Two-nation theory

Published: March 18, 2012
The writer is a former foreign secretary and former ambassador to several countries including Iran, Russia and France

The writer is a former foreign secretary and former ambassador to several countries including Iran, Russia and France

In the beginning was the word –– in the lower case –– that created myths of compelling power and legends that provided the woof and warp of the culture of human communities. The world got industrialised and became modern but this substratum of civilisation was not discarded; only reinterpreted. Man did not live by bread alone.

In Pakistan the situation is different. Every element of its ancient heritage, and more recently, its history since Muhammad bin Qasim led an Arab army to Sindh and Multan, is under attack. The orthodox bigot does not want to know much about the 5,000 years before the fateful Arab expedition. On their part, some highly educated Pakistani liberals blithely sidestep causality and context and want to shake every pillar on which the state of Pakistan has rested during the last 65 years. Much too sophisticated to need a vision, they want millions of fellow Pakistanis to do so as well.

I do not intend to locate the article published in this newspaper on March 14, under the title “Founding Stories” by Feisal H Naqvi in the domain of this arrogant ‘liberalism’. But it did occur to me that it might have paid insufficient attention to the context of events between 1857 and 1947. Approaching the two-nation theory merely from the stand-point of western notions of nationhood is, at best, an abstract exercise.

South Asia’s struggle against alien rule is not without aspects that rile a modern mind. India was a not a nation state, but fragments of a collapsing empire when the wily British conquered it. Paradoxically, Great Britain’s triumph triggered off a renovation of existing belief systems. Hinduism went through an extraordinary renaissance, particularly in Bengal. Muslims were systematically weakened in the aftermath of 1857 as a religious community most likely to challenge the new empire. Once their initial shock of the retribution was contained, they began an internally contested search for salvation and rehabilitation. There was the spiritually fortified inward-looking Islamic seminary (madrassa) with a hallowed tradition of religious learning and the opposing, somewhat anglicised, open space of Aligarh.

Religious revivalism amongst Hindus and Muslims of India deeply affected Indian politics that had become possible as the paramount power developed a particular version of the western mission civilisatrice aiming at an eventual grant of limited ‘home rule’ to its Indian subjects. Mahatama Gandhi effectively sidelined secularists like Subash Chandra Bose; Nehru kept his brand of secularism alive through sheer tact in handling the ‘Bapu’; Abul Kalam Azad, a far-sighted political leader, foresaw the danger posed by the deepening of the communal divide by various contenders for power in a postcolonial era but was unable to do much even in the Congress. Documents now compiled by Lionel Carter reveal that in the first post-independence winter even Gandhi-ji, strongly supported punitive military action against Pakistan. Apparently, India considered invading Pakistan in October, as well as, in December 1947.

Amongst the Muslims, there was no clear concept of a nation as defined in western treatises; only a painful consciousness of a dispossessed and defeated ‘millat’. Iqbal was the bard par-excellence of its revival and also one of the principal exponents of a renaissance in the Arab-Islamic world. Jinnah came under his influence but retained his distinctive place as a workman-like constitutionalist who would, realistically, protect Muslim rights under an inevitable future majoritarian dispensation. A long and tortuous road wound its way through the Congress sessions, Jinnah’s Fourteen Points, the Nehru Report and the 1937 provincial governments to the articulation of the two-nation theory. It was more an attempt to create an imagined identity than a theory per se; it marked a shift to mass mobilisation of the Muslims. The last general election in undivided India gave this identity a form and substance that few had foreseen.

Jinnah understood the need to re-establish viable parameters for the two-nation theory in the postcolonial context of nation-building. He sought to do so as early as August 11, in his celebrated speech in Karachi. Public statements made by him as the first governor general of Pakistan have invited commentaries about a certain inherent ambivalence, but we also know from independent sources that he came down hard on those who demanded a theocratic state or, for that matter, talked –– like some hawkish political leaders in India –– of a complete exchange of population on communal basis. He easily remains the most eloquent defender of equal rights of religious minorities in Pakistan’s history. Jinnah’s characterisation of Hindus and Muslims as two ‘nations’ cannot be fully understood without mapping the dialectics of the politics that the Raj sanctioned and that snowballed as all stakeholders failed to build safeguards into it.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2012.


