On Dr Safdar Mehmood's (mis)interpretation of Jinnah – by Naveed Ali

by admin

Related article:

Jinnah, Ayesha Jalal, Safdar Mehmood, Irshad Haqqani, Khurshid Nadeem – an interesting debate

سب اپنے اپنے مفروضوں کے حق میں
دلیلیں ان سے پاتے ہیں بیک وقت
جناب قائد اعظم کے اقوال
سبھی کے کام آتے ہیں بیک وقت
(انور شعور)

There is a long debate in Pakistan about what was Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan, and it is an interesting one for any student of history.

We Pakistanis seem to be very disillusioned about the very inception of our country, a very rare instance when it comes on nations and countries, and it is all because we want to relate what we want to achieve in the future with the past. Not bad at all, as this is natural course for any nation but problem comes when one starts to judge the intentions behind our interests in interpreting our past.

And that probably is the root cause why we have not reached a consensus, because we cannot accept what does not comply with our beliefs. And that is the reason why most in Pakistan drift away from reason and rationality and become aggressive and discontented. We can see this behaviour in debates we indulge into and most of slogans we raise; they are emotional, melancholic and poignant rather than wise and constructive.

For reference, today (in Jang newspaper) there is an interesting article, by Dr. Safdar Mehmood (1); baffling and muddling? Look at the title from Dr. Mehmood, he is using the word “بہتان” means “blame” or “something which is not true”; can one understand if he is giving his decision or his opinion?

Forget the historic facts and proofs for instance and just concentrate on the approach; very clearly he is trying to suggest that whoever does not agree with him is conspiring to put blames on the personality of Qaid.

Now is there any room left for difference of opinion? There are further anomalies in his column; he says that ‘there is no concept of theocracy in Islam” if this is the case, then there is no contradiction between secularism and Islam, congratulations (it means we could have a non Muslim as head of state).

He further says that “He (Qaid-e-Azam) wanted to make Pakistan a democratic state on the basis of Islamic principles, but it would not have been a theocratic state” can we see the confusion here? What is Islamic democracy? If every citizen is free and equal (democracy) and has right to follow any religion and state has nothing to do with religion (secularism), why is there a need to call it Islamic democracy? What is there which has not told to us in black and white? What is the difference between a democracy and an Islamic democracy when it comes to constitution and law? From Dr. Mehmood’s discourse it looks like it is one and same thing.

More unbelieving is the idea that someone as mindful and intelligent as Mr. Jinnah was not clear on this issue. Jinnah was a barrister, one of the prominent lawyers of his time; he had been a disciple to Gokhale (4), Feroz Shah Mehta and Dada Bhai Naoroji (5), an old veteran of Indian National Congress, someone whose political ideas were based on constitutional reforms. He struggled for the rights of Indians for most of his political career.

We must also not disregard the fact that Muslim League accepted Cabinet Mission Plan which proposes a united India with groupings on the basis of balance between Hindu and Muslim majorities in different provinces and that was in May 1946, barely a year before independence. It was Congress which did not accepted that plan as it (INC) was opposed to the idea of parity, and as a result it was decided by Government of British India to Divide India in June 1946(6).

Can we dare to ask Dr. Mehmood, what would have been the structure of constitution had India been left by British on the basis of Cabinet Mission Plan which had acceptance of Quaid-e-Azam? Surely a man of his statesmanship must have thought about it and clearly it would have been a secular state.

Constituent Assembly of India was formed in December 1946, with Muslim League’s representatives as part of Assembly from which Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was later created, still 28 members of Muslim league remained in the Indian Assembly after partition(7) and included names such as Maulana Hasrat Mohani and Chaudhry Khaleeq-uz-Zaman . This Assembly approved the Constitution of India in 1949 which took effect on 26 January 1950. Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was failed to achieve any result, its only outcome was Objective Resolution (8).

We do not have any evidence of how much of this resolution was drafted when Quaid-e-Azam was alive; what we have as evidence is the statement made by Quaid (9) on 11 August 1947:

“You are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in the State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed. That has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

References:-
1. http://jang-group.com/jang/dec2010-daily/25-12-2010/col2.htm , last viewed 25/12/2010
2. http://blog.dawn.com/2010/12/25/what-about-jinnah%E2%80%99s-pakistan/, last viewed 25/12/2010
3. http://tribune.com.pk/story/39079/jinnahs-pakistan/, last viewed 25/12/2010
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopal_Krishna_Gokhale, last viewed 25/12/2010
5. http://m-a-jinnah.blogspot.com/2010/04/life-in-bombay-1896-to-1910.html, last viewed 25/12/2010
6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1946_Cabinet_Mission_to_India, last viewed 25/12/2010
7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constituent_Assembly_of_India, last viewed 25/12/2010
8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectives_Resolution, last viewed 25/12/2010
9. http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/legislation/constituent_address_11aug1947.html, last viewed 25/12/2010

