By Rizwan Ahmed (Marhoom)
The Pakistan movement as it gained ever growing strength and confidence set the course to be followed for the achievement of its final goal, or to be more precise, it paved the way for the fulfillment of its real and true objective. In other words Indian Muslims succeeded in carving out a homeland of their own out of the subcontinent and named it Pakistan which was the means to its objective from which the movement never deviated. True, our enemies as well as our own hypocritically friendly groups, created confusion and raised hurdles in our way but the Islamic national ethos and aspirations were never lost sight of. Not a word, resolution, proposal or motion, in or out of context, can be pointed out which was acceptable to the leaders of the Pakistan Movement and hence to the general body of the Pakistan that betrays the slightest deviation from those real aspirations referred above. The reason is that it will not represent the true objective of the Pakistan Movement nor its intellectual contents i.e. a homeland of Muslims to be built up as conceived by Islam. Every move of our leaders inspired by their people’s desire will be found to be linked irrevocably to the next move in a never ending chain of circumstances. In this context the new fangled interpretation of the 1940 Lahore resolution that equates it to full independence of the provinces led to the tragedy of East Pakistan debacle, for that interpretation was unlinked and outrageously out of context from the circumstances obtaining when it was passed.
Another such trick of duplicity in interpretation is being played about the speech of the Quaid which he made in Chittagong in March 1948 referring to “Islamic Socialism.” If this deliberate misreading out of all context equates the reference to Socialism and Socialist economic system it will be another dire outrage against the Pakistan Movement as a whole.
Pakistan would be completing half century of its age in a few years and having by and large, emerged against as a working democracy it would be another tragedy to try to divert it from the course inherent in the original movement of Indian Muslim’s self determination, to speculate about the ideas of the Quaid-i-Azam by having recourse to a single expression used by him not directly, in that address. To build up a whole edifice of a socio-economic system on the basis a single expression in an isolated speech is not only most confusing but also deplorable. Such talk is always indulged in by discontented political elements and should not mislead those who know and understand their political motivation.
The truth is that the Quaid in his various capacities and at different times, as a leader of the Muslims, as the President of the Muslim League and later, as fighter for the achievement of Pakistan and finally as its Governor General, repeatedly proclaimed to the whole world the real objectives of the Muslim League clearly and unambiguously. His words were addressed not only to the Indian Muslims and later the Pakistanis but also to the Hindu national Congress, Hindu Mahasabha, the Proja Socialist and the Communist parties of India and to the larger audience of the rest of the Eastern and Western World in general who wanted to know what the Indian Muslim conceived to be the nature of their own stage of Pakistan. Immediately following the establishment of Pakistan the Quaid had reminded the new nation that “the creation of a state of our own was a means to an end and not the end in itself.” It was only the means through which the Muslim League Movement’s final objective was to be achieved. Consequently it is more true to say the Movement of Pakistan is still on with full force and the Muslims here never lost sight of this real objective namely the promulgation of their own set of laws i.e. shariat in their own land.
The Quaid-i-Azam had a very clear understanding of what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s Socialism and Gandiji’s Nationalism spelled out for the Indian Muslims. He was keenly watching the pitfalls of the two “isms” which had been termed by Allama Iqbal as “agnostic thinking” of the Hindu leaders. The latter had written a letter to the Quaid-e-Azam as early as 1937, to the effect that it was absolutely incumbent for the Muslims to have the Shariat Laws of their own in their own land, to meet squarely Pandit Nehru’s brand of Socialism the latter was talking so much about. During this period a bye-election was underway in the United Provinces which presented the first clear contest between the Muslim League and the All India Congress as to their post-independence political orientation. Maulana Shaukat Ali in one of the speeches during this campaign had said, “Jawahar Lal is tempting you with his offer of roti and kapra (bread and clothing) and I am inviting you (the electorate) to the dictates of Allah’s Quran”. The result was as expected. The slogan mongering of Pandit Nehru was emphatically rejected by the people and they upheld the message of the Quran as a complete code of life.
The Annual Session of All India Muslim League, (26-29 December 1938) was held at Patna, Behar. The chairman of the reception committee Syed Abdul Aziz presented his address of welcome there to the President-elect Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In that it was said in so may words; “Nationalism and Socialism were opposed to Islamic ideals”….” The Muslims cannot join hands with the Socialists”, “they had a materialistic view of life. The Socialists consider religion as superfluous and the Muslims did not agree with the solution of the economic problems that they offer”.
In his detailed reply to the address Quaid-i-Azam had said: “So far as my dear young fiends, the Muslim youth, were concerned, they were all hypnotized by the Congress falsehood. The youth believed their slogans and catchwords. They were caught right in the net that was spread for them by the Congress. They were caught right in the net that was spread for them by the Congress. They were led into the belief that the Congress was fighting for the freedom. Being honest themselves, they could not believe that other people could be otherwise. They were led to believe that the question was really an economic one, and that they were fighting for dal-bhat, for the labourer and Kisan. Therefore, untutored minds become easy victims of the Congress net. When we who saw thought the game and understood the inward meaning of the Congress leaders’ move, tried to make them understand that they were being mislead, we were dubbed reactionaries, communalists and much else besides.