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Reader Comments (63)

  • kaalchakra
    Mar 18, 2012 - 11:56PM

    Beautiful and impressive – as could only be written authentically by a sharp seer who has dedicated a lifetime to informing Pakistanis about their 5000 years old heritage. Thank you, Sir, for your books and essays and articles and seminars to this end. This is what the rest of the world can call true Pakistani scholarship and dedication to truth.

    You have explained the Two Nation Theory very well by showing how Muslims, unlike all others in India, had many issues.


  • let there be peace
    Mar 18, 2012 - 11:59PM

    Is this part 1 of two part article? or is it just a wonderful use of English language vacabulary to confuse the reader in an attempt to defend the indefensible? I could not understand what exactly was author’s argument.


  • arjun
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:12AM

    Now that Pakistan is failing miserably as a nation, the author goes back to history to find faults.What a pity. That reasoning is even miserable as author uses religion to repeatedly remind himself why things have happened. History has shown that you do not build superpower without tolerance in society. I wonder who will be blamed for the lack of tolerance in society….. Just as minorities were eliminated systematically, the root cause of Pakistan’s failure lies right there.. the lack of tolerance and maturity in society to let other religious members live. India is still that fragmented nation in cultural diversity but still holds together against the arrogance of religion and its bigotry. The very challenge that Indians-who are hindus, muslims, christians- cannot live together is what that drives India every day-the will and enormous power to prove that India is different from Pakistan and other islamic societies. With tolerance anything is achievable-BUT how can a society that believes that islam is supreme religion ever have the mindset to be tolerant society which is the bedrock for growth, economic might and prosperity. What the point in going back to history when mistakes are more recent?????


  • Babloo
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:15AM

    Not a single word of condemnation of using religious identity for nationhood. How different is it from Taliban’s vision ? Unless that primary lesson is learnt nothing will change.


  • American Desi
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:34AM

    Muslims and other communities had co-existed peacefully before the start of two nation theory inspired by Sir Syed and his ilk. These people having never participated in the struggle against the imperialists, were in cahoots with the British. The fountain heads of the two nation theory were recognized and honored by the British with knighthood and that should tell us something about these willing pawns of British and validity of their “theory”.


  • Falcon
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:40AM

    Thanks for the article. Finally, someone has taken up this issue. I am really getting tired of this nauseating debate on the issue. It is one of the most useless intellectual debates primarily because of the fact that even if Muslims were wrong 65 years ago, that does nothing to help survival of Pakistan except adding to paranoia that failure is part of our DNA and we should all take sleeping pills or get ready to see our country plunge even more into abyss. It is like telling a child you have no hope of survival because the conditions you were born under are questionable.


  • Afsandyar Rehman
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:43AM

    The nub of the article being– we’ve invested 65 years in the venture called Mamlooqat-e-Khudadad; so lets not question the basic assumptions here.

    If this was a business, the narrative would be- hey, we have spent 65 years on this, and even if its unsuccessful, lets not rock the boat!!!


  • Anil Kapuria
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:44AM

    Author makes fundamental mistakes of calling events and processes as “religious revivalism”, “imagined identity” and regales in calling a single non-pivotal oratory of August 11 in this history of a nation. Author is unable to digest a reality that Pakistani part stood cleansed, while India part did not, or without a civil war which Muslim Leaguers of the time had forecast when their counterpart extremists in India had given months for Pakistan.

    Among many weaknesses of surviving leaders, it reflects an unbridgeable chasm in the Hindu and the Sikh minds (by walking, and killing), and the Muslim minds (by walking and king too). Islam in India then at least in some minds which prevailed was part of Indian fabric and remains so, even without August 11 speech. Hindu and Sikhism in Pakistan in most minds which prevailed was not part of Pakistani fabric, and therefore, despite August 11 speech, Pakistan was emptied and remains emptied.

