1947 Independence Day: Pakistan & Bangladesh
TWO nations were born in the subconti nent on 14 August 1947. Congress ques
tioned the genesis of two-nation theory and termed it mad man’s fantasy. In reply, in AIML annual address Quaid said these historic words, “the day very first Indian embraced Islam and converted as Muslim two nations were born.”
The day symbolizes the birth of the new country. Pakistan later split into two — Pakistan and Bangladesh — within the ambit of Indian subcontinent just after 25 years.
Let it be clear Bangladesh owes its birth to Pakistan. Had there been no Pakistan, Bangladesh could never have been born. We must remember division of Bengal in 1906 and the reversion in 1912.
The reasons of East Pakistan tragedy lay on the shoulders of three men blinded by lust of power and myopic politics. I do not blame Indians; they seized the opportunity from the situation we created.
As Subraminum said in Feb 1971, much before March 1971, that it is the chance of century.
It was the country created due to efforts of Jinnah through a democratic movement. Leaders of Bengal were on the forefront.
Their services and struggle cannot be denied. During Fatima Jinnah election campaign Mujib was in the forefront. It is West Pakistani politicians who made him rebel. Yet on 7 March 1971 at Paltan Maidan he still raised the slogan of Pakistan Zindabad. When Pakistan resolution was passed, the Congress termed it a joke. But it was a divine decision that Pakistan came into being.
Lo and behold, whenever a crisis emerged to its existence, Allah created means to save it. 1965 Indian army when attacked Wahgah on Sep 6, there were no troops except forward screens. But Allah had put fear in Indians; they halted fearing a tactical trap.
Thus in these few hours Pakistan Army and Air Force retaliated and routed the advancing columns. Same happened in 1971, after fall of Dacca, West Pakistan defence was in complete disarray due to mass scale Bengali defections.
It is then Nixon rang up Kosygin, the then Russian President, who telephoned India to stop and cease fire, was ordered.
There are many other occasions when Allah’s help came. In 1979 the (former) Soviet Union had touched Pakistan borders and any advance would have been matter of days after capitulation of Kabul regime.
Providence saw defeat of the Soviet Union and subsequent break up battle against terrorism for fifteen years. The sacrifices Pakistan made are unparalleled in history of warfare. What is this; nothing but Allah’s help to Pakistani nation in spite of its follies.
Pakistan is not the new country in classical sense. It was born in the 8th Century with the conquest of India and lasted till 19th Century.
From 1857 to 1947 the gap was created due to the British rule in India following the defeat of Muslims in 1857. Muslims were crushed by the British as they were the earlier rulers.
British, by design, propped up Hindus in the day-to-day business of the government replacing Muslims. Further damage was done by Mullahs who decreed learning English would be a sin when official language Persian was replaced by English.
It was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who first convinced Muslims the necessity of learning English for the Muslims to survive. British encouraged the Hindus and it was becoming evident to Muslims they were being pushed downwards.
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who established Aligarh University in 1875, on the model of Oxford, there was opposition from the mullahs.
The university, however, became the cradle of learning and awareness for Muslims of India. It not only created a base for the Muslims to learn western education but also created a platform for political awareness.
1876 Congress Party was founded through the courtesy of a British. Soon it became the rallying point for the Indians Muslims. Congress claimed it is the voice of all Indians including the Muslims. The Muslim leadership was weak, submissive and split.
Nevertheless, Congress claim was contested by some courageous Muslim leaders. Meanwhile Congress was supported by the British who saw in Muslim political awakening a danger.
It was to be nipped in the bud. Last part of 19th and early 20th centuries saw Congress aggressively approaching a cross-section of Muslim population to create its hold.Thus Muslims felt the necessity of own political party. In 1906 Muslim League was founded at [Dhaka] headed by Nawab Salimullah on 30 Dec 1906. It was dissolved on 14 Aug 1947.
It was succeeded by Pakistan Awami League in now Bangladesh and Indian Union Muslim League in India. Present ML is one of the factions.
It was to rally Muslims against growing disparities perpetuated by Hindus who were by now fully involved in the affairs of the government and had backing of the British. — To be continued.
—The writer, a retired Brigadier, a veteran of 1965, 1971 wars with SJ, SI, and IS Bar Gallantry. A senior Defence and Industry analyst.