Every students of history knows that such tricky slogans imported from time to time are part of international strategy. These slogans are used always to impress the minds of the students and same is the case these days. This kind of campaign is conducted through the socalled “intellectuals” who are ever ready to become a calspaw in the hands of others.
The Quaid-i-Azam had always been careful and had on several occasions warned us against those who wanted to adulterate in one way or another the true concept of Pakistan by putting extraneous elements in its objectives.
Three years before the establishment of Pakistan the Quaid-i-Azam had warned the Communists in no uncertain terms. He had said “…the Communist think we are fools. But they are sadly mistaken in their thinking… but they are mistaken now because the Muslim of the last 5 or 6 or 10 year has changed and the Communist will not succeed in fooling us. Hands off! Hands off! I say Communist Hands off!!! If you try the same game, it will hit back like a boomerang. We do not want any flag excepting the League flag of Crescent and Star. Islam is our guide and a complete code of our life, we do not want any red or yellow flag. We do not want any isms, Socialisms, Communisms or National Socialisms…”
It is pertinent to note here that it was said at a time when slogan “National Socialism” had been raised by Hitler, the dictator of fascist Germany.
We Pakistanis should be very cautious while giving an account of the movement and careful in citing from the speech of our leaders especially the Quaid-i-Azam. The latter’s statements – remember he was a lawyer and very cautious of what and when and where was he speaking – should be especially considered with reference to their nature, context, phraseology, background and forum he was addressing. One should also note his general trend of thought and the methodology of political action. If one commits the mistake of ignoring his precise words, clear expression and objective approach and hunts out some isolated phrases and out of context sentences as his final pronouncement or way of thinking, and repeat it like Goeble’s until falsehood starts to appear as truth, such a person can only be charged with motivated duplicity.
To recall events, when the Quaid-i-Azam toured East Pakistan in his capacity as the Governor General in March 1948, he was fully aware that some anti-Pakistan groups were busy, overtly, as also covertly, to undermine the Pakistan Movement and frustrate its aims. In this background while speaking at a function in Dacca, he said, “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…we are not going to tolerate quislings and fifth columnists in our state….they are poison”.
This represents real thinking of our great Quaid and his philosophy which forms the background of his political activities. He considered Islam, free of all “isms” foreign to it, as the guiding principle of our life system. Consequently in a speech in February 1948, he said: “It is my belief that our salvation lies in following the golden rules of conduct set for us by our great law-giver, the Prophet of Islam. Let us lay the foundation of our democracy on the basis of truly Islamic concept and principles. Our Almighty has taught us that ‘our decisions in the affairs of the State shall be guided by discussions and consultations’.
About the same month he stressed in an address to the Pakistan Army: “you have fought many a battle on far-flung battle-fields of the globe to get rid the world of the Fascist menace and make it safe for democracy. Now you have to stand guard over the development and maintenance or Islamic Democracy, Islamic Social Justice and the equality of manhood in your own native soil.”
Even four years or so before the advent of Pakistan he had said to an audience in Delhi: “There is lot of misunderstanding, a lot of mischief is created. Is it going to be an Islamic Government? Is it not begging the question. Is it not a question of passing a vote of censure on yourself? The constitution and the Government will be what the people will decide.”
In February 1948, in a broadcast talk to the people of United States of America, the Quaid-i-Azam had said: “The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. I do not know what the ultimate shape is going to be, but I am sure that it will be a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy…. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state — to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.” It should be remembered that this terminology was used in old Christian concept of the State.
In order to provide a reason and basis for a secular constitution for Pakistan, a mischievous stunt was resorted to by asserting that the Quaid-i-Azam wanted to make Pakistan into an Islamic-Socialist State for he believed in Islamic Socialism as a way of life. For this onslaught against the ideal of Islamic Pakistan reliance was placed on the speech the Quaid made at Chittagong in March 1948.
We must have by now understood the Quaid-i-Azam’s real thinking and ideals about the subject. Let us now examine and analyse this particular phrase of the Chittagong speech on which this entirely new effort to confuse the public mind is ultimately based.
What we are apt to forget is the fact that not once but repeatedly, before as well as after inauguration of Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam had expressed that he believed in that democratic social justice as enunciated by Islam. For another remarkable fact, clearly indicative of his way of thinking, is his refusal to put forward any pattern of statecraft that the modern world knew or practiced as a model for the future constitution of Pakistan, nor did he ever suggest that any such modern model should be Islamised and adopted for our Islamic homeland.