    Two Nations were created with the minds were partitioned a very very long time before 1947, because Muslim minds could not accept non-ruler status that would emerge, and Hindu minds just refused to even consider making mockery of one-man-one vote. A principle that has indeed given political powers to Muslims through electoral maths in U.P., and Bihar, where no government can be formed today without its support. Economic power is a very different issue and for some other time, because this essay is not about India.


  • Umer
    Mar 19, 2012 - 1:09AM

    The following quote from the referenced article is relevant;

    Partition does
    not prove that the Hindus and the
    Muslims of the subcontinent are two
    different nations. All it proves is
    that people are capable of doing
    horrible things to each other.

    Post partition too, in the quest to become that perfect nation under the wretched two nation theory we first excluded Hindus and Sikhs, then Ahmadis then Shias and now the rest of liberal and moderate Muslims; disdain for liberals is obvious in author’s tone. May be time to dump this two nation theory the root of all evil altogether? A saner nation would have come to the conclusion a long while ago.


  • M I Khan
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:48AM

    The two-nation theory was nothing but a ‘divide and rule’ off-shoot and Jinnah and other Muslim-Leaguers proved the pawns of the great-gamers. This lack of foresight on the part of Jinnah-and-co have been playing havoc in the lives of millions of the sub-coninental muslims. The present demonisation of Islam as an extremist,seperatist, exclusivist ideology could easily be attributed to the partition of India on religious lines. This is a historic tragedy for India and for Islam! Please do not add to the confusion by present this confused lot as great seers!


  • playfulguisse
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:51AM

    I’ve often heard, but never seen any indication that a universal “millat” has ever existed amongst muslim nations, whether in the western sense or not. After all, the Ghoris attacked the Ghaznavis, at the very beginning of the epoch and Nadir Shah declared katl-e-aam on the muslims of Delhi, and presented his loot from the Red Fort to The Caliphs of Turkey who gladly accepted it. You can still see one of Shah Jehan’s throne in their museum. So where exactly has this ‘millat’ been? Please, can someone point to it? I want to be corrected.


  • faraz
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:29AM

    This is called sunk cost fallacy


  • Mir
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:29AM

    Ghadr didnt take place in present pakistan it took place in present central indian states motly, & the massive movement of pakistan was run in present day india & bangladesh mostly except few areas of central punjab & perhaps karachi in sindh, it’s evident from promient names who took share in pakistan movement. So the two nation theory didn’t hold true for all muslim areas in indian subcontinent.


  • Mar 19, 2012 - 3:48AM

    Documents now compiled by Lionel Carter reveal that in the first post-independence winter even Gandhi-ji, strongly supported punitive military action against Pakistan. Apparently, India considered invading Pakistan in October, as well as, in December 1947.

    Why did he do that? Was “peaceful invasion” of Tribesmen backed by Pakistan Army to capture Kashmir was the reason? Oh! so aggressive Indians. They just want war each time Pakistan try for “peaceful invasion”.


  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 19, 2012 - 4:46AM

    If we had kashmir ? if india did not broke it in two? if TNT is true or just dream? why we want a seprate country after centuries of rule on these poor indians?? what if Jinnah Gandhi
    got agreed on one Govt formula ? i guess time time has judged that creating pakistan was not a mistake we gain a lot if not too much our ancestors made a good decission. in united
    india helping afghan against Russia was not possible and freedom of many countries from communist regimes was not possible.Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Mar 19, 2012 - 5:02AM

    This is a very interesting interpretation of the two-nation theory advanced by Mr. Tanvir Ahmad Khan. A number of other interpretations, some in sharp contrast with this one, abound. However the fact of the matter is that the theory died with the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 when the Pakistani military signed the surrender documents in Dacca (now Dhaka).


  • Babloo
    Mar 19, 2012 - 5:21AM

    Mr Tanvir Ahmed Khan should back up his claims with documentation and not just his interpretaion and allegation.
    “Documents now compiled by Lionel Carter reveal that in the first post-independence winter even Gandhi-ji, strongly supported punitive military action against Pakistan. Apparently, India considered invading Pakistan in October, as well as, in December 1947.”

