Two Nation Theory – Partition’s bloodstained legacy leaves India’s half of the past generation paralysed out of fear and trauma which they had to go through because of the politicians (or, the leaders) of that time along with our long time oppressors – the British. When the British ultimately departed India after three centuries, the peninsula was divided into two sovereign nation states: Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Suddenly, one of the largest migrations in the history of mankind began, with millions of Muslims trekking to West and East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh), while millions of Hindus and Sikhs went the other way. A lot of individuals never made it.
Cultures that had lived alongside for over centuries assailed one another in a terrible eruption of communal warfare, with Hindus and Sikhs on one side and Muslims on the other – a narrative being played out that was as shocking as it was unusual. Genocides, Burning, Forced Conversions of Religions, Home Invasions that turned out to be absolutely harrowing, and dreadful stories of Sexual Assault were common in Punjab and Bengal, two regions on India’s borders with West and East Pakistan, respectively. It is estimated that over eighty thousand women were raped, and many of them were deformed or mutilated as a result.
The Hypocrisy of Two Nation Theory
The ultimate failure of the Two Nation theory into its utopian practicality left cultures and people to be resentful of one another and their hatred for each other still persists today. What was supposed to ‘benefit’ the two communities turned out to be their worst nightmare possible.
The division of Bengal in 1905 was the British’s initial move in destroying Hindu-Muslim unity. And after that a whole lot of events followed which made the differences between both the communities grow wider and gradually they became resentfully agitated with the way it was going. A resurrected Hindu aggression posed a threat to Islam and its decreasing population in India.
It was not helping the fact that there were tensions among the Congress and the All India Muslim League for their contradictory statements and sentiments. So, Muhammad Iqbal offered a picture of an autonomous state for the big Muslim-majority regions of northern India in his Allahabad address (1930) which prompted Muhammad Ali Jinnah along with other Muslim politicians to promote the concept that religion is the deciding element in establishing the nationality of Indian Muslims. The fate was sealed when Chaudhri Ahmet Ali came up with the word ‘Pakistan’ and the unavoidable circumstances led to its eventual existence.
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According to the Two-Nation hypothesis, Hindus and Muslims in India represent two independent groups that cannot coexist within the same state without controlling and discriminating against each other, or without continual strife. This served as the primary reason for the partition of India in 1947. Jinnah wanted a nation in which he argued that the Hindus and Muslims who live in the broad region are not two groups but rather two countries in many ways.
Furthermore, Hinduism and Islam are not, strictly speaking, separate faiths, but rather two independent social regimes. As a result, they are irreconcilable with one another and require their own region to live. Ultimately, Hindus and Muslims adhere to two opposing religious doctrines with unique genealogies. They cannot prosper as a community because they adhere to two opposing schools of thinking. According to the argument, Muslims are a distinct country with their own culture, traditions, values, and civilisation. By 1939, Jinnah had come to believe in the existence of a Muslim nation on the Indian subcontinent.
As a result, India’s liberation was cemented with doom: the Curse of Partition, which separated the undivided nation into India and Pakistan. Jinnah and his Two Nations Thesis are openly blamed for the unnecessary ‘Partition.’ This not only brought a whole line of generational trauma never to be recovered from but also, the after effects of partition still remain in the ever growing animosity which threatens world peace.
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Albeit coming into action, the entire process of dividing a single nation with such peculiar intentions is still debated and interpreted among many scholars. The main flawed explanation for the division still remains to be based upon religious identity rather than other factors: The two nation theory was based on the assumption that religious identity was the most important factor that determined a person’s national identity. However, this was a flawed assumption as there were other factors such as language, culture, and geography that were equally important in defining a person’s national identity. In conclusion, the two nation theory was a flawed and hypocritical ideology that ignored the diversity within Indian society and promoted a narrow-minded view of national identity.
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