2 Comments to “On Dr Safdar Mehmood's (mis)interpretation of Jinnah – by Naveed Ali”

  1. آج کے پاکستان میں قائد اعظم محمد الی جناح کا کوئی لینا دینا نہیں ہے ،دنیا بہت تبدیل ہو چکی ،قائد اعظم کی خدمات اور صلاحیتوں پر کوئی شک نہیں پر یہ کہنا کے آج کا پاکستان ان کا تصور تھا غلط ہوگا . ساٹھ سال پہلے لوگوں نے سوچا بھی نہ ہو گا کہ آج کا پاکستان کتنا مختلف ہوگا .مثال کے طور پر قائد اعظم نے کراچی کو دارلخلافہ منتخب کیا تھا پر اسے بغیر کسی عوامی رضا مندی کے اور بغیر کسی خاص وجہ کے خالص لسانی اور صوبائی تعصب کی بنیاد پر تبدیل کر دیا گیا .اسی طرح جو پاکستان قائد اعظم لینا میں کامیاب ہوئے تھے اس میں کا آدھا اکہتر میں چلا گیا اس کی وجہ بھی لسانی جھگڑا تھا اور آزادی حاصل کرنے والا ملک بھی مسلمانوں کا ہی تھا .قائد اعظم کے کیا افکار تھے اور وہ قوم کو کیا بنانا چاہتے تھے ابھی تک زیر بحث ہے ،نہ ہی آج تک کسی کو پتا چلا اور نہ ہی کوئی سیاسی جماعت اسے لے کر آگے بڑھی .حقیقت یہ ہے کہ اس وقت کے مسلمانوں کی پاکستان بناتے وقت صرف یہی سوچ تھی کے انگریزوں اور ہندوں سے آزادی حاصل کر نے کے بعد سارے مسائل حل ہو جائیں گے پر پاکستان بنے کے کچھ ہی عرصے بعد ہندوستان سے دشمنی کی بنیاد پر فوج کی طاقت میں اضافہ ہوا اور فوج کی کمان میں آگیا ،اسی کے ساتھ زمینی حقائق یہ تھے کہ ملک کے اندر صوبائی اور لسانی تفریق بہت واضح تھی جو بڑھتی گئی .
    دنیا بہت تیزی سے تبدیل ہو گئی ہے ،آج کے پاکستان کو قائد اعظم سے جوڑنا ایسے ہی ہے جیسے کل کے پارسیوں ،انگریزوں اور چھوٹے سے صاف ستھرے شہر کراچی کو آج کے کراچی سے ساتھ دیکھنا ،ایسا ہی ہے جیسے مغلوں کے شہر لاہور کو آج کے لاہور سے ملانا ،یا ہٹلر کے جرمنی کو آج آج کا جرمنی کہنا .قائد اعظم کا وہم و گمان میں بھی نہیں ہوگا کے پاکستان میں مذہبی شدت پسندی اتنا زور پکڑے گی کے مولوی بیگناہوں کو قتل کر رہے ہونگے اور اس کی توجیح پیش کر رہے ہونگے
    آج کے پاکستان میں بہت برا نظریاتی خلا پیدا ہو چکا ہے اور اصل میں لسانی اور علاقائی طور پر بھی بات چکا ہے جس کا قائد اعظم نے کبھی سوچا بھی نہ ہوگا ،یہ حقیقت ہے کہ پاکستان بنے کے بعد جو قومی سطح کا لیڈر آیا ہے اور جس کی عوام میں پزیرائی ہوئے وہ ذولفقار الی بھٹو تھا . اس کے علاوہ اس نئے پاکستان میں جو نظریاتی خلا تھا اسے پر کرنے کے لیہ انیسویں صدی کے جو نئے سیاسی اسلامی فلسفے تھے وہ پوری طرح اس ملک پر آزماے گئے .سید قطب اور مولانا مودودی کو اس نئے پاکستان کا باباۓ قوم بنایا گیا اور ضیاء ال حق کے آتے ہی اس پاکستان کو مودودی کے خابوں کی تعبیر بنانے کی کوشش کی گئی جس کا آج ہم نتیجہ دہشتگردی اور مذہبی نفرت کی شکل میں دیکھ رہے ہیں -اب سوچنا یہ ہے کہ پاکستان کو ضیاء الحق ،بھٹو یا مودودی کا پاکستان بنانا ہے یا کوئی ایک نی سوچ پیدا کرنی ہے جو اس خلا کو پر کرے

    خلاصہ یہ ہے کہ جس طرح سو سال پہلے کا برطانیہ آج والا نہیں ہے اسی طرح ساٹھ سال پہلے والا پاکستان آج والا نہیں ہے ،قائد اعظم کو الله پاک جنت نصیب کریں ہماری فوج اسی طرح ان کے مزار پر سلامی دیتی رہے پر اب ہمیں یہ سوچنا ہے کہ آج کا پاکستان ہم کیسے بنائیں جس میں ہماری مذہبی ،اخلاقی اقدار بھی ہوں اور انسانی اور سماجی حقوق بھی حاصل ہوں .

  2. Without knowing her history, a nation can be easily trapped into any ideological misconception. As we can see people have tried to do, whether it was Ayub or Zia, they refereed to history to create legitimacy, or they wrapped their gift package of dictatorship in the ideology, and they distorted history for their sake. We can see that the trend is continued, those who want to make a fundamentalist state out of Pakistan, who want to keep tha status Quo, they use history as a tool to throw fake ideologies on the shoulders of this nation. Jinnah unfortunately is part of scheme, one would love to let him rest in peace but it is not possible.
    Tell me if American history can be thought without declaration of independence and the role of their founding fathers (Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton) in it? now tell me (for argument’s sake)if a dictator somehow take over USA, he would be trying to change the constitution to suit himself, who will be his target? Similarly if you can prove that Lincoln was not against slavery, that would alter the course which you will be preparing for young Americans, isn’t it? In short, history is very useful and people who lived in past and who were part of great movements and ideologies, they still serve us, for they teach us what values we should bring forward and what we should avoid.
    History is the first tool in the hands of dictators and they try to distort it in order to achieve their objectives. It is a wishful thinking that Past is passed.
    Past can not be forgotten neither we should give it up, nor we should let any one distort it to suit the needs of bigots and hypocrites. Hence Jinah and his work and services will remain alive and will be debated, for us and for our future generations, we learn many lessons from him and we should teach same to our children.

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