    Gandhi played a critical role in minimizing riots and protecting Muslims in India. He went on fast to force India to pay Pakistan part of the treasury, which was being held back because Pakistan had attacked india in kashmir. He ultimately paid his life for his positions which were viewed by a section as pro-pakistan.
    Tribune should hold him accountable.


  • Prakash
    Mar 19, 2012 - 6:02AM

    Author assertion that India considered invading Pakistan in October, as well as, in December 1947., does not bear any testimony in contemporary history ,as nothing of that sort happened instead Pakistan invaded Kashmir during those times.Author has not gone into specifics what India would have gain by invading Pakistan.It is strange to hear these things from a career diplomat not a Politician.Jinnah’s call for direct action and his pre-partition electoral politics are sufficient proof of his communal believe system.The fact of matter that Pakistan is a Islamic country by constitution and India is still a secular country by constitution is ample proof of what Jinnah as father of nation has given to Pakistan and What Gandhi has given to India as father of Nation.


  • Imran Aslam Wyne
    Mar 19, 2012 - 6:21AM

    Not to lose sight of the forest for the trees, Jinnah’s August 11 celebrated address is NOT just about equal rights of religious minorities in Pakistan or whether Pakistan will be a theo-democracy or a secular democracy. It is true that in the celebrated address Jinnah outlined his ideals of an ideal nation state where the guiding principles would be justice and complete impartiality, where people would be free to go to their temples, and churches, and synagogues and masjids. Jinnah expected that in the course of time, Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims in the political sense. He expected that with the passage of time the angularities of the majority and minority communities will vanish. However, Jinnah made the following four key points in his August 11 address to the constituent assembly –

    1) Jinnah called the establishment of law and order as the first duty of a government. To make the great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, Jinnah called for the government to wholly and solely concentrate on the well being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor.
    2) According to Jinnah the second responsibility of the state is the eradication of bribery and corruption – which Jinnah called a “poison.”
    3) The third thing Jinnah spoke about was the elimination of business monopolies – to prevent shortages, and manipulation of prices of goods and commodities.
    4) And the last thing Jinnah spoke about was nepotism, cronyism and favoritism – which he called a “great evil” that he will never tolerate.

    Now any one can read the full text of Jinnah’s Aug 11 celebrated address. After 63 years of false starts and false promises and complete mis-management of the affairs of the country the question that we must ask our intelligentsia, academia, intellectuals and the government is if we can still trust them to deliver on any of the four key points of Jinnah’s August 11 celebrated address ?

    Fool me once – shame on you, fool me twice – shame on me!


  • pmbm
    Mar 19, 2012 - 6:34AM

    @ Anil Kapuria
    while on surface Indian society was divided on religious basis, underlying reason for partition was fear of “economic power’ in the hands of majority , which is proven in democratic India, where muslims are below even the Untouchables in economic terms.


  • Umer
    Mar 19, 2012 - 7:41AM


    Mr Tanvir Ahmed Khan should back up
    his claims with documentation and not
    just his interpretaion and allegation.

    That’s not what we do in Pakistan especially when we are presenting official establishment propaganda.


  • pravin
    Mar 19, 2012 - 7:59AM

    It surprises me a lot that how important it is for Pakistanis to discuss the partition again and again. What are you still searching in the past? If you haven’t found that yet, why do you think you will find that. Why don’t you simply accept the history and move on?


  • Deepwater
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:26AM


    Why do you think Muslims are low on the economic scale? Large family size and lesser emphasis on education are two important reasons. Many urban Muslims have broken out of that cycle and are doing exceedingly well. The rural Muslims in least developed states (UP, Bihar, Orissa) with large family sizes are doing the worst. At some point, progressive practices will even permeate to those regions and things will change.

    Progress does not fall from the skies onto one’s laps. It has to be earned and one has to make the right choices, Muslim or not


  • Muzaffar
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:51AM

    HIRED INDIANS are actively involved in making comments in most of the newspapers especially which have english medium readership. Hope the editor takes this into account which I doubt as once before I have pointed this out.
    I am not against participation but there needs to be some constructive reason to do so rather to mostly give irrational and for the sake of it type of comments.