One must recall the background of his speech at Chittagong where he referred to “Islamic Socialism”. His exact words in reply to the address of welcome there presented to him bear exact quotation. He had said “you are only voicing my sentiments and the sentiments of millions of musalmans when you say that Pakistan should be based on the sure foundation of social justice and Islamic socialism – not other isms – which emphasizes equality and brotherhood of man. Similarly you are voicing my thoughts in asking and in aspiring for equal opportunities for all”. It must therefore be noted that the phrase “Islamic Socialism” was first used in the address presented to him and he never by himself initiated the phrase nor invented it. Consequently to assert that the Quaid-i-Azam believed in Islamic Socialism is a travesty of truth and a pack of lies. He never in his whole life by himself used the term Islamic Socialism, on the other hand he always talked of “Islamic Social Justice”. The clear expression “not other ism” which is there for all to see in his speech, has always been suppressed, particularly in the government publication “Quaid-i-Azam as Governor General”. While some people for their own ends quote from and rely on his Chittagong speech, the Quaid himself had categorically rejected all theories except of Islamic Social Justice by adding the words “not other isms”
Only three months after the Chittagong Speech on July 1, 1948 in his reply to the address he referred to research section of the State Bank of Pakistan the Quaid-i-Azam advised the nation to prefer only those solutions to all national problems that are arrived at in the light of special requirements of their own. What was the outline of his real thinking about an economic system is evident from his words and thoughts expressed on this occasion – an appropriate moment for such formulations. The Quaid had said: “I shall watch with keenness the work of your research organization in evolving banking practices compatible with Islamic ideals of social and economic life. The economic system of the west has created almost insoluble problems for humanity and to many of us it appears that only a miracle can save it from disaster that is now facing the World. It has failed to do justice between man and man and to eradicate friction from the International field. On the contrary it was largely responsible for the two World wars in the last half century. The western World in spite of its advantages of mechanization and industrial efficiency is today in a worse mess than ever before in history. The adoption of western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the World an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling our mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind.”
This speech is the last public policy statement of the Quaid-i- Azam and in this he has on purpose expressed his views on Pakistan’s economic system. Had he attached any importance to socialism or the so called Islamic socialism this would be the moment and occasion to do so. But, as anyone can see, there is not the slightest hint of either.
The truth is worth repeating that the Quaid had regularly used and repeated the phrase social justice and added the qualification “Islamic” with it by saying social justice as conceived by Islam or words to that effect. It is clear therefore that no philosophy of Islamic socialism can be adjusted into his words. If the votaries of socialism want to twist the Quaid’s one indirect reference to the term Islamic socialism to their own use, certainly not his. Why do they not advocate a polity for Pakistan based on socialism pure and simple and why, in God’s name, they feel shy of his expression “Islamic Social Justice” and insist on using “Islamic Socialism” instead. Can the subterfuge of confusing the issue go future?.
The real facts seems to be that the Quaid-i-Azam actually lifted the term “Islamic Socialism” from the address of welcome at Chittagong and adding to it “no other isms” negative the concept of socialism of that term. This was certainly to guide the presenters of the address on the correct direction of their future course of action.
The question now arises as to why some people are bent on crating this confusion and argumentation. Why not accept the Quaid-i-Azam’s own concept of Islamic Social Justice and why they refuse to adopt it as a philosophy of sociopolitical action. When such people insist on sticking to an isolated expression “Islamic Socialism” in an address, not to the Quaid’s own coinage, the public mind associates it with that Socialism which takes the shape of communism, a well known economic system. That particular system is founded on the basis that “matter” is the all pervading eternal truth and there is (Allah save us) no creator as conceived by Islam. If this be the end product of Islamic socialism then tomorrow who can prevent the advocates of Islamic Socialism from preaching a Communist State for Pakistan. In that case all attributes of the Almighty Allah will have to be applied to the communist state. It can only be a conjecture but it is conceivable that some such motive had taken the shape of a movement sometime back called by the name of “Islamic social revolution”. Propagandists of Islamic Socialism consider Islam to be incomplete without an adjunct of Socialism being added to it or they consider that by adding “Islamic” to Socialism the latter will be honoured to become Islam itself. If that is not so then why do they not use without hesitation the expressions “Islam” or “Islamic system of justice” or “Islamic equality” or “Islamic social justice”.
By grafting the alien concept of Socialism on to Islam, they only mutilate the ideology of Pakistan and raise hurdles in its development along healthy lines with a strong base. This kind of attempt can only lead to using Islam merely as a “rocket” to launch the “capsule” of Socialism so that after attaining a certain height the capsule takes off in space leaving the rocket below. The “capsule” i.e. Socialism cannot be launched except with the help of the “rocket of Islam” and it would be folly for the people of Pakistan to serve as a vehicle for this nefarious activity and evil design.
Quaid-i-Azam did not agree with the definition of Communism which stands as a philosophy for equal distribution of wealth. He said once in 1945 that the real definition of Communism is actually for equal distribution of poverty. The World has seen after 45 years the poverty all over the strong hold or Communism in USSR. How true the definition of the Quaid was