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Time to Idealise Jinnah’s Pakistan

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Time to Idealise

Jinnah’s Pakistan

“My young friends, students who are present here, let me tell you as one who has always had love and affection for you, who has served you for years faithfully and loyally, let me give you this word of warning; you will be making the greatest mistake if you allow yourself to be exploited by one political party or another … Your main occupation should be — in fairness to yourself, in fairness to your parents, in fairness to the state — to devote your attention to your studies.”
Government and Change
“With the removal of foreign domination, the people are now the final arbiters of their destiny. They have perfect liberty to have, by constitutional means, any government that they may choose. This cannot, however, mean that any group may now attempt by any unlawful methods to impose its will on the popularly elected government of the day. The government and its policy may be changed by the votes of the elected representatives.”
Democracy and Liberty
“Democracy is in the blood of Musalmans, who look upon complete equality of manhood [mankind] … [and] believe in fraternity, equality and liberty.”
Government’s Duty
“You will, no doubt, agree with me that the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the state.”
Duty of the Citizens
“You must learn to distinguish between your love for your province and your love and duty to the state as a whole. Our duty to the state takes us a stage beyond provincialism. It demands a broader sense of vision, and [a] greater sense of patriotism. Our duty to the state often demands that we must be ready to submerge our individual or provincial interests into the common cause for common good. Our duty to the state comes first: our duty to our province, to our district, to our town and to our village and ourselves comes next.”
“Corruption is a curse … amongst Muslims, especially the so-called educated and intelligentsia. Unfortunately, it is this class that is selfish and morally and intellectually corrupt. No doubt this disease is common, but amongst this particular class of Muslims, it is rampant.”
Black Marketing
“A citizen who does black-marketing commits, I think, a greater crime … These black-marketeers are really knowing, intelligent and ordinarily responsible people, and when they indulge in black-marketing, I think they ought to be very severely punished, because they undermine the entire system of control and regulation of … essential commodities, and cause … starvation and want and even death.”
Rights Violations in Kashmir
“I do hope that immediate steps will be taken by the paramount power to intervene and hold an inquiry into the recent occurrences in Kashmir which have resulted in bloodshed and the ruthless measure of oppression and suppression that have been adopted by the Kashmir government against the people and the press. From all accounts that I have received, there does not exist in Kashmir any freedom of thought or speech.”
“If we are to make any real, speedy and substantial progress, we must … bring our educational policy and programme on the lines suited to the genius of our people, consonant with our history and culture, and having regard to the modern conditions and vast developments that have taken place all over the world … What we have to do is to mobilise our people and build up the character of our future generations … In short, we have to build up the character of our future generations which means highest sense of honour, integrity, selfless service to the nation, and sense of responsibility, and we have to see that they are fully qualified or equipped to play their part in the various branches of economic life in a manner which will do honour to Pakistan.”
Equality and Fraternity
“Brotherhood, equality and fraternity of man – these are all the basic points of our religion, culture and civilization, and we fought for Pakistan because there was a danger of the denial of these rights in the subcontinent.”
Unity, Faith and Discipline
“I have no doubt that with unity, faith and discipline, we will not only remain the fifth largest state in the world, but will compare with any nation of the world … You must make up your mind now. We must sink individualism and petty jealousies and make up our minds to serve the people with honesty and faithfulness. We are passing through a period of fear, danger and menace. We must have faith, unity and discipline.”
Protection of Minorities
“Minorities to whichever community they may belong will be safeguarded. Their religion of faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom of worship. They will have their protection with regard to their religion, faith, their life and their culture. They will be, in all respects, the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caste or creed.”
Representative government
“I want you to keep your heads up as citizens of a free and independent sovereign state. Praise your government when it deserves. Criticize your government fearlessly when it deserves, but do not go on all the time attacking, indulging in destructive criticism, taking delight in running down the ministry or the officials. Representative governments and representative institutions are no doubt good and desirable, but when people want to reduce them merely to channels of personal aggrandisement, they not only lose their value, but earn a bad name. We must subject our actions to perpetual scrutiny and test them with the touchstone, not of personal or sectional interest, but of the good of the state.”
Islam and Idealism
“Islam and its idealism have taught democracy. Islam has taught equality, justice and fair play to everybody. What reason is there for anyone to fear democracy, equality, freedom on the highest standard of integrity and on the basis of fair play and justice for everybody … Let us make it [the future constitution of Pakistan]. We shall make it and we shall show it to the world.”
Economic System
“The adoption of Western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on the true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice.”
Religious Practices
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state … We are starting with this fundamental principle: that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state … Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time, Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.”
Pakistan and Theocracy
“The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) … But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who, of whatever creed, are themselves willing and ready to play their part as true and loyal citizens of Pakistan.”
Regenerating the Nation
“Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation … Now is the time, chance and opportunity for every Mussalman to make his or her fullest and best contribution and make the greatest sacrifice and work ceaselessly in the service of our nation and make Pakistan one of the greatest nations of the world. It is in your hands. We have undoubtedly talents. Pakistan is blessed with enormous resources and potentialities. Providence has endowed us with all the wealth of nature and now it lies with man to make the best of it.”
Relations with India
“I sincerely hope that they [relations between India and Pakistan] will be friendly and cordial. We have a great deal to do … and think that we can be of use to each other [and to] the world.
First and the foremost, both dominions must make all-out efforts to restore peace and maintain law and order in their respective states – that is fundamental. I have repeatedly said that now that the division of India has been brought about by solemn agreement between the two dominions, we should bury the past and resolve that, despite all that has happened, we shall remain friends. There are many things which we need from each other as neighbours and we can help each other in diverse ways, morally, materially and politically and thereby raise the prestige and status of both dominions. But before we can make any progress, it is absolutely essential that peace must be restored and law and order maintained in both the dominions.”
Quran, the Complete Code
“Everyone, except those who are ignorant, knows that the Quran is the general code of the Muslims. A religious, social, civil, commercial, military, judicial, criminal, penal code, it regulates everything from the ceremonies of religion to those of daily life; from the salvation of the soul to the health of the body; from the rights of all to those of each individual; from morality to crime; from punishment here to that in the life to come; and our Prophet (peace be upon him) has enjoined on us that every Musalman should possess a copy of the Quran and be his own priest. Therefore, Islam is not merely confined to the spiritual tenets and doctrines or rituals and ceremonies. It is a complete code regulating the whole Muslim society, every department of life, collective[ly] and individually.”
Individual Liberty
“No man should lose his liberty or be deprived of his liberty without a judicial trial in accordance with the accepted rules of evidence and procedure … the powers which are going to be assumed by the executive, which means substitution of executive for judicial, such powers are likely to be abused, and, in the past, we have instances where such powers have been abused … there is no precedent or parallel that I know of in any other civilised country where you have laws of this character enacted … it imperils the liberty of the subject and fundamental liberties of a citizen.”
Role of Women
“No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. I do not mean that we should imitate the evils of the Western life. But let us try to raise the status of our women according to our own Islamic ideas and standards. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable conditions in which our women have to live. You should take your women along with you as comrades in every sphere of life, avoiding the corrupt practices of Western society.”

The writer is a member of staff.

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