  • qaisar
    Mar 19, 2012 - 9:51AM

    poor article. Hardly touched the topic let aside proving his viewpoint.


  • Umer
    Mar 19, 2012 - 9:58AM


    which is proven in democratic India,
    where muslims are below even the
    Untouchables in economic terms.

    Muslims are doing pretty badly even in Pakistan where they are in majority. A number of them left making Bangladesh. Baluchistan, Sindh and PKP are also unhappy as well as Siraikis. North Pujabis are doing bit better but not too much.

    Who or what are you going to blame for that?


  • Muhammad Shoaib
    Mar 19, 2012 - 10:19AM

    Author was not addressing those who are confused about their bases. It was cogently written, though a little higher level.


  • ksri
    Mar 19, 2012 - 10:31AM

    “Documents now compiled by Lionel Carter reveal that in the first post-independence winter even Gandhi-ji, strongly supported punitive military action against Pakistan.”

    @author, Why don’t you come out with credible proof to back up your statement?

    @ET, How could you allow the practice of yellow journalism?Recommend

  • vishal sharma
    Mar 19, 2012 - 10:52AM

    Jinnah may be considered as the father of a nation but in true sense he was a person who was responsible for killing many innocents who live on the either side of the present border. How can a nation be happy with majority people filled with hatred,intolerance and leveling baseless allegations against all others who do not follow their belief system. come on Pakistan,who have made millions in India weep and suffer for the sins you thought they have committed.Descendants of those people are doing well in India because their belief system is diametrically opposite to yours. they hate none, not even u. Give up hatred and love and respect humanity. don’t confine humanity to Islam only. That is what India does.


  • PakiKaka
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:22AM

    Sir the problem is what history to accept. We are where we are because we have accepted the false history that Pakistan was made in the name of Islam. Nothing can be farther from truth and if i start talking about it and providing proofs the list will be long. So i would just say that i don’t agree with you here, unless we realize the true history of Pakistan we will not progress therefore the quest should go on to educate all Pakistanis about the true history of not only undivided India which also is our own history and also Pakistan’s history.


  • Mar 19, 2012 - 11:25AM


    Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh are no richer. In fact the richest Muslim in South Asia is in India.

    Muslims in India have a lot of success stories, that are absent in Pakistan and even Bangladesh. Show me one Shahrukh Khan or an A.R.Rahman or Azim Premji. I dare you!


  • Mar 19, 2012 - 12:26PM

    Dear Tanvir Ahmad Khan, I have read your article many times over. I have not been able to make out the reasons you have for two nation theory. But that is fine. I do not know how old you were at the time of partition but I remember the happenings. It Hurts when you say “Documents now compiled by Lionel Carter reveal that in the first post-independence winter even Gandhi-ji, strongly supported punitive military action against Pakistan.” There can be no bigger lie than this. It is true he was heart broken with partition. It is also true that once he agreed for partition he put put his all efforts to stand by the commitment. I am sure, not only you but the entire world knows that this man of peace was killed by Hindu fanatics for this very reason as he agreed for partition. Hindu fanatics to date believe that if he would have not agreed Partition may not have happened. Why would he even think what you say.And what punitive action you are talking about??? Please do not try to miss lead the younger generations of Pakistan. Yes he believed and we believe that two nation theory was flawed BUT partition is a reality to day and we must live in peace.


  • Mar 19, 2012 - 1:39PM

    You just cant digest the fact that Pakistan was created with a communal demand. You twist circumstances and facts to suit your purpose and design a theory which satisfies your basic political leanings and soothes your ego.

    You call Jinnah fabulous names. If you are a Islamist you call him a great Muslim, who invoked Quran in many of his speeches. If you are a liberal you invoke his August 11 speech.

    Why this happens with Jinnah, not people like Gandhi or Nehru or the Maulana Azad?

    Because Jinnah played the song the audience liked.

