Professor Stanley Wolpert, an American Indologist, writer and academic, who is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the political and intellectual history of modern India and Pakistan and author of the epic biography Jinnah of Pakistan states: “Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammed Ali Jinnah did all three.” Wolpert has also penned the biographies of Gandhi and Nehru, but his eulogy for the Quaid surpasses any other leader of the freedom movement. It is a fact of history that the creation of Pakistan was an epoch-making event and a significant achievement of Quaid-i-Azam and his indomitable team of political workers, having the tenacity and steadfastness to face any challenge in their efforts to achieve their objective - i.e. the creation of a separate home land for the Muslim of the subcontinent.

The Hindus had opposed the partition of the subcontinent tooth and nail and considered it to be the desecration of “Mother India”. The Quaid, initially a proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity, soon realised that the Hindus wanted to avenge themselves for the hundreds of years of subjugation under the Mughals and other Muslim rulers of India. After the departure of the British, it would only be a change of rulers for the Muslims, while the Hindus - being in majority and economically more powerful - would enslave the downtrodden Muslims; whose only salvation lay in a separate homeland. Thus, it was the consideration of a different religion, rather than culture, language, ethnicity or customs and more that was the raison d'être for the creation of Pakistan.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a diehard leader of the Indian Congress, strongly opposed the partition of India. In his famous book, India Wins Freedom, he claims: “It (creation of Pakistan) is one of the greatest frauds on the people to suggest that religious affinity can unite areas which are geographically, economically and culturally different.” Similarly, Muslim religious organisations of the subcontinent - Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Majlis-i-Ahrar-i-Islam and Jamat-i-Islami - were politically very active during the struggle for Pakistan, but they vehemently opposed the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims on the plea that Pakistan was essentially a territorial concept and, thus, alien to the philosophy of Islamic brotherhood, which was universal in character. Nationalism was an un-Islamic concept for them, but at the same time they supported the Congress Party's idea of Indian nationalism that the Muslim political leadership considered as accepting perpetual domination of Hindu majority. Likewise, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the recipient of the 1985 Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, strongly opposed the Muslim League’s demand for the partition of India. When the Congress accepted the partition plan, he told them that "you have thrown us to the wolves."

The Quaid’s prescience and foresight, therefore, proved his worst fears to be correct. The plight of the Muslims in India today is worse than even the low caste Dalits and other minorities; a fact verified by the 2005 Justice Sachar Committee’s report to ascertain the latest social, economic and educational condition of the Muslim community of India. In fact, the venomous pronouncement of extremist Hindu Mahasabha, President Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, and Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that “.......the Muslims are not Indians, but foreigners or temporary guests - without any loyalty to the country or its cultural heritage - and should be driven out of the country or convert to Hinduism.......", is still being propagated today and leads to the genocide of the Indian Muslims in Kashmir, Maharashtra and elsewhere.

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s detractors found solace in the dismemberment of Pakistan and Indira Gandhi went on to claim that the Quaid’s Two-Nation Theory had been “sunk in the Bay of Bengal.” But Pakistan survived and thrived, while Bangladesh has also taken up its rightful place in the comity of nations.

Today, Pakistan has once again become the target of Indian machinations and is being subjected to propaganda and intrigues, as New Delhi is exploiting the current political instability, economic meltdown and ethnic/social division among different segments of the Pakistani society. Thus, it is polluting the minds of Pakistani youth by claiming that their country’s salvation lies in reuniting with India and that the Two-Nation Theory became defunct after 1947. Pseudo attempts. like Aman ki Asha. are a case in point for discrediting it, which must be counteracted with logic.

n    The writer is a political and defence analyst.