MASOOMA ARSHAD

The vision of a separate home land for the Muslims of Subcontinent, so that they could freely uphold the ideals of Islam, became the raison d’etre of each and every Muslim living under the British rule in Subcontinent. Though the idea was implicitly put forward in the Allahabad address of Allama Iqbal in 1930, but it was officially presented from the platform of Muslim League in March 1940. During those times, the realisation that Hindu and Muslims were two separate nations , having divergent ideologies permeated far and wide. Therefore the only solution that Iqbal presented was the creation of a separate state for the Muslims. The idea appeared to be a dream yet Muslims under the remarkable leadership of Quaid-e-Azam and many others strived hard to make that dream true. One of the salient steps taken towards the achievement of this goal was the Lahore Resolution in March 1940.

The annual meeting of Muslim League was held in Iqbal Park on 22nd, 23rd and 24th March 1940. It was presided over by Quaid-e-Azam, who in his presidential address clearly mentioned that the Muslims stand apart as a distinguished nation which has its own individual identity, culture and value and belief systems. He emphasied that the attainment of independence for the Muslims involved ideological issues.

They needed a separate land to safeguard their culture as well as implementation of Islamic system. On the second day i.e. 23rd March 1940, Maulvi Fazal ul Haq presented the resolution which was later on called the ‘’Pakistan Resolution’’. The important tenets of this resolution were: i. North Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped together to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign. ii. The constitution of the newly built states should ensure the safeguarding of the religious, cultural, economic and political rights and interests of the minorities. Since then the date 23rd March has become reminiscent of this resolution which provided the Muslims of Subcontinent a clear direction and determined their goal. It infused high spirits and enthusiasm among the Muslim community of that time. The streets of the subcontinent used to resound with the famous slogan, ‘’’Pakistan ka matlab kia? La ilaha illallah!!!’’

They united themselves to pursue their goal and with missionary zeal and commitment took revolutionary steps for the projection of the Muslim cause. Now many years have been passed. The half part of the dream came true i.e. The creation of Pakistan, but the other part is yet to be, i.e. making Pakistan a place where ideologies of Islam are upheld and practised in the true sense of the word thereby establishing its status as one of the progressed states of the world. Unfortunately by the passage of time we started to lose ‘’the vision and the glory’’.

If we peep into the current scenario, the survival of our culture and civilization, values and traditions based on our religion seems difficult. Foreign culture and media is dominating us. Materialism, mercenary motives, prejudices, sectarianism is governing us at social, political and individual levels. To comment on the lament of the present situation of Muslim Ummah in general and people of Pakistan in particular, I would like to cite the following verse: ‘’ Whither is fled the visionary gleam, Where is it now, the glory and the dream!!’’ [Wordsworth; Ode on intimations of Immortality] On 23rd March we celebrate the struggle of our ancestors with great fervor and pay high tributes to their efforts, due to which our freedom was ensured.