    The issue for me is not if he is Secular. But, if he is Communal. His politics and actions point him to being communal. When he called “Direct Action Day”, basically meaning kill your own neighbouring HIndus, he lost the right to be called non-Communal.


  • Pervez Khan
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:26PM

    India is geography,Many nations can live in it. There are already three established ones ,thanks to Indian interference in1971. Now wait till India becomes 550 nation states again. A matter of time only…


  • Indian
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:47PM

    @ pmbm. One of the reasons of backwardness of Muslims in India is Pakistan itself. Almost all Muslims in India voted and trusted Jinna in last election in 1946. After partition they found them self abandoned to their fate by leaders whom they trusted, even a few educated among them left leaving them decapitated


  • Mar 19, 2012 - 3:45PM

    If partition of India was good for Pakistan, we are seeing the results. If it was bad, nobody can do anything now except showing sympathy and sorrow. Don’t bring Gandhi’s name in these murky affairs. Jinnah hoped that he would be father of the nation, but people made Zia Ul Haq as father of the nation.


  • Agnivesh
    Mar 19, 2012 - 4:52PM

    I wonder what sense it makes to talk on the two nation theory again and again. Pakistanis say the Indians never accepted Pakistan, but it is they who keep on harping the two nation theory. Can this nonsense stop now? It’s more than six decades now, and Pakistan and India as two countries are a reality.There could be that itch for one upmanship, but that’s clearly an immature bent of mind.


  • vasan
    Mar 19, 2012 - 5:14PM

    Pervez Khan: How many light years should I wait for this. Go get a life man.
    I think majority of muslims supported “Two nation theory” which they sincerely believed in. The reasons could be
    1. Bangladesh and Pakistan
    2. Shia and sunni
    3. Left and rightists
    4. Muslims and minorities
    5. Feudals and labourers
    6. Punjabis and non punjabis
    7. Militiary and the civvies
    8. Bearded and cleanshaven
    9. Realists and conspiracy theorists
    10. Supporters of the west and opponents

    and so on

    The list goes on. The reader can pick any of the “Two nations” he likes. But in India we believe it is a sub continent rather than a nation. But we live as a single nation because we have “Unity in diversity”


  • Vijay K
    Mar 19, 2012 - 5:39PM

    I do believe partition was good for both countries,(well… all 3 countries now).
    Muslims benefited since got an Islamic Republic. Especially those Muslims who have difficulty in living peacefully with other faiths.
    India benefited since without without the creation of Pakistan, these intolerant Muslims would have created mayhem in India… there would have been no peace or progress and India would have been in the situation where Pakistan is in now.
    Everyone benefited by partition and got what they wanted, so why the fuss?


  • mudassar.r
    Mar 19, 2012 - 5:48PM

    we see what we want to see…
    dear writer, i have only one question,,,why was the foreign intruders started from britishers,,,who were mughuls,who were lodhis, who were sadaat, who was moh bin qasim,,,,were they not all intruders…
    now two nation theory…
    y was this two nation theory applicable right after 1857, when muslims lost the power…
    there were hindus living with muslims in india long before there was first muslim in india…why did muslims not got seperate country for them under the rule of muslim rulers,y was it so imp only when they were not in power…
    yes, you are right…
    it was not about religion, it was about politics.or being extremely accepting i would say about basic rights…thats what got bangalis out and now balochis,,,
    thats what made MQM….
    so stop telling us lies..there is a huge difference between right/wrong and facts…

  • Shahid
    Mar 19, 2012 - 7:08PM

    It is important to accept that it was a mistake and nations are not build alone on religious identity and then move on. Pakistan is a very much viable state and we developed at much faster pace than India up untill eighties. Pakistan has every potential to become another korea. The need of the time is to forget past rivalries, turn Pakistan into a secular state[ religion being an individual and not state issue] and develop relation ship between Pakistan and India like USA and canada model and work togather for mutual development and peaceful co-existance.


