat-Shibir and Hefazat) or a ‘fulfillment of Bengalee aspiration’ (as was originally envisaged in 1971)? Bangladeshis must try to find out the answer. The possible answer will be a combination of three. However, the dominance of one factor or the other will determine the true nature of future Bangladesh. If the ‘offshoot of Two Nation Theory’ is dominant it will be a protectorate of Pakistan. If it is the ‘product of Islamic fundamentalism’, Bangladesh will be a mirror image of Taliban ruled Afghanistan. But if the ‘fulfillment of Bengalee aspiration’ is dominant, it will be like Turkey of South Asia.
So the question is “Quo Vadis Bangladesh”? Is it Pakistani Bangladesh or Talibanized Bangladesh or Bengalized Bangladesh?
PS: One wonders how Kemal Ataturk could abolish Caliphate, close Madrassa and ban hijab, as well as, the identifiable head gear of Ulema in Turkey almost 90 years back. Majority Turkish Muslims will not agree that Ataturk had gone to hell (if at all there is one) after death. Ataturk showed that Islam could not-only be freed from the bondage of Arabic language and culture but-also be separated from state successfully. Ataturk did not Islamize Turkey but Turkeyized Islam.