23 March 1940 – Destination Pakistan


Sitting on a bench, listening to people’s roars and cheers, an old man’s story was circulating in my mind, “This is where it all started son and this is how it must go, tell those who raise doubts, this is only the beginning” with sparkles of sunlight in his eyes and a smile of mountain on his face he said, history has seen several other significant parallels, there was nothing earthly about it, perhaps only the details which met the eyes,like the birth of Jesus, scepter of Moses and parting of the red sea, it was making of another miracle,a rhetoric shaped by the prowess of logic from a lawyer’s character backed by consciousness of masses who were injected with emblems of anticipation nurtured by avalanche of dreams-crafted by visionary philosopher overwhelmed in a desert of despair, it was a charter signed by 100 million souls, tested by an exodus and vindicated by the blood of another million, behold the declaration of intent, the Lahore Resolution, history’s first ever Pakistan day.

To actually articulate the idea of how irresistible it was for the common suppressed Muslim masses of subcontinent, picture Manto park Lahore almost 70 years ago, where hundreds of thousands in attendance and millions observing moved to a rhyme apparently sung on the earth but was rather divine in nature. Creation of Pakistan couldn’t be anything but inevitable. Unfortunately, we swung away from the origin, Lahore resolution or Pakistan Resolution as it was termed by the pro Congress press of the time was not only the genesis of Pakistan but it provided a guide line for a future social accord between the possible units of the coming nation.

What exactly does it signify? To be honest on a larger scale we are still trying to figure it out, sadly, for most of us it’s just another national holiday celebrated every year as a memoir with the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar and the tranquility of repetition, start the day late, have brunches after brunches, complete the usual eat, laugh and sleep cycle. In reality it is more, if we carefully analyze modern aspects of our socio political dynamics under the dogmatic backdrop of early 1900’s, current confusion created by pseudo liberal faction of our society by using selective picks from the whole Pakistan movement and the content of the resolution we will come to know that the statements written in Lahore resolution and undercurrents which made it possible are not mere simple or baseless words or happenings, those are perspectives which offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.It was a significant toppling of table, Muslims of India finally spoken to what they are all about, on an interesting note, in advent of Lahore resolution congress also held their annual session at Ramgarhand forcefully attempted to highlight the single nation theory as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad had argued in his presidential address while the Muslim League reacted with the Two-Nation theory in postulated manner. The popularity of the Muslim League pervaded all the Muslim minds carved out of the details from Pakistan resolution. To further elaborate the details one should review the actual excerpt, Lahore resolution states:

“no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz., that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority, as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India, should be grouped to constitute Independent States… That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in these units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them”

Going through the content of it,especially in wake of the whole political debacle of the communal hate and atrocities in Muslim minority areas of northern India and considering apparent rising cohesion in Muslim masses regarding demand for a separate state it was noted that at first, Congress leadership adopted intermittent attitude towards the Lahore Resolution and negative response of Sikhs. In the beginning, they tried to hide their real feelings about the Pakistan scheme but they could not help exposing themselves with the passage of time. Several prominent congress figures,notably Chiman lal Setalvad,uttered his descent by saying that Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s scheme would prove to be disastrous to the interests of all the communities equally, how Hippocratic of congress, Quaid-e-Azam was merely reflecting the common consensus based consciousness of Muslim Majority which was writing of the wall.

In historical perspective, the resolution shaped into three outcomes which elevated the Muslims to speak more convincingly for their rights, including the status of the League, unobstructed leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the unanimity of the Muslims on the Pakistan demand. It eventually led to provide a rallying point for Muslims from the majority and minority provinces who had possessed different political interests to come under one umbrella in shape of crafting a common charter of demand in lieu of political chaos created by the English-Congress-Sikh trio in united India. Its immediate impact was to invoke a hostile reaction among all the factions of the Sikhs.

Lahore resolution gave voice to Muslims’ demands, it rang the alarm bell in colonial-mahasabhai mindset and shaped an already existing debate into a structural struggle, it outlined future workable frame work in which the newly created state should thrive, it was a clear declaration of intent and sighting of a direction for a ship which had been in troubled waters for a long time, it gave the people on board a distinguished captain in the form of Quaid-e-Azam who came of age through his experience of dealing with Congress trickeries and lies and established significant wind of unprecedented political will into the sails which ultimately led to the shores of thepromised land of Pakistan.

So on a day while sitting on a bench in a near festivity, surrounded by a chanting mob, listening to people’s roars and revisiting an old man’s memoir from a distant pasta new revelation dawnsasevaluation of its every minute detail seems to fall into a perfect line, giving an illuminating perspective to the outset of the idea behind the creation of Pakistan and its entire paradigm,hoping for sparkles of a thousand suns and smiles of mountains,those who truly believe and understand that this is where it all started, this is how it should go from here, so consider this 23 March as an announcement for those who troupe shadows of doubts over the existence of Pakistan, yes, it went through a lot, from 14 august to 16 December, from 47 to 71, from a swift rise to an even swifter fall, from towering heights to the damning lows,yet, destination is only yet to arrive,  journey has only started, it might be little gloomy for those who descent  but for casters of enchantments who hold this near and dear to their hearts, this only is the beginning.

Ahsan Malik is an IT professional with a passionate & candid version of his own on national and international issues relating to Pakistan, he tweets @MohdAhsanMalik and can be reached at m.ahson.malik@gmail.com

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