  • Babloo
    Mar 19, 2012 - 7:51PM

    At partition, the most prosperous part of British India was Punjab. In Punjab, the most prosperous parts were West Punjab, including Lahore, which fell to Pakistan.
    However, today Indian Punjab ( divided into 3 states Punjab, Haryana, Himachal ) has a per capita income more than double of Pakistan Punjab. Unless the ideology of religious bigotry is removed W Pakistan/Pakistan Punjab will have a very hard time to come out of the downward spiral, from the most prosperous area of British India to what its today.


  • kaalchakra
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:07PM


    Economic progress is not everything. It is equally, or even more important, to follow the right deen. Following the right deen, victory, wealth,and progress will automatically come.


  • Umer
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:15PM


    Economic progress is not everything.
    It is equally, or even more important,
    to follow the right deen. Following
    the right deen, victory, wealth,and
    progress will automatically come.

    I’m guessing you are implying you are following the right deen. Where is the victory, wealth and progress then? Unless abducting helpless Hindu girls is considered victory.


  • Suresh
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:39PM

    If the British were responsible for the resurgent Hinduism, and the revivalist Hindus sought their own rule, then why did they not make India a Hindu state, that too after “getting rid” of Muslims? Why they chose secularism? The article gives an impression that the two nation theory alone gave the nation hood to India as a nation at the expense of Pakistan.


  • Hari Karnani
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:42PM

    Lionel Carter ? Who ? Has he got his Gandhi or India documents authenticated ? Has he publically defended the contents of his so called compilation ?


  • Arijit Sharma
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:03PM

    Something to think about – would there so many articles in the Pakistani press questioning the two nation theory if Pakistan was doing good and prospering more than India ?


  • harkol
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:16AM

    Pervez Khan:

    You may have something there! The edifice of a nation-state is an artificial one, so it is quite possible that any nation will breakup in to its sub-national identities. History tells us that nations are forged and are broken up. In fact, nothing in life is permanent. Companies are formed and collapse, similarly nations too collapse.

    But, not into 550 nations! It is possible that the edge geographies will succeed, India may also break in to South & North (perhaps west) on the basis of economic disparity, rather than language/religion.

    Also, the question is of time frame. It may take centuries and some calamitous events for this to happen. An event like India loosing badly in a war, or Indian state failing in law & order and some states failing with mass starvation to a degree where there is huge number of deaths. All this is not in the horizon for now. India is doing fine as a state, it isn’t failing.

    What is in the horizon however is a Pakistan breakup. That possibility is infinitely more real and nearer than India breaking up. Pakistan is failing, the chances of a calamitous war is far higher, and more importantly there is a higher chance than India of a financial ruin.


  • G. Din
    Mar 20, 2012 - 1:57AM

    “…nations are not build alone on religious identity ….
    How do you explain Israel which is furiously jealous of its religious identity? Or, Saudi Arabia?
    Then, how come Israel is so successful and all the nations of OIC are floundering? Since all those nations are fiercely Islamic, could rampant failure of those countries be ascribed to Islam? Think!!!!


  • Yash
    Mar 20, 2012 - 3:02AM

    @G. Din:

    Israel was built on the same lines as pakistan…agreed…but after that…religion was kinda kept aside and they concentrated on development….when funds from jews were collected all over the world to build the worlds biggest synagogue in israel…they cancelled the plan at last moment and built educational institutions out of that funding…people there do not interfere in each others religion (unless u talk about arab israeli conflicts)…

    israel followed the same steps as pakistan…yet its considered successful…it should not be a matter of argument…but actually a lesson for pakistan…

    u can learn sumthing from any1…even from ur biggest enemy


  • Chotta Panda
    Mar 20, 2012 - 3:07AM

    Partition is a reality. India has moved on with it. It is these Pakistanis who are spending infinite number of hours trying to defend it. I can see why – because Pakistan is a failed idealogy. If it were successful would it be necessary to spend all these hours defending it?Only a lie and nonsense has to be defended while truth wil shine on its own merit without needing any defenses.


  • Politicaly incorrect
    Mar 20, 2012 - 3:10AM

    Sir, you tried as best as you could, but still failed to defend the indefencible.
    Two nation theory was a self serving,utopian idea though it did help massaging ego of megalomaniacs like Alama Iqbal and Md Ali Jinnah.


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 5:22AM

    Mr Arjun Pakistan is not failing miserably its rather the Indian intentions which are failing miserably.its the India which so far had not recognized Pakistan and is always bent upon creating difficulties for us, I only wish you have a cursed men like zardari and gillani and soon India’s balloon will deflate.


  • Yash
    Mar 20, 2012 - 8:21AM


    and back to square one fingers pointing at neighbours….it is pakistan that has been and is creating problems for the whole world now and is quite successful in it…

    people keep bragging about indian intentions in pakistan and i cant find a single damn incident in pakistan that directly points to india…

    the govt. of pakistan doesnt even accuse india openly….all this indian hand behind terrorism in pakistan and all is just stupidity


  • pmbm
    Mar 20, 2012 - 10:34AM

    Most majority/minority splits or conflicts are economic based,because majority has the control and makes the rules. India and pakistan are otherwise equal in over all poverty.Neither can brag on that score.


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 1:18PM

    @Muzaffar:” HIRED INDIANS are actively involved in making comments in most of the newspapers especially which have english medium readership. Hope the editor takes this into account” So block the Indians from all comment boards, close you eyes and ears from seeing and listening sane voices not only from out side Pakistan but within Pakistan. If the educated lot only reads what their own editorial board people and various columnists in news papers like Express Tribune or Dawn are saying there will be lots of good to follow. By denial and blocking world views you are inflicting self injury. Regards and best wishes.


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 8:16PM


    Pakistan and India are not equals. We might have the same poverty levels but the trajectories are opposite.


  • Shahid
    Mar 21, 2012 - 12:00AM

    Pakistanis are talking so much about Partition because they are soul searching and they never had the oppurtunity to discuss these things so openly. They are trying to find what went wrong.No Pakistani is interested to rejoin India but most Pakistanis are in favour of having good relations with India. Pakistan has every potential to become another asian tiger if they direct thier target on modern education and development rather than glorification of Islam


  • pmbm
    Mar 21, 2012 - 4:22AM

    I said I&P are equal in over all poverty, and you said’ they have the same level of poverty’
    What is the argument?.


  • shakrullah
    Mar 21, 2012 - 4:37AM

    Our understanding of the two-nation theory will benefi greatly if we see its unfolding
    since the creation of pakistan .During the Pakistan Movement the rhetoric used to mobilise
    the masses created in them an exclusivist psychic make-up. It bred and sanctified the notion that a multi-cultural and multi-religious society was a threat to our identity. This notion is deeply embedded in our collective self . The sine qua nom of our post-independence history is an increasing narrowing down of our self-definition and throwing out of the fold one religious or ethnic group after the other , and copping up the muslims into
    sects which are not welcome in the fold . One hopes that the exclusivist tendencies
    unleashed by the two-nation run their course sooner than later .


  • Mar 21, 2012 - 4:51AM

    Agree with you. But nobody is going to listen. Because all these people who are messing up with the country’s economy are rich themselves. Our family was very prosperous and we were landlords. But after independence all was lost and stolen in the name of democracy!


  • Prakash
    Mar 21, 2012 - 5:17AM

    Author is accusing Gandhi of contemplating punishment to Pakistan, when that great soul was fasting to pressurize the Indian Government to dole out the Financial resources to Pakistan.As a litrate person ,Author must be knowing this fact but he has chose to ignore.


  • Mar 21, 2012 - 8:21PM


    There are so many aspects that make India and Pakistan unequal!

    1) India is a Democracy, Pakistan not.
    2) India brings out more people out of poverty in the whole world, while Pakistan pushes them in.
    3) India is a secular state, Pakistan not.
    4) India there is freedom of Religion guaranteed in the Constitution, Pakistan not.

    So on… But, you get my point. India and Pakistan are equals in poverty levels because India goofed up till 1991, Pakistan had made better economic decisions. But, that is changing too.


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